Rafael Nadal Overtakes Novak Djokovic For No. 1 In 2012 ATP Rankings Race
by Staff | June 11th, 2012, 3:14 pm
  • 164 Comments

With his seventh French Open title Rafael Nadal has moved ahead of rival Novak Djokovic in the 2012 point only ATP Rankings. While Djokovic extended his point lead in the 52-week rankings to 2,220 points, at nearly the halfway point Nadal is now ahead of the Serb by 630 points for this season.

Nadal and Djokovic have split the first two Grand Slams, but the Spaniard won two clay masters events trumping Djokovic’s one at Miami.

The No. 1 race is still a long from from being decided, though. There are still plenty of points to be had this year with Wimbledon and the US Open, both offering 2,000 points to the winner, four 1,000 point Masters events, the 1,500 point London Finals and the Olympics which awards 750 points to the gold medalist.

The current Top 5 2012 points only:
1 Nadal, Rafael (ESP), 6,750
2 Djokovic, Novak (SRB), 6,120
3 Federer, Roger (SUI), 4,945
4 Ferrer, David (ESP), 3,300
5 Murray, Andy (GBR), 2,600

The final standings of the race will determine the year-end ATP No. 1 ranked player in November.


Also Check Out:
Novak Djokovic Increases No. 1 Lead Over Roger Federer In 2012 ATP Points Race
Poll: Who’s Most Likely To Finish In Top 2: Murray, Nadal Or Federer?
Roger Federer Is Now No. 1 In ATP Rankings For 2012 Points
Federer Says It’s “Possible” That He Can Finish No. 1; Mathematically Yes, Realistically No
Marquee Fall Schedules: Where Will Federer, Djokovic And Murray Be Playing

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164 Comments for Rafael Nadal Overtakes Novak Djokovic For No. 1 In 2012 ATP Rankings Race

Steve 27 Says:

Is this the best months for Nadal from January (Australia) to June (French Open)respect points?
Someone need the answer?


Jf Says:

And your point would be…? lol


Roger Federer Fan Says:

These rankings are just temporary.
The real King and the real No.1 is preparing for the grass season.
Our God Roger Federer will come back and win Wimby and Olympics back to back and take back his rightful number one ranking.


queen Says:

@ Roger Fed Fun,

Stop writing this shit cuz you sound like a crazy person.


queen Says:

Feds “rightful number one ranking” was a few years ago and won’t be back until he proves he can beat Rafa and Novak until than bye bye Fed.


Skeezer Says:

queen,

Agreed. If (a big if ) he gets back to #1, he is gonna have to earn it, and he will have to do it by gettings some wins over Rafa and Novak.


RZ Says:

Not that I’ve done the math or anything, but I think Federer would almost certainly have to win Wimbledon to have a shot at #1. He lost in the quarters there last year so it’s his biggest and best opportunity to make up lots of points.


Green900 Says:

Federer is gone, Im a die hard fan of his but djokovic v nadal is the new thing in tennis. Fed is so good but yet he lacks the consistency. I mean what was that in french open 2012 semi final, gave the match away to djokovic and BOTH us opens 2010-2011! And lets not forget australian open 2012; he was clearly playing at a higher level than nadal but yet lost it.


Skeezer Says:

Green900,

If you look back at his scores at FO, kinda tells a story. Excluding the first round, he was winning in 4 sets or more the remaining part of his run. Winning, but not blowing through everyone. No mojo for FO for Fed, for whatever reason. Strange, was hoping for a better showing, especially since after USO last year up to and through Madrid he was winning titles and paying well.

I would hold off assuming he dosn’t have a chance until after USO. But he better get back on fire very soon if he thinks he still can compete with the now much younger Rafa /Djoker duo.


Roger Federer Fan Says:

Congrats to Skeezer for your getting your prediction right about the match going for more than 8 hrs and also it would be too boring and make people sleep.

Your were absolutely right skeezer….the match went on for nearly 24 hours and everyone slept in between including both Rafa and Nole. You are awesone.

But only the result was different. Rafa got the help from uncle toni and also the organizers and cheated his way to the title. I wish I had such an uncle….I would have won 20 slams by now.

Hope our God wins the next 4 grandslams (without losing a set) and complete the Roger slam.


billyboy512 Says:

Hey, Roger Federer Fan, did you skip your meds this week? Or is this ironic mockery of Skeezer, et al?


Roger Federer Fan Says:

I totally disagree with this article. The golden era for tennis was between 2004 and 2007. The top guys then (Roddick, Gonzalez, Baghdatis, Nalby, etc led by our God) were much better than the guys now (Rafa, Nole, Murray, Tsonga, etc).


Nina Says:

Roger Federer Fan, what a stupid comment to say!


Jose_M Says:

I honestly think that when Nadal is at his best he is also the favourite at Wimbledon. What happens is that he was born on clay, lol. Seriously speaking, those stats don’t decieve us. Nadal and Djokovic are dominating the current tennis. For how long? I guess it’ll depend on them, if they are able to keep this level of tennis.


Steve 27 Says:

The golden era for tennis was between 2004 and 2007. The top guys then (Roddick, Gonzalez, Baghdatis, Nalby, etc led by our God) were much better than the guys now (Rafa, Nole, Murray, Tsonga, etc).

This is best comment EVER!

RFF you are so clever and funny! You are the new Seinfeld!
Stand up comedy for you!


Humble Rafa Says:

RFF,

I am missing from your 2004-2007 list.


grendel Says:

Nina and Steve27 and billyboy – you don’t seem to realise that Roger Federer Fan is – um – a satirist. Actually, he’s not bad. A little bit sourer than Humble Rafa with rather more of an axe to grind.


Humble Rafa Says:

I love this time of the year. I dominate on clay and am ahead on points for the year. People just love to extrapolate and make me the No.1 player. I agree with that but my knee, groin, arm, etc disagree and break down in the 2nd half of the year.


The Great Davy Says:

Excuse Roger Federer Fan, why I not included on list either? Your Great Davy was no less than top 10 for all those years, top 5 mostly too!


Kimberly Says:

Humble Rafa-I saw Pau Gasol of the LA Fakers in your box today.


skeezer Says:

The article had many other things to say other than what RFF apparently only half read.

Also missing during the Feds era is Hewitt, Safin, Guga, who won slams. RFF just cherry picked years and players, his typical SOP of talking out of the other hole. He needs to study more Senfield IMO for laughs.


Humble Rafa Says:

Humble Rafa-I saw Pau Gasol of the LA Fakers in your box today.

Spanish blood. The fakers just borrowed him.


Achilles Says:

The difference between Roger Federer Fan and Humble Rafa is that RFF grovels while HR is, to put it simply, humble.


jane Says:

skeezer, that was a good article; thanks for posting. I like what Wilander said about Nole improving on clay, but more generally about the three rivals, it’s a glowing review.


skeezer Says:

jane

tx

Achilles,

Shaammoooon! ;)


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Thank God, For all the stupidity being posted here about Roger leading the Race to No1, and how he can become No 1 before USO. Some sort of sanity should prevail now.

I can’t imagine anyone other than Rafa being favourite for Wimbledon, followed by Novak since he is the defending champ. Rafa has been to Wimbledon finals from 2006, whenever he played at Wimbledon. It’s not a mean achievement and he has been stopped only by Roger and Novak of 2011.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Remember that when Borg lost to Mac twice in a row, he quit. Rafa lost to Novak in 3 straight slam finals and many more big matches. He never gave up, and look at this: he is the best player so far of 2012.


Eric Says:

Actually, if Roger beats Rafa in the Wimbledon finals, he’s no. 1. Any takers for that bet? I also have a mansion for sale on Mars…


The Great Davy Says:

Eric: Actually, if Roger beats Rafa in the Wimbledon finals, he’s no. 1. Any takers for that bet? I also have a mansion for sale on Mars…

Do not kid yourself. You are better off to betting onto me. I mean, oops, did I say bet? Do not bet Eric, is bad for othenticity of tennis.


Skeezer Says:

So funny Rafa fanatics seem willing to bet the house now that Rafa has won FO, the usual thing at the usual time of year. He is GOAT! No one else has a chance! lol…

Fed fans lay low and be humble, lets wait and see ;)

Now we have a Davy quack posting, whats next, Uncle Toni?


jane Says:

The Great Davy is apparently one of the only ATP players who has a winning H2H against Rafa, so we’ll have to deal with the quack for now. ;)


Humble Rafa Says:

Mr. Playstation aka Davy The Great, you can be proud of your accomplishments. You are more accomplished than the Lady Forehand from Scotland, Muhammad Ali from Bagel Country, or the Choker from the Great ex-slovak republic.

The your dedication to playing tennis every week spread tennis to many places. Every time I see a playstation, it remind you, no?


The Great Davy Says:

jane, that is why in Shanghai (after glorious victory over Nadal) they named me The Great Davy in their website.


The Great Davy Says:

Humble Rafa, I do not seek stardom, I am not want having ‘accomplishments’. Perhaps I should lose in semifinals more to avoid playing losers like you in finals. Have you remember that time in Doha I came back from bagel and match point? Lol.


Alex Says:

Steve, the best time of the year for Nadal is January through September. With April through July being his peak.

Normally, Nadal puts up strong results in the early part of the year while dominating the clay and grass tournaments. He tends to fall off a little bit during the US Open series but still finishes strongly.

It’s not until after the Open that Nadal has had trouble in the past.


Everyone is entitled to my opinion Says:

Skeezer, you sound like you are mocking Roger.


Jimmy George Says:

Hi, Anyone knows…just assume, if Roger win the Wimbledon and Novak out before semifinals..Roger js Number ONE……..


Jimmy George Says:

Sorry All,…..Even Novak reached in the semifinals and losing….Roger will be number ONE…


Lisa Says:

Right now, Roger is the 3rd best player in the world….He had his chances in FO….didnt deliver….case closed….

Diffinately Rafa and Nole are now more dominant than him….no doubt….

But since his more accustomed to grass….Im hoping to see a much better performance from him in ‘Wimbledon’….


Lisa Says:

Right now, Roger is the 3rd best player in the world….He had his chances in FO….didnt deliver….case closed….

Deffinately Rafa and Nole are now more dominant than him….no doubt….

Fed was deffinately dissapointing in that Semifinal againt Nole….Nole was the better player and rightfully derserved to win….

But since his more accustomed to grass….Im hoping to see a much better performance from him in ‘Wimbledon’….


Jela Says:

‘The final standings of the race will determine the year-end ATP No. 1 ranked player in November.’

Am I the only one who thinks this sentence is not 100% right?


snowyc Says:

RRF and HR, gotta take my hats off. Love you guys! Such entertainment.


snowyc Says:

@Alex, Rafa usually starts his semi-vacation after Wimby. In the last 2 years (first in 2010 to go after his career slam), he has started to pick it up again in Aug-Sep for the USO and, if he likes, the Davis Cup. After that, he would go on another siesta until the WTF, during which he would make some form of semi-effort, and, if he likes, try to win Spain another Davis Cup. This year, with the Olympics, I think he may start even later for his USO tune-up, depending on how well he does in London.


snowyc Says:

So, Rafa’s best period (i.e. during which he usually amasses the most points) have been January to June, then September for the last 3 years (when he started to focus primarily on the Slams).

Before 2010, I would say Jan to June, and before 2008, only Feb-Mar (for Indian Wells and then to European clay) to June. 2009 is a little different due to those knees and then the stomach tear — he won everything from Jan to May, and then nothing at all until Monte Carlo the next year.


Jatt Says:

Thank god the London Olympics tennis is not being held on a clay court. Result we all know…


Everyone is entitled to my opinion Says:

Jatt Says:

Thank god the London Olympics tennis is not being held on a clay court. Result we all know…

The olympic defending champion is Rafael Nadal! Just is case you didn’t know. Rafa beat Djokovic in the SF and Gonzalez in the final. Federer only made the Qtrs, beaten by Blake.


Nina Says:

Whenever one of the Big 3 wins a slam, his fanbase claims he’s the goat and he will be the next three, lol. Thing is all of 3 can win the next slams. And history show us every day that we cannot predict such things. Let’s be entertained.


Everyone is entitled to my opinion Says:

To be honest, I don’t think Rafa’s fans have ever claimed that he is the GOAT.


grendel Says:

@Tennis Vagabond 11.03

I don’t think the situations are comparable. Borg was the first superstar in tennis. There had been greater players than him, but he was the first to play under the full glare generated by the modern publicity machines. So used to this are we by now that we forget it was not ever thus.Time has dulled the edge of their impact. Impossible to imagine the atmosphere surrounding, for instance, the Beatles. That can never happen again. When John Lennon made the remark that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus, the thought behind it may have been a little crass – but you knew what he meant. And this was the era of Borg. This unlikely introvert with the flowing locks was almost like another Beatle.

Borg enjoyed the teenybop adulation, but it took a massive toll. Today, superstardom is everywhere, it’s almost banal. The concept of superstardom seems, in this sense, to be self-limiting. And besides, the phenomenon is well understood, and there is plenty of protection available for those who clutch at its dubious embrace.

The emergence of McEnroe of course affected Borg in his decision to retire, but in my opinion this was just the last hammer blow – the final heave which pushed him over the edge.

Borg was washed out. He was the first true professional of the Open era in attitude. He pioneered the intense and obsessive emphasis on training which we all take for granted now. But the pioneer pays a price. He is travelling in unknown territory, any support he has is tentative and experimental. He is like a guinea pig in a way – and it is his successors who benefit from the experiment.

Nadal is one such successor, and the level of the support available to him, from a very early age, has been formidable. Of course he was special, particularly in his mind – and this appears to have been recognized very early on. His needs have been attended to with meticulous care. Tennis Vagabond made the point, on another thread I think, that his experience with injuries seems to be unique – the problems have diminished rather than increased with time. That is no accident, and testifies to the extraordinary
nature of his back up team.

In this context, it was unthinkable that Nadal should just accept second best, or even retire, in the face of his defeats by Djokovic. He is on a long term program of almost limitless scope and ambition. Setbacks are to be expected from time to time, and therefore must be dealt with. And Nadal is clear thinking enough to understand that in the end, such setbacks will strengthen him. Both in his own mind – if such a thing is possible – and in terms of the aura he will gather, among his rivals and also with the broader public.


Humble Rafa Says:

With my recent French Open, my clay court record is in tact. Clay is the ONLY surface where I have defended my title in MY CAREER.

I am looking forward to the grass-is-for-cows season. I have nothing to defend, title wise, that’s encouraging given my record.


Achilles Says:

HR, you are so ….humble.


King Federer Says:

Why only the race points? oh ok, so that you can exclude the 3000 points fed has from basel, paris and Year end. GOT IT!

maybe we should just consider the clay season, that way nadal has an even bigger lead on djokovic.

if djokovic wins wimbledon, he poses a serious threat to rafa’s 2nd best grass courter of this era. I hope people do realise that rafa is the 3rd best hardcourter of the fedalovic era. he has 2 hardcourt slams as opposed to 4 from djokovic. If djokovic wins more wimbledons than rafa, you can put djokovic ahead of rafa on grass too.

if you consider hard court slams, grass, clay, year end championships and no.1 ranking as pointers for GOAT, fed leads all those (by a considerable margin) except clay.

At this moment, it seems a safer bet that djokovic will end his career with better numbers than rafa. he is on track to overcome rafa’s limited credentials on grass and as a no.1 ranked player.


King Federer Says:

jane :

i think it was you who pointed out that djokovic was the only one to get a set off rafa on RED clay.

if we are going to narrow surfaces so, let us also remember that it was WET clay and on a nice sunny day, djokovic might not even have won that set.


Achilles Says:

Novak ending up with better numbers than Rafa? Inconceivable! Rafa has limited credentials on grass? Preposterous! Rafa has 2 Wimbledons! While Rafa is around, Novak’s ability to win majors will be limited. And their age difference is only one year, much less than Rafa-Rogers’s.


grendel Says:

“The one big thing is Novak has now maybe turned the corner on Federer completely after here. … He’s the one to beat (at Wimbledon) – Novak is still the one to beat, for sure.”

This is from jane’s link. It’s Wilander speaking, and what he really means is that there is no longer a big three. First, there was the big 4 – and then Murray was dropped. This seems right. At the moment, he belongs more with those just on the outer fringes of the inner circle – Ferrer, Berdych, del Potro (never mind his actual ranking) – than with the big three.

Federer’s huge reputation, his record and the fact that he played so well from the US to the onset of the clay court season muddies the waters, but if we are looking at slam contenders only – then Djokovic and Nadal are out on their own. There is just the big two. And that would be true even if Federer had displaced Nadal as #2 (I think that would have been the case had Djokovic beaten Nadal?). For Federer to regain his position in this unofficial top grouping, he will have to win Wimbledon.

This is not a criticism of Federer. As Skeezer says, it is extraordinary that such an old player, in tennis terms, is still a contender for top honours. But time has its own regulations, which may be bent but not ignored. Incidentally, I do not agree with the idea that Nadal will fade as he approaches 30. I suspect he will match Federer in terms of longevity.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

if you consider hard court slams, grass, clay, year end championships and no.1 ranking as pointers for GOAT, fed leads all those (by a considerable margin) except clay.

SMH, based on stats

On clay – Rafa is the GOAT
On Grass – Sampras is the GOAT
on HC – Roger is the GOAT

So, out of 3 surfaces Roger is not the best on 2 surfaces. So how come Roger is the overall GOAT in tennis.


jamie Says:

This was posted on MTF

==========================================
I predict nadal will retire in 2016 from astrology. His lucky period started from 2007-2016 when he receive a certain element. This thing weirdly came true and i am on intermediate level. This year Djoko had the worst luck out of top 3, predict no more slams for him. Fed has the best luck. This year is his last chance and i think he will win a slam. There is certain element in his natal chart also says Fed’s mind is drifting, creative and like to bully/humiliate people while hate being done the same thing to himself, will avoid confrontation if sees somebody stronger. For Nadal has weird habits and eccentric thinking while arrogance is very deep, always trying to hide. Djokovic is least arrogant but attract many spiteful people, his support come from family and friends is very important for him. In top 3 the charts have stark contrast, Fed receives most talented from older generation but not disciplined, Novak is discipline and Nadal is mental strength. Fed is lucky from whole 20 yrs 2001-2021, its hard to pick when he will retire. It must be between 2013-2021, have to anaylse deeper.


Achilles Says:

Nice post, Grendel. To validate the “Big 2″ category, Novak and Rafa have to be in the Wimbledon finals. If Roger gets to the finals, it would still be the big 3 at least until the end of the year.


Achilles Says:

GOAT talk is a waste of time. Whoever proclaims his idol as GOAT must be really insecure about it.


jamie Says:

So based on Chinese astrology for the top 3:

Nole will be the unluckiest this year(starting in February according to the Chinese calendar which begins in February) and of the next 2 slams will not win any of them. He wasn’t going to win FO anyway since his bad luck would begin in February.

Federer will be the luckiest and will win one of the next 2.

According to the Argentine psychic, Federer will enter a very lucky period after RG and Nadal’s planetary alignment and astrology for the USO will be the same as when he won it in 2010.

So:

Federer and Nadal will win the next 2 slams.

Wimbledon: Federer

USO: Nadal

Could be the other way around with Nadal winning Wimbledon and Federer winning the USO.


jamie Says:

Here’s the prediction using Google from Spanish to English

This was the prediction when RG just began:

============================

Of Delpo is not so bad with that Mercury cazimi the Sun do not know how come the crosses, but it will be among the best, for sure. I still think basing in his letter to this 2012 debut that should give some blow this year.

Rafa will meet full-year tournament.The RS starting to Mars will have much better in the solar term dignities previous Taurus was dropped into giving poor yields.Now this partile to FP sun and Mars trine to natal. Like Rafa has an ambivalence, while tense hits Saturn, Jupiter trine makes (won all that juice powder pre Roland Garros, Rome, Monte Carlo …..) native to Mars.

Is on his 7th title in Paris and has progressed to the sun shining in appearance to the PF partile Natal.

Even the moon as ruler of the MC of the chart debut is in trine to his natal Mars (and the PF chart debut). And set to debut chart Mars, that’s vertigo, speed, strength. Is likely to happen over the rivals. For my debut on the chart Mars is symbolized to him, and is playing debut in red, and well it is Rafa martial.

The Roger is very good, with the moon angle. But in another tense sign and the regent of the letter, Sun Besides the RS Roger I do not like to win a big one. It will strengthen towards Paris. Like the moon demi is very good with Jupiter in the ASC and tightly closed Sun and Moon on the C2 and C11, and Mars-PF on the natal Venus.

A Nole rule it out of hand. By letter debut and natal aspects.

A poor Scottish ….. Murray crashed …. so ….. when it would hit this year has tense mercury neptune governing its ASC and MC will do …. Like a good tournament without being powder player.

Of surprises without much data at hand, Ferrer and Tipsarevic.The Serbian letter I have of June 22, 84 at 8: 26 am Belgrade has Asc Leo and the moon to the sun has set Paris to Jupiter

My candidate is Rafa.

But is given in Paris, for the U.S. Open, without looking too, my leading candidate is Rafa because Jupiter will be on their sun turning the T-Jupiter-Uranus square Sun, when the transit of Uranus and Jupiter’s activated, achievement the best results of his career.


King Federer Says:

the comparison was between fed/rafa/djokovic

sampras is almost out of GOAT talk. if novak gets to around 12 slams and nadal ends with 12/13. you can forget sampras in the top 5 of GOAT list.

as the list stands, fed/laver, rosewall, borg, sampras.

eventually nadal/djokovic or both will push sampras down. he is the guy who is most 1 dimensional in all the players mentioned. he could do absolutely nothing on clay. even rafa on hardcourts is a 1000 times better than sampras on clay.

sampras once got beaten 1 and 0 on clay by a player. guess who?


King Federer Says:

i see you have again claimed sampras as GOAT on grass. please put up the numbers. he has inferior winning % on grass, lesser titles and inferior competition than federer.

as i posted before – rafa, roddick, djokovic and even murray have better winnin% on grass than rafter, agassi, ivanisevic or pioline.


Mark Says:

@ Jamie. Thanks for all your posts, interesting readi g. Just before Wimbledon please give name of the winner.


grendel Says:

Sampras won Rome and he beat Kafelnikov on clay in the Davis Cup. So it’s a bit of a mystery why his record is so poor, but I doubt if lack of ability is the reason. It could be he just couldn’t be bothered to make the necessary adaptations. If the clay court season had been longer, he probably would have stirred himself. I was never a Sampras fan myself, and tended to rejoice at his losses. Curious how old antipathies fade, and you find yourself wondering what on earth you had against the fellow.

When considering the credentials of the top players on different surfaces, it is hard to get a clear picture. For instance, Federer is obviously a great claycourter whilst one might hesitate to call Nadal a great hard courter – at least as of now. But consider the one slam each man got on his weakest surface. Nadal had to beat the second best hard courter in the world, Djokovic – who is currently the best. Federer, on the other hand, had Soderling to beat – more or less a case of when the cat’s away, the mice will play.

You can spin these sort of things so many ways. These days, to be a top player, you can’t do a Sampras and just opt out of a surface. All of the top players are formidable on all the surfaces.


metan Says:

@ jamie, thank you,
I will recheck with my ft here, she is away now, . She said that this year will bring more fortunes to nadal based on his birthdate, . But I am like over the moon as she said there will be unexpected fortunes, which I think he will break another record, beside this fo 7.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

as i posted before – rafa, roddick, djokovic and even murray have better winnin% on grass than rafter, agassi, ivanisevic or pioline.

Who cares about winning %. Then there was a stat today that starting 1st GS, Rafa has the highest winning % in GS. Can we call him the GOAT.

Ultimately it’s the slam which matters the most and Sampras has 7, just by numbers he is the most accomplished.


roy Says:

”Federer is obviously a great claycourter whilst one might hesitate to call Nadal a great hard courter – at least as of now”

people really need to have a look at the stats. this nadal is a crap hard court player mythology is just absurd. it’s not 2005 anymore, and even then he was good enough to beat federer.

have a look at how many hard court masters titles/finals and hard court GS titles/finals/sf/qf he has and compare it to ”great” hard court players like roddick,hewitt,nalbandian,davydenko, etc.

of current players, federer and djoker have better hard court results than nadal, that’s it.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Grendel. certainly Borg had a different set of pressures and thoughts towards the game, but everyone has their own circumstances, and I’m sure Rafa has an extra-tennis set of pressures as well. There is a determination and dedication that Rafa has shown to overcome obstacles, and that I think Federer also showed after coming back from 2009 to win 3 slams and nearly 4, in 2009 after a lean 2008 in which Rafa played the role of JMac.
Rafa and Fed have shown a resilience in enduring losses to an up and coming challenger and then reasserting themselves at the top of the game. In all 3 cases it appeared that the trend in terms of the upstarts dominance was irreversible. All three could easily have quit or at least given in mentally to that idea. Borg quit (perhaps as you say, driven by an ambivalence to his life as a star- but remember, he missed it enough to attempt a comeback). Rafa and Fed didn’t quit. To me, that alone, with their “comeback” success, elevates them above Borg in their personal myths.


Steve 27 Says:

Alex, In my first comment, what I ask if it is the best start of his career in terms of points earned. Since its tournament in Doha, to the end of Roland Garros. Spanish has virtually almost 7000 points, the best of 2012. In 2009, he had his best start until his remembered defeat to Federer in Madrid and his debacle against Soderling. After that little or nothing in the rest of that year. So is this his best half-season in his career so far? If someone helps me.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

grendel, hope you don’t mind if I continue arguing with you- with respect! Sampras’ results on clay speak for themselves. A couple isolated wins on clay in no way match Rafa’s Grand SLam (and even Masters) success on every surface. Sampras cannot beat Rafa as an all-court player.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Roy, to be fair to Grendel, I think when people say Rafa is not a “great” hardcourt player they are not implying that Davydenko or Nalbandian are Greats. They are speaking of the history of the game: compared to Federer, Sampras, Agassi, Connors,then Rafa is not quite a Great. 2 hardcourt slams and a few masters is not an all-time hardcourt great.

But its still better than Rafa on clay.


Mark Says:

The who is the GOAT debate will go on for many years to come. No further debate needed for who is the GOAT on clay. That was established yesterday.


Steve 27 Says:

Btw, the perennial question, who is the Greatest of all time(GOAT)?
http://www.tennis.ukf.net/


gonzalowski Says:

Steve 27

in 2010 Rafa completed so-called clay slam: Montecarlo, Rome, Madrid, RG; what no one had did before
But before that, in that same year, he did not so good, without victories. And his play wasn’t as good as this year of 2012, maybe?


The Great Davy Says:

Roy, what this mean “great” hardcourt player? Your Great Davy has beaten Your “humble” hardcourt player countless times in the hardcourt. Watch my US Open semi runs, you will be reminded into how Great The Great Davy is.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Rafa is playing doubles at Halle. Can’t think this is a smart move!


grendel Says:

roy says:

“this nadal is a crap hard court player mythology is just absurd”.

That’s such a travesty of what I said – almost the complete opposite – that I can only laugh. Try reading what is in front of your eyes, Mr.Roy, and not what is emblazoned on your peculiar spectacles. As it is, you are just having a conversation with yourself.

Tennis Vagabond – my point, really, is that Borg was a pioneer in conditions which are almost unimaginable now. His attempted comeback was both sad and slightly comic – and it reflected his own deeply equivocal state of mind. Both Federer and Nadal are driven men operating in an environment which has been made safe for them by, among others, Borg. Of course this was not a deliberate intent on Borg’s part.

I don’t question for a moment the strength of character displayed by both Federer and Nadal. Incidentally, personally I never thought that Djokovic’s dominance of Nadal was irreversible – they were too close for that.

About Sampras – I don’t disagree with you. I am just a little curious about Sampras’ lack of success on clay. I am seriously inclined to attribute it to a certain haughty, can’t be bothered type of attitude. Clay – why make the effort? A sort of clay version of “grass is for cows” attitude.


jane Says:

Steve27: looks like 2008 surpasses the points total of this year, but Rafa played more events that year:

Rafa’s points totals up to POST- Roland Garros
2008 – 7100
2009 – 5805
2010 – 6230
2011 – 6350


Kimberly Says:

Both McIlroy and Wozniaki not playing well. Too focused on each other and not enough on their games.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Rafa is playing doubles at Halle. Can’t think this is a smart move!

There is no one smarter in tennis than Rafa.


jane Says:

Thought I’d do the same for Nole just to see how he measures up to his own past year’s results:

Up to POST- Roland Garros
2008 – 6110
2009 – 3720
2010 – 2085
2011 – 7470
2012 – 6120

Basically, this year, Nole is on par with 2008 when he first broke through. I think he (and/or his team) made some poor choices post-2008, with the racquet switch and then the Todd Martin experiment. Neither one seemed especially necessary at the time and maybe set him back some for 09-10? In terms of good choices, hiring Muster’s trainer and cutting out the gluten were positive steps.


jamie Says:

This year could be very similar to 2008 for Nole.


jatt Says:

@Everyone is entitled to my opinion

FYI I know Rafa is currently the Olympic Champion. Try to understand what I am saying. I said if it were a clay court, odds are hugely in favor of Rafa based on his current form where as on other courts, Nole still holds advantage.


Steve 27 Says:

So Jane, according with your data from the start of the year until the end of clay season (RG), 2008 is best half season until so far, better than this 2012. Is that right?
2009 could be his best start but we know what happen in the French Open that year.


john Says:

Well jamie pridicted the winner of roland garros by astrology I guess and seems like his astrology is working very well these days.
So lets challange him.
He said roger will win one of the next 2 slams,if he do then I will believe in astrology .


jane Says:

Steve 27, yes, but all I did was add up the points from the ATP “playing activity” pages.

As you probably know, Rafa and Nole played more events in 2008 than they did in 2012, so I suppose their results are relative in that sense.

Nole has the same amount of points this year as in 2008, but so far in 2012 he’s played only 8 events (the least of the top 4 players) whereas in 2008, by now he had played 10 events.

Rafa has close to the same amount of points he had in 2008, but this year he has played 9 events, compared to 12 in 2008 (that includes 1 round of Davis Cup)

This year Fed’s played 10 events (including 1 round of DC) and Murray’s played 9 events.

If we take out DC, this year Nole has played 8 events, to 9 by Fed, Nadal and Murray. I didn’t count exos either.


Daniel Says:

Nirmal,

Actually if Fed reches semis in Halle and win Wimbledon and Djokovic loses in Semis in Wimbledon, Fed will be #1, regardless of Nadal who defend runner up points.

If Djoko loses in semis
- Djoko 12280 – 2000 + 720 = 11000 pts

If Fed wins
- Fed 9310 + 90 (semis in Halle) – 360 (wimby 11′) + 2000 (wimby 12′) = 11040 pts

So, there is a really ralistic shot the rankings will change after Wimbledon, unless Djoko defends it. Because if Nadal, Fed or Murray wins it Djoko will only have a shot if he is runner up. He has a lot to lose.


jane Says:

Yes, Nole still has a lot of points to defend. Basically 2 slams and 1 masters (Wimbledon, USO and Canada). After that, thought, he has hardly anything to defend, so post-USO this year could be important in determining the year end number 1. Murray and Fed have the most to defend post-USO if I recall. Is the year end number one determined after the YEC?


Mark Says:

Rafa is playing doubles in Halle this year with Granollers. The two are practising for the Olympics.


grendel Says:

Daniel – put like that, it does, at first sight, seem as if Federer has a realistic chance of getting to #1. But this is playing with numbers.

The fact remains, it is highly likely that Federer will have to beat either Djokovic or Nadal or both to win Wimbledon. If he can do that, then he deserves to be #1.

But why should we believe he can? All the evidence suggests that he can no longer beat either of the top two in a 5 set grand slam. This is leaving aside the fact that he is vulnerable to a number of other players now.

Nevertheless, life is full of surprises, tournaments are won on the ground and not on blog sites, and one of the dangerous and elusive pleasures of watching tennis now is to see if Federer can pull off one more great victory.


jamie Says:

@metan

The only thing left that Nadal might break this year would be Borg’s 11 slams by winning slam #12. Since Nadal has always been compared with Borg. As for the unexpected part it would be doing it at the USO instead of at Wimbledon. Either that or winning slam #12 at Wimbledon and then winning WTF which is the most unexpected thing he could ever do since his level indoors is the same as Sampras’ level on clay.


Daniel Says:

grendel,

Last year nobody gave Djoko a shot at Wimby when Fed was in his semis after Fed form in RG. Tsonga match changed everything. Even in the final Nadal was the fave, since Djoko had just lost the streak.

Wimby is the Slam we most see upsets. Fed got bad luck the last 2, maybe this year will be Nadal, who escape so many times in Wimby before. Draw will be huge in the potential scenarios. Tsonga, Berdych, Raonic and Isner could pose a treat, specially the last 2 in week 1 or round of 16th. If Fed has to beat one of Nadal or Djoko in Wimby he has a more clear shot, specially Djoko. And I am hpping for fed to be in Nadal half. He has a way better shot at him in Wimby semis than final.


jamie Says:

I could see Federer beating Nole at Wimbledon. Federer would need someone to beat Nadal before the Wimbledon final.

At the USO I could see Federer beating Nadal or Nole. But just one of them. He would need the other to lose before playing him.


tennis fan Says:

Hi jamie

Who is going to win Wimbledon? What the psychic say?


jamie Says:

She makes the “official” prediction when the tournament begins.


jane Says:

Daniel, ” And I am hpping for fed to be in Nadal half.”

Interesting, as I could see this happening. So far Murray/Nadal have been in the same half at Wimbledon for two years in a row, Murray losing to him in the semis of 2010 and 2011; plus he was on his side in 2008 as well, losing to Rafa in the QFs that year. 2009 Rafa didn’t play, but again Murray was on the opposite side of Federer, only he lost to Roddick in the semis that year. Murray has never been on Fed’s side at Wimbledon.

It’s almost always been Nole/Fed (as has been the case at most slams), and yet they’ve never faced each other! Nole lost to Safin early, 08, to Haas in the OFs in 09, and then Fed lost in the QFs to Berdych and Tsonga, one of whom Nole lost to as well and the other of whom Nole beat.

In fact, Rafa has been the most consistent of the big 4 at Wimbledon in the past 5 – 6 years (excepting 2009 because he did not play):
2006, 2007, 2011 – finals
2008, 2010 – winner

I think he’s the favourite to win it again.

Nole
2008 R64
2009 quarters
2007, 2010 semis
2011 winner

Murray
2008 quarters
2009, 2010, 2011 semis

Fed
2010, 2011 quarters
2008 finals
2007, 2009 winner

I agree, though, that Wimbledon seems the most likely slam for upsets.


King Federer Says:

Grendel, so i take it that you saw djokovic beating the cr@p out of nadal through out 2011, after rafa beat djokovic in 2010 usopen final?

or did you predict that federer will be in with a real shot at number 1 after last year’s usopen?

the numbers are what will decide who is number 1. not what your opinion is whether who is winning wimbledon. federer beat rafa on a court much slower than wimbledon at indian wells. he was within one shot of winning the last 2 matches he played against novak on a court (usopen) closer to wimbledon than the frenchopen/aus open.

it is not important whether you believe. it is about whether federer believes he can win, and the answer is a resounding yes.

this is wimbledon, not roland garros or monte carlo. federer has more titles here than nadal and djokovic put together. he has more finals than those 2 put together too.

say what you will, he has more than a realistic shot at wimbledon and thereby the number 1 ranking.


Steve 27 Says:

So Jamie
W Federer
Us Open Nadal is the more “realistic” thing or could be viceversa?


jamie Says:

@Steve 27

It could be like that or viceversa.


Steve 27 Says:

Thank you Jamie, What depends talking about astrology, that Federer is a more clear candidate to chase Wimbledon this year and Nadal a more candidate chasing the Us open this year than viceversa? Could explain us more?


Brando Says:

Hi guys, i see there are great posts going on as ever on interesting topics- good to see.

I have to agree with grendel (good to see him back), i CANNOT see federer beating either rafa or novak at a slam now.

It would be good for the game, i guess, if he could- or that atleast we could GENUINELY BELIEVE that he could, BUT for me it seems very unlikely.

I respect fed greatly, but we all know about his troubles against rafa at slam, but know novak at RG just completely- for me- ended any notion of fed having the edge against novak at a slam.

novak was the better opponent for fed to face out of the 2 due to his long standing matchup issue v rafa, BUT now after RG to me it seems novak may pose GREATER problems for fed.

i see wimby as a very tough slam to judge, but atm i’d say the favs go:

1- Novak (undisputed No.1, defending champ, 4 slams final in a row) and Rafa (leads the ATP race for the year, 5 slam final in a row, strong grass pedigree) as joint favs. Probably a VERY HIGH chance of a record 5th rafole final in a row.

2- murray: he’s 25, 3 times wimby SF, 2 times queens winner, natural grass court player- long story short IF he holds his nerves he can strike here as he’s in his prime.

3- federer: GOAT, 6 times champion – HOWEVER qtrs exit for last 2 years and struggled from rome SF onwards.

4 Ali Tsonga: natural grass courter, beat fed from 0-2 last year. he NEARLY beat novak on clay- imagine what he can do IF he gets his head together?


Humble Rafa Says:

I have to agree with grendel (good to see him back), i CANNOT see federer beating either rafa or novak at a slam now.

Glad to see thoughtful people make good points here.


Steve 27 Says:

So Dave, how many grand slams could win Laver, Rosewall, Gonzales and the others? What about Borg, Connors, Mc Enroe if they care playing in Australia?
Pro slams is nearing like a grand slam?


jamie Says:

Depends on planetary alignments. Lunar and solar astrology.

The Argentine psychic said that Nadal has the same planetary alignments for this USO 2012 as he had when he won it in 2010. Just like he had the same planetary alignments when he won his 2 Wimbledon titles. Basically for this USO 2012 Nadal has the same planetary alignments he had during the biggest and most important achievements of his career.

Also that Federer will enter a very lucky period after RG.

Chinese astrology predicts that Fedal will be the winners of the next 2 slams. With Nole being the unluckiest of the 3.

This British psychic predicts that Federer will win Wimbledon.

http://www.sallykirkman.com/blog/who-will-win-wimbledon-2012


Steve 27 Says:

Brando, what about Raonic, Berdych, Tomic and other chances on grass?


Brando Says:

@Steve27:

- Raonic, tomic: dangerous FLOATERS- all the top names would want to avoid. but i cannot see them losing to either. troubled by them? yes. losing to one of them? no atm.

- Berdych, delpo: could TAKE OUT a big name at wimby imo. BUT i cannot see them going beyond the possibility of taking a big name out of the tourny.

wimbys going to be genuinely tough for anyone to win- too tough to predict anything IMO!


King Federer Says:

I can’t see the logic that dictates that fed losing on his weakest surface changes any expectations on his performance at the slams with the surfaces that suit him the best.

wimbledon – the only time rafa beat him there, rafa needed to take it 9-7 in the 5th

uso, only 2 times novak beat him there, dude had to fight off match points and win 7-5 in the 5th.

oh well, why bother with numbers when we can just write anything we want and pass it off as facts!

wimbledon/uso are not played on the same surface as french. federer has 11 titles of these 2 as opposed to 3 for nadal and 2 for novak.

if history is anything to go by, you can forget rafa winning another title till monte carlo 2013.


Brando Says:

@King Federer:

fed could EASILY prove the naysayers wrong, BUT imo he’s just going through the natural cycle in his career where others are now more prominent than him.

i mean he’s 0-9 in terms of slam wins since AO 2010- with just 1 final.

at the last 2 wimby’s he’s lost to arguably the weakest 2 of the other contenders – berdych and tsonga.

rafa’s a 2 time champion, novak’s defending champion- now if those guys can beat fed at wimby, surely these guys in their present grand slam form can.

and then what about murray? i’d say he stands a chance also.

add to all this, fed’s display at RG- which imo as a whole was disappointing ( i thought he’d make finals)- it isn’t too drastic too feel his chances are less in comparison to others.

In summary, i wish the guy well ( i like him more as time passes on) BUT im not expecting much from him at the big ones going forward.


tennis fan Says:

@Jamie

Thank you but you could please provide the link of the Argentine Psychic?

Could you please provide more detail of what the Argentine psychic said?


King Federer Says:

brando :

tennis is about match-ups. on grass, berdych/tsonga with their power hitting are more dangerous than defensive players like djokovic/nadal.

if a>b and b>c implied a>c, we wouldn’t have fed giving novak more trouble than rafa in his peak year. tennis works on match-ups.

if tsonga/berdych dont take federer out, he can pose all sorts of problems for djokovic/nadal. djokovic at his absolute peak needed 5 freaking sets to put fed away @ uso, and rafa lost in straights in indian wells and year end championships. neither of those 2 were anywhere near the final weekend in madrid. all 3 titles fed won.

fed’s season only gets better from here on with surfaces that suit him more than rafa and the indoors, fed has done better than novak too.


andrea Says:

it seems that federer has this sliver of mental fraility now that wasn’t there before (not including playing nadal of course).

case in point, after novak slammed that match point at the USO last year, it’s not as if there was only one or two more points after that. novak broke him, held and then broke fed again to win. federer had the chance to come back and win that match, even without that incredible novak return. but he blew it after that terrific novak return. he crumbled.

he knows the GS are eluding him. feels like he’s getting tentative. he pretty much admitted after the semi at the FO this year that in the third set he didn’t have much hope. contrast this with his comment after being routed by nadal at the FO a few years ago. he said that he didn’t really feel like the match was unsave-able until it was 4-0 in the third! (that’s being incredibly hopeful..or stupid, depending on how you look at it).

he’s still winning tournaments save for the GS which really is a stark reflection on age. you just can’t compete with 25 year olds and under over 5 sets in a 2 week period. somethings got to give.

even watching footage from his matches a few years, you can tell there is more pop in his shots and his movement.


Brando Says:

@andrea:

completely agree with your post. that’s what i probably should said to king federer.

fed’s results at slams for the last 2 years reflect the gradual aging process that is bound to occur- for all.

his results have clearly dipped in comparison to the past, and its no coincidence to see rafa and novak having great slam results at 25/26- as fed was doing the same at that age.

fed’s best, unfortunately for him, is behind him now.

rafa, novak, andy, delpo, tsonga, berdych etc all these guys within that 23- 27 peak year hotspot- naturally its their time now given their age and ability.


Polo Says:

@Brando: Of those guys, only Rafa and Novak are worthy of being mentioned in the same breadth as Roger.

I tried to watch as little as possible of the recent French Open. I stopped completely after the quarters. I am glad I did. Now hope springs again for Wimbledon this time. Still, a well-deserved victory for Nadal.


madmax Says:

King Federer Says:
jane :

i think it was you who pointed out that djokovic was the only one to get a set off rafa on RED clay.

if we are going to narrow surfaces so, let us also remember that it was WET clay and on a nice sunny day, djokovic might not even have won that set.

June 12th, 2012 at 9:41 am

Jane,

I just want to correct you on two points. Firstly, taking the post above, and I read that you had stated this, Federer took a set from Rafa in their final last year. Secondly, he was 27 years old and not 29 years old when he won RG.


madmax Says:

Jamie, did you write this post (on the link you sent above?)

March 22, 2012 at 5:02 am
Reply
I am a fed fan and I love your prediction. I read the tennis x blog and one of the posters there, Jamie, has a psychic friend.

This psychic friend apparently predicted that Roger will never win another slam but will win the gold. She apparently predicted that Nadal will win FO, and that will be his last grand slam title. Novak , according to her will win wimbledon or USO, and Murray could win Wimbledon or USO.

THis psychic has predicted the winner of the last three slams correctly, as was posted by Jamie on Tennis x.

WHat do you think. I want Roger to win both the gold and wimbledon. I so hope you are right. I hope he wins Miami too and 1-2 more clay nasters 1000. I do pray so hard for him. I figure if I squeak loud enough to God he will hear me. The squeaky wheell gets the oil, right.


Dave Says:

Steve 27: “So Dave, how many grand slams could win Laver, Rosewall, Gonzales and the others? What about Borg, Connors, Mc Enroe if they care playing in Australia? Pro slams is nearing like a grand slam?”

If you believe Wikipedia, Rod Laver “won a total of twenty major tournaments, including eleven Grand Slam tournament titles and nine Pro Slam titles”. But some guesstimating of the value of the titles of the pre-1968 players need to be done. First, had tennis been open, the pre-1968 young amateurs like Laver, Rosewall and Gonzales probably would not have won most of their amateur slams as the top pros in their mid 20s were the best players in the world — I estimate that they would have won only 25 to 50% of their amateur slams. Second, I estimate they would have won X amount of open grand slams during their pro slam (closed era) years based on the following formula: (a) each pro slam is worth about 66% of a grand slam (since each pro slam had only three to four rounds for the top players, though against the very best pros) and (b) since there were usually only 3 pro slams per year, I conservatively extrapolated the results to a scenario with 4 pro slams per year. Rosewall was considered the undisputed No. 1 for 3 years and co-No.1 for another 3 years. Also see my next post.

Ken Rosewall: I estimate he would have won about 17 to 19 open grand slams based on the fact he won 4 (amateur) grand slam titles, 15 pro slam titles and 4 open grand slam titles. Rosewall also won the Calendar-Year Pro Grand Slam in 1963.

Rod Laver: I estimate he would have won about 14 to 15 open grand slams based on the fact he won 5 (amateur) grand slam titles, 9 pro slam titles and 5 open grand slam titles. Laver also won the Calendar-Year amateur Grand Slam in 1962, Calendar-Year Pro Grand Slam in 1967 and Calendar-Year open Grand Slam in 1969. Laver was considered the undisputed No. 1 for 5 years and co-No.1 for another 2 years.

Pancho Gonzales: I estimate that he would have won about 13 to 14 open grand slams based on the fact he won two (amateur) grand slam titles and 15 pro slam titles. Gonzales was considered the undisputed No. 1 for 6 years and co-No.1 for another 2 years.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_professional_tennis_tournaments_before_the_Open_Era

Bill Tilden: I estimate that he would have won about 12 to 14 open grand slams based on the fact he won ten (amateur) grand slam titles and 4 pro slam titles. In Tilden’s case he was the world’s best player in the 1920s even as an amateur, so I did not downgrade his amateur slams. The pro slams had just begun in 1927 (Tilden turned pro in 1931), and its two early champions Vinnie Richards and Karel Kozeluh were dominated by Tilden. Tilden was considered the undisputed No. 1 for 6 years and co-No.1 for another 1 year.

Other pre-1968 players who should be considered are: Don Budge, Lew Hoad, Jack Kramer, Fred Perry.

If Borg, McEnroe and Connors played in Australian Open on grass, they would have won more slams. However, conversely, the extra effort might have affected their performances in other slams they actually won because these players tended to take breaks to rest and recover during the Australian Open.
Borg: 3 AOs between 1976 to 1980, since he was arguably the world’s best grass court player for most of the late 1970s.
Connors: another 2 to 3 AOs between 1976 to 1984 (he won AO in 1974, reached final in 1975)
McEnroe: 2 AOs btween 1979 to 1984 (he reached SF in 1983 and QF in 1985)


Dave Says:

Steve 27, continued: Even tennis historians such as Raymond Lee (see his GOAT Statistical Analysis in link, written in September 2007 so it’s dated) make the mistake of making no distinction between amateur grand slams, pro slams and open grand slams.
http://kingsofclay.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=discussions&action=display&thread=1393


jane Says:

madmax,

I was referring to this year w.r.t. to Nole getting a set off of Rafa on red clay. Rafa won Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome and the FO all in *straight sets* this year except for the FO final – Nole got a set.

As to the rain it may’ve negated Nadal’s spin, this it true. That said, they both had to play in the same conditions. Nole played well in the sun versus both Starace and Fed, so who knows.

As to Roger’s age when he won the FO, I already acknowledged your correction on the other thread. It was Agassi who won at 29. I was just suggesting that even though Nole lost he has a couple years to still try for it. Hope he can get one!


jane Says:

madmax, Fed also took at set from Rafa in 2006 or 2007 didn’t he? And of course Nole and Fed have both beaten Rafa on clay: Fed at Hamburg and Madrid; Nole at Rome and Madrid. So they have those sets to their names too. ;)


Achilles Says:

Jamie’s psychic’s credibility will be tested at Wimbledon. I don’t believe her but I could be converted if she proves me wrong in considering Fed’s slam career to be over.


Dave Says:

Federer took a set off Nadal in 2006, 2007 and 2011 French Open finals (Federer recovering from mono in 2008 was in no shape to battle Nadal in 2008 final). At the end of the day, there was not a whole lot of difference in the scores, stats, time played and actual chances to win between Federer versus Nadal and Djokovic versus Nadal — Federer and Djokovic have different styles and games so Djokovic-Nadal looks more gladiatorial than Federer-Nadal. But in the end, the outcomes were similar.

Had it not been for the rain on Sunday, Nadal would probably have won in straight sets. Had the sunday match continued in the rain, Djokovic would have had a chance to take it to five sets and perhaps beat Rafa. Federer probably had hoped for rain in his past finals against Nadal (to neutralize Rafa’s topspin), but no such luck so he never got that advantage. We also saw how nervous and paralyzed Djokovic became given the prospect of winning a fourth consecutive slam — so you can only imagine how Federer must have felt while playing those 2006 and 2007 French Open finals. In any case, Federer (twice) and Djokovic have the distinction of winning more grand slam matches (27) than any other player in grand slam history because in Laver and Budge’s Calendar Grand Slam years, the Australian Open was only about 5 rounds.

As I said, Nadal winning the French final is the best outcome for Federer (otherwise Djokovic would be running away with the No. 1 ranking given the rest of the season’s surfaces works more in his favor than clay, though grass remains a question mark), given the setback with the hip injury since Madrid that has probably put limitations on his practice sessions and matches. While Nadal tends to get injured in his knees and feet, Federer tends to get injured in his back, groin and hips. Federer tends to play through pain and not whine as much about it.

Federer stands to gain as much as 3,000 points in these year-to-date rankings from Halle, Wimbledon and Olympics. So if Federer’s hips feel better by his first match on Thursday and he can get quality practice and matches on grass, he will be in a good position. If his hips are still an issue, he may be back to struggling to get to the semifinals of Wimbledon and his chances at Olympics are similarly doubtful (if so, then the US Open Series is his last chance at No. 1 this year)

In terms of the 52-week rankings, last year during the grass season: Federer made only 360 points, Djokovic made 2,000 points and Nadal made 1,200 points (his 45 points at Queens Club were not counted in his rankings).

Does anyone know what happened to David Goffin? Did he lose in the qualies of Halle or London, or is he injured?


jane Says:

Dave during the FO last week, I was reading about the conditions at last year’s Roland Garros final and they said it was “heavy and muggy”. I don’t remember. But that’s what was quoted.

“In a final played in heavy, muggy conditions in the French capital, Federer raced to a 3-0 courtesy of two confident service games and a break in the second game on a fourth break point when Nadal netted a simple running forehand.”

http://www.perthnow.com.au/sport/tennis/rafael-nadal-on-brink-of-french-open-title/story-e6frg273-1226069862787

I actually thought Nole played a “cleaner” match in the semis versus Roger, which was sunnier, albeit windier, conditions. Anyhow, I guess they have to adapt to whatever mother nature throws at them.


grendel Says:

King Federer

“the numbers are what will decide who is number 1. not what your opinion is whether who is winning wimbledon”. Numbers are squiggles on paper. They can, up to a point,be indicative of what is happening if treated with a degree of care and thought. Ask any mathematician or scientist. My opinion, like yours, is of course worthless. We just come on this site to babble our thoughts and feelings. What are you getting so het up about?

I was actually quite restrained in voicing such thoughts as I have. None of them are original, or claim to be – andrea actually put it much better than I did.

But in answer to your questions – more rhetoric, I think really, but still – no, I didn’t of course foresee Djokovic beating Nadal so many times on the trot. Though as it happens I did suggest, long before Rome and Madri, that Djokovic had a decent shot of defeating Nadal at RG. Of course, Federer got in the way of that one. b.t.w.I wouldn’t say Djokovic beat the crap out of Nadal; their matches were pretty close on the whole.

About the #1 spot – that’s the rub. I don’t believe Federer is in with a real shot of getting it, because I do not believe he can any longer defeat either Djokovic or Nadal in a 5 set slam. That is a legitimate opinion held by many people, and you are not going to bully me out of holding it. The mystery is why you should want to do so. What on earth does it matter? Naturally, I may turn out to be wrong. No shame in that. As it happens, I would be delighted to be proved wrong.

“it is not important whether you believe. it is about whether federer believes he can win, and the answer is a resounding yes.” I agree that it is not important what I believe, though I am not sure if you do. I also agree that it is important whether Federer believes he can win, though I am by no means so certain that he does. Willing is not quite the same as believing.

Federer beating Nadal at Miami and the O2 has, in my, view no bearing on what happens in a slam (delightful though I for one found it to watch) – and the AO result rather bears this out. Nor is Federer’s phenomenal record at Wimbledon the point. We are where we are now, and Federer is not the player he was in 5 setters at least.

By the way, Djokovic is not a defensive player. He’s an immensley powerful player with extraordinary skills, both defensive and offensive. I must admit I used to underestimate him. Nor – in my opinion, though I know this is contested by good people – is Nadal simply a defensive player. When he won the US Open, for instance, he was ferociously aggressive. I do think defence is his default position. Part of his greatness has been his ability to adapt and move on. His defence, apart from being truly mind boggling (it’s like watching an acrobat of the very highest class)in itself, is employed with great subtlety and can turn in a blink of the eye into scything offence. Nadal is a complete player. As is Djokovic. This shouldn’t require saying.


Nina Says:

On perspective now I’m kind of happy Nole didn’t do so well post-USO 2011. And I say that because his perfect season up to USO last year was almost impossible to replicate and I knew he would have a hard time defending all his points (so far I think he’s done really good). Now Federer and Nadal have both a chance to get the n#1 ranking from him but the positive thing about this is that Nole has the rest of the season (where he has many less points to defend) to get it back. I still think he will end up the year as numero 1.


Nina Says:

A pleasure to read your posts grendel, as usual. Quite good posters here I believe.


jane Says:

Dave, “We also saw how nervous and paralyzed Djokovic became given the prospect of winning a fourth consecutive slam — so you can only imagine how Federer must have felt while playing those 2006 and 2007 French Open finals.”

Nole said he wasn’t thinking about this, but as your comment suggests, it could be one possible explanation for his patchy performance in the final, even throughout the FO, as he made his way through the rounds. Fed could’ve even felt it as he made his way through the FO in 2009, especially after Rafa lost and Fed was expected to win.


Steve 27 Says:

Dave, Although I disagree most often with your statements, this time is good to know of clear and truthful and speculate with great players of the past and its real measure to make assessments with this time. Good to know.
Then the tennis player most likely to have earned more GS had been Rosewall, although the negative mark was not winning Wimbledon despite his 4 finals. I guess having played at peak performance would have succeeded in winning. In short, the achievement of Federer is having managed to win more major than anyone else in the open era. Not bad.


Nadal, Djokovic, Federer: Where’s This Trivalry Go From Here? Says:

[...] And Nadal’s also in the driver’s seat to finish No. 1. However, we’ve seen Rafa fade toward the end of seasons before, and I expect it to be no different this time as the wear-and-tear of the schedule, especially compacted this year, takes that ritualistic toll on his body. [...]


metan Says:

@ mark n nirmal k, well said, appreciated!!!!!!!!

@ jamie, tks a lot,
I am a huge fan of rafa, I have followed him since he played on rg.


jamie Says:

It’s a really long thread.

43 pages of predictions. It starts with RG 2011.


jamie Says:

When a tournament begins go there and check out who they predict.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Daniel, I believe you need to look at the numbers with some context.

If you just go blindly by formula calculations, yeah Roger can get to No 1.

But by what? That’s more critical.

Roger had a chance to be a No 1 for One more week, if he had beaten Soderling in FO Quarters at 2010. But we knew what happened. Imagine Roger beating Nadal and Novak to win Wimbledon. Realistically it’s not possible, which Roger himself would agree.

I do not even think Roger would go past Quarters if he gets into Berdych or Tsonga or Delpo in his half. It’s not even like 2009, where he was only beaten by Rafa. Now he has many more hurdles, and his confidence in GS seems to be too low.

I just can’t see Rafa not being in finals of Wimbledon. Though I’m not too confident on Novak reaching the finals. So if everything opens up, realistically Roger can reach the final and lose to Rafa.

Logically the most likely player to get back to No 1 would be Rafa. I just don’t see anyone beating him in Majors and Olympics this year till USO, and I doubt Novak would be in most of these finals. If Novak can get to the finals, then he is the only player who has a good chance against Rafa.


Daniel Says:

Nirmal,

I agree in aprts and disagree in other. Judging by RG results, Fed lost an awfull match to Djoko and Nadal was scary good.
But as Dave pointed out a lot, Fed was the inform player after US Open 2011 and he carried the form. Imagine if we didn’t have clay season and fastforward to grass. That’s how I think Fed is playing. In a way, I remember when you posted that Fed tanked RG to Djoko, and I agree he wasn’t in that match the same as he was agaisnt DelPo, trying to overcome the score. He had no plan and hitting way too many bozarre errors, even for him. Grass is his main goal, he himself said that his goal each season always is to win Wimbledon, with the Olympics a month later I can bet he will not dissapoint in those 2 events. HE may lose to Djoko and Nadal, but not in the same manner as RG 2012. And people seems to think Fed can never beat Nadal again in a Major. I don’t think so, with his serve, in Wimby and US Open, to me he is always favorite, and in a tiebreak agaisnt Nadal, I like his chances as well. We are to familiar to him playing Nadal in slow hard or clay, but when a fast court come to play (even with Wimby bounce not the same), I like Fed’s chance.


Steve 27 Says:

I expect one more channel slam to Rafa. Last year was stopped to Novak. Can he tied another record of the legendary Bjorn Borg?


metan Says:

@steve 27,

I think nadal could make it, lady luck said so, but let’s see at wimby draw first, hehehe


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Daniel,

I did believe Roger tanked the match, but that does not mean he is going to beat Nadal at FO. I thought Novak has a good chance in the Finals at FO. If Nadal had lost the match, it would be a different scenario. But Rafa with FO, is the ultimate challenge for anyone for the rest of the slam now. He is not in awe of Roger anymore as he was in 2006 & 2007. He knows he is a better player today. Novak knows he is a better player today than Roger.

I believe same Roger we talked about doing great things post USO lost to Nadal at AO. The match did not even go to 5 -sets, and Nadal’s confidence was at it’s lowest in that match.

But NAdal now with the confidence of beating his true Rival now, would be unstoppable.

Ofcourse we can keep harping about those post USO 3-set victories, but GS is an different animal. I believe it would be a bigger achievement for Roger if he could reach the semis if he faces any of the bigger hitters earlier.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Daniel,

Your point to skip Clay and go to Grass is also not correct. There was AO 12 before clay. If Roger had beaten Rafa in the semis, then I could agree with you.

Let’s face the fact that Roger is a paper tiger when it comes to GS. He would be fine in 3-setters.


Steve 27 Says:

BTW, what is the main differences of Rebound Ace, Plexicushion (Australia) and Decoturf (Us Open)? It could be a different surface or both are simply hardcourts?


King Federer Says:

There are as different as madrid blue clay and hamburg’s wet clay and roland garros red clay.

sampras could not beat agassi in the 2 matches they played on rebound ace.

agassi never won more than a set on the decoturf of USopen.

australian open suits the defensive players more just like clay favors defensive players over aggressive players.


King Federer Says:

daniel,

dont worry about mofos who think Roger is done. they said worse things about him after he lost to rafa in 2008 wimbledon.

Federer will always have a chance to win GS. he will be playing long after djokovic/nadal grind their bodies to pulp playing the stupid ball bashing they do. look at players from fed’s generation. everyone is done and dusted, but fed is right up there winning titles and making the business end of slams. from 2008 ao to 2011 ao, djokovic went 11 slams without winning a slam and making only the 2010 uso.

most of these bast@rds who criticized fed were writing djokovic obituaries in the fall of 2010, predicting rafa to be the no.1 forever. then djokovic took over. federer will have a run of good form soon and i am sure he will make it count. what matters is that federer has never missed a substantial part of the season as opposed to nadal who is a no-show for most part of his career, post-wimbledon.

The King will be back. Federer will win atleast 20 slams. you will read about me in the newspapers when i make the money i invested on this event :)


King Federer Says:

federer has the most GS, most GS finals, most consecutive sfs, most consecutive qfs.

I am thinking the guy knows how to play GS better than anyone who picked a racquet.

the day i see federer lose in the 1st week of a slam on a regular basis, i will believe he is done. he is far off that. as long as he keeps making the final weekends, he will have a good shot at GS. last year this time, some morons were saying fed will only do well at slams and that he cannot do well at masters. in the last 8 months fed raked up 3 off those including 1 on his worst surface plus a year ender where he beat 5 top 8 players losing 1/2 sets.

this year, it is about him not winning in GS. no problemo, he will put that criticism to rest too.

allez fed!


King Federer Says:

here’s a comparison of top 3 slam wise :

AO :

fed no.1 with 4AOs, 2nd nole with 3AOs

FO:

Rafa no.1 with 7FOs, fed 2nd with 1

Wimbledon:

Fed no.1 with 6, rafa 2nd with 2.

USopen

Fed no.1 with 5, djokovic 2nd with 1W and 2finals as opposed to 1win and a final to nadal.

Year end:

Fed no.1 with 6titles, djokovic 2nd with 1, rafa = 0

Fair to say, when top 3 end career, most likely scenario is nole and rafa tops at AO and fed being the best at Wimbledon, uso and year ends.

oh let’s not forget no.1 ranking where fed got 285 weeks. nole and nadal will be lucky if they can even get to 150 weeks.

looks like we know who the top dog is in this top 3.


King Federer Says:

As I said before, rafa is in danger of being no.3 in this trivalry. djokovic is well on course to equal rafa’s slam count at wimbledon, he has already equalised rafa @ uso and at year end and AO, djokovic is ahead.

novak is also half way on to rafa’s numbers in the no.1 ranking.


tennis Says:

This is the dumbest series of posts. Astrology to playing with numbers to attempts to correlate past experiences to each respective champion’s present/ futures. Make conversations mean something through intelligence.


Nims Says:

Looks like we have a guy who saw his mother’s pussy being screwed y’day night. We will not be getting such stupid comments otherwise.


Achilles Says:

@nims:
It does not matter how irritated you get by the comments of others but your use of filthy language is filthy, deplorable and inexcusable.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

most of these bast@rds who criticized fed were writing djokovic obituaries in the fall of 2010,

This is the comment I saw above, not sure if you like it.


Polo Says:

I just rejoined this blog and this (Nim’s post) is what I find. People should watch what they say. Are foul language and lewd comments allowed here now? If they are, I would not want to be part of it anymore.


jamie Says:

@King Federer

You are sounding delusional.

Federer is not going to win 20 slams, FFS.

Right now Federer has played as many matches as Connors did by the time he won his last slam in 1983… At the USO.

Connors is the male player in the open era who won his last slam after having played the most matches, around 1035. Federer has played around 1035 matches as well. Nobody in the open era won a slam after having played 1035 matches.

This is his last year where he might win a slam.

To expect him to win at least 20 slams is WISHFUL THINKING.

Federer will retire with 17 slams tops.

Get bloody real.


Dave Says:

andrea: “contrast this with his comment after being routed by nadal at the FO a few years ago. he said that he didn’t really feel like the match was unsave-able until it was 4-0 in the third! (that’s being incredibly hopeful..or stupid, depending on how you look at it).”

What’s incredible — depending on how you look at it — is that we tend to imagine a player said imaginary things that fit our mindset (that’s why we need to check the facts before posting). Federer was actually commenting on the ineffectiveness of his serve as one of the keys to why he lost the match: “I think he (Rafa) started off very well. I don’t think I served bad today. My serve was okay. But he made huge progress returning my serve, and I had many difficulties taking the lead with my serve, even more than usual. I think this is what cost me the match, because when I can win my serve, then I always have an opportunity on his serve. But when he keeps on breaking you like this, it’s very difficult when I was two sets down, 4-Love. I mean, I realized there was nothing I could do.”
http://www.tennis-x.com/story/2008-06-08/h.php

Part of Federer’s problem is not just age and injury, but also being stretched in too many directions. Roger basically has five jobs: top tennis player, ATP Player Council president (which can be a full-time job in itself), president of his $350 million ‘business enterprise’, head of his large charity foundation and father/husband. Surely he does not have the time to focus 100% on tennis the way younger Nadal and Djokovic are able to do — though Federer has only himself to blame for choosing to spread himself too thin instead of focusing only on tennis. His margins for error in the grand slams are too thin, his 90″ smaller-head racquet does not help when conditions such as when he has injuries like a hip injury (since Madrid) and bad back. Plus, I’m not convinced, after two year’s work, that Paul Annacone has gone far enough in preparing him for the slams and for opponents like Djokovic and Nadal.

The supposed “sliver of mental fraility now that wasn’t there before” at the 2011 US Open semifinal was not unexpected. Those who are close watchers of Federer have probably seen this before — Roger can sometimes go into temnporary funks when he feels made a blunder or missed an opportunity. And it wasn’t just the one Novak return that did it — on the second match point, Federer hit a forcing forehand that clipped the net chord and bounced out. Several points later Roger lost the game on a double fault, just like Djokovic lost the match to Nadal on a double fault. It happens. When you’ve seen far more of Federer in semfinals and finals than you see of Nadal and Djokovic — those who want to see the glass as half full tend to remember these incidents more and it fits their mindset of Federer in decline.

Let’s not pretend we know what goes on in Fed’s mind (“he knows the GS are eluding him”). If Federer were serious about winning the grueling French Open, I would have expected him to play either Monte Carlo or preferably Estoril, which he didn’t. So Fed came into the French Open with less red clay practice than the other two top players and he also carried a hip injury from Madrid that probably accounted for his poor form throughout the tournament. At this year’s French Open semifinals, perhaps Federer realized after being two sets down that he was unlikely to come back on a gimpy hip — and doing so might further injure his hip and, with that, any chance of winning the Wimbledon Olympic double. Hip injuries did not destroy the careers of players like Guga Kuerten because they were minor problems.

After all Federer has already won more clay points this year than last year. The extra 480 points by beating Djokovic was not worth it. The smart, strategic choice was to not fight stupidly for a match he might not win.

Regardless, there were enough moments where Federer went toe-to-toe with Djokovic and came out the winner to indicate that a healthy Federer can still be a factor from now till the US Open. Federer has only 360 points to defend in the 3,000 point grass season (Halle, Wimbledon, Olympics). If Fed has to lose early at Halle to rest his hip and be strategic where he fights his battles to win the war, he should do it.


Dave Says:

jane, the 2011 French Open finals were not wet, which is what is needed to dampen Nadal’s heavy topspin when the wet ball hits the wet clay. In the third set of this year’s FO finals, Nadal’s topspin lost their sting, sat up and became sitters for Djokovic to tee off on. What’s interesting is that Rafa still tried to hit topspin instead of flattening out his shots — indicating the limitations of his A Game. The same thing happened at Miami semifinals — when his topspin was not working, he did not have or was unwilling to go to Plan B. He had the same desperate, flummoxed look on his face at Miami that he had in the third set of the FO final. (While Federer never got Nadal on a wet day at Roland Garros — instead he got Soderling on their very wet 2010 FO quarterfinal, and Soderling’s flat rockets were perfect for the conditions. Just Roger’s bad luck, as his experience with Soderling would have helped him in another wet match.)

I don’t disagree with what you said about “both players having to adapt to whatever mother nature throws at them” and that Novak played a cleaner match. And Federer has only himself to blame for trying to play with the smallest headed racquet on tour in conditions of gusting winds. But even Federer can’t get around a nagging hip injury — it probably affected his serve, ground strokes and movement enough to affect his serving percentage and consistency as well as his high error rate in the wind.

Any player who knows tennis history understands how significant it is to win four in a row and the press continually reminding you does not help. Djokovic (2012) and Federer (2006, 2007) probably had that added weight on their minds. They’re human. Even though Federer did not show it, the nerves were probably there as well.


montecarlo Says:

Rafael Nadal is now less than 1000 likes behind Roger Federer on facebook. Can he overtake Roger? Since the Grass season is on now Roger supporters will definitely get a boost and Nadal may not be able to overtake him.

https://www.facebook.com/#!/Nadal

https://www.facebook.com/#!/Federer


jane Says:

All valid points @2:30 Dave. Murray lost to Berdych in those same conditions that Fed lost to Soda that year – wet, heavy rockets.


Dave Says:

I agree with Daniel: Grass appears to be Fed’s primary goal, otherwise he would have set himself up for the French Open better. In any case, the scenario with Nadal winning the French open (instead of Djokovic stretching his lead at the start of the non-clay season) and Federer actually gaining points over last year’s clay season (2080 – 1830) is what Federer’s. The extra 480 points from beating Djokovic is nice but not necessary. Given Fed made only 360 points in last year’s grass season and there are up to 3,000 points (250 + 2,000 +750) available to him in this year’s grass season — the logical, strategic plan should be to focus on the grass season. And it’s imprudent to conclude that Federer will never beat Djokovic and/or Nadal at Wimbledon or US Open.

Steve 27: Thanks. I actually have no problems considering Rosewall, Laver and Federer as joint GOATs. Yes, I believe that Rosewall would have held the grand slam record had tennis been open throughout his career, especially given his longevity. I’m certain that Rosewall would have won 2 to 3 Wimbledons during his prime if only tennis were open to the pros in the 1950s and 1960s. After all, Rosewall was a great grass player (he was also a slightly better clay court player than Laver). Rosewall became a pro at age 22 so was unable to compete in Wimbledon and the other grand slams from age 22 to age 33 when the open era finally began in April/May 1968. His four Wimbledon finals came before age 22 and after age 33. And Rosewall could have won the Calendar Year Grand Slam at his peak between 1962 to 1964. I don’t think it is coincidence that Rosewall (who is over four years older than Laver) won the Calendar Year Pro Slam in 1963 and then Rod Laver won the Calendar Year Pro Slam four years later in 1967. Rosewall actually has a 9-6 record over LAver in their biggest finals, though an overall losing record. It’s unfortunate that Rosewall gets overlooked. Tennis historian Robert Geist on Ken Rosewall (again here is another analyst who treats pro slams and open slams as equal value, but his general points are good):
http://www.woodtennis.com/rosewall/rosewall.txt


Dave Says:

Video clip of Rod Laver beating John Newcombe at 1969 Wimbledon final — it’s at bottom of this link. That was Laver’s third leg of his 1969 Grand Slam.
http://www.tennis.ukf.net/ROD%20LAVER.htm

Jane: Yes, very similar. Players like Soda, Berdie and Delpo have that ability…


skeezer Says:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/jun/13/rafael-nadal-french-open-prize-money?newsfeed=true

Hey Rafa, your country is in need of a few euros, felling generous?


M Says:

Vamos, Rafa! Vamos!


Hewbernard Says:

Hey, you people are fanatic devils of RF. Stop that stupid dream of RF winning another Grand Slam. He is simply hopelessly incapable; his backhand is awfully weak and inaccurate, his movement is SLUGGISH, his style of playing has not changed; he could have been the KING 10 years ago, but for now, it is a BIG, BIG question mark. So stop imagining that he has the ability nor the energy to cope with younger players. Look at Hewitt,a good example of an aging player, who had won slams too. Be realistic, men/women!!!!!!!


Dave Says:

Hewbernard, so we should listen to you because you yourself are a fanatic devil of which player? Why don’t you relax, and watch what unfold over the next three months.


ANEESH KB Says:

Federer is the slam master. He will win the 2012 wimbledon.

Top story: Rafael Nadal: The No. 1 Ranking Is No Longer A Goal Of Mine In My Career
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