Berdych Saves 3 MPs To Beat Federer, Faces Djokovic In Dubai Final; Ferrer Awaits Nadal Or Almagro In Acapulco
by Sean Randall | March 1st, 2013, 10:11 pm
  • 123 Comments

In what was arguably the most dramatic 3-setter of this young 2013 season, Tomas Berdych earned his second straight big win over Roger Federer today in the semifinals at Dubai. The Czech saved three second set matchpoints to deny Federer a shot at a sixth Dubai title, defeating the local resident 3-6, 7-6(8), 6-4.

Berdych came out of the blocks flat and rusty, and a fleet-footed Federer took advantage racing out to a quick break and the first set. Berdych turned the tables early in the second with a break edge, but couldn’t capitalize on a 5-2 lead – yes, another epic Berdych meltdown. Berdcyh somehow mentally kept it together and earned a set point on Federer’s serve up 6-5, but failed to stop play on a Federer out ball, eventually losing the point in disgust and then game.

With the momentum and Berdych visibly rattled from the no-call, Federer gained the early mini-break in the second set breaker. Berdcyh though again got up off the mat and won four straight points culminating in a defensive reflex volley winner that appeared to hit all frame. Now it was Federer’s turn to respond and he did just that taking the next four of his own to lead 6-4 with two matchpoints. But he, too, couldn’t covert. Eventually, it was Berdych taking the breaker on his third setpoint 10-8 with a crushing forehand return winner.

Federer’s level continued to drop in the third while a re-focused Berdcyh just blasted away from the baseline. As Berdych honed in from the ground, Federer began rushing the net with greater frequency, but no payoff. Berdych broke at 2-2 and then hung on for his fourth win in five tries on an outdoor hardcourt against the aging Federer, a run that includes the US Open.

“I couldn’t be feeling any better,” said Berdych. “I would say [it was] almost in front of his home crowd and to be the one who won that match, it really feels great. I’m very pleased the way I played today.

“In every single point, I was believing in myself, trying to be just focused on that single point. I didn’t want to see the score and just go one by one. It worked. It’s the kind of tactic that I will try to stick with and try to bring it for every single match.”

Berdych improves to 6-11 against Federer while for Roger, the drought continues. He hasn’t won a title since Cincinnati last August and now two months into the season he has yet to reach even a final. And life on the pro tour at 31 won’t get any easier, especially not with his selective schedule and Rafael Nadal rounding back into shape.

“Obviously I leave this match with a lot of regrets,” said Federer after the 2-hours, 20-minute loss. “Serving for the match, with the serve, having chances in the beginning of the second, when he wasn’t quite in the match yet, to go break up, [a] set and a break. [There were] a few points where things just didn’t happen for me.

“He’s got obviously a big game, has a big serve which makes him difficult to play maybe on a quick court than a slower court. Maybe you can move him around a bit more, but at the same time he has more time to set up the shot, whereas the way the game has gone he has adapted really well to those conditions.”

It’s also the third time Federer’s fell to Berdcyh after holding matchpoints, that after Miami and Davis Cup doubles losses.

In the first semi, Novak Djokovic jumped all over Juan Martin Del Potro then hung for for a tough 6-3, 7-6(4) victory. Djokovic cruised in the first set, then came undone early in the second. The Argentine grabbed a break and had the momentum until a strange time code violation rattled Delpo who was serving 3-1, 30-40. After expressing some discontent to the chair, Delpo lost the next point and then the next three games. In a blink, it was Djokovic serving for the match at 5-3 but incredibly the Serb couldn’t finish it off. About 20 minutes later he did in the breaker.

“I was very pleased with the performance overall and the way I handled myself in the tough moments,” said Djokovic. “Mentally I stayed tough and believed that I could, you know, that I could go all the way and win in straight sets. I didn’t really allow myself to be negative.”

Added Del Potro, “He deserved to win. He played so well in the tiebreak,” said Del Potro. “I was break up in the second set, and I made mistakes. I lost the calm when I start to discuss with the umpire, and he come back in the second (set) so quick.”

So tomorrow it’s Djokovic v. Berdych. Novak is the big favorite of course. He’s won Dubai three times, he’s won 17 straight matches (11-0 this year) and he’s dominated The Birdman winning 12 of 13 meetings, and 10 straight! That’s right, 10 straight!

Novak didn’t have his “A” game today – he showed some flashes – and honestly he might not need it tomorrow either. Regardless, I think it’s Djokovic in two sets but the court is quick so I expect Berdych to be right in there.

Later tonight in about an hour, Rafael Nadal and Nicolas Almagro will battle on the red clay in the Acapulco semifinals. For Nadal it’s the first real test he’s had in this comeback. After playing a bunch of tomato cans the last month he’ll finally face someone in the top 20, though Almagro isn’t exactly that mental pillar of strength (he’s 0-8 career against Rafa winning a scant two sets) but at least he has some game, so I’m told. Awaiting in the final is the very hungry, very fit David Ferrer. This should be good.

In the Delray Beach semifinals tomorrow, it’s John Isner against Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Tommy Haas vs. the Ernests Gulbis. Yup, that Gulbis. Tennis Channel has wall-to-all coverage off all three events tomorrow, plus the Nadal match this evening.

SATURDAY DUBAI SCHEDULE

CENTRE COURT start 5:00 pm
[3] R Lindstedt (SWE) / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs M Bhupathi (IND) / M Llodra (FRA)

Not Before 7:00 PM
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs [3] T Berdych (CZE)


Also Check Out:
Federer Steps On The Worm, Djokovic Cruises In Dubai; Gulbis-Dimitrov Thursday In Acapulco
Rafael Nadal Avoids The Hardcourts, Will Play Acapulco Clay In February
Djokovic, Federer Lead Dubai Final Four; Nadal Closes In On Another Acapulco Title
Davydenko Deserts Dubai with Wrist Injury; Djokovic Wins, Murray Plays Later Today
David Ferrer’s Status For March Is Uncertain After Suffering A Groin Injury In Acapulco

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123 Comments for Berdych Saves 3 MPs To Beat Federer, Faces Djokovic In Dubai Final; Ferrer Awaits Nadal Or Almagro In Acapulco

Humble Rafa Says:

Some people on the “internets” have suggested that we have a new GOAT owner. That is simply not true. I still own the GOAT. I have a license and registration to prove it.


roy Says:

current hawkeye rules are a joke and will one day cost somebody a huge match. this is probably what it will take to change this absurdity.

berdych actually won the second set by breaking federer’s serve.on break/set point federer hit a ball out by a few inches.
berdych was forced to continue playing and lost the point and eventually the game.

and so as that second set continued everybody in the hawkeye room and everybody watching around the world knew that federer had already lost the set, but the umpires and players continued on as if this was irrelevant because of a challenge technicality.
this is beyond ridiculous.

the idea that a player has to stop play on basically a hunch, risk losing the point, because
of the error of umpires is utterly stupid.
the idea that this should be ‘part of the game’.
in fact the commentators were pretending that if berdych had done the right thing and challenged he would have won earlier, actually framing it as though the czech had exhibited poor play.
when the umpires had simply robbed him, and the system is a complete laughing stock.
it’s one thing if the umpire makes a mistake and we don’t have a way of knowing until much later. that can be considered ‘just life’.but it’s another when we know the truth almost immediately and nothing is done.

one day in a big GS match, somebody is going to be robbed while everybody watching knows it and while everybody watching knows that it could have been righted if hawkeye had simply been running on a screen in the umpire’s chair.

stop playing your stupid crowd games atp, and design a system that is based around the TRUTH.
otherwise turn it off. the idea of having one reality for the viewers while leaving the umpire and players in the dark is insane.


Wog boy Says:

About time code violation, I am the first one to agree there is a need for common sense when it comes to penalizing players. I went to have a look at that particular game and found out that it fourth time in the same game that Delpo was over 25sec including first serve. Three of them were over 30sec and one 29sec. The last one was 31-32sec. I didn’t bother checking previous Delpo’s servis games but there is no reason to believe it was any better. My question is, how many times player has to do it for umpire to act, I think four times in one game should be enough?
The worst came in TB when Delpo took 42sec to serve at 2:2 and 35sec at 5:3, if umpire penalized him with point in TB(he had all the rights to do so) we would have revolution. Delpo knew umpire wouldn’t have guts to do that so he was taking his time.
I recorded the match and was curious to time Delpo and check whether umpire overreacted and I don’t think he did, he is damned either way.


Wog boy Says:

“it was fourth time in the same game”


Sean Randall Says:

Agreed. Calling that time violation at breakpoint was suspect, and Delpo really didn’t seem to be abusing the rule.

That said, it’s hard to claim it cost him the match when it was BREAK POINT! Odds were decent that had that not been called Djokovic would still have won that point or gotten the break back.

Delpo, though, shouldn’t have gotten so hell-bent with it.


Humble Rafa Says:

How have times changed. Major news organizations are not even reporting someone’s loss. All the headlines are about the Egg Lover. It hurt people feelings, some people’s anyway :)


Michael Says:

Much to the consternation of his fans, it is now becoming more of a habit with Roger losing when match points up. That is terribly disgusting considering that Roger is a fighter to the core and not a choker. But, still of late this deplorable trend is piling up as a black mark in Roger’s stellar record. The match was a see-saw battle. I would say both were not at their best. Especially, Roger was serving so poorly in the second set and still Berdych could not take advantage of that and then it went to a tie break. Ofcourse Roger was lucky not to lose it 7-5 when the ball he hit was clearly out. But even Roger had chances to finish the match in two as well as leading in the tie break when he was three match points up. But he couldn’t convert. Berdych game, as usual, was a mixture of brilliance and mediocricity. But his first serves were ticking and that won him the match in the end. Roger served poorly and paid for it. I expected a Novak Vs Roger final which would have made it interesting. But now since it is Berdych, we can as well give the trophy to Novak.


nadalista Says:

The Humble Bull’s in the house! And there isn’t a single free seat in the stadium……….


andrea Says:

i never take berdych for granted anymore in a 3 set affair. if he’s on, his power can be troublesome for fed. roger’s game just isn’t a baseline basher. he can do it, but it’s really not his MO.

congrats to berdych for the win. i still can’t root for him…he’s just not one of my faves. sorry about that.


nadalista Says:

As for the time violation enforcement rule, i’ve got one word to say to the players:

#becarefulwhatyouwishfor


gannu Says:

i am fckng furious, irriated…these days being a feddy bear fan is a nightmare…he is not bothered to win…he is playing a reduced schedule and is in complete denial mode…wonder when he will get some senses…i dont think he is winning anything major this year and will just be there in qfs and sfs and nudge in the top 4… he himself these days is not botghered much abt his losses…agreed it happens if you have won some 888 matches in life…but being an emperor and the GOAT I JUST CANT BEAR TO SEE HIM REDUCED TO SUCH A STATE…wonder why he is subjecting everyone to this torture… just fckng win one more gslam and RETIRE in style…that will just end the agony once and for all…


nadalista Says:

Almagro beginning to pressurise Rafa’s serve with his heavy shots…..

He, on the other hand, is cruising on serve.


Humble Rafa Says:

Amigo Chokie,

Time to choke.


nadalista Says:

Almagro just nailed a body shot at Rafa….

Will there be a hand-shake at the net?

Discuss.


nadalista Says:

Break, Rafa

Vamos!


nadalista Says:

He’s back. Even if he goes on to lose this match, Rafa’s back.

1st set, Rafa.

Vamos!!


Polo Says:

Agree with Roy about the hawkeye.


Humble Rafa Says:

Love Nico. Just like a trained dog, he caves in when the Master asks to. Nice today but don’t ever want to see him play 5th rubber in a Davis Cup match.


courbon Says:

@Ganny;Probably two rasons-He said 6 months ago that he will play for 3-4 years more, after that he got massive (30million) contract.He probably knows that he will not play another 3-4 years but he can get as much money he can while says that.Also probably waits to see if he can get another slam-even last year was lucky that Nadal was gonne, Novak in a bad way…this year can be same-he maybe wins more slams,who knows.But, I’m sure you know all this and I get your point-It’s frustrating for Fed fans. (specaly, him being so great).I’m sure similar thing waits for me with Novak…


nadalista Says:

When asked about Rafa’s play in Vina del Mar, Fed said, in Rotterdam, he was surprised to see Rafa beaten in a final on clay, conveniently forgetting that this was Rafa’s first tournament after a 7 month lay off.

At least Rafa got to the final, Fed has yet to get to one this year. What’s his excuse?


nadalista Says:

GSM, Rafa.Why did I ever doubt you?

3 finals in a row……the bull is back.

Vamos!!!!


nadalista Says:

I was apprehensive about this match because Nico has a big serve and I thought he was going to use that to blow Rafa off the court. However, as the match went on, Rafa began to read Nico’s serve better and his ROS improved.

For the final, I am more relaxed because Ferru doesn’t have a big serve, Rafa can have a better handle on that. All Rafa has to not do is get drawn into long baseline rallies with the energizer bunny because he cannot match Ferru for stamina right now. Rafa has to serve well and be aggressive then he has a good shot at lifting the trophy.

Vamos!!!!!


Giles Says:

Well done Rafa. Vamos Champ!! :-))))))))))))))))


nadalista Says:

Now my TV Channel is showing the train-wreck of a match between Fed and Berdy………..jeez.


Brando Says:

VAMOS!!!!!!!!!

Rafa need’s to improve his ROS going forward- not attacking enough.

Aside from that i just loved how astute, composed tennis he played today.

No panicking, no nerves- just some tough tennis.

Loved to see it!

Next match is a HUGE CHALLENGE…. but one rafa is ready for and what the doctor ordered!

VAMOS RAFA!


Humble Rafa Says:

but one rafa is ready for and what the doctor ordered!

I appreciate the sentiment, but please use a different analogy. Doctors bring bad memories for your Humble Highness.


Brando Says:

@Humble Rafa:

LOL, i’ll leave out the doctor references in future!

PS:

‘Some people on the “internets” have suggested that we have a new GOAT owner. That is simply not true. I still own the GOAT. I have a license and registration to prove it.’

I was ROFL LMAO at that humble comment. True, yet humbly said so! :-)


nadalista Says:

Rafa-Ferru stats:

Nadal 16-4 H-to-H (13-1 on clay, 6-0 in finals).

Can Ferru break his finals duck against the King?

Discuss.


Skeezer Says:

“At least Rafa got to the final, Fed has yet to get to one this year. What’s his excuse?”

Pushing 32. Not 26.


Steve 27 Says:

Well done, Rafa!. Against Ferrer we can expect his first real challenge until now. 300 more points. Btw, all of us know, who is the real number 2 of the tour.


Skeezer Says:

“current hawkeye rules are a joke..”

Well Fed was against it from the get go. And since then some mock him for not liking it. There ya go….

However, in Birdsh!ts case, they missed that call irregardless of hawkeye. If hawkeye wasn’t present, the linesmen still would have missed it.


Skeezer Says:

Nico never is a real challenge for the top 4, and Ferrer is not that much better. They both ate like sparring partners drom the baseline. Nonetheless, supreme practice matches for Rafa primus maximus.


Skeezer Says:

Rafa’s Dr;

Did you win?

“Yes”

Then your kness are fine, continue.


nadalista Says:

@skeezer says:

“At least Rafa got to the final, Fed has yet to get to one this year. What’s his excuse?”

Pushing 32. Not 26.

Thanks @skeezer. Nice to know that age is a valid excuse for Fed’s poor showing to date, and going forward.

We know, according to you and various others on this site, other players have no excuses whatsoever. In fact, they are not allowed to have any!!

Or look, Berdy won because he played a geriatric…

zzzzzzzz………..


nadalista Says:

……….and @skeezer’s Rafa knee fetish rears it’s head……..

Yum, yum.


Skeezer Says:

Nadalista,

Oh sure go ahead and talk it up. i’ll stiill be here when Rafael Nadal turns 31/32,….wait….will he still be playing? NOT! Hehe…
You and I and everyone knows Fed doesn’t have to win another match to qualify his all time greatness. He has done his bit.


Skeezer Says:

@nadalista

Done with trash talking tonight….zzzz me tired too. Serioulsy good luck to your man agaisnt Ferrer, we all know Rafa is tye better player, just hopin his health continues. Don’t like hearing he is trying to come back with bum knee(s). Maybe should have rehabbed longer? His call not mine …….hope to see him at IW where he will get his second thrashin in a row by the Fedster ;)


Michael Says:

Roger was not confident of confronting Berdych from the back of the court and that seemed disturbing to me. He came to volley even on his second serve and looked helpless in many situations when Berdych hit low returns. Approaching net might be adopted as a surprising tactic and not as regular ones. You can understand if this strategy is adopted against the likes of Novak, Rafa or Andy who are better from the back of the court and are consistent hitters, but definitely not against Berdych. I do not know why Roger adopted this strategy. But it was a wrong one in my opinion.


Michael Says:

Roger is approaching 32 and he should be prepared for more such shocks in future as afterall he is human. But the problem is that he has raised the expectations and set the bar so high, that such defeats are seemingly looking like collapse and the journalists are baying for his blood and want him to reveal his retirement plans rather prematurely. Never mind, this defeat is only against the World’s 6th best player who hits the ball so hard that it takes off its cover. Still I have hopes from Roger and think he will be quite competitive at this year’s Wimbledon. His best chance of getting his 18th might be there.


Nadalista Says:

@skeezer, fair play, mate. Thanks for the love re Rafa’s match against Ferrer. As I said before, I am quite relaxed about the final. Whatever happens, I am relieved he is back to his best, judging by his showing against Nico. No excuses.

Vamos!


alison Says:

3 Tournaments back and 3 finals,and also great to see him getting his teeth into some top players,whatever happens against Ferrer its great for his fans that hes getting back to his best after such a long time of not playing,it was always going to be a work in progress these things dont happen over night,welcome back Rafa Vamos.


nadalista Says:

Look what this shameless woman thrust in Rafa’s face! That poor unborn baby must be mortified. Has the world truly come to this? Jeez…

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=592796180749033&set=a.243128879049100.76928.243123739049614&type=1&theater

Rafa, sometimes you gotta just say NO!!


alison Says:

Nadalista i suppose some women will do anything to get an autograph from Rafa,and anyway hes too much of a gentleman to say no lol.


courbon Says:

@Alison;Are u talking about yourself?(he,he,he…)


rafaeli Says:

Some woman gave him her bra to sign once.


Kimberly Says:

Hi all, glad for rafa to win a against a semi good player. Was at delay beach last night watching Isner and Anderson. Going back to watch gulbis and haas at 3.


Nadalista Says:

Did you guys see the sweat pouring down Rafa’s face during the match with Almagro? And he cannot reach for a towel because it upsets some tennis purists by lengthening the time between points. Cannot bear to think of the sting in his eyes when serving…..

They will keep moving the goal-posts, all in the vain hope of harm-stringing Rafa.

Be strong, Rafa, be strong……

Vamos!!!!!


jane Says:

Nole will serve for it; this hasn’t been an easy match by any stretch. Nole has had to serve well to stay with Tomas. Let’s see if he can close it. Love-30. This is becoming a trend! :/


alison Says:

Courbon cheeky:-)but yeah i suppose i could see why you would think that lol,as Rafaeli said one woman gave him a bra to sign once,if i was ever lucky enough to see him play live,if i had the nerve,and if was brazen enough, i would ask him to do the same,the difference is i would be wearing it at the time though ha ha,BTW hope your enjoying the match.


jane Says:

Woot! Nole makes it 4 at Dubai, just like 4 at AO. His inside-out forehand looks great.

Good match!! Very tight. Felt like Tomas was closer today but Nole played focused, served well and capitalized on big points.


alison Says:

Congrats to Nole fans Jane,Wogboy,Courbon,Mat4,etc etc,the result was what i expected,and what i hoped for.


courbon Says:

@Alison:Sorry, I could not resist making that remark.Oh,yes-I enjoy the match!


sheila Says:

so disappointed federer lost this. 3 match points & he couldn’t pull it off? losing to benneteau & now berdych yet again, its got to take a toll on federers confidence. hes got a lot of points to defend from last year and thus far he’s not doing it. as a fan of federers, if he really starts losing more & more & starts dropping in rankings, he should consider retiring because the likes of berdych, tsonga & del potro now beating him along w/murray, djokovic & nadal doesnt bode well for his 2013 season. as for nadal. i simply dont get it. he’s said he’s still in pain w/his knee & yet he runs around the court like an energizer bunny. doesnt he have chronic knee tendonitis & if so, its not going away & running his ass off the way he does won’t it flare up again, especially on hardcourts????


alison Says:

Courbon no problem,and no need to be sorry,nothing you say is ever likely to offend me,i thought it was quite funny,and glad you enjoyed the match too.


Giles Says:

It’s obvious fed is losing his touch. Oh yes, forgot, it is the age factor kicking in!


Purcell Says:

Nadalista. Are you for real?
Perhaps it’s time you donated a 38B so he can support his moobs and wipe away the sweat from his darling brow.


skeezer Says:

^yep. And you’ll keep hearing that excuse. Its a fact. Deal with it. he is not 26. Did you know that Fed when he 30 is eligible for the Senior Tour? Just saying…..he is doing extremely well competing and his ranking still so high.


Humble Rafa Says:

Birdshit did what he does best. So, not really surprised.


Giles Says:

skeezer. Yeah yeah yeah. Whatever makes you happy man! Your man should keep playing and playing and playing! Good for him.


Humble Rafa Says:

Oh yes, forgot, it is the age factor kicking in!
==
Mr. Obvious


Sirius Says:

@Skeezer,

according to SOME people, AGE is just a number(applies only to Fed). and other excuses are only for SPECIAL GUYS. keep in mind that Fed is still young, never had injuries, always super healthy and yet he lost 200+ matches! ;)


Giles Says:

skeezer. “and his ranking still so high”. Hmmm. Was he at any time in his career out of the tour for months and months? No?


Sirius Says:

^he wasn’t out of the tour for months and so what??


Giles Says:

Me thinks fed is becoming a bit of a choker squandering match points here there and everywhere. Well, I guess it happens even to the Goat!


Giles Says:

Sirius. “he wasnt out of the tour for months and so what ??”
That is why he was able to maintain his ranking!
Did you really want an answer to your question?


skeezer Says:

Siruis,

I hope Fed keeps competing well into his 30′s. And he may at the highest level, just being real. age is just a number, sure. But getting old and dying is a cold hard fact. That train never stops…..for any player and anyone.

Problem is these younger guys are so fit that you are not going to win a slugfest , especially one that goes 5-6 hours. And if you happen too, you ain’t gonna be around ready to go in the next round. As usual, me hopes Fed proves me wrong, he did it last year by regaining #1 and winning a Slam :)


Sirius Says:

Lol. Stupid answer.

U don’t maintain ur ranking (for fed, he maintained top 4 rank!) just by playing throughout a season. U need to earn points and then keep defending them to maintain ur rank! U didn’t know it, did u?


Sirius Says:

^that was for Giles


Sirius Says:

@skeezer,

actually i don’t think that age is just a number. if u look at tennis history u will find few players who played superb after reaching their 30s. there are some other things but age is also a factor too in tennis


courbon Says:

@Alison:You’ll receive congratulations for nadals win tomorrow morning


alison Says:

Courbon yeah hopefully but thankyou anyway.


Wog boy Says:

Fell asleep while waiting for tha match to start (2am), four finals four titles, nicly done No1e :)
Luckily I recorded it, will watch it later with a bit of brandy and “meze.”


Wog boy Says:

alison,

Thanks, your man is well on the way to regain top form, I did say that few months ago, didn’t I?


jane Says:

Wog boy, 4 is the lucky number perhaps? ;) 4 AOs, 4 Dubais….

alison, thanks and good luck to Rafa; I think he shall prevail.


Colin Says:

I can’t understand those of you who were saying you hoped Berdych was hammered in the final, because you don’t like him and you do like Fed.

This is not real life, not war, it’s a game.

Can’t you see that the easier Djokovic beats Berdych, the worse that makes Federer’s loss look?


jane Says:

BTW, when Nole was serving for the match, he had 40-30 (after going down love-30…gulp) and then it went to deuce because Berd won that point. The crowd were cheering loudly for more so Nole took his time to serve and got a time violation at deuce serving for the match.

But he kind of just laughed it off, and carried on. I was happy with that. He didn’t get angry, didn’t make a fuss, just carried on with getting the job done. His focus was razor sharp today.


alison Says:

Wogboy/Jane thanks very much for those sweet word,i really appreciate what your saying,anyway he appears to be on the right track,however we will see i suppose.


trufan Says:

After Sampras turned 29, he didn’t win a single title for two year, until he got that magically lucky draw at the USO 2002 to win his last title at age 31.

People are delusional if they expect a 31+ player to be as competitiev as he was in his prime (usually 23-25 for a tennis player).

Federer MIGHT, might just win another wimbledon. That’s it. Otherwise he will retire with stats pretty close to what he has now.

Still quite plenty to be the best of all time.

As for Nadal – his real test is today. If he can beat Ferrer, he is in good shape for the upcoming summer. If he loses, its deep trouble for him going forward.

As for sweating and time violation – come on you slow player, tennis is already a slow sport. These people play about 40 minutes in a 2 hour match. How much more “off time” do you want?? Keep a wrist band or a hankey or something if you sweat too much. Stop cribbing.

I strongly feel they should have a shot clock, like in basketball. 20 seconds. Period. If you don’t serve, you lose that point.

As for Djoke – he is unstoppable. Nobody is taking the No. 1 ranking from him this year. the only remaining question of the year – will he win the French this year?? I think yes.


skeezer Says:

^and sweating as an excuse to have more time? LMAO.


skeezer Says:

As predicted, Birdsh!t falls to Nole. Birdsh!t is the better than anyone shooting off his hole then quacking like a Bird when it matters for a title..

Congrats to Nole, looking real good so far. Can hardly wait to see him in the Clay season.


skeezer Says:

^ok…..chirp like a Bird, the Duck quacks. Old Macdonald had a farm…


Kimmi Says:

for sure djokovic is the man to beat right now. congratulations for winning back to back titles. Lets see what happens on clay when he plays rafa.


alison Says:

Just to say great to see Kimberly posting again,as a fellow Rafa fan i miss her posts,i dont feel that there is many Rafa fans left on this forum any more,such a small minority these days,shame really.


Giles Says:

Hey skeezer. What do you do when you sweat? Let me guess, lick it off with your long tongue! Sounds about right!


skeezer Says:

Hey Giles. What do you do when your playing Rafa and don’t sweat like him? Let me guess, you wait until Rafa has dryed off no matter how much time he takes, and you wait for Rafa, after all…..its Rafa time.
Or maybe you can go lick off if there and help him play in a timely manner?


Brando Says:

@Alison: yes, it’s good to see kimberly post. Your right re rafa fans: few posters here. MANY post about rafa, of course, but they are not his fans- just SAD HATERS! Can’t blame them though: their fav seems to be declining quicker than the MPs he seems to lose on! Their life must have little joy- so what do they do? Just engage in PETTY, SAD, PATHETIC hate for a guy who kicks their favs behind like it has gone out of fashion- time after time again! Poor Rafa: Why didn’t he just lose when he faced their fav all those GS finals- he could have avoided the PETTY HATE. Hang on- is it because he could not give a monkeys over how some petty losers are flushing their life down the toilet by NEEDLESSLY hating on him ? I think it might just be that!


alison Says:

Brando dont get me wrong i dont think Rafas perfect by any means,but i just get the feeling his fans are been driven away,Lulu Iberica was one of the nicest and fairest fans on this forum,but even she does not post on here anymore,i just feel like im out of my depth sometimes these days,and on a hiding to nothing.


Alok Says:

If I remember correctly, Lulu Iberica stopped bnlogging after a Nadal fan blasted her for being the worse type of Nadal fan, because she said rafa’s excuses were too many, or seomthing like that. It wasn’t a Fed fan who did that.Perhaps the Rafa fan who blasted Lullu Iberica will own up to doing it.

This situation about people being driven away is talked about over and over. Nobody can stop another from commenting if they really want to do that, so those types of excuses are ridiculous, and just idle talk. There are people who complain over and over about it I suppose just for the sake of talking. A lot of people don’t post because some of the stuff discussed is just idle talk, and not about tennis related, so unless someone is one of the group, what are they going to talk about if the discussion has turned from tennis to other things, which some of us don’t know about, before our time, etc. A lot of us post our thoughts and leave or don’t post at all when the conversations are taking place.

There’s hate all around, some posters do it openly, some do it underhandedly by hinting, and others take big swipes at some players. It would be nice to read about the actual tennis matches being played.

And that’s my two cents on what I feel and see happening.


Alok Says:

A couple of years ago when Fed turned 30 a lot of non-Fed fans were talking derogatorily that he’s an old man. Now that his fans are saying that Fed’s getting up there in years, as the reason for his performance dropping, we’re told we are making excuses. We’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t, I suppose. So funny.


jane Says:

^Don’t worry alison; I think there are still more Rafa fans than Nole or Muzz fans here – I could count the regularly posting Nole fans on one hand: let’s see? Wog boy, courbon, mat4, and me – I think we are the only regular Nole fans here? Occasionally a few other Nole fans, like Nina, bojana, Mila, Danica, Duro, sar or stu, show up. But basically it’s just the 4 of us. Murray fans? Let’s see – maybe about the same as Nole? Margot, racquet, Colin, DA, and volley. Am I missing anyone? There used to be another Murray fan named puckbandit too. So the Rafa contingent is still a healthy bunch :) And more will probably come back as he plays in bigger events. Looking forward to the final vs. Ferrer. Hope it’s a good one.


alison Says:

Alok i was just pointing out that there doesnt seem to be many Rafa fans left on this forum these days,and Lulu Iberica was one of them,and im not saying it was any particular fan group that drove her away as i dont know,anyway i didnt mean to open up a can of worms,i was merely speculating on the lack of Rafa fans left on this forum,ill leave it at that,enough said.


Alok Says:

@Colin: well said. T-Berd is very predictable. he beat Fed and then loses to the next opponent. If he beats Fed and goes on to win the title I’d be happy for him, but it seems that his mind-set is focused on beating Fed and he’s content with that result, or maybe he thinks that’s enough for him.

I’m not the type of fan who wishes for Fed’s rival to win a lot, because who knows, eventually Fed’s records could be in jeopardy, especially since there aren’t too many youngsters who are a big threat, and that means only a couple of guys will be winning everything.

On sweating, a lot of players sweat, and they wipe it off on their shirt sleeve and wrist bands. The sweating is visible for those players who wear caps, the sweat keeps pouring down like rain.


alison Says:

Jane there only seems to be myself,Brando,Nadalista,Giles,Rafaeli and Julijo724,and Kimberly occasionally,other than that nitto,so its probably about the same, lulu Iberica,Mark,Mem,Metan dont bother anymore,and whatever peoples feelings are about them,they were all very passionate fans that are still entitled to their own personal opinions,probably sick of all the negativity that their favorite has had to stomach over the past few months,anyway ill leave it at that,it was just an observation.


Alok Says:

@alison, you don’t need to explain anything to me. I merely write my thoughts on things and leave it at that. I’m content with what I have to say and am not looking for an acknowledgement, an answer, nor a quarrel. just saying what I feel, that’s all..

In the case of Lulu Iberica, I merely wanted to state it was one of her kind who did it to her, not a Fed fans, and maybe the reason she stopped posting. It could also be that during the months Nadal was not playing she got disinterested in tennis. Fans come and go, and do so for various reasons, which does not mean that they are being chased away.

I’ve been reading this site for about close to two years before posting and to me there are more active Nadal fans posting nowadays then before, but I could be wrong. The Fedal wars seem to continue regardless of who’s winning. What I don’t like is the generalization some posters make with respect to all Fed fans, lumping us all together, but that’s how it is, and all I do is scroll down when I see some screen names, as it saves a lot of time.


mat4 Says:

@alison:

jane is right, but in another way, so you are. We wrote about it the other day: a lot of nice posters have be driven away by the ferocity of personal attacks on this blog.

The only thing left you can do is to congratulate when one the favs won. You can’t ask questions, argue, debate.

BTW, do you really think Rafa lost weight? I managed to watch so horrible highlights but I was mostly focusing on his serve, and didn’t notice anything unusual fitness wise. But the stream was awful, like I wrote. I’ll try to watch the final against Ferrer and compare with the way he looked last year.

I am (not) surprised he beat Almagro, although I can make my mind about the final: it could be tense. But in this case, Rafa’s level will be more obvious.

@jane:

I haven’t watched the match: how did Novak play?


alison Says:

Alok i would never dislike another player for beating my own personal favorite,after all thats what he is supposed to try and do so its not his fault,actually i think Tomas is a very talented player with a great game and alot to offer,i was really impressed with the year he had in 2010,and i felt he was destined for big things after that,i like Federer and no disrespect to him or his fans,but i loved how happy Tomas looked in 2010 at Wimby when he beat Fed,because i thought he was such a nice guy,then i changed my mind when he accused Fed of making excuses,refused to shake Almagros hand at the net,and said Almagro was the weakest link in the spanish DC team.


alison Says:

Mat4 i havent actually seen Rafa play,only highlights,unfortunatly work and sleep have got in the way, but IMO i think he has lost alot of weight,i dont know if it is a deliberate thing to save the knees,who knows? but maybe that is just me as its difficult to tell,you dont get much of a true picture or any proper indication with highlights.


jane Says:

Regular Rafa fans – there is Brando, Giles, nadalista, yourself (alison), julijo724, Kimberly, Steve27, Lulu Iberica, roy, Humble Rafa (if he can be a fan of himself ;)), and probably others I can’t recall right now. But still it’s an okay number of fans. Maybe the others will return; Rafa hasn’t been playing for a while and so far he’s played only smaller events on his comeback. So maybe more of his fans are just waiting for the bigger challenges to return to posting??


alison Says:

Jane fair enough my mistake sorry.


jane Says:

mat4, Nole played well, so did Berdych; it was a tight contest. Berd didn’t play his best on some of the bigger points on his serve, but he played well on Nole’s serve – even serving for the match he pushed Nole and he broke him early in set 1 with some amazing power. But Nole’s inside-out forehand stood out for me, and he served, today, exceptionally well. I think after the first set, he’d hit over 80% first serves in. And Berdych just can’t punish Nole’s second serve, like Nole can punish his. Nole’s return was a weapon today. Very strong showing. Even when he went down love-30 serving for the match, even when he got a time violation at deuce in that same game, always, always he seemed confident and very focused. That is, I think, what impressed me the most. Oh, sure, he yelled at himself after a few misses, but overall he was a tiger today. :)


jane Says:

alison, no no no, girl – wasn’t pointing out a mistake at all! :) Just saying, even with a depleted crew, Rafa still has more regular posters than Nole/Muzz contingent, and that makes sense since he’s been at the top of the game longer and has achieved so much!


mat4 Says:

@jane:

Just watched the first set. An old thing: Nole destroyed Berdych’s FH, especially on the run. A new thing: it seems that Berdych has watched Novak’s match against Tomik, and played a lot of BH down the line. There was a stat showing he played a third of his BH in that direction.

Novak definitely has improved his FH volley.

Now, second set…


Thomas Says:

Wow,did anyone watch the gulbis vs haas match(which gulbis won) It seems that ernie is finally interested in actually playing decent tennis.(he has been good this season) I hope this gulbis is here to stay.. Btw,congrats to novak and his fans on Dubai win. Well deserved.


jane Says:

Nope didn’t watch it, but I always keep hoping a particular Gulbis is here to stay and alas he never is. I hope Ernie wins in the final over Isner.


jane Says:

^ Oops I thought Isner was already in the final; I guess not.


Nina Says:

That was nice Novak… not only did you win your 3 AO in a row, you won your 4th Dubai title and you’re still undefeated in 18 matches. And once more you proved you own all these guys. Amazing champ.


Nina Says:

A fact thing…

Djokovic is a combined 27-4 against three of the hardest hitters of recent years — Berdych, Juan Martin del Potro and Robin Soderling.

Brilliant stuff.


jane Says:

Hi Nina, thanks for that; he does defend well so he’s able to blunt those power hitters, and then also move them around a lot.


Brando Says:

VAMOSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

VAMOSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WHAT A BRILLIANT PERFORMANCE RAFA!

WOW!

Did not expect that even in the slightest- a BRILLIANT PERFORMANCE BY A LEGENDARY PLAYER!

Too tired, it’s early here in the UK and i must go to bed now.

Yet, i am thoroughly pleased and elated for rafa.

The TEARS at the end by him clearly showed how much this win meant to him!

WELL DONE RAFA!

And also to my fellow rafa fans- our champ is slowly coming back to his old self! :-)


Humble Rafa Says:

You are welcome! It was my pleasure.

I am back in form. Since I am winning, the knee is fine as well.


Humble Rafa Says:

I only cry when I win. I don’t try to steal the limelight when my opponent wins by shedding crocodile tears.


Steve 27 Says:

Return of the King!. The owner of the atp 500. The best outdoor player of open era. Best percenteage in a surface. Tears oh joy, reward to the souls.

It’s such a little thing to weep –
So short a thing to sigh –
And yet — by Trades — the size of these
We men and women die!
E. Dickinson


courbon Says:

@Alison;Congratullations!


jane Says:

Love Emily Dickinson – good quote Steve27.


Steve 27 Says:

Your welcome, Jane.


alison Says:

@Thankyou Courbon ;-)


Kimberly Says:

Thanks for the welcome back Allison and Brando. Have been at Delray all weekend, watching singles and doubles with my seven year old. Its been a lot of fun, although cold for Florida. Had a great time at Haas Gulbis yesterday, very highly charged match although both players totally lost their cool.


skeezer Says:

Congrats to the King of Clay. Rafael Nadal got a well deserved solid win over a quality player like Daveed( Even is it was on his favorite surface ). Glad to hear he is playing IW also, the tournament needs him and IW is a great venue for tennis. Now the quality of players there will be the best so far this year. Bring it on!


Kimberly Says:

Skeezer will u be appearing at Indian wells? Should be a great tourney!


skeezer Says:

^looking into to it now :)


alison Says:

Kimberly glad you and your little guy had such a great time,i didnt see any Delray matches,unfortunatly i didnt get that particular tourney where i am,same with Acapulco too so never saw any of Rafas matches :-(.


alison Says:

Nice post from Skeezer thankyou,it will be great to see all the top players again,playing in the same tourney ;-)

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ATP - Nov 17 WTA - Nov 17
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
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7 Tomas Berdych7 Eugenie Bouchard
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