Nadal Blows Out A Hobbled Federer In Indian Wells Quarterfinal
by Sean Randall | March 15th, 2013, 12:33 am

It’s was billed as a must-see showdown but in the end it fell flat and fizzled as a visibly distressed Roger Federer was no match for the Spaniard falling 6-4, 6-2 in the quarterfinals tonight at Indian Wells.

Both players admittedly came limping into this 29th meeting – Nadal has of course had his knee issues and Federer his back – but it was Roger’s that broke first. I thought going in that it would be Rafa’s knees that would break down from the long Gulbis match, but I was wrong.

When asked how his back felt and if he was underplaying the injury, Federer offered curtly after, “That was not the case against Stan either, but then I win and nobody talks about it,” he said. “If it was bothering me or not some moments that’s a problem for me to have, not for me to talk about too much because I don’t like to undermine his performance either.”

From the start Nadal just looked the better, sharper man out there and he was. Federer hardly muster any opposition from any facet of his game – service, groundstrokes, net – in the first set as Nadal just bombed away as he normally does from the baseline and breezed to a set lead behind two breaks.

It was that easy for Rafa.

Nadal quickly got two more breaks in the third and led 3-0 before Federer mounted a minor threat reclaiming a break. But it was little too late as Nadal finished him off not soon after.

“I played a fantastic first set, in my opinion. The second set was strange,” said Nadal. “The second set, I think Roger didn’t fight as usual. He probably had some problems and he didn’t feel enough comfortable to keep fighting. Both of us tried to play our best. I played much better than yesterday. My movements today were much, much better than yesterday, so I’m very happy for that, especially after a long match yesterday, to be able to compete well the next day.”

For Federer’s sake, I hope his back is bad because if it’s not then he’s in serious, serious trouble. From my view, though, Federer wasn’t moving his best and he wasn’t cracking his serves into the 120s like he had been earlier in the week. Clearly the 31-year-old was in some discomfort. With his reduced schedule, at least he’ll now have seven weeks to retool and reload before Madrid in May. And even then, is he really going to beat Rafa then on the clay?

As for Nadal, it was a quality result. Sure, Federer may not have been at his psychical best (Nadal isn’t either), but Rafa didn’t flinch and took care of business, just like he had to do. That’s what champions do. No mercy.

While Federer remains titleless since Cincinnati last summer, Nadal is racing back into formidable form. He’s beaten Federer 19 of 29 times now, and almost more impressively six of eight on outdoor cement. And he’s now reached eight straight semifinals in the desert. Not bad for a clay guy with bad knees.

After back-to-back days, Nadal gets a much-welcomed Friday off to rest and recover and to prepare for another tough challenge come Saturday against Tomas Berdych in the semifinals. In the undercard this afternoon under a blazing sun Berdych took out Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-4. As good as Berdych is playing – he’s yet to lose a set this week – he’s just 3-12 against Nadal losing 11 straight!

Fortunately or unfortunately, it’s starting to look like the King of Clay is back for real. Better get used to it.

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102 Comments for Nadal Blows Out A Hobbled Federer In Indian Wells Quarterfinal

andrea Says:

It’s good to have Nadal back – he’s got lots of fans and he is so ridiculously athletic on the court.

Giles Says:

V A M O S! V A M O S! V A M O S!
My Champ, my King!
Onto the Semis!
Well done Rafa! :-)))))))))))))

Vidzy Says:

As great are federer’s achievments and his history and his claim to be the GOAT the lopsided 19-10 record nadal have has over him now will always be a black spot in federer’s history. The way nadal powns federer it just seems federer doesn’t believe he has any artillery to trouble rafa. Its so sad .

jane Says:

Summary from Hannah Wilks:

“Nadal will also leave the court with much to be encouraged about in regards to his comeback from a long injury lay-off, most notably that his movement was excellent despite self-described ‘so-so’ knees, and that his backhand was by and large very strong. Hitting through the court powerfully and aggressively, Nadal’s backhand was probably the strongest facet of his play despite a poor spell in the second set. It was crucial in his dominance of baseline rallies, which in turn was crucial to pressing consistently on Federer’s serve while protecting his own with relative ease.”

Michael Says:

Roger forfeited the match even before it started. I think he played just for the Crowds sake who were eager to watch a Rafa Vs Roger duel after almost a year. Roger even abandoned the practice session before the match which means the back was bothering him and he didn’t want to exert too much. He just served at half the pace and that might be one of the reasons for his good first serve percentage which is over 65%. His movement was clearly lacking on court and to sum it up, he clearly played this match for the crowds.

Michael Says:

As regards Rafa, he certainly played his impeccable Tennis that he is renowned for. He just unsettled Roger with his range of shots, wide angles and that swirling top spin. His strategy was simple as it is every time against Roger. Serve to his backhand and then dictate the play with his angles and top spin. Not taking anything away from Rafa, he truly deserved the victory and now he is almost into the finals of Indian wells with Berdych being his opponent in the semis which is almost in my opinion won for Nadal. Nadal will definitely fancy his chances against any player except Novak. If Novak manages to reach the finals, it would be a contest as otherwise I think Rafa will go on to win this version of Indian Wells. If he does that in his first hard court tournament after lay off then surely he is on the road to No.1

Michael Says:


There is no merit in beating a 32 year old player.

Purcell Says:

Absolutely agree Michael. Also loved his response to the inevitable back question. The grit, determination and sense of responsibility to the fans is beyond doubt.

Michael Says:

Your comment :

“For Federer’s sake, I hope his back is bad because if it’s not then he’s in serious, serious trouble
Your comment”

Has Roger got anything to prove to the Tennis World ? He has achieved so much and his name is engraved in Platinum letters in Tennis History. Like the ages BC and AD, Tennis will be known before Roger and after Roger. Even if Roger from here is beaten in the first round of every tournament that he enters, that is not going to bothering him. His 17 Grand slam singles titles and six World tour finals speaks for itself.

Michael Says:


Roger is always a true Gentleman. He never undermines his opponents victory.

roy Says:

similar match to last year just the other way around.

nadal was injured in the 2012 indian wells match. it wasn’t the weather. nadal pulled out after a few matches in miami, made it through the clay, then he was done.

federer did look good against stan, great even. but if he wasn’t fit here, which is possible, then it simply evens out last year’s result.

one thing we can say is that federer has a lot more wins over a physically struggling nadal than the other way around.

nadal looked good, his ball-striking looked extremely good. but i think the berdych match might be a better indication of where he’s at assuming federer couldn’t give 100%.

if nadal makes the final here i think we could assume (if he stays fit) that he is a huge chance for RG and wimbledon.

skeezer Says:

“nadal was injured in the 2012 indian wells match”

ROFL! Post that fact please!

His injury was complaining about the wind, lol

roy Says:

the idea that federer just played for the fans, just showed up knowing he couldn’t really win, is absurd though.

federer would have only played if he thought he could win. because he hates losing to nadal even more than his fans hate it. this is why it’s hard to know how badly federer was hampered.

nadal, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to mind losing to federer. he always just says ”well roger is the greatest” etc. and seems not to really mind. bizarre, but true. nadal is like the puppy who loves the cat while the cat just wants to slap it down. nadal is more likely to show up knowing he doesn’t have much chance, and has done it before.

i suspect federer, even if he had an issue, thought he was still playing well enough to beat a green nadal. otherwise he would have just withdrawn and began his 7week vacation.

anybody who knows federer’s career, including davis cup behaviour, knows he puts himself first always and never just plays for fans or ‘duty’. which is fine, but it makes charity shows against nadal highly unlikely.

Purcell Says:

Roy: in the eyes of his fans and indeed Nadal and his camp, Nadal is always ‘physically struggling’ as you put it. Oh and brackets ‘if he stays fit’. How sick am I to hear that over and over again. Congratulations for regularly undermining Fed’s achievements with you unsubtle jibes.

Alok Says:

After the first game of the second set I couldn’t watch anymore. It was so sad to see Fed grimmacing in pain and looking so gaunt.

Rafa’s knees held up very well and his serve was effective. Unlike Fed who had so much trouble serving.

I hope Fed has a nice 2 months of R&R and comes back feeling better.

Purcell Says:

Roy: so you can read the minds of Fed and Nadal as well? Please don’t eradicate the nonsense from your posts. It’s good to be infuriated and amused in equal measures.

Nirmal Kumar Says:

It’s a pity people undermine Rafa’s victory stating Roger’s back. I doubt it would have really mattered. All credit to Nadal. The match looked more like a Heavy weight vs Light weight.

Nadal is looking good, though not as good as he was before. Next match between Nadal and Berd could be the best match of the tournament. It’s a fantastic matchup. Let’s see.

Purcell Says:

Nirmal Kumar: I think it’ s quite refreshing to hear people, especially journalists and commentators and even Nadal fans acknowledging Roger has a back problem. And if it’s undermining Nadal’s victory so be it. As you can see from Roy’s posts the injury card has and always will be brought out to undermine victories over Nadal by players other than Roger. No need to mention names, as tempting as it is.

Vidzy Says:

Is this the first time that Rafa has hit more winners than Fed in their 29 meetings ? Fed fans always have an excuse for his loss and always saying the same thing : federer has nothing left to acheieve. well that’s what you think . Federer still wants to achieve a lot more than your stomach has ur appetite. If federer has nothing left to acheive what has rafa left to achieve ? He has won every slam and an Olympic Gold. The question is not seeing what have you achieved . Question is what more can you achieve. Federer’s back was bothering him. Agreed. But did he show any fight ? Any interest in this match ? Any passion to win ? Where were thoese commons ? Did he lose this match in the dressing room itself ? Playing like a loser can go well against anybody but not against a player of stature of Nadal. The way he played today it seems he was in a hurry to be in his private plane to Maldives. Federer might go as the Goat. We will see after Rafa retires. But he will never be regarded as one of the grestest fighters this game has ever seen. That title is Rafa’s. Injured or not , rafa fights till the last point not bothering where will his knees stand after the match. No matter if he has to sacrifice 9 months of tennis for it. His heart never lets him give up :)

rafaeli Says:

Michael Says:
Your comment :

“For Federer’s sake, I hope his back is bad because if it’s not then he’s in serious, serious trouble
Your comment”

“Has Roger got anything to prove to the Tennis World ?”

Roger has still got to prove that he is better than Rafa.

Vidzy Says:

@ rafaeli agreed. How can you be called GOAT if you have such a bad losing record against a player of your own generation. Federer fans claim that this record is only because federer and rafa have met more on clay which of course rafa is supreme. What about Rafa’s 6-2 outdoor hard courts record ? Lol. What about in their 11 grand slam meetings nadal has won 9 of them ?

nadalista Says:

Yes, Fed lost because he is 32 years old, he has a bad back, he had to make do with run of the mill blankets in ordinary 5-star accommodation while Rafa snuggled down in Larry Ellison provided 7-star Egyptian cotton linen, was forced to play on a slow clay court dyed blue………Blah blah, blah, whine, whine, whine!

Thank God Fed himself is gracious enough to accept he was beaten fair and square.

Sirius Says:

Waited for the match, couldn’t watch it due to cable problems. Followed the scores and got upset. Not exciting match :(

Giles Says:

Vidzy. Great post . March 15th 3.03 am

Sirius Says:

“Roger has still got to prove that he is better than Rafa”

I know that, you know, Rafa is the best player (in any sports) in not only this world but also the whole Universe, just like you and fellas like you. He is so great, so great, SOOOOOOO GREAAAAAT! Yes.

But you know, other than the olympic gold and the h2h against roger, what else does rafa have better than federer??? U will bring out some DUNG-HEADED STATS which could be put down easily.
Take a look :

Grand Slams- 17>11

Masters- even at 22

Year end titles – 6> 0

not enough?? Wait.

Roger has had success at every grand slam. Look-

@ AO – 4W, 1F, 5 SF ( 10 straight SF, record!)

@FO – 1W, 4F, 2 SF ( 4 straight F, 5 straight SF)

@Wimby – 7W, 1 F ( 7 straight F, record!)

@USO – 5W , 1F , 2 SF ( 6 straight F, 8 straight SF)

and there are numerous records that federer holds which rafa can’t break in his life. Now tell me you IDIOT, does roger have to prove he is the better player than rafa?? Over and out :)

Sirius Says:

Forgot to congrat the KNEE-MAN rafa. Kick T-birds a** as hard as u can, just make u sure don’t hurt ur legs. Cuz u need to play the final

Giles Says:
Always a gentleman! #VamosKing

Giles Says:

There seems to be some frenzied fed fans posting at the moment. Just remember it is only a game, somebody wins and somebody loses. Take it on the chin! This is sport!!

Vidzy Says:

But you know, other than the olympic gold and the h2h against roger, what else does rafa have better than federer??? Nadal has much more mental toughness than Roger. He may not have all these unbelievable records which time and again federer fans put up. These records are nothing. I can give you 100 more records which federer has and rafa doesn’t . But your federer isn’t as old as you think . He is just 31 and rafa will turn 27. Look how he has dominated your federer ever since he was 16. The only thing is rafa bloomed ver late on other surfaces and federer was playing guys like baghdatis, gonzo, roddick etc in slam finals in a weak era. How many slam finals has federer made in last 3 years ? Federer is better than rafa only in indoors which is played at the end of the year and rafa is burned up by then because he gives up 200 percent every tournament he enters because he has heart and soul of a champion. He doesn’t know how save energy like federer does and just gives up matches like today.he doesn’t know how to plan a smart schedule like your federer because every match he plays is like a slam final. That’s what rafa is. This is how he is made Give him a wheelchair he will still defeat your federer. That’s how strong rafa’s heart and soul are. He doesn’t stand on podium and cry like a baby shedding 10,000 tears to win sympathy and sponsers.

Sirius Says:

Just took it on the chin. Not blaming anything or anyone. Just responsed to a moron, thats it

Sirius Says:

Hey vidzy, records are nothing. Okay, h2h’s are.

Whatever soothes ur mind.

Sirius Says:

@ giles,

i took it on the chin. U see any excuses?? I just responded to a “MORE – ON” on my 5:05 post

p.s. Had posted before, but its awaiting moderation. Perhaps for the word “mor + on”

Giles Says:

May there be many many more Fedal matches. Truly one of the greatest rivalries in sporting history.

madmax Says:

oh my goodness, here we go again. The likes of nadalista and roy who can only discuss their hatred of federer. Girls and boys, seriously, the only person who ever uses the injury excuse, over and over, over and over, over and over, and over and over, over and over, over and over, over and over, over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over, is rafa. It’s a shame because the boy who cried wolf syndrome is well past it’s best.

Please… more excuses from rafa.

A fair and balanced analysis comes from the experts in sport:

Jonathan Overend
BBC tennis correspondent “After all their classic battles, this 29th edition was anti-climactic in the sense that Federer, clearly hampered by a back complaint, didn’t move as freely as usual and must have known very early that victory was unrealistic. He said he could serve at full pace, and refused to use injury as an excuse afterwards saying it was the same in the last round against Stanislas Wawrinka, but the lack of celebration from Nadal was a classy recognition of his ailing opponent’s situation. The Spaniard was excellent, moving well and looking well on course for a return to his old self before too long. He will be thrilled with the way his hard court comeback tournament is going.”
“After seven months away, I am happy to be in the semi-finals,” said Nadal, who faces Tomas Berdych in the last four.

“Two weeks ago I didn’t know if I can be here, and now I am in the semi-finals. I have a lot of positive energy.

“My movement was much better and I had a good feeling on my forehand.”

Federer is not surprised by the form being shown by Nadal, who won two out of three tournaments on clay after seven months out.

The Swiss former world number one said: “He’s not going to come back if he’s not well. I expected him to tear through the clay.

Am so pleased that Fed didn’t withdraw or retire from a match that he knew he couldn’t/wouldn’t win, unlike some players who do just that.

Rafa fans rather than criticise Roger all the time, try to see what he has brought, and still brings to the game. So, his body is breaking down, it must be the weight of all those grand slam wins, grand slam finals, masters wins, masters finals and any other tournament he has entered over his prestige, illustrious career.

Federer the Goat, always will be. Deal with it.

Ignore the nadalistas/roys/giles/jamies of this world, who bring nothing but sour grapes and a nasty tongue.

Sirius Says:

^i’d ignore anyone except alison, skeezer, mat4, wogboy, jane, brando, alok, rogerrafa and a few other nice posters whose names aren’t coming in my mind right now

Giles Says:

“Ignore the nadalistas/Roys/giles/Jamie’s of this world, who bring nothing but sour grapes and a nasty tongue”.
Really madmax? Have you read your post? Sure sounds like sour grapes to me!!
You are and I believe always has been one of the nastiest posters on this forum. Take a chill pill. Seems you and your fellow fans are unhappy. Cheer up, there will be many more Fedal matches which will give you a chance to whine some more!!
Vamos Rafa!!

Indian Ninja Says:

As a rafa fan, I admire Federer not withdrawing or retiring mid-match. His record is immacualate when you look at retiring from a match.

In an era where the 25/26 year olds can hardly play a full season, federer is the real fitness icon.

nearly 1100 matches and 0 retirements in 1 of the most physically brutal sports of all time. Kudos to the maestro.

As for rafa, great going champ. Keep up the hardwork and please learn from Roger how you deal with talking to press about injuries. You really can tell them “I will not be answering any questions on my knees” or something on those lines.

Vamos rafa. let’s get the 1st title outside clay in what, 3years? and 1st victory over djokovic outside clay in 2years.

Indian Ninja Says:


Every player has disgraceful fans like the people you mentioned. As you very well said, please ignore them. I do the same with overbearing Federer/djokovic fans too.

From what I have seen Djokovic fans are the best, but that’s maybe because he’s yet to win 10slams (joking djokovic fans).

Among rafa fans alison and brando are the best.

Your favorite is the GOAT. no arguments from this rafa fan, except to say – “for now”.

Giles Says:

^^^ Are you sure you are a Rafa fan??

Ben Pronin Says:

One thing is for sure, no more “he was out for 7 months” preloaded excuses. Rafael Nadal is back.

Indian Ninja Says:

I am a rafa fan and Nirmal Kumar is a federer fan.

I am very certain of this.

Margot Says:

Rafa is back!
alison and Brando, your smiles are lighting up the UK! Good job cos the sun sure ain’t doing it…;)

Karthick Says:

Vamos Rafa!!! Does not matter whether its a win or lose for Rafa, seeing him on court and playing tennis is what i enjoy! He and Roger are the greatest icons of tennis and will be ever for sure. Though i am a rafa fan, i have the greatest respect for Roger. Roger That!!! Per Rafa “If you dont know that Roger federer is the greatest ever to play this tennis game, you simply dont know anything about tennis”. Me like million of his fans will agree that for sure. Vamos Rafa! All the best for your Semi Finals! Dont think (and talk) too much your knees. Just play the game for me like fans! Vamos!

Humble Rafa Says:

When a GOAT owner finds a goat he hasn’t seen in 7 months, he ofcourse, immediately takes ownership of it and let’s the world know that his GOAT has been found.

nadalista Says:

I love the smell of napalm in the morning…….

nadalista Says:


Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!

Jack Lewis Says:


nadalista Says:

The best analysis on Fedal XXIX:

“The fact is, even though Federer was obviously hobbled, today’s match showcased for the 29th time just why Nadal has amassed that very lopsided 19-10 head-to-head: a very, very simple gameplan keeps being successful, even if the execution isn’t all that stellar. In very basic terms, tennis is about finding your opponent’s weak spot, and punishing it mercilessly. The great players find ways to hide those weaknesses, and also improve them. But Nadal rarely has trouble finding Federer’s frail spot, and for him, it’s a spot as big as half a tennis court.

The few great Federer-Nadal matches have occurred precisely because Federer has been playing at such a high level that finding that frailty hasn’t been as easy. Then the match-up becomes an all-court battle where things get more and more complicated and intense, as well as unpredictable.

However, there have been plenty of these Federer-Nadal encounters that have been as straightforward as today’s match. And then, what remains? A whole lot of expectations that go wildly unfulfilled.

In a way, it’s probably a positive thing that today’s match happened. It might help the tennis world stop fixating so obsessively on this rivalry, and start looking at the other great things that are happening and that deserve such attention.

It’s time to move on.”


Ben Pronin Says:

“In a way, it’s probably a positive thing that today’s match happened. It might help the tennis world stop fixating so obsessively on this rivalry, and start looking at the other great things that are happening and that deserve such attention.”

Yeah, because it’s not really a rivalry.

“Federer the Goat, always will be. Deal with it.”

Maybe he is now, but there’s no guarantee he always will be. Who knows who’ll come up in the future?

nadalista Says:

@Ben Pronin says;

“Maybe he is now, but there’s no guarantee he always will be. Who knows who’ll come up in the future?”

Girl Guides’ honour, all my Kool Aid stock is properly accounted for, please don’t blame me if @Ben Pronin has gone over to the dark side!


skeezer Says:

Well, there are some good Rafa fan posts here, complementing there mand whilst being respectful to Fed and admitting thebafk thing. Proud of the most Fedfans also as to not making the back thing an excuse dorthe loss.
Rafa was too good, is FH was firing and his BH was solid.
Rafans seserve to do a little trash talkin and gloatin as such, Rafa has been out for a long time and now coming back and playing so well. If Fed was out for an extended period and came back like this I would be writing a Novella about it. Fortuneately for him he has been relatively healthy throughout most of his career.

Congrats to Rafa and his fans, and a big high five to some of the classy respectful Rafa fan posts who have given respect to both players after the match. Lesson learned.

nadalista Says:

Well, now we know who doesn’t do “humble”, T Berd! He says he was rooting for Fed…..

Even though I find the thought of Rafa reaching the finals and being pummeled by Novak inedifying, there is no choice, you have to wipe that smirk off T Berd’s face, Rafa…….

nadalista Says:

Don’t see any reason to gloat here. As @Ben Pronin says: it’s not really a rivalry. No surprises, and we know why.

Let’s move on.

Indian Ninja Says:

Tennis is obviously about match-ups. Just like rafa is comfortable with federer’s game. So is djokovic with rafa’s.

Look at 2011, djokovic dominated rafa 6-0 when rafa was coming off his best season in his career. Rafa was thoroughly outplayed on all surfaces including clay. Yet, federer knocked djokovic out in 1GS (Djokovic might have had a calendar grandslam if not for Federer) and almost repeated the dose in another. This when federer was clearly having the worst year since his break through year in 2003.

Indian Ninja Says:

Nadalista, you might as well go to a prison and bend-over. No wonder rafa gets called all disgusting names. With fans like you, who needs enemies.

skeezer Says:

Murray will overtake Fed @#2 if gets to the final. That would be awesome for the Murray fans. Murray #2 in the world? Things are a changin……

Andrew Tennis Says:

Indian Ninja, what is with you indians (nirmal kumar). it is ok guys, be bold and just say who you actually root for.

i mean, giles and nadalista and other rafatrolls are shameless enough. learn from them. LOL!

Good on Federer. nearly 1100 matches and 0 retirements. Now that is a man.

Andrew Tennis Says:

Murray getting to no.2 is just a matter of time. Federer will need a lot of things to go his way to hold on to the 2nd ranking.

Guess who doesn’t need luck? Mr. Djokovic. It will be a surprise if anyone can get that no.1 ranking. I hope there is someone other than Federer who can stand up to Novak.

The last time some one other than Federer tried to get that no.1 ranking from novak, he ended up sitting at home for 7 months and crying “rosol banged me so bad”. #no-prizes-for-guessing-who

nadalista Says:

It’s okay, I feel your pain……it too shall pass.

Andrew Tennis Says:

Ofcourse, if the pain of losing to a nobody like rosol can pass, losing to a clown like the butt-picker is no big deal

nadalista Says:

Blah, blah, blah…..

Whine, whine, whine….

Ben Pronin Says:

I’m not drinking any Kool Aid. Facts are facts. Federer’s records speak for themselves. Nadal’s the same. Their h2h is what it is, unfortunate as it may be. I would have been surprised if the result had turned out any different considering how they looked prior. But it’s still fun to watch. They’re both play to challenge themselves and enjoy themselves. Numbers be damned.

Point is, excuses are irrelevant. Hopefully next time there will be less ailments, but it’s not something anyone can control.

nadalista Says:

^^agree with you.

Andrew Tennis Says:

Fact : Federer, nadal and djokovic have 25% common tournaments on clay.

Fact: yet, they both have had to play nadal 50% of the time on clay.

fact: federer and djokovic paying price for being much better on clay than rafa is outside clay.


AO : 4 to fed, 4 to djok 1 to rafa.
Wimbledon 7 to fed, 1 to djok, 2 to rafa
USO: 5 to fed, 1 to djok, 1 to rafa.
year end: fed 6, djok 2, rafa =0

no.1 ranking = 300weeks, for fed, 100 for rafa, 70+ for djokovic (soon will over take rafa)

you got anything other than h2h [unfairly rewarding the 1dimensional player] and olympics, ben?

Andrew Tennis Says:

Davydenko, who hasn’t played nadal much on clay has a 6-5 winning h2h against rafa, is that a greater achievement than fed or djokovic’s? h2h is a trivial stat, and in fed’s case nadal is 5 years younger than him too. tennis H2Hs are historically in favor of the younger player [becker-sampras, connors-lendl] or more one-surface player [ fed-nadal, djokovic-nadal, agassi-sampras, borg-mcenroe]

jamie Says:

No more slams for Federer. He is done.

17 slams is a good number to retire with though.

Andrew Tennis Says:

on clay:

bruguera, courier, muster are greater players than sampras.

outside clay:

sampras better player than bruguera and clowns.

on clay:

nadal better than federer or djokovic.

outside clay:

federer/djokovic are greater players than nadal. fed has 16 slams to nadal’s 4. and 22 to 4, if you include year end championships [only tournament where you have to play 5 top 10 players in a week]

Indian Ninja Says:

It is very embarrassing when you put it that way.

I hope Nadal can atleast finish his career with better numbers than djokovic at the least. In particular, at wimbledon.

On Clay, Nadal is the King. Undisputable. Just as Federer is on grass or hardcourts.

Ben Pronin Says:

Wow, really?

If Nadal is one-dimensional for being so dominant clay then, by the same logic, Federer must be one-dimensional for being so dominant on indoor/fast courts, and Djokovic one-dimensional for being so dominant on hard-courts.

You see how that logical is flawed? Nadal is best on clay, but he’s also the youngest player to ever complete the career slam (and golden slam to boot). Where’s Djokovic’s career slam? Or even Sampras’s?

Nadal is 6-2 on outdoor hard courts against Federer. That’s hard, not clay. What’s the reasoning there? No matter the surface, Nadal is a bad match up for Federer. He’s not overall better, the numbers there don’t back it up. As dominant as Nadal has been in recent years, and particularly against the top 10, it wasn’t always the case. Federer’s dominance spans about 3 generations. But when they face each other, it’s pretty much one way traffic.

Federer’s 4 AO titles to Nadal’s 1 and he’s still 0-2 against him there. What’s the excuse there?

Let’s keep rolling out every number we can find and dissecting them in every possible way. Since clearly that’s all anyone here wants to do.

The only number that I find really cool from last night is the fact that they set a record of most slams between 2 players with 28 total. Between them, they have 8 and a half years worth of slams. That is just awesome.

Ben Pronin Says:

Wow, serious brain fart. They have exactly 7 years worth of slams, not 8.5.

Borg Says:

The supposed GOAT looked pathetically lost on the court once he saw Rafael on the other side. His histronics nowadays can unsettle the likes of Wawrinka or Tipsaveric and not Nole, Murray or Rafael who are much better players than the GOAT is today. Actually Federer was lucky not to lose the match even with a much worse scoreline. His serve was under threat in every game right from start. Nadal just made a mincemeat of him and it seems he was playing against a novice who looked completely lost. Now we hear this excuse of his bad back. Well if he really had a bad back, he should have withdrawn from the tournament. But he never did. The chicken came to court daringly even against Nadal thinking that the long lay off would have pruned his ferocity and he had a chance to win and thereby do some repair to his disastrous H2H against Rafael. But once on court he realized as to how hot Rafael was and just surrendered without a whimper. It is disgusting that people call such a player as a GOAT. If Roger is GOAT, Rafael is a BULL which will kill the GOAT.

Steve 27 Says:

Djokovic is better than Nadal on grass?. Andrew Tennis?, I dont know what you smoke but you have to stop writing bs every single time. Your lines are more predictable than the results of Nadal-Federer rivalry. Like your love hero, would be nice if you take a rest for 2 months until Madrid Tournament. And please, no more drugs for you. Watch Anger Management and control your rage and frustration.

jeff Says:


Giles Says:


alison Says:

Great post from Ben.
Agree with Steve 27 the last time i looked i thought Rafa had two Wimbledon titles to Novaks one?

Fleischer Says:

Steve 27 Says:
“Andrew Tennis?, I dont know what you smoke”

These bu## lovers (skeezer/alex/andrew) enjoy the smoke (or whatever) that comes out of rafa’s a$$.

Johnny YJS Says:

Nadal is practically back. He played consistently well. It is so good to see him playing like this again. Well done Rafa !

alison Says:

^Agree,win or lose,its great to have Rafa playing like hes enjoying tennis again^.

jatin Says:

But you so called bull have like 11 slams comapred to Roger’s 17
Please come back when your bull beat this record .
Your so called bull haven’t won a single hard court tournament from 3 years .
I don’t know care if he beat roger 100 times .Because no body cares about head to head
Ironically when roger was beating and dominating players in his prime rafa was nowhere to be seen ( espeically in Us Open) .He was either losing to the likes of blake or other unseeded players whereas roger was beating his arch rivals even on clay and reached finals like 5 times or so in his worst surface. Players like davydenko,nalbandion,gonzaliz and so on used to beat nadal on fair basis in aussie and us open during roger’s prime.
So head to head can be misleading too ,for example davydenko has a positive head to head against rafa (6-4) but this H2H doesn’t make him a better player. .Roger is 32 years old and we can’t expect him to win against the likes of rafa or novak or murray anywhere but he still do it sometimes ( wimbledon 2012) .

Rafa can beat roger but against the rest of the field he is nowhere close to roger .Infect he never dominated a single year like roger did

Michael Says:

Well put Jatin. Talking about the H2H, can the Nadal fanatics tell me as to what is Nadal’s hard court record against Novak ? It stands at 11-4 in Novak’s favour. On the other hand, Roger is leading Novak on all surfaces and Novak is right now the No.1 player in the world and not Nadal who is No.5. They should get their facts right. It has been quite a while since Nadal won a hard court tournament.

Andrew Tennis Says:


AO is a slower hard court. Sampras never beat agassi there. does it mean agassi is the better hard court player.

If you want to talk numbers, let us talk.

When anyone plays AO, are they playing for the title or to beat rafa? you are just being a egghead because you know that Federer is better than Rafa on hardcourts/grass/indoors.

You conveniently ignore the fact that rafa is 5 years younger than federer. Can you find me another champ who has a winning h2h against a rival 5years younger than him in tennis. [rivalry = 25 matches or more].

I am waiting for your answer. Let me know if you donot know the answer.

An older playing having a losing h2h against a younger player over the course of an extended rivalry is the norm in tennis, because let’s face it tennis is a young man’s tennis.

You rank the best players at AO,WImbledon, USO and masters cup/year end and by no.1 rankings.

There is only 1 player who sits a top at all those stats. It is definitely not nadal.

How is a guy who has most slams at AO,USO, Wimby and most at year end, one dimensional compared to a guy who has most slams only at FO and no where else. Please explain.

Andrew Tennis Says:

And 1 more thing : There is a reason why nadal ranked no.1 for only 100 weeks while federer ranked for 300.

You wait and watch as Djokovic will overtake nadal in the weeks at no.1 too. I am also certain djokovic will win more wimbledons/USOs than rafa.

As I said nadal is no.3 in 3 of the 5 big tournaments every year. in 1 of the remaining 2, he is a distant 2nd.

Compare that with Federer who is no.1 in 4 out of the 5 big tournaments. [slam + masters cup] and 2nd on clay.

I am quite clear who the 1 dimensional player here is. I know it hurts you, but nadal is a 1 dimensional player compared to Roger. His superior H2H is mostly due to his being a less versatile player [which is how it has been in tennis, check sampras-agassi or borg-mcenroe]

Wog boy Says:


Correction, they are even on clay (3:3) and even on indoor HC (2:2) if you look at them separatly from outdoor HC.

Michael Says:

Wog Boy,

Regarding hard courts, I pointed out in general not classifying them as indoor and outdoor as we normally do. Roger leads Novak by 12-10 on hard courts and 1-0 on Grass. As you rightly put out, on Clay and indoor HC the honours are even.

Wog boy Says:


Besides, records are the ones that counts IMHO.
Does anybody remembers Rod Laver’s H2H with players he played against? I don’t think so, but everybody knows that he is only tennis player to win twice calendar slam. At this moment the records gives Roger Federer the edge above all the other players in the history of this nice game. You can call it the GOAT or the SHEEP but he is the player with the most records and rightfully is above others. In 20-30 years time, unless Nole wins more;) that is what is going to be remembered, same as that John Newcomb would probably had few more GS titles if he didn’t prefer more clubing, drinking and women, instead of practicing.

Michael Says:

Wog Boy,

Agree in toto. It is the records that are piled up that counts in the end. Roger is right now the GREATEST player or GOAT unless another player surpasses his grand feats. I do not think H2H really counts but they do play a psychological part when players play each other. If you ask me whether Novak would surpass Roger’s feats, I do not have an answer except to say that he has a monumental task ahead. But Novak is on the right track and he is already cherished as an All time Great.

Wog boy Says:


Giles Says:

People here forget the fact that fed turned pro in 1998. Rafa turned pro in 2002. That is a head start of 4 years by fed. It would have been interesting if they had started their careers at the same time but that is not the case, coupled with the fact that Rafa’s injury time off the tour is in excess of at least 12 months over his career so far.

alison Says:

I have never cared about the H2H debate,all i want is my favorite(s)to beat whomever and whenever they are stood in front of them,in the grand sceme of things whats it matter anyway?Roger has 17 GS,Rafa has 11 GS,Novak has 6 GS,and they will all likely win more yet,i can understand why Fed fans get p*ssed of with the whole topic sooo tiresome.

alison Says:

Michael Novaks an all time great,is Rafa not too an all time great?or does that not count as hes not one of your personal favorites?or because hes just a CC player? Just wondering?

Giles Says:

alison. You can “understand why Fed fans get p*ssed of with the whole topic sooo tiresome”.
Maybe you can tell me why some Rafa fans get sooo p*ssed as well?
I do not understand your posts sometimes!!

Giles Says:

H2H Rafa v fed now standing at 19-10. I care very much about the head to head!

Nadalista Says:

@alison, Fedfans are so lucky: they have you looking out for their feelings when that inconvenient H2H statistic is brought up.

Ah well, us insensitive Rafans do not need looking out for, we cannot possibly be upset by all the insults leveled at Rafa ad nauseum.

Nadalista Says:

………and for the record, this Rafan cares very much about the H2H stat, just as Fedfans care very much about Fed’s 17 Slam count stat.

Andrew Tennis Says:

Alison and Wogboy : great fans you 2.

Unfortunately for rafa, there are a lot of federer haters who became rafa fans solely for spitting their venom. such people will have to be dealt in a currency they understand = hatred.

You can see the lack of responses on why

Andrew Tennis Says:

rafa gets to play top players so often on clay and not on other surfaces. it’s only because he is a one-dimensional player compared to fed/djokovic

nadalista Says:

Choice quote:

“Well, it’s sort of expected, considering the success throughout his career that he had on all the surfaces…………………..the world number one Djokovic said on Friday about the Spaniard’s form in his first hardcourt event in a year.”

Hmmm, Novak did not get the memo: Rafa is a one-dimensional player.

Fleischer Says:


Djokovic doesnt know anything about tennis.

The fedt@rds like madmax, alex, andrew led by their chief skeezer the geezer know everything about tennis.

andrea Says:

“But Nadal rarely has trouble finding Federer’s frail spot, and for him, it’s a spot as big as half a tennis court”

That’s sooooo true. it’s almost uncanny how Nadal has Fed’s number and the lame thing is, once Nadal starts beating down on him, Fed gets passive and unsure of himself and starts trying to mix things up in desperation. It’s fascinating psychology. amazing how one player can get into a competitor’s head so completely.

mat4 Says:

Come on, Berdych! You’re my last chance to win the challenge!

mat4 Says:

Although… If Berdych is my last hope… I am doomed… This guy has no brain..

alison Says:

Nadalista@16TH March 6.50am thats just my own personal opinion,it might be important to other Rafa fans and thats entirely up to them,for me its just not the be all and end all,i care about him beating whomever is stood in front of him,whenever they are stood in front of him.
Giles all i meant was i can understand Fed fans getting p*ssed of with the H2H topic,and i still mean that,the same way many fans(and not only Rafa fans either)get p*ssed off with GOAT talk,or reminded of the 7 defeats to Novak in 2011,or the lack of a HC title since 2010,or how 1 dimensional his is,even though he has 4 GS off clay etc etc,he has 11 GS,52 titles overall,and im delighted with that.

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