Rafael Nadal Says Nothing Has Changed After Djokovic Loss
by Tom Gainey | April 22nd, 2013, 9:43 am
  • 208 Comments

Less than 24 hours after suffering a tough loss to Novak Djokovic in the Monte Carlo final, Rafael Nadal was already in Barcelona Monday meeting the local media. Nadal said the loss doesn’t change anything as far as his game, schedule and outlook. He’s firm that there will be no negative carryover.

Via translation, Rafa also admitted his game lacked that extra edge needed to beat Novak. But Rafa said that he is on the right track and he’s pleased that after missing so much time with the knee injury that he’s reached the finals of all five tournaments since his return.

He also said that his game is what it is, and while he can still improve he can’t make any radical changes or re-invent himself.

Nadal touched on these topics in Monte Carlo following the loss which snapped his 8 year run of dominance there.

“I like to win more than lose, but that’s sport,” Nadal said yesterday in Monte Carlo. “Is not a tragedy. I lost after eight years without losing here. That’s something. That’s the more normal thing that can happen after all the success that I had here.

“I think I’m in the right way. Five finals in a row. If you tell me that four months before, I will be crying for emotions, no? Just very happy to be able to play against the best players of the world another time, and play with real chances. That’s very, very important for me and is fantastic new. I feel emotions about that.”

Nadal, who has won 34 straight in Barcelona and the last 7 titles, plays the winner of Carlos Berlocq-Daniel Gimeno-Traver match in the second round.


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208 Comments for Rafael Nadal Says Nothing Has Changed After Djokovic Loss

Humble Rafa Says:

It’s not a tragedy as long as I win RG.


jamie Says:

@Humble Rafa

Federer and Nadal will not win anymore slams.

Federer will retire with 17 slams and Nadal will retire with 11 slams.

Nole will retire with 14 slams.


Brando Says:

Had to lose one day at MC? Pretty certain. Would the media cry doom at the time of such loss due to Rafa’s domination at MC? Absolutely certain. Was Rafa vulnerable to a loss going into the final this week based on his performance at MC this week? He sure was. Will Rafa get respect and consideration for his loss and not be written off as a done deal going forward? No, of course not. HE more than anyone of the top players on TX is the one most folks want to call RIP on his winning days!


Steve 27 Says:

jamie, Your changes of opinions are really hilarious. first you say one thing and then another, and then come back to say something different. You are more false than politicians and the Church.


skeezer Says:

Actually was a fair and honest reveal from Rafa.


montecarlo Says:

@Jamie
STFO


cena Says:

Some you win, others you learn lessons. At this level of play there is no looser. It is having the right attitude that makes Rafa and others like him a threat, and guarantee more victories yet to come. Stay positive, Rafa!


rogerafa Says:

It is a kind of monster Rafa has created for himself on clay. Most people just expect him to win everything in sight on clay and, quite unbelievably, Rafa HAS managed to win most of the clay tourneys he plays. These streaks can put players under a different type of pressure. I think Rafa may ironically be feeling slightly relieved after this loss. He should win Barcelona comfortably and Rome should be his next serious assault. Obviously RG is the prize that really matters. He still remains the favorite there if he is 100% fit and weather conditions are normal.


alison Says:

Rogerafa thats true hes always felt better as the hunter rather than the hunted,he seems to play better when the pressures off him IMO,i had a feeling the streak was going to come to an end this year,next year he will go to MC wanting to reclaim the title for a change,and Novak will be the one under pressure to defend,hes at the stage where the shackles are off his feet now,hes nothing left to prove on clay anymore.


Polo Says:

Jamie’s predictions are as pointless as a cracked crystal ball in a flea market.


Ricky Says:

It was sad to see Rafa lose in the MC final but it had to end sometime. However, winning 8 MC titles in a row is a phenomenal achievement – never done before, very unlikely will not be done in the future.

On the positive side, the streak at barcelona is still alive.


harry Says:

@rogerafa: “He should win Barcelona comfortably and Rome should be his next serious assault”

Isn’t he playing the “red” Madrid? I thought he was…

“Obviously RG is the prize that really matters. He still remains the favorite there if he is 100% fit and weather conditions are normal.”
Just out of curiosity I checked the odds in a betting site (to see what people “believe” instead of what they “say”!); Rafa is 11/10 and Nole is 9/5 to win the FO outright ;)


courbon Says:

@ Polo: Are you sure about Jamie? Merde, I just re-mortgaged my house and put all the money on the betting site….


Michael Says:

I think the Media is making a mountain out of a mole hill. Nodoubt Nadal has lost, but what they forget is that he has dominated here for eight consecutive years which is a phenomenal feat by any stretch of imagination. In the 9th year, he has come to the final stage which means he is still strong here. He was beaten by a hot player named Novak who knows how to play Nadal. If there is one threat to Nadal in his career, it is only Novak. He only can beat him on any surface unlike other players like Andy or even Roger who can only do it in hard courts or Grass courts. Nadal might well bounce back strongly. What can we be pretty sure is to not underestimate Nadal. We know how he came back to win Indian Wells recently.


skeezer Says:

Nothing has changed.
Well it will in Barcelona for Nadal. He’ll get his Clay title.

Rafa has a major setup here at Barcelona to bounce back and look good. How exciting is it?

Novak, Fed, Murray, Tsonga, Birdsh!t, Del Potro, etc are not entered. Outside of Ferrer, there is not ONE top 10 player entered. This looks like nothing more than exho and practice time for the Clay.

Daveeed is the number 1 seed, of which Rafa is 14-1 on the Mud. The last time Daveed beat Rafa was there very first meeting in 2004. Snce then he has owned him.

Rafa will sleepwalk through this and his fans will call him King of Clay again as a result, lol. And what a great accomlishment it will be.

Will this be on ESPN 8? Just sayin….


Daniel Says:

Michael,

I think is the contrary, people are trying to undermine this loss as if it was just one match which it wasn’t. This win was huge and have other implications. Same way Wimbledon 2008 had. It changed Fedal dynamics for good. Nadal won that duel because he was able to beat Fed on his ground something till this day Fed couldn’t and probably never will.

To put in perspective, right now Djoko has beaten Nadal in IW 11, Miami 11, MC 13, Rome 11, Madrid 11, Wimbledon 11, US Open 11 and AO 12 finals. The only safe place left is RG.
On the other hand Nadal beat Djokovic in IW 07, MC 12, Rome 12, RG 12 and US Open 10.
If Djoko beats Nadal in RG, he would have beaten him in all 4 GS and 3 Clay Masters which are the tourneys Rafa treasures the most. Looking at the stats above, only place Nadal was able to beat Djoko last years was clay and he already start this season battle losing one.
This clay season gets more intrigue because Djokovic can cement his dominance over Nadal. Nobody knows how Nadal will react if he loses RG to Djoko. How is his mentally going forward, because if he loses to him on clay in the same year, in MC and RG, 2 tourneys he is superior, where he will have any chance remain of the year.

As much as we have still Madrid and Rome to be played, they will more likely have an effect of moral boost for one another. If Nadal loses one more before RG, red lights even though he will be favorite for RG, until someone beats him there he is supreme king. If Nadal gets a revenge clay win, it will help his moral going forward to RG. But Djoko will always have this MC win in the back of his head.
It is a crucial moment for Nadal who will be under enormous pressure in a year he is still making his come back. Last year he went 2-0 versus Djokovic before RG and had some pressure moments in the final (weather played as joker), this year it may be even more critical. He needs to find his inner self because as each loss it only gets worse regarding Djokovic, especially since their match up has a different dynamic than Fedal.


jane Says:

Daniel, you’re not listing all Nole’s losses / wins @ 1:42 are you, or just singling out some? Because in 2009 I think Nole and Rafa faced each other in 2 clay finals and then Nole almost beat him at Madrid in their epic semifinal – he should have, Nole even won more points, but I think Rafa saved some match points. It was crazy, and may’ve contributed to both of them losing early at the FO that year too.


Daniel Says:

YEs Jane, I am listing only finals played. And in 2009 Nadal already beat Djoko in MC and Rome, same as 2012, so no point made as I intend to list the event.

For example, Nadal had already beaten Djoko in Wimbledon, they exchanged WTF, but also Djoko already beat Nadal in Montreal, Cincinati and Paris, only Masters left is Shangai. Only 2 relevant tourneys where Djoko has yet to beat Nadal is RG and Shangai (whihc is a new tourney, ony 2 or 3 years I think). That is why I say the\eir dynamics is different than Fedal where the same tourney repeat again and again. Nadal and Djoko, played everywhere, all Slams and all masters (bar Shangai).

Contrary to Fedal where they never played in Cinci, Canada, Shangai, Paris and cream of the top US Open.


jane Says:

I get it Daniel – yeah their rivalry has really spanned almost all the events, hasn’t it? They’ve met a number of times on all the surfaces too (for e.g., a really good match at Queens too). Nole was always close on clay beginning in 2008 at Hamburg and through their 2009 finals/semis; he won some strong sets over Rafa. And at the FO in 2008, when Rafa was beating everyone easily, stomping on the competition, only Nole almost won a set, pushing him to a tiebreaker. Since Nole broke through in 2007, then from 2008 onward, their rivalry has been very interesting and widespread. And it will soon surpass the biggest one in terms of number; they just have to meet 3 more times to pass Lendl/Mac. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next…


harry Says:

Daniel (1:42 am): I like the points you make, but I don’t agree with the degree of significance you attribute to this win — for eg., the comparison to Wimbledon 2008 final. That was a win in a GS final; in Fed’s favorite GS; one that he had already won 5 times.

All the same, I agree with you that this feels like a big win for Nole (feels like Rafa is back to 2011); but it is still not a GS (FO) final and Rafa has just come back from a 7 month break. If Rafa goes on to lose at RG final to Nole, it would have a “similar significance” to Wimbledon 2008 final (may be, even a bit more!). But i wouldn’t bet against Rafa at RG ;-) He has 6 weeks to get ready, and unless he has a “bad” clay season (for eg loses Madrid and Rome) he is still the best bet at RG for me.


Michael Says:

Daniel,

I get your point. You say that this win is a huge confidence booster for Novak. No doubt about that. I fully agree on that. As you said very rightly, this might give Novak the edge at Rolland Garros. It may be possible that by the cruel draw of lots Novak may meet Rafa even at the quarters in Rolland Garros since he is seeded five. We can only keep our fingers crossed on that eventuality. As regards juxtaposing it with 2008 when Roger lost badly at the French and later succumbed at his favourite court to Nadal, well I am not able to come to any firm conclusion on that because we know the mental iron will of Rafa. We know how he bounced back pretty strongly at Indian Wells and even in 2010. By this, I am not in any way belittling Roger. Roger lost Wimbledon 2008 only by a whisker. It was anybody’s match after two set all. Finally Rafa scraped through by the thinnest of margins. Going forward, I think Madrid and Rome acquires more importance and if Novak manages to win atleast one of them then psychologically his confidence will be at an all time high at RG and it will be difficult to dislodge him. In that case, I am pretty sure that he will slay Nadal if he meets him. All said and done, if there is one player who Nadal readily fears it is only Novak and all credit to Novak for making that happen. He has ripped the facade of invincibility off Rafa by even threatening him on his favourite court. This is a feat not possible even for Roger.


Giles Says:

Michael. “In that case I am pretty sure he will slay Nadal if he meets him”. Big words. Joker beating a physically unfit Nadal MC is absolutely no testament going forward.
Let’s just wait and see without prematurely handing Joker the FO title.
#TooHasty


Michael Says:

Giles,

Even Rafa did not say he was physically unfit. He only said that he was not playing 100% but he did say that he served very well that day. Even assuming Rafa is unfit, the same applies to Novak who was suffering from an ankle injury. So things get pretty even if that is the scenario. As I maintain, I never said that beating here at Montecarlo gives Novak automatically the advantage at Rolland Garros. What is the essence of my perception is that Madrid and Rome would be key and if Novak manages to win atleast one of them, his confidence will go sky high especially after dislodging Rafa here and that might be enough at RG to yield Nadal’s scalp. That is definitely possible if Novak maintains his present awesome form.


Michael Says:

Harry,

I agree with you. Rolland Garros is a different kind of animal and it is over five sets. But Novak can have some hope in the sense of what Rafa said in his interview after the Montecarlo loss. He said that he was pretty tired in the tiebreak and I was surprised by that statement. Nadal getting tired at the fag end of 2nd set ?? Well, in that case I am not sure how he will feel in a five setter against Novak. There is the glimmer of hope in Novak.


alison Says:

Michael its a big win for Novak,but its like Kimberly said its one win,it will give him confidence when facing Rafa dont get me wrong,but i think people are been too hasty here you know slow down a bit,lets put thing into perspective here for goodness sake,theres the rest of the CC season to go yet,for all we know this could just be a blip for Rafa on clay,is way too early yet to be salivating about Novak grabbing the FO title just yet,what about Roger,Andy and the rest,Seppi pushed him close last year,and i think it was at the FO where Tsonga choked on MPs,so its only an assumption that Novak will make the final,Rafas won the title 7 times,Novaks never won the title,i think Rafas still entitled to be pretty confident regarding his FO chances.


Giles Says:

Michael. Rafa has had back issues relating to an intercostal uncle between rib cage which was very painful. He has been wearing strapping on his back. But if you read his presses which I posted on another thread a couple of days ago, he has said that he is physically unfit. No excuses just the truth.


Giles Says:

lol. muscle not uncle


Michael Says:

Well, Montecarlo is not a Grand slam. But the celebration by Novak and his camp told something else. Novak looked more happy that when he won the Wimbledon and that is the significance of this victory.


alison Says:

Michael present awsome form,err he won one tourney,one swallow does not make a summer,he was beaten by Haas and Delpo recently,so the season has ebbded and flowed,i just think people are jumping the gun somewhat,theres a reason Rafas called the King of Clay,and why hes won the FO 7 times and why hes still the favorite there,and it was hardly a slaying granted Novak was the better player,but the second set was very tight,what about Roger too who beat Djokovic 2 years ago at RG err does he not get a say?


alison Says:

Michael hes entitled to be happy,but to put it into perspective its one win.


Giles Says:

@alison. Fed bringing Joker’s winning streak at semis of 2011 FO was just awesome. I liked the way he wagged his finger at the end! Lol


Giles Says:

I still think inspite of Fed’s age, he can beat joker. He certainly has the game for it, just question marks over his stamina.
Just to remind everybody I am not a fed fan. But I am sure you know that already. Lol


alison Says:

Giles only a GOAT could actually end that redhot streak that Novak was on,i did like the finger wag at the end too.


Giles Says:

Just to remind these types who say Rafa fans have gone into hiding, forget it. We are here and intend to stay here no matter what!
Vamos Rafa!!


alison Says:

Giles i agree i actually like Roger and Nole,but im not a fan of either,although i enjoy their matches from a neutral point of view,as i have nothing emotionally invested in either player,(my late father used to say sometimes footballs much better when you dont care who wins),and indeed Roger has the game to beat Novak.


Michael Says:

Alison,

It is not just that one win of Novak which has set on wagging tongues. I think this must be analysed in overall perspective. Lately, Rafa and Novak have met in 11 important finals with Novak winning 8 of them. It is over there the significance of this latest victory acquires prominence. I agree with you when you say that one swallow does not make a summer and we need to wait. But what can be denied is that this victory gives Novak a little bit of edge and if he is successful either at Madrid or Rome, then he would be within striking distance at Rolland Garros and that is ofcourse he manages to reach the finals which is not a given one. As you say he was beaten by Haas and Del Potro recently. But how soon he has managed to get over those tough losses ? Now compare this to Andy who just won Miami and he looked totally lost here. Rafa is still the King of Clay and forever will be the GREATEST EVER. There is no doubt over there. This is valid even if he loses the French Open or every clay court tournament from now on. The records he has piled up over the years will speak for him. Therefore, nothing is granted and we are debating on ifs and buts. But what cannot be denied is that Novak’s victory at Monte Carlo has made things interesting and we are in for a real treat during the Clay court season.


Michael Says:

Giles,

If Rafa had back issues, so was Novak having ankle issues. So things get pretty even. I think we must get over this injury excuses once for all. If a player decides to play, then it is assumed he is fully fit.


Michael Says:

Alison/Giles,

Ofcourse Roger has the game to beat Novak. But I do not think he will manage to beat him on Clay today. Roger has lost that extra bit of speed and movement on the Court with his advancing age and his serve has become brittle and lost that sting to make it a potent weapon. Still, if he manages to do it, well then I need to swallow my statement. For your information, I do not mind swallowing my statement if Roger manages to do the unthinkable.


Giles Says:

Michael. Did you read the last line of my post at 5.58 am???


Michael Says:

In 2011, if Roger had not beaten Novak and spoiled his party, he could have very well gone to complete the Grand Slam. Nadal was looking very shaky during that French Open even extended by Isner to five sets and Novak would have certainly won if he gone to the finals. With the murderous form he was in, I think he would have defintely won over Nadal. Ofcourse, things are assured unless they fall in place. But it is was a general perception then with the kind of form Novak was in.


alison Says:

Rafa had 3 wins against against Novak,i think people are convieniently forgetting that,ebbs and flows is all im saying,a case of one or two fans getting rather over zealous,with the Rafa is done winning GS,Roger is done winning GS,and both will retire at the end of 2013,its now the Andy and Novak show,Roger will retire with 17 GS,Rafa will retire with 11 GS,Novak will win 14 GS blahdy blah,i think the only thing i find annoying is when people state their own personal opinions as BONA FIDE facts,they are only opinions not BONA FIDE facts,a realist knows something can go one way or another,sometimes its a case of hero worshipping that goes way too far.


alison Says:

^Post for Michael^


Michael Says:

Giles, I saw your post at 5.58. It may be true that he was physically not right. But that cannot be offered as an excuse for the defeat. He played and lost. Matter ends. He should not have played if he was not fit. The fact that he played means Rafa thought that he can win Monte Carlo even when he is physically unfit. That did not happen and Novak spoiled his party. The same logic applies to Novak too if he had lost.


alison Says:

Michael ifs,buts,would haves,could haves,and should haves,mean doodle squat in the real world,is Novak to be given more credit for a for a final he never even made,and Rafa less credit for a final he actually won?its a silly disscussion why do you keep bringing it up?


Michael Says:

Alison,

The same thing they said about Roger that he was done winning slams and when he stuck Gold at Wimbledon, all mouths were closed. As I said and repeat, you cannot count out Rafa with just this one defeat. He has not lost in the second record of the tournament to set on alarm bells. He has only lost in the finals to the No.1 player. So, no shame over there. I do not think Rafa is done winning slams. He is just 26 and he has 3 more years of good Tennis left in him. I am not sure how many more slams he will win, but 11 will not be the last one, it will only be more. Alison, I will only request you to not get emotional when you see biased posts and react instantly. The best thing you can do is to ignore them.


alison Says:

Michael you cant use injury for Rafas defeat yeah right you cant fair enough,and the same applies to all players,even the loss of a family member which was used by some Novak fans about his losses to Rafa last year,otherwise its double standards.


Giles Says:

Michael. Just to reiterate the last sentence of my post 5.58 am “No excuses just the truth”. Does it sound like I am making excuses?


Michael Says:

Alison @ 7.01 am

I am never denying Rafa the credit for his 2011 win. All that I am recounting was the general perception about the kind of blistering form Novak was in during that year and having beaten Rafa at Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Rome, it was well documented as to who held all the aces then. If not for Roger who played near perfect Tennis to dislodge Novak, my reasoning is that Novak would have won the coveted Rolland Garros for sure. Ofcourse, nothing is sure unless it happens. But some of the things you will say with certainity and this one definitely was.


Michael Says:

Giles,

Please take the import of what I said. I only said and reiterate the same thing over again. If a player decides to play, he is assumed to be injury free.


Michael Says:

Alison,

If indeed such an excuse was brought out by some of the Nole fans, it is absolutely wrong. No second thoughts about it.


Giles Says:

I am going to reiterate a question I asked on another thread which is how on earth did joker recover from a dislocated bone in his ankle so quickly?
Alison do you remember posting this info which Annabel Croft voiced on Sky Sports? Please confirm.


alison Says:

Michael its irrelevant it didnt happen,how can you claim something that didnt happen to be a certainty or definete?it doesnt make any sence,no offence but thats got to be the most bizzare statement you have ever made,add to that you contradicted yourself with the previous sentence,of course nothing is sure,should be until it happens,but then you say some things you will say with certainty and this one definetly was(sigh)sorry very bizzare?


alison Says:

Giles indeed that was what Annabelle Croft said.


Michael Says:

Giles,

Unless we know very well about the nature of injury, how can we comment ? Novak had ankle injury, well only that was circulated. The rest about the seriousness of that injury were all mere speculations by the Media and team Novak were tight lipped about it.


alison Says:

To quote Brando bottom line Novak was the better player pure and simple,no harm or foul Novak fans just disscussing my love of the beautiful game:)


Michael Says:

Alison,

Sorry if it sounded bizarre. Well may be I should have used a different word than certainity. May be I should have used probable. That said, don’t you think Novak would have held the edge after he had beaten Nadal consecutively at Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Rome (the last two were on Clay Courts and in straight sets). If indeed they had met in the finals, what would have been the most probable outcome ?


alison Says:

Michael yeah your probably right,but it didnt happen,i only care about the real world not much point in pontificating about would haves,could haves ,should haves,or ifs and buts,my late mother used to say to me if ifs and buts were fruit and nuts then we would all have a damn good christmas,or if you sister was a man she would be your brother,its all pointless,Rafa won the FO in 2011,Novak didnt end of story.


Michael Says:

Alison,

Point well taken !! If and buts really do not mean anything or yield nothing. It just adds colour to any discussion but it doesn’t change anything. As you said Rafa won 2011 and Novak didn’t. There ends the story. Yes. But do you not find it interesting when say we analyse as to what would have been the likely outcome if Borg met Rafa or Mcenroe met Roger ? That makes interesting discussion and lively too. It was made with that intent. I just exhibited confidence on Novak in 2011 based on the strength of his stretch of victories against Rafa especially on hard courts, Grass as well as Clay.


alison Says:

Michael yeah,Rafa v Borg on clay,Roger v Borg/Mac on grass,if Rafa hadnt been injured in 2009 maybe he would have another couple more GS,if not for Novak Rafa would probably be on his way to surpassing Rogers GS talley et etc,if one of my favorite football teams York City FC had not been robbed by the referee of a legitamate goal against Tottenham Hotspurs then the 2nd division minows would have been in an FA cup final facing Liverpool,but thats another story,and theres no harm disscussing such things its only done in fun,as long as it doesnt cloud reality.


Daniel Says:

Jane,

Yes, their rivalry will became the biggest in number of matches and they can play the most in GS matches as well, they have 9 now (Fedal has 10 meetings). But the thing with Fedal is they met 8 times in GS finals. Nadal and Djoko met 5 times in GS finals. If they at least tie 8 GS finals with the most match played they can possibly be the greatest rivalry in tennis.

Right now I think is still Fedal.


Giles Says:

http://alturl.com/vs5cr
Rafa fans. And now Rafa has his own street!


jane Says:

Giles, Wog boy already gave you one possible answer, that it’s likely Vajda’s comments were misquoted/misunderstood. Here’s one take on the discussion prior to the Jarkko:

“…despite some news sources saying [Nole] might withdraw due to dislocating a bone in his ankle he actually trained normally today and is ready for the match against Nieminen. A Serbian reporter that was there and talked to him and didn’t notice any issues. Novak also had a talked with Fognini on the court and was in a good mood. The reporter who tweeted about a dislocated bone added later that he is not sure if Vajda was talking about during the DC match or the current situation. ”

But I also read another source who said Nole’s bone out & was pinching a nerve in his foot causing much pain but that the physic was able to reset it which resulted in him being able to move so much better in the three matches following the first two as it cut down on the pain.

Certainly I’ve had similar where joint in my shoulder or back it out, and I see a Chiropractor and feel like new afterwards. So maybe it was something like that.

So now you have two possible explanations.

Likely they will mean nothing to you since you dislike Novak so much and think he’s a “drama queen” and his team is “dubious” but I thought I would offer those replies nevertheless.


jane Says:

^sorry for typos: physio, etc..


mat4 Says:

I just read Mouratoglou’s analysis of the match and, in the second part, of Rafa’s play. Just like me, he noticed that Rafa didn’t slide to the left (I thought he almost didn’t slide at all), but he also think Nadal didn’t play deep enough.

Rewatching the match after that, I am a bit confused: how deep has Rafa to play? In the first two games, just one BH landed before the service line. He played longer than Novak, for sure, and then I compared this match with Madrid 2011, and Rafa played deeper, closer to the lines than in Madrid. Mouratoglou analysis was essentially BS.

But, he really didn’t slide, and it affected his defence, his BH, his running FH too. He missed some crucial points on the deuce side because he continued running instead of sliding. It was less noticeable on the FH side, but he didn’t even try to defend a lot of shots he would usually try to retrieve.

What could be the reason for that? As a tennis fan, I hope it is only motivated by the fear to injure his knee again, by nothing real; as a Novak fan, whatever it is, hope it will last at least until Wimbledon. But Rafa resting his knee in Mallorca for three weeks is a bit disturbing, worrying.


alison Says:

Sorry Jane i was only quoting what Annabelle Croft had said,when Giles asked me,not taking a pop at Nole.


Giles Says:

jane. It is all water under the bridge now. Alison confirmed what I was saying in the first place. In fact the first I heard of this dislocated bone in his ankle was when Alison posted reporting on what Annabel Croft told Sky Sports.
Bone back in place, joker with the trophy, all’s well with the world!! Lol


Giles Says:

alison. Why do you need to apologise to Jane, you were only repeating what Croft said.


Giles Says:

mat4. The reason for Rafa resting his knee in Mallorca for 3 weeks is very simple. He had to undergo treatment and therefore I suppose had to wait for the treatment to kick in before he was able to train.


alison Says:

Giles whats it matter?im fed up of arguing is all,can we leave it at that and just talk tennis.


mat4 Says:

@Giles:

Indeed. Does it mean he still has problems with his knees?


Giles Says:

alison. Yep, let’s talk tennis. Old Davy gave Berdy a good fight today in Barca. 3 sets and two and a half hrs Birdy eventually prevailing


alison Says:

Mat4 he has tendonitis ,i think he will probably always have problems with his knees.


nadalista Says:

mat4 says;

“……as a Novak fan, whatever it is, hope it will last at least until Wimbledon. ”

—————————————-

Your good wishes are noted……..good luck with that.


Giles Says:

nadalista. Re: mat4. Does the word “karma” come to mind?


mat4 Says:

@alison:

I always thought that rest and a good therapy could heal that.

It affected his defence Sunday, and probably his BH too. He didn’t even try to chase some shots the way he would usually do. Thinking of it, it reminds me his game in 2009, after the injury, when he almost didn’t bother to run to his left side.


the DA Says:

Nadal won’t be Nole’s only challenge at Wimbledon (and vice-versa).


Giles Says:

mat4. Seeing as you are Rafa’s well wisher (Not) may I reciprocate by saying I hope Joker’s ankle issues will last till Wimbledon.


mat4 Says:

@nadalista:

To quote a film I like very much:

“I am always frank and earnest. Frank in Chicago, Ernest in Milwaukee…”

But was it in Milwaukee?

——————————

Joking aside, it is quite natural that I want my fav to win.


mat4 Says:

@Giles:

Of couse, it is OK, especially since even with a bad ankle he still manages to win..

A bad ankle, a dislocated bone like this… it’s something everybody would like to have.


mat4 Says:

@the DA:

Of course he won’t. In 2009 and 2011, Novak was in supreme form, but didn’t even make it to the final.


Giles Says:

^^^ But why do you want Rafa to stay injured? Maybe you think that is the only way your man can win against Rafa?


Giles Says:

My last post was for mat. (Am going to drop the numerals)!


mat4 Says:

But vice-versa, not sure. Rafa lost just one match at the FO, and I just don’t see who could beat it. Murray has the game (he demonstrated it a few times already), but he still has to prove that he can win against Rafa. Isner, on a good day? Who else?


mat4 Says:

Sorry, … beat HIM…


mat4 Says:

@Gile (I dropped the “s”):

Come on! Be serious! I want my man to win, of course, not Rafa to stay injured. Is it so difficult to presume that someone isn’t serious all the time, and could be a bit ironic on his own account?


Giles Says:

^^^ Doesn’t make good reading!!


skeezer Says:

giles

you got your ankle answer. so now what about it?


jane Says:

Giles says “Maybe you think that is the only way your man can win against Rafa?”

Nole has 15 wins over Rafa; surely Rafa wasn’t injured all those times. Or was he?


skeezer Says:

jane

surely u know that according ro Giles types he was injured and or unfit, not 100% in any match he has won or lost.


rogerafa Says:

@ harry

“Isn’t he playing the “red” Madrid? I thought he was…”

He IS playing there but I wonder if he really cares. Madrid’s results are irrelevant so far as anyone’s RG chances are concerned. I am sure Rafa takes Rome more seriously.

Regarding the betting odds, they do tend to go by current form. Rafa would be their favorite again if he were to win Rome. I think the punters feel that Rafa may be vulnerable and Novak’s win at MC, whose surface is very similar to RG’s, is a good indicator. Novak does look best placed to take advantage in case Rafa is not at his best(he does not have any birth right to be at his best) for any reason. Novak was, without doubt, brilliant in the final but we should be careful in assessing the significance of the result. His win should not be undermined but it’s importance should also not be exaggerated. I find it intriguing that all of Novak’s victories vs Rafa on clay have been in straight sets. Most Novak fans would attribute that only to his brilliance but there may have been other factors at work too. Before they jump on me, I think similarly about some of Novak’s losses vs Rafa. I think it is safe to say the result in their clay matches now depends on their day form. That, I think, is a big compliment to Novak as to how far he has come to challenge a beast like Rafa on clay.


mat4 Says:

Listen, I try to be as much objective as I can. But, on the other side, I don’t enjoy being “politically correct”, nor do I like hypocrisy in any form, in general.

I try to respect every player I watch, but sometimes, it is natural that I don’t weight my words. E.g., I like to watch Federer whenever I can (especially now, when it is painfully becoming clear that we won’t have that pleasure indefinitely), but I certainly didn’t enjoy when he bageled Djokovic in Cincy. So, let’s confess it: we care mostly about our favs, not about other players.

While I try to be respectful, I also like to argue, analyse, and joke, and yes, sometimes I overdo it a bit, but I try not to be nasty and I certainly don’t hate any player.

I understand that we are all fans, and we don’t like when someone remembers us that our fav has a bad match-up against his fav, or is perhaps injured, or has played bad, but, c’est de bonne guerre among fans. Tomorrow, the situation will be reversed. Murray’s fan enjoyed very much him beating Novak in NY — because he lost so many times in crucial matches before — and I enjoyed very much in the AO final. It is good to come to a forum like this one after that, and brag. But I know very well that in Paris, or at Wimbledon, the situation can change.

Finally, I seek for facts most of the time (not always, of course), and respect other posters. And I am a good loser, ready to admit that I was wrong (not always, of course… it’s debatable…).

So, now, I try to be nice, but, let’s acknowledge it, although I try to do it gently, I brag about Novak’s last victory. Can’t you let me enjoy until their next match, at least?


mat4 Says:

@rogerafa:

No one will jump on you. I shall even give you a hand:

In Paris, in 2009, Rafa didn’t even try to chase all those IO FH Novak threw at him. It seems, from this perspective, that he was managing his knee after the injury he had that year at the FO.

At the YEC, that same year, they were both very tired, but Novak was still the fresher player.

At the YEC, the following year, Novak had two contact lenses.

Rafa’s played badly the whole Rome MS 2011, and regain his best form only in RG.

But, in general, Rafa is in good form for the clay season and has problems after the USO.


jane Says:

rogerafa ” find it intriguing that all of Novak’s victories vs Rafa on clay have been in straight sets.”

Yes, and so I can’t help but wonder what would happen over 5 sets. Would Nole wear out or would his shots become less accurate; would he be able to find that higher gear in a 4th or 5th set? It’s hard to know. We can look at AO 12, and it seems that yes, Nole could come back even if Nadal came back. He won after 6 hours. And at Wimbledon and the USO in 2011, both times Nadal seized momentum in the third set, but Nole won the 4th set. The exception is last year’s RG final. How do we interpret it? I honestly don’t know. Nole did win that 3rd set 6-2 and was winning the 4th. Was it only conditions or was he also finding his range? Would he have won the 3rd set if the weather didn’t shift? Does it matter? No one can control the weather; they have to play the cards they are dealt. And would Nole have won if they’d kept on playing instead of calling off the match for the day? It’s possible but we will never know. I still say Rafa is the undisputed favourite at Roland Garros until proven otherwise, but kudos to Nole for rising to and relishing the challenge of facing Nadal – the greatest ever on the surface – on clay. I hope Nole can one day win the French Open.


Giles Says:

I have no idea why these skeezer types are hanging around these threads. Nobody discussing fed so get lost man.
Return when your man returns. # AbsoluteNuisance/Provocateur


the DA Says:

“Of course he won’t. In 2009 and 2011, Novak was in supreme form, but didn’t even make it to the final.”

I was talking about the both of them at Wimbledon, not FO.


mat4 Says:

@the DA:

I misread, sorry. But it is also true for RG.


Giles Says:

C’mon Barca. Giddy up Messi!!


skeezer Says:

“#AbsoluteNuisance/Provocateur”
Lol, look in the mirror dude!


Wog boy Says:

What was that “C’mon Barca. Giddy up Messi!!

You have to do it louder, they didn’t hear you;)

Bayern dismantled Barca, 4:0,hahaha:)


Wog boy Says:

^^^ I was thinking, maybe Vajda tricked Spaniards into believing that Germans have dislocated ankles, just saying;)


mat4 Says:

@WB:

So, Vajda is #AbsoluteNuisance/Provocateur?

Thought it was Skeez..


skeezer Says:

Mat4,
lol ;)

Actually enjoyed that link. Always thought the same, that 2011 zone for Nole was amazing, but can he back it up? Yes, and he is well on his way!


Wog boy Says:

mat4,

Thanks for article, there is no better way to start a day:)
It is beatiful sunny morning in Sydney, I am enjoying my morning coffee in a coffee shop on the sunny side of the street in Sydney CBD.
Yes, you are right, Vajda is that what you said (word is too long for me), not skeezer, how there Vajda tricked Uncle Toni into believing that Nole is injured, Uncle Toni would never evr do that, such honest and humble Uncle;)


mat4 Says:

@WB:

Yes, indeed poor unca Toni. And poor us, Nole fans! When I think that we had to read thread after thread about Rafa, the world number 5! playing 250 and 500 ATP tournaments..

But such is the nature of competition: Vajda, when he heard that Rafa didn’t train for three weeks, had a sore back and injured knees, knew he had to do better: a dislocated bone! Anyway, he overdid it: Novak wasn’t playing Tomy Haas..

Joking aside: the more I watch the match, the more am I convinced that Novak didn’t play well, and was far from his best. E.g., he made three unforced BH errors in the second game of the match. He had lapses in concentration in the second set, and almost let Rafa back in the match. Hopefully, he woke up at 5-6..


mat4 Says:

Can I delete my last post?


jane Says:

You two Djokers! ;)

Wow, the one thing Bodo said in that article that struck me is this:

“He became the threat to spoil the potential Federer vs. Nadal clashes that the media was pumping up as the greatest spectacle in tennis. It was a useful promotion but, alas, it immediately rendered any other tennis spectacle a discount item. ”

While it may’ve benefitted tennis in the short term for the media to hype up Fedal, it could turn out to be short-sighted, if, for example, when Fedal retire, a horde of viewers stop watching the game. However, only time will tell if that is the case. I think a lot of us here were watching tennis long before our current faves were playing, and will continue watching when they’re done. We know the rest of tennis isn’t a “discount item”, but the ATP and journalists should be and should have been fostering a number of players and rivalries as opposed to just one.


Ben Pronin Says:

Jane, it’s marketing, whether it was Fedal or someone else, they’re bound to go through a lull at some point after a remarkable high.


Wog boy Says:

mat4 @6:53pm

No you cannot!!


jane Says:

Ben, just echoing that they should have been hyping other players and rivalries too, not just the one. Marketers can “put all of their eggs in one basket,” which is not always a good ploy, as it turns out.


mat4 Says:

@jane:

I think that you nailed an important fact, but not only in the sense of media exposure.

Fedal was, at one moment, the conditio sine qua non of every final. I truly think that the draw were fixed to obtain that final and the only player that really benefited of it was Rafa, while all three other members of the top four were more or less damaged.

The worst thing is that all that campaign, all the contrast was just fake: had Murray been under IMG, a similar story could have been created: attack vs defence, FH vs BH, touch vs strength… To tell the truth, I can’t really imagine Murray in the ridiculous outfit Rafa used to wear, but I am certain that Nike, or IMG, doesn’t lack imagination like myself.

But I am also certain that, leaving IMG, Rafa has made a mistake. A new narrative was ready, after Roger’s departure: Novak vs Rafa, the attacker vs the defender, draws would have been fixed the appropriate way (I believe Kimberly is right: Rafa vs Fed in the quarter, and I shall add: both on Murray’s side of the draw), and a new rivalry would irradiate the world of tennis.


harry Says:

@rogerafa (3:07 pm)
I quite agree with you; although i think you may have misunderstood what I implied by posting the odds. You say “Rafa would be their favorite again if he were to win Rome.”

Don’t the odds for Rafa and Nole being 11/10 and 9/5 show that Rafa is already considered the favorite by the punters (despite their current forms indicating otherwise)?

But I agree with you when you say “His win should not be undermined but it’s importance should also not be exaggerated. I find it intriguing that all of Novak’s victories vs Rafa on clay have been in straight sets.”


mat4 Says:

Hi, Harry. Glad you’re here.


harry Says:

@mat4

The hypothesis (stated by you here, as well as by Bodo and Tignor elsewhere) that the Nole-Rafa matchup has reverted to their 2011 patterns is interesting. But it begs an obvious question :-) what then changed during their 2012 matches? Sure, MC 2012 has an explanation (that Nole was not focused etc); but how do you explain Rome and RG (even AO was tight and Rafa had it in his racket, unlike in their 2011 encounters where it looked mostly inevitable)…

What did Rafa change in 2012 which Novak has overcome again (or has he)?


harry Says:

mat4 — glad to talk to you again :-)


mat4 Says:

@Harry:

In my opinion, Rafa didn’t change anything in 2012. He played the same game he did Sunday: when I compared that last match to Rome and Madrid 2011, it was clear that Rafa was more aggressive with his FH, played deeper (since some have asserted that he played short with his FH, I checked), and went for more outright winners.

It is not the point. Rafa, two days ago, didn’t lose so easily (the stats are telling) because he hit short, but because he didn’t defend the way he usually does. The way he plays, he really doesn’t have to be at his best level to have good results on clay: his shots are, by their nature, very safe. On the other side, Novak has to be at his top to be able to attack for hours, to play close to the lines.

In 2012, there was that unfortunate final in Australia, a final that was the sequel of the war of attrition they started at the USO. I don’t think that Novak can sustain such a war in the long run against Rafa — usually, they both got hurt. As it happened, Novak played awfully after that final, and when he started to find his range, his grand father died. He couldn’t prepare in Madrid, and was still finding his range in Paris. And there were the details, too: slower balls at the FO, a very heavy court, an unmotivated interruption when the final could have changed his course…

Finally, we shouldn’t forget that the pressure was terrible: the possibility to win four GS in a row certainly had also a negative impact on Novak.


harry Says:

@mat4: that is interesting; you ask the opposite question. ie., what changed with Novak in 2012 :-)? I see… Yes, I agree that AO 2012 probably took more out of Nole than it did out of Rafa (i am sure it must have taken a lot out of Rafa too). I can’t wait for Madrid, Rome and RG :-) It must be late for you. Good Night!


Wog boy Says:

mat4,

If I am allowed to add few things. First to make clear, Rafa was better in all those matches he won, fullstop.

Nole found himself in the situation, for the first time, where he had to defend: #1 position, GS and other titles, try to win FO and one that you forgot and actually by Nole’s admission the most imprtant goal in 2012, Olympic gold. By his own admission that defeat was the hardest to take out of all defeats. The burden of the country was on his back and he felt that he failed them. People underestimate how much means for Nole to play for his country. If you watched him in Idaho you see #1 player turning into cheer leader and firing up spectators. You will never see Rafa or Roger doing that. I think just that in 2012 ocassion took better of him and of course Rafa, who was a better player in those matches, as simply as that.
That is my two cents, (is that how you say)?


harry Says:

@Wog boy — that could be a dollar ;-)


Leon Says:

Wog boy,
I understand your joy in Novak’s brilliant win, it’s really great, congrats. But nevertheless, how could you leave without reaction the following passage in that clown Bodo’s article:
“The fact that Djokovic hails from a very different Europe than Nadal or Federer also inhibited our full embrace of him.”
If I were a Serb…


mat4 Says:

Why does Nole always win in two sets? Because Rafa is not the fighter we believed he was.

Looking at his rivalry with Roger, we see that Rafa had, like Antaeus, to build his confidence on clay, and that he is not really accustomed to defeat. [Roger's cross was that he was good on clay, and that Rafa wasn't that good on hard: had they play more often on hard, or mainly on hard, I believe (it's only conjecture, of course), that the H2H would be unbalanced in another way.]

The day he found his match, somebody forged in numerous defeats against the very best, he just melted down. And in 2011, Rafa was at his peak, playing final after final, and couldn’t duck Novak the way he perhaps [another conjecture: probably] did with Roger. He also didn’t realise, at the beginning, like we didn’t, that he found a rival. [And his change of attitude toward Novak (the narrative -- interesting word -- of the handshakes) showed that he couldn't stand defeat.]

To finish, let’s just look at the scenario of all the close matches they played since Miami 2011: Rafa chokes time and time again at 4-5, 5-5, 5-6. I am convinced he was on the way to a monumental choke in Paris, too [pure conjecture, too].

In fivesetters, he has shown the energy of despair, when one has nothing to lose, but ultimately, he choked again.

But choking, for Rafa, doesn’t mean he made UE — one doesn’t make UE when he is moonballing — he was just too subdued, too tentative in clutch moments.

It was a very nasty post. Sorry, alison.


mat4 Says:

@WB:

Roger acted like a cheer leader for his flag too, against Australia, last time, in 2011.

Yes, Rafa was the better player last year. He deservedly won, I agree.


mat4 Says:

@harry:

BTW, I bought a new laptop and switched to Linux Mint with Mate. A pleasure… But my family sticks to Ubuntu and Unity, very happy with it.


harry Says:

^– and, of course, this :-)
http://tinyurl.com/bu73app


Wog boy Says:

Leon,

Thanks, joy is huge since it doesn’t come often on clay, this is only third time in 6-7 years and to come in MC makes it even bigger, I am trying to enjoy it as much as I can (without insulting or downgrading Rafa) since, as Kimberly said, it is not going to last long, it is clay season, Rafa is a King.

As for Bodo, I have to reread it again and try to understand the meaning of what he said.

Glad to hear from you after so long:)


harry Says:

@mat4, I will switch to Mint as well (i use Ubuntu and Red Hat). Do you use KDE or Gnome? I used to like KDE several (6 or 7) years back; these days I use Gnome (or Unity). I read that these days KDE is good too…


harry Says:

^– Arch Linux has tempted me quite a bit too…


harry Says:

^– I didn’t know that Mate was Gnome fork…


mat4 Says:

@Harry:

I switched (reverted) to MATE and I am very happy with it.

I tried Unity, and it was OK, although I added a classic menu for good measure. I liked the fact that I almost didn’t need a mouse, but could do most of the tasks with my keyboard only.

I thought of ArchLinux, but my experience with the rolling release Mint LMDE was not the best. It upgraded my GNOME 2 to GNOME 3 overnight and I really didn’t like it.

My laptop had SLED installed when I bought it, and I probably should have kept it.


mat4 Says:

Mate is a clone of Gnome 2, identical at first sight.


harry Says:

@mat4, I see… which laptop do you have now? Mine is now 5 years old — it is a dinosaur :-)


harry Says:

@mat4, Chromebooks look cool (and they are cheap too) :-)


harry Says:

^– but the online storage stuff bothers me; also you get the storage space only for a couple of years… well, i am just rambling ;)


mat4 Says:

@Harry:

I used to buy Toshiba for years, but I have a wife, a daughter and a son who like Toshiba too. So my last two laptops are cheap HP machines built for enterprises. They last longer, are quite robust, and I don’t need exceptional performances anyway. This one is a Probook 4540.


jane Says:

mat4, but to add, my point was that the journalists, marketers, ATPers, shouldn’t promote just one narrative – new or old – rather they should strive to promote a number of players and the game more broadly speaking. By promoting one narrative they may grow those 2 fan-bases exponentially, and thus bring viewers to the sport, some of whom may learn to love it generally and stick around, which is great. But another by-product could be that their interest in the sport is restricted to *that* player and when he is not playing or retires, then interest and viewership could wane accordingly. That’s why it’s smarter marketing to take into account the longview. I know the ATP and some journalists have tried to look for the next-big-thing in tennis, but so far it hasn’t materialized. Or has it – it Dimitrov breaking through? I would not be surprised. I think he could be the one to come round this year, maybe at Wimbledon.


mat4 Says:

@jane:

I understood your point, you were clear about it in your previous post already.

I didn’t think too much about it, I have to admit. To me, it seems that marketing needs to remain simple, with simple patterns, a kind of theatre where everybody has a script to play: Roger is the Prince, Rafa the Rebel, when you added Novak there was no clear part for him: the Thief, or could it be the Good, the Bad and the Ugly?

When you add Murray, you could have the Fab Four, Les Quatre Mousquetaires. It was a bit easier.

And they have to be different at first sight: that’s probably the problem with the Nolandy rivalry — they are too similar.


mat4 Says:

I also think that the ATP, just like the WTA, tries to promote more players. But Nike, Addidas, the big sponsors don’t need more players: just the most fashionable.


jane Says:

And mat4, I think journalists, and their personal biases, play a large role in the myth-making as well!


harry Says:

@jane:

It is interesting that you say “mat4, but to add, my point was that the journalists, marketers, ATPers, shouldn’t promote just one narrative – new or old – rather they should strive to promote a number of players and the game more broadly speaking. ” you also say “And mat4, I think journalists, and their personal biases, play a large role in the myth-making as well!”

I don’t disagree with this, but I think the influence of the journalists (and the other news makers) on the fans is less than Bodo’s article claims it to be. Given that he is a journalist, he perhaps (or of course!), seeks to exaggerate his and his colleagues’ influence! But that is the cynic in me interpreting his writing :-)

In my view the narrative is shaped more by the readers and their receptivity to certain ideas in that zeitgeist. It is also the players and their charisma… Of course, it is difficult to tease apart: what is the cause and what is the effect. But it would be interesting to look at the “number of news articles per year per player” and the “number of reader comments per player” (on tennis-x or some other site) over the last several years.


jane Says:

harry, furthermore, in addition to journalists, marketers (IMG and the like), and the ATP, you also have ex-players and “legends” weighing in, saying so-and-so is the “greatest” at this, that, or the other thing, or all things. At one point, there were some articles painting Roger as a kind of church or something, lol. ;)

I do think the extent of modern day media means its influence is exponentially greater than it would’ve been in the past.

Of course, there are the players themselves, their charisma, and their accomplishments, which all appeal to “the people” “the fans” “the great unwashed”, regardless. And you can throw in there the element of patriotism too, etc.

However, I still do think that narratives are formed and hyped by the media, and that can attract casual followers or new followers to a particular fanbase.


Michael Says:

Alison,

You made your point. If Raja had not been injured in 2009, well he could have won more majors. Certainly possible considering the way he was dominating the field. He was rather unlucky in that sense. I agree.


harry Says:

@jane:

Yes it is an intriguing question — who influences whom more (the mass vs the media, if you will). I am not a sociologist or a social media researcher; but i know a few and it will be interesting to ask them this. Perhaps you are one yourself…

In any case, for the moment I hold the opposite view — that is, what emerges in the media is a kind of “natural selection” done by the people and the times. As an illustration, take the case of these 3 medias: (a) the global media (b) the British media and (c) the Serbian media. I am sure the narratives that appear in these media vis-a-vis the “fab-4″ are very different from one another (of course, I need confirmation/clarification from others on this). But I know for a fact how the Swiss media saw the Fed vs Murray AO 2010 banter differently from the British media ;-)

So the question is this: if the media can entirely drive what they will (ignoring the mood and the sentiments of the market and the people), don’t you think these stories would end up in a different way than they have now? This is more rhetorical than otherwise…

On the other hand I see your point too: the classic Stanford prison & the Milgram experiments show how authority figures can exert influence to the level of obedience (i was surprised when i read that). So a Becker or a McEnroe saying something over TV about one of the “fab-4″ perhaps influences people more than I would imagine ;)


Margot Says:

mat4@7.37
Really interesting “take” on what marketing has done to tennis. Lol. heaven forbid that Andy should ever become a fashion icon! Won’t even have his name on his shoes.
Tend to agree with jane and am wondering what long term damage the over-marketing of the two major protagonists has done to the game generally and what will happen when they retire.
Some Fedal fans seem so fanatical to me, can’t imagine the majority swapping allegiance easily. Am also thinking the media hypes up the angst.


Margot Says:

@harry
Just read yours, of course the general public is not an empty glass into which the media pours its prejudices, the relationship is more symbiotic.
Yep a Sociology degree, for my sins…;)


jane Says:

Yes, agree Margot – it’s likely a feedback loop: some nature (i.e., natural selection of the fans) and some – a whole lotta? – nuture (i.e., media amplifies, intensifies and even modifies the stories and protagonists/antagonists into a saleable package).

And harry, the particular market itself (e.g., British, Swiss, etc) will, of course, impact that narrative; I wouldn’t disagree entirely.

However, large media conglomerates and now global media systems means that the stories disseminated have become more homogenous than we might think!


harry Says:

@Margot:

“Yep a Sociology degree, for my sins…;)”
From the sounds of it, doesn’t look like a sin ;-)

“Some Fedal fans seem so fanatical to me, can’t imagine the majority swapping allegiance easily.”
Didn’t Sampraa and Agassi have their legions of tough fans ;-) I wonder what happened to them — you reckon a similar metamorphosis is likely?


Margot Says:

Ah, “Amplification of Deviance”…gr8 stuff :)
“The medium is the message” etc…..could go on all day, but fortunately for readers of tennisx, won’t!
Remember some explorer chappie travelled way deep into an unknown country only to find the people watching an American soap.


harry Says:

^– “From the sounds of it, doesn’t look like a sin ”
i have used “sounds” and “look”, lol…


harry Says:

@jane:
“However, large media conglomerates and now global media systems means that the stories disseminated have become more homogenous than we might think!”

yeah, i agree ;)


harry Says:

Margot — “could go on all day, but fortunately for readers of tennisx, won’t!”

Perhaps you should do it like Conty does from time to time ;) I wonder if she is around these days… Not seen a post from her in ages.


Margot Says:

Snap harry!
Yes, they did ….but we’re back to globalisation again and there’s a lot more going on than “tennis.”
Fedal is a world wide phenominum which I don’t think Sampras and co were.
In Uk Fedal are huge, but generally tennis is a tiddly minority sport. I’ve sat next to spectators at events and found they hardly know anything about other players.


harry Says:

Margot: “I’ve sat next to spectators at events and found they hardly know anything about other players.”
And they still bought “expensive” tickets to watch tennis ;-)


mat4 Says:

Did you ever think that the results were fixed? I thought about it, last year, when all the results lead to new records: Rafa seven RG wins, Fed seven WB and a record at the no 1 position, Murray winning a gold medal in front of his public…

So many good stories.

So, if Novak makes the GS this year — for me it would be a troubling sign that everything was fixed.

Although, shame on me, but I would like him to make the GS… even a fixed one..


Giles Says:

I do wish joker DOES NOT make the GS this year!! Maybe in 4/5 years? Maybe never?? Lol
Vamos Rafa!!


alison Says:

Mat4 8.55pm April 23rd no problem,you speak as you find,no harm in that, rather than skirting around an issue with BS.


mat4 Says:

@alison:

Still, it was a nasty post. It is not about what I think: it is a fact that Rafa was broken time after time at 4-5, or 5-6. It is just like Novak’s MTO’s: what ever I think about it, I can’t deny he takes them quite often. But the wording… was rather meant for Giles, or nadalista, not you. I would have written it in a different way, were you there yesterday.

I was in such an ugly mood, I guess.


alison Says:

Mat4 think nothing of it i never did,believe you me Rafa says and does quite alot of things that get right up my nose sometimes,i dont think hes perfect by a long chalk,i always try to be as fair as i possibly can,and try not to be swayed by emotional bias,but its human nature for us all to defend our favorites when we believe that they are getting a raw deal,although im not perfect either i get it wrong quite alot,ive said quite alot of things over the past few days that i wish i hadnt,i think i get tired when this forum gets turned into a warzone,when all i want to do is talk tennis :-))..


Giles Says:

mat. “I was in such an ugly mood I guess”
Maybe take out your frustration on some flying objects. #Nasty


mat4 Says:

@Giles

What frustration? Anyway, what is frustration? I understand celebration, creation and procreation, when I think about Monte Carlo — annihilation, but, definitely no frustration..


Margot Says:

@ harry 2.44
Wimbledon is part of a London Summer “Season.” It includes Henley-river stuff, and Ascot-horse racing. These are places where the glitterati go to strut their stuff. Actually being at Waterloo Station when Ascot is on is fun- the hats and frocks can be wonderfully bizarre. London is a country within a country. You get incredible wealth there, not seen anywhere else in the UK. The cost of tennis tickets for these people means nothing and the tennis too lol.
BTW did u c the last Bourne? The scene at Waterloo was brilliant. Love that series, not usually my thing either.


Giles Says:

mat. Hahaha. Well something must have triggered off your “ugly mood” and nastiness which could not be contained in your head. You had to bring it out on a forum.
Best have a word with your wife, maybe she was the reason.
I think at the end of the day you just are a nasty person.
Try some cocoa, very relaxing.


mat4 Says:

@Giles:

Everything is relative, as you could know: my “nastiness” is quite something, indeed, when I compare it with alison’s friendly, nice posts. But I am an absolute beginner, a immaculate lamb compared to Your Nastiness..

Cocoa is quite something, indeed, although I prefer vodka, not to mention beer, because it is not a drink, but food..


harry Says:

@mat4 (5:59 am)
I know you have written a few times last year about the draws — and the pattern appears convincing too. What you say here is taking a step further ;) But i like to think we are all not audience to a charade :)

@Margot (1:20 pm)
No, i did not (or do not) watch Bourne… But i get what you mean — i am reminded of the famous scene in “My Fair Lady”; Audrey lets it rip ;)


mat4 Says:

@Harry:

Yes, it is too much, indeed. But it looked so… good: everybody with a piece of cake, records everywhere. The storyline was taken from a dream:

1. Djokovic wins the AO – will he make the slam? Suspense for months.

2. Nadal wins the FO and bests Bjorn Borg;

3. Federer and Djokovic in the semi: Federer wins, then wins in the final – two new records;

4. Murray wins at the OG, then wins his maiden slam;

5. finally, Djokovic gets everything left, the Masters, and the AO: new record – three times in a row.

What’s left? Novak to win at least the career slam, Roger to beat finally Rafa on clay, Andy to win Wimbledon, Novak to win the GS… I wouldn’t be surprised if something of all this happens. With a few alternative scenarii if DelPo or Tsonga makes a final.

But if you can destroy a whole country because it possess oil and present it as a humanitarian act, why not?


harry Says:

@mat4 –
That is film-noir (well, may be not)…

I would really like it if JMDP or Tsonga or Berdych get one or even many. I know a lot of people here don’t seem to like Tomas; but he is awesome to watch when he gets going — such effortless power.


alison Says:

Ill be taking a break from posting for a while,as i am going to Yorkshire to visit a friend,but i have to say this before i go,no disrespect to my fellow Rafa or Andy fans,and Fed has some great fans too,but i have to say IMO Nole has pound for pound the best fans on this forum,take care and ill speak to you all soon,over and out for now :-))..


mat4 Says:

@Harry:

And even grace, at times. But yes, a lot of power, especially from his FH.

But Tsonga too, when he’s on, plays an emotive game and is a pleasure to watch. His volleying is ridiculous.

I liked Cilic a few years ago, it seemed to me that he played tennis the way it should be played. I always thought that Bob Brett, his coach, was the right solution for Andy Murray.

Since Rome 2008 at least, I expected much of Wawrinka, who had the power to blow anybody of the court (I believe he would have become a top 5 player had he married Tipsy’s wife).

Nico Almagro, for me, is perhaps the most talented outside the top four. His serve, his FH, his BH, everything he plays is perfect. But…

And Baghdatis? How has he managed to underachieve so much? He played a slam final. He has the touch, the mind, the smile…


mat4 Says:

@alison:

Bon voyage! Bonnes vacances!

(I sound like Delboy.)


jane Says:

harry, have to agree with you about Berd; he has a bad rep, and arguably deserved, but sometimes his tennis is just lovely, because his power is so smoooooth. And come on, he’s got a smile to love. ;)


mat4 Says:

Hi, jane. Glad you’re here.


mat4 Says:

Alison wrote:

“Nole has pound for pound the best fans on this forum”.

1. I request that this sentence is added to the header of Tennis-x.

2. Indeed, in my case, it is a lot of pounds…


jane Says:

mat4, agree with your list too – so many guys with a lot of talent who have just not quite made it. Jo is thrilling to watch sometimes, especially on grass, and Cilic too can be fabulous. I was actually rooting for Nico to get that big win over Ferrer at the AO, but the guy… he just choked! : / Wawa is so up and down I don’t know what to think of him; he blew me away versus Nole at the AO. The match was electric. And then he was in the longest doubles DC match ever, in history, and lost. Poor guy; he is always so close but so far. Baggy? He’s brilliant. I can’t figure that one out either? Motivation?

And what’s Tipsy’s wife have to do with any of this? She looks so boring, like a Barbie doll.

Have a fun hiatus alison.


mat4 Says:

@jane:

Tipsy’s rise to the top ten started when he married. Was it only a coincidence?


harry Says:

@Alison:
Have a good trip!

@mat4: I’ve got to agree with you about all the guys you listed. Tsonga (when he is on) is just magnificent (like Berdy). Yeah, I had high hopes for Wawa & Cilic (may be not for Almagro)… Yeah, Baggy had insane reflexes back then (at least it appeared to me that way).

I don’t know what happened to JMDP’s brutal power… Wish he got it back… He always appeared funny to me despite his serious face — may be it is just the very act of such a big guy doing something he should not have been doing (ie running around playing ball)!

@jane: In mat4′s world we would get our wishes — these guys winning multiple GS ;)


jane Says:

mat4, ha ha, I didn’t know that. :) Maybe she does have the magic, er, touch.

harry, I’ve seen flashes of JMDP’s power, but he seems not to be able to sustain it long enough. What’s interesting is that when he mixed up his game more, as he did at IW, he was able to beat Nole, Murray and almost Rafa, but I think he was a bit spent in the final, given his difficult path though Nole and Murray back-to-back.


mat4 Says:

About DelPo:

In IW, where the slow court helped him to get the ball on his terms, his FH was just terrifying. Both Murray and Djokovic learned it the wrong way. In Dubai, on a faster court, Novak just destroyed both DelPo’s and Berdych’s FH in CC rallies.

I believe that a slow, high bouncing court could help DelPo’s game. He played well last year in Paris, he had good results on clay already, and his MC result could just be the result of a bad day, especially since he lost against a lefty.


jane Says:

Pound-for-pounders… :) hee hee. I saw that article; don’t you think Pete might be exaggerating? In any case, I love that he’s encouraging Nole! As the article says, the two are on friendly terms.

mat4, good point about IW court speed; that makes sense. Sometimes when I watch Soda, or Delpo or even Berd wind up to hit one of their massive forehands it’s like slow motion. I especially always noticed that with Soderling.


mat4 Says:

@jane:

Of course Pete is exaggerating. But he said it first..

I think that DelPo has a more powerful FH than Sod. But now, I have to watch a bit of Gonzo just to refresh my memories.


Kimberly Says:

Mat4, watched delpo play soderling in Miami I think it was two years ago and my thought was that Delpo hit harder when he unleashed but Soderlings standard rally shot was harder and flatter. So on an average MPH forehand soderling would be harder but Delpo’s high MPRH would be harder. My impression of watching their match live in the first row, courtside.


mat4 Says:

@Kimberly:

Thanks for that insightful information. I was just watching highlights from their match at the AO in 2009, and they were both hitting it big.


Wog boy Says:

mat4,

If you don’t mind, Delpo hits hard but needs time, if you take his time from him he is not as good. I watched him and Baghdatis in Sydney. Baghdatis didn’t give him any time to prepare for FH, was picking up balls early and sending them back very flat, Delpo was frustrated (partly because of noisy Greek fans:) and lost.


Kimberly Says:

Verdasco also has a huge forehand, or at least he used to. Lately he hasn’t seemed to have much of anything except inconsistency and double faults.


Kimberly Says:

the forehands Delpo hit at the US Open 2009 in the Federer final were the hardest balls I’ve ever seen.


harry Says:

mat4, jane: yeah your explanation of JMDP and slower courts make sense.

Kimberly: i thought Soda (on his FH shots) opened his shoulders more than JMDP did and also generated a bigger torque with his hip rotation (this is just my telly impression — i could be easily wrong). JMDP, on the other hand, i thought generated power simply with his longer reach (the angular velocity at the end of his hand is simply more!).


harry Says:

Kimberly: i thought JMDP hit just a bit harder against Rafa in the semis (i had a feeling Rafa’s topspin gave him more time to set it up than Fed’s flatter shots)… But those two matched were insane exhibitions of power!

Wog boy: hi.


harry Says:

^– *matched* –> *matches*


mat4 Says:

@WB:

Idem for Sod. But the same thing happened in Dubai: sorry, I wanted to refresh my memory, and I found highlights from that match in Dubai: DelPo has indeed a big, big FH. He needs time to adjust, but it’s really big.

Compared to IW, the InsIn FH worked efficiently against DelPo’s sliced BH. And I finally found some of the CC FH vs FH sequences: Novak’s plays with a lot of topspin, and changes his FH all the time to derail DelPo.


mat4 Says:

@harry:

Since I rewatched a bit of Soda vs DelPo 10 mn ago, I agree with you on Soda’s shoulder rotation. And he uses more spin in general.

It seems to me that DelPo uses the rotation of his hips better, although, when he hits that terrifying CC FH on the run, it could be… what? mind power?


mat4 Says:

But the best at hitting low bouncing balls could be Rafa; Federer is able to kill every shorter ball with his FH, stepping into the court. And IMHO, Novak’s career will depend on his ability to improve his already versatile FH.


harry Says:

@mat4:
“what? mind power?”
ha ha!

but, i’m glad you think so too about Soda’s power… for me, Soda’s power is a bit more classical, ie., there is technique behind his power; whereas, JMDP is a freak of nature — ie you can’t imitate him ;)


harry Says:

@mat4: has Nole and Rafa changed anything with their rackets or strings in the last few months? i have not been paying too much attention to tennis these months ;)


harry Says:

a bit embarrassing: *has* –> *have*


Wog boy Says:

I am trying to compare two matches and find out where was Federer mistake in that USO he lost against Delpo. The first match is at AO where Federer annihilated Delpo so badly that felt really sorry for him, he didn’t know wich way was out of Arena. Just after six months Federer lost USO. I will agree with skeezer’s posts from before, at USO he was trying to outhit Delpo and every next loss he was stuborn to try aagain. When he was mixing it up and playing his game he didn’t have a problem winning. Maybe that comes with ages, trying to prove youngsters that we can match them in their games, but it doesn’t work that way, we should stick to our guns.


Wog boy Says:

Hi harry:)


Kimberly Says:

Wogboy, those two had a very very tough French open semi between those two matches you are talking about. Federer won in five I believe.


Kimberly Says:

To me the players I consider the “big hitters” would be soldering. Del Porto, tsonga, Berdych and gulbis too.


mat4 Says:

WB, glad you’re here, although down under.

Harry: Don’t know about Rafa, but I am almost positive that Novak has changed his racquet. You have a good article here:

http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/tech/post/_/id/3853/gear-test-head-youtek-graphene-racket

Just pay attention to: Novak’s DTL FH; Novak wide kicker on the advantage side; his improved sliced BH; his “slapped” FH. In general, he generates more spin and and more speed, but still has to explore all the new possibilities he has, especially with the FH.

That’s the reason why I think that Rafa’s numerous BH UE were symptomatic.


Wog boy Says:

Kimberly, you are right, both their FO matches were five setters, but I was trying to compare HC mathces where the ball is faster, you cannot be so effective on clay since it is slower and gives Delpo more time.


jane Says:

harry ” Soda (on his FH shots) opened his shoulders more than JMDP ” – I think it’s that open stance that always makes me think of slo-mo, because the wind-up seems huge!

Re: USO 2009, a few things impacted that; clearly Delpo was on the rise and didn’t have a lot to lose; he played really freely. He was so focused mentally. But I also found that he came to net more easily or readily versus Fed in that match, and it paid off. Was Fed leaving balls short? I don’t know. But one thing Nole and Murray do versus Delpo is push him back, and they also get a lot of his balls back too because of their defence; hence their good H2Hs. Also in the 2009 final, wasn’t Fed’s serve not that great? It seems to me he wasn’t getting a lot of “free” points off of it, as he sometimes does when he’s serving really well.


Kimberly Says:

Jane I have always said federer lost that match, delpo didn’t win it but the power he generated in that match was stunning. I dont think i have ever seen anyone hit the ball tgat hard before or since. Thankfully I missed his match before v rafa in the semi and it’s not often replayed as it was a total blow out do I can’t comment.


Wog boy Says:

mat4,

Today is public holiday downunder, ANZAC day, so I am having laisy morning, embarrassed to admit, but still in bed checking TX and about to get up. I might do something in the back yard or might not, more likely. Such a glorious morning, pitty to waste it working in the back yard. Unfortunately I don’t have typical Wog house, concrete as far as eye can see. I tried to do it, but it didn’t work with my wife, she wants garden but somebody else (read me) has to work in the garden, what a wuss I became and what a man I was ;)


harry Says:

mat4: thanks! that explains a few things ;)

jane: yeah, i agree with you on JMDP volleying. With regards to Andy and Nole’s h2h versus JMDP, I am not sure theirs is better than Fed and Rafa’s (ie., all four of them have about 3 times more wins than losses again JMDP).

My impression of the US 2009 final (i have not seen the highlights for a while) is that Fed got a bit rattled in the fourth set about JMDP taking time (i remember him complaining to the chair umpire about something). He should have won the 4th set (and the match) — wasn’t he serving for the match? But the fifth set was JMDP all the way…


roy Says:

djoker played well.
but rafa had a 18/35 winner/error split which is pretty bad for him especially on clay.
the fact is he was playing quite sloppy during the week and was actually looking much better in indian wells.
it’s too early to claim djoker dominance on clay. they will likely split results in the coming years.


skeezer Says:

^ Djoker played well

BUTT,

Then comes the Rafafan excuse mantra enters in as usual. Maybe one day a player will actually beat Rafa and just be the better player that day. * sigh *. Not for the cult obssessed blind Rafafanatic.


Michael Says:

Alison,

Happy journey !!

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