Novak Djokovic Was A Busy Man After Winning Monte Carlo [Video]
by Tom Gainey | April 22nd, 2013, 10:08 am
  • 147 Comments

The ATP has put out a short montage of Novak Djokovic’s activities after his big win over Rafael Nadal yesterday in the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters final.

Calling it his best performance ever on clay, Djokovic dominated Nadal for much of the match en route to his Monte Carlo title.

“I cannot be happier than I am in this moment knowing what I’ve been through the whole week, actually two weeks, right after Davis Cup, trying to recover and make a decision to play or not to play,” Djokovic said yesterday. “If somebody told me 10 days ago I’d be winning the trophy, I wouldn’t think it’s so realistic, to be honest. But, you know, I went through pain, I went through a big challenge, mentally, physically, emotionally, and in the end it was getting better as the tournament was going on. I knew after yesterday’s match that I had a feeling that I had a big chance to win against Rafa if I was on the top of my game. The first six, seven games, eight games, were unbelievable. It’s the best that I can play on clay. Well, it’s the only way you can win against Rafa.”


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147 Comments for Novak Djokovic Was A Busy Man After Winning Monte Carlo [Video]

Steve 27 Says:

Good for you Djokovic, but in Roland Garros I expect a different history.


Brando Says:

Straight Novak. Let’s break this down:

- ‘ I knew after yesterday’s match that I had a feeling that I had a big chance to win against Rafa if I was on the top of my game.’:

1- This would NOT have been a consideration if he wasn’t fit. Clearly he was perfectly fine.

2- This would NOT have been a consideration if he wasn’t feeling good about himself.

3- He IS NOT naive: MAYBE he sensed after the DIMITROV and TSONGA match- now isn’t a bad time to play Rafa.

-’. The first six, seven games, eight games, were unbelievable. It’s the best that I can play on clay.’:

CONTEXT:

On a court that was not wet from the rain delay and was drying out as time went on, those conditions clearly suited those who DO NOT rely on heavy top spin as a MAJOR part of their game.

Also was Rafa playing his best tennis in those 5 games I ask?

Do you think he was playing well or was he possibly slow to adapt to the conditions and a firing opponent?

Call me crazy but i think MAYBE:

- Novak came out firing and took advantage of suitable conditions.

- Rafa, the guy who even Novak consider’s his better on clay, MAYBE just MAYBE was slow coming out off the blocks to conditions that did not suit his game. Add to that a firing opponent then all of a sudden life would be difficult for ANYONE.

-’Well, it’s the only way you can win against Rafa.”’:

Ah, an ADMITTANCE that beating Rafa isn’t a easy thing on clay, and EVEN NOVAK has to play at his best to stand a chance of doing so.

REALITY:

Post the 5-0 period were Novak said he played his BEST TENNIS, what happened next?

1- CONDITIONS: The court dried out and started to take Rafa’s spin better.

2- FACTS: Rafa won 8 games to Novak’s 7. HARDLY call that Rafa being hit of the court.

3- NO ONE can disagree that Rafa absolutely should have taken that 2nd set when twice breaking his opponent and also having chance to break him in another game.

Mentally, and BLATANTLY OBVIOUS it was too, he completely checked out in the TB.

You do not need to be a body language expert to gauge even that simple MERE FACT.

BOTTOM LINE:

Novak was better overall on the day.

He himself said he was at his best.

Rafa? He himself said he can play better, and there were enough signs there to suggest that Rafa has MORE THAN ENOUGH to build and improve for the next encounter.

He was facing an opponent at his best (as he himself said so) and Rafa wasn’t at his best game wise (as he himself said so).

Despite this, post the 5-0 period he wasn’t exactly a mile off Novak was he?

More than enough for the King of Clay to build on.

Go ahead: write him off at your peril!


Ben Pronin Says:

Brando, not sure why you need to list out a bunch of excuses. Nadal said that the first 4 games were much closer than the scoreline indicated and it could’ve easily been 2-2 instead of 0-4. He didn’t mention the conditions being an issue, although it wasn’t ideal for Nadal. But why does that even matter? You criticize Djokovic for being affected by wind all the time.

There’s still a huge negative that looms over Nadal. He’s serving at 6-5 and wins 1 point for the remainder of the match. This is Rafael Nadal. That is absolutely terrible. So no, he definitely didn’t deserve to win the second set no matter how many breaks he was up.

I also don’t know what you expect Novak to say. “I kicked his ass but I probably could’ve played even better.” I can only imagine the uproar that would’ve caused. But he still had the stretch in the middle of the second set where he made some careless errors. There’s always room for improvement.


Brando Says:

@Ben:

Sorry, but you really need the help of a dictionary.

Urgently.

Context does not equate to excuses.

The conditions are a relevant element as guess what?

They have to play in them!

Now to say it favored Novak, isn’t making a original point.

The point of doing so is the basically make clear that as good as he played, he did take advantage of the conditions that favored him.

Nothing controversial about that.

However, seeing as Rafa think’s he could or should have made it 2-2 at a time that Novak said he was playing his best (his words not him) well: Vamos Rafa, that is a real positive indication for you!

-’But he still had the stretch in the middle of the second set where he made some careless errors. T’:

Utter bollocks coming from you!

Sorry: you say I am making excuses and then go ahead and make one for Novak- pathetic stuff!

Double standards to the core: One rule for Novak showing consideration when he’s on a down in the match and a completely different one for Rafa when the same applies to him.

True to form Ben. True to form!

Re Rafa not serving it:

Simple.

From his side he said he just did not have the intensity needed to close out the deal.

Just like the Tsonga match at 5-1 up.

Novak’s side? Simply stepped up and took advantage of Rafa’s dilly dallying.

Take’s 2 to tango Ben, and also 2 to play tennis: RARELY is it truly ever a case of one way traffic.

And in a match where after the first 5 games it was a 8-7 splitt in favour of the loser, then to dump on him as being completely outclassed well:

that’s just stupid IMO!


mat4 Says:

@Brando:

What’s a splitt? If you meant “split”, what was 8-7 in Rafa’s favour? I don’t follow you quite.


Thomas Says:

I agree with Ben’s analysis of the match.


Brando Says:

@Mat4:

Yep, typo. I meant split.

8-7?

Post the 5-0 stage in the match, Rafa recovered to win 8 of the next 15 games played outside the TB.

A simple fact.

He should have made that nine by having BP’s in another.

A factual enough reason to show that as the match wore on, Rafa was far from being outclassed.

8-7 in games is enough to paint the reality of that matter.

Period!


Ben Pronin Says:

Who is dumping on him?

I’m not using double standards. You’re claiming that Novak played as well as he can possibly play. I’m pointing out this isn’t entirely true. He played great, but it’s not a “fact” that he was playing his absolute best tennis. And like you said, it’s not like Nadal was completely blown out of the water. It was plenty close. But that drop off at the end of the second set is hugely troublesome. It’s not “simple.” It’s a problem. Just like double faulting on set point.


Skeezer Says:

Brando

Have no idea what point you were trying to make in that last post.

Read the transcript by Rafa. There you’ll find the facts behind his loss. No sense guessing or inventing otherwise.


Skeezer Says:

^10:52 post


Brando Says:

@Skeezer:

By last post, 11.06 right?

If so, simple:

Basically i am pointing out that of course the better guy won on the day.

But as the match wore on there is enough there to suggest that next time round Rafa will have enough to build on as he wasn’t far off from his opponent post 0-5, aside from a poor TB of course.

It’s quite straight forward:

As a Rafa fan, I see more than enough to build on from this match for Rafa.

Yes he lost- but wasn’t he going to do so one day at MC anyhow?

And was he playing A game stuff this week or was he vulnerable enough to a loss from Novak here?

IMHO, the Dimitrov and Tsonga showed that he was vulnerable and still not at his own best on the red stuff.

Novak?

Credit goes where it is due- the best player won on the day.

Rafa?

As a fan of his just staying positive about it all- i think their is reason enough to be IMO.

That’s all


alison Says:

I agree dont get me wrong Novak was the best player and the deserved winner,by the soreline in the 1st set its obvious he was outclassed,going by the 2nd set the match was much more evenly contested.


Kimberly. Says:

Brando—Of course there is reason to be positive.

And some of the nonsense by the Djokovic fans on the other thread is silly. Djokovic a bad match up for Nadal-well not the best match up for sure but he is the number one player in the world, the best player there is today by a lot. And its not like Rafa has never beaten him. He has won 19 times!

New king of clay, new clay GOAT, changing of the guard etc…well lets talk when he has about 6 more montecarlo titles and 6 more FOs. Then it would be close, maybe. It was a nice win, at an event Rafa has dominated. Lets leave it at that.

Frankly, I hope he plays him again in Paris. I like our chances.


Brando Says:

@Ben:

Seriously man: you need aide in reading what I say.

I’ll help you the best I can here by deciphering your complaints:

-’ You’re claiming that Novak played as well as he can possibly play.’:

LOL, I am just using what Novak was saying himself.

Read this very blog article please Ben.

The penny might drop then.

PS my reference’s to Novak regard the 5-0 period.

- ‘ It was plenty close.’:

Thank you for that. It was close.

IMHO, the 5-0 period was one way traffic. But Rafa, who played the match not, me or you, felt he wasn’t doing to badly and maybe should have made it 2-2.

Post 5-0 period though, like I said, Rafa did pretty well considering how badly the scorecard made his situation look.

-’But that drop off at the end of the second set is hugely troublesome. It’s not “simple.” It’s a problem. Just like double faulting on set point.’:

I agree with you on this and you are completely right.

But not because of the Novak match- this problem was in the Tsonga match also.

The good thing about this is: it’s not a nole specific issue- it’s a general one.

But a issue nonetheless.

My take on it is:

See Rafa’s post match interview.

He speak’s on this saying that it is to do with his physical performance (not fitness).

He feels that he needs more time in order to maintain his intensity throughout matches as right now after a intense period in a match he feels he drops off a fair bit too.

Not a wrong thing to say IMO.

Intensity of play is a strength of Rafa’s- and recently he has dropped off on matches like you say.

Need’s to address that ASAP i feel.


Ben Pronin Says:

Seriously Brando. I think you’re overreacting to a few overreactions. I haven’t read anyone (who’s opinion isn’t looney) say that Nadal is now in shambles. I’d say everyone still considers him favorite for French Open. This just makes things a little more interesting and opens up the possibility that Novak could actually pull off the huge upset there, but no guarantees.

Anyways, some of use have been speculating that Nadal took all that time off to revamp his game. So far, I haven’t really seen anything new. He was hitting his backhand great in Indian Wells. But he’s done that before. Sort of a roller coaster, that backhand. But he mentioned it in his interview that he’s not really going to be able to revamp his game at this point. The only thing I can think that Nadal could add to his game is a consistent flat back hand down the line, which is probably the one shot that he legitimately lacks in his arsenal. Maybe he’ll bust it out at the French Open, but we’ll see.


Brando Says:

@Alison:

Hi, Alison.

Yep, I feel the same as you.

Set 1:

Felt Rafa was outclassed, 5-0 say’s it all.

But the majorly positive thing is: Rafa felt he should have possibly made it 2-2.

LOL, rather have Rafa being positive than me there.

One thing I will say about that set though:

Had Rafa served out that game to make it 5-3 then i would not have been surprised if he broke Novak in the next game since momentum was starting to ebb Rafa’s way there for a while.

Set 2:

As a Rafa fan I feel Rafa should have closed out that set.

He broke Novak twice, had BP’s in another game- Rafa just has to seal such a set.

He’s completely capable of it and IMO he really should have.

This is a problem not specific to Novak though, it also happened in the Tsonga match.

Something to work on IMO for Rafa.


jane Says:

The good thing from Nole’s perspective, in this case, is that Nadal himself said he felt he was serving better this match – faster serves and a high percentage in as well – but Nole was still able to break him 5 times, including break backs immediately following Rafa’s breaks. And he hit amazing winners too. :)

Of course Rafa’s still the favourite on clay, and this win doesn’t change that. It’s just, as Ben said, a little added drama to the clay season.

And it’s nice to see Nole win at home too!


Sirius Says:

Rafa at his ABSOLUTE BEST never loses no matter who his opponent is and no matter if that opponent is also playing his best tennis

simple as that :)


alison Says:

Brando im not making again excuses theres no point,the better player won,the winner wins and the loser loses,im just analysing the game,thats what fans do,wonder where their own favorites went wrong and what they could have done better.


Brando Says:

@Ben:

LOL, no worries.

Re the time off:

I am glad you touched on that topic.

Some claim, or so the conspiracy theory goes, that Rafa took 7 months off to improve his game for Novak.

They have ZERO evidence to support this stupid theory of their other than their silly, naive suspicious, insecure nature.

Why would Rafa feel he has to take 7 months off for Novak when he beat him 3 times in 6 weeks?

If he wanted to do such a thing then why not after the FO in 2011?

When he admitted feeling bad we Novak- makes sense then, not 2012!

And do you honestly think he would skip USO, Olympics, AO just to dodge a match with a guy who could possibly lose to anyone from Fed, Muzza, Delpo in these events?

Of course he wouldn’t- it’s just a crazy idea.

And what make’s it crazier is: apparently he went to improve his game for Novak.

Well you just said it: exactly what did he improve on since I saw no changes in the MC final.

I bet those loony theorist’s are now thinking he is saving it for FO.

LMFAO: Yeah, Rafa was willingly giving away MC to Novak so that he can do a surprise attack at the FO on him.

LOL- they are crazy, that’s it!

Re his game:

IMHO, what i saw a lack of was the FH DTL shot by Rafa.

He did this well v Novak in 2012 and yesterday he just did not go for it, or nowehere near enough.

When he did for the FH/ BH DTL shots v Novak yesterday, he usually had real success with that shot.

IMHO, Rafa has the game to handle Novak- the ATP record book say’s he may even have the best game to handle him.

So it’s not a unsolvable problem.

What he needs to do IMO, is have better tactics:

1- Better serve placement

2- Hit the BH flatly, not shy away from doing so, and rather than running around to the FH: surprise Novak and hit it flatly

3- DTL shots: his FH DTL is a real weapon- it has a high safety margin due to his top spin- he needs to use this way more frequently.

On the BH side too.

4- Go to the net more often: he’s comfortable there than Novak. Why not go there now and then as a surprise element? He’s long shown he is really capable there.

Beyond this though, the one pleasing thing to see was that consistently his shots were landing deep in the match, and that he wasn’t feeling nervous v Novak.

A really good starting point that- as in 2011 that was a major issue for him.


alison Says:

Just watching the highlights in the 2nd set they were equal on BPs won and BPs converted,both had 7 BPs each,both converted 2 BPs each,thats how close that 2nd set was,till the tiebreaker which was one way Nole traffic.


Ben Pronin Says:

Brando, your post reminds of all the Theories of Execution people came up with back when Federer couldn’t crack the Nadal puzzle in 06-08.


Brando Says:

@Alison:

Completely agree with you.

As a fan that is just normal to do: asking yourself what can my guy do in order to improve his situation next time around.

IMHO, I personally feel there is more than enough to build on from that loss.

I just hope Rafa meet’s him at Madrid: QF, SF or Final- it doesn’t matter.

As long as he meets him.

And the best thing is:

Rafa said he REALLY wishes to play again soon.

VAMOS! :-)


montecarlo Says:

I think both players were playing their best for the first 6 games (when Rafa led 4-2) of the second set and level was amazingly high. From 7th game on Rafa’s level dropped a lot. I saw the match again today and something strange happened in that 7th game. Djokovic was able to hold at love and Rafa let go 3 winners without even trying to make an attempt to retrieve the ball. It looks like more of a mental problem for Rafa coz he has been cosistently choking against Djokovic.

1. IW 2011- Won the 1st set and then the game went down.
2. Miami 2011- Won the 1st set and then the game level dropped.
3. Wimbledon 2011- Won the third set 6-1 and looked in total control at the start of the 4th and then played atrociusly.
4. USO 2011- Made an unbelievable comeback and played superb tennis to win the 3rd set 7-6 but the game went down totally after that.
5.AO 2012- Should have won after being up 4-2 in 5th set but choked badly.
6. MC 2013- Should have won the second set after being up 6-5 but then won only a single point.


Brando Says:

@Ben:

LOL, Fed v Rafa in 06-08:

Pretty simple really.

Clay: No shame in losing to Rafa. His record speaks for itself.

Grass: He only lost 9-7 in the 5th- not exactly a horrific thing.

Indoor: 100% record.

Outdoor: Rafa didn’t win any HC slams in that period. Fed won alot of them.

I do not know why people are crying over that period.

For me the shame regarding Fed is post 2010:

IMHO, as a Rafa fan, it saddens me greatly to see Fed lose to opponent’s or matches that he would have won earlier, just because of his age.

Fed entered 2011 as a 29 year old, turned 30 that year.

IMO, he has been losing alot of matches due to his age.

Period.

Had he been the same age as his opponent’s, nothing else just parity, he would have kicked some major, major butt and shut up alot of folks here who talk nonsense regarding him.

That’s why i am proud about Rafa:

He was the ONLY top player to do well against him at his peak.

The rest turned it around when father time caught up on Fed.

Otherwise he would have kicked their butt like he always used to do.

Sad that: to see a true legend suffer due to father time! :-(


Brando Says:

@Monte Carlo:

Very, very interesting thing that. My take:

Did Rafa have a mental issue/ block v Novak in 2011?

100% he did. He said so himself.

Any player who doesn’t believe he can win against his opponent, is never really going to do so.

Especially a opponent who is the form of his life and play’s you in a final.

Outside 2011 though:

- AO 12′: I think Rafa screwed up not because of Novak there but himself.

Mentally he most have been peeved at himself for that unbelievable BH miss.

Mentally he was strong throughout in that match.

Novak was not an issue there.

- MC 2013:

Rafa said himself, mentally he was calm v Novak yesterday.

He didn’t feel concerned or worried.

His issue was himself: his physical intensity goes up and down in matches.

Understandable after 8 months out, you play, play nothing for a month, and then face high level opposition.

Pretty normal IMO.


alison Says:

Monte Carlo you forget that he beat Novak 3 times last year,so i dont think hes constantly choking against Novak,this was only his first match against Novak since his comeback which was only a few weeks ago,its still early days into that comeback theres room for improvement(goes without saying),but i think its unfair to gauge what form hes in against Novak after his first loss to Novak since playing him a year ago,for all we know this could just be a blip.


jane Says:

Here’s Rafa’s words on the mental block:

“RAFAEL NADAL: Seriously, 2011 I felt against Novak a few times the tension. I feel a little bit anxious in some important moments. Was not the case today. I didn’t felt that way this afternoon. I fighted to be back on the match after a tough first set.
Is not only physical, but is mental too. But you know at the end is not easy to separate that, no. When you are bad mentally, you feel worse physically. But I really am not bad mentally today. Not in that moment I am bad mentally. I am fresh. I am enjoy to be on the tour another time.
When you get tired physically, the mental part is very difficult to maintain there. Even like this, I tried hard, I tried hard for moments to put one more ball inside. When that happened, I really didn’t feel that I was far to have the chance to win a match against him.
Today he was better than me. I just can congratulate him and his team. I really hope that I will have another chance. ”

Here’s his words on his “tennis” and his “physical” condition; he states that he was “pleased” with his tennis but his physical condition was not 100%.:

I think for me it was a positive week. That’s the thing. Was a really positive week for me. I didn’t have the practice in Mallorca, I just practiced here before the tournament. With not much preparation, I was able to play in the finals, a few matches. This week going to help me be fit for the next weeks. Hopefully I can play another great week in Barcelona next week, play some matches that will keep helping to put me in the 100% condition physically talking. If we talk about tennis, I was pleased about my tennis this afternoon.


alison Says:

Wonderfull post from Kimberly 11.28am,the most sensible post ive read on this thread perfectly summed up,i know your busy but i wish both you and Lulu would post more often,as you are both clever enough to prove a point by fighting Rafas corner without the need for personal insults.


jane Says:

Has anyone *really* said Nole is the new king of clay, new clay goat, etc? If so, I missed it, and if so, that’s silly.

Nole himself wouldn’t claim such a thing. In fact, he said “it was nice of Rafa to let me win one.”


Brando Says:

@Jane:

Thanks for that. I am glad that a Novak fan cleared that one up, and a fair poster too.

Mentally:

That support’s the notion that yes mentally in 2011 he was feeling poor infront of Novak, but now he feeling fine.

The ‘I really hope i have another chance’ indicates a guy looking forward to the next meeting- not dreading it.

- Physically:

Like I said earlier, thankfully he is fine.

What he means regarding conditioning is his intensity- being able to keep that level the same through out the match.

It’s what makes him Rafa, and what Novak said pre match: with Rafa you know he will strong from start to finish.

Rafa need’s to work on that.

The Tsonga match indicated it enough more than this one really: 5-1 up and then a huge drop for his standard’s on clay.

To be fair though: 8 month’s out, then a burst of competitive tennis, then 4 weeks off and then back to high quality competition: it’s normal to have a dip in conditioning IMO.

Rafa has always been a player who needs matches under his belt, so it’s not new thing IMO.

I think in time he will certainly be better than what he was in MC- whether that means he wins or not I do not know of, but i think he’ll be more consistent in his play.

Credit to Novak though:

One day Rafa was going to lose at MC. I am glad he lost to a guy who history can look on and say ‘well atleast Rafa lost in the final to a worthy champion’.

8 in a row at MC- I don’t think Rafa needs to prove anything more there at all!


alison Says:

Jane probably not but i didnt take our pyschic friend long,to jump all over the forum taking a pop at Rafa and Roger,i think the thing i dont understand is why some posters are only ever 100% happy unless everyone else is 100% miserable,why not just be happy with their favorites win and leave it at that?


Brando Says:

@Kimberly:

Bravo- wonderful post!

And yes: I wish Rafa end’s up in the QF half of Novak at Madrid, Rome and FO.

Why not I say?

What has Rafa to lose?

So he get’s beat 3 more times- boo hoo. 18 losses to 15 is not a big deal for me: besides, last i checked Rafa has 19 wins- and I doubt they were charity donations by Novak either.

And Rome, FO?

Record in a row and overall winner- ZERO to prove there.

Madrid?

ONLY player ever to win it indoor and outdoor (maybe Fed to- not sure about him).

Again ZERO to prove there.

Rafa like’s a challenge and Novak is a nice, juicy one for him.

He is NOWHERE near the challenge Rafa faced in the shape of a Mr Roger Federer.

And Rafa did well there- being the ONLY guy to stand up against the most talented, successful player ever to pick up a tennis racquet at his peak.

And Rafa wasn’t crying about being younger than him there either!

Some are saying it’s 2011 already based on ONE MERE MATCH- well I would like to see Rafa test that theory at MADRID.

It’s 1-1 there, Novak had MP in the loss there, both have won it before, Rafa hates the altitude, the court speed suits Novak.

Heck, even VERDASCO beat Rafa there.

So it’s a court that is as close to 50/50 on clay for these 2, and if anyone is the favorite there it is Novak- especially now with the MC win.

So i just hope Rafa meet’s him the QF stage- let’s see what happen’s.

Like Rafa say’s it best: I REALLY hope to get another chance to play him soon!

Bring it on I say!

VAMOS RAFA! :-)


skeezer Says:

Brando,

So to wrap up all your repetitive posts today,

What’s your BOTTOM LINE already?


Jimmy Says:

A positive for Djokovic was that it was his 1st clay court tournament of the year, but it was Rafa’s 4th.


Brando Says:

@Skeezer:

Why i didn’t know you lived for it Skeez- I am touched.

I’d say: on to the next one Rafa!

Sorry it wasn’t quite the downer on Rafa you were wishing for, sadly.

I’m out of kool aid for now- throw us a pack of the good stuff will?

I know you have stock pile in the closet! :-)


skeezer Says:

@Jimmy
Good point. I thought Nole could have moved better and with more matches on Clay he will. Not that he moved poorlly, but hecoukd be better.

Congrats to Nole for showing the blueprint on how to beat Rafa on Clay.


Giles Says:

https://mobile.twitter.com/jon_wertheim/status/326380681569640450/photo/1
Rafa still towering in the Big Apple! And why not, that is your place! VamosChamp


Brando Says:

‘Congrats to Nole for showing the blueprint on how to beat Rafa on Clay.’:

True.

Long overdue congrats to Rafa for discovering the blue print to beating Fed- pretty much anywhere.

He must look on proudly when Novak hit’s his FH’s with top spin to his BH, such as in the USO 2010, 2011 SF’s, no?

Must be proud of that.


Ben Pronin Says:

“LOL, Fed v Rafa in 06-08:
Pretty simple really.
Clay: No shame in losing to Rafa. His record speaks for itself.
Grass: He only lost 9-7 in the 5th- not exactly a horrific thing.
Indoor: 100% record.
Outdoor: Rafa didn’t win any HC slams in that period. Fed won alot of them.
I do not know why people are crying over that period.”

I don’t see anything simple about this. There’s plenty of shame in losing to a young upstart who’s only domain is clay when you’ve been dominating everyone else like every title is your birthright. I’m also well aware of the h2h and their matches. But for a good 2, 3 years, they were mostly meeting on clay where Fed only got 1 win. And for a long time, everyone and their mother was giving Federer all kinds of advice on what to do to beat Nadal. Slice here, topspin there, volley here, serve there. In the end, makes no difference.

I also don’t recall asking for an explanation of their rivalry. I only noted the similarities.


Polo Says:

Some people here are very good at writing historical fiction.


courbon Says:

@ Brando: I’m affraid I have to agree with Ben on this one .
I just want to clear up couple of facts:
1.One final, one tournament-Novak better that day and he won.Simple as that.
2.None of the regular Novaks fans on this site, mentioned Rafas downfall,. or Novak being new king of clay.Sometimes, when Novaks wins, suddenly some Novaks fans ( that rearly post on this site ) appear in celebratory mood and post some ridiculos stuff but you should not take that seriously.I know couple of regular Rafa fans that are out of their mind and plain nasty -on this site-but I ignore them.( Yes, talking about you Queen… )
3.About 7 months conspiracy theory, I’m not sure if you referring what I mentioned once?If yo do-I just want clearify once more.All I said that after his long injury- he maybe ( and only maybe-pure speculations ) took month or so, extra to change his game-and not because of only Novak-but also to prolong his career./So , better serve and quicker points.Not big conspiracy and just suggestion that maybe he done that-and absolutely nothing wrong with that.I wish Novak done same
4.Most reasonable Novaks fans know that Rafa is still favorite for RG but this win gives aa a hope that Novak has a chance.
5.Second set was very close-absolutely right.
Rafa could play better=-right there also.
Novak could play also better-he done some silly mistakes.
Points is, in the next months I expect very close matches.
Anyway, Mc is finished lets wait for Madrid…
All the best


Ben Pronin Says:

I can’t believe Nadal lost in April.

Honestly, though. As someone who isn’t a die hard Rafa fan, this is great. Adds some serious spice to the clay season (hopefully). If not, then at least we got one unexpected result, should Rafa go on to sweep everything else (more than likely).


mat4 Says:

@Kimberly:

I didn’t manage to read all the posts yet, but, since I mentioned it, I feel I have to explain why I think it is only a bad match-up.

First, just like I wrote, I don’t really see what could be Rafa’s game plan against Novak — and not only on clay. I wrote about it many times, so I won’t repeat it here.

Then, because although Fed, DelPo, Berdych, Murray and many others have chances against Novak on clay, I don’t think they can beat Rafa. The guy is simply the best on clay, the way Roger was the best player in the world despite his bad H2H against Rafa.


nadalista Says:

Don’t get all this drama……

Rafans, it was a big win for Novak.

Let Novak’s fans have their day in the sun.

Let Novak’s fans have their day in the sun.

And that includes them expressing their happiness in whatever way, shape or form.

Per favore………

On on to Barcelona!!

Vamos!


Brando Says:

@Nadalista:

You are right.

This is a moment for Novak and his fans.

He long wished to win MC- so let him and them enjoy it.

All hyperbole is excused therefore.


mat4 Says:

@Brando:

Sorry, I didn’t understand what you meant.

For me, the way Rafa managed to stay in the match in the second set is yet another testimony of his indomitable fighting spirit.

Especially when we analyse some other stats: Novak, serving at 62%, won 38 points out of 61 on his serve; Rafa won the same number of points, but out of 75, serving at 72% first serves.

The way he broke twice, in the second set, and was twice broken, is also telling: both time Novak made the errors, a both time Novak made the winners.

Rafa made a lot of errors from his FH toward the end of the match. He just started to overplay it, too long at times, too angled. It looked to me that he lost a bit of confidence in his best stroke, although I myself think that his FH was quite efficient, even terrifying.

When we compare this match with the ones they play two years ago, I feel that both players improved: Rafa was more aggressive with his FH, Novak was more efficient with his, and more apt at changing direction with his BH,

Should we discern a trend in this match? I am not certain, but, when we take in account that their H2H on clay in the last three years is 3-3, 3-10 on all surfaces, that last year Novak was on a slump during the clay season, and Rafa is now coming back from a long injury break, it could really be so.


mat4 Says:

@nadalista:

First, there’s nothing wrong in arguing and posting with arguments.

Then, yes, we, Novak fans, have our day in the sun. But it is not the only one, and Rafans too had a lot of their own days in the sun.

As a Jimmy Connors fan, I remember many of his sunny days, and I always saw the glass half full when the decline started. It is not easy to accept that your champion, who has brought you so much joy, can’t win a tournament any more, but, at the end, we all get used to it.


Daniel Says:

One thing to point out is that Novak actually was 5-0 and 15-40 on Nadal serve, set point to bagel Nadal in MC. Nadal then was saved by his serve. Champion mentality to come out of that whole serving when needed to. If Novak had won that set 6-0, it would be a comanding victory regardless of the second set being the same as it was.
But in the end, after he borke back, Djoko break him in last 2 games of both sets played. Nadal DF on set point in set 1 and Djoko won 4 straight points when Nadal served for the set at 6-5, if this is not prove of the other guy being in your head I don’t know what it is. Is the same thing that happened to Fed x Nadal over and over. This is the same pattern Djoko had over Nadal in 2011. He was breaking Nadal to close sets several times during that 7-0 stretch.

Also agree with Brando regaridng things even out later (8-7 games proves it), but Nadal never plays that way all the time, he only plays that (more agressive) when behind, ususally he counts on other player mistakes. Set 1 he hardly went DTL forehand deep, his signature killing shot. Second set he started using it more and had Djoko guessing more often with Djoko reuturning a few forehands on the run short.

Agree with Ben, on clay Nadla is basically playing the same as always, IW was a diferent BH story.


montecarlo Says:

In addition to my earlier post here I quote Nadal from his interview-

“I felt that I was playing really well the second set and I was having more chances than him.
But I need a little bit more physical performance. That’s the real thing, to play all that points with the same intensity. I get tired more to play with that intensity, earlier than what I used to do it.
So, yeah, even like this I had the chance to win the set. But I get tired in the 4 2. Then to win 5 All, have the break, was a few very intense points. I get tired to play the 6 5. I didn’t play with that intensity. When you start to have that feeling, is tough”

As I was expecting, he got physically (and probably mentally too) tired after maintaining a great level for 6 games. Hopefully he will get better as clay season progresses.


Brando Says:

@Courbon:

You are in a class of your own as a Novak fan for me.

You may possibly even be the best poster here: you say it like you see it, do not kiss butt’s here, are fair to all player’s, and have great perspective on matters.

Long story short: I enjoy reading your post’s.

So you deserve a full answer:

1- Completely correct:

In the final Novak was the clear and worthy winner.

2- Correct again re poster’s:

There are poster’s, of all player’s here, that add up to the usual variety:

Some intelligent, insightful and without malice, other’s are sadly spiteful and condescending whilst others are just outright full of BS.

The one’s who usually cook up BS in the kitchen i tend to ignore, as that isn’t the dish I like here.

But unfortunately some of better poster’s here were reading too much into one mere match for my liking- hence I had my say.

In such moment’s it is pretty revealing of how fans think: I liked that even though Novak won you were really cool about it and fair towards Rafa.

Kudos to you on that one.

3- That was not for you:

I would never equate you with the BS poster’s Courbon- so ignore such references.

You are right and i agree, it was a break that helped Rafa.

IMHO, it helped him become mentally fresh and hungry again: a big plus for any player as burnout is a real danger in this long, tiring tour.

4- Thanks but i hate this favorite thing: who cares who is favorite, it doesn’t mean they will win.

Over rated stuff IMO- this favourite thing.

5- Thanks- i thought Rafa was close in that set. I know it’s not a popular opinion here, but IMHO he should have won that set.

He paid the price for not doing so.

Anyhow:

I’m taking a Rafa style long break from posting here to now: feel burnt out with the level of posting, the arguing, and the endless defending of my fav.

Blogging becomes addictive and in all honesty: I came here to talk tennis not to defend my guy from hate.

In all honesty Rafa fans have it tough in the blog world the most: Fed fans dislike Rafa for what he did to him, and Novak fan’s see him as probably his main rival: so he’s screwed for sympathy from both really.

Anyhow: Good luck to Novak seeing as he has nice fans like you, enjoy blogging and I’ll return near the end of this year when hopefully it’s peace time here.

Take Care.

Over and out!


Giles Says:

Brando. I do hope you are not serious about taking this long a break. Please have a rethink.


Daniel Says:

But I understand what rafa fans are saying about Nadal being able to play better, but have we ever seen he do that agaisnt Novak Latelly. Flat angle BH to open court, BH DTL and forehadsn DTL deeps consistantly. Never had, bceause he is not mind seted to play that way all the time. Maybe US Open 2012 was the closes we get with him playign this way, specially because he had that serve which gave him more free points allowing him to be mroe agressive. Nadal plays with percentages so in order for him to play agressiuve all the time, he will need serve to give him peaco of mind in some points.

It is the same with some players conserving energy, aka Fed, Tsonga and other big serves,. As they have the serve, they rely on some balls not coming back and that’s way we saw them do a lot of seocnd shots mistakes. On papar some sevres shouldn’t be coming back.

Here is where Nadal revamped tennis from 2005 owners, his never say die attitude and play all the points the same was what changed as all players have to play that way today.

When you paly a match you cont that you will have an easy 40-0 game, that the guys will jsut consider the game lost and move on. Nowadyas this doesn’t happen anymore. I think this was what took Federer (beign old scholl compared to Nadal) when they start playing, and in the end, broke Fed’s spirit and game with it, till today. Rarelly we see Fed in total concentration mode versus Nadal and when he get is he has a comanding win.

If we look at players on top, Djoko, Murray, Nadal and Ferrer played that way the most. With Fed as an outsider due to him being to good.

Tehre were one game in yesterday match where Nadal was serving 40-0 and was broken, this things simply didn’t ever happen a few years ago. it was just a bizarre thing. Nowaday, all the time. That’s why also young guns can’t deliver, their mind is just not yet prepared for that type of tennis, and that’s why a Gasguet like, oozing talent will never deliver.

To me this is Nadal’s greater contribution to tennis.
After him, the game had to change comepletely! And everybody had to adapt.


mat4 Says:

@Brando:

But it’s already peacetime here. I am certainly not at was with alison, Kimberly, nadalista, lulu iberica, giles or you.

We agree to disagree — i am quoting — that’s all. And sometimes, yes I have to admit, I am a bit nasty but I regret it most of the time.


Daniel Says:

Sorry, ment to say US Open 2010.


alison Says:

Im going on holiday for a week soon,and unless i can gain access to a computer i wont be posting either,im not at war with anyone either(well that i know of),but i think i spend far too long posting on this forum sometimes,its a bit of a drug sometimes its quite emotional,maybe time for a detox.


mat4 Says:

@Daniel:

I wrote a few times about things Rafa changed in tennis, but it is difficult to assess. He doesn’t do anything revolutionary on the court, but nevertheless, he remains a peculiar player and I feel he was the one that changed tennis in the last decade.

Was it the use of the spin for height? His faith in defence? I am not sure. But when I rewatch matches from 2003, 2004 I feel tennis was completely different then.

BTW, am I the only one to notice that Rafa slides much less?


alison Says:

My mum used to say when it gets to the stage when you dont enjoy doing something then you should stop.


mat4 Says:

@alison:

Have a good holiday and a good detox. I felt similar a few times.


alison Says:

Before you go Brando just want to say congrats on Man UTD winning the league ;-))..


Daniel Says:

The thing with Nadal x Djoko rivalry is that as some one pointed out it is 10-3 to Novak last 13 meetings, which means every 4 Djoko wins 3. And last time Nadal beat Novak outside clay was WTF 2010, Djoko worst year since he burst the scene and beat Fed and Nadal in Montreal 2007.
Rafa’s chance to get kore victorys is now, during clay, because on HC it doesn’t get any better. That’s why I didn’t like when DelPo beat Novak, because everybody wanted to see if that improved Nadal on HC could handle Novak. We may have to wait till US Swing for that.


alison Says:

Mat4 not yet but i will be soon,but thanks anyway:-)


mat4 Says:

@Daniel:

I was very impressed by DelPo’s game in that match, and in his encounter against AM the day before. His FH left me speechless.


Nina Says:

I don’t understand what the debate is here. I don’t think anyone in their right mind is suggesting that because of this win, rafa is no longer the man to beat on clay. We all know and acknowledge that Rafa is the best claycourter in history, Nole is not even close.

Does that take any merit from Nole? NONE! If anything it adds value to his feat! No one has been able to beat Rafa in Montecarlo, Nole did. And he did it twice before that on clay. All I hear all the time is excuses from Rafa fans. Could have he played better? Of course. But having Nole on the other side affected his good game as it often does. Nole is not afraid of Rafa and knows how to play him and how to win. It’s not a lopside rivalry at all, as far as today Rafa is still ahead. But Nole is capable of beating Rafa on any SURFACE, he has proved that many times.

However, clay or not clay, Nole is still the clear nº1 ahead of his immediate competitors by a very wide margin. That means he’s a contender for EVERY title.


Giles Says:

I am indeed elated that Delpo beat joker in IW!


nadalista Says:

ManU 3, Aston Villa 0

Dear ManCity,

The loan period is up, please clean before return, sorry you couldn’t ‘ave the trophy for the whole year!

Yours truly,
The Red Devils.

ps, Novak Djokovic, re MC trophy, please note, kindly. Thank you.

#InSirAlexWeTrust


mat4 Says:

@Giles:

.. not joker, djoker!..


Giles Says:

mat4. Nah, he will always be JOKER so far as I am concerned! He does that well, no?


courbon Says:

@ Brando: Thank you for answer-well written as usuall.I hope you don’t take too long your break-end of year?Thats too long-couple of weeks is enough to rest from this blog.I’v seen you have been fighting Rafas corner and arguing a lot recently, so I understand that you need a break.It goes in intervals on this blog-about month ago it was lots of bad staff said about Novak, now is Rafa and there it goes in circles…The thing is, lots of Fed fans now ‘support’ Novak but really only to rub in the nose of Rafas fans.It just like that…
Nice talking to you and come back when you are ready.


courbon Says:

@Nadalista-You support MU?Ah, finally somebody with sense here…On this blog its all bloody Liverpool fans!Well, congratulations!

@ Alison :My dear, I know this must be two hardest day this year for you-Nadal loosing MC and MU winning trophy but look on the bright side: Rick Astley is doing big comeback this year!!


skeezer Says:

“I don’t understand what the debate is here”
Exactly.
There shouldn’t have been. Novak answered any debate. He won. End of story. Congrats to him and his fans with a Masters winning against the Master of Clay


Nina Says:

Thanks Skeezer, I’m sure enjoying the moment, I was elated with that victory!


coke man G Says:

Im confused by the lengths people go to to boost their faves. Posts of a certain nadal fan and a certain fed fan are seriously mirror images after they suffer defeat.

In Humble Rafa we trust.


alison Says:

Courbon lol it aint that,im already delighted Rafa has 8 MC titles,yesterday was Novaks day end of story,im pleased for him and all his lovely fans Jane,Wogboy,Mat4,Harry,Nina etc etc,but its getting to the stage where im spending too much time on this forum,and i need a break,im going to Yorkshire at the end of this week to visit a friend,so i wont have access to a computer so i wont be blogging for a while,Man utd winning the league lol was never in doubt anyway,i like Rick Astley who many have said has a look of my husband although not a big fan of the music though lol,Coldplay,Muse,Greenday,Prince are more my kind of music,and Skeezers favorite MJ.


alison Says:

^And your good self^.


mat4 Says:

@Giles:

LOL. Yes, he good at it indeed..


courbon Says:

@ Alison: Have a nice trip and have lovely break from bloging-come back fresh and sweet!


alison Says:

Courbon thanks take care :-))


Ben Pronin Says:

Alison, I was just at the Muse concert on Friday. They. Are. Incredible. Greatest band in the world. GOAT, if you will.


harry Says:

Alison, have a good break; but do come back! As you said, sometimes a lot of emotional energy is spent in squabbling, but many people here have good tennis insights too…


Wog boy Says:

Do I have a feeling or some Rafa fans are bailing out and some already bailed out of TX after MC defeat? Wouldn’t surprise me after all that euforia, gloating and everything what was said and written by some of them since Rafa won IW and Nole lost to Haas in Miami.
“In secundis nemo confidant, in adversis nemo deficiat”

I still consider him man to beat on clay, whether it is Rome, FO or even Madrid and he is still my favorite to win those titles, even Madrid. But I also believe in my man, as I always do.

Alison, don’t worry, this has nothing to do with you, enjoy your holiday and detox, we might all need one:)


Wog boy Says:

Hi harry,

Good to see you back:)


harry Says:

thanks Wog boy!


Wog boy Says:

should say “confidat” and not “confidant”


Michael Says:

It is a big win for Novak, nodoubt about it. To dislodge a Champion who was maintaining the streak for 8 continuous years is something extraordinary. Novak played to his strengths and dominated the match right from the start and Rafa was playing only second fiddle all through the match. His ferocious forehands were returned with interest by Novak and that might have upset Nadal a little bit. Moreover, some of the service returns were blinders and they just showed as to who is the best returner in the game today. What is important about this win is the confidence Novak will gain going forward. I think this would help him in Madrid, Rome and ofcourse Rolland Garros. He has beat Rafa where his game is lethal and now he will be on to relatively faster courts where he will have the upperhand.


skeezer Says:

Wog boy
Re; 11:37 post

Ever heard of no guts no glory? With those types its no glory, No guts. ;)
Poof, they are gone.

Disclaimer; those “types” are the Rafa radical types. Seeing only Rafa way or the Highway. Easy to see they are not fans of the tennis game, only the Armani man.

But there are some here whom love Rafa AND love tennis, they are the ones who stick around.


Wog boy Says:

skeezer,
I certainly enjoy reading Rafa fans posts, the one that you mentioned, that love tennis and know tennis, will not name them since I wii forget somebody.


Sirius Says:

“Fed fans dislike Rafa for what he did to him”

err….. what did rafa do to poor fed?? took away all fed’s records and achievements???


alison Says:

Harry/Wogboy thanks Im not one of those fans whos bailing out on Rafa because he lost,as a fan of tennis you take the rough with the smooth,i love the game more than the man himself,but im not actually going away till the end of the week to see a friend in Yorkshire,and i wont have access to a computer so i wont be able to post,but im happy to keep on posting till then,but if people choose not to post im guessing sometimes they find the arguing too much?or maybe they have more important things going on in the real world?its probably a coincidence that some Rafa fans aint posting ATM strange as it may seem,what about our pyschic Nole fan who comes from nowhere whenever Nole gets a win over Roger or Rafa,to rag on both of them,then dissapears like a rat up a drainpipe whenever on the odd occasion Nole loses?the fans appearing and dissapearing is not only exclusive to Rafa fans?


alison Says:

Sirius Rogers the greatest player ever,Rafas one of the greatest ever,its as simple as that really,i think its fantastic that tennis has both of these players that have both broken their own records in different ways,Rafas records on clay are off the scale,and Rogers records everywhere are quite simply off the planet.


Giles Says:

These types want Rafa fans to post just so that they can keep rubbing in Rafa’s loss. Geez the man has won MC EIGHT times, a feat that will never be repeated so Rafa fans have plenty to be proud of. No winning streak lasts forever, just ask Joker. His winning streak in 2011 came to an end, beaten by fed in the semis of FO. Wow, that must have hurt. Well done fed!
Stop your gloating joker fans and others. You never know what’s round the corner!
Vamos King Rafa!


Giles Says:

It was a bad day at the office for Rafa. It happens to the best but they just move on, no point in dwelling. Rafa has moved on. playing Barca this week, and his fans will move on as well.
No big deal!
Remember guys, highs and lows. For Rafa, I hope there are more highs than lows.
Vamos Champ!


Sirius Says:

Alison,

i agree with everything you said in response to my post @4:38. But that’s not what i wanted to know

My question was “what did rafa do to fed that the fed fans DISLIKE him?”


alison Says:

Sirius i dont know the answer to your question either sorry.


Giles Says:

Sirius. Let me venture a guess to your question to Alison. Kick his @ss time and time again? H2h!! Lol


Giles Says:

PS. I think especially 2008 Wimbledon, denying fed 6 consecutive wins, which hasn’t been achieved by any player.


nadalista Says:

Rafans, fantastic blog by Wooffie! She asks a very, very pertinent question:

http://www.wooffiesrafaramblings.com/2013/04/why-does-it-matter-so-much-for-rafa-to.html

Btw, Rafa plays Carlos Berlocq tomorrow.

Vamos!!


Giles Says:

nadalista. That was indeed a fantastic and brilliantly written blog.
Please link it to every current thread so as to make sure nobody misses it. Am serious!


alison Says:

Ben love Muse,and im so jealous of you seeing them live lol :-))..


Ben Pronin Says:

Nadalista, interesting article.

I don’t think its Rafa, per say, so much that it’s history. Outside of Borg, the French Open has mostly been won by clay court specialists and no more than, what, 2 or 3 times? And then faded. Wimbledon, however, was usually won by the top players, several times (and often consecutively). Borg, McEnroe, Sampras, and then Federer. So with Wimbledon and Federer, people wanted to see if he could break the record. And it would make sense to everyone if he did. But Nadal’s whole career is quite unorthodox (kind of like his game, ironically). Rarely, if ever, have we seen a player start his quest towards greatness at the French, or on clay for that matter. And for a time it looked like Nadal would just be another clay court specialist. And then he no longer was. And yet his mastery over the surface remains. It’s entirely unprecedented, and so we wait to see “can this really last?”

I don’t see his achievements as lesser by any means, quite the opposite. While clay isn’t as prominent on the schedule as hard courts, it’s vastly more prominent that grass courts. And yet, has Nadal even reached 20 losses on clay yet? Mind. Boggling.


alison Says:

Rafas done the channel slam twice,of all the active players theres only Roger thats been in more Wimbledon finals and won more wimbledon titles than Rafa,Jane put up a reliability index some weeks ago,and Rafas on the list of the all time greatest grass court players,in the top 10 i think,so hes not a slouch on grass courts either.


nadalista Says:

Thanks @Giles, thanks for your take @Ben Pronin.

As fans it is very easy to be defensive about your fav and it would be very easy to dismiss Wooffie’s post as another fan rant. But she makes some very, very pertinent observations which deserve answers. And @Ben Pronin you provide one answer/perspective, thanks.


alison Says:

Nadalista congrats to you on Man Utd winning the league,a record 20th time #InSirAlexWeTrust,nice link also BTW.


nadalista Says:

Thanks @alison!

The Red Devils gave me the perfect excuse for a cool G&T toast, you know, the one I had lined up for a Rafa MC victory?!

Looking forward to Barcelona, hope our boy re-groups, finds his mojo, ready for the long road to gay Paris!


alison Says:

Nadalista i dont know if he will win the FO,i mean i hope he does,but im sure he will bounce back,and Barcelonas a good start,also i think Man City will win the FA Cup which would mirror what happened 2 years ago i believe?


Giles Says:

Going forward nobody knows which player will win what. All we can do is hope and root for our favourites to come through.
Vamos Rafa!!


The Great Davy Says:

I know how much Tennis-X form likes roast Bird. Howeffort, my wife like bird more so she gets. You can have the birdsh!t.


The Great Davy Says:

Guys, to make a confession, I overhear the news of prize money increase at my favorite tournament, Wimbledon. I simply could not afford to pay attention to match. I my mind on more important things.


Aon Says:

in every match against rafa{2011-13} nole try to play entire match to the rafa’s back hand to earn point as well as put him under pressure, and this dirty tactics working well for nole. but in MC final djoker forced rafa for 28 BH unforced errer ! djoker use his much superior BH against rafa’s weak BH to win.


Aon Says:

so as rafa fan, i believe rafa will work on his BH to remain a threat on RG against djoker !


Aon Says:

so as rafa fan, i believe rafa will work on his BH to remain a threat in RG against djoker !


Wog boy Says:

“in every match against rafa{2011-2013}nole try to play entire match to the rafa’s back hand to ear points as to put him under pressure, and this dirty tactics work well for Nole.”

Why on the earth is “dirty tactics” to try to find oponents weakness and use them for benefits of yours. Isn’t that how that works in every sport, and not just sport? Isn’t that the way how Rafa beats his oponents (breakind down Roger’s BH)? Did you expect Nole to chip the balls on Rafa FH and commit suicide? You were not serious, were you?


jane Says:

Touche Wog boy!


skeezer Says:

Rafanatics at it again. Drunk with Rafa Kool aid. Hahaha..

Its common knowledge Rafa tactics against Fed were simple. Pound the BH, and u win. Such a dirty tactic, lol (sic)!!!!!!
Problem is, Fed still got 10 career wins against the animal Beast regardless. But fair enough. Kudos to Rafa for finding the GOAT Kryptonite.

Now, Rafa fans are claiming Nole s tactics are dirty. he hits to Rafa’s BH. Such a big crock of sh!t! Poor baby, lol.

These Rafa fans are the most entertaining when they come out and explains things for him when he loses. Classic.


Aon Says:

As nole fan says he is a complete player, i also think so, he is the best returner rit nw,massive FH,solid BH but my point is if he is a complete player why he don’t try to defeat rafa with the help of his all-round game skill,


Aon Says:

Every tennis lover expect a good match when his fav player playing, when both player keep fighting from starting to end of the match,that’s match become nail biting no one knows who’ll going to win . it’s become monotonous to see one sided match. i want rafa win but not one sided match like the RG 2011 against fed. i really love the match fed v/s rafa in wimbledon final, djoker v/s rafa epic AO final. rafa lost the match but was still enyoyable b’coz he fought hard as like fed did in wimbledon final .


Giles Says:

These skeezer types should worry about their man’s BH which can’t be improved upon simply cos the man is too old. Whereas Rafa can still work on his.
Vamos King!!


Thomas Says:

“As nole fan says he is a complete player, i also think so, he is the best returner rit nw,massive FH,solid BH but my point is if he is a complete player why he don’t try to defeat rafa with the help of his all-round game skill,’
Anon, maybe its because nole doesn’t need his “all round game skill” to beat nadal. Idiot.


nadalista Says:

I never thought I would ever agree with a Fedfan but Douglas Perry (a Fedbot if ever there was one), you might be onto something here, hahahaha!:

http://www.oregonlive.com/the-spin-of-the-ball/index.ssf/2013/04/novak_djokovic_and_rafael_nada.html

Choice quote:

“Djokovic, we all know, is the best player in the world. But is he now the best player on clay as well? Or was his win over Rafa in Monte Carlo the worst thing that could have happened to him?

Nole showed Rafa — and the world — that his claycourt wins over the Spaniard in 2011 were no fluke. He is unquestionably the new favorite to win the French Open, the one major title he has yet to bag.

Which just might prove to be the Serb’s downfall. Nadal will go into the French Open feeling like the underdog, which will give him even more motivation than usual. ”

Vamos Rafa!! RG underdog indeed……!!

Vamos the ehhhh……New King of Clay!!!


Sirius Says:

Giles, i’d say rafa still didn’t manage to kick roger’s a$$ enough time, coz roger did get to the maximum slams and records despite rafa’s a$$ kicking.

I don’t buy that reason u showed here for disliking rafa. Though I’m not a fan of him, I don’t hate rafa. But i think he has some other reasons to be disliked


Aon Says:

@ wog boy,@ skeezer, plz don’t mind the word “dirty tactics” i used this term just for some fun, i expected some reply from djoker fan. and i’m sure you’ll reply skeezer.

so don’t take it serious .


Aon Says:

@ Thomas

djoker use his all-round skill to play every point to rafa’s BH,.

idiot


skeezer Says:

For those of you who think Rafa is going to change is BH, forget it . Ain’t gonna happen. He may tweak what he has(don’t see this happening either), but his fundamental mechanics of the swing cannot change at this point in his career. He has already tried serving harder, moonballing, drop shotting, hacking slices at Nole, all for the most part unsuccessfully. This is the thing wiith Rafa. Don’t think he needs to find some magicical shot. He is always very close in being able to beat Nole. Its inside his head where he needs to beat Nole. No where else.


alison Says:

^Good point^.


Giles Says:

These skeezer types don’t understand some posts.
In my post at 6.05 am ” whereas Rafa can still work on his”.
Referring to BH!


Ben Pronin Says:

To say that Federer is too old to make any changes, but Nadal (at 26, 27) has all this time, is hilarious. Even Ryan Harrison, who’s 20, is too old to make any drastic changes. The most anyone can do is make some tweaks, and most importantly, improve their fitness (Harrison).


Aon Says:

@ skeezer

good point skeezer,i agree with you for some point,nole is inside his head .


jane Says:

nadalista, do you seriously think Rafa’s not the favourite at Roland Garros because Nole just won one final on clay versus him? He won 2 finals in 2011 but still didn’t win the FO.

I think Perry is wrong. Rafa is always the favourite at the FO until proven otherwise. No one has ever dominated a slam like he has Roland Garros. We haven’t even seen what’s going to happen through the remainder of the clay season, so basing FO predictions on the Monte Carlo final seems premature. I guess we could say that based on recent year’s clay results, Rafa’s the fave, with Nole and Fed maybe second, then Murray, Delpo, Tsonga, Berdych and Ferrer.

But to say Nole is “unquestionably” the favourite to win? Hyperbolic.


Giles Says:

Rafa loves being the underdog. I do not mind in the least just so long as at the end of the day he is TOP DOG!! #Vamos7TimeRGChampion


skeezer Says:

@Aon,

Thanks for that. I think that is what a lot of us here were commenting on, and that is a confirmation.


montecarlo Says:

What a stupid post by ATP guys

“The next counter-move by Nadal must be to limit exposure to his backhand by controlling the Ad court once again with his lethal run-around forehand otherwise we may well have a brand new French Open champion in a few weeks’ time”

The better approach will be to work on the backhand and make sure he doesn’t make all those unforced errors which he made this time (and din’t made in FO final or last year MC final)


mat4 Says:

Douglas Perry is out of his mind. I could even accept that Skeezer overnight becomes a Rafa fan, but Douglas Perry?

If Rafa loses in Madrid and Rome against Novak, he will lose against him again if they meat — it doesn’t mean Nole will win the FO, since a lot of players could be dangerous for him, but Rafa won’t be among those.

And like Skeezer said, there’s nothing he can change in his peculiar game, nor in his tactics: he played 7 finals in a row and didn’t manage to change anything whatsoever, how could he now? He has to stick to his weapons: big FH and defence. And against a good Novak, it could be enough, but only if Rafa is in the right frame of mind — and he has shown in MC that this right frame of mind isn’t there.


skeezer Says:

montecarlo,

you’re right, and wrong. Rafa used to Run around his FH at will, no problem. But he is either not fit enough or cannot do it like he use to( also credit to Novak for strategically pinning him to that side ). This remains to be seen as he is still working his way back in the game. Lets face it, if Rafa had an average FH, he’d be a average player. But he doesn’t.

The other way is work on his BH, like you say. But how does he change that? From what to what?


mat4 Says:

@Skeez:

I remember his BH from 2009, when he already had problems dealing with high balls and spin on that side. Not much has changed: he still is able to hit it CC, still he has problems to play it consistently DTL.

And Rafa doesn’t control topspin effectively on that side.

Anyway, imagine Novak, who played only five matches this year on clay, starts to play effectively a high rebounding CC FH on Rafa’s BH? Doesn’t have to do it the way Rafa does, but like he did it late in the last final. It would really be quite ironic.


skeezer Says:

@mat4

This kinda of completes the puzzle for me with Fedal. Being a one hander, Fed could never consistently hit to Rafa’s BH with BHDTL, at least not with much flatness, thus the difficulty. I mean he could,but not like a 2hander can.
*Sigh*, as much as I love Feds BH, wish he had a 2 hander against the Beast. Would have made a world of difference ;).


Aon Says:

@ skeezer

i don’t think 2 handed BH much more stronger than single handed BH. B’coz fed’ve won many many magical point by using his BH, whether he hit straight or hit cross the line,and no one player can’t get those point which i saw winning by fed. according to me, fed problem is against rafa, he did not adjust his game as much as required, my 2 point is, fed game does’nt suit left hander player like rafa,in other hand rafa adjusted his game to beat fed after many loses.


Aon Says:

and what the 2 handed BH can do,you can see the 8 finals which rafa lost by djoker.

@ skeezer

remember when fed beat djoker in 2011 semi-final of RG, he beat that player who was all-most unbeatable that year, winning that type of match did not help fed in the final against rafa. my point is if fed can beat unbeatable player in semi-final,he should’ve beat rafa in the final but that match finished in one sided, that shows fed did’nt adjust his game to beat rafa on that day.


Ahsan Najeeb Says:

IMO Rafa’s problem is not only the backhand… Its the depth and accuracy of Nole’s strokes that causes a lot of problem for Rafa on either side… Nole also uses his CC backhand very effectively to get short forehand reply from Rafa and control the point from then onwards… And with age catching up Rafa will also start to lose the agility on court which is his main weapon…. Surely its going to be tough for him to compete with young players in future with this kind of game..He needs to modify his serve and maybe add a bit of pace to it to keep the points short..


Daniel Says:

To me is pretty simple, the match is ij Djoko’s racquet. HT emost Nadal can do is paly consistanlt and wait / hope to Djoko’s level to drop (MC 12 parent thing, Rome not mentally there and RG 12). Those 3 matches Djokovic simply wasn’t playng the way he did in 2011 and Nadal captalize on it. It takes 2 two tango. So far there match up is more even, we can hardly say one of those finals was a wash out. Even Rome when Nadal was mooballing the rallies were still long. They usually show up to play but a few things affect their matches. Wimbledon 2011 Djoko was winning comanding but had a blip and the fourth set happened. Even Djoko can’t sustain his level for 5 sets, that’s why all their late GS amtches where more than 3 sets.

If they meet again before RGfirst set is crucial, since last 3 times Nadal lost first set, he lost the match.


Aon Says:

remembering 2011 RG semi-final, i hava a question, if fed does’nt beat djoker in semi-final, could djoker win that final ? i thing most of the people would say yes b’coz djoker form was unquestionable that time.

so this year in RG I also expect to fed to beat djoker before final,so that we could see fed vs rafa in refreshing final,or other reason is as a rafa fan i don’t want to see the RG streak ended by djoker.
b’coz if some one deserve that honer it would be fed, i’ll be happy if fed win this year RG.


steve-o Says:

Federer requires a more imaginative strategy against Nadal. He can’t just rip his backhand consistently enough to unsettle Nadal.

He has to use his variety to feed Nadal different balls, all precisely placed, to get him off balance.

The one-handed backhand requires impeccable timing. It’s not as consistent as a two-hander, but it is more powerful and penetrates the court more easily. Even a great shotmaker like Federer can only make a certain percentage of those backhands per match. Anything more than that results in too many UEs, which will lose him the match. Nadal’s defense is just good enough to force him to try for too many backhands.

When Federer lost to Nadal in the early days, he often stepped back and tried to give himself more time to deal with Nadal’s spin. He does get more time, but the cost is that his shots don’t penetrate the court as much, giving Nadal more time to retrieve his shots. Not a solution.

So Federer tries to run around his backhand and hit inside-out forehands. But that’s also a tough shot to make. He can’t do that consistently enough, make enough winners, to compensate for avoiding his backhand altogether. So again he ends up making unforced errors. Again, not a solution.

It’s why he finds it very difficult to beat Nadal. He has to be fully prepared to execute a very intricate game plan. He can’t just use brute force.

Djokovic doesn’t have to do anything special to beat Nadal these days. He just plays his normal game, and Nadal has to adjust. His backhand can blast through Nadal’s forehand. His forehand can expose Nadal’s backhand and open the court to get a short ball, which he can then pound for a winner.

This time at MC, Nadal tried to slice to break Djokovic’s rhythm, but it was futile. Nadal’s slice only keeps the ball in play, he cannot consistently use it for offense or point construction.

Federer uses his slice very effectively against Djokovic, most notably at RG in ’11 and Wimbledon last year. He really makes Djokovic bend and stoop to his BH side to pick up those low, precisely placed sliced balls. This allows him more time to move Djokovic around and work the point and create an opening for a winner, or to make Djokovic go for too much.

But it takes a player as technically skilled as Federer to do that consistently enough.


skeezer Says:

Steve-o
Fabulous post, thanks for sharing.
One point. Nadal does not have a slice, technically, its a hack/chop.


Steve 27 Says:

,he should’ve beat rafa in the final
absurd and irrelevant
Nadal should have won Wimbleodn 2007
Djokovic should have won Us Open 2007
you should, I should, your dad should is IRRELEVANT


skeezer Says:

Steve 27

Read your Rafafanatic team posts.

#kettleblack

Top story: Federer, Nadal And Djokovic Have Finished Ranked In The Top 3 Six Times! [Chart]
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