Nadal Crushes Federer For Seventh Rome Title And A Top 4 French Open Seeding
by Sean Randall | May 19th, 2013, 12:58 pm
  • 98 Comments

Well, that was over quick. I thought going in Rafael Nadal would beat Roger Federer in straight sets today in the Rome Tennis Masters final. I just didn’t think he’d do it that easily. After Federer’s service hold to open the match, it was all Nadal, all the time. The Spaniard absolutely rolled Roger winning 6-1, 6-3, an it wasn’t even that close.

Where to begin?

Federer came out in that first service game in attack mode, charging the net and going after Nadal. It worked! This court looked fast, the sun was out, things seemed promising for a memorable finish to our French Open lead-up.

And then Rafa got going.

We see Rafa moving Roger side to side. We see Federer trying to defend the heavy top to his backhand, often unsuccessfully. We see the Federer errors begin to pile up. We see Rafa hitting winners off the forehand. We see Roger hitting into the net or into the crowd. We see Rafa hitting his backhand now with confidence. We hear the crowd whistling. We see scoreline and like that it’s 6-1 Rafa. We see Roger get the racquet knocked out of his hand. We see Rafa biting another trophy in the springtime.

Does that about cover it?

All credit to Nadal. Coming off what he said was the best match of his comeback yesterday, he did even better today. The guy is the King of Clay and he’s peaking at just the right now.

Having won six titles in eight events, Rafa now enters the French Open with more titles on a season then he’s ever gone into Paris with. And as if he needed it, his confidence has to be sky high.

“If you told me four or five months ago that after eight tournaments I would have won six titles from eight finals, I would say ‘you are crazy’,” Nadal said. “To win three [ATP World Tour] Master 1000 and two [ATP World Tour] 500 tournaments is more than I ever dreamed.

“All I can say is ‘thank you for the support and to my team’. Thanks to them I have the chance to be here again and compete. I don’t want to think about Roland Garros yet. Let me enjoy this victory.”

As for Federer, at least he got to a final and put together some decent play. But today was a dismal performance, one of the worst I’ve ever seen from him, and a stark reminder that Father Time always wins. Rafa was playing well, but Roger was just missing easy shots time after time. And unfortunately at age 31, we are likely to see more of these kind of outings.

“It didn’t go how I hoped and I was missing too many easy forehands and crucial points,” Federer said. “He does an incredible job returning form the back of the court and it is hard because he covers the court so well. You need to serve accurately. When Rafa is at his best he creates opportunities in rallies and dictates. It was difficult to change.

“I am playing well and I am healthy, so I have everything to play for next week. This week was good to get an idea about what is working.”

Rafa’s title earns him the No. 4 seeding at the French Open, so guys like Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray are breathing easier knowing they won’t have to face Nadal now until the semifinals. (For their sake I hope Novak and Murray didn’t see the match!)

The win also increases Rafa’s series lead over Federer to 20-10 and 13-2 on clay. And the two matches this year haven’t been pretty for Roger who’s won just 10 games in four sets.

And like I said, today wasn’t even as close as the score indicated. Nadal won nine straight to lead 6-1, 3-0. Then led 6-1, 5-1 before Federer broke to salvage some pride.

Rafa now has 56 career titles, 41 on clay. He also extends his all-time Masters titles lead to 24. And he’ll go into the French Open seeking an 8th title as once again the overwhelming favorite.

It’s a new year but really, little changes in May.

It was billed as Federer-Nadal XXX and for just about every Federer fan that match turned out to be XXX-Rated. But one of the great gifts Federer has is the uncanny ability to move on from tough losses. If you are a Federer fan give it your best effort to do that same.


Also Check Out:
Rafael Nadal Will Not Get A Better Seeding At The French Open
Roger Federer Will Play In Rome!
Federer Lands In Djokovic’s Half (Again) As Nadal Enjoys Comfy Path To Seventh French Open Final
Rain Pushes Djokovic-Nadal To Monday; Sharapova Out-Weathers Li Na For Rome Title
Federer, Nadal Two Sets From Rome Masters Final Clash

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98 Comments for Nadal Crushes Federer For Seventh Rome Title And A Top 4 French Open Seeding

nadalista Says:

*Nadal by the records*

The following is the list of relevant Nadal records, which are directly related to the latest event:

-Overall career – 1st place in the all-time list with an 83.31% career winning percentage (619-124 career record).

-Outdoors career – 1st place in the all-time list with an 85.56% career winning percentage (563-95 career record).

-Clay career – 1st place in the all-time list with a 93.14% career winning percentage (285-21 career record).

Masters 1000 career – 1st place in the all-time list with an 83.84% career winning percentage (249-48 career record).

-Nadal is the only player in history to have won 4 different tournaments at least 6 times,

-The only player to have won 4 different tournaments at least 7 times and,

-The only player to have won 2 different tournaments 8 times:

Monte Carlo (8)

Barcelona (8)

Rome (7)

Roland Garros (7)


nadalista Says:

*Nadal by the records at Masters 1000*

-24 total titles at Masters 1000 tournaments: all-time record.

-9 consecutive years winning at least one Masters 1000 title: all-time record.

-18 titles at Masters 1000 tournaments on clay: all-time record.

-7 Rome titles: all-time record.

-35 finals at Masters 1000 tournaments: all-time record.

-47 semifinals at Masters 1000 tournaments: all-time record.


gonzalowski Says:

Great article, deep and funny sometimes

Nadalista, thank you for these numbers.

Gulbis and Ferrer were able to play near of the baseline, Fed not.
Borg has “few” Rome or Montecarlo trophys, but I think didn’t play a lot of years these tournaments, don’t know why


skeezer Says:

Well, that was a crush. Fed won the first game, then Rafa won the next 8. Not a good sign. I get all the platitudes with Rafa on Clay, and his fans deserve to shout about it. Rafa is the artist on Clay. He is magical on the stuff and truly does look superhuman at times(well, most of the time. …..wait… all the time ). He has to be the shoo-in for RG. No “underdog” gamesmenship accepted there.

I could lay down the excuse line for Fed like so many Rafa fans do for Rafa, but I won’t. Congrats to Rafa, his fans, his miracle knees, and his cult. On to RG and then the most important and world watched tennis tournaments in the world. Wimby and USO.


nadalista Says:

RT @SI_BTBaseline: “Nadal still refusing to talk about health and declined to answer questions re French Open. Will head to Paris on Wednesday or Thursday. #atp”

Keep your powder dry, Rafa. Let the “eloquent” ones talk…………


alison Says:

Nadalista thanks for those stats,its fantastic that Rafa has broken some very impressive records of his very own ,that are only his and for only his fans to enjoy.


alison Says:

Thanks Skeezer,Roger had a great week too this week;).


van orten Says:

great week of tennis again. nadals kryptonite is crosscourt backhand to forehand and dtl!otherwise impossible to beat on clay. going for it functions only with firepower. big serve forehand combos. pressuring risking and perfect shot selection=- he escapes 99% of the time . so normally djoker is the one who could do it because he did it in mc.he is the only one who outplays him on clay by hanging in in the rallies.
but …nadal is pure confidence!!!

i fancy the chances for a tough 5 setter at RG

no matter what. nadal is just the best on clay!


Steve 27 Says:

This match remained a movie: Massacre in Texas


Roger Federer Fan Says:

“On to RG and then the most important and world watched tennis tournaments in the world. Wimby and USO.”

Great post Skeezer. Keep up your good work.


Humble Rafa Says:

Congrats to Rafa, his fans, his miracle knees, and his cult.

Coming from Skeezer? Holy Cow. How have people changed?


nadalista Says:

Shot of the match: Rafa’s RUNNING backhand down the line banana shot.

We know he can hit a running FOREHAND down the line banana shot, today he did a backhand………

*head shake*


marrisv Says:

Congrats to Rafa and his fans. Commisserations to Fed and his fans. An anticlimactic match. Fed was clearly rusty and rafa was at a high level. I have no doubt he will bounce back strongly in the French. If Rafa and him are on opposite sides of the draw at RG, i still believe it will be a Fedal final.


skeezer Says:

RFF/HR

choose one moniker or the other. i mean are u really a tennis fan or just rying to make fum of the game?


Giles Says:

@marrisv. Yes. I too hope it will be a Fedal final at RG. Fedal draw the largest crowds, standing room only, with Rafa winning! :-)))
#VamosKing


harry Says:

Congratulations to Rafa & his fans.


nadalista Says:

At this point I am moved to thank Lucas Rosol (I am not being facetious) for THAT defeat.It forced Rafa to bite the bullet, get attention for his maladies, recuperate and come back firing from all cylinders…….


gabsvamos Says:

Great display of tennis domination by the one and only Rafa Nadal! I was hoping Fed would have put up more of a fight but it is what it is these days…there was nothing Fed could do and I think he knows that. Am looking forward to RG and hoping that Ferrer and Novak can join Roger in the 20-losses-to-Rafa club! VAMOS!

@Sean Randall Now that he has won his 23rd and 24th Masters 1000 titles in 12 days, will Rafa finally be able to join the funk list and knock Tommy Haas and Stan Wawrinka off the top spot?


Steve 27 Says:

Vamos for an 8 RG!


Denver Says:

skeezer Says:
RFF/HR

choose one moniker or the other. i mean are u really a tennis fan or just rying to make fum of the game?

May 19th, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Are you really dumb or just pretending to be ?
They are not making fun of the game or anything else. They are just making fun of a lowlife called skeezer.


nadalista Says:

Rafael Nadal is going into RG with the most number of ATP tournament wins (6) in the season than he has ever done in his career.

#Confidence


skeezer Says:

^didn’t knew you had 3. My bad.


sheila Says:

i’m a federer fan & i shut the match off after the 2nd break in 1st set. i knew federer wouldn’t win nadal on clay, but i had hoped it would be more competitive. writers say father time is catching up to federer, yet ferrer @ same age as federer @ least got a set off of nadal. not making excuses for federer, because i truly believe nadal is the goat on clay, but i still think it is the bad matchup w/federer’s 1 handed backhand to nadals incredibe forehand. it doesnt work. i mean janowicz was pulverizing the ball & federer seemed to handle it. its nadal’s topspin to federers bh that does so much damage, and lets face it, federer @ this point, has no confidence against nadal. i hope roger @ least gets to semis @ french. what i really hope is someone other than nadal & djokovic step up to the plate & start winning slams, but who? berdych, tsonga, delpotro, i dont think so. gulbis should have one the match against nadal, but there again, mental midget like all the others. they have big games, much bigger than federer, but they dont have the belief that they can win nadal. nadal is a gr8 player and more than anything, he is the tuffest player mentally.


WTF Says:

Meh. Nothing to see here.

All eyes will be on the draw next week and whether he can avoid Nole’s half.

Sean, I’m quite surprised this is the most titles he’s entered Paris with, but keep in mind two of those were 500′s and one of them was 250. These are events he wouldn’t have entered in the past when he was match fit and not coming off an injury layoff. In other words, those titles are irrelevant.

IW, Rome, and Madrid are very much relevant however.

You called him overwhelming favorite for Paris. I think he is about 50/50. The clay masters 1000s decide the tone of the clay season going into the French. And it’s true that he’s won two while Nole has won only one. However, Nole beat him to claim his one title, and that was a place he’d been undefeated for 8 years in. In both of Nadal’s two clay 1000 titles, he didn’t have to play Nole because Nole got upset by a lesser player. That’s not going to happen at the French, so if he wants to win that he will have to beat Nole, and that loss in MC has to be playing into his mind. He’s been reminded that he’s no longer invincible in that place, on that surface. Nor is he invincible in Paris.

I am believe it or not, impartial here. I don’t care who wins it, but if I had to put down some money, it’s on Nole to win the French Open. Yes he’s taken losses at 1000 level, but those are less important. When it’s all on the line, that’s when he rises and produces his best.


WTF Says:

marrisv Says:

“Congrats to Rafa and his fans. Commisserations to Fed and his fans. An anticlimactic match. Fed was clearly rusty and rafa was at a high level.”

Well that’s what happens when you’re gifted an easy set of opponents along the way to a final where you actually meet some real competition. You’re underdone and not ready for it.


andrea Says:

Dear God:

you know i’ve been a devout federer fan for years, faithfully watching as many matches as possible, often keeping them on my PVR for weeks just to re-live all the sublime points.

but, like everything at some point, my fervent belief has been diminished. i still think he has some great play but i beg of you….i can’t watch another match with him against Nadal.

there was a time when i relished the match up, but never on clay. the contrast in playing styles never worked (or barely worked i should say) and as the years went on, the psychological wounds on fed’s brain have just festered.

no longer able to keep up with the insane court coverage of nadal’s shots due to age, it’s time to put this ‘rivalry’ to bed.

there are only so many times you can pray at the alter and come up empty handed.


James Says:

It was quite disappointing to see Federer struggle and dominated like that by Rafa Nadal. I knew Rafa would win the match but expected some tough fight from Roger. I don’t know what’s with him but he seems to have accepted that he can’t beat a fit and confident Nadal. That’s sad.

Heading to RG, Rafa simply is the favourite to win it for the 8th time. Now I don’t think even Novak Djokovic can stop him. Well, Nole has other issues to deal with too besides a possible final match up with Nadal. Hope he doesn’t get eliminated in the early rounds again like in Madrid and Rome. But like I said, Rafa should and will most likely win yet another French Open crown.


Anna Says:

Nadalista – Incredible stats, no! When I said enjoy the Fedal finals now, I meant enjoy them because they’re likely not to be the competitive, entertaining finals that we’ve seen in years past. If todays match is an indicator of their future matches, then it’s already to late. They’ll continue to have matches as long as Roger plays, but I don’t think anyone but Rafa’s fans will enjoy, and even some of them will lose interest. The surface won’t matter either. Their IW match on h/c wasn’t this much of a beat down, but it wasn’t particularly competitive either. I thought the Fed fan sitting in front of me at IW was going to have a stroke. His wife kept rubbing his shoulders and patting his leg. I wonder if that was Skeezer?


Ahsan Najeeb Says:

@WTF

Completely agree with your take on how the situation stands before RG… I would add that its not going to be easy for anyone to upset nole in a 5 set format since he has more time to comeback .. I also believe he would not have lost against Dimitrov and Berdych if those matches were 5 setters..

The only way he does not reach final of RG if drawn in other half of Rafa is if he gets beaten by Fed in semis and even chances of that happening are v remote based on Fed’s performance today.


Humble Rafa Says:

One is on the way up..the other is on the way down…..


Humble Rafa Says:

His wife kept rubbing his shoulders and patting his leg. I wonder if that was Skeezer?

No doubut..it was the S-man


WTF Says:

Ahsan, Fed did beat Nole at the French Open Semis in 2011, and based on that result I expected Fed to have a decent chance of repeating that in 2012, but instead he got crushed. What a difference a year makes!

I don’t know the seedings, but if Fed plays Nole in the semis this year, I can’t see Fed winning it. He got his revenge last year a few weeks later at Wimbledon, but that has traditionally been Federer’s home (he has 7 or 8 titles now?). And even then, I don’t feel confident that Fed will beat him at Wimby this year either (Murray definitely won’t).

My favorites for the remaining slams ranked in order:

French Open:
1. Nole/Rafa (about as even as you can get)
3. Federer

Wimbledon:
1. Nole
2. Rafa
3. Fed
4. Murray

USO:
1. Nole
2. Murray
3. Rafa
4. Delpo
5. Fed

I think Rafa and Murray are interchangeable at the US Open. Murray has beaten Rafa there in the past, but Rafa beat Murray last year. Both are quite a distance behind Nole however. Fed I expect will lose in 5 sets to Nole in the SF again.


nadalista Says:

^^Rafa cannot have beaten Murray at the US Open last year, Rafa did not play the US Open last year.

Good luck with your predictions.


Kimberly Says:

In my mind rafa is the French open favorite simply because he is less vulnerable against the field. If it is simply v Nole I think it’s 50-50.


alison Says:

Kimberly my thoughts exactly.


Ahsan Najeeb Says:

^Agree on FO… Too close to call right now…. but Wimbledon prediction is not that straight forward… Two things will determine the outcome IMO…

1) The outcome of FO… I know these are two different surfaces but whoever wins FO will have a huge psychological advantage going into wimby… I don’t see Rafa beating Nole in wimby if he gets beaten by him twice on his two fav surfaces of all time I.e. RG and MC. That result will be a confidence killer for him… Same can be said if Rafa beats Nole in RG… His confidence will be sky high and Nole will have difficulty in beating a confident Rafa…

2) I feel the draw in wimby will also play avital role in determining the winner… If Murray can avoid Rafa in semis he has a pretty good chance of winning against Fed and Nole.. Same is the case with Fed… However, if Rafa avoids meeting with Nole I don’t see him losing against Fed or Murray.


Steve 27 Says:

Is Murray playing RG?


Humble Rafa Says:

Is Murray playing RG?

No. Given his clay court form, it doesn’t matter anyway.


Kimberly Says:

Steve27, last I heard he would decide Wed. whether to go to Paris or not.


David Says:

I’m going to go out on a limb and predict a Djokovic victory in Paris. Although on the surface all signs point to Nadal, it’s that very fact that makes me wonder if something unusual might happen this time. We all know that Nadal prefers psychologically to be in the role of the underdog, but no-one will buy his sandbagging this time. This just might be the situation that allows Djokovic to play loose and steal his thunder.

Of course, Nadal could easily ride this form to the tropy — still the most likely result — but Djokovic (and Djokovic alone, I think) could pull something special out.


Humble Rafa Says:

I am grateful that my good tennis has given me a #4 ranking. I look forward to playing better and getting a higher seeding next year.


Seth Says:

Don’t worry Fed fans. Djokovic will whip Nadal at RG just like he did at Monte Carlo.


Seth Says:

I mean, I do believe God is just and that the universe isn’t absurd. You can only play tennis the wrong way (as Nadal does, and credit to him for being so successful with it) for so long before the karmic chickens come home to roost. He’ll be retired and hobbling by 29.


coke man G Says:

The humble one is quite an innovator if he can win 11 slams playing tennis the wrong way, no? 20-10, your god is a cruel god, buddy


roy Says:

”You can only play tennis the wrong way (as Nadal does, and credit to him for being so successful with it) for so long before the karmic chickens come home to roost. He’ll be retired and hobbling by 29.”

like safin, rios, gonzo, nalbandian etc.
i suppose they all play tennis the wrong way too.


Hamza Says:

Nothing unusual , and no shame in losing to Rafa on clay. It just makes one admire Djokovic more because he has been the only one who has troubled Nadal on clay. Despite Rafa’s great season so far, if we have a Djokovic vs Nadal match in Roland Garos, Djokovic will have a real shot at beating Nadal. Djokovic has the game and he has the confidence to beat Nadal on clay. He showed it in Monte Carlo this year, he showed in Rome and Madrid in 2011.

Rafa owns clay and he doesn’t have any points to defend after Roland Garos. Things are looking good for him. Congrats to all Nadal fans, commiserations to Fed fans but hey , there is always a possibility that the events of French open 2009 may happen again. Rome showed that a hot Gulbis has the potential to knock out Rafa on clay. Gulbis is more like Soderling’s replacement.


Rumble Says:

Nothing surprising here.

Fed is almost 32. He’s an old man in tennis terms. People forget how Sampras dropped out of the top 10 by the time he hit 31, and didn’t win any tournament after turning 29 until he magically won USO in 2002.

For his age, Fed is doing pretty well. Still No. 3, still holding wimbledon.

Nadal has made hay beating a player 5 years older on his favorite surface (don’t forget, 13 of those 20 wins are on clay).

Nadal is the clay GOAT, we all know that. Nobody disputes that. 75% of his titles, slams, masters – everything – are on clay.

As for French Open – Djoke is the only one with a good shot at beating Nadal. Otherwise it has to be some surprise winner getting hot. Fed is not going to be that player. Nor Murray, nor Delpo, nor Berdych, nor tsonga, nor Ferrer, nor Stan. Basically none of the other top 10s.

I guess the only person that makes Nadal uncomfortable on clay is Djokovic.

I suppose Fed will look for a last hurrah at Wimbledon this year. Otherwise I bet he fades away and perhaps retires after next year. He may find it tough to maintain top 4 after next year.

Hopefully some younger players will step up.


Rumble Says:

Seth,

Nadal doesn’t play tennis the “wrong way”. That’s ridiculous. There’s no such thing as the “wrong way”.

He is lucky to be such a good player AND be left handed. there are so few lefties, that a player of that caliber, when he is lefty, can really exploit the slow surfaces of today with the racket technology of today. Then, of course, he is supremely fit, fast, and mentally strong. He may not have a beautiful game, but it is effective.

And then, of course, until a couple of years ago, he was lucky to have as his main competition a player 5 years older with a one-handed backhand.

A LOT of things had to come together for Nadal to win as many titles as he has won.

Some players are better than their resume. Perhaps Agassi or Lendl or Becker were such players. Some players have better resumes than they are players. I think Nadal is in that category.

Regardless, Nadal is certainly a top 10 player, even game wise, in the open era. His resume puts him higher.

As for this H2H stuff, really doesn’t matter. Becker was 25-10 on Edberg. Does anyone remember, does anyone care. they both won 6 slams, both are remembered as equals.

Right now, 17 slams versus 11 is all that matters. Perhaps it will be 17 versus 12 soon!


Humble Rafa Says:

You can only play tennis the wrong way (as Nadal does, and credit to him for being so successful with it) for so long before the karmic chickens come home to roost.

I welcome the chickens to a tennis match and see if the karmic pooches can keep up.


skeezer Says:

@HR aka RFF aka tennis fan? Not.

When you post somethng relevant other than a joke maybe posters will actually read what you have to say. I doubt you really haveva serious opinion about anything, no? Typical poster basher.
Until then, enjoy your twinset and multiple personalities. i’ m not buyin what your gig is sellin. See ya.

#badact
#loseract
#mymommytoldmeso
#mydayjobisabadimpersonator

—-

Rumble,
Great post. Its all about matchups. Nole hangs with Rafa and drives him crazy. Fed doesn’t have the patience in pong. kill or be killed. no issue with that.

RFF will now post and give a bad joke. Wait….wait…oh…there it is…on cue with HR.

#adolesenceisobvious


Rumble Says:

Skeezer,

I agree.

Everything slows down with age. Nobody (not even Fed) can beat the age effect.

I am still surprised how the 5 year age difference doesn’t factor anywhere in people’s conversations.

If it was the other way around – and Nadal today had to start facing the Federer of 2004 – boy would it be different!

Fed hung tough with Nadal on clay until 2008 French Open – the first time he really got hammered by Nadal. Notice that he was almost 27 years old then. He also had a 6-8 H2H against Nadal at that time. Since then, he has been 4-12.

Why is anyone surprised at that? And why is there any relevant information in that? they are not of the same generation. A “generation” in tennis is about 10 years. They are half a generation apart.

Fed could well have been miserable on clay (like Sampras), and hardly played Nadal on clay, and then we wouldn’t be having this conversation that tells us nothing.

Half of their 30 matches have been on clay…..

Lets see what happens at the French. I hope Nadal doesn’t get another softy draw. It would be nice to have Djoke and Nadal in the same half for a change. Fed really helped Nadal by beating Djoke in the semi at the French in 2011 – otherwise that year Djoke would have probably beaten Nadal in the French Final.

But these draws have a strange way of being similar year after year!!


gonzalowski Says:

About generations:
Maybe if Roger y Rafa were of the same age, it wouldn’t be 17-11, but 11-17.
The quiet and placid years of Federer without Nadal wouldn’t have existed.


Rumble Says:

gonza (whatever),

Ha ha. that’s a good joke.

Age has been a DISadvantage for Fed, not advantage. Use your common sense. Fed is OLDER by 5 years, not younger….

At the end of the day, the what if’s are pointless.

The reality is 17-11. Reality is also that, while Nadal is pretty good on all surfaces, just one surface (clay) is what makes up the bulk of his resume, more so than any other top player ever.

Safin, Hewitt, Roddick. All slam winners, all been No. 1, all similar to Fed in age – Fed faced all these in his earlier years.

Had Nadal faced anyone similar to his age, other than Djoke, who has won a slam and been No. 1? Just one guy. And an older guy (Fed).


Alex Says:

Every time Nadal takes a break he comes back winning everything in sight…

Am I the only one thinking there is something seriously fishy here????

Is this guy doping up for half a year, back to full strength?? hahahha..

#JustWeird


gonzalowski Says:

Well, if we go to ‘weird-thinking’, what about this spectacular recovery from alergical issues of Nole, from which he is able to go through hard-long outdoors’ matches?
This said, and like Murray expressed, it’a shame this trial at Spain in which the judge denied the public knowledge of the names of the blood bags’ users.
Nadal himself spoke against this.


Wog boy Says:

Nole never ever took time off to cure his problem. Never ever disappeard and then reappeard better than ever … not once but twice !! No major surgery or anything like that. I think that was the point Alex made?
Nole’s problem hasn’t been cured, they are only managiing it, to keep it under control but not entirely, if you watch his matches from last year FO and particulary Wimbledon you will notice that he keeps blowing his nose regulary and keeps handkerchief in his pocket and still having allergic problems, spring (blossom) time. Same thing happens in Australia during AO. Get your facts right.

BTW, something for you to read while you are celebrating Rome title.

http://tennishasasteroidproblem.blogspot.com.au/2011/02/curious-case-of-rafael-nadal.html?m=1


Wog boy Says:

If you are bored this one is from today, even Spanish court doesn’t want the names of Spanish cheats to be known. Dr Fuentes even said that Spanish football team would be striped of world title if he is to speak.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/cycling/9836906/Spanish-doctor-Eufemiano-Fuentes-told-he-does-not-have-reveal-athletes-he-treated-in-doping-inquiry.html


nadalista Says:

Why would Nole need to take extended time off to cure “his problems?” He is the perfect, complete and most talented tennis player, no? Perfect, complete people do not need time off to cure “problems”, they don’t have any to begin with! And further, they just rely on that “most talent! to breeze through life”


Giles Says:

@ nadalista. Please don’t forget the all important “EGG” which helps him to recover from three to four hour back to back matches!
The EGG, albeit legal, “is not in the spirit of the sport”.
Joker has no problems, he just likes to try and convince his opponents that he has issues with his health, his ankle. Did Vajda fix the supposed dislocated bone in his ankle? LMAO
#PureGamesmanship


Giles Says:

Sour grapes from the poster at 7.15am and 7.55 am. His man got knocked out in IW. Miami, Madrid and Rome.
Bravo Berdy for taking down the EGG lover.


Steve 27 Says:

El Bufon is the best comedian of all time, he is the COAT!.


WTF Says:

nadalista Says:

“^^Rafa cannot have beaten Murray at the US Open last year, Rafa did not play the US Open last year.

Good luck with your predictions.”

Oops. Thanks for your correction. I should have said, the last time he played there, which was 2 years ago. An insignificant error which doesn’t change my message, but thanks nonetheless.


WTF Says:

Ahsan Najeeb Says:

“2) I feel the draw in wimby will also play avital role in determining the winner… If Murray can avoid Rafa in semis he has a pretty good chance of winning against Fed and Nole.. Same is the case with Fed… However, if Rafa avoids meeting with Nole I don’t see him losing against Fed or Murray.”

I think Murray has some kind of mental block when it comes to playing at Wimbledon. He made the final last year and lost to Federer, so I get a feeling he won’t be Federer if they play again. I don’t think he’ll beat Nadal either, as you’ve already agreed. Djokovic is a guy he *could* beat on his day somewhere else, but the pressure at Wimbledon will be too big a hurdle to overcome for him I think.

You make valid points about the confidence thing coming off winning the French. If Djokovic wins the French, I don’t think anyone is stopping him at Wimbledon unless he injures himself from overplaying. Even then, we’ve seen what he can do when carrying an injury..

“We all know that Nadal prefers psychologically to be in the role of the underdog, but no-one will buy his sandbagging this time. This just might be the situation that allows Djokovic to play loose and steal his thunder. ”

Funny that, because he tried to play himself as the underdog for what 7 times now? It still worked for him even as recently as last year, whether people bought it or not.

The problem is, despite his fine clay court form (is it really any better than it was any other year?) I can’t call him the clear cut favorite simply because Djoker beat him in Monte. Had someone else beaten Nadal there, and Djoker still gone on to win the title, then I would call Nadal a clear favorite. Or even if it had been a 3 set match, I’d feel a bit better about Nadal’s chances.

It is an ominous sign for me, that someone finally beat the best clay courter in MC for the first, who had won 8 titles on the trot. And that the guy who did it is none other than Djokovic.


Giles Says:

Great feat beating Rafa in MC especially with a dislocated bone in his ankle. A true superman!! NOT!!
#JokerAntics


nadalista Says:

@WTF,

Thank you for your objectivity! Very good for a laugh……..


Ben Pronin Says:

Nadal is the clear cut favorite for the French. There’s no ifs, ands, or Djokovics about it. Federer fans are always arguing how Federer is the GOAT because he’s so great against the field, and his h2h against Nadal is just an anomaly that doesn’t affect the grand scheme of things (or something like that).

Well it’s the same thing here. Nadal has been untouchable against the field. He lost one match to Novak. Novak has been struggling against the field. But he did beat Nadal that one time. Which one of these factors is most important, or better yet, matters at all when it comes to determining the favorite of an event? The record against the field. At this point, Nadal is a heavy favorite. Should Nadal and Djokovic play each other at the French, then that stand alone match will have it’s own factors to consider and might be not so clear cut. But as far as the event goes as a whole, one match-up is irrelevant. We all know Nadal will be there to meet Djokovic whether it’s in the semis or the finals. There’s a question mark on whether Djokovic will make the meeting (maybe not a huge one since this is a slam) but you can’t peg a guy as even a co-favorite if a question looms over him like that.


Ben Pronin Says:

As Spock would say, it’s the only logical conclusion.


nadalista Says:

@Ben Pronin, 2:50pm

Well argued,thanks.

Riposte, @WTF?


nadalista Says:

^^referencing @Ben Pronin’s post of 2:49pm, not 2:50pm…


M Says:

“Don’t worry Fed fans. Djokovic will whip Nadal at RG just like he did at Monte Carlo.”

This is one of the more convoluted pieces of pseudo-logic I’ve seen (at least recently; they used to pop up a lot more frequently).

Someone who purports to be a “fan” of player A who roots for player B to beat player C — that is, who doesn’t root for someone to win, but for someone to be defeated — is not really a fan of the sport at all.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call a hater.

Given the fact that so many in the ATP are friends as well as rivals, have those of you with that mindset ever stopped hating long enough to ask yourselves whether the player you pretend to support would even want someone with that attitude as a fan?

#tacky


Giles Says:

@M. Well said. As the saying goes, it takes all sorts to make this world!


harry Says:

@Ben:

I don’t think there is any question that Rafa is the clear favorite for RG (to me that was settled when he had a strong IW performance showing that his 7 month break was behind him).

My question has been — even after his MC loss to Nole — how big a favorite is Rafa (then and now: ie immediately after MC loss and now)? Can we put a number to it? Sure, we don’t have to…

[For this I tend to believe predictive markets as there are lots of studies on them.]

Even after the MC loss (I had written this on May 4 here @ TX) Rafa was even odds (50% chance), while Nole was “only” 8/5 (roughly 37% chance). Now after Madrid and Rome, Rafa appears to be at 8/11 (ie nearly with a 60% chance of winning) while Nole is 15/8 (about 34% chance).

Till we have further information regarding injuries, draws etc, I think this is closer to what I believe about RG favorites.


courbon Says:

@ Harry: Absolutelly right in your analysis


harry Says:

@courbon: thanks.


WTF Says:

“Someone who purports to be a “fan” of player A who roots for player B to beat player C — that is, who doesn’t root for someone to win, but for someone to be defeated — is not really a fan of the sport at all.”

That’s quite normal in league sports like Soccer where a rival team losing to some other team helps your team win. There are also a lot of hostilities between fans of rival teams in that sport. They hate the other team and want them to lose.

It’s natural for this attitude to spill over into tennis as well. If one player has your player’s number, you want him to get upset by someone else so that your guy can take the tournament without having to face him.


Ben Pronin Says:

I agree that it’s the definition of being a hater but I wouldn’t say it means you’re not a fan of the sport. Being a fan of the sport means you actually enjoy watching the sport being played. Rooting for or against a team/player are just two of several ways of getting emotionally invested in the event (betting is another way).


WTF Says:

@Ben Pronin

It’s not just one match but a number of them. Nole also beat him at Madrid and Rome in 2011. During that run he won something like 7 straight against Rafa, all in finals. He’s the only player to have beaten Rafa in all 3 clay masters events. Hell, he’s the only one to have beaten Rafa in Monte Carlo alone.

That has to have unsettled Rafa a little bit, realizing he’s no longer untouchable on his best surface. He knows Nole can beat him anywhere on any surface because he has proven it. In all 3 of those masters wins, Nole did not drop a set.

Then there’s last year’s French Open final. Nadal led by two sets, then dropped the third, then went down an early break in the 4th. It was looking like Nole would level the match at two sets apiece and carry the momentum into the 5th, until a rain delay forced the match to continue the next day. Rafa was able to regroup mentally and speak to his coach.

Had this delay not happened, I’m not sure Rafa would have been able to come back from that. The rain delay definitely helped him more than it helped Novak.

So with all these things playing into the back of his head, there is clearly a seed of doubt in Rafa’s mind when playing Nole that he won’t get when facing any other player on this surface.

Back to Djoker’s upsets… they didn’t happen in the tournament that mattered most, so he would not have given 110% as he would have at a GS. And had it been best of five, the result may have been different.

You’re probably going to turn that argument around and say, but wait, if it had been best of five, maybe Rafa would have come back and won MC in 5 sets? There would be some merit to this argument had he not also lost Rome 11 and Madrid 11 in straight sets as well… Unless you’re going to say he could have come back from a two set deficit three times!

I’ve said it before, that I think Nole will win the calendar slam this year. This is by no means so likely it’s a guarantee, nor am I super duper confident about it. The reason I make this bold prediction is because I think the chances of him winning it — although not close to 100% — are higher than the chances of him not winning it (maybe 55-45?).

You can all humiliate me if Rafa ends up winning the French. I can take it. I promise to acknowledge I was wrong, and will not disappear without admitting it.


Ben Pronin Says:

WTF, I don’t disagree when it comes to Nadal vs Djokovic. But the French Open isn’t Nadal vs Djokovic, it’s each player vs his draw. The Nadal-Djokovic match may or may not be 1 among 100+ others. Nadal is the favorite until he plays Djokovic. At that point, if it comes, we’ll see. But it’s irrelevant at the moment. Djokovic trying, not trying, it’s also irrelevant. I think Djokovic will have a better French than Madrid and Rome, but there is a bigger question mark on him than on Nadal.

2011 was a long time ago. Nadal beat him twice in the Masters events last year, also in straight sets each time. I don’t see Nadal as being unsettled at all. Maybe a little against Djokovic, but only a little. No one has been able to hold a candle to Nadal outside of Djokovic.


alison Says:

Tennis IMO is all about the here and the now,not about what you could have,would have,should have if this or that,i think some posters are more comfortable believing in certain senarios ie didnt care about beating Berdych,Dimitrov,Haas,Delpo saving himself for frying bigger fish at the FO(FAIR ENOUGH),Rafa wouldnt have beaten Nole without the rain at last years FO final,Nole beat Rafa at MC so granted he can beat Rafa he can also loose to Rafa too like 3 times last year MC,Rome and the FO,he was beaten by other players, people say he doesnt care as they are smaller events,maybe he doesnt although i dont know personally?


skeezer Says:

“But the French Open isn’t Nadal vs Djokovic, it’s each player vs his draw.”

Gee Ben, are you changing your view on how the game is played? I thought its all about H2H and it defines a Tennis player in History?


skeezer Says:

@wog boy,

thanks for that link. I was wondering what was going on with that guy. btw I didn’t know this did you…

“At the time of 2006 drugs raids it was not illegal in Spain to take drugs…”


harry Says:

@Wog boy — Any news on Nole that you ran into recently?


Wog boy Says:

skeezer,

No probs. No, I didn’t know. To be honest I had to read it few times to see if it was wrong year (2006), or maybe refers to something else and it was taken out of contest, but it is, what it is.

harry,

The latest I read is that Nole is in Monte Carlo practising, he needs to do it if he is to give himself chance to play Rafa at FO.


Rumble Says:

At the French you can count out Fed even more now. Slams are the only tournament with best of 5 matches. He is too old for that now.

I think some younger players will make inroads in the remaining slams this year. The top 10 is too old – they are able to stay in the top 10 because all other tournaments are best of 3, so they can win some matches and get ranking points. Age gap really shows up at the slams.

If Murray is fit, he will go deep at the French, despite what everyone thinks. He is very fit, and that helps.


Wog boy Says:

“out of context” should say.


harry Says:

@Wog boy: Thanks! Do you think it is time to start looking for some Slivovitz [June 9 is not that far away]? Or do you advise some caution and wait till then ?


Wog boy Says:

Definitely caution, nothing in advance. Step by step, match by match. As we say: First leap, and then say “hop”!
As for Slivovitz, I will be drinking it either way, to celebrate or to drown sorrows … hoping for the first.


Wog boy Says:

^^ harry, that was for you.


harry Says:

@Wog boy — prudent advice :)


harry Says:

@WB — By the way, do you order them online or do you walk up to a store and ask for a Serbian Slivovitz [i have had the Hungarian Slivovitz]?


Wog boy Says:

harry,

I presume you live in America, for Australia you can buy it in every bottle shop or shop online at Dan Murphy’s. They are not cheap and few eastern European countries are making them. Look for one that is called “Zuta Osa” or “Manastirka”, these two are good but there are many more, depends which one is imported in USA, make sure it says “made in Serbia” and that is made from plums (sliva). I don’t buy them in shops, I have home made ones. Where ever Serbian people live they make them, if you know some of them in America feel free to ask them. They will be more than happy to find some for you and it is much cheeper. I have bloke from town called Young, cherry capitol of Australia, they have plums too. He is making good one, 45% alc/vol. that is how I like it. You don’t drink it without good food infront of you. Smoked meat, white cheese, olives, “gibanica” is a must, freshly cut tomatoes, cucumbers, capsicum, shallots and so on, and so on …


James Says:

Reading through the comments, interesting how some believe Djokovic is the man to beat. I kept saying he was the favourite despite Nadal’s IW win. But post Madrid and Rome, I no longer believe Nole is the man to beat this year. The best player is now Rafa Nadal who’s shown to be ahead of the pack which includes Djokovic. Berdych after defeating Nole in Rome has said that it’s easier against Djokovic than Rafa.
I watched Nole-Rafa MC match and Nole was superior. However, in Rome Rafa has improved a lot already. And when Rafa is fit and confident even Nole isn’t beating him on clay like he proved last year soundly thrashing Djoker in MC and Rome. And then at FO final, Rafa was about to beat Nole in straight sets before the first rain interruption which benifitted Nole. Then it was Nole show all the way ’till another rain stopped play for the day. The next day Rafa got the job done.
Before Rome, I’d confidently say Nole will beat Rafa again in Paris. But after what I’ve seen of Rafa in Rome, I see him beating all including Djokovic for yet another FO crown. I expect a much better showing from Nole. Hopefully he doesn’t taken out early again like in Madrid and Rome.


Wog boy Says:

I prefer Nole to be underdog.


harry Says:

@WB — Thanks for the tips re slivovitz! Yes, you are right that I live in the US (actually in California).

Ok, I will look for “Zuta Osa” or “Manastirka” — in my mind these sound similar to Czech [perhaps it is not surprising given the slavic connection]…

“Smoked meat, white cheese, olives, “gibanica” is a must, freshly cut tomatoes, cucumbers, capsicum, shallots and so on, and so on …”
Ah! I see… thanks again!


Margot Says:

@WTF
Last year Andy overcame some ghosts:
reached a Wimbledon final- and Ivan told Andy he’d never experience such pressure again,
beat Fed at a major event
won first slam
If Andy reaches another slam final, I’m sure he’ll be fine
Agree with rumble from elsewhere, think Andy should miss RG, where he has no chance, and make sure he’s fully recovered for the next one.


Margot Says:

@Wog Boy
I make Sloe Gin every Winter. You leave it to drink the following year and….yummy yum. :)


Wog boy Says:

harry,

You are not wrong, they are common slavic words “Zuta osa” means “Yellow wasp”, that one is better buy.

Margot,

Thanks for that, I have to check that one with my wife. She is Gin drinker, she does what ever Queen does. She even wanted to have a corgi, but I picked beagle instead:)


Giles Says:

Rafa’s preparation for FO has been completed and has proved very successful and joker?????
Vamos King!

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