French Open Men’s Draw: Federer Needed A Dream Draw And Got It; Nadal Lands With Djokovic
by Sean Randall | May 24th, 2013, 10:00 am
  • 116 Comments

The one guy who needed a good French Open draw got it. Of course I’m not speaking of 7-time champion Rafael Nadal. Nor Australian Open winner Novak Djokovic. But rather Roger Federer. The Swiss, who hasn’t beaten a top 10 player since January, couldn’t have picked out a better draw if he had done it himself. Perhaps he did do it himself. But will that be enough?

As for the overall draw, I have to rate the top half stronger, and not just because of Novak and Rafa. There are a lot of dangerous claycourters in there like Grigor Dimitrov, Alexandr Dolgoplov, Richard Gasquet, Tommy Haas, Jerzy Janowicz, Benoit Paire, Stan Wawrinka and Martin Klizan.

Still, it’s looking inevitable we’ll end up seeing Novak-Rafa come that last Friday, battling it out for five hours in the semifinals.

Before then, Djokovic has the toughest draw of the top 4. The Serb’s opener is David Goffin who gave Federer fits a year ago in the fourth round. We haven’t heard from the boyish Belgian since, but he’s shown he has some talent on the red stuff. In the third Novak could get a rematch with Dimitrov. Grigor stunned him in Madrid, but here I expect Novak to gain his revenge in best of five. In the fourth round it’s maybe Phil Kohlschreiber who’ll I think emerges from an open section. Then in the quarters Djokovic will be the heavy favorite over maybe Haas is he’s healthy. It’s really anyone’s bet who’ll come out to the qaurter there.

Nadal might face his toughest test early. Rafa opens with the big-hitting Daniel Brands before a date with lefty Klizan. Then it should get easier with Fabio Fognini (or maybe a rematch with Lukas Rosol!), then Paire in the fourth round followed by Gasquet in the quarters. If Wawrinka is 100% fit I’ll take him, but it sounds like he won’t be fully right in the thigh so I’l lean with the Frenchman. If Stan is at full strength it would be a great match with Rafa.

It seems in every draw these days the third quarter is always the most open. And this one is just that. Actually it’s treacherous, especially for one Czech in particular. Tomas Berdych has Gael Monfils to start, then Ernests Gulbis. Tomas isn’t great on clay anyway, but I think can navigate those two. Then it’s the improving Tommy Robredo followed by a likely showdown with Nicolas Almagro. By far, Berdych has the toughest projected draw of anyone early. Meanwhile, after paying his dues with back-to-back Nadal quarters, Ferrer was rewarded this time around. He’ll start with Aussie Marinko Matosevic, then countryman Albert Montanes, followed by Marcel Granollers and then I’ll go with Kevin Anderson.

And if you thought Ferrer had it easier, then wait till you see Federer’s draw. Roger has consecutive qualifers then Julien Benneteau or Ricardas Berankis. Then in the fourth it’s Gilles Simon before either JW Tsonga in the quarters. I like JW to come through over Juan Monaco and Marin Cilic. But at 31 and with his game clearly in decline, Roger needed a good draw and he got it.

So as of now I got the Top 4 seeds in the semifinals. That won’t happen, and my guess is it’s either Federer or Djokovic who fall. It won’t matter though, it’s Rafa’s title regardless.

With the weather so cool and wet, it will make the conditions that much slower, so disadvantage to the power players. And for guys who battling injuries – like Federer and even Nadal – the colder temps won’t help.
Matches begin on Sunday.


Also Check Out:
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Miami Men’s Draw: Djokovic, Federer Could Meet In SFs; Nadal Heavily Favored In Top Half
French Open Men’s Seedings: Rafael Nadal Top Seed For A Third Time
Nadal Expected To Be Seeded Fifth At Wimbledon; Federer, Murray Don’t Seem To Mind
Has Roger Federer Lost A Step? His Trainer Pierre Paganini Is Convinced That “He Has Not”

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116 Comments for French Open Men’s Draw: Federer Needed A Dream Draw And Got It; Nadal Lands With Djokovic

Brando Says:

Nadal and Federer battling injuries? What injuries Sean? Aside from their back and knee issue which is something they have to live with as we know, last I heard on both is that thankfully they are fine.


Polo Says:

French Open = Nadal


Sean Randall Says:

When you are battling a chronic back injury like Federer, and bad knees like Nadal, the cold won’t help. That’s all.

I’d be more concerned with Roger if it stays cool. But he has a heck of a draw.


Kimberly Says:

Nadal got a tough draw yes? Djokovic tough draw. Federer not so tough. I am thinking of picking Berdych to the final.

I am having a nightmare setting up the tennis channel bracket and i have emailed them for help. Otherwise we do global tennis. Thoughts bracketeers?


Seth Says:

Benneteau in the 3rd round could be tricky for Fed. For some reason entirely unintelligble to me, JB’s given Fed fits the last few times they’ve met. Odd, as Benneteau’s not exactly what I would call a world beater. Still, if Fed can get past tests such as that, his draw does open up rather nicely.

I pick Djokovic over Nadal in the semi, and I’m fairly certain they’ll both get there. Nadal is, of course, better overall than Nole on clay, but Nole is quite simply the worst of all possible matchups against the Spaniard, no matter what surface.


Kimberly Says:

I’m going to go with Nadal to win the tournament, despite the bad matchup with Djokovic. I’m certain the day of the semi he will bring his A game and I don’t think whoever is in the final has a chance against him. The only way he loses is to Djokovic in the semi and I am guessing he will lay it all out there and win in 3 or 4 sets. At the end of the day, match up be darned, he is just a much better player on clay. But I will no better when I can assess their form in the tournament.


Ben Pronin Says:

I don’t think Benneteau can do the same kind of damage on clay as on the faster surfaces.

As scatter-brained as Djokovic has been recently, is anyone other than Federer or Nadal really capable of winning 3 sets off him?


dari Says:

Whatever you can get us into is great Kimberly, THANKS :-)


Ben Pronin Says:

Kimberly, 3 sets? Really? You think Djokovic is just gonna roll over like that?


nadalista Says:

Jon Wertheim’s picks are the picks I made last week:

Semis: Nadal over Djokovic; Ferrer over Federer

Final: Nadal over Ferrer

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/tennis/news/20130524/french-open-men-seed-report/

#NeverInDoubt


Margot Says:

@kimberly
I’ve done GTN as an individual but just had a quick look at setting a group up and it looked quite straightforward.ou have to register first though.
If tennischannel proves too difficult, let’s go there.


Kimberly Says:

Ben, I think if the ball kicks up high and Nadal can play his game it will be three tight sets 6-4, 7-6 7-5. If it is soggy and the bounce stays low Djokovic has a decent chance of winning. But I am going to be an optimist.


jane Says:

Good luck Noleeeeee! :)


Ben Pronin Says:

When is the last time Djokovic lost in straight sets in a slam? There’s just no way, high bounce or not. Djokovic isn’t bothered by it enough to be blown away.

Federer is more likely to win the title than he is to lose to Ferrer in the semis. And I was finally starting to think Wertheim was a credible go-to guy and he pulls this ridiculous prediction. How can a guy who’s never reached a slam final possibly do it by beating the all-time slam champion who he has a whopping 0 wins against? If he can barely take a set off him, has never taken 2, how is he going to take 3?


roy Says:

slow conditions can help power players. they can hit through court while counterpunchers get nothing. slow conditions also help djoker against rafa as djoker hits flatter. last year djoker was beating rafa in the mud, rafa got on top in the sun.


Margot Says:

@ kimberly
Just very quickly did first round. Didn’t see a “save” button but apart from that was fine.
Cheers :)


Kimberly Says:

margot i see you. Hope the rest of my lovely bracketeers join and we have a great challenge.


Margot Says:

Raising a glass to that, honey :)
Hurry up you lot!


Brando Says:

@kimberly: I’m fancying a Rafa v Berdy final here. Novak is Rafa’s only real threat here but IMO: Rafa is easily the better clay courter overall, and h2h he still knows what to do in order to beat him, especially at RG. I think he’ll be ready for the SF and he’ll bring his best- and that is good enough to beat Novak here IMO. On the other side, Fed has not beat a top 10 player in months and Berdy was SF @ Madrid, Rome beat novak and eat Roger from MP down in Dubai. For me he is a form horse and a real dark horse. In this conditions I think he’ll beat Fed as he isn’t afraid of him at all. Ultimately McEnroe said it best: the only way Nadal and Williams do not win is if they play less than their best here, as their best here, right now> the field!


RZ Says:

Nadalista – I read Jon Wertheim’s seed report, and was shocked to see him pick Ferrer over Federer in the semis. Otherwise I mostly agree with his picks.


Humble Rafa Says:

JB’s given Fed fits the last few times they’ve met. Odd, as Benneteau’s not exactly what I would call a world beater

If your world is the Arrogant One, Beauty boy is a world beater.


Thomas Says:

Berdych may be able to beat Federer, but will he even be able to get there? He has a brutal first rounder against Monfils(who has been playing well in the last couple of tournaments) His second round match will probably be against Gulbis. Now I wouldn’t be the slightest bit shocked if Gulbis beats berdych. Not only did he do it at Wimbledon last year, he has been in awesome form this season.(he was outstanding in rome vs nadal). If berdych gets through all that, he will likely face robredo in round 3 and almagro in round 4.(another couple of tough clay courters). And if he gets through all that, he will probably have to face Ferrer. That’s simply too tough IMO. To get through such a brutal early round draw like that may take a lot of effort, and Ferrer is the last person you want to face if you are tired. So I think Ferrer advances out of that quarter. I think Federer beats ferrer in the semi(as he owns David) and loses the final to either nadal or djokovic. My 2 cents.


Alex Says:

Holly Crap!!

Went for a job interview and got the job. Came home and now I see this draw for Fed!

#This Day cannot get better!


Faleye o kehinde Says:

I just wish Rafa & Fed good luck as they are my favourites and friends. They have done it before even than any body else here!


nadalista Says:

@RZ, we gonna see, no?


M Says:

“it’s Rafa’s title regardless.

With the weather so cool and wet, it will make the conditions that much slower, so disadvantage to the power players. And for guys who battling injuries – like Federer and even Nadal – the colder temps won’t help.”

I’m thinking these two things contradict one another. (I’m definitely in agreement with the last one.)

I’m also thinking both Wawa and KeiKi will be looking for more big scalps. *nervous*

I’d be thrilled to see Tommy Robredo take out the Berdman.

@nadalista – Yes. We will see what’s going to happen.

Best of luck to all.


WTF Says:

Federer always gets dream draws. I said this a couple of weeks ago. It’s as if the Tennis gods help him out as much as they can.

It was how he won his first and only FO. Soderling went and beat all the players that could possibly have posed a threat to Fed, and Fed just rolled over him in the final.

He’s also been really lucky with rain scheduling at Wimbledon a few times, when players had to have their matches postponed for days and then have to play the latter rounds back to back, while he managed to get his own games completed before the rain.

If there’s a god out there, he’s definitely a Fed fan.


Asif Says:

Roger’s got his last chance of winning FO, with Rafa and Novak on the other side and Murray out it’s great luck.
Roger will play the final and can win only if Novak beats Rafa in semis. Roger has solved Nadal’s riddle even after trying too many game plans.
He can only have chance against nadal, if he plays slow with acute angles and makes plenty of dropshots when nadal is standing 10m behind baseline.
The final will be Fed Vs Nadal or Djokovic with the verdict already given above.


Sirius Says:

“Federer always gets dream draws”

what the….. ?!?!


Ben Pronin Says:

Well Federer was created in God’s image so I can see that being plausible.


RZ Says:

@nadalista – I guess so! Let’s hope both guys make the semis (I have them both in my racquet bracket)

@Alex, congrats on the job

Margot – did you see who Laura Robson plays first round? Caroline Wozniacki! Will it be another big scalp for Laura?


Steve 27 Says:

Nadal, my 100 dollars is for you. the other fans are so delusional like always.


Eric Says:

Lol, Ferrer over Federer? might be one of the craziest picks in tennis history… (Yes, you look brilliant if he wins, but really? maybe if David pulls a Nancy Kerrigan attack…)

This draw seems fairly standard — for Roger, I mean — aside from the luck of not having to play Nadal in the semifinal, ha ha. (So, quite some luck, but I bet mat4 isn’t any more surprised than I am.) Of course, it’s nothing challenging, but it’s no easier than plenty of slam draws for Rafa, Novak, and Roger in the past few years. It looks so easy only because Andy isn’t playing, which is hardly Roger’s fault, even if we all know that Ferrer is an extremely distant 5th in slam play. You can’t really say Dimitrov is much more challenging than Benneteau. And those of you who have freakishly good memories will know that I think Kohls is great, but a bigger threat than Gilles Simon? C’mon. No one could say that Roger has a tough draw, but Nole’s isn’t exactly giving me fits of panic either. (Rafa’s, actually, is way, way more dangerous – Brands is likely to be a joke, but Klizan isn’t bad, and Russell is surprisingly tenacious, although that match-up would depend a lot on the court conditions; Baghdatis, Nishikori, even Benoit Paire are all threats by comparison to Dimitrov and Benneteau, IMO.)


Seth Says:

I still say it’s Nole’s tournament, provided he makes the semis. He knows he can handle Rafa, even on clay. He’s also made it clear that he’s keen to accomplish his career Grand Slam, so he’s got the motivation factor working for him as well.


Margot Says:

@RZ
Saw that and hoping Laura can get another big scalp. Woz’s form isn’t gr8 at the mo., lol she looks more interested in golf….
Did u c the pics of Maggy sitting on Andy’s gold post box? Sooo sweet :) Love border terriers, got faces like wee otters.


Ben Pronin Says:

Kohls beat Djokovic handily in 2009. The funny thing is if Djokovic is dialed in, he should crush everyone in his path until he faces Nadal. If he’s as lackadaisical in his focus as he has been recently, he’s vulnerable to an upset from anyone. Except Goffin. He’s terrible.


Eric Says:

Ben, huh, didn’t know/remember that. But still, 2009 Djokovic is not 2013 Djokovic. I agree he’s been fairly “lackadaisical,” but I can’t really see Philipp beating him, either… (And by the same token, Benneteau has beaten Federer, and more recently, and almost took him out one or two more times, including at Wimbledon, eh? Not clay, to be sure.)


Ben Pronin Says:

You probably don’t remember it because it was completely overshadowed by Nadal’s loss to Soderling. Otherwise it would’ve been the biggest upset of the tournament considering how well he had been playing on clay up to that point.


Daniel Says:

I am with Ben here, this is best of five people, the onyl players who beat Federer in RG since 2004 are: Kuerten (from 3 time champion), Nadal, Soderling (clay kingslayer) and Djokovic. No way he is losing in RG even without not a good year to any of Berdych or Ferrer (who never took 2 sets of him in a single match). Berdych beat Fed in fast Slams on excelent serving days, here is different. If Fed has no back issue, he will be in the final. Teh prospect of having another final, wihtout Nadal will propell him.

As regard to Djoko as well, no way he is losing before semis either, who is going to take 3 sets out of him in a Slam. Last man to do it after 2011 are Federer (twice, RG 11 and Wimby 2012), Nadal (once, RG 2012) and Murray (once US 2012). One of this guys is out of the picture. So, this 3 will only lose to each other and one of them is lifting the trophy on Sunday (50% Nadal, 40% Djoko and 10% Fed). This still based on a combination of results, if Nadal is in the final Fed’s chance decrease, if it’s Djoko, increase a bit.
This is a mathematical certain, RG is the most predictbale Slam, due to small list of possible winners.


Daniel Says:

In Djoko x Nadal semis, to me it will all depend on first set. Last 3 times Djoko beat Nadal on clay he beat in straight set breaking NAdal to close the first set in all 3 ocasions. Once Djoko bags first set, Nadal’s demons will re emerge and Novak will sail through. If he loses first set, Nadal will feel more confortable and play his game, which he usaully is not able to pressure Djoko anympore. I still think Djoko is favorite over Nadal in a semis, depending on first set. I can see Djoko recovering form a set dwon to Nadal easier than Nadal losing first set and winning 3 more later, even in RG.
If Nadal loses first set, he would have lost last 3 sets played on clay to Novak, 2 in MC and 1 in RG, first set is the key for Novak as Nadal tends to go all out agaisnt Djokovic to scare him. Once Djokovic is able to handle Nadal, he becomes better and Nadal stop start second guessing.


James Says:

This Rafa’s or Novak’s tournament. Most likely Rafa like always. Novak would be very confident of facing Rafa in the semi. I see Rafa looking forward to it too. The way I see it, the Rafa in Rome final was different from the Rafa in MC. But then I need to see how both of them play their 1st 2-3 matches to decide who will prevail over the other at RG. Whatever happens, I think it’s gonna be one of tham walking away with the trophy.

And yes I agree with all saying Ferrer won’t beat Federer. I like Ferrer, but I repeat, he is an amazing ball retriever but doesn’t have enough weapons in his game to take down a Nadal, Djokovic or Federer. I wish he did, but he doesn’t.
I still Federer is good enough to win another GS but doubt it’s RG. Wimby most likely.


madmax Says:

Its about time that Federer got a softer draw than the other guys. I know its swings and roundabouts, but it’s fed’s turn this time. I don’t think, and I mean this, it will make much difference though.

We all know the outcome of the tournament, I just really hope that we get some fighting matches, because I think this could be the most boring grand slam ever.

Federer’s obituary has been written many times, but it’s important too, to remember that he has great longevity in the game, more than any other, with all those matches in his legs, he really is a legend
Federer is always around, particularly at Grand Slam time. When the French Open starts Sunday, he will be participating in his 54th consecutive major tournament, a run that began with the Australian Open in January 2000. That’s the longest such streak among active players; no one else comes within two years of Federer.

“For me, it’s just something I just kept on doing. Now here we are,” said Federer, who is seeded No. 2 in Paris and was drawn Friday to face qualifiers in each of the first two rounds.

“It’s incredible. I never thought I was going to play that many, have that many opportunities to do well at the Slams. And clearly I’m happy about it, but they don’t buy me victories, you know,” added Federer, whose record 17 major titles include the 2009 French Open. “But it shows maybe great stamina and (an) injury-free career, in a way.”


Giles Says:

@Daniel. If you have re- read your post at 3.58 pm you will surely realise how pathetic you sound. “Djokovic to scare him….” and “once Djokovic is able to handle him”. You are talking about the King of Clay as though he is some qualifier playing his first tournament. Joker has beaten Rafa 3 times on clay in his entire career and you are referring to joker as though HE is the King of Clay. Have some respect for Rafa and stop trying to promote the joker as if he is the one that has won the FO 7 times.
#Unbelievable


tennis x hippy chic Says:

Whatever happens at RG im already delighted Rafa has 7 FO titles,of all the players hes the one player whos nothing left to prove anymore,as Skeezer would say its all gravy now,even if Rafa does lose nothing changes the fact hes still the king of clay,vamos Rafa.


tennis x hippy chic Says:

Margot i filled in my bracket this afternoon with Global Tennis Network,i didnt see a save button either,but as you say everything was fine,easy to navigate,hope everyone else managed?nobodys said much regading it though?


andrea Says:

very interesting. could this be the second time in his career that nadal doesn’t make the final? too soon to tell, but i’d rather see a novak/nadal semi than roger/rafa.


andrea Says:

and i’d love to see ferrer make his first grand slam final!


tennis x hippy chic Says:

Andrea that would be fantastic for Daveed,a real fairy tale,i think i will be pulling for him from that side of the draw go Daveed.


Kimberly Says:

I found global tennis network very pleasant. My son, my mother and I all filled out brackets.


contador Says:

I like it better than the Tennis Channel bracket, Kimberly. thanks.

Come on, Skeezer, Kimmi, dari, jane, Wog boy – get behind your picks!

Berdych and Almagro are likely to meet again. I don’t see Rafa’s bracket as difficult at all, until Novak. It’s all good.


Rick Says:

Dimitrov to upset Djokovic!


Rumble Says:

Funny how these draws always turn out. The matchups most people WANT to see magically turn out in the draw – and then people believe its random!

Nadal-Rosol. Djokovic-Nadal. Djokovic-Dimitrov. Benneateau then Simon with Federer (both strangely have given him trouble). All on the same side, all on collision course.

At last the old man got a bit of a soft draw. Great chance for him to reach the final – I am sure that will motivate him more.

I would love to see a Federer Djokovic final. Or Federer Rosol. Or Federer Dimitrov. Or Federer against anyone but Nadal!


Rumble Says:

And guys, Ferrer aint making the final. He’s good enough to make many semis, that’s it. He’s the Spanish Henman – except that there is no hype about him since spain has had slam winners before him, and of course, plenty through Nadal.

And Dimitrov aint beating Djokovic either. This is the big leagues – best of 5. Fed/Nadal/Djokovic have more experience in best of 5 than the rest of the field combined. Though this is where age also affects more, so I won’t be surprised if players like Berdych, Tsonga, etc. fade out early.


Rumble Says:

Well, oddsmakers are giving roughly 60% to Nadal, 30% to Djokovic, 5% to Federer, and then the rest.

Seems quite appropriate. If Federer makes the final and Nadal doesn’t – I would give Fed 50% if he faces Djokovic, and 90% if he faces someone else! If its Nadal, I would stick to giving Federer 5%….


Rick Says:

Doubts for Djokovic getting into semin, he was beaten in Rome. Last year, was taken to 5 sets by Tsnooga at the French. And Dimitrov is really good! Rafa was troubled by him at Monte Carlo, beat Djokovic in Madrid. He will upsets Nole in five sets, soon be in the top 10!


Rick Says:

Upsets in GS often comes from the French. And many players won this Slam, went on becoming Number 1. Lendl, Courier, Wilander, Guga and Rafa. I don’t think that Dimitrov could wins this year, but he could upsets Nole in five! And this is Nole’ worst Slam. Also beaten by Fed in 2011 semi!


Rick Says:

French is always the Slam with early upsets and many different winners, you had Moya, Costa, Chang and Muster. until Rafa become a king here. Gaudio won in 2004! This is really Nole’s worst Slam, only made the final once. And one year, he was leading two sets to love and beaten here. And was struggled against Ali here last year. And was choked against Berdych in Rome. So I doubt his chance here!


Rick Says:

Nole might has his chances here But we all kow that he is beaten by other players at the French!


Daniel Says:

@giles. They are 3-3 last 6 clay matches and The ones Djoko won weren’t even that close, apart from Madrid 11′. Rome the king of clay was moonballing (most bizarre match I have ever see Nadal olay on clay) and this year MC Djoko was comanding. So yes, a part from eveyhting anadal did and nobody will ever take away from him (King of clay), I think is easier so ebody surpass Roger achievemnts Than Nadal domincpance on clay, I think Djoko is same level if not favourite shold they meet due to being on semis. If it was final Nadal would be favourite. But what I was highlighting was the patern in thier matches when Djoko is winning and playing his game, the match is in his racquet, no wnder why he is 8-3 last 11 maches. Even higer Percentage in favour of Novak than Nadal x Fed HxH which you guys so like to display.


Rick Says:

And you do get unexpected finalists at the French. Like Sodapop and the guy who played Rafa in the 2005 final(What is his name?)!


skeezer Says:

^

“And you do get unexpected finalists at the French. Like Sodapop and the guy who played Rafa in the 2005 final(What is his name?)!”

UH?

They all have earned there way. If Rafa can’t make it to the final, he doesn’t deserve to be there. Sayin Soderling didn’t deserve to be in the final is laughable. He tuned Rafa and Rafa was running around like a rabbit in desperation showin no ill signs of anything( Oh yeah, months after he did come up with an excuse to his lost….sour grapes ). He got beat fair and square. Sh1t happens. And it happened that day. Sod deserved his run. In the end at the final, he just ran into the better man. End of story.


Michael Says:

Nadal Vs Novak semi-final showdown, if that happens, it would virtually be the finals. Novak’s draw is looking the toughest of the top three. But I think he will get through the test and reach the semis this time around. It is where he will have his task cut out beating Rafa in five sets on Clay. He can do it. He has done that before and he knows it and that is where Nadal looks vulnerable. He would prefer meeting anyone but Novak. Roger’s draw is not that easy as it appears. It is a mixed one. Simon, Bennateau are players who have given him trouble all along his career and then he has Tsonga. So, it is tough. All said and done, Rafa may go on to win his 8th title. What is between him and the title is only Novak.


nadalista Says:

“………. If Rafa can’t make it to the final, he doesn’t deserve to be there. ”

……………………………………….

Tell that to your fellow Nolebots who have been on a mission to convince people, themselves more likely, that Novak under-performed in Madrid and Rome because “he was saving himself”.


James Says:

Michael,

“It is where he (Nole) will have his task cut out beating Rafa in five sets on Clay. He can do it. He has done that before and he knows it.”

No, sir, Novak has never beaten Rafa in 5 sets on clay.
I agree with you that Rafa would be most troubled by Nole than any other player. Nole can beat him at RG. However, I’m confident Rafa would beat Nole at RG should they both make it to the semi final. True, Novak leads 8-3 of their last 11 matches. But their rivalry is not a Fedal rivalry which is dominated by Rafa. When both Nole and Rafa were fit and played well last year, it was Rafa who almost beat Nole in straight sets if not for the 1st rain interruption. So I expect another Rafa show all the way.


Michael Says:

James,

Novak has beaten Rafa on Clay, thrice but they were all three setter. My confidence stems from last year’s French open finals where Novak gave a valiant fight to Rafa inspite of being two sets down. The third set was a cracker and I have never seen anybody outplay Nadal in such a manner even if it is just for a set and half. If you point about the rain interruption. They both had their slices of luck. The rain interruption after the third set helped Nadal when Novak was firing all cylinders. Rafa badly needed a break. Still I agree the advantage is with Rafa. He has the momentum. Novak is not in good form and with the right confidence. He may go all the way to win his 8th. But never discount Novak. He can spring a surprise.


tennis x hippy chic Says:

Most annoying when a poster likes to claim that their own personal opinions are BONA FIDE FACTS,is it a fact that because Daveed Ferrer never having made a final means that he never will,i mean what sort of logic is that?let them play and let us see,nobody knows anymore than anybody else(sigh).


Aon Says:

teacher – what is the meaning of RG?
student – RG is a game where 127 player
are fighting to play against rafa in final


Giles Says:

^^^ Hahaha. Priceless!!


Ahsan Najeeb Says:

Hahaha….. Good 1 Aon… Are u from subcontinent??


Nithish Says:

Hope Novak beats nadal and also win RG


Aon Says:

yeah !


nadalista Says:

So the OOP for Sunday is out and who is on the sheet listed as playing: Roger Federer! Is he the defending champion? No. Was he even runner-up last year? No. You guessed it: he has to play on opening day to give him an advantage in case of weather delays during the coming fortnight. Not to mention the need for Fed to quickly dispatch those 2 successive qualifiers he has to play……..

You gotta give it to the French, they do not even pretend to hide their biases.

#LastHurrah


tennis x hippy chic Says:

When does Rafa play?


nadalista Says:

RT @scambers73: “First time in many years that Roger Federer’s played on the first day. Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Ana Ivanovic all playing too ”

Well, he rarely played on the first day before because he never was, one year excepted, the defending champion!


funches Says:

My pick is Djokovic to win the tournament, but these people saying no one but Fed and Nadal can win three sets off him are crazy. Clearly, Tsonga could have last year–he had four match points. Djokovic was very fortunate to pull that one out, and even Seppi had a huge shot in the fourth-set tiebreaker up two sets to one.

The same goes for Federer. He certainly has the draw to make the final, but the way he has played this year, he could lose to the qualifier he plays in the first round. That guy has won a ton of matches on clay this year, more than any other player.


funches Says:

Fed’s first-round opponent has won 47 matches on clay this year, including beating Andjuar, Fognini, Benneteau and Goffin. He took Wawrinka to three sets in a loss.

I’ve never seen him play, so I have no idea what his game is like, but it should be a good test of Fed’s form.


WTF Says:

“Sayin Soderling didn’t deserve to be in the final is laughable. He tuned Rafa and Rafa was running around like a rabbit in desperation showin no ill signs of anything( Oh yeah, months after he did come up with an excuse to his lost….sour grapes ).”

So Rafa’s “excuse” for losing to Soderling meant he had to take the next 3 months off, including his Queens and Wimbledon defense, in order to make his knee injury believable, right….

And coming back to trounce Soderling the following year in a rematch was not proof that the defeat wasn’t an excuse of course.


Simon Says:

As much of a great player Rafa is, his injuries often seem very convenient – often coming after major losses. Imagine Federer being out with an injury for 3/7/27 months after losing the 2008 wimbledon final or Djokovic doing similar things after losing 2011 FO semi-final or 2012 FO or Wimbledon or USopen finals.

They manned up and did not hide behind injuries. Rafa has always had “injuries” through out his career. He has hardly ever played a full season of tennis. Since 2004, they guy whines about injury every season. Even in his best years 2008/2010 the guy was a non-factor for a significant part of the season.

Rafa has great achievements but his OCD/ his constant whining about 1year rankings or hardcourts [the guy has the worst winning % on hardcourts of the top 4 - talk about sour grapes] and his constant injuries don’t find favor with me. This is a brutal sport. Everyone plays with injuries of some sort or the other. Face it.


Giles Says:

@nadalista. Now that is a surprise, fed playing on Sunday. Obviously trying to beat the weather, clever man. He pulls strings with the ATP, he pulls strings with the FO, one wonders what else is going on behind the scenes! #PowerfulMan


Simon Says:

FO has never had the tradition of defending champion opening the play on center court. I doubt any slam other than Wimbledon has.

You can’t blame the French for trying to make the most of their extra Sunday by playing the Greatest Tennis icon of the last decade. Let’s be real Fed has been the face of tennis for the past decade and his following is way ahead of the 2nd placed dudal.

You can trust rafa fans to read conspiracy theories into everything. You can’t blame them. If my favorite player pulls out “injury” card every season, I would be suspecting the entire world of conspiracy theories too. Maybe they should research the conspiracy theories noah and mr. rochus have floated against nadal too. Then again, they are totally blinded by their kool-aid, aren’t they? LOL!


Margot Says:

Lol we haves Giles Simon on tennisx…;)


Simon Says:

LOL! Margot!

You are spot on! Let me also say “men deserve higher pay than those WTA players, who my colleague jo-wil says are too prone to emotions”


Giles Says:

@Margot. Not quite, one “L” as against “LL”. Nice try tho’


tennis x hippy chic Says:

Simon as a Rafa fan i have never made excuses for his losses,and believe me i have said over and over again that he aint perfect by a long chalk,but Novaks no angel either what about him saying he wasnt fully fit after he lost to Roger in the Wimbledon semis last year?or saying i had no emotional energy left after losing to Rafa at MC last year,when he lost his grandad,even though he tore everybody else apart except for Rafa in the final?ok granted he didnt take months off afterwards ill give him that,or pulling out of a GS when been 2 sets and a break down to Roddick?wasnt there a joke some years ago that Novak was going for a career GS in injury retirements?im all for been a fair poster but theres a bit of a double standard in there sorry no offence.


tennis x hippy chic Says:

For the record i have never been interested in which player plays 1st on which day or at what time of day,you play the way the cards are delt to you,day,night,rain,shine,you get on with it,win or lose,end of story.
Also have never cared about the H2H either,its what you do against the entire field not one player.


Simon Says:

chic:

That post was not for you, it was for rafa fans who act like Rafa is the strongest player to ever play. The facts donot show that – the guy regularly breaks down in the middle of a year or plays only half a year.

I accept Djokovic is no angel, but surely you do not dispute Rafa is either, do you?

I am glad you are an objective rafa fan. As you can see there are a lot of churlish rafa fans who will float conspiracy theories on draws/scheduling but will turn a deaf eye to doping claims on their own man. Talk about double standards…..

I see a few good Rafa fans like Kimberly/Alison or yourself but there are a bunch of immature ones too and my posts are targeted at them.

Good luck to your man Rafa! He’s a great player and certainly the GOAT on clay.


tennis x hippy chic Says:

Simon fair enough,no harm or foul,i sometimes let my feelings get the better of me,i get irritated when we all get tared with the same brush is all,and as i say Rafa is far from perfect,BTW i am the poster formally known as Alison,i just fancied a new change of monikor,the name is fitting as to what i am all about in the real world,and thankyou and good luck to your favorite too.


Giles Says:

Hey simple Simon. I think you are going a bit too far now with your comments. Take deep breaths and think before you speak!


tennis x hippy chic Says:

Margot i managed to do the bracket challenge,and i posted a message too.


Simon Says:

guily giles:

you are not qualified to preach to others, so please shove your sermons up your backside.

Thanks,
Fed and Djokovic fans.


skeezer Says:

@WTF

Yes, he did. Sod apparently put the big hurt on him so bad he had to take time off.;)


Giles Says:

Another classy fed/joker fan in the form of Simple Simon. Carry on boy, you are doing really well showing yourself up!
#DisplayingVulgarityJustLikeOneOfYourFavs
#Immature
#GrowUp


Aon Says:

frustrated joker fan lol .


Danny Morris Says:

“Fed’s first-round opponent has won 47 matches on clay this year, including beating Andjuar, Fognini, Benneteau and Goffin. He took Wawrinka to three sets in a loss.”

Thanks for that information, Funches. Very interesting stuff. Will he be Federer’s “Rosol”?.

It is a travesty that the top 2 contenders for the title are drawn in the semis. I am going to pick Rafa to come through that half, most likely with a win over novak. Rafa will be a heavy favourite and will be my pick for the title as well.


nadalista Says:

Teutonic efficiency = boring


nadalista Says:

You have to be a complete idiot to not understand that in tennis (a) the draws are rigged and (b) there is method in the OOP madness.


Simon Says:

By the same token, I hope nadal fans also realised doping is rampant in sports and noah’s comments on tennis.

You not only have to be an idiot but you should also be a rafa fan to not realise that everyone can play the conspiracy theory games well.

#DopingInTennis
#YannickNoah
#ChristopherRochus


Simon Says:

@Alison:

Thanks for the heads up.


Ben Pronin Says:

Completely agree with what Simon said. Whenever someone mentions doping, all the brainwashed dopes cry “show me proof”. But I’m too much of an idiot to realize the draws in tennis are rigged so I’m gonna say, show me the proof or shut your know-nothing-about-tennis yap.


tennis x hippy chic Says:

Simon no problem,i dont set out to offend anybody,i only come here to discuss tennis,as regards doping it has crossed my mind,im not a blind fan,i would be dissapointed as a fan,but not entirely surprised as its the world we live in,if i suspected Rafa i would suspect them all,i did wonder about Novaks amazing year in 2011?and how Roger was able to sustain the level for all these years?so my belief is if you think one is upto no good,then they all could be?they have all at one point or another been very vocal about how they feel about doping in tennis,Rafa recently was up in arms about some blood samples been destroyed,its a discussion i think should be saved for another time though,maybe tennis x should open a thread on the topic and have a proper discussion.


skeezer Says:

bout time we have some other posters here either than rabid Rafa bots that reside here.
Reeeefrrreshhing

#Rafabullies
#shoutspit


Simon Says:

Ben:

That’s the point. They want everything their way, when the biggest elephant in the tennis world is not rigged draws but as with many sports – Doping.

Alison:

I am ok to people claiming rigged draws, but some of these immature rafa fans will cry foul of the draws and then turn around and act like tennis is free of doping. That seems stupid and illogical.

As I said earlier, my posts are not intended for you when I mention “rafa fans”. I will address my posts directly to you, like I did here.


tennis x hippy chic Says:

Off topic but where are all the bracket pickers for the challenge this time?all looks a bit thin on the ground this time.


Giles Says:

I reckon the recent “Massacre in Rome” prompted the FO to give fed this soft draw. The draw is not just soooooft but a bloody joke. 3 qualifiers to start with?


tennis x hippy chic Says:

Simon sorry post was just an overall generalisation.


tennis x hippy chic Says:

Simon BTW i did like it when you refered to me as Chic in one of your earlier posts,i liked that it made me smile :).


Simon Says:

@Chic:

Stay Chic and keep smiling. Hope all tennis fans can learn to keep it on keel like you.


tennis x hippy chic Says:

^lol Thankyou^:).


jamie Says:

Sean Randall picked Nadal? LOL. Now we know Nole will win RG. Sean Randall’s jinx is strong.

Nole to win RG.

You heard it here first.


WTF Says:

“As much of a great player Rafa is, his injuries often seem very convenient – often coming after major losses. Imagine Federer being out with an injury for 3/7/27 months after losing the 2008 wimbledon final or Djokovic doing similar things after losing 2011 FO semi-final or 2012 FO or Wimbledon or USopen finals.”

You can’t control when you get injured.

“They manned up and did not hide behind injuries. Rafa has always had “injuries” through out his career. He has hardly ever played a full season of tennis. Since 2004, they guy whines about injury every season. Even in his best years 2008/2010 the guy was a non-factor for a significant part of the season.”

Mono anyone?

“Rafa has great achievements but his OCD/ his constant whining about 1year rankings or hardcourts [the guy has the worst winning % on hardcourts of the top 4 - talk about sour grapes] and his constant injuries don’t find favor with me. This is a brutal sport. Everyone plays with injuries of some sort or the other. Face it.”

He’s not the one making excuses. It’s his fans. But his injuries are genuine. So when you say he’s “whining” about injuries, you imply he’s not really injured he’s just being sour grapey about losing (which is not in his nature at all), as though the injuries are suspect. If it requires him being out for long periods of the season, it seems like a high price to pay just to sell an excuse.


WTF Says:

If you didn’t need proof of anything, you can point the finger at anyone for doping, including Federer. What do you propose people do? Ban players without proof? That’s now how the justice system works. Until you can make a case, you don’t have one.


Steve 27 Says:

20 is coming for El Bufon. He reminds me a Dirty Harry.


tennis x hippy chic Says:

Theres no such thing as a jinx or a curse,its all an imaginary concept,this is sport sometimes your favorite will be lucky sometimes they wont,its the law of averages,nothing to do with curses or jinxs,we can all make predictions some will happen and some wont,end off.


Ben Pronin Says:

Federer didn’t miss time when he had mono.

WTF, Simon and I were merely countering nadalista’s claim that the draws are rigged. Like you said, no proof = no case. But I must be an idiot to think that it’s not the case.

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