Nadal Outlasts Djokovic in French Open Semifinal Epic, Faces Ferrer In Sunday Final
by Staff | June 7th, 2013, 2:48 pm
  • 184 Comments

In one of the most anticipated matches of the year, Rafael Nadal proved he’s still the undisputed King of Clay today outlasting and outplaying rival Novak Djokovic 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7(3), 9-7 in a 4 hour, 37 minute epic today in the French Open semifinals.

In this rematch of the 2012 final, both players entered the match playing pretty good tennis. Nadal, who is seeking an unprecedented eighth French Open title, broke mid-way through the first set to seize control.

Djokovic managed to rebound in the second, overcoming a break deficit then ran away with the set.

Nadal regained his composure in the third pummeling a disheartened Djokovic going up 5-0 before finally losing a game.

Things got real interesting in the two final sets. Rafa broke early in the fourth and seemed to have the match in hand. Djokovic broke back to even before Rafa went up again and served 6-5, 30-15. But Nadal couldn’t maintain the lead, Djokovic re-broke and took the breaker decisively.

With the stakes heightened and Nadal in some distress, this time Djokovic broke early in the fifth but after a furious rall,y Rafa, who was playing his first 5 set match in 11 months, got back to level. After some tense tennis, Nadal finally broke Djokovic at love to put himself in his 8th French Open final.

“This was a really emotional match, that’s the truth,” said Nadal. “I lost a match like this in Australia. This one was for me. I’m more than happy about the way I fought in the fifth, after losing a big chance in the fourth. Djokovic always comes back. [To win a match like this] you need to love the game. You need to love what you are doing and appreciate every moment.

“I have learned to enjoy suffering in these matches, because what is much harder is to be [injured] at home in Mallorca, watching these matches on TV.”

Nadal has won 58 of 59 matches at the French Open and his last 26 since losing to Robin Soderling in 2009. Nadal also has now reached all nine events he’s played this year. A remakrable effort considering the 27-year-old spent the last half of 2012 mending a knee.

The Australian Open champion Djokovic will have to wait another year to capture the elusive career Grand Slam. And if Nadal goes on to win the title he’ll have a lot of work to do to finish No. 1.

Afterward, Djokovic was upset that the referee wouldn’t water the court in the 15th game of the fifth set, just before he was broken for the match.

“[Nadal] showed courage in the right moments and went for his shots,” Novak said. “That’s why he’s a champion, and why he’s ruled Roland Garros for so many years. In my opinion, the court was too slippery. I asked for it to be watered. It was difficult to change direction. I just don’t understand. I think that it’s wrong, what they did.

“I wanted this title so much, so I am disappointed. It’s not the end of the world. The feeling is not great at the moment, but I have years in front of me. I will come back, and I will keep on trying to win it.”

Awaiting Nadal in the final is countryman David Ferrer. The fourth-seeded Ferrer, a five-time loser in Grand Slam semifinal play, smashed a listless Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 6-1, 7-6, 6-3 for his biggest career win.

Playing in his 42nd career Grand Slam, the 31-year-old Ferrer is in his first Major final. And he’ll be the big underdog against his national star.

“I’m very, very happy. This tournament is very special for me and to be the first final of Grand Slam in Roland Garros is amazing,” said Ferrer. “Now I want to enjoy this moment, to rest tomorrow, and to try my best in the final.”

Tsonga, who had not dropped a set all tournament including an impressive win over Roger Federer in the quarters, didn’t have much to offer Ferrer in his third loss in four meetings.

“My opponent didn’t make a lot of mistakes, unlike Roger Federer in my last match,” said Tsonga. “The plan was to be aggressive and control the baseline, but he defended well and I felt like I always had to play the perfect shot to put him out of position. He was even faster than usual, destabilising me. Maybe in a few hours or a few days I will think it was a good tournament because I reached the semis, but for now I’m just disappointed.”

Nadal has beaten Ferrer 19 of 23 times including eight straight (three this year). Ferrer was able to managed a set in their last two meetings at Rome and Madrid where he really pressed Rafa.

It’s also the fourth all-Spanish Grand Slam final in the Open Era, the most recent since the 2002 French final won by Albert Costa over Juan Carlos Ferrero.

If Nadal wins he will tie Roy Emerson with 12 Grand Slam titles, which will also put him five behind all-time leader Roger Federer and two from Pete Sampras.

Viva Espana.


Also Check Out:
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Federer Outlasts Del Potro in French Open Cliffhanger, History Awaits?
Nadal Outlasts Berdych Setting Up Semifinal Showdown With Federer Thursday Night At Australian Open
Rafael Nadal Celebrates 28th Birthday At The French Open [Video]
Djokovic Outlasts Murray in 5 in Australian Open Semifinal

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184 Comments for Nadal Outlasts Djokovic in French Open Semifinal Epic, Faces Ferrer In Sunday Final

the DA Says:

haha…Andy just tweeted:

“Any good tennis matches today?”


Steve 27 Says:

Rafa are unique, irreducible, admirable, giant, talented, persistent, winning, there has not been anyone like you in tennis history. As the great writer Friedrich von Schieller: In large adversities every noble soul learns to know better.

A hug to all my comrades, and a handkerchief for tears for the wretched and poor in spirit.
Vam8s Rafa!.


Eric Says:

“I have learned to enjoy suffering in these matches, because what is much harder is to be [injured] at home in Mallorca, watching these matches on TV.”

That really encapsulates Rafa’s spirit, no?


Forehand Says:

Vamos Rafa.

My prediction for the finals….Ferrer in 4. I have already placed a bet of Eur 400 on Ferrer to beat Rafa in the finals.
Please dont LOL at me…


jane Says:

“but I have years in front of me. I will come back, and I will keep on trying to win it.””

Ajde Nole! That’s the spirit – great effort today!


andrea Says:

novak and slippery conditions? wonder if he’ll threaten to boycott the french open next year a la madrid if they don’t wet it down.


Lou_tennisfan Says:

What an amazing match it was today…Honestly I am not a Rafa Nadal fan but watching him play today just left me awe struck. There is no doubt that Clay courts in Paris might never ever see a player like him ever…
Pure determination and fighting spirit of the greatest player was at display. Players including the great ones have lost in the past when they have squandered chances to win the matches but not him.

Wow, many many congratulations to the Rafa fans…A day to celebrate indeed..

How Rafael Nadal made his not so ardent fan bow down in respect http://tinyurl.com/llml2oh


James Says:

The man who single-handedly denied the great Federer the French Open for years, is doing the same to the new numero uno.
Hopefully he wins his 8th FO and get to practice well on grass for Wimby. I think he’ll do good there too but I think he has a better chance of winning the USO than Wimby.


Steve 27 Says:

no, Forehand, no, hhaaa. You know Ferru is gonna lose his mind in a decisive moment in the match. Nadal in 4 tights sets and unreal 8 major at the same slam.


James Says:

Lou_tennisfan, did you write that up? Thanks for sharing, loved it. I saw those qualities in him long ago in 2006 Wimby final when Roger was outplaying but Rafa kept trying, running after every ball. Been a fan since.


Brando Says:

VAMOS RAFA! Honestly: the fight, passion, mental strength Rafa showed in the 5th set was absolutely of the highest order I have ever seen. He stared defeat in the face and went on the aggressive. The defense/ offense he showed in that set was up there with his absolute best. That set, for me, sums up Rafael Nadal more than anything else: a battle was on, and Rafa was relishing being apart of it. Truly a gem of a sportsman, and a unique individual also! Good luck for final Rafa- Vamos!


Steve 27 Says:

Brando, Ole Matad8r!


Nina Says:

I just hope that Ferrer wins on Sunday though i know it’s only wishful thinking. Dismayed with the match and the result. It will be hard to bounce back, these losses produce a negative effect. Watch Nole fail miserably until at least USO. Guess I’ll have to keep myself entertained with other things then. Totally sucks.


Humble Rafa Says:

I win a great match. Some clown has to post a picture 5 mins after my victory to show that he is practicing in Halle.

Need attention much?


Faleye o kehinde Says:

In my opinion. Rafael Nadal is the best Tennis player in the World right now!


WTF Says:

If he can win this one (which I assume he will) and hold off Djokovic 3 more times, he’ll actually be considered a greater player than Pete…

I never imagined the thought of Pete being beaten by anyone other than Roger in slam tally.


Micky Says:

Let me be the first to say;)

“Congretulation Rafa for winning your 8th FO title!”

Ferrer should just get the trophy and give to Nadal before match play hey?;)


Simon Says:

Nina,

That was a tough loss for Novak, but I hope he will keep things in perspective. He is still the no.1 by a country mile.

Moving on, the surfaces favour the rest of the top 4 than Nadal.

Djokovic can redeem this year by winning Wimbledon and ending the year no.1 At the end of the day, Wimbledon (obviously, it is by and far the single most important tournament in the tennis world) and USO(debatable, but guess where most of the sponsorship in tennis comes from?) are bigger slams than FO, so in some sense there is a long while to go.

Pete with 0 clay slams will be ranked ahead of rafa because he scores big time in Wimbledon titles. Wimbledon will always be more valuable than FO titles. As an example, Wilander with 7 slam titles was ranked below becker/edberg with 6 slam titles but 3 wimbledons each! Wilander had 0. Another thing in pete’s favor is that he did not spend the majority of his career at no.2 Nadal has about 300 weeks at no.2 but only about 100 weeks at no.1 Lot of catching up to do fro Rafa and piling on the clay titles will not help his cause so much.


James Says:

“In my opinion. Rafael Nadal is the best Tennis player in the World right now!”

He is, for this year so far. Indian Wells, Madrid, Rome, and (hopefully) French Open on Sunday.


SG1 Says:

If Rafa wins tomorrow, would it be fair to say that he is better on clay than any other player has been on any other surface? Seems like a reasonable conclusion. Sampras was thoroughly dominant on grass but you look at Rafa’s numbers at Roland Garros and they are just mind boggling. The guys has only lost 16 sets in 9 years. He has a record of 58 and 1. This is sheer dominance. And his record on red clay in general is astounding. We are witnessing something we may not see again for another 50 or 60 years.


Okiegal Says:

Nole wanted the court to be watered down……aaah memories of last years’s final when the little drops of rain fell and he was doing better against the King of Clay. I guess he was praying for a miracle, but he was denied today. None the less, a great match between two amazing players.

Vamos, Rafa, make lunch out of that trophy…..again!!!


SG1 Says:

He has won at least 174 sets and lost only 16. Just some crazy stuff. And his game has seriously progressed. When you watch him now, he hits winners and has an aggressive mind set. In 2004, he was much more willing to stay back and just defensively grind his opponents down. No matter how he changes his game, the results end up the same. Best competitor in any sport.


Micky Says:

More better;)

Ferrer should give the trophy to Nadal before match play and say;

“Rafa buddy! Here you can have the trophy, for free! Do you want fries with that too? Oh dont worry, we can do battle anywhere else, Wimbledon maybe buddy, adios omigo”

LOL!


Micky Says:

hahahahah, LOL!

1)Nole the Choker
2) Tsonga the Joke

hahahahahaha, LOL!


Alex Says:

^
You are a disgrace to tennis.

On a another note I think the tears of joy from Ferrer would be a beautiful site to behold if he were to win. I’m sure even Rafa fans wouldn’t mind to much if he won.

I think Rafa will take it, still would be so nice for Ferrer to cap a life long dream, once step out of Rafa’s big feet and achieve something incredible.


Steve 27 Says:

In 2004, he was much more willing to stay back and just defensively grind his opponents down.

He did not participate in 2004
In 2005 he trashed the goat!


Micky Says:

Huh Rafa, theres one thing we all know about him;)

We know he’ll equal Pete Sampras record of 14 slams at the French Open in 2015….

Hahahahahah, LOL!


James Says:

Alex, I’d be happy for Ferrer if he pulls off a big upset and wins his first ever GS. He’s worked so hard, every tournament, it’s hard not to appreciate the guy.
But then I also want Rafa to win. He deserves his 8th FO and 12th GS. I also he gets enough time to prepare well for Wimbledon. As a fan, I’d love him to lift the Wimby trophy one more time.


James Says:

“We know he’ll equal Pete Sampras record of 14 slams at the French Open in 2015….”

You’re kidding, right? A healthy Nadal is a force on all surfaces. He’ll win some more Slams outside Paris for sure.


Alex Says:

^

Agree James..

Rafa is scary ATM. Though I don’t think he will ever win another non-clay slam if he plays like he did this FO(haha talking like it is over). I know he can get more aggressive, so anything is possible. Just don’t see him beating Nole or any really aggressive player, on one of this special days. Still I am kinda happy for Rafa, hes a great champ and its mutual love through Rog-hahah, I just loooove trolling Fed-haters! Sorry, its just one of my flaws! Like I have said many times, I don’t dislike Rafa at all….


Micky Says:

@Alex

Chill buddy:)

Dont comedians have a job anymore?:)


Alex Says:

I would be lying if I said I want Rafa to break Feds Major record, that’s all! hahaha. I want Rafa not to do that, apart from that its all caramel fudge-hehehe.

Ill still continue trolling Fed haters cause that’s my job. :)


Alex Says:

@Micky

Don’t you have a stable psyche?

Why do you only appear when your fav is winning?

Cause you are a coward-hahahah.


Alex Says:

@James

I phrased that wrong. What I meant was I don’t think Rafa can beat consistent aggressive players the way he played at the FO. I do believe he can become aggressive and win anything! Lets get that clear.


Daniel Says:

Right now, Villas, Federer and Nadal arr joint leaders in RG wins with 58 each. Butvwe all know who is going to be RG boss once and for good ever after:)


Alex Says:

^
@Daniel

Jajajaja, so F8in what?

Its Feds worst slam, can you brag about Nadal having more success than Fed in any other major, no?

Shows how destructiveness you’re post is.

Why don’t you come back to me when Rafa has the same amount of wins as Fed at Wimby. You just showed us all what a Goat Fed is, on his worst surface he still can equal Rafa on his only dominant surface. I don’t care who you are, if you don’t understand that simple mathematical logic you deserve to be put into a box and shipped off via quantum entanglement to the other side of the universe.


Hamza Says:

Congrats to all Rafa fans !

Nadal is perfectly capable of winning non-clay slams. Australian open 2012 proved that. Yea he couldn’t beat Nole but he was there, almost. As long as Nadal’s body holds and the fire inside him keeps burning, Nadal is capable of winning any major. The key is to remain healthy, be smart with scheduling, and keep loving the game.


Alex Says:

Excuse typos,your you’re…….list goes on..


Giles Says:

http://alturl.com/cfb65
Players and others congratulate Rafa via twitter


harry Says:

Congratulations to Rafa and his fans. Of course Nole had a tough one this time against Rafa (I am sure he will be back with a bang).


Alex Says:

Hi Giles, I missed you, :).
Hope all is well and wish you all the best.


RZ Says:

Jon Wertheim picks David Ferrer as the athlete he’d most like to give a big title to. http://extramustard.si.com/2013/06/07/the-longest-of-the-sufferers-si-writers-pick-the-14-players-most-deserving-of-a-title/?sct=hp_bf1_a5&eref=sihp
(Courtney Nguyen chose Tommy Haas)


skeezer Says:

Tough loss for Nole. He knows he had him. He’ll win a RG trophy soon. On to Grass for the World #!.

Somewhere, Soderling is smiling. His all time record intact.

#thetimethekingwentdownatrg


James Says:

I have no doubt that if Rafa remains fit he can win some more non clay Slams. He’s done it before and can do it again. I know it will be more difficult for him now than a few years ago, but Nadal has always been a fighter and will find a way to win some non clay titles.
And btw, whatever happened to his US Open 2010 first serves? I swear his first serves went 130mph! What the hell happened??? lol


Steve 27 Says:

So Djoker wanted the courts to be watered in the 5th set? Seriously? Is he running out of gamesmanship antics?


jane Says:

“Nole wanted the court to be watered down……aaah memories of last years’s final when the little drops of rain fell and he was doing better against the King of Clay. I guess he was praying for a miracle, but he was denied today.”

Kind of a funny comment considering Nole was up a break in the fifth set. I don’t think Nole needed “a miracle” or “drops of rain”.

He was VERY CLOSE to winning against the King of Clay.

I remember when Rafa lost the AO 2012 marathon versus Nole, and Rafa himself said he should take the positives away from that loss because it was just so close. Rafa too was up a break in the fifth set but he lost it. And Nole produced some great stuff to win in the 5th.

This time the situation was reversed, and Nole lost his lead and Rafa produced some great stuff in the 5th.

Both also made some bad/sad errors in the 5th to lose their leads. Nole sliding into net, Rafa missing a backhand. As a result they might’ve each lost a bit of concentration.

Anyhow, in my view, Nole should take the positives from this loss. He was *that* close on Rafa’s very best court and his very best surface. He should be quite confident based on that.

Their matches are almost always super tight and well fought contests. No need to disparage the winner or the loser imho.


The Great Davy Says:

…And you all complain I play bad Semi-Final! What a loser.

Lack of effort warning- Mr. Tsonga


Kimberly Says:

Jane, two huge champions played an amazing match on a very high level, just like Australian open 12. You should be proud. I know it hurts today but I love ao12 or at least I began to love it when I finally recovered after months of therapy (kidding).

Like nadal, I looked at Ao12 fondly when he was out of tennis and I doubted he would ever play at that level. At that point you realize how high the level was even though the desired result wasn’t there


jane Says:

Thanks Kimberly; you’re awesome. :)


WTF Says:

“At the end of the day, Wimbledon (obviously, it is by and far the single most important tournament in the tennis world) and USO(debatable, but guess where most of the sponsorship in tennis comes from?) are bigger slams than FO, so in some sense there is a long while to go.”

IMO, it’s not. It’s worth 2000 points, which is no more than any of the other slams. A slam is a slam. It doesn’t give you more prize money or rankings points than any other, so it’s just a perception thing that people have. For me it’s the most overrated of the four.


WTF Says:

“Pete with 0 clay slams will be ranked ahead of rafa because he scores big time in Wimbledon titles. Wimbledon will always be more valuable than FO titles.”

That’s your opinion which I don’t share. If Wimbledon is more valuable than FO, it should carry higher rankings points and more prize money.

Slams have always been what measures greatness. Otherwise I would put Rod Laver ahead of Pete. Pete could not win on clay, making him not a complete player. Rod won the calendar GS twice. I would rather have 15 slams with wins on every surface than 14 slams with half of them being at Wimbledon and 0 at FO.

Hell, I would rather have 14 FOs and 1 Wimbledon than 15 Wimbledons. What would be even better is 1 Wimb, 1 USO, 1 AO, and 12 FOs.

I do not place Wimbledon’s importance above any other slam. Those who do, fail to justify their reasons besides “that’s just my opinion”.


Nithish Says:

Really gutted nole lost
there’s always next year
onto wimbledon next


WTF Says:

“Anyhow, in my view, Nole should take the positives from this loss. He was *that* close on Rafa’s very best court and his very best surface. He should be quite confident based on that. ”

I agree. Rafa lost a 5 setter to the Federer, the best grass court player of this generation in his home. He cried, but used it as motivation to come back even stronger the following year, and finally take him out in one of the best matches ever played.

I saw Nadal as the Rocky Balboa whenever he went to Wimbledon to challenge the champ.

There are certainly parallels here. At the French, it will be Djokovic who is the Rocky. He’s the first to seriously threaten Rafa in Paris (Isner notwithstanding — did anyone realistically expect Isner to win a 1st round match against Rafa?). He may go a step further next year, just as Rafa did after losing a 5 setter to Federer.

I think next year they will meet again, this time in a final. Rafa has a lot of points he can pick up from here on, for missing the second half of last season. He will rise to #2 in the world and challenge Nole for #1, though I think that is beyond reach for him.


WTF Says:

Boris Becker @TheBorisBecker

My pick today @rolandgarros for men’s semifinal is Tsonga in 4 sets and Djokovic in 4 sets as well….

Poor Boris… got both wrong. Even got the number of sets wrong.


Dc Says:

Today just showed that nadal has played in a very weak clay era.


Eric Says:

Jane, that’s all true, but on the other hand, it was very nearly a basically routine win for Rafa – had he served out the fourth set, the story would have been ‘well, nice try, Nole, you eked out a set, but still got squashed’. Which just goes to show how capricious sport can be, especially tennis…

On a different note, can we all agree to stop citing the time a match takes to play as some sort of measure of its quality? Yes, yes, Rafa and Djokovic play tight, epic matches, but so do plenty of other people on tour who don’t also spend 40 seconds toweling off and bouncing the ball for every 15 second point…


Skeezer Says:

@wtf

Wilth all respect to your opinion Wimby will always be more important of a Slam than any other. It has too much tradition and prestige. Your opinion matters, but research quotes from the players and you’ll see.

—-

“Today just showed that nadal has played in a very weak clay era.”

@Dc….classic!


Skeezer Says:

@WTF

“Hell, I would rather have 14 FOs and 1 Wimbledon than 15 Wimbledons. What would be even better is 1 Wimb, 1 USO, 1 AO, and 12 FOs.”

Nope. What would be better is

4 AO, 7 Wimby, 5 USO 1 FO….and 6 WTF.

Wait. The GOAT has that.

Having 11 Slams on one surface only shows how good you are on THAT surface. Tennis is a complete game, not one played on 1 surface.


jane Says:

Eric, well then again we could say the same then about AO 2012. Nole could’ve won in 4 sets (at one point he had Nadal at love-40 on his serve, he may’ve even been up a break but I can’t remember) but Nadal eked out the 4th set in a tiebreak (7-5) to force a 5th set.

Anyhow why deal in hypotheticals instead of dealing with what *actually* happened – i.e., at both the AO 2012 and the FO 2013, Nadal and then Nole forced 5th sets, stole momentum, were up a break, and then lost the break and ultimately the match.


James Says:

Wimby is the oldest and widely considered the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world. The French Open is considered by most tennis players to be physically the most demanding tennis tournament in the world.
Wimbledone is special. But a Grand Slam is a Grand Slam, whether it’s Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon or US Open. A player will be remembered for how many Grand Slams they won in their career. Rafa Nadal, by the way, already has two Wimbledon crowns while Djokovic only has one. They’re both capable of winning more Wimbledon crowns.
Also it’s just a matter of 2-3 Slams more before Nadal is considered greater than Pete Sampras, whether Nadal wins more Wimbledon championships or not. Pete never having won the French Open favours Nadal’s case in surpassing him as the greater player.


James Says:

“Having 11 Slams on one surface only shows how good you are on THAT surface.”

Nadal has 2 Wimbledon, 1 AO, 1 USO, 7 FO. And he dominates the GOAT 20-10.


JF Says:

@ Skeezer- you say djoko had nadal..yea just like nadal had hum in the 4th set right..


James Says:

JF, it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks. Nadal shattered Novak’s French Open (Career Grand Slam) dream with that win over him. At least for this year.


JF Says:

@DC yea today showed how Nadal has played in a weak era..Right because the rest of the to men suck


JF Says:

Thank you James, I cant stand stupid comments, lol


Rsutherland Says:

Alex @6:03pm “On a another note I think the tears of joy from Ferrer would be a beautiful site to behold if he were to win. I’m sure even Rafa fans wouldn’t mind to much if he won”

As Rafa fan who shares that sentiment, I have noticed the anti-Rafa-favoring-conditions forecast on Sunday. So along with the easy way he got past JWF…who knows?

Eh Skeezer; the Roger Federer gastroenterology ward is in the Halle thread, also on this site. Please take a deep breath and dive in…


JF Says:

*top men


JohnDemonoid Says:

Rafa was simply incredible yesterday. Every ball he played with 100 percent of concentration. A cool head, courageous, persistent, determined, keen-to-win-the-game are all the right words describing what he demonstrated. There is no dout that he was, is, and will be the temple guard of the Roland Garros trophy for years to come.


James Says:

JF, I don’t know why some Fed fans are feeling insecure just because Nadal is about to win his 12th GS. Fed would still have 5 more, no? He’d still be the GOAT. Or maybe they see something Rafa fans don’t? Haha


Michael Says:

Congrats to Rafa and his fans. It was a splendid win and his eight final at Rolland Garros equalling the record set by Roger and Sampras in majors. Rafa played out of the world tennis in important moments of the match. Tennis World will never see such a player atleast on Clay for some decades. Now the marquee semi-final was literally the final and Rafa will be biting the Rolland Garros Trophy come Sunday.


Michael Says:

As regards Novak, well he made 75 UEs and that is pretty high by the standards he has set over the years. The silver lining for him is that he played above average Tennis and still almost won the match against Rafa on his most favoured surface. Rafa played anything but brilliantly but still could not cope up with a relatively mediocre Novak. That should give him tremendous encouragement going forward in hard court majors.


Michael Says:

Novak was not lucky. Two calls by the Umpire went against him early on in the match when the hawk eye showed the ball as in. Plus the turning point came in the fifth set when Novak was up a break and serving 4-3 at deuce, he hit a overhead smash but unnecessarily collided with the net losing his balance and the point was awarded to Rafa which proved to be the difference in the end between victory and defeat. Had Novak won that point, nobody can tell ? It must be literally heart breaking for him losing this one. But he should not lose focus. He took Rafa to his limits and compelled him to play his best Tennis in important moments. That damaging forehand of Rafa was working today which proved to be the undoing of Novak. Moreover, Nature too was not on his side. It was a warm and windy day which made the court slow when the ball takes off the ground and the wind too was not allowing Novak the freedom to hit his shots as he would have wished. Novak was also complaining about the slipperiness of courts. All in all, everything colluded against Novak to deny him a much needed victory.


James Says:

Michael,

“If ifs and buts were candies and nuts, we’d all be having a happy Christmas.”
- Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory :D


Forehand Says:

“It was a warm and windy day which made the court slow when the ball takes off the ground”

Wow….Michael….you know a lot about tennis.
Keep it coming.


Forehand Says:

“Eh Skeezer; the Roger Federer gastroenterology ward is in the Halle thread, also on this site. Please take a deep breath and dive in…”

LOL


Forehand Says:

JF Says:
@DC yea today showed how Nadal has played in a weak era..Right because the rest of the to men suck

I agree with the weak era theory.

The current world No.1 could not beat a No.5 player who was injured and out of tennis for 7 months.

There is a big race going on between the world No.2 and World No.3 for the No.3 rank.

World No.4 could not win a title of any significance.

The top 4 basically allowed the injured No.5 to come back and clean up all the titles.


Forehand Says:

JF Says:
@ Skeezer- you say djoko had nadal..yea just like nadal had hum in the 4th set right..

LOL….Just like Rafa had him in AO2012. Funny guys !!


courbon Says:

I think Novak has to improve his game against Rafa. usual tactics at playing to Rafas backhand did not work-Rafas backhand improved.
Also physically, Rafa has slight edge ( Novak looked more tired ).
Novaks concentration is not great (not only this match but loss to Bedrych proved that ).Whatever he was doing before ( I think some kind of meditation and holistic approach apparently?) he has to do better.
And practise smatching for Gods sake…
Novak should not relly on wheather to beat Rafa.
Rafa is back and not only on Clay but for other surfaces also…
Once more, congratulations to Rafas fans


skeezer Says:

“Nadal has 2 Wimbledon, 1 AO, 1 USO”

Thank you. Exactly my point. That’s all he has outside of Clay. Get it?

“But a Grand Slam is a Grand Slam”

In what context?

Winning all the Slams multiple times is a step above. Any Tennis Authority knows this.

Are you trying to tell me that winning 17 Slams on one surface equals the same of a player who wins those 17 Slams on all surfaces? Pffft!

Despite how you skew it, it matters. No authoritative historian has statedthat H@H is a definitive criteria, despite rafafanatics who want to make it so. What has beed said is GS titles matter( the Superbowl of Tennis), and furthermore on multiple surfaces( which proves you are the ultimate complete player)

If it were not so, then why not have all Slams on Clay and call it a day?. Because that is the beauty of Tennis compared to most all other sports. You have to play on a variety of surfaces to prove you worthiness/value in the game!

_____

“JF, it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks”

A Rafafanatic testament to the world. No one else matters.


James Says:

skeezer, I like your comments, mate. Roger has just 1 clay Slam whereas Rafa has 2 grass and 2 HCs Slams :D
but Rafa is humble enough to acknowledge that Roger is better even though many say he owns the goat.


James Says:

And if you really think that H2Hs don’t matter, remember “God, It’s killing me!”


Forehand Says:

Courbon,
Great post.

Basically Nole and his fans has taken this loss in the right spirit. Its only the fed taards who could not handle this.
Your man is a real champion who can beat real champions. He can beat anyone infront of him to win grandslams. He does not need gonzo, bagdatis kind of players to fold to infront of him to win slams.


skeezer Says:

James,

Yeah right. So compare you non Clay Rafa Slams to Feds.

#gottabelonelydownhere

—–

courbon,

No worries. I think your one comment “Novaks concentration is not great” is the only thing he needs to regain. He doesn’t need to change anything stroke wise or strategy. He has the right game to take Rafa down on Clay, he came extremely close ( like no other except Sod on Rafa’s home court ). We’ll see, no?

Take in mind even rafa fans said the conditions favored Rafa ( hotter sun dry ).

Steve 27 mentioned on another thread about Nole using gamesmenship in asking for them to water the court. Would like to ask the posters what is the ruling on that? I know that is something they routinely do, to keep the court from naturally drying out. Do they have a schedule ( like new balls after so many games ) or is it the disgression of the ump?

Finally, would like to know what Nole fans think of Rafa’s “number 1″ finger wagging after match point to the crowd ( ala Fed in last years RG ). Remember of course, its HUMBLE RAFA.


James Says:

Forehand, cruel, man, cruel lol
seriously, despite the Fed taards, I wouldn’t say Roger isn’t or wasn’t a real champion. He is. He’s the 17 GS guy.


James Says:

skeezer, it’s you comparing the two. I always said Roger is the GOAT.


skeezer Says:

“And if you really think that H2Hs don’t matter, remember “God, It’s killing me!”

That s because it matters to you, not the record books. Live long and prosper.


James Says:

skeezer, keep your anti-Nadal campaign going. This Sunday, Rafa will lift his 12th GS. I hope to see spicy anti-Nadal comments from you.
Good day!


Forehand Says:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/tennis/2013/05/20/john-mcenroe-french-open-tennis-channel/2336575/

“You could make the argument that he is the greatest player that ever lived,” McEnroe said.


Eric Says:

Jane, true, true. I guess my point was that in the long run, Rafa and Djokovic are so closely matched that the outcome of their matches largely depends on who happens to go on a run when within the match, producing a skewed impression if you just look at the score/outcome. I was thinking that they had played several matches where one of them came back from 2-1 sets down to win, but that’s not true; actually, in their 30 matches, only four times has one come back from losing the first set to win the match, and two of those were early 2011 Djokovic when he was still figuring out how to clobber Rafa into submission. (Interestingly – although probably not very revealingly – I also discovered that their 30 matches contain no bagels, although Rafa has bagelled Federer [and vice versa, thrice].)

Or more generally: tennis can be a cruel sport because one often feels like A played better than B overall, but still lost the match. Obviously that’s a highly subjective thought to have (unsurprisingly, one usually has it when one’s favorite has lost), but can still be true (think of a set where A gets to deuce on every return game while also holding easily, only to lose in the tiebreaker on an unlucky error, or what-have-you; it’s not sporting to do so, but we still want to say the better player lost. Or, say, when one player manages to scrape, by thanks to winning sets in tiebreaks, while the other picks up a set or two honestly, i.e., with breaks of service. In such situations, I, at least, do often want to say, “well, such-and-such won the match, but only because someone had to get lucky in the tiebreaks, but their opponent showed that their best level was the higher…”) I don’t think that happened today, but it’s always tempting to look at a match and forget how close the loser came to winning, without also realizing that often the winner could have done so much earlier. (I’m thinking, say, of Haas-Isner. Yes, Isner came very close to winning, but you could say also that Haas really should have won the fourth set tiebreak, which people did say but only because he had so many MPs – if Haas had missed just one MP in an 8-6 breaker or whatever, he would still have been equally close to closing it out in 4 – and if he had, it would have just been a routine if very close win instead of the ridiculous however-many-point epic it turned out to be. This is all, of course, just hot air.)

On another note: I actually give Ferrer a shot. Say, 20%? He’s looked amazing all tournament, and Rafa will be tired. (Chance of it being a totally boring Rafa win: 60%. Chance of Rafa winning and the match being actually interesting: 20%.)


Eric Says:

Jane, true, true. I guess my point was that in the long run, Rafa and Djokovic are so closely matched that the outcome of their matches largely depends on who happens to go on a run when within the match, producing a skewed impression if you just look at the score/outcome. I was thinking that they had played several matches where one of them came back from 2-1 sets down to win, but that’s not true; actually, in their 30 matches, only four times has one come back from losing the first set to win the match, and two of those were early 2011 Djokovic when he was still figuring out how to clobber Rafa into submission. (Interestingly – although probably not very revealingly – I also discovered that their 30 matches contain no bagels, although Rafa has bagelled Federer [and vice versa, thrice].)

Or more generally: tennis can be a cruel sport because one often feels like A played better than B overall, but still lost the match. Obviously that’s a highly subjective thought to have (unsurprisingly, one usually has it when one’s favorite has lost), but can still be true (think of a set where A gets to deuce on every return game while also holding easily, only to lose in the tiebreaker on an unlucky error, or what-have-you; it’s not sporting to do so, but we still want to say the better player lost. Or, say, when one player manages to scrape, by thanks to winning sets in tiebreaks, while the other picks up a set or two honestly, i.e., with breaks of service. In such situations, I, at least, do often want to say, “well, such-and-such won the match, but only because someone had to get lucky in the tiebreaks, but their opponent showed that their best level was the higher…”) I don’t think that happened today, but it’s always tempting to look at a match and forget how close the loser came to winning, without also realizing that often the winner could have done so much earlier. (I’m thinking, say, of Haas-Isner. Yes, Isner came very close to winning, but you could say also that Haas really should have won the fourth set tiebreak, which people did say but only because he had so many MPs – if Haas had missed just one MP in an 8-6 breaker or whatever, he would still have been equally close to closing it out in 4 – and if he had, it would have just been a routine if very close win instead of the ridiculous however-many-point epic it turned out to be. This is all, of course, just hot air.)

On another note: I actually give Ferrer a shot. Say, 20%? He’s looked amazing all tournament, and Rafa will be tired. (Chance of it being a totally boring Rafa win: 60%. Chance of Rafa winning and the match being actually interesting: 20%.)


James Says:

“Rafa is back and not only on Clay but for other surfaces also…”

The fanatics are feeling it too, Rafa’s, Roger’s and Novak’s.


Steve 27 Says:

More boring than UO 2004 or AO 2006?
I dont think so!


Michael Says:

Forehand,

It was a warm and windy day which made the court slow when the ball takes off the ground”

Wow….Michael….you know a lot about tennis.

What I meant was the heavy top spin of Rafa was favoured by the weather pattern which made the ball bounce pretty high but in the process it loses pace which helped his cause. You are just quoting me out of context. I didn’t meant that the warm weather made the court slow.


James Says:

Forehand, as much as I like Rafa, it’s too early to call him the greatest. Still has a long way to go. He definitely needs 2-3 more non clay Slams imo to be considered the greatest. If he can’t, he shouldn’t be the GOAT.


Michael Says:

Eric, 20% chance for Ferrer in the finals. Too high !! Considering the pathetic record he has against Nadal. I would say 95:5 in Rafa’s favour.


Eric Says:

Many apologies for the double posting of my long and uninteresting thoughts.

I just wanted to add, too, that I see another stupid GOAT debate going on, and during my (clearly extensive) perusal of stats on wikipedia, I came across the comically silly but quite intriguing “career evolution” comparison of their two careers, by age, showing the rates at which they accumulated titles and such: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federer–Nadal_rivalry#Career_evolution

Just stuff we all know by heart in an unusual presentation, but still.


Michael Says:

You could make the argument that he is the greatest player that ever lived,” McEnroe said

Even when Roger’s Greatest tag is disputed by many commentators, I wonder how any one with a bit of sense conjure up the confidence and say Rafa is the Goat ?? He is ofcourse the GOAT on Clay. That is undisputed. Incontrovertible fact. But on other courts, his record is not so much impressive and most importantly he is yet to win the World Tour Finals and that makes the GREATEST argument even more unworthy.


James Says:

Eric, there should be no GOAT debate at all atm. Roger is far ahead of his peers currently. It’s just some insecure Fed fans bringing it up just because Nadal is closing on winning his 12th Slam.


Eric Says:

Basically, what we learn is what we already know: that Rafa was unbelievably good very early in his career, while Fed sucked. But by the time they were 26 (so, last year for Rafa, 2007 for Fed), Roger catches up. The question is whether Rafa’s accumulation of titles will stagnate or pick up. This season so far would appear to suggest the latter.


Steve 27 Says:

The GOAT talk is bs
Are Tilden, Gonzales, Rosewall, Laver inferior than Federer, Sampras, Nadal?
No, way, different eras, condition, technology, surfaces, training, physical condition and more.
If you think Federer is the greatest, good for them, but deep inside us we know is all about the Media manipulating people and sell the same never ending story. The myth remain but history, no.


Forehand Says:

“What I meant was the heavy top spin of Rafa was favoured by the weather pattern which made the ball bounce pretty high but in the process it loses pace which helped his cause.”

Wow…again great point.


Eric Says:

McEnroe calling something the greatest is not a serious claim. It just means it has caught his fancy at the moment, but next month whoever wins Wimbledon will be the greatest ever. Snore. And I agree with steve27 that it’s a stupid debate.


jane Says:

Eric, yeah, I get your drift.

Eric, yeah, I get your drift, two-times. :)


James Says:

“McEnroe calling something the greatest is not a serious claim.”

Of all the tennis greats, he’s the one whose GOAT claims shouldn’t be taken too seriously. He usually goes overboard with his praises.


Michael Says:

Forehand, So tell me what is your point ?? Do you mean to say that the warm weather does not help the ball bounce high helping Rafa’s vicious top spin. In the process, it loses some pace which makes his task easier when opponents return his serves or return his shots. What is there I said is travesty of tennis truths ??


Legend Says:

Eric Says:
McEnroe calling something the greatest is not a serious claim.

Yes this is not serious.
But when our resident retard skeezer brings up the goat issue we have to take it seriously.


Aon Says:

seeing 4:30 hours match without takin water or some cookies is very difficult. no ?


Michael Says:

Imagine if Novak had won this one, how this would have changed his career which would have zoomed sky high. Beating RAfa at Rolland Garros in over five sets. Incredible feat it would have been. He was so near and yet so far. It is tragic to say the least that he lost. I really felt for him. He was simply not at his best on that day and he just gifted away the third set which is so uncharacteristic of Novak.


Simon Says:

“IMO, it’s not. It’s worth 2000 points, which is no more than any of the other slams. A slam is a slam. It doesn’t give you more prize money or rankings points than any other, so it’s just a perception thing that people have. For me it’s the most overrated of the four.”

Unfortunately most tennis historians and experts would agree Wimbledon is head and shoulders above the rest of the tournaments. It is the World Cup of tennis. If a player had to win tournament in all his life, it would be this. Unless ofcourse the person has lived his life under a rock all his life.

Going by your logic, the WTF which nets a player 1300-1500 points must be double the value of a olympics singles medal, yes? Or maybe you want to rethink your logic as nadal has 0 of those titles and Federer/Djokovic have 6/2 respectively.

I know a lot of Europeans who claim euro is a more important tournament than the World Cup. You can’t blame them as Brazil dominates the World Cup much more and has more titles than any European nation. English football supporters who claim EPL is a bigger tournament than World Cup, fall under the same category too.


James Says:

Michael, I sometimes imagine what would have happened had Nadal won Wilmbledon 2011 and Australian Open 2012. He would be a lot closer to Roger’s 17. And maybe that would have given him the confidence and motivation to win Wimbledon 2012 and US Open 2012 too. He was so close to winning the AO 2012 final.
Also what would have happened had Murray not lost AO 2011/13 to Djokovic.


Aon Says:

well champ is going to win another title this sunday. but from yesterday i’ve respect for djokovic (today i’ll not call him djoker) he fought hard.


Simon Says:

Something that is not debatable, I hope. RF is the greatest icon tennis has ever had. He is now 2nd on the Forbes’ richest athletes list and if tennis had as much prize money as golf, he might have been No.1

People who do not want to engage in GOAT debates are

a)chicken
b)do not know enough tennis history
c)are not good at statistics and analysis
d) all of the above.

Tennis channel and most tennis experts have anointed Roger GOAT, btw….


Aon Says:

forehand u r the man. i want to be your backhand lol. where is the form i want to fill it.


James Says:

Simon,

Maria Sharapova is the richest sportswoman in the world. What a legend she is, right?
#FemaleGoat


Michael Says:

James,

In Wimbledon 2011, Rafa lost comprehensively in four. It was not a close match. So no point in borrowing it to buttress your stand. But I accept your point Regarding the Australian Open 2012. It was a very close match which could have gone either way. Regarding Wimbledon 2012, Rafa lost in the 2nd round and in US Open 2012, well Rafa didn’t even play and so there is no room for specultation. Murray losing in 2011 and 2013, well they were not close matches. It is only painful to lose a close match like the one Novak lost yesterday where he could have made history with a little bit of luck on his side. Poor Novak, everything went against him that day.


James Says:

Michael,

Poor Nadal also failed to closed the match in 4 sets. It should have ended there. Then it wouldn’t have been such a close match. Poor Rafa, wasn’t lucky enough to finish off the Djoker challenge in 4 sets.


Eric Says:

Wimbledon is more prestigious than the other slams but that doesn’t mean winning it 10 times means you were a better player than winning the USO 10 times. So we can either abandon the pretense to be talking about anything other than sentiment, or give up on the idea that prestige = objective merit.


Eric Says:

That said, it seems obvious that a player who wins each slam twice was more versatile and hence, more or less inarguably, “greater” at tennis than a player who, ceteris paribus, has eight titles at a single slam.


TGIT Says:

All that matters is Roger hitting at Halle.

After the French Nadal will have found another excuse to avoid the rest of the season. He knows he needs to hide until the next clay season.


Michael Says:

James,

Poor Nadal also failed to closed the match in 4 sets. It should have ended there

Well, possible. I do not want to dispute that premise. Afterall, when Tennis is of such high class just one or two points here and there decide the winner.


Michael Says:

There should be plenty of empty seats in the Stadium come Sunday. I think the brute majority opinion is that the match is pretty much decided and what is to be done is mere formality for anointing Rafa as the Champion. I do not get even tiny confidence on Ferrer beating Rafa and that too in a major finals when he couldn’t do it even in small tournaments.


rafaeli Says:

Mcenroe is responsible for anointing Federer the GOAT.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Having watched the tape for more than 4 times the final set of the semis, really makes me wonder of the last 10 games Rafa played should probably rank as the highest quality of tennis played. I wonder if any tennis player can play better tennis than that. I really doubt even if Rafa can repeat that performance. It’s unreal tennis.


Forehand Says:

I agree with you Nirmal.
I have already watched the fifth set 7 times. Mind boggling level of tennis.
In those 10 games Rafa went 7-3 with 19 winners.


Michael Says:

Nirmal,

I agree. Rafa’s blistering forehand was just clicking at will in the final set. All that Novak had to do being a break up was to hold ground and serve it out. But he gave up his serve thanks to the tremendous pressure exterted by Rafa’s ferocious forehand which was making Novak cringe. I do not think any other player would have been even able to take a set off him. But praise to Novak. He extended him to five sets even when he was not playing well. The deciding factor was when Novak collided with the net. That single point decided this match in my opinion apart from Nadal’s brilliant play as usual.


Nadalista Says:

And some bigoted ignoramuses on this blog say Clay court tennis is inferior, it is boring!

You can only laugh at such ignorance.


Kathy Says:

Michael said, “The deciding factor was when Novak collided with the net.”

I have to disagree. Firstly it was Djokovic’s own fault that he hit the net, he knew the rule. When he collided with the net they were at deuce, Djokovic would not have won the game with that point Seondly, Yes it gave Nadal Advantage point but Djokovic got it back to deuce. Nadal then got advatage again and won the game. Djokovic had the opportunity to win that game, but he was outplayed.


madmax Says:

Forehand Says:
http://zagsblog.com/tennis/mcenroe-nadal-could-be-greatest-of-all-time/

June 8th, 2013 at 2:00 am

James and Forehand, you forgot also what Mcenroe said here:

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2012/11/mcenroe-federer-best-ever/40076/

McEnroe: Federer the best ever:

John McEnroe tells the Tampa Times that Roger Federer is the best player ever, despite his negative head-to-head record against Rafael Nadal.

“If I had to pick one person, I’d pick Roger,” McEnroe said. Generally, I put Nadal as the greatest clay court player, I put Roger all-around, I put Pete Sampras the greatest grass court player, and Rod Laver was my idol. Those would be the top four. But I think Roger is the best all-around. He’s the most beautiful player I’ve ever seen. While he has a losing record against (Nadal), he’s been so consistent, has DiMaggio-like records, incredible streaks like 22 semis in a row. … Roger, he can do everything, and makes it look easy. That’s always the first step of a great player”

I guess it depends on what day he is speaking to which person about which tennis player!

Lets count the slams, lets count the multiple wins on one surface, cant be denied really.


rafaeli Says:

Simon Says:
“Nina,

That was a tough loss for Novak, but I hope he will keep things in perspective. He is still the no.1 by a country mile.”

No he is not, Rafa in #1 in the year to date rankings. A lot of Nole’s points still have to be defended this year and after RG Rafa will have just 45 points to defend.


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

I might be a Rafa fan,but i was actually heartbroken for Novak,he had all the momentum going for him in that 5th set,when he broke Rafas serve and won the tiebreak in the 4th,and then broke Rafas serve at the start of the 5th set,i thought its destiny its Novaks turn and was actually resigned to Rafas run coming to an end,i underestimated Rafa i suppose,and this is afterall Rafas home where hes reigned for so long ,so there was always a posibility of another twist,just wanted to say sorry to the pound for pounders(Mat4s nickname for the lovely Nole fans)Harry,Mat4,Courbon,Wogboy,and the classy Jane,youselves and Nole can take alot of heart and say that Nole pushed Rafa to the limit,im sure he will get the FO soon hes too good a player not to,Nole has some of the best fans on this forum,and i will pull for him to get the trophy next year :).


Giles Says:

^^ So I assume that is when you will stop being a Rafan should they meet next year!!!


Eric Says:

Actually — as a Federer fan this is very painful for me — but I just love clay court tennis, and Roland Garros has always seemed like the most magical of the slams. (Heresy, I know.) Clay court tennis is hardly boring. Actually, I think sometimes the most creative and interesting points are played here, although often it does come down to endurance and power, because you get better effective court coverage on clay. But still, hard courts should be considered the canonical surface.


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

I have to say big congrats to little Daveed Ferrer on making his 1st GS final,and as much as i like Rafa,the sentimental part of me wouldnt be too dissapointed if David were to win his maiden GS,and i think Rafas in for a tough match no matter what anyone else thinks,i dont believe for a minute its a gimee,Davids been playing flawless tennis without dropping a set,and absolutely crushing Jo yesterday to my surprise,Rafa has looked quite vulnerable against the likes of Brands and Klizan,and pushed to the brink yesterday by Nole,David by contrast has looked very good very efficient not dropping a set,hes deffinetly been the better player out of the two,im expecting another very tough match for Rafa,but one im looking forward to.


nadalista Says:

This is what Juan Jose, a self-confessed Novak fan writes. This is one of the best analysis of the match out there. Explains Novak’s tactics and why they unravalled:

http://www.changeovertennis.com/final-thoughts-on-nadal-djokovic-xxxv/

Choice quote:

“I’ve written this before, and I’ll write it again: Rafael Nadal is the greatest tennis player I’ve ever seen. Nobody competes like him. Nobody problem-solves like him. Nobody finds ways to win big matches quite like him. And that, to me, is what tennis is all about: not an aesthetic festival, but a mental and physical challenge.

I’m pretty sure we’ll see more gifted ball-strikers in the next few years. But I don’t think we’ll see such a pure competitor like him for a long, long time. So, enjoy him while you can.

In my opinion, Novak gambled thus:

1. In going for the strategy to attack Rafa’s forehand, Nole thought he would exploit Rafa’s weaker left knee. He had noticed that, since coming back from his hiatus, Rafa was having trouble sliding into his forehand side. But this was true in MC and to a lesser extent, Barcelona. If Novak had paid attention to Rafa’s progress in Madrid and Rome, he would have noticed that Rafa kept improving in this regard to the extent that he was sliding very well into that side in the Rome final. This is why I am flabbergasted when I hear Nole fans say Losing in Madrid and Rome were “strategic withdrawals” for Novak, they were suicidal if indeed that was the case because he deprived himself the opportunity to scout his main rival’s progress by staying in the tournaments!

2. This was not a gamble but a strategy born of necessity. Novak was forced to abandon, or rather use his money shot, the BHDTL, sparingly because he had no confidence in that shot anymore. This shot has been leaking errors all through the season, most notably in IW, and thus he had to rely more on his weaker shot, the forehand.

But the most telling miscalculation was to assume that Rafa had lost confidence in his forehand because of the impact of his troublesome left knee. Instead, not only was Rafa unafraid to go with his forehand, he was unleashing it DTL in the key points i.e. he was not taking any chances with Djokovic’s flaying BH but more importantly he was backing HIS supposed “weaker” wing.


nadalista Says:

Unfortunately for Novak, he built his RG strategy on the MC match, fatal mistake. The Rafa who turned up in RG was vastly different from the Rafa who turned up at MC……..


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Giles just to point out i love Rafa,but the guys won 7 FOs,and will possibly tomorrow go on to win 8,but im just wondering is that not enough?how many does he have to win?hes already the greatest ever CC player,he doesnt need to do anything else to cemment that status,the jobs already done,Contador is a Federer fan but has even admitted to rooting against him in some matches,so its not a crime to root for someone else,there is such a thing as overkill,im a Rafa fan but 1st and foremost im a tennis fan,i enjoy competition not domination, and i have to say Noles(no offence to his fans)domination on HCs gets a little annoying,what i would really love is for Rafa to win some GS somewhere other than clay TBH,its nice when things are mixed up too,i would as a Brit love for Andy Murray or Rafa to win Wimbledon.


nadalista Says:

Rafa will continue winning and dominating at RG as long as he can. He is not winning RG for other people (unlike some who want to win it for others), or for some records. He is winning it for himself. Other people’s opinion on how many is enough does not matter to him, nor should it.

Long may he continue entertaining us with virtuoso performances such as the one he gave yesterday.

In any case, Novak, or any other great, is too much of a good player to be “given” the RG title by Rafa. To expect that is to insult such a great player. He is good enough to win it beating the best, and that’s the way he wants it. Rightly so.


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Nadalista fair enough,what i would love him to do is win some GS elsewhere now though,but thats JMO for what its worth,no harm or foul,just saying.


Alex Says:

Jeez, some of you Rafa fans are freaking delusional, time for your meds I think. Ja ja greatest ever, hahaha. His a one trick pony, how can a one trick pony be the greatest?

The only thing he dominate on is clay, that’s it!

Hahaha its funny reading these Rafanatic comments, like forehands post. Shows most these imbeciles no nothing about tennis, now go google search more articles that praise your pony. Rolling eyes, these people are becoming more stupid by the day, not worth reading anymore, same old nonsense comments on a different thread,


volley Says:

it was just announced that Nadal has withdrawn from Halle.


nadalista Says:

@Tennis x hippy chic, I am confident that Rafa, with his new re-calibrated aggressive game, will be a credible challenger on the hard courts in the Fall. I am not so sure about Wimby this year because he has played a lot of tennis already and I fear fatigue will be a factor.


nadalista Says:

@volley, wise move by Rafa.


madmax Says:

Oh Nadalista, well that’s your take on it isn’t it? No argument for the clay – no one is arguing there. Facts speak for themselves and the rest really is subjective. But here you go:

For Forehand and James, and of course, Federer fans – gannu are you there?
http://espn.go.com/tennis/story/_/id/8160374/is-roger-federer-greatest-athlete-ever
There’s certain things you just can’t teach.
For Roger Federer, he takes himself everywhere. Federer has such an uncanny feel for the. He has his swing, movement and serve down to a science, and you can’t argue with the results.
The debate over who is the best tennis player of all time is quickly changing from a deliberation to a rhetorical question.
Even though Andy Murray has questioned whether the world number two can be considered a better grass court player than the great Pete Sampras, even Pistol Pete himself says the Swiss is the best ever, after watching Federer overtake his record of 14 major titles, with his win at Wimbledon this year.

Roger Federer’s dominance of the men’s tennis scene since 2003 has been unprecedented. He’s just the sixth player to notch a career Grand Slam and no player has won more Slams than he has.
But aside from a Rolodex of records he’s set, it’s the grace with which he has done it that makes it easy to annoint him the best. He’s humble, he’s classy and he’s dominated the sport in so many areas , and if you notice, nobody ever questions whether this great athlete has done steroids.
Is Roger Federer the greatest? Name an athlete who has been better at a sport: There is no one Updated: July 12, 2012, 3:29
ESPN.com
After I witnessed Roger Federer win his fourth U.S. Open trophy (his 12th Grand Slam at the time), I posed a question: Is he greater at his sport than any other athlete is/was at their respective sports in the history of sports?
Here’s the verbatim: Is he greater, more dominant, more merciless, mentally stronger, more separated from everyone else in his sport than all the other “Hims” [note: I referred to Roger throughout the column as "Him"] were/are in theirs?
I threw the sports gods’ names out there to compare, contrast and cause controversy: Woods, Armstrong, Russell, Brown, Ruth, Jordan, Gretzky, Pele, Ali. Should Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps win their respective events at the London Olympics, it will be appropriate to throw in their names as well.
Even when he hasn’t raised a trophy at a Slam, Roger Federer has been close.
It’s a fair and earnest question, worth the discussions, arguments and accusations of blasphemy that would more than likely follow once asked out loud and in public.

And it’s worth asking again since “He” messed around and won Wimbledon. Again. For the seventh time. A Grand Slam. Again. For the 17th time. Became the No. 1 player in the world for a record 286th total week (a record ranking that will be all his on Monday when he begins week No. 287 as the world’s No. 1).
When I looked for tears that refused to fall from his eyes as he stared into the Wimbledon crowd while everyone else looked back at him with a sense of awe so great it felt like clapping just wasn’t enough, I realized that in all of sports, this — this level of greatness by one person — just might be the one thing we may never see again.
I was forced to revisit.
So … is Federer better with a racket in his hands than Jordan was with the ball in his? Or Woods with a club in his? Gretzky with a stick? Greater at tennis than Ali was at boxing? Pele at soccer? Is he a greater tennis player than Ruth was a baseball player? Is he better on the court than Phelps is in the pool? Bolt on the track?

My friend/colleague/idol Rick Reilly wrote a great comparison of Federer and Woods, but this is so beyond just comparing Roger to Tiger it’s not funny. All of “the others” must now be brought into the conversation. Tiger needs their help.
For me, the separation of Federer from everyone else comes in what he’s done when he hasn’t won. True, the 17 Grand Slams are bananas, but it’s the 33 consecutive quarterfinal appearances in those Grand Slams that remain beyond comprehension and — to me it is this fact that trumps almost all others’ feats in all other sports — that seven-year period in which Federer reached at least the semifinals in 23 straight Grand Slams. That is like Woods going seven years straight and never coming in worse than fourth in a major. Just let that marinate for a minute. Finished?
Monumental and epic, even. It really affirms the one element that characterizes greatness more than anything: Consistency. That separates Federer from sports icons and transcends into non-sports categories when trying to universally determine precisely what greatness is.
I understand that this is all subjective, but at some point (and that time is now) this conversation has to go public. Federer basically has given us no choice.
Throughout the process of winning Wimbledon, the word “love” kept coming up. It seemed that whenever people mentioned Federer’s name it would be followed by the four-letter decree. About how much he still loved the game, about how he was still “in love” with the game. The McEnroes mentioned it repeatedly during the broadcasts. Paul Annacone (Federer’s coach) spoke to it, saying in a USA Today article, “Roger just loves the game and loves the life. His life is the road. He loves it. His family loves it. He loves tennis. He loves who he’s become.” Telling. Fitting. And maybe this is where we should leave it. At love. Because maybe that is where the true answer to the question is, in his love for what he does. Maybe Roger Federer isn’t necessarily greater, more dominant, more merciless, mentally stronger, more separated from the best ever at what he does than anyone else is at what they do. Maybe he just loves it more. And it just happens to show.

“I believe Roger is the best player to have ever played the game,” American tennis coach Nick Bollettieri told CNN.

Federer: I felt bad beating Andy Murray

Federer: London best chance for gold

2009: Roger Federer gets the giggles

Wimbledon: Murray fans disappointed

Andy Murray makes hometown proud

Roger Federer wins 7th Wimbledon title “When you look at groundstrokes and all parts of the game, there is not a weakness in Novak Djokovic’s technique, movement and recovery,” added Bollettieri, referring to Serbia’s 2012 Australian Open champion — who Federer beat in Friday’s semifinals.

“But when you come down to who is the best player that can change, that can anticipate and come forward and do anything, then my vote goes to Roger Federer.”
http://edition.cnn.com/2012/07/09/sport/tennis/wimbledon-federer-greatest-tennis


madmax Says:

As for the semi final yesterday, I thought it was fantastic. I thought Novak played really well, just not his trophy this time. Rafa of course was his usual excellence. I think the SF was the real final. I think tomorrow will be an anti-climax and a bit of a damp squib to be honest.

Novak should feel proud of the way he played. I would imagine it was just a touch too emotional for him with the recent death of his coach, and of course, his grandfather a few months ago, it must play on the mind in those critical moments. It just must.

But definitely up there as one of the greats.


nadalista Says:

Sorry @madmax, which take of mine are you referring to?


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Alex no argument from this Rafa fan,Rogers the greatest ever,Rafas one of the greatest ever,nothing more to be said on that score,Rafa would need to win some more GS off clay to be in that conversation of greatest ever,i would like now for him to win some more GS off clay,but you have what you have,and im more than happy with what he has.


Giles Says:

alison. “but I’m just wondering is that not enough? How many does he have to win?” If you re-read your post you might realise how lame it is. Are you suggesting Rafa should stop playing the FO in future because that is what it sounds like, he has 7 and that according to you is “enough”. Try telling fed that he has 17 GS titles and that that is “enough”. What the hell do you think the players are playing for? If not titles what then?There is no such word as “enough”. They have relatively short careers compared to other sports and they will do all they can to win as many titles as they can. I do hope you understand what I am saying!
Vamos Rafa!!


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Giles fair enough,point taken.


Giles Says:

My favourite point of the semis yesterday was Rafa’s tweener and Joker’s missed smash. Just saying.


nadalista Says:

RT @rolandgarros: “Tsonga: “I was surprised by how fast Ferrer moves around the court. He returned really well too.” #RG13″

And people actually thought this guy was going to beat Ferru…….when he didn’t even know how fast Ferru moves on court!

Jeez……..


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Nadalista @6.24am in tennis you can never take anything for granted,its all about the here and now,i think Mila has been left with egg on his or her face.


nadalista Says:

@Tennis x hippy chic,

Enough said about @Mila. Pride does come before a fall indeed. However, I fully expect @Mila to make an appearance just before Wimby to regale us about his/her fav’s new winning strategy. Sigh…

Suffice it to say, there is a lot to be said for humility, respecting one’s opponents no matter how lofty you think your talents are compared to theirs…….

That is why I am a Rafan. Rafa never takes anything, anyone for granted. Every match, every opponent is a potential banana skin. Unfortunately, those who do not understand him say it is faux humility.


Alex Says:

The Womans final will give you a toothache if you watch.


James Says:

Omg! Are people seriously taking the Rafa-Roger GOAT talk?? As much as I like Rafa, he has 11 Slams to Roger’s 17. That’s it. Maybe after if Rafa wins some more non clay Slams, we can talk about it. Now is not the time. Roger’s goatdom is unchallenged!


Daniel Says:

@Alex 6:37 pm
In case you don’t know I am an avid Federer fan and that stat was just to highlight this, that even in his worst Slam right now Fed is co-leader in match wins. AO he is absolute leader with more than 60, Wimbledon he could be leader in 2 more years, I think he needs 7 or 8 wins and US Open is a long shot as Connors has more than 90 wins.


Kathy Says:

Title of the article, ‘Nadal Outlasts Djokovic in French Open Semifinal Epic, Faces Ferrer In Sunday Final’

Why is Federer even being discussed. He wasn’t there.


Skeezer Says:

@madmax

Great post @7:41 :-)


Daniel Says:

Just realize Nadal is 19-4 against Ferrer. This clay season he achieve 20 wins against all his main clay rivals: Fed in Rome, Djoko in RG and tomorrow against Ferrer, 3 best clay court players of the last decade, that’s impressive and also show that this 3 faces Nadal multiple times on clay.


James Says:

Insecure fans, Kathy, insecure fans.


James Says:

“Is he (Roger Federer) greater at his sport than any other athlete is/was at their respective sports in the history of sports?”

He’s the tennis goat. Leave it at that. Can’t think of any goat in another sport completely dominated by their main rival.


jane Says:

“This clay season he achieve 20 wins against all his main clay rivals: Fed in Rome, Djoko in RG and tomorrow against Ferrer, 3 best clay court players of the last decade, that’s impressive and also show that this 3 faces Nadal multiple times on clay.”

True Daniel, true, and Nole’s now met Rafa 16 times on clay, almost half their matches. Not sure about Fed or Ferru.


skeezer Says:

Congrats to Serena! Womens Warrior of Tennis!


Forehand Says:

“Can’t think of any goat in another sport completely dominated by their main rival.”

James….LOL. You are now rubbing salt….fun stuff.


Forehand Says:

“And people actually thought this guy was going to beat Ferru…….when he didn’t even know how fast Ferru moves on court!”

Nadalista,
The culprits are the fed taards who wanted to vent out their anger against Uncle Toni who designed Rafa to (b)eat their little sheep….oops sorry goat.


skeezer Says:

“Can’t think of any goat in another sport completely dominated by their main rival.”

Rant all you want, Rafa is not the GOAT.


James Says:

“Rant all you want, Rafa is not the GOAT.”

And I never said he is. I just said he dominates the GOAT!


nadalista Says:

Fed can be GOAT till kingdom comes, WHO CARES!

We have tennis to watch. Am getting butterflies in my stomach already……….

This is sooooooo momentous for Rafa…..so many records to break.

Only amn to win RG 8 times;
Only man in the Open Era to win 8 times at a single Slam;
Only man to win a Slam in how many conservative years?
And on, and on, and on…..

Please, pleaase Rafa, sleep well, come out firing with “colm” and show your good friend no mercy……!!!

Allez!
Vamos!!


montecarlo Says:

Anybody got any clue how come Pascal Maria gave a time violation point penalty to Nadal? According to the new rules there is no point penalty for the server, only the serve is to be called a fault.

So how come Nadal was docked a point there when his first serve should have been called a fault instead?


nadalista Says:

@montecarlo, because the new time violation rules only apply to ATP matches. Slams are not ATP matches, they are ITF matches and ITF matches are not governed by ATP rules. ITF matches are still going by the OLD time violation sanctions which call for a point penalty after a first warning is issued.

In this case, the new ATP rules are more lenient.


montecarlo Says:

http://www.itftennis.com/media/137205/137205.pdf

These are the ITF rules and apply to Slams (notice the 20 second limit here)


JF Says:

@Forehand- I missed the 5th set yesterday. You said Nadal played unbelievable tennis, was that during the whole set or a specific portion of the set ? I want to try to watch and zone in during the stretch of the set you mention.


contador Says:

James -

You cannot think of another GOAT in any other sport dominated in an H2h, because – tennis is not like the other sport.

Tennis is not about the match-up between 2 of its players, it is about the match-ups of an entire field mano e mano – not team vs team.

Nadal would have how many Wimbledons, AO’s, US Opens and how many titles in tennis masters if Federer were his only obstacle? Rafa Nadal had to conquer the problem of surfaces and more challenging match-ups to him before he could secure a singular title at US Open and AO. The window of opportunity for Nadal, as we see, is narrow at venues other than clay. And I could go on about the problem with focusing on a singular match-up. But you get my point, I hope. With Federer, he had met all comers at every GS venue but clay and won. There is no way of controlling who was born when and grew up to be his competition. It took a while for him to get his FO and it was when Rafa, no merit or fault of Federer’s, was knocked out of FO by Soda popper.

For Nadal to initially win Wimbledon he had to do it after 2 tries and against Federer, which one could look at, in hindsight, as an advantage to Nadal because the match-up was in his favor vs Federer. The timing was right for Rafa – just think of how difficult or nigh on impossible a Wimbledon trophy would have been to Nadal if Djokovic was a year or two further in his development in 2008.

Tennis is tennis. That is why such debates of h2h and Goat do not translate smoothly or imo at all between sports. Just too many differences to adequately take these favorite topics of sports fans and translate them into tennis.

All the above said, the subjective opinions of tennis fans will continue to flog the topic as a dead horse. Continue on…nevermind…


Sirius Says:

@james,

you can’t think of any goat in any other sports dominated by their main rival. DOMINATED on CLAY. On other surfaces its a great rivalry, a very close one with federer holding the edge 8-7

now some will come out asking ” is clay not a surface?”. Yes, it is. And it is also rafa’s best surface where he’s the all time best. And its a bit unlucky that fed was the guy who was also very good on clay and as a result he had to play rafa 15 times on clay. Fed was much better on hard and much much better on grass than he was on clay, whereas rafa wasn’t as great on hard/grass as he’s on clay. Fed gave rafa a lot of (15! Half of their rivalry!) opportunities to play on clay, while rafa couldn’t do the same on hard/grass.


Seth Says:

I feel like the more Nadal wins, the more men’s professional tennis heads in the wrong direction. Congrats to Nadal’s fans, no doubt. But his playing style is really warping the game into something unrecognizable for many tennis purists, myself included.


contador Says:

@Seth

Have you seen Nadal in person and watched him on court? I am curious because I truly could barely tolerate watching him on TV before I finally got to go to Indian Wells in 2011. Before IW, just about everything Nadal did on court from his bolero topspin forehand to his OCD butt-picking and manner and style of playing tennis was the direct opposite from what I loved most about tennis.

Seeing him in person, watching him play, improved my perception of him. Cannot say I actually am a fan now, but I only dislike his style of tennis and I can stand him in small doses. He has changed the game, and like you feel, I concur, not for the better. But so many disagree with my POV, that it is funny. And there is no right and wrong about it, it just is – an opinion.

To me the change seeing him in person was much like seeing someone who looks way better in person than in a photo. You know what I mean? And others appear better in a photo than in person.


Skeezer Says:

“And I never said he is. I just said he dominates the GOAT!”

Ahh the Rafa mantra chant. Owns the GOAT. You can own all you want, everyone has a bad matchup, including Rafa. Only one can be anointed with all time records. You types keep wanting to make Tennis a boxing match. It ain’t. You have to play through a field of players and win the tournament. That is how Tennis is played. You take “owned”, but you can’t take Feds GOATness and all time records. He stands alone.


Giles Says:

^^^ 20-10


Skeezer Says:

^^^
17 will always be better no matter how many times you post. Deal with it, have it printed on your forehead so you can look at it everyday in the mirror. And when you go to school Monday, make sure your write it 99 times on the blackboard for Teacher.


Teeg Says:

17 Majors is truly a fantastic accomplishment, no doubt.

But Rafa’s getting there (should be no.12 by tomorrow). And the one thing he has on his side is time. Something Roger no longer has the luxury of. So I say let’s enjoy them both while we still can. Because if the Roger we have seen so far this year is any indication, I’m not so sure just how long that will be.


Simon Says:

Contador and Seth:

The ATP needs to look into making the conditions faster. These mind-numbing 20 shot rallies are as pathetic as the rock-throwing fests in the 1990s. One of the Bryan brothers mentioned that the WTA uses “lighter” tennis balls than ATP and they wished ATP would use the same as it would give them a better chance against doubles teams that play predominantly from the back-court. What this over-slowing down of courts has done is devalue tennis skills and put more emphasis on stamina and endurance and you know which of them is most helped by EPO/drugs. As Seth says, tennis is headed in a most dangerous route.

On a similar note – look at the death of the one-handed backhand. 4 single-handers in QFs all of them lost to the double-handers. Agreed this is clay, but I hope this does not repeat in USopen/Wimbledon. Federer/ Gaudio are the only single-handed backhanders to win a slam in the last 10 years. God bless Federer – he ensured single-handers have 18/40 slams. I hope Dimitrov can help keep that parity a little longer.


Michael Says:

Kathy, the simple logic is that if Novak had not collided with the net while making the easy smash, he would have been at advantage and since he won the next point it would be 5-3 in his favour. But that was lost due to his carelessness and over excitment. He has to be blamed for it. Nodoubt about it. He fell a victim to the nervous moment.


Alex Says:

Nadal said Fed is the best, why is this argument still going on?

If Nadal said it, its true, no?

#WasteofTime
#Secondbestplayerofthegenerationagrees
#Praiseyourponyandrespectwhathesays
#ClayeatingGoatsdontlie


Forehand Says:

Alex,
Nadal also said Federer wants to have the ATP rules to benefit himself and he doesnt care about other players.
What do you say ?

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