Wimbledon Men’s Draw Preview: Nadal Falls With Federer, Murray In Quarter Of Death
by Sean Randall | June 21st, 2013, 7:38 am
  • 258 Comments

I said earlier this week that for Roger Federer to successfully defend his 2012 title he’ll need some luck and a good draw. Well, he certainly didn’t get that good draw. That said, it doesn’t look great either for Rafael Nadal who as the fifth seeded wildcard of the draw landed in the Federer quarter on Andy Murray’s half.

Boy oh boy!

To win a record eighth title, Federer might have to beat Nadal, then Murray and then Novak Djokovic. Not impossible but at 31 and off his peak, it’s improbable.

Meanwhile on the top half Djokovic doesn’t have a deathly path, but it’s still a tricky section with Tomas Berdych in his quarter along with Tommy Haas, Richard Gasquet, Gilles Simon and Sam Querrey who plays Bernard Tomic in maybe the marquee first round match. Still, I like Djokovic to get through it unscathed. He’ll open with Florian Mayer who I believe is the highest ranked guy not to get seeded. The German has some grass prowess but likely not enough to upset the Serb. Novak could meet another German, Haas, in the fourth round in a good match before the Berdych meeting in the last eight. Novak’s been flaky this year but this looks like a good draw him.

The second quarter is absolutely wide open and honestly, it’s too wide open. It’s underwhelming. There’s nary a clear favorite with David Ferrer, Juan Martin Del Potro, Phil Kohlschreiber and Milos Raonic the top names. None of them are favorite worthy nor are the other contenders like Grigor Dimitrov, Kei Nishikori and Alexandr Dolgopolov. Had Nadal been seeded four, this is where he would have landed but now it goes to Ferrer. And right now can’t pick David out to a semifinal. In fact I can’t pick anyone. Dimitrov and Raonic are enticing and if one of them wanted to breakout this is the draw. So maybe I put my hope for now with Del Potro.

The Nadal-Federer quadrant isn’t home to just those two giants. Also in the mix are John Isner, Jerzy Janowicz, Lukos Rosol and former champion Lleyton Hewitt who plays Stan Wawrinka in his opener. Fortunately for Federer and Nadal, the first week should be a breeze before what could be tricky fourth rounders. I think Nadal could meet Hewitt and Federer facing Nicolas Almagro or Janowicz. And if that quarterfinal showdown happens, which I think it will, I have to go with Rafa over Roger.

Second seeded Murray got just what he wanted: a great draw. In his bid for a first Wimbledon title Murray won’t face much opposition really until the quarterfinals were he’ll face a test in JW Tsonga. Before then it’s chums like Mikhail Youzhny, Janko Tipsarevic, Nicolas Mahut and Ben Becker in the opener. It’s very much like his Queen’s draw which was also easy. It’s awfully hard not to see Murray making the semis here.

So of the draws, it’s no surprise Murray has by far has the easiest, Federer/Nadal the toughest.

As for my picks, earlier in the week I made Nadal my favorite. But now for him having to beat Federer, Murray and then Djokovic I think is just too darn tough, even if it’s warm and dry. So I might actually change my pick to Novak to beat Murray in the final. Novak’s draw isn’t great but he won’t have to deal with a tough semifinal and he plays well against Murray. But like I said before if anyone can navigate a brutal draw it’s Nadal.


Also Check Out:
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Australian Open Men’s Draw: Djokovic Gets Murray, Federer Falls With Nadal In SFs
US Open Men’s Draw: Nadal v Federer Quarter; Murray Looking Good In First Slam Defense
Venus, Serena Williams Bookend French Open Draw: Preview
US Open Draws: Women’s Singles Preview

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258 Comments for Wimbledon Men’s Draw Preview: Nadal Falls With Federer, Murray In Quarter Of Death

Vidzy Says:

I think if Rafa can take down Federer , he will defeat Murray in semis and shud be another epic in final against Nole. I think the winner of Federer/Nadal match reaches the final along with Nole. If Federer can defeat rafa he wins the title. If rafa defeats federer it 40-60 in favour of Nole in finals.


nadalista Says:

So now Sean’s picking Nivak. No worries! Rafa all the way.

“Fortunately for Federer and Nadal, the first week should be a breeze…..”

This is the key statement. Rafa needs the first week to get his feet “wet”. Second week is throw-down….


Nirmal Kumar Says:

I’m not sure why Sean thinks it’s tough for Rafa to take down Roger then Murray. If there is one player Rafa would pick in the Top 50 to play against in Quarters would be Roger.

I posted y’day that Roger and Murray would be worst affected with the draw if they land in Rafa quarter. Pity, that’s exactly what has happened to them.

So, it’s pretty much between Rafa and Novak. For me Nadal gets through.


sienna Says:

Federer is favorite for reaching semis. Remember it is gras and meeting in quarters thenpitch should be quit green. So low ounce etc.
Even if roof does not close he is winning this match.

Finaly they meet on Feds turns.


Brando Says:

Wow: Novak wins for me easy! Cakewalk draw! Ignore the BS his fans might say about this mighty challenge: reality is he gets to QF like he has for many a slams now, then he gets his bunny Birdman in QF and then player x- LOL he’s through to final well rested and fresh. Right now Seans right: Novak is the major fav due to landing the jackpot draw, then the other side has a tough, tough road. Fed won’t win this draw, but Rafa has Fed, then Muzza: tough as it gets. Muzza has Tsonga, then Rafa: another tough road. I reckon one of Rafa or Muzza gets to the final but will be knackered from a likely brutal SF. What a bummer having Rafa as seed 5!:-(


Brando Says:

Feel sorry for Rafa, Muzza and even Fed: you do all the hard work, beat the best on the grass then end up having to face a completely fresh player whilst you are likely knackered as hell from a brutal draw! It sucks having Ferrer as seed 4! He likely won’t be anywhere near SF stage!


smopop Says:

For some reason i love the bottom half of the draw with Nadal, Fed, Muzz


Michael Says:

On the look of it, it seems quite tough for both Rafa as well as Roger. Novak has been handed out a relatively easy draw and he should feel happy. This is best chance to win his second Wimbledon title. As regards Andy, well, I will root for him all through this tournament because I want him to get his first title here. But Rafa in the Semis would be quite tough for him as he has not beaten him in this court. May be, Andy has improved his game and might be a tougher proposition this time around. Let us wait and see. For Roger to win, Sean rightly said he had to have the best draw but seemingly that has not translated and beating Rafa, Andy and then Novak is a very tall order for Roger especially at this age. I only hope he maintains his quarterfinal streak here and I do not see him beating Rafa here.


Michael Says:

Some use to claim that Roger used to rig the draw of lots in his favour. This one proves beyond reasonable doubt that Roger is innocent. The line up handed over to him is just merciless.


Michael Says:

I think psychologically Novak might prefer Rafa in the finals over Andy.


Brando Says:

@Michael: only Novak fans cry foul over the draw. When has Fed, Rafa or Muzza fans cried fix over the draw? Never! He’s got a cakewalk draw here: expect no cry over foul play this time.


Brando Says:

” I think psychologically Novak might prefer Rafa in the finals over Andy.”: DEFINITELY! He’s hit the lotto with this draw: Rafa could take out his biggest threats, the best on grass for him and then present a likely tired self to Novak. He’ll be fresh and has beat Rafa at Wmby final: so he’s lucked out big time with the draw!


Ben Pronin Says:

Brando, that’s not true at all. Nadal fans used to complain about Federer’s easy draws all the time. It’s only recently mat4 decided to analyze the draw patterns.


grendel Says:

there are some interesting first rounds – Tomic/Querry, Hewitt/Wawrinka (expect WaWa to outlast a tiring Hewitt), Baghdatis/Cilic, Simon/Lopez – both on course to meet in the final at Eastbourne if Dodig doesn’t spoil the party, Dodig/Kohlschreiber – Dodig hot right now, could beat the talented German. Berdych/Klizan – not a forgone conclusion, could be a tight encounter.

Of the sort of newbies, Dimitrov should make it through to 3rd round to meet del Potro and Janowicz likewise to meet Federer in 3rd. Meanwhile, poor Goffin has Tsonga to contend with, always seems to draw the short straw, that lad. Expect him to push Tsonga, to look excellent – and to lose.

For those few who care, Laura Robson has Kirilenko. Laura is not getting much luck with the draws – Kirilenko is a methodical player without a weakness, just the sort of player who will wear Laura down.


grendel Says:

It seems to me, Brando, you are doing a lot of complaining about this particular draw.


Brando Says:

@Ben: And so do Fed fans to Rafa (how many times does Skeezer alone do so?). Point is: neither say fix. End of. Novak fans enjoy using that accusation. It’s an open secret. Period!


El Flaco Says:

For Nadal I wasn’t concerned about the late rounds. I think he would be the one most likely to get past Fed and Murray. Once the surface gets beat up and you have hard dirt footing instead of greasy grass it will get much better for him.

I think it was important for Nadal to avoid difficult matches in the 1st 4 rounds. He will not have to play Gulbis, Janowicz, Rosol, Kohlschreiber or Haas in the 1st 4 rounds. I don’t think Isner will make it to the 4th round. He is dangerous, but his return game is so bad on grass he is vulnerable to just about everyone. Janowicz and Rosol are in Fed’s section and he might have to beat both of them to get to Nadal in the quarters.

Djokovic does not have an easy draw. Haas would be a very difficult opponent in the 4th round. He played him very close in all 3 sets at the FO so on grass it would be even closer. Berdych would be a tough quarterfinal as well. If Djokovic gets through that he could actually have an easier semifinal. I’m not sure Delpo will make it to the semis. I would pick either Dimitrov or Kohlschreiber as a surprise semifinalist.

We will see how it turns out because sometimes a tough draw turns out to be easier when there are upsets.


Brando Says:

@Brando: complaining at the bum luck of the draw? You bet your last pound Grendel I am! For now let’s see how the cookie crumbles with this one: Rafa, Andy, Fed have the tough draw but things may work out their way. Let’s see.


Brando Says:

“We will see how it turns out because sometimes a tough draw turns out to be easier when there are upsets.”: yep, let’s see.


Okiegal Says:

Couldn’t be any better for Novak if he’d hand picked the draw himself. Novak’s fans have got to be loving this!!

Vamos, Rafa. Would love seeing you in the finals with Novak.


grendel Says:

Good analysis, El Flaco. I think Nadal will be quietly satisfied, Djokovic scratching his head a bit – he has one of those draws which could go badly wrong. Berdych could be very dangerous, if he gets through. He’s beaten Djokovic before on grass and beat him recently in Rome. He’s not worried about h2hs – think how he has made inroads on his h2h with Federer.

Nobody will expect Federer to win with his draw – that could suit him. Perhaps he’ll be a surprise package, although, to beat Nadal these days (shakes head disconsolately…)


tennis x hippy chic Says:

Berdych is a very good GC player who made the final in 2010,he beat both Roger and Novak on the way,and he did beat Novak in Rome or was it Madrid recently?cannot remember,however doing it to Novak over 5 sets i would think is a tough ask,and his record against Novak overall hasnt been that great,advantage Novak i would think assuming both get that far.


tennis x hippy chic Says:

Personally i have never cared about the draws,you can only be expected to try to beat whomever is stood across the net from you,i only take one match at a time.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

smh, how come few folks here think Nadal has a tough draw. He has two of his bunnies in the quarters and semis. He has only one real competition today, which would be Novak.

I believe Novak too has an easy draw, but it’s not easier than what Nadal has.


Ben Pronin Says:

Brando, I don’t know why you’re spelling out period. Nadal fans accuse Federer of of literally tampering with the draw in his favor (speaking with the tournament officials to get it done I guess?). Djokovic fans are not the only ones to say it’s fixed. And you can’t blame them, how many times did Federer and Djokovic land in the same half?


Brando Says:

@NK: Bunnies? Fed for QF? I’m cool with that. After Ferru he would have been my own pick for Rafa. Muzza a bunny? LOL, sure: if you ignore the reality of his game now. Andy is the toughest opponent on grass an Rafa has to deal with him in the SF: that’s a tough task! The thing is: Rafa is the ONLY guy who can realistically pull this off. He’s got the game to beat the best 2 on grass: Fed and Muzza. Should he be fine physically (meaning fresh enough) then he can take out Novak too. He’s got the game, h2h and is the better grass court player. Let’s see: it’s a tough one, but a immensely exciting challenge for Rafa. He could possibly pull off a huge achievement by beating: No.1,3 and 3. Vamos Rafa!


gonzalowski Says:

Florian Mayer could be though one for Nole in 1st round; not having played a previous tournament, Djoko faces a brave, well focused guy.


Brando Says:

@Ben: in my time here I haven’t seen that at all. And besides: why would Rafa fans complain over Feds draw? Any observer of the game can tell easily that Fed is more than welcome by Rafa fans to be on his side of the draw. The fix?: I don’t need to say anything more about that: it’s just the naked truth, an obvious reality on these threads. Novak fans are the ones who cry about such a thing. End of. The threads just speak the truth on that one: you and me going back and forth about it isn’t going to change that truth. Anyhow: this is a cakewalk draw for novak, a welcome one, so you won’t hear about the fix this time- rest assured!


Vidzy Says:

@ Nirmal Kumar

I hope Federer doesnt have more fans like you who call him a bunny..People like you are disgrace of being called fans of Roger even if he loses 6-0,6-0,6-0 to Rafa. Nobody has given you the right to call him that no matter how long you have been a part of this communuity.


Brando Says:

LOL: Nirmal Kumar is a hall of fame Fed fan: he speaks the truth only no? For him to call Fed Rafa’s: LMFAO, surely he is the most enlightened fan around no? Nirmal: WHY would you call Fed, aka the GOAT, Rafa’s bunny?


Brando Says:

BRAD GILBERT: just got up and right away I blame the forumula for this wow does Djoker have to be a happy man about the draw, bottom half loaded ?


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Brando, I have seen Murray’s matches against Nadal. Hear me, he cannot beat Nadal on a 5-setter, when Nadal plays as good as he did at FO. Nadal really has to play a very bad tennis, which I doubt he would do in a GS semis. Surface does not matter here. Murray does not play a classic S&V game, and the grass is not the grass of Sampras era.

I understand his movement looks natural on grass, but watch out for Nadal’s movement in the second week. You will be amazed.

You take out Nadal before quarters, else he is good for the title, except a top form Novak. No one else is anywhere close to him.


Brando Says:

No djoking Brad: a gimme draw to final, who wouldn’t want that? Fix anyone? No, not with this draw.


sienna Says:

Nirmal was exposed by me months ago. I am surprised people really thought he was a genuine fedfan


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Brando, just go back and read the record books from FO 2008. I don’t care about the masters, only the GS.

You will understand my statement. But I don’t feel it’s a disgrace for Roger. He has his own records to be happy about.

I just don’t have the animosity against Nadal like other Roger fans, so my statement would always be read indifferently, which is OK. I know whom I support.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Vidzy, I’m not sure why we should be so sentimental about Roger, even if you are a fan. He is only a tennis player, one of the greatest. But doesn’t mean we can’t criticize him.


Brando Says:

@Nirmal: Me likes what you say. Should/ IF Rafa get to the final then he’s got a real shot v the djoker. Forget 2011 final from Rafa’s end of the bargain: he had to play with a foot injury that he took a injection for (FACT) and against an opponent he believed he had ZERO chance of winning – a FACT he admitted too. Long story short: he walked on court with no belief. Yet despite this: he breadsticked Novak 6-1, and pushed him hard in set 1 and 4. Add in the 2-1 h2h on grass, Rafa’s grass game, and especially his form this year then I say he has a real shot. Add in how he showed some serious mental and physical strength as well as great attacking tennis, how he stared defeat in the face and still grabbed victory in that huge FO SF then, long story short: he’ll fancy his chances v Novak should it happen.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

There is good reason to believe any of these four can win this tournament. As a Federer fan, I am usually glum about his chances against Rafa, but look, he and Murray were the best grasscourters in the world last year, he just won Halle, and… he’s due.
Murray never really challenged Rafa in their previous matches on grass, so I kind of like Fed’s chances better. Obviously Murray has improved a lot, but I never felt his losses to Rafa at Wimby were a mental thing, Rafa was just better on grass. So my money’s on Rafa if that match comes, but again, look at Murray’s record on grass last year, you have to think he’s got a shot.
Novak doesn’t have a cakewalk to the title. Haas and Berdych will be real challenges. But not on the level of the three on the other side. Novak is the one man who we can say SHOULD make the finals.

Some other thoughts: It would be great to see Del Potro make a run. I can imagine Tsonga taking out Murray too; every time I give up on Tsonga he seems to take another stab at breaking into the big time.
And who will be the young gun of the tourney? Milos, Kei, Grigor, Jankowicz, A. Nother?


Vidzy Says:

@ Brando

NIRMAL KUMAR is not a Federer fan. He is a hypocrite. Real Federer fans would never call him anybody’s bunny even if he has a 100-0 losing record against any player. Respect is the first word that occurs while becoming a fan. I hope these sh*tty fans should retire themselves from these communities as these people are not real Federer fans. If you wanna meet real Federer fans join community ” i love roger federer” in facebook. You will feel how much Federer is blessed with hard core fans.


Brando Says:

@Nirmal: no worries- it’s cool. Fed is a sacred cow, I mean GOAT for some of his fans. Pointing out a flaw is a complete no-no. You make a valid point, and it’s great to see a fan not shy away from pointing out the obvious even if it doesn’t favour their fav. Kudos to you for that. And you definitely don’t have to prove to anyone who you root for: that’s just nonsense being pushed by a disgruntled few.


Vidzy Says:

@ NIRMAL KUMAR

You can criticize him in any way you want. Its a free world. But don’t say you are his fan and at the same time say he is a Rafa’s bunny. people who hate Federer only say that :)


squirrel Says:

@Nirmal Kumar

Thought you were a true RF fan..disappointing

£As for me, I think Roger will beat Rafa (Rafa is beatable in quarter of Wimbledon by grass GOAT,believe me) but that’s all,he’ll lose to Andy,I can just feel it. Novak for the title


squirrel Says:

@Vidzy

clap clap


Brando Says:

@Vidzy: oh kay. Nice to know Fed is ‘blessed’ with fans such as you. Real fans as you put it right? Good stuff, keep up the good work.


squirrel Says:

@Brando

I think Vidzy is right in saying as a fan of Federer, saying Fed is Rafa’s bunny is a bit disrespectful. That’s all. I applaud Nirmal otherwise for managing to really have an objective opinion on the matter,but really,no need to say Fed is Rafa’s bunny,hurtful for some of Fed’s fans!


Brando Says:

I guess Sampras, Agassi, McEnroe, Borg, Murray, half the planet all hate Fed because they too have touched upon his record v Rafa being a colossal bummer. They don’t call him a bunny of Rafa’s but say it all the same: 20-10 record v your main rival, and a major all time rival is just not a good look at all. Nirmal is on about the h2h there: ANY rational fan would consider it a bad matchup. Not knocking Fed but: when he ha won ONLY 1 match v a top 10 player this year, Rafa is the least likely candidate to get win no.2 against no?


grendel Says:

Some Nadal fans have said they are not worried about who their man faces in the first week, just his form. I think this argument is flawed.

It is true that Nadal can be at slight risk simply in the early stages because he has not yet eased himself into form. But that is also true for all the top players. This is one of the risks which gives the first few days a bit of spice.

As has been pointed out many times, Nadal is at risk in the first 2 or 3 rounds because of the state of the grass, which has not yet become a dirt track. However, given the quality of Nadal, it does, absolutely, matter who he faces in those early rounds. For Nadal to be genuinely threatened, it has to be by a man with a big game.

These are the players Nadal might face: Darcis (for sure)Kubot, Andreev, Robert, Falla, Ungur, Paire. Do any of these players have a big game – Andreev once, perhaps, not I think any of the others. None of these players, then, pose much of a threat to Nadal even in conditions which he doesn’t favour. By the 4th round, there is the possibility of Isner – but we are not talking about greasy grass any more.

Later: of course Murray is not a bunny for the semi. I should hope not. The semi is the semi, and you expect a tough opponent. Like Nadal, Djokovic probably has easy-ish early round matches. His perspective quarter final opponent is Berdych, arguably a tougher opponent, these days, than Nadal’s possible quarterfinal opponent, Federer. If he gets through that, yes, his semi is likely to be easier than Nadal’s. That is not, however, a justification for labelling Djokovic’s draw “cupcake”. Usually, one of the semis is more unbalanced than the other – that’s how it goes, and Nadal has benefited from that often enough. This time, he probably doesn’t. Incidentally, much too much is made of the fatigue factor. These are superb young athletes in the prime of life who have, moreover, plenty of time to get over a tough 5 setter.

“why would Rafa fans complain over Feds draw? Any observer of the game can tell easily that Fed is more than welcome by Rafa fans to be on his side of the draw.” No, that would not have been the nature of the complaint. Quite obviously any such complaint would be referring to the draw as a whole.


Brando Says:

@Squirrel: fair enough. Calling him a bunny is a bit too far- I get it. But i am not going to lie: I can see where he is coming from. I am a Rafa fan, and during the 7-0 v Novak had someone called him Novaks bunny would have peeved me off, but hey: reality really favours such strong name calling no? So yeah: I wouldn’t call Fed Rafa’s bunny, but Nirmal is alluding to something that deep, deep down ANY fan of the game senses: Rafa’s strong matchup v Fed. No big deal IMO


squirrel Says:

@Brando

Oh no you’re right,no one can take that away, Rafa handles Roger to the perfection,he knows how to beat Roger even on his best surface and for that,Rafa should get the highest respect.In fact,that’s one of the arguments one can make to say Rafa is GOAT when he finishes his career especially if he gets around 17


squirrel Says:

@Brando

yeah,I feel that Novak’s fans were a bot too far too when they call Rafa as Nole’s bunny during the “7-0″ period ans i guess now they got their ass whipped!


Brando Says:

@Tennis Vegabond: great post from a great fan. You are right: Novak draw is not a cakewalk. I said that but you know me: not shy to let loose of a grand statement when he feels like doing so. LOL. I’ll put it this way: Novak has some challenges, but IF Rafa had such a draw, right now I would be dancing like Gene Kelly: full of joy and delight a what my fav has landed. As you say: he is the only one who SHOULD get to the final. Plain and simple. The other 3 have landed a WWE draw: brutal as they have face the best just to get to the final!


squirrel Says:

“but IF Rafa had such a draw, right now I would be dancing like Gene Kelly: full of joy and delight a what my fav has landed”

Definitely understand the feeling. I’d do the same for Fed :)


skeezer Says:

“It sucks having Ferrer as seed 4.”

But yet he is. And he deserves it. You also could say Rafa f6cked up the draw by spending too much time fishing in Mallorca Another brilliant move by Unc Toni.
At least Fed will have plenty of “quality” matches to play if he gets through. Don’t see him winning with this draw though, looks like a Rafa and Nole affair.


Brando Says:

@Grendel: great post. The Fed draw: Like I said, in all honesty in my time blogging here I have not seen Rafa fans complain about Fed’s draw. Sure if he has a relatively easy one then: yep, it gets recognized as such here. No more or less than if Rafa, or now Novak, gets the luck of the draw. The part of Fed influencing the draw: I have never seen that argued here at all in my time blogging on TX. It’s a baseless theory anyhow: his draw today is more than enough reason to counter such claims!


rafaeli Says:

Rafa beating Roger and Murray is no big deal. However, those two beating Rafa then win against each other is a BIG deal.


Vidzy Says:

@ squirrel

I think Rafa will finish at around 18-19 slams. But remember the slams are not the only thing to be considered for GOAT status. Rafa has yet to win a World Tour Final. Federer has won 6 of them and reached 8 finals. Roger has been dominant on every surface during his prime(including clay, lost only to rafa ) whereas rafa has shown he is vulnerable on indoors . The only thing which doesnt work on Roger’s favour : No masters on his favorite surface -grass to accumulate more points (where as there are 3 masters on clay )and no slams on his favorite indoors. Just imagine if the WTF had same credentials as slams ? rafa is only 27 and i think by the time he is done he will finish with around 12-13 French opens as he wants to play till 35 just like Federer , of course if those knees allow him to. add another 2-3 non clay slams to that tally. So if Rafa finishes at a slam or couple more than Federer and having won 70 pc of his slams on just one surface , can he be called the GOAT ?


Brando Says:

@Squirrel: LOL, thanks re Rafa. IMHO: Fed is GOAT, plain and simple regardless of the h2h. Only IF Rafa gets 17 slams himself, then does the h2h become a genuinely relevant and important factor. Most tennis observers- critics, ex/ present players see it as such and that’s how I see it. For now: Rafa playing the GOAT so well is a hell of a achievement for sure. It doesn’t make him better than Fed overall, no. But to deny it being a impressive feat by Rafa to somewhat master the GOAT would be folly IMO. It’s a truly great personal achievement for him to excel against such a champion: especially when many just could not even compete v Fed at one point!


Vidzy Says:

@ Brando

Well said !


Daniel Says:

Don’t agree with this Bunny thing rither. Apart from RG 08′ all their Grand Slam matches are close, even AO 12 Fed won first set. Nadal’s know and respect Fed status and that’s why he always brings his best gamemto their matches otherwise he knows it won’t be enough.

This is grass, Nadal won’t return everything like clay when he stays 3 meters behind baseline and puts every serve on court. Last year agaisnt Novak when the courts were covered Fed served soberb and won first set in less than 30 minutes agaisnt the best return in tennis history (at least to me).
People are thinking this will be a given and I don’t think so, this is a match Fed will throw everything he has, losing here and US Open to Nadal is what he wants the least. He is nit gonna play like Rome, that’s for sure.


nadalista Says:

Even Bozo, sorry, Bodo’s picking Rafa. This is suspicious:

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2013/06/expert-picks-2013-wimbledon/48001/#.UcRnWZxRCDd


skeezer Says:

Tiggy’s picking Rafa. Tiggy’s picking Rafa. Tiggy’s picking Rafa.

From him.. What a BIG surprise. LMAO.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Vidzy & squrrel,

My intention is not to hurt Roger’s fans for sure. I’m surprised that you guys get so upset for my statement. Quite strange.

Let’s move on to tennis discussion. I will be very careful when I make comment about Roger next time.


skeezer Says:

Now THAT is a surprise.


skeezer Says:

NK,

I thought you said all this time you were a Fed fan?


Brando Says:

@Squirrel: Re 7-0: TBH, I was very, very, very impressed by Novak fans then. The likes of COURBON, JANE and a couple others never once rubbed it into Rafa fans faces at all. It was ONLY: a few guest posters and mainly the bandwagon jumpers. That’s it. True fans of his just kept quiet and respectful: which I appreciated and admired at the time. TBH: what I never understood was this: sure Novak beat Rafa 6-0 in 2011. But why boot Rafa for it? Novak had ONLY lost 2 mere matches by the end of USO! One was a retirement also! LOL: he was putting the boot to the entire tour that time! If anything: atleast Rafa was the best of the rest. Sure he got beat: but who didn’t during that time. Hence, why I found it somewhat silly going on about that at the time.


Roger Federer Fan Says:

“You also could say Rafa f6cked up the draw by spending too much time fishing in Mallorca Another brilliant move by Unc Toni.”

What a brilliant post Skeezer !!!!
We fedfans should be thankful to you for life.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

I think a lot of our fans have forgotten how good Rafa is on grass, and how aggressive his game can be when he gameplans it, as in USO ’10. Rafa will not, I hope, play Roland Garros style at Wimby. Maybe I’ll be wrong because he had such little warm up. But he’ll get through this pansy first week. Spanish dude has game.


Roger Federer Fan Says:

skeezer Says:
NK,

I thought you said all this time you were a Fed fan?

Yes Skeezer, he is a traitor.
Dont leave him. Track him and kill him in your style.


Brando Says:

@Daniel: Completely agree. Sure Rafa is 20-10 v Fed: but he knows that he has to bring his A plus game every time as nothing else is sufficient for this task at all. IMHO: Fed is the toughest player Rafa has even played on clay- moreso than Novak. Why? Novak plays a game similar to Rafa on clay, it’s just Rafa plays it better. IF Rafa plays his best then one knows he’s got this one nicely set up. With Fed it’s different: he plays a different brand of tennis, one that he is the master of. That’s why even Rafa said himself: even on clay you just have to sit back and ride out the storm v Fed. It’s this reason why Fed was voted top 10 clay player of all time even though he has 1 FO title: he’s a master of a brand of tennis that is different to Rafa on the red stuff and is exceptional in itself! He’ll give Rafa a tough match no doubt about it!


jane Says:

El flaco and grendel, agree with your takes on the draw – and Sean’s, too, for the most part.

Good draw overall for Nole! Although he has 5 losses this year and 4 of the guys he lost to are in his half: Delpo, Dimitrov, Haas and Berdych. He’s lost to three of those guys on grass, and both Haas (2009) and Berdych (2010) have take Nole out at Wimbledon. Also, didn’t Mayer make the quarter finals last year? Nole will have to be sharp right from the start, but if he’s careful and plays well, he could arrive at the semis more rested than possible opponents on the other side. But that’s a long ways away.

Regarding Andy’s draw, I agree with Sean that the earlier rounds are good: not too easy and not too difficult; he should be able to get through those and they’ll provide good preparation. Mahut can play well on grass but Andy handled him well at Queens.

I hope the Fed/Rafa QF actually comes to pass; have we even seen those 2 play on grass since that 2008 match? I would be interested to see how they match up now. On indoor courts, they play tighter matches still, and so maybe they would here too?


squirrel Says:

@Brando

clap clap

and yeah exactly,even though he went 6-0,the matches were very very close and of high quality and it could have gone either way


squirrel Says:

@Vidzy

Definitely agree with you. For me, Fed is my GOAT despite h2h because he’s got a lot of other records (especially the consecutive streaks) that for me speak volume and so hard to break.

I merely state the h2h for those who want to argue for Rafa being the GOAT because I ca, completely understand that. Rafa is a champion that always knows how to win.


Roger Federer Fan Says:

skeezer Says:
From him.. What a BIG surprise. LMAO.

We were laughing when Uncle Toni picked Ferrer ahead of Federer and Tsonga.
I hope we dont end up with egg on our faces again.


squirrel Says:

@Nirmal

Sorry if I labelled you as disrespectful. I merely meant the comment was, I wouldn’t question yourself or your allegiance towards Fed. Hope there’s no hard feeling

Cheers!


laslo Says:

Mcenroe and EVert picking Novak


Brando Says:

@Squirrel: thanks. Yep: Novak was better than Rafa for sure, but also the tour too that time. I was honestly really pleased how Rafa was a mere 2 points away from a straight sets win over him at Miami (even a TB away in 3rd set) and 2 games away at AO. Those matches could have easily gone Rafa’s way and it would have been seen as a deserved win. Not to be: fair enough. But these 2 matches made me feel that: if Rafa could stand as Novak’s equal on his best surface, events and at his peak, then Rafa could turn things around for sure. And the great thing with Rafa from day one has always been: he loves competition, a struggle, a challenge: he lives for it. You know he’ll never back down, and he’ll do all that he can to improve no matter what. Hence supporting this great player then even was a real privilege since you knew this fighter will relish the chance to turn things around despite everyone writing him off. A true warrior for sure!


Nirmal Kumar Says:

skeezer..so u don’t believe I’m a Roger fan? I’m surprised to hear that.


Giles Says:

@Daniel. Have you in fact watched Rafa play on grass? If you have you will see that on grass he stands quite close to the baseline, and not 3 metres behind. That position is reserved for clay.


Brando Says:

Novak is the logical pick IMO. With this draw he should be in the final at a minimum. That’s a consensus view. And once there, really Andy is the one guy who would be a favorite over him- and even then a marginal one. Fed? rafa, andy, nole back to back for a 31 y/o is just too much of an ask. Rafa? Tough draw, and then Novak is a tough matchup. So really he’s the clear and obvious fav due to this draw. My pick: Andy v Novak final- Muzza in 5!


Vidzy Says:

@ Giles

Rafa does play close to the baseline on grass but not against all the players. Watch out where he stands against roger. He will play 3 meters behind and apply the clay court tactics.


Pitchaboy Says:

Federer in 2007 would have walked way withe title with this draw. Unfortunately his legs are a bit slower and timing a bit off. Notwithstanding this, it is still grass and a surprise or two may be left in the bag of tricks. Also, don’t discount the fact the draw and reality are different a lot of times on grass. Upsets in the first week of Wimbledon is the norm.


WTF Says:

I think djokovic is a lock for the final now. He drew Ferrer in his half, with no Nadal. Ferrer is probably not even going to make it to the semis to meet him.

This is a dream draw for him.

As for the other half… I think Rafa will beat Murray. Not sure who would win between him and Federer, but I’m leaning towards Nadal.

In the finals, if it turns out to be Djokovic vs Nadal, Nadal will get schooled. I think Federer and Murray have a better chance of beating Djokovic in a final than Nadal has, but Nadal has a better shot at reaching the final than either of them, so… It is of course by no means a guarantee that Nadal will even make it to the quarters or semis, but assuming he does…

Basically, Nole’s draw was a gift from the Tennis gods who want him to reach double digit slams quickly.

Fed for once in a long time has a tough draw.


Pitchaboy Says:

That guy Nirmal Kumar calling himself a Fed fan is as believable as Obama calling himself a capitalist.


Giles Says:

Rafa won his Exo match against Nishikori in two tight sets 7-6 7-6. Word is Rafa looking good!
Vamos King!


Pitchaboy Says:

If Fed makes it to the final, he will beat Djokovich. Rafa and Andy pose more problems to him than Novak on grass.


Pitchaboy Says:

Fed having an easy draw for ever is baloney. In his prime, he made it look terribly easy.


Vidzy Says:

@ Pitchaboy

I believe if Fed takes down Rafa , he has confidence all the way to the title.


gonzalowski Says:

Obama IS a capitalist…


Ty Says:

Jesus… now politics?


nadalista Says:

@Giles, yes, also heard he looked good in his exho. Hope this is the same vibe as the pre- IW New York exho against Delpo……..


squirrel Says:

@Vidzy

Thanks for the link! I wish I could download all the episodes though


Brando Says:

This article sums up the draw perfectly: “Novak Djokovic has probably not stopped laughing since the draw was made for this year’s Wimbledon.”- perfect opener! Here it is:
http://tinyurl.com/ol9gjkj


Pitchaboy Says:

Vidzy,
Yes and no. The physical and mental toll of beating Rafa is immense for Fed. And then he may have to deal with a golden retriever called Andy. Tough, tough draw.
But should he make it to the final, Novak fans will be left unhappy.


jamie Says:

Sean has gotten the Wimbledon winner wrong for several years in a row now. LOL.


nadalista Says:

RT @juanjo_sports: “In 2007, the last time Federer beat Nadal at a slam, Nadal was 21 years old. Federer was 25. At the 2007 Wimbledon, Federer claimed his 11th slam. All Nadal had were 3 French Opens. Since then, Nadal has won 9 Majors, Federer 6.


metan Says:

@Giles

Do you have a link for Rafa exo today. I just want to see it.


Ty Says:

WRT Djokovic:

Both his potential fourth round opponent (Haas) and quarterfinal (Berdsh!t) have beaten him at this very tournament. So the overall consensus of opinion regarding his “God gifted” draw is a bit perplexing. Simply because he does not have one of the three juggernauts on his half does not necessarily denote cupcake city.

Fed:
I have very little rooting interest anymore. But the historian in me would like to see Fed get one more Wimbledon; and what better way to do it than go through your main rival, the man who beat you at the Olympics last year, and your replacement in wait all in the same tournament.
Go Fed!

Rafa:
He will probably win though. Sigh. Reality has this funny way of being quite predictable and boring at certain moments. Nadal will win a predictable 19 majors. 13 on clay. He will continue to beat the beauty that is Federer into submission, proving once and for all that, in this world, muscle and strength extinguish all.


Giles Says:

@metan. Unfortunately no link. If a vid turns up I will post.


Giles Says:

@Brando. An easy draw is not necessarily a good thing. Joker meeting mediocre players early on will not help him get battle ready for later on. That’s just my take. Let’s wait and see. Berdych is no slouch on grass so that will be an interesting match.
In the meantime Vamos Rafa!


Giles Says:

PS Remember Fed’s cup cake draw at the FO, first 3 matches against qualifiers?


metan Says:

@Giles. Thanks. I watched Kei playing live once. Imo, he is new star. But I am happy Rafa made it.


grendel Says:

“Basically, Nole’s draw was a gift from the Tennis gods who want him to reach double digit slams quickly.”

That’s just rhetoric. Those who have examined the draw carefully recognize that there is not a lot in it. And so many unknowables, too, that any dogmatic assertions are without value. For instance, how will Berdych be playing if he gets to meet Djokovic in quarters? If he’s loose, he will be a very formidable opponent indeed, absolutely a legitimate opponent (i.e. an opponent who stands a respectable chance of winning). How will Federer be if he faces Nadal? We can guess, we can hope, but we actually have no idea.

My hunch (which I don’t take too seriously) is that Nadal will beat Djokovic in the final. Federer is not quite the player he was, whilst Nadal is absolutely in his prime. How could you bet against him, then, given the history between the two? Murray has yet to prove he can challenge Nadal on grass. I don’t quite agree with Tennis Vagabond, for whilst Nadal is, thus far, the superior grass court player,there is clearly a mental component here – Murray crumbled last time just as he was getting on top, one unfortunate shot was enough to do the damage.

Of course Murray may have improved sufficiently, both mentally and physically, to turn the tables – this we shall find out. We don’t know yet, do we?

Finally, you can’t help but think Djokovic was damaged by the bizarre turn of events at RG. So if it’s neck and neck in the final – and surely it will be – you can’t help feeling Nadal will be that little bit stronger.

Still, it’s quite open.


jane Says:

Ty, WRT Novak, I agree with you. What are your thoughts on Andy?


courbon Says:

So, its out…Well, I’m very happy with Novaks draw.Offcourse, with his patchy form recently, nothing is granted-but he is mug if does not get to the final.
Other half?Reason says Murray, my heart says Nadal to the final.
Final?I guess Nadal wins it…but off course, I want Novak to win.Will, see…
@ Brando:Long time , no speak to you.Ok, there?As you probably see, Novak got easy draw, Nadal not so easy in semi-I think he will beat Fed without problem but with Murray it may be another story?What you take?


James Says:

@Nadalista, many tennis journos are picking Rafa based on his current form. Have heard many of them say it’s hard to see anyone beat him on current form.
That said, Djokovic definitely has the easiest draw of the big four. Federer is handed the toughest. I don’t see Fed beating Nadal. Should he do that, he’s my favorite to lift his 8th Wimby title.

The winner imo is going to come from the Fed/Nadal/Murray side of draw. The tough road to the top helps you be more determined to go all the way. Nadal can do this. Fed if he beats Nadal. Murray? I doubt his chances now. Both Fed and Nadal at their best trump Murray’s best on grass.


metan Says:

@grendel.
Thanks for your sweet words for each players and especially for my man Rafa. But I will be pleased and stop worrying if he’ll get through first week.


grendel Says:

Journalism has its own rules, one of which is to give eye catching headlines which have little bearing on the script that follows. Thus:
“Novak Djokovic has probably not stopped laughing since the draw was made for this year’s Wimbledon”
Then are listed some of Djokovis’s easy opponents. We come onto Nadal, and the journalist, without so much as a blush, writes:
“Nadal’s first Test is likely to be in the fourth round against either John Isner or Stan Wawrinka”. In other words, as between Nadal and Djokovic, there is nothing in it.

So what is all this nonsense? It really boils down to two things; first, Nadal has Federer, Djokovic has Berdych. As some of us have already argued, it is by no means clear that Nadal has the more difficult task. However, Nadal’s potential semi opponent is Murray – surely this is tougher than anything Djokovic has to face? Yes, probably, but one tough match hardly justifies such extravagant and frankly insincere headlines. Especially since it is not quite certain Nadal has the tougher semi. Obviously if Ferrer makes it, Djokovic is through to the final. But suppose it is del Potro? He doesn’t look a particularly potent force on grass at the moment – but, he is a player of the very highest calibre. He might – might – come good on the day, and in fact prove a tougher proposition than Murray. Not likely, but not outrageous as a thought, either.

Which is why all the hype about cupcake and so on is either journalistic drivel which even the journalist concerned doesn’t believe, or a result of not thinking through the options.


Alex Says:

Bad bad draw for us Fed fans, damn this pees me off!

Anyway at Feds age I don’t expect him to reach the final, doesn’t mean he cant.

Fed and Nadal both got screwed by this draw, doesn’t matter who wins if the showdown happens.

Nadal with knee issues and Fed with a bad back and decline (age 1000matches) I think it will be VERY difficult for either to reach the Final this year. What a pity!

Worst draw ever!

#PukE


Brando Says:

@Courbon: Hey there! I’m fine thanks- all is well, and I hope so it is for you also. Muzza?: TBH, I wanted Rafa to face Novak instead of Muzza. I know record books say a Rafa fan should be wishing otherwise, but I honestly think Andy is the main man on grass now. Alot has changed for Andy in the 18 months since he last played Rafa. So I favour Andy slightly. TBH: other than Novak being in the final I am not sure on much at all. Very, very little between the rest IMO. I root for Rafa though, and Whilst he has the toughest of tasks ahead of him right now I think he’s the only one capable of pulling this off and is probably thinking: let the naysayers write me off. I’m licking my lips at this delicious challenge that I have on my hands- bring it on! That’s what I am hoping anyhow. Honestly: as fan you want a easy ride for your fav, but genuinely I am very happy Rafa has this toughest of tasks ahead of him: he has the chance to do something extremely special here, and I’ll back him all the way to do it!


Roger Federer Fan Says:

“I just don’t have the animosity against Nadal like other Roger fans”

This obviously proves that you are not TRUE federer fan.


jane Says:

Dolgo is playing Cali-Sam at the Boodles, if anyone wants to watch tennis:

http://www.theboodles.com/


TennisZod Says:

Nole also got tough draw but he will run through his opponents like always do. The clay court player will go home to fish soon. Roger Federer beat him easy in quater final. If not Federer, Andy Murray will beat him easy. If not Andy, Nole humiliate the Spanish fisherman again in final. Ajde Nole!


SG1 Says:

If at 31, Fed beats Rafa, then Murray and then Djokovic in the final…well, I don’t know but it has to mean something. I don’t see it happening. I don’t think Fed’s winning anymore slams. Of course I remember another great player being written off in 2002 and Roger’s game is closer to peak form that other guy’s. Should be interesting. Novak’s my pick as I’ve stated a couple of times. A good draw definitely helps his case.

Someone above said that Novak would be more comfortable with Rafa then Murray in the final? I don’t think you can ever be comfortable facing a guy who I don’t believe has ever lost a slam final in straight sets. And Novak’s serve isn’t so big that he’ll win a lot of free points. It’s a toss up if these two get to the end.


Brando Says:

@SG1:Great post. Can you ever really truly prefer facing a competitor as mighty as Rafa over someone else? TBH, I think many would choose someone else!


Viz Says:

Having (almost) gotten over my disappointment at not getting my potential dream final of Murray-Nadal, I’m now wondering how much of a factor the weather will be. While I go along with the conventional wisdom that Rafa should beat Fed in the quarters, I think the outcome could be a lot less certain if they have to play under the roof. (Off to check the long range weather forecast…)


Brando Says:

Re Fed: I can actually see him beating Rafa. Maybe even Muzza. But at age 31 beating Rafa, Muzza and Nole is just too big of an ask for Fed. It’s just too much. It’s a huge challenge for Rafa, one that really is daunting. Imagine how tough it would seem to a 31 y/o who really cannot afford too many physical matches due to age and a perennial back problem. I like the saying: never say never, and of course things may be different- someone might lose early. But IF Fed has to beat all 3, then I really just do not see this happening at all.


Brando Says:

Weather forecast is excellent for Wimby. ONLY time chance of rain in week 2 in finals: and even then it’s a slight chance of a couple of showers in high temperatures. Expect a roof less affair this year: hopefully of course!


courbon Says:

@ Brando-I could not agree more.Sometimes easty draw can be dangerous-I usually prefer Novak going trough tough opponents and gets to final (remember AO 2011?).But hey, It would be silly to complain with his draw.I know what you mean about Murray but I’m still not convinced that his truly came to Big 3 domain-it just one slam.We will see at Wimby…Personally I like him a lot-his got that dry British humor, and maybe he is not obviously most simpatetic character-I like him.If Novak does not win, I would not mind Andy winning.My biggest fear, is Novak playing Rafa and loosing again-it would get to his head and could be reversal of 2011 , When Rafa had Novak in the head.Well, I’m quite excited -I can’t wait.
Speak to you soon, I have to go now.


Viz Says:

@Brando – let’s hope so!


Bada Bing Says:

As a Novak fan I am pleased with this draw. Of course, the top 4 can get picked off by anyone!
I really am hoping for a Novak/Rafa final. It would be the ultimate.


Ben Pronin Says:

If Tim Duncan can put up 25 points in 1 half at age 37, Federer can beat Novak, Rafa, and Andy to win Wimbledon at 31. Will he? Maybe not. But he certainly can. Age is just one of the many numbers this guy deals with.


grendel Says:

“Re Fed: I can actually see him beating Rafa. Maybe even Muzza. But at age 31 beating Rafa, Muzza and Nole is just too big of an ask for Fed. It’s just too much”

That’s the common sense view. Another point of view might be this:if Federer were to beat Nadal, the boost to his confidence would easily nullify the effects of fatigue. He would go into the Murray match full of confidence. Suppose he won that? Same again, eh, only with knobs on? The Federer facing Djokovic in the final would be a formidable competitor indeed. Exhaustion, should it be loitering, would be told to get lost and come back in 5 hours time when he was holding the trophy.

However, one problem: I don’t think Federer will beat Nadal. I don’t think anyone will beat Nadal, actually.


Steve 27 Says:

4 and a half warm up matches for Rafa and then two toughs matches for his 3 title in Wimbledon. I think he can do it!


TennisZod Says:

“I don’t think Federer will beat Nadal. I don’t think anyone will beat Nadal, actually.”

You forget Nole? Nole beat that clay guy 7-0! Nole beat him again. Ajde Nole!


Steve 27 Says:

5 0 RG Zod
2 1 in grass


TennisZod Says:

Steve, Nadal very good in clay but outside? No Nole beat him all time. 2-1 in grass before Nole become great. From 2011 Nole best and true great. Nole no.1 Nadal no.5.


TennisZod Says:

Us Nole fans and Roger fans real tennis fans go out drink beer when Nadal lose in Wimbledon.


Humble Rafa Says:

At this point, I hope that I can continue my “rivalry”. That’s all.

Arrotards may want to note that Arrogant One is no way beating the three best players of this generation to win this one. You don’t need Jamie’s astrologer or Skeeze’s peanut size brain to make this call.


TennisZod Says:

Not so Humble Rafa, the “Child of God” beat you again for his second Wimbledon. Just see. Ajde NOLE!


Kimberly Says:

Humble Rafa, no congratulatory messages for me?


madmax Says:

Ak!

You are all writing the fed off!

Yes, it’s a tough draw, but he will be up for the challenge. Probably working out the game plans right this very minute!

Roger is the best on grass, has the confidence of Halle, going in, and if anyone has nothing to prove, it’s him.

He’s done it all and I have every faith in him.

Agree with Hippychick, all the top 4, at some time or another have had tough draws, they still got to beat the guy standing the opposite side of the net, first round and am certain they will not look beyond that. Foolish otherwise.

Interesting read.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2013/jun/21/wimbledon-draw-federer-nadal-andy-murray


madmax Says:

Ben Pronin Says:
If Tim Duncan can put up 25 points in 1 half at age 37, Federer can beat Novak, Rafa, and Andy to win Wimbledon at 31. Will he? Maybe not. But he certainly can. Age is just one of the many numbers this guy deals with.

June 21st, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Ben, I almost couldn’t believe my eyes when I read this post. I am going to frame it! Are you actually saying that age is just a number?

Well I never!


Brando Says:

@Madmax:

LOL, nothing against your man it’s just many are going by his form, recent year I guess.

Certainly I am.

But it’s great to see you backing Fed to the hilt: a true fan.

It’s great to see.

Good luck to your guy.


Brando Says:

Where are all the Muzza fans?

the DA, Margot, Colin, Racquet etc?

Thoughts on the draw?

Me thinks Andy has as good a shot as any for this slam.

Novak has the draw, but in terms of form or grass credentials right now Muzza looks as good as anyone.

But TBH: I don’t think his draw is great for week 2 at all.

Tsonga is probably no 5 on grass, that’s a tough QF.

Then Rafa or Fed is hardly easy street on grass.

Then Novak in the final possibly.

Should Andy get to the final I really think he nails it this time and gets the overdue win. But I feel his main rivals are prior to it.

He arguably has the toughest week 2 draw.


the DA Says:

@Brando – I’m still laughing at the draw (oh my aching sides). Not really, I was out all day and came home a little while ago and played catch-up with the news. I think if he can weather the QF & SF he has a good chance against Nole on grass.

But (and it’s a Bertha), all the players have to make it to their projected places in the draw. I’ve learned to take it a match at a time.


SG1 Says:

Brando,

You’re right of course. The Olympic Champion and 2012 Wimbledon finalist definitely has a shot. His game (if he brings it) is excellent for grass. Nice feel and touch. An excellent returner with a strong first serve. We’ll have to wait and see if he can peak in the 2nd week where the competition will be fierce. He’s not as battle tested as Rafa, Novak or Federer. And of course there is that pressure of trying to win at home (sort of).

Someone was mentioning the weather being a factor. I completely agree with this as well. The more pristine the environment, the more it favors Fed and Murray. If the elements come into play (wind etc.), the advantage goes back to Rafa and Novak.


contador Says:

@Kimberly

Did you fill out your bracket yet on GSN?

Was just attempting to do it and cannot see that names are even on the bracket yet to pick? Wondering if it is a browser incompatible trouble again or what.

Thanks


Brando Says:

@the DA:

LOL, I think all the laughing is being done by Nole fans if anyone is doing so with this draw.

I agree with your thoughts though:

Should Muzza get through the QF and SF, then I really fancy his chances against Novak also.

One match at a time? Absolutely with you on that one.

@SG1:

Yep agree with your thoughts re Muzza.

Precisely why I wanted Rafa on Novak’s side as opposed to Andy’s: Muzza just has a game tailor made for grass.

I hope the weather is great throughout: no rain delays, wind or matches under roof: 2 weeks of sunshine please!


Ben Pronin Says:

Against Federer, no roof will help Djokovic. But against Nadal, a roof will definitely help him. Even against Murray. Djokovic gets annoyed enough by all the weird bounces the grass throws at him, cutting out the wind will help quell that somewhat.


grendel Says:

I’m looking forward to Janowicz’s first round. We have no idea what he is going to be like on grass, but on the face of it, with that huge serve and his nice touch, he might do well. He’s playing Kyle Edmund, the young British hopeful who gave Simon – tomorrow’s finalist at Eastbourne – a decent test. Kyle didn’t fade away following a creditable first set, something of a speciality among aspiring Brits.

Nice to see Jamie Hampton take down Wozniacki. Not seen her play before, she’s part of this minor resurgence among American women, although she’s not particularly young – she’s 23, having apparently suffered a spate of injuries. She has a nice, free flowing game and likes to come steaming into the net and chance her arm. Quite a contrast with the elegant but rather rigid Wozniacki. Jamie Hampton makes you think of tucking into a nosh up round a campfire late on an August evening, with a guitar and some songs. Wozniacki, on the other hand, with her careful manoueverings, her tightly coiffeured hair and her endless complaints about line calls – boy, is she quick to jump on the slightest ambiguity – feels like decadent old Europe.

Jamie plays another of the young Americans, Sloane Stephens, in the first round at Wimbledon. An attractive prospect, and I rather hope Jamie wins, though Sloane will be favourite.

Learnt something today from a commentator. Never been sure what the origin of the tennis term “let” is, and for some reason never looked it up. I vaguely assumed it must have some connection with the meaning “permit”, which is what “let” generally means, even though in this context, it made no sense whatever. Chris Bradnam mentioned in passing that the tennis word “let” actually is derived from an old English word meaning “hindrance”. Now that makes perfect sense. Rather strange, all the same, that a small word with only three letters should have such directly opposed meanings.


Kimberly Says:

I cant see it either, im going to email trevor!


grendel Says:

There is no agreement about the nature of the draws, there never is. Repeating something endlessly doesn’t thereby make it more reasonable, either. But there is, I guess,pretty near universal agreement that the final will be played by two of the real top 4.

The trouble with trying to see who is the most likely winner is that you have to go on past evidence. Well, why not? What else can you go on? Nothing, of course. But that doesn’t mean it is sufficient. Whatever happens in the next fortnight will constitute new evidence for what might happen at Wimbledon 2014. Will this “new” evidence simply be a regurgitation of the old?

Well, of course it might be. But fortunately, life moves on, and things change – sometimes, anywqay. Of at least one of the top 4, and maybe more, most of us may be saying very different things in a fortnight’s time. Personally, I would like Murray to win, otherwise Federer. I actually think Nadal will win, otherwise Djokovic. I pin my hopes on that something unexpected happening to prove me utterly wrong. I can’t imagine what this unexpected thing or series of things might be – other than platitudes like Murray or Federer played better than expected etc. If I could imagine it, then it wouldn’t be unexpected, would it?

So, there’s all to play for. “The game’s the thing” as Sherlock Holmes said (it was him, wasn’t it?)


grendel Says:

No, dammit, it was “the game’s afoot”.

Hi, Contador and Von – whom I rather badmouthed the other day (first time for yonks, promise) and I feel quite ashamed. So I am justly punished. D’you think Roddick will enter the senior tour in a few years time?


Okiegal Says:

Novak’s draw couldn’t be any better if he had hand picked himself.

Vamos Rafa, hope you are in the finals with Novak.


Kimberly Says:

Contador—I talked to Trevor and he said the bracket is not yet finalized and we will receive an email when it is.


Kimberly Says:

so I know this is a tennis blog but here is my live report from our wonderful city in South Florida MIAMI—
Starting at 11:50pm last night every driver along Biscayne BL honked their horns for most of the night and early morning.
THe screaming, dancing and partying in the street by the arena lasted until 3:30 in the morning, according to a client who lives in a luxury high rise right across the street.
Fireworks going off from private homes til well into the wee hours
Story, a nightclub, was visited by Wade, Bosch, James, Spoelstra, Cole
Battier celebrated at the Dennys downtown.
Half of the City showed up at work in Number 6 Jerseys.
The Other half, including my husband, failed to appear at work.
The Victory Parade has been scheduled for Monday, at 11am where the players will ride a float into the arena and then have a rally. Major roads to the downtown business district will be shut down all morning.
Dan Lebatard, a local journalist and radio host, gave this rant in honor of the victory
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQkyxNNNefg


James Says:

I’m not surprised Novak has the easiest draw of the big four. He’s sort of earned it being the no.1 and all. But boy, Fed’s been handed really tough one. Wish it didn’t have to be like this, Nadal in the quarter-finals, Murray in the semis and Nole in the finals. An uphill task.
Good luck to all the players esp the big four. Hope they are all well prepared physically and more so mentally to go all the way.


Skeezer Says:

Youtube is showing Wimby live

http://www.engadget.com/2013/06/21/wimbledon-on-youtube

kimberly,

Congrats! Hope u all have a great celebration, wonder what GREEN is doing tonight?(sarc)


Danny Morris Says:

@James:

Great post at 816. Novak has earned the easy draw after him being in federer’s half in all the hardcourt slams since god knows when. the 2010 US open might have had a different result if Nole played youzhny and Fedal battled to death in the semi-final. By 2011, nole decided to rise above the draw and handled Fedal wonderfully in the USO 2011.

Similarly Murray earned his lucky quarter. No complaints. He is no.2 and Federer no.3. Ferrer should deserve the no.5 player as he is no.4 [that is how lot of draws in other sports work], but poor guy ferrer needs all the help he can get to reach the only slam semi he never reached.

So Federer, will be the dark knight who will take on Bane. He is the hero the tennis world deserves but he is not the one it needs right now. :)


silentjag1 Says:

Hi you guys. I want to youtube Federer’s greatest match (where he won). Can you guys give me his greatest match win that was epic? I am a Rafa fan but I would like to know what win was Fed’s epic won. Rafa’s had several and Nole has AO 2012 Final. Fed is the best I know but he has to have an epic win that I just haven’t seen (maybe because he used to make them all too easy. It’s possible. But Fed fans (which I am one as well but definitely Rafa fan first), would be able to steer me in the right direction. In my opinion, however, I don’t count W Final 2009 against Roddick. Just can’t.
Thx!


Micky Says:

We’re not even sure if the top 5 players will even make the quarters….

There will always be the possibilities of surprise losses and wins….

Its always going to be difficult to win wimbledon, it was never going to be a walk in the park….


Micky Says:

We’re not even sure if the top 5 players will even make the quarters….

There will always be the possibilities of surprise losses and wins….

Its always going to be difficult to win wimbledon, it was never going to be a walk in the park….


RZ Says:

My hope is that Murray makes it through the semi with the winner of Rafa/Fed. I think if Murray makes the final against Novak, Murray wins.


Humble Rafa Says:

Kimberly Says:
Humble Rafa, no congratulatory messages for me?

Ofcourse, congratulations are in order for you and the Arrogant One who took his talents to South beach. Well Done.


Skeezer Says:

Humble Rafa,

So what are u congratulating? Zod? RFF?
“Zombieland”?

#pieiceofwork
#mocksthetennisfan
#onlythefoolsrushin


WTF Says:

“That’s just rhetoric. Those who have examined the draw carefully recognize that there is not a lot in it. And so many unknowables, too, that any dogmatic assertions are without value.”

There’s always going to be unknowables and players who’ve beaten you lurking somewhere nearby. This is true of everyone. With 128 players, I don’t think you can literally have a walkover draw with absolutely no one having more than a 5% chance of beating you somewhere.

Joker’s draw is as dreamy as you’re going to get. Berdych beat him once a few years ago. Joker was a different player back then however, and I don’t think Berdych has what it takes to beat him on a big stage anymore. Masters 1000? Yeah sure. But grand slam? He doesn’t have it between the ears to be the current Djokovic.

“Finally, you can’t help but think Djokovic was damaged by the bizarre turn of events at RG. So if it’s neck and neck in the final – and surely it will be – you can’t help feeling Nadal will be that little bit stronger.”

I doubt it. He always overcomes injuries and niggles. That or he’s overstating their impact. I mean just the weekend before Monte Carlo, he played Davis Cup and rolled his ankle. Wasn’t even sure he was going to play Monte Carlo. But he decided at the last minute he would play, won the title, and beat Nadal in straight sets in the final. First time in 9 years Nadal had been beaten there.

Wait.. rereading that, you weren’t talking about injuries. By the “strange turn of events” at Roland Garros, I assume you mean he lost to Nadal? Look, everyone was talking about how potentially dangerous Nole’s draw was at RG and how it’s by no means even probable he’d even make it to the SF to play Nadal, and then look how easily he did it. He even got a rematch against a guy who’d beaten him earlier that people expected simply because they’d beaten him in a 1000 they could do it again at a slam.

As for losing to Nadal… it was on Nadal’s best surface and ended something like 9-7 in the 5th. Topsy turvy game. And he could have won it. Can Nadal pull out the same kind win on a surface he isn’t as dominant on? In Australia, he couldn’t. Let’s see what the grass brings.

“Obviously if Ferrer makes it, Djokovic is through to the final. But suppose it is del Potro? He doesn’t look a particularly potent force on grass at the moment – but, he is a player of the very highest calibre. He might – might – come good on the day, and in fact prove a tougher proposition than Murray. Not likely, but not outrageous as a thought, either.”

Del Potro’s record on grass has been terrible. He is not making it to the SF. I’m baffled as to why. He’s great on hard courts. He’s not a ‘clay court specialist’ either, even though he comes from a country that produces a lot of them.

“As a Novak fan I am pleased with this draw. Of course, the top 4 can get picked off by anyone!”

People say that every time out of caution. But when was the last time it happened (in a slam)?


Michael Says:

I wonder why all the ire is now directed against Novak ? Novak had nightmare draws in the past and this time he is lucky. But even now, he has mine fields on his way to cross. What can be said is that relatively he has an easy draw. It is always so with the draw of lots. It is a draw of pure luck. It is not rigged in favour of players as some die-hard fans wish to make a preposterous claim to make a case for their favourites. Both Roger and Rafa are placed in the group of death and it will require a herculean effort to reach the finals. I think Novak if he manages to reach the finals will definitely win this one with or without roof. The question is whether he will reach the finals ? He has the requisite confidence against Roger, Rafa and even Andy. Of the three, may be he will be somewhat circumspect against Andy. So, the gate is wide open. May the best player win.


Micky Says:

Players that will pose Novak trouble;

1) Tsonga
2) Del Potro
3) Warrinka
4) Seppi

Players that will pose Murray trouble;
1) Del Potro

Players that will pose Federer trouble;
1) Del Potro

Players that will pose Nadal trouble;
1) Del Potro

If anyone stands a good chance outside the top 5, I believe Del Potro has a very good chance….


Micky Says:

Players that will pose Novak trouble;

1) Tsonga
2) Del Potro
3) Warrinka
4) Seppi

Players that will pose Murray trouble;
1) Del Potro

Players that will pose Federer trouble;
1) Del Potro

Players that will pose Nadal trouble;
1) Del Potro

If anyone stands a good chance outside the top 5, I believe Del Potro has a very good chance….


James Says:

@Micky, I like Delpo but highly doubt he’s gonna make it to the semis this time. If somehow he gets to the semis he should have a good match vs Novak Djokovic. But unlikely to happen.
Novak has the easiest draw but it could also get tricky for him if he’s not as focused as he should be in Slams. I say the winner of Wimby 2013 will come from the tougher side of draw. One of Andy/Rafa/Roger will take the title. I just can’t think that Nadal/Fed/Murray can get to the finals without playing great tennis. And if they make to the finals playing like that, I doubt even Djokovic is gonna be enough to stop them.


Nadalista Says:

Where is @TennisZod? @skeezer could do with some comic relief from his favorite character, the new addition to tennis-x blog who is such a breath of fresh air to him.


Margot Says:

@Brando
Hi :) Andy’s draw is fine. TBH I never worry about draws. I’ve seen Andy lose tournaments with so called “cushy” draws and win them with so called “difficult” ones. Expecting some results will surprise us all anyway. Totally relaxed…….EEK! ;)
@Micky
Saw Delboy play twice at Queens. One win, when he crushed our very own Dan Evans, one loss to Hewitt.
He didn’t look that gr8 tbh. Hewitt made him look slow and awkward. Would be more worried if he were playing Andy on hard/clay.


madmax Says:

The thing is, all of the top four, and even the top ten, believe they can win Wimbledon, and that is the way it should be!

Roger Federer knows no fear at Wimbledon despite toughest of draws. A quarter-final with Rafael Nadal looms but the seven-time champion believes he can win an eighth Wimbledon title.

Kevin Mitchell

The Guardian, Friday 21 June 2013 22.10 BST

Roger Federer is like Neil Young’s Hurricane. There’s calm in his eyes. And, as he reaches for an improbable eighth Wimbledon title 10 years after his first, there is not a trace of vulnerability about the coolest tennis player of them all, although he has good reason to be nervous.

That is cool as in free of bone-chilling anxiety, incidentally, not as in a finger-snapping hipster. Although he is only 31 (with a birthday in August), Federer, resplendent in white monogrammed jacket over a crisp shirt with understated pastel stripes, is every inch the father of two and voice of wisdom as he speaks quietly about a sport that has been ratcheted up to levels of almost unbearable intensity in recent years.

The draw for the championships is just out and it has not been kind to him. It has pitched the defending champion into an almost certain confrontation with Rafael Nadal as early as the quarter-finals, never a comfortable scenario, even if grass is supposed to be the Spaniard’s weakest surface. How weak can it be, with two titles from the All England Club in his locker? Federer knows that. He lost to him here in one of the great finals in 2008.

“We’ve gotten very used to just the four of us being in the top four,” Federer says of his journey through the game’s big tournaments alongside Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Nadal – except now the player who has pushed him hardest over the past decade is returning as No5 seed to Wimbledon, where he went out in a shock defeat against the Czech player Lukas Rosol last year.

The universe has been tilted. Nadal is the super wild card. “If you want to win this type of tournament, you have to beat the best anyway,” Federer says. “You don’t want to hope for a good draw; you don’t hope for the worst draw either. At the same time you have to feel confident enough that you can do it all. It’s not an easy draw for Rafa, it’s not an easy draw for me, it’s not an easy draw for Andy.

“I am very much focused on my first round. If then the quarter-finals with Rafa would come along, it’s great news. I’m super excited. We’ve had some monster matches here in the past. Three months down the road we know that Rafa is going to be in the top four. It’s only a matter of time.”

Except this is a different time, different deal. “I knew the longer he was not playing, the more likely it was going to happen,” Federer said of his fiercest rival, who has roared back to near his best with 43 wins in 45 matches after seven months out injured. “It’s at Wimbledon where you feel the biggest effect. It is what it is. He has only played nine tournaments, that are in his system and count.

“There’s always surprise losses and surprise wins throughout the tournament. I’ve had some rough draws here in the past – [Richard] Gasquet, Tim [Henman]. Is that tougher, to have those guys early on in a first, second, third round? Or is it harder to have really difficult players in the quarters or semis? How much more dangerous is [Jo-Wilfried] Tsonga than Nadal or vice versa in the quarter-finals? Or [Juan Martín] del Potro?

“They’re very good right now, the top eight. It’s not like five, six, seven and eight are weak. We’re still talking a very high level. It was always going to be difficult to win Wimbledon. Nobody said it was going to be a walk in the park.

“Also, Ferrer ground it out extremely well [to get to No4 in the world] so we have to respect his efforts. He should enjoy the benefit of being whatever the ranking says. He has worked too hard just to take that away from him.”

It is as admirable a sentiment as you would expect from the most reasonable man in tennis. But it is hard to believe he would not swap Nadal for Ferrer in the quarters. What of the gears these great players find at the end of a tournament: surely he does not want to be red-lining on the second Monday, with the possibility of a semi-final against Murray to come, then maybe a final against Djokovic – three high-level gladiatorial showdowns in a row?

As for Murray, Federer thinks the world No2 has always been a tough opponent and he will have taken heart from giving a good account of himself in last year’s final, then beating the Swiss a month later to win the Olympic gold medal – not to mention repeating it over five memorable sets six months later in the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

“For me Andy was always tough to play against,” he says. “It happened that things went well for me [in the past]. I took the right decisions at the right times. He was playing well for a long time. The pressure of Wimbledon I always knew was going to be hard for him. I thought he was ready to win slams three years ago. He knows that and everybody knew that. He was able to tune his game and have a better mind-set and he started not to struggle against lower-ranked players any more.

“The same thing happened with Novak. That gives them the belief that they are strong when the big guys come around. Nothing really changed for me, I’ve always had a tough time against Andy. He’s just a very good tennis player.”

For Federer the big guys are coming around a little earlier this year. The conundrum is: will he turn into a hurricane or be blown away this time around?

Well, I would love Federer to win wimbledon, but of course, I just have to be realistic. For him to win, the odds are narrow, that is not to say it couldn’t happen. Self-belief is a wonderful asset I feel.

Can’t wait for Monday.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2013/jun/21/roger-federer-wimbledon


Wilfried Says:

@Grendel
You sure have a way with words, Grendel, not to say you’re an excellent writer. I like reading your comments and also enjoy respectfully reacting to whatever opinions you express in them when I feel like doing so.
Like responding to your comment – higher in this thread – in which you say that “those who have examined the draw carefully recognize that there is not a lot in it”.
Well, I must admit I recognize a lot in every slam draw that’s in front of me, because I have a habit of looking beyond one singular draw at the bigger picture so to speak.
Indeed I invested some time, in the past and more recently, in examining a sample of 60 slam draws in an attempt to understand and “recognize” possible patterns . And I can assure you by doing so, I found clear irrefutable mathematical evidence of the absence of randomness in the way the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th seeds are allocated in the quarters of the draw of a slam. At the same time the same sample of 60 draws shows me an almost perfect random allocation of the 3d and 4th seeds in the upperhalf and bottom half of the draw (I obtained 29 times out of 60 times as observed value, which is almost equal to the expected value: 30 out of 60 times, because they have a 50% chance of being drawn in each half of the draw), which definitely refutes the idea and speculation with respect of any rigging of the draws as far as the 3d and 4th seeds are concerned.
You know, Grendel, if draws were really made in a random way all the way down the seeds, it would be impossible for me and for anybody to even have the slightest hunch of how the seeds are going to be paired in a draw, before the draw is released. Because randomness is incompatible with any form of predictability.
However weeks ago, before the seeds were even known, I already wrote in a small comment on Ruan Federers blog that I expected Federer to be paired with Nadal in the same quarter of the Wimbledon 2013 draw and Murray with Tsonga in the same quarter, and that Federer and Nadal would have to go through three of the Big Four to get the Wimbledon title.
Just one more remark. Sure statistical proof is not a material proof of manipulation, but it remains a proof nevertheless.
And manufacturing a draw is in my eyes not an innocent thing to do, like doping isn’t either.


the DA Says:

@madmax – candid interview. Nice to see him in such a complimentary mood.

The schedulers are going to have nightmares with Fed, Murray and Nadal in the same half. There’s no way all three can be placed on CC every time they play. One or two of them are going to be dispatched to No. 1 court more than usual. Question is who? It will be interesting to see.


grendel Says:

Von -

people using your name as a form of derision (over the Djokovic business, for instance) must be very hurtful. Strange place, the internet I’ve always thought. Rather tends to encourage nasty behaviour, and I’ve done my share.
So Roddick’s playing WTT – that’s local to Americans of course, isn’t it. Sounds like a good way of combining fun and keeping up to speed in the sport you love. D’you think he’ll join the senior tour at some stage and maybe play someone like McEnroe – I wonder how many more years HE’s got left.
I like delPo and I’ve been very excited by Janowicz. I do feel that of the big hitters, he’s in with the best chance of getting a slam. He’s a very entertaining player, and brings so much energy and passion to the court. Part of delPo’s charm, however, is that he tends to appear half-asleep before suddenly exploding into action..
I’d like Murray or Federer almost equally to win this Wimbledon – I definitely would like Murray to get a few slams.

WFT
” By the “strange turn of events” at Roland Garros, I assume you mean he lost to Nadal? ” No, I meant the way he lost. That’s what will hurt deeply.

Wilfried; ” randomness is incompatible with any form of predictability.” Certainly. But you can have lucky guesses, quite extensively so.


Nina Says:

The thing is there isn’t an easy draw. Any good player could pose a potential upset. Berdych, Tsonga, Delpo… they all have done it before.

That said, I don’t envy Federer, Nadal or Murray. They have it tough. But somehow having the chance to see at least one of the Top 4 playing the other 3 in a row is a great opportunity. This way we can see Nadal having to beat his most dangerous rivals in succession. Nole has done it before, Murray too. So what’s the big deal? bring it on!


Wilfried Says:

Yes,Grendel, people can have lucky guesses once and a while when they are familiar enough with the subject. But analyzing the results of 60 slam draws of isn’t a matter of luck anymore but of application of probability theory.
Anyways, you’re entitled to your opinion of course.


pitchaboy Says:

Murray has it easy until SF. Nadal and Fed are a different story. Novak is ridiculously easy. If Nadal had gone into Ferrer quarter and in Novak’s half, it would have been fair. It is what it is and if Fed or Rafa pull off the tile, it is more than well deserved.


Brando Says:

@WTF: Great post. Courbon said it best IMO: Novak would be a mug not to make it to the final with this draw! When was the last time he did not get to SF atleast? When was the last time he lost to Berdbrain, 35 yo and counting, El Terrible on grass, at a slam? Oh yes: a real long time ago! It is what it is: he’s no.1 for a reason, and this is as good a draw as it gets here. When you cannot even guess his SF opponent because no one stands out as great on grass then quite obviously he’s got it made. Long story short: he’ll be in the final period. It’s all about who’s across the net to face him!


Brando Says:

@Margot: Hi, I agree with you. Andy just needs to take care of one match at a time. He’s got a real shot here. I’ll be happy should he win.


Danny Morris Says:

WTF:

People say that every time out of caution. But when was the last time it happened (in a slam)?

June 22nd, 2013 at 12:06 am

2012 wimbledon. Rosol ranked 100 did it to 2nd ranked nadal.


Danny Morris Says:

This slam is Novak’s to lose and I don’t think he is going to lose it, even on a surface on which he has 3rd or 4th best results among active players.


madmax Says:

DA,

Have been to wimbledon a few times now and can say that No.1 court is a fantastic court to play on,so i don’t think that any of the top four will mind playing on that court.

It’s had a complete revamp! But I take your point on the centre court, it’s the ambience and the fact that you have the roof there. But No. 1 court, I can assure you, is just as good.


Danny Morris Says:

It’s not just that madmax. It’s the history that Center Court is steeped in. Center Court is the Greatest court in tennis. It is the court where Tennis crowns its greatest Champions and a host of those champions like Laver, Borg, Sampras and Federer, Margaret Court, Navratilova, Graf and Williams enter into the Tennis Pantheon of Gods.

Excuse the hyperbole, but I hope you get my point.

Wimbledon’s tradition of defending champion opening play on Center Court is just one of many things that makes Center Court the greatest real estate in tennis.

Here is a Trivia Question. Federer is opening the traditional “Champion start” on Monday for 8th time. Is that the highest? I know Sampras did it 7 times. Fed is doing it for the 8th time because Nadal sat out of wimbledon in 2009 when he was defending champion.


Danny Morris Says:

Von and Grendel:

Agree with you guys – Jerzy has got GAME. I hope they speed up the conditions to let these big hitters have a better shot. It is sad to see players like Gulbis, Berdych and Tsonga not win a slam. In the 90s, with faster conditions, they would have won atleast 1 slam and maybe one of them would have been a multi-slammer too.

I always find it funny how all tennis writers lament slowing conditions and these guys not realizing their potential but they don’t seem to make the straightforward connection that the slowing conditions have given the advantage to the returner. Hewitt, Federer, Nadal, Novak are 4 of the top 10 returners of all time with hewitt and novak easily making the top 5.


grendel Says:

Brando is again going on about Djokovic’s v.lucky draw – this repetition is verging on making excuses if his man fails. Nadal has had so much luck in his time – particularly one thinks of the year he won the US Open. But actually, I think Nadal would have won the US that year anyway. He was playing so devastatingly, what with the big serve and all, that he was a notch above even Djokovic and Federer. The point about this is that it is unfair to Nadal’s reputation to say he only won the US because of an easy draw. In short, it is wise to keep a sense of perspective about draws. Or at least not to go on saying the same thing over and over again in a very loud voice.

We don’t know how Berdych will play, and calling him Berdbrain will not assist us in acquiring this knowledge. The excellent commentator Sam Smith (an ex-player) was asked by the journalist John Inverdale (not an ex-player) to confirm that Djokovic must be laughing at the draw. She refused to do so, because she knows only too well how the unforeseeable can interfere with predictions. Of course it is reasonable to opine that Djokovic probably has it easier than the other three – but with a due degree of caution. I just see blustering from Brando, repeated over and over again for some reason, almost as if he needs to convince himself.


laslo Says:

Darren cahill picks novak


Legend Says:

Grendel,

I think people have pretty short memory.

Before the USO 2010 draw came out Rafa fans were hoping to avoid Murray in his half and Federer fans were hoping that Rafa ends up with Murray.
History behind that was Murray’s two previous victories over Rafa in their previous two HC grandslam matches. Rafa’s first victory over Murray on a HC grandslam came in 2011 USO.


Danny Morris Says:

“I just see blustering from Brando, repeated over and over again for some reason, almost as if he needs to convince himself.”

This is par for the course with Rafa fans when it comes to slams outside clay. I have seen this charade many times since 2005 Wimbledon. And this is some of the saner rafa fans. The trolls often get hysterical and go total bonkers during the 2nd half from Wimbledon onwards, where Nadal’s results over the years have been inferior compared to Roger and Novak.

Wait and watch the show as the year unravels. Plenty entertainment and drama – quite pitiable actually from Rafa and his team and his fans. I just hope the knees dont suddenly start acting up like they did last year once the grass court season started. Like Tignor/Bodo said, the knees seem to have a mind of their own. LOL!


Margot Says:

Billy Jean picks Andy.


Brando Says:

@Grendel: aw come on now Grendel: saying Novak’s draw is a dream one is something even his own fans recognize. Are they too preparing it as an excuse for Rafa? LOL, of course not. It is what it is: a fantastic draw. Hence why posters like myself, some of his own fans (atleast not the shy ones), most media commentators on the game have him in the final and the fav to win. Why now when 2 days ago he wasn’t seen as such a consensus? Guess what? Because of draw. Heck if Rafa had such a draw I’d be here openly admitting to the nice free ride he has to the final. People can build up or knock his draw all they want but at the end of the day: he’s got a great draw regardless. Why? Since aside from the unexpected happening which can happen to anyone, normal course of events have him in the final due to this draw. There’s no big deal about it calling it as such: I don’t see his fans crying foul over it and they certainly are not crying over this draw either.


Legend Says:

Exactly four weeks back the discussions

were all about how easy Federer’s draw and

how Rafa and Nole will kill each other in the semis and be an easy prey for Federer in the finals.
We all know how things turned out then.

Similarly now everyone thinks that Nole has an easy path to the finals and he would get a tired Rafa or Murray or Federer. But thats not gonna happen.


Legend Says:

This was what Sean Randall wrote about 2010 USO draw:
Overall, I thought the draw came out pretty evenly weighted. Nadal’s might be the toughest section with Nalbandian, Verdasco and even Gulbis.

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2010-08-26/5074.php


Danny Morris Says:

Novak should bring home the 2nd Wimbledon title 2 sundays from now. The guy he would least want to see across the net 2 sundays from now is Federer [who has troubled him the most since 2011, when Djokovic transformed to Godkovic]

It is a toss-up between who would make the toughest opponent for Novak in the final. Roger has given novak his most comprehensive defeats at slams since 2011 – beating him in French and Wimbledon and pushing novak to the very limit in USO – 2010 and 2011. Had 2 match-points in each of those matches and no one except Djokovic could have beaten Federer on those 2 semi-final days.

However, Roger would be exhausted if he makes the final. having run through a very tough draw – could be something like – janowicz, nadal, murray. In such a situation, Murray being younger would pose a bigger challenge.

Rafa will be the guy to give Novak the least trouble in the finals, should he make it there. Why? Refer 2011 wimbledon final. 2011 USopen final. Those matches were never in doubt. It was almost like Novak got bored after the 1st 2 sets and threw nadal a bone in the 3rd sets and having re-focused came back and wrapped up the matches in the 4th without much trouble.


Danny Morris Says:

Who did Billy Jean pick last wimbledon? I think she picked Rafa. LOL!


Giles Says:

Weren’t there a number of contrary pundits picking joker to prevail over Rafa in the semis of the FO and actually win in Rafa’s domain? Lol. Look what happened! Joker crumbled!
Vamos Rafa!


Danny Morris Says:

At the 2010 USO, Federer lost to the 2nd top 5 player he faced – djokovic and djokovic lost to the 2nd top 5 player he faced = Nadal.

Nadal played only 1 top 5 player in the whole tournament – Novak.

There is no problem with players getting lucky draws. However you cannot on the one hand keep shouting Nole got an easy draw in wimbledon and not acknowledge the lucky draws Rafa faced in his career. Remember nadal drew djokovic 1 or 2 times in about 15 or 16 slams, when there was only top 3 [2008 AO onwards] and murray was a nobody. Heck, murray is still a nobody compared to Novka and in this draw and rafa is lucky he is in his half and not Novak’s.


grendel Says:

wilfried

“..analyzing the results of 60 slam draws..” In your analysis, did you take note of the fact that seedings at the top, as elsewhere, can and do change. This alters the picture completely, and brings in the role of luck. Thus for example Fed and Nole drawn to meet in one semi has (with the change of seed status), statistically a different meaning to their being drawn to meet in another semi.

Anyway, these things have been discussed exhaustively by others, so perhaps we could just agree to differ.


Legend Says:

Giles,

You are right. Even our Danny Morris would have picked Nole ahead of Rafa inthe FO semis.


Legend Says:

And I would never say Rafa’s draw is tough now.
He has his favorite bunny in the quarters whom he will beat without any fuss. He may not even need to play his DTL shots too. Just slow short CC FH and CC BH are enough.
Against Murray in the semis he may need to be at his 80% best and in finals he will definitely turn up his best form and beat the Joker if he turns up.
All in all Rafa is going to be the champ in two weeks time.


Kimberly Says:

Nice that Mahut won a title after so many devastating losses, the most recent in the doubles final to the Bryans of RG where apparently he was inconsolable at the trophy ceremony. Good for him.


the DA Says:

@Margot – Have you seen this?

https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc1/424456_10151403417616599_329786854_n.jpg

Hysterical. Nial Smith outdoes himself again.


the DA Says:

@Kimberly – I agree. Great that he finally won a title and on grass. Different tears this time.


jane Says:

ha ha DA, Nole looks so funny holding Pierre. ;) And why are there lizards surrounding Rafa?


jane Says:

Kimberly if we do a bracket when do we have to have our picks in by? thanks.


Skeezer Says:

Re; 11:38 post
Never agreed with Seans assessment of that draw. I mean is everyone suppose to? pffft.
He also noted “Top seed Nadal should feel at home with his Spanish hombres all in his section.” And the first few rounds? Lol.


grendel Says:

Legend

2010, Nadal had F.Lopez in 4th round – perhaps his 2nd favourite bunny? Djokovic had Fish, quite a dangerous opponent then, Federer had Melzer – tougher than Lopez, anyway, perhaps we can upgrade him to Rabbit.

Quarters for Nadal: ‘nother bunny ambles along, squeaking that he better bunny than Lopez,namely: Verdasco. Djokovic: – Monfils, unpredictable, can be easy, can be a devil to put away. Federer has Soderling – easily the most difficult. Semi: Nadal, oops, who is this, oh Youzhny – hallo Youzhny what have you come here to do,watch the match? Oh no, wait a minute, you’re playing aren’t you, what I suppose you’re gonna give Nadal a bit of practice, eh? Very civil of you, Youzhny.
Djokovic and Federer have each other. ‘Nuff said.

As things turned out (Nalbandian for instance was beaten by fav. bunny Verdasco) this became a laughably easy draw for Nadal.

But, I repeat: Nadal was going to win the US that year whoever he faced,at least in my opinion.

As for your triumphalist predictions for Nadal over the next 2 weeks, you may be right. If it’s all so easy, why bother? Why bother playing, why bother watching – sounds like a tedious procession.


Margot Says:

@ the DA
Was just gonna post the link! It’s brilliant.
Kim as “Foxy Drop Shot” Nole as Dr No(le) and Andy looking scrumptious.
Love Nial’s posters. They are fab!


Margot Says:

Lol grendel, on the Island of Portland, it is unlucky to even say the word “bunny,” leave alone say it 20 times!
Not as crazy crackeroo as it seems. Down in the quarry mines it is considered danged unlucky to spot a bunny, it means they have burrowed down and made the tunnels unsafe.


Brando Says:

@the DA: LOL! I bet Andy would make a better Bond than Mr One Expression Only, aka Daniel Craig. Andy atleast shows emotion on court, which is something Craig wouldn’t know about even if it bit him where the sun doesn’t rise from! Such a wooden, charisma less Bond!


Skeezer Says:

@grendel
Most excellent post. Thanks for looking at tha draw. Some of these posters talk like they were born just a few years ago.

Way too much “blustering” nowadays. Reading here nowadays is like the feeling I get in my stomach after too many Guiness(thankfully posts like grendels cures the ill). There was mostly substance and a little style. Now its the other way around. I pro


the DA Says:

@Jane – I’m not sure. Rafa is supposed to be Franz Sanchez from License To Kill – maybe he was into lizards.


Legend Says:

“Never agreed with Seans assessment of that draw. I mean is everyone suppose to? pffft.”

Skeezer,

I know you will keep saying that Rafa had a cupcake draw in the 2010 USO.

But the funny part there was a poster whose name was very similar to yours mentioned that “The draw is the draw. I agree with Sean on it being OVERALL evenly weighted.”

We all know who you are. LOL.


Skeezer Says:

bably don’t help that.


Skeezer Says:

“But the funny part there was a poster whose name was very similar to yours mentioned that “The draw is the draw. I agree with Sean on it being OVERALL evenly weighted.”

Show me.


nadalista Says:

For Rafans:

Out on Court 14, in the shadow of Centre Court, eight-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal conferred with his coach, his uncle Toni Nadal, in whispered Spanish. He was hitting with Kevin Anderson, a willowy South African, who is on the other side of the draw. Not to alarm anyone, but Nadal seemed to be nursing a slight limp as he worked his way around the court. Nadal, a little fast and loose to start, eventually got serious and started hitting some ridiculous forehands you could actually hear tearing through the air. When a half-volley clipped the top of the net — and fell back — Rafa issued a comic “oooh!” that drew a snicker from the dozen or so fans watching.

After sitting out seven months with a knee injury, Nadal has played nine tournaments — and reached all nine finals. This will be his first on grass.

“Since I start from today, I was able to play all the tournaments that I wanted to play,” Nadal said. “That’s the best news possible. Before I came back, I take this year like a transition year. I will compete here as good as possible. I going to try my best, and then we will see what’s next for me.”

http://espn.go.com/tennis/wimbledon13/story/_/id/9412663/wimbledon-rafael-nadal-getting-feel-grass-courts


Legend Says:

Skeezer Says:
“But the funny part there was a poster whose name was very similar to yours mentioned that “The draw is the draw. I agree with Sean on it being OVERALL evenly weighted.”

Show me.

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2010-08-26/5074.php#comment-160501

Why are you so eager to be proved as silly little weenie.


Skeezer Says:

Legend,

Thank you. You’re right. That is what I said. But looking back don’t agree with myself ;).


Legend Says:

Skeezer,
I could not believe my eyes. How does your ego allowed you to accept this ?

Good signs. You are growing up. Way to go.

I was actually expecting a personal attack from you because I know that you lost it and would not have a meaningful and objective reply to my post.


Legend Says:

“But looking back don’t agree with myself ;).”

Thats because the fanatic in you could not digest the fact that Rafa won the USO and completed his career GS in such a dominant fashion.


Legend Says:

Grendel,

You are confusing between the players Rafa actually met with the players Rafa should have met based on the draw.

My point was the draw itself was not easy for Rafa. Later it turned out to be different because many of the players could not play upto their rankings (ex. Murray).


bojana Says:

WOG BOY,

I wanted to see Your and other Nole’s fans opinion on Nole’s and Dimitrov mach and I found only one fan posting.I went back and I see what happened.I hope that You are OK and life is as usually.
I think You recognize the trick’s that are used more than twenty years now.First they start calling the names and if needed use racialism ,when You get to the wall you say something and then You see.You and others that were just friendly to You become “a pack of hyena’s”.Even though their pack is much bigger they start calling other pack’s to join them because they want to destroy You.
I am really glad that I see some changes. Other pack’s have smart fans much more now then in 2007-8.
Personally I think that real Nole’s fans do not care how many GS he will get or him to became the best for ever.They just want to support Nole on his journey and enjoy his achievements.You are the role model for that.
So, Wog boy,I would like to see your post soon.


Wilfried Says:

@Grendel
I wrote a comment about my sample analysis in a thread on Ruanfederes blog (« French Open Draw : Nadal and Djokovic in same half – May 24th 2013), and explained therein my approach (without explaining in depth the basics of distribution theory and hypothesis testing as it would take a very long post to do so). By the way I tried to open this post today, but couldn’t open it for some reason, so their might be some kind of problem or bug in his website atm.
As far as tennis-x is concerned, I read some earlier general discussions on tennis-x here but was not really satisfied with what I read. The guys here talk general stuff but never proof what they say. In my job I can’t proceed that way. I do have to test whatever I think is true or wrong and proof the materiality or importance of it by applying sample theory and hypothesis testing.
“Chance” is a concept of probability theory, but “luck” isn’t (to my knowlegde at least).


grendel Says:

Legend

I am well aware of that distinction, and was going to bring it up myself. I think it is the cause of some confusion, because it is natural some years after the event to take a player’s draw as constituting the list of his actual opponents. Our memories simply can’t handle anything else as the slams mount up (with some specific exceptions, perhaps) but then it’s a bore to have to go and look it up.

I think when most people talk of Nadal’s easy draw, they mean who he actually played. This is strictly inaccurate but, unless you are into serious statistics, it is pedantic imo to make an issue of it. Which is why I think you are being unfair to skeezer. We all know what skeezer meant, and I’d guess most of us agree with him. Of course, it is also true that people tend to hurl opprobrium at Nadal (or Federer, Djokovic, whoever) for their easy parade of opponents, whilst obviously they are not to blame. It’s not as if they have a choice in whom they are to play.

Meanwhile, clicking back on that blog you provided for skeezer, I noticed this Nadal quote which I apparently dragged up myself. I think I was rather kind to Nadal. It’s a delicious quote, and I can’t resist requoting it, and then having a little fun- but that’s ok, you Nadal chaps are mature fellows who know when to laugh at yourselves, eh?

Nadal:” “I hope I have more chances to play well here and to have the chance to win, but without obsession..I am more than happy with what I have at home, all the tournaments that I have won. It is more than I dreamt five or six years ago, so I am happy for that.”

Now this is pure Nadalese, and bears about as much relation to the truth as, say, Tony Blair or George Bush explaining their reasons for action (yes, I am biased, by all means substitute your own pet gruesome politician). It was always clear, to me at any rate, and I assume to others, that in 2010 Nadal was to make a serious assault on the US Open. personally, I had that feeling from Wimbledon onwards. This was always going to be the most difficult slam for him, and my guess is that the Nadal camp decided: it’s now or never. They prepared very carefully for this slam – I am not privy to the details of the preparation, but there is overwhelming evidence that this is the case, namely: the way he played.

1)The revamping of the serve so that it became a real weapon, and one has to assume this was a calculated gamble, because we have not seen that serve since. Presumably, the shoulder was put at real risk – worth it, though, to mount an assault on the one slam that was proving elusive. 2)The aggressive play of Nadal was something to behold. To beat Djokovic, he knew he had to play like that, and he had the courage to act on this decision. But it was not a decision that could possibly have been taken lightly. No indication whatever of the deadly serious intent was given in the quote above. I won’t make any more comments, they will be implicit in the little parody I append below:

It has been announced that Rafael Nadal is to play Sean Randall in an important playoff. Mr.Nadal has kindly granted us an interview:

“I have very difficult match tomorrow with Sean.”[the Spaniard's left eyebrow raises a little as he contemplates the enormity of the challenge]. “Sean is, oh” [Nadal shakes his head in pure admiration] “very, very good player. Two weeks ago he beat Ben Pronin. Ben is such a good player he once was called Sensational Safin. I myself am playing well and I think I maybe have chance to win against Sean. But” [a shake of the head again]“if I don’t win that is not the end, I have good memories. Two months ago, I beat Peter Bodo, it was always my dream to beat Peter Bodo, and I was very lucky, my dream came true, I did not expect. Bodo – oh, such a very, very good player. So” [shrug of the shoulders] “maybe I never win anything again” [big smile]“it doesn’t matter. 5 years ago, never would I have thought that I have chance to play Sean Randall. But I have chance. I will do my best, I will play with passion and we shall see.”


grendel Says:

Von

I don’t get it. I saw you replied to my post, and there was something I wanted to add – but your post now seems to have gone. I cannot see why, and it is very unfair if the moderator has jumped in. I disagree absolutely with that.

What I was going to say was that I agreed with your point that it would be nice if at least some courts were speeded up – for people like Janowicz, delPo and others. Variation is the spice of life, they say, but they seem to have forgotten this in the land of tennis authorities.

I hope that you manage to sort out any difficulties with the moderator. best wishes, G.


Giles Says:

@Legend. 12.53 pm. Great detective work. skeezer the geezer uncovered! Well done! Lol


Giles Says:

@Grendel. For the most part I have at times been enjoying some of your posts up until that at 2.25 pm. Now that post sounds like something @Dave, a poster that was not shy to show his bias towards Rafa, would have written. He was a fanatical fed fan and didn’t mince words so far as his hatred for Rafa was concerned. Why he would also refer to Rafa as “Mr. Nadal” and “the Spaniard”. Am extremely pleased that he has long gone but made sure he upset several posters on this forum most of whom were women. A typical bullying type!


Brando Says:

Re Dave: it’s true he did have a bit of a bullying slant to him, particularly the ladies were at the brunt of a few of his onslaughts. And yes he was undeniably biased. That said though: I really liked his in depth knowledge of the game, the manner in which he would back up his points and how he would create a debate on here regarding certain topics. When he was nice- and he was at times for sure- I thought he was a treat for sure. To me he was: that prickly old man who had a tough streak in him but play him right and a young one like myself found him to be treat since he would be really engaging with a useful insight, perspective on many matters. He could be mean- and I admit I can be too at times- but I definitely liked him. And miss him!


Giles Says:

^^^ If only his posts were not 2 miles long and sometimes repetitive! Lol


Brando Says:

@Giles:

LOL.

I actually liked the length of his posts: he put a real effort- quite clearly- in stating his point (usually an argument with Dave,LOL)as clearly and as completely as he possibly could.

It was entertaining to read mostly.

The thing is: most of us here do not really go into depth about our viewpoints on most areas of the game. Why we think as such, how certain views have are shaped by certain realities, personal observations etc etc.

Dave and depth though- they truly were joined at the hip in terms of blogging, LOL.

I guess it’s because of how often we interact on TX and how familiar we are to one another’s views on most areas of the game that I guess we do not really to the length that Dave used to.

But I have to admit that I did enjoy the length of his posts more often than not.


Julia Says:

I’m sure you enjoyed Dave more than me because women and Rafa were his targets. Women because he was sexist and felt women wouldn’t fight back, and Rafa, whom we all know is not here. I was called too many names to list, and his “facts” most times were just snippets of articles or interviews which can clearly and easily (as he did) take out of context for his own purposes. When confronted with someone with medical knowledge (in his debates about mono and Rafa’s injuries), he couldn’t take it. I don’t miss him at all.


grendel Says:

Giles – bias works both ways, for and against i.e. No one is free from it. Likes and dislikes are also natural. However, it is perfectly possible to stand back and look at a great tennis player, for instance, and see him with a certain clarity. Rafael Nadal’s interviews are both unintentionally funny and, often, deeply disingenuous. That’s not a crime. Nadal’s greatness I have always acknowledged, and it is my experience that great men, in any walk of life, generally have some very odd things about them. Sometimes, these odd things are the price of success.

Any character actor worth his salt would find some, at least, of Nadal’s interviews a gem, they are so manifestly contrived. It would be natural, I think, for such a character actor to interpret the interviews as comedy – because really, that is what they are. Laughter is a double-edged sword, though, isn’t it?

If you want bland interpretation, this means you are not interested in truth,or gaining insight only in something akin to adoration. Propaganda, in short. That’s understandable. Many people are like that, maybe all of us at one time or another, especially in certain fields outside of sport – but I’ll steer away from that here.

It’s a fine line. I accept that. Not easy to get it right. But there’s always others to correct you – it is a public forum, after all.


Denver Says:

Skeezer Says:
“But looking back don’t agree with myself ;).”

Hahaha. Everyone knows that you are an unstable head case.

If you cannot agree with yourself who will agree with you. . You are oone funny guy.


Giles Says:

@grendel. “of Nadal’s interviews a gem. they are so manifestly contrived.” How. may I ask do you come to that conclusion? Sorry, but I have to disagree with you there. To me and many others including the media, his interviews are blatantly honest. In fact at times too honest. He tells it like it is! But of course there will always be people who misinterpret in accordance with their bias.


Klaas Says:

Let us hope for some real big upsets in the first week, maybe then people will stop calling Youzhny and Mahut, both esteemed and accomplished grass players, for chums.


Danny Morris Says:

Youzhny is such a chum he whopped nadal in 2006 USO quarters and beat the guy black and blue in a tournament in India. 6-1 6-0 or something like that.


Danny Morris Says:

After having a good hard look at the draw for about 20seconds, I think we will have our 1st Nolandy final at wimbledon with more heartbreak for andy.

Who you got people?


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

IMO Novaks draw looks good,almost too easy,whichever one of Andy/Roger/Rafa will be more battle hardened,i hope Delpo can get a good run going to give Novak a good test,although his form lately has not been great,although he can trouble anyone on his day,my favorites for the title are Andy,Roger who IMO are the better GC player ATM,Rafa and Novak are both vulnerable earlier on to lesser players,my two cents,hard to say though really.


Sidney Says:

Among the Big 3 plus Andy plus Juan Martin, I would like to see a Djokovic-Federer final!

They have not played against each other this year, I don’t think. And I really enjoy watching them play each other. You feel the tension in every point. They’re both passionate, and one doesn’t particularly like losing to the other. I feel the mutual respect they have for each other now (that just wasn’t there in their early meetings.)

Having said all that, I think it will be a Djokovic-Nadal final, with Nadal winning his 3rd Wimbledon trophy in a 5-set match, 16-14 in the fifth set.

Hopefully, I am wrong.

Go Nole!


the DA Says:

Hold the presses! Roger gave Andy a big compliment in his interview today:

On who is the top threat among ‘big 4′: “To me Andy sort of stands out a little bit over the others..seems most natural on surface”

Mind games or is he getting more mellow as he grows older?


the DA Says:

And then Andy when asked to describe the other members of the Big 4:

“Djokovic, consistency; Nadal is so many things, but above all is a friend of mine; Roger means talent. He’s very gifted.”

The bromance with Rafa is alive and well.


volley Says:

@theDA

“Mind games or is he getting more mellow as he grows older?”

pure pr talk.


Danny Morris Says:

Roger is a great analyst of the game.

Way back in 2008 when murray beat him in dubai in a 3setter, he said “andy might win 3 setters but he will not win GS playing this passive style”

As usual, the british press called sour grapes. 5 years hence Novak has 6slams and Andy has 1, and his biggest problem is allowing others to dictate terms to him.

You really have to earn your goodwill with Roger. In 2006, he said nadal was one-dimensional and guess what? Nadal did not win a slam outside clay till he was able to adapt his game better – 2years down the line. He called out novak on the dubious time-outs way before Novak became a force, when he did a Nadal and pulled an MTO in a davis cup match. 4 years later and Novak has put the retirement syndrome behind him. [hopefully for good]

No wonder Roger’s PCs are eagerly attended – a bit like Agassi’s. While Agassi was both a life and tennis guru. Roger is the tennis guru. Ofcourse he has his moments where he is absolutely miffed after a loss, but that is common for every one, including the fakely humble players.

My favorite PCs of recent times Roddick, Agassi, Rafter, Safin, Gulbis, Roger and Nole in exactly that order. The women, Serena is, as always, miles ahead.


Giles Says:

I like the Andy/Rafa bromance. Two genuine guys if I may say so myself.


Giles Says:

One of Rafa fans tweeted Andy telling him off for not congratulating Rafa on his FO win and Andy’s response was “I don’t communicate with him on twitter so chill”.


Danny Morris Says:

Not surprised Rafa would have a stupid fan who needs Andy to explain such an obvious thing.

Rafa himself has no idea how things work. He QUIT the ATP council because other players did not bow down to his self-centered requests. Duh! That is why there is a council – because people have different views. I wonder what he was expecting the ATP council to be? LOL!

I think the Kardashians or Paris Hilton should ask rafa to join their reality show. ;)


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Press conferences are boring,all the players have their own way of dealing with them,i personally dont believe theres any right or wrong way of conducting them,TBH the whole subject is boring,the only thing more boring than press conferences,is talking about press conferences,Roger has his way,Rafa has his way,Novak has his way,and so on and so forth,end of story.


Nadalista Says:

Danny Morris is a true Rafan, he mentions Rafa in every post!


Nadalista Says:

Yes, Rafa and Muzza are friends.


the DA Says:

@ Giles – I remember that but I think he said “relax”. So funny. He also used “relax” responding to Pico on twitter when he asked which channel a TV show was on. My favorite though is his response to a troll who hurled abuse at him using plenty of c-words and f-words. He simply replied: “you’re adorable”. hehe


Giles Says:

@The DA. You are right, I omitted the word “relax” . I like his sense of humour.


grendel Says:

“pure pr talk”. I like the “pure”.

Actually, there is no doubt that Federer is getting mellower. Quite why, I don’t know. Family?
Rueful coming to terms with the changing of the guard? Hard to say.

Does Federer mean what he says w.r.t Murray? Oh, yes. Not the slightest doubt. Federer has always been a tennis nerd with a compulsive interest in all aspects of the game.

Does this mean, then, NO element of pr? Absolutely not. All public figures indulge in pr to varying degrees. Furthermore, the actions of all human beings, never mind tennis players, are mixed in origin. Thus Federer’s Dubai comment on Murray was both shrewd and bitter, in my opinion. He rarely says things which don’t contain nuggets of sound sense, but there is self-serving stuff there too. Welcome to the human race.


jane Says:

@ the DA, do you think Andy’s “bromance” with Rafa is actually a drawback for Andy, i.e., in their H2H? Do you think Andy has a mental block when he plays Rafa due to the respect thing? I sometimes wonder if, in their relationship, a little distance might actually help Andy to get over the hump and get some more wins over Rafa. It’s not that he can’t do it, imo. But sometimes he kind of caves in a bit.


the DA Says:

@Jane – No I really don’t. I think he’s past the in awe thing. He showed no mercy the last time they met and that was before Lendl was on board. I’m so eager for them to meet.


jane Says:

Hope you’re right about that DA. I think you must mean in Tokyo right?


tennisfansince76 Says:

one thing is for sure. if the draw holds up for either Rafa or Roger to win W it will be a major accomplishment. to beat 3 of the top 4 on the way to a title is no small thing.


the DA Says:

@Jane – yep, Tokyo. But now that I think of it he wasn’t in awe at the 2008 USO nor the 2010 AO (he even complained about Rafa taking too long to challenge). So it has been intermittent, especially at the slams. I sense he’s really up to the challenge.


courbon Says:

@ Wog Boy: Hey, where are you? (Jel peces lozu pa nemas vremena za blog?).Whats your take on the draw?


Brando Says:

@the DA:

That was awesome to see.

You could tell there is a genuine friendship between Andy and Rafa.

On the BBC doc re Muzza tonight (it’s on at 10.25 pm UK time, so maybe it’s on BBC America or a link online somewhere? try the BBC IPlayer- they usually show their program’s online too) they are advertising on twitter with:

What does @RafaelNadal make of #andymurray? Find out about their friendship tonight on @BBCOne at 10.25pm #Wimbledon

They seem very similar in their personality so no surprise at all that they share a genuine friendship.

Good luck to both at Wimby!


Brando Says:

Re Muzza being in ‘awe’ of Rafa:

Do not believe in that at all.

Did not sense Andy being in ‘awe’ at USO 2008.

Especially AO 2010: Rafa retired in that one but no doubt at all Andy was the clear better player on that day.

His tennis in set 1 and 2 was phenomenal: and Rafa was playing pretty great too.

Between these 2 it’s pretty simple:

the better player wins out on the day.

Their is no ‘awe’ or ‘i’m playing a friend here’: BOTH are serious competitors that lay it out on the court, and once the match is over share a genuine friendship with one another.


the DA Says:

@Brando – Unfortunately the iPlayer doesn’t work for my “territory”. I do use a hacked cable website which allows you to watch US/UK TV channels so I’m going to try that. Really looking forward to it.


Brando Says:

@the DA:

Ah.

Really hope all of Andy’s fans who support him to the hilt in a great fashion such as yourself all get to see it.

Seeing as the iPlayer doesn’t work i’m glad you have alternative.

I am more than certain there shall be some online link to it- there always is something online when a complete cyber amateur like myself has to search for a link trying to gain access to some programme of interest.

Hope you find something and enjoy it! ;-)


jane Says:

DA, I don’t think the “awe” was what I meant. More that the friendship allows him to capitulate a little more easily. Thinking on Wimbledon 2011 perhaps. Anyhow, just a thought. Hopefully he starts to turn the H2H around.

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ATP - Jul 28 WTA - Jul 28
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Rafael Nadal2 Na Li
3 Roger Federer3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Tomas Berdych5 Agnieszka Radwanska
6 David Ferrer6 Maria Sharapova
7 Milos Raonic7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Juan Martin Del Potro8 Angelique Kerber
9 Grigor Dimitrov9 Jelena Jankovic
10 Andy Murray10 Victoria Azarenka
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