Federer, Nadal, Murray Open Play Monday At Wimbledon
by Staff | June 23rd, 2013, 7:58 pm
  • 319 Comments

The big guns come out early at Wimbledon on Monday. Four of the biggest stars in all of tennis are scheduled to be in action on the show courts.

For the eighth time in his illustrious career Roger Federer will open the proceedings on Center Court at 1pm. Roger meets 6-foot-6 Romanian vet Victor Hanescu who he has tamed in all five of their prior meetings. Federer, seeded No. 3, was the champion last year and an early slip this time around could send the third-ranked Swiss tumbling out of the Top 4.

Although if Federer wins again he’ll set the record for the most Wimbledon titles with eight. But he’s not thinking about that yet.

“I’m just happy to be here and happy to be defending the title as of now,” Federer said Sunday. “That’s going to be the theme for me, you know, is taking it round for round, but trying to defend my title playing my best.

“I can talk about that if I’ve won the tournament, but not right before. I know the road is hard, but it is possible. I’m looking forward to the challenge really.”

Federer could potentially have to beat Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic next week.

Andy Murray returns to Center Court later in the day for the first time since his gold medal win over Federer last August. The Scot, who missed the French Open to rest a sore back, meets the big hitting Benjamin Becker in a rematch of their Queen’s clash a couple weeks ago.

“I mean, I know him pretty well,” Murray said of his German foe. “We practiced quite a few times together over in Miami. He’s got a very good attitude. He works very hard. He serves well. He hits the ball pretty flat, which works well on the grass courts. We had a tough match at Queen’s.”

Rafael Nadal is also in action, but the two-time Wimbledon champion will open up not on Center but on Court 1 against Belgian Steve Darcis. Nadal is playing his very first grass match since a shock loss a year ago to Lukas Rosol.

“He’s a good, talented player,” Nadal said of Darcis. “He knows how to play tennis in all the surfaces. He has good shots. I say he is a complete player. I have to play well. I have to play very competitive from the beginning.”

Nadal has won 22 straight matches and has reached the finals of all nine events he’s played this year, winning seven.

Also on a busy Monday, former champions Lleyton Hewitt, Maria Sharapova and Petra Kvitova are on court. Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka in on Court 1 while former No. 1s Ana Ivanovic and Caroline Wozniacki will play on outer courts.

Wimbledon will be shown live all week in the U.S. on ESPN2.

MONDAY WIMBLEDON SCHEDULE
Centre Court 1.00pm Start Time
Victor Hanescu (ROU) v. Roger Federer (SUI)[3]
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) v. Maria Sharapova (RUS)[3]
Benjamin Becker (GER) v. Andy Murray (GBR)[2]

No.1 Court 1.00pm Start Time
Maria Joao Koehler (POR) v. Victoria Azarenka (BLR)[2]
Rafael Nadal (ESP)[5] v. Steve Darcis (BEL)
Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) v. Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI)[11]


Also Check Out:
Andy Murray Saved A Dog, Then Won His First Round Wimbledon Match!
Oudin Beats Jankovic, Wins 1st Career Title Monday at WTA Birmingham
2009 Wimbledon Tennis TV Schedule
2010 Wimbledon TV Schedule – ESPN, NBC
2011 Wimbledon TV Schedule – ESPN2, NBC

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319 Comments for Federer, Nadal, Murray Open Play Monday At Wimbledon

madmax Says:

Oh, this is so exciting. I just love Wimbledon and cant wait to see all the players walk onto th court later today, for the first time this tournament.

It gives me goose pimples!


jane Says:

Are you going this year madmax?


metan Says:

Vamos Rafa! Bring on the game


RZ Says:

Can’t wait! Will need to get my fill of the early rounds as I’ll be missing the later ones.


Colin Says:

I don’t always sleep well in my old age, and thus I’m pottering about on the internet at 3.30 AM, so I can report that it’s dry in London at the moment, and the forecast for the first week is quite good.
It may be windy, but Murray fans won’t mind that!

Did anyone see the BBC feature about Andy, shown last night? It was basically a PR exercise, intended to humanise him further in the eyes of the fickle British public. One thing was clear regarding the infamous shooting event at his school in 1996, when 16 children and a teacher were killed. Andy has never spoken about it publicly, and it isn’t because he won’t – he simply can’t. He tried during the interviews, and quickly broke down. It was harrowing stuff (as it was meant to be).
Topics notably not mentioned were the breakup of his parents’ marriage (Judy walked out, not Mr Murray)and the short separation from girlfriend Kim. Needless to say, the dogs were much in evidence.


Danny Morris Says:

I don’t care much for the British, but there is no denying this is the greatest tennis tournament in the Universe! [since the beginning of the universe ;)

No slam brings in the same amount of excitement and anticipation as this one. Even my colleagues at work who dont care for tennis ask me who I think is winning Wimbledon this year. These are people who don't care for tennis apart for these 2 weeks.

I only wish the Aussies/Americans/French hosted it and not the snobbish or dullard british though. I guess I could cut them slack for 2 weeks a year. LOL!

Let The Lawn Tennis Championships begin. Cue Mr. Federer to walk out onto the center court for the 8th time time. He is trying to do something no man has done successfully since he did it 4 times in a row - defend a Wimbledon title. [Last done in 2007]


Colin Says:

Oh dear Danny, your mind is paralysed by stereotyping.
“Snobbish”? Maybe some of the crowd at Queen’s, which is a private club in an expensive part of London, but have you not seen the enthusiasm of the WTF crowd? I’m not sure why you use the word “dullard”. A majority of the population of the USA or ANY country on Earth, are pretty damned dull, so we Brits are hardly unique in that respect.

Less seriously, how do you know Wimby is the greatest tournament in the Universe? You obviously never watch the play on the pink grass courts of Aldebaran Z18!


Danny Morris Says:

Colin, I am sorry, but Britain has to lighten up and catch up with the rest of the world. Their “traditions” centred around White/Male supremacy – neither of which are offensive to me, are denounced by a majority of the people.

Wake up and travel the world and you will know what the world thinks of the British. I was very kind in using the words – “snobbish” or “dullard”. The actual words people use for the british a stick-up-you-know-where and even more graphical stuff.


Steve 27 Says:

21 10 is coming!


Danny Morris Says:

Even now, I have British people telling my Indian or Chinese friends how Britain is a better economy than those two nations.

In fact there is another tennis forum where a snob [surprise surprise - british and murray fan, lol] was trying to argue with me how UK economy trumps Indian economy. I manage the Europe and Asia operations of my company and I know that is the comment of an ignoramus.

Anyhow, let us get back to tennis. Good luck to Andy. I hope he doesn’t remain a one-slam wonder.


Danny Morris Says:

Let us hope Nadal doesn’t become the 1st among the Big 4 to be bageled by all the other top 3.

Federer has bageled Rafa on all surfaces – grass, clay and hardcourt.

Murray has bageled him on a hardcourt.

Nole almost did it at MonteCarlo this year.

I hope Rafa doesn’t get rosoled and somehow makes the final. Nole will be waiting with the bakery goodies in the final.


Danny Morris Says:

If Federer and Nole played Rafa 1/6 times on clay like Murray does, Nole would be having a 12-9 winning H2H and Roger would be having a 8-10 H2H. On the contrary, if Murray was as good as Federer/Nole on clay and played Rafa 1/2 their rivalry on clay, he would be 25-5 or something in the H2H.


Steve 27 Says:

hahaha, this troll keep continues, with his repressed rage, writing inconsistency after inconsistency hinting that is right. Fundamentalists never learn the lesson. Their minds are so closed that obscures them. And worst of all, it will not change.


Thomas Says:

Danny Morris is right about the Brits. They really do come across as snobbish.(no offense intended to anyone.)


Nadalista Says:

The Danny Morris Rafa love/hate meltdowns continue…….


Margot Says:

@Danny Morris
May I ask, if so anti British why a British moniker?
Not sure if any of that anti stuff belongs on a tennis blog. I am no more responsible for Cameron/Blair/Iraq war/the Royal family/English Public schools/Oxbridge etc etc than I suspect you are for the certain anomalies in your own society.
Anyway, back to tennis.
“Hey there Andy Murray” Come on and get your second slam.
@Colin.
Thought the docu was very sweet, especially the contributions from Rafa and Spacey. Watered up no end.


Danny Morris Says:

Margot,

Where did I blame you or any individual? But yes, that is the popular notion of British. Who/what has claimed my moniker to be British? It is my 1st and middle names and I am an Asian.

Yes, China, where I hail from has its share of issues to, but I don’t get all defensive when someone wants to discuss them.

Coming back to tennis, Good luck on Murray not remaining a one-slam wonder. More to the point, I hope he wins Wimbledon one day. [I don't think he has a great chance this year, but who knows bigger miracles have happened - see Gaudio, T-jo, Nadal @ USO]


Margot Says:

@Danny Morris
Yes, but I am British, though not English, and sweeping generalisations just sweep up individuals in their huge nets.
Cheers for explanation btw, must be some Brits there somewhere?
Lol would NOT be a “miracle” if Andy wins.
Just seen him playing on grass, a wonderful sight :)


Colin Says:

Thomas, what nonsense to say “The Brits”. Which Brits? The foul-mouthed aggressive yobs who get into fights at football matches? The people who read tabloids like the Sun? Take a look at the Sun (the biggest selling “newspaper” in the country), and see whether you reckon its readers would be snobbish. You want snobbery? How about all the Americans who fawn over our Royals? How about the very American phrase “trailer park trash”, coming from an allegedly classless society?

Whatever our faults as a nation, we are no longer powerful enough to do very much harm to the world on our own. The harm we’ve done lately, has been when we were obediently trotting at the heels of a country which really is powerful.

Oh, and the weather’s still looking OK in London – overcast, but dry. So far…


Giles Says:

VAMOS RAFA!


Danny Morris Says:

Margot:

I get what you are saying, but every nation has their trait – negative and positive. Just because I point out a few negatives of British culture doesn’t make me racist. If you are interested and you and other british/murray fans give me enough reason to, I will also point out a lot of positive stuff about Britain/Murray.

Regarding murray, tennis does not get graded like gymnastics/synchronous swimming. A wonderful sight does not guarantee a title. Even if it did, I am sure murray will still be ranked by most experts below Federer, maybe even gasquet, dimitrov, tsonga, nalbandian/haas.

As I said, murray has his work cut out. He has yet to show he can win a major title with all other top 3 in the draw. Even with just Roger and Novak, he got messed up at the AO. He needs help like he got at the olympics where delpo took the legs out of a 30+ federer or USO, where berdych knocked out federer. Tsonga failed to do so in AO 2013, and federer promptly gave murray a battle which definitely had a say in the final.

I am guessing we will see a repeat of that here. Murray might get past fed/rafa, but nole might be waiting. He might need a miracle to prevent nole from finals and for that he wiil want Djokovic lose to a field which has not beaten Nole at a slam since 2010 wimbledon.


Margot Says:

@ Danny Morris
The other top 3 all won their first slam against guys who certainly had not won a slam and I think, but haven’t checked, had never been to a slam final. Yoy could say all those guys were extremely fortunate to meet Slam virgins.
Andy has had a Herculean task and to put him below Gasquet and co is really, really to diminish what he has achieved.
I simply don’t get it, either this is a really strong era and these endless discussions about GOATS is totally relevant and thus, by that logic, Andy is truly a mighty warrior….
Or it isn’t…


Liam Nolan Says:

Good luck to Andy Murray, hope all goes well for you, I am not inside the grounds this year, running a special Stringing Team in Wimbledon Village – SW194QD – for all those players wanting a stringing and customising service nearer to where they are staying and at a much discounted cost. We are also doing a special “Wimbledon £10 deal” for the public that includes strings, grip etc
Stringing Room – 07570097525. or 07861380981


Colin Says:

Danny, nobody was accusing you of being racist. Unless you happen to be black, we are the same race. Nationalist is the word.

Your talk about “wonderful sights” indicates that you are yet another who finds no pleasure in watching Andy’s tennis. At his best he has as wide a range of shots as anybody, and in every rally he hardly plays the exact same stroke twice, but constantly varies the speed and the spin. If you want constant dramatic spectacle, watch Tsonga – but don’t expect him to win the tournament.

“Experts”? My favourite commentator is Frew McMillan, and he heaps praise on Murray. Isn’t he an expert? Futhermore, not being British he isn’t biased.

Meanwhile, I’ve been out to the shops (and to renew my Warfarin prescription!)and it’s unpleasantly chilly, though it remains dry.


grendel Says:

“I don’t care much for the British…”

I like it! Personally, I have never cared much for the South Poleians. It’s outrageous the way they sneer at the North Poleians (who have been very restrained so far in their response). Where do the bears go, eh? Do you catch any Polar Bears at the South Pole? No, you don’t. And why do you think that is? Wake up to yourselves, South Poleians – the bears know. They know. You can keep your penguins.


nadalista Says:

“n fact there is another tennis forum where a snob [surprise surprise - british and murray fan, lol] was trying to argue with me how UK economy trumps Indian economy. I manage the Europe and Asia operations of my company and I know that is the comment of an ignoramus.”

………………………………………..
Snap! I just witnessed an eerily similar discussion on TT recently. Coincidences, coincidences…..

#Fedkovic40-25
#Not@sanju


grendel Says:

Colin

Nice to come across another admirer of Frew McMillan. It’s unfortunate he only commentates on Eurosport, which mainly concentrates on the womens’ game. Did you know his old doubles partner, Bob Hewitt, is in trouble over some sex scandal with young girls? The last thing you’d associate with Frew, of course, but it must be upsetting for him.

Not only is Frew very knowledgeable about the game, he is able to draw on this knowledge and instantly communicate it as appropriate. Also, he is incredibly observant with eyes sharp as a hawk’s – quite surprising at his age. He is, in his understated way, by far the wittiest of the commentators and he doesn’t have this awful thing of raising and lowering his voice with the intention of creating drama. The drama is on the court, and Frew never forgets that.


Margot Says:

@nadalista
But on TT isn’t that poster is a huge fan of Rafa’s?
#ThePlotThickens


madmax Says:

Vamos Roger!

Gosh, the nerves of all the players on this very fine day!

Centre court and No.1 court surely has never seen such an array of stars on the first day of Wimbledon.

jane Says:
Are you going this year madmax?

June 23rd, 2013 at 8:07 pm

Jane,

not this year. I cannot complain though. Will stay at home this year and watch from the big screen in HD!


nadalista Says:

@Margot, the plot thickens indeedy! That’s why I hashtagged, #Not@sanju. It’s part of the hydra family……..


Michael Says:

The extragavanza has begun. It is time to celebrate the players who will be giving everything they have in their repertoire. Roger is 8th time privileged to open the proceedings and that is a rare honour, not many players get to have. I think Roger is careful and is not over confident. This is his surface. He has proved here time and again and if there is a chance for him to get his 18th, then this is the time to realize it. But, the path is not rosy and laden with thorns and glasses. If Roger is able to show his last year’s form then may be he will have a chance to win. Let us keep our fingers crossed. On the other end, Andy is desperate for a win and pity this player who is so much dedicated to this sport. His time is yet to come and may be this is the year where he will repay Britian with what they are yearning for all along. They are pretty tired and they have been longing for a home grown to lift the title for over a century. May be, Andy is the answer.


metan Says:

@Michael. That’s how sweet of you describe your man. Enjoy him while last. Who knows he won’t be back next wimby.

Meantime are you watching live or on tv screen.


gannu Says:

feddy bear looking very elegant and regale and playing well…Always good to see him play at wimbledon


Polo Says:

The best time to watch Federer nowadays is in the first week of a major. That is when he is most graceful, elegant and effortless. The second week is a different story.


gannu Says:

well said polo…he plays supremely confident tennis against lower ranked opponents…somehow in 2nd weeks these days his level drops massively….only exception being last year Wimbledon where he upped his level in the 2nd week


jane Says:

Just woke up to see Fed’s through deftly, by the looks of it. Also Cilic up 2 sets over Baggy, who usually does well here.


RZ Says:

Jane, Baggy tends to do well at Wimbledon, but he got a tough first round draw as Cilic is quite a good grasscourt player. I had picked Cilic to win this one.


RZ Says:

^ Not that my picks are always that good, LOL.


El Flaco Says:

Lots of slipping on the greasy grass today. ESPN just showed clips of it. Nadal tends not to do the splits like most of the slips today. I think the fact that he wears very small sneakers so his toes are jammed all the way to the end helps him dig in and maintain footing on grass and clay. The only wipe outs I have seen on grass for him are when he is running forward and has to slam on the breaks. Your heels push hard into the grass at an angle and can slip out from under you.


skeezer Says:

Congrats Fed! Playing a #48 in the first, not a easy peasy matchup for a first rounder. Well done and in style.


Okiegal Says:

Azarenka won…………How did she manage to do that. From the sound of her scream, I thought she was headed for the locker room…….oh well.


Micky Says:

I’m not so sure, Federer winning his match, the way he did today, would come so handy in his upcomming matches….

Just one of those feelings….but I do hope thats not the case….


jane Says:

grendel, Goffin, according to Nole, is “motivated” and “extra talented”, but I wonder if he’ll do well on grass. He’s just about to play versus Tsonga. He doesn’t seem to have made much noise since his break-through last year, though. The FO seems to have been where he’s played his best, taking a set off Fed last year and pushing Nole to a TB this year. But other than that, not to much happening. Meanwhile, Dimitrov got to the finals in Brisbane, took a set from Rafa on clay, pushed Murray at Miami, beat Nole in Madrid – I mean at least he’s making some noise. Are you giving up on him due to the Sharapova thing or something else? Janowicz: he’s something to see.

contador – Gulbis is about to play!


Okiegal Says:

Rafa has just now graced #2 court. Good luck and watch your footing!!!

Vamos Rafa, get r done!!!!


Okiegal Says:

The commentators are really playing up the Maria-Serena controversy. Maria called her out on her personal life with her new coach/boyfriend. Let the games begin!!


grendel Says:

@RZ – yes, I thought Cilic for this one. He played well against Murray in Queens final.

@Polo and Gannu
Could be right. I’ve always thought Federer is by far the best value against players he is expected to beat easily. Normally a match without competition is a bit dull. Routine. But with Federer, there’s just an exquisite visual spectacle. Personally, I can’t see why non Federer fans shouldn’t enjoy it – they’re missing something.


jane Says:

I am not saying I didn’t think Cilic would win; in fact, I might’ve picked him had I gotten round to filling out my bracket. But I didn’t think he’d bundle out Baggy in straight sets.


contador Says:

Go Gulbis!

I agree with Giles Simon that Ferrer is under-rated and I am sort to say my opinion of Dimitrov is going toward over-rated @jane.

Gulbis I love because he has no “proper respect” for the top four :D It is just impossible to win against the top four being too much of a worshipper. Djokovic is immensely talented and he did it – love him for that. Murray has to get a killer instinct on =especially versus Nadal.

I picked Murray to beat Nadal ;)

happy to see you in the bracket too!

Must fly out the door – fingers crossed for EG.


contador Says:

oh…you did not fill out a bracket :(

well, I picked Nole for you.


jane Says:

contador; I meant to, had good intentions and all, but then I had to take my son and his buddy to see World War Z and forgot all about the bracket deadline. Oops. Oh well, hope Nole does well. And Gulbis. ;)


grendel Says:

jane – I’m not surprised at Djokoivc’s remarks re Goffin. He clapped him off the court at RG, and that was obviously sincere; it was a tightly fought contest. Wonderful tennis. Ben Pronin thinks he is too small (he looks small, but is actually 5ft11; not sure if that counts as small these days)and has no big weapons. Well, we’ll see. I’ll try and catch him against Tsonga, but I daresay grass is not his forte.

re Dimitrov, well shocking taste of course viz Sharapova, but nobody’s perfect and I don’t imagine it’ll last. Dimitrov is a fine talent, but I don’t see much steel. I was appalled with his performance against Gasquet recently.


Giles Says:

The infamous Rosol is out.


jane Says:

grendel, it’s difficult to watch routs or one-sided matches when it isn’t your favourite guy on the winning end of one, and yet I know what you mean to some degree at 10:06. Personally I found Nole’s win over Berloq at the USO a couple of years ago (which was 6-0, 6-0, 6-2 or some such) a very enthralling to watch, full of great shots (actually, from both guys!). I guess you never know where the fun stuff will come. And certainly it’s pleasing to watch our faves – and sometimes others as well – when they are loose and calm and able to produce their very best kind of magic. I remember that with Fed at AO 07, with Rafa at FO 08, and with Nole throughout 2011, or Murray’s Gold medal match. Those are just really special bouts of tennis, regardless of who you’re rooting for.

Goffin/Tsonga in a tiebreak; Sharapova in a dogfight; Gulbis pushing for the break to avoid a tiebreak – lots of close matches happening. I wish I could watch them all.


RZ Says:

Jane, I also enjoyed that Djokovic-Berloq match from the US Open because Nole was playing so well, but Berloq wasn’t giving up, and as you said had some great shots himself.


gonzalowski Says:

Darcis wins the 1st against Nadal

#glup…


Polo Says:

It must hurt your brain to play Nadal.


jane Says:

Happy for Pospisl to go a round here; I really think he has a good game. It’s more rounded that Milos’ imo, but perhaps he’s lacking the one “kill shot”.


the DA Says:

Although I said on the other thread that Rafa was rusty, I have to credit Darcis with playing a smart game on the grass. He isn’t letting up on the pressure. Still expect Nadal to turn this around.
(as I type this he DFs…groan)


Kimberly Says:

WTF Rafa? I had a feeling he wouldnt play his best the first week but Darcis? Come on!


Ben Pronin Says:

First set to Darcis. I caught the last few points of the tiebreaker. He’s playing bold. Bold, bold, bold. Will he sustain it? Probably not.

Interesting observation: For those familiar with the Spurs, Manu Ginobli is one un-athletic looking guy. And in basketball, it really stands out.

This guy, Steve Darcis, you would never in a million years think he’s a professional athlete of any kind if you saw him walking on the street. And yet he’s going toe-to-toe with the beast that is Rafa Nadal. Pretty crazy how that works.


the DA Says:

Ugh and now Andy’s match begins. I’ll have to keep switching back and forth to keep up with the drama.


skeezer Says:

Steve Darcis, ranked #135.


nadalista Says:

Not looking good out there for Rafa……….

Vamos!!


Ben Pronin Says:

And match over. Well that was some fun!


the DA Says:

Not quite yet. Can’t believe he didn’t serve that out.


Ty Says:

Nervy times for Rafa fans. Can’t see the match but I hope he pulls through.


Ty Says:

Looks like “Agassi vanquisher” Becker has also righted the ship against Muzza.


Ty Says:

I’ve never found Murray’s game too pleasing. He gives up way too many breaks. It cheapens the breaks he, himself, is able to attain, making for an overall sloppy match. IMO.


steve-o Says:

Grass is the toughest test of footwork and timing. The surface is alive, it’s not homogeneous like clay or hard courts. Over the fortnight the grass gets worn away so there are bad spots here and there.

Bad bounces are much more difficult to deal with–the bounce can be much more deceptive than on other surfaces, and getting to the ball properly is harder–if your footwork and timing are a little bit off, you’ll not be properly prepared to hit the ball cleanly. Grass is very unforgiving when it comes to small deficiencies in movement.

The slice is a very powerful weapon on grass, more so than on hard courts or clay, and it’s not so easy for the opponent to handle it properly because it bites deeper and is less predictable. This allows greater variation. A master like Federer can use it to exploit the weaknesses in an opponent’s movement, to set up his attacks and to defend more readily.

The grass deadens the bounce, so a great volleyer can really take the air out of the ball, finish the point at net and not allow the opponent a chance at a passing shot.

Federer is the last exponent of the classical grass game, based on precision serving, aggression, and variety. But even he plays far more from the baseline than the grass-court masters of yesteryear.

Baseliners like Nadal and Djokovic thrive. By the second week the grass is almost completely worn away near the baseline and still green in the forecourt–a clear indication of where most of the action is taking place. Serve and volley is dead, and not coming back unless they speed up the courts.

Then again, the advent of the roof, and thus of indoor grass, may mean that the balance will, at least if there is rain, tilt back more towards the attacking players.


the DA Says:

Rafa WTF?


Ty Says:

Well, this should be a curious match after all. How is Rafa playing?


andrea Says:

nice work darcis. held your cool where so many others crumble. another rosol-like upset?


skeezer Says:

Ahhh..the smell of fresh cut grass. So lovely !!!!!


Kimberly Says:

craaaaap. I’m still not convinced he will lose but he is in trouble for sure!


Ty Says:

*Cricket *Cricket *Cricket

Where is everyone?


nadalista Says:

Ouch, Rafa 2 sets down…..

We’re going out, sigh.

Vamos!


the DA Says:

Rafa looking a little lost out there. Darcis playing well. He’s come back twice from 0-2 down at Wimbledon so there is some hope.
Andy takes the 1st set.


gonzalowski Says:

Aaaggggh! Rafa saves some set points but… good for Darcis.
2 days ago Nadal said in an interview that grass is the worst surface for him, because it demands more knee-flexion that the other surfaces.
I believe that he is saying the thruth, with this.


skeezer Says:

Truly enjoyed this match so far. Amazing what a #135 can do. Rafa will win, but its fun watching so far. 5 set first rd match against the world #135. What could be better?

Wait…heard a pin drop…..gotta go.


Alex Says:

Omg, am I dreaming?

Cant belive Nadals down 2 sets,


El Flaco Says:

steve-o Says:
Grass is the toughest test of footwork and timing. The surface is alive, it’s not homogeneous like clay or hard courts.
——————————————-

I agree with most of what you said except I wouldn’t call clay homogeneous. However, you do have much more time to adjust to variations in the bounce on clay if you position yourself well behind the baseline like most clay courters do.


volley Says:

@ skeezer

schadenfreude is alive and well.


Alex Says:

Im sure he will pull through, oh dear, some Nadal fans must be biting nails, understandably so.


Ty Says:

Couldn’t it at least be to a more appealing player than Darcis? Vamos Rafa!!!


Kimberly Says:

wow, looks like he may be going out, I was convinced he would pull this out but maybe not.


nadalista Says:

Skeezer cannot contain himself, hehehe!

Yes, we are going out.

Vamos!


Kimberly Says:

nadal down two sets and a break. Birthday present for my husband who hates his guts.


Ty Says:

I’m glad that Nadal only shares a namesake with you lista; because he will not give up.


Kimberly Says:

I am off to play lunch time tennis. Hopefully Nadal will do what the heat did, pull the proverbial rabbit out. But this is starting to remind me of last year,

Nadal wins French, Heat win championship, riding on cloud 9. Nadal bombs out at Wimbledon and stuck watching the loser Marlins all summer. Two years in a row.


Viz Says:

The comms here (Boris Becker is one of them) have been saying since the first set that Rafa’s having problems with the knee – he’s not chasing balls down and planting it as he normally would.


styx Says:

Do Rafas knees hurt again?


Ty Says:

On another note, how in the Samhell does Woz beat players 6-0 on any surface, any where? I hated playing pushers when I played in college. I only figured professional players would have learned to counter that style.


Kimberly Says:

Miami Heat down by 3 with 7 seconds to go—Allen hits a three ties the game, win in overtime, win game 7 for a championship. Rafa’s turn to find his game fast. Who on earth is Darcis anyway?


El Flaco Says:

If Nadal is going to go down a break in the 3rd it is better to do it early. Darcis will be thinking about being up a break every game.


Alex Says:

Wow this is ridiculous, what timing hey?

After the Rafanatics where tooting there horn like drunk sailors…

Is this a little dose of karma?

For the genuine fans, hope he pulls through(yes you too Giles:)).


Ty Says:

Kimberly: don’t chicken out now. You watch him win, you watch him lose, no? Can’t cheat the mountain; the mountain’s got its own ways.


Kimberly Says:

Have a match scheduled for 1pm, in office anyway so just watching scores. I hope he wins. And if he loses I hope he continues to play the rest of the year!


El Flaco Says:

There is a lot of pressure on Darcis. He has to close this out in 3. He won’t have enough gas in the tank to win a 4th or 5th set. The 1st 2 sets were both well over an hour and he did his fair share of running.


Jatin Says:

This is grass court rafa not your beloved clay.Lol.
God .I badly wanted rafa to face roger this time to bite the dust against him but as usual he avoided him again.


grendel Says:

Interesting and educative comments, steve-o. It is a bit of a mystery to me why Federer’s terrific bh slice has never worked against Nadal. Meanwhile, don’t forget Tsonga. he’s just played an excellent grass court game against poor Goffin.

The first two sets were closely contested, but I’m beginning to think Ben is right, and that Goffin just lacks that bit of weight. Time and again, he’d manouevre the ball gloriously, set up a pass down the line – but just not hit it quite hard enough. The excellent mover Tsonga would get onto to it – and that would be it, since Goffin would be out of court. You absolutely can’t chance it all on one shot unless you either place it perfectly or give it a terrific whack.

Djokovic in RG, Tsonga here – really ferocious first rounds for Goffin. Let’s hope he has better luck with the draw at the US. And I do hope he can sharpen up a bit, one way or another. he’s too good to languish so far down in the rankings.

Meanwhile, on this evidence, Tsonga will be a very stern opponent for Murray – assuming he gets past Gulbis.


Kimberly Says:

when nadal lost to rosol I was on court last time and was so pissed off I put an 0 and 1 beater on the opponent. If he loses while I’m playing now I hope my game has the same fire. I will be checking the score on the changeover.


Ty Says:

Jane: I’m not giving the ten gun salute until Rafa is dead and buried. I would love to see Roger get a crack at him on something other than clay as well.

Vamos Rafa!!


Ty Says:

Kimberly: I’m green with envy.

What type of game do you employ?


Alex Says:

Darcis backhand slice is giving Nadal a world of trouble, am I the only one surprised by this?


Giles Says:

If Rafa loses, which seems likely now, MUZZA to win Wimbledon.


grendel Says:

I remember Jimmy Connors being in this exact position against the Swede Pernfors – 2 sets to love down, and a break down in the 3rd. At Wimbledon, though not 1st round. Connors eventually won, all the same, and everyone said it was one of the great comebacks of all time. I absolutely disagreed. It was completely obvious to me that if Connors broke back, he’d win. He just had too much game for Pernfors.

I know nothing about Darcis, but I can’t help suspecting the same will be true here.


Danny Morris Says:

Fed’s backhand slice has worked very well. Just that grass on 1st day is not the same as grass on a 15th day.

If Roger and Nadal play 10 matches on 1st day of wimbledon, Roger would have won atleast 9 of those matches.


jane Says:

Ty, I think you mean “Jatin” – but I wouldn’t count Rafa out either.


Humble Rafa Says:

Bad day at the office. Darcy Boy is playing well, hats off to him.


gonzalowski Says:

bp!
Commentators say that Rafa is not moving well at all.


the DA Says:

He was limping during those two last points. Sad to watch.


Alex Says:

What on earth is going on with those drop shots?

If Nadal takes this set the match is his IMO, limp or no limp.


TGIT Says:

The Sean curse continues!!!!


gonzalowski Says:

5-4, Rafa saying “Vamos!”


the DA Says:

One more game and we could witness the greatest upset in open era Slam history. Bigger than Sampras-Bastl, bigger than Serena at RG last year.


contador Says:

checking scores –

Rafa is most certainly doing this on purpose and will win in 5 sets because he needed the grass court time.

Darcis cannot win …I don’t believe it until it is over.


grisham Says:

Dang, was hoping for the quarter showdown. Rosol and now Darcis. Fake knee problems again. How long will he be gone this time? Will he get a bionic knee?


skeezer Says:

Don’t believe this Rafa not running well BS. I am watching live, and he looks like he doesn’t run well then he runs his a$$ off.


Alex Says:

3 match points..ohohoho!

ITS OVER


nadalista Says:

Well done, Darcis, well earned victory.


gonzalowski Says:

The DA, a bit exaggerating here, aren’t you?
There are physical isuues…


steve-o Says:

Wow, thought Nadal would easily at least match his Wimbledon result from last year. Evidently not.


andrea Says:

holy sh****************t!

nice win darcis!


Krishna Says:

Wow Nadal out of Wimby! This has to be one of the biggest upsets in tennis history!


the DA Says:

My God, he’s done it. Darcis played a spectacular point to set up MP. Condolences Brando, Kimberly, Giles, etc. Even if he got through this I think he wouldn’t have made it to the 3rd/4th round – not the way he was moving.


jane Says:

Congrats to Darcis. Commiserations to Rafa and fans. Some VERY uncharacteristic errors in that match.


metan Says:

Saaaaadddddddd


pitchaboy Says:

As I said here two weeks ago, Nadal’s season is over after FO. He will not win Wimbledon or USO. His best hope is to get another AO if feasible. With this result, dont count the old chap out. He needs to knock iout Murray and likely Djokovich in reverse order compared to last year.


Alex Says:

Commiseration to Brando and other savvy Rafa fans.

This is not gonna sit well with Rafanatic Goat enthusiasts.


Danny Morris Says:

Commiserations to Alison and James.

Now for the fun part. Where are the rafa trolls? :)


the DA Says:

@ gonzalowski – ” a bit exaggerating here”

I don’t think so. Can you name a bigger upset? Nadal hasn’t lost in the 1st round since something like 2006.


pitchaboy Says:

As i said here two weeks ago, Nadal’s season is over. No way he wins Wimbledon or USO. Only hope other than FO is AO.


Rogermania Says:

VAMOOSE RAFA!Thanks to Darcis,Federer’s chances have increased a lot.


pitchaboy Says:

These days Nadal is looking less of a giant even on clay and a pigmy on grass.


Viz Says:

Darcis is being very gracious but what a rotten start to Wimbledon. Andy Murray, dammit, you better go on and win the whole thing now!


Alex Says:

Hopefully this will keep the haters at bay till the USO.


Danny Morris Says:

We thought 2nd round to Rosol was bad? How are you going to explain the Pauper of Grass’ early exits at wimbledon at his very prime?

I guess this is a very strong era. Too bad Federer still won a Wimbledon, eh? I guess we can safely bury the seeding change debate!

Justice and Fairness is served. Remember – as you sow, so shall you reap.


TGIT Says:

Sean seriously have you ever played tennis?


gonzalowski Says:

Congratulations to Darcis, he’s been touchy in his victory and his statements after the match.
He has said that he has focused on himself, not in Rafa’s physical problems (as asked by the presenter).


TGIT Says:

How can you be the GOAT if you can’t even win in the first round of a slam at the supposed peak of your powers? This takes you out of contention!


van orten Says:

not so fit rafa still can win roland garros out of sheer will and passion never givin up !!!

but on grass his lack of footwork due to his knee maybe is just not enough in the first week where danger is everywhere floating around.


Krishna Says:

Federer = G.O.A.T
Nadal = Clay G.O.A.T.

:)


contador Says:

commiserations to hippy chic, Kimberly and James.

relishing any suffering Brando and other obnoxious Rafa fans are feeling.


RZ Says:

Wow. I predicted an Isner victory over Rafa in the 4th round. Didn’t expect Rafa to lose before then. Will be interested to see how and how much Rafa plays the rest of the year.


TGIT Says:

Rafa had not physical problem. Please you don’t win your 8th French and then fall off the face of the earth. No excuses. He sat on his ass for two weeks and it showed.


pitchaboy Says:

Nadal’s knee will not let him win on fast courts like London and New York. The only reason he wins on clay is he is that good on that surface. Even on clay, he struggled this year. Years of abuse equals payback.


andrea Says:

can’t believe he closed it out with an ace. that’s A-list.


pitchaboy Says:

Rafa knew he had no chance here. That is why he sat on his arse. He will play for points the rest of the year and get serious for AO and then FO.


Alex Says:

@Danny Morris

Pls rub it in @Volley, @Paradox and @James

Cant stand those bunch of haters and they deserve a thorough verbal spanking, lol. Let them seek penance for the trash they subject us too.

#IFtheFlintRafscomeback


TGIT Says:

I can hardly wait to hear the injury theories on this one. Thank GOD the roof was open or that would have had to be the reason he lost. Loved to see Rafa play with mono.


skeezer Says:

Commiserations to Kimberly, Alison, James, and the true Rafa faithful. Sad in a way he is out.

But for the Rafanatic trash talking fan Club:

Who’s your Daddy? #135.

Straight set loss to #135. WIll go down in History. Again.

Rosoled again. Yes, this is suppose to be one of the all time greats? My God, man, he’s only 27. Out. First Round.

Rafafantics deserve all the trash talkin sh!t tennis fans had to deal with the last few months. Good bye…see ya!

#realgrassrealtennis


Brando Says:

‘relishing any suffering Brando and other obnoxious Rafa fans are feeling.’:

Thank you.

Seriously thank you.

I said you were a petty hater, and THIS has just sealed the deal on that one.

Truly a pathetic breed!


thark Says:

I have no negative feelings toward Rafa – I was convinced he would take this title, actually – but focusing on possible issues with the knee doesn’t explain why Rafa was missing those drop-shots. He was there in plenty of time and just flubbed them, which is uncharacteristic to say the least. And I certainly wouldn’t use the knee to take anything away from Darcis on this occasion.


gannu Says:

Man…Darcis really deserved …But RESPECT to Rafa…I mean that guy gives autograph after such a painful loss…first round of Wimbledon and still stops and gives autgraphs…I would have just walked of the court and sulked for a week…Hats off to you rafa

Meanwhile for all those who say Federer should retire…here is a quizquestion – when was the last time feddy beaer lost before QF of a Gslam or to a player ranked below 100??? No taunts…but just puts Federer’s achievements at the age of 31 in perspective…

Commisserations to rafa fans…He will be back…this too shall pass…

And Humble rafa..want to know ur comments and also about the arrogant one ;-)


Brando Says:

Congrats to Darcis.

But:

F-ck!

It’s done now: I just really hope more than anything else Rafa is fine.

Beyond that nothing really matters concerning him: above all else his fans just wish to see him on court fine and well.

Hope your fine Rafa.


Alex Says:

@1:17^
subject us to.

Also check out Wawrinka match, will start soon.


courbon Says:

sh…ttt! well, I should be happy for nadal being out but somehow I’m not…I like faire contest and wanted to see Novak -rafa showdown.
well, sorry to Nadal fans specially Brando, Tennis Chic,Julia, kimberely-shit happens…)


skeezer Says:

TGIT
LOL!
Contador
LOL!


pitchaboy Says:

I have said here a thousand times that Rafa’s peak was 2008-2010. He is past his peak and will likely not make it to another Wimbledon or USO final. He is an all time great but not GOAT for this reason. His longevity of dominance on courts other than clay was modest at best.


the DA Says:

Federer’s parents in the royal box watching Muzza’s match. Nice.


skeezer Says:

“Humble Rafa Says:
Bad day at the office”

You couldn’t even show up at the office, what are you talkin about?


mem Says:

rafafans,

there are no excuses! its not a funeral either. darcis outplayed rafa and that’s it. congratulations to him; he deserves the victory. rafa had opportunities to at least win the second set, and maybe gain some momentum, but he didn’t do anything with them. he was already struggling and then doesn’t serve out the second set, so no tears from me! all credit to darcis.


TGIT Says:

pitchaboy = well said!


Danny Morris Says:

“I said you were a petty hater, and THIS has just sealed the deal on that one.”

Pot meet Kettle.

Rafa trolls getting their deserved beatdowns. I hope Seand and Ben who try to convince us what a great grasscourt player Nadal still is, have some excuses lined up.

How can the entire world of tennis writers bury their head in clay, and not notice that naydull has won 1 title outside clay in 30 months. I mean seriously, how can you even pretend to be a tennis writer and ignore such things when you make predictions year after year. Tennis world needs better writers.


El Flaco Says:

#CatástrofeWimbledon


Alex Says:

@Brando

I’m sure he will be fine, definitely a break in order.

You must be livid, I would be!


jane Says:

thark, ” He was there in plenty of time and just flubbed them, which is uncharacteristic to say the least. ”

I agree; it was strange to see.


Nikola Says:

Incredible, hes gone actualy loose some points here.I am Novak fan,but this was not Nadal. Period.


Colin Says:

I don’t want to crow about Rafa’s loss, because he is a great player and a nicer person than some of his more fanatical fans. But I certainly want to crow about the double-dyed foolishness of all those people who can’t accept that he’s human, not an action-movie hero.
He had a brilliant run this year because, for a change, his year (starting AFTER the Aussie Open)saw him begin with a six month rest behind him. Even after that rest, he is still not back to the fitness of a few years ago. Long-term wear and tear is an enemy nobody can defeat. Does anyone think he will be a real threat at the USO or the WTF? Well, probably there are some who do, but I doubt if he does himself.


Alex Says:

Skeezer@1:22

Classic! Keep em coming..


Sirius Says:

Feeling for alison, the nicest rafan and 1/2 other nice rafa fans here

darcis you the man of day 1 at wimbledon. good luck for next round


Nole Rules Says:

REMAINING TOURNAMENTS OF THE YEAR
CANADA:Rafa last won this title five years ago
CINCINNATI:Forget winning,has NEVER reached the final
US OPEN:Has won it only once and that too with a ridiculously easy draw
Beijing:Novak Djokovic is also in the draw.Enough said.
Shanghai:Hasnt won this tournament since it was moved to Shanghai.
Basel:Indoor tournament.Nadal is a joke when it comes to indoors.
WTF:See Basel.
CONCLUSION:Rafa is NOT going to win another title this year.


TGIT Says:

Danny Morris is spot on!!!!

Yeah, Rafa fans get ready for a 48 hour beat down of your now, mortal God.

First round loss. Haaaaaahaaaaaahaaaaa


Brando Says:

@the DA, Gannu, Alex:

Thanks for the kind words.

Same to other respectful fan.

Yep it’s a bummer he’s out.

But….:

This has happened back to back years now, and my biggest and ONLY concern more than the result is:

Rafa’s fitness.

Boris Becker post match (he was commentating) said he thought Rafa’s movement really looked suspect. :-(


TGIT Says:

I hope Sean puts RAFA in the funk for being the only player I can think of who can manage to lose 65 points. Joke!


skeezer Says:

How can a 27 yr old supposed all time great in his prime lose 2 years in a row in the first and second round of a Slam? All GOAT talk for him is seriously dented. Now the HIstory books will show him to be losing 7 finals in a row to the same guy and losing 2 consecutive years in a row in the early rounds of a Slam. What other all time great player has done that?


TGIT Says:

Rafa’s movement was suspect because Darcis had his racket up his rear.


Brando Says:

@Colin:

I think you are right: Rafa probably is carrying a time bomb of an issue regarding his knee. :-(

@Alex:

Thanks.

Honestly: I am not peeved about the result- just very concerned about Rafa’s health.

Health is wealth ultimately in this game at the top, and right now Rafa really seems on shaky ground.

@Courbon:

Thanks.

sh-t happens: absolutely it does. But a bummer no less when it does.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Wow. Just wow!!
HOLY SHIFT OF STORY LINES.
Feel bad for Rafa, and myself too, I really wanted the Fedal Quarters.
This is a really weird loss. I just don’t get it, Rafa was missing topspin forehands into the bottom of the net. How??
(By the way, if his knee was the issue, why was he running so hard to avoid his backhand?)
Just a bad day for Rafa. You know, his last few months have been so overwhelmingly positive on tour, the tennis gods (Don Budge, Bill Tilden, Suzanne Lenglen and the FOur Musketeers) must have had something planned to even things out.


Brando Says:

@Skeezer:

Calm it.

The others I don’t mind since they haven’t shown behaviour above the level that they are showing at the moment.

But you can be better.

A man’s down here: no need to kick him in, especially when others are already doing so.

Hope you show some consideration and restraint.

GOAThood?

That’s not up for discussion here: Rafa’s health and fitness is.


Nole Rules Says:

@Skeezer Talking to most Rafanatics(not all) and trying to beat some sense into them is an exercise in futility.Whenever some Rafatards bring up Rafa’s name in the GOAT conversation it is not only a serious insult to players like Laver,Federer,etc but also is a mockery of the word “greatness”.He is the greatest on clay without a doubt but he isnt and will never be the Greatest of All Time.The title belongs to either Laver or Federer.


TGIT Says:

Boohoo Brando. Can you hear me playing the violin?


Okiegal Says:

Sorry for my main man Rafa. Just wasn’t your day. Don’t care what the Rafa haters think, his knee is an issue…..not an excuse but an issue. Kudos to Darcis for playing a great match. He played better on the big points…….sometimes that happens. I think Darcis will follow in the footsteps of Rosol……..a one hit wonder.

I am watching his after match interview. They have asked him about his knee 3 times and he asked them not to. They just keep on and on.

To the poster that said he was at him sitting on his arse…….stupid statement. He had to rest his body. Why does everyone rag on Rafa and his injuries and no one else.

Vamos, Rafa !!!!

With Rafa out, cmon’ Andy!!!!!!


the DA Says:

@Brando – Don’t let the crowing get to you. I can empathize.

Andy through in straight sets. Hewitt up 3-0 on Wawa.


Ben Pronin Says:

Even if Nadal doesn’t win another title this year, he has 7 already. Not a bad year by any means.

Danny Morris, what do you mean? Nadal is the second best grass court player of this generation. 2 titles in 5 finals, who’s done better besides Federer? Even Hewitt lost in the first round when he was number 1, in his absolute prime, and the defending champion! So, it happens.

But 1-2 at Wimbledon in 2 years? Perhaps the dream of a third euro slam is going to remain just that, a dream. It’s not going to get any easier. Even Federer struggles at Wimbledon nowadays.

But wow. 9 straight finals and then a first round loss. There’s no good way to spin this. It’s a horrible loss. And it deprives us of what could have been an epic against Federer.

Nonetheless, to Steve27, looks like 21 is gonna have to wait. And to James, still don’t see Nadal beating Djokovic off of clay.

But this should definitely calm everyone down about the surfaces. Especially after Bodo’s giant whine of an article saying how Wimbledon has become like all the other surfaces. Clearly that isn’t so. There is still some variety (maybe not as much as everyone would like but it’s there).

Ironically, despite the shocking upset, I’ll be even more surprised if there isn’t an injury excuse.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

OK Rafa fans: there is still a tournament to play! Spill a drop for your fave and come back into the game with a NEW pick.

Rafa fans, who will you cheer for for the next two weeks?


Alex Says:

At least Fed doesn’t have to play against three of the big four in a row, he has a more realistic chance now, if my man gets there…

I was surprised by some of the drop shots and forehands Nadal was hitting into the net, he made errors on shots he normally never misses.


Ben Pronin Says:

Also kinda ironic how Federer’s draw suddenly looks pretty easy through to the semifinals.


the DA Says:

@ Ben – He’s in the presser now and according to tweeting journos he is refusing to blame an injury.

Wow1 Hewitt up 5-2 on Wawa. Who wants to bet this will go 5 with Hewitt just missing the chance to close it?


Brando Says:

@the DA:

Thanks mate for the empathy.

Losses like these are revealing on certain points:

Such as whether folks show kindness and generosity towards a player who’s clearly on down here OR look to get their kick’s in on a man that is down and beat as they just detest his success.

It’s a sad state of affairs but there you are.

I’ll take your advise DA and ignore it.

It’s for the best.

The result is gone, just hope Rafa is fine.

Anyhow:

What happened last year when Rafa was out early at Wimby?

Andy lifted me up with his brilliant tennis.

Here’s hoping for the same this time round also.

Go Andy!


skeezer Says:

Do agree now with Rafa fans that Wimby got Rafa’s -#5 seeding all wrong. Its not fair, not fair at all.


TGIT Says:

Ok Rafa fans don’t feel so blue.

At least next year he can’t lose anymore points. (unless he doesn’t show up)


Grisham Says:

They will choose Murray all the way, I already know. LOL


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Huge news in tennis today:
Canadian Vasek Popsicle, AKA the Frozen Forehand, is through to the second round.


Brando Says:

@TV:

Muzza is my 2nd fav, so thankfully I havbe him to root hard for.

TBH:

I was actually thinking what I would be like should Rafa face Andy since I have seriously grown to root hard for Andy.

Rafa’s fate has already solved that issue.

So Andy all the way for me.

Fed played awesome today also. Very smooth in his movement and play.

He seems like a bigger threat than most give him credit to be after that performance.


RD Says:

I’m a Fed fan, not a Nadal fan, but a tennis fan. I’ll miss having a Fedal quarter final. Let’s face it guys: Roger and Rafa probably aren’t going to play too many more Wimbledon matches against each other, and I’d rather enjoy every single match they have left, as they’re getting fewer and fewer.


jane Says:

I know TV – I was so happy for Vasek!!!


El Flaco Says:

Janowicz could be a problem for Fed. He can be very inconsistent, but has a big game. His best ATP result was on a fast indoor court where he beat 5 top 20 players in a row. He had a bad loss in Halle this year, but last year at Wimbledon won 5 matches in a row counting the qualifying. He beat a red hot Gulbis before finally losing in 5 sets to Florian Mayer.


Daniel Says:

Wow, 1 match and the GOAT debate is over.
In 2 weeks time Nadal Could have 13 Slams going for another 2010 and now second straight year losing early in Wimbledon.
Biggest upset in ages, I wasn’t believing when I checked the score, have to look twice to confirm the names weren’t changed.

Most be awfull to all you Rafa fans, I am a diehard Fed fan and this is bitter. But they are all champions and he will regroup from this shortly.


pitchaboy Says:

I hope we can be objective without being derisive to the great guys Rafa and Federer. They are both past their peak. It is the sheer strengths of their games and personality that makes them go deep on their best surfaces(clay and grass respectively). Rafa is technically 27, but this guy has been playing rough and winning since he was 17. A little respect goes a long way.


Eric Says:

Wow…. not at all expected. To put it mildly.


Brando Says:

@Daniel:

Thanks Daniel.

An awesome Fed fan: supports Rog to the hilt, even when other’s stop doing so, yet never hates on the competition.

Kudos to you.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

So hard to guess what this means for Rafa in the long run, but I wouldn’t be too pessimistic about his off-clay future: he just won in Indian Wells, after all, much earlier in his comeback.
It seems impossible for an upset of this magnitude, but maybe Rafa really did just have a bad day.
I said the other day, Rafa is always tentative and vulnerable early on grass. Rafa has also always been prone to weird upsets (off clay). Those two trends and some bad breakfast may be all the explanation there is.
Certainly all eyes will be on him in Toronto and Cincinnati, but we really won’t know until US Open.


Brando Says:

-’A little respect goes a long way’:

BIG TIME!

In a way I am glad he lost today:

atleast this forum can see once and for all the TRUE COLORS of some fans here.

It doesn’t need any more commentating from me since the TRUTH is evident on this blog.

Over and out for me for today.

Keep well Rafa.


jane Says:

Tennis Vagabond, “some bad breakfast” – maybe the nutella was “off” – sorry but couldn’t resist. I remember once when Rafa did a blog during one of the slams, and I was following it. Anyhow, he posted pictures of himself eating toast & nutella for breakfast so my son demanded that I buy him some because if a superstar tennis player can eat nutella then it must not be “bad for you”. I caved in. ha ha.

I am sure Rafa will bounce back after some R&R.


skeezer Says:

Brando,

I will give you props for posting up here and takin your spankin. shows mettle and courage, unlike the other Rafafanatics who spew venom and then poof! Gone.

#respect
#he’llbebback


van orten Says:

he won wimbledon twice . he is good on grass but not the best. got lot of nice escapes over the years there too . so no big deal seeing him lose first round. now he can rest and then score some good points in the 2nd part of the season. expect more upsets in the first week.

wimbledon is wimbledon!


Ben Pronin Says:

This also can’t be the “biggest upset ever.” Put into big picture perspective, this makes last year’s upset look not as seismic, either. It still is a huge upset, but not the biggest, not by a long shot.


max Says:

This upset was so predictable. Nadal wants to play only during the clay season. He’s going to be injured through Indian Wells 2014. Then he’ll win Montecarlo-Madrid-Barcelona-Rome-RG and afterwards he’ll be injured again. This is what the great Borg wanted to do but the ATP denied him.


madmax Says:

I am certain that every one cannot believe the results of the nadal v darcis match, but you know, I am not surprised in a way. Everyone expects so much and look at what rafa has
achieved. And I ama fed fan, as you know. Rafa has played in 9 finals this year, won 7, he has just won his 8th grand slam on clay. No practice on grass.

Give the guy a break.

I hate it though when the people start bringing in the knees again. Why? It was just a bad day at the office today. All players have them. And remember that Federer wasn’t so far from going out in the first round against Falle, he was just able to pull it back.

Thank God.

If Rafa was bad with his knees, he would not have played and he mentioned nothing in his post match interview, which of course, he wouldn’t – but I am getting so fed up with hearing about his bloody knees. Sorry but I am. This is a guy who has returned to tennis and won pretty much every damn tennis tournament he has played! His knees are holding up pretty well, if you ask me.

We could all moan and groan about Roger’s back, or Andy’s back or Novak’s whatever. If they play a tournament, then no excuses – please.

The only thing I am glad about is that hopefully we get a rest from the constant posts about rafa from the likes of nadalista and giles – that, without doubt, will be a very welcome relief.

Rafa will be back and I just hope that we are allowed to enjoy the rest of the tournament supporting our own players.


Giles Says:

SCHADENFREUDE!!
Contador, skeezer the geezer DM and others!
Your turn will come sooner than you think!
Contador – you are one of the most evil and repulsive posters here and I mustn’t forget skeezer the geezer, can’t decide who is worse so you can share the top spot!!
Vamos Rafa! Have a good rest and get ready for the rest of the season! Always believe in you!


Lesego Says:

Good on Rafa for taking the high road and not blaming the loss on the injury.That’s about the only positive I could find from this loss.


Giles Says:

PS. Btw if you don’t know the meaning of Schadenfreude feel free to google, you ignoramuses!


Ben Pronin Says:

I knew Nadal having no grass court prep was going to hurt him.


Giles Says:

And now, I will concentrate on Andy Murray winning Wimbledon! Go Muzz!


steve-o Says:

Commiserations to alison and Kimberly and all other sane Nadal fans.

Kimberly, at least the Heat won their second title–they were just a couple points away from going out in the sixth game, but they made it.


Bada Bing Says:

Sorry to all nadal fans for his loss.


Brando Says:

@Jane:

‘I am sure Rafa will bounce back after some R&R.’:

I hope so.

Good luck to your Nole- i’ll take it easy on him from hereforth.

Appreciate the kindness towards Rafa. Thanks for it.


sienna Says:

Where is nirmal kumar when his fave loses in a trueFIRST ROUND EXIT!

IN PRIME!

I mean common that is mediocre to say the least.


Ben Pronin Says:

This was Nadal’s first ever loss in the first round of a slam. Well I guess if this was his Serena moment we should expect him to win 3 of the next 4 slams.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

This is really unexpected. But all credit to Darcis. He really played good tennis and used grass court to perfection. His slice was extremely effective. Amazed at the depth he was hitting the slice.

I remember how people were mocking Rafa when he was giving equal chance to his opponent before every match, this just shows what can happen in tennis anyday and how players don’t take it easy just like fans do.

I’m more concerned about Rafa’s knees more than his loss. He could not move on his BH, which was obvious throughout the match. Was he just concerned about his movement since this was his first match or he carries a permanent knee problem which will hamper his tennis outside clay.

Having played so much of tennis, it’s a welcome break for him. Tennis needs a fit Nadal.


pitchaboy Says:

For Rafa to win Wimbledon or USO is as difficult as for Fed to win FO or AO. Not happening. The speed of the former two surfaces will not permit Rafa’s knees and the slowness of the latter two surfaces will sap Federer’s energy. Fact of life and ultimately all great ones have to go down.


Brando Says:

@Skeezer:

Thanks man.

I really appreciate it.

Look:

I now me and you have had our back and forths, but truly: I do respect you as a poster.

I do not mind the Rafa kicking from others since that’s what they do, look for opportune moments to do so, and just outright hate Rafa.

But from you I mind at times (outside the back and forth with Glies and co which is fine and actually amusing LOL) since:

I know you actually respect Rafa and his achievement’s.

And your a great poster who has been very generous in his praise to Rafa in the past. Hence why I expect better from you.

You are one of the few (Daniel, Madmax, Ben are the others) who actually support Fed in a die hard manner that I really admire.

You root for him when it’s easy to jump ship on him: I respect that.

Show’s you love his game rather than his record.

So thanks once again: and I do hope Rafa will be fine.

Cheers.


Ty Says:

Quite a collection of posters here.

One quarter apologizing to others as if someone here lost a child or something.

One quarter venomously rubbing salt in the wounds of said person.

One quarter whining about said salt and demanding apology.

One quarter talking about actual tennis.

Phew. I would hate to see how these people react when real things happen in their lives.


TGIT Says:

The so-called “experts” picked Rafa on grass. I mean you ESPN.


Vidzy Says:

Lukas Rosol also lost in his first round match tday in a great 5 setter. may be he and Rafa can sip a coffee together today evening.


contador Says:

any hate is directed to you and you started abusing me.

for rafa -absolutely no hate at all. he has class, you do not.


Brando Says:

@Bada Bing:

Thanks. Good luck to your Novak.

I think you are one of the Novak fans who actually would likely have supported Rafa had it not been for Novak, so I actually appreciate the sincerity of your comment.

Thanks.

@Nirmal:

Thanks also.

You are right: tennis does need a fit Nadal, as well as the others.


jane Says:

Wawa was up 4-1 in this set and now they’re on serve. Hewitt has been playing well.


Ben Pronin Says:

“One quarter whining about said salt and demanding apology.”

Classic.


Eric Says:

Ben, actually I still wouldn’t be too surprised if Rafa does win 3 of the next 4 slams.


Brando Says:

@Giles:

You are a passionate Rafa fan so I know you must be hurt by the loss.

But please take it easy.

Thankfully it seems that Rafa is healthy.

He just got beat fair and square on the day by the better player.

His rough luck to be at the end of it, but there you go.

It happens.

Let’s look forward and hope he’ll be fine for USO series.

I think that will, believe it or not, help him since:

1- No dodgy bounces as opposed to grass.

2- No slippery baseline area, hence can move with a true footing on surface.

3- Canada and Cincy offer match practise prior to USO. Better than 0 matches prior to R1 wimby.

Skeezer is alright as a poster despite the drama you and have him.

Take it easy on him.

Ignore the rest: they are what they are, so do not empower them with attention I advise.

Let’s look forward: and yes GO MUZZA!


Humble Rafa Says:

I knew my Wimbledon was over when Sean predicted me as the winner. The curse lives on.


TGIT Says:

Humble Rafa

LOL
LOL
LOL


Vidzy Says:

OK < HERE is what Rafa had to say :

"That's the sport and sometimes you play well and have the chance to win and sometimes you play worse and the opponent plays well and you lose," Nadal said. "I tried my best out there in every moment and it was not possible for me this afternoon and that's all."
Nadal deflected questions about his health, saying "today is not the time to talk about this."

"I don't want to talk about my knee this afternoon," he said. "All I can say today is I want to congratulate Steve Darcis. He played a fantastic match, and everything I say about my knee today is an excuse and I don't like to put any excuses when I am losing a match like I lost today."


Vidzy Says:

@ Humble Rafa

LOL I have to admit because of you I have actually started to like rafa :P


TGIT Says:

agree with Vidzy.


John Says:

Pundits are amazing. Before the match, Nadal was back to his best, winning titles, playing like a whirlwind, knees fine. Then he struggles (as champions before him have) and it’s the knees are shot, he’s carrying injuries, shouldn’t have come back. The other fella played brilliantly and biff bang tennis has to wait another year. Give credit commentators.


Adam Says:

Wow – Sean Randall’s curse is becoming legendary.
Now his picks lose straight away and don’t even pretend to compete. He was completely convinced last week that Rafa would win Wimby. Bet he still has him top of the funk at the end of Jul


Giles Says:

Hey madmax. You will get no rest from me, that’s for sure. Just because Rafa lost today does not mean I am going to disappear. I am here to stay and enjoy the fun. It would be nice if we had a rest from you!!
#GetLost
#YouAndYourFavourite


Vidzy Says:

Hewitt takes the second set and breaks Stan in 3rd. Very disappointing performance from Stan. 29 unforced errors already as compared to 7 of Hewitt..Stan , your not the MAN. COMMMMONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN !!!


James Says:

The worst Nadal match I’ve seen. He looked so out of place on grass. Steve Darcis played well but not like Lukas Rosol last year. Rosol I thought outplayed Nadal who was also playing decent. This time Nadal just didn’t look himself at all. Didn’t even try that much.

Well, now that my no.1 favorite is out, I’m rooting for old Fed to get his 8th Wimby. His biggest opponent is out, I expect him to play with confidence and beat Murray and Djokovic or whoever is gonna be in the finals.


Ben Pronin Says:

I guess the big question now is, can 2013 Federer channel his better, younger, 2012 self?


Vidzy Says:

@ James

So James are you saying Rafa’s presence in Wimbledon or any other tournament for that matter makes Roger less confident ?


James Says:

I hope Rafa can use this loss to motivate himself to come back stronger.


Kimberly Says:

Second year in a row. Rafa loses and I go out on court and play amazing.


Giles Says:

Nah, fed not going to win, joker not going to win, this is Andy Murray’s Wimbledon. Go go Muzz!!


jane Says:

James, I agree with your assessment. It was not like the Rosol match which was much more about Rosol being “in the zone”. Rafa was still fighting that whole match, right to the end. Today, Darcis played well but Rafa was strangely “not there” if you know what I mean – as you say he “didn’t even try that much”. I just couldn’t figure it and kept expecting that he’d come back into the match, like J-Mac just said at the commentary booth. Seriously I thought Rafa would win the 3rd and run away with it. But there was none of the usual Nadal “fire”. Not sure why. What do you think?


James Says:

@Vidzy, no, not at all. When I first saw his draw for Wimby, considering his age, I thought it was a bit unfair pitting him against Nadal, Murray and then Djokovic. I began to doubt his chances. Not anymore. With Rafa gone, his draw gets a little easier than before imo.


volley Says:

“if you don’t know the meaning of Schadenfreude”

i was going to say something but didn’t want to embarrass anyone ;)


pitchaboy Says:

The ole chap looked awesome today and must be on a high after Nadal going down. If I wre Novak or Murray, I would be a bit worried. You are playing the King in his Court.


grendel Says:

Giles

I’d like to point out to you that when contador was posting as carlos, she took a lot of stick from Fed fans over a match with del Potro. She’s a fair poster – and a personal ding dong with another poster is just that, it’s personal (not to do with Nadal, i.e.) and doesn’t warrant your extravagant language.

“Does anyone think he will be a real threat at the USO or the WTF”. I suspect Nadal and his camp were never that confident about the USO, which is why they went all out for the USO in 2010, to the extent of remodelling serve, revamping style. It took tremendous determination and courage to succeed in this, and my feeling is that Nadal is content. Of course, if he could get another US Open, that would be icing on the cake, but I very much doubt that the tremendous effort of 2010 will be, or even could be renewed.

margot

Have a look at Kyle Edmund’s interview ( http://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/news/interviews/2013-06-24/201306241372089611054.html). Some thing about it seems different to me. There is a composure which is heartening. I really do believe this boy can go places.

Absolutely astonished at the scoreline in Hewitt match. Watched the first set, and after hewitt won first 4 games, wawrinka came back strongly, and nearly sneaked the set. He broke straightaway, and I thought he was going to be just too strong for Hewitt.


Vidzy Says:

Rafa’s Post Match Interview is OUT :

Q. What would you say went wrong today and what went right, if anything? What happened?

RAFAEL NADAL: Happen that is sport. And sometimes you play well and you have the chance to win. Sometimes you play worst and the opponent play well and you lose.

That’s the good thing about the sport. That’s all.

Good things today for me was not a lot of things good. But, you know, just congratulate Darcis. I think he played with the right decision, played well, and that’s all.

Q. We saw you limping a little bit out there. Was there an injury reason or physical reason for this loss?

RAFAEL NADAL: Is not the right day. I tried my best out there in every moment. Was not possible for me this afternoon, and that’s all.

The opponent played well. I had my chances. I didn’t make it. So in grass is difficult to adapt yourself, to adapt your game. When you don’t have the chance to play before, I didn’t have that chance this year, is tougher. I didn’t find my rhythm.

Q. What did you do after the French? How long did you have off? How long did you practice maybe on a hard court at home before you came to the grass?

RAFAEL NADAL: I arrived here on Tuesday. Before that I was working at home on the gym and trying to make the right things to recover my body from a very long and success straight tournaments.

So that’s all, no? Nothing special.

Q. How much of a blow was it for you not being able to play at Halle in the context of this tournament?

RAFAEL NADAL: I didn’t have that chance this year to play on Halle. So is tough to talk right now. The only thing that is important today is that even I don’t play Halle is obviously I wanted to play, yes.

But today we cannot come back. We cannot come two weeks before. That what happened. I didn’t have that chance. I tried my best. Was not possible. That’s all I can say. Just congratulate the opponent. At the end is not a tragedy. That is sport.

Q. How is the situation similar or different from last year when you lost here?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t see any comparation [sic] at all. I really don’t know how to answer this question.

Q. Well, last year you said you were hurt after the loss to Rosol. How is the situation now with you?

RAFAEL NADAL: With what?

Q. With your physical condition.

RAFAEL NADAL: I say before I think is not the day to talk about these kind of things. I am confident that I will have a good recover and be ready for the next tournaments.

I played much more than what I dreamed before here after the injury. So that’s a fantastic and very positive thing for me. I know the grass is a difficult surface for the way that I need to play to play well here.

Was not possible this year. I gonna try my best for the next couple of years.

Q. Did you have any sign at practice in previous days that it was going to be a tough first round here? How big is the disappointment?

RAFAEL NADAL: You was here on Saturday? I said is probably the toughest surface for me today, because I had to move and I have to play in a lower position than in the rest of the surfaces.

So that’s the real thing. I was not lying to nobody on Saturday. So that’s all. I gonna keep working hard for the next.

Q. You turned a lot around your backhand to play your forehand, and also you didn’t move that well. Was your knee 100% today?

RAFAEL NADAL: I think you are joking. I answered this question three times or four times already. I don’t gonna talk about my knee this afternoon.

Only thing that can say today is congratulate Steve Darcis. He played a fantastic match. Everything that I will say today about my knee is an excuse, and I don’t like to put any excuse when I’m losing a match like I lost today.

He deserve not one excuse.

Q. You talked a little bit in Paris about your schedule, adjusting it. I’m wondering if you think you might need to look at that more closely. Obviously you love playing on the clay, but it’s a lot of matches. Is that something you think going forward you need to look at more closely?

RAFAEL NADAL: What? I didn’t understand that.

Q. In Paris you talked about your schedule, maybe adjusting it. I’m wondering if you think physically it’s a lot on your body to play so much on clay, even though you love that surface.

RAFAEL NADAL: If I play too much? That’s the question?

Q. I’m wondering if you need to look at your schedule.

RAFAEL NADAL: In which way?

Q. To play less in the spring.

RAFAEL NADAL: To play less?

Q. Yes.

RAFAEL NADAL: I cannot predict the future. I cannot say when I do a calendar if it was wrong or if it was positive. Since six hours ago was a perfect calendar, now is a very negative calendar. That’s not true.

I played, as I said, since I came back after the injury, I played when I had the feeling that I can play. And my feelings were that I played the weeks that I felt right to play.

And to here is Wimbledon, so I try to arrive as good as possible to this tournament, knowing that probably this year will be harder than ever, and it really was.

So that’s all, no? The calendar was for me perfect, winning seven tournaments of the nine, and playing two finals. I cannot say I will make something different today because I will not. I will repeat my calendar. My season has been fantastic, much better than what I have thought five months ago. So I am happy about everything.

I know that that thing, that lose of today, can happen, and it happened. That’s all.

Q. Do you still feel you can come back and win this championship again?

RAFAEL NADAL: I didn’t know that in 2003 and 2004 and 2005, 2006 and 2007, so… I don’t know that.

The only thing I can say I can do is keep working hard and keep giving me chances about my game on this surface. I think and I hope to have a few more years to play here and to play at the right level. I was not able to play great this year or last year. It’s obviously. But I gonna try.

Q. Last year after you lost to Rosol we didn’t see you for seven months. What should we expect this time? Can we be optimistic and see you when? Which tournament are you planning to come back?

RAFAEL NADAL: Not very late. Not that late, for sure.

Q. When you came back over here in February, was the French Open always your priority? Of the three majors left, was the French your priority or was it equal with Wimbledon?

RAFAEL NADAL: Seriously, I don’t have a priority. I try my best in every tournament, even if is a 250, is a 500, or is a Grand Slam. Is obvious, you know, the Roland Garros championship adapts better to my game.

But in this sport, I don’t see a way that you can prepare one tournament in particular. I think you don’t have that chance because depends on a lot of things. You need to win matches when you arrive to important tournament to be confident. You need to play matches to be enough fit. Then I try my best in every one.

Sometimes I arrive good in one, worse in another. That’s all. I tried and I played that way during all my career.

Q. Even as well as Darcis played, that has to be a disappointing loss. Are you able to let it go right away or does it sting for a few days?

RAFAEL NADAL: Life continues, that’s all. I say before, is not a dramatic thing. That’s the sport. That’s the game at the end.

Two weeks ago I was in a fantastic situation, winning a fantastic tournament. Two weeks later I lost here in the first round. That’s the positive and the negative thing about this sport.

Is tough losing in the first round. But, as I said before, the tour continues, life continues, and this is a sport of victories. It’s not a sport of lose. Nobody remember the loses. People remember the victories. And I don’t want to remember that lose.

Q. You’ve said that only an arrogant man would not have doubts. You’ve said that a couple of times now. Do you have some doubts on your play on grass? And are you proud of your legacy on grass for a person who was brought up on clay?

RAFAEL NADAL: Obviously I have doubts. I have doubts on grass. I have doubts on clay and hard, for sure in indoor.

If I don’t have doubts is because I really don’t feel the passion for this game. You don’t see myself with doubts the first week of Roland Garros? Yes, with a lot of doubts.

Today I play with doubts. I lost, yes.

Q. But you’re proud of your grass court play?

RAFAEL NADAL: If I’m proud today?

Q. Not today. Over the years, what you have done on grass.

RAFAEL NADAL: What do you think? Five finals, two victories. I don’t know how many players have that. I think for me is a lot. That don’t mean I not going to keep trying to have success in this surface.


jane Says:

Wawa’s just not moving that well on the grass, slipping a bit too much which is not helping with his timing. Way too many errors. Hewitt is much more stable on the turf today; perhaps his run at Queens this year helped, not to mention years of experience and success on grass.


Ben Pronin Says:

James, how much stronger can Nadal get?

Also ironic that Nadal managed to lose points…

On the bright side, doesn’t seem like Nadal will be calling it a year, so we’ll see him in a month or so anyway.


the DA Says:

@Jane – I agree. Wawa looks unsure with his footing. Hewitt is just rolling back the years. What a surprising day.


James Says:

@Jane, Rosol outplayed Rafa to win the match last year. The way Rafa played today, anyone playing decent tennis would have taken him down. I play similar style to Rafa (Nole too) and for me my footwork needs to be good. Rafa’s footwork wasn’t good and he kinda played like an old man today. I think Steve Darcis’ game, lack of grass match practice, having an off day plus his knee got him down. When Rafa plays too defensively it’s usually because he isn’t hitting the ball as well as he’d like to. He played very defensively throughout the match. Darcis made him pay for it.


the DA Says:

Haha…even though Hewitt has a weaker serve – well, every shot is weaker than Wawa’s – he’s completely outfoxing him. It’s the year of the 30+ players.


Vidzy Says:

One of the best interviews i have read of Rafa in a lng lng time…he was spot on, honest and straight forward on everything those journalists were asking. Seriously, some of those annoying journalists should be fired !


Alex Says:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWPcGrSqTCc
(The show open from ESPN’s Day One coverage at the 2013 Wimbledon Championships.)


Tennis Vagabond Says:

I will add my vote to biggest Open Era upset ever.
Rafa was, in the minds of most fans and commentators, the 1B seed here. He was a very close second favourite. He has been in the finals of, what 7 straight tourneys? Darcis is 135!

What upset can anyone recall that beats this?


James Says:

@Ben, stronger than today would be a good start.
I wouldn’t be too hard on the guy yet. He performed very well in previous nine tournaments. Let’s see how he does in the next few.


Brando Says:

@Vidzy: thanks for that. Great interview by Rafa. And you are right: some of those journalists are seriously annoying. They wre almost begging Rafa to blame his knee or something. I think Courbon summed up the match best for Rafa: sh!t happens. That simple. Rafa played a poor match for his standard and got beat by the better player. That simple. A bummer for him and his fans but one has to accept it and move on. I am just glad he’s seemingly fine physically and should be there for the USO swing. Kind of agree with Rafa: grass is a tough surface for him in man ways. His recent struggles make me appreciate his past success at Wimby even more- it’s tough for him for sure!


TennisAviator Says:

Goes to show how nothing lasts for ever. Some Rafa fans were boasting like drunken sailors.

Too bad, was hoping Roger would get a shot at Rafa again on grass.

Anyway, it’s all a game and winning or losing don’t necessarily last forever or define you.

Stay focussed Rog!


the DA Says:

It took 5 MPs but Hewitt does it. That’s the best match I’ve seen him play in years – no diversions, job done cleanly. Magnus Norman has a “what just happened” look on his face.


jane Says:

Nice win by Hewitt – congrats to him!

James, yes, just wasn’t Rafa’s day. I did notice the footwork issue.

Sometimes Nole slips a lot in early rounds here; hope he find his footing well tomorrow. He seemed fine in the exho versus Grigor, but that was an exho.


El Flaco Says:

He won in straight sets too so he has plenty left in the tank for the next few rounds. He has a chance to make it to the quarters.


James Says:

@Jane, don’t worry, Nole should be fine. If he stays focussed in every match, I don’t see an upset for him. He should make it to the finals to meet Roger or Andy or whoever makes it from the bottom draw.


Giles Says:

@grendel. I have no idea who carlos is/was. I have only been posting for the last 10 months or so. In any event I couldn’t care less. If contador wants to dish it out he/she has to be prepared to take the responses. However, I really do not appreciate your interference. If contador wants to respond it is up to him/ her. You are just causing more aggravation by your intervention. It seems to me that the posters here are more than capable of defending themselves. So, no interference necessary.


Ben Pronin Says:

James, funny you say that because I almost had a post that would have been way too reactionary. I agree. This was one tournament, and (crazily) the only tournament he’ll play on grass all year. Realistically he still has a chance to get to number 1. Might be a long shot, but a chance is a chance. There’s still half a year to be played.


steve-o Says:

I said this as well: Nadal needed match prep on grass, didn’t get it, was undercooked, and paid the price.

If he’d played Halle he might have survived this round. But then he would have lost in Halle and that 43-2 W/L record would have been dented. He didn’t want that, so he skipped the tournament.

Now he gets a bigger dent. It’s what happens when you choose not to prepare.

Nadal’s footwork on grass is poor. He’s got speed but no finesse or efficiency in movement. When he was younger, speed was enough. Now he’s older, that margin in speed is less.

I’ve said before that Nadal’s decline will be much more drastic than Federer’s. Nadal depends so much on speed and power that as those attributes wane he will be far more vulnerable.

He hasn’t the serve nor the variety nor the low-impact, efficient game that Federer has got. Age will be far less kind to his game than Federer’s. Federer’s abilities have ebbed very gradually, and because he has so many shots he can come up with ways to plug some of the holes in his game and make up part of the deficit.

Nadal won’t have that ability. The holes will remain, and players will drive a truck through them on occasion. And it won’t get easier the older he gets.

I’d be really shocked if Nadal played much besides USO. He’s won Rogers Cup but it’s been ages and he’s never even made the final when it’s held in Montreal.

Cincinnati he ain’t playing, for sure. It’s been a while since he played in the post USO hard-court tournaments but he might have to to get his ranking up. Probably a couple of 500 level, certainly not the Masters.

But then again, if he wins two matches at USO he gains points over last year, so maybe he doesn’t have to play anything else.

Not that it would have made a huge difference if he had been seeded higher today–his play was average and any solid player would have beaten him.

It may well be easier for him to do well at USO than at Wimbledon from now on. He certainly has never had the kinds of early-round struggles there that he’s had at the All-England Club. He has played all of one five-setter at USO, ever.


James Says:

Ben, lol no I wasn’t thinking PEDs. Also I didn’t mean he needed to be physically stronger. He can come back perhaps better prepared for an important tourney like Wimbledon.
I’d like to see him #1 again but like you say it’s a long shot. I’d rather him perform well in each tourney he takes part in. The ranking will take care of itself if he consistently performs good.


James Says:

“Age will be far less kind to his game than Federer’s.”

Agree. It will get tough when he is in his 30s.


jane Says:

steve-o, Nadal added both Bejing and Basel to his schedule this year. But I am wondering how many 500/250 tournaments he can count since he played that string of “smaller” events on his return, and he’s also played Barcelona.

I don’t think there will be a long layoff this time; I suspect he’ll play Canada.


TennisZod Says:

The great Clay court player bowed out sooner than I expected. I want to celebrate but don’t want to be insensitive to not so humble Rafa fans here. So I say sorry, Rafans, your guy lost to world no.135 Darcis in Wimbledon first round. Such humiliation dont happen to Nole thats why he so great.
Now I wonder what will Nadal have when Nole take FO next year?


Giles Says:

Why should there be a long lay- off as one poster is speculating? Has Rafa said he is injured? Geez, some people!


Giles Says:

Zod. As long as Nadal is fit and healthy, the Coupe des Mousquetaires belongs to him. No burglars allowed!


Okiegal Says:

I think retirement is in Rafa’s future really soon. I don’t think Rafa will have the desire to play anymore when he is not able to play his running every ball down game. His knee is definitely a big problem. He wasn’t on the court very long when I could tell he wasn’t firing on all cylinders. The British commentators made their comments about his movement early in the match. I feel so sorry for him.

Too bad he didn’t play Fed the first round……we know who would have won that!!! I’m not usually a tacky poster, but just one little dig in retaliation for all the negative posts about Rafa and his loss today.

Hope he doesn’t even think about quitting because he still has lots of great tennis in him.

Vamos Rafa, the KING OF CLAY!!!!


jane Says:

Read the presser Giles. Perhaps this is why “some people” are speculating:
————————
Q. Last year after you lost to Rosol we didn’t see you for seven months. What should we expect this time? Can we be optimistic and see you when? Which tournament are you planning to come back?

RAFAEL NADAL: Not very late. Not that late, for sure.
———————–

Even here, he doesn’t say I will be right back next tournament. And also he doesn’t say he isn’t injured either. He basically says today is not the day to talk about it.

So we have to wait and see.

Geez!


jane Says:

^ Oh yeah, and just the other day Nadalista posted an ESPN link that said Rafa was limping in practice. So who knows?


grendel Says:

Giles – in principle, I agree with you. I know I was interfering. But you used the words “evil” and “repulsive” to characterise a poster I happen to respect. How does a poster respond to that? “I am not evil”, “I am not repulsive”. It’s nuts. There was a time, a few months ago, when you were getting that kind of hammering, and I thought it was plain wrong and you, by the way, were absolutely floundering. It was hard not to feel pity. Shame you learnt nothing from that.


Giles Says:

@jane. So you assume it is going to be a lengthy lay- off just by reading those words? The next tourney is over 6 weeks away. Maybe you think that is considered a lay- off?


Giles Says:

@grendel. Floundering? Me? “Pity”. What next grendel. Please refrain from interfering in my posts in future. Thank you.


Lefty Says:

I think Rafa paid the penalty for not playing a warm up tournament before Wimbledon. But maybe he probably already knew that his knees needed the rest when he pulled out of Halle…


jane Says:

Giles, did you read my post to steve-o?

“I don’t think there will be a long layoff this time; I suspect he’ll play Canada.”


grendel Says:

Yes, Giles, you were floundering under some withering and imo gross attacks. I did indeed feel pity, because you had no idea how to deal with it. The other chap was just much louder and more articulate than you. As for not interfering – let’s put it this way: if I behave like some demented psychotic, and this is not altogether unknown, then other people are entitled to interfere. Too bad.


Giles Says:

Jane. I don’t know why you are even talking about a long lay-off, that is my point!!!


Giles Says:

@ Grendel. If you insist on interfering then what can I say. They say old habits die hard. This is an open forum and everybody is entitled to do what they please, I suppose. So fire away!! Enjoy!


skeezer Says:

Hey GILES,

You are the biggest childish sore loser on this site, and saw your bitter spewing remarks coming. A classified hater of other players, a warped clueness notion about the game. Hope you stew in your own humiliated defeat and learned your lesson. Schooling is what you need more of. You go after posters like they have your pet toy, except you don’t own Rafa Nadal.
Humility, if only you knew what that meant.
Ring Ring, time for you to get back to class.


jane Says:

Giles: because that was the interviewer’s question. That’s why I asked if you read the presser.


Giles Says:

skeezer the geezer. Right on cue! I would expect nothing less from you, jumping on a bandwagon as usual. You are a pathetic little man!!
Over and out.
Talk to yourself!!


Ty Says:

LOL @James 3:20 comparing his game to a mix of Nadal and Nole. Humble much?


steve-o Says:

@jane: yeah, everyone’s talking about how frickin’ sporting he was to say that injury had nothing to do with his loss, which is BS. Because he said no such thing.

He did not deny that he was affected by injury. He simply said that today was not the right time to talk about it.

So theoretically he could talk about it some other time. And he thinks it’s only bad sportsmanship if he talks about it on the same day of the loss. If he talks about it a month afterwards, I guess he thinks it’s A-OK. And of course, if he waits, then he can concoct one unified story to explain many losses, rather than try to concoct a separate story for each individual loss, which might lead to narrative incoherence and get people talking.

He’s as scripted as Kim Kardashian. He says nothing without a spin doctor having drilled and vetted him extensively. The words he says are always carefully chosen, but by a mind other than his own.

If he were ever actually allowed to speak for himself I think people would be shocked by what came out of his mouth, and not in a good way. What he says is robotic enough as it is; one shudders to think what his actual thoughts (such as they are) would sound like if he tried to express them.


skeezer Says:

One can only assume as Rafa’s knees have gotten older, he simply can’t take the pounding season of Clay and be successful on Grass anymore. I don’t know if some of our astute posters remember, but the Istomin match @ queens? He just came off a RG Slam, and looked stiff as a board at the knees. Something about the Grass and his knees, now. IMO its weird cause grass is a great surface on the body, soft and forgiving. But you HAVE to bend your knees on Grass if you are going to be successful, and I mean really bend.

BTW, it makes one who remembers Borg appreciate his feats from Clay to Grass, back in the day when the grass was slick as glass. A 5 time Wimby winner, and n amazing player for all time.


Ben Pronin Says:

James, I’m not referring to PEDs at all.

Look at it this way. If Nadal had reached the semis and lost 12-10 in the fifth to Murray, it still would’ve been the first event of the year where he failed to reach the final. The next level for Nadal is to be unbeatable. Unfortunately, that’s not possible in sports. So I just don’t know how much stronger you want Nadal to get. Cut out bad days? Also impossible.

Nadal is still very much in the lead to be number 1. Djokovic needs to win the title and then he’ll be just 20 points in front of Nadal.


grendel Says:

@steve-o

“He did not deny that he was affected by injury. He simply said that today was not the right time to talk about it.”

That is true, but there is another possible interpretation of his remarks to the one you have made. It did seem to me that he was a bit injured. More to the point, every commentator I have seen has also said so – including Davenport and McEnroe. But no one, I think, attributes the loss to the injury. He probably would have lost anyway, given the lack of prep which you have mentioned and the lack of heart Kimberley has alluded to.

In this respect, it would have been quite wrong to harp on the injury, and Nadal obviously recognized this. On the other hand, if he actually is carrying some kind of injury and journalists insist on bringing the issue up, what is he supposed to do? Just deny he has an injury? That is unreasonable.

I believe on this occasion, Nadal has behaved properly and actually sportingly.


Danny Morris Says:

The “injury” hints were there from Rafa and his team since RG finished.

They thought they could use it as an excuse and underplay the pressure on Rafa, too bad he got exposed by some total nobody.

Last year Rafa’s PR team went into repair mode and had him sit out for 7months? Only thing that can explain this even more pathetic excuse is retirement from grass.

King of Clay = Pauper on grass.

There is a good chance, Nole [very likely] and Murray [depending on how motivated he is] can achieve better results outside clay than claydal.

Nole has to win 2 more wimbledons and get another 20+ weeks at claydal and his resume will be superior to claydal on every surface/slam/major title outside clay.

I think we are into the final lap of the GOAT discussion and claydal’s chances of overtaking Sampras, forget Laver and Roger.

I can only imagine how miserable Nadal’s wimbledon record would be if the courts were faster like the 90s.


jane Says:

@steve-o, going back to your earlier post at 3:58, you were saying you would be surprised if Rafa played anything much besides the USO, but my hunch is quite the opposite – that he’ll play Canada, Cincy, the USO, and then in addition to Shanghai, he’s added Bejing and Basel to his schedule this year. So I actually think he’ll play lots on the summer/fall hard courts this year.

He’s got to be “relatively” rested. I mean, I know he’s been on a tear since he came back, but he didn’t start playing until mid-Feb, and it was almost all clay, and he was off for 7 months before that, which means he should be more rested for the latter part of the season this year than in other years.

And now add to this the fact that he will basically be “skipping” the grass season due to this upset, and is not injured so far as we know.

It means he can play more not less imo.


Danny Morris Says:

I am with steve-o, every hard-court and grass court tournament that nadal has to tough out in his typical ball-fetcher style will rapidly bring him to face retirement like, philippoussis and a host of others with knee problems in the past.

Right now, rafa has 3 options -

a)keep continuing and investing everything in extending his clay domination to even insane heights

b) take a gamble and give it his all in the next 2 hardcourt slams and WTF [he risks potentially career-ending knee injury] and see if he can give his resume a more complete look

needless to say, I would suggest 2nd option, because the clay GOAT debate is closed for a while now until some claycourt specialist who has no idea of the history of tennis moulds his game to make himself a king of clay.

the 2nd option could be the only shot rafa has at proving he is atleast 2nd in this generation outside clay. this assumes that nole will achieve nothing more on grass and hardcourts and that murray will continue his under-achieving results with 1 slam win in 5 finals and the whole lot of fast court players like tsonga, berdych, gulbis, delpotro and others continue to not realise their full potential and that the likes of jerzy, raonic and dimitrov never make the BIG splash to announce the arrival of their generation.

all in all, today is a HUGE day in the history of tennis. This could be the day that swings the GOAT debate decisively in Fed’s favour. After a few months of clay-induced euphoria for rafanation, it is back to jubiliation for the Fed camp.

I hope nole and his camp look at this as an opportunity to make sure he begins his journey to snatch the GOAT contender title from rafa. 6-7 slams in the next 3 years with atleast 1 FO and 2 wimbledons and a 100 more weeks at no.1 will put novak ahead of claydal in the GOAT race.


Danny Morris Says:

@Jane:

You are just putting up your usual scaredy cat mask. I am sure deep down you wish claydal is a total non-factor for the next 3 years so nolandy can rule the world.

I am sure most Nole fans feel that way and the murray fans, it is even worse. the guy does not even the winning h2h that Federer and Nole have outside clay against rafa. In that sense, murray fans are the ones who are deep down celebrating the demise of claydal. To them, he is just not claydal – as he is to Federer [8-7 outside clay], Nole [12-7] outside clay, Ferrer [3-3 outside clay with wins in both hardcourt slams], davydenko, hewitt and all others who have a winning h2h against nadal outside clay.

Long Live Wimbledon and its sacred and hallowed turf that puts ball-fetchers at their rightful place – below the aggressive shot makers!


jane Says:

Danny Morris,

Scaredy cat? Me? Sure, guilty as charged. Mask? No. I’m an unabashed worrier – nothing to hide there. Being a Nole fan requires dealing with the roller-coaster of ups and downs.

Of course I want Nole to win a lot – please tennis gods, an FO and a Cincy!!! – but not due to someone else’s injury or what-have-you. In fact, I’d love Nole to win the FO by beating Rafa, or Wimbledon by beating Fed. He’s already won over Fed at the two hardcourt slams, so I am proud of him for that. He doesn’t need other people to be a “non-factor” to do well. He has 6 slams already and he is one of only 2 players to beat Fedal back to back at a slam. I am proud of him.

Ajde Nole!


TennisZod Says:

Danny Morris, always good to see a true tennis fan (and of Nole or Roger for sure). Posters like you and me can go celebrate a Nadal defeat. We waited for this day and we blessed. Let pray for more Nadal defeat.
Cheers brother!


Danny Morris Says:

Brando/Tenniszod/:

I will pass. I will celebrate when Roger or Nole lifts that trophy on Sunday.

Jane:

I am sure you want Nole to achieve the calendar slam by beating Laver in all the slam finals, but it aint happening. j/k

With Rafa, you ever think he is going to play nole except on clay and when rafa is 100%? What have you learnt from these numbers?

16/35 meetings on clay. Last 5 meetings on clay[since being walloped 7 in a row].

If novak wins an FO it is going to be like how he won wimbledon 2011. Tsonga took out the God of Grass, and Novak beat the next contender on grass. Similarly, Nole will most probably win FO when someone ushers rafa out – it will happen, wait and watch. He is what? 5-0 against nadal at FO?

He does not need the anyone to usher rafa out at FO, but my point is Sport doesn’t have fairy tale endings. You do what you gotta do.


jane Says:

Danny Morris, if Nole can get a FO that’s fine with me. I don’t care who’s ushered out. ;) I just would love to see him get the career slam because he’s always been an all surface player since the beginning.


TennisZod Says:

Danny Morris, but you have to admit it great day for true tennis fans (mostly Roger and Nole fans) to see the verrated clay player go out 1st round. C’mon buy yourself a drink. I dont know why some Roger/Nole fans say nice things about Nadal but he so bad outside clay. This defeat no surprise. He lose in next match too. You honest poster so call a spade a spade. In other words Nadal not so great, nothing much outside clay. Not true great like Nole and Roger, great shot-makers.

Now I go drink some beer with some true tennis fans. Next year Nole take Nadal’s FO too then Nadal have nothing. Good times they coming more.


grisham Says:

Danny, Everything you say is logical. I like your spunk. Stick around.


steve-o Says:

@jane: you might well be right about Nadal playing more this season than last year, since he can only gain points (more or less) from this point on.

I think his big priority, at this point, is not slipping lower in the rankings, which is easy as long as he wins at least a couple matches the rest of this year.


Danny Morris Says:

Thanks @grisham. sometimes you gotta talk to trolls in the language they understand. As someone mentioned, the clay season always brings a lot of ignoramus rafa fans and last year rafa’s loss, i thought would have taught them the lesson, but guess not.

who is your fav? if it is fed/nole, we will be fighting many a fire in the future, together ;)


volley Says:

hope this new ‘danny morris’ moniker works for you better than the last one. it wasn’t pleasant to see you run away with your tail between your legs last time.


Margot Says:

Just popped on to give my condolences to Rafa and his fans.
Bummer :(


Polo Says:

Nadal is indeed a great clay court player, the greatest on clay. However, it does not mean he is a slouch on other surfaces. He wouldn’t have won 2 Wimbledons (5 finals), a US Open and an Australian Open if he was crappy on those surfaces. His winning almost everything on clay merely skewed his statistics to favor clay over other surfaces. Federer has always been hailed as a great all surface player even if he has only one French title.


Alex Says:

I think HR has officially lost it lol.

Multiple personality disorder?

Reverse psychology?

Its one thing not dealing with a loos, but to invent a Moniker that makes fun of Nadal, only to try and make other posters look foolish for giving Rafanatics a good dose of well deserved medicine. I think HR needs a visit to the Freud tool shed lol. What kind of a sissy toots his horn about Nadal his whole life, then goes on to run to the deep moldy regions of the psyche lol.

#dealWithIT
#thisIsntWEbMD
#GotoWebMD
#theyCanHElpU


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Great post Polo,if only there were more fans like you,that sees things with a little perspective.


metan Says:

@polo. Your points taken.


Danny Morris Says:

Polo:

Sorry but. Federer lost on clay, to the very best. Rafa loses to rosol, darcis and the likes.

Nadal is no andy-murray away from grass, but he also has an inferior record to even Nole outside clay. [6slams to 4, 2WTF indoor titles to 0 and so on...]

Can you tell me another player with a better clay record than Fed in the last 10 years? Gaudio? Nole?

As I tell all nadal apologists, if nadal was the best player of this generation, he wouldn’t have spent 300 weeks at no.2 or below. in the last 8 years and only about 100 weeks at no.1


Danny Morris Says:

Oh volley, did I. Did I do it like murray does in GS finals? LOL!

Or like Rafa does at wimbledon. LOL!

Atleast I dont hide behind my uncle/mom claiming “injury” during the indoor/clay season like nadal/murray do.


volley Says:

@ danny morris

I am a tsonga fan. nice try but no cigar. your cluelessness is as precious as it ever was.

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