Nadal Hits and Out-hits Djokovic; Raonic Melts Popsicle at Montreal
by Staff | August 10th, 2013, 10:53 pm
  • 164 Comments

No. 4 seed Rafael Nadal took down world No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(2) on Saturday night in a titanic battle of big hitting at the Rogers Cup in Montreal.

“I said yesterday the only chance to win against Novak, the only tactic is to play very well,” Nadal said. “To play very well, I have to play aggressive. If not, I cannot play very well on this kind of surface. And I did. I played a very high level tonight, I think. I played with the right decisions in the important moments. Yes, the serve worked well during the whole night. And the shots from the baseline, I tried to stay very close to the baseline, go inside when I had the chance.”


The match was marked by an exchange at the net where after a Djokovic touch shot, Nadal ran up and drove a backhand that hit Djokovic in the face after glancing off his racquet. An angry Djokovic turned away from Nadal who was raising his hand in apology, which drew a shrug from Nadal.

In the third set tiebreak Nadal was the first to draw blood, going up 2-0, then 3-0, then 6-0 before Djokovic finally got on the board with two angry winners. On the next point Nadal secured his spot in the final.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry for that ball,” Nadal mouthed during the handshake.

“It was very close match,” Djokovic said who falls to 15-21 against Nadal, losing five of their last six. “So, I mean, there were very few points that decided the winner. Can’t really pick one moment. I had my chances. He had his chances. You know, I guess at the end he played better.

“Whenever we play against each other, it’s always a thrilling match for crowd to see. We are both competing at the high level. We both want to win these matches.”

In the final Nadal will meet Milos Raonic, who won a nervous battle of Canadians with Vasek “Popsicle” Pospisil 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(4).

Both players fought nerves in the tiebreaker as puff serves, mis-hits and unforced errors were the norm. Raonic served at 3-0 in the tiebreak before Posicle stormed back on serve, but in the end Raonic took control, on match point blocking a Popsicle overhead into the open court.

Raonic is the first Canadian to reach a Masters series final, and will now crack the Top 10 for the first time in the next ATP Rankings. Popsicle will break into the Top 40 for the first time.

It will be Nadal’s 36th Masters final (he’s won 24) compared to the first for Raonic and he’s beaten the Canadian all three times they’ve played without dropping a set.

“I started this important part of the season with a big result for me,” Nadal said. “To be in the final is amazing. To be in a final of a Masters 1000 is amazing for me. Especially beating the best player of the world, Novak, tonight, it is a big result for me. Very happy for that. Tomorrow is an important match. For me, to win another Masters 1000 is a big illusion. But I know that anything can happen. If I lose tomorrow I will be very happy the way that I played and the result that I had this week.”

In the Saturday semifinals at the Rogers Cup in Toronto, world No. 1 Serena Williams defeated the backboard Agnieszka Radwanska, downing the No. 3-seeded Pole 7-6(3), 6-4. On Sunday she will meet unlikely finalist Sorana Cirstea after the unseeded Romanian upset No. 4 Na Li of China 6-1, 7-6(5).

The almost-two-hour Williams match featured power against the variety and retrieving of Radwanka. Williams broke twice in the first set, but each time Radwanska broke back.

Radwanska went up a break 3-1 in the second set but Williams made the adjustments to break back and close out the match.

“I hadn’t played her in a little while and kind of forgot how flat she hits and how low she hits,” Williams said. “But it was okay. Once I accepted that the balls were going to be flat, then it was a little better.”

Williams finished with 42 winners to Radwanska’s eight.

Cirstea, 1-4 career against Li entering the match, rolled her opponent in the first set, then in the second with some more on-court coaching help from Darren Cahill came back from a 2-5 deficit to close it out in a tight breaker.

“I think I came on the court with a really good mentality today,” said Cirstea, who also rebounded from a 1-4 deficit in the tiebreak. “I was very focused from the start, and even when she started to push me in the second set, I was still playing quite well, except those two match points at 6-5, of course, when I think I got a little bit tight.”

Williams is 2-0 career against Cirstea, failing to lose a set.

“Sorana’s a great player,” Williams said. “She plays really tough. Gosh, she hits really hard. She has a really big serve. She moves well. She’s definitely not an easy player to play, but she’s — wow. Last few months she has been really consistent. She’s just a player who has finally found herself, and she’s playing better and better and getting more confident. It’s going to be a really tough match.”

CENTRAL start 12:30
C Fleming (GBR) / A Murray (GBR) vs [3] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA)

Not Before 15:00
[4] R Nadal (ESP) vs [11] M Raonic (CAN)


Also Check Out:
Isner Put on Ice by Popsicle; Venus Beaten at Rogers Cup
Watch Novak Djokovic Dance To Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” [Video]
Raonic Cheats Into QFs at ATP Montreal? Serena Bakes Bagel
Raonic’s Message To Bouchard: No One Will Remember Montreal, They’ll Remember The Slams!
Andy Murray’s Been Using The Same Tennis Racquet For 11 Years!

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164 Comments for Nadal Hits and Out-hits Djokovic; Raonic Melts Popsicle at Montreal

rafaeli Says:

Nadal takes Djerk out from his own compound!!!!!!

No dancing tonight. The ball kids will be disappointed.


Teeg Says:

Intense match, to say the least. Of course, I’m thrilled Rafa won. But in the end, it shows me that these two are really the best out there right now and Murray is a distant third. Already 10 finals this year! Truly a remarkable accomplishment after the horrors of last year. Now make it title no.8 Rafa.


holdserve Says:

Vamos Rafa!
You are the greatest!!!!!
Go get the USO!!!!!


Teeg Says:

And they say he can’t play on hard courts… lol


Steve 27 Says:

Tremendous match! Great effort to both but Rafa was the worthy winner. Maybe Djokovic should dance this classic song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiBYM6g8Tck

courbon Vamos!, Vamos and vamos!


Anna Says:

I hope this puts the whole hardcourt thing to bed. In spite of Novak’s 100% perfect match yesterday, Rafa took it to him, thankfully, the dance routine was getting old. I think everyone would agree that Rafa is definitely in the running at USO.


holdserve Says:

Actually the thought of the horrible dance which Djoko would perform if Rafa lost must have given Rafa the extra boost in the tie break to ensure that dance wouldn’t happen!
I hope the Djoker doesn’t do it again to anyone in future.He does all these crazy things and then wonders why everybody doesn’t love him!


Legend Says:

What is happening here ?
I am yet to see someone claiming that is a very slow hardcourt.


metan Says:

Legend at 11.32 LOL!!!!


Legend Says:

James,
I think this match would signal the decisive change in the dynamics of their rivalry. Rafa is clearly in Nole’s head.


James Says:

Legend Says:

What is happening here ? I am yet to see someone claiming that is a very slow hardcourt.

August 10th, 2013 at 11:32 pm
——-

It was a fast hardcourt but Nadal slowed it down tonight. He does that all the time when he’s winning.


James Says:

@Legend, I don’t know if Rafa is in Nole’s head or not but he Nole isn’t in Rafa’s head for sure.


Legend Says:

“And they say he can’t play on hard courts… lol”

They will still continue to say the same thing and something more.

The reason is the serious damage Rafa has inflicted on them……20-10……21-15.

Not bad for a one dimensional defensive clay courter.


Legend Says:

“It was a fast hardcourt but Nadal slowed it down tonight.”

ROTFL

Hope Rafa slows down cincy also.
But Rafa may most probably pull out.


Giles Says:

V A M O S K I N G!
Just saw result, couldn’t believe my eyes!
Well done Rafa.
Vamos Vamos Vamos!
#StayHealthy


Legend Says:

This is what a rested and healthy Rafa can do.


Michael Says:

The importance of this win cannot be undermined. It is a psychological victory ahead of the US Open. Nadal earned it through his repertoire of remarkable consistency. He was just at his imperious best stretching Novak to his limits. Unfortunately, it was not a good serving day for Novak and the better server won. However, it is not simple to analyse the match in that fashion. Rafa matched Novak shot-by-shot and played like a man possessed. He was not over awed by Novak’s presence nor the imposing record Novak has on Hard courts against Rafa in particular. It once again goes to show as to how Rafa is wrongly labelled as just a Clay court specialist by some of his critiques despite his stellar performance on other courts as well. All said and done, Nadal will be helped by this win, psychologically. He constructed the victory through his sheer consistency on service as well as from the back court.


Michael Says:

Is Novak going downhill ? Definitely not. He still has chances in Cincinnati as well as US Open. The way he played Rafa should give him confidence for the battles ahead.


Michael Says:

Well if Nadal wins Montreal, he makes a quarter century of Master series wins. This is an unbelievable record and is unlikely to be surpassed.


Nativenewyorker Says:

Rafa got the win because of his aggressive play. He was clearly testing this in earlier matches by standing much closer to the baseline to return serve. I thought he used the match with Matosevic to use these tactics. He was even standing inside the baseline against him.

My main concern was Rafa not being match ready. But I wasn’t that impressed with Djokovic this week. He could have easily lost to Istomin. Gasquet never even bothered to really show up.

I thought Rafa’s ROS was key in that first set. It threw Djokovic off and caused him to make more double faults. Rafa’s serving was also smart and he had some nice big serves and aces at key points. Some first serves were clocked at 123 and 124 mph.

Rafa was amazing considering how little he has played. This is a huge win for him ahead of the USO. We may still here this nonsense about Rafa not playing well on hard courts, but Rafa just did his talking tonight with his racket!

Well done, Rafa! Now go get the win tomorrow!


holdserve Says:

I like the comments here!
Hope Rafa plays well in the final!
This was just the SF. He must keep himself pumped up!


Sean Randall Says:

A few thoughts on a match that lived up to the hype. They always seem to in this rivalry.

For Nadal, what a week, what a win. He’s got to be sky high right now after beating Novak for a fifth time in their last six, and to do it in Montreal where Novak had been so tough – almost a fitting for revenge for Rafa who had dominated Monte Carlo until Djokovic stopped his run there.

Obviously I pick to Nadal to finish off the job and beat Roanic tomorrow, but I don’t see a need for him to play Cincinnati now (good news for Roger?).

As for Novak, the struggles continue. He’s now lost heartbreakers to his main rivals in his last three events: Nadal at the French, Murray at Wimbledon and now Nadal again.

And the issue with consistency hurt him again tonight. He had a good stretch in the middle of the match, but the start and finish were subpar. It was a match he had to have and he couldn’t beat Nadal. Credit to Rafa who rose to the challenge.

Novak, better ditch the dance routine and start working on his game because if he continues to play patchy tennis like tonight he’s not going to be No. 1 for much longer.

Looking toward tomorrow, Nadal is the big favorite but Raonic I think is happier playing Rafa than Novak. As we saw with Jerzy, Rafa has trouble with the big servers and few can hit it bigger than Milos.

And Milos showed today why he hasn’t made that great leap in the rankings – he gets incredibly tight on the bigger points. So too did Pospisil who I thought outplayed his younger countryman until the nerves caught up to him in the closing stages.

Unfortunately for Raonic, Rafa isn’t going to hand him much tomorrow. Not in a final.


Okiegal Says:

That was a very entertaining match tonite…..so happy my guy won. Wow, he rocked that tiebreak!! I kind of felt sorry for Rafa when Novak snubbed the apology. That is the sport….but Rafa just made the right play…….if you can’t take the heat….You better get out of the kitchen!!

Vamos Rafa beat Milos and make Canada Oh Canada very sad. Rafa will have to beat Milos and the Canadian crowd tomorrow but he can do it!!!


Fedster Says:

Wozniacki is on the way to lose the number 1 ranking !!


Fedster Says:

Oops. Typo here wozniacki -> djokovic


M Says:

“I am yet to see someone claiming that is a very slow hardcourt.”

*tears of laughter*

#VAMOSRAFA


Skeezer Says:

@Sean

Totally agree. Nadal looks totally disaplined and determined, almost Fed like in his hey day. Nole’s inconsistency is showing. He reels off 5 points in a row magnificently to break in the 2nd and then win it, but his serving throughout was up and down.
All credit to Rafa. He is back, and Nole better get serious real soon. He seems the only guy who can take Rafa down now, but he is going to have to get some 2011 in him.

This is a very big win for Rafa. The rest of the tennis year…look out!


M Says:

@Sean – I do agree with you about Cincinnati … and also that Milos (psst – it’s RAOnic) will be happier playing Rafa than he would have (an in-form, at least) Novak – though, as you also say, Rafa won’t give him much if he’s having a good day.

”And Milos showed today why he hasn’t made that great leap in the rankings – he gets incredibly tight on the bigger points.”

Even if there hadn’t been this amazing ethics mess, I’m thinking that’s not the only reason (and this from someone who supported him pretty staunchly up till, um, a few days ago … though I do also hope he will redeem himself).

The thing is, as Johnny Isner can attest to – it’s one thing to be within hailing distance of the top ten; it’s something else altogether to *stay* up there. The Young Guns all seem to have a unstable period of adjustment where they seem really surprised that in order to advance another level, you have to, well … level up.

I also think if Rafa serves as well as he did this evening, it’s going to expose the weaknesses in Milos’ return game, such as it is. I’m grateful, too, that Rafa kind of had some “cut the big server down to size” practice with JJ on this (very slow! LOL Legend) court.

#slowhardcourt
#stillfunny
#VAMOSRAFA


M Says:

Oooo. Sorry about those non-closed italics. Yikes.


nadalista Says:

Wow! Just Wow! Rafa, you beauty!

I started watching the match and nerves got the better of me, chose to record it instead. Am now settling in for a nice breakfast and watch it:

smoked salmon on scrambled eggs, ciabatta and black roiboos tea……with Rafa!

Salut!


nadalista Says:

…….chilled Mimosa for tomorrow…….


nitesh Says:

Today’s match clearly shows why novak – nadal rivalry is better then nadal – federer. Nadal’s game improved because of these two gentlemen one taught nadal how to win the other taught him how to stop lossing again n again and start winning !!!

Good going RAFA waiting for USO!!!!


Margot Says:

Wow! Well played Rafa! Congrats to him and his fans. Commiserations Nole and his fans.
Sounds like a very good match.
In other exciting news, Andy Murray, well known doubles specialist, and the adorable Colin, reached the final. Yay. In more sobering news, heard he had treatment on court on his back. If his back was stiff/sore could explain poor serving/movement against Gulbis. Not too confident he’ll go very deep in Cincy now :( Why risk it b4 USOpen?
@ nadalista
Very superior scoffing there, my dear…;)


Steve 27 Says:

Margot,sorry for this expression but Murray doesn’t gives a shit winning masters 1000 now. His mind is NY and he is the main favorite to win it.


Margot Says:

@ Steve 27
Yep, am inclined to agree. Also think Andy will never have the consistency to get to No 1, or if he does, won’t stay there very long.
When he was winning all those Masters, couldn’t seem to get slams as well.
But now..and know which I prefer!


courbon Says:

Just waked up and seen results…I knew it!!
Novak just not ‘there’ anymore.A Nadal is getting to his ‘Vintage’ himself.
Congatulations to all Nadal fans ( Brando, Hippy C., Nadalista,Kimberly and all others )-your man is playing great tennis!


courbon Says:

@ Michael: Completely agree with you for the first post.But second post? I think Novak is going downhill since March.Not massively but he is not concentrated and his game has not improved that much.Serve getting better but inconsistent.And his decision making is so-so…and Nadal and Murray did get improved ( for Nadal is not much improving how much he got back to his top level ).Well, we will see in Cincy but to me worrying times are ahead for Novak


ertorque Says:

Nadal is really back now. He sure is one special player; lasso whip forehand and runs down every ball.


grendel Says:

Nadal’s victory was constructed on slender margins, but deserved. The question, to my mind, was how much was Nadal’s somewhat superior play, overall, due to Djokovic’s failure to find his very best form? And a supplementary question would then be: how much was this failure just one of those things (perhaps Djokovic peaked too soon, against Gasquet) and to what degree was Nadal responsible? It seems to me that such questions are unanswerable as yet, but that they contain the key as to who will win the US Open. Obviously Murray and del Potro are not to be ruled out, but imo Nadal and Djokovic are the two best at the moment.

Meanwhile, Nadal seemed to me the more aggressive and flexible player on the night. He was like a guerrila to Djokovic’s slightly stilted cavalryman. His adaptations, when in trouble, at the net were lethal, and an extraordinary example of defence seamlessly transmuting to offence, not to mention matchless skills. He also, imo, unleashed the sudden startling change of pace more tellingly. The court last night was his playground, about which he roamed freely and with imagination.

This rivalry is shaping up to become the greatest in tennis history – in other words, not just another great rivalry. I fear a little for Djokovic, though. He is a great warrior, but Nadal is a force of nature. He revels in tackling the apparently insurmountable, which tennis can repeatedly offer him. There is a kind of stamina here which must have a slowly corrosive effect on the spirit of the opposition.


Margot Says:

@grendel
I think Andy will be right in there during slams. As Steve 27 said, and I agree, I think that’s where his focus will be from now on.
In other news, have u noticed how well wee Dan Evans is doing? Suddenly he’s decided to take his talent seriously and leave home lol. Making huge strides in the ranking.


nadalista Says:

@courbon 3:23 am; Thank you. Wasn’t expecting Rafa to win myself but I’ll take it. Rafa truly is a phenomenon. Any other player would have curled up into his shell after the shellacking meted out to him by Nole in 2011. Rafa? He took the beatings on the chin, did not rationalise or deny them, just accepted them and went about the business of finding solutions. Today, we saw Rafa the problem solver at his best.

I am not writing Novak off just yet. To paraphrase @Grendel, it’s small margins between the top guys. A small drop and it’s sayonara!

On to Cincy!


nadalista Says:

@Margot 3:01 am; Hehehe, only the best will do when one is dining “with” Rafa, no? Especially when HE himself serves up a treat like he did against Novak.

Vamos!!


harry Says:

Wow! Congratulations to Rafa… He looks to be in a serious vein of form.

(Seeing it from his perspective) Nole will have to rediscover the focus that helped him play consistently at a high level (if only it were just a switch that you could turn on like that!). In any case (looking beyond the rivaly with Nadal), Nole’s ROS has not been the force that it was in 2011: he won a whopping 45% of all return points in 2011, whereas he is “only” winning about 42.5% this year — and this is despite the fact that the statistic for this year includes a higher percentage of clay matches (where obviously one wins more return points). While Nadal himself is landing more first serves than ever before (except, it appears, in 2003) — a whopping 71% of his first serves just land in!


the DA Says:

@ Margot – I was thinking of you last night. Was watching livescores for the doubles and couldn’t believe the beatdown Andy & Colin gave Lindstedt & Nestor. The good news is they’re going to televise the final today. Wouldn’t that be something to if he could add a M1000 doubles title to his collection?

Looking forward to both finals.

#vamorafa
#c’monandy


gonzalowski Says:

Wow, it was a great match as usually
I bet on Nadal and hit it.

21-15, and one more one hc.
I saw Nadal more concentrated, at least in some moments (tie break).
The most important thing for the Uso: Rafa’s knee. If it’s ok, he’s the main favourite.

Btw, If Nole could win Cincy, great achievement of winning all MS, terrific


Giles Says:

Tweet from @Pseudofed:
A little disappointed at the handshake and chat at the net, was hoping for the fisty fights #Rocky
Lol!


gonzalowski Says:

A key moment of the match (among others):
4-4 of the 3rd set, Nadal serves, and it’s 0-30. But Rafa played well the next points, and Nole couldn’t threaten him for the rest of the match.

It appears that Brad Gilbert said yesterday that these two are the biggest hitters (?) he has ever seen.


courbon Says:

@ Nadalista: Somebody above said-Nadal is a force of nature!
Youa re right, there is a slight margin so the Cincy can be anybodys.But even in a 2011 and 2012 it was most of the time ( apart from Wimby ) slight margin in the favour of Novak.Now is in the favour of Nadal.
I have a suspicion that while those two are battling out, Andy comes and takes another US OPen.
What I’m eager too see is Andy-Rafa match in Cincy.


courbon Says:

@ Giles: You must be happy.Your man deservedly won and he is showing how ‘one dimensional player’ he is, right?


James Says:

Rafa isn’t taking anything for granted. He says:

“If I lose tomorrow I will be very happy the way that I played and the result that I had this week.”

Rafa is 47-3 this year, his ATP season best and will look to win his 8th title of the year. If he wins the final, he’d win 8 titles or more for the third time in his career. He won 11 titles in 2005 and 8 in 2008.


Giles Says:

@courbon. Yes I am indeed ecstatic. Must admit I was very nervous for Rafa and TBH didn’t expect him to win. One dimensional? Who would have thought!
Commiserations for Joker’s loss, but hey, he has Cincy next week.
:-))


grendel Says:

@Margot

yes, just checked Dan Evans, see he recently pushed Popsicle to the limit. In top 200 – let us (along with your near namesake) rejoice! re Andy, my feeling is he needs a tiny bit of help. That is, great tennis player though he is, he is not quite at the standard of Nadal and Djokovic, therefore if he catches either at their best, he comes off second. Only my opinion, though.

“It appears that Brad Gilbert said yesterday that these two are the biggest hitters (?) he has ever seen.” This can’t possibly have been meant literally. JJ, Berdych and del Potro are both much bigger hitters when the mood is on them. However, there is a “spiritual” sense in which it is true. They can engage in a breathtaking rally in which all the stops are pulled out over and over again. That is sophisticated big hitting….


Margot Says:

@grendel
Don’t think he has the consistency of Rafa/Nole at every tournament. He’s far too mercurial.
But would disagree that, when he’s at the top of his game, he’s “not quite at their standard.” I think he is.
Please see Legend’s very interesting compliment on previous thread, not just me…..;)


grendel Says:

Harry – re your interesting figures: I was surprised that Djokovic’s ROS has “only” dropped from 45 to 42.5%. Somehow, the shot seemed much more devastating a couple of years ago. In reality, it seems not a lot has changed – but enough to make the difference. I do suspect, though, that one’s perception (and subsequent memories of these perceptions) is influenced by results. I guess the lesson there is that 2.5% is, after all, highly significant.

b.t.w. I don’t follow these things, but my impression is that Nadal has always had a high strike rate in terms of getting the serve in. Where his fans must be drooling is that as of now, his serves are being hit harder than normal. They have always been well placed and somehow difficult to handle (heavy spin, presumably) – Federer in his prime could never dispatch them easily. Federer would hit the aces, Nadal would elicit the weak-ish return – curtains almost as effectively.


grendel Says:

Margot – you may be right. There’s a craftiness about Murray’s game (at its best) which doesn’t lend itself to immediate recognition.


grendel Says:

@Giles:” Must admit I was very nervous for Rafa and TBH didn’t expect him to win.”

Now that’s surely taking identification too far…..


nadalista Says:

RT @nseverino: “@RafaelNadal & @DjokerNole, true tennis gladiators, the stadium, the mob, this is Rome! A lesson for all young players, learn how 2 #fight!”


nitesh Says:

the way rafa is playing i wont be surprised if rafa is No. 2 seed for U S Open


Tennisfan Says:

While other players have improved, I think Nole has been unable to make much improvements to his game since 2011. Others have caught up with him now and he has to make improvements to his game if he intends staying at the top


Tennisfan Says:

I think Rafa has now proved that he is clearly better than Borg. While Borg quit when the Mckenroe challenge presented itself, Rafa worked harder to overcome the Nole challenge and made radical changes and improvements to his game to make it happen. Rafa is now clearly one of the top 3 best players of the open era after federer and Sampras.


gonzalowski Says:

Tennisfan, completely agree with your last comment;

That is and will be for me the biggest achieve in Nadal’s career, put up with 2011 Djokovic’s appearance, and turn that situation in his favor.


RZ Says:

It’d be nice to see Raonic win this one. I always like it when players win their home country’s tournament.


Dan Martin Says:

My picks for today’s finals are up – http://tennisabides.com As far as the match, I think Novak is in a spot where Courier was in in 1993 after losing the French and Wimbledon finals. It takes a toll. Add to that Rafa playing his best tennis since 2010 and Murray making strides and Nole needs to get right in a hurry. Mechanically, I think Nole could handle some of his short game better i.e. more bite when he slices and moves forward or just hitting a two-handed drive instead. Confidence is key for these guys and Rafa rightfully has it.


Giles Says:

@nadalista. Hahaha. Absolutely no harm in copying the Goat!!
Vamos Rafa!


Giles Says:

http://alturl.com/e3swi
Did you enjoy that Rafa?
Vamos King!!


skeezer Says:

nadalista,

Lol I saw that too. I would like to think they both were saying “don’t forget about me” rather than “I am #1″ finger. ;)


skeezer Says:

@Dan Martin,

Is the final really that hard to predict? ;)


Nadalista Says:

@skeezer, I think it’s a measure of where Novak’s place is on the totem pole, at the top! Both Rafa and Roger value a victory over Novak.


harry Says:

@grendel –

Welcome back!

Your question regarding the significance of the drop in Novaks’s ROS by 2.5% is interesting. For instance, your views that the drop in Djokovic’s ROS may be more than 2.5% agrees with the fact that the statistics that I presented this year has a larger percentage of clay matches, where everybody wins more points on the return than, for instance, on HC — so that makes Nole’s ROS for this year even worse. Also, I think 2.5% at that level is significant: yesterday both players returned approximately 100 points (and each served about 100 points). Rafa won the match by 2 points!

Regarding Nadal’s own serve — he now lands in nearly 71% of his first serves and wins about 73% of those, while in 2011 he landed “only” 68% of his first serves while winning 71% of those. So not only is he landing more first serves in, he is also winning more of those. His serve is therefore clearly better than it was in 2011.

Fed follows a different strategy altogether — he usually lands in only 63% of his serves, he wins about 78% of those. Comparing Rafa’s and Fed’s serve comes down to the probability model that we discussed a few weeks back (ie it would also depend on the second serve win rate).


harry Says:

@grendel –

Here are some numbers on what I said about the percentage of points won returning being higher for all players (on clay); for instance, Novak, Fed and Nadal have the following percentages of points won returning on clay alone versus on all surfaces (rounded to integers):
Novak 44% vs 42%
Fed 41% vs 40%
Rafa 47% vs 42%


nadalista Says:

@Giles, I am still pinching myself on how well our guy is doing…………..


harry Says:

Interesting discussion between grendel & Margot on Murray. I don’t know how good Murray is now versus Nadal (their last match was a while ago). But we have seen Novak vs Andy a few times now. My $0.02: it depends on the surface. On clay Novak’s A-game is clearly better than Murray’s A-game, while on HC, Nole’s A-game is slightly better than Andy’s A-game (may be even clearly better — 4 AO + 1 USO vs 1 USO). But on grass, i think Murray’s A-game is better than Nole’s. He may end up winning quite a few Wimbledons (3, i would guess… let us see!)…


Margot Says:

@ the DA
Did u watch the doubles? So disappointing. What was all that staying back rubbish?
Other pair far better and well deserved win.


Margot Says:

@ harry
I’ll take that..plus a few more hards of course…;)


Nativenewyorker Says:

My only concern for the final is how Rafa will feel after that battle with Djokovic. He was off for a while and this was a tough battle, as it always is between these two.

I don’t like to get too overconfident about a final. I have to believe that Rafa is feeling great after last night’s win. I had a sense watching him play Matosevic that something was up. He came out playing aggressive and just smothered him in that first set. He took him out of the match. Then once he got that break in the second set, he took his foot off the gas a little and seemed to do just enough to get the win. He has been kind of testing his aggressive tactics this week in his matches.

I see Djokovic being quite inconsistent this year. I also don’t think he’s as mentally tough these days. I don’t know if it’s the pressure of being #1 or what, but he has had trouble closing out matches even when he’s up a break. It was like Rafa broke him down and he had nothing left in that tb.

I am keeping in mind that it’s still not easy for Rafa to beat Djokovic. However, I give Rafa all the credit for working on his game and finding solutions. Many wrote him off after those seven losses to Djokovic, but Rafa kept persevering and found the answers. He never quits.

The good news is that Rafa isn’t even in his best form yet. He will only get better. He seems to be very focused right now.


Giles Says:

@nadalista. He’s been just amazing.
Vamos Rafa!!
#OneMore


harry Says:

@Margot –
I think he definitely will… As all of us know/realize, he is one of the favorites for this year’s USO…


the DA Says:

@ Margot – Yes I watched it. Both missed some easy shots & returns, Fleming moreso. Think Colin was nervous. They could’ve done better. However, Peya/Soares are No. 2 in the race to London and it showed.

I really liked Soares’ words to Andy: “it’s an honor to share the court with you. I wish you played doubles more”. Very nice.

Onto the murraycoaster special at Cincy.


Margot Says:

Lol skeeze, instead of predicting whose gonna win, perhaps Dan should be predicting how many games Raonic’s gonna win…..or perhaps he does…4, 6, 8?


suzette Says:

Congratulations to the two eventual finalists, Rafa and Milos. I hope they provide us with a exciting final and may the best man win. Milos will have to have a lot of aces because I don’t think the rest of his game compares with Nadal.


Margot Says:

@the DA
Oh my, that was just brilliant. Wish he did too. Wonder if Colin is too in awe of Andy to tell him what to do on court, or take charge as the more experienced doubles player? . Saw him play doubles with Marray at Queens and they were both at the net.
Actually now I come to think of it, Marray was boss at Queens. Might explain it.


Steve 27 Says:

Will be Rafa in Cincinatti?


grendel Says:

@Harry 12.37 “His serve is therefore clearly better than it was in 2011″. Of course, the assumption here is that Nadal’s opposition is now either at the same standard as in 2011 or better – probably a reasonable assumption, although I don’t know how you could demonstrate it.


the DA Says:

@ Margot – I don’t think Andy has a problem being boss but will give in if the other guy wants the position. He gave in to Jamie who insisted at the Olympics and overturned some of Andy’s advice – they lost. Nevertheless, it wasn’t a bad week considering they hadn’t played together since they were 10 yrs old.


the DA Says:

Vamos Rafa!


harry Says:

@grendel — you are right, of course; we are making the assumption that the level of the opposition has been the same… But it is possible to test if the level of the opposition that he has faced is statistically similar in their ROS (but it is too much work to do that!). For instance, one could estimate separate normal distributions from the ROS of all the players he faced for each year (2011 and 2013) and compare these distributions — ie say, their means. But as I said, it is too much work :-)


gonzalowski Says:

2 breaks up Rafa now, and demolishing Milos… for the moment.
The crowd is so quiet


James Says:

So Milos Raonic is Nadal’s practice partner today. I wonder when they’re gonna start the final.


James Says:

5-2 up, Nadal to serve for the set. Some fight from Raonic would be appreciated.


nadalista Says:

32 minute Set………….Rafa won 100% of second serve points.


Tennisfan Says:

Raonic’s game is so limited….very boring final.
Rafa on fire though. No chance for Raonic


grendel Says:

Nadal’s easy demolition of Raonic raises several questions. A lot of us would like to see someone outside the top 4 contending for honours – but look what happens when they do. The disparity is embarrassing, and to think Raonic is in the top 10, too. It makes me wonder, too, how would Nadal feel about receiving from Nadal? I think he might find that more challenging than taking on Raonic’s serve.

So far, at any rate, this match is putting JJ’s performance in perspective. he did really give Nadal some trouble – admittedly, it wasn’t in the pressure conditions of a final, but even so. Once Raonic has delivered his serve, he seems more or less helpless if it hasn’t been perfect.

I wonder, too, whether Nadal is hoping to save his legs for next week.This match is just like a gentle practice job. Maybe, in fact, after the match Nadal will go and find somewhere to hit a few balls, on the grounds that he has only just warmed up. However, you have to end by conceding that Nadal is a master. he makes it look ridiculously easy.


grendel Says:

Interesting game point, with the ball from Raonic just dropping over the net. Nadal rushes up to catch the ball – but nets it. Against a top player (but Raonic is top 10!) Nadal nearly always wins those points – though I can’t forebear from pointing out that Janowicz successfully dropped Nadal on a few occasions, noticing Nadal standing so far back. But back to this match – you have to conclude that adrenalin plays a big role in a big sporting event. Very hard for Nadal to properly motivate himself with those short balls, yes he scampered. But against Djokovic, he’d have run as if a man eating tiger was on his heels. I don’t think you can manufacture those sort of states of mind and body. You need a bit of help from your opponent. Raonic is not giving him this help.


nadalista Says:

Rafa’s bored now……..his concentration’s wavering. Just hold Rafa, get your cheque and high-tail it outta there……

Vamos!!


James Says:

This is a very boring one sided final. Sorry Milos.
Nadal’s 5-2 up again and will serve for the championship. Sorry for the Montreal crowd that came to see this match. Well, they got to see Nadal in action…
I don’t see Raonic breaking Nadal’s serve now. Nadal to win 6-2, 6-2


grendel Says:

Nadal, in fact, is standing much closer to the base line when receiving than he did aganst JJ. Is this an acknowledgement of Jaowicz’s superior serving ability? Or has he learnt from all that embarrassing dropping – JJ almost teased him once or twice? Or does Nadal just not rate Raonic’s serve particularly?


nadalista Says:

GSM, Rafa!

25 Masters trophies…..

Vamos!!


Giles Says:

Grande Rafa.
V A M O S C H A M P!
EIGHT TITLES!!


the DA Says:

Very disappointing final in terms of quality (the real final was last night). Still, a great achievement for Rafa. It will do much to dampen the criticism of his HC record. Well done.


Giles Says:

The final was yesterday, no?


Giles Says:

@the DA. :-))


the DA Says:

@ Giles – * snap *


nadalista Says:

Rafa’s been un-playable on hard courts so far this year….

It’s the true, no?


Brando Says:

VAMOS RAFA!!!!!!!!!

What a win!

Like the FO this year: the final was DEFINITELY in the SF!

Awesome achievement by Rafa though:

- A unprecedented 25th MS title.

- First and ONLY player to win 3 MS titles at 5 different events:

1- MONTE CARLO: 8 wins
2- ROME: 7 wins
3. MADRID: 3 wins 2 on clay, 1 INDOOR
4. INDIAN WELLS: 3 wins
5. ROGERS CUP: 3 wins with wins in both MONTREAL and TORONTO.

That is a phenomenal feat in itself: not just to win, but win multiple times and be truly ingrained in the history of tournies.

And 2 of them are HC events: VAMOS!

It’s to see this great champion truly establish some major hunting rounds on his resume in big name events!

And the DA: :-)

VAMOS RAFA!


Brando Says:

^hunting grounds


M Says:

@grendel – IIUC, he hadn’t played JJ before, so he didn’t know much about his tactics. I think he knows more about how to play Milos. Clearly.
*littleLOL*

*waves* :-)

“It will do much to dampen the criticism of his HC record.”

@the DA – No, it wont.

But the sweet thing is – it doesn’t matter.

#slowhardcourt
#stillfunny
#VAMOSRAFA


nadalista Says:

Rafa’s success rate for 2013:

0% on grass (0-1)
95% on clay (38-2)
100% on hard (10-0)

#HCSpecialist


M Says:

@nadalista – to give him credit, Novak came close (I always get jumpy when they play this semi).

And things might’ve come out differently had he had to beat Novak and then meet a healthy Juan Martín in the final (did you see him play in DC o.O? I thought they were going to be carrying opponents out of there).

But yes – for all intents & purposes – it is the true!


Teeg Says:

@Brandon

Really great achievement for Rafa. Anyone who says he is not an all-time great is deluding themselves. He is 2 titles shy of tying Agassi’s career total (60) and 6 off from Pete. I hope he passes both.


nadalista Says:

I think Rafa’s going to Cincy, he needs more match practice. Only JJ and Novak really gave him a work-out……….


Daniel Says:

Nadal’s 2013 HC version is trully great. He is definitelly in contention for US Open along with Djoko and Murray.

Anyone knows if he will play Cincy? Wen will he anounce?


nadalista Says:

Match stats

Nadal winners 17 ufe 7

Milos winners 8 ufe 22

Says it all really………….

#Top10


Teeg Says:

Rafa was the first player to win 20 MS1000 titles, now he’s the first to reach 25. Great achievement.


Brando Says:

@Teeg:

Thanks Rafa is without ANY shadow of a doubt a all time great.

Forget what fans like you and I say, same for the naysayers.

Look at what present, former players say, what tennis commentators say, and look at Rafa’s record and you see that a reasonable consensus is:

Rafael Nadal is a top 5 all time great player.

For some maybe higher.

He’s:

- No.3 on the all time OPEN ERA GS winner list with a career slam.

- No.1 all time MS events winner.

- No.1 all time 500 tourny events winner.

- 4 DC winner.

- Olympic gold medalist.

- Leads the h2h with ALL his er’a greats.

- Teenage prodigy who has consistently been s serial title winner year in year out for many a year.

- A influence on his own generation’s great with his game style (Nole, Andy) and likely will be a baseline icon for future generations.

He DEFINITELY is a all time great for sure!


Teeg Says:

@Brandon

Let’s not forget he has the best career winning % in the open era.


Steve 27 Says:

Rafa and Serena are the best of the world. Congratulations for both.
Vamos and Come on!


Steve 27 Says:

Parabens to all rafa fans and haters too!


Steve 27 Says:

First player ever to win three or more times 5 Masters 1000 different.


Giles Says:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BRapek6CIAA7pjk.jpg
Rafa biting trophy. Ah, what a sight!


Margot Says:

Well played Rafa, fabulous achievement. Real final yesterday of course.
Is Raonic REALLY in the top 10 now….?


Steve 27 Says:

Rafa whipped Milos “restroom break” Raonic like an afterthought.


andrea Says:

it is surprising that milos is top 10. after watching the final today, it is glaringly obvious that without a first serve, milos’ game is lacklustre. for sure he had some nerves today, but there didn’t seem to be a discernable strategy. he looked slow and flat footed during far too many shots. i mean, let’s face it, nadal is a unique beast to compete against for any player, but milos is a distant threat.

congrats for both canadians to make it so far in this tournament though. some nice upswing for canadian tennis.

and congrats to serena. another steamroll performance.


Brando Says:

Yep, agree with prevailing sentiment: beyond first serve there really isn’t much in the locker at all with Milos. Like I said earlier in the week: i still believe that JJ is the next big thing. What Rafa said about him confirmed my believe even more regarding his talent. I hope he finishes the year in the top 10.


Teeg Says:

Both Serena and Rafa have 8 titles this season, both steamrolled through the clay season winning Madrid, Rome, and FO. Both had disappointing losses at Wimbledon, and both have won the first big title after Wimbledon. Any coincidences?


Steve 27 Says:

teeg, Rafa “federer’s worst nightmare” Nadal and Serena “I hate you Sharapova so much” Williams are truly great.


gonzalowski Says:

Toni nadal has just said in the radio that Rafa will play Cincinnati, ‘there is no reason not to play’.
He has said too that this year’s Wimbledon loss was beacuse of the mental/physical effort made until that moment in the season, Rafa decreased his level more or less unconsciously.
And he has commented too that Nole ‘apologised’ with Rafa because of Nole’s father assertion about Nadal friendship with his son.


Steve 27 Says:

Djokovic: “I saw the final, and this really has been a “dance”


Kimberly Says:

COngrats to Brando for winning the group bracket challenge. Even better to win by having faith in ur fav!

However, Brando excepted,by our group as a whole, a deplorable performance, lowest scoring ever i’m sure. Let’s hope we put in a better showing in Cincinatti. I think Brando was the only one to get higher than the 50′s.


Brando Says:

@Kimberly:

Thanks re Bracket. :-)

Re Cincy:

Wanted to wait post final to make picks- see if Rafa would announce a withdrawal or not.

Checked on site and it was already closed. Bummer! :-(

Had i been able to pick though I would have gone:

- RAFA:

I think he’ll take it easy here. Just get some more matches in and keep things ticking over nicely.

Should he lose early or in QF i think he’ll be perfectly fine: 3/5 possible matches? He’ll take that IMO.

I do not think he’s to invested in Cincy other than court time.

QF exit.

- ANDY:

He would want to do well here.

Got some good court time in Montreal. Has a great track record here.

He’ll be keen to do well.

W or RU. Not decided on which.

- FED:

Dark horse. I MAY be the only one who thinks he could bizarrely win here.

I think he wants the title more than anyone else- even Novak.

SF at least then depending how his form is: he could even win here IMO.

- Novak:

He NEEDS to win here IMHO.

Forget wanting to win in order to complete the MS set: he needs this title.

He needs to get some confidence back. Put down the marker for USO as: the man to beat.

With his draw a RU is the minimum. BAR Delpo he won’t face any of his main rivals until the final.

I do not think he can afford another loss pre USO after losing FO and MONTREAL to Rafa and WIMBY to Andy.

W or RU.

So Novak would be my pick due to draw and needing the W, with Andy being the no. 2 choice.

Andy has the benefit of playing with the least pressure out of him, Nole and Fed.

Add to that him being a 2 time prior champ, then he’s a good pick IMO.


Kimberly Says:

hope Harrison can pull the win over DOlgopolov looks like he might


Humble Rafa Says:

My name is Humble and I just won a hard court title. On the way to being Number One. Take That, Doubters!


metan Says:

When humble bull transformed into raging bull, all the hard court become clay, no.!

Vamos Rafa !!!!


skeezer Says:

….meanwhile, Serena……is not as big a story(should have been way bigger)….. And it sould have been;

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/12/sports/tennis/williams-secures-rogers-cup-title-but-still-looks-to-improve.html?_r=0


skeezer Says:

“My returns were also unbelievable.”…

Oh yes, only Fed is arrogant, no?


Steve 27 Says:

Oh, yes!


metan Says:

Sampras don’t think Roger is arrogant, he is just a Master of tennis, broom stick can be a racket, no!!!


skeezer Says:

metan
no doubt. just pointing out the countless attacks from rafanatic s accusing Fed of “arrogance”. Tennis players are selfish bunch and inward by nature, They need self confidence, and look at the game on what they could have done better, not what the other player had done to win. Its all good, and the competitive palyer who plays knows. The others that don’t are mere poster hanging sex symbol fanatics who don’ know any better.


Hawkeye Says:

Wow! Was lucky enough to watch Rafa take down Nole in person. Quite something to watch these two go at it. It was incredible. Rafa’s serving was at his 2010 USO level and his ROS was jaw dropping.

Nole started slow because Rafa stood so much closer than Nole was used to. Nole had to go for more because Rafa defended incredibly and was aggressive at every opportunity.

Also saw Rafa’s QF and the final today.

Rafa continues to adjust, improve and overcome!!!

#VamosGOAT
#AllCourtSpecialist
#KingOfTennis


metan Says:

Skeezer,
I knew it. Too bad for Nole fans. When things favor Rafa everything is a joke and a fun. When the table turns around everything is crime, low class. Why don’t they think first before writtingalthough it is just a game. Some people get hurts, no.


Hawkeye Says:

And to all the Rafa h8ers who said he’s done or only won IW because it was slow and he didn’t have to face the No. 1 player in the world….

#ShutTheFrontDoor
#Vamos


skeezer Says:

metan
don’t pay attention to that. This was a “clean win” by Rafa, well deserved and sets the warning forward Rafa is ready to play on HC.
I am only pointing out that Fed is no more “arrogant” than anyone else.


holdserve Says:

Hey Hawkeye, glad to have you back! I thought you were officiating ( as an umpire) at the Montreal Masters. But I was right that you were at least busy with real live tennis instead of “reflected” tennis through tennis sites!
So having seen Rafa’s game up close how do you rate his chances at Cincy?
I wish he had reached the semis at least at Wimbly. Then he needn’t have played Cincy. Now I think he needs it to improve his chances of being year end no.1 which seems to be his aim.


metan Says:

Skeezer,
Point taken. Thanks.


Nativenewyorker Says:

Hawkeye,

You are so lucky! Seeing that semifinal alone would have been the best thing ever!

I wondered where you were, if you know what I mean!

Our Rafa is looking like a man on a mission. That match with Djokovic was electric even watching it on tv. I can only imagine what it felt like in person!

Now it’s on to Cincy! I knew Rafa would play there! He wants to keep on going!


Margot Says:

@Hawkeye
How brilliant was that! There’s nothing like seeing your favourite play…. oh and win of course..;)
#Magic


nadalista Says:

Why oh Why does @Hawkeye have all the fun?

*pouts*


nadalista Says:

RT @juanjo_sports: “Steiner giving Nadal a time violation warning at 0-40, 2-1 just THREE SECONDS after he told the crowd to STFU is a new low for the ATP.”

And what did Rafa do in response, fired an ace! Did the same after a time violation warning in the semi and also in am earlier round match when he was time violation warned at match point.


nadalista Says:

………not to mention the fact that the TV graphics showed Rafa was taking 26 seconds between points on average and Raonic was taking 27 seconds, but Raonic never got a warning.

Anyhoo, far be it for me to cry “victim” today, am smiling from ear to ear………

Vamos!!


HADES Says:

“But in the end, it shows me that these two are really the best out there right now and Murray is a distant third. Already 10 finals this year! Truly a remarkable accomplishment after the horrors of last year. Now make it title no.8 Rafa.”

A brilliant summary by this Nadal fan.
Oh wait, but just who beat Novak in straight sets in a recent slam final,when it took rafa 5 going to 9-7 to beat him at RG?
And who has won 2 of the last 4 slams and appeared in another final?
But apparently it is Novak and Nadal that are far and away the best out there.
Sorry but that just doesn’t make sense to me.
And it is not backed up by the facts.


Hawkeye Says:

I was hoping that Layahni would be umpiring. He handles the time violation rule better than all others. The rest of them have no abilities to apply the rule with context.

Rafa’s chances at Cincy? Well my brain tells me that Nole has the best draw with Fed, Muzz and Rafa in the other half. Nole has Delpo in his half but the Delpo I watched lose to Milos was a shadow of himself with his back problems plus there are no real problem players in his half so he should be rested for the finals and should have no problems getting there.

Rafa could face Istomin who I saw play Nole last week and he’s played Rafa hard in the past also. Rafa may later have to beat Fed, Muzz and Nole in succession after a long week in Montreal so it’s a tough ask for sure. Only four other players have won Montreal and Cinci in succession. Only Nole has done it recently in 2011 and ARod during the dreaded weak era in 2003.

However, my heart says the more often that I put limits on what I think Rafa can achieve, the more often he finds a way to exceed expectations so I think he has as good a chance as Nole.

It was a very fun week in Montreal, no?

#My2000Cents
#VamosChamp


HADES Says:

Does anyone truly think that Rafa would have to beat Fed Muzz and then Novak in Cincy?
Based on form so far, it doesn’t look like Fed will even make it to the quarters to play Rafa in the first place.
Roger could move out of the top 5 after Cincinnati
if Berdych makes a respectable run of it.
No doubt Rafa will want to play Cincy for practice as it is a faster court and good prep for the US.
But I’m guessing it will be a Muzz Nole final with Novak winning as he is one part of the `distantly superior` player diumvirate on the tour right now..
blech lol!


holdserve Says:

Muzz is not in his formidable form.
Hopefully he will get into it by the start of USO to defend his crown.
I don’t expect much from him at Cincy. He still has back issues and just as he did pre Wimbledon, I suspect he will save himself for USO. He and Rafa don’t have the perfect bodies of Djoko or Fed.


Nadalista Says:

After his good showing in Montreal, I am allowing Rafa “leave” at Cincy, he doesn’t have to win the tourney. Seriously, playing competitive matches and adding ranking points in the process is better than practice, so Rafa wins by playing Cincy.

@Hawkeye, how did the local press cover the Raonic kerfuffle? Netgate, extended MTO, bathroom break that wasn’t? And what did the general Canadian public make of the brouhaha, if they thought it was one at all?


HADES Says:

Andy was merely distracted,
he just won Wimbledon as the `first British person in 100,000 years` to have done so
(Thank you Roger)
Don’t think it was a health issue as he played and got to the doubles final.
Hes’ won Cincy twice before, if he is smart he will try and make a run for it, but of course it didn’t matter too much last year did it?
According to the ATP website, it was Novak’s forehand that was broken down by Nadal.
So he will want to get that sorted before the US Open or Rafa will have the tactical edge again.


holdserve Says:

It is not that easy to adjust to counter an opponent’s strategy in a short space of time. Rafa knew what he had to do in 2011 but he couldn’t do it immediately. He said he would work on it in the off season and indeed at AO 2012 and in the 2012 clay season, we did see that Rafa had worked on countering Djoko.
So we can expect Djoko to take sometime to adjust.

The biggest weapon Djoko had in 2011 was his hunger. I suspect he no longer has it.


Nadalista Says:

I noticed Rafa’s strategy of breaking down Novak’s forehand during the RG semi. Just like in Montreal, it was the forehand that leaked the errors which gifted Rafa victory.

Agree with @holdserve, what can Novak do about that in 2 weeks? Also, it wasn’t just Rafa targeting the forehand that did it for Rafa, it was his court positioning when returning serve as well. And we saw how that court positioning demoralized Raonic. Add to that Rafa’s “I will not lose” mentality………


HADES Says:

Clearly the FH broke down under the pressure.
Spraying errors all over the place.
But it was still a pretty close match points wise at least.
According to the ATP Rafa failed to target the FH sufficiently in 2011, giving even attention to both which allowed Novak to recover better from both sides. Interesting as i though Novak was equally effective from both sides.
Ironic all of this as the same website in 2011 described just how Novak would attack Rafa’s FH as early as possible in a rally to stop him from getting into position to fully implement it effectively.
Agree these things take a while to adjust however Rafa has played his hand so its out there for the Djokovic camp now.
I actually think it was momentum that was his greatest asset, or maybe second greatest after hunger, and no he doesn’t have either for now.


Hawkeye Says:

nadalista, did the Canadian press criticize Milos to the same degree as others did?

Hypothetically yes, technically no.

Let’s just say that it was mentioned but was somewhat minimized.

Hopefully Milos will learn from that experience.


Nadalista Says:

Thanks @hawkeye. I’m sure Raonic will learn but more importantly, he needs to double down on his game, it is woefully one-dimensional. Man cannot live on a big serve alone. If it deserts you, like it did to Raonic last night, you are left floundering like a beached whale. I mean, last night, you would have been forgiven for thinking it was Rafa, not Raonic who had the big serve reputation.


Hawkeye Says:

nadalista, I’m convinced Raonic’s problem is mental and not physical.

At times he can rally very well but he folds so easily under pressure. Same goes for his serve as good as it is. I think Ljubicic will help but it will take more time.


Legend Says:

skeezer Says:
“meanwhile, Serena……is not as big a story(should have been way bigger)….. And it sould have been”

LMAO….keeo them coming dude….

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