ATP Profiles Rafael Nadal Who Is Targeting Becoming The Greatest Player Ever [Video]
by Tom Gainey | September 19th, 2013, 10:40 am

The ATP released a new feature yesterday on the story of the 2013 season, Rafael Nadal. After winning his 13th career Grand Slam earlier this month at the US Open, Nadal isn’t just back, he’s now after rival Roger Federer’s 17 career Majors.

The profile has interviews with former greats like Mats Wilander and Boris Becker who says it’s a “miracle” Nadal’s returned so strongly following a knee injury.

You Might Like:
Did This Man Try To Break Into Boris Becker’s Wimbledon Home? [Video]
Watch Serena Williams And Roger Federer Argue Over Who’s The Greatest! [Video]
Here Are Roger Federer’s 100 Career Best Shots [Video]
Rafael Nadal’s 5 Greatest Matches At The French Open [Video]
Roger Federer on the Cover of ESPN The Magazine

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

70 Comments for ATP Profiles Rafael Nadal Who Is Targeting Becoming The Greatest Player Ever [Video]

Giles Says:

Vamos Champ!
Stay healthy!

skeezer Says:

“The profile has interviews with former greats like Mats Wilander and Boris Becker who says it’s a “miracle” Nadal’s returned so strongly following a knee injury.”

Yep. Sure is!

Kimberly Says:

Yes. It is amazing. But we are seeing this more. Adrien Peterson in the NFL. Maybe the time off recharges the athlete who has been training for so long so even what they may lose in practice they gain in having more in the tank from being on the sidelines?

Lets see what Kobe can do this year after his injury.

Giles Says:

Sore topic for fed fans for sure! Lol

hawkeye Says:

Injury or no injury, for any player to leave the game with no professional matches and come back to dominate the tour is unpercedented.

Most assumed that the game would pass him by and the new reign was Murray and Djokovic.


Peter Says:

“ATP Profiles Rafael Nadal Who Is Targeting Becoming The Greatest Player Ever”

Nadal or his coach never says this. The ATP did. Important distinction.

Kimberly Says:

Nadals comeback was brilliantly planned, almost flawlessly executed, and got a bit of luck as well.

Planning: start winning matches on a preferred surface against weaker fields. Gradually up the ante with stronger fields. Other than the blip to Zeballos in the first one back—Perfect.
Vino del Mar—get your feet wet, very weak field
Sao Paoulo—beat Nalbandian in final
Acapulco—up the ante with Ferrer and Almagro, still preferred surface
Indian Wells–up the ante with the field, still almost a preferred surface even if its hard, his ball literally explodes off the ground there.
Montecarlo—get back to business, deepeer field
Barcelona, Madrid Rome Roland Garros–by this point I forgot the word comeback, he was fully back in business by this point. Another amazing Rafa clay court season.

Wimbledon—bad attitude, fatigue, poor adjustment, whatever. It happened last year so it wasnt even that much of a surprise.

What happens next is where my jaw drops:
Montreal–thought a seminfinal loss to Novak putting on a good show would be a great result. Rafa had other ideas. Played amazing hard court tennis with clear strategic adjustments to his game and looked fresh as a daisy.

Cincinatti–at this point he still looked fresh, and his confidence was sky high.

US Open, he had a nice draw aided by a lot of no shows but he still had to play the number one player on the surface that favors that player and win.

I have no words for the last three.

Execution—He had to go out there and find is rythym and win matches while still finding his game and perhaps not playing his best in the early days. Done.

Luck—Del Potro in the Indian Wells final, Federer injured, probably aided his way to Indian wells. Also Andy Murrays consistent no shows may have reduced his challenge.

BUT—what he has done is amazing he has repeatedly beat top ten players in every form on every surface he has three wins over the number one player in the world, three wins against Ferrer, two wins against Federer, three wins against Berdych, one win a against Del Potro. its not like hes not facing top guys except for Murray.

Slice Tennis Says:

Interesting tit bit from another site:
Got to
Type “federer fans”
What does google prompt ?
“Federer fans are annoying”
Even google knows that these days.

skeezer Says:

“Injury or no injury, for any player to leave the game with no professional matches and come back to dominate the tour is unpercedented.”
Totally agree.

hawkeye Says:

Tom Gainey putting “miracle” in quotes.


Sean Randall Says:

Hawkeye, this site isn’t twitter so why the hashtags?


SG1 Says:

Kimberly is right on. Judging the recovery time for a knee injury isn’t easy. The medical technology and knowledge regarding knee injuries has probably been exponential increasing since the early 70’s. My dad and I always have the discussion of what Bobby Orr could have done if the medical technology of today existed back in the 70’s. Orr played 5 or 6 seasons on a really bad knee and was still dominant. With today’s medical technology, he would have been fixed up good as new and would have probably played another 6 or 7 seasons.

Given that Orr was able to play brilliantly on his bad knee and Rafa has the advantage of today’s medicine is it really so far fetched that Rafa could put together a dominant season after a knee injury? To me, his above board recovery seems very plausible.

Giles Says:
Off topic. Andy Murray possibly out for the rest of the season. Will have back surgery next week.
Wish you a speedy recovery, Andy.

Anna Says:

Absolutely agree with SG1. Anyone familiar with sports injuries knows that the miracle lies in medical technology and the unprecedented will and determination of Rafa.

Kimberley – Thanks for that post. Rafa’s return was like the perfect storm. Everything seemed to fall in place and build one upon the other. Great time to be a tennis fan.

Anna Says:

Tom Gainey is not exactly subtle in regard to his preferences, and Rafa is not one of them. In fact, Boris is the only past great to use the word “miracle” in this clip and it was not tongue in cheek as Skeezer would have you believe.

hawkeye Says:

All about the context, no?


Hamza Says:


Great post. You laid it out brilliantly.
2013 was Rafa’s ‘Mallorcan job’.

Okiegal Says:

Great post, Kimberly…’s right on target. Brilliant plan??? Yes maaam…..but who in their right mind ever said Rafa was dumb?? He is probably one of the smartest players to ever play the game. He is amazing and “SIMPLY THE BEST”.

Vamos, Rafa!!

Okiegal Says:

We also need to remember how bad he was limping after Indian Wells…..chose not to go to Miami. The old Rafa would have played Miami…….the new Rafa…not. So glad he has made these changes, healthier for his game.


moam Says:

Rafa’s incredible resurgence from injury to glory is astonishing. Winning the US Open was a fitting culmination for this incredible champion.

Michael Says:

Well, let me put it this way. Nadal has all the makings of becoming the most successful player in the Professional era. Let us just set aside the tag of the GREATEST ever which is contentious and may never be settled one way or other. May be if Nadal wins the Grand Slam – four majors in a Calendar year, takes up his tally to somewhere around 20 and also wins the World Tour Finals, then probably we may have to crown him with that tag of the ‘GREATEST EVER’ and he would become the undisputed Emperor. Till then, let us just say Nadal has all the makings of becoming the most successful player.

Steve 27 Says:

Why is Wilander commenting about Rafa, such a two faces is this guy.


tennismonger Says:

“Injury or no injury, for any player to leave the game with no professional matches and come back to dominate the tour is unpercedented.”

Quite a few on the ladies tour have done this recently, no?

Connors & Agassi were known to “take 5,” dust off their games & come back very strong.

Rafa does take it to a whole new level. But he is Rafa – a creature unlike any other, it appears.

tennismonger Says:

To paraphrase Boris Becker, “If I had Mark Philippoussis’ head of hair, I’d be ranked 1,2 & 3!”

WTF Says:

“Greatest player ever” doesn’t sound like words that could have come from Nadal’s mouth. He’s not the kind to make bold claims or ambitious. Internally he might aim for it, but I’d be very surprised if he actually said it out loud.

gonzalowski Says:

Interesting article this last of,
but I miss in it Fed’s great records, to be fair.
Laver’s career is curious and really fantastic

James Says:

Rafael Nadal seems to have gained some new fans post his US Open victory. His FB page had about 11.7 million fans prior to the US Open. Now he has over 12 million FB fans.

holdserve Says:

Hope he surpasses Fed’s numbers on FB.

Wonder who will win the sportsmanship award this year? Will ATP once again ensure Fed wins by nominating only him among top 4?

Steve 27 Says:

Wonder who will win the sportsmanship award this year?

Tomic’s father and Djokovic’s father, no doubts.

Okiegal Says:

Read a post on another thread from Polo. Not sure who is Fav …..but he had a nice comment regarding Rafa and the Charlie Rose interview. He stated that he couldn’t believe how he could not have been a Rafa fan in the first place. Maybe not the exact wording but the gist of the comment the same. He thought Rafa a humble person. It was nice to hear from a non Rafa fan.

Okiegal Says:

CORRECTION: who his fav is….

Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Hypothetically speaking Rafa would have to surpass Rogers GS tally to be regarded as the GOAT IMO as i dont think equalling Roger would be enough,as Roger would still be superior due to weeks at no1 and WTFs,although much would depend on the surfaces i would think,Emmerson won more slams than Laver only just although Laver is considered a more superior player as his resume is more evened out,so even then surpassing Roger might still not be enough for Rafa,i dont usually discuss GOAT talk but i just thought id throw in my two cents on a what if senario?i would really love to have this conversation with a poster called Swiss Maestro as even though hes a Fed fan and im a Rafa fan,we have always had a great raport,although i used to be Alison back when he used to post,id be interested to here his take?

WTF Says:

Laver won the GS twice. He’s the only guy in open era who’s won the GS. That kind of is a big deal, more so than an extra slam.

Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

WTF indeed and thats why i said was the more suerior player in my post :)..

Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

If Rafa were to win the AO in January he too would have two career GS,the only difference would be that Laver completed the calendar grand slam twice,and Rafa would have completed the career grand slam twice,im not saying he will but i believe theres a strong possibilty that he could,and im sure he will be really fired up to have a good crack at it,it will make the AO very exciting,that is for sure i cannot wait.

holdserve Says:


Wonder who will win the sportsmanship award this year?

Tomic’s father and Djokovic’s father, no doubts.

Ha ha, good one!

Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Rafa has now won multiple slams now on all surfaces,has won multiple slams on multiple years,has won 3 out of the 4 GS at least twice,completed the career GS almost twice,has won 26 Masters 1000 titles,is the 1st player in the open era to have won at least one GS for 9 consecutive years,is the 1st player to win 1 GS 8 times,so i think its safe to say that hes now a complete all court,all surface player,and not a one dimensional clay courter,so it would be great to put that notion to bed now once and for all.

AD Tennis Says:

Tennis X Hippy Chic:

Well said about Rafa and Roger. Great to see someone who admires the both and does not have to put down one to show the other as better.

It is also refreshing to see a Rafa fan who can openly admit that weeks at no.1 and World Tour Finals are important. Most Rafa fans live in denial regarding Rafa’s rather abysmal record at the event. It is almost as bad as Sampras’ record at French Open. Maybe marginally better.

In my view, Laver is the best player to have ever played this game. Followed by Federer, then Borg and then Sampras and Nadal. I also think Agassi, and Connors deserve a mention. If they did not win more slams, it is only because they either chose not to (Agassi) or because they were not able to for different reasons. (Connors)

I have not watched other players before Laver.

Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Thanks AD Tennis i always believe in been sensible rather than been swayed by fan bias,when it comes to Lavers career all i know is what ive read on Wiki etc,where as Roger,Rafa,Pete,Andre are more the players of my generation,Laver completed the calendar GS twice which is phenomenal,and Roger has won 17 GS so you could make a case for either been the best ever,if Rafa were to win the AO next year that would catapult him higher up the list although behind Laver who has completed the calendar GS twice,as opposed to Rafa who would have the career GS twice,for me i believe Rafa will finish somewhere between Roger and Pete in terms of GS,i would also put Rafa above Pete as Rafa has a career GS so is more of an all surface player now,this is just my opinion and purely subjective.

AD Tennis Says:

TX Hippy Chic:

Your points are well taken. Sampras and Nadal, Sampras has 5WTF and 6 year end no.1 and 285 weeks of no.1 that outweigh Nadal’s all surface achievements.

You should also consider the fact that Nadal was aided in his transition to Wimbledon and US Open, the two fastest slams, because of the slowed down conditions. While we can keep debating when the conditions were slowed down, there is no doubt the conditions are markedly slower from Pete’s era.

As well as Nadal has done outside clay, Sampras record outisde clay is off the charts. At wimbledon, US open and WTF, Sampras was much more of a dominant champion than Rafa. Sampras also had better numbers at Austalian Open.

That means, Sampras has better parameters on 4 of the 5 best tournaments in ATP calendar AND weeks/year-end no.1. Nadal has 26 Masters to 11 for Sampras, but as Sampras said once ” History remembers only winners and not runner ups. “. Sampras did not care very much for tournaments outside slams.

This is not to belittle Nadal but to remind people how great a Champion Sampras is.

holdserve Says:

Well, I don’t know who is the GOAT but there is one player who is disqualified for the GOAT title and that is Federer.And it is because of his adverse h2h with Rafa. No way can Fed claim to be the greatest of all time if he cannot beat Rafa who is not a journeyman whom he meets occasionally in early rounds but another great also a year end no. 1 and multiple grand slam winner playing in his era whom he has met and been defeated by in gs finals!
This doesn’t make Rafa the GOAT. It just proves Federer is not the GOAT.
We cannot even decide who among those in the running now playing in the same era Rafa, Nole and Muzza is the greatest in this era till they hang up their boots.

Jo Says:

As of now, Fed is the GOAT regardless of # of loss to Rafa. Sampras is next and still has the record not broken. 6 yr end @ #1. Too early for Rafa to consider now. Whow knows, maybe next yr & onward is the rise of new champion(s) and era. Nobodies ATP players 3 yrs ago are now slowly climbing on top. Many thought Hewitt, Roddick, Safin would be the next Sampras. But all of a sudden, a new star (Federer) was born.

holdserve Says:

No use repeating Fed is the GOAT. His legacy has been irretrievably ruined by his being second best when compared to Rafa.
Fed fans know this. That is why they have all those hate sites like ruan’s Federer blog, Perfecttennis, tennis has a steroidproblem…… They know the only thing that can redeem Fed’s legacy is if Rafa is found to be doping. The lie that Rafa is doping is repeated thousands of times on the internet by these fans. Fans like mat4 claim that a lie repeated umpteen times makes it true. But 0 multiplied by 0 thousands of times is still a zero.
Never mind, history isn’t going to go by Ruan and Co’s hate blogs but by facts.
So accept it, Fed can never be crowned as the GOAT.
Fed fans can keep hoping Rafa is doping! Wishful thinking isn’t going to change facts.
This continuous slanderous campaign against a great athlete hurts his fans but isn’t going to hurt his place in history.
The other thing is to recite all of Fed’s records hoping that would convince everyone that Fed is the GOAT. Also to keep harping on how important WTF is and how many weeks Fed has at no. 1.

Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

AD Tennis yeah quite right regarding the WTFs for Pete,i believe Rafa will get at least one before his career is finished,purely subjective again but im just wondering if Pete would rather have Rafas career GS as opposed to all those weeks at number 1?strange comparison to draw i suppose but wouldnt Wozniacki trade all those weeks at number 1 for even 1 GS?

Perfect fan Says:

@Holdserve at 1:12 am

I have nothing against rafa….infact he is my second fav just behind roger.

But tell me one thing, why u hate fed so much….and why u find it so diff to accept fed’s legacy and achievements.

I openly admit that both these guys feats are incredible per se. And I even say that deciding who is the GOAT is just a never ending debate….where fans pour in to give their views about their favs, which is really good for tennis to flourish. But I strongly believe that you cannot judge that between players considering the generation gaps, present advanced gears, support staff….so many.

But you telling something….which is just pure hatred for fed and nothing else.

Ok lets go this way..u telling fed h2h against rafa is poor, so he can’t be a contender for GOAT….then beat this….rafa h2h against davy is 5-6 in favour of the latter, that means rafa cannot be best of this gen. And 5-6 is no joke….its more than 10 matches.

Plus, if you feel rafa was way better than fed (considering he bested roger in more matches) in the period 2005-2009 (sans ’08) when both were at their peak……why roger was more successful overall in those years than rafa. Its not about individual h2h results that matter for being the best but the overall success rate..where fed is definitely one of the best, if not the best.

I m even saying that fed having 17 slam titles doesn’t state that he is GOAT….as I said earlier, u can never really find out who is the GOAT….its just good for debate….and neither you lose nor u win..

But all said, roger and rafa are definitely GOATs in their own perspectives due to the feats they have accompolished….

Fed’s 17 slams-6 YEC titles-302 weeks as no. 1-237 consecutive weeks as no.1- fed’s 2006 season-Winning 3 GS in a Calender Year Thrice-cons. GS qtrs streak-10 cons. GS final appearance-23 cons. GS semi appearance

Rafa’s 26 master titles-8 FO titles-8 Rome titles(consecutive)-olympic gold-win streak and % at paris-h2h win record against all top players-rafa’s 2013 season as of now

These are incredible feats by both these active legends….pls pls guys….some respect!!

Definitely nole and muzza are legends-in-the-making.

I am truly honoured and proud to have lived in the fedal gen.

“Let them say, I lived in the time of tennis golden era……let them say I lived in the time of FEDAL”.

hawkeye Says:

^^^The FO is a major and the WTF is a RR tournament. Sampras would have given up all of his five year-end titles for a single French. I don’t think Rafa would give up a single major title or his gold for 1-2 WTFs.

Sampras was a true great. No one will ever match his six consecutive year-end Number 1’s.

holdserve Says:

I don’t hate Fed. I just pointed out he can never be the GOAT.
In any case we can let history be the judge instead of going on ad nauseam about Fed’s records and the importance of WTF.

Re WTF, it is no better than an exhibition where ATP showcases its 8 top ranked players and crowns the no. 1. The players get an opportunity to pick up lots of money and ranking points.
The venue is NOT dedicated to tennis and is used for concerts and other purposes throughout the year and is converted into a tennis court just days before the event.
Contrast this to how the slam surfaces are maintained.
Secondly, unlike slams which are open to 128 players, it is open only to 8 players and is a round robin event. If a player withdraws after playing one or two matches he is replaced by the next ranked player.
In order not to disrupt the schedule and to be able to lay a tennis court in a few days, they choose only indoor hard court.
It happens to be on Feds best surface. No wonder he has so many.
Fed fans should be grateful only 1 out of 4 slams and 3 out of 9 Masters are on clay.
The rest of the surfaces favor Fed.
But not satisfied with most of the surfaces favoring Fed, Fed fans constantly complain about the surfaces having been slowed down forgetting that slow surfaces favor Fed and Fed is a baseliner, not a serve and volleyer.
Also Fed has won all his Wimbledon titles on the “slow” grass of Wimbledon as it was changed in 2001. Even his famous victory over Pete was on the “slow” grass.
If anyone should have a complaint, it should be Pete, not Fed.

Alex Says:

”WTF, it is no better than an exhibition”


Give it up already.

Youre making a fool of yourslef -hahahahha.

holdserve Says:

Also Rafa was a teenager in 2005.
A player’s physical peak is between 21-30, say from his 21st birthday to his 31st birthday. Then Fed’s prime is 2002 Aug 8th to 2012 Aug 7th. Rafa’s prime is 2007, 6th June to 2017, 5th June.
The period when both were in their prime is 2007 6th June to 2012 7th August.
Rafa has won more than Fed in that period. 9 slams. 2 year end no. 1s. And many more Masters than Fed.
Fed has 7 slams and 2 year end no. 1s during that period.
Rafa is a freak on clay so even when he was at 80% on clay he was winning slams although he hadn’t reached his physical prime.
But on other surfaces he started winning in 2008 when he was 22.
People can reach mental maturity or emotional maturity at different ages but physical prime has a more unrelenting schedule. You cannot speed it up or slow it down.
Skeletal maturity is almost complete only by age 21. This unrelenting schedule is what enables doctors to find the age of a below 21 by his bones.
Muscle mass reaches its maximum by age 25.
The physical decline is also time bound. At age 31, HGH has decreased sufficiently for the players to lose half a step.
To compare Fed and Rafa between 2005 to 2009 is ridiculous.
You assume only Fed’s prime is time bound and Rafa has been in his prime since he was a kid?

holdserve Says:

If you look up Uncle Toni’s interviews, in one of them when asked what changed in 2007 to make Rafa give Fed a real fight in Wimbly 2007 as compared to 2006, Uncle Toni said, the age changed.

holdserve Says:

Even Fed recognized Rafa was coming into his prime in 2007 and in the 2007 Wimbly trophy ceremony said he ( Fed) wanted to win as many as he could before Rafa started winning them all.

hawkeye Says:

Rafa is the GOAT now. His number of majors on all surfaces is rapidly approaching Federer’s amazing tally plus leading in Master’s 1000s, gold medal and winning h2h vs everyone in the top 40 is undeniable.

Combine this with his masterfull h2h of 21-10 against Fed tips the scale obviously in Rafa’s favour.

If Fed was 5-6 vs Rafa, then I’d still give the nod to Roger with his weeks at No. 1, year end WTFs and additional majors. 5-6 is basically even vs one player. In addition, Fed not only has a losing record to Rafa but also to Muzz (slightly) as well with 20 matches played and since 2009, he is just 9-11 vs Nole so it is undeniable that Fed has struggled greatly amongst the latest era aka “The Top 4″ collectively since 2007 once they matured physically (and, in Nole’s case, mentally).

Rafa’s struggles at the WTF are minor compared to Sampras’ inability to win a French given that the latter is a major. However, if the French was as fast in Sampras’ era as it is today, then Sampras would likely have more than one title. Likewise, Fed benefited from the faster FO conditions compared to the 1900′s.

Up until this year, I still thought Fed was the GOAT but when you combine Rafa’s achievements with his incredible comeback after seven months off, for me, Rafa is now GOAT, then Fed, then Sampras (former GOATs).

skeezer Says:

“the WTF is a RR tournament.”

Yes, of the EIGHT BEST players in the world. Who, oh by the way, have to play each other in the tournament to win.

holdserve just had there servicebroken.

Just keep hoping Rafa gets alot more Slams and titles, then you can start barking.

Perfect fan Says:

@ holdserve,

As I said, I have nothing against rafa or any player whatsoever…

But when someone personally attacks roger (even rafa)….discrediting them…even justifying that he doesn’t deserve what he got…..such things upsets me a lot… is really painful to read such cr@ps written about such timeless legends… could people like us write such things, who may not be knowing to hold a racquet properly.

But then, every person has the right to speak his mind….so be it.

But please acknowledge…how much these guys have contributed to this sport….how many memorable matches they have given us to cherish….all of those r the reasons why we are here….showing our love and faith in them.

But to prove your fav player’s worth, discrediting some one else’s achievements is really uncalled for.

If someone writes all goodie-goodie about rafa,nole…..says rafa will overtake fed’s 17 slams….i hav no probs in that….rather I personally believe that 2 more healthy seasons by rafa is enough to do that….and if he does that….handsdown rafa will surpass roger in greatness….if not the GOAT.

But thanks anyway mate for sharing…. :)

holdserve Says:

perfect fan, I like your posts. I wish more Fed fans were like you.

I haven’t claimed Rafa is the GOAT and from experience I know Rafa’s health can never be taken for granted.
All I want is for Fed fans to acknowledge Rafa’s greatness and not fill the internet with toxic hate through slanderous doping and cheating allegations. Also not denigrate Rafa’s wins by claiming surfaces are slowed down and falsely claiming this gives Rafa an “unfair advantage” completely overlooking how Fed is a baseliner and how he has an “unfair advantage” over Rafa because so many mandatory events are on hardcourt and indoor hard court.

Barbara Ball Says:

I wish more people were like Rafa. He lets his tennis speak for him. He is without a huge ego. He has always given Fed all the credit in the world. Do we get that as much from Fed. I think Fed’s ego won’t allow that. Fed has the most beautiful game ever, but his reign before Rafa came along was with much lesser players. I don’t think anyone is the goat. Every era has their great players and we should leave it at that.

holdserve Says:

Alex, what is laughable is Fed fans’ attempts to elevate WTF to the status of a slam!
Had it been on clay, I am sure these same fans would have discounted both the surface as well as the event!
They are already making pathetic attempts to totally discount all of Rafa’s wins on clay, even French Open wins.
In any h2h or any other debate, most Fed and Nole fans loudly demand that we leave out wins on clay!

Giles Says:

How is the WTF regarded when a substitute steps in? A few years ago a player was injured and Stepanek was the substitute! So, it’s not always the 8 best players in the world.

holdserve Says:

As Barbara Ball pointed out, Fed had the luxury of a weak era before Rafa, Nole and Muzz came of age.
If Andy recovers well from his back surgery, 2014 may well be his year. He could win 3 slams and get year end #1. So Rafa has to contend with Nole and Muzz and even Fed on his day.
If Nole hadn’t been around, Rafa would have absolutely dominated 2011 with 2 more slams and umpteen weeks at no. 1 and another year end # 1.
Fed’s slam counts and weeks at no 1, no of year end #1s have to be viewed taking into account the absence of players of his level before the rise of Rafa, Nole and Muzz.

skeezer Says:

You can try to minimize the WTF all you want, but the players value this tournament greatly. Sure there are going to be substitutes due to injuries or whatever, but the intent is still there and so is the prestige that the players feel when they are invited to the event.

” not denigrate Rafa’s wins…”
Kettle…meet Black. Hello there, how are you?


Fed did not play in a “weak” era for the umpteenth time. He actually played through 3 eras. Every era had its great players. Even Hewitt, Haas, who are OLD, are beating players in this era. Pffft! You guys try all day long to minimize Feds greatness. Ain’t gonna happen.

hawkeye Says:

It is unfortunate that this asterisk is next to Fed’s numerous achievements and records.

Tennis for Life Says:

2003 to 2007 was obviously the weak era. How else would you explain the teen aged one dimensional clay courter’s 3+ years at no.2 without a break. Even at his peak he couldn’t repeat that feat later.

holdserve Says:

The argument that Hewitt etc did not belong to the weak era because even today they can beat players is absurd. Of course they can beat players. They were beating players even in the weak era. In a slam of 127 matches Fed could win a maximum of 7, the rest were won by others.
Weak era means there was no one of Fed’s caliber i.e. no one who could consistently beat the field and generally meet Fed in most finals. That rival would at least have been a finalist most times and he and Fed would have been no. 1 and 2.
Guess what? There was such a big gap below Fed that a teenaged Rafa could be no. 2 mainly by dint of his clay court prowess altho he hadn’t developed enough to challenge Fed on other surfaces. The gap was so enormous that a 20 year old Djokovic promptly latched on to no. 3 in 2007 and a 21 year old Andy latched on to no. 4 in 2008.
From 2008 to 2012, these 4 have occupied nos 1 to 4 year end and generally these 4 are seen in the semi finals and 2 in the finals. This era is superstrong having 4 guys above the field.
Fed’s era (2003-2007) was weak having just him above the field.
Hewitt, Roddick etc are probably not even the equal of Del Potro, Berdych or Tsonga.

skeezer Says:

@Perfect Fan
Whats great about your posts is they are for the most part objective and well thought out.
Now here come a breakserve, hawknose, and others trying to rationilize there loved one, but objectivity is beyond there comprehesive mind. First the koolaid is drunk, then the comments. The results are obnoxioulsy obvious. As an example;
“Weak era means there was no one of Fed’s caliber i.e. no one who could consistently beat the field and generally meet Fed in most finals.”
Ok, so everyone sucked?
Uh? LMaO!!!!!
What will they debate next, that Rafa is better at Poker Stars and Kracker eating? Ya mon!!!

skeezer Says:

Jo Says:
I think the term “WEAK ERA” is an unintelligent comment.
I dont think todays GREATS would better the Borgs, Samprases,.. if they use a 67 or 85 racket weighing 13-16oz. in faster courts.

September 24th, 2013 at 1:00 am

Well said! Lets see… Who has played with the 90 for all this time vs the big headed monster rackets of todays players?
Oh…thats right …..Mr Federer….hasn’t he won 17 all time record Slams with that? Ya mon!!

Other players apparently had to have bigger rackets to compete…earth to Rafa??

Too bad…eh? Hahahahahahahaha…what will the players have to do next….mo better strings and slower courts way bigger balls?

holdserve Says:

We know why Federer continued to play with a small racket. Because he could not play with a bigger racket.
Many of the Fed fans tried to make it seem that Fed was a traditionalist so he was playing with the closest thing to a wooden racket!!!!!
Actually his racket is as modern as any other player’s in terms of string and technology but with a 90 inch head. He could apparently feel the ball better with the smaller racket.
He was afraid of changing what works and alas his experiment this year with a bigger racket wasn’t very positive!!
Poor Fed fans!!!

hawkeye Says:

@holdserve September 23rd, 2013 at 10:56 pm

Extremely well said.

@skeezer September 24th, 2013 at 12:52 am

You need to review the guidelines on Tennis-X.

Personal attacks and/or insults (for which you accuse others of yet feel free to dole out yourself) are poor substitutes for substantive discussion and debate.

I trust the moderators on this site are monitoring your behaviour.

skeezer Says:

Just press Control-Alt-Delete.

Top story: Rafael Nadal Turned 34 Today