2014 Preview: Novak Djokovic Or Rafael Nadal, Who’ll Finish The Year No. 1?
by Sean Randall | December 29th, 2013, 7:56 pm
  • 229 Comments

And in a blink the 2014 season is upon us. After a month or so of total shutdown during which we saw a flurry of high profile coaching moves, the tennis landscape remains pretty much unchanged with the top guys still on top as we enter the new year and further distance the sport from the heralded Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal period.

Now led by surprise new coach Stefan Edberg, Federer, though, is still around. But at 32 is he really still a force at majors? We know current No. 1 Nadal will be. Knees or no knees, count out the Spaniard at your own peril!

And what do we make of Andy Murray? Is he the 2014 X-factor? After missing the last two months of 2013, the Scot is healthy again after undergoing surgery to fix a chronic back ailment.

But to me this season will come down to two players: Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin Del Potro.

After a patchy spring/summer, Djokovic ended 2013 in the best possible way winning his last 24 matches including the ATP Finals and the Davis Cup. Yes, he’s also added a bigger-than-life persona in Boris Becker to his growing entourage, but to me the German won’t factor in much. Novak’s good enough as it is, so what’s Becker really going to bring to the table besides poker tips? As I’ve said before, Novak needs mental guidance and I just don’t think Boris is the answer. That said, it won’t matter. It should still be the Serb’s year.

Nadal is of course Djokovic’s biggest threat but another guy who could make a run at the top is Del Potro. Finally over that wrist injury and now 25, which to me is the sweetspot age in men’s tennis, I really expect we’ll see the very best of Argentine this coming year and the next. I just hope his body holds up. And it did for much of 2013 when he closed the year with two titles and a runner-up during the last 45 days of the season.

That momentum, those tough calls with Djokovic and wins over Nadal and others, should propels him out of the block quickly making him a serious, immediate threat in Australia.

Taking a bigger step back and looking over the entire men’s tennis plate, I don’t see many major changes. So status quo once again. Though it appears David Ferrer has hit his peak while Tomas Berdych continues to be content with a second tier rank.

If healthy, JW Tsonga is the only guy I can see breaking into that Top 5.

As for the young stars, risers like Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov have shown some signs of life and the ability to win big matches, but I’m not ready to move them into Grand Slam contention just yet. Bernard Tomic has about as much talent as anyone, however can the Australian get out of his own way? At just 21, he might still be a year or two away from reaching that potential.

I do, however, like Jerzy Janowicz and Kei Nishikori to climb higher, maybe into the Top 10. And watch out for Vasek Pospisil. Might he be a better pick than his better known countryman Raonic?

I think a couple veterans will return to making noise. I’m talking about Fernando Verdasco, Jurgen Melzer and my man Gael Monfils who I believe will all be ranked higher a year from now. And also Marin Cilic who’s coming back from a doping suspension. It’s going to be a tough road but the Croatian is a Top 10 player and by the end of the season I expect him to be knocking back on that door.

Among those on the slide I would include 30 somethings Tommy Haas, Mikhail Youzhny and Tommy Robredo who enjoyed a terrific 2013.

But the problem is for any of the vets or the youngsters, is the game is so top heavy right now. If you are not in the Top 6, your path to Grand Slam glory will likely take you through a Del Potro, then a Nadal and finally a Djokovic. And if not Del Potro then it’s Murray. If not Nadal it’s Federer. If not Djokovic it’s Berdych or Tsonga. And to me that just makes it too tough for anyone to really break though next season. But eventually it will happen…

With that, here’s how I see the Top 10 in 2014.

1. Novak Djokovic
Carrying the momentum from the end of 2013, I think Novak sails to the Australian title then – I’ll actually go on a big limb here – wins the French Open completing the career Slam. And maybe adds the U.S. thereafter. The key is whatever was bothering Novak in the meat of 2013 he’s seemed to have it sorted and that’s a good sign: problem solving.

2. Juan Martin Del Potro
I love how the Argentine finished 2013 but I’m still wary of his ability to put together a complete season. He knows how to win. He has the game. He’s at his peak age of 25. He just needs that frail body of his to hold up, that’s the great unknown. But I think at Australia and the US Open he very could be adding to his Grand Slam haul.

3. Rafael Nadal
After blistering start and an unbelievable summer, Nadal cooled toward the end of the year. And that gives me pause. As I said before, Nadal’s surprising turnaround on hardcourts was due in part to Murray’s injury, Federer’s aging and Djokovic’s swoon. Federer’s still a geezer, but Djokovic seems to have his head right now. Murray’s back, literally and I think Del Potro and Tsonga will factor in as well. Plus, after beating him in Monte Carlo Djokovic should have won that French Open semifinal. Yes, we are finally seeing some cracks in the King of Clay. And those darn knees…I think they’ll make headlines once again.

4. Andy Murray
A back injury always carries with it a lot of risk. But I think Murray rebounds nicely and with a healthy back (remember he won Wimbledon without it being 100%), I think he’ll play consistently enough to push Djokovic for the top spot. Lendl will make sure of that.

5. Roger Federer
As I’ve said before, Father Time is undefeated in the history of mankind. And not even Stefan Edberg nor a longer racket will help Roger win that battle. But a late season turnaround gave Federer fans the hope they long needed after a very dismal 2013 campaign. So that should carryover. While I don’t see a big move (up or down) in the rankings, I think we’ll see some more consistent results out of Roger and maybe one more magical run provided his back holds up.

6. JW Tsonga
The Frenchman is another guy who’s just snakebit by injury. If Tsonga can keep his body together he could make a Top 5 push because he’s that good of a player on just about any surface.

7. David Ferrer
I think the decline finally begins for the indefatigable Ferrer. David had a great 2013 highlighted by his first Slam final at the French Open and a pretty strong finish during which he quietly reached three straight finals before ending the year on a 4-match losing streak. Under new coach Altur, I expect Ferrer to continue to rack up wins over the lesser guys, the problem is as usual with those above him. And this year there will be more.

8. Tomas Berdych
A dispirited finish to 2013 – just one Top 10 win (Ferrer) since Cincinnati – signals to me that the 28-year-old Berdych has probably seen his best days. He’s still a danger on any surface, I just don’t know how much heart and passion he really has to make the most of his talents. Of the many guys making big name coaching changes, I think Berdych would have benefited the most by latching on to one of those champions. Perhaps, though, being a champion isn’t a goal of his.

9. Milos Raonic
I get the feeling instead of a rocket ship rise it’s going to be slow-and-steady ride for Milos. The Canadian who just turned 23 a few days ago I think finally makes a Slam quarterfinal and sets himself up for a big run in 2015.

10. Stan Wawrinka
After the very best season of his career I expect Stan to hold a Top 10 ranking thanks to his renewed belief and better seeding at the Slams this season. The Swiss who arguably had a better 2013 Grand Slam season than Federer, came oh so close in two heartbreaking 5-set losses to Djokovic. While I don’t expect him to climb those hurdles in 2014, he’ll be a welcome factor once again.

So there are my Top 10. Injuries, as always, will play a big role, and I really believe this upcoming first month in Australia will tell us all we need to know on how the season will go.

As for my early Grand Slam predictions:
Australian Open: Djokovic d. Del Potro
French Open: Djokovic d. Nadal
Wimbledon: Murray d. Federer
US Open: Del Potro d. Murray

Happy Holidays!


Also Check Out:
Poll: Who’ll Finish 2014 No. 1, Novak Djokovic Or Roger Federer
Fedal Wars: Who’ll Finish Higher Ranked In 2014, Roger Federer Or Rafael Nadal? [Poll]
Poll: Who’ll Win The 2014 Wimbledon Final, Roger Federer Or Novak Djokovic?
Poll: Who’ll Win More Wimbledons, Novak Djokovic Or Petra Kvitova?
Poll: Who’ll Finish Ranked Higher In 2015, Roger Federer Or Rafael Nadal?

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229 Comments for 2014 Preview: Novak Djokovic Or Rafael Nadal, Who’ll Finish The Year No. 1?

thephantomkid Says:

I don’t understand why you reason that Nadal will not win a slam in 2014 -___-


holdserve Says:

I would be surprised if Del Potro does as well as Sean expects him to. Sean claims 25 is the sweet spot. Actually it is 24. Rafa in 2010, Djokovic in 2011, Sampras in 1995. There are two peaks, 22 and 24. Del Potro has missed both and his results haven’t been even as consistent as Murray’s who also missed the 22 and 24 bus.
So on what basis does Sean think this guy is going to two slam finals and win one?
Equally ludicrous is the assumption that Fed would be in Wimbledon final. Unless he really is lucky with the draw, Fed isn’t going beyond the semis at best.


holdserve Says:

Djokovic beating Rafa at RG is wishful thinking. Not impossible but reasons given for supposing so are thin. Djokovic has beaten Rafa in all the clay Masters but he is yet to beat him at the slams. What is the reason for claiming he should have beaten Rafa at RG semi? Rafa was leading throughout except in the 5th set. Merely because Djokoic led once, he should have won? How many players have served for the match and still lost? A match isn’t won till the last point and Djokovic did not win it.
I would put Murray above Del Potro if his back has healed. Murray is hugely talented with infinite variety. Del Potro hits hard, harder, hardest and lumbers around the court. This man ain’t gonna win against two of Rafa, Novak and Murray. He just isn’t that quick.
As for predicting Rafa won’t win any slam, that’s really strange and certainly strange is the assumption that Rafa did well in 2013 because the other 3 weren’t in top form . So Rafa is always in top form and his defeats are to be ascribed to his inferiority but Djokovic’s defeats are to be ascribed to his not being in top form. Is it possible or reasonable to expect that top players would be in top form in every tournament and if Djokovic isn’t, it is only an anomaly and next season he will be in top form throughout? Ridiculous!


billyboy512 Says:

let the 2014 x-tennis circle jerk begin!


Ben Pronin Says:

Holdserve, your analysis is ridiculously bad.


holdserve Says:

Ha ha, Ben, you claimed ITFs criteria were fair and objective but were forced to admit you did not know what the criteria were. Why do you embarrass yourself (i.e. skeezer and madmax among many others who are all you) by giving your opinion on things you know nothing about? Are you a masochist?


Ben Pronin Says:

I wasn’t forced to admit anything. Like always, you make up random scenarios that couldn’t be further from the truth. Let me know when you see a tennis racket that’s not on TV, then tell me what I do or don’t know.


Thangs Says:

Fed fan wishes Nole to win 3 slams this year so 17 can’t be reachable..haha..

Their analyses are super duper good..everyone else is rediculously bad and must shut-up…hahahaha..

Vamos!


Sean Randall Says:

Holdserve, on second thought you are right. Del Potro has no chance of ever reaching another Slam final let alone winning a second. And there’s no way Federer can do well anymore on grass, and Djokovic was not even close to beating Rafa at the French last year. What was I thinking.

Holdserve/Ben, any doping crap on this thread will be deleted.


Ben Pronin Says:

Can any weak/strong era or h2h nonsense get deleted, too?


skeezer Says:

^yes please!


Thangs Says:

Clay wins doesn’t count should be deleted too


Patson Says:

Enough of the GOAT nonsense as well; I am equally to be blamed because I have been part of that too. Anybody who says player X is the GOAT should be banned ! :-) Nole fans have nothing to lose because we never claim our man is the GOAT :-p. This GOAT talk always leads to acrimony between fans of opposite camps.


courbon Says:

@ Patson: Only goat discussion I will have, is about mine neighbours goat, that jumps on my wall time to time…Are you ready for 2014? I watched Novak in Abu Dhabi 3 ( on net ) days ago and he played superb ( It’s EXO but very competitive! ).I don’t have a clue what will Becker do, but I have a feeling it will not hurt Nole and may even help.I’m never too confident about Novak (all the years, before 2011 maybe me paranoid!) but I have a good feel for 2014 .He may not win AO but still have a good year with other slams (pssss-I will not mention which Slams-there is too many Rafa fanatics around… ).Whats your thoughts?


courbon Says:

Sean Randall and staff-have a nice New Year and thank you for some great analysis and articles been written in 2013.


Patson Says:

@courbon

Hahaha ! A goat grazing in the field is the only true goat :). As an ardent tennis fan, I’m very happy that the tennis off-season is very short. It’s so exciting to know that in just a month, there’ll be Oz open where I really like Nole’s chances. Nole seems to have hit the ground running. He played confident tennis in Abu Dhabi. I think Becker’s hiring was very good on Nole’s part. Nole doesn’t need someone who will improve his technique, he needs someone who he can trust. Becker is someone he thinks he can trust and respect. He probably thinks his advice will be valuable. I’m confident that he will benefit from it in 2014.

You know I’m an optimistic guy when it comes to Nole. So I’m expecting a minimum of 2 majors (AO and French Open) in 2014 from him. My grand wish is that he completes a calendar slam in 2014. What a story that will be !


courbon Says:

@Patson: I hope your wish gets granted! ( by Tennis Gods!) If I don’t speak to you before, have a good New Years Eve!


skeezer Says:

“Clay wins doesn’t count should be deleted too”
Have never had a problem with this, Clay does count!
Just make sure the other 3 slams count as well, not just ONE.
#showsthecompleteplayer


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

All the GS count,IMO Rafa is a complete player anyway,as he has multiple GS now on all surfaces,he doesnt get much credit for it,but so what thats nothing new,hell maybe he wont win a slam at all next year?and maybe Novak will win all four like Sean seems to think?but i hope for an open and well contested year and hope Murray backs up what he did at wimbledon this year,and Delpo has not made a GS final since the USO in 2009 which will be 5 years ago,the season starts on the AO HCs which is Novaks best surface and where he has most of his slams anyway,so he was always going to be the favorite there so nothing new on that score,there were cracks at the FO this year for Rafa in the semis against Novak hmm,there were also cracks for Novak at the AO also when he faced Stan he was lucky to come through that match,but IMO you make your own luck anyway,as i say i hope for an open and well contested year,maybe there will be some surprises,then again maybe not?


Giles Says:

So, looks like 2014 will get under way with Rafa’s main rivals on the arms of celebrity coaches. Let’s see what these celebrities have to offer. IMO not much!
Vamos Rafa!


James Says:

HAH!!! You’re having a laugh if you think DelPo will finish above Nadal AND Murray, I agree that he may reach a slam final but I doubt he’ll finish in the top two because he lacks the consistency required. At best I can see him finishing number 4, assuming of course he doesn’t go and injure himself again like in the 2010 season!

As for your Slam final predictions, if Murray is fit enough I see him winning in Melbourne in 2014, not sure if Fed will reach another Wimbledon final but agree that Murray probably will, French maybe right, as long as Djokovic doesn’t choke again, and US open is always tricky to call, so watch this space – maybe we’ll have a first time Slam finalist!


holdserve Says:

Sean the doping crap was started by Staff. Why don’t you delete that first?


madmax Says:

Nice roll of posts here guys.

And what 2014 will bring. I think that Roger will reach the Semis of the AO, that’s my prediction anyway, I think that Novak will win the AO and the FO. Roger will reach the quarters of the FO and the semis of Wimbledon (but my hope is that he reaches the finals and wins, you never know) and as for the Semis of the USO, Roger will get there, but I think it will be a tough fight for him in America.

Wins for Wimbledon – I think Andy will retain his crown and I think he will be up against Novak in the final for the USO, where it will be 50/50.

Sean, if you read this please, make a note that Holdserve is accusing me of being multiple posters, over and over again: now, I am supposedly Ben Pronin. Can you imagine? Pretty flattered that he thinks I am to be honest. Not only that, I am also supposed to be Skeezer.

I am up to 4 already. Seriously. Haven’t got the time.


holdserve Says:

Dear Sean, madmax and skeezer have been accusing me over and over again of being Giles and Hawkeye. This has been going on for months so I retaliated accusing these posters of being the same person. It is definitely more likely as madmax was posting under multiple IDs on TT.
Apparently madmax doesn’t like a taste of her own medicine.


Wilfried Says:

I don’t think Del Potro has good chances to win the AO. He has never performed outstandingly down under.
He has much better chances at the USO in my opinion.
As for the AO and RG, they might have the same winner this year, either Djokovic or Nadal.


Slice Tennis Says:

Nice write up Sean. This would be my top 10 as well.

I agree most of it, but will swap the positions of Murray and Delpotro.

Rafa is as usual underestimated here. But I am ok with it, he himself does that always, so no issues.


Slice Tennis Says:

11:07 pm and 11:31pm

Sock puppet. LOL


Slice Tennis Says:

As usual Del Potro is way too over rated.

When was the last time he beat anyone of Nole, Rafa, Murray and Fed in a slam.


Slice Tennis Says:

“Holdserve/Ben, any doping crap on this thread will be deleted.”

Thanks Sean.
Ben’s life support system is removed now. LMAO.


Alexandra Says:

It’s of course possible Djokovic will finish No.1. But putting Delpo before Rafa and Andy is way too optimistic. Sure Rafa went down a little at the end of the season, but it’s not like he lost early anywhere. He still had good results even if he didn’t win a tournament. And he didn’t win on hardcourts because everyone else was weak at the time. He earned his wins. With Andy we have to see how he comes back. But he will not make a push to No.1 until he gets better on clay. There is a chunck of points he will miss compared to Novak who is much better on clay. I don’t know why Delpo is put at No.2 here. He has won 1 slam, has never won a Masters tournament and like a few others frequently has to deal with injuries. And in the important matches he has always failed. It’s of course possible that will change, but until I see it I won’t believe it. Tsonga won’t make a push to the Top 5 either in my view. I see him like Berdych, staying in the Top 10 of course, but not at the top positions. I can’t predict Roger right now, have to see his level first in the first 3 months of the year maybe. I give him chances at Wimbledon or maybe US Open. Who knew he would have such a “bad” season in 2013.


Ben Pronin Says:

I’m done arguing with idiots.

Sean, I’d say switch Nadal and Del Potro. Nadal is always going to be able to pick up points pretty much every tournament he plays. The same can’t always be said for Del Potro. He’s a lot more prone to upsets, even on hard courts. Plus there’s always the clay factor. Out of a possible 5500 points, Nadal tends to get about 90% of those, even if he does lose at the French. So that’s like half way to number 1. Where’s Del Potro going to pick up that kind of volume?

I really think the biggest question is where does Andy Murray go from here? To me, 2014 is the start of a whole new chapter in his career. The guy is now a multiple slam champion. Emphasis on multiple. And really, outside of Wimbledon, 2013 was a disappointing year for him, imo. How on earth do you end up ranked below Ferre despite winning a freaking slam? He needs to set his sights on the number 1 ranking. Even if he doesn’t get there, he needs to play like he wants to be there. Nadal went on a rampage during the summer to get to number 1. Djokovic went on a rampage in the fall to try to get it back. We need to see that from Murray. It’s literally the next step in his career. Anything else is going backwards. From 09-11 he was a stalwart at the Masters. In 2012 and 2013 he became a stalwart at the slams. It’s time to put the two together.


Maestro Fed Says:

Del Potro has a long way to go before he can challenge the likes of Andy, Novak and Rafa.
The maestro is still better than him at 32.


Hawkeye Says:

Even in his best years, Rafa struggles in the fall from a combination of some fatigue from his playing style and relatively faster and some indoor courts. Nothing new.

I thought Delpo would have his breakthrough year in 2013 and at least win one major but after his failures to get the big wins, the jury is out as far as I’m concerned.

The AO and FO will be won by either Rafa or Nole. No one else is even close.

One of the top four for Wimby most likely Muzza or Nole. Fed still has a real shot and I’d put Rafa as the favourite but only after he can get to the second week.

USO is too far away but one of Nole, Muzza, Delpo or Rafa.


rafaeli Says:

Considering Nadal has a positive h2h against every one of the top 4, it’s strange to say he did well on h/c because Murray and Federer were not there and Novak was in a swoon.

Reading that just negated any semblance of credibility Sean had in his warped assessment of what’s what.


rafaeli Says:

Delpo, the one slam wonder, with no M1000 titles is now a better player than Nadal, a 13 time slam champion, record 26 M1000 titles, Olympic Gold, winner of the North American swing on h/c, and the rest!

H2H

Nadal/Djoker 22-17
Nadal/Federer 22-10
Nadal/Murray 13-5
Nadal/Ferrer 21-5

Moreover, Nadal gained the #1 ranking without playing a full season, is still #1 with no points to defend in Australia.

Priceless!


Sean Randall Says:

With respect to my criticism of Nadal, I would ask what happened to Rafa after the US Open? Where were the wins – just 1-4 vs Top 5 with his only victory in a retirement over Berdych?

(Or do we “dismiss” it b/c it’s end of the year, like always with Rafa even though he started the year in Feb?)

That’s what I found troubling. What changed in the Fall? Well, Djokovic got his confidence back. Del Potro stepped up and blew out Rafa and there’s a surface/indoor issue, but if Rafa was so much better now on hardcourts, his results late in the year sure didn’t show it. And I think that carries over into 2014.

As for Del Potro, Australia is problematic with the heat, but the guy was second best down the stretch last year and on harcourts he can beat Nadal, he can beat Djokovic. And for the new year I’m betting he does that.

Yeah, DelPo isn’t Mr. Consistent and he’s prone to lapses but the guy played great tennis in 2013 so for me there’s no reason to believe he can’t keep it going.


madmax Says:

Oki,

I can’t find your post. Will try again. I am probably looking at the wrong thread!

Ben Pronin Says:
I’m done arguing with idiots.

Best comment so far!


Ben Pronin Says:

Sean, well Nadal went 4-1 against top 8 on his least favorite surface in London. So there’s that.

I know you love to drum it up but predicting slam finals is silly considering we don’t know the draw. Or what the rankings will be a few months from now.

Del Potro making the final down under will definitely depend on his draw. What if he’s in Novak’s half?


rafaeli Says:

Sean, you didn’t give Nadal much of a chance at the beginning of this year either, did you? Look what happened……….he got the #1 ranking without playing a complete season.

According to your premise, Djokovic should avoid running into Dimitrov, Murray, Haas, Delpo, Berdych, possibly Wawrinka.

Rafa had already secured the #1 ranking so he wasn’t going all out towards the end of the year, seeing that he had made the finals of virtually every tournament he entered, he had more mileage than any one else and probably didn’t train too hard towards the end of the season. On the other hand, Djokovic was out to get his pride and credibility back having lost the #1 ranking to his rival who had regained it, coming back from 7 months out and did not even play a full season.

What are Rafa’s losses always magnified by his detractors whilst losses by other top players are glossed over? Sean perhaps you could answer this question.


James Says:

Expect Nadal to make a mockery of these predictions…again.

Rafa Nadal is my pick to win the Australian Open in 2014.

Nadal will also win Wimbledon one more time before retirement.

I hope not, but Novak may finally win the French Open in 2014.

Del Potro or anyone outside the big four winning a slam would be wonderful. I like Delpo but I doubt he will win one in 2014. But I hope he and Janowicz, Raonic, Dimitrov, Nishikori can challenge the big 3 in the big tournaments.


Okiegal Says:

@madmax

The thread is titled: “NADAL, FEDERER, SERENA KICK OFF 2014 TENNIS SEASON PREVIEW”…….it’s there. Please keep looking! Thanks! Oki


rafaeli Says:

corr.

Why are Rafa’s losses


Kimberly Says:

Sean is just a Hater. He can’t stand that Rafa came back and took the number one ranking. It’s the anyone but Rafa show.

Ben/Skeezer-im still beyond bitter about the Dolphins. Was at the game too. At the least the Seminoles are playing for the title.


rafaeli Says:

The fact that Rafa beat Nole in the 2 slams they played cuts no ice, it’s the best of 3 that Nole won that mean sooooooooooooo much in the grand scheme of things in the eyes of his haters.

Sports writers should at least try and take a fair look at the facts and not let their personal preferences seep through. What Sean has written defies logic. Novak went from MC to Beijng before he won another title but that is bigger in Sean’s eyes than everything Rafa achieved last year. If Rafa can have a run after not winning a title for 6 months, why can’t Rafa do the same?


rafaeli Says:

Sorry,

If Nole can have a run after not winning a title for 6 months why can’t Rafa do the same?


Ben Pronin Says:

Kimberly, I wanna say I feel your pain but yesterday was so very kind to me. Rodgers is back and pulls the Packers through with a 48 yarder on 4th and 8th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And then the Eagles get a game winning interception to secure their playoff spot. Man what an exciting day.

Dolphins really blew it. They should’ve beaten the Bills last week. You never want to hang your season on a Jets game (you never want to hang anything on a Jets game). But I really think the Steelers got the biggest gut punch of all. The refs have been damn near attrocious this year.


Sean Randall Says:

Ben, agreed. Awfully tough to make slam predictions w/o the draw.

Rafaeli, I’d love to talk about Djokovic’s losses in the fall season, except there weren’t any!

Meanwhile Nadal had FOUR 1-sided losses to Djokovic (2), Ferrer and Del Potro.

Delpo lost a few also, but at least he was competitive.

And are you sure “Rafa had already secured the #1 ranking so he wasn’t going all out towards the end of the year”. I seem to remember Nadal needing to win some matches in London to confirm No. 1 otherwise Djokovic would have taken it.


Sean Randall Says:

Kimberly, the Dolphins really tanked it at the end. On the brightside the loss means the Jets keep Rex for another year, so they’ll be pitiful next season. But I’m just not sure Tannyhill/Philbin combo is going to ever work. That team really needs an identity.


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Rafas best slam and surface was always the FO and clay,hes won the title 8 times and only lost once,so its reasonable to sugest he could be facing the law of averages,the same could be said about the AO for Novak to a lesser extent whos won the title 3 years in a row,however he won the title 1st in 2008,and then it was another 3 years before he won it again,so i would say its also possible that Rafa could win the title again after 5 years,Murray is currently the best GC player there is but Roger has his best chance of adding to his 17 at Wimbledon too,Delpo is a fantastic player and his best chance would be at the USO IMO.


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Its been almost 5 years since Delpo won the USO,since then hes not made a GS final,i like the guy but ive seen nothing to suggest that he could be a factor in any GS aside from the Wimbledon semi against Novak,and i dont buy the theory that hes a better HC player than Rafa either,as Rafa made 5 HC GS finals and won three Delpo just your one,and he hasnt even won a masters series to Rafa whos won 26,im not saying hes not a great player or incapable of challenging the very best,but i think its a safer bet to say a man whos won 13 GS and two of those this year after 7 months off tour,has more of a chance than another man who won his 1st and only slam to date 5 years ago in his 1st and only final to date 5 years ago,still JMO.


skeezer Says:

Who’s got it better than us?
Noooobody!
And what about the Niner game?
Bad news now is we have play against Rodgers :(


Ben Pronin Says:

Skeeze you’re a niners fan?

Oh boy. I’m hoping for some sweet revenge next weekend ;)


the DA Says:

Well, Berdy didn’t start his season off too well and was knocked out of Doha by Karlovic in straight sets. I think he’s only got Kooyong before the AO. Not ideal.


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Sean granted there were no losses for Novak in the fall season,but there were plenty through the year,Dimitov,Isner,Berdych,Delpo,Murray,Nadal to name but a few,and Nadal only lost to Novak,Ferrer,Delpo in the fall,maybe Novak wasnt at his best throughout the year?and maybe Rafa wasnt at his best during the fall?but i get it Rafas losses are more significant than Novaks?


skeezer Says:

Ben
Yes, big time ;)
Not worried about the D, but the offense has to play a great game. It might be a shootout regardless of how good our defense is. After all, its Rodgers. We need a good offensive game. And yes, Seahawks suck!


Brando Says:

Delpo ahead of Nadal and even Muzza- love the big man but in a 52 week season, that’s just ridiculous!

Quick thoughts on the big 4 contenders in 2014 for me:

- Rafa:

He needs to prioritize his health and fitness. That’s the key. If he stays throughout the season then he’ll atleast be a contender at all the slams.

FO? Only a mug would place anyone else ahead of Rafa should he play his best there. And there is no reason to suggest why he cannot do so. Rafa for the French unless something regarding him not others suggest otherwise. His record there demands such recognition.

Period.

- Novak:

He- more than Rafa- is the player who is likely to be in the SF/F stage of the slams going forward. Easy favorite at the AO which I expect him to likely win. With him it’s about his head: is he cool or will he act a fool at a key moment? He had a great fall but let’s be honest: Muzza? Wasn’t even around. Rafa? Even a fan like me admits he’s not a great threat during that period of the season. Fed? Past his best. Delpo? The big man has never been one to sustain top form for a long period of time.

Sure Novak played well- but it wasn’t exactly the most competition heavy period of the season was it.

- Muzza:

I think Andy will win a slam and quite possibly 2. If he stays fit then it’s quite ridiculous how people are underestimating him. Barring FO: he’s got what it takes to beat Rafa, Nole, whoever else at all the slams.

Now that he’s a multiple slam winner he’ll kick on in his natural, upward progression curve.

- Delpo:

Love the big man: his game, his personality. But post his 2009 win: 4 season have gone by, not even 1 single GS final, not one WTF title, not one MS title.

How on earth can anyone with any real seriousness put the big man ahead of Rafa or Andy based on such FACTS?

Add in the fact that he’s also liable to go down with some injury issue then until the big man steps up and plays a GS final I won’t be betting on him to be a top 2 player anytime soon.

FINAL VERDICT:

- Rafa: health = wealth.

- Novak: IF his head’s right= his game will be right.

- Muzza: Go ahead. Be a fool and write him off at your peril.

- Delpo: Will likely step up and play a slam final this year.


Ben Pronin Says:

I don’t really have strong feelings towards the Seahawks in either direction, but I think they are absolute beasts. Especially at home. Hard to see anyone else getting to the Super Bowl by playing in Seattle.


madmax Says:

Fed states that Nadal or Djokovic are the two to beat next year. Does he know something we don’t?

sport/tennis/modest-roger-federer-tips-rafael-nadal-novak-djokovic/story-fnbe6xeb-1226792171749#


madmax Says:

Brando,

A very thoughtful post above, but I have a question:

Quick thoughts on the big 4 contenders in 2014 for me:

- Rafa:

He needs to prioritize his health and fitness. That’s the key. If he stays throughout the season then he’ll atleast be a contender at all the slams.

I don’t understand why you say he has to prioritise his health and fitness. He is the fittest guy on tour and is ALWAYS a contender at all 4 slams.

Given that come wimbledon, he tends to go a bit drippy, but I think that is because the FO takes so much out of him.

With this in mind, no way Rafa not going to be healthy and no way he isn’t going to work on his fitness throughout the year.

Please don’t blame his knees though. Don’t get me started on that one Brando :)


rafaeli Says:

Sean, Rafa came back from 7 months out and won his first h/c tournament not having played on the surface for over 250 weeks! This was a field that included Federer, Djoker and Murray. If the clay season was at the end of the year when Nadal always sweeps all before him, would he always be the favourite to end the next year as #1?

You should have some perspective and shed your hatred for Nadal when you write a supposedly impartial blog.


rafaeli Says:

Rafa knew he could just do enough to secure the #1 ranking, he didn’t have to break his neck so he probably eased off on the intensity and training. Normally , in his head he switches off after the USO and turns up at the Asian swing and the WTF because he has to. He has often not even turned up at the WTF, BECAUSE HE WANTS HIS TIME OFF.

Nole had something to prove because he had been eclipsed by Rafa after being out for 7 months! If you think Rafa can dominate the sport up to the USO then suddenly dips in form to the extent that he can be written off for the next season, that’s very strange.


Ben Pronin Says:

Nadal didn’t play a hard court tournament in over 250 weeks, yes, but he practiced on the surface.


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Rafa has a habit of going into other players teritories like Roger at Wimbledon,and Nole will always be the favorite on HCs whether its the AO or USO even though Rafas won that one more than Novak thus far,Novak been the favorite at the AO wll suit Rafa and to be honest it suits me as a fan,Rafa has never been by his two biggest rivals on his best surface though,time will tell if any of that changes this year.


rafaeli Says:

Ben Pronin Says:
“Nadal didn’t play a hard court tournament in over 250 weeks, yes, but he practiced on the surface.”

Practice is one thing, playing a competitive match is quite another. He won a tournament on his worst surface in a tournament that included all the supposedly strong h/c players, not having competed on the surface or nearly a year!

He didn’t practice for the 7 months he was recovering, in any case.


Ben Pronin Says:

I agree. His Indian Wells win was extremely impressive and well deserved. I thought it was his best tournament of the year in terms of overall level of play.

“He didn’t practice for the 7 months he was recovering, in any case.”

Hogwosh. Don’t make let this conversation spiral into stupidity.


Sean Randall Says:

TXHC, in forecasting the following year, I put a lot of weight in how you finish, wouldn’t you?

Based on recent form, Novak’s the best, Delpo second and then Nadal. And I think that continues in 2014.

Brando, you say it’s “ridiculous” that Delpo could rank ahead of Nadal/Murray, but then you have him in appearing Slam final in 2014?

Rafaeli, time off? What did Rafa do after playing the WTF? Oh, he played MORE TENNIS! So much for needing time off.


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Sean Novaks always the favorite at the AO so whats new?other than that i dont base the future upon what happened in the past,they are all starting from scratch JMO.


Giles Says:

“Based on recent form Novak’s the best, Delpo second ……”
What has Delpo done to impress you Sean?


skeezer Says:

“Rafaeli, time off? What did Rafa do after playing the WTF? Oh, he played MORE TENNIS! So much for needing time off.”

Precisely, thats why i think its shoddy to say “my knee” in any form of excuse this year.

Ben, agree about Seattle. Just don’t like them. Fair weather fans and arrogant players. But anyone who has to go there and play….forertaboutit
So your a cheesehead?


Slice Tennis Says:

Rafa is 11-7 against Nole, Fed and Murray combined in grandslams.

No one else has a combined winning record over the other big 4 players in grandslams.

Underestimate Rafa at your own risk.


James Says:

@Slice Tennis, I think it’s more like 22-7 vs Federer, Djokovic and Murray combined in slams:

8-2 vs Federer
8-3 vs Djokovic
6-2 vs Murray

What do you call this?


Bad Knee Rules Says:

After AO Delpo will surely be #4, probably #3.
Delpo has 90 points to defend, Ferru 880 and Murray 1450 by the end of January.


James Says:

Sean, based on recent form, shouldn’t Nadal be ahead of Del Potro? Nadal made the final of the WTF whilst Del Potro lost in the RR stage.

And based on recent form, where should Murray be, outside top 5 or top 10?


Anna Says:

Tom Gainey got it all wrong re Rafa’s knee. He’s good. Better than good actually, and my pick for the AO this year. The court is slow h/c (Rafa’s new fav), the balls will be lively and bouncing high, and Rafa is healthy and full of illusion. This slam was made for Rafa.


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Anna sounds good to me hope your right :))..


Sean Randall Says:

Gilles/James, I thought Delpo had a better fall than Rafa. He also beat Rafa, won two titles and reached another final.

Rafa did make the ATP Finals but got smoked by Djokovic. And his four post-US Open losses were all lopsided straight setters.


Slice Tennis Says:

“@Slice Tennis, I think it’s more like 22-7 vs Federer, Djokovic and Murray combined in slams”

James,

I know that very clearly. But there are some idiots who will come up with nonsense like “it is only on clay”, “take away clay”, “clay doesn’t count”, “Rafa wins only on clay”, etc.

To make their life easy I just mentioned Rafa’s record outside clay.


Thangs Says:

According to tennis-x, Nadal’s summer run was fluke because Murray got bounced early and Nole playing crap. But, Nole fall season run is extra ordinary…Murray’s absence was never a factor.

Vamos!


Ben Pronin Says:

During the NA swing, Nadal went 5-0 against top 10 players. That amounts to roughly 29% of his matches (during the swing).

During the Fall swing, Djokovic went 12-0 against top 10 players (excluding Davis Cup). 60% of his matches came against top 10 players (excluding DC).


Anna Says:

When has anyone ever been able to predict Rafa’s year based on the Asian swing and WTF?. What don’t you guys get about Rafa toughing it out on indoor h/c year after year, for a variety of reasons, and yet it’s never been a predictor as to how he’ll do at the slams where it actually counts. Has Rafa ever won much in the Fall? No, and yet he’s got 13 slams.


Okiegal Says:

@Sean

Rafa also made it to the US OPEN final and smoked Djokovic……on hard court…..no clay in sight!!

Vamos Rafa!!


Steve 27 Says:

Irrelevant, I prefer 2 Masters 1000 amd a Grand Slam than 2 Masters 1000, an atp 500 and a WTF.
The points are the same, but the prestige is very different.
GS are the most important prizes in tennis, nobody can deny that


Okiegal Says:

I love Rafa’s lopsided wins just like Joker fans like his lopsided wins……….


Bad Knee Rules Says:

Tsonga says:
———-
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the world No 10, played Andy Murray, Djokovic and Nadal in succession this week and was asked who made the biggest impression. There was little hesitation.

“I would say Novak,” Tsonga said. “He’s impressive.”
———-


Bad Knee Rules Says:

———-
GS are the most important prizes in tennis, nobody can deny that
———-
Exactly right, 17 is 17 … right?


Anna Says:

Yes BKR, slams are most important, but they’re not everything. 17 doesn’t tell the whole story, but I’ll stop there so as not to instigate. We’ve been forwarned, right.


skeezer Says:

“Exactly right, 17 is 17 … right?”
Yes, and the majority of greats acknowledge it, of course.
Who doesn’t?
Vamosheads. Not surprising.
There logic always starts from ……. “My Rafa”. Then, it goes from there, to knee excuses of course. This is used usually when he doesn’t have any and/or all records.


Kimberly Says:

Nobody likes the Seahawks. But the 49ers like th less because they are divisional rivals. To an unbiased observer yesterday was a spectacular end to the NFL season with packers taking out there division rivals with Rodgers magic, eagles making the playoffs on a late game pick, San Diego magic. But if you are. Dolphins fan or. Ravens fan it just sucks!

I don’t know of its mental or what.
At least we have the heat, who believe they can win and as a result do……even when they shouldn’t. (Game. 6 Sam Antonio) knock knock, who’s there? Uh all of he heat fans who left before Allen hit the late game 3 locked outside the arena!

The heat are like Rafa!


Okiegal Says:

@bad knee rules

Will you explain your moniker please? I first thought you were a Rafa fan, moniker meaning..Rafa rules tennis, even though he’s got bad knees, but after reading your posts you are definitely no fan of Rafa’s. Just curious……


Okiegal Says:

17 is 17……..and somebody is getting mighty close to that 17……bet Roger is shaking in his boots, oops, I mean his tennis shoes!


rafaeli Says:

You can all diss Rafa to your heart’s content if that’s what makes you happy. It’s like whistling in the wind, it has no effect whatsoever on what happens in the real world. None of you gave Rafa any chance of winning a slam in 2013, this time last year. Guess what, he won the most slams. the most titles, made the most finals and ended the year as #1. Djokovic and Murray were tipped for RG. Guess what. Rafa won it for the 8th time.


rafaeli Says:

After Rafa dismissed Robredo 60 62 62, Robredo who had dismissed Federer in straight sets, legend John McEnroe remarked, “What we’re seeing here, this guy is the Leonardo da Vinci—the Albert Einstein—of tennis.”

Unlike Federer, Nadal has more frequently conjured up images of sweaty, fast-and-loose iconoclasm and brute force among sports journalists. In the years since his inaugural French Open victory in 2005, and most noticeably in the first few years after, he drew comparisons to pirates, cavemen, bulldogs, bulls, bulls, more bulls, bulls in china shops, bulls in Federer’s china shop, and, um, “Apaches.”

So I wondered at first if McEnroe had somehow forgotten which player he’d just watched, or if he’d maybe meant Leonardo the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (same headwrap!). But his offhand remark actually sheds light on a truth about Nadal that’s been somewhat underappreciated until recently: He may not be the magical athlete-artist Federer is (or—gulp—was), but he’s the Leonardo da Vinci of the sport in that he’s a whiz kid—a tennis brainiac.

Leonardo da Vinci, after all, was a scientist, too, and an engineer. Da Vinci had an intuitive comprehension of how things worked—and the same could be said of Nadal.

Last night, McEnroe instructed all the junior players watching the broadcast to closely observe Nadal’s play because, by subtly identifying his opponent’s movement patterns and adjusting and re-adjusting his service motion and returns accordingly, he was putting on what McEnroe called “a clinic” in shot placement. (The importance of being able to analyze and respond to an opponent’s play during a match shouldn’t be underestimated: Earlier this week, as The New York Times’ Greg MacDonald noted, Federer made his earliest exit from a Grand Slam in 10 years because he failed to readjust his game plan against Tommy Robredo in the fourth round.)

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2013/09/rafael-nadal-is-the-leonardo-da-vinci-of-tennis/279383/

Basically, Federer is a one trick pony, that’s why he has been owned by Nadal since Nadal came on the scene.


skeezer Says:

rafaeli,

Truly with all respect Rafa truly had a great year. When he came out of the gates after a 7mos “supposed” injury rehab and won IW, even though its the slowest HC on tour, it demanded some respect. From there he played lights out.
However, the you go on to give Jmac credence, which most posters know he blows with the wind. Then you go over the top with the typical vamoshead jealous propoganda;

“Basically, Federer is a one trick pony, that’s why he has been owned by Nadal since Nadal came on the scene.”

Sorry, this is where you lost the credibility of your post(s). There is n way in h3ll Fed is a one trick pony with the greatest records ever and most complete player of our time.


holdserve Says:

In 2011, Novak had a great season till US Open and then it was the flop show in the fall.
In 2013, Rafa had a great season till US Open and then though he did not win any title, he fared well by his usual fall standards.
Sean’s predictions aren’t based on any rational analysis.
It makes no sense placing Delpo above Murray and Rafa.
But Sean cannot influence what will actually happen in 2014 and I expect him to eat crow. Poor guy’s hate has clouded his reason.


rafaeli Says:

Nadal tries new treatment

2013-12-30 19:51

Doha – World number one Rafael Nadal has had new treatment on his troublesome knees which could help him complete a full season on the ATP Tour for the first time since 2011.

“I feel that this one really makes me feel more comfortable,” he said, when asked what the treatment was. “Because I don’t have pain like I had, no?

http://www.sport24.co.za/Tennis/ATPTour/Nadal-tries-new-treatment-20131230#.UsG13eYmwpI.facebook

Watch out everyone!


Patson Says:

Let us atleast give Sean the right to write what he said.

Delpo is a one-time grandslam winner. Just because he hasn’t won a second one doesn’t mean he won’t win another one. I too think that Delpo has a fair chance of winning a major in 2014 provided he remains fit. The big guy is due for a one.


rafaeli Says:

skeezer, Fed’s one trick doesn’t work on Rafa and he hasn’t been able to adjust he keeps playing the same old, same old style against him even though it’s not working. Fed plays the same way against everyone, Rafa adjusts his style according to who he is playing.

holdserve, Sean is unable to hide his hatred for Rafa. The pronouncements he makes clearly shows that, for him, it’s anyone but Rafa. For Sean and other Rafa haters, Rafa’s glass is always half empty.


kjb Says:

Rafaeli: One trick pony!?!? HAHAHAHAHA. WOW. What are you even talking about?


Sean Randall Says:

I hate Nadal so much that I picked him to beat Djokovic in the US Open final: http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2013-09-08/13606.php

I also “gave Nadal a chance” to win the French Open this year: http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2013-05-24/12509.php

Hell, before anyone else I even said Nadal could one day be the GOAT: http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2008-06-08/495.php#comment-34167

But…I guess none of those predictions were based on any rational analysis either. Oh well.


courbon Says:

…and the guy just wrote article and gave his predictions….
There was articles in the past about Fed and Novak saying negative stuff or not favourable predictions, and was it out cry there???No there was not.
No wonder most Rafa fans are called fanatics.What is it-some cult or religion???? He is even compared to Leonardo Da Vinci!!! One is possibly greatest mind of last 4000 years and other is the guy who runs and punches little green ball (that’s how the people in 2226year will see tennis! )…
It’s just over the top all this…


courbon Says:

…400 years not 4000…


Patson Says:

@courbon

“that’s how the people in 2226year will see tennis!”

LOL loved this quote.


courbon Says:

@ Patson: I love Sci-Fi movies so probably that’s how is going to be.Remember, gladiators and lions eating them alive in front off cheerie audience, was major sport only 2000 years ago… I’m off to do some work and you have a great evening tonight-speak to you next year! Happy New Year!


Steve 27 Says:

There was articles in the past about Fed and Novak saying negative stuff or not favourable predictions, and was it out cry there???No there was not.
Hahha, show me some
To Randall and Gainey
and why all the biased headlines that you and your colleague enphasize deliberately negative way from a while back with Nadal
I do not know if you’ve taken a course in journalistic ethics (which I have not seen your articles) but focus persistently for a player, just because it is not to your liking (to hell with objectivity!), Trying in an obvious way of or discredit his statements out of context is an evil and disgusting way to do that only feeds the blog and benefit authors.
I do not care your predictions, after all, are only “hunches” that often far from reality but what is intolerable is the sensationalism that refers to a lack of depth in the subject and is impossible to takes seriously.
And I say non-offense, but it’s garbage.
Some time ago I congratulated you but it is unacceptable that this blog feed increasingly morbid rather than the quality of the information.


rafaeli Says:

Sean:

“Yes, we are finally seeing some cracks in the King of Clay. And those darn knees…I think they’ll make headlines once again.”

They already have although this is not the kind of headlines you had in mind:

Rafa: “I feel that this one really makes me feel more comfortable,” he said, when asked what the treatment was. “Because I don’t have pain like I had, no?

“It is true that (in 2013) I played a lot of days with anti-inflammatory. But I was able to compete very well once I started. That was my goal and so I was very happy about everything.”

“With this last treatment I feel more comfortable on my knee during the rest of the day. I feel that I can have a more normal life than I had during the last year and a half, because then I was playing tennis, and the rest of the time just relaxed.”

http://www.sport24.co.za/Tennis/ATPTour/Nadal-tries-new-treatment-20131230#.UsG13eYmwpI.facebook


roy Says:

”Plus, after beating him in Monte Carlo Djokovic should have won that French Open semifinal. ”

so because he beat nadal in a 3set clay match he should have won a 5 setter at RG?
why?
federer has beaten nadal in 3set clay matches, should he have beaten nadal at RG?

if anything, nadal should have won that RG djoker match more easily, in 4sets. he served for the match end of 4th, remember.

as for delpo, the guy hasn’t returned to a slam final since 09 and hasn’t won a masters title. let’s stop saying he’s going to dominate till he actually does.

delpo/age 25:
1 slam
4 masters finals(incl year end)

murray/age 26:
2 slams and 5 slam finals
9 masters wins and 3 finals

murray is clearly superior.
if anybody outside of djoker/nadal is set to ”contend” for dominance, it would be murray until delpo proves otherwise.

delpo really has done significantly better than berdych, who people like to dismiss. delpo won the final he was in unlike berdych. okay. but berdych has beaten federer in two slams, has similar masters record, maybe better since he won one.
not much between them yet delpo is the next big contender because of his 09 run basically.


roy Says:

> hasn’t done significantly better than berdych


Slice Tennis Says:

I don’t know why people are waging a war against Sean Randall.

IMO he is definitely not a hater. He has been mostly fair and objective about Rafa and his status in the game.

I agree he has written at times some meaningless stuff about Rafa, but that was not out of hate. IMO that is just to get more hits and comments for his article. Naturally fed fans outnumber Rafa fans everywhere. The writers in general definitely needs to feed those haters to keep this blog alive. Already after the fabulous year Rafa has had in 2013 most of the fed fans have gone into hiding. If you have articles only with positive stuff about Rafa none of the fed fans will be interested. Even Rafa fans will lose interest gradually if there are no antagonists like skeeze/ben here.

Personally I am ok with Sean, he knows his stuff. His analysis are mostly fair and interesting. Sometimes he feeds the trolls to keep the blog interesting. Even though he is a fed fan he is not a third rated hater like ruan, ben, skeeze, etc.


Margot Says:

Of course, in the virtual world, Sean likes to be controversial and, dare I say it, pugnacious at times? After all that’s what draws the punters in, either to defend or counter attack.
But I’m curious in “real” life Sean, are you perhaps more like Clark Kent? ;)


rafaeli Says:

H/C H2H

Nadal 6 Djokovic 14
Nadal 6 Murray 6
Nadal 10 Federer 4

Sean:
“As I said before, Nadal’s surprising turnaround on hardcourts was due in part to Murray’s injury, Federer’s aging and Djokovic’s swoon.”

Illogical!

If Rafa’s huge lead against Djokovic on clay counts for nothing, as Djokovic is being tipped for the FO then Djoker’s lead on h/c shouldn’t count either.


rafaeli Says:

Up to 2012, before Federer’s ageing their h2h on ha/c court was:

Nadal 7 Federer 4.


rafaeli Says:

In fact, Federer has never beaten Nadal on outdoor h/court. All 4 of his wins were indoors.


Ben Pronin Says:

“In fact, Federer has never beaten Nadal on outdoor h/court.”

This is in no way a fact.


rafaeli Says:

^^^Before his ‘ageing’, Federer only beat Rafa once in Miami coming back from 2 sets down………that was a 17 year old Rafa against a 22 year old Federer.

That should be glossed over just like Nadal’s wins are glossed over and dismissed.


rafaeli Says:

We should also not count Fed’s win over Rafa at IW because Rafa had a bad knee.


courbon Says:

Steve 27: Off course there was negative stuff about Novak on this blog.Also, there is nothing negative about Sean’s opinion ( and that’s all it is-opnion!) that Nadal may end up number 3.
I personally think that Nadal will be number 1 or 2 by the end of the year so I don’t necessarily agree with article.I alos think he won fair and square in 2013 all his matches!And I think Andy may be a great spoiler to Novak or even Nadal -who knows? My pointy is that nothing nasty was written about Nadal in this article and guy gets hurricane of abuses because he does not belive that Nadal will be number 1? Think about it.
Also, as some Nadal fans think is not realistic that Delpo can finish number 2, I also noticed on previous tread that some Nadal’s fans putted Novak as finishing number 3-is that realistic ?He won last 4 tournaments,he is on 24 matches winning streak, almost finished number 1 ??? ( and he got Boom Boom Boy with him!! Ok, that’s a joke, Becker may screw up things…) Both scenarios are not realistic but possible…


Ben Pronin Says:

Then we don’t count Nadal’s win over Federer in Australia 09 or IW 13 because Federer had a bad back. Even Cincy 13. And Miam 04 when Fed had a cold. See how that works?


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Courbon/Patson im not a Rafa fanatic,and going by Seans reasoning i can see why hes tooting Novaks horn ahead of the new season been as he ended the year on such a high,but not taking anything away from Novak,everyone knows thats not Rafas best part of the season anyway,i think the thing thats p*ssing us Rafa fans off is the fact that a)his great year was classed as less legit because he didnt face Novak in all those finals he won and b)the season became more legit as Novak came to life in the fall,Novak might have been more superior to Rafa during the fall,but Rafa was more superior before the fall,and surely a fair person would see that tennis is about what you do for a whole season and not just a couple of months,if Novak can be given credit for his achievements during the year,then why cant Rafa too?


rafaeli Says:

When Nole lost momentum at the end of his incredible run in 2011, it was accepted that he was tired, when Rafa loses momentum at the end of his incredible 2013, he is finished.

Everyone should be judged by the same standards.


rafaeli Says:

Ben Pronin Says:
“Then we don’t count Nadal’s win over Federer in Australia 09 or IW 13 because Federer had a bad back. Even Cincy 13. And Miam 04 when Fed had a cold. See how that works?”

Sean is the one who is dismissing Rafa’s wins because of Murray’s injury, Federer’s age and Djokovic swooning.


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Courbon i like Delpo and i believe he can/will win another GS,but i have my doubts as to whether he can sustain a run long enough through a year,he would need to work on his stamina and consistency,he lost to Hewitt and Chardy in the slams this year also,and he hasnt made a final since the one he won in 2009,im not trying to be a biased Rafa fan but you would have to admit that on past form fortune would favour Rafa,Novak and Andy before him over a year surely?


Ben Pronin Says:

So what? It’s his opinion.

Where did Sean say Nadal is finished? Plus Djokovic at the end of 2011 was smack dab in the middle of his prime. Nadal is closer to the other side. It’s not like Sean said he’s going to fall outside the top 10 and fail to win a title. Calm down.


Okiegal Says:

Yes, Sean knows lots of stuff all right…….He knows how to incite a riot!!


rafaeli Says:

Ben Pronin,
I understand. Different standards are applied to Rafa. Of course Sean implied that Rafa is finished. How on earth can he predict that Rafa will not win a slam next year when he holds the record for winning slams 9 years in row, pitching one slam final and title Delpo above him?

Delpo has made only one slam final in his entire career and Rafa rarely does ot make a slam final.


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Dont know which thread to post this on but Murray served up a double bagel :))..


Sean Randall Says:

Rafaeli, Nadal finished? Where did I say that?

TXHC, I’ve already acknowledged Nadal deserves to be the No. 1 player in 2013. He was the best, there’s no denying it. There, I said it again.

But for the purposes of looking ahead to next year, I felt Rafa’s finish felt a little flat. Had he won a title or two down the stretch, had he beaten Djokovic (or even Del Potro) maybe I would have elevated him to No. 1 or No. 2, but he didn’t. And the fact he played a lot of hardcourt season in 2013 and the fact Novak’s playing well, Del Potro’s playing well, Murray’s back, etc., lead me to believe Nadal will slip a little in the New Year.

And yes, his hardcourt results were aided by some luck (http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2013-11-27/14247.php). Now if Rafa wins Doha, wins Australia then I’m 100% wrong.


Slice Tennis Says:

“And Miam 04 when Fed had a cold.”

That was the beginning of the “excuse for losses” era…initiated by Fed and encouraged by the media.


Perfect fan Says:

Fed is the best….blah-blah,
no..no rafa is the best….blah-blah-blah,
actually nole is the best….blah-blah-blah-blah……………………….

BTW, wishing all u guys a very “hApPy nEw yEaR”…..i wish all d tennis professionals stay healthy n hav a wonderful year ahead.

also wish, the hate inside some of the fellow posters’ hearts for the (working thr a** off day in and day out) players gets omitted and start loving the sport itself more than anything else….amen!!


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

^You make your own luck in this world IMO,you said Rafa was lucky in parts,well i say Novak was lucky in parts,works both ways.^


Slice Tennis Says:

Okiegal at 9:21:
Spot on.


Ben Pronin Says:

Find a quote, Slice Tennis. The “excuse for losses” era starts with Nadal. He is the almight excuse king. Never loses unless he’s injured.

Rafaeli, Nadal winning a slam 9 years in a row doesn’t guarantee him a slam in 2014. And just because Del Potro only has one doesn’t mean he won’t win another. Sean is going by their career trajectory. Eventually, even the greatest of champions start to lose.


Okiegal Says:

@Doha

Ferrer….first set……Dolgo……second set……Ferrer……4-3 third set on serve


Bad Knee Rules Says:

———
Dont know which thread to post this on but Murray served up a double bagel :))..
———-
———-
Andy Murray raced to victory in his first singles match of the 2014 ATP season as he beat world No 2129 Mousa Zayed in just 37 minutes.
———-

WORLD No 2129 … give me a break, please.


rafaeli Says:

Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:
Dont know which thread to post this on but Murray served up a double bagel :))..

The guy is a WC ranked 2129 in the world.


Slice Tennis Says:

You just mentioned about Federer’s flu when he got beaten by Rafa in 2004.

And Federer back has been in the news since 2003/2004.


rafaeli Says:

No doubt this win of Andy’s will be seen as Andy having a strong start to the season.


Okiegal Says:

@Doha

David the winner over Dolgo…….now I can settle back and watch Rafa…….Love live streaming over the internet……watched my guy play lots of matches this year!


skeezer Says:

“Naturally fed fans outnumber Rafa fans everywhere.”
Finally, something worthy to say.


skeezer Says:

If you’re too hurt to play, don’t play. If you can play, then stfu and play.


Ben Pronin Says:

Until 2010, I never heard Federer use an injury as an excuse for a loss.

Unlike Nadal, who goes “I don’t wanna be known as the guy who makes excuses for losses, but I just lost because my knee hurts.”

This is the last time I’m addressing this, but you Rafatards have gone completely bonkers if you’re trying to say Federer is an excuse maker when we’ve been hearing about Nadal’s knees nonstop since 2006. Soderling beat Nadal? Must be the knees! Darcis won? Must be the knees. Rosol won? Knees, knees, and more knees! Get a grip rafatards.


rafaeli Says:

Ben Pronin Says:
Find a quote, Slice Tennis. The “excuse for losses” era starts with Nadal. He is the almight excuse king. Never loses unless he’s injured.

Rafaeli, Nadal winning a slam 9 years in a row doesn’t guarantee him a slam in 2014. And just because Del Potro only has one doesn’t mean he won’t win another. Sean is going by their career trajectory. Eventually, even the greatest of champions start to lose.

December 31st, 2013 at 9:38 am

Whatever!


Slice Tennis Says:

Federer has always used his back issues whenever he wanted explain away a loss or to skip DC.


Slice Tennis Says:

If you’re too hurt to play, don’t play. If you can play, then stfu and play.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-07-26/back-injury-sparks-latest-federer-slump/4844812


Slice Tennis Says:

Roger Federer admitted that a back injury contributed to his latest shock defeat, a 6-3, 6-4 loss to Germany’s world number 55 Daniel Brands in the Swiss Open second round.

“I’ve had serious problems with the back, I had to get some anti-inflammatories last week in Hamburg due to the back pain,”

“It was so tough to play and move out there today. I’ll just have to take treatment and see how it all goes.

“My back felt OK enough, but not enough to play at 100 percent. I knew coming into the match that it would be a tough one. I didn’t decide to play until after the warm-up, that’s what a close call it was.

“I played a decent enough match but I could not get away with the win.”


Slice Tennis Says:

The beginning of the excuse era (2003):
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/tennis/2003/wimbledon/news/2003/06/30/federer_lopez_reut/

“I just couldn’t move anymore so I had to call the trainer and hope for a wonder,” Federer told reporter. “It was very tough for me. I don’t know. I still now can’t explain what happened. I don’t know how I won today.”

“It was totally blocked and, you know, I was always under a lot of pain. As the match went on, it got a little better because the body gets warmer and you get into it and you try to forget it.

“Yes, I am exhausted now because of what happened today.”


Slice Tennis Says:

“If you’re too hurt to play, don’t play. If you can play, then stfu and play.”

Great quote. LMAO.


madmax Says:

rafaeli Says:
We should also not count Fed’s win over Rafa at IW because Rafa had a bad knee.

December 31st, 2013 at 8:20 am

Slice Tennis Says:
You just mentioned about Federer’s flu when he got beaten by Rafa in 2004.

And Federer back has been in the news since 2003/2004.

December 31st, 2013 at 9:43 am

Check the time Slicetennis. Check the time. Now, are you always accusing me of not reading posts carefully enough! Well and truly busted!

Here you go Slicetennis.

This was the source of the quote that Ben responded to. So now, one of your Rafa junkies started something. So you can apologise to Ben now, if you are big enough.

This is the sort of Rafa propaganda that spirals out of control.

Slice Tennis Says:
Federer has always used his back issues whenever he wanted explain away a loss or to skip DC.

December 31st, 2013 at 9:52 am

Crap slice tennis. Absolute crap. You NEVER hear Federer complain about his ailments in interviews. Not until the last few months have we even learnt about the extent of his back problem. Always been there, (as it is for most tennis players, but rafa always goes on about his knees. Always. Roger doesn’t have to scream about it, the way that Rafa does in his interviews, to play the “I’m not the favourite” at any tournament. Roger has always played through pain, as a lot of players do, he doesn’t retire from matches, that I think is one of his most incredible records, that he has never retired from a match.

So, the time Rafa stops complaining about his knee we will all faint!

And why is it that his treatment is so secretive about his knees? Why doesn’t he just come out and say what he is having done to it? Don’t understand this approach at all.

When Murray had his operation on his back, he made it clear that it was a minor operation. With Rafa, it is always “I have a bad knee”, but then he goes on to win a tournament, grand slam, no less.

Clearly, it is not that bad. No one could play with an injured knee of that magnitude.

It’s hardly surprising no one believes him.


skeezer Says:

ST,
You don’t get it. IMO I don’t like any player who says the main reason “i lost because. I was hurt”. Like the opposing player didn’t have anything yo do with the loss(or win). And no matter how many links you find to Feds mentioning to his back everyone knows Rafa is the king excuse mongorer of all time.
Furthermore, its even more pu$$y to whine and complain prior to entering a tournament that you’re injured. If you are too injured to play, don’t play.
And yes, got that great quote from my old coach.


Slice Tennis Says:

“Crap slice tennis. Absolute crap. You NEVER hear Federer complain about his ailments in interviews.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/18/sports/tennis/18tennis.html?_r=0


madmax Says:

Slice Tennis Says:
The beginning of the excuse era (2003):
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/tennis/2003/wimbledon/news/2003/06/30/federer_lopez_reut/

“I just couldn’t move anymore so I had to call the trainer and hope for a wonder,” Federer told reporter. “It was very tough for me. I don’t know. I still now can’t explain what happened. I don’t know how I won today.”

“It was totally blocked and, you know, I was always under a lot of pain. As the match went on, it got a little better because the body gets warmer and you get into it and you try to forget it.

“Yes, I am exhausted now because of what happened today.”

December 31st, 2013 at 10:04 am

slicetennis, spend your afternoon on accumulating qoutes from fed about injury (won’t take you long) and then do the same with rafa (will take you around a month), and then see who comes up with the most excuses, which are now, becoming way too old and without substance.

If you can do that, then you will be a man my son. You will be a man.


Slice Tennis Says:

“Furthermore, its even more pu$$y to whine and complain prior to entering a tournament that you’re injured.”

LOL. This is before entering AO 2012:
http://www.thepost.co.za/back-injury-a-real-concern-for-federer-1.1212839#.UsLe0czrZCE


madmax Says:

Ben Pronin Says:
Find a quote, Slice Tennis. The “excuse for losses” era starts with Nadal. He is the almight excuse king. Never loses unless he’s injured.

Rafaeli, Nadal winning a slam 9 years in a row doesn’t guarantee him a slam in 2014. And just because Del Potro only has one doesn’t mean he won’t win another. Sean is going by their career trajectory. Eventually, even the greatest of champions start to lose.

December 31st, 2013 at 9:38 am

It’s okay Ben. I found the quote from Rafaeli, and showed slicetennis the source for your response. Let’s see his reaction.


skeezer Says:

ST I am not going to into a link war with you. You know you would lose. Keep trying to twist the subject matter, everyone knows what Rafa says and does regarding injury excuses.


Slice Tennis Says:

Mad max,
I could not find many quotes from Rafa that he lost because of injury.

Can you please help me.


skeezer Says:

“Federer’s lack of serious injury before a grand slam helped him dominate the men’s game from 2004 until 2007, when he won 11 of his 16 grand slam titles and finished runner-up twice more.”
From your own link, ROTFL!

Keep trying, then scour the google for Rafa links. i don’t have the time. Seems you do.


Slice Tennis Says:

“ST I am not going to into a link war with you. You know you would lose. Keep trying to twist the subject matter, everyone knows what Rafa says and does regarding injury excuses.”

LOL…I know you wont get many quotes from Rafa that he lost because of an injury. Its only a false propaganda by your gangsters.


Slice Tennis Says:

Injury drama while losing it against Safin at AO 2005:
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/tennis/aus/2005-01-27-safin-federer_x.htm


Slice Tennis Says:

When was the last time Rafa mentioned an injury after his loss ?
Any quotes from Rafa ?????

Haters…please help me.


Slice Tennis Says:

“Find a quote, Slice Tennis.”

Is it enough or do you want more ?


Slice Tennis Says:

“You NEVER hear Federer complain about his ailments in interviews. Not until the last few months have we even learnt about the extent of his back problem.”

This is way “back” in 2003 much before Rafa came into the picture:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/wimbledon_2003/3033330.stm

LMAO.


Slice Tennis Says:

The famous “mono” was invented to explain his straight sets thrashing by Nole at AO 2008:

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/news/story?id=3282485


Slice Tennis Says:

If Rafa is such a big doper why would Federer remain silent about it ?

Can someone help me to understand this ?


holdserve Says:

Sean, after a great season in 2011, Djokovic did not win a single title after USO. The media claimed that the poor guy was exhausted. Rafa’s season was even more gruelling as he plays through pain. Even assuming he has no knee problem and he chose to sit out for 7 months for reasons best known to Fed loonies, his season was pretty grueling with 10 titles , 5 of them Masters, 2 slams .
Considering Hard court isn’t his best surface and indoor hard court is his worst, why do you expect that when even Novak slumped in 2011 after a great season upto USO, why shouldn’t Rafa slump in 2013 after a great season till USO?
Oh I forgot. If Novak loses, he is tired. If Rafa loses it is because Djokovic has found his A game.


Slice Tennis Says:

Holdserve,
Please leave it. Ben gets mad when he gets caught while making wild and false statements.


Sean Randall Says:

Holdserve, as I’ve stated before that on hardcourts Novak’s A game is in my mind better than Rafa’s A game.

And Holdserve, what happened after Djokovic’s incredible 2011 season in which he won 3 Slams? Oh yeah, he semi-slumped as well. He won more Slams in 2011 than he has since (3 to 2).

Point is, it’s awfully, awfully tough for any player to back up one of their best years. That goes for Federer, Djokovic and yes, even Nadal.

Also, since you brought it up Holdserve, how many more hardcourt matches did Rafa play in 2013 compared to say his 2007-2011 seasons? Since it was such a “grueling” season as you claim the data must clearly back that he played more than ever on cement this past year.

Ben, task completed.


Ben Pronin Says:

Nadal has never finished number 1 two times in a row. He had a big 08, then missed a chunk of 09. Great 2010, then was surpassed by Djokovic. He actually started by having a great 2012 until he was injured. So the odd/even thing may have swapped with his great 2013. It’s not crazy to think Nadal’s performance will drop, as it has historically.

Sean, well, Federer did a pretty fantastic job of backing up his best season. 04-06 was something ridiculous. And it’s not like 07 was that bad, either.


Slice Tennis Says:

^^ Weak era.
No major rivals to put pressure on him apart from a one dimensional teenager.


Ben Pronin Says:

^^Not a credible excuse.


Giles Says:

Rafa and his 45 year old partner beat the czechered R@$$hole in dubs and Rafa beat the same czechered
R@$$hole in singles today. You see skeezer lightning doesn’t strike twice!!
22-10
Vamos Rafa!!


madmax Says:

Slice Tennis Says:
Mad max,
I could not find many quotes from Rafa that he lost because of injury.

Can you please help me.

December 31st, 2013 at 10:30 am

Oh go on then slicetennis! :)

What Rafa is very good at is explaining the injury and the fact that he won’t win, PRIOR to a tournament. We all know that. There are also a few where he cits soreness of the knee, stomach pain (I think that was a bug?) as well as some of the following:

Where have you been hiding?

Nadal pulled out of Wimbledon, 2009 citing tendonitis in his knees. He said the pain worsened in his Madrid final loss to Federer before the French Open. YOU can read some of his interview about his painful knees there.

In an interview with the magazine, Nadal, who has been off the tour since June in an attempt to heal the tendinitis in his knees, admitted he does not know how much longer he’ll be playing tennis.

“I don’t know how long I will keep playing tennis. I’ll be 31 in five years and taking into account the fact that I started at 16 … Until I had the problems with the knee again, Complicated times came later,” Nadal said.

rafael-nadal-talks-injury-career-vanity-fair

Rafa has confirmed that he suffers Hoffa’s syndrome (apparently it was diagnosed at Wimbledon this year). Hoffa’s syndrome is the inflammation of accumulation of fat inside the knee, behind patella tendon. The symptoms are pain in the front side of the knee that increases when walking & when touching the tendon. The treatment consists of rest and anti-inflammatory drugs. If it becomes chronic (pain for more than 6 months), surgery can be used to remove the fat, but this last part is what Rafa wants to avoid.

“I’ll return when the knee is healed.

Right now I follow my knee’s orders”

“Currently, I’m not practicing on court”, (when clearly he is).

“We’ll follow a new approach. Probably from now on I’ll have to play on clay more than on hard, which hurts me more.

If the captain counts on me, and the knee is in good shape, I’ll return to play for the Davis Cup”

http://www.nadalnews.com/2012/08/21/injury-presser/#more-35252

ST, hope I have guided you to some of the links here, but there were so many, I was really spoilt for choice!


courbon Says:

@ Hippy Chic: Hi there. I agree that Nadal’s winning should not be justified by other guys bad perfomances because there is always other side of the coin (maybe Novaks 2011 was good because Rafa was flat?).It’s just over the top reaction-that’s all.
I’m off to get ready and cook and I wish you very nice New Year and get drunk tonight!!Have a blast!
Speak to you next year.


courbon Says:

In the middle of this mini-war,
I just want to wish everybody
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
……ok, you can continue war….


Giles Says:

Rafa suffers with chronic tendinitis in his knees. It will never be healed completely. He will have a respite now and then but in the main it is what it is. He will have good days and bad days for the rest of his career which Rafans have accepted so why can’t you haters accept it as well??? Constant bickering will not alleviate his condition so shut up!!!
Vamos Champ!!
Stay Healthy!


Okiegal Says:

Yes, u 2 Courbon……and Happy New Year to all Tennis Xers from my home to yours!!


Anna Says:

Madmax – For a Federer fan you sure love to follow Nadal. The problem is everything you see and mostly everything you say is skewed because your always looking to find fault. Injury is part of an athlete’s life, and everyone knows your talking out your piehole when you try to make mountains out of molehills regarding Rafa’s injury. The problem is Nadal has been successful (especially against Roger) in spite of his wonky knee and that’s what gets Fed fans goat. You have all these fake complaints to hopefully discredit Rafa in some way, but history won’t buy it and those who complained will be eating sour grapes for years to come.


Okiegal Says:

@Courbon

Merry New Year and Happy Hangover!!! You did say you were gonna get toasted…….don’t drive!!


madmax Says:

Slice Tennis Says:
^^ Weak era.
No major rivals to put pressure on him apart from a one dimensional teenager.

December 31st, 2013 at 11:44 am

slicetennis, shows how you disrespect the sport of tennis.

This is a roundabout argument because, needless to say, Federer is the reason that all of the players mentioned above are considered second-tier. Only in comparison to Federer, and to the bigger and faster players who are a half-dozen years younger than him, is Roddick all hat and no cattle. When he arrived on the scene, his serve and forehand scared opponents. Terrified them. Pete Sampras, then the all-time Grand Slam champion, called him the future of American tennis. It took Federer to show the rest of the tour that the American’s huge serve could be neutralized. And we tend to forget that Hewitt was a dominant World No. 1 in 2001-02. He crushed Sampras in straight sets to win the 2001 U.S. Open and breezed through Wimbledon the following year. He was the second coming of Jimmy Connors: tough, brash, the ultimate street fighter, with an awesome return of serve and an impregnable backcourt game. When Andre Agassi beat him in the 2002 U.S. Open semifinals, it was considered an upset.

Speaking of Agassi: The capper in the Federer’s-era-is-weak argument is that a 35-year-old Agassi was able to reach the U.S. Open final in 2005, where he lost to Federer. True enough, Agassi ended up with an easy draw that year and slipped into the final through the back door — that happens now and again. (See the 1983 Wimbledon, where Chris Lewis reached the final, and the 2005 French Open, when Mariano Puerta reached the final.) But there’s an even better reason for Agassi’s run: He is one of the all-time greats. He won eight majors, reached seven other major finals and revolutionized the game with his power-baseline style — not bad, considering that he sleep-walked through the first half of his career. If a fit and focused Agassi reaching a final at 35 is proof of a weak era (he won his last major at 32), then what about Rod Laver winning the calendar-year Grand Slam at 31? Does that make the early Open era, an era that included Ken Rosewall, Roy Emerson, Arthur Ashe, John Newcombe, Ilie Nastase, Tony Roche, Stan Smith and Jan Kodes, a weak period?

Of course not. Laver was truly great, and at his best he could make other top-notch players look second-rate. Same goes for Federer. Federer’s generation is the greatest ever to play professional tennis. Nadal’s generation — Juan Martin del Potro, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, etc. — will prove to be slightly better still, because that’s the way it works. And this fact ultimately should settle the argument. For we are now indisputably in a new era, and Federer isn’t quite ready to hang up his racket.

http://blog.oregonlive.com/tennis/2010/10/roger_federer_and_the_myth_of_the_weak_era.html


Okiegal Says:

@Chic

You have a super New Year too! I had to single you out for special wishes, since we are kindred spirits and all!

Watched Rafa and Rosol today. No shoulder bumps….LOL

I love Rafa’s new gear…..Sharp looking!!

Have a good one and don’t let too much bubbly be consumed…….hangovers are the pits!!


skeezer Says:

courban & Okiegal,
Happy New Year to you as well!
@Madmax
Go Girl! Thanks for doing the research. Everyone knows its there..
@Giles Hold on there. Everyone does know it. He’s (supposedly) dealing with chronic knee issues. The point is play with them or without them but don’t them as a crutch for wins and losses. You types are so blind that you can’t see beyond Rafa. What do you think the other guy feels like when Rafa dos this? Classic example:
When he lost to his countrymen Ferrer:
http://www.indyposted.com/149784/david-ferrer-defeats-rafael-nadal-in-straight-sets/
So now Ferrer feels like he really didn’t beat Nadal? Oh wait, beat a sick Nadal? Pathetic.

Look, and credit to Rafa for doing this, the last few years he is making a better attempt for not coming up with excuses. His SOP is “I am not going to make excuses” in pressers…..Why? He knows he has of history of doing it. Before, after, and even when playing.
But to continually post here that he doesn’t have a history of excuse mongering and try to deflect it somewhere else is just classic vamoshead material.


rafaeli Says:

It’s funny how Rafa haters gloss over his 4 sets win over Nole at the USO, preferring to refer only to MC, Beijing and the WTF because mentioning Nadal’s 4 sets win over Nole on h/c does not help their cause.


Slice Tennis Says:

Mad max,

You have written some long posts, but have not shown a quote from Rafa where he mentioned the knees as the reason after a loss.

He mentions about the knees for missing tournaments.

Remember this ?
“If you are injured, don’t play”

He did not play when he was injured and gave that as the reason for sitting at home.


Slice Tennis Says:

“So now Ferrer feels like he really didn’t beat Nadal? Oh wait, beat a sick Nadal? Pathetic.”

Who took the credit away from Ferrer ?
It was Ferrer himself not Rafa fans.

Ferrer himself said: “This is one big victory for me, but it’s not like a victory really. He was playing with injury and I had luck. But I played my game.”


Sean Randall Says:

rafaeli, I called Nadal’s win over Djokovic in the US Open final Rafa’s best victory of the year. I even picked Nadal to beat Djokovic in that match. But you probably glossed over both of those posts.


Slice Tennis Says:

I am still waiting for a quote from Rafa mentioning his knees as the reason after a loss.


courbon Says:

@ Okiegal: Thanks and to you all the best.I will not drive-I will crawl home…( It’s just 300m so It’s OK )
and shall I ad, that I wish Nadal great year also.


courbon Says:

@ skeezer: Have a great year, you and Fed!


Slice Tennis Says:

Wish you all a great year ahead.
I wish a great year for Federer and hope he gets deeper in slams so that Rafa gets to play him more.


Slice Tennis Says:

Sean,
Do you remember this ?

“My personal feeling is Rafa will still be winning Grand Slam titles but with his style of play, the deep field of contenders before him and with a physically demanding schedule, I have a hard time seeing him finish a season ranked No. 1 again. Yes, we may very have seen the best from Rafa. Truth be told, though, I hope I have to eat my words on that one.”


Sean Randall Says:

Slice Tennis, yes, your point?


Slice Tennis Says:

Nothing Sean, no offense meant. Just wanted to remind you that our predictions could go completely wrong if it is about Rafa.


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Yeah just to say in the middle of all the madness id like to wish all the Tennis X posters AND STAFF A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR.


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Courbon thanks and you too:))..
Okiegal thanks and you too,looking forward to having more chats in the coming year,with my cyber tennis kindred sister;-D..


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Bad Knee Rules/Rafaeli 9.42am i had no idea where Murrays oponent was ranked to be honest,and i missed the match unfortunatly as i was working,it was a knee jerk reaction as i saw the result without actually seeing him play,still no need for all the sarcasm though.


Okiegal Says:

@Courbon

Thanks for the New Years wishes for myself and my fav. I think most tennis fans want all the players to stay healthy so we are able to see amazing tennis. I still love to see Rafa and Roger hook up……usually some awesome tennis. Hope Roger and his new coach is a match made in heaven! Best wishes to him and his faithful fan!


Okiegal Says:

@Skeezer

Best wishes to you too! Have a wonderful 2014!!


Okiegal Says:

@Chic

Looking forward to those future chats myself!!


Okiegal Says:

@Courbon

Is your fav Novak or Fed? I thought Fed but not sure. If it’s Joker…….same goes for him to. Rafa and Novak have had some great matches too!!


madmax Says:

Anna Says:
Madmax – For a Federer fan you sure love to follow Nadal

Anna, I replied to the many fed bashers,you being one of them.

For a rafa fan, you sure like to follow fed Anna.


Anna Says:

Not at all Max. Was a Fed fan 1st and never a basher. I’ll admit to some criticism regarding Roger, but nothing even close to the kind of bashing you, skeezer and Ben dole out on nearly a daily basis toward Rafa. As a visitor to Tennisx and a Nadal fan it’s a miracle I have any affection for Roger at all, but I do, in spite of the likes of you and your buds.


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal just to say Courbons favorite is Novak,but he admires and respects the achievements of Roger,Rafa,Andy,Delpo and all the players,he has his favorite but has no anymosity towards the other players,its hard to tell sometimes with posters who are as nice and as unbiased as that,Michael,Perfect Fan and Tennis Vagabond are exactly the same,sorry for chiming in there Courbon ha ha.


Okiegal Says:

@Chic

Thanks for clearing that up for me. After doing more reading on other threads I realized that. Yes, he is a poster you can have a decent conversation with…..which I must say is refreshing. Sounds like the new year is starting out like 2013 ended…..lots of bashing. Oh well, read um’ and weap! I’m getting ready to watch Rafa, watched Andy too…..not looking too bad, I must say.


Okiegal Says:

@Chic

Andy took the first set, but it’s 3 all in the 2nd set…..hope he can close it out.


Okiegal Says:

@Chic

Mayer took set 2 Andy is struggling a bit in the 3rd. C’mon Andy!!


Margot Says:

Yuk! Hope that’s just rust and not back back :(


the DA Says:

Don’t worry Margot, it wasn’t the back. He played great up until the 4th game of the 2nd set and completely lost focus. Mayer also played much better from then onwards. He should’ve won in straights but, hey, it’s muzza. He’s still got doubles and hopefully he’ll get a WC into Kooyong. He certainly needs more matches.


Margot Says:

@the DA
Hope you’re right, but he had ice packs on his back at the end.
Really needs match practise and has huge number of points to defend at AO. Not too hopeful TBH.
‘Tis my inner Eeyore coming out :(


holdserve Says:

I am worried too. Hope his back is fine.
I have high hopes for him this year.


Okiegal Says:

I don’t have any friends that their back surgery worked….hope this isn’t true with Andy. Two friends have had 4 and one 6…..never get better. I wish he had taken a few months off and stopped doing what was aggravating the problem. I guess I’m too pessimistic. My hubby had back problems and refuses to ho under the knife. Geez, I hope Andy overcomes this is, for he is such s talent. Dang these injuries!


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Hopefully its like The DA has said just rusty and lack of matches,and he did look pretty good for about a set and a half,im choosing to be optomistic and see the glass half full.


the DA Says:

Playing Mayer is tricky because he makes you bend and twist in ways other players don’t. The ice was likely a precautionary measure. Andy was probably miffed because he knows he had an ideal opportunity to play 1 or 2 more matches, especially with Verdasco going out.

Like you I’m not too hopeful about AO because of the best of 5.
Best to lower expectations – we fans will remember how to do that well ;) However, I do think he will be back to peak form sooner than I thought. Just a gut instinct.


Giles Says:

Rafa gets through tough match.
Vamos Champ!


Giles Says:

Neil Harman tweets :
Florian Mayer thought Andy Murray had a little back problem in 3rd set, but also knew he’d be short of form. “This was my best chance”


the DA Says:

Margot – one last tidbit to calm your nerves. Neil Harman just tweeted from his doubles match and said there was no impediment to Andy’s movement. He also said he looked “free and easy” and was hitting sizzling backhands. :)


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Thanks for that bit of info The DA,that is good news :))..


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Im glad that Rafa is having some tough games,that way he will be battle hardened.


Perfect fan Says:

I m not surprised at all that andy lost, provided he is short of playing competitive matches and mayer is one hell of a player.

Rather, I think this loss will turn out gold for muzza….as it will strengthen his mind for the upcoming AO. I m sure, he will play very solid in AO (he infact is my joint fav to win AO beside rafa). I think nole gonna lose this time….jus a hunch (not that he isn’t playing well).


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Perfect Fan Nole has looked pretty impressive though from the back end of last year and the start of this year,and Andy and Rafa not so much,although you never know Nole might just look too impressive if thats possible,and some players take longer than others to get into their stride,The DA said Andy looked great in doubles,and Rafa has had some tough games so at least hes getting battle hardened.


Perfect fan Says:

hippy, the fact that nole is currently playing flawless exquisite tennis is the reason for my hunch….he is the 3 time running champion here and that may jus well go into his head and create some….never mind, jus saying. I may be horribly wrong (as nole plays effortless n super-humane tennis on plexi courts) but it really is a atrong hunch that he will not get it this time….he may then from nex year onwards go for another 3 year streak, but not this year. I m jus desperately waiting for AO to start now….another fortnight to go ;))


Perfect fan Says:

^^sry….meant strong above.


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Perfect Fan yeah hes won the title 3 years in a row 4 times in all,the law of averages might suggest that sooner or later that run will come to an end,thats the same reason why i wouldnt be at all surprised(although i hope not)if Rafas reign at RG came to an end this year,i mean surely its going to one day?but thats another story and a long way off yet,anyway no disrespect to Nole but im pulling for a new or new old champion this year in Andy or Rafa.


Giles Says:

There isn’t a single top 10 player in the Brisbane draw apart from fed that is.


Perfect fan Says:

Sry hippy….gotta go now. Nightie night !! C u around :)


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Night night Perfect Fan speak to you soon :))..


Gordo Says:

I think Rafaeli believes Nadal will be winning slams after he retires. :)

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