Rafael Nadal v Stan Wawrinka In The Australian Open Final, Who’s The Pick? Roger-Rafa Redux
by Sean Randall | January 24th, 2014, 9:12 pm

Are we in for one final climatic surprise at the Australian Open this year? After an unprecedented run of upsets – both on the men’s and women’s side – anything is really possible, even though on paper the Rafael Nadal-Stan Wawrinka final appears to be a complete and utter mismatch.

But before I get there, let’s backup a day to the big showdown from Friday between GOAT rivals Rafa and Roger Federer.

It was meeting No. 33 and as predicted it played out just like the other 32 meetings did with Rafa mostly dominating, attacking the Federer backhand to no end and eventually breaking that wing down. Roger did well to hang in there for a set or so but the constant barrage of shots from Nadal was just too much.

As I’ve said many times before, tennis is about matchups. And for Federer playing Nadal is an awfully awful matchup.

Roger just doesn’t have an answer for Rafa’s ferocious forehand to his weaker backhand. He’s never had it and never will. Not next year, not in 10 years on the senior tour when Rafa’s bald and Roger’s older and grayer.

That spinner forehand is just not going away. And at 32 Roger’s backhand isn’t magically going to turn into Novak Djokovic’s.

Roger’s only chance is for Rafa to either have an off day – unlikely since he really gets up for playing Federer – or he plays him on a quick, low bouncing indoor court or on grass. Otherwise it’s rinse, repeat, Rafa wins.

Still for Federer, it was a positive week under new coach Stefan Edberg. We saw him move better than he has in a while. And he played much more aggressively.

He did beat JW Tsonga and got over on Andy Murray. And even though he’ll slide to No. 8 in the rankings (and below Wawrinka), based on his fall results and his decent start to 2014, it appears Roger’s going to be a threat again. Maybe not to Nadal or Novak Djokovic, but he’ll at least be back to contending unlike what we saw last year when he was losing to guys named Delbonis and Stakhovsky (no offense, fellas).

As for tomorrow…

Rafael Nadal v Stan Wawrinka
As I said on paper this final doesn’t look pretty. Not only has Nadal won all 12 meetings but he’s also won all 26 sets! That’s not good.

So for Stan, who is playing in his very first career Grand Slam final and in the biggest match of his career, he has to win not one set (something he has never done against Rafa) but three sets. That’s asking a whole heck of a lot.

Yet I think he can get one. And really, he should get more.

Unlike Federer, because of the strength of his backhand I think Stan does match up pretty well with Nadal, at least in pure tennis terms.

Stan’s improved his forehand and his serve, and he’s playing smarter tennis thanks in part to the under-appreciated Magnus Norman who, by the way, once helped Robin Soderling stun Nadal at the French.

And Stan did just take down Novak Djokovic after the Serb had got the better of him 14 straight times.

But mentally is where Wawrinka gets into trouble. And I don’t think he truly believes he belongs with the big boys. He just seems too nice about them, too reverential. Soderling wasn’t like that, he didn’t care. I think Stan is in awe of Federers, Nadals and Djokovics. And ultimately that hurts him. Or maybe it did hurt him.

For Nadal, it’s business as usual. He’s a killer in these closing situations and it’s hard to imagine him not finishing the job. The blister seems to be a non-issue now, and he’s playing with fury. If he serves well and gets Stan on the move that should be enough.

For Wawrinka, he has to deal with the stage and then deal with Rafa. He’ll have to go after Rafa’s forehand and really attack from the backcourt – unlike Federer he can’t do much damage from the net. So unfortunately it’s his strength – baseline tennis – vs Rafa’s strength which also happens to be baseline tennis. It’s long odds for Wawrinka but it’s been done before.

That said I would actually give Stan a better chance than Roger against Rafa. But with a second “career Grand Slam” and the truckload of “GOAT points” that it comes with, Rafa’s not going to let this chance slip by.
The pick: Nadal in four

As for the women’s final today, I think Li Na overwhelms another Grand Slam final debutante, Dominika Cibulkova.

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72 Comments for Rafael Nadal v Stan Wawrinka In The Australian Open Final, Who’s The Pick? Roger-Rafa Redux

WTF Says:

I don’t think the title is in the bag for Rafa. But if I’m being realistic, it will be a monumental upset if Stan wins.

In the case of Nole vs Stan, it was not a monumental upset because in 2013 Stan got very close twice.

He’s never come close to beating Rafa. He’s never taken a set.

There is a first time for everything and that first time may even be tomorrow, but until it happens, I have to go with historic trends.

I will not call Stan favorite to beat Nole in future meetings either because until he does it consistently, this win may be an outlier for all I know.

WTF Says:

I like how your women’s final pick was just a one sentence afterthought. Says everything about the women’s game these days.

zola Says:

***not in 10 years on the senior tour when Rafa’s bald and Roger’s older and grayer.***

loved it! but you may not to wait for 10 years to see Rafa bald. He is losing hair fast!

As for the final, I too think Stan is a big threat to Rafa. He serves very well and has a very strong backhand. But he might get anxious as it is his first GS final. Against anybody else I would have cheered for Stan, but I hope Rafa can do the job and get the title.

roy Says:

this ”batter the backhand” line is getting very old.

do people actually watch these matches?
nadal spread the court all night, hit a lot of winners off both wings, including return zingers. and he passed federer superbly off both wings when federer attacked the net.

the idea he was just ”battering the backhand” is utter nonsense.

yes, he attacked it at times just as federer attacked nadal’s backhand. the difference is that nadal’s backhand held up and was unleashing winners.

but the idea nadal just hit spinny crosscourt forehands all night and ‘ground’ federer down is plain ignorant, as it’s always been.

the reality is that the only perpetual and decisive targeting of fed’s backhand happens not in general play but on nadal’s SERVICE.

and that is a single shot simply to neutralize federer’s return. it works because federer has a weak backhand return and whether that’s a one-hander mechanical issue or not, that’s his problem.
why should nadal serve to the forehand if he doesn’t have to?

once the ball is in play, nadal displays a full shot selection, as demonstrated by the incredible rallies these two create.

pretending this is just a ‘glitch’ match up is a disservice to the tennis they produce.

not to mention, because of nadal’s loop and the fact federer spends most of his time running around the backhand, finding his backhand in rallies isn’t even that easy a lot of the time.
on top of that, nothing stops federer from attacking nadal’s backhand to stop him getting on the forehand. as said, he does do it, but nadal simply has a better backhand.

instead of excusing federer because of a ‘glitch’ why not just admit nadal is BETTER from the baseline when all the shots add up, because that’s the truth of the matter.

Michael Says:

With the way Rafa was playing in the semis, it would be too much to expect from Wawarinka to take three sets off him when so far he has managed to snatch none. That is infact a tall order. But, I earnestly hope the finals would be a lot competitive than the one we had in the Semi just to entertain Tennis watchers because that is what the Sport badly needs. We need to have lot of keen, close, competitive matches to sustain interest and take this Global sport to the next level. May the best player win. But, in all probability, we might see Rafa biting the trophy come Sunday.

Michael Says:


As a true Roger Fan, I need to accept the obvious. Rafa is a much better player from the back of the court than Roger is. He is more consistent, focussed and his vicious Top spin makes all the difference in the end. Ofcourse, Roger is a more aggressive player than Rafa is. But, his aggression cannot match Rafa’s defence which he can turn to offence in no time. Roger’s game just doesn’t match up with Rafa. May be on Grass and indoor synthetic surface, Roger can make a difference when the ball bounces low. But in other Courts,it is Rafa all the way. Roger has lost it to him. It is unfortunate that it has happened to him. But it is the truth.

Patson Says:

If Wawrinka plays like Tsonga and Verdasco played against Nadal in 2008 and 2009 respectively at the Aussie open and keeps it together mentally, he actually has a realistic chance to beat Nadal. If Stan the man wins, it would be because he played fearless tennis.

I expect Stan to play fearless tennis.

WTF Says:

Patson I don’t think he can play like Tsonga. Unless you can be a little less broad? They aren’t the same style player.

Tsonga and Gonzalez destroyed him at the AO a few years back. Del Potro destroyed him at the US Open. If you’re not built like them or playing the same style as them, you can’t really “play like them”.

These guys have double fisted backhands for starters, and Delpo is tall, so the loopy forehand lands right into his hitting zone.

Verdasco is a lefty, which nullifies the cross court forehand to backhand strategy.

These guys don’t have the vulnerabilities the swiss have.

If you mean just play to as high a level as they did then he will win, irrespective of game plan then ok. But if anyone can play to that level, they can win anything against anyone.

The first set will tell everything. Does Stan play fearless tennis like you expect? Or will he be inhibited by the enormity of the occasion? He’s gotta take that first set because if he’s nervous and loses it, it will be over quickly. When Nadal wins the first set in a GS, he has only gone on to lose the match twice. Once to Ferrer, and once to Djokovic (AO 2012 final). His win rate is over 98% when taking the first set.

Your chances go down dramatically if you don’t win the first set against him.

Michael Says:

Wawarinka should not be over awed by the moment. He should just go out and there and enjoy his Tennis. Easier said than done, but that is the way he has to approach tomorrow’s match if he harbours any minute chance to win. Beating Novak would certainly have given him confidence which he must take it on against Rafa. Hope he finds his best form in the finals and provide us all with a very competitive match.

Steve 27 Says:

Rafa doesnt need to play his best to defeat the swiss, so if the bh thing works, why change?. This Wawrinka is by the way better than Baghdatis of 2006 so I expect four competitive sets. A difference of that final when the chipriot surrender easily after 2 sets, I dont thik Stan give it away the match like that. Rafa gets finally a second career grand slam with Laver and Emerson and the first in Open Era match Sampras GS titles.

coke man G Says:

Wawrinka’s transformation has been a joy to watch. Looks like he’s the new swiss one hander to watch out for on hardcourts. As for federer his best chance might he on grass, but i see some comments saying he can have a shot against nadal there. I disagree, last time they played on grass it was tight yes, but that was six years ago and the gap between them has only increased. Nadals an up and down grass player but in that match up i doubt he ll have trouble ending it in four sets. As for tomorrow, i think wawrinka will be happy to get a set off him. Nadals played first time finalists before in berdych and soderling so this isnt new territory for him either. Thing with tsonga and soderling and even del po is they all had huge serves and were all out aggressivr types, with tsonga having also a good net game. Dmitrov probably gave rafa a good preview of what it ll be like to play stan. Stan is far more fit and put together mentally but ultimately i think nadal will be too much. He smells goathood and djokovic isnt on the other side of the net. Hard to see him let this pass by, but stans here to stY on hcs. Incredible how much his fh improved.

Giles Says:

Vamos Champ!
Stay Healthy!

coke man G Says:

Off topic but i think this could be a wake up call for djokovic. He needs to push himself harder. He seems like a guy who wants to have fun while being in top of tennis world, but sometimes that focus is the difference between him and nadal and federer of the past. I believe his 2011 was a result of him not wanting to be known as a one slam wonder. He went on a tear and proved himself one of the greats, but in the past few slams he might havr taken his foot off the pedal. This clay season will be telling. Win the fo and at the very least he will be on the same status as agassi. As for murray i dont think shes a guy who cares about greatness as much as the three. Maybe win a few wimbledons and sneak a hc slam here and there. Hes completely given up on clay.

coke man G Says:


Giles Says:

This was the first time Sampras has seen a Fedal match live.
Luv his comments about Rafa

James Says:

“I think he’s incredible,” Sampras told BBC Sport. “I saw him play live for the first time on Friday night and the movement he has is incredible.

“He’s able to adjust his shots on the run. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“To see him play – he hits a very heavy ball, serves pretty well, he does everything,” said the seven-time Wimbledon champion, who will present the trophy to the winner on Sunday, 20 years on from the first of his two Australian victories.
“He’s mentally tough – he has the whole package.”
And Sampras is in little doubt that Nadal, who will go for a ninth French Open title in June, has many more Grand Slam titles in him.

“He’s not looking at 14, he’s looking beyond,” said Sampras.
“Realistically, he could very well get 17, 18 majors when it’s all said and done. He’s a credit to the sport. I’m a fan.”


skeezer Says:

Good stuff.

In this match, agreed. Rafa’s BH was superb and held up well. Where in past matches it’s most always been the area to attack. Lets not forget this isn’t the slowest surtaces in the 4 Slams either. That is what has impressed me most this tourney, he has played really well on it.
With Fed, he has never found a consistent plan to beat Rafa. Probably because there is none in his case. Its a bad matchup no doubt. Happens in every sport. Issue there is, whats a bad matchup for Rafa .

WTF Says:

“Issue there is, whats a bad matchup for Rafa”

Tall guys with strong double handed backhands. Guys like Delpo, Tsonga, Berdych in theory. Djokovic definitely.

That’s not to say he hasn’t beaten these guys though. Not many have a positive record against Rafa.

Rafa’s serve is probably his weakest shot. And it’s predictable. If people are willing to punish his serves, they will do better against him.

skeezer Says:

Ever played a lefty who has a cutter out wide on the add side?Hit that serve effectively, you’re running into the side fence just trying to retrieve it.

gonzalowski Says:

“…not in 10 years on the senior tour when Rafa’s bald” Lol, you’re a bad boy Sean.
I didn’t know Stan is with “The Hunter” Soderling’s previous trainer, it’s quite a datum. I don’t think it affects Rafa, but maybe yes to Wawrinka.

Giles nice Sampras interview, he’s quite polite towards Rafa, maybe just diplomatic? At RG they invited Borg when Rafa reaching him, At AO they invite Pete when Rafa reaching him… IF Rafa reaches 17, they’ll invite Fed to the match?? ;)

Just imagine Wimbledon’2015 final, Federer-Nadal, having got Nadal his 16th Slam in past RG… Ahhh dreaming…

Polo Says:

I don’t think Federer will be invited when and if Rafa reaches his 17th. Roger will probably be playing him for his 17th.

Michael Says:

Well Novak scores over other players in tackling Rafa is his return of serve which is so special. He just takes him off his comfort zone with the way he returns deep and some of the balls landing right on Rafa’s feet. That is the reason you will find Rafa always under tremendous pressure when he serves against Novak while against other players he almost holds at will. If Wawarinka needs to win tomorrow, he has to emulate Novak’s return of serve which is easier said than done.

Michael Says:

If Novak doesn’t stop him, in all probability Rafa might be equalling Roger’s 17 even this year.

A Tango Lad Says:

Not many? Well in reality, none of those players mentioned do.

I want to defend Roger here. It certainly isn’t simply a bad matchup for Roger but over the long run in terms of head to head, for every man who has faced Nadal a dozen or more times.

I will be happy for either man becoming champion tomorrow as both are extremely deserving.

A Tango Lad Says:

Well Michael if that happened, arguably the bigger story could be the calendar grand slam.

Now wouldn’t that be something to achieve both simultaneously.

Hippy Chic Says:

I think all the talk of Rafa surpassing Roger,and the CYGS is rather premature,i mean lets hold on a minute as hes not won the AO,will he,i dont know,i hope so,but its not exactly a foregone conclusion is it?Stan beat Novak whos the defending champion,and a guy whos won it the last 3 years,so theres a good reason he beat Novak because he is playing fantastic tennis,so Rafa will have to play his very best if he wants the title,the FO is Rafas best GS but hes facing the law of averages so he will lose there eventually,at wimbledon hes lost the last two years against journey men enough said,and the USO is always a tough GS to call anyway,sorry but im not one whos taking anything for granted or getting carried away either,lets wait and see.

Polo Says:

Any talk about what may happen is premature. But isn’t that what we do all the time, predict who’s going to win matches? We speculate all the time as to what is going to happen? Who will win this, who will win that, who will be number one at the end of the year, who will win the most slams? Speculating that Nadal may win a calendar year Grand Slam or surpassing Roger’s 17 is not different from all of that, albeit on a bigger scale? Why do people have to be discombobulated when somebody thinks that Nadal may be able to that all that?

Hippy Chic Says:

Polo true i suppose,and actually about Rafa completing a CYGS well as a fan of his i certainly like your summary anyway.

Gordo Says:

Stan – way to go and may you win a set. At the very least bring your A-game and make Mr. Nadal work really hard if he’s going to beat you.

The way Nadal plays there is only one person who can beat him as many times as Rafa wins and that is Lucia, the girl in the library playing poker against him on The Poker Stars Net commercials. During the semis the ads aired 16 times with Nadal winning 8 and Lucia winning 8.

Hmm – maybe pillow fighting should be introduced into opponents’ training regimens. 😛

Polo Says:

Yes, Hippy Chic. Let us have fun and speculate about all the good things that we want to happen especially if there is good probability that it can happen. I would be very happy to see any man win a calendar year Grand Slam in my lifetime. I thought years ago that Federer may do it but missed it twice because of your damned Nadal(sorry but that’s how I felt when he beat Roger those 2 times). I have no more illusions that Roger can do it. I do hope Nadal could do it. I would be the first, no maybe second after you, to cheer for him if he does that.

Okiegal Says:


I agree with you on making premature predictions. I don’t want to have to eat crow! I have lots of confidence in Rafa and his prowess on the tennis court, but prefer to gloat after the deed is done.

I am looking forward to the match. I will pulling another all nighter like I did during the semis. I thought Rafa played so good. Made some amazing shots and so did Roger. I was put off a bit about Roger’ s presser regarding the grunting. He has never mentioned that before to my knowledge. I think Rafa was taken aback by the comment also. An interesting presser, I thought.

Well, hope our guy wins. It should be a hood one as Stan is playing great so far. Trying to get some sleep today. I’ll be up all night, being Sunday and all I will also go to Church. If the minister puts me to sleep, it really won’t be his fault. Lol

Vamos Rafa!!

Slice Tennis Says:

“Tall guys with strong double handed backhands. Guys like Delpo, Tsonga, Berdych in theory. Djokovic definitely.”

Djokovic has done very well against Rafa for an year. But overall he has not had much success against Rafa in slams.

Against Rafa:
Fed is 2-9
Murray is 2-6
Ferrer is 2-3
Nole is 3-8

Going forward Rafa will only do better against Nole.

WTF Says:

skeezer Says:

Ever played a lefty who has a cutter out wide on the add side?Hit that serve effectively, you’re running into the side fence just trying to retrieve it.”

That’s where you gotta take risks, which is what Federer tried to do. When you get a second serve, you run around it and go for a forehand winner.

Okiegal Says:

Roger’ s beef about grunting is a moot point. There isn’t a rule against it. Heck, if there was, there wouldn’t be any tennis, because there is lots of grunting and screaming going on among the players. Time violations, yes, Rafa and Novak need to speed it up. I don’t think 20 seconds is long enough, especially after long rallies, imo. 25 should be the time in slams and masters events. Make it the same please!! Call them on it the first time and be consistent and I think the problem would take care of itself…..just saying. I would like to think after extra long points the umpire would use good judgment accordingly.

Vamos Rafa.

Slice Tennis Says:

Nice read:

The world No 1 has been in this position 18 times before, and only two men have defied him: Roger Federer, at his absolute peak on the grass of Wimbledon, and Djokovic during his inspired period from the summer of 2011 to the spring of 2012.

A man who refuses to accept second place, Nadal eventually powered his way through both these roadblocks. His growing confidence at the net, and on the backhand slice, helped him end Federer’s Wimbledon reign in perhaps the greatest tennis match played: the 2008 final. Four years later, the challenges of Djokovic on hard and clay courts produced another reaction.

Nadal and his uncle Toni went back to the practice court and developed a supercharged forehand down the line.

“It used to be a redirection, a shot to set up the next one,” the experienced coach and broadcaster Darren Cahill said of this latest weapon. “Now it’s an outright winner, and it’s a scary shot.”

Salleh Ahmed Says:

Murray and novak will win now more often against nadal than they did in the past. Nadal cant last forever.

Slice Tennis Says:

Hahaha wishful thinking.

WTF Says:

They both have pretty decent records against him the past few years. Rafa got them early, but they’ve gotten some back on him. Djoker especially.

Teeg Says:


I’m eagerly awaiting the next time Rafa plays Murray. The haven’t played in almost 3 years when Murray dethroned him in Tokyo, thrashing Rafa 6-0 in the final set. Rafa was seriously low on confidence then. I’d certainly like to see them square off again given that they’ve both made improvements to their games since then and now that Andy is a 2-time Major winner.

I always get the feeling Andy steps up his game big time against Rafa. Its going to be interesting in the coming years to watch the tug-of-war between Rafa, Novak, and Andy as the fight for major titles.

Slice Tennis Says:

Murray has done nothing much other than USO 2008 and AO 2010.
Nole had a great run which started in IW 2011 and ended in AO 2012.

Outside that they have got thoroughly beaten by Rafa everywhere, especially in big matches and occasions on all surfaces.

Slice Tennis Says:

Rafa passing Fed’s 17 is inevitable. But it will be even better if he reaches before Federer retires.

If he wins tomorrow, most probably he will reach 17 at 2015 FO and Federer may want to try his luck till next year’s Wimbledon. So there is a chance.

Polo Says:

It will be interesting to see who can step up the plate to challenge Nadal be do it succesfully. I thought Djokovic could be it but he has faltered after 2011 and lost whatever psychological advantage he may have had. If Nadal is physically fit when he enters the court, he knows he already that he has the edge because mentally he knows he is the toughest and physically, he is second to none.

Purcell Says:

I saw Stan on the practice court at the O2 – regrettably not in a match. It was obvious that he and Magnus Norman are doing a great job together, in the widest possible sense….physically, mentally etc etc. Nevertheless, I think that the pressure of his first final will be hard to take despite what we have seen over the course of the AO and indeed last year. The way he tapped his head as he turned to his box after beating Nole perhaps indicated that his head space is clearer. He may not win, but I hope he puts in a blistering performance.

Slice Tennis Says:

Nole has a very solid allround game with very good movement, strength off both wings, very good service, super flexible body, fantastic returns, etc.

But what he lacks is a single deadly weapon to kill a rally when required. And Rafa is now taking advantage of this specific weekness.

Slice Tennis Says:

Another major flaw of Nole’s game is his poor footwork. It becomes very obvious on clay and grass, but even on HC he gets caught off balanced time and again when the opponent is capable of changing directions. He moves very fast, stretches well, but does not back it up with good footwork to play his shots from a balanced position.

Purcell Says:

From Uncle Toni, another self-serving diatribe masquerading as a ‘good idea.’Is it not enough that he’s coached a successful tennis player?

the DA Says:

@Polo – I think Nole will be back. I think that each time he or Rafa gained the upper hand, they go away and readjust their game accordingly. The rivalry is like a pendulum. As for other challengers I think Delpo and Andy (at 100%) – on HC certainly. I hope so anyway. Complete domination would be dull.

skeezer Says:

“Rafa passing Fed’s 17 is inevitable.”

Hahahahahaha whoahahahahaha
Lololol.LMaO, ROFL!!!

Brando Says:

There are many players out there that can challenge Rafa.

I think more than you and I it’s all about what the man think himself:


I do not think Rafa thinks he’s superior than any of the other guys.

I think he regards NOLE, MUZZA, DELPO for example as at least his equals and greatly respects their talent.

Make no doubt about it:

He NEVER goes on court facing these guys anywhere thinking: yeah this is a gimme, i’ve got this one in the bag.

For example- even MUZZA pushed Rafa close on Clay once at MC. Rafa lauded him then and said Andy has real talent on Clay that he always knew off from their teenage years in Spain. Not many folks remember that.


I think he genuinely regards Fed as his superior, sees him as bench mark and really he was the guy who Rafa looked at and thought:

I want to be like him and be more than a CLay courter.

Hence: why despite so many wins he always raises his game against Fed: it’s out of respect for his talent. And I think Fed even knows this and has commented on how Rafa seems to switch up his game against him than what he plays prior to facing him.

Make no mistake:

Rafa respects them all greatly, admires their talent and does not consider himself to be their superior since he knows how special they can be when on song.

I think all the top players respect each others game immensely and know the margins are small between a win and lose for all of them.

Djokerfan Says:

Very interesting preview. I have only seen one preview till now which actually favours Wawrinka, believe it or not! http://sportzcosmos.com/2014/01/25/ever-tried-ever-failed-tattoo-to-title/comment-page-1/#comment-2351
I just find it hilarious the way this guy anoints Wawrinka the favourite just because he is in better form!

Queen Says:

Skeezer that was very nervous laugh from u. U know it is coming…brace yourself. Hahahihilolroflbuhahahalol

Teeg Says:


I am familiar with that site, and they are very anti-Nadal.

Ganesh Dore Says:

Roger was a step slow against Nadal

Roger backhand was a disaster

Its the Nadal inside out forehand to Roger’s forehand side that RF could not handle

Roger clearly wanted to keep points short in set no 3. He did not construct any points. He went for broke.

skeezer Says:

^So? This site has turned into control of vamosheads.

Polo Says:

To Brando @ 7:44

I wish I had written what you said about Rafa’s mindset. :-)

skeezer Says:


WTF Says:

“If he wins tomorrow, most probably he will reach 17 at 2015 FO and Federer may want to try his luck till next year’s Wimbledon. So there is a chance.”

I think he got lucky this tournament. If Stan was in his half he’d beat Stan but would then have to play Djokovic in the final because no one else would beat him. I can’t call him favorite against Djoker in Melbourne. It’s possible, but I’m favoring the Djoker.

If he beats Stan today, I see him getting his 15th at the FO, and 16th at next year’s FO. I don’t think he will win Wimby or USO. It took a drought and temporary decline in form from Nole for him to win that USO.

He could win his 16th at the FO though, and from there on it depends how good the up and coming generation are if he’s going to win 17 and 18. He’s got to protect his knees and not play any more 250s and too many unnecessary 500s like last season. Just masters and slams. He can leave Davis cup to others because he’s already done his duty there.

WTF Says:

“If Nadal is physically fit when he enters the court, he knows he already that he has the edge because mentally he knows he is the toughest and physically, he is second to none.”

Physically he is second to Novak. Mentally the same. Same goes for movement, and every shot, except for his ability to generate top spin.

What Nole has is heart. Remember when he was down match points against Federer at USO a few years back? He went for a forehand down the line on return of serve. Saved MP. Broke Federer, went on to win the title. It takes a lot of guts to go for that when you’re down MP.

Unfortunately, this time he was down MP he choked by attempting his first S&V of the match. I see that one as an anomaly though.

WTF Says:

“Roger clearly wanted to keep points short in set no 3. He did not construct any points. He went for broke.”

Ganesh, he was constructing points in set 1 and 2 and it wasn’t working. He was down a 2 set hole. At this stage he has no choice but to try something else and take risks. His comfort game wasn’t getting it done. If he played that again he would have just lost for sure. By going for it, he has a chance of losing harder, or actually winning.

He had no break points in sets 1 and 2. There was only one game (in set 3) where he did.

Polo Says:

That Djokovic shot against Federer at matchpoint is the luckiest shot in the history of tennis. It won him the US Open. And had he missed that, nobody would be talking of 2011 as a Djokovic year. And how can somebody who had back to back choke shots to lose a match be considered mentally equal to Nadal? Talk about spreading a fallacy.

Michael Says:

A Tango Lad,

Well Rafa has great chances of completing the Grand slam (not Calendar Grand slam in a strict sense) as he has already won the US and may be would win the Australian Open too. That leaves him with just Rolland Garros and Wimbledon. There is a very big possibility that Rafa might do the Grand Slam this year.

Slice Tennis Says:

skeezer Says:
Silence of the Lambs. Again the vamosheads do the Ostrich thing before a match, only to come out trash talking after a win. and if they lose? Ghosttown in vamoshead land. Not a Tennis fan at all, just a groupie.

January 25th, 2014 at 1:33 am

skeezer Says:
This site has turned into control of vamosheads

January 25th, 2014 at 8:36 pm



Slice Tennis Says:


You are clearly basing all your assessments of Nole based on 2011. To be fair you have to look at his overall career.
Even if you selectively look only at his prime period (14 consec semis), its not that impressive.

Even during this run of 14 semis in his prime he lost 8 key GS matches to his major rivals (Murray, Fed and Rafa). Rafa has lost only 7 matches to his major rivals in his overall career.

WTF Says:

Polo Says:

“That Djokovic shot against Federer at matchpoint is the luckiest shot in the history of tennis. It won him the US Open.”

That was no fluke. It was low percentage, for sure. But it takes guts to go for that on a match point. He knew he’d have to because if the serve was good and he just blocked it back, Fed would have been highly favored to close out the point and the match.

I doubt anyone else has the balls to try that down match point.

“And how can somebody who had back to back choke shots to lose a match be considered mentally equal to Nadal? Talk about spreading a fallacy.”

That wasn’t back to back chokes. The last point I’ll give you, but the one before it that set up the match point he was unlucky. Stan mis-hit the return of serve and it caught the frame, which had the effect of being a drop shot. Nole was not prepared for that. He did amazingly well just to get to the ball.

If you want to talk about heart and physical stamina, just look to the 2012 final vs Nadal. Nadal was up a break in the 5th set and couldn’t do it. He looked more exhausted than Djoker even though he had an easy semi and TWO days off, while Djoker had to win his semi in 5 sets and only had ONE day off.

In terms of stamina, there is no contest. Djoker is the fittest guy on the tour bar none.

What amazes me is how he got rid of his former asthma and breathing problems and doesn’t wilt in mild heat like he used to anymore. I think he could play in a furnace now.

WTF Says:

Slice Tennis Says:

“You are clearly basing all your assessments of Nole based on 2011. To be fair you have to look at his overall career.
Even if you selectively look only at his prime period (14 consec semis), its not that impressive.”

2011 is the year that transformed him. Before that he was an underachiever. He retired a lot, was not very fit, couldn’t handle heat very well, had breathing problems. I don’t count those years because he was a different player back then. And it’s no longer relevant how poor he USED to be physically.

The Djoker of now only began in 2011, and how weak he used to be no longer matters in the discussion.

Slice Tennis Says:

“The Djoker of now only began in 2011, and how weak he used to be no longer matters in the discussion.”

The Djoker of today in his PRIME lost 7 GS matches (some close ones and some one sided blowouts) to his main rivals within a span of just 3 years.

Slice Tennis Says:

Since 2011 during Nole’s prime he won 5 slams and Rafa is mostly winning his 5th one today.

Slice Tennis Says:

“If you want to talk about heart and physical stamina, just look to the 2012 final vs Nadal.”

After this match he has basically won just 1 slam out of 9.
Where is that heart and stamina now ?

Slice Tennis Says:

“In terms of stamina, there is no contest. Djoker is the fittest guy on the tour bar none.”

I agree with you on this.

But he is just getting out skilled, out maneuvered and outthought on court by his rivals and especially Rafa.

Okiegal Says:


I agree with you, I think Novak could go as long as he need to, to win. I can’t believe he can do this after watching him with his asthma problems he had a few years ago. I do know a man who was allergic to gluten and he was sick all time. The doctor finally figured out his problem was gluten, took it out of his diet and he’s doing ok now. So I guess it’s possible. But he does amaze me with his stamina, such a drastic change.

Djokerfan Says:

Teeg, that site got the prediction spot on!! Stan in 4 sets. Just cannot believe it.

Top story: Djokovic Saves MPs In Thrilling 5-Set Win Over Federer In Wimbledon Final