2014 Marquee Clay Schedules: Follow Nadal, Djokovic And Federer On The Road To Roland Garros
by Sean Randall | April 9th, 2014, 1:45 pm
  • 98 Comments

The “Road To Roland Garros” kicked off this week with two appetizer-sized stops in Houston and Casablanca. The main course, however, begins next week with the Big Three of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and late wildcard entrant Roger Federer battling in Monte Carlo.

The 32-year-old Federer hasn’t played the event since 2011 and with all his match play already this year and his mantra of keeping a healthy schedule, it was a surprise he’d add an event here. But he must feel really great!

Nadal will again be under immense ranking pressure have to defending titles in Barcelona, Madrid and Rome plus a final in Monte Carlo and of course the French. If he stumbles the door could be open for Novak to regain No. 1 before the French Open. There’s about a 2,000 point difference between the two and with three 1,000 Masters Series events on tap, it’s more than mathematically possible. But we are talking about Nadal here, so go against him at your own peril. So more than likely any change could come in Paris where I give Djokovic a very real chance to win it this year.

Andy Murray opted to not play in Monte Carlo to further rest and recovery from a busy first three months. The Lendl-less Murray will make his clay debut in Madrid.

While I don’t see Federer or Murray creating much of a stir on the weekends unless their draws open up, I’m interested to see guys like Marin Cilic, Grigor Dimitrov, Ernests Gulbis and Alexandr Dolgopolov who are all capable of early round upsets. So those are just a few of the danger guys.

And also keep an eye on Stan Wawrinka. Clay is his best surface and let’s see if the change will break him out of his post-Australian funk. Or maybe being in Europe, on the dirt will increase the expectations.

Looking ahead to next week in Monte Carlo, I think it’s critical that Nadal come away with a win there. If somehow Djokovic beats him again in that final, then things will get real interesting the rest of the way. Otherwise I think Nadal will grab at least three titles going into the French (if that back flares up might he cut an event?).

With that said, here’s a breakdown of where they’ll be playing this clay season leading up to the French Open:

Nadal(4): Apr 13 – Monte Carlo, Apr 21 – Barcelona, May 4 – Madrid, May 11 – Rome
Djokovic (3): Apr 13 – Monte Carlo, May 4 – Madrid, May 11 – Rome
Murray (2): May 4 – Madrid, May 11 – Rome
Federer (3): Apr 13 – Monte Carlo, May 4 – Madrid, May 11 – Rome
Ferrer (4): Apr 13 – Monte Carlo, Apr 21 – Barcelona, May 4 – Madrid, May 11 – Rome
Wawrinka (4): Apr 13 – Monte Carlo, Apr 28 – Munich, May 4 – Madrid, May 11 – Rome

By Week:
Apr 7 (Houston, Casablanca)
Hewitt, Almagro, Isner, Robredo (Houston)
Anderson, Paire (Casablanca)

Apr 14 (Monte Carlo)
Nadal, Ferrer, Djokovic, Federer

Apr 21 (Barcelona, Bucharest)
Nadal, Ferrer, Berdych, Nishikori, Raonic, Almagro (Barcelona)
Simon, Tipsarevic, Monfils, Seppi (Bucharest)

Apr 28 (Munich, Estoril)
Wawrinka, Raonic, Paire, Tursunov (Estoril)
Haas, Fognini, Monfils (Munich)

May 4 (Madrid)
Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Federer, Ferrer

May 12 (Rome)
Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Federer, Ferrer

May 18 (Dusseldorf, Nice)
Tipsarevic, Monaco, Kohlschreiber, Davydenko (Dusseldorf)
Roanic, Gulbis, Isner, Simon (Nice)

May 25 (French Open)
Everyone!


Also Check Out:
By The Numbers: Rafael Nadal Wins The 2014 French Open
Marquee Clay Schedules: Where Will Nadal, Djokovic, Federer And Murray Be Playing The Next Six Weeks
Djokovic, Williams Target Roland Garros After Rome Titles
Nike Unveils A Rafael Nadal Statue Made Of Roland Garros Red Clay
Kei Nishikori Has Withdrawn From Rome, Will Return To Florida To Ready For French Open

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98 Comments for 2014 Marquee Clay Schedules: Follow Nadal, Djokovic And Federer On The Road To Roland Garros

Giles Says:

Favourite time of year.
Vamos Champ!
Stay Healthy!


Hippy Chic Says:

I cannot wait for the CC season to begin,whether or not Rafa wins RG this year remains to be seen,so ill just wait and see and enjoy watching how it unfolds,no trash talking or sarcastic comments,as long as he does his best is all you can ask as a fan,its all gravy for Rafa this time of the year anyway,nothing left to prove anymore on clay….


Maestro Fed Says:

The presence of Roger at MC makes it really interesting and I will not be surprised he wins it this year. The only one who can beat in his current form is Nadal.


Ben Pronin Says:

I don’t know about other countries, but for Americans, the clay season is the worst unless you have the Tennis Channel. I know the Fedal wars bring up the whole clay important or not and blah blah blah but this has nothing to do with Fedal. I never took to watching tournaments on clay simply because no one ever showed them. I did have TC for a short while and I watched any and all tennis events they showed whenever I could. But one thing I can say is, particularly for the lesser events that tend to have bright orange clay, it’s pretty annoying to watch. That’s actually why I liked the blue clay, much easier to watch. But Madrid and even Rome have a darker red so it’s not bad. Monte Carlo and the French Open look ok when it’s not so sunny out. But either way, the coverage is terrible.

And the last few years the coverage for the French has been an absolute joke. I guess the ESPN/NBC executives are Federer fans.


Hippy Chic Says:

Im from GB and we more or less have mens tennis 365 days of the year,providing one has such a thing as Sky TV,funny how they dont seem to show many televised womens tennis though,apart from the GS that is….


Translated Age Says:

Maestro Fed, what about Stan?

Ben, unfortunately I think that’s a function of Americans liking to cheer their own and part of that (not all mind you) is the great success Americans have had in the past.

In Canada, we have equally spotty coverage for all tournaments. The blue clay was a novelty and interesting but once worn off, we’d be seeing blue 11 months out of 12.

For me, now that North America finally shows tennis in 1080p HD, I love seeing the bright yellow ball against red clay in the spring.

Don’t make me start making bluegrass jokes for Wimbledon! (Perhaps Okie might disagree however.)


Frankie Says:

Darren Cahill ‏@darren_cahill · 1h
It’s a short clay season & the earlier players find clay feet, the better. Good move by Federer to play Monte Carlo. Signals strong intent.


Ben Pronin Says:

TA, good point. The HD has made clay look great. I’ll never forget when the US played Columbia a few years back and the “clay” there was just horrible to look it and it looked even worse to play on.

But as far as the Americans cheering their own part, back in the day I’d think that, too, but if that’s the case might as well stop showing tennis all together (not that they’re not trying).


Slice Tennis Says:

I am from Germany and my home town is just an hours drive away from Basel. Here in Germany I would say 75% of the tennis is being played on clay. This is very common across Europe though the percentage varies a bit based on the weather conditions.
Spain, Italy and Germany has numerous clay courts and many players Sweden, Finland, Denmark spend a lot of time in Germany mainly because of their of extreme cold weather. Most Swedish players are good on clay and indoors. I would say Sweden has the most number of indoor stadiums in the world.
Germany has quite a few grass courts as well. But in Italy and Spain the second surface is hard.

European players thrive on clay and that’s the season which is extremely popular among the fans as well, mainly because of the time zones for watching tennis.

Southern Germany is a major hub for clay court tennis in Europe and almost all top players (including Federer) schedule some practice tours during the off season or just before the clay season in southern Germany. Practicing on clay courts surrounded by Alps is the best feeling for any tennis player in Europe. Switzerland has around 60% clay courts, but the quality of courts in Germany are much better.


Translated Age Says:

Cool ST. Thanks for that.

I’ve never played on clay, only HC.

Seems like it would be a lot of fun.

Reminds me of a great article on clay Tignor penned last year…

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2013/06/playing-ball-getting-flow/47768/#.U0WpqfldXzk


SkeEzEr Says:

“I’ve never played on clay, only HC”.
Figures. Lol.


Hippy Chic Says:

Are Translated Age and A Tango Lad the same poster??


Okiegal Says:

@Chic

You won’t have to wonder if I have multiple monikers, I can barely keep up with one!! Lol


Okiegal Says:

According to Slice Tennis, there are a lot more clay courts out there than I first thought. Thanks for the info!


Okiegal Says:

Hey, can TX handle another SneEzEr??


Okiegal Says:

^^^ not sneezer but SkeEzEr….lol


Okiegal Says:

@Translated Age

The state of Kentucky boasts of “Bluegrass” (vegetation) and “Bluegrass”, a type of music. When it comes to Wimby, let’s stick to green grass please…..cos my guy doesn’t care for the color blue on any playing surface, but he wears it well!!


Okiegal Says:

Thank goodness for live streaming on my computer.. it beats nothing. My cable network doesn’t carry the Tennis Channel. ESPN3.com live streams the majority of tournaments now, thank goodness. I can really see the exact place where the ball is hit better than on the TV. My new Samsung HD tv is great for live sporting events, the little details of the picture are so plain. Love it!


Rafa better than roger Says:

The best tennis matches are in clay. The slides, the dirt on socks, the contrasts are just spectacular. Great matches like Chang v Lendl, Borg’s matches, Chang v Edberg, the Seles reign over Graf, 2008 mens final, 2010 mens final, and Rafa v Djok semis, etc.

And Paris in springtime!!! Just perfect tennis.

In constrast, hardcourts are just the worst. All that sneaker screeching ad infinitum is enough to make your ears bleed!
Just horrible tennis!

But why so many tournaments in hardcourts? The tennis estab are nothing but capitalist opportunists, you think? Hooray for capitalism. As gecko said, greed is good.

Clay is simply the best. And how about that 2008 final? Simply rad!


Rafa better than roger Says:

And of course, we Americans suck at it, so we just go on the media offensive instead discrediting it!
Create so much negative spin hoping fans gravitate towards hardcourts. But then there is this clay genius named Rafa!

And yet, do we have any great players now in hardcourts???

Simply pathetic. Yeah, criticize Rafa and all the more our US tennis status becomes even more simply pathetic … In both clay and hardcourts…. In men’s


Rafa better than roger Says:

By end of May, more than likely Rafa will have 5,000 points over Djok.
This article is desperate to make the race tighter than it was with 2000 difference in points. Well, let us see — at the end of 2013 Rafa only had about 800 points lead. And now it has grown to 2,000! Such false premise from the author — trying desperately to stir up something non-existent.
In fact, when Rafa wins in MC and Djok loses in the final the point diff will swell to about 3,000!

And the point is. …


amadeus Says:

bring back the blue clay !!!
we need more drama!!


Ben Pronin Says:

“By end of May, more than likely Rafa will have 5,000 points over Djoko”

So Novak is gonna skip all the big events while Rafa wins them? That’s cool.


contador Says:

Oh my. Spring has sprung on Tennis-X.

Very interested to see if Stan Wawa will find his clay game or what.

Yeah, there are those usual suspects to watch too: Dolgo, Cilic, Dimitrov, Gulbis, Paire, Fognini, Monfils…

But overlook the likes of Pablo Carrena Busta and Delbo, (not Delpo) Argentine, Delbo and Joao Sousa at your own risk. Heard it here first.


SG1 Says:

Doesn’t seem coincidental that US tennis fortunes have dwindled as the game has moved away from the net and towards the baseline. Europeans understand how to construct a point from the back court (which happens to be a skill you have to truly learn if you’re going to be successful on red clay).


mat4 Says:

I don’t really agree, although I don’t disagree completely.

In fact, there a lot of factors:

- the emergence of tennis in Europe after Bjorn Borg;

- less har-tru courts in the US, which changed the coaching habits toward a big serve, big FH philosophy;

- the ATP tournament system, which doesn’t allow the greatest stars to play often in the US (while Connors or JMc played 6, 7 months in the US);

- connected with that: TV coverage;

- and there must be others.


H. Post Says:

I love how everyone discounts Federer’s chances at the clay court tournaments. He is one of the 10 best clay courters of all time. L’equipe ranked him 7th all time. take a look at all the key clay court stats. Yet people talk about Gulbis and Dogopoliv and the like.Incredible!


harry Says:

I’m looking forward to this clay season… Converting to probabilities, the current betting odds for RG are:
Rafa – 0.55
Nole – 0.36
Fed – 0.05
Rafa, of course, is the overwhelming favorite to win it.

On a slightly different note, it has been a while since either Nole or Rafa had a streak of *more* than 3 consecutive wins against each other. Nole’s current streak, of course, stands at 3. Will he or won’t he?


van orten Says:

the talent and history on clay , actual form and momentum suppose that fedalovic are the best clay court players around and the one to beat.
of course ultimately rafa is the one to beat but who else should nole or fed fear?

but… i expect the unexpected.. more upsets await us


Gordon Says:

@Rafa better than Roger – Ben is right; Rafa can’t have 5k more than Djokovic unless Nadal wins everything and Djokovic loses in the first round of each tournament (or as Ben suggested, doesn’t play).

In one of your posts above you point out that Americans are terrible playing tennis on clay. It appears math is not the strong suit for some of you either.


shamboozie Says:

Rafa is better……stop being bitter!!!


Rafa better than roger Says:

I see that Novak will more than likely falter from too much pressure till july. And then – here is the kicker – by fall will be under more pressure to defend a ton of points.

He he he, –/ right back at you!

Stan, will just be another lucky AO champion like Johanssen. Just like Roger they will ultimately go down down in the rankings. The young ones are now realizing that it is better to go after an aging vulnerable, in spite of media hype and writers unbridled fawning for Roger. Hey, it is the way to make your mark — just like Rafa a 17 year old beating Roger.

As I said, roger is one lucky player, hey he might even get a davis cup –/ why again the real competition in rafa novak are not playing. Roger will like Connors of old will have some ups , but more down down then evven more down.
Such is reality no matter how you photoshop Roger’s mug.

For Rafa, it is all about his health — who when healthy will best soundly any player including Novak. Think about it for a player who missed much Grand Slams and still get 13 in all surfaces, the youngest to do it is simply remarkable and outstanding.

Witj so much adversity , just incredible quality tennis


Sirius Says:

@Rafa not better than roger

“For Rafa, it is all about his health- who when healthy will soundly best any player including Novak”

remember miami final 2014?

P.s. you went missing after that if i’m not mistaking. I wonder why?


Wilfried Says:

[If he (Nadal) stumbles the door could be open for Novak to regain No. 1 before the French Open. There’s about a 2,000 point difference between the two and with three 1,000 Masters Series events on tap, it’s more than mathematically possible.]
Mathematically indeed a possibility, but only so if Nadal starts to lose already points in Barcelona and Monte Carlo. Because if R. Nadal manages to defend his Barcelona ánd Monte Carlo points (500 + 600 = 1100 points), he can easily afford to skip both the Rome and Madrid Masters and still stay ahead of Novak in the race, regardless of Novak’s results in the 3 European clay Masters.


Sirius Says:

How can novak get to no. 1 before French Open :

current ranking points:

rafa = 13730
novak = 11680

points to defend until FO:

rafa = 3100
novak = 1225

deducting their points to defended we get:

rafa = 10630
novak = 10445

we can see that rafa has 175 point lead over novak. So novak has got a good chance of taking the no. 1 rank by achieving 175+ points more than rafa before FO


Sirius Says:

@Wilfried,

“….regardless of Novak’s results in the 3 European clay Masters”

by skipping both madrid and rome rafa will lose 2000 points. He will add 400 by winning mc though (assuming he wins). So he’ll lose exactly 1600 points (considering he wins barca too). Then his ranking points will be 12130.

On the other hand, assuming djokovic loses at the 2nd round of MC he’ll lose 955 points. So his ranking points will be 10725. Difference from rafa will be 1405. So if djokovic win in both madrid and rome he’ll gain 1775 points and take no. 1 position. So, its not “REGARDLESS OF NOVAK’S RESULT”


Translated Age Says:

So much ciphering and carrying the ones, spreadsheets and I suspect wishing and hoping from the Fedfans for Rafa’s fall come clay season.

Reminds me of last year and the year before that and the year before that yada yada yada.

Just chillax (sorry Colin), watch and enjoy!


Daniel Says:

Translated Age,

Eventually he will falter, could be this year? (very unlikely), next year, the year after…But every year creates this anticipation. And yes, all Fed fans, Djoko fans and non Rafa fans are dying to see an even clay season for a change or somebody else winning RG, even not one of these 3.
As far as I am concerned, I hope Wawrinka wins it, just for the fun of it:-) That would be bizarre, he would not be #1, he would achieve a feat not even Federer nor Nadal did and a bunch of other stats. That would be a crazy scenario turning tennis world upside down. He will most likely be seeded #3 or #4 so, not out of the helms. Yeah Right!!
Also hoping for the masters to have 3 different winners, just to have more drama come RG.


mikael Says:

lol what would happen if RG organizers not allowed to Nadal to play there?


Daniel Says:

Sirius,

Nadal will play 1 more tourney pre RG than Novak, Barcelona (which is a given for him). So is even harder to Novak to add those extra 175 pts (which are on paper 675 due to Barcelona).
He would have to beat Nadal in 2 out of 3 Masters or Nadal have a really bad result losing before finals, which only happened twice in the last 9 years*: Rome 2008 (blisters versus Ferrero) and Madrid 2012 (blue clay). All other years he went on to the final of ever single Masters he played on clay:

- 2013 lost MC to Djoko final
- 2012 lost R16 Madrid to Verdasco*
- 2011 lost Rome and Madrid final to Djoko
- 2010 won all 3 (only time he was able to do so)
- 2009 lost Madrid final to Federer
- 2008 lost Rome third round to Ferrero*
- 2007 lost Hamburg final to Federer
- 2006 didn’t play Hamburg (played 2 Masters)
- 2005 didn’t play Hamburg (played 2 masters)

A few considerations:
- The good news for competition is that out of these 9 years of clay dominance, only once (2010) he was able to win 3 masters out of 7 years in which he played 3 masters, 2005 and 2006 he didn’t played Hamburg (equivalent to Madrid) back them.

- Also, out of this 9 years, in 2 he lost 2 matches: 2009 the year he lost RG and 2011 the year Djoko happened.

- Bad news for completion is that in 3 of those nine years he went undefeated: 2005, 2006 and 2010. Good part is last 3 years he lost matches and is very unlikely that with aging (turning 28 this season) he will have another of those years of total dominance.

- Another bad news for competition is that none of this 9 years he lost more than 2 matches in a clay season. Meaning that if he plays 5 tourneys (as is his trend of late), the chance of him not winning 3 or more is 0 (historically), because it never happened before.

Of course, eventually it will happened but with him being a solid #1 now, playing great, although seems he is playing better on HC nowadays than on clay. Yeah, he won RG last 2 years beating his main rival on clay, but the level of his plays is not the same on the dirt. Maybe with the changes he had to made to improve his HC game, somewhere in between he lost a bit of the clay edge. Last year he was losing a few sets and being in situation he never was before (Gulbis, Ferrer, Djoko MC). Madrid he is more vulnerable, lost 3 out of 5 times since it was moved to clay, lost MC last year, on a dump day his game loses a little pop…will see.

He is still overwhelming favorite to win almost every match on clay, RG mostly. But he can have health issues anytime, and confidence may be a little shaken due to recent lost to Djoko and absence of important titles after US Open, losing 2 out of 4 finals (the ones that matter, AO and Miami). But he still making finals and I am not surprise if he wins everything also if he loses RG, just hope they are all fit for us to get the best matches possible.


Translated Age Says:

Now we’re resorting to the anticipation of injuries?

Ah, the musings of a fedfan never cease to amaze.

A little scary at times.


Giles Says:

Injuries can happen to any player. Yes, joker, fed, Wawa, et al. Rafa does not have exclusive rights to injuries.
Vamos Rafa!
Stay healthy!


Daniel Says:

TA,

Of all this things I pointed out and you choose to make fun of something (which you took out of context). Just show your level in here…
He just had one injury in AO final. It is just to point out that he is not super human and you Rafa fans says as if the tourney is his already. Can happened to every player and most likely will happen again to him (his career has shown us this). Last time he was just unlucky to have one in the final.
He is aging you know, it is the natural evolution. And as most fears and even that some don’t want to accept, after the scare he went through in 2012, most are just waiting when it will happen next. No wonder why almost every comment regarding his future prospect come with the sentence: bar injury, save form injury, if he is healthy and bla bla bla


Translated Age Says:

Daniel, I wasn’t making fun. I was truly somewhat incredulous (although at this point, not sure why I should be).

Yes all players age and one day we won’t have Fedal to kick around anymore.

Be careful what you wish for.


Slice Tennis Says:

Daniel,
So then, are you saying that a healthy Rafa never loses ?


Sirius Says:

Daniel,

both my posts were actually in response to wilfried’s post (i missed to mention him in the first)

whether novak will become no. 1 before RG or not, we don’t know. But he does have a chance to do so and not just mathematically. He has beaten rafa and he has beaten him to win madrid, rome back to back. And wilfried said that if rafa wins MC and Barcelona he can skip both madrid and rome and stay at no. 1 No Matter What novak does. He was wrong and that is where I disagreed with him


Hippy Chic Says:

Nice summary fron Daniel, and its puts into context the permetations of what could happen in the forthcoming CC season….


Daniel Says:

No Slice Tennis,

You guys always said that, and most actually believe that.
I am just saying that one of the factors that can contribute to Nadal losing on clay is his fitness. With age and what happened recently: US Open 2012 (absent), AO 2013 (absent) and AO 2014, he can have an issue as well and this may be cause for concern.


Daniel Says:

Yes Sirius, I agree with you correcting wilfried.
My point was that Djoko have to perform better than the 175 pts because of Barcelona as an extra tourney Nadal plays.


Slice Tennis Says:

One genius predicted this for last year:
“unless something really bad happens to nole’s game or to nole himself, u might just see him at that spot for this whole year”

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2013-03-15/11877.php#comment-433041


Rafa better than roger Says:

Gordon,

Tennis is not your forte, it seems. American men claycourters! An oxymoron at this point.

So do not even include math in it.


Bad Knee Rules Says:

———-
One genius predicted this for last year:
“unless something really bad happens to nole’s game or to nole himself, u might just see him at that spot for this whole year”

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2013-03-15/11877.php#comment-433041
———–

I can’t see “Slice Tennis” on that thread, what was your moniker then?


Skeezer Says:

^lol


Sirius Says:

“u might just see him at that spot for whole this year”

novak lost to haas at miami. And his game was not the same after winning MC. He lost to a cramping dimitrov(madrid 2nd rd), berdych (rome qf), raonic(cinci). 3055 points were missed there (miami,madrid, rome, cinci). He lost the YE#1 by 1500 points. Had he done better at the masters and won one or two of them, he’d have finished the year at no. 1 though he’d have done so only to lose it after the AO 14.

P.S. can’t believe i responded to that genius who thinks stepanek is a better player now cause he’s won grand slams (doubles)


skeezer Says:

^another lol!
#exposed


Wilfried Says:

@ Sirius (april 10th at 10:55 and 11:10)
You’re right.I think I made a mistake in my calculus or something. Thanks for correcting it.


Sirius Says:

@wilfried,

you’re welcome


John Says:

@sirius

Yeah, pretty sure it was fleisher.

This guys more cooked than a pot-roast. Someone that has that much time on there hands should just be avoided. Deceitful and kind sad. Similarly to that other person TA – also a multiple moniker man without a job.

#avoidliketheplague


metan Says:

Yooohooo, Rafa is heading to MC.


nadalista Says:

Hey, @mat4, before you next rush to anoint Novak the King of Clay (like you did last year after he snagged his first, and only, MC trophy), sit back and read the following, hopefully you will get to understand what Novak needs to do, and exceed, BEFORE he can be deemed worthy of such an accolade:

http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2014/04/15/FedEx-Clay-Records-Nadal.aspx

Hope this helps……….sorry I do not have the French version, but I’m sure you get the idea.


Slice Tennis Says:

Bad Knee Rules Says:
“I can’t see “Slice Tennis” on that thread, what was your moniker then?”

I wont ask you that. because it is obvious who you were back then and how you ended up egg on your face when you claimed Nole was deliberately avoiding Rafa before the FO.


nadalista Says:

http://espn.go.com/blog/peter-bodo/post/_/id/658/intrigue-for-women-on-clay-men-not-so-much

” Nadal is 13-2 against the all-time Grand Slam singles champ. He hasn’t lost to Federer on clay since May 2009.

Nadal is a Superman on red clay; only Djokovic has the kryptonite, and Nadal is usually immune even to that.”


nadalista Says:

By golly, keep writing like this Bodo, I might taka a liking to you, hehehe. Why, you sound like a born-again Nadalista!:

“I have to admit it: A part of me is going to take pleasure out of seeing all those Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic partisans go apoplectic when they scroll down this page and see the name “Rafael Nadal” endlessly repeated after the words “defending champion.”

Why shouldn’t Nadalistas enjoy an unassailable moment in the sun? Nadal is the most extraordinary clay-court player this world has ever seen. People don’t even bother to trot out Bjorn Borg comparisons any more; that ship has sailed. Nitpicking or sniping at Nadal between April and early June is like finding fault with the natural features of Mt. Everest. What does it really mean, and what are you going to do about about it?

Of course, this makes writing a theme-rich preview of the clay-court season a fool’s errand. Preview? How’s this: Nadal maybe throws a bone to Djokovic here or there, Federer gives some great press conferences, and Andy Murray loses matches he could win and says his game is coming along.

In other words, Nadal wins everything. Again.”

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/04/clay-court-preview-men/51151/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter#.U0g4_k3NvIU

It’s okay, Rafa, throw a bone or two here and there but don’t you dare give away the steak!


A Tango Lad Says:

nadalista, you could have penned that article yourself!

Who knew Bodo was a Vamos Head?

Hopp Nadal and Vamos Federer!


nadalista Says:

@ATL, doing a quick check to see if my brain is still in its intended place, I have a feeling Bodo’s stolen it!

#Vamoshead


Cris Says:

Novak to school Nadal multiple times on clay this Spring, culminating lifting the RG trophy. Karma has turned against the bolo-whipper.
At long last, karma has. Nadal has nearly destroyed everything good and worthwhile about men’s tennis with his dull war-of-attrition style. The days are coming to an end of the long Nadal slogs in which he, in black-hole fashion, sucks every bit of energy away from more talented players.


Bad Knee Rules Says:

———-
I wont ask you that. because it is obvious who you were back then and how you ended up egg on your face when you claimed Nole was deliberately avoiding Rafa before the FO.
———-

Wrong, try harder. I’d never claim that; Novak likes challenges. He’d never tank to avoid Nadal, but Nadal tanked against Ferrrer in Paris to avoid playing Novak before WTF in London. It didn’t work.


James Says:

“The clay is something I have always enjoyed throughout my career,” said Federer.
“It’s where I grew up playing on. It’s where I played most of my tennis in my career.”

Don’t be too surprised if the Fed Express wins Mutua Madrid again.

Nadal’s not extremely dominant in Madrid. Everywhere else it’s on his racquet than anyone else’s as Fed would say.


Gordon Says:

Rafa Better Than Roger -

It took you a full day and that’s the best you could come up with? I was just repeating your lament of not having good clay court players in the US before pointing out your moronic statement that Rafa could be 5k ahead of Djokovic soon. As both Ben and I pointed out – that is almost impossible.

But really – you are so delusional I’m not sure you will take the time to look up some of the words.


metan Says:

James @8.38am.
I agree with you, most people forget that Roger is actually second best clay court player. He was in final in Rome while having his back issue and where was nole then. With his current situations, Roger still is able to create havoc in clay court rather then Nole eventhough he can’t win every week any more.


metan Says:

@Nadalista,
Do you have a secret deal with Peter Bodo? I hardly believed it that he penned it, no. 😄😜
Keep coming Bodo, good one!.
Vamos, Rafa!!! Bite the trophy please!


Steve27 Says:

Rafa will be the second tennis player with Martina Navratilova to win a same major 9 times in the Open Era.


Hippy Chic Says:

Steve 27 your getting ahead of yourself there,please dont count your chickens….


Giles Says:

@Steve27. Amen to that.
Vamos Rafa!
Stay Healthy!


Giles Says:

Fed in Joker’s half, wawawewe in Rafa’s half.
Vamos Champ!


Maestro Fed Says:

A tricky draw for Roger with Novak waiting in the semis


Hippy Chic Says:

^Assuming both get that far.^


nadalista Says:

metan Says:
@Nadalista,
Do you have a secret deal with Peter Bodo? I hardly believed it that he penned it, no. 😄😜
Keep coming Bodo, good one!.
Vamos, Rafa!!! Bite the trophy please!

April 12th, 2014 at 3:39 am

No! But I think Ol’ Bodo is finally seeing the light……..

#DamasceneExperience


nadalista Says:

“A tricky draw for Roger with Novak waiting in the semis”

Who would you rather was waiting for him in the semis, Rafa??


Josh Says:

Interesting draw. Have to say, Monte Carlo is quite possibly the most beautiful setting for a tennis tournament I have ever seen. Idyllic.


Michael Says:

If there is a player who truly deserves to win Montecarlo, it is Roger. Thrice he lost to the irrepressible Rafa in the finals. He just could’nt get past him although he ran him very close once. Now it is a surprise that he is participating in this edition of Montecarlo Masters. But I think Roger would fancy his chances more at Madrid than Montecarlo. The decision to play in this tournament would have been to gain sufficient points to take him to the top four. As regards Rafa, there is tremendous pressure on him to repeat his fantastic performance of last year. But the indomitable Rafa has gone through such experience year after year and came out with flying colours. However, this year, he would be wary of Novak who is now fancying his chances to tame Rafa in his favourite surface. The key would be Montecarlo and it is where the players confidence would shape up. A win for either Rafa or Novak would certainly boost their confidence to look at the season with renewed optimism and build ambitions.


Hippy Chic Says:

Unfortunatly we dont always get what we deserve in this world,i would like my favorite to win a WTF but it doesnt follow that it will happen,does he deserve it i dont know?but who are we to decide who deserves what?


Giles Says:

Why does Roger truly deserve to win MC? The man hasn’t even entered the tourney the last few years!


Margot Says:

Don’t think anybody “deserves” anything tbh, in the sporting world anyway. You must surely earn what you get?


Hippy Chic Says:

Margot exactly….


nadalista Says:

“However, this year, he would be wary of Novak who is now fancying his chances to tame Rafa in his favourite surface.”

When are you people going to stop repeating this line? Hasn’t Novak fancied his chances from his first encounters on clay when he had his shoes emblazoned with “Vamos” and he said he thought he was the better play even after Rafa soundly thrashed him? The guy has had a, “beat Rafa on clay” obsession since time immemorial!

He fancied his chances then, he fancies his chances now, what’s the difference? Oh, that fellow, Rafa Nadal, who keeps denying him………


Steve 27 Says:

Michael, the Swiss doesnt deserve anything!.Tennis is a competitive sport, not a charity. So, with your thought, Rafa deserve even more Miami and the Masters, and Djokovic deserve Cincinatti, and Andy deserve the AO, and Roddick, the eternal pigeon of the Swiss, deserve even more, Wimbledon. Deserve means nothing in a ultra competitive sport, only blindess make people talk rubish like that.


A Tango Lad Says:

Well, I for one believe that Roger deserves a Monte Carlo title after so many opportunities lost.

Like getting a free trip with frequent flyer miles!

Hopp Roger!


contador Says:

Steve 27.

Back before Federer won the French Open, I will admit to thinking that Federer deserved to win it.

Five years later, I agree with you on this: “Deserve means nothing in a ultra competitive sport, only blindness make people talk rubish like that.”

Amen, brother. I see the light and you are right on that account.


James Says:

Yes, @metan, Roger’s movement on clay is amazing. IMO it’s as good as Nadal’s. Novak’s one of the best tennis players I’ve seen but even he doesn’t look as natural on the dirt as Rafa and Roger do. They make moving on clay look very effortless.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

I don’t think anyone in tennis moves in all the surface as smoothly as Roger. Rafa struggles in movement big time in Grass, same is with Novak. Murray is not great on Clay courts, whereas he is quite good on Grass.

I can’t see any other player moving equally good on all the surfaces like Roger.


nadalista Says:

“Rafa struggles in movement big time in Grass, same is with Novak.”

Whatever happened to, “Novak is the most complete player out there, the most versatile?” How can he be “complete” if he moves like the proverbial cow on ice on grass?


Margot Says:

Andy “quite good on Grass.” Lol, the understatement of the year!


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Andy “quite good on Grass.” Lol, the understatement of the year!

Andy has one Wimby title and One finals. Are we going to make him all time great Grass court player yet. Let him win few more.


Margot Says:

Two Wimbledon finals and an Olympic Gold, let’s not forget. Plus two titles at Queens.
BTW did anyone actually proclaim him an “all time great Grass court player” already?


Hippy Chic Says:

Margot you got there before i did,have to say though i thought he had won Queens 3 times not twice?but yes indeed one would have to say ATM hes the best GC player there is,and before anyone jumps on me the operative word is AT THE MOMENT AND NOT ALL TIME….


Ben Pronin Says:

Imo, Murray is as natural on grass as anyone besides Federer, movement-wise and his overall understanding of how the surface works. On clay he looks particularly lost.

There are very few players on tour who are naturals on grass. Hewitt comes to mind but I can’t really think of anyone else. Roddick was never a great mover on any surface but he did understand the surface well. Nalbandian was as natural as anyone, too.

Top story: Federer, Nadal And Djokovic Have Finished Ranked In The Top 3 Six Times! [Chart]
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