Roger Federer: See, I Told You Rafa Was The Favorite To Win The French Open!
by Tom Gainey | June 10th, 2014, 8:37 am
  • 47 Comments

Roger Federer said Monday that he was happy that friend and rival Rafael Nadal took home another French Open title. The Swiss also reminded reporters that he always thought Rafa was the favorite to win despite his less than Rafa-like results this spring.

“I was very happy for him because it’s tremendous what he proves on clay every year,” Federer said at Halle.

“You have to raise your hat to him. For me, it was clear before that he is the favorite. Now, everybody says that it was evident that he’ll win. But before it was said that he can’t play tennis anymore because he had lost on clay twice. Therefore, I think it’s nice that he proved them otherwise.”

Federer will open his title defense and a bid for a seventh crown against Joao Sousa of Portugal.


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47 Comments for Roger Federer: See, I Told You Rafa Was The Favorite To Win The French Open!

WTF Says:

Federer has never ever bet against Rafa during the past 3 or 4 years when there was hype behind Djokovic finally being the one to end his run.

The past few years I thought Nole really was going to be the one, but this time around I think I learned my lesson also. Never better against the guy with such a ridiculous record.

The “slump” Nadal had during the clay season going into the French, where he had 3 losses for the first season ever was still better than what anyone else achieved. He had just set the bar so high that even though any player would trade for his pre-FO results, it looked like doom and gloom. What’s pedestrian for Rafa is still a remarkable result for anyone else. And had anyone else gone into the French Open with an 11-3 result on clay, they would have been hyped up as favorite or at least serious challenger. As it stands, the stupid pundits thought that the eight time champion (59-1 record) with an 11-3 clay season was not favorite to win.

You don’t bet against statistics like that.

The only time he’s ever been beaten in a best of five match anywhere on clay, he was injured and had to take months off. The guy who beat him got pasted in straight sets a year later in a rematch, cementing the asterisk next to that result.

Fed is the eternal optimist when it comes to talking himself up, but when it comes to talking about other players, he is spot on.


Giles Says:

Just because Rafa had a poor start to the CC season and especially his loss to joker in the Rome final, most of the pundits were tipping a joker win. How utterly ridiculous they must all feel now. An 8 time FO winner wasn’t just going to fold at RG a venue at which he has been totally dominant apart from one single loss. What were they thinking or perhaps I should say it was pure wishful thinking on their part. Geez even the bookies for the first time that I can remember, had joker as odds on fave to win until a couple of days before the final. One might say it is very easy to talk with the benefit of hindsight but, speaking for myself as a diehard Rafan, I never ever doubted that he would be holding the trophy for the 9th time. It is Phillip Chatriere that brings out the passion in Rafa. There seems to be a special bond between Rafa and PC!
Vamos Champ!
Incredible!


roy Says:

@WTF

good points.

people also have poor memories and forget that nadal had plenty of close matches with ferrer in previous years, including matches ferrer had real chances to win in. likewise he had 3setters with almagro and a very close french open match.
this year’s losses weren’t incredible. close matches eventually catch up with you.

true, the soderling loss was simply an injury issue. only federer fans trying to justify his RG win will deny that. it’s clear to me federer was the second best clay courter for a long, long time and would have won many RG’s if nadal was never born. but it’s also clear he never would have won RG if he’d had to face a fit nadal in the draw.

it’s true federer recognised/backed nadal’s quality during the time people thought nadal would be replaced by djoker/murray. that’s probably because federer could spot the difference psychologically between these players having managed to mentally dominate djoker/murray early on but never nadal.

if federer had behaved like he has done the last few years for the majority of his career he’d probably have less haters. unfortunately he was unbearable cocky and clearly disrespectful to his rivals during his golden period. including nadal.
for people who’ve followed his career from the beginning, fed’s current ‘mellowness’ and ‘respectfulness’ is an obvious change from the past.


Purcell Says:

Roy: your last five lines lead me to believe you need serious help. How can you know about Fed’s career or his persona when clearly you’ve been so busy fanboying Nadal? Your judgemental statements stem from ignorance, gullibility and superficial knowledge of tennis. And how dare you speak for ‘those who have followed his career’.
The number 14 against an incapacitated opponent (asterisk anyone?) has brought out the very worst in the ‘unbearable, cocky, disrespectful’ so called fans.
Apologies to site contributors and true fans of all players.


skeezer Says:

“”if federer had behaved like he has done the last few years for the majority of his career he’d probably have less haters.”
What haters?…..You mean just you roy, right?
#rafalover
—-
@Purcell
Well said!


nadalista Says:

Ooooh, @roy’s got fanboys!

#DoubleFault


Tennislover Says:

I do not think that it was that far-fetched a possibility that Djo could win RG this year or in 2011 where Fed simply gifted the Rg to Raf by beating a red-hot Djo in an inspired performance in the sf. Raf had looked extremely vulnerable in the 2011 clay season against Djo. I certainly thought that Djo would have beaten him that year had he reached the final. The OTT reactions of most Raf fans as also some other fans suggest that they themselves were in doubt whether Raf could win RG this year if he faced Djo in the final. In this euphoric rush to shower Raf with all kinds of encomiums and discrediting others – can’t blame people who judge only by stats – let us not lose sight of the fact that his undoubted clay prowess has been helped by a lack of real clay competition which makes his job much easier. Djo seems to be the only guy who has, of late, posed any sort of challenge.

Nobody even seems to have taken note of the fact that Djo was visibly sick in the final. He even threw up twice on the court and took pills. Despite all this, he pushed Raf and, as the sun started fading and the effects of the pills set in, he started to reassert himself in the fourth set. It was extremely unfortunate the way the match ended when that moronic Rafa nut distracted Djo into serving a double fault on match point. Who knows what would have happened had Djo been able to salvage that point since he was clearly playing better at that point in the match and had slight momentum after breaking Raf to even things up. I know there is no point talking ifs and buts but it just shows how you need slices of luck even if you are a Raf playing at Chatrier. He got very lucky in the final and he knows it. He did not play at a very high level and neither did Djo. It was a bit of an anti-climax tbh. An underwhelming experience after all the hype. Credit to Raf for coming away with the win. He has no control over who he plays or in what condition. A major victory is a major victory no matter under what circumstances. However, this win doesn’t necessarily mean that people who, before the the start of the event, expected Djo to win this year were misplaced in their belief. Obviously they had not expected Djo to be so under the weather in the final.

“The only time he’s ever been beaten in a best of five match anywhere on clay, he was injured and had to take months off. The guy who beat him got pasted in straight sets a year later in a rematch, cementing the asterisk next to that result.”

You are getting carried away, uncharacteristically I must say, a bit too much here. That was an absolutely legit win for Sod because Raf didn’t look visibly hampered at any time in the match. Even late into the fourth set he was running like a rabbit and retrieving and fetching in that uniquely Raf-like fashion. Whatever happened subsequently – and there are lots of alternative theories/explanations – or next year does not “cement” anything. Sod simply had one of those days. A one-off alright but absolutely legit. Fed got lucky in the process. A much more credible case can be made, if you must, for an “asterisk” for Wawa’s win over Raf at the 2014 AO because one could sense very obviously that Raf’s serve was hampered by his back issues. Over a long career, these things even out and Raf has seen both sides in two straight majors. I am not a Djo fan but he seems to be mostly at the receiving end of poor luck. I hope it evens out in the future.

“if federer had behaved like he has done the last few years for the majority of his career he’d probably have less haters. unfortunately he was unbearable cocky and clearly disrespectful to his rivals during his golden period. including nadal.”

Actually, Fed has been way ahead of anyone else in popularity, including among his fellow players on the tour, despite being in secular decline for years now. I also think Raf would be hated much less if he were respectful of the letter, and most importantly, the spirit of the rules/conventions of the game. I have never seen a top player who flouts them as brazenly, arrogantly and cockily as Raf does. That is such a shame. He may keep on collecting majors but his on-court antics are absolutely farcical and disgraceful.


jamie Says:

Federer is better at predicting than Sean Randall.


Okiegal Says:

Whatever Roger says……goes! I guess when you have been on the receiving end of losing to Rafa at Roland Garros, you have the right and knowledge to make a prediction. The rest of us don’t because we have not a clue what it takes to beat him, imo. Even the commentators will make comments that Rafa should come in more from the baseline to receive serves. He doesn’t do it too often, but plays his game like he wants to and wins doing it his way. I suppose predictions are fun but foolish. A lot can happen between now and then.


Okiegal Says:

Lots of players display on court antics to prolong the time limit….not just Rafa. Yes, I agree that he needs to speed up. Maybe if he loses a point he will take heed. I really don’t think it’s done on purpose….that would be like him thinking…OK umpires I am gonna push this to see how far I can. That makes no sense when you are playing for a title. He gets into all of his rituals that he feels he needs to do for his focus, time gets away from him. I want him to go back to sleeveless shirts, picking at the shoulders would save 3 or 4 secs……he will never quit the other pick, cos he does have a big bum and wedgies are annoying! LOL


Josh Says:

@Purcell your extreme fandom for Roger makes this site very entertaining. Keep it up!


Okiegal Says:

@Tennislover

I didn’t know Novak had thrown up on court. I recorded the match and it wasn’t shown on the network I watched…….but I knew something was visibly wrong. I thought he was sucking air early on. His breathing seemed labored, but my gosh, it was so humid and hot I wasn’t shocked to hear he had thrown up. I think he was under the weather when it started. Rafa cramped up…..so the conditions were not the most desirable but the same for both. Novak>>nausea…Rafa>>cramps……On to slipping on the grass…..another occupational hazard!!


Steve27 Says:

Djokovic is becoming The Messi of tennis
Puaj!


nadalista Says:

Hey Sean, just so you don’t waste too much energy writing a long blog justifying a Novak pick at RG 2015, I saved you the trouble: here’s a link to your RG 2014 pre-tournament prediction. Just copy and paste it in Spring 2015, change the dates, a few small “facts” such as a possible Rafa SA exho, who knows, he may do a South East Asia exho this time! You get the drift……., and voila, your perennial Novak for RG win is in place!

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2014-05-19/15762.php#comments

And for good measure, just ignore anything that old fart, Federer, says about who’s hot and who’s not at RG 2015, okay? Good! Bon chance!


Steve27 Says:

Bet on Rafa at Roland Garros, is a great profit, especially this year, Is a value bet
Thanks bokkies for the incredible odds this time, and thanks to the serbian for the victory in Rome
Adje!


Steve27 Says:

nadalista, normally when the player won the major, tennis X published the interviews the day after the consagration but dont this time, why?


nadalista Says:

@Steve27 3:35 pm,

Ehh, lemme guess…….the winner wasn’t Sean’s pick!

Oh don’t fret. Sean may be down, but he sure ain’t out. Just a little winded, that’s all. He’ll get on up, get back on the horse and pick, you guessed it……..Novak for Wimby 2014!

Adje!


Steve27 Says:

Shame on Randall!
I bet the winner of SWimbledon will have the interviews that they didnt show after Rafa won RG
Objectivity?
Yeah, right!


Giles Says:

Hey Nadalista and Steve 27. Stop picking on Sean. After all he did the right thing in picking Joker and consequently the “Sean Jinx”. Carry on Sean!
Vamos Rafa!


nadalista Says:

And Ben Pronin, where you at, man? So tell us, what was that? Another tank job by Djokovic?

Heck, you told us he tanked Rome 2013 for RG 2013, so not beyond the realms of possibility he also tanked RG 2014, right? I mean, experience and all that….So, what’s he tanked for this time? Shanghai 2014?


Kwaku Says:

It’s true Fed was one of the first to foresee Rafa’s greatness to come, but at some point he too was an adept to the “one-dimensional game” theory, no?


nadalista Says:

@Giles, Sean jinx my a……bdomen! He can’t stand Rafa. Poor bloke is beside himself as we speak……………


Polo Says:

I can’t wait to see who the doomed player is that Sean Randall will pick to win Wimbledon.


Sean Randall Says:

Polo, the pressure is on for this poor bloke.


Polo Says:

Sean, you’re predictions are based so much on logic, that’s why they often go awry. Sports has a way of making a genius look like a fool, and a fool a genius.


Purcell Says:

Josh: I would hardly call giving Roy a ticking off for his extreme fandom an indication of my extreme fandom……..
Anyway, prepare to be ‘entertained’ by the return to our shores by that purveyor of very, very extremely extreme fanatical fandom…Nadalista.


Michael Says:

I told you so – Says Roger. He has turned out damn right in his prediction and congratulations to him.


Liz Says:

@Purcell: Does that mean Stan gets asterisked for beating an “incapacitated opponent” in Australia? If Novak had won, would you asterisk his win since Rafael was having his own problems? How about an asterisk next to Roger’s win over an injured Novak in Monte Carlo which took him to the final? This could go on forever and we would have a record book full of asterisks because every player has had to play and has beaten an opponent when he wasn’t at his best.

You may not have noticed, but not everyone likes Federer. Maybe you were too busy being a fanboy yourself.


metan Says:

Roger has said this since 2012., I guess it based on his own experience playing Rafa on the RG court. So true! And I believe it.
The moment Rafa closed set 2. I knew the cup is for Rafa for sure.


Knight Says:

Thanks to Rafa who gave Federer several maulings at Roland Garos and a host of other Courts which has suddenly made Federer humble, generous and sportive. He is now forced to recognize the Greatness of Rafa and his superiority over him. Despite nursing hatred in his inner heart and his avarciousness over Rafa’s achievements, he cannot express his views publicly. Poor Federer despite winning 17 slams is forced to live behind the shadow of Rafa.


Kathy Says:

Tennislover said, “Nobody even seems to have taken note of the fact that Djo was visibly sick in the final. He even threw up twice on the court and took pills. Despite all this, he pushed Raf and, as the sun started fading and the effects of the pills set in, he started to reassert himself in the fourth set. It was extremely unfortunate the way the match ended when that moronic Rafa nut distracted Djo into serving a double fault on match point. Who knows what would have happened had Djo been able to salvage that point”

Djokovic wasn’t the only one who was below par physically. Nadal was cramping from the third set. He just didn’t make such a show of it.

Serving double faults at crucial moments isn’t something new for Djokovic, just a case of history repeating itself. I wonder what would have happened if the double fault made by Djokovic at 5-3, 30-40 in the first set, had been called. Rafa would have broken back and maybe Djokovic wouldn’t have won the first set.


Michael Says:

Coming from the Great man’s mouth adds still more value to Rafa’s exploits at the red dirt. Roger is one of the best clay court players of this generation but still he has to accept the imposing domination of Rafa on this surface. There was one time in an interview, Roger said commenting on Rafa’s play at Rolland Garros – “He is playing like hell”. These were exactly the words quoted by him which just goes to show the kind of effect Rafa had on his psyche and it was this indomitable clay court domination which later percolated to other Courts too and Roger never really recovered. Rafa was on his mind and despite the best he tried in many matches using his aggressive game to the fullest extent, Rafa had an answer to every one of his manoevures. For instance in 2008 Wimbledon, Roger the King of Grass was completely outplayed for more than two sets and it was in the third set tie breaker he had a lease of life and took that match to a marathon end which became one of the memorable match of Tennis history. So, this clay court domination by Rafa percolated to hard court and grass courts too much to the consternation of Roger. Roger has all the elegance, grace and beauty in his game but that couldn’t withstand the ferocity of the Spanish Bull who broke him down with his incredible retrieving and acrobatic abilities.


jonathan Says:

Not to mention Nadal’s superior net play in what’s widely considered the greatest match of all time 22/31 (71%) vs 42/75 (56%) and incredible serving having only been broken once by Roger in 30 service games.

Amazing grass acumen from both.


Purcell Says:

Liz: don’t you realise I was taking the Micky out of the ‘asterisk’ theory? Don’t you know the history behind it?
Please don’t assume I expect everyone to like Fed. I think you’re taking your cue from the posters on tennisx who will do anything to discredit not only Roger but other players who, for instance have the temerity to beat ‘their boy.’ I’m just ‘busy’ being an open minded fan.


Purcell Says:

Take heart posters. The sword of Sir Knight will continue to droop.


Purcell Says:

Kathy:…….’didn’t make such a show of it.’ Unkind comment. Nole was ill, Rafa had cramps. What did we hear from Camp Nadal? What did we hear from Nole? Think about it.


Gordon Says:

I get SO tired of injury and illness being an excuse for only Rafa.

Almost as tired as I get of the “Sean Randall” jinx.

As for the former – Nole’s illness is completely disregarded. Even NBC showing him vomiting in slow mo (real class there by the way) couldn’t sway anyone. Know why? Cause Djokovic does not dwell on his injuries/illnesses. He believes – as he said – that if you can play the match the best person on the day wins. Plain and simple. I wish certain other people (“Robin he play unbelievable, no? But let me talk endlessly about my injuries.”) would adopt that attitude.

As for the Sean jinx – by the way, if you had bet on Randall’s predictions over the past year you would be ahead – lambasting him gets a little tiresome. I’d like to see some of the “pundits” in here consistently get a better record than Randall.

Ain’t going to happen. Either of the above.


JF Says:

Jamie – Who is your prediction for Wimbledon this year ?
You seem to be on point most of the times


jamie Says:

@JF

Djokovic will win Wimbledon.


jamie Says:

Sean Randall will probably predict Nadal or even Murray to win Wimbledon, maybe even Federer but he will be wrong, as usual. I certainly hope Sean is a young guy, under 35, because his tennis forecast abilities are so bad.


JF Says:

How are you so certain ?


Gordon Says:

Jamie is not certain, he is a troll; and the worst type of troll, one that insults the administrators of this site.

Sean is right more times than he is wrong.


Giles Says:

Jamie. After Rafa’s first round loss today Sean will never ever
predict Rafa to win Wimby. His prediction will be joker.
#SeanJinxComesIntoPlay


jamie Says:

@JF

I am. Djokovic will Wimbledon. 100% sure.


calmdownplease Says:

`Djokovic will Wimbledon. 100% sure..`

We will hold you to that mate,
lol

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