It’s Official Defending Champion Rafael Nadal Will Not Play The US Open
by Staff | August 18th, 2014, 9:14 am

For the second time in three years Rafael Nadal will miss the US Open. After a week of speculation, Nadal made it official earlier today that his ailing right wrist has not sufficiently healed to allow him to return for his title defense in New York next week.

“I am very sorry to announce I won’t be able to play at this year’s US Open a tournament on which I’ve played 3 consecutive finals in my last participations,” Nadal said in a statement. “I am sure you understand that it is a very tough moment for me since it is a tournament I love and where I have great memories from fans, the night matches, so many things… Not much more I can do right now, other than accept the situation and, as always in my case, work hard in order to be able to compete at the highest level once I am back.”

Nadal, who also missed the 2012 US Open due to a knee injury, has not played since his Wimbledon loss to Nick Kyrgios. He injured his right wrist almost three weeks ago during a routine training session in Mallorca.

The 28-year-old Nadal ranks No. 2 behind Novak Djokovic. Nadal’s absence means Cincinnati champion Roger Federer will be seeded second at the US Open. The stars of the sport still have never played at the US Open.

Nadal has never defended any of his 16 career hardcourt titles.

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166 Comments for It’s Official Defending Champion Rafael Nadal Will Not Play The US Open

Lulu Says:

This is awful! I suppose it’s for the best if the wrist still isn’t healed. Of course it’s still a pretty interesting USO, with the field being so wide open, but all the spark is gone for me now. Maybe Fed can win #18. The unselfish part of me hopes so. Or Murray could win and get back closer to where he belongs in the rankings. Probably Novak will win though.

Polo Says:

C’est dommage, mais c’est la vie.

jatin Says:

How SAD….Rafa will surely be missed a lot in this USO. Really wanted to see a fedal in Uso atleast for once . Seems like it wont happen ever.
Hoping for speedy recovery. Best wishes Rafa..

Hippy Chic Says:

lulu my thoughts exactly,sensible decission IMO,as playing might have done more harm than good,at least he can get ready for the Asian swing and hopefully an assault on winning the WTF,maybe we can go out for a drink with Emily(Delpo fan),to coin a phrase im gutted though,but i will root for Murray,whom is my second favorite :((….

bbsocrates Says:

Murray is always the biggest beneficiary when Rafa misses a grand slam or loses early in Wimbledon the last few years. Novak will advance through the top half to the final. If Murray draws the bottom half and is not in Federer’s quarter, then his draw should open up nicely to SF. Though he’s had a great summer and I’ll be pulling for him, my feeling is Federer may get bounced before SF like 2012-2013.

Look for a final without a lot of juice like Novak vs. Wawrinka, Murray, Tsonga, Ferrer, etc. I’d like to see a new guy pop through to the final like Dimitrov, Ancic or Nishikori. Or even a John Isner.

Casey Says:

Raonic will probably find a way to vulture another QF/SF. He’ll get something like this:
R1 Harrison
R2 Vesely
R3 Giraldo
R4 Gasquet
QF Ferrer
SF Federer (and then will lose 62 61 62)

PS And Gasquet and Ferrer will lose early ofc, to make his path easier.

Okiegal Says:


I knew deep down in my heart he wouldn’t play…….especially after the doctor said not 100% and they needed 4 or 5 more days more to see if it was any better…….He needs 4 or 5 months in all reality. Pushing these injuries only makes them worse……look at Del Po……don’t want that for him. I say we will see him for Australia and not before……unless he might do one tourney test the waters. So sad for him…..what a blow!

Okiegal Says:

^^^one tourney to test the waters……should say…

skeezer Says:


Margot Says:

Big hugs to Rafa fans on here. Andy fans know just what it’s like :(

Nirmal Kumar Says:

It’s a pity. USO seems to be the second best slam for Rafa in the recent years and with Roger playing well, it would have made up for an interesting matchup if they had to meet for the first time.

Hope he recovers quickly and plays the indoor season, rather than skipping the entire season.

Okiegal Says:


Thanks…..I’m crushed…..c’mon Andy, he’s #2 in my heart!!

I didn’t realize that Andy’s record against Roger was so equal before they played yesterday….11-11 I think it was. Had never checked that stat… so Andy has given him problems just like Rafa…..Good luck to Andy, Margot, hope he can pull things together and make a good showing…..he’s my only hope now!!

RZ Says:

This is a shame, but I’m sure it’s the right decisions. Some time off now will probably mean Rafa can play for longer when he returns.

Margot Says:

Thanks gal. And another huge virtual hug coming your way. :)

Polo Says:

As amazing as Nadal’s career has been so far, one can’t help but wonder how much greater it could have been sans injuries. I hope he recovers fully while there’s still time. Del Potro is the other hard luck guy.

Okiegal Says:

Yeah, Margot, I can use one right now….if I knew how to insert one of those little unhappy faces that shows tears, I would!! Lol

jane Says:

admittedly, i am surprised.
sorry to rafa fans. that’s a drag. the guy has missed a lot of slams.

MMT Says:

That’s a bummer.

Daniel Says:


Andy always lead the HxH with Federer, there was one point in 2009 it was 6-2 Murray.

This is bad news for Nadal and at 28 sometimes you start realizing you are not young anymore and some things you just can’t control.

It’s bad for his aspirations on the future, he will be turning 30 soon and his major gap is getting slim. This is already third straight year he can compete in all 4 Slams due to injury. Kind of make us think which is the Slam he will not play next year when he will be 28/29. Hope he gest back for Asian Swing, at least this time of the year he will be more rest and hungrier for the final 4 tourneys of the year.

As for the field, quoting Raonic, the buzz on the locker room must be huge. Nadal not playing, Djoko not playing as #1 right now, Murray battling some inner daemons and even with FEd’s recent run, they all know Fed can have a “Robredo” match any minute nowadays, they all must be dying for a break and opening. Could it be that both Hard Court Slams this year won’t be won by any of Big 4?!

Daniel Says:

Also draws could be decisive: Murray moves to 8 and will land in either Djoko or Federer’s quarter for sure, very rare for #8 to land with #3 or #4. This means that one of Djoko or Fed will only have to beat 1 member of the Big 4 this Slam and that is no guarantee as the other can lose early in the other half. Murray most likely will have a tuff road regardless.

Okiegal Says:


That is a thought to ponder……what if…….
and this last upset has taken the wind out of my sails, but I will recover…..have had lots of experience with injuries!!

Yes, Delpo is another one that has had some bad luck. Hope he can fully recover… needs him!!

Michael Says:

It is a real shame that Rafa who is a defending Champion is not able to compete in the US Open and consequently a great loss for the Tennis World. For sure, it robs the tournament of its charm. It is a tragedy of epic proportions and moves even those like me who is not his fan to tears hearing this sad piece of news. I just hoped against hope of some heavenly intervention which would prompt Rafa to play. But sadly that was not the case and we have to live with reality. I hope he is atleast fit for Shanghai.

Giles Says:

@Michael. You sound genuinely distressed for Rafa and his legion of fans. Thank you.

Okiegal Says:


Thanks for the feedback. I didn’t know that Andy led Roger. I will be honest and admit that the only h2h I really was interested in was you know whose. I lost sight of everyone else’s record against him, I suppose. Well, it is what it is…..back to rehab and hope for the best!! I’m still going with Novak over Roger for the last slam of the season!

SG1 Says:

“it robs the tournament of its charm…”
“It is a tragedy of epic proportions…”
“You sound genuinely distressed for Rafa and his legion of fans. Thank you.”

Why not a candle light vigil for Rafa at the Vatican?

Come on folks…give it a rest…some perspective perhaps. There are people in this world in far more distress than Rafa. A tennis player, even an injured one, not playing in a slam and the word “tragedy” don’t belong in the same sentence.

I like Rafa and I want to see him play but them’s the breaks. He’ll be back.

SG1 Says:

I’d like to see Andy come through in this tournament but he’ll have to make me a believer. Too many losses against elite players so far this year.

As for Andy’s record against Roger, I do believe that Federer’s record against Andy in slams is superior and maybe even lopsided (not sure though).

Patson Says:

Feel sorry for Rafa fans. I hope he plays the fall swing. It would be unfortunate if he doesn’t.

Jack Lewis Says:

” on which I’ve played 3 consecutive finals in my last participations,””

I had almost forgotten about these, good thing he mentioned them…

Patson Says:

In case anybody wants a hug or wants to hug, I’m available.

Nirmal Kumar Says:

It is a tragedy of epic proportion

Michael, with people losing lives around the world with war and other calamities, I wonder if a super rich tennis player not participating in a tennis tournament is really a tragedy of epic proportion?

skeezer Says:

@SG1 12:41 post
Was goin to say the same thing. Well said.

RZ Says:

@SG1 – you’re right about Andy’s and Roger’s head-to-head. They’ve played 5 times at the grand slams and Roger has won 4 of those (only loss was the Australian Open semi in 2013). Roger has also won 3 of their 4 matches at the ATP World Tour Finals (sole loss in 2008 when it was held in China; Roger won all 3 matches in London)

Okiegal Says:

@Patson……I’m always in the hugging mode…lol

Okiegal Says:

The word tragedy I have heard the “King of Clay” mention in his interviews a few times on losing a match. He says ” I lost the match but it’s not a tragedy”…..and its not. People losing their lives in these stupid wars that has nothing to do with anything other than a power struggle……now that’s a tragedy!!

The old Rafa would have pushed himself to play….the new Rafa has finally come to his senses and bows out for his health’s sake, thank goodness. There is life after tennis….a golf game for him and I think he plays right handed……so that wrist injury would probably affect that. Hope to see him @ Aussie Open.

………..nah, he doesn’t need a candlelight vigil at the Vatican……his legion of fans will get through this…..we always do, we’re resilient just like our fav!!

Humble Rafa Says:

Sad day for me. No words to describe the emotions.

DC Says:

@Polo Says:
As amazing as Nadal’s career has been so far, one can’t help but wonder how much greater it could have been sans injuries. I hope he recovers fully while there’s still time. Del Potro is the other hard luck guy.
————————————————–If no one had injuries, Nadal would have been in a tough spot and not the great he is.
– fed would not have suffered from Mono in 2008, back issues in 2013.
– Marat Safin & Hewitt could have given Rafa a lot of trouble
– Del potro sans injury would be another headache for Rafa

One also has to realize that Nadal plays a very physical brand of tennis to win, hence the injuries. If he were to avoid injuries, he could have done so at the cost of most of his trophies.

Eric Says:

Sad news, but not surprising. As usual, Rafa will come back stronger than ever — but he’s starting to spend a lot of time in these “getting ready to come back” phases.

“candlelight vigil at the Vatican”… lol. I can think of some others who need one more, too. :)

Daniel Says:


Also agree with this logic. If Nadal doesn’t play 4 majors in 3 straight it’s because there is something wrong.

Maybe we could try to check which other players have skipped this many Slams, beacuse I got the sense that skipping a major due to injury can occur with every player, but in Nadal’s case is a lot: AO 06′ and 13′, RG 04′, Wimby 09′, US 12′ and 14′, 6 Slams already.

andrea Says:

that is unfortunate for fans and the event.

interesting that the timing of his injury or withdrawals never happens during the clay court season.

Gordon Says:

How unfortunate for Rafa and his legion of fans, and for fans of tennis itself.

You always want to see the best play and it is most unfortunate that again he is missing a chance at another slam.

No one punishes himself more through training than Nadal. Better to wait until you are 100% and come back with no concerns.

Wishing him a speedy recovery.

Kimberly Says:

Hopefully I wont get pasted for saying this but here it goes: the biggest beneficiary IMO of the withdrawal is not Murray it is Federer. Hes looking at a very real chance to win a slam without Nadal in the draw. The reality is no matter how badly nadal plays he always raises his game and plays his best against Federer. In Australiai 2012 Nadal limped his way to the semi, while Federer was looking hot, and the result was basically another version of what has become the same old story. Howerver, without going through Rafa Federer is probably a favorite against everyone else but Djokovic and definitely has a chance against Novak. He may win this. Will he do a Sampras and retire if he does?

Daniel Says:

No way he is retiring Kimberly if he wins USO. Can see him even hungrier to try finishing year end #1 for a record tying 6th with Sampras, which would basically settle GOAT debate for good.
Back to real life, just him winning a Slam again, specially at the age of 33 would be magnificent. Right now wish to see him in the finals of US Open again. All his hard work since last year is paying off with 4 finals in a row and 8 in the season, the most of all players.

jane Says:

i guess you could argue that both andy and fed have had success at slams when rafa is not there and/or loses early, especially fed because he has a poor h2h with rafa at slams (2-9 i think?). as for nole, when nadal has been out, typically it’s not really helped him; it probably would at the french though (!!). anyhow, it’s tough to say what’ll happen this year. form can change on the day, best of 5 is a whole different thing, and draws can be lopsided and/or open up. plus weather can often be a factor at the us open. who knows!? even though rafa has pulled out, there are several other factors to consider, as always. we’ll know more after the draw and even after the first couple of rounds.

Ravindra Shardul Says:

Feplayers ad for Rafa! For sure he is a big loss for the tennis courtsystem, but then again one has to look at how hard he plays. That is too much taxing on his body. Going by the history I won’t be surprised if he misses more and more tournaments. He had 7 months injury off last year. Couldn’t even last for next 7. On the other side one can’t forget that he is getting older. I can understand his intentions about the game, not to play if not fit enough. But every time he comes back he plays even harder (why not? Specially after the rest)and wins the trophies. That makes it more worse for his body but givesome him trophies.
I don’t remember any tennis play in his career with so many breaks.
I feel like he has already achieved so much. He should just enjoy playing without looking to win the trophies, so he can keep his body in shape.
I am sure there is a life beyond tennis as well.

jane Says:

^ also i agree with daniel; i can’t see fed retiring soon, but especially not if he won the us open! rather, that would serve as motivation i would think.

and just to clarify, i don’t mean to say those players won just because rafa lost early or pulled out. of course there are a million other factors – as mentioned – that play into any slam win, including form (mental and physical), motivation, draws, weather, momentum, etc, etc.

Brando 2.0 Says:

– Re Rafa:

Colossal bummer!

After having won a unprecedented 9th Rolland Garros title, playing a Grass season which was a major improvement for him on the previous 2 years and one which he left feeling good about his game (performance wise Rafa left it all out there at Wimby so understandably he was not too dejected on exit) to now experience this must have been a huge blow.

And for what?

A unfortunate twist of fortune which sees him suffer a injury in practise that requires nothing other than the basic rest and recovery for a short period of time.

What a unfortunate time for it to strike!

Rafael Nadal is a player who has enjoyed monstrous success in the game of Tennis pretty much from the first time he stepped onto the scene.

Winning 14 Grand Slams and atleast 1 Grand Slam for 10 seasons in a row is testament to that.

But despite this great success- if it is possible to do so- he’s also experienced great misfortune on the injury front:

1. He’s now missed 4 GS Slams since age 23 without hitting a single Tennis ball. Essentially he’s sat out a entire calender year’s worth of Slams.

2. The cause or issues as to his exit is up for debate but no one disagrees that when he exited in Round 2 in Wimbledon 2012 (his last match for 7 months) and then in the subsequent year suffered a round one loss to a player who did not win a match all year till that point- the legendary Steve Darcis- it won’t be a stretch to say: he was best of not turning up at all for those to events at all.

That’s 2 slams there.

3. Retiring hurt v Andy Murray in AO 10′, playing on after what we all saw early in set 1 v Ferrer in A0 11′ and then the back issue in a blister ridden tourny in AO 14′ final. Strokes of misfortune in 3 AO events there.

That’s 6-9 Grand Slam events there that it would not be a stretch to say:

He was a tad bit unlucky going through what he did there.

All of which has occurred in the prime age 23-28 period. That’s a huge obstacle he’s had to pull through in order to achieve his full potential.

This will likely hurt him badly since the competitor that he is would much rather prefer getting pasted by a superior player than being defeated by the visit of misfortune once again in his career.

– The fans:

A colossal bummer for both his fans and the lovers of the game.

When you take out the Defending Champion, world number 2, 14x GS Champion, all time legend in the game and a player who is easily a top 2 draw in the sport in terms of crowd draw, as many observer’s have said:

It’s a huge loss.

Let’s just hope Rafa pulls through this one ASAP and is back on the tour sooner rather than later.

All the best Rafa!

madmax Says:

Patson Says:
In case anybody wants a hug or wants to hug, I’m available.

August 18th, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Patson. Very funny.

Hippy chick, am genuinely sorry for you most of all here. I had absolutely every faith that he would play. I suppose because he has withdrawn through injury before, trained, come back even stronger and then gone onto win, so this has come as a complete shock to me.

I know how I would have felt if it were Roger.

Having said that, I think Oki has got it right. The next few months are obviously crucial as part of his recovery phase. (What EXACTLY is wrong with his wrist? Do you know? Is there any medical statement given by his doctors, Hippy?). Then I think he will come back with more of a bang, the latter part of the year – a period when he is usually spent.

So good to see that you can cheer on your number 2, Hippy. I think that Andy will be looking to pick up the trophy, along with Novak and Fed, and perhaps some other competitor who is equally as fired up.

Don’t be down for too long though. A week to go and I am sure that Kimberley will have her challenge ready.

Am not a fan of Rafa’s style of play, as you know HC, but. Would never wish injury on anyone. It’s too bad this time around, so let’s hope it is not something which is career threatening at this stage. It seems strange that it happened in practice. So now, I will go to Skeezer’s link and read more about it.

Hippy Chic Says:

Brando 2 0 great post completely agree….

Ben Pronin Says:

Federer definitely benefits most from Nadal’s withdrawal. It’s not even a question. Murray benefits about as much as everyone else, which is a good amount, but not so much that he could be considered one of the top favorites. Djokovic benefits more than Murray, in fact. He hasn’t had much success against Nadal in the slams lately but he’s also making the semis or finals anyway.

madmax Says:


Do you think so?

Read Skeezer’s link above. They seem to favour Murray being a beneficiary. It doesn’t matter though who really. You have to beat the opponent across the net. After watching some of the “second/even third, tier guys” come through on hard courts this summer, who could ever write off Ferrer or Benneteau – you just never ever know. One day of madness, playing lights out tennis, could change all of that at the USO.

What I can’t believe, when I read the link, was this:

“Meanwhile, the BBC announced on Monday that Murray’s mother Judy would be a contestant in this winter’s series of Strictly Come Dancing”.

What has this got to do with tennis and who really cares?

Brando 2.0 Says:

– Relevance to field/ how I see the USO favs now:


He is- in my opinion- still beyond any doubt the absolute favourite for this title regardless of what has happened recently. The pros outweigh the cons for him:

1. He’s the world number 1.
2. He’s still the best HC player out there.
3. He’s the biggest prime age player out there now Rafa is out.

Nadal being out definitely helps him-as it does all- since it eliminates a 14x GS Champion who is well versed at beating Novak in a Slam and is 2-1 in USO finals against him.

So of course that helps. It leaves him with a rival Slam winning field of:

– A 33 year old Federer who has not played a a USO final in 5 years.
– A Murray who has not played any final in over a year.
– A Wawrinka who- I feel many won’t disagree- won a likely one off Slam and has been a very inconsistent, unpredictable performer since it. Wawa has done nothing of note in the US swing so far and has given no indication of doing otherwise.

When that is your main competition on your favourite surface: one just rubs their hand with glee as they know it’s a eminently beatable competition.

Now what has happened to Novak post WImby has been surprising to say the least and really very unfathomable. There really is no explanation for it.

Yet, whatever it is happened in MS events and GS Tennis is a different ball game altogether.

He should win this event and if he does not- IMHO- he’ll have no one to blame except himself since really with Nadal out, Murray may as well not turn up with his form and Fed being 33:

This is as close to a gimme Slam you could want on your fav surface considering the situation of the competition.

Yet, if anything, Novak’s last 2 months on the tour just add more credence to the tag of him being Tennis’s Jekyll and Hyde:

One moment Slam winner, next moment mind boggling losses to underwhelming opponents (Robredo Novak- really?!?). Despite this:

He’s the fav for me and I expect him to be the eventual winner.


Goes without saying: the biggest beneficiary of Nadal’s withdrawal. That is a obvious reality.

It helps him for obvious reasons that do not need expanding upon.

He’s 33- so his performance capacity exists within the realsm of what one can do at that age. Now for him to win Cincy, be RU at Rogers Cup, RU in Wimby is beyond remarkable.

It’s a colossal achievement itself.

Yet he’s 33: no matter what form he’s in he will be defeated should he face certain players and them being in top form as they are major talents who are in prime age:

Nadal, Djokovic and Murray.

Luckily for Fed one is out, the other is unpredictable and Muzza is just a shadow of his former self at the moment.

Fed can win this event because of this as the rest of the field really is of a very beatable level for him.

His best surpasses what they have to offer at optimum.

So with a bit of luck, he can win here: but he’ll need that luck for sure one feels.

3. No one:

Muzza: has not played a final at any level or beat a top 10 player for over a year. I love the guy but until he does one or both I am not predicting him for anything at the moment. I just do not see him changing such stats so dramatically and waltzing off with the title here in NY just like that at all.

Rest: I see no one really who possesses a genuine title winning shot IMHO. Sure we can name a whole bunch who sport certain plusses at the moment. But none of them for me look like winners of this year’s final GS title:


It’s Novak’s to lose. Should he play anywhere near his best he can- and should- waltz to the title.

Fed is his only real rival for me here. A combination of a inform Fed and a bizarre Novak raises the genuine possibility of a Fed win but again:

This Slam’s fate rest’s on Novak’s racquet.

Brando 2.0 Says:

@Hippy Chic:

Thanks, appreciated.

Your thoughts re Britain’s finest and his prospects here:


Ben Pronin Says:

Let me be the first to completely write off Benneteau’s chances of winning the US Open.

I don’t see how Murray benefits more. He has 2 slams. Federer has 5 since Nadal became number 1. Federer also has a much bigger match up problem with Nadal than Murray.

I can see Federer thinking to himself “oh man, Nadal is out, I have a great opportunity now!”. Like Kimberly said, Federer’s pretty much the favorite against anyone except Djokovic and he has a great chance against Djokovic.

Murray is probably thinking “I can’t worry about Nadal because I have my own problems.” His problem in 2014 is so much bigger than Nadal.

Hell, Federer could already have slam 18 if not for Nadal. This Australian Open was as classic case as any: Federer playing great, Nadal playing awful, but then they face each other and Nadal goes into God-mode while Federer becomes a scrub. Same old story.

jane Says:

he came closer to #18 at wimbledon ben, and again nadal lost early, before they could meet.

Gee Says:

Blame nadal every time fed loses. Wimbledon is Just like at the us open.

skeezer Says:

“Hell, Federer could already have slam 18 if not for Nadal.”
Don’t forget “The Dark Night Rises” 08 Wimby.

Gee Says:

Brando, I don’t agree that Novak is the fave for the trophy. Looks like he’s close to retirement. He acts like that troll roddick. It was funwhile he rarely had a good slam result. Now he is all about only marriage. tennis self-pity & masochism, are what Novak truly enjoyed having, his whole adult life.

RZ Says:

There is one big way in which Murray benefits from Nadal’s withdrawal: getting the #8 seed. He’s ranked #9 but will move up one and wouldn’t have to face any of the top 7 players until the quarters.

Polo Says:

Maybe Djokovic will be to this US Open as Nadal was to the recent French. Play poorly prior to the event, be discounted as a possible winner, then at the end, win.

Polo Says:

Five set matches is a big handicap to 33 year old athletes.

Brando 2.0 Says:


That is a true and genuine benefit of course.

But the way Andy is playing right now and for the entire year really, it just does not matter when he faces a top player since he inevitably seems to lose to them.

I really think the benefit he draws from Rafa withdrawing is not as great as some are speculating since- bluntly speaking- he is his own biggest problem right now than a Nadal, Fed, Novak, whomever.

jane Says:

that’d be great polo. but i wonder if nole has the imminent birth of his first child on his mind? as for the masters, there may’ve been a letdown after the highs of wimbledon and wedding, but fingers crossed that he gets it together for the final slam of the year.

skeezer Says:

It didn’t matter for Fed that Rafa was in the USO draw last year or not. Or Murray, or Nole. He lost to Robredo.

I’d be careful about saying who’s happy about what. No matter what, you have to beat the guy who’s in front of you FIRST, every round till the later. ….maybe then and only then you’ll meet one of these guys. Just ask Rafa about 2014 Wimbledon.

Okiegal Says:

@Gee 6:38……I don’t understand this comment at all. Novak is going through a rough patch …but tennis self pity and masochism, what’s up with that remark? Have you read something he has said? Just curious. Was he your favorite and you feel he’s let you down?? If he is your fav….very odd comment.
I think he will come back guns a blazing. If he and Fed meet, it’s Novak’s to win, being 5 sets and all….we will see!!

Vamos, Andy!!

Polo Says:

I just cannot take seriously anybody who resorts to name calling in an attempt to stress his opinion, e.g., calling somebody a troll when he has limited knowledge about that person. That’s usually a sign that their arguments would veer towards the silly rather than the sensible.

Okiegal Says:

@Madmax 5:31

I realize your post was intended for Chic for the most part, but as a Rafa fan I appreciated what you said regarding him. Thanks!

Brando 2.0 Says:


I have to disagree and stick to what I said originally:

For me Novak is the favourite out of the field now and his pros outweigh the cons.

The way I see it regarding him is:

If he plays his best then he wins given the reality of the present field.

His biggest hurdle- likely challenge- is Federer and we all saw what happened at Wimbledon. Fed fought as well as he could, played pretty close to his best and yet had Novak been mentally strong he would have defeated RF in straight sets on his best court!

So for me it’s definitely on Novak’s racquet. It just depends on which Novak turns up.

Mentally consistent Novak: He could even win this event dropping a couple of sets maximum.

Mentally AWOL Novak: Could lose in a bizarre fashion.

Many will disagree but I think what helps him also is that the one player from the field who can beat Novak at his best on this court should he play his best right now- IMHO- Andy Murray, is in ridiculous form.

On fast HC when you look at Andy’s titles in Canada, Cincy, USO and Shanghai then you can make a case for him to say he is as good atleast as Novak on fast HC.

But when you look at this Murray you think he has no chance v Novak considering his complete lack of form.

So Novak’s in reality is actually in a very good place despite his bizarre losses since:

The field is weak in terms of genuine challengers and the biggest threat- Federer- is eminently beatable for him as shown by what unfolded at Wimby.

For me it’s his to lose.

SG1 Says:

Federer has a phenomenal opportunity but he has to take advantage of it. If he plays a guy like Novak or Stan in final…guys who can make the a finals match very physical…I don’t like his chances. If he gets to the final and plays someone like Andy Murray or Ferrer, I give Federer the edge. There’s no doubt that Federer still has the game to win a major. He’s proved that beyond any doubt this year. Can he, at 33, lay it all on the line and have enough gas in the tank to go toe-to-toe on a hard court with some of the bigger, tougher guys. Not sure about this. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Ben Pronin Says:

SG1, completely agree. This is something I worry about with Federer. He is fit, yes, but he’s not as strong as some of the other guys. I still remember in 2012 when he just flat out bullied off the court by Berdych. This is why the draw matters so much. If Federer can avoid these bruising matches and make the final legitimately fresh, he might even be the favorite against Djokovic, let alone anyone else.

Considering Wawrinka just got hammered by Benneteau out of nowhere, I’m not calling him a favorite. He’s a contender, sure, but not a favorite. The obvious favorites are Federer and Djokovic. Everyone else is just a contender.

skeezer Says:

Btw, for rafans, with Rafa out, look at the positive….he is putting less mileage atm on those chronic knees. The less pounding he takes on those knees on the courts, the longer he can play on them. He should have fresh legs once he returns, and barring injury, and the mental side of the game, movement at this level is everything.

the DA Says:

““oh man, Nadal is out, I have a great opportunity now!”

Curious logic, especially at the USO. I’m not sure he would think that way. Nadal was always in the other half of the draw. He was also knocked out by Murray & Delpo, and he missed one year. Fed only seized the opportunity once – in 2008. Actually, his biggest obstacle has been Djokovic with those incredible comebacks in 2 consecutive SFs. Berdy took over and he was in a slump last year.

Roger’s in much better shape this time round and i’m sure he’s happy not to have to think about a possible Fedal rematch.

metan Says:

Sad news indeed!!!!!

SG1 Says:


Speaking of Berdych, you think he could be a dark horse choice? He’s a chronic underachiever at slams but has the game to do damage at the USO.

Ben Pronin Says:

Berdych has been playing horribly lately. I doubt it. I expect an early exit

Bob Lewis Says:

No doubt Federer has problems with Berdych, even in some of the victories. I think the 2012 USO match is one of the reasons why Federer needed to switch racquets. Even with the newer equip, there are still some dangerous guys out there. Besides Berdych, there’s Tsonga. Dimitrov has been fitter and might be a real test, you never know. Not sure about Wawrinka, though.

Fed’s the legit 2nd fave. Cincy was an important result because nothing builds confidence like winning. If Djokovic falters, I do see Fed capitalizing. If he has to face Djokovic in the final, I wouldn’t like his chances. Djokovic is too athletic, consistent, and reads Fed’s serve very well. Fed would need a near-perfect day at net and win those key pts on Djok’s 2nd serve.

Bob Lewis Says:

Too bad Nadal is out. Don’t like the fact Murray’s chances are increased.

Okiegal Says:


Maybe the reason Judy is doing the dancing show… was rumored that Deliciano was doing the show too!! LOL

roy Says:

go murray, i guess

i can’t believe you still put that ‘nadal has not defended his hard court titles’ garbage at the end.

it’s a meaningless stat and even more absurd when the guy is forced out of the tournaments with injury.

still, next year i can guarantee people will be pointing out that nadal didn’t defend montreal/cinc /usopen implying his hard court game is sub par.

Wog boy Says:

I have a feeling that some of the young guns will make waves and cause few upsets this coming USO… first of all Dimitrov, maybe Raonic, but he has to work on his mental strenght, besides BH and movement..

Btw, I agree with Ben, I dont see Benneteau winning USO.

jane Says:

yeah, dimitrov might just surprise us, although thus far his best surface seems to be grass. strangely i’d almost say milos’ best is clay; but then he lives and practices in monte carlo, and i think clay gives him more time for his movement and big swings.

skeezer Says:

“i can’t believe you still put that ‘nadal has not defended his hard court titles’ garbage at the end.”
16? 16! Its just the truth. Are you complaining now on how its delivered? Was he injured in all of those defendable titles?
Sour grapes.
I am sure his fans wouldn’t be sayin the same about his Clay titles he has defended, which is unbelievably fantastic.
It may be a personal meaningless stat to you, but nonetheless it is an important one. There are some past present players who have taken great pride in defending there titles, and it shows resolve, fortitude, consistency, and a commitment in preparation in all areas to do so. And yes, maybe a dash of luck, but this is mostly a small part overall. It is a very significant stat.

tennis bubble Says:

Nobody gets benefit from others injury as you still have to win your matches & there is no strong era weak era as the same logic applies here also

madmax Says:

Polo Says:
Five set matches is a big handicap to 33 year old athletes.

August 18th, 2014 at 6:49 pm

Polo, I hear you, but who is to say that Fed won’t wrap up all his matches in 3?

Margot Says:

Will be happy if Andy gets to quarters, even happy more if he gets to semis.
No expectations whatsoever, alas.

Michael Says:

SG1 @ 12.41 pm

Come on folks…give it a rest…some perspective perhaps. There are people in this world in far more distress than Rafa. A tennis player, even an injured one, not playing in a slam and the word “tragedy” don’t belong in the same sentence

Well, SG1, we are only discussing Tennis here and not the World affairs entangled with distress. In Tennis, it is really a tragedy that a Legend like Rafa is not able to play and defend his title and so may be, I used superlative expressions like colossal/epic etc., just to communicate my sense of disappointment with his withdrawal. I do not see anything wrong perse in using such strong expressions. Infact, I am surprised that it has bothered you !!

Giles @ 11.56 AM,

Thank you Giles !!

Michael Says:

It is too early to count on a favourite for the US Open. The key here would be the draw which can make a huge difference in a player’s fortune. Ofcourse, an ebullient Roger is coming with all the confidence with a victory behind him and he should be really charged up bristling with fervour. But, still the tournament is wide open and can spring huge surprise ? Who would have thought that Tsonga would win Montreal and Novak would exit so early in both Montreal and Cincinnati ? So, in this sport you cannot take anything for granted and it is this uncertainity which raises the excitement of its passionate fans. Certainity can only lead to boredom. With the exit of Rafa and Del Potro, there is a vacuum at the top and it might be difficult to fill that void. But, still there is enough competition for the top players to contend with. The dark horse for the US Open would be Tsonga and Andy and the favourites would be Roger and Novak, but it is not any way overwhelming and things can change. Looking forward to a competitive US Open with many thrilling matches keeping me on the edge of my seat.

Hippy Chic Says:

Madmax thanks for the post, but there is no need to feel sorry for me as i have a lovely husband and a great personal life,but just to say regarding Rafa,well its dissapointing but not entirely surprising,as id already resigned myself to the idea that he wouldnt be playing in the back of my mind anyway.
Regarding his injury,i dont know what is is or how serious it is,maybe its more serious than 1st thought,or maybe its not as serious as 1st thought,but maybe he didnt want to risk futhur damage,again who knows?
Anyway im not too down as Andy is my second favorite,so i will root for him,although i have no expectations about him winning the title,i just would like to see him have a good run in a GS again,and hes done pretty well here in the past,and theres Kimberlys challenge which i always enjoy doing.
Skeezers right anyway a little perspective wouldnt go a miss from some though this is only tennis,not a life or death situation.
But regarding the link i think ill give it a miss sorry.
Best of luck to your favorite,i think he will be my favorite to get number 18,him or Novak i would say….

Okiegal Says:

Madmax, this is for you concerning Rafa’s injury and it comes from Ben Rothenberg….now where he got his information, I don’t know…..a Twitter Tweet said he had a small detachment of the posterior sheath of the right ulnar wrist. I have commented on this before but I guess you missed it. I have no idea if Mr. Rothenberg’s info was from a reliable source or not.

Margot Says:

So many players have had wrist injuries it seems: Delpotro, Andy, Nole, Rafa just for starters.
Am wondering if this is something new, down to new technology, number of tournaments or something else? Delpotro doesn’t play like Andy and co either, so it can’t just be down to style of play either.
Did it happen in the past?
Anyone got any suggestions?

Giles Says:

It seems the women too are being afflicted with wrist injuries.

Viki Says:

I think this US open may become spectacle which alter the legacy of many great players.
I always think the French Open 11’s semifinal loss of Djokovic is one of the reason for Nadal is considered GOAT now.
As he is always a player who depends on confidence, loss of french open is really going to hurt him. It was a possiblity because Djokovic was playing without any fear of losing means no pressure, no choking.

This same attitude won him the semifinal of US open 11 which i again considered a last chance for federer to beat nadal. That shot on match point which he played, only a gambler and person who has no fear of loss can play.

Off topic: Now i think djokovic choke in finals because he fear the loss. He himself is telling that in wimbledon final he was waiting for error from federer rather than playing aggresive.

Now come to this year US Open,
If Djokovic wins this, may be it will open a short window of oppurtunity for him to be part of GOAT debate. It will definately motivate him for australian open.

Then the final frontier French open. if it accomplished by beating nadal with the golden slam. it will definately make him a strong contender for GOAT even with less slam.

Off topic: I remember the nineties when french open used to be least watch open because it use to be won by player who are not super star of tennis or having less fan following. But thanks to nadal now it looks like the most important slam to win.

El_Flaco Says:

Margot Says:

It is not new although it is possibly more commonplace because of the force players exert when they swing in today’s game. Agassi and Connors both had wrist injuries and surgery.

An interesting observation and something I commented on here several years ago is that wrist injuries almost exclusively occur with players that have two-handed backhands. Now why would that be? You would think using your off hand would help spread out the force exerted on your wrists making it less likely to get injured while someone with a one-handed backhand would more likely to get a wear and tear type injury.

My theory is that with a one-handed backhand your wrist is strengthened in almost perfect symmetry because the forehand and one-handed backhand are mirror opposites in terms of how your wrist is used.

With a two-handed backhand for a righty you exert force almost exclusively with the tendons on one side of the wrist for your forehand and then your left hand gets stressed in only one direction on the backhand.

The solution for players with two-handed backhands is to do wrist strengthening exercises for both your left and right arms to build more symmetrical strength that will help protect the tendons and joints from injury.

Hippy Chic Says:

Nothing against Novak as he is already an all time great,but i still think hes behind Rafa in that conversation even if he does win the USO,granted he will have more GS off clay than Nadal,but Rafa has multiple GS on all surfaces,and Novak has GS on two surfaces,and clay is still a surface and a GS that Novak still wants to win to complete the set,this is why i would put Rafas 14 as been better than Petes even though pete has multiple GS at 3 of the GS,hes only done it one two surfaces,my two cents,and a debate thats best saved for another day i would think?

elina Says:

Whew!!! Very sorry for Nadal and his legions of fans but Fed has a real chance now!!!

Nadal has been absent due to injury at eight slams (Australia 2006//13, French 2003/04, Wimbledon 2004/09, US 2012/14), and lost with injuries at nine.(Australia 2007/10/11/14, French 2009, Wimbledon 2012/13, US 2007/09).

That’s an astounding 17 slam opportunities affected by injury!!!!

However, even without injuries, he didn’t have four of these opportunities on his racquet namely FO 03/04, Wimby 04, AO 2010 but that still leaves 13 slams where it was very much on his racquet.

Let’s conservatively say, if healthy, he would have won just six of these 13, he’d easily have 20 by now!

Also, Roger, who capitalized to win seven of these events since 2006, would have far less likely less than Sampras (even with the early years without Nadal, Murray and Djokovic he had).

I know there are no could have should haves in tennis but just WOW.

GO ROGER!!!!!! so peRFect and humble!!!! You can do it!!!

Margot Says:

That was a very interesting response, and food for thought.
Thank you.

Gordon Says:

All GOAT talk between Nadal and Federer should really be put on hold until both men finish their careers. It is simple enough to annoint Roger based on him having 3 more slams than Rafa, but look at their H2H. And although it would be untrue to label Nadal a clay-court specialist, are you really willing to call a player who has never successfully defended a hard court title the greatest of all time?

Please drop the GOAT talk until after these 2 brilliant athletes have retired.

And even dumber is the “if” factor, where people assume if Nadal had played a tournament he would have automatically won it. Who knows how those draws would have played out? The truth is – he didn’t play them; he wasn’t fit enough to.

Part of being a great athlete is having the toolbox to accompany the tools. Rafa has the latter, but the fact that his body let’s him down shouldn’t be an excuse for him being greater than he already is.

No fact contains the word ‘if’. Building an argument with that two-letter word is faulty and can only result in a speculative discussion.

That being written, if my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle.

Hippy Chic Says:

Gordon i was actually only replying to Vikis post above mine,and as i said at the end of my post,best saved for another time,and another day AMEN….

Brando Says:

@Gordon: Spot on. Want a GOAT conversation? Best time to have it is when both are done and the record is set to muse over. Not when neither are done at all.

Giles Says:

Has fed been able to defend a CC title? Just asking.

Giles Says:

Hey Brando. Good to have you back. :))

skeezer Says:

“Has fed been able to defend a CC title? Just asking.”
Uh I don’t know what your point is here if ( the gordon no no word ) you are comparing but;

No, but way beyond that he has defended all Slams expect FO.

skeezer Says:

expect = except

the_mind_reels Says:

Actually, Federer has successfully defended a title on clay: from 2004-2005, he won the Masters event in Hamburg.

Ben Pronin Says:

Federer has defend a clay court title. Hamburg 04-05. DNP in 06 but won again in 07 (beating Rafa, too). I think Federer has only 10 clay court titles which means almost half came from Hamburg (he also won it in 2002).

Giles Says:

Lol skeezer. Now you know something you didn’t know previously!

skeezer Says:

Yep my mind was on Slams ;). Thanks Ben.

Felipe Says:

Please stop the crap about nadal injuries. First of all, he choose not to play wimbledon 2009 because “he thought that he will not be able to win”, and also i would like very much putting to rest the 8 month knee injury from 2012. In reality, it was only a 4 and a half month absence, from mid july to november, then the guy was healthy enough to play in the emirates for an exhibition tournamnet by year end, but he pulled out because he caught an stomach virus, and since he felt that he was not prepared enough, cause the virus delayed his training program, he decided to withdraw from Australia. 3 weeks later, he played Viña del Mar.
I think that deep down he and his team prefer to no participate in a tournament thus avoiding the possibility of being defeated by a journyman or a main rival.
Also, its amazing tha besides french open 2004 (17 years old nadal), he has NEVER EVER BEEN INJURED during the clay season.

thark Says:

@El_Flaco – Very neat point about the two-handers. I wonder if it’s as simple as playing a bit left-handed (for a righty) and vice versa. It would be frustrating and comical, but if you did it for a couple hours a week, maybe that would be enough to prevent injury. Who knows, at a cerebral level it might help your coordination in other ways, particularly if you did it from a young age. Rafa is a great example of how much plasticity the brain offers during youth for exactly this sort of thing.

Hippy Chic Says:

Agree with Roy,Rafas never defended a none CC title so what?why is that even an issue here?seems people enjoy pointing out his many failures as a tennis player?

thark Says:

@Gordon – Agreed. By the time we settle the GOAT debate, some upstart like Nick Kyrgios will have 19 slams and we’ll have to start it again. I know it’s painful to accept that it’s an unanswerable question, but what alternative is there except to admit it? The universe is infinite even if your brain can’t process it, the GOAT debate will never be settled, and you will never train yourself to be a morning person. Acceptance is the only path to happiness I’m afraid.

Felipe Says:

As today, Federer is the most ACCOMPLISHED player of the open era, setting all time records in almost every single relevant categorie for an atp player who plays singles, by sole posetion, sharing or in the top 3 : Slams (wins / finals / semifinals); Career Grand Slam; Weeks as world number 1 (total and consecutive); Masters 1000; Year end championships; Total Tour Titles; Year end number 1. There is no other player in the open era who appears in the top 3 of all the above mentioned categories.

SG1 Says:

10 claycourt titles isn’t at all bad. Particularly when you mix that in with 4 FO runner ups. Federer has been an excellent clay courter. Over the past 100 years or so, only one man has been better than on him red clay.

SG1 Says:

Past 10 years….sorry

SG1 Says:

If Federer could slay Nadal in an FO final, I think he could put the GOAT debate to rest. Won’t happen though. His chance to do this has long since passed.

Giles Says:


SG1 Says:


Haven’t kept track of Berdy’s results but this is another guy that seems to be wasting his talent. I think that a Lendl-Berydch team could be just what the doctor ordered. The synergies just seem so right. Both Czech…both baseliners…Berdy has had trouble getting the big one as did Lendl and both employ/employed big power games.

jane Says:

just a wee interjection for nole’s fans; he’ll be on the letterman show tonight.

interesting post about wrist injuries, el flaco. Says:

Instinctively I thought this was a boost for Fed, but after looking at the numbers I agree with Skeeze that one player’s absence doesn’t likely affect any one player more than any other. Check this:

For Fed’s career, he has won 14/37 majors with Rafa present. 37%. With Rafa absent, he has won 3/6. 50% So you might look at that and say, well, 13% is significant, even if not field-changing.

But check THIS! Since 2010, Fed is 2/17 with Rafa present and 0/2 with Rafa absent.

In other words, Rafa’s presence or absence has had no correlation with Fed’s success for the last 4 years.

Ben Pronin Says:

I get why, but it’s childish that Nadal fans love to overlook that he has, in fact, never been injured during the clay season. Also during the hard or grass court season. Nothing fishy about it, though, right?

SG1, hahaha, I read the 100 years and had to stop and wonder what you were talking about. 10 titles isn’t all that bad when coupled in with almost 10 runner ups all at the big events, only losing to Nadal.

Berdych-Lendl? Eh, I don’t care about Berdych as much as I used to. I’ve accepted that it’s not meant to be with him. Says:

I don’t think its so mysterious or sinister with Rafa. Every player makes different decisions about whether to enter a tournament with an injury, and clearly Rafa is at the end of the spectrum of not playing if he feels his chances are limited. Of course, on clay, he is so good that this is rarely so.
But can you blame him? His career has been marked by injuries and if I remember correctly his early career had a number of instances of coming back too soon leading to worsening of problems.
So Rafa and his team have a lower threshold for skipping a Slam, that doesn’t make it any less gut wrenching for him, I am sure, considering he is the defending champ, nor does it mean he is playing rope-a-dope.

Hippy Chic Says:

Tennis Vagabond fantastic post….

Patson Says:


I just feel he has a mental block against surfaces other than clay. I’m NOT talking about his game on those surfaces. He’s an awesome player on any surface. But trusting the surface means that he’s willing to take the risk playing through niggles on clay, because he trusts it more. He probably feels – again I’m just guessing here – that his niggles don’t get worse on clay, and I think they don’t because otherwise he can’t have such a successful clay career. On the other hand, other surfaces, tend to make the niggles worse. Don’t blame the surface, blame your own style-of-play for that. I’m not talking about this wrist injury though which is not in the niggle category. However, it is possible that he *might* have played the French open *if* this injury had happened before say Monte Carlo. The implications of not playing the clay season are much much much severe than missing the hard-court season.

So he has this mental block, which I don’t blame him for , because it is true that hard-courts are much heavier on the body. However, other players’ bodies don’t get battered because a) many rely on big serves b) they go for broke much earlier in the rally.

I call this Patson’s niggle-tolerance theory’. If I win a Nobel prize for this, please let me know. Thanks.

Okiegal Says:

@TV 2:11

My feelings exactly! Rafa might play a 500 or 1000 tournament with a niggle but a slam is another story.

Hippy Chic Says:

Patson great post,as you say its just a theory,but very plausible one would say given its the surface he feels most comfortable and at home on….

skeezer Says:

According to the man himself, he was having niggle issues in the FO of Sod.

Felipe Says:

skeezer: Yes, but he played trough it, because he thought that he would win anyway. Three weeks later, he withdrew from Wimbledon (fearing another tough los against a “lesser” player). I cannot imagine Nadal skipping the clay season due to knee or back problems.

Brando Says:

@TV and Patson: great posts.

SG1 Says:

It is interesting that Nadal does seem to find a way to get through the clay court season year after year. Of course, other than the FO, this has been a somewhat abysmal year on clay for Rafa. Nonetheless, he didn’t pull out.

It seems clear that to Rafa, the FO is the slam he values most. It could be argued by some that at the moment, he’s planning ahead for his tenth title at the FO and protecting his knees but these injuries have been going on since 2008 so I’m willing to give Rafa the benefit of the doubt. He’s such a tenaccious competitor that I do think missing the US Open is dire disappointment. After all, when you’re in the running to hold the most slams all time and you’re getting on in tennis years, you can’t really afford to miss majors (unless you have no choice).

Ben Pronin Says:

Do we know what’s wrong with Nadal’s wrist? I hurt my left wrist recently but I won’t be doing any tests on it for a while.

Okiegal Says:


It’s a small detachment of the posterior sheath of the right ulnar wrist……as per Ben Rothenberg via
Twitter Tweet. I also read this same diagnosis in another article. Whether it’s true or not, I have no idea.

Michael Says:

I just feel he has a mental block against surfaces other than clay

Is that the reason he made five finals at Wimbledon, three at US Open and two at Australian Open plus completing hattrick of wins last year by winning the coveted triple namely Toronto, Cincinnati and US Open back-to-back. He has also won Indian wells three times in his career.

Rather than reveling on our flawed perceptions and thereby attributing ulterior motives for his decision to abstain, we need to respect it. Nobody would like to miss a Grand slam especially Rafa who has high ambitions to upstage Roger in Grand slam count and practically every year counts in this race to become the leader. US Open has become his favourite tournament and the last thing he would do is to abstain from it for fear of under performance or physical exertion. It is apparent that he is injury hit and has taken a hard decision in the best interest of his career. Why conjure up motives for it and demean him ?

elina Says:

Nadal pulled out of 2003 French Open with an elbow injury and pulled out of 2004 French Open/Wimbledon missingthree months with a foot injury.

jane Says:

i know people say what a poor clay season nadal had this year, and i guess by his lofty standards you could say that, to some extent, i.e., he didn’t win everything. but he won rio, reached the quarters of monte carlo & barcelona, won madrid, reached the finals of rome and won roland garros. so he won three titles, including a masters and a slam, and reached the finals of another masters. not too bad really! :)

Hippy Chic Says:

Jane not clay but he also made the final of the AO back in January,although he didnt win it….

Okiegal Says:


I had wondered too why there were comments regarding Rafa’s lame cc season…..I thought he faired nicely. As Rafa states time and again it’s impossible to win every match, and it is!

jane Says:

and hippy, he reached the finals of miami too.

Patson Says:



I clearly said “I’m NOT talking about his game on those surfaces.” to qualify what I meant by the previous sentence and then explained what I meant by it in the rest of the paragraph.

*sigh again*

Brando 2.0 Says:

@Michael re 7.34:

Boss post!

@ Patson:

Your earlier post on Rafa a good one also. Agree with some points.

Daniel Says:

I said in the beginning of the year that GOAT debate (and total major titles) could be decided this year.

Nadal is certain to finish with 14 and he will play 5 more Slams with 28/29. In RG 2016 he will be 30, so he will play 1 more Wimby and US Opne at 29. 2 More AO.

If he doesn’t win AO next year, I think he will not surpass Federer. And he will enter RG as favorite but with huge pressure for #10 and a Slam after 3 opportunities missed and turn 29. The tick of the clock will be on him adding extra pressure and it can or not jeopardize his play. IF he over think too much that “GOAThood” or surpassing Roger’s tally is getting away he could fold.

Also for Fed, this US Open could be his redemption. If he wins it, #18 after the Wimby disappointment and basically setting the debate for good. Because if he has 18 to Nadal’s 14. Nadal will have to win 4 or 5 Slams to top him and it took him 4 years (2011 -2014) to win 5 slams in his prime. So how is he going to win 5 more after 29 years old?

Now it seems it is in Fed’s racquet. If he wins it, 90% chance seal the deal. If he doesn’t AO and RG next year will settle for good.

I know some find it boring and bla bla but each passing Slam we are getting closer and closer to the final countdown. Pretty sure by RG 2015 we will almost certain know for sure. But of course, the sport we love is unpredictable and things can change in a second.

Right now I will enjoy the operand cheer Roger all the way. Just hope that if he makes the final he better win it otherwise don’t even go there!

Michael Says:


You opined that even while nursing such an injury, he would have opted to play the French Open and that in my opinion is pure speculation and pre-ponderance. It also opens a pandoras box as to whether Rafa is really nursing a wrist injury or protecting his body from wear and tear while performing at hard courts. It poses a big question mark on his credibility itself and raises more questions than provide answers ? Unless, we have some valid proofs from our side to substantiate it, we shouldn’t be making such tall claims to besmirch a player. Well, that is my own opinion and I just expressed it. I think you will take this in the right spirit and respect the sentiments of Rafa and his legion of fans.

Brando – Thanks !!!

Hippy Chic Says:

Daniel i wouldnt be at all surprised if he actually said enough is enough,and decided to call it a day and retire,what with one injury after another,anyway ill save you the bother,Roger Federer is the GOAT now and always,so you can sleep easy in your bed,knowing his records will never been surpassed,as this seems quite important to you?….

Polo Says:

Daniel, why are you so overly concerned about the number of slams by Federer and Nadal? Would you be less happy, less proud of Federer were Nadal to surpass his slams total? I won’t. To me Federer is the best, whatever happens. Others may say otherwise but that’s fine with me. Let everybody pick his/her own GOAT. I’m sure each will have a reason for his/ her pick. I won’t argue with that, just don’t anybody argue with mine.

Hippy Chic Says:

Polo well said,and no disrespect to Daniel,but its probably more important to some people than it is to others,IMO ive always prefered to talk about a number of greats rather than one GOAT,but thats JMO?

Daniel Says:

Polo, HC,

It is important to me and the whole tennis because they will most likelly end their careers as the top 2 all time great.

I too think Fed will be GOAT even if Rafa reaches 17 (because nost likelly he will do so with doible digits RG), but I am an empiric person and if Nadal with superior HxH ans similar Slam count will be consider by many GOAT even with “poor” records in almost every other cathegory.
and I also find this final runs of their career very exciting to watch. They are baiscally now battling father time and their bodies.

Okiegal Says:

GOAT………greatest of all time…….time ain’t up yet! Argument in vain…..imho….

I will say this, old Rog hasn’t yelled calf rope yet, he is still out there trying to win tournaments and creating more records….and doing a great job, I might add! Power to him….. But greatest in my eyes will always be Rafa……a slam count won’t ever change my opinion!!

Brando Says:

@Polo and Alison: Excellent f’ng posts! Too many have got invested in this GOAT BS and its clouding their judgment and enjoyment of the game. I won’t mention names but you routinely see on this site a few posters painting a doomed picture/ hating (see select GS threads- it’s there for all to see), consistently going on about him when they don’t even root for the guy. Why? Because of this GOAT rubbish and the perceived threat to their idol. It’s beyond pathetic! Lets say Rafa gets 18,19,20 whatever number slams: will that make Federer think less of himself or his career? No. Will Rafa all of a sudden start going around with a superior strut? No. Should that all of a sudden be cause for Fed fans to think lesser of RF? No. So then why all this BS about it. My take: a few here are just far too obsessed with idol worship of their fav player. It leads them to consistently yapping condescending, demeaning BS about other players for no real reason other than their perceived threat to their fav. Get a life I say! Whoever ends up as the Goat, cow and dog none of it will improve your life in any way shape or form! So sit back enjoy the game and stop posting the BS hating on other players because they knock your idol of the perch you hold them on!

Giles Says:

Don’t know about goats and cows. What I do know is that there will only ever be one BULL!
Vamos Rafa!

Ben Pronin Says:

Why is everyone attacking Daniel? The guy stated some thoughts and opinions. He attacked no one. He finds the topic of GOAThood interesting. And why shouldn’t he? It’s history in the making. It’s exciting. If you don’t care about it, don’t respond to his posts. It’s no less annoying to see long posts about people explaining how meaningless the GOAT debate is. If it’s so meaningless, stop writing long posts about it.

Daniel makes a lot of good points. These next few slams can go a long way in cementing various legacies. Djokovic’s included. He could win this US Open. He’s a huge favorite for the Australian. And maybe he’ll even get the French next year. That’s right, Djokovic could very well be holding all 4 slams in less than a year’s time in addition to having 10 slams overall and suddenly the conversation becomes very different.

Polo Says:

Ben, good points by Daniel, yes, if you like conjectures that has no bearing with reality. Who knows what’s going to happen tomorrow? He was counting imaginary numbers based on what he predicts about the future. Might as well call on Jamie to tell us everything.

Giles Says:

This is what happens when Rafa pulls out of a GS. Everybody salivating at the prospect of their fave lifting the trophy.
The Open is wide open this year!!

Hippy Chic Says:

Ben i didnt attack Daniel,i merely gave my opinion about his opinion,your right Novak could be holding all four GS by this time next year,Murray could win all four GS next year,so could Roger,Stan etc,someone new could make a breakthrough etc etc,and on and on it goes?could,would,should etc,etc,etc?still if thats what floats ya boat?

Hippy Chic Says:

I just believe sometimes,that people seem to be fans of a players legacy,rather than been a fan of the player themselves,just a generalisation?

Ben Pronin Says:

Murray cannot win all 4 slams next year. Let’s be realistic.

Hippy Chic Says:

Ben well your doing a what if scenario on one your two favorite players,why shouldnt i do the same with one of mine,after all we are all only speculating right??

Okiegal Says:

Rafa quotes….”I’ll come back when doctors say so and when I can hit a 2HBH w/o pain”.

“I have no chance to compete. I can’t go to GS hitting just slice BHs. Impossible to win that way”.

It’s difficult to think when I’ll return. The only thing I think of is recovering well”.

“I’ve lost 3 chances in 3 very important tournaments. It’s tough ….chances aren’t forever”.

“It’s a tough blow, but that’s sports. In 10 yrs of career I’ve had very good moments, but also very tough ones….but but I am fortunate”.

Daniel Says:


I didn’t put imaginary numbers, I based on past results and what we can realistic expct from them. They are not young anymore you know.

Some perceptions are right there for the taking:

1 – Rafa doesn’t have a good chance at Wimbledon anymore, next year he will be 29. Can he win it again? Yes, but by what we saw latelly very small chance.

2 – third straight year where he wasn’t able to play 4 major in a season with 26 to 28 years old. Can he play all 4 next year? Yes, but as he will turn 29 mid year, with the new injurys he had this year one can assume he will skip a major next year as well. At least I will be surprised if he play all 4.

This is very much “reality”! You can say I specualte the numbers but he will play 5 more majors before turning 30 (if he plays all 5). His gap is shrinking!

Same goes for Fed, this USO wil, be his first major at 33 if he doesn’t win another at 33 we can almost say he will end with 17. Can’t see him winning majors after 34, just can’t!


Thanks for the support. Sometimes people get to tense. And was not even me who brought GOAT debate in here, suddenly I saw people posting about it and had my two cents.

Daniel Says:


I was thinking the same about Djoko, ifhe wins US Open he will be huge favorite for AO, where he never lost a final and usually plays his best. But if he goes to RG with last 3 Slams the pressure will be even higher as he would be going for a Djoko Slam, 4 in a row, something neither Fed nor Nadal did it.
It all dependa on is USO which on paper is his to lose, if he beat Fd at Wimby, he should be able to do so at USO assuming they both get that far. I don’t want both there because don’t want Fed to lose another major final, not after his Wimby efforts and Djoko lose another US Open final, the guy is already 1-4 there, a Slam he should end his career with 3 or more.

jane Says:

daniel, you make a good point; however, imo, nole needs to try to look at the french as just another slam, important like all the slams are and that’s it. i know it might be difficult to do, but otherwise there is just too much hype and pressure built up around it, each time he plays there. meanwhile, when he goes to wimbledon he’s not a favourite, there is less pressure, and yet he does well nevertheless, with 2011 win, 2012 semis, 2013 final, and 2014 win.

Hippy Chic Says:

Novak was Seans favorite,and many pundits favorite at Wimbledon,as he has in every GS this year,Sean said this would be the year Novak would win the FO this year and dethrone Rafa,Novak might crack the case next year,after all Rafa wont win it forever,but these things get more difficult each year not easier as some seem to think,and thats months away yet,and pure speculation ATM….

Wog boy Says:

As far as I remember, Sean picked Federer to win Wimbledon, not Nole.

About Daniel:
He is one of the best posters and I enjoy reading his posts, he states the facts in nice and cool manner,whether some like it or not. He even tried to set up dating site on TX few years ago, I didn’t mind that either…but it didn’t work:(

You are right, Nole doesn’t perform well in the situations you mentioned.

Hippy Chic Says:

Wogboy i have nothing against Daniel,i just gave my opinion to his opinion,and i dont believe i insulted him personally either….

Steve 27 Says:

Tio Toni should call Pete Sampras for the indoor season, and add a something new in his team.
Rafa has maximum until Roland Garros 2017 to win 2 or 3 more slams.
Dont be a stubborn!

NF Says:

a lot of people are accusing his exit on some absurd accusation that he’s taking another steroid break or he did not actually wanted to be tested for doping. However as much as he is one of the nicest platers ever( along side Federer), it’s very saddening to see him to be very prone to injuries. Thus far he’s trailing Federer by four grand slam titles and lots of people believe that he is still a come back kid.

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