The Fall Of Rafael Nadal Continues; Federer, Djokovic Rome Final In Play
by Sean Randall | May 15th, 2015, 6:49 pm
  • 189 Comments

What. A. Collapse.

Rafael Nadal had full control of Stan Wawrinka leading 6-2 in the first set tiebreaker. Wawrinka, in fact, had appeared to have even cracked his racquet on that 8th point, won by Nadal. It was all over. But Nadal inexplicably couldn’t finish the job, losing four straight points and eventually the tiebreaker 9-7.

A head scratcher.

Wawrinka then got on top early in the second and hung on for a 7-6(7), 6-2 win over a beleaguered Nadal who surely couldn’t have shaken that 6-2 choke job in the first set breaker.

“I was happy with the way I played,” Nadal said. “He played some amazing shots. I’ve lost in the quarter-final but I had two weeks in a row playing well and only one bad match with Andy Murray. I’m not playing bad.

“The only thing I’m sure is I will try in Paris, I feel like I’m playing well and if I continue practicing the way I am, I am confident. I have not been playing with nerves and that’s the most important thing.

“I am ready to accept the challenge but if I don’t play well I lose, life goes on, I have still won there so many times before.”

Life does go on, but this one has to hurt Rafa. He was in complete control of the match. Win any of those set points and the match is over – Stan’s not coming back. But he couldn’t close the door, not even on his favorite surface.

And it’s almost the worst possible way for Nadal to go into the French Open. Without a title, with his game in free fall and who knows where his mind is at. And he’ll be seeded no higher than No. 7 (8 if Ferrer beats Djokovic) and little hope that he’ll turn things around. Not after this recent run.

Nadal’s final pre-French leadup:
Monte Carlo SF (Djokovic)
Barcelona 2nd RD (Fognini)
Madrid F (Murray)
Rome QF (Wawrinka)

All losses in straight sets and none of losses had any positives you could point. That said, Rafa will have the benefit of best-of-5 format in Paris and that fact the first two rounds should be against tomato cans.

As for the winners on the day, credit to Stan for hanging around at the end of that tough, physical first set. After a pretty lousy run of late, Stan found some form today and this week to pull off one of his biggest wins of the year, defeating Nadal for the second straight time following that stunner in Australia. And that should really help him in Paris where he hasn’t played his best tennis.

“It was a great match for sure,” Wawrinka said. “I’m really happy. I think the first set was really important for him. I’m doing the right thing for a few weeks now.

“He was missing something, the forehand shot on the baseline especially in the first set. To beat Rafa on clay is something amazing for me.”

Of course Stan’s win ends the hopes we had of a Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal semifinal showdown, which would have been our first since that Australian Open semis last year. Paced by his serve, Federer did his part earlier in the day breezing impressively past Tomas Berdych 6-3, 6-3.

“From the baseline I was playing very well,” said Federer who has never won Rome in 14 previous attempts. “My serve was not quite there in the beginning. I had to go through too many second serves and he was able to take advantage of that and break early. For me, it was important to pick it up on the serve, which is maybe the easiest thing to do.

“I felt good again on the return, moving well. As it went on, I think I got into the match better and better. The wind picked up in the second set. That’s why I think Tomas didn’t play so well anymore and I was able to get the job done. So I’m very pleased how the match went.”

Tomas, who been a model of consistency this year, may have been tired from the battle the day before with Fabio Fognini, but after some waffling over playing Rome, it’s certainly been a good week for Roger. And I think he should get over on Stan tomorrow. Roger leads 15-2 though Stan’s two wins were on clay, both in Monte Carlo. If Roger serves like he did today he should get through.

“I’m excited to play Roger, it’s always nice to play each other,” Wawrinka said. “It’s never easy for me to play him though, his game is not something I like. He is mixing it a lot and serving well and I will need to be at the top to have a chance of beating him.”

In the earlier semifinal, it’s Novak Djokovic against David Ferrer. Djokovic continues to leak sets but win, and today he won his third three-setter of the week beating Kei Nishikori 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 for his 20th straight victory.

What’s interesting is that Djokovic has been really dominant in those final sets. Just looking at his scores, most have been one-sided. But he also admits he’s not at the level where he was last month.

“I have to be honest, I’ve not been playing as well as I was in Monte-Carlo and I’m still not at the level I want to be at,” said Djokovic. “Little by little, it’s coming together. I’m still in the semi-finals and the wins against high quality opponents can only help my confidence level. Hopefully I’ll be able to play better, more consistently, less ups and downs in tomorrow’s match. I have another clay-court specialist, one of the best competitors on Tour and someone who isn’t going to hand me the win. He’s going to make me work.”

Djokovic might end up losing another set tomorrow to David Ferrer, but I think he’ll get past the Spaniard who won today over David Goffin in three. Novak leads David 14-5 winning their last eight.

Tennis Channel has live coverage of the four semifinals starting at 6am ET with the women’s.

SATURDAY ROME SCHEDULE
CENTRALE start 12:00
WTA – [10] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs [2] S. Halep (ROU)
Not Before 2:00 pm
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [7] D. Ferrer (ESP)
Not Before 4:30 pm
WTA – [Q] D. Gavrilova (RUS) vs [3] M. Sharapova (RUS)
8:00 pm
ATP – [8] S. Wawrinka (SUI) vs [2] R. Federer (SUI)
ATP – [5] M. Granollers (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) vs N. Kyrgios (AUS) / J. Sock (USA)


You Might Like:
Serena Williams Victorious in Return at Rome
Nadal Overcomes Rain, Zverev for Comeback Championship Win at ATP Rome
Rafael Nadal Just 130pts Behind Leader Novak Djokovic In 2013 ATP Ranking Race; Federer At No. 11
Dominic Thiem: I Now Feel Like I Belong In The Top 10
Rafael Nadal: What Happens To Me In Rome Won’t Impact The French Open

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189 Comments for The Fall Of Rafael Nadal Continues; Federer, Djokovic Rome Final In Play

brando Says:

Congratulations to wawrinka and I agree with rafa: I thought he did play well. Also props to wawa (like Andy) being good enough to say: hey the king of clay was not quite there to his usual level. It’s a honest thing that not many would do after a big win. Props for it. As rafa: what can he do other than move on? It’s the only thing to do and the best one here. He needs to learn from these losses: study them. Rewatch the matches with uncle toni since the areas he can improve on are glaring and if he does at the least he’ll give himself a better chance.


Zozza Says:

Brando
The tie breaker broke him down mentally
Had he won that first set
Wawrinka was finished
But he was just too passive on the forehand which let him down again
The forehand is the shot that must show up for Paris or he will be bundled out in the first week
Looks like he will be in Djokovic side of draw
They will meet in quarter final
That’s what I was hearing on Facebook
Wawrinka is a dangerous player
Best single hand backhand good serve forehand
He is a complete player now

Paris will be tough for Nadal
I can feel the weight of expectation on Nadal will be massive
Nadal needs 3 three things to happen
First get Lendl or Agassi or Sampras to coach him
Doubt any would be available
Second marry his gf so that these stupid Nasty gay rumours end
Nadal isn’t gay !!!
Finally Nadal must improve his second serve or else his career is over !!!
Weak second serve will be broken by most players

My view on French open
Djokovic looks shaky
Federer is looking good
Wawrinka has the weapons
Murray will be hard to beat
Nishikori won’t have the endurance

NADAL CAN STILL WIN THIS FRENCH OPEN
With some luck !!!
The French organisers must rank him equal 1 with Djokovic out of respect
The guy has won 9 French opens

Consider that you French frog eating hypocrites !!!


skeezer Says:

Buh bye Rafa.
I like Feds anaylsis of his game, hope he keeps thinkin the way he should think. Stan is playing well though, and to me Stan has the better form on Clay, but will his consistency hold up?
-
Lets see, now I am not so sure for Rafa @RG. At least expected him to challenge 1 Clay event leading up to RG. What is his seedimg now @RG? Now, he’ll eventually go through the draw and face someone who has beaten him lately, making even a tougher challenge. And now he is sounding like Fed when he loses, I played well and better…….but you lost…….again. Whatevers…
-
Fed/Wawa is whats happening now….bring it!


Zozza Says:

My post is fair
Why waiting for moderation


chris ford1 Says:

Hope for another go at the best men’s rivalry at present, a Djokovic vs. Federer Final.
We shall see.


Markus Says:

Nadal always says he’s happy with the way he has played. From someone who wins almost everything on clay who now suffered a string of losses on the surface, that sounds rather strange.


Zozza Says:

Nadal isn’t happy how he lost from 6-2 up in tie breaker
But what can he say ?
He admitted he is no longer the player he was
Can’t win everything on clay
Ever since that back injury with Wawrinka match at Australia slam … He hasn’t been the same player !!!
2013 ?
How he served on hardcourts ?
Where is that serve gone ?
Back injury still lingers
His knees aren’t great either
His body has taken more hits than Frazier took against Foreman
Nadal isn’t going to win the French open on this form

But last year he played just as bad but beat Djokovic in the final
So let’s wait & see
My favourites for French open
Djokovic
Murray
Federer
Wawrinka big chance if he plays his best
Nadal fifth favourite
On this form
Federer would’ve rolled Nadal also
Stan knew after he won that crucial first set that he had the match won
Nadal was broken mentally


Wog Boy Says:

“My post is fair
Why waiting for moderation”

Because you used word “g@y”, which is not PC, happened to me too.


Humble Rafa Says:

You should start a Humble funeral page and ask people to pay their last respects to the King.


skeezer Says:

^thats your job……..Humble.


Zozza Says:

It’s sad but I said it Long ago & people thought I was a Djokovic fan ?
I respect Novak for one reason … Making Nadal earn the matches he wins !
Best matches of all time
Nadal vs Djokovic
Just watch Madrid 2009 almost 4.40 minutes for only 3 sets of tennis … Nadal won with luck !

But I ain’t no fan of Djokovic
With the French open coming
I hope everyone just accepts that Nadal is likely to lose … It won’t shock me anymore !

Get over it


Nitesh Says:

all good things come to end rafa ruled from Monte Carlo to Paris for ten years that’s good enough for me


skeezer Says:

^glad your happy. So your giving up on Rafa for RG?
—-
This is all mimicing Rafa, with his fans….downplaying his chances and/or not being the favorite @RG. Despite all the pre hype, Rafa has won 9…….. FO’s. He is the undisputed King in this era of Clay, and especially of RG.
Until he loses it, he is the fav.
He could totally redeem his Clay season by winning the FO. All these pre tourney Clay tourneys are but a speck in the big picture as FO is a Slam.
When Rafa cannot defend FO, then all these other Clay losses will have SIGNIFICANT meaning. Otherwise, till further notice.


chris ford1 Says:

Zozza – Certain matches somehow take on great importance. Obviously 2008 Wimbledon was a change of who was best. Stan’s 4th round fight against Djoker in 2012 signaled a career renaissance for Stan.
But Madrid 2009 was special. It impacted the Top 3. Nole lost his way for over a yearm in a real crisis of confidence from losing while believing he played his best. Nadal got the injury that hampered him in the Madrid Final Fed won, it seemed to abate for Rome, then got bad during the FO. A factor in his loss there and the reason right after his 4th Round loss he had it checked and it was determined he could not play Wimbledon. Then his comeback was not good at the USO or AO 2010.
And obviously, the big beneficiary from the epic Madrid semi was Federer. He wins Madrid, has the FO on a plate if he could get past Delpo – which he barely did. Had a Wimbledon where Nole and Rafa were never a factor. Same with US Open. Nole and Rafa still not 100% for the AO in 2010.


skeezer Says:

“Obviously 2008 Wimbledon was a change of who was best”
In you own mind, as usual.
Since your using that criteria, then just like 2011 Novak vs Fed @RG. A change and finger wagging who was the best.


Markus Says:

@skeezer 11:23 pm: My sentiments, exactly.


Zozza Says:

Chris ford

Great post
That Madrid match I’ve watched 10 times one of my favourites
Novak was the better play but Nadal gritty performance was unbelievable … After that semi Nadal was rolled in straight sets by Federer !
Nadal lost to soderling in Paris
Yes of course it impacted Djokovic
He was devastated to lose that match coz he believed he outplayed Nadal on play !

Well let’s see how this loss to Wawrinka impacts on Nadal ?


Michael Says:

Well, you have no business to lose after leading 6-2 in the tie break. All that will do the trick is to deliver a good first serve when you are two break up point wise. But, Rafa couldn’t complete the job and allowed Wawarinka to dominate from that losing position and he paid the price. Infact, the body language of Wawarinka was seemingly not good after Rafa led 6-2 in the tie break and yet he managed to turn it around ofcourse with some help from Rafa. Not taking anything away from Wawarinka, he played exceptional points in that tie breaker to steal the set and once he won the first, it was a great psychological booster and Rafa withered away in the second set as he is not the same player he used to be with tremendous shortage of confidence. He has lost that cutting edge and killer instinct that used to be his key attributes when he was feared most as a player. That this should happen in his favourite surface is a tragedy of sorts where every tom, dick and harry is managing to beat him. Even now, I am not sure what would have happened if he had managed to meet Roger ? But that can now be mere conjecture.

However, it was not a quality match from both the players. It was a mixture of brilliance and mediocricity from either side. Apparently, Wawarinka was the aggressor who wanted to finish the points as quickly as he can and thereby dismantle the tremendous defensive abilities of Rafa and the match up was excellent with defence against offence. But in the end, Rafa was totally shattered after being down with two break of serves and yet he managed to cling on posing some questions on Wawarinka’s serve. Sadly, he couldn’t convert the many break point opportunities that he had and the inevitable happened wherein he succumbed.

I think this is a tremendous blow for Rafa ahead of the French Open and will shatter his morale and confidence. Now it will be a tall task to defend his title. Seeded at 7th, there is a possibility of him meeting Novak even early on in the quarters.


Michael Says:

In Rolland Garros, Novak is the strong favourite followed by Andy and Wawarinka. Rafa might still emerge as the dark horse having won this title a record 9 times in his career.


Zozza Says:

Who will be the beneficiary this time of Nadal ‘s poor form ?

I predict Djokovic will win the French open
Not against Nadal !
Nadal will be taken out by Fognini or ferrer or even someone ranked low ?

Not sure who Djokovic will beat in final ?
Federer Murray Wawrinka ?
But certainly not Nadal
I believe Nadal has accepted the fact that he will lose on clay in Paris !!!
Pressure is off him
I think he should just have some fun

He won’t win another major again


Michael Says:

Zozza,

My hunch tells me that Novak might meet Andy in the final.


Zozza Says:

Andy doesn’t have the ticker to beat Novak in grand slam finals
Federer is more likely to meet Djokovic in final
But you never know
Maybe Wawrinka will surprise

Nadal sadly out in first week
Fognini his nemesis is waiting to give him
Another thrashing


Markus Says:

Fognini, Verdasco, Wawrinka, Murray, Djokovic: all have beaten Nadal on clay this year. Does that make any of them a favorite over Nadal to win the French? Can they beat Nadal on clay twice in a row? Only Djokovic seems capable of doing that.


Margot Says:

Zozza: Andy has already beaten Nole in a Grand Slam final.To me, post op, he’s getting back his pre-op form.
However, I do agree RG is the least likely place for that to happen.
Hoping to be proved wrong of course.
I saw the tie break. Rafa was about 6 miles behind that baseline, again.


Zozza Says:

Markus
Fognini has beaten Nadal twice this year


Zozza Says:

Nadal if ever stood closer to the baseline
He would be unbeatable
Look at the 2014 grand slam
In Australia when he hurt his back
He stood on the baseline
Clearly in pain he thumped forehands past Wawrinka
Look at the facial expression of Wawrinka he looks shocked

Check out U.S. Open 2013 final vs Djokovic
Standing closer to baseline

Confidence can do that


Dan Says:

Rafa loses yet more ranking points by losing early in another favourite clay title again. He will be ranked no higher than #7 going into the French this year. If he loses there in the QF, which I think is very possible now, he would fall to #12 in the rankings. This was pretty unthinkable even a year ago. I still think he has a chance to win the French this year, but his odds have dropped dramatically because he relies on matches and winning to build his game for the majors. I am starting to wonder if we are seeing the end of Rafael Nadal’s career as a challenger for the Grand Slams. Maybe it’s too early to tell, people said the same about Federer in 2013 and he came back; but he had a bad back and changed to a modern racquet. Nadal doesn’t have the luck of either of those improving for him in the future.


Zozza Says:

Who was Nadal’s fitness trainer in 2013 ?
I heard they sacked him for wanting more money
But this man helped Nadal get so fit that he could go
6 hrs playing tennis
They rehired him before the French open 2014
They need to get him back ASAP

Clearly this man made a difference !


Michael Says:

The biggest problem for Rafa at the French Open will be his stamina and endurance. These days he gets tired too early at the end of three sets.


Margot Says:

Michael, he’s always relied on his amazing ability to retrieve everything, endlessly. Used to be jaw dropping stuff.
However, it seems he can’t do that any more and, as you say, gets tired.
Time and tide etc


Zozza Says:

Michael

The other big problem might be players can outhit him
Wawrinka outhit Nadal
Overpowered


sienna Says:

the Nadal fans again let their man down.
I find it very sad that he is getting hammered by his own fans on this site.
So they find him great with win%90+ on clay but below 80% then they attack him…. or run away like that Chick poster.

My take on Nadal. His stamina, endourance power is not enough for playing long matches. He arrives at Garros a bit lesser prepaired then other years.

But that will not say he cant win Garros.
definitely n3eds aan good draw and some easy openers. come second week we will see.


Bertie Says:

Let’s not write him off yet, what if he lands in Berdych’s, or Federer’s quarter, I still would fancy him to beat either of them over 5 sets. Perhaps if it was Fed, it would be who’s mental problems break first. If he plays and beats either, then that might just help his confidence for a semi unless it is Djokovic, he will not beat Djokovic, I think only Fed can do that. Weird how tennis works. Then there is the new and resurgent dark horse Murray, what a surprise that would be Murray winning, now that would really annoy Djokovic, but on present form you have to say Murray is playing the best tennis.


Michael Says:

True Margot !! You nailed it !!


Michael Says:

Zozza,

I have to respectfully disagree with you on this. Rafa has seen off many ferocious strikers during his hey days and kept them at sea with his incredible retrieving abilities and posing the question to his opponent by giving one more extra ball which would inevitably yield an unforced error. In that way he was indomitable. I think today he is a pale shadow of his former self and that sting in his shot making as well as retrieving is gone for good. Although in moments, he still can produce great Tennis, tragically for him, he is not consistent in this department and once the consistency which is his main forte is lost, he looks a pretty ordinary player. In this old days, I have seen and experienced that Rafa’s fore hand will just not miss and keep producing bludgeoning shots time and again at his command. But today in that wing, he is making a lot more UEs and that too has contributed to his down fall. It is difficult to say if he will improve to become the same player he once was. The problem for him is that he is not getting any younger.


madmax Says:

Am a bit disappointed in some of your rafa fans to be honest.

I remember seeing Roger getting the same backlash after a stint of mediocre plays and “oh why Roger, are you playing like that? You are the best”.

Rafa will be back. I can’t believe he will not be seeded no. 1 at RG. I know how I would feel if it were Roger. I honestly would. After everything either player has bought to the game, but respect and dominance of a court plays no part in the rules. Rules are made to be broken however.

skeezer Says:
“Obviously 2008 Wimbledon was a change of who was best”
In you own mind, as usual.
Since your using that criteria, then just like 2011 Novak vs Fed @RG. A change and finger wagging who was the best.

May 15th, 2015 at 11:38 pm

Skeezer, I agree with your comment above.

I feel rafa still has a very good chance of winning RG. It’s over 5 sets and I feel that will play into his favour.

There is still 10 days of soul searching and practice. Rafa is the beast of clay.

Andy Murray though has a great chance of winning RG.

He has more confidence than ever.

Would love Federer to win RG. But I have no expectations of Roger, just really glad to see him playing, hope he goes deep.


Giles Says:

skeezer. May 15 th 11 23 pm.
For once :))))


KatH Says:

@Zozza

It was the words “stupid nasty” attached to “gay” that likely led to moderation.

@ Wog boy
“Gay Pride” is applied to the yearly parades of the gay community (by the gay communities) across the UK. The word “gay” is acceptable – but not when it is used derogatorily.


Giles Says:

Sean Randall. “The fall of Rafael Nadal continues”. Lol. You couldn’t get more dramatic even if you tried.
Well, fed still has confidence in Rafa and that means a lot to me. I think fed knows a bit more than all of you posters put together.
Vamos Rafa!


Noonen Says:

I’m glad Stan beat Nadal in Rome. I’m pulling for my man Novak to win there and in Paris!


brando Says:

Thanks to most of the none rafa fans. Gotta be honest: thought he’s awful scenario would be delightful for some to see, yet it seems that people are not taking joy and actually feel sorry for the legends woes. Props to you for being kind. Honestly: I think rafa will come good, but I don’t see how he can flick a switch and just win RG. I agree with others: he’s just too far back and defensive right now. IF he were to wisen up and be closer to Tue baseline, use he’s FH more aggressively then he can perform better I feel. He has 9 days pre RG: he and Toni need to do some serious, hard, honest talking with one another. Toni as a coach needs to step up here and give some sound advice. Rafa needs to have greater self belief.


SL Says:

Stan deserves a lot of credit for the way he went for it, especially at key moments. Yes, on many days he goes for it and misses, a lot. In this match he did not miss as much, and Nadal was just not consistent enough or resilient enough to get by him.

Since everyone generally agree that Nadal is slower and can’t run as much or as long, makes significantly more unforced errors than before, the obvious change he needs to make to his game is to play further up the court.

Some of his victories over Novak have come about only because he played closer to the baseline, and was able to take time away from Novak just as Novak does to him.

From yards behind the baseline, can he really expect to beat players like Stan or Novak when they are hitting with that much pace ? I don’t think he can, unless they have a bad day and blow it.


Zozza Says:

We all agree
Nadal ‘s movement has slowed
He isn’t as fast
Stands far too back
We all agree indeed !!!
But who will tell Nadal this ?
Uncle Toni ?

Nadal needs another voice
Why not seek out someone who played the game ?
Agassi was a master returner standing on or in some cases inside the baseline to receive serve against Sampras

Agassi is the man Nadal should hire !


Gordon Says:

Zozza @ 1:26 -

Really? That’s what happened? They sacked him for asking for a raise?

It wasn’t that he asked for more money, they said “no” and so he left the team on his own?

They sacked him?

They said, “How dare you ask for more money! That’s it for you buddy – you’re sacked! Get out of here!”

Thanks for the insight Zozza! I never read anything about that happening, but since you HEARD it then it must be true.

I wonder if that’s really grounds for dismissal – asking for a raise. 😜


Zozza Says:

Gordon

GARY ROY from Birmingham in England who is Nadal’s biggest fan posted this awhile ago on ATP WEBSITE … Apparently this fitness trainer was the reason Nadal was the king of tennis in 2013
The trainer wanted payrise then uncle Toni sacked him
But they called him back for Paris 2014
Nadal needs him back ASAP

Apparently he was responsible for Nadal’s fitness & endurance
But I can’t find any information about him?


Wog Boy Says:

So, what do we have here:

“…then just like 2011 Novak vs Fed @RG. A change and finger wagging who was the best.”

Self declared Nole fan is cheering the most arrogant gesture of “the one whose name shall not be spoken” !

Lesson to be learned:

Nole fans, never ever trust “the one whose name shall not be spoken” fanboy, SDK of his legacy, who declares himself Nole fan, even I was duped into believing that he is genuine Nole fan, but when you scratch the surface pretender turns up.

PS
“SDK” stands for “Self Declared Keeper”


mat4 Says:

@WB:

Skeezer is a fedfan.


Wog Boy Says:

mat4,
But also self declared Nole fan, no Nole fan can justify that finger wagging.


KatH Says:

Stan Wawrinka is playing Geneva next week – let’s hope he’s not going to wear himself out before Paris.


Markus Says:

That sacked trainer must have the secret magic potion that gives Nadal power and endurance. He took it with him and this must be the result.


SL Says:

@ Zozza. Heard someone on commentary say that Toni is a good diagnostician, but not a good problem solver. Rafa has always been his own problem solver. Probably right.

Maybe now he does need someone to help him a bit in addition to Toni. Agassi perhaps as you say, but don’t think he would do it. John McEnroe would be a good bet. Brutally honest, and a little bit crazy to balance Nadal’s pragmatism.


brando Says:

Skeezer a nole fan? LMFAO:I wonder how much a fan he’d still be if novak was 28 with 14 grand slams to his name. Maybe I’m being naive but I’d wager not much of a fan. Dare I say he may even be a Nadal fan then. Let’s get this straight: novak has alot of bandwagon fans. They don’t really care for him. Even probably laughed at him in his weaker days. But the sudden support for him is because they feel he can stop rafa from beating the records of their precious idol. That’s it. Had novak not been as good as he is, they wouldn’t even care for him as previously. Hell: IF they believe there fav was still good enough to win big ones they’d probably be hating on him. Genuine Novak fans are probably aware of this…….but don’t mind since why not have some cheerleaders? Can just old skeez: give a n- a o- a l- a e and what does my fed loving eye see? My hero nole protecting his records. Lol. They ain’t his fans: he just serves a purpose for them that’s all.


madmax Says:

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/may/15/roger-federer-tomas-berdych-rome-semi-final

Coming to terms with his own slightly diminished powers at 33, Federer appreciates that Nadal, who has won the French title nine times, has hit a few poor patches this summer, even on his favoured clay. But, as a member of the ancien régime, the world No2 is not about to abdicate just yet.

Fed’s take on rafa.

“Do I know what it’s like to be confident then not so confident? Absolutely,” he said on Friday, not long after batting Tomas Berdych out of the way in little over an hour, 6-3, 6-3, to ooze into the semi-finals of the Rome Masters, one of the two ATP 1000 events – along with Monte Carlo – that he has not won. “But, regardless of what anyone says to me, Rafa is always the favourite at the French Open.”


Giles Says:

Zozza is giving false information. Joan Forcades is still on Rafa’s team as his fitness trainer.


Margot Says:

apparently during Andy/Rafa match Uncle T was shouting, in Spanish obviously, “Forwards, forwards” and Rafa was going backwards backwards.
I think, therefore, we can safely assume that the team is quite aware of what the problem is.
Fixing it is another matter.


zozza Says:

THIS MAN UNDERSTANDS TENNIS …..

Gary Roy · Top Commentator

Now ladies and gentleman. I think many of you owe me an apology. Read my posts after IW, what did i tell you all? You all now are saying Rafa is finished, i realised he was finished after losing to Raonic at IW. The Berdych fdfeat at AO was concerning, but i thought maybe a one off, the Raonic defeat was confirmation. In actual fact the signs were there last year when he beat Djokovic at FO. In that last set Rafa could not move. Clearly he has physical issues, how Djokovic misread that match ill never know. The loss to Kyriagos at W now looks like the match that effectively ended Rafa’s career. Rafa for me still the GOAT, but that halo will slip if he keeps losing to guys he once beat in his sleep


zozza Says:

TIME WILL TELL ….

I just hope nadal plays the best he
can at ROLAND GARROS this year if he doesn’t win
that’s ok 9 OUT OF 10 aint bad !

Realistically I see him going out in the first week to someone like fognini or ferrer should they meet ?

Last year he was lucky to win but I feel his luck ran out …HOWEVER this is his home so if he can make it to the second week it will not be a shock to see him winning 10 FRENCH OPENS !!!

GOOD LUCK RAFA


TennisVagabond.com Says:

After every tournament I said it was not time to panic. Now I think… its TIME TO PANIC!

To be clear: Up until this week I had Rafa as co-favourite, now there is clearly one favourite. I do believe we will see more of Rafa at the top- but he is clearly a ways from there right now. I also believe Rafa can win RG. His credentials are obvious and don’t need repeating. I agree with Fed. He is a nine time champ.

But let’s look at the dust he’s left in the wake of this clay meltdown; ah, its clearing up.

So who moves up the ladder?

The obvious answer is Fed. Firstly, Rafa is always by far his most dangerous rival. Secondly, Fed is, currently, Novak’s most dangerous rival. Third, Fed has the greatest clay credentials of anyone outside Rafa- arguably including Novak.

It is hard to believe, but I think Fed’s chances of winning RG might be higher now (at 33? 34?) than they’ve EVER BEEN! As long as Rafa was clay monster, Fed always entered RG as a distant underdog. In my opinion, the distance between Novak’s favourite status and the pack is not nearly as pronounced as it was for Peak Rafa. And I think that BECAUSE of all this, and Fed KNOWING all this, he will be hungrier than ever.

I know people will argue for Murphy, but two hot weeks on clay doesn’t elevate you to “will win Roland Garros”. Rather, I think Murphy’s played himself into the conversation: with Wawrinka and Nishikori.

Berdych may be a finalist, but I cannot see him winning a Slam. Sorry, too much choker history, and in particular, has he beaten Novak in a significant match since his Wimbledon run years ago?

And of course, we can’t forget the Top Dog. No one benefits from Rafa’s clay problems like Novak. He had one real rival this year for Roland Garros, and that rival has been ENORMOUSLY diminished in the last few weeks.

Novak stands alone before the French… but how far is he from the crowd? We’ll have a much better idea Sunday!


brando Says:

I gotta say: major love and respect to Roger Federer. He’s ALWAYS been good towards Rafael. When rafa was down he always backed him. When rafa won majors closing into to his records even last year he said he was really happy to see that and it inspires him. I think he identifies with rafa. He knows rafa is the only one who can understand the pressure, esteem, popularity and iconic he has to deal with and fed knows only he can understand understand rafas scenario of being at the top for a decade and people still being highly judgemental of him. He gets rafa, and major props to him for having his back even at this low.


brando Says:

The “we” Fed uses is telling: “Federer should have some sympathy with Nadal’s struggles this season, which the Spaniard has ascribed to “playing with too much nerves for a lot of moments”. His own confidence ebbed away in the middle of the 2013 season, after a back injury that restricted his movement. Yet he recovered to win six titles last year, and believes there is no reason why Nadal cannot also rediscover his mojo.
“Of course we have had more success than other players,” said Federer after his 6-3, 6-3 win, “so you might be shocked to hear at times that we are doubting ourselves. But anybody who says something else is lying to you. It’s normal in a 15-year career: there are moments when you’re just not so sure how aggressive or how passive you’re supposed to be playing.
“He [Nadal] has to go through all the process of having to explain himself time and time again and maybe that drags over into the matches a little bit, plus maybe his body is not feeling so well. Next thing you know you just don’t win as much as you and other people are used to. So then you’re obviously not going to feel as good as when you were on a 30-match winning streak.”


zozza Says:

PREDICTION

quarter finals

djokovic vs ferrer

Federer vs nishikori

murray vs berdych

wawrinka vs fognini

no nadal seems crazy but his form suggests he will be taken out early

semi finals

djokovic vs murray

Federer vs wawrinka

final ???????????????

djokovic vs Federer

winner ….. djokovic

6-4 5-7 7-6 6-4


brando Says:

@TV: great post and I completely agree.


sienna Says:

zozza also predicting the draw.
incredible how great knowledge.

this site is blessed with posters like her.


Muhammed Says:

Zozza doesn’t understand tennis, nor any other individual sport.

I’d like to say Gary Roy = Zozza but Zozza’s English is much worse.


Muhammed Says:

By the way, if Gary Roy’s name sounds familiar, he is that stupid fella that proudly shows his NIPPLE on his photo when he leaves comments on atpworldtour.com

How someone couldn’t take that idiot seriously? I’m not surprised Z loves him.


skeezer Says:

WB,
I have been on record many times that I am a fan of both. Fed first, then Nole. Apparently, it ruffles the feathers of some that this isn’t allowed in their rules of fandom.
Pffft.
When Fed is off the tour I’ll be fully behind Nole. Love the guys technique and approach strategicly to the game. I also have no problem critizing either player when its fair, nor any other player for that matter. Same goes for praise. FYI.
—-
@mat4,
Seen a lot of comments in observation tha Rafa is getting easily tired in matches of late, whats up with that? Whats your take on that?


sienna Says:

meanwhile Ferrer is doing his bestest to oust Nishikori for filler or guy who serves the dishes or towelboy….

djoker winning first set half power.


Daniel Says:

Anyone warching the match, I like how Djoko is uising drop shots. Oddily, is the shot Fed broguht to clay seaosn in 2009, the year he won, maybe Djoko can repeat that;-)
1 set away from another Masters final.

Now I hope for Fed to face him, even losing at least he will gauge his clay game agaisnt Djoko. And also, this wah both will be play for Masters 24th as they are tied in 23 titles each.


Dan Says:

Not sure who the moderator for this comments section, but that last Zozza comment is racist and shouldn’t be welcome on this site.


jalep Says:

@Daniel.

I am working today but following the match on flashscore.

Appreciate any match comments you can provide. I see Nole has saved a handful of bp”s! Is Nole making errors?


jalep Says:

My girl Simona lost already I see this morning. :(


jalep Says:

Getting the feeling watching score that this could be another 3 setter.

Total respect for Ferrer.


Wog Boy Says:

jalep, no, it won’t, but Nole is still not at his best.


jalep Says:

Aw…nevermind.

Next time I see score, bam, just like that Nole breaks Ferrer and wins the match 64 64!

But the job isn’t over. Federer or Wawrinka can be trouble.


KatH Says:

Just ended – Nole did it in 2 sets.


jalep Says:

G’day. Wog Boy ;)


jane Says:

congrats nole! another final, the 5th here.


Daniel Says:

It was close until suddenly Djoko gear up and won 10 staright points. Most needed 2 sets after some battlea this week. He is set to defend a clay title for the first time, another great feat for his career. Now wait to see which swiss he will face tomorrow.


lapinroyal Says:

Novak seem to try a lot drop shot…


lapinroyal Says:

I’m surprise not to see a 3 setters with Daveed…


jalep Says:

Hi KatH. Just wanted to catch you to clarify…my comments about rather cushy draw in Madrid were about Rafa’s draw, not about Andy’s! Andy had been through a difficult schedule and tough win in Munich , then had another tough draw in Madrid.

Cheers to you!


Wog Boy Says:

G’day jalep, guess what I am watching now…Giro, with the glas of Jameson, shaken not stirred:)


jalep Says:

Now…Go Gavrilova!


jane Says:

sorry his 6th final in rome.


Wog Boy Says:

Intxausti won stage 8, just now.


jalep Says:

Oh am I jealous! That sounds wonderful.

I’like be doing something similar watching the recording this evening :D


jalep Says:

^^ Was for Wog Boy…


chris ford1 Says:

Dear Dan – Why should all blogs be subject to the PC police?
And who gave you your badge?


lapinroyal Says:

I think the “Cow on ice” (her self description) gonna get her revenge… She is pumping up when the#1 left the door open!
Very disappointed at Halep. I expected her to replace Justine on clay, but so far I saw a bit of a too much defensive play in her game (sort of bad-Murray). I hope that she will bring good-Murray or better Justine-like game to the French open!


lapinroyal Says:

@WB
Is Novak’s resto worth a try or not in Belgrade?


jalep Says:

Intxausti? Oh you spoiler WB! Happy for him though…love Basque. cyclists in general. Big Igor Anton and Amets. Txerucca. (Spelling wrong) fan. Mikel. Landa too.


Muhammed Says:

@CF1
Z insulted me with a racist comment and Dan reacted. Now you’re attacking Dan for being a nice guy.

What’s wrong with you? Have you even seen Z’s comment? It obviously wasn’t that great since it got deleted.


lapinroyal Says:

For hash comments, please just ignore. It will go away.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Novak continues his dream season. Just amazing level of consistent greatness right now.


Muhammed Says:

@lapinroyal
I don’t care about Z; what actually pissed me off was CF1 reaction to Dan. I’m sure CF1 missed the whole thing but had to be smartass after seeing a half of the story. Not nice.


Wog Boy Says:

@lapinroyal,

I have to be honest with you, I was in one of them (there is two of them in Belgrade) four years ago, but didn eat, just had a beer and enjoyed the view of Danube river. That one is where “Novak center” is, shop and tennis court, the other one is on the other side of the river, New Belgrade. I’ll tell you what, I will be there in August and if you are not going before then,I’ll let you know.


Wog Boy Says:

lapinroyal, if you decide to go to Serbia (Belgrade), these are 37 Reasons You Should Never Visit Serbia, enjoy it:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/sofijazz/42-rea … erbia-r6a0


lapinroyal Says:

@WB, Only in september… from what I read, not wow. Not a big fan of Gluten free diet…


lapinroyal Says:

@WB, LOL… Novi Sad or not… still collecting info.


Wog Boy Says:

I personally prefer to eat in the less fancy restaurants, better food and vibe, since I will be in Belgrade in the first half of September, I am happy to show you around:

This is correct limk, 37 reasons you should never visit Serbia:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/sofijazz/42-reasons-you-should-never-visit-serbia-r6a0


Wog Boy Says:

Yes, definitely Novi Sad, lot to see.


lapinroyal Says:

Thanks! Will get you email through Mat4!


lapinroyal Says:

No drop shot Daria… you are not Novak!


chris ford1 Says:

You know what, Muhammed? You offend me. I think most people are OFFENDED by something. But what has changed is the drive to punish, and shut down speech that OFFENDS anyone or stifle debate and news someone might take OFFENSE to.
Rather than just say exactly what someone says offends them, you now have 3rd party appeals to censor, arrest, even cut off the heads of the offending party. Working to put in place regulations that bypass public discussion allowing for school expulsions and job firings if only certain protected groups are OUTRAGED!

You are part of the problem.
A good chunk of your co-religionists are part of the problem.
A sizable cadre of people are now trying to bring speech codes from college and apply them everywhere else. They are part of the problem.
Race baiters and professional grievance mongers that pose everyday that something else SHOCKS and OFFENDS – part of the problem.
I am sick of it.
I am sick of angry and righteous thug mobs wanting “social justice” targeting people of other races, ethnicities, and sex preferences for beatdowns – their hatred fueled by non-stop grievance rhetoric.

There.
I vented.
Back to tennis.
And we will see if Dan’s effort to have others punish Zozza and eradicate his incorrect thought pans out.


Dan Says:

@Muhammed I’m glad to see the moderator promptly took that comment off when notified. There are always a few in any group that say stupid things, especially because they can be anonymous here. Please accept an apology from the rest of us for that kind of behaviour. Now… let’s get on to what draws us all here… talking tennis!!!


Giles Says:

Margot. Your post May 16th 8 51am. Where did you get that invaluable piece of information from, you know about backwards and forwards and inwards and outwards? Lol. Care to provide a link? To me it sounds a load of cr@p unless you provide a link.


Ron Smith Says:

Just got back from the novak match. He looked ok. Amazing that he beats guys like Ferrer just playing ok. As for Rafa, he’s finished. I hope to see a djokovic/nadal quarter in Paris if Rafa can get there…


KatH Says:

@ Jalep

Gosh thanks.
+ Cheers to U too.


KatH Says:

@ Giles
I thinking Margot must have seen the article in the Magazine “ANY WHICH WAY YOU LIKE” – it gives all sorts of positions depending on what turns U on.


Giles Says:

^^^ I just knew her babbling about Rafa was untrue. Thanx for clarifying. She reads some strange stuff and obviously you do as well. Now mind, don’t strain your posterior.


Dan Says:

@chris ford1, there was no debate being stifled, just a racist epithet, for no good reason. I defend the right for everyone to speak and discuss, but unfortunately some people use the anonymity of these sites to take away from that conversation. I’m not going to respond further to this, but when people start crossing the lines of decency and basic respect, they need to come out of the cover of anonymity or go somewhere else.


madmax Says:

TV,

Whose Murphy? :)

I know people will argue for Murphy, but two hot weeks on clay doesn’t elevate you to “will win Roland Garros”. Rather, I think Murphy’s played himself into the conversation: with Wawrinka and Nishikori.


Zozza Says:

Good luck to the player that can stop Djokovic winning Rome & Paris ???


FedExpress Says:

The last time nole lost a masters finale was 2012
against federer


Muhammed Says:

@CF1
Man, chill out. I have nothing against you but if you care to know in general I don’t pay much attention to your posts.

You’re a big Novak fun who whatever reason tries to hide it by praising other players. Okay, I get it. You’d like to be perceived as neutral but I don’t think you have much credibility around here, at least you don’t get any from me.

I don’t know much about tennis but I like reading posts from guys/gals here who know much more than me. I know just enough to recognize who’s who in the zoo.

You strike me as a nice enough person but somehow you keep trying too hard.


KatH Says:

If U give it Giles – don’t be surprised if someone finds it funny.
Cheers


Muhammed Says:

@CF1
When I said I don’t read your post I really meant it. After posting at 2.02 I actually read your post in full?

So what about my “co-religionists”? Where were you going with that? So you drop a bomb and then finish your post with “back to tennis”? You don’t care to talk more about what you started? Is there any chunk of your co-religionists that’s part of the problem?

I didn’t ask Dan to defend me. But when you attacked him I felt the need to act. End of story.


Margot Says:

@Giles
Lol
Are you trying to say 1) Uncle T is such a c**p coach he doesn’t know what’s wrong? or 2) he doesn’t do on court coaching? Good luck with either of those.
Lol again, my “source” was the match itself. I suggest you re-watch paying extra careful attention this time.


jane Says:

stan with 2 into the net and a double fault. maybe he’ll give the break back?


lapinroyal Says:

Roger break back and still lead 2-3! ;-)


FedExpress Says:

Fed could have died
Conditions are dangerous


jane Says:

novak and nico pointed out the poor conditions in the first round; they had to stop play to fill a hole at the baseline! glad people are paying attention now.


Matador Says:

The crybaby is bending over like usual against his master. Predictable!


jalep Says:

@jane. What do we think now? More tricks by Uncle Toni? Team Rafa decides to not go for the 10th FO and surprise everyone at Wimbledon?

(just goofing around Rafa fans. Not serious)

Agree with Federer who is used to being written off. Count me in as guilty. Rafa is maybe in a bad patch but these champions are just as capable of turning losing into winning again.


mat4 Says:

@skeez:

You know what my take is. Of course, I am not sure, but his physical decline is obvious, and it is all related: speed, movement, therefore gets, shots, therefore confidence… There is so much smoke that there has to be fire. I just believe that he had to stop after the USO 2013, or perhaps a bit sooner, in the spring, after the usual “preparation” for the FO.

Here is a link:

http://tennishasasteroidproblem.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/curious-case-of-rafael-nadal.html

In fact, we now watch the real guy. A quality player and a FO winner (just like he did last year), but far from the dominant, superhuman player we watched for years.


lapinroyal Says:

Stan is probably crying too much after beating Rafa… Stan just spoil the possible Fedal.


jane Says:

stan’s won 1 of the last 18 points. goodness!

jalep, honestly don’t know what to think anymore. will just have to wait and see how he plays at the FO. that could say a lot. last year he was also losing a lot prior, but still won the slam. so he could definitely still do it again imo.


skeexer Says:

The Master whallops the one who whalloped the beast of Clay,
Another Masters final, on Clay? 33?
Shaammoon!


Margot Says:

Oh my goodness. Fed looked amazing. Thought clay was meant to be slow lol.
Felt very sorry for Stan, but I do blame those shorts.
Should be a corker tomorrow!


skeexer Says:

mat4,
Thanks. I asked because “tired” was never in his DNA, so what has changed?


brando Says:

This court is pretty woeful. Even rafa had his issues last night with it. The one who deals with it best shall win tomorrow which is a shame since you just want a match of skills not one of survival of the fittest on a funny court. Because he runs less, plays less defense, seeks to be way inside court, doesn’t slide as much I’d probably favour Federer. IF the court is a none issue: novak Djokovic.


skeezer Says:

mat4,
Thanks. I asked because “tired” was never in his DNA, so what has changed?


lapinroyal Says:

Stan need to have some coaching fro Dona Vekic, who propose to be his coach… ^_^


Giles Says:

Margot. Your “source” was the match itself, really? When you use the word “source” it means somebody fed you with information or else you might have said “I heard Uncle T say blah blah blah”. You’ve.made all this up Havnt you? You speak Spanish?


MSN Says:

mat4 and his usual bs, you “doctor” dont know who is talking about doping when your local hero won the most physcal match ever.
Is funny that the serbian transformed into superman mode after 2010 and is funny after his stech to US Open 2011, was tired in Wimbledon 2013 against Murray.
If Nadal is a doper so is your beloved hero, and so is Murray and Federer.
The truth will be revealed when the circus of big 4 end.


mat4 Says:

@skeezer:

The DNA…


FedExpress Says:

Another shot to win rome. Monte carlo was easier last year to win


jane Says:

fed’s 4th rome final; novak’s 6th. novak with 3 titles. hard to say what will happen tomorrow. i don’t think stan provided a stern test, but i didn’t see fed’s form in other matches, like against versus berdych, which was apparently great. nole’s been rather up and down too. with fed and novak it’s always tough to call, 50-50 then.


mat4 Says:

@lapin:

Most of the time, Stan is very vulnerable to changes: when an opponents is able to change pace, depth, and to take time from him, it makes things complicated. Especially if he is a good server too.

That’s why he struggles so much against Fed. And he lost against Novak lately every time Novak was very aggressive, mixing pace, placement, and going to the net. Stan has a lot of power, but his legs are the key of his game.


jane Says:

brando those are valid points at 3:11 regarding style of play and court conditions.


mat4 Says:

@jane:

You never know. It depends also of the court: Rome, this year, because of the conditions, seems fast.

Anyway, it will be a very difficult match for Novak.


skeezer Says:

The Master whalloped the one who whalloped the King of Clay. Darn those H2H topics.


Giles Says:

Same old story, beat Nadal and then get annihilated the very next round. LMAO!
Hope fed kicks the Serb’s butt tomorrow.


lapinroyal Says:

@mat4
Indeed Stan got very legs… I mean games with those legs!


Gordon Says:

Fed in less than an hour.

He made the player who made Rafa look pretty ordinary – pretty ordinary.

Tomorrow’s match should be great.

Fedal matches are becoming as scarce as hens’ teeth.

Rafovic matches may as well.

Fedovic matches still have intrigue, no?


lapinroyal Says:

@mat4
Indeed Stan got very nice legs… I mean nice games with those legs!


jane Says:

agree mat4.


lapinroyal Says:

Okay, Nole should let Roger with this Rome thing and Roger in turn will let Nole complete his career GS… ^_^


mat4 Says:

@skeezer:

You know what my argumentation about the H2H is. If two players play the same 50 tournaments, which one is better: the one that made 45 finals and won 35 or the one that made 20 finals, won 16 of them, played the first player 10 times and won 8 times of 10?

The one that won 35 tournaments…


mat4 Says:

@lapin:

Guess that both want… both…


skeezer Says:

@mat4
Yes yes and yes!
Well congrats to both Fed and Nole, hope for a good final. Whats more important is they both are getting primed well for FO. Although the conditions at FO usually don’t favor Fed, its nice to see him still competing well as of late. And I know mat4 will agree, Nole has yet to play at a level where he is satisfied, but hey, he’s in the final. Hope they both peak at the FO.


lapinroyal Says:

@Mat
If I’m tennis god, I’ll let each complete their thing, missing trophy! Gluttony is one of the 7 sins…


brando Says:

LOL peeps let’s just take it easy: pot shots on nationality, religion, players, coaches, snippy comments here and there. We’ve just had it all on here. Let’s just take a chill pill and be back to our better selves.


kriket Says:

Novak wasn’t playing his A-game so far this tournament, but that could be said about his whole season son far, with a few brilliant exceptions. But since the rest of the field was even worse he was able to win most of his matches.

On the other hand, I think it’s better for him when he gets tested throughout the tournament rather than breeze through to the finals with ezpz victories. This way he know he is prepared to do his best and not have the false sense of superiority.

IMHO Federer was always the tougher matchup for Novak than Nadal. After all it was Fed who broke his 2011 42 victories in a row run, beating him in FO. Later on same year he struggled against Fed on USO, in that historical epic 5-setter, facing 2 MPs in the fifth, ultimately overcoming and beating Fed. The final match versus Nadal was easier than that semi against Fed for Novak.

Now, today’s Fed isn’t the same than 2011 Fed, but neither is today’s Novak, even though they’re ranked No1 and No2.

I’d give the slight (but sufficient) edge to Novak in the final but it wouldn’t be a surprise if it turned into a full blown battle, and if Fed would have won in the end.

Hope it doesn’t get to that though, and that Novak wins, simply for his pre FO confidence. I’d like him to get that career slam because I think he deserves it. Though we all know you don’t always get what you deserve, so he has to do his absolute best in order to achieve it and even then it’s not 100% certain. It never is.


brando Says:

@Gordon: agree. Fedal and rafole matches seem in short supply or done due to rafas woes. Shame. Fed v novak now is the only exciting, major match the game can count on on since all the marquee matches seem over, and the alternatives are just nowhere near exciting. Shame really. Once upon a time there were many exciting matches up not too long ago. To be honest: barring novak and a Federer who amazingly is fighting father time and on court foes the game is just woefully short of buzz at the top. The game needs fresh blood urgently to bring some excitement, life back to the tour. Create some exciting rivalries. A kyrgios v coric could be the next great rivarly since due to a variety of reasons mainly age related I cannot see another epic one for a while.


brando Says:

Novak wasn’t playing his A-game so far this tournament, but that could be said about his whole season son far, with a few brilliant exceptions. But since the rest of the field was even worse he was able to win most of his matches.”: this, so this! This is the most accurate, complete assessment on Novak for me. He’s so beyond the rest of the field even his C game is enough to beat the field. He’s like Floyd mayweather: he knows the rest of the field are his lambs to slaughter. Own. Message around with how he fancies. He’s a cut above, so he warrants praise. The field though: less said the better. Like I said earlier: game is in desperate need of regeneration since barring Novak we have no other elite top players in the manner we had 3 genuine kings a while ago.


MSN Says:

Is funny when an anonymous and a nobody like mat4, who is probable a man over 50, can write such a nonsense and his “proof” is the mentioned link that only support his point of view but thats it. And forget about his country man and

If you are a decent man and a good cityzen, mat4, say your real name and then we can discuss about your accusations. Is a pity than everybody can post bs and dont be censored. I ask if sean randal and others of this blog can create several articles about this serious advances that this anonymous can write with so casually. With a debate with logical reasoning we can discuss about this important topic. So, I reiterate to Randall, Gainey and other professionals about sport medicine to start to writing about this, we cant let this to biased fans without expertise to defame without any consciousness.


mat4 Says:

@MSN:

I wrote what I think. If you don’t like it, just skip my posts.

Novak’s frame is much lighter than Rafa’s. That the reason why he is slower, but can run much longer. What was outrageous in that final in 2012 was Rafa’s speed in the fifth set, and his incredible defence, not the fact that Novak, with his much better hard court game, won.

Just compare the Paris semi in 2009 with the following matches, on even faster surfaces: in 2009, Rafa doesn’t even try to get the ball when Novak plays an IO FH. At the USO and the AO you just can hit by him.

So, when was the “real” Rafa playing: at Bercy, or in New York? How can you explain the regularity of his ends of season? He can win at the USO, but can’t win a tournament from October to December?

I’ll just write again what I have already: you don’t have to like my posts. Just skip them.


jane Says:

what about murray? he just won 10 in a row on clay and reached a hard court slam and masters final. methinks he’s in rather good form.


mat4 Says:

@MSN:

BTW, I don’t why my posts would be moderated and not yours.

I respect every poster here. I insult nobody. Even my answer to skeezer was a balanced one: I wrote what I “believe”, and add “that I am not sure”.

I know that the truth can hurt, and I understand your feelings, but it is not my fault. Perhaps, one day, when you are 50, you can understand. So sorry. I also know that what troubles you is the “smoke” thing — I am quite sure that you are an intelligent, reasonable person, and that you have noticed it too. Could it be that there is some truth in what I wrote? So sorry.


Daniel Says:

It would be nice if Fed wins Rome. This ways, Djoko him and Murray would all have won clay Masters. Plus even with Nadal
Struggling RG still is his court until beatrn so the Big 4 would be favorites to ein the titles this year.

Can’t wait for the draw next Friday, who Nadal will play in Quarters, Where Murray will land? Djoko or Fed side


mat4 Says:

So sorry: I don’t see why… instead of “I don’t why”…

BTW, I am not a decent person and a good citizen. And I am probably a horrible, frustrated person over 50 or close to, who knows? who just like to think, read, and learn. Sometimes I like trolling — but only Roger is peRFect ;-), what can I do?


mat4 Says:

@Daniel:

For the first time for years, the FO is completely open.

I don’t agree that Novak didn’t play well this week — he has, from what I have seen. But other players can play too. Almagro is a great player at his best, Bellucci, a few years ago, showed his potential, Nishikori is a potential slam winner, and Ferrer, who, for me, was probably the better player today, is not to be underestimated on clay. We expect that Novak can dominate on clay — against players that have nothing to lose, and are so good, no, he can’t. He could lose easily before the final at the FO.

This year, I believe that Nadal, Murray, Federer, Berdych, Nishikori, all could win the Roland Garros with a good draw and some luck.

Because luck is very important, too.


mat4 Says:

My predictions for the draw:

If Raonic doesn’t play

Rafa will land in Murray’s quarter, who will land in Novak’s have. Nishikori will land in Novak’s quarter. Fed will get Ferrer in the QF, and Berdych and Wawrinka will be in the other.

If Raonic plays, I don’t know.

Option 2: Novak and Rafa in the same quarter, just to show that the draw is not fixed…


mat4 Says:

… Novak’s half… not have.


Gordon Says:

Jane – you are correct; Murray is looking great these days.

Ah – marital bliss; I can see a musical on the West End of London should Murray win the French Open.

However, the way the matches have played out today and what happens tomorrow should influence both public opinion and the betting line for Roland Garros.

If Nole continues his winning ways then he has to be the odds on favourite to hoist the trophy in Paris and complete his career slam.

However, should the ancient Swiss Master win, depending on the manner of the win you may see it previewed as a 4-horse race, between Nole, Roger, Murray and Rafa.

The anticipation will only be heightened when we see where Rafa winds up in the draw because before he plays one of Andy, Roger or Djokovic he may have a tough additional match immediately prior.

Until he loses there, Rafa is home at centre court in Paris; he will get dethroned one day, but I will not be shocked if he wins his 10th FO next month; he still deserves our respect until he is vanquished there, in my opinion.


jane Says:

mat4, i largely agree with you @4:23, except i am not sure about berdych. :) also, in nico and nole’s match, as i noted then, novak hit 41 winners and 12 aces! it was a highly competitive and well played affair, maybe even the best form novak played the whole tournament. but agree that he’s played well in patches, but he’s also been too passive at other times, and if he gets passive versus fed i don’t like his chances.


Matador Says:

Nadal vs Djokovic in the qf I ask for it, mat4. Hope RG draw is not fixed like 2013, lol.


Matador Says:

Well, I agree Nadal is not the favorite anymore but I dont agree about doping acusation like other said before, is he cant generate power anymore with his forehand and his serve is a mess, without a grat serve, nadal has to grind every point and this is for a 29 years old tennis player with the most demanding physical style, too much and as said before, his game is too predictable now, the stuborness of him and his uncle to not include some new guy to his team will be his fall. Life and sport, to survive, you have to renew, you can not stay with what you did in the past wildly successful and no longer serves the basis for future success.It not works that way, no way. Nadal’s style is outdated and that, I think, he will pay dearly for failing to adapt to a new era.


Muhammed Says:

It’d be better for Rafael not to meet Novak too early in RG, Novak usually needs less matches to get into rhythm (judging by his consistency at all GS’s).
I expect Rafael to land with Roger. I had good predictions the last two tournaments about the finalists (pure luck). I feel this time that Rafael might loose before the final to someone else other than Novak.


Muhammed Says:

The match with Rafael has drained Stan, he had nothing left for Roger.
I have no horse in the race tomorrow (actually I have 2 as I like both players); I hope to enjoy some good tennis. Roger needs the 1st set more than Novak and needs to serve really well. Roger can pull it out but likely will not.


KatH Says:

@ Daniel

Also eager to see the draw – same reasons as you state.


Zozza Says:

The curse continues beat Nadal then lose next round
Well done Federer
He broke down Wawrinka mentally by winning that first set which Wawrinka 3-0 thought he should’ve won
Sounds familiar Someone was 6-2 up in tie breaker then broke down mentally in second set ?
Djokovic will win Rome & Paris also … But I hope not !

Had Federer played Nadal instead of wawrinka he still would’ve won in this form … Good luck Fed !!!


Matador Says:

Nadal is the new Dracula!


Matador Says:

Hope Nadal federer at Rg, part 6 in the qf.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Good lesson for those thinking, oh Wawrinka’s got better odds than Fed at RG!
We all want a new flavour in the tennis sundae, but Fed just won’t play along.


skeezer Says:

@mat4
Oops caused u some trouble. Got your back. You da man ….. mosr of the time ;).


mat4 Says:

@skeez:

No, I adore those guys. I’ve found a way to always be “so sorry” (I read it in “Shogun”, skeezer san) and to argue till dawn. I don’t get upset. So sorry.

I give the benefice of the doubt, but I am not blind.

Like I wrote, I believe — I am not sure, of course — we’ve got here the real stuff, what it should have been all those years. And, just like Chris Evert, I am very disappointed.


Daniel Says:

Although for Nadal fans this results are not great, with Murray streak, Fed returning to a Clay masters and Djoko’s form makes for a more interesting RG. nOw we can see 5 guys clearly competing for the title: Nadal, Djoko, Fed,Murray and Kei. Sorry but Berdych has poor record in finals. he won’t be winning it, neither will Ferrer. Roanoke will not play, Wawa is too inconsistent and the French neither with the crowd help will go through. One of those 5 will win RG this year, I almost take Kei out, but maybe he only have to beat one of the other 4 and it can be done on a hot day. Everything and chances of those 4 will depend on draw. Novak chances is higher than any as he is the current #1. But I bet he doesn’t want to play Nadal QF nor Murray semis, with a potential Fed in finals. One of the big 4 could have to play 3 of the other ones back to back to back for the title. I wonder who will be. Or not, if Nadal lands outside the other big 4 in QF. Berdych will be seeded #4 for RG, who ever gets him in semis out of Djoko or Fed, got a great draw. Who ever gets Murray has it harder. But all other QF are tough, Kei, Nadal, Ferrer and Wawa. None will want Kei nor Nadal as well.


Zozza Says:

Nadal might end up in federer’s half however
I think French organisers will prefer to see Nadal in Djokovic’s half so no not accuses them of fixing the draw !!!

Should be interesting
Might see another Djokovic vs Nadal semi
Murray vs Federer semi
That would set up

Djokovic vs federer final
That’s the final most French organisers want
Nadal will have to go through Djokovic if he wants 10 French opens

On current form he might not even make it that far ?
But it’s his home in Paris
He can’t just lose easily without one hell of a fight

It will he fascinating tennis


jalep Says:

Pretty much agree on all points of your 8:02 post. And have to say learn from and usually do agree with what you write ☆☆☆☆☆

What I might add is the obvious: Nole, as seen from the field of opponents, whatever draw it is, has the biggest target on his back. Every good clay court player like Almagro and Bellucci, Roberto Bautista-Agut, Fognini, Monfils, and the like, will play above their level. Of course the same is true for Federer or Rafa. Andy’s just a notch under the radar because he doesn’t have as strong a history on clay (he might be more dangerous than anyone). Ferrer over 5 sets has usually been great but it seems like, this clay season, age might be starting to show.

Completely agree about Berdych. For him to win he’d have to get away with not playing any of the above mentioned biggest names. He goes to quarterfinals or semifinals consistently, though.

As much as I enjoy Kei, he won Barcelona quite handily, but wouldn’t pick him to the final at FO. Guessing he could get by Federer over 5 sets but not sure about Murray, Nole or Rafa.

Kei had a great run at US Open but by the final, had nothing left.

Solidly in the camp of posters not counting on Rafa to win FO until I see it.


jalep Says:

Meant: not counting out Rafa until he actually loses at Fo.


Matador Says:

Nadal, Djokovic and Murray like Tio Toni said. Sorry fed fan, but he too old for the french, one match over 3 hours in a 4th round and is over for him. I think he will reach the qf like other greats did in such an advanced age like Connors, Vilas and Agassi, but for olds foe, clay in a best of 5 are too much for them.


Okiegal Says:

I read the link on doping provided by a poster, think it was mat4′s……from what I read the comments made tended to rake Novak over the coals and not so much Rafa. Some are now putting Novak in the limelight insinuating he’s doping now because he is like the energizing bunny rabbit! I don’t understand people who try to put another down because of his or her success. Disrespectful……

I have stayed away from posting a few days but said I would chime in if I felt I should. This was one of those times…..I didn’t stick to my guns, but felt compelle


Okiegal Says:

Oops, compelled to say something. Going to church, Travis Bickel!! :)


jalep Says:

Come chime in on the wta exclusive members threads Okiegal and bring Hippy Chick with you ;)


Okiegal Says:

@Jalep, I believe Chick is sticking to her guns! I firmly believe she did enjoy posting as it gave her another outlet to be involved in something else besides day to day living. She spoke of depression on occasion and this forum kept her mind elsewhere instead of worrying about herself. My Dad was manic depressive….nasty disease…..Just want to wish her the best. Maybe she’s found another place to chat where there isn’t so much drama between “old” folks??? Lol. Speaking of myself, of course! :( :)

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