Any Chance Rafael Nadal Beats Novak Djokovic Saturday In The Doha Final?
by Sean Randall | January 8th, 2016, 7:11 pm
  • 124 Comments

Here we go again, and it’s just the first week of the tennis season! Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will go at it Saturday in the Doha final.

The title itself, well, it doesn’t mean that much, though Rafa hasn’t won a hardcourt event since 2014 Doha. But the matchup between two of the best is what matters.

Novak’s been the far superior player the last 18 months and he’ll want to keep it that way, while Nadal is slowly working his way back into form.

Head-to-head, it’s knotted at 23 apiece. But Novak’s finally going to take the lead here. Since losing to Nadal in the 2014 French Open final, he’s pulverised the Spaniard winning the last four all in straight sets. And Nadal hasn’t even gotten to four games in the last six sets he’s played against Novak! That’s damn good.

That said, I think Rafa puts up a good performance tomorrow. Better than the 6-2, 6-2 drubbing in Beijing or the 6-3, 6-3 loss in the London semifinals. The trend is losing but improving for Rafa, so a 6-4, 6-4 sounds about right.

I just hope it’s competitive. And maybe Rafa can summon the old and pull out a win? It’s hard to see it right now, but despite his recent dip he’s still a champion.

“It always represents a great challenge to play Nadal because of the fact that we have played so many times for the trophies,” said Djokovic.

And if the courts are quick and conditions fast, maybe that can help Nadal power through the Djokovic defense. The key for me when they play is the Nadal second serve and Djokovic backhand. And also, remember Djokovic has never won the Doha title, Rafa has. So maybe that plays a role.

But Djokovic has been just so dominant. It’s his 16th straight final since that Ivo Karlovic loss in Doha a year ago. And even when Nadal is at his very best, he struggles with Novak. So, as I said, I hope Rafa can stay in this one.

Earlier in the semifinals, Djokovic man-handled Tomas Berdych 6-3, 7-6(3). Nadal steamrolled Ilya Marchenko 6-3, 6-4. So both guys are in decent form, though Rafa’s had a great draw in the desert.

Match time tomorrow is 10am ET. I believe Tennis Channel will have live coverage in the U.S. What a way to kick off the New Year!

SATURDAY DOHA SCHEDULE
CENTRE COURT start 6:00 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [2] R. Nadal (ESP)


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124 Comments for Any Chance Rafael Nadal Beats Novak Djokovic Saturday In The Doha Final?

mat4 Says:

Of course Rafa has a chance, and from what I saw in Novak’s last two matches, a solid one.

Novak’s serve seemed a bit slower, and overall he seemed a bit passive, waiting for the opponent to make an error. I would like to have Hawk eye data about the speed and the ball rotation of his shots — there were a few glimpses of those numbers, and it looked good, but it was random, just a few shots and it doesn’t correspond with my overall impression.

IMO the result mostly depends on Novak’s level in the final, since I can’t see how Rafa can defend endlessly on a slow bouncing, fast court, and I don’t see how he could hurt Novak’s game.

But I saw that jane mentioned that Novak had an injury that bothered his serve, so who knows.


skeezer Says:

Rafa is going down. Who has he played this draw? Excuse me?


Ben Pronin Says:

Mat4, regarding Novak’s serve, he said he’s been feeling something in his arm and it’s affecting his serve.

As far as being passive, I feel like he often does this against lesser players who like to be aggressive, like a Mayer and hell especially Berdych. I almost think he has no doubt Berdych will implode and just waits for it.


mat4 Says:

@Ben:

“As far as being passive…”

It all could well be linked, the light injury and the way he plays, I mean.

But lately he has used wisely (it was the only translation of “à bon escient” I got) the first rounds in lesser tournaments to try some other aspect of his game — to hit the FH harder (like he did in Beijing, but he stopped in the first set of the match against Ferrer), or to improve his volleying, preparing his later years.

Somehow, I didn’t like what I have seen so far. It was the Novak I don’t like — relying mostly on his defence and consistency from the back of the court. I felt that both Berdych and Mayer showed more, and, in a way, despite the results — played better.

Of course, when it mattered most, Novak had ready solutions while they couldn’t find their range and missed. But way too often he gave them easy opportunities to make winners, playing down the middle, avoiding risks. It won’t work against more solid players. And it won’t work in the long run — because he has to put pressure on his opponents, to rebuild endlessly a mental edge that can easily vanish.

Novak usually switches gears in the final and competes at a completely different level. But still.


Wog Boy Says:

Who is with Nole in Doha, Vajda or Becker or both?


mat4 Says:

WB:

Both are there. If I remember well, the whole team is there, tutto completo.

You have complete matches on yt, WB.


Wog Boy Says:

Thanks mat4, Wher I am now I can’t watch yt, very bad signal, only TV channels, but beautiful nature, native life and relaxing atmosphere (of course not without roast pork and home made rakija), check it out, I am sitting on veranda 100m from what you see, Jervis bay:

http://youtu.be/arLSQrb3d6A

The reason I asked is that whrn Nole is with Vajda he plays more defensive game, when he is with Becker he plays more aggressive game and when they are both with him he is confused like at FO, maybe that’s the reason ;)


Dave Says:

despite Nole still hitting his stride he has very quietly won 14 sets in a row since the Federer loss in the round robin of WTF’s.


Michael Says:

I can’t see Rafa beating Novak here except he plays at his peak performance while correspondingly the form of Novak dips. This is a very remote possibility, but considering the quality of Rafa and his ability to always surprise his critics, I think there is that slight chance which always hang in balance.

Also, rightly pointed out, Novak has never won this tournament and the fact that he is also playing this tournament after a hiatus are also factors which can go against him.

But all said and done, Novak is the overwhelming favourite and even if Rafa manages to take this to the distance, he would for sure feel his confidence ebbing back and tremendously boost his morale !!


Chrisford1 Says:

Of course it is possible for Rafa to win. He is looking much better – though long from Nole’s A-level. But with a slight injury, maybe Nole’s not going to be stellar on Saturday.
I imagine both guys will be psyched up, but at the same time reminding themelves Doha is a warmup event for the AO and not worth aggravating an injury over.

A win would be huge at this point for Nadal. Even to play well enough in a loss that he can go into the AO thinking he realistically has a chance he can beat the top 4 ranked players.
While Djokovic wants his 1st very attractive golden falcon for his trophy collection, a chance for the 1st time as a pro to go up on Rafa in the H2H, and if possible, not bolster Rafa’s confidence up any.

BTW – For the AO, the Aussies have to be happy with how Kyrgios and Tomic have done in the lead up.
And Fed and Stan are going to vie for championships in Chennai and Brisbane – both have had a fine AO warmup. While poor Andy crashed out early, and has to be reminding himself that Nole got ambushed by Dr Ivo last year in the 3rd round at Doha – and still won the AO.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Michael hi did you read my posts,im so upset about what i said the other day to you,and wanted to apologize,as im quite upset about the whole thing,especially as your a poster i get on quite well with :((….


Gypsy Gal Says:

Feel a bit out of my depth here as as the only Rafa fan on this thread, and wont see the match because i will be working,but cant really elaborate much on whats already been said,other than i will agree and say Novak in two sets,hopefully Rafa can keep it close would be my hope….


Pauly Says:

Yes Rafa has a chance but very small one at that … Rafa has big problems with his serve in particular & of course his leg speed is no where near as it once was so Djokovic will win pretty easy sorry to say .
Rafa needs another coach period !
Not sure what uncle Toni can do anymore ?


Pauly Says:

Lots of tennis fans feel that Rafa might never beat Djokovic again ?
Sounds plausible … But surely on clay Rafa will find his best form again & finally beat Djokovic ?
Or perhaps Rafa ‘s biggest problem isn’t his weak serve maybe his foot speed is the biggest reason he can’t go with Djokovic anymore ?
Well watching Rafa beat very lowly ranked players & struggle badly with one match in particular… I feel he might not beat Djokovic ever again on hardcourts !
Hope I am wrong ?


aku Says:

Nole confirmed right arm injury. Nothing serious, but it is affecting his serve. He added that if physio does his job right and with enough warmup he is able to play.


Giles Says:

True to form joker, almost each time he plays Rafa he comes up with some fake injury excuse. It’s all BS, he’s as fit as a fiddle.


Chrisford1 Says:

In other news, Team Australia Green beat Team Ukraine Republic for the Hopman Cup trophy. The Australians were represented by Nick Kyrgios and Daria Gavrilova. Hope 2016 is better for Kyrgios than 2015, where he started strong, then got in some hot water.
Nick sounds delighted: “”It means a lot. It’s my first real title that I’ve won,”

Gavrilova is a 21-year old Russian that moved to play for Australia in 2015. Solid player, some Top 10 upsets, won gold for Russia in the 2010 Youth Olympic Games.

A picture:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B6dXJRPCYAEIdIm.jpg


Giles Says:

Who needs Sean Randall and Tom Gainey when we have this nobody reporting on the tennis tour.


autoFilter Says:

mat4,

I suspect “sensibly” would be a fitting alternative translation (as an adverb, that is).


Margot Says:

Nick’s looked good. Sorry now I didn’t put him in my top 10 as a long shot.
Also saw Milos beat Kei. Always difficult to beat a HUGE server in best of 3, but I hope this doesn’t mean Kei’s nursing another injury.
Am also wondering why so many players have injuries at the start of the season. Is it because their joints/muscles are stiff through rest and they don’t warm up enough?
But that seems highly unlikely.


Dave Says:

I think Rafa has played fairly well this week and his forehand is much better this year. He has lost a step though. He is not as fast as he used to be. If he can’t move as well as he used to(example 2013)I don’t see him challenging Nole anymore in the future, even if he gets his game back 100%. Rafa has always depended on his speed around the court against Nole. You take even a little bit of that speed away, and it changes the outcome of a few points here and there. And those few points make all the difference. I still think Rafa will get back to the top 2 this year. He is still good enough to beat anyone else. With Rafa, he can surprise us all more than anyone though. I could be totally wrong and Rafa starts beating Nole again. I do feel in some ways the faster hard courts favor Rafa over Nole. The U.S. Open is faster than the Australian Open. There is a reason why Nole is 5 and 0 in finals at the Australian Open and 2 and 4 in finals at the U.S. Open. The faster conditions in Doha favor Rafa to me. Everything else favors Nole. Rafa beat Nole in 2 out of 3 finals against him at the U.S. Open. My pick is still Nole today.


Wog Boy Says:

Margot, Tomic beat Kei, not Milos. Kei didn’t have any injury, but was outplayed by Tomic, he just didn’t give him any rhythm. Milos today beat Tomic after two TB, so it is repeat of last year final, Roger vs Milos.


Wog Boy Says:

” And also, remember Djokovic has never won the Doha title, Rafa has. So maybe that plays a role.”

I don’t think Nole really had too me many chances to win Doha, if I am not mistaken this only second time that he plays Doha?


Dave Says:

yep. Only his second time playing Doha Wog Boy. He has never won an ATP event before the Australian Open since he started playing on the ATP Tour as far as I know.


Sarah Says:

Well, in short time we’ll find out, Who the winner is…even if Rafa would win today, I do not think this would be a blow up for Nole, as the win in Canada in 2015 did not much help Andy…


Dave Says:

You are right Sarah. If Nole can have the most painful loss of his career in the French Open final against Stan and not even play a warm up tournament on grass and win wimbledon, a loss today would not discourage Nole in the slightest. Nole is one of the best when it comes to putting losses behind him. WTF round robin against Federer. Hasn’t lost a set since. Not only that, but the conditions in Doha are not the same as the Australian Open. The hard courts are slower in Australia.


Sarah Says:

Noles carreer will be like the final from AO 2012…he will never give up, he’s stubborn and ambitious:)….and he can endure a lot


Daniel Says:

3-0 Djoko, NAdal didn’t won a single point in second serve. Only point he won on serve was an ace.

Djoko serving better and close fast.


Daniel Says:

Wow, what was this BH crosscourt from NOvak, amiable after a 26 shot point


Sarah Says:

looks like he wants to nail Rafa tonight


Daniel Says:

Nadal has nothing to hurt Djokovic anymore, 5-1. Can’t see him ever beating Djoko on a HC again.


Dave Says:

I watched every set from Nole last year and I have never seen Nole play a set of tennis that well in my life. That was honestly amazing.


FlyingDoctor Says:

This is God mode Djokovic!


jac Says:

Ok this is just rape and I don’t even know if Rafa is playing well or not…Novak simply doesn’t let him play at all.


FedExpress Says:

rafa is done vs the top guys. so done.


Sarah Says:

Rafa has a mental problem lately when he plays against Nole..that’s the thing .


FedExpress Says:

hahahahahah rafa


Daniel Says:

Utter massacre


FedExpress Says:

rafa lost 8 of their last 9 meetings


Daniel Says:

Had Novak wrong foot Nadal first point he would have break to love, but now is deuce


Pauly Says:

Djokovic is playing well & Rafa can’t go with him
Simply put clay is the only place Rafa can mount any serious challenge … Whether it’s weak serve or lack of foot speed … Or mentally he justs crumbles before the game even starts ?
Rafa needs to get outside help … Pat Cash offered help as coach just take the help !
Uncle Toni has no idea ???


skeezer Says:

@8:31 post
Who is this? The new nostradamus?


Sarah Says:

Even as a Nole fan, it is painful to see Rafa playing like this…


Daniel Says:

Now even first serves return winners, Djoko love those;-)


Daniel Says:

And Nadal avoids a bagel, let’s see if he can keep this set a bit more competitive, had no BP chances after first game.


Giles Says:

Injured faker rises again. Pfffft


Pauly Says:

Sarah

Why painful ?
It’s good for Djokovic fans to see Rafa suffer abit coz that suffering might improve his game … He might get help from another coach ?
He needs new ideas


Sarah Says:

Pauly,a 6-3, 6-4 win would have been good enough,..it’s like watching Germany vs. Brasil in Rio last year (football)


Pauly Says:

Seeing Rafa play … I see 3 problems
First he’s slower
Second his serve isn’t good enough
Third he looks like he’s scared mentally
The leg speed won’t improve but he can improve the other two so there is hope on clay only !
In Australia only one man can beat Djokovic
Wawrinka !


Daniel Says:

Djoko is unleashing FH crosscourt flat and heavy, you can see Nadal can’t handle that shot and just put bacon play. another BP


FedExpress Says:

nole just raped nadal in this rally from the word go


Pauly Says:

Sarah I’m a big Rafa but I know at the moment Djokovic is playing too well so for Rafa to beat him he must change things … Why not bring in Pat Cash ?
Uncle Toni’s finished … In Melbourne Wawrinka is the only player who has the weapons to defeat Djokovic !


Daniel Says:

Wow, this could be the most loop sided match of their rivalry and future doesn’t look any different. In factI think Djoko ids bagel which he’ll get eventually. 3 more potential matches before clay: AO, IW and Miami. And even on clay Djoko is winning easy against him.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Its getting pretty much like Sharapova/Williams,as Rafa will need some other player to do him the favour and beat Novak for him,theres nothing in his game that hurts Novak anymore….


Margot Says:

Cheers Wog Boy, good and bad news for Kei I suppose- good news no injury but bad news, outplayed by Atomic……….
Not watching Nole, v. difficult in GB to watch free streams these days, but sounds as if Nole is in god mode.


Pauly Says:

I watched Nadal struggle this week against lowly players but not even I predicted this farce ?
This isn’t good for tennis … Rafa must fire up in Melbourne this is a disgrace ! If he can’t beat Djokovic no more what’s the point playing !
He looks done to me !


Giles Says:

Joker has never won this title before as its only the second time he has played in Doha. Could winning this tourney be the bad omen for him for 2016? Let’s wait and see.


jane Says:

novak is on fire today.

brad gilbert disagrees with you sarah; he doesnt think it’s mental at all. it’s a matter of level and match up in his view.


jac Says:

Novak does serve&volley – that’s something new


Sarah Says:

he does need new coach ..I do not know Who exactly
could help Rafa…well, I am not so sure of Wawrinka for AO this year, but we’ll see


Margot Says:

BTW will a couple of you guys stop using the word “rape” so casually please. I find it deeply offensive because it is far too serious to be used just to describe a tennis match.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Disagree with Fedexpress though i dont think hes done against the other top players,as hes still beaten Stan,Andy etc,its Novak he has a problem with but then again everybody has a problem with Novak….


FedExpress Says:

fed is more competive than nadal vs nole.


FedExpress Says:

where is the arm injury from nole?


Sarah Says:

Jane, but it’s unbelieavable, in 2014 he was still Nr. 1, and now….this…


AndyMira Says:

Yo!GG..you’re okay?I have to lie down now and pretend to sleep..he!he!I seriously thought this kind of humiliation is beyond Rafa now..but..yeah..


FedExpress Says:

nadal could meet nole in QF at the AO


Gypsy Gal Says:

Agree with Margot,i really cant believe what the moderators let some posters get away with these days,so much for the moderation,or lack of,Sean Randall and staff really need to up their game….


SnotNosedKid Says:

Nadal knows there’s still a ton of cash to be made beating tomato cans in the early rounds before getting thrashed by Djoker. So he just like to thank everybody, just happy for that


Pauly Says:

Wawrinka has good serve great backhand plus solid forehand he is the only one who can beat Djokovic in Melbourne !
Federer is still crafty while Murray can play well Also but Rafa in Melbourne will struggle this flogging will hurt him a lot
If it’s not mental ?
What is it ?
Is Djokovic just too good for Rafa ? Maybe he is at the moment but something must be done about it fast or else it will become Serena vs Sharapova rivalry ?
That’s something no Rafa fan wants


Daniel Says:

Congrats Djoko on his 60th title. He is currently holding 12 titles his last 16th (in last 52 weeks) amazing.

Undisputed favorite for AO.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Anyway ill ignore the haters and say,big congrats Nole and fans, Michael,Wogboy,Mat4,Courbon,Jane,Jalep,Patson and newbie Sarah,no complaints or excuses,just too good,only saw the second set,but what i saw was perfection,congrats again….


jane Says:

glad i got to catch that match after! congrats to novak on his first doha title.

also whoo-hoo for coric; he made the chennai final. probably stan will beat him but it’s a nice step for a young player.

fed vs. milos in brisbane.

also i see nick won hopman vs doglo. so did the aussies win there?


jane Says:

margot @ 11:24. indeed! very wrong word to use. bothers me too.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Pauly agree,im not so much dissapointed with the loss,its the manner of it that hurts the most….


Pauly Says:

Nadal must fire up … He can do better than this !
Today was something no would’ve predicted it’s worse than any of his defeats last year ?
I thought he was improving or perhaps this could be even worse than 2011 when Djokovic beat Nadal in every final ?
Looking at all the results back then Nadal was at least winning a set off Djokovic now he can’t do that anymore !
If they do meet in Australia … I predict 3-0 easy !
Only place Nadal has chance is on clay if he can play better ?
He must be embarrassed by this performance today ?
Worst ever against Djokovic


Sarah Says:

yep, congrats to Nole for his achievement, waiting now for the AO.
guess Rafa really needs a new coach. for the beauty of tennis.

Nici evening to everybody.
byees


AndyMira Says:

It’s been a year now since his form is in terrible shape..where’s the changes?Can’t anybody brilliant in his team that he’s so adored do something to help him?I don’t understand..


Gypsy Gal Says:

Pauly if he faces Novak at the AO in a final ill just be happy hes in GS contention again….


Gypsy Gal Says:

And still the post at 10.51am remains,please remove tennis-x staff….


Nina Says:

Rafa had a chance to win??? 6:1, 6:2, that was merciless!!!! Bravo, Nole!!!!!


Pauly Says:

Just saw the statistics
Serve huge problem for Nadal
Plus only 9 winners to 30
Only 1 breakpoint for Nadal
7 for Djokovic
Bad statistics in first serve only 63 % for Rafa which isn’t good at all … Brad Gilbert might be right bad match up for Rafa !
I see something else more serious … Not good enough anymore Rafa


Gypsy Gal Says:

Jane congrats to your favorite,have to ask though do you actually condone all the crude and smutty slurs about Roger and Rafas sexuality that come from one of your fellow Novak fans mentioning no names?….


Pauly Says:

Gypsy girl

Not if its in quarter final … It will be a rout 3-0


Gypsy Gal Says:

Pauly hi,true dat,hopefully they wont be in the same half then ha ha,anyway im glad your here,as theres not many Rafa fans left anymore,and forums can be lonely places when theres no fellow fans to console you,misery loves company as they say lol….


Pauly Says:

Gypsy girl

I see no improvement in Rafa at all against Djokovic !
However I still think he can beat everyone else if he plays his best which is long way away … I think he’s at 75% compared to say 2013 form which was sublime especially at the US open against Djokovic … Watching that game it’s very obvious he isn’t moving as well not serving as well plus his forehand lacks power which is something he must get back .
I hope this is his final year … Can’t bare seeing another thrashing like this


Okiegal Says:

Congratulations to all of Novak’s loyal fans! Another awesome performance from the #1 of the world. One of the commentators said that was Rafa’s 99th final…..so I gonna be happy for that, no? :) I believe the way Novak played today he could have won with Fed in one corner and Rafa in the other! He made some amazing gets today. Rafa chased some down but Novak won the point. I don’t know what Rafa’s plan should be…..maybe he does need another coach, but that ain’t gonna happen imho.

Does anyone know what Rafa talked to the umpire about and then did a racquet clap? I had my computer on mute, couldn’t put up with the commentators any longer. Just curious.

Agree about the rough language that is allowed on the forum. That should be a no-no, no?

Hang in there Rafa fans. We have to hope Rafa is getting focused on the Aussie Open. BTW, I doubt Stan can beat Novak again….I think Federer has a better chance than he does…..


Chrisford1 Says:

So for the first time, Nole leads the H2H with Rafa.
It just feels like there is a certain trajectory where Novak is pulling away from Andy and Rafa in their matches and they will never level the H2H. Now we will see if Fed’s dead heat H2H with Nole tilts Nole’s way – for good.

There is some truth to the idea of bad matchups. Federer’s fans may have had a strong point about it being all about a bad matchup with Rafa – but a couple of years back, Rafa was a bad matchup for every player in the ATP.
And Novak – presto-change-o ….is now like Rafa. He is not just Rafa’s bad matchup nightmare. He is now every players nightmare.


Pauly Says:

New coach to work with uncle Toni to start with
Improve his serve secondly
His speed can’t be improved its gone
But one thing he should consider is flattening out the forehand completely which might help especially on hardcourts
Djokovic is playing at his best
Nadal is 75% in my opinion
Looking Back at 2014 after the French open I think
Nadal was Very unlucky to have wrist injury plus appendix which ruined 2015 for him


tennisGuy Says:

As a fan of the game, first,and a fan of Nole’s, also, I and many of Nole’s fans don’t like to see Rafa’s struggles. Just a question for Giles, does it look like Nole needs to fake anything? Can you make yourself look any dummber pal??? Truly like and wish Rafa well but have no sympathy for such overt haters like you! Burn in your misery.


Pauly Says:

Chrisford1

Djokovic can be beaten … He’s not unbeatable
Nadal can beat him on clay again if he plays his best
Federer Wawrinka Murray can beat him also
As for bad match up ???
I’m not convinced it’s more like one player is playing too well for the other player to Come back !
Nadal is finished I think it’s sad but instead if him being happy about finishing second always it’s time he got angry & helped himself

New coach


Gypsy Gal Says:

Pauly i agree with everything your saying,and i agree with another poster called Michaels whos a Novak fan,when hes says theres no player on tour that is much of a challenge for him,Rafas too slow now,Andys a mental midget,and Federers too old,Stan hmm maybe can beat him here or there?….


Gypsy Gal Says:

TennisGuy i left you a reply to the post you left me on the Novak Arabic thread,just wondered if you had read it?….


Gypsy Gal Says:

Pauly i think Rafa needs some distance from Novak,and not practice with the guy and be so damn friendly with him,it irritates the hell out of me,he needs to be less respectful,and it might just fire him up a bit….


Pauly Says:

Gypsy girl

Thanks for agreeing with me !
I’m not happy for sure but with Rafa I
Feel he can help himself more why is he so stubborn ?
Pat Cash can help him … I’m not joking Pat can improve his serve plus his forehand so if a man doesn’t want help it’s ok keep losing Rafa !
Djokovic at the moment is clearly 10 % better than everyone but only Wawrinka ‘s power can trouble him
For Rafa I think he must fire up or just lose more fans


Pauly Says:

Gypsy Girl

You mean like in 2013 rogers cup match where Rafa was ultra aggressive & hit Djokovic in the throat ?
Agree with you he needs to be aggressive & less respectful


Okiegal Says:

@Pauley 12:23…..I will have to agree with you on the wrist injury and the appendicitis problem. He took antibiotics to put off the surgery. If I remember correctly, he received a lot of flack for playing on…..if he hadn’t played he would still get a boat load of ridicule for “playing” the injury card…..just saying…….


Pauly Says:

He was heckled by the crowd in Doha
It’s just not good enough … He will lose respect & fans over this horrendous performance but Maybe it will prompt him to get new coach


Okiegal Says:

Thanks for the feedback, Pauley. It will probably be on You tube in time and I can hear what went on.


Pauly Says:

To all Rafa fans I say this ” where there’s life there’s hope ”
It’s hard to beat someone is in better form & moves better serves better it’s hard to beat Djokovic !

Personally I think behind closed doors Rafa will be very embarrassed by this humiliation today … Looks like 2016 will only bring him more pain against Djokovic only
As i feel he can beat anyone else this year … Only hope clay Rafa’s last hope in fact lose on clay … It’s time to retire !

This 2016 Rafa isn’t like the RABBIT of 2008 as MARIT SAFIN called him … This Rafa is slower by big way .
What can we expect in Melbourne ?
After today’s performance … NOTHING


Giles Says:

tennisGuy. Exactly right, the faker doesn’t need to fake anything and yet he is sending out stories that his arm and leg are injured. Why does he keep doing this? This is very bad form. One of these days he really will suffer an injury.


Giles Says:

Pauly. Do us a favour and stop your ranting. You are getting too borrrrring!!


AndyMira Says:

I wonder what this new humiliation will do to his newfound confidence?He looks so promising in Asian swing and WTF..what happened to Rafa makes me think how small we are as a human being..when nature calls,whether you ready or not you have to succumbed to it..although some part of me still hoping that he will find magic somewhere..can’t bear to swallow this painful loss anymore..


Pauly Says:

Great speech from Nadal
He didn’t look upset at all
Made big joke saying he found a new coach today
He’s still positive but this loss will be hurting no doubt
Move on to Melbourne
Good luck Rafa


Pauly Says:

Nadal’s best chance of grand slam win is French open
US open is possibility if he is playing his best
Other than that nothing in Melbourne & forget Wimbledon
I can’t see anyone other than Wawrinka beating Djokovic


Wog Boy Says:

Just woke up to find out results, it looks like this was a real massacre, didn’t expect that result.
Commiserations to Rafa fans, real and good Rafa fans on TX that I respect very much, but no commiserations to miserable lousy haters and pricks like that creature called Giles, I am enjoying watching you rolling and chocking in your own filth and suffering, if I am to see you drowning I would throw you a rock to get you out of your messy and how about Nole is not loved but Rafa got heckled in Doha, no?

Now I can go to back to bed… I Feel Good..


Wog Boy Says:

^^ “misery” and not “messy”


Gordon Says:

Where are all the up and comers in the men’s game?

Of the 12 top ranked guys 9 of them will have turned 30 by the end of this year. The other three? Djokovic and Murray will be 29 and Nishikori will be 27.

I find it hard to believe a 17 or 18 year old can now – in this era – tear through a slam and win it the way Sampras, Becker and Nadal did in the past. The game has truly evolved.

—————

On an unrelated note – moderators: use of the word ‘rape’ the way it has been immaturely posted in comments in here should be grounds for deleting these comments. Are you guys asleep at the switch?


jane Says:

Coric is the first teen to reach a final since Cilic in 2008, Gordan. Also Thiem just played Fed in semis of Brisbane. And Kyrgios just did great at Hopman. The up and comers are coming. It will be interesting to see how they – as well as Dimitrov, Milos and Kei – do this year.


Wog Boy Says:

jane,

Something tells that this will be the breakthrough year, I am not talking about Dimitrov, Kei…I am talking about Kyrgios, Thiem, Zverev even Tomic, maybe Kokkinakis, maybe Raonic, they are ready to step in, this is probably the last year of big four as we know and call them, as for Dimitrov, Kei and likes, they are lost generation, Gulbis couldn’t even qualify for Brisbane!


jane Says:

Yeah I have a feeling a sea change is coming too Wog boy. You forgot Coric on your list though. He is a fighter. A hungry one. I think he has a good future too.


Wog Boy Says:

^^Put Coric too with Kyrgios, Thiem, Zverev, they will be the ones we will be talking about in the years to come.


jane Says:

Totally agree 😊


Wog Boy Says:

Two players I wouldn’t like to see in Nole’s half for AO are Kyrgios and Tomic, they are twice as dangerous when they play in Australia.


Gypsy Gal Says:

I doubt either could take 3 sets off a player thats been almost invincible at the AO,Nole is the nearest thing to what Rafa is/was has been at the FO….


Daniel Says:

I think Bartoli was right with her statement last year, Nadal just lack power. The rally he won was when he was able to hit a counter attack or wrong foot Novak, but he won very few rallies with explosion and raw power. Plus he is not fast as before and older and with more weak serve and this results versus Novak happens.

Seems the 7th straight losses to Djoko in 2011/12 will be topped real soon,currently on 5all in straight sets with only 1 set going 7-5. Also, lost 9 of the last 10.


Wog Boy Says:

“And Nadal hasn’t even gotten to four games in the last six sets he’s played against Novak! That’s damn good.”

Sean, make it eight sets..


Wog Boy Says:

I like the way how Daniel politely reminds “us” on Nadal results against Nole;)


Ahfi Says:

Hi,

It’s been a long while. Can we all now finally agree that at this point in time, there is simply no challenge to Djoko? He is either just at his best right now or continuing to work very hard day by day. The last time I said there was no challenge to Djoko unless certain people pull up their socks, there were people who said ‘no’ and that there was Andy, Wawrinka etc. The challenge simply does not exist. Wawrinka might be able to defeat occasionally and the same with Fed – He might beat Djoko on occasion. The only bad news that might come Djoko’s way is if at the earlier stages of a grand slam, one of those ‘tomato cans’ (as somebody described above – don’t like the term at all), upsets him on his bad day. But what are the chances? I sure don’t think he is going to win all four slams this year but at the same time, I couldn’t imagine how it will happen that he will lose any one of them. I can’t play that scenario in my head even if I wanted to. I can’t imagine the ‘culprit’ who will upset Djoko at the early stages of a slam at this point…


Chrisford1 Says:

Not sure if campus rape politics should make “rape” the new N-word never said. Replaced by more PC language like “assaulted sexually”. Or if sports language should now be censored to eliminate use of words that substitute beating a player – with criminal terms. Like “he was robbed”, team was murdered, the coach was all buggered. Is it too offensive to now say Manchester United is having a “”rape and pillage the rest season, or Saturday at Wimbledon saw “some bloody massacres”?? And if rape is too brutal a thing to ever be used casually, is the terminology of the graver crime of 1st degree murder also in need of being censored out of use???
Or words of disability? Like “_______ had the victory in the bag (from the game bag that legally or illegally murdered animals are stuffed into)” but then the team was “crippled” (a term now very offensive to the differentially abled by some “cretinous” (code for retarded) decisions. Or “Rooney looked as awkward on the pitch recently as a duck trying to hump/rape/sexually assault a football.”

The language of sportsfans and writers often goes into hyperbole and florid exaggeration. Like comics – who are now communicating seriously that campuses are so serious about the “crime” of offending that few want to go on campus for a show. Somehow, jokes and terms comics use that make anyone uncomfortable or indignant as ‘microaggressions violating their safe space’ have become un-PC and therefore racist/sexist/reek of privilege.

My take is that if Messi screws 3 unwilling and ashamed defenders with his footwork, he did just that in a florid, purple prose figurative sense – and it should be written that way.


Wog Boy Says:

I completely forgot, it was no way Nole could’ve lost this match, it was name day of his son Stefan, St Stefan The Archdeacon is on January the 9th Julian calendar.


Tennisfan Says:

Well its no surprise- Novak is in his peak, Rafa has passed his.


Pauly Says:

Giles
Haters aren’t good … You really bore everyone just accept everyone’s comments & stop hating !

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