Vamos Rafa!
by Sean Randall | April 30th, 2006, 11:07 pm

Is there anyone who can beat Rafael Nadal on clay? After last week in Monte Carlo the kid follows up by winning in Barcelona today to up his current clay win streak to 47 straight.

More importantly, he’s placed himself head and shoulders above anyone else on the surface, Sir Roger Federer included. ADHEREL

The Barcelona win was nearly a foregone conclusion – though he did have to overcome a set and 4-1 deficit to Niemenin – but it was his Monte Carlo performance that sent the message to the rest of the tennis world that he is still the No. 1 man on dirt. Just ask Roger.

Federer entered that match talking up that he had figured out Nadal’s “one dimensional” game. Well, that didn’t happen as the Spanish Bull sent a flurry of heavy topspins to that Federer backhand and the mighty Swiss couldn’t cope, again.

For the record, that’s four wins for Nadal and just one for Federer in their head-to-head meetings. Fed’s lone win of course came when Nadal blew a two set and a break lead in the Miami final last year, otherwise it would be 5-0 Nadal beat down.

Andy Roddick knows a thing or two about being on the wrong end of a head-to-head. Now Fed does too…Ha.

Wimbledon prize money made headlines this week. The stodgy folks at the AELTC decided again that the men are worth more than the ladies offering up $53,000 more to the men’s champ than the women’s. The WTA of course is in uproar including Venus Williams who says “At Wimbledon we would like to have equal prize money to prove that we are equal on all fronts.”

Okay Venus, then play best of five sets. Then you’ll be equal. Till then, shut up and be happy you don’t have to play that chain smoker Karsten Braasch ever again.

Actually, if anything the men should boycott.

Consider that the ATP total prize money offered for 2006 is just over 60 million dollars while the WTA gals are playing for around 40 million (both figures minus Slams). So with that, the WTA is 20 million behind in the marketplace. Why? Answer: Because they are NOT equal.

If they were equal (or better) as some WTA players contend then the corporate marketplace would dictate that and the WTA would be getting equal or more sponsorship money. But they are not. Not even close for that matter.

So until the WTA offers equal or more total prize money than the men, the women should just be grateful for what the Slams do give them.

Always remember: “It’s the economy stupid!”

One last note: Ivan Ljubicic No. 3 in the world. Scary…


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7 Comments for Vamos Rafa!

Sunny Says:

I’m pretty sure that most tennis fans are bored beyond limit by the best of 5 sets matches men play. It looks so unfunny and makes TV viewers switch channels to more exciting sports, like for example, women’s tennis, which uses best of 3 sets format. Till Roger Federer and Nadal came, men’s tennis was too boring with only Agassi trying to fight the personality deficiency syndrome afflicting it since the departure of Becker, Connors and McEnroe.

In fact, women should be paid atleast 1/5th more than what men are paid because without them tennis would have been dead a long time ago.

In a market economy, earnings are determined by the market share, and I bet women’s tennis is more popular than men’s tennis.

rjnick Says:

As disgusted as Venus and Sharapova claimed to be over the whole money issue, I didn’t see either one of them refuse their sizable checks that the club gave them when they won. If they don’t like it, then they shouldn’t participate or support the tournament. In fact, I think most of the top women would support a boycott. After all, pulling out of tournaments and disappointing fans is what stars on the WTA do best.

Lucy McMorris Says:

Women should not play best of 5 – the men should play best of 3. I HATE 5 set matches. Too many times you get 6-4, 6-2, 6-7, 6-1. Or it goes 5 set with people puking on the court. I like watching a tennis match, not a boxing match.

rudi Says:

It is not the length of a match that makes it boring, it is the quality of the competition, the level of the players. The performance of the women at some recent Slams was way below par, not value for money. Eg., Justine at the Aus. Open ’06, Pierce in ’05, and Dementieva in ’04 at the Fr. Open. The men should protest.

Charles Says:

People who don’t appreciate the values of five set matches are usually those who have not played at the end of a long tennis game. The ability to have the determination to play on and ignore all the physical ailments near the end of the match is what I believe ultimately determines the winner. The desire would be undermined if it was only limited to three sets. The suspense is amazing in the fifth set. Have we forgotten the amazing Sampras-Agassi quarterfinal match in-which Sampras won 6-7, 7-6, 7-6, 7-6 in what is considered to be one of tournament’s all-time greatest matches, not to mention the recent US Open where the US men were adequately represented. I do believe the level of play has indeed fallen a little, however the faith I have of a revival becomes stronger each time I watch Nadal’s now renowned fist pump. I wish I had those biceps.

jkfan Says:

If you asked experts to name the 10 most memorable matches in tennis history…ALL TEN of them would be ones that lasted 4 or 5 sets.

Enough said.

Anonymous Says:

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