Ferrero Does the Unthinkable, Beats Nadal on Clay

by Sean Randall | May 7th, 2008, 11:18 pm

Has there ever been a more forgotten former World No. 1 than Juan Carlos Ferrero? Just after the turn of this century Ferrero was not just the King of Clay, he was the King of Tennis, winning the French Open, reaching the US Open final and then a few weeks later finally ascending to the No. 1 Ranking. But then poof, just like that he’s gone. ADHEREL

Today Ferrero had his biggest win since his No. 1 days, beating the unbeatable Rafael Nadal at Rome on a clay surface on which Rafa had lost just once in his last 103 outings and never on the Foro Italico. That’s now changed after a convincing 7-5, 6-1 setback to Ferrero.

I took notice of the score at 4-4, and finally began watching the match online once the second set got underway. Ferrero was playing really well, pushing Nadal around the court. But Rafa was hitting the ball surprisingly short, and Ferrero took full advantage punishing Nadal with an assortment of angles and really attacking the forehand wing to open the court up.

It was a great strategy employed by Ferrero and it paid off in the end. A much deserved victory for JCF who I admired when he was at the top many years ago. So I’m glad to see him back in the spotlight again and I hope he can follow through.

Of course then there’s the issue of Nadal’s blister, and if you caught the match on TV or online no doubt it was there (nice to see the camera to really focus in on that one, glad I wasn’t eating anything while I was watching. Nothing spells ratings like a close-up of a gash in someone’s foot!)

Nadal was quick to say afterward he wasn’t 100% due to the blister which he says first surfaced Sunday. To his credit, Nadal gave it a go and finished out the match. Despite the circumstances, for Ferrero it’s still a great win. He still had to hit the shots and he did. And Ferrero mentioned he too was battling an injury, an adductor problem. So maybe the injuries cancel each other out, that’s one way to look at it!

At the end of the day though it’s tough to draw much from the result given the injury to Rafa. I don’t really buy the argument that Rafa’s loss will be a blessing, giving him time for more rest. Rest is fine the week before the tournament, but right now I’m sure he’d rather be playing and winning matches, not worrying about his feet.

And the loss probably won’t have much of an impact in the locker room. Apart from Ferrero gaining some needed confidence I don’t think guys will suddenly think Rafa’s beatable.

As for the rest of the tournament, the door is now wide open for someone to steal a big-time title and grab some precious points. Roger Federer and his newfound drop shot are now the clear-cut favorite to win in my mind. Fed blitzed Canas yesterday and with Ferrer also getting bounced today I think his path is pretty cushy until the semifinals where I think he’ll run into Nicolas Almagro – sorry, still not believing in Novak just yet – or maybe even Igor Andreev (yeah, I’ll probably have to eat my words but…).

With Nadal exited, the bottom half is up for the American taking. Say what?? It’s a stretch but could we get a Andy Roddick-James Blake semifinal? Heck, they each need just two match wins to do it. Now if that wouldn’t set the clay game back a few hundred years I don’t know what would? (Actually I do know, an Ivo-Roddick final.) Okay, not likely to happen but that fourth quarter is really a coin flip with Ferrero, Blake, Fernando Verdasco and Stan Wawrinka. Roddick will have is hands full with either Tommy Robredo or Nikolay Davydenko that is if he gets by the last Italian standing, Simone Bolelli.

So an eventful start to Rome and at the very least we’ll have some new faces (or a face) in the final. It is also the first time since 2003 Hamburg that Rafa’s played a clay Masters Series event without reaching at least the final. Perhaps a sign of things to come for Rafa? Not just yet.

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71 Comments for Ferrero Does the Unthinkable, Beats Nadal on Clay

张奔斗 Says:

Hoorah! Finally, someone downs Nadal on the red stuff. Now that Ferrero has done it, could Federer be the next?

张奔斗 Says:

Although I have to say that if everyone is perfectly healthy and normal, I don’t see anyone, the Fed included, beating Nadal on clay. However, mishaps/accidents/miracles do happen. Rafa is human and could get tired, injured or sick at any time.

If you want something really really badly and you give your all to pursue it, sometimes God hears you and grants you a well-earned miracle. Could this be the Fed’s year at the French Open? We’ll find out in a few weeks.

Sean Randall Says:

And how could I forget, my picks! Sorry, I know how so many love to rip my selections and probably make a bundle doing the opposite so from here on…

As I wrote I think Fed wins this event. I not convinced of Novak’s form, etc., and in some spite I’ll go with Almagro to get the semis to face the Swiss.

Bottom half, I now think the Roddick-Davydenko winner gets to the final, and i had (gulp!) Roddick winning that one earlier. So I’ll stick with it.

And in the last quarter. I’ll root for Ferrero but I don’t like this adductor injury he’s talking about. I think Verdasco should beat Blake, who’s like a right handed version of himself. And I’ll lean to Verdasco to somehow make it to the semifinals and of course lose to Roddick. (Poor Stan, he’s also the odd man out.)

Sounds completely insane, a Fed-Roddick final in Rome. Imagine if Roddick wins. Okay, hold that thought.

Freaky Frites Says:

A Roddick-Fed final! That’s taking Andy’s post-engagement run of luck a bit far, but I admire your chutzpa.

I hate to say it because I have a huge crush on Fernando Verdasco, but I just don’t see him making it past Blake. As you say, their games are similar, but (oddly enough) you gotta give Blake a sizeable mental advantage. Blake’s no Rafa, but almost anyone (bar Gasquet?) has a mental edge over the crash and burn Verdasco.

What about Gonzo? You don’t see him as a dark horse?

I just pray it’s not a Novak v. Kolya in the final.

JasonX Says:

It has been particularly weird this year with all three top players crashing out of first match in different torneys. However, it certainly made this year more interesting than the last few years. I wonder who will come out on top in the end. I’m cheering for federer.

Spirit Says:

QUOTE:”It was a great strategy employed by Ferrero and it paid off in the end. A much deserved victory for JCF who I admired when he was at the top many years ago. So I’m glad to see him back in the spotlight again and I hope he can follow through.”

He can’t follow through, he’s gone. Maybe Ferrer (without trailing o) can beat a “real” Nadal on clay under some circumstances, but Ferrero just “took a shot at a dead horse”, and that’s all. I can also beat Nadal on clay when his hands are tied to his back.

Just for a record, I’m a big fan of Fed.

bearbee_malaysia Says:

u r just lucky because of nadal’s blister…dont be so happy lah..u will not win also…i hope carlos moya can win!!!

steamrollin_fed Says:

Carlos Moya, as he been prone to doing lately, crashed out again early in this tournament. Don’t expect him to do much when he’s losing to people like Sam Querrey (who, granted, is playing some of his best tennis — but he’s still an American hard-courter).

I like Fed’s chances if he keeps his level of play up…

Dr. Death Says:

What interesting news to wake up to and clearly another first class tournament for us fans to enjoy.

张奔斗 – Mr. Zhang – where are you joining us from?

Let me point out that while I mentioned “legs” holding up for Nadal – and the feet are attached to the legs, I would seriously welcome any reports as to the exact cause of this. All tennis players are acutely aware of the blister problem. I am reminded of some old line “feet, don’t fail me now”. Clearly, that happened to Nadal. Sneakers, socks, or a combo. It’s gets mighty hot inside those things.

For the amateur player, my recommendation is Under Armour thin socks, followed by Thorlo tennis socks. The double layer provides a good deal of protection and those two brands are about the best.

(Shawn – sorry to mention actual brands; it sounds like a commercial. Edit me out if necessary and get those two companies as sponsors.)

Dr. Death Says:

Hi All – this was on Bloomberg Sports of all places.

NOTE -this is NOT a Davis Cup boycott; it is just the Spanish players reaction to where the Cup match will be hosted. The players are boycotting the promotions.

Sounds like A-Roditis to me!

May 7 (Bloomberg) — Rafael Nadal and seven other Spanish players are boycotting national tennis federation promotions amid reports their Davis Cup semifinal against the U.S. will be held at relatively high altitude that may help the Americans.

The players, including former No. 1-ranked Juan Carlos Ferrero, said in a statement today they had been let down by federation president Pedro Munoz because the planned site in Madrid will favor the faster-serving American team. Munoz declined to comment today in a federation statement.

Because Madrid is 600 meters (1,969 feet) above sea level, Andy Roddick’s 150 mile-per-hour (241 kilometers-per-hour) serve would be faster. A higher altitude would allow the ball to travel faster because of less air pressure.

Duc Minh Says:

I am a big fan of federer and i always believe federer can win the clay title . And when nadal loses , i think federer will win . When nadal is in the final , i think federer have a good chance , not a small chance . Fed always plays badly when he play with nadal and i surprise . Hopfully , nadal will recover to prepare to play in the final with federer

bearbee_malaysia Says:


bearbee_malaysia Says:

i’m sure nadal will be world no 1 sooooooon….

Questions Says:

You suggest that perhaps the injuries cancel each other out. This is what Ferrero was lightly implying in the heat of the moment of victory.

I don’t buy this at all regarding yesterday’s match.

I fully agree with Nina Rota’s reading on this (see his post about an hour after your article, on ‘Most valuable network’). He writes about why Nadal chose to play out a match in much pain, a match he knew in advance he couldn’t possibly win.

Let me just add to Nina’s lucid writing that if the injuries were roughly equal you would have seen Ferrero playing much below his usual level on clay… clearly Nadal was playing WAY below his own usual level.

Dave B Says:

I don’t know about you but I’m still in a state of schock about Nadal’s loss. He seemed sure to steamroll his way to another victory. I just wish he had waited until the quarter finals or semis to bail out.

fed is afraid Says:

when rafa is heathly, no one can beat him on clay.

fed is afraid Says:

healthy, sorry.

jane Says:

Questions – Nina, for the record, is a woman, and thus not a “he”. But you’re right; she’s a great writer. I read the MVN columns regularly – Nate’s is good too.

jane Says:

Sean –

I’d like to see Almagro do well here, as he can’t seem to break through in a bigger event. Almagro lost to Andreev in Monte Carlos, and Novak has just defeated Andreev, so I’m not sure if that foretells anything, but…

I am curious what it is in Novak’s form that you don’t trust? Yes, he retired against Fed due to strep throat, but up until he did, it was a good quality match. Is there something in Novak’s game that looks weak at the moment?

I do think, should Fed and Novak meet again in the semis, that it’ll be a good match, but I think on clay Fed will come through. Roger played exceptionally well against Novak at MC.

With Rafa gone, there is a sense that anything could happen. Maybe not Roddick winning the whole thing, but.

JasonX – good point: now all of the top 3 guys have crashed out of a tournament early; it does open up the possibilities, if nothing else.

JDC Says:

No faith in Djok? Last year’s French Open semi is proof enough that he can play on clay … a greater accomplishment than anything Amalgro has on his resume.

Blake and Roddick to meet … only two more wins for each? Neither usually wins two matches in an entire clay event. Two more for each, after already winning in the early rounds … good luck.

jane Says:

Freaky Frites –

Gonza can’t be a dark horse if he’s not in the tournament; he pulled out with a leg injury, so.

jane Says:


Djok played 2 hours & 42 minutes against Andreev and is coming off antibiotics and that bout with strep throat; he looked tired in the 2nd set today, though he bounced back in the 3rd. But Andreev couldn’t convert on his chances (or Djok did a good job of saving, depending on perspective).

Now Almagro has a walkover with the Gonza withdrawal, and we know walkovers can either help or hinder a player: Almagro will either come in blasting and rested, whereas we know Djoko will be fatigued given the long match & illness. OR Almagro will be thrown off rhythm and Djoko will be match-ready.

Only time will tell.

Roger shouldn’t have any problem getting past Step, and his chances are good against either Djok or Almagro, so with Nadal out, this tourney will likely be Fed’s for the taking. Unless Davy or Ferrero rise to the occasion.

jane Says:

REALLY nice to see Blake come back from behind and pull out a tight match against Verdasco. Also great to see Andy Roddick fight back from a break down to even the first set against Bolelli. Maybe Sean’s onto something…?

Sean Randall Says:

Jane, Blake will have a good chance against either Ferrero or Wawrinka. Not impossible especially if Ferrero is less than 100% with his adductor.

As for Verdasco, who in my mind is the Spanish version of Blake, the guy has to be one of the biggest underachievers on the circuit.

Djokovic-Almagro will be a good one. I still like Almagro.

Bolelli had Roddick in his grasp but he’s let Andy back in. I still like Roddick. We’ll see how the tiebreaker unfolds. Andy’s been playing them well this year.

jane Says:

Well, the tiebreak has unfolded, and Roddick prevailed, AND he’s still up a break in the second. If Andy can maintain his momentum, which he should be able to, there will be two Americans in the quarters of a clay Masters Series.

Who says Americans can’t play on clay?

Dan Martin Says:

I know JCF finished 2003 as #3 in the world behind Federer and Roddick, but I think he had the best year in 2003. Had he finished 2003 #1, he might not have been as forgotten.

Dr. Death Says:

Jane – must be that hard clay – Roddick won. Must be the altitude – Rome is 43 ft to 394 ft above sea level.

Von Says:


“Blake and Roddick to meet … only two more wins for each? Neither usually wins two matches in an entire clay event. Two more for each, after already winning in the early rounds … good luck.

From where did you get your info about Roddick on clay, he’s been in the SF and QF in Rome.

Roddick played a very patient, professional match today. He threw everything he had at Bolelli and stayed in the long rallies. Good job Andy!!

Von Says:

Sean Randall:

Will you be writing an article on the recent development in Davis Cup on the Spanish Boycot regarding the Federation’s choice of venue?

derrick Says:

The guy who wrote this article is smoking crack like Ferrero. Its obvious to even Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles that Rafa was suffering bad and thats the only reason JCF won

To prove a point he is sure to be out in next round.

What should be applauded is the fact that he went out like a champion. He finished unlike Novak with Fed. So lame.

Either way I do want Rafa to win French again and Wimbledon.
If Fed never wins another grand slam thats fine with me.

Dr. Death Says:

“I wish you was a wishing well so I could tie a bucket to ya and sink ya”

Sean Randall Says:

Von, negative on the Spanish boycott. I’m not really familiar with any of it, but if it’s in effect the week before the tie then I’ll post about. We are too far out right now.

Derrick, did you even read my post or just the headline? Let me guess, just the headline.

Jane, Monte Carlo and Rome actually set up well for the Americans. They have zero pressure, zero expectations and if they get good draws – like Roddick and Blake did this week – then the pressure shifts to the opponents to not lose to an American on red clay! Look at what Sam did in MC.

Neither Robredo nor Davy are great pressure players, and they will be expected to beat Roddick tomorrow. And that’s a great spot for Roddick to be in.

jane Says:

Ferrero is out; Davy was down a break in the third but just broke back. Roddick’s chances of getting to another semi here are looking v.good; I agree with Sean about that.

Wawrinka, however, is a tough customer, so Blake will have his hands full; Blake lost to Wawrinka at the French last year.

I am sure I am one of the few people who actually thinks this, but imo Rafa shouldn’t have even played yesterday – not with those blisters. I don’t see it as heroic that he played that match, mainly because I don’t like to see players suffering, nor do I like to see them playing below their level due to injury or illness. (I hated watching Samprass and Murray vomiting on the court too – I mean if you’re sick, as Von said once, “stay in bed!”)

Rafa should’ve skipped Barcelona. He overdid it last year, too, when he played Stuggart after injuring his knees at Wimbledon. I understand about the bad schedule, and I am a fan of his (I like him immensely), but / therefore, I’d prefer to see him around for the long haul than see him fight out one match when he’s clearly hurt. He wouldn’t have lost *that* many points had he skipped Barcelona, and now he’s out in the second round here, so.

Tennis-Clearwater Says:

The real unthinkable was taking out Nadal and then losing the next round. Maybe Wawrinka will make good and reach the final. Imagine an all Suisse final. hmmmmm

andrea Says:

i noticed that novak’s match against almagro is scheduled to be really late – no doubt giving him time to recover. if almagro pushes him (and i think he will) but doesn’t win, i sense another retiring against fed (who i see as beating stepanek at this point); although he must know he will be stoned by the media if he does that.

interesting about the spanish players and the boycott. it seems rather unsportsmanlike to be complaining about venue choice based sheerly on the (presumed) competitive advantage it gives non spanish players. i’ve never heard quibbling about what ‘level above sea level’ tournaments are played at??? what’s next….sheesh.

Von Says:


“The real unthinkable was taking out Nadal and then losing the next round.”

My sentiments as well. I just dislike it when a player puts out as much as Juan Carlos did yesterday, and then goes down in the next round. He did all of the hard work for the others. Who said life was fair.

Btw, I visited your site — very informative. I’m your neighbor – Hello from Tarpon Springs.



If you can recollect I had stated that players have a choice, and that is to choose their bodies over ranking points. The long term picture and longevity is what counts — not the short-term rewards. However, this wisdom comes with age. The old addage: “Youth is wasted on the young”, prevails here.

Sean Randall:

Hey guy, you’re slipping up! You’re supposed to be in the know, akin to the Enquirer. :) Anyway, it seems that Roddick has instilled fear in the upcoming DC tie opposing team, and is the subject/object of the venue — my guy still has some oomph and is in the mix. Ya can’t keep a good man down! :)

PJ Says:

I’m shocked (and impressed) that Roddick and Blake are in the quarters. I thought, “OK, Roddick beat Fish, no big deal.” But, it was a nice win over Bolleli. I’ll be very surprised if he beats Robredo. Nice win for James, too, over Verdasco.

Von Says:


Roddick owns Robredo — H2H 7-0 Roddick; however, I don’t know if they ever played on clay. Robredo had to put out a lot of energy in his match against Davydenko, and tiredness coupled with the H2H in Roddick’s favor might have a huge impact. We’ll see.

jane Says:

Von, thanks for the correction; I apologize if I misquoted you, but I knew you’d said something somewhat related to what I was saying about Rafa’s injury and playing schedule.

Great day for Roddick!

jane Says:

PJ – Roddick has a 7-0 H2H against Robredo, including a quarter final win, here, at the Rome Master Series in 2002.

Will history repeat itself 6 years later?

jane Says:

correction to my earlier post “Unless Davy or Ferrero rise to the occasion.” Clearly they’ve not risen to the occasion. So who will come out that side of the draw? I guess it’s Robredo or Roddick and Blake or Wawrinka. I hope it’s Roddick… I’d love to see him get to a clay final.

Von Says:


You didn’t misquote me, and no need to apologize. I did also mention if a player is sick: “Stay in bed”,in addition to what I wrote in my post. Two heads are better than one. :)

I also would like to see Andy get to the final. He’s done well in Rome in the SF and QF, but I can’t remember him playing against Robredo on clay. I was rooting so hard for Robredo to win (for selfish reasons; the H2H) and he kept me tense until the last point. We’ll see what happens tomorrow; Andy should be the fresher of the two.

zola Says:

***I am sure I am one of the few people who actually thinks this, but imo Rafa shouldn’t have even played yesterday – not with those blisters***

I completely agree. I don’t know how he thought he could play when he was not even able to practice. MAybe after reactions to Djoko’s retirements, he didn’t want to be out with excuses. Or maybe he thought he could finish this match quickly. In fact he had 5 break points and could have done that if Ferrero did not play that well.

And Ferrero went out to Wawrinka today. I am starting to like Wawrinka, the quiet force creeping up the ladder. IS he playing Blake next? Tough match for Blake, unless Stan is very tired.

Roddick’s press conference was very funny. No one can outwit him and I like it. ***Either Ask smart questions or shut up!****

Yes, Rafa could skip Barcelona, but ATP could have not taken that one week rest because of college Basketball as well. The primary party at fault is ATP who throws these rocks on the players year after year.

What should a clay court player do? abandon one of the only 3 master series? Just because some idiot prefers watching micky mouse over sitting and thinking the calendar through?

I think Rafa would have dropped out of HAmburg if he would go deep here. It works well for you to say ” they have a choice between their body and ranking points”. I am sure if the same choice was presented for Roddick, you would have not been pleased with it and would have protested it.

zola Says:

sorry or the long ramble above. Just one more point.

Players should be able to play their game without struggling with the tennis politics and calendar and without being made to chose between their health and ranking points. It is not fair by anyone’s meausre. Like they tell people you have to work 150 hours a week or resign. choose between your health and your salary. That’s what ATP is doing and that’s just insane.

jane Says:

Andy did play Robredo on clay, Von, in 2002, and he won. So that’s good stuff.

I just read that this is the first time two Americans have made the quarters of a clay event since that same year – 2002 – when I think both Roddick and Agassi were in the quarters.

Von Says:


“I am sure if the same choice was presented for Roddick, you would have not been pleased with it and would have protested it.”

We debated this to ying yang and I mentioned that I didn’t think the calendar was fair. If Roddick had the same problem, yes, I would have wanted him to NOT play, instead of playing and then become injured for several weeks. I look at long-term results, not short-term.

You’re angry about Rafa’s problem with the clay season and rightly so; but, just because I stated my opinion does not mean that you should make me the focal point of your anger. Your anger is displaced and you could vent through a better medium than me — write a very lengthy letter to ATP stating all of your frustrations, and I’m sure after you’ve done that you’ll feel a lot better. Or, another alternative would be as I was taught in Psychology, write a letter to a nameless person, vent, curse, whatever would make you feel better, read it, and then destroy it. It works wonder, BUT, I’m not the one who should be at the receiving end of your anger. It is out of concern for Nadal and his health, that’s why I stated my opinion. Believe me, I thought long and hard before doing so, because I knew you would be on my heels and would not let up. I’m very sorry about Rafa’s predicament and your anger, and I hope you can find a way to channel it so that you can have a brighter outlook on the whole situation. Remember, weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes in the morning — good days are ahead. Cheer up.

rogers twin sister Says:

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! SEAN picks Fed to win??? Fed is doomed!

While I’m here, congrats to Ferrero, but I feel really bad for Nadal. Never mind, Rafa, there’s always Hamburg, and Roland Garros is your house!

zola Says:

calm down!
I am not angry at anyone. Tennis is my hobby, its not my life!

Those are not angry words.I am just surprised that a logicalperson can make some biased judgements, just because her favorite player is not in danger.

Of course I would rather see Rafa play as long as possible and if it was me, I would have withdrawn from barcelona and AHmburg just at the beginning of the season.

My point was that the party at fault here is ATP with the very bad decisions they make. Today it is crushing the clay players, tomorrow will be the hard court players. Apparently it didn’t go through.

The 2009 is even more crazy. If the players do not participate in the mandatory tournaments, they will lose ranking points. A player has to play at least 19 tournaments ( excluding preparations for AO and Wimbledon).But I guess it is not important right now.

zola Says:

Oh! I forgot!

Sean, please tell me you did not pick Rafa for Rome! or did you?

OK. Open the window right now and look down. On the corener nect to the telephoe booth, do you see those guys in dark suits and glasses? Righty! They will be watching you 24/7. no more Rafa predictions!

Can I beg and plead that you don’t even mention Rafa for RG?

zola Says:

Blake actually played a decent match.
I think one of his strengths is his speed. he is very fast and he is now more confident on clay. It’s a pitty they don’t spend more time on clay. Let’s see how he does tomorrow.Is he playing Robredo?

Von Says:


I think the best thing for me to do is what I wanted to do several days ago, and that is to end the discussion. I thought it was ended. Nothing I say to you will be viewed by you as fair — you feel I’m biased — but I’m not. My explanations and opinions are logical. Did you hear me complain that it was unfair for MC to be scheduled right after Davis Cup, and for that reason Roddick, who was entered in Monte Carlo withdrew? I said nothing. Don’t you think I would have liked to see him play in MC and get some additional ranking points? Of course, but it was not practical and would have been too much physically. This being the case, how can I be thought of as biased? The clay season affected the Americans also, e.g., Roddick, Fish and Blake. Sam Queery did not play in Davis Cup and he was able to play in Monte Carlo.

Please, let’s not argue over this — I respect you and don’t want to have any hard feelings between us. What’s done by ATP is done, and deliberating about it is not going to change the facts. Maybe now Rafa won’t have to skip Hamburg because he will be rested and his foot will be healed. Don’t worry everything will work out for the best. :)

jane Says:


It’s Blake vs. Wawrinka (to whom Blake lost at RG last year) and Roddick vs. Robredo (whom Roddick has always beaten, including in Rome on clay in the quarters in 2002).

Happy watching!

Von Says:

The following is a breakdown of the duration of both the European Clay Court season and the US Hard Court Season.

European Clay Season :
4/21/08 – Monte Carlo MS = 7 days
4/28/08 – Barcelona = 7 days
5/5/08 – Rome MS = 7 days
5/11/08 – Hamburg MS = 7 days
5/18-5/24 – Break before RG = 7 days
5/25/ – 6/8 – Roland Garros = 14 days
duraton of Clay Court Season = 49 days

US hardcourt Season
7/14/08 – Indianapolis = 7 days
7/21/08 – Canada MS = 7 days
7/28/08 – Cincy MS = 7 days
8/4/08 – Los Angeles = 7 days
8/10/08 – Legg Mason, Wash. = 7 days
8/17/08 – New Haven, Conn = 7 days
8/25 – 9/7 US Open = 14 days

Duration of US HC Season = 56 days

♦The Clay Court Season has 6 tournaments in
49 days with one week break before Roland Garros

♦The US Hardcourt Season has 7 tournaments in 56
days without any break before the US Open

♦The difference between the Claycourt Season and the US Hardcourt Season is 7 days allowing for 1 additional tournament on hardcourt.

Von Says:

Errata: The Clay Court season has 5 turnaments in 49 days; instead of 6 tournaments in 49 days.

michael chang Says:

i can beat nadal when he is 100% fit and healthy

adam Says:

nadal will soon vanish from top 10, he’ll never get no.1

adam Says:

clay court is nothing special, american fellow can easily adapt to it. just learn how to slide on it.

jane Says:


My one beef with your great breakdown would have to be that Canada is not in the US. ;-)

Mohan Says:

rafael underestimate his opponent. he thought he can beat ferrero even with injuries. he scare to lose point as he is desparate for world no.1. the more he wanted, the longer he is going to wait.

Mohan Says:

he deserved the loss. yes the tournaments are packed but nobody force him to take part in every tournament. perhaps he can skip the barcelona and hamburg. don’t be greedy for points

Von Says:


****”Von, My one beef with your great breakdown would have to be that Canada is not in the US.”

You’re correct, but we adopted you guys in our North American hard court season, so you’re now part of us. Hello neighbor. :)

Tejuz Says:

“The Clay Court Season has 6 tournaments in
49 days with one week break before Roland Garros

♦The US Hardcourt Season has 7 tournaments in 56
days without any break before the US Open

♦The difference between the Claycourt Season and the US Hardcourt Season is 7 days allowing for 1 additional tournament on hardcourt.”

Von.. The US hard court season consist of only 2 Master’s series in 2 weeks, rest of the tournaments are not compulasary and are mostly not played by top players…. whereas the Clay court season consists of 3 Masters series tourneys in four weeks

Von Says:


The Clay MS has 3 tournaments — MC – a week off, then Rome and Hamburg 2 back to back = 4 weeks.

Considering the bone of contention is the Master Series clay season and the calendar, maybe the ATP should make Legg Mason a Masters Series and scrap IW. Legg Mason is not an easy tournament — the weather is hot as hell; just like Cincy, and the points and money is a mere pittance to an MS. Change the format of Legg Mason (the MS is 64 with a bye for the top 8) and then the problem would be solved. I’m sure Roddick would be happy; (he’s the reining title holder) he’ll obtain more points and money. There would then be Canada and Cincy back to back, a week off or LA (same as Barcelona) and then Legg Mason (a possible/probable MS).

zola Says:

my AMS TV doesn’t work today! quite the unthinkable, but I was able to follow the live scores and Stan won Blake. I am very impressed. A

Estoril is also played the week before MC.

but let’s look at that from the MS point of view. those are mandatory. The rest players can skip:

European Clay Season :
4/21/08 – Monte Carlo MS = 7 days
4/28/08 – week off
5/5/08 – Rome MS = 7 days
5/11/08 – Hamburg MS = 7 days
5/18-5/24 – week off
5/25/ – 6/8 – Roland Garros = 14 days
duraton of Clay Court Season = 49 days ( 3 master series, one GS, one week rest between the last MS and the GS)

US hardcourt Season

7/21/08 – Canada MS = 7 days
7/28/08 – Cincy MS = 7 days
8/4/08 – week off
8/10/08 – week off
8/17/08 – week off
8/25 – 9/7 US Open = 14 days
( two master series, one GS in 56 days!, 3 weeks rest between last MS and the GS)

jane Says:

Zola, too bad you can’t “watch”; I am currently following scores but am waiting for TV

jane Says:

sorry I hit submit by mistake – I’m waiting for TV coverage later today.

I can appreciate that Wawrinka is a very good & steady player, and he’s showing his consistency this year isn’t he? But, while I realize this is totally subjective, I find watching him a bit dull. Show us just a little more personality Stan!

Von Says:


I get your point about the clay MS. ATP WILL have to do something about the calendar and move tournaments around. Unfortunately, this year it’s already carved in stone, and the players will just have to live with it. However, I’m positive that their complaints will engender changes, but we won’t know until later this year what changes will go into effect for 2009. So, here’s to a more player-friendly ATP calendar for 2009!!! :)

zola Says:

unfortunately 2009 is even worse. I hope the complaints by the fans and the players result in some changes, otherwise, more injuries and more withdrawls can hamper the success and popularity of tennis. thanks for the discussion . :)

zola Says:

my ATP TV is doomed! I can’t even watch the free highlights!

I have TVU, but ATP TV has a much better resolution. Hopefully it gets fixed magically by tomorrow!

Poor Stan! I can’t comments on looks, but he is so quiet and the “get the job done” person. Tenniswise, I like his backhand.

Isn’t it the same with Davydenko? He has a great game, but I find myself half asleep if I am watching him playing someone other than Rafa.

Von Says:

Zola and jane:

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Beautiful people always get more attention. Who said life was fair? Both Davy and Stan are just journeymen — not handsome, eye-catching, drop dead gorgeous males. Too bad. :) Their tennis would be more enjoyable — e.g., Safin and Roddick — two handsome hunks — add the turkey tempers and you’ve got personality personified to what exponent?

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