Nadal, Roddick Murray in Same Half at Wimbledon
by Staff | June 19th, 2009, 8:16 am

Seeded outside the Top 4, Andy Roddick was the “x factor” of this year’s Wimbledon draw. In a ceremony this morning, the former World No. 1 landed in top seed Rafael Nadal’s quarter. ADHEREL

Joining Nadal and Roddick in the top half is No. 3 Andy Murray.

French Open champion Roger Federer is the two seed at the bottom of the draw. Federer is seeded to meet Robin Soderling in the fourth round then Fernando Verdasco in the quaterfinals. If Federer wins the title and Nadal slips before the semifinal then the Swiss will return to No. 1.

The third-seeded Novak Djokovic may have Tommy Robredo as his highest seed in the fourth round then Juan Martin Del Potro in the final eight.

Nadal is seeded to face David Ferrer in the 16s followed by Roddick. Murray meets Stanslas Wawrinka before a possible quarterfinal with Gilles Simon.

Nadal and his top half are expected to play on Monday, with Federer’s bottom half on Tuesday.

Nadal is scheduled to play Wawrinka in an exhibition match later this afternoon in Lodon. Afterward the Spaniard is expected announce whether he will be able to defend his title, or withdraw because of his ongoing knee tendonitis.

If Nadal does withdraw today or before the Monday schedule is released, No. 5 seed Del Potro will take his place at the top of the draw with Nicolas Kiefer securing the #33 seed at James Blake’s draw position, with Blake assuming Del Potro’s spot.

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125 Comments for Nadal, Roddick Murray in Same Half at Wimbledon

Dan Martin Says:

The draw is certainly interesting. I think three of the quarters have a lot of the floaters you think could be trouble and some interesting matches (Gulbis – Murray in rd. 2?). However, Rafa’s draw looks particularly odd. Lots of guys who would naturally play long points so they would not be changing patterns to test his knees. Also, Berdych and Roddick in that quarter with the power game to cause issues. A mix of retrievers and blasters. Not what Rafa was looking for I am sure. Clement is long in the tooth, but he is quick and will make Rafa hit lots of balls in rd. 1 and Hewitt in rd. 2 is the same sort of match up. Rafa might have wanted guys who played shorter points early just to keep the real test of his knees later into the draw so he could get as much between match treatment between quick matches as possible. Fed has Karlovic, Kohlschrieber, Soderling and a few other potential tough matches, but he avoided someone like Simon in the quarters (a match I think he’d win on grass btw but not one he would be begging for to be sure). JMDP & Haas in Novak’s quarter. Interesting draw…

Dan Martin Says:

Tsonga is in Fed’s quarter too.

besttitw Says:

Good morning Dan, you are really a early bird. Overall, feel Murray has the best draw

MMT Says:

I think it’s up to Nadal to shorten the points if he needs to, which is a good idea on grass whether he’s injured or not. Anyway, it’s not even confirmed that he’s going to play yet, is it? He plays Wawrinka today and will then make a decision. I suspect we’ll see him at Wimbledon this year.

huh Says:

Roddick should never have been given Dimitrov in the 2nd rd. coz he plays tennis exactly in Federer’s style. And God forbid, if Dimi gets inspired,then it may be a killing 2nd rd. match for Roddick!!! However the only good thing’s Rod’s not in Fed’s

huh Says:

I honestly don’t feel like anyone has been handed an easy draw. Still, if all of the players suddenly hit their top gear, Roddick’ll suffer the most coz he’s got the toughest draw IMO. Dimi in rd 2 shouldn’t have happened to him.

huh Says:

Doesn’t anybody think that it’d have been very interesting to see Fed facing Dimitrov? I was sort of hoping to see that. It’d have been like Old Fed v Young Fed, I sure’d like to think that way !

Von Says:

I’m hoping Roddick gets through to the QFs. I haven’t seen the Dimitrov guy play any matches, and I’m not going to talk about who’s got the easier and/or most difficult draws due to my experience when I commented on the FO draw. That said, may the best man win.

huh Says:

Anyway, first of all…………. GO RODDICK !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shan Says:

JMDP in the semis or final?

huh Says:

Von, I think you’d completely agree with me about Dimi’s playing style if you get to see his clip, he’s unbelievably similar to Fed! Just see his BH and FH while he’s hitting it on run or while standing, he’s just a Fed image in that respect !

huh Says:

Von, I think you’d completely agree with me about Dimi’s playing style if you get to see his clip, he’s unbelievably similar to Fed! Just see his BH and FH while he’s hitting it on run or while standing, he’s just a Fed’s moving image in that respect !

margot Says:

hah huh: now have wonderful picture of u in your bedroom busy blogging, while your poor innocent parents believe u r studying…have u got that “huh” down to a fine art too, a heady cocktail of superiority and incredulity….???
BTW I agree with you re Dimitrov, he’s just fabulous and so talented, head screwed on etc. big article on him in guardianonline if u r interested, oo dear am encouraging u 2 blog…. he’s inexperienced at making the most of his chances and can be very wild, saw him play Simon. give him a couple of years, then wow!

Tennis Freak Says:

Murray is almost secured to reach the finals as there not many big hurdles on his way there. I don’t see anyone from his quarter or half challenging him on grass—Gulbis; Wawrinka or Safin; Gonzalez, Youzhny, Blake, or Simon?

If Roddick gets past 1st 2 rounds (Chardy and Dimitrov), he has real shot at reaching the semi before getting beaten for the 7th time by the Scott and helping him out in his prep. for the final. If Roddick has the real those (more than the pretentious on-court scratching), this is his time to practice the semi with the Scott and win the final.

The 2nd half is more predictable. Federer has Kohls, Tsonga, Verdasco, Monaco in the quarter. In the other quarter of his half, he will get either Djoker, Robredo, Cilic, Haas, or DelPo. The GOAT will be in his tension free, FO success ride, with little resistance on his way to the finals if he gets past Kohls, to deny the Scott a Slam 2nd time (if 3 setter H2H record were to be a factor, it would have worked at the USO ’08). Would Federer not enjoy the moment when no other than his buddy and small goat Sampras hands the BIG GOAT the 15th Slam and 6th SW19 trophy?
How pathetic would it be for a 28 years old to beat the young guns and keep all the trophies to himself? How gutless and shameless have these young guns been? And you call this era an era of competition? An era of competition has not produced and will not produce one-man show. And that’s what it has been, except that “freak of nature” interrupted a few times.

Voicemale1 Says:

before we start analyzing the Draw that’s out, wait to see if nadal pulls out, which is sounding more and more likely. If he does, there will be a reshuffled draw that works like this:

*Nadal’s place in the Draw will be taken over by the 5th Seed, in this case Del Potro.

*Del Potro’s original place in the Draw gets filled by the 17th Seed, James Blake

*Blake’s vacated spot goes to the #33 “seed”, and the Lucky Lose goes into that spot left by #33.

This is according to the London Times. So it could change a few outcomes.

huh Says:

Oops Margot, you’ve caught me red-handed ! But lol, you said exactly what I’m doing now. ;) I know it’s bad to do this to sweet Mom :) and Dad, but I can’t help it coz I’m just crazy about tennis ! Smiles. :) :) :)

MMT Says:

Dmitrov? Boy, oh boy…that’s a stretch. First of all, he’s got to get through Kunitsyn, who’s been a pro since 1999 and is a good athletic Russian with a strong serve and solid strokes on either wing. He is ranked 39 in the world, people, so let’s just hold off on the, “this is so unfair” routine with regards to Roddick. I mean, he’s got a tough enough first round match-up as it as against Chardy who is having the best year of his career so far. He’s a title winner on the challenger circuit, and he hits huge on the serve and forehand.

Personally I like to take the draw one match at a time, and of the top 4 seeds, it seems to me
Nadal clearly has the toughest match up. Clement reached the quarterfinal at Wimbledon last year and was a finalist at the AO, although it was 8 years ago. He’s the highest ranked opponent of any of the top 4 and that alone tells me that’s a a very tough first round draw.

Murray has to get through an American who hits 130mph serves and took Nadal to 5 sets in 2006 – thank you very much. That’s no small task, and please note that Kendrick won a 5 set match in the first round at French Open before going down to Simon in the second. Murray’s the better player, but on any given day, Kendrick could serve his opponent off the court.

Djokovic facing Benneteau is going to be tough, because he’s big and strong and has a good first serve, experienced and very fit. Personally, I don’t know how Djokovic gets through his matches on grass because his strokes are so loopy (especially the forehand) and I don’t think he’s the best serve and volleyer out there, so he won’t get too many quick/free points. But that’s a testament to how good he is in general.

Of the four, I think Federer has the easiest 1st round match up, in Yen-Hsun Lu. Lu is a good player who beat Nalbandian at the Australian this year in the second, and showed some grit, but it’s a very big ask to overcome a 5-time champion in the first round. He’s very quick and has great balance which will help him on grass, but of all the 1st round opponents of the top 4 he has the least experience although Kendrick has a lower rank.

jane Says:

I am not worried about commenting on the draws; sure they play out differently than we speculate sometimes but that still doesn’t stop us from analyzing what we see in front of us.

Anyhow, I know we’re still waiting on Rafa’s decision, but the way I see, his draw is tough! First 2 rounds will be dangerously difficult to navigate if he decides to play.

Same with Roddick’s and Murray’s first two rounds. Roddick will have Chardy, who is an excellent server, and then this new prodigy Dimitrov, who tried very hard to take out Simon at Queens. If Andy’s ankle okay, he should come through, though, as he is more of a big match player.

After the first 2 rounds it gets a bit easier for both Roddick and Rafa.

Murray, meanwhile, has Kendrick, who also can be very hot on fast surfaces, and then he could potentially face Gulbis. These players are perhaps easier to get through in a 5 setter, but both can put up some tough resistance. Murray could then face Taylor Dent (classic s & v) or Troicki (big serve) so he won’t be able to relax.

Djoko has Benneteau out of the gates, so will have to be careful there, and then in the 3rd round he could face Tipsy or Fish. So it’s not easy sailing. He’d have to play well against either of these two.

JMDP has a fairly tough quarter deeper in, including Haas, and then whomever comes out of Querrey, Cilic section.

Federer has an easy first 2 rounds, then he could face Kohls, and maybe F-Lo. But all in all he has the type of players he likes in his section – power hitters. I am hoping we get to see Fed vs. Tsonga again here!

Verdasco could seriously go out in the second round to Mahut, if he is not caution as Mahut is always dangerous at this time of year.

In my opinion, many of these guys will be challenged right out of the gate or shortly thereafter, and we should have some FUN early round matches!

It looks to me like one Andy will face Fed in the finals, but that’s a long ways away. We’ll have to wait and see.

I hope Novak gets to the quarters at least this year. Fingers crossed.

Janadev Says:

What I heard is that Rafa won the first set and is performing much better than yesterday…

Tennis Freak Says:

I agree Kedrick has big serve, and he did push Rafa, almost caused an upset with 2 sets to love lead in ’06 SW19, but the guy, who turned pro in 2000, has won only 1 match in 3 attempts at SW19, since his debut there in 2003. What you forgot to mention is in that same year, Murray double-bageled him on grass at Newport. And you expect him to throw Murray “off the court”? That’s funny.

vared Says:

I am hoping for a Roddick/Nadal meeting.

vared Says:

Headcase Safina lost again in Ordina.

Tennis Freak Says:

In the exhibition match, Nadal beat Wawrinka, 6-4 7-6. Press conference soon to follow.

Tennis Freak Says:

Yes, you are right.
“And Nadal went down 4-6 7-6 (10-3) to Stanislas Wawrinka when he returned to the Hurlingham Club on Friday.”

Ra Says:

Can somebody please explain the score “4-6 7-6 (10-3)” to me?

RaaR Says:

The final 10-3 is a super tiebreak used in some matches (not in ATP tournaments except for doubles) to avoid having to play a third set.

Ra Says:

I’m guessing it’s a 2 set match with a first to 10 tiebreak, but confirmation would be cool.

Ra Says:

Hey, thanks RaaR(?). Much appreciated.

Kimmi Says:

It is a close match that went to a tiebreak, so not too bad for Nadal. But 10-3 tiebreak looks one sided though.

Ra Says:

But wait, were there two tiebreaks (one for the second set and one for the match), then? And, if so, what was the score of the first one? Not that it matters, I guess.

Tennis Freak Says:

Thanks RaaR for clarifying the super tiebreak. Nadal won the first set, 6-4, lost the second set, 6-7, and lost the tie breaker, 3-10, after the second set, which was best of 10 pts. with 2 points margin like in the doubles.

RaaR Says:

I haven’t watched the game but read on twitter that the second set’s tiebreak ended 8-6.

The correct score should be 4-6 7-6(6) (10-3).

Ra Says:

Thanks again, RaaR; 4-6 7-6(6) (10-3) clarifies everything for me.

Dan Martin Says:

I think the draw like Jane said can play out very differently than projected, but it is still fun to look at potential traps and pitfalls. Many of the potential early round matches look very interesting. I don’t think anyone got a huge gift, but Nadal’s draw is not what you want with bad knees. Clement and Hewitt will extend points as would Ferrer if they play in the rd of 16(?). That is 3 matches with long points just to reach a quarter. With good knees Nadal would love to play some patient players as he could groove his game and really it is hard to see someone beating a healthy Nadal with a retriever strategy. So it is draw plus situation I guess.

skeezerweezer Says:

FYI everyone from the official wimby site

“Rafael Nadal has called a press conference for 19:00 to announce whether he will defend his Wimbledon title. We will cover the announcement live on

When is 19:00( sorry, never in the military ) at what time zone they are talking about I assume is London?

I’m out.

Andrew Miller Says:

It is a blessing to have Dimitrov in Rd 2, if the kid makes it that far.

If so, it would be a preview of a possible final with Federer. If Roddick gets through Dimitrov and plays him hard, he will get some practice for Federer.

skeezerweezer Says:


For you:
– Roger Federer and Marat Safin practice together at Wimbledon today.

Dan Martin Says:

Safin is a big guy.

RaaR Says:

skeezerweezer: 19h00 BST is in about 40 minutes time.

jane Says:

Love the lovely Safin! Thanks for the photo.

vared Says:

Dima vs Dancevic
Razzano vs Wozniaki

jane Says:

Well great to see one Canadian get to the finals. Is Dancevic in the Wimbledon draw? He should be as he took out Nalby last year, and now he’s in the finals of a grass tournament. Anyhow will go check.

Here’s a link for Murray fans:

jane Says:

Dancevic is in Verdasco’s section and could face Karlovic if he gets by Darcis. Not an easy draw for him. But at least he’s in his first finals this season.

Shan Says:

Dancevic is in the draw

MMT Says:

Jane, Dancevic is in the draw and he’s in Federer’s quarter – he plays Steve Darcis of Belgium in the first round.

Dan, Nadal got a tough first round regardless of his knees. But while we’re on the subject – any match on grass is much easier on the knees than any other surface because you have to take smaller less weight bearing steps just to stay on your feet, whereas hard courts (and to some degree clay courts) return almost every ounce of force your body exerts on the surface. If he had bad knees before the AO or the US Open he’d be in much bigger trouble.

And Tennis Freak: I don’t think I ever said I “expect” Kendrick to serve Murray off the court, just that he can. And as you noted, he was bageled by Murray and also took Nadal to 5 sets, winning the first 2. The point?

Anything can happen with this guy – his range is significantly higher than other players in his range of + or – 5 of his ranking.

I do think Murray will win it, but you never know.

jane Says:

MMT, Yes, I see Dancevic is in Verdasco’s section.

I am surprised about your comments on grass being easier for the knees only insofar as this: isn’t there the least bounce on grass courts, with the ball playing generally flatter and moving through the court more quickly, and therefore, wouldn’t grass require of a player to bend lower than on other surfaces? In this case, I can see grass being tough on the knees.

huh Says:

It’s only befitting that the Mighty Fed’s hitting the ball with the Royal Mercurial Safin… :-)

MMT Says:

Jane: it’s true you have to bend deep on grass, but I think that he’ll play through the pain and get on with it – no way he’s pulling out of Wimbledon as defending champion. My concern (for him) is the wear on the knee over the course of 5 sets – that wear is significantly more of an irritant on hard courts (or clay for that matter) than on grass because each step he takes is cushioned.

If this were one of the hard court slams I don’t think he’d get through a single 5 set match with all the pounding he’d take.

huh Says:

No no Jane, grass is much easier than HCs and almost as comfortable to knees as the clay. It’s very good for the knees of the players.

Colin Says:

Nadal has pulled out. He just said so himself and it was on the radio.

Dan Martin Says:

I hope he gets healthy. Not good news for tennis or Wimbledon, but especially hard for Rafa and his team.

I like tennis bullies Says:

unreal the luck this federer gets

with rafa out injured and biased scheduling he’ll coast to his 15 slam uncontested

a damn shame for tennis and wimbledon fans

tennisontherocks Says:

oh no…I hope Rafa recovers soon from this injury.

I appreciate him trying his best to play…but really, did he have to add 2 more exo matches on already injured knees? Either people are not giving him good advice or he is ignoring it.

jane Says:

OMG – I will SO MISS RAFA at Wimbledon. I hope he gets better soon!! I LOVE watching him as he is so exciting.

Tennis Freak Says:

It is sad to see the lion withdrawing from a Slam where he is the defending champion.
My wishes for his quick recovery and hope he comes back strong to win US Open.

“World number one Rafael Nadal will not defend his Wimbledon men’s singles crown due to an ongoing knee injury.”


Kimmi Says:

Get well soon Rafa. Sad news indeed.

rose Says:

i feel so bad that rafa withdrawing from Wimbledon..i guess his injury is worst than we all thought..Wimbledon wont be as excited without rafa for sure…sigh sigh..get well champ..we’ll miss you….

jane Says:

tennisontherocks – wasn’t it obvious to you (or anyone) that Rafa played the exos to test his knees? Seems fairly apparent.

This is very sad. I hope he can do well on hardcourts.

Yep, this is no doubt a break for Fed as he is pretty much assured to get back number 1 now, isn’t he? And he won’t have had to play Nadal in either slam to take it back, whereas Nadal beat Fed at Wimbledon to get the number 1. Oh well. It happens to the best.

Dan Martin Says:

Bullies who exactly is a tennis bully? I think of Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds with a racket and wearing a head band every time I see your ID.

I was pretty sure Rafa would pull out when I heard about the presser because why broadcast to your competition that you are injured/not 100% if you are going to play? It would only give guys hope of victory who might otherwise fold seeing the #1 player and defending champion on the other side of the net. I hope he gets well in time for NY.

jane Says:

It’s a good break for Murray too. The last two slams, Murray’s been on Rafa’s side of the draw and has had the path cleared for him, in one case by Soderling and now the knees. Murray still has a number of contenders, but he’s got to feel pretty good. And Roddick too, if he can get through those tough early rounds; he won’t have to face Nadal either. I’d say we’ll see the two Andy’s play in the semis here?

Dan Martin Says:

For the 1 and 2 seeds to meet they have to both get to the final and that is never assured of any player even a healthy one. Winning 6 single elimination rounds in a Grand Slam is the equivalent of winning the NCAA basketball tournament and in tennis the reward for 6 is playing a 7th match. If one guy wins 6 in a row, he can’t be blamed for whomever survives among the other 64 players in the draw.

Daniel Says:

Things are not looking good for Nadal! Anyone already knows if he will play or not? I am trying ti find any news, it passed 19:30.

huh Says:

I like tennis bullies, it’s not luck but karma of Fed !

RZ Says:

Nadal just withdrew. So sad!

Since the powers that be at the AETLC are moving Del Potro into Nadal’s slot, will they also change the seeding numbers? (I.e., is Federer still seeded #2, or does he move up to #1?) I’m wondering whether they would have redistributed the seeds if Andy Murray had ended up on the same side at Federer, since in that case you’d effectively have the #1 and #2 seeds playing in the semis rather than the final.

tennisontherocks Says:

‘jane Says:
tennisontherocks – wasn’t it obvious to you (or anyone) that Rafa played the exos to test his knees? Seems fairly apparent.’

so his knees don’t hurt during practice, only in a real match??? tendinitis is injury that needs REST. so instead of using past 2 weeks to rest, I am questioning the logic behind playing 2 full exo matches as a additional ‘stress test’ when 1 hour hitting session should be enough. It would have at least added 2 more days to his rest/recovery regime. In a super tight tennis calendar, 2 days can make difference.

huh Says:

And most importantly yes, as someone rightly put it, the lion is out of the war! We miss you Rafa ! Sad, forgettable and painful. But Rafa’s a lion and I hope and expect that he’d roar his way back to challenge his rival very soon.

jane Says:

I think “I like tennis bullies” is not totally wrong here, and certainly he has a right to post his opinion. It is a fairly “lucky” break for Federer that Nadal’s knees are flaring up again, because if Nadal was well, I think it’s fair to say that many if not most of us would expect to see number 1 and 2 duking it out again in the finals (because they’ve gotten there most consistently over the past few years right?), just like we would’ve expected them to meet in the finals of the French. But instead, Fed won’t have to face the number 1 player and his main rival in either these last two slams. Is that not fortuitous? I know he can face only who’s across from him, but to not to have to face his main foe is surely fortunate.

Some people may want to hang me up to dry for saying that, but to be fair, I think the reverse would also be true if Fed and Djoko had gone out and Nadal won the FO without having to face either of them, and likewise, Nadal would be fortunate if Fed then went out in Wimbledon too. Luck works – or can work – both ways.

Daniel Says:

Forget to read the last updates. This is really sad news!

Well we have to look at the good side of it, if any: Rafa will be freshier for US Open and the end of the year, where he can complete a carrer Slam or win a YEC, which he never did.

If Fed wins Wimbledon and reagain n. 1, as I think he will, and with the arrival of the baby, his intensity in US Open maybe decrease and I think we’ll have a new champion there: Nadal, Murray, Djoko, DelPo or Roddick in my opinion.

jane Says:

tennisontherocks – I see your point, only I assume Nadal’s team felt they could only know where he stood if he played an actual match and tried to compete as opposed to practicing. One is more likely to try harder and test harder in an exo match in front of a crowd. And that told his team he was not ready to get back out there yet.

Let’s hope we see him at his best in the last slam of the year. He has time now to rest, so I hope it does the trick!!


MMT Says:

Jane said: “Yep, this is no doubt a break for Fed as he is pretty much assured to get back number 1 now, isn’t he? And he won’t have had to play Nadal in either slam to take it back, whereas Nadal beat Fed at Wimbledon to get the number 1. Oh well. It happens to the best.”

I know that’s the perception Jane, but that isn’t entirely true. Rafa didn’t pass Federer for #1 until he won Toronto and reached the semis at Cincinnati, and he didn’t have to play him in either.

Of course, the Wimbledon match-up played a role, but so too would Fed’s win over Nadal at Madrid should he surpass Nadal. Fair enough the occassion isn’t as grand, but I don’t think it’s fair to insinuate that it’s easier because he doesn’t have to play Nadal, particularly if you don’t say the same about Nadal in either of the 1000 series events that preceded his ascension.

Fed did win the US Open, which is still helping him, and he did win the French, and as for the slams they’ve split the last 2. No he didn’t have to be Rafa to do either, but he did have to win 7 matches in a row, and they weren’t easy in Paris, or New York for that matter.

Unfortunately because he has established a record of beating everyone else consistently, somehow this has tarnished the fact that he continued to do so to win titles where Nadal dindn’t bring his A-game, which I don’t think is fair at all.

tennisontherocks Says:

‘Well we have to look at the good side of it, if any: Rafa will be freshier for US Open and the end of the year, where he can complete a carrer Slam or win a YEC, which he never did.’

true. Last few years, he is totally spent by the time US open rolls. This year he has good chance to make his mark there. I think it will be great for tennis to see 2 guys completing career slam in same year. It does not diminish other guys achievement, just gives more motivation to younger guys to match their feat.

MMT Says:

correction: “…as for the slams they’ve split the last 4.”

Daniel Says:

Just realize that If Fed wins Wimbledon he will reagin n.1 and if Murray wins Wimbedon he will be n. 1!

jane Says:

MMT “particularly if you don’t say the same about Nadal in either of the 1000 series events that preceded his ascension.”

Okay this is a fair point that I will concede; it’s true those MS events were what finally secured Rafa’s number 1, and it’s true Fed lost early at both. Finally, it’s true Fed won the USO and has been very consistent.

However, I still feel that in the French and now this Wimbledon, it’s a nice break that Fed will not have to face his main rival, the one man who can compete with him consistently, stay with him, undo his game and get in his head – over the course of a 5 set match. Who the heck else can do that? So, considering that this one man – ONLY Rafa – who has been able to do that is not out of the last 2 slams before facing Fed, it is no doubt, in my mind anyhow, that it’s a nice break for Fed.

Of course there’s Murray, but Fed has a lot of confidence about facing him in a 5 -setter. Same with Roddick and Djokovic. There’s JMDP, but it’d be his first final. And so on.

Fed still has to win 7 matches. But he will not have to face the one man who makes him look vulnerable consistently in the slams. That’s my point.

JCZ Says:

Daniel, Fed would regain No 1 right away only if he wins, He’d be about 300 pts shy if he just gets to the final and loses. Murray would fall short by just a few points if he wins. In any case you have to remember that Nadal will also lose 800 pts from the olympics pretty soon, so he’s ranking is likely to change pretty soon regardless.

Dan Martin Says:


I agree having the defending champ and #1 player not playing helps everyone in the draw have a better shot, but if you are on Federer’s side of the draw you receive what if any benefit from Nadal withdrawing very late in the game (an in form Murray or Roddick does not seem like a huge benefit). Clement and I would guess Hewitt get the benefit much earlier.

Luck is always part of the draw, but what I object to is the notion that if the draw breaks a given player’s way he somehow doesn’t deserve the crown. Does McEnroe need to give back his 1983 trophy for playing Chris Lewis? Lendl’s 86 French over Pernfors was kind of lucky not to face Wilander who beat him in the 85 final. Do Sampras’ USO and Wimbledon wins over Pioline need to be sent back? We could dissect a draw if we have an agenda to invalidate many player’s wins. We had people on here yesterday posting that Madrid had sped the court up as a conspiracy to cost Nadal the #1 ranking. Altitude and dry weather don’t get the blame, but some clandestine group wanting Fed back on top made a tournament in Spain’s capital go Roger’s way (just read that over a few times and mull over the mental gymnastic involved in that way of thinking) … We are not dealing with James Bond villians here, it is a sport with some luck involved in it to be sure, but skill and consistency play an even bigger role in determining winners.

jane Says:

correction “not” s/b “now” is this phrase of my 2:52 post “who has been able to do that is not out of the last 2 slams before facing Fed”

Daniel Says:

No, my mistake, if Murray wins Wimbledon he will be n. 2 just 5 points behind Nadal.

Colin Says:

We’d better get used to Tournaments without Nadal. Does anyone think the USO hardcourts, or those in Australia, will be more forgiving to the knees than Wimbledon? A scenario I can see is Rafa still not in best condition when the 2010 French Open comes round, and finally deciding to retire, either just before the tournament or after another loss.
As for the claims that Wimbledon is now safely in Federer’s pocket, the same certainty was expressed about Nadal before the French Open. So the wannabe Jeane Dixons should restrain theiemselves.

Robyn Says:

this should be a very interesting wimbledon but im rooting for Andy Roddick all the way, Andy Roddick for the wimbledon title :)

jane Says:

” what I object to is the notion that if the draw breaks a given player’s way he somehow doesn’t deserve the crown.”

I agree with you Dan; that’s not what I am saying. I merely saying Fed has had some lucky breaks with Rafa getting injured because only Rafa, imo, has been able to push him in five setters *consistently*.

I take issue with this “undeserving” notion too – especially Sean calling Djokovic, clearly a caliber player, a “Garbage collector”. That will never sit lightly with me as I think it was a totally unfair comment and assessment of the situations. If Djoko got a lucky break because Rafa and Fed lost early at Rome, and Fed and Murray wore each other down at last year’s YEC, he still had to play the events out and win. Fed will have to do the same here.

Nadal Says No Mas, Withdraws From Wimbledon Says:

[…] Recent News… Nadal, Roddick Murray in Same Half at Wimbledon […]

Dan Martin Says:

Djokovic is not a garbage collector in my mind. Look at the run he had FO 07-AO -09
O7 FO SF, W SF, USO RU, AO – Champion, FO SF, W 2nd rd, USO SF, AO QF – then add his Masters results, international series results and Masters Cup title in 2008 – it is a great run. In some years what he did would have gotten him #1 for a few weeks at least a la Moya and Rafter.

huh Says:

Jane, you don’t like Fed and that’s why nothing done by Fed seems to me to satisfy you. And by the way who has achieved success without any luck? Nothing can be done if you wanna side with a Fed basher, but it surely doesn’t feel great.

jane Says:

huh, you are free to interpret my comments accordingly, but I think they are fair enough. I admit Fed has never been a favorite of mine, but i have nothing personal against him and my comments are not attacks. I wish him well, especially in fatherhood, which he is sure to enjoy. He doesn’t really need my well wishes on the tennis court now does he? He’s already done far-and-away beyond anyone’s wildest dreams – and kudos to him for that. He has enough fans worldwide too. I will play devil’s advocate okay? :)

huh Says:

And Rafa didn’t win Wimbledon last year without any luck either coz had mono not shattered Fed, Rafa might very well’ve not won. He could obliterate Fed at FO for pretty obvious reasons. Nothing to be proud of your impartiality if you don’t accept this.

mem Says:

great decision, rafa! thank you for looking out for your well-being. you will be tremendously missed, because you are mr. tennis. rafa is a born fighter! when has he not gone beyond his limits to participate in a tournament, especially a tournament like wimbledon. i recall him saying prior to the french open that one of his goals was to be #1 at the end of the year. he knows that withdrawing from wimbledon is most likely a guarantee that he will drop to #2. in my opinion, i think with what he has had to endure, the criticism and the undermining, his ranking is not as important to him anymore. i don’t think it will bother him being #2 again. after the way he was treated at roland garros and after listening to the comments his uncle made about the french, i noticed that nadal and his uncle are doing a lot of rethinking. i believe that his knees are a problem, but it’s just that rafa is known to give his all, he goes beyond to accommodate his fans and others, but now it’s obvious that he won’t be doing that anymore. i don’t blame him one bit! personally, i don’t think rafa has been treated fairly as #1 and i think he and his team have come to realize that. now, all the nadal wanna-a-be like murrray, verdasco, etc. can show us what they’ve got. let’s see if they will go after federer like they went after nadal or will they roll over because nadal is out of the tournament. this is murray’s big chance, now, let’s see some action instead of words! i know if robin soderling meets federer, he’s just going to stand there like a girl, like he did in the final of the french, as if he didn’t know where federer’s backhand (his weakness) was or how to serve those big bombs that he used against nadal. he’s a joke. the way i see it, this is a blessing in disguise for nadal to hand the tour over to roger federer so that he can really, without a doubt, be declared the GOAT, and maybe at the end of this tournament, they will change the name from atp tour to the roger federer tour! one thing is for certain, this is going to be a boring tournament! i will only be watching the william sisters! God bless you, rafa! as always, from my perspective!

MMT Says:

I understand your point Jane, but it just doesn’t strike me as fair for a player’s past or potential achievements to be tarnished by things out of their control, particularly when there are no guarantees to achieving what is in their control.

I see Fed’s success, even in the absence of Nadal, as confirmation of what often goes unnoticed in Federer – that it pays to:

-be tenacious and fight even when you fall behind in a match
-play consistently at a high level
-stay mentally focused
-be easy on your body, and sufficiently versatile and have many different ways to win points and matches quickly.

Because the truth is that while all of his contemporaries have lost to player (many times, I might add) outside the top 3 at slams in the last 6 years, Fed’s only such losses since Wimbledon 2003 are 4:

Nalbandian in NY in 03
Kuerten in Paris in 04 (a former #1)
Safin in Melbourne in 05 (another former #1)
Nadal in Paris in 05 (current #1)

That’s it – no other losses in slams to anyone who wasn’t a former or future #1, except for Djokovic who was #3 at the time and won the tournament. And if (big if) he does it again at Wimbledon, given all the pressure he’ll face because he “doesn’t have to face Nadal”, I wouldn’t use the word “luck” associated with it at all.

BTW – I really hope this doesn’t come across as an ad hominem, because I really enjoy your posts! This is just a sore subject for me – I just think luck in sports is completely overrated. You can get lucky with a netcord down match point, or that the wind kicks up when your opponents is serving down match point on his second serve, something like that, but not 7 matches before the possibility of winning a slam…or is it 6 rounds before…

Shaky Says:

“A scenario I can see is Rafa still not in best condition when the 2010 French Open comes round, and finally deciding to retire, either just before the tournament or after another loss.”

Ok I won’t deny this is plausible but… that’s kind of grim don’t you think?

Tennis Freak Says:

The absence of a player against whom you find difficult to play and who has given you hard time and who has gotten into your head certainly increases, if not guarantee, the prospect of your win, and Federer, if not “hoped,” at least believed that there would be a day without Rafa at the FO final:
“I knew the day Rafa won’t be in the finals, I will be there and I will win. I always knew and that I believed in it. That’s exactly what happened. It’s funny. I didn’t hope for it, but I believed in it.”
Would he “believe” in Rafa’s absence if that were not to increase his own chances? Definitely not. And there is nothing wrong with that because he had to work hard to consistently put in that position to take advantage of the opportunity offered to him, not knowing when that would arrive.

Shaky Says:

“i know if robin soderling meets federer, he’s just going to stand there like a girl, like he did in the final of the french, as if he didn’t know where federer’s backhand (his weakness) was or how to serve those big bombs that he used against nadal. he’s a joke.”

Thought robin played it ok but he was on his heels from start to finish because federer played so aggressively. And he served alright, just not fantastically. Calling him a joke is a bit stupid and petulant, don’t you think?

jane Says:

But MMT,

Don’t you agree that Nadal is the only man who can consistently challenge Federer in 5 setters? Consistently is the operative word. So with him out, it will have to be a new scenario for someone to take down Fed, which would be exciting in a different way. But Nadal and Fed matches are exciting because of their rivalry.

I know you take issue with “luck of the draw” comments, and as I said to Dan, if a player’s path is somewhat cleared, it doesn’t undermine what he still has to do (win 7 5 setters), but I’ll stick with that cliche. I think draws can fortuitously open up – for instance a main foe withdraws or becomes injured or whatever. Still that luck will get someone only so far. Much as I love Djoko, he didn’t make much of his “luck” when Rafa lost out at the FO, but kudos to Federer, who did. But toughing it out. Which he does exceptionally well – there is no player more consistent playing the game of tennis right now.

PS – No ad hominem interpretation here – I like to discuss these things reasonably. And you know already I thoroughly enjoy your posts as well.

huh Says:

Jane, I don’t understand how much praise for Djoko’s wins and ability will satisfy you? How many times do people need to reiterate that Djoko’s AO 08 and TMC 08 win don’t have asterisks so that you won’t ask that question again?

jane Says:

Tennis Freak says “because he had to work hard to consistently put in that position to take advantage of the opportunity offered to him”

This is a true and fair point; and Federer will have to go deep again, and put himself in the position again, to “take advantage of this opportunity” also.


I think Fed’s mono may’ve affected his FO “obliteration” last year, but it’s quite a different situation in that sense that Nadal is not getting to the final and being “obliterated”; he’ is not even playing and/or he lost in the R16. So it’s kind of different. I still think Nadal would’ve won the FO final last year, even if Fed was 100% healthy, but I’ll concede that it may’ve been a tighter final. But Nadal was so dominant at the FO last year, over everyone, that it was truly astounding. Similar to Federer’s 2007 AO, where he looked not like a fairy tale prince but like superman.

jane Says:

huh, perhaps you weren’t around when Sean posted something about those accomplishments that has since bothered me. But I am not looking for his praises. Dan gave those of his own choice. I was only drawing a comparison if you’ll read MY post more carefully. I merely said I agree 100% with Dan’s point that a player’s win, for example Fed’s FO win or Djoko’s YEC, should not be considered “undeserved” just because 1 or 2 main rivals fell before reaching the finals; it may be a lucky break BUT they still have to win their matches to win, right? So kudos to both for having done that. Sean should see that both Fed and Djoko deserve that fair acknowledgement. That’s all.

MMT Says:

Tennis Freak: So let’s go down the line in history, shall we?

Borg lost twice at the French open in 9 years to the same player – Adriano Pannatta. Was he lucky not to have faced him the other SIX years he won there?

McEnroe lost to Bill Scanlon at the US Open in 1983 after winning it 3 times – was he lucky not to face him in 1984 when he won it? (along with 75 other matches that year) Or the other 3 times he won the title?

Sampras lost to Krajicek in 1996 at Wimbledon – was he lucky not to have faced him the other 7 times he won there?

That perception of luck is only in the mind, and if that is your contention, that’s one thing. Youstated that in the absence of Nadal his chances increased – in fact you added, “…if not guarantee it…” – well I beg to differ with that;

But if you’re Federer, are you better off mentally with the pressure of Nadal being out of the tournament? Maybe for 1 match, but not 7. And Federer himself said of the absence of Nadal in Paris:

“The whole story of Nadal losing, Murray losing, Djokovic losing, the draw opening up a little bit; it obviously plays with your mind.”

But what you really should refer to is the following, because this has a hell of a lot more to do with winning a slam than the absence of any one player, even the best player in the world:

“But it doesn’t matter if I’m zero nervous or 100 percent nervous. I know I’ll always play a decent match in the quarter-finals of a grand slam.”

Why? Because he’s won 20 in a row, and there’s nothing lucky about that – just ask all this contemporaries who haven’t come close to that – not even Nadal.

huh Says:

Jane, you’ve told me that you appreciate Fed but no you don’t. You’re being delusional if you try to convince me or others about your appreciation of Fed. But thanks to Fed’s heroics and struggles, you’ve been rather forced to accept Fed’s genius.

jane Says:

huh, unfortunately it looks like you’ll think what you want to about me regardless of what I say, but for arguments sake, here is one definition of “appreciate” – it means to “recognize the full worth of” something.

Therefore, given that definition, it would be next to impossible not to appreciate what Roger Federer has achieved on the tennis court, which as I said above, is beyond anyone’s wildest dreams! And I do recognize the full worth of that, regardless of what you think.

You seem to think I cannot recognize Fed’s accomplishments if he is not one of my favorite players, but you are mistaken. I am intelligent enough to recognize his prowess, his fluidity, and more recently, his sheer guts on the tennis court.

huh Says:

Anyway I’m getting too much passionately involved in discussion with Jane, who’s my teacher’s age and deserves all my respect. So I must rather apologise to her and leave the matter at this instead of addressing to her as self-delusional. So I’m sorry!

MMT Says:

Jane said: “Don’t you agree that Nadal is the only man who can consistently challenge Federer in 5 setters? Consistently is the operative word.”

Yes, Nadal has done more than consistently challenge Federer, he’s beaten him in slams consistently. And yes, you he may breathe a sigh of relief for 60 seconds – and then he get 10,000 questions starting with, “Now that Nadal is out of the way…”

How would you like them apples? I wouldn’t. I mean, if Nadal is the one and only guy that anyone thinks can beat you – which is a creation of your own perseverance and success, I might add – what happens when that guy gets beat by someone else?

ALL the pressure lands squarely on your shoulders. Is there anything fortuitous about that.

Underlying all of this is the assumption that nobody can beat Federer on grass except Nadal – who did it once. But there was someone else who was perceived to be unbeatable a couple of weeks ago…hmmm…who in the world was that…

So anything can happen. It’s easy to assume that the path to his glory is protected by the ghost of his nemesis, but personally, he may not even know it, but I guarantee every point he loses he plays make him just that little bit more tense, because deep in his mind he’ll wonder if he will have, “blown his chance” now that ‘you know who’ is back in Mallorca.

And if he has his choice between losing to Nadal or ANYONE ELSE, I think he’d prefer to lose to Nadal because he is after all #1 and defending champion, and the guy who “always” beats him anyway.

But now, everything rests on the presumption that everything will continue as it has for the last SIX years. That’s a pretty big assumption if you ask me.

Well, I’ve prattled on long enough, but you get my point is this:

Yes Nadal is his Luke Skywalker, and yes nobody has a good record against him on grass. But no, that doesn’t make it any easier to get to the final, and won’t matter one bit unless he WINS.

huh Says:

Mrs. Jane, I’m also a kid and like your student. So I hope you’d forgive my angry outburst at you for which my Mom and Dad’d have been ashamed of had they known. :-( So I’m sorry Mrs. Jane, my apologies. Please forgive !

jane Says:

huh – no need to apologize. We all get passionate about our favorite players. May the best man win WImbledon, and if that’s Federer, well, he gets even close to Pete’s 7 grass slams, while surpassing his overall slam wins. And I can fully “appreciate” that! ; ) (p.s. how old is your teacher! I’m not over 50 yet! ;))

jane Says:

MMT – yes, I can see the mixed blessing you delineate: on the hand the sigh of relief (i.e., Luke Skywalker outta there), but on the other hand, the beast of expectation, that monster Fed created for himself. Mind you, if anyone has been able to handle such pressure for a sustain period of time …

Anyhow, time to get on with it.


huh Says:

Mrs Jane, I’m 18 years old and and my teachers are between the age 30-55+ as far as I know.

mem Says:

Shaky, i meanst what i said, soderling is a ” pathetic joke.” everybody knows that he has a bitter resentment for nadal.” if you were ask him why he resents nadal, he wouldn’t know, because he is just jealous and envious, because he doesn’t have the guts to beat federer like nadal does. he had the tools to beat roger, but he wants brownie points. i told my sister prior to the french open final to watch how soderling loses to federer and goes to the presser and say how unbeatable federer is and how easy it is to beat nadal. it happened exactly the way i predicted. that’s just the hatred that he has for nadal for no apparent reason! if you beat somebody, so be it, but it says a lot about your character when you beat him, barely shakes his hand at the net, and has a need to say derogatory things about the person in the process. like i said, it doesn’t matter to me, how many tournaments soderling wins and who he beats in the process, he’s just another cheese eater who hates rafa nada1 and his vicious rude behavior toward nadal happened long before he played him at roland garros. roland garros was just a continuation!

Tennis Freak Says:

You are a manufacturer. You cite certain stat to prove one thing while you overlook others. And that was the gist of my 1st response to you (on Kendrick/Murray).
In your 2nd response, you just invented the term “luck” that my post does not even use once (are you mixing my post with somebody else’s?). From certain perspective, even though it is possible to link “belief” with “luck,” I took enough caution to use “chance” and “opportunity” instead, in an effort to synchronize with where Fed was going with “hope” and “belief.”
If you want to stick with your interpretation of “opportunity” or “chances” into “luck,” that’s ok but we would have a more fruitful discussion if you start by defining the term “luck” beyond dictionary usage. If you are a believer of teleology, there is no point of carrying out any further discussion because I happen to believe more on contingency, which means “things could happen or could have happened differently” and not necessarily this or that, or “this could have been otherwise” (like you said in the 1st response w/r to Kendrick, “you never know”). And it was Federer’s own “belief,” not mine, that Rafa’s absence will increase his chances of winning FO, and Fed’s belief was based on the past H2H stat, etc. My concluding line emphasizes on the point I was trying to make that chances are not enough in and of themselves to secure a victory; let me repeat, you have to WORK HARD to position yourself to swoop on those chances (“I will be there” or in your words “20 in a row”), to get to those finals consistently and still be able to wage a battle with the last man standing on the other side of the net (much like a clandestine hunter behind a bush, ready to shoot on time with his unfailing rifle skill if a prey shows up: not a perfect analogy, but I hope you get my point). Will it be easier if it is an elk instead of a lion? Depends, but Fed believed it would increase his chances if it were an elk. In retrospect, one could say in Ledl’s case, it was 44-56% and in Fed’s case it turned out to be 70-30% (14 out of 20)so far, but that is only in retrospect, or else give me a future stat that is set in stone, without using the terms like “chances” and “probability” and their synonyms, then we will come back and resolve the issue, if that is where you are headed to.

Skorocel Says:

mem said about Söderling: “because he is just jealous and envious, because he doesn’t have the guts to beat federer like nadal does.”

LOL :-)

Von Says:

MMT: “BTW – I really hope this doesn’t come across as an ad hominem, because I really enjoy your posts! This is just a sore subject for me – I just think luck in sports is completely overrated.”

I’ll say it’s not just a “sore subject” for you, it’s an ‘extremely’ sore topic where you are concerned, but only when it pertains to Federer. I found this out the hard way when I commented on the FO draw, and even though I said I was kidding around, and Roddick being in Fed’s draw again, was the focus of my comments, I don’t think you believed me one iota, because you continued to press home the point.

At that time, there were several Fed posters talking about the draw, but one specifically reinforced upon your comments by saying it’s called ‘the luck of draw’ and even proceeded to state those who are saying oherwise ‘need to have their brains examined’. I didn’t see you disagreeing with the ‘luck of the draw’ statement. Ergo, it’s somewhat baffling to me to hear you say now that luck in sports is overrated and I’m even more nonplussed to see you’re stating it’s a sore point with you, but didn’t say so at that time. Furthermore, I’m now wondering why you didn’t disagree with that poster and some other Fed posters, with respect to their several allusions made as to ‘the luck of the draw’ since you think ‘luck’ in sports is overrated? As a result of what transpired, I’m extremely reluctant to comment on any draw, especially Federer’s draw.

There’s a huge problem when discussing anything on these threads, if Federer is remotely linked to it, because there are so many Fed fans and sad to say, they stick together forming an impenetrable wall, and a dissenter is ostracized and/or marked.

“That perception of luck is only in the mind, ..”. I disagree, it’s not only in the mind. It happens all of the time, and it’s why people say this person is so ‘lucky’ and that person is ‘unlucky’. If it were just a perception of the mind, how is it that so many use that phrase so many times per day in every language? I’d say it not only exists, but it does so big time. I’d like to know what anyone would call player ‘X’ who happens to fall into player ‘Bs’ draw 80 percent of the time? Bad or good luck or the luck of the draw? Or player ‘A” who happens to draw qualis and extremely lower ranked players consistently?

As an aside, while I’m addressing a post to you, I’d like to touch on the GOAT topic, which is another one I doubt I’d want to discuss again in the future due to a few of your comments where you responded to one of my posts in a generalized manner, even though I knew it was my comment that prompted your response. I had mentioned that Federer winning the FO makes him one of the greatest, but not the greatest. You took umbrage to that remark by saying it’s unfair to Federer and his fans for anyone to force them to accept that statement. However, it was my opinion, and I believe I’m entitled to such. But by the same token, if you feel that it’s unfair for me to want for Fed fans to accept what I stated, which was not my intention, isn’t it being unfair to me and others like me, to have to accept that Federer is the ‘greatest’, when we happen to think he’s not? What’s wrong if i happen to think Fed’s nolt the greatest, it’s just my opinion, just like I don’t see anything with his fans wrong with his fans saying, he’s the greatest — it’s all a matter of opinion, and I believe we’re all entitled to think whatever we want.

Additionally, I had also mentioned that Laver says there isn’t a greatest of all time, but the greatest of a player’s era, and if he Laver didn’t know what he’s talking about, then who would? Your remarks to that statement left me stunned, vis-a-vis, ‘Laver is saying that because he’s probably tired of so many people asking him the same question’. I’m sorry, but I was completely bowled over by what you said, because I have for the most part, thought of you as an ‘unbiased’ poster, but that remark and some other points you proffered with respect to the GOAT debate, has changed my mind.

Von Says:


I believe that Soderling chokes, same as Berdych, whenever they face Federer. It’s sad really, because it seems they both dislike Nadal very much and want to beat him in the worst way, but just hands the match over to Federer without much resistance. Blake, and Tsonga are similar to Soderling and Berdych. I don’t understand their mentality at all.

MMT Says:

Tennis Freak said: “You are a manufacturer. You cite certain stat to prove one thing while you overlook others. And that was the gist of my 1st response to you (on Kendrick/Murray).”

I don’t manufacture anything. Your premise on my discussion of Murray was totally false – I never said that I BELIEVED Kendrick would serve Murray off the court

My quote was this:

“Murray’s the better player, but on any given day, Kendrick could serve his opponent off the court.”

Your quote was this:

“And you expect him to throw Murray “off the court”? That’s funny.”

I think you have gone beyond what I said. But I don’t take it personally; you may want to read more carefully.

And you also said this:

“What you forgot to mention is in that same year, Murray double-bageled him on grass at Newport.”

That does not nullify Kendrick as a threat to Murray. Soderling lost to Nadal in Rome 6-0, 6-1, and then beat him in Paris a month later. Anything can happen. My friend, and that’s all I said in my post.

And as to your premise that I include some things and not others in my argument – guilty as charged. After all, my points were that:

1) Kendrick could beat Murray
2) Nadal’s withdrawal is overrated vis a vis Federer

And yes, you are correct that I was mixing two arguments because saying Federer benefits from Nadal’s absence is a very short trip away from Federer is lucky Nadal withdrew. And as I told Jane, I think luck in sports is totally overrated.

You can get lucky on one or two points here and there, but not for 6 matches, and it would have only been after 6 matches that Federer could have benefitted from Nadal’s withdrawal except for the mental benefits – but I have argued that this too is overrated, because Nadal’s absence puts a lot of pressure on him, as many of the comments on this post would suggest.

I cited those historical examples to show the fallacy of claiming that one player benefits from the absence of another player that gives him problems. If I removed the word luck from each of those statements they would still have the same point, which is that this benefit is overrated – especially in Federer’s case where the only way for him to benefit from that is to win 6 matches, and there’s nothing lucky or fortunate or beneficial about that.

MMT Says:


The point I pressed was a contradiction to the rigged draw theory – that was also the context of the luck of the draw comment which I didn’t contradict because it was also a contradiction of the rigged draw theory. I didn’t ignore it because it wasn’t about Federer. I don’t believe the rigged draw theory and if it were proved true, I’d probably stop watching professional tennis. I think it is the luck of the draw that Roddick has wound up in Federer’s quarter so often, not evidence of a rigged draw.

That said, I think that luck is overrated in draws, tennis in general, and particularly with regards to Federer, because it only matters in the first round when you can guarantee who will play whom – otherwise, you don’t know what can happen, and all such postulations are presumptive of the results which I think tennis shows us every tournament are far from predictable. So, I think the luck of the draw is overrated. And in Federer’s case I think it’s particularly overrated because he rarely loses to anyone outside the top 4, so you assume he never will, so anyone in his quarter who has lost to him often is presumed to have a very unlucky draw.

But that’s predicated on 2 things – the assumption that Federer will get through the draw – which in my opinion diminishes the fact that he’s gotten through it – and second presumes that if he meets his nemesis (or whoever it is that is said to have a bad draw) is somehow unlucky to face Federer, when in fact the problem is not luck, but the fact that he hasn’t found a way to beat Federer.

I doubt anyone would say Murray was unlucky to encounter Federer anywhere in the draw because he’s had a lot of success against him. Nobody said Djokovic had an unlucky draw at the FO because he’d beaten him the last 2 times they played. So again, luck is overrated – the issue isn’t that Federer is this immovable object that necessarily can’t be overcome – the problem is that certain players have not found a way to beat him often, so when they fall in his draw it’s said to bad luck, but luck has little to do with what’s bad about it. So again I say luck is overrated.

Finally, on the GOAT debate – I did theorize the reason Laver said what he said about GOATS or the lack thereof. But the real argument I was trying to make was not that I disagree with Laver (which I do), but that I disagree with 2 theories about the GOAT: 1) it’s too complicated to discuss and/or determine and 2) Federer should just be happy to be amongst the greats.

#2 was not directed towards you – I remember Jane concurring and maybe Dan Martin too, and many others as well, and if I had meant it for you I would have said so – it was directed at that growing sentiment which seems to be to be misaligned with what makes the greats tick and why we play and/or pay attention to tennis specifically and sports in general. I think deep down inside all the greats want to be the greatest of all time – but that’s conjecture.

Also, I said luck is overrated, not that it doesn’t exist. I give an example of the distinction: 1989 Boris Becker is serving down match point to Derrick Rostagno in the 2nd round of the US Open, and Rostagno chips and charges a second serve to Becker’s forehand. Becker hits a cross-court forehand which Rostagno is about to volley for a winner and it hits the netcord and jumps over his outstretched racquet.

Becker did not intend to hit the netcord, so he was lucky to win that point – but if someone said Becker had been lucky to win that match I’d say that is ridiculous because Becker still had to win the 4th and 5th sets to take the match. And it would have been more absurd to say he was lucky to win the US Open, because he had 4 more matches to play to win, including a final against Lendl – #1 in the world at the time.

In other words – nobody would have even remembered that netcord if he hadn’t earned the next 4 victories. So the luck of that shot would be overrated because Becker won – when it fact it’s merely a footnote that wouldn’t have amounted to anything if he hadn’t won – so it’s overrated.

And let me give a very personal reason that I think most can relate to – when I was a kid I used to play tennis against my brothers 2 and 4 years older than me, and from time to time I’d beat them both – even in club tournaments. Invariably their response to this humiliation was the same – “You got lucky.” That used to infuriate me because even then I believed people should take losing like a man, and not start making excuses or qualifications unless they are honest ones.

As an example of an honest excuse, Nadal claimed when he lost to Soderling that he allowed him to dictate the play with how far behind the court he played – well, he probably believed that at the moment but I’m sure he’s seen the tape and realizes that Soderling had a little something to do with how far behind the baseline he was. I can live with an excuse like that (even though I may have been critical of Nadal for saying that – but I’m sure you know!)

In any case, I don’t believe in qualifying an accomplishment, even if that qualification is enveloped in a compliment, because it’s a qualification nonetheless. So I don’t think it’s right to say, “Federer was lucky Nadal was beaten, BUT kudos to him for being consistent enough to win.” Well, if you believe that, so be it, but to me, it’s completely moot and completely irrelevant. The point is not to beat Nadal, the point is to win the French with or without Nadal.

Well, I’m going to sleep now, because I’m sure nobody’s reading anyway.

margot Says:

MMT: well, I read it and completely agree with you about luck. I think to a certain extent you make your own luck and it’s a horrible put down to say someone won something because they “got lucky.” A lot about being a champ is consistency, turning up day after day and winning.
It is terrible and tragic that Rafa has had to injure himself in order to catch Fed but for me this makes Fed’s achievements shine even brighter. Here he is 5 years older than Raf, outlasting 20 year olds and winning slams, year in, year out. How did he get so “lucky?” Irony folks! Irony!

huh Says:

Margot, Thanks for your support for MMT and Fed with regards to the luck issue. Many non-Fed fans’ve this great misconception that Fed’s lucky and without it he’d have lost many matches which he could win ! Sorry people, but this logic lacks strength.

huh Says:

I have also examples to show how guys like Rafa, Djoko, Murray and Roddick’ve benefitted from their luck. But it’s pointless and unjustified to discuss that as it’d otherwise be an unnecessary and unjust dig at their greatness and credibility.

margot Says:

two cents: here’s one for you on luck; “The fault lies not in the stars, dear Brutus, but in ourselves.”
huh: interesting you like Fed cos in my experience most young people seem to prefer Rafa.

jane Says:

No way margot – Fed has tons of young fans. Watch at the next event. Or have you ever seen the “Fed Express” at the AO? Mostly young girls.

Von Says:

margot and huh:

“well, I read it and completely agree with you about luck. I think to a certain extent you make your own luck and it’s a horrible put down to say someone won something because they “got lucky.” A lot about being a champ is consistency, turning up day after day and winning.

Margot: I sincerely hope you’re not referring to me, because no where in my post am I putting down anyone’s win due to luck. If you feel so, please read again my first paragraph and you’ll see where I’m coming from. But, since you guys feel people make their own luck, which is debatable at times, I call it divine intervention, and that’s how it’s predestined or meant to be, and it’s why players’ wins don’t bother me very much, because it’s like fighting predestination, or ‘whatever will be will be”. Anyway, how do you feel about some stating “it’s the luck of the draw”? If there isn’t luck, then why is there that terminology in tennis? Do you agree or disagree?

And, just to make it perfectly clear (I probably sound like Richard Nixon here, LOL) I am in no way, form, or fashion, intimating or indicating, lest you both get carried away on the Fed fan train, that Federer was “lucky” with respect to any of his wins — he was there standing up to the end = he wins. Just in case you both don’t know of the history surrounding my post to MMT (which I now realize, I shouldn’t have done, considering it was a topic between MMT and jane) and his subsequent response, this matter was debated on the draws, but more specifically on the FO draw, one which I’ve mentioned previously when it pertains to Roddick’s draws, and what I call his ‘bad luck’ ONLY due the many times he’s fallen into Fed’s side of the draw. I’m sure at some point in your lives you’ve used the word ‘bad luck’, and/or ‘good luck’. Nine (9)out 10 times, I only mean it facetiously, because I’m fully well aware that the draws are what they are, and the names are picked by the players. I feel it’s Roddick’s ‘bad luck’ due to his H2H v. Fed, and wished it were different, where he didn’t seem to fall so many times in Fed’s half, and that’s ALL that it is, nor more, and no less. I’ve even facetiously mentioned that I think Fed requisitions Roddick. Do I absolutely mean that? Not by a long shot.

And, huh, if I remember correctly, you mentioned before Wimby that you’d wish for Roddick NOT to land in Fed’s side of the draw, so what’s going on?

huh: “Margot, Thanks for your support for MMT and Fed with regards to the luck issue. Many non-Fed fans’ve this great misconception that Fed’s lucky and without it he’d have lost many matches which he could win ! Sorry people, but this logic lacks strength.”

Please tell me and/or show me how all of this pertains to me and my post to MMT? Or are you using this opportunity to vent on what you perceive to be unjust accusations toward Fed?

Maybe, I’m not comprehending correctly, but I honestly don’t see why both of you have taken my post and transposed it onto Federer’s luck. sheesh.

huh: “I have also examples to show how guys like Rafa, Djoko, Murray and Roddick’ve benefitted from their luck. But it’s pointless and unjustified to discuss that as it’d otherwise be an unnecessary and unjust dig at their greatness and credibility.”

Maybe margot might want to know of Murray’s lucky examples, since she feels that people make their own luck, per her statement: “I think to a certain extent you make your own luck”.

margot: “here’s one for you on luck; “The fault lies not in the stars, dear Brutus, but in ourselves.”

I’ve used that many times here on this site, and also ‘Et tu Brutus”. I’ve stopped quoting Shakepeare because not too many people are Liberal Arts majors.

Von Says:


Thanks for your response to my post, I appreciate it. If you don’t mind, I’ll not say anything further on the topic, because it seems to me, that this will get out of hand, and will definitely deviate from the true intent and purpose of my post/questions. Thanks for your understanding.

Tennis Freak Says:

You should argue with Federer, not with me about “luck.”
Here is what he said today or yesterday.
“He’s [Rafa] my main rival and we’ve had some wonderful matches over the years, and especially the one here last year that obviously stands out. It just shows me how lucky I’ve been that I haven’t been injured over all those years.”

When pressed later in the interview by the Swiss media, Federer elaborated on this “luck”. “I’m a little bit lucky, but getting to all the finals that I have is not normal, not being injured is not normal, and you realise that now. It’s luck but it’s also planning and preparation,” said the 27-year-old in reference both to his training regimen and also his style of play, which is much less intensive than Nadal’s, yet no less effective (Source: Wimbledon site).

joe Says:

just because dimitrov plays like federer, doesn’t mean he’s as good as federer. roddick should get to the semi’s at least.

Von Says:

Joe: Thanks for giving me some hope. I trust you’ve seen this guy play enough times to say this?

margot Says:

von: no, was not thinking of you at all when I responded to MMT on luck, had 4gotten your previous posts anyway. I still think people make their own luck. BTW you made me laugh with your vision of a “strawberry face!” If and it’s a big if, it’s sunny at Wimbles there’ll be many, many of them. Will search Shakespeare 4 quote about strawberries, am sure there is one…..
Tennisfreak: And as for Fed being “lucky,” cos he’s uninjured, don’t care what he says, or Rafa “unlucky” cos he is, is just plain silly, just look at the way they play, it ain’t rocket science.
huh: previous post “both of you” what are u talking about?? I responded to MMT that’s all.

jane Says:

From “Richard III” (sorry but couldn’t resist):

My lord of Ely, when I was last in Holborn,
I saw good strawberries in your garden there;
I do beseech you, send for some of them!

Ely: Marry, I will, my lord, with all my heart.”

And since we’re on to Shakespeare, many of his comedies deal with the notion of chance or luck. The tragedies tend to stick more with fate or destiny.

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