Federer, Nadal Seeded to Meet in Rome Semifinals
by Sean Randall | April 24th, 2010, 9:39 am

Might the Rome Tennis Masters be the week when Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal meet again? They just might. The draw is out and our two biggest tennis stars are seeded to clash in the semifinals. Federer and Nadal haven’t played since Roger’s win in Madrid last May.ADHEREL

Top seed Federer, who is playing his first clay event since his 2009 French Open title run, has a workable draw. It looks like the Swiss will open against Ernests Gulbis who should power his way through Marcos Baghdatis in the first round. Then perhaps Sam Querrey in the third round followed by Nicolas Almagro or Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals. Gulbis has been hot and Federer hasn’t played so…?

Nadal’s section is loaded. In the second round he’ll likely see Phil Kohlschreiber, then Juan Monaco followed by Robin Soderling in what would be an incredible revenge match. Not an easy road at all but Nadal is the King of Clay, the defending champ and he comes into Rome more rested and ready then ever. He’s also won Rome four of the last five years.

Andy Murray has found himself with a very tricky draw, and that’s not good when your in the purple patch the Scot has been in. Murray will be tested immediately by either Andreas Seppi or Fabio Fognini (and the Italian crowd) before he runs into the David Ferrer in round three. In the quarterfinals he could clash with JW Tsonga or Juan Carlos Ferrero.

In the last section, Novak Djokovic could meet Jeremy Chardy in his opener, then Tomaz Bellucci followed by Fernando Verdasco in the quarterfinals. Djokovic has reached the Rome final the last two years, winning in 2008. He’ll have a tough go to make it a third time.

The fourth round seedings look like this: (1) Federer v. (15) Querrey; (11) Ljubicic v. (8) Cilic; (3) Nadal v. (16) Monaco; (10) Berdych v. (5) Soderling; (7) Tsonga v. (12) Ferrero; (13) Ferrero v. (4) Murray; (6) Verdasco v. (3) Youhzny; (14) Isner v. (2) Djokovic.

The quarterfinals seedings: Federer v. Cilic; Nadal v. Soderling; Tsonga v. Murray; Youhzny v. Djokovic.

The Top 8 seeds do get byes. Singles play starts up tomorrow.

Among the many withdrawals (sorry, I cannot keep up with them all): Del Potro (wrist), Robredo (back), Roddick (beach), Davydenko (wrist), Gonzalez (knee), Haas (hip), Nalbandian (hamstring), James Blake (knee), Gilles Simon (knee).

Let the fun begin.

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Roger Federer Will Play In Rome!
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256 Comments for Federer, Nadal Seeded to Meet in Rome Semifinals

ThyGodisTennis Says:

Gulbis has the ability to take Fed out and then the web boards would be blazing.

It seems everybody that Fed use to beat regularly are now getting at least one win. This could be Gulbis’ turn.

Dan Martin Says:

JMDP and Davydenko being out with injuries will make this clay court season less interesting.

evie Says:

I just hope Novak continues to struggle, because I really want Rafa and Fed on opposite sides in Paris. The thought that they could meet in the semis there is horrible.

challengerlevel Says:

Anybody that is hoping to see a Federer vs Nadal semifinal match is going to be dissapointed. Roger will not allow that match to take place. He will I believe make the quarters and will than fall to whomever is there. He will not tank in an obvious way to avoid penalty, but will find a way to lose the match. He will act upset, but will know exactly what he is doing. He does not want to give up a psychological advantage to Nadal an will bow out. He will play 3 matches and call that good match practice. He will win Estoril and than go all out in Madrid to win the tournament and gain an advantage right before Paris. He will hope Nadal is there so he can try and repeat last years success. I do not like this logic by Federer for two reasons:

(1) He is making light of the Rome tournament and is saying he does not need to win it.

(2) I personally believe it’s cowardly.

Daniel Says:

Or, Soderling can upset Nadal again in the quarters so Fed doesn’t need to tank! :)

Sean, one correctio, the quarters will be Djokovic x Verdasco and not Youhzny as you pointed.

blank Says:

challengerlevel, Unless Nadal is not fully fit, Fed will not gain any psychological advantage over him at the FO. Just looking at the score last time they played there is good reason why we can say that. Fed needs all the points he can muster to cross the 286 weeks as No.1 mark. He can’t afford to be cowardly. Of all the people, Fed would know that…and also being the champion he is, I am sure he will also know that if you want to beat your adversary, you have to face him as opposed to hiding away by losing early. IMO, on clay, Fed has no reason to lose early and he gains nothing by doing that. To somehow think he will have an advantage at the FO if he doesn’t play Nadal at these events is simply unreasonable.

blank Says:

Also, going into any big match/event, everyone will try to downplay the pressure on them and try to pin it on the opponent. That’s exactly what Fed did to Murray in Australia. Here, I am not sure but if he really said that he doesn’t need to win Rome, that’s probably because he is trying to take some pressure off his shoulders. I’d be very surprised if he really believes what he is saying.

challengerlevel Says:


You do make some pretty good points, but I think you are wrong. Roger believes he can lose early at any event, but still win slams. He made it clear last year in press conferences that he had played Nadal to many times in years past on clay, and by losing so many of those gave up a huge psychological advantage to Nadal. Last year he was clearly dominating Djokovic in Rome, and than all of the suden he starts missing balls, and clearly taking his foot off the gas. I am sorry, but this is what he will do again this year.

blank Says:

challengerlevel, I see what you are saying. True, it often appears that way if you look at the past results. Fed has also clearly stated that holding on to No. 1 is a top priority this year and so is winning more big titles (outside of the slams). If he willfully loses early that would contradict all those, especially with Nadal playing well again.

Also, win or lose Fed cannot possibly claim to have any psychological advantage over Nadal on Clay. There is no basis to believe that yet.

margot Says:

Andy has a horrible draw, given his current form I expect him to go out in the second round…again..deep sigh..

challengerlevel Says:

He does believe what he is saying and that is sad for the event, and for fans because here is a perfect oppurunity for us to see them play for the first time since Madrid last year. He will lose in the quarters and that is what I will stick to.

Nadal def. Djokovic in the final.

blank Says:

I don’t know what’s happening to Murray (and also Djoko). If he is still disappointed at his AO loss, I’d say that’s excessive brooding. If they don’t up their levels soon, I think a fit Nadal will bulldoze them and run through the field.

blank Says:

I am a fed fan too. So ok, let’s stick to our opinions and see after the tournament how things panned out :-)

Voicemale1 Says:


I agree Federer’s at a point now where his career is about history; that’s why Majors are his main goal. So he’ll continue to go all out at each of them. And in teh Best of 5 format his career management of giving up the importance of winning these MS titles keeps him the one to beat at the Big 4 Events. But Federer has struggled on clay for a while, especially in Rome. In 2007 he lost his 2nd match in to Volandri; in 2008 he lost to Stepanek in the Quarters; and to Djokovic last year as you pointed out. Also in 2008 he had the biggest choke of his career vs. Nadal in Hamburg; and last year he lost in Monte Carlo to Wawrinka in the 16’s. Even with Nadal out of The french last year, Federer found his way into two 5 Set matches and two 4 Set matches. His good fortune in the French Final last year was Soderling feeling the occasion of his first Major Final ever, otherwise he has the game now to make a match of it with Federer even on clay. Had Soderling had that same confidence mentally last year that Final might have been tighter.

The group has narrowed the gap on Federer for sure, combined with his career management to concentrate on Majors and keeping his #1 Ranking as long as he can. Federer knows in his heart neither Murray, nor Djokovic, nor at this point Del Potro is a serious threat to take his #1 away if he’s playing his bets. But that’s not the case with Nadal. Federer knows all too well that when he’s playing well against Nadal’s best, it’s still only 50-50 for him to get through. I’m sure Federer would admit in his black heart that Nadal is the only one really capable of taking the #1 ranking away from him. I’m not sure that its a “psychological edge’ so much. It’s more that Nadal, at his best, is as good from the back court as Federer. And Federer knows it.

jane Says:

Just jumping ahead to the QFs: if they go according to seed, I think Fed’s QF opponent is the least threatening; Cilic has not shown great form on clay, at least not yet. Tsonga, meanwhile, has been picking it up somewhat, getting to the QF in Barcelona, so if Murray makes it that far, he could have his hands full. Nadal and Djoko have the two current finalists: Soderling and Verdasco respectively. Verdasco has already been in two clay finals this season. Meanwhile Soda has crashed through the Barcelona draw this week. If they both continue on current form, who knows if Nadal and or Djoko will get through. Well, likely Nadal will, but you never know.

Having said all this, I am not sure the top four will all get through to the quarters anyhow. Perhaps, but I am skeptical of Murray and Djoko in particular, for obvious reasons. Too reiterate margot – heavy sigh!

Kimmi Says:

margot: “Andy has a horrible draw, given his current form I expect him to go out in the second round…again..deep sigh..”

do you mean actual *first* round for him, because he has a bye. Murray needs to come together one day and hope it is rome. He has 10 points to defend here..time to climb up ladder again.

jane, I agree hotsauce is tough draw but I don’t know if he will get there..too many matches and he has Youzhny looming large..we will see.

Federer..baghdatis is not so good on clay due to past results but could get inspired with *i have beaten federer before* attitude. Gulbis hit and miss can be dangerous if he is connecting. just looking at the first round for federer..one match at a time.

jane Says:

Kimmi, I had considered that about Hotsauce, but he’s a very fit guy so who knows? As mentioned, who knows if Djok will get there either, as I don’t know if his serve is better or not. That above post was purely speculating on *if* the QFs went according to see, but then I mentioned that I am very uncertain that they will.

I know what you mean about Fed; it’s tough to look past the first round as there are some dangerous lurkers for all the top guys. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more upsets. It’s almost like upsets are becoming more predictable than going with seeds. Ironic. ; )

Kimmi Says:

As i said on the other thread, i would like to see rafa v soderling match. Soda has a tricky berdych in round 16 who could spoil this party..fingers crossed.

thark Says:

really enjoying the insights of the more experienced aficionados on this site…

anyway i think jane has nailed it with respect to murray and djokovich. recent results are very much highlighting the mental side of the sport, and they are not on the upside of that equation.

i for one am really hoping that soderling and tsonga blow up this year – they both deserve some big titles, with the energy they’re bringing.

Kimmi Says:

jane: “As mentioned, who knows if Djok will get there either, as I don’t know if his serve is better or not.”

he played very well in his previous matches before verdasco in monte carlo, serving well against serra, wawrinka and nalbandian.

I remember his match against verdasco very well. He started well, serving well and hitting his best shots until after 2 all in the first set….things changed. verdasco made some very good gets at 1-2 15-40 saving two break points.
Djokovic seem dejected after verdasco made those ridiculous gets (they were shot that djoko could have won easily but he didn’t) and for some reason things went downhill for him from there..

He has shown signs of playing well..I listened to his interview after nalby match, he said he felt that was his best match this year..so he is connecting. I thought maybe his problem is.. he breaks down when things are very tight but he came out good with nalbandian saving few break points on big big points..tough to say!

PietjeP Says:

@Voicemale; nicely balanced post. I think he “choked” that same year in Monte Carlo as well against Nadal (squandering leads).

For me it will be interesting to see if the one FO title Roger has in the bag now, allows him to play more freely in Paris and possibly against Nadal. Let’s not forget that 2 out of those 3 finals were when Roger would/could win the non calendar slam… talk about pressure there…

Personally I think he can beat Nadal in Paris. But only if his level of play is maximum and if he chooses the right tactics. If not, Rafa will take him down easily. He is too good.

Deborah Says:

The reason why Nadal won the last tournament is because Federer wasn’t there and neither were some of the other players that give him trouble. If Federer is there, nobody count him out of anything. He will not tank on purpose, and he will play his best. He has had some time off and he is energized.

jane Says:

Kimmi, yes, that’s why I say I don’t know what to expect. I felt very pleased watching that Nalby match, but then the next match he apparently kind of caved in after Nando’s efforts. I tuned in late to that rout so I didn’t see enough of it to know and didn’t see the beginning either. Oh well, can’t do anything but wait and see.

PietjeP – I agree: to me that Monte Carlo 2008 match between Fed and Nadal showed how strongly Nadal was playing at the time, as Fed was up a break in the first set, 4-3, but Nadal came back and took it 7-5, and then in the second set Fed was up 4-love (!), and Nadal still came back and took that set 7-5 too. It was almost a harbinger of what Nadal would do at the FO that year.

Kimmi Says:

daniel: “Or, Soderling can upset Nadal again in the quarters so Fed doesn’t need to tank! :)”

OMG, if sod beats nadal again..the tennis world will go CRAZY!

challengerlevel Says:

Ok obviously most people on here think that Federer and Nadal will meet next week in the semis. If Roger is truly energized after his break, and has been training for 3 weeks in Zurich as the reports say than he could possibly win Rome beating Nadal along the way. Should he do this and I do not think the match will happen anyways, but if he does this and wins Rome than I believe he could go undefeated on the clay this year and win the French Open for a 2nd time. Here is my prediction for the next 5 weeks including Roland Garros.

Roger Federer:
Rome- Quarters
Estoril- Champion
Madrid- Champion
Roland Garros- Champion

challengerlevel Says:

Prediction for Nadal:
Monte Carlo- Champion
Rome- Champion
Madrid- semifinals
French Open- finals

Kimmi Says:

challengerlevel: have you won the lottery before?

challengerlevel Says:


No. They are just predictions. This is my gut and I maybe totally wrong. I do feel very strongly though that Federer will win Roland Garros.

challengerlevel Says:

If Soderling wins tomorrow than he will be a nightmare for anybody in Rome.

Kimmi Says:

very bold predictions challengerlevel, especially on clay. but good luck anyways.

challengerlevel Says:


What are your predictions?


Make sure you enter in the ATP draw challenge. Your id should be challengerlevel so at the end we can see how good you are at making picks.

challengerlevel Says:

Is everybody upset that I am making predictions?


A lot of good 1st round matches in Rome. Much more difficult draw challenge than MC. I was able to get the entire top draw correct in that challenge except for the Montantes/Cilic upset. I had 8 misses in the bottom half. Finish was 215 out of 14027, not bad.

Some of these matches could go either way

Troicki/De Bakker


Nothing wrong with making predictions, not mad at anyone

Kimmi Says:

Good one NELTA, challengerlevel should enter draw challenge.

challengerlevel, i was not bad in monte carlo, semi predictions i was 75% correct.

I am a federer fan and would like to see him do well but I have to be realistic. He has not shown much tennis wise since AO, it is a wait and see game for me.

meanwhile, Nadal has looked unstoppable in monte carlo.

Kimmi Says:

NELTA, yap, tough one.

-I would gamble on de bakker, great perfomance on clay in barca..I think he should now have the confidence that he can challenge the top guys

-Hewitt beats youzhny..i don’t think so..I go youzhny here. He is very solid at the moment only lost a close match with nalby in MC.

– Gulbis could beat bagdatis, bughy sucks on clay

The rest, tough ones. I will go fo Wawrinka, zeballos, chardy…like challengerlevel, just my gut feeling!

jane Says:

Okay, I don’t know who Zeballos is, but I do know Isner played great on clay at the Davis Cup in Serbia. If he can play like that, he could do well! Mind you, I don’t know when he played last, so that may be a factor too (i.e., not being match grooved).

dangerouspaul Says:

soederling is the biggest threat to nadal and fed..he is the only one who can prevent them meeting in the semis or finals the next weeks…he is so unpredictable predictable..huge flat ball striking taking any risks possible could be as challengerlever stated before a real nightmare for anybody…don’t think theres gonna be any surbprises tomorrow ..he will shoot verdasco out of the centre court tomorrow..

wow finally a possible fed vs nadal match in the semis…its 50:50 its goin to happen because of federer and soederling ;-)

Kimmi Says:

jane, Zeballos is an up and coming from argentina. last year he was awarded by ATP as the best new comer or something. he is now ranked 50. I watched an ATP program about him and he said he likes hard courts. He is starting to play well in master series. He is dangerous..could give Isner problems!

Kimmi Says:

But I agree with you, Isner played well at Davis cup but I don’t know his other clay results, i don’t think he has done anything great on clay before davis cup. Querrey has better overall clay results. if zeballos wins it will be an upset.

jane Says:

Kimmi thanks for filling me in – will have to watch for him.

Kimo Says:

If Soda beats Rafa on clay again, I think that will show that Soda is to Rafa what Rafa is to Roger: a helluva bad match-up.

jane Says:

On a side note: apparently Justine Henin has broken her left pinkie. Shouldn’t be too disastrous since she’s a righty and has a one-handed backhand.

Tennis Fan Says:

Wow I wish tennis was as easy as all you guys make it out to be. The guy saying Fed will tank, doesn’t in my opinion understand tennis. There is a massive difference between 3 and 5 sets. If all comps were 3 sets, how many slams do you think Fed would have? Not 16 that’s for sure, off the top of my head he would not have won last year’s FO and probably many more. He wouldn’t have been in the AO open final he lost to Nadal who wouldn’t have been there either. 5 set tennis is these days won by the big boys, that’s why only a few win them. 3 set tennis is more of a lottery, so I think it is an insult to say Fed will tank a match. As soon as you start doing that you lose your mojo, and you rarely get it back. Fed will win the FO, he annihilated Murray at the AO, he wants the full Grand Slam, to seal his status as the greatest. The fact Nadal pulled out of Barca, says he’s worried he won’t win the French, cos you could hardly say it was a difficult week for him in MC.

Gordo Says:


Fed’s very first match on clay this year will be against the winner of Gulbis and Baghditis (!), with Cilic being the probable quarter finalist he will have to get past before running into whoever comes out of Nadal’s quarter.

Looking at that part of the draw, based on his Monte Carlo play Nadal should emerge, but it will be interesting to see how the match goes if he and Soderling wind up against each other in a quarter final match. Obstacles that might prevent this matchup even happening is Berdych for Soderling and Andreev for Nadal.

On the other side, If Tsonga gets past Ferrero he will probably meet the winner of Andy Murray-David Ferrer in one semi-final. Given Murray’s recent funk and Ferrer’s skill on clay I call this a toss-up, even though we are talking a #4 seed against a #13 seed.

And in the remaining quarter, can anyone prevent a Verdasco – Djokovic clash in the last semi? If they bring their A- Game Youzhny won’t be much of a problem for Hot Sauce, and Isner shouldn’t put up too much to bother the Djoker.

Looks like the tennis gods didn’t give Fed any favours. The top half looks tougher than the bottom, IMO.

Fed – hope the rust has worn off,
Rafa – hope the knees hold up,
Andy – hope the head is on straight.
Djoker – hope the fitness is restored.

Now go have fun boys!

contador Says:

Helloooo people- Kimmi, jane…everybody!

missed MC and most of barca but did get to see soda kick poor debakko’s arse in the first set …tiemo was playing well to get to the semi! wow, i could sort of see why he got that far in the second set but….

barca is tobasco’s trophy : ( you know i love soda pop.

omg….the rome draw. NELTA-

i did enter the draw challenge….lol…like i have a clue, right?

all i am sure about is rafa winning.

first round:

de baker/troiki
gulbis/ baggy *i am sooo not over hoping for ernie gets a big greak-through*

hewitt/ youzy ( not really logical )
horacio zeballos/isner
tipsy wins over the french heart throb, chardy (sorry margot)

and looking at the qualies, not discounting a couple qualifiers names coming through….

I picked king federer at first…..but…he has been gone too long and apparently rafa was in monster form at MC?

king of clay, that rafa. he is truly a phenomenon on clay.

sar Says:

Isner gave Djok a hard time at Davis cup. I think Djok has the most difficult draw. Fed, the cupcake.

sar Says:

Will Federer tank and lose in the quarters to avoid Nadal until RG?

Kimmi Says:

Contador, we miss you. Nice to see you back.

Stay this time pls, there is p-l-e-n-t-y tennis to come.

I call for you when Gulbis played hotsauce in the qtrs..gulbis gave a fight…but quater final not a bad result.

Rome draw..oh dear when I saw gulbis/bagdatis first round for federer! don’t know what to say but federer needs to go all the way here.

jane: i read about Henin too. very lucky the injury not on her right hand. We need her on clay season. Goo justine!

challengerlevel Says:


I think that is exactly what he will do and he should be asked about it in the media. I would think if the media told Fed that some people think he is avoiding Rafa it would embarrase him a little bit, and maybe put a stop to it.

contador Says:

hi sar-

well take another look at fed’s draw. he has baggy, even though baggy isn’t known for the clay, gulbis wants a top ten scalp really bad….and he gets “up” for matches with rafa and roger-has given both a hard fight on grass with rafa and hard court in doha won a set off rog.

he gets to he second round at who knows? benny, the fed killer, could be waiting. federer is the main target for everybody and he has not been at all impressive since winning AO.

And, though i am a djoko fan, he’ll have had to had a good makeover to get past bellucci, not to mention tobasco….i hope he can. he should. but i agree nole appears to have a tough draw from the start.

contador Says:

hey Kimmi missed you too!

all i will say is: life sometimes interferes with my tennis addiction and i really despised it for missing ernies run to the quarters in barca! woooooot!

i hope the wind isn’t out of his sails….or he’s bored with tennis after losing to tobasco. ernie should be top ten with all that natural talent and charisma ; p

a federer v gulbis match? *pulse racing* who will i cheer?

contador Says:

federer doesn’t tank…

i know fed haters like to fancy that idea but he has some scores to settle with rafa…he didn’t “tank” to avoid rafa in madrid last year.

RF enters tourney’s to win. he has points to defend coming up and loves being #1. he’s never done that well in rome though, has he?

Dan Martin Says:

Federer and the potential quest for 286 is an interesting topic. Federer has a healthy lead on Novak and Rafa (whom each have more points to defend pre-Madrid than Roger), but then Roger has 3000 points to defend between Madrid and Paris. Rome and Estoril offer Roger a good chance to make his path to 286 much easier, but then again Monte Carlo offered the same sort of scenario and he did not play there. I am not sure how that will all shake out, but Rafa and/or Nole need to do well in Rome to keep the 286 week mark interesting. Given Rafa’s form in Monte Carlo I think he repeats in Rome too, but skipping Barcelona meant 500 points were lost.

challengerlevel Says:

Cilic over Federer
Nadal over soderling

nadal over djokovic

Kimmi Says:

Challengerlevel: when did federer tank a match before..any match, how does he do that? i have watche a lot of federer matches and he fights his heart out..shouting C’MOON once in a while when winning big points ect

The only match that looks like he could have tanked is Montreal 2009 against Tsonga. I have never seen federer leading 5-0 in the third set and then went to lose the match but I believe he had some issues that tournament just coming back after having babies.

Federer will not *tank* any match in Rome. If he lose a match its because his opponent was better on a day.

challengerlevel Says:

When Federer loses he will say he is not worried about it, and he just wanted match practice. If I was in the media I would say “Roger a lot of us have been wondering why you are sucking so much lately, and also why you are afraid to play Nadal.” I would hope to get an angry response in return.

challengerlevel Says:


That is exactly what he will want you to think after he loses in the quarters. That mentality is what lets him off the hook.

jane Says:

Hey-ya conty countess! Missed your funny and insightful posts.

joji Says:

Among the many withdrawals Roddick (beach) LOL

contador Says:

nope. federer might relax too much, now that he is older and achieved so much. or go walkabout like in toronto.. but to say he “tanks?” pah at this point in the season he’d like nothing better to prove himself in rome but….

he’s not played a match in how long? so, i wouldn’t be surprised if he loses earlier than the quarterfinal.

then, he will have to win estoril and win likely over rafa in madrid.

although ultimately it’s the FO final where another chance to win, this time against rafa would settle all scores and punctuate his dominance.

admitted the number 1 thing a priority. the pressure is on from here on, Dan Martin. i think breaking the record could be tough…and holding onto #1 longer than past wimbles?

everyone counted federer out last year about this time. he could surprise us again, who knows.

contador Says:

thanks jane….always a pleasure to read you.

i like to say “horacio zeballo,” very cool name, don’t you think?

it’s not logical at all to pick him over isner. z-ball had a tremendous run on indoor hard court last fall and i know he he’s won titles on the challenger tour. but he’s has been a bit disappointing the last few tournaments.

this could be isner’s time to win on clay.

i’s sticking with horacio. it’s a hard call. we’ll see

contador Says:

yeah, roddick on the beach. i agree

Duro Says:

And where have you been, my fair lady?

Kimmi Says:

tipsarevic is coming back from injury, isn’t he?
he has not played for a while..i think he retired in a match in IW and did not play miami. I now think he could win against chardy..H2H is 2-0 tipsy but played only on hard courts. Tough one to pick.

contador Says:

speaking of the qualies, dolgopolov jr is a name i keep watching jane and kimmi. he’s young….doesn’t even have a picture on atp site….not much info about him but i remember watching him indoors in moscow and or and st. petersburg; indoor hard court game looked to have potential.

he won his qualie round i see, today.as did cruel greul, leo mayer, liordra, luczak, chela and niemenen, if anyone care….lol

i do

now that i’m playing the “draw challenge”

contador Says:

ahhh, Duro. i hope you are well.

i had some issues of a nature that took me away from tennis and that my friend is not an easy thing to do….

i also hope you are around more. life does get in the way.

about nole? here’s hoping losing TM has nole back to his illustrious self.

ajde nole!

Kimmi Says:

i am playing the draw challenge too contador..never heard of dolgopolov jr..are you going to pick him to win a match in the main draw?

Chela just won houston..clay tourny beating Querrey in the final. I think he could do a little damage here. Last week in barca he lost to soda pop 7-5 7-5 forst round!

contador Says:

tipsy injured? hm, good to know these things.

switching pick to chardy, thanks kimmi.

that was another match-up i was questioning.

Kimmi Says:

contador, don’t switch tipsy, I pick him..i think he can win. his H2H vs chardy is too good!

challengerlevel Says:

Nadal will get the oppurtunity to beat Sod, Federer, and Nole right in a row. That will be true evidence that he’s back to dominate the tour including Federer. Roger and Robin are the last two guys that beat him on clay and I think he will destroy them both at this tournament. Djokovic should be the true test and Rafa will come through. He won’t drop a set the whole tournament gauranteed.

Duro Says:

OK, countess… I understand. As far as Nole and Tod Martin are concerned, I see that I’m among few that think it’s a pity. I felt sad because of it. He should have fired Vajda long time ago, kept him as a friend but not as a couch. I liked Tod. Too clever to be rejected. Impatience is expensive some time…

contador Says:

all i really, honestly remember about him was he had great hair LOL..i’m a sucker for ponytails on men…..hahahahahhaaaaa

true story.

Kimmi, nope. dolgopolov is not a serious pick yet…i don’t think.

was more thinking of chela and llordra, lucszak. i don’t count out greul, though i really am not familier ( haven’t looked up his record on clay ) always wish leo mayer gets into gear.


Speaking of qualifiers why did they put all of them in the bottom half of the draw? There’s only 1 in the top half and 6 in the bottom.

jane Says:

“dolgopolov jr is a name ” contador that is a name alright! LOL. Will not forget it soon. It doesn’t quite have the ring of Horacio Zeballos that’s for sure.

challengerlevel, I find it intriguing to read your predictions: how can Rafa go from beating, say, Sod and Fed, not dropping a set, to losing in the semis at Madrid and the finals at the FO? I find that quite a turn-around.

Duro Says:

Hi, Kimmi. Another final lost for you and me… Can we have a semi instead? Hardly, again. No wonder they played only 7 matches against each other.

contador Says:

Duro, okay. I take your word on that information. i always thought vajda was an “good thing,” an integral part of his success.

i just hope nole comes out playing to his ability. really tired of him going out early.

Duro Says:

Hi, Jane (smiling…).

jane Says:

Duro “kept him as a friend but not as a couch” – LOL, very good malapropism! “Couch” rather than coach sort of works for Vajda since he is, I think, “comfortable” for Nole. : ) I like Todd, too; however, in hindsight, I am not sure he and Djoko were the right fit. I think Nole would be good with someone who pushes him a little more than Vajda, yet someone who doesn’t want to change his game too much technically but who can help him make adjustments mentally and physically. Maybe his serve does need tweaking from his motion in 07, particularly if he was having shoulder pain, but basically if he rose to the heights he did in 07-08, winning a slam, reaching semis of all majors, he doesn’t need tons of re-tooling.

I admire, for example, the way Stefanki has helped Roddick make minor adjustments: footwork, fitness, strategy, but has also worked with his strengths.

Kimmi Says:

Duro, too bad for murray right now. but he will be back.

BTW, Djoko should stay at # 2 as long as he can because it is a good place to be. Look now he avoids both his nemesis federer and nadal till the final, who could not ask for that?..djoko should not let that # 2 ranking go, should guard it with his life…the slams should be easy to concur this way.

Gordo Says:

challengerlevel Says:
When Federer loses he will say he is not worried about it, and he just wanted match practice. If I was in the media I would say “Roger a lot of us have been wondering why you are sucking so much lately, and also why you are afraid to play Nadal.” I would hope to get an angry response in return.

Hmmn – let’s play that scenario out, shall we?

Roger should then politely repond, “If you call a 3000 point lead over my nearest competition – what was that word? – “sucking,” then what does that say about them?”

Then after the conference he would go to the tournament official and request that you never get media accreditation for future tournaments, for why – when there are good writers with intelligent questions out there – would you give a media pass to an insulting moron?

contador Says:

well, chardy, for all his handsome frenchness is up and down it seems. and mentally fragile?

maybe chardy is more of a hard court player. that is why i was picking tipsy…

like to know more about the tipsy injury.

LOL, Jane. dolgpolov junior is another unforgettable name, even if his tennis is forgettable. to early to tell. i think he is under 20.

i’d go look at the atp info again but that “no picture” thing makes me uncomfortable…hehehehe i’m not sure his birthday is even mentioned.

Gordo Says:

Speaking of qualifiers why did they put all of them in the bottom half of the draw? There’s only 1 in the top half and 6 in the bottom.

That’s just the luck of the draw, NELTA. Once the tournament officials determine all the seeds then the qualifiers are thrown in with the wild cards and the unseeded players who qualify because of their ranking and the draw is completed.

This happens for every tournament, but if the majority of qualifiers land in Federer’s half of the draw, or especially in his quarter you will read in these blog pages that it is “fixed” to ensure Federer has an easy path.

Such is the mindset of some of these “fans” in Tennis-x.

contador Says:

apologies Jane for all my typos and poorly written sentences.

my excuse this time- too excited after watching soda pop and thinking about the rome excitement!

contador Says:

not me, Gordo.

why on earth would two “fed killers” and gulbis be in fed’s first two matches be a bonus for him…..rigged schmigged.

contador Says:

alright , i get it.

revenge. they rig it that way to motivate federer to get even, that’s it.

and how dare erno take a set off him in doha! revenge…federer, revenge…

Duro Says:

Jane, Nole now needs Jelena Gencic, his first coach, to remind him what he forgot. Vajda is not more than a fan. Tod should write a tennis philosophy book.

Kimmi: “djoko should not let that # 2 ranking go, should guard it with his life…” Exactly! Strange thing, I got a mail today from a very clever guy. He said almost the same thing! Here what he wrote: “It is time that Nole wake up and answer the call. He is number 2, and he has to rise to the occasion and stop Nadal from climbing. It took him so long to climb to the No.2, and this could be one opportunity to make headway to No.1, at least hold on to No.2 until FO. Then, gain at FO and Wimby. If this opportunity slips, you never know when the next chance will come.
He will have to play best tennis of his life in next 2 months!”

Kimmi Says:

NELTA: my draw challenge has not updated the quallifier names yet…is yours updated? i do this for the first time so I might be doing something wrong..

Gordo Says:

No contador, not you.

But don’t you love the mindset of those who say Federer is “avoiding” Nadal?

I’m not sure how he is doing that, maybe by staying around until the finals of all the slams because he knows that outside of Roland Garros it is unlikely Mr. Spanish Fashion Plate will ever find himself in a GS final in the near future.

After all these Grand Slam semis Fed gears himself up for another match against Nadal and then sees that… oh, Nadal lost in yet another earlier round.

Gee, it is the same thing Fed has been doing recently in the Masters series tourneys. When Fed does it he is “sucking.” When Nadal does it we all lament about his poor knees and the horrid clay schedule.

Give me a break!

blank Says:

challengerlevel, how did you go from Roger tanking in the quarters (at the beginning of this thread) to him losing to Rafa at the semis to Rafa (your latest post)?

blank Says:

I don’t understand how people can say Fed is avoiding Nadal (unless they are Nadal fans and want to denigrate Federer).

He could never be the champion he is if he was avoiding people against whom he has a losing record. Remember Hewitt and Nalbandian back in those old days…how did he fare against them early in his career?

jane Says:

I think Fed is too proud of a competitor to tank, and I think he actually likes to play his nemeses. However, it may be that he doesn’t fight quite as hard as he used to in the lower tier events now because his focus is on bigger things/wins. But I don’t think he deliberately tanks. Besides which, Nadal has been in a slump for a while now, almost a year. So there is no need for Fed to avoid him; in fact, I’d think he’d like to see how he stands. It’s been a long time since these two played! Only twice last year right? AO to Nadal, Madrid to Fed (the irony of the surfaces in each win).

Kimmi Says:

jane, he fights in lower tier events too, its just that there is no time to recover in these lower events from a bad start maybe. Three or two sets goes very quicky and he is sometimes caught a little cold.

Against berdych or bagdatis (Miami and IW) if it was a slam both berdych and baggy have to play another set on a very high level in order to win. Most players don’t have the high fitness or concentration level to go for 4 or 5 set..that is when he can get them.

The way he played in RG last year, if it was best of three he would have lost against haas and delpo..easy!

contador Says:

well, it’s all very true, Gordo. and precisely why i left another tennis talking site for good.

i have many favorites, federer is the one who drew me to watching tennis…now i understand he has a wife, family, is older and needs to pace himself more.

but the “scared of nadal” mindset or “tanking” or “draw rigging” theories are incongruent with federer’s actions.

if anything, at this point, a champion such as federer would be more “up” for the challenge, as we saw last madrid. if the fraidy cat federer theory were true, certainly he should have “tanked’ at the FO before facing rafa for another dreadful time in 2008! wouldn’t one think?

fed has only two wins on clay over nadal. the federer we know, would love more chances at him, win or lose. he doesn’t shrink away.

and even if the tournaments try “rig” a draw, it is impossible, really. over and over we find that what appears to be an “easy” draw turns into quite the opposite. there are too many variables. it’s a horse race, LOL. some top seed comes up with a sudden limp or gimp and poof! the whole race changes.

but i like to look at the early draw in a general sense and suppose one quarter is easier than another. however is seldom turns out how it appears. makes for a lively speculative conversation.

tennisx has lots of great fans, imo. not given as much to lengthy obsessions between opposing fed and nadal fans other sites.

durogatory and bitter comments will come. some have to vent. i think there are just many fans, fans of tennis enough to bother writing about the game and players who are tired of federer’s reign. i get that. and if i am honest, i am tired of rafa’s reign on clay.

so shock me! have federer win the FO against nadal and nadal win the US open against anyone…..hehehehe

or nole win FO, or roddick win wimbles, murray win US Open….something different is good for tennis by now. i applauded delPo for winning US Open and i really miss him in the draw; davy and nalby too. roddick? he’s on a beach…LOL

as we all know, in the end the best, most fittest wins. “excuses” don’t apply, though excuses may even be valid “reasons.” the winner is the winner and earned it working their way through any given draw.

Eliza Says:

Challengerlevel, your speculations, which are written as foregone conclusions, are ridiculous, based on zero evidence in past behaviour. If you went around telling someone they were about to be a coward because you thought they were going to do something for which there is no evidence, they’d think you were nuts, or maybe sue you.



One of the flaws in the draw challenge is you don’t know who is being placed in each qualifier position. Same issue in MC. Basically, people just pick the known name vs qualifier. It would be nice to know where Chela is going because I would favor him to win against at least 3 potential 1st round opponents.

You have until 7AM EST(noon in Italy?) so there might be a small window of time tomorrow where the officials will place each qualifier, update the draw on the Rome web site and there is still some time to make picks in your draw. I will sleeping during that possible window.


Actually Kimmi, your time for making picks expires tomorrow morning before they have even played the final round of qualies so we are all SOOL.

jane Says:

Kimmi “Three or two sets goes very quicky and he is sometimes caught a little cold.” True – very good point. I didn’t mean to say he doesn’t fight at all, only that maybe he doesn’t worry as much about winning everything now, that he goes out there, tries his best, but if it’s an off-day, that’s okay, move on, etc. He seems less perturbed maybe, and in a way that could be a monkey (or “monster” to use his word) off his back, as it used to be if he lost a match everyone in the media was freaking out, but I do think that’s lessened somewhat now, and people realize that anything Fed does from now on out is gravy! Maybe it’s a question of focus rather than fight. As you say, Fed’s focus in the slams is second to none (with Nadal a very close second or co-first) but maybe in the other events he’s not quite as focused on them. I don’t know. I don’t mean it in a negative way just that he’s at a slightly different stage in his career now, that’s all.

Kimmi Says:

NELTA, thanks for the info.

This is very poorly done, especially they know people are playing the draw challenge. I cannot just pick a known name to win..how many times we have seen qulifiers win their first round matches?

And how do they update “qulification draw” but not the “main draw”? why not update both at the same time? ridiculous!

I agree, chela can win his first round match depending on who is drawn with. maybe the ATP needs to know this problem? I am sure people must have ask already..sheesh!

Ben Pronin Says:

Why are people taking challengerlevel seriously? This is the same guy who claims to have predicted Nadal’s first ever loss at the French during a conversation with Fernando Gonzalez. Now he’s claiming that Federer “avoids” Nadal because he doesn’t know how to interpret Federer’s press conferences. Let’s get real, guys.

Kimmi Says:

sorry NELTA..I thought qulifying round is finished because the qulifying draw is filled out already..oooops, i was looking at barcelona draw..wrong one.

ridiculous x1000

jane Says:

blank – quick aside – do you watch hockey? Was it you who wrote “Go Sens” a while back? I can’t remember. Anyhow, big night for them tonight.

I’ve thought of puckbandit lately as his Devils didn’t make it past the first round; p.b., if you’re reading, bummer. : /


There are 14 players left in qualies. At the end of day tomorrow it will be down to 7 and the names will be placed in each qualifying slot in the draw.

Kimmi Says:

jane: “I don’t mean it in a negative way just that he’s at a slightly different stage in his career now, that’s all.”

did not think there was anything negative…you made good points.

“He seems less perturbed maybe, and in a way that could be a monkey (or “monster” to use his word) off his back, as it used to be if he lost a match everyone in the media was freaking out, but I do think that’s lessened somewhat now, and people realize that anything Fed does from now on out is gravy”

this is soo true as we have seen how fans and media starts to speculate he does not care about small tourneys..definetly a monkey off his back!

contador Says:


on the weaker ones in the main draw, i just filled in “qualifier,” not the best system but as NELTA mentions, still time to change a few.

still speculating…

rome is gonna be good, even though too many are missing with injuries and the winner likely turns out to be nadal for the 6th time.

the unpredictability is why i love the early rounds the most. just wish it was easier to get the streams….and of course the time difference makes it impossible to watch the matches later in the day in rome. i’ll wake up at 3 am if i have to, for certain matches.

Kimmi Says:

Contador- your post @ 6:49pm is great and I agree 100%


Beck, Starace, and Bolelli are the weakest in the main draw that face a qualifier in the 1st round. There’s quite a few potential qualifiers I might pick against these guys like Llodra, Chela, Granollers, Mayer, Greul, and Neimenen.

Kimmi Says:

I am guessing in the draw challenge when they wrote QUALIFIER (1), it must be a winner from the top sections (we have 7 sections as NELTA said), QUALIFIER (2) second section. QUALIFIER (3) third section et. At least this way we can predict the winners from these sections aso that to give us the idea who will take a certain qualifier spot…

Kimmi Says:

yap, i think that is what it is.

Qualifier 1 – winner – chela v HERNANDEZ
Qualifier 2 – winner – LLODRA v RIBA
Qualifier 3 – winner – GIMENO-TRAVER v GRANOLLERS


Am I right?



I didn’t see any particular order when I looked at the qualifying results in MC and the final draw placement. I think it is random.



Look at the MC qualies and main draw and let me know if your theory is correct.

Kimmi Says:

NELTA, how do I look..the draw is already updated..the name has replaced the QUALIFIER 1 position? I don’t understand what you mean?


The Rome draw challenge starts with qualifier(1) at the top of the draw and then goes down sequentially until you get to qualifier(7) at the bottom of the draw.

I am assuming MC does it the same way so you can compare. They don’t match up at 3,5,6 or 7.

Main Draw position Qualifying Draw Position
Q1 Gimeno-Traver Q1 Gimeno-Traver
Q2 Dogolopov Q2 Dogolopov
Q3 Golubev Q3 Neiminen
Q4 Luczak Q4 Luckaz
Q5 Granollers Q5 De Bakker
Q6 Neiminen Q6 Granollers
Q7 De Bakker Q7 Golubev

contador Says:

i picked 3 qualifiers have a good chance to win in the first round main draw.

Q over beck
Q over starace
Q over bolelli

bolelli and starace are home favorites but both have a habit of losing, lol *nervous laugh*

but there are 7 qualifier spaces after tomorrow’s play, right? there was a rain delay, so the last round qualie is late?

Off of main draw the Q’s i pick to win:

qualifer #2 winner
qualifier #4 winner
qualifier #5 winner

so, how are we to determine who qualies #2, 4, 5 are?

only picking them based to go through qualies and then win in main draw first round based on who they play in main draw.

this is my first try at this….help?

contador Says:


i was going by the qualie number on the main draw but how do you know to fill in whom against beck, starace and bolelli?

Kimmi Says:

Thanks for looking that up NELTA.

Hmmm! there is a decrepancy on few positions. for now, i will go with positions as indicated on the qualifying draw. I will make sure to compare once they put up qualifier names like you did for monte carlo.

For now i will assume Berdych will play Chela (if he wins)…that means chela cannot get a weaker draw..

Good luck!

Kimmi Says:


I thought SECTION 1 of qualifying draw takes Q1 on main draw…and so on!

But if you look at NELTA post 8:22pm, in MC they did not match that way.

I will go with this theory for now, then I will check if they match once the full draw is out.
Maybe they move them around in MC because of withdrawals or something..we will see!

Skorocel Says:

Sean Randall: Among the many withdrawals (sorry, I cannot keep up with them all): Del Potro (wrist), Robredo (back), Roddick (beach), Davydenko (wrist), Gonzalez (knee), Haas (hip), Nalbandian (hamstring), James Blake (knee), Gilles Simon (knee).

LOL :-)


challengerlevel: „He (Fed) will I believe make the quarters and will than fall to whomever is there. He will not tank in an obvious way to avoid penalty, but will find a way to lose the match. )

Ditto :-) Btw, keep those Fedtards luring out of their dens! ;-) I just LOVE your April 24th, 2010 at 4:38 pm post!


„Also, win or lose Fed cannot possibly claim to have any psychological advantage over Nadal on Clay. There is no basis to believe that yet.“

Very true, blank. Not only Fed, but any other player, for that matter.


„Will Federer tank and lose in the quarters to avoid Nadal until RG?“

That’s the question, sar ;-)


contador: „everyone counted federer out last year about this time. he could surprise us again, who knows.“

He could. The only question is, will it be a positive or negative surprise? ;-) If IW and Miami were signs of what’s about to come, then lord help us…


Gordo to contador: „But don’t you love the mindset of those who say Federer is “avoiding” Nadal?“

Gordo, if Federer HIMSELF says that all those matches which he and Nadal played on clay prior to FO gave Nadal a huge confidence in their matches to come (including those at the FO), don’t you think he’s more or less saying he wants to avoid Nadal (or, in other words, to not reveal his cards too early) as much as possible before Paris?


blank: „I don’t understand how people can say Fed is avoiding Nadal (unless they are Nadal fans and want to denigrate Federer). He could never be the champion he is if he was avoiding people against whom he has a losing record. Remember Hewitt and Nalbandian back in those old days…how did he fare against them early in his career?“

Nalby and especially Hewitt are long ago cannon fodders for Federer, so to speak. Nadal isn’t. And it’s been already 6 (six) years since they played their 1st match…


Deborah: „The reason why Nadal won the last tournament is because Federer wasn’t there and neither were some of the other players that give him trouble. If Federer is there, nobody count him out of anything.“

Well, looking at their past meetings on clay, I’d say Nadal won’t lose that much sleep about it ;-)


That’s the problem Contador. My theory is that they take the 7 qualifiers and randomly assign them into each qualifying slot in the main draw. I don’t think they take the qualifier who won at the top and place him in the top qualifying position on the main draw then take the 2nd winner and place him in the 2nd qualifying spot in the main draw and so on.

We will know soon enough, but based on the last few masters events they don’t place the qaulies in sequential order

Kimmi Says:

De javu!

NELTA and contador. have you guys realise that if de bakker wins vs troicki, he plays Tsonga next (who he beat in barca) then he could play ferrero (who he beat in barca)

Now, what are the chances for him to repeat INCREDIBLE achievement in rome????

de bakker da man! WOOOT!

contador Says:

it is confusing Kimmi and NELTA

here’s what i cam up with after thinking the situation over:

( if they do go by the “seeded” qualies)

Q seed #1, chela goes through but loses to birdie

Q seed 2 llordra goes through and wins over beck

Qualie seed #3, falla was knocked out by gimeno-traver and plays granollers , whichever one will lose to JCF

Q seed, #4 greul i think loses to luczak and either one will win over starace

Q seed #5 leo mayer wins over golubev and either could win over bolelli, depending on the day, but changed my pick to home fave bolelli

Q seed #6 niemenen probably goes through but loses to GGL

Q seed #7 is “dolgo” or hajek and go through and likely lose to Bellucci….unless belucci is still traumatized by barca loss.

But my post here is only a guess and hey, where “riggiing” could come in if they place them randomly. : )

de bakker is the same age as gulbis! yes, tiemo is showing some class and could beat anyone the way he is playing, except nadal on clay, of course.

Kimmi Says:

Conty – exactly my picks except for bolleli..I am thinking he could lose to Q5 but now you got me thinking…home fav bolleli can win..everyone will cheer him on!

BTW,,de bakker can win Tsonga again but not sure about winning against ferrero..it was a very tough match in barca..the guy must be running out of fuel! But I will have him beat tsonga again though!

Kimmi Says:

Its really tough to know much about qualifiers. very few occassions one of them can have a tournament of his life. I have seen a qualifiers go all the way to semi in a master series but very VERT rare.

All my qiallies are not going more tha 2nd round anuways.

I have actually picked out the whole draw. Its all guesing ofcourse. will be fun to see which i get right. Murray is a tough one..I am hoping he does well, so I will push him deeper in the draw..ha ha! good luck to me!

Anna Says:

Players probably do strategize in ways that Challenger level describes. Someone mentioned that Soderling will have huge momentum going into Rome if he wins in Barcelona. The same reasoning applies to individual wins as well, and I think all tennis players (especially those at the top) have to consider the big picture. It’s like all’s fair in love, war and tennis when it comes to the slams and I think no one knows that better than both Roger and Rafa. Frankly, I would expect nothing less out of these two.

Djokovich played well against Nalby at MC because Nalby pulled (or tore) a hamstring.

Watched Zeballos play Chela in the finals of US Clay Court Championships. Zeballos was nothing to write home about. Chela won fairly easily I thought.

grandslamman Says:

This looks like a very exiting tournament that has a lot of potential. I for one thought Nadal played very good tennis in winning Monte Carlo, but I am not sold on his comeback as of yet. There was definitely a lack of depth in that tournament and while Nadal played very good tennis I did not think it was vintage at all. I am a Physical Therapist and have been one for 21 years. CPD (chronic patella tendinitis) is very chronic and debilitating for an athlete, and even though Nadal was ok in Monte Carlo this condition can flare up very quickly. My favorite player is Delpotro and he should be back the 1st week in May from what I understand. Djokovic and Murray are also very interesting to watch, but also need their heads examined. When those two finally get it together than watch out because they will be tough. This will be my 38th year to watch tennis, and I have seen many greats, but one player trumps them all and that is Mr. Federer. He is by far the best of the open era, and when he hangs up his racquet I believe he will be considered the best ever by everyone if he is not already. There are many things about his personality that I like and many things I do not like, but that’s the way it is with everyone. I watched him play in Indian Wells and Miami when he seemed to check out mentally in order to begin preperations for the French Open. Also I think people are to quick to forget the match between him and Nadal in Madrid last year where Roger was just to good, and was a tactical genuis in that match. He may have an edge should they play again. Roger is also on a 14 match winning streak on the red clay. I am going to go out on a limb here and say Federer wins this title in Rome for the first time, and shocks everybody along the way.

Federer defeats Nadal
Djokovic defeats Ferrer
Federer defeats Djokovic

Fot Says:

Actually, because Soderling IS in the finals of this current tournament – I don’t look for him to do anything ‘exciting’ at Rome. It’s hard for these type players to go strong week after week. Usually they have a great tournament one week, and fizzle out the next. But we will see.

As far as my man Roger – heck, I just hope to see SOME wins here. He has been missing in action so long that I haven’t had a chance to see hardly any of him since the Australian Open! I hope he can go at least 2-3 rounds so I can see him. (of course I hope for more…but realistically speaking, since this is his first clay tournament – I’m not holding my breath)! Maybe he can surprise me and go deep in the tournament. That would be great. But with Roger’s state of tennis right now – just say I won’t be shocked if he goes out early.

Now having said that – GO ROGER!!!!!!!!

dc Says:

Its difficult for a clay courter to beat Nadal, explaining why Verdasco lost albeit poorly.

It’s a much easier task for an attacking player to trouble Nadal. Of all the players who have ever faced Nadal on clay, Fed has had the best record.
Last year Djokovic almost beat him and then Fed did actually beat him and so did Soderling.

If Nadal is attacking more frequently, does that mean that against Fed
– he will not wait for Fed to make a mistake.
– he will not be constantly returning back to Fed’s backhand.

If hes does not apply the above two tactics, he will not be able to defeat Fed.

When Nadal lost last year to Fed, he mentioned that it was because the court was faster than the regular clay courts, basically implying that a slow game on clay best suits him.

I still want to see how Nadal performs on clay against one of the top attacking players. Its going to be a different game for Nadal.

Kimmi Says:

DC: I see your point. But i wanted to point out that verdasco is not a clay courter..he said HC is his fav surface. he can play on clay but prefers HC.

Skorocel Says:

dc: “I still want to see how Nadal performs on clay against one of the top attacking players. Its going to be a different game for Nadal.”

It won’t be any different – simply because ON CLAY, it’s usually Nadal who attacks the most ;-)

grandslamman Says:

If Federer is playing his best tennis than Nadal cannot beat him in my personal opinion. Nadal counts on Roger missing balls, but if Roger is serving his best and hitting that forehand well than he will win. I believe the 3 weeks of training will be evident right off the bat and we will see Roger clicking on all cylinders by semifinals day. I also think he will win the French Open again beating Nadal along the way.

Skorocel Says:

dc: “It’s a much easier task for an attacking player to trouble Nadal.”

It that was the case, Federer wouldn’t have had a 2-9 record vs Nadal on clay in the first place. And I’m not even mentioning Djokovic…


“Of all the players who have ever faced Nadal on clay, Fed has had the best record.”

Gaudio actually won 3 times against Nadal on clay, however, only 1 of those wins came against the Nadal we know today (Buenos Aires 2005).

dc Says:

Skorocel, i did not mean that an attacking player would beat Nadal.Let me rephrase – an attacking player has a better chance than a defensive player to beat Nadal.

Anna Says:

Grandslamman – I’m just wondering if you have any inside information here because the betting odds (aside from clay court history between Roger & Fed)are not thinken what your thinken. But you think it’s o.k. just to put all your money on Roger because he beat a brutalized Nadal in Madrid last year. Just wondering what your thinking?

contador Says:

oh, okay skorocel.

federer could go down the tubes, losing, losing, losing and plummeting out of the top ten but somehow i doubt it. and THAT, the plummeting, would be a surprise. maybe you are one of those tennis fans who hopes he get’s sick or injured? or permanently retires? just can’t stomach the thought of federer winning another slam or remaining at #1?

i understand the feeling. i do.

it does seem unlikely that he’ll repeat another great year, like the turnaround he made from his poor hard court results after the AO final loss to nadal last year. thus, the above negative federer scenario would really not be surprise.

i meant the surprise would be: if he repeated his record breaking successes of last year. the mysterious and amazing federer, no?

would i be happy if he goes deep enough to meet rafa in the semi? oh yes. even if he loses to rafa, so what? a semi would help in his quest to break the record weeks at #1. i’ll take it. he really does need to go deep, i think, considering how poorly he did at IW and miami. but a loss in a 1000 series clay event is not earth shattering to federer, dear skorocel, and neither would another FO final loss be the blow you hope at this point in fed’s career. federer is not afraid, though that seems to be a favorite idea of yours. think realistically, okay? one does not get to 16 grand slams (and how many finals?) by being a shrinking violet to anyone on any surface, including nadal.

but before fed gets too far in rome, he may get to meet EG again. and i am seriously wondering who i’d be cheering for ; ) a win over federer for EG could have a “soderling” effect on the talented latvian and just maybe send him on a cruise to a big final, finally. or, at least to an atp semi.

now back to wondering about how to beat nadal on clay. must take ice in the veins, an unimpressed attitude, lots of confidence, in addition to being in peak form. oh, and patience. can’t get annoyed with how long nadal takes on court to steady and ready himself. take soderling for example, win or lose against nadal he appears to have a smirking sense of humor about the whole thing, which has to help. soda likes to “yoke,” you know. soda pop, pop…

with all due respect to the supreme ruler on clay, skorocel, how refreshing and interesting if soderling or berdych could take out nadal. i mean i doubt it, but it would be something different in rome.

and i would just love to see nole make it to the final. ajde nole!
but i fear it will be a spaniard on his side of the draw. and have verdasco picked accordingly. but all three of the impressive best spaniards on clay are in nole’s side of the draw. on the outset his winning a place in the final look tough, very.

ajde! c’mon nole


yes, i have all picks to the final. and i switched a couple early round ones, second guessing myself all over the place by now, so going to bed… to be up early and cheer for soda…though your hot sauce i think will prevail in barca. soda takes it all in stride or under his towel. : )

Anna Says:

Soda has made great strides this year to take it all in stride. Last year (at Rome) he spent several minutes screaming at the umpire (to no avail)several times. It wasn’t pretty to watch.
His attitude has changed hugely since FO last year, much for the better. Seems to enjoy the game much more.

All three of the best Spaniards are on Nole’s side of the draw? I thought Nadal was on Roger’s

The supreme ruler of clay and his royal highness of hardcourt are just the best game in town. I hope we all have the opportunity to see it play out again in Rome. If Roger can beat Rafa on his surface in the form he’s in then hat’s off to him. One thing for sure. A few of us our going to have to eat a little crow. I hope whoever that might be is up to the task.

Long Live The King Says:

I think Roger should avoid Nadal on clay. Just play him in Madrid and French open and if possible at hamburg, but nowhere else :)

Roger and Novak have much poorer H2Hs than blake, delpotro or davy against nadal. One word for that – clay :)

Then again, Roger wouldn’t have been the champion he was if he thought so petty like us mortals, the biggest understatement amount about Roger is his heart. To take the pounding he took at FO 2008, Wimbledon 2008, and aus 2009 and bounce back like he has, he must have courage in spades.

besides, since 2005 fed has been in more than double the GS finals than nadal. If any one is avoiding, it is not the man from swiss-land. He is the GRANDSLAM MAN!

madmax Says:

just touching base with everyone. Taken me an hour to read the above posts!

Contador, you are back! along with Duro!

Am I the only one who thinks that Roger hasn’t actually played that badly this year? Aside of the AO, both Miami and IW, went to tie breakers, it’s not as if Roger lost in straight sets! C’moon! point either way, could have been in the bag for Roger, but not to be. He was NOT playing badly.

I have said this many times as a federer fan, we have been spoilt, and yes, I know that expectations of our world no. 1 are high, that he should win EVERY tournament, but get real! Roger has to pick and choose now, more than ever. I know he has said in interview that he wants to win some of the “smaller” tournaments and that they are “all” important to him.


He HAS to say that because of the sponsor deals, but I do believe that he does go on to court wanting to compete in EVERY match and give it his best, BUT this is a totally different mentality to when he walks onto the court of a slam.

There is NO WAY that Roger is “scared” of “rafa”, in fact in his eyes, I believe that rafa is the “only” player on tour, he would not feel too bad in relinquishing his no.1 because he regards rafa highly and more than that, “worthy”. Go see the comments he made a couple of days ago (I’ll post the comments – in fact, you can check them out on Tom Gainey’s thread when Roger made ESPN front cover) – he gushes about rafa’s deservedness of winning tournaments. I think he relishes playing rafa, over and over again he talks about their “rivalry”, and it is one of the greatest in sport – what crazy person out there wouldnt want to see these two guys meet?

It’s a recipe made for a king to watch these two play at ANY time.

Roger will be rusty (always is in the early rounds), but I remember with ANDREEV, first round (second round after the bye), when he played ANDREEV, and then went on to beat him. Yes, okay it was a slam, but even so, people were getting jittery. We just have to stick with those moments when federer goes like this.

He is clear about his intentions. He wants to win Paris, and anything between now and then is huge for him. He wants to remain no.1 and wants to surpass samprass’s 286 week mark, he believes in the history of the game, so he’ll be fine.

Also the fact that Warwinka recently beat Gulbis (should Gulbis be the one he meets in the second round), am sure Stan will give him a few tips! (and Roger will have been watching that match over and over again). No problem Roge!

C’moon federer! do some damage!

madmax Says:

here’s the link I mentioned earlier.

For behind the scenes footage of Federer from the photo shoot – check out here:


There is a funny scene that is a cross between Abbey Road and a scene featuring Mini-Me from “Austin Powers.”

In the video interview, Federer says he would like to play about another seven years – until age 35 or so – and that he wants to have a time to “enjoy the tour” without the pressure of constantly having to win and maintain rankings and other standards.

guy Says:

after seeing nadal’s form in monte carlo, it’s strange anyone could believe federer will win the french. nadal was beating him convincingly back when his backhand and serve were nowhere near as dangerous. nadal is a better player now, federer is the same. there will always be an asterisk nxt to feds paris win because he lucked out, everyone knows it. it would be like nadal winning wimbledon because fed did a hamstring. instead, nadal won his wimbledon title beating the best grasscourt player of all.

OllyK Says:

Oh, my, what a tough draw for Nole… :/ Ok, Rafa isn’t in his half, but in any case, semis are far away with these opponents… So, I’ll just keep my fingers on both hands crossed..even toes if it gets rough! ;) Ajde, Nole, per aspera ad astra! :)

Duro Says:

Olly, it was about time for you to be back, too…

OllyK Says:

Heeey, Duro! All work and no fun for me last weeks. Cruel Dubai! :( I didn’t watch one single match of MC! :( But from now on (well, at least for next couple of weeks), I’ll try to be here on regular basis, cheering for our boy and praying that he’ll finally wake up in Rome and show us that he deserves that no2 spot..Or..

Duro Says:

Olly, I’m going to Belgrade, got the tickets for Serbia Open. Sar is coming, too. We shall meet there. Come and join us! Best 250 level tournament in the world for last year, official ATP Award. New central stand (almost 10000 seats), lots of additional contents, fashion shows, promo village, partying, free entrance to all matches but on the central court… I’m trying to convince Maxi to come as well, cause Sar is coming via London. Ollyyyyyyyy! Skip Dubai, come home!

OllyK Says:

Oh, Duuuuro, trust me, that would be one of the happiest days of my life: us, diehard Nole fans, from all over the world, on same stands cheering for him! But unfortunately, no holidays for me till the end of June.. :( I was on Serbia Open every day last year. It was a great tourney so I’m not surprised it’s awarded!! Oh, if I only knew that you were planning to meet there, I wouldn’t come to Belgrade in February, I’d come in May instead…well, what’s done is done! I invite you all in Dubai next year. :D And I won’t miss Serbia Open 2011, I promise!!!

madmax Says:

Duro, will trrryyyy to come to serbia. will get back to you on that one.


interesting point you state. federer “lucked” out. Yes, of course, soderling bashes rafa in the fourth round, the greatest claycourter ever, and because soderling does this, Fed’s win doesnt count? give soderling some credit. Fed destroyed the destroyer of rafa at the FO 2009. Period.

madmax Says:


I meant to say hi to you too, i hope you are well. We are all coming together again for Rome. yay!

pro rafa Says:

wow!!!! this is going to be interesting… revenge on the cards for Rafa…. I’m sure tht he is fully fit n rearing to go…. his decision to skip barca tourney was a very good one cuz he needs all the rest he can get b4 he goes on n thumps fedex both at Rome and at Paris…. ‘course a tired nadal could do that 2 but with nadal fresh as he is the scoreline would read better(say 6-1 6-0 or 6-0 6-1 like he did at Monte Carlo)…. overall good prospects for nad…. keep improving that first serve n u will be difficult to beat

As for fedex be ready to give up ur french title…. if u thought that nad’s golden run was in 2008, think again… the champ is alive n well n rearing to trounce u all….
P.S: i hope sody goes down in the most humiliating manner to nadal in both Rome and Paris:)

Polo Says:

Much as a like Federer, I think I am bound for another disappointment at Rome. He will probably lose again early and to somebody we least expect. Federer of late has been more likely to lose to someone who he has beaten repeatedly and easily in the past. Of the top players, I think only Nadal will not disappoint. He may still lose (highly unlikely) but only because the other guy played much better, just like in Indian Wells and Miami.

Polo Says:

guy Says:
“nadal is a better player now, federer is the same.”

I half agree with you but I think Federer is not the same. He is on the decline. Even I, a big Federer fan, has come to accept that.

OllyK Says:

Heey, maxi! :) I’m fine, little bit tired, but nothing worth mentioning! :) I’m happy cause I’ll finally have some time to watch tennis! Yay! And, hopefully, enjoy in it! (Nole, do something about it!):)
Here is to our guys to meet in Rome.. ;)

Skorocel Says:

Anna: „Soda has made great strides this year to take it all in stride. Last year (at Rome) he spent several minutes screaming at the umpire (to no avail)several times. It wasn’t pretty to watch. His attitude has changed hugely since FO last year, much for the better. Seems to enjoy the game much more.“

I actually liked that attitude. It was maybe pointless for him to argue with the umpire (and unsportsmanlinke as well – if you remember, it all started when Soderling questioned one of Nadal’s shots, pointing at a totally different mark :-)), but that fit of rage was only an evidence of how MUCH he cared about that match – despite being literally whitewashed on the scoreboard…

Skorocel Says:

guy: „it would be like nadal winning wimbledon because fed did a hamstring. instead, nadal won his wimbledon title beating the best grasscourt player of all.

Indeed he did. Talk about courage here!

grandslamman Says:

I get a kick out of you guys talking negatively about Federer. While you guys are sitting back and talking bad about Federer he is saying “I have 16 slams and Nadal has how many”. It’s not even a comparison between the two players and that’s putting it nicely. 16 slams vs 6 slams. What a joke give me a break. Ha, Ha, Ha!

grandslamman Says:

Oh yeah and the small fact that Federer has 280 weeks ranked #1 compared to 46 weeks ranked #1. Now don’t you boys and girls feel stupid. Ha, Ha, Ha!

contador Says:

hello madamx and LLTK!

LLTK- i loved your post at 4/25 1:57 am. great points about the h2h’s, exactly right.

and about roger not thinking like us “mere mortals.” but clearly the anti-feds like to dream, and what better time for them but clay season.

Madamax- have missed reading you!

great links and well said about the respect rafa and roger have for each other. Maybe fans here forget it was roger, during rafa’s bleaker moments last year who advised about not writing rafa off too soon and in fact said in an interview, ” we have not seen the best of rafa.”

that’s a huge statement, really.

Granslamman- i meant to comment on your 4/24 at 19:50 pm.
federer’s belief in rafa makes me wonder if he knows very much about chronic patella tendonitis and thought through his statement believing rafa would eventually figure out how to schedule his season better…. or what.

CPD does not go away magically but neither do chronic back issues such as federer has had to manage since at least 2003. I recall reading what federer had to say after winning his first wimbledon: he didn’t know how far he could go in the slam because his back was hurting so bad he nearly had to retire in the first rounds.

evidently RF figured out how to strengthen his back and went on well. now he is older and has to readjust for the physical wear and tear to his main weakness, his lower back, even more.

rafa skipping barca is a good sign that he is being well-coached and thinking wisely in regard to his CPD. had to be tough for rafa to miss barca with his record there.

and as i have thought about rafa, the way he could perhaps win a US Open and be physically well enough by late season would need to be by making other tourny sacrifies, so he spares his knees for the slams.

Maybe federer understood how rafa could be able to have a best year yet, though to many of us after 2009, it did seem unlikely. or, his statement simply came from the respect he has for rafa. who knows.

anyways…. i think there is a barca final starting rith now and i must see if i can stream and the action is on in rome!

contador Says:


meant your post on 4/24 @ 10:50!

MarkoPolo Says:

Hi Jane, Ollyk, Duro, Sar and all the other devoted Nole fans!Greetings from Florida…. Too bad I won’t be able to go to Belgrade this year, I will be there in June!

Hi Madmax, Polo and all the other Fed fans! Nice to see Fed back in the mix!!!!!! Somehow I missed him!!!!

Hello to all Nadal fans (nice to see him play his game in his favorite playground). No time to post regularly, but I am around…..

As a die hard Nole fan, I want to say the following:

If Nole gets back to his old self and somehow “controls Nole”, than everything will be just fine with him. We all know that Nole is the creator of all his issues and on court he battles with himself, more than he battles with his opponents. Lack of serve equals to lack of confidence to battle through. When he somehow sees the finish line he drops the level of his play and seems to just wait for the finish line without doing much. Why? Because he is conserving energy to be able to go through a long and demanding season, which is expected from him and players at his level.

We all know what he is capable of! I guess Todd Martin didn’t, because instead of adding new elements to his game, he wanted to change his technique, when there was nothing wrong with his technique in the first place. He is overdue for a good showing, because since the beginning of the year he has been in recoverry and emergency room, confused and out of sorts (he desperately needs to get back to his old self and than try again, what he wanted, just add new elements to his game. Furthermore, he has to overcome the “battle with Nole”. When he manages to do that he will be just fine and that is when, hard serving Isner (a hard courter), Verdasco, Ferrer or any clay court specialist, will not be a threat in any form or shape. I think Rome is very important for Nole. In part because of the Italian media he is so devoted to, but also because after Rome, next week he will be in Belgrade and than Madrid, which is very close to RG. I would actually prefer the following scenario: him taking Rome, put in an average performance in Belgrade (even if he doesn’t win the Serbia Open title, no big deal) and than just manage to defend Madrid’s last year points! The key is: BE READY FOR RG, where he can gain the points he has to gain, preferably lift the trophy!!!!!(O boy I guess I am dreaming too much????)…… He cannot afford to run himself ragged just before RG like last year! Energy conservation is what he desperately needs for a good RG showing. These are just my two cents on his current situation.

FORZA NOLE, HAJDE NOLE, COMMON NOLE, ALEZ NOLE, VAMOS NOLE!!!!!!! These two months are very important for his career! Time to snap out of missery and confusion!!!!!!!!

contador Says:

Great Post there MarkoPolo for cheering nole on!

infact, i was thinking about nole, rome, his draw, verdasco and the great clay court spaniards in his half earlier this morning and said to myself when woke up realizing i had exactly 5.5 minutes to change any picks on my first ever challenge draw: ” what are you thinking? go in there and put nole all the way into the final! he can beat all these guys, c’mon!”

so there you have it, ajde nole! play your tennis, you are world #2 for a reason!! no mr. nice guy!!

MarkoPolo Says:

Contador, Nole can beat the “clay court spaniards”(not to sure about Nadal right now, yet, but the rest he can beat). I will go and put Nole all the way in “my first challenger draw ever”! Why not!!! Why not give Nadal another run for his money? Somehow I think he will get it together in Rome!!!!

MarkoPolo Says:

Well, I just found out that Nole was practicing in Rome with Marcos Baghdatis and that during his practice he was complaing to Miljan that his shoulder is hurting and that his serve is still very bad……. This is not good news…. I hope nothing serious?

OllyK Says:

Arailic, great post @10:25am! Two thumbs up!! I agree with every word you wrote! Nole needs very good performance in Rome to convince himself that he CAN be as good as last years clay-Nole…or even better one!! Then – impossible is nothing! :)
Oh, you’ll be in June in Belgrade, too…see you around then. ;)

OllyK Says:

Oh, no….where did you read that?! :( I reealllyy hope its not serious. :/

MarkoPolo Says:

Thank you Ollyk! I certainly hope so and believe Nole will try to get his clay court form back, but now this shoulder news has me worried!!!!!!!

I will be in Belgrade from the 14th through the 29th. Do you know of any good kids tennis players? My son (6 years old, but great tennis players) will be practicing in Belgrade and I would love for him to play some matches for practice purposes, while he is there. I appreciate any info from any of you!!!!! Thanks!!!!

MarkoPolo Says:

I read it on Nole’s Forum on Mens tennis forums! Ljubica is in Rome and she is reporting everything! She is very good at keeping Nole’s fans informed!!!!!!

Anna Says:

grandslamman – Don’t lose it. Everybody knows Roger’s record. Nobody questions the record. Although, what’s your take on the fact that Roger and Rafa are tied in MS1000 wins. That is puzzling considering Roger’s been around a few years longer than Rafa. Five year age difference, not sure what atp difference is. But you know tennis, sometimes history has nothing to do with it. You have to discern who’s physically fit, who’s game is strongest on what surface, who has momentum, etc. This is clay. 16 slams hasn’t meant alot at this time of the year.

OllyK Says:

I’ll be in Belgrade from June 20th…But I can ask some friends whose children are playing tennis (they are too young for your son) do they know any talented kid to hook you up with. I’ll keep you posted! :)
About Nole’s shoulder: I’ve found that thread you mentioned.. :/ I have no expectations now. I really don’t. I just hope that injury won’t become serious. I’ll copy/paste it here, so other Nole fans can see what we are talking about (thanks, Ljubice!):

“I am here in Rome and watched Novak practice this morning with Marcos Baghdatis…………. a total practice court made in heaven for me!

I wish I could bring you guys good news, but I have to report that his serve is still not working at all He still has that awkward stance and jerky movement and, seemed very dispirited and down in practice, although he still signed autographs for everyone and was charming to fans.

What worried me a lot was him saying to Miljan that his shoulder was hurting – I hope this is not going to be the beginning of some dreadful, recurring problem as many tennis players have. He was certainly getting beaten quite resoundingly by Marcos, who seemed to be enjoying himself and putting much more into the session than Nole was.

Yes, of course, there are photos, but I won’t be able to upload them til I get home, and probably not until after Munich as I am on a pretty tight schedule these next days.

Anyway – he still seems to be miserable and confused Nole, but I hope for better things in his next match. Sorry I can’t bring you better news.”

Hmmmm…what to say?!

MarkoPolo Says:

Thanks Ollyk! Any info will help. In the states he already plays 10 year olds. Thank you for posting Ljubica’s report. You are right about not having many expectations from him now!!! Too bad because I was so optimistic and positive about Rome for him, just an hour ago???!!!! Still, hoping for the best!!!!!!

Lion Says:

Yes Anna, only nadal and the rafatards keep it “together”. others lose it.

What a dumb question to ask? Why are Roger and Rafa tied in MS wins? because you have stupid-effing 3MS on clay and none on grass!

If you had 3 masters on grass, Roger would have 30 off those by now.

Take a look at another puzzling fact : Roger has 4 Masters cup. Rafa has 0 finals. I repeat 0. I repeat F I N A L S

At US open, Roger has 5titles and a final. Rafa = 0finals.

On his worst surface Roger reached 5semifinals in a row, 3finals in a row and a title. On his worst surface, Rafa gets banged like the village ho!

So, you and other stupid rafatards like guy and skorocel stop talking about rafa’s courage. Please!

Roger lucked out? You know what is lucking out? winning 9-7 in the 5th set in near darkness. Now let us see rafatards put a spin on this and preach us about nadal’s “courage”.

Rafa’s courage is as pretentious as his boxer routine only to follow it up with his butt-picking routine!

madmax Says:

yeah Anna, Great post above, especially this bit:

“16 slams hasn’t meant alot at this time of the year”.

April 25th, 2010 at 11:16 am

dont worry about it. It’ll mean a lot more at the end of all time. 16 slams is an amazing feat (i know you are being sarcastic by the way – read yoru post about roger should be called after the sun – yes he should, shouldn’t he!

Go roger!

Ollyk, just go with it. what can you do? he has the best of the best, so he’ll listen to the experts. Looks like Todd Martin did more damage than novak thought, though I’m sure on an earlier thread, duro mentioned he was said that Todd had gone? (I may have misread that Duro, apologies if I did, my friend.

Strange how things are swings and roundabouts with federer. Everyone but everyone writing him off in 2008, and still writing him off in 2010. Respect.

OllyK Says:

It’s no big deal, don’t mention it, Marko! I can’t promise anything, but I’ll ask, that’s for sure. I hope I’ll find someone good enough and bring you the good news. :)
I was optimistic too about Nole and I would still be if he’s feeling fine. But injury?! In this part of season when he defends so many points? Come on!!! Ok, maybe I’m overreacting, it is not like he won’t be playing because of it, but I’m knocked down with that information…I didn’t expect it. Not even close.

grandslamman Says:

Roger does not care about the Masters series record. That’s a consolation prize for Nadal since he cannot and will not sniff the records that define career. Slams and weeks ranked #1 define the careers of tennis players not warm-up tournaments for the slams.

Federer= 16 slams
Nadal= 6 slams

Federer= 280 weeks #1
Nadal= 46 weeks #1

Federer= 4 Aussie Opens
Nadal= 1 Aussie Open

Federer= 6 Wimbeldons
Nadal= 1 Wimbeldon

Federer= 5 US Opens
Nadal= 0 US Opens

Federer= 4 ATP World Championships
Nadal= 0 ATP World Championships

It’s a joke and Nadal fans do themselves a disservice when they try to compare the two. BTW, after this week I think Roger will be ahead of Nadal in Masters as well, but it doesn’t matter either way. People know and all will know Federer is the best of all times when he is done.

OllyK Says:

I know, maxi…But, for me, it is always much easier to say than to do.. ;) We’ll know what to expect when we see him on court! Hope dies last! Ajde, Nole!

montecarlo Says:

Lion always sounds like a 3 year old. LOL

BTW great stuff from Verdasco.Looks like he will win this 3rd set against Soderling. Final in MC and winner in Barcelona. The way he is playing this season combined with bit of luck ( like he got in Rome draw) he may almost be touching the top 5 soon.

Voicemale1 Says:


You forgot a stat in your litany:

Last 3 Grand Slam Finals H2H – Nadal 3, Federer 0.

Lion Says:


that makes me smarter than all rafatards that post on tennis-x.

just for your information, rafatards’ IQ is worse than a retarded 3month old chimp. and even worse for you, you are in the bottom 1percentile.

back into rafa’s butt you go, you rafatard LOL

contador, madmax, grandslam man – we have to put these rafatards in their place.

Lion Says:

Voicemale :

1 for you. Last 4 GS

Roger, WWFW,

Rafa got his ass kicked by soderling in 4th round, delpotro in semi-finals and he had to lie and retire to avoid getting another shoved into his throat by murray. Now that is courage! I hope the rafatards have some excuses for that!

Voicemale1 Says:


How right you are to describe Federer’s greatness. It goes to show Federer can beat just about everybody in a Major Final, except Nadal (and now Del Potro too).

grandslamman Says:


Doesn’t matter to me or anyone else besides Nadal fans. It’s like Federer said and I quote from the Swiss Blick on February 13, 2010. “I get asked all the time about h2h records and other things that mean very little to me. I have 16 slams and Rafa has 6 so he is still chasing me in my opinion. The media likes to talk about h2h and other nonsense, but I have the record that every player dreams of and that’s enough for me”. Those were direct quotes from Federer this year after a trip to Etheopia. Hows that for ya?

grandslamman Says:

Roger also went on to talk about the mono and back problems he had in those final losses to Nadal. So they are just victories over Federer when he was not 100%.

grandslamman Says:

What are you Nadal fans gonna say when Roger beats Rafa in Rome this next week? Oh, and he will.

madmax Says:

Ollyk, i dont know what to say except a sports pysche and a fantastic physio is needed for novak. I feel your pain. I dont know why, but I do. tennis kindred spirit. dont worry. try to not think about it. be with nole through thick and thin as his fan. that’s all you can do.


dont entertain conversations like this. it puts fedfans into a bad light and it shouldnt be that way. We know that Federer is the best in the world. Thats why he is world number 1. Hello? So just rise above my friend, rise above.

As you say, its the slam total which is incredible.

That said, great for rafa that he is back. I just love the ongoing rivalry. It’s great for tennis Lion, just great. so relaxxxxx.

Lion Says:

Voicemale, you are starting to sound like a rafatard now. Federer did not beat nadal in a major final? OK! Is that the memo all you rafatards get?

Now you guys are denying cold facts too? I mean how stupid is that?

Voicemale1 Says:


Of course Federer would say H2H is nonsense when he’s on the losing end of it – what else could he say? You think he’d ever say that H2H means nothing is he was speaking about, oh, say, Roddick? or Djokovic? Probably not.

And his mono & back problem crap is BS. Like Nadal’s BS about the knees – same thing. If you show up to play, you’re not all that injured or sick. If you’re sick or hurt, stay home . if not, then you win or lose just like any other time. Fed worshippers always fail to explain how Federer’s ‘mono” only seemed to “kick in” during his losing matches at a any event. It never seems to stop him at a Major through oh, say his first six winning matches, only in the last one. How does that work, exactly? How did his “mono” or ‘gladular fever” or whatever else managed to stay dormant for all the matches Federer won during that time, but the illness was smart enough to emerge only at the time the title match was on the line??? BS BS BS.

Voicemale1 Says:


You’re a moron, evidently have trouble comprehending what you read (and it’s going out on a limb assuming you even can read). No one said Federer “never” beat Nadal in a Major final. I said in the last three Major Final they’ve played one another, the score is Nadal 3, Federer 0. In fact, Federer hasn’t beaten Nadal in a Major for 3 years. Please try to comprehend, since it’s written in English. You idiot.

jane Says:

Hi MarkoPolo and OllyK – I just read through this thread. Thanks for posting those updates even though it’s sad news. If Nole’s got an injured shoulder, I wish he’d take the next couple of events off and get rested up and better for the French Open and Wimbledon. Don’t play injured as it won’t get better. He should really think about his schedule right now – it’s too full especially if he’s injured.
Bummer. : /

sar Says:

put in an average performance in Belgrade (even if he doesn’t win the Serbia Open title, no big deal)

But Marko, we have semi final and final tickets…!!!!!!

sar Says:

Can someone post the link to this Ljubica thread?

jane Says:

sar, if he’s injured I think he should skip either Rome or Madrid and rest up the shoulder, do physio, practice serving etc. He won’t skip Serbia I doubt.

Actually Djoko’s H2H with Fed isn’t too bad at 9-5, & post-2007, when Djoko began playing well, it’s 7-5. That’s not too shabby of a record against Fed! He’s also won 3 of the last 5 (all 5 of which were in 2009).

Von Says:

If Soderling meets Nadal in Rome, playing like he did today vs. Verdasco, I think Rafa will give him two bread sticks, which would be a partial sweet revenge as Rome is not the FO. I say this in view of the beat-down Verdasco got at Rafa’s hands in MC, and it was Verdasco who took out Soderling today.

What I’ve seen of Verdasco over the past two months, he’ll get to the final but then in the next tourney he’ll lose in the early rounds. I don’t know if he’ll repeat that MO in Rome, however, only time will tell …..

Gordo Says:

This is one in a series of outing the great predictors vs those bravado puffing idiots who don’t really have a clue. Too many times people boast and call results knowing that yesterday’s blog is soon forgotten. Well, let’s change that, shall we?

Let’s serve up the following –


April 24th, 2010
Federer, Nadal Seeded to Meet in Rome Semifinals
by Sean Randall


grandslamman Says:

What are you Nadal fans gonna say when Roger beats Rafa in Rome this next week? Oh, and he will.

April 25th, 2010 at 12:34 pm

grandslamman – a great predictor or a bravado puffing idiot? I’ll repost this after Roger beats Rafa or after Rafa beats Roger or at the very least once we know how much substance this prediction holds. Then grandslammam will be worthy of praise for his prognostic abilities or he can be laughed at for his fantasy-land bluster.

Tick… tick… tick

contador Says:


calm down. nadal’s knees are a physical weakness ongoing, like federer’s low back, ongoing physical realities of wear and tear. All elite athletes have physical issues. But when they enter a tournament it is lame to use “reasons” as “excuses” for losing. it’s true, they enter a tourny and they are taking a chance, if not 100%.

and you are right federer has not beaten nadal in 3 years but why get so steamed up? after all, nadal was not even really in contention after clay season last year. not federer’s fault, he didn’t make wimbledon. we all know, if not able to admit it, 2008 was a bad year by federer’s standards due to recovery from mono in the first part.

wait….are you forgetting madrid 09? or does rafa have a legit excuse/reason, which we all know to many he does. BS to that one? or no.

point being, fans here get worked up about injuries as excuses when it comes to federer and nadal. but no mention made when others are out with ligit injuries or illness as rafa and roger have each had. and we all know that roddick is somewhere injured and recovering on a beach. lol…

it’s just plain denial and twisting of the facts to suit you when you are firing off at someone. but i read many of your posts, and in others, you are quite reasonable and write some of the best posts here.

dc Says:

H2H means absolutely nothing.

exmaple – lets say Nadal was a slightly better hard court player than he is. He would then meet Fed more often on hard courts and then would probably have an even H2H against Fed.

If your suggestion is that h2h stats should be used to judge who the better player is ; one would conclude that had Nadal been a better player, Fed would have been the better player.

grandslamman Says:


I love the anger and desperation in your comments regarding Federer’s supreme resume over Nadal’s. We all know Roger was sick with mono in 2008 and had a bad back in the beginning of 2009, and thats why Nadal had such success. Come on you wierdo you know better han that. Had Federer not come down with mono Nadal would have had another 1 slam year at best, and probably not even that. In 2009 Nadal was lucky Federer’s back gave him trouble in the final or Roger would have got that one as well. Everybody knows these facts as do you so just accept it and move on chump.

grandslamman Says:

I’m still waiting for you to talk about all those stats I posted earlier and how Nadal can change the one way traffic. Not gonna happen is it? Nope so just give it up beyochhh!

montecarlo Says:

grandslamman: Federer at Nadal’s age had 4 Grand slam titles so can you please stop making accounts with different names like lion,dc etc etc and post same shit from them till both Federer and Nadal retire to give fair idea of their respective achivements?

LOL I am feeling really Sorry for voicemale1 here. He along with kimmi are two most sensible posters here and its really painful to see idiots posting BS aimed at someone like him.

contador Says:

oh you mean grandslams in 3 years, VM1….true. federer has not won one against nadal since wimbie 2007. true, and truer

but it’s not over. maybe they meet again, maybe not, in a GS final.

i think the likelihood has dropped. then what will matter is the history books and indeed rafa will be federer’s best rival. the one who federer did not beat on clay in a GS final and aside from that, their GS h2h is 2-1 at wimbie, 1-0 at the US open and 0-1 at the AO.

16 GS for RF and how many for rafa? is it now at 6? i do forget, maybe it’s soon to be 7 or 9 or 10 after 2010. winning a trophy at the US Open against anyone would be a real feat for him, not that he can’t do it. But the way he has scheduled thus far in his career has to change.

Anna Says:

Madmax, Lion, Grandslamman – You guys are ridiculous. You just can’t get the conversation beyond your 16 slams. No one has an issue with Roger’s RECORD. But that doesn’t mean he owns clay. The problem with commenting here is some of you really don’t have the brain power to reason. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Roger’s record on this run of clay is abysmal. If he were going into Rome having played well on hc (Indian Wells/Miami), or if he had shown up at MC or Barca and done well, then you would have fuel for the fire, but right now you have NOTHING. I’m not saying it couldn’t happen for Roger, I’m saying the likelihood is not good, and to down play Nadal’s results in the last three tournaments
(two semi’s and a win)just shows you have cement between your ears and blinders guiding you. All you need to say is “This could be Roger’s year”, or “You can’t count Roger out”, because that’s true. But to say he’s going to win Rome because he’s the goat just shows how much you don’t know about tennis. You may as well say he’s going to win because you want him to.

Lion – The MS1000’s are made up mostly of hc. While Roger does love grass, the majority (2/3) of his slams have come on hc. The overall and Overwhelming number of hc tournaments in a year definitely favors Roger. And yet Rafa and Roger are tied. This is my question little buddy. Do you think you can answer it without foaming at the mouth.

MadMax- Nothing wrong with sarcasm from time to time. It does change up the pace. It also opened up a dialogue with Skoracel that resulted in (I think) a meeting of the minds. But then Skoracel
isn’t so pig-headed that he can’t see another person’s opinion.

grandslamman Says:

Monte Carlo,

You are a frickin fool! Nadal will be 24 during the French Open, and therefore will have 6 slams at age 23. Roger Federer won his first at Wimbeldon in 2003 when he was 21. When Federer turned 24 at Montreal in 2005 he had 6 slams. So you are wrong again! Nadal is not ahead of Federer’s pace and unless he wins 3 of the 4 slams for the next 3 years than he will be well behind ?Federer’s pace. Stop posting bull-shit and learn some facts beyochhhhh!

steve Says:

Roddick didn’t claim he was injured, he took a personal leave, using a yearly exemption that he gets because he’s a tour veteran with over 600 matches played. Apparently he’s hanging out with his wife while she shoots a movie.

OllyK Says:

thanks, maxi! Everything will be fine, I know, but we haven’t dealt with serious Novak injuries yet (and, I hope we won’t)…that is the main reason of (maybe) overt reaction to this news.

sar, here is link:


jane, I agree. Nole should skip sth and rest shoulder or 3nd round of RG will be very good result this year. He won’t skip Serbia Open, don’t worry ticket holders. It’s just not his style. :)

andrea Says:

must be a slow news day when posters start claiming that roger tanks matches…

Von Says:

Steve: “Roddick didn’t claim he was injured, he took a personal leave, using a yearly exemption that he gets because he’s a tour veteran with over 600 matches played. Apparently he’s hanging out with his wife while she shoots a movie.”

You’re right. It’s a pity some posters don’t do the necessary research before writing their comments, vis-a-vis, injured – beach. Andy’s wife is shooting a movie and it’s also his first wedding anniversary, so what’s the big deal if he passed on Rome? Additionally, he doesn’t have any points to defend at Rome, since he didn’t play there last year.

I believe Fed was also granted an exemption last year when he passed on one of the MS tourneys.

Kimmi Says:

montecarlo: “LOL I am feeling really Sorry for voicemale1 here. He along with kimmi are two most sensible posters here and its really painful to see idiots posting BS aimed at someone like him.”

I try very much to be sinsible and someone has seen it. it is a great feeling. thanks montecarlo!

Kimmi Says:

ooops s/b ‘ sensible”

montecarlo Says:

Roger Federer (born 8 August 1981)

His 5th Grand Slam victory came on Jul 3 2005

Age 23 years and almost 11 months

Rafael Nadal (born 3 June 1986)

He will turn 23 years 11 months on 3 may 2010

So can you please behave and apologise now?

Kimmi Says:

NELTA, just checked the draw. The quallies are now filled in and YOU ARE RIGHT!

Berdych does not play Chela as I thought. He is playing Marcel GRANOLLERS instead.

while Chela plays GARCIA-LOPEZ.

this really sucks!

jane Says:

contador “their GS h2h is 2-1 at wimbie, 1-0 at the US open and 0-1 at the AO.”

Have Rafa and Fed played at the USO? I don’t think so, but maybe it was a while back??

Von Says:

Kimmi: “I try very much to be sinsible and someone has seen it. it is a great feeling. thanks montecarlo!”

Good for you Kimmi, mazeltov!!!!

contador Says:


I know rafa hasn’t played federer in a US Open final. I was being a brat. sorry. i can’t stand getting drawn into these fed v nadal discussions, arguments, but i do.

moving on to rome…..

so NELTA was right about the ramdom thing. well, now my picks are screwed up for certain, until the end result. going with head not heart picking rafa but nole is in my fantasy final. does he get by chardy? lol….i would hope so.

i better have another look at the draw, not that i can change my mind.


Ha ha Kimmi. That’s why it is usually better to just pick the known name vs qualifier because there is no way to know who it will actually be before time expires on your ability make picks.

I see why they did it now. They started playing main draw matches today before all the qualies had finished so they had to freeze everyone’s challenge draw this morning.

Moving discussion to new thread

Skorocel Says:

Lion: „What a dumb question to ask? Why are Roger and Rafa tied in MS wins? because you have stupid-effing 3MS on clay and none on grass!“

What a dumb argument to counter with! Lastly I checked, you had 6 (six) MSs on HARD – Federer’s favourite surface.

Skorocel Says:

Voicemale1: Didn’t you know that Federer is so far the only man to win a major final with mono and lose it because of it? ;-) LOL :-) Such is the mindset of some of those Fed maniacs here…

Lion Says:

Anyone who says hardcourts are Roger’s best surface is just being a jackass.

He has won 11/12 tournaments in the last 7yrs on grass and was in all 12 finals losing a final 9-7 in the 5th set.

Show me the comparable hard court record.

Dumbasses skorocel and anne, please flaunt your stupidity.

Lion Says:

Yes skorocel, and you rafatards’ mind is stuck eternally in Rafa’s butt. Are they going to come out soon? Maybe when rafa farts sometime? One can only hope

Kimmi Says:

NELTA: OK, I will be on the new thread!

Lion Says:


you S of a B, by that logic delpotro, djokovic and davydenko have beaten nadal the in their last 3 encounters. so what is your point? do you have one or did you come to lick rafa’s butt like all the other rafatards?

And montecarlo, you mo fo, how many grandslams did Roger miss in that same time scale to injury? And what about the Masters Cups? did you shove them up rafa’s butt? Federer won 2 Masters cups by that time. He had a streak of 10matches won there. So do us a favor and stop displaying your stupidity.

Andrew Miller Says:

Maybe Verdasco will have a good French Open. So far he’s playing Muster like.

Another reason to like Verdasco: he had a Yonex deal, but his contract had a 30-day “opt out clause” and switched back to his old racquet, Technifibre, while waiting to play test racquets from Dunlop (which look an awful lot like Technifibre frames).

It clearly shows that, unlike Djokovic when presented with a racquet problem, Verdasco decided “the money was good, but I have to win matches. I’m sticking with the racquet that gets me good results.”

He’s playing with a blacked-out frame, but I’m sure Dunlop will come up with something for him.

Anna Says:

Lion – There is nothing about you that isn’t insulting. In my opinion your really unworthy to wave Roger’s flag. Roger has intelligence and class and you show none of that. Your just a sad sorry little person with a mean, trashy mouth.

Anna Says:

Andrew Miller – I’m beginning to like Fernando more and more. When his tennis is on he’s there knocking at the doors of the top five. I also thought his attitude was exceptional at the MC championship ceremony. Fernando is 26 or 27 and has been playing good tennis for a long time. He played and lost in his first MS1000 at Monte Carlo, and still he was extremely gracious. Hope he has many more good wins to come.

madmax Says:

Anna, read my posts carreeefulllyyyyyy deary. okay.

madmax Says:

to help you Anna –

dont entertain conversations like this. it puts fedfans into a bad light and it shouldnt be that way. We know that Federer is the best in the world. Thats why he is world number 1. Hello? So just rise above my friend, rise above.

As you say, its the slam total which is incredible.

That said, great for rafa that he is back. I just love the ongoing rivalry. It’s great for tennis Lion, just great. so relaxxxxx.

April 25th, 2010 at 12:42 pm


so next time, take care Anna. i may not be so patient. It’s people like you that stir things up unnecessarily. ummm. i wonder who you realllly are?

nothing wrong with sarcasm, by the way. can be funny especially as your posts about roger possibly being called the sun, had a certain high pitched crazy tone to it. :)

sam Says:

This is what Fed had to say about Rafa. Clearly shows how much he respects him.

“I was surprised to hear that everyone thought that Rafa was not playing so well,” said Federer.

“He surely should have won Qatar in January because he was playing so well over there and for those who saw the match against (Nikolay) Davydenko (in the final) he was clearly the guy but Davydenko got lucky, saved match point and played incredibly in the third set,” said the Swiss.

“Things would have been very different going into the Australian Open but then he pulled out injured (in the quarters) and so everybody gets negative.

“So even if he wins everything after that then people are not going to be happy because the focus is on the Australian Open.

“So I think that there was a little too much negativity around Rafa and I went through the same thing (last year).

“It’s true, 11 months for a player like him is a long time without winning a title but you’ll have to assume that once the French Open was on and the clay season on, then he would be back on again.”

You guys just keep insulting each other . But Fed and Rafa have tremendous respect for one another.

Link to the article.

contador Says:

thank-you, sam.

Anna Says:

Madmax – You wonder who I really am? What does that mean? You are one strange cookie with your veiled threat of “next time I might not be so patient”. Your not exactly the great facilitator on this sight. All I do is ask viable questions, that you don’t have the answers for apparently and you spew out your little smoke screen of “Roger has 16 slams”, as if that one and only stat is the answer to everything you could possibly want to know about Roger. Bring it on Maxi.

Lion – How can you possibly be a Federer fan and not know his hardcourt record. Sad I say….really sad.

Lion Says:

Madmax – You are an amazing fan of Federer’s. I will keep in mind what you are saying but with these rafatards, it is just so tough. Unfortunately there is no way to get to these people, calling Roger cowardly and what not. I guess that is not insulting, by their standards?

As you say mad max, I will try to be patient with them. Go Roger!

Anna – I dont need to have you questioning my credentials for being a Federer fan. I know his hardcourt record, but how can you call it his favorite surface? I put up his grass court numbers and can you contest them? There is no doubt Roger would have won about 15+ MS series if there were 3 of them on that surface like Nadal has had on his favorite surface.

Roger Federer is one of the greatest player on hard courts, maybe even the greatest, but God created him for Grass, no other way about it.

Lion Says:

You asked madmax, but I will answer :

16 is a viable answer for anyone who questions Roger’s courage or claims that Roger is avoiding Nadal. Ofcourse, that does not seem insulting to you, does it? Why ? because you want to support the rafatards!

madmax Says:

Lion, I choose not to participate in silly, stupid arguments when people like Anna want to rile up and do what? try to goad and tease federer fans into an argument. Am all up for discussion buddy. Really am. I know it’s tough for you, but try and think of it this way. What’s the point? Answer: There isn’t one. When really, with your tennis knowledge, you can put it to better use by already “knowing” roger’s greatness in the game of tennis. EVERYONE knows that, even if people like Anna want to deny it. Forget it Lion. You will be the one who gets angry for no reason, because you cant have a logical discussion with people who dont understand logic.

Anna, silly. when I said I “may not be as patient next time”, I meant that I “could” have got annoyed at your comments, but it would take a lot more than someone of your obviously aggressive nature to make me “mad”. Not me to be like this. so if you took it another way, it was not meant that way at all. happy to apologise if you were “hurt”. No hard feelings.


where have you been lately?

Lion Says:

Thank you madmax. I like the way you defend Roger on tennistalk and tennis-x. Keep the good fight going.

Federer the grandslam man!

montecarlo Says:

I request people like Lion are ip banned forever from tennis-x. Tennis is a gentleman’s game and people like Lion are hurting tennis-x by using foul language in almost all of their posts. I hope site Admin. will look into this matter seriously or Tennis-x will lost all its charm.

I know I will miss intelligent posts by Von,kimmi and voicemale but if things continue like this it will be better to stay away from tennis-x discussions.

Lion Says:

I think sissies like monte carlo dont deserve to be on tennis-x! Go back to rafael nadal’s homepage.

I have a strong suspicion you are voicemale. trying to praise him at every chance. Very subtle :)

I asked you a question how many Grandslams roger missed due to injury before 2005? you have an answer or you hoping i get banned so that you can carry on with your retarded posts?

Ben Pronin Says:

Now you guys are letting grandslamman push your buttons. Jeez cmon people, grandslamman, #1rivalry, and challengerlevel are all the same freaking person who has nothing better to do than find different ways of over-praising Federer. (Overpraising Federer = ignoring his rivals’ accomplishments).

Anna Says:

Ben – Well that’s something to think about. I guess that’s why Madmax was going on about “who I really am”. People with good intentions just don’t have to work that hard. It’s not easy to watch good posters on either side (Rafa/Rog) be degraded by the likes of Lion. Madmax has at least given everybody a heads up with her moniker, but Lion is over the top and pervasive. If those two aren’t the same person, they can’t live more than 5 minutes from each other.

Ben Pronin Says:

From madmax – “When really, with your tennis knowledge, you can put it to better use by already “knowing” roger’s greatness in the game of tennis. EVERYONE knows that, even if people like Anna want to deny it.”

Replace “roger’s” with “Nadal’s” and the statement is still valid. That’s the point. We can go back and forth about this and that but the fact of the matter is that they’re both living legends. Nadal’s winning record over Federer is a great achievement. No one needs to hear Federer’s slam record. We know. Everyone knows. Let’s appreciate one thing at a time.

madmax Says:

Ben, please dont tell me what I should or shouldnt do. I dont tell you what you should say or not say, and if you want to earn your brownie points with a “fan” who hates federer then be my guest, lets face it, there are plenty on here, and because I choose not to take part in the mental bashing, i would have thought that someone like you (sorry, I must be talking about devastating djokovic, you know that guy I tried to give some info to in helping him proof read his first article – how people forget), someone like you, would think twice and be a bit more discerning. Dont worry. you live and learn.

I dont keep going on about Federer’s slams, so once again, read my posts and next time, pick on someone else who wants to gets into arguments. I dont much like them myself irrespective of what some people on this forum say, they pick on the weaker posters which empowers them. So dont respond to me anymore ben because I am not interested in what you have to say.

Ben Pronin Says:

Madmax, I wasn’t ridiculing you. I was using your statement as an example. That’s why I said “from madmax” not “to madmax”. You praise Federer a lot but I’ve never seen you say anything negative about Nadal or any of his other rivals. You don’t “overpraise” because you don’t ignore others’ accomplishments, you use them to boost Federer’s more or less, which imo is the right way to go. Considering how much trouble Nadal has given Federer, and that Federer still holds these ridiculous records, I mean things like that just speak for themselves at that’s the point.

However, there are Fed fans on here who do seem to hate Nadal. Challengerlevel/#1rivalry/grandslamman just comes up with different ways to basically say Nadal sucks. And I get hating Nadal, but that’s not a reason to disrespect him. Winning 6 slams and having to beat the GOAT every single time has only been possible for one person so far. Shouldn’t he get credit. Again, we can keep going back and forth about their h2h and their career accomplishments but they’re both great players and deserve a lot of respect for everything they’ve accomplished for themselves and for the sport of tennis.

Federer has twice snapped Nadal’s clay court streaks while Nadal snapped both Fed’s grass court streak and his hard court streak. What more could you ask for in a rivalry?

Lion Says:

“However, there are Fed fans on here who do seem to hate Nadal ”

Right Ben! There are only federer fans who hate nadal! When are we going to see your speech for those retards who claim Roger is afraid to play nadal? I am guessing never.

Anna, i am still waiting for your answer about how hardcourt is roger’s favorite surface? if you are going to be taking shots at federer, get ready to have shit thrown at you. You monte carlo and voicemale deserve everything you suckers are called.

Ben Pronin Says:

Lion, challengerlevel was the genius who claimed that Federer is avoiding Nadal. Honestly, it’s just not worth typing up everything wrong with that statement. And there are a LOT of things wrong with it. I simply said that he shouldn’t be taken seriously. It’s an absolute joke. I may even be naiive in this but I refuse to believe that Federer would ever tank a match on purpose. I doubt he’ll purposely “find a way to lose.” Has he done that? Sure, but no on purpose. Is he avoiding Nadal? Hell no. Did Federer mention a “psychological advantage” that Nadal gained by playing him a lot? No. Challengerlevel misinterpreted Federer’s words completely and is making idiotic claims.

Federer generally has more numbers and bigger numbers than Nadal so it’s easier for Federer fans to go crazy on the Nadal fans. I keep saying that Nadal won his 6 slams during Federer’s era. However, the reserve is true for Federer where he won 12 of his slams since Nadal won his first. The 2 compliment each other a lot and deserve a lot of credit for pushing each other and the whole sport to new heights.

Lion Says:

Great post Ben. I agree with what you are saying.

Polo Says:

Lion put an interesting idea that Federer would have won more Masters Series events had there been more MS grass court tournaments. I am too lazy to search for it right now, but how are MS courts divided up? I know a lot of people here who can answer that at the drop of a hat.

madmax Says:

ollyk, novak’s game has been pushed forward before Roger’s now. So you’ll be watching your man, before I am watching mine! :)
Leif garrett on sky just said, “It’s gonna be a tough first round match for roger”.


Go give it to ’em roge!

Skorocel Says:

I see lion is roaring again ;-)

Skorocel Says:

Ben: “Did Federer mention a “psychological advantage” that Nadal gained by playing him a lot? No.”

As far as I remember, he indeed said that in one interview (can’t find that one up right now, though)… If I recall it correctly, he mentioned something like “by playing me so many times on clay, he gained a certain psychological edge over me” in that interview.

jane Says:

Polo, there are 6 hard court 1000s (IW, Miami, Canada, Cincy, Shanghai and Paris) and 3 clay court 1000s (Monte Carlo – even though it’s not longer officially a Master’s – Rome and Madrid) but there are no grass 1000s. There isn’t even a grass 500. I had thought that Queen’s was, but after checking, both Halle and Queens are 250s.

The majority of tournaments are on hard courts, so the points favour success on that surface; clay would come in second for points with grass last.

montecarlo Says:

@Ben and Skorocel

I think you guys are talking about what federer said before Madrid 2009-

“It might have been a little bit of an advantage for Rafa to have beaten me before Paris on clay in the past seasons,”

“That gives him confidence and might have made it a little easier to beat me in the (last three Paris) finals.

“This year I haven’t played him on clay but I’m hoping to play him here in the final. But even if it doesn’t (happen) it could still be a good thing. It’s different when you’ve played a month earlier and got to Paris knowing that you’ve beaten someone.”

Looks like some took it way out of context.

Ben Pronin Says:

Skorocel, Federer never used the words “psychological edge.” All Federer said was that since they always played a lot before the French, Nadal knew Fed’s game plan. And by not playing so much, Federer thought he’d be able to catch Nadal more off guard. He was almost surprisingly successful in Madrid, employing the drop shot a lot that Nadal wasn’t used to.

But in 08, for example, they played twice before the French. Both close affairs where Federer choked sets. I’d say the “psychological edge” was developed long before 08. Plus, Federer ALWAYS denies that Nadal is in his head aka has a psychological edge. Back to 08, their FO final was terribly one sided so you could say it was because there was nothing new Federer could do that would throw Nadal off enough to trouble him.

But to assume that Federer would try to avoid Nadal in order to deter a psychological edge is doing just the opposite! It’s proving that Nadal already HAS this edge and beating Nadal in the final of Roland Garros would be difficult, mentally, no matter how many times they play beforehand.

Ben Pronin Says:

Thanks for the quote, montecarlo. Like I said, challengerlevel completely misinterpreted it and fabricated a nonsensical theory about Federer tanking matches to avoid Nadal.

Polo Says:

Jane, thank you for breaking down the surfaces of the Masters Series for me. It does not seem fair that grass is not represented at all in the Masters. But with 2:1 ratio between hard and clay courts, I would not think anymore that Federer is at a disadvantage since he is generally considered to be a better player than Nadal. The Masters used to have a five set final. Had they kept that format, Federer may have been able to win more. I believe Federer is harder to beat in five sets. The other players have to play extremely well to win three sets off Federer…and keep their nerves under control for a much longer time. Only Nadal can do that to Federer…and usually just in clay.

Polo Says:

When I said that Federer is generally considered better than Nadal, I was referring to hard courts. We know about clay.

jane Says:

Polo, You’re very welcome & I agree: I wish there was a 1000 event on grass, and at the very least, why not up the two main events – Halle and Queens – to 500 point events?

I also think the 5 set finals in Masters events would maybe change the results in some cases, but I am not sure that it’s the best format. In a way, I kind of like the Masters events as 3 setters as they play straight through day after day for most of them, whereas the slams are set apart with the 5 set, every other day format. But I can see the argument for the other side too.

Last year I actually broke down the entire tour’s calendar (so every single event) by surfaces into percentages of surfaces; maybe I’ll see if I can dig that up.

Anna Says:

Ben – Thank you for your thoughtful posts. You have unbelievable patience and a way of writing (speaking)that makes it easy for EVERYONE to understand. That’s a talent. We need teachers who do what you do.

Von Says:

OUCH, Juan Carlos Ferrero went down like a sacrificial lamb to that Giraldo guy. The Argentine has a wicked forehand and can hit from all corners of the court. His gets are superb. I wonder if he could transfer that kind of play to hard courts, and/or maybe grass?

Anna Says:

I definitely think they should have at least two grass court tournies in preparation for Wimbledon like they do for the FO and USO. From what I hear clay to grass is not an easy transition.

Polo – Roger is the king of hardcourts. 10 slams and 16 MS1000’s tell the story. What I was trying to say is that Rafa has won all the clay court tournies (MS 1000)except 1 in the last five years (which is huge all by itself), but he’s also had to make inroads on the hardcourts to be able to tie Fed. He’s also done it with at least 3 fewer years on the tour than Roger. Does that take anything away from Roger? Hardly, who’s ever going to beat Roger’s slam record? But it’s exceptional, outstanding tennis And it does show that (if his knees hold out) he has the potential to be ONE of the greatest players ever. I chose Rafa as my number one player because I’m an underdog sort of person. Always have been always will be. Rafa was there fighting from that #2 position for so long that it almost seemed miraculous when he broke through in 08. He did it with just alot of heart, tenacity and hard work.
I’m a teacher and I always tell my kids that if I had to choose between a super IQ, or a willingness to work, it would be the work ethic every time. So Rafa came naturally to me (he appeals to the kids as well). That doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate the incredible talent and skill of Roger Federer.

Polo Says:

Anna, I do agree with your argument about Nadal and Federer. At this point in time, when Nadal and Federer play each other, on any surface, I would have to give the edge to Nadal (if you take away the knee factor which you also mentioned). Those two are equally amazing talents, both physically and mentally. Either one is a worthy favorite for any tennis fan while still appreciating the talents of the other.

Anna Says:

Thanks Polo!

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