Melzer Stuns Djokovic in Five; Nadal Edges Almagro at French Open

by Staff | June 2nd, 2010, 7:36 pm

Jurgen Melzer continued his surprising 2010 French Open run by upsetting Novak Djokovic 3-6, 2-6, 6-2, 7-6(3), 6-4 in the French Open quarterfinals today. ADHEREL

Melzer will meet another lefty, Rafael Nadal, on Friday in his first trip ever to a Grand Slam semifinal.

“Right now I enjoy the moment,” Melzer said. “I have still tomorrow to think about Nadal. I played the biggest match of my life just maybe an hour ago. Of course you want to have a straight mindset when you think about Nadal. At the moment, that wouldn’t be possible.”

The 29-year-old Austrian had never come back from a two set hole while his counterpart, Djokovic, has never surrendered such a lead. The Serb lead by two sets and a break before falling apart.

“Well, I changed the match,” Melzer said of his comeback. “Well, the only thing I told myself, It’s my first quarterfinals in my life in a Grand Slam. Just don’t go away. Just don’t make it easy for him. Fight as much as you can, and I was I wasn’t playing so bad. I just missed a lot of easy shots when I had the chance and the opportunity to finish the point. And after that, I mean, I got back in, and at 2 All in the third it was an open match. I think I got a little under the skin after the third set. I should win the fourth set probably earlier than I actually did, and then the fifth was just a battle.”

Added Djokovic, “But I made a big mistake, you know, there. I made him come back into the match with my unforced errors, and then he caught the momentum and he was playing really well, especially on his service games. Yeah, I’m very disappointed, obviously, to lose the match that I was in control of totally a set and a break. This is tennis, you know. This is Grand Slams. You always have to play up to the end, because these things happen, especially at this stage of tournament.”

Nadal won in straight sets beating Almagro for a seventh straight time, but it wasn’t easy. Almagro raced out to an early 3-0 lead in the first set before Nadal leveled. And with the exception of the two breakers the match was played on even terms until Nadal broke Almagro late in the third set.

“Well, it was hard all the time,” said Nadal who celebrates his 24th birthday on Thursday. “Well, not at the beginning. It was rather easy at the beginning, even for him. I think that, yes, it was a difficult match, especially from a mental standpoint. I had to return well, and I had the feeling that I was not capable of playing the way I wanted because he was so powerful. I had to be very careful on the serve because I could make mistakes, and this is what I did. At the beginning I lost my serve, and then I managed to win his serve and not to allow him to break me. When I really needed to play my best tennis, I had the opportunity of doing that. So I’m very happy I played this match in three sets, because it was very difficult.”

Nadal has now won 20 straight matches on tour and 35 of his last 36 at Roland Garros. If he wins his fifth French Open title he’ll also overtake Roger Federer for the No. 1 ranking. He and Tomas Berdych are the only players who haven’t lost a set this French Open.

In the other Friday semifinal Berdych plays Roger Federer-conquerer Robin Soderling.

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115 Comments for Melzer Stuns Djokovic in Five; Nadal Edges Almagro at French Open

andrea Says:

have yet to watch the novak/melzer match but here’s hoping that melzer can give nadal a run for his money.

i’m curious about soderling/berdych given their style of slugging – equally matched – but soderling seems to be a man on a mission this time. i give him the win.

it’s a bit sad that roger and rafa couldn’t play in the final…even though i didn’t want to see another fed loss on clay to nadal, this year, the dynamic would have been different i think. roger had won last year and really had nothing left to prove.

roger certainly seems to be taking all his losses in stride these days.

i still hope he can come somehow keep (or recover the #1 ranking) to beat pete’s record. if nadal loses in the FO final, will roger still accomplish that?

jane Says:

“Nadal…celebrates his 24th birthday on Thursday.”

Happy Birthday to Rafa tomorrow!

dangerouspaul Says:

roger federer can reconquer number one ranking in late fall i guess…nadal will be number one after wimbledon if not next monday. but the same what happened to federer can happen to nadal. you have to defend all the points you make throughout the year the next one. so he has a good shot in being number one again if he keeps winning some GS and masters he did’nt win last year( us open, montreal, shanghai, paris etc..plenty of points to gain there for him

Dave B Says:

Congratulations to Jurgen. He deserves his moment of glory. But now he faces the Smash Meister Nadal. Oy!!!

skeezerweezer Says:

@Dave B,

Smash Miester Nadal :)Now that is a new one, nice :) post. OF which I will not forget! lol

Good luck to everyones fav tomorrow!

dangerouspaul Says:

the tennis world needs more soederlings who don’t give a shit about the mental games nadal plays in every goddamn match..sorry for the language but i just seen the repetition of his match today.. it ‘s unbelievable. how can the opponent stay so cool..? i certainly would’nt..i am no hater by the way nor federer fanatic . just a nostalgic tennis fan..and nadal is worse than lendl. and he was already unbearable to watch in situations like that

Kimmi Says:

hey jane and other djoko fans, that was a dissapointing loss. I was really hoping to see rafa v djoko here but what can you do..

What a comeback by melzer though, i mean..did he start playing really well on set 3, 4 and 5 or did Novak level dropped because if you did not see the match, like me..things just don’t make sense.

Well, congratulation to the winners today.

especially sam. Big big BIG win for sam. To beat serena..congrats. what a tournament this one is turning out to be..for the women, who will win their first slam..interesting. I hope sam does it this year, she beat all the big names here. Go sam.

Polo Says:

Dangerouspaul, I did not see the Nadal-Almagro match so I do not know about the mental games that you are talking about. I tend to believe you because I know Nadal has a lot of quirks which are very irritating even to spectators like me and I could just imagine how much more to his opponents. Nadal does not like Soderling because Soderling is the only one brave enough to demonstrate his displeasure.

skeezerweezer Says:


First I am holding on to my pick, from the get go, that Rafa is the Fav to win FO this year. His ability and cakewalk draw there are no excuses this year. He is, and has been, a predicted “shoo in”.

So if Sod “happens” to get through or Rafa loses in the final, I don’t want to hear excuses…

RE: The Rafa “Quirks”

I know I will get crap for this, BUT…how about his spitting on the court, @@s picking and taking too much time? WHO else does that? I mean who? Just sayin…..

Such the Gentlemen sometimes in a “so called” gentlemens sport, but hey, I know he is all “Guy” and kicks @@s, so you like it ( as Rafa fans do ) or you don’t :). To each his own fav…..

Voicemale1 Says:

Has anyone heard from that stupid idiot poster “challegerlevel” who claimed in post after post & in thread after thread on this message board that Federer was undoubtedly gonna win the French this year? All we seem to read from his computer these days is the written equivalent of chirping crickets…

Anna Says:

Get over it nitpickers. You can’t imagine how petty you sound. There are plenty of players with annoying habits, we just choose to ignore certain behaviors in our favs and pick on those who usually wreak havoc on our favs. Everyone knows what Rafa’s bad habits are, I’m not fond of the spitting either, but there are a ton of guys who do it (yes, I checked it out) but you guys sound like a bunch of 15 year old girls at a sleepover.

Anna Says:

Dangerouspaul – I understand why your so damn dangerous, only God knows what your talking about.
Mental games????? What does Rafa put the voodoo on the ball. Does he give his opponent the Sicilian evil eye? Does his nose light up just before he serves to create a distraction. Now who’s buying that load of crap.

Mindy Says:


You made me laugh out loud! Now I don’t have to say anything, because you said it for me and so very well! :)

Izzy Says:

The only mind games Rafa plays is the one in between his ears- “His over my dead body” attitude.

Anna- You are brilliant!!!!!!

“Mental games????? What does Rafa put the voodoo on the ball. Does he give his opponent the Sicilian evil eye? Does his nose light up just before he serves to create a distraction. Now who’s buying that load of crap.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Von Says:

Way to go Melzer!!!! I’m so happy when I see one of the proverbial “journeymen” having a good run especially at a slam. I’m so happy for him.

I suppose the Djokovic Book of Lamentations will now be fully opened. LOL.

Anna: People will always criticize, because what is pleasing to one is not so pleasing to the other. Also, when it concerns our faves, well, we only see and/or hear selectively. I deal with that all of the time on this board and the abuse is very uncalled for. My fave is probably ridiculed the most on this because he’s an American and he speaks clearly so that all can hear and understand what he says. If he wins, it’s because he had an easy draw, and if he loses, well, it’s because he’s a journeyman and is a no-good player. I’ll leave out the descriptive adjectives. Most of the players curse/swear and have all sorts of histrionics on the court, but it seems that the selective bias factor always comes in to play when their fave does it, and it’s swept under a rug, as in shhhhh. Anyway, kudos to you for speaking up, but don’t hold your breath that it will make a difference to those who want like to nitpick.

Fot Says:

To my fellow Roger fans, here’s a nice article:

PARIS — Roger Federer was late for dinner Tuesday night. The crowd in the posh banquet hall had already started the second course by the time he arrived, but as he wound his way through the maze of round tables where people were digging into their duck breast, everyone put down their forks, stood up and applauded.
Federer mounted the stage looking slightly sheepish in his suit and tie, and said it was no big deal. He reminisced about the first time he had been invited to the International Tennis Federation’s Champions Dinner as a junior player in 1998, when he had to travel from a lower-level tournament in Surbiton, England. “This was a five-minute car ride away,” he said.
The logistics may have been easy, but the situation was not, which is why Federer’s appearance was met with surprise and deep appreciation. Just a few hours before, he had been blown out of the French Open quarterfinals by the whiplashing groundstrokes of Sweden’s Robin Soderling, who mushed relentlessly toward the finish line like a muscular, blue-eyed sled dog straining at the harness in the Iditarod.
By the time Federer got through doping control and his trilingual news conference, the evening program had begun. He sent his parents ahead to tell the emcee that there was “absolutely” no question he would show up.
In one of those ironic and unplanned intersections of sports history, the night’s guest of honor was three-time Roland Garros champion Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil, the last man to have derailed Federer before the semifinals of a Grand Slam, back in 2004. Kuerten was clearly moved at Federer’s presence and choked up as he received the Philippe Chatrier Award.
As the two slim, smiling men posed for pictures together, looking like tousled-haired brothers from different continents, it was hard not to wonder if this was the start of a career phase in which Federer will be attending as many awards dinners as trophy ceremonies. He referred to the prospect himself — then immediately shot it down.
“I get standing ovations from people thinking they’ll never see me again,” Federer said, then added, “I don’t know if I’ve ever enjoyed tennis more. … I had to tell the press something, so I said I’d play through the 2012 Olympics. I want to play more if my body allows it.”
Federer’s loss ended his streak of semifinals appearances in majors and could cost him his No. 1 ranking if prohibitive favorite Rafael Nadal wins the French. But ESPN analyst Patrick McEnroe said it’s not necessarily a bellwether of anything more significant.
“I don’t see this in any way as the beginning of the end,” McEnroe said Wednesday, sipping coffee in the bar near the television booths at Chatrier Stadium. “Is he going to be the dead-solid favorite at every tournament? No. He’s certainly more vulnerable. But he still won two majors last year. He [has] won one this year. He has two more to go, which are his two best.”
Soderling took Federer out in the gathering gloom of a dark, wet afternoon with the same kind of power game wielded by Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina in the U.S. Open final. It’s not as if Federer rolled over — McEnroe said Federer tried to respond tactically and simply got outplayed. Federer went for big second serves whenever he could, but the heavier conditions prevented him from taking full advantage of his patented slices, kicks and spin, while simultaneously giving Soderling more time to tee up.
McEnroe considers Federer the favorite at Wimbledon: “I think he’ll be more motivated. It must be weird for him — first time ever, he’s got a few days to practice on the grass before Halle [a tune-up event in Germany]. He’s really good about shaking off losses. He doesn’t let those things stay with him that long. He’s a great adapter and a great adjuster. Rarely does he lose to the same player repeatedly, except for Rafa on clay.”
Federer got to sit down in time to have dessert Tuesday night. He’ll have to wait until next year to try to put icing on the cake, in the form of beating Nadal in the final here. In the meantime, you can only admire the fact that he took the time to give the rest of the dinner guests a sweet moment.

Fot Says:

One more for my Federer fans (then I’ll quit – I promise)! lol

This is from the driver assigned to Roger during the French Open:

“He’s like Mr-all-the-world. By car, he chats with me and I never looked down. He always says hello. Open and humble, he spoke of simple subjects like cars and watches. Never does all tennis. He never requested either a shuttle extravagant. But for him, j ‘would go anywhere, anytime. He gave me his mobile number and always responds to my sms. A true gentleman. This customer is the best of the best, humane and sporting. “A tribute to the Switzerland, which can fully concentrate on his tennis: for travel, keeping an eye Anthony.

skeezerweezer Says:

Brillliant! LOL? Hee Haw!

Anna , Mindy and Izzy. a nod to you all :)

HAHAHA, Didn’t I tell you I would get crap for that? Shammmooon! Hee Hee! Ya know it!

“You throw out a fishin line with bait, and sometimes you get a fish” :)

Hey girls,

If you girlys enjoy his diggin spittin habits ( you choose to just pick out spittin? Look at the whole habit selections the dude has! WARNING. WARNING. too much time….etc…), then “right on”…. go for it :).

I have never met a “lady” who thinks that is cool, so maybe I am “abbynormal”. I like to open doors for ladies and act like a gentleman, my bad. Oh wait, After Rafa spits he does clean it off with his shoe at least. A nice gesture. Must help the slide…

But seriously, don’t you think they should change balls after he touches the balls with his hands?? C’mon? Really? But maybe you ladies would like that? Must be a girl thing…..Ok then….

You fail to mention other players “disgusting” habits……bring it ;). Like WHO?

I knew you rafa people from TT were just waiting in the wings until someone like me posted a “Factual” statement against Rafa. Was a test. Don’t take it seriosuly.

I really think he is a great player and admire him, a lot of his fans are proof they are not fair posters. As soon as Fed loses…Boom! Let the nasty degrading posts commence….

All kidding aside, I love Rafa and am just teasin. He is a great competitor and Champ. It’s his fans that are letting him down, and take down players like Fed as soon as he loses.

Take notice: RAFA DOESN’T. He has class. Do you?

Wake up a smell the roses. Your man will win FO, as predicted and expected and deserved…

If you can’t handle the trash talkin and teasin in FUN the go back to TT :)

Just sayin……

So…..O U T

Twocents Says:

Poor Fed, had to face the only two guys in the mortal world who ousted him from slam before semi in 6 years in one day :-((. Parisian romance? LOL.

Naughty Djok turned my Waterford crystal ball into plastic piece. Well, next time. YOu can do it.

Hats off to Melzer and Sod, and all ATO veterans who never give up fighting!

Twocents Says:

Sorry, ATP, not ATO.

Sazzy Falak Says:


Have you noticed that the girls (Izzy, Mindy and Anna) have said nothing bad about your fav in their recent comments? You’re the one who’d trash talked their fav and now you get offended by their comments? Why?

Andrew Miller Says:

Craziest French Open of all time! Everyone, even Melzer, feels they have a shot at the crown.

Michael Says:

Where did Nadal suddenly imbibe such bad habits as spitting in the Court and grunting while serving ? It is just irritating to watch for an average Tennis fan. Needless to say, the time he takes between serves as well as between points irritates his opponents to no end. Although Nadal sounds very modest in his interviews, yet there is that feeling that he is taking every opponent as granted (even Federer) on Clay. Now I badly want Soderling to get to the finals and give Nadal a good lesson. Will that happen for good ??

Michael Says:

God forbid Berdych should not get to the finals. He will become very easy meat for Nadal. Only Soderling and I repeat Soderling can give Nadal a run for his money in this surface. He can do that because he gives a damn for Nadal’s reputation.

Anna Says:

Skeezer – Guess I should just call you the professor your so good at testing everyone. I have never said one word against Roger because I like him very much. I think it’s you and a few other special posters who ganged up on Rafa. I understand Fed is out of the tournament, and your heartbroken and a little bored, but that’s no reason to take it out on Rafa. And here’s a news flash, it takes alot more than opening doors to make a gentleman. I can open my own door, but honesty is something special. You can’t claim to appreciate Nadal and then ridicule him at the same time. You act like Rafa is spitting on a dining room floor. This is tennis were talking about and if you’d ever played a hard fought match a little sweat and saliva wouldn’t seem so appalling.

skeezerweezer Says:


Professor? Why “Thank you”. Ganged up? Guess you are not a “student” of the “professor” and read all my posts from the start of FO…..not true!

Here is a news flash back, it does take more than opening doors, and that was an example. A goodnight kiss and a flower to give as she leaves is nice too :)Sorry, must be to Macho for you….

My point is do you have to do these things to win? Spit, take to much time, etc? Where is the common tennis courtesy.?

Don’t tell me Rafa is not guilty he has been called on this by Umps several times.

I feel he can win without having to do those things. This in the end is a compliment to him, no? Do you feel he has to have those crutches( habits ) to win? Do you? I don’t. My IMO.

And BTW? I don’t like when Fed plays around with his nose either! LOL

Respect and appreciate your feedback. Bring it ! :)

Re: Fed: I never have blamed you, or named you personally about the negative Feds, so please don’t go there, I have the utmost respect for you :)

PS: Are you available tomorrow night 6pm, the little Cafe in Paris, France by the Notre Dame?

skeezerweezer Says:


Nice read :)

Mindy Says:


We are just being goaded by skeezer. He’s in a bad mood because his guy is out. You don’t have to defend yourself against his attacks. I don’t attack Fed, never have, never will. However, some of his fans are another thing altogether. Don’t even bother to let him put you on the defensive. He’s just cranky! He’s also jealous because women are crazy about Rafa.

I could care less what he does on the tennis court. He’s competing, so let him do his thing. Now if he was spitting at me, well, that would be something else. He doesn’t pick his butt, he is just pulling on his shorts. You see, his butt is covered by underwear and shorts. So he can’t be picking it, but it sure is fun for you to throw that old one around for a bit more fun.

I could have gloated in your face yesterday, but I chose not to do it. Even with your rantings today, I am not going to go there. But go knock yourself out with some cheap shots at Rafa. It’s not like he reads this stuff, so he could care less. He doesn’t need your approval.

Michael Says:

Skeezerweezer, I entirely agree with your point. I hope some Umpire take a serious view of Nadal wasting his time on and off Court. Even during a Wimbledon match sometime in 2007, I believe against Soderling, Nadal was adopting such tactics to unsettle him and that is when Soderling lost his patience and started imitating him. Similar was the case against Berdych too. It is time he is taken to task for time wasting.

Anna Says:

Michael – Yeah, that grunting is so distateful. It’s a good thing Nadal is the only one who does that. Thankfully there are intelligent posters such as yourself who keep “average” tennis fans appraised of all of Nadal’s abysmal behaviors. Thankfully you can imbibe in a nice brewski from time to time to make it all tolerant.

Mr. Perfect Says:

Skeezer- weezer :

Rafa fan girls will swoon even if rafa spits on their face. you can see it as much in their posts.

Nadal and soderling at wimbledon 2007, rafa tried to be too smart and tried to pull a fast one on robin and he gave it back good. he paid for it in that match by getting extended for 3 days on a straight forward match and then soda gave it back with interest last year. he thrashed rafa in the masters cup too :)

Yay for soda-pop. i wish the spannish guys can borrow one of soderling’s spare balls (tennis balls i mean, lol!) when they play rafa on clay.

you have to love the way berdych hushed the spanninsh mob when nadal tried his cheap tactics too.

Skeezerweezer Says:


You are so right about me! LOL. Great comeback while being nice :) All in good fun. No worries, Rafa is a great champ and I hope for you he wins. Respect :)



Mr. Perfect Says:

Oh, this trash comes from TT. that explains everything. I knew there had to be a hole these creatures – rafatards crawl out of during the clay season and then head back into when the entire atp tour starts whacking the holy crap out of their idol.

TT is the most pathetic tennis-site you can find. you can put the name TT as a synonym for stupidity in the thesaurus. so much inane and asinine comments on tt.

and jealous about rafa that girls like him? he doesnt pick his butt, there is an underwear there. wow! priceless comments. such junk can come only from tt followers. this is hilarious stuff. thanks for the laughs tt-rafatards. that must be the bottom strata of rafatards!

Mindy Says:


Why are you telling us Rafa fangirls how you act with women? Is this a dating site? You don’t seem like the goodnight kiss and flower kind of guy to me.

I think you are quite enjoying yourself at the moment.

Mr. Perfect,

I think your name should be Mr. Imperfect or Mr. Wannabe Perfect! If you think your last post shows even a tiny iota of intelligence about anything, much less the sport of tennis, then you are living in a fool’s paradise!

Name calling – how original! Surely you can come up with something a little more literate than the garbage you just posted. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

Mr. Perfect and the word intelligence is the ultimate contradiction!

Mr. Perfect Says:

and really, who wants girls who drool and salivate and lift up their skirts when they see a guy who is a little ripped?

i would not get anywhere near such cheap trash! i am yet to see anything technical that gets posted from these rafa fan-girls. all they can talk is nadal is classy ( not true), nadal is hot (dont care a rat’s @$$ about that) and absolutely ZERO posts on his tennis. oh yea, they know he has a 14-7 record against roger and other such stupid things those morons @ TT teach them to puppet and parrot about….

Mindy Says:

I rest my case as to why Rafa fans do not come here, or if they do, then they do not stay long.

Reading the latest wretched piece of drivel from Mr. Flawed, just shows how ugly and personal it gets here.

This site needs some moderation. Then cowards like this guy wouldn’t be able to hide behind their screen name.

Mr. Perfect Says:


Thanks for those articles. and please do post more of those. you dont have to apologise to anyone for posting such good stuff. nice read :) no wonder this guy has won sportsmanship award for 6years in a row.

i hope melzer is fine shape physically for the semi-final. playing a 5setter before playing rafa in your 1st semi-final on clay doesn’t sound like the best preparation. i will be surprised if he wins a set.

Mr. Perfect Says:

oh yea, you are some warrior princess, who is actually fighting a holy war? shut your trap mindy.

you want moderation, go to your mothership TT, where you have to sing rafa’s praises and kiss the moderators @$$, which only disgusting rafatards do.

Mr. Perfect Says:

I am surprised you are reminded of moderation suddenly. You say nothing when rafatards like “i like bullies” and moronic “guys” post.

Hell, you were even laughing with anna for posting her drivel. you get paid in good and it is “oh mommy!” time. I am sure your fellow rafatard “i like bullies” hates you for this. you are a sissy like nadal and the TT administrators.

Anna Says:


Thanks for your post. It’s disappointing when posters who you think are “fair and balanced” end up being bottom feeders. Guess I’m expecting to much.

Skeezerweezer Says:

“Mindy Says:

Why are you telling us Rafa fangirls how you act with women? Is this a dating site? You don’t seem like the goodnight kiss and flower kind of guy to me.”

Ok, wait a sec Min. I never “told” you girls what to do. Don’t spew fictitious venom. I also never said verbatim this was a datin site. It was all in fun. I guess I have to be careful with girls from TT and trash talkin. We sure get a spew of it here from TT when Fed loses, AFTER he loses. You folks from TT need the moderations on this site, not us. You have to post here because there is no “action” at TT.

I have said it numerous times, this site is not a Fed site. Avid fans of Nole, Murray, Roddick, Verdasco, etc, AND Rafa are up here. READ! The news, talk, articles are fresh and happening. 400- 500 comments on 1 article. TT?

IF you are going to take this “personally” AGAIN, then maybe it is time to get out of the frying pan, it’s too hot for you…..

BTW, If you track my posts since the start of the FO I was picking YOUR fav to win, and I am a fed fan,,,, so YOU go figure.

So anyways, about that Paris cafe thing. So Sorry, I have another date with a women who likes the door open by a gentlemen and who doesn’t like men who spit in public, in Paris, so , sorry can’t make it. Maybe another time?

Done with this discussion, in fact, I am embarrassed I had to post this on tennis x, so friggin ridiculous petty non tennis talk stuff. Sorry gang…….:(


C!P! Says:

hey guys ,do you actually watch tennis or just players’ habits on court ? don’t you have anything better to do? get this: this is a professional sport so everyone has to or must deal with everything that comes to them on court ,they do not get ranking points for habits ,but for good results ,good play ,so who gives a BIP about their quirks? watch’em play tennis ,that’s all you have to do ; if you pay attention to other stuff ,then you have the real problems !

margot Says:

Berdie moves better than Soda-pop, Soda-pop’s confidence must be sky high! Should be a very exciting match.
BTW have heard on Beeb that Gulbis may miss Wimbledon cos of injury. Anyone know anything?

margot Says:

C!P!: Agree 100%.

zola Says:


Nice post at 1:01 am.

There are always people who love to hate. Just ignore them!

Skeezerweezer Says:

Not really. Rules are there and you play by them and then, yes let them play. If someone takes and advantage of a rule, then one can say they have a unfair advantage over a opponent, no?

Rafa has admitted this and the class act that he is say he needs to speed it up, although he is uncomfortable with it. I feel he can adjust , and all will be good.

Let the rules dictate right.? Serve in the allotted time. Be ready in the alloted time to return serve. It’s in the rules. It’s part of the game. I understand where you are comin from, just sayin…

zola Says:


Here are some pictures from the ITF world champions event:

Michael Says:

Anna, I said he newly acquired such bad habits after he recovered from Tendinitis in both the knees. Both the spitting and grunting were not there before in his behavioural pattern. That is a bit strange if you might say. If you are a habital spitter and grunter on court that is one thing.

Mr. Perfect Says:

You can have whatever habits you want, but if you do, then be expected to be commented on that. not every one will be blind like rafa fan girls. rafa definitely breaks the time-limit rule and i wish more umpires had the guts to follow the rules and more players have balls like soderling and berdych.
i like the way Djokovic does tit for tat too with rafa. too bad rafa has escaped him so far at the aussie open and usopen, much like he did when fed was unbeatable at those two slams. delpotro and murray got to do the honors last 2 years. i hope djokovic gets his turn to smash rafa into the hardcourt.


dont act like you are the pope who is here to spread love. i have seen your spiteful posts on federer and roddick in other forums and even this very site. your good friend jane might forget your hateful posts on roddick, because she is busy changing loyalties to rafa and djokovic and murray and whoever beats federer, but know well that you cant come out of hiding when rafa is doing well and try act condescending towards posters who put rafatards in their place.

Michael Says:

My only request to Forum members is not to take sides, have nasty exchanges and enjoy the game of Tennis. We can have debate but not a fight. I am a Federer enthusiast, but not a Federer fanatic and I do not want to hide it. However, I respect other players too and enjoy their game. Especially, in this tournament, Soderling has impressed me the most and I want him to go all the way and win the title. As regards Federer, he has all the time in the world to add to his list of grand slams and I see him as favourite in Wimbledon as well as US Open. There is no shame in Federer losing to Soderling. He lost to a very fine player playing well.

Mr. Perfect Says:

sorry michael,

rafa has been grunting since ages. he has always been a grunter, much like the women on the wta. you can look at videos from his matches as early as his aus open 2004/05 loss to hewitt and see his despicable grunting. he has never been the angel that rafatards project him as. his clowning on the court makes hewitt at his prime look like ice-cool.

i dont care about this $hit that he does, i am sure there are bigger bullies than him on the atptour to whoop his @$$ if he crosses the line. it is these stupid rafa fan girls who claim he is the saint on court. maybe for them. not how the world sees it.

Mr. Perfect Says:

” There is no shame in Federer losing to Soderling. He lost to a very fine player playing well. ”

Well said michael. i wish one of the rafatards say that about last year’s result soda pop had against rafa. they will say knees and divorce and pulled his @$$ muscle and what not.

same about the thrashing delpotro gave rafa – abdominal tear, @$$ tear, mommy not in the stands!

repeat similar exercise @ murray thrashing him at australian open. retires from the match to be miraculously fit for indianwells and maimi titles to get match-fit for clay.

i really think rafa is god. wow, he never loses when he is fit. really?

Michael Says:

Mr Perfect, I hate players grunting and spitting on the court. Regarding Nadal’s grunting since ages, actually the grunting might have become a bit louder than before. Earlier before his Tendinitis problem, it was not so loud. However, now it is there for everyone to hear. But about this spitting habit I am sure he has only recently added. I do not know why he is doing that. May be as kind of marking, do not know for sure. But, he seems to compete with Ivanisevic who was a heavy spitter on court.

Michael Says:

Mr Perfect, that is the thing I also hate about Rafa. He is pretending to be gracious, which he is not. I am sure after the clay court season is over, we will see Rafa reviving his knee problem to the whole World. All said and done, according to me Rafa is already in the finals as Melzer will not be the man to stop him. I badly want Soderling to reach the finals and combat Rafa. He is the man who has the necessary weapons to do it. Nodoubt Rafa is still the favourite, but only a fool will discount Soderling.

Michael Says:

If by any chance Berdych reaches the finals which I earnestly hope doesn’t happen, then it is as good as handing over the trophy to Rafa even without playing.

Mr. Perfect Says:


Spot on! soderling is the only guy who could be a potential threat to rafa. It will be the only match where they can be hope of a guy taking a set from rafa this french open. it is not rafa’s fault, but federer and djokovic who challenged nadal last few years on clay have fallen by. delpotro and davydenko are sitting out with injuries. even by rafa domination standards, this is a boring clay season. Good on soda pop to keep hope of redeeming this clay season alive.

Rafa Vs Soda would make for a lovely final. Soderling deserves a shot at the trophy against the man he dethroned to help roger get his well-deserved french. it would be a pity if he loses in the semis or finals, but tragedy is part of sport too.

Come on soda – let us pop berdych and rafa :)

zola Says:

Mr. Perfect

I do not know you and I have nothing against any player. I have nothing to hide or nothing to explain to you. I express my feelings as I wish. I have been posting here long before you were born!
You can write hateful comments as you wish. That is your problem. not mine.

Mr. Perfect Says:


I dont care for your explanations or feelings. I have been visiting this site long before your mom was born and rafa nadal’s grandmother was born.

People who have seen your posts know your spiteful posts on federer and roddick. you can act all you want, like an ostrich that buries its head, but there are people who have been on tennisforums longer than you, so please stop your preachings for people who put rafatards in their place and dont bow to their bullying.

madmax Says:


i have been trying to find you this morning. I read novak’s interview (the one that was printed on the official website), he said nothing about any injury/limit of his movement, so still at a loss as to what happened? do you know any more? (I read what you said about his father not watching him in matches anymore, may be if he did that, it would “lift” novak?), I dont know.

It is very obvious that rafa has bad habits on the court – no one is arguing that he is not a great player, he is an amazing player – but one thing that did happen yesterday that hasn’t before, was Almagro complained to the umpire about the time rafa was taking in serving to his opponent. the umpire gave rafa a warning. after that, rafa did seem to serve much quicker. It cannot be argued that rafa gets away with having far too much time to bounce the ball – it’s wrong and it should be penalised. I don’t know how anyone can argue with this. To defend this position, makes you no better.

I think that may be an underwear company should approach rafa (how cool would that be?!), and get him some appropriate undercrackers that would stop him from picking, it is umseemly as skeezer said (who was just stating a fact), and the last couple of matches, rafa has been spitting into the clay, and again, this isn’t pleasant. (but I remember Gonzo doing that a lot), so may be it is a foreign trait? I dont know.

He isn’t a classy player in terms of his habits, but he is in terms of his shots.

madmax Says:

FOT, great link to fed’s dinner engagement and great photos too – thanks for sharing.

aleish17 Says:

Good luck to all the players tomorrow! I hope we’ll see a good tennis match for all four players. Whoever goes to the final, they deserve it. I especially would want to see Rafa in the finals and snatching the FO title back. Vamos Rafa!

OllyK Says:

Maxi, hi!

I wasn’t around this morning, I still can’t believe what happened yesterday. I saw Nole’s presser and he looked devastetad. He knows that he should’ve not lost that match. Definitely it is not physical, it is mental..why does he need to lose focus at some point in every single match?! Till yesterday, he managed to come back , wake up and focus again, maybe cause his opponents weren’t good/determined enough to use that moment and raise their game level. Well, that exact moment gave Melzer wings and he was unstoppable till the end of the match.
About his father – no, I don’t think Nole would like him to be on stands, knowing his condition. Few times last year Nole told him to go out in the middle of the match (Serbia open qf, and Wimbledon qf, against Haas), so it is better this way. The only one who, I think, shoud’ve been there is his girlfriend Jelena, I haven’t seen her on stands for a while..
But that’s not the reason. He MUST learn how to stay focused throughout the match. And fix his serve. That’s it.

OllyK Says:

And, GO JJ, give your best today!! ;)

zola Says:

Mr. Perfect,

Write all you want. I really don’t care! Hate is your name and all you do. So be it!

zola Says:

let’s see if Sam can continue her great run in RG. If she can defeat JJ, she has a great chance for the title.

I wish all the women’s QFs were on the same day. This seems a bit unfair to Sam and JJ who have a day less to recover.

Sazzy Falak Says:

Points to defend after RG

Roger: Wimby, Canada, Cincy 2,180 points to defend.
Rafa: Wimby [0] Canada, Cincy 540 points to defend.

madmax Says:


it’s swings and roundabouts isn’t it?

Am sure rafa would have wanted to defend his titles last year prior to wimby, but now he has that chance this year. This is sport.

c’moon Fed! Defend those points!

madmax Says:

*at FO and wimby*

zola Says:

Thanks for the points. I think Roger won Cincy last year, which adds another 1000 points for him to defend.

Michael Says:

Sazzy Falak, If Federer wins Halle and Wimbledon, I do not think there will be any problem in his regaining the No.1 ranking. I am quite confident that on the Grass Courts, Federer will become his own self and turn on his ‘A’ game for the World to see. I hope that he goes and equals Sampras Wimbledon record of 7 singles titles. Best luck to him.

Nadal is the GOAT Says:

Wow, Federina’s fanboys are sooooooooooo……. upset…….. I’m loving every moment of it…….. Vamos Rafa…….

zola Says:

Roger will not gain any points from Wimbledon. But perhaps will gain 250 ( if I am not mistaken) from Halle. Rafa has no points from Queens and Wimbledon, so he will only accumulate points.
I think if Rafa can gain some points in Queens ( Again I think it is a 250 tournament) and reaches the semis or the final in Wimbledon he might take the No 1 ( if he cannot get it in RG).

aleish17 Says:

Sorry Fed fans for Nadal is the goat’s comment on 5:52am. I am a Rafa fan myself but I dont take pride in writing such comments. I can’t blame other posters that they trash Rafa because as hard as it is to admit, there are Rafa fans out there who trash talk Federer. Sorry for those type of people.

Im just here to enjoy the top 2 players in the world in their tennis matches. Sad for Fed’s loss, but glad for Rafa reaching the semis. Hope he’ll regain the FO title and snatch the No. 1 ranking. Last year was really tough for Rafa fans like me, but im just glad that he’s back claiming titles now. I just hope he continues to improve his game even after the clay season. Vamos Rafa and Happy Birthday to you!!!

Mr. Perfect Says:

wow aleish17. What a super post. :) I am rooting for soderling, but no denying this is rafa’s title to loose.

Good to see a fair rafa-fan.

Nadal is the GOAT Says:

no, Mr. Flawed, you’re the one who is humiliating himself and other Federina’s fanboys/girls with your stupid posts….. Even the smug and arrogant Federina would be ashamed of a fanboy like you….

aleish17 Says:

Thanks to you Mr. Perfect. I am nervous though for Rafa facing Soderling coz I know it will not be easy for him. I just hope he’ll pull it through though. But first things first, he needs to win tommorrow before going to the finals. Vamos Rafa!

zola Says:

great to see another Rafa fan here. yes. He needs to win his SF match first. If he wins and meets Soderling in the final, it will be a tough one. Soderling is playing with lots of power and precision right now and I think the conditions on Sunday will favor him rather than Rafa. But we have to wait and see. VAmos RAfa!

aleish17 Says:

hi zola! ive been following this blog for quite some time and i like the exchanges of conversation here though i also read a lot of negativity towards Rafa. but for me its ok coz Rafa cannot please everyone. we just have to admit the fact that there are people who like him and there are people who doesn’t like him. same goes for every player out there regardless of their sport or event.

bye for now. gotta go for work. c yah!

Michael Says:

Nadal is the GOAT ??? Do not kid. Even Nadal will not accept your trash talk. He has more to prove and for that he needs to win not just the French, but more of Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Titles. Considering the level of competition, I doubt if he will make it in Courts other than Clay. Well we will see when the Clay season ends and what will be Nadal’s performance.

Michael Says:

Zola, I know well that Roger will not gain points from a Wimbledon win. But atleast he will preserve his points and that will help stablize his ranking. However,a good Nadal performance at Wimbledon (may be Semis/finals) might play spoilsport.

its all abt da game Says:

Nadal is the GOAT,
that is the most horrible name i have ever seen… nadal is not a GOAT.. call him a bull, suits him fine(looks the part too), but not GOAT..
i hope seeing your example, nobody names themselves fed is the GOAT(even though that would make more sense than what you have named yourself)
by the way i hope rafa lifts FO..

@mr perfect..
really, i thought tennisx was a site that do not let abuses fly around.. you are proving me wrong mate.. by the way, what is TT?? table tennis?? you sound so pissed off by it..(may i add, i’m interested in your age, since you have been on tennisx even before someone;s grandmomma was born)

@michael,June 3rd, 2010 at 5:46 am
once rafa wins RG, there is no chance fed can regain no.1 spot till clay season next year..
if roger wins halle and wimby, his points will move from 8390 to 8490..
just a gain of 100 points..
in the meantime rafa can gain a max of 2250 poins and he can atleast get 900 of those(that is in worst case scenario)..
so by cincy, rafa will have a solid 1300 point lad over fed, even if he does not play great.
and even then fed will have to defend a lot of points at cincy and uso..
while nadal has very low points to defend, including a 0 at world tour finals..

someone commented here berdych should not reach finals as only sod can challenge rafa..
now if sod cannot defeat berdych, what makes you think sod deserves to be in final ahead of berdych..
you people are not even giving a damn about the semi matchup which is bound to be a cracker, while
already thinking of ways to defeat rafa..

Polo Says:

Nadal is GOAT? That’s questionable. But to say Nadal is a goat is more appropriate the way he has developed all these bad habits. He spits, he grants, he pulls on the seat of his pants, he bays when he wins a good points. Yes, Nadal has turned into a goat.

Mr. Perfect Says:

lol polo….. i agree nadal is transforming from a bull into a goat! rofl!

Michael Says:

If Soderling cannot defeat Berdych, how can you say he deserves to be in finals. Well, this is just speculation. But the discussion was with respect to the final as to who is the best placed to take on Rafa if things get to such a stage. Obviously Berdych cannot challenge Rafa because of his very poor record against him even in Hard Courts not to mention Clay. It is only Soderling who has given Rafa tough time in major events. Even in Wimbledon 2007, their duel went to five sets. Moreover, the game of Rafa’s heavy top spin suits Soderling due to his height and it is exactly a good match up for him. Therefore it is no wonder that for the sake of an entertaining final, Soderling must be there to challenge Rafa. Whether that happens or not remains to be seen. Regarding the No.1 spot, it is true that Rafa holds the edge and that happened due to the poor performance of Federer in the Indian Wells and Miami Masters. If only he had gone there even to the Semi or finals, he would have gained crucial points. But that was not to be and he badly lost. Now it appears that it is too late for him and his ranking is entirely dependent on Rafa’s performance. As Federer rightly said, his ranking should not be at the mercy of some other’s bad performance. May the best man win.

its all abt da game Says:

may i remind you a few things michael..
1) comparing pure forms, berdych is in a bit more of a purple patch.. losing just 6 games to youzhny, who himself had been on fire and had defeated berdych just a month ago, is an amazing achievement which we tend to overlook because sod had gained a much bigger victory.. but we all know that victory was not by sod’s pure ability but by the help of elements, which sod was good enough to capitalise on..
2) sod may have a little bit more big match experience, but in terms of hitting ability, berdych does not lag behind. and last time, they met we all know what happened
3)as for rafa against sod, let me remind you a comparatively fitter rafa had also bagelled and breadsticked he had won their latest encounter in an exibition match.
4) finally, the sf will be a cracker contest.. and i don’t think the winner can get off in any less than 4 sets, with a good probability of a 5 setter. on the other hand melzer will get a royal bashing at the hands of the king. so nadal, will be ready in he finals for whoever comes through.. and i do not envisage much of a contest in finals.. maybe a set loss if it is sod, but not more..

zola Says:


Yes, it was hard last year at this time for Rafa but this year he can gain some points. Same will happen to Federer next year and he can gain points rather than defending them.

I agree with you regarding Soderling. I think he is more confident and has more experience. I sure hope the SF between him and Berdych become a long battle. Of course no guarantee that Rafa’s will be an easy one.

its all abt da game,
great post at 7:23 am.

I think if Rafa wins RG, he will gain about 1640 points and if he can win queens , another 250. he can gain up to 2000 points at Wimbly. So , yea, if he can win RG, it might be hard for Federer to get the number 1 back. But the year is long and for now, I am just wishing for Rafa to take the French Open title. he has two difficult matches ahead.

OllyK Says:

Dementieva retired.. :/ Schiavone is the 1st finalist….

Huh Says:

Oh well, how surprised I am today on seeing the moron ‘Nadal Is The GOAT’ back! I don’t know where this coward was towards the second part of 2009, when Rafa was going through tough times and so many were predicting doom and gloom for him?! This coward was be nowhere to be seen around late 2009 when the situation actuallly warranted him to be here and speak in defence of Nadal, thankfully Mindy was here then defending and proving herself thereby to be a much better Rafa fan in comparison to this scoundrel. But now that Nadal’s again about to have a good time probabaly, the moron is again showing up with his mean comments. Crazy to see such a fair-weather Nadal fan. With fans like these, Nadal hardly needs enemies! The funny part is this opportunistic Rafa fan derives pleasure by bashing Fed at such an inopportune time, typical of his inherent meanness.

And please don’t call let anyone call Nadal GOAT, he’s a fine young MAN for heaven’s sake!!! May be ‘Nadal is the GOAT’ is the GOAT posting here.


BTW Hi aleish17 !

Love you, you are a real sweetheart. Welcome back on this forum! :P
Don’t forget to cheer your guy saying ‘VAMOS RAFA’ during semifinal. ;)

And to tell you the truth, I’m rooting for Nadal and Sod, hope these two guys will reach the final, in which case I think your guy’d win (even though I’d be rooting for Sod). Take care and please do come more often, it’s a pleasure to see you here. :P

sonic Says:

Schiavone in RG final, and with actual chance of winning it since the other SF players are slamless as well. Weird…chances are the stand will be hald empty come saturday. Lets hope Jankovic makes the other final, thou she be ugly as well, at least she’s not a dyke.

Novak proves my point. Only an idiot goes on raving about how he can beat anyone and then goes out to some journeyman. Not because the statement is untrue, but because only an idiot puts himself in such a position to be Pedro. All should leatn from Nadal, even after continualy raping Federer on clay, he’ll call him the favorite everytime, and on other surfaces give himself 5%. That’s how you do it untill you become the king. Unecesary bravardo only leave you a broken player when things go bad…the fates Murray and Novak could have avoided.

Fed must be feeling pretty dumb right now as well, after dissing Nadal’s 3 clay TMS saying “we’ll see at the French”, and then going out in QF’s.

I’m still a Fed fan, but Nadal is by far the wisest of them all. You’ll never see him looking the fool come monday, whatever happens. And he is the GOAT of clay, no doubt…not even in top 5 on the real scale thou.

Rsutherland Says:

Sigh – More tennis-x folks using whackos such as “Nadal is the Goat” as an excuse to bash Nadal (which of course is nothing more than sour grapes at this point for certain irascible Federer fans). Even the Beavis and Butthead-mentalitied term ‘Rafatard’ is still in use. Tennis-x – home of the Fed-Davidians.

its all abt da game Says:

“And he is the GOAT of clay”
i disagree..
it should be borg..
but that is a done and dusted argument..
in 5 years time, maybe he will be clay GOAT..
but not now..

as for jankovic, well if she wins it,
next time fed cannot say to murray..
“don’t become a slamless world no.1 like jankovic..”

Huh Says:

Well my fellow Fed fans:

Be prepared for Nadal is the GOAT to spring up more and more surprises for you with his hollow claims. Anytime you think he can be only this much retarded, he might get unhappy with it and go on to prove himself even more and more retarded here, in his usual way. He’s full of hot air, mind you. And soon may be joining him his cohorts like tennis bullies, ron, rick etc. BTW, the same person may often come out with his name changed from time to time, but you can know that he’s the same guy by use of his commonly used words like Federina. Let the madness abound. ;)

So let’s ask Nadal is the GOAT aka rick aka ron something more about his mental health. ;)

Henry Says:

Just some points analysis and speculation:

If Rafa wins RG he will have 8700 points versus Roger’s 8390 coming Monday.

Rafa today, after reaching the RG semis, has 7420 points. If he reaches the final he will have 7900 points and as RG winner 8700, making him the new No.1 He would remain no.1 even after or without playing Queens or Wimbledon

If Rafa doesn’t make it to the RG final he will have to reach the final at Wimbledon to be No.1.

As a finalist at RG, a semis finish at Wimbledon will be enough, unless he wins Queens, which could make a quarter final finish at Wimbledon clinch the No.1 (depending on Roger’s result at Halle)

But until then let’s just enjoy the great tennis of these two giants and their worthy opponents.

Skeezerweezer Says:


Yeah I wish they had a rule about posting with only one name. Cowardice and gutless. What is up with that? That said, I agree, Rafa fans from TT just pop up out of nowhere, all of the sudden at the FO. But IMO we should let them have there day. Rafa hasn’t won a GS title since 09, and is on the verge of taking the #1 spot. If he gets it, he deserves it.

Let the Rafa ranting continue……after all…we rant too! It’s all good :)

OllyK Says:

What an easy win for Stosur. 6:1 6:2.. Sorry, JJ, next time..

Thaidiamond Says:

Micheal…on Nadal.

“He is pretending to be gracious, which he is not.”

I remember the 2009 Oz Open where Nadal one his first hard court Slam.

A very disappointed Federer could not speak, broke down and started to cry. The tournament directors were at a momentary loss how to continue with the awards ceremony.

Check the YouTubes Mike. It was Rafa, in a very sporting and human touch, that save the day. He put his arm around Roger and told how great he was and that he’d win many more tournaments.

That was a pretty ‘gracious’ moment in my book.

Moreover, while Fed and Nadal fans can fight like cats and dogs, Roger and Rafa always talk about the other in very glowing terms.

When Nadal came up and challenged him, Federer showed a lot of class. Actually the acrimony was between these two; it was been the Fed and Djoker, the latter who showed almost no repect for the great Swiss star.

Finally, to all the posters who talk about Nadal’s quirky annoying habits.

There not habits; that’s the wrong word. More preciously they’re superstitions.

Rafa is arguably the most superstitious athlete in the history of any sport.

He has so many rituals that must be performed…really silly stuff like the other player must cross the net first at the changeover.

Trust me. If you want to beat Nadal, screw with his superstitions. You might want to start by kicking over his perfectly placed two water bottles.

margot Says:

sonic’s language is not acceptable. It is extremely insulting and offensive to all women. Time this site was moderated.
In terms of stupid mud slinging tennisx has gone right down the pan at the mo. Shame.

grendel Says:

So, Stosur to meet Schiavone in the final, having beaten her in the first round in Paris last year. Is that a first? Stosur, of the rippling muscle and shy smile, what an astonishing player. Talk about simplicity. Jankovic, for all her feline skills, just evaporated. Stosur kind of reminded me of Soderling, who is the reason I am posting. For any of the old lags on tennisx who feel a surge of alarm at seeing my monicker, I promise this is just a one off. I did want to express my feelings about Federer’s loss, and where better to do it than on a tennis site? Then I’ll be away again, sneaking off into the dawn. Health warning: this is going to be rather long. But don’t moan, just scroll, nobody has to read anything they don’t want to.

I watched Soderling’s dismantlling of Federer with a mixture of awe and sadness. For one thing, I was looking forward to a Federer/Nadal final as, rightly or wrongly, I felt that this time Federer was in with a decent shot of beating his old nemesis. Not favourite to do so, of course, but in with a realistic chance, which he wasn’t really in earlier years. That thrashing he got a couple of years ago in Paris was no surprise, least of all (I can’t help suspecting) to Federer. Also, it goes without saying, we Federer fans have been spoilt, and have grown greedy. We have got used to a diet of victory, at least in important matches and, rather than our appetites being sated, we find we want ever more, almost as of right.. Being doused with the cold water of reality is a slightly shocking experience – but salutary, I am sure. The fate of all who live vicariously is, ultimately, disappointment. Time to grow up and stop hero worshipping. Never too late, even for an old fart like me. Quiet heroism, under cover personal and unwitnessed, the opportunities for that – it seems to me – are unlimited, even as they stretch one to breaking point. Wouldn’t be heroic otherwise, would it? Well, sorry about that, just a bit of quiet musing by one with plenty of time for quiet musing.

Back to the tennis, and naturally there were two players in that match. The fact is, I have always liked Soderling, both as a player and – up to a point – as a person; certainly I think he has been unfairly maligned. So I watched Soderling’s extraordinary performance (more convincing, in my opinion, than del Potro’s defeat of Federer in the US Open) with mixed feelings. Whilst I was aghast at Federer’s consistent inability to handle the raw power coming at him, I was being continually reminded of why I have enjoyed Soderling’s play so much. A more different type of player than Federer it is difficult to imagine, but excitement comes in many guises, not least in tennis. It is possible to love Safin and his tormentor and opposite Santoro. Federer belongs in the Santoro/Gasquet camp, the artist with flair and so on, but with this distinction: he has a steely will, and wants and expects to win. That makes a big difference to how one reacts to him, often with love or loathing, rarely with feelings of mild neutrality. But the important things is, loving Federer’s tennis and loving Soderling’s (say) are not mutually exclusive. Why, there are even those who adore both Nadal and Federer, and I respect these people, even if I don’t quite understand them. Quite how you grade pleasure, I have no idea, but when I am enjoying Federer at his best, the pleasure I receive has a different flavour to the pleasure of watching the great flat hitters when they’re on song, a Berdych a del Potro. (We got a taste of this, imo, today, in Stosur) But it is not superior. It is just different. And that is surely one of the glories which tennis has to offer – it can accommodate, thanks to some of its extraordinary practitioners, quite different, even opposing, facets of one’s own character. Watching these very variously gifted athletes at work, at times pushing up against the limits of their being, naked in a public arena, can be an uplifting experience. The champion fighting for survival has nowhere to hide, and it is quite a privilege, if you think about it, to be granted the opportunity of observing their enforced self-exposure. Of course, this is the other side of the coin of the money, fame and attention etc which attends such people. It’s as well to note, though, that it’s not all honey in the rose garden.

It was extraordinary how Soderling kept pounding the lines, game after game, set after set, hitting with unholy power and venomous accuracy. Again and again and again – apart from the sheer skills involved, the unremitting mental focus is hard to fathom. But almost as moving was Federer’s desperate defence. It was exceptionally good, and yet almost always doomed, merely delaying the inevitable. Like a lightweight boxer confronting a heavyweight, refusing to go down and even very occasionally hinting that he might outrageously outwit the heavyweight. Against the run of play (imo), Federer nearly sneaked that second set. Would Soderling then have folded, as has been suggested? I very much doubt it. There’s a calmness about him these days, and he’d have intuitively known that all he had to do was keep playing as he was, and he couldn’t fail to win. Luck, whilst important, is hedged within certain limits.

But there was something strange, and curiously moving, in Federer’s defence. Because this is a naturally aggressive player, a man who has won all his titles by virtue of being the most daringly aggressive player of the last 50 years. Always a sound defence, certainly, but the magic lay in the attack. But yesterday, apart from a few flashes in the first set, there was hardly any offensive play. And this, not because Federer was off form – on the contrary, he has been in good nick of late – but because he couldn’t. Soderling was simply too strong and accurate for him. Time after time, Federer, after maybe starting a rally quite promisingly, only to have Soderling treat a decent ball with disdain, was desperately running hither and thither, reduced, really, to hoping for a mistake from his fearsome opponent. And this was rarely forthcoming. You received the curious impression that Soderling couldn’t miss, almost as if the quality of Federer’s shot was irrelevant. Long, short, angled, straight, topspin, slice, all kind of beside the point, presenting the mere illusion of contest. Time seemed to stop as Soderling calmly manoeuvred himself into position before taking one of his immense swings. And these seemed to take for ever, with the ball somehow suspended in midair, awaiting Soderling’s convenience. And then the Swede, loose limbed and rangy,like a scout on reconnaissance, calmly belts the living hell out of the ball, driving it easily to the corners, with Federer lunging futilely. This was infuriating, and utterly exhilarating at the same time. I love and I hate wrote the Roman poet Catullus, and one sees exactly what he meant. I have never seem anything quite like it, I suppose Safin overwhelming Sampras comes to mind.

Soderling’s serve, of course, was immense and for once, Federer’s serve seemed inadequate. He’s always had wonderful variety and generally good placement, and this has compensated, richly, for his relative lack of power. But yesterday, this lack of power seemed a real weakness, and it will be interesting to see if he feels the need to change it at all, always supposing he can. It’s a mystery to me where players get their power from. Why has Almagro got such a powerful serve, and so on? Why was Jimmy Connors’s serve so weak? Why couldn’t such a tremendous player do anything about it?

There was an irony in this match, because I do believe Federer had set his sights on Nadal, that he was convinced he had a chance of beating him, and thereby proving his win last year wasn’t a fluke. But in preparing for the lion, he inadvertently fell foul of a marauding tiger, and all his meticulous planning went for nothing. The danger had lain elsewhere, and he never took it into account, not really, despite conceding Soderling had improved. I was never, myself, remotely impressed by Federer’s record against Soderling – I mean as evidence for what was likely to happen in their next encounter. For one thing, I have watched quite a few of the Federer/Soderling matches, and they have generally been extremely close, last year’s final being the exception and an exception for obvious reasons. And recently, too, we have seen Federer overpowered by del Potro and Berdych – only just, but it was significant. I thought Soderling was very dangerous indeed, and not at all the kind of person to let a lopsided h2h dismay him. Even so, I though Federer would just about pull through, and I was stunned by the massive superiority which Soderling displayed. And this is very interesting. Will Federer be able to adapt and cope with the power players – late developers two of them – now emerging? Hard to imagine that he can, in a way. Sheer power channelled by unnerving accuracy seems a tough prospect for a man in the twilight of his playing years to have to deal with. On the other hand, Federer has a way of surprising people, and it would be unimaginative to write him off just yet. It’s going to be fun to find out – I hope.

I’m really looking forward to the Soderling/Berdych contest. Both players peaking at the same time, should be a fascinating tussle. Berdych demolished Soderling earlier this year, but I would set no store by that; the Swede was immersed in some impenetrable Scandinavian gloom at the time. I believe he will be too strong for Berdych on Friday. Berdych will be surprised by just how unrelenting Soderling is when the mood is upon him. On the other hand, I expect Berdych to present Soderling with problems more severe than Federer was able to pose him.

That’s it, I’m done. Glad to have got that off my chest. Please excuse my prolixity – one off.

Twocents Says:

Great to see you here, grendel.

It is disappointing that Fed missed a chance to face his dear Rafa at Phillip Chartrier.

Hey, I don’t know about you. I was sooo glad that Sod spared me another tourture :-))!

The livestream I followed showed the interviews with Sod/Fed before they stepped on court. Boy, it was exactly like WO08 final before match interview. Fed was so hesitating and tight. It’s like he knew what’s to come…

Twocents Says:

Fed showed up for the ITF champion dinner at 10:00pm in 2008,amid all ridicules and doubts for his poor season, despite that he had a QF to play the next day.

By showing up at the dinner right after that heart broken defeat, Fed gave us all a master lesson about how to come out a winner when everything is going against you.

Huh Says:


You certainly know I’m stopping no Rafa fan from enjoying their his/her moment.



Mindy and Anna:

You people are welcome here. Please keep posting. And, as an avid Fed-fan, I thank you very very much for not putting down Fed in any way unlike some of your Nadal fans. Believe me, I’ve no interest in Nadal bashing but when the anti-Feds (some/ many of which are utter Rafa fans) post utter irrelevant and baseless drivel on Fed and at the same time trash talk Fed, I feel really bad, I get angry and confront them. Of course I must have tried to avoid it, but fail most times, being an ordinary average human being. So I’m sorry for that, but I try my best not to put down Rafa coz I know Rafa deserves all the fantastic accolades and titles he deserves. Actually I’ve written a good post to you two people, but my net went away and computer shut down and it got lost. However, I’d try to post what I intended to say to you people, whenever I get some extra time. You guys love Rafa as a player and as a gentleman and you’ve every right to do so and express opinions to that effect here, nobody can drive you away unless you yourself give up. IMO you must keep fighting your good battle. Good luck to your guy: Rafa. Take care fellas.

Skeezerweezer Says:


I know :). You’re a posting trouper, never backing down and always willing to debate and discuss fairly. I got out a whack from the pop in TT posters, and not proud of my behavior, but right when a guy loses the haters come out immediately and pounce. No class. Shame on them, shame on me. Movin on….

Well said and “ditto” here on your last post :)

Mindy Says:


At least you can appreciate the fact that I don’t ever attack Fed. Why should I? He’s a great champion and should be respected.

Did you read skeezer’s reply to one of my earlier posts? I just came on here and read it and all I can say, is that it simply makes my point. If I strike back to someone who attacks me personally, then the volume gets dialed way up and it escalates. If I wanted to waste my time exchanging idiotic insults as though I was still in grade school, I guess I could do so. However, I have better things to do with my time. It’s interesting that some here assume I am on tt alone. There are actually places where one can have an intelligent discussion about all things tennis.

I also thank you for saying that Rafa fans are welcome here. I am sure for you that is the truth. Unfortunately, the reality is something else entirely. You see people like lion and Mr. Perfect come on here and start calling names and getting ugly. It doesn’t take guts or smarts to call people names, while hiding behind an anonymous screen name.

I also wanted to say that you are quite right in pointing out that there are some Rafa fans who come on here to spout Fed hate. I cringe when I read what they say. It’s embarrassing and in no way do I approve or think it is acceptable. I can see why some Fed fans get frustrated and angry and lash out. However, it might help to just read what Rafa fans say, figure out who are the Fed haters and who are the ones who come here with the best of intentions. We are not all alike! In fact, there are forums where I get grief for not attacking Fed.

I do lurk and read quite a bit here. I don’t post much, because I am outnumbered on this site. There is strength in numbers and Fed fans have the advantage. I also don’t like personal attacks. It’s isn’t about not being able to handle them. If I wanted to do the same, believe me and I could do with a vengeance. I just don’t care to engage in that kind of hatespeak.

I just hope that you and other Fed fans can manage to differentiate between reasonable Rafa fans who respect Fed and those other Rafa fans who just come here to shamelessly attack.

Krish Says:

Hey, lot of discussion here, let me start with this…’Look who is talking’ including myself.

I believe no one matchup with any of these players what they have achieved so far, I am talking about all Grand Slam participants, I dont know what rights we have to comment on them, do u take if anyone comment on you even your fellow colleagues or school mate or neighbour or anyone…NO,either you will yell at them or back fire or show middle finger….please keep that in mind, dont pick on players, they are achieved something that we couldnt, respect everyone and enjoy the sport, they all humans everyone is different and different habits.
I would love to read your analysis on players how they play, what are their +/- side when they play, in other blong someone analyzed SODA very well, he is hard hitter, wet balled helpped him, if it is very dry most of the time it will be out like one match he played against Gonzalez and lot it.
FYI: Nadal sent SODA this year in straight sets on hard court….there is no way SODA or anyone who can beat Nadal, if Nadal himself do some mistake others have chance.

skeezerweezer Says:


Since you used my name in Huh’s post you must obviously still have some hurt feelings…..


Geez already…give it up. “Why soooo serious?” Attack & ing ( 8 times this thread ), never used the word, you did, just postin the facts. Look, I have a different view of how this all started, so what? Move on….

No one can kiss and make up with you, can they?

I am willing, are you?

And can we get back to talkin tennis? This “drama” thread belongs on the “General Hospital” soap opera blog.

Rafa is great, Fed is great, everyone is great.


Huh Says:

Grendel was comparing Sod to a tiger and Rafa to a lion in his post. Thus I thought may be there is one thing I need to remind all the folks here. While comparing a tiger with a lion, keep in mind that tiger is not only more powerful than lion, but also WAY MORE courageous. As unbelievable as it might sound, tiger has no rival among the big cats. It is the strongest and the bravest BY FAR.

Huh Says:

“Twocents Says:
Fed showed up for the ITF champion dinner at 10:00pm in 2008,amid all ridicules and doubts for his poor season, despite that he had a QF to play the next day.

By showing up at the dinner right after that heart broken defeat, Fed gave us all a master lesson about how to come out a winner when everything is going against you.”

So true!

Huh Says:

Well, those who think that spitting on playground, fields or tennis coutrs is a sin are pretty sadly mistaken. Go and watch any sports/game starting from soccer to hockey to cricket and just anything; similarly also observe any athlete/sportsman you wanna, almost all of them spit on the court/fields. No need to pick on only Nadal for that spitting act.

Skeezerweezer Says:


Depends on the surface in pro sports . For example, hard courts, no way. Indoors, pro basketball? Don’t think so. Football, soccer, sure. Just sayin….

aleish17 Says:

Hello to you Huh!!!

You made my day on your 9:46am post. Cheering for Rafa on SF match is one thing I will never forget.

Ive been following this site for quite some time (at least during my free time). I will comment from time to time. Glad you still remember me.

Sometimes when there’s a lot of Nadal bashing, I feel the need to retaliate. But fortunately, the rational side of me wins over my selfish desire to enter into a word war. I just let it be. I read negative post towards Rafa and oftentimes, I get hurt by other people’s comment. However, I do not feel the need to do the same thing to other players like Murray, Delpo, Djoko and especially Fed. So whatever it is that other people say about my fave Rafa, fact or not fact, I let it be. It’s their opinion and they are entitled to it. After all, this is sports and I’m a sport.

Anna Says:


Not a problem kiddo. Polo, Skeeze, Michael weren’t upset about anything I said about Roger. Roger is the bomb (in a good way) and I’ve always acknowledged that. They were upset because I compared there childish nitpicking of Rafa to something 15 year old girls do on sleepovers. Their egos were bruised and like kids caught with their fingers in the cookie jar it was either fight or flight. They weren’t smart enough to flee, or honest enough to own up, so they fought with what they usually fight with, more childish finger pointing, name calling and over the top irrational anger to throw everyone into a tizzy and away from the issue at hand. All I ask is that posters treat players who are not their favs with the same kind of dignity that they’d like their favorite to be treated with. It’s the old golden rule we all learned in school. And just because one person (Mr. Perfect) can’t seem to fathom the concept, it doesn’t mean we all should follow suit. We all choose how we treat people in life and tolerance could make or break you in the end.

skeezerweezer Says:

And the drama continues……..

Anna Says:

Just responding to Huh Skeeze. Am now moving forward in the hopes of a better understanding. Actually I thought your invite was funny, but Mr. Perfect kept escalating. He isn’t someone you can reason with.

skeezerweezer Says:


Peace. Me too :) And thanks for the compliment. I didn’t expect that :(. Kudos to you and reachin out. You are a “class act” Anna….seriously. :-)

Good luck with your fav tomorrow, looking forward to some great tennis and comments!

Vamos Rafa!!!

Huh Says:

It was however not nice on my part to not congratulate Melzer for his win over Nole. Melzer is 29 years old and showed much heart and patience and shots to overthrow Djokovic, which I highly appreciate, it’s amazing to see that guys of 29 yrs still do it. :)
And the smile of Melzer was truly sweet, I felt happy for the guy afterwards. That said, I am rooting for Rafa to win today. Yet I’d not mind if Melzer is not totally routed. I mean I obviously want Rafa in semi, but would like to see Melzer put up a little fight.



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