London Masters Groupings Released: Federer Tough, Nadal Easy?

by Sean Randall | November 16th, 2010, 9:25 am

The round-robin groupings for the 2010 ATP Masters Finals in London were drawn today. ADHEREL

Group A: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Tomas Berdych, Andy Roddick.

Group B: Roger Federer, Robin Soderling, Andy Murray, David Ferrer.

The ATP also released an initial schedule for the finals which begin Sunday with Soderling v. Murray from A and Federer v. Ferrer from B. On Monday it’s Djokovic v. Berdych, Nadal v. Roddick.

Some initial thoughts.

First, the field is loaded with six of the eight playing in a Slam final this year, but on balance I think the B group is much tougher when you consider Murray and Soderling have won the last two Masters events – Shanghai and Paris, respectively – and both guys have beaten (and lost!) to favorite Federer in big-time matches this year.

Group B does have the “pigeon” if you will in Ferrer who could very well go winless. However, the Spaniard works hard and has been known to surprise – he’s done well in the year-ender before – but against three guys with the indoor prowess of Federer, Murray and Soderling it’s hard to see the David getting through.

Based on the groupings if there’s one guy I’d eliminate from the get-go it’s Ferrer. I’ll probably eat my words on that one, but sorry!

In Group A I make Djokovic my favorite. Nadal hasn’t shown me enough this fall while the Serb’s been very consistent, very strong and in form. And with the spotlight on Federer, Nadal, Murray and maybe Roddick’s ill-advised ‘stache, he’ll again be the “under the radar” guy. Both Berdych, who’s been absolutely AWOL since Wimbledon, and Roddick are extremely dangerous especially indoors and if they get on a hot streak either guy could run the table.

In addition Berdych should match up well with Nadal indoors and Roddick’s been a thorn to Djokovic. So really, while Djokovic and Nadal are the class, any of the four could emerge into the semifinals. That said, you could make the case that Group A is tougher based on overall depth.

As for some early picks. I’m confident that Federer and Novak will get to the other semifinals. Roger owns Ferrer and Soderling and faced with the London pressure Murray could struggle against the Swiss. And as I said, Novak’s been playing some great tennis this fall.

Joining Djokovic from B I’ll lean toward Nadal. He went winless last year and I think he’s out to prove he’s better than that, which he is. In the A group I’m leaning with Soderling. I think the Swede gets that big Sunday win over Murray, then beats Ferrer to get through. Again, Murray doesn’t do well in extreme pressure situations – Slams finals, Wimbledon, London last year, etc – and this is another one of them. Soderling and Federer are both tough for Andy and Ferrer might get enough balls back to create some problems for Andy.

So for now I got Federer, Soderling, Djokovic and Nadal in the semifinals with an early eye toward Federer beating Djokovic in the finale.

I’ll go into more details later in the week.

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218 Comments for London Masters Groupings Released: Federer Tough, Nadal Easy?

skeezerweezer Says:

“….the field is loaded with six of the eight playing in a Slam final this year,…”

Awesome! Can hardly wait.


If you go by indoor results this season then Group B is toughest by far with 5 indoor titles. Group A has no indoor title holders this season.

Gannu Says:

Seems like the Gods have decided to give rafa the trophy this year… wonder why they didnt decide to give even aussie open…The draw for nadal is a joke…joker at times can switch to be a mental case, berdych is an even bigger mental case and add to that he is playing badly..
and roddick – the lesser said its better..I know roddick has done well against Djoker in the past and has even beaten Nadal on hard courts but roddick isnt playing well at all now compared to what he did at the start of the year…

Federer on the other hand has a real messy draw and the way it would pan out is that federer, soderling and Murray will fight tooth and nail and by the time two of reach the semis they will be dead (rmemeber that matches could be on consecutive days)

And Nadal who is on steroids perenially (that was seriously a joke ;-))) will run all day long and will be waiting for a half dead player in the semis and finals…;-)

Vulcan Says:

This is a bit of break for Rafa…he has the mental edge on Djokovic, Berdych is about on par with Ferrer unless he gets hot, and he has at least defeated Roddick on fast surfaces (including Queens Club).

jane Says:

Might be a tough draw for Djoko – he has a tough time against either Rafa or Roddick, whereas he has a better record versus Soda and Ferrer. That said, any draw here would be quite tough. Murray is tied with Soda and has a losing record to Ferrer actually. Hmmm, I have no idea who is a favourite or who will win. To me, it’s up in the air. There could very will be some surprises.

As skeezer noted, this is a pretty good indication of the competition: “the field is loaded with six of the eight playing in a Slam final this year” And Roddick won a Masters and Ferrer just won a tournament.

This is anybody’s win.

Ozzie Says:

Why is it that everytime Rafa gets a draw, everyone complains. When Federer was # 1 and getting easy draws, no one complains. Why are they complaining, Rafa had to deal with Soderling in French Open, everyone loves that, he had to deal with Murray in Wimbledon, eveyone loves that. If Federer is so great why is this cheap talk about tough draw? The greatest should be able to beat everyone with ease, why the complaints. When Murray lost in US Open everyone says how Nadal gets an easy way to final. Why isn’t anyone saying that when Nadal fails to make it o a final and Federer wins that Federer gets an easy break because he doesn’t have to face Nadal.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

I don’t think Berdych represents a true top eight player anymore, he has really disappointed the last few months and coasted in on Wimbledon and FO points. I wouldn’t consider him a challenge for Nadal or Djokovic at all. By the numbers, it looks like Nadal and Djokovic, and Federer with either Soderling or Murray. Based on what Murray did in Shanghai, I’d go with him. Yeah, Soderling just won Paris, but he had an easier road of it.

One thing we can count on is eight days of great match-ups.

dimwitted recluse Says:

Yes, it’s kind of surprising to see Berdych still in top 8. In the other group, look for Ferrer to win at least one match – and that might make all the difference. Murray is slight favourite against Federer in my eyes, Sod has a better chance against Murray whilst Ferrer enjoys the Sod. So you’ve got quite an unpredictable mix here.

Gannu Says:

Jane and Skeez the argument that “the field is loaded with six of the eight playing in a Slam final this year” isnt worth highlighting or even glorifying.. have u noticed that usually the guys who reach Gslam final have enough points to qualify.. this has been the case for serveal years now… this statistic is distorted by the GOAT who used to land up consistently in every final and winning atleast two of them,, to that extent the no of players in the final year-end championships will be different…

1) 2009 – Nadal, federer, roddick, DelPotro, soderling – all Gslam finalists there

2) 2008 – Nadal, Federer,Murray,Djokovic,Tsonga – all gslam finalists here

So that prove sthe point.. so no need to get hyper abt the competition.. its but obvious that the Gslam finalists anyways land up being in the year end championships!

jane Says:

Hi Gannu, I wasn’t intending to “glorify” nor be “hyper” about anything. I was just commenting on that stat. I would be curious when the last time was that 6 of the 8 guys were in slam finals? It’s not easy to get to a slam final or win a masters these days. Berdych, Soda, and Nole ALL had to go through Fed to get to their respective slam finals, and Murray went through Rafa. So they’re all playing some good tennis, or certainly have at some point this year, and thus they are certainly capable of beating the best and catching fire at any moment. I will not count out ANYONE here. Roddick beat Rafa to win a Masters, Ferrer beat Soda to win Valencia, and let’s not forget he got to the finals in 2007. All I am saying is that the competition this year seems deep to me. You are free to disagree of course. :)


margot, enjoying the Murray chat! He’s feeling very casual and pleasant innit he? Having to wear a pink tracksuit for 4 days, lol.

Gannu Says:

Jane.. just wanted to get a little naughty there and show off my analytical skills and knowledge about tennis ;-)

All said and done i want Feddy bear to win ;-)

So where is the a$$picker’s biggest fan Fedend? Missing his insane and foolish comments ;-)

jane Says:

margot, oops misused innit there by adding the “he”. lol. Should stick to idioms i know.

jane Says:

Gannu, feeling naughty are you? ; ) Okay well we’re good. You have excellent analytical skills, and I take your point about Fed’s dominance. Rafa is not my fave, but i wish you wouldn’t call him that. : (

contador Says:

i like the “innit” lol, thought you wrote that on purpose! cute

thinking about the match-ups : ) tennis.

skeezerweezer Says:

D.R. says

“Ferrer enjoys the Sod”. Don’t think for a nano second that I didn’t let that slip by. LOL


It’s all good, and your stats makes sense, thanks. Like Jane said just trying to state what a great quality field it is, and we don’t have to wait for qtrs or semis in to see a great matchup. But then, who didn’t enjoy watching Llorda go through the draw at Paris? :)

Gannu Says:

Ok jane.. will not call rafa by that name… its sometimes angers me that Fed could have just been so absolutely dominating in the absence of Rafa and somehow he came and changed the landscape;-) But i guess we do appreciate Federer’s accomplishments even more now because of rafa!

Twocents Says:

Fast court is for youth. Murray all the way.

Fed will waste 6 Mps this time :-)).

Have fun.

jane Says:

Cheers Gannu!

Gannu Says:

Indeed Skeez.. llorda soderling was awesome!
I hope i manage to get sometime to see the matches… I have office during match time!!!;-(

Twocents Says:


You must have missed TMC07 semi Fed/Nadal. I remember on the last game Rafa desperately glanced at the clock b4 receiving Fed’s serve: 53min. He did not make it pass one hour.

I’m not saying it’ll happen again. But it did happen.

Gannu Says:

Twocents Says:
“Fed will waste 6 Mps this time :-)).”

That was a good one.. hope he doesnt do that against rafa… i will then become Fedend and start posting like him ;-) Lol

skeezerweezer Says:


BRAVO! on your 11:41 post! :-). Go Fed!

Re: 11:48 post. Office; Isn’t that what a screensaver is for? lol

contador Says:

thinking about poor tomas berdych. he has not won a match facing rafa since 2006.

oh man, it’s unlucky. looks like a mental mt everest full of performance anxiety.

djokovic – he’s only beaten him on grass

roddick- he beat him in 2006 and again in tokyo 2008. no recent wins.

what a cinderella story if berdych could win a match in his group!

skeezerweezer Says:

Fast court is for youth? Really? I thought the slower courts would be….mmmm…

Twocents Says:

Youth generally prevails on all fronts. Tha’s a given. However, if you compare ages of FO champions with WO champions, slower courts are much more forgiving to brainfarts.

The main amusement of watching Fed now is to see how he tries to defy law of nature.

skeezerweezer Says:

brainfarts….LOL…mow THAT I can relate too…

FedEnd Says:

Gannu the A$$hOle,
Thanks for the invite, lets have some fun.

FedEnd Says:

FEDTARDS will be happy if the draw is like this:

Group A:
Nadal, Nole, Murray, Sod, Berdy, Roddick and Ferrer.

Group B:

Gannu Says:

FedEnd Says:
FEDTARDS will be happy if the draw is like this:

Group A:
Nadal, Nole, Murray, Sod, Berdy, Roddick and Ferrer.

Group B:

Fedend – even better is they give the trophy to federer – Federer uncontested;-)

Meanwhile are you blogging from an asylum for mentally retarded people?? :-) lol…

FedEnd Says:

“its sometimes angers me that Fed could have just been so absolutely dominating in the absence of Rafa and somehow he came and changed the landscape;-) ”

Thats why you FEDTARDS always get insane and become funny, i really enjoy this.

Federer can only dominate weak players. He couldnt even beat a 16 year old Rafa (ranked 34) on his favorite hardcourt.

skeezerweezer Says:


No, not true. Would just be happy if he wins both groups :-), plus a few more slams, or he could retire today, it’s all the same. GOAT.

Gannu offered to play nice and smoke a peace pipe with you, but you cannot oblige. Your colors are showing. Posters offer to stop engaging with the name calling but you cannot stop. School’s out? Have fun with yourself.

FedEnd Says:

“Fedend – even better is they give the trophy to federer – Federer uncontested;-)”

I perfectly agree with you, thats the only way he can win any trophy.

Another possibility is to arrange an ATP-WTA tournament where only Federer, Mirka and their twins are allowed to play. Federer will then have decent chance of lifting the trophy.

FedEnd Says:


Federer is DONE and dusted.
Only his legacy his still alive, but I dont think it’ll last for more than 2 or 3 years.

So enjoy while u can, this is your time, have fun till it lasts.
Very soon number 16 will be second on the list.

FedEnd Says:

I guess its fun playing a saint, go back and read your post at 12:04 pm and then come back to me.

FedEnd Says:

There is not much of difference between you and gannu excect that u r a bit smart and subtle with your digs at Rafa. Gannu is a dumbA$$ who cannot think before he writes here.

Vulcan Says:

FedEnd Says:

FEDTARDS will be happy if the draw is like this:

Group A:
Nadal, Nole, Murray, Sod, Berdy, Roddick and Ferrer.

Group B:

Gotta admit, that was a good one – but Fedend – answer one question for us – do you agree that the 2008 Wimbledon Final was the greatest match ever played? – and if the answer is yes – do you agree that if Federer “ends” we won’t be able to see a repeat of that? As a tennis fan – are you hoping for that?

leo vixen Says:

Imagine how dominant Rafa would have been if Federer was not around? Duh? Who was ranked#2 all those years behind Federer and lost several Grand Slams to Federer? If Federer was not around, Rafa would have been the GOAT,and had more Grand Slams,so those comparisons/comments are pretty stupid and baseless. It is what it is.

FedEnd Says:

Leo vixen,

A small correction, Rafa lost only 2 slams to Federer, not several slams.

Its Federer who lost several slams to Rafa.

Thats the reason why FEDTARDS just go insane and vent their anger against Rafa and his fans and not the other way around.

contador Says:

trolls are welcome here.

Fot Says:

Can anyone give me a ‘definition’ of what exactly is a “Fedtard?” and do we actually have any on this forum?

Vulcan Says:

Rafa vs Roddick on Monday:

Von, come out, come out, whereeeever you arrrrre.
Some bittersweet memories for Rafa fans. I remember their first encounter at the USO when Roddick hit a serve that almost knocked Nadal flat on his a$$…don’t think he had ever seen that kind of power at that point in his career…he got up and shook off the embarrassment immediately and never let the straight set loss which included a bagel get him down…he seemed to know that one day he would have a winning record against Roddick. On the sweet side of the bittersweet was his beating Roddick at Queens club – where Roddick had dominated (remember those commercials of the Queens club mega-trophy hitting him on the head in the airplane).

i am it Says:

Pre-calculated for Soderling to win and become a new No. 3.
Group A:
Nadal vs. Roddick
vs. Berdych
vs. Djokovic

Group B:
Federer vs. Ferrer
vs. Soderling
vs. Murray

Group A: Nadal beats Berdych, Djokovic, and Roddick to top the group. Roddick takes the 2nd spot by beating Djokovic and Berdych. Djokovic beats Berdych and gets eliminated.
Semifinalists: Nadal and Roddick
Punching bag: Berdych

Murray beats Fed and Ferrer. Soderling downs Ferrer and Murray. Fed beats Soderling and Ferrer. Two wins each, so the semifinalists will be determined on the basis of sets / games won.

Semifinalists: Soderling and Murray.
Mr. Bagman: Ferrer

Semifinals: Murray def. Nadal
Soderling def. Roddick

Final: Soderling def. Murray

In this scenario, Djokovic loses his rank. Soderling becomes No. 3, Murray No. 4, and Djoko No. 5. If Murray reaches the final or better, he ousts Djoko for the year-end No. 3. If Djokovic does not win any RR, all Soderling needs is 2 RR wins to become No. 3. I am more excited about this drama than Rafa-Fed BS.

dimwitted recluse Says:

Skeeze – re “Ferrer enjoys the Sod” – I meant it literally (Ferru likes Dimple’s game), but as I was writing I was a) aware of how it could be read and b)hopeful that you would appreciate it. Glad you didn’t disappoint me!

skeezerweezer Says:

Yes “imagine” and “What Ifs”


You could make a case that Rafa’s belief on grass started with his win against AR, no?

I am it,

Although I don’t like the senario, makes sense :)

FedEnd Says:

“Can anyone give me a ‘definition’ of what exactly is a “Fedtard?””
FEDTARD is the short form of mentally retarded Federer fan. This unique race came to exist because of the sever beatings Rafa inflicted on Federer. There is one FEDTARD who stated the obvious reason why he became a FEDTARD in this very thread:

Gannu Says:
its sometimes angers me that Fed could have just been so absolutely dominating in the absence of Rafa and somehow he came and changed the landscape;-)

” and do we actually have any on this forum?”
There are many, but in general FEDTARDS dont realize that they belong to this race.

madmax Says:

deadend’s in lurrrvveeeeve.
You need some laughing gas dude.

deadend: c’mon man. let’s talk proper tennis and if you know so much about rafa, then answer the following questions (because I never read anything from you that actually talks about your idol?).

1) how many times has rafa reached a grand slam final compared to federer?

2) how many times has he beaten federer in a grandslam final?

3)How many times has rafa not gone past a SF in a slam?

4) How many times has Federer reached a grand slam SF?

5) How many times has Nadal reached a grand slam QF?

6) How many times has Federer reached a grand slam QF

7) what was the result at the WTF at 02 in 2009 for Rafa?

8) At what stage did Federer reach the WTF in 2009?

9) How many times during the last 10 years has federer played at the year end masters event?

I’ll help you out with number 9) – 9 TIMES. How incredible is that?

‘roddick- he beat him in 2006 and again in tokyo 2008. no recent wins’.

Contador, roddick beat rafa this year – I just can’t remember which tournament – will check and get back to you.

Go Federer! You are the best!

van orten Says:

i am pretty happy with the groups… i think fed and nadal both will come through..
i thought berdych would have been very tough since fed never really plays good vs him and could have easily helped berdych to get some momentum back after playing poorly the last months …
as we all know federer is the master in helping others back into the match .–his break points and match point convertion this year shows that

jane Says:

i am it “I am more excited about this drama than Rafa-Fed BS.” Yes, the race between 3, 4, 5 is very exciting for the YEC. Could be dramatic to the end, or over quickly based on your scenarios. Thanks for those.

Sigh re: Fed vs. Rafa antagonisms; seems like there are always some. Their meeting at the YEC may not even come to pass.

Vulcan, yeah those Roddick commercials with the trophy bonking him in the head were some of my faves with him. : ) (b.t.w., i hope he shaves that moustache!)

Fot Says:

Jane, I’m with you. Let’s get it on with the Year End and enough with the Nadal/Federer arguments.

I think the groups are pretty much equal. Hopefully we’ll have some good matches.

steve-o Says:

Berdych is a bit of a bully on the court. He only plays his best if he senses hesitation from his opponent. Otherwise he will cave.

He is not a player who can scrape through tough matches by force of will.

Vulcan Says:


It was a quantum leap increase in his confidence but I think he already had his grass legs before that from his previous deep runs at Wimbledon.
I’m not sure how or where Nadal learned to excel on grass but one thing is for sure there are only a handful of guys in the world that are consistently regarded as great grass court players and contenders at Wimbledon and Roddick is in that elite group – and Roddick had won Queens Club – what? – 37 times prior to losing to Rafa – so yes a tremendous boost to his confidence back in 08 just before the Wimby all time classic.

FedEnd Says:

“Gotta admit, that was a good one – but Fedend – answer one question for us – do you agree that the 2008 Wimbledon Final was the greatest match ever played? – and if the answer is yes – do you agree that if Federer “ends” we won’t be able to see a repeat of that? As a tennis fan – are you hoping for that?”


I have to admit that there are a few people (the chief culprits are you and Dr.Grendel) here in tennis-x who make me feel really uncomfortable and vulnerable. You guys are too reasonable and objective.

Ok let me take a temporary break from what I am supposed to do here.

To be frank even though I am a Rafa fan, I admire and respect Federer a lot. IMHO Federer is the GOAT and its quite possible that he will remain so forever (I have even stated the same here before). So to answer your question, yes as a tennis fan I would love to see Federer compete with my fav Rafa and other young guns. Federer raised the bar so high and brought the best out of Rafa. Without Federer Rafa would not have been so successful. He would just be happy wininng those FOs. As tennis fans we should be grateful to Federer for what he has done to the game. He brings the best out of everyone (latest example if Monfils). There will be a huge void created when Federer decides to hang up his boots. To be frank I couldnt really enjoy Rafa’s last three slams. Given a choice I would have taken 3 FEDAL slam finals (all five setters) with Rafa losing one to Fed instead of those three one sided wins for Rafa. As a tennis fan, I want to see Federer for a very long time.

As a hardcore Rafa fan I want Federer to be playing even longer. Because the more they play each other, the H2H record will become more lop sided. It would be great for Rafa fans if they meet in wimby finals again so that Rafa can set right his grass court H2H with Federer.

christopher walsh Says:

great draws! cannot wait for those exciting matchups

i am it Says:

For a Fed fan, this is the best scenario,

Group A:
Nadal def. Roddick
def. Berdych
Djokovic def. Nadal
def. Berdych
los. Roddick

Semifinalists: Djokovic and Rafa, based on sets/ games on.

Group B:
Federer def. Ferrer
def. Soderling
def. Murray
Murray def. Soderling
def. Ferrer

Semifinalists: Federer and Murray

Semifinals: Federer def. Nadal
Djoko def. Murray
Final: Federer def. Djoko

(In this scenario, Fed beats No.1 Nadal, No. 3 Djoko, No. 4 Soderling, No. 5 Murray, and No. 7 Ferrer on his way to the title.)

If you are a Djoko fan, hope he beats Federer.

Which scenario do you like better, T-Xers?

Vulcan Says:

OK Fedend,

Thanks for answering my questions.
I don’t know how you do it but you really seem to be able to turn it on and off like nobody I have ever seen before – I suspected you were a real tennis fan – your statements above come across as more reasonable and thoughtful than many of those that DR and I have uttered – if you get your kicks by the Jeckyl and Hyde stuff I am certainly not going to be one to interfere since as I said before your comments provide a certain parity on this blog.

trolleybus Says:

Oh no Fedend, you’ve violated the number one rule of trolling – never show remorse for your actions, as this clearly damages your trolling creds. See's_remorse

That said, as much as I’ve been enjoying your Fed vs Mirca posts, I think you need some new jokes.

contador Says:


in your 1:41pm post, i think perhaps you hit the nail on the head about berdych. i can see that in him.

do you think he can win a match?

contador Says:


it was miami where roddick beat rafa. but remember rafa was not 100% at the time.

djokovic and roddick are always an interesting match-up

Ben Pronin Says:

“but remember rafa was not 100% at the time.”

What was wrong with him?

Ben Pronin Says:

Doesn’t Nadal have a grass court in his backyard?

Von Says:

Vulcan: I remember it well. Yes, roddick was a repeat winner seeral times at Queens until ’08 when Nadal beat Karlovic and Roddick.

I’m afraid, I’ll be off this thread as I might open my mouth and have,my head blown off at any time. The childish nonsense continues. It’s the usual story, if there’s an argument, it can’t be a one on one, but several have to enter the war zone or else it’s incomplete.

contador Says:

i think his knees were still in question, if i recall. there was something about it….it’s foggy. he was good to go by clay season, apparently.

madmax andyR went on to win miami too btw. i remember watching him. he was playing great. which is how he needs to play to win a set or a match in london against nadal or nole.

unbelievble berdych being in A group. but verdasco wouldn’t have been any better. or youzhny or melzer


i am it Says:

Fed was not 100% at ’05, ’08 and ’09 AO, ’09 & ’10 USO, and ’08 & ’10 Wimbledon, etc.
Djoko was not 100% at ’08 Olympic and ’10 USO, was almost out in the 1st Rd in the latter?
Rafa definitely was not 100% at all USOs except this year, was not 100% at AO except ’09, was not 100% at ’06 and ’07 Wimbledon, and was not 100% at RG ’09, etc.

You win, you are 100%, and you lose, you are not 100%?
Win = 100%
Loss= less than 100%
esp. if that pertains to a select few, the Biblically chosen ones.
Is that what you are saying, Conty dear?

madmax Says:

thanks conty

that’s great news von.


where have you been?

Nina Says:

I actually think this draw benefits Novak. I know some may think that he has two really hard nuts to crack in Nadal and Roddick, but I believe he is really a good match up for Nadal and tends to do well against him on hard courts (he has won against him many times and all their matches have been very close).

Roddick may be a little bit worrying for him as he has a bad h2h record against him but it’s time for a little sweet revenge and I hope it comes soon!

Group B is much harder with Federer, Murray and Soderling all playing well recently in one tournament or another. The most inconsistent being Murray but I expect big from him here since he tends to play better against the elite and he has to please the home crowd. Soderling is riding on the momentum of his Paris win, let’s see if he can maintain that level. His first match against Andy will be a real big test.

Nobody is giving Ferrer or Berdych many chances but remember those who have nothing to loss are the most dangerous.

It’s a very open competition and a luxury to watch the best 8 players in the world battle each other. I really have no idea who will win but for once I’m going to sit back, relax and enjoy. Wait, what I’m saying, I know that won’t happen. If Nole loses I will be miserable and I’ll feed my Tennis magazine subscription to the dogs. So Nole, better behave!

Kimberly Says:

Contador-Rafa SAID he wasn’t 100% and we all know how I love him BUT

I watched him play Tsonga live the night before. If that wasn’t 100% I do not know what is. Rafa looked AMAZING and was moving and striking the ball AMAZING. The crowd was in awe. He crushed Tsonga and Tsonga was playing really well too. Probably highest quality live match I have ever seen. This was less than 24 or maybe it was 48 hrs before the Roddick match, which I couldn’t get a babysitter (thankfully) for. I think Roddick frankly stunned him and on a moments notice he had no answer. If Andy plays as he did, he has a great chance. If he tries to play defensive baseline tennis its a straight set loss.

Kimberly Says:

Here’s how I see the breakdown:

1-2 Nadal/Fed–Even diffulty for other opponents.
3-4 Djoko/Soderling Novak the tougher player
5-6 Murray/Berdych Murray the tougher player
7-8 Ferrer/Roddick Roddick the tougher player

So Feds group has 1 of the tougher players from the lower ranks where Nadals group has 2.

RZ Says:

I’d say Berdych is more likely to go winless than Ferrer. Ferrer’s done well in the last couple of months. Berdych’s won very few matches.

steve-o Says:

@contador: I don’t know. It depends on how well his opponents are playing.

He could shock us all by beating everyone in his group, or he could go without winning a set off of anyone, or something in between. My feeling is he will win at least one match.

It would be dumb to underestimate him, despite his recent poor form.

Dan Martin Says:

I think the A group is tougher in that the top three in each group are solid, but Roddick indoors is a much tougher animal on paper than Ferrer indoors.

Eric Says:

Federer can’t be happy that Murray is in his group, but otherwise

Eric Says:

Whoops… again.

Anyway, Federer can’t be happy that Murray is in his group, but otherwise the groups are roughly equal I would say… Murray and Soderling, both very dangerous, but I would say Djokovic is somewhat more so.

From Nadal’s point of view, he certainly dodged a bullet in that Murray is in the other group. But Roddick or Djokovic could man up and beat him; it all depends on whose form is on high.

Berdych — god only knows. Which Berdych will show up? Well, let’s be honest, he hasn’t done anything worthy of a top-10 player since Wimbledon, except a token appearance at one of the US Open series quarterfinals. So there’s no evidence he’ll be a threat.

Ferrer is like a dog who grabs you by the leg and won’t let go. His matches could all go either way really, it just depends on whether he can keep up. I wouldn’t put any money on him though, were I a betting sort.

i am it Says:

Nina Says: “I actually think this draw benefits Novak. I know some may think that he has two really hard nuts to crack in Nadal and Roddick, but I believe he is really a good match up for Nadal…Nobody is giving Ferrer or Berdych many chances but remember those who have nothing to loss are the most dangerous.”

Lady, we seem to think almost alike. I also think that if Nole is the player who thinks he can reach No. 1 one day, he cannot be worried about Nadals and Roddicks. He should take this as an opportunity to prove he’s on track.
And, yes, Ferrer is a heavier weight than the Berd for the YEC, considering he just won Valencia, in a field loaded with the likes of Murray and Soderling. Recall the year when Ferrer made it to the final, 2007, on his first and only attempt. That year, he was the hottest outside top 5, winning 3 titles, which included Tokyo Indoors, and reaching USO semi. Granted he has gotten older and may not be as good as in ’07, the year that he beat the likes of Nadal, Djokovic, Roddick and Gasquet in a row at the YEC, he still can win a couple of round robins.

On a side not, I see 1 or more players pulling out of WTF, possibly Roddick, and/or Rafa. Berdych may not withdraw mainly because this is his 1st time. I hope withdrawals do not happen this year. I like this year’s contestants. One better draw could have fit/in-form Del Potro and Davydenko in place of Berd and Ferrer (or, as it is, I’d like to see ’10 Wimby pre-final Berd and ’07 Ferrer).

Eric Says:

I think I would have to cast my vote for group B being slightly tougher though. Murray, now that he’s had a chance to rest, is certainly more dangerous than Roddick, and I would say Soderling is as well. Djokovic is better than any of them, but he’s been somewhat underwhelming recently (too much tennis I suppose) so I’m not sure that balances it out. And I don’t think Berdych is going to prove he really deserves to be in such company – though I am ready and willing to eat those words. I hope he proves me wrong.

i am it Says:

I am not thinking about which group has a tougher draw. I am thinking, rather PREDICTing, that the winner will come from Group B.
Thanks for inspiring me to make this bold prediction.

Eric Says:

Okay, my OFFICIAL PREDICTIONS – just what everyone was waiting for – are these:

Group A:
Rafa 2-1
Djokovic 2-1
Roddick 2-1
Berdych 0-3

Group B:
Federer 2-1
Soderling 2-1
Murray 1-2
Ferrer 1-2

Okay, I just made up the predictions for group B. Group A was a lot easier… But I think they will be both be close-ish, although Murray/Soderling could easily flip. I just like Soda…

Eric Says:

Oh, and then for the SF and F stages, I predict Rafa def. Soderling and Fed def. Djokovic, and Fed def. Rafa… ;) No seriously, I dunno. That would be an amazing clutch of matches though!

WTF Says:

No such thing as “easy” draw in this event IMO. All of these guys are capable of getting through to the semis, with Ferrer perhaps being the weakest.

Eric Says:

WTF, if that was addressed to me, I didn’t mean the group was easier, just that making the predictions were easier. I think at least 5 of the players have a good shot of making it to the finals, some with a bit more of a chance than others, that’s just how it goes.

Vulcan Says:

Berdych reminds me a bit of Safin…his game…his lumbering demeanor…his somewhat erratic results…slightly fragile psyche…at least he doesn’t have to live with the label “headcase” as Safin did. The one player that I thought deserved to be at O2 that didn’t make it was Verdasco.


Verdasco had a good US Open, but his results in just about every other tournament since Wimbledon have been poor. I have nothing against him personally, but I’m glad he didn’t make it. Ferrer and Roddick are playing better tennis right now.

Kimmi Says:

margot: thanks 4 muzz clip..i enjoyed it a lot. i laughed at the end when ross said andy must win wimbledon but no pressure really. lol.

So the draw is out. so similar to last year. ie murray/federer and djoko/nadal. Murray has always land on federer side at YEC for some reason…strange.

Fair draw. good that muzz is with fed, at least they wont have to play each other in the semi if they both qualify.

Murray vs soda opening up on sunday afternoon, followed by federer vs ferrer. i see the brits wants muzz to open up the proceeding again.

Vulcan Says:


I really don’t have a precise handle on his stats/results this year – I just vaguely remember him being in the mix at the upper echelons for virtually the entire year. Verdasco is one of the first Spaniards (after Ferrero) to really excel on hardcourts – I think he is more of a hardcourt specialist than Nadal is (50/50 vs 40/60)

dimwitted recluse Says:

Vulcan – “Berdych reminds me a bit of Safin” – I’ve always thought that, but it’s not all bad. There’s something imperious about the play of both men when on. If anything, I’d say Berdych is the more elegant player, his timing was a joy to watch even as a 17 year old tyro. What a talent, what a shame it hasn’t developed as it might. On the other hand, Safin had much more variety at his disposal. At his very very best, I don’t think anyone could beat Safin, not anyone. That certainly isn’t true of Berdych.

Ben: “Doesn’t Nadal have a grass court in his backyard?” I first heard this story about 3 years ago. But, so far as I know, no one has ever been able to confirm or deny it.

dimwitted recluse Says:

Kimmi:”good that muzz is with fed, at least they wont have to play each other in the semi if they both qualify”. Ah, but Murray may deal Federer a death blow as he did couple of years ago – and in the process, wounded himself fatally. He had no need to beat Federer; he was through anyway. But the temptation to get the W over Federer was just irresistible. Will be interesting to see if that particular scenario repeats – for it to do so, Federer will have to have beaten Ferrer and been beaten by Soderling (or other way round), with Murray already guaranteed his place in the semis. Does the order of play allow for this possibility?

Kimmi Says:

dimwitted recluse – i remember that match very well. it was one of the best (drama wise) match played at year end champs. Muzz was determined to win that match! federer had some kind of injury with him but was also determined to win it. It was one of the rare occasions were federer had to call a trainer on the court.

Hope muzz will be smart enough if that kind of scenario happens. their group have an early start so i think they are guarantee a day of rest before the semi this time.


One other thing I’ll mention. Both Roddick and Ferrer have quite a few wins on hard courts this year against top 8 players. Roddick has beaten Berdych 3 times, Soderling 2(or 3?) times, Nadal once, and Djokovic once. Ferrer has 2 recent hard court wins against Soderling and 1 against Berdych.

Roddick really can’t ask for more. He doesn’t have Federer in his group and he has beaten everyone in his group at least once this year on a hard court. It wouldn’t be the upset of the century if he ends up 2-1.

Kimmi Says:

NELTA – i was thinking the same thing about roddick. best group for him. Unfortunately hasnt been playing well coming to london. His loses to federer and soderling were lopsided. he is been broken more than twice in these matches which is not roddicklike…

let see if he is able to take adv of the opportunity..

skeezerweezer Says:

The thing about Roddick is it seems he has settled into the “journeyman” mode, gets his wins, wins enough to get in the top 10, or 5, and don’t see a “push” to the top, or for that matter hear from him how he thinks he can battle for the top spot. If I am wrong here, someone please jump in. He seems to be settled in things, he has got the girl, the life, happy with who is his, so? So, this is not a bad thing is it? He just seemed at times in the past to have the talent to scare the boogers out of everyone.

tennisiscool Says:

Group A
1. Nadal
2. Djokovic

Group B
1. Federer
2. Soderling

Nadal defeats Soderling
Federer defeats Djokovic

Federer defeats Nadal

skeezerweezer Says:

With Nadals’ Stats and form this year a loss at London will be considered a major upset. Why not? He has won 3 slams and has had plenty of rest. As FedWins as implied, Fed has ended, and all others are just tax payers to the King, no?

I am it,

Re post @ 5:40. Agreed. Novak imo is the “wild card” this next 12 months.
Greatest potential? = Novak.
Sitting in the sweet spot for biggest improvement? = Novak.
Can he do it? We all have to watch :)

It’s all in the head. His strokes from the back court are technically more sound than anyone, hands down. And no one seems to give him very much credit for his net game also, which has steadily improved.

Just find a big, consistent service game Nole!

sheila Says:

i am rooting for federer all the way, but he had a 5-0 record against monfils & lost 2him in paris. i cant help but be a little uneasy about how he will do. in my head & heart federer should definitely win ferrer (10-0), but as i said monfils had never beat him b4. i just hope federer pulls it out, but nadal, in reality is the guy 2beat. he has a winning record against everyone including roger. just being realistic.

skeezerweezer Says:


Am rooting for the Maestro also….

You bring up a very great point about a man/woman who has beaten anyone 10 times ( ex; ) in a row or more, what is there chances to win the next? I stand by it lessons every time you play with a winning streak like that and, the loser gets a better chance of winning the more times they play. The inevitable will happen. The odds prove it. There is the odd time that it doesn’t but it is not the norm where two athletes are playing at the same level. Now is someone doesn’t agree, they are giving credence to the one who has won that many times and implying that they ARE playing at a higher level then, no?

Regardless, to me, imo, it’s amazing a ATP touring pro can have records against opponents of 14-2, 10-0, etc. Oh wait, the Fed haters only want to point out what he DIDN’T do, forgot,….uh my bad.

As Sod said at Wimby a few years back “nobody beats me 11 times in a row”. Poetic, and funny but he eventually got his wins against Fed….:)

Vulcan Says:

tennisiscool Says:

Federer defeats Nadal

If Federer and Nadal do somehow make it to the final (which would make for the long awaited post AO hard court rematch) I would pick Rafa by a wide margin. In fact I like Nadal’s chances against Federer above anybody else in the draw with the possible exception of Ferrer. Note that Federer is the only guy in the draw with a one handed backhand…and Nadal’s exceptional ability to target the backhand makes Federer a sitting duck in the matchup.

Mindy Says:


Don’t set Rafa up that way! You would like nothing better than to see him go down. This is your wishful thinking one more time. Cross your fingers and maybe it will happen.

You are getting to be quite repetitive. Every time there is any tournament, no matter what, Rafa has to win or it’s a major upset. Why? Because he’s now number one. Was Rafa the favorite going into the USO, even though he was number one and had won two straight slams? The answer is no. Why? Because of his subpar performance at Toronto and Cincy.

If you want to use the logic of who is playing best now, Rafa would not be the favorite. He has been off since Shanghai and pulled out from Paris due to some shoulder issue. Even Sean was more honest than you.

Don’t set this up as the most important event of the year, so that in your skewed view, it will be a major catastrophe if Rafa doesn’t win. I want to see how he looks in his first match to get a sense of where he’s at. Then I won’t care what you or any of the Fed fans say or think.

skeezerweezer Says:


Totally agree with the next match up with Rafa. It’s not what Rafa is going to do, he doesn’t have to change a thing. Why should he? The pressure to change ( and my knock on Fed as a Fed fan ) is what are you gonna do about it? He is either incapable ( which I don’t believe ) or stubborn ( which I tend to believe, but c’mon! ) or just just doesn’t want to ( welcome to another loss ). Sorry Fed fans to sound so down on it but it’s not like Fed hasn’t had time to figure the guy out ( 21 times? ). Go Fed!

dari Says:

Besides all of the fantastic present-day matches, I love wtf time because of the tennis channel “classics” they play. Sampras v. Kuerten, THANK YOU!
Anyway, very excited for ALL the upcoming matches, this will be certainly one to remember. I hope someone besides rafa wins. Tuthfully, Paris and the shoulder injury kinda left a bad taste in my mouth, Rafa just sitting back letting everybody else get tired in the last masters of the year!
I would like to see someone who has been cooking up a nice fall season to take home this one. Someone like… ROGER!
OH and I can’t wait till the formal photos come out!

Vulcan Says:

About Djokovic…all I can say about him is mentally he better go see a therapist or something to discuss his sport psychology when it comes to playing Roddick because he seems to have decided that Roddick, for whatever reason, has his number, and that he has a fear of losing to him…all of this after he gave Roddick a royal beat down at USO.
His performance at Cincy was pathetic despite the close scoreline.

skeezerweezer Says:


LMAO, mental….good one. But I still like Novak, If he is mentally fresh. Is he? Uh um……

skeezerweezer Says:


Well it’s about time you came out to support you love, I was wondering…..:).

I know it may sound like I am setting him up, but c’mon, look at the way he is playing, and his year! Me thinks he and his camp have set this whole scenario up, and it is very smart.

He is THE man this year! You don’t have confidence? C’mon! If it was Fed I would be all over the dominance, and you know it! :-)

I am crossing my fingers but no worries, it won’t happen ( Rafa upset ), MY prediction :). I am just sayin BASED on his great year, how can you not say otherwise? No jinx here, I am not nearly as good as Sean, and the stats back my claim. YOURS?

I guess I will be the only Tennis fan here when Rafa wins London “I told you so”. :-)

Vulcan Says:

He is either incapable

SW, I don’t think there is much he can do…as we have discussed in the past his one hander is one of the best in the world – for a one-hander – and that’s a major caveat. Federer’s variety on the BH is useless against Nadal…his insane half volley flick passes and knifed slices are beautiful to watch but unless he goes to a two handed backhand and buys some of those shoes sold in the National Enquirer that add 3 inches to your height he is basically going to be at the mercy of Nadal’s pinpoint accuracy and lefty spin.

Vulcan Says:

There may be one thing…he could hire Carlos Moya as his coach and start spending all of his time in the backhand corner and have Carlos teach him his trademark backpedal :-0

skeezerweezer Says:

LOL! Or did you see Sod returning Llorda’s cutter serve to the add side? He was telegraphing it so Sod was running over to the stands to return it…..and so he did….classic… maybe if Rafa pulled out a “Babe” and pointed to the wide out on the add side before he would serve…..haha…..ok….making myself laugh…not a good sign.

guy Says:

the easy draw for rafael nadal…

roddick beat him last two times on hard court if i remember correctly, djoker usually beats him on hardcourt. so berdych is playing shit, that’s not enough to make the group easy for nadal.

federer owns soderling and ferrer. murray is a problem but that’s only one problem. and he’s not playing his best anyway, having some injury problem.

logic says nadal has a tougher side, even if ferrer and soderling are in good form.

at best you could say it’s about equally tough for nadal and federer.
you cannot say nadal has it easier than federer.

Skeezerweezer Says:


Where where you in 2010? Iceland? Apparently you missed tennis in 2010 cause all the stats didn’t matter for Rafa, he blew them away. Rafa favored in London still stands, you cannot hide behind the world #1 ranking.

Von Says:

skeezer: “The thing about Roddick is it seems he has settled into the “journeyman” mode, gets his wins, wins enough to get in the top 10, or 5, and don’t see a “push” to the top, or for that matter hear from him how he thinks he can battle for the top spot. If I am wrong here, someone please jump in.”

You are not only wrong, but way off makr. Have you forgotten how well he was playing up to Miamia, and then he left for a vacation, got sick with mono, and is struggling to get beck to form? That’s not how a journeyman behaves. I know you don’t have much respect for Roddick’s game, the same as Eric, but Roddick know this, Roddick’s not a journeyman and never will be one. He’s got too much pride to allow himself to get to that stage. He’s been in 2 finals and won 2 tourneys this year and made it toone QF, and SF in two Masters tourneys, playing with mono. If anyone was talking about your fave slipping you’d throw the book at them.

Instead of ridiculing Roddick, you should praise him. Just do a recap of all that’s transpired since Miami, and you’ll understand why things are the way they are with his game. He should be commended for still being in the top 10 and making the WTF, instead of ridiculed and being labeled a “journeyman”. I don’t know, but every time you write stuff pertaining to Roddick, my eyes become more openend. I’ve been so wrong about you — my bad.

Von Says:

vulcan: “all of this after he gave Roddick a royal beat down at USO.”

Come on now, it wasn’t a royal beatdown. Check the scores. Had Roddick not duffed the ball in the net in the fourth set, that match could have gone either way. Roddick got fooled in that match and he paid the price. He expected the Djoker to come out playing sick, and hand the game to him, due to the Sars and bird flu, but the Djoker surprised Andy. Fed’s words comes to mind, he’s injured one minute and the next he’s running around like a rabbit. Well, that’s exactly what happenend. If you will remember, The Djoker supposedly twisted his ankle in his match vs. Robredo, so I guess Roddick was playing with that thought in his mind. He eventually began to wise up and ante up, but it was too late.

contador Says:

love the federer with chocolate link skeezer and…

offering a little break from the federer v nadal fan jibber jabber

maybe u already saw this on the paris-bercy website last week
but it’s gulbis v malise in a little quiz and at the end ernie sings a line of the latvian anthem

Mindy Says:


I don’t make predictions unless I am confident and have seen enough to give me the belief that I can do so with enough information. I never worry about Rafa, nor do I lack faith in him. I simply have not seen him because he hasn’t been playing. I don’t know the nature of this shoulder issue, so I will have to wait and see for myself. Watching Rafa tells me all I need to know about my guy.

I know Rafa specifically stated that this was his goal for year end. When Rafa wants something, he usually is prepared to do whatever it takes. He may well have been practicing like a demon instead of playing in Paris, which he didn’t need. I have heard things, but I don’t care to go into it here. I am just saying that nothing is ever the end of the world. If he had knee problems, then I would be getting upset.

I think Rafa has a decent group, no complaints from me. Considering the depth of talent these days, both groups look pretty well matched. Roddick won against Rafa the last time they played in IW, but that seems like so long ago and a lot has happened since then.

I would be shocked to see Berdych do anything here. If he wins even one match, that will be surprising to me. Ferrer has been playing well, but this isn’t his best surface.

Sean said that he hasn’t seen enough to be that impressed with Rafa, and I won’t argue with him there. I enjoy reading everyone’s predictions and think it’s great fun, but I need to see Rafa and then I will be able to assess his chances here.

As far as I am concerned, the big prize is the 2011 AO. If he wins that, no one will care one way or another how he did here.

Ben Pronin Says:

I read somewhere that Nadal hasn’t been on a tennis court in a few weeks. Is that wrong?

The debates about which group is tougher is pretty amusing. I think, generally speaking, both groups are pretty even. But when you pit the top 8 against each other anything can happen on any given day, more so than usual, imo. I’ll try to write some kind of preview before the tournament starts, no promises though.

Skeezerweezer Says:


True about AO


Wild thing! That was friggin hilarious, thanks! LOL

night all///zzzzzz

contador Says:

thought you might like it..LOL….gulbis laugh is so infectious! was wondering if he had had a couple shots of vodka?

or if he’s that way naturally – i vote ernie and nole the most fun to hang out with and party! nevermind his tennis!

Skeezerweezer Says:

C’mon Ben! I need to read something with my cup o jo in the morning. Make it good, make it real, make it right, & good night. Poetic justice…out

Contador, Jane, Margot, Madmax, Kimmi, and yes even all the Rafa bod lovin ladies,,,,,,and for that special someone…FedWins….muuuuaaahhh.

For you……from the Skeeze

Good night……again :)

bibi Says:

“Ben: “Doesn’t Nadal have a grass court in his backyard?” I first heard this story about 3 years ago. But, so far as I know, no one has ever been able to confirm or deny it.”

After watching a lengthy TV documentary on Nadal made by the Japanese this summer in Mallorca, with extensive footage on his private life, it is obvious he does not have a grass court in his backyard, nor any other type of tennis court for that matter. The Nadal’s 4-story townhouse has no yard (back or front) whatsoever, it’s an ancient appartment building right on the main town square. Their family beach house at Porto Cristo has a smallish yard with just a swimming pool, a gazebo and a few palm trees, not enough place for a tennis court.

Asked about his own house that he plans to build soon on the nearby island of Ibiza, and whether he will have tennis courts built on the property, Nadal explicitly said that he will not, because he wants to separate tennis from his private life.

He practices daily on clay in his old Manacor club and elsewhere in the town there’s a municipal sports centre with indoors and outdoors hard courts, where he books time like everybody else. Apparently, there are no grass tennis courts in Mallorca at all.

montecarlo Says:

Excellent post and I totally agree. This tournament is more like wait and watch for me with this shoulder scare and I wouldn’t be surprised if Rafa pulled out after playing 1 or 2 matches. He has spent no time whatsoever on court for few weeks now and its absolutely foolish to think that he will come back guns blazing because he always takes lots of matches to get in a groom.

Rafa has been handling knee problems pretty well since his childhood but his game really fell apart when he had that abdomen tear last year coz he simply wasn’t able to put in serves wide off the deuce court. So anything that effects serve is pretty dangerous for Rafa.

If he wins this its well and good but main aim should be AO 2011.

pro rafa Says:

this is just my opinion….
i feel Rafa has the tougher draw due to many reasons:
1.he had decent rest for quite some time but he will still be tired
2.i read someone saying that djoker is mental(????)….maybe I’m wrong…. but don’t forget that he has the game to beat nadal n he is far more dangerous against Rafa who is half tired…. so is roddick
3.berdych i feel didn’t play many matches this year, so of the lot, he is the freshest n potential spoiler of a fedal final.
but roger’s draw is a complete joke…. Murray is not gonna prove a big challenge n soderling needs his high risk game to click to have a chance of beating federer which is very unlikely to happen this year
well, as much as i admire ferrer, he’s not gonna trouble roger too much

Mindy Says:


I am hearing conflicting things about Rafa. Some people said that he is just practicing so that he will be fully ready to try and win this thing.

All I know for sure is what Rafa said, so I have to rely on that for now. People say a lot of things and pretend to know things that they do not.

I would love to see a preview from you, time permitting, of course.

Mindy Says:


You mentioned the one thing I forgot to say in my post. Rafa is a rhythm and timing player and if he doesn’t play for a while then it can be a problem. Just look at the way he played at Toronto and Cincy. Of course, he was not only out of form, but also he was protecting his abdominals and not serving at full strength.

Even in his first two matches at the USO, I could still see that his shots weren’t nearly as accurate as they should have been. That serve really helped him get through the tough challenges from Gaba and Istomin. I could see him getting it all back in each successive match.

I honestly don’t know what to expect. If he has any pain, then I would hope that he pulls out. I don’t know why some Rafa fans are saying that he has been quietly practicing and the shoulder isn’t a big deal.

That’s why I am hedging my bets. I have no idea what kind of form he will be in, given the fact that he hasn’t played since Shanghai. It may not affect other players, but for Rafa it could be a problem.

Seeing him in his first match will answer all my questions.

Yes, the big prize is the 2011 AO. That’s the big picture.

jojostruys Says:

To Nadal fans; recent quotations by peers and tennis legends:

Nadal can beat Federer title record – Murray

Nadal’s 3 Grand Slam titles in a year is an amazing effort from him – Federer

The two greatest athletes of all time are Bjorn Borg and Rafael Nadal – McEnroe

Rafael Nadal has the chance to be the greatest, Rogers is still the greatest though – Borg

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal is the man to beat at the 2011 Australian Open – Wilander

Pressure. Pressure. Pressure.

Vamos Rafa!

Nina Says:

That’s true, Mindy, I agree with you. Nobody really knows Rafa’s form at this moment. And he’s one of those players that need to warm up in this kind of tournaments. But WTF doesn’t give you time for that, to adjust your game. You have to be on top of your game from the first match on. And I doubt Rafa will be as dangerous as before with the lack of play and his weak indoor season. I’m not sure what to think about the shoulder, he always tends to have one thing or another. If he decides to play in my opinion that means that he’s completely fit to do so. If he loses I don’t want to hear excuses for him.

Kimberly Says:

I didn’t even know what the YEC was until one or two years ago, but I’ve known what the four grand slams were since I was like eight. So while it’s important, if I were rafa, I wouldn’t knock myself out, at least not this year. I would focus on AO. In 2008 he ended early and it worked for him AO 2009. I hope he learns from the past.

Kimberly Says:

Aren;t there two alternate players as well just in case? Do we know who they are?

Rick Says:

I’m with you, Fedend! Lets kick those Fetard’s arses! Justice will prevails. Am also sick of those Federina’s thugs! They always have double standard for their girl. And like to bully people who aren’t Federina’s thugs.

Actually, Federina is the one with an easier draw. Except Federina being Murray’s bitch. I don’t think that, Soderling(Another fluke like Federina, winning Paris without beating the top 5 guys) and Ferrer just couldn’t trouble Federina’s game with their owns. If Fed Allstop being in another group. He only could gets a sure win from Roddick. Djkovic and Berchdy all have the games that could turn Federina into tears again. But again, who knows? Federina chokes against anyone these days. He got beaten in those matches he should had won. You know like getting thumped by Soderling in the French. And choked against all these players this year!

Rick Says:

Federina might has like 16 slams, because of the era that he was in. But I also recall that, Nadal didn’t play at the Aussie Open in 2006. And of course, he pulled out from Wimbledon in 2009.

Btw, Del Potro is really a fluke. I wonder what is ranking on the ATP tour now? He might runs into the top 5 guys in the first or second round in any tournaments now. He certainly hasn’t got the endurance for being a champ. Especially the way how he makes his comeback. He just tried to runaway when things get difficult. And he makes things worse, he would definitely runs into the top 10 guys in the first round when he makes his return. His last two wins against Nadal, it is simply because Nadal was just coming back from injury. And he had troubles with the top 10 guys.

Rick Says:

I hope Murray would wins a Slam this year. Despite Becker was calling him a momma’s boy!

Rick Says:

Why aren’t Federina and Soderling in the trunks. They are ATP tour’s twins. lol They’re both receving advantages from other player’s injuries. Or having other players to do all the tough works from them. As for Federina, he had last year’s Roland Garros and Wimbledon. As for Soderling, Monflis was doing all the dirty tough works for him in Paris!

And remember Federina was formerly being known as king of grass. And Nadal is king of clay. But Nadal had invaded his kingdom since 2008. Ever since, Federina never had impressive records on grass again. And this year, Federina was beaten by Hewitt at Halle.

Actually, I do admire Federer’s ability for not getting into injury for these many years. It is just his thugs who turned him into a hateful person. And Fedtard’s arses need to be kicked!

Rick Says:

I could be sure that, Federer would not wins! His match against Monfils in Paris is a marjor dissapointment. He really should had won that! I thought that he would had won, because Murray and Djokovic were all gone. And he choked against a player who he used to dominate.

Rick Says:

Btw, Federer has an easy for match up against Ferrer! Federer should be able to wins that one, then should be another win for him against Soderling. But who knows? He chokes alot these days!

queen Says:

Love your posts Rick. I agree 100%

Kimberly Says:

christopher walsh, that is absolutely vile, your post is the one that should be removed immediately. Moderation please????

dimwitted recluse Says:

Skeezer, it was Vitas Gerulaitas who came up with that nobody beats me x times in a row gag – following his first defeat of Borg. Since then, others have borrowed it – or had it borrowed on their behalf by a commentator – e.g.Gonzalez, and you mention Soderling.

About Djokovic. His first priority has to be the Davis Cup final. Nadal fans are making a big song and dance about the imminence of the AO – but that’s two months away. The final is 2 and a half weeks. In the light of this, can we expect Djokovic’s head to be firmly focused on winning at O2? Mental preparation, worries concerning physical niggles and tiredness – I can’t belive Djokovic will be 100% present.

Bibi says:” Asked about his own house that he plans to build soon on the nearby island of Ibiza, and whether he will have tennis courts built on the property, Nadal explicitly said that he will not, because he wants to separate tennis from his private life.” I like this attitude. Clearly, life cannot be neatly compartmentalised. Like it or not, you carry your mind with you wherever you go, and to a certain extent you are its captive. Even so, to find things to do which have nothing to do with slapping around an elastic spherical object seems to me good – and adds to the allure of the Nadal personality.

Thomas Says:

Wow-some of the comments here are downright hilarious..

skeezerweezer Says:


When is the DC final?

dimwitted recluse Says:

Skeezer, Dec 3rd, I think.

Vulcan Says:

Von Says:

Come on now, it wasn’t a royal beatdown.

Von, I should know better than to infuse any of my statements regarding Roddick with any hyperbole when you are at sitting at the editors desk :)

I guess it was Djokovic’s statements to the crowd after the match and the way he fought with what seemed to be a grudge match level of determination that made it seem like a beatdown.
Perhaps it was the verbal beatdown he summoned after the match that triggered my assessment. Anyway, it is Roddick who has had the last laugh(as I believe you predicted he would) in their rivalry because Djokovic seems to have gone AWOL mentally in it as evidenced by his performance at Cincy. Thoughts on Rafa Monday? (and don’t worry about being caught in the crossfire here as it’s something we all have to deal with)

Kimberly Says:

Christopher—if you had made the same disgusting vile comments about Fed, or any other player or a fan of any other player I would still say it was obscene, vile and should be removed. The fact that you happened to mention my favorite player is coincidence.

Moderators???? Hello??? Is this an NLF blogsite?

Vulcan Says:

dimwitted recluse Says:

Vulcan – “Berdych reminds me a bit of Safin” – I’ve always thought that, but it’s not all bad.

DR, as you expound above Safin was one of the all time greats in my opinion…he just doesn’t have the trophies to back it up…much in the same way that Marcelo Rios doesn’t. About Rios believe it or not there was a time when all around nice guy Federer cited Rios as one of his favorite players to watch. Its now looking like Rios is going to go down in history as making Nastase look like Opie Taylor.

skeezerweezer Says:

Was it just me or did Safin look like he was wielding his racket like it was a toothpick when hr played?

Vulcan Says:

LOL, yep, definitely didn’t feel like a wand like it does when watching the Fed man. (Or a 20lb sledgehammer with Roddick)

skeezerweezer Says:


The boys “game” started with FedWins, and is doing this stuff for “sporting reasons” Calling his mission “to provoke”, not for joining in the discussion and genuinely wanting to talk tennis. He has claimed so. Moderation is nil here it seems, or not being monitored, and these types know it and now you are seeing the results, rick joins in with “murrays b1tch”, etc, and then cw and the like, unfortunately :(. It was a good site, but there are others I am starting to visit as a result of this kinda stuff. It’s not funny anymore….as wise Vulcan says , better to stay out of the crossfire……

skeezerweezer Says:

Meant “….NOT talk tennis”

skeezerweezer Says:

Scratch that…where is my Coffee? Hilda?

contador Says:

Kimberly, well that’s what to expect when a troll like fedend is welcomed with open arms. there will be more to follow, and it will get worse.


unless the “adults,” those whom for the most part, do post as mature, reasonably stable people, despite their favorite, decide to moderate without a double standard. in my rather minimal experience posting tennis, 2 years this AO, a site goes a couple ways 1) taken over by nadal fans and nadal “hardcore” fans as fedend calls himself and those posters not necessarily nadal fans but have become anti-fed due to his beating their favorites and being sick of federer in general. 2) never have seen this happen – but the site reaches a “consenus” between the more moderate posters and stops enabling fed bashers and nadal bashers with some genuine equality and tolerance. 3) i am pessimistic about #2 because too many otherwise relatively “mature” posters actually want the immature tit for tat to continue for too many tacit or explicit reasons to try to describe. one thing obvious off the top is: ( the trash talkers and trolls begin to speak for those who don’t want to stoop to that level but these mouthpieces are their welcomed ” court jesters” as it were.)

i come on this morning before work excited about WTF and hope to read some posts discussing that topic or something other than trash and now we have rick calling federer “federina” and a girl. it’s a common slur against federer like a$$picker is about rafa. but Gannu got asked to stop that.

it all serves to cause a rift. if fedend is embraced then i certainly can’t help but fall into a group tolerant of calling rafa an a$$picker. for instance, Gannu calling rafa that is a relief after reading the welcome wagon for fedend. and even christopher walsh is someone i welcome because of rick and the double standard of embracing rick, fedend and the federer abusers.

an immature cycle is something i expect when i post on livestream chat when federer and nadal are playing and coining slurs for a nickname is common and expected. it’s quite amusing there, really.

fortunately the livestream chat is pretty cool when matches OTHER than nadal’s and federer’s are on. there are also some murray and nole bashers and then the sex perverts but if there is a “consenus” by enough chatters, they are easily rid of simply by enough deciding to “flag” them. it’s a very liberal system which i actually like as a certain amount of slang and four-letter words don’t offend me ….and i learn them in 3 or 4 different languages. my personal peeve is with the pervs posting porn ( go do that on a different type of chat, please) and of course the racial slurs. the anti-fans are tolerated as they come and go so fast it doesn’t matter.

but here i am sorry to read it. but i’m not one to “police” or go whining and complaining to the moderators. i will read, watch and let it take it’s natural course. if it continues to go the way TT did. adios. i have an eye on another site less divisive where the posters don’t seem to feature the “rafa v roger” cr@p.

but, maybe this is a passing phase….or maybe not.

cheers Kimberly.

i am it Says:

Thanks for all the info. Majorca has been a tennis town in that it had ATP Tour level event between 1998-2002, thanks to the former No. 1 Moya, who hails from the same island. I just wished the Rafa team had used its muscle and not let Mallorca lose back its tournament to Valencia. It could have been a 500-level event today.

Bibi, you are right there are no grass courts in Majorca, let alone Manacor or Rafa’s backyard. Rafa updates the status as early as in June 2010: “We don’t have any grass courts in Majorca, just artificial grass.”

Yes, within 10-15 min drive, there are more than a couple of synthetic grass courts in the island; for instance, Playa Santa Ponsa, a hotel in Majorca, has synthetic grass court. Similar venues must offer lawn facilities in Palma, the capital city of the island with half million people. Remember the Battle of Surfaces built a half grass / half clay back in ’07, and it was in Palma. They spent nearly 2 mil. on that and could have turned it into a grass court.

Mind you some of the synthetic ones are no less than the so-called organic. They look green, feel green, and plays like green. Actually, in some areas of play, synthetic courts are better, e.g. no invisible dimples or bumps in synthetic grass.

(If you detest diversion, skip the following: Ethically, on synthetic, you are not killing/ hurting lives of plants every time you tread on grass. It at least checks the humanist massacre of other lives, plants and animals. And this is more than speaking out for some Chinese in prison, more than hiding our ugly liberal humanist face, and surely more than calling out a nation or ethnic group like Chinese for not bowing to the Western ideal, “the [Western White] man is the measure of all things” (Protagoras, pre-Socratic philosopher) or the liberal humanist foundation of “greater good” (J. Bentham and JS Mill). In other words, the organic Wimbledon grass reeks with liberal humanist subjectivity.

In the current philosophy, Bruno Latour fiercely and convincingly argues that it is about time we start extending democracy beyond the network of humans, which would be recruiting quasi-subjects and quasi-objects into a larger network, so in the present context, which would be to embrace the notion that a reckless human play or indulgence with silicon-based lives is more ethical than carbon-based lives, of course if you value life and willing to extend its definition (follow the methodology we employed to develop the concept of Information-theoretic death, when we re-defined death).

Conclusion: I’d be be done with grass and give Rafa a Majorca-like synthetic grass court and watch his wonders.

Skeezerweezer Says:

I am it,

enjoyed your post. neat stuff on Majorca. although me thinks Vulcan & DR liked the last half of your post, lol

skeezerweezer Says:


Missed your post, just saw it, sorry.

I was talking about his career, not this year. Yes he has had a great year considering some other years, despite his bout with mono. I said very clearly in the post if I was wrong let me know….

My heart was broken on Roddick a long time ago. I have no ill feelings or dis-respect for the guy, still love to watch him play. My post is more about being disappointed in him as a fan, and thought he would be contending for the top spot more in his career. My interpretation of a “journeymen” player is someone who always in the top 10 but hardly ever contends for the top, maybe my interpretation is wrong. How many slams has the guy won after 10 years, 1? He should have won more, wish he had, that is my point. But if he is happy with it so am I, he is still very fun to watch on the court, his wit in interviews is GOAT, and I hope he takes the prize for you in WTF.

i am it Says:

Conty and Kimberly,
In the last 4 years, the duration I have been posting on this site, moderation has not happened on more than rare 2-3 occasions and that happened when two posters were cussing each other and the fights went on and on.
As long as we acknowledge their existences or value their nutjobs by responding to their posts, you are feeding the parasite to prolong their life span on T-X. To shorten their stay, if that’s what you want, you gotta stop entertaining them. In my experience, the strongest of these nutjobs have not lasted more than a few weeks, if you just ignore them. I’d not include “Fed is Afraid” in the same group because she does not dislike Fed but just wishes Fed did not lose to Rafa often. She has been around longer than most of you. She perfectly fits into the T-X subtitle: Dysfunctional Tennis Blogging at its Finest.

As far as condemning goes, which I do not condone, IF it is to be activated at all, it should not be carried out along the lines of fan groups. For a good start, we have to look at our own activities before we point fingers at others. It is easier said than done. We all slip into that ditch, even if only occasionally, but you gotta go after the pattern and determine the motive of a poster, if it is all that s/he does here and then close eyes to their posts and see them take their garbage elsewhere.

jane Says:

d.r. “About Djokovic. His first priority has to be the Davis Cup final.” Agreed.

conty, the reason I asked Gannu not to say “a$$picker” is just because of the tone of it, nothing really to do with to whom it refers. But you’re right that it works both ways. Fedend, as he says in his above post to Vulcan, claims he respectful of Fed as a player but has a problem with his fans. That’s his problem, and he clearly comes here with the motive to provoke (though Gannu, perhaps jokingly, called him to come out yesterday).

Anyhow, being that neither Fed nor Rafa are my faves, it does seem to me, from one who is standing outside so to speak, that it works both ways. This site has more Fed fans than anything and always has; same with Tennis Planet. But I have noticed a couple more lately “trolling” and/or “posting” on behalf of Rafa. That is true.

The answer about what to do is ambiguous: obviously it is possible to reason with the vast majority of posters (this site is great in that way overall imo) and generally carry on respectfully, as with Gannu; with other posters that approach doesn’t (and probably will not) work, so the issue is left with the moderators, I guess? What else is there to do? If a poster’s stated intention here is to provoke and s/he succeeds in so doing, then is he/she going to leave due to a coalition? I don’t know, but I have my doubts. I usually just scroll over but maybe that’s not good. Anyhow, i hope you find a way to stay.

montecarlo Says:

Looks like Noah knows his tennis. Truer words have never been said.

jane Says:

Great post at 11:48 i am it.

fan4tennis Says:

contador… others have stated succintly, “For a good start, we have to look at our own activities before we point fingers at others.” Right now, on the other site, we are fighting maxi and her insults and personal attacks, not to mention multiple screen names she has, when e1 has content to talk tennis. It all started literally, the moment fed lost the first set. You and I have had our differences and some of what you had written before (which you explained in an earlier post) had shocked me, but you have your fave and I have mine. Actually we both tend to like more than one player. (I notice you still are cheering Gulbis)

I normally don’t post here, but I do not like the trashtalking of other sites and what is being said is not true. There is more moderation and TT is NOT a Rafa site. If anything, for the longest it was majority fedfans, but when Rafa started winning again, the fedfans quit posting, even to say ty to the fans who wished fed well after he lost at Wimby (Rafa fans know that feeling too).

contador Says:

jane, i know and you are a great poster to read here. i’m just saying. if fedend and others are allowed, lets have a balance. i am all for that. i’m not much for excessive moderation or attempting to turn a site into a utopia which does not exist.

and i actually agree with i am it…pretty much completely. “don’t feed the trolls” is a good rule. but whom is considered a troll is another matter. fedend’s case is pretty clear on the matter of his/her reason for being here. and while it might be a breath of fresh air for some to encourage that poster. another provocateur or poster comments to counter that one amuses me after fedend has be “fed” from the buffet. i have no idea really what to really do about it- tend to do nothing, just saying,

however this site evolves is not for me to control or even influence. if it does evolve in an unbalanced way…it’s simple. i go. for now, i’ll just wait and see jane, it is turning in an uncomfortable direction, on the other hand, if i wanted a fed fan sugery fix, which i don’t, i’d go to a fedfan site. i follow but have never even posted there.

as far as “fed is afraid” yeah, i actually liked that poster.

Trevor Jack Says:

I am Nadal fan and I follow this site for the last 2 years. I very rarely post here. But from my experience Fed fans dont allow any kind of balanced debate. They attack the Nadal fans who are very rare to see here. Now there is a huge cry when someone from the other side retaliates.

skeezerweezer Says:

All good stuff conty, jane..i am it

montecarlo….thanks for the vid…..seems like Johnny Mac was enjoying the vino, no? hehe…

kimberly Says:

Ok, but no one sees christophers comment as totally vile? Fedend is a provacateur but has not suggested that anyone on the site perform lewd acts on him nor that fed should perform those acts on the swiss army. There is a vast difference between stupid immature comments (federina and mirka) and obscenity.

Trevor Jack Says:

Here many of the aggressive/abusive fedfans were passing off as objective posters, applauding and giving credit to each other.
In general there were very little derogatory comments from them mainly because there are absolutely no Nadal fans to stir them up.
But when fedend started retaliating the true colors of the fedfans came out.
I never thought people like contador would stoop so low and involve in name calling, but it happened recently. After all those fights he is taking a moral high ground and accusing fedend. This is just pathetic.
I honestly hope there would be more fedends to counter the monopoly of fedfans who tear apart any nadal fan who does not worship federer in this site.

jane Says:

montecarlo, that was a great video; thanks for posting it! The personalities of the former champs really shine through there. All so different. I liked what Mac had to say about Murray and Nole stepping up and winning some majors next year being “good for tennis” as I happen to agree, being obviously a biased fan of both! Edberg was so impish in his comments “I think it will be a surprise”; Noah seemed blown away by Rafa’s mental toughness; and Wilander with his comments on Fed seems quite measured this time (no, erm, below the belt comments).

Kimberly, I found that c.w. post rather offensive in its form or language, yeah. The same message/content could be conveyed in a much less … well, you know what I mean.

skeezerweezer Says:

Knock it off Christopher Walsh, A FED FAN talking here, there are ladies here and this is not an NFL Blog.

Vulcan Says:

And this one goes out to CW…and the dark side of the force:

skeezerweezer Says:

Thanks Tennis X

fern Says:

Federer is the eternal favourite even though he loses quite a lot these days. Tennis commentators are living in the past and cannot think outside the box. For me, Roger will not get past Murray and Ferrer, he will lose for the 1st time against David Ferrer next week, and Murray has got his number.

I still think that Nadal has the tougher draw but should make the SF. His performance last year was due to circumstances that have been well documented, so I expect a better showing this year, plus he really wants the title.

kimberly Says:

Thank you tennis x!!!

fan4tennis Says:

I have to say that I have been reading posts here for a long time and I know there are truly objective posters here and there are also fedfans and rafafans who can still be objective also. I do not lump ALL fedfans into the same pile as maxi or cw or fedend, just as I wish you would not lump ALL Rafafans into one pile.

Kimberly, yes, cw posts were wrong and should be removed. Contador, you should understand that seeing as you have admitted that you did the same thing on the other site and left voluntarily. When you did that, e1 was in shock for awhile because it was spread out in several posts (some directed at me) and the vulgarity was extremely explicit.

I am a Rafa fan, but I also like Nole and AndyM and AndyR. I am not fond of fed, nor do I have to be. I have said plenty of times that I respect what he has done but his game does not thrill me. That is my opinion and should not be considered wrong or right. It is just my opinion.

mytennis Says:

Even though i do not post here,i was following this site from the year 2003.It was some Fed fans who initially started using expletives in regard to Rafa.That started during end of 2005-early 2006.There was incessant obnoxious abuses directed towards Rafa.No one was trying to correct it then.Gradually Rafa earned enough fans. Among them ,some capable to retaliate with equal venom.Then only,so called ”decent” people started to call for moderation in this site.I like Federer as a player,but I like Rafa more.If it is possible to go back to the comments to the articles in the years 2005,2006 and 2007-one can see who started the Fedal wars.Now that, there are SOME Rafa fans who are not politically correct and are capable to reciprocate and retaliate in the same way as SOME Federer fans has done in the earlier years and continuing the same,there is call for moderation.What goes around comes around.There are unhealed scars which keeps on reminding one of the past assaults.But i do not condone revenge.I am just pointing to the facts.

fan4tennis Says:

AS with any rivalry, blame goes on both sides. But I don’t want people to think that there isn’t objective and decent fans on both sides. There are, but you still have those “flame-throwers” who start the wars back up.

madmax Says:

Rick Says:
Federina might has like 16 slams, because of the era that he was in.

Rick, I would be interested to know what you think of Jimmy Connors 109 titles – are you say they are all redundant because of the ‘era’ he played in? Let’s be honest here. There is more likelihood of The moon being inhabited in 2013, than Connors 109 titles ever being surpassed. Wooden Racquets, serve and volley, bjorn borg, John Mcenroe, Ivan Lendl, – massive contenders for greatest tennis player and yet, your post devalues the true meaning of tennis –

Federer played and still plays among the best of them and it isn’t his fault that the others can’t reach the slam finals that he does – this goes to prove his longevity and brilliance on court, something you fail to see – or value – your loss.

Kimberly Says:

I am a Rafa fan and many of the Fed Fans on this site have been very nice to me including Contador, Skeezer, DR and many many others. And fans of others have been nice and I have enjoyed the conversation.

I am certainly no sain and not above some dumb immature comments/jokes myself as many probably have seen. But obscenity towards the player and the players fans is just not right.

However, kudos to tennis-x as the extremely offensive post has been removed. So someone coming to read this may wonder where is the infamous “Christopher Walsh Post” that is the subject of all of this discussion. It is in cybergarbage, where it belongs.

madmax Says:

Here are some stats for the statiticians on TX:

Roger Federer’s Head to Head records against ATP World Tour Finals field

Federer has a winning record against most of the members of the field but there are a couple problematic exceptions.

Roger Federer is the second ranked player in the world at the moment as the ATP World Tour Finals approach. Federer has been dominant against most of the other players in the field at the season ending event on the ATP Tour however there are a couple exceptions.

Here are Federer’s head to head records against each entrant that has qualified for the ATP World Tour Finals:

Federer vs Nadal: 7-14
Federer vs Djokovic: 12-6
Federer vs Soderling: 14-1
Federer vs Murray: 5-8
Federer vs Berdych: 9-3
Federer vs Ferrer: 10-0
Federer vs Roddick: 20-2

Combined: 77-34

The records against Murray and Nadal should be worrisome for Federer fans who are looking for the Swiss Maestro to win the title in London next week. While Federer has a more than solid winning percentages against the likes of Robin Soderling and Tomas Berdych, what should be pointed out is that those two players did much better against Federer in 2010 than they had in the past.

Berdych eliminated Federer from the Wimbledon quarterfinals and Soderling eliminated the then world number 1 Swiss Maestro from the French Open quarters. Berdych also had a win over Federer at the Miami Masters while Soderling had an exhibition win over Fed from very early in 2010.

Federer’s form is a lot better in recent months than it was in the spring/summer of 2010 however and a recent title at ATP Basel, with a finals win over Djokovic, proves that a so-called “Fedal” final is quite plausible.

Federer’s round robin match against Murray will be pivotal as it may determine who finishes first in their group. That in turn may determine who plays Nadal, and who avoids him, in the semis although with the depth of talent in the World Tour Finals it is premature to speculate.

Federer’s first match I believe starts at 6pm on Sunday.

Skeeze, thanks for the link! :)

fan4tennis Says:

Kimberly, you are one of the posters I enjoy reading because you are fair and objective. I am Rafa fan too and as I posted, both sides can get their digs in, but when it starts degenerating into a slander-fest against one player or poster, that is not right. People should accept that not everyone is a fan of their fave player and leave it be!

Mindy Says:


Hi there! Thanks for trying to be the voice of reason. Some will never hear you. I am glad that you are speaking up for tennistalk and what is currently going on there. Also, that site has been undeservedly defamed here on too many occasions. I try to take the obsessive, truly hateful Fed fans and put them in their own little box. There are reasonable and enlightend Fed fans here who can engage in a real dialogue with Rafa fans. Maybe we will never agree on many things, but it would be nice to see some civil talk between the two fan groups. Rafa and Fed have no problem getting along with each other.


I have noticed that you have mentioned this whole business of excuses for Rafa in a few of your posts. I agree with you that if Rafa plays, then he is healthy enough to do so. I don’t make excuses for Rafa. He doesn’t need them. I don’t know where his game is at, because he hasn’t played for a while. That’s why I was cautious when it came to discussing his chances here.

I also agree that the format for this tournament does not allow a player time to work his way into form. That is why I am not sure about Rafa. You have the top eight players and every match is going to be tough. We have seen surprises at this tournament before, so anything can happen.

mytennis Says:

Definitely, many Federer fans are balanced in their approach.But there are some from the early years itself who were militantly oriented.They were taking fanaticism to the extreme level.It is this extremism that led some of the tennis fans to move subconsciously towards Nadal.


According to the ATP site here is the list of players with the most WTF/TMC titles

Sampras 5
Lendl 5
Nastase 4
Federer 4
Becker 3
McEnroe 3
Borg 2
Hewitt 2

Nina Says:

@Mindy: point taken. I don’t have anything against Rafa, absolutely nothing. But sometimes people make excuses for their favorites when they lose and I don’t like that. I still hear nowadays that Novak won the A0 08 because Fed had the mono. Any intelligent tennis fan knows that’s not true. But still it comes out all the time.

I’m no fan of Rafa nor Roger in the sense that I don’t mind if they win or lose, but I do love them as tennis players and persons. I admire them a lot as they’re truly legendary players that have done so much for the sport.

But being a Nole fan it kind of irks me that they’re brought up into any conversation even when they’re not being discussed.
It happens all the time and it’s boring and irritating for me, specially all that Goat nonsense.
And I don’t like the way most of their fans insult and ridicule one or the other. If Roger and Rafa are good friends and respect each other, why can’t their fans?

I will say that the worst are Nadal bashers because they don’t give Nadal any credit and ridicule him all the time (the famous ass-picking being a common joke). I would say then that Fedtards are the worst (and this has nothing to do with my obvious appreciation for Roger). It’s like they can’t stand that Rafa got into his way. When they will realize that Federer is even greater for having Rafa as his big rival?

(Sorry for my English, I’m tired).

Kimberly Says:

Fan4tennis–thank you for your nice comments. Hope to hear more from you here.

Von Says:


“Von, I should know better than to infuse any of my statements regarding Roddick with any hyperbole when you are at sitting at the editors desk :)”

LOL, Nah, I’m not at my editor’s desk, there are others who are already positioned in that seat. I’m sure you’ve seen the many references to how many exams I’ve failed and my typing errors which are now blamed on my alleged bad spelling.

I’m only ensuring that Roddick gets a fair shake, that’s all.


mytennis says:

“Definitely, many Federer fans are balanced in their approach. But there are some from the early years itself who were militantly oriented.They were taking fanaticism to the extreme level.It is this extremism that led some of the tennis fans to move subconsciously towards Nadal.”

They are still here, but one of the main characters has shifted to a mode, which is very perplexing to me, of trying to be a fair poster, even defending Nadal, although he has repeatedly stated in the past how much he hates the guy. I feel it’s all an act to gain kudos/attention for being a fair poster, and many Nadal fans are gullible enough to believe this person is being fair, but for those of us who know the history, it appears to be hypocritical and somewhat funny.

Kimberly Says:

Mindy-feel lucky you missed the Christopher Walsh post. It was awful. Believe it or not I feel kind of apatehtic about Rafa’s YEC performance. I certainly hope its at least better than last year but I’m OK with him not winning. I promised myself if he won USO 2010 I wouldn’t be greedy and ask for anything else for the rest of the year. (2011 is a different matter, I plan to ask for plenty then).

Don’t get me wrong I would love him to win. Bit I can live with either result as long as he improves his miserable performance of last year. So with that said, I think if someone other than Rafa were to win, I would like to see Roddick or Ferrer. The first being much more realistic then the second.

Von Says:

skeezer: Well, I’m a bit relieved to know that you don’t actually feel that Roddick is a journey-man. I think Andy has lost some of his spark, but that is to be expected. Anyone would be in the doldrums after his loss at Wimby ’09. I still can’t bear to watch the re-broadcasts of the match, so how do you think he feels, having to live with that day in and day out?

I think, barring injuries, next year will be a better year for him, as he wants a second slam, and I do hope that his heart’s desire for a second slam will become a reality. For me, his fan, if he decides to call it a day and hang up his racquets, if that were to happen, then it’ll be mission accomplished and I’ll be happy for him. I’ll miss him, but it will be super terrific for him to get that one-slam monkey off his back.

Von Says:

Vulcan: Re my post yesterday about being caught in the cross-fire, well, it appears as though my crystal ball is working — as all hell has broken loose today.

What happeneend to the famous Chris Walsh post that everyone is talking about?

skeezerweezer Says:

Deleted, and we should move on…..


Lendl..5? Wow didn’t know that. So Rog would tie for the record IF he bags the title?

Mindy Says:


I am glad that I missed it! I have made it clear that I do not support hatespeak directed at any player.

I actually do understand how you feel. I honestly don’t know where Rafa is at regarding his form and his game. I don’t know the exact nature of this shoulder issue. We have been blessed with so much this year and it was quite unexpected. I am very grateful for all of Rafa’s great wins. Whatever happens here, I will be fine with it.

My heart is set on the 2011 AO. That is the one I want for Rafa. He has already given me one of my wishes – the career slam, but he did even more than that. Winning the 2011 AO would be a monumental achievement. Maybe I am already starting to look ahead, but not too far! :)

Mindy Says:


I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to have the conversation always about Rafa and Fed and who is the best or will be the greatest or who has this and who has that. It can get awfully repetitive.

I actually feel that Nole and Murray get lost in all the noise. They had the misfortune to come along in an era dominated by two of the greatest to ever play the game. They have each had their ups and downs, but there is no question that they both are incredibly talented players. It’s been nice to see each of them have some real success recently. I like competition. I like to think that it brings out the best in everyone.

I think Fed’s brilliance made Rafa want to be even better. I think part of it was Rafa himself, a champion who wanted to realize his potential in the truest sense of that word. They say the cream rises to the top. I like to think that other players like Sod, Berdych, Ferrer, Monfils, Verdasco, so many of them are now motivated to become the best they can be.


I forgot to respond to your comment about who you would like to see win, if Rafa can’t get it done. We sometimes forget the stalwart, Roddick, who doesn’t always get due credit. It would be wonderful to see him do well here.

kimberly Says:

Von-it was deleted by tennis x as it was completely obscene and offensive. It was directed at rafa and rafa fans fedend and rick but would have offended no matter who it targeted. I haven’t been posting that long but it was the worst I have seen.

steve-o Says:

As a Federer fan, I am grateful to Nadal for two things.

First, because he served as the whetstone on which Federer had to be sharpened to achieve true greatness.

Second, because he’s inadvertently exposed the vapidity and sensationalism of the tennis media, thanks to the ridiculously exaggerated stuff written about him recently (“new GOAT”, “we ought to marvel that he can drag himself on to court in the first place”), etc.

His fans should beware. The media’s current adulation of him is greatly due to their desire to establish a certain narrative (the king is dead, long live the new king) which sells papers and gets webpage hits.

They’ll dispose of Nadal when it suits them. They love building someone up only to tear him down. That sells papers and gets webpage hits, too.

So far he’s gotten away with ascribing losses to injury. But the more time he spends in the spotlight, the more losses he will sustain. And eventually he’ll lose and try to explain it away one too many times. The media’s attitude will turn, and it won’t be very nice.

Unless, of course, he pulls a Borg and retires early once he starts losing more often.

He might do just that (claiming injury was the cause of his retirement), except for one thing: his never-stated obsession with surpassing Federer.

He’s like a little brother locked in a silent rivalry with an older, more successful sibling.

The little brother says to all the world “I love my older brother, I look up to him, he’s the best,” etc. And he’s probably sincere when he says that, because part of him does love his brother.

But all the time he covertly struggles to outdo his older brother. He may not even consciously realize it, but it’s there. The more strongly he fights to surpass his brother, the more loudly he proclaims his love for him.

The day he admits to the rivalry, it’s all over for him. Because he’s raised his hand against his own brother. The older brother may not actually mind that much, but the younger brother will be devastated.

That is Nadal’s relationship to Federer. The day he admits it to himself, he won’t be able to play his best tennis, ever again.

So he has to live in denial: “Don’t mind me, I’m just poor little Rafa, yep, just a humble little boy, I’m nobody, etc.” The exaggerated humility is a self-protective device to keep the truth from himself. The more he wins the harder it is for him to keep living in denial. To quote a John Carpenter movie: “It is a secret that can no longer be kept.”

It took Federer a long time to catch on to this dynamic. He’s a straightforward sort of person, and this kind of weird subconscious compulsion is foreign to him. I think he’s figured it out, though.

Kimmi Says:

omg, another roger/rafa love fest..not!

NELTA – thanks for that list of who won more WTF. I think its great to win this be able to beat a bunch of top players is not an easy task. In other tournaments players could get all the way to the final without playing top guys or just play one of them.

Samprass/lendl 5, wow!


Thanks Kimmi,

You are right. It’s the most difficult tournament to win outside of the slams. There are no easy draws in the TMC. You can have an opinion that one group is more difficult than another, but that doesn’t mean the other group is easy. Then you still have to win a semi and final.

In the TMCs in 2003 and 2004 8 of the 10 matches Federer played were against current or former world number 1 players which is pretty crazy. He won both those titles without losing a match.

Some notable mult-slam champs who never won it are Courier and Wilander

dimwitted recluse Says:


yes, clearly Djokovic’s #1 priority is D.C. The question is: can he put it to the back of his mind, so to speak, sufficiently at least to be able to give the WTF (?) a decent whack? I would guess if he makes it to the semis, momentum will take over, and he will contest fiercely. I wonder if he can give it his all in the RR, though? The timing is unfortunate. Why couldn’t they wait at least another week?

Contador: the trouble is, everybody wants to be heard. Even a “troll” in a funny sort of way is acting fairly compulsively I’d guess. I’ve found, and it’s fairly recent, that once you take this on board, you can be, well not tolerant exactly, more indifferent to the repetitive rantings which characterises some posters. Generally, it’s crude rather than vicious – that’s my opinion. If it’s vicious, there is something subtle going on, and it’s quite unusual.

One can change oneself, too. As a poster above has reminded those who need reminding, I used to hate Nadal, and like him too, ooh I was conflicted. I didn’t like this feeling at all and – as I have reported before – I made a determined effort to do something about it. Not in order to be good but in order to avoid pain. Hatred always involves pain, at least in my experience, and is therefore to be avoided if possible. Not at all easy, believe me. The first thing you have to do is to admit that you can hate, you’d be surprised how many people are unable to admit this to themselves. Not for one second that I think you “hate”, contador, you exude sunniness and it’s good to talk to you about a difficult subject. If you’ll bear with me, I think you might find it’s germane.

Then you have to ask the question why? Why the turbulent emotion, I mean, and “hate” is as turbulent as “love”. I dislike religion on the whole, but I have found some aspects of Buddhism helpful on this subject – very cool (I mean literally keeping the temperature down) and relentlessly inquiring. Of course, each person must find their own path. Those who can find and turn to their own inner light, so to speak, these are amazing people, and fortunate too.

Speaking from my own experience – I’ve no idea how common this is, but it’s certainly shared by at least a few – and summing up a bit crudely, I think what happens is, one finds a hero, identifies with his success and then, if certain things are lacking in one’s own life, spirit however you want to put it, feel deeply threatened if the success of this hero is challenged. And yet this hero is only after all another individual, remember, who changes his underpants just like you do – I am adapting from Meursalt’s rather bitter remarks about the judge who has condemned him to death essentially for not weeping at his mother’s funeral – Camus’ “The Outsider”. Put like this, of course, the whole business seems incredibly silly.

But then very primitive emotions are being accessed, and you can’t easily argue your way beyond them. But you can fight, and keep fighting, keep thinking clearly, this can work up to a point, and I don’t hate Nadal any more, I actually make a point of watching him play tennis (I used to avoid this) and can actually enjoy it, indeed thrill to it. How utterly self-defeating not to if you follow the sport of tennis. Nadal, Federer, all of them, belong (insofar as their tennis is concerned)to the sport of tennis, not to a few agitated posters. I have always, right from the beginning, seen the likeable side of Nadal – and if anything, I found that annoying, since it made my hostility so much more difficult to justify (to myself). That particular contradiction is, on the whole, no longer a problem. Incidentally, this is a purely personal thing, and what other people think of Nadal – or anybody else – is not my business. You, contador, have stated many times that you are cool towards Nadal. Why not? And those who are critical of Nadal – or Federer, or Murray or any other player, fine. It is not difficult to find legitimate criticisms to make of any person in the public eye – a peculiar and somewhat unatural position.

Once one has been through this particular cauldron I find, contador, one is closer to being impervious to the wild and sometimes hateful ways of others. Not always, of course, God knows there are relapases. One has been through that furnace, has been, in other words, hateful oneself, and believe me, the condition is more to be pitied than derided. And I was always someone who took offence very easily, I still am on the border line, you never change something like that altogether. It’s not that the change is shallow, it’s not; but there is a huge residue, that’s what I have discovered, and not through reading books. Talking of books,d’you ever read Dickens, there’s a character called Tattycoram in Little Dorrit who has a tendency to flare up in a rage at very little; count to ten, her benign if paternalistic employer Mr.Meagles urges her, count to twenty. And the funny thing is that can work. Who needs Freud?

There was a famous novelist who said he shed his sickness in his books, and in our humble way, maybe that’s a bit like what some of us do on these sites. So contador, please don’t leave, you are an ornament to this site. The funny fellows, who post their “funny” stuff – well, they have issues, most of them. Some, perhaps don’t, they just want to have a laugh – but surely it is not wise to allow oneself to be riled by such people. They appear to be motivated by boredom.

In future, I’ll try to confine myself to discussing the tennis.

marron Says:

Steve-o at 7:18! Funniest thing I’ve read all frickin’ week! Dr. Steve-o, psychologist extraordinaire. (rolls eyes)

contador Says:

Dimwitted Recluse-

thanks. i always enjoy reading you. you’re a wonderful writer and leave me much to think about. i learn from your posts.

also, it’s refreshing to get away from the usual topic.

when i began posting abt tennis i did so expressly as a naive and appalled federer fan having read TT after AO 09. i didn’t know what i was getting into. i made mistakes. but the great thing out of the experience is that i now watch more tennis which for me means live streams. i think i started noticing more players also ( now i even follow the challengers, lol…) federer is getting older and i accept the fact. but after he retires i don’t intend to stop my “habit.”

i certainly don’t “hate,” DR. but i am not taken by nadal and i have allowed many of his fans do annoy me. i endure rafa. however i realize what he has achieved is phenomenal and i am pretty convinced he’s going to dominate for at least another year?? maybe two.

last year this time i remember hoping djoko would win a slam and perhaps make a run for #1 in 2010. also 2010 was disappointing in that delpo was not able to compete. and EG had my hopes up sky high in rome! i was happy he beat federer and was hoping for the miracle of beating nadal.

federer totally surprised me by winning AO. murray equally surprised me by losing it. it was not a surprise rafa got his form back for clay season, went on and took 3 slams plus- so… what a great year for him!

last thing DR, i dont like hearing myself complain. and if i start complaining, no matter what it is ( trolls lets say), i will stop. i have said quite enough abt it. when it’s not fun any more, what’s the point? i’m not sure i will post here after the tour finals are over. i got sick of it on that other site last year at this time and never posted there again. but i when i see “dimwitted recluse” on TX i’ll be reading you and the bracket challenges are something i enjoy. but this fed fans vs rafa fan thing has become a real drag to me. i do like TP. so we’ll see. i gotta talk tennis somewhere! ; )

Tran Says:

Federer will conquer all to take this fifth Slam and show some out-of-this world shots along the way.

dimwitted recluse Says:

“this fed fans vs rafa fan thing has become a real drag to me.” Yes, and people like me used to feed it, to a degree. I’d like to make two points:one, when you get two monumental figures from an individual sport like tennis competing in more or less the same era, you’re bound to get warring tribes. It’s just the way of things. Two, you can make a conscious decision to step away from the fracas – that is not easy I have personally found and doesn’t happen all at once – and when you do so, you gain a different perspective. You are no longer irked by the loud, jarring voices, but view them more, almost, as an anthropologist might – they are not, in their own way, without interest. Of course, if these loud voices are directed against oneself – it’s not so straightforward. But like anything, the second step is easier than the first – when you discover the world hasn’t collapsed because you didn’t retaliate against a piece of calumny.

One final point, contador, you must indeed be a dedicated tennis fan if you largely watch tennis on the streams. I am quite well served by telly, in England, but occasionally I’ll try a stream – boy, can they be irritating with their freezes and voice repetitions and so on. Is this particular technology going to improve?

Nina Says:

I’m happy that I don’t hate anyone, I mean, how is it possible? I don’t even dislike any particular player, I just ignore the ones that I don’t connect with.

dimwitted recluse Says:

Your sane attitude is not one gifted to everyone, Nina, for any number of reasons. But one can attempt to work towards it.

Vulcan Says:

“He’s like a little brother locked in a silent rivalry with an older, more successful sibling.”

This is a very good analogy…and there doesn’t have to be anything negative about it. It conveys the nature of the respect that exists between Nadal and Federer…and that respect does not have to involve condescension from the older brother.

It’s a shame you had to infuse such a high quality post with YOUR condescension.

Von Says:

Kimberly @ 7:16 pm. Thank you for the explanation.

Von Says:

Vulcan: It’s only one person’s perspective of what he thinks is happening and could be very far from reality.

Vulcan Says:

“Ethically, on synthetic, you are not killing/ hurting lives of plants every time you tread on grass.”


Because I have limited experience with your posts I can only speculate that this was either meant to be a tongue in cheek absurd comment or that you really believe that plant life has sufficient consciousness that we should invest so much as a smidgen of time to discuss the fate of a blade of grass. If the latter are you a Buddhist?

(follow the methodology we employed to develop the concept of Information-theoretic death, when we re-defined death).

If you feel like it perhaps you could explain what you are talking about in more detail back on the Ana Ivanovic thread. I seem to recall that this involves an Omega point or something along those lines.

Mindy Says:


It’s not like it’s the first time he has imposed his own condescension when speaking about Rafa. He can’t help it.

I cannot remember the last time I read such absurd psychobabble! At least it was good for a laugh.

steve-o Says:

“He can’t help it.”

Now who’s psychoanalyzing whom, Mindy?

Nadal is a polite, soft-spoken young man who has a close relationship with his family. He has a charitable foundation, which he is deeply involved with. He’s a remarkable player, with a unique style and incredible mental toughness. His relentless drive and dedication to improve are admirable. His accomplishments place him among the very best ever to play the game. Tennis needs him.

Please let me know if you find any condescension or “psychobabble” here.

i am it Says:

“either [you] meant to be a tongue in cheek absurd comment or that you really believe that plant life has sufficient consciousness that we should invest so much as a smidgen of time to discuss the fate of a blade of grass. If the latter are you a Buddhist?”

I could have simplified my answer by saying something like I do not believe in religions, though some form of Madhyamika version of Mahayana path of Buddhism has some great ideas. And I could have said here are the plants that have consciousness, including sense of community, growth, technology, culture, territorial integrity, etc. I could have given you the example of sea rocket:

The question is neither about belief nor about theology (Buddhist, nor about onto-theology in Jacques Derrida’s sense. The issue was about absolute ethics in that the posthuman Other, with upper case O, i.e. non-human life in general, plants and animals cannot be reduced to Cartesian-Kantian-Hegelian consciousness to exist as lives in the first place, even if I could factually argue that each living cell within the body of a living being has its own brain. That wrong line of thought prompted the likes of Hans Moravec and Raymond Kurzweil to take futurological, transhumanist turn to claim that consciousness would be downloaded into a computer and human immortality would be achieved, to the level of God, etc. Within the scientific community, this was initially a left-wing, progressive idea, at least in the immediate after-math of the early ’50s Macy Conferences, esp. Marvin Minsky’s group. Since late ’90s, we began seeing how the over-emphasis on consciousness (=equaling existence) coincides with both liberal humanism (humanist democracy included) and Right Wight agendas of preserving consciousness, say cryopreservation in layman’s way (Ha, that’s what Lary King wants, to cite one example from pop culture).

Wrongs of the Philosophy: Descartes required that the human segregation from animals, plants, and insanity is the pre-condition of human existence (the cliched “Cogito ergo sum”). Following Aristotle, Kant and Hegel did the same, when they put humans above other beings. Then, they gave us the hierarchy of lesser and higher human beings, etc. I am NOT going to accept animal rights iconic figures Richard Ryder, Peter Singer, and Tom Regan’s position that human frat/sorority behavior will improve if we are kind to plants and animals, because this position underlies the same liberal humanist dogma of “greater good” for humans in that non-human Others are mere accessory for human beings’ happiness, etc. The wrong humanist ethics has always limited itself to “good” (for human); it could not transcend to “right” for all livings and (now with global warming) non-livings.

I think I prefaced that section of that post with “diversion” from tennis.

I am tired. To be continued at another occasion . . .

i am it Says:

A conventional answer would also include examples like this:

Probably the most recent and strongest work on post-humanist ethics would be Jacques Derrida’s Of Spirit, “Eating Well,” The Animal That Therefore I Am and posthumous The Beast and the Sovereign (2010).
Many of these late 20th-century philosophers’ works deal with non-humanist ethics: Giorgio Agamben, Stanley Cavel, Carl Schmitt, and Emmanuel Levinas. So, you may want to check ’em out, if you are interested and got time.

WTF Says:

“Nadal’s 3 Grand Slam titles in a year is an amazing effort from him – Federer”

I like how Fed adds a qualifier to the end. May or may not have been intentional, but those two words “for him” do imply a lot.

He makes it sound like for someone else (such as himself), winning 3 slams is all in a day’s work, but for Rafa to do it is an amazing effort.

Mindy Says:


You are quite thin-skinned, aren’t you? Considering what I might have said, I thought that was pretty harmless.

So now you are singing his praises. I just didn’t know you were so close with Rafa and knew exactly how he thinks, what he feels, how he views himself in relation to Fed and other various observations on his personal qualities. It wasn’t coming from a place of generosity of spirit.

Also, I wasn’t the only one to take exception to your comments. Which one bothered you more – the “condesencion” one or my “psychobabble” one?

How would you have reacted if I had posted in such detail about Fed’s thoughts, beliefs, inner convictions, etc.?

steve-o Says:

How would you have reacted if I had posted in such detail about Fed’s thoughts, beliefs, inner convictions, etc.?

Why, feel free to do so, Mindy. On this board Federer’s manhood has been questioned, the value of his victories denied, the quality of his tennis scorned. He’s been called arrogant and narcissistic and a wimp by various posters (many of whom you have defended openly). I hardly think you could do worse.

If you really did have interesting things to say, I might write a long post in response instead of dismissing it as high comedy, as you did.

I’ll tell you one thing though, I certainly wouldn’t take any attempt at analysis as personally as you did mine.

It seems like you identify with Nadal to a remarkable degree. I just put forward an interpretation, which you are free to agree with, or not. It wasn’t like I was speculating about YOUR inner life, but you react as if I invaded your space or something.

This isn’t the first time you’ve responded this way–I recall your reacting adversely to my discussion of Nadal’s game in a similar fashion, like how dare I have an analysis when I’m not his fan.

Much as I like Roger Federer, and as much as I admire the values he represents, I’m not he. Nor does he belong to me; I don’t own him. It’s not like anyone has to have my permission to have an opinion about him. If someone has a contrary opinion, I will explain why I think that person is wrong, but I certainly won’t take offense to his doing so.

In some of your comments you seem to claim that the posters saying nasty one-liners like “Fed is done and dusted” or real bon mots like “Federina” are making a valuable contribution to the debate. It’s just verbal smackdown, WWE-style, but you’ve claimed it adds “balance.” And then you tell me about lacking “generosity of spirit.”

I write a long post, which took some effort, and advanced a thoughtful interpretation, which one poster, at least, claimed to find some value in, even if he thought I was being condescending. The response to my post is condescension in turn (the poster who rolled his eyes) and an accusation of “psychobabble”.

So which of us is adding more to the debate? The smackdown guys, or me?

I just didn’t know you were so close with Rafa and knew exactly how he thinks, what he feels

And what do you know about him, Mindy? Unless you know him personally, he’s just a guy you watch hit a ball on TV. How do you know what he thinks or feels?

Because you’re his fan, does that somehow make you more qualified to have an opinion about him than those who aren’t his fans?

If that is the case, please tell me, then, what is required in order for me to be able to have a valid opinion about Rafael Nadal? How does one earn that right? Is he your personal property, that we have to have your permission to say anything about him?

Benjamin Roberts Says:

Steve @ 3:18am

very good post. it is sad to see some posters live vicariously through federer/nadal.

i am sure there are a lot of posters who would say your posts are very interesting and make for a good read. please keep posting.

Vulcan Says:

Patterns of identification.

When we defend a particular aspect of a tennis players persona…yes…we are often times doing so because it’s something that we not only seek to self identify with but it’s something that we WANT the collective conscious to identify with also. Tennis players are role models and because everybody is focusing on what they do they CAN change things by setting paradigms through what they do both on and off the court. What’s written on Internet about a player is viewed by many minds and distortions can become reality if they are unchecked. Art imitates life but life also imitates art…its a symbiotic relationship and when perceptions become skewed it can take much recalibration to bring things back into focus.

I recall Patrick McEnroe making a statement about a tennis fan who seemed to be obsessed with Roger Federer:

“You’re not Roger Federer”

Tennis fans and players probably do tend to suffer from this type of overidentification…it just goes with the territory. In the extreme it borders on idolatry.


I for one am not trying to prevent you from saying whatever you please about Nadal. But if you insist on including statements that from my vantage point appear to be distortions I will exercise my right to point them out as such and if you are interested in explaining how you arrived at such conclusions you will be able to defend them by offering some supporting rationale.

Case in point:

“So far he’s gotten away with ascribing losses to injury.”

If you are going to make these kinds of statements which, as many of your criticisms are, directed at Nadal’s integrity…you should be able to back them up. Apparently you spent quite a bit of time formulating the eloquent analysis you posted, are you spending a comparable amount of time doing your homework to confirm that the serious accusations you often make can be demonstrated by citing references?…these are not matters of opinion. I can only say that many of your posts convey a high powered insight but there is often fine print that when scrutinized, makes the reader wonder about your intentions.

As far as the usual criticisms of Federer and Nadal that serve as heavy artillery for the raging crossfire on this blog…maybe we should just all agree on the following and agree that any further discussion of these topics is boring and redundant:

– Nadal is a lying, cheating poser with OCD
– Federer is an effeminate, wimpy, crybaby sore loser.

skeezerweezer Says:


Seconded here. Your posts have value like any others, and that one was a gem.

dimwitted recluse Says:

WTF – I think it’s very unlikely that the phrase “from him” is a qualifying one. Apart from anything else, it is so brutal it ceases even to be qualifying. It would be a downright attack. If Federer had wanted to slip the knife in, he would certainly have been more subtle about it, if only to safeguard his own reputation. To be qualifying, the vocal emphasis would have been on “him”. Whereas the overwhelming likelihood is that the emphasis lies on the word “amazing”, with the voice dying away on “from him”.

steve-o is correct, imo, in insisting that all players are open to scrutiny by all posters. Of course, how can there be any doubt? Interpretation seems to me to be fine, providing it has at least some tangible basis in fact. After all, two people can be provided with the same list of facts and come to radically different conclusions – so interpretation certainly has its place. It, too, will then be subject to examination – nothing strange or untoward about any of this.

However, it is important to draw a clear distinction between “fact” and “assertion”, and like Vulcan, I was struck by the claim “So far he’s gotten away with ascribing losses to injury.” The trouble with this is, it’s vague whilst sounding factual and is therefore possibly scurrilous. Because Nadal may well SOMETIMES have been guilty of the charge (or may not, of course), but the implication is that he has ALWAYS been guilty of it.

That’s a serious charge, and needs documenting. If that is not possible, or would just be hopelessly time consuming, then the person making the charge is obliged to be more cautious in how he phrases it.

But even there, he has to be careful: perhaps most players, from time to time, are inclined to “subscribe losses to injuries”, and in this sense, Nadal would be following the norm. Also, the possibility has to be taken into acount that if Nadal does make these claims more than others, he is justified in so doing, or at least in claiming injury. (Strictly speaking, I don’t see how you can prove that a loss is due primarily to injury – even if it is).

w.r.t.steve-o’s interpretation (nov 17th, 7.18 p,m,) I think it is interesting and does not deserve to be summarily dismissed. I think there’s something in it, myself, but it seems to me that it is not an absolute thing. People move on. Nadal did make the strange comment (I can’t remember whether it was after he beat Federer at the AO) that he was convinced Federer could beat him, and he seemed almost sorrowful at the prospect that this might not be the case. Slaying the king can be a bit traumatic, but there is something else, which steve-o didn’t mention. I wonder whether for a moment, Nadal didn’t feel a sense of anti-climax. The goal had always been to eclipse his idol, now he had done it conclusively – what next? And why did it feel so empty? All that effort, only to be rewarded with that creeping feeling of “so what?” This is not so unusual, so it is quite possible that Nadal experienced something along these lines.

“The day he admits to the rivalry, it’s all over for him… he won’t be able to play his best tennis, ever again.” I think the big brother, little brother scenario steve-o poses had some validity – but it’s out of date.

A minor reason would be that these days, Federer is very much one among the top 4. This certainly does not destroy his mystique, which is based upon his overall achievements, but it does bring him down to earth a bit.

Primarily, however,there is the fact that Nadal continues to go from strength to strength, so the awe he undoubtedly used to feel for Federer has gradually toned down into a respect for an equal. If he wins the AO, as the holder of all 4 slams, not only will most people regard him as having surpassed Federer (I won’t, steve-0 won’t – but people like us do not form a majority of tennis fans), Nadal will probably think so too – or at the very least, he will have lost “the little brother” complex.

How he will deal with being unequivocally at the very top IN HIS OWN mind remains to be see. New territory, I’d say.

i am it Says:

I made an attempt, albeit weak, to respond to your question. Now with your indifference, deferment, or delay, part of the question is coming home to roost: “a tongue in cheek absurd comment” or . . . are you questioning in Heidegger’s sense (End of Philosophy and Task of Thinking)?

All in jest.

Vulcan Says:

LOL, IAI – responding to your posts – which I thoroughly enjoy – requires a lot of time and mental energy…also I have to give thanks to Wikipedia whenever I dissect one of them…rest assured I am formulating a response!

I also have to batten down the hatches for the Roddick match on Monday – if he brings down the thunder with the serve things could get late early for Rafa.

i am it Says:

Same with me, man. If I have time, I love the mental sweat. Simple ideas sound too simplistic and the ordinary bore me. It is a process that I have to be keep updating my software because knowledge, or ways of doing epistemology in general, is as temporal as fashion as it is always mutating and over-pacing me.

I am not complaining as I am slowly working my own response to your Ana thread post.
It’s all good.

Duro Says:

When i am it comes around, people bring your dictionaries along! Especially those who don’t speak English as their native language.

Hey, my friend. How are you?

i am it Says:

I am good, my friend. Don’t be harassing me:-)It was great hearing from you earlier today. That was my best moment of the week. I mean it.

You know who I will be cheering for, the most eligible bachelor of former Jugoslavija, even if his chances may not look strong!!!

Duro Says:

Thanks, my friend. Save these words for some girl, I’m taken ;-) ha ha ha. It was my pleasure, too.

As far as most eligible bachelor is concerned, his chances don’t look strong only to those who don’t see clearly enough. His chances look excellent. I told you once not to skip him when naming favorites for ANY tournament. Was I right?

Duro Says:

Gotta go now. Working tomorrow. Good night, all.

i am it Says:

“As far as most eligible bachelor is concerned, his chances don’t look strong only to those who don’t see clearly enough. His chances look excellent. I told you once not to skip him when naming favorites for ANY tournament. Was I right?”

Guilty as charged. I listened to you and dedicated the semifinal article to you, globally, risking my earthly image, as if I have/had any.

I hope you are right again. Promise to do another piece on your behalf at B/R, if he reaches semi.
Stay warm.

steve-o Says:

@Vulcan: Here is some of the research that you are wanting:

Q. How much are you worried about your knee? Is there a risk you should skip the Davis Cup tie after Wimbledon?

RAFAEL NADAL: “Yeah. Well, sure, I am a little bit scared about the knee. But, you know, it happen. I had a treatment after Monte-Carlo. So I had the problem. I didn’t say nothing before, but you know, guys, how is everything. I had the problem against Roddick in the semifinals of Miami.

I don’t like to say nothing in that moment because when you lose, always looks like an excuse.”

So here he is saying months after a loss that he was injured during it. He thinks that

a) if you discuss injuries after a loss, it sounds like an excuse;


b) because he waits a few months to reveal his injury, it no longer sounds like an excuse.

But of course that’s nonsense–no matter how long afterwards he waits, citing injuries does make it sound like an excuse.

Then here’s what he said after his recent loss to Murray in Toronto:

Q. Talking about your serve, before the game started, you took a few more minutes to practice your serve. Were you feeling that that was going to be a problem?

RAFAEL NADAL: “No. Well, I didn’t have the big chance to practice with the serve, because I have go slowly. Last year I started in Montreal after important stop, similar what I had this year, and I started hard with the serve and I broke my abdominal, no?

“So I prefer to don’t practice too much the serve during the week, because I feel this part of the body, the abdominals, a little bit more challenged than usual, and the most important thing is be healthy physically, no?”

He claimed here his serve wasn’t very good because he didn’t practice out of fear of injury and his abs were “challenged.” But we never heard word one about his abs after that, even after he won USO (serving extremely well throughout) and kept playing well into the fall.

Here’s another gem, not having to do with injury, from his contentious five-setter with Soderling at Wimbledon:

RAFAEL NADAL:”…In the locker room, for the other players, [Soderling] is not the best guy in the locker room.”

Then he’s asked for details about this shocking statement:

Q. What was it like in the locker room?
RAFAEL NADAL: “Nothing, no, nothing.”

So let me get this straight. He claims a player is generally disliked by other players. That’s a pretty bold claim to make. And then immediately he’s asked to back it up, and he has nothing at all to say in response.

You will never hear Federer or Roddick or Djokovic or Murray talking about what happens in the locker room–especially to say someone is generally disliked. That’s a taboo, and very rude, near-slanderous. In fact, any of those players would be crucified for saying something like that–especially if they just put it out there without backing it up with details.

But if you’re Rafael Nadal, apparently the rules are different.

Keep in mind that the media ran with the “Soderling is disliked in the locker room” meme for a long time. It really had an impact on his reputation for a while, it still may have. So here you have an occasion where Nadal said something that may have really soured public opinion on another player. Because where do you think this meme came from, if not from the tennis media simply repeating what Nadal said? And Nadal is remembered as the injured party in this incident. Go figure.

The problem is that anytime you try to mention these past incidents, the reaction from Nadal fans is “It’s in the past, why are you talking about it, we’ve dealt with it.” But of course in isolation each of these incidents is relatively meaningless. Only in totality does a pattern emerge.

Top story: Rafael Nadal Confirms He'll Skip Wimbledon, Focus On Olympics