March Madness: Is Federer For Real? Can Djokovic Rebound? Will Nadal Ever Win On Hardcourts Again?
by Sean Randall | March 10th, 2012, 1:07 am

The first Tennis Masters Series event of 2012 begins in earnest this weekend on the sun-soaked hardcourts of the Coachella Valley. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray are scheduled for Saturday second round play at Indian Wells, while Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal share the stage on Sunday.

For the umpteenth time when they do play, the “Fab Four” will again be the focus of the men’s draw along with the dim hope that someone, anyone can knock one of them out. But my guess is one week from now the last four will look an awful lot like it did at Melbourne in January.

Djokovic comes in as the tournament favorite and he’s my pick to defend his title and win it again over Nadal. But I don’t think he’s that same dominant player we saw a year ago. After needing to save a matchpoint to beat Federer at the US Open, he didn’t win another title until the Australian, where he needed back-to-back epic 5-setters to win. Then last week in a sloppy performance Murray got him in Dubai.

Sure, he’s fantastically fit and full of confidence, but I just wonder if his game has dropped off. Perhaps he’s taken “his foot off the gas”. Often when athletes reach the top of the sport, as Djokovic has done, they let down. Maybe this is that let down. And that’s why I think for Djokovic this month is crucial for the season. If can’t win either Indian Wells or Miami he’ll really open the door for Nadal on the clay and Federer on the grass. If manages to repeat or just win one, I think he reminds his foes that nothing has changed, he’s still the man the beat.

“I don’t consider myself being in the top of the world, being untouchable or unbeatable,” Djokovic said today. “That’s out of the question. I always try to give my 100 per cent on every practice that I have. I always wanted to have the positive mindset in preparing well for every event, for every season. I think that helps me to stay committed and focused on what I need to do. My job is to play tennis, to win matches and try to win as many titles as possible.”

If there’s any real decline in Djokovic’s level we should see it this month.

For Nadal, it’s been a long time since he’s even tasted victory, save one on hardcourt. Rafa’s French Open win came last June, and while he’s played well since then he’s collected zero hardware. And his last hardcourt title was in Tokyo almost 18 months ago. It’s been a while and as he approaches 26 I wonder how many more titles on the cement are left in those ailing knees.

After starting the year with a bad shoulder, which really wasn’t an issue in Australia, though his knee was – Rafa smartly took an extended break to prepare for this important Indian Wells-Miami stretch. So he should be healthy, fresh and motivated knowing his draw is good – even with Federer in the SF – and maybe there are some cracks in Djokovic.

“I try my best every day to improve my level of tennis, to be a better player, year by year. If that’s enough to beat Novak, that’s fantastic,” said Nadal.

“If not, I will keep on working. When I wake up every morning and go on court to practise, I don’t think about [him]. I think about what I need to improve in my game.”

We’ve talked at length about Federer slipping, but that was last summer, before the Swiss magically found the fountain of youth at age 30. Since rolling over into a new decade Federer has won five of his last seven tournaments including two straight titles beating Juan Martin Del Potro and Murray at Rotterdam and Dubai, respectively.

While his run has been unexpected as impressive, he did lose to his chief rivals Djokovic at the US Open and Nadal in Australia. To get back to the top he’ll have to beat both of them. We all know it. And four of the five titles came indoors, three of which at the end of last season when maybe some players are either low on fuel or just closing down for the year.

Still, Federer is playing great, confident tennis but if he wants to get back to No. 1 tournaments like Indian Wells and Miami are the events he’ll need to win. Rotterdam, Dubai, Basel and even the London Finals are great victories, but this month there are tournaments that stake their claim as the “Fifth Slam”. The prize is big.

Of all the Fab Four, Murray entered 2012 with the most attention. Having hired tennis great Ivan Lendl, Murray came out of the starting gates flying. But in typical Murray fashion when faced with strong headwinds he fell back down to earth. Murray played well in a 5-set semifinal loss to Djokovic in Melbourne, then got revenge on the Serb last weekend in Dubai only to lose the very next day in the final to Federer.

Now Murray seems to be back to his #4 spot in the Fab Four’s pecking order. With the clay season around the corner this may be his last chance for a few months to make a strong move upwards.

If anyone can break up the Fab Foursome that burden likely falls on broad shoulders of Del Potro and JW Tsonga. But in the desert where free-swinging power merchants have struggled in the wind and light air, it’s hard to see that happening this week. Del Potro has again drawn Federer in quarter. Tsonga gets Nadal in the same round. Perhaps a surprise in another form will await?

As for tomorrow, Andy Roddick will try to right the ship against the underrated Lukas Kubot. Mardy Fish, Ryan Harrison and John Isner join Roddick in the American charge.

The women’s field is led by blondies Caroline Wozniacki and Maria Sharapova. Current No. 1 Victoria Azarenka escaped earlier tonight needing a third-set tiebreak to beat Mona Barthel who twice served for the match but couldn’t pull off the upset.

Tennis Channel will have complete coverage of Indian Wells Saturday from 2pm ET. Let the March Madness begin.


STADIUM 1 Start 11:00 am
Ana Ivanovic (SRB) v Johanna Larsson (SWE)
[30] Andy Roddick (USA) v Lukasz Kubot (POL)
[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) v [Q] Andrey Golubev (KAZ)
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) v Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)

Not Before 7:00 PM
Gisela Dulko (ARG) v Maria Sharapova (RUS)
Not Before 8:30 PM
[4] Andy Murray (GBR) v Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP)

STADIUM 2 Start 11:00 am
[11] John Isner (USA) v [LL] Frederico Gil (POR)
Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) v [7] Tomas Berdych (CZE)
Samantha Stosur (AUS) v Irina Falconi (USA)
Andreas Seppi (ITA) v [8] Mardy Fish (USA)
Ryan Harrison (USA) v [25] Viktor Troicki (SRB)
Marion Bartoli (FRA) v Varvara Lepchenko (USA)

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Quick Poll: Roger Federer Or Rafael Nadal, Who Wins Tonight At Indian Wells?
Andy Murray: The Courts At Indian Wells Are Very Slow, They’re Also Very Slow Here In Miami
To Rest His Knees, Rafael Nadal Might Not Play Indian Wells
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154 Comments for March Madness: Is Federer For Real? Can Djokovic Rebound? Will Nadal Ever Win On Hardcourts Again?

steve-o Says:

I think Djokovic will be back sharp as ever for IW, after his slight lapse in Dubai. He had, after all, won Dubai three straight times and was bound to be getting a little less hungry to defend that title. But I’m sure he’s very hungry for IW.

We’re overdue for a Federer-Djokovic final and I hope it happens here, despite the difficulty of Federer making it past Nadal (the Spaniard will make the semis without too much trouble, as usual).

Roddick should at least get a good couple matches under his belt as he seeks to recover his form.

roy Says:

‘If can’t win either Indian Wells or Miami he’ll really open the door for Nadal on the clay and Federer on the grass.’

why not nadal on grass? when’s the last time federer made a wimbledon final?

djoker was already getting sloppy during wimbledon last year, almost losing two sets to tomic, and having trouble with baggy too. murray beat him at cinci or wherever. del potro was taking care of him at davis cup before the match ended with djoker producing an oscar winning performance for best simulated bullet wound in the back.
federer/murray/nadal all had chances to finish him off at usopen and australia in the 5set matches.
federer two match points on serve, murray a break point late in fifth djoker saved with a line shot, nadal up 42 in fifth misses easy backhand.

point is, doesn’t seem to be a real difference in level between him and other top 4 now, just has the point gap.

jane Says:

Speaking of the American charge, I read somewhere that Brad Gilbert is coaching Sam Querrey.

Roger de Vries Says:

I’m curious to see how a rejuvenated Federer will perform on the slower hardcourt. I’m just afraid he’ll again end up losing to Nadal… But it should be a closer match than last year so who knows!!

I think Djokovic will play better vs Murray this time around, Murray likes the faster Dubai court and Djoker loves this one, plus he should be hungry for winning again. I agree with Sean though, last year he won all these close matches with an amazing intensity, can any human being keep that up? Federer’s dominance was more relaxing I feel, but maybe Djokovic’ dominance comes natural to him too, I’m just wondering when his burn-out will come……?

jane Says:

roy, Nole has never won easily on grass, but he saved his best tennis for the semis and finals; he played Tsonga and Rafa well overall – he seems able to lift his game when he needs to, or at least he was able to do so last year, especially at crucial junctures in matches. And I don’t think Rafa lost the USO because Nole had a shoulder-rib injury, which was evident already in Canada and continued throughout the fall. Rafa wasn’t serving well last year, he said it himself; that made him vulnerable to Nole’s return game.. Maybe it was simple Rafa’s game versus Nole’s game that it came down to, and nothing else. Perchance Rafa’s made adjustments now, maybe at the AO and which will be more noticeable going forward. But we’ll know in the next month more information about where each of the top four are at in relation to last year and perhaps in relation to the field more broadly speaking.

jane Says:

Oops realize you were talking about Delpo match and not USO final roy. Sorry about that; tis late and misread your post.

trufan Says:

Federer has some chance in IW, but not in Miami, which is slower than clay. Nadal’s best shot, as always, is in Miami.

I think Djoke will come prepared. There was no need for him to press it in Dubai, and then face Federer (I think he still fears Federer). IW will be different.

Though I really hope Delpo and Raonic make some noise. Unfortunately, both are in Fed’s quarter, which is the toughest.

Nadal’s draw is ridiculously easy – I am surprised how he lucks out with draws… Almost every single time. I hope someone gets him early, since he will be rusty. The guy has played one tournament in the last 3.5 months. But he will be fresh. And he has no injuries – those are just fake, excuses.

Murray will choke as usual, at some point. Would love to see a Fed-Djoke final.

Mark Says:

@trufan. “I hope someone gets him early, since he will be rusty”. Rafa won the doubles first round with Marc Lopezbeating Llodra and Zimonjic. Yes, that’s how rusty he is!!! I would like to express my wish that someone gets Fed early!!

Colin Says:

Don’t underestimate Murray on clay!

jamie Says:

Will Nadal Ever Win On Hardcourts Again?


Nadal will only win tournaments this year in May and June, both will be his best months astrologically.

jamie Says:

why not nadal on grass? when’s the last time federer made a wimbledon final?


July will be a *lousy* month for Nadal astrologically.

July will be a *great* month for Murray, Federer and Djokovic astrologically. One of these guys will win Wimbledon this year.

Nadal will not win Wimbledon this year.

Nadal will win French Open this year.

At the USO this year, the stars are aligned for Djokovic and Del Potro.

Either Djokovic or Del Potro will win the USO this year.

alison hodge Says:

colin yeah exactly,i doubt it very much that any of the players would take murray lightly,he pushed rafa quite close,as hes on novaks side,hopefully he can push novak.

Ajet Says:

It doesn’t matter to fed which surface, he can win everywhere beating anybody who comes in front. But the question is can he beat Nadal here or at IW?? If he can do it, then that would be the biggest boost to his confidence, and may be he’ll surprise us all again by restoring the balance against nadal at least on HCs, as generally he used to do prior to his decline. If only fed stops faltering at a few crucial points in macthes agaiunst nadal by fixing his mind, then federer’s game is so vastly superior to nadal’s that he can start beating him everywhere. The very fct that where federer remains in right frame of mind or the surface suits him(WTFs 11, 07, 06), nadal cannot even keep it competitive, shows what fed can do only if he can overcome his negative mindset! Aginst nadal’ federer at least competes, despite being nervous or despite the circumstances suiting nadal! Nadal has almost always had to work much harder against fed(than nadal has to against the rest) to win even under favourable conditions, but when conditions suit fed, nadal cannot reamin even close (Heck, fed has staright-setted nadal even on clay), FEDERER BLOWS AWAY NADAL! In fact, I’ve always thought that it’s kinda good for tennis that fed at least has nadal as nemesis, otherwise there’d be probably no rival of fed until now if most surfaces played like indoors in terms of speed and bounce! nadal would have looked as hapless against fed as others look!

it’s better that fed has at least somebody and something going against him, or else i cannot imagine what woulda happened to tennis, if courts played like it used to do at pete’s time!
And that woulda been boring and hopeless for the fans of others and tennis would have been the biggest loser!

alison hodge Says:

jamie so its gone from federer is done winning slams,to federer is one of the ones that will win wimbledon,ahem thought wimbledon was a slam.

Ajet Says:

i can hardly believe jamie’s psychic, anytim she makes predction

jamie Says:

I asked my friend some months ago if Federer(her idol) will win another slam and she said: “I doubt it.” She also mentioned some potential divorce in the future for Federer and Mirka.

The fact that July will be a good month for Federer astrologically does not mean he will win Wimbledon. Specially since July will also be a good month astrologically for Murray and even Djokovic(not as much as Murray’s and Federer’s, though). Nadal will have a lousy July.

Maybe my friend is trying to keep her expectations low and not let another Federer slam defeat break her heart. Maybe she is hoping for the best but expecting the worst. Maybe she is being too pessimistic. Who knows? But she told me:

FO: Nadal
Wimbledon: Murray, Federer or Djokovic
USO: Djokovic or Del Potro

V Blacklabel Says:

Sean, nice write up. There are a ton if questions that we’ll begin to answer coming out of Indian Wells. Here’s my take:

bstevens Says:

I am salivating at the prospect of Federer-Raonic in the 3rd round. Fed usually handles big servers but he has never seen Raonic’s.

bstevens Says:

And if Federer meets Del Potro in the quarters, they will have played each other in 4 consecutive tournaments! This is Fed-Tsonga 2011 all over again. Btw, Del Potro needs a big win over the top 4 to punctuate his comeback. Also hope that Dimitrov can finally make a run, as I see that he beat Dodig in round 1.

skeezerweezer Says:

“I would like to express my wish that someone gets Fed early!!”
Hehe..scared of a 30 yr old? Always thought so :)


I expect Delpo to upset my fav if they meet up. They have met too many times lately…for me it will be an upset if Fed wins..but I am a hoping!

Raonic on the slow stuff? Maybe…..he seemed burned out with all the great tennis he had played prior to last years IW…he does seem fresher this year. However, if Roanic meets Fed, actually the slow courts imho will help Fed, not the big man.

re:10;23 yeah that is what I am afraid of…( 4 consecutive meetings ) if Delpo gets through to meet Fed it should be a humdinger. But hey….Novak did it 7 times over the Beast!!!! It’s possible ;)

Ajet Says:

If only federer could beat nadal a few times in slams, then who cares even if he doesn’t add another slam to his count!!! NOT ME AT LEAST! As the only belmsih that fed has is his bad record against rafa at slams! Thus, if he beats nadal few times in slams, then that would automatically lead to nadal losing his mind over fed and djoker, and he can hardly add more slams to his count than federer, in which case, nadal’s fate will be sealed! by beating nadal, not only fed can prevent him from winning slams, but alo erase any talk of nadal dominating fed! And that’d be so good!

In fact, nadal already has a massive problem in the form of djoker and that itself is making nadal look quite mortal and vulnerable. So I can’t imagine what will happn if fed too can start beating him more often in slams! I think Fed’s status as the greatest ever would further solidify by miles over any nearest great comparable to him!!!


Ajet Says:

i dunno why’s randall bringing up the ”ailing knee’ thing of nadal again??? for all we know, nadal took a month’s rest! and if the knee issue was really that serious, nadal could have lost easily even before reaching AO final, let alone play that 6 hr slugfest! the knee issue of nadal is highly overdiscussed and overrated ALL THE TIME without any sound basis(if only it was brought up rarely, it’d b another thing, but it’s almost always brought up! buckles me a bit!).

NachoF Says:

I reckon it’s about time for a Djokovic-Federer final but we need to realize that it is NOT going to happen if Nadal reaches the semis. Federer is not even getting close to beating Nadal. The head-to-head is ridiculous and its not about to change. If we are to get the Djoko-Fed final someone needs to take care of Nadal first (Del Potro, Tsonga, Berdych or Soderling)

steve-o Says:

@skeezerweezer: Dubai was probably Del Potro’s best shot, because the surface was so fast and Federer could not pinpoint his shots in the outdoor conditions. The slow speed of the IW court will make easier for Federer to break serve and run Del Potro around.

Raonic is dangerous, but Federer knows the danger. If he’s prepared, he should be able to come through. Power alone is not enough to overwhelm Federer.

Jonathan Says:

It will be tough for Fed to beat Nadal in IW should they both make the semis.

Why are these hard courts so slow? Miami esp. Makes it boring to watch.

Nina Says:

I think it will be Nole and Rafa again in the final or Muzza.
It’s interesting that since Nole became nº1 federer has been in a different draw than Nole. That would have never happened before when Nole was 3.

skeezerweezer Says:


Hope ur right! ;)

In regards to power, don’t know if I agree here. Delpo used his awesome FH bazooka at the USO and basically overpowered Fed ( not the fastest surface either )when he won his only GS, member?

sheila Says:

its going 2b another predictable year. nadal and djokovic in all the finals of the tournaments they play in. lots of big hitters, but mentally lots of wussies, imho. delpo has a huge game, as does tsonga, berdych, raonic, but none of them ever beat nadal in tournaments. so 2me it will b another boring year of nadal & djokovic winning everything btwn them. i hope im wrong & someone else spoils their party. that would be a nice change

Colin Says:

Nina – so you’re another one who thinks the draws are not really draws? Yeah, and the moon landing was a fake, and Elvis Presley is alive and well. Anyway, what do you mean “in a different draw”. How many draws are there before a tournament?

Steve 27 Says:

Dave, what do you think about the tactic to destabilize Nadal from Federer before matches?, is the Swiss an angel as Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone?

mem Says:


i don’t know if you are a fedfan or not, but
correct me if i’m wrong, weren’t many of you whining (prior to the australian open) that roger was in novak’s half too often and it wasn;’t fair. nadal was getting off way too easy; therefore, it was time for roger to be drawn or placed in nadal’s half. the whiners got their wish and he’s in nadal’s half. so what’s the problem now?

know what i think, i think it’s a shame that you guys claim roger is the greatest player ever but then, you are always complaining and whining about how tough his draw is. my goodness, if he is as great as you people make him out to be why all the anxiety and paranoia everytime a draw comes out? shouldn’t great players face challenges and figure out a way to eventually triumph?

that is the main reason why i see rafa as the greatest of this era; his attitude has everything to do with my conclusion. you don’t hear him running around complaining all the time about draws, surfaces, etc. he works hard to prevail over challenges, rather than singing a song about how things should be changed to benefit him. he takes the hand he’s dealt and make the best of it, win or lose. that’s the attitude of greatness!

its sickening! everytime i look around somebody is preparing excuses for roger federer. allow him to play the hand he’s dealt. after all, in the eyes of most, he’s the greatest player to ever pick up a racquet. that title should count for something.

i’m tired of hearing about what changes need to be made in order for roger to win more titles. he chose to continue playing tennis; his career is not over yet, so let him earn his keep like the great players before him.

Leon Says:

A possible RF-JMdP match is as deep as 5th round (Q), it’s obviously too early to be bothered. But even had they play today, I’d see nothing dangerous for RF – if to follow the current (and past) state-of-the-art. On all main tennis components integrated (mental included), considerable advantage Federer, except the age. The only danger could come from smth off-tennis (time delay, too bad umpire’s decision or similar stuff which unexplainably irriate Roger sometimes). If nothing of that will happen – well, these two players still remain to be of different calibre. Maybe, next year Juan Martin will have more chances.
That is, if to look at this “on paper” (and which other way can one to foresee?). As for any given day – who knows…

Steve 27 Says:

Yeah,Sheila another boring year like Federer winning a lot from 2004 to 2007, yes is so bore, hahaa.

steve-o Says:

@skeezerweezer: If Federer plays a reactive game and tries to just hit with Del Potro, then he’ll be outgunned for sure. But he’s been playing a lot more intelligently against Del Potro in their last meetings.

Federer remarked that the ball was tough to control in Dubai because of the speed of the surface and the breezy conditions; even so, he still edged past Del Potro. In IW he’ll have more time to work his magic.

Del Potro, BTW, hasn’t lost to anyone but Federer since Sydney. He’s clearly approaching his level in 2009.

skeezerweezer Says:


You’re right too early to tell, just projecting a bit. Fed and Delpo have to get through ( Fed through Roanic! )


“Del Potro, BTW, hasn’t lost to anyone but Federer since Sydney. He’s clearly approaching his level in 2009.”

This is what is worrisome. But I agree Fed has also had many meetings with Delpo to master his style of game.

I love Delpo’s demeanor on and off the court, and brings no issues to the court other than his game. Would like to see him get some wins against the big 4 soon, although not against Fed is a Slam ( hopeful ). He seems to still have some movement issues ( he is a big guy after all ) and Fed at times exposes that. But when his serve and FH are on fire he covers up any weakness that he might have.

Wog boy Says:

Sheila, on the contrary, I hope you are right:)

But I think Andy Murray is going to be real danger for Novak this year, I also think they are going to finish the year as #1&#2 with plenty of good matches in next few years.
I agree with Colin about clay season, Andy was very good last year, he had boath, Rafa&Nole last year, injury stoped him from beating Rafa and Nole extraordinary effort in Rome.

trufan Says:


doubles doesn’t count. Heck, Federer has an olympic gold then (which he does, but that doesn’t really matter much, in my opinion).

TO someone who said earlier that Nadal doesn’t complain? Nadal complains plenty… and always makes excuses with fake injuries, just enough excuse to raise a doubt in people’s minds…

And yes, ALL the courts, including wimbledon, are markedly slower than ever before. most courts are playing like clay. we don’t have a vareity of court speeds that were there earlier. Its all clay, except for indoors, and some fast outdoors like the USO.

NK Says:

To someone who said earlier it’s a shame “the rst of us” think Federer is the greatest ever…
Most of the greatest players of this era and bygone eras (Delpo, Murray, Nadal, Sampras, Agassi, McEnroe, Connors, Laver, Evert, Bilie Jean King…the list goes on) think he is the greatest ever. But of couse, what do they know, right? Our friend above knows better than these greats, no?

Nadal not compaining…not whining…LOL!!!I needed a good laugh, thanks.

I like Nadal quite a bit but don’t hate that one other guy, or for that matter, any other guy.
That said, to be considered GOAT, let Nadal defend one, just one, non-FO GS title once. You’re right…he had never defended a non-GS title. Nada. Zilch. Zero.

skeezerweezer Says:


So Rafa IYHO has the has the greatest “package” so that makes him the greatest ever? Did I read your post right?

mem Says:


it means whatever you want it to mean!

mem Says:


your problem is you don’t know the difference. i can make whatever claim i want, you don’t have to like it. i don’t need to depend on laver, mcenroe, agassi,etc. to tell me who i believe to be the greatest. if God has intended for me to share someone else’s brain he wouldn’t have given me one. laver & co have favorites too and they have tongues to lie and fabricate just like everybody else. i can understand why you need them to think for you, but don’t assume i do.

there is more to “greatness” than 16 slams and 23 semis , but then, you don’t that because you have such a myopic view of what defines greatness. i don’t have to hate roger just because he’s not the greatest in my book. in my opinion, he’s not the greatest and that’s that. call it hate if it makes you feel better!

Steve 27 Says:

well., said mem, these fan are fundamentalist, they are dogmatic, like Dave and the others, they are pure rational, means irrational, who thinks the statements are more clevers than the others, but who care, God bless them! if they believe in God

NK Says:

Nobody has issues with your thinking that Federer is not the greatest or Nadal is. That’s your opinion and you are entitled to it. But when you say it’s a shame that we think Fed is the greatest, you seem to believe your opinion is the only one that matters.

Believe whatever you want, there is no shame in that. But by the same token, let us believe in whatever we want. Trust me, there’s no shame in that, either.

skeezerweezer Says:



skeezerweezer Says:

I’m sorry, let me be more specific for you. You said Rafa because of his package is the greatest player ever, no?

Angel Says:

Mem, You are out of your mind. Rafa is the biggest whiner of all: fake injuries, too many tournaments, two years ranking, Davis Cup should be played every two years, WTF should be played also on clay, I wasn’t told with enough anticipation to come in to the court, he never stops complainning and the best ever please come on, the guy is 25 years old and hasn’t won a single title in 10 months. Get real.

mem Says:


my mistake for not not being more clear, but you are way off base in your interpetation.

first of all, why would i suggest that you should be ashame for having an opinion? that’s absurb! i’m afraid you misunderstood the gist of the statement.

what i meant is, “it is a shame that you guys are always complaining about how tough things are for roger every time he faces a challenge, yet, you claim that he is arguably the greatest ever. in order words, when a player is referred to as the greatest ever, i expect him to face challenges as if he is the greatest ever without always whining about them.” that has nothing to do with whose opinion matters most. hope that provides some clarity!

Humble Rafa Says:

Nadal complains plenty… and always makes excuses with fake injuries, just enough excuse to raise a doubt in people’s minds…
That was uncalled for.

Ajet Says:


I’m sure you never smell, see, taste or perceive anything not coming out of nadal’s @$$crack as you’ve never seen or heard or perceived in any other manner nadal making excuses, whining or wanting things his own way!

mem Says:


i guess you are also saying that roger federer can’t be called great anymore since he hasn’t won a slam in more than 12 months. i guess we have to throw his past achievements out the window. i didn’t know that, but if you say so. all can i say is, i can’t compete with your knowledge. you got it going on!

mem Says:


you’re funny, but i can appreciate some good humor! keep it coming!

Ajet Says:


I hope you’ve nothing much against me. Thus, I would like you to keep a request of mine in your mind while saying things in tended at me or wishing anything for me.

My Request:

”Call me idiot, liar, donkey, monkey, dog, hyena. worm, @$$hole, jack@$$, dumb@$$(or any other expletive even) whatever you want, but please don’t ever wish for God to bless me(if you ever intended anything to that effect towards me, that is)!

To be honest, I’m ok with you or anyone else having nadal as your favourite or if you think nadal is the greatest of all time or is 1000000 times better tan fed, I can tolerate that and won’t mind. But don’t ever bring God in discussion with me or say things like God bless you or stuff like that.
Just don’t want anything related to God being linked with me or wished about me!”

I hope you keep this much of my request, I’d be forever indebted to you for that, and am ready to even promise that i won’t refute any of your statement if you want to. But nothing hurts me more than when someone says God Bless You…

I’ve personal reasons for this request, relating to something most unjust and cruel that happened to me; so please forgive if I can’t tell you. but please keep my request if you can. And sorry in advance if i hate your god-fearing sentiments in any way by this. But what else can I do. I’d rather die of pain than ever again ask god to protect me.

contemperory Says:

Murray beaten !! So are the chances of a Djoko – Murray match !! Murray played a well – below par match against Garcia Lopez to repeat the same result as he did in 2011.

Some Indian wells Jinx going on for Murray? However its saddening that Murray came in as a very confident player and ended up losing his very first match here.

jane Says:

Murray is out. :( :( G-Lo was on fire but Andy’s first serve was not working. I think he is still playing doubles with Jamie.

steve-o Says:

Did anyone notice that Murray just lost to Garcia-Lopez? Combination of a slightly listless Murray and brilliance from Garcia-Lopez.

Sorry Murray fans.

Steve 27 Says:

ajet: Don’t worry, I swear I will not mentioned religion or anything like that to not spare the sensibilities of sensitive hearts like yours. Forget it, dude!

Murray, the Big Choker, Again, again and again.
Three in a row in IW. The fight for number 1 are with three player.

well and now the show begins: The race from IW until Wimbledon/Olympics
The Djoker
The Bull
The Maestro

Which of the 3 end as the world number 1 after all these tournaments?
Bets are accepted …

Mila Says:

Steve 27,

Rather lousy race don’t you think. It’s as if 100 m race at Olympics, one guy starts 40 m in front the rest. Betting in that case is pretty pointless.

However, if any is foolish enough to accepts bets for him, I wouldn’t mind putting money on Novak and winning easily. It’s a joke.

Someone other than Novak could be No1 in 2012 only in case of a HUGE unexpected event (serious injury, kidnapping, knife stabbing, etc.). Not going to happen!

andrea Says:

good grief andy murray…already out? last year donald young took you out in the same round (i actually had a front row seat for that match) and this year you’re gone again.

they should really stop calling them the ‘big four’.

hester Says:

I do not know why the fuss? There is only one player in the world for this.
roger. Who can be thirty years old, have two children, all the other responsibilities he has and still play like that? I ask you people?????

margot Says:

Wog boy: alas, alas Andy even more like Tomic than you were suggesting :(
andrea: don’t worry at this rate Andy will soon be out of the “Big 4.” :(

skeezerweezer Says:

margot :(
Hope it is a blip and not a burp…..

Harrison from USA a good win upsetting Troicki :). He will meet the Murray slayer….

Wog boy Says:

Me and my prognosis, I should keep quiet! Sorry Andy, I jinxed you;(

Margot, you took it on the chin with a good sense of humor, that is the way to go:)

Jane, Novak wasn’t rusty playing football (European) two days ago in IW with his mates :)

Everyone is entitled to my opinion Says:

Sean:For Nadal, it’s been a long time since he’s even tasted victory, save one on hardcourt. Rafa’s French Open win came last June, and while he’s played well since then he’s collected zero hardware.

Zero hardware???????? What do you call 7 runner-up trophies – software?

Dave Says:

Andy Murray said in his post-match interview: “He hardly missed the ball the whole match. He was playing with a lot of spin. It almost felt like playing the match on a clay court. I wasn’t able to hit through the court and I squandered so many chances.”

It’s premature to jump to conclusions about Andy Murray. The full benefits of Lendl’s coaching will probably take 2 to 3 months to become clear. Players who engage new coaches often take a few months to adapt to a new coach as well as to ingrain new ways of playing into their games. Look what happened to Novak’s game when he engaged Todd Martin as a new coach. Although Murray didn’t expect to lose so early in Indian Wells (even though he seems to prefer faster courts), whatever points Murray gets from IW and Miami is gravy as he tries to implement the new learnings from his last training session with Lendl three weeks ago.

Hmmm, now Murray returns to his Miami training base 10 days early, so one wonders. According to Murray’s training program with lendl, their next training block is in Miami in mid March and then during the clay season — indicating they are looking to make a big push in Miami, on clay and grass, probably drawing on Lendl’s clay experience.

Federer has not lost to any player ranked lower than No. 19 since 2010 Halle. Djokovic, Nadal and Murray all have several losses to such lower-ranked players during this period. Murray lost to the same No. 92 ranked player whom Nadal also lost at 2010 Bangkok semifinals.

wilfried-b Says:


The Indian Wells event will be a touchstone for Federer as I expect and want him to reach at least the semi finals. Anything less would really disappoint me. Getting past Nadal will be tough though, because Nadal has never been an easy out for Roger ,and I expect a sharp and eager Nadal wanting to beat up Roger.
But Roger’s spirit seems to have ripened and more ready to fight back and denounce Nadal’s annoying ticks and tricks, a Nadal who’s cladding himself with disguise of innocence and humbleness. If the weather conditions are good, with not too much breeze out there in the Californian palm desert, Federer might be able to best Nadal, because he has not lost at all his extraordinary gifts to bombard his opponents with a rich tapestry of accurate pinpointed shots; and if he has to face Nadal out there, I believe he will not hesitate a moment to use the dropshot when the latter eventually would decide to play his usual retrieval game way behind the baseline. I hope Roger will pull himself together in the difficult moments and will not crack under the pressure of Nadal’s tactics.

Dave Says:

Steve 27: “Dave, what do you think about the tactic to destabilize Nadal”. Steve, steve, the big picture is that: (a) Roger Federer is President ATP Player’s Council as well as the greatest player of all time, (b) because of these capacities, the news media frequently asks Federer for his authoritative views on important issues, (c) Federer merely responded to the media question asked, (d) we do know the exact question asked by the media and we do not know Federer’s exact reply (since we do not have the interview transcript and media quotes are sometimes wrong or taken out of context), (e) Federer gave an appropriate and honest answer on the issue of obvious time violations (a form of cheating) by the obvious serial offenders, (f) Federer should be praised for having the courage to address an issue that the ITF and ATP are terrified to deal with because of the clout of the 2 to 3 serial offenders who happen to be top players, and (g) if the ATP and ITF are terrified to clamp down on Nadal and Djokovic on this obvious issue of time violations — and have acquiesced to past demands of these powerful players on other issues — what other rules are all the various top players breaking (e.g., Agassi played the ATP Tour while on drugs possibly with the knowledge of some members of the tennis authorities)?

Federer and several other players just stated obvious facts on an issue of interest for some years. These excessive time violations need to be stopped when they could be used to gain an advantage over opponents, such as to recover from a tough point created by the opponent’s pressure, to mess with an opponent’s mind, to stall for gathering wits before a big point, etc.

Federer did mention Nadal as a culprit (perhaps the interview question mentioned Nadal’s name?). Certainly Nadal has been the highest profile offender of this rule for many years, though Djokovic is just as bad. Regardless, what Federer said was based on facts and was not on par with Nadal’s questionable and disingenous public speculations about Federer in January (see link: at the start of the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal had speculated that Roger Federer cares more about his image as a “gentleman” than fellow professionals and the long-term interests of the game). What Nadal did was dirty politics, mostly for self-gain: Player’s Council Vice-President stabbing the Player’s Council President in the back.

I repeat: what Federer said certainly is not the type of sleazy comment that Nadal had made about Federer. Federer critics like steve27 are more interested in motives for mentioning the offender’s name but they disregard the offence being committed. Everyday Steve27 probably reads the crime section of his newspaper thinking “this outstanding citizen is accusing a serial offender of committing serial crimes every night because he wants to destabilize the criminal in his daytime job. The outstanding citizen should shut up and allow the serial offender to continue his crimes”.

Brando Says:

They really should stop calling it the top 4. Whoever gets andy out of the top 3 on their side should be happy, and seein as it was nole, very happy. Djokovic is in the final. It’s all about the nadal- federer potential SF.

Brando Says:

Re no. 1 race: nole will be no.1. His only TRUE challengers are rafa and fed. Roger has to win slams and in order to do so he has to beat both rafa and nole atm. Long story short- don’t see him pulling it off. That leaves rafa- until he starts beating nole, be won’t be able to pull it off. It’s pretty much a done deal for nole really atm.

Brando Says:

Andy Murray post match: “He hardly missed the ball the whole match. He was playing with a lot of spin. It almost felt like playing the match on a clay court. I wasn’t able to hit through the court and I squandered so many chances.” did he play rafa nadal or the world no. 92?

Mark Says:

@Dave. Item (b) of your comment “Roger Federer ……. The greatest player of alltime”. Really???? And while this subject will b debated for years to come here u are, placing him as the greatest player of all time. Not on man!!! Federer is a whiner period. It may be something to do with his age and the frustration of him not being able to beat Nadal so he lashes out . He should retire already if he cannot cope with his losses to Nadal. Cry baby!!!!!

Brando Says:

P.s: IW and MI should stop the act and announce themselves as US clay tourny’s as opposed to HC!

Nirmal Kumar Says:

Not sure it it’s specific to Murray’s form or probably having faster court in Dubai could prove to be a bane for those who had success in the tournament. Let’s see how Roger and DelPo perform. It will give an indication.

Nirmal Kumar Says:

Mark says : Federer is a whiner period. It may be something to do with his age and the frustration of him not being able to beat Nadal so he lashes out

The only guy I have seen whining for last 3 months is Nadal. I did not hear Roger whine yet. Expressing an opinion is much different from whining against your rival. What Rafa did against Roger before AO was whining, whereas what Roger said was a legitimate opinion which most in the tennis community agree with.

Nirmal Kumar Says:

Brando says :They really should stop calling it the top 4. Whoever gets andy out of the top 3 on their side should be happy, and seein as it was nole, very happy. Djokovic is in the final. It’s all about the nadal- federer potential SF.

I’m not sure why people jump to conclusions too early with Murray as well as Roger. It’s a bad loss for Murray, but he is a work in progress. Give him some time. There are two ways to look at his approach. One is to think he would like to accumulate more points and try to overtake Roger. Two is to think he can lose these matches and use it as training block so that he can attack in the clay season. He hardly has any points to lose in IW and Miami. He should be confident about his clay chances after his last years success.

I remember Andy making a comment how much his FH is important for playing in clay. Probably his mind is already into clay season.

This may not be an excuse, but IW and Miami are the loses he can take. What’s the pointing in burning yourself in a slowest HC when it leads to nothing but a clay season.

Ajet Says:

completely agree with the last two posts of nirmal kumar. i warn nadal fans against wishing for murray to fall on their guy’s side. a nadal fan should rather almost always wish that fed should face their guy in semi instead of murray, as murray’s unpredictable while playing nadal and nobody can say that murray has no chances of beating nadal, whereas roger is most predictable while playing nadal these days and always seems like gearing himself up for another loss!

Ajet Says:

nadal’s surprising whining has started from 2009 madrid itself(regarding court speed and altitude! we’re already three years onto his whining. and add to it, the never-ending knee drama and the consistent blame put on fed by some nadal fans for everything bad conceivable happening to nadal in the world, it’s already gotten comfortably predictable for fedfans as to what lies next!

Brando Says:

I’m a rafa fan, and i MUCH RATHER rafa face murray as opposed to fed.

And i think anyone would choose murray over fed. Why? Because on the big stage- bar FO- fed is more capable of toppling rafa- or nole for that matter- than murray.

One is a big game player, the other, well a spade should be called a spade, and murray just is FAR more likely to wilt when it matters than fed.

Nole knows it, rafa knows it and fed has 16 slams to murrays 0 to say it.

nadalista Says:


jane Says:

Dave “Federer has not lost to any player ranked lower than No. 19 since 2010 Halle. Djokovic, Nadal and Murray all have several losses to such lower-ranked players during this period. ”

Several? For Nole, I count 2 losses to players ranked lower than 19 since Halle 2010: Llodra (Paris 2010 – and he reached the semis that year) and Nishikori (Basel 2011). That’s it.

Humbug Bully Says:

WHINING? How about complaining to the USO that their decisions are “… always about money”. And yet a few days later announces he is playing Halle (did not mention humungous appearance fee) because he finds the London tax situation is too much money out of him. LOL

That’s the True. No Humble there.

Ajet Says:

Reads the last part of the Headline of the blog article:

Will Nadal Ever Win On Hardcourts Again?”

March Madness at full flow here!!!

Ajet Says:

btw, sorry for my bad english guys. eng is not my first language, so pardon me for my poor english…

alison hodge Says:

ajet no problem,english is my first lanuage,and even i cannot master it alot of the time,believe you me,your spelling is much better than mine, and my punctuation is abysmal,and i should have no excuse either lol.

mem Says:


if roger doesn’t whine what would you call constantly complaining about wanting faster surfaces or whining about how slow surfaces have become; what do you call wanting the atp to do away with hawkeye, what do you call singling out nadal for time violations,(might i remind him of del potro, djokovic) in his patented sneaky way in an attempt to send a message to umpires to get ready and prepare to penalize nadal should they meet in the semis. very clever!

roger federer is manipulative! always has been. just because he has won 16 slams doesn’t mean he doesn’t have flaws. he does it in a way to make people think that he is so committed to improving this sport; so he just doesn’t want fans frustrated by these things; he is the only one who really cares about tennis and nadal is driving fans away from this sport with his time wasting as if he took an international poll to determine what we think. don’t make me laugh!

he suppose to be the most clever of them all. nadal said it best when he said, roger does things in a way to come out looking like a “gentleman” while he and other players “burn themselves” by speaking out with opposing views.

when nadal make a suggestion he is seen as the self-serving cunning devil of the atp. when roger presents a suggestion, everybody goes, oh he is so 100% right; his ideas are always great. he comes out looking like the perfect example of what a player should or should not say to protect the image of this sport; he is the perfect angel. i’m not deceived by any of it!

Sienna Says:

omg Ajet. Take it easy about the god thing. Or should I say God or GOD.
We all know there can be only 1 and He is from Switserland.

Nirmal Kumar Says:

mem : There is a difference between whining and expressing opinion. Rafa whines, whereas Roger expresses his opinion. Do you have a link where he says he wants faster courts? I heard him repeatedly say that the courts have become slower, which stops players from playing all court tennis. It’s a fair point. We do not see any variety when the courts are slower. Even today Murray after losing the match, said this played like a clay court. So is Murray whining or Novak who said at the begining that the courts are slow which helps his tennis. What is that Roger said which is different from other players opinion, except NAdal. I only hear NAdal saying HC’s are his weak surface, inspite of having good success in them.

For hawkeye, how does it affect his tennis. What does he gain by removing hawkeye. He made a nice opinion about how tennis was before hawkeye system introduced, and the intensity has reduced after the hawkeye came into effect. I do not see any personal benefit for Roger in this case.

With quoting NAdal, when u give an example, you better give the best one. That’s what Roger did. Rafa is the leader of the pack. If Rafa had been a fast player, but Roger had singled him out, then we can call it a whining. But that’s not the case here. Also he has every right to let know the umpires that they should follow the rules. Is that a whining? It’s Rafa who is whining saying the rules cannot be followed in a 6 hour match, but he conveniently takes time in a 2 hour match also.

At the end of the day, both ATP Players and Tennis fans are not fools to vote Roger the favourite and the fair player for multiple years. You can fool people for a short period, but not for 6-7 years. People are way too smart and let’s respect their judgement.

Andrea Says:

The time between points is an interesting issue because, unlike many rules that are enforced every time – ie each player has two attempts to serve per point, if you touch the net after hitting the ball you lose a point – the time issue, still a rule, gets rarely enforced. And it’s not as if that is an obscure occurrence that can happen once per 20 matches ( such as a ball coming out of your shorts during play, where you would also lose the point). It’s something that goes on hundreds of times per match, depending how long the match is. Perhaps it is this issue of quantity where the umps get lazy and don’t keep track themselves. Regardless, my opinion is like most on this issue – if it’s a rule, it should be enforced like all the others. Unfortunately, nadal’s style of play regularly flaunts this rule – Novak too – and other players have called them out on it, but usually in press confences.

Ajet Says:


if you were in my place, and endured what i had, then you’d probably been pleading even more not to bring god into discussion w.r.t. me. you being a woman, woulda been hurt much more than even me in this case.

and yeah, from the depth of my heart, i would rather die of painful and debilitating cancer than seek mercy of the God thing.
you know what, some pain you can never feel unless you go through it.
so just leave it.

i just requested steve27 as i sincerely cannot tolerate god’s bless wished on me by anybody, even by mistake/with good faith.

And believe me, swiss/chinese/afghan/spanish/whatever guy you may refer, will always be deaerer and more respectable and acceptable to me than bloody god concept.

Ajet Says:

f#$@ god!

Ajet Says:

and this is hopefully the last time i took the g word here

Ajet Says:

nirmal kumar:

rafa always keeps screwing mem’s mind and body, and you’ve no right to stop her from getting pleasure! ;)

Mark Says:

@Ajet. Is blasphemy really necessary?? Bb

Ajet Says:

dunno mark if blasphemy has any meaning for me.

mem Says:


what are you talking about?

you’re asking me what roger would gain from getting rid of hawkeye. i’ll tell you what he would gain. he would gain an advantage. eliminating hawkeye will give him more of an advantage when there is a close call, a questionable call that is difficult to confirm, in which case, if there is no hawkeye to confirm out or in, then more than likely the call will go his way. if he doesn’t gain anything why was he whining about hawkeye during the 2008 wimbledon final vs nadal. in fact, he suggested that hawkeye be turned off (complained to the umpire), i suspect because a call didn’t go his way. check it out for yourself! you and some other might have your minds in a fog when it comes to roger, but don’t assume everybody does.

you can paint the picture any way you want as you guys usually do, but roger federer is manipulative. he always has an ulterior motive for what he does when it comes to throwing ideas around. just like his motive for singling nadal out on time violations. sure, nadal has violated time on occasion and has gotten warnings; he’s not the only one, but like or not, roger didn’t single him out just because he want fans to be happy and enjoy tennis or because it is is unfair to other playes. his main reason was to help himself because he will do whatever it takes to get pass nadal should it come to that. .

i want to know how is it that roger’s suggestions are always “nice opinions” but when nadal suggests something, for example, that a two-year ranking system that might work, you people see it as a self-serving idea that would benefit him only. explain the difference! nadal gave an opinion about an idea; he didn’t pass a mandate or a law. so i would like to know the difference. how one gets to be an opinion and the other a law.

when you stated that roger’s “opinions are nice” you proved my point! in the eyes of you people everything roger does is nice, flawless, perfect, can’t be done any better and so on. point is, your mind is already closed, so this is fruitless and i try not to waste a whole lot of time over nothing. i’m cool with whatever position you take!

btw, what does nadal or me for that matter cares about roger being the “fan favorite” for a 7-8 years. what does that really prove? how do we know for certain that he won every one of those years? did you help count the votes? i didn’t see the votes being counted, did you? we’re just taking somebody’s word for it. talk about naive, i feel sorry for some of you. i rest my case!

skeezerweezer Says:

Why would Roger want to “cheat” or risk a “violation” or get “fined” with all that he has already achieved without doing either? He doesn’t need any more titles to justify his greatness. He imho has NEVER been self serving, and his peers, fans and tennis media feel the same.

“btw, what does nadal or me for that matter cares about roger being the “fan favorite” for a 7-8 years. what does that really prove? how do we know for certain that he won every one of those years? did you help count the votes? i didn’t see the votes being counted, did you? we’re just taking somebody’s word for it. talk about naive, i feel sorry for some of you. i rest my case!’

Such a crock!

ATP European Player of the Year
Swiss Sportsman of the Year
Swiss of the Year
Michael-Westphal Award

ATP European Player of the Year
ITF World Champion
Sports Illustrated Tennis Player of the Year
Swiss Sportsman of the Year
Reuters International Sportsman of the Year
BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year
International Tennis Writers Association (ITWA) Player of the Year
Golden Bagel Award
European Sportsman of the Year (aka UEPS [Federation of European sports journalists] Sportsman of the Year)[53]

Ambassador of United Nations’ Year of Sport and Physical Education
Goldene Kamera Award
ATP Player of the Year (for the year 2004)
Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award Fans’ Favourite
Laureus World Sportsman of the Year (for the year 2004)
Michael-Westphal Award
International Tennis Writers Association (ITWA) Player of the Year
International Tennis Writers Ambassador for Tennis
Most Outstanding Athlete by the United States Sports Academy
Freedom Air People’s Choice Sports Awards International Sportsperson of the Year
ITF World Champion
ESPY Best Male Tennis Player
European Sportsman of the Year (aka UEPS [Federation of European sports journalists] Sportsman of the Year)[53]
The ‘Prix Orange’ Award [54]

L’Equipe Magazine’s Champion of Champions (for the year 2005)
ATP Player of the Year (for the year 2005)
Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award Fans’ Favourite
Laureus World Sportsman of the Year (for the year 2005)
ESPY Best Male Tennis Player
International Tennis Writers Association (ITWA) Player of the Year
International Tennis Writers Ambassador for Tennis
ITF World Champion
BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year
Swiss Sportsman of the Year
EFE’s Sportsman of the Year
Golden Bagel Award
Most Outstanding Athlete of the Year by The United States Sports Academy
European Sportsman of the Year (aka UEPS [Federation of European sports journalists] Sportsman of the Year)[53]
The ‘Prix Orange’ Award [54]
Baccarat Athlete of the Year 2006 [55]

Time magazine named him as one of the 100 most important people in the world.[56]
L’Equipe Magazine’s Champion of Champions (for the year 2006)
ATP Player of the Year (for the year 2006)
Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award Fans’ Favourite
Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year
Laureus World Sportsman of the Year (for the year 2006)
ESPY Best Male Tennis Player
ESPY Best Male International Athlete
ITF World Champion
BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year
Tennis magazine’s 2007 player of the year
Swiss Sportsman of the Year
The ‘Prix Orange’ Award [54]

L’Equipe Magazine’s Champion of Champions (for the year 2007)
European Sportsman of the Year (for the year 2007) (aka UEPS [Federation of European sports journalists] Sportsman of the Year)[53]
Laureus World Sportsman of the Year (for the year 2007) – First ever winner of four Laureus World Sports Awards[57]
ATP Player of the Year (for the year 2007)
Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award Fans’ Favourite
ESPY Best Male Tennis Player
Swiss Team of the Year (with Stanislas Wawrinka)
The ‘Prix Orange’ Award [54]

Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award (formerly Fans’ Favourite
Talksport Hall of Fame
ESPY Best Male Tennis Player
Ehrespalebaerglemer award. An award given to outstanding citizens of the city of Basel.[58] Player of the Decade [59]
ITF World Champion
European Sportsman of the Year (aka UEPS [Federation of European sports journalists] Sportsman of the Year)[53]
One of Sports Illustrated’s Athletes of the Decade [60]
Listed at #27 on the Forbes Celebrity 100
European Sportsman of the Year[61]
The ‘Prix Orange’ Award [54]

International Tennis Writers’ Association’s Ambassador of the Year[62]
ESPY Best Male Tennis Player
ATP Player of the Year (for the year 2009) Fans’ Favourite [63]
MARCA magazine’s Sportsman of the Decade [64]
Listed at #29 on the Forbes Celebrity 100
Compeed Elegance Award [65]

Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award Fans’ Favourite
Listed at #25 on the Forbes Celebrity 100

Case over.

Nina Says:

With Murray’s shocking loss, the draw opens up nicely for Nole. He’s anything but a lock for the final.

nadalista Says:

YAY…………RAFA TIME!!!!!!!!!!!

nadalista Says:

Are you ready, are you ready for love!! Yes I am…….. (Sir Elton John)

mem Says:


sorry, but i forgot to address your question about roger whining about fast courts. let me put it this way, you say that you have heard roger complain about slow courts, but not about wanting more faster courts to help win more titles. so let’s take a little test, fill in the blank, the opposite of slow is _________.
therefore, if roger is complaining about courts being too slow, it means that he wants court to be the opposite of slow courts which would be ___________courts. that’s wasn’t too hard to figure out was it?

that should answer your question!

Mark Says:

@Skeez. Gosh!! You’ve gone to a lot of trouble to convince us of the Chocolate Boy’s achievements. Doesn’t alter the fact that he can’t beat Rafa on the great outdoors or that he is a prize whiner.

Dave Says:

Mark, you can’t criticize Fed’s greatness since you can’t understand that it’s not in (b) but in (a) of my post. This proves you are not qualified to assess greatness since your comprehension is at a pathetic level. Now your lashing out may be due to your frustration at being blinded by Federer’s greatness and human decency compared to the Big Whining Salty Cookie Monster, so maybe it’s time you retired from criticizing Roger and do something useful – like donating to his charity foundation.

There are five basic ways of assessing greatness: the number of titles won; which titles are won; how long you were No. 1; other career/season records or streaks; and talent in the way the tennis ball is hit. These are all measurable either objectively (see link) or subjectively (e.g., Google for ‘Rod Laver’s 10 best past and present players” in Herald Sun newspaper as well as Google for “I have never seen anyone play the game better than Federer” in the article on Jack Kramer in the Observer or Guardian newspapers). Any fool can debate greatness without knowing what it means – but either you have it or you don’t, if you know what to measure.

Dave Says:

Mark, chocolate is considered one of the world’s most delicious foods. You haven’t convince us that Salty Cookie Monster is as yummy or delicious — or that his achievements justify mentioning him in the same breath as Federer the Greatest Of All Time.,2

Sienna Says:

Ajet. I dont care for god or his kingdom. But I thought it was funny that you yourself were well not so conceirned with the feelings of others in your comments so to ask them to not adress you in some way or the other is just a bit … funny. Is a proper and safe way to put it.

I hope that the country where you live in will someday be free of any hatred religion and you can spit in the face of even godhimself. But when someone says bless you…. Do not feel dishartned because it is meant to be good.

Mark Says:

Why r all u people trying so haaaaard to convince us of Choc Boy’s greatness. If he is so great why is ther such a deficiency in his H2H with Rafa? How many of his victories were against any players of note?

Mark Says:

Choc Boy has a 4 year headstart on Rafa. I believe he has been on the professional tour since 1998 and Rafa started in 2002.

skeezerweezer Says:


re:3:38 post

I don’t need to convince most fans, they already know it. But some of you post like you don’t….so there ya go. Yes, he is the all time vote getter ( fact ) of a bunch of awards. Sportsmanship award for example, not just 1 year or 2, but consistently many.

Also, I wouldn’t be so concerned about H2H talk anymore coming from a Rafa fan, you should”t go there. Tennis is not judged by H2H, it won’t take away any of Feds achievements. And it shouldn’t in the end for rafa either. He has 10 slams and counting. I am sure you don’t need reminding that your guy has an all time losing record of losing to 1 guy in seven consecutive finals. I hope he is not remembered for that!

BTW…nice win for your salty biscuit boy today ;), looks like he came ready to play!

mem Says:


to your point about Ajet’s comments in reference to God. since i brought up God in one of my comments, i want to make it clear that it was not aimed at anyone. i did it without even thinking; it was part of a general statement. nonetheless, i do understand Ajet’s request but from what i have read no one directed anything specifically toward him. People are free to follow a religious doctrine or no doctrine at all. that’s their choice!

personally, i believe in the supernatural existence of God wholeheartedly. so i don’t mind one bit if someone uses his “Name” with me. in fact, i love it! when i mentioned God, it is not to offend those who do not believe because i do not know who does or does not believe. I can only speak for myself, and I believe without doubt that there is a “Supreme Being” particularly considering that man’s knowledge is limited and imperfect. there are so many things that man cannot control no matter how intellectually brilliant he is; death is one of them, the weather is another, and so on.

this is my belief, but i want to make it clear that i understand how offended some people may get by issues surrounding religion, God’s existence, and the like.

i’m sure no one meant to offend Ajet or anyone else. A person’s personal experiences usually dictate whether he or she believes in God. it’s normal and it’s their choice! i don’t have a problem with what others believe or do not believe. again, i just want to be clear, no harm intended!

Mark Says:

@Skeez “all time vote getter”. How do we know that the votes were not rigged!!!

skeezerweezer Says:


Ok, why don’t you and mem investigate that for everyone? The worlds a conspiracy gone mad!!!! Fed cannot possibly could have won all theses awards and records, no way, no how. In other news, Conspiracy theorists have just found out the color of the Moon is green. Your reaching Mark :) and it ain’t grabbing’….;)

Sienna Says:

I will not go on about it. But I found it funny that he could be offended by something you wrote and it was not even putting him down or something. He is constantly provoking and stepping on toes. Or am I not reading the right comments he makes? SO I found it sligthly funny that he would react in a serious tone like that given the statements he makes himself.

Dave Says:

Jane, jane, jane (March 11th 11:06 am): It is indeed several losses by Djokovic to players ranked worse than No. 19 (No. 32, No. 34, No, 74, see below) since 2010 Halle… given that (a) Halle and Queen’s Club occured in the same week and (b) the tourney in Halle started and finished earlier than the tourney in London by a few hours. Details do matter :) As well, Djokovic lost to Llodra in R16, not the semifinals.
– 2010 London/Queen’s Club Grass: Xavier Malisse No. 74 (lost 3-6, 6-4, 2-6 in R16)
– 2010 Paris Masters Indoor Hardcourts: Llodra No. 34 (lost 6-7, 2-6 in R16)
– 2011 Basel 500 Indoors: No. 32 Kei Nishikori (lost 6-2, 6-7(4), 0-6 in semifinals)

Nadal lost 11 matches to players ranked No. 20 to No 53. Murray lost 6 matches to players ranked No. 20 to to 143.

So I am correct, very correct that “Federer has not lost to any player ranked lower than No. 19 since 2010 Halle. Djokovic, Nadal and Murray all have several losses to such lower-ranked players during this period.”

If I remember correctly, 5 years ago you were one of the posters who criticized Federer for wearing Nike shoes at Wimbledon with Swiss flags denoting his titles. Did you apply the same standards to Nadal when he started wearing something similar at the French Open?

racquet Says:

Haha…no wonder Dave picked from Halle 2010 onwards. He wanted to avoid the bad March to May stretch where Federer lost to Bagdhatis, Berdych, Gulbis and Montanes (who were ranked 30, 20, 40 & 34 respectively). Of course it makes Roger’s record look more impressive. tsk tsk

jane Says:

Dave, dave dave, you said SINCE Halle 2010 – and you said Fed has lost to no one ranked lower than 19 SINCE then but you are wrong because if you count Malisse for Nole because Queens was going on at the same time as Halle, then you’d better include Hewitt for Fed, since Fed lost to him in the final and he was ranked 32nd at the time. In other words, if you count Nole’s loss to Malisse you have to count Fed’s loss to Hewitt. Fair is fair.

SO if Fed lost to no one ranked below 19 SINCE Halle, then Nole lost to ONLY two players, like I already said.

And when I said “he” made it to the semifinals in my former post, I meant Llodra made it to the semis not Nole. In other words, although Llodra was ranked below 19 (what an arbitrary number anyhow?!) he was ON SONG and playing very well.

Because that’s the way tennis and sport in general is sometimes isn’t it?? What I mean to say is that ranking doesn’t matter that much in the odd loss. A guy can be ranked in the 30s and 40s or even below that and have an amazing match, be in the zone, and win against a higher ranked opponent. There is absolutely no shame in that anyhow.

jane Says:

Dave, I missed your question about the shoe-flags. It was five years ago, and yes I commented then – guilty as charged. I used to be unduly critical towards Fed back then, but have I gotten over it because I was just angry over the fact that none of my faves at the time could beat him: he seemed to win everything from 04-07 and back then I was cheering on Safin and Roddick mainly, before Nole came along. It was silly and pointless arguing on my part.

Not only does Rafa have marked shoes now, but so does Nole have Serbia shoes and colours, and so on – the reality is that it probably has more to do with brand ambassadors than with the players anyhow. Besides which, I sincerely appreciate what Fed has accomplished in this sport; he is an amazing player. But you don’t have to hammer it over people’s heads. We know already! :)

p.s. Halle/Queens starting a few hours before and after is pushing it methinks…

Nirmal Kumar Says:

mem ..I do not understand your response for Hawkeye. Is Roger saying to turn it off only for him. If not, how it will favour ONLY Roger. How can the close calls will help ONLY Roger, when the linesperson are going to make mistakes for either player. I’m confused. Typically, Roger is ready to accept the mistakes of the umpires and proceed with the match. Mistakes can happen against him too. As he says, it will average out over an entire career.

mem says : his main reason was to help himself because he will do whatever it takes to get pass nadal should it come to that.”

What is that Roger has to surpass NAdal. Is it not the other way around. Also how come saying to enforce a rule is whining. This again confuses me. If Roger had requested to change the Rule to 20 sec from 30 sec then we can think of him having a motive. But to wonder why the rules are not enforced is something should have been asked, him being the head of player council. He has more responsibility to take care of the sport being the president of the ATP players council.

mem says ” that a two-year ranking system that might work, you people see it as a self-serving idea that would benefit him only”

I think except Nadal, no one backed him up. Which shows that others are not of the same opinion. Also the counter argument why it should not be implemented makes more sense. It would literally stop anyone to break in to Top 10. DelPo probably would have been an 30+ ranked player, inspite of having more than a better season at the end of the year and begining of the year. So how does the two year system help the players?

mem says : roger’s “opinions are nice” you proved my point!

It’s not just me. Look at the other blogs and articles which flood internet. I don’t think Roger has conspired entire tennis community, media and fans to support him.

mem says : how do we know for certain that he won every one of those years?

The award is there for many years. Some of the awards are given by ATP and others are by recognized international org.

skeezerweezer has put in a complete list. You can go to wiki page of Roger to get more info.

mem says: but i forgot to address your question about roger whining about fast courts

Again, it’s an opinion shared by many others. It remains an popular opinion from Roger. It just shows it’s going to benefit tennis. It will not shorten the careers of players, also gives options to different style of player to excel (Tsonga, Llodra) and force the top players to play all court tennis. Is it not how tennis should be played? Who cares about the endless ball bashing from the baseline on the clay HC.

skeezerweezer Says:


Great post. Re-read the 2:17 post and you can clearly understand the delusional. It’s all there and doesn’t need deciphering. This is not a “Hotbody” forum. ;)

Nirmal Kumar Says:

skeezerweezer: Just not sure why so much personal hatred (towards Roger), when we just need to watch tennis match and comment.

Michael Says:

True, Indian Wells and Miami hold the key to No.1 for the Fantastic Three. I would leave out Murray because I do not consider him in the same class. Despite the fact that Novak is looking very rusty,I would pick him to win the Title with Murray now out of the picture and he is having a easier draw. Roger is playing awesome Tennis but he has a stumbling block in the name of Nadal in semi-finals and it is worthwhile to remember that Roger has not beaten Nadal in outdoor hardcourts for a while. If Nadal is taken out early, then Roger will have his chance even against Novak.

Dave Says:

racquet: Nice try, but I tried to help out Djokovic. So the joke is on you when you said “Haha…no wonder Dave picked from Halle 2010 onwards. He wanted to avoid the bad March to May stretch where Federer lost to Bagdhatis, Berdych, Gulbis and Montanes (who were ranked 30, 20, 40 & 34 respectively). Of course it makes Roger’s record look more impressive. tsk tsk”

From 2010 Dubai to 2010 French Open:

– Djokovic lost to 5 players ranked outside top 19: No. 20 Youzhny, No. 20 Isner, No. 26 Ljubicic, No. 59 Rochus, No. 319 Krajinovic, No. 27 Melzer. Lost to NUMBER THREE HUNDRED AND NINETEEN FILIP KRAJINOVIC? Including this stretch, since 2010 Dubai, Djokovic lost 8 matches to players ranked No. 20 to No 319. SMH

– Nadal lost to No. 26 Ljubicic. Including this stretch, since 2010 Dubai, Nadal lost 12 matches to players ranked No. 20 to No 53. SMH

– Murray lost to No. 39 Tipsarevic, No. 101 Fish, No. 33 Kohlschreiber. Including this stretch, since 2010 Dubai, Murray lost 9 matches to players ranked No. 20 to to 143. SMH

Since 2010 Dubai, Federer past his prime lost only 5 matches to players ranked No. 20 to No 40. After 2010 Halle, Federer never lost to a player outside top 19 (that’s about 77 or 78 consecutive matches won against players ranked worse than No. 19).

– In February 2010, Federer visited Ethiopia in Africa (Google “Roger Federer Ethiopia Visit” in You Tube), just after winning the 2010 Australian Open. Shirtly after his exhausting trip to Africa, Federer fell very sick with pneumonia. He was not able to implement his February training block in Dubai and had to withdraw from the Dubai ATP 500 tourney.

– Upon his return to the ATP Tour, Federer lost four consecutive tourneys (2010 Indian Wells R32, Miami R16, Rome R32, Estoril SF) to No. 33 Bagdhatis, No. 20 Berdych, No. 40 Gulbis and No. 34 Montanes. At his age, the lack of match practice and momentum affected his return to form.

– Federer carried a semifinal injury into the 2010 Halle grass final where he lost in three sets to No. 32 Lleyton Hewitt. No shame losing to Hewitt, a tough competitor former No.1 who has won two grand slam titles (including Wimbledon) as well as won more grass court matches than Pete Sampras and Federer.

Any way you look at it, Federer’s performance and mental toughness is clearly the best of the Big Four — Roger has dominated the field since 2010 in matches won against players ranked No. 20 or higher. The mental weakness of Nadal, Djokovic and Murray in their prime are shown in their losses to some of these low-ranked players.

Federer lost only 5 matches in the past two years from 2010 to 2012 (2.5 matches lost per year). From 2004 to 2007, Federer lost 12 matches to players ranked worse than No. 19 during that four year period (3 matches lost per year). Thus either the field today is weaker than 2004 – 2007 or Federer is winning more consistently against players ranked worse than No. 19. Amazing.

Unfortunately Federer is one of several sick players at Indian Wells. His streak in winning against players ranked No. 19 or worse is in jeopardy against Milos Raonic. We’ll know on Tuesday whether Federer’s reflexes and sharpness are compromised.

Dave Says:

jane, the key to my correctness is the meaning of “SINCE HALLE 2010”. The 2010 Halle tourney started and ended a few hours earlier on the same days than the 2010 London tourney due to daily scheduling differences and the fact that Halle (Germany) is one hour ahead of London (England). So technically, Queen’s Club ended as a tourney a few hours after Halle ended.

So it is fair :) to say that “Federer has not lost to any player ranked lower than No. 19 since 2010 Halle. Djokovic, Nadal and Murray all have several losses to such lower-ranked players during this period.”

However, since you were honest and introspective about the shoe flags, I’ll count Hewitt for Federer… this time :)

It really doesn’t matter that Llodra played very well even into the semifinals since most of those low-ranked world beaters played very well to beat the top players. I could point to David Nalbandian ranked No. 25 and No. 21 beating Federer-Nadal-Djokovic at Madrid Masters Indoors and again beating Federer-Nadal at Paris Masters as an ultimate example of a player playing incredibly well. Those top players lost because lower ranked players caught fire for at least one match, got in the zone and pressured the top players during the match — yet some top players had greater mental and competitive strengths to beat off more low ranked players in the zone than other top ranked players did.

So what really matters are the different rates at which these top players lost to such low ranked players. Federer consistently lost less to such players — between 2010 to 2012 he lost to only 5 players ranked worse than No. 19 (average 2.5 per year) while between 2004 to 2007 he lost to only 12 players ranked worse than No. 19 (average 3 per year). On the other hand, since 2010 while in their primes Nadal lost an average 6 per year, Murray 4.5 per year and Djokovic 4 per year to players ranked worse than 19.

This is one indicator of mental and competitive toughness that Federer does not get much credit for. If sean or tennis-x wants to publish an article on this issue, they are welcome to use the stats I provided.

trufan Says:

Being sick is going to really affect the old man (Federer). I think he will lose early.

I hope Delpo reaches the final then. Would love to see him get to his 2009 USO form – when he hammered Nadal 6-2 6-2 6-2 in the semi. He is one guy who can really hammer Nadal, if he is healthy and in touch. I think he is almost there now.

Djokovic looks set to win….. For Federer, its just heartburn till the grass season now, given no more tournaments on hard courts (Miami is slower than clay!).

But given how slow the grass is now, with the slower balls, Perhaps Federer’s heartburn continues till the US hardcourt season. I still think Federer has a better chance of winning the USO than any other slam. Perhaps he can win his last slam there, just like Sampras.

Will Nadal retire without EVER defending a non clay slam title? Looks likely. Unlikely he will win two in a row anywhere now (even on clay this might be his last hurrah). Age will bring him down faster than it has brought down anyone.

Its incredible how well Federer is playing past 30… The only player on tour who doesn’t fear him, still, is Nadal – on fast indoor courts, even Nadal would fear him, even now.

trufan Says:

I would love to see Federer win Rome Masters on clay. He has been to the final twice (remember his 5 hour mat ch against Nadal in 2006 where he had match points?), and its a relatively faster clay…. certainly faster than Miami hard courts… Its one of the very few masters tournaments Fed has not won. He filled in a hole by winning Paris last year.

And lets not forget the YEC. Fed has won 6 YEC, more than anyone else (Lendl and Sampras have 5 each). And lets not forget Nadal has NEVER won the YEC, and perhaps never will (unless they move it to clay….)

Greatest of All Time and not a single YEC? And talking about rabbits – Nadal is djokovic rabbit far more than Federer is Nadal’s. Djokovic’s wins are all in a row, all in finals, all in slams or masters finals, 7 in a row, and on 3 different surfaces!

The next match between them will be shorter. Nadal now knows that Djoke can hang with him for 6 hours, and can probably even outlast him, so his defensive technique will never win him the match. But that’s his Ace of spades, without which he makes too many errors! What else can Nadal try against Djoke? Djoke can more offense, better serve, equally good movement, equally good speed, equal stamina, equal mental toughness – where is Nadal better? Once Djoke toughened up mentally, Nadal became his rabbit… and there’s no looking back. Nadal can’t even count on Djoke growing old, like he did with Federer – Djoke is one year younger!!!!

Mark Says:

@ trufan. Don’t u read the press?? “would love to see him get to his 2009 USO form – when he hammered Nadal …….”. Nadal tore a stomach muscle in Cincy leading up to and including the semis at USO. If u call hammering a player playing with a torn stomach muscle then u r completely deluded.

trufan Says:

Oh yeah, I forgot, Nadal is always injured when he loses!!

Mark, I wonder how you are dealing with and rationalizing Nadal being “HAMMERED” by Djokovic. Nobody in the history of tennis has been hammered like that by any other player!

Oh wait, there comes another excuse!!

Mark Says:

@trufan. You forget the hammerings djokass received from Nadal? You truly have a bad memory!!

Superhuman Says:

Really Mark, when was the last time that Nadal beat Djokovic, be so kind and refresh our memory… and by the way thank you for the nickname Djokass….Djoko is kicking Nadals ass.

racquet Says:

^^since 2010 Dubai, Nadal lost 12 matches to players ranked No. 20 to No 53.

I count 7. I’m sure Dave has a good explanation for stating 12.

trufan Says:

WHen was the last time ANY tennis player lost 7 consecutive finals to the same player, or 3 consecutive slam finals to the same player?

Wait… NEVER.

Until Djokass kicked the butt that has been picked too often. Ha ha…

jamie Says:

trufan Says:

Unlikely he will win two in a row anywhere now (even on clay this might be his last hurrah). Age will bring him down faster than it has brought down anyone.


Trufan does speak the truth. In 2012, according to the psychic, Nadal will win his 7th and last French Open. 2012’s French Open will be his last hurrah.

He will retire with 11 slams like Borg.

In 2013 he will have many injuries.

alison hodge Says:

trufan and jamie,rafa has many fans male and female,that love to watch him play win or loose,injuries or no injuries,let the man himself decide when he wants to retire,and if he does retire with 11 slams like legends borg and laver,then thats good company hes in.

nadalista Says:!/NeilHarmanTimes/status/178938366178508800

“The return of Rafael Nadal to the tennis courts is always a moment for celebration and anticipation” (@NeilHarmanTimes)

So true……………

jane Says:

Dave, I guess what I was trying to say about Llodra was that the win over Nole wasn’t a just one-off. We’ve all seen lower-ranked players come along and cause a huge upset over a higher ranked player but then promptly and often predictably lose the very next round, which imo almost negates the upset or at the least shows that it was a sort of “flukey” win.

To me, anyhow, when the lower ranked player *follows up* on his/her upset of a higher ranked player, then it proves that this particular player has hit a “purple patch” and is fine form. Your example of Nalbandian’s run at Madrid in 2009 is a case in point. We all know that talent-wise Nalby is a potential slam-winner, but he’s never put it all together enough to finally win one. Ljubicic had a run like this when he won Indian Wells in 2010: he beat Djokovic, Nadal and Roddick on that run. He just hit his stride, or his best form.

Sometimes players ranked lower go on a special run like that, and not just play ONE great match when they’re in the zone, but back it up and play several, sometimes turning out to be a title run. Llodra went to the semis of that Paris masters, but he nearly the finals – in the semis he took Soderling, the eventual winner then ranked number 5, to the very brink in a match that went 7-6, 5-7, 6-7.

So my point is that sometimes there is no shame in a higher ranked player losing to “considerably” a lower ranked one, and it doesn’t necessarily speak to the higher ranked players’ competitive spirit, especially if that lower ranked player proves to be on a run. I can think of times when Fed lost to lower ranked players, like Montanes or Gulbis, when those players went on to the finals or even titles of events. And again I say, no shame in that. It happens.

mem Says:


one characteristic of great men is that they may fall, but they get up again.

yes, nadal has lost to novak seven times, but what matters most to me as a rafafan is that each time, he is motivated to work even harder to overcome; despite the losses, he keeps coming back to face the novak’s challenge again and again. he keeps chipping and chipping away at what he needs to do to turn the tables and that is what i respect.

regardless of popular opinion that claims he will never beat novak again, he just goes about his business because he understands the bottom line is, it’s not what others believe that he will or will not be able to do, but it’s all about what he believes he can do.

despite the losses, he doesn’t suggests that the balls be changed or surfaces be changed or draws be changed to help him get it done. he could have easily tanked all those semis knowing that novak would be waiting for him in the finals, but as always, his belief and his willingness to face challenges prevailed and he did what great men do, “face the challenge” win or lose. i’m sure he believes that sooner or later he will pass the test and the only way to eventually pass a test is to keep taking it. i love this guy for many things, but his willingness to continue take on the challenge when the mountain seem too steep to climb is something special.


i’m sticking my nose in your business, but why do you upset yourself over some imaginary psychic crap that jamie presents time and again just to get attention? anybody can predict and sometimes the prediction turns out right. that’s what happens with predictions! jamie doesn’t know anymore about what rafa or any other player will accomplish in the future than you or me. did you notice when his psychic junk doesn’t pan out right, he doesn’t show up until everyone moves on to something else?

it’s your business whether you believe him or not, but i’m just curious to know if you guys really do believe this stuff or are you just joking around leading him on.

also, as rafafans we don’t have to prove to anyone how many fans are in love with rafa’s exciting game. i know i’m one of them! when a player has 10m plus fans on facebook, enough said.

i’m sure that 10 millions fans didn’t join his facebook because they hate his style and refuse to watch baseline tennis. people like jamie, trufan, and some others who come up with this kind of stuff are just speaking out of envy and ignorance. how do they know what millions of others fans like? did they take a survey? if so, they should publish it. that tells you just how ignorant they are.

i always try to enjoy tournaments without being weighed down wih anxiety about who will or will not win; that will unfold in time. i don’ control it and neither does jamie or any other fan.

Mark Says:

@mem. Great post.

Dave Says:

jane, your argument is refutable by examples of lower ranked players who went on a giant-killed run only to be stopped in the same tourney. E.g., at 2009 French Open Robin Soderling went on a special run to beat David Ferrer, Rafael Nadal, Davydenko, Gonzalez — then Roger Federer rolled over Soderling despite the trauma of a Spanish goon running on the court to disrupt Roger’s rhythm. Most of these “special runs” by lower ranked players ended in a loss to a mentally tougher and more competitive higher ranked player. Few are like Nalbandian or Hewitt — former top players who had what it takes to win.

racquet: So you admit that the joke is on you for your March 11th 8:16 pm post (racquet Says:”Haha…no wonder Dave picked from Halle 2010 onwards. He wanted to avoid the bad March to May stretch where Federer lost to Bagdhatis, Berdych, Gulbis and Montanes (who were ranked 30, 20, 40 & 34 respectively). Of course it makes Roger’s record look more impressive. tsk tsk”).

The numbers still prove that — compared to Djokovic (8), Nadal (7), Murray (9) in their prime — Roger Federer (5) past his prime still has the best record against players ranked worse than No. 19. Even if Nadal lost to 7 such players (4 in 2010 and 3 in 2011) instead of the 11 that I had mis-counted due to being an unmotivated counter as I already knew that my basic conclusion is right.

In 2005 and 2006, Federer in his prime lost to only one player outside the top 19 in both years (Richard Gasquet in 2005, Andy Murray in 2006). It really is shameful that Djokovic, Nadal and Murray in their prime lack the competitive spirit and mental toughness and so are losing to so many lower ranked players that Federer in his prime would probably not have lost.

alison hodge Says:

mem my post actually was more about trufan in mind,and the endless rafa retirement talk,jamie does not upset me far from it,and i did notice he went missing for a week,after failing misserably about novak winning the title in dubai last week,i was just pointing out if rafa were to only win one more slam,so what as he would still be in good company,with the players i mentioned in my above post,the pyschic buisness did not bother me at all,its the retirement talk,that got under my skin.

alison hodge Says:

mem i did notice actually,the predictions that go right are always her predictions,and the ones that go wrong are always his predictions,WHAT A COINCIDENCE LOL.

jane Says:

Dave, that’s why I said “sometimes” a lot in my post – because it’s obviously not always the case. I like to qualify; I try to avoid words like always, never, none or everything because generalizations don’t usually apply to reality. But it was the case, for example, when Montanes beat Fed; Montanes did have a special run that included beating Fed and winning the title. And he isn’t a Hewitt or Nalbandian, i.e., a former top tenner. It happens, and I don’t think it necessarily speaks to the competitive spirit of the higher ranked player, at least not always. Look at Dodig’s win over Rafa last summer: Rafa has a remarkable competitive spirit, so to just simply say he didn’t fight I don’t think accurately captures the many nuances involved in that match – or most matches for that matter. There are many factors involved in any match, including the form of both players, the weather, the conditions, their previous matches, H2Hs, potential injuries they are carrying. Anyhow I won’t belabour it; I am okay with disagreeing.

Superhuman Says:

I have a huge respect for Nadal and his game, as well for vast majority of his fans, however it really upsets me when some fans are using inappropriate names(name calling etc) and are disrespectful to other players.

mem Says:


absolutely true! seems like rafa has been gone forever. soooooo delighted he’s back, looking healthy and happy.

thanks for sharing!

racquet Says:

@Dave: The numbers still prove that…

It only proves that you’re an unreliable source whose claims should be double-checked.

“I had mis-counted due to being an unmotivated counter”

Uh-huh…mis-counted. Is that the new “I misspoke”. lol It’s impossible to take you seriously.

skeezerweezer Says:

“but his willingness to continue take on the challenge when the mountain seem too steep to climb is something special.’

i just wonder….on the other hand….how hard it was for Novak( or ANYONE, put a name on it ) to beat the 2010 #1 player in the world 7 times in a row, and in the finals no less? I mean where do those balls of steel, courage come from? He only had to pass the test once, but he repeated it 7 times.

Which is harder or more admirable, falling down and getting back up or repeating your feat 7 times in a row against someone who wants to rip the title away from you every time? Just wondering……

mem Says:


it’s whatever you say it is! thanks for reading!

Mark Says:

@skeez. Keep wondering!!!

skeezerweezer Says:


Why, you’re welcome!

BTW I always read your posts. I always feel slightly ill afterwards but it goes away after awhile so its all good. Kinda like riding a roller coaster.

Steve 27 Says:

To Ajet:

This morning I received thrilling news: a joke I wrote more than 20 years ago has been voted the funniest religious joke of all time! In case you’ve missed it, here it is:

Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!” He said, “Nobody loves me.” I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?”

He said, “Yes.” I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?” He said, “A Christian.” I said, “Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?” He said, “Protestant.” I said, “Me, too! What franchise?” He said, “Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?” He said, “Northern Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?”

He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.” I said, “Me, too!”

Northern Conservative†Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.” I said, “Die, heretic!” And I pushed him over.

Steve 27 Says:

· A Mormon told me that they don’t drink coffee. I said, “A cup of coffee every day gives you wonderful benefits.” He said, “Like what?” I said, “Well, it keeps you from being Mormon …”

When I was a kid my dad would say, “Emo, do you believe in the Lord?” I’d say, “Yes!” He’d say, “Then stand up and shout Hallelujah!” So I would … and I’d fall out of the roller coaster


Steve 27 Says:

Dave is in love of Federer. Is a fact!.He is so perfect!.

jamie = mad

trufan Says:

mental toughness is being 7-16 H2H against a player, then beating him 7 times in a row in 7
finals, on 3 different surfaces, including 3 slams.

What is the opposite? Being 16-7 H2H against someone, and then getting hammered in 7 consecutive finals – you decide.

As for IW, if federer is sick, Raonic will beat him….

alison hodge Says:

steve 27 daves posts are informative,thought provoking and very accurate,hes a clever man who does his research very well,his posts are great,but sometimes a little bit too long for me,i have to read them twice sometimes to take it all in.
jamies posts i dont think are mad,but more a case of taking the djokovic hero worshipping waaay too far, and completely ott,daves posts are very mature,where jamies posts are rather imature,theres the difference jmo.

Dave Says:

jane, I humbly applaud your intelligence and open-mindedness in considering possibilities and relativities instead of pretending to be certain and absolute.

– That’s why I’m not sure why you seemed certain that “it was the case when Montanes beat Fed”. At most we can speculate that Montanes hit a purple patch when he beat no. 1 Federer at 2010 Estoril. But who were the 3 other players that No. 34 Montanes beat to win the title? No. 99 Daniel Gimeno-Traver, no. 57 Pablo Cuevas, No. 133 Frederico Gil were all lower ranked players No. 34 Montanes should have beaten on clay. But what about the Federer part of the equation? Federer was in a slump in the 3.5 months after 2010 Australian Open (arguably beyond that). In 2010 February he had pneumonia, then lost earlier than expected in all four tourneys during that period (IW, Miami, Rome, Estoril) to players ranked No. 20 to No. 40 (so losing to No. 34 Montanes was consistent). In those 3.5 months, Roger lost 4 matches, won only 5 matches against low ranked players. He was not match fit or confident.

– Does Rafa really have remarkable competitive spirit? Your competitive spirit shows in your losses, not just your wins. The close final set between Dodig and Nadal is outside the norm for Nadal’s losses. Nadal and Federer both lost 27 matches since January 2010. Of Nadal’s 27 losses in his prime, 15 losses had 0-6, 1-6, 2-6 or 3-6 final sets he lost. Of Federer’s 27 losses past his prime, only 8 losses had such scores. On the flip side, of Nadal’s 27 losses, only 4 losses ended in 5-7 or 6-7. Of Federer’s 27 losses, 11 losses ended in 5-7 or 6-7. Federer was in a bad slump between 2010 IW to Estoril, but he lost all four matches 6-7 (three matches) or 5-7 (one match) in the final set. We should also check the losses of Djokovic and Murray. You can disagree by bringing up the various factors but the dominant patterns revealed by the hard data is very, very strong — contrary to myth, Nadal’s competitive spirit is inferior to Federer. But I’m okay with disagreeing as well :)

racquet: even with the updated numbers, my original conclusions on the Big Four were valid, our focus (jane and me) was on djokovic not Nadal, and you still fell flat on your face with your backfired post. Now it’s bizarre that you pretend “it only proves that you’re an unreliable source” based on one mistake you found in 3,745.2 posts of mine. It’s impossible to take you seriously. But I welcome your double-checking, please do. If you can improve my reliability from 99.99993%, I am always open to improvement. Not only might it motivate me to count more accurately, it might force your mind to confront the truth while staring at the stats…

alison hodge: Oh no. I finally found a reliable psychic, cuz I thought having one might impress everybody. Guess not:) Btw, I rarely read my own posts after typing, otherwise I might not be able to take it all in as well.

Steve 27: Please be so perfect, so we can all be soooo in love of you. Hmmm, on second thoughts, please remain soooo flawed :)

Dave Says:

racquet, I’m still waiting for you to double check my numbers, validate the reliability of my post and (in the process) learn something from the data. I hope I don’t have to post another 3,000 posts before you find something again :)

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