Nadal Rocks Raonic In Montreal To Win 8th Title Of Year, Stays Perfect On Hardcourts; Serena Soars Over Sorana
by Staff | August 11th, 2013, 11:44 pm

Rafael Nadal pounded an overwhelmed Milos Raonic today in the Canadian Open Montreal final 6-2, 6-2. The 68 minute match wasn’t even that close as Nadal jumped on Raonic early in both sets and was never really threatened.

The win for Nadal was his third in Canada after titles at 2008 Toronto and Montreal in 2005 when Raonic was just 14.

“To win here, I have to be playing my top level,” said Nadal.”Very happy the way that I played almost every match in this tournament. Is very important for me, this title. Just very happy for everything.”

Since returning to the tour from knee injury in February, Nadal has won a tour-leading eight titles in 11 events, and he’s a perfect 10-0 on his least favorite surface, the hardcourts. And less than 24 hours after dispatching Novak Djokovic in a third-set tiebreaker, the Spaniard looked even more impressive today in railroading Raonic.

“I did a lot of things well,” said Nadal. “My return was huge this afternoon. I returned a few first serves of his in important moments, decisive. Then I think he play with more mistakes than usual. That helped me.”

Nadal’s ranking will move up to No. 3, ahead of countryman David Ferrer, and he could take the No. 2 ranking/seeding at the US Open if he were to win Cincinnati and second-ranked Andy Murray lost early. But more importantly with the victory Nadal extends his lead over Novak Djokovic in the year-end Race for No. 1 to roughly 1,500 ranking points.

“I feel I have an advantage, but not enough to say that I am the favorite,” he said. “On this kind of surface, Novak is really good. [There] remains three Masters 1000s, one Grand Slam, [Barclays ATP World Tour Finals] – more favorable surfaces for him than for me. So we are talking about 6,500 points.

“We have to realize how many points I have to win to be No. 1. I think I will not be No. 1 if I have less than 10,000 points at the end of the season. Today I have 8,000. I need to win minimum 2,000 more. That’s very difficult in this part of the season, but I’m going to try.”

Raonic, who was trying to become the first Canadian to win his home event since 1958, enjoyed one of his best weeks as a pro and will finally crack the Top 10 as a result.

“There’s a lot of things, a lot of steps, a lot of professionalism that is not optional really to get to this level, stuff I really pride myself in, I put a lot of emphasis on,” said Raonic. “To do it here is really special for me, but also it’s very motivating for the next steps to sort of know that I’ve made that step to where I want to be. It makes me want to push harder and work more to make the next step to go down that line and try to get as close as I can to my goals.”

Overall, Nadal now has 58 career titles of which 25 are Masters level events. If he plays Cincinnati he could meet Roger Federer in the quarterfinals.

In the women’s final in Toronto, the Serena-Sorana final went unsurprisingly to Serena who blew out Cirstea 6-2, 6-0 to win her third Canadian crown.

“She had nothing to lose, so it wasn’t going to be easy for me today, and I knew that I would have to play better today than what I did last night,” said Williams. “I think she played well. I mean, I don’t know the stats, but I don’t think there were too many love games. We had some long rallies. I mean, we both hit a few unforced errors, but I told my coach, I said, I thought she played really well today.”

Serena has won both titles since her Wimbledon loss, and she’ll head to Cincinnati and onto the US Open as the big favorite.

Like Raonic, the 23-year-old Cirstea also had her best week, but after wins over Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova and Li Na the Romanian couldn’t match firepower with Serena.

“She got better as the match went along,” said Cirstea who’ll make her Top 20 debut on Monday. “And I wasn’t able to pick up my game as I was in the past few matches. But all credit to her – there’s a reason we have the rankings and why she’s on top of those rankings. She’s the No.1 player, and she’s proving that every single time she steps on court.”

Serena now has 54 titles in her career and a Nadal-equaling eight this year.

You Might Like:
Andy Murray Needs 3 In Queen’s, Meets Marin Cilic In SFs; Milos Raonic Stays Perfect Under McEnroe
Milos Raonic is Back Playing Tennis Again
Can Nadal Beat Djokovic In Montreal? A Canadian Will Await In The Final
Rafael Nadal Could Skip Cincinnati, Roger Federer Might Miss Montreal
Serena Leads Full Cast at WTA Rogers Cup in Montreal

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93 Comments for Nadal Rocks Raonic In Montreal To Win 8th Title Of Year, Stays Perfect On Hardcourts; Serena Soars Over Sorana

roy Says:


>rating 1(nausea):

nadal beating federer on hardcourt

>rating 2 (nausea+migraine):

nadal beating ”hired assassin” djoker on hardcourt (as of recent times)

>rating 3 (screaming agony, clenching fedbear between teeth)

nadal winning major hardcourt title

Steve 27 Says:

Rafa will need 2500 more points to be 1 at the end of the year. If he clinches number 2 and Andy meets regularly Djokovic and beat him several times, the serbian will loose more points. Will be very tigh tough.

Brando Says:

@Roy: there is no need to take pot shots at Fed fans. Leave it out please. Let’s just enjoy Rafa’s moment. That’s more worthy than needless pot shots. Recenty ALL fans have been spectacular to one another. It’s been great to see. Engage others in that spirit rather than what is completely uncalled for. Real Rafa fans surely would be just delighted with his tennis and win rather than bothering with such silly notions of a pain chart of a rival player. Please refrain from such comments: they are not welcome nor do they compare well to the quality posts I know you are capable of, and enjoy. Hope you take my post as a friendly wish to see better from one who is capable of such and more. Here’s hoping for it.

Michael Says:

The Rafa vs Novak encounter was virtually the final and once Rafa won that, it was just a foregone conclusion that he would go on to win the title except that Raonic raises his level to new highs and deliver a shock. Obviously, it was not Raonic’s day. He looked more nervous on court than usual and his serving power deserted him. Rafa, the tough player he is exploited those weakness to his advantage and won convincingly in a pretty fair and square fashion. He has now hit a quarter century of Masters series titles in his armoury and what an achievement that is ? It is unlikely to be overhauled even in distant future. Rafa has once again shown the door to his critics who have doubted his ability on hard courts and wrongly branded him as a one court wonder. Now after winning this one especially beating Novak, Rafa will be the overwhelming favourite for the US Open.

Michael Says:

Well said Brando !! I wholly endorse your thoughts. I am sure Roy will undergo a change of heart reading your post.

Okiegal Says:

Rafa is back………JACK!!!!!!

Vamos, Rafa……win Cincy…

..then the USO!!

metan Says:

@ Brando at 1.17.
WELL SAID but it is not aim @ Roy only but to ALL of US who post here.
We can still have fun but respect and consider othera. Thank you.!

Margot Says:

^ All in agreement so far. Just celebrate guys.

Nativenewyorker Says:

I want to join in with these sentiments. Let’s celebrate in a positive way without taking shots at other players or their fans.

harry Says:

Congratulations Rafa! 25 and counting, wow…

But I am sure Nole will bounce back… We are going to have an exciting few weeks ahead. Hope the USO changes the Super Saturday (+Sunday) stupidity this year… Does anybody have a little ‘heads up’ on that?

Giles Says:
Ah, so Rafa did get to chew on that special trophy after all! Lol

Nirmal Kumar Says:

I just don’t think Rafa had to win this title to prove he is an all time great. If not in 2008, atleast in 2010 he has proved beyond any doubt about his greatness.

Just wish he is healthy for next 2-3 years. I said before his return, that if he stays healthy, we would witness some of the greatest tennis matches played betwenn him, Novak and Murray.

He brings in a completely new dimension to tennis in big matches when he plays the other Top 2.

rafaeli Says:

@Brando 1.17

I hope this new consensus lasts. It would be a joy to see. Rafa fans have taken it on the chin for ever especially from the joint forces of Fedvic fans, so I look forward to a more pleasant experience here.

Paradox Says:

In the past as well as present,when Federer`s fans and recently Djokovic fans are repeatedly attacking Nadal and his fans,very rerely has someone among them advise moderation.I am all for decent and civilized behaviour,only thing is that Fed`s and Djoko`s fans should try to reciprocate it.We Nadal fans should be path breakers in this matter and i endorse Brando.

Polo Says:

Is there a real tennis fan out there who could not appreciate Nadal’s performance in Montreal?

Michael Says:

My personal advise to Rafa would be to skip Cincinnati to be fresh for the US Open. Even if he participates in Cincannti, it would be a tall order for him as he would likely be meeting Roger, Novak and then Andy if everything goes as planned. Ofcourse Nadal can beat them all and still go on to win the tournament. However, the stress factor has to be emphasized here and Nadal just cannot risk over taxing his body. Ofcourse it is for Rafa to decide what is best for him.

Brando Says:

Agree with all: long may good sentiment towards all last.

Brando Says:

@Michael: I think Rafa should play. Get more matches under his belt. I very much doubt Rafa is overly invested in Cincy and he is looking at as: I rather get 2/3/4 matches under my belt in Cincy than practise for a week. And I agree with him. I reckon he’ll lose to Fed here but the 3 or so matches shall help him more than any amount of practise court time. Besides: he can still have 10 days rest and practise prior to USO which I think is more than enough prior to a slam. He showed during FO swing this year a similar schedule is fine for him.

Brando Says:

@Harry: Last I heard was Super Saturday stays. But the final moves to Monday for this year and 2014. In 2015 USO schedule follows all other slams. Every player will now have a day break between matches. Which is fair as that what they ought to receive in slams.

madmax Says:

roy Says:

>rating 1(nausea):

nadal beating federer on hardcourt

>rating 2 (nausea+migraine):

nadal beating ”hired assassin” djoker on hardcourt (as of recent times)

>rating 3 (screaming agony, clenching fedbear between teeth)

nadal winning major hardcourt title

August 12th, 2013 at 12:09 am

I would appreciate it Roy if you would speak for Federer FANS as you take a completely subjective view and I will speak for myself, thank you very much. Have never made it a secret that I dont like the grinding and the grunting game of tennis that rafa plays, BUT I do respect the rivalry of Fed and of Rafa and I miss that. Its people like you that hate Federer so much and dance on his grave every time Rafa wins, so seriously, join your own group of fed haters because people like you never learn and will only continue to hate.

There was no question that Rafa would not win this tournament. It’s a little boring for me as a fed fan with fed not being around.

Rafa is a great champion in his own right so for the non gloating fans, you must be very happy.

I think winning 8 titles this year is absolutely phenomenal. So really the knee issue should really well and truly be put to bed.

madmax Says:

Faux Pas! WOULD NOT ROY! WOULD NOT. It will fall on deaf ears anyway.

Dan Martin Says:

I think Rafa, Murray, and Nole are the Triumvirate of Tennis right now. Obviously some of this hinges event to event as Murray missed Roland Garros only to win Queen’s and Wimbledon and then look like he was in a hangover in Montreal. Rafa lost 1st round at Wimbledon. Nole was the most consistent across the Paris, London and Montreal stretch, but has 0 trophies to show for it. Very interesting. Here are my picks for Cincinnati –

Brando Says:

@Dan: I agree with your picks. Almagro v Dimitrov is a real battle between talented players with little mental strength. Those 2 plus Berdych and Gasquet should play doubles together one day. It would be fun to watch. 3 set drama of 5-1 leads being squandered by one to see the other win in TB’s. LOL. Re USO: I still believe Andole is the fav there. Rafa’s win, IMO, only makes him a genuine contender: something Andole were prior to Montreal. Nole is still the best on HC and Andy is a different beast now in slams in comparison to MS. If I were a betting man I’d still place my money on one of those 2. But Rafa winning makes it a more interesting, compelling race. The best thing would be if one of Fed or Delpo could make some serious noise at Cincy. Then the USO would be a phenomenal contest in the making.

holdserve Says:

madmax, unfortunately the knee issue cannot be put to bed. It hasn’t got cured. It will never be. As Rafa said, currently it is letting him be competitive. We never know when it will again take center stage.
Only a Fed fan could be so dismissive of Rafa’s knee issues which are so real and have wreaked havoc with Rafa’s career and his fans’ hopes.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Dan, there’s no doubt at all that we have a Big Three right now, the question is, can they lock out Federer and Del Potro the way the old Big Three locked out Murray?
Raonic and JJ are still not ready for prime time. Tsonga and Berdych are upset makers, but not slam champs-in-waiting.

So we wait for Cincy and NY to learn whether Fed and DelPo are closer to the top three, or the Draw Bomb tier.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Rafa’s season thus far is unbeleivable. His winning % is approaching all time great level. To consider he’s leading the race after skipping a Slam, a 1000, and suffered a first round Slam loss is absurd! He’s made the finals of every tournament this year except Wimbledon.

A lot of posters on this board thought Rafa was done. I think Rafa looks at the Murray-Djokovic show the last 10 months and says, thanks for keeping my seat warm.

Brando Says:

@TV: Great post and spot on too! You are right: it’s absurd to think Rafa did not play AO, may as well have not turned up to Wimby with a straight sets round 1 exit as his fate and he also skipped Miami. That’s 2 slams and MS series were he virtually collected 0 points. And yet despite this all: he’s no.1 in the year race! Phenomenadal!

holdserve Says:

Rafa is hungry!

harry Says:

@Brando (8:10 am) — Thanks for the update. Hope it stays that way, and the players get a day off between the SF and the finals.

IMO they should have 2 days off between the SF & F so that finals is competitive (given the physicality of the game); but it is what it is and at least it is the same as it is for all the majors…

Polo Says:

For a very brief while, I thought tennis will henceforth be a Djokovic-Murray show. Now, we’re having reruns of the Nadal-Djokovic show and it seems to be a lot more fun.

Polo Says:


holdserve Says:

AO gives 2 days to one half before the final.They need to do something about it. Either give both halves 2 days or both halves one day.

holdserve Says:

Rafa brings an excitement to tennis which nobody else can. Tennis was boring in the Fed era before Rafa came along.
Rafa-Fed, Rafa-Nole, Rafa-Muzz are all entertaining classics. Not so Muzz-Nole. Boring.
Fed-Nole and Fed-Muzz are ok but can’t remember any which could be classified as a classic.

Brando Says:

@Harry: no worries and I completely agree with your idea: SF to finals should have a 2 day break due to the immense physical nature of the game today. That way the showpiece match of a championship can truly deliver a great finale to a important event. AO gives one player 2 days rest pre final. That’s unfair on the other player. It should be a level playing field. But it shows that it’s really possible for organizers to do so. But are they willing to do the right thing and sacrifice commercial incentives?………..

Brando Says:

Re rivalries: IMHO- I find them all compelling and entertaining to watch. Muzza v Nole at Wimby- for me- was a great final to watch. Yes it was 3 sets, but it was 3 tight sets and some of the rallies were plain jawdropping stuff. To be honest: whenever the top 4 names get it on, whichever combination, for me it’s vital viewing, with popcorn being ready a prerequisite to enjoying a feast of high level tennis. And personally speaking: these 4 can hit a height in their absolute best form that i have not seen others hit In my lifetime.

RZ Says:

Polo, I still think in the long run over the next 3 years, it will be the Djoker-Murray show. I don’t think Nadal will play enough tournaments throughout the year to always challenge on hard courts. As we’ve seen earlier this year (Wimbledon), when he plays a lot, the knees act up. Nadal will always be a threat to win any tournament he enters, but the fall hard courts and indoor seasons will give him fewer titles than the spring.

SG1 Says:

I don’t support the USTA’s decision to go with the Friday semi, Sunday Final deal that all the other slams use. Particularly in context of the players getting a 37% raise for the USO. For those kinds of ridiculous numbers, suck it up buttercup and play two days in a row. A while ago, I had a different opinion on this matter. I’ve definitely changed my mind.

For $2.6M (plus what you get for your positioning in the US Open Series), find a way to deal with the situation.

The reason there are a bunch of people using PED’s in sport comes down to money. There’s so much of it that it encourages people to do things they normally wouldn’t. If you don’t want to have to worry about PED’s in your sport, get control of the money.

Nativenewyorker Says:

I am pleased that Rafa is playing Cincy. He was off for what, six, seven weeks. He rested, got treatment for the knee and needs to play now.

Rafa would not play Cincy if he wasn’t feeling okay. He knows his body better than we do. He’s a professional tennis player. He has to play. It would make no sense for him to come back and play one Masters event and then sit around for two weeks. As good as Rafa has looked, he is still not in his best form.

Rafa has never done well at Cincy. He has no pressure on him at all this time, because he is defending nothing. It’s just a chance to get more match play and additional rankings points. Whether he gets knocked out again in the quarterfinals or goes deeper this time, it’s a win-win situation. He has nothing to prove here after winning Montreal.

grendel Says:

@Brando 8.06

“I reckon he’ll lose to Fed here” – Nadal, that is.


Polo Says:

Yes, RZ, those knees are such bummers for Nadal. Sans that barrier, I would have loved to see more Nadal-Djokovic match-ups. I find them more exciting than any other pair. Those two are so evenly matched in almost everything. They also seem to be both in peak form in those matches they have played each other.

Polo Says:

I still keep wishing Federer would win everything but those wishes are becoming more like lost coins tossed in a fountain.

harry Says:

@Brando: Agree with your comments regarding AO having a different number of rest days before the finalists.

@SG1: I don’t agree with your argument that the USO having a higher prize money than other slams necessitates the players to play the SF/F combination on successive days there, while the other slams can have a 1-day gap (not that my objection matters!):
(a) All slams keep increasing the prize money over time. So let us say that AO/FO/Wimby increases the prize money next. Are we (more like ATP) then going to make the players play on successive days for the finals just for increasing the prize money?
(b) IMO this decision should be based on the quality of tennis, instead of who pays the most money…
(c) Re the prize money itself being high — well, i have not compared it with the pay of a CEO (it may be in the same ballpark)…

harry Says:

^– CEO –> CEO of a top corporation…

Brando Says:


Hi Grendel, nice to see you posting.

Re My Fedal Cincy call:

It’s just a hunch based on a fair few things.

1. Rafa’s history there: Rafa has never really done well at Cincy. SF is the best showing he has there. Based on that alone it’s clear to see it’s a tough event for him.

2. Rafa’s intent: I just do not feel at all Rafa will push himself all out at Cincy. I genuinely think should he get to QF’s he’ll be happy with his week there. That shall give him 3 matches, 9 days rest prior to USO. I think he’ll take that right now.

3. Fed’s history there: It’s his best MS. He’s the most successful player there- ever. The place he won his last major title. That surface was made for him to win. His Monte Carlo almost if you like.

4. Fed’s intent: I think Roger is gunning for this title more than anyone. I think he wants it to show himself that he’s still got it and use it as a launchpad for the USO.

5. Fed’s preparation: Roger has been there for a week prior to his first match, so he’ll be ready and raring to go once the event starts for him. Rafa will not be as prepared and maybe a bit tired post Montreal.

Ultimately it’s just a hunch. I have been saying for a while post Wimby that I really fancy Fed’s chances at Cincy and right now I fancy his chances alot there still.

The only cause for doubt in my mind is his new racquet: has he adapted to it well enough to be able to win a big one like Cincy? Beyond that I feel his chances are overlooked greatly here IMO.

I know it may seem a bit crazy seeing Fed’s performance post Halle, but it’s just a strong gut feeling for me that he’ll make some serious noise here and maybe, just maybe, walk off with the title.

Here’s a positive update on Fed- he seems upbeat to me here:

Kimberly Says:

Stosur said the ball is kicking up super high, maybe that will help Rafa do more this year in Cinci?

Nativenewyorker Says:

People sometimes forget that for Rafa it’s not necessarily how fast the surface is, it’s how high the ball kicks up. Low bouncing hard courts are tougher for Rafa. He needs the high bounce to make his shots more effective.

So if the ball is kicking up really high, then that will help Rafa. However, what is really going to help Rafa is his aggressive game, strong ROS and excellent serving.

grendel Says:

@Brando 2.25

All your points are well taken. However, not everything is susceptible to a purely reasonable explanation. My suspicion is that whenever Nadal sees Federer across the net, he wants to beat him and that this is a pretty primal urge which will easily overule the kind of sensible considerations you have put forward.

From your link:Federer says: “My passion is sky high. If the passion doesn’t overweigh all the rest, the end is extremely near.
“You might be doing it for the wrong reasons. But I love what I’m doing.”

This is a bold and honest statement. It is also interesting – you might think someone who has played as much as Federer would be getting a bit jaded by now, but not a bit of it. People are talking – I don’t know with what justification – as if Djokovic has already lost a little bit of his desire. Federer really hasn’t; his appetite seems to be insatiable.

The statement is bold because, as everybody knows, Federer is not doing well these days. He appears to be in some kind of terminal decline. Federer is saying, no. That’s a misunderstanding. Actually, there is plenty left, it’s just a matter of organizing things properly, naturally a more difficult task as the years take their toll.

So he is laying down a gauntlet. If he cannot deliver, he will be subject to mutterings, ridicule in some quarters and even pity from the well intentioned (the unkindest cut of all, I’d say).

So let us see.

Humble Rafa Says:

I still keep wishing Federer would win everything but those wishes are becoming more like lost coins tossed in a fountain.

If you would like to save your coins and invest in the Humbleness that is me….

harry Says:

grendel —

“He appears to be in some kind of terminal decline.”

I am not so sure that Fed’s decline is that bad… Yes, his last 4 or 5 months have been quite bad; but these results have been largely due to his back problems. To me, if he can solve (or at least) manage his back problems, and adjust to his new racket quickly, he will start competing for the slams again (yes, Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray would still be the stronger favorites).

If look at these stats below, you can see that he has been impressive till recently (yes, he is not as good as he was in his pomp). Just as a reference, I also list Murray, Djokovic, and Nadal over the last 52 weeks.

2003 to 2009———-88%—-62.2%—-77.6%—-58.4%—-40.4%
2010 to 2013———-83%—-63.2%—-77.9%—-58.1%—-39.5%
3/2012 to 3/2013——83%—-63.1%—-77.7%—-57.6%—-38.6%
Last52 Murray———81%—-61.4%—-74.8%—-51.5%—-41.5%
Last52 Novak———-87%—-65.3%—-75.4%—-57.0%—-43.1%
Last52 Nadal———-94%—-70.5%—-72.7%—-56.2%—-43.5%

Look particularly at his service & return point win rates over from March 2012 to March 2013 (it is comparable to what Andy is doing now — and Andy has had a great year!).

Okiegal Says:

Holdserve @9:29 AM

My sentiments exactly. As a Rafa fan, I would love to put the knee issue to rest too……I would like to see him rest it before the USO by not going to Cincy But he knows how far to take the knee better than his fans……we will have to trust his decision

grendel Says:

To be fair, Harry, the line you quote from me –
“He appears to be in some kind of terminal decline.” – is not my expressed opinion, but a projection of what seems to be a fairly general feeling. Personally, I am not so confident. Federer’s back problems have been noted for a while – some months ago Rusedski worried that his movement was restricted by a dodgy back – whilst as is commonly agreed, it takes maybe up to a year to come to terms with a new racket. That said, there is some degree of decline, and we can’t just overlook the last few months.

Andy having a “great year” is of questionable relevance to the stats for Fed. That’s because Andy blows hot and cold quite alarmingly.

I did end my post:”let us see”. Federer is clearly upbeat about his prospects and either he is justified or he is prey to wishful thinking. I honestly don’t know which will prove to be correct. I don’t even particularly have an opinion. This area seems to me remarkably grey. Lots of people want to pontificate (not you!), but I don’t know on what grounds they derive their confident pronouncements.
Your stats are, as ever, thought provoking.

Teeg Says:

Rankings scenario:

Andy is 750 points ahead of Rafa and is defending 90 points. Should he fail to reach the SF and Rafa goes on to win the title,Rafa overtakes him at no.2 and just in time for the USO.

grendel Says:

“……Rafa overtakes him at no.2 and just in time for the USO.”

But will the new rankings (should they eventuate) be taken into account when the seedings are made? There’s always a delay, isn’t there, but I never know or remember how long it is.

harry Says:

Grendel (5:39) — I agree with you…

Teeg Says:


Good observation. I hadn’t taken that into account. Cindy ends one week before the start of the Open. So I’m not totally sure if they base the seedings off the rankings at that point.

Giles Says:

I am sure seedings for USO will be determined after Cincy.

SG1 Says:

I’m pretty tired of people justifying players getting big pay because some big exec does. A tennis player has absolutely no social responsibility.

A CEO (a responsible one) on the other hand, answers to the Board of Directors, the shareholders, the employees and the market. They have the responsibility for making decisions that affect hundreds to potentially millions of people.

This two wrongs make a right thing doesn’t fly. It’s only a matter of time before there’s a huge PED scandal in tennis. It’s coming. When it does, you can use your exec analogies to rationalize why your favorite player did what he/she did. Money is the ultimate corrupter. Someone better start getting this nonsense under control. I no one actually will because the inmates run the asylum.

It’s time for people (parents, players, sponsors etc.) to smarten up. Until then, let players who are paid like god, act like gods. Quit the complaining and play when you’re scheduled to play.

Polo Says:

Yeah, like all the CEOs deserve all the salary and bonuses they get. At least these sportsmen get me entertained.

M Says:

@Polo – back when Roger *did* used to win everything, people would complain that tennis was boring.

We can’t have everything.

Steve 27 Says:

Because there was not competition.

skeezer Says:

^those “people” didn’t know anything about tennis. Roger brought electricity, elegance, grace, variety, and shotmaking like no other before him. In addition, he brought tennis to the next level with Novak, Murray and Rafa.
Boring? Ask fans about the “Sampras” era…….that was boring! If it wasn’t for Agassi, tennis would have died a slow death for sure then….

skeezer Says:

Love how most everyone is pissing on Fed nowadays. Done? We’ll see. But whatever happens you can’t piss on the number 17. Yes 17. And the variety of how he got them.

Read it, imprint it, it’s the most important number in tennis. Fed is enjoying his family, his cow, and his trailer of trophies. He doesn’t have to have any more. EVERYONE else is chasing.

He is past his prime, shouldn’t be relevant, after all, he is a “has been”.

Every player will become a “has been”, question is, what will they have left?

skeezer Says:

Ok Now the neophites are saying there was no competition. LMAO, WTF? Ever thought of maybe he was so far above the competition that “competition” didn’t matter? Hewitt, Safin, Agassi, Sampras, etc…how many Slams did they win? Even in this generation Fed has won Slam finals over Nole, Rafa and Murray. Who is really your Daddy?
You types need a tennis lesson….

Humble Rafa Says:

You types need a tennis lesson….

I am in the business of teaching on courts. First you become a better player, then you become an owner. Then you are goat and goat owner. It’s a process, not a lesson.

Michael Says:

Brando @ 8.06 am,

There are two ways of looking at it and what you say too makes sense. Imagine if Rafa manages to win Cincinnati too and that will be a real roller coaster ride. Has anybody won Toronto and Cincinnati back to back ??

skeezer Says:

Found a comedy job yet? Please share…

Steve 27 Says:

. Has anybody won Toronto and Cincinnati back to back ??
agassi in 1995
Rafter 1998
Roddick 2003
Also, Rafter and Roddick won the US Open the same year they won those Masters.

grendel Says:

@skeezer 10.55 – I don’t know whether you are including my posts just above yours in your angry defence of Federer. I perhaps wasn’t entirely clear, but I alluded to a “perception” of Federer being in general decline whilst, perhaps cowardly, standing on the fence myself. I really don’t know apart from the obvious fact that he is not as good as he was. That doesn’t mean he won’t pull off some startling successes. Timing is all, I guess.

Steve 27 Says:

Time is running.

Steve 27 Says:

Time is running.

Steve 27 Says:

Enormous interview of Toni Nadal about everything you can imagine.
In spanish, of course:

Michael Says:

Thanks Steve for the information. So for over a decade, nobody has managed to do it. This time, Rafa may have a chance to achieve that feat. Let us see what unfolds.

Steve 27 Says:

Toni, about Safin:
A good tennis player, with good potential, it needed a little more balance in his game and life a little more organized in order to win more titles. I think it had more potential than their titles attest, won two Grand Slam, the U.S. Open and the Open de Australia, but I think he could retire with more. It is also true that had knee problems.

nadalista Says:

Interesting read:

“Watching Novak Djokovic play at the peak of his powers, it’s difficult to conceive of how he can be beaten.”

“Of “the Big Four” superstars of the past 10 years of tennis, Federer is the most admired, Djokovic the most feared, Murray the most worthy of grudging respect. But Nadal is the most loved.”

Am sure fans of the other big 4 have their own opinions on the latter quote from the article.

Tennis x Hippy Chic Says:

As a Rafa fan this was indeed quite a sweet victory,Novak beat Rafa at Monte Carlo on Rafas best surface,and Rafa retuned the favour by beating Nole on his best surface,sorry to the lovely Nole fans,including the abscent friends,Rafa winning another HC title was fabulous too,and i hope this puts to bed the notion that hes merely a CC specialist(although i doubt it very much unfortunatly),have to say that the Rafa/Novak match was indeed the final,pretty much like at RG,the finals in both cases were damp squibs,sorry it took me so long to post,but ive been having alot of problems with this computer.

gonzalowski Says:

Steve 27, thanks for the Toni Nadal article.

I have have translated some sentences of Toni’s interview. Sorry for the non-pro translation.

“Rafael is probably the player who more matches wins by playing bad: that’s good because of knowing how to face adversity, but the bad side is that he plays bad many times.”

“When we arrive Roland Garros I know that Rafael gets nervous during the first days, then the previous chat is to get out drama.”

“…In considering serve-volleying, is not acceptable to maintain the net 1 meter high; when tennis was created, people was 1’70 m. tall. Today they are 2m. tall, plus magnitude, plus material that allows hitting much harder. Then, modifications in the game should be done.”

“Rafael’s most painful defeats are, IMO, AO final against Djokovic, beacause he was so close of winning. The one against Soderling, because of it’s meaning; and then 2007 of Wimbledon.”

“In general, when one player plays against Rafael on clay, many times they don’t fight as needed. Same thing with Murray, Djokovic, Ferrer, DelPo… I think is a consecuence of this society in which we aren’t so used to fight like before. And statistics demonstrate it; For example, The stay since 2008 almost the same Top Ten (…) I think the young people that should have got into, they don’t have fought as needed.”

Tennis x Hippy Chic Says:

Nice set of posts here, thanks to Brando for the stats on Rafas achievements,when Dave was posting although i did enjoy his posts,as he is a very clever and knowledgeable man,backing up his posts with alot of research,he always did it from a Fed fan perspective and point of view,and although dont get me wrong as theres nothing wrong in that ,its great when you also here of other players achievements too.

Alex Says:

Of “the Big Four” superstars of the past 10 years of tennis…


On which bubblegum planet is Murray one of the four Tennis Superstars of the last 10 years!

Never seen a player do so little and get so much praise, just because his British?

Listening to some commentators, one cant help but think they have no idea that Tennis existed before Murray. The guy won his first Slam at the end of last year for petes sake!

10 Years! Ohhh the stupidity, it hurts.

Murray would not win 1 slam facing Nadal(Clay), Djokovic(AO) or Fed(Wimb,NY) in there prime(on there preferred surfaces).

Which puts Murray where exactly?

Yes hes done great things of late but this ridiculous behavior from the media has to stop lol.

Tennislover Says:

Alex – you are being a bit harsh on Murray. He may not have achieved as much as the other three but, in terms of sheer talent and ability to reach great heights albeit not very frequently, I think he is right up there.

Tennis x Hippy Chic Says:

Tennislover i completely agree,if Murray were to retain the USO then he would have had the best year of all the top players,Rafa has had an amazing year so far,but GS is what your season is measured upon,however he is in new territory by having to try to defend a GS for the 1st time,it will be interesting to see how he now deals with that pressure?

Nadalista Says:

@Tennislover 7:21 am


So Murray wouldn’t win a clay slam facing Nadal, who would? Please, nearly there (but for a netcord) Djokovic does not count. Don’t be so sure Djokovic is safe from Rafa or Murray at Australian Open, even Fed is a threat I tell you. Do you really want Fed facing Murray at Wimby now? With the roof on Fed can pull it off, but outdoors?

Alex Says:


“Do you really want Fed facing Murray at Wimby now? With the roof on Fed can pull it off, but outdoors?”

Probably not, that’s why I mentioned Fed being in his prime.

Fed at 31 still beat Murray, lets not forget Fed had just taken the 2nd set and had the momentum when the roof closed. So there is no way anyone can pretend like Murray would of taken it had the roof been open: post-second set.

Now if a prime Fed where to face Murray, lol.


Yes perhaps I was being a little harsh on Murray and I apologize for that, just think its an insult to alot of good players to proclaim Murray as one of four Superstars over the last 10 years.

Last two years…Yes.

Though 10 years is pushing it a bit don’t you think?

Sorry, to me it just sounds kinda ludicrous, bunching Murray together with Fedal and Djoker.

They have been consistently winning slams for years and years. Murray only just won his first less than a year ago. So what has Murray exactly done pre-USO2012 to give him the credentials as one of the top 4(over 10years)?

From 2003 to 2011 Murray didn’t win 1 slam. Its nonsensical it is.

If a boxer comes around and knocks out Floyd Mayweather(at the tail end of his career) you’re not gonna proclaim him one of the best boxers in the last 10 years are you?

I have nothing against Murray, just think people should keep a bit of perspective here.

the DA Says:

@ Alex – With all due respect, you’re responding to the opinion of one writer on some obscure website. It’s not people or the media, just one guy. And yes, 10 years is too much – perhaps the last 5 years (from his first slam final) would be more reasonable.

the DA Says:

Youzhny is driving Gulbis nuts with his slices and sudden injections of pace. He leads 7-5 3-1. Ernie’s comments to his box are priceless: “I’m doing what you told me to and look!!” hehe

Alex Says:

@the DA

“10 years is too much”

Indeed you are right. Ill go with five also then.

“the opinion of one writer ”

Completely true-just one guy saying it.
Others might not have mentioned “10 years”. Ive heard meany commentators mentioning Murray as an all time great though, heaping on the praise before and after he won his first slam in a manner that just seemed a bit unrealistic.
Which is probably what prompted me to respond in the first place. I mean, calling Murray an all time great and such things…let the guy try get there first.

Jaysta Says:

I consider myself a Nadal fan but I think Murray is already a current tennis great, if not yet an all-time great. Besides maybe the French Open, in the last half-decade, his results have been ridiculously consistent at the majors. Sure, he has won just 2 slams as of yet, but I think he will win many more. Even if Nadal somehow manages to get through to the final here at Cincy (highly unlikely), I still think Djokovic and Murray are the co-favorites at the US Open. They are simply the best hard court players currently.

grendel Says:

“Now if a prime Fed where to face Murray, lol.”

Plenty of people beat Federer in his prime, and I see no reason whatever why Murray shouldn’t have done.

Alex Says:

“Plenty of people beat Federer in his prime, and I see no reason whatever why Murray shouldn’t have done.”

Well you tell me, why did Murray have to wait till Federer was an old man(by tennis standards)before he could beat him in a slam?

To say Murray the pusher could beat aggressive Fed at Wimby (in his prime) is a bit unrealistic, no?

Yes its very likely now, but even at 31 Federer still got the Win.

Just my opinion.

James Says:

Nadal on his rivalry with Federer and what it means for him to be competing again after seven months off ATP tour.

grendel Says:

Hi, Alex – what does “Murray the pusher” mean? Sounds like abuse as substitute for argument.

Why did it take a while for Murray to beat Federer in a slam? You attribute this to Federer’s “old age”. That is possible, though not likely in my view. Partly Murray was a late developer, partly he was overawed, his British heritage (in terms of tennis) not helping him much.

Murray’s record against Federer 2008 and 2009 was good enough to suggest that he certainly had the ability to beat him in a slam at that time, if not the emotional maturity.

Furthermore, it is not clear to everyone when Federer played his best tennis. Some commentators believe it is, on occasion at least, fairly recently, Federer having been obliged to evolve his tennis in the face of the threats posed by precisely players like Murray and others. I believe Federer views the matter that way.

I think, anyway, this idea of trying to transpose a player of today into even the recent past is pretty bogus – the differing conditions and opposition, it doesn’t add up.

And finally, as Baghdatis was perhaps the first to say, “anybody can beat anybody”. He didn’t mean everyone was the same, but he was making a valid point. Some great players are consistent – noone was more consistent than Federer – and some much less so. But one great player can often enough beat another great player (who is generally more successful) on his day.

the DA Says:

“To say Murray the pusher”

Oh dear….

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