Federer vs Nadal Live Chatting Australian Open 2014

Hey guys. I’ve been extremely busy here in Thailand. I am catching a little tennis here and there but no chance for posting. I see you guys have been commenting quite a bit so I am creating this post for you to live comment during the upcoming Fedal semi in Melbourne. I have been impressed with Roger and he has looked much more calm since Edberg joined him. But he has to beat Nadal at a slam I feel. I think this is a crucial match for Roger. Should Nadal win, the head-to-head domination just increases and he will probably complete the second career slam. Roger must stop this from happening and try to win his 18th slam. This is massive in the GOAT debate. We have seen what usually happens when these two face off in an important match, but there are a few things in Roger’s favor this time:

  1. Coach Edberg.
  2. Faster courts in Melbourne.
  3. Nadal’s hand blister.

Roger has to make these things count or Nadal’s domination of him will be complete and he will surpass him in the slam count and in overall greatness.

Good luck to Fed!

 Ps. Feel free to comment before and after the match too.

Posted in Uncategorized.

385 Comments

  1. that was awesome. .. the way stan played the first set and a half even before nadal’s injury, he could have gone and win either way. Well deserved victory I think. Is that the formula to beat him then with a single handed bh? Might be…

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  2. Tennis gods are making fun of mortal tennis fans. They decided that Roger deserve another chance to become the third man to win all 4 GS singles titles at least twice if he wins RG this year ;-)

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  3. Wawrinka start was amazing, no doubt about it. He seemed to be a hurricane. Nadal was hampered by a bad start. He does not seem to improve on this. He often commits a lot of UE at the beginning of the game until he settles down. I don’t think that worries him that much as he believes he will build up his dominance little by little. In a 5-setter against a player that he’s always beaten the only thing he could concentrate on is being solid in his game. The injury came at the time when he should react and take over. I don’t think Stan had any chance in the long run against a fit Rafa. But these things happen, luck was against him in the big stage, and that’s sad. I see a lot of people cheering Nadal’s injuries and wishing him horrible things but that kind of shows the morals of the some of the Fed crowd. By the way, Stan and Nadal are great friends, as Fededer and Nadal are too, doesn’t that say something? They know and like the man personally, isn’t that a slap in the face to all the haters?

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    Michel Reply:

    If you don’t like “Fed crowd” why don’t you stay away of it ? I know you are in great pain now, a thai massage could help you a lot, if this doesn’t help take a few aspyrins and drink lots of fluids.

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    Joakim Reply:

    I am quite relaxed, Michel. Rafa is on the right track, he does not show any signs of decline, he’s got plenty of time left, he made Federer’s face turn pale once more, he played an excellent tournament and he was unlucky to get an injury. Nothing to worry about. Thirteen slams at 27. RG is next.

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    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Joakim, we “Roger fans” talk like this because Rafa deserves it.
    And… have you seen or read how Rafa fans react to Roger when he loses to Rafa?? Screaming 23-10, 9-2, calling him Rafa’s b*tch and that Rafa owns him. How are those fans??

    Lets be real here. Stan would have won anyway. He was up a set and a break. If he would have won the second set the normal way (without Rafa’s injury) he would be in the zone and win the 3rd or 4th anyway. And this talk about if it would go to 5 Rafa would win, that is not true. Stan defeated Novak in the 5th set. Just to be honest, if Rafa would have lost, I would have taken my hat off for him by saying, well done. But… this??? How he acted??? If Stan was doing all this, would Rafa have stayed quite? Why did the umpire not call him up on it? I don’t mind him losing that much, but with the way he was acting, he took the spot away from Stan.

    If Rafa fans say that Roger took away Rafa’s moment by crying at AO 2009, what did Rafa do today??? For me he did exactly the same thing, even worse. That is why he was booyed when he came back after the medical timeout. People are not stupid you know. They know his tantrums. Even the commentators on BBC asked why the umpire was not calling him up on it. All that was missing was a bathroombreak.

    But that is all over now. Stan did not fell for it and won. Great gentleman.

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    Chris Reply:

    Faking injuries and other forms of gamesmanship often witnessed from Nadal make me a) believe he is willing to dope in order to win if he can get away with it, and b) not believe in the seriousness of his injuries, which I think are greatly exaggerated. This does not mean that I wish him bad things or that I celebrate his real injuries. Actually I feel really sorry for him to have such a horrible blister that a med team has to fly from Spain to Australia to give him an emergency treatment!

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    steve Reply:

    This is Stan’s big night. Why do you insist on ruining it? Can Nadal fans not give credit to other players? You certainly whine enough about it when you think Federer’s fans don’t give Nadal credit.

    I don’t cheer Nadal’s “injuries”; I doubt he’s genuinely injured. Big difference.

    By now, Nadal is so well trained by Uncle Toni that he may even believe he’s injured when he starts losing. He’s a colossal faker and a fraud, so weak-minded that he doesn’t even know what’s going on with his own body.

    Nadal and his fans are like spoiled children who scream hysterically and throw their toys around the room when they’re forced to take their medicine. Nadal deserved a spanking for his behavior, and this time he got it. He has zero right to cry after the shameless way in which he behaved.

    The booing fans knew what Nadal was doing, and they didn’t like it one bit.

    Anyhow, that’s more than enough about the loser. Congrats to Wawrinka for being classy and rising above it all and playing fearless tennis to capture his first major. Finally, he has his chance to shine. In addition to being world #3, he’s Swiss #1 now! And without having to face off against Federer for the title, which would have been a very hard situation for both of them.

    Hope he can keep it up.

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    Chris Reply:

    Stan was elected ‘Swiss of the Year 2013’ before winning a Grand Slam, imagine how popular he is now! And denying Nadal a historic win by taking revenge for Federer is making this an incredibly sweet moment in Swiss sports history. I’m actually glad that it was not an all-Swiss final after all. And Roger must be incredibly happy for Stan. And hearing how many fans were booing the Spaniard for being a ‘drama queen’, it seems that people are becoming aware of what sort of competitor he is. Allez les Suisses!

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  4. Stan would have won by the way he was playing tonite, injury or no injury from Nadal. Stop making excuses. Why even Rafael fans get caught up in the excuse that no one win against a healthy Rafael. Stan played out of his mind was confident and clutch n Nadal knows there was nothing he cud do about it. Whether he faked the injury or not didn’t make any difference. In fact for Stan to win it after all that drama proved beyond a doubt that he would have won it either way. He proved himself a double champion – 1)outplaying and winning Nadal the player and 2)standing strong and clutch it out against Nadal the wimp. But then Nadal has to win something doesn’t he? See how veteran he was in taking away the moment/credit from Stan at the prize giving ceremony. And all those ppl who accuse roger of taking nadals moment in AO 2009!!! All the “talk”‘ the “sympathy” is on Nadal now, the commentators, the fans, etc. Well, Nadal has sure done well, he has won the prize for the best drama queen of this decade snatching it away from Nole! Not saying nadals injury is not genuine but common man up! Did he have to look so pitiful, making it so obvious proclaiming to the whole world that he was injured and it was not an even match? When roger played Andy in Shanghai years ago, he was struggling with lower back injury n got rubbed on court like Nadal did tonite. Difference was roger was class n professional enough not “proclaiming”it in his demeanor, in his play. He MANNED up and played like he was not injured in every single point fighting back break point again n again!! So Nadal, if you care for your great reputation as a fair n professional and thoroughly deserving champion, please man up n say you lost it completely tonite. Any tennis fan who watched the match tonight know that Stan won this match in straights; the 3rd set was just a distraction.

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    rich Reply:

    You said it, girl!

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    Rogiee Yang Reply:

    Agree 100 percent! I love the way Stan fussed about Nadal’s timeout every match. With or without injury, Nadal’s time delay is just too much. It has clearly disrupted the game of Nadal’s opponents. His rituals before service games like butt picking etc. were mostly absent in the second set. The way he acted on the court was like part of the whole Nadal drama. I wish him well if he is truly injured. But Stan deserves this win. Stan, you are truly my avenger!

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  5. Btw folks, when Stan broke Nadal in 2nd set, I was thinking to myself, ” surely now is the time for Nadal to call a time out”! and he really did!! Right on cue!!!! I COULDNT believe it!!! I almost choked from my burger! Right on cue, man! Right on cue! Again, I’m not saying his injury is fake, I’m giving him the benefit of a doubt but does he have to be so predictable?! I don’t know Nadal. You are truly one of a kind. Gotta catch some sleep now. What a glorious completely exhausting AO! And AO sure lived up to its reputation of producing unpredictable champs. Congrats Stan! And what a humble man! Hey! Rafael! If you want to learn a lesson or two of what humility really means, just look at Stan. Humblest player in ATP together with Delpo. Gudnite sweet dreams everyone. I wud be dreaming of Swiss cheeses tonite. Haha! Btw, congrats chris! You must be so proud of your both your countrymen!!

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    jason Reply:

    Funny I had the same feeling too, Veronica. To say the least, it is downright bizarre to see the service motion completely different after the break — after being broken previously.

    Some questions to ponder:

    1. If he did get injured, when did it happen?
    a) Before the match? If this is the case, he should be ailing since the get-go.
    b) During the match? If this is the case, we can look at the crucial indicator: the service motion. Service motions at the point he got broken and after he took the overtime break are totally different. No jump sequence at all for the serve motion after the break. Did he do a move causing the injury? If he did, replays would’ve very likely caught it.

    2. If he didn’t actually get injured… well this will be even more bizarre. He just did that to mess with the mortal Stan’s mind? Or is it to find an excuse that he couldn’t find an answer to Stan’s big groundies — in other words, he accepted the loss but did not accept that the opponent beat his full-self? So, he must become only half of his full-self, and only then he can allow himself to be defeated by a non-big four at a GS final. Either one, it implies something totally disturbing about himself.

    Coincidences like these are very, very unlikely to happen unless it is purposeful. I guess this will become one of the bizarre GS finals.

    Now onto Stan, we must admire his struggles and his total commitment to tennis. The guy just loves tennis so much, as his fellow Swiss.

    For those of you never hearing this, he separated from his wife for a while…because he wanted to totally devote his energy to tennis. He eventually reconciled. And this is a fairy tale achievement for him. Congratulations, Stan!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I think you are probably reading too much into this Jason. He got injured so his service motion changed because of the injury. Or did I miss something?

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Glorious indeed Veronica. Fed surprised us all and then Stan did him one better. But the most glorious of all is that Nadal did not complete the second career slam. Fed still very much the GOAT of the open era :D

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    Babel Reply:

    Hey Ruan, long time :-)

    I actually don’t think that the preservation of Roger’s legacy is the big story of this AO. Come May, Nadal will equal Sampras’s tally and my money is on him surpassing Roger’s tally eventually. Personally, I got my wish – a grand slam champion not called Djokovic, Nadal, Federer or Murray. It’s great for tennis to have more grand slam champions than these guys even though homogenization of tennis has kept this from happening as much as it did in the past.

    This AO was, I hope, the arrival of a new Stan Wawrinka, a man who plays a fearless, powerful brand of tennis that is pleasing to the eye. A man who now believes in his ability to beat the best. A man who put away Nadal’s moonballs away with disdain on one of the slowest hard courts you’ll find.

    As for Roger, he showed that he’s very much on his game in his “old age” and he might have been far more successful at this stage in his career if it weren’t for some negative externalities. Whatever happens, I hope he retires like Kallis – on his own terms and on a high. Even if he doesn’t, it’s been a brilliant career.

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  6. Wow!!!? In my wildest dreams, I did not expect this! Stan The MAN, Iron STAN has avenged Roger Federer and prevented Nadal from becoming the GOAT! No number #14! No Double Grand Slam! No handing the trophy from Pete Sampras! For Nadal this is a Crushing Blow and for Wawrinka – the greatest day of his life and the greatest achievement of his career! ;-) )

    LOL LOL!

    PS: Suck on it, Rafa fans! You had the greatest opportunity in your life to become the greatest and God said: “No!”

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    Katyani Reply:

    Think Rafa will take a 7 month injury break??

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    jason Reply:

    Hahaha… is it “injury break” or “silent ban”? But here’s what might become freaky: what if he took 7 month injury break and he became an even more advanced roid. Super-roid might be able to win a calendar slam.

    These things evolve quickly while the procedures to detect them grow more slowly…and perhaps even if they grow at the same pace, there is no incentive to expose one of the top athlete — the big money thing. Troicki, Koellerer, and Cilic are small enough not to cause quakes to the sport, but I doubt Nadal is.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Lol!

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  7. Vily, too funny. Stan, you were amazing. This nastiness goes both ways, cause I see the Nadal fans being horrible to Roger, so I do have a feel of vengeance, that was totally unexpected. I gave Stan about a 20% chance to win, and had to look at the TV set a few times to make sure I wasn’t seeing things incorrectly. Much to my surprise, he pulled it off. I think he was in such shock, his celebration was similar to Murray winning his first slam. Nadal has 3 guys who can beat him, and his competition is no longer just Federer. You’ve got Novak, Murray, and now Wawrinka in the mix. Come on Delpo, and Dimitrov. Is it possible that when playing, and falling behind, your mind actually tells you that you are hurt? Just perplexes me on the injuries, are always the excuse. Who knows. Well, I’m a happy camper today, and yes, I enjoy anyone kicking Nadals butt. Good on ya mate. G

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  8. This I have to say. Kudos to Novak’s team. Last year when Stan totally outplayed Novak in the first set of AO, Novak looked up to his team and Marion Vajda made a comment like, come on. Nothing out of the ordinairy, just simple giving him hope.
    Today Rafa looked up at the Great Uncle Toni when Stan was outplaying him (he even at one point hit his racquet out of frustration, something he never does). When he looked at Uncle Toni, he said something like, go on, he will not keep this up. They showed his face that moment and even the commentator said it too. Now that is the strenght of the uncle/nephew-team. Just waiting till the opponent gets tired, makes mistakes, because except Rafa no one can keep this up.
    So glad Stan won. Today really is ALL about Stan. I think if Rafa will watch the match from start to finish (even the way he walked to his dressroom), he himself would feel ashamed of his actions. Rafa lost some neutral fans today and Stan gained I think millions of fans today.

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  9. Gollum (Nadal): “We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious trophy !! They stole it from us. Sneaky little swiss hobbitses. Wicked, tricksy, false ! How dare you ? I’ll cut your throat next time..grrr…mrrr…ouuch… my back”

    (behind the scenes of AO 2014)

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    Atithi Reply:

    With the head getting bald day by day, Nadal really looks like. the muscular Gollum after his matches. No offense intended.

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  10. This is SO FITTING! It was Rafa who stopped Federer from getting his 14 GS at AO in 2009 and made him cry.

    Today, the 14 GS for Nadal was denied by a Swiss at the very same venue and made him cry!

    Ruan has always maintained that evil will ultimately subjected to Justice. And this is exactly what happened today.

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  11. I don’t get it. Just two days ago this same Nadal completely trashed a Federer who was riding on a wave of confidence having played some of his best tennis in the previous matches. And today Nadal plays such a poor match by his own standards, against a player he never even lost a set before. Doesn’t make any sense to me.

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    jason Reply:

    Possible reasons:
    1. The “mean reversion” thing I wrote before in this comment section above.

    2. The juice may have run its course and to take more dose would be pushing too much and risking getting caught a la Ben Johnson.

    3. Read this article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/tennis/article-2449179/Rafael-Nadal-How-broken-star-rebuilt.html
    So if a juice makes a player feel 30kg lighter, the body may have exceeded its limits and subsequently break down. There’s a reason fat people feel it’s hard to move, that’s because the body is telling it can only do so much with the weight. Same analogy with the juice.

    4. He just had a bad day.

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    rahan Reply:

    I also don’t get it.

    Can somebody please explain me the difference between RF backhand and Wawrinka’s ?

    Why Stan FH can cope with Nadal forehand and RF no ?

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  12. I am very happy for Wawrinka.
    I think Djokovic will win to Nadal in Roland Garros 2014
    I think Federer will win Wimbledon 2014.
    I can say Federer played almost the whole year last year with an injured back, which noticeably affected his play, however during those months of matches, he never once showed a pain face, he never once put his face into a towel…he kept playing, always, no matter what. This is a great difference with Nadal.

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  13. Well done to Stan. I only woke up to see him upset with the umpire after the medical timeout and I couldn’t believe he had taken the first set. But he has the depth of shot and heaviness that I don’t even think Federer has. His backhand is manifestly better and more reliable. Not sure why – does he hit it flatter? better preparation? He certainly seems more physically stronger than Fed.

    Was it gamesmanship? Well clearly Nadal was injured and stopped moving for the 2nd set. My guess it was the painkillers kicking in, since by the 3rd he was hitting better again. Yes, Wawrinka was affected by the situation and played a lousy 3rd set – who can blame the guy?

    As many others here have said, I don’t wish an injury to Nadal. It just mades me sick that he rarely just loses straight up. There’s always something, always a doubt, an asterisk next to his opponent’s victory. ‘Stan wins, but…’ read the headlines. The exception to this is losses to Djokovic.

    Also I would add it is VERY hard to play a slow-ball player. Imagine you have 10000 people or whatever holding their breath while you have the all the time to pummel the ball. Errors will be made on easy put aways, leading to discouragement and worse play. I have seen Nadal do it many times to Federer, as you all have. Easy volleys and forehands sail wide, despite all the hard work he did to get himself on top of the point.

    Whoever said it above: yes, Magnus Norman is a great coach. Instead of taking Stan’s loss last year to Djokovic as a negative they used it and he improved from then onwards. Let’s hope its’ a Swedish thing on Swiss players…

    I feel more positive now about the coming season. Federer has slipped to 8th, but he has a lot of points to gain after Dubai (made semifinals last year, losing a stupid 3 setter to Berdych). If the Federer we saw vs Murray shows up in March and again in July and August, he will be gaining a lot of points back.

    I think a realistic ambition might be No. 4,5 by the end of the year. But anyway tennis is full of surprises, and that’s a good thing sometimes :-)

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  14. Hey guys, it has been a few hours since Iron Stan (love that name) won. And now that I am more calmer, I have to be honest about one thing.
    I am going to give Rafa the benefit of the doubt. He has always had kneeproblems, footproblems, legproblems, but to my knowledge never backproblems. So when it happened, he could not really handle that kind of pain I think. I did see a tape on his back. Serena and Novak have lower backproblems, Andy and of course Roger have always had backproblems so they know how to keep playing with it. I don’t think Rafa knew how much it hurts. (Maybe he should tell it to the Great Uncle Toni so that he can lay off Roger).
    So I will give him that, he was injured. Does not mean for a second that Stan did not deserve to win. If Rafa was not injured, Stan would still have won in 3 or 4. He would have won the 2nd set anyway and would have been in the zone.
    And even if I give Rafa the benefit of the doubt, that does not mean that he is off the hook for the way he behaved. That was serious gamesmanship.
    He could learn to act better by watching Stan, Novak to an extend and of course Roger….

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  15. Hey guys, I am getting a 2009-vibe…..
    Roger losing a heartbreaking AO against Rafa after playing a whole tour great… Mirka also beeing pregnant…. I think one RG and one Wimby title coming up !!! No unfair or unreal expectations, but something is in the air.
    Rafa will not win RG. This loss today really shook him up.
    RG will be between Roger and Novak. Both going for history. Roger trying to be the first in open era to win all slams twice and Novak trying to win all slams atleast once.
    Wimby will be between Andy and Roger where Roger will win. USO will be between Andy and Novak where I think Andy will win…
    I love making predictions !!!

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    rahan Reply:

    and I love your predictions :-)

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    Katyani Reply:

    Thank you Rahan !!! Let me hope it comes true !!!

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    rahan Reply:

    Amen !

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  16. I said before the match that Nadal puts on the best injury side-show in sports. I had no idea that it was to become centre-stage. I have never seen such a speactacle as when a player – the favorite – is being solidly outplayed by his underdog rival and then suddenly leaves the court, without explanation, and returns some considerable time later – also without explanation – while leaving his opponent baffled as to what is going on, and then proceeds to resume the contest in all kinds of manner of theatrical mime; dramatic grimaces to signify injury of some sort, exaggeratedly patsied serves like those of a 13-year old girl (and yet occasional groundstrokes still struck with formidable power and accuracy), and then surging towards some gradual but apparent semi-recovery before his confused opponent finally gathers his wits and puts an end to this farce. I have no idea how injured Nadal was but was all of this “show” necessary to convince spectators that he wasn’t really losing after all, because he couldn’t play at his best? Or was it to convince Nadal himself? Was the greatest injury indeed to his mind, not his back? What we do know for a fact was that Stan was outplaying Nadal before the injury break came – and spectacularly so. The quality of his play you might say ultimately contributed to or lead to Nadal’s injury. Without the injury the outcome still would have defintely been in doubt for Nadal. Stan showed that in his efforts earlier in the tournament and against Djokovic in particular. He was not going to be a pushover for Nadal. (Although we are now hearing from Nadal’s camp that he injured himself before the final. Shades of Serena and her “back injury”.) But in the end it becomes Stan’s moment of triumph and history will ultimately only record his name on the Norman Brookes trophy, not what lead up to it being there. No asterisk. In Nadal’s moment of misfortune it would be mean-minded not to wish him well in his recovery, but of course he has previously shown we have no need to fear for him on that account.

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    Gargantouas Reply:

    Great analysis as always Rich. Unfortunately, most people fell for it and instead of praising Stan, they wish Rafa quick recovery. Maybe back injuries are contagious and Nadal got it from Roger when they shook hands in the semifinal?

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    rich Reply:

    Nice one! (Although I am sure “Dr” Ron Washington will come up with the full medical explanation.)

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    Karthi Reply:

    Totally Agree with you Rich..its nauseating to read about the sportsmanship displayed by Nadal in not retiring and playing through pain…Bah..Thank God Stan regrouped himself and won this, else this would have been woven into a fairytale comeback, about how great a recovery that was made, mind boggling perseverance, grit and all crap, none of which is even 0.1% true… I would like to take a list of all his important losses and see how many of them do not have an “injury” asterisk next to them… I bet it wouldn’t be much if any at all…. Its truly surprising and frustrating to keep seeing all this farce.. Surprising cuz not many seem to dare ask the common sense questions that are begged to be asked.. Or Maybe I am wrong.. maybe we do have a “fragile” champion in our midst held together by miraculous bandages & medicines…The “Mummy” Nadal..

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    Chris Reply:

    Great summary of the spectacle, Rich! In hindsight, what I enjoyed the most was to hear Stan complaining with the Referee while being broadcasted worldwide: “I have a right to know what is going on here! Nadal does this all the time when an opponent gets the better of him! I want to know why he just walks off court!” This was his first major final ever, and he had the balls to expose the gamesmanship of Nadal in front of everybody. Chapeau Stan! You spoke on behalf of many people being tired of Nadals’ show business, and the booing of Nadal by the spectators was showing that very clearly

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    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Chris, at that moment I had so much respect for Stan. The commentators on BBC were saying that Stan had no right to know, but I thought he did. If an opponent leaves the court and you don’t know why, and it is the GS final and your first one, then yes, you do have a right to know.
    I do believe Rafa was injured, but there was no need to act like a drama queen. Makes you want to respect Roger a million times over again, because he suffers in silence and does not want to broadcast it. Respect Roger !!!
    But, so great of Stan. He hung on. No mental relapse in the 4th. So deserved.
    GO STAN !!! Hope you win another GS (well, to be honest, atleast as long as Roger is not your opponent, because, sorry Stan, but then I will be rooting for Roger !!!).

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    rahan Reply:

    Did he actually asked the question:

    “I have a right to know what is going on here! Nadal does this all the time when an opponent gets the better of him! I want to know why he just walks off court!”

    ???

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  17. Rightly said Rich. I just want to remind that a similar tantrum at the Wimbledon 2010 while playing Petsneger(?) had succeeded to change momentum in favour of Nadal and Nadal went on to win the title. This time, however, his trick failed because of the strong mindset of Wawrinka. Of course, he got distracted and so committed a lot of uncharacteristic unforced errors. Thank God, he regrouped in time to send the greatest drama queen crashing. Really a sight to behold. And, by the way, the commentator was puzzled by the way Stan the Man was playing because he was saying that Wawrinka had forgotten that he was playing in the first Major Final. Interesting but true, isn’t it?

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  18. Some great comments here. I see you all rise up to the occasion.
    Anyway, can’t describe in words how happy I am myself with Stanislas Wawrinka’s win over Nadal.
    Stan may not float or dance on the court like Roger does, or may not have Roger’s incredible technical variety, but he surely proved when forced to stand toe to toe with the heaviest hitters of the tour, that he can beat them at their own game.
    Stan played some wonderful tennis, particularly in the first two sets, fearless going pound for pound with his one hander BH against the Nadal FH, punishing the Spanish bull time after time, to finally knock him down and knock him down hard. The end of the match reminds me a bit, Ruan, of Mohamed Ali’s picture you once added to one of your earlier posts back in 2009, which you subtitled with the ‘considerate’ comment “stay down, bitch!”.
    Nadal was indeed knocked down hard by the better player, and it will probably take him a lot of time to recover from it.
    For Stan conversely the gateway for more success has opened, and he’ll be a force to reckon with in the upcoming slams, starting with Roland Garros.
    And Switserland, this small federation in the heart of Europe, sure is living his “golden era” with players like Stan and Roger.
    What a wonderful world, isn’t it?

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    rich Reply:

    What I found particularly impressive, Wilfried, as you have described, is the way that Stan’s one-handed backhand stood up to Nadal’s cross-court forehand, and on occasion bested him. I saw him conclude a spectacular 22-shot rally with a down-the-line backhand winner against the Spaniard. Perhaps the one-hander has not been rendered obsolete just yet!

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    Chris Reply:

    Sweetest thing, a German newspaper goes to claim that Stan is German: http://www.bild.de/sport/mehr-sport/australian-open/die-deutsche-tennis-sensation-34406568.bild.html. Nothing better than having the big neighbor being jealous for the achievements of the small Cheese Country! But then, to all the stupid nationalists, both Federer and Wawrinka are ‘secondos’, one being half South-African, one half German. So they are a role model for many!

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    rahan Reply:

    I think that RF and Stan should seriously think to add a Davis Cup to their golden olympic medal.

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    Veronica Reply:

    I agree Rahan! Maybe just maybe roger can find the energy to put a Davis cup win together with Stan. Two slam winners playing at the same time for their country for Davis cup! Unheard of! And it just might make the other team a teeny weeny bit more nervous!! Hahaha!

    [Reply]

  19. Well, Nadal always wins doesn’t he? In victory and in losses. His “bravado” has taken center stage. Thank god Stan is just too humble and too happy to let it affect him. He is fully enjoying his moment although it may not have sunk in yet. Anyway, we move on. We don’t want to be caught in the sore loser’s childish and cowardly ways that are just unthinkable. Stan won and that was the all-important and what saved the day. The REAL victory was Nadal DID NOT get away from it this time, that he actually LOST to one of his turkeys!! Karma getting back to Nadal if you like. And that gives me such satisfaction – despite the victory being dimmed by the undue and undeserved attention given to Nadal. What I hope for is players would smarten up against Nadal and not allow him to rampantly use gamesmanship. I too was so proud of Stan and really admired him for being so strong and firm, standing up to nadal’s tricks. Real or fake, no one takes their own injuries to such a level as Nadal; and no one; but no one, knows how to turn injuries into advantages and use them for their own glory as Nadal does. Stan was so fierce insisting on his opinion to the umpire. It was good to see. Stan shouldn’t regret voicing his displeasure to the umpire. A lot of players would fizzle away given the pressure/gamesmanship that Nada employs. Thank god Stan collected himself in the end. It wasn’t easy for Stan because I think he felt really bad to have suspected Nadal when later he saw Nadal seemingly genuinely injured. And being the really humble and unassuming guy that Stan was and that he really liked Nadal, it was extremely hard for Stan to switch from being suspicious to sympathising with Nadal to feeling bad that he might have unjustly misjudged Nadal. And then to be able to get through all that confusing and tumultuous emotions and having to deal with his own nervousness, and losing rhythm and momentum, it was a MONUMENTAL mental effort for Stan to win the championship. If it had been Roger in the same place, I bet Roger would have lost it completely! Stan, therefore, to me, has proven to be a mental giant and what happened in this final can only serve to make him stronger. Therefore, also, for me, the 3rd set where Stan lost it is totally forgivable and given the drama, anyone would have lost it. Therefore, Stan didn’t choke in the 3rd set. Amidst such tension filled confusing drama, anyone would need a bit of time to collect themselves. What was important and key was Stan collected himself in time and won the match. He did the best he was capable of in the end. We couldn’t ask for more. I’m not sure Roger or even Nole , would have done better than Stan given the same circumstances. Therefore it’s all good. The celebration carries on. And yes, the single handed bh is very much alive provided it is strong. Stan with his strong and heavy strokes off both sides could stand up to Nadal. He was out hitting Nadal in the rallies. And isn’t that forehand such a weapon too?! Stan also has a very reliable and strong 1st serve. And What about the 2nd serve?! Anyone impressed?!! I am. Maybe the best second serve out there. Plus Stan plays aggressively and is fantastic at the net. It’s exciting to watch. It’s all coming together now for Stan. Bravo to Magnus who has helped/pushed Stan to realise his potential. Maiden slam final and he won it!!! Is he the first in tennis history to do that?There might be a let down for Stan in the next few months but what is most important is Stan has broken through this pivotal stage of matching the big guys, backing it up and pulling it through. Defeating both Nole and Nadal!! And Berdych! UNHEARD of in this day and age of the tennis machine revolution!!! What a story! We should be talking about this for a long long time! It would be very interesting to watch Stan play Roger now although I hope they don’t meet at all! Ha! Stan just may hit Roger off the court now! However I feel Roger can expose Stan’s movement like no other player can; although everything about Stan has improved including his movement. Congrats Stanimal!! And more of the same please!!!!

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    I cannot agree more Twin Sis. It is all about Karma. Life has to come back in full circle. I still hope Fed will get back all the French open finals lost against this doping machine and actually become a genuine Grand-Slam winner. I strongly believe that both ATP and ITF are equally responsible for letting Dull off the hook on many occasions for on-court rule violations. I am in fact ruing the fact that I didn’t watch this match live to watch the Drama Queen spectacle. I was driving and one of my friends (a tennis fan with not much knowledge about Dull-history) was reporting on the match to me at the instant where it was 2-0 in the second set; he was very excited to see that Stan had taken the first set and told me that doctors (trainers) are doing something to Dull who seemed to be in pain. I told him to be rest assured that this guy will come back strong even he loses the second set and it’s all part of his NOUTANKI (an Indian word in Hindi used for such drama in real life). I requested him to give me a ring back if somehow Stan manages to win. That is exactly what he did and now I awe my friend a big party!! About Stan being the first man to win the very first slam final in history, I know that both Roger and Dull have been successful in their very first grand slam finals. And Veronica, I still remember your comment the Melbourne heat “If you want to experience hell, come to Melbourne”. Well at the end, it turned out to be heaven for all Fed fans as hell broke loose for somebody. It is Karma again.

    [Reply]

    jason Reply:

    Agree largely with you, Jiten. Only if it is about karma, the roid just very barely had his retribution. A full retribution will be something in the lines of Ben Johnson or Lance Armstrong.

    People here are beginning to post the roid will be in downward trajectory from now on. However, I’m afraid he will use more advanced juice…becoming a super-roid. If the present roid could blow Djokovic off the court at the US Open, the super-roid will likely be able to win a calendar slam.

    The hope is that he’ll get caught before becoming a super-roid and running rampant…or the juice to create the super-roid incidentally breaks down his body. I will consider either of these two karma retribution for the roid. Less than this, it’s just some small, negligible retribution.

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Jiten, Rafa is a “Noutanki Sala” !!!
    Dramadal, Dramaqueen.
    Didn’t The Great Uncle Toni last year say that Roger’s backpain was not worse or as worse as Rafa’s kneeproblems???
    You see, Bhagwan (God) is always watching and does make people like that pay….

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Hey guys, I honestly believe that this loss has done more to Rafa than we know.
    Rafa is so used to losing to Novak, etc. But to Stan?? Someone who could not get a set in 12 matches? In a final everyone KNEW Rafa would win?? I saw him be bothered when he lost all the finals to Novak in 2011 en 2012. BUT THIS??? The way he acted like a dramaqueen and went away to the dressroom?? No, guys, Rafa cannot get over this. And he is STUCK. No way he can hold a pressconf and say, well, I am out for 7 months for an injurybreak. He cannot get away with that. He got himself in a circle he cannot escape from. Last year we all said that if Novak defeated the beast at RG, he would never recover. I actually think Stan has done that with this loss. Rafa lost 6 or 7 GS finals I think to Novak. He never cried. He did at AO. He knew this was his best chance. PEOPLE, EVEN RAFA IS GETTING OLDER….
    Do not think I am crazy, but Roger will win RG and Wimby. I honestly believe Stan has given him the believe that, yes, Rafa can be defeated. Even by Roger. So looking forward to RG and Wimby.

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    Well said Katyani. I have never seen this guy so heartbroken (hopefully no drama here) in a prize giving ceremony. Not even his 2007 loss to Fed in the Wimby final! This one really hurt. Well, Rafa didn’t lose 6 or 7 grand slam finals to Novak. 6 is Novak’s total grand slam count. So far Novak has defeated Rafa only in 3 grand slam finals (2011 Wimby and USO, 2012 AO). I am not sure about Roger, but other players would definitely take a cue from Stan’s racquet, particularly from the first set which was the key to his eventual success. In that set Stan delivered only 38% of his first serves. While he was serving for the set, he was already 0-40 down with not a single first serve in and even in the next three points that brought him to deuce, he was without a first serve in. For me this was the turning point of the match where Stan showed his mental fortitude by throwing three unreturnable second serves. Had Dull broken Stan back there, the match could have gone either way. COME ON ROG!! If Stan can do it, you can do it better.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Yes, Jiten, that was what I found so impressive. He couldn’t get first serves in and my heart was in my mouth, common Stan, what happen to your thunder serve when you were playing nole and berdych? But Stan won the set without much of a first serve and saved that game from 0 -40 I think, without a first serve!! Now how good was his second serve, how “terrifying” were his ground strokes, huh? and what mental fortitude! In a way I’m pissed with Nadal for getting injured because can you imagine how exciting a contest it could have been if ?! Btw, katyani, I agree that this match has done quite a big damage to Nadal. He knows time is running out to catch up with Rogers slam count and this final was a given. He should have, could have, whatever, but nobody could have envisaged the force of the stanimal! Nadal never cries, at least not in public. So the tears he displayed does seem to indicate he is a broken man and he may not know what to do now. He can’t take another sabbatical. It would be too suspicious. However, I would also not read too much into his tears and the touching vulnerability he showed. It can and may still be a part of the whole Rafael Nadal injury show. I wait and see what he does next before I draw a conclusion.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Yeah, AO live is always pretty difficult for many tennis fans; it’s on the other side of the globe, ha! It was some of the worst moments of my tennis watching life. I was almost hysterical screaming to my tv, ” why is nadal getting away with this?! Why is nobody doing anything about it?!” Here was a man getting away with murder and Stan was fuming mad and the umpire not helping at all. Although I was like cheering Stan on for calling Nadal out, another part of me was saying, “calm down, Stan! Calm down for heavens sake! Can’t you see this is exactly what nadal wants? To make you lose your cool?!!” The tension, bro, the tension! It was unbelievable! I was pacing up and down, my burger stuck in my throat and when Stan lost the 3rd set, I was like “OMG OMG have mercy!!!!!” Hahaha! Nadal really had no shame and zero respect for his opponent when he simply walked off the court. Boy! Stan was boiling mad; boiling! Watching the replays couldn’t capture half of the drama and tension that was really going on in that final on that night. Gosh, if Stan had lost it, he would have been scarred for life!!!! Hahahaha!! I had to take a day off. I’m still affected by it all and so tremendously happy for Stan!

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    Talking about Karma: there is a new Swiss #1, and what is the first thing he does in this position? Make Nadal cry in public as the loser of the Australian Open final, denying him the title in front of Sampras, Laver and the rest of the world! Nadal just came from thrasing Federer in another humiliating defeat, and was considered the winner already of the Australian Open. Sampras was there to pay him honor. We were just discussing whether Stan would even manage to win his first set against Nadal. Gosh, he outplayed him. Nadal tried to disrupt him by faking or overplaying an ‘injury’. Stan exposed him as the one who always does this when losing a match. Like we all thought, but Stan said it to the referee while being on air. Jeez, the spectators booed Nadal for this show. And commentators on all mainstream media are starting to accuse Nadal of gamesmanship. I just start to grasp what happened in Down Under. Guys, this is the start of the end of Nadal! He walked off court as a broken man. I would honestly feel sorry if I thought he was genuine, but thinking that he is another Armstrong, I can just say: Karma is a bitch, and she comes for you. This is stuff for a Hollywood movie, only that it’s real. Stantastic!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Guys what is all this talk about Nadal faking injury? To me it was clear that he was injured. Why else would he serve at half pace? There is no need to make this a Nadal bashing opportunity, unless I missed something. I think we have enough to be happy about not to make this into something critical. Why not celebrate what Roger and Stan achieved rather than put someone down who was injured?

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    The Boy Who Cried Wolf! You miss the moral of the story.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Fair enough. I just think the fact that he lost is bad enough for him and that it’s probably better for us to focus on the good stuff. But if it gets you guys off then go ahead. I won’t try to spoil your fun.

    [Reply]

    Wilfried Reply:

    Nadal wasn’t faking injury this time but that we only know in hindsight.
    At the moment itself Stan Wawrinka nor anyone else could know for sure what was going on with him, as Rafa has a history of taking questionable MTO’s.
    Agree with you though that we should focus on Wawrinka’s and Federer’s performance rather than be making fun of Nadal’s misfortune, for whom things went terribly wrong this time.

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    He sure didn’t look injured in the first set, yet his camp claims ‘it’ happened in the warm-up. He again did not look badly injured in the 3rd and 4th set when playing bh and fh with the usual power and accuracy. His serving like a 12 year old girl was an incredible contrast to how he kept playing in the rallies. Heck, he snapped the third set and took a rebreak in the forth. I don’t know about you, but I have had this kind of injury, and it does not just go away with 3min massage and some painkillers. I think it was one big nasty show. It was disrespectful to Stan. He now has won against the ‘injured’ Nadal, who was called a hero for playing on. I do celebrate Stan and I’m happy for Rogers good run, but I’m also very satisfied that Nadal does not always get away with it. What was it in this AO alone, stomach problem plus knee bandage plus blisters plus muscle spasms in the back? Doctors flying from Spain to Australia to treat his blisters?!

    [Reply]

    Rogiee Yang Reply:

    My sentiments exactly. People are finding it hard to believe Nadal even when he is telling the truth.

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    As we can see, it is hardly surprising that tennis fans are sceptical about Nadal’s injuries. Who else can you recall being resoundingly booed as they returned to court after an MTO? His injuries almost always occur at tactically convenient times, such as when his opponent is getting the better of him, and then these mysterious ailments disappear almost as quickly as they came. (Blisters, anyone?) I am amongst those who are baffled at how a lower back injury that clearly impeded his serve had no such similar effect on his groundstrokes (compare that with how Federer’s forehand absolutely disappeared with his lower back injury in his match against Malisse in Wimbledon ’12.) A core injury like a back injury you would think would inhibit every stroke. Rafa’s injuries don’t behave like other people’s injuries. Again, I am puzzled at how years of chronic knee injuries were cleared up in ’12 without ever requiring surgery, and he continues to play since his return without the slightest sign of discomfort on the surface most damaging to them. Still the same old knees, so why haven’t his problems returned, considering the enormous stress he imposes on those long-suffering joints? One thing we see for certain with his injuries is that they confuse his opponents and disrupt their focus. Tennis fans are not so naive as not to see that. And for such a renowned fighter as Nadal there is no equivalent stoicism when he suffers the onset of yet another of his ailments. The apparent suffering is all too dramatically obvious – some might uncharitably say worthy of an Oscar. (It makes you ponder what might be the catastrophic effect if someone kicked over his water bottles.) But, clearly, not all are impressed. If there are boos mixed with the cheers then Rafa may only have himself to blame, by how he has appeared to play the injury card throughout his weirdly idosyncratic career.

    [Reply]

    Wilfried Reply:

    Hi Rich and Chris,

    I read Nadal’s problem was a back spasm acting up during the second set.
    I donn’t know much about that problem as I never had it myself, but it is apparently something you can continue playing with to a certain extent. I remember a few years ago Roger Federer was terribly hindered by the same problem at Wimbledon in his match against my fellow countryman Xavier Malisse during the first two sets (who liked to play on grass). In the next two sets however, Roger clearly felt a lot better and went on to win that match.

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    Well, we will never know for sure, will we? Like many things about him.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    You don’t seem to like Nadal much Rich but you call him Rafa?

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    Tongue in cheek.

    [Reply]

  20. “Nadal wins 13th Slam at US Open” is still the most popular blog on this site. That feels so wrong! Come on guys, we’ve already made it to second place, let’s comment a bit more here and throw him off this place of popularity where he does not belong!

    [Reply]

    rahan Reply:

    An interesting remark:

    Beating Roger Federer in a Grand Slam is the kiss of death

    http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/01/roger-federer-grand-slam-losses/

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Have to add here that had Nadal not gotten injured he would have won most probably.

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    Well, that is not what I saw in the first set plus two games in the second set. And it’s exactly why I am bashing Nadal here, because he managed to make believe many people including Ru-an than he can only be beaten if injured. Nobody would beat a fit Nadal! Well, my take is he just faked the seriousness of this injury to make everybody fall for it, and eventually disrupt Stan and take the win heroically after suffering this ‘injury’. Sorry, the guy is full of bullshit, I don’t believe it

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    I agree. If he was truly injured then its seriousness was probably exaggerated. Or he would have stayed off the court. The great Pancho Segura said to Jimmy Connors that “if you are on court then you are not injured.” But you might be looking for an excuse.

    [Reply]

    Jarek Reply:

    It is probably not that simple when you are into a slam final. His injure may have become serious during the match but it is possible that ha stayed in the game hoping that it would pass.

    [Reply]

    steve Reply:

    No, it really is that simple: you either play or you don’t. If you think your injury is so bad, then quit. If you think you can continue playing despite the pain, then you suck it up and take responsibility for the result. That’s how a professional does it.

    Only Nadal would have us believe that he was somehow victimized by losing the title. Think he’s the only player who ever played a major final with pain? Pfft. Sampras won his last Wimbledon title dealing with tendinitis and a bad back.

    Hate this “asterisk” bullshit the media pushes on us whenever Nadal (and Murray) loses. There’s never an asterisk when someone beats Federer, let me tell you. Everyone is so eager to claim credit when they beat him and everyone screams bloody murder if it’s even hinted that Federer might not have been able to play his best tennis.

    But Stan Wawrinka beats Nadal, and what do you see in the headlines: “Wawrinka downs hobbled Nadal,” “Injured Nadal falls to Wawrinka,” etc. More time was spent consoling the “injured” Nadal than celebrating Wawrinka’s incredible performance in downing Djokovic in an epic five-setter and then dismantling Nadal in the final. And if anyone even suggests that Nadal’s injury was bogus or that it didn’t affect his play, then they again scream bloody murder.

    Completely upside down. But with time, no one will give a crap about Nadal’s injury and the only thing that will be remembered is Wawrinka’s marvelous victory.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Well said, Steve! Nobody said Nadal wasn’t injured. Just that he abused the situation and took credit completely away from Stan ESPECIALLY when Stan played so well. It wasn’t like Stan was losing to him or struggling to beat him or was exhausted. Stan COMPLETELY earned it. Nadal should have just manned up and put in all his fighting abilities in the 3rd set to fight it out and if that’s not good enough so be it! Instead he put on an injury show, bidding time, upsetting Stan’s rhythm and when the pain killers kick in, he would jump on Stan in surprise and take the match! But Stan didn’t allow that. He woke up from the stupor that Nadal put on him in time. Stan deserves two bravos. First for playing lights out tennis and second for having the mental fortitude to close it out against the all time cheat!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    ‘But with time, no one will give a crap about Nadal’s injury and the only thing that will be remembered is Wawrinka’s marvelous victory.’

    Right, which is why I don’t get why people give so much attention to Nadal’s injury. In doing so they only prolong the time it will take for people not to give a crap about his injury.

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    Not so sure about that. Stan will most probably never win another Slam, and people will keep in memory that he only won against an injured Nadal. The injury drama overshadowed everything. Just like people will never forget how Federer was crying after losing to Nadal.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Steve is the one who made the original statement. Take it up with him.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well I didn’t say he made me believe him. I did after all only join the match after 2 sets. But I know for sure he was injured. Someone of Nadal’s stature and professionalism would never serve half pace to try and win a match.

    [Reply]

    Wilfried Reply:

    We will never know this of course,Ruan, but my feeling is that Stan probably would have maintained his level and crushed Nadal in three straight sets. I don’t think it was a fluke.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    You think Stan would have won in straight sets had Nadal not been injured? You guys are more biased than I thought.

    [Reply]

    Wilfried Reply:

    What does that have to do with bias, Ruan ? It’s just the way I see it, nothing more.
    Stan felt better and played better at the day than Rafael Nadal.
    I don’t have a cristal ball, so I could be wrong about Stan’s level in the future.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Ok. Well the way I see it Nadal would have won in straight sets if he wasn’t injured.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Ruan, hope you are going well with your English course! We know it will be some time before you can properly be with us but thanks so much for appearing every now and then to respond to us!! We miss you so!! Thanks for creating this space, Ruan, but we would have left our comments anywhere on your blog if you hadn’t created this with the way the final was played out!!!. You missed one of the weirdest, most dramatic and tension filled matches of the decade, Ru-an! If you had watched the first two sets, you would have agreed with majority of us here that Stan would still have won it in straights or most 4 sets if Nadal wasn’t injured. It wasn’t the old Stan that was playing that night. It was a new Stan, swinging freely, calm, confident with no fear of Nadal; playing within himself and even looked like he had room to go another level! I was shell shocked to say the least. He made it look easy getting the best of Nadal right until Nadal’s injury when Stan lost focus. He had Nadal at his throat and he was not gonna let up. It was then that Nadal played the injury card. Nothing could make Stan lose focus and Nadal knew it. Maybe Nadal is not 100 percent even from the beginning but he must have thought he had a chance. But after Stan broke in the second set, the alarm bells rang in his head and Nadal knew he couldn’t win it; so he did what he does best. Yeah, the guy was injured but he must made sure everyone knows that and of course used it to his advantage! For me, Stan saved the last for best. This was his best match. I’m sure you would have been thoroughly convinced too if you had watched the whole match including the whole drama. And now what do we hear? That it was JUST a spasm; bit like roger v xavier in wimby in 2012. How come roger could play on after a rub and even eventually won the tournament? Roger manned up and not afraid to lose. Nadal CANNOT stand losing; he would do anything to avoid it and his regular injuries, though hampering him, are actually his weapons to protect his invincible aura. How many times have roger or other players lost because they are carrying injuries, sometimes serious, sometimes not so?! It’s all part of the game. Too bad when an injury hit you; as long as you can get on court, you give your best and keep quiet with the excuses. Bottom line is Nadal is nothing without his physicality. Take that away, he can’t play tennis. How then do you judge this kind of champion? – Crushing everybody when he is healthy and rampantly playing mind games when he’s not so healthy! Just for some perspective, let’s see how Delpo handled his injury. Everyone was cursing him for losing early in AO. Delpo didn’t MURMUR a word of excuse or talk about his injury at all but kept heaping praises on his opponent and it was only now that we know about his wrist injury!! How truly classy is Delpo?! Yet, here we have the Spanish drama queen putting up such a show in the AO final, hobbling and weeping as if he couldn’t play tennis again and today I read that it was nothing serious, “just a spasm” and it would heal with a week’s rest!! Insulting our intelligence, no?!

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    Fully agree. But this time he overplayed. Incredible how many normal fans on mainstream media make negative comments about this show. French reporters voiced it even on air. This was Nadalgate. Call me a hater, but I’m sure he deserves every bit of it, and it’s just the beginning of the next Armstrong story

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Haha Chris, you can count on the French to smell the Nadal foul even if it’s happening a world away from them, can’t you?! Never ceases to amaze me how the French have never warmed up to Nadal. It must be excruciatingly painful for them each year to watch Nadal biting their trophy?! Haha! They are quite class and proper there, i don’t think they like the way Nadal manhandles their trophy!

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    Sorry for commenting so much. After the departure of Zidane, this is the biggest sports scandal I have witnessed

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    Ruan, on the basis of his past record you would be right about Stan – that he’s not the player Nadal is (or Federer was) and his record against the top guys indicates that. But the Stan at this tournament has been a different level of player; much more powerful in every department – he was blowing his opponents (Robredo, Djokovic and Nadal) off the court (and appeared much more powerful than even Roger was against Tsonga and Murray) – as well as more consistent and mentally tougher than the old Stan. It does make me wonder a little about how he has lifted his game recently, but he certainly deserved this title and his new career-high ranking.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I wouldn’t say he blew Djokovic off the court. 9-7 in the 5th is pretty close. And no doubt Nadal’s injury helped Stan’s chances. That said, it was a fully deserved slam title for him and I am delighted for him if he is not doping. He has finally stepped out of Roger’s shadow which is great. He looks like a nice guy too.

    [Reply]

    steve Reply:

    I think Wawrinka did it naturally, the circumstances were ripe for him to come through. Djokovic was mentally stressed from going for the 4-peat and Nadal was 75% in the final (I don’t believe he was injured, just that the juice failed him for once. He is getting older). They did say the courts or the balls were playing faster, which would have helped Wawrinka.

    Things won’t come together like that very often (not to take credit away from his win–you play the opponents in front of you, under the conditions that you happen to face).

    Don’t see Wawrinka becoming a world-beater on a regular basis, or winning too many majors. This might end up being his one and only Grand Slam.

    [Reply]

    Wilfried Reply:

    Some are inclined to infer from Nadal’s incapacity to convert three consecutive breakpoints at the end of the first set, that Rafael was already seriously diminished at that point of the match.
    The following conversation between rafafans on queridorafa’s blog suggest this could be jumping to conclusions.
    Maranar: “ I really can’t believe Rafa would have played those three returns on the second serve break points at the end of the first set as badly as he did if there wasn’t a problem even then.”
    Wheels: “Not to put a damper on the situation but I’ve seen Rafa play many a bad 2nd serve returns and especially on crucial points, it’s more common on hardcourts but when he’s tight it can happen often so I wasn’t too surprised. I remember in Steve Tignor’s write-up of that great match between Andy and Rafa at the WTFs in 2010, he noted that if he was playing Rafa he would take a chance and purposely serve 2nd serves to Rafa on crucial points.”
    (comments on “sad song” 01/26/2014- queridorafa)

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    @Veronica. You can’t blame the French. They witnessed an arrogant American lift their Tour de France trophy a record 7 times, only to be detected a complete fraud, killing the reputation of one of the most prestigious sporting events. They must experience a Déjà-vu with the bullying Spaniard lifting the Roland Garros trophy a record 7 times. They have a sense about the end of this story, and already hate this other fraud in advance. They don’t care if their President leads a jolly life, as long as it is not against their Liberté, Égalité et Fraternité, but they hate hypocrisy, a lot.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Chris, what I meant was I am in total agreement and just love the French for not standing up to hypocrisy. Maybe I didn’t do it well and you missed it but my comment was meant to compliment the French in a “fond” and indirect way. I don’t like clay and FO is the slam that I don’t get overly excited about but the crowd at Roland Garros, that’s a different story all together! I just love them! (and how biased they are towards Roger! Ha!) although many people say they can be too vocal sometimes. For me, I prefer an honest crowd anytime. I say keep the pressure on, France, and we might get some expose soon!

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    We made it! Most popular discussion on this blog! Truly a memorable AO

    [Reply]

  21. Rafael Nadal Admits Cheating During U.S Open 2013 Tennis Duel With Novak Djokovic: Report. http://www.latinospost.com/articles/28882/20131002/rafael-nadal-admits-cheating-during-u-s-open-2013-tennis.htm

    Tennis – Toni Nadal says Rafa´s back injury not serious http://www.tennisworldusa.org/Tennis—Toni-Nadal-says-Rafas-back-injury-not-serious-articolo15952.html

    In Tennis, Are Injury Timeouts Just Cheating? http://keepingscore.blogs.time.com/2013/01/25/in-tennis-are-injury-timeouts-just-cheating/

    [Reply]

  22. Not just a wishful thinking:

    Switzerland’s former world No1, Roger Federer, will join the Australian Open champion, Stanislas Wawrinka, in their Davis Cup first-round tie against Serbia this weekend.

    http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/jan/29/roger-federer-returns-davis-cup-stanislas-wawrinka

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Way to go roger! He is all pumped up isn’t he about Stans victory! I think it even feels like he won AO himself!! Now, let’s hope these two decorated slam winners don’t have a let down in Serbia! Suddenly I love Davis cup,hehe!!

    [Reply]

    steve Reply:

    Are they going to play doubles together? Hopefully the gold-medal-winning duo rides again!

    [Reply]

    veronica Reply:

    I think they just might play dubs as well, Steve! It should be good practice for them as they are playing a depleted Serbian team. I hope the cold weather and the extra matches would not jeopardise the rest of their season; especially if they can get them all done in straights. They’ve got a really big chance of winning Davis Cup this year. Belgium/Khazakstan, then USA/Great Britain/Argentina and final in Switzerland. Looks very doable. It could get very interesting though if a certain Serbian cuts short his skiing holiday and decides to play!!

    [Reply]

    steve Reply:

    Looks like Djokovic won’t play, which boosts their chances. Will Federer play all the ties?

    [Reply]

  23. I hope the security tightens a little for Roger and Stan because the Serbians may not take too kindly to Stan’s AO victory over Djoko. Serbians and Bosnians clashed in AO2009 when Djoko beat a Bosnian; but maybe that was political more than anything else given the bad blood between them.

    [Reply]

  24. I remember Roger was stiff and he remained as upright as possible and couldn’t bend to receive serve when he had his back spasms and someone mentioned in the web about not being able to bend over if you had a spasm. Nadal clearly bent over when he had the problem. So…was Nadal’s back spasm “special” or what?!

    [Reply]

  25. I’d like to start the GOAT debate, and put my vote in for Daveydenko. JK. I bought my new Federer RF hat today, and when I showed it to my buddy at work, he goes online and buys one for himself. I’m helping make Federer richer. G

    [Reply]

  26. Guys, I need your advice. How can I stop from becoming a Nadal hater? When I discovered this blog, I found it strangely biased and fanatic. Even being Swiss, I respected Nadal and appreciated his rivalry with Federer, thinking it brought a healthy level of unpredictability to the outcome of tournaments when Roger was all too dominating. My first comments here were giving praise to Nadal, acknowledging his skills and determination. While obviously enjoying Federer’s success when he won, I applauded Nadal and found that many commenters on this blog, including the author, were not only extremely fanatic but also sour losers. Well, years have passed, and reading through many books and blogs, observing the evolution of the sport in general and Nadal in particular, I became absolutely convinced (belief in the absence of proof) that Nadal is not a clean competitor. I became convinced that he is one among probably many athletes that lie, use gamesmanship, explore all kinds of grey zones to obtain a competitive advantage, and most probably use an elaborate system of performance enhancing illegal methods to have things go his way. Doing this he robs honest people and steals their lifetime achievements and moments of deserved glory and recognition. I took note of Ben Johnson, Mike Tyson and Lance Armstrong, but did not really care. In the case of Nadal, it bothered me only because I felt that he might be cheating on Federer and give him an unfair competition. It felt awkward when Federer was crying in AO, and it’s kind of embarrassing how he always folds against Nadal. But believing that Nadal is a cheater, I lost all respect and stopped caring about their h2h or the numbers of GS he would accumulate. I just considered him as disqualified. But watching this AO final, something happened to me. From the very first moment I only saw a show, I did not believe a single second that a Nadal was seriously injured. I immediately posted here saying that he was bullshitting us. I kept watching in absolute disbelief of what I was witnessing, and hoped he would come to the net and shake hands, to prove me wrong. He did not, and only barely could Stan regroup and avoid a 5th set to finally win the match. I was excited for Stan, the new Swiss #1, and celebrated his first and probably only Grand Slam title. I thought how happy Federer must be, and the world was ok. But slowly I started to understand what I had witnessed, and it disturbed me more than anything I had seen in professional sports, maybe with the exception of Zinedine Zidane hitting Materazzi to walk out with a red card instead of closing his career as world champion. But there I felt shocked, sorry, sad and at the same time deep respect for this genius. But realizing what kind of show Nadal just produced, I became a hater! To be a sophisticated doper is one thing, but this level of foul play and manipulation was way too much for me. I lost it, and kept commenting here more than Vily ever did. I got on a rant. I vented my anger and indignation. I tried to regroup and get my act together, to no avail. I have transformed into a Nadal hater! This is a miserable state of mind. Please give me tips and tricks how to stop hating. How should I deal with these feelings?

    [Reply]

    Babel Reply:

    I completely understand. Since you seem to believe that it is almost certain that Nadal is not a clean competitor, have faith in karma. If this is the truth and Oliver Rochus is right, a day will come when this will come to light. That day, Nadal will lose everything and maybe tennis will face the kind of crisis of public confidence that American baseball did in the ’90s and clean up its act. Or not. Considering the long post-retirement lives that athletes live today, it’s quite possible. Peace out.

    Dr Phil :D

    (This is a Yahoo Answers parody)

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    Chris, I enjoy reading your comments and I respect your views. They add to this blog. This is a worthwhile blog. So thanks to Ruan for that. But I might offer a few thoughts on what you have just said.

    I have been a long-time follower of the game, and enjoyed playing it – although not to any level of distinction. I have had my “heroes” over the years – as we all do. I must say when Nadal came on the scene I didn’t care much for his game. Something also didn’t feel right about the guy. Of course I had seen doping in sports but at that stage I didn’t associate it with Nadal. But a few years ago I read a tennis article that raised the topic, and suggested Nadal might not be all he is cracked up to be. From there I decided to start researching the issue of doping in sports. For a while I became pretty obsessive and became convinced that if anyone was doping in tennis – any sport – it was the Spaniard. I found an increasing number who thought the same – and a tremendous amount of resentment amongst his fans at any suggestion he was a cheat. But like you I felt outrage. Something I loved was being dishonoured. I realise that’s a pretty normal response. For you it has come to a head with what you perceive as transparent gamesmanship on Nadal’s part at the last AO final. It fits your growing perception of him as a cheat in so many ways. The boos of spectators indicated something of the same (although if they also thought he was a doper he probably wouldn’t have gotten out of the stadium alive!) As Ruan has said here before, Nadal seems like a guy who will do anything to win. That’s not what we want to see in the sport.

    To close observers of the game, Nadal’s conduct on court can certainly leave something to be desired. But you don’t hate a guy for that. Secondly, we may have our suspicions he is a doper but they remain suspicions until proven. So we don’t hate him for that. I am not one of those inclined to give Nadal the benefit of the doubt – although I accept that that is a fair enough choice for those who say we lack irrefutable proof of him being a doper. I am just not comfortable with denial at the possibility he is a doper. But as irritating as that can be, we don’t hate for that. Finally, we don’t hate because it is a waste of out time and energy, and we achieve nothing with it.

    I have to acknowledge that if he is doping, Nadal is unlikely to be the only one. There are other players we talk about here who I have my suspicions about. Some of them I like. I also remind myself that tennis is ultimately just a sport; this is not life and death stuff. And here I will say something that might upset a few readers and followers of the blog. Hatred of players like Nadal is as unbalanced as a blind hero-worship of players we like. Like Roger. All of these guys are human in the end, and Roger shows that as much as anyone. Dammit.

    So where do you take it from here? I suggest to firstly accept what has lead to your feelings of outrage, but to also realise that unless you can do something practical about it (what?) you need to ease up on it and say – “well, those are my views. I guess others won’t feel that same way – particularly his fans – but I have a right to them.” From there I have found it helpful to discuss the issues with those who have an open mind, while personally I have take a sometimes mischievous pleasure in teasing those who don’t. And that’s my best advice. Instead of being consumed in your new anger – turn it to humour. Make some jokes about it. I, for one, will laugh. The other thing is maybe go read some books about the great players of the past – watch them on Youtube – and know you are watching the real deal -as unimpressive as it may seem compared to today’s unnatural heroics. And lastly, remember you will have much more to value in your life than any one thing that interests you, and that includes a sport. One day we hope the truth will come out. Add your voice to it by all means, but don’t become consumed by it. Cheers.

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    P.S. I have been missing Vily lately. He wears his heart on his sleeve – like quite a few fans who comment here. He sure lives an emotional rollercoaster when he follows the tennis. Every now and then I have the urge to give him a stiff whisky so he can get through it.

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    Hi, guys!

    I am back! I enjoy your views! Both Chris and Rich bring some very valid points. I’ve been thinking about this, and apart from this doping allegations, there seems to be something much larger that distinguishes the likes of Federer and Nadal – and it has to do with their overall philosophy.

    Federer has stated on numerous occasions how much he loves WINNING and how much he dreams of it. He gets all exited about it. He has stated on many occasions how he would be losing to lose many matches just in order to taste the glorious feeling of winning a Grand Slam one last time. He doesn’t mind losing because he knows it’s part of the game. He knows that his time will come and he’ll RISE again. He knows that even in defeat, he keeps his head high and doesn’t shy away from the challenge even if the odds are stacked against him.

    And there’s Nadal. The ultimate warrior. The guy, who above ALL else, utterly HATES LOSING. He enjoys winning but not nearly as much as he HATES losing. He’s rather die than lose a tennis match. From that psyche comes this relentless pursuit of doing anything and everything to prevent a loss. He would use gamesmanship, illegal coaching, breaking the opponent’s rhythm, medical time-outs, etc. in order to prevent losing. And if he loses, there’s ALWAYS an excuse! Always! And if he can’t win fair and square, he either retires or he quits the sport for several months until he regains his “unbeatable” aura. That explains why he cited after the final. Maybe he wanted to quit and make Stan’s victory less worthy but the pressure of the world forced he to continue – and make the loss that more painful. I think that nasty killer mentality comes in part from his uncle who is very unapologetic.

    To me, the worst time I felt this utter hatred towards Nadal was at last year’s French Open semi-final against Djokovic.

    Nadal was such a monster and he was on the ropes big time! And when Novak was serving for 5:3 in the 5th and he put away that volley after touching the net accidentally, you could that nasty look in Nadal’s eyes and how he was pointing that to the chair umpire. That was giving an AD Djokovic and it was almost all over. But that nasty cheat-full look in his eyes stuck with me for a long time. The monster lived, I remember saying. He was not slain. Here’s to hoping that this year Djokovic or Wawrinka slay the dragon once and for all! :-) )

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Chris, you’ve answered your own question before. You often mention that you do not allow Rogers losses to take away your enjoyment of the game and you are always happy for the winner. Same here. As nauseating as nadals ways have always been, culminating with the ultimate injury show at the AO final, it remains that – a cheap shameful act. Our enjoyment of the game and Stan’s victory should not be overshadowed by our dislike of nadals tactics. However this doesn’t mean we can’t talk about it. We should. We should shout about it, we should make noise about it. Bad governments have been brought down by ppl shouting out about its injustices. We can’t keep quiet. Same here. Why shouldn’t we, or you, talk and rant about it?! Maybe you have not really given too much thought about your feelings towards Nadal until this fiasco happened and when the strong feelings emerged, you are a bit taken aback of how much you actually dislike him. I say as long as we don’t become childish and start getting into all kinds of personal attacks or getting out of point, it’s ok ( this blog is mild compared to many Fed and Nadal fanatics sites/comments out there)As I said, we gotta put on the pressure. And this blog is like family, a place for like minded ppl to express themselves without too much fear of being judged. Especially after a big match, we should, all of us, allow each other lots of room to express ourselves. You are only expressing yourself. It’s all good. But yeah, as far as this blog is concerned, I think we’ve done enough to speak out for fair play as citizens of the tennis world!! Time we turn our attention to Mr Exemplary citizen himself, yah?!

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    Veronica, you make some good points but I think Chris is saying he has reached a point that his negative emotional response to what he sees in Nadal is overshadowing even the good he might see in the game. Celebrating Roger – or Stan – isn’t enough when you might feel like that, as he apparently does. I doubt whether the answer is simply to vent, or give further expression to those feelings, because that way you can remained trapped by them. As I suggested above, I think he might need to tell himself that it isn’t worth caring too much about something we have no control over. Finally, it is still only sports.

    [Reply]

    veronica Reply:

    Rich, thanks for explaining and making it clearer. Let me say then that the road to recovery often starts with being able to face (express) our feelings. This is the first time that Chris realises that his negative emotions are getting the better of him. Being the sensible guy that he is, Chris is uncomfortable feeling such disturbing emotions. He maybe feeling bad/guilty about his venting as he doesn’t see himself as that kinda guy and he doesn’t like it; eventhough he feels the circumstances deserve it. Letting go of the bad feelings/guilt that comes with the venting may help. Once Chris simply accept his hatred for Nadal, that he doesn’t have to justify it, that all sports maybe tainted, the hatred will not consume him and he will be able to enjoy tennis as it is; still beautiful but flawed. And I definitely agree with you, Rich, that reading/watching the greats and laughing about it always helps. But I’m sure our Chris will be fine and be back to his optimistic, unbiased, intelligent and cheeky self very soon!! Afterall, anyone would need months to recover after watching the greatest injury show on earth, don’t you think? Ha!

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    Thanks Rich and Veronica, that was a helpful psychotherapy! You guys are good! Cool to have a virtual family you can turn to when feeling out of orbit. Yep, I needed to vent more than ever, my emotional reaction went overboard. It must be something about ‘seeking fairness’, ‘staying honest’ and ‘protecting the weaker’ which I have strong feelings about. It’s not for nothing that I spend my life fighting poverty in the world. Which brings me to the conclusion that Rich reminded me of. It’s just a sport. Let’s move on to more important things. Thanks Family!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    ‘I applauded Nadal and found that many commenters on this blog, including the author, were not only extremely fanatic but also sour losers.’

    Not really sure what you are saying Chris. So now you are one of the sour losers? Anyway you should know I don’t allow sour losers on my blog. In fact I think I need to step in again and put an end to all this Nadal bashing. It reflects poorly on my blog.

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    Ruan, I would feel sorry if you felt the need to step in and control what people say on your blog. One of the things that has made your blog stand out is the range of views that have been expressed here. Nadal bashing? Nadal has made himself an issue, by what he does and how he plays the game. People have strong views about that. If opinions were confined to discussing or praising Roger the blog would lose some of the passion that the sport evokes in its followers.

    I would also say your views are respected, not only by your readers but beyond the blog. (That’s how I first heard of it. I read of your blog elsewhere.) But you don’t need to feel responsible for what your readers say on your blog. Your credibility is based on what you have to say, not the views of others.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Fair enough Rich. Just don’t go overboard on the doping thing. Try to comment on other stuff too.

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    Of course. I try to do that.

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    By the way, in fairness to myself, there are a lot of other commenters who have raised the d-word here besides me. I think what I have to say has lost a lot of its shock value these days, since quite a few commenters clearly share the same views on this topic. However I don’t have a lot of time for Nadal fans who simply turn up here to complain, or gloat when Roger gets beaten – notice how they disappeared after Stan righted the scales?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I banned Joachim. Not even sure what he was doing on a Federer blog.

    [Reply]

    veronica Reply:

    Hey Stranger! Missing you!!!! Hehe! The quote you quoted from Chris; Chris was saying what he thought BEFORE about your blog, NOT now, Ru-an! Maybe you didn’t read his whole comment properly! Guess you must be getting a little worried how we are like a runaway Nadal bashing train lately! Ha! Don’t worry. We’re reaching the end already. Thank you for this space where we are able to express all our emotions and opinions regardless of whether we were right or wrong. We haven’t been too naughty, Ru-an, honest! We kept it civil; well… most of the time at least!! Hehe!! Be back with a vengeance tomorrow to talk about the real GOAT and leave the would-be GOAT behind!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I’ll make a post later today. Graduated from my English teaching course today.

    [Reply]

    WIlfried Reply:

    Congratulations, Ruan.
    Sure you’ll be a very good teacher (like you would make a very good tennis coach as well).

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Wilfried. I could have been a tennis coach too but for one thing you have to stand in the sun all day which can’t be good for your skin, and I am not the hat wearing type. I also wanted to develop some other talents, which I think I have plenty of. Tennis coaching is not particularly stimulating to the brain.

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    Well done, dude! I am sure your students will benefit from your skills.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Cheers Rich. I was extremely nervous about doing the course and completely unsure of myself, but in the end I graduated with 88% so I am quite proud of myself. Now I can basically teach English anywhere in the world. I’m off to Bangkok tomorrow to look for work there :-)

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    Ruan and Veronica, if I might chip in briefly here. Better of course that Chris explains himself but I understood him to mean that when he first came to this blog he thought the Nadal critics here were “sour losers” but he has since come to see the criticisms as completely justified. His problem now as that his distaste for Nadal risks marring his enjoyment of the game. He asked for help to find a way to let it go. I think that’s essentially what he meant but his comment, in passing, about you, Ruan, was perhaps not terribly well put. You are a fan, but not a “fanatic”, and definitely not a sour loser. In fact one of the pieces you wrote on Nadal and doping a couple of years ago (I went back and read it after I came to the blog) was as responsible a piece of commentary that I have read anywhere on the topic.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Yeah rich, that’s what I thought chris meant. He was talking about how he felt before and that as time went on, all the negatives he felt were justified. Anyway chris has explained below.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Right. I’m neither a fanatic nor a hater. Thanks for noticing. I do feel that there is sometimes unnecessary focus on Nadal here however. I don’t know if he is as bad as some Fedfans make him out to be. Point is we don’t know him personally. Furthermore people here seem to love Stan and hate NAdal, yet Stan and Nadal are good friends. Doesn’t quite make sense.

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    Nadal is an extremely polarizing figure. While and after Stan won his first Slam, which was a huge sensation, all media attention was given to the poor Nadal and his misfortune. I felt it was not doing justice to Stans extraordinary performance to put the asterix of ‘win against injured Nadal’ on his great achievement.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I understand your frustration Chris. But of course it’s hardly NAdal’s fault he got injured. Also he was quite gracious in his post match speech I thought. He cried but didn’t make things about himself. If anyone did that it was Roger after the 2009 final vs Nadal. Nadal even had to console him during his moment of glory.

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    On the other hand, it turns out Nadal wasn’t really injured at all. His team says he suffered a lower back “spasm”. That may be uncomfortable at the time but it’s temporary and not actual damage, and treatable with pain-killers and massage. Compare Jimmy Connors, who played a Wimbledon final against Bjorn Borg with a broken thumb. That’s an injury. He refused to let on at the time so no one knew about it until he wrote his memoirs nearly forty years later.

    Here’s a list of the matches where Nadal has used an MTO:v Del Potro @ W 2011 v Petzschner @ W 2010 v Murray @ AO 2010 v Almagro @ USO 2009 v Gonzalez @ USO 2009 v Djokovic @ Madrid 2009 v Murray @ Rotterdam 2009 v Federer @ AO 2009 v Federer @ MC 2008 v Federer @ Hamburg 2008 v Federer @ W 2007 v Mathieu @ RG 2006.

    He uses it when he is in a tight spot. I’m with Chris on this one.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I’d really like you guys to stop this nonsense about Nadal not being injured. He was definitely injured. A back spasm is extremely uncomfortable and painful and I speak as someone who suffered from a chronic back problem as a tennis player. End of story.

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    So how many MTO’s did you claim, Ruan? Just joking.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I just think it’s absurd to claim that NAdal was not actually injured, given that he was basically just rolling his first serve in. That is taking fanaticism to unheard of levels.

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    I don’t think that we are saying Nadal didn’t have a problem – although a muscle spasm is not an actual injury. There is no tear. It’s pretty minor on the scale of things. I have had it myself. (It didn’t stop Nadal from cracking winners past Stan.) But given Nadal’s record it’s not beyond him to either exaggerate a health issue or to use an MTO to try to break his opponent’s rhythm (as I listed above, he’s used it a lot of times in the past), and that’s why the spectators booed him when he came back on court. They thought he was up to his usual tricks. A back spasm could have been dealt with pretty quickly with high-powered painkillers. When I was at school someone who played up an injury was said to be “doing a Hollywood.” That’s Nadal, and I know a lot of tennis players who watched the match (did you?) and commenters here who thought he thought he was doing just that. Given your previous comments about Nadal I am surprised you take anything he says or does at face value.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I am saying it negatively affected his performance. What we call it is of minor importance.

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    I agree to settle the issue on our joint understanding that Nadal was evidently feeling a great level of discomfort, which negatively affected his performance. Injury is a big word to be used here, since his camp already informed that it was nothing serious. End of story

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    Yes. Nothing serious.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I know that is what Chris meant Veronica, and I’m not mad at him for the quote. I just don’t quite understand what he is saying. Does he feel he is a sour loser now because he says he has become a NAdal hater? And yes I did read his entire comment.
    I miss you guys too. I’m done with my English course now so I will hopefully be able to start blogging again soon. I will need to look for a job in the coming week and then start a new job so it is hard to tell what the future holds.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    What do ya know? We have an English teacher here now…not only we gotta watch the d word, we gotta watch our grammar and spelling too!! I hope you will be able to get your first job soon! Btw, 88 percent is like a distinction, Ru-an! Well done!!

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    Congrats Ru-an! Are you gonna check our spelling now? My Swinglish could sure be improved :-)
    I think it’s ridiculous to become a hater or a blind worshiper. However, I was becoming myself a hater for a moment. I had very negative emotions about Nadal which I vented here. Can’t say ‘sour loser’, because Nadal was the one who lost and our Stan won. This space created by you helped me to express my feelings, share my thoughts with like-minded but smarter people, and finally get some good advise about how to not get overly consumed by the situation. Thanks Ru-an for keeping this valuable blog online!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Advice, not advise ;-) Yes being a hater or a blind worshiper is absurd. We have all fallen into that trap so don’t feel bad. The important thing is not to stay there. You are welcome for the blog. You people have helped me too.

    [Reply]

  27. I have back issues. You do not bend forward if it’s bad. Just a faker and a cheat. So glad Stan managed to mentally overcome the bs and win the match.

    [Reply]

    veronica Reply:

    Summary Sue! You say so much with so little. Just love how you economise!!

    [Reply]

  28. Roger Federer took the first point to Switzerland against Serbia in qualifying 1st round Davis Cup 2014 , after beating Ilija Bozoljac 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 in 1 hour and 42 minutes .

    Roger has played a good game where he has been fresh and well from the bottom of the track except a blackout in the second set , which has had to raise 5-3 against, but otherwise the Swiss has played a high level and has been far superior to his rival, who has tried especially on serve but has not been able to unsettle much Roger.

    The game started with both players winning their serves no major complications , but gradually Roger was taking control of the match and managed to break the serve 3-3 Serbian and consolidated it with his serve and took advantage. This was enough and Roger took the first set 6-4 .

    In the second set , was Bozoljac who started strong and got an early break that gave advantage throughout the set, but when with 3-5 in their favor was about to draw to tie the game , it was Roger who wake up and returned the break posteriomente to tie the game with their service. This caused much damage to the Serbian and Roger again took advantage and got another break was final , as Roger and then closed with the second set on serve 7-5 .

    The third set started in the best possible way and Roger broke the kick Bozoljac in the beginning and was limited to managing their lead , but the Serb lowered the arms and 4-2 Roger getting another break that sentenced the match again and his kick closed the set 6-2 and the match.

    With this victory , Switzerland is ahead in the tie the score at 0-1

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Sweet. Thanks Bartholomew.

    [Reply]

    Bartholomew Reply:

    you’re welcome. Thanks Ru-an for your blog.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks for reading!

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Thanks for the detailed report, Bart!

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    Here are the highlights:

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Bro! You never fail to deliver!! Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Bartolomé Serra Capó Reply:

    You´re welcome.

    [Reply]

  29. Geemany vs. Spain 2-0

    I hope for a positive result in the double match:
    HAAS/BRANDS vs. VERDASCO/MARRERO.

    [Reply]

    rahan Reply:

    and some data:

    Germany vs. Spain , second rubber,

    Mayer vs Lopez,

    5 sets, 3h and 51 min

    final score: 172-173 !!!

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    You gotta be kidding, Rahan!!

    [Reply]

    rahan Reply:

    .. and now Spain is out !!!

    Germany vs Spain 3-0 after the double match !!!

    [Reply]

  30. Before we move on to other topics I thought I might make a few observations about why I think Stan has risen to the top ranks of the tour.

    1. His backhand. Clearly one of the best on the tour now and possibly the best one-hander. Currently it’s probably better than Roger’s, as it’s both more powerful and more consistent. Why should that be so? Well, some commentators say it’s partly because he has a “stronger grip”, meaning that he has more of a closed grip (full Eastern) rather than a more central grip, like Roger does. This means Stan can deliver both power and spin off a higher ball – which Roger struggles to do – and this is absolutely critical when facing the high-kicking and heavily spun cross-court Nadal forehand. At times Stan was able to take the ball early and hit through Nadal’s shot with punishing effect – something he wasn’t able to do when I saw him facing Nadal on clay last year. This ability to take the ball at the height of the bounce and attack it also lies behind the success that both Djokovic and Del Potro have achieved against the Spaniard. Like these players, Stan also has the ability to change direction and hit down the line – indispensable against Nadal.

    2. The forehand. This use to be a relative weakness with Stan. He would frequently misfire under pressure – which Roger was often able to exploit in their previous encounters. But now it’s simply a very heavy shot that Stan can hit to any part of the court with consistency and punishing effect. His cross-court is devastating, and as big a shot as anyone’s. Poor Djoko.

    3. The volley. Did I mention Stan is also dangerous at the net? Some of his serve-volley points were immaculate.

    4. His movement. He’s quick. Quicker than he used to be. He defends almost as well as the top defenders – Nadal, Djokovic and Murray – but is now possibly more dangerous than they are when he gets the chance to counter-attack. Why is that? See below.

    5. His power. Stan hits huge now. In the final his average pace of shot was much bigger than Nadal (and that was before the “injury”). Nadal was hitting 116kph on his groundstrokes – which was about the same as in his match against Fed, when he wasn’t injured – while Stan was hitting a massive 128kph average. Nadal of course was applying more spin – but that is still a significant power differential. Roger meanwhile was averaging much less than Stan, at 121kph. At only 6′ Stan is built like a bull.

    6. His serve. It’s accurate, consistent and huge. He frequently clocks in at over 220kph (typically 20kph more than Roger), he can serve to any part of the box, his opponents can’t read it, and he even wins points outright on the second serve against the best returners in the game. Whew!

    7. Mental strength. Stan is more patient now – he doesn’t just fire off on the first ball, he constructs the point, and he plays with more self-belief. Hence, he is better under pressure, as he showed by how he came through the difficulties in his big matches in the AO. But with everything he’s got, why wouldn’t he be mentally strong?

    Well the picture we now have of Stan is a player with a complete game. He may not be a “one-slam wonder” as some might think. There is no reason why he can’t continue beating the best in the game.

    Which brings me to my last point. It is a little surprising that at 28 – the age when athletes start to normally fade – Stan is peaking. He is a better player now than he was a year ago – and way better than two, three or five years ago. Yet he is clearly a veteran. His game is so much more powerful (as well as rounded) than when he was both Federer’s and Nadal’s pigeon in years gone by. That player seems to have vanished. As much as I like Stan I have to wonder how he has been able to make such dramatic improvements so late in his career. Has he gone over to the dark side? Well if he has, it may only show that this is now what it takes to get to the very top of professional sport. He is now better than some players we suspect are dopers.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Or maybe a late bloomer? It is impossible to know for sure, which is why I don’t bother writing about doping all day.

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    P.S. I left out something about Stan’s backhand. It’s not a classic one-hander like Roger’s. Stan really opens up on the shot – literally and figuratively – which the orthodox one-hander is less likely to do. His upper body actually faces the net with his follow-through. Because of the torque on the shot he gets a lot of power when he unwinds, but it also means he can just as easily hit down the line as cross-court. We may see the one-hander come back into fashion!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Doubtful Rich. Not before they drastically change court speeds.

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    Then why isn’t it a problem for Stan?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Because he’s got one in a trillion backhands.

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  31. Hi, guys! It’s amazing how we were all doom and gloom a week ago and now we are so happy! Nadal is down! Roger and Stand are up and everything is right with the world! What a glorious feeling! ;-) Not that I am bad person or anything but sometimes I genuinely enjoy when Nadal suffers a little bit after all the pain he has caused Roger over the years.

    In any case, Roger and Stan have a very realistic chance to win the Davis Cup this year because both Spain and Serbia are out and it’s basically only France and Czech Republic that remain (they are in the same final)

    I am happy that Roger is serious about this and it would be a nice way to pad his already great resume! ;-)

    Another thing that was interesting to mention was that as of now, Roger would have reached his #14 at an age which is some 66 days before Nadal would potential reach his (or something along that)

    Basically, Nadal is currently behind the pace of Roger and that’s in great thanks to Mr. Wawrinka. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Wawrinka joins the list with Djokovic of the people to which Roger will have to send Swiss chocolate for the rest of his life to “thank” them for doing him Justice! :-) )

    Anyway. By the way on the posts above I mentioned my views on Roger’s Love of Winning and Nadal’s Hatred of Losing! :-)

    [Reply]

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