Federer vs Nadal Live Chatting Australian Open 2014

This post was written by Ru-an on January 23, 2014
Posted Under: Uncategorized

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.

Reader Comments

Ru-an, great to hear from you despite busy settling down in Thailand. Hope everything goes smoothly for you and we have our GOAT blogger back sooner rather than later.
I’m so happy for Roger and it’s inspiring to see him finding his strides again after all the heart burnt last year. While I did not have much expectation on him for this tournament, what has transpired so far has suddenly put a lot at stake now, like you have rightly pointed out.
On one hand, a semi-final appearance has already exceeded my expectation, on the other hand, I just can’t bear to think of Nadal getting his second career slam and possibly getting no.15 in another few month’s time. It would be very depressing.
So this match is going to be very very tense and high stake, for me at least. I hope Roger would step it up and take full responsibility in fighting for his own legacy this time.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Ru-an Reply:

Thanks onefly. Agree with your comment.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#1 
Written By onefly9 on January 23rd, 2014 @ 6:27 am

Let’s hope the Maestro plays the game and not the man! Allez Roger!

Current score: 2

[Reply]

#2 
Written By Suneer on January 23rd, 2014 @ 7:21 am

Ever since Djokovic lost to Wawrinka, the hope of stopping Nadal has greatly diminished. The other side of the draw only have the generally inconsistent big hitters — which Nadal will likely man-handle.

At this side, there are only a still-recovering Murray & Federer. At good conditions, Federer has a mental edge over virtually anyone except Nadal, on which case Nadal has tremendous mental edge. I really, really hope for Roger to pull this out for once but in the past this kind of hope has disappointed me too many times. I’m fairly neutral regarding Federer’s chances against Nadal this time — perhaps with a bit of an edge to Nadal given their history.

To me at this time, I want Nadal to lose more than I want Federer to win. Getting both will of course be the ideal scenario. Nadal just represents all that is wrong with the sport.

Current score: 4

[Reply]

Ru-an Reply:

My thoughts exactly Jason. You read my mind.

Current score: 2

[Reply]

rahan Reply:

“…We all assumed Roger Federer had one more good run in him at a Grand Slam. Given his play in Melbourne, he appears to have a few more than that.”

http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/01/roger-federer-australian-open-rafael-nadal/

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#3 
Written By jason on January 23rd, 2014 @ 7:30 am

if I had any say in this, I would give the trophy to Stan or Birdy. I really really want one of these guys to finally win a slam. fingers crossed. Rafa has blisters so his serve is compromised, thus the chance of him winning against Fed or anyone is almost zero. Let me just hope Birdy or Stan will be able to fight and tire the old man out. pleeeeaaaseee.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

rich Reply:

Rafa’s “blisters” will be as serious a problem tomorrow as his knees.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Vily Reply:

I don’t care about the blisters although it would sure help. To me the biggest factors are:

Roger’s new racquet
Edberg
Faster conditions at Rod Laver

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#4 
Written By emy on January 23rd, 2014 @ 7:50 am

The ‘Swiss of the Year 2013′ has just reached the final in Melbourne! Woah, that was unexpected. So hopefully the greatest Swiss athlete of all times can do another unexpected one and join Stan for an all Swiss final! Although I have to expect that Nadal will run and shoot the balls to make Swiss cheese out of the defense of both the Swiss players. Nadal is stronger, faster, more enduring and mentally much more solid than any Swiss player ever. But as you say Ru-an, if Roger wants to keep his records, he should defend them. Tomorrow he get a chance to do so!

Current score: 4

[Reply]

#5 
Written By Chris on January 23rd, 2014 @ 12:18 pm

Hi Ru-an, glad you made it to Thailand in one piece. Hoping you are getting settled into the new job.

I disagree that Federer should concern himself with Slam count, records, etc. It’s worrying about all that extraneous stuff that keeps him from playing his best tennis against Nadal. It’s just a distraction.

People seem to be expressing negativity regarding Federer’s performance so far. I don’t see why there should be. He’s already done more this tournament than most of us were expecting him to do.

All I was hoping was for him to make the QFs, he’s met that expectation, and so everything else now is gravy. That’s the attitude Federer should have, too. Just relax, play the best match he can, and see how it goes.

No secret what he has to do: serve well, stay on the front foot, keep good length on his shots, and take every chance he gets to come in to net to finish points. Attack, attack, attack. And even if he loses a set or two, don’t lose faith in his game plan.

He’s changed his style with the new racket. Wilander claimed Federer wasn’t necessarily hitting the ball harder, but that the racket allowed him to hit his shots more consistently and stand closer to the baseline without risk of shanking. When he needs to drive the ball, he can again do so without making UEs.

This allows him to take the opponent’s time away and construct points with greater precision. Then when he’s created an opening, he can finish the point either with a winner or by ghosting in to net.

Nadal relies on having that extra bit of time to run down the ball, if Federer takes it away then Nadal has to try to play offense himself and that doesn’t favor him.

Making the racket change seems to have rekindled his passion for tennis and allowed him to explore dimensions of the game he hadn’t before.

Whatever the outcome, remember it’s just a tennis match. Go Roger!

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#6 
Written By steve on January 23rd, 2014 @ 12:39 pm

As much as we have to be cautious, I think it’s not wise for us to think Nadal has won the match before a ball is even hit. I want to remind every Fedfan that there is a reason why Roger made the changes that he made in the offseason (Racket, coach,aggression etc). One of those reasons is to be able to beat Nadal, as a Fedfan, I want to beleive that all these changes are going to pay off one day and I hope that day is tomorrow. Good luck to Roger and enjoy the match everyone.

Current score: 2

[Reply]

Vily Reply:

I agree!

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Wilfried Reply:

Good comment, Chimya.
I agree with your thoughts.
It’s not a foregone conclusion that Nadal will win this match against Federer.
Fedfans on this blog seem very pessimistic and think apparently that only Federer’s game can brake down.
In my view Nadal’s game is not immune to braking down either.
His game style has been compared here and elsewhere with machinelike behaviour, because of the simplicity of his tactics and the repetitiveness of certain shots he uses in abondance.
But they forget in the meantime that machines don’t always perform like they should perform; whilst the manufacturing process of a machine may currently be producing 1OO% conforming product with the specifiactions, its conformity can – suddenly – disappear at any time if the process is not 100 % in control.
Which means the machine may look in perfect shape, but in reality be at the brink of chaos (process trouble).
So let’s wait and see how it pans out tomorrow.
Will it be Roger braking down or Nadal braking down !?

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Ru-an Reply:

Not sure it’s pessimism Wilfried. People are just going by past experience. Of course the result is not a foregone conclusion but from past experience Nadal is the favorite.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Vily Reply:

That’s fair enough, Ru-an! I’m cautiously optimistic about that one. Another positive is that Roger won against Murray knowing that Nadal will be waiting – another positive.

If Roger felt that he’ll lose to Nadal, he would have tanked against Murray. So that’s another good news.

It will be tough, no doubt! But all we can do us watch and try to enjoy it! I’m actually looking forward to it and I’m sure that Roger is as well. :-))

Current score: 0

[Reply]

jason Reply:

I hope this optimism doesn’t suddenly turn to “Roger should retire soon to preserve his legacy” if he loses today, Vily.

Your optimism is reasonable and commendable, but it needs to be more consistent ;)

I hope for this optimism to be greatly rewarded today.

As for me, I’m slightly pessimistic…which is a significant improvement from the previous pessimism I have. To me, if he wins today it’s like already winning the AO, even if he loses against Stan.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#7 
Written By Chimya on January 23rd, 2014 @ 2:25 pm

I would like to see what this Roger we have so far seen at the AO would play like if he had no fear of his opponent. Then, anything might be possible. If not – well, we know what the usual outcome is …

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#8 
Written By rich on January 23rd, 2014 @ 3:25 pm

I am just hoping & praying that Nadal has an off day & bad luck tomorrow!

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#9 
Written By Zahid on January 23rd, 2014 @ 5:38 pm

I think, Nadal is always lucky. Some errors from babyfed gifted him the berth in semifinal. Now the real problem with Fed is his mental strength against nadal. He just loses his cool and makes erroneous mistakes. May Edberg presence give him that mental strength. Otherwise it would be very depressing to see him losing again. And the other good thing is that young players are now making impact at majors, may that prevent rafa from surpassing Fed in GS count.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#10 
Written By Jenish on January 23rd, 2014 @ 5:49 pm

Hey, guys!

Ru-an forgot the biggest change – and that is the new Jedi racquet! That is surely going to make a difference!

The way he got to the semis matters. Roger didn’t waste a lot of energy but also got tested so it’s perfect preparation for tonight!!!

I also read that Edberg’s biggest contribution to Roger so far has been him challenging Roger mentally – I.e provoking him to get out of that slump and to stay positive no matter the circumstances. That combined with Roger’s aggressive attacking game plan will be huge. Will it be enough to make the difference! I’d like to think so. I just sense this inner desire of Roger to explode on the tennis court and make an emphatic statement tonight. And with that I’ll shut up and watch what happens! ;-)

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#11 
Written By Vily on January 23rd, 2014 @ 7:34 pm

I think this is a great opportunity for Fed, better than in a long while. Nadal has problems with his left hand and that could allow Fed to maybe beat him again. If he does, then he should be able to beat Stan. Stan is probably going to be a little nervous and Fed can take advantage of that with some fast and aggressive tennis and take a good lead before Stan settles into the match and then it’s probably to late for Stan.

But Nadal being Nadal it’s a very small chance of this happening…

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#12 
Written By juan torres on January 23rd, 2014 @ 7:50 pm

There is nothing wrong rogers game its just that he creates break point opportunities and only takes it once this is the story of rogers life just not taking the important points at the right time. I grantee that roger will have 1set run and then falter as usual just like aus open 2012 but I will be really surprised if roger wins after 7 years.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#13 
Written By layla ali on January 23rd, 2014 @ 8:59 pm

I expect a 5 setter with Nadal comfortably leading 2:0. On 5th set Fed will make few childish mistakes and give away the match. Hee must have not reached the semifinal and run further his resume. It`s never been the lopsided h2h that bothers us the fans but his mental strenght. During the Murray match he showed that is Murray was at 100% the lost service game at 6:5 up in the 3rd set would have cost him immediatelly the match.I hope he can loose with some dignity this time, show some heart and selfbelief even in a loss.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#14 
Written By Toni on January 23rd, 2014 @ 10:38 pm

Hey guys, I am so nervous, it is not even funny anymore. Hope Roger someday will realise what an effect he has on his fans.
This is in my opinion really a do or die match for Roger. Novak has been “very helpfull” to keep Roger’s slam account safe. But now there is no Novak. So, if Roger wants to remain the tennisplayer with the most GS, he needs to do it on his own. He needs to protect his legacy on his own.
All comes down to this match. Because even Roger knows, if Rafa wins tomorrow, he will win AO and RG, making it 15 GS and the Great Uncle Toni and Rafa will do anything to win Wimby so that Rafa not only will be the first man to win every GS twice, but he will also be the first man to win a slam 9 times and he will be the first one in over 40 years to have a Rafa Slam. And the Great Uncle Toni and Rafa are then so sneeky that they will also do anything and I mean anything to make Rafa win USO so he will equal Roger’s record of 17 slams this year….
So much is riding on this. Roger already did more than we hoped for. He is in the SF. Everything else is a bonus. But I so hope and prey that Roger will defeat Rafa. And I don’t know….. I am not getting my hopes up too much, but there is something about this Roger/Edberg combo. If we say that Roger subsconsciencely “tanked” the USO match to avoid Rafa, this time he did not do that. He knew Rafa was waiting and I really believe Edberg and he think and know that they can beat Rafa. Will not be easy, at all. There will be nothing wrong with his blisters (which to be honest do look bad), but he has had almost two days to heal them. No, Rafa will be coming back full force, but I think Roger has the same agenda. I think he is tired of losing to Rafa and tired of Rafa coming so close.
And guys…. If Rafa makes it to the final, he will win. BUT if Roger makes it to the final, lets not kid ourselves by thinking that Stan will role over. This is a very different Stan. He is the current Swiss number one, just defeated the current world number two and looks to be playing the best tennis. If Roger makes it to the final, he better not underestimate Stan, who will also have one day extra rest and not a long match. Roger vs Rafa will be long. I think Rafa in 3 or 4 or Roger in 5.
BUT…. Roger came out blazing SO strong against Jo Willy and Andy, they literally did not know what happened to them. They were seriously surprised that Roger could play this well.
So my hope is he surprises Rafa the same way and wins in 3 or 4 sets.
I cannot watch the match, will be at work, very nervously keeping the scores. But I will hope and prey for you Roger. I love you and believe with all my heart that you will win !!! Go Roger, Go Goat !!!

Oh and guys, you all are saying that Wimby and USO are Roger’s biggest chances. I actually already said I think AO and RG are his biggest chances, because no one even thinks he can win them anymore…. So… come on Roger, prove us all why you ARE the GOAT !!!

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#15 
Written By Katyani on January 23rd, 2014 @ 10:58 pm

I don’t care if I get slammed by the Nadal lovers here, but I believe. He is acting totally different in his demeanor, and the confidence is through the roof. Guys, he just beat 2 HIGH quality players that had his number for the past year. Rafa is not up to the standards he was last year, and if he’s going to do it,,,,it’s tonight. I, for one, could not say that ever since Roger got beat at the Olympics, but something is in the air. Don’t you feel it? GO ROGER….BELIEVE!!!! G

Current score: 7

[Reply]

#16 
Written By Gary on January 23rd, 2014 @ 11:08 pm

I find it rather amusing that lots of fellow RF fans hope that Dull will suffer from blister or that he will have a bad day. When was the last time that happened in a Slam SF? Probably never. Dull will play like he always has at this stage: a relentless machine. Can Roger win? Of course, but he needs to have clear mind and game plan, like he did in first 2 sets against Murray. The only problem i saw was that while he constructed points beautifully, in 20-25% of cases he would make a poor shot selection at a critical instance and let Murray back into the point. If he can diminish these cases and plays freely he should triumph.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#17 
Written By Gargantouas on January 24th, 2014 @ 3:02 am

Ru-an, thanks for creating this page for us in the midst of your busyness…what would we do without you?!! Folks, who would have believed tonight is happening after that total collapse in Brisbane eh?! I don’t know about you guys but I’m totally beat. It was exhausting following the no. 1 Swiss and then the no. 2 Swiss as well! I don’t know how you guys can still comment; I have no energy left…but I thought I must make some comments before the match starts. If it rains this evening (it was raining this morning), the roof would be closed. Advantage Roger. If it doesn’t, the cooler weather would mean the courts would play slower. Advantage Nadal. I heard that Nadal’s doctor is getting special medicine that can speed up regenerating skin in Nadal’s blister! Advantage Nadal; with or without blister. The masochistic bull can even play with a slashed wrist as far as I’m concerned. As usual, he’s playing his prematch humble game again. If it’s not the knees, it’s gotta be something else right?! Just in case Roger wins, Nadal can always blame the damn blister. As for Roger, it does look like the Edberg effect is working. Roger feels inspired by Edberg and most importantly, he LISTENS to Edberg. Roger looks a new man. Not so much as getting back to the player that he was before; but getting better in a new way, it’s like he is born again as opposed to getting back to what he was before. There is a new maturity and new confidence in him. I just love his mighty roars and fist pumps. He’s letting out his emotions a bit more during matches; which I think is a good thing. The new racket is more forgiving especially for his BH but it waits to be seen how it would hold up against Nadal’s relentless FH topspin. I hope Roger continues to play an aggressive smart game rushing Nadal. I see a difficulty coming to the net though because Nadal would be hammering his BH and I don’t know how Roger can come in from that side. Btw, how good is Roger’s movement and defensive skills, huh??!!! There’s one thing which nobody has mentioned and I think it might play a pivotal role in tonight’s match – Stan. I truly believe Roger is inspired by Stan’s never say die attitude. I think Roger might feel he is doing an injustice to Stan if he himself does not rise up against Nadal as how Stan has risen up against Nole. Roger has got all the shots and the experience and he is back physically. It’s just the demons in his head. I believe these may finally be exorcised by the inspirations provided by Edberg and Stan. Although Roger has exceeded our expectations and is well on the road to progress, this is one match he must win as the stars are all aligned and he is in a very good position to take it. He went through the draw according to script (straight sets in first week, 4 sets in quarters) and he is fresh and ready to go all the way with Nadal. Besides, it’s payback time for AO2009! The hardest thing is of course Nadal always rises to the occasion whenever he plays Roger – we can talk and talk but in the end it is still the battle of the lefty FH topspin to the righty BH. I’m curious how the new Roger handles this and whether he could change the dynamics of this more than in his past matches against the bull. A shout out to Australian tennis – well done to the faster courts/balls! It has been such a long time since AO has been so fun to watch, don’t you all agree?! I’m trying to find a ticket for tonight’s match, if not, I may just roam outside the grounds watching the big telly outside. Let’s hope all of us can get through this match in one piece!!

Current score: 2

[Reply]

Ru-an Reply:

Hi Veronica. I tend to be very result oriented but isn’t it just great that Fed is in the semis playing another blockbuster vs his big rival? Like you say we didn’t even expect this after the Brisbane fiasco. It’s just great that this match is on and I am looking very much forward to it and no matter who ends up winning it is another great prospect. This is what it is all about.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

rich Reply:

You are right. This is what great challenges in sport are about. For all the discussion about new racquets and coaches, for a virtuoso like Roger it comes down to his legs, his hands – he could play with a coke bottle – and his mind. And – oh yes – his heart.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Katyani Reply:

Hey Veronica, hope you do get tickets. I am at work right now beeing nervous as hell. But I don’t know…. it all looks like it is meant to be for Roger.
By the way, I still stand to my point: If Roger makes the final or even wins AO, he better hire Edberg fulltime (before someone else steals him away) !!! They have been together for a few days and look at already the outcome: Roger listens….
Go Roger, I believe in you…. you can and will do it !!!

Current score: 1

[Reply]

Veronica Reply:

Yes, katyani, I feel Rogers gonna break the curse tonite but I don’t wanna jinx it and I don’t wanna have any expectations and in the end, it’s not our feelings that’s gonna win it for roger but his hands and his legs and his heart and his mind as our very wise Mr Rich says!! Let’s just enjoy the match!!! Common roger, you CAN do it!!!

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#18 
Written By veronica on January 24th, 2014 @ 3:44 am

Ps: Why is Rafa the only one who got blisters??
I did not hear or read about anyone else (male or female)???

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#19 
Written By Katyani on January 24th, 2014 @ 7:25 am

Yes, Ruan,it’s just so great that such a blockbuster is on. Although I’m hoping roger wins, honestly, like you I’m just so grateful we still have these great matches happening and I’m going to enjoy it no matter who wins. And yes, Rich, let’s hope roger plays an inspired match showing some heart and mental calm and not fade away against his nemesis. Breaking news : you wouldn’t believe this but the organisers are having problems opening the roof at rod laver after closing it when it rained earlier!! Another star aligning for roger?!!!!

Current score: 1

[Reply]

Ru-an Reply:

That would be crazy. I seriously doubt they would leave it closed.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#20 
Written By Veronica on January 24th, 2014 @ 7:56 am

They’ve got it opened now. Roger playing right tactics but quite few unforced errors but Nadal serving well and is very strong. Gonna be hard for roger…..

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#21 
Written By Veronica on January 24th, 2014 @ 9:27 am

sad. lost 1st set and has that scared look on his face. i’m off to bed. can’t stand to see roger lose to rafa again. rafa is a clutch player and very sadly has roger’s number. so depressing to watch after such a good run roger had so far.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#22 
Written By mark on January 24th, 2014 @ 9:55 am

First set to nadal. I guess we know which way this is going. Fed has to serve better. It’s as simple as that. The serve is nowhere near good enough. His net play is the only thing that’s been good so far.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#23 
Written By Alex on January 24th, 2014 @ 9:56 am

Roger did well in the first set, but just could not get the job done. Looks like the match is done now. He had to win the first set to stand a chance.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#24 
Written By sid on January 24th, 2014 @ 9:57 am

Frustrating because Federer played well and mixed it up but still lost the set. Nadal actually seems a little bit uncomfortable with how Federer is playing but Federer was just tentative when it came to the business end. Still too much baseline play from him.

Will be very tough to win it now but unlike with Djokovic, Federer has beaten Nadal after losing the first set, albeit not for a while. He just has to keep trying and not back down now.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#25 
Written By steve on January 24th, 2014 @ 10:03 am

Yeah first set gone, not much hope now, hard to see him coming back, Rafael relentless n clutch as ever. It’s so frustrating coz roger can beat everybody but Nadal….

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#26 
Written By Veronica on January 24th, 2014 @ 10:07 am

Nadal taking the first set meant he won 16 out of 18 matches against Roger.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#27 
Written By Joakim on January 24th, 2014 @ 10:09 am

Yep, just as I thought, the blisters are giving Nadal hell.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#28 
Written By rich on January 24th, 2014 @ 10:24 am

It’s not enough for Federer to come out and play. You have to show some bite and desire to win. I don’t think he can blame anyone but himself.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#29 
Written By Joakim on January 24th, 2014 @ 10:37 am

The “re-oxygenated blood” – mmm – treatment for Nadal’s blister seems to have rejuvenated his entire game. Whether it’s knees or blisters, Nadal’s doctors are again working miracles on the Spaniard’s game.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#30 
Written By rich on January 24th, 2014 @ 10:46 am

It’s so painful to watch Federer get SO Deconstructed!!! I mean – what a hideous performance! Nadal just takes the wind out of Roger’s sails. Jeez. Dimitrov played so much better than Roger. I guess that’s the future. But Nadal is catching Roger’s record!

Plus, the double grand Slam is nothing short of great! There’s just nothing Roger can do! It’s so freaking frustrating but that’s life for you! We expected this but not like this!

Everything was pointing to a different result but there’s just no inspiration. Not even a freakinf break point created!! Just terrible!

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#31 
Written By Vily on January 24th, 2014 @ 10:53 am

Hahaha, typical loser speech. We have seen this so many times before. Let’s admit it, Nadal is the better player, Federer has had a million chances to prove otherwise but Nadal always prevails.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

rich Reply:

I am really sorry to hear about your brain injury. Clearly, there is little chance of recovery.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Chris Reply:

Nadal is the stronger player. Mentally and physically. He will ultimately also be more successful than Federer, breaking the Grand Slam record, which is the one record that stands out of all others.

Current score: 2

[Reply]

Chris Reply:

The question that is in the room, is not who of the two is stronger, but how come that Nadal is SO strong, mentally and physically? And why is Federer so weak when playing against Nadal?

Current score: 1

[Reply]

rich Reply:

It’s obvious, Chris. Roger needs frequent injuries, and injury treatment, in order to improve. That’s what Nadal shows.

Current score: 2

[Reply]

Gaurav Sood Reply:

Ok, let’s be fair to Federer. Nadal’s game was tailor made to beat Federer’s when he was on top, just as Novak adapted his to become a nightmare for Nadal. It’s just that the game doesn’t match up and there’s very little that Federer can do.

It’s not that Nadal has an iron mentality. I’ve seen Novak to do Nadal exactly what Nadal does to Federer. It’s part of life. Sooner or later, somebody’s going to come along whose game is tailor made to beat the guy who currently rules the roost. That’s the way it always has been.

Current score: 2

[Reply]

rich Reply:

Actually to be fully fair to Federer (and anyone else playing Nadal), he was playing a cyborg. I’d have been worried if Roger had beaten Nadal.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

Vily Reply:

I have to agree. We have to be respectful. Nadal deserved to win and he did. Painful for us but I was shocked how easy Nadal made it look. Honestly, I am not sure how much more Roger could do. He really tried to play good. What annoyed me the most though was how many terrible mistakes Roger made especially when he was in so many winning positions. Roger missed regulation forehands, backhands, serves, everything. If he wasn’t missing so terribly, it MIGHT (repeat might) have been slightly more competitive but those shots that he missed were so hideous it was sad to see.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

rich Reply:

Respectful for what, Vily? If I thought Nadal was genuine I would have to simply take my hat off to him. As I would to Flojo, Ben Johnson, Lance Armstrong – and so many other superhuman sports men and women over the years. But I have learned a little cynicism from their experience. I would bet the house, the car, the wife and the dog that Nadal is one of the team.

Current score: 5

[Reply]

Joakim Reply:

Rich, you seem to stand very much alone in your blind hatred. Other fans do give credit to the Spaniard, recognize his achievements, his competitive nature and so on, even though they’re hurt after today’s result. That’s admirable. However you stay in the same place, sticking to the conspiracy theories that only the weak embrace like it is the truth. The venom you vomit comes back at you twice as hard.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

Vily Reply:

I know it sucks to be on the losing team! Trust me! But one has to give credit when credit is due! I know that the future is bright because life goes on! I know that one day Nadal will get old just like Roger is getting old. I know that the future is bright for Grigor and that he’ll beat him sooner or later.

In any case, not that it matters much but last night’s match really came down to some key points (positions) where Roger just came small..

First set: Roger leading 5:4 and he has 30:30.

If he wins the next point, he sets up set point but he just shrieked there. Key point #1

Second set: Nadal serving at 4:3 or 5:3 and Roger has a 0:30 opening. And he screws up yet again. I mean these are the types of points where he just must win. And he didn’t.

Finally in the third set – that was just depressing. He gets a GIFT (repeat a gift) from Nadal to go even 3:3 and what does he do – dumps his own serve yet again. And I mean – not even a 30:40 – he just puts himself in the whole 15-40.

I mean – how depressing was that! So all in all – not clutch last night. I mean the door with Nadal gets slightly open and Roger can’t exploit the half-chances that he gets and then it gets shut. Pure and simple.

Congrats on #14 and double career Grand Slam…

Tough to swallow but the guy did it!…

Current score: 1

[Reply]

rich Reply:

That’s fine, Joakim whoever – everybody is entitled to their views here. (I doubt that the same applies on a Nadal fan site.) I am sticking to mine – just like the former head of WADA, Richard Pound, when he says “tennis has a doping problem”. It isn’t the losers who are doping – or else we don’t have a problem. Oh, and add to that the comments of Spain’s Sports Minister, when he says “Spain has a doping problem”. 2 + 2 and whaddya get … (Sorry, too tough for a Nadal fan to add.)

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Eelco Reply:

Rich,

So many other superhuman sports men over the years….

Yes. But Roger falls in that category too. To be honest, I would not be surprised if Nadal AND Federer would be taking doping.

But, so far tennis seems to be quite free op it, and therefore I think we should not make these unsubstantiated claims.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

Max Reply:

Like Rich, I am too of the opinion that Nadal is the most obvious doper the sport has ever seen. (Does anyone really believe the guy has a debilitating knee problem? lol) The constant “injury” breaks he has been taking over the years are a clear indicator of PED use: if he were REALLY injured, he would not be coming back “stronger and fitter” all the time. Sports fans and media types are a)blind and/or b)hopelessly naive. And me, I am c) depressed by this great tennis con job.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

rich Reply:

Eelco, as I said above, it ain’t the view of anti-doping experts (like WADA’s Richard Pound among others) that “tennis seems to be quite free of it” (doping). Quite the reverse. Also, if Roger is doping – like you suggest – he has to be the world’s most useless doper. It does him no good at all. He looked like a puny schoolboy out there against the pride of Spain. As I have also said previously – Roger needs more serious injuries to improve. Nadal shows the way.

Current score: 4

[Reply]

Eelco Reply:

I don’t suggest that Roger is doping. I only say that I would not be surprised if it turned out he did (not because I don’t trust Roger, but because many people in the end are egoistic and will do anything to win).

But, tell me. What good does dopin do to Nadal? At Wimbledon he has a losing record to Federer. He still has to win a couple of more Grand Slams. Even if he does, it seems to me that Nadal only wins this Australian Open (to give an example) because Djokovic is out of form and losing against nitwits like Wawrinka. I can’t see what doping has to with it (maybe Nadal has given Wawrinka some doping tips?). Nadal only wins because Roger simply can’t play against Nadal and because the player who is, doesn’t show up.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Chris Reply:

If you see how Nadal played in 2009, if you list the number of injuries that hampered his movement and limited his ability to train and have match practice, and then see how he performs on court making short work of everybody using both unseen power, speed AND endurance, you have to start wondering…

Current score: 0

[Reply]

rich Reply:

Eelco, you ask what would doping do for Nadal? Well, it’s been proven that it can lift key performance indicators (strength, speed, stamina etc) by up to 20%. The difference between winning and losing matches on the tour is about 2%. Get the picture? For Nadal, speed, strength and stamina are all a huge part of his game. He simply wears his opponents out. But, strangely, he wasn’t able to do that in the second half of 2009, when Mats Wilander said his game – he lost match after match – was “essentially the same as before but without the same speed and power”. I am betting he was off the dope.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#32 
Written By Joakim on January 24th, 2014 @ 10:54 am

WTF! Seriously!!!

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#33 
Written By Vily on January 24th, 2014 @ 11:06 am

Just an overall very disappointing performance! But life goes on! Even if that means that Nadal’s getting the better of Roger!

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#34 
Written By Vily on January 24th, 2014 @ 11:12 am

Roger needs to develop a blister. Fast. As Nadal shows, it’s the only thing that will lift his game.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#35 
Written By rich on January 24th, 2014 @ 11:12 am

To be honest, Roger is getting schooled out there!!! He just didn’t deserve it today! Total deconstruction by Nadal. Roger is holding for dear life even though he is a break down! :-((( Nadal just really put on a show today! Congrats!

Current score: 1

[Reply]

Vily Reply:

And that look at the end was of such resignation! He just knows that it’s the end! I mean this us just crazy! Nadal is getting to 14 and double GS and to be honest, he’s getting to and passing Roger’s record.

I mean – utter crush injury! Tough and painful but that’s life! Really tough and dissapointing loss – I mean no fight, no hope – no chances! I mean it’s like before Roger steps out he knows Nadal will beat him. It so tough but really enough is enough.

I am shocked by how poor Roger plays – especially against Nadal. Dimitrov is our only hope now. Maybe when else gets to 23-24 years old and Nadal approaches 30 he’ll beat him but it will be too late anyway since Nadal will pass Federer. There’s no point in fighting that.

Just accept it and move on! It’s a bit sad that Federer could have won like 24 GS if it wasn’t for this monster but there’s just nothing Roger can do… sad but true… :-(

Current score: 1

[Reply]

rich Reply:

Vily, as they say – it’s just a game. Even if it’s also probably bent these days.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Vily Reply:

I agree. The SF appearance was good but at the end it doesn’t matter. I am just not sure how much more Roger can take. Basically Nadal has taken everything that has belonged to Roger just like Roger has taken everything that belonged to Sampras. I guess that’s the natural evolution of life and it is what it is. Good vs. Evil and all the above – it’s just a game as you say and we should know when a rivalry is no longer a rivalry.

I am tempted to even not care anymore until something happens to intrigue. But we’ve been there and done that. There’s always something in Roger’s way and always something helping Nadal.

Honestly, I’ve NO idea how this book will end – I wish I can fast forward and see the end but I can’t so only time will tell. It’s not looking good now. And freaking Wawrinka – why did he have to beat Djokovic?! But oh well. That’s a lake excuse anyway. Djokovic shouldn’t be the guardian of Roger’s legacy.. No one should. Nadal just shows up and cleans the clock and does it himself. I wish Roger could do the same but it ain’t happening and that’s that! Goodnight!

Current score: 1

[Reply]

steve Reply:

We don’t know how the story ends, Vily. That’s why we keep watching. It would be boring if we could predict the ending, and equally boring if it were just a triumphal march the whole way through.

When Pandora opened the box that contained all the evils in the world, she realized what she had done and shut the lid. But all the evils had escaped, except for one: hope.

What does it mean that hope remained in the box There are two main schools of thought on that: one says that that was a good thing, because hope remained to comfort humankind in this difficult life. The other says that hope is the ultimate evil, because it falsely leads people to believe that things will get better.

The myth itself is ambiguous on this point. All we know is that we do hope, regardless of whether hope leads to triumph or disaster, and we do keep going.

Current score: 2

[Reply]

Vily Reply:

That was beautiful put, Steve. I guess time will tell what the true meaning of “Hope” will mean!

The good news for Roger is the silver lining – if Roger plays like he did before this match – maybe he can beat everyone except Nadal and that could give him some titles and something to enjoy!

He seemed relaxed in the post-match interview but it is what it is… Nadal is making history and we can’t hide from it.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#36 
Written By Vily on January 24th, 2014 @ 11:16 am

Hey guys….. don’t be too hard on Roger in your comments. I haven’t seen the match yet, don’t know what went wrong, don’t know what Roger did wrong, what he could have done better, if the loss was totally his fault or not….but I am sure he tried…

Damn you Stan… did you have to defeat Novak???
Now… you better win… Goodluck

Current score: 4

[Reply]

#37 
Written By Katyani on January 24th, 2014 @ 11:17 am

Well I think I have just seen how serious the ITF is about anti-doping. Until it does I can’t take the sport or contests like this seriously.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

ron washington Reply:

Rich – I don’t like to insult people on message boards but i’m gonna make an exception with you only b/c you seem to revel in bullying/demeaning all Rafa fans who post comments. I have a message for you: You’re an uninformed idiot. Indiba machines are used by hundreds of athletes in every major sport. It’s a non invasive treatment that’s been publicly endorsed by hundreds of professional athletes as well as many sports franchises. Not a single governing body of any major sport has deemed the procedure illegal. Why? Because there’s absolutely nothing “performance enhancing” about it. It’s a non invasive post injury option that uses electronic stimulation to speed up the healing process. It’s the equivalent of getting a deep tissue massage with an electronic ultrasound machine for back pain. But by your logic, I guess that should be banned too… along with advil, tylenol, sports drinks, ointments, energy bars, and all surgical procedures to repair injuries. Perhaps Rafa should be banned from applying tape to his open wound?
You like to insult Rafa fans by calling them idiots. I find that quite ironic coming from you. A piece of advice: If you’re gonna insult people, at least know what you’re talking about. There’s nothing worse than an uninformed internet tough guy.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

rich Reply:

Ron, nice to hear from you again. It’s been a long time. Of course you only pipe up because you feel the need to defend Rafa. We get every kind of Nadal fan turn up here from time to time but they all share one characteristic: denial. And Rage. You all sound like Armstrong fans. I love your medical arguments. It’s so normal to have these serious medical and injury issues, as Nadal does – and then play out of your skin. But – hey – if it keeps you happy..

Current score: 3

[Reply]

ron washington Reply:

Rich – Just trying to inform you about what an Indiba machine is and how the treatment procedure works…. how frequently its used by athletes across all sports, and how there’s nothing remotely performance enhancing about it.
I have no idea how anybody with a functioning brain would claim that Nadal’s hand injury wasn’t real. You think he was applying ketchup packets to the palm of his hand when nobody was looking?

Current score: 0

[Reply]

rich Reply:

From a contributor to Tennishasasteroidproblem on Nadal’s blister treatment:

“although RFA (Radio Frequency Ablation) is a proven form of treatment for certain medical issues, it will do squat in 24-48 hours. Not to mention that any healing of the skin will surely be aggravated again the next time he grabs a racquet and start playing again. I would like to ask which medical doctor would prescribe this type of treatment knowing the outcome?”

But that’s Nadal all over, isn’t it? More than any other top athlete we have seen him occur apparent serious injury in competition and then – bingo – the “right treatment” and he’s good to go. Blisters, knees adductors – it’s all the same. But something you are clearly unaware of, even though WADA has highlighted it, is that athletes can use injury treatment as a way of introducing PED’s as part of their treatment (and indeed athletes with frequent injuries but quick recoveries are deemed suspicious under WADA guidelines. Remind you of anyone?) You cannot prove that Nadal isn’t using his so-called injuries – however minor – to do this. For a fact what we do see with Nadal is an athlete who seems to get more injured than anyone else – but unlike anyone else plays better afterwards. A red flag to anyone – except someone like you who doesn’t want to see it.

Current score: 2

[Reply]

#38 
Written By rich on January 24th, 2014 @ 11:23 am

Looking forward, knowing that Nadal has Federer’s number, has many more Masters 1000s, will get to double Career GS with 14, and a Gold Olympic medal as well as the Davis cup.

Basically, moving forward, Roger just has to try and see where this year takes him. He’ll be number 8 by the way so that’s terrible reward for his hard work. But anyway.

Unless Nadal slumps, Roger is not getting any more GS. But if Nadal slumps, Roger has to hope to play like before this SF in the other remaining slams and maybe add some titles there. And if it doesn’t work out, then really consider it quits. It’s tough to keep going but I am sure Roger will find a way. But just not against Nadal. And there’s no point in discussing that any further. Roger did as well as he could and that’s admirable but also painful at the same time..

Current score: 1

[Reply]

Alex Reply:

That’s actually a fair comment Vily.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#39 
Written By Vily on January 24th, 2014 @ 11:32 am

RA-FA! RA-FA-EL! RA-FA!! RA-FA-EL!! RA-FA!!! RA-FA-EL!!! RA-FA-EL NA-DAL!!!

Current score: 0

[Reply]

rich Reply:

I love it when the Rafa fans demonstrate the full extent of their vocabulary.

Current score: 3

[Reply]

#40 
Written By B.Jay on January 24th, 2014 @ 11:33 am

Hi everyone, hope you’re not all too down after that.

Second tournament with a new racket and everyone saying he was at the peak of his game. Too much hype about the “Edberg effect”–they’ve been working together for a couple weeks, far too little to have any appreciable impact on his game.

I have said a thousand times, if Federer is not playing his absolute best, Nadal will find him out. There is no question of scrapping and hustling his way through, or buying time, or blasting his way out of trouble.

He must have complete confidence in his game plan and execute it throughout. Nothing less will do. This is why Nadal is the ultimate test for Federer. Federer can’t fake or bluff his way out of this challenge. Only the real thing will do. The difference between 99% and 100% is as large as the one between 80% and 100%.

To achieve that level where thought and action become one whole, unbroken movement in time. Once thought and action become separate, Nadal wriggles through the gap between them.

This is a great challenge even for an elite athlete. Some never achieve this level. Unlike many great athletes, Federer has a goad spurring him to try to reach it.

After losing before the quarters in two consecutive Grand Slams, Federer made the semis here and downed two very tough opponents just to get there. Compared to where he was last October, that’s a great achievement, and enough for now.

There’s a long season of tennis to be played. It’s a steep, forbidding mountain to climb for him back to the top, but I think he’s done well to at least take the first couple steps.

Remember, it’s Federer who’s the real fighter: every time he gets knocked down, he picks himself up off the mat and throws himself back into the fray. He doesn’t give up. This is why he inspires so many.

Current score: 5

[Reply]

Vily Reply:

To be honest, that was just a terrible performance. He should have jumped on Nadal and have like break points in each of Nadal’s serving game and what happened – completely the opposite.

Roger fighting for dear life just to keep the score respectable – I have no idea what happened 1 is it a combination of an off day that you just can’t have against Nadal, a simple realization that no matter what, Roger just can’t beat Nadal anymore or a combination of both.

But that look of resignation at the end really hurt. As if he realized that Nadal is taking the record away from him. But it is what it is…

Current score: 3

[Reply]

Vily Reply:

Look, no one can deny that Federer is doing the right things to try to prolong his career. The racquet, the coach, etc. are all positive but then one looks at the big picture and see how hard it will be to keep playing. Hopefully Roger will find a way. If he can beat everyone except Nadal – then great but I just don’t see it.

The future is really at the hands of Grigor who is young and has huge upside. Roger will hang in there but that darn Nadalstrong has burned him so many times. It has happened so many times. Roger would play like Goderer and then gets schooled by a Nadal. It actually makes it mind boggling how Roger even won those matches in 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Roger keeps doing the same things and Nadal just tapes him – passing shots, Lobs you name it. I kinda hoped for a competitive match and I got a schooling.

Maybe it’s due to Nadal’s high form which – who knows when it will cool off. I don’t know guys. I am ready to throw the towel. How about you?

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#41 
Written By steve on January 24th, 2014 @ 11:51 am

Great tactic from Nadal. Roger is just too nice to get into Nadal’s head. Roger would have probably reduced Nadal’s focus and confidence had he employed Novak’s psychological tactics against Nadal. Yes, Nadal is physically and mentally stronger than Roger. But I would like to wait a little longer and find out if Nadal deserves that statement. Meantime, congrats to Nadal. Roger, please take inspiration from the tattooed words on Stan’s left forearm. Stan, please please please avenge Roger!

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#42 
Written By Rogiee Yang on January 24th, 2014 @ 12:26 pm

I am getting worried about Vily. But I am sure he will be all right tomorrow, if he takes his pills. But levity aside, we saw that the Roger who beat Tsonga and then Murray didn’t really show tonight. He wanted to, but as we so often see now when he plays the Spaniard, he couldn’t find his best game. A new racquet, a new coach and maybe even a new approach or game plan couldn’t help him. We saw the same old problems, of his backhand being broken down, the forehand errors and the missed volleys, as he was routinely passed and pummelled from the back of the court once again. You could see the spirit ebbing from him as the match wore on. It wasn’t a capitulation but he couldn’t find any answers to the combination of the Spaniard’s left-handed spin, power and unbelievable defence. (Did you see the running forehand that Nadal curled around Roger to make the pass in the last game?) There was no real confidence in Roger’s game – and given how he has played over the last year that is hardly surprising.

But even if he had played his best game – like he did against Tsonga and Murray – it wouldn’t have been enough. It might have been closer but I still think it would have been yet another loss to Nadal. To beat the Spaniard in a grand slam you have to be able to play the Spaniard’s game – and more. (Or be Soderling, Rosol or Darcis.) Cue, the absent lamented Novak. But that isn’t Roger’s game, it never has been and sure won’t be at 32. He had a great tournament until the semi-final. Well done, to a veteran Roger – for that at least. Let’s hear what our main man, Ruan, thinks.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

Vily Reply:

I agree with everything you say, Rich. And that’s why it’s sad.. I kinda expected this loss. Hoped for a win but did expect the loss. I’ll get some sleep and get over it – I guess just like we all have in the past.

Hopefully, there will something to cheer for in the future – but not in the immediate future obviously.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#43 
Written By rich on January 24th, 2014 @ 12:27 pm

Original source: http://www.marca.com/2014/01/23/tenis/open_australia/1390469257.html

The Spanish Tennis Federation sent a doctor to Melbourne for Rafael Nadal; Angel Ruiz Cotorro, and also Julián Casanova, a physiotherapist.

With them traveled to the capital of Victoria a revolutionary machine, called Indiba, which will help the rapid recovery of the left hand of the number 1 ATP player. Nadal suffers a nagging sore that forced him to play Grigor Dimitrov bandaged.

“We applied creams that help regenerate skin, but also Indiba, which serves to accelerate the healing process” explains Cotorro. “The device that applies radiofrequency thereby accelerating metabolism of cells, reorganizing oxygenated blood, improving the velocity of blood flow and by promoting lymphatic drainage of the peripheral area. So the cell state thrives.”

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#44 
Written By Charles on January 24th, 2014 @ 2:40 pm
#45 
Written By Bartholomew on January 24th, 2014 @ 3:38 pm

Why you deleted this comment?.

See this page:

http://tennishasasteroidproblem.blogspot.com.es/2014/01/one-of-pillars-to-protect-game.html

Meanwhile, the Spanish Tennis Federation has helped Nadal heal his blisters (I think we get the idea even though Google translate is not the best)

http://www.tennisworlditalia.com/Rafael-Nadal-accelera-la-cicatrizzazione-con-la-radiofrequenza-articolo18076.html

This morning, Rafael Nadal had tranquillizato all claiming not to have a “crater” in the left hand so that he trained without the traditional but with a plaster bandage on the wound site. The problem seems to have been resolved through a machine arrived from Spain.

Nadal’s doctor, Angel Ruiz Cotorro, and ‘was sent to Melbourne by the Spanish Federation to treat bladder bleeding Nadal: “We applied the creams to help skin regeneration. The machinery we use is called Indiba and serves to accelerate the healing process. The device uses radio frequencies that do nothing but accelerate the metabolism of cells, reoxygenating the blood, improving blood flow velocity and encouraging lymphatic drainage in the peripheral zone. This way new cells are born more easily and quickly. ”

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Charles Reply:

OK sorry

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#46 
Written By Charles on January 24th, 2014 @ 3:45 pm

I have accepted this depressing loss and moved on. Others here have said more than enough for me to wedge in my opinion. I will say this, though. Lay off Roger. We have all laid into him so much that there’s nothing new to be said. He’s been bashed and taken apart and it hasn’t really helped. We are all aware of what happens when he plays Nadal. Continue to support him with your good wishes for the rest of the year. He’s a legend among legends. And this is a sport for crying out loud. Whether Nadal gets to 17 and more slams, why let it affect us? Personally, when I see Roger lose it like he did today, I felt like taking a racket and showing him how to do it. Oh the arrogance of the amateur. It’s tough for me not to feel for Roger in times like this,but we can’t influence his match outcomes against Nadal by bashing him. Cease fire.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

Vily Reply:

Grumpy, on face value, this loss doesn’t sting as much as others but what comes as a result does.

If there is any silver lining, hopefully is that Roger is playing better against everybody else except Nadal. So we’ll see where it takes him. I hope he wins Dubai. We’ll go from there!

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#47 
Written By grumpy on January 24th, 2014 @ 5:24 pm

Woah the comments I’ve seen! I’m sorry but I have to say if you’re in this just for titles and records, (what we call in the UK ‘glory-hunters’) or just want Rafa to lose then you’re not a real fan.
Anyway one match does not all of a sudden mean that Rafa will take all of Roger’s records and dominate everyone. Just look at 12 months ago where everyone was going on about the emerging Djokovic-Murray rivalry, HA yeah that really blossomed. Rafa is not a cyborg. He misses (occasionally) and is human. He has fallen onto tough times in his career like Roger and will also have more. The only thing that’s really stayed around in this sport on the men’s side from 8 or 9 years ago is Rafa and Roger. That’s why they’re the best!
I have seen enough from Roger this last week to say with confidence that he’ll win at least 1 more major, and he’ll be in the business end of many more. I said that before this tournament anyway. It won’t stay at 17. But I’m trying to say that it’s not the be-all and end-all! Roger won’t be around forever and he’s having an incredible career. The Tsonga match made my entire week, there’s nothing better than unexpected vintage Fed! And he’ll rear his head again and again. Just enjoy! Enjoy his play, savour Fedal matches because we won’t have many more of them and enjoy all the future successes he’ll have. Because titles will certainly come the way he’s played at times Down Under!
Now I want to add a little about all this GOAT marlarkey. There really is no such thing. It was supposed to be a fun debate of opinions and a chance to get excited about different eras and fantasy tennis between greats of the game. It’s disgusting what it’s become. Fed and Rafa themselves wouldn’t be impressed with what goes on between some “fans” I can assure you.
When I call Roger the GOAT, it’s just personal to me, saying I love his tennis and support his values in life. In other words he’s my favourite.
I believe I coined that term anyway, just for some reason journalists warped the meaning. He is the GOAT – Greatest of All According To Tom.
Jokes aside, I’m saying that we all have a GOAT. Or for my meaning a GOA(insert initial here). For some it’s Rod Laver, for some it’s Pancho Gonzales and yes for some it’s Rafa Nadal! I’m tired of constantly seeing fans hurl abuse at each other. Conspiracy theories remain conspiracy theories until proven. I’ve been a Federer fan since I was 6 years old on the hill at 2001 Wimbledon on the 2nd of July and I’m thankful for all the memories of his tennis while growing up. For me personally Federer retiring will be the day my childhood evaporates completely haha. I’m saying even if Nadal surpasses him it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things! It’s been quite a journey being a FedFan and now it’s nearing the last leg of its journey it would suck to see all these fans depressed.
I don’t agree with some of the things Nadal does like the Rosol-bump and the Indian Wells 2012 time-out malarkey, but then again I’m a nice guy stuck in my gentleman ways, another reason I’m a FedFan. Nadal has always had my respect and so do his fans, the ones that don’t hurl abuse anyway. May the guy who plays the best win on Sunday.
I haven’t even talked about the match yet! Yes it’s disappointing, but their last slam meeting had a similar feel and Roger then won three straight titles. Not saying that’s what going to happen this time but you know :) The way he saved the break points and hung in there was inspiring. He wanted to play his best but just couldn’t quite. It’s like he focused so much on being there mentally with Nadal, and he was for periods, that his tennis suffered. He was caught in two minds and eventually got lost. So pretty much what happens in many of their meetings! That’s what it comes down to, the mental side, and that can always be aided. Is it too late? It’s never too late until it’s over. Roger’s still going strong even with almost 1200 matches played which is pretty amazing. I said we can’t be satisfied with quarters it’s gotta be semis and it was and then some! Progress has been made! Rest up Roger, spend time with your girls and then next up Dubai.
Lastly on this unusually long comment from me, Vily I love your passion but seeing things like contemplating throwing in the towel is sad. Don’t worry my friend, these losses are a part of tennis and Roger will come back stronger! That last bit goes for all FedFans :) And Ru-an I hope you’re settled in Thailand and enjoying teaching! I’m a student teacher myself so I know what you’re getting out of it, it’s stressful sure, but the job satisfaction is through the roof isn’t it. Thanks again for the work you put into this blog. I look forward to your next post!

Current score: 8

[Reply]

Vily Reply:

Tom, I agree. From what I’ve seen Roger can win another major and that’s what matters most. As long as Nadal is taken out though. I feel that Roger can beat almost anyone else right now so that’s a good feeling to have moving forward..

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Tom Reply:

I still reckon Fed could beat him at Wimbledon! But yes Nadal will have tough times as well, it’s easy to forget when he’s like a machine that never tires… He needs some ware of the silver variety starting in Dubai for sure!

Current score: 1

[Reply]

Eric Manes Reply:

You’re right, Vily. Roger needs a draw where Murray or Djoker takes out Nadal and then it’s still possible. Roger basically said it in his post match interview.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

rich Reply:

Tom, you say you were six years old when you saw Federer beat Sampras in ’01! I am surprised you remember any of it. I was nearly fifty at the time, so it was like yesterday. Now, remembering Gonzalez (the original guy, not the pretenders) Laver and Rosewall is a little more distant – like you I was pretty young at the time. But that’s how long I have been following tennis. You will forgive me if I express a certain amount of cynicism about what I have seen on the tennis court since the advent of Nadal.

Current score: 2

[Reply]

Tom Reply:

Absolutely Rich. I am a naive teenager after all haha but I am cynical in my own way, the guy’s a total git, he reminds me of the high school jock thinking he’s above everyone else. Just that if it does turn out that he’s a cheat… I shudder to think. I care too much about the sport, I love it, the damage to its integrity would be shattering. That probably makes me a fool for clinging to blind hope but so be it.
Although I was a junior player until last year where I didn’t make the cut for the mens when I turned 18. I never played grade A but I’ve played grade 1 and 2 tournaments where world rankings are required, and anti-doping as I remember was hugely strict. They turned up to the locker room and asked for a sample on the spot. For these tiny junior tournaments! Whether the same can be said for the ATP is another question.
Anyway I would love it for Fed to stick it to Nadal one day properly, but I was getting pretty worried that too much was being made of the slam record. Nadal shows us it’s only about winning and that sucks. Federer shows us so much more.
My dad says it’s criminal Gonzales isn’t mentioned more in the GOAT debate!
Yeah I do remember ha, not very much but Wimbledon just has that magic to it!

Current score: 2

[Reply]

Katyani Reply:

Hey Tom, I understand what you are saying. But please believe me when I say not all Roger fans are fans because he is winning all the time or because of the titles. I am his fan because of who he is and because of the way he plays. I love the way Roger plays. In the year 2012 I saw a lot of his matches, I cannot get enough of seeing him play. I watched almost all the matches of that year that I could find on Youtube and I watched them almost EVERY night. I cannot tell you how many times I have watched the Wimby matches or IW or Dubai.
It hurts to see Roger lose to Rafa. I saw the match he played against Jo Willy and Andy. And my God, I thought to myself, is that our Roger?? The one who lost to almost everybody last year?? He is playing SO GOOD. We all wanted atleast QF or SF. We all knew Rafa would be waiting and that he would make it that far and that it would be difficult. Well……Roger lost. I think if it was anybody else than Rafa, then Roger would be in the final right now. Well…….it was not meant to be.
This means that there are greater things ahead for Roger. Other things.
Roger played a GREAT AO. Lets not forget that. We should be proud of him. Disappointed also for today, but also very proud in general.
And no way that Roger won’t win a slam again. The 18th is coming. He is playing way too good not to win another slam.

You know what you all should do? Watch a match of Roger against Andy or Dimi or Raonic or Novak or Delpo or anyone else. Then forget for a second that it is Roger…. Believe me, you will see two guys playing great tennis and giving it their all. You will seriously forget that one player is 5 or 6 or 10 or even more years older than the other and you will seriously forget that one player played almost 1200 matches and still is moving like a 25 year old.
I am sad and disappointed right now, but give up on Roger???? NO WAY !!! SERIOUSLY NO WAY !!! He is not getting rid of me and of his other diehard tennisfans that easy !!!

Current score: 3

[Reply]

Tom Reply:

Oh of course not there are loyal ardent fans by the bucket-load! I know the vast majority of fans here are, why this blog is so great. Reading your words just make me smile, it’s always nice when someone out there is just as passionate as I am!
Just that as I said to Rich, I was getting concerned with all this slam record talk, I don’t want that to be the first thing we say at the end of it all if Rafa does surpass him. It’s not about the numbers, it’s about exactly what you’ve said: the way he plays, who he is as a person and what he stands for.
And you’re right again with this, to play this AO after just a few months ago self-destructing to Robredo is nothing short of incredible :)

Current score: 3

[Reply]

rich Reply:

Tom, I like your attitude.

Current score: 2

[Reply]

Eric Manes Reply:

You’re awesome Katyana. Thanks and I completely agree!!!

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#48 
Written By Tom on January 24th, 2014 @ 6:05 pm

Hi guys, what a sad day for tennis. Unfortunately it has come to a point where I can no longer stand to watch this farce of a sport. Nadal is winning everything, with no-one to stand up to the plate and beat him any more. Djoker is useless, he was good enough to stop Nadull from winning 3 slams but is now choking at every available opportunity to let Dull get closer to 17. Murray will never do tennis a favour and beat him either, Im sure of it. Fed stands no chance against him any more on any surface and the less said about the remaining pack of clowns who are meant to be “professional” tennis players, the better. Any time they have Dull under pressure they invariably choke and let him off the hook. The new generation are doing a great job of testing everyone but Dull. You can bet that he will never again have an injury to force him out of this once beautiful game, if he is on drugs that he will never be caught and that this new breed of idiots will continue to choke against him and gift him slams until he is 42 and decides to retire having amassed as many as he likes. I refuse to watch a sport where someone who sits back and induces errors from his opponents for hours is recognised and applauded as the “greatest of all time”. Sampras and Federer are and always will be the greatest. For now (until Dull retires) i am through following tennis, much as it kills me to do so. The very best of wishes to you all, fellow FedFans

Current score: 3

[Reply]

Alex Reply:

You know you’re right about one thing. If no one stops him Nadal will maybe even reach over 20 slams. Don’t underestimate his endurance.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#49 
Written By Killian on January 24th, 2014 @ 6:14 pm

No matter how many titles Nadal wins as a tennis fan in my eyes he will never bring as much joy to watch as Federer. We all know that Nadal is a great tennis player, but he defies logic he has played with bad knees and now played with a blistered hand,
the commentators were saying he was playing through the pain barrier! What pain barrier, he must just be numb…Federer has lost before he steps on court!!

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#50 
Written By elizabeth on January 24th, 2014 @ 6:32 pm

Congratulations to Roger for a great Australian Open 2014! Reaching the last four is an excellent result, and it took a Nadal to stop Federer from going all the way. Respect to Federer for the courage to keep trying and enduring all these losses brought by Nadal and surely followed by shitstorms from friends and enemies alike. It’s so humiliating that it’s hard even for the fans to take it. Fedal matches have stopped being fascinating long time ago, as the outcome is so predictable. Nadal did nothing special today. Same as always. Effective and successful. Incredible how blisters and knees can be treated knowadays! As a top athlete, he obviously has access to top doctors anytime, anywhere. And as one of tennis’ cash cows, he is as immune of getting caught as any other top 10 player. Wawrinka had joined the league of those that keep improving with age, which got him to the final but not further. Nadalix is there and will outrun anything. He is fascinating in his own way. I wonder if him being Swiss would make me his fan. Maybe, probably. And as his fan, I would probably also believe in all these explanations for his incredible recoveries from injuries. He is a hero coming back that strong after so serious medical conditions. He has changed the way tennis is played, and he will go down as the most successful ever. Until somebody comes that is faster, stronger…

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#51 
Written By Chris on January 24th, 2014 @ 6:44 pm

Hello!
Well, It`s a bit sad that this matchup has become so predictable at least in GrandSlam-play. Nadal has the ability to raise his game whenever he is pressured while Federer becomes tentative and nervous in critical phases.This was not the case in his prime even against Nadal.Nadal is so consistent and aggressive in the pressure points which make him incredibly hard to beat.Djokovic has clearly been better in the clutch than Federer against Nadal.While Federer often plays well against the Spaniard it`s just not enough.We`ll just have to appreciate the excitement and the thrill these matches produce.I really thought that Federer had a chance given that Nadal in the first set was defensive and made some uncharacteristic errors.But Roger did not seize the moment. I felt he could easily at least have won the first set. Yes Nadal raised his game but Federer has the capasity to play much better than today…Well well.Semifinal was a very good result and he has prepared very well for this tournament it seems(which he always seems to do)It will be interesting to see what Stan can do!Tennis is still interesting, and it will be interesting to see what happens to Nadal after this as we never quite know…

Current score: 4

[Reply]

#52 
Written By Simarin on January 24th, 2014 @ 7:54 pm

I don’t understand why you all had hope. All the “advantages” Federer had going into this match got him 12 games. I knew for a FACT that he would not win a set, and guess what? I was absolutely right. I wanted him to win just as much as you all did, but it’s best to be pessimistic anyway. At least, that way, you can brag about being right. You need to achieve happiness somehow. I’m too young to be thinking that way, yet that’s how life is. Cruel.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#53 
Written By Chris on January 24th, 2014 @ 8:26 pm

Wawrinka stands no chance, yet i am rooting for him to beat Nadal. I am tired of one or two guys winning everything. Here’s hoping Wawrinka pulls off an upset

Current score: 3

[Reply]

#54 
Written By Mike on January 24th, 2014 @ 9:24 pm

It was as brutal and frustrating to watch as it can be for a Fedfan. All that sweet success against Tsonga and Murray was erased emphatically by that ever efficient machine named ‘Nadal’. And I’m afraid when he will catch Roger’s slam count, he might as well be considered tennis GOAT. I hoped he could put up a fight against his nemesis like French open ’11 or Aus open ’12 that will guide him to maybe a Wimbledon success. But that was not meant to be. So, Roger will be down to no #8 and he’d better maintain this consistency to try to make his way to top 4. However, Nishikori amazes me the most this open. His game was probably 2nd/joint 2nd best this week.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

rich Reply:

So Nishikori is the only player who had any chance against Nadal this tournament! Incredible. And what do you think were the chances of Nishikori beating the Fed who took out Tsonga and Murray the way he did? About zero, I would say.

Current score: 2

[Reply]

MJ-Ruban Reply:

Rich you didn’t got my point, if we consider Roger against Tsonga at the top level, then in my opinion, Stan/Nishikori would be the 2nd best. Nadal was not playing lights out tennis I think, but his game is such that he can neutralize his opponents’ attack somehow.
and, yeah Nishikori gave Nadal the most threat this week. Aganst Dimitrov, he was sub-standard the whole match. If you didn’t watch Nadal-Nishikori I’ll advice you to go search for the replay. His backhand and movement was almost like mini-Djokovic, that sort of game that can dismantle Nadal’s favourable pattern. The only hindrance is Nishikori’s height.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

rich Reply:

We agree that Nishikori was Nadal’s toughest match this last week (which is the main point i took from your comments.) Nadal was at his usual lower level in the first week of a slam while Nishikori went after him with very aggressive groundstrokes. But, regrettably, lack of height isn’t Nishikori’s only deficiency: his game can suffer from poor shot selection and lack of consistency – and that’s what ultimately cost him the Nadal match, after being well placed to win it.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#55 
Written By MJ-Ruban on January 24th, 2014 @ 10:03 pm

Isn’t it odd how Rafa struggles against lowly ranked players in the early rounds, and then destroys higher ranked opposition – like Roger – in the latter stages of the tournament? If I didn’t know better I would think it was some sort of cycle and he was boosting to peak near the business end of the tournament. Growth hormone between matches? Nah- couldn’t be! (Mind you the former head of WADA says it is possible for a player to do that and get away with it… mmm.) I am wondering if Stan might get a set against Nadal in the final. Wow – a set! He might. But I guess it will depend on whether Nadal develops blisters again – or maybe the knees…

Current score: 1

[Reply]

Mike Reply:

you could be right about the cycle. However in this Aussie open, he won all his matches in straight sets until the quarters. Even the Nishikori match was a straight set win, albeit a 3 tight setter.

Federer just has a huge mental block vs him. He comes out agressively, wins the first set (although he didn’t in this match) and then becomes nervous. Its sad to see. Not denying that Nadal could be doping but surely Federer can do better than this

Current score: 1

[Reply]

ron washington Reply:

Yeah, Rafa really struggled in the early rounds at the Australian Open this year.
Rd 1 vs Tomic 6-4 (retired)
Rd 2 vs Kokkinikus 6-2, 6-4, 6-2
Rd 3 vs Monfils 6-1, 6-2, 6-3
Good call Rich

Current score: 2

[Reply]

rich Reply:

Nishikori broke Nadal several times in their 4th round match. If he had held serve after breaking he would have seen Nadal out of the tournament in 3 sets. As it was it was a very tight match. In the quarters Dimitrov broke Nadal in each of the first three sets, and again if he had held at the key times Nadal would have been gone in 3. Even so, Dimitrov also had set points to take a 2 sets to 1 lead, but choked. But of course that’s when Nadal develops a serious “blister” – and then immediately recovers to blow Federer off court in 3 sets, after Federer had easily disposed of Tsonga and Murray. But that’s just this AO. In the grand slams Nadal routinely gets better – “stronger” – throughout the tournament, until he is pretty much unbeatable by the end of the tournament. Yeah. Totally normal. But only for him.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#56 
Written By rich on January 25th, 2014 @ 12:41 am

I wonder who wants this title more? Really I do. Stan with his 1st, or Nadal catching Federers slam count in due time, by putting one more in the bag. Since I route for anyone but Nadal, GO STAN THE MAN!!! G

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#57 
Written By Gary on January 25th, 2014 @ 12:44 am

I have not been commenting during this AO because I was trying to be so positive. Then I lost all that today. Murray is so negative not only
in his playing but in all areas of tennis issues. Roger is such a great ambassador for tennis and it is hard to see ruthless Nadal beat him. Nadal is a monster/beast as someone mentioned. Seeing Nadal run all over the court is just not normal. Football and basketball players play tough games but I have not seen anyone as inhuman looking as Nadal. Something is not right with Nadal. The other thing that took the cake later this day was that after Roger beat Murray and Tsonga he drops in the rankings to #8. Chris your comments are so right except that I would not be for Nadal if he lived next door to me. Serena is from US and I always pull against her. Yes I too am pulling for Wawrinka. He has never been here before. I will check scores tomorrow and if he wins I will watch the replay. Only Roger deserves my attention at 2:30 am! I feel I must be going through withdrawals. Tomorrow is another day for all of us and as they say time heals all wounds.

Current score: 4

[Reply]

#58 
Written By Pat Weir on January 25th, 2014 @ 4:55 am

Something I don’t think Nadal can beat Roger at is Roger was picked # 2 in the world as most respected and trusted people. Mandela was # 1 and he is deceased and Roger became #2. Eat your heart out Nadal!!

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#59 
Written By Pat Weir on January 25th, 2014 @ 5:28 am

Try to stay positive guys. The achievement is already more or the max relative to what we expected before the AO. His game showed great improvements too during 4th rd & QF. As to the reasons for his loss, I can offer some:

1. In nature, the phenomenon of “mean reversion” is ubiquitous, much more than people would imagine. This is also related to one’s performance. Tiger Woods participated in this experiment and this phenomenon really showed. So after “above average performances”, during the subsequent games the athlete’s performance tend to decline to “below average performance”. That’s why we have the expression “champions win even during their bad days/performances” — it’s because their average performance is high enough to still allow some performance margin over lesser opponents. Nadal just happened to have 2 straight below avg performances against Nishikori & Dimitrov, while Federer the opposite. The normal tendency of people generally is to extrapolate. So, this is just another example showing how ubiquitous the effects of mean reversion is.

2. To defeat Nadal, Federer must be at his peak performance due to the wrong match-up as often discussed. Obviously he wasn’t at this condition…partly because of the reason no.1 stated above, and perhaps because he’s still getting used to the new game.

3. Mental. Defeating Tsonga & Murray in clutch fashion might be more emotionally exhausting than physically. After the loss of 1st tiebreak, this likely played as a big hindrance in his head. To set the right mental attitude is not easy…especially after having horrific 2013. In the beginning of his career, he also needed some years to set things straight about the mental side. I think this might be a mini-version of that struggle…which I hope he covers quickly.

—-

Overtime, if he can be more consistent with the performance as we have seen in the 4th & QF, he can mount legitimate challenges to slam titles. Remember, reason no.1 works for everyone, including enhanced athletes like Nadal. All he has to do is continuing the smart hard work & hope luck smiles at him at the right time. After all, luck is probably the most important ingredient of someone’s success…and also the most understated.

Current score: 4

[Reply]

Katyani Reply:

Hey Jason, I agree. For me personally, I never thought that Roger would beat Andy. Andy has in my opinion also become a boogeyman to Roger. I knew he would somehow beat Jo Willy, but I thought Roger would not defeat a even injured Andy. But he did !!! For me that was enough. I do have to say on one hand I thought he would lose to Rafa, but on the other hand, the way Roger was playing and how high his confidence was, I thought there would be a chance he could defeat Rafa. Unfortunately he couldn’t.
But lets also remember it is just January. Roger has made so much improvement already and he will keep improving. Good times are coming. I’m sure of that.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#60 
Written By jason on January 25th, 2014 @ 5:53 am

Yes Joakim, you are right about one thing. Roger broke almost all of Sampras’s records. Now Rafa is going to break some of Roger’s records. And after a while someone will come who will break Rafa’s records… It is all part of the sport and of life.
But ofcourse there are some records of Roger that no one will be able to break ever….
By the way, the match was not a funeral. Rafa did not defeat Roger with 3 bagels you know…Rafa did not crush Roger. Roger was just outplayed, that’s all.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#61 
Written By Katyani on January 25th, 2014 @ 10:12 am

If we could all be reasonably sure that Nadal is a clean athlete, we would have to simply accept his superiority, though I would not say he is more complete. But ultimately more letal and therefore more successful. The bad news is, we cannot be sure. Worse even, to many of us the opposite is more credible. So we do struggle to accept that Federer is outplayed through unfair competitive advantages. Lack of fairness!

Current score: 2

[Reply]

#62 
Written By Chris on January 25th, 2014 @ 10:14 am

Little mindgame to test myself. If I was shown absolute proof that Federer has been doping throughout his career, while Nadal was always a naturally gifted, extraordinarily fit and hardworking guy, battling through career threathening injuries and pain, never resorting to any unfair or illegal support, to beat the heck out of cheating snobby Federer, I would immediately turn into a die hard Rafa fan! If proof was given to me that both are, and have always been, clean and fair, I would take my hat off and feel deep admiration and respect f

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Chris Reply:

for both of them.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#63 
Written By Chris on January 25th, 2014 @ 10:30 am

Here’s a fun question – and not to be taken too seriously (especially by Nadal fans) – but since it’s been scientifically established that doping can improve your overall performance by up to 20% (that’s massive – turning a welterweight into a heavyweight), by making you so much stronger, faster and more tireless (and improving hand-eye), what do you think the score would have been in the semi if Nadal had been doping? That’s right – taking it as a given that he is clean, how many games – er points? – would Roger have got IF Nadal had been doping? (Wow. It could be really embarrassing! Zip, zip and zip? I am so glad Nadal wasn’t doping!)

Current score: 1

[Reply]

Chris Reply:

It’s not the lies about injuries and treatments that bother me, it’s the insult to our intelligence that I find offensive. I’m n

Current score: 1

[Reply]

Chris Reply:

It’s not the lies about injuries and treatments that bother me, it’s the insult to our intelligence that I find offensive. I’m not a sour loser, but I hate to be fooled as if I was a believer in Santa Clause and fairytales

Current score: 3

[Reply]

#64 
Written By rich on January 25th, 2014 @ 12:06 pm

Joakim, Roger is not only a superlative tennis player, he is a figure who has transcended his sport, being ranked second only to the late great Nelson Mandela in opinion surveys as one of the most respected of international figures – in any field. He inspires love from amongst his fans, respect from his peers, and – significantly – the highest regard from the great players of the past. Do you think Laver, Sampras and Rosewall were there at the AO to honour Nadal? Laver heaps praise on Roger (and Sampras) in his autobiography. He conspicuously has nothing to say about Nadal. The kindest description of the Spaniard I have seen was of the “freak from Mallorca” – from Andre Agassi. Nadal may win matches, but not hearts – as the great Swiss does. Records aside he will never be as great a sportsman as Roger Federer.

Current score: 6

[Reply]

#65 
Written By rich on January 25th, 2014 @ 12:31 pm

Every player has ups and downs, peaks in form, Djokovic used to choke so often before 2011, Wawrinka never reached a GS final until now, etc. Agassi came and went. There are endless examples. By that conclusion any improvement or achievement is suspicious. But when you many matches are played during the year, season after season, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to perform the same all the time, to win everything. Don’t you understand? Nadal is not only strength and power, that’s bullshit. He constructs every point carefully, sometimes leaving the oponnents breathless because he can hit the ball in some many unexpected ways that their confidence is mined. He’s a class act. No question.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Chris Reply:

If all top players are doping (not so hard to imagine), then Nadal is an absolute genius at it, and Federer is an idiot, because he does not get much of a boost. So yes, Nadal has many absolutely terrific abilities, starting with playing with his left hand, using incredible spin, clutch play, mindgames, and unseen defensive skills. An exceptional player without doping, unbeatable with doping

Current score: 1

[Reply]

rich Reply:

Nadal is a class act, like Tony Soprano is an upstanding public citizen.

Current score: 2

[Reply]

Joakim Reply:

Every attempt at ridicule just goes to show how miserable and ill-willed person you are. Yeah, Nadal is such a terrible player but your God has not been able to beat him in a GS for seven years.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

rich Reply:

Well, unlike you, I don’t have a “God” on the tennis court; only players I admire – and those I don’t. After some years of research and consideration on the topic, I think your guy is a doper; in fact I can’t see how he can play any other way. That’s not “blind hatred”, as you suggest – personally I don’t give a stuff about Nadal – I just happened to think he is a cheat, based on an informed view of doping in sports. But you can’t handle it. Really, that’s your problem. But your whining about it is pretty tedious. You should remain at your Nadal fan-site, where you and your buddies are clearly much more comfortable than on a site where contrary views can be freely expressed.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

Joakim Reply:

Are you telling me to leave on a site where everyone can express their views for… expressing mine? You admire Mussolini, don’t you?

Current score: 1

[Reply]

rich Reply:

You really are just a little bit thick, aren’t you? Never mind, let me help you. You only come here to defend Nadal from negative comment. If it so offends you, wouldn’t you be more comfortable on a website where others share your views? There, that wasn’t too hard was it?

Current score: 1

[Reply]

Joakim Reply:

Stop giving advice to everyone, will you? Stop insulting. Stop treating others as if they are inferior. Ron Washington put it quite well, there’s not much to add.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

rich Reply:

Actually, Joakim, you the only person here who I treat as inferior. That’s because it’s fun. And you deserve it. You really only come here to gloat when Nadal beats Federer. And then you wonder why you might be seen as a pain in the *rse!

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#66 
Written By Joakim on January 25th, 2014 @ 12:44 pm

See this question about doping in sport to Mark Spitz:
I would never have believed. Tennis is not clean, not only cycling.

Question: How about the current anti-doping regulations

Mark Spitz: The IOC says it is doing the best job possible , but what you can do is look for old substances to improve performance , things that athletes may have taken previous years. But some may have moved to a new type of drug . I think his work would find these substances , but it is difficult for the IOC know unless any of those involved informed . The problem is that according to the rules , six months before the Olympics the list of banned substances is given . Is done for two reasons. First, if you are taking one of these products, you have time to take off and get clean. Second, if you’re taking something that helps you and is not listed , you can stick with it, because they will never discover. This question is should raise the IOC. Is the jury and the executioner , who makes the rules. Your responsibility is to polish those standards. One step back and think it’s on purpose.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#67 
Written By Fern on January 25th, 2014 @ 12:59 pm

I was born in Mallorca, the same island as Nadal. I know him and his family and I can say that is not humble, , he is arrogant he is willing to do anything to win. You know what I mean. The media tell us it’s simple, humble, etc.. but it is more false than Judas. Why when “Injured” not told when he would come back and were saying every week that the Olympic Games, Canada and Cincinnati Masters, U.S. Open, etc. would be lost.? .

I’ve never seen on crutches, never . When I asked about his injuries always tries to dodge the question and gets nervous . When in the summer of 2009 I asked him about his ” injury,” he told me he did not know when it would , ( again in Toronto or Monreal, I do not remember ), but when in the summer of 2012 , after losing at Wimbledon against Rosol him again ask what such , he said he would in a few weeks in the Olympics, he lied obviously. That confirmed that Nadal was hiding something behind his ” injury ” because then told me that last summer would compete and did not compete until early 2013 . He was training while most people thought he was seriously injured. Especially trained his serve and backhand .
I think his uncle Toni is the ” organizer ” why somehow protecting it with the press.
For me it ‘s the worst I’ve seen people because they are very hypocritical and false . In the press, tv, and say the surroundings are very humble. But it is false , he hates to lose, and I’ve seen breaking rackets, insulting, is a ” spoiled child and somewhat self-centered ” , but thanks to his uncle he would have us believe that it is a great person. is false

Current score: 3

[Reply]

rich Reply:

You have had the opportunity to talk with Nadal?

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Toni Amengual Reply:

Yes, I spoke with him in 2009, 2011 and 2012. He is very different from how the press and tell us that marketing is and how their fans think it is. In the last week of July 2012 (one month after losing to Rosol in Wimbledon) was training in the gym and then practicing the serve and backhand. I could not believe it. The press said he was injured. Note that after losing at Wimbledon, said he would participate in the Olympics and was the Spanish flagship, then resigned. That was very strange. Later he said he had opportunities to participate in the Toronto Masters (or Monreal, I do not remember) and Cincinnati, also retired, also missed the U.S. Open until early 2013. When an athlete is injured look there is a recovery time, but he never knew. Was delaying his return each week. It is very strange.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#68 
Written By Toni Amengual on January 25th, 2014 @ 1:00 pm

http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/tennis/25893638

Current score: 1

[Reply]

rich Reply:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-09/let-s-hope-drugs-prolong-rafael-nadal-s-great-career-.html

Current score: 1

[Reply]

Joakim Reply:

Read below: Some of the worst journalism in the history of Bloomberg. Disgraceful, non-empirical gossip. Laughably poor from the writer. No surprise he is only a writer/journalist. Always the scared observer, never the participant. Or: I know Armstrong was one case where everybody thought he was taking something but nothing could be proved. But he was an exception to the rule. Most athletes that cheat get caught. It is very hard to sustain that kind of cheating for a very long time.

The problem most people have with Nadal is because he is a different breed of tennis player. He is very athletic, muscular, and explosive to the limit. It is no secret the unconventional way he was trained by his uncle, the unconventional way he used to win at an early age. However, the fact that he is different doesnt mean he is cheating.

I think Nadal is a revolutionary in the sense that he is taking tennis to a next level of athleticism. Djoker went up one level to beat him, and he did it very effectively for almost a year. To me that shows that is not a matter of drugs but actually about how you can rethink your game to win.

Nadal had a winning way of playing in 2010. He beat everybody. When you have a winner you dont change it. However, Djokovic actually figure a way to beat Nadal’s game in 2011. Some people can never recover of something like that. Federer was not able to change his game to beat Nadal.

So for me this shows Nadal genius in the tennis game. Everybody knew that Nadal needed to step up closer to the baseline to counter Djoker strategy. But it is extremely difficult to modify one’s game, from a baseline retriever to an early taker. That takes a lot of work. But Nadal is very flexible, all he cares is finding a way to win. Not sticking to some particular belief of how things should be. I had found that most people that dislike Nadal do so because they think that he is not being true to some preconceived notions of how tennis should played.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

rich Reply:

The more you say the more desperate you sound.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#69 
Written By Joakim on January 25th, 2014 @ 9:43 pm

Hey guys, tomorrow kind of a D-day. I wish Stan the Man very good luck. He also lost a lot matches to Rafa, but Rafa is not mental in his head like in Roger’s head. I know Stan never defeated Rafa, but Stan also lost 14 times to Novak before he won…
And I think Stan knows that this is his chance and that he earned it all on his own. Well… he really did.

I am not going to lie. I want Stan to win so that Rafa cannot come close to Roger’s records (because he absolutely does NOT deserve that). But if I will be honest about that, then I have to be honest about this too. I hope and prey Stan wins because he deserves to win. He is such a great and dangerous player, a very nice person and has a good and honest heart. After Roger he is the one I like the most. He deserves to have a GS. He really does.

So… go Stan, “win it for Roger”, but absolutely MORE for yourself because you deserve it. GO STAN !!!
Stop an undeserved history from happening and create your own DESERVED history…. This is your time…

Current score: 1

[Reply]

rich Reply:

Katyani, I think Stan will be fortunate to win a set. I would hope he could do better – even create a huge upset – but I don’t think anything can stop the Spaniard. Except perhaps an inquiry like the one that stopped Lance.

Current score: 2

[Reply]

Katyani Reply:

Hey Rich, don’t worry. One couch, one Oprah, one Rafa coming up. Only thing that is uncertain is when it will come up. I hope Stan does do the unthinkable, but we also have to remember he won after he lost 14 times to Novak. Robredo won after he lost 10 times to Roger. I think Stan knows that reaching a GS final will not happen all the time, especially with the top 4 around, and he is the underdog and with nothing to prove. He can win a GS and be Swiss number one, but he will never get out of Roger’s shadow completely. So, he is the one who can play freely. The whole tennisworld is not even talking about him winning, but beeing lucky to even win a set !!!
Rafa is the one with all the expectations and the history. I think Rafa will win, but I also think that he is not playing the same Stan he always defeats.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

rich Reply:

“One couch, one Oprah, one Rafa coming up.” Katyani, that’s really good! I wish I had thought of it! I also agree with the rest of your comments about Stan. Stranger things have happened than unthinkable upsets in sports.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#70 
Written By Katyani on January 25th, 2014 @ 11:51 pm

Hey, guys! I am still curious about Ru-an’s views and comments on all of this. He’s probably waiting until the AO Final in order to voice them. I hope he won’t be too depressed. After 19 finals, Nadal should be at 14. But who knows?

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#71 
Written By Vily on January 26th, 2014 @ 5:08 am

Anyone found Nadal’s special spanish doctor flying all the way to Australia just to treat a hand blister slightly suspicious? Are there no specialist doctors good enough in Australia? Why have to be from Spain? Is Spain’s pharmaceuticals more advanced than Australia’s? What “treatment” did the spanish doctor give Nadal?! And is drug testing compulsory for the slam finalists (like testing them before/after match?)

Current score: 1

[Reply]

rich Reply:

“Is Spain’s pharmaceuticals more advanced than Australia’s?” Yep, they sure are, Veronica. Just ask Alberto Contador.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#72 
Written By veronica on January 26th, 2014 @ 5:19 am

Furthermore, can anyone even imagine Roger, Nole or Murray sending in their own doctors in the midst of a slam to treat a blister?!! Either the man is plain doping or he is mad, paranoid, obssessive, compulsive, desperate. It’s like Nadal’s and Uncle Toni’s whole “little world” would fall apart if they don’t break the record at AO this year!! Anyway, I don’t know about you guys but I’m getting ready for a smacking from Nadal tonight…. I’m using stacks of burgers as cushions for the pain….ouch! Hahaha! (having a barbecue – Australia day)But stranger things have happened. Titanic,the unsinkable; sunk into oblivion forever!! Let’s hope Stan’s up to this titanic challenge. Common Stanimal!!

Current score: 1

[Reply]

rich Reply:

“Either the man is plain doping or he is mad, paranoid, obssessive, compulsive, desperate.” I suppose it’s possible he could be both. Either way, no way else puts on an injury side-show like the Mallorcan.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#73 
Written By veronica on January 26th, 2014 @ 5:48 am

For Stan to win he needs to:
- win first set
- serve like God
- hit solid backhand back to Nadal’s backhand
- minimize unforced forehand errors
- stop approaching to Nadal’s heavy topspin forehand

It is somehow incredible that, after so many years, Roger was not able to figure out a way to counter Nadal’s tactic (serve away to his backhand, followed by a wicked heavy topspin forehand, the most lethal combination in this sport as described by many commentators).

Current score: 0

[Reply]

rich Reply:

If none of that works he could try kicking over his water-bottles.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Chris Reply:

Incredible it is. All doping suspicions aside, it is in the end just another tennis challenge for Roger to figure out how to beat a never slowing Nadal. Which he could never achieve, and that does take away some of his claim for greatness. He got owned by Nadal and could never really find a winning formula against him.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

rich Reply:

To be fair, Chris he did have a winning formula in the earlier part of his career, consistently beating Nadal on hard-court and grass until 2008. But not however on clay, even though he often had his chances. But that is now a long time ago and Roger is not getting any younger. I think it is asking too much of Federer at 32 to beat a Nadal in his prime. In fact maybe nobody can for the foreseeable future.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

Chris Reply:

But Nadal was beating Federer regularly when Federer was in his prime!

Current score: 0

[Reply]

rich Reply:

On clay, as I said. On grass, indoors and hard-court Roger was beating him, with a couple of early exceptions on hard-court. That all changed 2008/9.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#74 
Written By Michel on January 26th, 2014 @ 7:02 am

Dr. Angel Ruiz Cotorro, the Spanish Tennis Federation and treats Nadal with his stem cell treatment is the same as is the doping doctor ATP. It does not seem strange, it is unethical. The same doctor that ATP is in doping controls. It is a scandal in uppercase. I’m a sports fan and I can tell you it is a shame all that Spanish tennis player makes. And that I’m Spanish.
Listen up if tennis fans do nothing nobody will know the truth. We have to report it via Twitter, Facebook to all sports organizations and all people. Remember the famous cyclist during competition never gave doping.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

Charles Reply:

He meant that the doctor is the – anti doping doctor Cotorro ATP. Sorry for the mistake

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#75 
Written By Charles on January 26th, 2014 @ 8:43 am

Yezzzzzzz, Stan the Man won the first set !!! GO STAN !!! This is your moment. You deserve this…

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#76 
Written By Katyani on January 26th, 2014 @ 9:26 am

Rafa just looked at the Great Uncle Toni because he cannot believe Stan is playing like this.
What is the Great Uncle Toni’s message to Rafa?
“Keep going, he cannot keep this up”!!! For that alone Stan, beat them both !!!

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#77 
Written By Katyani on January 26th, 2014 @ 9:33 am

Yay a first set Stan Ru all watching this. Stan hitting Nadal off court god Nadal is so I comfy. Common Stan keep the foot on his throat

Current score: 1

[Reply]

Katyani Reply:

Veronica, one injury excuse coming up in case Rafa needs it.
BUT Stan needs to keep focused and concentrated. I think he has a point. If the opponent takes a medical time out he should know atleast what for. Otherwise anyone can get up and walk.
But of course…. Stan was just in the zone and Rafa does this…

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#78 
Written By Veronica on January 26th, 2014 @ 9:39 am

Rafa needs some magic juice! He’ll come back shooting like crazy…, and Stan KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT IS GOING ON!

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#79 
Written By Chris on January 26th, 2014 @ 9:44 am

Tactical time out by nadal. SHAME ON HIM!!!!!!!

Current score: 2

[Reply]

Michel Reply:

He seems to be injured, I think he will retire.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#80 
Written By Alex on January 26th, 2014 @ 9:46 am

To all the Rafa fans on this site…. THIS is why we (Roger fans) don’t like Rafa…. this action….

Current score: 3

[Reply]

Joakim Reply:

How can you be so silly? Don’t you see he is injured? He can’t serve!

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Chris Reply:

BULLSHIT! Mindgames all over. As soon as Stan looses his rhytm, Nadal will come back full force

Current score: 3

[Reply]

Katyani Reply:

All this talk about his knees holding up and a week about a blister…. NOW it is the back??? Where did that come from?? Roger, Novak, Andy, most of the others suffer from back problems, Rafa does not.
Joakim, can’t you see how he is acting?? He really should learn something from Roger how to act and play as a sportman with backinjury.
I am watching on BBC and the commentators are actually feeling sorry for him…

Current score: 3

[Reply]

Joakim Reply:

Are you kidding me? When did Rafa not go shoot the ball? He’s clearly in great pain. His movement is compromised.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#81 
Written By Katyani on January 26th, 2014 @ 9:48 am

I hope at the end we can compare this to the Nadal – Soderling match.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#82 
Written By Alex on January 26th, 2014 @ 9:48 am

Rape of Rafel Nadal,This is what it is and i am so loving it.

Current score: 2

[Reply]

#83 
Written By muhammad on January 26th, 2014 @ 9:52 am

Nadal can ONLY be beaten if unfit! It’s a myth, but the way Nadal and his team have created and maintained that myth is part of the dark genius of their entire show

Current score: 5

[Reply]

#84 
Written By Chris on January 26th, 2014 @ 9:53 am

Nadal clutching his back n look of concern, another fake maybe? n trying to get medical time out maybe to mess up Stan’s momentum?! Don’t fall for it Stan pls keep on doing what u r doing. Gosh Stan is freely swinging it tonite n bullying Nadal!

Current score: 2

[Reply]

#85 
Written By Veronica on January 26th, 2014 @ 9:55 am

Are you enjoying it? Sure. How nice it is to watch him suffer an injury in a final! You worthy human beings

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Chris Reply:

No, I don’t enjoy it. I find it disgusting.

Current score: 2

[Reply]

Katyani Reply:

Joakim, if you have the time, try to watch Wimby 2012, Roger vs Malisse. And see how a great sportsman, a gentleman and a fair tennisplayer handles backinjury and a honest medical time out. Watch how Roger does it, how it is suppose to be done…

Current score: 1

[Reply]

Gaurav Sood Reply:

Completely agree Katyani. Federer didn’t clutch his back once despite being injured for an ENTIRE year. Did any one of us see Fed even make a grimace? No. That’s the stuff champions are made of.

Kudos to Nadal for fighting it out, but unnecessary drama is what separates the two. Just because Federer never shows a single sign of an injury, nobody can attribute his losses to it. But just because he doesn’t show it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Sometimes I feel that Roger should take a cue from all these guys (Murray, Nadal, Monfils) and start clutching his back, his knees, anything just to gain some sympathy from the crowd. Disrupt his opponents rhythm, come storming back into a match (obviously, since nothing would be wrong with him in the first place) and then sit back and enjoy the attention the press gives him for “fighting, his spirit, his amazing comeback bla bla bla”

It’s pathetic really to see that true greatness often goes unnoticed just because it isn’t advocated and advertised after ever bloody point. (not to say this is what happened in today’s match, but I do have my doubts about the 7 month lay off. No one wins a slam one day, and loses in the first round because of some inexplicable knee problem a week later that forces you to sit out for 7 months. That’s a whole load of trash. He used that period to figure out strategies and come back stronger knowing fully well that he’d get hammered by Novak. It’s ingenious really. And every one laps it up as a miraculous come back. There’s nothing miraculous about it, cause there was nothing wrong in the first place.)

Current score: 8

[Reply]

muhammad Reply:

You said it all,Gaurav.Well put.

Current score: 2

[Reply]

#86 
Written By Joakim on January 26th, 2014 @ 10:00 am

Gosh this is big time gamesmanship Nadal disappeared n not telling why Stan is furious n demand to know why. This is what Nadal wants trying to stir up n make Stan mad so he can’t play his game n lose momentum why is nobody doing anything?!!! The cheat the cheat the cheat I’ve lost all respect for him

Current score: 3

[Reply]

muhammad Reply:

I didnt have any for him from the day one.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Katyani Reply:

And to think…. this could have been Roger up here. Rafa does not deserve to be here. Come on Stan, keep this up. Win one more set. Don’t be fooled by him.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Joakim Reply:

Nadal thrashed Federer in three. And you say Federer deserved to be in the final? Hahahahahahaha

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Katyani Reply:

Yes Joakim, Roger did deserve to be in the final. But today it is not actually about Roger. This is for Stan. He is playing amazing and on that bases alone deserves to win this.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#87 
Written By Veronica on January 26th, 2014 @ 10:00 am

Wawrinka is choking. With a two sets to love lead and break points squandered.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#88 
Written By rich on January 26th, 2014 @ 10:12 am

Stan has lost his rhytm and concentration as sure as Nadal has shaken off all his injuries. Did I miss something?

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#89 
Written By Chris on January 26th, 2014 @ 10:21 am

It looks like a genuine injury on lower back. But Stan must not be distracted, 2 sets in the bag one more to go

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Chris Reply:

He makes it look genuine, doesn’t mean it’s real. I promise, if this goes to the fifth, Nadal will be fit as ever

Current score: 1

[Reply]

Joakim Reply:

You must be wearing very thick glasses

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Chris Reply:

Very very thick ones, to check if I can see some integrity in Nadals corner. To no avail

Current score: 4

[Reply]

#90 
Written By Veronica on January 26th, 2014 @ 10:26 am

Yeah he must not get stuck in nadal tricks just finish it off Stan concentrate!

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#91 
Written By Veronica on January 26th, 2014 @ 10:31 am

If Stan loses this match, he will become the biggest choker in the history of sport.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

rich Reply:

That’s the only thing you have said here that makes sense.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#92 
Written By Joakim on January 26th, 2014 @ 10:32 am

COME ON STAN

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#93 
Written By Katyani on January 26th, 2014 @ 11:08 am

YEZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzz

OUTPLAYED

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#94 
Written By Katyani on January 26th, 2014 @ 11:09 am

Struggling to beat a player that’s injured for 3/4 of the game is not what I’d call a great performance. Congrats to Stan, but it’d be wholly different story in normal circunstances. He would have not beaten Nadal in 5, showing how mentally weak he is.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Chris Reply:

Kudos to you Joakim! You show courage for staying on this blog, persistence for entering debates, integrity for defending your honest points of view, resolve in challenging opinions you don’t agree with, and style for nor entering in insulting behaviour. I find it much easier to respect you than to respect your favorite player

Current score: 1

[Reply]

Joakim Reply:

Thanks, Chris, for your kind words. I think the only guy who is clearly off his head is Rich. I am surprised other bloggers don’t put him off as he is always in humiliating mood. I don’t expect anyone to actually like Nadal here. But debate is good. No harm done.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

rich Reply:

Chris is kinder to you than you deserve. But that’s his nature. And yours.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#95 
Written By Joakim on January 26th, 2014 @ 11:12 am

Congratulation Stan the Man. How sweet it is that he avenged the loss of Swiss fellow at the hand of Nadal. Just fantastic. Congrats to all Fedfans and Stanfans. Hope Federer remains with the greatest number of GSs.

Current score: 2

[Reply]

#96 
Written By mridul1 on January 26th, 2014 @ 11:15 am

I could not be happier to see what just happened. In hindsight this Australian open has been legendary!!! Congratulations STAN THE MAN!!!!!!!!!!! May he win a lot more slams. He’s broken through and now he is a genuine contender.

Current score: 2

[Reply]

#97 
Written By Alex on January 26th, 2014 @ 11:18 am

With what we were feeling in those last couple of sets, imagine what Stan was feeling – losing break-point after break-point opportunity! He then gets the break in the 4th – and promptly loses it! I thought the match could well be over for him there. But Stan courageously regrouped, got the break and then held – and all under terrific pressure. No one wants to win against an injured opponent, but Stan worked very hard to put himself in the lead before the injury came. He deserves his victory, without a doubt. Switzerland has a new king! I am sure the “old” king – being the kind of man he is – feels nothing but admiration for Stan’s moment of triumph. As we do.

Current score: 5

[Reply]

#98 
Written By rich on January 26th, 2014 @ 11:18 am

The titanic has sunk!!!! Stan you are the man!!!!! This is how you do it(ignoring the brain cramp of third set). Roger are u watching!!! Who would have thot a brand new slam winner thoroughly unexpected thoroughly deserved. Congrat Magnus coached soderling to beat Nadal and beat roger after soldering was 12 zip to roger. Stan also 12 zip to Nadal n Magnus has repeated his success again against Nadal. Magnus must be the coach of the decade now!!

Current score: 4

[Reply]

Alex Reply:

Wow I didn’t know that. But if yousee above in my comments I did say that I hope at the end we can compare this match to the Nadal – Soderling match. It had a familiar feel to it especially the way Stan was playing. Amazing stuff from Magnus then

Current score: 0

[Reply]

rahan Reply:

Yes indeed…Magnus is the best coach.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Chris Reply:

I am in great joy for Stan, but not without worry. If somebody his age (28) starts to outplay both Djokovic and Nadal, you ought to ask the uncomfortable questions. Magnus was behind the Soderling wonder, and where is Soderling now? What happened there? I hope Stan did not go the way of ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’. He does not look overly suspicious to me, no strange development, added muscles, weird diet, or anything.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#99 
Written By Veronica on January 26th, 2014 @ 11:19 am

Joakiom,
Stan was playing better before Nadal “winced” with pain. It is the injury that distracted Stan otherwise he played fantastic. And donot forget that he was playing the first major final and not getting nervous on such a great stage for the first time. It is really commendable. Don’t you think so?

Current score: 2

[Reply]

bartelbe Reply:

The injury was key, it made an interesting match. Nadal was hitting the ball at club level speeds, and it was surprising how long he lasted doing that.

Nadal’s forehand follow through completely changed, to the classic follow through. Wawrinka should have crushed him far faster than he did.

Still it is reassuring for a club player like myself to see even the best struggle with being slowed balled.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#100 
Written By mridul1 on January 26th, 2014 @ 11:40 am

Sorry for typo error Joakim.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#101 
Written By mridul1 on January 26th, 2014 @ 11:43 am

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…

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#102 
Written By wizzy on January 26th, 2014 @ 11:52 am

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 ;-)

Current score: 8

[Reply]

#103 
Written By Michel on January 26th, 2014 @ 12:01 pm

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?

Current score: 0

[Reply]

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.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

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.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

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.

Current score: 5

[Reply]

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!

Current score: 3

[Reply]

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.

Current score: 8

[Reply]

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!

Current score: 5

[Reply]

#104 
Written By Joakim on January 26th, 2014 @ 12:03 pm

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.

Current score: 5

[Reply]

rich Reply:

You said it, girl!

Current score: 1

[Reply]

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!

Current score: 2

[Reply]

#105 
Written By Veronica on January 26th, 2014 @ 1:16 pm

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!!

Current score: 5

[Reply]

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!

Current score: 2

[Reply]

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?

Current score: 1

[Reply]

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

Current score: 2

[Reply]

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.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#106 
Written By Veronica on January 26th, 2014 @ 1:36 pm

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!”

Current score: 6

[Reply]

Katyani Reply:

Think Rafa will take a 7 month injury break??

Current score: 4

[Reply]

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.

Current score: 2

[Reply]

Ru-an Reply:

Lol!

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#107 
Written By Vily on January 26th, 2014 @ 2:32 pm

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

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#108 
Written By Gary on January 26th, 2014 @ 3:18 pm

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.

Current score: 2

[Reply]

#109 
Written By Katyani on January 26th, 2014 @ 3:31 pm

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)

Current score: 4

[Reply]

Atithi Reply:

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

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#110 
Written By Michel on January 26th, 2014 @ 4:25 pm

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.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#111 
Written By Sraman on January 26th, 2014 @ 5:06 pm

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.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

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.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

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 ?

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#112 
Written By Chris on January 26th, 2014 @ 5:36 pm

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.

Current score: 4

[Reply]

#113 
Written By Bartholomew on January 26th, 2014 @ 5:38 pm

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 :)

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#114 
Written By Bharata on January 26th, 2014 @ 10:22 pm

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….

Current score: 2

[Reply]

#115 
Written By Katyani on January 27th, 2014 @ 12:11 am

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 !!!

Current score: 4

[Reply]

rahan Reply:

and I love your predictions :)

Current score: 1

[Reply]

Katyani Reply:

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

Current score: 0

[Reply]

rahan Reply:

Amen !

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#116 
Written By Katyani on January 27th, 2014 @ 12:51 am

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.

Current score: 11

[Reply]

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?

Current score: 3

[Reply]

rich Reply:

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

Current score: 2

[Reply]

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..

Current score: 3

[Reply]

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

Current score: 4

[Reply]

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 !!!).

Current score: 0

[Reply]

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!”

???

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#118 
Written By rich on January 27th, 2014 @ 1:59 am

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?

Current score: 2

[Reply]

#119 
Written By mridul1 on January 27th, 2014 @ 5:23 am

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?

Current score: 2

[Reply]

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!

Current score: 2

[Reply]

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!

Current score: 1

[Reply]

rahan Reply:

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

Current score: 0

[Reply]

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!

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#120 
Written By Wilfried on January 27th, 2014 @ 9:49 am

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!!!!

Current score: 8

[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.

Current score: 2

[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.

Current score: 1

[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….

Current score: 1

[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.

Current score: 3

[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.

Current score: 1

[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.

Current score: 1

[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!

Current score: 2

[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!

Current score: 2

[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?

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Chris Reply:

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

Current score: 2

[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.

Current score: 0

[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.

Current score: 1

[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?!

Current score: 2

[Reply]

Rogiee Yang Reply:

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

Current score: 1

[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.

Current score: 3

[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.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

Chris Reply:

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

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Ru-an Reply:

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

Current score: 1

[Reply]

rich Reply:

Tongue in cheek.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#121 
Written By Veronica on January 28th, 2014 @ 3:37 am

“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!

Current score: 2

[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/

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Ru-an Reply:

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

Current score: 1

[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

Current score: 4

[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.

Current score: 3

[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.

Current score: 1

[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.

Current score: 4

[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!

Current score: 1

[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.

Current score: 0

[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.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Ru-an Reply:

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

Current score: 0

[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.

Current score: 0

[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.

Current score: 2

[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.

Current score: 0

[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.

Current score: 2

[Reply]

Ru-an Reply:

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

Current score: 0

[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?!

Current score: 3

[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

Current score: 3

[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!

Current score: 3

[Reply]

Chris Reply:

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

Current score: 1

[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.

Current score: 2

[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.

Current score: 1

[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.

Current score: 2

[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)

Current score: 0

[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.

Current score: 3

[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!

Current score: 2

[Reply]

Chris Reply:

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

Current score: 2

[Reply]

#122 
Written By Chris on January 28th, 2014 @ 2:32 pm

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/

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#123 
Written By Chris on January 29th, 2014 @ 6:01 pm

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

Current score: 2

[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!!

Current score: 1

[Reply]

steve Reply:

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

Current score: 1

[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!!

Current score: 1

[Reply]

steve Reply:

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

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#124 
Written By rahan on January 29th, 2014 @ 10:33 pm

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.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#125 
Written By veronica on January 30th, 2014 @ 12:35 am

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?!

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#126 
Written By veronica on January 30th, 2014 @ 2:50 am

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

Current score: 3

[Reply]

#127 
Written By Gary on January 30th, 2014 @ 3:44 am

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?

Current score: 7

[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)

Current score: 1

[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.

Current score: 3

[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.

Current score: 2

[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! :-))

Current score: 0

[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?!

Current score: 1

[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.

Current score: 1

[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!

Current score: 3

[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!

Current score: 3

[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.

Current score: 0

[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.

Current score: 3

[Reply]

Ru-an Reply:

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

Current score: 0

[Reply]

rich Reply:

Of course. I try to do that.

Current score: 0

[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?

Current score: 2

[Reply]

Ru-an Reply:

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

Current score: 0

[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!

Current score: 1

[Reply]

Ru-an Reply:

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

Current score: 1

[Reply]

WIlfried Reply:

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

Current score: 0

[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.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

rich Reply:

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

Current score: 0

[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 :-)

Current score: 0

[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.

Current score: 1

[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.

Current score: 0

[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.

Current score: 0

[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.

Current score: 2

[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.

Current score: 0

[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.

Current score: 3

[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.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

rich Reply:

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

Current score: 1

[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.

Current score: 0

[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.

Current score: 3

[Reply]

Ru-an Reply:

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

Current score: 1

[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

Current score: 2

[Reply]

rich Reply:

Yes. Nothing serious.

Current score: 0

[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.

Current score: 0

[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!!

Current score: 0

[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!

Current score: 0

[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.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#128 
Written By Chris on January 30th, 2014 @ 4:59 pm

Stan to RF: “I’m telling ya, you should get at least 2-3 Slams”

https://twitter.com/RForeverFans

Current score: 2

[Reply]

#129 
Written By Bartholomew on January 30th, 2014 @ 9:15 pm

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.

Current score: 2

[Reply]

veronica Reply:

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

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#130 
Written By Sue on January 31st, 2014 @ 6:17 am

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

Current score: 3

[Reply]

Ru-an Reply:

Sweet. Thanks Bartholomew.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Bartholomew Reply:

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

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Ru-an Reply:

Thanks for reading!

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Veronica Reply:

Thanks for the detailed report, Bart!

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Jiten Reply:

Here are the highlights:

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Veronica Reply:

Bro! You never fail to deliver!! Thanks!

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Bartolomé Serra Capó Reply:

You´re welcome.

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#131 
Written By Bartholomew on January 31st, 2014 @ 3:27 pm

Geemany vs. Spain 2-0

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

Current score: 0

[Reply]

rahan Reply:

and some data:

Germany vs. Spain , second rubber,

Mayer vs Lopez,

5 sets, 3h and 51 min

final score: 172-173 !!!

Current score: 0

[Reply]

Veronica Reply:

You gotta be kidding, Rahan!!

Current score: 0

[Reply]

rahan Reply:

.. and now Spain is out !!!

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

Current score: 0

[Reply]

#132 
Written By rahan on January 31st, 2014 @ 8:20 pm

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.

Current score: 4

[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.

Current score: 1

[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!

Current score: 2

[Reply]

Ru-an Reply:

Doubtful Rich. Not before they drastically change court speeds.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

rich Reply:

Then why isn’t it a problem for Stan?

Current score: 1

[Reply]

Ru-an Reply:

Because he’s got one in a trillion backhands.

Current score: 1

[Reply]

#133 
Written By rich on February 1st, 2014 @ 1:37 pm

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! :-)

Current score: 3

[Reply]

#134 
Written By Vily on February 2nd, 2014 @ 4:05 am

Add a Comment

required, use real name
required, will not be published
optional, your blog address