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Early Discussion on Federer’s Upcoming Clay Court Events

Hey guys, the countdown timer until we see Federer play again is slowly but surely getting closer to zero so I thought I'd start some early discussions and take a look at what to expect from the man himself throughout the European clay court swing.

I was planning on waiting till closer to Madrid starting, but seen as though Roger won't be playing any competitive tennis beforehand then its unlikely my predictions will change so I figure we may as well get some early discussions going, not time like the present huh.

Can you believe it's almost 4 weeks since we last saw Fed on court in Indian Wells where he was comprehensively beaten by Nadal?

As we know he was suffering physically and (perhaps) mentally in that match so we have quite a lot of unanswered questions when it comes to the Clay Court season. Even more so when you consider that by the time he takes to the court again it will have been around 8 weeks since he last played a competitive match.

Will he be fresh? Will the back injury still be lingering? Let's take a look…

Madrid Masters – Can the Fedal Strangehold Continue?

Federer Finger Wag Madrid 2009

Madrid has been a very happy hunting ground for Roger both when it was an indoor hard tournament and on clay. He's won it 3 times (twice on clay) and played in 5 finals so he clearly enjoys the event.

It's also been pretty good to Nadal too as he's taken down the trophy twice and since the tournament turned to clay in 2009 either Nadal or Federer have featured in all 4 of the finals.

That just shows the dominance of those two guys over the last decade really. The question now is though Can the Fedal stranglehold continue in Madrid or will we be watching another Djokovic vs. Murray slug fest?

To be honest I think this year there's more chance of Nadal taking the title than Federer successfully defending it. Nadal looks back to his old self after 6 months out so will definitely be aiming to sweep the clay court season like he usually does. I think we'll see Nadal in the final and potentially someone like David Ferrer taking him on.

The blue clay has of course been scrapped too, which I don't think makes much difference for how Roger will perform but it may aid the likes of Djokovic & Nadal as they don't have to contend with the mental block they both got last year when playing on it.

If Roger stays at 3 and Nadal stays at 5 in the rankings then there's also the possibility of another Fedal quarter final like we saw in Indian Wells. That's not necessarily a bad thing as Madrid is probably the best chance Roger has of beating Nadal on clay due to the altitude making the balls fly through the air quicker.

Whether he's ready to do that after an 8 week break remains to be seen though. Especially since Superman Nadal will likely be coming in off the back of a resounding 9th straight victory at the Monte Carlo Masters and an 8th title in Barcelona. But if it were to happen (and stranger things have) then it'd be a morale boosting victory and would prevent Pigeon status in the H2H which currently stands at 19-10 in Dulls favour.

Regardless of a Fedal Quarter final or successfully defending his title I think it will be a fairly successful tournament for Roger as he tends to like playing at La Caja Mágica, a nice draw will help for sure but I think it's important he just wins a couple of matches and can play without any sort of physical hindrance.

As fans we head into this one with a little trepidation as it's the first time he's testing out the back since Indian Wells and there weren't many positives to take from Rotterdam or Dubai either so really it's a benchmark tournament – play well and we will be expectant for a positive run at the French, crash and burn like his 3 tournaments previous and we will be left wondering what the hell has happened to his game and whether or not he can sort it out.

We have nothing to go on really, you're only as good as your last match which was pretty poor by Federer's standards. We know he's been practicing on clay in Switzerland but that doesn't give us any indicators of his level so we just have to wait and see how he performs in his first match back. Either way I'm looking forward watching.

My Prediction for Federer: Semi Final

Rome Masters – Can Federer Break his Duck?

Federer Canas Miami 2007

Rome is the polar opposite of Madrid for Roger and he's never managed to take down the title, losing in the final twice, one vs. Nadal (of course, who else) in an epic 5 setter in 2006 and again 3 years previously to another Spaniard Felix Mantilla.

Other than that some of Roger's poorest matches have come in Rome; let's look at his past performances since he last made the final in 2006:

  • 2012 – Lost to Djokovic in the Semi Final
  • 2011 – Lost to Gasquet in the 3rd Round
  • 2010 – Lost to Gulbis in the 2nd Round
  • 2009 – Lost to Djokovic in the Semi Final
  • 2008 – Lost to Stepanek in the Quarter Final
  • 2007 – Lost to Volandri (a wildcard) in the 3rd Round

As you can see he's lost to some real clowns there, whether it's the slow surface or the fact he has one eye on the French Open and wants to save himself who knows but losing to Gascoke, Mugbis, Stepanek and Volandri is a poor record.

The one positive is that Fed has occasionally come up with some good matches there too, the 2006 final against Dull was a really good match that he coulda woulda shoulda won, and he also destroyed Canas in 2008 when he had a losing record to the Argentine at the time. So whilst he does stink up the joint more of than not it's not beyond him to play well at the Italian Open, just rare.

Again it's another of Nadal's favourite events and he's won it 6 times in the last 8 years. I imagine he will make the final again too. As for who he will face I think it's about time Murray put in a shift on the clay courts and it's high time we saw those 2 face off again.

Murray is still staking his claim as a tennis heavyweight, I'd say he's close to cementing his place but he's always been owned by Nadal when it counts so it will be interesting to see if he can take his new found forehand and cause Nadal some problems with it. That's possibly the one matchup I'm looking forward to seeing that doesn't involve Fed.

As for Roger it's tough to see him winning this event when he hasn't managed it before, it's not impossible and he's definitely in with a shout if he plays well but it will take a huge effort to beat Nadal and Djokovic on this type of surface.

My Prediction for Federer: Quarter Final

The Madrid Masters starts on the Sunday the 5th of May, so I figure Roger will be in action on around the 7th or 8th which makes it around 30 days till he next plays. Still quite a lengthy wait when you think about it but there's nothing we can do about that.

Monte Carlo and Barcelona are up before that so we'll get an indication of how Djokovic (who got injured in the Davis Cup with a twisted ankle), Nadal, Murray and Ferrer are playing on the dirt before anyone else.

What are your expectations for Roger's clay court Masters 1000 events? How bad is the Djokovic injury? (Nothing the CVAC won't sort :P) and will Nadal sweep the clay court season? Let me know in the comments.

Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer - I'll pretty much try and watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Fed and tennis in general.

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162 thoughts on “Early Discussion on Federer’s Upcoming Clay Court Events”

    1. Lucky Sid! I actually saw this post before anyone commented, was going to do the 1st comment myself, but couldn’t think of anything to say. My predictions are similar to Jonathan’s. Except I think Roger will make the final in Madrid. Haven’t had a comment ‘1st’ on a post since the Fed and Delpo epic Olympic semi final, so I will look to end that long drought!

      1. Conal, a true GOAT thinks fast and always has something to say. You see, that’s what separates the boys from the men 😉

        Clay is your best chance to end your drought. It’s my weakest surface 🙂

    2. Oke, conspiracy theory…. are you getting a personal tweet from Jonathan when he posts an article???
      You are like Nadal, you see it happen right in front of you and you wonder how the hell????

      1. Katyani, if you compare me to Nadal, I will unfriend you. Take those words back, now 🙂

  1. I think Roger will do well during the clay court season. I’m predicting semis in both tourneys. I think after being away for this extended period, the body will nice and recouped and he will be hungry to build some momentum for the French Open after a so-so beginning of the season.

    I just saw the video of Novak injuring his ankle yesterday. It looked pretty bad from my view but we will just have to wait and see what happens.

    I think Nadal is going to take 3 of the 4 events. He has won Monte Carlo, Barcelona, and Rome so many times so it’s hard to say he won’t take those. Madrid, though, has been one of those tourneys with a little more variety in terms of the winners.

    Whatever the case, I’m excited to see how the events unfold

    Btw, it feels good to be the first one to leave comments 😉

    1. Hey Angie,

      I hope so.

      I haven’t seen the Djoker ankle roll. Apparently he’s having an MRI scan on it. I think he will be ok though.

      I figure Nadal wins MC, Barcelona & Rome like you. Machine like.

      Jonathan

  2. Ok, I read this post. It’s all about Clay. So happy commenting all and I’m off with my slam. Later!

      1. Ok, alright, I’ll hang around for the presentation but hurry it up please 🙂

  3. I think Nadal will sweep, no doubt in my mind; and I can see Fed reaching the semi finals in both M1000, at least I hope he will … I may be overreacting, but I’m getting really nervous about the rankings, Roger defends too much points, and there’s too little room for earning new ones :/

    1. Hey Carlos,

      I’m not worried just yet. After Wimbledon / Cincy there’s not a lot to defend so be will be fine.

      If he does well at the slams then the ranking takes care of itself.

      Jonathan

      1. But he will qualify for the WTF right??? Because I understand he is in the 8th place for that.

  4. My predictions are as follow:
    Monté Carlo: NO SHOW for Fed 🙂
    Madrid: SF
    Rome:?? 4RD/SF depending on draw
    RG: QF/SF/F/W( WITH A BIG ?)- depends on past performances and draw… Rafa in QF vs. No Rafa in half… He’ll win it IMHO if Rafa looses early..

    Now Djokers a different issue. Will he make Monté Carlo? I say no. Will he make the French? I say ya! Djokers not gonna drop 1200 points w/o a show!

    It doesn’t look promising for Fed. I say Halle or Wimbledon is his 1st title of the year. But every bad year(2008/Definately 2011/2013?) was followed up with a GREAT year(2009,2012,2014?). Fed has nothing to defend next year up to May and maybe less after Clay court season. Don’t ever count Fed out!

    And on a happy note, Fed won everything but Cinci last year as #3. This could be a blessing in disguise 😉

    1. Hey man,

      Yeah I don’t think he will play MC either. No point, dunno why people say he should.

      Could be right with the title drought, Madrid isn’t impossible just unlikely. Be cool if he could defend it.

      Jonathan

  5. I love that Hamburg 2009 Clay polo. I have it! Just watched a clip of that match with Nadal screaming like stuck pig.

      1. Still wondering how could Fed have lost to Canas two consecutive matches in a row at Indian Wells and Miami 07. The Indian Wells loss ended his 39 match winning streak. Not a fan of the shirt he wore there as well. Fed had a really awful few tournaments after Dubai 2007. At least he beat Nadal in Hamburg to make up for it. But then he loat again at RG in four sets, wasting like 18 break points or something? I dunno, but Fed was clearly frustrated and you could see that in his face when he walked up to the net.

      2. Jonathan, when I wear that Hamburg polo, it’s so retro, I swear people go looking at me like, “What the cuss?”. I can feel their look. But do I look like I care? 🙂

  6. I’m completely off topic here. I know, Jonathan, you don’t think much of Davis Cup. But…so proud Canada made the semis!
    Hard to say how Fed will do during the clay court swing. I sure miss him playing though.

    1. I also have to say this, I kind of am warming up to Novak more and more. Will never be his completely fan, but I saw the Davis Cup match against Querry. Whatever you make think about him, that was class, upperclass !!!
      Beeing injured and still playing on with pain and not only winning that game, but also the match with some serious numbers 6-0 and 6-2. I really respected him at that moment. Kudos to him. He could have said I want my RG so I am sitting this one out, but he played !!!

      Have to say this, there is some kind of another atmosphere when they play DC. Roger should concentrate on his lasting years on his performence at tours and slams, but DC is something else.
      Maybe he can start with that in his final year. For now he should concentrate on his own winnings.

    2. @Sue I didn’t see Canada but a good win for them, Pospisil is pretty good. Saw Team GB actually win for once, and came back from 2-0 down too which was pretty good. Only Russia though.

      @Katyani I didn’t see the injury, I’d guess it wasn’t bad though seen as though he bagelled a guy straight after. I think the Serbian fans would have chastised him if he’d pulled out so it was in everyone’s interests!

      Jonathan

    1. Sid can you stop posting videos of yourself playing tennis on here please. You ain’t going to get any sponsors or Gillette deals by self promoting.

      1. I dont know..Most people including me think MC is really not a good tourney for roger..But if he really wants to win the french open this year I dont think just playing in madrid and rome will be enough…Especially since Madrid is so not like french..

      2. I think 2 clay events is plenty. I know he played Monte Carlo in 2009 but didn’t exactly perform well there, lost to Wawrinka of all people!

  7. Madrid is not really Roger’s stronghold and has never been in my opinion. He won it only twice, with his notorious finger wag in 2009 as the perfect conclusion of his second victory out there, but that’s all there is to it.
    Hamburg however used to be a bit of a stronghold for Roger. But unfortunately for some curious reason this event got replaced by the Madrid Masters, which is actually right in the middle of the enemy’s territory for Roger, and certainly didn’t help Roger’s case.
    Nadal fans might perhaps resent me using the term “enemy” as it is indeed a bit a strong predicate, but let’s not pretend either that those two are still good friends. The blush is most definitely off the rose, replaced by a mild frost.
    As for Nadal sweeping all the events, there really aren’t that many “miracles” in tennis these days, except for those Rafa knees that miraculously heeled (I don’t know what saint he has been praying to… ): it all depends of how many clay events he is going to compete in.
    If Rafa plays only 4 clay tournaments (including Roland Garros), than he’ll probably win them all, whereas if he’s playing 5 events, he won’t in my opinion, because he’s never done it before, so why would he be able to do it now.
    His main contenders in the Madrid and Rome Master events seem to me – in order of strength and chances this season – Djokovic, Murray, Federer and Del Potro.
    I hope for two semi finals by our champ, depending of the draws, but don’t expect him to win any events during the clay season, as the competition will be fierce and the surface not really friendly enough to his all round game. Clay events are to Roger what small bays are to a big armada. Neither of them can deploy all their weaponry in a decent and efficient way

    1. Nadals joy is always loud and annoying. also this time IW. A knee is attached to a court, and both hands, “NO.1!” Shout !!. and A trophy is bit selfishly usual.

      If Roger (or Djokovic etc) performs these. the anti of prejudice and moron repeats criticism. again.
      Roger’s 15 jackets? It is the idea of Nike. Roger did not know it.

      also, Nadal wore the T-shirt of the history 7 and also performed the chat with the fan. And that video was exhibited all over the world.

      Did Roger perform what? for the 300 weeks 1st place or 7 championship? Roger is performing nothing.

      And, If Roger performs like Nadal. ( T-shirt of the history 7 and also performed the chat with the fan.) the anti of prejudice and moron repeats criticism. again. lol.

      I really hate Nadal and Nadal’s fan. fanatic and arrogant and blind.

    2. Hey Wilfried,

      Cheers for the comment. Well I meant it was a Federer and Nadal stronghold, they won 3 of the last 4. 2 wins at a tournament on clay is pretty good for Fed too, it’s a good stomping ground for him. In his nemesis’s own back yard almost.

      Agreed on people who think Dull and Fed are friends though. All I see is cold hard contempt for one another. They both represent very different things.

      “Clay events are to Roger what small bays are to a big armada. Neither of them can deploy all their weaponry in a decent and efficient way” Good analogy I like that 🙂

      Jonathan

    3. St Eufemiano Fuentes. He has performed documented “miracles” on Nadal for which Toni and Co are witnesses hence the Sainthood

      P.S. Sorry, I was absolutely not making fun of Catholicism. I just couldn’t help it 🙂

    4. [“Clay events are to Roger what small bays are to a big armada. Neither of them can deploy all their weaponry in a decent and efficient way”]

      I love that comment too. Most appropriate. It’s like Nadal inviting Roger to his home for a fight and asking him to leave all his weapons at the door and go through a metal detector and full body check. I mean, what the heck is Roger supposed to do after that? 🙂

    5. Really wilfred you think murray is more of a threat on clay than roger…murray doesnt have a final appearance in any clay court tournament…Where as roger has 4 hamburg titles,2 madrid ,1 french,not to mention more than a dozen other final appearances…And if roger does face andy I am pretty sure murray will get owned…

      1. I don’t have a clue on what is gonna happen during clay season as there are too many yet undetermined factors that could influence the course of the events like the weather, the kind of balls they’ll use, the draws, Roger’s state of body and mind, etc…
        I think Roger is indeed the second best clay court player of the active players, with a lot better record than Andy Murray. But I don’t think we ‘ve seen the best of Andy yet on the red dirt either. He might surprise us.

      2. Ajay, but that was past-Andy, now we are dealing with Andy-Gold Medal-Andy. And that is a whole other person. You should not underestimate Andy. Maybe he will lose to Roger on clay, but maybe he will win. Did we all not think Roger would win the AO SF because Andy never won from Roger in a slam? Well what happened there? No, Andy is not the same after Wimby last year. Unfortunately you cannot just say Roger will own Andy on clay.

      3. Katyani ,I actually thought murray was almost a favorite for that aus open semi vs roger.Especially since roger really got himself tired in that dog fight vs Tsonga…Murray has almost always done well in hard courts..Be it fast or slow or indoors and in grass…But in clay he is just so defensive ,I dont think he would stand a chance against rog ,rafa or nole..And I totally agree he seems to have gotten bigger groundstrokes ,gotten better mentally ,but still I dont think he has the game to do well in clay…Especially with guys like ferrer ,berdych ,del potro all seeming to be playing really well right now…I think he would do well to reach the semis in Rome or Madrid..But if he is the top seed for MC maybe he could surprise us all and reach the final if he gets a really kind draw…And btw if he is the top seed it would be the first time he is the top seed in a masters right ??

      4. I think Murray is a threat on clay now too. He’s dangerous on all surfaces. Don’t write him off.

        Del Potro is due some results on clay too.

  8. Murray seems to me a clown on clay… and if djokovic is more dangerous than roger on clay… I don’t know… Maybe know, but even then it’s close.

    1. Federer-Djokovic H2H on clay is 3-3: Roger won twice at the Monte Carlo Master (2006, 2008) whilst Novak twice at the Rome Master (2009, 2012), and they both won once at Roland Garros. That’s a perfect balance to me with even chances to beat each other. But I believe Novak’s main objective at the moment is to win the one slam that has been eluding him up to now, which is Roland Garros. That’s why I give him slightly the edge in terms of motivation to perform very well during the clay season, if possible better than last year.
      As for Federer and Murray, they’ve never met each other on clay to date, which makes it a bit harder to estimate their chances accurately. Andy is a very talented guy with a game that sure has the potential to seriously bother Roger’s game. I wouldn’t call Murray exactly a clown either, though I understand what you’re referring to. Anyway, I’m inclined to also give Andy slightly the edge, although I hope Roger will prevail if they were to face each other this season.

    2. @Simon Yeah Murray has never done on well clay, but he’s improving his game so maybe he can translate that onto the red stuff too.

      @Wilfried I think the pressure is off Djokovic this year, last year he was playing with a lot of pressure and on the verge of history.

      I think Murray will be a handful on clay too, interesting to see what happens.

      Jonathan

      1. True, but Murray has gotten better in the last 12 months. He can likely translate those performances to clay. I wanna see him play Nadal on it.

  9. I think Rafa will take MC then probably skip Barcelona, be runner up in Madrid, take Rome then
    Grab RG …. :-))))))

      1. Correct. As slow as those surfaces are, it gives someone like Nadal with such limited ability, a chance to win.

    1. I dunno..He may skip Madrid instead..Thats what uncle Tony said in the beggining of the year..He was telling that madrid with its altitude plays much differently to the french..I dont understand these people..Does he want every clay court tournament to be like the french..He might as well suggest having all the masters in Roland Garros itself..

      1. First, they want more Clay, then they want only red clay, and now they want all Clay to be the same, slow. That is so…clay!

  10. Hey Jonathan!
    I kind of agree with you on your predictions for Roger, but won’t it be just wondeRFul if he defends Madrid? A lot depends on the draw I guess. If Rafa is seeded No. 5, I will pray that the totally *random* draw doesn’t lend Roger and RN in the same quarter for another oh-so-coveted ‘dream match’. I don’t really care about Rome! I want to see Roger win one more RG, for completely selfish reasons. 😉
    Oh and heard about ND’s injury- so much for Uncle Toni’s lighthearted comments about wanting both Roger and Djoker to be injured. :/

    1. Hey Fedfan,

      Yeah it’d be awesome if he defended Madrid. Not unlikely of course, maybe he’s coming in fresh and ready to make a point. He will have had plenty clay practice.

      Rome means little to me too, I quite like the stadia but never get excited for the tournament for some reason.

      As for Djoker they are saying 10-30 days. Nothing serious I don’t think just precautionary.

      Jonathan

      1. Roger seems to be practicing hard at picturesque locations in Switzerland. Good news! 😀
        I hope he comes back strong. I know he has said this is a transition year and I should contain my expectations, but somehow when he takes the court I can’t check my emotions and want him to win it all!

        As for Djoker, do you think he might have wanted to pull out of MC and be fresher for Madrid and Rome without getting bad press, hence the injury timing and seriousness being told to be what they are? I wouldn’t have thought so had he not won the last 2 sets so comfortably, and of course, everyone knows who’s gonna win MC.

      2. I have seen a few pictures. Wish I was there chilling out.

        Not a bad theory on Djokovic. Maybe Monte Carlo wasn’t his priority. He lives there doesn’t he? Someone should sneak round to his place and see if he’s practicing when the tournament is on 😉

        Jonathan

    1. What makes you say that Katyani?

      I don’t think he will, he’s had the offer plenty of times and refused it. I think he doesn’t like Monte Carlo.

      I don’t either, I was meant to go watch there a couple of years ago but all flights were grounded. Still got a bad taste in my mouth.

      Jonathan.

      1. Monte Carlo is the slowest of all Clay surfaces. It gives Nadal all the time he wants and then some to get to the ball.

      2. I know that MC is the slowest clay tournament, but he’s played a couple of times, even though he failed miserably… He could want to gain a couple of points, I’m not planning on him playing, but actually wouldn’t be surprised if he did… We’ll see! I would totally love Roger taking that title from Dull though 😀 (not gonna happen…)

      3. Simon, with Djoker out, he fancies his chances (as long as they don’t put Nadal in his path). If he gets lucky, he might actually find himself having to play only one tough match: Nadal in the final. So maybe you’re right, he might play just to pick up a few hundred points.

        By the way Cvackovic’s injury means Nadal’s path to No.1 has become much easier. If not at the end of the year, Nadal will get there right after AO2014. Remember, he picked up about 1200 bonus points during the South American stretch.

      4. Simon, do you really think Roger will be the man who breaks the bank in Monte Carlo? 🙂 Not in a million years!

      5. Hi Jonathan, I read somewhere that he needs some points and maybe also some confidence before going to RG. And if he goes to MC, if he does not get far, he still has two weeks left to practise for Madrid. I also read that going to MC will give him a chance to see how his back is doing now and how his back will be during a match.
        But MC starts Sunday right. Maybe it is now too late to accept or ask for a wildcard?

      6. I think he will have played some quite serious matches during practise to test the back out so he’ll know where he’s at with regards to that.

        I just don’t see the point in playing Monte Carlo, people are getting too concerned with chasing ranking points, that is a Nadal thing to do, not a Federer thing. You schedule sensibly and the ranking takes care of itself.

        Jonathan

    1. I dont think murray is reaching any clay court final this year…Especially since he is not playing Barcelona where he would have had a good chance…Although I think he is gonna get some solid results this year reaching the semis I think…

    2. Batman, you sure are a thoroughbred Nadal troll, aren’t ya? 🙂 You know Nadal is going to sweep it all yet you are making very patronizing statements about other players. May your man win on that pus** of a surface where the skills of other players are given no value, and the only thing that matters is drug fueled endurance. The next few weeks are going to be so………clay.

      1. I beg to differ, Sir! 🙂 Your technique is truly tested when you’re put under pressure and time is taken away from you. Anybody can keep hitting consistent shots if time isn’t a factor.

  11. Whenever the clay season comes around I always start thinking about how long it is until we get to the grass season, because unless you leave out 2009 (and Hamburg 2007!), it’s always been a relatively dull period of the season as a Fed fan. I don’t see Federer really having much success at any of the warm-up events for Roland Garros, but given that he will have been out for nearly 8 weeks by the start of Madrid, you just don’t know. I think the clay season will go much as it did last year, with the exception of Madrid, as I see Rafa winning there aswell. I would be surprised if Nadal didn’t win Monte Carlo, Madrid and Rome. I don’t think Djokovic is playing at a high enough level at the moment to challenge Rafa, and Murray has yet to prove himself on clay. I think Federer has had too many losses against Rafa on the surface to really believe that he could defeat him should they come up against each other. I would love to think that Federer could prove me wrong, but I just can’t see it happening. I hope that the clay season throws up a few surprises anyway, it’s always nice to see something different happening and some new faces being thrown into the mix at any stage of the season!

    1. Hey BS,

      Yeah I think clay is boring in the build up, but it can always throw up some interesting matches. I mean nobody predicted Fed would win Madrid in 2009 I don’t think.

      Pretty much agree with your predictions about Nadal, Djoker and Murray too. Also with Fed too, I think it’s a good point about him lacking the belief to beat Nadal on clay. Would take a monumental effort. Probably better than he’s ever managed to play ever.

      Jonathan

  12. I saw some people in rogerfedererfans.com telling that there is quite a good chance that he might take a wildcard and thay even gave some reasons for it…Anyway dont you think a 5 week break would be sufficient followed by another two week break after MC ,because with novak not playing and nadal number four seed ,he could really use the points he gets here to hold off murray to the number two spot till the french..And man he really needs some wins under his belt to really get his season going…

    1. I thought the same thing as you at first, but I have to agree with Jonathan on this one. Monté Carlo has never been happy hunting grounds for Fed or Ny non-Rafa player for that manner. Plus Fed doesn’t care about the ranking anymore! I wouldn’t either if I had 302 weeks at #1! The only Pro I see of going is to get extra time on clay. But Fed’s not going to take it! Save all he has for Wimbledon and USO, where he has chances. He’ll play best at tourneys he knows he has a chance of winning, especially end of season 🙂

      1. Federer might not care about the top ranking anymore but it would really really help a lot during the clay court stretch if he was seeded second..Because its practically impossible to beat nole and rafa one after the other in clay..

      2. I can’t see it happening.

        These rumors are just invented for the sake of it, some fans need to have something to talk about and come up with bizarre reasoning as to why he should play.

        Also, even if Roger is ranked 2, he could still have to play Nadal and Djokovic back to back. Makes no difference.

  13. And you know what I think if he goes into madrid as the number two seed .I think he has a great chance to win i.t Especially since Nadal is atleast beatable there and if roger doesnt have to face him I am betting you he will win the whole thing…Because I am pretty confident he can defeat Murray or djoko there..

  14. If the Djoker does pull out of Monte Carlo with his ankle injury and Roger takes up the wild card option, and is not in the same half of draw as Nadal AND Roger’s injury has been sorted out, then I think Roger should go all out to win it… I say this because I also want him to win Rome before he retires so as to be the FIRST man to have won all the Masters Tournaments. I don’t subscribe to this mentality of Nadal being unbeatable on clay, players need to wake up and simply throw the kitchen sink at him… players need to seriously up their mental focus when facing him – it is simply a question of serious dogged mental tunel-vision and he will capitulate…

    1. Hey Paul,

      I can’t see him playing. I’d like to see him win all the Masters too, but I think Slams gotta be the priority.

      I think Federer beating Nadal on clay is going to be near impossible. Like you say he’d need serious focus, serious clutchness and to play in GodMode for 5 sets.

      Jonathan

  15. What is your tale on the Basel addition? I think it’s good for us and fans, but hope it doesn’t interfere will Paris or WTF performances. But Fed shows fans are more important than contracts 🙂

    1. Guess it was always on the cards. I wasn’t sure it would happen but clearly they have come to an agreement. With his scheduling I’m sure he will be fresh for the end of the year unlike last year.

  16. I just have a wild guess here..

    Last year, Roger won most of his tournaments from the 1st up to the 2nd/3rd quarter of the season (Rotterdam, Dubai, Indian Wells, Madrid, Wimbledon, Cincy) Maybe.. just maybe he’ll win or be better in the latter part of the season. He might deliver the goods during or after Wimbledon.. especially in the US Open or in Paris.

    1. Your theory might hold true. In fact that’s what most of the folks here think. Jonathan too I guess. I predicted a bad 2013 for Roger but am hoping I’m surprised 🙂

      1. Yup, I’m not really fond about his chances this clay court season especially when a well-rested Nadal comes back. Meanwhile, winning the grass courts of Halle and Wimbledon will be a good jumpstart for USO and indoor hardcourts

        He can win another Wimbledon, but it will tougher than most of us are thinking. Novak is always poised to win titles, Nadal has been gone for so long and he would like to have redemption from his early exit.. most especially Murray who almost tasted victory by getting to the finals at Wimbledon. DelPo is also on his tail along with Berdy. Scary bunch.

        and i just realized that the clay court season haven’t started yet and I’m already talking about grass. LOL Off topic. Sorry guys. I just don’t expect too much from Fed during clay court events but like Sid, I’m hoping that Roger will surprise us in a good way.

  17. I’m late, I’m late with my comments… No trophies for me… 😉

    I find it hard to predict what is going to happen. It all depends on how he feels. He said his back took him a bit longer then he thought but he’s back practicing now (as the pics showed) and he looks rested and okay as far as you can tell from photos. And it taking longer than he thought doesn’t necessarily mean the worst (which I thought at first), cause he might have expected a few days and maybe it took him a bit longer than a week for instance… Which is still acceptable for back problems like that…

    Don’t think he’ll take the MC wilcard though. And I hope he’s not going to! He had a plan and that plan was there for a reason and I think he should take his time. He wanted to ‘practice really hard for the clay season’ and that seems to make a lot of sense.

    As for Nole’s injury: no ligaments torn, but no doubt they were stretched a lot (if you can say it like that, I don’t know actually). Hence the 10-30 days. I could take the 30 days if you’re unlucky, so that might mean he’s out of Madrid. We’ll see what happens.

    One thing is for sure: it really is time to have the Maestro back on court. I’m practicing patience 😉

    1. Hi Natasja, on one hand I don’t want him to play MC. I want him to practise for RG even Wimby.
      But on the other hand he just needs MC and Rome to be the first man to win all the ATP-1000 titles.
      I think he deserves to have it sooner than Novak, who is also very close.
      Roger does have Shanghai right (only it was another name?)??

      1. No Roger does not have Shanghai..In fact right now of the present 9 masters , he doesnt have MC ,Rome or Shanghai..But he won Hamburg and even Madrid when it was played in hard which used to take place instead of the present Shanghai Masters..Technically speaking he has 8 differnt masters..But the two differnt Madrid masters count only as one..But he did win in Shanghai when the WTF took place there…But I think that was a indoor court..Seemed much faster back then..

      2. Hi Ajay and Brandon, but doesn’t that count as winning Shanghai?
        Maybe it had a different name, but he did win it? Why are they not counting that?

      3. Hi Katyani,

        Tbh, I think Rog doesn’t need anything anymore, if see you what I mean 😉 I honestly doubt that this goal about being the first guy who wins all the Masters 1000 is on his mind… Sure, he’d still like to win stuff; he said so several times in interviews too that the hunger to win is still there, otherwise he might as well stop playing… But specific tournaments? I’m not entirely sure about that. The only thing I feel is that he wants to have another shot at RG specifically…

        I always feel that us fans, are more inclined to say he still needs to do this and win this and needs to be at his top level, pref at no 1… I think we’re entering years, where that might not always be the case anymore. I think he’s basically just playing cause he absolutely lóves the game (see Moet & Chandon interview from December where he literally says he lóves to play; the way he says it, says a lot!). Sure, he mentioned getting back to no1 or least stay in the top of the rankings would be very nice and great if that happens, but I sometimes think it’s less a must for him than for quite a few of us out there…

        Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying that it’s a must for you cause I don’t know that 100% sure, but I just got triggered by what you wrote, hence my comment 😉
        I for one, would just be very very pleased if he keeps playing as long as he is happy and healthy enough to do that and hopefully win quite a few titles (if only to keep the awful press from his back, no pun intended, although that is not a good reason for him of course).

      4. [Rog doesn’t need anything anymore]

        That’s blasphemy! 🙂 Roger needs 2 more slams and 5 Masters and that isn’t asking for too much.

    2. I dont know about Nole…Cant really trust him..I am hundred percent sure he wil play Madrid..I am not even sure he will miss MC..Ten days starting from Sunday gives him time till next wednesday when he is probably scheduled to play his first match at MC..You never know..And maybe even if he misses MC he might play the Belgrade tournie..He might even overplay his injury just to take the pressure of him because it was so high last year and I think that took its toll whenever he faced Nadal on clay..

    3. Hey Natasja,

      Where did you see him say his back took longer than he expected?

      I’m with Ajay on Djokers injury, I almost guarantee Djokovic is back for Madrid.

      Jonathan

  18. You know what I just saw that Basel has been added to feds schedule…So much for peple telling he is playing so much lesser this year..In fact starting from april ,he is playing one tounament more this year than last..Hope his body allows him to play the indoor stretch along with shanghai at full strength..Aus open next year could really be a time when he could fight for the number one spot again..Fed just needs to do well in his favorite stretch of the year..From Halle to the WTF..Especially since he perfomed pretty ‘ BADLY ‘ after US open last year..

    1. And he said also he wasn’t sure about going to Paris (anymore) and I believe that is still in his schedule…

  19. Jonathan,I have a question for you man..Nadal already has one more masters title than roger..And he is surely gonna keep winning clay masters till I dont know when ,all eternity ?? And probably by the end of rog and rafa’s career rafa is gonna have smthing like 5 to 10 more masters..Added to that he would probably defeated roger twice as many times as roger has defeated him..And he even has a Olympic gold..Can rog still be called the GOAT ?And this is cming from rogers biggest fan in India if not the entire world…Because I feel if there is any such thing as the GOAT then only one man can lay claim to that title..ROGER FEDERER.. 🙂 🙂

    1. im not jonathan 😉 , but here’s my point of view: head to head doesn’t count. It all depends on how the styles match up, and nadal has (i believe) a losing record to davydenko, that does not make davy better than nadal. Sencond, there are 3 masters on clay, 0 on grass. not even going to bother commenting on that…
      rog has olympic silver (not bad 😉 ) and gold in doubles, something nadal is never going to achieve, even though gold in singles might be better. Then again, olympics is a joke tournament imo, more for the fun than the glory.
      Finally, you left out ALL of Roger’s records! 17 gs, 302 weeks at No1, 23 consecutive gs semis, 33 consecutive gs quarters, career GS, 6 World tour titles, no big injuries, and he’s got the most beautiful game you’re ever going to see on a court 😉 Not to mention he’s still in top 3 at 32 y.o.. And I’m probably forgetting a whole lot of records 😀

      So yeah, if Rog ain’t the GOAT, no one is, at least for now and I can’t see someone else breaking them…

      1. What I pointed out were the only things in which Rafa holds the edge over roger..Roger holds most of the records..Just feel it would be so nice if rog also had the few things I mentioned above..I think it sucks so bad that there are 3 clay masters and none on grass..And watching grass tournies is so much more pleasing to the eye…Smone please tell me why there arent any grass court masters ?? Is ATP mad or what..

      2. yeah, I find it ridiculous that the grass season is so short… with no real reason as well… pull out 1 or 2 clay court and hard court tournaments and have at least ONE masters on grass… there are 3 on clay, and 7 on hard courts…
        Think ATP doesn’t want grass cause it’s too fast and makes less money?
        But I think it’s doubtful that fed is gonna have more masters than nadal, downright impossible that he gets ahead in thehead to head, and even if he’s planning on playing in Rio, I just can’t see him winning gold on clay at 35…

      3. I agree with Simon.

        Most of Nadal’s titles come on clay. Also a bigger % of Roger’s Masters 1000 titles came in the 5 set final format which is a different ball game. I think 10 of his were over 5 sets, only 5 of Nadals were. (2 of which were over Roger himself so can’t argue with those)

        No masters 1000’s on grass. Courts getting slower.

        The only way Nadal becomes GOAT is if he wins more slams I think. Not impossible of course.

        Jonathan

      4. statements with context “Nadal becomes GOAT”. i think i’m gonna go kill myself now. How can this question even pop-up in your head! Jonathan, how could you man, how could you?! :'(

      5. Alvi, you’re funny 🙂 Before you do anything crazy, please talk to me.

        I agree with Jonathan though. If Nadal gets one more slam than Roger’s final tally, he may be seriously considered the GOAT.

      6. Tennis abilities aside (although Nadal has immense talent, potential and balls of steel on clutch moments – no one argues that – but is he better than Roger? A debate that has been going on since FO 05), yes, Nadal will most likely be referred to as the GOAT if he is able to overtake Roger by even 1 slam. But is that justified? Nadal can go onto win 5-6 more French Open titles for all i care (which will be a marvelous feat, one of the greatest, if not the greatest, for sure), but does that justify him being the GOAT while Roger has dominated the other 3 slams single-handedly?
        With Roger’s age, we might see 3-4 slams at max now (and i’m being optimistic, all depends on how he plays Wimbledon to even be considered a slam favourite later on). Kneedull’s knees and the emergence of Murray, while the ever so lethal Djokovic’s present form, i highly doubt Nadull winning a slam on hardcourts unless he plays down his chances like the humble prick he is and play tennis from a different planet like he did at Indian Wells. He might win 1-2 more wimbledons, but will he be able to win slams at the age of 30 or above (especially his favourite, the FO)? And i’m seriously looking forward to another armstrong-oprah interview with Nadal 10-15 years from now! 😉
        All i’m trying to say is that IF Nadal is considered the GOAT AFTER (with a BIG IF) he crosses Roger’s slam tally, than we might as well just save our breaths now. If the french open can get him that title, then why doesn’t federer stay out of the tour for 7-8 months, resting and loading his ammunition, and then burst into the tennis scene during Wimbledon and winning it for 5 staright years again! Since only slams count on the road to GOATness (although it IS the most important one) and not the surface type the game is played on (which now is basically the same for all tourney), player adaptability, number of single’s titles, week’s number 1, WTF titles etc. All these combined deserves the title of GOAT and not one single aspect from that; and no one is/was/or most-likely ever will be as successful in doing so than Roger “peRFect” Federer!
        P.S. for my argument’s sake, rod laver and all the other tennis legends started calling Roger the GOAT by 2006/7 (two years before he eventually took over pete). So, it is not only the slam count and hence, Nadal should not be considered GOAT even if he somehow manages to cross Roger. Now, i need a drink! Peace y’all!!!

      7. Oh God! Jonathan, we need to do something about our suicidal fellow Roger fans 🙂

        Let me tell you this, Nadal.is.the.GOAT, whether you like it or not. I mean Greatest of All Turds!

      8. Cool comment Alvi.

        Armstrong / Oprah interview haha.

        Dull won’t ever be the GOAT in my eyes, but should he overtake Roger is slam count then he has a pretty compelling argument. Although the clay side of things makes it very lopsided. Almost his crutch.

      9. Simon, about winning gold in Rio on clay, that may not be in the carts for Roger (first of all clay, second of all age 35), do you know what bugs me the most…… Rafa actually at age 30 has a chance to win two gold medals !!! Now how is that fair??
        If Rafa won his gold medal on the favourite surface of Roger (hard) then maybe God is planning revenge for Roger by making him win gold on Rafa’s favourite surface (clay) !!!
        Would that not be Karma striking back???

        By the way, I really really don’t understand why Roger lets everybody, even the journalists and company, get away with the fact that he does not have a Golden Slam !!!
        HE HAS A GOLDEN SLAM, HE IS THE THIRD MAN IN HISTORY TO GET A GOLDEN SLAM.
        Why does he not advocate that more? A gold medal is a gold medal. Yes, he has it in doubles and Agassi and Rafa have it in singles. But it is still a gold medal. He even has something Rafa does not have. An additional silver medal.

        I get so angry when they say Rafa is the second man in history to have a Golden Slam. This is so not true. Roger DOES have one too. Why does he not make a bigger deal about that?

      10. [Why does he not make a bigger deal about that?]

        Because he is modest and it’s always other who talk about his records. He is not obsessed. I agree that he has a Golden slam (no mean feat to beat the then No.1 Doubles pair on the way to a Gold).

        As far as Rio is concerned, it’s not possible for him to win a Gold. Nadal is plotting another one and he has already started acclimatizing on South American clay. An Olympic tennis tournament on Clay? That’s so…clay!

      1. And about Rafa beeing the Goat………………….. I hate when that discussion starts.
        It is always pushed by Rafa fans and if you ask for a reason, all they tell is the H2H.
        They don’t stand a chance, but all they keep coming up with is the H2H.
        It is so ennoying and irratating !!!
        Rafa will never be the GOAT, he is however (deservedly) the ClayGoat.
        But nothing more.

        And if Rafa has the chance to get more than 17 GS………….. THEN SO DOES ROGER !!!

      2. Katyani,I only started the discussion on whether roger is the GOAT..Whether Rafa can be considered the GOAT is out of the question..He is the clay GOAT..Thats it..While Roger is the GOAT in grass ,indoor hard and according to me in outdoor hard as well..(and in blue clay 😉 😉 ) The only question I asked was whether Roger can be considered the GOAT when someone from his own generation (infact two ) has a winning record against him and also has more masters..My personal answer is yes he should be considered the GOAT..Plainly because they play more on clay than grass and indoor hard put together and all hard court tournies have become so much like clay ,all of them tailor made for guys like nole ,rafa and muray..BTW I really hope at the end of his career he has a winning record against murray and Nole..

      3. And Katyani i didnt mean to say I am a bigger fan of Rogers than you are..Just told that I really pride myself on being one of (if not the biggest 😉 ) his biggest followers..He is almost like a God to me..

      4. Ajay, oke, now I have to say this. Well I have two ideals, my God and my mother. Does not matter who is on the first place and who is on the second place.
        My third ideal is Roger, to be honest not like a God to me, but definitely my hero, my idol and kind of the love of my life (yes, I know Mirka was first and he doesn’t know me, but still, a girl can dream !!!).

        So, if someone says that he or she is a bigger fan…………. well….. maybe you are the biggest male Roger fan in the entire world and I the female one.

        You see, the world (Roger’s world) is big enough for both of us !!!

      5. I was officially awarded the title of Roger’s biggest fan in 2009 Katyani.

        So unfortunately both you and Ajay have some catching up to do. Maybe in a few years or something.

        It has its perks, every year I get sent a goodie bag that includes a colouring in book, an RF balloon, a tennis ball keyring and a Swiss alps postcard.

        Jonathan

      6. Officially awarded? If you are not joking, how can his other fans (meaning me) get this goodiebag?

      7. The easiest way is to transfer me the princely sum of €1000 via BACS (yearly recurring fee) and you will receive a goodie bag within 28 days. Strictly no refunds. May or may not contain Roger Federer related memorabilia.

        I’m joking, there are of course no awards. But if there were, I would win. 😀

  20. Believe me I hope that nadal never makes it there, but have to admit its possible… Still has a couple of slams to catch up on. Though he will never have Roger no1 records, nor his world tour finals wins, nor his consecutive GS semis and quarters. We’ll see what happens 🙂

      1. And one thing he’ll never have: a beautiful all round game of attacking tennis and genius strokes 😀

  21. Somebody please explain to me why the grass court seson is so short with no 500s or masters..Really they are much more pleasing to the eye than clay..They are surely more exciting than clay..Players will be able to develop theur all round game especially their net play more on grass..What more could the ATP want ??

    1. Maybe because grass is a lot more harder and expensive to maintain than even clay? And that’s why it’s not used as a developmental surface? Wish there were more Masters on that surface though. It is, without a doubt, a surface that requires the most overall skills in a player. That’s precisely why it’s considered the “Holy Grail” of tennis.

      Did you know that Roger has seven Wimbledon titles, so far? 😉

      1. Who knows, lack of grass courts across the world? Only Halle could handle a 1000 status.

        They are changing Stuttgart to grass but that’s only an ATP 250.

        Needs some big millionaire who is a fan of grass court tennis to start his own tournament and get it on the ATP. Maybe we can all club together?!

      2. Hah!!! If you’ve got that much money, think about buying us all front seat tickets for wimby for a fed match 😀

        Do you really think that on a big tournament like atp it would make a difference if grass is more expensive? I wouldn’t think so…

      3. Simon, what I meant was a vast majority of clubs won’t have grass courts as they are very expensive. In the US, they have hard courts and plenty of Har tru (which I think is an inexpensive form of clay). Ultimately, it’s all about which surfaces pros have grown up on or rather are more familiar playing on. Grass is the toughest, no doubt.

      4. Ah, sorry Sid, didn’t understand it that way. It does make sense though… I haven’t seen ONE amateur grass court… true that not many players grow up on that… Which makes Roger even better cause he never grew up on grass 😀 to the contrary of some other fellas…

      5. I think if ATP does decide to make the grass season much longer, shortening the clay season or the hard ,then I am sure it will make so much more money..It is so painful on the eye watching tournaments like miami..It would be so amazing if instead of tournaments like Miami and Montecarlo we could have two Grass masters.. And I am sure it would be easier on the body as well when compared to hard..

      6. @Sid and @Simon yeah grass courts are few and far between. I’ve played on a couple but they’re usually reserved for expensive clubs and in well to do areas. No way they’d let kids on them in a million years.

        In fact I heard a story that one junior got thrown out of a local tennis club for hitting the ball too hard and the older members didn’t like it. :S

  22. I don’t think Nadal will surpass Roger with most slams after both have retired. I have had this feeling for some time that if Roger gets to 18 ( only one more ) that this will not be equaled by any of the present generation. Besides, Nadal has now serious competition from Murray and Djokovic and I think over the next three to four years the slams will be mainly divided between these three. I also strongly believe that due to the excessive physical demands of the game that injuries will play a part in the said three’s slam successes. This can be to Roger’s advantage because as he gets older he needs to be even more conscious of injuries and should he remain injury free ( back problems not withstanding ! ), and even more selective as to which tournaments he participates in, then he can be there to clean-up. I apologize to all if this should be construed as Roger benefiting from the ‘scraps’ but am sure we will all rejoice if this means adding to his slams. I definitely see one more slam but two or even three more is still achievable. Roger is far from done and dusted but he needs to be even more vigilant than ever before, primarily due to the ridiculous slowness of nearly all courts today…

    1. Me too. I see at least one more slam. But don’t be so sure about Nadal not overtaking his tally. That guy is obsessed, a psycho if you will, and won’t stop at anything, even if it means resorting to unethical and illegal means (he already is in fact). Think of it this way: He is almost guaranteed 3 French Opens, the most ridiculous of all surfaces. The only way to stop him there would be to politely ask him to leave and put him in some sort of Clay Hall of Fame. He will surely get at least one more Wimbledon. That brings his count to 15 and puts him within striking distance if he can pick up an Australian and US Open. Besides, the game is now truly a running game so all he really has to work on is endurance and every one will be falling around him like dead flies.

      I think that another slam from Roger would make it safe. Two would seal it. Man! I’d love to see that happen! A Wimbledon and a US Open 🙂

      1. I want an australian open too. Then roger would be the first man ever to own the highest number of slams for each of the 3/4 slams. Man, won’t that be a record! also getting a french will make him only the third man in the open era to have at least two grand slams on each of the surfaces. PLUS, that will also make him the first man ever (in the open era, don’t know about pre-open era) to own at least two of each slam! WOW, even the thought of these achievements is making me, huh how shall i put it, inappropriately aroused 😉 !
        Am i dreaming too much? maybe. Am i being too greedy? Definitely. Am i to blame for my greediness? Well, Roger spoiled me that’s all i’m going to say. Are these impossible? I’m gonna answer that by saying, “People, it’s Roger Federer we are talking about!”

    2. Hi Paul, what a nice comment. I actually see it the same way. Maybe not so sure about Rafa not surpassing Roger.
      He can. Especially if he plays this game: win everything the first half of the year, then call it quits during second half of the year because of knee injury and then coming back like superman sequel 2,3,4,5, etc.
      If he does that, he can definitely have more slams and of course more ATP 1000 titles. Lets face it, he will win all the three clay 1000 tours from this year till 2016, surpassing Roger with atleast 8 to 12 1000 titles (undeserved).

      And I said in an earlier comment on another article to Jonathan, that this is exactly what Roger should do.
      Give it his best, maybe not his all, let Rafa/Novak/Andy fight it out for themselves, and when they are burned out or injured, then strike back. And this would not even be a bad thing. I mean it is not Roger’s fault that he plays such a wonderful game that is not much stress for his body, maybe only his back, and it is not his fault that the other three are playing games that will make them more vunerable for a burnout or an injury. Is it his fault that Rafa has been and is destroying his body and knee to win everything under the sun? No, it is not.

      And call me crazy, but I really believe Roger has three more slams in him, even if that is one a year.
      If he gets one more AO and one more USO and one more Wimby and even one more WTF, then trust me, it will take a long time (years) for anyone to surpass that (the only one beeing possible is Novak with AO). But no one will get 9 Wimby or even 7 USO or even 8 WTF.
      All he has to do is win ATLEAST these three slams once and one WTF. Then nobody will surpass him or question his GOAT-status. I know it sounds difficult, BUT NOT IMPOSSIBLE.
      RG, he should give that up, it would be lovely to win that two more times, but with Rafa that is impossible.
      If Rafa still plays, only Novak and Roger can get one more RG title. NOT anymore. Novak will not win RG twice with Rafa around. Roger will maybe win two RG in total, but never three with Rafa around.
      (Other players will start winning RG when Rafa retires, not sooner, no way possible).

      And don’t be to sure that Rafa will do that good at Wimby or USO this year. I know I said Rafa will win everything under the sun and I do believe that also. But this year, he knows Novak will move heaven and earth to win RG, so he will be more determined AND take more risks. Meaning he will be more vunerable for injuries or tiredness or whatever excuses he will give during Wimby and USO.
      Of course if he wins RG and Wimby and USO, we ALL will be wondering AGAIN was he really injured or not?

      And I have this feeling that Roger’s transition year will be watched by Rafa/Novak/Andy with very much interest !!!
      I can assure you that, if Roger’s transition year will be succesfull and he will win slams and important titles, that Novak and Andy, but ESPECIALLY RAFA will do the same next year.
      I mean Andy is already doing lesser tours. So I really believe that if Roger is succesfull this year and next year, then the other three will follow his example by doing lesser but more meaningfull tours.
      Afterall, Roger leads, the rest follows….

      Oh one more thing, Roger should from now on mentally go into every match with the same hunger/attitude/desire to win like he did last year at Wimby. He wanted to win SO bad, he did everything for it, playing during pain, playing aggressive, playing clutch. He really moved heaven and earth to win Wimby last year. With that hunger he should approach every match. Is that mentally doable? Yes, Rafa does it, Novak does it, Roger should do it to.

      What do you guys think?

      Katyani

      1. Time will tell if you are right Katayani.

        I personally want Fed to win the US Open. That would be a sweet finale for his Grand Slam collection.

      2. I think if he could choose his final grand slam ,then it should be wimbledon not US open..Wimbledon has made him the champion he is now..The place where he won his first grand slam ,the place where he broke Pete’s record..And I hope it is the place where he wins his last one.. 🙂

      3. In 2012 Novak had a mental lapse due to family reasons. That explains some of Nadal / Federer / Murray successes last year.
        Monte Carlo 2013 is a clear message what Novak plans to do this year.

  23. I dont think Roger can win the French again..Unless like I have been telling all along he gets a easy draw at this years french by being seeded second and somehow avoiding Rafa (and Novak till the final )for which Novak has to be placed in the same half or quarter as Rafa and defeats Nadal..Because I am sure if Roger has to face only Novak and if it is the final then I think he will go all out and win it..And I dont see Andy being a big problem anyway..But at Wimby and US open I dont think the draw matters that much..He will be my favorite at each of those.He just needs to make sure that he is physically completely fit..But I sincerely think Aus open will be impossible because whoever he faces Andy ,Rafa or Nole ,I think Roger will go into it as the underdog..And yeah I agree with Katyani I too think roger has a couple of grand slams left in him..Probably one wimby and one US open..And if Roger does end up with 19 or 20 Grand slams I dont think Rafa or anyone in the near future will get to the mark..Especially the next gen and all susequent generations are going to find it much harder because the game has become so physical and it be so hard to stay without inuries..

    1. I agree Ajay I’d be very surprised if he win another French or Australian.

      I am hoping for one more US Open, that would be the true icing on the cake.

      Jonathan

  24. MonteCarlo draw out ,and you know what Djokovic is playing..Knew we should never trust this guy..And Nadal and Andy are in the same half..I really want to know if these draws are prefixed or what..Because Nadal facing Djokovic in the semis would have been very strange and somehow just like in IndianWells they are in different halves..And I really hope Andy doesnt make it past the quarters..Because I think if he doesnt then Roger will be ranked second at Madrid..And seems like Ferrer isn’t there as well..Pretty much nothing to look forward to in MonteCarlo ..But as always hoping someone can kick Nadal’s butt..(and maybe Andy’s and Novak’s as well).. 😉 😉

    1. If Novak wasn’t playing MC, then there would be no reason to watch it. With Roger, Novak and Ferrer out and only Andy in, Rafa was so going to win anyways, it would be boring. Now, atleast there is something to look forward to, a Novak/Rafa final.

  25. @Sid,
    Commenting here, a bit further away from the original comment, to the ‘blasphemy comment’:

    Yes, I noted the smiley you put there 😉 However, I thought I should clarify it a bit more, just to be sure 😉
    What I meant is that I honestly think he doesn’t have a list where he crosses things off, not anymore. You mention 2 GS and 5 Masters (no doubt as an example) and I don’t that’s on his list as such. I was merely pointing out the difference between us and him in that matter 😉 Sure, he’d want to win a few more Grand Slams and get a few Masters, I don’t doubt that for a second. But the guy has achieved anything he probably thought he could achieve and more, has more records than anyone else. I think the main reason he plays is he loves it more than anything, like I said… He could retire now (don’t worry, I won’t mention the R-word too often, if only cause I don’t want to think about it myself yet) with a career that no one has had and probably no one will ever have…

    But thinking about it, I guess now he still has a goal after this week… 2 GS and 5 Masters and then he can go 😉 If he does that really quickly, I’ll come back and blame you for him not staying on until right after Rio, you do realise that right?!

  26. Roger’s decision to skip the Monte Carlo event and to only enter the clay season from Madrid unwards seems a wise decision to me, even if it implies that he’ll come in cold at his first match in Madrid’s caja mágica.
    With a Nadal possibly lying in wait in the QF’s of the Madrid and/or Rome Masters, he’ll need to get back in the rhythm of tournament play right away though, at least if he’s nursing any hopes of replicating or improving on his results of last year.
    Going deep in Madrid and Rome would be a bonus, but is not a “mandatory” thing for Roger in my opinion.
    His main objective remains I think performing well at Roland Garros in Paris, where he doesn’t have to play any night sessions, and has a day off between matches to recuperate and spend some time with his family.
    He’s now training hard somewhere in the Alps, readying himself for whatever challenges lying ahead.

  27. ” ..and since the tournament turned to clay in 2009 either Nadal or Federer have featured in all 4 of the finals.”

    It is more important to mention that Djokovic won Madrid 2011 than that Nadal was a finalist.

    It has been a practices in last few years to sideline Novak and to keep writing Federer/Nadal centric articles. Take Monte Carlo for example. It was 3x more artles about Nadal than about Novak, although Novak is an undisputed World No1. Now we see similar scenario for Madrid.

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