ATP Masters 1000Indian Wells

Nadal Re-Announces Himself at Indian Wells

Hey all, I don't often post about non Federer related matches but I thought the Indian Wells final deserved a quick post as Rafael Nadal made the perfect comeback to Masters 1000 tournament play defeating Juan Martin Del Potro 4-6 6-3 6-4.

I watched both Nadal's semi final against big time choker Tomáš Berdych where he wasn't overly impressive and then the final where he played unreal to defeat Juan Martin Del Potro in a crazy match. In the end I suppose it's quite pleasing that Roger lost to the eventual winner of the tournament but looking ahead to the rest of the year Nadal is a scary prospect.

Nadal = Superman

Nadal = Superman

It's hard to describe this guy, I mean he is just unreal. He takes 7 months off with dodgy knees that are supposedly career threatening and then comes back and plays at a ridiculous level in the final to move 1 clear of Roger again in all time Masters 1000 victories.

It's not like he just played great in the final either, he was back at his prime level if not better. He was facing the biggest hitter in the game who was playing out of his skin for most of the match but still hung in there to win in the end.

The way Del Potro was playing he'd have beaten anyone in the world that day all but Nadal. I have no doubts he'd have beaten Roger here as he was back at his 2009 level. His groundstrokes were bombs, yet they kept coming back.

The problem for Del Potro here was you have to win the point about ten times over before you count Nadal out which makes it almost impossible to keep up for an extended period.

If it was a one set shootout Del Potro wins every day, but Nadal just wore him down and tired him out. Del Potro's exploits against Murray and Djokovic won't have helped his cause either but he was at top level for most of the match and it still wasn't enough.

Nadal's court coverage is ridiculous, he is an out and out road runner, tracking down balls for fun time and time again coming up with ridiculous shots to stay in the point. Let's be clear Del Potro outplayed him with power hitting for a set and a half but he couldn't sustain that level whereas Nadal just got better and better as the match wore on.

Del Potro was in scary form in the first set after going down a break early to turn it around and take it 6-4. He even went up a break in the second set but you just can never count Nadal out, he is just too good mentally and physically for almost everyone. Probably the only guy that is capable of beating him in this kinda form these days is Djokovic. Which says a lot about him too.

I'd just like to say before anyone launches into a tirade and starts making excuses for Roger or slating Nadal calling him a doper in the comments, please don't as that debate has been had to death. Let me just clear a few things up:

  • Am I a Nadal fan? No, I do not like him but I can't argue with his clutchness and physical capabilities.
  • Is he doping? Potentially, but it is completely unproven so we need to leave that debate for now.

The fact is you have to pay a little bit of respect to Nadal for what he has done here. He's been out for ages and is the first person in 2013 to win three titles and is currently 17-1 for the season. Quite scary when you think about it.

Loads of armchair tennis fans started writing him off after losing to Zeballos in his first tournament back, saying he's done. But then he destroys his whipping boy Ferrer in Acapulco and wipes the floor with the field in Indian Wells. Like him or not, the guy has a big match temperament and is physically superman. He runs all day and plays every point like his life depends on it, it's hard to fathom really, it almost blows my mind.

Like I said, we have to leave the doping debate for another day, to be honest it makes a lot of Federer fans look bad continually bringing it up, it's as though they are searching for excuses which I'm a little bored of. Roger never made excuses so neither should his fans.

Besides, as my friend Ru-an said, if Nadal is doping then karma will catch up with him, look what happened with Lance Armstrong. So with no evidence it's by the by. All we know is Nadal is back and he's playing scary tennis again.

And regardless, it's quite clear that Roger isn't the 2nd best player in the world on current form, can he get back there? Yes. But fan excuses don't help. We know he has a bad back but his attitude and mental walkabouts have cost him lately too, not just injury. Hopefully this two month break does him good.

Quick Thoughts on Del Potro

Del GOATro

I can't write this post without touching on Del Potro, simply the final wouldn't have been what it was without him. I'd say that when he is firing on all cylinders he's probably the best player in the world. Just he suffers from two things – he's not the most consistent and his fitness isn't the greatest.

If he were to sort those things out then I have no doubts he'll blow everyone off court including Nadal like he managed to do for 1 1/2 sets yesterday.

He's in a good position here too, because both those things can be sorted out with hard work and practice. It's not like his forehand has a stupid technical flaw or he has a lack of talent. He has all those things in abundance along with the biggest game in the sport right now.

It's almost up to him whether or not he wins multiple slams now, the jury is still out somewhat as he's still Masters 1000 less and of course he has to stay injury free which hasn't been easy for him but on his day Del Potro is a force to be reckoned with.

What Does This Mean for Federer?

Federer & Haas

It's almost scary if you're a Federer fan here, ask yourself this, what happens if he meets Nadal in a slam?

Roger messed up plenty of times in his prime in slams against Nadal by being stubborn so how does he possibly handle the resurgent Nadal who is now back to his best and almost better than ever?

He hasn't beaten Nadal in a slam since 2007 anyway so it doesn't bode well that's for sure. I almost hate the prospect of them meeting as the outcome is almost guaranteed. Nadal is the ultimate machine on court, he epitomises clutchness whereas Fed has a habit of choking against him.

He is the anti-Federer when you think about it. Harsh reality and no doubt some Fed fans won't like it but I don't see him beating Dull in a slam again. You just have to be realistic.

Before you give me a list of reasons Roger can beat him in a slam, I'm not saying it's impossible Roger can win over 5 sets against him but it's highly unlikely on any surface. Especially if Nadal is at full fitness.

There is maybe only way Roger beats him and that's if he plays like Goderer for 5 sets; nothing more, nothing less. Whether or not Roger can get to that level against Nadal is the question. I have a feeling we'll find out sooner rather than later.

Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer. I 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 Federer and tennis in general.

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109 Comments

  1. I actually Nadal is a brilliant player, for exactly the reasons you mention. Do I like his on court rituals? No. I find it frustrating and annoying. But what he is doing, is something you can’t ignore. I was very surprised he came back the way he did, but apparently his knees are fine now. He is still doing smart scheduling pulling out of Miami, but I think he’ll be winning a lot more trophies this year.

    As for DelPotro is concerned: I’ve always been a fan. Massively impressed with the forehand and the power when I started following him. I think so much has improved lately. Although the consistency and certainly the fitness could still use more work. Fed once said he has no doubt DelPotro would soon be a great danger to the top4 guys, if not be one of them and I think he didn’t just say that to be nice. I believe the same. Time will tell how that will all work out 🙂

    1. Hey Natasja,

      Yeah I don’t like Nadal in the slightest but his level of clutchness and the way he defends is super human. It is scary in fact.

      His knees clearly not a problem. He was running down everything for fun. He doesn’t get tired.

      I hope Del Potro keeps on this run of form. If he can then he can factor at the French. He has to be fit and avoid going 5 sets in the early rounds.

      Jonathan

  2. Thanks for crediting Juan Martin. He’s really growing on me this year. I read (on Wikipedia) that Roger was responsible for getting an 18 year old JMDP a WC into 2006 Basel. He recognized his talent I suppose?

    1. Hey Jenn,

      I can’t knock Del Po, I like his game and his on court manners so he deserves credit. He has a huge game too.

      I didn’t know about that fact, although him and Roger do seem to get on really well and respect each other so wouldn’t surprise me if true.

      Jonathan

  3. Excellent post, Jonathan. I’ve felt the same way about Federer v. Nadal at a major since Melbourne ’09. I know we’ll spend the next few months hypothesising but it really is important to make our proper calls after the US Open. Exciting times for tennis I guess, with Nadal firing again. We all just want Roger to return with that glint in his eye to prove us all wrong. Here’s hoping it happens.

    1. Cheers Rakhesh,

      Yeah it’s not gonna be easy for Fed to beat Nadal in a slam, no too ways about it. The odds are against him on that one.

      Always a possibility though so you never know.

      Jonathan

      1. Roger has the game to beat Nadal, always thought he has. Lacks mental strength to break through defences. However, now that he’s older and Rafa is all rested up, there’s an element of physical disadvantage, he can’t get bullied into long baseline Rallies and needs to make an aggressive game plan, attack the backhand and run around his own if he is to ever beat him in a slam again which is unlikely, best chance he had was at AO but we all know how that panned out… That’s why I don’t mind Djokovic, he did what Roger has been trying to do all these years, to be honest his movement is more impressive than Nadal’s and also his fitness, both his and Rafa’s are out of this world. It was really fun watching him get on top of Nadal seven straight times. Kind of hoping a similar situation repeats itself, Nadal will be on confidence roll now, can’t have that happening, he’s unbeatable in those circumstances.

  4. Hi Jonathan, great post. I agree with you. Unfortunately, the point in Feds career where he has to make some tough decisions has come sooner than we thought. I watched the Delpo – Nadal match, and I was impressed at how consistant Delpo was. I thought to myself at the time that watching Delpo play was less stressful than watching Fed because Delpo seemed so much tougher mentally, and was willing to be defensive when needed. He didn’t over play for the most part, and didn’t miss his big forehand as much as Fed has been.

    Nadal as well played an intelligent match, and did what he had to do to win. Even in this interview afterward he talked about changing strategy in the 2nd and 3rd set. We have to admit to the fact that 100% offense is not going to cut it anymore for Fed. Players have gotten too good. Fed needs to start winning “ugly” a bit, and dig in. If he is not willing to get down in the mud a bit, he should probably retire and just do exhibitions. I still feel like all of us that he is the most talented, but he is not now the clutch player he used to be. Mentally, he just isn’t there. Look what has happened to Monfils. He is really talented but mentally a midget.

    Roger needs to understand that to come through against joker, Rafa, Murray, Delpo, and Berdshitt, he needs to mentally beat them. Not just improvise with brilliant shot making. He has to have a more long view, and play the game like chess. He has every shot in the book, and he needs to figure out a strategy to beat these other guys in tough moments on the court. Unforced errors aren’t going to cut it anymore. The first serve needs to be there, as well as more topspin on his forehand and backhand to keep up his margin of error.

    Also, stop trying to hit (inside – in) standing in the alley low percentage forehand winners like he did in indian wells. Bad judgement I think. Let’s see if this is a wake up call. For him and all of us Federer lovers, I hope so.

    1. Cheers Tim.

      Yeah Del Po is pretty clutch too, I mean he saved match points from 0-40, quite impressive. He isn’t afraid to take risks either. Definitely not a pusher.

      I disagree though on Fed having to dig in. I think the only way he wins matches from now in is by playing attacking. The minute he plays passive or doesn’t go for his shots, he loses.

      Watch the Nadal match from Indian Wells or the Murray match in Australia – he got dominated in those matches and he cannot afford to let that happen. He has to press onto the front foot at all costs. The defensive part of Federer’s game is essential but it should only be called upon when necessary, and even then it should be used aggressively as a means of trying to turn defence into attack. If he tries to slug out rallies he will get beaten up badly. No two ways about it.

      But if by dig in you mean he has to fight out some matches, then I agree. But that’s by hanging in there and staying mentally strong. Not by not playing aggressive.

      I agree on the mental part though, that lets Fed down so he has to tighten up mentally too and not let matches slip by playing clutch. He has the game still for sure.

      Jonathan

      1. At last, we agree, on something, that Roger cannot play the “dig in” game. And that he definitely is not clutch. All that Nadal and others have to do to get a crucial point from Roger is to give him a spinny moonballish kind of shot, deep in the court, preferably around his backhand, and he messes up 🙂

  5. Ok. You guys need to explain something to me if you like… And that’s not because I’m one of those fans who likes to grab any excuse in the book if it comes to Fed playing badly and say the back is the reason for everything… I honestly want to know what you think: what is the difference these 2 months of ‘bad play’ with the months he played badly before? Because, and I know ánd I’ve read that here before too that most of you think that, it’s not the 1st time this has happened… So… What’s the difference? I’m curious. Apart from him being 31 now, I don’t see any… The issues that are there now, have been there before: the back has been a problem, I’ve have seen him being less inspired (still doubt if it is that, but let’s assume for a while)…. What is it then?

    1. I’m just very much inclined not to think the worst and give him time, this *whole* year tbh… It’s for a reason he specifically called it a transition year…

    2. I don’t think there any differences? Just he’s closer to Roger 2.0 level than Roger 3.0 level based on the last 3 tournaments which is all we have to go on. Just gotta see what happens after his break and then for the rest of the season…

      1. Jonathan, thanks for your reply. I think he played a great AO (getting out in the semis is really not that bad) and after that, he got worse. Due to various circumstances. But he has had those moments before and came back very strong. We’ll see how it goes this time. I think great things can still happen.

    3. The key difference between now and earlier has to be age. It’s a reality and hopefully Roger has accepted it and is willing to make the “changes” that are needed.

      [It’s for a reason he specifically called it a transition year]

      When did he say that? I believe that this is going to be a different kind of year for Roger. He needs to retool his game.

      1. Sid, he mentioned that in a few interviews at the start of this year. I think he first said it at at the AO. All came up after he was asked about the fact that he changed his schedule this year. If I find the link again, I’ll post it here.

      2. PS.
        Sid, I think he is willing to make the changes, hence the adjusted schedule. I honestly believe that is because he gets older. He’ll never say that, but it seems the most logical reason…

      3. Aha! Now, I’m wondering did he say “transition year” in the context of phasing into retirement, or “transtion” in terms of trying to bring changes to his game etc.? I hope it’s the latter because once this man retires, I will not watch a single point on TV. In fact I only watched 3 IW matches, parts of Istomin (yawn!), Dodig (double yawn!), and almost all of Wawrinka (phew!).

  6. Delpotro has the ground strokes to beat Nadal, but, unfortunately, his all around game is below average. He kept throwing baseline bombs but rarely, if ever, went to the net to finish the point quickly (and he had plenty of chances). Instead he allowed Nadal to neutralize the point with loopy forehands or slices, and ultimately take control of the point.
    About Nadal… He deserves praise for his competitive nature, but his other on court actions are not very nice (and it’s not about his thongs 😉 ). He definitely is the favorite for the clay court season. (other than that I still think Djokovic and Murray have the advantage on grass and hard. And of course Roger if he shows his true self).
    About Federer… He’s had his worst start to the season since 2008, playing terrible tennis in important matches(with a few exceptions – Tomic, Raonic in AO, Murray in AO (not his game which was average or below, but his fighting spirit)). Hopefully he will come back better after 2 months off.
    Cheers 🙂

    1. Hey Leon,

      Yeah he does, he has the weight of shot to beat anyone. He got tired out though. In the first set he was unplayable.

      Maybe he could have been a bit more proactive in getting to the net. Couple of times he backed off, or chose to let the ball bounce which cost him.

      Yeah post Aus Open he’s been poor. Strange as I thought the AO went really well for him.

      We’ll find out, allez!

  7. FAO Jonathan and Tim… Both of your post are intriging and well said. As for Nadal i have never liked him, but i have to take my hat off to him for what he has accomplished. If he changed his all round persona then alot more people might warm to him, including myself. As for Federer well what can i say than he needs to do…………………………………….. I hope a break does Roger good. Otherwise the way superman is playing, Roger will need to gets some Kryptonite to stop Nadal and the others. With all the money Roger has made he needs to buy some from Lex Luthur!!!?!!?

    1. Cheers man.

      Yeah same here, I can’t stand Nadal, his habits etc and his gamesmanship are a joke. But he is capable of insane stuff on the court sometimes.

      3 Superman references in one comment. You have out done yourself! 😛

  8. I’d like to pay my respects to Nadal for (I’ll only list four reasons): –

    1 – For freezing Roger on the line at FO 2011 when he was serving for the set by trying to remove extra tape from his feet for 10 minutes. And he does that to the man he says he respects?
    2 – For bumping Rosol, then taking an extended timeout after he was aced in the final game at Wimbledon 2012
    3 – For taking a timeout right before the first set tie break against Del Potro at Wimbledon 2011
    4 – For stopping play against Berdych, challenging a ball out, losing the challenge, and wanting to play the point again by saying “he could” have hit the ball and rounding it out by giving Pascal Maria a lecture.

    The list is endless. No sir, clutch or not, I will never have respect for this man, ever. If you want to play political and praise him like you did, you have the right to. If there are people who still love him for that attitude, then it only goes to show the nature of those people.

    And oh yes, congratulations on winning his 22nd Master! Will he now stop complaining about hard courts, court speed, length of the season, and the knees please?

    1. I don’t doubt any of those things man. I made it clear I’m not a Nadal fan but you can’t argue with his level on the court. He is almost unbeatable in that kinda form. Only Djoker can stop him.

      There’s no diplomacy here, just honesty, Nadals attitude sucks and so do his antics. But his clutchness and intensity you can’t not respect.

      1. Jonathan, perhaps I got carried away and was a bit too harsh in calling you a diplomat. I guess I was taken aback by your sudden volte-face on Nadal 🙂 If you take out all those negatives I’ve listed, plus the countless others that I haven’t, why would I not like him? Right? His gamesmanship is the single and most important reason that I have hatred for him.

        P.S. And yes, not more sarcasm on “Dopal” from me since you’ve already made the house rules on that moving forward. Just let me know when I can start yapping about it again!

      2. I just got a bit bored about the doping thing. I could slate Nadal all day long but it’s a waste of energy sometimes. I’d rather just see someone beat him fair and square like Rosol than talk about his gamesmanship etc.

        I think it’s possible he dopes for sure but we get nowhere talking about it all the time. If Roger spends 2 months in training camp sat whinging to Mirka that Nadal is a doper he isn’t going to get any better 🙂

    2. Sid The Thief, MAN nobody is telling you to respect Nadal. If you dont like the guy so be it.
      Afterall Nadal is the GOAT when it comes to clay! VVAAAMMOOOSSS!!!!! 🙂

      1. Batman, I’ll reply to you simply because you didn’t address us Roger fans as morons 🙂 Anyways, yeah, so this is a Roger Federer blog and my response is only to Roger fans here. I don’t engage with Nadal fans. I find them to be typically unreasonable and impossible to have a civilised discussion.

        Nobody here is denying Nadal is the Clay GOAT. At the same time, his behavior I’ve listed in my original comment is unbecoming of an 11 time slam winner. I’m not asking you for a rebuttal.

        Thanks,
        TheCookieThief

    3. Right I agree with all of that, but lets not forget no one is perfect: Roger has had a couple of outbursts as well 😉

      Agree about the complaining and all of that, for certain.

      And I certainly don’t respect him for his personality, but on the court, that guy is a monster. Defo don’t like his game, but it’s f*cking impressive!

      1. [Roger has had a couple of outbursts as well]

        Right, nowhere near the level of gamesmanship displayed by the Spaniard though, and few and far in between moments at that.

      2. What up with Rafa’s personality? Don’t get what is the problem here? Seriously Rogers rant are funny? “Don’t tell to be quiete” tha is an arrogant person!! Give a break!!

      3. Agreed. “Don’t tell me to be quiet” is a polite response to someone who tells you, “Be quiet”. Umpires are not supposed to address players like that and tell them to “be quiet”. They have guidelines to largely disengage from the conversation if possible.

  9. Jonathan, some day I will see you writing an article titled, “Nadal re-announces his knees are bad!”

    New rule: From now on, everytime Nadal says his knees are troubling him, he will be stripped off one Masters 1000 title, starting with Monte Carlo 🙂

  10. The last few months haven’t been the greatest for Roger but I really do believe all he needs is rest and training. When he’s healthy he is still a great athlete as he showed at the AO2013. The rest of the year shapes up well for him in terms of events. He could do well in Madrid and the FO (depending on the draw). He’ll definitely be going hard to win Wimbly, and then Montreal, Cincinnati, US Open, Shanghai, Paris, and the WTF are all tournaments he can win, given the right form and luck.

    1. So Kyle, just to get your thoughts, do you think just rest and training will be enough for Roger to get back to 2012 form? Or is there more to it? Do you think he needs to retool his game? I agree though that he is more likely to do better around Wimbledon, if not earlier.

      1. It’s such a tough one to predict. I don’t think retooling is a bad idea though.

        But if he doesn’t retool, comes back and wins a few tournament, what do you then say Sid? Guess it’s just up to the man himself. Wait and see as far as the fans are concerned.

        US Open is his focus 😉

      2. If he comes back to win a slam, I will buy you the polo that he will wear and that’s a promise in writing 🙂

  11. Actually a very entertaining final. The level of tennis was pretty special I thought. You have to feel for Delpo, the one time he manages to play his best tennis and take out Murray and djokovic he runs in to an unreal nadal that hasn’t been seen in months. I mean that’s just really unlucky. I didn’t think that the knee injury would stop nadal from playing his best tennis when he came back (although definitely didnt think it would happen so quickly) but I do believe it might affect his consistency. Just the fact that he has withdrawn from Miami despite winning IW shows that he’s worried about consistency aswell. Can he keep winning these matches with crazy court coverage day in day out all season long? In 2008 he could, in 2010 he could, I don’t think he can now. Whether he can be consistent enough to win slams we will wait and see but on current form it definitely looks like it.
    As for Roger I don’t think his chances of beating Rafa in a slam have diminished in the slightest (they’ve never been great tbh) but I’ve definitely thought that his backhand has improved a lot recently in terms of taking it early and not shanking it and has infact been his best shot in the last few tournaments and that can only help against nadal. The mental side against rafa is always the worrying bit but hey maybe now that he’s getting older he might be more relaxed and calm about it and it might help, who knows! Obviously there was no sign of any of that in their qf but ill put that down to his bad back lol.
    I honestly hope delpotro starts putting in these kinds of performances consistently throughout the season. If he does there’s no way he won’t win another slam.

    Finally like you said it is quite incredible what nadal has managed to do. It’s not even the fact he won IW so soon after coming back its the way he won it. How can he not even have a shred of self doubt about his tennis after taking 7 months off? I don’t get it but I sure as hell respect it.

    You said yourself it might be only djokovic who can touch him when he’s playing like this and that sais a lot about djokovic.
    I agree. If you think about it both Federer and Murray have both done exceptionally well at exploiting the times when nadal has been injured (2009, 2012) but djokovic is really the only player who has ever been able to beat nadal consistently at his peak. I don’t like it but there it is.

    So the dynamic of the top four has changed again. Will nadal get back to the top? Does djokovic still have the mental edge over him? Can the new and improved Murray challenge nadal in slams or will he go back to getting whipped in the semis? And wtf is going on with Roger?

    All I know is if anyone can find a way it roger! Allez!

    1. Good comment, Tommaso. The only think I disagree is that Nadal ever had a knee problem during those time frames you mentioned. We’ve heard about a lot of players recovering from injuries. It takes a long time to come back to form. It’s the human body you are talking about. And the knees for crying out loud! If he recovers so quickly and comes back to near 2010 form in such a short time, surely, either he was lying about the injury or he sure as heck has some unreal means of recovering (not hinting at anything here). I believe he never really had an injury and as usual was downplaying his chances to take the pressure off himself. Typical move from the Nadal playbook 🙂

      I for sure believe that if a story is too good to be true, it ain’t. Nadal was simply resting and retooling his game for a 2013 push. I’ve mentioned this over and over again. I’m not surprised and neither should anyone else.

    2. Interesting thoughts Tommaso.

      I wondered about Murray too, he was Nadal’s whipping boy in slams really, but perhaps he’s a different player now. Will be interesting to see if they meet, especially somewhere like Wimbledon!

      @Sid Nadal playbook lol.

  12. Hello Jonathan,
    I rarely put my thoughts here in the comments – though I mean to….I always look forward to your posts and in fact log in here if I’ve missed a match instead of checking in at the atp site 🙂 But now that Feds going to be in hibernation till May, I hope you don’t too!

    Enjoyed the article; and, as always, agree with your views. I watched the final, but skipped the Berdych match…technically he’s a very good player, but I personally cannot stand him. Nadal, as you rightly pointed out, was moving crazy. What exactly is his speed when he comes charging from one end of the baseline to the other? I don’t usually watch matches once RF exits, but I have a soft spot for Delpo and really wished he was the surprise winner. The guy needs to boost his self esteem, and if he had managed to beat nadal that day, it would have worked wonders, I personally feel. He sounds quite self-depreciating in his press most times; humilty is one thing, but not exactly what you would like to hear from someone who came back from something like rank 230+ in a matter of 18 months. His fitness does get into the way, but most times it’s due to his bad planning of tournaments.

    Concerning Federer, I must say I am a fan, not a fanatic 🙂 so I can clearly see that the anti-fed is back. No excuses or illusions, if they meet in a slam RF needs to show us all a side of him that we’ve never seen before.

    1. Hey Vandana,

      Thanks for the comment 🙂

      Same here, I planned to not watch the rest of Indian Wells once Roger lost but when Del Potro defeated Murray it got interesting again so I tuned back in.

      Nadal is insane, I’ve not seen anyone cover the court like him with such speed. Not a graceful mover in the slightest but he’s scarily good at defending.

      As for Del Po, I know what you mean about him maybe coming across a little self deprecating. I think it’s quietly confident underneath though, he does appear quite clutch too which is a good sign. He has hit the heights of winning a slam so maybe he won’t be satisfied until he gets back there.

      And agreed about Roger, but we know that he’s capable of something like that. Allez!

      Jonathan

  13. Totally agree with you John, Nadal is out of this world, I dont think Federer can beat him any more, which makes me really but really sad.

    I love Roger he is my idol and I will never ever like another player as I like him, but sadly is Znadl, Djoker and Del Po time, where ever I like it or no.

    1. Roger can beat Nadal. I still believe it. But he has to do things that he is not going to. He is too bull headed 🙂

    2. Hey Luis,

      Yeah realistically it looks very very difficult. You know if they meet the bookmakers will be heavily favouring Nadal and of course they rarely get it wrong. But the main thing is that it’s not impossible. I still have a little faith but like I said will need Goderer mode switched on. And it can’t be on clay lol.

      Jonathan

  14. Yes indeed Jonathan. It was a hella good final and it was actually really nice to see a match up we don’t normally get to see as often as others lately (the crap that is Djokovic/Murray).

    Watching this match all I could think about was how Roger is going to beat these guys and it looks like another 2010 year where Nadal comes back and wins. Everything. I’m really keen on Delpo making a splash this year too but he needs to be more consistent, can he beat Djokovic/Murray on a regular basis when it counts? That’s the question.

    There is no doubt in my mind that Federer fans are feeling on edge now. Nadal is back better than ever it seems and Djokovic/Murray always have the advantage of youth. I still have my hopes pined on Wimbledon, or US Open in particular. I don’t know what to think anymore but it’s only the beginning of the season and Roger knows what to do during the break. Gotta trust that it’s the right call and hope that Roger 3.0 makes a comeback in the next few months.

    Jonathan, do you think Nadal will stay at number 4 for the french or go down to 5. Everything he plays he defends so he can’t make points up. If Djokovic beats him at the clay or Ferrer makes a run at Miami it looks like he will be number 5 where as if he was at number 4, and Roger moved down to 3 (inevitable) He would at least get Novak, and wouldn’t get andy because they want a Djokovic/Nadal final…

    1. Hey Alysha,

      Yeah I thought the same, seeing Nadal play like he did makes it tough for Federer for sure.

      I didn’t think so much of the rankings, Nadal will likely defend some but not sure if all. Djoker probably has a say in some of them I hope. I’m sure he will be keen to win some tournaments on clay unlike last year. I think he maybe drops to 5.

      Jonathan

  15. One dimensional as he may be, you gotta admit it is pretty effective. You won’t win multiple titles and majors for nothing. And that’s right, Djokovic is the only one who can match the level that Nadal’s style. Both are baseliners, they thrive and get most of their points on long rallies (10 shots++) tremendous court coverage and defense.

    Again, that is very evident to the brutal AO 2012 final, even Roger will bow down to Nadal for that time duration, except for Novak.. Novak and Nadal cancel each other out in terms of style. it’s like watching boxing. Hit and get hit. Last man standing on the court.

    Even as a Federer and Djokovic fan I have to give props to Nadal. After a very long break, we expect some rusty performance.. we did get that, but I didn’t expect he’ll be back in form this fast.

  16. Delpo showed an amazng performance to beat Murray, Djokovic and being up 6:4 3:1 against Nadal. On this f**king slow hart court where the ball almost stops 3m behind the baseline (plz watch where Nadal returned the serves, sometimes he had to lean forward to get to the ball) it’s an unbelievable performance to beat these three defensive players that run down all balls like crazy.

    Delpo has the mind to beat Nadal, he has the power as well but he lacks creativity on the court. If sb watis 4 m behind the baseline to return serve, why don’t you try to serve with more ankle. Maybe shorter with a lot of ankle. Why don’t you try serve an volley?
    Also from the baseline you need to create ankles, just hitting big inside out forehands all the timel will not get the job done against Nadal. Further you need an amazing backhand longline to beat Nadal like Djokovic. Delpo does not have this stroke.

    1. Hey Michael,

      Yeah I didn’t mention the speed of the court but it no doubt played a part. Nadal was able to neutralise the serve somewhat by standing miles behind the baseline like you said.

      It’s a very gritty surface too so really takes to the spin he puts on the ball so definitely worked in his favour.

      I too would have liked Del Potro to serve + volley more. He’s not a great volleyer though so probably scared of the tactic. When he did come in behind big ground strokes he was too hesistant and ended up playing some silly half volleys that cost him the point. If he’d been more authoritative and hit firm volleys into the court he’d have won a few more cheap points.

      Agreed on the backhand too, you felt when Del Potro had to hit 4 or 5 of those in a row he wasn’t going to win the rally, needed to get back onto his forehand to turn the point in his favour.

      Still on a faster court I see Del Po winning if he plays like that.

      Jonathan

  17. @Sid
    I can’t reply below your comment, that’s why I’m doing it like this:
    I think he meant a transition year in none of the ways you mentioned 😉 Maybe indirectly related to retirement (in the end) but for now I read it as more practical, not as a long term thing.
    As we know he said he changed his schedule because he wanted more practice time in it and to find a better balance between tennis and other priorities in his life (family mainly).
    Practice time, because he felt he needed it (which might be coz he needs to make adjustments to his game, but I doubt it because of the stubborness) and I heard him say somewhere he’d like to improve his game on clay and wanted to practice more to do so… I found that interesting. He also made it particularly clear that he intended to win the tournaments he was entering and therefore he was carefully choosing which ones he would play.
    And the family thing makes sense too. Tbh I feared he’d retire only because of that actually, cause he was talking a lot about his daughters going to school soon and him wanting to be part of that. But it seems to me, they found a better solution for that, cause he álso mentioned he is not ready to go yet (“cause I lóve to play” = quote). So to me (but that’s always just interpretation) the transition year, is just a year when they try out whether or not this is the right format for him, if it works to do it like that. If it doesn’t, there are tournaments to add or to take away even (although I doubt the latter will happen, not just yet).
    In his last presser he was not very concrete yet about how these 3 tournaments could possible affect his schedule, he said this:

    “I’ll probably maintain my schedule, but you never know.
    I always say I will discuss with my team what the schedule is after here once the tournament is over, and I haven’t had time to talk about it yet.”

    That to me indicates he is trying stuff, to see what works and is going to take this year for it. And there is no doubt in my mind there is still the hunger to win, the drive cause he was specific about that and not all his answers in interviews are rehearsed 😉

    Phew… what a long reply… Women… they can’t say anything in just 3 lines… 😉

      1. Happy to have been of service Simon 😉
        Definitely the truth if you ask me… that’s why I wrote it… 😉

    1. True, it’s not hopeful, but it isn’t looking all that bright right now. Delpo on song, nadal being almost better than before his prime, djoker is in shape as well, Murray isn’t doing too bad either… It definitely gonna be tough as hell, but if anyone can do it, Roger’s the man!

      1. Simon, I honestly believe that the losses this year where due to his back problem, but not that much. He has dealt with his back his whole career. He even won his first Wimby in 2003 when his back was locked at the earlier rounds and in 2012 again. He knows how to handle that.
        Yes, of course, he is getting older, so his back problems are somewhat worse, but if you have a back problem that long, you find ways to deal with it, in moving and so.
        But something else was wrong after AO SF. Maybe he realised that he gave it his all and fell short and he became a litte subconsieus about it. Because the 25 minute interview prior to the AO he was easy, calm and confident.

        I do believe it is a lack of confidence. Especially seeing how the 5 to 6 years younger people are a bit better than him (Rafa/Novak/Andy). And also because now he has to work harder to beat players the other ones just past through (like Berdych and Delpo).
        It is all about his confidence. The way he enters the court, his face expressions, the not having “fun” on court, etc.

        I honestly believe that he should have had a very specific goal like last year. He MADE that goal happen. You just saw it in everything. The Roger from last year would not have lost these three matches (maybe only AO SF).

        I think he needs to make his confidence much more stronger in these two months and set new goals for this year (like winning everything there is after May or RG, when the others are a little bit beat). I mean isn’t that his strong point? Staying at the same level almost throughout the year?

        Well and if that does not work, he can always take a seven month break, work on every aspect of the game, see everyone struggle while he improves on everything, and then come back even better, stronger and win everything !!!

        Katyani

      2. I said since Dubai he’s been lacking confidence when it comes to the top players. I’m pretty sure since the US Open this has been an issue. And now made even worse by Berdych again beating him with match points. He might’ve gotten burnt out but he’s had time off since then and the way he was playing against Wawrinka (who don’t get me wrong is an awesome player) was making so many unforced errors and yes he was clearly injured, he still had a chance to serve it out and lost concentration…again. Without confidence and match wins, Roger is pretty mentally weak and the only way he can regain confidence is to start winning matches, not through practice which is why I’m not expecting him to do anything until Wimbledon. I want Roger to show me the same response as he did after the US Open 2011. That was just so fun to watch! I don’t know if something’s changed or not. If he has come back from his break still looking sluggish and is continuing to lose focus in the most crucial parts of the match, he might have to start asking himself some important questions.

        Also Roger can definitely not afford to lost energy in the opening rounds of tournaments, it’s just a massive no no. He needs to play at top level to beat most of the guys in the top 7 now, except Ferrer. Could probably still play at 50% and take care of him. I think if I added it up all correctly, Fed has only won like 3 out of the last 11 meetings with the top 7 guys since the US Open, that’s a pretty poor stat from my perspective and until Roger re-finds his mojo, I’ll be hanging onto my hope because the re-mergence of Nadal and Delpo have now diminished Roger’s chances even more at winning a slam.

      3. Hey Katyani,

        I’m still hopeful. Just being realistic on current form. Things can change pretty quick in tennis so who knows what will happen.

        I like your idea of setting some goals though. It’d make sense. Perhaps the US Open is one but he isn’t talking about it yet? It seems the most logical one to me based on the last few years. Got some rights to wrong on Arthur Ashe I feel.

        @Alysha 3 out of the last 11 meetings with Top 7, yeah that is poor by hid standard! I’m sure there’s more to come though. Some people are assuming I’m saying Fed is done, all I’m saying on current form he’s off the pace. Nothing to stop him coming back, he always does.

  18. Sure, he’s lacking confidence, that’s a given. But it defo doesn’t help that the “young” guns are VERY good these days. Not sure AO has anything to do with his back though.
    And although I agree about going back to the drawing board, there’s no way practice is better than match exp. 7 month break would doom him I think.

    And I really don’t expect him to do very well on clay, but then again he might suprise me. I don’t think he’s got it in him to slug around with djoker nadal and company and win the point 10 times over for a winner… Hope he proves me wrong though!

    we’ll see what happens when he comes back.

    On another hand, I was wondering whether it was interesting to play monte carlo or not? Might seem like a huge NO at first glance, but if he defends his #2 ranking until RG, his draw would be really easier: if he were to get to semis, and nadal stays #5 (which he just might since he has almost only defending to do on clay like MC Barcelona Rome), he would face either ferrer or murray in the semis, which is a hole lot easier than djoker… Your thoughts?

    1. Interesting about Monte Carlo…
      I know this is complete speculation on my part but could this 2 month break mean that he’s thinking about the clay season a little bit?
      Get some proper preparation on clay with annacone, work on some stuff that he’s maybe overlooked over the years since he’s never really concentrated on clay and try and have a good run in the European stretch. Like you said if he can stay no. 2 he can have a decent draw at the french whereas nadal won’t and might run into djokovic early? He knows he can beat djokovic on clay (2011) and heck it doesn’t look like it atm but nadals knees might play up you never know. Tbh what does he have to lose in trying. And think on the rewards… Let anyone try to argue against him being the goat if he wins the French at 31 in the current era!

      Before I get slated I know how improbable this is but thought it might be a bit of food for thought… That’s what blogs are for aren’t they! Allez

      1. [I know this is complete speculation on my part but could this 2 month break mean that he’s thinking about the clay season a little bit?]

        This is exactly what he said in one of the interviews around the time of Rotterdam: he likes to improve on clay… I found that interesting. Didn’t know what to think of it and he didn’t want to say anything more (and the journo didn’t pick it up, silly woman!) but you might be right as in that he is thinking about it…

    2. Nadal will be 4 and what makes you think staying at 2 would make things easier for him? You did see what happened at IW? Besides, if Ferrer is 4, why can’t they put Ferrer v Nadal then on to Roger?

      These draws are revenue generators folks 🙂

      1. Since the house doesn’t allow us to play on dopal (thanks Jonathan! 😀 😉 ) we’re prob not allowed to talk about rigged draws. I have to admit there are a lot of ifs, but we know that a good Roger can take anyone except nadal on clay. And if he’s lucky with the draw well… We can always speculate 😀 Just need nadal in the other half of the draw 😉 I’m honestly thinking he could/ should play, especially after a long break… Then again, the master knows best 😀

    3. @Simon I can’t see him playing Monte Carlo, just get the feeling he doesn’t like that tournament so much.

      @Tommaso Not a bad shout, I honestly have no idea. If he concentrates on clay does he sacrifice Wimbledon? I’m not sure.

      @Simon Dopal can come back, just not on this post. It needs to be used in moderation that’s all. I wanted this post to make it clear Nadal is a threat now he’s back. We can’t take him lightly.

      And draws are definitely rigged. Cash cow!

      1. True that. Among clay, Monte Carlo is the slowest, with the sea right next to it.

        Jonathan, so it’s only this post that Dopal is exempted from? 🙂 Thanks! That’s good news! 🙂

  19. It’s great to see Rafa back playing so well after such a long time out injured. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fan, but I have so much respect for what he has achieved and I think it would be hard not to. The guy is a machine and there’s no-one like him. I have softened a lot in my feelings towards Rafa over the years, having intensely disliked him for such a long period of time.

    I in no way think that Rafa is doping. Maybe I’m just being innocent, but I just can’t see it. He’s always had a lot of talent and he’s been playing at such a high level for such a long time- I just wouldn’t believe it.

    As for Roger, the break is coming at just the right time for him. There’s been something missing from his game all year, really since the US Open last year and hopefully this break will help him get back into shape and into a good mindset for the coming months. I think he would have done a lot better at Indian Wells were it not for the back problem, because he displayed a great level against Istomin. I have no doubt that he’ll come back stronger and playing better. Sooner or later his level will improve, at least I hope so. He’s been around long enough that he knows what he needs to do. Maybe we may see him at Monte Carlo? There was a hint of a suggestion that he may come back earlier than expected…

    1. BS, if it wan’t for Jonathan insisting not to bring up the doping argument, I had a scathing reply prepared 🙂

    2. Can’t stand nadal, but I have to admit that he is bloody impressive… almost too impressive which leads to the doping question. But, until it is proven (both ways, doped or not) we have to think he is not. Frustrating I know, but hey, he’s beating our Roger consistently and that isn’t any small feat 😉

      1. Hey BS,

        Yeah Nadal’s play in Indian Wells was impressive for sure.

        I don’t think he’s definitely not doping, but I don’t know he’s definitely doping either. It’s a tough one but we’ve seen sport is full of surprises. Just gotta leave it at that.

        I think Fed had a really solid start in Aus, it was Roger 3.0 for sure. Then he has just gone off the boil a little. I like your point “that he knows what he needs to do.” Very true.

        As for Monte Carlo – not sure, he doesn’t seem to be a fan of that tournament.

        Jonathan

  20. Folks, here’s a recent conversation that Jonathan and I had about Nadal. Sorry, Jon, I had to share this. The truth must come out.

    Sid, “You, Jonathan! You can’t lie. So tell me… is Nadal doping?”

    Jonathan, “Well, I don’t know whether he’s not”

    Sid, “You’re telling me you don’t know if Nadal’s doping?”

    Jonathan, “It wouldn’t be inaccurate to assume that I couldn’t exactly not say that is or isn’t almost partially incorrect.”

    Sid, “So you do know he is doing it then!”

    Jonathan, “On the contrary, I’m possibly more or less, not definitely rejecting the idea, that in no way, with any amount of uncertainty that…”

    Sid, “Stop it”

    Jonathan, “……I undeniably do or do not know whether he probably isn’t. If that indeed wasn’t not the case. Even if he wasn’t not doping it could mean that I wouldn’t completely not know whether he wasn’t.”

    [that was an adaptation from Shrek]

  21. @jonathan,
    Rafa hasn’t easily beaten anyone who he finds difficult to play (berd, fed, delpo, rafa has great h2h against them). When he beats murray and djokovic on their favorable conditions, only then it’ll be scary

    **2 months break is not for NOTHING. Hope fed brings the magic back @Caja Majica

  22. Hey Jonathan, I’ve been busy so couldn’t reply. What I was referring to in my last post was not that he has to start pushing, but to play percentages better. It’s great to turn defense into offense but it has to be the right shot at the right time. There should be no problem for him to play a few high deep cross-courts back in play when he is stretched out wide, or in a bad position. Rafa and joker do that all day long. And also stop trying to run around his backhand so much that he has to go from the alley on the ad side all the way over to the other alley trying to get back a Rafa sharp crosscourt. He also has been trying too many inside – in forehands from the ad alley down the line and missing it in the alley. I don’t think he should stop being offensive just pick his shots better and not think that he can keep hitting Fed 4.0 shots all the time and at tense moments like match points, or break points.The times that I have seen Fed beat nadal and joker was when he was hitting his cross-court backhand with authority sharp cross-court to set up his forehand. He needs to practice those high backhands and hit them hard cross-court to take away that strategy that Rafa and joker have been using so effectively. Sometimes in a match you have to re-set a point and get back to a good position in order to be consistent enough, and hang in there until you get a chance for the winner. I also think that recently I can see stress on his face in tight situations. I think that he has been getting tighter on big points lately. This next year is going to be tough to call. I think that the top 5 positions are going to be close, and flip flop around. Let’s hope that Rogers back gets better and he gives em hell at the clay courts. One last point, I think that more shots right at Rafa will take away the angles of his forehand, and giving him more junk on his backhand. High bounces, low under-spin etc.

    1. Hey Tim,

      Good points. Yeah you’re right about when he’s beaten Dull he’s hit the backhand really well and been able to hit cross court and DTL when the moment requires. A lot of all boils down to mental side of things though.

      From your original comment I thought you meant he has to slug but I see what you mean now. Although such a fine line he treads, can’t afford to make daft errors but can’t afford to be too passive. I’m sure he knows what to do.

      Jonathan

  23. Jonathan, there are three 1000-tours on Clay, why are there no 1000-tours or even 500-tours on grass??
    Is there a reason for that? Has that always been like this? Yes, then why didn’t any player (past or present) do anything about that?

    1. Hey Katyani,

      Good question! One I’ve been asking for a while, the grass season is effectively a joke and doesn’t get any sort of attention.

      It’s not always been like this, after all 3 of 4 slams used to be on grass but in recent years it has

      There was a rumour that Gstaad was planning on changing from clay to grass but dunno what is happening with that.

      They will never upgrade Queens club as they can’t handle the crowd. Only other chance is Halle which has more courts / bigger stadium.

      Not sure why nobody has done anything about it. It gets talked about but nothing happens 🙁

      Jonathan

      1. Funny when you think of it that the Australian Open used to be a grass court tournament. Not sure when it was moved to hard though. I feel that pretty soon we might actually see a hard court Masters 1000 turn to Clay 🙂

        What if Roger and Nadal had met nearly 14 times on grass, Roger’s favorite surface? 🙂

      2. Sid heard rumours that Miami is going to be that tournament. Seems unreasonable to me though as there’s not enough time to do such a crossover from HC to clay.

        Haha if only…We always have 2006/2007 Wimbledon. And 2009 Madrid, but that win was ruined as soon as Roger and Rafa started to pick the confetti out of each other’s hair lol.

      3. But is that not unfair to the grass courtplayers? I mean not just Roger, but some of the others as well? No wonder Rafa got more ATP 1000 titles, if he is the best clay court specialist of all times and there are 3 occasions a year where he can win that….. is that not unfair??
        I mean how many of his ATP 1000 titles are of clay? I know atleast 8 of them.
        If you deduct his clay titles, how much does he have?
        I mean Roger is a grass specialist but he has no 1000 titles on grass. Does that not mean that his ATP 1000 titles are more impressive that Rafa’s? I think IT DOES.
        Does that not mean that even Novak’s or Andy’s ATP 1000 titles are more impressive than Rafa’s?
        I mean if the majority of his 22 titles is of clay (for which he has three occasions a year), is that not unfair??

        Why aren’t more players or powers to be rooting for more 500 or 1000 tours on grass??
        If I have to believe Rafa, is that not better for the knees than hardcourt? Less hardcourt and or more grass tours would also mean players last longer? Did he not say something like that?

      4. I agree Katyani. Not even grass court players, all players as grass is the quickest surface so the top guys are more vulnerable especially the Djokovics’, can’t defend as well. Yes about 90% of Rafa’s masters are on clay but then you could look at it the other way and say well then 90% of Roger’s masters are on hard court.

        I agree, I would like the ATP to have a grass masters, it’ll do the sport some good. Take out paris at the end of the year, no good that one. Apparently they want to make Madrid a grass masters, so interesting but don’t know if it’ll happen.

      5. Katyani, about 15 of Nadal’s 22 Masters 1000 titles are on Clay. And you’re right when you say that Roger has 0 Masters 1000 titles on grass, which makes his achievement so much more impressive he won nearly all of them on the neutral hard courts that put everyone on a level playing field.

      6. [but then you could look at it the other way and say well then 90% of Roger’s masters are on hard court]

        Sure, but hard courts are neutral surfaces. You could have a variety of skills and they will all be rewarded. However, will hard courts getting slower, that will not remain true. Clay on the other hand completely takes away big serves, big ground strokes, serve and volley, in fact the front court game is non-existent. You have to be an awesome baseliner and grinder to succeed on Clay.

      7. [If I have to believe Rafa, is that not better for the knees than hardcourt?]

        Well, it may be good for his knees but not suited to his playing style. The ball skids faster off grass, the serves are bigger and he gets very little time to set up for groundstrokes. However, grass has changed over the last few years and players have admitted it’s gotten a lot slower. No surprise you see Djokovic and Nadal get involved in long base line rallies…on grass! 🙂

    2. A question many have asked over the years. Answer lies in the cost of grass and to keep the prestigious nature of Wimbledon. There is the 500 tournament @ Halle in which Roger and Rafa are both scheduled to play at this year.

      1. Yes you’re right Katyani, accidentally wrote 500. Feels like a 500 with Roger there though that’s for sure.

      2. There should definitely be a a Masters 1000 on grass no two ways about it. Would be far more interesting than something like Monte Carlo.

        @Alysha – where did you hear Miami might change to clay? Thats crazy!

        @Katyani – Probably not many players are campaigning for a grass 1000 tournament as most of the top 10 don’t really like grass. Ferrer, Del Potro and even Djokovic aren’t big fans of the surface.

        Definitely makes Feds achievement better to say his weakest surface is clay and he’s still second in the all time list.

      3. Yeah agree Jonathan, Monte Carlo is very scenic and beautiful but the tennis there is…predictable as evident in results lol.

        Also wouldn’t Borg be second on the all time list?

        Regarding Miami, just heard some rumours floating around with tennis journos and ATP members saying that IW if bigger/better so Miami is kind of a let down after it (which is true, I’ve never like the courts or conditions at Miami, makes for some slugfest tennis but then again, what isn’t anymore?) So they were tossing a few ideas around to make Miami the first intro into the clay season. I doubt it’ll happen but it would be very intriguing if it does eventually come to be down the track.

  24. Wow!! This is fed page no wonder everyone dislikes Rafa!! The man is incredible and Rafa is more likeable than any other player. With that said Rafa is more exciting to see play!! Leaving aside his ritual which u don’t care if he pulls his shorts etc whatever you all hate him for I think he still the nicer on and off the courts!! He he were hated he would not have as many followers. Every where he went stadium full capacity to see him play. You all bunc of moron!!! Vamos Rafa!!!!

      1. Jonathan, I think it was very chivalrous of you to write about and praise a Nadal Masters 1000 win on a blog dedicated to Roger Federer. So, cheers to that! 🙂

    1. No Pete, that is not true. We are not morons. Maybe you don’t like Roger or Novak or Andy. That does not matter. We all have our favourites. As long as you like the way they play and keep it honest.

      I myself I don’t like Rafa. Cannot say something else about that. But I LOVE the way he plays. I try to watch as many matches of him. I even watched the first final of him this year at twelve o’clock at night.
      I am not a fan of Novak, but I love his matches too.
      You can be someones fan, like them and watch their games. The same way you cannot be someones fan and still like the way they play.

      If you read some of the comments here, you would know that maybe we are not all Rafa’s fan, but we like to see him play and thought that he played IW extremely good, almost unbeatable.
      Maybe that is your case too, you don’t like Roger but you like the way he plays???

      1. I like Roger I just don’t buy that u don’t like Rafa as a person but watch all or most of his matches. As much as I love tennis if I don’t like a player or just don’t care for him/her I don’t waste my time to watch or talk about them.

      2. Well Pete, that is you and your opinion. If you don’t like a player or don’t care for them, you don’t watch their matches. Well, again, that is you, not me. I like and love some players, so I watch their matches. Some I don’t like, really don’t like, but I watch their matches because first of all I love tennis and second of all I like the watch that player is playing tennis.
        You don’t have to like someone to watch their matches, as long as they play good tennis.
        Again, I don’t care for Rafa (at all), but I love his matches.

        If I love Roger and would only watch his matches, I would be bored. Because that is tennis. There is more than one excellent player to watch.
        Maybe you watch only Rafa matches and nobody’s matches at all. Well I would think that would be boring too, don’t you.

        If you like Roger and you like and watch the way he plays, well that is good for you.
        I don’t like Rafa, but I like and watch the way he plays, and that is good for me.

        You have your opinion and I have mine. Happy Easter anyways.

    2. If you don’t like Federer or respect his fans enough to call them morons, why are you even here buddy?

      I don’t hate the guy but I’m not his biggest fan and you can’t expect Federer fans to like him so I’m not sure where your going with your argument. He is a great tennis player that’s a given but it’s not for you to decide if people should like Rafa or not, that’s their decision to make. Not Yours.

      Gracias.

      1. Folks, let’s just not feed this guy, whoever he is. That response is very typical, and very expected. Let him spew 🙂

      2. Hey just like I’m here to express my humble opinion!! So beat it my friend!! This is the reaction u get good or bad . If u don’t want that don’t post BS!!$ Sid the cookie thief? That’s says it all!!

      3. Hi Pete, this is Jonathan’s site about Roger and for his fans.
        Do you know if Rafa has such a site for his fans?
        We would be glad to leave some comments on his site about how we think Rafa is the ClayGoat and how we congratulated him for winning IW.

        Does he have such a site? Can you tell us?
        Maybe us leaving nice comments on his site will make you see that we mean well.

        And if Rafa does not have such a site, you are welcome to stay here, maybe Jonathan will do anonther article in the future about Rafa and his winnings.

        Katyani

      4. Guys comes to a Roger blog, reads the words Nadal=Superman, then calls Roger’s fans “a bunc of morons”. Very classy!

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