Australian OpenGeneral Tennis

#Stanimal Triumphs in Melbourne to Win Maiden Slam

Quick Note from Jonathan: Hey all, I wasn't planning on doing a specific post on Stan the Man's win today but fortunately Sid has stepped up to the plate and put together some thoughts on the final.

I watched virtually all of it and for a set and a half it was some epic play from Stan but after Nadal's injury things tailed off from both guys. I'm just glad Stan managed to hold himself together and take home the title after Nadal won the third set, he's had a great tournament and his win is testament to how well he has progressed in the last year. In some ways he was the nearly man of tennis with a lot of firepower but now he's joined the Grand Slam club and basically stepped out of Roger's shadow. Somewhat crazily he's now at 3 in the world and the new Swiss number 1. Who would have thought that would be the case a month into the season? Anyway take it away Sid…

Totally out of left field

Stan Wawrinka Aus Open 2014

He had never beaten the opponent he was going to face, and entered the final with with five straight losses. Nobody gave him a chance. And for two sets, it looked like that would be the case. A couple of loose shots from his opponent and a debatable line call later, things turned, and he eventually prevailed over his much more celebrated rival, the GOAT, Roger Federer.

Stan Wawrinka though, had no plans of making things that dramatic. The opening point, which lasted about a dozen shots, would define the rest of the match. During that point, Nadal looped one to Wawrinka's backhand, and was hit cross court with such authority, that it set up Stan for the remainder of the point. But this is not a match report. This is about celebrating Stanislas, Roger's Swiss compatriot, and by extension a favorite of all Roger Federer fans.

Stan could do no wrong. His serving and returning were crisp. He was playing quick strike tennis and taking time away from Nadal's forehand. The backhand cross courts were fantastic but the shot that must have played on Nadal's mind throughout the match, was the backhand down the line. Watch Nadal serving a 1-4, 30-15. Stan stays with the backhand cross court, opens up the court, and follows up with a phenomenal down the line.

Stan was telling Nadal, “I'm here Rafa, all night if you need me. I refuse to be bullied by you.”. And Nadal knew it. Stan's volleys were a treat. Take a look at the point where he was serving at 4-1, 15-0 in the first set. The volleying was so crisp, Nadal wasn't being given a second look.

Wawrinka
“I will not be bullied by you”

But let's get some facts straight. Stan arrived on center court, having lost all of his 12 matches against the Spaniard. And if that wasn't bad enough, he had failed to win a single set all that time. How could he possibly turn this around? He was scarred by a tough fifth set defeat at the hands of Djokovic, at the last US Open. And another one he suffered at the last Australian Open. He was their bunny. Their punching bag. But it all changed. He went right through the World No.2, and then the world No. 1.

People often associate fighting qualities with Nadal, and we will get to that in a bit, but what about Stan? How can you possibly come back from a hole that deep? From being pummelled so bad by the Big 2? From the absolute depths of despair? This is a big comeback, even bigger than all of Nadal's wins in 2013 put together.

What's with Nadal and his gamesmanship?

Nadal Gamesmanship

All this talk about Nadal not having played at his best, is a whole lot of baloney. Nadal played as well as he could for a set, and Wawrkina was out of the world. Everything was going well, serve, backhand cross court was SICK! He hit some ridiculous down the line backhands, and was playing first strike tennis, taking time away from the Nadal forehand. Deep inside, Nadal knew that it would be impossible to win a 14th Slam, if Stan's form doesn't dip.

The opening point of the second set is a great example. Nadal was moving, loading, and hitting well, and yet Stan found a way to win the point. The look on Nadal's face after the point said it all. He knew something needed to be done. And so, he devised a plan.

Nadal's second set injury timeout serving at 1-1, and at the end of the set, had everything to do with gamesmanship. Right after the time out, Wawrinka dropped serve. Clearly, he was affected, and that's exactly what Nadal wanted.

This Spaniard will stop at nothing to win. As for him serving slow, Nadal knew after the first set exactly what he was up against. Stan was doing everything right, and was making him look like an amateur.

Nadal's slow serving had two purposes. First, strategy. Given how well Stan was returning, slowing down seemed the only viable option for Nadal. And two, to create an impression of an injury. Between serves, he seemed to be just fine, loading well on his forehands and backhands, to win set 3. Even if we were to assume that Nadal's injury was legitimate, we can't help but notice the numerous occassions he has used this tactic. A reader on this blog summed up some of it in a comment. Here's the link:

Rafael Nadal's timeout strategy.

Stan the man

Stanimal

I'm proud that Stan put all that behind him and went back to basics to take down the title.

As for Nadal, it's a shame that he resorted to gamesmanship yet again to steal a title from Stan. It's a shame that he implicitly took credit away from Stan. There was nothing wrong with Nadal. He lost to the better player, who was all over him, and he just couldn't fathom it. What are role model you are for young kids who are growing up adoring you, learning that winning is everything, and must be achieved at all costs, even if it means employing unethical means.

So much for Nadal bashing. I, as a Roger Federer fan, am happy that justice has been served, at least for the moment. Stan's win erases the anguish of Roger's defeat. Watch out for the raging bull to make a comeback at the French Open. But for now, let's celebrate another Swiss win – not the Swiss we wanted – but our second favorite Swiss nevertheless.

As one of readers here, Alysha, would say, “Congratulations my lil swiss Croissant.”

Sid

Roger Federer inspired me to take up the sport of tennis. I believe he is the GOAT because I don't see anyone who can better his resume. His loss at Wimbledon 2008 really made me love him and the sport; the only time I watch tennis is when he plays. If you are going to read my posts, be prepared for a thorough technical analysis.

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267 Comments

    1. Also it’s nice to see Nadal getting called out by viewers for his blatant gamesmanship. Can’t say the same for those hack commentators though who were busy crying over him.

      1. Sampras looked happy that Nadal lost too. He probably thought that cheating Nadal didn’t deserve to tie his Slam count. Let’s hope Wawrinka Stan the Man halts Nadal every turn of the Slam Finals from here on out, for Stan’s sake himself and to halt Nadal’s underhanded ways.

  1. I’m sooo happy for Stan!! He deserved it!! He played amazing!!!!!!!!! But I’m not sure if Nadal faked that back injury, he looked in pain, but whatever.. Stan won!!!! 😀 Definitly, the better player won! 😀

    1. Disagree. He looked in pain, because he wanted you to see him in pain. I still don’t understand how gullible tennis fans can be. The pain suddenly starts at 0-2 down in the second. And then treatment again after the second set? Then conveniently win the third?

      But like you said, whatever, Stan won, and that’s all that matters.

      1. Probably, i might be a little bit too naive 🙂 But don’t care, really. If he really did that in purpose, well, sorry, it didn’t work for him this time..
        It should be all about Stan’s victory, not Nadal’s injury, it’s sad how Rafa talks in his press coference how he doesn’t like retiring and that he was in pain and it kind of takes the credit away from Stan..

      2. He had the audacity to say he first felt it in the warm up! So taking away the credit of the first set from Stan!

  2. That was a poor post Jonathan(i know it isn’t yours).I am a die hard Federer fan,i of course love Stan and i hate Nadal more than anything.Actually i hate his game as i admire and support attacking and creative tennis.But today he was clearly injured.Yes he lost fair and square the first set and got broken in the second but from that moment there was clearly a problem.Just one question.Give me ONE logical explanation for Nadal to do such a thing.Not to try his best.His amentioned “fear” above is a joke answer.We are NOT BLIND for christ’s shake.The guy was in pain.Please do not answer by giving examples of the past and what nadal did to ruin the rythm of the player and the game..that is well known.We are talking about today.Again.What a ridiculous post.

    1. Are we talking about the AO 2014 final? The guy clearly knew he wasn’t good enough to beat Stan, and resorted to playing the victim, yet again. One good reason? Because he wasn’t good enough and wanted to blame his mysterious injury for it.

      His line at the end sums it up, “Today was bad luck for me, but congratulations, you deserved it”

      Excuse me? You do not say that, moments before your conquerer makes a victory speech. That was very, very, poor. No matter how bad he was feeling, you don’t say that in a concession speech. YOU SIMPLY DON’T! Get it? He can say it later in pressers, but not on the court.

      He chipped away at the glory that Stan truly deserved. Don’t patronize the Spaniard.

      1. I agree with Nadal’s poor sportsmanship, taking breaks/injury timouts AFTER his service game, in vital moments of certain matches.
        …But Down 1 set and 1 break, the best tactic for winning is not to fake an injury and serve 100 mph.
        It’s all opinion though.

  3. I’m usually of the first to call bull on dull’s “injuries” but this seemed legitimate to me. Slowing down yes, serving at 120 km/h, no, that’s too slow… And he didn’t move between points.

    Stan was all over that first set, and seeing his run of form, I would have seen him through the end, unfortunately it was not to be.

    Great win for Iron Stan, and I hope this bodes well for the future! 😀

    1. He was serving slow, but pulling Stan off the court with a lot of spin. Did you notice that? It puts the ball out of Stan’s range, gives Nadal a lot more time to recover into an established position, and get into a neutral rally.

      Whatever he did, it worked, didn’t it? He took the third set. Glad Stan didn’t choke.

      1. Meh, not convinced. He was not running down balls he usually does in his sleep. and he can very well pull stan wide with the serve without serving at 120km/h

      2. Except, serving at 120km/h would result in a low percentage and the location would be tough to find, compared to a slower one. Did you watch some of the T serves that made Stan stretch for deal life? And without the pace, he could only just get it back. So, slow serving, but effective serving, which gave Nadal Set 3.

        Try again, Simon. That was a pathetic rebuttal 😉

      3. I don’t know whether Nadal’s injury persisted through into the third set, but he didn’t put up a fight in the second. The serve speed was poor, you could clearly see the moment he tweaked the back. Sid, you can apply your bias all you like, and trust me, I’d like to as well, but bottom line, it’s stupidity to just throw away a set in which you’re only a break down and your opponent is inexperienced enough that you could see he might drop his level. I’m sorry, but Nadal really was injured for this one (the second set).

        And you can’t really look at precedent. In fact, if you do, you’ll find Nadal’s post-injury time-outs tend to produce a fully healed nadal who’s quicker and lasts better than ever before. Frankly, the way he played just doesn’t make sense unless he HAD to play that way.

        The third set, I think Stan lost because he was unsure of how much to steamroller over an injured opponent, and Nadal, as you clearly would have seen, started producing more aggression, taking shots from the baseline and generally making his game riskier, which again conflicts with the safety of a bullsh*t serve.

        End of the day, I think Stan would have won anyway, but to say his injury was anything but… I can’t agree with that, Sid. He might have taken advantage of the injury, but at least, I believe it was a genuine one.

      4. I think that he did not started to run like a “rabbit” because the whole stadium BOOed at him, so, he had to pretend a little bit

      1. Nah, I’m fine. Just a little curious, maybe Jonathan has decided he needs a little money to cover the cost of running the blog! Why don’t we just donate?

    1. Just a few adverts to help cover running costs. Will keep them as unobtrusive as possible.

      No donations required though, send them to the Roger Federer Foundation on my behalf 🙂

  4. Given Nadal’s record against Stan, it seemed unlikely to me that he would play the injury card (which he is well capable of doing) so early. He was so reduced afterwards as well it would seem an incredibly perverse strategy. Perhaps he became a prisoner of his own strategy in a way, that he couldn’t be seen to be jumping around afterwards as it would be so obvious, even if he was fit enough to, and then lost the match. However this seems a theory too far. I think he must have been suffering some ailment today, even if he looked great against Roger. The only person who knows for sure is Rafa.

    Unfortunately he is sly enough to mention his injury often enough whilst pretending to big up Stan that people will discredit Stan’s triumph a bit. Ultimately though, the record books show Stan as the winner, and that is the right result.

    1. I think nadal played the injury game early so he’s got time to bounce back and win the match if stan lost his focus all the way through. He had to act like he was really in pain and cant move and serve well the rest of the 2nd set to make it believable and he wanted people to believe that if he lost the game it was because of his injury and if he won it , it was because he was unbreakable. Fortunately stan did not lose his resolve. I truly believe he was going to win it having witnessed how he dominatef nadal in first set. Nadal knew in his heart he was going to lose so he had to do something early- his delaying tactics first he had to change raquet early then takes long time between serve to no avail hence the injury. I was a nadal fan before but after last night i think he is a great tennis cheating scumbug. I dont have respect left. I admire stan for his great tennis .

      1. Rowie, I’m proud that you had the courage to see the truth, and accept it, despite being a Nadal fan. It tells me that you are a very ethical person in real life.

    2. Neil, remember that great decent people can think great things, but so too can those who are inherently devious. The only difference between the two is different outcomes…

  5. Don’t quite buy into this match report. First off, it’s very inaccurate.
    Nadal took the MTO down 1-2 with Stan about to serve. Taking it a break down with Stan about to serve is a bit of gamemanship. But he DID NOT break Stan once he got back on court. Stan extended his lead to 3-1 and won the second set with relative ease.
    In the first couple of games after the MTO, Nadal’s serve was in the 120’s and 130’s. As the set progressed, he was adding speed and he was slowly moving better. By the middle of the third – as Stan was falling apart – Rafa was almost back to normal standard, serving 160’s, 170’s and occasionally 180’s in the fourth. And moving better and hitting forehand and backhand winners. But he did seem injured. And it’s not logical he would fake it and put himself 0-2 behind in sets doing it, when he was only an early break down in the second. He did rattle Stan enough by it to win the third though.
    That said, it was a poor concession speech (my bad luck my arse) and a bad post-presser (‘oh, I was actually injured pre-match, so even Stan’s terrific play in the first and some of the second was also because I couldn’t move so well. But now is not the time to talk about it’. Guess what – you just did).

    1. Ok, if you expect me to memorize the score on every single occasion, then you’re not being fair. I’ll have Jonathan correct it. Unfortunately, I have no way of watching the full match again.

      If you are falling for all those Nadal shenanigans, fine, that’s your opinion. Don’t just go about calling the entire post inaccurate simply because you don’t agree with it. Nadal’s strategy of serving slow – as I’ve explained in the post – was to throw Stan off his rhythm. Fortunately, for Stan, it didn’t work in the second. From one set all, Nadal would’ve been jumping around like an energizer bunny.

      I think you’re a Nadal fan. If you’re a Federer fan, I have a prescription for you: Go hut a Nadal fan. It will make you feel better.

  6. Thank you Sid for you post, it’s a good one. And thank you Jonathan for your amazing blog. I’ve been following it for almost two years now and even if I don’t comment a lot (at all), I do read all the posts and comments. You made me a blog addict :).
    As for today’s match, I think that it was a great win for Stan The man. I honestly never thought he could win against Nadal, but from what I’ve seen in the first set, I think he would have done it even if Nadal wasn’t injured. And honestly, I think it was clear that something was going on, maybe the injury wasn’t as bad as he made it look like, but it wasn’t a normal Nadal, he just never give up even if he knows he is losing. He can always play the injury card at the press conference.
    There is another thing in Nadal’s speech that bothered me, and I’m wondering if anyone noticed it. Nadal say he is “Sorry to finish this way” I thought it was really disrespectful for Stan, like him winning is the only acceptable way to finish the tournament. Anyway I am happy that Stan finally won and proved he was a great player, and of course also very glad that Sampras still the only one to have 14 GS titles :D.

    1. Thanks, Anna!

      I agree with you that it was disrespectful to bring up his situation in the concession speech. As you said, “Sorry to finish this way”, and, “Was bad luck for me today, but congratulations, you deserved it.” Yeah, right. Stan was so luck.

      Only the lowliest of athletes does that in a concession speech, taking credit away from the winner. When will Nadaltards wake up and see their real Rafa!

      1. Jonathan, thanks for the blog, and Sid thanks for posting this. Exactly what I’ve thought during the match after Dull was asking for MTO.

        Somebody (uncle tony, perhaps) needs to teach Nadal how to respect and not ruin opponents’ moment. This is clearly a moment for Stan to remember, especially he went to final by winning against Nole (14-0 h2h), then Berdych after that.

        What is the purpose of him saying ‘Sorry I have to finish this way’? Did he try to make everyone forget the effort that Stan had before the final (win against Nole, when Nole is on his prime and on his favorite surface, something that even Nadal on his prime can’t do)? Did he try to make everybody think ‘Ok, Stan is winning because Nadal is injured’?

        and he need to stop saying ‘was a bad luck for me today’ when he lose, unless he wants everyone to think ‘you’re just lucky’ when he win. Just simply say, ‘the opponent played better tennis and he deserved to win’.

        anyway, Stan The Maaaann!!

  7. had he not won a set on Nadal before this match? How do you explain him pummeling Nadal the way he did the first set… for his first ever set victory against Nadal ever, one would expect some kind of a tightly contested tie breaker that he pulls out…but maybe not?

    Maybe Nadal was ailing prior to the match and it worsened over time (makes most sense)…maybe his steroid treatment was wearing off or improperly administered… Maybe Stan is on something now too and his cycle was kicking-in big time? Hmm… I guess people of Swiss extraction are incapable of cheating as is the trend in sport and incapable of subterfuge (those delicate angels)…but didn’t you yourself, syd, say that “Tennis is as real as the WWF?” Maybe you meant Spanish Tennis not the ATP in general…

    To me Nadal was really injured both prior to the match and progressively throughout it, and this explains it most sufficiently…either that or Wawrinka is a shady character.

    1. Nadal was not injured to begin with, this was pretty much evident that he had some niggle in the 3rd game of 2nd set & he got better progressively through the 3rd and 4th set.

    2. Eduardo, you took the words right out of my mouth when you said, “maybe his steroid treatment was wearing off or improperly administered?”. That must be it.

      Yes, the Swiss are angels. They are the most neutral country, or at least in the top 3. They don’t even have a proper army. They don’t have a history of war, like Spain. No Armada, no colonization, no Inquisitions, no Conquistadors, the list goes on.

      In the third set, and during the time he was injured, he was hitting his ground strokes with intensity, and you can’t do that with the way he acted his back was suffering. Please!

    3. Eduardo, I have a question for you. Lets play devils advocate for a moment. Let’s ASSUME Nadal WAS injured before the match. If that was the case, then this brings up a myriad of other questions: how was this injury sustained? when was this injury sustained? why was there no evidence of this injury against Roger? Remember, in the previous match it was the blister against Dimitrov and then a back injury in the final. I would love a sane argument why this does not stink of convenience?

      1. I have no clue how the injury was sustained…maybe it just tightened up on him prior to the match…poor rafa doesn’t have to cheat or play mind games against stan ( who i love watching…see that, I appreciate all players, not just rafa)..recall their head 2 head record please, Thank you

  8. Sid, Nadal broke Wawrinka in the third set, not the second. He was visibly hampered in the second, as bad as Roger usually is when his back flares up. He said the back was bad during the warmup but of course it only really flared up after Stan got the break in the 2nd. I’m no fan of Nadal’s gamesmanship on court but he was seriously hampered out there and if you can’t see that then you are being delusional.

    That being said, Stan fully deserved to win as he was the better player in the first and got the break in the second before Rafa started rolling serves in because of his back.

    1. Agreed, mate. Food for thought: if this was what Federer felt like when he did his back against Murray in Shanghai 2008, what a match that really was in retrospect!

    2. I see how well Nadal has succeeded in fooling the likes of you, unfortunately. Those who hate Nadal and his gamesmanship, are now showing semi infinite sympathy for him. Nadal has played the victim part perfectly.

      I heart he is no littering all over the press conferences on how the injury hurt his chances. “Sorry it finished like this”, “Today was bad luck for me, but congratulations, you deserved it”.

      There was nothing wrong with Nadal, nothing, nada! Yup, I’m delusional 🙂

  9. Hi Sid. Good post, I totally agree with you on the fact that Nadal could not accept to be beaten and it is clearly not the first time he does that so there should not be any debate or doubt about it. It was exactly like a KO in a boxing match after a few rounds a guy has taken some big shots straight in the face at full speed and he falls down dead. I have reviewed the first two sets after the match and that what happened.
    This being said at first I did plan to watch as the result seemed too obviuosly predictable but when I learned that Stan was leading two sets to love I switched on the tv and it was really awful to see Stan struggling just because the other guy was doing the poor tactics of his, which he uses so often when the opponent is on fire. Actually I was happy that, right after the match, before the trophy was even lifted by Stan, two French experts on Eurosport did not try to hide there opinion despite the global consensus about always blindly protecting him. These experts were the Belgian retired player C Rochus and JP Lothe, a member of the French tennis association or some kind who I think is quite respected among French tennis experts – at least on TV. They both admitted that it was extremely strange to see the guy saying he is injured when he loses and suddenly started to do just the minimum required to get some cheap points here and there and try to steal the match. They may not have said the word steal but that was clearly the idea. Do you guy realize that he was not so far of really stealing it in day light? The two journalist said that Stan not only played an amazing tennis but also, and that is probably as difficult a task, he was extremely strong mentally. It was his very first GS final, he has not won so many tournaments, no M1000 I think, and he could have easily choked it and hand it over against a guy who had beaten him so many time. Rafa May one day overcome some of Fed achievement including the biggest one the 17th and I will be sorry about that because his tennis is ugly boring and his efficiency mainly lies in his very unacademic technique, but all I hope is that it happens in a regular fashion, if it ever happens. Had he beaten Sampras record this way would have been a very sad day for tennis.
    Cheers

  10. Am a huge RF fan but honestly this post is poor taste. For the record, after Nadal had his MTO in 2nd Set, Stan came out to serve AND WON THE GAME. HE didn’t drop serve. And Stan lost the 3rd set b/c his mental state was screwed at that point and was confused as to what to do. He said in the presser he made a mistake by hoping Nadal would miss. Glad he righted the ship in time.
    But in any case, given all the dubious MTO Nadal had taken in the past, and frankly I remembered lots of them (5 set win over Robin Hasse in Wimby, against DelPo in Wimby one year, and – though not a MTO – that toilet break at 5-4 before Roger served for the match in Indian Wells 2012) – they were all disdainful and it’s not abnormal to think of gamesmanship of Nadal. But today, I dont think so. Why would you go out in a final and serve slower than Li Na?
    Jonathan, I look forward to a more quality post from yourself!

    1. FYI. This post with poor taste wasn’t written by Jonathan. It was written by me. Rest assured Jonathan will come up with a quality post soon.

      Why would you go out in a final and serve slower than Li Na? First, it happened only after falling back in the second set. Second, it got him the results. He won Set 3, which I thought would’ve been the end of Stan.

  11. Yet again a splendid post from Sid. A beautiful example of how a fan can be blinded by his hatred.

    You don’t like the guy, that’s ok. I think 99,99% of the viewers on this blog do not like him (at least his way of playing). But come on. Do you really believe in what you say? Your way of thinking defies any kind of logic. It takes a sick mind to imagine this kind of story.

    Yes Nadal is not the best looser, yes he has used unethical tactics in the past but no, nobody invents an injury one set and a break down in a best of 5 match, especially not when on the verge of becoming the first player ever to win each GS twice. Not against an opponent whom has failed to even take a set from you in 12 encounters.

    Nadal won the 3rd set? Maybe the treatment he received in the 2nd was starting to work for him. Is this something that you are even able to consider?

    I agree with you tough that Nadal’s speech was terrible. He shouldn’t even have mentioned his injury.

    Jonathan, seriously, I do not think this type of post is doing your blog any favor. You are always so objective in your analysis and predictions! There are plenty of Nadal bashing blogs out there that are just embarrassing. Better selection next time please!

    1. Glad you disagree with me, which is how it should be. Actually, 99.99% of viewers/readers on this blog are now showing sympathy for Nadal. Exactly what the Spaniard wanted. And exactly what I’m not falling for.

      Why would Nadal throw away a set where he is just a break down? If you can’t answer that, then you don’t know Nadal and his Uncle. He is the Zen of gamesmanship.

      By the way, this is not a post on a Federer match, so let’s throw objectivity out of the window this one time. This is just a quick post discussing Stan’s win, and Nadal’s gamesmanship, and how it almost cost Stan. So, don’t take it too seriously, and don’t use that as a measure to judge Jonathan’s blog.

      I’m guessing all my posts so far have been written with, “blind hatred”?

      Go hug a Nadal fan. That will make you feel better.

    2. [Not against an opponent whom has failed to even take a set from you in 12 encounters.]

      I think you missed watching the first set, and two games in the second. Or, you wouldn’t have made that statement, Thomas.

  12. Hey Sid and Jonathan, really nice of both of you to write an article about Stan. He did all us Roger fans a huge favour, but more than that, this was 100% a well deserved victory for Stan. Rafa was surprised by the way Stan played the first set, the same way Novak was surprised how incredible well Stan played the first set at AO 2013.
    They were both thinking (I know that for sure), oh this guy is good, but he lost so many times to us, it will be an easy victory. Anyone saw Rafa hit is raqcuet out of frustration, something he never does?
    Anyone also saw the Great Uncle Toni making a comment to Rafa to hold on and that Stan would not keep this up forever? So great Stan won. I think he will be the talk of the town in Swiss for a long time.

    And… I am sure Stan winning must have given Roger new “fighting spirit”…..

  13. Great post Sid. I agree with everything you wrote. I always find interesting the fact that people judge others based on their own motives and psyche. This is why few people can fathom the depth of Nadal’s camp gamesmanship. Hats off to Nadal for playing the victim’s role perfectly today. Now he has everyone talking about himself and not Stan who played a hell of a tournament. Classic Nadal, adding more to his myth of injuries and how much more he would have achieved without them. The only thing I would add to Sid’s analysis is that from the very beginning he wasn’t his usual self, that is in demolishing mode. He seemed bit stiff and heavy, reminiscent of SW19 game vs Darcis. This is probably why he had to feign injury and resort to an unorthodox way of serve. His groundstrokes were however unaffected! What kind of back injury does that? Roger played months with back injury and his entire game and movement were affected. Anyway congrats to Stan, well deserved!

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

    1. I am with you in this Katyani.

      I also believe Roger should will at least one slam this year.
      Hope u r right.

    2. Katyani, as I have said before to you, your posts are always a breath of fresh air and you think and say things that few others here do, and many of these posts are already superb! Anyway, just want to say I have had this feeling since the start of 2014 that Del Potro will win another slam this year, and – shock horror! I think it will be the French!! I also feel that if Nadal was not to win the Aussie Open ( and he didn’t ), there is a very good chance that he will go slamless this year…

  15. What a terrible post. Clearly, this Sid guy doesn’t know a thing about tennis. Stan deserved to win and Nadal handled an unfortunate situation very graciously. It’s a good thing Sid’s opinion is of no consequence at all.

    For a more informed opinion read Bodo’s or Tignor’s thoughts on the match.

    1. Hey Tim, I disagree with you. There was no handling an unfortunate situation very graciously.
      First of all, Rafa and gracious cannot be used in the same sentence. At all.
      Second of all, Rafa was injured. I will give you that. He is so used to kneeproblems, maybe he could not handle backproblems. Something he in my opinion never has had.

      BUT…. there is being injured and then there is overacting. Rafa really acted like a dramaqueen. So many people have (lower) backproblems, Serena, Novak, Andy, Delpo. They touch that space a couple of times and move on.
      Roger, oh my God, how can you not respect him like a million times more??? He has backproblems since maybe 16 years. And look how gracious he handles them. Just watch Wimby 2012 Roger vs Malisse. The best handling an injury ever. Or how about the whole last year? Rafa can really take a lesson out of Roger.

      Yes, Rafa was injured, Stan would have won anyway, but there is no excuse for Rafa to act like a dramaqueen…

    2. Thanks, Tim. I’m trying, I’m trying real hard to learn tennis.

      I don’t know who those two dudes are but I’m not trying to be like them. I’m simply stating my opinion.

  16. Sid, i am completely agree with you.

    I don’t understand why people behave like this when they see cheater making fake injuries. And its not the first time he did that. any tom, dick and harry will get it.

    its call bad ‘KARMA’. At least god is watching. now I hate nadal even more.

    Anyway, now I want Federer to win the bloody 2014 French Open just to make this so called wining all slams twice for heaven sakes.

    BTW, is this cheater is taking freaking another 7 months break or not??????

      1. Hi Gaurav,

        Seriously man. I am irritated by this idiot Dull. I mean how many times man?? even people booooed, and that’s the last thing you want when you are a top player.

    1. I’m glad that a majority of Roger fans agree with my post. Thank you! I’ve just about had it being nice and classy. We need to grow a pair and expose Nadal for what he really is. And anybody who can’t do that, can go hug a Nadal fan.

      Nadal got booed not because he took a time out, but because the knowledgeable Melbourne crowd knew that this habit of his was frankly, beginning to get a bit old.

      1. if you “grow a pair” like you just said you will be exactly like those “nadaltards” you’re talking about. Yes, Nadal is not sportive (MTO vs Roger etc…) But Nadal did not fake this injury. The crowd booed him ’cause they thought it was another one of his bollox MTO’s, which it wasn’t. Did you even watch the match? I agree that it’s bullshit to say he had it in the first, but he CLEARLY tweeked his back. He never came back strong. Serving a little better at the end, but he barely ran for any ball. Come back down to earth Sid. He’s a cheater, and his speech was terrible and shouldn’t have said that, but this time he really was injured.

      2. Simon,

        injury or not, it is not nice to steal away a champion moment by saying ‘you win it because i am injured’ after the match. And Nadal (in a way) said that.

        it is disrespectful for him to do that. I think this is a new level of low for him.

      3. I totally agree Amar. I was the first to be pissed by that and the entire situation. But as much as I can’t stand Nadal, he WAS injured during that match. For once!

        But it is totally disrespectful of Nadal to say that. An all time low? Doubt it, he says that at every loss 😉

      4. Dulll will not be taking 7 months off. He shall quickly and tear through the clay season as usual.

        [But as much as I can’t stand Nadal, he WAS injured during that match. For once!]

        Simon, Nadal has cried wolf too many times that he no longer has any credibility.

      5. Just read the news that Nadal won’t taking off due to back injury.

        Yeah for sure he will not taking off before clay season. He’ll take it right after RG (the only GS that he never missed)

  17. Excellent write up Sid it was a refreshing article to read. We all could not be more happy for Stan. Did anyone see Rod Laver crying of happiness when Stan was holding the trophy? It was an amazing scene and it reminded me of when Federer won in 2006. I remember that quote, “The trophy could not be in better hands,” and I felt the same thing again for Wawrinka.

    Interesting comparison:

    Nadal was coming off of a convincing US Open win, he was 27, and ended up losing in the Australian Open finals and cried. He was going for his 14th slam to tie Sampras and failed to do so.

    Federer was also coming off of a convincing US Open win, he too was 27 when he lost in the Australian Open finals and cried. He was going for his 14th slam to tie Sampras and failed to do so.

    People ragged on Federer for years and still do over that final he lost, but now Nadal was in Federer’s shoes and had the same opportunity and same result in the exact same position. Roger’s back went out on him and locked up at the Master’s Cup in 2008 and it was never fully recovered for that 2009 Australian Open a couple months later. Federer admitted later that his back was out of sorts in that finals as well but he kept playing and did his best and did not make an injury scene about it.

    However, Roger won his semis in 3 sets with ease that year, so people said he could not have had any trouble at all. Nadal also won his semis in 3 sets so surely he could not have been injured either in this finals. Whatever the case may be, it’s simply not easy to win so easily anymore when you get old in tennis but Roger has always played with grace and has never pulled any dubious tactics whenever he was playing in pain.

    Nadal as well has been fortunate to be 5 years younger than Federer and that no great “young” player has come up to challenge him yet. Nadal instead is losing to older players or players of his same age which is something that Federer NEVER did in his prime. Federer dominated his own generation and has never lost a slam finals to anyone who was the same age as him or within a couple years even.

    Dimitrov is the closest thing we have to the next “Nadal” so far so hopefully the guy can take his game to the next level and break through in the majors as a young Federer did in 2003. I think Stan’s win can instill some belief in other players as well that the tournament isn’t a foregone conclusion anymore that one of the big four will win it.

    It’s funny how one match changes everything. 1 day ago Nadal was destined to break the record and was guaranteed to win his 14th slam over Stan, and then he was going to win 20 slams easily and surpass Federer. Now we question that he will ever win a major again off of clay as his age keeps on increasing and he becomes more prone to exhaustion in big matches.

    1. Thanks, Douglas!

      Yes, The Rocket was fighting back tears. What a moment! I have no doubt he wanted Stan to win. Imagine what would have been, had Roger lifted his 5th? That would have brought the house down.

      I think they brought Pete Sampras in for the presentation by design. It was meant to be Nadal’s 14th, and what better way than being handed by Pete? Glad it didn’t turn out that way. Pete must be like, “I have do this again, now?”. Nadal can get his 14th on clay, I don’t care.

      1. I find it distasteful that both GS organizers made Sampras sit through Wimbledon 2009 and AO 2014 final. Almost rubbing it to him – oh we have this bloke going break/match your GS record. Of Sampras has too gracious about it otherwise a no show means he is sore loser.

      1. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/18/sports/tennis/18tennis.html?_r=0

        Federer’s back was injured in late 2008 forcing him to retire from the Paris Masters. For the first time in his career he withdrew from a tournament. He tried to get in shape for the Master’s Cup but his back gave him more trouble and he ended up not getting past the RR there, the only time in his career that he did not advance past the RR.

        He tried to get in shape for Australia as well and he did a good job considering the circumstances. He had a brutal draw that year and was nearly out in the 4th round to Tomas Berdych. Federer played and that was it, when he lost in the finals he never mentioned his back at all and he gave full credit to Nadal for the win. However, playing the tournament with a bad back forced him to miss Davis Cup and Dubai.

        At the time he withdrew there he was scoffed at and everyone said he was just finished and washed up, too scared of Nadal and all that nonsense, but he came back and we all know what happened in the clay season. The same scoffing happened when Roger’s back and hip went out at 2010 Wimbledon again, people called him a sore loser who does not give credit to his opponents when Federer suggested that he had some issues and was playing in pain during the Berdych match that he lost.

        But when Nadal is injured or plays in pain, then he is a hero and it’s poor Nadal. There is a serious double standard in the media. Federer is not allowed to be injured and if he is then he’s a sore loser, where as with Nadal it’s a tragedy and woe is him whenever he’s “injured.”

    2. Hey Douglas, you know what? That is what I don’t like about diehard Rafa fans on other sites.
      They don’t or want to believe that….yes, even Rafa is getting older. That it is even for him harder to win. They honestly think Rafa will win all his matches till the day he retires. The Rafa I saw yesterday walking back to the dressroom (overacting), I don’t know if he will overcome this, unless he takes another 7 month break.
      And Rafa doesn’t know it yet, but he has dug his own “grave”. This year he will not win RG, what will he have to do to get out of that with sympathy?? Another injury performance?? Won’t people say, well we have seen you do this before at AO??

      Rafa is now nearly the same age as Roger when he started to lose a lot. Even the great and unbeatable Rafa is…..getting older.

      1. He has basically completely overplayed since he came back and unlike Fed does not manage his schedule well such is Tonis desire to overtake Feds record. The body , aged nearly 28, but yrs older in terms of the pressure he puts on it, is really beginning to turn on him. I do expect him to take time out again.

  18. The reason I think Nadal did injure his back was because he stopped all his obsessive, compulsive disorder behaviours. If you have this disorder or know of someone with it, it’s nearly impossible to stop especially in stressful moments. Not much grunting this whole match….strange. Who knows how injured he really was. Many players play on with injury and don’t make a big deal about it. How many times has Roger played on with a back injury….we’ll never know.
    I think pretty well all players would never call themselves “unlucky” during Stan’s biggest moment of his career. Is Nadal saying I would have beaten you if I didn’t tweak my back?

  19. I believe Nadal Faked an Injury. He could not accept #8 beating him. He is what he is. Why the ATP allows him to get by with his tactics I will probably never know. I have never liked him and never will. I think Wawrinka won this for himself and a little for Roger. I really do not expect to see Nadal play for awhile. I think Murray is the up and coming Nadal faker. I hope Wawrinka can win many more, however, I want Roger to excel also

    1. Pat, I also think Wawrinka won this “a little bit for Roger” too. It was a big, big win for him and for sure he would have given his all, but he does often tend to cave in a little towards the end. I’m quite sure he would have had Roger in mind when he grew in determination this time instead 🙂

      1. Fed was first to phone and congratulate him. Stan said he was sooo plsed and genuinely excited he had joined the slam winners club! Sweet!

      2. Pretty much everyone was happy with the result. We know why Sampras was happy. Rod Laver was crying tears of joy. I mean, think about it, when does that ever happen? That’s how big, how meaningful this win was.

        It’s disgusting that a Spaniard tried to spoil it all.

  20. Nadal:

    “Sorry Uncle Tony. I didn’t know what to do. I was so scared that I had to fake an injury card. I tried to be creative and this time I told people that I had back problem. Isn’t it great??”

    Uncle Tony:

    “You idiot bugger, moron. How many times I told you to stick with fake knee injury card. Why you said you had back problem?? You are not ROGER FERERER you dumbo !!!. Your father is right. You are one dumb kid who doesn’t know how to act. You can only run and run and run….”

    Nadal:

    “OK..OK… don’t mad at me. You only told me to run like a rabbit. Anyway So should I take break for another 7 months??”

    Uncle Tony:

    “No you idiot. The next is French Open. Jesss, rafa…you make me sick sometimes. You are grounded.“

  21. I agree with you 101% !!! As I commented before this was deliberate on Nadal’s part and what startled him was when he was booed when he came back! So to get back the crowd’s sympathy he just have to really play or act injured. He’s grimacing in pain was because of his failed dirty tactics! You can see that he is controlling himself with his shot and grunt! He was caught with his own lies! He did not think that the crowd will be against him and that scared him a lot!

  22. Im a 100% Roger first by a million miles Fed fan.

    But We can not know with any certainty at all what really happened to Rafa. To judge him a faker and liar today with such certainty is transparently unprovable and unfair at least and mean and really unkind at worst.

    As we all know, its perfectly reasonable for athletes of this caliber to hurt their back and have it disable and discourage them. And I find it hard to believe Rafa – who’s been in plenty of tough circumstances with Novak, Delpo, Andy and Rog – would tank a match to Stan Warinka againt whom he was 12-0. Rafa may be many things, but he is not afraid of a fight.

    Maybe im wrong, but I don’t think Roger would make these kinds of assertions and I dont think Fed would want his fans doing it ether.

    I love a lot of the comments here and you all know way more about tennis than me, but trashing a champion for faking an injury without credible uncontrivertable proof doesn’t do credit to you all or Roger’s good sportsmanship.

    1. You re right Alb, only Rafa knows the extent of his injury, if any. Thing is however that it’s the same guy that disappeared 7 months for no reason after losing to Rosol. My take is that he can’t reconcile in his mind losses to opponents like Stan, Rosol etc so he feigns injuries.

    2. The customer is never wrong in any good business model. The fans paid their hard earned money and have the right to boo if they don’t like the product that was put on the court. Of course Nadal never tanked the match and no one is suggesting he tanked it. He had a bad day at the office so he tried everything he could to win and still got beat. The second set was already lost when Nadal changed his tactics and took the timeout. He floated the serve in a bit and the change of pace worked to unsettle and confuse Wawrinka. Nadal knew he was not winning that set so he tried to rattle Wawrinka for the 3rd.

      At the start of the 3rd set, Wawrinka wasn’t sure if Nadal was a sitting duck or what was going on. In the 3rd and 4th sets, Nadal’s serve was suddenly back to its best and it got Nadal a set under his belt as Wawrinka lost his concentration to drop serve early in the 3rd. Nadal was trying to win 3 sets and only got 1. There was no tanking involved, but the method in which Nadal tried to turn the momentum back in his favor was clearly dubious. You don’t serve 130 km/h all the sudden and 5 minutes later you can serve 180 km/h again? I mean injuries just don’t work that way.

  23. Guys, great news!! Nadal has been nominated for best actor in leading role for latest Australian Open 2014 final for an Oscars. I heard jury members were so impressed by his performance. And also Uncle Toni is nominated for best Director/Producer category. Ya, what you call it …. Fekoss…no no no…Vemos

    1. You are probably wrong Phantom! The organizers of Oscar are undecided whether to nominate Uncle Toni for Best Director/ Producer or best supporting actor. Actually the American Theater Wing and The Broadway League have decided to dedicate the Tony awards after Uncle Toni this year. In breaking news, they didn’t seek any nomination for the best actress award because of the obvious choice. All the members of the Jury were of the unanimous opinion that there never was and would be a better Drama Queen than Dull.

  24. Can’t believe EVERY news story lead with “Stan beats AILING Nadal”. Talk about doing the Stanimal a disservice.
    While I don’t feel as strongly from a moral viewpoint (after all if Nadal is using the timeouts wthin the rules it’s up to the rule makers to stop him) I do feel he did it for gamesmanship reasons. He knew the 2nd set was dusted and tried to overexaggerate to stan his condition by serving at 125kph.
    Then all of a sudden in the third and fourth set his serve picks up to 175-180kph after a simple massage.
    Either he used the patented Uncle Bill’s magic snake oil or the injury was to some extent feigned.
    To me there is millions of dollars as well as career milestones and fame at stake so I think it’s expected guys will use TACTICS. But tactical thinking is not cheating and hardly immoral.
    I mean why blame Nadal just because he’s very good at psychology.

    1. His serve picked up, his movement never did though. His serve picked up after the inflamatories took effect, doesn’t seem too abnormal for me. Had he continued his everlasting rituals and ran around the court like a donkey, then I would have suspected something, but this is legit.

      And Dull is no good in psychology, Toni is! 😛

    2. Tactical thinking and gamesmanship are totally different things as far as I’m concerned. Federer and Djokovic for example are very tactical players in how they construct points with thought and effort. That’s tactical thinking — how to get the ball past the other guy. Where as Nadal takes it to the next level as far as winning at all costs goes with his “tactics.”

      Things like bumping guys in the shoulder on a changeover, delaying the game as long as possible between points, taking timeouts and bathroom breaks before crucial moments of the match, using challenges in order to delay the server when the point was clearly won, all that stuff is not tactics and has nothing to do with hitting a tennis ball. That’s cowardly gamesmanship in its lowest form.

      1. Yes but “gamesmanship” is just a nebulous term.
        If you say taking too long between points is what he’s doing then fair enough. That’s something we can debate.
        There are RULES for that. If the umpires choose not to enforce them why is that Nadal’s problem.
        If timeouts and bathroom breaks are in the RULES and he uses them with the purpose of unsettling a mentally fragile player how is that Nadal’s fault.
        He is simply using ALL the tools at his disposal. Forehand, serve, and PSYCHOLOGY.
        I hear people say it’s a mental game. So if he’s using mental tools why is that a problem.
        If a profesional sportsman is going to be unsettled because a guy takes a bathroom break they surely need to toughen up mentally. These guys are playing for MILLIONS, FAME and FORTUNE. I would think it’s stupid to believe some players don’t pull out all stops to win. In a zero sum game of winner take all Nadal is doing what he needs to.
        It’s up to others to build up their defences or shut up.
        Cos he doesn’t make the rules.

      2. Those timeouts and breaks are meant to be used only when they are absolutely needed. They are in place to help the players in times of legitimate distress, not to be used as a psychological weapon against your opponent! You’re basically saying it’s ok to abuse and stretch the rules in any way that one can in order to gain an advantage. That’s absurd but your opinion is clear and noted.

      3. Nevertheless, Nadal surely knows the rules and continues to abuse them. I note your opinion too, but sportsmanship is something people try to manifest in their sporting lives. Ferrer is a prime example of following the rules, conceding points he feels he lost on occasion.

        Perhaps you think because the stakes are large, people should stop at nothing to win. Well, sorry, but this is where I, and probably most of us on here, disagree. The concept of class is not non-existent, and representatives of it are given the respect they are due; why then should those who don’t show any class not be hung out to dry? Especially if, as most of us are, one enjoys the display of this “class”.

        By your logic, murder is okay so long as a) you get away with it and b) you REALLY hate the victim. That way, people don’t call you out on breaking the rules and you’re getting a great benefit from doing it. That is more or less what you used to justify Nadal’s cheating.

      4. Troy,

        your rationale has flaws. Lets assume i designed a novel substance that enhances performance as a secondary effect. Should I give it to my favorite tennis player? technically and according to your rationale, it should be fine since it is novel and not covered by any rule. Back to Nadal; the guy abuses, doesn’t use rules and to cap it all he pretends he’s humble and class! Can you imagine Nole or Roger bumping into their opponent like he did to Rosol?

      5. There is a rule which says that a player can be fined/reprimanded for not putting in an honest effort to win a match, because it belittles the sport. There are rules where you cannot openly accuse another player of doping in press conferences etc. as it brings the game to disrepute.

        Does Nadal’s behavior, of taking timely, or untimely time-outs, consistently when he is behind in the score, or is about to get into an important phase of the match, constitute conduct unbecoming of a champion? Does it bring the game to disrepute? Does it set a good example for budding tennis players?

        I guess the answer depends on what type of a human you are. That’s what separates Federer fans from Nadal fans.

        Thanks for you comments, Troy!

      6. John. Hmmm. That’s a bit extreme. You are trying to equate what I said about Nadal using the extent of the rules in a sport to sanctioning murder.. Are Federer fans that mentally unsound haha.
        There are rules against murder as we all know so there’s no way to do it within the confines of the law/ rules.
        Douglas. I didn’t say you should bend the rules or misuse them but since the governing bodies can’t be bothered putting rules in place to stop it why blame a tactical genius like Nadal for using it. And if timeouts can throw a player’s game out of whack then isn’t the onus on players that are effected to toughen up mentally. This is a boxing match using rackets as Wilander once said. It’s not a game for pansies.
        Sid. Pretty sure Nadal is not bringing the game into disrepute as he is well regarded by the general public. In fact he has the most followers in social media like twitter etc so the sport is enhanced by his presence.
        In fact there is only one segment where I see Nadal being criticised and that is by Federer fans. Even Nole fans love Nadal!!
        Maybe the 33-10 is affecting people’s perceptions.

      7. No, I am not trying to “equate”, as you put it, I am drawing a parallel based on the extrapolation of logic and logic alone. There are RULES AGAINST TIME WASTING, not just some sense of sportsmanship. Whether or not they are enforced does not make the guilty party less or more guilty, as you seem to imply with “why is that Nadal’s problem”. I am simply pointing out how futile the strength of that argument is.

        My other point was not in fact to detract from any of your statements at all. It was to make clear the difference in opinion between those of us who appreciate grace and a certain sense of “the end does NOT justify the means” and those who think otherwise. You and I both know which side we fall on, but I do stress this isn’t a point against you. What I mean to do is advise you that this particular gap in opinions isn’t going to be changed by something like logic, because at any level, it is merely a subjective argument. And it is because of this nature that I question at all why you would be on this site baiting people.

        As for your final comment towards me, I stress it’s a COMPARISON, not an EQUATING. I could well consider it equally “mentally unsound” to believe that it’s okay to do ANYTHING to win. REGARDLESS of the stakes (what is it you used, “millions, fame and fortune”?).

        But no argument would be complete without an acknowledgement of a good point. You are right that Nadal is very well regarded by the general public. Some on here take the viewpoint that he has simply produced a masterclass in acting. I perhaps take the viewpoint he’s okay really, but he does cheat, and his game aesthetically offends me. Not quite as strong, but a fairly strong viewpoint nonetheless.

        And finally, re: your point to Douglas, that is what we started with. There ARE rules in place for some of these problems. You said as much in not so many words in your own post, and followed it with a baffling statement that just because rules are not enforced, it’s okay to abuse them, as Nadal does. Hence the comparison to murder. Because you know… it’s NOT okay to abuse them even if they AREN’T enforced. I imagine you’d agree with this.

  25. Talking of conspiracy theories… how about this? :
    Considering the news of Nadal getting some doctors flown in for special treatment for his blisters and his superlative performance in the semis, is it possible that the drug testing authorities took note as well and upon finding things suspicious, Nadal was asked to lose the final and possibly take some time off as a compromise to let him go unscathed?
    I know the idea is far fetched, but if you have read Tyler Hamilton’s book regarding cycling, doping and armstrong, then you know anything is possible. Although I don’t believe what I wrote above, I don’t discount the possibility.

    1. With the ITF conducting the testing, everything is possible, I’m just questioning why they would target Nadal. Surely they don’t want to catch him. And that’s why they were so opposed to French Anti-Doping conducting their own tests at the French Open in 2009. And then – surprise, surprise – Nadal out early!

      1. Why would they target Nadal? Duh! Because he is the strongest player to have ever graced the sport of tennis, unlimited strength, unlimited endurance, unlimited running mileage, unlimited mental strength, unlimited intensity, and a lot of other unlimited things that are too unlimited to list here.

        Of course, he does get injured somehow when things aren’t going his way.

  26. Thank you Sid for your write-up about the Nadal-Wawrinka match. Still happy about the outcome here. 🙂 But so annoying, how successful Nadal is with his “injury” tactics at getting sympathies from people.

    I mean, even if (and really if, since that’s by no means a foregone conclusion) he his insured, it’s his own fault by playing so physical and not being able to resort to anything else. But this guy is something else, trying to take credit away where credit was due! He’s so fake, he doesn’t even play with his natural hand. 😀

    Wawrinka beat him the same way Youzhny did, Blake did (both Onehanders), Berdych did, Nalbandian did, Söderling did (who of course had Magnus Norman as coach too), by going hard and flat at Nadal.

    Now the question I have at more knowledgable people: Do you think Nadal’s level dropped since the Federer match? (not necessarily implying injury of course; there are a lot of other viable options for that) Or else what is the reason that Fed is unable to play Nadal the way, these other guys successfully did? What’s he missing? He surely is able to flatten out his shots and taking the ball early on the rise.

    As for Nadal’s “injury” – he’ll likely miss some tournaments, but expect him to be back at the Clay Swing and the French Open in full strength. Because – despite his alleged susceptibility to injury, he not even once during his career, missed the French Open. He missed all other majors, but never Paris. I wonder why that is … not!

    And people seriously ask, we should go easy on the guy.

    1. Thanks, Ute! Our classy fellow Federer fans don’t believe my story though. Nadal’s level improved from the Dimitrov to the Federer match. Then dropped from the Federer to Stan match. Or maybe that’s because the quality of the opponent improved a lot.

  27. Haha Stan is no little Swiss Croissant no more, he’s a grand slam champion! I’m conflicted about Nadal, he was rolling his serves in, was crying in between the changeovers, during the ceremony and was clearly shattered in his presser, in a way it seemed like he was even more disappointed than the final in 2012 (missed his window of opportunity without Novak maybe?). I don’t know, Nadal isn’t the guy who throws away a slam final but he was clearly outplayed in the first set. Stan beat Djokovic and did what he had to do against Nadal, he is the deserving winner hear despite whatever went down. Rafa gets very unlucky here in Aus it seems, it makes me wonder if he will complete the double career slam, no doubt him and Novak will be out for blood here in 2015.

    p.s. who else was watching Sampras try to hide his delight that Rafa didn’t tie his record, and then there was Rod Laver taking pics on his iPhone, this was more entertaining than the match itself…

    1. Tend to agree, but he did look out of ideas tactics wise. Love that the tennis order has been shaken up. Race to London already interesting. Shld Fed play Rotterdam?? Needs a quick 500 points! Wtf is Murray doing in Mexico? Nadull off on the clay court trail of course and no Fed til Dubai! Too long!

  28. Also very disappointed with the media and press in wake of Stan’s triumph always having to add in the headline that Nadal was injured in the match. It just takes away from what this guy has achieved and is a slap in the face to the sport itself.

    1. We knew that was pretty much guaranteed. The media is not going to give Stan an ounce of credit. It was pretty much guaranteed that Nadal would win the tournament when Djokovic went out. I mean, why else would you fly Pete Sampras in there in order to pass the trophy to Nadal when he matches the 14 slam tally? They took for granted a Nadal win and had the trophy ceremony already planned and staged.

      1. Sampras coming to Australia was planned ages ago, he was here to celebrate his 20th anniversary of winning the AO in 94. Regardless of who was going to win Sampras was going to be there either way. But it would’ve been something if Nadal had indeed had won the title and received the trophy from Pete. But that’s a missed opportunity now.

  29. You know guys, if Berdych had beaten Stan at the semis, we would be all sad right now watching Rafa bite another undeserved trophy and celebrating….

      1. My prediction is the field is wide open. The top guys aren’t going to blow thru the field. We are going to see different winners at ATP 250, 500, 1000 and slams. Also the average age of tour players is going up.

      2. That’s in interesting question and I’ll check back here in 4 months to see if this remains true. The way I see it, Nadal will disappear now for 3 months but be back to his blazing best for Monte Carlo and the clay season. He’ll sweep that without much issue. He’s going to win all the clay masters as well as his 14th major at Roland Garros. Nadal has no real competition on the surface and Djokovic now suffers from too much inconsistency midseason. He blew all of his best chances to beat Nadal there in 2011, 2012, and 2013. It only gets harder as time goes by.

        Djokovic now suffers the same problem as Federer — he’s lost to Nadal time and time again at the French Open (both players have lost 5 times to Nadal there) and it’s effected his confidence on other slam surfaces as well. “What the hell do I have to do to get the ball past this guy here?” Is definitely a draining thought that spilled over to the US Open final last year. Djokovic really had no business losing that final but in the end it was Nadal biting the cup.

        The best thing for Djokovic is to avoid playing Nadal at the French Open and get ready for the grass or possibly just the hard court season. He can go in there fresh and impose his will on the blue stuff without any doubts like he had last year after that soul-crushing French Open loss. The loss in the Wimbledon finals didn’t help Djokovic’s confidence much as well. Either way, the only way I see Djokovic geting his Roland Garros title is if someone else beats Nadal before the finals.

        If Nadal is to ever lose at Roland Garros it will be to an in-form Del Potro if he switches on his “god mode” and crushes the daylights out of the ball. That or to a young and upcoming player who can run with Nadal for 6 hours without getting tired. Nadal very seldomly and rarely draws difficult opponent though. The last time Nadal had to play Tsonga was back in 2008 and Nadal actually lost that semis by a blow out. And when Nadal finally drew Del Potro again just now, Nadal got lucky and Del Potro went out second round.

        I think the interesting slams this year will be Wimbledon and US Open of course. It’s more wide open now and all of the top 8 have a reasonable shot at going deep in either place especially now that the draws have potential to be so imbalanced as we saw in Australia. Wawrinka has never been a strong grass player but I think he’s very capable of another strong run at the US Open! He’ll also benefit a lot more from his higher seeding.

      3. I’m saying Stan is going to make a strong impression this year! Call me biased, but that’s my feeling. Roger’s also going to go up I think, but I have to admit I’m not optimistic about a slam. Maybe Wimbledon, but I really doubt it 🙁

      4. Don’t let yourself be taken in. Nothing is gonna change, there is a big difference between the top2 and the rest of players. The question is who is gonna finish top3. I bet for Roger.

  30. Thanks Jon for writing about Stan’s victory. Stan truly deserves it as he was on FIRE. Thank god he help to stop Nadal from achieving his 14th GS. There is nothing I dislike more than Nadal eclipsing Fed’s GS record. I don’t think I can accept that ever. As for the AO final, I can easily sum up the final the boy who cried wolf. Nadal has been playing injured card for the past week with his blisters and on sunday its the back spasm. Even though both are genuine injuries but he has been playing the injury for centuries, c’mon everyone are getting little sic of the same excuses each time he loses. Twitter feed was doing count down when Nadal was going to call MTO. It does not do well for someone who is bent on breaking not only Fed’s will but his 17th GS record. As for the AO organizers, it’s a case of counting the chicks before they are hatched by flying Sampras for trophy presentation. Imagine their disappointment when Stan won, serves them right (evil grin).

    1. Cheers Dippy but thank Sid not me. Without him writing this then the story of #Stanimal vs Dopal wouldn’t have made it on peRFect tennis as I wasn’t going to post on it.

      Obviously I know you’d have preferred to read a post by me so sorry to finish this way. It is bad luck for me that I not had time to do post no? But credit to Sid, he write well. Last year was very emotional year for me. Lots of blogging. Hope to see you again next year.

  31. My thoughts watching the match were if Dull retires or loses I’ll believe him. If he recovers and wins I won’t. So I have to give him benefit of the doubt and believe his injury was real. That doesn’t excuse the fuss though and the bad loser comments afterwards. I honestly don’t understand how people can accuse Roger of being arrogant and Nadal humble when he apologises to everyone for losing as though that would have ruined the day for them. The only people who’s day was ruined are him and Uncle Toni. The rest of us are celebrating 🙂

    1. [He apologises to everyone for losing as though that would have ruined the day for them. The only people who’s day was ruined are him and Uncle Toni.]

      Awesome comment!

  32. Stan thrashed Nadal, who after the nod from Tony that it was time for plan B, tried the rope-a-dope strategy. If it didn’t work, he would have been the hero for ‘fighting through pain and injury’ and somehow Stan’s win was not deserved. If it had worked, he would have been the hero for fighting back… Obviously plan B was well prepared in the event he was losing… But he wasn’t losing, he was being demolished!

    Happily, Stan wasn’t the duped, –although it seems that many in the media have been duped. Stan is a remarkable athlete and human being, with none of the false modesty of Nadal.

    Now, lets hope that Warwrinka can do it in NY, Paris, London, Montreal, Toronto, and elsewhere this yr.

    Nadal and his team were really ugly yesterday.

    Kelly

  33. Hello everybody 🙂
    Just wanted to say this: I think this post is outrageous to be frank.
    Let’s revise the facts to reach to why I said so: Nadal has won the previous 12 meetings against Stan without dropping a set (!!!), nobody can play like Stan did the other day for a whole match, Nadal’s style of play is the most tiring in the sport of tennis and lastly we all have witnessed Nadal coming back from the brink after being completely outplayed for a big chunk of a match.
    Notes:
    1) I hate Nadal with all my heart and I think that hatred outweighs love so I think I hate Nadal more than I love Roger or anybody else!
    2) I’m not saying that Nadal doesn’t do these stuff, maybe he did them before or maybe not, but all I know is he was injured this match and he was injured after Wimbledon 2012.

    1. Outrageous? As in bold? Audacious? I’ll take that as a compliment.

      The bottom line is, the tactics Nadal used, worked, because he won Set 3, didn’t he? That’s all that matters. He doesn’t have to emerge from the MTO in Beast++ mode, as long as he gets the job done.

      As for Wimbledon 2012, you are way the heck wrong. Nadal played phenomenal in that match. Rosol was just too good on that day. I see you’ve fallen for Nadal’s trap.

    2. this match yes, for sure. After wimby? I call bull. it wasn’t until 3rd set with darcy that he started holding his knees. And Stan now has the level to keep it up over 5 sets, so I do believe he would have won regardless of injury.

    3. After he lost to Rosol, he could have just said something honest such as “I’m taking a break from the sport and I no longer want to compete until the clay season starts next year.” How is it that Nadal had a “chronic knee injury” and couldn’t play tennis for 7 months on surfaces that favored Federer and Djokovic, but suddenly Nadal was miraculously healed and his knee was ready to go the moment the clay season began? His injury farces time and time again are completely unbelievable for even people who want to assume good faith. The wool can only be pulled down so far before it tears in half.

      1. @Sid: I said he was injured after Wimby 2012 not during the match. Reason: Why would anybody wanna miss all those tournaments when he had an outsider chance let alone that person to be Nadal (one of the most accomplished players of all time who has won pretty much every place he has gone to) (By the way, I’m starting to hate my self because I have said that)?
        And to everybody else: Just because you took an injury break doesn’t mean you return right away after it! So, yes, Nadal was injured after Wimby 2012, he got over that injury let’s say by the end of the year but he wasn’t ready to play tennis, to challenge at the highest level and to beat Novak at his favorite slam, so, he worked on his game and fitness level before his comeback. You want him to do the same as Murray did to be okay with us?!

      2. @Youssef, you know that there are other possible explanations for Nadal’s absence than “injury”, right? There was a lot of speculation of a silent ban back then, because of the strange way, he pulled out of tournaments he was expected to play. And we now know that players are allowed to cite “injury”, while the proceedings are going on thanks to the Cilic case who withdrew from Wimbledon citing a knee injury (oh the irony!)

        Nadal meanwhile was filmed jetskiing and golfing with his bad knees. Something doesn’t add up. And then his unbelievable comeback of course – sure points to a previous serious injury. I mean, look at the way he struggled! 😀

  34. Hi Jonathan/Hi Sid – I do not think for one minute he was injured – sat there watching stan’s magic play and said to my husband – Nadal will go off in a minute as he is losing and will suddenly have an injury – sure enough that’s exactly what he did – so pleased that Stan got his head back together and won – it would have been a travesty if he had lost – perhaps Rog can have a chat with stan about how he won and then Roger can do the same when he next meets dull here’s hoping

    1. Roger doesn’t have the tools. It’d be like a chicken teaching a cow how to lay an egg. Roger lacks power off the backhand. It’s a safe go-to shot for nadal whenever the chips are down.
      Also Roger is a pussy mentally. He has always been weak in that regard. Perhaps as a result of being so talented?
      Now that he has to battle for wins he’s in a bad spot.
      I will be flabbergasted if roger makes semis in any other slam this year. He may have a chance on us open hardcourts but that’s all.
      Roger was gifted an injured murray who still almost got to a fifth set against roger when Murray was playing at 70%. Tsonga gave him the 4th on a platter. With murray delpo getting better and emerging talents like dimitrov as well as old thorns like berdych i think this was roger’s LAST good performance at a slam.
      One title in 2013.
      Zero in 2014.

  35. TO ALL THE PERSONS WHO BELIEVED NADAL WAS INJURED

    I think there is some kind of misunderstanding here as this debate between the pro and anti-injury is totally off topic and I will make it clear for the few persons here who rightly praize roger’s game but still live with bisounours in la la land.

    EACH TIME NADAL HAS BECOME SUDDENLY INJURED DURING A MATCH, HE WAS LOOSING.

    Perhaps someone will prove me wrong as I cannot say I watched all of his matches (thankfully) but if not, then what an amazing and troubling COINCIDENCE. Amazing how this guy is truly unlucky! Or lucky depending on how you see it!

    As it happened each time, the guy is struggling in his match, dominated, loosing sets, breaks etc and you see on his face that he lost any kind of hope, that he cannot sustain the attacks etc and then, like if he was struck by lightning, he is injured all of a sudden! Who can deny that? These are facts and they are very stubborn. On Sunday Nadal showed absolutely no sign of any kind for the whole first set, he lost it, then he lost a break right from the outset of the second set and at this moment, MAGIC: oh my back! I must go out immediately!! Nadal fans can be blinded ok, but guys, seriously, how can you buy that?

    Ferrer, murray, at the Australian, nadal becam injured once dominated and clearly loosing. HE WAS NOT INJURED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE MATCH.

    Now some people may say : Well, may be he was injured when he started the match against stan but simply did not show it. Really? So how come he is suddenly holding his back, playing differently etc and showed no sign at all at the beginning? Why would he show so many signs all of a sudden and absolutely none before?

    When he is winning, nadal is flexing his biceps muscles and he is never suddenly attacked by a horrible and irrepressible injury. Wake up please.

    I do not think it is even necessary to explain why serving slower was extremely clever and proved to work perfectly thanks to great slices. Stan’s return was much poorer when nadal was serving like that. When nadal was doing his usual serves at the beginning Stan’s return was crisp and efficient….

    So, of course, he really has no kind of respect or the slightest sense of honor to do that but I understand the motive: protect his self confidence, show other players watching that he is actually invincible and cannot loose unless he is injured so that they continue to fear him etc…. At the end of the day he is the absolute sore looser and we can even say a cheater but from a moral standpoint only (based on what we can see at least).

    I can admit that JOURNALISTS NEED TO DEFEND NADAL and make him greater whatever the cost. Big champions catch a lot of audience. Having people like stan in final does not help selling paper. They need big champions that are very widely known to reach the largest audience on TV. A nadal/djoko or Nadal/fed always work much better than anything else. So do not expect them to attack nadal saying he is fainting. THEY WILL NOT BITE THE HAND THAT FEED THEM. If they try to explain nadal is cheating, they will loose massive audience on the short, mid and long term. They will be criticized, boycotted and hated by the fans of the player. Not to mention that they will never obtain an interview and the public will loose interest in these champions.

    But if you are neither a nadal fanatic nor a famous journalist, please face the facts: of course the guy is fainting!
    Now we reach the next part, which is, if he is able to go that far in lying and acting, what else he is able to do?

    1. Clap. I hope Sid gives you a cookie.

      [THEY WILL NOT BITE THE HAND THAT FEED THEM]
      And it’s not just defending his gamesmanship, they are also blind on other aspects regarding Nadal.

    2. [Stan’s return was much poorer when nadal was serving like that. When nadal was doing his usual serves at the beginning Stan’s return was crisp and efficient….]

      Exactly, Julien! Why don’t people understand that. They need to keep Nadal’s image as a champion/hero intact. But in reality, he is nothing but a thug, a common thief. I’m just happy Stan wasn’t a victim.

    3. Do you all remember Nadal with his white straps around his knees? Well he does not need them anymore.
      “In a report in The Daily Mail, Nadal’s team opened up about his use of platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP) during his knee rehabilitation. The treatment involves taking a small vial of a person’s blood, spinning it in a centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich cells, which carry growth factors that are believed to have a regenerative effect, and reinjecting those cells into the site of the injury to speed up recovery.
      According to Scientific American, the procedure was first used for sports-related injuries in 2008. Bloomberg estimates that thousands of athletes have undergone the procedure, including Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant and Troy Polamalu. The World Anti-Doping Agency banned the procedure in 2010 because of concerns over its performance-enhancing effects, but legalized it a year later after a review of literature found there was no evidence that it was in fact performance-enhancing”.
      That was officially reported by media but imagine what was not? Note: That procedure was illegal for a year!

  36. I suppose injuries can’t possibly happen when he is losing as he tries to get back in the game by over-extending an already overly hyper intense playing style that wreaks havoc on his body? I suppose he loved being out 7 months having no chance to compete for the US and Aus Open when he’d won both already and only has so much time to catch and pass Federer as all time leader? Did he forget to fake injuries the other times he’s been in trouble in matches he just plain lost?

    When he wins he’s doping. When he loses he’s faking injuries. Too many conspiracy theories for me. Too much seeing into everyone’s heart. Too much “absolute certainty” about things we just can’t know.

    Not saying Nadal doesn’t take way too long and possibly play unfair mind games. But the guys has lost plenty of sets and come back to crush our own Roger much less Stan.

    If he’s doping and faking – maybe he is and maybe he isn’t, none of us know – I’d rather wait till there was real evidence before trashing a guy’s character without credible hard proof. Fed doesn’t need us to play God for him to be the best player of all time. What ever the GS score says no one’s ever had a game like his. And I like this site a lot better when we talk about Roger’s game without making it about how horrible Nadal is.

    1. Alb, from the 2008 US Open, until the recent Australian Open, remind me of one occasion when Nadal lost a Slam match (not three setters, Slams), when he didn’t make an excuse of injury or took an MTO.

      Even those three losses to Djokovic were attributed to injury. Toni Nadal mentioned during or after that seven match losing streak, something on the lines of, “I/we hope they suffer the same injury. It’s not easy playing when carrying an injury.” Not ad verbatim, but similar.

      In short, every slam match that Nadal has lost since USO 2008, has been due to injury. Wow!

      Seriously man, shut the f*** up! (ok, you know I’m kidding, right?) 🙂

      1. Exactly. He’s made an excuse after every single loss. It’s as though he can’t accept a loss. That or either this guy is some super human who, if uninjured, would have gobbled up ever slam in the history of tennis. It’s ridiculous.

    2. And as for taking time out from competition, due you think maybe it was exhaustion due to his playing styles? Maybe some niggles? Maybe because he wants to focus on certain surfaces or certain slams? And might I add, silent bans? Ok, strike that last line off because I don’t want this post to be about doping, just about gamesmanship.

    3. Alb, please watch the final again with a clear mind and tell us what you see. Was Nadal that hampered that stood no chance to win but at the same time he’s Johny-Rambo-caliber that he manages to get a set from someone playing the match of his life?

    4. Nadal was out for 7 months with no visible sign of any injury. How can you explain Nadal’s miraculous healing just in time for the clay season, a surface that he just happens to dominate? I think he was plenty happy to miss that Australian Open last year knowing he had no chance to beat Djokovic in the finals there. Nadal wanted no business of being in another finals that he couldn’t win.

      He cleverly waited for the clay season to make his mark again in order to avoid anymore loses to his big rivals on faster surfaces. By doing that, he was able to wait for Djokovic’s level to come down and then crush Djokovic’s confidence at the French Open. He set himself up nicely for the US Open win that way. Nadal then tried to win the World Tour Finals last year for once but it wasn’t enough as Djokovic regained his confidence in time and vanquished Nadal.

      And then what happened? Nadal whined that the World Tour Finals should be played on clay and that the surface in London was unfair because he can’t win on it. Then in Australia, Djokovic lost early and all was going according to plan for Nadal until Stan crashed the party in the finals. If Djokovic had been in the finals, I have doubts that Nadal would have even bothered to reach the finals as well. Nadal’s back injury probably would have occurred in the Dimitrov match instead if Djokovic had won his quarterfinals over Stan.

      1. You use terms like levels and confidence to describe the success rates of players who are major rivals… in accounting for how they prevail or lose against one another…how do you account for Nadal’s dip in level/confidence, or perhaps Stan’s rise in level in this past tournament
        ?
        What is the cause of something like, say, Nadal being able to handle novak at the US open last year, and then handily losing to Novak at the Barclays? Just a sudden regaining of Novak’s confidence?

        How does Stan never win a set to Nadal, and then suddenly Nadal is a huge underdog during the matching, having to feign injury in order to retain some respect from his rivals…

        Again, Levels and Confidence don’t seem to accurately describe what’s happening..to me anyways.

      2. Well consider the fact that Wawrinka has been building confidence and getting closer against Novak in his last three attempts. He played 3 straight 5 setters against him in the last 3 hard court slams. Stan lost the heartbreaking match last year to Novak 12-10 in the 5th, and he was close at the US Open too losing in 5 in that semis. Those were matches that Stan was extremely close to winning, and this time Wawrinka got the job done.

        Wawrinka didn’t just crawl out from under a rock and win here out of the blue. He’s been trying hard for years and the hard work finally paid off. Obviously winning this quarterfinals over Novak was going to give him confidence going forward to the finals here. Nadal peaked a bit too soon putting in his masterclass effort against Federer in the semis. Nadal then came out flat for the finals and just looked disinterested from the start. Nadal is at the age now where it’s hard to play back-to-back brilliant matches and it’s understandable to suffer some form of exhaustion or let down.

        As for Djokovic, last year he was emotionally crushed after losing in the French semis to Nadal 9-7 in the 5th. His dream and main goal last year was to win the French Open for his coach who passed away and he gave it all he had and lost by the narrowest of margins to Nadal in that brutal semis. Unfortunately, Nadal is just relentless on the red dust. Djokovic tried to put the loss behind him but he then lost in the Wimbledon finals as well.

        So it’s understandable that Djokovic’s confidence was going to be low going into that US Open last year. After the US Open, Djokovic turned it around and got back to playing his best tennis on surfaces that favored his game. The faster surfaces to end the year played a large factor that gave Djokovic an edge back over Nadal. It was normal for Nadal’s level to come back down a little bit as well after sweeping the American hard court season and then going into the fall where he typically has never excelled.

  37. For such a well written, un-bias blog. A blog for fans of tennis and particularly Federer. This is an incredibly irrational article. Sid, I’ve read your comments on here before, often entertaining and at times they provide great analysis, but this is truly cringeworthy.

    I’m by no means a Nadal fan. I also like to indulge in Nadal hating escapades. I often go on non-sensical rants to my tennis peers about why I feel he is bad for tennis. This usually only happens following a Federer loss, where my support for one athlete is crushed by his defeat at the hands of another. After a few hours, I can calm down and reiterate why Federer will always have the greatest tennis legacy. So I can identify with your gamesmanship accusation but if you think critically about what happened you will surely conclude that he was indeed and that this article is a complete joke.

    While most would agree that he played tactically whilst injured. To suggest that a winner of 13 Grand Slams, one of the most decorated players in tennis, would decide to ‘fake’ an injury in a Grand Slam final against a player whom he had never lost a set to is ludicrous.

    The way Stan played in that first set made me so happy as a Federer fan. It was like watching Tsonga’s AO Semi against Nadal and Del Potro’s US Open Semi in 2009. Pure power hitting, and seeing Nadal get blown of the court brought me tears of joy. We didn’t see Nadal employ this revolutionary gamesmanship tactic of ‘fake injury timeout followed by 50km drop in serve speed and lateral movement to win the match’. Why would he do it now?

    Now, I agree that Nadal takes advantage of tennis’s dubious rules. Often to psyche out his opponents and rob them of momentum. I’m certainly not a fan of it. This was completely different. Have you ever seen him take an injury time out and then have a absurd drop in level of play for a set and half? Even in the fourth set, while he certainly improved, he was far from his usual level.

    I don’t think this diminishes Stan’s achievement. I think Nadal was close to 100% during the first set and he was thoroughly outplayed. I agree that his runner up speech was a bit self absorbed but his apology to the crowd was that they payed for a contest that didn’t eventuate. I also abhor the way he brings up injuries at times.

    Next time, keep the Nadal conspiracies out of the articles and in the comment sections.

    1. Will do, Richard. This was a one time deal kind of post, so long as Nadal doesn’t continue with his “time outs”, especially against Roger. I knew there would be some controversy but that’s alright, there will always be people sympathetic to Nadal. I’m glad a majority believe he was faking.

      Thanks for your comment!

    2. What next, get rid of free speech and have the state run our blogs so as to publish only what is politically correct? I commend writers who are not afraid to speak their mind on these type of topics and the article is anything but a joke.

      1. Exactment!

        Someone recommended reading articles by some dudes named Tignor and Bodo. I did some research on them. They are quality writers. But they are paid writers, and will print only what their bosses tell them to. No disrespect to them, but they will try to please everyone.

        Sorry, I’m an amateur write, I’ll speak my mind.

      2. @ Douglas D.

        Not at all. My issue had nothing to do with political correctness and I usually enjoy everything from Sid, and I appreciate that he was speaking his mind. However I don’t think he was thinking rationally and I just don’t agree with irrational arguments. There’s simply no concrete evidence to support his claims. It’s purely conjecture. I’ve always sent people to this blog because it has great RF passion, write ups and it’s often reasonable. I just didn’t feel that way for the Nadal accusations.

        What’s with the “let the states run our blog?”…not sure where you pulled that from.

        Nonetheless I understand it was all a bit of fun for Sid. Also this is one few AO Final articles that didn’t applaud Nadal being a ‘gracious, humble champion’ and instead applauded Stan.

        Thanks fellas!

  38. This is the most talked about slam in a long while. Look at all the comments on this match. Nadal’s “gamemanship” is more in the spot light than at any time I can remember. I’m surprised how many people have no faith in Nadal. I wonder how many Nadal fans are no longer.
    I would love to be a fly on the wall and listen in on a few conversations. What is the tennis world saying about all of this? I’m not talking about the bimbo commentators. They wouldn’t dare suggest a thing.
    When Roger is asked about Nadal, he talks about his great run after 7 months off. He doesn’t seem as close to Nadal anymore. Does he really think Nadal is an honest truthful player now. Anyone who says otherwise gets heavily criticised.

    1. I too am very curious about the state of the mind of a Nadal fan on this debacle. Just how much more does it take to turn a Nadal fan to a non-fan.

      1. I’m not a Nadal fan although I like his win at all costs attitude.
        The problem is the only people really making ungrounded allegations about Nadal with regards to doping are ALL Federer fans.
        It’s a constant theme on all Federer fan sites and is reflects poorly not on Nadal but on Fedfans. It also sounds like sour grapes from fans of a player who gets routinely EMBARASSED by Nadal.
        These insinuations are not bandied around in the wider press or by Djokovic fans or Murray fans for example.
        So I don’t think Fed buying into the debate out of sheer desperation or Nadal using his superior psychological tactics will have any effect on a Nadal/ tennis fan.

  39. I don’t think Roger likes Nadal any more. He stays quiet about him for one or all of the following reasons: –

    1) He is too classy.
    2) He doesn’t want to tarnish the sport his loves and has give him so much.
    3) He will come across as a sore loser, because of his joke of a H2H.
    4) He is under a legal obligation with Nike to not speak negatively about Nadal, both being their ambassadors.
    5) He believes, as he has said that, “It’s nice to be important, but it’s important to be nice”

    1. Man you never stop! Now onto what Fed feels for people. That’s impressive really and quite entertaining.

      Actually the most funny part of it all is that you play your game (the way you blog/comment) exactly as Nadal does: lack o variaty (Nadal dopes, Nadal is a cheater, bla, bla), extremely strong mental game (I am right and anyone who does not agree with me is either blind or a moron), and impressively physical (you can go on forever).

      Sid, the Nadal of blogging. So much for a Fedfan! Keep it up man, it is quite a good show.

      1. Actually, that comment was meant to be a reply to Sue, in the post above, on whether Federer is close to Nadal any more. So, it may have seemed an out of context rant, but it’s not.

        Besides, it’s an opinion. Why do you have to get so worked up? Besides, the only strong words I ever used were “ignorant”. Don’t put words into my mouth.

        Regardless, if you think of those five reasons real hard, they will make sense. Give it another try, will ya? 🙂

    2. In my opinion the main reason would be that he has enough problems with nadal on the court for him not to add problems outside the court. That could only distract him from his objective to defeat him on the court. So I guess we will never have no clues of what he really thinks of nadal, or maybe in 10 years or so. If ever Fed had bad thoughts about nadal you would rather hear it from his fellows (but speaking in their own name) and I dont know if this has occured just yet.

    3. I agree. The relationship doesn’t appear to they way it was from ’06-’11.

      Surely, Roger must laugh at Nadal ridiculous ATP complaints regarding surfaces, ranking and time violations. Federer with his strong respect for tradition must disagree with a lot of Nadal’s wider views on tennis.

      1. By ‘wider’ you actually mean ‘narrower’ cause Nadal’s views are always purely selfish and self centred. They’re only positioned in a way that makes him out to be a great guy.

        Like do you guys remember the bull shit he keeps giving about doing it for the fans-
        – “I don’t know why they make the courts at Melbourne fast, people want to see 6 hour matches. It’s for the fans, not for me that I want courts to be slow”
        – “I carry on because I know fans have paid money, watching on TV so I do it for them” (Finals).

        The guy’s incredible. Incredibly self centred ,and even better and making himself seem like such a selfless individual. I call bull.

    4. Warning – very long posting about a imho very fascinating topic

      I believe the relationship between Nadal and Roger Federer is at the heart of modern pro tennis. And that’s why there is so much attention to it, that’s why there is so much excitement every time these two play each other, despite the lack of true competitiveness. Every time, there is much more at stake, than just two players fighting it out on the court.

      These two guys are foils off each other in every sense. Primarily skill-based style against primarily-physicality-based style. Perceived arrogance against fake humbleness. Righthander against Lefthander.

      So what is Nadal’s function? Rewind back to 2004. Pete Sampras has left the scene, Andre Agassi is still playing, but will leave very soon. Roger Federer is the new champion, winning everything left and right, making the competition look silly. His personality is judged as being a little bland, a nice guy, but boring. And then he is beat by a 17 year old kid in Miami 2004 – Rafael Nadal.

      It’s not a one off, because a year later in their second meeting, he is taking Roger Federer to five sets at Miami, winning the first two sets. He kicks him out of the French Open, winning it aged 18. The much needed rival to Roger Federer’s absolute dominance during these years is found, thereby rekindling interest in the game and attracting new fans.

      Nadal wins against Roger at Dubai, proving all those wrong who say that he is just a sand rat. Roger’s attitude towards him at the time is best summed up in his own words: Nadal has a onedimensional game, which is obviously true, but still annoys the Nadal fans to no end. 😀

      Soon the Federer fans are puzzled though, because their champion is unable to win against his onedimensional rival (it’s 1-6 when they meet in the Wimbledon final 2006). They are put off by Nadal’s style of game, his behaviour, court ritual, gamesmanship. As soon as Nadal appears on the scene, rumours of doping surround him. When – much later – Roger Federer is asked, what’s the worst thing that could happen to tennis, he could have said a lot of things. He did say, a top-player caught doping.

      But Roger and Nadal seem to like each other. They talk of being friends. Must be true, right? Well, they do play exhibition matches against each other. 😀 The Wimbledon 2007 final will be the last Grand Slam match, Roger wins against his rival. (Nadal is blaming his knees of course. :D) Nobody would ever forget the Australian Open 2009 trophy presentation scene. It’s very, very rare, to see such raw pain in pro sports. These are the moments, people follow pro sports for.

      For me, personally, at this moment we’ve come to the end of the first stage of the Fedal rivalry. Nadal has deprived Roger of multiple Calendar Year Grand Slams, but he has given him emotional depth and a sense to appreciate his skills more in comparison to the brute physicality of the Nadal game. He has brought many fans to the game who would else not watch it. That’s why he is very rarely critized at that point in time for his gamesmanship and court behaviour. Nadal is very, very important to the game.

      At this stage, Roger has won his lofty 17 and Nadal is the one chasing him. Nadal has just beat Roger again in the AO semifinal, with ease. All questions there are answered, and the tone got a lot sharper. “I just think it’s important to enforce the rules on many levels, whatever it may be. On all the players the same way. Don’t give me or Djokovic a free pass just because of who we are. (funny he doesn’t mention Nadal, even though he is clearly speaking of him) I think we should all be judged the same way. (…) Sometimes you just got to say things.” (Federer in his post match interview) A lot of long held back frustration, seems to me. No more exhibition matches between those two.

      The question that surrounds the rivalry now is whether Nadal will catch and improve on the 17. That’s why the final was of so much interest to Federer fans as well as Nadal fans. Poor Stan didn’t get as much attention for his victory as Nadal’s “injury” by the press. Nadal is loved and adored by his fans, he is hated passionately by the Federer fans (still a large majority, that’s a big problem at the moment in the sport), but he generates a lot of interest because of the substory. Nadal suffered a setback, the stage is set for the final act.

  40. Hi Sid,I like what you write, not because we share the passion for tennis or Roger but because I thought the same thing when the game was over. Every time he loose is a cause of injuries. The different thing is … when Roger lost in Indian Wells, he was with his back very bad, he entered sweat in court but never opened his mouth, neither a word. He lost badly. He didn’t say a cause of injury. I tried to find some pic with Nadal and the support when he finished to have surgery and never found. It was real? what is he doing? why he tries to act in front of the fans to appear to be a hero and then he doesn’t recognize that the other win? remember last season, he began in Viña del Mar and Zeballos won in “terre battu” court…he couldn’t act, he hated this moment and he couldn’t say a word just to recognize Zeballos was excellent, in his preferred court. I am so sad because it must be a nice sport, but when he is not born with class, he never will have! best regards

    1. Thanks, Sony, that’s music to my ears 🙂 (sorry, couldn’t help it).

      I do remember Nadal whining after his lost to Zeballos but I’m not sure exactly why. Was it because he didn’t like the surface? He also said something like, “I’ll have to live with this pain”.

  41. Does anybody think that Roger might be wise to play in the Davis Cup tie this Friday? I know he’s done everything for the sport, but there will ALWAYS be people who expect more, and let’s be honest, he hasn’t been exactly generous when it’s come to giving time to Davis Cup events. The difference becomes all the more stark with
    a) Every other big player representing their country.
    b) Lack of an excuse that Switzerland has no chance of winning it. Spain and Switzerland now have the strongest 2 teams, potentially.
    c) From the start Roger has always said that he’s wanted to focus on slams, but now with Stan having won his first Slam, electing to play the tie less than a week after, doesn’t reflect well on Roger, given that he isn’t even the Swiss number 1 any more.

    He is getting a little bit of heat for it, and I can kind of understand why. I mean, we love the guy, but I think the Davis Cup was one place that could give haters fodder to say things like “selfish” (not true at all, but in comparison to other players, on this front, it sure does appear that way, when not taking all the millions of other things he’s done for the sport into account).

    Personally, I feel that he should play. If he had left something to be desired for, it would be his involvement and contribution (on the face of it) to the Davis Cup. And given that Stan is doing it a week after winning his first Slam and becoming number 1, the displeasure from home fans would be understandable.

    Your thoughts?

    1. For example, statements like this-

      Le Matin, meanwhile, urged Federer to follow Wawrinka’s example.

      “It’s now or never to change his mind,” the popular daily urged, stating that “the maestro Roger no longer has any excuse … Federer is now ranked lower. His concerns are not more consuming nor more legitimate than those of Wawrinka.”

    2. That’s a good issue to make note of. Yes I believe Federer should go to the Davis Cup with Stan. This year is an excellent opportunity for the Swiss to focus on winning a Davis Cup and probably the best and last real chance to win it. They have as good a draw as they’ll ever get. I can see Federer and Stan winning the Davis Cup this year given their draw and current form.

      They could easily defeats the Serbs in this tie if Federer plays and then the draw is wide open for them. Federer also owes it to Stan after Wawrinka’s marvelous effort to deny Nadal. That being said, because Djokovic is not playing, there’s still a chance they can win it without Federer. I still feel however that Federer would be doing a tremendous service to everyone if he follows Stan and helps him win in Serbia.

      I think Federer should go and win the first match for the Swiss, and then Stan wins the second match. Then they can send out whoever to play doubles and both Federer and Stan can rest. If the team loses that doubles (which they probably will), then Federer can come out and clinch the tie in the reserve singles to win it 3-1 for the Swiss. Federer owes it to Stan in my opinion, given how much Stan cares for the Davis Cup.

      1. I don’t know if he owes something to Stan, I don’t think for a moment that He did it for Roger.

        Stan has contract signed with the Swiss federation, Roger does not.

        He is healing his back injury. If he goes from Dubai/ AO / Dubai (hot weather) to Europe, maybe is not good for his back.

        He is working in his fitness and new racquet. Has the programme made to be ready for April.

        Mirka is REALLY pregnant. He is almost 33.

        You are right that this could be THE opportunity for the swiss.

        I don’t know, it really a big dilema

        RMG

      2. Do you guys realize that if Mirka delivers another set of twins, she will have completed a career slam too? 🙂

    3. Yes, Fed should play, now that with him in the Swiss team, they are vary capable of winning it, whereas before Swiss was pretty much a one-man team.

      1. Good move, by Roger. Who knows, perhaps an inspiring Davis Cup run with Wawrinka could really get him going again! …well even more so after AO.

  42. Many of the top players aren’t playing DC…..Djokovic (why not, he was out early at AO), Nadal, Ferrer, Tipsy, Delpo (why not, it’s in Argentina) and many more.
    Murray is playing but doesn’t play very often. I think Switzerland can win without Roger. He’s played DC more than enough.

  43. I believe that the players should be allowed review on time violation as well when they feel the opponents are taking too much time between the serves. It may feel unsportsman like rule, but we can stop some players taking unusually long time to serve( intending nadal and Djoker) when they are facing breakpoints. This would take the pressure from the chair umpires as well.

  44. Hey Jonathan. I was just thinking of an idea for maybe an open article where we could all contribute our thoughts as to what the 3 single handed backhands did right and wrong versus Rafa at this year’s AO.

    1) Grigor Dimitrov- Quarters
    2) Federer (Semis)
    3) Stan (Finals)

    Maybe talk tactics. What worked, why it did, why it didn’t. Why Rafa was able to find Federer’s back hand so easily etc. etc. Stan and Grigor found a way to hurt him. Stan was even volleying smarter than Federer. Maybe it would help us figure out why it works for Stan/ Dimitrov and not Federer (eg: Dimitrov’s height, Stan’s back hand technique).

    Possible? I think it might be quite interesting.

    1. I think assuming that Roger needs to take something from Stan’s or Dimitrov’s book to beat Nadal is an assessment error. In fact, Roger has actually managed to beat Nadal 10 times whereas Dimitrov never did and Stan did it for once after twelve tries. So, to me, clearly Roger has the game to beat Rafa but simply does not have the mind anymore. No change in tactics, backhand technique is going to change that. What Roger needs is to man up and stop acting like a pussy every time he sees Nadal on the other side of the net. If he can change that he will beat Nadal, even with is left hand tied behind his back…

    2. For Gaurav…. Yep that’s a good question, why was Federers Back Hand seem to have been demolished but Dimis and Stans seemed to work more effectively. Despite Federer being aggressive? ??? Yeah I know that Federer struggles with the high moonbal to his BH but theoothers seem to neutralise it a little bit. So why can’t Federer change or adapt to break the cycle a bit and next time he plays Nadal just for sheer shock and tactics to use the double handed backhand just for that match. And I sure if anyone can pull it off it will be the GOAT. Otherwise it will be the same results all the time Federer plays good for the first set then after that Nadal gets him to play his tactics and of course the result will be Federer losses in straights.
      Please can tell me what else Federer can do or elaborate on this question. Thanks

      1. For a starter he should change his body language when he plays Nadal. One thing I’ve been noticing during their matches is that whenever Nadal hits a winner, a passing shot or makes an “impossible” return, Roger ends up lowering his head… That is the kind of mental defeat signal that you don’t want to give a guy like Nadal. If he smells blood he will press harder to make the bleeding faster…

    3. Techincally, Dimitrov never had success yet. He’s never beaten Nadal. I think Nadal’s own play factors more into the situation. Against Federer, Nadal goes into kill mode and ups his gear to maximum level. Against other players, Nadal plays more lazily and doesn’t have to bring out his best game to beat them. Nadal gives a lot more to other players when playing than he does to Federer. The Dimitrov match was proof of this, Nadal’s level was no where near his best in that match and he sprayed all kinds of errors that he would never give to Federer in a hundred years.

      So I think for Federer’s backhand, it’s just a matter of going for winners more and playing more AWAY from Nadal. When Federer was playing to the middle of the court, Nadal dictated play and was free to setup the point in any way he liked to. Federer was the one that had to do the running and defending. You could see Federer hit a backhand to the middle, then Federer would move right to get centered again and then Nadal would hammer the ball back to Federer’s backhand. Federer moves back left, retrieves it, hits another backhand to Nadal, then moves right again to get centered. It’s a stop and go chase defending the backhand for Federer. Left, right, left, right.

      As Federer kept moving back right after every backhand to centre himself in order to defend against Nadal’s forehand, every time Nadal would keep hammering back to Federer’s backhand and keep him pinned in the middle of the court hitting backhands. As soon as Federer would move further left into the ad court to cover his backhand side better, then Nadal hammered a cross court forehand winner away from Federer. So when Federer was on the defensive and Nadal was dictating play from the middle of the court, it was a recipe for disaster that Federer had no chance of competing in. At least when Nadal was on the run in points then there was a slightly better chance that Nadal would hit an error or hit the ball long.

      I say just stay the heck out of those rallies at all costs! And play the backhand always away from Nadal. Making Nadal run has yielded Federer’s best successes against him as far as I’ve witnessed. Federer simply has to get out of those awful rallies with Nadal standing in the middle of the court. Federer would hits 10 passive backhands in a row and then finally dumps one into the net. Federer will almost always be hitting his backhand from the ad court in 95% of the rallies as Nadal tries to draw him out wide to the ad court. So Federer’s options are to step around it and unload a forehand or go for a backhand winner WHERE EVER Nadal isn’t at.

      To sum it up, if Nadal is positional in the middle of the court during the shot, then it’s probably best to simply forget the backhand at all, run out wide and go for a massively angled outside-in forehand in that situation because Nadal will always retrieve any backhand or weak forehand for that matter if it goes to the middle of the court, and then Nadal remains in control of the point. But if Nadal is reasonably ever far into the deuce court, then Federer needs to go cross court with his backhand. If Nadal is in the ad court, then Federer needs to go down the line with his backhand. The key is making Nadal run back and forth as much as possible. And either way, forget the slice backhand to the middle of the court as Nadal eats alive those for breakfast. All easier said than done, of course, as Nadal gives nothing away to Federer ever. Federer is going to lose points that he did nothing wrong in, but he has to stick with his game plan and not get pushed back into the long rallies.

      1. You’re forgetting that roger can’t generate any pace on his bh anymore. There was a symbolic point in the nadal match when he tried to rip a winner crosscourt with his backhand. He flattened it out and gave it EVERYTHING and Nadal nonchalantly stroked it down the line for a winner.
        Talk about demoralising.

      2. That’s partially true, in a lot of the points that Nadal will still retrieve them. I mentioned Federer will still lose points against Nadal where he does little to nothing wrong. But at least getting Nadal on the run gives him a slightly better chance that the winner or passing shot from Nadal will go long or wide. Just that when Nadal is in the middle of the court it puts Federer on the defensive right away and there’s not much Federer can do when Nadal is dictating the play.

        Another major problem against Nadal for Federer now is his diminished movement. Federer’s deuce court ends up completely defenseless now depending on how far out he has to run to hit better backhands or even hit forehands in the ad court. When Federer is pulled so far out to the left in any of the rallies, there’s no way he can realistically track down and defend his deuce court like he did when he was young for the duration of a 5-set match.

        So since Federer is pinned there in the right half of the ad court anyway for the majority of rallies, his serving and volleying has been helpful. But on the return games, he’s just got to do whatever he can to keep the ball away from the middle of the court. At least going side to side can try to get Nadal off balance. In that case, it’s important to ignore Nadal’s passing shots whenever they go past. Try and guess where it’ll go and that’s it, move on to the next point if Nadal hits a winner.

        No pace on the backhand isn’t exactly correct though. He’s not going to rifle backhand winners but there were times that Federer did manage to hit a well-angled backhand, and I did see many times that Nadal’s retrievals landed in Federer’s deuce court or near centre line, giving Federer a chance at hitting a strong forehand. Federer would often just continue the rally tamely in many of those cases that he had a chance to unload, and he’d get pushed back into the ad court hitting more backhands to Nadal’s middle until he hit an error, which is exactly what Nadal wants. Federer has just got to unload on all of those chances where he gets to hit from the deuce court and try to end the rally immediately.

    4. Only just seen this. Yeah its possible. Just gotta think of an angle, AO is done now so needs to be more general about comparing backhands. Pretty simple though – Stan is effective because he hits a bigger ball, Dimitrov did well as he mixed up his pace and Fed didn’t do so well because his overall level dropped compared to 4th round & Quarters.

      1. Stan hits bigger, plays deeper from the baseline and gets more time to prepare and swing, that’s his game. He uses a bigger racquet, quite heavy though, but bigger, and the frame is isometric, which means much bigger sweet spot zones when compared to other 98 sq in racquets.

        His backhand grip, just like his forehand, is super extreme, that gives him a chance to nullify the spin, take a huge cut, and impart a lot of spin.

        There’s lot of factors, we should probably have a post, like Gaurav suggested. I mean, you can’t simply just have Roger play like him. Roger will get better with the bigger frame. I think the frame he uses is lighter too. This is just the beginning.

  45. For Sid…. sorry for the late comment, but I one have to agree with your post , statement, analysis of Nadal. I have never liked him and once a cheater always a cheater. His previous tactics does him no favours as he has sooo many times done delay tactics, injury medical time outsat crucial times Iin a match where he should lose but somehow he has distracted his opponent and then go onto lose. So Nadal and uncle toni ‘s winks and sign language work at the right time. I can remember at one of the match at Wimbledon Uncle Nobhead was givingccoaching illegally and then the camara was on them and both Nadals Dad and Uncle put their heads down as they were caught red handed. Even the commentators I think it was Castle and Lloyd mentioning that they should nt be giving any coaching or tactics during the match.
    During the Stan match I think what happened was probably this time he probably was injured. But it was the boy who cried wolf. Saves him right. Also I think the bookies made a killing as everyone thought that was a sure fire 14 grandslam winner for Nadal as no one was giving Stan the man a chance. Or someone else mentioned that bcos of the dodgy Spanish doctor he brought in. The Atp finally saw something fishy was up and a drugs test was going to reveal it. But to stop the damage reputation of the sport they told Nadal to lose the final. Plus also no one believing that since his 7 month s layoff he comes back like superman and wins everything. I mean thats BS from a so called serious knee injury and then to blitz all opponents like they are amateurs , it doesn’t tally up or make sense. As nearly all great champions when they are injuries it takes time and alot of losses before they are back to the best. All I can say is Bs Bs Bs !!!!

    1. Trust me, what you’ve assumed isn’t outside the realm of possibility. Oh, and by the way, don’t assume that, “no one was giving Stan the man a chance” 🙂

  46. What do you folks think of Andrew Castle’s cringeworthy commentry during the final:
    “Oh no, is he going up to the net to retire?”
    “Is he going up to shake his hand….. no?”
    “Could it be a displaced rib?”
    “I don’t see why Wawrinka is complaining, Nadal is perfectly entitled to take a time out”, John Lloyd: “Yes, but he’s already taken more time than is allowed”.

    Remember Nadal’s cramp during US2011, turns out that was Andrew Castle under the table noshing him.

    1. I watched it on Swiss TV. Guess who they were biased towards 🙂 The combination of Andrew and Sue Barker on BBC during Wimbledon is just too much for me! I wish they’d use Mark Petchley instead. He’s much, much better.

      1. I forgot to mention Andrew Castle’s comment in the 3rd set when Nadal came storming back, “The painkillers must have kicked in”.

        One minute Nadal has a “displaced rib” and “can barely move”, next minute painkillers have kicked in and he’s good enough to takew a set off the new grand slam champion playing the best tennis in his life.

        I wonder can you buy these pills in Superdrug, they sound like little miracles?

        2 scenarios whenever Nadal is playing, any match, any time in his career
        a/ Nadal is winning
        b/ Nadal acting injured because he’s losing

        In the medias eyes if he wins, he’s so great. If he loses, he’s the brave warrior that fought through an awful injury and almost pulled it off, what a man.

        Always the victim.

  47. Just a heads up for all the punters.
    Jonathan is scrapping this website in two weeks and starting up a new one called PerfectWawrinka.
    -The Swiss No.1-

    1. But you see, perfect tennis i a generic term that applies to whoever wins with a single handed backhand, preferably from Switzerland.

  48. “Nobody gave him a chance.”

    That’s actually not true. If you look around on forums or articles, plenty of people thought Wawrinka had a chance to win. OP shouldn’t assume everyone thinks the same, just because he himself didn’t give Stan a chance.

    I agree that the better player deserved the win (Stan). But the rest of your post is filled with broken logic.

    1. Lol David, Nadal was the overwhelming favorite. Only Stan and his team believed the Swiss could win. Of course theoretically he had a chance but who would bet their money against the Bull?

      1. I gave Stan a chance! But judging by alll the forums and previews and predictions I think I was the only one that A) was not Swiss and b) had seen a tennis match

      2. I did, I’m happy to say 🙂 I always put a very small amount on the underdog when the odds are high. Knew it would pay off one day.

    2. Ok, alright, David, thanks for proof reading. I think you’re missing the point that I’m simply stressing what he was up against. It’s just a metaphor.

      Still, I feel bad and apologize for the assumption 🙂

      1. I like the reply very much. There’s no denying this is an upset of epic magnitude and in the course of it, Nadal gave us entertainment of equal magnitude.

  49. Hi Sid, sorry for the late comment but wow congratulations for creating such a debate and it’s not even about our Fed! Liked your ‘not-afraid-to-speak-out’ attitude and great effort to reply to the comments. Took long time to read through all of comments and found the discussion quite amusing and fascinating. I no longer feel bad about disliking Nadal 😉

    Personally I don’t think he faked injury this time and believe Stan just played superbly. But certainly didn’t like his gamesmanship and his speech was disgraceful. I can’t stand him talking about his problem all the time yet the press failed to criticise. When he appologised to the crowds, I was like ‘No worries mate, we all had a great final so thank you!’

    Anyway, Stan deserves a full credit and I was ‘crazy happy’ just as Roger was 😀

    1. Wanda, thanks! Your comment is a perfect example of someone who disagrees with my opinion, but at the same time, understands the concerns it raises about Nadal’s gamesmanship tactics.

      1. Despite the fact that he was injured or not, the fact that people are doubting what MIGHT have been a legitimate injury shows that people are starting to get fed up with this guy’s nonsense. It’s exactly as someone put it- the boy who cried wolf.

  50. Great post sid!!Now even federer is getting tired of this nadal.He even said it even during his press conference that nadal is not getting penalty for time violation and his grunting.Too much of federer being good and classy for nadal saying that we are good friends and have a great relationship.

  51. I read Sid’s analysis of Stan vs. Rafa, I read also the time-out strategy of Nadal, shocking!
    And then I think: is it not time to confront him with this terribly unsportsmanlike behaviour, even publish it somewhere and let him justify himself in public?

    1. YEESSSS!! He will play the Davis Cup on Friday!!! And on indoor HC!! If he plays 2 matches and win it’s a good deal even in terms of points.

  52. Sid, just would like to take the time to pat you on the back for the ridiculous time you must have spent replying to everyone on here. As someone who barely makes it past 3 comments a post, it’s commendable just how many you’ve managed!

    While I do disagree with you as you know, and believe Nadal WAS in fact injured, that is merely a detraction of opinion. I’d like to go on record and say your post was very entertaining to read, and it was well-written too. Congrats!

    1. I was sick for four days so, it was lots of soups, lots of Vitamin C, lots of rest, and lots of commenting. Plus, this being my post, replying to everyone is obligatory 🙂

      Imagine Jonathan now, with all those posts and comments!

  53. Sid,
    I think Nadal had an injury issue, but only from the second set onwards.
    Whatever the truth may be, Nadal won now only 3 out of 9 slams in his career in which he started the tourney as highest seed. That’s not a very good record.

  54. Hyper excited that both Stan and Fed ( nos 1 and 2) are playing Davis Cup and no Novak! What’s his excuse? So plsed as Dubai a long wait!

    1. I read that someone at Belgrade airport said you look just like Roger Federer, and Roger replied actually, I am Roger Federer. 🙂

      1. Think it’s true (unlike Andy’s forthcoming marriage!). It’s been reported in a lot of places. In the photos he was wearing anorak, scarf and beanie so not easily identifiable, wasn’t expected to be there, and the person who asked was the President of the Serbian tennis association.

  55. Looks like Switzerland can make it to the finals this year! Don’t know why Roger chose to play against Serbia, because Djokovic, Tipsarevic and Troicki are all gone and I think Stan can manage to lead the team now!

    1. I think he was under a fair bit of pressure to play this time, and the concerns were more legit this time round. He would have looked bad. And this is perfect- he knows that given the quality of the opposition, he can just treat it as a practice match. He’ could show up in his nightsuit and still beat the guys.

      Or. Or maybe it was this awesome Swiss strategy to seem disinterested in the tie up, wait for Nole to confirm his absence, and then go full hulk on them when it’s too late. I like 😛

    2. A chance to practice a bit more with the new racquet before Dubai? Possibility of picking up a few much-needed ATP points? Because Stan asked him to play? Maybe a combination of these plus as Gaurav said he was under a certain amount of pressure. He always said he would not decide until shortly before anyway. Maybe he was just waiting to see what his fitness was like after Melbourne and whether he could afford to fit it in.

    3. My theory is he had told Stan, “I tell you what, if you win the Australian Open I’ll play Davis Cup” 😀 He really seems delighted for his friend & I’m glad to see it.

      Here’s his interview with Swiss LeMatin (in French):

      http://www.lematin.ch/sports/tennis/roger-federer-c-semaine-stan/story/26329616

      Q: Roger Federer, how did this decision develop to come & play this Davis Cup tie?
      Fed: I had always left a small door open. With the family, Australia, the trip, you always have to wait to see how everything presents itself. Sometimes it’s hard for me to give a definitive reply four months in advance because I never know how I’m going to be feeling four months later. After my loss against Rafa, I came back to the hotel and I thought about what was going to be happening in the coming days and the coming weeks. I evaluated the different possibilities and asked myself how my body felt. And I realized that I wanted to participate. But first I had to come back to Switzerland with my family, see how I felt when I arrived. And it’s then as well that Stan won the Australian Open. That inspired and motivated me even more.
      Q: Had you talked about it with him and with Severin Luthi?
      Fed: Seve called me as soon as I arrived back in Switzerland to ask me what I thought about it. I had called Stan to congratulate him and we talked about it briefly. And that’s how it was decided very quickly. I told them to call me when they got back from Australia so we could have a relaxed discussion about it, but that I was ready when they wanted. This is Stan’s week, for me, it’s clear and well-defined, and I hope I can support him a little bit here, because I lived the same thing in 2004. I had won the Australian Open and I went to Romania right afterwards. I played singles, doubles and singles and it was very difficult. I know what he’s going through. And I really hope I can help him here because it won’t be easy for him.
      Q: Is this the year to win the Davis Cup?
      Fed: The Davis Cup lasts a whole year. The next tie is in three months, the final in nine months. Will Stan and I be in good shape in nine months? Will we be uninjured? You can’t look that far. Especially this weekend, when we’re both coming back from Australia and we’re therefore tired. We take it point by point, match by match. Obviously, given that Djokovic isn’t here, we’re the big favorites for this weekend. We tell ourselves we can win this meeting and then afterwards we’ll see who the next opponents are.

      1. Thanks a lot for translating and sharing the interview, Thnker 🙂 As usual he speaks his mind so clearly and sensibly.

      2. Thanks for posting this Thinker. I love the obvious pleasure Roger is taking in Stan’s win, and the support he’s giving him. I’ve read comments from people elsewhere saying how upset Roger would be at Stan being higher than him. It upsets me that he is so misunderstood by some people. It’s true he said a long time back that he couldn’t make his mind up about the Davis Cup until closer the date – although he probably didn’t mean this late.

  56. Has anyone noticed Pablo’s activity seems to have dropped to 0 since the finals, peaking at the semis, up till when he was busy being a pain in the ass?

    An injury layoff perhaps? 7 months I guess?

      1. Brilliant! sick humour.
        Loved that Roger was literally crazy with joy for Stan. What a great friendship! yes i think they Cld win The Davis Cup this yr if things go right. Spain are other end of the draw, as are the Czech Republic. And Is till see Nadal taking time out at some point. Re points. Fed needs a big win at a 500 and a 1000 to make a push for top 4. Hv feeling Delpo will pull out from Rotterdam and clearly Stan will hv to take a break or will hv a meltdown with fatigue at the wrong moment! Murray is the big unknown this yr!

      2. Lolz, that’s hilarious!

        I don’t think he will be gone for long! If Nadal finds some success again…

    1. Just saw parts of the match. Federer was playing with half an interest. He woke up when he found himself set point down at 5-2 in the second. Went on a roll from there and demolished Ilja who was playing some first strike tennis. The guy has an unconventional game, so it’s a bit tricky playing against him. Favours his backhand, loves hitting it inside out, swinging serve down the T, approached the net a lot.

      One thing I was disappointed with was how easily he could find the Federer back hand, push him to the side, rush the net and put away the easy volley. Federer seemed powerless on that wing.

      Also, pity that Federer himself didn’t come to the net a lot more. He just stayed camped at the baseline when instead he could have come in a lot more on what was a fast indoor surface.

      But he got the win in straights.

      1. Thanks for the commentary on the match Gaurav. Sorry to hear Fed wasn’t more into it from the beginning. On the other hand it’s encouraging to once again see him able to put some sub-par play or mindset behind him and go on to play better. I’m sure he’s still getting used to the racquet as well.

        If you read French, there’s game by game text at 24heures.ch

      2. Yeah he did seem uninterested, but he did it in 3 sets, so he got back in the match when it matterd. On the other hand, Stanimal did it in 4, many unforced errors.
        But its 2-0 for the Swiss.
        🙂

      3. Roger looked a bit off even before the match I thought. Who knows why. Tired maybe? It’s a long way from Australia to Switzerland then Serbia in a few days. And he said in his post-match interview he’d had hardly any practice, I suppose because he made such a last-minute decision to play. But as you say he recovered when he had to. He’s had trouble beating this guy before though hasn’t he? At Wimbledon? Stan on the other hand, looked as though he was suffering from the sort of down you must get after a huge win. Back to the grind so to speak. He hurt his hand towards the end too. But again – he got through and that’s what matters.

  57. Marc Rosset was commentating on Davis Cup on Suisse romande TV. Anyone remember him? His greatest achievement was to win Olympic Gold, beating some quite notable players to achieve that. He lives quite near me and I often used to see him jogging in the local park – usually with a cigarette hanging out of the corner of his mouth! In 1998 there was a Swissair flight, known locally as the UN shuttle because it carries UN and scientific staff backwards and forwards from New York, that crashed shortly after take off from New York, killing all 229 people on board – including 2 colleagues of mine. Marc Rosset should have been on that flight but he decided a couple of hours before not to travel. He said afterwards he has no idea why, he just had a feeling that he shouldn’t take that flight. It affected him very deeply as incidents like that will.

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