Australian Open 2015 Draw Out – Nadal in Federer’s Half

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Hey, friends. You know I don’t put much stock in draws as they hardly ever play out the way you expect, but I will indulge you. The first question was on whose side Nadal would be, and unfortunately it turns out he is on Roger’s side. And it pisses me off that it always seems to be the case in Melbourne. I don’t like to talk about rigged draws because there is no proof, but sometimes you wonder. And what pisses me off even more is that Nadal got the easiest quarter final opponent of the top four in Birdshit. Birdshit is his absolute bitch and if he ever needed Berdych in his quarter it was now. Also, Roger got Murray in his quarter who is one of the top two most difficult quarter-final opponents for the top four. The other being Nishikori who is in Stan’s quarter. I am just overall pissed off with this draw but like I said it hardly ever plays out the way you imagine and Nadal, for instance, could lose before the semis.

I find it hard to imagine to whom though. Maybe first round to Youzhny if Youzhny plays a blinder but after that it’s hard to see him lose. Maybe Rosol but once Nadal has two wins under his belt he already becomes hard to stop. Nadal lost his first match in Doha to Berrer, but he did win the doubles title with Monaco which would have already helped his confidence. If Nadal makes fourth round I don’t see him losing to Gasquet or Anderson who is both massive chokers. If Anderson wins it would be the biggest win of his life anyway. Then should Nadal play Birdshit it is almost impossible for him to lose. Birdshit will do whatever it takes to lose to his hero. So it is difficult to see Nadal lose before the semis but not impossible. If Roger does play Nadal in the semis then he will just have to win. His record against Nadal in slams is poor and given his new found mental strength and Nadal’s lack of tennis it would provide a good opportunity to get one back.

But of course, there is no guarantee Roger will make semis either. His path to the title is Lu, Monaco/Bolelli, Chardy, Karlovic/Kyrgios/Robredo, Dimitrov/Murray, Nadal/Berdych, Djokovic/Stan. That is a pretty tough draw right there. The first three rounds are not that tough but then it gets difficult. After my last post, some people have brought up the fatigue factor for Roger. My view was optimistic about it all, but I suppose he could feel the effects of not having taken much of a break after the long 2014 season. It’s not gonna change my optimistic outlook though. I’m sure some Fedfans have thrown in the towel as far as winning the title goes after having seen the draw, saying that Roger is too tired to get through it. Personally I don’t see much excitement in taking such a stance. As I said in my last post Roger’s game is in peak shape now and if he can conserve some energy early on he will have his chances.

He also said in an interview which someone posted on my blog that he is actually intentionally playing more at the recommendation of Edberg, with the argument that as you age it is easier for the body to keep playing than to take long breaks and come back. He is also focusing on playing more points in practice. Someone also made the remark that sometimes Roger gets an easy draw and loses while a hard draw can work out. It once again comes down to the fact that draws don’t mean much and that it is useless to look much further than the next round, which for Roger is against Lu. As long as Roger keeps focusing on what is in front of him and takes care of it well he will have his chances at #18. I have already said I am quietly confident and I am not concerned about the draw. As long as Roger keeps playing the way he has been playing I believe in his chances.

 

Posted in Australian Open, Grand Slams.

26 Comments

  1. Greetings to you, Ru-an. Good blog as always….great picture of Roger with a very determined look, love it. It will be one match at a time….if there is one gigantic wish I hope will come true and that is for Roger to defeat Nadal. It will be like getting a trophy. Do it, Roger! Hope is all we can do….
    Best to you and all Fedfans cheering on Roger.
    Kindly,
    Dolores

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Hi Dolores!

    You are so right about this! Even winning another slam probably wouldn’t add as much luster to Roger’s resume as a victory or two against Nadal.

    And every time Roger beats Nadal at a slam, that’s one more slam that is out of the question for Nadal to win. So even if Roger doesn’t win, Nadal won’t gain any ground.

    Besides that, it would be extremely gratifying!!

    Hope you and yours are doing well, best wishes to all.

    Joe

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes a win over Nadal would be nice Dolores but I won’t concern myself with it before such a match becomes a reality.

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    Alex Reply:

    On the other hand a loss against Nadal at this point would be extremely crushing not only for fed but for us fans as well because Fed is in as good a shape as ever whereas nadal is still recovering from surgery.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Exactly. It would shatter Fed’s new found confidence probably and Nadal will become GOAT.

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    Alex Reply:

    That’s why should they square off in Melbourne this year, it’s basically a must win for Fed. Gosh I hope he doesn’t read this. No pressure ey? :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah enough of this BS. If Fed wants to be GOAT he needs another slam win over Nadal anyway.

    [Reply]

    eric Reply:

    EXACTLY Ru-an. Bring it on!!!

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  2. Amen brother. Great post and breakdown of the situation. I am more concerned about Murray and Djoker than Nadal. I think many of Rogers losses to him were more mental than anything else. And in that department 5.0 is the most improved player in the game. I did read somewhere that Murray rolled his ankle, but probably doesn’t mean much as he’s usually whining about something or the other. Exciting tournament and opportunity for 5.0. Can’t wait!!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks man. Yes Roger 5.0 is much improved mentally which is why I wouldn’t mind if they played, but I believe it is more than just a mental thing. There is the added match up issue to overcome and for that Roger 5.0’s new found net game must help him to avoid those base line rallies where Nadal moonballs Roger’s bh all the time. But yeah Nadal is a bit of an unknown factor at this point while Murray and Djokovic is in better form. Lets not forget your boy Dimitrov either. He could surprise and make QF too, and he could test Roger too.

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  3. Ru-an,

    I am also optimistic but three things give me pause:

    1. Roger really struggled in that match against Rainic. I saw that match in its entirety and it truly should have ended in that 6:4 6:4 llsvorekune but once Roger “got bored” and he let Milos back in – it really should have costed him. He was THIS close to losing this match and he was able to pull it out by the thick of his nails.. Makes the way he played in the 3rd set was very nervy – almost no attacking the net – he settled to exchange with Milos from the back court and I am not sure why.. He did request a bathroom break before the 3rd set so I don’t know if there was a back issue or not.

    In any case, he’s practicing fully so I hope that’s sorted out.

    2. The SF streak in Melbourne may continue or it may come to and end. Roger could go all the way or he could lose.. It’s really hard to predict. On the one hand, all those things about the prior tournament wins and the build up are true. If Roger plays like he did in Shanghai, he’ll have a great shot.

    3. The mistake WE all make is with the early rounds EYE test. Roger can look spectacular early but then lose steam as the tournament goes on. I’d rather see some nerve matches early.

    Case in point:

    Australia 2010 – stressful matches in round 1 and that EPIC QF clash against Davydenko – and then Roger won the thing

    Wimbledon 2012 – Roger was on the verge of being out against Benneteau in the 2nd/3rd round and he had a back spasm during the Youzhny match and then he won the event – struggled in the final also.

    So in any case – I actually wish for Roger to struggle in the early rounds – for some reason getting through some tough matches EARLY seems to pay dividends for Roger in the later rounds where the opposition gets tougher and the margin for error gets minimal..

    So let’s see what happens. I see a tough match against Chardy already and that maybe the match that will stress us out but then push Roger into overdrive.. ;-) )

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    With the way Roger is playing atm I don’t see why there will be nervy matches early on Vily. He is playing too well. You mentioned the match against Raonic but that was only due to getting bored with the big server and may have been a wake up call itself. I think he will be sharp after that in the early round and we may not see him drop a set in the first few rounds. You mentioned Chardy who can be dangerous yes. Still I think Roger should win his first three matches without dropping a set. Then the likes of Karlovic(who has been playing especially well), Kyrgios, or Robredo you have some dangerous players as well. Not so much Robredo because he doesn’t have big weapons but Karlovic and Kyrgios have big serves. I think the real testing will start from the QF onward and that Roger must conserve his energy in the first week. I think after Brisbane he is too sharp to struggle in the early rounds but we will soon find out. I think the one thing we can say about this draw though is that it is about as hard as it can get, and hopefully it has the opposite effect of the US Open draw which looked very easy on paper.

    [Reply]

  4. Good post Ru-an and I would love Roger to win the AO, it doesn’t matter to me if he never plays Nadal again, because I don’t think Roger will ever even up the h2h. VLY as for Roger getting bored when playing
    Milos I agree it seemed as if Fed should have won easier however don’t you think that we underestimate
    the opposition. On the day these guys have to believe they are in with a shout. I would just love someone to take Nadal out and although ‘the back injury’ surfaced again only after losing at Wimbledon I just remember Nadal being booed when playing Stan.

    [Reply]

  5. Thanks for the article. I think Federer has a tough draw and I would have liked to see him avoid Karlovic, even Robredo. Those are tough customers and even if you win they take something out of you as they are not mental weaklings (like certain possible QF opponents of Nadal).

    I was watching highlights of the AO 2012 SF match vs Nadal. I think weirdly, even more than the 2009 final, this was Federer’s chance to beat him. He was up a break in sets 1,2 and 4 and the 3rd went to a tiebreak. Yet he lost in 4. There are certain patterns of play that repeat themselves – Federer getting pased at net quite a bit after ridiculous passing shots. So as Ruan says it’s a match up issue, and even if the mental bit is taken out , Nadal just has a game designed to beat him. I don’t know how Federer can win points on a consistent basis unless he goes for ridiculous winners which is too risky.

    I agree with Vily above about the Raonic match: the 3rd set was very nervy. You know in the end, I think Raonic had more net approaches and he dictated the play most of the time. It was clear Fed was waiting for that storm to blow oever…

    [Reply]

  6. Yay! Roger is playing on Rod Laver on Day One in the night session! Can’t wait! Even though it will be crazy early in the morning for me but that’s ok! ;-)

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  7. Unfortunatly it’s another rigged draw in Canguru’s Land!
    There isn’t an easiest path to Nadal, please!
    It’s like the year 2014, when he got to semis and easily defeated Roger without a real opponent before that stage!
    Firts round, 20 minutos and Tomic goes away, second round against Kokkinakis, a 17 years kid who was playing only third professional game, third round he played with the “extreme heat policy”, avoiding the 42 celcius degrees, fourth roubd Nishikori lost in stupid tiebreaks (so, out with him in 2015!), fifth round Dimitrov could have easily won, but the lack of experience took him out (so, out of Nadal’s path in 2015!, semis, Federer made “5890 non forced errores” like he always does agains Nadal, and in the final happened “the miracle of Stan”!
    The thoughest guys for him (in 5 sets) in the “top-11” are Djoker, Stan, Kei Nishikori, Murray, and Dimitrov, and, gess what,he will find none until the final!
    You can´n be serious!
    I say even more: the man who “negociated” this “draw” hides behind a baseball cap wiht the pub to “Iberostar”!

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    The draw is what it is, doesn’t really matter. Players can lose early or completely different players can emerge from the section. Take Karlovic for instance, massive serve but if someone gets lucky in a few tiebreaks they can take him down early. Same goes for other big servers. Opposite thing is true for the grinders like Simon and Ferrer, if they play a big hitter early on they can be blown away if they are not at their best. Anything can happen. I have heard predictions that this year the big 4 will win all four slams again, after what I saw last year I think that’s utter bullshit.

    You do have a point though, Roger does seem to get the more difficult draws nowadays, but maybe that will work out better than the easy ones he used to get.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I would rather he gets a tough draw and he wins the event than get an easy draw and loses in the semis like at the USO. Lol.

    [Reply]

  8. I would just like to say that IF Nadal goes on to win this tournament then I will give up on tennis alltogether. It makes no sense for him to win AO right now. I’m sure a lot of people would agree on this.

    [Reply]

    Florian Reply:

    I agree, it would be very suspicious if a player who recently had surgery, a wrist and a back injury and just one match under his belt would win a Grand Slam title. But this doesn’t apply for Nadal and his fans.
    As usual he is playing the underdog and doesn’t feel that he is ready to win as he said in today’s presser. I think the opposite is the case, otherwise he would’t even be there.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Nadal said he isn’t one of the favorites which translates to the fact that he is very much liking his chances for the title. And who can blame him with the cake walk draw?

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    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Alex, don’t worry about Rafa winning. The man himself says he is not the favourite. He is not completely recovered yet, his serve is not good yet and he says Novak, Roger and Andy are the favourite.
    So… lets not worry about Rafa winning AO 2015. He himself doesn’t think he can….

    Is he Oscar material or what???

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    Hey Katyani, yes Nadal has always been oscar material, and unlike Di Caprio, Nadal may have actually won an oscar had he gone into acting. He’s playing the underdog again like he always does, except this time he also quietly knows that he may not be ready.

    [Reply]

  9. Hey Ru-an. Hmm, Roger, Andy and Rafa in the same half. Wasn’t that also the case at Wimby 2013?? Rigged or not rigged, it is what it is. And look at USO 2014. No one of the top 4 in the final. Anything can happen.

    And this is not Roger-2014. THIS Roger 5.0 will not lose to Rafa.
    It bugs the hell out of me that in 2014 if Rafa played his part, he would have met “confident & mental strong & almost unbeatable Roger” atleast 7 times from Halle 2014. Roger would have definitely won atleast 5 of those 7 meetings, even all 7. Can you imagine the H2H?? But ofcourse…. when Roger is strong… Rafa is a no show.

    I think Roger will give it his all these 2 weeks, because he will have a long break after that. I believe in Roger, I believe in THIS Roger, I BEL18VE :-) :-)

    [Reply]

  10. Hey guys.
    What the hell is going on??
    I just logged on to bleacherreport and wth??
    Delpotro withdraws from aussie open,
    djoker just feeling better after flu,
    ferrer has back injury,
    serena feels a little off
    wth is going on
    ?? lol
    but Federer feels his serve is more consistent and stronger than ever.

    [Reply]

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