Australian Open Final Preview: Nadal Unsettled?

As promised I am back with my final preview, but first I will take a look back at the Djokoray semi that was played yesterday. I predicted that Djokovic would win this in four sets and that it would be a tougher match than last year’s final. I just felt that the Murray/Lendl partnership was a good one and Murray looked confident and relaxed as the draw progressed. In the end Murray surpassed even my expectations as he came very close to winning the match. Djokovic won 6-3, 3-6, 6-7(4), 6-1, 7-5. The match started out looking like it was gonna be a poor quality match and another easy win for Djokovic, but it was anything but that. It was a high quality marathon in the end with loads of drama. It was really a titanic struggle that could have gone either way. In the end you have to give Djokovic a lot of credit for pulling this one out of the fire.

In a sense it is difficult to be a tennis writer these days, because it would be naive to assume that there is no doping going on in tennis. Djokovic could easily be doping, in which case it would be much harder to give him credit for battling it out. It is of course much easier to hang in there when you know the steroids will come to your rescue. You have an unfair advantage over your opponent. And as you well know I am not the kind of writer who can just pretend that everything if fine and dandy. Other of the prominent tennis journos won’t even dare bring the issue up, because it could tarnish their reputation. Reputation is important, but truth is even more important. If bad things are kept under wraps it will never change. It will only change once the light of truth shines upon it. And before people go nuts again – I am not accusing anyone of doping.

But being naive or ignorant about the situation is not the way to go either. I didn’t wana bring up the doping issue after the Fedal semi because I am emotionally involved and I didn’t wana make it look like I was looking for excuses. I completely accept that loss as if Nadal is not doping. But you can’t always turn a blind eye either. I will also probably be criticized now for bringing up the issue again, but I can’t just ignore all the suspicions either. I don’t think there would be so much talk about doping in tennis if there wasn’t any. No doubt there is a lot of sore losers out there who are looking for excuses when their favorite lose, but not all people are that biased. There are genuine signs of doping in tennis. The biggest cause of concern are the doping control regulations. If the regulations were thorough and strict there would be no cause for concern.

But unfortunately the doping controls make it possible for players to dope, and if there is an opening you can be 100% certain that some players would take advantage. Most of these things are concealed however because there is just too much at stake. It is a sad state of affairs but let me get on with my post. I just felt like I had to raise the issue again, because it is a reality. I will continue to assume that certain players are not doping because there is no proof, but I do have my suspicions. Anyway Djokovic looked pretty much down and out several times during this match. During the third set he showed serious signs of tiring. I remember a shot from Murray that came back and Djokovic walked to the ball. He didn’t run. He walked. We had seen similar scenes during the match he had with Ferrer, but this was worse.

Roger Rasheed, the ex coach of Monfils, said during the third set on twitter that Murray had won the physical battle and gave the impression that it was all over for Djokovic. I guess you couldn’t blame him for saying so, but I was more circumspect. I had seen this act from Djokovic before and he did not win three slams last year for no reason. Even when Murray won the third set I was not writing him off. First of all I wanted Djokovic to win, but also I just couldn’t count him out. He then came alive in the fourth set and basically blasted Murray off the court. It was quite a surprising transformation, but I wasn’t complaining. I just wanted him to face Nadal in the final. As well as Murray was playing, I would rather have Djokovic in the final who has proven to be Nadal’s nemesis. Nadal has owned Murray at slam level as well and I didn’t wana leave Nadal’s fate up to him.

In the fifth set Djokovic was up a break at 5-2. It looked like it was all over but Murray broke back, and at 5-5 he failed to take advantage of several break points. It really was an incredibly dramatic match. But in the end Djokovic just found that something extra which saw him have one of the best tennis seasons in history in 2011. He is number one for a reason. Doping or no doping, I like the fact that he finds a way to win. There is something very clutch about him these days. I call it the X factor. He has that something extra which is needed to be the best. It’s that something that makes you ask ‘How did he manage to win this match?’ Murray looked in control for large parts of this match, but Djokovic just managed to snatch it away from him. Another good example of this is when Roger was in control against Djokovic at the US Open last year.

Djokovic was down and out but he came up with that unreal return out of nowhere which stunned Roger. I don’t think this is something that doping can help you do anyway. It is a certain belief in yourself that comes from winning a lot of matches on the big stage. Doping can help you win a lot of matches, but I don’t see how it could help you hit a return like that in a moment like that. It requires unreal confidence in your own abilities. Whatever the case may be, Djokovic once again made the great escape. Therefor I cannot possibly say that Murray choked like he usually does. I was very impressed with Murray in fact. He has already undergone a transformation under Lendl in my opinion. His boy language was more professional than usual and he was playing attacking tennis for once. He lost by a hair breadth to the very best and he should be proud about that.

Ok so it wasn’t a grand slam final, but I still thinks this bodes very well for Murray. I think he will win a slam in the near future. He is right there with the best and this match will give him confidence. This match wasn’t like previous big losses where it crushed him mentally. He played with balls for a change and I think this will only make him play with more belief. There are losses where you let yourself down, and then there are losses where you give everything and the other guy was just too good. The prior dents your confidence while the latter actually builds your confidence. Yes, it is possible to gain confidence from a loss. It looks like Murray is right up there with the top three now and that will make things even more interesting at the top. Now let me get to my preview of the final.

Like I said, I was rooting for Djokovic all the way to beat Murray because he has proven his ownership over Nadal. The numbers don’t lie. Six final spankings including two clay events and two slams is an awful lot of ownage. No wonder Nadal appears nervous about the final. He had the following to say about Djokovic’s performance against Murray:

“It’s funny, no? I saw the match yesterday on the TV show on the channel seven when he was in the fifth set moving fantastically well, and they show images from two hours fifty (minutes) before and seems like he was destroyed,” the 10-times grand slam champion said on Saturday.

“Two hours fifty later he was in perfect condition. So it is difficult to imagine that he has these problems. I don’t know.”

http://eurosport.yahoo.com/28012012/2/tennis-nadal-djokovic-fire-shots-ahead-final.html

Nadal is implying that it was gamesmanship from Djokovic’s side. This strikes me as both ironic and nervous talk from Nadal. Ironic because Nadal uses the same kind of gamesmanship. How often have Nadal been down in a match, called an MTO, and then ran around like superman afterwards? Nadal is the finest exponent of these kind of mind games, so coming from him this is pretty rich. He is the last person that should be criticizing Djokovic here. It just shows you that he is not quite as humble as he appears. It also appears nervous to me because it looks like he is trying to start a war of words. If someone owns you this is not a wise thing to do. It is better to keep quiet and let your racquet do the talking. But maybe Nadal really believes in his chances and he figured a little mind games won’t hurt.

But this is not the only strange thing that Nadal said. He also said the following about Murray:

    Yesterday he lost another very good opportunity, in my opinion.  Because winning two sets to one, winning the third set, probably losing a lot chances, and then winning with 7-6 — to win a tournament like this and to play against player like Djokovic, you cannot start the fourth set like this.

It’s the moment to play with more intensity than ever, not start with 3-Love down and two breaks in five minutes.  That way you lose the match.  You want to win the tournament, you cannot start — you can lose — the other can beat you, but you cannot lose in the beginning.

http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/news/interviews/2012-01-28/201201281327725301760.html

I find this a little strange because this is pretty much what happened to Nadal in the US Open against Djokovic last year. He won the third set and then went 3-0 down in the fourth set. Sometimes Djokovic just plays too well and all of a sudden you find yourself 3-0 down. I don’t think there was much Murray could do in that situation, and neither could Nadal at the US Open. I don’t think Nadal has the answer here himself, so telling Murray how to do it doesn’t make much sense. He has clearly not find the solution to Djokovic himself. I don’t think he will on Sunday either. I don’t care that Djokovic played a marathon semi. I think people make way too much of this issue. Many past slam champions played marathon five set matches in the semis and went on to win the title. And this has happened at the US Open of all places where there is no day of rest between the semis and final.

Djokovic has a day of rest here and he will be physically fine. He was physically fine in the fourth and fifth sets against Murray anyway. This is also the most unlikely surface for Nadal to beat Djokovic on. The rebound ace courts of Melbourne suits Djokovic’s game like a glove. It is not bad for Nadal’s game either, but Nadal has only won in Melbourne once. Other than that he has never even made the semis. A lot of people feel like Nadal could upset Djokovic here. But why? I don’t see any reason to believe Nadal will turn the ownership of Djokovic over him around here. Of course that doesn’t mean that Nadal can’t win, but I find it unlikely to be the case. Djokovic 2.0 is just a very difficult match up for Nadal, just like Nadal is a very bad match up for Roger. This is why it is by far a better scenario that Roger is in Nadal’s half of the draw.

If Roger played Djokovic in the semi-final and won, he would first of all have saved Nadal from his nemesis like he did at the French Open. If he then played Nadal he would have lost with 99% certainty and given Nadal his 11th slam title. Now it doesn’t matter much that he lost to Nadal, because Nadal still has to deal with his nemesis. I have already said that I have made peace with the fact that Nadal owns Roger. It is what it is. Now I can sit back and watch how Nadal deals with his owns demons. The last two slam finals have really given me immense pleasure. I know you prefer that Roger is the one beating Nadal, but it is not happening at this point. That doesn’t mean someone else can’t beat him. It really has been a lot easier dealing with Roger’s defeats to Nadal since Djokovic has started owning Nadal.

It makes all the difference. It makes the whole head-to-head issue a lot less relevant. Not that it ever had much relevance to me, but at least the critics and Nadalfans have to shut their mouths because it is happening to another all time great. Roger never solved Nadal, and if Nadal can never solve Djokovic he won’t be able to equal or beat Roger’s slam record. He would also be remembered for being owned by Djokovic 2.0. In the end the GOAT debate comes down to Roger and Nadal for me. If anyone can beat Roger’s slam record it is Nadal, and it would be nice if Roger can end up being the GOAT of the two. A lot will depend on Djokovic and what happens tomorrow. If he beats Nadal then the ownership increases. On the other hand if Nadal wins tomorrow he will probably go on to win the French Open again and could end up with another 3-slam year.

So it’s important that Djokovic stops him dead in his tracks. Djokovic just has to play his game and I can’t see what Nadal can do to beat him. It is really beautiful to watch. Djokovic’s backhand may be the best ever and it renders Nadal’s moonball forehand impotent. Rather, Djokovic uses his own forehand to break the Nadal backhand down. Nadal can’t end the points either because Djokovic’s defense is so good. He gives Nadal his own medicine which is the most pleasing part of it all. Nadal gets to feel what’s its like for Roger to play against himself. He can hit his very best shot and it comes back with interest. It really is a demoralizing thing. Other than that Djokovic probably has the best return in the game, which makes it hard for Nadal to win free points off his serve and often puts Djokovic on the offense.

Nadal really has nowhere to go, and he gets to feel exactly what it feels like for Roger playing against himself. This is what makes it so satisfying for me. Lets hope the same thing happens tomorrow.

 

 Djokovic Incident: There was a moment during the Djokoray semi where Djokovic ate something under his towel. I find it funny because it’ so pointless. I mean he surely isn’t gonna take anything illegal onto the court. But why do it in the first place?

Ps. I opened a thread again in the forum if you want to post comments during the match. The chat thread for the Fedal match was busy and there were more people than I expected. I wish I started it earlier because it’s a lot of fun. You can access the thread here. Lets enjoy this final and make sure Djokovic gets the job done!

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37 Comments

  1. Hey Ru-an.Good preview and great points and looks like Djoker is winning his #5 here.What are the chances of Roger getting to number 2 atleast and if that happens before wimby,do you think a federer-murray and Novak-Nadal semi is a possibility given that some of the previous slams had 1 play 3 and 2 play 4 rather than 1 play 4 and 2 play 3.Do you think that is good,because Roger has better chances of going to the final if he plays murray rather than nadal and if he does,he will pobably meet Djokovic and that will make it easier to get a Djokerer final and it will also give Roger a chance to win #17 because Roger has the game to beat Djokovic rahter than to beat Nadal with the ownage and the killer instinct to put Nadal away.Waiting for your reply.Others can join in

    [Reply]

    Duarte Reply:

    As of today nadal has 10435 points and Roger has 8010.

    Until the FO (included) nadal has 5900 points to defend while Roger has 2850.

    So subtracting the points both players have to defend with what they have now we have nadal with 4535 and Roger with 5160.

    So Roger’s points won until wimbledon minus 625 have to be bigger than the points nadal wins.

    In other words, Roger has a cushion of 635 points meaning he could even win 600 points less than nadal in all the tournaments leading to wimbledon and he still would have surpassed nadal.

    An important note is that murray sits at 6900 points. That means he could also be #2 by wimbledon since his results are worse than Roger and thus he has less to defend.

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  2. Thanks Ru-an for this preview. No matter how the final match ends, the winner of this tournament is… Ru-an. Your blog has entered in a whole new sphere, I would call it ruansfedererblog 2.0. There are so much interesting debates going on here, this community has come alive and quite united, and you hardly catch up with posting on the most recent events because the discussion is already ongoing in the comment section of your previous post. Congratulations once again for this outstanding achievement! I would be happy if you could again put a thread in the forum for those who want to comment on the final while watching it. It’s just so much fun to share the experience with you and all your readers

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Chris I really appreciate you as a reader as well. Your comments inspire me a lot and make me want to make my blog even better. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to turn my blog into something profitable enough. I have a passion for writing about tennis but I have to make some decisions in my life now which may mean I have to stop blogging or blog a lot less. I was going to open another thread for the final but I forgot. Thanks for reminding me. I will let me readers know again.

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    Chris Reply:

    Make a blog about this. Ask readers to share ideas on how to raise money for your blog. Get paying adds on this site. Inform about how much sponsorship you have got since putting this donate option on the blog.

    [Reply]

  3. One thing is clear, it’s all in the head of Mr. Federer. There he’s been crumbling over and over during so many matches with his arch-nemesis Nadal. Far too many unforced errors especially on his usually stronger forehand side at REALLY big moments, then he couldn’t serve well enough continuously which hampered his ability to get the edge on big points while on serve. In my opinion there’s a lack of intensity concerning his court presence in those matches. He looked beaten already after losing the second set. I was surprised how often Federer walked right into some Nadal’s traps at the net and I don’t think he came up with the right execution tactics particularly in the last set. Personally I believe he could have won this but he destroyed virtually all his given chances far too many times by ending a well prepared point with an AWFUL unforced error. All in all for me it was quite painful to watch at times. But the bad thing is it’s been tarnished his reputation and yes, you lose respect if you watch him at the mercy of Nadull. Sorry, that’s my view.

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    Manu Reply:

    Are you sure they are unforced errors? Or more like the result of going for too much since Nadal always runs everything down?

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  4. Here are examples of players who won a 5 set semi and then defeated a player who only needed 3-4 sets to win their semi:

    1981 US Open. McEnroe def Borg.

    1985 Australian Open. Edberg def Wilander

    1988 French Open: Wilander def Leconte

    1988 Wimbledon: Edberg def Becker

    1989 Wimbledon: Becker def Edberg

    1992 US Open. Edberg def Sampras

    1995 Wimbledon: Sampras def Becker

    1998 US Open: Rafter def Philippoussis in the final.

    2000 Australian Open: Agassi def Kafelnikov

    2000 French Open: Kuerten def Norman

    2003 US Open: Roddick def Ferrero (although Ferrero played more days in a row)

    2005 Safin def Hewitt

    2011 US Open: Djokovic def Nadal

    [Reply]

  5. Great comments, Ruan. Yes, Nadal will be nervous about this one, and Djokovic will have gained confidence from his ability to battle through. Nadal is going to find once again that he is up against a player who can stay in the points as long as he can, whose backhand can foil Nadal’s forehand, and who can hit harder. I think will Nadal will be pressed into uncharacteristic errors. Then there is the mental question. All else being even, that will be decisive.

    Your comments on the doping issue are fair. Let me say this – if Roger had played weakly in the second half of last year, losing to Florian (who?) and other nobodies, and been soundly thrashed at the end of year champs by a Nadal who had been playing consistently well, and then Roger suddenly shows indomitable form at the AO, running down every ball like his life depended on it, disposing of Nadal, I would have said – yep, I guess Roger has turned to the dark side. Many others would have said the same. But the tennis world keeps giving Nadal the benefit of the doubt- and yet he repeats this bizarre pattern every year. Incredible.

    As Chris says, there are more important forms of corruption in the world that we might struggle against, and I agree, but by speaking out as we do against this form of corruption we at least don’t accord dignity to cheats, and we reduce their credibility. A recent survey said the issue that concerned most sporting fans is doping; if the public comes to see that sports are becoming a cheapened form of entertainment then they lose interest, the sports lose revenue, and the powers-that-be may – just may – have to clean up their act. Empty stadiums are bad for business.

    [Reply]

    Wilfried Reply:

    Roger should have the courage to speak out on the topic ‘doping’ as Christophe Rochus, my fellow countryman, has done in the recent past. Why does Roger remain silent on this subject? You, Niel, as a former lawyer should know that in criminal law one doens’t need necessarily formal proof of a crime to get convicted because of suspect acts or circanstances. Maybe doping is not as serious as killing a person, but to influence the outcome of a match by illegal means, be it doping or bribing or whatever illegal method you use, are in my opinion quite serious acts with far-reaching consequences. Our “new Roger” lacks the courage of the “new Adam” (Jesus) to call evil things by their right name, and face the false authorites.

    [Reply]

    neil Reply:

    Wilfried, Roger has previously spoken out about doping in tennis and said he would support any measures necessary to keep the sport clean. Nadal has not done that.
    However, even if Roger believes some of his opponents are doping he can’t afford to say that publicly. Without unequivocal proof he would simply be condemned – by fellow-players, tennis authorities, and the fans. It would be seen as sour grapes on his part – that he is a bad loser. (Other players who have spoken out have also been retired.)

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    On the contrary, Nadal went all nuts when Yannick Noah made his comments about doping! Roger Federer cannot say anything while he is an active player, and he probably won’t until 20 years after retirement. And maybe never.

    [Reply]

  6. Nadal should be worried playing Djokovic again. I think he isn’t playing very well currently and he won’t have anywhere to hide. I don’t think he showed anything special against Federer, it is Federer who didn’t challenge him at all. But Djokovic is a different story, he will hunt Nadal’s backhand again and again, he is as fit as Nadal and he’s not afraid of him as Federer. Unless Djokovic is tired, he should win.

    Have you noticed the fact that if Djokovic wins, he has a chance of holding all 4 slams when the FO comes. He has a good chance since he plays great on clay and he owns Nadal… It will be very interesting in the end of the clay season.

    I didn’t have the chance to comment about the Fedal match. I totally agree with you Ruan regarding what happened in the 2nd set. As soon as Federer was broken back his body language changed into total submission. For me the match was finished at that point. It was nice to see Federer fight in the 4th but it was without any conviction.
    I think it was one of the easiest wins for Nadal over Federer in a slam match. He didn’t have to do anything special to win it, just play according to the old plan. Of course, Federer just self destruct. It is sad the Federer can’t change the usual pattern and challenge Nadal more. I guess you can’t teach old dogs new tricks.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Good comment TD. Maybe it is possible for Roger to change but he needs to get psychological help or something. It s just getting harder for him to beat Nadal in slams.

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  7. The allowable time limit between points is 20secs. Djokovic is averaging 30secs and Nadal 34secs. (Borg used to average 12-14secs – and that was when the limit was 30secs.) Neither player has been penalised. If the game at this level can’t be played to the rules, who can have confidence that other forms of less conspicuous cheating (read doping) are being called to account?

    [Reply]

  8. Ru-an, you continue to provide us with quality stuff and a forum for multiple points of view to be heard, especially those lonely voices in the wilderness like Neil who remind us that what we are seeing is almost surely not real.

    It’s hard to imagine Nadal’s team will be satisfied with constantly coming in second to “gluten free” Djokovic. They need their meal ticket to continue winning in order to keep the sponsorships coming, to maintain the prestige and mystique of Spanish sport, etc.

    There is only one way out for Nadal. Since he is not a technically skilled or varied player, he can only hope to defeat Djokovic by becoming even stronger and faster, so he can grind down the Serb once again. And how could he possibly do that, besides some artificial means?

    The older Nadal gets, the harder it will be to compensate for the natural decline in speed and strength. Since his game is so dependent on retrieving absolutely every ball, even a slight loss of physical ability would be catastrophic.

    Unlike Federer, who has raised the variety and tactical sophistication of his game to counter his loss of physical prowess, hence remains in close contention for the biggest titles into his thirties, Nadal will most likely experience a sharp drop-off in performance as he gets older. Early-round losses in Grand Slams will become more common, as almost happened in 2010 in Wimbledon and in RG in 2011.

    Had Djokovic not come along, they’d have been on schedule to break Federer’s Grand Slam record before Nadal got too old. Now that goal is suddenly in doubt.

    Up-and-coming players will emulate Nadal’s methods–it’s already happening with Djokovic’s “gluten free diet”–and he will eventually be facing a field of opponents with physical attributes on par with his, except they will have the strength and hunger of youth and will have extensively analyzed his (rather limited) game for weaknesses. It will be very hard for him then.

    So Nadal’s team is most likely desperate to boost him even further to get past Djokovic while there’s still time for him to win majors. Any substance powerful enough to do that will surely have extremely serious side effects that could do permanent damage to their player’s health. But they might be crazy enough to risk it rather than keep losing.

    As Balthazar said in a previous comment, their desire to win at all costs will most likely be their undoing.

    Nadal and his team are heedless of consequences. It’s not clear to me that Nadal himself is even fully aware of what’s going on; Toni Nadal may keep him in the dark.

    If he doesn’t know, and he doesn’t have the courage to stand up to his uncle and take charge of his own life, then he will go along with this final folly all unawares.

    If “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing” is your maxim, then you will eventually be obligated to do the most immoral things: doping, and worse than doping.

    Because everyone loses sometimes, that’s just the way the universe works. No one wins all the time, not even Roger Federer. In the end there’s little you can do but accept losses and move on.

    If you insist on always winning every time, then you’re trying to fight the nature of the universe, and you have to take more and more extreme measures to keep winning. Eventually, it becomes impossible, and you have to pay the price.

    Federer understands that, at the end of the day, it’s only a tennis match. Victory is not worth the price of your life.

    Nadal’s team may not share that understanding, and it may lead Nadal to a tragic end.

    [Reply]

    neil Reply:

    Steve, spot on. Watching Nadal struggle against Djokovic as the Spaniard goes down 2 sets to love I can see that he is lost for any tactical variety in his game. The only question is whether Djokovic can keep chiselling away at the Nadal defence, as he is currently doing; there is nowhere for the Spaniard to go. He has clearly boosted his game physically for these championships – it has worked against everyone, except Djokovic so far. If he loses this championship, I think you are right – he must try to find even greater physical advantage. One can only imagine the cost. Remember Flojo?

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    Flojo? “When anyone tells me I can’t do anything … I’m just not listening anymore” ―Florence Griffith-Joyner. Florence Griffith-Joyner (born Florence Delorez Griffith), also known as Flo-Jo(December 21, 1959 – September 21, 1998) was an American track and field athlete. She is considered the “fastest woman of all time” based on the fact that she still holds the world record for both the 100 metres and 200 metres, both set in 1988 and never seriously challenged. She died of epilepsy in 1998 at the age of 38.

    [Reply]

  9. Well, look at that. At the beginning of the 5th set this match is already the longest men’s grand slam final in open history. Is either player tired or slowing down? Nadal is in fact running faster and hitting harder than in the first set. Nothing to see, folks. Move on.

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  10. There you have it. Despite running running running and bludgeoning every ball for 5 hours and 53 minutes the conqueror of Federer experiences his 7th straight loss to the same man, and his 3rd straight loss to that man, Djokovic, in a grand slam final. Ownership. Karma. And who believes any of it was natural?

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    Where is this sport going? Will Nadal soon ask for not only shortening the tour but also the matches? Anyway, Nadal should try the ‘gluten-free’ of Djokovic ;-)

    [Reply]

    jason Reply:

    I disagree on the gluten-free. Nadal should commit to more dopes. A formula like the one transforming Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde will do, I think. Short of that, he should eat a full big bowl of pure dope.

    The next step: shorten the tour to only 1/4 it is now, but with all of them best of 9 matches.

    [Reply]

  11. Wow.. Djokovic takes the match in the fifth set 7-5… This should really break Nadal’s spirit.. Let us see what he is made of now that somebody keeps beating him on the biggest stages!

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  12. I just saw the following comment on the Eurosport page:
    “Tennis at its best!!!This is war people!!! EPIC final­ !!! i want MORE !!! Beastly perfomance from both!!!”
    OK !? Tastes are different, I guess, but I watch other things if I am interested in war and beasts. Kind of sad, I’m only happy that Djokovic ended up on top…, Nadal must be a broken warrior now, to use the new vocabulary for this sport

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  13. The way Nadal played today is unthinkable of(even Djokovic did) especially with him almost retiring before the 1st round due to a cracked knee (right?)
    Ruan, After seeing today’s match you would have to agree with Neil and the others that both of them are using some form of
    They play 6 hours of gruelling tennis but still play 31 shot rallies in he 5th set.
    Anybody would have laughed off djokovic accomplishing such a feat only two years age give up so easily

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  14. Hey guys, I just found out that Nadal has broken a new record in tennis! He is now the first player ever to lose three grand slam finals in a row! Thank you Nole ;-)

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  15. The ownage is COMPLETE! (not “absolutely” yet, a win over Rafa in RG will make it so)

    Who won today?
    1. Nole (obviously)
    2. Roger’s legacy
    3. Brutal, gladiatorial tennis
    4. TV ratings, media interests
    5. Last but not least, Vive La Steroida!!!

    As long as no. 2 above is there, I’m OK. I also look forward to the ownage to become “ABSOLUTELY COMPLETE”

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    Agreed, only that I would prefer a win of RF over Nadal in RG, wouldn’t that be sweet. I still think it is possible

    [Reply]

    jason Reply:

    Yeah, me too absolutely. Although I am less optimistic. Anyways, at this point I just don’t really care that much who will beat Rafa in RG 2012. If Roger, fantastic; if it’s Nole, very good. What matters is that if and when that happens Rafa actually will have won the “Rafa Slam Loser” title (4 straight finals losses in all GS finals). Nice title for him to have, eh?

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    Chris Reply:

    Yep, and just after winning the title of ‘Rafa Slam Loser’, he should get exposed for doping during all these past years, and be expelled from the sports without honors. That would be the right message to the youth. Oh, wait, I think I saw an ‘anti-doping’ spot from him on youtube. How bad of me to think anything wrong was going on

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  16. Six hours? That’s the equivalent of watching three of the loudest, most brainless action movies you can find in a row. And although I do sometimes like a loud, brainless action movie, I usually stick to watching one at a time.

    I commend those who had the stomach to watch the whole thing. I only saw about a total of fifteen minutes, which was plenty enough for me. Seeing Nadal get beaten at his own game wasn’t sufficient reason to put myself through that.

    Where can tennis possibly go from here? More and more it resembles the Roman coliseum, with gladiators brutally and bloodily battering each other to death as the crowd howls mindlessly in savage glee. If this is the direction the sport is headed, I’m frankly afraid to see what the future holds.

    If this is what’s required to beat Nadal at his own game, one only wonders what it will take when Djokovic’s future conqueror arrives on the scene and does the same to him. 8 hours? 10 hours? Sky’s the limit, folks.

    Anyhow, Nadal has now lost in three straight major finals, an Open Era record. Djokovic has now defended a Grand Slam title, won three straight majors and becomes the third man to best Nadal in a five-set match at Grand Slam level and the second to beat him in a Grand Slam after losing the first set.

    But the real winner today was chemical tennis.

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  17. Awesome final to watch. I don’t mean to piss anyone off, but how are the women able to make the exact same paycheck as the guys? Just seems odd to me. Is the interest in womans tennis, as big as mens tennis? Anyway, what a fantastic match. I had no clue who would win in the end, because it was that close. At least we know Nadal knows how our champ feels after he loses to him. I hope they keep this draw for the rest of Feds career.
    And not to say I told you so, but I told you so. I had said that I hoped Djoker would ensure Rogers record, and so far, so good. On to the French. See you guys later. G

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  18. I think it is interesting that some say Roger can’t be the GOAT because of Nadal’s record against him, yet Djokovic dominates Nadal right now, and Federer can handle Djokovic. So, this complicates that argument against Federer being the GOAT.

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    anewor Reply:

    And those Rafa fans cannot claim the Rafa is the GOAT coz he is SOOOO OWNED BY NOVAK!

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