Djokovic and Nadal to Square Off in Second French Open Final

Well, it’s come down to the two guys who were the overwhelming favorites for the title at the start of the tournament. The second group of favorites which included Roger, Stan, Ferrer, and Murray none came close to even making the final. Stan was first to go in the opening round with a disappointing performance. Then Roger followed in the fourth round with a disappointing loss as well. Ferrer did the same in the quarterfinals when he threw in the towel after a set all. And finally Murray went down in very disappointing fashion to Nadal yesterday as well, losing 3-6, 2-6, 1-6. I knew Murray had no chance of beating Nadal. He is just not a natural clay courter because his shots are too flat. His forehand especially is a liability on clay. But to go down as meekly as he did was very disappointing.

It just confirms my view that he is not a serious threat on clay and that he is way behind the rest of the big four on the surface. Overall he is behind the rest of the big four too, with fewer slam titles and less consistency. Murray won’t mind the result against Nadal much though. Aside from the fact that he worships Nadal he has shown that he is back to top form and he will be a serious threat in the grass court season and Wimbledon again, where he will be seeded third according to one of my readers while Roger will be seeded fourth. I happen to think Roger and Murray will be the biggest favorites at Wimbledon this year. I’m sure if Murray can make semis at his worst slam then he can win the title again at possibly his best slam. But of course, Roger is on a mission this year and will have something to say about that.

In the other semi yesterday it was of course Djokovic against Gulbis and that was a much more competitive match with Djokovic winning 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Gulbis’ forehand technique is pretty poor as well, but at least he can hit it with a lot of topspin and Djokovic didn’t play enough to that side either. Gulbis’ backhand is his strength from the ground and he also has a pretty huge serve. Djokovic cruised through the first two sets with some masterful clay court tennis but seemed to fatigue somewhat in the third set while Gulbis raised his level to win it. Djokovic was soon back in control though to win the fourth set and the match. Gulbis winning a set was always on the cards so that is not a sign of vulnerability from Djokovic. What did, however, bother me somewhat was Djokovic’s lack of tactical awareness.

The shot that could make the difference for Nadal

And it’s not the first time. I have previously said that when Djokovic plays Nadal he is not aggressive enough and that he doesn’t end the point as quickly as he should. Also that his transition and net game was not good enough. Nadal then used this against him by becoming more aggressive himself, which caused him to win the next two slam finals against him and to dominate the rivalry. Against Gulbis Djokovic was at it again, going cross court every single time after Gulbis hit a drop shot and not going to Gulbis’s weaker forehand side nearly enough from the ground. I mean Gulbis was spraying forehand errors all over the place, but Djokovic insisted on going to Gulbis stronger backhand side. It’s like Djokovic can’t think for himself, which is pretty embarrassing for a player of his quality.

What saves him of course is the fact that he probably has the best backhand and return of serve of all time, as well as a pretty good all round game, physical superiority, and being mentally strong. He doesn’t have many weaknesses aside from his slice backhand and net game perhaps, but he clearly needs to be more tactically aware. That said I’m not too worried about that fact for the final against Nadal. I know after what happened in the semis a lot of people are probably thinking Nadal is the clear favorite, but I don’t change my tune that fast and I don’t throw in the towel. I still believe this is Djokovic’s year. It is clear that Djokovic had the much tougher draw and Nadal’s cakewalk draw may come back to hurt him in the final. Even the one guy who put up some resistance against Nadal admitted to throwing in the towel after the second set.

As for Murray, he played like he threw in the towel before the match even started. Djokovic, on the other hand, was thoroughly tested by the likes of Cilic, Raonic, and Gulbis. These are all very competent players on clay and yet Djokovic was never in any real danger of losing to any of them. I am certainly not underestimating Nadal though. I mean there is a reason he was basically unchallenged in his draw, even though it was a weak draw. And he has after all only lost once at the French Open in nine years. Certainly if you think he is the favorite you are not delusional. But I have said since the beginning Djokovic is my favorite for the title and I am not going to change my tune now. I think he has been thoroughly tested and he will definitely be able to test Nadal, who has not been tested himself.

The shot that could make the difference for Djokovic

I’m not sure Nadal is therefore ready to withstand the test of Djokovic. If you look at the last three years then Djokovic has come closer to win the title every year. In 2011 he lost to Roger in the semis who was in god mode, in 2012 he lost in four sets to Nadal in the final, and last year in the semis he was on the verge of breaking the Nadal stronghold in Paris. If the past is anything to go by then he is now finally ready to slay the monster and win the career slam. He has also dominated the rivalry with Nadal of late which should count in his favor too. Tomorrow is a huge day for Djokovic. He hasn’t won a slam since the 2013 Australian Open, and lost in all the other slam finals in 2013. It has not been Djokovic’s best stretch, but by winning the French Open tomorrow he will feel that it has all been worthwhile.

He will be on seven slam titles with the career slam in the bag. That would already put him in the company of an elite group of players and certainly he will have made big strides in the greatness debate. None of Lendl, Edberg, Becker, Mcenroe, and Connors completed the career slam, so he would probably surge ahead of all of them. That’s huge. And he still has many more chances to win slams. But he needs to stop the recent trend of losing in slam finals. This may also be his last chance to win the French Open. If you fail so many times to win a title it could become a mental block, like Wimbledon was for Lendl. The stakes are no doubt extremely high for Djokovic. But the same goes for Nadal. After what happened in the Australian Open final he badly needs this title.

If he loses at the one venue he could always depend on to win a slam at it will be a huge blow to him. Especially after what happened in Australia. That loss dented his confidence badly and if he loses tomorrow it could just break his confidence for good. His invincible aura on the surface will be gone, and he will have nothing to fall back on anymore. Already his results have suffered since Melbourne. He even had his worst clay season in many a year. Djokovic has the chance to put him away for good tomorrow. Nadal will always fight back, but he may not be able to win much as far as slams go after that. Roger’s slam record could well be safe then, but of course I’d like to see Roger add another slam to his tally at Wimbledon as well just to be safe. It’s all come down to this folks and it’s exciting as well as slightly nerve wrecking.

I can’t wait for tomorrow and I won’t miss the final for the world. It’s going to be very close again but I have a feeling Djokovic may just edge it this time. Maybe we will have a similar match to last year, but this time with Djokovic coming out on top.

LETS GO DJOKOVIC!!!

Posted in French Open, Grand Slams.

92 Comments

  1. Ru-an as usual you have hit the nail on the head and said it for all of us LETS GO DJOKOVIC!!! loved this post so upbeat for Novak, and I would love to see him win. This one time I hope Roger is wrong and Nadal falters…we will all be watching x

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Elizabeth. If Roger is wrong and I am right then it will be my best prediction yet but it’s yet to be seen.

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    Eric Reply:

    I’m with you as long as Novak is 100 percent healthy.

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  2. After Djoker mentioned physical problems and fatigue in his presser I dont believe he can win :-( Nadal will be vicious for the title, Nole will have to give everything to prise the Coup des Mousquetaires from his grasp, and yet I fear Djoker doesnt have enough in the tank, he and his team were subdued yesterday. I pray that Nole will find the energy somewhere and get over the line, he deserves it. If only Dull would get some bad luck for once…… It seems the Goat debate is decided tomorrow. Adje Nole!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    All tennis pros have physical problems and all struggle with fatigue from time to time. It may even be mind games from Djokovic. You didn’t believe Stan could win against Nadal in the AO final either, did you? As for bad luck Nadal had it in that final when he had a back spasm. Please don’t be so negative. But I agree with you that the GOAT debate may be decided tomorrow. If Nadal wins he will most likely catch Roger or surpass him in slam titles. If he loses he may only be able to win one more slam.

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    Alex Reply:

    I thought the same thing about mind games. I mean how often have we seen djokovic look almost like he can’t continue only to get a new sudden surge of energy. Think back to the Australian open final 2012 I believe. Can’t wait for tomorrow.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Exactly Alex. That’s the perfect example. I don’t believe for a second he is tired or in any physical trouble.

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    Eric Reply:

    As I mentioned during the match, I saw him between points lean down onto his knees and seemed like he was nauseas and wanted to throw up. I’m not that worried though, it will be two days of rest. He has always had difficulty in strong sun so maybe that had something to do with it. I think he’ll show up ready for battle and as much of a warrior as Nadal is, Djoko is the better tennis player and currently in the better form, and has been playing against tougher opponents. If he’s healthy, he’s ready to finally take this trophy home.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    He did the same thing during the 2012 AO final Eric.

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    Eric Reply:

    Great to hear, I didn’t know that!!

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  3. Ru-an, this is another great article, like always. But this item you have presented the final in a great way. I think that Djokovic should win. I know I am a little nervous about saying this but unless Djokovic chokes, he should win. It will be very tight, however and it will most likely go to 5 sets. Nadal will do everything permitted and not permitted in the book to win tomorrow and it is Djokovic’s responsibility not to be distracted by it and to just keep winning. Do not assume anything and don’t give up until the final shot. Last year still lives in my mind with the terrible terrible loss. McEnroe’s commentary is just terrible with his fetish towards Nadal. He and Agassi already place Nadal above Roger and that even before tomorrow’s result.

    The fact is that Nadal already has 20 GS Finals, only 4 below Roger. He has the 23:10 record, 27 Masters so he’d better not win again tomorrow. I still think that Roger’s resume is better though. Hopefully he can the Davis Cup this year barring an implosion from Stan. Another Wimbledon would be nice but it again depends on Nadal. I doubt that he’ll lose again in the early rounds..

    But we’ll see. I just hope that Djokovic beats Nadal tomorrow. It would give me satisfaction like no other. Especially after what happened last year. It’s still very vivid in my memory and if was absolutely disgraceful with the net cord and the pointing of the finger from Nadal to the referee…

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Vily. Roger has many records that Nadal will never touch, so I won’t worry much about that. The problem is if Nadal equals or surpasses Roger’s slam count. But even then Nadal has been so dependent on clay. If Roger can just somehow muster one more Wimby title I couldn’t care less what Nadal does. But yeah tomorrow is big. Last year was indeed a massive disappointment after Djokovic had Nadal at his mercy, and of course that cost Djokovic the USO title too. It would give me satisfaction like no other too if Djokovic wins tomorrow. But of course we have to be prepared for Nadal to win too. Who knows what that final last year did to Djokovic. Does he still believe he can beat Nadal at the FO? We will find out tomorrow.

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    Kyle Butler Reply:

    Not even close Ru-an.
    Djokovic only won ONE set.
    You better be prepared for Nadal to win next year too.
    2013 US Open gave everyone a clue, as Nadal won that 6-1 in the 4th set.
    If Djokovic can’t beat Nadal at the US Open, highly unlikely he’ll have a chance at the French Open of all places.

    2014 French Open was a lot easier for Nadal than 2013 French Open (Nadal was returning from a 7-month break in 2013, and that probably helped Djokovic stretch it to 5 sets).

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  4. Hi Ru-an, just a quick comment…..hope Djoko can do what Sharapova did today, WIN.
    Yes, go Djokovic!
    Kindly,
    Dolores

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  5. Good post, many critics picking Djokovic as well this time. My heart says Joker mind says Rafa, lets see…all said this should be a good match 4-5 sets for sure..entertainment/drama guaranteed..

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  6. By the way, guys, looking ahead to Halle, Nadal has entered the tournament as well… will see if he will even play after the result tomorrow. Also – Raonic and Nishikori are playing as well so definitely not an easy tournament for Federer.

    But first things first – tomorrow! :-) ))

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  7. Another superb analysis. I was curious though to underhand what you said about Murray’s shots being too flat for clay. Is that because he doesn’t take advantage of the high bounce on clay?

    It would be fitting if Djokovic would win on clay tomorrow. Nadal lost 2006, 2007 to Federer on grass in 4 and 5 sets respectively, and then won in 5 in 2008. To complete the pattern Djokovic just has to win in 5 tomorrow to do the same to Nadal on his favourite surface.

    If Djokovic is anywhere below full fitness though he will not have much of a chance I’m afraid. Nadal’s forehand was dominating again, and I thought against Murray , Nadal gave very few short balls off the backhand side. He was also pretty aggressive by his usual standards…

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Bharata! Yes topspin is a good attribute on clay because it kicks off the court and bounces even higher than on other surfaces. Clay is relatively slow, and you don’t get any help for flat shots like you would on a faster surface. Roger’s fh also has a lot of topspin which is one of the reasons he has done so well on clay. Sampras had a pretty flat fh, and never made a FO final.
    Good comparison with Fedal and Wimbledon.

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    bharata Reply:

    Thanks, that makes sense. Here we go…both look good at tge start, come on djoker…

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Despite hot and dry conditions with high bounce Djokovic have started well and won the first set 6-3. It was a must.

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  8. You guys are too hard on Maria Sharapova. Yes her bark is incredibly annoying and her serve is pathetic but her fighting spirit and ground strokes are… Alright I admit it, and this goes double for Ana Ivanovic, they are six feet tall and gorgeous and can beat me in tennis!!!!! For this tennis bum, I could watch those two play all day!! Haha :)) )

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Haha nice one Eric. Personally I can’t watch Sharapova play at all though. Watching her grunting, breaking of the rules with time she takes between points, and serve feels like undergoing surgery with no anesthesia.

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    Veronica Reply:

    Hahaha, Ru-an, “undergoing surgery with no anesthesia” that is the quote of the day!!! Good to read your positive and very sensible and grounded post and comments on the final Ru-an. I dearly hope you are right, but I’m not feeling very confident. AO 2012 Djoko was different; he was on an ongoing mission to break the Fedal duopoly and no physical or mental issues was gonna get in the way. Since then we have seen quite a bit of vulnerability in Djoko. He has not quite hit that invincible in the zone 2011 form. Nadal will be looking to make it a physical match. Djoko says the only way to win against Nadal is to play aggressive. I hope he heeds his own advice and snuff him out efficiently. Won’t be easy as Nadal himself is playing more aggressively, serving and hitting the ball well. But then maybe Nadal is not playing all that well, maybe Murray just made him look good with his atrocious play! That’s my consolation! Let’s hope so anyway to save mankind from another tortuous biting! Never thought I would ever do this but common Serbia!! Sounds so strange, haha!!

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    Veronica Reply:

    Meh, Eric, Sharapova is the female Version of Nadal : Annoying tics, Taking ages to do anything, every stroke is like a constipated effort, every service is like, quote Ru-an, “undergoing surgery with no anesthesia”, gamesmanship, grunting, not stepping on lines, relentless. How more alike can these two be??!!

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  9. Goodnight all. I have a couple of friends coming over at 5:45 am tomorrow to watch w me. How cool is that. Enjoy the match!!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Eric, enjoy!!

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  10. I think Nadal is still a slight favorite to be the one who walks out of Thunderdome alive. Djokovic’s game matches up against Nadal’s much better than Federer’s, but that’s not the issue here. His last few wins over Nadal have no doubt given him confidence, which will help, but that’s not the issue either. The biggest issue is whether Djokovic can keep it together despite his overweening desire to complete the Career Slam.

    Nadal is a mental machine, turned into an unthinking robot by cruel Uncle Toni. To beat him, Djokovic must be equally machinelike. If Djokovic allows himself to think, allows himself to imagine holding the trophy just once—he’s lost. Just one mistake is enough; if he gives Nadal one sniff, it’s over.

    The Beast’s thrashing of Murray told us everything we needed to know. Yes, Murray was tired, he’s poor on clay, he will never stand up to Nadal when it really matters, etc. But still, Nadal allowing only six games? That’s ridiculous. All the commentators claiming there were chinks in Nadal’s game are full of it, and Federer was right: he is playing great.

    If Djokovic loses this one, I think it’ll be harder for him to recover mentally than it was last year. Indeed he may never do so (and it’s not even clear that he HAS recovered fully from last year despite the four wins in a row over Nadal, which have all come in best-of-three).

    Surely Nadal senses this and his team will pour absolutely everything into this final to ensure they come out on top. Without Djokovic to pose him a serious challenge, he will probably be able to surpass Federer’s Grand Slam total very quickly. For Nadal, tennis is a total war and so his opponents are enemies that must be completely destroyed. He doesn’t just want to beat Djokovic on the court, he wants to break Djokovic as a human being. That’s a reprehensible attitude for a sportsman, but as we know there is a great deal reprehensible about the Nadal camp and their win-at-all-costs attitude and correspondingly ruthless tactics.

    Conversely if Nadal loses this one, he’ll cry “injury” and disappear for a year at least and Djokovic can clean up in the meantime. There’s a huge amount at stake here for both players. But only one of them has the vacuous mentality and harsh mental conditioning (amounting to brainwashing) that protects him from thinking about the consequences.

    Got no plans to watch the final, just to check the result. If Djokovic wins the first set, it’s 50-50. If he wins the first two, it’s 55-45 in his favor. Otherwise I think Nadal is going to come out the winner.

    In the mental department, I am not sure that Djokovic is the equal of Federer. Federer’s spirit remains unbroken no matter what happens, because he loves the game so much. Losses are tough for him, but they never affect his resolution and ability to come back and compete at the highest level. Sure Djokovic loves the game, but is such that he can shake off really tough losses to produce his absolute best tennis when everything is on the line? It is these intangibles that make the difference in the crucial moments.

    This is not a routine match, it’s not even like the other Grand Slam finals Djokovic has played. This is on a completely different level. To call it the toughest match he’s ever played would be an understatement.

    Federer, after the five-set loss to Nadal at Wimbledon, came back a year later in his quest to break Sampras’ record and fought off four set points to avoid a two-set hole, survived 37 Roddick service games without a break of serve and broke only on the last point of the match, all while Laver, Borg, and Sampras himself were watching. That’s the kind of pressure I’m talking about. Djokovic has never faced that, and he will have to now.

    It’s easy to ride the momentum on your way to the top, as he did in 2011, the only year in which he won any non-AO slam. It’s much harder to take that extra step and go to the next level. Maybe his impending marriage and fatherhood will give him the additional serenity of mind needed, maybe not.

    I hope (against hope) to be proven totally wrong, but I can’t shake the uneasy feeling that Nadal will make a last-minute escape yet again. Only Federer could beat Nadal by outplaying him, by hitting winners and constructing perfect points. Djokovic can only win by out-Beasting the Beast and he’s not quite as beastlike, in the end.

    Ajde, Novak!

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Well said, Steve, most of my thoughts too. Nervously waiting now….. Common Djoko!!!

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    mridul1 Reply:

    I agree wholeheartedly

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    Dolores Reply:

    Great comment, Steve, you described Nadal as he is, brutal to the end. Am holding my breath for Djoko to come through.
    Best,
    Dolores

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    Veronica Reply:

    I’m holding my breath with you Dolores! The beast has just taken the second set!! Djoker getting little lethargic and serve letting him down……BELIEVE!!! Common Djoker!!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Djokovic a break down in the third set too. I’m done blogging if Nadal wins here.

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    Veronica Reply:

    Oh no Ru-an! You can’t do that!! But did you, Ru-an and Dolores, see how Djoker has lost intensity and slumped on onto his chair at the 3-0 sit down. No, no, no!! He is not well and Nadal saw it! I’m done I’m hitting the sack, I’m tired and sick too. But I pray and I hope for a miracle. Common Djoker, don’t give up till last point. Good nite, Ru-an, Dolores!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Oh I can, believe me.

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    Alex Reply:

    As it gets cooler lets hope Djokovic will play better. Just like in Rome. I have almost lost hope as well and pretty much tuned out of the match. I made a comment about it depending on the conditions at some point. Lets hope the cooling down will be a factor in our guy’s favor.

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    Joe Reply:

    Ruan,

    I for one would hope that if Federer does manage to win Wimbledon this year, there would be a blog on the web that could do justice to his victory.

    Anyone else?

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    Dolores Reply:

    Ru-an, what do you mean “….done blogging…”, joining Veronica, you can’t do that to us? Am not watching the match, just checking the score now and then…still hoping….let’s hope Alex is right.

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  11. Yesssss!!! First set Djoko 6-3!! Well played Djoko!! DO NOT let up. Let’s go, common!

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    Dolores Reply:

    Oh, NO, the Beast won the second set….bad news, Veronica. Hope for us?????

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    Veronica Reply:

    Dunno whether I can sit through this, Dolores! I want Djoker to win so bad it HURTS and I’m SO tired, too many late nights watching. Haha! Let’s send some positive energy to Djoker, shall we?!! Common Djoker! You can do it!

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  12. Djoko is vomiting on the court and now seems like Nadal’s back is going out. Kind of sounds like me and my friends more than the French Open Final. Cmon Djoko!!!! Hang on brother!!!!

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  13. Just dissapointed beyond belief. I can’t take this anymore…gutted.

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    Alex Reply:

    Are you watching Roger??? I hope so. Do you know that you now absolutely must win wimby this year? God help you if you don’t. How much luck can Nadal have? And I don’t mean today. I mean going back to madrid where he won that title against Nishi with an asterisc. That was the starting point of his gaining back his confidence. Ruan you will get over this and back to blogging eventually but I can understand how you are feeling. It’s just so heart breaking watching this idiot Nadal keep defying the odds and winning this bloody tournament year after year. I feel like rambling on for ages. The only thing that can save the situation now is if fed wins wimby this year.

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  14. I wish I had been older when Soderling beat Nadal. I wish I could have properly appreciated it. He’s a hero.

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    Sridhar Reply:

    True that guy can make a living traveling and writing books about how he beat the great Rafa Nadal at Roland Garros. Unbelievable, one loss at a grand slam in the past 10 years. One of the greatest achievements in all sport, not just tennis.

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  15. Well so much for Djokovic helping protect Fed’s GS record. Let’s just assume that Nadal will win the next 3 or 4 French Opens as well, so he’ll definitely end up with a minimum of 17 or 18 slams (without even considering Aus, Wimb & US).

    Djokovic must be gutted by this match. He hasn’t won a slam since Aus 13′. His time to be in the league of Fed and Nadal is running out. Both Fed and Nadal were way ahead of Djoker at his current age in terms of slams won.

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  16. It is evident from this match that no one can beat Nadal in a best of 5 sets final at the French Open. Nadal is simply too stubborn to quit and will grind you out in the end, if necessary.

    As an objective tennis fan, I applaud Nadal for defying the odds again, even though countless times he has been written off, he proves his critics wrong!

    I personally don’t care for slam records, in my opinion Federer is the king of Tennis, but Nadal is surely and always will be one of the best and a solid 2. behind Federer. Nadal might now have the beautiful game that Federer has, but he has guts, and is willing to give his all to win. There is surely never in our lifetime going to be two giants playing in the same era.

    I hope Federer wins Wimbledon and closes the debate of who is the best grass court player of all time.

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  17. So disappointing from Djokovic. This match was in his hands from the point he broke back in the 4th. Nadal was spent, his back injury was paining him, his serve was gone.
    Normally Djokovic is so strong mentally but today he was playing like 5 years ago. Nadal did nothing special in the fourth just looped the ball back time after time. Djokovic self destructed. On the positive side, I believe that Nadal will likely skip Wimby. There is no way he can play on low-bouncing grass with a back injury. As for Rogers slam record, Nadal will not break it – from this point it will go quickly downhill physically for him, as it happened will all the grinders before him at this age: Courier, Chang, etc.

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    Ajsy Reply:

    Please people stop writing Nadal off .Aren’t you guys bored of it. Concentrating on Nadal is just sapping the energy out of all of us.Lets hope Roger wins a couple of more grand slams and his record will be fine no matter what Nadal does.

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    Sridhar Reply:

    People have beeing saying Nadal will break down physically for years now, I don’t count on it happening this time either. I say that as a hard core Fed fan. I think this one of the way’s we delude ourselves as Fed fans. Sure, maybe he’ll skip Wimby, but he’ll come back stronger and win US open, and next year’s French already in his bag etc.

    [Reply]

    steve Reply:

    Nadal has made five of the last six major finals and won four. If not for Wawrinka, he’d have won all five.

    He will not skip Wimbledon, he didn’t play a five-set marathon at RG like last year, which drained him to the point where he had to skip Halle. He will play Halle, lose early, but it will give him enough matches for him to survive the early rounds at Wimbledon. The chances of another Rosol happening are near zero.

    He’ll try his damnedest for a third Wimbledon title–the most prestigious in tennis– and it’ll be extremely difficult to stop him if he makes it into the second week. Only Federer, playing a level of tennis superior to what he showed in 2012, could do it. I don’t think Djokovic is going to be in any shape to challenge him for a while–if ever again. Murray will simply kowtow to his master whenever they meet, and admiringly gush over how awesome the Beast is.

    Anyhow, that’s all far off. What’s most important now is for Federer to play well at Halle and defend his title.

    [Reply]

    Gargantouas Reply:

    Great points Steve. If Roger plays well in Halle and gets a reasonable draw in Wimby, I like his chances of lifting #18. Nole is sub par on grass, Murray and Nadal are beatable.

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  18. Guys I think we should all calm down.I mean especially Ruan.I know he is feeling really angry but he should take a couple of days off and then concentrate on Roger again.Look none of us can feel as bad as Novak is feeling right now.He has lost to Nadal 6 times now in the French.He has lost his last three Grand Slam finals and last four slam matches against Nadal.Yet in his post match interview he seemed pretty composed and I am sure he is gonna bounce back just as we need Ruan and all of the others to.

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  19. Denial. That’s what I see in many fellow Fed fans. Unfortunately, the reality is rather grim. Rafael Nadal will end up with 20 slams or more, there is no way that he will slow down, he will be a Slam contender till the day he stops playing tennis. Hope that this is not your yardstick for greatness. Roger, the most talented tennis player ever, will continue playing for the love of the game for few more years but his chances of winning a Slam are close to zero. He just doesn’t have the stamina required for it. Wimby is his only chance but again I can’t see him winning 7 matches best of 5. Let’s enjoy the maestro for the magic he produces and stop worrying for titles, there is very few awaiting.

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    Ajay Reply:

    Cool.All hail Gagantouas,the know-all.

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  20. No need to be sarcastic Ajay, I’m just expressing my opinion. If you disagree, provide arguments, dont troll.

    [Reply]

    Ajay Reply:

    Oh just shut up.

    [Reply]

    Gargantouas Reply:

    Don’t really know why you are so upset. Are you some sort of internet bully? I will play along: “No, you shut up retarded idiot!”.

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    Gargantouas Reply:

    Wait a second, do you think I’m a Dull fan trolling? see my posts here and in Jonathan’s blog and you will change your mind. I too get super upset with Dull
    trolls.

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  21. Tennis died today for me :-( Nadal has the slam record now. Nole is broken, Roger is too old, no one to stand in Dulls way. Only a matter of time……. Heartbroken that tennis should go this way…… Why would God give us the most beautiful creation in Federer, only to create Dull to get in his way at every opportunity and eventually surpass his records in such tortuous fashion ? Is evil to triumph over good in the end :-( ? Its a sad day for Fed fans, Nole fans and tennis fans alike…. I give up. Nadal has ruined my enjoyment of this game that Federer and Sampras once made beautiful.

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  22. Novak did all he could at 85% towards the end. Feel for him.

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    Killian Reply:

    So sorry for Novak. He deserved it more than anyone. But there seems to be no Justice left in this world. Nadal will always escape and wriggle free with the win

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  23. Ah, c’mon guys, let’s not go to the extreme of tennis is dead, or quitting blogging. Tennis will never die for me no matter who is or isn’t playing. Today, after the match I was extremely upset – as you could tell from my inappropriate language in Ru-an’s space – sorry again. Know what I did? Took it to the courts. Played three hard core sets in the sun. There’s not much in this world that’s better therapy for me than crushing tennis balls and sweating it out. I feel much better now. Whatever does that for you, please go do. It’s silly for anyone here to be more upset about matches lost than the loser of the match does. I guarantee Novak will mentally move on to the grass, just like Roger did and they will both compete like crazy to defeat the beast on a surface that’s much more friendly to them. Heads up folks, CLAY SEASON IS OVER!!!

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    Killian Reply:

    The beast will survive the wimbledon first week…. He will end up winning wimbledon… And if not then the USO…. Then the AO….. Before we know it the Fed record will be gone. Nadal isnt ageing, or declining, or suffering injuries or upsets when it comes to slams….. He will bully his way to feds 17 mark, which will likely stay at 17 because of fed clowning up his last viable chances at USO and Wimby…. Tennis needs someone to stop him, but I know in my heart and soul that he will pass Fed now…. We wont get lucky, he will, because thats the way this evil world works. Loving dads and husbands Fed and Djokovic will suffer as dubious MTO taking, whining, time wasting, ass picking, boring hateful NaDull wins slam after slam :-( I dont blame Ruan for wanting to quit, Im giving up following tennis myself now, because beautiful tennis doesnt win you majors anymore :-(

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    Vily Reply:

    Please calm down. This wasn’t the crushing loss of last year. It was in the cards the moment Novak choked on 5:6 in the 2nd set. Also failing to stay in it 4:5 in the 4th – he has to blame himself. It’s unfortunate but it is what it is. Both Novak and Murray got emotionally bruised by the Spaniard in Paris but Roger kept his ego intact by skipping,, ;-)

    Let’s see what happens in Halle. Nadal is scheduled to play so we’ll see. If he skips it, he may get thrashed again do back or no back, he has to push that body if his even more to even sniff at #15. Relax, people! Victory will be hours. It has to happen soon…

    [Reply]

    FeDaL Reply:

    Great, then the rest of us won’t have to tolerate your miserable whining. Get over it!

    [Reply]

  24. I had a feeling this would happen. The Grinder of Grinders has pulverized yet another hapless victim, leaving the Serb’s guts mangled and strewn about the red dust of Paris. If it wasn’t for the D word, I would be bowing in homage to the tenacity of this beast. But I shall never give Nadal the credit he might truly deserve until the cowardly tennis authorities address this issue once and for all through MEANINGFUL and CONSTANT testing of Everyone in this sport. Either Nadal is an admirable freak of nature to be applauded, or he is a despicable cheat. There, I said it. Ban me if you want, Ruan. I could care less. This question needs to be firmly confronted NOW, not tomorrow. Otherwise, a lingering stench will hang over the tennis world for the next decade as Nadal wins 8 more French Opens and a smattering of other Majors, the last title coming at the “miraculous” age of forty! If Nadal is innocent, he should welcome more stringent testing to clear his name and open the doors to the unparalleled adulation of billions of fans worldwide. But of course, he might be guilty, as many suspect. So the close examination of his blood under the ruthless light of a microscope and the cold spin of a centrifuge would be the last thing he’d want, something to be avoided at any cost, and by every devious means imaginable.

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    FeDaL Reply:

    Such bias, ludicrous unfounded slandering over a tennis player who has a better head2head record against Federer is site to behold.

    You people don’t belong on this site, get outside. You sound like you need to do other things than obsess, and find excuses of why Nadal “The beast” (lol) pulls off a win.

    Never mind that he actually knows how to play on clay (duh) and is therefore the clear favorite in almost any matchup on that surface, hence why Federer knew he would win. And why you supposed Feedfans, I federer read some of what is written in the comments section I am sure he would be disgusted. It’s easy hiding behind a keyboard and beating down on someone who you don’t know or have no clue what it took for them to become champions. Guess what Federer does, he has a true champion acknowledges Nadal as his equal (even though the match up isn’t fair due to Nadal obvious advantage playing with his left hand).
    Give Nadal his due, he has deserved it as much as Federer, Djokovic, you name it has.

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  25. Guys, this us tough to swallow but this is the reality! Nadal is a great great champion and just refuses to die. He is now officially 2nd on the GOAT ladder and who knows what will happen.

    But instead of panicking, let’s just focus on Halle and Wimbledon. I hope that Roger pours everything into this one. Winning Number 18 will be very difficult but if there is a place to do it, it has to be here.

    As for Nadal – I guess Roger was right – AGAIN! Roger just has to be thankful that he even got to hold the trophy for once while so many mortals could only dream of doing it. The Nadalstrong is stronger than ever. Wimbledon will tell the whole story! Roger won number 15 right after he won #14. Will Nadal do the same? That is the story.

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  26. Guys and girls I know I can’t say much to soothe the pain but I will say this. The grass is coming. We’ll get two weeks of awesome attacking tennis at Wimbledon that’ll always prevail. Roger’s in Halle, he’s ready to go and I’m sure he’ll give it his all these next few weeks. We can’t sit and stew over today’s events, do you think Roger himself would just go “aah that’s it he’s gonna catch me now let’s just call it a career” HELL NO.
    Rafa’s still three behind anyway and if Roger finds some inspired tennis it’ll be back to four before long.
    Winning three more majors is no joke guys, this race is far from finished.

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    Now, that’s the spirit, Tom! Let’s use a page from Nadal’s book – if you are down, don’t dwell on it, get and fight again, and again and again until the enemy is defeated! ;-) )

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  27. As a tennis fan first and a Federer fan I can’t believe some of these posts. Roger himself has said no player is bigger than the game. Even if Nadal
    manages to eclipse Roger’s numbers he will still never be better than Federer! I will be really unpopular but I don’t think we should rely on anyone to protect Roger’s ‘legacy’. I just think it’s wrong to go overboard in our dislike of Nadal because like it or not he’s not going away!

    [Reply]

    Eric Reply:

    I completely agree with you!!!

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  28. Done. With. Tennis.

    Nadal is the game’s greatest faker and greatest cheat.

    I’m sure Roger must feel gutted, but at least he can have a clear conscience.

    Nadal will likely win another 5 French Opens and maybe slip in two or three other GS. He’ll hit 22 to 24 GS in my opinion and will somehow never get caught being part of Spain’s ultra-corrupt, super-doping athletic culture.

    You all should read this thread over at THASP –

    http://tennishasasteroidproblem.blogspot.com/2014/06/do-math.html#comment-form

    While I’m done with tennis (and all pro sports, as tennis was the last one I could stomach, but no more), I can now spend more time with family and friends and on my hobbies. I suggest all of us Roger fans do the same. The writing is on the wall, so very very very sadly. The world’s hunger for animal-athletes and not graceful ones is being fed by Nadal. The world is sad in that regard. Beauty means nothing, brute power means everything. At least we can all know that Fed never game in to the temptation to dope.

    [Reply]

    FeDaL Reply:

    Hilarious. Thanks for the laugh! Have a good one, and don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.

    [Reply]

    Dave Reply:

    Who is this obvious Nadal fan trolling on this respectable Federer fan site. Why don’t you Fuck off!

    [Reply]

    FeDaL Reply:

    I am a tennis fan first and foremost, and my favorite players are Federer and Nadal, because of their unique differences in play style and bravado. You on the other hand are neither a fan of tennis nor Federer. I think Federer would be disgusted by the reactions displayed by some of his “fans”.

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  29. So so gutted…… My gut feeling is that federer will bomb out stupidly in both wimby and uso, most likely to some idiot like berdych or tsonga. Djoker has failed us as the anti nadal….. So many things wrong with tennis :-( I think it really is time for me to say goodbye to the sport. Good luck fellow fed fans. Best wishes for the future Ruan, we dont blame you if you want to quit now, the situation is at its most helpless :-( For those of you who can stomach watching dull surpass the record then good luck nd support each other through the pain. I am gonna try to forget tennis entirely so i dont have to face it :-( bye guys

    [Reply]

  30. C’mon people. This is entertainment. It’s supposed to be fun. Lighten up. Roger wasn’t even there. I bet he turned off his tv in the 3rd set and went back to enjoying his life and getting ready to do his best on the grass. That’s all we can ask of him is to do his best at this stage of his career. And if you enjoy his beautiful style of play like I do, then keep on enjoying it for what little time is left and don’t worry so much about the wins and losses or the goat debate. It will be what it will be. And Roger will always be the most beautiful and artistic player to grace the tennis court regardless of if somebody has one or two more grand slams.

    [Reply]

    elizabeth Reply:

    I agree whenever, wherever tennis is spoken about Roger Federer’s name will always be at the forefront. I read in an interview Roger said of his twin sons ‘much better than winning another tournament’, so guys at this moment in time I don’t think the Fed is too bothered. It is time to recognise that Rafa Nadal like it or not is the
    best on clay of all time….he’ll just never be another Federer but who will?

    [Reply]

    Dolores Reply:

    Join your thoughts in your reply to Eric’s comment, Elizabeth,…especially agree with your last sentence. “It is time to recognise that Rafa Nadal like it or not is the best on clay of all time…he’ll just never be another Federer but who will?” Agree with you 100%.
    Best,
    Dolores

    [Reply]

  31. Oh for godness sake, growup and get a sense of perpective. It isn’t the end of tennis or anti-tennis or any such other non-sense. Frankly the whole goat debate is stupid anyway, the idea that you can compare eras with completely different equipment and courts is just silly.

    The reality is that Federer is one of the all time great attacking players, with a brilliant forehand, excellent serve and able to play an all court game.

    He is like the rest of us human, and he has a weakness, that backhand matchup against Nadal. Which I’m afraid exposes another weakness, the test of a great champion, the ability to change, adapt, find a way to beat your rivals.

    Federer hasn’t found a way, he hasn’t changed his backhand, used a two hander or found a style to counter Nadal.

    Nadal is amoung the best to ever play on clay, a great player on slower courts. A leathal forehand, solid backhand, great mobility.

    Not so great on faster courts, serve is not as good as it such be, and not great at the net. Plus his body breaks down easier, I doubt he will last to 33. He is flawed, just like Federer.

    What most impresses me about Nadal is his mental toughness, and ability to adapt and find a way to win. Even against Djokovic, who owned him at one point.

    However neither is the GOAT, objectively there is no such player.

    [Reply]

    Gargantouas Reply:

    Totally agree that the GOAT debate in a sport like tennis with drastically different courts and equipment is essentially flawed. That said, I can imagine Roger dominating any era, the guy is so talented. On the other hand, remove topspin from Nadal and he has nothing, can you imagine him being great in the wooden racket era? I don’t.

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  32. I think we should all try to look at this with a little more objectivity, even though I am Roger’s biggest fan and, like most of you, was rooting for Djokovic all the way. I have to admit that Nadal played an incredible match, and although Djokovic played some of the worst tennis I’ve seen from him, Nadal was definitely the deserving champion. As much as I hoped every one of Nadal’s shots would hit the net or soar long, I had to admire his aggressive tactics, taking the ball earlier than I thought he could and smacking the lines with regularity. Clearly he made the necessary adjustments to playing Djokovic on clay, and I think he deserves credit for both his tactics and execution on the day. As for Djokovic, Steve was again spot on in that he would face the huge pressure of the prospect of finally completing the career slam, and that it would weigh on him immensely — it was clear in the third and fourth sets that he was struggling mentally, which in turn translated into physical ailments. In the biggest match of his life, he showed he wasn’t ready to cross the finish line, and I think this loss will affect him for many months to come.

    But all I really care about is Roger, who is already ready to defend his Halle title and make a run at Wimbledon. He isn’t losing any sleep over Nadal threatening his slam record, and neither should we.

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    Actually, I think Nadal had more pressure than Djokovic. Do you know what it feels like when somebody is coming and threatening to take your throne, in your home? Federer knows the pressure all too well, like when in 2007 Nadal came close at wimbledon to beating federer and then finally beat him in 2008. That is real pressure in my opinion. You are right though about the change in tactics, Nadal just kept going for that forehand both crosscourt and down the line, was not as far back the court as he was in Rome and just generally had a more aggressive attitude. I mean Nadal shortening the points? Doesn’t happen very often. What was poor from Djokovic is that he allowed Nadal in all three of the last sets to break him at the end of the set, therefore Nadal would begin the following set serving first which is a bit of an advantage. Another thing which I think is poor from both all the big four except Nadal is that they all get too easily distracted. I don’t think I have ever seen Nadal be distracted from an external factor on the court. Murray kept going on about that aeroplane camera which was moving. Djokovic and federer get distracted from the crowd at times to their detriment. They need to work on that. Just be in the moment, concentrate on the point.

    [Reply]

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