French Open Day 11: Djokovic Slays the Beast

\\:D/ It’s funny how things work out sometimes. I have always given Nadal little respect and underestimated him. But since the beginning of the year I changed my strategy and overestimated him instead. I said I have him winning two slams this year and I refused to call the Djoker the favorite again for today, secretly hoping that I would be wrong again and somehow jinx the situation. And low and behold, that’s how it played out. They say what you resist persists, and I now believe even more in that saying. I stopped resisting Nadal and he suffered a massive setback today.

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The Djoker did it! He slayed the beast 7-5, 6-3, 6-1 after six failures. So first of all a massive congrats to him. He never gave up. He kept coming back again and again after many bitter defeats and finally exorcised his demons. I have recently become a big fan of the Djoker, but I am now a huge fan. He truly proved himself to be the anti-Nadal today as he completed the career slam in Nadal defeats. No one else has ever done that. He is also 14-7 in the head-to-head against Nadal since the beginning of Djoker 2.0.

  • Opening Set

The Djoker got a blistering start as he raced to a 4-0 lead in no time. A bagel was even looking possible. The point that the Djoker won to get the second break at 3-0 was unbelievable. He was looking in ominous form. But he couldn’t consolidate a second time as Nadal broke back. That was still ok I thought. As long as he could hold serve and take a 5-2 lead he would still be in great shape. But that’s when the old demons came back to haunt the Djoker.

On the opening point of his service game, he hit a sitter drive volley into the net with an open court in front of him. That was the first big choke and a sign of more to come. On break point for Nadal, the Djoker opened up the court with an attacking point and dumped another short forehand into the net. The demons from six previous French Open losses to Nadal had reared its ugly head. This was a very discouraging sign. I feared six losses to Nadal at the French was might be too much of an emotional burden to overcome.

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But as we know by now, the Djoker is a fighter. He steadied the ship with a love service hold at 4-4. At 5-4 on Nadal’s serve, the Djoker was back on the offense and created two set points, but again he would fail to take advantage. This was becoming increasingly frustrating and concerning. The situation was reaching a boiling point. The Djoker then played another competent game on serve as he held serve to 15 to take a 6-5 lead. In Nadal’s next service game the Djoker missed two more set points I think.

It was unbearable to watch. I definitely did not want to see a tie break because Nadal is so clutch. And I felt the first set was an absolute must win for the Djoker. But thank God he finally took a set point with a forehand pass that forced the error from Nadal. Great relief washed over me.

  • Second Set

I knew this battle was far from won. Someone on twitter told me that if the Djoker wins the second set his winning chances goes to 60-40, while if he loses the second set it goes to 75-25 in the favor of Nadal. I didn’t want to believe it, but it was probably true. Nadal is unbelievably difficult to put away over five sets on clay. It had only ever happened once in history before today. For me, the Djoker desperately had to win the second set as well if he wanted to win the match.

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Both players kept holding serve until 4-3 where the Djoker unleashed some more winners from the improved forehand side. He set up a break point and forced Nadal into error with another forceful inside-out forehand. Big time! Now he was only one service game away from a two sets to love lead. But of course at 5-3 I would be tortured by another long service game where I think Nadal had a break back point. Finally on one deuce point the Djoker gambled with a serve-and-volley play which paid off after he made a genius half-volley angled winner.

When I saw Nadal’s return I thought he was screwed for sure, but the Djoker picked it up off his shoe laces for a winner that even Roger would find hard to pull off. He then took the set point as well after another inside-out forehand which Nadal could not handle. Thank God! The worst torture was over. But I knew the match was not nearly over. It never is against Nadal on clay until the handshake.

  • Third Set

The Djoker wasted another two break points in the opening game of the third set but broke after a delicious point which saw Nadal not put away an overhead and making a mess of a sitter forehand volley. Importantly he also consolidated, but only after almost making another mess with a forehand drive volley. Then in the next game there was another delicious moment as the Djoker broke serve after a return from him clipped the net and dropped over out of the reach of Nadal.

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I felt if the Djoker consolidated his next service game he would be as good as home, and at 40-30 he hilariously got another lucky net cord which dropped out of the reach of Nadal. It was a glorious sight. Now the final set bagel was even on the cards, but Nadal managed to avoid that humiliation in the next game. The Djoker then held serve to take a 5-1 lead, and in the final game an utterly defeated Nadal double faulted at 0-40 on his serve. The monster was slayed!

  • Closing Observations

The way this match played out was just perfect. It was everything I hoped for and more. I prepared for the worst but got rewarded with the best. The 7-5, 6-3, 6-1 scoreline is ideal. No tie-break and a bakery product. They say revenge is a dish best served cold. Well, today the Djoker served his revenge cold. It was something Roger could never do, but the Djoker doing it is just as good to me. Roger actually complicated things greatly for the Djoker and for himself by defeating the Djoker in the 2011 French Open semis.

If the Djoker won there I’m sure he would have defeated Nadal by a similar scoreline in the final. He was that confident back then. And now he had all the demons from the losses to Nadal since then to battle as well. He came close to choking again but heroically fought through his demons. If he had beaten Nadal back in 2011 then Nadal wouldn’t be on 14 slams now and threatening Roger’s record. And the Djoker wouldn’t have suffered all those brutal losses to Nadal at the French.

But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger they say, and the Djoker finally got his revenge today. If it wasn’t for him Nadal would also be on 17 slams by now and the GOAT. So for me, if anyone deserves this title it is him. I really hope he gets it. He deserves the career slam and he can get the calendar slam this year as well for all I care, but that is still as unlikely in my mind as it’s always been. I just think a guy who can come back from six devastating losses to Nadal at the French and win is a hero basically.

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He deserves it all now. It takes immense mental strength and perseverance what he did and he has my utmost respect. Today the backhand of doom was probably the trump card again, but mainly the Djoker just hit Nadal off the court with 45 winners against 16 and the same amount of unforced errors for both(30). Yes, Nadal has declined but like I said the Djoker had past demons to deal with. So he was playing two opponents, clearly evidenced by a few absolute sitters that he missed and failing to convert break point 11 times.

With this result I feel a heavy burden has been lifted off the ATP Tour. I’m sick of Nadal’s moonballing, gamesmanship, time-wasting, grunting, endless retrieving, complaining about rules that don’t suit his agenda, and many more things. I feel a certain elation today. Nadal’s reign of terror over the clay court season has finally been broken. A savior arrived at long last. This was Nadal’s last stronghold on tour and today it was shattered. Nadal also falls to number 10 in the ATP rankings with this loss.

It’s hard to see him winning another slam now. He will be back next year I’m sure, but he will now struggle immensely to beat the Djoker at the French, and many other players will be a threat too. He may well be stuck on 14 slams indefinitely now, which I always thought was an appropriate number for him. He is the clay GOAT and mentally probably the strongest in history. But he is no GOAT. Not even close. In fact I think the Djoker could well surpass him in due time.

  • Murray Defeats Ferrer

Well, I clearly don’t have much time left for this match but Murray won 7-6(4), 6-2, 5-7, 6-1 after leading 3-0 in the fourth set and Ferrer saving several match points. It’s what you would expect from Ferrer, but another very good win for Murray nonetheless and he makes a third French Open semi with it. This, of course, means that he plays the Djoker in the semis and I think the Djoker got that one under control after defeating the clay monster in straight sets no less.

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I was expecting another five-set marathon that leaves the Djoker physically impaired, but he goes back to being the favorite for the title to me now. The win at long last against Nadal will give him an immense confidence to finally win the career slam. He has the draw from hell if Stan defeats Tsonga(which I expect), but he is good enough to get the job done. Stan is a slightly bigger threat than Murray I think, but I just think the fact that the Djoker defeated Nadal in straight sets today will give him the edge to go all the way.

  • Highlights

The is in your court.

Posted in French Open, Grand Slams.

127 Comments

  1. Ru-an, it’s finally here… The reign of moon balling, ass pulling finally over! *sigh*…. So happy… @novak, you just cemented fed as GOAT. Thk you… Here hee

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Congrats on your prediction(so far?). Yes Novak saved Fed’s ass, and in turn Fed caused him some brutal losses. But in the end it made Novak stronger to the point where he could surpass Fed himself.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    You must watch this BC =)) =)) =)) =)) =))

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqnnhT-qj48

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    Ben Chia Reply:

    Omg… This is SO funny! I laughed until I cried… Its true!! My son came over and gave me a “wtf?” look… “Daddy, I never saw you laugh so hard…”…. Omg, the commentary is so bloody hilarious. I’m tearing as I type this message. @jiten, vily, Victoria, Fedal, all u guys gotta see this! Warning: Rafa fans pls dont watch. You have been warned. Damn, my stomach cramping from all the laughter!

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    Alex Reply:

    Truly amazing =))

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I’ve already watched it like four times and every time it gets better. Simply brilliant.

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    Susan Brown Reply:

    I love this so much. Wish I could share it on FB.

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    Vily Reply:

    LOL

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    Ben Chia Reply:

    Hi Susan, Yes you can. I did it already. Go to YouTube and search under “Spanish laughing man roland garros” copy the link and post on fb. Set to public. Have fun!

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  2. There are some points I feel are completely unjustifiable in your conclusion to this match and its supposed “impact” on men’s pro tennis legacy.

    -“I’m sick of Nadal’s moonballing”, except Nadal is no moonballer, come Ru-an I thought you knew a thing or two about tennis? This moonballing accusation is always made by people who know nothing about how a ball is even struck, and you know better than to resort to these accusations.
    -“gamesmanship” Your beloved Djokovic has had his fair share of incidents as well, and gamesmanship is not always a clear cut definition, it Is a grey area.
    -“grunting”, seriously, and what about the good chunk of other pro players who do the same at a regular basis, including Djokovic?

    -“endless retrieving”, was Nadal supposed to watch as his opponents hit the ball past him on the court? It’s called defensive play for a reason, and some of the best ever played in the open era.

    -“complaining about rules that don’t suit his agenda”, you mean like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJ8BBB_Xmi8

    -“I feel a certain elation today.” You are waaay to obsessed with what Nadal has achieved and calling it “reign of terror over the clay court season” is borderline on madness. So you are saying that anyone who is gifted on a particular surface and dominates his opponents can be classified as terrorizing others? Then Federer and Sampras should be held in a maximum security prison for committing violent acts of terrorism within the ATP.

    What happened to the guy who wrote: “I can still prefer Federer over Nadal, but I do not have to condemn Nadal” back in 2010? For the “ultimate” tennis blog this sure has turned into the opposite if you ask me. As a long time reader and follower I think you owe it yourself Ru-an to go back your roots when it comes to objectivity in your posts.

    It’s up to you.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    :-j

    Terrible cheating towards the Djoker by the umpire there btw. Nadal would have the umpire fired from the ATP Tour, no?

    [Reply]

    FeDaL Reply:

    “Terrible cheating by the umpire towards the Djoker” #-o

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Actually I watched that video again and Djokovic was in the wrong. But yeah, nothing compared to Nadal asking for umpires to get removed that applies the rules properly and getting his way. That is pure corruption.

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    Ben Chia Reply:

    Hi Fedal, calm down. It’s not always we see Nadull get schooled in his fortress at FO. You have any idea how often Ru-an and many others were burnt thinking Nadull season was over due to injury, etc. Only to come back and blitz the entire ATP tour like it was a joke? Today is one of those rare days where anti-Nadull fans gets to rejoice and release pent up frustration (from seeing fed getting abused time and again by Rafa). So, its entirely normal for Ru-an to write the way he did. Besides, most of us here likes his style of writing, be it bias or not. It’s uniquely Ru-an, that’s part of the charm. That’s why we are all still here isn’t it?…. Ah sweet justice for someone who tried to remove empires to get an advantage…. Karma’s a bitch, no?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Haha cheers Ben Chia. I try to keep it unique. I think tennis would be boring without a certain amount of favoritism. But I think I have come a long way since my days of extreme Federer fanaticism. As long as it is not taken too far I think favoritism is fun and interesting. I think it would be boring for me and for you if I was just a reporter.

    [Reply]

    Ben Chia Reply:

    Exactly. Where would the fun be without all the Nadull hate? Lol

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    =))

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Right I’m off to bed. I put you in charge BC. If Rafatrolls have taken over when I wake up tomorrow I will hold you accountable lol. Just kidding. Have fun folks and behave!

    [Reply]

    Ben Chia Reply:

    Bear with me Ru-an. I waited a long, long time for this. So I am commenting way more than usual. It’ll die down I promise. For now, I just gotta get it out of my system. Read somewhere that a sports guru said Rafa will continue playing his high level of tennis past fed’s current age… and the first comment to that sports article was a single word… “Fool”. I literally burst out laughing uncontrollably! Ah… so sweet. Hope to find it again and share it here on this community. Then I will finally have closure…

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Nah I don’t mind the comments BC. Comment to your heart’s content and get all that pent-up frustration from Nadal’s relentless pushing and moonballing over the years out of your system. It’s a glorious day, like a curse that’s finally been broken. All hail king Djokovic!

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    :))

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    Alex Reply:

    If there was no favouritism then this would be no different that any other news site. Today Djokovic dethroned Nadal emphatically. Nadal said afterwards “he was better that me”. Not much more to write I think. Boring…

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah, news sites are boring. They write a few words and get traffic because they are CNN, Tennis.com, or whatever. But they often write crap and there is no real passion behind what they are saying.

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    This used to be a federer blog. So it’s normal for the readers (who in their majority were federer fans) and the blogger to not like nadal at all. We give him his due respect where he does deserve it but, at least speaking from my point of view, I just like to watch him lose and be deflated after what he’s done to federer.

    “Endless retrieving” – you are right about that one, there’snothing wrong with defensive play although when Nadal first started, that’s all he did and it was frustrating to watch.

    But on the rest of the comments you just sound bitter. Ben Chia is right. Federer fans have a lot to rejoice about. Rafa’s had this coming for a long time now and he’s been unbelievably lucky up to now. The conditions even suited him again yesterday and he would not allow the court to be watered.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Exactly! The conditions favored him again even after heavy conditions were predicted, and then they didn’t want to water the courts either like there is some kind of conspiracy against Djokovic.

    I should have said ‘relentless retrieving’ instead of ‘endless retrieving’. The ball comes back no matter what, and it is a form of anti-tennis because he just keeps doing it until the other player loses their mind and starts making errors. We saw this numberless times against Federer. Even the purest and one of the best attacking players of all time could not end points, and was made to self-destruct. It has anti-tennis written all over it.

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  3. Nadal has been de-throned. And no injury excuses this time. This is like Fed taking out Sampras at Wimbledon 2001, like Nadal taking out Fed at Wimbledon 2008. At the end of the match, the crowd was in stunned silence, not knowing what to think, barely believing what they were seeing. But you could tell Novak really believed in the third set that he would get the job done. He didn’t get tight at all as he closed out the match, and Rafa’s will had definitely been broken. The dynamics of the ATP tour are changed forever now, as Rafa drops to about #10 in the rankings. People will no doubt start to chatter about whether Nadal will ever win a slam again, whether he will ever get to #1 again, whether it’s time for him to retire. But the legend of Nadal’s 9 titles at Roland Garros will live on for a long time. I know Rafa can still play great tennis, but I believe this marks the beginning of the latter stage of his career, the twilight stage.

    [Reply]

    FeDaL Reply:

    I agree with you except for the argument that this is the same as Fed losing to Nadal in Wimbledon in 2008, which is not true by any means. Nadal was not even close to his best and was flat out bad just like he has been this entire season. This was simply a beat Down due to Nadal’s poor form, and it might have been a de-throning but it was the worst kind.

    [Reply]

    Gargantouas Reply:

    well Fed wasn’t 100% back then either (mono). And if we start the asterisk game, I can tell you that 2013 Fed was disastrous and lost to Nadal 4 times or something but I don’t see Nadal fans remembering that. Careers follow ebb and flow pattern so that’s why H2H doesn’t make any sense as a criterion for greatness.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Wasn’t Federer recovering from mono at Wimbledon 2008?

    [Reply]

  4. Hey, Ru-an! Congrats!

    I am happy for Djokovic. I am not sure that Djokovic would have won in 2011, however. Definitely not by this score line. He may have won it in 5 sets and it probably would have been much more meaningful.

    This year I expected him to win. In fact, all the odd-makers were betting on it. Nadal is clearly not in his prime. So is Roger.

    A more interesting question would be would this version of Djokovic be able to beat the Nadal of 2008. My guess is – probably not. So, while you are right that Djokovic was able to exorcise his demons today, I am not sure that it is fair to say that Roger couldn’t do it either.

    Possibly to be fair, the Roger of 2007 may have been able to beat the Nadal of 2015 as well.

    Basically, what I am trying to say is that Roger couldn’t beat Rafa because he was always the older guy and maybe both him and Rafa were in their primes. Rafa has beaten Roger in his prime and when Roger was past his prime. Roger was unable to beat Rafa when Rafa was in his prime outside of Wimbledon and he never had the opportunity to play Rafa past his prime – obviously due to the age difference.

    Djokovic, on the other hand is in HIS ABSOLUTE prime and is basically playing against OVER the Hill Roger and now clearly OVER the Hill Rafael Nadal. That emphatic score line emphasizes my point.

    The same thing happened yesterday. If Roger is 16:2 against someone and is in his prime – I don’t care what bully he faces – the likely result is a WIN. But because he is past his prime – Stan won.

    I.E – If Nadal was in his prime – I don’t care how good Djokovic is – he probably would have won as well. Basically, Djokovic finally BENEFITTED from the DECLINE of NADAL and FEDERER. He still had to go out there and do it – and a WIN is a WIN – but I am just trying to look at things at the proper perspective. It is a testament to Djokovic’s greatness that he had endure losses early in his career when Roger and Rafa were the kings of the hill. Now, he can take it all for himself. To me, the AO 2012 WIN carried much more weight than this.

    In actuality, I wouldn’t rule a Djokovic CALENDAR SLAM as well.

    Murray and Federer may have something to say about that. But right now, as of this moment, there is no stopping of the Djokovic train. I see no WEEKNESS. If before, his serve was a liability, now it is his strength. He is strong mentally, amazing returner and a BEAST on both wings. His net game has improved. He is basically a HYBRID of FEDERER and Nadal and it’s nuts.

    Obviously, Murray and Stan are close as they were right there at the AUSTRALIAN OPEN and now here at the FRENCH Open.

    Roger is worrying me because outside of the slams, his record is decent this year. 3 Titles and 2 MASTERS 1000 Finals. Obviously, not great but decent. But his slam Record is worrisome. Maybe not so much this result but that early exit in AUSTRALIA. Roger needs to make a statement.

    Can he make another run at Wimbledon? Will he? Honestly, I doubt it. But you never know. All I know is that it will take a SPECIAL performance to beat DJOKOVIC. Right now, he is unstoppable.

    [Reply]

    FeDaL Reply:

    Any version of Roger, 2005-2012 would have wiped the floor with the current Nadal on almost any surface. Nadal’s current form is disastrous.

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    You know what, I actually would like to test this theory. I know that Roger is not in the best of forms either but with Nadal now slipping to Number 10, I actually want him to be in Roger’s Round of 16 section at Wimbledon now. If nothing else, it should allow Roger to get a much need GS victory over his nemesis. It may inspire him to do something special as well. :-)

    Yep. I want Nadal in Roger’s section. :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Vily. I didn’t have time to respond to your comment on my last post yet so thanks for that too. I’m glad you can appreciate the new idea behind my blog. Hopefully everyone here can. The support has been great so far.

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    Gargantouas Reply:

    Good points Vily! However, I reckon Djoko 2011 wound beat any Nadal version. He did actually in many finals that year on clay, grass and hard courts. Also, he almost beat Nadal 2013 when Nadal was absolute best and Nole wasn’t.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I started reading your comment and the first half is sheer nonsense. I hope the rest is not as bad Vily.

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    I came to the same conclusion about Vily’s comment (sorry Vily). I haven’t read the rest of it yet but I’ll try.

    We may all be wrong about Nadal but we CANNOT be talking about decline too much. The guy is only 28. Yes, with his taxing gamestyle and 10 plus years on the tour, 28 must feel ancient. But the reason he is not playing well this year, and I’ve said it before, is threefold.

    1. He had surgery for appendicitis. 6 months ago. We cannot expect him to be at his ABSOLUTE best. Murray was the same last year after his operation two years ago. Played well but not well enough to the point where people were questioning whether he could win another slam. Look at Murray now! I am convinced he can win a few more if he keeps up his good form. He’s fully recovered and has had a new coach, got married and has a new direction. I don’t like Nadal at all but I expect him to somewhat recover even from this deflating loss. Next year he will be stronger. Unless…. (see point number 2)

    2. Most importantly (and ru-an has also spoken about this) Nadal faces a confidence issue since getting beaten last year by various journeymen. The truth is we don;t know how badly the appendicitis he was suffering from affected him, if at all. But the fact of the matter is he now has a confidence crisis. It’s not easy to get over this, even for him, but I think slowly he will find a way (sadly) since he is mentally one of the greatest ever.

    3. Djokovic is in Nadal’s head. He is not the same player when he plays Djokovic. He makes uncharacteristic mistakes all the time. Djokovic was also nervous yesterday as well. The scoreline actually flatters nadal coz yea djokovic wasn’t having the best of days. he was nervous as hell missing sitter after sitter. But it’s all down to the mental part of the game. Djokovic had his own demons to exorcise, thankfully he has improved so many aspects of his game, enough that even on his worst day he can now somehow beat nadal. yeah nadal played horribly as well. (see this article http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2015/06/nine-year-wait/55154/#.VXAwYUaZqpw).

    The good news for us fed fans is that nadal is indeed at an age where the decline has definitely started and there’s not much he can do to improve his game (unless he adds another coach). He now has to hope that he somehow gets lucky at the slams because the rest of the pack are also catching up.

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    One small correction. Nadal is no longer 28, he turned 29 yesterday. So sad he got dethroned on his Birthday! :(( I completely agree that the scoreline is a bit flattered towards Dull as the first set could have been a bagel set if Djoker did not have butterflies in his stomach. The confidence issue is paramount in my opinion and perhaps Dull has entered the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart starting from next week in the hope of getting some confidence back. But that move could backfire as reasonably good players like Cilic, Clownfils, Kohlschreiber, Theim, Lopez and Hass etc are also in the fray, who are capable of defeating Dull on grass any day. One great quality Federer possesses is that he can digest defeat very fast; on the other hand, for Nadal, it does take some time for the bitterness of defeat to get diffused. And the suspect materials also would not be of much help either. After a certain point of time, even the magic potions stop working and the body starts rejecting them.

    [Reply]

  5. Excellent write up Ru-an. Really excellent. I think that generally Djokovic doesn’t get the credit he deserves. And by that I don’t mean be grateful because he in a way contributed to Roger’s illustrious legacy. He’s a great tennis player, a mental titan and a fun personality too. Djokerer matches are an amazing match up and a feast for they eyes. Of course he deserves to win RG. He has come closer than anyone before and he has beaten Nadal many times on other clay events. Btw, why is Nadal playing like that? He’s injury-free and I cant believe that in 2013 he was more confident after 7 month break. All other tennis players coming back from injuries nee long time to re-establish their status, see for example Delpo or Murray. Roger will still be relevant in Wimby till 2016 but seems that (as you said in previous post) Djokoray era is now a fact.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thank you! Excellent comment too Gargantouas. No idea what goes on with Nadal. He has always been a huge mystery to me.

    [Reply]

    Ben Chia Reply:

    Hi Gargantouas, glad to find more people who appreciate Nole as a great player. It took him a while to reach his current physical and mental prowess but now that’s it’s clicking, he’s giving us a visual feast. Nole indeed backed up his #1 status with aplomb by straight setting Nadull. Fed’s legacy don’t really need protection when we look at it from an overall perspective but IMO 14 is enough a number for Nadull. Just stay there! Good boy… As for Nole, the sky’s the limit. He is at his prime now, no doubt. Shd dominate the field for next 1-2 yrs no problem. Rack up more GS and god-forbid maybe even a calendar slam.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Visual feast indeed BC. How many slams do you think Djo wins in the next two years?

    [Reply]

    Ben Chia Reply:

    At least 2 a year Ru-an. I’m actually believing that Nole will get 3 this year. So prob adding 5 is a safe bet. External factor like Stanimal beast mode or fed godmode or Rafa Juice-mode can still cost Nole a slam or two. But 5 shd be a safe #.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Rafa juice-mode =)) Only you can get away with that.

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    “Btw, why is Nadal playing like that? He’s injury-free and I cant believe that in 2013 he was more confident after 7 month break.” This is because Rafael Nadal is no longer bewitched by the ghost of Dopal. :-P

    [Reply]

  6. It pretty much went as I thought and hoped it would but me thinking it may take four sets. I am so glad there will not be another title for Rafa at RG. I know people don’t want to hear it but I still believe Rafa doped and his poor form this year may be because his dr. Had said you can’t do it anymore because of health. His body mass seems smaller to me and his hair is thinning. Add tendon problems and it speaks steroids to me. Not to take from Novak because he is a beast this season on court. Thought Abdys match could go either way and though I live David it was wonderful to see Andy win. I’m thinking it will be a NivakStan Final. Stan was a beast himself against Roger, so much power. Happy Tennus day for me.

    [Reply]

    Ben Chia Reply:

    Hi susan, are you my long lost sister? Read my mind :p

    [Reply]

    Susan Brown Reply:

    If we are related good for me because I have no siblings.

    [Reply]

    Ben Chia Reply:

    Neither do I. Only child too. But I got 2 great little ones now making family life a lot of fun :-)

    [Reply]

    Susan Brown Reply:

    I am older 2 grown children and 6 grandchildren. The are my loves.

    [Reply]

  7. Never was a fan of Nole and never will be (his fans attitude and his past antics (especially concerning Federer) make it impossible for me. But will say this, this is not the Nadal Nole needed to beat. This was a shadow of a shell of a player who is routinely losing to nobodies even on clay. A very hollow victory. Hope Murray takes him out. At this point even the arrogant Brit sounds like a better option to root for. Also Stan is my favorite now to win the slam even though he beat Federer.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    So hollow in fact that even Federer could do it! Oh wait.

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    I see what you did there Ru-an. Too bad Evian probably doesn’ t get it. =))
    Why do you hate Djokovic so much Evian?

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    Actually after looking at the comments below, I now see that Evian does in fact get the joke. My bad.

    [Reply]

    Ben Chia Reply:

    Hi Evian, remember when Nole first appeared in tennis scene and made imitations of all the players? Gave viewers a good laugh but condemned himself in process. Nole took time to evolve into a better player / person. Same thing stems with all of us. Everyone evolves, hopefully into something better. I wasn’t a fan initially but over the years Nole evolution as a player won me over. Ru-an has written at length the audacity of Nole standing up against Nadull. And really, the only person to do so in a consistent manner. His willingness to adapt his game /diet, coaching, etc. Made him the beast today. Nadull will always be the fav on clay. He is that dominant on this surface. But tennis is a game of match ups, so when your cursed star shows up, you might end up playing far worse than normal (think fed-Rafa, roddick-fed). Indeed Nole has become the anti-Nadull. That alone speaks volumes. You can’t quite write off Nadull though. Rafa can still win all matches rest of this year as he shown in past. Such an enigma is Nadull.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    >:)

    [Reply]

    Ben Chia Reply:

    oh… ho, good one Ru-an! #burn

    [Reply]

  8. Ru-an, the previous version of Fed would have destroyed this shell of a Nadal today. Even Fed from earlier this year or the form he had reaching the Wimby final last year after settling down with the racquet switch and making his game blend with it could have destroyed this Nadal. But the real sorrow is that many times in the past Fed didn’t get this opportunity or crack at Nadal that would have evened out the h2h. Someone (actually two people) have already proclaimed Federer dead and that he would never win a slam again, but i think Nadal is even more dead. I still have hope for Fed for winning one more slam. He just needs a good draw, Nole losing early and a good surface like Wimby or USO. If Cilic hadnt beaten him last year he would have won the USO. Cilic is a much bigger fluke than Roddick was when he won his lone slam in 2003. Overhyped and probably PED enhanced game, he has done SQUAT since winning against Fed. Nishikori at least took Nole out.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Fed is Nadal’s bitch. He wouldn’t have stood a chance. Accept it and get over it.

    [Reply]

    Evian Reply:

    That’s your opinion. Feel free to say that to his face would ya? In a way that is disrespecting Fed but you don’t realize it today.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    It’s not opinion. It’s fact. As soon as you get out of your denial a whole new beautiful world will open up for you. I promise ;-)

    [Reply]

    Evian Reply:

    That beautiful world looks a lot like Nole’s butt crack! No, but no thanks.

    And for your info (if you have forgotten), Fed has bageled Nadal on clay with his Tiny Headsize racquet of 90sqinch. But you would appreciate that better if you play tennis on any competitive level.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Not Nole’s butt crack. Just objective and unbiased analysis.

    ‘But you would appreciate that better if you play tennis on any competitive level.’

    Interesting. I have beaten players with ATP points in Futures, won money tournaments in France, and played college tennis in the states on a scholarship. What have you done?

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    OK I will accept that money in France at the cost of many! :)) ~x( =D>

    [Reply]

    Ben Chia Reply:

    Damn! Ru-an, you were this good a player? Who was the highest profile player you faced and won? Be honest. We won’t consider it bragging.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Good is a very relative term Ben Chia. I didn’t face any high profile players. I only practiced with Kevin Anderson for instance. That said, I know for a fact I could have been a lot better. I was taking sleeping pills before I went on court for severe anxiety. And that had nothing to do with tennis btw. I was taking it every day whether I was playing tennis or not. I had severe depression and anxiety for many years so that screwed me. But it’s just life. I have gained in other areas what I’ve lost in tennis.

    [Reply]

    Evian Reply:

    Fed has bageled Nadal three times once on each surface! Nadal has been bageled in his career a whopping 12 times!
    Fed has never retired from a match and rarely ever resorted to gamesmanship (maybe once against Davy), Nole was famous for retiring before his so called gluten free diet that makes him look like a chicken and Nadal has also retired from matches.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Ok you are in shock. I am putting you on hold until I wake up. Go calm down and join the rational discussion tomorrow when I wake up and release you.

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    I agree with Ru-an, in fact playing federer would have given nadal his much needed confidence back. Roger has no chance against nadal at RG.

    [Reply]

  9. Who knows? Maybe this loss will usher in the era of other players now realizing that Nadal is not unbeatable, like what happened to Roger many years ago. He kept losing to Nadal over and over, and eventually, it seemed like many players playing against Roger played like they had nothing to lose and knew he could be beaten, and it turn, began to beat him more often. Maybe the same will happen to Nadal. We can only hope. :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    JDub! Glad you are here to celebrate this victory with us. Yeah Nadal could really struggle now but like BC said he is utterly unpredictable. Maybe he goes on a tear now and wins everything for the rest of the year and then the calendar slam next year :-O

    [Reply]

    JDub Reply:

    You better believe I was keeping a close eye on this match, ready to celebrate. What a rush it was when I read the headline! We have all waited so long for the reign of Nadal to crumble. At least at the French Open, if not overall. And yeah, you’ve said it a hundred times on the blog; you just never know with Nadal. He could come back with a vengeance or fall apart. We shall see!

    [Reply]

    Ben Chia Reply:

    Hi JDub, perhaps you come closest to me in terms of Nadull hate… I dunno, my bar is pretty high… hee hee. Ya, its been a long time coming but finally the straw that broke the camel’s back has happened. So far my prediction of Nadull’s zero MS1000 and zero GS streak is still going strong. From this point on, rationally it should really go downhill as Nadull’s fav part of the year is over. Hard courts don’t go easy on the knees. So, technically his fall from grace should really accelerate from this point on. Still, stranger things have happened as in the curious-case-of-Rafa. However, I choose to believe my long lost sister, @susanbrown who said that Nadull might be pass the point where he can’t “juice” anymore because of health. So, I am sticking to my “Nadal-zero-zero” prediction for rest of the year. Vamos!

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Ru-an, Jdub, Ben, you guys are Hilariously merciless! =))

    [Reply]

    Ben Chia Reply:

    Hi veronica, come join in the fun! Knowing how big a fedfan u are, this is a long overdue treat! Pls scroll up to the youtube video that ru-an shared. Small bet: if u can watch that without laughing once, I owe you a good meal next time you visit Singapore.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I’d like to see a comment about the match from Veronica too, but I think the hardcore Fedfans are still coming to terms with my post and comments. They always wanted Roger to do what the Djoker did yesterday so it’s bittersweet for them.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well, it is always good to hear from my first blog follower! And yes, I am not writing Nadal off. Way too unpredictable. :-?

    [Reply]

  10. HI Ru-an thanks for the set by set account. I didn’t get to see any of it which was a drag. I wanted to see this especially since I missed last year’s final thanks to some annoying commitment. I am hoping for a Stan-Djokovic battle on Sunday. Their epic battles at the AO twice (not their 2015 match where Stan disappeared in the 5th) and the US Open were really entertaining and on a slow surface where Stan has time to `load’ his heavy artillery, he could give Djokovic.

    It took a great mental effort from Djokovic to do this. But he didn’t beat the Nadal of 2005-8, 2010-2011, the one that Federer could never take out, even in his prime of 2005-7. I realize that Nadal owns Federer mentally, but the Federer of the prime era could have beaten this shell of Nadal. After all even mid-to-late-era Federer has beaten him at the masters’ cup and WTF 4 times and lost to him there in 2013 thanks to playing a 3 hour match the day before to Del Potro.

    I didn’t get to see the Stan-Fed match either, but looking at the higlights on your post, Stan was just unplayable with the depth and power of the shots. As you said a QF is a good outcome for Fed at this stage and given his results the past few years at RG.

    What does this mean for the whole year? I don’t think this is as big as Federer losing to Nadal in 2008 at Wimbledon, but it is a turning point. Nadal will be back though I am sure of it, and I expect him to make a run at the US Open (he has won it twice after all). I hope you are right and he sticks at 14.

    Djokovic on the hand has the best shot at a calendar slam in quite a while. I don’t know why people dislike him so much actually. Yes he was annoying in his early years but as Ben Chua said he has matured and I really like his ability to dig in.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    You’re welcome Bharata. Sorry, you couldn’t see the match. Why all the comparisons to Federer by Fedfans though? The Djoker came closer to beating Nadal at the FO than Roger ever did in Nadal’s prime, and he beat him many more times than Fed outside of RG. He was also very unlucky vs Nadal at RG. I don’t think there is any doubt that he deserved this victory more than anyone and that Fed would not have been able to pull off the win, nvm winning in straight sets. Fedfans should come to terms with this once and for all. The Djoker beat Nadal in three of the four slam finals in his prime, and now he has the career slam in wins over him. Since when could Federer do that?!

    [Reply]

  11. Hi Ru-an, great post as usual. Seems like you had already scripted this one beforehand and have been just waiting for the moment of truth to arrive and eventually readjusted your write-up in line with the actual happenings. :-) As a tennis fan, I am extremely happy that finally it culminated in Dull’s own castle. By the way, the talk of a favourable draw for Fed in grand slams has occupied quite a fare share in the discussions here. In my opinion, the concept of a “favourable draw for Fed” and for that matter for any player does not make any sense. It all depends upon one’s state of play during a particular match only. As such, Djoker is not locked with the French open title as yet. On their days, both Murray and Stan can take him out. We all know that fate can be very brutal at times. You think somebody deserves something more than somebody else, but many a times, the opposite happens. Who can forget Australian Open final of 2009? :-<

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    ” looks like you had already scripted this one beforehand and have been just waiting for the moment of truth to arrive and eventually readjusted your write up in line with the actual happenings” =D> Bro!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thank you, Jiten. I have always said that draws are overrated. They don’t mean much. And yeah the Djoker can still lose but I like how muted his celebration was after defeating Nadal. He knows there is a lot of work left…

    [Reply]

  12. well well well.. finally nadal lost djoker won..a great win for him ofcourse.. the first set was thekey rafa came back hard at djoker at once i thought itsover for djoker but rafa’s forehand was no where.. which cost him the biggest loss of his career i believe.. but personally i have never ever been the fan of nadal .. andam not the fan of djoker either but suddenly i have massive respect for nadal .. he has so many wrong thing to care about time violations complaints umpires.. but he has the game and balls which earned him 9 titles.. i felt sad that after federer now it was the end of rafa too.. both will keep playing but their slam winning days are probably over..

    [Reply]

  13. and the main piont is that it wasexpected like now fed loses.. rafa loses .. they are not in their prime now so i will still not rate the djoker’s performance incredible .. it was not the rafa we used to see.. djkoer playedgreat , rafa played worse.. and its over.. it was meant to happen at some stage.. but its still semis i have watchedthe match of murray he is playing absoulotly great and fast.. much more good than rafa.. it wont be easy fordjoker.. iwill give murray 40 perccent chance here and if wawa reaches the final then it will be 50 50 for djokerand wawa.. it wont be easy fordjoker just because he has beaten the king ofclay coz murray is a new murray and stanimal is back .. i will support murray though then wawa and still ifdjoker manages to win then its okaaaayyy because he also deserves the title here like roger deserved and won in 2009..

    [Reply]

  14. but i dont wanna see djoker dominate the tour he has already won too much this year and ifhe wins french then wimby it will make the tour soo dull and boring fedal is over now.. lets see how murray responds othewise its gonna be djoker all the way

    [Reply]

  15. I guess I get everything I can realistically wish for this edition of RG. A final with the Djoker vs. the Stanimal will be a bonus. I won’t root for anyone, but I kind of lean that if the Djoker wins, it will be more fitting…and it will have lots of potential for the future, as well. But I will be happy too if Stan wins. Happy either way, so to speak.

    In the department of slam counts, it will be hard to envision the Djoker racking the same number as Roger, but should it happen I will be happy for him. I hope he at least equals or surpasses the Beast. To tell the truth, he’s a beast himself…but the right kind of beast. A classy Beast. He’s a class act and the way he’s an anti-Nadal just adds more appeal to it.

    For the slam counts, he has a number of things going for him, especially the lack of proper competition in his current and upcoming generation. But the thing against him may be his age. He’s 28 now and it’s by this age that usually a player starts declining. Roger declined at about this age, as well — 2009 was his last year of slam banging years. Thereafter, it comes few far & between. How long will he be able to keep his current form?

    If he can’t reach Nadal’s slam count, I guess it would be interesting if he wins a calendar slam. It will make for an interesting 3-way discussion about GOAT. The one with most never has any control of the one with 2nd most & his H2H is pathetic, the 2nd most…well, he’s got the 2nd most meaning there is someone earning more than him — but he consistently beats that guy, now the 3rd…not as many as the 2 above him, but he wins a calendar slam. Interesting, eh?

    Now I’m looking too far into the future. :p

    [Reply]

    Ben Chia Reply:

    Hi Jason,
    Interesting point there! if Nole pulls off the “Calendar Slam”, he does the one thing no modern tennis era player ever done. Byorn Borg did it twice (truly impressive) but in a different era where competition wasn’t as intense. In modern day tennis, the “calendar slam” is the ultimate holy grail. Even at their prime, Fed and Nadull came close (noticed I already using past tense on Rafa…) but never sealed the deal. So, that will definitely thrust Nole into the GOAT debate. But personally, I feel that Fed accomplished so much in terms of consistency, that he deserves the GOAT title. Depending how one defines GOAT, it could swing other way. Easiest benchmark agreed by most is still GS. And having the ONE single calendar GS definitely makes a huge difference in the debate.

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    It is not Bjorn Borg. It was Rod Laver. By the way, Ben Chia, I like your humor very much. You have added a new dimension to this blog following the very footsteps of of our own Sunshine from Melbourne! :-bd

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Ben, you are building quite a reputation here as the “Nadal Abuser!” ;-) You are in your element when you free flow! :-) btw, it was Laver, not Borg who achieved the calendar slam twice. Borg was not even close. Closest was Roger. In a way I’m glad I wasn’t a fan in Roger’s peak years. The anguish and frustration Fedfans went through Fedal matches must have been horrific judging from the outpouring of emotions from Fedfans after Djoker’s win last night :-) everything that Djoker did to get on top of Fedal, from diet to health to coach changes and vast improvements on his game is absolutely admirable and RESPECT. Fedal were truly gods. They were untouchable. It had to take a hybrid of Fedal to defeat Fedal. Djoker is that hybrid. As for Nadal, he is not done yet. I still think he has a chance in FO next year, albeit not a dominant chance. I feel for Nadal, let’s give the guy a break. This loss is devastating enough already, don’t think he needs vultures ;-) but it’s a free world, you comment what you want, just my opinion :-) Moving on, Murray is looking good. It’s his first win over Ferrer on clay. Sign that he can give Djoker a fight?! It’s all in his mind. I do think he seem mentally more together. I give him a fighting chance. Tsonga/Stan would be hard. Anyone knows their h2h? I’m inclined towards Stan IF he turns up to play. I want Stan coz he matches up better to Djoker. Tsonga may just fold against Djoker. I wonder do most of you want Djoker to win this? Djoker crashed Nadal’s party, well and good. But now I want Murray or Stan to crash his ;-)

    [Reply]

    Ben Chia Reply:

    Hi veronica and jiten, I was thinking laver but typed borg… Dunno why it happened but thks for correcting me. I’m just enjoying myself a lot in this thread. 99% of the Frustration in being a fedfan = Nadull. So pls bear with me and reel me in if I get out of control. The payback is just so satisfying. Haha! On a serious note, I’m so glad to be part of this community… *sigh*… all those years as a lonely fedfan.

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    Hi Ben Chia, no problem. I know why you typed Borg instead of Laver. You are over the moon over the moon-baller’s exit. I am sure your equation will definitely help the Nadaltards express their own feelings now: a frustrated Dullfan=Djoker. Get your copyright soon. :-P And so sighs please, you are in the right company! :-)

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    I mean “no” sighs please.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    And I’m glad you are a part of this community!

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Djoker getting a calendar slam is a reality in my opinion. And as you mentioned eralier, Ben, Djoker can win 2 slams at least this year and next, maybe even 3. Then it may trail off 1 per year and eventually he could catch up with Nadal. The tricky thing would be if he gets 14 AND gets a calendar slam, he may trump Roger as GOAT. Roger’s overall records and consistency may still win the debate at the end of the day but I’m not so sure coz Djoker’s overall records ain’t bad either especially with a calendar slam thrown in….but that is looking too far ahead. First things first. Let’s see if Murray/Stan/Tsonga has something to say about Djoker winning his first FO….

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    ‘First things first. Let’s see if Murray/Stan/Tsonga has something to say about Djoker winning his first FO….’

    That’s more like it Veronica. Why bother about the calendar slam when the Djoker is not even half way there?

    [Reply]

    jason Reply:

    Yes, definitely Ben. A calendar slam in this era will indeed be a very special one. When Rod Laver won it twice, for example, 2 or more of the slams are under the same type of surface. Whereas now, it really tests them on very different surfaces for each slam.

    Regarding Nadal’s chances in 2016 RG, this is why I am kind of leaning towards wanting the Djoker to win it. This way his confidence on this slam will be fully built and next year he can be Nadal’s bogeyman again. If he doesn’t win this, he might always miss that bit that renders him incomplete, no matter how small it is.

    I will still be happy if Stan or Murray wins this, but getting someone to be a fully blown beast at RG that will stop and become the bogeyman of the moonballing beast is of higher importance, I think. And the player who is closest to that status is the Djoker.

    [Reply]

    Ben Chia Reply:

    Hi Jason, We are thinking along same lines. As much as everyone thinks Nadull will start losing to every journeyman he next faces, in reality he will probably crush 90% of them. The only true candidate worthy of being Nadull’s bogeyman (love this analogy) is novak and novak alone. I’m still a fedfan at heart but have taken a reality-check pill recently to accept fact that fed can’t win against Nadull. Even if he beats Nadull in a match, its gonna be “Spanish matador fought bravely through injury…” Or that fed beat up a shell of the former invincible Nadull, yadah, yadah…. Fed simply can’t win! But finally accepting it made tennis seem so much more enjoyable. When fed lost wembly to Nadull, I lost my appetite for a week. It’s true! So much auguish over the years watching our hero get beat up so often by same dirty tactics. But Now, with this anti-Nadull, I couldn’t care less and enjoying tennis a lot more. @ru-an finding that awesome youtube video clip “Spanish laughing guy roland garros 2015” finally gave me closure. You gotta watch it! I know you’ll end up in stitches :-)

    [Reply]

  16. One interesting thing which apparently happened in the build up to this match. I heard it on itv 4, so apparently during the practise sessions that morning when they were both practising on the same court, the bumped into each other (along with other players as well), Djokovic says “Good morning Rafa” and Rafa does not reply.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Why should he say good morning to the one who stole his toy?! :-) The thing which is truly remarkable about Djoker and where he trumps Fedal is how he can maintain an easy and friendly air towards them whereas Fedal often seem weary of Djoker.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Sorry, typo, I mean “wary” of Djoker

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    Yea he’a acting childish basically. Another thing which I really like about Djokovic is the fact that when his opponent plays a really good point he actually applauds it or in some way acknowledges that it was ‘too good’. Nadal would never do that and I don’t think I’ve ever seen Federer do that either. This doesn’t mean to say that they are bad for not doing it, but it’s something which I think makes djokovic seem a bit more down to earth than them and is also something which I find resonates with my own personality.

    [Reply]

    Ajay Reply:

    Federer has an aura about him which he has maintained for years now. I don’t think he is made the way Djokovic is made. You need to understand that. Federer is not the guy who applauds people, he is the guy who people applaud. Djokovic in his initial years was so used to seeing Nadal and Federer win that he developed a sort of respect for them. You have to respect him for that but at the same time it tells us nothing about Federer.

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    True although I did specify that it’s not necessarily a bad thing that they don’t applaud. And because federer is the guy who is used to being applauded, I think he is not as down to earth as djokovic is (not that that is a bad thing because he does deserve all the praise he gets).

    [Reply]

    Ajay Reply:

    I do not think Djokovic is down to earth. Also if you hear Federer in interviews, lots of times he praises his opponents. Its just that some things Djokovic does like applauding shots and smiling even after losing may come across as one of a humble guy where as I just think Roger’s reaction is more natural. They are both fine in their own ways.

    [Reply]

    Leon Reply:

    I have seen Federer applauding opponent’s great shots. Just a couple of times, but still. And relatively recently (no wonder, he has so much to accept nowadays). Regrettably, don’t remember whom exactly (watched too many his matched), but it definitely happened. In general, it’s just beyond his attitude/behaviour on court. To each his own.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I wouldn’t be surprised. The Djoker is truly a nice guy. Nadull is a fake nice guy.

    [Reply]

  17. Ru-an have you managed to make any progress on the notify me when new comments button thingy? I always make sure it’s not selected but then if I refresh the page to see new comments it shows up as selected again. Is there a way where by default this would not be selected? Thanks

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hey, Alex. If you subscribed you don’t have to keep refreshing the page because you’ll get email notifications ;-) But it’s unselected now. Also in the future please post this kind of request under feedback

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    Thanks, will do

    [Reply]

  18. I respect Ruan a lot but seriously you should not bring Roger here for no reason. The Nadal that Roger had to contend was much much better than this one and its the same Nadal that Djokovic lost to 6 times. I am really really happy for Djokovic and even happier that the doper has been slain but you were once a Fed Fan and you of all people should know better than to drag Federer through the mud for no reason.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thank you, Ajay. I think you are either confused or too fanatical. I was not the one who brought Roger into the comment section. It was biased, fanatical Fedfans who did. They forced my replies. Why blame me? I am a Fedfan as always, but you people must get over your fanatical ways. If you bring it here you will just force me to state the truth in blunt fashion.

    Usually, I would not say something like Fed is Nadal’s bitch out of respect for some of my readers and because I am a Fedfan myself, but when people make overly biased comments they force the truth out of me in a blunt way to drive the point home. So yeah, go blame your fellow Fedfans if it is a problem for you.

    [Reply]

    Ajay Reply:

    I don’t know what is fanatical about my comment. You can keep saying I am some mad fanatic but its pretty clear I am not. In fact I used to even enjoy Nadal’s game once upon a time and I always found Djokovic in his early 20’s to have a awesome game. I can keep going over and over about why I am not a fanatic but my point was something totally different. I know you are a Federer fan and not a fanatic. All I am saying is, as I have said in a previous post as well is this: Federer couldn’t defeat prime Nadal yes. But so couldn’t Djokovic in the French Open. Stand alone what Djokovic did is truly amazing but Roger’s name needn’t have even been mentioned there. Also you of all people should know the match up problems Federer has with Nadal. The fact of the matter is that Federer was even able to push in so many matches is crazy. I mean with a single handed backhand no human can handle Nadal’s crazy topspin. At the same time I will be the first person to admit Djokovic has brought himself into the GOAT conversation now and I have always considered him to be a better player than Nadal. So you can keep saying I am a fanatic but I really don’t see why you would say that.

    [Reply]

    Ajay Reply:

    And about the overly fanatic fans yes there a lot of them but I think you should stay above all that because you are a very balanced fan of Federer and more recently I think you have become an even bigger fan of the game of tennis itself.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Why are you being so defensive? I never even once called you a ‘mad fanatic’. You are acting very emotional, which is exactly what a mad fanatic would do. So now you got me wondering. Anyway enough of this Federer nonsense I am still very much enjoying this result and I’m not gonna let biased Fedfans spoil it for me. Stop bringing him into this.

    [Reply]

    Ajay Reply:

    Yeah it seems pointless to say anything right now. You have no idea how happy I am right now. I actually had some tears of joy I think when Djokovic won the match.

    As for the match itself let me actually tell something which nobody mentioned. Nadal never took the forehand down the line on. That was his calling card to defeat Djokovic before and he never took it on. Also Djokovic used the drop shot to the greatest effect I have ever seen. I think Becker has made Djokovic way more complete. Djokovic’s level right now is just about same as Nadal 2013 and Fed 2006 level which is literally unplayable. Unless Wawrinka or Murray pull a rabbit out of the hat I think Djokovic is going to win the French for sure. Also I am not as skeptical as you are about the calendar Grand Slam. I think Djokovic might pull it off. To me it looks like only Federer can challenge him and for him to do that he actually has to make the finals which is looking more and more unlikely with every passing slam.

    [Reply]

  19. Hey, Ru-an. I agree with you that Nadal has gotten the better of Federer but to say that Roger is is Rafa’s bitch is a bit harsh. How can Roger be the GREATEST of he is Rafa’s bitch. Or is it, that you don’t believe that Roger is the GOAT anymore.

    Now that Djokovic has completed the CAREER SLAM of WINS over Nadal and soon complete the CAREER GRAND SLAM, would you consider him to be the GOAT?

    Or can Roger be both the GOAT and RAFA’s bitch at the same time? These comments are hard to swallow by any Federer’s fan – fanatical or not.

    Maybe Roger should really play this version of Nadal at Wimbledon and beat him so you can be less critical then. Or unless Roger beats Rafa at the French (which will probably never happen) – you’ll always consider him his bitch.

    I mean – the better player H2H. Stylistically, an advantage to Nadal. But Roger – Rafa’s bitch. It hurts, man. I’m just saying.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Vily, I have already explained why I used the term ‘Rafa’s bitch’. I was forced to do so my a fanatical Fedfan to drive home my point. So take it up with him if it bothers you. Please read my responses before you make comments. It takes an awful lot of time for me to keep up with all the comments and satisfy everyone, and I expect the same from you.

    Also, don’t ask silly questions. No, I would not consider Djoker the GOAT if he wins the FO. Can Roger be the GOAT and Rafa’s bitch at the same time? I have said many times that when I use the word GOAT that I don’t mean it seriously. It’s just a fun concept to debate and speculate about. It is too hard to determine a GOAT. But yeah, being owned by his main rival doesn’t help Roger’s case.

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    Ok, fair enough. I know that Roger has some demons with Nadal that he may never exorcise. I am not even sure that if he beats Rafa at Wimbledon it would count. But life goes on. At least after yesterday I don’t see Nadal catching up to Roger’s 17 anytime soon. But you never know. Next year he can come out swinging again. We’ll just have to wait and see.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Right, that ship has sailed a long time ago. And no, beating Nadal at Wimbledon is not gonna make a difference in the h2h. He has beaten Nadal at Wimby before. But even talking about it is pointless as it is unlikely to happen and Nadal could win too. Fortunately for Roger the Djoker has protected his legacy like a loyal servant. And in turn Roger always treated him with disdain and disrespect. Also, he defeated the Djoker at the FO in 2011 which could have cost him the ‘GOAT’ status. But luckily for him the Djoker bounced back from all those FO defeats to Nadal and finally slayed the beast.

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    I think that Roger has much respect for Djokovic. Much more than before, anyway. I know he enjoys playing hum much more than he enjoys playing Nadal. And to be honest, Novak has also given Roger his fair amount of losses as well – AO 2011 SF for, USO 2010 and 2011, Wimbledon 2014 just to name a few. It’s tennis. I don’t think there is nothing personal between them. Maybe Roger is slightly jealous and nostalgic but it is what it is. Novak is the new KING now and Roger must pay his respects. But that doesn’t take anything away from both his LEGENDARY status and also from Nadal’s

    Plus, Novak has to still go out there and get it done. The path is clear now but he has to take it. ;-)

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    GBOAT?

    [Reply]

  20. Question for the forum (for everyone – tennis experts and novices like myself:

    Which would you rather see – a CYGS by Djokovic, or slam #18 for Roger? Both would certainly be rich in historical content.

    “Please explain your answer.”

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    If I wasn’t biased and just wanted to watch history being made, I would root for Djokovic for the Calendar Grand Slam. It is certainly possible for him. I think that Murray is closer to him than Roger. Roger is there as well but so far Andy has made it to the Finals of AO and Semis here. Roger is 3rd RD in AO and QF here.

    As far as number 18, I would much rather see that. Roger winning at 34 would be epic on so many levels. Plus, it is less likely to me than Djokovic winning all 4. It’s crazy. Especially now. Roger is really running out if time. I thought that last year was his best chance. So far this year, he’s done good but not great. Wimbledon is looming large. I know he said that it’s a big goal for him. But I am not sure if he can pull it off. Mr. Djokovic and Mr. Murray would be very difficult to beat and back to back would be an insane task. That is, if Roger even makes the semis. That might be tough as well.. So who knows… I certainly have doubts.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    If you mean slam #18 for Roger at Wimby then I think both would be very special. A record 8th Wimby would be unbelievable. It would be the perfect ending to Roger’s illustrious career. But yeah the calendar slam is also like the holy grail of tennis. I would rate 8 Wimby titles and a calendar slam on about the same level. Good question.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Joe, for Fedfans, it’s no.18. All other fans, CYGS. Simple! :-)

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    It really is simple, isn’t it?

    :-)

    [Reply]

    Ajay Reply:

    But just looking at the history in the Open Era, a 34+ year old winning a Grand Slam and anyone winning a Calendar Slam is equally unlikely. So I actually will go with Ruan and tell that both are equal.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    I agree Ajay, both about Roger’s chances and about the rough parity of the two events ( neither of which is guaranteed, of course) in terms of historic impact.

    My preference as a Fedfan has nothing to do with that!

    Several have spoken about Roger’s need to improve his return game, and I think it’s impossible to disagree. I’m concerned that a strong server with a fairly complete game could have a good day and become a threat at Wimbledon.

    [Reply]

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