Is the US Open 2010 Nadal’s French Open 2009?

Since Murray lost to Wawrinka the top side of the draw has been bl0wn wide open. Murray was the one guy that was standing squarely in Rafa’s way to make the final. Does this remind you of Roland Garros 2009 where Rafa lost early and Roger finally completed the career slam? The US Open is always the slam that Rafa would find difficult to win. He needs some luck to win it, just as Roger had some luck when Rafa lost early at the 2009 French Open. Already Del Potro was not able to defend his title, who is a bigger threat to Rafa at the US Open than anyone else. Del Potro was to Rafa at the US Open what Rafa was to Roger at the French Open. He is the one guy that I’m basically certain would never lose to Rafa at the US Open, given that they face each other and Del Potro plays anywhere near his best.

The next two toughest opponents for him is Roger and Murray. I would say they are more or less equal in difficulty level for Rafa. Now that Murray is gone too, it leaves only one of his three most difficult opponents in the draw. The problem for Rafa, however, is that he needs more luck than Roger did at the French Open. At the French Open, it was always only Rafa that stood in Roger’s way. When Rafa lost it was just a case of doing what he did the previous years. And we are all aware of how difficult that turned out to be. A lot of people seem to think that Rafa now basically has a cakewalk to the title. One thing is for sure, though, and that is that Rafa will probably never get a better chance to complete the career slam. But it is not quite that simple.

He now has Lopez who can be a dangerous opponent and beat Rafa at Queens this year on what was also a fast surface. Then he has the winner of Ferrer and Verdasco. Ferrer already beat Rafa at the US Open one year, and Verdasco can play some pretty good tennis when he is on. Then Rafa could face Querry, Wawrinka, or Youzhny in the semis. I don’t think he is in the finals yet. Lopez won’t just roll over, although I’m pretty sure Ferrer or Verdasco will. The semi’s won’t just be a walkover either. But let’s assume he makes the finals,  then he probably still has the most successful player in US Open history standing in his way. I don’t really like making these kinds of assumptions because there is so much tennis left to play, but if it is another Fedal final then I like Roger’s chances. I get annoyed by Fedfanatics who thinks it’s all doom and gloom if Roger meets Rafa in another slam final. Where is the belief?!

We know Roger has had mental problems with Rafa in the past, but he has also beaten him convincingly on occasions. Especially on faster courts. He has beaten him twice in the final of Wimbledon, only losing when he had mono. At the Masters Cup, he beat Rafa 6-4, 7-5 and 6-4, 6-1. And even on clay he made short work of him in Madrid 6-4, 6-4. Maybe Roger’s fans can afford to show a lack of belief, but he certainly can’t. Losing to Rafa in a hard court slam final was deeply disappointing, and this would be the perfect opportunity to get revenge. He had all the chances to win the third set in that match and put Rafa away. If he still thinks Rafa was just too good that day then he might yet lose to him again. The way I see it he must be more aggressive in the key moments and not give Rafa second bites at the cherry.

The fact that this is a faster surface and he now has Annacone to help him with tactics should make it even easier for him. I just see this as a possible opportunity to set so many things right that went wrong in the past. He has a chance to once and for all get the Rafa monkey off his back. I have said this before, but he can’t afford to see this as anything else than a huge opportunity. If not he will fail and Rafa could even become the GOAT. But given that this all highly hypothetical, I’m stopping right here.

I don’t know who wrote this, but I found it at RF.com and I like it. Let’s be positive people. No room for negativity!

Dear fans…
Why do you feel nervous?
Why are you feeling afraid?
You have seen me on court… yes?
I am putting my heart, my soul there…
I have this dream living and screaming in my chest!
Don´t be afraid if I am going to do it or not…
What you have to know is that I am doing my best…
As always… with God´s help everything will be fine…

Please! smile!
Please enjoy!!
Please pray for me… that will help too much for me…
I´m Roger Federer…
I´m God´s masterpiece… I know I will have GOD´s blessings…
I need your positive thoughts… energies… vibes!…

Don´t worry about the next match…
and the next… and the next…
and the next opponent…
this is the tennis life..
You are my life!…

Don´t worry about it…
Don´t be afraid…
Don´t be nervous…

I will be there… with my lion heart…
with all my soul… with all my being…
doing what I love… playing tennis!
my passion… my love, my life…

Are you going to be with me?
Are you going to cheer for me?
From the bottom of my heart… THANKS!!

Let´s believe!!
the dream is going on…!
Don´t lose the faith!!…

All the love, Roger, the Champion Federer…

http://www.rogerfederer.com/en/fanzone/forum/topicview.cfm?uNC=99692562&uPage=126&uTopicID=31452

Roger Federer


Posted in Grand Slams, US Open and tagged , .

6 Comments

  1. I Would LOVE to see Roger and Rafa play in the final. And I’m pretty confident that Roger would win. Fed is on a mission right now to reestablish himself as the best, and what a better place/way for him to do so. I’m honestly more concerned about how Fed will play against soderling for some reason.

    [Reply]

  2. A lot of things can change in a week. When the draw was made everybody just thought… well an easy ride for Roger to make the finals this year. And we couldn’t be more wrong. I think than Rafa is going to make it to the finals. I don’t see any of his future oponents on his side of the draw to make any damage to him. I really don’t see it AT ALL. And I also I’m very afraid of Roger. Until now all games have been pretty easy to him. I think he is going to make the finals too. But I’m not as confident as you guys are that he is going to win it even though I really want him to win.

    [Reply]

  3. There is one thing people are also forgetting: if the hypothetical Federer/Nadal final actually does occur, this will be the first time Nadal has more pressure on him than Federer.

    In almost all of their Grand Slam meetings prior to this, Roger had history on the line and for Nadal it was just another Slam win.

    The big ones were:
    French Opens 05-08: Roger had a Career Slam on the line and Rafa just had another French Open on the line. And he also had the surface and lefty advantage. Three intangibles in Rafa’s favor.

    Wimbledon 07: Tying Borg was a HUGE DEAL for Roger and you could see how much pressure he felt even in the sets he won.

    Wimbledon 08: 6 straight Wimbledons on the line. It still has never been done.

    Australian Open 09: this was the big one. He would tie Pete Sampras’ 14 Grand Slam titles with this win. Rafa went in so relaxed because with his long semi everyone in the world counted him out. This is exactly what Rafa thrives on.

    Wimbledon 06 is the ONLY time Roger did not seem tense against Rafa in a Slam final. It was Rafa’s first Wimbledon final and nobody expected much. Even with Rafa leading that year’s h2h 4-0 coming in, Roger looked so comfortable especially in the first and fourth sets.

    Now lets look at the potential Roger/Rafa final. Roger has so many advantages.

    1. Rafa is the one facing the pressure this time. I don’t care what he said about a Career Slam not being a priority, I think he’s just trying not to deal with it.

    2. Roger has already won a Slam this year. This is absolutely huge. If Roger came into this US Open Slamless it would give Roger much more pressure. A Slamless year for him is a huge deal.

    3. Roger is used to the back to back semis and final and Rafa isn’t. Winning 6 sets in two days is something Rafa has not really done on hardcourt.

    4. this is the big one. Murray being out puts WAY more pressure in Nadal MUCH EARLIER in the tournament. With Murray still in the draw, Rafa could easily convince himself he was the underdog in his half to reach the final. Murray being in the draw was a safety net.

    That safety net is now gone and Rafa also has a TON OF TIME to stew over the new pressure he is facing just like Roger did at last year’s French Open. He’d almost be better off having Murray not lose until the QF so he could feel like the underdog all the way through.

    So Nadal will have a FULL WEEK to think about the amazing pressure of a career Slam. He might not play as well with all this new pressure on him and his matches might start to go 4-5 sets now or he could even be upset by one of his countrymen or the semifinalist should he make it there.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    One of the best posts a reader has ever made on my blog. I hope everyone reads this.

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    And above that, if Fed is to meet a lefty in the final (Why Nadal? It could be even Lopez or Verdasco!), he will already be on song as he has (would have) already handled three lefties on his way to the final. The only thing I am worried is that Fed sometimes is very casual towards his volley department very close to the net (as was evident in the 7th game of the third set against Melzer tonight). I am sure the way he negated those bullet shots from Melzer would come very handy against Soderling.

    [Reply]

  4. When Rafa and Novak lost everyone thought Roger was a shoe in for the final, correct?

    4th round: nearly lost to Haas
    QF: nearly lost the first set to Monfils
    SF: nearly lost to Delpo

    I think we will see a more nervous Nadal for the 3 rounds should he win all those matches.

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *