Nadal Calls Federer the Best

Q. I have a different question for you. Everyone in tennis loves Roger, respects Roger. He is said to be the best of all time. Yet two out of every three times you play him, you win. You’ve won six of the last seven times. Who’s a better player?
RAFAEL NADAL: You like this. You are focused on the Roger thing, eh? (laughter.)
Yesterday with the clay. Today with the if somebody says I am better than Roger, I think this person don’t know nothing about tennis. That’s my answer.

Q. How so?
RAFAEL NADAL: Why?

Q. Yeah.
RAFAEL NADAL: So you don’t know nothing about tennis.
You see the titles of him and you see the titles of me? It’s no comparison. So that’s the answer. Is difficult to compare Roger with me now, because he has 16 Grand Slams; I have 6. Masters 1000, yeah, I have more than him. But for the rest of the things the records of Roger is very, very almost impossible to improve.

Q. The question is: Still, for the fans, it is interesting when you step on the court with him, you usually win.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I am No. 2 in the world for five years, so I think I am a good player, too. Sure, I can beat him. No. 2 can beat No. 1. That’s the thing. It’s not a lot of difference between No. 2 and No. 1 or between No. 1 and No. 10. That’s the tennis, and the tennis very close, the level, all the time.
But I can beat him, yes. The same time, the thing is I beat him a lot of times on clay. I beat him on other surfaces, too. But the most of the times I beat him on clay, so I played with him more times on clay than on the rest of the surfaces.

http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/news/interviews/2010-05-29/201005291275162647888.html

Respect to Nadal for being so humble and stating the truth so bluntly. A lot of people make a big thing of the head-to-head between Federer and Nadal, but Nadal quickly dispelled that myth. He is humble enough to admit that the amount of meetings on clay plays a big role and just because you are ranked below a player does not mean you can’t beat them. That is just tennis. And also respect to him for having won the most Master Series events. Nadal was of course in action today, and he defeated Lleyton Hewitt 6-3, 6-4, 6-3. I thought Hewitt fought really well, but he lacked penetration of shot to be a real threat to Nadal. I can also understand why Soderling beat Nadal last year, because he has that penetration of shot that Hewitt lacks. Nadal didn’t look invincible today. I’m not sure he is playing any better than last year.

He has just managed his schedule better and if he did the same last year he would probably have gone unbeaten through Madrid as well. Actually Hewitt did better this year against Nadal than last year. If someone can do what Soderling did last year they will have a good chance at beating Nadal I feel. When he is pressured from the back of the court he starts dropping the ball short and then it is important to go in for the kill. He now faces Bellucci, who beat Ljubicic in straight sets today. I don’t know too much about Bellucci. I just hope he puts Nadal under pressure and test him. There were three big upsets today, as Gabashvili easily disposed of Roddick in straight sets, Ginepri took out Ferero in five sets, and Melzer sent Ferrer packing in straight sets. These upsets certainly helps Djokovic’s draw.

Tomorrow Roger will be playing the fourth match on center court for those of you who doesn’t know yet. Allez champ!

May the Fedforce be with you.

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7 Comments

  1. Saw Rog vs. Stan today but only from 2nd set. That 1st game on 2nd set is what he must avoid when he faces a player of Nadal’s caliber. He started w/ good serves & good approaches to open up the point for the kill… but just bombed the kill. Dropshots were quite erratic although there are good ones, too. 3rd set was just too quick. It seemed Stan already gave up after losing the TB.

    After all, it was always going to be a comfortable win. This is what I like… he’s not playing that well but stil comfortably winning. Usually the champion of a tournament plays this way (but before getting too excited, the same can be said for Nadal LOL).

    As for Nadal, I guess we need to see how he fares when he’s faced w/ players owning a penetrating shot. We definitely can say that about Almagro or Verdasco… but unfortunately, they are part of the “Spanish conspiracy” LOL (a group of Spanish players that always lose to support their feudal King Nadal). So, I guess it’s only Djokovic. No mentally tough players on Nadal’s half. How nice.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yup, Nadal is already in the finals as far as im concerned. Id say Roger has been playing pretty well thus far.

    [Reply]

  2. I just watched last half of 2nd set and early 3rd set of Bellucci vs. Nadal. No time to watch them all. But from the little part I watched, it’s clear Nadal is not invincible even if one plays at the baseline. Nadal is always in trouble in his own service game at least when I watched this match. What puts him in great trouble? In particular, Bellucci’s flat & penetrating backhand. Several times, Nadal got 0-40 on his own service game. When Bellucci unleashed those BHs, he usually succumbed. Many of Nadal’s service games where Nadal won, it was won by a close margin (after deuces).

    I didn’t watch Soderling vs. Nadal last year, but I suspect the tactic is similar. Now, Bellucci is such a poor volleyer. Almost all his volleys screw up terribly, w/ the exception of easy put-aways. None of his dropshots I saw fell in Nadal’s half. Yet… he managed to give Nadal a world of problems on his own service game. 6th & 7th game of the 2nd set highlights my points. Aside from this technical viewpoint, Bellucci’s mental is probably still weak. He plays well if he’s behind, when he’s in front & serving… stupid things happen. There are also maybe problems w/ his stamina. But there are some things to take by watching this game.

    As Agassi (and Ru-an ;)) said, the keys are penetrating and flatter shots. If one has excellent volleys, the better it will be. Roger has all those arsenals. The best ingredients are there, it’s just a matter of the cook. So really, if they both meet at the finals and Roger loses the same way as he did, I’ll be really disappointed this time.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Bellucci didnt have the belief to trouble Nadal. But even if he did he would probably still have lost. Thats the scary thing.

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  3. Pingback: Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer: Good Friends in 2010 US Open and Beyond | Tennis Hound

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