Nadal Defeats Del Potro to Claim 3rd Indian Wells Title

Hi folks, long time no post. I never got to making a post about the Indian Wells final. I was disappointed when Del Potro lost so I didn’t feel like making a post right after the match, and ever since I’ve been too busy. Now it is my off weekend again and I have some time to catch up with everything that’s been happening in the tennis world. Miami has been going on for the last week or so but let me just get back to that Indian Wells final for a second. Del Potro started out a bit slow as was expected after beating Murray and Djokovic in tough three setters. He got broken early on but soon found his rhythm and started ripping those monster ground strokes. He had Nadal running around the court like a headless chicken again and won 6 straight games if I remember correctly, going up a break in second set as well.

It looked like another US Open-like beating was on the cards again, but Del Potro’s tiredness coupled with Nadal’s superhuman and suspicious defensive capabilities started to tell. Nadal broke back and the momentum shifted once more. I thought the momentum might swing again in Del Potro’s favor in the third set but he was too tired. Nadal was playing unreal tennis but you could see Del Potro missing some shots from tiredness. The Nadal challenge proved to be one challenge too many for Del Potro on his quest to complete a fairy tale run. Beating Murray, Djokovic, and Nadal consecutively may just be an impossible task. I don’t think it has ever been done anyway. If one guy was capable of doing it it was Del Potro, because when he goes on a hot run he is extremely destructive. We already saw that at the US Open in 2009.

The fact that even him with his massive ground strokes could not put Nadal away is enough to raise suspicion already. And remember Nadal was only playing in his 4th tournament after an 8 month hiatus from the tour. He now has won the most titles of any player this year too, after a late start to the year. It’s just crazy how fast he has come back, like he wasn’t away from the tour at all. I think two things can be deducted here. First of all his injury doesn’t seem to have been very serious at all, and that his loss to Rosol at Wimbledon injured his pride more than anything. He didn’t have any problems with his injury during Indian Wells that’s for sure, covering the court like superman. The other thing that we can deduct is that the suspicion of doping increases. Nadal is now 26, the age where a baseline grinder like him no doubt starts to decline, yet he looks as fresh as a spring chicken.

Make no mistake, Nadal was right at the top of his game in Indian Wells. I would say his draw was moderately difficult. Gulbis was on fire so that was a pretty tough opponent who he grinded down in the 4th round. Then he had Roger who was not into the match, and then Berdych who he owns. In the final he had Del Potro who was tough but tired after a really tough draw. So credit to Nadal for winning the title. Even if he is doping then it’s still tough to do what he did. But on the other hand his draw was not nearly as difficult as Del Potro’s and therefor he got a tired Del Potro in the final as well. It’s hard for me to discuss Nadal because the suspicion of doping surrounding him is becoming stronger by the day. On the one hand I want to respect him for his achievements but on the other hand if he is doping then they are not that great.

He has this superhuman aura when he is on the tennis court and then there is all this weird off court stuff that happens, like leaving the tour for 8 months and then coming back as if he was never away. Or for instance developing a huge serve just for two weeks to win the US Open and complete the career grand slam, just to lose that serve right after the tournament again. Personally I think tennis is full of doping. I don’t trust people, especially when there are so many loopholes in the testing for doping and so much money involved. People are greedy and lust after fame and fortune, to the point that they would do anything to achieve that end. Nadal has the ideal personality for a doper as well. He is always going after the appearance fees at the cost of his health. I don’t doubt that he would damage his health in the long run to satisfy his superficial short term lust after fortune and fame.

I don’t buy his humbleness either. I think it is just a mask he puts on in front of the public to hide what it really behind it – an insatiable lust after fame and fortune. This can clearly be seen by the way he acts on the tennis court. His unsportsmanlike conduct is notorious. He is always trying to psyche or intimidate his opponents(the shoulder charge against Rosol at Wimbledon immediately comes to mind). I don’t trust someone who’s on court personality is so drastically different from his off court personality. It is just too much of a contradiction. I find it much easier to trust Roger for instance who is pretty consistent in his on and off court personalities. Roger may be arrogant, but it is the arrogance of honesty, of saying it as it is. As long as someone is honest their arrogance don’t bother me much because at least the person is real.

I much prefer that over someone who is falsely humble, which I believe Nadal is. I have said this before and I will say this again: I do not trust Nadal. Not for a second. If someone was to ask me whether I think Nadal is doping my answer would be: Without a shadow of a doubt. But since there is no concrete proof of it there is no point on dwelling on it. Every once in a while I will make a post where I can no longer ignore the obvious, but you will know that I rarely speak about it. It just makes Fedfans look bad, like we are looking for excuses. After the Fedal mach in Indian Wells I was criticizing Roger and didn’t say a word about the possibility of Nadal doping. Rather I was blaming Roger for his body language and lack of passion, even at the cost of my readers becoming furious at me. So no one can accuse me of looking for excuses.

But as you know I am not unnecessarily hard on Roger and will also look at the other side of the story. It’s not just a straight forward situation. I can try to blame Roger for his losses only so much until I can’t help noticing the suspicion about doping surrounding Nadal anymore. All this time I have tried to somehow overlook all the suspicion, but there comes a point when it just becomes too obvious. You have to remember that Nadal was an early bloomer. He turned pro in 2001 and has been around for a long time. And he plays the most taxing game style in the history of the sport. It simply defies belief how he retrieves time after time, year after year balls that are irretrievable for any other player. You would think that after 12 years on tour playing a brutally taxing game he would start to lose a step, but it never happened. In Indian Wells it was as if he stepped on a court for the first time.

Del Potro was hitting monstrous forehands but Nadal would grind down his will by retrieving the ball time and time again. Enough is enough folks. This is becoming laughable. I just can’t stand by and keep my mouth shut anymore. I was going to say something about Miami too but this has already turned out to be quite a long post and I will try to get in another post tomorrow as well. The final is being played tomorrow anyway between Murray and Ferrer, and if Murray wins he will overtake Roger in the rankings which I totally expect to happen.

Highlights:

Posted in Uncategorized.

21 Comments

  1. Now that I have got that out of the way……

    I just want to say a couple of things. Honestly Ru-an I think you are beeing a little too harsh on Roger. Which is your right. I do believe that we can judge Roger and that we do have the right to be angry at him and question him. But I don’t think it is right to sort of write him off when he loses a lot. He went into IW against Rafa knowing well that Rafa plays terrific, that his own back was hurting a lot AND that he would be burned online for losing. Still he played, because he is a gentleman, he is professional, did not want to disappoint the tour directors AND above all his fans. I admire that so much. He knew Rafa would win (he hoped Rafa might have had a bad day), but he played only and only for his fans. We are he reason he is again beeing written off because he lost to Rafa. For that alone he deserves praise. And not bad comments, because as you are well aware of, he gets those MORE than enough from the haters/commentators/nay-sayers/critics/Rafa-fans.
    He did get and still is getting “bad words” for losing to Rafa. But I will tell that more in another comment when I read the rest of the articles.

    I also want to say that we do agree on one thing: Rafa.
    Obviously Rafa is having his 2010 year after beeing injured in 2009. Meaning he is going to win EVERYTHING there is to win under the sun, keeping the whole tennisworld questioning AGAIN was he ever injured or not. I really think he was not injured, that the Rosol loss demorelised him. That he was questioning himself and that the great uncle Toni and his team and Rafa himself saw just one solution: Stop playing for a while, take time to practise a lot, work on every aspect of the game, improve every aspect of the game (so that a Rosol loss will never happen again) and then…………..come back and win everything really everyting (made it to all the four finals in the four tours he played and won three of them and almost won the fourth), especially when all the other guys have played throughout the year and are a little bit “tired”.

    Maybe he was a little bit injured, but not enough to stay away 7 to 8 months. And like everybody is saying, when and where was his injury when he played Rosol?
    We have about Rafa a couple of things in common: We both don’t like him, do respect the way he plays, don’t buy this injury stuff, do think he is a fake, don’t think he is humble at all.
    But there is one thing I have to disagree with you and with anybody who also says and believes this: RAFA DOES NOT PLAY TENNIS FOR FAME OR FORTUNE.
    I never have and never will believe that. Even if Rafa says it himself. Everybody who says this, is wrong, really wrong. Rafa DOES NOT care about beeing famous or winning money. As a Roger fan, I would be inclined to believe sooner that Roger is playing tennis for fame and fortune than Rafa. Why? Because Rafa plays tennis and has played tennis for one thing only: HE WANTS TO AND HAS TO WIN. Not for money or something else. I honestly believe he did not like playing tennis in the first place, that he sometimes does not like it at all, that he has questioned himself in the past why he plays the game. He is not Roger who lives for the game and who loves the game so much. I honestly believe he rolled into tennis because of his great uncle Toni and gradually discovered that he could like it. But he is not a Roger or anyone else of the players who just oozes and breaths the love for tennis. But I think he discovered that he could win, he loved to win and he is ADDICTIVE to winning. That is why the Rosol loss hurt him that much. It broke him mentally, he had to recover, so they made up a story about an injury (which was maybe present but not that much, seeing how he nearly destroyed Rosol).
    Seriously Rafa is all and only about winning, NOTHING ELSE.

    And to make things perfectly clear, I do believe with all my heart that Rafa is doping. Not as a Roger fan, but in general I do believe that.
    Just like I believe that faith/karma will catch up with him. Hopefully still while Roger is playing. And if it turns out that he was doping, I honestly think he should pay back all of the price money and that his titles should be stripped off him and be given to the runner up, be it a Roger or Novak or Andy or even a Berdych. If it turns out to be that he was doping…… oh man, he destroyed so many careers (Roger and Andy). Like Armstrong. That is why I hope, if it turns out to be that he is doping, that he will be caught while Roger is still playing.
    And I really hope that Roger does not retire before Rafa, because Roger DOES NOT deserve that.
    How about the fact that after AO 2013 Roger played like a man with backpain, whereas Rafa played like a 18 year old. I saw the IW final AND THAT IS NOT SOMEONE WHO IS PLAYING AFTER AN 8 MONTHS ABSENCE DUE TO INJURY.

    I live in Holland and I am raised and brought up with the believe that “what goes around comes around”,”you will get your rewards for doing good in this lifetime”, “you will reap what you sow in this lifetime”, “you will get what you deserve in this lifetime” and “karma will catch up with you and you will have to pay for your wrongdoings in this lifetime”.

    And to make it perfect clear that thing I said about paying back price money and getting stripped of the titles when you are found guilty of doping, is for all, even for Roger. But Roger is definitely not doping, I know that and believe that with all my heart. If he is doping, then someone should tell him he is doing it wrong!!! Because when you dope you should win everything under the sun (which Roger is not) and you should be invincible (which Roger is not) and you should have no weak points (which Roger has in his game and his health, his back). That is why I know Roger is not doping. He is the FIRST to say something about more doping controles and now everyone is joining his bandwagon, he is ALWAYS the first to say something and then the rest follows, like sheeps.

    I know again a long comment, but there are two things which MAKE me write long comments, my love and respect for my hero Roger (the man who I love and respect more and more every hour that goes by) and the dislike for the man Rafa almost the entire tennisworld seems to adore (which I don’t get, don’t understand and don’t think he deserves all of it, only a little).
    I love the way Rafa plays tennis (have to say that), but I don’t like him, I think he is dishonest, I think he is deceiving and does something illegal, is fake and is absolutely not humble.
    Give me Roger’s so called arrogance (which is of course him beeing honest and straightforward and not deceiving) anyday over that fakeness/acting humbleness.

    From Katyani, a die hard Roger fan who stands by him in good and less than good times and always believes in him no matter what, no matter a win or a loss or a series of losses, because if Roger proved the tennisworld five things, than that is that the show is not over, Roger has not left the building, it is not wise to write him off, that he is not done yet and that HE WILL BE BACK !!!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes Katyani I have been too hard on Roger in the past. But it was for the sake of Roger and Fedfans around the world. If I blamed this all on Nadal doping from the start then Fedfans would lose a lot of credibility. It makes things difficult because you guys get mad at me. But I needed to be more sure that Nadal is doping. I have finally reached that point.

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    Katyani Reply:

    Hi Ru-an, I am not mad at you or attacking you. I hope it did not come across like that. I am not saying we should all sing praises of Roger all the time. Sometimes he deserves to be criticised. But I don’t think it is right to critise Roger now because he is losing a lot, when we all are happy when he was winning all these years.

    If you are happy with him winning for years, then I believe you should also stick by him when it is going bad, I don’t like those Roger fans who say that he can better retire now because he is losing a lot. Give him a chance. Afterall did he not come back great in 2012? And I, to be honest, don’t know why people say that he might retire in 2014 or 2015. Why? What is wrong with beeing number 10 or 20? Stephanek (34) and Haas (35) and Hewitt and a lot more of these guys they play after 32 or 33, so why should Roger retire in 2014 or 2015? If he is out of the top 4, is that so bad? Yes, it is not ideal, but why do people not believe that he will play after 2016? Because I honestly believe he will.

    Ru-an, I know we Roger fans get a bad name if we say Rafa is doping and that is why he wins from Roger. But…. is that not the truth? I mean, don’t get me wrong, Rafa is Roger’s mental block and sometimes he plays amazing, but I do believe he wins this much (also from Andy etc), because he is doping.

    I did not get all of it during his 2009 injury and then his win-it-all-in-2010, but I did live through his so called 2012 injury and his godlike rise in 2013, which I did mention in my above post. How can he get to four finals in four tours and win three of them and win almost the other? And how the hell did he win IW (his least favourite hardcourt) when he was playing against the unbeatable Delpo??
    How the hell did he play that match? He was running around like an 18 year old tennisgod.

    It literally upsets me so so bad to know that Roger worked so hard to get a careerslam, and a very deserving careerslam with 1 RG, 4 AO, 5 USO and 7 Wimby’s and that Rafa also has a careerslam with just 1 AO, 1 USO, 2 Wimby and 7 RG. And …. because he has an Olympic gold medal, he gets the Golden Slam???? I think that it is so unfair. I mean Agassi and Serena deserve their Golden Slam because they worked for it and they have multiple slams. But Rafa…. getting an Olympic medal on his least favourite hardcourt???
    And what ALSO bugs me the MOST is to know that in Rio 2016 it will be clay court, so he has even got a chance to win a second Olympic gold medal. Now how the hell is that fair and honest and right??? And why does Roger not advocate a lot more that HE ALSO has a Golden Slam??? Yes, his medal is from the doubles, but it is the Golden one. Why doesn’t he shout everytime from the rooftop that he also has a Golden Slam? A gold medal is a gold medal, be it in singles or doubles.

    Ru-an, we do think the same about Rafa.
    If there was ever a doubt that he was doping, I think he made that worse himself with his accomplishments so far. When every player who gets injured (be it a Hewitt, Haas, Monfils, Delpo, Fish, etc) need months, even years to get back to their last position or to get back at winning, and Rafa only needs TWO months….. no sorry, how stupid does he, his team and the great uncle Toni think the tennisworld is? Even commentators say that his rise is spectacular (with a not so straight face, even they don’t know and believe how he can do that).

    Roger is 31 and is playing tennis and is hurting. It is after AO 2013 so obvious. He beeing a gentleman never says it and absolutely never uses it as an excuse.
    How the hell can you explain that since february Rafa takes every oppertunity he gets to say that hardcourt is bad for the players and then he wins the first hardcourt of a 1000 serie, not a 250 or a 500, but straight away the 1000 tour???
    It is so obvious he is doing something wrong and illegal and everyone (from Roger to the tennisworld) is suffering for it.
    So hope karma gives him what he deserves.
    Yes, he plays, without doping, extremely good, but with doping…. like superman.
    And this I will also say honestly, if it turns out that he is not doping, I will be one of the first to go online and apoligise on almost every site I can find, for thinking that he was doping when he was not.
    But in the meantime… I know he is doping and we can do nothing about that.

    Katyani

    [Reply]

  2. Thanks Ru-an. We all want to be fair, and it is not about disliking Nadal or being a sour loser. But it’s just so obvious, and it’s so unfair towards those players that are not doping, that it is just not ok to shut up unless there is some proof for the accusations. Evidence is so abundant, you have to believe in fairytales and Santa Claus and Uncle Tony all at once if you want to ignore it. And if you think it through, Nadal might just be the worst thing that happened to this sport. There would be a huge shitstorm if this ever coming out

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Chris, there is nothing in this world that I hate more than falseness, and I think Nadal is the personification of falseness. I don’t believe his humble persona for a second. I think it is utterly fake. He is indeed the worst thing that has ever happened to tennis. Tennis as we know it may not survive if this shit comes out.

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    It would be nice if we were all wrong and Nadal was just an extremely tough fighter, deserving every single title. We are all amazed how well he retrieves, and he has some incredible skills that have nothing to do with the use of PED. But in the year 2013 I find it impossible to not raise my eyebrows when I hear and see such stories like the Nadal saga. Many ATP players had to take a break due to injuries, I think e.g. of Del Potro or Haas. We all saw how hard it is to come back, get back to competitive levels, find the rythm again, rebuild the confidence, trust your own body again when put under extreme pressure. The comeback of Nadal is just… strange, because it does not follow the normal patterns of a comeback from long injury break. Was it not Lance Armstrong who suffered a break due to cancer and came back as the invinceable dominator of cycling? To believe that tennis is still a completely clean sport in 2013 is defying common sense and realism, and watching out for signs of doping happening in tennis, it’s hard to overlook the Spanish elephant in the room. I apologize to Rafa, his team and all his fans if I’m wrong, but as far as belief goes in the absence of proof, I have made up my mind.

    [Reply]

  3. Hi Ruan,
    I read your posts and most of the comments.
    I must admit that your last post caught me a bit by surprise as you haven’t been tackling the doping issue for a long time so directly anymore, as it is a bit taboo to openly speculate and talk about these matters without having much of a proof (except lots of circumstantial evidence).

    On the contrary in your previous post you wrote that there is no place for blind, biased followers on this blog and that we only find the truth in your posts, nothing more, nothing less, if such a thing were überhaupt possible with regard to other people’s motives and conduct (for instance regarding Roger Federer’s or Nadal’s demeanor on court at times).

    I hope you want to remain unbiased and won’t ban people like me that appreciate your blog a lot, but don’t always entirely agree with every aspect of the opinions expressed in your posts or in the comments.

    I couldn’t see any of Federer or Nadal’s recent matches, so it’s difficult to evaluate the
    things I’m reading.

    I tend to agree with you that Nadal can’t possibly have been injured as seriously as he has been pretending… but I’m questioning a bit your point of view with regard to his recent performances (that I didn’t get to watch): is winning two smaller clay tournaments in South and Central America, and next capturing the Indian Wells title by defeating a subpar Federer in the Q’s, a choking T. Berdych in the S’s and a fatigued J.M. Del Potro in the finals after all such a feat for the clay goat? Isn’t that normal stuff for his standards as these three victories came on rather slow courts which suit Nadal’s game style ?

    And such a quick comeback would not be possible without resorting to forbidden means, you write. Could be, I’m not saying either that they aren’t using anything, but Federer and Nadal are brilliant players. Both are so talented each in his own way that they are capable of returning quickly to a very high level of play without having to resort to doping I think.

    You might object here that Rafael Nadal wasn’t able to return so quickly in 2009 when he skipped Wimbledon. Is true. It took him indeed many events before enjoying victory again. But those losses came mostly on faster hard courts if I’m’ not mistaken, and came after a small break after having played loads of tennis in the preceding months. Not comparable as such with having being able to rest for 7 à 8 months as has been the case this year.

    In sports you’re either a hero today or a goat next day….that’s the way it goes ha ha ha ha… So let’s wait and see what will happen in the coming weeks, and let the fortunetellers do their own job. Their wrong anyway most of the time as it is a lot easier to predict the past than the future.
    But one thing is for sure. Federer hasn’t gone anywhere. He’ll come back to courts, not only to turn up but to compete. And so will Nadal, Djokovic, Murray and Del Potro…

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well for me the fact that Nadal is doping is the truth Wilfried. And I don’t know why you worry about being banned. It would be absurd for me to ban anyone who disagrees with me, least of all you. I ban people who are condescending and disrespectful, and that has not happened often.

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  4. Hi Ru-an, Missed you, good to have you back….reading your blog about Nadal, I must say you took the words out of my mouth. Remember, quite some time back the first time I watched Nadal play tennis, I said to myself, I do not trust this young man…your words “I do not trust Nadal. Not for a minute”. Feel excactly like you. I agree with Katyani’s comments, Nadal is out to WIN, at all costs. He plays unbelievable tennis, no doubt. What the future holds for Nadal, time will tell.
    In the meantime, hope Roger is getting a good rest will return with the three V’s, give us tennis fans a joy to watch him play. Good luck, Roger. We love you.
    Kindly,
    Dolores

    [Reply]

  5. Please ut out the conspiracy non-sense. Nadal is a bad matchup for Federer, get over it. Nadal didn’t simply come out of the blue to win Indian wells, he played the South/central American clay court season to prepare.

    Lets put it this way, if Federer read this blog post I think he would be appalled at your attempts to cast doubts over a fellow professional with no evidence.

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    No evidence? You are as blind as a bat.

    Good post, Ruan. Totally on the money, as a far as I am concerned, and very honestly expressed. I agree that it’s not about making excuses for Roger when he loses or plays badly, but seeing that something highly dubious is taking over the game.

    I watched the Murray-Ferrer final in Miami. Totally Nadal-like. Defensive tennis beyond belief. How the hell Murray reduced the road-runner to cramps – something I have never seen happen before to Ferrer – is beyond me, when he was covering at least as much court himself at Bolt-like speed. Of course there is “no evidence” of doping – except that, like Nadal, these guys are playing impossible tennis. Frankly, if you aren’t doping I don’t see how you can compete now.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Rich. Yes there is plenty of evidence. And yeah Ferrer seems suspicious to me too. Can’t say for sure about Murray though.

    [Reply]

    Stephen Reply:

    Hi Ruan/Rich,

    I seen Miami final yesterday, the Murray-Ferrer final was no way like Nadal-Djokovic.

    Both players showed visible tiredness, and Murray managed to play aggressive in 3rd set to reduce long points.

    I can safely say Murray/Ferrer not dopers, Nadal/Djokovic on other hand sprint for 6 hours in Australian Open final and not slowing down, those guys are dopers.

    [Reply]

  6. Glad you took some time to post, Ru-an. Some wonderful comments on your last post from Katyani and Veronica.

    I’m inclined to cut Federer some slack simply because he is always held to an insanely high standard (as he said, he created a “monster” of expectations).

    I don’t think he’s lacking in motivation, just struggling with his game. If he doesn’t feel confident that his body will hold up, he won’t be able to move or serve properly and he won’t be able to make the shots he needs to make.

    If he loses just a little timing on his groundstrokes or doesn’t feel he can go quite as close to the lines as usual, then it becomes a totally different match because his game is predicated on precision striking and ball placement.

    He’s 31. It’s unfair to suggest he doesn’t want to win when he loses a match. To beat an in-form Nadal with a blocked serve and limited mobility would have been a tall order even seven years ago when Federer was in his physical prime. Now that he has lost a little bit of physical prowess, you can’t expect him to pull miracles out of his hat when he’s having a bad day against the best players–especially Nadal, whom he has never been able to beat without playing his very best tennis.

    His game looks magical but it isn’t magic–it’s the product of immense native talent that has been honed to its peak through a lifetime of training and discipline, combined with a deathless love of the game. Federer has no magic secrets, unlike Nadal with his “knee treatments” or Djokovic with his “gluten free diet” that give them amazing superpowers. His only secrets are hard work and commitment, and a passion for tennis.

    Give him a couple months to recover and refresh himself mentally, and to train hard to fix the holes in his game, and he will be well capable of mounting a sustained campaign during the clay and grass seasons. After that agonizingly close defeat to Djokovic at USO ’11, Federer took a break, came back, and totally dominated the indoor run that year. I hope he can manage something similar this summer, but if he doesn’t, it won’t be for lack of trying.

    As he ages his tennis becomes ever richer, more complex, and more refined, but we won’t be able to see it as often because he has to conserve his strength. We fans will have to trade quality for quantity, but it will be well worth the wait.

    Keep the faith! The champion of champions will be back, and he has plenty of tennis left to show us.

    [Reply]

  7. Hi Ru-an,

    With Murray winning Miami, two things have happened – Murray is now the new world #2, and Ferrer has got back to #4 in the rankings… However, the rankings are bound to change before the French Open…

    I think the critical point over here is – “Who will be in Rafa’s half?” With the clay court season starting soon, I believe Rafa will be back to his best and will try and defend as many points as well as gain from his loss in Madrid last year.. He would surely be back to #4 anytime soon.. On the contrary, Roger has 1000 pts to defend from Madrid & a SF from Rome, and I believe that will be a tough task… But nonetheless, it will keep him honest at #3 going into the French Open… This definitely plays in Roger’s favour, as it means he can face Rafa only in the final at Roland Garros. And if Roger is drawn in Murray’s half, that’s the best scenario.. Roger can surely beat Murray on clay, and the other SF would probably be Djokovic-Nadal, which is bound to be a tough one… So, Roger might fancy a 2nd title at RG. What say?

    [Reply]

    Josafina Reply:

    Rafa has 2590 points to defend out of a possible 3500 (Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome) until the FO. Ferrer has 840 points to defend over the same period, has a 665 point lead and is in form. Barring injury, I think Rafa will definitely be going into the FO ranked 5th.

    But, I do agree with you concerning Roger’s chances. He has always been underestimated on clay. If Nadal were not in the picture he would probably have more French Open titles then Aussie Open titles. This year, I don’t think either Murray or Ferrer will be a problem and I like his chances against Novak. As you say, maybe this is his year to take a 2nd title at RG!

    [Reply]

  8. In previous blog, I also stipulated that No 3 ranking is better than No 2 for French Open pairing. But as Sameer stipulates that Rafa will remain No 5 till French Open (and I agree whole-heartedly with the idea), there may be a far worse scenario in which Federer may get Nadal in the QF and I donot expect Federer to defeat Nadal.Of course it would be a different story if he were to fight Nadal for the outright championship,in which case Nadal might have been tortured by Djokovic in earlier round.

    [Reply]

    Josafina Reply:

    I totally agree. A fresh Nadal in the quarterfinals on clay is a tough ask. On the other hand there is only a 25% chance that Nadal will be drawn in Fed’s quarter. We’ll have to wait and see!

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  9. Your opinions on Nadal are simply what they are, opinions, and if you can’t admit they’re incredibly biased then I think you’ve got larger mental issues than the ones you’ve dreamed up for Rafa.

    I’m not going to address all of the circumstantial evidence you’ve hinted at above (cause I’m not really sure what your actual opinion is on some of it – most of the time it seems to be “I won’t commit to this idea because it’s indefensible but it makes Rafa look worse so I’ll mention it”) but I will bring up one point you seem to ignore: If Nadal is so obviously doping to you (to where you can confidently state it w/o a “shadow of a doubt”) why aren’t ANY of the other players complaining? They all have as much information as you – nay, they actually have a considerably better understanding of the situation than you could ever have. So we can be sure that many, if not all, of the players on the tour would have come to the same conclusions that you have were they true. This is ultimately what did Armstrong in: too many players were complaining about him til eventually the cycling associations had to take their heads out of the sand and do something about it. But not a single player/coach/trainer/commentator has come forward against Nadal. Do you think you’re just that much smarter than everybody else? Do you think they’re all just too meek to do it? That not one person has the balls to say something “suspicious” is going on w/ him in their post-match press conference? Perhaps you and your fellow Fedfans are the only ones with brains AND courage?

    Or maybe they’re all doping as well! But does that include Roger??? Obviously not, so is he just stupid? Or too meek to say anything? Neither of those sound like the Roger Federer I’ve come to know. He has all the information you have (and way more) and so do all of his family members and friends, but he still continues to praise Rafa and treat him like a friend. If Roger had any substantial feeling that it were true do you think he would stay silent for a second? Roger’s many things, but meek is not one of them, and if he thinks someone or something are doing him or anyone else wrong he won’t hesitate to speak out. Rafa’s stealing his legacy right before his eyes and he just keeps his mouth shut? Really?

    Or maybe he’s too naive? Can you honestly say that you (a person that knows Rafa on pretty much no level whatsoever beyond what little portrayal you’ve seen of him in the media) know Rafa better than an intelligent person like Roger (who’s talked to/played aside/competed against him for years) and his entire entourage “without a shadow of a doubt”. You could be right, but it doesn’t sound plausible to me, much less worthy of the sure-fire condemnation you’re leveling at Rafa – a person you’ve never met.

    My point: maybe you should ease up a little on this predetermined witch-hunt and focus on supporting a more visible and comprehensive testing system by the ATP. All you’re doing with this is angering Nadal fans. But I don’t think you’re making Fedfans look bad for the record – it’s a rivalry, you’re supposed to hate Nadal’s guts.

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