”I don’t consider myself one of the favorites here,”
”I would be lying if I say I feel that I am ready to win.”
”In terms of being favorites, the other names are more favorite than me at this time,”
”Every time you come back, you have doubts, you have the feeling that you are far from your best,”
”The only thing I can say is I need to play better, yes. But the only way to play better is to win matches.”
There was a huge surprise at the Australian Open yesterday when Nadal said he doesn’t consider himself as one of the favorites for the title. This is the first time Nadal has ever said something like this at any tournament which is why this is such a big shock(yeah, joking). We know Nadal was gonna say this no matter what(he says it at every tournament) but I think it could be particularly telling in this case. I have already posted this topic on Facebook where we discussed it but I thought I’d open a discussion here as well, since I don’t have anything else to post about and my next post will only be on Tuesday as Roger is playing late tomorrow evening my time(7 pm local time). What do you think Nadal is trying to say? Does he really believe he is not one of the favorites or does he think he has a shot at the title? I think Nadal senses he has a shot here because of his draw. In Doha, he lost to Berrer but in the first set he played as well as I’ve ever seen him play.
Then he went on to win the doubles with Monaco. And now he has a cakewalk draw into the semis. Just what he needs to play himself into form before another meeting with his favorite punching bag. And no I’m not talking about Thomas Berdych. I’m talking about Roger Federer. Yeah, that guy who a lot of people are calling the GOAT. I know, I know, you don’t like the fact that I’m calling your favorite player someone’s punching bag, but it is the reality these days. We may as well face it. Since that fateful meeting in the 2009 Australian Open final the beatings have continued and gotten worse. With each successive meeting in Melbourne Nadal have needed fewer sets to get the job done. Last year he won in straight sets and it was hardly a contest. Only the first set which Nadal won 7-4 in the tie-break was somewhat competitive. In a way, I want a Fedal semi because what happened last year was unacceptable.
A formidable pair #Fedberg
If Roger wants to be the GOAT he needs another win over Nadal in a slam the way I see it anyway. We can make a lot of arguments about the match up issue and what not, but if we are honest with ourselves then the rivalry with Nadal is not acceptable for a GOAT. To me, he needs to at least prove that he can come back from all those beatings and get a win over Nadal in a slam. With his new found mental strength, Roger has already turned the rivalry with Murray around. He doesn’t have to turn the rivalry with Nadal around, but surely he can at least get another slam win over his nemesis. It’s no use to keep running away from it, neither as Roger nor as fans. Obviously a Fedal semi is far from a reality and both players could lose before the semis, but should it happen there is no reason Roger can’t turn things around. He has the mental strength now as well as the game plan with the help of Edberg.
Look I know Nadal can lose to Rosol or Anderson if they are in the zone, but he can make semis too. And downplaying his chances shows me he thinks the same thing, if anything. It’s not like Nadal can’t come back from injury and play the world on fire. In 2013, he came back from a seven-month break and hardly lost a match until after the US Open. Just utter domination. So there is no reason he can’t do it now, even though he is complaining about three different injuries. Nadal has always been extremely unpredictable to me and with him I take nothing for granted. I don’t even eliminate the possibility that he could win the title, in which case he would be well on his way to becoming the GOAT. One thing we know is that if we do have a Fedal semi Roger can’t afford to lose because it would crush his confidence if that happens, knowing that he is in top form and Nadal is just back from an injury.
The ball is in your court.