Nadal Wins 7th Barcelona Title

Nadal won his 7th Barcelona title yesterday when he defeated Ferrer 7-6(1), 7-5. Ferrer made it competitive but in the end all the past losses to Nadal on clay probably worked against him. As far as I can remember he had four set points in the first set when Nadal was serving at 0-40 and 5-6, and in the second set he came back from a break and then served for the set at 5-4. Nadal is basically Ferrer 2.0. He is just as fit and tenacious but he has a bit more flair. Ferrer is just too one-dimensional to be at the very top of the game. He lacks a big weapon, where Nadal has one of the most destructive forehands in the game. It’s quite insane how Nadal dominates these clay events. He keeps doing so year after year and he is only 25 years old!

He was an early bloomer and he does have a very taxing game style, but 25 is young no matter how you look at it. One wonders for how long he can keep dominating the clay season. He has already won the first two clay court events he played. Can he win Madrid, Rome, and Roland Garros as well and sweep the clay court season again? I would be surprised if he does. I think Djokovic would certainly have something to say about that, and to a lesser extent Roger. Djokovic withdrew from his home tournament in Belgrade to be with his family after the death of his grandpa as far as I can gather. This could work in his favor as he will be more rested for Madrid, Rome and the French Open while Nadal must tire at some point.

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I’m still a  bit surprised Nadal plays five events in the clay season, especially when he had knee problems recently. With the way things are going Nadal will take a loss somewhere. It’s most likely to come in Madrid. There Djokovic will probably beat him or Roger if he does something special. I personally wouldn’t mind if Djokovic wins Madrid to gain some momentum going into Rome. He already beat Nadal there last year and if he does so again it would be a nice mental boost for him going into the French Open. Rome will have the most baring on what happens in Paris. If Nadal beats Djokovic there then he will be very hard top stop in Paris. If Djokovic wins Madrid and Rome again then he will have a fair chance of winning his first French Open.

The clay season will be dominated by Nadal and Djokovic and to a lesser extent Roger. Murray lost in the quarter finals of Barcalona again to Raonic of all people. A lot of people said he is just a serve and this goes a long way towards proving these people wrong. He does have a decent ground game although I doubt he will ever achieve something significant on clay. Anyway Murray seems to be struggling on clay. Maybe he can improve in Madrid and Rome but I can’t see him being a significant threat to the top three. Del Potro also starts his clay court campaign in Estoril this week. He is one other guy that could possibly threaten the top three on clay. We are nearing the business end of the clay court season. Can’t wait to see Roger back!

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12 Comments

  1. The 2 following masters tournament are very important for Roger because it will be the last chance for him to take the n°2 ranking away from Nadal prior to RG which will be almost a miracle if he can do it because Nadal have a 540 points security (if we take out both madrid and rome 2011 results for both of them) and because its clay. The only chance for Roger will be to win Madrid and go deep in Rome without Nadal winning it.
    I think it will be hugely important if Federer could take that spot because it will increase his changes dramatically for a RG win :
    1/ If Nadal and Djokovitch are to meet in the semis and Federer makes it to a 6th RG final, this scenario will be obviously ideal because either he will meet Djoko which is easier than Nadal or he will probably have a very tired Nadal since I cant see this match being an easy win for Nadal
    2/ If federer is to meet to Nadal, I will prefer that it will be in the semis where Federer will be much more relaxed and his fitness will be better than after the legendary semi he had last year.

    Winning Madrid is not a stupid prediction for Roger (he has already done it against Nadal in the finals) so lets hope for a very important Madrid win

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  2. “Murray lost to Raonic of all people”. Raonic is still learning to play on clay. He needs to work on his return game, movement etc. but he is very competitive. I also don’t think he is intimidated by the top players. Someone to watch for soon.

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  3. Hey Ru-an.Hope you are well.From what I saw in that final,it was as though Ferrer did not want to win.How else does one explain squandering 5-6 break points in one game and that too 2 or 3 where nadal didnt get the 1st serve in? Nadal played bad and that was it.but ferrer played even poorer to gift nadal his 7th barcelona title.If he contiues playing like this in Madrid and rome,i am sure the likes of Federer,Djokovic,Murray,Delpotro can fancy their chances in the lions den.Anyway,looking forward to see God play after 5 weeks.Hope he goes deep in both Madrid and Rome and probably win one of them to equal Nadal in Atp masters1000 title for a squeal like nadal should not hold such a record where he has won 16 masters 1000 titles on clay(8MC,5RO,2MA,1HM) which is 80% and clearly goes to show that he is the clay goat and all records that he holds in mainly due to his heavenly improbable record on clay.For Roger its more evenly spread.Out of his 19 atp masters 1000 titles,8 have come on clay and 11 on hard courts which his 43% and 57% respectively.So see its Roger who tuly deserves to hold this record as he has a more balanced resume when it comes to atp masters 1000 titles unlike the machine.So Common Roger,Madrid is yours.Upwards and Onwards to MAdrid Masters.Untile then,keep us posted with your knowledge Ru-an.

    V

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks V I will try. Not so much to write about. I agree about the fact that Roger deserves the MS record. Sucks that there are three MS on clay and none on grass, or Roger would have held the record.

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  4. Nadal’s knees only hurt after losses otherwise we never hear about them. I can’t see how his knee’s ever hurt when you consider how much rest he gives them between points.

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  5. I just read a report that Roger is complaining about his feet. He said his feet have been an issue this year and the only solution is rest. Hopefully, they are healed now.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    No worries.

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  6. Jeez, these tournaments are boring without Roger. A grindfest. Ferrer played amazingly well against Nadal but Nadal’s defence is quite ridiculous. Even his shanks seem to find the lines. I watch only because I want to see him lose but to me he appears seriously turbo-charged again, as he always is in the clay-court season through to Wimbledon, and I suspect he may only be beaten when the hard-court swing comes his way again. Injured? No chance. He has worn knee bandages since 2005(!) but shows no sign of slowing. The reverse in fact. The only question between now and the USO is who can puncture his insane defensive game. Djoko has a chance (I can’t believe that’s all I am giving him – a chance) but if Roger were to do it – well if it was at the French Open I would play the Marseillaise out my backside. Excuse my French. Probably wishful thinking. But be prepared to hear Nadal drone on about his knees again – and get another special injection from Dr Sanchez.

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  7. I have to say I am bored when Federer is not playing :-(
    I am eagerly awaiting to see the draw for Madrid and am hoping for a Nadal / Federer semifinal. This extended break might be a blessing for Roger and maybe he will win Madrid and get a chance to close in on Nadal in the point standings. My biggest concern is the little bit of rust that Roger will have acquired being off so long but hopefully can shake it off by the later rounds. Nadal seems to be a real threat now that he has won two tournaments in a row defeating a wary Novak in the process. His confidence must be super high right now but for some reason I don’t think Nadal will defend Roland-Garros this year and that I believe will affect his consistency throughout the rest of the year. Personally, I am tired of Nadal winning all the time on clay. I would like to see Del Potro or Djokovic or Federer defeat him numerous times this year. Enough yabbing from me or wishful thinking. I am anxious for Roger to have one of the best years of his career and he just might do that.

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    amine Reply:

    I agree 100%. The next 5 mounths, I think, are going to be very special in the planet Tennis and I am feeling Roger will play the bigest roll.

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  8. Hey Ruan. How are you? cant wait to see roger back in clay. he is one of the finest clay courters of all time if not he’s the clay GOAT had there wasnt someone named nadal. he’s elegant & using all kinda strokes that was needed in clay & i still remember the drop shots he’s using against the first-serve from the opponents. Incredible. Even if he doesnt win any title in clay i don mind i hope he makes the semis atleast in all tournies & make up the points for wimbledon & so forth in order to get the coveted spot. Come on Roger!!!

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  9. Winning Monte Carlo and Barcelona is astonishing for us but nothing special for Rafael Nadal. He’s doing it every year again since 2005. It’s like winning two of his home tournaments. Winning these two tournaments doesn’t necessarily imply that he’s is on pace for sweeping the rest of the clay season. In fact, it would be his first time doing so, because the four times he’s played 5 consecutive tournaments on clay during the same season, he let slip at least one or two matches out of his hands in the process. Here are his 5-tournament win-loss records in review:
    In 2007 he played Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome, Hamburg and Paris. He thereby won all his matches except for the Hamburg, which he lost from Roger Federer;
    In 2008 he played the same 5 tournaments and won all his matches except for his second round match in Rome, which he lost from J.C. Ferrero, a former Roland Garros-title winner.
    In 2009 he played Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome, Madrid and Paris. He thereby lost twice (from R. Federer in Madrid, and from R. Söderling in Paris).
    In 2011 he played Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome and Paris and lost twice from Djokovic (in Madrid and Rome).
    Ergo if these past results are any indication for the results we may expect in the current season, Nadal will lose at least one of his matches before going to Paris. Likewise according to these past results, Nadal has a 33% chance of losing in Paris if he loses the tournament right before Paris, and a 0 % chance of losing in Paris if he loses a match in an earlier tournament as was the case in 2008.
    My conclusion is therefore that Roger and/or Djokovic have a better shot at eventually winning in Paris if they manage to win in Rome.

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