Rome Draw: Federer is Playing!

http://www.atpworldtour.com/Share/Event-Draws.aspx?EventId=416&Year=2014

Hi guys! It was nice to read your comments even though Roger was not playing in Madrid and I only made two posts. I appreciate your participation in my blog and your support, even though things were so hectic in April for me and then Roger withdrawing from Madrid. I was disappointed when Roger withdrew from Madrid so I was happy to hear that he will play Rome. It looked like he was practicing hard in Zurich when he went there for the birth of his second set of twins, so I thought the possibility that he would play was pretty good. But I did not want to make another draw post before I was sure he would play. But before I get to the Rome draw let me say a few things about what transpired in Madrid. I watched a little tennis here and there but sort of lost interest when Berdych beat Dimitrov and then bent over as usual for Nadal.

It felt like a conspiracy for Nadal to win the title given his cakewalk draw. And as if that wasn’t enough he was getting routined by Nishikori in the final, trailing 6-2 and 4-2 before Nishikori got injured. I always think people go overboard when they say how much luck Nadal has, because he makes his own luck. But I can’t help but feel that Nadal was extremely lucky here, and that maybe those people have been right all along. I mean he was desperate for confidence coming into Madrid after losing to Ferrer and Almagro in Monte Carlo and Barcelona. But then like clockwork the top players withdraw or lost early, and Nadal’s draw opened up. Then in the final he gets outplayed by the better player who then gets injured. WTF?! Either Nadal really is incredibly lucky or there is some conspiracy going on here.

Credit to Nadal for hanging in there and once again finding a way, even though it was because of his opponent’s injury. Credit to uncle Toni as well for admitting that Nadal got lucky and that he was losing. Nadal is mentally maybe the toughest player in history. But I must say I did not appreciate his reaction at 3-4 in the second set when he broke back. It was clear that Nishikori got injured and then Nadal started fist pumping like it was all due to his own play. This is why I don’t like Nadal and why he will never be as liked and respected the way Roger is. I think what he did shows poor character. And of course at the end he bit the trophy again. It just leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Nishikori is such a classy guy and yet Nadal showed him no respect. As I said before, Nadal will be Nadal.

Getting back to the Rome draw, Roger’s draw looks good to make at least semis, but of course Tsonga and Raonic can’t be underestimated. Roger plays Chardy in his first match, and then the winner of Rosol and Dodig after Rosol eliminated 13th seed Fognini. Then it looks like Raonic or Tsonga for Roger, and in the semis Djokovic or Ferrer. Djokovic has been out with a wrist injury since Roger beat him in Monte Carlo, so who knows how he will do. Ferrer would certainly be a tough opponent in the quarters for him. In the top half you basically have the same situation as in Madrid. Nadal should easily make semis, and then it depends who he faces there. Hopefully this time it is Stan. Stan has been up and down since he won the Australian Open. Since he was down in Madrid hopefully he will be up again in Rome.

Nadal can’t be allowed another cakewalk to a Masters Series title. The title in Madrid would have already helped with his crushed confidence. It is time in Rome for him to get properly challenged once again, or the advantage the top players held with Nadal’s shaken confidence will slip away, and he will become the favorite for the French Open once again. The last thing I want to see is for him to win the French Open after what happened at the Australian Open. That would all but erase the damage which was done to him in Melbourne. Something similar happened to Roger in 2009 in Melbourne and he came back to win the channel slam. If that happens with Nadal Roger can pretty much kiss his slam record goodbye, so Djokovic and Stan really needs to step it up in Rome. So must Roger. And there will be no Nishikori in Rome…

Madrid final highlights:

Posted in Uncategorized.

64 Comments

  1. Hi Ru-an, So great to receive your new blog, have missed you. But as you mentioned Fed/Ru-an fans have kept the blog alive. Did have some good chuckles reading Veronica/Katyani’s back and forth chats, and they were right.
    Think we are all excited seeing Roger play tennis again in Rome. Just read in Blick that he is planning to have his boys, along with the girls, of course, travel with him to all future events. You’ve got to be well organized for sure. Know he is very attached to his family…
    To your blog, Ru-an. So much you say I agree with all…mention of Nadal/Nishikori’s match. I watched some of it, I have a difficult time watching Nadal play tennis. You made a comment which hits the nail on the head….”Character” “poor character” as you stated.
    It was obvious Nadal would not have won this match had it not been for the unfortunate injury by Nishi. I like him, wish him well for the future.
    Tomorrow, Roger will play his first match in Rome, let us all welcome the new Dad with a standing ovation.
    And a good start, of course.
    Kindly,
    Dolores

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Missed you guys too Dolores. Yes the family is getting bigger but Roger will probably make the managing of it look easy. Like Katyani says it is clear that Nadal is not humble and that he is faking his humbleness. I mean if you want to be a cold killer on court fine, but don’t act like you are the opposite off court then. It’s the falseness of it all that spoils it for me.

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  2. Hey Ru-an, as usual a great great article. Honestly, don’t you get bored hearing that :-)
    I don’t know if you watched the Madrid final or the highlights, but even the commentators said that Nishikori was doing to Rafa what he always does to others. And yes, we all know, he would have lost.
    Although we all make our own luck, seriously, luckiest tennisplayer of all time or what?? Needs confidence badly asap and what does he get? Exactly that on a silver platter.
    Like I said, it is not Rafa’s fault that Nishi got injured, but the way he behaved what totally and utterly discusting.
    And the worse part, his fans and fans all over still dare to call him humble….
    He may or may not overtake Roger’s total titles, but he will NEVER EVER be Roger or have his heart.
    Roger is not perfect and makes a lot of mistakes himself, but he is hundred of levels above Rafa.

    This time Roger is not talking about winning Rome, but having match practises (and wants to see how far he gets), so maybe…. this time he will get the job done. He does make finals, so maybe now, he will win them too. Go Roger :-) We believe. I believe :-)

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Not really Katyani. It’s always nice to hear people appreciating your work. I could not watch the Madrid final because I had to be up at 6 am the next morning and the final started at 12:15 am over here, but I badly wanted to watch it. I had to settle for the highlights. It looks like Kei played unbelievably well until he got injured. What a damn shame. Winning the title vs Nadal in the final would have been huge for him. Kei has really been extremely impressive. I knew he could play but I didn’t think he was THIS good. He also beat Roger in Miami and have a 2-1 h2h record against him. He is definitely a player of the future. As for Nadal’s behavior it was very poor. I think he showed everyone his true colors because Nishikori is a classy guy and the way Nadal disrespected him showed very poor character. It’s like you say. It doesn’t really matter if Nadal passes Roger’s records, because he has no integrity as a human being. It is just not possible to like him if you have any integrity yourself.

    As far as Roger goes I’m not thinking about him winning the title or anything. I’m just glad he is playing and that I will be able to see him in action for a change. I have to go to Malaysia today on a visa run though, and will only be back on Friday. Hopefully I can watch some tennis over there at least.

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    Katyani Reply:

    Roger that Ru-an :-) Good luck with your visa…

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    elizabeth Reply:

    Too bad that a visa is getting in the way of tennis matches eh..haha! What can you say about Nadal that hasn’t been said before, just shows with the
    fistpumps. his will to win. So sorry
    for Kei but the whole world knows he outplayed Nadal. On a nicer note have
    just read a post from Simon Briggs
    on an interview with Roger, just great
    he just sounds so happy. I now don’t
    think Goat debate means anything because
    whatever the final numbers are Roger Federer will be remembered for the sheer
    enjoyment he has brought to tennis watchers. I know because I’ve been watching tennis for a long time! Much as it pains me to say Nadal’s will to win is great his constant poking and jiggling is almost childish although I suspect it’s more to do with putting the guy at the other side of the net off!!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes me and Roger keep missing each other of late Elizabeth. It’s true that Roger has brought more enjoyment to tennis fans and that his tennis is more pleasing on the eye than Nadal’s, but like you say Nadal’s will to win is just unheard of and we have to respect that.

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  3. Haha, Ru-an you are so funny lately. Byrdman bending over as usual for Nadal. That cracked me up. There is one line I think is a bit harsh though. When you say “It is just not possible to like him if you have any integrity yourself.” You know I am a HUGE Roger fan. I’ve been a tennis fan for a lot longer than Roger has been around and I plan to be one for the rest of my life. And I have to say, I am simply amazed at how Nadal fights and manages to find a away to win over and over again – amazed. I have lots of integrity, but I still “like” Nadal for his abilities on the court. Anyway, here’s a youtube link to a interview RF did yesterday. Enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=080FgMFw-0c

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    You are actually totally right about this Eric. I don’t like Nadal but I do have a lot of respect for the way he fights. Definitely mentally the strongest in history.

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    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Eric, I see what you are saying. True. But for me, eventhough I don’t like Rafa, I do respect some things about him. Not a lot, but some. Like, I take my hat off for all the things he does with his foundation. Truely. Amazing how he is helping since such a young age a lot of people and children all over the world. Ofcourse I admire his accomplishments (not all, but some) and I do respect his mental fighting spirit and toughness.

    But there is a line Eric. The way he behaved when Nishi got injured and “took” the whole crowd in it, was not nice from a respected world number 1. Although Nishi and he differ 3 or 4 years, Rafa is the one with more on tour experience and should “show” the young ones how to behave. Don’t get me wrong, he is not their teacher, but as someone who is longer on tour and is world number 1 he should show some good behaviour.

    And it is not only Rafa. It also goes for Roger and all the rest. I love Roger a lot, but honestly if it was him against Nishi in the final and he did that to him, I would be the first to comment: “Congrats Roger, but dude, what a discusting behaviour, you should know better”. Same goes for Novak and Andy. When Novak ripped his shirt after he won AO 2012, I was very happy that he defeated Rafa, but I also said that Rafa did not deserve that kind of a celebration. If there is a winner, there is also someone who tried as hard and did not win. To rub it in just like that was not done. Don’t get me wrong, I was glad Rafa lost, but Novak went too far with his celebration.
    I am not only calling Rafa on it, but also others. Hope Roger will not celebrate a win like that….

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  4. Oh Katyani, don’t get me wrong. The guy is batshit cookoo for cocoa puffs with all his wacky tics and quirks and can be a terrible sport, using tactics I find despicable. Like bathroom breaks, slowing down the game, even trying to physically knock into Lucas Rolsol while changing sides, to throw him off. I love to watch him lose. I celebrate it. Nay, I am not defending him at all, I just think he’s a helluva gutsy tennis warrior and folks are entitled to like him without losing their integrity.

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    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Eric, I could never get you wrong. Hope you know that. You are one of the honest and fairest commentators here. Always love your comments. Wish I could be that fair…. but I am not :-)
    Ps: love “The guy is batshit cookoo for cocoa puffs” :-) How do you guys come up with these???

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I get influenced by my readers as well which is not necessarily a good thing. Because this is a blog about Federer me and my readers fall into the trap of bias. I fight it with all I’ve got but sometimes I fall into the trap as well. Fedfans don’t like the way Nadal competes because it seems he would go to any length to win. This is disturbing to an extent because there is always a possibility that it means he is doping as well. But there is currently no proof for that so we can’t use that as an excuse. It just makes Fedfans look bad anyway. If we have integrity we don’t have to like Nadal but we can respect the way he fights. I feel we are almost compelled to, because if we don’t respect him it takes away from Roger’s achievements as he has a negative head-to-head with Nadal and sometimes he comes up short in the mental department. If you can’t at least respect Nadal it makes you look butt hurt over the beatings Roger took at Nadal’s hands too. The bottom line is that you don’t have to like him or his antics, but you can respect him for his immense fighting spirit. And you should.

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  5. You are true sportsman to say these things Ruan. And of course you are right.

    I’d just like to add that IF Nadal is doping, then that would explain a lot of his mental strength. These drugs affect not only the body but also the mind, imparting what I could refer to euphemistically as ‘fighting spirit.’

    I think running into one’s opponents during change-overs, the anger I saw in one player’s face during the US Open final last year, and other episodes we probably don’t need to mention, are indicators of mental strength that could be coming in large part from a bottle.

    Of course, I’m not saying that Nadal is using PEDs and I don’t know that he is. And I AM saying we are right to admire his good qualities, and thanking you for pointing that out. But if he is using, then I’m not sure his mental fortitude is something for which he can honestly take credit.

    Respectfully,
    Joe

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  6. what can you say? so much for the Rome post. anyway he was never gonna win Rome i guess. moving on. come on djoko, wawrinka, ferrer anyone please don’t let nadal win

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    It was a tough day… Roger lost a difficult match by the thinnest of margins under difficult, windy conditions on his first return match.

    But I still have high hopes for him!

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  7. It is so difficult to love and be mad at Roger at the same time, but I am going to try anyway :-)

    1) Why o Roger why did you even come if you were not ready or your head was not in it??
    Now they all will trash you a bit about you not wanting it that much.
    2) You should have won, but you didn’t. But at the same time, you did break back and you made the 3rd into a TB, so kudos for that.
    3) But please Roger…. focus !!!…. and please work on TB, that used to be your forte. No matter if you came to a TB, 9 out of 10 you would win that.
    4) Nothing has changed. Still love you… but sometimes Roger…. you make it so difficult :-)

    Ps: Anyone notice that whenever Roger has MP on the opponent’s serve, he gets a few opportunities and doesn’t make it, but when the opponent gets a first opportunity he always makes it…..

    Still, no worries, we will get Rome next year. Now lets focus on RG :-) Go Roger Go Goat :-)

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    And if you are reading this…. make no mistakes Roger…. you are not getting rid of me that easily. I am a little bit frustrated, proud, sad, mad, but still…. having faith in you Roger. You could have won, it is not like you got 2 bagels, you were close. Learn from it and lets TAKE the RG trophy !!!
    Love you Roger no matter what.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    I’m not even close to giving up on RG. I’m glad you aren’t either!

    [Reply]

    Eric Reply:

    Give up?? Not a chance. I didn’t see the match but roger said beforehand he was tired and just wanted to stay close to the tour. He wasn’t looking for much and that’s exactly what he got.

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Joe and Eric, no no no, not giving up on Roger. Nobody of all of us are right? I mean, come on, disappointed…yes, but look where we are after 2013. He is doing really good. Better than most of the others. All he needs to do now is take it one step further and …. win titles.
    Rome is going nowhere. Will be there next year and the year after that.
    I really think and believe that Roger is going to shine at RG :-)

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    elizabeth Reply:

    I don’t think any true Fedfan will ever give up on Roger. We all expect miracles and one miracle a week is surely enough!
    Was his head in the right place for playing in Rome…I doubt it, but he tried and you have to realise what an effort it must have been for him to put tennis before his family. He lost, I’m sorry but after all he has given to tennis surely we can all cut him some slack and just applaud what guts it must take to play when your emotions are all over the place!

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Exactly Elizabeth. And lets be honest, he wasn’t destroyed out there. Lost maybe on one or two points. And also lets remember, he did break back in the third. He really tried. All those deuces, he fought, he really fought.

    If he would have won, we would all be PRAISING Roger for hanging on and hanging tough and not giving up and for him fighting it mentally through.
    You see, disappointed, yes… but he was very very close… so no biggie :-)

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    Joe Reply:

    Everyone replied so enthusiastically (and thank you!) that I want to emphasize that I said I wasn’t ready to give up on RG, not RF!!!
    :-)

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  8. Anyone else thinks that Novak is looking at Roger and thinking: Oh my God, will this happen to me too? :-)

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    I think Novak is looking at Roger AND Nadal, and thinking it could happen to him!
    :-)

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  9. You know I’ve always been a fan of Nishikori. Probably because I can relate to the guy a lot, I remember something I read where Bollettieri was talking about Kei as a junior, saying how he always used to take on the guys twice his size and hit the ball back with just as much pace. A few years back maybe 2011 or 2012 where many fans were talking about Dimitrov being the next big thing I was saying nah Kei will be top ten first. I’m not gonna lie I thought I was going to be proven wrong when Dimitrov beat Novak in Madrid last year, but Kei pulled through for me!
    It’s so great to see Fed back in action! And thanks for the kind words for Matt, he really does remind me of Fed you know I wasn’t joking ha. Single handed backhand, a Wilson 6.1 95, nike bandana, pretty close :-P the wheels sliding on the clay IS AWESOME.

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  10. I want to add this information as an encouragement to other fans, from http://tennis.si.com/2014/05/14/roger-federer-loses-to-jeremy-chardy-italian-open/:

    Federer looked well in control of the match point, coming into the net on a well-placed forehand approach that looked like it might die before Chardy could track it down. But the Frenchman raced across and hit a forehand cross-court passing shot for a winner.

    This is the first time in four years that Federer lost in his opening round at an ATP Masters 1000 tournament. The thin margin between victory and defeat left him frustrated.

    “That passing shot is a tough one for me to take because he’s not going to make that very often,” Federer said. “But it happens and credit to him to fight his way back into the match and take it.”

    “Everything’s under control,” Federer said. “I still feel good. My body’s good, my mind’s good. It’s just unfortunate for one passing shot today I don’t get another opportunity to play this week.”

    I have a feeling this loss is really nothing to worry about team!
    :-)

    [Reply]

    Eric Reply:

    Ru-an I would really love to hear your thoughts on this. It really irks me when Roger says stuff like, that one shot and the match was over. Why does he think that way. He said that about the drop shot at Roland gyros that he missed and about the djoker forehand returns at the us open. The reality is it’s never about one shot in tennis. There’s no clock to run out of time. It’s about all the points that led to the match point that a guy could get lucky on. It’s about all the shots after djoker cracks those forehands that roger just gave up on. I just don’t understand why the greatest champion ever would think this way.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Hey Eric,

    While we’re waiting for Ruan, I want to say that I agree with you. I tend to think that if you pressed him on it, Roger would agree too!

    I wonder if he wasn’t just summarizing a long match in a few words for the press. He did have match point after all,and that’s probably what was most disappointing to him, what he remembers most clearly, etc.

    And I think that maybe Roger was trying to reassure his fans that he thinks his status is ok moving forward.

    Do you think I’m cutting Roger too much slack on this? I have to admit it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve done that! :-)

    But I do think your point is indisputable so I hope this post doesn’t sound like I’m trying to dispute it!
    :-)

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    Eric Reply:

    Hey Joe. You’re probably right about this particular interview but I’ve heard that kind of thing from Fed a bunch of times and I just don’t understand it. In addition to the instances I already mentioned earlier, he also said it when he lost to Delpo at the us open. He said something like,then he hit those three forehands and everything changed. It just bugs me because it was just three points and the only thing that changed was the confidence of both players, which could have just as easily changed again. I am an avid tennis player so I truly know what Fed was saying and have felt that way myself, it’s just hard for me to imagine that the greatest tennis stud of all time would let a few big shots wreck his day.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Hey Eric, you are definitely right about that too.

    I don’t know where Roger’s improved mental equilibrium is coming from (Stefan? meditation?) but I think it’s critical to his success at this stage in his career. And I do so hope he will not allow a good shot or two to unsettle him going forward.

    And did I mention that I think the French Open is wide open this year?
    :-)

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  11. Hey guys, anyone saw the Rafa/Simon-match?? Kudos to Simon. He played amazing and didn’t give up. Tried, tried and tried and succeeded. Only in the third Rafa stepped up. So kudos to Simon.
    But have to honest too guys, kudos to Rafa too. Could have lost, but didn’t. Damn, that mental fighting spirit… Still, he played a great match. And thank God, not celebrating over the top like with Nishi.
    This match…. he deserved to win.
    But I do hope he does not win the title !!! And shouldn’t he be tired? Playing like 3 hours??

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  12. Oh and one more comment about “celebrating”. Chardy saved matchpoint with a more than amazing point. He could have celebrated it the way Rafa did against Nishi. But he didn’t. Neither did he celebrate it after Roger lost. Now that is sportmanship. You can be proud that you beat a legend, and he was happy, but did not overdue it and rub it in Roger’s face….
    Respect Chardy. Hope you come far in the tour.

    [Reply]

    elizabeth Reply:

    Yes Chardy showed that he too is a class
    act!

    [Reply]

  13. This sucks that Fed isn’t playing. I hate Nadal any his crappy luck of winning matches he should be losing. Kudos to Haas for beating Stan. Dimitrov beat Birdshit, which makes me happy. Come On Fed, he should be beating all these guys. I hope this break away from tennis with the pregnancy and the loss from Rome doesn’t screw things up. I have to say after watching the match against Chardy, Federer looked like just another tour player, he really sucked after the first set and when it comed to having match point, forget about it and just do us a favor and double fault because he won’t win the point either way. Roger must the worst percentage on match points lost and/or break points converted. I am disappointed. I really think that if Federer is the greatest, he should of won Brisbane and Monte- Carlo.

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  14. Thanks for the post, Ru-an. Some mouth watering match ups coming up tonight – Nadal/Murray (at last!), Djoko/Ferrer (Ferrer, please lose for Roger’s no. 4 sake!), Haas/Grigor!! Rome is so much better than Madrid, except for Roger who couldn’t wait to get back to diaper duties! lol! Chardy, when he is swinging that big forehand of his is completely capable of beating a rusty/sloppy Roger. Kudos Roger fought back so well in 3rd set to force a TB but honestly, he’s gotta work on his TB. I would cut him some slack; from his presser, you could see that he wasn’t expecting much of Rome, he is still on an emotional high and tennis, at this moment in time, is not his highest priority; although he is a professional player and he has every intention to keep playing. He needs bit more time just as any father of second set of twins would need! Ha! I would wait and see how he performs in FO. Having said that, I do agree with Eric about Roger wilting when great shots are made against him. Roger maybe summarising the whole match in a few words as Joe said; but it has happened too often and is a cause for concern (as is winning a set easily and then goes awol) It could be something he would not be able to change as he is a player who performs best when he is dominating and controlling. Stay with him a little longer, he can unfold. 2012 was the year where Roger was truly a different player – never going down on himself, getting it done and slogging it out. Btw, What’s the matter with Stan?! And on the WTA front, well done Ana Invanovic for taking out the scream queen.

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  15. Btw, I’m going all English tonight! Anyone joining me?! Fish and chips and God save the Queen(Andy)!! Seriously, if Andy can take the humble bull out tonight, I’m his fan for life, I swear!! Haha! Nadal must not win Rome in order for the slump to complete. If he wins Rome, he is still the favourite for FO. It has been an interesting year so far with so much unpredictability. It’s actually a great year for Roger to make some big noise again; as all of the original Big Four has issues except Roger. If he could refocus quickly again, he should make full use of this year to win a slam or two.

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    Katyani Reply:

    Oh yes Veronica, I will be ready to watch Rafa vs Muzza. My God, it has been 3,5 years. What is up with that? Both in the top 4 for years, still not meeting each other. I will be SOOOOO rooting for Andy. Come on Andy, even I will be your fan :-) Think they will have to watch their old matches to know how to play each other :-) Come on Muzza :-)

    And please Nole…. beat Ferrer just today (sorry David, like you a lot, but I so want Roger to be 4th seed at RG, sorry)

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    Dolores Reply:

    Your wish was granted, Katyani, mine, too. Now, can Murray repeat and defeat Nadal? We shall see.
    Best,
    Dolores

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Hello Dolores. Djokovic saved Roger again. I’m happy with what I saw today. Djokovic played himself back into form and Dimitrov will be a serious test for Nadal if he passes Murray. But the main thing is that Djokovic is there and playing well. I will see if I can fit in a post tomorrow. Things going crazy again here.

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    Dolores Reply:

    Hi Ru-an, so good to hear from you….well, the Spaniard got away with another win over Murray. Was hoping for the other way around….please, will someone do it? Cannot stand another trophy to be bitten!!!!
    All this is for Roger!
    Looking for your next post, Ru-an.
    Best,
    Dolores

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Hey sweet Dolores, unfortunately Andy couldn’t beat Rafa. But respect for Andy. He fought and fought. So did Rafa. Still… fresh as a daisy…. how does he do it??

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    elizabeth Reply:

    Sorry Veronica but if you are going all English tonight I’m just wondering what match you will be watching haha! Easy mistake to make although an Englishman would not like to be classed as Scottish. Being Scottish myself for my sins I am not an Andy Murray fan…
    although tonight Maybe I’ll make an exception!!!!!!

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    Veronica Reply:

    Haha Elizabeth. Yeah, Murray is Sottish but I just generalise him as Englishman; rather wrong I suppose as the Scottish and the Irish take great pains to differentiate themselves from the English and vice versa I think. Maybe I should say British; that should cover it?! But I’m so glad you might be considering backing your fellow scot tonight. He would need all our support! Haha! Common Andy!! Do it for Scotland! Haha! And yay! Roger retains no. 4! Sorry Ferrer!

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    elizabeth Reply:

    Not that I’m biased but anybody but Nadal…anybody but Nadal! Sorry for
    Ferrer but good for Fed x

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Haha that kind of bias I find acceptable Elizabeth. I definitely don’t want to see Nadal bite the trophy, and I don’t think he will after what I saw today.

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    Jiten Reply:

    Remember Sis, he is Scottish while he does not win and is British (English) while he does have a good run. On another note, I have been really impressed with Dimitrov’s game in Rome. May go all the way lifting the trophy; I would rather prefer a one-handed backhander having a bite at the trophy rather than you know who…

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    Veronica Reply:

    Haha bro! I always forget that! Darn, he did it again. The will to win. Unbelievable. If he is not doping, he is the mental/physical GOAT. Period. But well done Andy! There’s still hope. We may not have to witness another bite. Common Grigor! Common DJoker!

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  16. Another unexplainable comeback victory from Nadal….hard to say but again Murray simply choked when he got that 4:2 in 3rd and Nadal did what he does best-survived. Andy looked so exhausted at the end of the match and Nadal as always jumping, pumping fist, grinding….after 3 such tough 3 setters everybody would expect brutal lesson for Nadal tomorrow from Grigor, but I’m afraid that’s not going to happen….

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  17. There is just no going through that man is there??

    Anyways, you have NOTHING to be ashamed about Andy.
    You played a great match. Next time you will win.
    Congrats to Rafa. The guy does not get tired for a second does he??

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  18. Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but if Nadal is struggling to put away everyone at one of his most successful tournaments how is going to do anywhere else. Maybe he’ll win the FO but he still hasn’t played someone as good as Djokovic or Federer and he just seems like he’s lost some of his threat. Again maybe wishful thinking but Murray has never been any threat at all on clay and he nearly beat him.

    I don’t know honestly. It just seems like he’s still good enough to grind out these wins on his absolutely favorite slow clay but Madrid was a cakewalk draw until the final, which he would have lost. It’s a confidence problem but also his game is catching up to him. More UE than ever before from him. Can’t see him doing much beyond the clay season.

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  19. Well played Murray. But Nadal just doesn’t know how to lose whatever makes him like that he’s just immense! But and I never thought I would say this I don’t think he is as powerful as before.

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  20. I’ve noticed how Nadal recognises in the heat of the moment the momentum change. It seems he is a master at taking advantage of such situations. If you give him an inch, he will pounce. I’ve also noticed how he gets a spring in his step and starts walking around in a more determined way. It’s like he himself boosts his psychology and when that happens you need a special kind of player at the other side of the net who will not be phased by that.
    I just can’t help but wonder why nobody does anything to counter that body language. It may seem absurd but if it were me I would be very tempted to start making fun of him, of the way he walks, of his little ticks and gestures when serving, maybe of his donkey grunting, grabbing his arse all the time…I don’t know but i’d like to see someone doing that to him.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    You are quite right Alex. Nadal knows how to make things go his way in a match, and not necessarily through unsportsmanlike conduct. He is very aware of the key moments in a match and instead of fearing it he thrives in it. He manipulates these moments by his body language and positive attitude. Only Djokovic have really been able to get into Nadal’s head, but Nadal has overcame even that. He is just a mental monster, and like you say the opponent has to do something to get into Nadal’s head themselves. Personally I have always thought serving under arm when Nadal stands so far back on the return would be an effective play to unnerve Nadal. Soderling is the only one who wasn’t scared to make fun of Nadal, which is why he got that unbelievable upset over Nadal at the FO. Like you it baffles me sometimes that the hardened competitors that pros are don’t try more things to get into Nadal’s head. He is very particular about the way he wants things on court, and therefor it won’t even be that hard to unnerve him. But no one other than Soderling seems to want to do it.

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    elizabeth Reply:

    Was it Soderling that pulled at the back
    of his shorts? I’m not sure if it was him or Berdych..priceless anyway! I was just thinking last night why is it
    that Ferrer,Robredo and Nadal have this stamina to run for as long as is needed
    I mean Robredo is getting better as he gets older, as is David Ferrer(whom I like) by the way I’m not suggesting anything underhand! I just can’t understand how it is that they seem to
    have better stamina than Fed, especially
    when in their careers they have had to work so much harder. I mean even Nadal
    where are the bad knees?

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes it was Soderling Elizabeth. I agree that the Spanish players you mentioned seem suspect, especially since they are Spanish and doping has been legal there since 2006. It’s a part of their culture, which of course doesn’t make it right.

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    Alex Reply:

    I had no idea about Soderling. I knew he’d beaten nadal at the french but I never knew he got into his head. better do some research.

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    veronica Reply:

    I’m totally with you, Elizabeth, much as I don’t want to think that those Spanish players are doping, it just defies logic, defies nature how they can be so tireless. They hardly breathe after long rallies. Everybody was talking not too long ago how fit Roger was; often his opponents are breathless while Roger hardly breathes or sweats. Well, compared to these Spanish machines, Roger is like a very old man; even the younger/prime Roger hasn’t half the stamina of these aging Spanish players!! And yes, Elizabeth, what HAPPENED to those fragile fragile knees??!! Such a punishing game for so long, just doesn’t sound right. Roger with his energy conserving game was declining already from 28. Logically, Nadal with his punishing game (he also started younger than Roger) should decline much earlier…

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  21. Great comment Alex and great response Ru-an! Completely agree with you guys. Why do players get phased out when Nadal does all those things. It happens ALL the time. Players seem to lose confidence when Nadal does these things. All except Djokovic of course. Gosh! how I miss Soderling. I just love how he has no respect for Nadal and treated him with such contempt! Ha! Rosol was another one not intimidated by Nadal at all. After clubbing Nadal at Wimbledon, he was springing to his seat just like how Nadal does it! It was so FUN to watch Nadal get so disconcerted! And during the coin toss, Rosol was jumping up and down mimicking Nadal’s coin toss routine! Classic! Ha! I could totally understand what Roger meant when he said he was laughing with disbelief when Nadal got rosoled. I was laughing too and just gasping in disbelief how Rosol psyched him out and outplayed him. Of course Nadal was so mad he had to resort to a shoulder bump! As you say, Ru-an, I don’t get it why aren’t there more players trying to get into Nadal’s head as how he always gets into others. I wait for the day someone knocks over his bottles, rattles him when he does his pre serve routine, fist pump harder than him and Yeah, short serve him since he stays so far back. Why can’t players be a bit more imaginative and do these little things to gain a bit of advantage?! Btw, Ru-an, is under hand serve acceptable? If it is, why aren’t players using it more just for element of surprise? I find it rather silly and strange though if it is acceptable. I’ve never seen people serve that way except for Michael Chang. I thought it was a joke but he really won that FO match with that one silly serve.

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