Rome SF: Djokovic def ‘Off’ Federer 6-2, 7-6(4)

In the end not exactly the result I expected but as we know in tennis anything can happen on any given day. And the more I think about this match the more I feel the result was meant to be. It was really an ‘off’ match for Roger, although he came very close to turning the match around in the second set. After Roger was in destructive mode against Seppi everyone kind of expected that he would beat Djokovic, but from the start it was apparent that he was not ‘feeling it’ out there. There was a lot of mishits and it looked like Roger 2.0 of old. The fact that he lost serve for a second time at 2-4 was not a good sign. I did however expect him to make a comeback in the second set. With Djokovic getting the break in the second set and serving for the match at 5-4 that didn’t look like it was gonna happen.

At 30-40 Roger was down match point and then came alive with an inside out forehand winner which dropped on the line. He went on to break two points later after Djokovic hit a forehand long. I’ll be lying if I said I wasn’t highly delighted. I sensed that the momentum had swung and that we may be in for one of the biggest and most dramatic comebacks in recent history. But the momentum hadn’t swung quite yet. Roger still had to win the second set, and for that he needed to win a tie break. But when he lost the first point of the tie break on his serve it was another bad sign. The first point of the tie break is always important. It often sets the tone for the tie break and that’s what happened here. Roger could never get the advantage back and it was all over.

It was disappointing but like I said it was just one of those bad days and I am not bothered by it in the least. I already said in my last post that I won’t mind that much if Roger loses here. It may just work out very well for him. If Djokovic goes on to beat Nadal today then Roger remains #2, and Nadal and Djokovic may end up in the same half of Roland Garros. They can then go ahead and tire each other out before a possible final with Roger. From the start of Rome I had the feeling this tournament would be decided between Nadal and Djokovic. It is slow red clay and they both had something to prove after Madrid. Roger did what needed to be done. He won Madrid and made semis in Rome, in both cases gaining points from last year.

Anyone who is not happy with that is not a Fedfan. I am amazed if not shocked at seeing some Fedfan reactions after this loss. Roger plays one bad match on his worst surface which could work out very well for him and people assume he is back to Roger 2.0. It’s unacceptable. Saying that Roger tanked is also wrong. Roger doesn’t tank but subconsciously he may have known that losing here is on his best interest. Beating Djokovic and losing to Nadal in another clay final wouldn’t have helped his cause. Been there done that. It would have given Nadal a boost before Roland Garros, cost him his hard won #2 ranking, and saved Nadal from his nemesis Djokovic. Don’t people see these things?? Like I said, I am more than fine with this result.

Now it is up to Djokovic to go beat Nadal, and I for one is very much looking forward to the final. If Djokovic beats Nadal it sets up things perfectly for the French. Each of the big three then have a Masters Series title in the clay season. They all will have a lot of confidence going to Paris and if Nadal and Djokovic ends up in the same half you really couldn’t have a better scenario. Not just for Fedfans but for tennis in general. Djokovic and Nadal is slightly more comfortable on clay than Roger and therefor it sets things up nicely if they play a tough semi and the winner faces Roger in the final. In fact if Djokovic wins such a semi it would be ideal because Fedal match ups especially at the French are boring and old. A Djokerer final would be superb.

Djokovic have had some personal problems during the clay season and I think this is now his time to shine. So I predict a Djokovic win. Ajde!

Highlights:

 

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56 Comments

  1. Yep. definitely a djocovic win today coz he is almost back to his best. In monte carlo Nadal beat Djokovic purely because of the fact that Djokovic was having one of his worst days ever. But not today. Djoker showed signs yesterday that he is back. Nadal is toast. Looking forward to this one.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Right on Alex.

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  2. Hi Ru-an,

    Agree with you. Obviously disappointed that Federer lost, but not disappointed too much for the reason you have listed out. Now, my only concern is: How will Djokovic play against Nadal? I mean, will Djokovic himself want to risk playing Nadal before the finals in the French Open? I think he might prefer losing over here!!! So that, he might face either Roger / Murray in the SFs of the French Open. Murray is no threat on clay and a Djoker/Murray match-up would be no where close the Aus Open 2012 epic. Likewise, Djoker must have taken a lot of confidence from having beaten Federer in Rome. So, why would he mess up things and even create a possibility of a Djokovic/Nadal SF at the French!

    Hence, I’m least concerned abt the #2 ranking at this stage. I just wanna see if Djokovic takes the easy route and loses today OR if he shows courage (that we expect from any #1) to go all-out and gain a psychological advantage over Rafa before the French Open.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Djokovic have not won a tournament on clay this year so far due to good reasons and he will go all out to do just that before the FO. You can make a book on that.

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    Sameer Reply:

    Ru-an,

    So eventually, I get proved right. Djokovic submits to Nadal in straight sets!!! As I had feared, he opted the easy way out. He was clever enough to even avoid a remote possibilty of facing Rafa before the finals of the French Open.

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  3. Thank you Ru-an for the coverage of this event; and for providing us on a regular base with your thoughtful analysis, profound knowledge and thorough understanding of the game from a players’ point of view. Quality stuff from the GOAT blogger. Federer has been a joy to watch this year, and he has added to his legend with some of these shots that let us spectators in awe. Some fans think of this sport as if it was a superheroes comics series, in which there is a good guy and some bad guys, and the good guy always wins at the end. This is of course a misleading approach to being a fan, in any sport as far as I can see it. Federer is being an exemplary athlete, and he still continues to improve his game, working incredibly hard to get ever better at what he is doing. I am happy he gets a deserved rest today instead of a final with Nadal in which he most probably would get trashed once more by the beast.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    You are welcome Chris!

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  4. Great positive post, thank you. This is Fed’s least favourite surface (even slower than Paris?) and he had played what – 7 matches in 12 days or something. Djkovoic appeared more focussed from the get-go – he wants a victory here after Madrid.

    However, I found it worrying that in every rally Djokovic seemed to have the upper hand, pushing Federer around. The strategy was just get into CC backhand exhcnages and wait for the Fed error. What can Fed do to get around this (even on a good day?)

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    Vily Reply:

    Most of those rallies were started by a second serve by Roger. The first serve only started clicking towards the end of the 2nd set.

    In Paris, the surface is a bit faster than in Rome.

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  5. I did not expect Roger to win considering he nearly withdrew from Rome. His performance exceeded expectation. Winning 2nd straight Master would be great but lets be real here. Roger is at age of 30, rest is more important right now. Its going to be 3 hours slugfest between both Djoker and Nadal. I hope Djoker comes out as winner. At least this season, clay Master1000 won’t be dominated by Nadal alone, evenly spread by top 3 players no?

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  6. if there is such a thing as a “good loss” – this is it. i don’t think Fed is 100% physically – this is some of what he said after the match:
    “I’m almost happy that this tournament is over. I had a major physical problem here in Rome but is improving with each passing day and so I’m relieved. I currently have two other little physical discomfort but to a lesser extent, so I’m happy to take a little break.”

    now i hope things will work out for him in RG – even if ND wins today we still need him and RN to end up at the same side of th draw…
    this is now the money time of the season – i keep my fingers cossed for Fed throughout the summer… i want to see him lifting some major trophies again, so hoping he can translate his good plat to GS success!

    here is to a fantastic sumeet all’ya Fedfans !!

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  7. There is a great article on the web today called Federer’s loss is his family’s gain, (search his name, sorry i dont know how to link), it puts this week into perspective. He talks about the late nights and not being able to put his kids to bed and that he didnt expect to win Rome. He is the only top player who is married with kids and has a family and he keeps playing brilliantly, that really makes him the GOAT! I dont see anyone else doing what he does, most players retire then get married, etc. He is looking towards this summer very much, stay tuned Fedfans, it will be great!

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    Jiten Reply:

    Hi Gracie,

    I am doing it on your behalf:

    http://www.news.com.au/national/federers-loss-is-familys-gain/story-fn7mjqus-1226361659604

    Cheers!

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  8. Great post, Ru-an! Somed up my feeling exactly! :-)
    What’s up with this rain delay?

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    V Reply:

    and the thing is that they are showing nole beat federer,atleast seeing feerer is good.hope the slugfest soon starts and hope it goes for 3 hours(well is that too small a time for those two??)

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  9. Rome: Two weeks of late nights and big wins finally caught up with Roger Federer, as the world number two now looks forward to a few days of family time and relaxation after exiting in the semi-final of the Rome Masters.

    The Swiss father of two won Madrid last week and dominated on the red clay of the Foro Italico this week until running into Novak Djokovic, who beat him 6-2, 7-6 (7/4).

    But the 16-time grand slam champion admits that having a few days of normal living before the French Open begins next Sunday is more than inviting.

    “I’m very excited but very tired,” said the winner of an ATP-leading four titles this season, including Masters 1000 honours in Indian Wells and Madrid.

    “I’ve been living and breathing tennis every day. I’m looking forward to some days off and getting ready for Paris.

    “I’m happy in some ways that the event is over for me.”

    Federer said that he’s keen to get back to family life. “We’ve got two kids running, they’re growing up. We have a lot on our plate. This is the best time of my life and I wouldn’t change it for anything.

    “But I like to put the kids to bed and that’s impossible with the schedule I’ve had over the last two weeks. Don’t feel bad for me, I’m okay with it all.

    “I’ve probably had night sessions for the last 10-11 nights, it catches up with you, but at least you can sleep in.

    “I’m not complaining but you need that dinner and time to relax and not have to go to bed right away. It’s tough and it’s always been that way but I love it.”

    Federer goes to Paris with wins in eight of nine clay contests. “The clay season has been great so far. I knew I wouldn’t win both (Madrid and Rome), I actually expected this final (Djokovic-Nadal).

    “I’m just happy the tournament is over for the moment.”

    Even Roger admits that he is happy to be resting and being with his family before the French. I feel very much that Roger didn’t feel like playing to his best and that is why he lost. Let the sluggers slug it out! But Paris is around the corner and I am sure we will see Roger at his very best again!!!

    Allez Roger!!!!

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  10. So the men’s final in Rome is postponed to Monday – does anyone know how does it work then with the ranking and how the French will seed the players? Obviously as of tomorrow (Monday) morning, Roger will still be no. 2 since the Rome final has not been played and we do not know whether Nadal wins or not so those points cannot be added – but as far as I know the seeding of a grand slam is based on the ranking the monday before?

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    Vasco Reply:

    Yep, I guess you’re right; The draw for RG should come out on Friday or Saturday and Roger will continue as Nº2 tomorrow… so it seems there will be a chance for Nadal and Novak to be in the same half

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    LongLiveKingRog Reply:

    Hmm i think now that Nadal has won Rome unfortunately he will be no.2 again!!!! :-(

    [Reply]

  11. Another great read from Ru-an. Thank You, it helped to calm me down. I just felt so badly for Roger as he was trounced by Djoko up until the end of the match. Reading the article on Roger’s comment about the match, tennis, his home life, etc., you cannot help but admire him greatly for the person he is.
    So much wish for him to win another Grand Slam, as I think that is his great desire before his retirement.
    Ru-an, I have a question….Roger mentioned the many night games he played, is this his wish or is it decided for him, can he not change it if he would want to?
    Thanks for your dedicated blog to us Fedfans, Ru-an, and to all the people that come here to comment. I love it.
    Djoko, win the match tomorrow!
    Kindly,
    Dolores

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    Ru-an Reply:

    No Dolores the tournaments do the scheduling. He doesn’t have a say when he plays. I think it caught up with him.

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    Dave Reply:

    I read somewhere that the scheduling for Roger’s night games had to with the big dollar night game tickets. I don’t know how true that is but I guess it makes sense.

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    Jiten Reply:

    That’s true as Roger pulls the maximum number of audience to the stadium. Despite being no. 2 (or 3), people love to see him more than the sluggers.

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    Dolores Reply:

    Thank you, Ru-an, for giving me the answer to my question. Think this is a bit unfair to Roger to play so many night games which, in time, must be more tiring. I’m sure his popularity has much to do with scheduling him for night matches, but think it should be distributed more fairly. My opinion.
    I see Dave thinks so, too.

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  12. After pondering last night’s match I have say that it’s a good thing that Federer bowed out Djokovic and gave himself a little bit more time to relax and regroup. Federer has definitely spoiled his fans this year with winning a lot, claiming titles and his level of play. In saying that some people take his losses harder then other, I have say I was a little upset about the second set but it’s not a big deal. Move on to bigger and better things. There’s been some talk about Novak and Nadal not wanting to play today because of weather and that a lot of people are upset because they can’t make it on Monday. True Champions? These guys are a bunch of prima donnas. On more positive note, looking foward to the French Open and more of Roger.

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  13. It’s true, Fed played a lot of night matches that went late. Versus Raonic, (Gasquet?) Ferrer, Tipsy, and against Ferrero, Seppi, and Djokovic. That’s a lot of night tennis and with his little injury problems it probably didn’t bode well for the rest that he would have needed.

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  14. Watching Nadal earlier in the tournament, as well as how he played in the MC final, I didn’t think anyone could take him – even Roger playing some of his best clay-court tennis. But for those who enjoy Nadal defeats (yep, I’m one of them) Djokovic has given us hope for the final. I think he wants it badly. Maybe Madrid was an aberration for Nadal, when Verdasco(!) beat him (a low point in the Nadal cycle?), but who knows now what might happen? Djokovic is looking very dangerous. I’ll be cheering. (And I’ll be back to cheering for Rog at RG!)

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  15. The last time (actually, the only time) Federer won 3 Masters by this part of the season was 2005, when he won IW/Miami and Hamburg. That was during his physical peak, before Nadal started dominating the whole clay run.

    So I didn’t expect him to do it now. He did spectacularly well to come in cold and seize his chance in Madrid when Djokovic and Nadal spun out early. Going deep in Rome was a bonus. He got some clay-court prep, got back into the rhythm of consistent tournament play after a long layoff, and was able to calibrate his tactics against relatively straightforward opposition, at least until the semis. The title would have been nice, but you can’t win ’em all.

    Now he gets some down time with his family while preparing for Paris. I imagine he can keep something more like normal hours (like a 9-to-5 job) when he’s only training, as opposed to playing in tournaments.

    One good thing about RG, there are no night matches. But the really important thing is the day off between matches when he can relax with his family and recuperate.

    Regarding the Rome final, I predict a tough, grueling, extremely physical marathon, as at AO.

    The physical and mental effort required to beat Nadal is a severe drain on Djokovic: after USO last year he didn’t win anything for the rest of the season, and after AO he played some brain-dead matches at Dubai and IW before regaining form in Miami. Then he had to deal with his grandfather’s death, though he appears to have recovered enough to be competitive once again.

    He doesn’t have much choice but to go all-out in Rome, since he’s attempting to defend this title and to stay #1, he needs the points. But if he wins, he will have to pay the price with a period of mental lassitude which may well cost him at RG.

    Even though he’s lost 7 of their last 8 matches, Nadal is winning the war with Djokovic by attrition, just as he always has.

    Each time Djokovic beats Nadal it costs him a certain amount of physical and mental punishment. Eventually something will snap and he simply won’t be able to do it anymore. As with a brawler in boxing who suddenly develops a glass jaw after taking one too many on the chin. Some indefinable physical or mental edge is lost, and then you no longer have the same athlete.

    At some point he will wobble and start losing early at the Grand Slams, it may even happen in Paris this year. Since the Rome final has been postponed by rain he will have even less time than usual to recover from a long, drawn-out slugfest, especially if there are further rain delays. That may well make the difference in the end, so perhaps this loss is indeed a blessing in disguise for Federer.

    Our man appears to be ready to take advantage of any opportunities he may be presented with. As I said, he’s definitely been on the right track these past several months and his results show it: four titles, including two Masters, and regaining (however briefly) the #2 ranking. He is playing with more purpose and aggression and really seeking to take the ball early, mix up his shots, and dictate the rallies.

    He goes into RG as an underdog, with no pressure to win and the psychological boost of having beaten Nadal in their last encounter (on one of the most Nadal-friendly hard courts on the tour, to boot).

    All in all, things are looking good and he’s working hard to keep up his momentum. He just needs a tiny little bit of luck to break through and win another major this year. Go Roger!

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  16. Hey Ruan have been following ur blog for quite some time now. its the thing i always check once federer completes his match to read ur thoughts on it n trust me i hv the same thought goin on in my mind!. :-) ..Now will jump to what i hv to ask to you… now since the final match has been posponed to monday..when will the official rankings be published? as per my knowledge they get updated every monday!so will roger be No-2 for RG draw irrespective of nadal winning final in rome??

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  17. Just saw Nadal win the first set. I’m trying to find the beauty in his game, I’m trying to feel the fascination his fans experience, but I can’t see or feel it. Yes, it is incredible how fast he runs, it is incredible the precision with which he puts all the balls back in play, he is incredibly clutch. But, I find it really boring to watch…

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    Chris Reply:

    I’m watching the final, it’s Apollo Creed vs. Ivan Drago. The fitness of Nadal is just incredible, the speed of his running, the strength of his hitting, never getting tired, never losing focus, machine-like. Really machine-like.

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    Chris Reply:

    And the perfect tennis machine has won this tournament as well. In the meantime, I have just realized that the trainer of Ivan Drago, Michael Pataki, and the trainer of this tennis monster, Toni Nadal, look a bit similar. Google it, quite funny! Nadal has been hitting one absolutely incredible defense shot after the next absolutely mind-boggling defense shot. I must say, the druid Getafix who mixes the magic potion which Nadalix is drinking before the matches gets it perfectly right!

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    sraman Reply:

    Chris:

    I would rather listen to Cacofonix than Nadal’s grunts and will probably be more interested in the VitalStatistix of how many times Rafa scrathced his u know what!

    BTW – should a player not complain on Hygne grounds that he does not wish to handle a ball after knowing his opponent handled it after u know what?

    Anyway Nice to see another Asterix comic Fan!

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    steve Reply:

    LOLs. If this is Rocky IV, let’s fast forward to the part where Drago starts getting beaten by Rocky and roars at his trainer: “I fight for me! FOR MEEEEE!!!”

    At least Drago has some warriors’ pride, he isn’t just a puppet. Wish I could say the same of Nadal, but he will obey his uncle to the bitter end without question or hesitation.

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    Chris Reply:

    Yeah, let’s fast forward, I can already hear the soundtrack for the final tiebreak :-) LOL

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  18. I just watched the final and Nadal deservedly won. Totally outplayed Djokovic. In a way, I have to admit Rafa has definitely earned the calling The King of Clay! Unfortunately, I can’t see anyone beating him this year at Roland Garros!

    Stranger things have happened (i.e – 2009) but what I take from this match is that Novak has reverted back to 1.0 and won’t be troubling Nadal anytime soon. The fairy tale is over for him.

    It’s gonna come down to Roger and Rafa.

    I obviously want Roger to be drawn to Djokovic’s half do that he ca st least defend his finals appearance. Novak is very demoralized and he may not even make the semis.

    Rafa will be champion at Roland Garros unless there is some divine intervention such as in 2009. But I can live with that.

    Roger is playing great and I am sure he’ll have his fair share of the spoils this year. I just don’t see Novak troubling any of them. He just got broken mentally today.

    Allez Roger!

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    Chris Reply:

    You underestimate Djokovic here. His strength is exactly that he always gets back to his feet and keeps fighting. Had it been Nadal against Federer today, the score would probably be something like 6:1 6:0. Nadal was in one of these moods and modes in which he trashes the opponent, any opponent. And he’ll keep this level until his knees give up again.

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    Vily Reply:

    I am not sure Chris. He just tried and failed. I think Roger would have lost too.

    But Roger is much better in bouncing back from tough losses that both Novak and Nadal. I doubt that Movak will want to get to the French Open Final knowing he has no chance against Rafa. His best chance was last year but Roger stopped him.

    I am gonna stand by my statement.

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    Chris Reply:

    You are right, Novak was riding a wave last year, this year he does not get on the wave again. I’m still struggling to believe how all these balls just fall back in court. And if this is me, how does this feel for the player who hits what would be one winner after the other, only to see the ball being returned again and again. Nadal is back to his unbeatable best on clay…

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    fry Reply:

    Nadal’s defence has been at this level for a long time. Last year with Nole was a combination of his backhand not holding up , court position being exposed by Nole’s balanced attack and confidence.

    I’m not saying it’s not amazing but it’s not the Halley’s comet.

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    Dave Reply:

    What are you high? If it had been Federer the score would have been 6:1,6:0. I give credit to Federer to give Nadal a fight almost every time. I guess Novak in’t going to duplicate his run of last year. It’s one thing to be number one but to stay there is another. Another reason why Roger is the GOAT.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    It wouldn’t have been 6-1, 6-0 but Nadal would have won easily nonetheless. I’m still glad Roger wasn’t in the final.

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  19. roger was visibly tired, though can’t understand why he didn’t use low bh slices much, instead tried to hit through djokovic, made mistakes in that process as djokovic bh was totally impenetrable throughout that
    match, also he was able to change the direction of ball without error and at will with his bh and also with fh!!! it was the first glimpse of ‘nole2011’ in this year.
    still, it seems that nadal and djokovic are hitting harder than those so-called hard-hitters, with excellent precision and good amount of topspin, and deep shots targeting the baseline !!! actually, these deep shots resulted in short returns from roger and djokovic pounced on those. noticed that djokovic returned deep to roger bh except a few great serves, and it was d case irrespective of 1st nd 2nd serves directed either to nole fh or bh !!! exceptional return throughout that match
    today nole was no where near his form against roger, so ultimately nadal is able to break that jinx completely. i think roger must take of his grand slam records now as djokovic is inconsistent. he needs to make sure that he would be able to defeat nadal provided they meet at the wimbledon or us open !!!

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    MJ-Ruban Reply:

    *take care

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  20. It was not Djoko’s day today. Too many unforced errors, and strange shot selection sometimes. I think he became a little complacent after the incredible run that ended with the US open, and so he had to struggle mightily to defend his AO title. I predict, however, that instead of destroying Djok’s self-confidence, this loss will re-invigorate the fighter in him, and that he will raise his level for the RG and the rest of the year. So in a way, it was good that he lost. Now he has to become serious about whether he wants to stay on top or just slide back to #3. And I think he has enough ambition and talent to stay on top, unless one man stops him at Wimbledon or US Open. We all know who that man is :-)

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  21. Folks – This is what I was exactly worried about – a Nadal Novak Final. After the way Nadal played against Berdych and keeping in mind how close Nadal was to beating Novak in AO, I knew he will beat Novak (and I commented on that as well). Contrary to what many of you have posted Roger Nadal Finals would have been preferable.

    Well, what is the worst thing that can happen if Roger had lost to Nadal – Really nothing. Just another loss to Roger which cannot dent his confidence anymore than it already has against Nadal and it is clay. And for Nadal what is the best thing to happen – Nothing again – Another routine win over Roger on Clay so nothing to boost his confidence anymore than it already has had. Plus the fact Nadal would not have had a chance to convincingly beat Novak like he did, will still maintain that element of doubt about Novak being in his head since he himself knows that Monte Carlo win means nothing much.

    But what do we have now – A Double WHAMMY!
    1. If it is not enough that Nadal is in Roger’s Head, now we may most likely have Novak also in Roger’s Head! It was more important for Roger to beat Novak in Rome so that he can at least continue to have the belief and also his fans that he can beat Novak (like FO 2011 and how close was USO 2011). Losing to Novak rather than Nadal is a more confidence dent.

    2. Rafa has finally got Novak out of his Head! Monte Carlo may be an aberration but this certainly is not and given how Novak played against Roger! Nadal beat him convincingly and if at any part of the match anybody lost his mental strength. it was Novak!

    So, there it is folks – The sole Gatekeeper to protect Roger’s GS Titles can no longer be trusted and Nadal has gotten him out of his Head. I feel that many that have posted that it is good that Roger did not face Nadal and it will be good rest ( Come On – What rest, we have plenty of days before FO, one more match is not going to make any difference) is just a reaction to sour grapes.

    I would rather depend on Roger to protect his own legacy and take out Nadal or worse may depend on Isner/Raonic/Ferrer or the likes.

    Let us wake and smell the (BAD) coffee – Nadal is Back!

    [Reply]

    FeddyBear Reply:

    drama much?

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    sraman Reply:

    How much Drama is all what we choose to make it to be and probably will, thanks to Roger, Ruan and fans like you!

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    fry Reply:

    If Djokovic couldn’t handle this matchup now, I don’t see that it would have made much of a difference at RG if they didn’t meet here. This was a litmus test and he now knows he needs to raise his level for the next two weeks.

    On this legacy business: It’s much healthier in general to look at one’s accomplishments on their own and not in comparison to others. If someone comes along 10 years from now and wins 25 majors and 4 calendar slams, does that make Rod Laver an overrated player or Federer or Nadal? Stop trying to compare different eras or establish anyone as the GOAT, Federer’s successes (many) and failures (few) will stand on their own and he’s unique from Sampras who is that from Nadal…. Best thing to do is to just enjoy the tennis, celebrate the good results and have some perspective on the bad. Legacies are just baggage – to “protect” it you have to hope other people fail – what kind of fun would that be?

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  22. I disagree. Nadal on clay is like Roger on indoor carpet. It was amazing Nadal lost at all to Djokovic at Rome last year.

    The proof that Nadal is back will not come in the clay season. He seems easier to knock off on other surfaces now (Indian Wells, Madrid). He’ll likely have red clay for a few years still. Australian Open was close and Djokovic is not where he was, but I would not say Nadal is as he was from the results of Monte Carlo and Rome, his most preferred tournaments, nor the French Open.

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    sraman Reply:

    Jim:

    I am not sure who you have diasgreed with. Nevertheless, you are entitled to your opinion and I respect that.

    Assuming you have disagreed with me, you have only reinforced what I had said. If Nadal on Clay is like Roger on Indoor, what is the is the worst thing to happen for Roger if he had lost to Nadal on Rome Clay?

    So, Thanks for actually reaffirming what I have commented, assuming that you had disagreeead with mine to begin with.

    Cheers and Go Roger!

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  23. Hey Ru-an.Guys,I dont know what you think about the final,but to me,it was decided in the 5th game of the match when at 30-30 on Nadals serve and Djokovic hit a great off forehand which clipped the line and Djokovic was in a position to win that point and earn himself a crucial break point.But thanks to a stupid error from the linesman, the point had to be replayed and Nadal was reprieved and got momentum to win the set and the match.To beat Nadal on clay,you should go for bloke in the first set and should produce every ounce of energy and motivation to win it.As far as I can recall,I think Nadal is yet to lose a match on clay after winning the first set.Do tell me if I am wrong.So for me,Djokovic would have won it in straights if that call had gone his way.You could see the sheer helplessness on his face when the umpire told replay the point.I think its djokovic who knows best how to beat Nadal at his own game and he was utterly distraught after that call and Nadal capitalised.

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    V Reply:

    sorry. 9th game*

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  24. After sleeping, I realized that the situation is not at all as bad as it seems.
    Realistically, each of the top three believes they can win, and they all have reasons for that.

    Djokovic won the Australian Open and Miami.

    Rafa won Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome.

    Roger won Rotterdam, Dubai, Indian Wells and Madrid.

    All three are playing great at certain times, and then not so good at other times. I feel that it’s gonna come down to the luck of the draw and who lasts mentally the longest.

    There is no absolute favourite. No one is dominating at all times. I think it’s going to be very exciting for tennis fans!!!

    Hopefully Roger will be luckiest and pull ahead in this three man race!

    He has shown us that anything is possible and today’s result is not going to change that at all!!!

    Allez Roger!!! I feel good!

    [Reply]

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