Wawrinka Stuns Murray on Impressive US Open Run

The US Open came to an abrupt end for Fedfans but at least his friend and compatriot is still flying the Swiss flag. It’s not quite as good as having Roger still in it, but it’s still nice to see Stan fulfilling some of the potential he always had. First he upset Berdych 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(6), 6-2 in the 4th round and then he stunned Murray with an easy 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 victory. I watched both matches and Stan was already playing very well against Berdych. So seeing him beat Murray was not all that surprising, but the scoreline was indeed surprising. Murray was not at his best, but had he been Stan would still have won probably. He just played great offensive tennis and never doubted himself. A far cry from Roger’s constant self doubt on the big points against Robredo indeed. Talking of Robredo, Nadal pummeled him 6-0, 6-2, 6-2.

So if anyone was still in doubt as to whether Roger had a chance against Nadal those doubts should be erased now. That result is actually pleasing because it assures me that losing to Robredo was a good thing for Roger. Nadal is looking unstoppable and I am now convinced he will win this title. Murray is gone and I don’t see Djokovic stopping him either. Djokovic himself beat Youzhny 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-0. It was a good win but I don’t think he will be able to hold off Nadal again. It’s not even sure if he can hold off Stan. They had an epic encounter in Melbourne this year which Djokovic won 12-10 in the 5th. Stan will be even more confident than back then, after beating Berdych and Murray back-to-back. Knowing Nadal’s draws I won’t be surprised if Stan does upset Djokovic. That would give Nadal a free run to the title having to face two one-handed backhand opponents back-to-back.

Nadal plays Gasquet in the semis after Gasquet took Ferrer out 6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3. I thought after Ferrer came back to level at 2 sets all that he would win for sure, but I was impressed with Gasquet. This is now his 2nd slam semi after he beat Roddick in 5 sets at Wimbledon, and given how much potential he has that is a bit disappointing. But it was nice to see another artistic player like Roger make a deep run in a slam. This is where his run ends though. His chances of beating Nadal is 0%. I’d be shocked if he wins a set. Definitely the Djokovic/Stan semi is the more interesting prospect. Djokovic is the only guy left in the draw that I feel can provide Nadal with any resistance. Yet I can’t help feeling like Nadal has this title all but in the bag. He broke the Djokovic deadlock over him at Montreal and I think if the meet in the US Open final the result will be the same.

There is this unstoppable aura about Nadal. He just takes whatever he wants, and all opposition is crushed. He is a cold, calculated machine. He appears to have no memory. He doesn’t get emotionally scarred. He doesn’t appear to have emotions either. He just keeps pressing forward relentlessly and brushes off all comers and disappointments like they are nothing. His determination and drive is unequaled in the history of our sport. I can see him surpassing Roger’s slam count too. It’s something Fedfans have always feared and it looks likely to become a reality now. Yes it’s a long way to go but there is this sense of inevitability about it. I thought Djokovic would be the savior of Roger’s legacy, but it looks like Nadal has even crushed Djokovic’s will in that French Open semi. He hasn’t been the same player ever since…

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113 Comments

  1. I was sticking to Grumpys’ blog protocol and waiting for the GOAT blogger to comment first. What a nice moment for Stan, to step out of Federers’ shadow and take out the defending champion. Somehow I felt it coming. I’m less positive about his chances against Djokovic, because the latter is warned and players often implode after having caused an upset. But who knows, I’ll definitely root for Stan. And guys, it’s so nice of you all to jump on the Swiss bandwagon and celebrate with us. After all, Stan is only the third Swiss player to reach a SF at a grand slam.
    Anyway, I don’t see anybody stopping Nadal. He goes in cycles, right now he is up there and unplayable, in a few months he’ll be off with ‘injuries’ or losing to journeymen. It is what it is.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Chris. This is big for your country, and like you said Stan is stepping out of Roger’s shadow. I’m happy for him.

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  2. Ruan,I agree partly with your post.I agree about whatever you said about wawrinka completely but not about nadal.I agreee that he is the favourite for the title but do not count out djokovic as I have been saying all along.
    You know if if you have noticed it yourself,after every tough loss roger faces these days, you write two kinds of posts which are not necessarily about different topics but have a different feel about them.In the first one,you sound a bit let down by the loss and start telling that nadal is unstoppable,he will surpass roger in records etc etc. And in the next post, you come more to terms with the loss and have a rejuvenated feel about your writing and start again saying positive things about roger and that nadal is bad,evil is on the rise now,it will decline fast and those kind of things.
    Don’t mistake me,this a great post no doubt about it.All you say are true,but in a sense I have a feeling that you sometimes feel a bit letdown knowing that nadal is playing like the beast that he is and feel that omg what will happen if he surpasses roger and then again you come back being to more positive and tell that no thats not gonna happen kind of stuff.
    Anyways good post and Yeah I am definitely looking forward to the djokovic vs wawrinka match and I think that Djoker takes this in a tough 4 setter.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I know what you mean V but this is not that kind of post. I’m actually glad Roger lost because Nadal is unstoppable and would have stomped on him. When I say Nadal is the favorite I mean it. I have seen him in this position many times. He gains momentum and then no once can stop him. People didn’t believe he would win either Montreal or Cincy but he made it look easy almost. I’m not underestimating Nadal anymore that’s for sure, which is why I said he could surpass Roger and probably will. He just takes whatever he wants. And I don’t necessarily believe he is evil or anything like that anymore. He clearly has something Roger does not have, and for that I respect him. He has other strengths which I am learning to appreciate.

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    Reimond Reply:

    Ru-an, why did you delete my comment?

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    Ru-an Reply:

    What made you think I deleted your comment?

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    Reimond Reply:

    Sorry, I couldn’t find it after I posted it. I see it now.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well if you paid attention you would have seen that the comment needs to be approved first because you are a first time commenter.

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    Reimond Reply:

    The first time I refreshed the page after posting I saw my comment and I saw that it still needed to be approved. However, the second time I refreshed it disappeared. I was just confused.

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  3. You’ve clearly learned your lesson to not underestimate Nadal, as we all have. And in a sense I also believe he could just edge out djokovic and take the us oipen crown as well. But lets not underestimate djokovic either.

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  4. Congratulation to Stan for reaching semi final. But I’m confused whom to support in the semi final. Still Djokovic can beat Nadal in the final. He had the game. But I also want Stan to go further in this US open. But he have no chance to beat Nadal. He failed to win a single set in their last 10 meetings, let alone the match.
    …………
    Roger’s next scheduled tournament is Shanghai Masters followed by Basel and Paris.
    I don’t think Roger will add any other tournament now. Because as per his schedule Roger have to play 4 tournaments in 5 week (including WTF). If he add Tokyo or Beijing, then it’ll be 5 tournaments in 6 week. Tokyo and Beijing open will start from 30th September just 3 weeks from now. And 3 tournament is enough for him to reach WTF.
    There is no news about Roger regarding schedule change or racquet change yet. So we have to wait.
    …………
    I’m curious about Nadal’s schedule now because WTF is the only major title that is missed in his collection. And also no one win 6 ATP 1000 masters in a season before. So he might try for both.
    Every time he did something different, he struggled the following year. So it’ll be interesting next year for sure.

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  5. Hi Ruan,

    I’m not too certain about Nadal being able to surpass Roger’s 17 slams. Djokovic pushed him to 5 sets in the French this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if Nadal’s hold on the French open weakens considerably in the coming years. We seem to forget that Nadal’s dominance generally doesn’t span consecutive years. Cometh 2014, and I believe he’ll have a tough time defending these points , just because that’s how his career has been – like an alternating current. Will he cross the 17 major count ? Not sure. That would require him to win 6 majors before he turns 30. It’s hard to see him winning beyond 30. Throw in an injury before he turns 30 and it looks even harder.

    I’m fairly confident that Nadal willl probably not be able to sustain this success rate in 2014. Even if he has a good 2014 in which he manages to win a few majors, I’m fairly certain about the impending breakthrough of Djokovic at the French.

    But, having said that, it’s not beyond realm of impossibilities.

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  6. Ruan, you are right about Wawrinka playing with the kind of confidence that Roger has lately lacked. Stan was very impressive against the whinging Scot. Watch out Djokovic – his run may not be over yet.

    As for Nadal – what can you say? I remember his gradual decline over the second half of 2009, to the extent that he was a threat to nobody later in the year, and many commentators (like McEnroe) thought his career was effectively over. Nadal lost 15lbs of muscle that year (how do you do that?) and Wilander said of him then that his game in the latter part of the year was “the same but lacked its former power and speed”. If Nadal had been doping (as many increasingly suspected) then that was one of the few times when we might have seen the natural or “clean” player. Not quite so impressive, and certainly no threat to the top players.

    Well, since then we have seen his virtual resurrection, followed by further slumps, and then a comeback this year unprecedented in professional sports. As he demonstrated in his annihilation of the rejuvenated Robredo, he is now, at 27, a player whose power is without parallel in the game (even though he is only 6’1″ against the towering del Potros and Isners on the tour). To paraphrase Wilander, his game remains fundamentally the same but it has increased enormously in power and speed.

    And that physical superiority over all others is the crux of Nadal, and includes the fact that he is like a marathon runner who experiences no fatigue while others wilt around him. (Suffice it to say, no such marathon runner exists.) However Nadal’s game has now acquired such dimensions of brute force that no other player really stands a chance against him in that form – they are at best middleweights against a heavyweight. How does he do it?

    It is assumed that apart from his natural gifts he trains harder than everyone else (but wasn’t he doing that in 2009?) but that also begs the question of how he can “out-train” all others when his rivals are highly-trained elite athletes themselves, and why there are times during the year when he becomes mortal again. His anyone ever documented in detail his actual training regime? I have never seen it. I wonder why.

    For all his talents as a player, the difference between Nadal and the competition is ultimately physical. If there is a mental difference it is surely derived from the advantage he has in knowing he can outrun, outlast and outhit his opponents (and because of his spin and high net clearance he is without significant risk of error under pressure.) I boggle at what he achieves on the tennis court – like most who observe the Nadal phenomenon. The difference for me is that while many take his feats at face value I believe we have seen it before in other sports men and women who were subsequently shown to be just as unreal.

    But till that happens with the Spaniard I expect he will lay waste to all before him. This year’s USO title is surely his, despite the fact it is his weakest surface and chiefly responsible (we are told) for his ever-present knee issues, which ironically flared up only on clay and grass but have performed magnificently on the concrete of Queens. What can we believe about such a player?

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    Reimond Costa Reply:

    There is a marathon runner who feels no fatigue. His name is Dean Karnazes. He ran 560 km in 80 hours and 44 minutes without stopping. He ran 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 consecutive days. Doctors who studied him say that his muscles are much more resistant to damage that regular marathon runners. After 25 consecutive marathons, Dean’s CPK (amount of muscle damage sustained from exercise) was at 447. To put that into perspective, the average marathon runner’s CPK after a single marathon is 2,400. Also, doctors found out that when Dean is continuous motion, his muscles stop taking damage altogether, meaning they only take damage when he’s starting or stopping a marathon. He doesn’t use drugs, by the way. No drugs make you more resistant to muscle damage. Also, he’s not the only person like this. There a plenty of these people, they’re called “ultramarathon runners”. And they are all clean for drug use. Is it really such a stretch to think that some of the tennis players for whom running is a crucial part of their game (such as Nadal) have this same resistance, although to a lesser extent? Also, after between Wimbledon and the US Open this year, Nadal lost quite a bit of muscle (compare some of his pictures) and now he’s playing as someone “whose power is without parallel in the game”, as you say. What kind of drug makes you stronger but not more muscular? Nadal dropped muscle in 2009 and 2013 after knee injuries. He probably did so to put less strain on his knees and increase his speed. At the US Open in 2009 was almost at the fastest I’ve ever seen him, but his shots lacked bite. He probably dropped too much muscle that year. This year, he’s found a balance and dropped enough muscle to protect his knees while not greatly impacting his shots. He’s not hitting the ball harder, he’s just taking it earlier and driving through it more instead of brushing up it so aggressively. Nadal is just playing well, fedfans should learn to deal with it. When Djokovic was having his amazing 2011, Nadal fans where screaming “Doping! He’s Doping!” and I asked myself “Is Nadal really so great that Djokovic needs to take drugs to challenge his record?” and I said no. Now I’m asking you, all the people on this site who are loyal fedfans, is Federer really so great that Nadal needs to take drugs to challenge his record? Personally, I think not. There is nobody who is so great that he cannot be challenged. Federer was never “Goderer” or “JesusFed” and he’s not “Olderer” now. Federer was just younger and played well very consistently and now he’s older and plays well less consistently. Every tennis player’s career will have its rise, ups and downs, peak, more ups and downs, and then it’s fall. This applies even to Federer. Same goes for Nadal. Same goes for Djokovic. Tennis fans should learn to accept this instead of concocting accusations to undermine the achievements of successful players. That all I have to say.

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    rich Reply:

    Reimond Costa (not Spanish by any chance?), so Nadal is not only an unbelievable tennis player, he’s also an ultra-marathon runner (since that’s who you are now comparing him with.) That’s new – I haven’t seen that defence against the doping suspicions before. (I am not surprised at that, since he is also compared with Usain Bolt, the king of fast muscle-twitch fibre. So what is it? Is Nadal a natural distance runner or a sprinter – because physiologically you can’t be both.) Looks like his fans are prepared to believe anything about him in order to discount the evidence against him. Like Lance’s fans.

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    Reimond Reply:

    Not Spanish, actually. Half Portuguese and half Chinese. And let me tell you that there is no lost love between Portugal and Spain. Also, I am not saying that Nadal is an ultramarathon runner. I just said he might possess their endurance to a lesser extent. The ability of ultramarathon runners does not make them natural long distance runners, it makes them natural athletes.

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    rich Reply:

    Reimond, since no other player has ever been compared with an ultra distance runner (and also an Olympic sprinter), a more likely explanation for possessing such disparate physical qualities is doping. Unless you are a Nadal fan of course.

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    Reimond Reply:

    Nadal does not compete like an Olympic sprinter. His speed is a bit overrated. An Olympic sprinter would be Murray or Monfils. I think both Djokovic and Nadal are more like long distance runners.

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    rich Reply:

    Nadal’s speed is a “bit overrated”? You have got to be kidding (that’s also what the commentators generally say after yet another of Nadal’s impossible gets.) There has probably never been a faster player on a tennis court. And tennis, in case you haven’t grasped this, is not like a distance race of sustained aerobic effort, it’s sustained anaerobic effort of a stop-start nature, where top players have to effectively sprint for several hours. As Andre Agassi said after the 2012 AO final. “I have seen players play marathon matches before, but I have never seen players sprint for a marathon.” That’s what the modern game has given us and there is only one reason that logically explains it.

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    Chris Reply:

    Ok, Reimond, let’s move to neutral territory. How do you explain what Serena is achieving currently? Is this also a natural thing to you?

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    Reimond Reply:

    When Serena was younger she was already physically imposing. I think that her longevity has more to with the fact that she was out with injury for so long and the quality of opponents she is currently facing. I doubt that Serena would have such success if any of the current crop of players were as good as Henin, Davenport, or Hingis.

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    rich Reply:

    Reimond, Serena is playing better at 32 than what ought to have been the years at which she would have naturally peaked, in her mid to late twenties. She also hits the ball harder and serves bigger (over 200kph) than at any time previous in her career. She is a woman who can hit the ball as hard as a man, and at an age where she she normally be physically declining. She is bigger than she was ten years ago. This has nothing to do with her opponents. Compare her current career trajectory with Federer’s more natural decline at the same age. The only thing you demonstrate is a willingness to find any excuse you can think of for maintaining confidence in these physical hulks now dominating men’s and women’s tennis.

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    Reimond Reply:

    Look, I don’t regularly watch women’s tennis and I am certainly not a fan of Serena’s. I find her playing style to be disgustingly power-based with no variety whatsoever. From what I’ve seen she’s sort of like a Berdych playing in a field of Monacos. I really don’t know that much about her career statistics but if she really got that much stronger then I guess she’s on testosterone pills.

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    rich Reply:

    You find Serena’s “playing style to be disgustingly power-based with no variety whatsoever”. Sounds like you are also describing the Nadal game. Or is he a model of variety, touch and finesse to you?

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    Raoul Reply:

    Well put, Rich.
    I tend to agree with all of your posts lately.
    And this is is the same guy who was complaining about the amount of hard court tournaments last year, stating it damages his knees even going as far as saying no other sport punishes the body more, and now he is about to pull the incredible Rogers cup, Cincy and US Open treble ?? The fastest courts on the tour in successive and demolition fashion ?? Has it even been done before ?
    You have to excuse me but I do not like being taken for a dummy..
    All the facts point to Nadal being the worst cheat in tennis history, if not all of sports ! He is definitely gunning for the top spot to hopefully dethrone Armstrong !
    Also do not count Djokovic out.. He is the only other player that can pull these incredible stamina mixed with supernatural power performances that can compete with Nadal’s.
    Me personally, I’m rooting for Wawa to go all the way here, he’s got the game and confidence, but stands 0 to no chance against these syringes/pressurized egg lovers..
    I can still hope though..

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    marron Reply:

    First, Nadal hasn’t won it yet. Second, yes it’s been done before. Andy Roddick, 2003.

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    Raoul Reply:

    First, I did not say He has won it. Please read carefully. Second, I appreciate you giving me the answer to the question.
    To Reimond :
    What do you think about the whole Armstrong thing ? He had incredible stamina, never built huge muscles and was resistant to muscle damage, never got caught doping, was too good to be challenged, yet admitted that he juiced up to win all of his 7 Tour De France titles..

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    Reimond Reply:

    He was juiced up on his own blood, not drugs. Fedfans keep accusing Nadal of doing drugs, that what I disagree with. I also don’t think Nadal is stupid enough to be blood doping. If he is enhancing his performance, which I doubt but can’t refute (you can never know for certain if any athlete is actually clean), then he’d probably be using a pressurized egg, which is legal and more effective than blood doping.

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    Raoul Reply:

    C’mon now ! No matter if it is blood doping/pressurized egg or drugs, it is still doping.
    I actually think Nadal is not stupid enough to use drugs. He has a great team around him that assists him with the best and latest doping techniques ( blood doping) to make sure he stays ahead of doping tests.
    You might say pressurized egg is legal now, but facts will prove it gives you an unfair advantage over those who do not use it.
    This “winning at all cost” mentality is what I’m against with..
    Armstrong’s conscious got the better of him and Nadal’s time will come and trust me it would not be pretty..

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    Reimond Reply:

    I don’t think that Nadal is enhancing his performance. All I said was that, if he is, he’d use a pressurized egg which would protect him from legal ramifications.

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    rich Reply:

    Reimond, you don’t explain – since it isn’t possible to explain it – how Nadal became a shadow of himself through later 2009, when he himself admitted he wasn’t injured but simply lacked “confidence”. I will tell you what else he lacked then: speed, power and stamina. By the end of 2009 he was 15lbs smaller than at the beginning of the year, his average ground stroke speed had dropped from over 120kph to 107kph, he visibly tired and couldn’t take a set off another top ten player. In 2010, after the ITF testing statistics came out that showed players were getting away with not being available for out-of-competition testing (which Nadal had protested against when it was introduced at the beginning of 2009) Nadal suddenly recovers his lost muscle, is hitting 120kph groundies again, and is once more running down every ball. His results in 2010 are now history. Miracles clearly do happen – for the Spaniard anyway. Lazarus returns from the dead. He basically does the same after a 7 month “injury” break this year. No player has ever shown such bizarre physical cycles of performance, and recovery from constant “injury” to crush his opponents with the most tiring style of tennis possible. He currently bears no resemblance to the player he was through 2009. (But that could change, as he goes through yet another of his curious “cycles”.)

    If Nadal is doping he can get away with it, because according to the former head of WADA, only the dumb or the careless get caught. If he isn’t doping, consider how much faster stronger and more tireless he’d be (is that possible for someone who never tires?) Short of his sprouting 4 legs on court it’s difficult to imagine. More likely he’s like Lance, who we are told never failed a dope test. But that will never persuade Rafa fans, who will look for any explanation, no matter how bizarre or implausible, to explain away the obvious. So they come to a Federer fan-site just to defend their dubious idol.

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    Reimond Reply:

    First of all, I do not “idolize” tennis players. Only someone aspiring to be a tennis player should idolize one. As for Nadal’s results in 2009, lacking confidence and being injured (he said he both lacked confidence and had a knee injury) can severely impact your willingness to train, go for your shots, or run as fast as you can and since his parents got divorced his uncle/coach was probably too caught up in family drama to force him to. Also, Nadal is not “tireless”. He cleary tired out faster than Djokovic in the AO 2012 final and FO 2013 semifinal, which he only won because Djokovic’s mental breakdown at the end of the fifth set. And by the way, I’ve been reading this blog for over six months because I apparently am a rare breed of fan who actually like Federer AND Nadal (I know,right. UNTHINKABLE!!) and I just felt like commenting for once because I find it strange that so many fedfans only see the bad in Nadal and never even attempt to consider the fact that he might be a legitimate tennis player simply because he has a chance of surpassing Roger. Now, before someone responds with another piece of “evidence” (most of which read like the conspiracy theories written by the kind of people who think the U.S. government planned 9/11 and that Obama is trying to weaken the U.S. so that it can be conquered by Communist superpowers), can you please consider why you bothered to dig up this “evidence”? Some of you will say “Oh, it’s wrong to dope and we don’t want someone who dopes the dominate, we want Federer because he’s DEFINITELY clean.”, but you all know that’s a load of BS. You dig up this “evidence” which you all so desperately want to be true because you want to defend the legacy of YOUR idol (and I do mean idol because it is clear that most of the commentors on this site truly idolize Federer (once again, really pointless to idolize a tennis player unless you want to be one)). I guess I really shouldn’t even bother because everyone here is going to ignore what I say, but that’s what you get for having a conflicting opinion.

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    Reimond Reply:

    Whoops. To domiante* not the dominate.

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    Reimond Reply:

    Wow. Dominate* not domiante.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I don’t idolize Federer Reimond and I am not ignoring what you say. I hate the whole fanaticism thing myself and I am taking in everything you say. I do however think Federer is less likely to dope than Nadal. Their physiques, stamina, and personalities all makes me think this. I am not so sure Nadal can be trusted.

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    Reimond Reply:

    And I find your perspective to be very reasonable. I only think that most commentors on this site idolize Federer because of the amount of hate and suspicion theu direct towards Nadal. I don’t think Federer dopes either and if it was revealed that one of the two of them doped, I would probably put money on Nadal being that one. However, I honestly think that he doesn’t dope either so it kind of annoys me when almost a third of the comments on most of your posts accuse him of doping.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well give them time. Believe me few Fedfans ever thought Nadal would ever come close to Roger’s record and it can be hard to swallow. I myself have accused Nadal of doping but I am trying to focus more on his strengths these days. He after all has qualities that Roger doesn’t have, whether doping or not. I think once you can’t find anything wrong with your own player and can’t find anything right with the player you don’t like then you can be classified as a fanatic, and that is something I don’t accept. These are the people you talk about that constantly accuse Nadal of doping because they just can’t stand that he has owned their hero mentally.
    But we also have to give some of these people time because it can be something that’s hard to swallow. As for the doping issue I do think there is a fair chance that Nadal is doping but we have no proof, so there is no point on focusing on it constantly. That is what makes you look like a sore loser and what causes hate between fan bases. The honorable thing to do would be to acknowledge the strengths of Nadal and think what is your main reasons for being a Fedfan. If it was only because of winning and records then you were never a real Fedfan to begin with in my book.

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    Reimond Reply:

    I completely agree with you (although I only think there is a slight chance that Nadal is doping). I only wish others on this site would too. But I guess I understand that people need time. I’ll try to hold off from responding to comments from now on, even if the person is trying to insult me.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Put it this way. Nadal is as likely to dope as anyone in tennis. And doping is easy in tennis, especially if you are a cash cow.

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    rich Reply:

    Reimond, that you find it “strange” that people keep accusing Nadal of doping says only that you are reluctant to accept he may be; it does not suggest his accusers are wrong. He is regarded with more suspicion than any other player in the history of this sport, and for very good reason. Federer is not, and for equally good reason.

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    Reimond Reply:

    Doesn’t constantly accusing him of doping make you reluctant to accept that he is not? Also, what is the main group of people that regards him with so much suspicion? Extreme Federer fans.

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    rich Reply:

    Andy Roddick was of course a natural claycourter, wasn’t he? It’s bit like if he won the clay masters series before the French. I guess it didn’t happen.

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    marron Reply:

    I guess not. Andy wasn’t as motivated to improve his game on red clay. Rafa OTOH was very motivated to get better on hard, Andy’s best surface.

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    rich Reply:

    Once again, Rafa can do things because, unlike other players, he is “motivated”. All he has to do is choose to do it – and then it’s done. Pretty soon that will include leaping tall buildings in a single bound.

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    Reimond Reply:

    Djokovic was motivated to power up his forehand and fix his service motion, he did. Murray was motivated to power up his forehand and become more aggressive, he did. Gulbis was motivated to make his forehand more consisted and improve his mental game, he did. In tennis, motivation is willingness is improve. Almost all tennis player have it. Extreme fedfans don’t see this because Federer himself was never truly motivated to improve his game once he started having success since he was so good on all surfaces already. Sure, he could try to adapt to Nadal’s playing style, but that would require changing a formula that has been proven to be so powerful. The thing with Federer is, he doesn’t need to improve to be heralded as the greatest, he already is. Everyone is working to accomplish as much as he has. That’s why everyone else is motivated to improve while he is simply trying to stay the same, because until he is surpassed, there is no reason for him to change.

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    Reimond Reply:

    tennis players*

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    rich Reply:

    No reason for him to change? How about stop losing to journeymen, players he used to own, not to mention Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Berdych, and Tsonga among others and stop his slide in the rankings? Your comments about Federer are as insightful as your defence of Rafastrong.

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    Reimond Reply:

    I said that Federer is trying to stay the same. Stay the same as in staying the same as his younger self. Federer only needs to recapture his old self to win. Other players need to improve themselves to win.

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    Reimond Reply:

    I’m continuing my last comment.
    The spirit of competition drives all competitive sports. Everyone is working to be better than everyone else. Everyone is trying to be better than the best. Normally the best is content with himself until someone else becomes the best. What makes me admire Nadal as much as Federer is that even when Nadal was number one, the best, he still tried to improve his game. Everyone else improves in leaps and then stops. Nadal improves constantly. That’s how he has come to dominate in a way that is close to Federer despite the difference in their levels of talent. Federer is gifted, Nadal works hard. Nadal’s not a natural volleyer, but he’s become a pretty darn good one. He didn’t start out with great touch, but now his isn’t bad at all. He didn’t have a good serve, but his improved mechanics in 2010 helped him created a powerful one which he changed for a higher percentage and well-placed one. Federer already had every shot in the book. Nadal had to work hard to develop his. Nadal does what almost every other top player does to improve his game, he’s just more dedicated to it. That’s why I hate it when people pin his improvements on doping. Doping doesn’t make you a better volleyer, practice does. Doping doesn’t improve your touch, practice does. Doping doesn’t help you hit your spots on your serve, practice does. Doping doesn’t make your backhand more consistent, practice does. Doping would make you run a lot faster and Nadal was much faster from 2005-2007 than he is now.

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    You may hate the accusations against Nadal but what is just as tiresome to some readers is the mantra that Nadal is always working to improve, as though other players aren’t (including Federer) and the naive belief that all a player has to do is decide to change and he/she will become a champion. Decide you want a serve or a volley like Sampras – go out and get one, or a forehand like Roger’s – it’s yours with a little extra effort. Clearly, anything is possible for Rafa – he just has to choose to do it. (He must have chosen to lose a lot in 2009.) Just as clearly you have no idea how many years these exceptionally talented athletes put in (since they were children) to become as good as they are. Improvement in their prime years is incremental at best and usually out of reach (unless it’s mental) – because they have already spent their lives to date working to become the very best player they can.

    [Reply]

    Reimond Reply:

    If improvement is incremental at best how do you explain Djokovic’s massively improved forehand and serve in 2011? How do you explain Murray’s powered up forehand in 2012? How do you explain any great technical improvement in any players game? Is everybody doping?

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    You are probably starting to get the picture. Doping is not confined to one or two journeymen. Great “technical improvements” in a mature player’s game comes down typically to one thing: a sudden significant increase in power. Like with Nadal’s “grip change ” on his 20120 USO tennis serve. In my book, Djokovic and Murray raise questions about the nature of their mid-career boost. Welcome to the world of modern professional sport.

    [Reply]

    Reimond Reply:

    Nadal didn’t just “change his grip”. Video analysis showed that he changed his entire service motion.

    [Reply]

    Reimond Reply:

    But whatever.

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    Then why could not he continue with his boisterous serve of 2010 USO fame to later years? I hope you are aware of Nadal using blood-spinning in order to recover quickly from his knee injuries during 2010s. There are a lot of controversies surrounding it. You can find a recent article here: http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/jeremy-laurance-blood-spinning–legal-but-controversial-8471887.html

    So Nadal is not above doubt.Everybody is entitled to have his/her own opinion. But there definitely is something fishy with this player.

    [Reply]

    Reimond Reply:

    Okay, I told Ru-an that I would stop arguing because it really does nothing except get people worked up. If I stop, you stop. Deal?

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    You also make a lot of assertions about what doping does or doesn’t do. Well, I have spent as few years researching the topic and it’s pretty clear to me you haven’t. It was very apparent from the doped records set in baseball in the 90’s – a hand eye sport if there ever was one – that doping definitely helps with all the things you say it doesn’t. I am not going to bore readers with an encyclopaedia of doping – this is ultimately a Federer and a tennis blog – but I suggest that you do a little more reading on the topic before you come whinging here about what others say about the Spaniard.

    [Reply]

    Reimond Reply:

    Doping mainly helped batters, not pitchers. That makes sense because doping makes you stronger, faster, and able to hit the ball harder i.e. more home runs. Doping only helped pitchers who wanted to throw fastballs. Doping does not improve your feel for the ball.

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    Sory, but it does because tests have shown it improves hand-eye.

    [Reply]

    Reimond Reply:

    You know what else improves hand-eye coordination?

    [Reply]

    Reimond Reply:

    Practice!

    [Reply]

    Reimond Reply:

    If doping also improves hand-eye coordination, how do you know that Federer’s rise to the top and sudden consistency wasn’t due to doping?

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    Roger was always seen as a specially talented player since his junior years and when he came on the tour back in ’98. The flair was observably there from the earliest. His rise to the top of the game took some years. He showed in beating Sampras at Wimbledon in 2001 that he was a huge talent. Within two years he was the Wimbledon champion and the rest is history. His ascent was not “sudden” and did not come either mid or late career, as it is with many nowadays. If he doped earlier in his career – even to improve hand-eye as you suggest – then there is no conceivable reason for why he might have stopped, as his decline in the last few years would equally suggest. He is a poor poster boy for doping. His career path more closely approximates that of the greats of the past – like Sampras.

    [Reply]

    Mike Reply:

    One victory over Sampras does not mean that Federer did not improve dramatically. (Sampras lost to some very average players quite a few times in major tournaments) The fact is he went from winning one major in 03 to completely being unbeatable in 04. His improvement between 2003 and 2004 was MASSIVE (except for clay).

    Am i implying that Federer has used PED’S? No. Do i think Nadal is a much more likely user? Yes. But anyone who claims that Federer did not dramatically improve is simply living in denial.

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    Selective memory syndrome,as usual Mike. When Federer beat Sampras he was only 19 and already a top 20 player. He was top ten the following year, a Wimbledon champion the following year at 21, and world no.1 at 22. That’s a typical and relatively gradual career path for many a top player. Significantly, at the time no one expressed surprise at Roger’s rise to the top of the game. It was expected by many. But clearly you weren’t one of them.

    [Reply]

    Mike Reply:

    Yes Federer defeated Sampras at 19, but he did not reach a single grandslam final in either 2001 or 2002. Sampras was not exactly unbeatable at this stage of his career.

    Djokovic also defeated Federer at the Australian open at just 20 years of age, became world number one when he was about 24. Not exactly surprising, and certainly not massively different from Federer’s rise.

    If you cannot see the difference between Federer in 03 and 04, then i can’t help you. Its not selective memory, he won one major in 2003 and did not even make it to thw quarterfinals of any other major in 03. By 04, he was virtually unbeatable.

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    Why did he become unbeatable? Was it superior fitness?

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    Stan was the better player in yesterdays match, but he eventually ran out of gas. Which is normal, isn’t it?

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    Mike, when Fed beat Sampras the American was the reigning Wimbledon champion. Not a bad effort for a 19 year old then only one year on the tour, albeit he was already a top twenty player. Obviously Sampras was not unbeatable – at 30 – as no one is. But Federer signalled he was a coming player from the beginning. From attaining Wimbledon champion in 2003 to becoming no.1 in the game the following year at 23 is hardly a career “spike” of the kind we are typically seeing in mature and veteran players. Did Rog get a new “power forehand” all of a sudden, crank his serve up 20kph on his previous efforts, or become muscle-bound and tireless? Or go through predicable performance cycles every year – like a certain player that one commentator has suggested has “affective seasonal tennis disorder”, because he couldn’t win anything in the second half of the year. Look at Roger in 2001 and you are seeing the kind of player he was to become and remain throughout most of his career. You can’t see that because you don’t want to; in fact you only seek to comment here when suspicions are levelled at Nadal. Says everything.

    [Reply]

    Reimond Reply:

    Now I’m seriously done.

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    You are of course entitled to your views, but so are those who disagree with you, and I can say for myself that quite a few years of following and playing sport, and reading, research – and talking with professional sportsmen – have gone into forming the views I express here. My views on Nadal and doping are not the product of sour grapes at Federer losses. For me, it’s a completely separate issue. Roger is a champion in his twilight years; he can play badly and lose without it being because his opponent may or may not have been doping.

    [Reply]

    Raoul Reply:

    This is a response to Reimond’s claim that Federer does not work hard to improve his game or that he is trying to stay the same.
    I’m just disgusted by this claim and lack of respect for the one guy who still has a little bit of integrity in this game.
    I guarantee you Roger works as hard, if not better than the rest of the field.
    I have never seen a player so passionate about training and honing his skills.
    Do you think the fact that he does not sweat much on a court came naturally to him ?
    Do you think that maintaining the game with the highest risk and least margin of errors is easy ?
    Do you think being the only guy on tour with a 90sq inch racket, tiniest sweet spot and unforgiving style is easy and based on raw talent only ? And to go ahead and win 17 slams at that is just talent ?
    You are delusional if you do not believe Federer put in much work, if not the best work at honing his skills.
    He himself admitted, I think it was last year, he plays much better or his game is more efficient than 6 years ago when he was racking up titles after titles. It is just than many guys are juicing up and studied his game to the T, that they now have a chance to beat him more consistently.
    I have gone through your back and forth exchange with Rich, and I can see that you are either a troll or you have little to no clue on whats really happening in tennis or sports in general.
    You say you like both Federer and Nadal, but the way you are blind to Nadal antics/physical cycles and try to discredit Federer tells me what I need to know, I do not need to engage in a serious discussion with you.
    You are entitled to your opinions and please do not take this post as an insult, I’m just baffled as how clueless you are..

    [Reply]

    Mike Reply:

    i am sorry but by accusing many guys of “juicing” simply because they can beat Federer makes you a troll. You are the kind of fan who cannot handle that his favourite player is losing to other top players, hence the doping excuse comes in.

    [Reply]

    Raoul Reply:

    This will be my last post on this website that has been infested with Nadal’s high school army.
    I did not imply that all guys who beat Fed are juicing up, and I stated this in my previous posts in the past.
    Berdych, Del Potro, Haas, Brands, Gasquest, Delbonis, Stakhovsky, etc do not show any sign of doping..
    Nadal, Djoko, the rejuvenated Robredo performances on the contrary are very suspicious..
    I do not hate Nadal because of the countless losses he inflicted on Roger.
    I hate him for his lack of integrity, butt picking then fingers smelling, intimidation/gamesmanship on the court, humility faking, selfishness in terms of the tour adjusting to his demands and not to the majority of the players needs, ugly ball striking, countless of cowardly acts like bumping into somebody on changeover, winning at all cost attitude, not having the love of the game but instead His Uncle dictating what he has to do, disrespecting legends of the game like Sampras, etc..
    I recognize he has qualities but how many of those are influenced by his aura of invincibility created by illegal practices..
    After all those bad traits, what are the chances he is willing to dope and gain an advantage over the rest of the tour ? In my heart, He is certainly doping and the TRUTH will come out no matter what..
    On this note, do not expect any more comments from me on this blog.
    1

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    Mike, discussion of doping and Nadal always seems to flush you out of the woodwork. You insult the intelligence of commenters here who, unlike you it seems, are quite capable of forming the view that players could well be doping without seeking to use it as an excuse for Federer’s losses. Your own harping on that theme is, in your own words, troll-like, as well as ignorant.

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    Reimond, you have valid points. Personally, I don’t care if Nadal overtakes some records Federer holds. Records exist to be broken. I can also appreciate many of the big qualities of Nadal. But I get upset when I feel I’m being fooled. And this happens with the stories about these career threatening injuries. I think that much of it is bullshit. Same as the WMD in Iraq to justify a criminal war. And then one thing leads to the other. You start doubting and end up being a cynic. That is what happened to me. But others believe these stories, and it’s their right

    [Reply]

    Wilfried Reply:

    Fully agree with you, Chris. If you can destroy a whole country because it possesses oil and present it to the world as a humanitarian act by bringing so to say freedom and democracy to these people, why not? Same with Nadal’s knee injuries. The difference between what the guys says and what he does, can only leave us confused, because it is impossible to find a logical match between both.
    But I refuse to turn into a cynic myself.

    [Reply]

  7. I am happy for Wawrinka and I have always liked his game. Murray didn’t play well and I knew he wasn’t going to defend his title this year. Oh well that’s tennis for you. As for Ruan’s comment on Nadal surpassing Federer, we’ll just have to wait and see. There’s something very fishy about Nadal and his physical dominance, his drama surrounding his injuries, his ability to recover and be at the top of his game after SEVEN MONTHS OFF! First and foremost this a Roger Federer blog and second to that a respectable tennis blog. Let us think twice before rolling out the red carpet for Nadal and respecting him for his so-called accomplishments. I will never respect Nadal and I think he has the whole world buffaloed. I don’t care what anyone thinks, in my heart, Rafael Nadal is the biggest cheat in the game. Rafa’ s time will come!

    [Reply]

  8. Ru-an, I don’t know. Based on recent results, Nadal is the favorite, but I wouldn’t count out Djokovic entirely. I wouldn’t be surprised if he himself is taking a page out of Nadal’s book and only going “gluten-free” for certain tournaments in order to preserve his body.

    Perhaps he was cycling down in Montreal while Nadal was juiced. He could afford to let that one go (he won it, what, three or four times already?); Nadal, needing the points, couldn’t.

    I think he strategically juiced for MC in order to take out Nadal and try to shake his confidence before RG, but not for the other clay Masters. This year he was clearly targeting the career Slam. Unfortunately for him, it wasn’t quite enough in Paris. At that point Nadal was probably more juiced than he is right now, and he still barely escaped in the fifth set.

    Murray has always been the tougher matchup for Djokovic because he mixes in tricky slices and off-pace balls which makes it hard for him to just pound the ball. If he’d had to take on Murray and then Nadal for the title I’d say he wouldn’t have been able to pull it off at all. But Wawrinka did him a huge favor.

    This time Wawrinka is bound to have a letdown in intensity after taking out Berdych and Murray back-to-back. I think Djokovic will win, and it won’t be nearly as close as AO.

    Nadal’s team carefully has him skip tournaments in order to create this impression of unstoppability. Do you think he’d have gone undefeated on HC if he’d played a full hard court schedule this year? He skipped Doha, AO, Dubai, and Miami. If he’d played more of those tournaments he certainly would have lost because there’s no way they can juice him for all those tournaments without some kind of adverse consequences.

    Nadal is not the only one who can get better magic potions, anyhow. Even if he loses this one, I’m quite sure Djokovic won’t take this new challenge lying down.

    There’s nothing Federer can do about any of it at the moment anyhow. He’s out of the tournament. He has to worry about his game and what he’s going to do to raise it. He’s got a month off before Shanghai, he can rest, train, make some decisions about next year’s schedule and his racket change. Then he’s got a fall hard-court season to concentrate on.

    Worrying about his Grand Slam tally is just an idle diversion at the moment, because he’s so far away from winning his 18th right now.

    Just hoping he can come back strong in the fall.

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    Steve, some good points. I tend to agree about Nadal not fronting up for the full hard court season. I would also agree with your observations about Djokovic but Stan is presently doing something very unusual out there in their semifinal. This match may not go as predicted.

    [Reply]

    steve Reply:

    Wawrinka’s playing fantastic and being aggressive and mixing up his game. Djokovic looks like he’s out to lunch. Set and a break down is not a place he wants to be, since Wawrinka looks like he could keep this up for another couple sets, easy.

    Looks like we may see a repeat of IW: a player gets hot, takes out both Djokovic and Murray, then falls to Nadal in the final. If Djokovic loses, Nadal will have had an even easier draw in this tournament than he did in 2010.

    [Reply]

    Raoul Reply:

    Steve, the new term is playing STANTASTIC !!
    Djoko is coming back and I see him winning this in 4 or 5 sets at the most..
    He will be pretty exhausted for the final though and will need to get in the egg machine to give us another 6 or 7 hour gladiator slug fest final against Nadal.

    [Reply]

    Raoul Reply:

    What a point !!! What a match !!

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    Djoko needs egging on…

    [Reply]

    Raoul Reply:

    Vamoooos Wawaaaa !!!

    [Reply]

    Raoul Reply:

    This is the same thing has been happening to me lately when I play intense matches..
    I have this pain between my inner thighs, I don’t know if it is groin injury, not sure..
    I feel for you Wawa.. Keep on fighting even if it is very annoying..at least it shows you are playing all natural, the stamina is decreasing as the match goes on unlike others..

    [Reply]

    rahan Reply:

    Yes: Stantastic WOWrinka

    [Reply]

  9. Actually Nadal would face 4 one-handed bh players if Stan is to upset Djokovic, it’ll be even easier than his run to US Open 2010, which was a joke draw itself. However, still I’d be a little bit surprised if Nadal can manage to win more GS titles than Roger, Roger won just 5 titles after his 27 th b’day, starting from US Open 2008. So, at the same rate, which should reasonably be maximum for an aging player considering Roger’s free-flowing style, Nadal will be at par with 17 tiles in his bag. But if Nadal at the same age, with his grueling kind of tennis, starts to dominate the field again for a long time, when he should start to decline, that would be another miracle from the Maorcan miracle-master.

    [Reply]

    bartelbe Reply:

    You forget the French open, who is going to beat Nadal there?

    [Reply]

    MJ-Ruban Reply:

    Maybe only Djokovic, he should want to rack up the career slam as soon as possible, considering how close he got this time. I wanted to draw conclusion from the role reversals from 2007-08 Wimby but I’d not do that because clay is certainly brute force centric whereas grass is so different.

    [Reply]

  10. Roger was not avoiding Rafa. That was clear to me.
    Now…. Is Stan the Man really THIS good or is Novak trying to avoid playing Rafa???
    Is Rafa now also in the head of Novak and Andy???
    Stan is serving for the first set.

    [Reply]

    rahan Reply:

    Very interesting:
    First set Stan vs. Djoko 6-2 and 1st serve in only 36% for Stan (Djoko 63% 1st serve in and still lost the set)

    [Reply]

    rahan Reply:

    “Stan is the Man.

    Can he finish it ?”

    WOWrinka !

    SET 3:

    Total points won :
    22 Djoko vs. 30 Stan

    [Reply]

  11. 2 sets each. Decider set. I hope Novak wins. Honestly speaking Stan deserves it more and Novak is not playing well, but he is fighting through it and that is what you need to beat Rafa.
    Novak has more chance to beat Rafa, but in this condition??? He is not playing good at all.
    If Novak wins this match, he will remain nr 1 even if he loses the final. If Novak loses this match and Rafa wins the final, then Rafa will be nr 1. And really, after what he has done this year, no matter how “unplayable” he is, he does not deserve to be nr 1.

    [Reply]

  12. Anyone saw the last game??? Almost 20 minutes and Stan winning it?? You know, Rafa is getting a massage somewhere and is laughing his a.. off.
    He thinks, the one who wins this is way too tired to give me a real match!!! I am winning my 12th !!!

    [Reply]

    steve Reply:

    Katyani, Djokovic has ground out tough five-setters in Grand Slam semis and then beaten Nadal in the final on two previous occasions.

    I don’t think the length of this match will affect the result of the final.

    Shame for Wawrinka, he did indeed play Stantastic tennis but Djokovic’s defense and endurance were just too much for him in the end. But this is the best Grand Slam result of his career and he can be proud of how he fought.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Right Steve. This match was actually good for Djokovic. He is mentally prepared now, whereas Nadal has not been tested much.

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    I don’t know Steve and Ru-an, was he not tired after the Wimby SF? He did lose the final then too right?
    Don’t get me wrong. I want Novak to win, I want him to get back at Rafa.
    I don’t want Rafa to win. Hopefully Novak can find a way to beat him.
    I am watching Rafa playing Gasquet now.
    What can you say about this match…..
    Gasquet is actually not playing bad, but he is playing Rafa…

    [Reply]

  13. As a Nadal fan, the way you guys make Rafa look like the ultimate supervillain (sort of like a Darth Vader) REALLY cracks me up. But him catching up RF’s record, though possible, is VERY unlikely. Not that I’m writing him off though…

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    B.Jay, I do see Rafa catching up to Sampras’s 14, but not Roger’s 17.
    That means, to overtake Roger, Rafa has to have atleast 6 GS. Do you see him get that, knowing he is very much likely to have injuries??? That is his game right? Playing, injured, playing, injured, playing, injured…

    [Reply]

  14. That was a match today between Djoker and Wawrinka, where I was very happy to see Stan make it so far into the slam. I’m also glad Djoker won, cause I think at this point, he’s the only one who can beat Nadal. Destroy him Djoker!!! G

    [Reply]

  15. Hi Ruan, I have to disagree about Nadal when it comes to Djokovic. Djokovic is the only player Nadal has been mentally scarred against. There’s no way he hasn’t forgotten about those 7 consecutive finals he’s lost against him and don’t forget Monte Carlo this year. Novak has the match on his racquet contrary to where Nadal’s game and confidence is at right now. The FO semi-final was lost because of a Djokovic error and the Montreal final was extremely thin sliced margins. Nadal is on a roll, no doubt about it and he does have an aura of invincibility but should Novak remind Rafa early on in the match of who won those 7 consecutive finals, you can bet that Novak has what it takes to stop him from getting another slam. This is one of the most fiercest rivalries of the era so regardless of Fedfan fears, there should be a high contest to decide who bags two slams this season. Nadal will be the favourite. Djokovic will have to play much more offensive than he did against Wawrinka today but Novak’s back was to the wall today and is apparently experiencing the same thing Roger is: can’t play big on the important points. Interesting. Nevertheless, Nadal can be stopped by Djokovic. The only question is will he? I guess we’ll find out.

    [Reply]

  16. Nadal just lost one big battle, Tokyo beat Madrid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics after he had campaigned thoroughly for the Capital of Doping to become the Host city..
    Hopefully the trend continues on monday..

    [Reply]

  17. A friend at my tennis club asked me today how Djokovic would need to play to beat Nadal in the final. He said it should be easy for his coach to advise him because you know that Nadal is going to play exactly the same way as he plays against everyone. That’s true. Djokovic knows what his game plan must be, which is to balance defense with aggression, to serve well (always a given), to attack the Nadal second serve, to work one side of the court in order to expose the other, and to close points at the net when he gets the chance. His down-the-line backhand needs to be working, too.

    It will come down to execution. He cannot afford too many errors, which is what Nadal always counts on with his opponents. If Djokovic can defend well enough he can perhaps draw on some Nadal errors, if the Spaniard is drawn into overhitting. Djokovic has done it before; he can do it again; he was so close at Roland Garros this year.

    However, unless Nadal comes off the kind of peak he showed in his Robredo match, when he was absolutely crushing the ball, it may be a bridge too far yet again for Djoko, as he needs to be the aggressor in this match. The Nadal of 2013 is not the Nadal of 2011. He has even more power. Of course.

    [Reply]

    V Reply:

    Good point rich, but as i have told below, all of nadals form blah blah will come a second if the djokovic who just paints the lines and does not hit silly unforced errors shows up tomorrow.
    The one thing djokovic does better than anyone on the tour is return and recover after a slide.
    So if he takes care of his serve and his errors,he will win a tough battle

    [Reply]

  18. Great discussion above guys.I don’t want to poke into that as its already so heat up.
    Anyways,looking ahead to the much anticipated Men Final:
    1 Djokovic vs 2 Nadal.
    I think it will be 4 or 5 sets and I think it all depends on which djokovic shows up.
    Djokovic is really becoming federer like nowadays meaning that his best is above anyone else’s best right now.
    If the djokovic who just paints the lines and does not commit silly errors shows up,then even Nadal with his “much talked about” 2013 HC season level cannot beat him.
    On the other hand,if the djokovic of current level shows up,there is every chance that nadal wins it in 4.
    So thats my take on the big one ,
    I expect djokovic to win it in 4 or 5

    [Reply]

  19. Wow Ru-an, I haven’t commented in a few hours… and now I look….. 106 comments??? Man, I have got a lot reading to do….
    I am looking forward to the man doubles final.
    Hope Paes and Stephanek can win. Paes is arrogant, Stephanek is just plain weird, but somehow I like them. Ru-an, are you going to watch Serena/Vika-final??

    [Reply]

  20. All of yu accusing RAFA of doping please watch the match gasket beat him when they were 13 years. Though nadal lost but watch what gasket said ” I told my father he is a fighter he is returning all the balls. Surly he is a player for the future and am right. And guess what? The next year nadal won the trophy both djokovich and murray played the tornament.

    So nadal has been doping since he was 13? No, I don’t think so but you are all entitled to your opinions…

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Interesting point chassooh. Whether Nadal is doping or not he is an extremely talented tennis player and intelligent competitor. I don’t think anyone can dispute that anymore.

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    Chassooh, let’s be clear about one thing: doping will not make you a winner unless you already have talent (as Ruan indicates.) There is no doubt that Nadal (like anyone in the top 100) has considerable talent. At 13 I am sure he showed that he is “a fighter”, as Gasquet said. That is his temperament. That isn’t created by doping.

    But what Nadal certainly wouldn’t have shown at 13 is the physical qualities that now characterise his game; his speed, stamina and enormous power. Sure, a “natural” Nadal would have some of those qualities, but what doping would have enabled him to do is increase them; it doesn’t have to be much but at the pro level small percentage improvements can be all that it takes to win matches that might otherwise be lost.

    So to make this clear, doping doesn’t make you a champion if you don’t have skills; but it will make you better than you were, and if you are already a very good player it could enable you too win those championship titles. Back to Mr Nadal.

    [Reply]

    Wilfried Reply:

    After all , Rich, Nadal lost from Gasquet as a teenager.
    To me this loss points rather to Gasquet having more ‘natural’ tennis qualities (talent, character, stamina, etc) than Nadal.

    [Reply]

  21. Hey guys, anyone else thinks USO is taking too long now??
    Roger has been out a couple of days.
    And seriously, does anyone else remember the first days when Dimitrov, Nishikori and Janowicz went out?? It seems such a long time ago.
    As far as I am concerned let this USO be over now…

    [Reply]

  22. The fact remains that nadal’s game has been the same since he was a junior, all he did is improve them… He won trophies as a junior even national trophies so he’s bound to win many trophies too as a senior

    Besides, as a junior nadal was predicted to be a future star and he didn’t disappoint and its not bcus of doping

    There are future stars coming up but they have a problemm their problem is the big guns are not done yet, the big guns are not satisfied yet

    Just to digress…I have seen and heard people accusing MESSI of doping and their reason is that how can he be so consistently good and he is still just 26… But people that knows football know that MESSI is an exceptional talent

    I like roger but I love nadal…he gives me strength when I watch him play…plis enjoy them because yu won’t see players like Roger and Nadal after they retire and that’s a fact…

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