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Nadal Dimisses Federer in Australian Open Semi Final

Nadal Dimisses Federer in Australian Open Semi Final

Hey all, another telling defeat for Roger at the ends of his nemesis as he went down 7-6, 6-3, 6-3 to bow out of the Australian Open at the semi final stage. Successful tournament it may have been with impressive wins against Tsonga and Murray but today he fell short yet again and in truth never really got himself into the match to have a chance of victory.

I know a lot of fans had high expectations coming into this one after Nadal struggled against Dimitrov but the match was always going to be in Nadal’s favour. Not only does he have the matchup advantage, he has a 22-10 H2H (8-2 in slams) advantage which has left Roger with a lot of mental baggage, baggage which has sadly drained Roger of self belief when he steps on court against this guy. As usual I’ll do a quick recap of the match, which in all honesty was quite boring except for a couple of rip roaring passing shots from Nadal, and then I’ll give my thoughts on it.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Backhand vs Nadal

Broken Backhand

The first set was close, but not close enough if you’re a Federer fan as he just didn’t really have many chances to get his nose in front. In terms of serving he was definitely playing well and didn’t look like he was in any real difficulty but the problem was he didn’t get into many return games.

From what I remember the only time he did manage to make 30 on the Nadal serve was when Rafa was already 40 love up and both guys made it to 6 all without facing a single break point. The tie break that ensued wasn’t really of high quality from either man as they both traded multiple mini breaks before Nadal finally pulled away to take it 7-4.

The blow of losing the first set was always going to be a big one for Fed and he did well to save break point to level at 2 all in the second. However he couldn’t stop Nadal getting his first break of serve to lead 4-2 and despite having a chance at 0-30 with Nadal serving at 5-3 the Spaniard came up with some big shots when he needed them to close it out.

The third was a foregone conclusion with Roger getting broken early, breaking back immediately to level at 2-2 only to get broken again and by then he looked tired, mentally drained and pretty much out of ideas. Sadly he couldn’t even make Nadal serve for it as he was broken a second time at 5-3 with Nadal booking his spot in the final.

Match Stats

StatsRafael NadalRoger Federer
Aces38
Double faults11
1st serves in56/86 (65 %)69/105 (66 %)
1st serve points won41/56 (73 %)45/69 (65 %)
2nd serve points won22/30 (73 %)18/36 (50 %)
Fastest serve198 KMH203 KMH
Average 1st serve speed175 KMH181 KMH
Average 2nd serve speed143 KMH152 KMH
Net points won3/10 (30 %)23/42 (55 %)
Break points won4/14 (29 %)1/2 (50 %)
Receiving points won42/105 (40 %)23/86 (27 %)
Winners2834
Unforced errors2550
Total points won10586

Roger’s Match Encapsulated in 1 point

Thoughts on the Match

Thoughts on the Fedal Match

The reason this post is slightly delayed is because for the first time in a while I actually rewatched the whole match. I had planned to give Fed a ton of shit in this post and probably would have done had I written it earlier but now I’m only going to give him a little bit :D

I think when you’re watching live, have an emotional investment and are seeing Roger buckle at key moments it’s probably a bit too easy to say he’s doing everything wrong and he has no strategy but having watched it back I have changed my mind ever so slightly. I actually think he did do quite a lot of things right but as usual it was a case of not doing them at the right time or enough of the time combined with Nadal having all the answers.

In the replay you get to see a handful of points that do give you an idea of the sort of tactics Roger must employ to counter Nadal’s strategy but on the other you see his body language, decision making and Nadal’s explosiveness and think, can this guy ever beat Rafa in a big match again? Big question marks and it would have to be on quick hard court or grass that’s for sure if it is even possible.

Evidently the match was lost when the first set went to Nadal; it was just a huge psychological and physical blow after Fed had managed to hold serve without too much trouble for most of the set. We all said beforehand just how important the set would be and we were right; it decided the outcome.

Up until losing the tie breaker Roger was actually playing quite well and did show signs of a gameplan. The problem was he was just what I would call ‘sticking around’ and not the one trying to take the match down the path he needed it to go to ever stand a chance of winning.

We got moments where if you were in his corner you’d be thinking yes, keep doing that but as the set wore on things just sort of settled into the usual routine where Nadal was able to get into his comfort zone.

I don’t know whether it was Roger getting frustrated with his inability to break down Nadal’s defense but he just seemed to get that little bit inpatient and come in behind some less than ideal approach shots and got burned. The effect of those is two fold; he loses the point immediately but also loses confidence in other areas.

I should have really kept a running total but pretty much every point that Roger won by way of winner or forced error was as a result of breaking Nadal’s pattern of play and his rhythm – serving out wide, using his slice etc. By that I mean he changed up his pace and got Nadal moving forwards and backwards rather than just side to side which he loves and will basically do all day everyday. I think whenever he had Nadal running forward to the net, he won the point; just didn’t do it enough.

Whenever he got into the standard top spin backhand to forehand rally he lost the point. On chest high balls that shot is just no way good enough to trade blow for blow with Nadal’s forehand. I mean check the video above, he rips a decent backhand that’s ever so slightly short in the court and Nadal just fires a winner down the line. Brutal.

Statistics wise it’s obvious that Nadal was the deserved winner as he was better in pretty much every area, I do question why he was able to win over 70% of points on his 2nd serve which is a very high number. Surprising Roger didn’t try do something extra on those but he was probably too preoccupied with his own service games to really get into them or swing that freely.

Probably the worst thing to watch as a fan is the fact Nadal was ever really tested or under any pressure, Roger didn’t have a single break point until the third set against a guy who’s serve is probably one of the weaker areas of his game. That also made it pretty boring for the neutral who came wanting to see a competitive semi final and they didn’t get that. Roger finds it virtually impossible to break Nadal’s pattern of play and ultimately just plays into his hands, as soon as he hits a backhand into the middle of the court it is rally over unless Nadal makes a mistake. Those odds are not good if you’re Federer.

Once the first set had been and gone it was clear Fed lost any sort of belief he might have had when he stepped on court and things got very predictable. I personally thought it all got very one paced. Not in the sense it was slow as he was of course looking to hit the ball hard and flat but all that happened was he’d hit 2 pretty good forehands and then try sneak in despite not really having Nadal out of position. It was almost like clockwork and there not enough patience from the Swiss.

There was also a moment where he complained about Nadal’s grunting to the Umpire which I thought was ridiculous to be honest. It just showed Roger was not thinking straight, the grunting is nothing new so to call him out when down 2 sets halfheartedly to the umpire shows he was done mentally. What could he have hoped to achieve from that? Couldn’t even think straight.

For Fed to make the final I thought to myself he had to do 4 things well: he had to serve well and hit the corners, he had to mix up his shots consistently using floated and knifed slices, he had to try and break Nadal’s patterns with that variety so he wasn’t just running side to side like Superman and he had to believe he could win. If you treat that as a checklist then he only did one of those things reasonably well and that was serving for the most part. Had he not been broken until half way through the second set the scoreline could have been far worse.

As for Nadal he was just too good on the night and came up with the goods yet again, he moves so well from side to side and his ability to stay in the point just makes it so much more difficult for Fed. Yet again he had the answers when it mattered and I’m pretty sure he will be winning Grand Slam Number 14 come Sunday.

Back to Fed and looking at the tournament as a whole then it’s been a good one and hopefully sets up 2014 as being a good year. 2 huge wins against Tsonga and Murray, a lot of positives in his game considering 3 weeks ago he couldn’t beat Hewitt in a final so overall I’m happy.

Finally I’d like to thank everyone who has commented here, joined in live chat, shared any posts, read my blog etc etc throughout the Australian Open. It’s been a fun 2 weeks so thanks. Next stop Dubai :)

Hey all, another telling defeat for Roger at the ends of his nemesis as he went down 7-6, 6-3, 6-3 to bow out of the Australian Open at the semi final stage. Successful tournament it may have been with impressive wins against Tsonga and Murray but today he fell short yet again and in truth never really got himself into the match to have a chance of victory. I know a lot of fans had high expectations coming into this one after Nadal struggled against Dimitrov but the match was always going to be in Nadal's favour. Not only does…

Review Overview

Serving
Returning
Net Play
Winner to Unforced Error Ratio
Break Point Conversion

Just not up to it

Summary : Nadal too good, Fed not quite finding the answers when he needed them. Never in the match.

User Rating: 1.99 ( 21 votes)
69

About Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer - I'll pretty much try and watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Fed and tennis in general.

336 comments

  1. Somtimes i think FED will win when meeting Nadal if he shows up with a game plan with one single point to stick to. This may be “stop doing what you do when you played Nadal up until 2007″. It will take a decade and FED never learned. He badly needs to see a sport psychologist. No bigger racket frames, new shoes, legends coaches, time violations, grunting, doping and even a 2-handed backhand will help him. He makes himself a clown as puting this performances over and over. Tommy Haas and L. hewitt have the heart and better fitness at his age besides selfbelief. Wawrinka, Dimitrov, Gasquet and other lefties also perform better then Fed in mental department when meeting Nadal. Cincinatty 2013 might be the last time we see FED taking a set from Nadal.

    • Who’s this ASSHOLE! You don’t know what your talking about. Fool!

    • It’s easier to criticise, the truth is none of us know what Roger feels like. Imagine having to face this rival on the other side of the net who has deprived you of some serious titles and history, it’s going to mentally scar you for the rest of your career, it’s obvious Roger struggles big time when he steps on the court against Nadal but at least he is stepping out on to that court and continues to play. All the players you listed haven’t gone through what Roger has gone through when it comes to Nadal so there’s no way you can compare any of the matchups.

      • Totally agree Alysha.
        sometimes I put my self in Roger’s shoe and the second day I find me self already in the suicide news!!
        its not any easy, really tough and I feel for roger, I really do

    • Yeah too critical, you cannot compare Haas to Federer. Fed has about a million more matches in his legs. Haas went missing during his prime, never made a slam final and he has more heart? LOL

  2. I think we should all be very proud of Roger, you could see how much he wanted it, how hard he tried, how emotional he was getting which makes it very poignant and almost moving even. I find it sad because Roger is so much better than his record against Nadal would suggest, 23-10 and 9-2 are not fair reflections of how good they each really are. Roger deserves better, but he has no self confidence left in himself when he takes on Nadal in a GS. Therefore, every time, despite starting with an apparent clear gameplan, he always, almost subconsciensly, gets sucked in to that same style of trying to go right through Nadal with brute strength, rather than mixing things up, forcing Nadal forward to the net where he’s far less comfortable, etc… It’s frustrating, sad… After every loss in GS Nadal is very magnanamous, credits Roger, but having to see the same celebration from Nadal, the same brave face from Roger, the same humble speach from Nadal crediting Roger and their incredible rivalry just drives me crazy… I think this devalues their “wonderful” rivalry. Going into every one of their GS matches, it’s the same massive build-up and story: “Can Roger FINALLY stop Rafa?”, and every time the answer is no. Not only that, the style of play in the matches is always the same really, so you think “well of course he lost again, he didn’t try anything different!” That’s not true, Roger clearly wants to change things, we saw in the 1st set, he just can’t sustain it, and of course he’s older now.
    I’ve never be prouder to be a Federer fan, I think he’s wonderful.

    • Hello everyone,
      I don’t often post though I do read the comments. It’s a great effort you put in this to consistently report on every aspects of Federer’s season and more Jonathan. It’s great to have such a community that share the same passion for Mister RF. Thank you again for creating this world for us the fans, it’s great to read you guys!!!

      I couldn’t watch the match live, so by the time I did, I had read a lot of comments here and there and actually saw the last 2 games. So I thought… I gave up, didn’t fight, there was no ‘COME YETSE’, he gave up…
      For the first time I enjoyed watching and rewatching a loss from Roger because I actually thought it would be much worse then what I saw.

      I agree with you Theo, I was proud of Roger because even though he faced a great RAFA, even though he was again to often stuck in the BH corner and was quite frustrated, he was determined and kept on trying!

      He try to over come his own fears when he was shaky, he was quite vocal, he was strong when facing BP…

      It seemed to me that the crowd was pretty much supportive and loud when appropriate, despite what I read.

      So I’m proud of Roger and full of hope because he actually had a way better attitude against the guy. He even started grunting back at some point… He seemed angry and rageous at times, I mean I don’t know but I feel (as he said himself) that he has a margin of progress and that he’s freeing himself from the Nadal complex… He just could’t get a set that’s true, but I’m sure he’s determined and believes he still can do something… That’s great and that’s why I’m proud of him. We should be thankful that at almost 33 he still plays and works hard to get opportunities that we can enjoy!!!! We definitively need to be supportive, more then ever! Love you Roger!!!!!!!!!

    • Cheers for the comments guys and thanks Nath.

      Yeah Semi finals is a positive result. The AO is now history, Stan walks away with the trophy and as a good champion. Onto Dubai!

      • What an a amazing achievement for Stan! I really felt bad for Nadal, he was trying hard not to cry out there. As a human being, I found it hard to see, credit to him for showing courage and class. Well done to both!

  3. The only thing that I find disappointing is that Roger lost in the usual manner. Had he went down fighting, I would have loved it but this match developed according to the usual script. There is simply no excitement left when watching these two guys play.

  4. Was pretty much depressed right after the match. Not that I thought he played bad, just that I expected at least something different, some testing for Nadal. But all we got was a classic Fedal match with the expected outcome.
    Anyway, I too have had now a day to digest it -plus a big dose of tv series watching to forget it yesterday lol- and I really think that what’s ahead could only be better.
    I hate the idea of him being nº8 on Monday should Nadal win the title (which he most probably would) but as many have said, he created his huge legacy. Up to him now to prorect it if not add to it :-)
    I don’t think I’ll watch tomorrow’s final but my thoughts will be with Stan. Not only because of the man on the other side of the net, but because I really appreciate him and I think that he deserves it.

  5. It was sadly to see Roger defeated once more. I am a bug fan of Edberg and I am sure he can suggest different tacticts and push Roger back to the top; anyway the right coach should have been Rodriguez due to the magnificent job he did with Henin and is doing with Na Li.

    • Ok! Maybe I should get an avatar to have a difference between the two Alexes :-D
      Always surprises me to read your comments and I have this awkward moment of ” when did I ever write this?”

    • Yeah you guys both need Gravatars, sign up. In fact why hasn’t everyone got a gravatar?? It is a 30 second job, no excuses!

  6. You really sum it up well, I am disappoint that Roger lost but I notice a couple of things. He did try to stick to game plan in the 1st set. In the 2nd set totally hit panic button namely due to being too eager and trying too hard. He did not deploy any of BH slice at all which is a little disappointing. Also he fail to calm down. The horrible H2H is eating into his psyche, not entirely sure if he will ever overcome that anymore. Regardless, I am quite happy that he manage to reach the semis. As for the final tomorrow, I don’t think I can bear myself to watch as we all know its a forgone conclusion that Stan will get whipped due to his single handed BH. I do hope Stan will pull off something, anything to stop Nadal.

  7. Hey everybody, one day after the crushing defeat a few more thoughts. First thanks Jonathan, very much appreciate your insights, have read them for a long time already. :) Your knowledge of the technical aspects is for sure far superior to mine.

    I’ve already written that after reading of Angel Ruiz Cotorro, I knew Nadal would show up with a much superior form compared to his previous matches where he produced quite a few short balls and errors, from what I’ve heard and seen in the match statistics. (I don’t watch his matches usually, because I just can’t stand looking at him.) Cotorro after all is a “licenced physician for the completion of doping controls”. http://www.itfcoachesconference.com/2009/node/55 Don’t know his qualification for the treatment of blisters. :D

    The first set already confirmed my suspicion. Like you, I knew, Fed had to win in 3 or 4, if there should be any chance. But even in the first set, it looked more likely to me that Nadal would break then the other way around. So the result of the tie-break was kind of logical consequence.

    It seemed to me that already in the second set there was some quiet sense of desperation in the Federer game, who got challenged in a lot of his service games (At one point Nadal was 0 for 8!), but couldn’t make any inroads into Nadal’s. And then he just gave up on it and while many may reproach him for it, I don’t, because I just didn’t feel there was any chance. It is after all, a kind of protection of one’s self.

    Fed was ok in rallys up to eight shots, but in every rally longer than that he got thumbed. Our pundit on Eurosport mentioned that after some shots he didn’t quite go the last step to hit another backhand? Can anyone of the specialists here confirm that? Anyway, imagine the pressure. There’s Nadal and, far more likely then not, he will win a rally, longer than eight shots. Nadal feels very comfortably, he can hit cc fh deep and hard all day and the cc bh didn’t bother him either. So Federer has to try to win the point, in up to 8 shots by painting the lines, because else Nadal will just run it down and muscling the ball back for a winner.

    Nadal can play high %age, while Federer must rely on far lower %age game. So he is in an inferior position from the very start and the mental pressure comes from that disadvantage, imho, not from any imagined psychological feeling. After all, this imagined psychological feeling never got in the way, whenever he beat Nadal. The difference then, imho, was that Nadal didn’t manage to hit all his shots deep and hard. That’s also why this “rivalry” could never possibly live up to the high expectations. The question always was: will David slay Goliath this time? I think all the excitement this time came from the fact alone that Nadal up to that point had played subpar and only then would Federer have any chance.

    Nadal, otoh feels very comfortable, because he knows that time is on his side and he is always able to wear his opponent down. This physical fatigue of the opponent also wears on the mind, they know; they have to beat him quickly, if at all.

    About the complaints because of the grunting: better late then never! I agree that it’s probably also an expression of helplessness, but I still think, that Nadal should be called on his gamesmanship more often. I’m happy that there is no more “we are good friends bs”.

    Unfortunately it’s hard to reproach him for other things, though surprisingly many have made mentioned Nadal in this respect as well. But look how Santoro was flamed when he said that there’s a lot of drug use in tennis, but still possible to win clean, as proved by Federer. The Nadalites weren’t happy at all by that remark (in 2009), because Nadal was included by omission (in their opinion…) Of course it was all only Santoro’s opinion, but still. :)

    Well, that was a long post, I hope you don’t mind too much. I also think, it was a good tournament, having made semi-final exceeded my expectations, hope he can carry on like that. I liked watching him a lot in his previous matches that highlighted some magic.

    • “The question always was: will David slay Goliath this time? I think all the excitement this time came from the fact alone that Nadal up to that point had played subpar and only then would Federer have any chance.”

      Interesting comment Ute and I’d have to agree with that, this match was over hyped here in Australia, something about this rivalry appeals to the nostalgic every time. But it seems Nadal doesn’t play subpar when it comes to Roger, he just exceeds the limit if that’s even possible.

  8. Hi ,
    I took a day of from work just to watch the match but it ended up a waste.
    I went to the tennis club to watch it hadn’t plan to meet anybody over there but I found the place was packed. 20 or 30 people in front of the tv waiting to watch.
    Not many hard core Fed fans in there every single one in there was rooting for Federer. No Federer fans just Tennis fans supporting the player with the most attractive game. We where all waiting some Tennis justice to be carried out finally. But that never happened.

    My hopes where raised when I saw Anna Ivanovic see out Serena then Ciboulcova winning Radwanska. Ok you ll tell me what does this got to do with anything. Well it does in a sense that a win of Fed over Nadal is not that big of an ask compared to the above.
    Jonathan and others in here have covered the subject extensively but still I just cant understand what is so wrong in this matchup. How can players that Fed can win easily sometimes like Delpo completely destroy Nadals game and Fed appears lika a b class player when facing Nadal? Ok the high bouncing balls targeting his backhand. Yes but why does even Dimitrov or Stan play better against him?
    Isn’t there a solution for the mental and tactical problem through all this years ?
    I guess the answer is no.

    I ve said before I m not a great fan of Federer us a person. I don’t really like him but I ve learned to love his game for reasons you all know and agree. Yesterday it was like tennis lost for me and the other tennis club members at the club.
    It reminds me when in chess the machine eventually always beats human beings and that came also as a disappointment for me when Kasparov started losing to machines.
    Nadal is a machine in a way and positive thinking people back Federer cause his game is genius, product of a great human talent .
    A disappointing morning no doubt we all went out to hit some balls and soon got over it.

    C est la vie!

    • Nadal is Fritz huh lol.

      Cool that you can go watch at the club though, that would be cool, not the sort of thing that happens over here I don’t think. Except maybe if Murray in Wimbledon final.

  9. Hello Jonathan and everyone.
    Really nice, realistic post. It is what it is and I’m happy he made it so far.

    Is there no expert in THIS WORLD that can talk Roger throug beating Nadal????????????

    Anyway, it’s been a blast.
    See you in Dubai.

    Until then, hope Stan wins his first! Allez!

  10. Thanks Jonathan, really well-rounded post. Always good to let the emotions settle before writing. I know many don’t like Nadal or his style of play, but he is an unbelievable tennis player and right up there with Roger as a goat (only roger gets it in caps) and deserves full credit for his victory.

    Roger didn’t play that badly and tried to dictate and be agressive but Nadal was simply too good and prevented Roger from being able to play sublime tennis. I like your 4 keys to winning & the comment about variety. It seems that variety is a massive key for Roger against all his opponents and is what makes his game so unique.

    Hopefully he will get that extra bit over the coming months. I’d love to see them both playing at their best and see Roger come out on top. Not sure if that’s possible at this stage of his career, but would be nice. Or, I’d love to see Roger make the French Open and play Nadal on a bad day & win.

    Now to support Stan so he can prevent Nadal getting 14 just yet

    • Yeah I agree, Nadal deserves credit, he has a very good game. I just can’t stand watching him. If you are a good judge of character it’s easy to see why.

      Onto Dubai.

  11. Sid TheCookieThief

    Stan has no chance against Nadal. After what the doctors did to Nadal, and his subsequent performance against Roger, I’d be shocked if the final even goes to four sets.

    Stan has this great opportunity to call Nadal, concede the match, and fly to Switzerland with dignity. I’m pretty sure Nadal’s doctors are all over his trying to make sure the blister stays treated.

    • Hehe, very funny idea about Stan conceding the match. :D Though unfortunately it’s against the “best efforts rule”. So he would have to cite injury or something? Maybe a soar throat, like Novak used to? :D How about insurmountable mental disgust? I mean, nobody could reproach him for that reason, surely? :D

    • Sid, I think you are getting blinded by your deception that Fed couldn’t do it once again. What’s the point of accusing Nadal to dope now? May I recall you how did Federer lose their first encounter in Miami in 2004? Did 17-years old Nadal already dope at the time?

      Doping, slower court, tough draw… Since when do we Fed fans have to find this kind of excuses for our champion? I don’t think we are doing him a favor by thinking that way and it’s also not fair for the opponent.

      I am a huge Fed fan. I don’t like Nadal’s game either. I cannot stand the fact that he will soon have a better GS record than Pete and most probably will overcome Fed in that department.

      I wish it would be different but the truth is that Nadal has a better matchup. He didn’t even need to do anything special today. Let’s congratulate the guy for being so tough mentally, for perfectly executing his game plan and hope that Roger will one day find the solution. He his working hard for that and I admire that at this point of his career he keeps pushing himself. Allez Roger!

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Thomas, give me a flipping break. Evidently, you haven’t read about nearly all the things I’ve read about from various sources about Nadal, his mysterious injuries, his patterns of being out of competition that clearly indicate doping down cycles, his doctors, the things he gets done on himself, a clear picture of him being in combative mode, which is an effect of drugs, his resistance to dope testing or refusal to getting tested, the Spanish doping case and subsequent destruction of 600 blood bags and refusal by the Spanish government to reveal names – and now his doctors showing up with machines to treat his sores, during competition. What the heck is going on?

        There’s lot of baggage. Information is everything. Rafael Nadal fits the profile of a heavy dope user perfectly.

        Nadal is a cheat. He is no better than a common thief who is stealing titles and money from his rivals. So are Spanish athletes, cyclists, particularly their football team that never gets tired, in the 90th minutes. Come on Thomas, open your eyes. We know the ATP is never going to do anything about it, in fact they know everything. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t at least raise some concerns.

      • [Did 17-years old Nadal already dope at the time?]

        Published in 2008: http://www.dopage.info/article-15854736.html
        “There two years, a French weekly lent her dealings with Dr. Fuentes, expert blood transfusion. This rumor, too, ran in all directions, before gradually faltering. Since then, the Praetorian Guard Champion has grown a garrison law to prevent any hint. “I’ve never taken anything in my life and never take anything. I have not received this kind of education.

        “Since its arrival on the circuit, glowing ardor and curled biceps, Rafael Nadal looks like a perfect suspect. Sources outside the court discussed a positive control in the Dubai tournament (-This was in 2006); unanswered. At Roland Garros, senior sports figures claimed that three Spaniards, Rafael Nadal, Alex Corretja and Juan Carlos Ferrero, were under investigation for doping without further investigation either.
        -
        From the article “Dark side of a champion”

        “In 2003, Nadal is suspected of taking anabolic steroids. Three years later, a large tennis magazine evokes a positive control in the tournament in Dubai, without result. At Roland Garros in 2004, Le Temps speaks of “sports high-ranking” for reporting a doping investigation against three Spanish players: Nadal, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Alex Corretja. The blow falls”
        -

        -Damn, poor chap this Nadal. Fighting off doping rumors for the majority of his career, I wonder why.

        [There’s lot of baggage. Information is everything. Rafael Nadal fits the profile of a heavy dope user perfectly.]

        -Indeed he does.

      • Take the medication of Nadalitis

      • Good summation, Scooter. You, like me, are informed, unlike the millions who are ignorant.

        Thomas, to answer your question, “why am I accusing Nadal of doping now [that Federer lost]?”. No, I’ve suspected him since 2008, and after the 2009 AO final, I was convinced. Did you know that at the 2009 French Open, a surprise test was conducted on some French and Spanish athletes? It was noted in an article (Google: The curious case of Rafael Nadal). Nadal lost early in that tournament, and Federer took advantage of the slam that was eluding him.

        Since then, surprise dope tests have been banned at Slams.

      • Thank to the enlightened genius for sharing some of his knowledge with us mere ignorant!

        Look, it’s not as if I was not suspicious myself; and unfortunately you cannot look at today’s sports world with rosy glasses.

        But your attitude (referring to doping in every comment) is all but constructive and misses the big picture. Fed did not loose to Nadal because Nadal dopes. He did because his game does not allow him to win.

        Let suppose Nadal dopes. Let’s suppose that all the players in the top 10 dope. Why doesn’t Fed struggle that much with the other ones? Ferrer must dope. I mean the guy also is a physical beast. H2H? 14-0 Fed. Djokovic? How on earth did the guy suddenly became that good? Giving up on gluten? He has consistently beaten Nadal in 2012 and has been able to play and defeat him after a battle of 6 hours. H2H? 16-15 Fed. Murray? H2H 11-10 for Murray (gosh that hurts!). Tsonga is another physical beast. H2H 10-4.

        Now Nadal leads the H2H 23-10. Do you get the point?

        Heck there are also suspicions about Fed doping. How on earth was he able to stay on top for that long? What was the deal with his mononucleosis? Reminds me of another doped guy that has been out (unofficially banned?) for 2 years with mononucleosis and that has been schooled by Fed in the 2009 RG final (just to be clear in case you cannot not read between the line, this does not reflect my opinion).

        Federer never had any problem or that much problem with anybody else. Are Rafa’s doctors that much better that the other ones? So as much as it hurts, and even though Nadal might have an unfair advantage over Fed, the answer is not in doping. It is on game plan, execution and mental strength.

        Your recent comments are an easy way not to face the truth. It might feel good to you but to me it really isn’t to be expected from a Fedfan. Take example on the GOAT himself. Be gracious in defeat. I much prefer the other comments or posts from you when you share technical knowledge and your tennis IQ. Recent ones don’t serve you well!

      • Hey Thomas, I would like to answer this one. Rafa is not defeating Roger because of doping alone. That is not the case. I don’t think anyone thinks it is only because of that. I don’t know the terms, but it is the single handed right versus two handed backthing. Others know how to say that correctly.
        If Rafa was beating Roger on skills and his playingstyle, I would take my hat off for Rafa and say, well done, don’t like the fact that you beat Roger, but well done.
        But I don’t uderstand why he needs all the other things to beat Roger too, like too much mindgames, gamesmanship and extra “not right” things. Why not beat Roger alone with the way you play? Everyone else does it. Everyone beats Roger, we don’t think they are using the d-word. And like I said, I don’t believe Roger is doping. If he is, than someone should tell him in his face that he is doing it wrong !!! You don’t lose, decline, get slower, get beatable if you use the D-word.
        Sadly, Rafa is good enough to beat Roger, but why do the extra things???

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Now, you’re really acting like you are ignorant, Thomas.

        To answer your question, Roger never had an injury that kept him out of competition, he never took breaks, he doesn’t have an array of doctors (from the Spanish sporting authority in case of Nadal), he doesn’t look like he is angry or in a combative state of mind all the time, he has never shown aggression like bumping into a opponent, unlike Nadal who opposes dope testing/control, Roger says there isn’t enough of it, he never had weird down cycles in performance, not until he turned 29 in 2010, down cycles that correspond with withdrawal symptoms of the drug being used.

        There are more than enough patterns to look at to ascertain that Rafael Nadal fits the profile of a serial doper.

        Nadal leads 23-10 because yes, he is a lefty and Roger has a backhand problem, we all know that. But he wouldn’t have that record if he wasn’t able to grind Roger down, or use every form of gamesmanship available, including slowing down play, and even illegal coaching, as admitted publicly by Toni Nadal. Roger loses because Nadal, just, doesn’t, get, tired! In fact he came back stronger in the AO 2009 final. How is that even possible?

        Yes, my recent comments are loaded with frustration and anger, but what I’m saying is true. Nadal is a doper. You don’t like my not so constructive criticism, where I’m merely trying to be one voice against dope, then don’t read my comments.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Also, it’s a lot easier to stick to a game plan and execute, have plenty of mental, if you have endless energy. You just don’t have to worry about getting tired. Unlike Roger, who is unable to play well after a tough match, or has a poor five set record against the top 3 players. All signs that he has limited energy, and he is human.

        As for Nadal’s doctors, yes, they are better, they are the best in the business, 600 blood bags say that they are geniuses to have so many clients, and they are sponsored by the Spanish sporting authority, obviously funded and supported by the Spanish government. They’ve go his back. He is free to do what he wants, and steal trophies and money from honest and hard working players.

      • “But your attitude (referring to doping in every comment) is all but constructive and misses the big picture. Fed did not loose to Nadal because Nadal dopes. He did because his game does not allow him to win”
        Exactly Thomas, you speak my thoughts. Nadal doesn’t need to dope to win against Rogers, it’s just a bad match-up that’s all. And in regards to doping subject, as I said before, if doping exist which I do believe, all players dope including Rogers! Non expectation for me. I mean all players take substances as we drink coffee/tea every day, and what is legal today turns out illegal tomorrow, and for god sake who knows what is illegal and not as of today.
        So bringing this subject again and again its jus ……
        Anyhow, whatever happen between Nadal and Roger doesn’t elude the fact Roger is still the GOAT for me, although I am big fan of Nadal.

      • Hey Sid, I am also of strong view that dull is on PED’s for long tiime now, maybe he has a knack to escape or must be doing in collusion with ATP officials or ATP is acting blind to the fact and what would ATP do , one day …. not talking abt tomorrow,maybe near future, if they find out that he indeed was using PED’s , would he be stripped of all titles ,like n the case of armstrong ?

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Shamtoos, I was going to go totally ballistic on you but you have a way of adding sweeteners in your closing lines, so I’ll let you live ;-)

        By the way, Roger is not on PED’s, and never was. You cannot compare the GOAT with the GOAD.

      • ^^^ ref back up there a ways –

        Seriously? Surprise dope tests are banned at the Slams? Have you got a reference for this? Who decided this? Kind of defeats the purpose, huh, WADA?

        And nevertheless, thank you Thomas for your comments.

        Sid, I too really enjoy your sharing of technical knowledge about many aspects of the game, ranging from equipment to point construction.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Thinker, to answer your question, Google, “The curious case of Rafael Nadal”. It’s a big post and talks about the surprise test conducted at the French Open in 2009. Subsequently, the surprise tests were not allowed.

        Funny, in that tournament, a lot of French and Spanish players crashed out early, including Nadal, and Roger was “lucky”, as Nadal fans would put it, to win it.

        Yes, it defeats the purpose, precisely why I’m so angry.

      • so – it’s more of a “they seem to have decided not to do this anymore” rather than an official policy statement, as I understand it? (Not that anybody gets particularly high marks at the moment for transparency in tennis drug testing or drug testing policy.)

        I believe that in horse racing, at least in Britain – and I confess this “knowledge” comes from reading Dick Francis – they automatically test the top 3 finishers. I have often wondered why there wasn’t a similar policy for tennis.

        Suppose he’s not actually doping (I know, I understand the circumstantial evidence is very high), but perhaps just pushing the envelope of allowed treatments? (Perhaps some allowed treatments should be disallowed, but I think that’s a whole separate discussion) There’s all this ill will being generated on both sides… I’d rather mute the ill will (if possible) by testing at EVERY tournament, at least M1000 and GS. Maybe there are constraints that make this sub-optimum due to the time frames involved (I remember Lance talking about “glow time”, and those times were not immediately pre-competition) – but something. I guess what I’m trying to say is, there’s too much possibility for widespread violations at the moment, because there is zero evidence that they are testing anything like enough; so the assumption is that somebody is almost certainly taking advantage of those possibilities, EVEN IF THE ASSUMPTION IS FALSE. The temptations are seen as so great that there couldn’t possibly be nobody acting on that temptation. So they need to counter the assumption, regardless of whether the conclusions drawn from it are accurate or not. (Maybe they oughtta hire Lance as a consultant ;) – hey Lance, how would you do it if it were you? And how would you counteract that?)

        I was glad to hear they believe they have a timeframe for full implementation of the biological passport, though I have my doubts about it too: what if somebody’s baseline level is already higher than “natural” due to long-term, um, enhancements?

        I also think their apparent policy of not announcing results, both good and bad – including missed tests – and loudly – is seriously misguided. There’s hardly any disincentive there.

  12. Good post Jonathan, pretty much sums up what I thought, particularly on Fed complaining about the grunting, just reflects worse on himself, and you know then that Nadal is under his skin again.

    Overall this was a very positive tournament for Fed given how 2013 went, and he and Edberg have not had much time together so there’s room for further improvement too. However he’s in his 33rd year now so time is running out for any further GS success. You would have to think he has a glimmer at Wimbledon this year, but no more than that. Outside that it is really how much Federer wants to just compete as best as he can.

    With respect to his rivalry with Nadal, it is getting harder and harder to defend his record or claims to be the GOAT. We can argue matches on clay, age etc but ultimately the stats stack up in Rafa’s favour.I don’t think that they are absolutely conclusive,but I don’t blame anyone who says Rafa is a better player based on what they have seen. I still suspect Rafa has has periods of his life where he has been fuelled by more than bananas and orange juice, but his talent is undeniable. I suspect he will get close to 20 GS, then Toni will consider it a job well done and advise Rafa to stop on a high.

    • How would you describe nadal’s talent? I do not deny he has some talents, event not only a lot but exceptional ones. The sad thing is that they don’t produce beautiful tennis to the contrary they destroy the beautiful tennis the produce ruthless victories… That’s sad for those who love the show, the beautiful, amazing and smooth shot making specific to tennis! To beat federer, Nadal doesn’t play better than him, he makes him play bad… That’s sad for tennis that someone that is on the line to be called the GOAT, as nadal is clearly to many in the discussion for that, doesn’t display all the beauty and the subtlety that game has to offer, but mainly relies for that on qualities that would also fit other sports like boxing, iron manning or else… That’s sad, really sad. Nadal could be a better winner, a greater champion than federer, but he is by no means a better tennis player!

      • I agree with a lot of what you say, but for some or many people, winning more points, games and sets means they are a better tennis player. I wouldn’t complain if Federer made Nadal play bad, let’s put it that way.

      • These dudes aren’t artists…they’re ruthless athletes and media icons.
        The game doesn’t exist in some ideal plane of existence…it wasn’t created to display beauty or certain limited styles or myriad tactics..that’s secondary to
        it being created for competition. …it’s meant to be played to win and nothing more.

        I like roger the man and the player better than nadal, but he is not the better tennis player of the two.

      • Basically 2 shots! Which he hits to consistent perfection every time. Ugly? Yes! Efficient? Yes. If you study his style carefully and read up on him, he essentially plays tennis like a table tennis player which Uncle Toni studied and made Nadal copy, particularly on the FH. That said you cannot deny his mental strength. Overall gd for Fed and something to build on going into next stage of season.

      • I love the way you’ve expressed this Nath. You’re absolutely right about the qualities of the sport being on the line here. It really isn’t all just about winning for people who love tennis, although of course we love our heroes to win. It will be interesting to see what happens next. How will Dimitrov fare, and will there be more like him to challenge? Or are we in for another Lendl era when people start switching off their sets, because that is what happened. Lendl ruled tennis for a long time but who mentions his name these days when talking about greats? Not many. Nadal interests some for his freak-like performances and/or (so I’ve been told) his looks???!! But when he’s inevitably gone who will bother to watch the baseline slammers boring each other to death from opposite ends of the court? Will somebody then come along and reintroduce art to the sport?

        But I’m talking as though there was no longer any Roger – and there is. Call it delusional if you like but I’m sure he will beat Rafa again – probably when we least expect it and have totally written off his chances. He won’t catch up on the HtoH but who cares. One more win will do it for me – just to see tennis win.

      • He is so talented, he is unique, you can see a BabyFed but you are never gonna see someone similar than Nadal. When he plays in Beastmode is just unstopable. You may not like baseline style but trust me many people like it :) .The best matches I have ever seen by far were Djokodal matches, they are just another level of technique, fitness and mental strenght.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Nath Fodd, Nadal sure has some very talented doctors. I’ll give him that. That’s why I call him the GOAD (Greatest of All Dopers).

      • Hey Rita, I agree with you. Roger will “never” be able to make the H2H with Rafa better. But I honestly don’t believe that he will never beat Rafa again or at a slam. He lost the AO SF 2012 to Rafa too and beat him like 3 months later at IW. I don’t believe for a second that Roger will never defeat Rafa.

        About the H2H Rita, when they will retire both, that will not matter. I will give you an example. I know that both Becker and Edberg have like 6 GS each. But I did not know (heard it on World Sport) that Becker led their H2H 25-10. (That is true right, or am I making a mistake?). If that H2H is true, then why is no one talking about that now?? All they talk about are how great Becker and Edberg both are. So you see, the H2H is important when they still play. After a while it will not be important anymore, when they will start to talk about Roger’s and Rafa’s legacies.

      • Hey Pablo, I love it when Rafa fans make a comment to defend Rafa and attack Roger, but end up doing exactly the opposite !!!

        “He is so talented, he is unique, you can see a BabyFed but you are never gonna see someone similar than Nadal.”

        Pablo, what does that say about Rafa? If Rafa is in your opinion better than Roger, then why are more players starting to play like Roger (like Dimitrov or to an extend Janowics)?
        If you are going to teach a kid tennis, why not teach and make them a second Rafa? Why tell them to watch Roger and learn? Does that not tell you enough? Roger’s way of playing is the way tennis should be played. Beautiful, gracious, effective, lethal and best chances to win. Why are there more players who are described as Roger, but there is no one, literally no one who has been called “Baby Rafa”? Because when you teach a kid to play tennis, you want him to be able to play it for a long time and have a lot of chances to win. You don’t want to tell the kid: “well, I can teach you a way to play tennis for a short period of time, you will win a lot, but you will have a lot of injury because of your playingstyle, and there might be a chance you will not be able to play tennis well in your late twenties”? Seriously Pablo, why is there no Baby Rafa??

        And this one is especially for you Pablo, the reason why Roger is greater than Rafa is because at age 32 almost 33 he was present yesterday. Can you imagine how it was for Roger and his team? Knowing that Roger was playing better after a not so good year with actual injuries, having to play a guy who came after a once in a lifetime comeback and who is literally unbeatable and who has beatien you way more than you have and will beat him? Can you imagine going to play a match like that? But still, Roger did, he showed up and he played great. It just happened that Rafa played better. Not way better, just better.

        And Pablo, I have said this over and over again, Roger will get his due and his deserved praise when Rafa, Novak, Andy, the others are his age. Let us see then how far the others are. Will they be even playing? Will they be even in the top 10 or 20? Will they be able to win a slam and get back to world number one???

        Pablo, when Rafa gets older and starts losing to everybody, will you still be his fan and like us “stand behind your man” or will you have found another “winner” to be a fan of?
        Or do you seriously think that Rafa will win all his matches till the day he retires?
        If this decline can happen to Roger, you do know it WILL happen to Rafa too right??

      • Thanks for the comment Neil. Hard to reply as this thread tailed off but I pretty much agree with what you said.

      • You’re damned right Rit

      • You’re damned right Rita, Roger is far from over and even more on the way back to… something better for sure… I have a good feeling for this year. And as you say, for sure he is able to beat Nadal and will at least one… which will be great!

        Of course tennis is about winning, that’s not what is on the line, it’s the way to win, when considering also tennis as a show! Would Nadal be Nadal if he didn’t have Roger to put him under the spot light with the wins he had over him and the confidence it gave him as a tennis player? Nadal gained a lot of confidence because due to the hazard of the match ups, he happened to beat the GOAT. That helped him a lot in many ways to the confident and feared player he is.

        But if most of the tennis players played like him (Nadal) and faced each other, how many people would be interested in the sport?

        As you say susie, Nadal has a few very could shot, consistent footwork, mental discipline and a lot of energy to consistently put himself in the position to safely hit those shots… That’s the secret!

        And if the energy comes from drug, which is thinkable though not proved, the extra shots he always makes Roger play (and break Rog confidence) and every other players, those shots are cheated and stolen from his opponents! you’re damned right Sid!!!

        Anyways Nadal’s dominance is about to many things aside tennis skills to have be a possible GOAT!!!

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Steve, to answer to your assessment, “I like roger the man and the player better than nadal, but he is not the better tennis player of the two.”, I’m going to just say what Lebowski the Dude would say -

        Yeah, well, you know, that’s just like, your opinion, man!

    • Is it just me or does Fed not get along with the umpire Jake Garner?

    • I term,s of winning, Roger has is share of wins when being compared to Nadal, and he’s been a more consistent winner than Nadal, the issue to me is more about taking their head to head to determine which is the better player. It’s not because Nadal consistently beats Federer that he is over all the better player. (Even Nadal said that, though he probably didn’t really mean it lol!) So to me despite the loss and even the general Fedal match scenario, Federer is the better player, the better winner, the greater champion.
      Let’s not define, measure our predict on roger coming season based on his performances against Nadal… You guy are now to negative about this!!!

  13. Good analysis Jonathan.

    Shame about the match, I think we all had high hopes.
    Credit has to be given to dull, he knows as well as anybody what roger has to do to get him out of his comfort zone and have a chance of winning and his mission is to stop him doing that. In this, he undoubtedly excels.

    Something I find extremely sad is that the nadal federer rivalry can no longer be considered a great one in sport. It’s now hardly even a rivalry at all. Federer is one of the players dull beats with the most ease, he must genuinely want him in his draw. Harsh but true. Also, lately their matches have been some of the most boring/onesided in the tournament. Add to that the fact that they are massively overhyped and are always towards the business end of tournaments its actually quite bad for tennis in my opinion.

    Like you said I was very dissapointed with Feds complaining about dulls grunts. It’s not a rule in tennis and I for one I don’t think dull does it to put off his opponent. On the other hand I’m all for people complaining about the time he takes during points. That is a rule and he shouldn’t be exempt from it. Start giving him penalty points and see if he doesn’t speed up then!

    On a better note we couldn’t really have expected a better tournament from Feds after the display he put on in the Brisbane final and it bodes well for the rest of the season.

    I do think stanimal has a chance on Sunday (not a great one). I’m aware he’s never taken a set of dull but one can hope. Allez!

    • “Federer is one of the players dull beats with the most ease, he must genuinely want him in his draw.” I completely disagree. The only one who has a better H2H than Roger against Nadal is Djokovic. All players are scared of the GOAT

  14. Hey guys. Disappointed as I’m sure most of you are. But to be fair, we all had decided that if Roger reached the quarters it would be a good outing. He did that and a bit more. Not just that, the way he did was incredible. No one really expected him to win in all fairness. We were all being optimistic before the match, as we no doubt should be.

    I don’t think it’s really his fault per say. Why I say this is because when you’re the guy on the top (as Federer was for so long) everyone is trying to figure out a way to beat YOU. Their game plans are tailored to beat the best. Along came this Spaniard who had the magic formula- a nightmare for the Fed game. It was made to beat him.

    And we’ve seen the same thing happen with Nadal vis a vis Novak, with Novak doing the same thing to Nadal what Nadal does to Federer. Figured out a way to beat him. We talk about Nadal’s mental toughness and to some extent, Federer’s lack of it, but that I feel isn’t fair. The mental aspect stems from the knowledge about the matchup. Nadal walks into every Federer match confident that his game is made to beat Federer’s. Federer walks in knowing that point after point what’s going to happen.

    Look at what happens to Nadal in Rafa- Novak matches. He chokes. He makes double faults, he misses routine volleys. Sounds familiar? That’s because Novak’s game is meant to beat his. It’s the circle of life and the way things go. Soon enough, someone’s going to come whose going to out Djokovic Djokovic. Nadal isn’t ALL that mentally tough. He just has the advantage of knowing that should he be in a spot of bother all he has to do is loop 3 forehands into Fed’s back hand and he’s sorted.

    I think I have to give him credit for having managed 10 wins and his desire to still put himself out there knowing fully well what’s to come. Because as annoying as it is for us Fed fans to deal with a loss and annoying Dopal supporters, he’s really the guy out there doing the work and facing the music. He’s the one with the most to lose. Yet, he doesn’t shirk from a potential beat down everytime he faces Nadal. For that, I give him full marks.

    Short of learning a double handed backhand, or praying for the next 20 matches to be played in lightening quick conditions under the roof of Bercy Basel or the grass of Halle, there’s only so far that mental toughness will carry him. Everyone has a weakness. For Federer’s game, it’s Nadal’s game, not Nadal. That’s all I wanted to say.

    • 0% knowledge about tennis if you think Federer – Nadal case is the same than Nadal – Djokovic case…

      • And pray, tell me what the Nadal Djokovic case is? I watch their matches and I see Nadal’s first serve %age fall from the usual70% to 50%, I see him miss routine forehands, dump backhands into the middle of the net. I see him get more animated than he usually is (which is a LOT).

        It’s exactly the same. And I’m not criticizing Nadal for it. I’m just saying that it’s the way of life. Things move forward. Soon, just like every one, even Nadal’s time will be up. Only time will tell whether it’s going to be tomorrow, or a year from now.

      • Firstable Rafa leads 22-17 then he always fights until the end against him and even after losing 7 matches in a row he was able to find a way for taking him out of his head, beat him, and take from him several GS

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Gaurav, Nadal leads Djokovic like 14-2 or something on clay, and on the rest of the surfaces, he is a mere 8-15, or around that mark. Clay is where the GOAD builds his H2H.

    • Sid TheCookieThief

      Nadal’s mental toughness comes only and only from the fact that he never gets tired. He never feels physical fatigue, or focus (we all know how). So, he knows that regardless of the situation he can just hang in there with his physical game, for five hours if necessary.

      Players like Federer are going to have ups and downs throughout a match, and are going to feel tired after a tough set or set and a half. That’s where Nadal pounces, because remember, he has boundless energy showered upon him by his doctors, who now happen to pay him visit with modern machines at tournaments.

      I’ve play tennis, a lot, and I can tell you that there are days I feel absolutely fabulous, and am able to beat superior opponents. It has got nothing to do with mental toughness. You don’t feel tired, you don’t lose. It’s simple!

      • I have to say Sid, that Djokovic is then the exception to the rule. Djokovic mentally drained Nadal for a long time (and also at the end of last year) and I believe he can beat him at the French Open, Nadal’s mental toughness could be challenged.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        That’s what the scary part is, Alysha. Djokovic did something that made him stronger than Nadal. Nadal ran to his doctors and came back even stronger. Their games are pretty much the same, baseline grinding. What separates them is strength and endurance.

        Aren’t there any doctors in Serbia? Or Monte Carlo, where he resides? :-)

      • Sid for you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MRvw1vSivM
        There are subs on the video. You have to enable them.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Thanks, Scooter!

        This entire tennis industry is a scam. It’s like WWE. Doping is now business as usual. As long as there are suckers who are willing to pay and suck it up, it will thrive. I’m convinced that the Spanish government was pressurized by a lot of other countries, sporting bodies, and possibly also the ATP, to not reveal the identities of those blood bags.

        As for me, I’m in it only for the beauty the great Roger Federer brings to the game, and I shall follow it until he hangs up his shoes.

        In the meantime, I will have to endure some stinging losses from his doped up rivals. But that’s quite alright. The joy of watching Roger Federer, exceeds that pain manifold.

      • Did you catch the part about “Gluten Free diet”?

        I agree, the entire system is so corrupt. This is obvious to people who aren’t naive and blind.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Yeah right, gluten free :-)

        Nadal fans are designed by nature to cheat for profit, to win at all costs. How can they ever notice it? In fact, they condone it.

    • I think everyone got their hopes up because fans were surprised by how well Roger was playing, he took out Tsonga and Murray quite comprehensively and Nadal was a bit shaky in his last few matches.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Nadal’s shakiness could be by design. He never reveals his strength. We have seen it time and time again. What happened between the Dimitrov and Roger match? I think we know.

        The other factor, and I’ve mentioned this earlier, that facing Dimitrov who follows patterns similar to Roger, prepared Nadal even better.

        Now, he faces Stan, another single handed backhander, with some differences viz. a bigger serve, better return, heavier ground stokes, more baseline grinding capability, ability to absorb the Nadal spin more due to his full western forehand grip (and I think he also uses an extreme backhand grip), and, arguably, a better backhand down the line than Roger.

        So, there are differences, but not enough to overcome the GOAD of tennis, this being Stan’s first slam.

        P.S. Ah, all these comments I’ve made today are making me feel better from my fever :-)

      • Hey Sid, hope you feel better soon. What is worse? A fever or Rafa winning his 14th and winning each slam atleast twice??

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Thanks, Katyani!

        I’m feeling a bit better. Going to have some Sushi. That should completely fix it.

        As for your question, a Roger loss at a slam is worse than a fever. I don’t care about Dopal’s 14th. There are plenty of thieves in the world, can’t worry about all of them.

      • Nooooooooo Sid, no Sushi !!! With a fever, try to drink healthy soup and a tip from me, eat oranges. always helps…..

        Oke what is happening, Stan is winning some of the rallies, Rafa is coming more to the net and Stan just broke Rafa…. 4-1 for Stan…. Go Stan…

  15. I found this on rogerfederer.com. Someone translated this from a Swiss TV interview:

    Q: Before the previous match you said that you went with good feeling into the match. With what feeling did you enter today’s match and how did it go for you?

    RF: In fact it was OK. I knew how I wanted to play before the match. We watched together with Edberg and Luthi again the match from the semis from a couple of years ago so I could replay the whole thing in my head again. I knew what I had to do but I couldn’t quite execute it. Sometimes when I needed a forehand, I couldn’t hit it well. There was a point when I had to get it in at any cost but it didn’t work out. This happened sometimes in my service games but much more often in Rafa’s games because he gets the n-th ball back and puts you under increasing pressure. The biggest problem for me today was that I didn’t create many chances when he was on serve which was fatal. That’s why I could never play freely and was always under pressure but this is what he did very well today and made it difficult for me.

    Original Source:

    http://www.srf.ch/sport/tennis/grand-slam-turniere/kein-schweizer-final-federer-unterliegt-nadal

    • Thanks for the share David.

    • This is great David, thanks so much. I’m so pleased to hear they’re watching videos as part of their process, because I think there’s a lot of potential benefit there – watching Roger play well, watching opponents, watching players who have had success again upcoming opponents.

      It’s also actually encouraging to hear that Roger felt he was having problems with execution, because I think execution is where there will be additional upside from increased health and racquet familiarity.

  16. I don’t get the mental part to everyone’s critique. It is entirely secondary and irrelevant when it comes to critiquing roger vs nadal. Nadal is the perfect player to beat roger based on skill set, and in today’s game and in Rogers current post prime stage, it’s virtually impossible for him to overcome the gulf between these men when it comes to potential level of play. No, self belief issues don’t play a major factor here in my opinion. If the match were one set then maybe he’d have to BELIEVE because there’s an okay chance there, but in a 5 set match…no chance tactically or skill wise to out match him, and belief is irrelevant.

    • Totally disagree. Self belief is everything for Federer when it comes to Nadal. Why was the first set so tight and the others not? Because Roger couldn’t psychologically pick himself up to stick with his tactics and execute properly to get himself back into the match. This rivalry is all mental, Rafa could probably play with his eyes closed because all he does is just hammer the Federer BH and he wears him down, he doesn’t have to adapt anything. Federer is 100% more skilled than Rafa, but he has been mentally scared to the point where it doesn’t matter anymore, if you don’t believe you can win the match, then your obviously not going to make an impact are you?

    • The sport of tennis is about 80% mental. So it’s clearly not just matchup issue.

  17. Well, guys, all I can say is that I hope Wawrinka puts Del Potro’s USopen title in his mind (victories over Nadal & Federer) and defeats Dull right after Djoko. It would be more than annoying to see Nadal with more than 17 Slams…

      • YEAAAAAAHHH!! I can’t believe it!! I didn’t watch the game, didn’t want to wake up so early (I’m in USA right now). Speachless!

    • After today, won’t get there! Body breaking down more often now.

      • Hey Susie, you know, even Rafa is getting older. And I think most of you were saying that Rafa’s knees would be the first to go. I had said, not his knees or his physics, but the first thing to go would be his fighting spirit/mental toughness. Everybody says Rafa is mentally so tough, the toughest of all time. Which is true, but that has to give sometimes right? You cannot keep that up forever.

        BUT when I am wrong, I am wrong. I also said that after the year Stan had last year, he would fall this year. That was a Thank God a wrong prediction.
        If you are reading this site Stan, I am sorry for saying that !!!

  18. Hi Jonathan
    Excellent review! You have written almost everything I had to say. I can’t agree with you more that bringing Nadal forward into the court would be a very good strategy. He might come up with some angled winners or volley, but his rhythm will be disrupted. Fed didn’t do that at all. Where were his drop shots? Didn’t play it only because Nadal is a good mover? That’s not smart thinking. Also I don’t know why Roger doesn’t play slice against him…must be some reason…

    And the grunting issue….Shame for the king, the bad loser. He was so disturbed… He just hates to lose to this guy, but it happens again and again. He dislikes Nadal’s style of baseline tennis, his topspins, his physical abilities, his timeouts, gruntings and all those. Just has no respect for him. That’s why he is so afraid of losing to him and enters the court as a player who is scared of losing every point. Lack of sportsman’s spirit to be fair.

    I can not endure this stinginess in our champ. Can he get out of this? Lose a thousand time but play your heart out Roger. We have no other option but to love you.

    • I think people have overblown the grunt complaint. Sure it is not the best thing out there, however, Fed did say it had no bearing on the outcome of the match. Fed also gave plenty of credit to Nadal in the presser. He was frustrated and he has complained to the umpire in the past about some minor stuff as well. Overall, I would not say Roger is a bad loser. He might not have been the best loser, but throughout his career, he has been generally fine. I also do think he does respect Nadal. He has also said many good things about him over the years.

      As for Roger not playing the slice, my impression is that it doesn’t work very well against Nadal. As Roger said himself, he had trouble executing his strategy. The mental aspect perhaps also took a toll on him. I myself would like to see him playing Rafa one more time in a slam, especially at Wimbledon, which might give Fed a little more chance there.

      • Agree with you about the grunt complaint David. I think a lot of players are frustrated by Nadal’s gamesmanship and Roger is the one who finally said something (although I think Andy has complained in the past). Might sound like sour grapes but his explanation in the presser was perfect – something about umpires needing to be reminded to do their job :-) He’s right. Either you have rules or you don’t.

    • I just think the complaint was as a result of desperation. The timing and the circumstances all pointed to that. I think he should complain, but not because he isn’t thinking clearly.

  19. I believe the most important thing for Federer is to improve his back hand return. You cannot break your opponent’s serves without good returns. At the semi, most of Federer’s back hand returns went out or fell short. I remember Federer once hired the lefty Ivanosevic as a hitting partner at some tournament. He should do that again to improve his back hand returns against the lefty.

  20. Hey Jonathan!
    Well, I am a bit superstitious when it comes to Roger, so when I missed commenting on your post after the first match, I decided not to comment on any subsequent ones until the tournament was over for Fed. It was working well, until that Spaniard who I love to hate came along and spoiled the party as he manages to every time he shows his face.
    I think the tournament was a successful one for Rog. Roger has 30-70 chance of winning over Rafa even when everything’s going right unless it’s a fast indoor court. It was a new racquet, new coach, an ongoing attempt at gaining confidence after the back ruined most of 2013. So the fact that he got through Tsonga in straights and was on the verge of doing the same to Murray, and the manner in which he did it, can only mean that he’s already playing at a great level. If only he didn’t lose to the cheater. Sigh. I’ll keep on dreaming until Roger hangs up his racket (or better yet, Rafa hangs up his) that someone, somewhere will find in Roger what it takes to beat Rafa, and I’ll get to see revenge. The misery has to end somewhere.
    It’s really hard for someone like me who only goes by the aesthetics due to total lack of technical knowledge to see positives in a match like this. It pains, honestly, to see Roger lose to that bludgeoning undie picker over and over again, to see RN inch closer and closer to Roger’s 17. And the casual bandwagoners who only watch when it is a Fedal match and then claim to belong to ‘Vamos brigade’ and rub the defeat in the face don’t really help. Heaven knows how Roger and his team take it.
    As far as majors are concerned, I still have high hopes for Wimbly. It’s a long way down the road, but if the back stays good enough, it could be a huge chance for Fed.
    Anyway, for now, onto Dubai. It cannot come soon enough.

  21. Sid TheCookieThief

    Folks, please don’t argue with Pablo, you will never win, I assure you.

    Mark Twain once said, “Never argue with stupid people. They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”

  22. Ana Paula Simensato

    Olá Jon!

    I’m still feeling sick!
    Man, I just really, really hope Stan can beat this GOAD (love it) Sid!!!

    Just hoping the best for the rest of the year.

    Tchau

    • I’m sick too, of the Roger loss to the cheater, and also because of a fever I picked up early that morning (right after the match).

      As for Stan, don’t get your hopes too high. The only thing Stan needs to worry about is prepare a losers speech and make it to the presentation ceremony. As I mentioned earlier, as he’s decided against flying out of Melbourne before the match, he can at least save himself some embarrassment by keeping it quick, letting that doper take a bite out of the trophy, and go about his business.

    • At least Stan the man will have made you feel better huh!

  23. Roger can change his racquets, coaches, whatever, but it’s not going to do the job to beat Nadal. He has to solve it himself in his own head. What Nadal does, is he makes Roger think too much. Fed panics when a single point or two goes wrong, his momentum is gone, he starts to rush and that’s why you see those short, weak approach shots, in attempt to finish the point as soon as possible, since he cannot believe he can last in the rallies much longer.
    I don’t think the court surface matters too much now. Currently, on indoors, US Open courts, grass, any courts Nadal can beat him in this way, he is not find any self belief. Nadal always believes he can win, every point and that’s why he doesn’t give up, whilst Roger thinks ‘If I try this, or that, and keep going, let’s see how it goes’ ‘I might beat him this way’. That’s not enough, and sometimes, the match is already lost before it starts.

    • Wrong!

      Let’s consider your comment, “since he cannot believe he can last in the rallies much longer”.

      It’s not about staying in a single rally and winning it, he has to do it for three hours, maybe four. Can you do that against Nadal? Nobody can. He gets stronger by the day, thanks to his doctors. He gets blood spinning treatment for a sore, imagine the things they do to him.

      The only way Roger beats Nadal is, if they start taking surprise dope tests (like at the French Open in 2009 – and yes, Roger won that only because Nadal lost to Soderling), and a biological passport, which I heard is going to be introduced late in 2014 (or was it 2015?). No wonder Nadal will do his very best to pick up as many slams as he possibly can.

      As things stand right now, Roger beating Nadal will remain a dream, even at Wimbledon.

    • I think what Nadal does best is he takes away Federer’s momentum which is huge to his game. I mean Roger fought for survival to hold in that second set and had the crowd and momentum with him but Nadal was bullying him around the court in the next game, it’s virtually gone. Nadal knows how to play Roger with his eyes closed, he hits another level, just crazy, the only way Fed wins is if he too can hit another level, yet to see in a long time but hopefully we will eventually.

  24. Great post Jonathan. Think some of us said how we feel on your previous post and glad you did cut him some slack after seeing the match again. He didn’t play that badly. Was neutralised by the heavy deep spin. Did try to keep to the plan, but ends up rushing to hit into the space and commits an error as Nadal after 33 goes, reads Feds game too well, makes hardly any errors, and Fed , tired of seeing the n-th ball coming back, goes for the kill and misses by millimetres! Totally agree about the forward and back. Dimitrov did it better and with the instinct of youth! Fed wasn’t consistent enough last night to get that right, and anything less than perfect versus Nadull, won’t cut it!
    Overall though I take a lot of positives from AO.
    Service, basis of his game is def back. Movement def improved, and does have easier power on the groundies and volleys with the new racquet. Walking taller with Edberg. 2 top 10 wins in 3 days! Also, still hungry, so admirable. Sampras was interviewed about that and was full of praise given his own lack of love for the whole circus by age 31. Btw, Sampras also commented on Nadal( first time seeing him live) and was amazed by the ferocity of his shots, spin and speed of movement. No one plays like him, and actually don’t think anyone in the future will. He is a one off. Admire his mental strength, will to win, but don’t hv to like his tennis. Don’t care about the Goat stuff, The H2H stuff. Feds game is timeless. He is a tennis player. Nadal basically plays ping pong.

  25. New video! Federer destroy Roddick at the Australian Open! Recommend you watch all of it!!! I included bits of both Andy and Roger’s hilarious pressers at the end, plus the match highlights are in HD! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28iBHDBmIg0
    Hope this cheers everyone here up, gives you something to watch between right now and Dubai!

    • Sid TheCookieThief

      And who can forget that epic question Courier asked him: “I have only one question Roger, why’d you do it?” :-)

      • Not weak, Federer was just on another level over others. All Nadal fans are stupid enough to believe it was weak, because they did not see how truly good Federer was in his prime.

      • Bagdhatis, Hewitt, Roddick, Gonzalez, Philippousis… No comments

      • And a 60 years old Agassi

      • I never understood this weak era argument. From 2006 to 2010 when Roger won 10 of his 17 GS, there was also Nadal playing and wining multiple GS (eight of them in fact). Then if you argue that Roger’s era was a weak one, you’ve to accept that Rafa is a weak player.

      • He was his only rival and when he was a teenager

      • That’s a whole load of trash. So what you’re basically saying is this- If Federer wasn’t as good, the era would have looked stronger and therefore been stronger?

        Eg: Say Federer lost to Roddick in 3 finals. Now Roddick would have a total of 4 slams (1 prior) and Roger would have 17-3=14. He’s still 1 ahead of Rafa and still has the most number of slams in this scenario.

        So all of a sudden, just because Federer wasn’t good enough to win those 3 slams, the era gets stronger? That’s retarded.

        The fact remains that Federer made the era look weak. And to date, I believe Fed’s game is good enough to give anyone trouble, save for Nadal (just because of the matchup of styles) And in any case, both Federer (post prime) and Nadal (prime) have won a similar amount of slams since then.

        Not to mention, if your man was SO much better, how is it that he was the world number two for 4 years behind Federer. Shouldn’t HE be the one with the highest weeks at number 1? He’s not even close. Not by a long stretch. I’ll be surprised if he can defend his points this year.

    • Roddick had a good H2H vs Nadal, played some good matches against him.

  26. Jonathan, I can’t believe you watched that match again haha, don’t think I’d be able to even put myself through the highlights without closing my eyes at times.

    Once again we all got out hopes up again without any real reward. Match was extremely hyped up here in Aus, and I think the reason for that was because a large percentage of people really believed Roger was going to do this. I wasn’t too down after the loss but I think Roger will be kicking himself because he had a real opportunity here. He could’ve made it an all Swiss final and also he could’ve won another Aus open with no Djokovic in the final. Fed’s self belief Nadal is at an all time low, after losing that first set, the body language was very resigned and he looked at his box far more often than in an average match. The fact is that Federer was struggling on serve, he wasn’t getting the cheap points he usually does and that meant he couldn’t swing freely on Nadal. Another point on the return: Fed hardly chipped and was constantly hitting over the backhand not getting the ball into play, I think this cost him a lot, Roger should’ve chipped here and there to add some variety and also ran around the BH on the second serve. Everytime he ripped a FH on the SS he was rewarded. Nadal just ended up wearing him down like he usually does, took away his confidence at the net as the match went on and didn’t allow Roger into any rhythm whatsoever. You’ve also rightly noted that Roger did not use the slice as much as he should’ve. Dimitrov was hitting more slices than backhands and neutralising the topspin but it was Fed that was getting neutralised there in instead, not fun to see.

    Other than Nadal’s MTO and time issues within the match he deserved to win and Fed allowed him to in a way. I don’t see how Wawrinkwa who has failed to win a set of Nadal comes up with three in his first slam final, but maybe he is inspired by his run these last two weeks. Nadal is going to savour this one up that’s for sure and I said last year he would be out for blood in Australia this year, could be tied with Roger by next year at this rate. I’m really confused as to why Federer said anything about Edberg helping him out with Nadal, that clearly backfired. I don’t see how Edberg or anyone really except for Roger can determine how his matches with Rafa end, there is just so much “mental baggage” as you said when it comes to this rivalry it’s hard to see Roger can turn it around, no matter what surface is is. Fed played better in 2012 against Nadal here and I think the reason for that was he had a lot more confidence then after going on his 2011 run so if Roger can win a few tournaments, gets a few wins under his belt and can readdress this match if it comes, it is on his racquet, he just has to keep at it. But for now, he will have to be satisfied with his run here, taking out two top 10 players is already pretty big and no doubt he will be happy with his movement so far heading into the next swing. Good luck Stan, you’re going to need it, try knock over the water bottles…Thanks for the commitment for the last few weeks Jonathan, time for you to take a break as well. Also congratulations to Li Na for her title, well deserved, one of the few women’s player I enjoy watching!

    • It was a good tournament for Roger, as long as he keeps beating top10 guys he may have a chance in a Slam. He is not always gonna face Nadal.

      • Yeah agree Pablo, with Fed playing good again, Nadal is his only issue, so since not facing him he is always going to have good chances of winning tournaments.

    • Yeah first time I ever watched a Nadal loss again. It’s not a bad idea, least you know the outcome.

      I will have a brief blogging break after this 2 week stint, do I go back to Switzerland, my home in the Maldives or stay in Dubai? Tough choices.

    • Better you feel better now! Li Na! Stan! Good day for men’s tennis! Rankings book just been ripped up! Making for a great yr!

  27. Pablo,

    I can’t believe you hang around here. I don’t get the motivation.

    Maybe you are really Jonathan and you pose as Pablo to spice things up on the blog.

    I mean – this whole time – it always seems like you post when Jonathan isn’t posting and vice versa.

    Hmmmm…

  28. Well, the tournament didn’t ended well but it was a very good 10 days time for Roger, as he played against tough opponents and reacted well, and yes he can win big tournaments and even go deeper in the slams if he gets better draw (without Nadal in it) :) . Next stop is in the always good fielded Dubai Duty Free, in 1 month time I think, so he’ll have a good time to train, relax with his family, as he lives in Dubai, and if everything goes well he will have some chances of win the thing. He’s saying that will be 100% only in april, which is the beginning of the clay season, but I think and hope that this one month period will help him to reach good levels of play already in the upcoming hard court tournaments before the clay in which he hasn’t good chances of win something. Allez Federistas let’s move on, the year is just beginning.

  29. Hey Jonathan, great and honest article. Thank you for that. But honestly I disagree with you on 2 things:

    1) About kind of not liking that Roger complained to the umpire about Rafa’s grunting. When I read he did that, I told to myself, you go Roger !!! It is about time !!! Finally. Like I said, enough with this mister nice guy. Others don’t act nice on court, whether it is Rafa, Novak, Andy, Delpo or others. Why should Roger always stay nice and perfect? That time has passed. It is time to think about himself. It is obvious right now, he can have a hundred tantrums, he still will win the crowd support or Fan Favourite Award. To be honest, he could pull a “Tiger Woods” and say that he has a lot of girfriends while beeing married and still he would gain more popularity !!! I love that Roger is perfect on court, but he should not always have to be. Let him do something stupid. He was kind of right about the grunting, but on the other hand Rafa always does that. And I do believe Rafa does not do that to get in the opponents face or something. It is just a part of him.

    2) Don’t mind, but I kind of disagree when you said that you were ready to give Roger a ton of shit for losing. I mean why? After Brisbane and before AO, we all said, well, 4th round would be great, QF would be what we are aiming for, SF would be the top and everything above is a bonus. Well, Roger delivered. So why be kind of “disappointed”? Only because his SF happened to be against Rafa? Would we all make such a big deal if Roger got defeated yesterday in the SF against a Delpo, or Tsonga, or Andy or Dimi? No, we would be proud of him and say: “well, he came this far, he succeeded in our goal for him”. Just because it happens to be Rafa I don’t think it is fair to Roger to be EXTRA disappointed.
    Don’t get me wrong. I am disappointed big. But only for Roger. Not that he lost, but that it happens to be again against that Rafa. That is why I am disappointed. I am so proud that he played great tennis. Rafa was better, but Roger did not suck. Only thing that bothers me is that Rafa won again. He does not deserve to do that to Roger. To make him look so ordinairy. Roger can literally defeat anyone on the planet and then when he plays Rafa, Rafa makes him look normal. I HATE that.
    That video you are showing in the article, makes me just more and more proud of Roger. He moved absolutely great. Was in the rally with Rafa AND it was only Roger who took risks and played the ball in a different corner. Yes, ofcourse Rafa got there in time and played a great winner. But for me, that was more Roger’s point, except Rafa was the one who ended up with the point. Can you imagine what was going through Roger’s mind? Playing a great point, a great rally and still Rafa manages to win it??

    Ps: Did anyone notice, when Roger won the matches Jim Courier was kind of happy to talk to Roger, but yesterday he had another vibe against Rafa?? Somehow Jim likes talking to Roger after a win but not that much to Rafa.
    Did anyone also notice that when Roger speaks to Jim after he wins a match, he is so tired you can hear him catching his breath while speaking, but when Rafa wins a match he does not catch his breath???

    • I´m agree with you. Good thing Roger complained about Rafa grunting. During the Qatar Open, there were comments about Rafas new grunting in some points. They said that on court, sounded like someone was killing a penguin.

    • [Did anyone also notice that when Roger speaks to Jim after he wins a match, he is so tired you can hear him catching his breath while speaking, but when Rafa wins a match he does not catch his breath???]

      No.

    • Delightful comment, i agree with you on absolutely every thing you said Katyani, and same feeling with Jim courier, he seemed disappointed! I even felt like the old champs also were disappointed or at least not enthusiastic by Rafa’s victory ( laver, Sampras,…)
      Let’s stop focusing on Rafa to appreciate Roger. Bad match up, confidence blockage, etc… Ok fine, we know that, so what, Roger is still Roger, he’s more than that. i will loose to nadal 2 out of 3 at least… Ok we know that but let’s move on!!! He’s still Roger!

      Also I think that people are tired with nadal rule abuses. Stan complained in London finals, here again, theirs more and more pressure on Nadal and that’s a good thing, so Roger did great to do that, Nadal grunting I though before he said anything that it was too much and artificial, aimed at saying ‘I’m killing you”…

      We should be happy for the SF and I agree with you, really proud of Roger. I watched the match knowing he lost and after reading depressing comment but I was surprised when I actually saw how Roger behaved, I watch the game 2 (first time ever for a lost against nadal), and I felt proud of our champion… So I hope he feels that vibe, send him some good ones…

  30. Hey guys, in a few hours kind of a D-day. I wish Stan the Man very good luck. He also lost a lot matches to Rafa, but Rafa is not mental in his head like in Roger’s head. I know Stan never defeated Rafa, but Stan also lost 14 times to Novak before he won… And I think Stan knows that this is his chance and that he earned it all on his own. Well… he really did.

    I am not going to lie. I want Stan to win so that Rafa cannot come close to Roger’s records (because he absolutely does NOT deserve that). But if I will be honest about that, then I have to be honest about this too. I hope and prey Stan wins because he deserves to win. He is such a great and dangerous player, a very nice person and has a good and honest heart. After Roger he is the one I like the most. He deserves to have a GS. He really does.

    So… go Stan, “win it for Roger”, but absolutely MORE for yourself because you deserve it. GO STAN !!!
    Stop an undeserved history from happening and create your own DESERVED history…. This is your time…

    Anyone going to watch??

    • Well said Katyani. Agree with you 100% I have to go out for an hour shortly but am hoping it will still be on when I return and not all be over very quickly. I will watch what I can.

      Unlikely as it seems – C’mon Stan!

    • Of course! The whole match and the right man won, injury or no injury! Lights out tennis for set and a half! Stan u r my hero !

  31. Eduardo a Spanish Thug/horrible person

    so just to be sure, Nadal has DEFINITELY DOPED? Anabolic Steroids and EPO? The whole shebang?… A full fledged cheating neanderthal? This is 100 percent fact? Well, then that just makes this pill (Not being able to come close to this guy on the tennis court) a whole lot easier to swallow…never mind that the man has stated openly that he wished Fuentes would reveal the list of names affiliated with the blood bags to shush everyone up with the allegations, it’s a foregone conclusion that he’s been cheating since and perhaps prior to the age of 17 when he first beat Roger…

    if you are an athletic freak…superior endurance and power, you must be cheating. Great stuff. Evidence? Why would you need evidence? The evidence is “he’s a cut above everyone else including the guy I’m in love with”.

    • Hello Spanish Thug, welcome!

      That’s what they said about Armstrong too. That ended well, didn’t it? Nadal is a common thief, a cheater, just like his fellow Spanish athletes, including football players, and cyclists. 600 blood bags say that a lot of wrong has happened in that country. And as for Nadal making statements about releasing the names, well, it’s a lot easier to say those things when the Spanish Sporting Authority and government have already made the decision behind closed doors to not reveal.

      But I understand, you being a Spaniard, have to stand up for your fellow thugs.

  32. Nadal is the big big big favourite here, I really really really want Stan to win it, but sadly it is very unlikely. He can win a set, but it is not enough! I want him to win 3 sets, because that is what is required to win the match and stop the doping Dull from winning another slam!

  33. Hey guys, we all know that Roger will be number 8, but did you also know that Andy will go down to number 7?
    So strange? Atleast Stan will go to number 5. Kind of sounds undeserved, Roger stayed longer and won more than Delpo, Ferrer, and Andy, and he will be the one dropping to 8…. Strange.
    Well…. good luck Stan. Already in the first game two long rallies… Believe that you can win….

  34. Have to go now, but just seen Stan is 4-1 up! C’mon Stan!!!

  35. Wawrinka rules!!!

    • Hey Tilas, are you watching Rafa act?? Atleast he can say now, congrats Stan, but I was injured that is why you won… If Stan wins this, it is because he played GREAT, nothing else…

  36. Stan is going to throw is away if he’s not careful. If he plays at any type of level again and Rafa continues to play at his level then he should do it, but Stan’s range is off. Needs to hold at the start of the 4th and attack Rafa’s serve, as its a present really.

    • Third set wobble but pulled himself together!

      • Yes, Rafa almost pulled Stan down to his level which I have seen happen before when an opponent has been injured. Luckily he managed to keep it together, it was a big task for him (harder than some people may think).

        He totally deserves it, not just in that match but over the tournament too. Genuinely good guy with a big game – with this behind him he may threaten at other slams too.

        I thought Rafa was at his old gamesmanship at one point but the way he played afterwards suggested he was affected – you wouldn’t throw away a GS final like that. Just hope Stan gets the praise he deserves because he was mullering Nadal before timeout anyway. Unless Nadal thought he was going to get creamed and thought that he would ‘devalue’ the occasion by putting on the injury but this seems a long shot at this point.

      • He is the boy who cried Wolf though, no wonder fans instantly assume he’s doing it as psych job like usual.

        Stan the man deserved the win!

  37. HE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!
    WAWRINKA BEAT NADAL!!!!!!!!!

    YESSSS!

  38. Congrats to Stan! Very happy for him and finally we have a new GS champion. Yeh!

  39. Stan, you are the king. Roger, are you taking notes :-)

  40. I can’t believe what I’ve just seen! Thanks Stan for making my day! He’s beaten Djokovich, Berdych and Nadal to get this title and if anyone says it’s down to Nadal’s injury I’ll scream.

  41. WOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!
    This deserves a BIG BIG BIG celebration!

    • Yeah, his game in the first set was untouchable.

      • I don’t think Nadal was at his best, he was suffering. No way Stan wins if Nadal is at his best. The only reason Nadal has ever lost a Slam match is due to some form of injury.What a fighter this Nadal is. Blisters, back injury, medical time outs, you name it, but he kept fighting. Stan was very, very, lucky he caught Nadal on a bad day.

        ;-)

        P.S. Did I say, “Thank you, Stan, on behalf of PeRFect tennis, on winning the 18th Slam…for Switzerland.

      • Yeah agreed, but in first set Stan was ripping the ball, way before any injury occurred.

  42. Quel Stantastic Stanimal! I’m really happy. Thank you, Stan, for putting this doper in place

    :-)

  43. Who wants to high five?

    HIGH FIVE!

  44. Such a gentelman Stan was!
    I was sure that he would drop to his knees, roll over, etc…

    But, no. Out of respect for his opponent he did not enjoy his victory as he could have…

    • That’s because Nadal has a habit of taking the spotlight away from his conquerers. His shenanigans ensure that his opponents never get full credit for their win. He took the joy out of Stan’s biggest day.

      • Yes the thought entered my head, have seen him do it to Murray,Ferrer and Darcis to name but a few in the past. But given he had still a big chance to win a GS I think it has to be a long shot, and I ‘ll give him benefit of doubt this time.

    • Yeah was a mixture of both, usual tactics but he was hampered. But he’s the boy who cried wolf now with all that went before it.

  45. WOW! Came here wanting to share the joy with you guys! What a performance from Stan.

    Anyway, a greatly written piece Jonathan and comments everyone of you even Pablo ;) This community is my rock, especially after Fed’s painful loss.

  46. Who da man? Stan the man!!! Stanimal. Whatever you wanna call him. Can’t stop smiling. He thoroughly deserved it. Anyone else heard Nadal getting boo-ed during the match when he decided to suddenly take a time out?

    Anyhoo, allez!!! If anything, Stan had a higher success rate playing Nadal in the sets he was fully fit (1st, beginning of 2nd and 4th) than when Nadal was tossing serves in. Totally deserved it.

    And Carlos Ramos was behaving like an absolute twat today.

    • Yeah Slam Finals should be Pascale Maria or nobody.

      • Not so fast, Maria kind of screwed Novak in the FO semi final against Nadal last year. But he’s probably the best one on tour right now. Don’t know what Carlos did wrong (was it to do with the MTO saga?) but he gave Nadal a time violation unlike the other 95% who don’t. That’s already a thumbs up in my book.

      • +1, especially on break point

    • Federer didn’t clutch his back once despite being injured for an ENTIRE year. Did any one of us see Fed even make a grimace? No. That’s the stuff champions are made of.

      Kudos to Nadal for fighting it out, but unnecessary drama is what separates the two. Just because Federer never shows a single sign of an injury, nobody can attribute his losses to it. But just because he doesn’t show it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

      Sometimes I feel that Roger should take a cue from all these guys (Murray, Nadal, Monfils) and start clutching his back, his knees, anything just to gain some sympathy from the crowd. Disrupt his opponents rhythm, come storming back into a match (obviously, since nothing would be wrong with him in the first place) and then sit back and enjoy the attention the press gives him for “fighting, his spirit, his amazing comeback bla bla bla”

      It’s pathetic really to see that true greatness often goes unnoticed just because it isn’t advocated and advertised after ever bloody point. (not to say this is what happened in today’s match, but I do have my doubts about the 7 month lay off. No one wins a slam one day, and loses in the first round because of some inexplicable knee problem a week later that forces you to sit out for 7 months. That’s a whole load of trash. He used that period to figure out strategies and come back stronger knowing fully well that he’d get hammered by Novak. It’s ingenious really. And every one laps it up as a miraculous come back. There’s nothing miraculous about it, cause there was nothing wrong in the first place.)

      • If Fed pulled any of that crap Nadal and Murray do I’d be outta here, it’s these things that makes Fed so loved everywhere.

      • [email protected]

        Guarav, I could not agree with you more! I have been saying this for a LONG TIME : people need to play Nadal at his own mind-games, some of the time, simply to make the point. As a psychologist and coach, this will work and will have the effect of Nadal and his team questioning their own mind-games. Victory is then assured for the good of the game. Of course Roger never does this because he is a gentleman and a man of huge INTEGRITY but if the court officials continuously turn a blind-eye to Nadal’s petty tactics and gamesmanship, then the other players should step in and make an example of Nadal. For example, take as long to serve as Nadal and see if the umpire says anything. If he does, Nadal shoots himself in the foot! If the umpire says nothing ( most probable ) the player should then bring it to the attention of the umpire and ask for a point deduction for HIMSELF. Because this would probably cause a media storm and the issue of time-wasting by ALL in tennis might quickly dissipate. But who would be so brave to ‘sacrifice’ themselves to make a point of decency ( no pun intended )???

    • Agree! And also since when can’t umpires see some of the out balls! And allow players to waste a challenge! Becoming a bad habit !

  47. Sid TheCookieThief

    Jonathan, on behalf of your readers at PeRFect tennis, I’m making a request. We need a special post on Stan’s incredible win, just like you would do for Roger. We are overjoyed, and we need you to write one :-)

    • Nah, not enough to say really, it was a rubbish match, just a huge win for Stan who has now stepped outside of Roger’s shadow and come on leaps and bounds. His performance in the first set put Roger’s to shame. If the Djoker match didn’t inspire Fed, this one should.

      • You are so pathetic. You never a Federer fan. You really hate Nadal. You will jump on any bandwagon of any player who beats Nadal.

      • You forgotten to take your medication again Bilo? Back in your cage.

        Obviously I support any player when he meets Nadal. You can’t be a Federer and Nadal fan, it’s impossible.

      • Agreed! Only one and half sets worth discussing!

      • Nadal was rolling FIRST serves in at 140km/h. That’s the speed of MY first serve (a good one yes, but nonetheless still mine).

        Stan totally deserved this win, but this match was absolutely horrendous (bar the first set) to watch.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        NO KFedFan, no, bad doggie, bad doggie! :-)

  48. Rafael Nadal’s Injury Timeouts-Strategy or
    Real?

    There has been a lot of
    talk going on about Rafael Nadal’s contentious time delaying tactics that are
    being employed by him during the matches to ruffle his
    opponents.

    Let’s look back at a few
    timeouts taken by Nadal during important matches:

    1)
    Finals at Monte-Carlo,
    2008- Federer was leading 5-2 in the
    first set and Nadal calls for a timeout. When treatment was over, Nadal played
    brilliantly to defeat Federer. (This is of importance as Fed then lost French
    Open and then Wimbledon in the epic match to Nadal)

    2)
    Finals at Hamburg,
    2008: A time break, which lasted for
    6 minutes, was called by Nadal for thigh massage, just before Federer was going
    to serve for the set. Obvious result: Federer lost his own serve and eventually
    the match.

    3)
    Wimbledon 2008: It is well known to the world about the time taken
    by Nadal/Djokovic between serves. In the epic final Nadal, on an average, took
    around 30 seconds (maximum went to around 50 seconds) between his serves against
    Federer who took on an average 20 seconds.(Rule was for 25
    seconds)

    4)
    Wimbledon 2010: Against Philipp Petzschner, he called his trainer
    numerous times on the court. Nadal won, 6-4, 4-6, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-3. Petzschner
    said he did not notice a difference in Nadal’s movements before and after the
    timeouts.

    5)
    Wimbledon 2011: Nadal calls for a timeout at 6-6 in the first set
    and goes on to win the match against Del Potro.

    6) Toilet break vs Federer during Indian Wells 2012 just before Federer was about to serve for the match.
    7) The semifinal vs Federer at this year`s AO
    8) AO 2010 Nadal fakes an injury afer being completely outplayed by Murray
    9)AO 2011 Nadal fakes an injury after being outplayed in the 1st set by Ferrer

    Besides this every time he looses to a player like Soderling, Darcis and Rosol he has always been injured:))))
    Conclusion :Nadal cannot lose, ever, unless he`s injured !!!

    • Good analysis! But let’s talk about Stan, he played good that’s all that matters, showed Fed how it’s done!

      • I agree Jonathan, but WOW!!! I had no IDEA that it was so often. This is assuming you’ve missed out a couple as well. That is just pathetic. I wonder how many times Federer’s done it…Hmmn wait, let me see. None! He does it only after the set is over, if at any time. That’s real sportsmanship.

      • I agree Wawrinka played awesome the whole two weeks and I cannot be more happy for him. However, Nadal served poorly in the final and ended up with a negative +/- ratio which is extremely rare for him. Nadal struck only 19 winners and hit 32 errors — something he has NEVER done in his career against Federer.

        I think if Nadal would turn out a similar poor performance against Federer, then Federer would likely win a match against him for once. I just find it a shame that Nadal is not capable of playing poorly against Federer, but he is against other guys. Credit to Wawrinka for playing wonderfully either way and it’s a great result for everyone and for tennis.

        Also kudos to the crowd for booing Nadal when he faked another injury from a losing position in an attempt to halt Wawrinka’s momentum, as Nadal always pulls out every trick in the book when losing. Maybe Federer will play Davis Cup finally now that he owes a huge thanks to Wawrinka! Whatever happens, it was a wonderful result in the finals and congrats to Wawrinka on his first major title.

      • I agree. Fed should stop watching his prior losses to Nadal. Instead watch how other one handed backhand players who do well against dull. Standing back a few feet is a obvious one. Keeping the ball deep and pouncing on a short ball by dull is another.
        Stan was keeping the ball deep and was sticking to his game plan. Unlike Roger who decided to stay back after a few good passes.

    • Whatever the case, Stan outplayed Nadal in the first set here and was the more offensive player and was rewarded. Nadal was back into this match, and I can bet you had it gone to five he would’ve willed his way to the title. Wawrinka has played one hell of a tournament, he deserves all the credit. Nadal may have been injured in this match but there is no doubt in my mind that some of it was gamesmanship-even when Wawrinka served for the first set, he made him wait whilst he changed his racquet. Nadal is not the epitome of sportsmanship but he didn’t win anyway so it doesn’t matter.

      • Agree! Stan was mentally awry for nearly a set and a half! Tough playing v an injury! Brain freeze happens. Luckily he regrouped in 4th and actually Rafa went astray again!

      • [email protected]

        I am sorry Alysha, but I could not disagree with you more. Integrity matters, and whether Nadal wins or not, gamesmanship should not be tolerated!!!!!!

    • You forgot the Del Potro match that Nadal lost only because of “torn abdominal muscles.” If not for the “injury,” we know the score would have been reversed to be 2-2-2 in Nadal’s favor instead. Del Potro’s win did not have anything to do with his own great play that tournament, because we all know Nadal cannot lose if he is not injured.

      I think he had a “stomach virus” during the Tsonga match too but it’s been a while so I forget the exact excuse when he got blown out of that one, but it was definitely some sickness or injury for sure because we all know a healthy Nadal would have easily got past Tsonga and then beaten Djokovic in the finals to win the title.

    • As the crowed booed Nadal, he had no choice than to be consistent with his act… To me he’s played himself and got stuck… It’s my feeling though it’s seems quite extreme… He gave up the match to avoid a PR disaster!!!

      • I agree with you Nath 101%. This is my comment below before I read your post! He got startled when he was booed!

      • Wow….that is exactly what I was thinking….so glad to see others agree!

      • Nath,

        I am so glad you have made that point because I could not agree more. Nadal backed himself into a corner and the consequences had to be endured. HOWEVER! Thank God, Stan held himself together!

    • Don’t forget the Roland Garros final against Ferrer in 2013. Thanks for your post Toni — it’s pathetic how many times he’s pulled these stunts. I propose calling it “to Nadal” someone if someone misuses timeouts to gain a tactical advantage.

  49. showed Fed how it’s done? Please give me a break–and give Federer a break. He’s won 17 slams and is 32 years old. He did great just to get to semis. Please. Show some respect.

    • Give me a break, it’s called paying credit to Stan. The guy went out on court and beat Nadal. Nobody is undermining Fed’s achievements, I watch every single match of his. I’m just saying Stan showed him how it’s done, which based on the result, he did. Next.

  50. I am not a writer by any means but as a neutral reader I’d say the analysis here is somewhat misleading. You make it sound as if Federer did not try at all. I just wanted to note that Federer had to save multiple break points in the first set in at least two games from memory! You mention that neither man faced break point in the first set but it was simply not the case. I’d have to check the stats to be sure of the exact number but I know Federer saved at least 4, if not more break points in the first set alone!

    So it was simply not the case that Federer never battled. Nadal had many chances to easily win that first set but Federer had to battle hard just to hold serve and stay alive. I give credit to Federer for battling but Nadal was just too good on the night. There was nothing much Federer could have done better given his age and current form. Nadal was simply unplayable on the night and credit to him. This was the best match that Nadal has ever played against Federer outside of the French Open.

    Often the case is that Federer has had ample opportunities to break Nadal in the past, however he never saw a single break point until the match was already decided deep into the 3rd set. Usually the break point conversions are reversed. Typically we are used to seeing Nadal at about 5 for 10 and Federer at about 4 for 20, for instance. This time, it was Nadal who failed to convert his break chances but it didn’t matter. Nadal’s serving in this SF was better than I’ve ever seen it, even better than he served at the 2010 US Open.

    Something about playing Federer brings out the absolute best in Nadal every time in which Nadal is not capable of reproducing every time against any other player. We’ve seen Nadal’s level drop at times against lesser players such as Darcis, Ferrer, and Blake, and whoever else has beaten him soundly at a major before. In big matches, Nadal’s level has NEVER dropped against Federer, but it has against other players. Nadal has come out and laid eggs in finals or semi finals in the past against guys like Del Potro, Tsonga, Murray, Djokovic and now Wawrinka tonight! But against Federer in slams, Nadal has never, ever given Federer anything — ever. Federer did try in his semis, but it was simply a case of Nadal being in “god mode” as he always is against Federer.

    • I don’t have the stats to hand but I think when I looked on AO site there was no reference to BP’s in the first set. Maybe he saved a couple at 5 all but I’m not sure. Either way saving break points is irrelevant as he lost the tie break.

      I’m not saying Fed didn’t try, in fact I think I mentioned multiple times in my post he played a good first set but losing it was a big blow and he faded after that. He just lacked belief as usual IMO.

      Nadal played good, came up with the goods but he was not tested.

      • For me it was an entertaining and suspenseful first set. Federer really had no business of even reaching a tiebreak but somehow he held onto his serve. At 3-3 when Federer was serving, Nadal had 15-40 and double break point. Federer stayed alive with two big forehands during rallies and then an ace at deuce. The set could have easily been over in that game.

        Nadal had another break point at 4-4, 30-40 and Federer saved it with another great forehand during a rally that Nadal barely got his racket on but could not push back. I believe Nadal had another break point during the deuce there, but there was definitely 3 break points saved for sure in the highlights that I just watched. The first set could have easily been 6-2 or 6-4 in favor of Nadal had he cashed in his break chances.

      • Yeah, I even forgot how strong Federer has been defending break points! Sorry but you are being tough on Federer on this loss. Nadal played a brilliant match, and Roger didn’t give up. he has been shaky on his last service game, but he didn’t do bad at all and certainly he fought as much as he could, and he fought against himself not to give up, he deserves at least not to be criticised if not to get some credits!

  51. Oke guys, now it is up to Roger again. By winning RG, he could be the first to win all slams atleast twice. He has a chance again. Reminds you of AO 2009? Roger lost, Mirka was pregnant, Roger ended up winning RG and Wimby… Just hoping and dreaming. Maybe Stan winning is what Roger needs as a fuel.

    As for Stan, I do hope he does not become another Delpo with only winning one.

    Maybe this is the time for Roger to think about playing DC??

    But I do hope Roger sees this as an opportunity or wake up call that he can beat Rafa. Only have him let Rafa get out of his head.

    • Roger winning RG is like Nadal losing a match without being injured, very rare. I hope Stan does good things this season, finally got a ranking that is well deserving!

  52. Monster like backhands tonight from Stan. I wouldn’t want Stan become a champion this way, it would have been epic if two of them kept fighting until the last point. Anyway, Stan’s wonderful game in the 1st set and mental regroup after the 3rd set showed us that he deserved to win a grand slam title. It’s a very big achievement to beat world #1 and #2 in a grand slam en route to becoming a champion. Wish him the best for the rest of the season.

  53. Allez Stanislas!!!! Congratulations my lil swiss Croissant, hoping Roger was taking notes out there! I don’t think I’ve watched a more dramatic slam final than that one there, I don’t know what happened to Nadal out there but nobody can take anything away from what Stan has done tonight, absolutely thrilled with his performance, first man to beat Novak and Rafa in a slam it would seem. Hard work pays off, Stan is the man!

    • Don’t hurt yourself jump unto Stan’s bandwagon. Is the name of this blog going to change too?

      • Don’t be bitter because Stan did what Roger couldn’t. Fact is Stan Wawrinka is now a slam champion and deserves to get some respect.

      • KFedFan, at some point you need to be honest too and give credit where it is due. We all want Roger to win it all, but the truth is, he was not in the final. He could and should have been, but he was not. Credit and kudos to Stan. He lost 14 times to Novak before he defeated him and he lost 12 or 13 times to Rafa before he defeated him. Never even took a set and now he took away the title. His first ever GS final and he won. How many have been able to do that? And that too by beating the numbers one and two who were together unbeatable last year. For that alone give Stan credit.

        No one is forgetting or abandoning Roger…. just giving credit to the Swiss number 1 !!!

    • Get outta here KFedFan, at some point in time you managed to convince yourself you’re a Federer fan. Lucky I’m here to give you the reality that you’re not :)

  54. Hey guys in wake of Stan’s win, a crazy crazy stat- Since Del Potro won the USO, not a single Grand Slam has been won by a player who was in Delpo’s half of the draw. The Delpo curse continues.

    • Not to forget the Federer curse as well, since the AO12, every player who has beaten Fed in a slam has gone on to lose in the next round.

      • Playing Federer definitely does wear guys out. Nadal had to run like a cyborg in his semis and he served like a cannon. Eventually that kind of effort has to cause some form of exhaustion. I don’t believe Nadal’s “injury” was genuine but he was visibly a step slower and his serving was clearly less powerful in the finals.

        Against Federer in the SF, Nadal’s first serves averaged at 175 km/h! Against Wawrinka in the finals Nadal only served at an average of 162 km/h! A massive difference. Nadal is human after all, hopefully the excessive effort that Nadal put into killing Federer made a difference on his performance for the finals.

      • Nah he prob was really injured for once. Rolling serves in at 120km/h is club level speed. and I can’t understand how his average was as high as that given how slow he served. Anyway! Time to stop talking about injuries (has Dull ever lost a match when he was fit?) and congratulate Stan for the win :D

      • IMO the Federer match had no impact on what happened to Nadal in the final. That match hardly tested Rafa, he said he pulled it in practice and then aggravated it during the match. But in regards to the Fed curse it’s quite remarkable, can’t back up a win against him it would seem.

    • Yeah, usually Fed takes opponents to 5 sets and drains them but this time it looked like a 3 set routine victory was enough to tire out Nadal lol.

      • Look everybody the bandwagon Johnathan is throwing Federer to the side so fast on a site about Federer. Hey rename the site then if Federer is such as a shi&tty player to you?

      • I don’t know if you are like 7 or just a bit mental but please stop talking nonsense. Otherwise I will have to remove you, as you’re adding zero value to the comments by just throwing round stupid statements.

        Can Federer fans not say well done Stan?? Let’s face it, the guy just stopped Dull closing in on 17. Whether you care about numbers or not it’s clearly a great job by him for those that do.

        And my site is actually about tennis, Federer is secondary to the sport in case you have forgotten. It just so happens he’s the guy I have chosen to watch and the player I am most interested in hence why the vast majority of my posts are about his matches.

        There are plenty other sites where you can go sing Roger’s praises 24/7. I even made a quick guide for you :) http://prfctennis.com/1epua3O

      • Hey don’t call mental because I am calling you out. If the tennis is first and Federer is secondary, don’t pretend you are some big Federer fan and name the site after him using his initials in the title. Let’s face it you throwing Federer aside. If that’s the case, change the name of your blog. Fans don’t throw their favorites to the side.

      • I’m heartbroken too Kfedfan. We all are.

        The main reason I come on this blog is because Jonathan makes really realistic and “warm” reviews.

        Anytime my hopes are to high or I feel crushed by a tough defeat, I read Jonathan’s words and go to a good balanced place. Also the commets and debating is awesome. This site has a great community. The only virtual place, I feel I am among friends, really.

        I can only imagine how hard this is on Jonathan sometimes, so give him a break.

        Also dont ban Kfedfan. He’s just confused.

      • I am not confused and why do you assume I am a he. So you ban users who have a different opinion or diss Johnathan. I have no problem with being upset but to throw Roger to the side after all he has done is weak. I guess Stan is the new toy and Federer is the old toy.

      • Ok, sorry for calling you confused.
        But the reallity is not how you describe it at all.
        Roger is still our main topic and except Pablo maybe, none of us here can feel the same joy for a player as feel for Roger when he wins or be hartborken when he loses.

        I’m just suggestin you don’t take things so far.

        Have a good one! :)

      • Your frustration is understandable Kfedfan and none of us are happy that Federer lost again. However I think most of us knew Federer stood no chance in the semis because Nadal goes into kill mode against Federer. When Nadal plays Federer, he gets a murderous look in his eyes that is not there when he plays other opponents. Nadal plays to beat Federer and it’s evident by his performance tonight. Nadal seemed very disinterested in the final match tonight as if his battle was already won and his focus was not there.

        I for one was proud of Federer’s effort in the semis given the way Nadal played. No one would have beaten Nadal that night. Some people say Federer played poorly and that’s alright, but the guy came up against an unplayable freight train and lost. There’s not much else to say for how Nadal played on the night, he would have beaten Djokovic or anybody in that form that he displayed. I have only ever seen a few levels of tennis that were on par to that. 2011 Djokovic, 2009 US Open Del Potro and 2005/2006 Federer.

        If Federer could have gone back 8 or 9 years in a time machine, then Federer would have given this Nadal a better run for his money and it would have been an evenly contested match that Federer may have won. But I can say that this 2014 Federer never “choked” this SF as it could have been argued he did in the past encounters where Federer actually had chances like the 2012 SF where he did have some break points.

        But that’s tennis. Some nights a guy is unplayable, and the next night he loses. Nadal’s level went down in the finals and thank goodness Wawrinka’s level stayed as good at it was all week and for that reason he is a champion now. I think this tournament is still a step in the right direction for Federer and there are a lot of positives to take away and draw on. As Federer gets more used to his new racket and forms a better relationship with Edberg, I think this year has more in store than 2013 had anyway.

    • Hey Alysha, here is also a nice and funny stat. Rafa is the first and only tennisplayer in the Open Era to be defeated by two different Swiss tennisplayers in a GS !!! Great stat right???

  55. Do you guys think Stan would have beaten Roger, had he made it to the final?

    • Tough one! Fed’s forehand is way more effective against a right hander so I’m not sure Stan would cause him that many problems. He also hits flat so not going to cause Fed issues on the BH a la Nadal. If he played lights out then it’d be close but Fed’s serve + forehand would get him a lot of cheap points.

      He also dominates the H2H, but then again Nadal was 12-0 in the H2H today so things can change. Would have been an interesting match I’m sure!

      • Interesting match for sure! Sadly we still have to hope for an all-swiss final.
        It could have gone either way, considering Stan’s mental toughness.

      • If Federer had beaten Nadal, I don’t think anyone could’ve stopped him from winning that final. I’m really interested to see what Stan does in the slams now, he’s got a great ranking so hence better draws.

    • Possibly! But mentally may hv been tougher!

      • Just because Stan beat Nadal doesn’t mean he would have beat Federer.

      • No, I honestly don’t think he would have. I didn’t think he’d beat Djoker or Nadal either. So I would clearly have given him a chance

  56. Damn, sooo happy for Stan! Even though Nadal was injured he deserved this one! Finally got out of Federer’s shadow! I hope this is the beginning of a stellar year for him! :D Feds should watch and learn from that first set! Does anyone know what happened to Dull? Suddenly missed a few shots and started grimacing and rolling serves in…

    Anyhow, Fantastic Iron Stan! :D

    • Nadal was running and serving consistently the same all the way through the match. The main reason he won the 3rd set was a slight dip in Stan’s level of play and a couple ill-timed errors that gave Nadal the break. Nadal’s level remained unchanged from start to finish and his timeout was gamesmanship in an attempt to halt Wawrinka’s concentration and blunt his momentum. Nadal’s trick did momentarily work until Stan regained his focus in the 4th. Stan was the better player from start to finish in my opinion and outplayed Nadal. I saw no signs of Nadal’s “injury” slowing him down at any point of the match.

      I mean, the guy wasn’t winning 6-0, 2-0 when the “injury” occured. He was already being soundly outplayed and was in a deep hole. Nadal may have been exhausted as his serving was clearly slower right from the start of the match way before the “injury.” Exhaustion or a drop in level is not what I’d called an “injury” in my opinion, but for Nadal it apparently is. During any time Nadal plays poorly and not as good as he did the match before, then is it always immediately described as an “injury.” But in the match I saw, Nadal just didn’t put his best game forward from the get-go and it happens sometimes.

      That’s tennis, no one plays a perfect match every night. Unfortunately, all the news stories now are “Injured Nadal Loses to Lucky Wawrinka” instead of “Brilliant Wawrinka Downs Nadal in Australia” as it should be. Stan’s win of course will be painted poorly in the media so it’s good for us to give him the credit he deserves. Stan was clearly the better player in the finals and he soundly outplayed and defeated Nadal. It could be argued that Nadal actually played better after his “injury.” Go figure.

      • We did NOT watch the same match… Stan played a great first set. but the as of beginning of the second, Dull was CLEARLY diminished. I say this as a Wawrinka fan and am pissed off by the media titles as well, but as much as it annoys me, Nadal WAS injured (or faking it, which I have NO IDEA why he would do that…) Dull has never served fast, but as I said in previous comments, EVEN I serve faster then 120km/h on my first serve… he was not running, did not push on his legs on the serve and just rolled serves in, and played gung-ho style to finish the point asap (which is clearly not nadal’s game)

        I agree Stan blew through the first set and beginning of the second, but then Nadal had that injury, wtv it was, and it played on stan’s mind in the third. He managed to pick up in the forth, but saying that Nadal was not injured is being blind imho

      • How can you explain Nadal’s average first serve speed being 162 km/h for the match if he suddenly couldn’t serve anymore in the 2nd set? Even his second serve averaged 134 because Nadal’s game is content on simply starting the point and grinding it out. Nadal is not known for having a powerful second serve. For him it’s about placement and starting off the point how he wants it to be returned and constructed from there. I suppose that’s what makes tennis interesting that we see different things when we watch.

        Rod Laver was quoted as saying that Wawrinka served poorly in his semis with Berdych and had to raise his game to have any chance in the finals. I agreed that Wawrinka had come out and play the match of his life to win, but I was baffled by that serving comment as Stan’s serving has been outstanding this week and had been his main weapon in the win over Berdych. Different eyes see different things, or so they say.

      • That’s exactly my point. Nadal was NOT grinding out the points. as soon as the ball was a little too far, he just gave up. That is NOT Nadal…

    • IMO nadal faked the injury called the MTO to break Stan’s rhythm. What startled him was he was booed when he came back! He probably thought the crowd will applaud him but they (we) all know about his dirty tactics. He got scared that everyone was against him that he acted out the injury to continue the drama! If you watch the game he was controlling himself in every shot and serve. He was grimacing in guilt and not in pain! And then all if sudden he was well on the 4th! I will never ever believe him no matter what!

  57. @Tilas, a beautiful comment above, I agree absolutely. I come on the site for the same reason and believe most of us here love Jonathan’s blog as much as Fed’s tennis :)

    “The main reason I come on this blog is because Jonathan makes really realistic and “warm” reviews.

    Anytime my hopes are to high or I feel crushed by a tough defeat, I read Jonathan’s words and go to a good balanced place. Also the commets and debating is awesome. This site has a great community. The only virtual place, I feel I am among friends, really.

    I can only imagine how hard this is on Jonathan sometimes, so give him a break.”

  58. I’m curious how Nadal won the third set by “keeping points short, ruffling stan’s feathers, and keeping him out of his rhythm” (according to atpworld.com) if he had suffered a back injury in the second set and had “no serve” according to Stan? Did Stan pull back a bit and allowed rafa to exert himself in the 3rd set making sure the try set would be his?

    • “Making sure the *4th* set” sorry

    • It wasn’t a present from Stan if that’s what you meant. He just didn’t seem to know what to do with Nadal doing nothing at the other end. He screwed up on one game, and couldn’t break cause he was too scared/out of his mind/didn’t know what to do (you get my point haha) and Rafa served it out.

  59. I just woke up and checked the score. Couldn’t believe my eyes. What a great day for Stan and Switzerland.
    Then I started to read the comments. I find it amazing how cunning Nadal is. He manages to get everyone on his side to feel sorry for him. Then he manages to convince everyone he is humble, a great champion. He plays the victim role very well. Are some people waking up and seeing the trend. It’s total manipulation. I know people who behave like this. It becomes very routine, the way they operate in life. Always the victim, overcoming great odds.
    All tennis players have injuries, illness and keep their mouths shut. I’ve notices Roger usually doesn’t say a word about an injury until maybe months later. If he mentions an injury right after a match, the press and everyone pounces. They call him a sore looser. Just making excuses, etc.
    Something I’ve noticed over and over. Hopefully this won’t taint the way Stan feels about his win.

    • Roger has never played the role of the victim.

    • Well said Sue. I’m so fed up of this petulant behaviour every time. And it almost worked again because Stan was very wound up and lost some momentum, I was praying it wasn’t going to continue to affect him, so glad he pulled it together in the end. What a suck up Andrew Castle is, absolute twit, never stopped banging on about nadals injury “oh i think hes going to retire and shake his hand… do you think its a displaced rib?”, shut the **** up. Why have we got a useless player from the80s in the studio anyway who has not an ounce of experience of top level tennis.

      I wonder has nadal ever lost a match in his life without there being some injury associated with it? It makes me want to throw up. Did you notice Stans speech was just to cover his own back because he had to say something sporting, he didnt even turn around to look at nadal (as people usually do when they direct a compliment at someone).

      Remember how the press kept banging on about nadals injury when he lost to darcy at wimbledon, yet it was only a few days following success at the french, yet it was darcy who sustained such a bad shoulder during that match, he had to pull out of the competition, yet nobody even mentioned that! whereas if you had given nadal a free passage to the next round, would anybody tell me he wouldn’t be there for it, course he would, yet we hear about nadals injury but not darcys!

      Im delighted for stan, and gladnnadal didnt get to 14 slams yet, but my biggest disappointment is thinking back to feds match, he must now see todays match and realise he had nothing to fear playing nadal, he should have just taken the match to him.

      its mad that fed played a blinder in every round, except nadal where he was poor, and nadal only played 1 great match against fed, whereas was average in evefy other round. something doesnt quite add up.

      fed was actually capable of winning this when you look back at it now, even stan was nowhere near his best in the final. fed has to get over this crazy mental breakdown thing v nadal.

    • Sue, Thank You for that, I feel so much better that there are some of us who just don’t buy Nadal, no matter what. What really shocks me is the blindness of millions who are fooled. I deal with the human psyche almost daily and will never understand how people can be so deceived…

  60. Hello Jonathan and the rest of the readers! ! :)
    Wow sorry for late comment. But I would like to say first all BIG Congratulations to Stan the Man. I am sooo happy that he beat Nadal. The comments left here have been a interesting read. Just like everyone else here I was thinking why couldn’t Nadal be injured during the Federer match. But as always Nadal plays like superman when he has Federer across the net. Anyway I am glad stan has won. Wow he truly deserves it. The swiss no. 2 needs to take noteson how beat Nadal. But st a a vgood tpurn fpfor FedFederer for gegetting to the semis. By the way ggood posts as I JonJonathan, kkeep I real like yyou do. :)

  61. Am I the only one here wondering whether we’ll see Dopal for another 7 months now? Does anybody else think he’s going to go blame some ailment or body part breaking down as an excuse to go top up his dope tank? Maybe he was running low. After all he has been playing for 6 months at a stretch. That’s pretty long for a guy of his ‘habits.’

    Noticed a lot of comments on sports columns spurning Nadal’s gamesmanship and his so called ‘injury’ time outs. Good to see that people are starting to realise that there’s a lot more than meets the eye when this guy is concerned.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/australianopen/10597761/Stanislas-Wawrinka-upsets-the-odds-to-beat-Rafael-Nadal-and-claim-2014-Australian-Open-title.html

    It seems every time he loses, there’s some injury or the other behind it. How incredibly convenient. So if this guy wasn’t injured he’d have raked up 50 slams by now.

    • Sid TheCookieThief

      Nah, no way he stays out of the French Open, no way. Winning more of those is the only thing that will keep him in the hunt to chase down Roger. If Nadal were to overhaul Roger, he will have to win at least two, or up to three French Opens to have a chance.

      After the French Open, he will surely go on a break, maybe even skip Wimbledon, and focus on the hard courts. His plans have taken a hit, sort of, by not beating Stan.

      And you’re right. It’s pretty unusual for Nadal to play for an entire year at a high level and then keep continuing. Perhaps something went horribly wrong with what his doctors did while preparing him for the final?

    • Decent article. Thanks Guarav!

    • My thoughts exactly, he has overplayed since coming back, and finding that age 27, nearly 28 the body starts breaking down with regularity given what he has put it through. This is why I don’t think he will get to 18. Agree with Sid, might take another break after another failure at Wimbledon.

    • Guarav, no chance mate, Uncle Toni has already stated that his boy only needs some rest and will be absolutely fine in a week. Maybe we should send a letter to Uncle Toni telling him how relieved we all are to hear that, no?

  62. Congrats to Stan. I’m glad Roger’s record is a little safer today. Fed’s may favorite athlete in the world for his grace and poise and talent and hard work.

    But I also think we need to be careful about judging a person when we don’t know all the facts. Facts will all come to light eventually – here or in the hereafter, at least that’s what I believe. But for now let’s hope the best of all these amazing athletes who work so hard and fight so hard. When we see something we KNOW is wrong we should be able to call it out, but we aren’t privy to all the facts. Let’s hope the best of people until its blatantly clear that we can’t. And let’s let the facts come to light if and when they do.

    And I don’t know for sure, but I think that’s how Roger would want to view this. With class and grace and hoping the best about people.

    I like that Nadal said this below. Kind of like Roger acts. And how amazing is it that there is still a sport where trash talking and thuggery is just not a real part of the culture. I can’t believe we still have a sport like this in this screwed up world. Let’s honor it by talking to each other like these guys do.

    “I feel very lucky that I was able to enjoy much more happy moments than tough moments,” he said. “At the end is a sport of victories. People remember the victories. They don’t remember the losses.

    “For me, [it] is a tough one tonight because I felt I was ready to compete well. But in a few weeks that’s going to pass. I’m going to keep playing, going to keep training hard, and I’m going to keep enjoying the world of tennis.

    “I feel very lucky to be able to work in something that I really love to do. Not everybody’s able to do that. Nothing wrong. Just bad day, tough day. But [a] lot of people in the world have a lot of very tough days.”

  63. Great win for Stan indeed. A lot of bloggers noticed that Dull, plays great against Federer and after that “cools of” against others. My theory is that uncle Toni and “doctors” make sure Dull has all “juices” and “special machines” available for Federer match and after that the “charging cycle” is over…. Toni knows that Federer represents tennis history. The other note, after this AO, Roger is third (931) on the all time match win leaders list after Connors (1242) and Lendl (1071).

  64. Another episode to increase the legend of the GOAT, what an sportman he is, unbelievable spirit of fighting, he is the best ambassador tennis could have always showing the love of the game and never giving up.Today it was a touching and sad day but the biggest competitor the sport has ever seen is gonna keep being the dominant of the Golden Era. Thanks Rafa.

    PD: For those antitennis hooligans, “L’envie est une déclaration d’infériorité” Napoleon I

  65. Question to Roger before the open started. Funny how many expert came back on this comment at that time saying Roger is being too optimistic :)

    Q. Most pundits have talked up Novak and Rafa’s chances at the Australian Open. Is there still belief in you and other members of the top 10 that you can knock Novak and Rafa off their perches?
    ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think it’s normal that they are considered, you know, the one and two favorites for the tournament. Of course, we do believe we can knock them off, yes.

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