Cheryl Murray

  • Nadal and Federer the cornerstone of tennis

    2009-01-27 16:01:23
    I was going to write a scathing article about Novak Djokovic today. About how a player can, in good conscience, retire from a QUARTERFINAL match and then claim that he feels fine an hour later. Seriously. Straight from the horse's mouth at the post-match presser – "Yeah, I feel better. I feel better now. I want to get on the court again." Buddy, you WERE on court. FORTY-FIVE MINUTES AGO.

    And I was going to include a little tribute to Juan Martin Del Potro too. I mean, that was quite an effort he just put in against Roger Federer. He really left it all on the court, didn't he? Laid his heart out there and tried his very best. Why, I think I even saw him run for a ball once in that third set. Epic effort. And no, I'm not disgusted in the least. Why do you ask?

    But then I asked myself why I would want to waste my time writing about them. I'll give them the same effort they gave us – about a paragraph's worth. Instead, let's talk about the guys who deserve to be discussed. Let's have a little love-fest for Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal who have earned every accolade offered to them – and then some.

    Let's talk about consistency. Do you remember the last time either of them failed to make a quarterfinal at a slam? I do. It was at the US Open in 2007. Rafael Nadal lost to David Ferrer in the round of 16, so hobbled with pain that he literally fell to his knees. And he STILL took a set. The last time Federer failed to make a semifinal at a slam was in 2004 (he lost at Roland Garros to Gustavo Kuerten). Think about how insane that statistic is. That's more than 5 years!

    I will occasionally hear tennis fans complain about the amount of attention Nadal and Federer get. Tennis, they claim, is about more than just two guys. I'm finding it difficult to agree today. I admit it. I've seen Nadal take some pretty nasty beatdowns. The final of Chennai comes to mind…but never ONCE did I consider that he just wasn't trying. I've seen Federer have his fair share of poorly played matches as well, but I've never thought of one of his performances as gutless.

    I'd like to take the opportunity to say thank you to both men. They are rivals, but respectful of each other. They are gentlemen yet fierce competitors. They are superb athletes and flawless ambassadors. And let's not forget that they've given us what might be the greatest tennis match of all time. In short, they are the backbone of the sport. Precisely what will happen to tennis when we lose our backbone, I shudder to think.

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great article cheryll...100% agree with you!Roger and rafael clearly stand out from the pack of all good/great players rite now.I still remember how gutsy a fight that was when rafa was suffering from a foot blister that was preventing him from running properly..stomping his foot properly on the ground so that he could not generate any pace/depth on his shots..yes m talking abt his only loss on clay last year to ferrero..he later said that he didnt want the lower the status of ferrero's victory by retiring from the match(a thing which is a trade mark for nole now!)..fed's effort against murray in last year's masters cup was phenomena.The guy was in pain but gave everything he had instead of retiring and grabbing an opprtunity of placing a label of unfitness as the reason for his retirement/loss!! VAMOS RAFA and ROGER!

vamosrafa , 1/27/09 4:17 PM


RickyDimon , 1/27/09 4:29 PM

Totally agree with you Cheryl. Great article. Now it's only left for you to brace the psycho attacks that will doubtless come your way for daring to write only about two people, both of whom have been reliable conpetitors for as long as some of us can remember.

jean , 1/27/09 4:29 PM

Cheryl's probably looking forward to those "attacks." I certainly am. If any non-Federer or Nadal fan attacks this article, it's because they know it's true and need a place to vent their anger about said truth.

Just a great blog post, Cheryl.

RickyDimon , 1/27/09 4:34 PM

remi , 1/27/09 4:50 PM

Totally agree about everything on Federer and Nadal. They have taken Tennis as a sport to a new level in last few years.

But someone has to defend Novak too. I watched the match and towards the end he was showing all symptoms of dehydration / possibly heat stroke. If he felt better 45 minutes later, it was most likely because he got out of sun when he did. Another twenty minutes on the court and he might have been seriously ill. Sportsmanship is great but I don't believe it is worth putting your health at such risks. If you don?t believe me about how serious heat stroke can be, please look it up on the net. I am not sure that avoiding it has much to do with one?s athletic abilities or fitness level.

Anyway, young players take time to develop. Anyone remember what Roger Federer was like when he was 19-20 years old? Well, you should probably look that up on the net too!

blueberry , 1/27/09 5:47 PM

cheryl - I agree with you, although I still think Murray will be up to join them at some point. Despite all the talk of the great new young crop, the real measure is being regularly in the semis at the slams.

alex , 1/27/09 5:57 PM

Agreed blueberry, but perhaps it's the pattern/frequency of such moves that people start to wonder about his sportsmanship. There's no denying the sting of the Aussie sun and it gets pretty hot on the court. Of course if he was on the verge of heatstroke, he definitely should not have continued. It's just that this isn't the first time. And in the other blog, Fed raised the point of the sore throat incident. Others have complaint about the med time outs. It's all of these collectively - not this one off retirement - that I believe creates the issue.

jean , 1/27/09 6:03 PM

Great Article!!!! Everyone has a simular opinion. Rafa and Roger are the best because of their consistant effort and they are champions on and off the court. It must be very difficult to have the type of self esteem it requires to be a great athlete and still remain grounded. Novak, he is still finding his way and unfortunately his ego has gotten in the way of understanding the "work ethic" that the top two embrace. Del Potro.....did he show up, I don't remember seeing him on court! Congrats Andy Roddick and best of luck to Nadal (although I do believe he will take the trophy this year). Lets hope that Verdasco can keep his form today and give us an all Spanish Semi Final!

chopcus , 1/27/09 6:30 PM

no need to defend novak here guys.How many times will u do that??In 05 RG qtr final against rafa..being 4-6 4-6 down novak retired.I admit that he did have sum bak problem in that match but his words in the interview were ridiculous!"i was in control of the match"!!!!! what the hell did he mean when he uttered this??!!! novak is skilled player on court but worst example of sportsmanship in spite of being a good champion with the racket.HEat stroke..ok possible but why is novak the only top player to suufer all kinds of illnesses and injuries among the top players.When last year he won here..everything abt australian open was fine and this year he wants a shift in the celandar!

vamosrafa , 1/27/09 7:30 PM

I am a huge Federer fan, but I like Rafa too, if only because of his 'never-say-die' attitude. I honestly believe Federer lacks a bit of mental strength. In the '08 French Open Final he seemed to give up. Rafa would never have done that.

GoRoger , 1/27/09 7:47 PM

Nice article. Both men are fantastic players on the court, and great ambassadors off the court. Their reign will end someday, but not today!

Jazi , 1/27/09 8:21 PM

As a Novak fan, I would rather see Cheryl rant about Novak for his disgusting behaviour today. Kudos for raising the point on why Fed and Nadal have remained true champions to this game.

Vamosrafa; Pete Sampras played his whole career with Thalassemia minor, a debilitating illness that causes problems in heat. He never mentioned this once while playing. Its a simliar, if not better, approach that Fed and Nadal especially have taken to the game, and this is why they are great.

Novak will never become great unless he shuts up and follows their example.

samprallica , 1/27/09 9:58 PM

Great article! Of course people want to talk about all the other players, as they rise and fall. They have good streaks and bad, they fight sometimes and some they give up. But way up higher than all the rest stand the two titans of the sport. Between them having held the 1 and 2 spots longer than any other pair. Having played each other in big finals far more than any other two rivals and every time giving it all. I disagree that Roger gave up in Roland Garros last year, but he had a tough road to the final, while Rafa hadn't even dropped a set. Rafa has reached such a high level on clay that no human can come close to stop him when he plays his best... and that's just what happened. Roger tried, but nothing worked. He definitely didn't retire or blame anything else outside himself and Rafa's Clay superiority. I hope to see them in more finals this year.

grafight , 1/27/09 10:15 PM

Great article Cheryl! I think it's about time someone said all of this!

Holly , 1/28/09 1:36 AM

Absolutely agree, great article Cheryl! And I thoroughly enjoyed reading everyone's comments. Fed and Nadal are without doubt to be praised for their competitive spirit, level of tennis, rivalry, and what they have both brought to the sport individually and collectively!

tenstar , 1/28/09 1:51 AM

Wonderful article, Cheryl, on detailing the the things that Roger and Rafa bring onto the tennis circuit. I do agree that they have the gritty 'never-say-die' determination and brings that onto every match they play despite being ill/in pain/two sets to love down and can manage to hang on and win in the end, and even if they don't win, they put up a damn good fight (think Wimby 2008 final for Roger).

However I think this sort of attitude and determination comes with experience as well, and I hope the rest of the young and upcoming players can practice learn this attitude and retain that spirit when Roger and Rafa finally retires.

jyannis , 1/28/09 2:17 AM

Thank you everyone.

I admit that I might have been a bit piqued when I wrote this. :)

cherylmurray , 1/28/09 2:25 AM

I don't know what happened to Roger at the '08 French Open, but he battled magnificently at Wimbledon and even more during the Masters' Cup match with Andy Murray when he was clearly hurting badly. Not to mention his comeback vs Berdych the other day. Roger's got plenty of heart; he just hasn't needed to show it all that often.

Oh, and if it matters, I'm a Rafa fan. But Rafa thinks so much of Roger that he's kinda convinced me! So here's hoping the Roger and Rafa finally get it on in a hard court final!!

Ramara , 1/28/09 3:07 AM

The '08 Wimbl was the greatest ever. It was beyond tennis. The fightback from Roger was i-n-c-r-e-d-b-l-e. I remember a Masters' Cup in which an Roger played against Nalbandian. Can anybody confirm that? I don't remember it well.

I don't what happens to him against Rafa on Clay: his game just falls apart. If there were no Rafa, Roger could have had 4 French Opens against his names, and could have completed a grand slam of grand slams thrice over. Wow!!!

GoRoger , 1/28/09 8:40 AM

I agree with what you said about Rog and rafa. Both are amazing.
I agree with what you said about Djok - this has been going on for some time. He has retired from a lot of matches that he was losing. Obviously he needs to go train in the heat and try and adjust. I think he is a ***** and I am very disapointed in him, esp considering I quite like him most of the time.

Juan tho... I think you are being a bit harsh. He doesn't have the experiance of Novak to really know how to handle those situations, he has only just turn 20, and he didn't believe in himself. Its not that he didn't try, its not that he didn't want to win - trust me I know he did - it's just he didn't have the self belief. He has only just turned 20 and has been through alot since he started winning. Cut him some slack- he is not used to the spotlight. Give him some more time, I am sure he will get there. If he doesn't, be harsh then. For now, just hope he does better next time.

kaitepai , 1/28/09 9:11 AM

I agree with Kaitepai about Del Porto. He is very young, and not used to the pressure in a Grand Slam. Also, he was overawed by Federer, which was quite normal. When the opponent plays like this, it is hard not to lose the plot.

GoRoger , 1/28/09 10:53 AM

Great article! I agree completely. Just the other day I read an interview with Rafa in which he said he'd love to play doubles with Roger! I would love to see that happen someday, can you imaging those two teaming up?

Sharon , 1/28/09 11:19 AM

I suppose I dont need to add anything to what has already been said..A great article and hats off to the two great champions.

janhavi , 1/28/09 12:42 PM

Great article!! The last sentence of the article also reflects my feelings: I don't know what would happen when we don't have them at the top of the tennis anymore!!!

sisterofnight12 , 1/28/09 1:55 PM

I do not object to the scoreline of Del Potro and Federer's match - I realize that this happens at times. My issue is with the manner in which he went down. By midway through the second set, he was not attempting to win anymore. That is not acceptable to me, no matter how badly one is losing.

cherylmurray , 1/28/09 3:04 PM

Del Potro said in the post match interview that he couldn't wait to get off the court. And his body language on court showed it. He tanked it which was pretty poor. He had given up. Almost as bad as Djok quitting though Djok probably had better reason.

homos , 1/28/09 4:13 PM

At least Del Potro had the guts to accept a double bagel and it is way better than quitting. It's better to graduate with a general degree than quitting in the final year just because you can't get a first class honours.

torres9 , 1/28/09 4:26 PM

Kaite: del Potro's age has nothing to do with it. Nadal won his first GS at Roland Garros and the first 4 of his Masters titles and rose to No.2 in the world in 2005 - the year in which he turned 19! Apart from showing us he was a formidable competitor he also demonstrated his maturity and sportsmanship. Yes, he has from time to time retired due to injuries but never, never has he thrown in the towel because he had had enough of the match!

Whatever the reason for del Potro's abysmal performance it was a disgrace to tennis, an insult to his opponent and an even greater insult to the fans who came to watch a GS quarter-final.

As for Djokovic, he appears to have a death wish. He has whinged and whined for 12 months and still he doesn't seem able to grasp why he has lost the major part of his fan base. The pity of it is that he has the skills and talent to be a great player - but without guts and the right attitude he will slide down the greasy pole and become another player who once showed promise which was never fulfilled.

ed251137 , 1/28/09 4:43 PM

I'm very disappointed in Del Potro,I can't believe he's no.6!! He's lost my respect,whereas Simon has gained more and more respect from everybody,I guess.Even in the third set,Simon was still showing Rafa that he believed he would win the match!!!

sisterofnight12 , 1/28/09 6:36 PM

U guys r bin really harsh on him. hes not the first one to give up on a match because it was losing badly. Do you not think Fed gave up in the 3rd set of RG as well? I know its not acceptable buts its the first time hes done and it and I think its a bit rash to go condemning him. I know Rafa is also young but he is also more experianced in these matters. Not all 20 yr olds have the same levels of maturity, and there is a big difference between being 20 and 22. Just like there is 16 and 18.

kaitepai , 1/28/09 7:13 PM

i totally agree with you,i'm a nadal lover but i respect roger and how good is he,i was disappointed by novak i believe that he could do best! an attitude with this will not make him #1, that's the reason he can't pass roger and nadal

ermione , 1/28/09 8:30 PM

ermione - I'm inclined to agree with you. Novak seems unwilling at this point (though I understand he's still young) to take it on the chin, so to speak.

cherylmurray , 1/28/09 10:40 PM

Novak will eventually pass them both if he learns from this loss. If he puts more work and betters his attitude, I see no reason as to why he shouldn't.

samprallica , 1/28/09 11:14 PM

I will predict that Murray will surpass Nadal and Fed rather than Djokovic. Murray is very Federer-like in variety and Nadal-like in speed and determination. And his attitude is better than Djokovic. He maybe thinks too much which will make him unable to concentrate so if he learns to spread out his concentration throughout a tennis match, he will be world No.1. He is already closing in on Djokovic after this tournament. Djokovic lost points for not being champion here and Murray gained points for bettering last year's 1st round exit. So I expect Murray to be world no.3 sooner or later.

torres9 , 1/29/09 3:24 AM

They are both legends in the office.

I also like Simon, Belelli, Murray, Roddick, Blake, Ferrer, Monfils, Verdesco, Wawrinka, Cilic, Berdych, Robredo, Gasquet, Schuttler, Melzer, Muller, Mathieu, Andreev, Karlovic, Almagro and few more - they are great people. Potro is a douchebag, rude and arrogant, Gonzo taking 5th set medical time out to upset Lleyton's momentum (which he admitted to doing), Nalby because he's ugly and bad tempered, Chela a gangster like Potro, Soderling every ball kid's nightmare - can't stand these ones.

homos , 1/29/09 7:16 AM

homos - I like a guy who knows what colours he likes and isn't afraid to nail them to the mast :)
Although a Murray fan, I'm really glad for rafa. His performance this AO has by far been the most exceptional - he had easily the hardest quarter of the draw - including three French furies, Gasquet, Monfils and Simon - and yet he was the one who came through with the greatest ease. I'm tipping him to win his first hard court slam this week-end - a real breakthrough for him, and well deserved too.

alex , 1/29/09 9:56 AM

Maybe Murray will be no. 3 in the near future, but Simon is showing as a firm contender for the place as well. In fact, among the "newcomers", Murray and Simon look like the most promising to stay in the top. Not Del Potro (truly a gangster, homos. You are right! :-) And not Djokovic, who is dilapidating all his credit with his childish attitude.
Perhaps Verdasco will have something to say too, even if he is not a newcomer, being 25...

firstwanderer , 1/29/09 9:20 PM

Honestly, I would not be watching tennis if it wasn't for Roger Federer. Not sure I am a "real" tennis fan, I guess I'm just a Roger Federer fan. (LOL) I'm sure there must be others like me. I don't care! As long as Federer is still around (as a contender I'm very much interested in tennis). Then and only then will I watch other players, especially those which a deem a possible threat to Roger winning... Rafa is fun to watch. I really appreciate the 100% he represents. For me Roger is the SHOW, the others are only fillers (even RAFA). While Roger is still a contender , I watch a lot of tennis, and I love it.

sky , 1/30/09 12:16 AM

Sky - I relate! I only started watching tennis when I caught the 07 AO final and had nothing better 2 do. I kinda just fell for him really bad! And since then I started playing and watch alot. Unlike you, I have other favs and people I dislike and I watch alot of matches. But Rog is always the guy I support over everyone. It will suck when Rog goes but I'm hoping Gulbis might do something special. But hey, Rog will be around for a long time yet.

kaitepai , 1/30/09 2:25 AM

I am with you guys, sky and kaitepai, I watched Fed winning Wimby against Phillipousis and I started to like the game. I watched all this Grand Slam wins has he is the ultimate elegant athlete and very classy winner.

torres9 , 1/30/09 5:18 AM

I can understand you sky,kaitepai and torres9 but my reason was different:Safin. He was my reason to be interested in tennis until Rafa came. But I'm sure they are many other people like you who watch tennis just because of Roger!!!

sisterofnight12 , 1/30/09 8:36 AM

thanks alot cherry
relly amazing blog tody

Noody , 1/30/09 11:08 PM

great article, and u have hit everything spot on.
roger and rafa are BOTH fantastic for the sport, they have achieved so much, and the fact that they both have so much respect for one another is just great to see.

i cheer for roger over rafa when they face off against one another but i have heaps of respect for rafa as well- he is very deserving of it- i just admire the guy's mental toughness and never throws in the towel.
i admire roger for the way he plays, he glides across the court- it is very beautiful watching him play, and he makes ridiculously hard shots look so incredibly easy.

may the better man win AO final tomorrow =), i am just so excited LOL.

ivanovic33 , 1/31/09 1:12 PM

yeah, they are such great untouchable players and yet djokovic was capable of nocking them both of the second spot in the past year. he should have taken better care of his health or to play only when it mattered for the points, not to vaste his energy playing for the contry maybe. it is enough that the organisers are favouring his "marketable" opponents

danijela , 2/1/09 3:40 AM

Cheryl's article is the truth. The next thing Djfaker is going to win is the Retirement Slam, first player to retire from each of 4 Grand Slams. He's already got 3 under his belt (twice at French, once at Wimbledon, and now Aussie), probably gunning for another at the US Open this year. You can do it, Nole, we have faith in you!

Looks like the AO organizers had good foresight not to put Djoker in prime time, knowing all the revenue they'd lose in the likely event of his retiring early.

bobbynorwich , 2/1/09 7:30 PM

What I love is that Rafa agrees that Federer is a better tennis player than him, is the GOAT in his opinion, never mentions his lopsided winning record against Fed ...and quietly goes right on beating him! Rafa does his arguing on court, with his racquet.

Ramara , 2/24/09 11:13 PM

Quite agree Ramara, I prefer this approach than the over confidence big talk BEFORE a match or tournament. But Rafa doesn't talk big even AFTER he wins. Rafa has a lot of respect for Roger, they after all have played each other so often (hence this blog) and they know how hard it is to not just to get to the top but to stay there with each finding the other a pain in the arse to beat. They have brought so much to the game in their very different ways.

remi , 2/25/09 1:45 AM

cheryl's article is quite good. i also believe that federer and rafa r the tennis hearts . without antone of em' tennis is not tennis! i swear these players play so well ............ man.. their staman, hard efforts... everything is superb. tired isn't any word in their dictionary. yeah!both the players rule tennis and roger is the best

yusra , 2/25/09 6:26 AM

He's no. 2 how can he be the best? You sounding roger, don't like to be called no. 2. And the whole GOAT discussion doesn't take into account the fact that so many things have changed, tour schedule, courts, conditioning, technology, not to mention that the calibre of players cannot be identical to allow comparison. No one gives any credit to Lendl. They would had he won all his 19 slam finals against the talented players he went up against but it's all about records which is the media's love.

homos , 2/25/09 7:39 AM

Rafa has been no.2 to Roger for 4 1/2 years so how can Rafa is the best?

torres9 , 2/25/09 7:59 AM

we're talking in the presence tense - "IS"! Not WAS not EVER - look at yusra's post! So Rafa IS the best, but I didn't he's the best EVER. Or what is he, the worst, than, does that make you happier??

Roger has a bad head to head with the world's worst tennis player who scammed the no. 1 position.

homos , 2/25/09 8:16 AM

No, Nadal is not the worst player. Are you stupid? But he is not better than Fed just because of Head-to-Head stats. Sampras has a losing H2H to Safin and Hewitt, does it mean Safin and Hewitt is better? Your reasoning are not very good.

torres9 , 2/25/09 8:37 AM

Of course I am, no one is clever like you as you obviously know.
I didn't say the head to head make Rafa better than Fed. I'm saying the ranking reflects that at the present. While my reasoning may not be good in your eyes (and I care!), you cannot accept reality when it slaps you in the face. Roger has been the same with his I'm not no. 2 etc, crap, and so it explains why you idolize him. There are jounalists and long time fans (in the media) who question whether with Murray, HrBarty and Nadal having a better H2H than him if he can be considered GOAT, Sampras fans still says Pete is the best, than there's Lendl's competion which has always been underated and Laver's record which has just been bounced further off Fed's radar. His die hard fans can say whatever they want, he may have a nice flair, etc, but it's premature to he's the best and disregard the greats of the past - just because you can't appreciate their achievements in their time.

I can tell from your posts you are just a Die hard Fed fan. I prefer those who are fans of the game and have wider perspective on things and better reasoning.

homos , 2/25/09 9:58 AM

It's true there are many variables and most are a matter of perspectice. I personally find the discussions fun and informative (sometimes) but when people start to insist on their opinions and start calling people stupid, it just gets ugly.
Rafa is the current no. 1. It won't kill to give due credit instead of trying to subtly justify why he doesn't deserve it.

remi , 2/25/09 10:59 AM

ms cheryl,that is a great article really,it is unbelievable that anywhere you go on this god given earth that if you want to start a debate one person say i am a nadal fan the next person say i am a federer fan and there you go, a war has started.
i have never seen anything like it.not in any sports. and i consider myself a little knowledgeable about some sports.
i hope that they both will be around for a long time giving each other hell.
i just hope that people will start to give nadal more credit for what he has done.
and recognize his talent and give credit where credit is due.he has worked long and hard for it.they both have different styles and are totally different players but what they have done for the sport is really something.all i can say is game on and on a personal note:vamos rafa(lol)

alik , 2/25/09 12:50 PM

Calling people stupid and asking if they are is not the same thing last time I checked. Nadal is No.1 now but don't forget Fed had been No.1 for 4 1/2 years. You are guys are just taking it to the extreme. I don't hate Nadal or Sampras but doen't mean I think they are better than Federer. Like I said, if you are going to point out H2H, Sampras has a losing H2H to Safin and Hewitt. Are you still saying Safin and Hewitt is better than Sampras? Beats me.

torres9 , 2/25/09 3:07 PM

After Sampras retired I stopped watching tennis. I really & trully have nothing (much) against Federer, but soon after he started winning to me just got plain BORING!!!!...i dont care how much of a genius...God....he was or is!!!! was just BORING!!!

But then came RAFA!!!!!.......he brought excitement back into the game of tennis......and everybody started watching and talking!!! Tennis was back finally and everyone matter how much we try not to admit it!!! Everyone is now waiting feverishly for a Nadal/Federer final so that Fed can avenge all those losses against Rafa.....especially at Wimby!! And although I will be routing for Rafa....that is what the game of tennis lacked in ALL of the 4 1/2 years that Fed was number one!!

Welcome back tennis...thank God for Rafa!!....vamos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

However....i would though like to see Fed eventually equal/break Sampras' record......Fed has somewhat revolutionalised tennis.....and therefore that would be the best reward!!!!

MonaLisa , 4/13/09 10:12 PM

once again torres..i 'll argue here aswell..same old illogical points mate...safin leads 4-3 over pete(sum matches played after pete's peak)....4-3 not much in it..isnt it?? diff=1 ..yes ONLY 1..5-4 for hewitt...onyl 1 is the gap...hewitt wining all matches 2000 onwards..1-1 in slams (hewit vs sampras)..2-2 sampras vs safin in slams!!!! so even if he trails marginally 3-4 he is 2-2 in slams...nadal-federer....hahahahaha...13-6 rafa...ON ALL SURFACES..which isnt the case in ur POOR examples....rafa leads a whoppin 6-2 in slams!!! and many matches played well under roger's PEAK!!! and like murray said it last year after his win over roger in shanghai " i am ready to exchange all of my victories with roger for his only victory over me at the US open" for pros 1 victory in a big match at a slam means 3-4 ordinary victories!!! or even more!!! so 13-6 actually is bigger than it luks like coz of 6-2 slam record!!!!

vamosrafa , 4/14/09 1:34 AM

Nole has a problem dealing with the heat. We all know that. So why, oh why did he spend the winter break taking a holiday and then training in Austria? Murray was raised in Scotland which, although not as cold as Serbia, has a pretty cold climate. So what does he do? he hot-foots it to the steamy heat of Florida for a gruelling winter training regime. Murray faded at the AO because of a virus illness - not because of the heat - and he attributes his success to his physical training which enabled him to come back in winning form so quickly.

ed251137 , 4/14/09 5:41 AM

Forgot to mention, Cheryl, that was a great article and the opening paragraph was a peach. It made me laugh out loud the first time I read it: and re-reading it made me laugh all over again.

ed251137 , 4/14/09 5:57 AM

Nadal will win this year French Open.
But it will be interesting to see his journey in Wimbledon & US Open.
If he can win Wimbledon & US Open, i think it will be the time when experts will take him seriously as a strong contender for the crown of the greatest tennis player of all times which as of now Federer owns .
But to win the crown of greatest tennis player of all times, Nadal has to win many more Grand Slams on all surfaces.
I believe if anyone can do that, then it has to be Rafael Nadal.

samy , 5/31/09 10:18 AM

So trueee........U can not replace Roger & Rafa ........ !!!!

Nice article......*claps* for Roger & Rafa......lolzzz

GO Roger Go........FO is urs for sure !!!!!

tomnjerry2 , 5/31/09 11:36 AM

such a powerful reading cheryl! and so true about Roger and Rafa, I'm bias toward Roger as he is my favourite. Seems odd to me that some fans make a "habbit" of projecting negatives about him, or toward him on a fairly constant bases, but I suppose there are so many levels of understanding or appreciations out there that it should not come as a surprise. Roger has had a difficult time in the past months, but the nemesis appears to be over, and he has pulled himself "UP" again. He remains still very much a contender at the RG 2009 tournament. No doub Rafa has the edge, but if they both make it to the FINAL we all know that this year will/should be ELECTRIFYING between these two CHAMPIONS! Long live Roger and Rafa! Long live GREAT tennis! On a final note I am starting to enjoy some of the other competitors (slowly) LOL I found the match between Rafa and Djokovic very enjoyable in Madrid! I wanted Djokovic to WIN. I felt he deserved it MORE... I'm finding out there are some other good players out there, and some "may" be GREAT someday, but for now Roger and Rafa "stand out" among the rest, and as you so cleverly put it "they are the backbone of tennis" and have been for many years... Go GET THAT ELUSIVE Roland Garros CUP 2009 ROGER! Aller! Aller! Aller Roger! Go FED go... Cheers. :)

sky , 5/31/09 1:38 PM

sky...missed you today....will catch you tomorrow . Get ready for the federer ride!!!!!!!!!
just weird with rafa not being in the tourny right now........

Alllezzzzzzzzzz Feddeeerreeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

malteser1 , 5/31/09 11:52 PM

Hi malteser1! Missed you too!!! FED is playing Haas tomorrow! Lets Go FEDfan Girl! Let's go! :) Are you READY! Go FED go! Go FED go! Aller Roger! Aller! Aller! Aller! Go FED go! Go go go! LOL One game at a time for our Roger, one game at a time...! :) He is going to make us PROUD malz! He is going to make us PROUD!

sky , 6/1/09 4:13 AM on.....for A-L-L.......players.

Ricky said in another post that verdasco was told at 2:2 that rafa had lost his match....? why on earth would someone tell dasco that when he playing a match!!!!!!!

anyhow sky....zoey...fedfans...we gotta support our man......all the by game, match by match, eye on the trophy fed baby......go forward and win today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!positive thoughts and vibes...being sent to Fed........

PARIS, June 1 (Reuters) - Roger Federer will wake up for Monday's fourth-round match against Tommy Haas still getting used to the idea that he is now the favourite to win a maiden French Open title after Rafael Nadal's shock exit.
The shape of the draw has changed dramatically with Nadal and Novak Djokovic out of the picture, presenting the Swiss with his best chance to finally pick up the only grand slam title to have eluded him.
"I believe Federer, as the tournament turns out today, is the favourite, and he has a good opportunity to win this tournament," beaten Spanish eighth seed Fernando Verdasco said.
Federer, seeking a record-equalling 14th grand slam title, has an 8-2 winning record against the 31-year-old German, who is aiming to reach his first Paris quarter-final.

Gooooooooooooooo Rogggeeerreeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

malteser1 , 6/1/09 9:09 AM

goooo davydenko........vamossssss!!!!!!!!!

vrael , 6/1/09 4:16 PM

hey! I like davydenko too vrael, but not OVER the FED baby! Not over the FED! LOL

sky , 6/2/09 3:07 PM

SKY...where is Zoey?.......fedexfan? tomnjerry? torres? janhavi (where she gone?) FEDFANS unite for today (just about!!!) the time i finish this post..... must federer be feeling right now...wonder if he sleeping?thinking?eating?practising?!!!!! getting into the zone for today......oh my god...the wait....
sky am gonna try go to sleep midnight and shattered......

Gonna be a match of twists and turns....surely? but the fed gonna go for it TODAY!!!!!!!!!! GoFedGo..........................

Allleeeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Federererererererererrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

stay by game....match by match.....WIN!WIN!WIN!!!!!!!

malteser1 , 6/3/09 1:01 AM

Possible scenareo. FEDERER BRILLIANT! ALL GUNs SMOKING! Monfils trying to play catch-up! Too Little, TOO Late LOL Of course there are other posibilities, but none of them are as much fun unless the FED is on TOP! FED, keep it on TOP! LOL Go FED go!

sky , 6/3/09 5:36 AM

vrael , 6/3/09 6:40 AM

Happy Birthday Rafa ...... I wish u all the success in ur life !!!

Go Roger Go..........

tomnjerry2 , 6/3/09 7:00 AM

Happy Birthday Rafa, Wish you the best of health and may we have the best rivalry sport has ever seen.

Rafa and Roger if combined would be the perfect being that has a godlike entity. They complete each other. Force and Flow. Matador and bull. Puncher and artist.

torres9 , 6/3/09 11:29 AM

a verryyyy happppy birthhdayyy to my dear rafa!!! see u at queens...:D

vamosrafa , 6/4/09 9:46 PM

unfortunately vamosrafa, Rafa will NOT be at Queens after all. Knee trouble again.

cherylmurray , 6/6/09 12:52 AM

yeah cheryl...its sad.....and he is gona drop 500 pnts aswell...may b he also wants a mental break fro tennis for a couple of weeks..nt sure...a break ws direly needed tho...i think the only negative thing is mtch practice..rafa needed it..he will practice well bt winning mtches on grass always gives confidence...i hope he gets easy mtches till rnd 3 atleast so that he builds up momentum....cheryl wht do u think abt rafa at wimby??wht do u xpect? and do u think he'l be 100% ready for wimby?

vamosrafa , 6/6/09 11:39 AM

Rafa has bone edema - swelling of the bones. Uncle Toni doesn't know if he'll be fit to play WImbledon or not. He is having extensive knee treatments to try to prepare. Fortunately, 3 weeks is a long time. If he DOES play, I have no doubt that he will put his whole heart into it.

cherylmurray , 6/6/09 8:24 PM

thanks alot cheryl ...but ur post scared me!!! that uncle toni statement!!! plzzzz..nooo!!! hez gona lose soo mant pnts and an opportunity to defend his crown!! he is a strong boy...m sur with our prayers he wil recover well...btw he practicing nowdays?? or complete rest?

vamosrafa , 6/6/09 11:12 PM

As usual Rafa ailments are ones that can really only be treated properly with rest. The thing about having a bone edema is that it is always very painful and usually indicative of an underlying injury. I hear he actually said, to his camp, during his last match at RG that it hurt too much for him to continue to play ... but somehow he did finish.

smr , 6/6/09 11:41 PM

It will be bad if Rafa cant play Wimby. I feel sorry that he felt that he had to enter so much tournaments. I know he doesnt like hearing about the too much tournaments thing but he need to cut down on it. I know he wants to be no.1 for so long like Roger. He is the only one who dared to challenge Rog when Rog was dominating. If it werent for Rafa, Fed would have won 20 Slams.

I hope Rafa doesnt go down like this. This is the worst way possible.

torres9 , 6/7/09 12:39 AM

torres..i hope u are right mate!! and i read that rafa told his camp after his RG loss that it ws very painful to continue bt he managed to complete the mtch..and m nt surprised when he didnt mention anyn physical/mental fatigue in his presser coz he never makes xcuses and tries hard nt to take any credit away frm hs opponents!! ..

anyhow..torres and all Rf fans...i wish u all a final good luck ..may ur champ succeed in his attempt to win RG..after patiently chasing rafa i think he deserves it nw...lets and wait n watch..i hope its nt sumthing like hewit-sampras 01 US open..or safin-sampras 00 US...highly doubt it tho!!

vamosrafa , 6/7/09 1:07 AM

There are also reports in the Spanish papers that his parents will be getting a divorce. He is having a bad week, poor guy.

cherylmurray , 6/7/09 2:48 AM

Poor Rafa. As much as I hate him when he beats Fed, I admire his hard work and determination. He doesnt deserve to have bad personal problems. But I always thought he kind of sold his body to the devil to be taking so many tournaments and taking a super-physical approach. It's no mystery why he havent won TMC or US Open. Toni must talk to Rafa to take less tournaments. He can still be no.1 by winning in the tournaments he is in becoz Roger seems to not be interested in other tournaments than Grand Slam anymore.

torres9 , 6/7/09 7:40 AM

awww rafa :( :(

everything seems to have gone wrong for him since miami. he won those clay court titles, but then lost rg. and now all these new problems

i hope against hope that he's not affected so much that he gives up on it. he'd wanna go out with a bang. not a fizzle

Sib69 , 6/7/09 3:14 PM

torres9, I wish I could believe you when you say that Roger is not "interested in other tournaments than the Grand Slam any more". But he broke my heart by (a) beating Rafa in Spain, (b) doing it on a clay surface and (c) not dropping serve even once in their match. Fortress Federer, surely? Not only that, but (d) in doing so he has tied Rafa again for TMS 1000 series shields.

Now with all the pressure off after RG, it is Roger Federer who can pull away and add more titles while we wait and see what Rafa can do to stay top. He has sacrificed his Queens points now, so maybe he will go and play clay in Stuttgart to make up for that and Olympics. But this is all pressure on Rafa again!

Looking back, Madrid was more important than either Roger or Rafa said it was. Once you start to lose, that is when you really feel your injuries. Maybe the damage was much greater than I was prepared to believe. Time will tell.

gorafago , 6/8/09 5:38 PM

I sincerely wish Rafa skips Wimby. Its odd coming from a Rafa fan. But in my opinion long term health is more important than any trophy he can win. If he rushes the recovery and comes back too early, he might jeopardize his health.

I hope he has good people counseling him.

Goodluck Rafa!

Nadalio , 6/8/09 11:16 PM

gorafago....ur comments are quite true .....roger has no more pressure ....and that i think is an awesome feeling .

i truly believe that roger does not care too much about the Master Series ...but if he wins ...he wins ...i see him changing his game mostly in the masters...if you realized the use of the drop shot became more and more frequent as he played from one MS to another see him trying things out ...sometimes he digs a hole so deep that he cant claw his way back ... but a loss is a loss ....however its not something he looses sleep on .
Slams on the other hand .....Fed is very different ......just my 2 cents ...


fedexfan , 6/9/09 11:10 AM


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