• Nadal loses his golf touch as tennis improves

    8/8/09 9:41 PM | Johan Lindahl
    Nadal loses his golf touch as tennis improves Rafael Nadal approaches next week's injury comeback at the Montreal Masters with some worries about the state of his knees, but can still can still crack a joke as he awaits his first test on a match court.

    While he reluctantly sat out the sport over the past two and a half months, the world No. 2 had a chance to polish his golf game. But the 23-year-old laments that as form on the links improves, his skills on the court drop.

    "It's terrible. Since I resumed tennis 100 percent, my swing got faster and my last days on golf course have been disastrous", he told Spanish media. "When I don’t play tennis on regular basis, my golf improves".

    "But, as soon as I return to racket, I am awful with golf clubs".

    Nadal, whose bye in the Canadian first round leaves him extra time to try and find his game on the practise court, was in touch with his other sporting love, football, in the days before leaving his home island of Mallorca.

    Among those to wish him well, Real Madrid's new signing from Man United. "Cristiano Ronaldo told I'm still his No. 1. I congratulated him for his move to Madrid", said Nadal..

    "After Federer won Cristiano sent me a message saying I am still No. 1 for him. That was the first message that I received".

Tell a friend »


now that's what you call a true friend, through good times and bad times! you're still number #1 for me and many others too, rafa!

memi , 8/9/09 4:09 AM

vamos rafael

hope u get better for the us open......

vrael , 8/9/09 4:57 AM

That is a great guy
Rafa WILL always be number 1 xxx

sals3 , 8/9/09 10:59 AM

i dont think Mr. CR should have problems in remembering Nadal as number 2 because he only was number one for what? ten months ?he didnt make it even for a whole year.
Seems like Nadal is missing his number one already?
and yeah about CR: Nadal is so good in being number 2 behind Federer as much as good he is number 2 behind Messi, he should know more than anybody after all ..................................................."mesries love company"

tennislover , 8/9/09 11:00 AM

it's probably more important to just keep winning the major tournaments. this being the case, the rankings take care of themselves.

i dont think CR's 'opinions' (shall we say) hold that much weight bearing in mind whilst he is a talented footballer, he's too busy being trawled out of nightclubs at 3am, drunk, to be watching tennis. CR is NOT a credit to the sport of football in terms of his 'antics', whereas behaviour and etiquette of nadal and federer (whether they are both no. 1 or no. 2) are to be applauded.

maxi , 8/9/09 12:39 PM

Ronaldo so humble, so true(in ny case too)

jaskarans , 8/9/09 12:45 PM

Rafa is a very respectful and humble person. I think he doesn't mind being No2 to Federer because he sees Federer as his big brother, so maybe he thinks it's how it should be. That is not to say that he wouldn't try and beat Roger everytime, because he is also a fighter and loves winning.

carrie , 8/9/09 1:00 PM

carrie - i agree with you. rafa is exceptionally respectful and humble to all players (except soderling) - there is a history there - i dont think any love lost there at all - but i do believe that federer and nadal lift each others game - i am not a big fan of h2h because i think there are so many other factors to take into account - i just love watching these two guys in the final - my heart pumps at its fastest ever rate - even when they both go to the net and the coin is tossed - i love everything about these two guys - they are great for tennis and rafa has been missed - even federer said that - that's why i feel federer is also such a gentleman -

maxi , 8/9/09 1:15 PM

carrie , 8/9/09 2:06 PM

I don't know why this just occurred to me, but does golf affect the knees? Could it have aggravated Rafa's tendinitis? I think it's a twisting motion on the swing. He needs to lay off the golf, imo. Just sayin'.

Rafterfan , 8/9/09 3:40 PM

in respect to carrie post: The respect between them (Nadal and Federer) is quite unbelievable to be able to play your best competitor and respect his greatness is not something you can expect everybody to have, in any career you would have competition ,that drives you to be the best , but those guys not only produce the best but make you think of raising your own standers of competition, seriously

tennislover , 8/9/09 4:03 PM

Not much to say here.... I guess that the fact that he's able to play golf indicates that his knees aren't hurting with normal movements - that's good.
As for 'tennislover's comments... they kind of go against his pseudo, don't you think?. He seems to be genuinely happy that Nadal 'didn't make it even for a whole year' as Nr.1 (this in itself is very funny since - to begin with- most Nadal detractors [like 'tennislover' is , make no mistake] always claimed that Rafa never had it in him to become Nr.1 in the first place.
This seems to me as a very funny way of portraying your 'love' for tennis 'tennislover'.

Shireling , 8/9/09 4:15 PM

tennislover, i'm sorry to rain on your parade, but the greatest thing about rafa becoming #1 is not how long it lasted, but how he got there in an era when he had to compete against arguably the "greatest player ever" (roger federer) to get there. now, that's what testifies to rafa's greatness! if he could snatch #1 away from roger and then maintain a favorable head-to-head statistics in a era dominated by roger, what else can i say! self-explanatory!

memi , 8/9/09 7:07 PM

Memi- I couldn't agree more. I just can't wait to see him play again. I have been in withdrawals and little depressed since he lost at the French Open.

jayhu , 8/9/09 7:41 PM

Sorry if it hit a nerve or something, take it easy falks , i said earlier that Nadal is good in being number 2 behind Federer I didn?t say he was a bad player ,2nd ranked is still good you know, and I referred to RESPECT in my second post after reading his interview in carrie?s post. which is there between them not about the ranking issues. And I didn?t mention the length of period he was number one there.
Yes, it think that being number two for 5 years then being number 1 for just ten months is not great, yes I think waiting a draw to come out to make a descion about competing or not is not appropriate, and yes I think bouncing a ball for a thousand times before every shot is embracing and yes I think that mentioning physical status after each loss is not the best thing about Nadal. But hayeh is 6 GS slam champ and he is only 23, am not fan of his tennis but I appreciate champions as the whole world does!
Parade, I liked your post memi, but I made no parades, I just said my opinion about Nadal vs. Federer in matter of consistency and respect in the first one I said Roger is much much better and about the respect I said both of them are great, read again, no contradictions , and about these two issues anybody with decent functioning number of brain cells will think the same.

tennislover , 8/9/09 10:36 PM

You guys analyze this:

Nadal takes stock for U.S. Open bidComment Email Print Share Reuters

MONTREAL -- Spain's Rafael Nadal fears he won't be fully fit for the U.S. Open despite making his return to action in next week's Montreal Masters.

Nadal has been out of action for two months with knee problems during which time he lost his French Open and Wimbledon titles and world No. 1 ranking to Swiss rival Roger Federer.

"I can't tell you if I'll be 100 percent for the U.S. Open," Nadal told Reuters in an exclusive interview on Friday.

"It depends on many factors but clearly, I'll work as hard as I can try to be in condition there. But most of all, I want to make sure my knees respond well.

? After two months outside of competition it's always tough to come back after an injury. But I am going to be ready to work very hard as soon as possible.

-- Rafael Nadal

"Once I know my knees will repond well, I can train well, I can compete with greater calm and that's what will give me, little by little, the confidence to train at the maximum level," he said.

The U.S. Open, the only grand slam that Nadal has yet to win, starts on Aug. 31 at Flushing Meadows, N.Y.

The Spaniard has been suffering from tendinitis in both knees and has not played a competitive match since being knocked out in the fourth round of the French Open by Swede Robin Soderling on May 31.

Nadal pulled out of Wimbledon just three days before the tournament began but said he was now ready to begin the fight back to his best form.

"I arrived at two very important tournaments this season, Roland Garros [French Open] and Wimbledon without my best condition," Nadal said. "But for the rest I am here and I am very happy to come back on court with the best motivation to work hard to try to play my best tennis as soon as possible.

"I know it's going to be tough in the beginning because after two months outside of competition it's always tough to come back after an injury. But I am going to be ready to work very hard as soon as possible."

Nadal has blamed his injuries on the congested calendar for leading players but said it would be a tough process to reform the schedule.

"Well, it's clear that the calendar can't be perfect for everyone but I think that we -- the players, the ATP -- are working hard to try to develop the best possible calendar for the players and for the tournaments," he said.

"I think that everyone knows that starting on January 1 and ending on December 5 is too long of a calendar, but it's not easy to fix because there are many tournament interests at play and everything is very difficult. We can't scorn any tournament.

"We must try to find the best possible solution that more or less pleases everyone."

Nadal could face the ultimate fitness and mental test in Montreal, with Federer confirming on Friday that he would compete in the event.

chr18 , 8/9/09 10:48 PM

tennislover, it's all good! i can understand your point because i'm not a fan of roger's tennis. i think he's very boring and that he dominated in a weak era, especially prior to rafa stepping up to the plate and exposing him, i also think that's it's a shame for the #2 player (rafa) to have such an edge on the #1 player (roger), especially when the #1 player is declared the "greatest ever." but wins are wins, right? i, too think that it is a matter of consistency that rafa has been able to hold the #2 spot for so long and then ascend to #1..! in reference to injuries, i felt that roger mentioning his sickness as a consequence of his losses was not the best thing. further, i believe that if nadal bounces the ball for a million times, but was not the champion he is, it would not concern you or anyone else. i think the nadal's "ball bouncing" is used as another excuse for why he has been so successful against roger and others. at any rate, rafa is well-respected and respects others! so, i must steal a line from your writing, "anybody with a descent functioning number of brain cells would say the same." anyway, i like your post!

memi , 8/9/09 11:30 PM

The way I think there is nothing such " weak era" , if you remember Aggasi had many problems during Sampras era was away for long time sure ofcoure there was Goga and Chang but there was no consistency in their performance , on the other hand when Roger made it to the top there was Roddick as number 1 and then Safin ,sure the two of them had their problems but you know why: Roger was so good in eliminating their threat to the minimum, that is the key, I don?t know about the boring part I read about that in many places though, Roger for me was the silent doer , which is the most appealing part of his game, make it look so easy to the point where you think : he doesn?t deserve all of that ?he doesn?t even sweat? its ridiculous! But know what is so good about that: that his opponents done their max but still not good enough, then came Nadal so hungry so determined he figured him out (thanks to Toni) and he made the un doable thing , beat Roger in a slam, but you know what price he paid for that: his knees, he destroyed his body when he done the needed adjustments to his game to win AO, that what it took him: losing number 1 after trying so hard to get it. So on the long run (which years from now) H2H issue will effect Nadal much more than Federer, and time will prove that, numbers will prove that, and the number we should all remember now is 15 GS , numbers do not lie?????.. peace!

tennislover , 8/10/09 9:48 AM

tennislover, i agree with you. i enjoy reading memi's posts -

but when i read anyone talking about federer playing in a 'weak' era it is just completely untrue (imo). there are quite a few journos out there who have written articles on this so-called 'weak' era and shot this 'theory' down in flames. safin,roddick,hewitt,agassi,sampras to name but a few, all grand slam winners and no. 1 as well at one point - in fact both federer and roddick are the only two players during the last 10 years who have consistently been in the top ten of the atp rankings, (omitting roger's achievements for now), roddick's game is even better than ever, how he has 'reinvented' his game is awesome. (in my view, roddick can NEVER be discounted and so to say that fed was playing roddick in a weak era? i dont buy it), federer has had his battles with incredibly talented players and proved that he has that special something to come through when his back is against the wall. True that nadal is massively important to tennis and has beaten fed 13 times, but rafa is ONE player and has had more losses in terms of lower ranked players, than federer, but that still doesn't detract from rafa being one of the best players that tennis has ever seen.

maxi , 8/10/09 10:58 AM

Yeah, numbers do not lie! 13-7 H2H Rafa over Roger.

phoenix , 8/10/09 11:29 AM

chr18, my analysis is that no one knows if they'll be 100% for the USO, it's just a common sense answer. Rafa knows that people hang on his every word, so he has to be cautious about what he says. Not even you know if yu'll be 100% fit for anything in a couple of months time.

carrie , 8/10/09 11:45 AM

Federer lost a lot for years after he turned pro, it's just that the players who beat him regularly then are no longer playing so we don't get to see their h2h, that's all. He turned pro in 1998 when he was 17, and never really made any inroads until he was about 22, by which time Rafa had won 6 GS titles and the rest.

carrie , 8/10/09 11:53 AM

Just to share a tidbit from an article at Bleacher Report by Xeno-philous F:
"Roger?s 80 percent of the titles (12 out of 15) came from the same Slams that Rafa played. So, one could add these 12 to Roger?s total H2H, in which Rafa lost long before the finals, which should be counted as less favorable than H2H (interpret H2H as reaching the finals, at least since the time Rafa has been number 2 or 1)."

happyspectator , 8/10/09 12:36 PM

Here's the link to the whole article: cles/226249-logical-flaw-in-the-interpretation-of-rafas-13-7-h2h

Pr etty good read and interesting analysis.

happyspectator , 8/10/09 12:39 PM

thank you happyspectator that is exactly what i meant.

tennislover , 8/10/09 1:19 PM

I wasn't trying to predict Nadal's fitness level carrie. There's a part of the article that says ,"Nadal blamed his injuries on the congested calendar for leading players...". He sets his own schedule and nobody forced him to play all those tournaments in the past. It's just another excuse, that was my point. Perhaps he has learned his lesson and will lighten up his schedule next year.

chr18 , 8/10/09 2:23 PM


Talk about clutching at straws!

carrie , 8/10/09 2:51 PM

I agree that it's unfair to say that Federer's domination came because of a 'weak era' - this is not true, there have been many good players but just not as consistent and as good as ambitious as Federer.
I still totally disagree with 'tennislover' though - I mean, anybody who believes that a tennis player (regardless of his name, nationality or football asociation), who's held for years the Nr 2 ATP ranking spot (never been done in ATP era) and more than 10 months as Nr 1 is 'not great' is clearly not an objective tennis fan - that's all there is to it.
As far as happyspectator's addition , it's an interesting article but it doesn't really make a lot of sense to me - I mean 'less favorable than H2H', give me a break guys! what part of H2H do you not understand exactly?

Shireling , 8/10/09 3:03 PM

in a gist.....if both players entered the same tournament, losing in a final is better than not reaching the final round at all....hence, when invoking the H2H, it should be noted that there are 12 tourneys which Nadal participated but was not good enough (lost in the earlier rounds) to reach the finals in which was eventually won by Federer. H2H could only be invoked if it would come such a time when both have an equal number of GS wins.

happyspectator , 8/10/09 3:22 PM

and a pretty good analysis from Mr Tom Go, one of the commenters of that particular article:
"Any fair measure must have regular tools not random tools, for example, I can put the H2H between Real Madrid and Barcelona in the Spanish league as a fair measure, because both of them must play each other 2 matches in the season, one match in Real?s court and the other in Barcelona?s , And whatever the ranking of Real Madrid and Barcelona ..
But in our game, we have not the regular tools, I can meet you 3 times in one year, and 1 time in three years, so if I was the greatest player in those three years I would defeat you just one time, but if I was not in a good case in that year you would defeat me 3 times, in spite of being better than you for 3 years ..!!. "

happyspectator , 8/10/09 3:28 PM

happyspec - yes i have read this article too! and it is hugely entertaining and interesting to put a different angle on things - thanks for that.

carrie - thanks. i hear what you say. however, i think from my part, roger's problem earlier on this year (you know, in his head), was to try to overcome rafa and he did -mentally, in madrid - albeit a masters event. nevertheless. a win is a win. what he now needs to do is to beat rafa in a slam. the problem is carrie, what if rafa doesn't reach the final of 'that' slam and roger does? it seems that he has had to prove so much to so many doubters for 12 months now that no matter what he does, i.e. change his game, win a masters, make finals of AO, win FO, win wimby and go on to defend the USO, if rafa doesn't make that final, then roger is always going to be at a disadvantage with those rafa fans out there who say that, 'roger only won because rafa wasn't there'. does that make sense? I just feel that roger should be applauded for turning a corner and proving to the doubters that he is still a force to be reckoned with - and surely - if roger has made it further through a tournament and rafa hasn't, then that is because 'on the day', rafa (or roger), were defeated by a better opponent 'on the day'.

i think the fact that federer has been so consistent in slams, having reached 21 consecutive semi final slams and 16 (or is it 17 now?), final slams is so awesome, but i do agree to an extent that for federer (in his own mind), should rafa reach a final slam again against roger, then roger has to adapt his mindset and beat rafa. hope i have explained that carrie.

there are some brilliant comments over on tennis.x where some of the posters have the same argument over and over again about this h2h, you should go on and have a look.
but to be honest carrie, i enjoy watching both rafa and roger play hugely, their styles being so different and i hope that your guy comes back a strong force for all his fans. i am sure he will. i posted Kelli on her article about what she thought - if you haven't already - go read her comments on the other thread - interesting.

maxi , 8/10/09 3:40 PM

@ carrie - nope, no straws to clutch choose what you want to see.....and i'm definitely not in the intention of changing you or the other Nadal fans' assured that no argument could change my opinion as thing i could definitely conclude though - fans are blind.....^^

happyspectator , 8/10/09 3:41 PM

This Bleacher Report seeks to make Rafa the bogey man, by suggesting that if players lose to him in the latter stages of a tournament, the win shouldn't count in the h2h because they would have avoided meeting him if they had lost in earlier rounds, even though they would have performed less well by doing so, but by playing well, they have allowed Nadal to increase his h2h against them. What a twisted logic, even interpreting it here has left my head in a spin, because it is such a load of rubbish.

During the years that Rafa failed to make the latter stages to enable him to play Federer, he was a very young player learning his craft, just like it took Roger 5 years to get his titles going, by the way, it didn't take Rafa that long. The writer failed to take the age gap into account. It's like stacking up Nadal's achievements at the moment against some young player who might be his nemesis in time to come, when the young player is only now just starting out.

The ATP is not as neutral to the H2H as they are to the GOAT. Why would they show the head to head on the website if they didn't think it mattered. The one thing I have never seen on the ATP website is anything to do with GOAT, because it cannot be measured. If this article was not an exercise in making a case for Federer's GOATness, then what is the point of it.

The H2H between Nadal/Hrbaty, Blake, Nalbandian is irrelevant because those samples are not large enough to come to any conclusion. but a sample of 20 is plenty big enough to see who is a better player. Nadal has played Hrbaty four times and Hrbaty has won 3 including 1 Rafa reitrement. The last time they played in 2008, Rafa beat him 6:1 6:2; Rafa and Blake have played 5 times, with Blake leading 3:2, but he hasn't beaten Rafa since 2006, and Rafa has beaten him the last two times, with Nalbandian, they have only played 3 times with Nalbandian leading 2:1, hardly a sample, and the last match they played, Rafa beat him 6:0 in the final set. Rafa has never played a 5 setter against Nalbandian or Hrbaty, and has only once played a 5 setter against Blake.

This analogy is so flawed, I could go on and on pulling it apart.

carrie , 8/10/09 3:44 PM

why won't you post this at B/R? it is a good argument and the author is quite accomodating to those who give comments.

happyspectator , 8/10/09 3:50 PM

...just one more thing, which could be said about any player or rivalry or H2H for that matter - past performance doesn't guarantee future success.

happyspectator , 8/10/09 4:02 PM

@ carrie: why won't you post this at B/R? it is a good argument and the author is quite accomodating to those who give comments.

happyspectator , 8/10/09 4:11 PM

"if rafa doesn't make that final, then roger is always going to be at a disadvantage with those rafa fans out there who say that, 'roger only won because rafa wasn't there'."

And if Rafa DOES make it to the final and Roger wins anyway, Maxi, then the Rafa tards will say, "well, he wasn't quite at 100 percent this time, you know, like in Madrid." There's no sense trying to reason with tards to get them to concede a point, because blind faith doesn't do reason or concession.

SenorPlaid , 8/10/09 4:15 PM

Again from the same article by Xeno-philous F:

If used in the measurement of two players or to determine the place of one player or both in the history of tennis under the circumstance that both are still active players at the top of their games, H2H violates the spirit of the Open Era. At best, the true value of H2H lies in predicting matches, less reliable in Grand Slams due to their 5-setter format.
ATP and ITF have embedded the H2H device in their websites for exclusively that purpose, so it is fair to say that H2H is limited to match-predicting entertainment at this point.

happyspectator , 8/10/09 4:18 PM


Look who is talking, have you forgotten the mono excuse?

carrie , 8/10/09 4:28 PM

Let's do away with all mitigating circumstances and stick to the bare facts - 13:7 to Rafa, SIMPLE!!!!!!!!

carrie , 8/10/09 4:36 PM

happy, yes. i see what you are saying. i think the article from bleacher throws an entirely different angle on matters which can also be seen as credible (provided you see it from the same angle), i just found the whole article interesting.

carrie. you are very lucky, rafa is playing tonight at 9.30 in the doubles against novak. you'll be able to see his movement, etc. also i read that he is playing doubles with his interim coach - as uncle toni is still in spain and will join rafa in a week's time. rafa is doing this to get the practice in.

maxi , 8/10/09 4:37 PM


I'm not sure Rafa's doubles match will be televised in the UK on Sky, and I haven't had much luck watching tennis on the internet.

carrie , 8/10/09 5:06 PM

Does anyone knows of a site where I can watch tennis on the internet in the UK?

carrie , 8/10/09 5:12 PM

you can 'live stream', if you get on to any of the sports sites on the internet you should be able to find a tennis link and live stream, tho' you may have to pay a fee.

maxi , 8/10/09 5:19 PM

Tnx maxi.

carrie , 8/10/09 5:42 PM

carrie, bare facts: GS count 15:6... :D

torres9 , 8/10/09 6:04 PM



GS: 5-2

homos , 8/10/09 6:07 PM

15:6 GS
241 No.1 (238b2b)

torres9 , 8/10/09 6:19 PM

"SenorPlaid, Look who is talking, have you forgotten the mono excuse?"

And the number of times I've used the said excuse to defend Federer is precisely ... zero. So, what of it? An excuse is an excuse.

"Let's do away with all mitigating circumstances and stick to the bare facts - 13:7 to Rafa, SIMPLE!!!!!!!!"

OK, but why don't we stick to ALL of the bare facts -- and this goes out to all Rafa tards -- while we're at it and not just cherrypick about the only one that favors your boy, huh?

Just to complete the record, let's enter these bare facts into the discussion -- Since Jan. 1, 2005, which was the start of Nadal's breakthrough year, Grand Slam championships: Federer 11, Nadal 6; Slam finals: Federer 16, Nadal 8; Masters Cup titles: Federer 2, Nadal 0; Total titles: Federer 38, Nadal 35; Total finals: Federer 52, Nadal 44. Weeks at No. 1 as of today: Federer 196, Nadal 43; Years finishing No. 1: Federer 3, Nadal 1.

If you want to eliminate 2005 with the excuse that Nadal was still just getting his feet wet at that point, that cuts the above records to Federer 9-5 in Slams, 13-7 in Slam finals, 1-0 in Master Cup titles, 27-24 in total titles, 40-32 in finals, 144-43 in weeks at No. 1 and 2-1 in Years at No. 1. It doesn't reverse any of the outcomes.

The only place where Nadal holds the edge besides H2H is in Masters titles: 15 to 11 (11 to 7 since 2006); they're tied 18 to 18 in finals reached (14-13, Federer, since 2006).

And as for the H2H, one could argue that it's merely a clay thing: Nadal is 9-2 on clay but Federer actually has the better H2H -- 5-4 -- on any surface that's not clay.

None of this is meant to diminish Nadal -- who is a bona fide tennis stud -- in any way, but if you're going to constantly harp on one, ONE, element of the record, honesty demands equal time to the rest of the record. And the rest of the record shows that during Nadal's heyday thus far, Federer's accomplishments take a back seat to no one's, including Rafa.

SenorPlaid , 8/10/09 6:24 PM

We go back to the same argument, it took Roger a lot longer to get started once he turned pro, when he was winning some of his titles Rafa was a mere twinkle in the eyes of tennis, he was learning the craft.

Finally, we get to 13:7, end of............

carrie , 8/10/09 6:32 PM

senor, what a wonderfully astute, eloquent post from you. a great read. all factually correct, tho' fed i thought (correct me if i am wrong), was 4 yrs 8mths at number 1, not 3 years or have i miscalculated? i dont know why we all cant accept that rafa and roger are super champs and just respect them both but for different reasons.
tennis most definitely needs and wants rafa, and that goes for all other players on the tour - they all add their own bit of spice, but to my mind, federer is just a star. he shines above all others especially in terms of his consistency on the tour. roll on usopen, but am looking to see how all the players are playing in montreal as they have all had a 'longish' break - i know some of them have been playing the smaller tournaments, but the top four having had an extended break - all back - and hopefully fresh and raring to go.

maxi , 8/10/09 6:36 PM

haha... carrie, you wanted it to be simple and then diverted back to analyzing the statistics again.

Make up your mind, woman

torres9 , 8/10/09 6:50 PM

Why am I so blind to see that Federer is more a star than Rafa?

carrie , 8/10/09 6:53 PM is my opinion...i just feel that federer shines for me. that's all. rafa is still a star, but doesn't shine as brightly for me - or rather shines in a different way - i love them both - but fed has that bit extra. it's all good fun.

maxi , 8/10/09 7:14 PM

happyspectator, interesting info from bleachers'! did the bleacher report also inform you that roger federer won his first major(wimbledon) in 2003 at around the age of 22, while nadal was only 17 years old and just breaking into the top 50! i don't remember exactly, but i don't think rafa even played 2002 wimbledon. that's my point, who was there to consistently challenged roger before rafa became a factor. bleacher report is right about one thing, rafa probably played in the same tournaments, but he was just a baby, crawling, if you know what i mean! he hadnt learned to walk yet. i suggest before you continue to publish information that you think support your claim, you might want to apply some rational thinking!

memi , 8/10/09 7:49 PM

btw, happyspectator, of course you think the H2H has no value, because anything that doesn't favor roger has no value!

memi , 8/10/09 7:55 PM

Haha memi... the bleacher report thing was just too powerful for you to counter so you have to put the age thing which you deemed irrelevant in the X-factor thread as no one can control it.

Aren't we talking about Rafa, the one who is so great at such a young age? Isn't it fair to expect him to compete with Fed even at a young age?

torres9 , 8/10/09 7:56 PM

torres, yes it is, only in your twisted mine!

memi , 8/10/09 8:05 PM

"We go back to the same argument, it took Roger a lot longer to get started once he turned pro, when he was winning some of his titles Rafa was a mere twinkle in the eyes of tennis, he was learning the craft.

Finally, we get to 13:7, end of............"

And the beat goes on ... (what did I say earlier about reason and concession?)

In my above post, I chose the results only from the year 2005 on (or 2006 on), because that's really when one could start to say that Federer and Nadal were equals in the sport. Obviously Federer's record before then is vastly superior (and so is his overall record), but it's not really relevant to the issue at hand.

As to your point, memi, consider this: Federer turned pro in 1999 (really, his first event was in 98, but it was a one-time deal). He won his first Slam four years later during his breakout year of 2003. Nadal turned pro in 2001 and won his first Slam four years later during his breakout year of 2005. No difference there. The age difference (Federer was 18 when turning pro; Nadal, almost 15) is irrelevant, because different people mature at different stages. You can't draw any conclusions to that. Sure, it also means that Nadal is ahead of Federer was at the same age, but given HOW Nadal wins and his related injury problems, it remains an open question whether he'll have the career endurance to catch up overall.

SenorPlaid , 8/10/09 8:12 PM

SenorPlaid, nadal's longevity is not my concern! i don't control the future or how long nadal will last? i'm reporting what has already taken place! common sense tells me to compare players on "equal playing fields"; that is, when both have established themselves as worthy challengers/contenders! the reality is, no player starts the tour walking, they have to crawl first! it would be unfair to compare players when they are getting started! i didn't expect roger to beat sampras or agassi the year he turned pro or the year after! it's not rational! anyway, i'm not an expert on "career endurance." i'll you guys predict that! i try to comment on the past & present, i don't know the future!

memi , 8/10/09 8:29 PM

@memi: If a person is confident to enter a professional tournament, then age/inexperience MUST NEVER be used as an excuse if he loses or if the loss affects his stat.......that is rational thinking. Applicable to Nadal, likewise to Federer. So chill out, dude.

happyspectator , 8/10/09 8:53 PM

PS- If you have a beef with the article (which i think the title is quite clear where the author stands with regards to the subject matter), i suggest you comment at B/R.....

happyspectator , 8/10/09 9:07 PM

"btw, happyspectator, of course you think the H2H has no value, because anything that doesn't favor roger has no value!"

The H2H has value but not as much as you would want me to put it. It shows me that Nadal is a terrific player, a strong opponent to Federer, a great champion in his own right. But greater? Sorry, i would say no because he needs to have an as sterling or better record against the other players as well. At this point in time, he does not....

happyspectator , 8/10/09 9:15 PM

wow. guys. this is just like tennis.x! i dont think it really matters how any player starts out. surely it is how they compete and ultimately finish their matches? bleacher is a great site and happyspec. i enjoyed reading your posts here about THAT article! i agree with you. the author made himself very clear at the start, in his first two sentences actually. the full article needs to be read as well as the comments i think before a full analysis can be given.

maxi , 8/10/09 9:28 PM

happyspectator, if you think a player should be expected to start out on a professional tour beating established players, then, case closed, you have no understanding of how it works! no need for me to waste words on someone whose insight is that limited!

memi , 8/10/09 9:29 PM

memi, if you expect a player to win 20 Slams in a row on all type of surfaces, then you dont know how it works, too

torres9 , 8/10/09 10:37 PM

@ maxi: welcome to TT ^^. Just started out myself here a few weeks ago. The discussions here do get spirited sometimes. Re the article, so true that you need to read it thru because the analysis are based on the numbers and actual data, even the comments are quite insightful.

@memi, Nadal DID turned pro right? and there's a distinction being a professional player right? Just in case that YOU don't get it, you need to be GOOD ENOUGH to make it as a living. SO, that's where the best players are, on the pro circuit.
ps: please stop insulting or putting down the understanding of other posters because it just make your statements dismissive, unreasonable, BITTER and WEAK.

happyspectator , 8/11/09 12:24 AM

If you have an issue with the article or have an analysis of your own, then please make a comment at B/R where it is originally posted and have a proper discussion. The author is quite a terrific guy who responds fairly and respectfully.

happyspectator , 8/11/09 12:35 AM

happyspec, memi and carrie doesn;t have the balls to go face that author who clearly showed that referring to h2h is a flawed way of seeing who's better.

They would be gunned down so bad, they might go crazy from the realization that their thinking are shallow so I really wouldn't want them to spar with the author coz I never wished for anyone to get injured even in the mental department... LOL

torres9 , 8/11/09 1:47 AM


happyspectator , 8/11/09 2:36 AM

absolutely, torres, i can't speak for carrie, but i'm shaking in my boots! feel better now!

happyspectator, i didn't read the article, you did! in all due respect to the writers of bleachers, they are only mere mortals as are we! even some of them aren't able to separate their personal feelings/subjectivity from professional objectivity. therefore, i read carefully and decide for myself what message i think articles are sending! i fail to see what the problem is, i support rafa and you support roger, you believe what you want about roger, and i believe what i want about rafa, i voice my opinions, you voice yours. i'm never bothered by how you defend roger. i may challenge it, but quite frankly, i'm ok with your opinions of roger! it just doesn't affect me in my support of rafa! that's pretty simple, isn't it?

memi , 8/11/09 5:21 AM

Crystal! ^^ and that has been my stand before and i've stated it in one of the earlier post: I am not in the intention of changing your minds. Just sharing articles i've come across with regards to the subject matter. (and i don't resort to insults.)

"i didn't read the article, you did!" - and here you are entering a discussion with no knowledge what the article is all about and just dismiss it off hand........DOH! 'nuff said! ><

happyspectator , 8/11/09 5:39 AM

happyspectator, no problem at all!

memi , 8/11/09 7:11 AM

The author is expressing an opinion, obviously he is a Fedfan, so he is looking at the facts with a bias. Just like Fedfans objected to Kelli's article about Rafa's X-Factor, Rafans, simply do not accept this persons analogy that 13:7 is not a measure of who is a better player between two people. Forget the 15:6 GS etc, Roger did not have to beat Rafa to get a good chunck of his GS titles, is it 13 of them, can't remember, but I think Roger has only beaten Rafa twice in GS finals.

13:7 is the final answer!!!!!!!!!!

carrie , 8/11/09 8:49 AM

carrie...i hope you got to see your man play in doubles. youtube show rafa to be playing well and with good movement - no problems there then.

i think it was senorplaid or torres who talked about h2h, and no one can argue carrie with what you said about there being a 13:7. however, if i could add to that, i think it is important to say that rafa has not made all GS finals and so by definition, roger could not have faced him in that final. secondly, even though roger won FO this year, i dont think that anyone can dispute that rafa is still the 'king of clay'. to say otherwise would be a joke. having said that, how wonderful for roger to have clinched his first FO this year and be only 1 of 6 men to be in the enviable position of having a slam on a different surface over his career. with clay, this is where most of rafa's slam success has come. equally, roger has a 5:4 majority over rafa on hard court and grass. no one can argue with that either.

personally, i think that 13:7 needs to be dissected in terms of whether hard/grass/clay. this can then assist the player in identifying the weaker area of their game and their team can then analyse it and concentrate on that weakness in order to improve for next time - dont you think?

More than that, i think it is also important to recognise the amount of effort that rafa has put into his game and what it has taken to beat roger. rafa plays tennis like his life depends on it - every game - that is why he is a joy to watch - he is a trojan - equally federer has had to adapt his game in order to beat rafa this year - at madrid - they bring out the best in each other. we shouldnt slate them as tennis players, we should be happy that we can witness two great players and support them both without slagging the other off. what's the point?

maxi , 8/11/09 9:14 AM

I have no intention of slagging Roger off, but unfortunately, to disagree with some of the claims made by his fans which take away from Rafa's achievements, I am forced to overlook his achievements. No one can deny that Roger is a big beast in tennis, and he that he holds the most titles in modern tennis history, but no one can also deny that a 13:7 win ratio doesn't signify who is the better player.

carrie , 8/11/09 11:01 AM

carrie, i love reading your posts because i can tell that you have a lot of passion for your man - rafa - and i think that is wonderful - good for you.

i am going to take the bit where you say that roger is a beast in tennis - oops - a 'big beast in tennis'. I like that carrie. very much. you see, the way that i see it with h2h (and i said this when i first posted a week or so ago, ) that i am not really that big into h2h, because i dont believe that does show the better 'overall' player. it's like saying that james blake is a better player than rafa when clearly he isn't. because he has a better h2h. i think from my viewpoint, there are only two dominating forces out there on the circuit and that is roger and rafa. they dominate. they are the draw pullers. every time. of course that is not to take away from the others, i like watching novak, i like watching murray, i hugely, hugely, like watching roddick, del potro and also i have a bit of a soft spot for monfils and tsonga, but i see them more as showmen (great tennis players, of course but i think with their game, they almost 'need' the crowd to bring out their A game. roger and rafa don't. they play how they play. different men, different styles, but THEY bring out the best in each other. fact.

in my view carrie, any 'real' tennis fan doesn't have to wish the worst/slag off rafa and if people do that, then they are not true tennis fans. the same goes for roger. what both men bring to the sport is awesome indeed. awesome. but even though i take your point about the h2h, there is so much more to it. on paper, yes, rafa rules the waves in terms of matches, there is NO denying that, but surely at the end of the day, it's about the finishing line and no one can argue that when we are talking about slams - roger rules the waves against rafa 15:6.

maxi , 8/11/09 12:34 PM


You see, I don't buy the comparison in GS titles, simply because it like saying a 21 year old has more qualifications than a 15 year old, but if the 15 year old constantly tops the 21 year old in direct competition testing them at the same level of what the 21 year old has more qualifications in, then you can't not give the 15 year old due credit for that.

carrie , 8/11/09 12:45 PM

Nope carrie, 15:6 GS is the final answer. Clearly you did not read the article to know that reaching finals is better than to have a better h2h than your rival.

I am sure Fed would rather have 15 GS than have a better h2h against Nadal. Fact is, the reason why he won 13 GS without facing Nadal just show that Nadal is not as good as Fed.

torres9 , 8/11/09 2:52 PM

I'm thinking "13:7" goes on Carrie's tombstone, no?

Carrie, seriously, your one-note argument is getting so old that even Methuselah's tired of it. We get it: You love Rafa unconditionally and hate Federer, and you're clinging to the one piece -- the ONE PIECE -- of evidence that puts Nadal ahead of Federer (at this point) while ignoring or rationalizing away every other piece of evidence that tilts Federer's way. You can sell 13:7 till the end of time, but the only one buying it is yourself.

SenorPlaid , 8/11/09 4:51 PM

Oh no I'm not, all Rafans are of the same opinion, ask memi, or Fan4tennis, Homos etc. I could say that you refuse to look at the facts too SenorPlaid. As for torres, I read the whole article, I just don't think this guy is such an authority that I cannot disagree with his warped analogy.

carrie , 8/11/09 5:22 PM

carrie, since it is said that we hate roger because we point out his weaknesses & failures, can it also be said that the same fans who accused us of hate, hate rafa for the same reason? or is it that they don't think what they do is the same thing! i never accused them of hating rafa, because i believe it is absurb to accuse someone of hate because they choose not to embrace the same things that i embrace. it's irrational! in my mind, there's a difference in "hate" and "pointing out imperfections in a player's game." i've come to the conclusion that most fedfans actually think the tour belongs to roger and everybody automatically should choose him. they don't seem to get that fans are free to choose whomever they wish to support and that everybody is not captivated by roger! all they know is the word "hate". if someone point out an obvious truth about federer, expect to hear the word "hate" attached! it's beyond me how their minds work i

memi , 8/11/09 6:52 PM

Ya know I had this real long yet snappy retort all ready to go, whereby I defend my willingness to examine the entire record and blast Carrie's refusal to do the same, but I didn't push the nuclear flame button. Why? Well, what good would that do? In the end, I'd probably just end up with my skin falling off due to radioactive fall out.

Carrie, I concede the battlefield today and look forward to the renewal of your one-thrust strategy elsewhere. With luck, maybe in another week you'll be able to repeat 14:7 over and over.

SenorPlaid , 8/11/09 7:43 PM


I hope you are right!

carrie , 8/11/09 8:08 PM

I so agree with you. I have never thought non Rafans hate Rafa, I just understand that they prefer Roger, or are not drawn to Rafa which they are free to do. I'm always shocked when I'm accused of hating Roger just because I express my opinion, which I am entitled to. Everyone has every right to put the point of view that is most favourable to the player they support, I'm all in for that.

I'm accused of having 13:7 emblazened on my bfrain, but they feel free to hang onto 15:6 and think there is nothing wrong with that, in fact that it is the gospel truth, even though it is a totally nebulous point of view.

I do enjoy the banter though, it's all in good fun, there are no more insults as was the case on this forum once. It is a pleasure to come on here now and say what I think even though I know not everyone agrees with me.

carrie , 8/11/09 8:20 PM

Nope... Gs is what everyone uses as the best indicator of greatness , not H2H... Anyone can beat 1 player 13 times, but to win 15 Slams is a different level

torres9 , 8/12/09 4:50 AM

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