• French Open draw - Federer with Djokovic

    5/25/12 12:28 PM | Ricky Dimon
    French Open draw - Federer with Djokovic The 2012 French Open draw was revealed on Friday in Paris. Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are once again on the same half of the bracket while potential semifinal opponents for Rafael Nadal include Andy Murray, David Ferrer, and John Isner.

    Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic landed in the same half of the draw when the 128-player French Open field was revealed during Friday's ceremony in Paris. As a result, a rematch of last year's blockbuster semifinal between two of the worlds top three players is potentially in the cards.

    If the seeds hold to form in each of the bracket's four sections, quarterfinal matchups would feature Djokovic vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Federer vs. Tomas Berdych, Andy Murray vs. David Ferrer, and Rafael Nadal vs. Janko Tipsarevic.

    Murray, however, is struggling at the moment and he finds himself in a deep quarter of the draw. The fourth-ranked Scot could face either Ferrer or John Isner in the quarters if he advances through four rounds. Possible early-round opponents for Murray (after opening with Tatsuma Ito) include Jarkko Nieminen, Bernard Tomic, and either Richard Gasquet or Alexandr Dolgopolov in round four.

    Federer's only danger in the entire first week is David Nalbandian, who could run into the world No. 3 in the second round. Nalbandian would have to defeat Adrian Ungur, while Federer should have no trouble with Tobias Kamke. Berdych may have to get past Juan Martin Del Potro in the fourth round if the Czech wants to set up a rematch of the Madrid final with Federer.

    As for Djokovic and Nadal, it should be smooth sailing into the semifinals. The only real intrigue in Djokovic's weak quarter is current comeback sensation Brian Baker as well as France's two top hopes in Tsonga and Gilles Simon. Nadal could meet Milos Raonic in the fourth round and a more likely quarterfinal opponent for the defending champ is Nicolas Almagro rather than Tipsarevic.

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Holy Sh!t !!!!! Cilic, Delpo, Berdych are in the same section and will battle to meet Fed in QF LOL

Let's Go Fedy!

OnTheRise , 5/25/12 12:48 PM

Nole and RAFA will sleep walk to SFs now.

Where are hooligans? those alleged favoritsm in GS draws.

sabs , 5/25/12 12:59 PM

OnTheRise, that's just what nadline and I wanted...;) Pity Isner and Raonic aren't there too.
Not sure Delpot is going to make waves. I think his fitness is a bit of an issue at the mo. But Berdych is another matter altogether.

deuce , 5/25/12 1:11 PM

djokovic's fraw in not easy hewit melzer then verdasco/davydenko then wawrinka/tsonga its not very easy imo federer's draw is also tricky with nalbandian then delpotro/berdych murray is also in difficulty nadal's draw is easy though

isfand , 5/25/12 1:18 PM

^^ djokovic gets melzer?? yikes, still haven't forgotten that fiasco two years ago.

mriiidula , 5/25/12 1:19 PM

for murray 3rd round tomic 4rth gasquet /dolgopolov qtr ferrer/isner

isfand , 5/25/12 1:23 PM

anybody missing Soderling among the mix already :( Monfils is a big loss too... he always manages to entertain us with some crazy rallies in RG

OnTheRise , 5/25/12 1:25 PM

nadal monaco/raonic 4th round for qtrs almagro/tipsaravic

isfand , 5/25/12 1:26 PM

somehow smooth sailings are never really smooth sailings. lets see how 'easy' nole's path really is.

mriiidula , 5/25/12 1:28 PM

Isfand are you serious, "Djokovic's draw is not easy"?? Djokovic's draw until the semi's is about as easy a draw as it is possible to get in a grand slam! at the moment!!

willmw101 , 5/25/12 1:29 PM

well i dont think its easy he continuously has challenging opponents that can wear you down and catch you off guarded on an OFF day

isfand , 5/25/12 1:31 PM

mriiidula, Nole fans worrying about Meltzer is surely a bit like Rafa fans worrying about Lopez....;) As for the others....Nole is just a bit improved from 2 years ago, just a bit
I expect to see Nole and Rafa in the final, though I think Nole may have to dispose of Big Bird first.

deuce , 5/25/12 1:32 PM

nadal for 7th title against federer/djokovic

isfand , 5/25/12 1:40 PM

I'm going to stick my neck out & say that Novak will win it.
Nadal's tactics revolve around attacking the Djoker's forehand ROS diminishing its overall venom.
It is not the same as attacking Federer's backhand at all as it is quite simply the best in the business.
Its a short term tactic & Novak will adapt to Nadal's serve in this tournament.
He's not the favourite going in either so there is, to me, less pressure as he has much less to lose and really everything to gain.
Yeah i think he might just bag it over a 5 set war of attrition.

Twinge , 5/25/12 1:48 PM

^^^Furthermore to win the FO is a fresher challenge than just defending title after title.
That is a wearying enterprise, the FO otoh is a brand new summit yet to be climbed.
But it won't be easy.

Twinge , 5/25/12 1:51 PM

^^^You can always find reasons to go with your wishes.

nadline , 5/25/12 1:59 PM

Good to see Berdy at the other half of the draw from Rafa. I'm hoping to see a Rafa/Berdy final, that Rome QF between the two was easily the best match this season on red clay. Berdy vs Fed QF at RG will be another block buster I hope. Berdych is the only player, IMO, who has the ability to beat the two top three guys (excluding Rafa) on clay, having came so close at MC and Madrid, beating a healthy Rafa at RG is another story. IMO, if not for the windy conditions at MC, which affected Berdy more than Nole, Berdy might have won that match. He was also narrowly beaten by Fed at Madrid, lost by only two or three points. He lost because of his inexperience in a Masters final, I feel. Could we see a repeat of Wimbledon 2010? Let's see.

luckystar , 5/25/12 2:03 PM

deuce, im not worried, i just...dont like it ;)
also seems like andy's doing fine now:

mriiidula , 5/25/12 2:12 PM

Rafa beat Nole at Rome not by hitting to Nole's forehand. Rafa didn't even have a good serve to begin with in that match, and he couldn't rely on his DTL forehand that day. Rafa used all his guile, his tactics and varieties to beat Nole that day - a drop shot, some net games, a well placed lob, to name a few. The thing with Rafa on clay, he simply is the best mover and best player on clay, he just knows how to exploit all the corners, all the angles and employs the right tactics against the right opponent. He plays differently against Berdych, against Ferrer and against Nole for example.

luckystar , 5/25/12 2:14 PM

"^^^You can always find reasons to go with your wishes.."

And reasons to go with my predictions.
Reasoning....such a nice thing to be able to do,
Eh Nads?

"Rafa beat Nole at Rome not by hitting to Nole's forehand. Rafa didn't even have a good serve to begin with in that match, and he couldn't rely on his DTL forehand that day..."

Despite the hype here from some
Neither Novak or Nadal have been consistently playing well this year esp against each other.
I predict that will change in just over 2 weeks from now.

Twinge , 5/25/12 2:23 PM

"Furthermore to win the FO is a fresher challenge than just defending title after title.
That is a wearying enterprise, the FO otoh is a brand new summit yet to be climbed."

It must also be a wearying enterprise for Novak to be on the same side of the draw with Fed AGAIN!!!!!!...........sigh!!!

I read somewhere that Boris Becker is beckoning Andy not to play at RG bcos of his back..........BB claims that Andy has no chance bcos clay is the worst surface for a player with a back injury!!!

Monfils has also withdrawn from RG (due to a knee injury) and so has Sod!!!

Cant wait for the start of RG...............wishing all the players, esp Rafa, a very good tourney!!


Monalysa , 5/25/12 2:26 PM

"BB claims that Andy has no chance bcos clay is the worst surface for a player with a back injury!!!

Andy has no chance period at RG.
Paris can get stuffed anyway, if Nadal is just going to sail right through it and win yet again i won't be watching, its just too predictable and dull.
Good for him and his fans, bad for everyone else.

Twinge , 5/25/12 2:30 PM

Saying Rafa and Nole haven't played well against each other this year is just not letting the facts get in the way of a good story. What do you call the AO? Rafa played his best match against Nole in MC and, don't give me the excuses.

nadline , 5/25/12 2:35 PM

^^I meant since the AO final
Of Course!
Although i don't buy the hype that it was one of the greatest match of all time blah blah. Or the longest when you take into account all of the time between points.
Which is more pertinent to where we find ourselves now.
As for excuses well a dead grandfather is certainly that.
But its a pretty good excuse, all things considered.
Do you seriously think they have been firing on all cylinders since the AO final?
its been almost `Murrayesque` in the sense of the spottiness of everything.

Twinge , 5/25/12 2:42 PM

Rafa is playing consistently well this clay season, except that blue clay tournament. He seemed inconsistent not because he couldn't play well but because of the caliber of his opponents in Ferrer, Berdych and Nole. Ferrer was very aggressive against Rafa this season on clay and Rafa had to use all of his defensive skills to beat Ferrer. Against Berdy, who served big and hit big and rushed to the net as much as possible, Rafa had to rely on his passing shots. Against Nole who could defend and attack so well, Rafa really had to rely on all the varieties that he had. Those three matches by Rafa were really highly entertsining for Rafa fans, as we were treated to three different styles of play by Rafa.

luckystar , 5/25/12 2:44 PM

Federer's Possible Opponents
1st Round- Kamke

2nd Round- Nalbandian

3rd Round- Roddick/Mahut

Round of 16- Stepanek/F Lopez

Quarters- Berdych/Del Potro
Semis- Djokovic/ Tsonga
FINAL- Nadal
Nadal's Possible Opponents
1st Round- Bolleli

2nd Round- Istomin

3rd Round- Mayer/Karlovic

Round of 16- Raonic/Monaco

Quarters- Almagro/ Tipsarevic
Semis- Murray/Ferrer

FINAL- Djokovic/ Federer/Berdych.

Djokovic'sPossible Opponents
1st Round- Starace

2nd Round- hewitt

3rd Round- Melzer

Round of 16- Seppi/Verdasco

Quarters- Tsonga/ Wawrinka/Simon

Semis- Federer/Del Potro/Berdych

Finals- Nadal

abhirf , 5/25/12 2:47 PM

^^^Nadal has been playing reasonably well in the CC season overall.
The mean of his performances clocking at a lower level than other years.
Novak, however, has not.
End Of.

Twinge , 5/25/12 2:48 PM

I just hope that the tennis will be great and that history will be made by our Rafa.

Vamous our Rafa & God bless.

schatz , 5/25/12 2:49 PM

Hey, as I said yesterday, Fed got Nole and Rafa has three non-rhythm hard servers in his path.

Not saying that it's easy but I believe Fed wants Nole 1st rather than Rafa as he feels he has the best chance against Nole other than Rafa and he can delay the Rafa match hoping that a hard server might get hot and take him out.

Also, as usual Feddy gets to beat up on Roddick on clay again (should ARod make it to the 3rd round).

As I predicted yesterday, many potential giant servers for Rafa. Rafa could face Ivo in the 3rd round, Raonic in the 4th round and Isner in the SF (Izzy would have to get past Ferrer and Muzz though, not unlikely). Fed will only have to face one giant server (albeit a biggy) in Berdych or Delpo. However Rafa could have to face three.

So the only significant thing that went against my expectations was Berdych in Fed
s qtr.

That said, Rafa to win his 11th slam!!!! Vamos Rafa!!!!!

Conspirator , 5/25/12 2:52 PM

Isfand: djokovic's fraw in not easy hewit melzer then verdasco/davydenko then wawrinka/tsonga its not very easy imo

I thought only Nadal fans stressed this much. Are you kidding?!?! Yea, all those guys were once fine players. Not one of them is "in form" NOW. Nole can sleepwalk into the semis. After that it gets a whole lot tougher. The biggest worry might be that he isn't challenged enough up to that point.

And Nalby is the biggest threat to Fed? Give me a break. Nalby wasn't much of a five set threat in his heyday and that was quite awhile back.

I could be wrong but I don't think either Isner or Raonic will go deep.

Ramara , 5/25/12 3:00 PM

No, his level is definitely higher than his 2011, lower than his 2010, higher than his 2009, and higher than his 2008 but definitely lower than his FO2008. Also, he's peaking nicely for the FO; we have to see whether he can sweep through his opponents like he did in 2008 or 2010 before we can say whether Rafa is better or worse than his previous years on clay.

Likewise for Nole; he may be conserving his energy and be ready for this FO. He's definitely not as good as his 2011 so far this season but he may be concentrating his efforts in more important tournaments.

luckystar , 5/25/12 3:02 PM

^^^ but u missed one thing. Neither Raonic, Karlovic or Isner are as consistent as Berdych or Delpo. So their meeting with Fed is more a possible outcome, than Rafa meeting any of the mentioned guys.
Also, u seem to be too concerned about Fed's progress. Don't worry, Rafa will beat him whether they meet in SF or Final. U should rather be concerned about Novak.

abhirf , 5/25/12 3:02 PM

@ Twinge................dont be like that.......FG will not be boring and Rafa is NOT guaranteed to win......likely but not guaranteed!!!!

All the top players, except Andy with his back, will bring their A games, so things will be very interesting this year. I think EVERYONE is tired of Rafa winning RG, except Rafa fans of course, so Rafa is going to be hunted ferociosuly and that will make for some really exciting and entertaining tennis!!!

When Fed was winning Wimbledon years in a row, i didnt hear you complaining about Wimby begin boring.......uh, uh, uh???!!!

VAMOS my Rafa!!!

Monalysa , 5/25/12 3:05 PM

Conspirator - Roddick is not making R3

RickyDimon , 5/25/12 3:10 PM

"When Fed was winning Wimbledon years in a row, i didnt hear you complaining about Wimby begin boring.......uh, uh, uh???!!!"

That's because I wasn't here to complain darlin.
And if I was, I can assure I would have found it very, very, VERY boring.
Nagline is KORREKT, I'm hoping for a Novak win and would be more than happy to see a `Return of the King` type scenario next year with Nadal going out on a real high to his career ;-)

Twinge , 5/25/12 3:14 PM

But people have been fedup of Rafa winning on clay for years, but it hasn't stopped him winning. I think he should beat Dr Ivo and Milos if they meet but I still wish he hadn't drawn them all.

nadline , 5/25/12 3:17 PM

I agree with u Ricky.

abhirf , 5/25/12 3:18 PM

, 5/25/12 2:48 PM

Still Nadal comfortably winning End of.

venkianz , 5/25/12 3:19 PM

^^^I hope not. End of.

Twinge , 5/25/12 3:21 PM

Draw is fixed. Nole and Fed on same side!

holdserve , 5/25/12 3:55 PM

Ricky, agreed on Roddick which is why I said IF he makes it that far.

abhirf, I pointed out that Delpo and Berdych were biggies (i.e., bigger than the other three in terms of a challenge) so I don't agree I missed anything.

And in the long run I'm not overly concerned with Nole or Fed as I indicated by saying "That said, Rafa to win his 11th slam!!!!"

Let's see how the scheduling goes...

Conspirator , 5/25/12 4:06 PM

@ Twinge, how do you mean you were not there to complain? How old are you......two?!!!

"Nagline is KORREKT, I'm hoping for a Novak win and would be more than happy to see a `Return of the King` type scenario next year with Nadal going out on a real high to his career ;-)"

So I take it you fell that winning the "Nole Slam" bears more historical significance than winning 7 RGs?!!!!

Monalysa , 5/25/12 4:10 PM

@holdserve If the draw had been fixed Fed would not have got Berdych (the most difficult opponent at QF stage)....So just stop writing junk here......

fedexal , 5/25/12 4:19 PM

If it's been fixed it won't help Fed that's for sure. Berdy could definitely beat him if he's not tired from playing this week. Nadal won't have to face Dr. Ivo, Raonic or Big Jissie as none of them will get to that stage to meet him. Resigned to the fact that it's 2008 again. Although the last time I felt this sure Nadal would win was 2009. Djoker has a small chance but nobody else does.

chr18 , 5/25/12 4:26 PM

AndyM always gets the toughest quarter except at Wimbledon, another proof that the draws are fixed. Once Fed retires, the fixing lot should be shown the door so all the top players will have their fates determined by a truly random draw.
Anyway, Rafa has always managed to come out on top at RG despite Fed and his machinations.
Not happy with choice of giants or claycourt specialists for Rafa in almost every round.
But Rafa will prevail. Vamos Rafa!

holdserve , 5/25/12 4:30 PM

I meant `here` as in `HERE`.
`Tennis Talk` my little St Lucian Coconut.
I actually was uninterested in tennis during his majesty's reign anyway.
see #weakera
Okay I'll give it to you Mona.
It might be heaven also for Rafa to get his seventh. Very nice, unless youre Borg.
But if theres another bl**dy one after that
FG is offically off the tour for me until it becomes a real competition again.

Twinge , 5/25/12 4:32 PM

fedexal, you are writing junk. Berdy would have been the toughest QF opponent if he had rested this week. But the idiot went on playing and is still playing.
Obviously he has no GS hopes.
Also we have to see what kind of balls have been selected for RG. If past is any guide, it would be a ball favoring Fed over what the younger lot are used to.
But I am not worried about Fed challenging Rafa. Fed is going to lose to Nole no matter how the ball is designed.
I am only worried about Rafa vs Nole.
All the manipulations for Fed usually end up favoring Nole over Rafa as Nole is usually on Fed's side of the draw. The most painful example: Last year's USO.
But Fed is probably content. His aim: Either he wins or Rafa doesn't win. so that his gs-16 mark is safe

holdserve , 5/25/12 4:38 PM

^^I hope not. End of.

Twinge , 5/25/12 3:21 PM

So your prediction is based on a wish.................and hope???

End, end of

rafaisthebest , 5/25/12 4:47 PM

holdserve, I think you need a break . Still anyday a tired Berdych is a tougher opponent than Tipsy. And the way you inference things nobody could do it....Also if the draw was fixed Rafa would have got more tough opponents ...there are already a lot of dangerous floaters out there.....

Still I think Rafa can get past any kind of opponent...I hope his health stays well and I also hope God injects some acumen in you......

fedexal , 5/25/12 4:50 PM

No, honestly Rafa has to be the favourite, but tbh i think Novak has more of a chance than many are giving him for this title.
When they both play at their best, overall, i think Novak shall win more of their future encounters than not.
I've explained why i think some of Rafa's tactics are only temporarily effective & I don't believe he is looking invincible at all.
Yeah, Novak has a shot at this one for sure.
But its only my little opinion, no need to be too concerned.

Twinge , 5/25/12 4:58 PM

^^^To be honest, based on your warped reasoning, Twinge, your opinion doesn't count for much.

nadline , 5/25/12 5:11 PM

^^^Get a job Nadline ;-)

Twinge , 5/25/12 5:17 PM

@ Twinge,

What do you mean by "Little St Lucian coconut?!!!!!!!

Monalysa , 5/25/12 5:18 PM

I hope God injects some acumen in you, fedexal because you obviously need it.

holdserve , 5/25/12 5:25 PM

Hey Twinge altho I am your friend, I think in this war of words Monalysa has bested you
Monalysa , 5/25/12 4:10 PM
Ha ha, that two years old bit was good.

holdserve , 5/25/12 5:27 PM

@holdserve seem very stubborn male guy with very stubborn views .....Chill man .....don't doubt everything......

fedexal , 5/25/12 5:31 PM

Me and Mona were not fighting Holdserve!
Just shootin the breeze a bit, thats all.

"What do you mean by "Little St Lucian coconut?!!!!!!!"

Its my T of E for you of course,
You are from that lovely isle are you not?

Twinge , 5/25/12 5:32 PM

Yes........but coconut?!..........back in the isle when we refer to someone as a "coconut", it kinda means that they have taken leave of their faculties..........this originates from the belief that coconuts are supposed to be good for those suffering with mental illness.........hehehe!!!!

Monalysa , 5/25/12 6:36 PM

willmw101 Ramara djokovic's odds lengthened from 257/100 to 323/100 after draw nadal's odds shortened further

isfand , 5/25/12 7:36 PM

First, I don't think that saying - "end of" in a post is respectful at all. Nobody is God here and shouldn't give themselves airs. It's like saying the discussion is over because one person decides that it is. Well that's not how it goes on a forum.

As far as Rafa winning again and breaking Borg's record being boring, that's too bad for anyone who chooses to think that way. For me it will be a chance to watch history, something I may never see again in my lifetime. It took just over thirty years for someone to be in a position to do it. That is how extraordinary Borg's accomplishment was at the time. Oh and I never found it boring when he won six times along with the five Wimbledon titles. That kind of consistent greatness deserves respect.

As far as the draw, Rafa has a very good one. It's true that he could face Karlovic and Raonic in the early rounds. Of course I never like to see the "trees", as I call them. However, in a best three out of five neither one has a chance against Rafa. We will see if they get to face Rafa. Otherwise I have no complaints.

Fed got Berdy in the quarterfinals. That is the first challenge he will face. It is true that Berdy continued to play rather than get some rest before the FO. He has been playing very well, but his problem is a lack of mental toughness. That is where Fed has the advantage. I do remember how well Berdy played against Rafa in the quarterfinals at this year's AO. If he plays like that, he could give Fed a match.

Murray for me is a question mark because of his back. He also has a tough draw. Nole should sail through to the semis. I do think we will get a Fed/Nole semi. Rafa could face Murray or someone else.

I also think that Rafa is in great form. I don't buy any of this stuff about Rafa not playing all that great. He is healthy, mentally tough and focused. He will only get better at RG. He is peaking at the right time. I think we could see Nole play himself into his best form. Both Rafa and Nole have a lot to play for.

Nativenewyorker , 5/25/12 7:49 PM

Nadal's draw is a walk in the park, as usual in the GS. Seriously, the guys must be the luckiest man among the top4 at most GS draws.

Nadal will win it for sure and he will surpass RF record anytime.

Emiliano55 , 5/25/12 8:11 PM

^^^ Whatever. Any draw for Rafa at the FO IS a walk in the park for he is the Clay Court King!!!!


At Roland Garros, Rafa makes his own luck.


Conspirator , 5/25/12 8:27 PM

Don't say Bodo never writes anything nice about Rafa. Chech this out :-

Seven Doomed Men

.........So here we are again, with absolutely nothing to suggest that Rafa won't sashay out there next week and inflict a painful whipping on the first of the seven doomed men he will dismiss en route to his seventh Roland Garros title............

nadline , 5/25/12 8:36 PM

So, Fed has drawn the Djoker......................I am not hearing the tired refrain:

1. Fed is the only one who can beat the Djoker; and
2. Rafa is lucky because Fed will take care of the Djoker for him.

Oh, I forgot..............the Djoker just too care of Fed, convincingly and was in turn taken care of, convincingly, by Rafa.

A week is indeed a long time in tennis.......................

nadline, 5/25/12 8:36 PM

Bozo's a snake..........................don't EVER trust him where Rafa's concerned.

rafaisthebest , 5/25/12 8:52 PM

Rafa's draw is not a walk in the park, he's got all the giants in his half for a start. Federer has got a good draw, who is going to threaten Fed before the SF?

nadline , 5/25/12 8:52 PM


I agree with you about Bodo! I never trust him, ever. He is a snake and worse. So what if he said some good things about Rafa winning RG. Like I need him to tell me that Rafa is looking good at the moment? Please!

What I find kind of funny, is how the fans of the top players try to make it seem like their guy has the toughest draw. Fed has an easy draw until a possible matchup with Berdy in the quarterfinals. That could be a good match. Nole can practically sleepwalk through his draw and I don't see Tsonga being a tough quarterfinal opponent. He hasn't looked very good lately.

Murray is the one top player who has a difficult draw. I wouldn't be foolish enough to complain about Rafa's draw. Yes it's a pain to see Karlovic and Raonic there, but you can't have everything. He could have had it much worse. A possible quarterfinal with Tipsy? Come on.

Nativenewyorker , 5/25/12 9:04 PM

Agree. Fair draw overall.

Video for Nole fans... JZVK9NcE

Conspirator , 5/25/12 9:23 PM -2012-Rafael-Nadal-will-create-history-in-Paris-not-Novak-Djokovic-bel ieves-Roger-Federer.html

Oh, stfu Fed! Thank God Rafa's not vain and will take all this with a pinch of salt and treat EVERY OPPONENT with respect............

rafaisthebest , 5/25/12 9:48 PM

Folks : I dont think Fed has a brutual draw as many are claiming here. His frst challenge wil come in the qtrs and there too he is blessed as Berdy and Depo may crap each other out in the 4th round. ..Nalby, Roddick, Lopez..puhleez will offer no resistance whatsoever..

I am eagerly waiting a Fed Nole semi and hopefully will be a cracker, though I m sure Nole is hoping Fed falls before meeting him :-)

Rafas draw is decent..Raonic and Almargo can take it to him but still Rafa should be able to navigate..Almargo have him a tough match in 2010 was very close even though it was a straight set win...

Djoko has it easy but Melzer and Verdasco may snatch a set though..Erratc Tsonga will do nothing :-)

sanju , 5/25/12 9:48 PM

RITB..Did Fed make that statement after the draw today or prior to it? Any idea?

I think if he has to choose, he would prefer to have Rafa win it than Novak..I am sure he doesnt want Novak to win 4 in a row..something he hasnt been able to do.

sanju , 5/25/12 9:53 PM

And where did Rafa lose 2 sets in MC, Barcelona and Rome? What is Fed saying :-)

sanju , 5/25/12 9:55 PM

sanju, don't know whether Fed made said statement before or after draw.........I thonk the 2 sets losses Fed is referring to are the ones Rafa lost in Madrid to Verdasco.

Agree with you re Fed's preferences (strange that his fans prefer the opposite!)......but I am getting antsy with every pundit and his dog predicting a Rafa's really making me nervous............

rafaisthebest , 5/25/12 10:22 PM

'Rafa's draw is not a walk in the park, he's got all the giants in his half for a start. Federer has got a good draw, who is going to threaten Fed before the SF? '

If you say something enough times you will start to believe it. Suddenly, Berdych and del Potro are no longer giants.
I guess Tipsarevic is a giant of some kind...a mental giant, since he wears glasses? Once again the international tennis illuminati puts up a giant roadblock in Nadal's path...but heroically, I predict he will somehow manage to beat straight sets...

Fortunately there are Nadal fans here who don't live in a black and while world :) - luckystar said above "Good to see Berdy at the other half of the draw from Rafa.".
thank you, lucky...Berdych has a very good chance to beat Federer, if he feels like hitting 1st serves again, unlike Madrid.

Bharata , 5/25/12 10:24 PM

Easy passage way to the final for both Rafa and a rafa fan i hope he takes it as a realist i think novak has him in slam finals....

Fed-DelPo potential match looks interesting but first delpo-bercych so that side of the draw is strong

expect fed to beat delpo but if it was the same Del Potro as in 2009 he shoulda beat Federer here but lost in the 5th

rafakid , 5/25/12 10:26 PM

Nice tribute to Rafa: rros-Wimbledon-2012/Rafael-Nadal.aspx

rafaisthebest , 5/25/12 10:27 PM

Cheryl, please pick the Djoker to win RG..................get the universe back on an even keel, what with EVERYBODY picking Rafa (except twingey............but then again twingey is not a body).

Of course Ricky can be counted on to follow the herd............................

rafaisthebest , 5/25/12 10:34 PM

hi sanju thanks for the telegraph link. Thought Fed was complimentary to both Nadal and Djokovic, particularly Nadal...he places himself 3rd behind them, which I think everyone would agree with.

Bharata , 5/25/12 10:36 PM

C'mon guys. Big guys on Nadal's side ? LOL
He has the easiest draw. He ALWAYS gets easy drawas at all GS. He is just licky with that. Let's face it. Put aside the fanaticism and be honest. He has a walk in the park until the finals.

Emiliano55 , 5/25/12 10:41 PM

I don't know about anyone else, but I have never seen Berdy and Delpo as giants.

nadline , 5/25/12 11:07 PM

Take a look at this:-

The writer thinks that Rafa has the 2nd toughest draw next to Murray because Rafa is likely to meet Monaco or Raonic in the 4th round.

nadline , 5/25/12 11:30 PM


You don't sound like a Rafa fan to me at all. Where is your faith? Nole owns Rafa in slams? So history can't change? This is RG where Rafa has lost ONE match in all the years he was been playing here. What can you be thinking? Such negativity!

This is one Rafa fan who is not freaking out over Karlovic and Raonic. You can't avoid everyone. It could have been far more difficult for Rafa. I have no problem with it at all!

We always have this contest between the respective fans of the top players as to who has the toughest draw. Yet we have seen in the past that sometimes the players don't get through to meet our favorites. It's getting to be ridiculous.


Why is it freaking you out that everyone is picking Rafa? Did you feel good when everyone was picking Nole? It's to be expected since Rafa is in great form and has won six titles already. Rafa will know how to deal with the expectations and the pressure. Oh and there is no such thing as jinxes. That's just baloney. If you want to make yourself nervous, then think about Rafa meeting Karlovic and Raonic.

As far as whatever Fed said, I honestly could care less.

Nativenewyorker , 5/25/12 11:32 PM

Emiliano55, 5/25/12 10:41 PM ha ha of course when you goat like rafa, all draws must be easy!!!

hawkeye , 5/26/12 12:59 AM

Native....i am a massive rafa man myself and i havnt a notion wer your gettin this out of

i mentioned absolutely nothing about raonic and karlovic either ya lunatic :P have you gone insane or something? i said rafa has an easy passage which he does...he'll brush them all to one side and i also said i hope he wins

so i'd have another look at my previous comment if i wer you...i'm being honest! i think novak in a one of grand slam match for life or death would win

he's a machine. never seen anything like him before. I dislike the man but i think he's the strongest on the circuit at the moment. i can have an opinion such as this whether im a rafa fan or not. dont diss me and my faith for rafas game , its easy to see rafa has problems when facing djoko and if you think the previous too matches on clay prove he doesnt then your away mad altogether...novak missed many chances in rome he would not have missed usually! so luck was involved

as far as delpo and berdych are concerned... you could see them as sleeping giants or something. ones a major winner the other a finalist! we await to see if they can reproduce that form again or if they will become one offs in the game! for me i like them and see them as a danger in every major and with a bit of luck can go far, maybe all the way like before

rafakid , 5/26/12 1:01 AM

emiliano55....less you said the better

you clearly havn't a clue

rafakid , 5/26/12 1:06 AM

When good players play not so good players they look great but when play better players, they make more mistakes and look like they play bad. Not coincidence.

hawkeye , 5/26/12 1:10 AM

Nativenewyorker, 5/25/12 11:32 PM

Hmmmm...............I see nothing but evil in how all of a sudden Rafa can turn into a all conquering slayer, in the eyes of these pundits, when only yesterday (figuratively speaking), they pronounced Rafa done, finished at the hands of Novak. So, forgive me if I do not trust their new found "love". I know these people live by the "what have you done for me lately" rule but this is just too unseemly to me........

I would much rather these pundits stuck to their pro-Nole line............seemes more honest that way. I was quite comfortable when they bet against Rafa because I knew they did not know what they were doing. Unlike them, I don't need Rafa to prove to me that he is that good.......................

rafaisthebest , 5/26/12 1:28 AM

For the record, I have already stated that I have Rafa doing the channel slam and successfully defending the Olympic gold......................

rafaisthebest , 5/26/12 1:57 AM

Here is my take: I am siding with Twinge and Rafakid, which is hardly surprising from a Nole fan :). I think he can produce the match of his life in the finals to beat Rafa, of course, if he gets that far. I have no doubts Rafa will be in the finals. He may as well skip all the matches and play just the finals, there won't be anyone to bother him until that stage.
Roger should worry about Berdych/DelPo match as both can beat him. I am not sure about DelPo though, as he seems to have some small injury. As for Nole, he will beat Roger, no doubt. I don't think Roger played bad in Rome semis, he just wasn't allowed to move around the court like usual. Nole's deep balls kept him around the baseline where he can't be lethal.

As for Nole/Berdych possible showdown, I don't see Tomas winning either. Nadline said something about Novak almost loosing a match against him in MC but forgetting that that match was played on the very day of Nole's grandpa's funeral! I have no clue how he composed himself to even show up on the court, let alone win against a very potent and good player.

So, anyhow, the history will be made on June 10th. Either Rafa wins his 7th, or Nole accomplishes a "slam". I'm a believer that Nole can do it. If he doesn't, oh well, I'll congratulate the winner :))

danica , 5/26/12 2:08 AM

I'm the one who mentioned that Berdych almost beat Nole at MC. Please, enough of that grandfather's death already. Nole clearly could go out there to play his normal match, if not how would he handle the windy conditions?? Berdych won the first set when the conditions were fine, then came the windy conditions and Berdych, with his high ball toss, couldn't handle the conditions and so he lost the other two sets. Of course I expect a different Nole at RG, for if he can make it so far into the SF to meet Berdych there, he'll be playing very well. Still, it would be a tough fight if Berdych can find his big first serve, something he couldn't do during that windy match at MC, and during that Madrid final. He was serving very well at Rome against Rafa and so they had a competitive match. If Berdych can beat Fed in the QF, then I say game on between him and Nole, if Nole make the SF too.

Nole made so many UFEs during the Rome final not because he wanted to but most likely because of his opponent across the net. Rafa also couldn't make much of his first serves, 59%, contrast that to his QF, at well over 80%. So? All these were due to the opponent across the net, because Nole was the best returner of serve, and Rafa the best clay court player who could force errors out of his opponents. I didn't see Nole making many errors against Fed, OTOH.

luckystar , 5/26/12 2:54 AM


Since you seem to be having a brain cramp and are the one who sounds like a lunatic, let me quote your words back to you -

" a rafa fan i hope he takes it as a realist i think novak has him in slam finals...."

So why don't you get yourself all sorted out and figure out where you are coming from. My comment stands. What is realistic about Nole beating Rafa at RG? Are you just out of your mind? What universe do you live in? You are no Rafa fan!

You are also the one who said that Nole "owns" Rafa in slams because he beat him in the last three after never having beaten him before!

Be careful about the personal insults. If you are going to post trash talk like that and disrespect Rafa, then expect to get it right back. And I don't take personal insults lightly!

Nativenewyorker , 5/26/12 3:38 AM

rafaisthebest, 5/26/12 1:28 AM,

Hmmm, I guess you have made your point. Fair enough. We all deal with this in our own way. Oh and I agree that it's fascinating to see how all the naysayers have now jumped on Rafa's bandwagon. Even Pete Bodo, the Rafa hater himself! It means nothing to me. I am with you there. They are fair weather people, those who jump on the bandwagon when Rafa is winning, but the same idiots who said he would never beat Nole again. They are fools.

Let me say that I am not totally comfortable with everyone and his mother now saying that Rafa's the overwhelming favorite and cannot possibly lose. Rafa takes nothing for granted and neither do I. It has to happen on the court. However, I am quietly confident about his chances. I like his draw, he's healthy and playing some great clay court tennis. He is so much better than he was this time last year and he still won RG!

Nativenewyorker , 5/26/12 3:43 AM

Lucky, I can agree on most points with you. But I can't stop exploiting the death of a close relative because I am sure that anyone would be affected. How much that was a "normal match" for Novak nobody knows but him. I believe he couldn't produce his best game. I don't think he had any help in strong wind as he was also battling wind in a match with Monaco and managed to win. The conditions are the same for both of them and whoever adapts better, probably wins. That should be hardly taken into consideration. Similarly, for example, I could be pointing to wet and humid conditions in Rome final which didn't suit Novak's game. Note that I am not making excuses for his loses.

NNY, why do you take others' posts so personally? I am not provoking, I am just curious. I don't mind having posters with different opinions here as long as they are not obnoxious. I don't think anyone is less of a fan if s/he thinks differently. I may be a Novak fan but I don't adore the ground he walks on and will on more than one occasion point to his faults. Please, don't take this as a personal attack. Simply, I don't understand your take on Rafakid's posts. I apologize if I offended you, it was not meant to.

danica , 5/26/12 4:02 AM

listen don't tell me what kind of a fan i am or not! and for the second time i am a rafa man, a huge one at that, so try gettin that into your thick head!

i dont give a flying f**k if you dont take insults lightly. neither do I in fact. and i said lunatic in the most ironic of terms , no insult intended hence the if you wanna get all jumpy about this convo be my guest! but if you wanna start an insult war or something then you've got some strange character! this was a conversation for everyone to post in and you approach me about negativity and who i am and what kind of a fan i am. Says a lot about you half way across the world probably with your paws licking the keyboard!

im a rafa fan too but an honest opinion..
the last 3 slams have gone novaks way
something all rafa fans aren't happy about and yes i'd love revenge at RG

i just have my own worries about about what could potentially happen if the two do meet because of the 4-2 lead that was slipped upon in Australia

i dont see were i disrespected rafa either but seeing as your big chums with him tell him i said sorry next time you see him bcus as far as im concerned I doubt rafa gives a toss about what ppl on this have to say

on a tennis note and puttin that behind I kinda think it is realistic that novak could potentially beat rafa because of the two clay court victories he won last year in finals. yeah i know novak isnt the same player this year but hes not far off it and its scares me to think novak could turn up with a performance such as last year to beat nadal in 2 weeks, thats all like

however the 11-2 head to head on clay is a confidence booster

rafakid , 5/26/12 4:15 AM

As I mentioned, Berdych is one guy who has a high ball toss and hence he's more affected by the windy conditions. It's no coincidence that he performs better indoors than outdoors. I didn't say Nole was at the top of his game in MC, he just played his normal game. To beat a Berdych under normal conditions, Nole certainly needed his A-game.

The Rome condition was wet this year? Wasn't it the same last year, when the final was delayed due to rain and we had an almost night match? Who won that final at Rome last year?
In fact the quicker courts at Madrid(red clay) and Rome favor Nole's style of play. He can play his hard court game on the fast clay and that's why he had the upper hand over Rafa last year. This year Rafa is playing better than his 2011 while Nole isn't, hence Rafa has his wins, on slow clay (MC) and fast clay (Rome).

luckystar , 5/26/12 4:21 AM

Robbie Koenig eating humble pie now, as he's one who said that Nole would beat Rafa in Rome and be the second man to beat Rafa thrice on clay. Fat hope, as Rafa proved him wrong.

To say that Nole could suddenly turn his game on to beat Rafa on clay but to disregard Rafa's ability to do likewise is really not showing the king of clay much respect. Both Rafa and Nole could play better than their Rome match and I expect both to have a few gears to move up to. Still Rafa has just that bit more of varieties and more options on clay that many of us don't give him much credit for, to beat Nole on clay should both of them meet.

luckystar , 5/26/12 4:33 AM

also danica well said, everyones entitled to an opinion and everyone has their own favourite!

it's stupid to think theres people out there calling you a less of a fan for this, that and the other and questioning your stance on topics such as this one

guess you've gotta let the bird fly and let them people think they know it good sitting back giving the toy to whatever person wants to be rafa or nole biggest fan...other things to be at rather than falling out with Another rafa fan who should respect my comments

rafakid , 5/26/12 4:36 AM


Don't try to be a punk here! You should know that profanity isn't allowed on this site and just because you put two asterisks in the word, doesn't mean we all don't know what you said. You have zero respect in your comments. You posted a nasty comment about Murray on another topic thread. You are just someone who wants to start trouble, pure and simple.

You don't get Rafa at all. You really think he didn't learn his lesson letting the AO slip away up a break at 4-2? You don't have much faith in him. Oh and by the way, lose the delusions of grandeur because Rafa couldn't give a crap about what you think. Your reasoning makes no sense to me at all. History can change. You sound like the fools online who kept saying that Rafa would never beat Nole again. If Rafa thought like you, then he would have to hang up his racket. He has to believe that he can right the ship and beat Nole in the place where he has lost just ONE match in all the years he has played there. You know that, right? Or have you been living under a rock.

You sound like a ten year old. So go play with your building blocks. In fact, I think you are a troll pretending to be a Rafa fan.

Nativenewyorker , 5/26/12 5:34 AM

Rafa has beaten Nole everytime he has met him at RG. True, Nole is now mentally stronger and physically fitter. But there is nothing to support a Nole win till Nole actually shows he can do it.
Fed was practically invincible on the other 3 slam surfaces but he couldn't take down Rafa at RG. RG is Rafa's stronghold.
As lucky says, Rafa has many options on clay and if he plays with the calm he displayed at Rome, my money is on Rafa.

holdserve , 5/26/12 5:57 AM

Any idea which channel is showing the Roland Garros in India.....I did not see Ten Sports or ESPN Or Star Sports covering that.......

fedexal , 5/26/12 5:59 AM

Emiliano, the luckiest man is Fed. Comes of age in a weak era, has ATP bending over backwards to fix schedules, draws everything to suit him.
Had Rafa and Roger been the same age, Roger would have been nicknamed the crying Swiss because of the number of finals he would have lost to Rafa.

holdserve , 5/26/12 6:03 AM

fedexal, it would be telecasted on Neo Sports here in India.

abhirf , 5/26/12 7:29 AM

Yes, Nole has beaten Rafa in the last 3 Slam finals and I would accept that as evidence of Nole "owning" Rafa in Slams enough to beat him at RG IF one of those slam finals was at RG. Sorry, as Dr. Spock would say, it doesn't compute.

Nole has never been in an RG final;
Nole has never beaten Rafa at RG.
USOpen and OzOpen are Nole's favourite surfaces and Rafa showed up in both finals and pushed him so he could/should have won OzOpen.

Never mind the 2 recent clay Masters results, those 3 issues alone should militate against proclaiming that Nole "owns" Rafa in slam finals............methinks.

What I am further not liking about the sudden unanimous proclamation of Rafa as favourite for RG is that none of the pundits is dpoing a proper analysis of the draw. As soon as the draw was announced and Roger Fed in Nole's half, it was, that's it, you might as well hand the trophy to Rafa....................

Not only is this disrespectful to the other players but it is also disrespecful to Rafa. As if Rafa is some kind of robot, not even human. He can have a bad day, other players may have an inspired day etc, etc.

I am not doubting Rafa, all I wish is that some of these pundits could be more honest. I just sense an underlying dishonesty in some of this "Rafa love".

rafaisthebest , 5/26/12 7:36 AM


I have never seen a real Rafa fan on this site ever say anything about Rafa not being the favorite at RG. Yes, we are talking about RG. Where Rafa has lost ONE match! There is every reason for him to be the prohibitive favorite at this slam. Even last year, after losing both Rome and Madrid to Nole, Rafa was still considered the favorite. He has earned that. I don't that in itself is phony or fake. His record is simply phenomenal.

Nobody owns Rafa at RG! That's the point. So why would any Rafa fan feel that Nole has the edge here? That makes no sense to me. I am not saying that it is a done deal. Rafa will have to earn it on the court.

What is the argument for Nole? That he has won the last three slams? That is impressive, as was Rafa's same achievement in 2010. But this is RG, Rafa's kingdom, where Nole has never won or been in a final. Rafa had his chance to win this year's AO. He was two games away. So in that sense, he was not "owned". It was competitive and could have gone either way.

I will tell you why I feel so strongly about this. Borg lost to McEnroe two straight times. He lost at the 1981 Wimbledon and the 1981 USO. After the USO loss, he famously walked off the court and didn't participate in the awards ceremony. His tennis career was over. It's a painful memory for me. So I am proud of Rafa for staying in the game even after seven straight losses to Nole.

Again I say that if Rafa believed that he was owned by Nole, he would have to hang up his racket.

I don't know about the pundits saying that Fed in Nole's half means that Rafa will win. I don't buy that. Who knows, maybe Fed can pull off a win like last year. If it comes to pass, it will certainly be a great match. I don't think it will be as lopsided as Rome. We will have to see.

I always say that the players have to get to the final first. Rafa won't be assuming anything. He will take it one match at a time and work hard for each win.

Nativenewyorker , 5/26/12 7:49 AM

Just one more thing - this is my last word on the subject. If a so-called Rafa fan wants to insist that Rafa can't win RG again because Nole owns him in slams, as if this isn't different, then I am not going to be drawn into an endless argument.

Nativenewyorker , 5/26/12 7:53 AM

I completely agree with NNY here. How can anyone say Rafa beat Nole in Rome because luck was involved. Rafa could have won the match more easily if he'd served better. Nole wasn't the only one who missed chances in the match Rafa did as well, and why call Nole's errors missed chances. In plain language they are just errors.

Rafa has an 11-2 h2h on clay against Nole, it was a fluke last year that Nole beat Rafa twice on clay. There is nothing strange about Rafa beating Nole and, as for saying Nole owns Rafa in slams, that coming from a Rafan is the most damning condemnation ever.

nadline , 5/26/12 8:33 AM

Rafa is a clear favourite for RG, and anyone against that should reconsider his opinion.

Boris Becker said yesterday in his analysis, that Nole and Fed will battle it out tough against each other with Fed being the slight fav (he even predicted a chance of a Nole/Berdy Sf) . But the winner of that SF, will be physically and mentally more exhausted than Rafa and that's where Rafa would be an advantage even if he faces Novak. There's no doubt that Nole has his chances but Rafa is the obvious choice for the title.

abhirf , 5/26/12 8:42 AM

nadline, 5/26/12 8:33 AM,

Thank you ! I knew that Rafa's number one most passionate fan would have something to say on the subject. I am exhausted from the discussion and have nothing left to say. You made it short and sweet! :)


I am not ruling out Fed in a possible semifinal with Nole. It may seem as though we all think that it's a given that Nole will win. I prefer to actually see a few matches before I make that decision. A slam match is so different from a Masters, in which it's best two out of three.

I know that some pundits are saying that Berdy or Delpo could take Fed out. Easier said than done. I keep hearing that Delpo is nursing some kind of injury, possibley the knee. That could prove problematic. Berdy is playing some of the best tennis of his career, but he doesn't have mental toughness.

Murray is the question mark. He hasn't had much match play in preparation for RG. Then there is the back injury. He doesn't have the easiest of draws. Some pundits are predicting Ferrer to break through to get to the semifinal. It's way too early for me to make any prediction.

Now it's on to the tennis!

Nativenewyorker , 5/26/12 8:58 AM

All Rafans are familiar with the ever-so-present narrative of demeaning Rafa's achievements:

-He never showed up on hard courts that's why the H2H with Fed is skewed in hius favour. We are not allowed to mention that Rafa was young and developing his game but it's okay to say Fed is now too old to compete with younger players effectively. Of course this last point is made when he loses, when he wins, why it's in spite of it!

- Rafa's opponents always have legitimate excuses, Rafa just whines;

- Rafa would be nothing without Uncle Toni. I've even read suggestions that Uncle Toni bribes the ATP so Rafa gets favourable breaks;

- Rafa has no talent, he wins by luck and bullying his opponents into submission. This is borne out by the number of UEs his opponents make, it's Rafa's fault you see. I have even read proclamations that Rafa plays to make his opponents look bad.

- Rafa will sleep-walk his way to the RG title, what do you expect? It's only clay after all....

We have heard all this before.

And for those who have rushed to drink the "Nole owns Rafa" kool-aid remember this: Nole is not the first, nor will he be the last to be proclaimed THE Rafa slayer. Delpo was named such, Soderling was named such, not to mention Davydenko. Poor Raonic is being set-up to be one..............

I am used to it and juts roll my eyes when this is coming from "others" for the most part. Yes freedom of speech and all that but I am sure Rafans will understand why it rankles particularly when other Rafans seem to "forget" the pervasive anti-Rafa narrative Rafa has put up with all through his career............

rafaisthebest , 5/26/12 9:07 AM

NNY, I agree with u. Federer plays the slams with a different vigour. So if he's able to pull off a win against Nole, though unlikely, it shouldn't be surprising.
Berdych vs Delpo would be a ripper of a battle and if Delpo is fully fit, then i tip him to win it.

But, yes it will be easier to predict after the 2nd rd matches and analysing where their game stands.

abhirf , 5/26/12 9:10 AM

First, I don't know why some tip Delpo over Berdych. If you've watched their Madrid match, then you would see that Delpo wasn't any better than Berdych, worst when his so called mental toughness was not there, feeling agitated by the umpire's correct calls and even refusing to shake hand with the umpire after the match. Berdych was moving better than Delpo and was better at the net.

Berdych did have the mental toughness to finish off Murray at MC, it's unfair to say that he doesn't have any mental toughness. His problem came when it was a final, he was tough against Rafa in the QF. A QF meeting between Berdy/Fed, I think Berdy will have every chance of beating Fed and he may actually beat Fed if he's playing his best game. A top form Berdy vs Nole SF, it'll be a hard fought match and may go the distance. If Berdy plays like he did against Rafa at Rome, serving at above 80% first serve, then Nole will have problems. I notice Nole wasn't serving well at Rome, in both the SF and F and if he continues to serve that way, he'll have even more problems.

Nole owned Rafa at slams? Not at the FO! Also when Rafa beats Nole twice on clay this year, order is restored, for Rafa on clay. I would expect Rafa to beat Nole most of the times on clay going forward. Without any mental edge, Nole would have difficulties beating Rafa on clay.

luckystar , 5/26/12 10:20 AM

I believe that a 100% Federer has the advantage over Nole. There is no doubt that Nole had an exemplary year last year. One thing that impressed me about him in 2011 was his accuracy, he hardly missed which was very frustrating for his opponent, that groove seems to have left him and we've been seeing signs of the loss on intensity since the end of last year.

Nole's doesn't have many nuances to his game or serve. He either serves out wide or down the middle. On the other hand, Rafa has so many different styles that he can make adjustments in the middle of the match once he's sussed out his opponents tactics. At the AO, Berdy came with clear tactics to beat Rafa, but Rafa sorted him out after the first set, same with Ferrer in the Rome SF. Commies say Rafa's serve is impossible to read because they never know which one he is going to use next. He can spin it, serve to the body, down the line out wide, take the pace of etc. When Rafa is serving well, he has a huge advantage.

nadline , 5/26/12 10:31 AM

Berdy is a far better player than Delpo, it's just that he's never won a slam.

nadline , 5/26/12 10:58 AM

luckystar, I do agree with u that Berdych is playing very well on clay at the moment and is poised as the only contender who can challenge the Big 3. But he has been playing continuously without taking a break. It's not a good thing to do just before a GS, as it will hamper his chances should he go deep in the tournament.
Delpo hasn't looked that good and is also carrying an injury. But if he has got rid of the injury, he can get his feet on the surface in his opening round matches. That's where he can be dangerous. If he can play like the DC Final last year, he has as good a shot against anyone. Though Berdych definitely will be the favorite.
Fed vs Berdych definitely has to be the best Qf in prospect. Berdych will definitely have a chance but if Fed turns to his A-game, it can again turn out to be a heartbreaking loss for Berdych.

abhirf , 5/26/12 11:03 AM

A Berdy Fed QF is certainly a juicy prospect. Although Fed has a winning H2H, Berdych has won two crucial matches: the first in Athens when he thwarted Federer's hopes of winning an Olympic medal and more recently when he got the better of Fed at Wimbledon. It will be a battle of nerves if they meet. Berdych we know too often chokes at crucial moments but in recent years Federer has also shown signs of frailty on the big occasions.

ed251137 , 5/26/12 11:53 AM

I simply don't see either Berdy and even less for Delpo beating Fed here...Fed is in a great form and his Rome semis match is no indication at all of how he would perform against Nole in RG...Fed has no pressure whatsoever, he is currently playing a stress free tennis so I see him to be a very tough opponent for either one of them...IMO, he is certain to reach semis and to make Nole's life a living hell there...

Nole for sure is very determined to go all the way (he has been talking about this RG title for ages now) but in the same time he is under tremendous pressure...whoever thinks Nole owns Rafa in GSs knows little about tennis...and whoever thinks that Nole lost Rome due to bad luck is blind IMO...Rafa has the upper hand over Nole in RG...Nole has never reached the final in RG...doesn't that say enough of the pressure he will be under? Last year Nole beat Rafa twice mostly due to the fact that Nole played outstanding tennis but also had mental advantage over less confident Rafa...This year it is the opposite situation...

Rafa will take all his matches seriously no matter what pundits say...Rafa is too experienced and to much of a professional to let those predictions affect his game...he sure HAS to be the favorite for this RG...The history speaks in his favor and he well deserved to be the FAVORITE...people will just have to live with it...

Vamos Rafa!

natashao , 5/26/12 12:19 PM

Excellent analysis natashao. Agree with each and every thing that you say....I think Fed-Nole could be tha match of the tournament. Last year as well, to me it was the match of the tournament for me. And you bet Nole will have his hands full with Fed thats for sure......

fedexal , 5/26/12 12:25 PM

Great post natashao - agree with you 100% and ritb, I also get mad when people diss Rafa's achievements and sometimes it seems that he has always got to prove himself over and over again, nothing is ever enough for some people. In the Rome match I got sick and tired of the Sky commies (especially Mark Petchy) making excuses for Novak. Rafa played better tennis on the day and even though his serving was not that good he beat Novak fair and square.

I am very happy just to see a more confident Rafa playing great tennis this year and even though nothing is a given I have faith in him and believe that he will do his utmost to win RG. As Rafa fans we cannot ask for any more than that.

Vamous our Rafa & God bless.

schatz , 5/26/12 1:31 PM

i think there is a very low chance of berdych beating Federer for a few reasons. First of all, he has been playing a ton of tennis lately(he is even playing this week, which is pretty stupid imo) so there is a possibility that he will be burnt out. Second of all, he has to beat delpo(most likely) just to get to federer. Now,berdych beat delpo in madrid, but it wasn't a beatdown. It was an ultra competetive match that could have gone have gone the other way, so if they play at RG it will be a tough match. So I think berdy has a low chance of taking out fed. Oh, and nadal will probably cruise to yet another RG victory.

tj600 , 5/26/12 2:10 PM

Berdych just lost to Tipsy - Lot of tennis for Berdy!!

velliat53 , 5/26/12 2:25 PM

So now finally the Fed fans will admit that Fed got an easy draw.
As draws are fixed in favor of Fed , he can never get a tough draw. Sometimes the cunning chap's calculations go awry and somebody he has always beaten, like Soderling, suddenly beats him. But on paper, it is always in his favor.

holdserve , 5/26/12 2:56 PM

Nadline Commies say Rafa's serve is impossible to read because they never know which one he is going to use next. He can spin it, serve to the body, down the line out wide, take the pace of etc. When Rafa is serving well, he has a huge advantage. Exactly. Although the serve is not the most important armory you need on a clay court one comment recently made was on rafa's second serve. Because he slows the pace down so much this generates way more spin and djokovic has said its one of the harder second serves to return on the circuit. Nice comment considering he's unreal at returning. This kind of second serve contrasts karlovic's records of 140's kph but both are efficient.

Schatz, don't listen to petchy his head is rammed up noles arse. I watched the match on skysports that day too and he drove me mad! every excuse in the book about nole...brought up the grandfather case again and mentioned no luck on the break-points....but you make your own luck in the game! hopefully that doesnt come in RG final if he makes it that far

as for the delpo-berdych arguement! its hard to say who'd win it if they met. Delpo slightly injured is a scenario. Berdych playing some good tennis. I was annoyed by delpo's poor attitude in their last match but the fact that that match was two tiebreakers as far as i can remember this is intriguing for RG. would love to see a 5 set battle between this two big men. both would be drained with exhaustion which would work nicely into federers hands

rafakid , 5/26/12 3:13 PM

Berdy, like Daveed, will find a creative way to lose before the business end of the tournament.....................mark my words.

rafaisthebest , 5/26/12 3:26 PM

See slide show of Rafa doing the draw with Li Na.

nadline , 5/26/12 3:38 PM

There is an intriguing storyline in the first week of the draw with the battle between Verdasco and Lopez for the fourth spot on the Spanish Olympic team. Currently ranked 16 and 17, they are seeded 14 and 15. In the round of 16 Verdasco is seeded to meet Djokovic, Lopez to meet Federer. At last year?s RG Verdasco lost in the round of 32, and Lopez in the first round, so I think Verdasco must go two rounds better than Lopez to maintain his present slim margin (40 ranking points).

jmk , 5/26/12 3:41 PM

Rafa's ace was over-ruled by the umpire after he'd broken Nole in the 5th game to lead 3:2 and they were 30:30. Rafa lost that point when he served again and was eventually broken, had the umpire not over-ruled his ace, he may have gone up 4:2 but no one has said a dickie bird about it, they just go on about how Nole was robbed of his break point.

They are just so disappointed that they don't have a case to make Nole the favourite at RG. Before the Rome final started, they said MC didn't happen that the Rome match was what would decide everything but they don't like the result they they come up with excuses.

Nle is an experienced player, if he let's one bad call ruin his chances in the match then, maybe, he is not as mentally as they say he is.

nadline , 5/26/12 3:46 PM

^^^^This is why I am taking the sudden avalanche of picks in favour of Rafa by the so-called experts as a cynical strategy to pile on Rafa if he does not win the title, especially if Nole goes on to win it.

All this business of hand the trophy to Rafa already is grudging at best. How can you now have him as your favourite for the title when you said a) MC did not count b) Rome was a case of Nole losing it rather than Rafa winning it (the bad call, Nole's UEs)? c) Nole had taken residency in Rafa's head............when did he evict him, let alone send him notice to evict?

Anyway, it doesn't matter. Rafa is writing his own history, AGAINST ALL ODDS.......


rafaisthebest , 5/26/12 3:57 PM

Rafa's RG2012 kit.............. -nadal-and-roger-federer-nike-french-open-2012-footwear-and-apparel-av ailability/

rafaisthebest , 5/26/12 4:14 PM

Did they have to put him in pink/fushia....really! The last time he lost at Roland Garros he was wearing the same colour...
Please no!

isabeau77 , 5/26/12 4:18 PM nike are saying the colour he is wearing is SCARLET. It doesn't look red to me. I don't care what they say but against the orange clay his gear looks fushia!

isabeau77 , 5/26/12 4:22 PM

isabeau77, 5/26/12 4:22 PM

Let's pretend it's what Nike say it is............scarlet, PLEASE!!!

Sunday's OOP:

rafaisthebest , 5/26/12 4:28 PM

holdserve , 5/26/12 2:56 PM

Try to post something that even you himself can believe.

KMA , 5/26/12 4:36 PM

Rafa must have approved it. So if he is not bothered, I suppose we need not worry.
But the hype does make me nervous and I am uncomfortably reminded of 2009 all the time.
All the vultures are gathered. They smile and predict Rafa will win. RG might as well present him the trophy right away.
The discounting of his opponents, the false claims that Fed has the toughest draw, all these are troubling. They are readying themselves to trash Rafa.
In my opinion, his draw is tough, next only to Murray's.
So his path is difficult. Should he get to the semis, he will probably face Ferrer who proved tough to put away in Rome.
I am confident that if he makes it to the final, he will win.
I am praying for my Rafa. May God bless him! And may he hold that trophy aloft on the 10th June!

holdserve , 5/26/12 4:38 PM

KMA, your statement proves you are irrational.
How do you know I don't believe what I say? All you know is that you don't believe what I say. But then you probably do not believe the Earth is round or you disbelieve some other truth. Why should I be constrained by your delusions?

holdserve , 5/26/12 4:42 PM

Rafa said then that the pink shirt had nothing to do with his loss, he had lots going on as we know so let's hope he is lucky with it this time round. If he thought it was anything to do with the colour, he would not have agreed to wear it.

nadline , 5/26/12 4:45 PM

If Berdych gets as far as the Qtrs then he is obviously not burnt out. Mind you, why he is playing this week is beyond me. He's probably trying to get into the top 4.

nadline , 5/26/12 5:03 PM

Seems like Fed and Nole will open tomorrow and they will play one day in advance to the bottom draw. So, those guys will get 2 days rest between QF and SF if I am not wrong. So Fed will be fully rested before he faces Nole , should he progress through.....

fedexal , 5/26/12 5:05 PM

ATP always brazenly allots Fed first day irrespective of his ranking. Yet the flat earth-ists insist it can be explained.

holdserve , 5/26/12 5:15 PM

i can hear the critics already: No ones ever won a major wearing pink

likewise isabeau77 my queries grow too with the pink just bcus of '09
but c'mo its only a colour not worth posting this and debating whether this would win him the FO

yeh i remember the next game when he was broken straight back and who knows cud have been 4-2 up but thats all if buts and maybe...which goes the same for novak too! his chances are all if buts and maybes

on another day nole cud have cleaned up the break points but on another day rafa would have went 5-2 up in Australia and have served for it...
it works both ways, tennis is all about the big points

im just hoping those big points go the way of rafas for the next fortnight...if his intensity is at its maximum then he'll have no problems

yeah i know the media would love to have nole as the favourite and make every excuse...that's the way its worked ever since rafa dethroned Roger! they want revenge i guess...the lack of rafa love is shocking sometimes and all this crap about how he'll retire before he's 30 is a load of nonsense

rafakid , 5/26/12 5:15 PM

None of the top4 is playing tomorrow.

Calm down

mani4Tennis , 5/26/12 5:16 PM

RG will turn Court 1 to pink on 7th June to honor ladies.
Guess Rafa wants to wear pink to honor all of us ladies. And why not.
So let's be happy and upbeat. Let the Fed fans bite their nails and watch their man bite the dust.
Our man will bite the trophy on 10th June.

holdserve , 5/26/12 5:23 PM

Fedexal, dont worry yourself with who plays 1st or 2nd. Both the semifinalists will have the equal amount of rest days. So calm down.

abhirf , 5/26/12 5:24 PM

mani4tennis, you calm down. None of the top 4 were supposed to play on Sunday. Fed always starts on Monday and he will do so again.

holdserve , 5/26/12 5:25 PM

All Fed, Nole & Murray fans, be alert. Ur favs gonna bite the dust as Rafa will lift the RG Trophy on 10th June.

abhirf , 5/26/12 5:29 PM

Fed always has the advantage of the schedule whenever he starts because the others (top 4) always start either on the same day or subsequent days at RG.

holdserve , 5/26/12 5:30 PM

Yes, basically I meant top half of the players are on court on Sunday. So, Fed and Nole will play on Monday and Nadal and bottom half on Tuesday.....

fedexal , 5/26/12 5:30 PM

no point crying over who starts sooner it sounds like desperation! the winner will be worthy of it and it doesnt matter what side of the draw he was on! i dunno who's gonna be bitting the dust but one things for sure no one will bite it unless she's lifted by Rafa :)

rafakid , 5/26/12 5:35 PM

I have checked out Rafa's RG kit. There is nothing wimpy about that colour. It is very robust just like our Rafa :)

schatz , 5/26/12 5:40 PM

Don't worry, after Rafa beats Nole a few more times, these commentators would sing a different tune. They love that kind of stories, that each player would have his own nemesis, so they choose not to believe that Rafa has now turned the table against Nole. As I've mentioned before, Rafa vs Nole, there's no matchup problem, there's nothing that Rafa can't solve on the tennis court. He overcomes Fed; overcomes players like Gonzo, Youzhny, Blake(funny, all of them with SHBH); overcomes big hitters Berdych, Sod, Delpo; overcomes crafty players like Nalby and Murray; overcomes big servers like Isner, Karlovic, Raonic. He now only has Nole posing a problem for him and he's slowly but steadily finding a solution - he has to beat Nole with his varieties. I know he'll beat Nole on clay and grass going forward, after which he'll find a solution on the hard courts (getting back that big serve maybe).

luckystar , 5/26/12 6:11 PM

@LUCKY, good post ! I agree. Rafael will beat djokovic at RG if they collide and he'l do the same at wimbledon but I dont think we'l have a nole-rafa wimb final. At the US open, yes rafa will need something extra! I have a feeling he is going to put in something extra in this service once more

vamosrafa , 5/26/12 6:21 PM

The hype around Rafa winning is scary..many of you in the forum are so sure hes gonna win..its scary to read..even a match in RG has not been played..lets take it step by step folks

sanju , 5/26/12 7:54 PM

sanju, if it is any consolation to you, most of the people going around predicting a sure Rafa win are Fed fans who are actually waiting for a 2009 scenario to tear our Rafa to shreds.
Let us ignore the vultures and take each match one at a time. Let us be positive. Whatever happens, I know I am proud of my Rafa. I know he will do his best and that's all I ask and expect.
If he does bite the trophy, my nearly one year of waiting for this moment would be over. If he doesn't, onward with hope to Wimby! Rafa is always a winner in my eyes!

holdserve , 5/26/12 11:08 PM

nadline, 5/26/12 3:46 PM,

Great comment about the overrule of Rafa's ace at 3-2 in the first set. So Rafa did lose the next point and was broken. So Rafa could have been up 4-2. That is the problem with "should haves, could haves and would haves". If one bad call affected Nole that much, it's his problem. Players have to deal with this all the time.
You are right that no one said a word about what happened to Rafa. Did he fall apart because of that call? Nope!

There is no case to be made for Nole as favorite at RG. Rafa has earned that spot with his exemplary record. I do understand why sanju is getting a little nervous. But I am not giving Rafa the trophy. All I have said is that he is and should be the odds on favorite to win. But he will have to go out there and earn it. I take nothing for granted.

luckystar, 5/26/12 6:11 PM,

Great comment! I agree that there's no matchup problem with Rafa and Nole. Thanks for reminding everyone how Rafa has solved all the other players who have been able to beat him.

Nativenewyorker , 5/27/12 1:00 AM


why do u always chase the Fed fans. I dont know what was the scenario in 2009. But this time everybody knows that Rafa is the clear favourite and we feel there's no harm in admitting the truth. So when we are tipping him to win the title, why is it bothering u too much?

abhirf , 5/27/12 4:52 AM


why do u always chase the Fed fans. I dont know what was the scenario in 2009. But this time everybody knows that Rafa is the clear favourite and we feel there's no harm in admitting the truth. So when we are tipping him to win the title, why is it bothering u too much?

abhirf , 5/27/12 4:53 AM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
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