• Organizers expect Nadal to play Gulf exho

    10/4/12 9:01 PM | Johan Lindahl
    Organizers expect Nadal to play Gulf exho Australian Open organizers appear to have had inside information when they confidently announced that the injured Rafael Nadal would front up for their opening Grand Slam of 2013.

    The confirmation of the boast that the Spaniard was unlikely to miss the Melbourne date looks to have been re-confirmed by an announcement from the Gulf.

    Organizers at the rich Abu Dhabi New Year exhibition, the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, confirmed that the fourth-ranked Nadal had been signed into the field for the Dec 27-29 event.

    The 26-year-old has been recovering from a partially torn patella tendon in his left knee since losing in the Wimbledon second round in late June. Should he front up in the Gulf for a handsome appearance fee, it would be his first (unofficial) competition in six months, almost a lifetime in the current game.

    Nadal would be joining world No. 2 Novak Djokovic, US Open winner Andy Murray, and Spain's David Ferrer in the exhibition field.

    Nadal has been coy under recent questioning about his return to tennis, saying only that he would not be stepping onto a court until he was fully fit.

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I've got a Nadal App on my iphone which gives me up to date info on all things Nadal and it's showing a video of Toni at the Babolat press conference in Argentina, sadly it's all in spanish so I don't have a clue what he is talking about.

nadline , 10/4/12 9:36 PM

^^^No one asked.

DanyalRasool , 10/5/12 1:06 AM

Good one. LOL.

scoretracker , 10/5/12 1:20 AM

Thanks for the info Nadline.... if someone think no one asked, must be very stupid... fans all over the world are hungry for news about Nadal....

tettylds , 10/5/12 1:50 AM

^^^ Exactly!

luckystar , 10/5/12 3:17 AM

good stuff, nadline

RickyDimon , 10/5/12 5:17 AM


Thanks for telling us about your Nadal App. If I can talk about being on twitter and reading Rafa's tweets and sending him mine in my poor Spanish, then you should be able to talk about that.

The thing is, now you have to learn Spanish! :)

Nativenewyorker , 10/5/12 7:12 AM

^^^I think it's a bit too late for me to learn Spanish, but most of the posts are in English so it's fine. I've seen bits of the interview on VB posted by someone who was there.

One of the things Toni said was that Rafa's knee injury is not due to his style of play, so Rafa will remain Rafa.

DannyLaRue, the App is free, if you are asking.

nadline , 10/5/12 7:18 AM

Good on you nadline, Now please learn Spanish so you can give us on the spot news on Rafa!

For the benefit of the sad Fedfans, I AM ASKING!! Hehehehehe!!!

rafaisthebest , 10/5/12 7:22 AM

The Long Awaited Return by Tennis Star Rafael Nadal

? By: Natasha Katrak
? Tue, 10/02/2012 - 18:09

Currently recovering from an injury that prevented him from finishing the 2012 season on a high note, the Spanish star Rafael Nadal still has plenty of great tennis left in him. For all the praise that Nadal receives for his clay-court dominance and rightfully so, he is a very talented player on hard courts........

Maybe the Abu Dhabi competition is a warm-up for the Australian Open, which starts January 14, 2013 in Melbourne. But all said and done, Nadal is one person no one may not want to face in 2013. star-rafael-nadal-4907

See DannyLaRue.

nadline , 10/5/12 7:43 AM

"But all said and done, Nadal is one person no one may not want to face in 2013."

nadline , 10/5/12 7:43 AM

Good gracious me! Could this be the reason he is public enemy #1 to crap18 and his merry band of Fedfan jihadists? Could Fed be among the "no one" alluded to in the above quote? Perish the thought!

rafaisthebest , 10/5/12 7:48 AM

If the chronic injury is not due to Rafa's style of play, do they know what keeps causing it?

ts38 , 10/5/12 8:46 AM

Apparently, the orthopaedic shoes he wears to play because of his congenital foot condition are putting more pressure on his knees. Maybe they'll design a different kind of shoes.

nadline , 10/5/12 8:52 AM

Well hopefully they do. I'm very curious to see what he'll be like after returning to "100%", and we'll see how much more he can accomplish in as much time as possible.

ts38 , 10/5/12 8:56 AM

Possibly because Rafa was playing on the ATP circuit from the age of 16(?) onwards, against mature and experienced players, he put too much stress on his body while he was still growing leaving him with the legacy of bone development problems. Just a theory. e.g. Many classical ballet dancers - who also train arduously from a very early age - develop chronic bone problems later in their lives.

Earlier this week Nadline put up the link to a 16 year old Rafa beating Correjte. He was still quite slight and weighed 10 kg less than today but the power and strength was awesome.

ed251137 , 10/5/12 9:03 AM

nadline, 10/5/12 7:18 AM,

Thanks for your response. It's good that it is also in English. I am beginning to think that it's too late for me to relearn my Spanish! Thanks again for sharing. It's quite reassuring to know from Uncle Toni that Rafa's style of play is not the cause of his knee troubles.

ed251137, 10/5/12 9:03 AM,

You may have a point about how young Rafa was when he started playing on the ATP circuit. I think the bone deformity issue in his foot and the orthopedic shoes he has to wear, also contributed.

I think that video is the one I saw. Was that when Rafa beat someone at Monaco? He was only 16 or 17 and looked much slighter than he does now, but he was strong and fearless. I have been able to go back and see some of his matches when he was very young. It's extraordinary to see him at that age. He played like someone who was on a mission and nobody intimidated him.

Nativenewyorker , 10/5/12 9:18 AM

Yes, I've often thought that starting so young at such a high level could be the reason, but I've not heard it mentioned anywhere else. We should also remember that Rafa was going deep into tournaments from the age of 17/18 so he was playing more matches than players of his age and he's been at the top for 8 consecutive years playing week in week out to the Qtrs, SF or F. Even Federer took a while to get going; he didn't do much until he was about 22.

Here is another good video:

nadline , 10/5/12 9:21 AM


That was a great video! I really enjoyed that!


Nativenewyorker , 10/5/12 10:14 AM

scoretracker, you quip about rafaisnothing, you are in the very small minority who have such bad taste and judgement that you are unable to form a valid opinion based of facts that are steering you in the face. This echos how every reasonable person see Rafa:

By Marianne Bevis 10:47am UK, Thursday 27 September 2012

"These are testing times for one of tennis?s most intense and most intensely followed men: Rafael Nadal."

He has the kind of physical presence, unbreakable will and warrior spirit that would have made him a champion in whatever sport he chose. Nadal chose the gladiatorial, one-on-one, fight-to-the-death, energy-sapping sport of tennis. That he happens also to be blessed with glowering good looks and a boy-next-door charm has ensured the status of superstar.

So Nadal?s absence from the courts, from the big-time draws and from the rivalries that have made men?s tennis one of the most compelling sports of the last decade, has become the unexpected talking point of 2012."

scoretracker, read and learn.

nadline , 10/5/12 10:35 AM

'staring you in the face.....

nadline , 10/5/12 10:36 AM

@ 10.35AM

What an eloquent tribute to Rafa. Marianne Bevis incapsulates everything which makes Rafa a giant amongst the greats of tennis. It's only if you've been lucky enough to have seen Rafa in action that one can truly appreciate his hypnotic presence and the supercharged atmosphere he creates on court.

9:21 AM
Keep those links coming Nadline. What struck me most watching that brilliant compilation was the way Rafa brings out the very best in the other top players and why every match he plays is such 'edge of the seat' viewing.

No wonder his absence has had such a profound effect on the tennis community. Tournament organisers, sponsors, the ATP and ITF etc. must be praying for the return of a healthy Rafa to breath new life into the game again.

ed251137 , 10/5/12 12:59 PM

ed, here is another one. This one made me smile as when 13 year old Rafa lost to 13 year old Reeshar, Reeshar got all the attention. The photographer almost walked on Rafa's feet to get to Reeshar but we all know who ended up being one of the greatest players of all time and now holds a 10:0 h2h against Reeshar.

nadline , 10/5/12 3:27 PM

Poor Rafa looked so forlorn. Was that the last time Gasquet ever won a match against Rafa - he must still be wondering where he went wrong. I loved Rafa's knock-kneed walk.

ed251137 , 10/5/12 3:51 PM

Who would have thought that gangly little boy would become the Rafa we know now. Of course he was at Boarding School so that's why he looked so slight, they don't feed them properly. He started filling out around age 16. I can't find any videos of him when he was aged 14 or 15.

nadline , 10/5/12 4:02 PM

A few months ago I read Rafa's autobiography. I think it is in there that I read a quote by Toni who said that the simple reason why in his early years Rafa adopted a style of play to run so many balls down was simply that he was much younger than the other players when he first broke into the ATP. Not having as much power and yes not as much skill yet the only way to have a chance to win was to do a lot of running. Of course it did not hurt that he had the tough never say die mind to go with it. Funny that he has been criticized for adopting in his early years the one strategy that was available to deal with being so good so young.

chlorostoma , 10/5/12 5:50 PM

So nice 2 read all your memories about a young Rafa :)
Interesting Rafa, Andy and now I learn Monfils all have genetic conditions that could've impaired their movement. I wonder how many others.
chlorostoma, that's what Andy had to do too. In Spain he was playing against older stronger players so he had to run and run to defeat them.

deuce , 10/5/12 6:17 PM

nadline, 10/5/12 3:27 PM,

This was so cute to see. Looking at such a young Rafa, it is hard to believe that he became the Rafa we all know. He did have a funny walk.

I bet that was the last time he lost to Gasquet!

Very nice to see!

Nativenewyorker , 10/5/12 9:28 PM ge

Rafa's Oz Open 2013 kit......

rafaisthebest , 10/6/12 7:39 AM

Fair to say Rafa has a goofy crush, no?

rafaisthebest , 10/6/12 7:47 AM

rafaisthebest , 10/7/12 11:36 AM

Rafa's Oz Open 2013 kit......
rafaisthebest , 10/6/12 7:39 AM

Looks great. Let's hope he gets to wear it.

nadline , 10/7/12 12:31 PM

It's also true that we play on a circuit that is in his favor, made ??????of tournaments that are held on super fast courts.
I think Uncle T had too much sangria in him when he made this statement. He would not have like his nephew to have played in the 90s. Super fast? Why are there so many long rallies and so few winners compared to unforced errors? Rubbish from the biased uncle. Does he expect the ATP to switch to all clay tournaments just to benefit his nephew?

chr18 , 10/7/12 2:36 PM

Toni is referring to all of the indoor tournaments including Paris and the 1500 pt World Tour Finals and the 500 pt events including Rotterdam and Basel plus Cincinatti and therecent Blue Clay failure used to prop up Roger's ranking. Still plenty of super fast tennis for the Maestro.


Conspirator , 10/7/12 3:02 PM

Sure even the French Open is faster than it was in the 90's and before in Paris' obvious attempts to get Roger his FO which eventually worked. He'd have never won one in the 90s just as Sampras would likely have bagged a French had he played in the last 10 years.


Conspirator , 10/7/12 3:07 PM

chr18, even leaving the 250 events aside, on the ATP tour, there are

Masters Series - 6 h/c, 3 clay
500s - 8 h/c, 3 clay
WTF - All h/c

Plus slams 2 h/c, 1 grass, 1 clay

Can you not see the imbalance?

nadline , 10/7/12 3:12 PM

Thank you Conspirator and nadline, you have answered chr18 more than adequately. I would simply like to ask chr18 if we can then conclude that it was the sangria speaking when Uncle Toni said Federer is better than Rafa? I mean, the whole conversation was recorded at one sitting, it's not as if one sentence was uttered sober and the other in a state of intoxication.


rafaisthebest , 10/7/12 3:21 PM

Most of the hard courts are slow except Cincy. Paris indoors is slow and the O2 court is medium at best. Besides if he wanted more titles he would have never stopped playing The Golden Swing.

chr18 , 10/7/12 7:00 PM

There's nothing wrong with what Uncle Toni had said about the court surfaces favoring Fed's style of play. If the court surfaces are more clay than hard courts, I'm sure Rafa would have more titles than Fed and Fed and his team would be complaining too. The tour is the way it is now so everyone has to adjust to suit the surface(s).

At least there're enough clay court tournaments for players to pick and choose from, though it's not possible to not play on hard courts totally. I believe Rafa can choose to play more clay events and still be able to retain his ranking within the top ten, even the top four.

luckystar , 10/7/12 7:15 PM

Don't waste your breath lucky. chr18 knows his argument has no merit. He is just being what comes naturally where Rafa is concerned: curmudgeonly.

rafaisthebest , 10/7/12 7:20 PM

No, there're still many fast hard courts around. Besides Cincy, Shanghai is also a fast court. The indoor courts of Paris and O2 are not slow too. Don't forget if all courts are as quick as that Paris court of 2010, even Fed won't be able to win it.

Among the 500 events, Rotterdam, Dubai, Beijing, Tokyo, Basel and Valencia are all fast hard courts! The courts at Flushing Meadows are not exactly slow, and RG can be fast depending on the weather conditions.

So, Fed can still play mostly on the fast hard courts if he chooses to play all four 500 events on hard courts, eg Rotterdam, Dubai, Tokyo and Basel; add in Paris, Cincy, Shanghai, USO and O2, that'll be nine events on fast hard courts. He normally plays 17 events these days and if we throw in two grass events, then he effectively only plays six events on slower surfaces (including maybe three clay events).

For Rafa, he can choose to play Acapulco, Bacelona, MC and Tokyo for the 500 events, skips two hard court masters from 2014 onwards, maybe skip one of IW/Miami each year and plays all three clay Masters plus Barcelona. So, he can play six or even seven clay events(if he wants he can play Hamburg and skip Tokyo/Beijing in some years), two grass events, and then plays eight/nine hard court events, as he normally plays seventeen events per year these days.

All these can be planned to suit the different styles of the players. I'm glad Rafa has earned the right to skip one or two Masters these days so his scheduling can become more flexible these days.

luckystar , 10/7/12 7:41 PM

Rafa is not the only player who thinks h/c is bad for tennis.

Do hard courts shorten pro tennis players' careers?

September 13, 2012

Note: A modified version of this post appears as my sports medicine column in the September 13, 2012 issue of The Post and Courier.

Andy Murray won his first Grand Slam tournament Monday night on the hard courts at Flushing Meadows. As were most fans, I was happy Murray finally ascended to the top of his sport. I couldn?t help wondering, though, if a healthy Rafael Nadal would have stopped him. Long hampered by a chronic patellar tendon injury, Nadal elected to skip the two grueling weeks on the Arthur Ashe Stadium hard courts and try to rehab his ailing knee.

It led me to ponder a bigger question though. Do those hard courts shorten the careers of professional players like Nadal?

At only 26 years of age, Rafael Nadal arguably boasts one of the most impressive tennis resumes in recent memory. He has won 11 Grand Slam titles and the 2008 Olympic gold medal during his relatively brief career. But his lingering patellar tendon problems have proven to be a formidable opponent.

After missing the Olympics, Nadal withdrew from this year's U.S. Open. In a statement, he acknowledged having a 'partial tear of the patella tendon at the distal pole of the patella plus an inflammation of the Hoffa?s fat pad of his left knee".

Unfortunately for Nadal, there are no easy treatments for his injury. Rest, rehab to strengthen the knee, and occasionally braces or taping make up the main treatment options. Unproven injections can be attempted if pain persists. No reliable surgical options exist. Patellar tendinopathy or partial patellar tendon tears can be difficult problems for an athlete who plays a repetitive impact sport like tennis.

Nadal's withdrawal has renewed speculation that his best years might already be behind him. Many tennis observers have urged the Spaniard to play a more judicious schedule to preserve his health for the Grand Slams.

Would a reduced schedule help him win the U.S. Open again? In an article for the New York Daily News, Filip Bondy argued that Nadal would never win another major title on a hard court because the surface is too unforgiving for his knees.

I disagree that Nadal couldn't battle through two weeks of matches on the Deco Turf at the U.S. Open. But Bondy's argument that the hard courts could be shortening his career and the careers of other professionals might have some merit.

Some players acknowledge the toll the hard courts take on players. Lindsay Davenport pointed out to Bondy, "I think the days of players lasting as long as Jimmy (Connors) did are over, just because there?s more tennis on hard courts." Brad Gilbert stated even more bluntly, "Put it this way. How many sports do you know that they play on cement?"

Tennis player on hard courtLittle data exists to prove that the court surface by itself leads to more injuries. Too many other variables ? such as the number of tournaments played, the different numbers of matches played, and different styles of play ? make definitive conclusions difficult.

Theoretically the argument makes sense. Running all over the court for hours every day for many months of the year causes a tremendous amount of repetitive stress on the knees, ankles, and feet. With the tennis season now running almost all year long, these players? bodies can break down.

I would never argue that the hard court surfaces necessarily cause tennis injuries. For players with overuse injuries of their lower bodies, they probably don't make the tournaments easier either. I do wonder if we will see players like Nadal play fewer hard court tournaments later in their careers. yers-careers/

nadline , 10/7/12 7:45 PM

The hard court argument is moot. Grass and clay courts are more expensive to maintain so hard courts will dominate. Toni is a downright liar for saying the courts are super fast. Most of the hard courts are slow and even Wimbledon is so slow in the second week it plays like green clay.

chr18 , 10/7/12 9:16 PM

Toni is a downright liar for saying the courts are super fast.

chr18 , 10/7/12 9:16 PM

Nice, especially seeing as Toni will not post a response.

rafaisthebest , 10/7/12 9:48 PM

Don't agree with 'most of the hard courts are slow', as at least six of the 500 events are on fast hard courts (don't know about Washington). Paris and London are not exactly slow, and generally indoors make the conditions a bit quicker. Cincy and Shanghai are not slow, so only three of the hard court Masters are slower - IW, Miami and Canada. Madrid Masters is not on slow clay, it's more a fast clay surface, Rome is no longer a slow court either. The courts at AO may be slow but the USO courts are not slow, at least it's quicker there than at the AO.

The grass at Wimbledon was already slowed down since 2002 so what's the point of complaining about the slowness every now and then? In the past the grass surface used to wear down around the net area but now the wearing down is more around the baseline, due to mainly baseline games being played these days. The slowed down surface still allows the big servers and big hitters to prosper, it's not like they're now at a disadvantage. Likewise for those aggressive players. Those who won Wimbledon since 2002 still have to play an aggressive game to win, it's not like the conditions now favors the defensive players so IMO I don't think reverting back to the fast grass of the past is good for the game. At least now we can have nice rallies, like the Fed/Nadal matches, or serve fest like Fed/Roddick match.

luckystar , 10/7/12 9:50 PM

Uncle Toni is a liar? Now that is a charming statement! It always seems as though chr18 is anxious to push people's buttons with insulting and outrageous comments like this.

I actually think they have been trying to speed up the clay courts. Madrid is an example of a clay court that is really a hard court with some clay on top. It plays more like a fast hard court, especially with the high altitude.

Lucky really made all these points, so no need to repeat it. As I said, it's just a way to provoke people. But there is very little truth in this idea that all courts are slower now.

Nativenewyorker , 10/7/12 10:06 PM

Like I said before, chr18 has no valid argument, why else would he resort to insults?

rafaisthebest , 10/7/12 10:10 PM

...............and remember, chr18 does not need an invitation to have a go at all things Rafa.

rafaisthebest , 10/7/12 10:16 PM

I don't care what anybody says but it's ridiculous to try and change the facts by saying the courts are super fast when they're not even as fast as they were 10 years ago. The only super fast court I've seen is San Jose and nobody noteworthy plays there.

chr18 , 10/8/12 1:40 AM

chr10-18's name says it all.


Conspirator , 10/8/12 1:43 AM

See the truth. You can't change facts. Where are the super fast courts?

chr18 , 10/8/12 1:50 AM

chr10-18, please read more carefully.

Conspirator , 10/8/12 2:14 AM

I can't change the 10-18 so why bring it up? Can you change Toni's lie to fact? No answer to where the super fast courts are? My point stands. You have to resort to 10-18 because that's all you all have. Even Toni brought up the Davy example.

chr18 , 10/8/12 2:18 AM

chr10-18, I already answered your well thought out question before you asked it.

Please see Conspirator, 10/7/12 3:02 PM or can't you read.


Conspirator , 10/8/12 2:33 AM

Conspirator 11-17,
A rubbish answer. Those courts aren't super fast. Basel and Cincy are the only fast ones there. You can try to put all the spin on Toni's lie all you want. The facts aren't changing. Insults are your last resort I see. I'm done with this subject.

chr18 , 10/8/12 2:58 AM

You say tomato, I say tomahto, let's call the whole thing off.


Conspirator , 10/8/12 3:32 AM

Trolls are so ironic. Chr10-18 started this by calling Toni Nadal a liar and then calls others into question for insults.


Conspirator , 10/8/12 3:38 AM

Does it ever stop? same ol same ol, ganging up and insults/name-calling. sheesh

scoretracker , 10/8/12 3:47 AM

Agree with your final pick Ricky. Nole over Fed.

Conspirator , 10/8/12 4:02 AM

It's a fact that there are more hard courts than the clay and grass courts. And it doesn't mean that cutting down on the hard courts means more clay courts; it can be more grass courts instead. So instead of having five outdoor hard court Masters, why not cut down one and have a grass court Masters? With an additional one week break between the clay and grass season from 2015 onwards, it'll be nice to have a grass court Masters in place, by converting either Queens or Halle into a Masters. For the additional one week, they can squeeze in a grass court 250 event and so players have additional options to play on grass.

Reducing the mandatory events from 18 to 16 may also help players to plan properly and have more time to rest and recover thus reducing chances of injuries. All these are options that can be considered, it's not necessary to convert many courts to clay courts, just reducing the no. of mandatory events may help.

luckystar , 10/8/12 4:13 AM

Oh it's not only Basel and Cincy are super fast. Rotterdam, Dubai, Tokyo and Shanghai are super fast too. Now if you want super super fast courts, why not have all indoor courts as fast as that 2010 Paris Masters surface? Not even Fed could win on that surface. I think Raonic, Isner, Karlovic. Anderson, Querrey, Delpo, Berdych and Llodra could win a Masters or two on that kind of surfaces.

Uncle Toni's 'super fast' may be relative, comparing the hard courts to clay ones. The players are not playing in the 1990s (not even Fed had played much on the 1990s surfaces), so how quick the courts were back then is no longer relevant now.

luckystar , 10/8/12 4:34 AM


I appreciate your reasonable responses. But I fear they will fall on deaf ears. You can't have a discussion when someone won't hear you. Even Conspirator tried, but again he was ignored.

It's a waste of time to even bother having a discussion with someone who believes that only their point of view is the right one.

Nativenewyorker , 10/8/12 4:39 AM

It's difficult for anyone to have an adult discussion when childish inferences are thrown into the mix, and people gang up to prove one of their own has the most valid point.

On the number of HCs vs. clay courts, some fail to take into account the numerous clay court tournaments held each year in SA, Spain, and other countries, in comparison to HCs. What is being focused on is the NA HC season, and the clay court season which lead up to the GS, e.g., FO and USO. If the SA clay courts and other clay court tourneys held in Spain, Estoril, Acapulco, Serbia, et al., were taken into account, one who is logical and open-minded would see that in reality, it's about equal (HC/clay) or I'd hazard a guess that there might be a few more clay than HC, and those vclay courts have their own selectfollowers, e.g., clay courters.Hence, why should there be less HCs available for players who have a preference for HCs?

It's a fact that the only two super fast outdoor HCs are Cincy and San Jose, with possibly Dubai running a close thrid followed by USO and Atlanta. The other fast HCs are indoors, e.g., Shanghai, Tokyo and Rotterdam, but they are medium to fast HC.

Further, it's a known fact that the HCs have been slowed down, and are progressively being changed to the slower side. The slow hardcourts favor players like Djokovic, Murray and Nadal who have time to set up for their return shots, not only Federer, who is able to adjust to the various change in speeds. Thus, Fed is not the only beneficiary of the slower HCs. The Paris Ms tourney favours big servers, of which Fed is not. hence, Fed was not expected to win on that court coz he's not a big server. there's a difference between big servers and Fed, when we're talkiing about super fast HCs.

scoretracker , 10/8/12 5:46 AM

No, go and take a look at the ATP main tour events, there're more hard courts than clay. Also there're only eleven 500 events and out of which only three are on clay, ie eight on hard courts. Out of nine Masters, only three are on clay and six on hard courts. Out of four slams, two are on hard and one on clay. The WFF is also on hard court.

There are numerous 250 events, both on clay and hard courts. However, the top 30 players are required to play only two 250 events, so it's not like Rafa is going to play five clay 250 events to make up for his ranking points! It's a fact that majority of the more important events are on the hard courts, and I believe that's what Uncle Toni is talking about.

If a player is not allowed to skip any Masters event, effectively he has to play six Masters on hard courts and two on clay, and two slams on hard courts and one on clay. They are also required to play one 500 event after the USO, and all of those 500 events after the USO are on the hard courts; add in the WTF, and so the top eight players have to play at least 10 events on the hard courts. Effectively players have to play min of 53% on hard, 11% on grass and 36% on clay. It's only when one is allowed to skip a Masters or two that one can alter that %.

Even Fed can't win on that fast hard court of Paris, so that's my point. Are wenin favor of speeding up the courts to that kind of speed? IMO maybe one of the courts could be of that speed to be fair to those big servers or those who still play the S&V game like Llodra. There're enough or more than enough fast hard courts around, including some indoor 250 events, so I don't think all courts are slow these days. They just have to give the players more options, by reducing the mandatory events, like for eg, reducing the no.of Masters required from eight to seven, and allowing players to choose which they wish to play to make up the seven (and restoring MC to a Masters 1000 event so that players have nine Masters to choose from).

luckystar , 10/8/12 6:20 AM


I take back what I said in my previous post! I am glad that you posted again and made some excellent points to back up your argument.

Well said!

Nativenewyorker , 10/8/12 6:26 AM

If more than two people join in a discussion, it's labelled ganging up. Scratches head.


ed251137 , 10/8/12 6:37 AM

Out of the 4 GS, two on hard, one on clay, and one on grass. I see grass was conveniently left out. Thus, the GS are split very evenly, IMO. I suppose if two were clay and one on hard and one on grass that would suit the Nadal camp just fine?

Players are allowed to skip one MS after they've attained 500 wins, and Nadal has already attained that status. If he chooses to play all MS tourneys it's s not anyone's problem, just his own. MC is not a mandatory tourney, but he makes it a priority coz it's a great way to collect 1000 points.

Nadal does not have to play Barcelona, but he insists on playing there coz he knows he will win and collect more points. Why is he doing that? Appearance fees and ranking points. i don't belieive for one moment it's due to home country tournament. There are other tournaments in Spain, why doesn't he play all of them, if it's about country?

As I see it, the point wasn't about Paris, it was about supposedly ALL of the HCs being too fast, to favor Fed, which is far from the truth.Thus, pointing out that even Fed can't win there is straying far from the point. why shouldn't the big servers have something going for them? should they be punished coz they are gifted with a great serve that some can only dream of having?

Anyway, off this topic coz I don't need the little jab fest. This is an example and a reason why there can't be any meaninful discussions, and I'm not going to waste my time. Enjoy.

scoretracker , 10/8/12 6:56 AM

Two or more people can join in a discussion if they have something meaningful to say, but reading the above posts, that's not so, is it? just two meaningful posters and the rest are just doing the usual. One has to be very oblivious to not see what's happening. same ol same ol.

scoretracker , 10/8/12 7:06 AM

Since I brought up the Uncle Toni interview let me sum up as follows:

After listening to arguments from both sides, I am persuaded by Uncle Toni's assertions. Roger Federer is the GOAT, the ATP circuit favours Roger Federer and Rafa prefers the company of Pico, Ferru and Feli.

Vamos Rafa!!

rafaisthebest , 10/8/12 7:20 AM

If more than two people join in a discussion, it's labelled ganging up. Scratches head.


ed251137 , 10/8/12 6:37 AM

#justrollyoureyesa ndignore

Vamos Tennistalk!!

rafaisthebest , 10/8/12 7:26 AM

I see you're missing out on the reasoning. First nobody left out the grass court discussion, please see some of the above posts. Second, we're discussing about hard courts vs clay, not what's favoring Rafa. Also grass is not only favoring Rafa but also Fed, so that point is moot. Third, chr18 was complaining about more slow hard courts than fast ones, so I've listed out those fast ones. The Paris Masters 2010 surface was the fastest of them all and even Fed couldn't win on that, so why's chr18 still complaining when most of the fast hard courts are not as fast as that one?

Fourth, as I've mentioned IMO one of the Masters can be of that super fast surface of that Paris Masters. It's not like the likes of Delpo, Raonic, Berdych can't threaten on the fast hard court playing surfaces now, even Benneteau could beat Fed at Paris Masters one year (and it's not that super fast one of 2010), Berdych or was it Tsonga beating Fed at Cincy last year. Even Davy could beat both Nole and Rafa at Shanghai one year. Even on the slower IW/Miami courts, Roddick and Ljuby could still beat Rafa enroute to their title wins.

It's arguable that the slowing down of courts favored the likes of Rafa, Nole and Murray. Fed is also a beneficiary of it; speeding up the courts now may favor the big servers and big hitters, I'm not sure spectators want that kind of three shots end a point tennis. IMO there're enough of fast hard courts, especially the indoor ones, so theses big serving players still can prosper in the tours. Also, their big serves still work well on grass, just watch how difficult playing against them at Wimbledon, the likes of Muller, Isner, even Delpo.

luckystar , 10/8/12 7:28 AM

Trolls are so ironic. Chr10-18 started this by calling Toni Nadal a liar and then calls others into question for insults.


Conspirator , 10/8/12 3:38 AM

Enough said.

rafaisthebest , 10/8/12 7:32 AM

Thank you @lucky, the voice of reason and facts, as usual.

rafaisthebest , 10/8/12 7:42 AM

I don't care what anybody says..............

chr18 , 10/8/12 1:40 AM

That much is clear...

rafaisthebest , 10/8/12 7:48 AM

Are only Fed fans *trolls* and *bullies*? If we were trolling and bullying, you'd all go outta your minds, and you know it. Don't use words you don't understand. FYI, rolling eyes and scratching heads could cause serious displacement of those body parts. One could end up seeing slanted and upside down, and brainless.

As I said, enough @6:56am, and 7:06am, am not going to waste my time coz it's the usual same ol same ol. Out of the flock, only one has something meaningful to discuss, the rest are just doing their usual, using name-calling and taunting to make a mockery of everything.

Same ol same ol. I bow to the masses coz am outnumbered, wherein 'resistance is futile', as per the Borg. Enjoy the quips.

scoretracker , 10/8/12 8:05 AM

Reading this discussion has been fascinating. I don't see any ganging up at all. It's called a disagreement. That's what happens on forums when people have conflicting ideas! Good grief! Why this has to be explained, I have no idea!


I admire your perseverance and patience. You are continue to bolster your arguments with facts and have not resorted to any personal attacks of any kind. Sometimes unfortunately, it's about one person needing to keep proving that their point of view is the only correct one.

Nativenewyorker , 10/8/12 8:08 AM

chr18, you are the one making a case for teenagers who don't exist in the top 100, even going as far as claiming that 27 year old Isner, 24 year old Delpo and 21 year old Raonic are teenagers.

Who is being economical with the truth, you or Toni?

nadline , 10/8/12 8:16 AM

I'm sure most spectators do NOT want to watch a serve fest. Once you've marvelled at the power/accuracy of the serve, what's left? I for one, start twitching and reading my book. Fell asleep during the Sampras era.
That's why watching Kei beat Raonic was such a pleasure on many levels.

deuce , 10/8/12 8:16 AM

#determinedtohavethel astword

rafaisthebest , 10/8/12 8:18 AM

deuce , 10/8/12 8:16 AM

I am with you, I find serve-fests totally brainless. But that is their point, isn't it? To spare the server the "agony" of constructing a point? By the way, this is the basis for the "argument" that courts have been slowed get the drift.

You will be surprised deucy. There are people out there who positively gush at serve-fests. You only have to listen to some of the commentators when Serena, Roddick, Isner, Querry, Raonic are playing.

rafaisthebest , 10/8/12 8:29 AM

............but then again, to find serve-fests truly enjoyable, it helps to have the attention span of a gnat.

rafaisthebest , 10/8/12 8:32 AM

One more point about Rafa. Rafa only plays three instead of four mandatory 500 events - MC, Barcelona, Tokyo. If he doesn't play at MC, is he going to play at Rotterdam or Dubai? His detractors will question him on why he's playing on hard courts instead of clay. And he'll be accused of being greedy for the appearance fees. He has already skipped one Masters, the Paris Masters, since 2010 when he's allowed to skip one. Come 2014, he should be able to skip two, so I feel that playing at Acapulco, and skip one of IW/Miami and plays all four clay events leading up to the FO may help him to maximize his playing on clay. He still can skip the Paris Masters at the end of the year.

luckystar , 10/8/12 8:35 AM

Size of trophy when Djokovic won tropy 2012: y+9/TLbYgFSFwLv/Novak+Djokovic

Size of trophy when Rafa won back when: spain-holds-up-the-championship-trophy-news-photo/55713110?esource=lin kconn&aid=39902&asid=94532&cid=4157&lid=12413

rafaisthebest , 10/8/12 12:28 PM

nadline, 10/8/12 8:16 AM
You never understood what I was saying about the teenagers and GS. I added those 3 in their 20s not to say they were teenagers(duh!) but to point out they didn't have the fitness to win despite having the skill and weaponry. You either don't understand or play dumb I guess.

chr18 , 10/8/12 12:50 PM

Maybe Rafa should reconsider Hamburg. Not the best time of year for clay but that shouldn't matter for him. Awkward week to play I suppose as its during his traditional summer break between Wimby and Canada.


Conspirator , 10/8/12 4:33 PM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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