• Nadal and Federer share Indian Wells quarter

    3/6/13 8:36 PM | Cheryl Murray
    Nadal and Federer share Indian Wells quarter Roger Federer, whose form has been sagging a bit since the Australian Open, shares his section of the draw with arch-rival Rafael Nadal, whose ranking dipped to No. 5 in the world on the heels of a 7-month lay-off.

    World No. 2 Roger Federer and No. 5 Rafael Nadal share the same quarter, but their paths to the quarterfinals could not look more different. Nadal shares his portion of the draw with the badly out-of-form Janko Tipsarevic and the Italian clay-courter Andreas Seppi.

    By contrast, Federer faces a possible third round showdown with Julien Benneteau, the Frenchman who sent him packing in the quarterfinals of Rotterdam and a round of 16 encounter with either John Isner or more likely Stanislas Wawrinka.

    If the seeding holds up, it will be Federer vs. Nadal in the quarterfinals. Generally, Nadal has had the upper hand in these battles, but Federer got the straight-set win over the Spaniard a year ago in the semifinals and that was with a Nadal that wasn't still shaking off the rust of a 7-month layoff.

    The good news for the Nadal camp is that Federer hasn't been in particularly good form of late, which might put them on more equal footing.

    Federer will be favored to move through this section, but a Nadal win wouldn't be a surprise.

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"The good news for the Nadal camp"...I just love these words...they are hiding secret positives...Rafa's performance and Cheryl's "good news" go along me superstitious or childish but I so much believe in "good news" on Rafa...

Vamos Rafa!

natashao , 3/6/13 10:48 PM

Just came across the first Rafa vs Fed match from 2004 Miami highlights...

Man, those were fast rallies. Even then Rafa was playing well at the net.


Conspirator , 3/7/13 2:59 AM

For those of you who have Tennis Channel a replay of 'pee-gate' is coming on in about 30 minutes so we can see a preview of what's likely to happen in the QF.

chr18 , 3/7/13 3:50 AM

^^^ You're fighting a losing battle here. Why are you so petty, Rafa can beat Fed on a hard court without any gamesmanship. We can see for ourselves from all those wins Rafa has over Fed. Fed isn't above the board where gamesmanship

luckystar , 3/7/13 4:07 AM

I don't recall Fed going to pee right before his opponent served for a match. Do you?

chr18 , 3/7/13 4:15 AM

Conspirator - yes and that's why I said Rafa was a lot more aggressive when he was much younger. I rewatched his AO 2004 match vs Hewitt the other day and noticed how well he could already played then on the hard courts. His court position - he was standing so close to the baseline, especially when returning serves - and I was surprised by how willing he was to approach the net. He was certainly not a defensive player and wasn't playing a defensive game. Somehow after his successes on the clay courts in 2005, he started to play his clay court game even on the hard courts. It's a mistake in my opinion, contributing to his knee problems when he had to run and run so much on the hard courts to retrieve shots from so far behind the baseline.

luckystar , 3/7/13 4:15 AM

Well Fed was even more ridiculous, by going to the loo and waited for a while for the sun to move over the court, and upsetting Davy's momentum and cost Davy the set and then the match.

luckystar , 3/7/13 4:27 AM

I also never remember at match point wimbledon final someone complained the opponent while he was about to serve...

tettylds , 3/7/13 4:29 AM

Now clearly Nole is the guy to beat, so it is more fun to speculate how RAFA will fare against Nole.

Fedal H2H can only get widen, never going to be close.
Fed is heading towards 'Hall Of Fame' ceremony.

sabs , 3/7/13 8:35 AM

What about Nadal calling to get his fingers taped after the warm-up and right before the clay match in 2006? Why couldn't that be done before coming on court? It wasn't that happenend during the warm up, it was in existence before coming on court. Players usually attend to those tapings before taking the court.

scoretracker , 3/7/13 8:52 AM

^^^ Do agree about Rafa and Nole. Nole is always better in their H2H on HCs and Rafa on the clay courts. I don't think Rafa is ready to beat Nole on the hard court so soon. He'll have his chances come the second half of the season. If Rafa continues to play like he did at Acapulco then I believe he'll close the gap with Nole on the hard courts.

luckystar , 3/7/13 8:53 AM

"He'll have his chances come the second half of the season..."

No, he won't.

Twinge , 3/7/13 11:15 AM

^^^ Yes he'll have! Lets wait and see who's right by then, no point arguing now!

luckystar , 3/7/13 11:27 AM

nadline , 3/7/13 11:31 AM

Im not trying to argue with you my sweet, I just think there is a lot of collective wishful thinking going on here.
So where will he have his chances in the 2nd half of the season exactly?
The US open perhaps where he will try for his 3rd HC slam (only if he makes the finals of both RG and Wimbledon will he have a shot & i think if its Novak on the end it would be best if he did not)
Or maybe Shanghai and the Asian swing, well we know whats happened there recently don't we?
Rafa's best chance is coming up sooner than that, on preferred surfaces of clay and grass. And it might just be a little bit early to go on a tear.
As for this newly aggressive Nadal (the `Nadal as Fed` you always really wanted Lucky eh?) it has little to do with `evolution` and much more to do with damage limitation against any further injuries because if the knees go yet again, that is probably that.

Twinge , 3/7/13 11:49 AM

Absolutely awesome pictures of Rafa bumping in to fed on the practice courts: a.546649508689536.1073741840.148883365132821&type=3&theater

The kings of mens tennis.

willmw101 , 3/7/13 12:00 PM

And NO taping on the knee for practice!! VAMOS. Practice court absolutely RAMMED to watch Nadal hit.

Love the fact that when Nadal is back, no one cares about djokovic. Apparently djokovic's practice was empty! LOL

willmw101 , 3/7/13 12:03 PM

You are right Twinge. With the great Murray around who can expect a minion like Rafa to even think of making a break through; he stands no chance. He'll just have to go home quietly and reflect on his h2h with the top 4

19-4 over Nole
18-10 over Roger
13-05 over Murray
17-4 over Ferrer

Vamos Rafa

nadline , 3/7/13 12:03 PM

Twinge, as I said, no point arguing. Also Rafa need not be like Fed to win on hard courts. His aggressive game is always there and is good enough, just plays it consistently I/O doing it too late, that's nothing new. In fact playing on the quicker courts will be better for Rafa, as he need not engage in too many long rallies, that in itself is helping him in limiting his exposure to the hard courts. We shall see!

luckystar , 3/7/13 12:12 PM

^^Well If he goes home quietly now he would at least keep his H2H leads impressively intact for ageing fan girls and ninnies alike to mull starry eyed over, (despite the clay boost that is present in all of them).
Andy Murray is not the `great Murray` either, the tour is like a circus show but it still isn't quite the same.
Furthermore overladen sarcasm is a rather vulgar form of wit in my estimation.
And finally its 19-14 over Novak,
for now.......

Twinge , 3/7/13 12:16 PM

Sorry - 19-14 (just a a typo).

Who said I was being sarcastic? Murray is nearly the GOAT.

nadline , 3/7/13 12:19 PM

Oh hahah yes INDEED!
Its akin to debating with Bart Simpson on acid talking to you Today.
If Bart Simpson was an entombed in suburbia housewife with too much time on his hands that is.

Twinge , 3/7/13 12:25 PM

The GOAT has been crowned by Sports Science:

chr18 , 3/7/13 12:47 PM

Twinge, 3/7/13 12:25 PM
LOL! your use of analogies are hilarious :)

tj600 , 3/7/13 12:50 PM

^^thank you,
Actually I consider nagline something of a `muse`
She's so inspirational!

Twinge , 3/7/13 1:21 PM

I think people are underestimating Nadal again...Rafa at IW feels at home...if Rafa was given a choice to play only one hard court event that would end up to be this one...he simply loves it! This year he is even advantaged in a sense that he is under no pressure whatsoever: going deep as to SFs would be considered as an accomplishment...
OTOH, Rafa really likes seeing Fed in the QTs and there are several reasons for it: he will certainly play underdog role and he will enjoy it; he will be relaxed playing, as Rafa always points out, the best tennis player ever for whom Rafa has enormous respect. If he ends up losing the match he will simply say that he lost from the best, if he wins he will apologize to Fed as he always does...yes, Rafa loves seeing Fed on the other side of the court...
Rafans do not expect Rafa to win the title, although we sure would love it to happen...but let's be honest: WE DO EXPECT Rafa to beat Fed...yes we DO...and he will beat him...
Vamos Rafa!

natashao , 3/7/13 2:25 PM

Federer took a toilet break at the end of the late-afternoon first set in which the court was in half-shadow, returning from the locker-room like a man walking to the gallows.

Federer rallied when the contest was played out in cooling conditions in complete shadow and Davydenko appeared to be out of the contest when he lost 13 consecutive games from 3-1 in the second set.

"I was struggling with the sun coming in on the side and I was hoping for the sun to go down," Federer said.

"You are allowed to have two toilet breaks and I never use them.

"I had to go to the toilet too. But all I was looking for was one point to make a difference - and sometimes it does.

"I knew I had time on my side. I always feel I am superior in the mental and physical side against Nikolay."


Conspirator , 3/7/13 2:40 PM

Anywhere there is roof, Federer always do rain dance and complain to close roof.

Work at Wimbledon but not China vs Andy.


Conspirator , 3/7/13 2:48 PM

^^It should be noted, Conspirator, that Roger benefitted from 3 closed roofs last year
(Benneteau, Djokovic and Murray).
I wouldnt be surprised if he paid the entire Cherokee nation to bend the weather to his will at the time.
But then one doesnt have to pray TOO hard for rain in Londinium,

Twinge , 3/7/13 3:02 PM

The "downpour" on the court in Shainghai were Fed's tears which he claimed were rain drops. This delay BTW was a delay tactic just before Muzz was about to serve for the match.


Conspirator , 3/7/13 3:43 PM

Just caught up on this thread.

All I can say is twinge really has a lot of hatred, aggression, maliciousness and self-deceptions, self-aggrandization, and emptiness..... and chooses to show it to thousands or tens of thousands of readers of this site. I don't know why anyone bothers to answer and fan the flames. OK, I guess I just did. But it will be the last time I write about Twinge and will never answer any comments... as that would do absolutely no good to anyone.

chlorostoma , 3/10/13 12:57 AM

With reference to the post above all I can say is ??? What is chlorostoma talking about?
Twinge is one of the best and definitely a very intelligent poster.

holdserve , 3/10/13 1:38 AM

I guess Chloro must've got out of bed on the wrong side yesterday - or simply doesn't 'get' Twingey's quirky sense of humour. Agree with holdserve that his comments enliven discussions no end - particularly when he is doing a double act with Deuce.

ed251137 , 3/10/13 9:26 AM

lol! looks like bad break up to me..

chenna21 , 3/10/13 10:31 AM

ed, you are right. I overreacted to one of twinge's posts above whose tone and implications I thought were particularly nasty.... still, I overreacted. I mentioned in a post last week I had a bump in the road and have not been on the internet much for weeks. It was a medical bump. rather large. I am more or less back to myself :-) but not quite. What I wrote above about twinge probably does not apply much to twinge... rather it is what I think of the worst of the trolls here.

My apologies. I take back everything I wrote about you in 12:57AM post.

chlorostoma , 3/10/13 3:50 PM

Sorry to hear you have been having problems Chloro. I guessed you were out of sorts because your retort to Twinge's post was completely out of character but I didn't mean to sound so sharp. Hope you're back on form soon. Cheers.

ed251137 , 3/11/13 8:19 AM

chlo. I'm glad you are on the way to recovery.

nadline , 3/11/13 9:29 AM

My apologies. I take back everything I wrote about you in 12:57AM post"

Oh well, you're off the hook!
I suppose..
Now you have apologised so tidily that is.

Twinge , 3/11/13 11:24 AM

And a special thankyou to my glamourous ladies in crime,
Holdserve & Ed,
Feeling all glowy right now :)

Twinge , 3/11/13 11:27 AM


I know where you are coming from. My computer died last week and this is my first time here with my new computer. So it's good to be back online.

I know that you are a good person and would never intentionally hurt anyone here.

Nativenewyorker , 3/11/13 6:53 PM

Anyone hear Murray and Djokovic's pressers? Murray gave great credit to Donskoy and said how intelligently he played. Djokovic on the other hand said how he was always in complete control of the match and that he played very badly at times and should never "HAVE LET" fognini get a grip in the match.

As number 1 you cannot be that condescending and arrogant to fellow players. Having had Federer and then Nadal set such incredible sportsmanship examples it is jarring to see djokovic as an arrogant and slightly classless number 1.

willmw101 , 3/11/13 7:22 PM

Well Rafa for sure.

Federer shows sportsmanship when he wins. Not so sporty when he lost to Nole at USO or Berdych at Wimby though.


Conspirator , 3/11/13 8:04 PM

I don't know about Fed when it comes to sportsmanship. As Conspirator noted above, he is a good sport when he wins, but when he loses that's another thing entirely.


Nativenewyorker , 3/11/13 8:10 PM

Barely any of the top players take losing well. I actually think Djokovic is a good sport as he is a good loser, and that is difficult. For example, compare his reaction losing the US open 2010 to Nadals losing the next year. I don't think Federer is a particularly good sport either, especially when he loses to players you got the impression he doesn't like so much.

rbennett , 3/11/13 11:18 PM

^^^The funny man does break a few racquets and kicks seats in when things are not going his way, though.

nadline , 3/11/13 11:31 PM

I've never seen Rafa, Nole nor Muzz be disrespectful in post match pressers.

Fed on the other hand....


Conspirator , 3/11/13 11:59 PM

Nadline - I know, he does hug opponents after losing grand slam finals though, what a guy!

rbennett , 3/12/13 1:42 AM

Whatever the things be, but Djokovic is definitely the best loser of all the players on the tour. Nobody takes the defeat more sportingly than he does.

abhirf , 3/12/13 8:49 AM

Djokovic may be a very good loser. However without a doubt he is the worst winner. Much much worse.

willmw101 , 3/12/13 12:03 PM

I agree regarding Djokovic being the worst winer...he behaves like an animal when he wins...Disgusting and classless

atul1985 , 3/12/13 1:07 PM

Agree....Fed is a classless loser and Nole is a classless winner.
Rafa's happiness at winning or unhappiness at losing is a conversation with himself. Muzza shows very understated reactions. Almost stoic. Except at Olympics or Davis Cup.

holdserve , 3/12/13 1:22 PM

@ Willmw.......hehe!! Thats a funny one, but true!!

Any predictions about the quarter final match between Rafa and Roger...........if they met that is?

Monalysa , 3/12/13 1:46 PM

Monalysa, I have no idea. Gulbis will be a good test and will probably tell us where rafa's level is. If Rafa makes it through Gulbism, then I think it really comes down to how well rafa, rather than fed, is playing. On these slow, high bouncing hard courts if Rafa finds anywhere close to top form he should handle federer. However I'm not that confident, YET, that he can reach that level at Indian Wells.

willmw101 , 3/12/13 2:15 PM

INTERVIEWER: What's your prediction for the fight?
CLUBBER LANG: My prediction?
INTERVIEWER: Yes, your prediction.


Conspirator , 3/12/13 2:22 PM

"Stoic" is an excellent word to describe Andy's reaction to winning. I think more often than not he puts himself in the position of the loser.
However, I've seen Andy criticised so many times for his under stated celebrating, it's obvious for some people he just can't win.
In fact after the USOpen he said something like "I'm sorry I can't show on the outside what I'm feeling on the inside."
#Wub :)

deuce , 3/12/13 2:54 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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