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  • Federer believes Nadal the major threat in Paris

    5/19/13 10:10 PM | Johan Lindahl
    Federer believes Nadal the major threat in Paris Roger Federer knows that the taming of Rafael Nadal on clay requires a superhuman effort after the Spaniard beat him 6-1, 6-3 to win a seventh Rome title in nine years and a sixth from eight starts this season.

    "It is difficult to beat Nadal in Paris," said the Swiss, who has yet to win a Rome trophy. "Novak (Djokovic) did it once in Monaco (last month) and so he knows how to. Nobody has beaten Rafa in Paris except (Swede Robin) Soderling (2009 when Federer won Roland Garros) and he is not here.

    "But it's seven matches you have to win. If your opponent is Rafa then you need a good game plan. He is playing well right now and I'm happy for him. He's super-consistent and improving what he already does well."

    Nadal's Rome title was the 56th of his career against 76 for Federer, who now stands 10-16 in clay finals. The Swiss won his last trophy last August in Cincinnati over Djokovic and has claimed at least one ATP title every season since 2001. The Spaniard now stands 20-10 over Federer after his second win of the season over the 17-time Grand Slam champion.

    "It felt a little ..... one-sided. It didn't go how I hoped," said Federer. "I was missing too many easy forehands and crucial points. I played pretty good tennis but perhaps it was too quick a turn around and Rafa was playing really well. It was Rafa's day. But I'm still pretty satisfied with how most of it went."

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Comments

How is this news? Are you gonna start reporting that water is wet?

ts38 , 5/19/13 10:55 PM


It is news because this is Roger Federer and his opinion matters, unlike the opinions of nobodies on RG favourites and otherwise littering the internet. Everyone is entitled to their opinion of course but I would rather listen to the opinion of someone who actually knows what he is talking about than a handful of nobodies.

And Rog is not one to sugar coat his opinions.............

rafaisthebest , 5/19/13 11:17 PM


Respect to Federer (not to his bots).

#Humb1e

Conspirator , 5/19/13 11:28 PM


You're right, a nobody's opinion is worthless, which is why I don't care about yours.

ts38 , 5/19/13 11:29 PM


#Yawn
#10-20
#PDFFT

Conspirator , 5/19/13 11:30 PM


Oops...............those wounds are fresh, and raw. Excuse me.

#20-10
#GOATLight

rafaisthebest , 5/19/13 11:45 PM


is this some kind of joke?

this would only be news if Federer DIDN'T think Nadal was a threat in Paris.

RickyDimon , 5/20/13 6:23 AM


^^^^

Yes! Good one!

Nativenewyorker , 5/20/13 7:08 AM


Lol Ricky, my thoughts exactly.
"In shocking news, Roger considers Rafa to be the favourite at Roland Garros."
OMG! Really!

deuce , 5/20/13 7:12 AM


There are a lot of people who do not agree with Federer. For them, Novak was the favourite before Rafa's Rome win. After Rome, they are saying Rafa and Novak are co-favourites.

Just reporting what is out there..........

rafaisthebest , 5/20/13 8:22 AM


^^^^

There is no way that both Rafa and Novak are co-favorites for RG! I know there is a lot of talk about it, even here on this forum. However, until Rafa is defeated in a final there is no question as to who is the favorite. We know that Rafa doesn't like to be tagged as the favorite. He has to deal with the immense pressure of his great record at RG.

Novak made his first final last year. He has done nothing to earn favorite status there. We know that this will be Rafa's first slam since his comeback. He is about as ready as we could possibly hope.

It will be very interesting to see how it all shakes out when the draw comes out.

Nativenewyorker , 5/20/13 9:41 AM


Well Rafa is the clear favourite and the only player who could possibly challenge him is Nole. Would've tentatively put Delboy in the mix, but he seems endlessly ill these days.
#It'sNotRocketScience

deuce , 5/20/13 9:56 AM


I'm not remotely bothered about who thinks who is the favourite at RG. Speculation is just a waste of time. The logistics of winning 7 matches in a row in best of 5 sets is complicated. One bad shot at the wrong time could win or lose a match.


#Accept the things you cannot change and have the wisdom to know what they are.

nadline , 5/20/13 10:16 AM


Ouch ritb, looks like other people are as amused as I am for this being "news." You and the high schooler don't look stupid at all for defending this article for the sake of....what exactly?

ts38 , 5/20/13 11:49 AM


ts20 loves Ricky!

#Humb1e

Conspirator , 5/20/13 11:56 AM


that's remarkable the high schooler is still on here, it was ready and waiting to instantly respond to posts like 14 hours ago

ts38 , 5/20/13 12:11 PM


Hahaha! Cling to whatever solace you can find wherever you can, ts20, you need it! I on the other hand, do not need Ricky's validation on anything I say.

On Friday, we shall see whether Fed will be thrown another bone......extending his losing ratio to Rafa to 21-10!

rafaisthebest , 5/20/13 12:11 PM


Just thoughT some of you might want to know:

Since turning pro 12 years ago, Nadal has some very, very impressive records over the top players. Here?s a breakdown of those head-to-head numbers by most wins:

Rafael Nadal?s Most Wins Over Opponents (head-to-head record)
Federer, 20-10
Ferrer, 19-4
Djokovic, 19-15
Berdych, 14-3
Murray, 13-5
Verdasco, 13-1
Gasquet, 10-0
Almagro, 10-0
Mathieu, 10-0
Youzhny, 10-4


Monalysa , 5/20/13 8:44 PM


Lets see who next will form part of the 20 mile-high club!!!!!

Monalysa , 5/20/13 8:46 PM


Nadal's injury time out stopped last year's momentum when he was beating Novak again, now he's played himself into form and it remains to be seen how he handles five setters. In Rome it was quite visible at times how his energy levels dropped during the 2nd set and he toughed his matches out by sheer will and quality. Against Novak in RG he's going to need to be close to 100 % again.
I don't think Novak is so much in Nadal's head any more - not only because Rafa was starting to beat him again before his injury but also because Novak's aura of invincibility is off this year.. it remains to be seen whether he'll make the final at all.
It was good to end Rome like that, not only getting the title but doing it with another convincing display against Fed who was being labelled by some as the favorite for the title despite not having done anything remarkable this year.

Shireling , 5/20/13 8:58 PM


^^^^

This is my favorite post today! Well said! It's as though someone read my mind.

Nativenewyorker , 5/20/13 9:48 PM


lol nativenewyorker,
If Rafa cold sustain the level of play of the 1st set against Fed for three sets, right?
Novak is a much tougher opponent on clay than Fed but Rafa is bound to win some sets against Novak too playing like that I think.
Rafa's ccbh served him well enough, as it's bound to do, against Fed but it doesn't hurt Novak's bh quite as much. The only way to dent Novak's resilience is to get a good length (as well as the angle) consistently with those scorching bhs which he's finding again.
I think that the most important factor for Rafa will be to start out extra aggressive (something that has become tantric in Nadal's camp) which is still a chore for him despite the adjustments he's made in his game since he came back and maintain the same level of aggression throughout the entire match.
In MC it was way too easy for Novak, Rafa hadn't much to through at him then but one feels that the odds in RG are more leveled, no?

Shireling , 5/20/13 10:21 PM


Shireling,

Again I really enjoyed reading your thoughts. You should post more. Yes, if Rafa could sustain that level of play in the first set of the final for three sets. I think that it the crucial challenge facing him in RG. We have seen Rafa play outstanding tennis for a set or a set and a half, but he has trouble staying at that level. That is a function of being out for so long.

I do think that Rafa is starting to click with his backhand now. When he stepped up on the baseline and inside the baseline to hit that cc backhand, it was amazing to see how he could create those angles that make the shot almost unreturnable.

I agree about Rafa needing be very aggressive against Novak. That's what he did last year at MC and Rome. He changed up his patterns and shot making to throw off Novak. He had become too predictable in those other losses. It does seem to be hard for Rafa to be aggressive as he is finding his best form. We have seen flashes of it but not consistently.

I think at MC Rafa simply was not ready physically or mentally to go at Novak. He just came back from a month off and didn't even have much time to practice. Because of this he seemed to revert to the old patterns of play that he did in that string of seven consecutive losses.

Rafa will only meet Novak either in the semis or finals at RG. That will give him time to sharpen the things in his game that aren't at their best. We know that once Rafa gets through the first week of a slam, he is awfully hard to beat. Rafa at RG is a force of nature. If he and Nole meet, then we should see a much more competitive match than in MC.

Nativenewyorker , 5/20/13 11:06 PM


I think Shireling is what might be called a "serious and observant Rafan".

@RITB -

"It is news because this is Roger Federer and his opinion matters, unlike the opinions of nobodies on RG favourites and otherwise littering the internet. Everyone is entitled to their opinion of course but I would rather listen to the opinion of someone who actually knows what he is talking about than a handful of nobodies.

And Rog is not one to sugar coat his opinions............."

LOL. That is all.

:-)

mara002 , 5/21/13 12:29 AM


Shireling, your last two posts hit it on the nail. We all know Rafa was not prepared at all for Monte Carlo because of the treatment to his knees prevented practicing, so that final was hardly informative re the rest of the European clay season.

It is true that this year Rafa may not be necessarily ready to sustain high levels of aggressiveness and superlative play, the way he was able to against anyone in 2008 and 2010 (and much less in 2011) for, say, 4 sets against his most difficult match-up: Novak. So yes, this time should the two of them meet at RG the match will be a lot more balanced than theirs have been at RG in the past (or would have been had they met, if memory serves they rarely did meet their as Novak was placed in Roger's half of the draw virtually at every slam for several years in a row through at least the first months of Djokovic 2.0).

What we also know is what you pointed out: last year Rafa was using far more appropriate tactics against Novak on clay and it really worked. And at AO 2012 when Rafa was still working on getting his confidence back against Novak and on working on those tactics he did come pretty close to winning and was put away only after 6 hours or so of play.

What is uncertain is the future: will Novak and Rafa meet? I really don't see Rafa being beaten by anyone else at RG this year. Will Novak make it to the semis or the final to meet Rafa? I think he will, even with some close matches to get there. And: which version of Novak will we see in those two weeks... something closer to 2011 or something closer to the last two weeks? And if they meet, to what extent will Rafa pleasantly surprise us with his continued improvements to his form, aggressiveness and adjustments specifically for playing Novak? He does manage to surprise us, and surpass the more sensible projections, and generally does so several times each year.

chlorostoma , 5/21/13 2:24 AM


What I wrote just above is the sort of stuff I think is *reasonable* , *sensible*. For example, I don't expect Novak 2.0 to show up, given his performance lately. Nor do I expect his level to be as *relatively low* as the last couple of weeks. It is a huge RG for him, the most likely year yet in which to complete a career slam. (And that would be awesome, to have three concurrent career slamists, and all three at the same time in the top four.) And I do expect the match against Rafa, if it happens, to be tough from both sides. I do believe that Novak is pretty much out of Rafa's head if not entirely, but of course he is still the worst matchup for him among all top players. And I absolutely believe that Rafa will come out prepared to do all it takes not matter where his return from those 7 months and treatments is at.

My heart says Rafa takes RG. My head says 75% Rafa takes RG. In part because of all we have seen him do that is within his power, and because of all he is on clay. A 100% Rafa hands out baguettes at RG left and right and makes it seem so easy. A Rafa at 70% or 80% Rafa is very very hard to beat there, and that only for the best of the rest.

chlorostoma , 5/21/13 3:04 AM


Does anyone remember how irritated Roger used to get when Rafa refused to call himself the favorite? Ah..the good old days......

cherylmurray , 5/21/13 3:26 AM


LOL, Cheryl! I sure do.

But he's "Professor Federer" now.

:-D

mara002 , 5/21/13 5:31 AM


See, this I do not understand, why anyone would be irritated by Rafa's refusal to tag himself the favorite. It's like someone being slagged for refusing to acknowledge their beauty! Some people think it's bad manners to praise oneself so. I guess if you were not brought up around such views it is annoying......

rafaisthebest , 5/21/13 5:54 AM


I think Roger has been walking through the equivalent of 5 stages of grief as far as his H2H to Rafa is concerned. I feel he is now at the acceptance stage, hence the mellowness. But beyond that. Any time soon Fed will become a true and unabashed Rafa.

rafaisthebest , 5/21/13 5:59 AM


Roger has accepted Rafa fully, his lopsided H2H against him and I think he likes Rfa as a person and fellow player. Will you ever hear Fed uttering ' Rafa was too good today and it was hid day as is usually the case against me' on a public podium. I think he very well knows that Rafa and he together have helped each other as players , their popularity and the sport in general.

Will he utter the same things to Novak or Andy? I bet never. Once he hangs his boots, will he go with Rafa for dinner - I bet Yes, will he go with Novak or Andy - I doubt he will.

Will Rafa go with Roger- Def Yes, with Andy - Def Yes, with Novak - I think Yes there too though I ma not 100% sure.

sanju , 5/21/13 6:29 AM


When they recruit Rafa into the Hall of Fame , I wont be surprised if Roger does the citation and reads the speech for Rafa .

When Roger is recruited, Rafa may very well do, but his lack of English skills may be an issue :-)

sanju , 5/21/13 6:32 AM


My post of 5:59am should read, "Fed will become a true and unabashed Rafan"

Agree @sanju, there is mutual respect between Fed and Rafa in spite of their differences in the recent past. I certainly have mellowed towards Roger (his fans, not so much). Rafa's English is just fine. Those who care about the message get him just fine.

rafaisthebest , 5/21/13 7:00 AM


When Roger is recruited, Rafa may very well do, but his lack of English skills may be an issue :-)
sanju, 5/21/13 6:32 AM

He could do it in spanish. Lol

nadline , 5/21/13 7:59 AM


I could translate

Shireling , 5/21/13 12:10 PM


Hahaha! Hahaha!

RT @christophclarey: "Tardy but true @rogerfederer is now on twitter. Has some catching up to do "

chr20, I will be happy to give you free Twitter lessons (no degree necessary) so you can follow your idol with hapless abandon.....!

#Tweetings

rafaisthebest , 5/21/13 1:11 PM


^^^ My favorites are the "Gulbis" and Brad Gilbert. LOL.

cherylmurray , 5/21/13 1:30 PM


Gulbis' is very funny :) - he should work hard to be the worst player when playing against Rafa - if he loses in straight sets to Rafa in RG he'll probably say that he would have been the best in the 4th and 5th too :D

Shireling , 5/21/13 1:41 PM


No way Gulbis can win if it goes to a deciding set. As Roger said post AO 2009 final: 'it's often not the best player who wins when the match goes to a 5th set.'

ed251137 , 5/21/13 2:18 PM


^^^I knew it, Fed is Baby Gulbis!

rafaisthebest , 5/21/13 2:40 PM


I think Fed said that after he lost Wimby

Shireling , 5/21/13 2:54 PM


It's possible he has said it more than once then. He definitely came out with it after the AO loss - I remember thinking what a sour puss comment it was.

ed251137 , 5/21/13 3:08 PM


unless your rival cheats you just can't say I deserved to win but didn't ... if you lost you simply didn't deserve to win - no matter how well you played. End of story.

Shireling , 5/21/13 3:41 PM




RT @davidjnadal: "@RafaelNadal is planning to travel to Paris on Thursday"

rafaisthebest , 5/22/13 8:09 AM


Thanks for that news ritb. Do you know what flight he's taking? I will be in Paris on Thursday so could pop over to CDG and greet him as he comes through Arrivals ;-)

ed251137 , 5/22/13 8:42 AM


^^^Yes I do, but I will not give it ya! Why, so you can way-lay him and have your way with him? Not taking any chances, sorry. We need him at full strength for RG...........

#KeepYourGrubbyHandsOffRafa

Vamos!!!

rafaisthebest , 5/22/13 9:03 AM


#IShouldBeSoLucky
#SlapsWrist

ed251137 , 5/22/13 9:15 AM


Tee hee, I was on the same Eurostar as Rafa one fine June morning...
#TrumpsYourAce

deuce , 5/22/13 10:35 AM


http://bit.ly/11IJ8ix

A compilation of the young Rafa's best points. A must watch for every Rafan :)

Unbelievable the amount of energy he expended then on fist pumps and still managed to never get drained of energy.
#Exuberance of youth

vmk1 , 5/22/13 10:35 AM


http://www.sport24.co.za/Columnists/HermanMostert/Djokovic-can-spoil-N adals-party-20130522

Nice article, however folks that atp article on Federers change of tactis has me a bit worried. Hope Rafa reads that article ;-)
Now since Murray is out , Djoko 1, Fed 2, Rafa 3, Ferrer 4

I think Djoko/Rafa in 1 half, Fed/Ferrer in 2nd.

Fed gets Tipsa (a joke) or Gasquet in qtrs :-)

sanju , 5/22/13 11:06 AM


BTW are the draws really done in front of all? Will it not be Rafa who will pull the coins?

sanju , 5/22/13 11:08 AM


very bad news :( now nole will have an easy draw! federer could challenge him!

rafaelo , 5/22/13 11:32 AM


@sanju, 5/22/13 11:08 AM

The 32 seeds will be drawn by the reigning champions. The men - by Maria Sharapova and the women - by Rafa.

Augustina08 , 5/22/13 12:04 PM


@10:35 AM Touche

ed251137 , 5/22/13 12:24 PM


@10:35 AM

As the commies said over and over again .Absolutely brilliant. Absolutely incredible.

Could watch it all day..

How many times did you hear the phrase

ed251137 , 5/22/13 12:29 PM


@ed251137, 5/22/13 8:42 AM'
---Do you know what flight he's taking?---

I suggest to ask Benito Perez-Barbadillo [bpb@b1pr.com], Rafa's PR manager. :)

Augustina08 , 5/22/13 12:32 PM


Toni Nadal: "Rafa is better than before the injury"

"Rafa is much better than expected.'s Technically better than before the injury. Rome level was very high." With this forcefulness has spoken for the Sports Radiogaceta Toni Nadal, uncle and coach of Rafael Nadal, now fourth best player in the world.
The Spaniard tennis player said recently that "if you tell me you'd be here a few months ago, I would be mad," Toni Nadal to what has seconded that "yes, I agree. In Sao Paulo had not yet clear whether we could achieve a minimum level was really complicated and had knee problems and the most surprised was us. "

http://www.mallorcaesports.es/cosas-del-fora-de-joc/item/7426-ton i-nadal-somos-los-mejores-del-ano-pero-esto-acaba-de-empezar

So, if Fed has changed his tactics, Rafa has improved his game! Prepare to watch The Artist all through RG, hold your breath and be entertained.....

rafaisthebest , 5/22/13 12:35 PM


Augustina08 , 5/22/13 12:32 PM

If Rafa fails to lift the Coupe des Mousquetaires as per the Rafa Nation's wishes, you my dear, shall bear to blame...........

rafaisthebest , 5/22/13 12:40 PM


Herman Monster is unabashedy a Federer fan and right now it seems fashionable amonst many Fedfans to talk up Nole's chances.


Gussie: Might just do that. hee hee.
We can but wait and see.

ed251137 , 5/22/13 12:41 PM


'We can but wait and see' refers to RG not the planned hi-jacking.

It appears we have a slight respite from the buzzing gnats for the time being.

ed251137 , 5/22/13 12:45 PM


thx for the link vmk1 , 5/22/13 10:35 AM
Very enjoyable, it shows why so many of us have become attached to such a wonder of nature as Nadal, I wish he'd produce again ccbhs like that at 09:07 into the video :)

sanju , 5/22/13 11:06 AM
You shouldn't be afraid of that article because it really doesn't say anything new, does it? I mean, we know Djokovic can beat Nadal at RG.
What are Fed's change of tactics? is he going to go for a dhbh now?

rafaisthebest , 5/22/13 12:35 PM
Thx for the article, If I have time I'll read it but I would have liked U. Toni to tell us in which way Rafa's game has improved.







Shireling , 5/22/13 12:49 PM


errrr, just read the article (it was quite short) and I don't see anywhere that U. Toni has said 'Rafa is better than before the injurty'... u must be refering to some other article...
It's interesting that he says Djokovic and Ferrer will be the toughest rivals, it seems that they days of considering Fed as a threat on clay are over...

Shireling , 5/22/13 12:54 PM


Shireling , 5/22/13 12:54 PM

You may want to take that up with Vamos Rafael Nadal Facebook, quote and link taken from the following:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vam%C3%B4s-Rafael-Nadal/1 48883365132821

rafaisthebest , 5/22/13 1:01 PM


Shireling , 5/22/13 12:49 PM

There are snippets of interviews Uncle Toni has done since his return to Mallorca. One I read he said Rafa is not running i.e. chasing as he used to, implying Rafa is more efficient in his game now.....

rafaisthebest , 5/22/13 1:07 PM


RT @RafaelNadal: "Thanks for your words @adelya_1818! I?m working to you?ll enjoy my matches in Paris :) Thanks for your support! "

rafaisthebest , 5/22/13 1:16 PM


^^^Loving it already.

nadline , 5/22/13 1:21 PM


ritb, where u from? (if it's not too much of an indiscretion to ask)
I ask because of your knowledge of Spanish, that's all.

Shireling , 5/22/13 5:24 PM


Shireling, I live in Mauritius. Actually, Spanish is one language I have not learned to speak, I am ashamed to say. I keep threatening to though..................

rafaisthebest , 5/22/13 5:40 PM


@Shireling 5/21/13 12:10 PM

You have an opportunity to translate!

Rafael Nadal and Uncle Toni in the interview before the travel in Paris
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hm_Z44OaSI0&feature=player_embedded

Augustina08 , 5/22/13 7:44 PM


hate to disappoint you Augustina08 , 5/22/13 7:44 PM
but the interview is in catalan, or the mallorcan version of it anyway - it's Rafa's mother tounge. However, I do manage to understand most of it since catalan is like 80 % Spanish 80 % French.
.. nothing new really. U. Toni says that Rafa does has pain in the knees and that he (Rafa) is resigned to it.
again, there's no mention of Rafa's game being better than before his time out of competition.
U. Toni says that Djokovic and Ferrer seem to be the main opponents and that they arrive to RG with slightly better physical conditions.
Lastly Rafa adds that he doesn't feel special pressure because last year he already surpassed Borg's record.

Shireling , 5/22/13 8:32 PM


sorry, meant 80-20 for the percentage.. (I'm bad with numbers but not that bad)

Shireling , 5/22/13 8:33 PM


oh, thx ritb, somehow I got the impression that you understood Spanish, sorry for that.
Isn't it great that Rafa has so many fans from all over the world :) ?

Shireling , 5/22/13 8:37 PM


That's why I try to check out vb. They have Spanish members there who know mallorcan and catalan. They do a great job of translating articles.

I did read an interview with Uncle Toni on vb yesterday. He was talking about how well Rafa played in Rome and his great results.

I will try to go there and see if I can find it.

Nativenewyorker , 5/22/13 8:38 PM


@Shireling, 5/22/13 8:32 PM

Thank you for your translation!

Augustina08 , 5/23/13 11:06 AM


my pleasure Augustina08, glad to add my grain of sand for the benefit of all Rafans :)

Shireling , 5/23/13 11:41 AM



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