• Nadal defeats Djokovic in French Open epic

    6/7/13 6:14 PM | Cheryl Murray
    Nadal defeats Djokovic in French Open epic Rafael Nadal came back from a break down in the fifth set to world No. 1 Novak Djokovic to secure his spot for the eighth time in the French Open final.

    Defending French Open champion Rafael Nadal got the toughest victory of his career at the French Open, with a win for the history books over Novak Djokovic 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7(3), 9-7.

    This was a topsy-turvy match, with a stream of momentum swings. Nadal started off more impressive. With the sun shining and the court dry, the Spaniard's topspin kicked up high off the court surface and kept Djokovic on his heels.

    Nadal went up an early break in the second set as well, but Djokovic dug deep and clawed his way level and then broke again to level the match at a set a piece.

    For no apparent reason, the Serb went away in the third set. Nadal played well, but Djokovic wasn't the same player in the third as he'd been when he made the comeback in the second. Nadal jumped out to a 5-0 lead, before Djokovic finally got on the board.

    The fourth set is where things really started to get interesting. Nadal had the lead twice and served for the match at 5-4, only to get broken. The Spaniard held on to push the tiebreaker, but just as he had in Monte Carlo, Djokovic dominated to push a deciding fifth set.

    The fifth was a mirror image of the 2012 Australian Open final, except this time, it was Djokovic with the early lead who eventually lost in a heartbreaker.

    Nadal was broken in his first game of the set, as Djokovic rode the wave of momentum from the fourth. Nadal played magnificent tennis to hold serve and stay within reaching distance of the match. The crucial game came at 4-3 with Djokovic serving to extend his lead. A controversial call by Pascal Maria, which involved Djokovic losing a point after touching the net on an overhead, helped lead to the most important break of serve of the match for Nadal.

    An irritated Djokovic, who complained to Maria that the court needed water, held until he served to stay in the match at 7-8. A series of forehands that sailed long and then a fourth forehand error on match point.

    Nadal will take on familiar foe David Ferrer in the final.

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congrats to Rafa and his fans, unbelivable match,

Rafa at his very best

anji123 , 6/7/13 6:58 PM

get back to world number 1 Rafa now! You know you are numero uno! Devastating play today when on a hot streak

rafakid , 6/7/13 7:12 PM

thanks anji and commiseration to all TRUE Nole fans. Your man almost did it. The way he plays, I will be surprised if he'll not win RG. There is always be next time for your guy.

Vamos Rafa!

Raindrops , 6/7/13 7:17 PM

Raindrops , 6/7/13 7:17 PM

I second that.

As far as Rafa is concerned, it is going to take me a long time to process what he just did today and for me to come up with some coherent posts.........

rafaisthebest , 6/7/13 7:30 PM


I couldn't watch the match so had to keep track of the results at work. I was exhausted just keeping up the score updates so can only imagine what a dedicated Rafan must have been like actually watching the match.

I must confess when I saw that he failed to serve the match out and then was 3-1 down in the fifth set, I stopped looking, went home depressed that Djokovic had won and then come home to the greatest suprise ever.

I will post later when I've seen the match but it sounds like a truly epic win - and making on social networks and threads are calling it his greatest ever. Is that true? Was the match and performance that brilliant? Or is his Wimbledon 2008 victory still his crowning achievement?

Anyways I'm happy for Rafa - he truly is an amazing champion and when (sorry 'if') he wins Sunday it will further push him up in the upper echelon of legendary tennis players

lebsta2 , 6/7/13 7:33 PM

Rob Koenig ?@RobKoenigTennis 1h
Best tweet after that match "where's the trophy ceremony??" #tootrue

Conspirator , 6/7/13 7:44 PM

Conspirator , 6/7/13 7:49 PM

@ anji123

Commies to all Nole fans. The match went down to the wire but you Nole fans have to be proud of Nole for almost achieving one of the most difficult things in tennis, beating Rafa Nadal in 5 sets at RG!!!...........speaks volumes!!!!!

Monalysa , 6/7/13 7:54 PM

wow, I will end up loving Berdych...:)

#switch in emotions

natashao , 6/7/13 7:55 PM

Where is chr20-10? He came here and told us about Novak's strategy of winning MC and thus ensuring he had Rafa figured out and thus did not need to win/play Madrid and Rome and thus proceeded to lose on purpose in those 2 tournaments to save himself for RG!

Phew, would really like to know from chr20-10 how that strategy has worked out in light of today's developments. He is the one who was championing this Nole-view.......

rafaisthebest , 6/7/13 7:56 PM

Conspirator , 6/7/13 7:58 PM

as I said: MC meant nothing...
and RITB remember how you said that Rafa this year should aim at achieving his No 8th titles...:) MC was already 8th so it had to be left out of the equation...OTOH RG title perfectly fits the formula...:)

natashao , 6/7/13 8:02 PM

It's no surprise that chr18 and company have disappeared. So much for the theory that Nole didn't push himself at Madrid and Rome to save himself for RG. So much for this idea that Nole beating Rafa at MC meant anything more than just winning that title.

We have had to endure the most obnoxious, insulting comments about how Nole was going to slaughter Rafa, destroy him, just crush him and all the other adjectives that were used to describe the foregone conclusion of Rafa losing.

That's why I always say that talk is cheap! You don't go mouthing off about how your guy is going to win no matter what!

It has to happen on the court! It did! Rafa won!

Nativenewyorker , 6/7/13 8:07 PM

@natashao, yes: symmetry. More importantly, this victory will give Rafa confidence, settle his nerves going forward. The rest of the field, especially Muzza and Djokovic should be worried, because I have a feeling Rafa 2008 and 2010 is coming back.........

rafaisthebest , 6/7/13 8:10 PM

Rafa's footwork in the 5th set, too much! Nureyev himself would have been jealous.........the boy was dancing, floating on the clay even, superb..................

He hit 18 winners in the 5th set alone. I love the way he unleashed his inner demon in that set. He basically stood toe to toe with Nole and said, you want this match, you have to come and get it from my cold dead hands..............

rafaisthebest , 6/7/13 8:17 PM

Could you imagine Tsonga and Novak get the same prize money?!!

Sorry Nadline!!!!!!!

Monalysa , 6/7/13 8:17 PM

I called it: All Spanish final!

rafaisthebest , 6/7/13 8:26 PM

Wow, congrats to all the Rafans! Can't believe how fresh Rafa looked in the 5th set, like he was ready to another 5! Hope he's still ready on Sunday. Got a feeling Ferru is gonna be tough this year.

Grats to the Nole fans as well. Your guy played great. He WILL win RG sometime, just not this year.

Vam8s Rafa!

Ramara , 6/7/13 8:33 PM

...and i called it Rafa over Ferrer in 3 :-)

phoenix , 6/7/13 8:36 PM

Roland Garros ?@rolandgarros 1m
Watch Djokovic in presser after his tough loss to Nadal in the semis: #RG13

Conspirator , 6/7/13 8:37 PM

I only saw the first set before rushing to work. Will watch the rest taped, and with many fewer nerves than I had at work watching those scores :-). Went for a walk with a colleague instead of following the numbers on the fifth.

Amazing for rafa, and for Nole, and yes, Nole fans, Nole's career slam will come, just a matter of time. Understandable that Nole felt dissapointment after all that battle and coming so close, a little like Rafa at Wimbie in '07. But there is no way Nole will not win RG at least once before retiring. Again, he is probably the most likely to win the career slam twice in his career.

I can't believe Nadal's come-back! For the last couple of months a real possibility has been there that this might be a very strong year for Rafa, post-clay as well. Just as 2012 was shaping up to be until the knees completly gave way.

And where are our fine-mannered, well-tempered multi-name friends? Where is their congratulations for Nole for having come so close? Where is the wee little bully Twinge?

Ferrer finally gets to a slam final: good for him. So hard to do for many years now with Roger/Rafa/Nole at the helm. And Ferrer will be well rested, deservedly, for not having dropped a set all week. Another AO 2009 semi-final epic with Nadal? Probably not, but either Rafa will just run away with it after breaking Ferrer's confidence in the first 1.5 sets, or it will be a well-contested match.

chlorostoma , 6/7/13 8:39 PM

Ben Rothenberg ?@BenRothenberg 1m
RT @TennisReporters: Nadal: 'In Australia everything was good for me, yet I lost. So I deserved such a match after this defeat in Australia'

Conspirator , 6/7/13 8:41 PM

Rajat Jain ?@rajat85 55s
@SteveTignor @nadalnews If Nadal wins on Sunday, he will become the first player to qualify for the WTFs....after missing one slam.

(not to mention skipping Miami).

Conspirator , 6/7/13 8:47 PM

Wonder what Muzza thinks of Rafa's aura now............


rafaisthebest , 6/7/13 8:47 PM

Vamos Rafa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
commiserations to all those normal Nole fans (zare, tj6000, danica, anji123, samprallica, etc....)
To all the others and trolls - I say.. stay hidden for a while and rid us of your insufferable ignorance.
Congratulations to all those fans who stick by our Rafa through thick and thin - I can't remember being so awed about just how good Rafa is - at least since a long, long time. It's so easy to get used to it.
And last but not least, congratulations to Nole for putting such a fight - like Rafa said, one day he'll win here - and, of course, congratulations to Rafael Nadal for reaching his 8th RG final in 9 editions!!!!

Shireling , 6/7/13 8:48 PM

Where is Fedkovic 20-20

nadline , 6/7/13 8:48 PM

Conspirator , 6/7/13 8:47 PM

Downright humiliating to the rest of the field, no?

rafaisthebest , 6/7/13 8:49 PM


Rafa is right! He did deserve to win this after that defeat in the 2012 AO! I wonder if that was in the back of Rafa's mind as he struggled to close out this match.

This win must be so sweet for Rafa. After seven months off for injury, he's in another final. The one that really counts for him! He must be feeling so happy!

My only concern is that Ferrer will be well rested after an easy semis. He hasn't dropped a set. Rafa had the far more difficult semifinal opponent. I just hope that Rafa will be ready. He hasn't played a match this long since his comeback.

The intensity on Rafa's face in that fifth set was almost scary. It was like he was saying to himself - no way am I losing this match!

I never take anything for granted, but at last it's safe to think about the final. Ferrer will know that this may be his one last chance to get a slam win. People have mentioned the 2009 AO, but Rafa is four years older now. That semi with Verdasco was even worse than this one. Rafa also had only one day's rest to Fed's two days. This time it's the same for both. It's just that Rafa had to spend so much more time on court.

I can only imagine what it would mean to Rafa to win his 8th title at RG!

Nativenewyorker , 6/7/13 8:50 PM

Sorry, my post above was in response to Conspirator's post @ 8:41 PM.

Nativenewyorker , 6/7/13 8:52 PM

my thougths re Ao 09 semi is whether Ferrer will be able to play outstanding tennis non-stop for the entire match, like they both did then. Anything less and it will be too tough to defeat Nadal in an RG final out of 5.

chlorostoma , 6/7/13 8:57 PM

regarding our fine mutli-name friends and others pretending to be Nole fans, I don't recall them posting even a single post on the match thread today, even when Nole was ahead in a set or looked to probably win in the fifth

not interested to watch the match?

chlorostoma , 6/7/13 8:59 PM

Andy Murray ?@andy_murray 15s
Any good tennis matches today?

Conspirator , 6/7/13 9:04 PM


I gather that you think Rafa will be able to replicate the quality of tennis he displayed in the match with Nole today, especially in the fifth set. I am hoping that he is not fatigued. This is the longest match by far that he has played since his comeback.

Rafa knows Ferrer so well. No surprises there. I can't see him having any nerves after beating Nole. That win has to feel so good to him! We know that Rafa seems to become inspired and invincible when his back is against the wall. When he was down 3-1 in that fifth set, I didn't know if he could find a way to win. But that seems to bring out the best in him.

I just get nervous when so many seem to think that it is a foregone conclusion. Rafa will not take Ferrer for granted.

Oh and I agree about your observation regarding the conspicuous absence of the posers and fake Nole fans. They didn't show up on the live blog at all. One would have thought they would be on there cheering him on, the way Rafa fans were there all the way from beginning to end.

We know that Rafa fans would not be hiding if he had lost.

Nativenewyorker , 6/7/13 9:15 PM

Rafas quotes

"I am able to play with less pressure than b4 cus I know where I been, a very low situation, low moments, so everything is positive for me."

"My only ambition was to feel myself competitive another time, feel myself happy, & try to play with no limitations"

"I was ready for the fight," ... "I really fought a lot."

Time to point out again that even if Nadal wins his 8th RG tomorrow, he'll drop to no 5 & Ferrer will be no 4 on Monday....

sanju , 6/7/13 9:18 PM

I'm completely spent and yet.. we still have the final....
Rafa couldn't have said it any better: 'good match for me... and now to prepare for the final'...

Shireling , 6/7/13 9:21 PM

A peculiar cycle with Rafas 2013 cycle

Lose 1, win next 3

Lost Chile, won Brazil, Mexico, Indian wlls
Lost Monecarlo, won Barcelona, Madrid, Rome

Will cycle repeat? If it does he loses RG final (:-

sanju , 6/7/13 9:22 PM

I agree with your points. With one adjustment. I am not implying or expecting Rafa to be able to play quite like today on Sunday or quite like at that semi in AO. Only that Ferrer has his work cut out and may need to play as well as back then as this is Rafa on clay in a final at RG. Without taking anything for granted, I think that Rafa needs to _only_ play at 80% of how he played today while Ferrer needs to play one of the best matches of his life.

chlorostoma , 6/7/13 9:27 PM


with respect, the pattern you see is like numerology (don't believe in it)

more realistically I think is the following pattern to see here:

Long injury break, Lose 1, win next 3 matches, until next break
Two weeks off practicing because of treatments, Lose 1, win next X matches....

so far that X is 3. Come Sunday probably 4.

chlorostoma , 6/7/13 9:31 PM

RT @TennisReporters: "Djokovic on decision not 2 water court in 5th: 'Was too slippery. Difficult to change direction. I think that it's wrong what they did' "

RT @TennisReporters: "Nadal's reply: ?Don't feel was slippery. I receive ? from umpire & said I prefer not. But if they put water I wouldnt say nothing against' "

Suck it up, Nole. Novak's lack of good movement on clay compared to Rafa was exposed and his attempt at gamesmanship back-fired spectacularly. He gambled on intimidating the Umpire into getting the court watered so playing conditions would change to suit him, unfortunately his discussions with Pascal Maria led to his losing focus and the rest is history.

rafaisthebest , 6/7/13 9:31 PM

how can he even think of asking the court to be watered ... when has this ever happened on a clay match? his brain must have been fried already...

Shireling , 6/7/13 9:35 PM

perhaps they should have agreed and the flooded the court, for the second installment of the RG mud slam, and out of nostalgia for last year ;-). (I still can't believe they didn't stop play then when there were centimetres of water on the court.)

chlorostoma , 6/7/13 9:35 PM

he wont be in any way fatigued. All tiredness will go out the window cus he'll have a day of preparation saturday and winners dont think of tiredness. Ferrer said he was the fitness player right now on tour way back after that final in Mexico. And that was ages ago when we were still debating rafa's return. This will be lucky to go to 4.

I hope rafa plays a few matches singles and double in the upcoming grass season and practices enough for the beginning of Wimby. I know hes made 9/9 finals in a row but please god i really dont want him to make finals in Halle. Rafa needs an early defeat and some rest. PLEASE WIN WIMBLEDON!!!

rafakid , 6/7/13 9:35 PM

rafa u better win the final on sunday..plzzz..i know this RG has tken a lot outta u, u have suffered, slogged, played for hours..but please I cant go through agony of 7 matches to c u win 8th time

Please do it for all us Rafans

sanju , 6/7/13 9:40 PM

" 9 finals since his comeback, 58-1 record at Roland Garros and is now on his way to win the eight French Open crown - Rafael Nadal proved to the world why he is indeed the greatest player the red clay courts in Paris will ever witness.

Five grueling sets and down a break in fifth set, many great players have succumbed to the pressures of sustaining their legacy but not Rafa Nadal. He has been the undisputed king of this turf since the last 8 years and he was not yet ready to pass his crown to the World No.1, Novak Djokovic today.

The list of achievements is amazing but what surprises me is the player who was out for almost a year has comeback even stronger and better than before. Honestly I am not a Nadal fan ( probably I will cite the reasons some other day) but today he made his not so ardent fan bow down in respect for the qualities that he possesses.

Tennis might not ever witness anyone in future who may surpass his determination and fighting spirit on clay. With every shot you can see the hunger and intensity growing in the eyes of this champion. The way he pounces on the balls is like witnessing a cheetah in motion moving smoothly to hunt its prey and the more the match goes on, the better he seems to become in terms of agility and shot making.

Players including the great ones have lost in the past when they have squandered chances to win the matches. But with Rafa, you know that it doesn't matter as on clay, he knows for sure that playing point by point is the best strategy and if there is anyone who can pull himself away from the clutches of the jaws of the tiger, it's him and only him.

For me, the highlight today was witnessing Rafa make even the longest rallies in the game look so easy and effortless. Even 21 points shot rallies where Novak Djokovic ended up panting, he seems to be like he has just hit an ace.

The point here is not that how gifted Nadal is but the fact that how much effort he has put in to reach to a place like this. Obviously everyone has their own vulnerabilities and so does Rafa but the process through which he has transformed his vulnerabilities into his biggest strengths is the point to note here. Day in and out working hard, ensuring that he is never behind in his efforts to succeed has been the biggest highlight for me when I look at him. A one year layoff is bound to create doubts in your mind but the way he has progressed destroying one opponent after the other is the hallmark of a warrior who has been chiseled into a diamond through the process of taking one step at a time and focusing on his inner strengths.

How many of us have the confidence that if we comeback after a year on our jobs, we will perform the same way as we did earlier? How many of us have the belief that there is no obstacle that great which can stop us from accomplishing what we have set out for? How many of us think that there is no easy road to success?

I believe that is what separates the winners from us as they know it's not the obstacles they fear, it's the lack of discipline in their work ethic. If you can just stay out there for one more point, you have the ability to make the difference between ending up being a loser or a winner. And in Rafa, I bow down today to the spirit of playing one more point, giving a little bit extra every time he is down and out, ensuring that he reaches where he wants to.

Hail the greatest clay court player ever?.."

rafaisthebest , 6/7/13 9:52 PM

there is a difference between taking too much for granted and knowing when a match is NID
In my book Sunday's NID

chlorostoma , 6/7/13 9:53 PM

thank you for posting that lucid article, echoes my thoughts all these years, and the reason I keep posting once in a while under the banner of Cheryl's article from almost 4 years ago (at a time Rafa was out for injuries too I believe): Vamos Rafa, no matter what. Which in my mind is shorthand for what this article describes.

Anyone who has been following tennis closely for the last few years knows this to be true about Nadal what that articles says. Only jealousy and mis-guided hatred stand in the way of seeing it clearly. All the top players, for one, know it.

This too is the reason I confidently write that Sunday's match is NID. The confidence comes from having watched Nadal for all these years, like so many of you. It is because of all the hard work he's put in to train his mind, his resolve, the many tennis skills, including turning his lousy serve into a strong weapon, etc. It is NOT impossible for Ferrer to win on Sunday but it is so very unlikely that I say NID.

chlorostoma , 6/7/13 10:02 PM

Ferrer: "Rafa is the best player in the world on clay. He's the favorite in the final."

?I know that this is very, very difficult for us to be here in the final when we have so many problems,? -Toni Nadal

Ferrer: "It's very difficult to beat Rafael, especially on clay. I need to play my best tennis."

Ferrer in press: "It's a dream for me to be in a final of a Grand Slam... I will fight!"

"The warnings, it is quite common for me. Penalty points less. I do not like this rule." #Nadal

"The passion for the game is essential. If you love tennis, you enjoy what you do. You must love the game"

sanju , 6/7/13 10:09 PM

what problems did toni mean?

rafaelo , 6/7/13 10:18 PM

Many congrats to rafa and fans.

A small margin but a great gap.

Rafa may have won today by the the narrowest of margins, but he is the greatest clay courter ever by a distance.

Some of the winners he hit to turn that 5th set around were as impressive as they were typical.

Congrats - not commies - are due also to nole, the only man capable of taking the greatest clay courter ever all the way in his favourite arena, and seriously capable - on his day - of beating him on any clay court.

All due respect to David - no one deserves to reach a slam final more than he does - but today WAS the final.

Hats off again to rafa for yet another slam title. He was winning RG long before his peak, and will no dpubt still be lifting titles there when he's well past his best.


alex , 6/7/13 10:21 PM

chlorostoma, 6/7/13 9:27 PM,

Interesting thoughts about the final. I do think that Ferrer will have to play the match of his life to beat Rafa. He has pushed Rafa this year, managing to win a set off him in their last two matches I believe. He will be motivated now having finally gotten to the final of a slam. Ferrer may never have this chance again.

So you don't think that Rafa has to play at the level he must in order to beat Nole. You are probably right. Ferrer will come out aggressive from the beginning. He showed some different tactics against Rafa in their last two matches. He was not trying to beat Rafa from the baseline. He was coming into the net more and trying to put pressure on Rafa.

Today we saw Rafa's ferocious will. The closeups of his face in that fifth set still stay with me hours after watching the match. The intensity, the fire in his eyes. I did think this could be Rafa's finest hour and it turned out to be exactly that.

I am still trying to wrap my mind around what has happened since Rafa came back. The big question in my mind was how Rafa would be at RG, having not played in a slam for a year. That was the big test. He was struggling in the first week, but sure enough he started peaking in the quarterfinals. It's truly a privilege to be watching this. I don't know that we will ever see anything like it again.

I am always proud of Rafa, however watching him fight back in that fifth set brought tears to my eyes. It was tears of joy, to see him rising to the occasion knowing all that he has gone through.

Nativenewyorker , 6/7/13 10:27 PM

I stand by my theory regarding the Djoker's plan. It just didn't work. Had he not run into the net I believe he'd be in the final. He gave it his all. The conditions were perfect for Nadal : hot, sunny and the balls were bouncing a mile high. The Djoker did exceedingly well to give himself a chance. He also got a bit flustered when they wouldn't water down the dry court for him in the fifth set. He gave all he could but he was up against it. Pascal called 2 balls incorrectly according to hawkeye replays. Mary Carillo reported that a friend of hers was sitting next to Toni and the coaching in Spanish was continuous and "borderline ridiculous" so I don't see why anybody would complain about the coaching the Djoker received. It's turned out to be the exact opposite scenario of AO'12 final. Nadal came back on his favorite surface today. At least I came close with my 5 hour prediction.

chr18 , 6/7/13 10:28 PM

very well put, alex, thank you
echoes my thoughts... in fact similar thoughts year after year
have yet to watch that fifth set after work but looking forward to it (hard to focus on real work here :-)

once again a thought for Murray: his consistency has been a lot better with Lendl, here's hoping for more slam trophies for him

and major congrats, one more time, to Nole and his fans. Where there were two best players of their generation, each in a different way, now for the last two years there are three. Nole has been able to push Nadal so hard on clay in ways Roger (almost) never has been able to, perhaps not since Rome 07... and that is saying a whole lot.

chlorostoma , 6/7/13 10:31 PM

'Where is the wee little bully Twinge..'

I'm here bitch
What do you want?

Twinge , 6/7/13 10:32 PM


You have to be kidding with this! It's always about your ego and being right, so you try to twist things when they don't work out the way you said they would. The truth is that there was no plan on Nole's part. He didn't save himself at Madrid and Rome. An absurd theory from the start.

So you think this match came down to him running into the net? It must be nice to live in a world of denial! That didn't give Rafa the break. Nole still had a chance to hold his serve. Also, matches like this come down to mistakes and that was a big one from Nole. But that wasn't the match.

This match was decided by the brilliant shot making of Rafa. If you can't or won't see that, then you aren't even a tennis fan. You keep looking for what ifs, could haves, should haves, might haves. Did you ever hear of watering down the court in the middle of a fifth set? In what universe? That was Nole trying to change the conditions to suit himself. No one gets to do that. Rafa managed to play and wasn't slipping.

Take some comfort in coming close to your five hour prediction. Right now it's all you've got.

Nativenewyorker , 6/7/13 10:34 PM

so all kinds of considerations for Nole in your comments but not a single word as to Nadal, e.g. being able to turn things around in the heat of the fifth set in a slam against the current no 1?

chlorostoma , 6/7/13 10:35 PM

Sorry, my post above was in response to chr18's post @10:28 PM.

Nativenewyorker , 6/7/13 10:35 PM

, 6/7/13 10:28 PM

Thank for the long sermon, just 2 words before the sermon ' Congrats Rafa' would have been a lot better, but guess that is expecting lot from you right?

sanju , 6/7/13 10:39 PM

can't be a bitch just like you can't seen that we are both of the less fair gender. Dog maybe.
What do I want from you?
Nothing. other than one thing that I won't wait for, which would be for you just to post like a normal human being at all times here, and leave the hatred, the bullying, the nastiness, the namecalling, and such out of it.

So no, from you, nothing.

Or are you going to threaten me physically (nutcase) next time I differ on your opinion that claycourts are inferior, e.g. ;-)

chlorostoma , 6/7/13 10:40 PM

Take some comfort in coming close to your five hour prediction. Right now it's all you've got.

, 6/7/13 10:34 PM

True NNY, when people cant even have the courtesy to actually utter 2 words ' Congrats Rafa' after such a great match, it speaks a lot about them . Jut leave it.

sanju , 6/7/13 10:41 PM

^^^then you shouldn't have summoned me with your post, honestly were you dropped on your head as a baby or something.
I wish some people would grow up and realise that

A. Not everyone is going to like them
B. Not everyone is going to like Rafael Nadal
C. That they are tedious & mediocre beyond repair.
D. They don't run this site

Just live in the present & be happy that Rafa has won the FO another time.

Twinge , 6/7/13 10:44 PM

what problems did toni mean?
, 6/7/13 10:18 PM

Rafaelo, you now hunting for stuff to worry about? :-). I am sur he meant after all the injuries and breaks Rafa had, it was impossible to dream to gt to this stage

sanju , 6/7/13 10:45 PM

chr18, If I recall correctly, when you put across this theory you were complimenting Novak for having such a smart strategy saying this is exactly what Roger did as well. You called Rafa an idiot who put his all in every match instead of only concentrating on Slams like Novak and Roger did who only concentrated on Slams.

It turns out Rafa does concentrate on Slams as well, only better!

Let us revisit this discussion late Sunday evening to review how Nole, Rafa and Roger stack up in the season so far, to see which strategies have succeeded and which ones have failed.

rafaisthebest , 6/7/13 10:49 PM

@ Chr18,

You are one piece of work! You waited so long after the match to post and thats the best you can come up with?!!

By the way, how are you so SURE that this was Nole's strategy?!!! Did he tell you that?

And about the so-called friend of Mary Corillo, are you sure she was talking about Rafa, bcos from what I understood it was Novak who was receiving the coaching!!

You have diminished Nole's efforts by your comments bcos any tennis lover would simply say that both of these guys are outstanding athletes and it is just such a shame that there can only be one winner!! As a Rafa fan, I am very happy he won naturally but Nole came so close to winning the match that it really could have gone either way, and I would still be very proud of my Rafa even if he had lost (and make no excuses), even though he should have really put the match away in 4!!!

However, I have learnt one thing from this match. From now on, I am just going to totally enjoy all of Rafa's matches, win or lose!! He is indeed a GREAT champion and there is no doubt that he will go down in the history books as one of the greatest!!! He has acheived so much for his tender age while still being able to remain humble in all his triumps! No matter what anyone says about Rafa from now on, I will simply look upon it as envy bcos face it, there is really nothing else to prove!!!

VAM8S, Champ!!! Win or lose!!!

Monalysa , 6/7/13 10:56 PM

twinge, I only called you because of your ugly posturing a couple of days ago (and more earlier) is all
thanks for your heartfelt congrats to Nole and Rafa all the same :-)

chlorostoma , 6/7/13 10:58 PM

I've just come home (last day of school activities) in case somebody was missing me :).

Now, WHAT a match!!! I had to go when the fifth set started so didn't see that one (hopefully, youtube will prove my friend again pretty soon) but I really thought Nole can finally get that win. Unfortunately, it was not to be this time so HUGE congratulations to Rafa and his fans! He proved yet again that he is virtually indestructible on Chatrier. Good luck to David on Sunday, he'll need it... plenty of it ;).

Nole showed his fighting spirit and his brilliance again. I just hope this loss will not affect him in a negative way. The sooner he forgets about the missed chances he had, the better.

danica , 6/7/13 11:10 PM

Well I have to say Rafa has some very loyal fans here, and even though I don't post nearly as often as some of you, I commend you for always having faith in Rafa, and loving him through all the ups and downs, trials and tribulations.

I think back to the very first time I saw Rafa play, in the '05 Miami Final against Fed, and I dunno what it was about this kid, he just put a spark in my eye, watching him dressed up in the Nike gear, the shirtless sleeves and pirate pants, he was very much different than I had imagined. At the time, I wasn't really into Men's tennis, but that very much changed after watching this match.

Even though Rafa lost, the way he stood up to Federer, the manner in which he presented himself, was nothing short of unreal, and I knew he was a special player in the making. As we all found out not long after, Rafa was truly the real deal. He went on to win his 1st grand slam, which came at the French, and he ended up winning 11 singles titles that year.

Ever since then, Rafa has embarked on an amazing journey that has seen him play in some of the most memorable matches in tennis history, winning a multitude of grand slam titles, setting all kinds of damn near-unbreakable records, hitting jaw-dropping winners that far defied human logic, leaving his opponents stunned. This guy has seen it all, done it all, and at 27, he's still going strong and building upon his status as one of the greatest players to have ever played this game.

When all is said and done, Rafa may not finish his career with the most slams, but to me, he will always be the most special player I have ever had the pleasure and sheer joy of watching play this sport. Rafa has shown us all that he is real. He is human, behind all the disappointments and setbacks. But when the chips are down, he finds a way to pick himself back up, and he keeps trying, he keeps going, and what doesn't hurt him, makes him all the more stronger.

Congratulations to Rafa on his truly amazing victory!!!!

djb247365 , 6/7/13 11:51 PM

What a wonderful post!

holdserve , 6/8/13 12:28 AM

It never ceases to amaze me when people question my lack of posting here as if I don't have other things to do or they believe TT pays me to post here. A few thoughts:
1. It's pointless to congratulate players as there is no evidence they read TT.
2. I've said from the beginning I believed it was strategic by the Djoker. I never said I had proof or it would definitely work. Given the conditions being in Nadal's favor I'd say it gave him the best chance but he just fell a bit short.
3. It was definitely Toni coaching in Spanish the whole match. I'd say the Djoker's coaches were just fighting fire with fire. I suppose this is why Fed gets so many sportsmanship awards because he wouldn't allow his coaches to do that type of stuff.
4. Even though Fed lost I still think the Wimbledon '08 final was the best tennis match ever. Today was a classic even though the wrong guy won again. It was one of the few exciting clay matches I can recall truthfully.
5. I wonder how many empty seats there will be for the final because Mac kept going on about how many empty seats there were today.

chr18 , 6/8/13 1:22 AM


Good points as usual. It is quite bad that a player who has been fined for and acknowledged the illegal coaching he receives on court, keeps blatantly violating the rules. This is the reason most tennis players and fans do not believe kneedal or his injuries.

Nole only proved how complete a player he is. Even performing well below his best, he was able to extend kneedal to the lmit. Now the real tennis season begins. One can only hope kneedal doesn't run away from the tour as he often does after the clay season ends. Great strategy by uncle toni after nole thrashed kneedal 7-0 on all surfaces, the kneedal team is making sure kneedal plays only on clay. Credit to Toni. he sure did not fall off a turnip truck that hombre!

Well tried Nole. He needs to pile on the Wimbledon and US titles which are more important in the eyes of most tennis fans and experts than French Open.

Fedkovic23 , 6/8/13 1:23 AM


We have to not have a life and sit and post here all day like the rafabots do. Look at their sob-stories as if Nadal parted the red sea. I am glad Carillo and other commentators are picking on the illegal coaching that team kneedal indulges. Truth will be out in due time.

Good on Nole on showing how exciting clay-court tennis can be when you do not play like a wall from 15ft behind the baseline. It may not deliver a result on this mediocre slam but in the more superior slams like Wimbledon and USO, he will continue his domination of the 1surface kneedal.

Fedkovic23 , 6/8/13 1:49 AM

LOL ^^ so bitter and angry. It must suck to hate someone that much.

willmw101 , 6/8/13 2:09 AM

Its a fairy tale come back..Inconceivable really...8 months out from competition and this is what the comeback has been like so far :

- 9 finals from 9 tournaments ; a title on sunday would make it 7 titles from 9 finals
- 42-2 record for 2013
-improves to 58-1 at the french open AND 81-1 in best of five set matches on clay :O
-sends his arch rival (djokovic) in the club 20 (20 losses to rafa)to join former arch rival (roger federer) and david ferrer in the prestigious club ;)
- Takes revenge of the bitter 5 set loss in Australian open 2012 :D
- Holder of the most points in the year 2013 by a healthy margin now DESPITE missing Australian open and Miami ! MIRACULOUS !

vamosrafa , 6/8/13 2:22 AM

I TOLD YA ALL! there would be nothing like the MC final because rafa was hitting is backhand 5 times better here ! his backhand had nothing in it was very often as good as or even better than the novak backhand at times ...for me the winning stat was Rafa hitting 14 backhand winners to Novak's 11 ! WOW ...

Anyway, both have shown they are a level above all in terms of mental strength and competitiveness ! WARRIOR VS GLADIATOR ! I am soooooooooo glad rafa won this match in this fashion because this win would erase all memories from Oz 2012 and give rafa so much belief and confidence if both of them meet again in the 5th set of wimbledon/usopen/ Oz open ...Rafa is the greatest competitor in history ! I mean the scoreline does not matter to him, honestly ! he just puts sooo much effort into every point ! GOTA LOVE THIS GUY :D

Ferru has been impressive but rafa will manhandle him...Even though i wanted tsonga to win so that rafa would be seeded 4th at wimb but to be fair ferru deserved a GS final, such a hard worker he is !

GO RAFA, bring us an unprecedented 8th title at a single slam and 12th overall

*watch out sampras ! rafa is coming to eclipse your 14 soon...

vamosrafa , 6/8/13 2:35 AM

Hi everyone, I have been coming to this site for a very long time but never posted. My English is not very good and I'm not an expert in tennis...just love watching it...specially when Rafa plays. I have been coming here for emotional support when he plays because as you all know it is a roller coaster ride. It is not easy being a Rafa fan but we don't have a choice because we just can't help ourselves. I came acrossed this article and wanted to share with everyone because we are so proud of him today and with all that he has achieved.
Please read this because I think you will all love it.

krystalclear , 6/8/13 3:42 AM

NO WAY! IM GOBSMACKED. I turned it off at 2-4 fifth set and said it was over for nadal then went to sleep. I had a dream that nadal came back but knew it was only a dream then woke up and this. LOL.

DeadManWalking , 6/8/13 3:54 AM

It is pretty evident after this match, that Novak will win the French open one day.
Nadal haters in disguise as Nole fans now claim french open is now mediocre...they are idiots and will always be. Novak himself has put French open as his ultimate goal. Though he came up just short this year, he will have his chances again. it's not the end of the world.

atul1985 , 6/8/13 4:31 AM

@Fedkovic23 - Unfortunately while djokovic is on average more aggressive than nadal, your arguments fail to stack up this match. Nadal had more winners and less unforced errors in the match. This would suggest that he was not grinding and rather being aggressive. Sometimes you just need to pay respects where its due, no matter how unsavory the truth is. You can't change the story along the way to suit you. You can't say on one hand that they've slowed wimbledon and US open down and say thats the reason why nadal is winning; then on the other hand say these are the most important and djok winning them will be amazing. You either acknowledge the winner as being good, no matter who the winner is, or you say the tournament is bad. People will respect you if you stick to what you say. But if you keep changing the story or make excuses for the player you go for; what you say means nothing at all.

DeadManWalking , 6/8/13 4:51 AM

atul1985, 6/8/13 4:31 AM,

I am in complete agreement! I was going to come on here and say exactly the same thing about so-called Nole fans claiming that RG is mediocre. Then why on earth did Nole set this slam as his primary goal this season? Maybe because he needs it to win the career slam? Despite the pathetic attempts to degrade RG, the fact is that if you want to get the career slam then you have to make the effort to win there. Nole told everyone and his brother about his desire to win this slam. So how on earth can anyone come on here and then degrade the very slam that Nole wants so much to win?

Of course Nole will have his chances to win RG. I respect him for wanting to win this slam and giving it such importance.


Yes! Did you see the cc backhand? I can't remember when Rafa has hit it that well. It did a lot of damage in this match and also the dtl forehand. Rafa came out and knew what he had to do. I didn't check the stats for this match so I didn't know that Rafa had more backhand winners than Nole. That's impressive.

We know for certain now that at MC Rafa simply was not ready to meet Nole in that final. That's why Rafa dealt with the loss so well. The difference in the Rafa who played in this semi is there for all to see. I also thought that his ROS was really good in the match. The serving was also great. Rafa really brought it today.

Rafa brought up his loss at the 2012 AO, so this win must be very sweet for him. We know that Nole is not in Rafa's head. Rafa fought so hard in that fifth set and came up with jaw dropping shots to win. I am thrilled to see him producing this kind of tennis.

I am glad that you are so relaxed about the final. However, Ferrer will come in very fresh. The only thing I will say is that he has not been tested so far in this tournament. He avoided Berdy and Fed and had an easy path. I am sure he will go out there and give it his best. I just hope that Rafa is not too fatigued from this long match.

Nativenewyorker , 6/8/13 6:49 AM

So very happy for Rafa! I thought he had lost it when he failed to serve out the match in set four, and was even one break down in the fifth. My heart was in my throat and was about to jump out of my mouth the whole of the fifth set, especially when they got past 6-6 in the set. Rafa was so brave and fought on, and came up with some unbelievable plays, like his DTL forehand winners and that unbelievable return of serve to Nole's forehand corner!

Nole was excellent serving in those few games when he knew he couldn't afford to lose serve. In the end it was whoever succumb to the pressure would lose and it was Nole, missing those last few shots in his last service game.

I feel that Rafa should have won in four sets, but maybe, just maybe he's a bit too tentative, and according to him, he was serving against the wind. Maybe this is his first slam after his injury break so he's cautious when it matters most. However, when his back was against the wall, as in the fifth set, he would come up with some unbelievable tennis. He certainly made life difficult for himself and difficult for us his fans! Its such a roller coaster ride we have with Rafa, but at the end of it, we love it!

I have to add that I'm really impressed by Rafa's backhand during this match, some very solid winners and even some nice DTL backhand shots. Of course the shot for winning this match was his forehand DTL shot, he was hitting that shot so many times for winners during the last few games of the match when they mattered most.

Vamos Rafa! Onwards to the final with Ferrer. Go get your eighth title here!

luckystar , 6/8/13 7:07 AM

Today was a classic even though the wrong guy won again.
5. I wonder how many empty seats there will be for the final because Mac kept going on about how many empty seats there were today.
crap20, 6/8/13 1:22 AM

Is this a new level of bitterness or the same low? LMAO. I guess Fed who will go down in history as being Rafa's whipping boy must really eat you up inside, huh?

When will we get the next 'poem' from you? Will it be a Nole 'poem' or a 'Zabellos' poem?

Fedkoshit20, where were you earlier? We missed you.

jean , 6/8/13 7:17 AM

@DMW, I just have one question for you, are you still convinced Rafa is in decline?

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 7:19 AM

@ krystalclear

Welcome to TT!! Hope you continue to stay with us!!

Monalysa , 6/8/13 8:01 AM

"Good on Nole on showing how exciting clay-court tennis can be when you do not play like a wall from 15ft behind the baseline. It may not deliver a result on this mediocre slam but in the more superior slams like Wimbledon and USO, he will continue his domination of the 1surface kneedal."

Amen to that, Fedkovic. Sometimes a champ comes along with exceptional shot-making and shows clay-court tennis is not the most boring tennis of all time. Borg, Chang, Edberg, Courier, Agassi, Guga and Federer. I hope Novak joins this list next year. He has dethroned the bull at monaco. Only a matter of time before he wins the boring slam.

JamesDjokovicFan , 6/8/13 8:05 AM

, 6/8/13 4:51 AM

Hi buddy, you should know better not to reply to these pathetic trolls making multiple ids and talking to each other and replying to each others man lunatism at its best :-). We all ignore their posts, please do so yourself too. They can keep barking :-)

, 6/8/13 6:49 AM

NNY, are u a tad worried Rafa may lose to Ferrer? I mean I just get that feeling from your posts, hence asking.

On my side, Rfa just cannot take Ferrer for granted. I know 99% believe Rafa will win but anything can happen. Rafa needs to be focused and win. Delpo comes to my mind, he was in first USO final, no one thought he will win but he did beating Fed in 5 sets.Yes Ferrer has just not been tested, he has faced sub par opponents till QF, Tonga could have troubled him but he played crap and leaked errors like crazy. Rafa is certainly match tough now.

sanju , 6/8/13 8:39 AM

Nole: Nadal showed courage in the right moments and went for his shots. That's why he's a champion, and why he's ruled RG for so many years.

Rafael #Nadal: "I'm more than happy about the way I fought in the fifth, after losing a big chance in the fourth."

Novak #Djokovic's coach, Marian Vajda about Rafael #Nadal: ''He's the King of Clay.''

sanju , 6/8/13 9:05 AM afael-nadal-via-twitter/

sanju , 6/8/13 9:15 AM

Djokovic should keep his trap shut in future. All that posturing and boasting that he knew he would win, it's his main goal for this year, blah, blah. How is childhood coach asked him to bring the trophy home etc. etc. He was virtually celebrating even before he walked onto the court.

Djokovic was believing the propaganda that he was declared the favourite by most of the 'experts'. Rafa's response to that was, he didn't give a fig about favourites.

This is a case of pride before a fall.

tethys , 6/8/13 9:50 AM

, 6/8/13 9:50 AM

I agree. Djokovic should talk less in future. He falls in his own trap and he doesnt seem to realize it. He should only let his racquet do the talking. He should learn mind games doesnt work with Rafa, he simply doesnt care who says what.Fed has tried this all his career, it never worked. Djokovic will learn.

sanju , 6/8/13 9:56 AM

sanju, nny is a flaky Rafa fan.

tethys , 6/8/13 10:07 AM

Really pathetic trolls on the prowl under the disguise of fed/djokovic fans...totally puts me off these days

atul1985 , 6/8/13 10:12 AM

@tethys, I doubt Djokovic is going to change in that respect, it's who he is.

What I cannot get over is how he, a pro, allowed himself to believe that he had Rafael Nadal beat in RG on the basis of his MC win. Surely he and his team must have worked out that Rafa was not 100% in MC? It's one thing for mere fans and pundits to say MC was a game changer but for a seasoned tennis pro and team to think and say so??? Did they not watch Barcelona, Madrid and Rome to see that Rafa was improving? Don't hey know Rafa's record of starting slowly in Slams? We're they lulled into a false sense of security by his "struggles" against Brands, Klizan etc?

As for me, I am now fully convinced tennis pundits know as much as we fans do about the game. Frankly, elotmofthem are a disgrace, with no analytical skills whatsoever, just going by their instincts and biases. No wonder Rafa gave them short shrift and said he does not care what they say.

Btw, I don't think Rafa has yet to hit 100% but he is getting there. I feel what is still to improve is his confidence so that he does not have lapses mid match. He stil needs to work on his nerves so that break points don't go begging. His stamina is back, and then some! His backhand and forehand DTL shots are back.

I believe the best of Rafa is still to come, I really do.....

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 10:15 AM

@sanju, in fairness I think Novak's braggadocio unsettled Rafa in 2011 and that's what made the difference. Rafa lost to Novak in 2011 because in the important moments he retreated into a shell, afraid to take risks and got dominated by Djokovic. I think this was because Rafa was surprised by the Novak transformation and it took him a while to realize that this transformation was not just a temporary blip.

Rafa changed all that in 2012 and began tuning out the noise. This is why the manner of his win yesterday was important. It sent out a message, to Novak and the rest of the field that the old mental behemoth is back, he will not be moved.

I will also say Novak's mind games are different from Fed's. Novak's is to focus on himself and how he is better than so and so. Fed's method is to take digs at his opponent. Big difference but the intention is the same, to undermine the opponent's confidence.

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 10:27 AM

sanju, 6/8/13 8:39 AM,

Just ignore this Tethys character who has some delusional ideas about me. Weird!

Anyway, to address your question about my previous post - I didn't mean to make you worry. I was just being cautious. I don't like to take anything for granted and some here seem to think it's already over before the final has even been played. That's now how Rafa approaches finals or any match.

I do think that Ferrer had an easy draw, so it's hard to judge how he's playing. I don't believe that he can beat Rafa, but I just don't like to get too carried away. Rafa spoke about possibly playing him or Tsonga in the final in his post-match interview on court. He mentioned how Ferrer hasn't dropped a set and is playing very well. Rafa shows respect to all his opponents.

My one concern is how Rafa will be after this really long match. He hasn't played a match like this since he came back. He does have a day to recover, so that's good. I don't see Ferrer stopping Rafa after this great win today.

Nativenewyorker , 6/8/13 10:28 AM

Sorry, in my previous post I meant to say - that's NOT how Rafa approaches finals or any match!

Nativenewyorker , 6/8/13 10:29 AM

Rafa has played longer matches than this in the past. So he will be ready FOr the finals for sure

atul1985 , 6/8/13 10:30 AM

The 'experts' have their agenda. They are scared that Rafa will overtake Federer so they are glad to have Djokovic who they think can stop him. Just look at the way they ignore his h2h against both of them. I cringe when they go on and on about Djokovic being the best player on the planet by a long way and welcomed Ferrer as the Spanish #1 with open arms ignoring why Rafa has gone down in the rankings, for now.

They were looking for a way to make Djokovic the favourite and got it when he won MC and even though he did not make any other clay final leading up to RG, they blanked it out. Murray was their other favourite before he pulled out, at least wilander's favourite, on what grounds was Murray a favourite for the French open when he has never won a clay title.

tethys , 6/8/13 10:36 AM

Yes NNY I ofcourse know you are a genuine and 100% Rafan like many of us here.

I too am with you that we should not get carried away and Rafa still has to play it to win it.

sanju , 6/8/13 10:37 AM


Sorry if I caused you to worry! Honestly, I am still on a high over the semifinal match. I didn't really think about the final at all today. Then when I came on here and read the discussion, I just thought that it's better not to make assumptions or take anything for granted.

I learned that from Rafa! :)

Nativenewyorker , 6/8/13 10:55 AM

Higlights from RG best shots f9cb8a000000d8a.html

And if anyone wants to see second half of 5th set again to see Rafa in full on killer mode

sanju , 6/8/13 11:16 AM

Roger all excited for Halle and grass season

Roger Federer ?@rogerfederer 1h This is Court 1 and behind you got Centre court, everything is ready for the tournament to begin......

sanju , 6/8/13 11:19 AM

And Rafans..I know Rafa should have wrapped it in doubt about it..but then come to think of it..that his back was against the wall and he had to rise like a phoenix and impose his will and determiation against his biggest rival today and world No 1 will do a world of good for him and his confidence.

sanju , 6/8/13 11:31 AM

I was a great match! I was exhausted after this extremely emotional marathon! But Rafa looked fresh - that's all that matters, it gives me hope that he won't be tired on Sunday.
Vamoooooos, Rafa!!!

Augustina08 , 6/8/13 11:31 AM

If they had agreed to Novak's request then where would it all stop? Players would be able to ask for play to stop because they can't serve with the sun in their eyes, or wait until the shadows on the court move away, or until the wind dies down etc. etc.

What arrogance?

nadline , 6/8/13 11:32 AM

, 6/8/13 11:32 AM

Nadline, he just wanted to halt Rafas momentum and gather his own thoughts and buy time. He was also gassed maybe. Rather than collecting his thoughts in changeover, he argued with umpire and lost all his focus

sanju , 6/8/13 11:40 AM

sanju , 6/8/13 11:40 A

This is what he did in Madrid and Rome. In Madrid he lost focus after clashing with the crowd. In Rome he lost focus after complaining to the Umpire about a supposed hole on court when he was serving for the match and yet some of his supporters want us to believe losing in Madrid and Rome was part of some grand RG winning strategy and yet it was clear he lost on both accounts because he lost focus, just as this was a contributory factor to his downfall yesterday.

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 12:32 PM

One of the revelations for me in yesterday's match was Novak's inability to hit an overhead smash. Seriously, what was that all about? If he is so inept at that shot, why don't players exploit it more and keep feeding him lobs?

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 12:40 PM

thank you sooo much for the NBC link sanju !

RITB...djo often has his issues with overheads..nothing new but yes he missed a few more than he normally would...poor guy was under so much pressure...

vamosrafa , 6/8/13 2:41 PM

poor guy was under so much pressure...
, 6/8/13 2:41 PM

Yes he was and guess what, it was all self inflicted because he played it up so much regarding his ultimate goal, coach desire etc.

sanju , 6/8/13 2:59 PM

Yes sanju, you make your own luck and Nole did by heaping so much pressure on himself....

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 3:21 PM

Thank you, I really enjoy reading all the comments. You guys always get me through all of Rafa's matches.

krystalclear , 6/8/13 4:42 PM

@Rafaisthebest : It depends whether lob is the 25th shot of rally or 5th shot. With Rafa its usually is former and its difficult to keep focus as the rally goes longer .

Give Nole lob early in the rally and I dont think he will miss.

fedexal , 6/8/13 5:11 PM

Thanks @fedexal. Could his problems with lobs be related to his wearing contact lenses during the match, the glare off them maybe?

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 5:31 PM

We have still to see a match where these 2 players are playing at their best for an entire match.
I personally don't think this last one was a classic despite the hype.
Novak in particular made just way to many mistakes
Very non Novak.
Perhaps this doesn't happen very often anywhere anyway
Although fans will say otherwise and declare how their player was unstoppable and perfect etc.
Of course more reasonable minds will be more realistic.

Twinge , 6/8/13 5:51 PM

Would 2013 French Open Title Make Rafael Nadal the King of Tennis?

Rafael Nadal is one win from his record eighth win at Roland Garros.

It hasn't been easy and it?s taken some time, but Rafael Nadal has risen beyond his injured leg and is poised to claim the throne as the "King of Tennis."

Fittingly, the completion of that accession is poised to take place exactly where his kingdom was built?the red clay of Roland Garros.

After outlasting top-seeded Novak Djokovic in a classic five-set battle Friday, Nadal needs only a victory in Sunday?s finals of the 2013 French Open to be the best in the game right now and even without that win is undoubtedly in the conversation as one of the greatest ever.

Nadal overcame a blown opportunity in the fourth set and an early break of serve in the fifth to top the mighty Djokovic 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7 (3), 9-7 to set up an opportunity to win his unrivaled and historic eighth French Open and the 12th Grand Slam title of his already brilliant career.

Victory on Sunday against fourth-seeded David Ferrer would cap Nadal?s trying but already impressive comeback from a leg injury that took him out of the game for seven months following a surprising second-round loss at the 2012 Wimbledon Championships. Just as importantly, a victory on his beloved red clay on Sunday would make Rafa the only men?s player to win a single Grand Slam event eight times over.

Friday's incredible win was the fifth time he has beaten top-ranked Djokovic in the French Open and it improves his all-time mark against the Serbian to 20-15. It was also a strong statement that it's Nadal, and not Djokovic, who is poised to hold the mantle as the sport's top player. Eleven months ago, that thought wouldn't necessarily have been considered reasonable.

nadline , 6/8/13 5:56 PM

But while the torn patella tendon cost Nadal an opportunity to compete in the 2012 Olympics and U.S. Open as well as the 2013 Australian Open, it gave the world?s fourth-ranked player a much-needed break from the sport that he competes so hard in, and he has returned as dominant as ever.

Since his return in February, Nadal has been absolutely ruthless. The gritty Spaniard is 40-2 since the comeback started, has now won 21 consecutive matches and is on the verge of a stunning seventh tournament title in less than five months.

Prior to Friday?s classic against Djokovic, the 2013 Australian Open champion, Nadal's signature victory of his return came last month in a 6-1, 6-3 drubbing over rival Roger Federer in the finals of the Italian Open. That performance left the legendary Federer acknowledging what has been so evident since his February return.

"He [Nadal] is playing well, I'm very happy for him, super-consistent," Federer said following his Italian Open loss (via The Telegraph). ?It goes to show that is what other players should do [take time out of the game to get fit], then come back 100 percent."

One hundred percent is exactly what Nadal has been in his quest to win his fourth consecutive French Open title. Before his match with Djokovic, Rafa had dropped only two sets at Roland Garros. On Friday, Nadal took it up a notch against the Serbian, who many felt was the favorite to win his first-ever French Open title.

For Nadal, who has won at least one Grand Slam title every year since 2005, it was more business as usual against the world?s best players. The victory improved Nadal to 17-3 in Grand Slam semifinals and gives him a 20th victory in the past 21 matches against a top-10 player.

Now there are those that will argue that Nadal?s comeback has largely been played on clay?his best surface by far?and that once the 2013 season turns to the grass surface next week and then the much-longer hard courts season following Wimbledon, his momentum might be halted.

They would be be forgetting, however, that prior to his injury Nadal had claimed Wimbledon in 2008 and 2010, the U.S. Open in 2010 and the Australian Open in 2009. Point is, while Nadal is absolutely an assassin on clay, he's the best in the game when healthy because his style translates to all surfaces.

When compared directly against Federer and Djokovic, Nadal's superiority is further evident. Yes, at the moment Federer owns more Slams than Nadal, but Rafa is 20-10 against Roger during his career. Likewise, Nadal has more Grand Slam victories than Djokovic in addition to his previously mentioned head-to-head superiority.

There is still one more significant step on the journey back for Nadal, which takes place Sunday in his finals showdown with Ferrer. That said, his current form, his confidence and his dominance all point to the fact that his long road back is nearing its ultimate conclusion.

Not just back to another championship at Roland Garros, but back to his rightful place as tennis' most dominant player in the here and now. How history judges his career reign in the sport is left to be written, but there's no doubt that the king is returning before our very eyes in the 2013 French Open.

nadline , 6/8/13 5:59 PM

^^we need to get over this idea that a player should have won anything against Novak until they actually pull it off.
Match points are like crack to this player and he has come back far too many times to say otherwise.
Bar injury, I expect him to take RG next year.

Twinge , 6/8/13 6:01 PM

Nadline idiotically thinks that if she copy and pastes enough from various hacks in the news or internet that somehow we will all be convinced.
Only the ones singing from the same hymn sheet will be I'm afraid dear!

Twinge , 6/8/13 6:09 PM

^^^Lone voice in the wilderness. It would be easier for some people to push water uphill than accept the Great Rafael Nadal.

nadline , 6/8/13 6:14 PM

And It would be easier for you to get a shag from him than to accept reality dear..
Sorry :)

Twinge , 6/8/13 6:16 PM

Fully in concert with the gist of the article nadline posted but the title? Is Rafa's claim to being the undisputed King of Clay dependent on his performance tomorrow? Gimme a break. Even if Ferru wins, changes nothing, Rafa is the undisputed King of Clay.

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 6:17 PM

Bar injury, I expect him to take RG next year.

Twinge , 6/8/13 6:01 PM

Rafa of course, no?

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 6:19 PM

^^^fully in concert from the same hymn sheet

Twinge , 6/8/13 6:19 PM

Looks like some people are still suffering from the Jam Tomorrow syndrome.

nadline , 6/8/13 6:22 PM

@rafaisthebest, 6/8/13 6:17 PM

They cannot be serious.

nadline , 6/8/13 6:28 PM

Great strategy by uncle toni after nole thrashed kneedal 7-0 on all surfaces, the kneedal team is making sure kneedal plays only on clay. Credit to Toni. he sure did not fall off a turnip truck that hombre!
Fedkovic23, 6/8/13 1:23 AM

already forgetting the IW title this year, you idiot?!!! and after 7 months of injury lay off Rafa comes back and wins the Master title on CEMENT...

Fedkovic23 is nothing but pathetic, envious, stupid hater...feel sorry for the creep...his life must have been a nightmare these days...

Vamos Rafa!

natashao , 6/8/13 6:30 PM

I really like Rafa but i hoped Novak would take RG (although part of me wretches at his triumphalism)
When Roger soon retires it is Rafa that will fully become what he has basically become already.
The elder statesman of the tennis establishment.
To the pleasure of his bigoted, necrotising fans
But not for nearly as long I wager.
A pox on both your houses!
And I really mean that...

Twinge , 6/8/13 6:31 PM

Agree with you, Twinge. If Rafa's healthy, I fully expect him to make it RG #9 next year. There is discussion in the blogoshere to the effect that Novak will take it next year since he pushed Rafa to 5 this year. I fear that is mostly Nole fans trying to salve their hurt. This year was Novak's best chance to wrestle the title from Rafa given that this was Rafa's first Slam since being sidelined by injury. If Rafa schedules the rest if this season and the beginning of the next well, he will be fresh for next year and be more in the groove. I expect he would not give Novak the chances he gave him yesterday.

So yes, health permitting, Rafa will remain odds on favourite for RG as long as he is in the draw..............

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 6:34 PM

Are you out of your f**king mind!?
Novak will inevitably prevail
Just as Rafa did against Fed
The patterns are exactly the same if not more so.
Lets see if Rafa even has any cartilage left for #9!

Twinge , 6/8/13 6:38 PM

natashao , 6/8/13 6:30 PM

Fedkovic23? Nah, that should read, Fedkovic20. Federer+Djokovic = 20 losses each to Rafa. Get it???

Fedkovic23 cannot add.................

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 6:39 PM

Twinge, look to gnashing your teeth till there is nothing but pink gum remaining! Rafa is 1 year older than Djokovic, one. Roger is 5 years older than Rafa, 5. So, Novac is in a true bind. He cannot rely on Rafa aging faster than him, as was the case with Roger. Novak's only hope is Rafa deciding NOT to contest RG, which ain't happening, no sireeeeeee!!

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 6:44 PM

Spoken like the true fan you are!
So I'll not even intrude on it any further
What's the point?

Twinge , 6/8/13 6:48 PM

Am glad you agree with my point...........

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 6:58 PM

Nothing is written anywhere that players have to win anything.

Borg never won the AO
McEnroe never won RG
Lendl never won Wimbledon
Sampras never won RG
Becker never won RG

nadline , 6/8/13 6:59 PM

Novak's real test starts now: how does he deal with this devastating loss? Does he get up, dust himself up, re-group and climb another gear? Because climb another gear he has to, because Rafa has upped the ante. Or does he take the coward's way out, stay on his stool (to borrow a boxing analogy) and refuse to re-enter the ring?

We shall see.............

After Rafa's heart-wrenching Australian Open defeat, he EMBRACED the defeat and went on to defend RG..............can Novak defend Australia 2014?

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 7:06 PM

There was a sense of entitlement in Nole thinking that just because he wanted RG he would have it. He thought Rafa would be fragile against him because of their recent history but yesterday would have dented his confidence against Rafa. No more will Djoker walk onto the court against Rafa and think he has the upper hand in the mental department because Rafa came back from a break down in the final set to beat him.

If he sees Rafa in his Qtr at Wimbledon I don't know what he'll do.

nadline , 6/8/13 7:15 PM

Please, a sub par Djokovic took Rafa to 9/7 in the 5th
What is so devastating about that?
There's always next year, for Novak that is!
And he might even show up for that one.
Really Neither of them played to their best for very long this time which is probably just as well for the Rafans.
On HC Rafa stands little chance versus Novak, again this is probably for the best as Rafa is living on borrowed time as it is without further deterioration.

Twinge , 6/8/13 7:17 PM

Twingey, Twingey, one tournament at a time, have already been wrong 3 times now, no?

Let's wait for the Wimby draw and then we lay our cards on the table before we decide which way this cat's swinging, yes? I have a bad feeling Novak's odds are shrinking faster than the Arctic's ice........

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 7:24 PM

Have I been wrong 3 times?
In a row, or over 2 years posting (now that is more possible)
Didn't say Novak would win yesterday I said it was 50/50.
What were the other times out of interest?
And how many times have you been wrong so far my sweet, when all you post is that Rafa will prevail always anyway?

Twinge , 6/8/13 7:40 PM

I thought you said Novak would win Madrid, Rome and RG?

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 7:57 PM

All my predictions are conditional,
So they aren't true predictions just an extrapolation of the given facts,
And sport as in all things in life doesn't have to follow my logic.
Anyway no youre talking nonense, I didn't state that Novak would make a clean sweep,
Conditional or not.
And why is Madrid a tournament anyway?
It's terrible..
I watched one match with Ferrer and Nadal no less and the 'stadium' was half empty!
Please enough with the Spanish and their dirt...
Just one more day however :-)

Twinge , 6/8/13 8:12 PM


rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 8:18 PM

The above post Twinge, 6/8/13 7:17 PM is a clear indication of the posters bias against rafa. rafa stands little chance against novak on hard court? Where was the Australian open 2012 played on? water? Rafa was actually not even playing his best aggressive tennis in that match..his court positioning was actually defensive for large part of the match though he turned defense into offense pretty well in crucial times...
4-2 30-15 lead in the 5th set on novak's best surface and rafa stands LITTLE chance of beating novak and its a 50-50 on clay...LOL ..good comedy..

Please reply only if you have some stuff about tennis to day...not interested in your sarcastic english ,you are good at it but excess of it is boring, more boring than the spanish in their dirt !!

vamosrafa , 6/8/13 9:24 PM


It's amazing that you just referenced the 2012 AO as evidence of how hard it was for Rafa to beat Nole. I say that because on another topic thread I used that match to refute the comments of the pseudo Fed/Nole fans here yesterday to the effect that Rafa had too hard a time beating Nole on his best surface.

I do not agree with the argument that Rafa cannot beat Nole on hard court. USO final anyone? Also, it took Nole almost six hours to beat Rafa at the 2012 AO. As you said Rafa was in a position to win that match after making a great comeback to win the fourth set.

Nativenewyorker , 6/8/13 9:31 PM

Sorry, in my post above in the first sentence I meant to say that the 2012 AO was evidence of how hard it was for Nole to beat Rafa!

Nativenewyorker , 6/8/13 9:34 PM

LOL..yes NNY i just read your post there... Exactly! I agree that djokovic is more likely to consistently okay his aggressive best on hard courts than rafa is but IF rafa is able to perform his best , he has a very decent chance of beating nole..the US open 2010 rafa seemed unbeatable ! Rafa's backhand was shaky in that oz 2012 match (forehand was pretty good though), this court positining not at its aggressive best ..yet, nole needed 6 hours and 7-5 in the 5th set to beat rafa... now what the hell can explain this? Only one thing: rafa has a very decent chance of beating rafa IF he can produce his aggressive best but yes nole is more likely to be consistent on hard courts than rafa...

vamosrafa , 6/8/13 9:39 PM

ah silly type, 'consistently PRODUCE his aggressive...' LINE 2

vamosrafa , 6/8/13 9:42 PM

Please reply only if you have some stuff about tennis to day...not interested in your sarcastic english ,you are good at it but excess of it is boring, more boring than the spanish in their dirt !!

Why don't you simply get stuffed instead?
Who said you had to read anything I post?
And why should I tailor my posts to your asinine requirements?
Look it's simple even for you to absorb
6 hours on a HC against Novak equals

Twinge , 6/8/13 9:49 PM

:S this is even worse than the trolls ! So as usual NOTHING about tennis. Good. okay rafa 6 hours might be a bye bye but I wont mind rafa winning it in 4 hours.

And why i read what you posted? because it was about rafa, otherwise, I obviously never read your posts brimming with garbage.

vamosrafa , 6/8/13 10:00 PM

As usual nothing about tennis?
So as well as being an oompah lumpah from some god forsaken hell hole
You accuse me of not talking about tennis here
But answer one of my posts on what...
Perhaps in future you may want to try another approach to someone not willing to put up with your bad English and general stupidity
Perhaps too much to ask I know

Twinge , 6/8/13 10:07 PM

Also for the record I didn't really REALLY want Novak to win on Sunday.
I would have loved Jo to get his first slam and on home ground to boot.
Now that would have been good for tennis.

Twinge , 6/8/13 10:12 PM

Cut the crap, taking everything in the literal meaning portrays your command over english well. Okay, so actually, by accident one of your posts had some reference to tennis and it happened to have rafa's name in it so I felt the need to respond. Now get back to your trolling. Something tell me you can be a pretty good rapper... anyway, you can laugh at your sarcasm while the others can laugh at your stupidity ;) fair trade. We are satisfied. Now wait for rafa to clinch an 8th RG title to give you an itch.


vamosrafa , 6/8/13 10:16 PM

The true Nole fans have moved on.

nadline , 6/8/13 10:18 PM

No , rafa becoming the first man to win 8 titles at a single slam and the first man to win at least 1 slam for 9 consecutive years is much better for tennis...Its happening in front of our eyes ! So why not sit back and enjoy this legend surpassing all realms of records. Jo is not even good enough to take a set off ferrer so he is not worthy of an RG title. Nole winning a career slam would have been good too.

vamosrafa , 6/8/13 10:20 PM

F**K Roland Garros and F**k YOU!
You squalid, inbred, third world munchkin...

Twinge , 6/8/13 10:22 PM

showing your class so quickly ;) yes EIGHT french open titles ! i know its killing you..tsk tsk..

vamosrafa , 6/8/13 10:24 PM

Twinge, 6/8/13 5:51 PM,

I think if you use the total of UE's from both players, then one would say that this was not a classic match. The 2008 Wimbledon was probably the best pure tennis played in a slam final. That was top notch stuff.

However, I do think that at points in the match both Rafa and Nole did play exceptionally brilliant tennis. Neither player sustained it over five sets. Rafa mentioned this in his post match press conference. He said that they both had their moments when they played well. There were ups and downs, highs and lows.

What I did want to say in response to you, is that maybe it's possible that there are other factors that can make a match a classic. Great tennis should of course be the most important element, but what about the sheer drama and suspense as the outcome of the match takes dips and turns? Then there is the factor of these two playing some inspired tennis to extend the match. I thought that Nole started playing much better in the second set when Rafa seemed in control up a break and a set. Then Rafa seemed to take over in the third set. Then when Rafa was serving for the match in the fourth set, Nole seemed to raise his level of play and get the break. The set went to a tb where Nole outplayed Rafa. Then of course there was the final set in which I believe Rafa went to a whole other level. That was some of his finest tennis since his comeback.

I guess it's how we call see it individually.

Nativenewyorker , 6/8/13 10:25 PM

Sorry, typo in my previous post. The last sentence should read - I guess it's how we ALL see it individually.

Nativenewyorker , 6/8/13 10:27 PM

NNY, his/her hatred cant let her see this as a classic ! with Sooo much at stake, commentators all over the world calling it one of the best clay court matches ever , both players producing mindblowing winners, both making stunning comebacks in the match, but.....oh its not a classic...right....

vamosrafa , 6/8/13 10:31 PM

showing your class so quickly ;) yes EIGHT french open titles ! i know its killing you..tsk tsk..

Yes it's killing me
Have you just come off the boat dear?
Why even bother with this?
You really are not onto a winner

Twinge , 6/8/13 10:47 PM

*yawn*...rapper or may be a poem options for u while rafa wins his 8th RG title.

vamosrafa , 6/8/13 10:55 PM

Yawn indeed
You're not even worth the casual exertion it requires to deal with your nonsense vamosrafa.
And that we both know!

Twinge , 6/8/13 11:04 PM

sshhh, Twingey at work ! Take note everyone ..

vamosrafa , 6/8/13 11:11 PM

Actually I'm watching the 5th set right now before I go out...... and it is really rather awesome....
They are both playing their attritional best at the same time.

Twinge , 6/8/13 11:17 PM

having not watched the 5th set and declaring this match a non-classic..boy o boy... haha... I am off...much better off discussing tennis win this..

@NNY, do you see ferru giving rafa some trouble? Would you be surprised to see rafa being pushed to 4? I think rafa is going to get in done in 3 but ferru is going to push him right from the beginning..

vamosrafa , 6/8/13 11:32 PM

Oh yes one set makes a classic!
Just like one moron makes a bad poster.
Although there are many here
So It all makes sense now
Yes! and I think it's time you got back to washing dishes before your slavemaster catches you on his computer.

Twinge , 6/8/13 11:42 PM

what an idiot...set 4 was ASTONISHING....

see you tomorrow rafans ! VAMOS ! off to sleep

vamosrafa , 6/8/13 11:47 PM

Yes I'm an idiot, I'm really 'stoopid'
Sweet dreams trailer trash!

Twinge , 6/8/13 11:53 PM


If you haven't left yet, I just wanted to answer you. I can see Ferrer possibly taking a set if he can come out aggressive and play some outstanding tennis. He hasn't dropped a set but also has had a pretty easy draw. Playing Tsonga as opposed to Rafa playing Nole in the semis?

Ferrer did get a set off Rafa at Madrid and Rome, which has not happened on clay since 2008. However, one could make the argument that Rafa is now playing even better than he did at Madrid and Rome.

Ferrer will be the fresher players, but Rafa just seems to thrive on these tough matches where he has to battle back. Rafa will come in with confidence after his win over Nole. I can see Ferrer making a match out of it, but I cannot see him winning.

Nativenewyorker , 6/8/13 11:59 PM

Rafa and Nole are my two favorites. I am glad that Rafa won this but I see Nole coming up behind him soon. I think Rafa realizes this too. In the next year or two Nole will get one.

pennster , 6/9/13 4:57 AM

The matador has slain the Djoker dragon for good. Rafa is now in the driving seat.

nadline , 6/9/13 1:54 PM

Rafa is at once the bull and the matador! He is the bull when the bull wins! He is the matador when the matador wins! But he wins every time! The only foe who can down him is his knee!

holdserve , 6/9/13 8:04 PM

Rafa is the bull/beast according to tennis experts or historians and not rafa kool-aid drinkers.

Novak has a hand 11-5 H2H over kneedal on hardcourts and has beaten Rafa at both the AO and USO. He has 5 HC slams to kneedal's 2. Kneedal has won 1 title outside clay in about 30 months. You want to compare him to the 2nd greatest hardcourt player of this generation? Enough of show-boating your stupidity, rafa nuts.

Talk about facts and numbers, something you guys are not intelligent/smart enough to do with your negative IQ.

Fedkovic23 , 6/10/13 2:28 AM

Fedkovic, The French are really careless. First they let you jump on court protesting against pansies, next they let you go. What did you do? Smuggle yourself out by putting your head up somebody's ass or did you stink up the jail unbearably so they had to let you go lest all the other birds die of asphyxiation?

holdserve , 6/10/13 2:56 AM

Fedoshit, if I visit my grandfather, in the backyard they have pigs... when I gave them nice food, they prefer the worse once.... they really remind me of you, because they don't appreciate good things... you know what, this is what really negative IQ shows, just like you...

tettylds , 6/10/13 3:02 AM

tettylds, you are exactly right.
Asking Fedkovic to appreciate good things is futile: Throwing pearls before swine.

holdserve , 6/10/13 3:10 AM

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