• Federer, Nadal in same quarter of Wimbledon draw

    6/21/13 12:08 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Federer, Nadal in same quarter of Wimbledon draw Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer were the big winners at the All-England Club on Friday. They are in the top half of the bracket, while the other side features Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

    The Wimbledon bracket was revealed on Friday morning and it did no favors for seven-time champion Roger Federer. Just about everyone was at the mercy of the draw with Rafael Nadal looming large as the No. 5 seed, and it was Federer who came up with the short end of the stick.

    Federer and Nadal, who have faced each other in three finals at the All-England Club, could go head-to-head as early as the quarterfinals. They are in a section of the 128-man field that also includes Stanislas Wawrinka, who has a tough first-round matchup on his hands against 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt. Nadal may have to get past Wawrinka and Benoit Paire (in reverse order) prior to the last eight, while Federer's path likely includes Jerzy Janowicz in the fourth round.

    Andy Murray, still in search of his first Wimbledon triumph after finishing runner-up to Federer in 2012, also fell victim to the carnage in the bottom half of the draw. The second-seeded Scot could run into Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarters before going up against either Federer or Nadal. Murray at least has a favorable road through the first four rounds, while Tsonga is on a collision course with Ernests Gulbis for the second round.

    In the top half of the draw, Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer cannot complain. Djokovic's toughest test before the final could come against Tommy Haas in the fourth round. The world No. 1's nearest top eight seed and potential quarterfinal adversary is Tomas Berdych. Still, Djokovic managed to avoid Nadal and Federer--thus clearing his path to what would be a second Wimbledon title match (he captured the trophy in 2011). Berdych's road to the quarters could feature Kevin Anderson and Richard Gasquet.

    Ferrer, meanwhile, has by far the best draw of the top four seeds. The French Open runner-up landed in the same section as Juan Martin Del Potro, who has played sparingly of late and has never been at his best on grass even though he won bronze at last summer's London Olympics. The second quarter of the bracket also presents huge opportunities for Milos Raonic, Philipp Kohlschreiber, and Grigor Dimitrov.. The winner of a possible Raonic-Kohlschreiber collision in the third round would have a realistic chance of advancing to the semifinals. Dimitrov will try to take advantage of an eighth of the draw where Del Potro and Kei Nishikori are the highest-seeded players.

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I was right.

chr18 , 6/21/13 12:34 PM

Brutual draw for Rafa and Fed. Have to beat Fed/Rafa, Murray, Novak to claim the title. How more worse can it get?

I sort of said that I think Novak will win Wimby 2013 and the draw has all indications pointing to that

BTW who ae Feds 1st 3 round opponents and Rafas too?

sanju , 6/21/13 12:35 PM

Please tell me who are Rafas 1st 4 round opponents? And Feds too

Who has drawn Gulbis, Jankovic?

Fed might be shocked seeing this, cant get worse for him if he draws Rafa in qtrs. If the roof is on, Fed has the clear upper hand, if roof is no on, Rafa has slight advantage

sanju , 6/21/13 12:47 PM

Just saw the draw. I think Rafa will reach the qtrs, only Benoit can be a threat for him given his height and serve

Same goes for Fed, will rech the qtrs, Jerzy can be a treat in 4th

Djkovic will reach final eyes closed.

It will be Nole Murray or Nole Rafa final in my opinion with NOle the champion

sanju , 6/21/13 12:54 PM

If Andy gets to the final he will be ready for Novak.
If Rafa gets to the final he will be ready to lose.
It feels to me that it might just be Andy's time.
I am glad the tour is moving on from Fedal now too.

Twinge , 6/21/13 1:15 PM

Fed might be shocked seeing this, cant get worse for him if he draws Rafa in qtrs. If the roof is on, Fed has the clear upper hand, if roof is no on, Rafa has slight advantage

sanju , 6/21/13 12:47 PM

Why would Fed be shocked? He will potentially be only playing the #5 in the world! If Wimby had applied common sense instead of simple maths, Fed could have drawn the rock solid (his description) Ferru in his quarter! So, he's had a very lucky escape, no?

rafaisthebest , 6/21/13 1:24 PM

Fed better start planning for life outside the top 4. If he couldn't take advantage of the laughable cupcake draw he got at RG, how can he negotiate the landmines Wimby has set for him?

rafaisthebest , 6/21/13 1:31 PM

Fed wont be shocked at all he can still win this, But it would be tough to better Andy in the SF.

sabs , 6/21/13 1:35 PM

^^Love how @sabs totally ignores the dangerous floater (Johan Lindhal's description) that is Rafael Nadal. Or maybe he is assuming Rafa will not even get to the quarters! Hmmm.....

rafaisthebest , 6/21/13 1:44 PM

sanju - Gulbis plays Tsonga R2

Jankovic is in the women's draw

RickyDimon , 6/21/13 1:44 PM

^^^^ ROFL

ed251137 , 6/21/13 1:50 PM

I love this draw. A chance to settle the score on grass and make it 2-2 at Wimbledon (Rafa-Fed). The dream scenario is there, with Rafa beating the other big four one after another. I don't see Djoko in the final though. Berdych may well kick his *ss.

JBeer , 6/21/13 1:50 PM

Joke of the day. Remember Berdy's grass season last year. Or his h2h with the Djoker? Tennis anyone?

chr18 , 6/21/13 1:57 PM

I am very eager to see this match. The 2006 Wimbledon final: Fed struggled a bit with young Rafa. The 2007 Wimbledon final: Rafa had the card to win but threw it away. The 2008 Wimbledon final: Rafa could have easily won in 4 sets, almost let the Fed slip, but beat him Rafa style. Bring it on, I feel confident.

JBeer , 6/21/13 2:08 PM

Guess who is the elephant in the room that many are choosing to ignore

"Just about everyone was at the mercy of the draw with Rafael Nadal looming large as the No. 5 seed, and it was Federer who came up with the short end of the stick."

nadline , 6/21/13 2:12 PM

Funny that we are now down to "the wimbly h2h", are we now giving up on the 20?

phoenix , 6/21/13 2:12 PM

sabs is trying to airbrush Rafa out of the picture because that's the only way she can avoid sleepless nights.

ed thinks it's a tall order to expect Rafa to win.

Some are burying their head in the sand.

nadline , 6/21/13 2:17 PM

Gosh!! what a monster of a bottom half. They ought to give one and a half titles to Rafa if he can beat Fed,Murray,Djoko b2b. But one round at a time. This is going to be one exciting wimby. Nole seems to be having a better time now with the draws after all these years where he draw Rafa at the French and the Fed at the USO.

Where is Rosol by the way?

vmk1 , 6/21/13 2:20 PM

Rosol is in Fed's quarter.

Don't worry @vmk1, If Rafa wins THIS Wimby, he will get the trophy and GOAT title.

rafaisthebest , 6/21/13 2:29 PM

Haha. If Andy reaches the final he will be ready to face Novak but if Rafa reaches, he will be ready to lose

Can someone remind here who has 12 slams and 2 Wimbys and who has 1 slam and 0 Wimbys :-)

Rafa may well lose but if you think hell approach the match getting ready to lose,you dont know Rafa at all :-)

And sabs totally rubbishing Rafa from past 5 days and trying to discredit him only reveals his insecurity and lack of respect for a 12 slam winner, but all Fed fans are like that, wats so new

sanju , 6/21/13 2:33 PM

Gosh, extreme turbulence in Switzerland apparently. No, no, talking about the weather not the draw...;)

deuce , 6/21/13 2:33 PM

Wimbledon draw: Andy Murray's escape as Roger Federer gets Rafael Nadal

This is what all sane people think that it's an escape not to play Nadal in the Qtrs.

nadline , 6/21/13 2:35 PM

#Clutching at straws

nadline , 6/21/13 2:38 PM

A cursory glimpse through the Fedfan blogs reveals a deathly silence.........

Mr. Wimbledon will be fired.

rafaisthebest , 6/21/13 2:43 PM

'Rafa may well lose but if you think hell approach the match getting ready to lose,you dont know Rafa at all'

I didn't mean that sanju,
I understand, as we all do rafa's indomitable spirit.
What i meant was that in order for rafa to win he probably will have already gotten through Fed and Murray and then there will be Novak, as fresh as a daisy waiting for him.
Whereas Andy will have `only` had to beat one of fedal and that would probably have given him a lift.
My point is this scenario is the worst possible for rafa and really I just think Novak would be licking his chops at the prospect.
had he flattened Djokovic at RG then okay, but he didn't not by a long shot and if he beats Andy I don't see it being an easy thing for him at all.
He will be battered by then.

Twinge , 6/21/13 2:43 PM

This is the Slam for Fed to show he is GOAT. If he is GOAT, there should be no discussion, he will scythe through the field and hoist the trophy beating ALL pretenders to GOAT-hood.

rafaisthebest , 6/21/13 2:51 PM

If Rafa reaches Q, then it's gonna be very interesting matches for him onwards up to the championship. I am salivating just thinking the prospect. One match at a time Rafa you can do it.

Raindrops , 6/21/13 2:58 PM

Strange, how things turn out. Last year, according to the seedings, Andy was to face rafa in the semis. We know how it turned out. Then Fed was to get a free pass to the final in Andy's absence at RG. Delpo took out Nole/Muzz at IW. The much awaited duels with Nole never happened at Madrid and Rome. So you never know, the draw could suddenly open up for any of the heavy weights in the bottom half.
But considering the form book, you have to tip Rafa at least till the finals. Fed has been playing in a lack lustre manner for a while now, while though Muzza has the Queen's title, he has hardly played since Miami and the back is still to be tested in the best of 5. Not everyone can come back from injury the way Rafa has :)
I only wish for Rafa to have a shot at the second week. Fortunately no ball bashers till R4 when the marathon man Isner may be waiting. But then, anything after R2 is a bonus, the RG#8 is in the bag :D

vmk1 , 6/21/13 2:59 PM

What are the chances all top 5 will reach the quarter finals? And what are the chances that they will all reach the semi finals (other than fedal of course, assuming they both reach their quarter). If quarters and semi play out according to ranking then yes, Roger and Rafa have the toughest quarter on paper. And Murray's half is not an easy one. But from the last few slams I would expect that it will not play out all by ranking.

chlorostoma , 6/21/13 3:10 PM

It's a pity one can not lose twice at the same tournament. Fed being Rosol-ed and then a 21-10, that would have been awesome. Give us the latter first then. Fed's Rosol moment will come soon anyways.

JBeer , 6/21/13 3:26 PM

@rafaisthebest : I guess at this age @32 almost I dont think Fed is any longer the player he was when he was at his prime . Honestly he is way off . But you never know how he would have fared 3 very good players on the trot. I guess its as tough as it gets. Having said that he beat 2 of them last year on the trot. So, its not he has not proved himself before.

Coming back to the draw, I guess Murray's draw is tough as well. His QF opponent is no joke as well. Its Tsonga I think and Joe can turn on the heat and can tire Andy with a long match and after that it all evens out.

Djoker's draw is joke. But this is grass. I still dont think this Wimby won't be as predictable as everyone out here thinks.

fedexal , 6/21/13 3:34 PM

Djoker's draw is joke. But this is grass. I still dont think this Wimby won't be as predictable as everyone out here thinks.

fedexal , 6/21/13 3:34 PM

Totally agree. People forget Novak's movement is not the best on grass. Yes, he has one under his belt but his sliding is not the best on this surface. I think there will be upsets and they will come from the least expected quarters....

rafaisthebest , 6/21/13 3:49 PM

so federer decided that nadal should be in his quarter and then he should beat murray and then djokovic ......................... interesting

isfand , 6/21/13 4:04 PM

Like I said previously, this is Murray's to lose. Should Rafa get past Fed who's not in top form, he will get skewered by Murray who's a lock in to win it all this year.

Nole's draw is an absolute joke though...

aegis , 6/21/13 4:17 PM

federer will not be able to beat nadal as far as my preliminary analysis but we ll see after first week and this is worst possible draw even if he gets past nadal (which is highly unlikely he ll be beaten by murray) i ll wait till second week to be able to judge but murray is my initial pick

isfand , 6/21/13 4:24 PM

For Rafans: s-why-Rafael-Nadal-will-love-his-tough-Wimbledon-draw-201306210007/

Rafael Nadal has been handed one of the toughest Wimbledon 2013 draws imaginable. Live's Ian Horne thinks he'll be delighted with it.

You've only got to see Rafael Nadal in his press conferences a few times to know that he's going to be loving the Wimbledon draw. Sure, he might have to take on Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic en route to the title, but this is probably exactly what he wanted. Here's why.

1. Rafa hates being the favourite
We've seen it a million times before. Rafa walks into a presser before a match against an opponent with a lowly ranking. He knows what's coming, he slumps in his chair and he waits for the inevitable question. 'So, Rafa, do you reckon you'll beat the world No. 250?' He pauses, he raises his eyebrow quizzically in a way that would put even Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson to shame. There's a look of disdain on his face as he says 'he is a tough opponent, no? For me it is not an easy match,' or at least something to that effect.

And now, finally, Rafa gets to be the underdog. The current 'big four' are arguably the most talented players to ever grace the courts, and Nadal will need to go through all of his rivals to win a third Wimbledon title. I think he'll enjoy this.

2. It's a huge opportunity to cement his legacy

I say this with a disclaimer that Nadal is already up there on the 'greatest of all time' list. Especially on clay where his unorthodox grip and almost frightening athleticism have made him the very best player of the current era on the red dirt.

Regardless, here's a massive opportunity for Rafa to prove exactly what he's capable of at the height of his powers. Beating any one of his big four rivals is a huge accomplishment, but to beat them all en route to the slam played on the surface generally considered to be his weakest?now that would be quite something. This could be his biggest achievement, and he's already reached astonishing heights with his game.

3. Could there be a better way to come back from the 2012 defeat?
One of the most memorable moments of Wimbledon 2012 was seeing a steely eyed Lukas Rosol fire his way past Nadal in round two. The Czech's strategy has since been copied by others to no avail and the defeat was a bit of a one-off for the world No. 5.

Although Nadal was labouring with his knee problem and Rosol was simply inspired, he'll want to make amends this time around. Just like Serena Williams did just weeks back at Roland Garros. Nadal is a great champion, and players like him rarely make back-to-back early exits. He'll have his eyes on the prize from Day 1, and what could be better after last year than bouncing back to win the Wimbledon title?

rafaisthebest , 6/21/13 4:28 PM

yeah if he pulls it off ......... it would be mighty

isfand , 6/21/13 4:31 PM

well lets not get ahead of ourselves ............. who knows what may happen seeds can tumble before reaching their (designated) place........... lets see what happens

isfand , 6/21/13 4:34 PM

will someone help me out with my confusion please ;-) ?

some here wrote that Andy is sure to win this
some here wrote that Roger will go all the way
some here wrote that there is no way Novak will lose this time with his draw
no one predicted that Ferrer or someone else yet will take it this time

but all those predictions made with such certainty (skipping over the nuanced posts - how uncommitting are those ;-) - well, they are so certain

perhaps they should just skip the two weeks of intense effort, sweat, pains and aggravations, and hand the trophy to NovakAndyRoger to share ?

chlorostoma , 6/21/13 4:39 PM

by someone else I meant someone else outside the top 5

chlorostoma , 6/21/13 4:40 PM

Rafa looking pretty sharp at Hurlingham against Nishikori, takes the 1st set 7/6 (3), was up a break early in the set and then got broken back. Some HUGE forehands.

willmw101 , 6/21/13 4:42 PM

@rafaisthebest : Your last post sums it up. And when Rafa wins RG, he is calm . He is at less pressure and we know he is mentally charged up. The tennis that we saw in 5th set against Djoker was insane when he was down. He could have easily capitulated there.

But still having Rafa at 5 is sheer stupidity for the tournament. This time around in Wimby we will have a good final. But in RG as expected, final was a joke and scoreline proved that .

A ftime Wimby finalist (in last 6 attempts of his) getting 5 ranking . Shame on people who have the final say on seedings.

fedexal , 6/21/13 4:42 PM

people also predicted nadal to win but people generally want their favourite player to win in most cases ............... the truth is draw has given djokovic an edge but no one knows who will win .............. it might be ferrer who knows :)

isfand , 6/21/13 4:43 PM

Tignor's picking Rafa: 0/#.UcRl6ZxRCDc

rafaisthebest , 6/21/13 4:44 PM

or it might be john isner or harrison who knows (your top 5 comment i ve seen now)

isfand , 6/21/13 4:45 PM

rafaisthebest you are really deep in this ................ seeing you some part of me is now wishing nadal should win .........lolzzzzz

isfand , 6/21/13 4:48 PM

I didn't write

people are writing that Rafa is sure to win it

because I have yet to read a single post that says so (maybe I missed one such)

chlorostoma , 6/21/13 4:49 PM

I am absolutely sure that Rafa would relish his draw.

Instead of some making a case for who they wish to win they spend their time on negatives about Rafa's chances. just make a case for your favourite, that will do.

nadline , 6/21/13 4:51 PM

#isfand, you mean you haven't bet the house on Rafa yet?? Hahaha!

Bodo's picking Rafa: ledon/48001/#.UcRnWZxRCDd

rafaisthebest , 6/21/13 4:51 PM


oh hahahahhahahahahahahaha

isfand, you are just finally taking pity on my draw predictions and trying to make me feel better!

Conspirator , 6/21/13 4:52 PM

Brutal draw for Rafa. But I agree with that article posted upthread, he'll relish it. He's only defending 45 points and I think that will lift the pressure off him and allow him to play freely without thinking about what's at stake. Can't see Fed getting past him if they do meet in the QFs.

Djokovic's draw seems like a cakewalk for him but then again, everyone had Fed in the finals of this year's FO and look what happened. I actually don't think Novak will make it to the finals.

This should be good.

TuesdayChild , 6/21/13 4:53 PM

, 6/21/13 4:43 PM

in case this post was speaking to mine, my point was not that people are predicting or hoping their fav to win.... it was about the posts where some are so close to absolutely certain of their prediction/wish (as usual)

which is the reason for the ;-)

chlorostoma , 6/21/13 4:53 PM

chloro, (even though I'd agree that Fed will be difficult to beat on the indoor grass), just who exactly is saying Fed is sure to win this??? I haven't seen that claim!

Conspirator , 6/21/13 4:54 PM

I just looked and yes Bodo is predicting Rafa to win! Must be a first for him when the draw is so tough and many predict the opposite.

On the other hand, the reason for his pick is imho a back-handed compliment, so less of a surprise there :-).

chlorostoma , 6/21/13 4:56 PM

I remember reading this morning one poster make such certain predictions re Fed taking the title,... I just went through a couple of threads quickly and can't find it without going through them very closely... but there was that post

chlorostoma , 6/21/13 5:03 PM

The more I think about this, the more I think this could be a seminal Wimby for Rafa:

1. He has no pressure i.e. virtually no points to defend, after seeing the draw a lot of people will be picking Novak to win, he has RG in the bag so anything henceforth is jam.
2. His first week draw, when the conditions are most difficult for him, is pretty okay, he should come out of it full of confidence.
3. He will relish playing, and beating, Fed and Muzza, 2 grass court behemoths.
4. Getting to the final, and finding Novak there, will be an opportunity to sow some serious doubts into Novak's head going into the HC season.
5. Guy's got game.


rafaisthebest , 6/21/13 5:06 PM

chlorostoma yeah they seem certain because they want to calm themselves ;) imo
conspirator you are a great guy man was just teasing you with the draw predictions nadal has a difficult draw ...... i admit but he is NADAL for a reason and
rafaisthebest my bet is murray (but initially still skeptic though) but your enthusiasm is commendable so i guess you have got me somewhat on nadal side for your sake;)(my brain disagrees though)

isfand , 6/21/13 5:08 PM

If the expected matches take place and Rafa gets to meet Fed in the Qtrs and beats him.. he's going to be unstoppable ..
If he does manage to get this Wimby it will be one for the records, defeating the 7 time champion in Qtrs, the home favourite in Semis and the World's Nr. 1 in the final
Vamos Rafa!!!

Shireling , 6/21/13 5:18 PM

GSM Rafa. 7/6 7/6, solid match and a good workout. Rafa feeling good on grass.

willmw101 , 6/21/13 5:28 PM

Thanks for the commentary on the Rafa/Kei match at Hurlingham @wills. Good to hear he is finding his feet on grass......

rafaisthebest , 6/21/13 5:31 PM

willmw, was it televised?

Conspirator , 6/21/13 5:32 PM

Nope ^^ no cameras on the court

willmw101 , 6/21/13 5:34 PM

Great predictions article by Tiggy. I particularly agree with his assessment of a Rafa Fed QF:

Rafa and Roger have the toughest quarter, but their lead-up to it isn't that scary on paper. Who's likely to win if they do play? Federer leads their head to head on grass 2-1, and he would have a distinct advantage if there's rain and the court is covered.


Conspirator , 6/21/13 5:45 PM

I find this slam quite unpredictable really
there are quetion marks for all the top 5 winning it, for one
e.g. how many people rate Roger's chances at higher than say 25%?
how many would rate David's chances higher?
on paper Novak has an easy draw _and_ is ranked first, with few exceptions since 2.5 years, _and_ has won Wimbie before... but he is not a sure thing to win this, all history of his last 1.5 years and of the others' being the reason
Andy surely has a good chance at it but far from a sure thing, and that's before the back question
Rafa has a serious chance but far from a sure thing as well, what with tough draw and in several ways _still_ (imho) coming back from injury break to his best level, his incredible first half of the year notwithstanding

I am definitely now betting my home on betting here :-)

chlorostoma , 6/21/13 5:47 PM

Stat of the day: the last time Federer beat Rafa in a Slam, Rafa was 21, Fed was 25. That was in 2007.

rafaisthebest , 6/21/13 5:51 PM

often I like Tignor's perceptive views, but once in a while he puzzles me
e.g. in this wimbie breakdown article he writes that Novak came a couple of balls and running into the net from defeating Rafa at RG. Did he watch the same semi I did? It was rather he came very close to losing in 3, and then losing in 4.

Also and call me prejudiced and subjective, if the court is not slippery and the roof is not closed he rates Rafa's chances as razor thin better than Roger to make it through the quarter. This is what could be written right after the 2007 Wimbie final (and not the 2008), but in 2013?

chlorostoma , 6/21/13 5:58 PM

Funny stuff from Nole Dimi exho...

S hazza will not be happy.

Conspirator , 6/21/13 6:13 PM

So experts pick RAFA to win.

Lets see how favorite RAFA will play now.

sabs , 6/21/13 6:22 PM

chloro, I didn't read it that way. Tignor said "as of right now", which to me means all thing factored in (i.e., Rafa's high confidence vs possiblility of a closed roof, etc.). It wasn't in the context of "razor thin only if the roof is open".

Also, Tignor is only pointing out that regardless of what happened in the match, Nole came VERY close to beating Rafa. It was in the context of all four having positives going for them on some level heading into the Wimby pre-draw.


Conspirator , 6/21/13 6:22 PM

@chlorostoma, 6/21/13 5:58 PM

A lot of people forget that Rafa served for the match in the 4th set, that he took the 3rd set 61 and that the break of Rafa's serve in the 1st game of the 5th set was the first time Nole was in front.

He lost the netgate point fair and square. He could not have made that ball without crashing into the net. In actual fact the game went on to deuce again before Rafa won it.

nadline , 6/21/13 6:23 PM

Who exactly?

Conspirator , 6/21/13 6:29 PM

If Fed loses before the SF, he will drop to No. 5 in the world for the first time in over 10 years.

Conspirator , 6/21/13 6:33 PM

Wow, Tsonga vs Gulbis 2nd round potential meeting?

I just want to sit down and watch tennis for the next two weeks.

Conspirator , 6/21/13 6:36 PM

^^^^^That should focus his mind on the job in hand.

ed251137 , 6/21/13 6:37 PM

agreed. that's why I wrote that Noval came close to losing in 3 and then again in 4. It's true that he was ahead on the scoreboard _once_ in the match... in the early part of the fifth set... but this was not against a lesser opponent nor against one who was tired out or one whose hope has drained away, it was against Rafa in great mental form and with 7RGs in his pocket and strong showings in 5 setters... so being ahead for a few minutes in the fifth was far from a guarantee of winning.

I'd say that while Novak played very well in parts (when he was not going awohl) there were nerves involved and Rafa's concentration is not as unbroken these days as it used to be in long matches... something that is still on its way back I guess.

I see what you mean but I don't agree with that view. It makes no sense to me to rate Rafa's chances as that razor thin better under those circumstances, even before the event has started. Unless you want to bring out tiredness from the last few months (probably doesn't apply or hardly) or not being back at his best form (does apply somewhat but I don't think it does in the possible fedal quarter). I haven't looked but I would expect that the bookies rate Rafa's chances in said quarter a lot high than razor thin.

I am only debating this because some of those Tignor's views are more knee-jerk and biased rather than arrived at trying to be truly thought through calmly and with an eye for trying to mitigate your own bias. The sort of thing you get constantly from Bodo but only some of the time from Tignor.

chlorostoma , 6/21/13 6:38 PM

Did you actually read the article before you posted it? It reads :
"Beating any one of his big four rivals is a huge accomplishment, but to beat them all en route to the slam played on the surface generally considered to be his weakest?now that would be quite something."
Grass is Nadal's weakest surface? Come on. Shouldn't you actually watch tennis before writing an article about it? This Ian Horne fellow is a moron. I bet he thinks Wimbledon is played at the O2 Arena too.

chr18 , 6/21/13 6:38 PM

Conspirator , 6/21/13 6:33 PM

It is fitting that the coup de grace may be administered by the GOAT-in-waiting, Rafael Nadal. This will also focus Rafa's mind on the job in hand. If Rafa beats Fed and goes on to win Wimby, he will finally break away from Fed's shadow, standing alone...........

rafaisthebest , 6/21/13 6:44 PM

The only reason you think Ian Horne is a moron is because he makes a compelling case of why Rafa may enter Wimby relaxed and actually win. No prizes for guessing why you don't like the conclusion.
So now Rafa is a behemoth on grass? I thought you people said he was no good on any other surface but clay? So, in this respect this Horne fellow is no different from you, only he thinks Rafa will win IN SPITE of that. You should know by now that I couldn't care less what you people call Rafa, as long as he wins..........

rafaisthebest , 6/21/13 6:50 PM

Rafa generally comes back like a beast after tough losses
sample this
1] AO 2008: Tsonga hammers him AO 2009: Rafa plays god level semis and finals
2] USO 2009: Delpo blows him off court USO 2010:Rafa completes career slam
3] FO 2009: Soderling hands only loss F0 2010: Not a set dropped enroute
4] Wim 2012: Rosoled Wim 2013 : Completes career comeback slam ?

vmk1 , 6/21/13 6:52 PM

#4, NO, it should be equal Bjorg's record of 3 channel slams.

Raindrops , 6/21/13 7:01 PM


That's one record Roger will never achieve.

ed251137 , 6/21/13 7:06 PM

Somewhat annoyed with Wimbledon for making sure they would get the crowd pleasing Nadal-Federer quarter, just like Miami did. So where are the 'draw-rigging' claims now ? :) Ah, I see, this must be the exception that 'proves' the rule...

Read something above that to prove he is the GOAT, Federer should be able to beat the top 3 other guys in a row...ridiculous, he is a month shy of 32. I think he'll go out meekly to Nadal in straights. 3, 4 years ago I would give him a good chance on grass. His serve has deteriorated now with age. That's just reality. It's like saying Federer > Sampras simply because he beat him in the twilight of his career. Federer is better, I think, but for other reasons.

In any case, the fact that Djokovic nearly had Nadal on a slow surface, where basically Djokvoic had to hit 3 winners every point just to win it, suggests to me we will see a repeat of the 2011 final, or Murray will win this one.

As a Federer fan, I am of course disappointed with the draw. But I'm very much looking forward to Murray 2.0 vs Nadal. I think Lendl will make a difference.

Bharata , 6/21/13 7:09 PM

..........and one which in time Rafa may well beat.

ed251137 , 6/21/13 7:10 PM

But I guess, Rafa got the second best deal as far as the QF opponent was concerned after Ferrer!! I so hope both make it to the QF's and then when the rankings turn around for the USO, they again meet in the QF at the USO for the first time!!
Having that RG#8 in the bag would certainly have removed the pressure off Rafa. He should just unleash on his opponents now! If he is in that 5th set RG semi mode, the sky is the limit!!

vmk1 , 6/21/13 7:19 PM

Hmm /Tigs and Bodo pick Rafa and before the draw even came out, Mac and Chrissy picked Novak. Time will tell. Anyone can get knocked out early.

pennster , 6/21/13 7:39 PM

Do you rate Novak's game this spring / summer as high as in 2001 in 2.0 mode?

Do you rate Rafa's game when facing Novak this spring / summer as equal to it at Wimbie 2011 when he had been defeated by Novak 2.0 4 or 5 times already?

I would rate Novak's game today as not at 2.0 level. And Rafa's game vis-a-vis Novak a lot more succesful than in 2011.

Also, Novak barely survived sets 3 and 4 and had to play really well to get ahead just once in that RG semi this year. Describing that match by saying he nearly had Nadal doesn't cut it.

Should they meet in the upcoming final, even with unequal draws on the way there, I would not expect Novak to win easily.

chlorostoma , 6/21/13 7:46 PM

Andy could play James Ward, another Brit, in the 2nd round. That would be interesting.

This draw leads me to believe that Wimbledon, at least, does not rig the draws. Federer, as defending champion, drew toe seeds' positions and I don't think he would have loaded the bottom half against himself.

nadline , 6/21/13 7:49 PM

I finally got here to check out the draw and see that Rafa will have quite the challenge. Fed in the quarters? Bad news for him! Murray in the semis!

I haven't checked out Rafa's possible early round opponents yet but this is going to get his competitive instincts salivating at the prospect of winning Wimbledon by possibly beating Fed, Murray and Nole.

Great to hear about Rafa's match with Nishikori.

Bring it on!

Nativenewyorker , 6/21/13 7:54 PM

Take your emotions out of it and honestly tell me that you think grass is Nadal's weakest surface. You won't find a real tennis expert, or even a casual fan who watches a lot of tennis, who thinks this. Hence the author is clearly a moron. I could care less what Nadal thinks about his draw btw.

chr18 , 6/21/13 8:24 PM

I see that Fed facing Rafa in the quarterfinals has caused seventeen/sienna to go berserk! Too funny!

Nativenewyorker , 6/21/13 8:28 PM

I don't think Federer will beat Rafa, the only chance he has is if they shut the roof, and even then, it's a low chance. I make Djokovic the favourite purely because of the draw, I think Nadal beating the other three on grass is too big of an ask, could be wrong though!

rbennett , 6/21/13 8:30 PM

chr18, Please read my post rather than skimming through it. I never said grass is Rafa's worst surface! I said YOU think that and call him a clay court specialist. I said maybe the author of the article thinks that as well but I don't care about that. All I care about is his conclusion that Rafa will relish the competition presented by the tough draw and win. I agree with the author's conclusion.

Personally, I think and know that Rafa is an all-court player: clay, grass and HC. His results say that.

rafaisthebest , 6/21/13 8:33 PM

Nativenewyorker , 6/21/13 8:28 PM

It's not just the prospect of another beat-down at Rafa's hands that is causing her fits, it's the reality that such a beat-down will relegate Fed to #5 in the rankings! With his form, reduced schedule and age, that means he would be hard pressed to return to the top 4 after that..........

rafaisthebest , 6/21/13 8:38 PM

I had said I ahve a feeling that Rafa will win 7 titles till Wimby and it came to pass. 7 is already done. I dont think Rafa will win Wimby but I do genuinely wish he does.

Anyone else has a feeling Fed will hang his racquet this year? I feel if he drops to No 5 and does not get back to within Top 4, he hangs his racquet this year

sanju , 6/21/13 8:40 PM

rafaisthebest, 6/21/13 8:38 PM,

I agree with you. The rankings are very close right now and the results at Wimbledon could cause some changes. Fed is defending 2000 points and could drop to #5 with a loss to Rafa in the quarterfinals.

I am okay with whatever happens. Rafa can only gain points here. I think he should get through the early rounds. I noticed that Isner could be a fourth round opponent, but I don't see him getting that far. The crucial test is getting through the early rounds.

Once Rafa reaches the second week of a slam, then we all know how dangerous he can be. I don't care if the roof is closed or open. Rafa makes his own luck and his own chances.

I never like to think ahead too far in slams. I know that Rafa will be taking it one match at a time. That's what I am going to do.

Nativenewyorker , 6/21/13 8:59 PM

I think as long as he remains competitive with Nole, Andy and Rafa he will hang on a bit longer even if he isn't winning the titles. But should he start to lose to lower ranked players during the rest of this year then I agree with you he may well call it a day.

ed251137 , 6/21/13 9:08 PM

CLASSIC PseudoFed...

JBeer will be happy.


Conspirator , 6/21/13 9:13 PM

Roger and OUT

Twinge , 6/21/13 9:15 PM


I agree with you about Fed. Some are getting carried away in saying that he will retire should this happen or that happen. He went through a ten month title drought and stayed in the game. Now he finally has a title. The guy loves to play tennis.

My feeling is that as long as Fed can get to the second week of slams, then he is at least competitive. Once a great player starts getting knocked out in the early rounds, then that is when it's time to call it a day. I do think that if he starts to lose to lower ranked players, then he might decide to hang it up.

I just think it's up to him. I am not going to say when it's time for him to retire.

Nativenewyorker , 6/21/13 9:22 PM

There's too much money involved and he's still winning against most players.
They'll have to drag him away but he is going to try and do an Agassi at the very least.
Today's draw however was certainly not business as usual....

Twinge , 6/21/13 9:38 PM

This seems like a draw for the ages but i am not too concerned about it as a Rafa fan. What I like most about Rafa and what makes him one of the greatest is that time and time again he rises to challenges such as these! Rafa will be fine!! After all what he has achieved after coming from a 7-month layoff is just incredible and yet some are still doubting and undermining his abilities!!! That in itself is unbelievable!

I am so lookimg forward to these championships. I cant wait to see Rafa come out there and play and lay it all on the line. That's Rafa, thats what he does! As far as im concerned, Rafa is the man to beat! His recent records in terms of finals made make me extremely optimistic about his chances at Wimby. I feel he WILL make the finals! I cant see Federer beating Rafa in the quarters, not at all!!! Fed's GS record against Rafa is not great, so I have no expectation of Federer in terms of beating Rafa in a best of five at Wimby, and if by some minute miracle Fed beats Rafa, he wont have anything left in the tank to make the finals bcos I cant imagine Rafa to have made the win easy for Roger. So no matter how I slice it, Fed is toast!!!

With respect to Murray and Rafa, I cant see why Murray is such a hot fav over Rafa! Since when?! Since when is ANYONE a hot favourite over Rafa (except on hard) for that matter?! Please, give me a break?! And since when is Novak such a hot shot on grass? I mean I am just astounded at some of the pronouncements I am reading on here. Please people, give it a rest!!

Rafa to me is the best player so far this year. He has been extremely consistent, he seems healthy and his game has improved and he is expected to be extremely confident going into this championship. I would be a fool to bet against him!!!!

An please stop talking about Rosol.......................he is inconsequential and his win was an absolute fluke!!!


Monalysa , 6/21/13 9:48 PM

He's been extremely consistent on clay,
A very long clay season at that,
Now things should be more revealing.
Oh and who is saying Muzz is a red hot fav over Rafa?
Rafa has clearly had a mental edge over Andy,
It will be interesting to say the least should they meet again as so much has happened since the last time they played.

Twinge , 6/21/13 9:52 PM

Monalysa, I'm so with you. You've said it all.

#Vamos Rafa

nadline , 6/21/13 10:02 PM

yes, maybe a very tough draw for fed, but I stiil say he beats Rafa in the quarters!

scoot , 6/21/13 10:12 PM

@chlorostoma, 6/21/13 7:46 PM:

Yes you're right, it was too much to say Djokovic 'had' Nadal in RG (but remember he gave up the 3rd set pretty fast, which is why the score was lopsided). What I meant was that he was up a break in the 5th and just made a silly mistake at net which cost him the match. In the last game I think he hit 3 or 4 errors in a row. Of course Nadal puts him under pressure to go for big shots, but in the end Djokovic lost that match.

It's true, Nadal will have gained a lot by taking the French SF in such a close match. His confidence will be much higher vs Djokovic now, and he is not at the 2011 level yet. Again though, after beating Federer (3) and Murray (5 sets, I'd guess) Nadal will be a bit tired and Djokovic will have just straightforwardly dealt with Ferrer, so I think Djokovic will have the decisive edge.

@rbennett, 6/21/13 8:30 PM Well said, I completely agree...

Bharata , 6/21/13 10:13 PM


You are wrong about the RG semifinal. Rafa won that match, Nole didn't lose it. Since when does Nole give away semifinal matches at slams? The simple truth is that Rafa raised his level of play in that fifth set and took it to Nole with some of the best shot making I have seen from him in a long time.

The fact that Nole couldn't keep it together in that last game means that Rafa was the mentally tougher player. Rafa was ahead in the match all the way up until the fifth set. Nole was two games from victory, but couldn't get it done.

Everyone is getting so far ahead of themselves. There is a lot of tennis to be played before we even get to the quarterfinals. Everyone has to get there first. So positing that Rafa will be too tired to take on Nole in the final, is assuming way too much at this point in time.

If Fed fans are placing their hopes for a victory on closing the roof for a possible quarterfinal match with Rafa, then they will be sorely disappointed. It was Rafa's knee that cost him the match against Rosol. It was the time it took to close the roof, what about 45 minutes, that cost Rafa the momentum after winning the fourth set. But in the end, his knee did him in. That will not be the case this year. Roof closed or open, Rafa is not losing should he and Fed meet in the quarterfinals.

For the record, I don't care if people say Murray is so hot or Nole has the best draw and is a cinch for the final or that Rafa can't beat the top three to win Wimbledon. People can say what they want. That doesn't bother me. In the end, it has to happen on the court.

Rafa will take it one match at a time.

Nativenewyorker , 6/21/13 10:24 PM

@ bHarata
Novak threw away the match as much as Rafa threw away the match at Melbourne with the missed straight forward backhand!
Rafa hit some crazy shots in that 5th set off both wings. He served like a rock to not give the best returner a look on his serve once he dropped serve. IN the last game, I believe only the last two points were forehand errors, the 0-30 point was a line kissing CC backhand.
Pardon my gloating, but I could not on that awesome semi day owing to a lack of internet connection. Wanted to make up for that ;)

vmk1 , 6/21/13 10:24 PM

I pray that the roof is closed if Fed and Rafa play the QF. Else there is a certain section that would say that Rafa can beat Fed at Wimby only if the roof is open!! :D

vmk1 , 6/21/13 10:28 PM

Bharata it was a close match but Rafa uped his game to win.

It wasn't a silly mistake that took Nole into the net. It was the momentum required to get to the ball that carried him into the net. He tried to stop but it was impossible.


Conspirator , 6/21/13 10:55 PM

Whether the roof is open or closed is not the issue. It's when it has to be closed mid match that it becomes problematic: the players' rhythm and momentum are disrupted (as is the case for any rain stoppage) but they also have to be able to adapt suddenly to indoor conditions. This is not something that can simulated in practise in order to master the art. Those who have already had experience of making the transition in the course of matches will have a slight advantage over an opponent for whom it is the first time.

ed251137 , 6/21/13 11:26 PM

I think it's unfair to downgrade the RG semifinal saying that Rafa could have won it in 3 of 4 sets. If he could have, he should have. It could be said that Nole could have won it not in 5 but in 4. He started the match sharp, gave Rafa a lot of trouble on his first service game, was in a pretty good position to maybe win the first set until the slight injury which was obviously nothing but enough for him to lose focus and his service. He came back soon which was not enough for the first set but was enough for the second. In third, the wrong call made him lose his first service after which he mentally shattered. I guess it happens even to the greatest, but his mental fragility as opposed to Rafa's stability, was the biggest reason for Nole's loss. Being caught in the net is the matter of inertia - nothing he could have done there. The mistake was talking to the umpire instead of using that short break to sit, concentrate, motivate himself and keep his service. What gives me hope is that Nole almost won that match, playing sub par, against Rafa on clay of Roland Garros. He was disappointed but I think there was more positives than negatives for him there.

This is a rationale of that match from a Nole supporter so if there's any Rafa fan who is willing to brand me a "Rafa hater" because of what I wrote, please give me a break :). Difference of opinion is accepted and desired but not the name calling. I would have said it no matter who Nole's opponent was, be it Tipsarevic, Federer, Tsonga... Rafa.

As for the Wimbledon draw, yes, on paper Nole has it easy. Andy's is not bad either. However, Nole's first round opponent played the 1/4 finals last year (lost to Nole) and is, if I am not mistaken, the highest ranked player not a seed. That can be tricky for Nole who doesn't have a match on grass this year and who, by the accounts I read, didn't play well the exho with Dimitrov. Haas is on his path - Nole lost twice on grass against him, one of the matches being on Wimbledon. He lost to Berdych too. Even if I am an optimist, I cannot simply forget that you can lose against anyone who happens to have a great day.

danica , 6/22/13 4:42 AM


I respect your opinion. There is no question about that. You are one of the real Nole fans on this site. You have always been respectful and fair to fans of other players. It's good that Nole has sincere fans like yourself, who are with him in victory and defeat.

We will just have to agree to disagree about the semfinal in some respects.

Nativenewyorker , 6/22/13 5:20 AM

Lol, another cake-walk draw for Djokovic. 4th time over the last 5/6 right ? Lucky bastard.

Emiliano55 , 6/22/13 5:36 AM

Anyone else has a feeling Fed will hang his racquet this year? I feel if he drops to No 5 and does not get back to within Top 4, he hangs his racquet this year sanju , 6/21/13 8:40 PM

No, Fed will not retire until he evens out that H2H with Rafa.

phoenix , 6/22/13 5:45 AM

@phoenix 5:45AM, are you serious? That H2H is never gonna be evened out, more likely it will get worse! I don't thnk Fed is planning on retiring soon but for other reasons such as money.......

I have been reading some posts saying the long clay season will catch up with Rafa. Was the clay season extended this year? I did not catch that. As far as I am aware, the clay tournaments this year were exactly as before. I think the reason it appears to some people it was longer than normal is because Rafa won nearly all except MC and he was in the final of that. But Rafa has played exactly the same number of clay tournaments in a season before so ...........bemused.

rafaisthebest , 6/22/13 7:30 AM

RITB - People are saying as he played 3 clay tourneys in Feb so it looks long

But he did not play Doha, AO, Miami n Halle, so all in all it evens out

N he took breaks in between timing it well so he should be fine :-)

sanju , 6/22/13 7:37 AM

Danica - You are def not a Rafa hater tats for sure

However your statement that Novak could have won RG in 3 or 4 sets is absurd to the core. Its the first time I ever read such a thing. Even the reasons you gave for saying the same dont cut it at all. Talking of 1 supposedly bad line call( which wasnt wrong by the way, there is a reason hawkeye is not used on clay as ball marks are more accurate) and talking of a supposed injury in 1st set ( now u joking right, you also know he had nothing, yes he was making a point at his ankle but had there been an injury he wouldnt be on court running around for 4.5 hrs).

You are supportive n a big fan of Nole which I respect but at times your defense of him like above is quiet baffling :-)

Nole did not lose just coz he was mentally fragile, Rafa won it as he was clearly the better player, played bigger points better, was more aggressive, hit more winners and won 21 points in the match more too :-)

sanju , 6/22/13 7:47 AM

For all of you out there saying Nole has a cupcake draw are probably out of your minds. Drawing Ferrer in semis doesnt guarantee an easy draw. 1st rd with the highest unseeded player and last years quarter finalist, a 4th rd with Tommy haas, Qf with Berdych are no easy matches.
Rafa fans always tout their man's draw to be toughest, even when its clearly not the case. Rafa has got hte easiset Qf. Muzz as usual has been handed the toughest QF, SF, F line up. If Rafa's draw is tough, then probably Fed's and Muzz draws are very very tough.

abhirf , 6/22/13 8:05 AM

Actually what caught my eye about @danica's post was her mention of Novak's "mental fragility". Now if this affliction is bugging Novak these days then I feel even more comfortable about my guy's chances because mental strength is what made 2011 for him and all those defeats of Rafa IMHO. If he is losing that then........

rafaisthebest , 6/22/13 8:09 AM

@abhirf, Tsonga may have stopped Fed at RG, he ain't stopping Muzza at Wimby, you can bank that. Btw, are you still of the opinion it was the common sensical thing to seed Rafa #5 given how the draw panned out?

rafaisthebest , 6/22/13 8:15 AM


Are you seriously saying that Nole's draw is hard because he might meet Ferrer in the semis? The last time I checked Ferrer wasn't a great grass court player. Are you saying that Nole would rather have met Fed in the semis?

Do you really think that Tommy Haas has got a chance to beat Nole if he gets to the fourth round? As far as Berdy, he has been up and down and quite inconsistent lately. He did get the win against Nole at Rome, but do you think he can do it in a slam?

The simple fact is that Rafa will have to go through Fed, Murray and Nole to win. Djoker will have to go through Ferrer, if he gets there.

There's no advantage to being seeded 5th for Rafa. I have no doubt that he will deal with it as he always does. He loves a challenge. But to argue that somehow Nole has it worse is really insulting.

Nativenewyorker , 6/22/13 8:17 AM

After that RG Sf, I couldnt post here. But what my opinion of that match is : Rafa had to play his absolute best in the best possible conditions he can get at the RG and even then it was too close to call in the end. Now if I had been Novak, I would have been much more pumped up rather than being disappointed with the result. Even when not playing at his best, he was able to stretch Rafa to the limits at his backyard, then why cant he beat him on other courts.
Moreover, I have never seen Rafa playing with the grit to win a title like he did at RG Sf. A bit here or there, and it could have been entirely different. There are much more positives for Nole rather than negatives. Afterall, he was not the favourite to win the title.

abhirf , 6/22/13 8:22 AM

@ritb, where did I said that Tsonga will beat Muzz. I know Muzz will win for sure, but it will only after a very well fought match. Tsonga loves the grass courts.

@NNY, where did I said that Nole's draw is tough than Rafa's. I said so about the FED n Muzz Draw. Please dont put words in my mouth. All I said was Nole's draw is not a cupcake one.

abhirf , 6/22/13 8:29 AM

My Picks:
If Muzz has really got the monkey of his back, then he will win the title. Else I'm predicting a Nole-Rafa final.
P.S.: If Fed does beats Rafa in Qf (chances of which are less than 1%), he will win the title for sure.
So for now, I'll go with Nole-rafa final but I cant pick a winner right now.

abhirf , 6/22/13 9:06 AM

Haha, just lovin' it. Fed fans already bringing out the age excuse. "He is almost 32!". Exactly, and 32 is absolutely not that old. Great sportsmen still perform well till at least their mid thirties. Agassi did it when his back was far gone (another weak era proof). Fed wasn't old when he beat a chokin' Murray last year at Wimbledon, was he? Sorry, we are not buying this. Fed hasn't slowed down, lost strength, isn't serving worse etc (check the stats!), NONE of it. It's just that the weak era is over people. Face the fact. CryGOAT.

JBeer , 6/22/13 9:22 AM

abhirf@8:22 AM

You make an interesting point. I guess Nole's team are drumming it into him to concentrate on the positives and stop mourning the loss. I predicted before RG began that Nole could fall prey to wanting the win TOO much in order to complete his career slam. And that is exactly what happened for two years in a row. He lost concentration at crucial moments and Rafa's intensified.

When Nole is swinging freely, on whatever surface, he is formidable but right now I would say Rafa has the mental edge over him.

ed251137 , 6/22/13 10:41 AM

Am very much looking forward to the pre-Wimby pressers, especially Fed's take on how the draw panned out. We know what Rafa is going to say, one match at a time. I was thinking today what a breath of fresh air it was to not hear Novak's bombast about how he was going to win the tournament blah, blah, blah, such as the "noise" that preceded RG. I agree with you, that kind of attitude actually does him a disservice. He just puts too much pressure on himself. I expect the "quieter" Novak to be more focussed, therefore more dangerous.

rafaisthebest , 6/22/13 11:01 AM

I hope you're still here when Nadal is 31....if he's playing at all.

chr18 , 6/22/13 12:53 PM

Even when not playing at his best, he was able to stretch Rafa to the limits at his backyard, then why cant he beat him on other courts.

abhirf, 6/22/13 8:22 AM

Hugely naive.

willmw101 , 6/22/13 1:01 PM

What propelled Djoker in 2011 was belief, he's now lost that; Rafa also lost confidence against him but has now turned that round; more to the point, Rafa has improved so much since last year.

Djoker tried to intimidate Rafa before the SF and actually believed that he would win because he beat Rafa fairly easily in MC. Rafa is the only one who knows why he lost MC so all the posturing didn't bother him. He knew what he had to do. Djoker came to play the MC Rafa but found a very different one at RG so if there was any loss of concentration it was due to Rafa surprising Djoker with the level at which he was playing.

Rafa lead all the the way until early in the 5th set, but broke back in the 8th game. As hard as Djoker tried he couldn't break Rafa again and Rafa finally won with a break to love.

Every time Rafa beats Novak now people come up with excuses for Novak. At RG last year it was the overnight break due to the weather, even though Rafa actually won the first 2 sets. At MC last year is was due to Novak losing his grandad. This year they would have used the death of his childhood coach but as Djoker had talked himself up so much saying he wanted to win it for her, they are scratching around looking for other excuses.

nadline , 6/22/13 1:20 PM

^^^It doesn't matter @wills. We are now used to all sorts of excuses being made for Novak not closing the deal. It makes his apologists feel better about themselves. Deep down, in places they are loathe to go they know this: Rafa won, Novak lost, his quest for a maiden RG win continues. It's the same old Fedfan chestnut, desperately seeking a silver lining in the quest to stop Rafa piling on more Slams.

Novak himself confessed that his RG loss last year affected him at Wimby and it wasn't even close. If this year's loss was close as his apologists say, would it not stand to reason that it would affect him more? I am not saying this will be the case, just saying enough with the excuses, give credit where it's due and leave it at that.

rafaisthebest , 6/22/13 1:21 PM

The question whether Nadal will still be around at 31 has nothing to do with the point I made. 31-32 is not old, period. In tennis, it's more a matter of new generations taking over the older one, which forces top tennis players to retire, than a matter of being too old. Hell, I remember Boris Becker talking about himself as 'an old man' at 28 (Aussie open). Nadal retiring early would be injury driven, he has had issues since he was 18. In other words: the trend in tennis is rather to retire because the young guns are taking control, than being too old to reach their top level. Currently, no age or injury excuse can be made for Federer. He is fit and playing at - his own words - a very good level. So the problem lies in the Strong Era. Lovin' it. Justice. Things being put into place. History correcting itself. Vamos.

JBeer , 6/22/13 1:33 PM

^^^^ +1
Cannot see how age can be a factor here. Since nobody questions why Roger was unable to win a major at 18 like Rafa did!!

vmk1 , 6/22/13 1:46 PM

Excuses , excuses and more for Nole piling up. I am loving it, bring it on :-)

Ahh he came so close, ahh he almost beat him, ahh it was best conditions for Rafa, ahh it took 5 sets, ahh he touched the net..Get over it guys. Novak lost and Rafa won and Rafa is 2013 RG champion. Novak jut did not have the mental fortitude and strength and a game as good as Rafa to win.

sanju , 6/22/13 2:39 PM

Ricky has not put his blog on Wimby up yet?

sanju , 6/22/13 2:58 PM

@Jbeer, what had Agassi really achieved till he turned up 30? and what has Fed not achieved at the age of 31.. Fed doesnt have this motivation to prove that is probably driving Ferru or drove Agassi.
And please, do you even watch tennis..If you would have even watched 1 of Fed's recent matches, you wouldnt have been stating that about Fed's serve which has really lost its speed and venom. Same with his FH. the shot which was one of the best in tennis has become a liability in recent times.
And yes, if Andy choked in final against Fed, what really did Nole did in the Sf or for that matter hasnt Murray been choking against Rafa for 3 successive Wimbies.
Get some life!

abhirf , 6/22/13 3:09 PM

Goshhh.... Is there something wrong in drawing out some positive from a defeat.. Looks like one can only say something positive about Rafa here..

abhirf , 6/22/13 3:12 PM

agassi: golden career grand slam before his 30th. Only true greats in that league.

JBeer , 6/22/13 3:24 PM

I would like to ask these posters if they didnt said the same(the positive) after Rafa's loss at AO 2012.
And @sanju, havent I already commended Rafa for his great show at RG.

And @willmw, what's really naive in stating the facts..

it looks like the people here have become what they dont want others to be.

abhirf , 6/22/13 3:27 PM

@JBeer, wow if you are comparing Fed"s achievements with that of Agassis, I really doubt that someone could argue with you. And probably your true greats list doesnt include BJorg, Macenroe, Sampras.... and the list goes on.. I dont know what somebody who has followed tennis will have to say about that.

abhirf , 6/22/13 3:38 PM

Regarding AO 2012, we Rafans drew positives from Rafa's game, the improvements he had made since 2011 in his match-up with Novak. We did not trot out excuses for his loss. He lost fair and square. Wish people would say the same about Novak's losses to Rafa at RG 2012 AND RG2013.

And we were vindicated because Rafa went on to beat Novak after AO2012.

rafaisthebest , 6/22/13 4:06 PM

Didnt I draw positives for Nole. Where are the excuses?? And please dont tell me that no one mentioned that BH pass after the match. Some fans still go on and on about it.

And we are yet to see Nole's response after his loss. Dont we?

abhirf , 6/22/13 4:23 PM

So far, the excuses I have noted:

RG2012, if it wasn't for the rain delay, Novak would have won.
RG2013, if it wasn't for the unfortunate net cord touch, Novak would have won.
Monaco 2012, if it wasn't for his grandpa's passing, Novak would have won.

When Rafa was beaten by Novak, the better man won, Novak is in Rafa's head.

Need I say more?

rafaisthebest , 6/22/13 4:44 PM

^^ there will always be people to put up excuses. Fans should probably overlook them.

abhirf , 6/22/13 4:52 PM

I meant should overlook the excuses.

abhirf , 6/22/13 4:54 PM

^^it's not the fans that bother me with this, it's the media who use their soapboxes to colour opinions! Rafa is never given the leeway afforded Fed and Novak. Not that Rafa needs it, it's just unfair. Even now, there is grudging acceptance that Rafa lost to Soderling because his knees were shot, the same with the loss to Rosol.........

rafaisthebest , 6/22/13 4:57 PM

abhi...The difference is Rafans did say he narrowly lost but did not sayhe lost the match than Nole winning it. Thats the difference in what people are saying now about RG loss of Novak, it is rubbish to assume that Nole lost it than Rafa won it.

Rafa won it fair n square.

sanju , 6/22/13 5:28 PM


Conspirator , 6/22/13 5:29 PM

Since the divorce of Rafa's parents has been used as an excuse for his poor form in the past, it's fair to say the death of Novak's grandfather had something to do with his loss at mc last year, especially considering the one sided nature of it. At Rg this year and last, Djokovic didn't play well enough.

rbennett , 6/22/13 5:42 PM

@rbennett, well, when is he going to play well at RG? Time is running out........

rafaisthebest , 6/22/13 5:51 PM

Good question, shall we say 2016?; )

rbennett , 6/22/13 5:56 PM

^^I don't mind. Rafa will have his 10 RG's then and he will have my permission to play badly and let Novak win. :)

rafaisthebest , 6/22/13 6:03 PM

I would be suprised if he didnt get more then that to be honest!

rbennett , 6/22/13 6:04 PM

This Wimby is Djokovic's to lose...If he can go past the quarterfinal stage he will be in the best position among the top 8 to lift the trophy...More than Berdych I think Haas is the danger man. Haas is a better grass court player than Djokovic and had already beat him 2 times on the green stuff- once in Halle and once in Wimbledon. But at 35 years of age it will be difficult for Hass to win a five setter against a super fit Djoko. From Ferrer's half Dimitrov has a good chance of taking out Delpo and then Ferrer to reach the semis.

netcord , 6/22/13 6:11 PM

I am very eagerly looking forward to the Federer-Nadal quarterfinal if that materializes...I think the fans should stop fighting and enjoy the two legends going at each other for what could be thrilling match...

netcord , 6/22/13 6:29 PM

Wouldn't it be nice if hostilities could be suspended for the duration of Wimbledon.......there will be quite enough tension and nail-biting as it is.

ed251137 , 6/22/13 6:50 PM

there's no need now to bring agassi into the discussion and to try to use him as an excuses to say that 31-32 is old. agassi won his majority of his gs titles after his 29th b'day. it showed a few things: would he have had that mindset and mental strength throughout his career, he would have won 12+ majors and would be a serious candidate for this goat title those fools thought necessary to give to fed.
despite agassi not performing up to his potential, i appreciate him more than fed or sampras.
agassi winning slams after age 30 is both a proof of his qualities as well as a sign of a weak era (2003 especially). i hope for you fed fans that he will start to perform again cause he is putting his goat label in jeopardy otherwise.

JBeer , 6/22/13 6:54 PM

exactly, sampras is always the first one out, sorry pete, you couldn't win it one the mighty clay.

JBeer , 6/22/13 8:34 PM

@seventeen, 6/22/13 7:31 PM

All the ways lead to Swizerland...
---Armstrong paid Swiss firm for doping services, October 12, 2012.
American cycling champion Lance Armstrong paid more than a million dollars to a Swiss company controlled by an Italian doctor [Michele Ferrari] who helped cyclists benefit from illegal doping, a new report says.--- rm-for-doping-services-report-charges/

Augustina08 , 6/22/13 8:38 PM

My take on the 2013 RG final -

Rafa won, Nole lost! Deal with it! That's how it has been recorded, a win for Rafa.

It's interesting that Rafa fans always get attacked for making excuses, as Rafa himself gets attacked for supposedly using injuries as an excuse. Yet from reading the comments trying to rationalize Nole's loss, one sees a plethora of excuses and "would haves, should haves, could haves, might have beens, what ifs".

Fed fans have done the same. It's okay for them to use the mono excuse, the bad back, the fact that it was too dark in the 2008 Wimbledon match. It's such incredibly hypocrisy!

Nativenewyorker , 6/22/13 9:12 PM

Current ATP-rankings

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