• Djokovic, Nadal resume rivalry in U.S. Open final

    9/11/11 3:30 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Djokovic, Nadal resume rivalry in U.S. Open final You have to think that another Monday final at the U.S. Open will be worth the wait. After a day off, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will be doing battle in a blockbuster matchup featuring the top two players in the world.

    Is the sixth time the charm for Rafael Nadal?

    Nadal and Novak Djokovic have already squared off five times this season--all in finals--and Djokovic has emerged victorious on all five occasions. The Serb has prevailed on hard courts (Indian Wells and Miami), clay (Madrid and Rome), and grass (Wimbledon). Now, the top two players in the world take their rivalry to the biggest stage in tennis--Arthur Ashe Stadium for the U.S. Open final.

    Overall, Djokovic and Nadal have faced each other an almost hard-to-believe 28 times heading into Monday's showdown. Despite his well-documented struggles of late, Nadal still leads the head-to-head series 16-12. Djokovic has won nine of their 14 hard-court encounters, last going down to Nadal on the indoor hard courts of London's World Tour Finals in 2010.

    Super Saturday nearly gave us a renewal of one of the greatest rivalries in tennis history for Monday afternoon in the form of Nadal and Roger Federer. Instead, the best rivalry of moment will add another chapter and it's a chapter that will not disappoint--not if current form has anything to do with it.

    Djokovic, of course, is in the midst of a season that is nothing short of historic. The world No. 1 boasts an incredible 63-2 record and he already owns Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. His only losses have come to Federer in the French Open semis and to Andy Murray--via retirement--in the Cincinnati title match.

    While Djokovic has bounced back nicely from his shoulder problem, he has not been entirely dominant in Flushing Meadows like at other points in the year. The top seed trounced Conor Niland, Carlos Berlocq, and Nikolay Davydenko, then survived a few tense moments against Alexandr Dolgopolov and Janko Tipsarevic. On Saturday, Djokovic fought off two match points to overcome Federer in a 6-7(6), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 classic.

    Nadal and Djokovic have seemingly reversed roles at the U.S. Open. The second-ranked Spaniard's season has not been a typical Nadal campaign (mainly because of his inability to beat Djokovic), but he looks like a different player this fortnight. Nadal struggled past Andrey Golubev in his opener and then took off--crushing Nicolas Mahut, David Nalbandian, Gilles Muller, and Andy Roddick before taking out an in-form Murray in four sets.

    If Djokovic-Federer was memorable, this one could be even better. It's a rematch of the 2010 final--also played on Monday--in which Nadal triumphed 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. This is a much different Djokovic now, but this is also a similar Nadal. As a result, anything less than a high-quality thriller would be a disappointment.

    Nadal is one of the mentally-toughest players in the history of the sport, but he just cannot seem to get past his nemesis right now. That could be the difference and pave the way to a five-set triumph for Djokovic.

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Djokovic in four !
Wimby repeat, though Nadal taking second set this time.

vishi , 9/11/11 3:45 PM

Doesn't matter in how many sets - it's just 6th time in a row. You know very well what I'm talking about...

vjakov , 9/11/11 4:14 PM

You know very well what I'm talking about...
vjakov, 9/11/11 4:14 PM

Is that the extent of your vocabulary? Know any other words? You're posting the same thing all over the place.

jean , 9/11/11 4:32 PM

You know very well what i'm talking about...
vjakov, 9/11/11 4:14 PM

Well, I have no idea what you're talking about, and neither do you. Do you honestly think that Rafa will never again beat Novak? I'll bet you didn't think he'd be the other guy in the final when this all began either, did you? You have to know Rafa's going to solve the Djokovic question:
"...even if I don't beat him on Monday," smile, "I know what my goal gonna be in 2012."
We all know what happens when Rafa sets goals. Enough said.

majorbaeb , 9/11/11 4:40 PM

Jean, I do simplify obvious facts for such as you are, to be able to understand at least simple facts. Nadal mentally looses against Nole even before he is out on court. Do you need me to repeat that it'll be 6th time in a row or you already have accepted that fact?

vjakov , 9/11/11 4:44 PM

In short it will be something of a minor sporting miracle if Rafa emerges victorious on Monday.

There are only two possible scenarios that can happen for Rafa to lift the trophy.

One is that Nole is either fatigued from his epic with Fed and feels the effects physically late on in the match. That or he goes into the match both complacent and overconfident. He knows he has the measure of Rafa, and after the year's he had, there may be something sub-consciously telling him he simply has to turn up to win the match.

If this situation doesn't happen - and it's very unlikely - then Rafa will simply have to produce the performance of his life and that is going some considering the epic battles that he's had in his career.

If Nole is indeed right now the Superman of men's tennis, then Rafa will need to become Doomsday for possibly 4 -5 hours. To reach unparalleled levels of intensity wont be enough, he's going to have to also change certain facets in both his routine. He simply has to to the following things..

1) If he wins the coin toss - then for goodness' sake elect to serve first. We all know the benefits that serving first brings and Rafa will need to take any early advantage that he can find.

2) Serve incredibly. Not just for a consistent 1st serve percentage, but to reach a Sampras level of excellence of aces and un returnables. I reckon he'll need to hit at least 10 - 15 aces overall.

3) Hit return of serves flat, hard and true - to an Agassi level. Particularly on any second serves where Nole will look to it hit high, wide bouncing serves to Rafa's backhand, to hit winners into an open court.

4) Keep shots long and deep. We all know how his cross court forehand gets punished by Nole's two handed backhand, so he must stay away from that side as much as possible.

5) Mix up his game, with drop shots and backhand slices. His slices despite landing mid court, worked against Murray who was too passive to take the ball on. But if he can keep the slices long and low, it will disrupt Nole's rhythm.

6) Approach the net more, especially in Nole' service games. This may not always prove successful but Rafa is a good volleyer and it force Nole more to come up with passing shots, giving him something else to think about.

This is without question the most defining match in men's tennis since Wimbledon 2008 and yes, the game needs Rafa to win. If Nole completely routs him, then his supremacy will be absolute and with no other clear challenger in sight, kill interest in the sport next year.

A Rafa victory, will re-assert his status and the top and be the springboard for the next great tennis rivalry. With Fed clearly losing his killer instinct and Murray continued mental frailty, the game will need Rafa & Nole going toe-to toe on and even level in the future years.

I'm praying for a Nadal victory, but just feel his chances are remote at best, and this final could prove painful to watch for the most dedicated Nadal supporter.

lebsta2 , 9/11/11 4:54 PM

, 9/11/11 4:54 PM

Hmmmmm.....all these biblical allusions: will be something of a minor sporting miracle if Rafa emerges victorious on Monday.................

....................I'm praying for a Nadal victory......................

I am a dedicated Nadal supporter and I can assure you I am looking forward to the match, with or without divine intervention.....and pain is so over for me......I am at the point where I EXPECT a Nole victory, so you see, it can ONLY get better from here!!

rafaisthebest , 9/11/11 5:07 PM

@lebsta2... .... "minor sporting miracle"
Altought I am 100 % for Nole... must admit that your guy had produced lot of "minor sporting miracle" in last few years.
My guess is Nole in 4.
Won't try something more :)
But... hope to see great match... two great champs... nothing less than pure sportsmanship and let the better man win!

zare , 9/11/11 5:08 PM

Knowledgeable comment Lebsta2... There are just minor difficulties that Rafa has to clear out: he has to improve his backhand, volley, slice, drop shot, forehand, serve and to come to the net more often. His top spin is quite good though. I doubt that a player who lacks versatility and places all his hopes in spins only, can do serious difficulties to #1 Novak. In a way, real finale is finished yesterday when Fed lost to Novak, and tomorrow is just an ordinary win for Novak en route...

vjakov , 9/11/11 5:11 PM

Yes being a Rafa fan I too think Nole is the clear favourite here..2012 is the Rafa year maybe/hopefully

vjakov..Such smugness is not good..neither is the about sum humility? When a player is having an incredible run, the player should show humility as well as his fans you see..I know chances of Rafa are maybe only 10% in this match based on this years form, but shudder to think if he miraculously pulls this off, you will have no where to hide :-)

sanju , 9/11/11 5:23 PM

stupid post vjakov...learn something about tennis before playing the analyst.

Rafa's weakness in that murray match was the passive Bh...his forehand is one of the best of all time...and other aspects of his game including volleys are top will be an incredible task against djokovic but nothing too difficult if rafael plays his best...the tide is with novak at the moment,enjoy and be grateful...

Vaaamos Raafaaa!

vrael , 9/11/11 5:26 PM

It would be a pity that someone with 10% chances pulls through, isn't it sanju? And it's not necessary to be a great analyst to grasp simple fact that Rafa is a player with poor tennis arsenal comparing to versatility Nole and Fed have. Rafa's achievements are therefore even more incredible and I do have respect for him. But if all players on the world start playing only top spins, it would be a disaster for tennis in long term for sure

vjakov , 9/11/11 5:37 PM


Lol - not sure about 'biblical allusions' but I agree that set expectations for a Nole victory is the best way to approach tomorrow. Therefore if / when it likely happens, the level of disappointment wont be as high. And of course any other turn of events is an added bonus.


I also agree that the Fed / Nole semi was the real 'final' as it was last year. It's yet another blow of the organisers, with the weather, roof debates, and criticisms over the scheduling.

Put it this way, if Monday surpasses the Fed / Nole semi, then it will be one of the greatest contests in sporting history, not just tennis history. Rafa can only achieve the win five sets. A Nole win is more likely to be a routine three sets.

lebsta2 , 9/11/11 5:45 PM

I see Nadal getting his revenge this time.

Emiliano55 , 9/11/11 5:46 PM

Rafa with poor tennis arsenal..ooh laa laa what an absurd statement..Yes hes not naturally gifted like Fed..he has had to work his way up from being a clay court specialist to now owning 10 GS and 19 Masters and being No 1 for like 110 weeks..that itself is a HUGEEE thing..

And yes if all players only use topspin, we would have had multiple GS winners..Rafa doesnt have patent on topspin..

And Yes I dont for a minute think..Nole is naturally gifted either neither is he more versatile than Rafa ..He and Rafa are exactly the same..both grind their matches to get victory

sanju , 9/11/11 5:52 PM

Nadal's play has vastly improved. His forehand is clicking now. On the other hand, Djokovic can grind it out without losing patience, unlike Federer. And unlike last year, Djokovic has an aura of calmness which impresses me.

Of course most Nadal fans are going to play down his chances, paint him as the underdog, 'we are happy if he tries his best' and the rest of it :) This is a guy who is best when he's the fighter battling the favoured opponent. And now he's no. 2 and less pressure is on him to win then the guy who really only lost 1 match all year, plus one retirement.

Nadal in 4 sets.

Bharata , 9/11/11 6:09 PM

Sanju, there is nothing such as "naturally gifted" in top tennis. There is only a hard work and more work. And determination... And devotion... Again, I have great respect for Rafa's achievements, but I root for better player - and that is Nole at the moment

vjakov , 9/11/11 6:10 PM

poor tennis arsenal?? Woaaah....if you think that it's topspin only that makes nadal so succesful then there is no point in engaging in a discussion with you vjakov...

vrael , 9/11/11 6:12 PM

It seems the Nadal fans don't want to jinx it. But after the semifinals yesterday, I think Nadal has the edge. Nadal in 4, pretty much like last time.

xrf , 9/11/11 7:01 PM

I could not disagree more with lebsta's over the top view that this is the match of matches, with everything on the line for Rafa and tennis. That's a scary way to look at it. The world never hangs on one match. It's not like Rafa will be done for good if he can't pull it off. That's why champions are different than ordinary people like us. If they thought the way we did, then they could never survive disappointments and the ups and downs in their careers.

The laundry list of what Rafa must do is long and detailed and it's easy to lay it all out as though if any one of these things isn't done, the match is lost. That's not how matches play out. There are things that can happen during a match that may not be anticipated and that's what makes it exciting.

It's so easy for some self styled expert to lay out everything that must be done. Try going out on the court and doing it yourself! The most important thing for Rafa is to somehow find a way to block out those previous losses. He has to try to go out and play freely, going for his shots and believing in his mind that he can win. That is everything. Matches are won on intangibles, not necessarily on who plays better. We will see if Rafa can change the dynamic tomorrow.

Finally, I must say that vjakov's comments are insulting and inflammatory. No one is God and knows all. If vjakov really knew that much, then he would be on the court tomorrow playing instead of Rafa.

Nativenewyorker , 9/11/11 8:53 PM

Nadal can't camp in right corner against Novak. He just need to have USO 10 level of serve, and hope Novak don't raise his game. But if Novak brings up his A game, few point will decide winner, and whoever wins I will be satisfied to witness that :)

I am just worried that Novak appears even flatter than on USO finals, and that he feels empty again.

atg , 9/11/11 9:02 PM

I really can't see Nadal doing it, Djokovic in four is my prediction.

rbennett , 9/11/11 9:08 PM

Hi Nativenewyorker.

I couldn't disagree with you more. When you take everything that's happened this year into context , this is very much a significant match.

Nole has not only had a good year, he is enjoying one of the best seasons in the history of the game. Physically in his prime at 24 he is carrying a momentum to suggest that he'll become a dominant no1.

The likes of Dimitrov, Dolgopolov and Raonic still have years of development ahead of them. Delpo is going to take longer than expected to rediscover the form of US Open 2009, Murray is still struggling for that mental application and aggressive streak, and of course Federer is clearly now reaching the end stages of his career and has raised questions as to whether he can win another major ever again.

All this then leaves at the moment Rafa, one player who has the mental and physical attributes to challenge Nole at the top as has been proven in the many finals they have face each other this year. As everyone knows Nole has beaten Rafa five times straight on all surfaces. Any sport is worse off when one player or team is completely dominant over the rest. There always has to be at least one who can match what then top player does. Is that not why so many adore Rafa in the way that he challenged and overcame Fed? After Fed's dominant years, didn't Rafa's ascension not generate more interest in the game?

A win for Rafa, gives him a huge psychological boost against Nole, his 11th slam, the 3rd slam that he's won more than once. So yeah it's pretty important.

So if Nole beats Rafa convincingly for a 6th straight time, the rivalry that we need isn't there as Nole is beating him all the time. Who then is left to challenge Nole consistently? Yes it will be hard to defend his points next year, but Nole isn't just going to disappear in some black hole leaving the top spot vacant for Rafa.

I'm sorry but there's no way that Rafa can just go out there, play his normal game to a high level and expect to win. Nole currently neutralizes nearly all aspects of Rafa's game and if you pay attention to their matches this year, Rafa has gone from to losing when he had the upper hand ( Indian Wells, Miami) to being beaten comprehensively ( Rome, Wimbledon) You do not have to be an expert analyst to realise this, not that I has stated that I was in the first place.

I think it's always good for a champion to be a little scared. Being fearful keeps you on edge, prevents complacency and makes you continue to look to evolve your game. If Rafa just relaxed and didn't look to make improvements on his serve, he wouldn't have won the US Open last year would he?

So it's simple and clear as day, he has to make adjustments if he is to win. The so called 'laundry list' as you call it, is actually a series of tactical changes that would benefit Rafa a lot when you think about it. Look at how Dolgopolov was able to unsettle Nole with his chipping and slicing. Look at how Tipsarevic and Fed were successful by hitting hard flat forehands and stepping inside the baseline. These kind of strategic changes play a huge part in winning matches.

Finally, I'm in now way suggesting that I could do better than Rafa or that I'm some sort of top analyst. I'm not saying that my comments should be taken as gospel. I'm just calling it as I see it and stating my own personal opinion which is what we are all entitled to do on this site.

lebsta2 , 9/11/11 10:00 PM

lebsta2, please read Rafa's press conference after the semi final and then think about all this again :)

vamosrafa , 9/12/11 12:43 AM

every player has a different style and asking Rafa to hit hard flat forehands like Dolgo is even worse than asking him to play strictly serve and's mission impossible...But why should he want to change? We all know that Rafa with his current style of play beats all of those guys from your list: Fed, Dolgo and Typsy...he must be doing something right don?t you think?

So let me put it this way: IMO Rafa should not try to play different tennis (and with this I mean different than last year?s USO)...Rafa only needs to play at the same level as he did last year...unfortunately he has not reached that level this year and that is why Nole was able to beat him in all these finals...I know Rafa is aware of the fact that he played bad at Wimby and that his tennis back then was nowhere near his last year?s game. And there was also an injury he had to cope with. However, Rafa is also aware of the fact that he played some great matches at this USO and that he is reaching his 2010 form...if playing like he did against Roddick and Murray, Rafa can beat Nole...but it is only a question will Rafa in his head think about victory tomorrow rather than defeat...if he is able to trust himself and if he is able to overcome his demons caused by those losses to Nole, he can bring his A game and beat Nole tomorrow. The form is certainly there. In fact, playing like he has been at this USO, he sure looks more consistent than Nole in his matches.

I know he can do it!


natashao , 9/12/11 12:44 AM

What some people seem to forget is that Rafa consistently beat Djokovic during the last 4 years or so. Until the recent 5 losses the H2H was 16 - 7 if my maths is right. Novak has had a brilliant year - no he has had a miraculous year. Can he continue like this for the next 3/4 years? We shall have to wait and see. While he deserves his No 1 ranking, it will be no easy task to do it all again next year. Roger and Rafa have proved their staying power. Getting to No 1 is often more easy than actually holding on to that position day in day out like Roger and Rafa. Novak is riding the crest of the wave right now but one should never underestimate an opponent, especially when they are a multiple grand slam champion. Rafa is a fighter and I hope he brings his A game tomorrow. Vamos Rafa - always your fan no matter what.

schatz , 9/12/11 2:09 AM

Like rafaisthebest said I EXPECT Djokovic to win, in fact I am already slightly sad, however out of good judgement and based on a strong instinct something told me at the beginning of the tournament that the winners on both the womens and mens side will be a surprise and that Sam Stosur and either Rafa or Andy Murray would win! One down and one to go!

So what I am saying, is that people can say what they want to say. I truly thought Serena williams would blow sam stosur off the court today, even though my instincts were yelling, dont be ridiculous its in the bag for Stosur, yet I still doubted it.

So who is to say the Rafa wont beat Djokovic. I mean he is a 10time grand slam champion and once he is in top flight, Rafa too is unbeatable.
So let the cards fall as they may... I still predict a Djok win, but my instincts are saying otherwise.

isabeau77 , 9/12/11 2:17 AM

strong instinct something told me at the beginning of the tournament that the winners on both the womens and mens side will be a surprise and that Sam Stosur and either Rafa or Andy Murray would win! isabeau77, 9/12/11 2:17 AM

Had you posted this (regarding Stosur) at the beginning of the tournament you might have some credibility here.

Incidentally if Rafa wins it is it really a surprise considering his draw and the fact that he won last year? Stosur was more than a surprise; it was a shock!

numero , 9/12/11 2:48 AM

I don't think fitness will be an obstacle for Novak this year considering how much conditioning he's put in. Furthermore, he's mentally tougher than last year, not to mention his vastly improved serve. But you can't blame the guy for fighting for a spot in tennis history that's been dominated by 2 players over the last 4 years. In fact, the arrival of Novak is great for tennis and I wished Murray would stop bitching on the court and get himself a shrink to up his game.

Novak's new game means Nadal has to rethink his strategy but not change his style altogether. Novak loves Rafa's game now as he's able to move him around comfortably given the fast pace he is currently commanding. Therefore, Rafa needs to change things within his control - slice more to change the pace, drop shots, go to the net to shorten points, make sure 1st serve pct is high, and play more to Novak's forehand/middle. This he can do which can tighten up the score and put pressure on Novak as he now has to rethink his strategy during the match.

I cannot emphasize how important the 1st set will be for Nadal tomorrow as it will tighten up Novak as it did for the Fed match (Fed just choked in the end).

anyone anyone anyone LOL

jngannex , 9/12/11 3:53 AM

Actually I did post it. Admittingly I didnt mention Stosur but I did say that I thought that there would be a surprise and that Andy Murray or Rafa would win this years title. I didnt mention Stosur because where i posted it was regarding the mens side of the draw...
I will find it if you like

isabeau77 , 9/12/11 3:53 AM

Here is the link....feel free to read the entire blog... preview:_Top_25_contenders,_part_2

but if you dont want too, here is what i wrote exactly

"Something tells me we are in for a surprise :)"

Well I wouldnt be putting rafa at number 5 or Murray at number 3. I have had this feeling about rafa at this tournament that I can not shake and after reading/watching all the press and reading his Facebook, there is something different about rafa, it's like this heaviness that he has been carrying is gone.
I think it will be rafa or Murray that wins the US OPEN this year, the two guys no one counting on."

isabeau77 , 9/12/11 3:59 AM


It's not a big deal really but Stosur was a much bigger underdog than Rafa. Rafa has 10 GS and is defending champ and Stosur had 2 career titles and no GS coming in. Rafa winning would not be a surprise is my point. Stosur winning was a shock!

numero , 9/12/11 4:32 AM

uh, a lot of armchair quarterbacks around. Albeit, I've had my own battles with NNY, I've got to agree with a lot of what she's saying. I'm first and foremost a Fed fan, but I do tend to sway more towards Nadal because he's a lot more humble than Novak and pleasin in his appearance and demeanor. I also think he's somewhat more honest concerning his abilities than Novak who loves to sugar-coat everything and patronizes both Rafa and Fed for PR reasons.

I think Nadal will win this one, because he does not need a situation where Novak becomes firmly implanted in his head, ala Roddick/Federer, and then he can't do squat anymore. He's got to go out there and believe in himself, play his game, not Novak's and then let Novak implode, which will happen, whenever Novak can't have his way. I think Nadal was suffering from shock initially at Novak's form, which I'm sure he's now gotten over, and is beginnning to face the situation with a different mind-set. I think Rafa's mind is now conditioned to one of acceptance, but not for rolliong over and playing dead, so that Novak can step all over him. What happened to Fed yesterday broke my heart. That scenario is one more thing Rafa has got to be aware of when he's about to serve out the set. Novak has stolen many matches by breaking his opponent in the final game of the set, coz he knows that most players, himself included, face the most nerves in those final moments, which is why he was able to dare Fed and break him. I think Fed was stunned at those returns on match points, and couldn't shake it off fast enough to gather his thoughts and think of a plan to deflect Novak's returns, viz., serve differently. This will be the matter of who has the most nerves of steel. IMO, to break Novak, his opponent has to go right at him, and show him he's not scared.

Novak's ex-doctor was somewhat of a psychologist, and it's obvious that he's instilled a lot of psychological warfare into Novak's mind. tThee seeds are planted, and have sprouted, but it's up to the other guys ot stiffle them, and keep them from blossoming some more.

Someone mentioned djokovic will be tired from his match with Federer. Excuse me, how could that be? I think Nadal had the most grinding match with Murray, and he's the one that has had less down-time, not Novak. Hence, nadal should be the one, if at all, who'll be tired, but I doubt he will. Adrenalin will take over, and he'll forget any tiredness he might be feeling prior to the match.

I'm hoping for a Nadal win. I don't want to see a weak era in tennis happening. Nadal has to win this match, and prevent Novak from dominating as he's the only one left in this tournament to do it. Fed was careless, or else we'd have had a Fedal final,. Albeit some were not in favor of that, but sometimes, when we get what we wish for, it comes back to bite. Those wishing for Fed to lose, had to swallow the bitter gall of their own fave losing, which is not a nice feeling. Thankfully, Nadal is not my fave, so I won't have to swallow any bitter drink if he loses, but for tennis' sake, I'm wishing for a Nadal vicotry. When roger was winning so much, I sometimes wanted for some other players to step up and win, just to make the sport more exciting and not be so very predictable. I'm afraid that if Novak were to win again, he'd become absolutely unbearable, which will be detrimental to tennis. As it is presently, we've had quite a few unfavorable bits of publicity with him, and we don't need more.I doubt there's a hat big enough to cover his head if he should win again.

I predict Nadal in 4, with a couple of tie-breakers.

scoretracker , 9/12/11 4:38 AM


Bless your heart for answering lebsta! You saved me from having to do it. Yes, please listen to Rafa's press conference. It was an extraordinary glimpse into the heart and mind of this young man. He does not need to throw out his game and reinvent himself. The game that got him ten slams, six RG titles, two Wimbledons, one AO and one USO and so much more, must not be discarded. In fact one could argue that if Rafa had played that game, he would not have suffered five straight losses to Nole.

I agee with natashao and isabeau that Rafa needs to find a way to block out those losses, focus on this as one match, a new start, and go out with the belief that he will win.


Yes, you did say it about Rafa in the beginning. It's unfortunate that numero made you feel as though you had to prove it. Already numero is playing mind games again by pretending that it will not be a surprise if Rafa wins after his draw and being the defending champion! Unbelievable! Of course Rafa is the underdog now having lost five times to Nole this year! Just another way to try to minimize a possible Rafa victory in advance. Typical!

I also can find common ground with scoretracker. I wrote a comment yesterday about how hard it was to watch Fed fail to serve out the match. I revealed that my secret wish was a Fedal final. I always have mixed feelings with Fed, because of the rivalry with Rafa and the fan wars. However, something tugged at my heart when I saw him lose the match. He played such brilliant tennis in the first two sets and I had to tip my hat and say - good for you, Fed! To do that at thirty years of age, still finding motivation and desire and producing this kind of tennis, getting Nole back on his heels, was something to see. Then I remembered the tough losses Fed has handed to players over the years. I found myself thinking about Andy Roddick and that horrific loss to Fed in the 2009 Wimbledon. He had the match in his hand, it was there for him, the one slam that he wanted to finally close out his career. And then it was gone. He has never been the same. I thought about Rafa losing to Fed in the 2007 Wimbledon final after outplaying him for much of the match and having played so many days without rest due to the rain. Fed knows what it is like to be on both sides. However, I really wanted him to win that match.

I have issues with Nole, but have tried to refrain from going into it to avoid aggravating the fan wars here. He is walking a fine line and sometimes I feel that he crosses it. I respect what he has done, but not the way he has always handled his success this year.

I don't have any predictions to make. I will just watch the match and hope for the best.

Nativenewyorker , 9/12/11 5:16 AM

It will take more than 100% effort from rafa to win this. And i thinl it will come down to his serves and the backhand.of course the mental aspect is the key. But has rafa ever defended a non-clay title???

Rafaelrocks , 9/12/11 6:14 AM

I too wish to watch the match...but I am already so nervous and scared that Rafa will get hammered, irrespective of what my instincts are saying to me.

I too wanted Fed to win, because I think it would have been great for the game and to be honest if he had beaten Rafa in the final, I would of said too good, at least one of the two greatest won. I may at times have not likes Rogers attitude off court in press conferences but on court he is a true champion and it saddened me to see him lose like he did. Djokovic antics again on court, put a sour taste in my mouth, but he is who he is and I wish him all the luck in the world trying to back all his achievements form up in the years to come and wish that he during this time, he learns how a true champion aims to behave on court, irrespective of what side of the coin he falls. Yes he treads a fine line. Against his match with Fed he crossed it, in my opinion, but its never too late to reel it in and change.

isabeau77 , 9/12/11 6:24 AM

@lebsta, Nadal reach a Sampras like-level of serving and an Agassi like level of returning? There is a reason they were Sampras and Agassi :P

Rafa can win it, although he will need to serve like last year (which was not Sampras like, trust me) and probably have to count on Nole playing like he did in the first two sets against Roger. I don't see Nole going down if he plays at the level of set 3, 4, and end of set 5 - they were a bit reminiscent of what he did for most of the Wimbledon final.

samprallica , 9/12/11 7:46 AM


So are you going to skip watching the match? I am nervous for Rafa, too. I know that this will be tough. I find it fascinating that you predict a win for Nole, but your instincts say otherwise. It's not like you to ignore your sixth sense.

I would have loved to see Fed and Rafa for the first time in a USO final. And I thought that Fed was playing well enough to give Rafa a real battle. I have had issues with things that Fed has said in the past, that's for sure. His more rabid fans have gotten on my last nerve. However, my respect for him will always be there. To come out and still play competitively against the best players, the current #1 in the world at this point in his career, is a testament to his love for the game and desire to be there in the big moments.

I agree with your comments about Nole. I actually think the crowd got to him and that was why he got rattled and went down 0-40. You could see that he was getting very frustrated with the crowd being so vocal in their support of Fed. Then he hit that amazing return to stay in the match and played to the crowd for support. The display after the match did not sit well with me, but it is what it is.

He did it with Rafa after Madrid. I know it is hard to be in the shadow of Rafa and Fed for so long and it's normal to want attention and respect and have your time in the spotlight. However, there is a way of doing it while respecting the dignity of the man you have beaten. I have given Nole full credit for his great year. Next year he will experience what it is like to have to back it up.

Rafa will not approach this match as the be-all and end-all of his career, even if some here wish to view it in those cataclysmic terms. His words of wisdom in his press conference, tell us all we need to know about who he is and how he deals with both victory and loss.

Nativenewyorker , 9/12/11 7:52 AM

Rafa does have a flat forehand. He was hitting it flat during AO 2009 but once against Fed in the final, he hit it with topspin. Darren Carhill while commentating then, said the same thing. Rafa normally hit his flat forehand I/O or I/I DTL from his backhand corner. It's time he uses more of his FHDTL shots now instead of CC all the time. I see his backhand has improved a little bit this tournament, hopefully he can keep the rallies to the minimum to avoid any relentless attack to his backhand.

I see Nole scrambling around the baseline when Fed served or hit deep penetrating shots at him. I think it will serve Rafa well to do like Fed did and cut down on the rallies. Both Rafa and Nole should know what to do as they've met so many times this year. I don't think we are in any better position to advise them.

luckystar , 9/12/11 9:52 AM


Ok, I've watched the press conference. Rafa jokes about serve and volleying (I did say he should approach the net at times on Nole's service games) He does mention having to do things better and also notes his awareness of Nole's double handed backhand and that his cross court forehands long against that shot. We'll see tonight, but I still believe he'll need alternatives to go if his A game isn't going to plan. I agree that he'll have more of a chance if he matches his performance from last year's final but remember Nole has improved quite a lot since that match.


I'm still struggling to find where the 'cataclysmic terms' are mentioned in my previous comments. I merely saying that for any rivalry to prosper , there has to be an even ground where both opponents have the same chance to win. That scenario doesn't happen if Nole beats Rafa for a 6th time in a row.

I'm also pretty sure that I didn't say Rafa 'throw out his game and reinvent himself' As you say, his game had delivered 10 grand slams. Let's say though that during the match Nole starts to dominant the rallies, Rafa's forehand are continually landing mid court and he finds himself always running from side to side reaching for shots for which Nole then dispatches into an open court? Should he not then try different things to change the pace or tempo of the match? Or just keep playing the same looping shots over for Nole to then smash down.

I will always respect whatever arguments views that you have, and debate them further if needed as that's what we do on here, but please if you're going to comeback, then please read my comments properly before responding.

@Isabeau, Numero.

It was extremely suprising how quickly Stosur came out of the blocks, taking the ball early and hitting with pace and consistency.

Despite all that, Serena really embarrassed herself, both in terms of her performance and behaviour. The first serve, such a big weapon of hers, virtually wasn't there and she making errors all over the place.

It was hard to watch the way she conducted herself with the penalty, especially after what happened two years ago. Back then she had a case with the foot fault, but here she was wrong, you know you can't shout out before the ball has reached the opponent. She had now argument, though ironically the cause of events actually helped spark her into life and had she broken Stosur in the 4th game in the 2nd set, I think she would've gone on to win the match.


I may have been speculative about having to reach Sampras and Agassi levels of serving and returning - though that would help. Though there were many times in last year's final where Rafa was striking his shots increasingly hard and flat, and serving his way out of trouble at 15-30 or 30-40 down which is Sampras like.

Just hope he can pull off the win tonight...

lebsta2 , 9/12/11 10:15 AM

Isa: You have voiced the way a lot of people think. The bottom line is Djokovic has reverted to the behaviour which followed his first Slam title in 2008 (and in particular the SF defeat of Fed) which which culimanated in his claim he would be No.1 by the end of that year.

Whilst he has nearly always conducted himself well in defeat - the same cannot be said of his demeanour now. Too much pleasure on downing his rivals rather than celebrating the wins for their own sake. Since becoming No.1 he has carried on as if he were the first to have ever held that position - rather than simply being one of a long line of illustrious champions. Maybe when the novelty has worn off he will stop milking it for all its worth.

ed251137 , 9/12/11 10:18 AM

Going to be Stright sets win for djokovic or hardly in 4 sets
Poor rafa going to loose again,Expecting some fight and Competitive atleast one set from rafa
Advance congrats to Novak --u.s. open 2011 champ

anji123 , 9/12/11 11:05 AM

stright?! whatever that means...

Rafa is not poor...he has 10 GS and 19 masters no means one can feel sorry for can only admire him for what he has accomplished at the age of 25...poor is everyone who can feel sorry for the Champ like Rafa...he is a role model for the future generations and a wonderful human being...

anji123 with your arrogance and stupid statements I really feel sorry for you...

natashao , 9/12/11 11:33 AM

Although I would say Nole has the edge, I'm gobsmacked people are writing off Rafa's chances?

deuce , 9/12/11 11:40 AM

Can Rafa do what Federer couldnt do this time. Its a tough ask on surface that is probably maybe his least favoured. However I think his game at a level where he can take it to Novak . Lets ready to rumble!

nirv02 , 9/12/11 12:01 PM

If Rafa wins this, he would be the one rising against adds and emerging successful. The performances in Toronto & Cincinnati surely didnt give any confidence.

I think he was the 4th or 3rd favourite to win the title when tourney started, he surely wasnt in top 2.

Sure wont be a shocker like Stosur , but yes still a surprise this year.

I wish he takes this though my mind simply doesnt agree he may but my heart wants him to. Hope Hope!!! Another 14 - 15 hours and we will all know :-)

sanju , 9/12/11 12:37 PM

Guys at this stage one can only sit back and wish for a befiting final. Am a true rafa fan but also very realistic about his chances in todays final. Tennis in addition to being a great sport is also a mental sport and a lot of mind games come to play at the big stages. what is happening to rafa is kind of a dejavu as what had transpired between him and Federer inthe past. You could always tell that Fed had the game to beat rafa on any given day but didnt have the belief cos of the defeats he has surrendered to the spaniard and that sort of affected his game whenever they took to the courts to square off. Rafa now feels the same way whenever he plays against Djoker. Its only human that if a guy takes you out 5 consecutive tmes , he has mastered you. That for me is the big issue for Rafa. He has to contest with the Demons inside him and remove that aura of disbelief when he faces Djoker today. He definitely has the tools and stamina to play Djokovic and if he truly believes and plays his A-game, we would have an interesting final. It will also be good for Tennis if rafa wins, so that we would not have an era of dominance by one man. Rafa knows what to do to beat Djoker. it won;t be easy but if he is consistent at it, he would stand a chance. Djoker hasnt been too fantastic in this US open , but he has got guts and thats what has seen him thru. Plus his belief system is very high at the moment and that has contributed to his succes. Not ruling out the fact that he has also improved his game. NAdal can play at the level Djokovic is playing and the results this year have shown that. This will be the 6th final they are contesting this year and you dont get to the finals by fluke but by playing good tennis.
Am not making predictions but expect a mouthwatering final.

puto , 9/12/11 12:41 PM


We do agree at the age of 25 it's really superb achievement,
but this is Nole's time,No one can beat him right now,
any way let's hope for the best from Rafa today

anji123 , 9/12/11 12:44 PM

Can Rafa do what Federer couldnt do this time. Its a tough ask on surface that is probably maybe his least favoured

anji123 , 9/12/11 12:51 PM

anji123, you are right that this year was Nole's year and he completely deserved every bit of it. I have high respect for what he has done and the way he has done it. It was really amazing to watch him play the way he did. But everything had to come together for him to achieve that. It involved Nole raising his level, Rafa dropping his level and Fed having his mental lapses when it mattered. You must agree that it took Fedal to be not at their best for Nole to make this does not diminish Nole's achievement though. On the contrary, Nole is well deserved No1 and no one could ever deny that.

I just think nobody should feel sorry for Rafa...if he loses today it will be justified by many aspects: he has Nole in his head, Nole beat him in 5 finals, USO surface is the least favorable for Rafa and he did underperform in both Montreal and Cincy. NOBODY considered him to be even the third favorite to win USO. He is already a runner up so it is still an accomplishment.

But Rafa CAN do it! He CAN beat Nole!!!


natashao , 9/12/11 1:13 PM

While I expect a Nole victory, I am hopeful of a Rafa victory and it is not outside of the realms of possibility for Rafa to pull this one off. I am very happy with his attitude and his game has come along nicely since Canada and Cincy.................

Whatever happens, I know Rafa will give it his all and acquit himself with his customary grace. So, for a rabid Rafa fan like myself, there is absolutely nothing to be sad about.................I am looking forward to this match!!


rafaisthebest , 9/12/11 1:15 PM

I have yet to come across a pundit who is picking Rafa to win he is the clear underdog............which will make a victory all the more sweet.

Vamossssssssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

rafaisthebest , 9/12/11 1:19 PM

Good luck to both Rafans and Novie fans tonight!
And remember, it's 'only' a tennis match (tee-hee).
Let's hope it is a great one however!

Sosueme , 9/12/11 1:23 PM

Hmmmm litlle by little ...things are heating up...
...and Novak is worse and worse....
So proud on Nole's fans... no cheap shots on Rafa:)
We will see this evening....

zare , 9/12/11 1:25 PM n-mens.html

Correction to my earlier post: here's one pundit who is picking Rafa to win.

rafaisthebest , 9/12/11 1:28 PM

Novak in 5 because there level is closer on this surface, but Djokovic is mentally stronger all year than Rafa.

Choki , 9/12/11 2:04 PM

Whether it is Nole's time now, nobody knows. Didn't we say that too at the FO and look what happen there? So far two guys have beaten Nole this year, we do not know will there be a third one and if yes when?

Nole will do his usual stuff and if need be scrape his way to a win. I expect Rafa to compete fiercely too and they may go the distance to determine the winner. Even if Rafa were to lose today, that does not mean that he'll never beat Nole again in future. Rafa mentioned that he'll keep trying, even if he lose for the sixth time or the seventh time.

I just hope that whoever wins, his fans will not gloat or become too unbearably arrogant, but spare a thought for the fans of the player who lose the match.

luckystar , 9/12/11 2:13 PM

Sosueme, what did that guy say about football? Something like "It's not life or death, it's far more important than that!"

deuce , 9/12/11 3:19 PM

So proud on Nole's fans... no cheap shots on Rafa:)
zare , 9/12/11 1:25 PM

Yep, I've noticed that too. I think we're above that, Nole has lost to Rafa enough times in the past for us to not make snide remarks about Rafa's character/personality/behavior. The Djokovic attack on this site has only come to such a high level after his unbelievable year. If you just scroll past the posts of those who cannot handle it, then this site is still actually quite enjoyable.

As for tonight, I actually dont know who will win. I picked Rafa to win five times this year, and was pleasantly surprised and extremely delighted when Nole pulled off the impossible. I'm quite superstitious that way, so I pick Rafa again tonight, in 4.

mriiidula , 9/12/11 3:40 PM

To expectation of a Rafa loss (and hope for a Rafa win!) is not a reflection of my lack of faith in Rafa or his game, it is a reflection of my own defence mechanism against acute disappointment.

Just saying........................................

rafaisthebest , 9/12/11 3:52 PM


Bill Shankly the Liverpool manager.

Sosueme , 9/12/11 3:59 PM

Oh Rafaisthebest,

If only you were an M Bear fan!
You would have earned a black belt in dealing with disappointment by now..........

Sosueme , 9/12/11 4:25 PM

But the Liverpool is not doing well this year :) I prefer to quote and to look up to Sir Alex...his Manchester United is again unbeatable...:) and he has been consistent for how long: more than 20 years now... :)

natashao , 9/12/11 4:29 PM

Yikes, here we go again!
I hope Rafa is at least able to compete and leave his woes behind but Nole is just too good this year, I don't see how Rafa can pull it off... honestly.
Whatever happens he'll still maintain his favorable h2h :)

Shireling , 9/12/11 4:31 PM

They have 'King Ken' back Nats, so we shall see....

Sosueme , 9/12/11 4:33 PM

, 9/12/11 3:59 PM

Don't worry...............should our Rafa tank tonight's match, I will be seeking out Muzza's fans for tips on how to deal with disappointment.................gracefully! Much easier being stroppy and nasty after a loss, truth be told..........................

rafaisthebest , 9/12/11 4:37 PM

Well, I won't book you in for a 'clinic' just yet RITB dear,
It's sport, he has a real shot Today!
Oh but I shouldn't say that should I?
No, he's going to lose for sure, right?

Sosueme , 9/12/11 4:46 PM

Okay, that's it! Thanks to Sosueme's cruel, merciless ribbing, I'm going into purdah..............just pray, oh cruel one, that when I return, it will not be to the soothing strains of Rocky, the soundtrack......................

rafaisthebest , 9/12/11 4:54 PM

should our Rafa tank tonight's match, I will be seeking out Muzza's fans for tips on how to deal with disappointment.................gracefully!
rafaisthebest , 9/12/11 4:37 PM

Not for long! I have the strangest feeling 2012 will be Andy's breakthrough year.

mriiidula , 9/12/11 4:59 PM

well, Sosueme, I hope there is room left in your 'clinic' since there are a lot of Rafa's fans here who can definitely qualify for the treatment titled "how to deal with post match disappointment"...I also encourage you to open a specific and more advanced program named: "how to cure constant depression and misery of the year 2011 lost finals"...:)

natashao , 9/12/11 5:03 PM


You're welcome darling!


Ooo wouldn't that be something?

Sosueme , 9/12/11 5:03 PM

rafaisthe best, u r the best and prices at our "Dealing with Disappointment" workshops are very, reasonable and we have heaps of excellent advice after years and years of practise.
mriiidula, u cruel tease u....;) Next thing u'll be assuring us Andy will win a slam...

deuce , 9/12/11 5:06 PM

really dont think much is at stake for Rafa (other than another US Open title, of course). I mean, what changes if he loses? He already has 1 US Open title, so he is still a US Open champ if he loses. Djokovic already OWNS him. Djokovic cant OWN Nadal any more than he already does. So that doesnt change either.

Pressure is way more on Djoker. He needs this to cap off what would be a truly dominant season. If he loses, then he finishes with the same # of Grand Slams as Nadal.

RickyDimon , 9/12/11 5:09 PM

Well, if me, Alex & deuce find ourselves swamped with new patients,
There's always my old stomping ground the 'Priory', to take care of the overflow. The food is great, unless it's administered intravenously of course.
I've got preferential deals in place with them (you didn't think we'd do it for free did you?), but if it's still a bit on the steep side, I hear they're opening a new site in Kabul, serious discounts can be had if you stay longer than a month.

Sosueme , 9/12/11 5:11 PM

deuce, please book me a place in your valuable workshop...price is irrelevant...from what I see you are offering the maximum benefit based on broad experience and I definitely consider it a real value-for-money deal :)

natashao , 9/12/11 5:17 PM


I too have a gut feeling that it will be Rafa's day. Your many fans here and around the world will be with you every step of the way that's for sure. Vamos ..............

schatz , 9/12/11 5:18 PM

Sosueme, with all these new clients I think we should raise our prices, they've been far too low too long. Like Andy we don't appreciate our own skills. Ours are of course "making the best of it" "mustn't grumble" and "when's the next slam" and the workshops are brilliant.
Hmm, on this site I've got two candidates for Kabul already...

deuce , 9/12/11 5:19 PM

, 9/12/11 5:06 PM

Just make sure, "how to crawl under a sofa" is not included in the workshop curricula......................much as I love Rafa, I love my fat a@s even more!

rafaisthebest , 9/12/11 5:20 PM

hmm, after this USO frustrations Kabul sounds like a promising place to be...:)

natashao , 9/12/11 5:23 PM

I think there's less fighting going on there than here usually!

Sosueme , 9/12/11 5:26 PM

rafaisthebest, in which case shall I book you into "being able to watch a match with your eyes closed and fingers in ears"? It's v. v. popular. alex runs that one.
natashao, careful, careful, think who I'm sending there...

deuce , 9/12/11 5:27 PM

, 9/12/11 5:09 PM

true speak words of wisdom God Ricky...but it still does not make me feel any better...:(

natashao , 9/12/11 5:29 PM

^^^^ lol

RickyDimon , 9/12/11 5:32 PM

Oh and keep the Fed fans away from the Rafans deuce, I don't think they really get on!
Also 'acclimation sessions' that allow our patients to accept new realities such as when their favourite player is not winning anything anymore,
Were gonna make it big here Deuce!

Sosueme , 9/12/11 5:32 PM

haha...deuce, I expected to get a preferential treatment and an isolated quiet room with on-line courses so that I don't interfere with members of other antagonistic groups...:)

natashao , 9/12/11 5:41 PM

It's not the god d!mn Ritz Nats!
Treatment isn't always 'nice'
And yes some of your new 'friends' are real foaming at the mouths types, and may have to be forcibly restrained,
But it's only for their own good!
So can I take down your payment details now dear......

Sosueme , 9/12/11 5:52 PM

ahaha, sure still sounds like a great place to be...I see I will be making a life lasting friendships there...oh, it's worth every penny...:)

natashao , 9/12/11 6:02 PM

natashao, have to make sure you understand that the first workshop is always "Feel our pain" afterwards we consider cuddlier ones.
sosueme I told you that workshop we went to on "How to make money out of your own and other's misfortune" would pay dividends.
Don't think Fed fans are ready for our courses, unless it's the one on "How to remove the rose-coloured Glasses" not sure we should use those steel cutters, though.

deuce , 9/12/11 6:03 PM

oh, deuce, I will be ready for the 'feel the pain' one, believe me...:)

natashao , 9/12/11 6:21 PM

Pressure is way more on Djoker. He needs this to cap off what would be a truly dominant season. If he loses, then he finishes with the same # of Grand Slams as Nadal.
RickyDimon, 9/12/11 5:09 PM

I see where you're coming from with this but look at it from another perspective :

Nole really is playing with the house's money here. He certainly could have been on his way to Serbia. He is obviously a gambler by his own admission from the MP down return. After facing MP a win here is a bonus. I think Rafa will feel more pressure here as he won't want to feel 'owned' by Nole. He's a proud guy and he will feel pressure to not have to answer those "When are you going to beat Nole again?" questions much like Caroline has to answer those "Can you win a GS?" questions.

Both guys deal with pressure well most of the time though, Nole a little bit better these days.

numero , 9/12/11 6:28 PM

Nadal already has to answer those questions

wont be any different if he loses again

RickyDimon , 9/12/11 6:30 PM

Nadal has to stop the rot however, as it has become a bit of a Novak avalanche of late.
I'd say theyre both under pressure but clearly Nadal has the most to prove.
And that coming from a position of 5 straight losses = PRESSURE.

Sosueme , 9/12/11 6:35 PM

Rafa feels the pressure just like Novak. When we look from this side... 5 or 6 loses doesn't mean a lot, but imagine if you are on Rafa's place.
Nole wants to close the season... Rafa want to rebounce and get rid of Nole in his head.
Pressure is enormous for both of them!
Let's the better man win!
ajdeeeee noleeeeeee!!!!!

zare , 9/12/11 6:47 PM


natashao , 9/12/11 6:56 PM


i assure you andy will win a slam next year. =] at least that's just what my feeling is. i felt that nole would win a slam this year (i never thought he would win Wimbledon, i thought USO or AO).


i agree rafa feels the pressure too. and not just pressure, he must be pretty damn motivated right now. i would say nole has slightly less pressure, he doesnt really have much to prove since he's already had a fab-tastic year. so what if he has the same number of slams as nadal?! luckily for us (and murray :P sorry couldnt resist), tennis outside the slams counts too.

mriiidula , 9/12/11 7:02 PM

@mriiidula, 9/12/11 4:59 PM,

You're terrible. I want Nole to win THE Grand Slam next year, which means Murray's breakthrough will have to wait :P

I don't think Nole is under any more pressure than Rafa is. I have a feeling Rafa is under pressure with a point to prove; just like Fed has been in his matches against Rafa. And I'm confident Nole will do what's necessary to make it 6 in a row.

samprallica , 9/12/11 7:04 PM

definitely more pressure on Djokovic. Whether or not he feels it, we won't know until we see the match.

RickyDimon , 9/12/11 7:10 PM

I agree with Ricky here...Rafa gave the same impression at his press conf. Nobody expects Rafa to win anyway...why should he feel the pressure? He is the underdog in this match, most people thought he would not reach the finals this year...and according to many it would come as a surprise if Rafa won, not the other way around...

natashao , 9/12/11 7:26 PM

exact score predictions?

i say the Djoker 4-6, 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-5, 6-4

RickyDimon , 9/12/11 7:27 PM

samprallica: how on EARTH can u be confident. my nerves are kicking in already and we still have 3 hours to go. and by THE grand slam do u mean all four slams in one year? ohhhh that would be amazing. getting ahead of ourselves though, aren't we? ;)

ricky: rafa in 4, 7-5 6-4 2-6 7-6.

mriiidula , 9/12/11 7:33 PM

I think everyone is putting forward great reasons why either will feel pressure,
Ultimately however it's the players that have to feel it,
So we will just have to wait & see.

Sosueme , 9/12/11 7:33 PM

Mriiidula is going for the anti jinx!

Sosueme , 9/12/11 7:35 PM

Ones I did it... so I don't want to ruin my perfect percentage score :))

zare , 9/12/11 7:38 PM

I must say that I am very optimistic but coz of some nice Rafans I am not going to scream!!!

zare , 9/12/11 7:41 PM

BTW..."clinic" story is hilarious!!!

zare , 9/12/11 7:43 PM

@mriidula, I am confident because Nole has confidence built into his instinct these days. You can see it from the way he was swinging in the third and fourth sets and right throughout the fifth except for that one game (even then he was swinging well, i felt he was distracted by the crowd). Last year, against Rafa he seemed a lot more tentative and really won the second set swinging more out of frustration and hope than out of conviction. The smoother and faster the swing, the more innate, instinctive confidence a player has. And Nole has it.

That's the primary reason. The matchup, previous results etc only add to my conviction. And remember, tennis is a game of sets and games, the tide can turn at any moment. Given how Nole has escaped twice this year, he's good at turning tides :)

samprallica , 9/12/11 7:47 PM

As for THE Grand Slam, I was joking. Although if he can keep this mental fortitude and motivation going, it'll take a player to eclipse his level

As for THE grand slam, i was joking. But anything's a possibility. First things first, this final has to be won!

samprallica , 9/12/11 7:50 PM


samprallica , 9/12/11 7:52 PM

That's quite some real estate your taking up there Sampy,
Deuce and I shall need that back for our triage clinic thingy after the match,

Sosueme , 9/12/11 7:54 PM

sosueme, like i said, its worked for me before, and i'm superstitious like that :D

samprallica, who's to say the crowd wont affect him tonight? its not like rafa isn't a fan favourite. i've been extremely impressed how he's held up mentally actually, the way that he shook his head when he was two MPs down just showed so much determination, it was my favourite moment of the entire match.. meh i dont know, i dont wanna over-analyse. i just want him to start strong. if his first service game is won to love, i'll take that as a good sign.

mriiidula , 9/12/11 7:59 PM

Novak feels more pressure than Nadal, but Nadal is more motivated than Novak. I think that most of you are talking about same thing but call it differently.

Motivation is to win after so many losses, it is not pressure as he is already down in that department. Everyone is giving edge to Novak.

Pressure is to continue to win against Nadal, as motivation is not there, and he can't OWN him more than this. Everyone expect from Novak to be better.

Of course , there are always motivation and pressure facing finals in USO for both of them, but determinant factors are above IMHO

atg , 9/12/11 8:10 PM

HA many theories... still we have to wait 2 hours more :)))
Just hoping for match without injuries and controversies ...
I am 101& Nole... but I simply can not say something bad about torero :)

zare , 9/12/11 8:13 PM


I didn't even respond to you again. I just thanked vamosrafa for speaking on my behalf. If you know me at all all here, then you will know that one thing I truly dislike is being patronized. I found your last comment really condescending. Of course, I read your comment and don't need you to remind me to do so. That is not engaging in mutual respect. Just because I don't happen to see things the same way that you do and agree unconditionally with everything you said, does not mean that I didn't read what you wrote. So please keep that in mind.

Serving like Sampras and returning like Agassi? Please! Let Rafa serve like Rafa and return like Rafa and play his game! Did I say that he shouldn't change tactics if something isn't working? Of course not. No one has been better at making adjustments during a match. Rafa is a great thinker on the court and I hope he uses this skill during today's match. He will need his wits, guile and will to pull this off.

I think Ricky was pretty blunt about it all. I don't like having to read it, but at least he is not making this match the apocalypse or armageddon. You may not have used the terms I did, but talking about saving men's tennis is putting this match in pretty seminal terms.

I see that some Nole fans are a bit put out at some comments about Nole. I might remind them to just check out a few things that have been said by some Nole fans about how this match will play out. I have been respectful of Nole and even defended him against the absurd allegations about the CVAC machine. However, when a few of his fans decide to get carried away and display a lack ofYou r respect for Rafa, then I take issue.

I don't know if Nole will be feeling pressure. Maybe both of them will be feeling it. Rafa has to be considered the underdog now, given his five losses to Nole. I hope he plays as though he has nothing to lose and just goes for his shots and plays his best. That's all I can ask.

Nativenewyorker , 9/12/11 8:17 PM

Mriiidula, samprallica - you should be embarrassed to call yourselves Nole fans. He's obviously winning the Golden Slam in 2012?

*sings* I'm on my way to the fiiiiiiinal?

stu , 9/12/11 8:32 PM

Why stop @ tennis for Novie?


I'd vote for him anyway....

Sosueme , 9/12/11 8:46 PM

^^ Hey, not fair! I was the one who brought up his winning the Grand Slam in the first place. I don't know if I'm being deluded, but I really think he has a shot at it :P Problem is, I thought rafa had a shot at it this year.

mriidula, relax, Nole isn't going to affected by external factors. The only thing that can stop him is Rafa.

samprallica , 9/12/11 8:46 PM

OMG Stu are you gonna watch it live? AGAIN? Tell Nole we love him, and bring back one of those massive tennis balls (I've always wanted one for some reason).

NNY, I don't believe I mentioned you personally. I did notice that you defended him against the 'cheating' accusations, and I'm sure we all appreciate it. Yes, there are some fans (of both players) who cross the line, and their posts are best ignored.

mriiidula , 9/12/11 8:48 PM

@Sosueme, so you'd pick him over Prince William, in say, 2015, when the elections are held? ;)

samprallica , 9/12/11 8:48 PM

Nole isn't going to affected by external factors.
samprallica, 9/12/11 8:46 PM

Oh if only I could believe that.

He's got to win the USO first. Then he can try for THE grand slam (although not in the same calendar year), it still counts though right?

And who wouldn't pick against Prince William?

mriiidula , 9/12/11 8:52 PM


But of-course!

Prince William will have no hair by then, & Novie shall be on his 3rd calendar/golden/diamond/career/supers SLAM! By then...

No contest really.

Sosueme , 9/12/11 8:54 PM


Although I still disagree with some points and feel that my comments are being read in a different way, I can understand if my last comment was seen as condescending, so apologise for any offence caused.

I think it's best to draw a line and accept that we're at odds on how important this match is and how Rafa should approach it. After all in just over an hour we'll both been heavily focused on the match like everyone else - the 100+ comments will no doubt triple in amount over the next couple of hours.

At least he share common ground on wanting Rafa to win. If he does it by sticking to his own game without adopting the tactics I suggested, then I'll be the first to admit being wrong.

Not long to go now.....

lebsta2 , 9/12/11 9:05 PM

Grand Slam has to be in calendar year... Otherwise it is called Career Slam... Next year there is chance for Golden Slam, which includes Olympics.

I think that Grand Slam is kind of exaggeration, mission impossible and it depend more on circumstances than on player. I would rather call Grand Slam a fact that someone won 4 GS anytime. Career Slam sounds poorly...

Golden Slam is even worse, it can happen every 4 years and I think tennis till recently wasn't on Olympics at all...

atg , 9/12/11 9:11 PM

The Queen might have something to say about that :P

mriidula, THE grand slam would have to occur in the same year. If he wins the French next year after winning this, he would have a career slam, if he wins the australian en route, he would have the Nole slam, similar to the Rafa slam that was talked about earlier this year at the AO :D

If he wins the olympic gold medal with THE grand slam, he gets the Golden slam.

samprallica , 9/12/11 9:13 PM

This is ridiculous. Way too many similar-sounding phrases. Has anyone actually won the Golden slam?

mriiidula , 9/12/11 9:18 PM

Andre Agassi I think

Sosueme , 9/12/11 9:32 PM

^^ Andre's better half in 1988. But men no?

numero , 9/12/11 9:33 PM

Yes, Steffi did. But that's it.

samprallica , 9/12/11 9:36 PM

NNY... you are correct and passionate fan. And I am not patronizing you ;)
OFC there will be Rafans and Nole fans who will step over the line... bur isn't it nice that we have little bit more relaxed atmosphere. I am much more calm that b4 match with... well... you know who :)
I will cheer for Nole with all my heart... but if he loses ... it is nothing shameful in that. I would not like to see it, but in that case I am sure that Nole will smile and hug his magnificent rival. If only keep that lvl.

zare , 9/12/11 9:36 PM

No I think agassi, and Nadal too,
Unless you mean all in the same year or continuously,
Which I think you are..

Sosueme , 9/12/11 9:39 PM

I'm getting nervous now and I'm a neutral!

Sosueme , 9/12/11 9:43 PM

Well.... less than 20 minutes....
How are you feeling folks ? :)

zare , 9/12/11 9:44 PM

No he managed to get Career Golden Slam... I think just Laver have Grand Slam, and he managed to do that twice. But I think it was just grass and clay then... For me Rafa Slam was bigger achievement than Grand Slam of Laver... I think that he publicly said that it is not the same, saying that his GS was much bigger success...

atg , 9/12/11 9:47 PM

So guys who do you will be further behind the baseline?
And who do you think will go to the net more?
I know who has too of course .....

Sosueme , 9/12/11 9:47 PM

During the ( I think ) Nole/Tipsy match...commentators on eurosport were chatting... and one of them mentioned that he was on match where Rod Laver broke the hand of ball kid with serve??? Anyone knows something about it?

zare , 9/12/11 9:50 PM

Agassi and Nadal have the career golden slams. Steffi has THE Golden Slam, crazy achievement. Anyway, come on Nole!

samprallica , 9/12/11 9:51 PM

My bad yeah the names are very similar...

Sosueme , 9/12/11 9:52 PM

Ha ha, Wilander calls Nole's level the best ever! Deluded.

samprallica , 9/12/11 9:57 PM

Wow. ridiculous.

Zare, really? I find that hard to believe for some reason.

mriiidula , 9/12/11 9:58 PM

I am just talking what I have heard? Anyway how old is that commentator 60+ ??

zare , 9/12/11 9:59 PM

Wilanders opinions go wherever the wind blows...

Sosueme , 9/12/11 10:00 PM

^^ Maybe he hit the ball boy with his racquet lol. Laver was an amazing volleyer though, seen a few tapes of him.

Stadium is empty.

samprallica , 9/12/11 10:00 PM

Rafa is missing? Some delay because he is not ready?

atg , 9/12/11 10:01 PM

i was about to say. so many empty seats, thats what happens on mondays i guess.

mriiidula , 9/12/11 10:02 PM

Blue cap, Nole looks like a baseball player :P

samprallica , 9/12/11 10:03 PM

New Yorkers work long hours....

Sosueme , 9/12/11 10:04 PM

Awfull move from Djokovic with that cap... hope there will be reasonable story behind it

atg , 9/12/11 10:04 PM

very cold. no eye contact.... this will be tense

atg , 9/12/11 10:06 PM

whats the cap about? Nadal looks pumped.

samprallica , 9/12/11 10:08 PM

Folks : Rafa usually enters 2nd on court. How did he enter first this time?

He has his rituals, I remember Wimby 2008 Roger made him enter first to disturb his ritual and also took side of the chair beside umpire Rafa usually takes :-)

sanju , 9/12/11 10:09 PM

nadal chooses to serve first. wasn't there a discussion about that?
and yea, i noticed the chill as well. shame.

mriiidula , 9/12/11 10:09 PM

What a filthy slur, saying our clown prince will soon be bald.
Yippee, a no stress match, hooray! Hoping for a g8 final and may the better man win.
BTW the clinic will be open after the match, all sobbing, heartbroken fans will be most kindly dealt with by our very experienced team....

deuce , 9/12/11 10:09 PM

Fire Department NY was the blue one, when he appeared on court.

Rafa wasn't in looker room on last check before entering court. He was missing, probably in gym for some push ups or something else. That is reason of slight delay of court appearance... glad that everything is OK...

atg , 9/12/11 10:10 PM

i had nerves 3 hours ago. i'm not at all stressed now for some reason. hope this doesn't mean something.

mriiidula , 9/12/11 10:12 PM

@deuce: I hope Novak fans has life time membership of clinic... I am not forgetting 2005-2010 period, when I was regular member...

atg , 9/12/11 10:13 PM

Hmmm. I hate any references to 9/11. But the tennis players seem woefully or willfully ignorant.

samprallica , 9/12/11 10:13 PM

What made you think that Roger made him enter first? Do you think it was Roger's wishes all the way?? You talk like you were the organizer in chief of that tournament back in 2008! Please avoid such loose talks like Roger took the chair to unsettle Nadal even when he was the 5 time champion on that day...

Gearing up for another Djokovic win and want to see it end fast with no hiccup from Djokovic's side. Best of luck Djoker! You should have it easier than the Semi Final.

solitudine , 9/12/11 10:13 PM

ok, that was clear. Crowd is on Rafa side.... Novak is done with NY crowd for all times... not even FDNY cap helped him :(

atg , 9/12/11 10:14 PM


Thank you so much for your kind comment! Please let me take this opportunity to say that I enjoy reading your comments. We may have some disagreement, but I do admire your thought process and reason. I did not mean to be too harsh in my response.

We are both on the same side in wanting Rafa to win. I think that my nerves and emotions have gotten to me now that the match is about to start.

I look forward to reading your thoughts on the match!


You are a very dear person. I never thought you were patronizing me at all. I know you have been a Nole fan who has not been disrespectful to Rafa. Thank you. We have had some problem people who have really caused some grief on this site. It is so unfortunate. I have made my position clear about Nole earning his great year and having done it through hard work, perseverance and dedication. I take nothing away from him. That is why I was so angry at the accusations against him. I will never dignify that kind of thing. You have a right to be happy and should enjoy every moment of it. It has been a long wait for Nole fans.


You have also been a respectful Nole fan. I appreciate it.

Now we can sit back and enjoy what will hopefully be a great match! :)

Nativenewyorker , 9/12/11 10:14 PM

Here we go!

samprallica , 9/12/11 10:15 PM

This is FANTASTIC tennis!

rbennett , 9/12/11 10:18 PM

Hmm cagey from Nole. Let's see how he serves.

samprallica , 9/12/11 10:20 PM

damn, I am one from the disrespectful Novak fans...

atg , 9/12/11 10:24 PM

solitudein : I mentioned it because Vijay theESPN Star Sports commentator mentioned it. I didnt make it up :-)

And even if Roger did it on purpose, its not wrong..Everyone tries some mind games in pressers, on court. And I dont thrash talk any player ever :-)

sanju , 9/12/11 10:25 PM

Oh no. This is not looking good.

samprallica , 9/12/11 10:25 PM

sampra: You shouldnt be saying this. You know wat Novak did on SAturday and we all know what he is capable of

sanju , 9/12/11 10:26 PM

the only bright side about being broken on your very first game is that there are plenty of chances to break back..

mriiidula , 9/12/11 10:27 PM

dont know why, by I am not worried by that loss

atg , 9/12/11 10:28 PM

I know haha. Just saying what I feel on the spur of the moment. Not worried though.

samprallica , 9/12/11 10:29 PM

Haven't written here for a long time...
in short: Rafa looked really sharp against Roddick and Murray and essentially has no defeatist talk in his interviews. Which tells me he is turning what ailed him these last few months around and 2012 is looking full of possibilty...maybe he will lose more often than not to Novak in that year, maybe not, but I doubt he will lose all the time then again.

As for tonight, Novak is still the favorite, for sure, even after being broken first just now... but the odds are not entirely overwhelmingly in his favor. I was hoping we were going to get a match in which neither completely dominates but more something like last year... and I think that's what we'll get.

And IF Novak will have a harder time tonight against Rafa than earlier this year... then it will be a good match and whoever wins will have earned the Major title tonight.

chlorostoma , 9/12/11 10:30 PM

There wont be Time Fault in this match for sure... Glad about that

atg , 9/12/11 10:30 PM

and there the break back

sanju , 9/12/11 10:31 PM

and we're back, all is even folks.

mriiidula , 9/12/11 10:31 PM

Nole: if you hit lousy ball in mid court, and you don't know should you run left or right, go to the net for a change

atg , 9/12/11 10:32 PM

This is going to be a war of attrition.

ed251137 , 9/12/11 10:32 PM

The first 3 games were intense..pheww..just the way it started last year..

Last year except 4th set..first 3 sets were so intense..

sanju , 9/12/11 10:33 PM

Djokovic isn't playing so well. hmmm

rbennett , 9/12/11 10:35 PM

Novak is pushing to hard...

atg , 9/12/11 10:37 PM

atg :)

deuce , 9/12/11 10:37 PM

my stream just got stuck, what were the commentators saying about the ball bouncing?

mriiidula , 9/12/11 10:38 PM

Two weeks ago when we were discussing the draw I told you guys this is exactly what wille happen. The winner of the FED DJoker match will find a rested and not mentally tested Nadal.
Nadal again was lucky with Murray who was clearly a pushover for him. While the other semie was a rollercoaster and drained some of the stig from Djokovic,

Sienna , 9/12/11 10:41 PM

Rafas returns are very weak on second serve..hes letting Djoko off the hook

sanju , 9/12/11 10:43 PM

brilliant, saving 3 break points.

mriiidula , 9/12/11 10:43 PM

It's like a rumble in the jungle this one
A war of attrition,

Sosueme , 9/12/11 10:43 PM

my stream died. Good hold apparently, half an hour for 4 games, crazy.

samprallica , 9/12/11 10:44 PM

Djokovic is upping the number of bounces before his first serve. Over a dozen on average and as many as 17 sometimes.

ed251137 , 9/12/11 10:45 PM

rafa broke and then got broken...had 2 bp's next game and made errors...backhand not good's obvious who is going to have an upperhand....just a sad year to be a rafa fan...Something has to change...

vrael , 9/12/11 10:46 PM

dont like umpire,,, turning off head when asked for challenge...

atg , 9/12/11 10:47 PM

mriiidula , 9/12/11 10:48 PM

what a point

sanju , 9/12/11 10:48 PM

Novak is just not afraid of Puss from the baseline,
At all!
Unlucky call from the line judge.

Sosueme , 9/12/11 10:49 PM

Djoko is incredibly tough..dominating Rafa now

sanju , 9/12/11 10:50 PM

BRILLIANT! nole breaks, fantastic stuff.

mriiidula , 9/12/11 10:51 PM

Ridiculous!!! 3 games in a row, love it!

samprallica , 9/12/11 10:52 PM

Rafa needs to fire up... too cautious.... you wont win this by keeping UE ratio low... Novak might not cool down at all...

atg , 9/12/11 10:52 PM

Stunning break from Novie!

Sosueme , 9/12/11 10:52 PM

soo many frigging short balls to novak...i am just irritated now...nadal needs a shrink

vrael , 9/12/11 10:52 PM

Love how Nole's forehand is now his biggest shot under pressure. He's come a long way.

samprallica , 9/12/11 10:53 PM

Finally Djokovic is back in the drivers seat! Maybe, it would be interesting now. So much drama in the first 5 games! Just a final one can think of in the Grand Slams!
Thanks to both players.. Keep this up for the 5 sets, if it lasts that long..

solitudine , 9/12/11 10:54 PM

ha! Novak took my advice! I am his uncle Tony!

atg , 9/12/11 10:54 PM

Novie is coming in a lot,
Puss is miles behind the baseline most of the time

Sosueme , 9/12/11 10:55 PM

There is nothing bad going to net, when you screw up shot... even if you miss, you practice net game...

atg , 9/12/11 10:56 PM


And you give your opponent something else to think about....

Sosueme , 9/12/11 10:58 PM

Rafas first serve % is just 45

sanju , 9/12/11 10:59 PM

well done nole. impressive so far, much better quality tennis than the first set of the semi.

mriiidula , 9/12/11 10:59 PM

Puss is serving @ 45%

Oh Dear...

Sosueme , 9/12/11 11:00 PM

Damn I hate watching satellite... I hear neighborhood celebrating point 3 sec in advance :(

atg , 9/12/11 11:01 PM

late challenge from nadal. what was that exchange about?
omg nole is on fire. loving it.

mriiidula , 9/12/11 11:03 PM

Puss is having 45% to 30% second server, so he is neutralizing thath

atg , 9/12/11 11:03 PM

I am imagining or crowd is behind Novak? At least that much that can be heard?

atg , 9/12/11 11:05 PM

Rafa getting totally bossed ..tough to see..(:-

On to 2nd set..

sanju , 9/12/11 11:05 PM

broken three times in the first set....serving 45% LOL...i think he wants to get embarrased

vrael , 9/12/11 11:05 PM

Puss is too timid,
It won't work as Novak is getting into the zone
Broken AGAIN!

Sosueme , 9/12/11 11:06 PM

sanju - because Nadal is ranked lower than Djokovic

RickyDimon , 9/12/11 11:06 PM

Guys, I can't watch this match any further. I don't want to die early. Rafa you can't win this macth. don't waste your energy. All the best for 2012

jaynadal , 9/12/11 11:07 PM

Nadal playing like a Spaniard

RickyDimon , 9/12/11 11:08 PM

well first one for Nole... just calm...!

zare , 9/12/11 11:08 PM

starts the match getting broken, ends the set serving it out to love. I LIKE.

mriiidula , 9/12/11 11:08 PM

zzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzssshggggggggggggggggghdhd zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sienna , 9/12/11 11:10 PM

how the fuck does one get to every fucking final he fucking plays only to fucking get fucking embarrassed by this fucking joke of a fucking serb

eduardvalalex , 9/12/11 11:10 PM

6 games in a row..omeone cool off this guy :-)

Suddenly my heart goes out to all Fed fans.. God I now understand how they would have felt when Rafa used to beat him over and over again

sanju , 9/12/11 11:10 PM

Novak blowing his nose... Not good...

Rafans: Rafa is not playing aggressive enough, hi will surely change that til the end. This wont be blowout

atg , 9/12/11 11:11 PM

Really, the 7th game of the first set perhaps showed why Djokovic is the clear winner of this contest! Nadal is no match for him right at this moment..
Seems like we are going to see even less contest that the Murray-Nadal match, leave alone Federer-Djokovic!

Keep going Djoker!

solitudine , 9/12/11 11:12 PM

6-2 wow

Novie just plays a grinding game similar to Nadal,
But with a much better backhand and more variation, bit more aggression.
Just better really at the moment.

Sosueme , 9/12/11 11:12 PM

blowing his nose..what does that mean?

sanju , 9/12/11 11:13 PM

Sanju LOL Fed had two matchpoints against Novak.. Do you really want to make this day into a FEDAL war? Then I will be up for it.

Sienna , 9/12/11 11:13 PM

It looked as if Rafa was gonna jump out to a huge lead, and suddenly he got too soft and too relaxed, and unfortunately, he paid the price for it. He's got to go out there and start thinking like a champion, playing like a champion again. What happened in the past happened, but today is a new day and he is still capable of winning this. He needs to believe in himself and start playing like he knows he's capable of playing.

djb247365 , 9/12/11 11:14 PM

@sanju... he used handkerchiefs, like when you have flue or allergies on break... not sure right word for that on english:)

atg , 9/12/11 11:17 PM

Sienna - Dont you understand English or what I write? If not dont write crap. I am talking of Fed Nadal and because Rafa used to beat Fed over and over again, it must have been painful for his fans the way we Rafa fans feel now when Djoko beats him over and over again

This is not about Fed Djokovic or how Rafa/Fed compare against Novak

Understand the post and then talk

sanju , 9/12/11 11:17 PM

ugh, nole shanking like no one's business. 5 UEs in less than 2 games.

mriiidula , 9/12/11 11:17 PM

cant believe... they are turning on flood lights in the middle of game, at 0:30...

atg , 9/12/11 11:18 PM

unlike in 1st, I am worried now for Novak...

atg , 9/12/11 11:19 PM

Now he's starting to play like a champion. Wonderful break for Rafa.

djb247365 , 9/12/11 11:21 PM

2-0 gives us no was 2-0 up in 1st too

sanju , 9/12/11 11:22 PM


mriiidula , 9/12/11 11:23 PM

The FH UP TL...

Sosueme , 9/12/11 11:24 PM

that was bad sound... sound of djokovic flat on batteries... didn't had strenght to blast 20 times ball

atg , 9/12/11 11:24 PM

what a shot.
but yea, nole's definitely breathing hard.

mriiidula , 9/12/11 11:25 PM

Djokovic seems like ill or something? Struggling to breath poor guy

rbennett , 9/12/11 11:26 PM

GTF from here...idiot!
Oh...hyena....still alive... go back under your stone... :)
But I must admit...this was wisest you had ever made :)

zare , 9/12/11 11:27 PM

Djokovic is loosing power faster than Rafa... that concerns me... his putting much more effort in his shot...

atg , 9/12/11 11:27 PM

What return! For a second i forgot who is serving

atg , 9/12/11 11:31 PM

Really, the 7th game of the first set perhaps showed why Djokovic is the clear winner of this contest! Nadal is no match for him right at this moment..
Seems like we are going to see even less contest that the Murray-Nadal match, leave alone Federer-Djokovic!

Keep going Djoker!

solitudine , 9/12/11 11:31 PM

I just can't believe Djokovic's return of serve! incredible.

OnTheRise , 9/12/11 11:31 PM

Now that is way to go, Rafa finally hit some stronger BH and caught Novak... he is so afraid of trying anything on BH, its not so bad or slice only

atg , 9/12/11 11:33 PM

for god's sake, can he not win two points in a row?!
does anyone else think something is bothering him..

mriiidula , 9/12/11 11:34 PM

What a game !!!!!!!

zare , 9/12/11 11:34 PM

Novak always does this, he's never as tired as he appears!
The slice seems to be working well against him however...

Sosueme , 9/12/11 11:35 PM

I think Nole just loosen a little bit. He is quite confident with his performance in 1st set and think that he can break another rafa's serve if he want. This what I am worrying about. Hope he's not over confidence and starting focus and patient to get points.


bryanindo , 9/12/11 11:35 PM

terrible crowd... i am a shamed to be Serbian now...

atg , 9/12/11 11:35 PM

This 3rd Game of the second set is going on for almost 15 minutes now!!!

solitudine , 9/12/11 11:36 PM


Eduardvaltrex should be BANNED from here for being a racist.....

Sosueme , 9/12/11 11:37 PM

but honestly I believe those are Serbians.... They are yelling Serbia, while real serbs are yelling Srbia...

atg , 9/12/11 11:38 PM

is Rafa complaining of the airplanes now?

solitudine , 9/12/11 11:38 PM


rbennett , 9/12/11 11:39 PM

I can't believe he missed that overhead. Very disappointed in Rafa for screwing that up. He had the point won. Unbelievable.

djb247365 , 9/12/11 11:39 PM

Deja vu..God

sanju , 9/12/11 11:39 PM

IMPOSSIBLE TO PLAY BETTER. what a last point, i just woke up my roommate by cheering.

mriiidula , 9/12/11 11:40 PM

*** I font believe those are serbian

@solitudine: this was more than obvious crowd is yelling on serve and between serves...

I am not conspiracy fan, but we don't yell internationally "Serbia"...

atg , 9/12/11 11:40 PM

YEEEES...YEEEES..... WHAT POINT ...and here we go...
Nole is punting... and Rafa... it's raining from his head....

zare , 9/12/11 11:41 PM

this is more like Davis Cup match

atg , 9/12/11 11:42 PM

What a way to get broken!! Is Nadal showing some nerve like Federer?

I just hope, with such intense tennis they are playing, both guys remains alright until the end!

solitudine , 9/12/11 11:43 PM

Zare zare zare why so hostile towards me?
I never said anuthinglike eduard to you about serbs. Just that a lot of people havedied because of them. So you never ever should be proud of what youre people have or is it has done the last decades. Hardship my footh.

Sienna , 9/12/11 11:43 PM

some might call this unlucky Nadal but Novak worked so hard to earn that game.

OnTheRise , 9/12/11 11:45 PM

They left luck in locker room... this is final... everything counts

atg , 9/12/11 11:46 PM


sienna, if u dont mind, please keep to tennis and nothing else. thank you.

mriiidula , 9/12/11 11:47 PM

unreal ROS this djokovic has...the biggest difference maker between two imo

vrael , 9/12/11 11:47 PM

I feel like this match has been going on for a week,
Very heavy
But brilliant!

Sosueme , 9/12/11 11:48 PM

@vrael, I dare to say that Nadal serve is not that flat as last USO... looks like it is easier to return... but only player knows...

I am sorry for nadal, complaining about crowd. he has all rights to do that

atg , 9/12/11 11:49 PM

this slapped return is becoming more of his primary weapon than the backhand down the line, and here it is forcing Nadal into a double fault.

OnTheRise , 9/12/11 11:49 PM are booooring....
It was two decades ago... and learn a little about shameless role of your ppl in Balkan... so called Blue Helmets... You are still nationalistic pig!

zare , 9/12/11 11:50 PM

Right now I'm speechless. Rafa knows damn well he's too good of a player to let Djokovic just bully him around like this. He's allowing himself to self-deflate and it's a very disturbing thing to watch. How he hasn't learned anything yet from the last 5 losses is beyond me. Very disappointed in Rafa right now.

djb247365 , 9/12/11 11:50 PM

Yes even if first set was 6-2, it was very intense..almost all games went to 40

I think me and vrael the only Rafa fans still on the site? where are the others?

sanju , 9/12/11 11:51 PM

Just hope that the fate of second set is sealed with this break of serve of Nadal.
Though the Djoker is under pressure now! A bit anxious now!

solitudine , 9/12/11 11:51 PM

1st time warrning

atg , 9/12/11 11:53 PM

Ohhhh I like his time warnings.... they just make him anger!!!

zare , 9/12/11 11:53 PM


zare , 9/12/11 11:55 PM

wind is pretty strong...

atg , 9/12/11 11:55 PM

Atg, it's my turn for Nole take my advice :-)

bryanindo , 9/12/11 11:57 PM

He deserved the time warning,
Ironic that it's against Puss however...

Sosueme , 9/12/11 11:58 PM

so sorry for Nadal and crowd behind Novak... cant forget ho I felt in SF match

atg , 9/12/11 11:58 PM

Djokovic is like an artist today, only player I could think of in recent times close to that, is perhaps Federer! Amazing!

solitudine , 9/12/11 11:58 PM

time warning is fair, they both received it, makes sense.
another break point, come on nole.

mriiidula , 9/12/11 11:59 PM

This is total deja vu..horrble..will this be straight sets?

sanju , 9/12/11 11:59 PM

Rafa does not like right now as complete player.... every BH on him reset any advantage he has in rally

atg , 9/13/11 12:01 AM

This us open will be like feds fo2008 moment for rafa. Although he might make the third set more competitive

nirv02 , 9/13/11 12:02 AM

the depth of Nole groundstrokes is just terrific..

Guys just tell me 1 thing..Even Murray hits a terrific 2 handed deep flat backhand..whats the difference that Nadal can withstand Murray and beat him and not take Djoko out? Dont tll mental has got to be sumthing technical

sanju , 9/13/11 12:02 AM

atg what are u on about? rafa's got a huge following, his error's bring out groans.

mriiidula , 9/13/11 12:03 AM

sanju: we're all curled up in a tight ball with our fingers in our ears under Deuce's sofa. We'll all be queuing up for the first seminar on how to cope with the downfall of our hero.

ed251137 , 9/13/11 12:04 AM

*errors are. apologies.

mriiidula , 9/13/11 12:04 AM

I think Nole's grip means that he hits through the backhand differently, it explodes off the court more. Whats with the crowd and Nole complaining?

samprallica , 9/13/11 12:05 AM

It's not over yet...set... not to think about match.... With Rafa it's over only after when you win the match point!

zare , 9/13/11 12:06 AM

@sanju, I think he hits EVERY shot at max power... and once I noticed he went out of power in 21 rally...

Murray tends to hit much slower balls, and lot of slices on base line

atg , 9/13/11 12:06 AM

sampra...someone screamed in moment when he was hitting the ball

zare , 9/13/11 12:07 AM

I think Nadal should go for winner on any decent FH opportunity... otherwise Novak is using Fh just to lure him from BH side....

atg , 9/13/11 12:09 AM

What do you mean 'even' Sanju?
M Bear is a future LEGEND!
But its Novies time now,
And yes it is mental...

Sosueme , 9/13/11 12:09 AM

Wow, that break was huge for Rafa. Hoping this is his turning point right here.

djb247365 , 9/13/11 12:11 AM

Break back! Well, also Nole can slap down on the ball because of his grip. He has a semiwestern or western lefthanded grip on his bh as opposed to murrays eastern, which means Murray has to pull through the ball.

samprallica , 9/13/11 12:11 AM

that is way to go Rafa... you missed this FH, but you have to hit them sooner...

atg , 9/13/11 12:12 AM

no djb..seems to break n surrender it right back

sanju , 9/13/11 12:12 AM


mriiidula , 9/13/11 12:14 AM

oh boy..the inside-out FH is letting him down

OnTheRise , 9/13/11 12:14 AM

The coms are saying that it's crucial for Novie to win this set,
I agree!

Sosueme , 9/13/11 12:15 AM

C'mon Nole...just nice and calm.... just serve it and close...!!!

zare , 9/13/11 12:15 AM

Novak will have trouble holding his serve

atg , 9/13/11 12:16 AM

Nadal defintely in strong decline. He is the third best player in the world atm.
Only lucky to have such easy draw and Murray in semi;s.

Sienna , 9/13/11 12:17 AM

massive from Nole. Outstanding shot.

cherylmurray , 9/13/11 12:18 AM

Ok guys..Rafa doesnt deserve to win this period..And yes Nole IS IN HIS HEAD TOTALLY..THERE is no bigger proof needed

sanju , 9/13/11 12:19 AM

Novak sent clear message: " Only him can return like that"

atg , 9/13/11 12:19 AM

Unbelievable. He's playing some beautiful tennis right now. The USO seems done.

samprallica , 9/13/11 12:20 AM

What a shot, what a shot, what a shot, to cliche 2nd set.
Well done nole. Another set to win, please keep ke calm, focus, and confident at the proper level. AJDEEE!!!

bryanindo , 9/13/11 12:20 AM

Rafa helpless out there...Nole is killing him...

natashao , 9/13/11 12:21 AM

And Sienna..who is 2nd best..dont even tell Fed as his results last year and this year from past 20 months defy that....

Rafa is the 2nd best player..its just that hes way behind the best currently and theres a huge gap not just in terms of points but execution too.

sanju , 9/13/11 12:21 AM

It is far from over... Djokovic serve is declining, that worries me

atg , 9/13/11 12:22 AM

As a Nadal fan, for me this has become very disappointing to watch. Unless a miracle happens, this one's pretty much over with.

djb247365 , 9/13/11 12:22 AM


You are the lowest of the low. Take your psycho babble somewhere else - your input is not needed or wanted here.

schatz , 9/13/11 12:22 AM

This match is totally worth staying up for. So far.

mriiidula , 9/13/11 12:24 AM

Rafa should be grateful to Fed for taking down Djokovic in the French Semis, or he would have lost the French Final as well!! :))

Anyway, hope Djokovic doesn't play a Federer today by loosing the next 3 sets after winning the first 2 in that fashion...

solitudine , 9/13/11 12:24 AM

djb..for a miracle need fearlessness and guts..which Nole showed on Saturday..I dont think Rafas up for it at this moment..if it was last year we could have hoped..this year No

sanju , 9/13/11 12:25 AM

Sienna I'm getting tired of your lack of respect for Andy,
Trust me by the end of this year,
Federer shall be number 4!
And then 5,6,7 etc

Sosueme , 9/13/11 12:25 AM

This might be 5 setter.... Djokovic UE is too high... his strength is letting him down... service was unreal in 2nd, which means it will go to average, which probably means under 60% in 3rd...

atg , 9/13/11 12:25 AM

atg..u superstitious? lol..u keep saying at the start of the set that Djoko

You said serve declining and he hits 2 aces in a row..

You & mriidula really believe in anti jinxing :-)

sanju , 9/13/11 12:27 AM

this is an incredibly disappointing final. You would hope that considering Nadal's mental fortitude he would be in this but no. Nadal is LOSING this with repeatedly terrible length. Djokovic is playing OK, that is all but that's all that's needed. This is the end of one of the best in the history of men's tennis... and all because nadal has a mental barrier on the form of djokovic. If nadal could play with the intensity and confidence of his murray/federer matches this would be competitive.

willmw101 , 9/13/11 12:28 AM

best net game of Novak in LIFE!

atg , 9/13/11 12:28 AM

atg, relax and enjoy the fantastic tennis.

mriiidula , 9/13/11 12:28 AM

I don't know willmw101
Seems a pretty good match to me.
Incredible sometimes even...

Sosueme , 9/13/11 12:30 AM

@sanju, ja I am kind of mriidula profile...

No i am just summarizing stats after game... not a bad stats for Nadal, some unbelievable from Novak, regarding serve...

And I caught myself torn between watching this more, and Novak winning it...

atg , 9/13/11 12:32 AM

sanju, i really do :)

mriiidula , 9/13/11 12:32 AM

OMHG under the red and gold sofa extremely crowded and clinic booking now started...

deuce , 9/13/11 12:32 AM

I will have to watch highlights of this and the semi. Nole's played some outstanding tennis

samprallica , 9/13/11 12:32 AM

break down Rafa in 3rd..

sanju , 9/13/11 12:33 AM are imitating atr???

zare , 9/13/11 12:34 AM

Novak becomes bully for Rafa BH...

atg , 9/13/11 12:34 AM

samprallica are u not watching?!

mriiidula , 9/13/11 12:35 AM

Looks like I was not talking rubbish

atg , 9/13/11 12:36 AM

What a shot from rafa! Really like this game!

bryanindo , 9/13/11 12:38 AM

This is just sad,a 3 setter.

Lobo , 9/13/11 12:39 AM

Rafa break back.... 2;2

zare , 9/13/11 12:39 AM

I changed my mind... want this over quick as possible

atg , 9/13/11 12:39 AM

sosueme in the context of how well they can both play this is a terrible match, dramatic yes, but not good tennis.

Nadal missing that easy smash for break point is a perfect example of how this match is dramatic and unpredictable but not good tennis.

Look at a final like wimbledon 2008 or AO 2009, that is good consistent full power hitting, this is cagey and unpredictable. Dramatic but not good tennis.

willmw101 , 9/13/11 12:39 AM

What a shot from rafa! Really like this game!

bryanindo , 9/13/11 12:39 AM

Novak had a 5 setter in the semi's and no talk about that.

Lobo , 9/13/11 12:41 AM

Rafa is back on track

atg , 9/13/11 12:43 AM

As a Nadal fan, I have to truthfully say, how Rafa has NOT learned his lesson after getting bullied all over the court the first 5 times is beyond me. I think 2011 has turned into a somewhat more disappointing season than 2009 for a myriad of reasons. Even when Rafa hasn't faced Djokovic, his game has come apart against players that he normally beats pretty easy. With that said, I wonder how Rafa & his team are gonna fix things during the offseason.

djb247365 , 9/13/11 12:44 AM

That is the 4th time rafa has hit a volley into the often have u seen this from Rafa

sanju , 9/13/11 12:44 AM

Novak starts to look and spund shaky...

atg , 9/13/11 12:45 AM

Djokovic is just toying with Nadal today! At the start it seemed like it would be a evenly contested final, but now it seems like, it isn't. Federer-Djokovic was the match of the tournament indeed!
Let's hope some miracles happen to see some more contest in this one sided match.

solitudine , 9/13/11 12:46 AM

wow! it becoming a hard hitting challenge between both, Djoko with the upper hand though.

OnTheRise , 9/13/11 12:48 AM

Incredible depth from both guys!

Sosueme , 9/13/11 12:50 AM

oh my god!!!!! what a rally! and the grunts are getting louder and louder..

mriiidula , 9/13/11 12:50 AM

Now Novak absorbed everthyng Nadal had for him... hope that he can withstand this level, as Nadal looks much better taking risk earlier.

atg , 9/13/11 12:50 AM

In the whole match Rafa has not backed up/held his serve after breaking Djoko

SAme story over and over again..Djokos intensity simply not dropping

sanju , 9/13/11 12:51 AM

well this is POWER TENNIS!!!!!

zare , 9/13/11 12:51 AM

I think, those 2 match point moments have made Djokovic extremely powerful mentally - So much so that the fans shouting in between points, grunts of angry Nadal and nothing could give him a tense moment anymore!!

What a change this man has have had ever since he won that 5 set epic against Federer. He has really made Nadal looking like a novice!

solitudine , 9/13/11 12:52 AM

WOW! Nadal is doing everything in his power and Nole isn't relenting one bit. I can't believe my eyes; is this really Nole? He's just unplayable right now, its lapses on his part that are usually losing him points.

samprallica , 9/13/11 12:52 AM

Novak might handle his serve quicker

atg , 9/13/11 12:53 AM

Nole must have at least one 0-40

atg , 9/13/11 12:54 AM

sloppy from nole. im quite annoyed.

mriiidula , 9/13/11 12:55 AM

WOW again! This Rafa just doesn't give up!

samprallica , 9/13/11 12:55 AM

that break just shows what nadal CAN do to djokovic... he's just terrible at applying that gameplan.

willmw101 , 9/13/11 12:56 AM

where is that sofa and clinic?

atg , 9/13/11 12:56 AM

Call me crazy, but somehow I'm starting to get a strange feeling about this match.

djb247365 , 9/13/11 12:56 AM

If this doesn't happen in straight sets I don't think it's gonna happen

ts38 , 9/13/11 12:56 AM

@ts38 couldnt agree more

atg , 9/13/11 12:58 AM

Actually, both didn't play well with so many breaks of serves and errors! Rafa played worse than Nole hence the scoreline. Rafa's big serve is MIA and we see him having problem holding serve. Also why is Rafa playing from so far behind the baseline and have most of his shots landing short? I just don't understand why he takes such defensive position in the first place; it just won't work against Nole!

Wake up Rafa, before it's too late!

luckystar , 9/13/11 12:59 AM

Is it possible we might be witnessing Madrid '09 all over again????

djb247365 , 9/13/11 12:59 AM

Yes, i think it needs to be in straights. Nadal has reached superhuman heights and its showing. Nole is being hammered right now.

samprallica , 9/13/11 12:59 AM we go....
ajdeeeee noleeeeeeee!

zare , 9/13/11 1:01 AM

@lucky Rafa is awake... but I might consider going to sleep...

Not sure that Novak has strength in him... He played so powerful, that I am afraid his batteries running flat... it was blitzkrieg strategy, which might not end good

atg , 9/13/11 1:01 AM


It's dramatic and There's great tennis also,
Yes there is mistakes from both but it only highlights the highs more!
Stop being so churlish.

Sosueme , 9/13/11 1:02 AM

just not DF

atg , 9/13/11 1:02 AM

yea i dont think he'll hold up if two more sets are to be played. its pretty much now or never.

mriiidula , 9/13/11 1:02 AM

I'm starting to agree with the rest of you guys. Nole's getting kinda tired and Rafa's starting to get warmed up. If Djokovic doesn't finish this in straight sets, he might be in deep trouble.

djb247365 , 9/13/11 1:03 AM

Rafa will go for rallies on Novak serve...

atg , 9/13/11 1:04 AM

if he dont hold this, see ya tomorrow

atg , 9/13/11 1:05 AM

Terrible crowd!!

solitudine , 9/13/11 1:07 AM


atg , 9/13/11 1:07 AM

not a single first serve!

mriiidula , 9/13/11 1:07 AM

What defense from rafa and what point from Nole!!!! 31 sgots...OMG

zare , 9/13/11 1:08 AM

Some of these rallies are simply unbelievable!

Sosueme , 9/13/11 1:09 AM

Ok, Im really worried now. The serve is going to pieces and Nole looks tired.

samprallica , 9/13/11 1:09 AM

game over

willmw101 , 9/13/11 1:11 AM

see what a first serve can do?!

mriiidula , 9/13/11 1:11 AM

...and Nole holds..... 4:4...c'mon Nole dig deep!

zare , 9/13/11 1:11 AM

question of the match... can Novak hold?

atg , 9/13/11 1:12 AM

Don't worry people, Djokovic is not going do the same mistake as Samprass did. Even if he losses this set, it's highly unlikely that Nadal would have it in him to capture the 4th!
Let it go the distance, we can witness some more of those rallies!

solitudine , 9/13/11 1:12 AM

its not just the serve, he's looking to end the points early and he's missing.

mriiidula , 9/13/11 1:13 AM

this better not end in 3

RickyDimon , 9/13/11 1:14 AM

Djoko fans..I am just aghast you talking like that after what you witnessed on Saturday

He looks flat, tired everything on Saturday and was 2 sets down nd still won it

sanju , 9/13/11 1:14 AM

i dont want this to go the distance, it'll be like madrid all over again. completely unnecessary, there's still 2 months of tennis left. plus i need to go to bed.

mriiidula , 9/13/11 1:15 AM

actually upon reflection I'm not so sure anymore about Djokovic needing to win in straight sets. I didn't get a chance to see the Wimbledon final but didn't he lose the 3rd set 6-1, yet he still won in 4?

ts38 , 9/13/11 1:15 AM

Djokovic is looking kinda worn out. If Rafa keeps grinding him down and imposes his will on this match, he may just turn this around and do to Nole what Nole did to Fed

djb247365 , 9/13/11 1:15 AM

Goodness. He is tired. Rafa is so strong. Anyone else wud have given it away by now.

samprallica , 9/13/11 1:15 AM

Great hold. Come on Nole, break here.

samprallica , 9/13/11 1:20 AM

blood pressure restored... pulse within limits... i am backed to life..

atg , 9/13/11 1:20 AM

brilliant hold. he needs to win this. he JUST cannot beat someone from 2 sets to love down and then lose to someone from 2 sets to love up in the space of two days.

mriiidula , 9/13/11 1:20 AM

I don't think he is tired neither of them is, not yet.

OnTheRise , 9/13/11 1:20 AM

Ricky is twiter jynxing Novak

atg , 9/13/11 1:23 AM


atg , 9/13/11 1:24 AM

i dont freaking believe this.

mriiidula , 9/13/11 1:25 AM

Told you!
He's never as tired as he seems....

Sosueme , 9/13/11 1:25 AM

Over for Rafa..Novak serving for the match

sanju , 9/13/11 1:25 AM

this Djoker just nailed it in every possible way. now a final nerve test on his serve.

OnTheRise , 9/13/11 1:25 AM

WOW WOW WOW. This guy Nole is something else. Look at how he returns, magical. Look for rafa to break back, he's another amazing champion.

samprallica , 9/13/11 1:26 AM

Ajde Nole..... calm.... like on training.... just few first serves !!!!!

zare , 9/13/11 1:26 AM

yep, i officially have stopped breathing.

mriiidula , 9/13/11 1:26 AM

Even if this is a straight setter..this match has been tight and close with Nole just edging Rafa out in crucial points

sanju , 9/13/11 1:27 AM

OMG, Tiebreak coming!!!!!

djb247365 , 9/13/11 1:33 AM

Ladies and Gentlemen, I sense this one's going to distance

djb247365 , 9/13/11 1:38 AM

Novies not winning many of these rallies anymore, is he?

Sosueme , 9/13/11 1:38 AM

Nope. Rafa Nadal won. He just won.

samprallica , 9/13/11 1:39 AM

4-1 in the Tie break!!
What is happening to Nole now?

solitudine , 9/13/11 1:39 AM

I don't know if I'm good with someone winning a match just because they tired someone else out...

Sosueme , 9/13/11 1:41 AM

We have a match!!!

djb247365 , 9/13/11 1:42 AM

What an awful crowd.

mriiidula , 9/13/11 1:43 AM

well here we go to 4th one... Nole just missed the chance....

zare , 9/13/11 1:44 AM

And now Nole is taking a medical assistance! Wonder if he could still keep up until the end.

solitudine , 9/13/11 1:44 AM

Goodness, how fit is Nadal? I can't fathom that level of fitness and strength. Nole has to do something extra special here or Rafa will win his greatest victory ever.

samprallica , 9/13/11 1:44 AM

It's super duper tennis.. new rivalry has coming: nole - rafa, hopefully for upcoming years.. Very good to see..

Again, nole nerves is amazingly tested now.. Loss at third, I have big confident he may close the 4th.. Above all, I might prefer to watch best tennis rather than care who lifts the trophy.. AJde Nole, Vamos Rafa.. Thanks for show and teaching better tennis game..

bryanindo , 9/13/11 1:46 AM

OKay guys whoever wins..I atleast have one solace

Rafa didnt get beaten in straights and every Novak fan and Fed fan(hopefully) will salute him totally for coming from a break down twice in the 3rd set to take the 3rd..Djoko has been brillaint..Rafa is not far behind..He showed tremendous guts to win the 3rd and its the best I have seen him play in a long long while ..He was so aggressive the entire set after he went a break down

sanju , 9/13/11 1:46 AM

Number 4 here we come....

Sosueme , 9/13/11 1:46 AM

I can hardly believe the high quality and high intensity of this fabulous match. Both players are fabulous.

deuce , 9/13/11 1:46 AM

Djokovic is out of Nadals head now , the matador has awaken flung away his cape and is now going to pull the bull down by the horns and its balls :)

nirv02 , 9/13/11 1:47 AM

Nadal to eclipse Nole in terms of greatest comeback at USO. I cant watch this.

samprallica , 9/13/11 1:49 AM

Okay guys 1 positive we can draw..even if Rafa loses this ..he will have lot and lot of positives to take from this match..He has challenged Nole far far greater on HC US Open than he has on grass and clay this year

sanju , 9/13/11 1:51 AM

he's holding his back and stretching after every point. dont feel too good about this.

mriiidula , 9/13/11 1:52 AM

I dont think the back will ahve any issue..Hes Novak after all

sanju , 9/13/11 1:54 AM

Sanju, it ain't over yet. If Nole continues to struggle physically and it goes 5, he's not gonna win this match.

djb247365 , 9/13/11 1:55 AM

This is brutal. I dont want Nole to lose this because he's tired or injured. But even if he does, Nadal would deserve it. He has literally pounded Nole into submission.

samprallica , 9/13/11 1:55 AM

I don't like Nadals overly defensive play Today,
If he wins this, it's only because Novie was spent.
Nothing more.

Sosueme , 9/13/11 1:55 AM

Samprallica, lucky me I have to go to work now even though :-)
Please kindly spare me the baccardi (if any and if nole win).
I can follow only from livescores...

Good luck Nole, keep the spirit high! AJJJDDEEEE!!!

bryanindo , 9/13/11 1:56 AM

Sosueme - Nadal defensive? Did you even watch the 3rd set..Hes the most aggressive I have ever ever seen

sanju , 9/13/11 1:56 AM

So sad if Nole loses cos he's injured :(
Agree crowd like a bunch of hyenas.

deuce , 9/13/11 1:57 AM

samprallica if Novak is tired or injured it is entirely his fault. If Nadal is motivated he is going to deal him some body blows.

nirv02 , 9/13/11 1:59 AM

C'mon Novak...dig deep...find some power...!!!
...but it doesn't look good ....

zare , 9/13/11 1:59 AM

Yes a grand total of 13 winners,
Still Novak is not much better....

Sosueme , 9/13/11 1:59 AM

nole's shots are suddenly so predictable..

mriiidula , 9/13/11 2:01 AM

I don't know zare, deuce, about the crowd, is this related with Nole's Serbian?
Nole's injured? need update from y'all..

bryanindo , 9/13/11 2:01 AM

Lost oppurtunity for Novak there ..

nirv02 , 9/13/11 2:02 AM

4 break points come and gone. what the hell?!

mriiidula , 9/13/11 2:05 AM

...and Nole break.... 2:0... but in this break is nothing :(

zare , 9/13/11 2:07 AM

He's fighting. He's lucky nadal hasnt got a better ROS. Insane match this.

samprallica , 9/13/11 2:08 AM

Now whats gotten to Rafa..already break down in 4th..after that brilliant 3rd set

Disgusting from Rafa..his game falling into pieces

sanju , 9/13/11 2:08 AM

The bull has bolted !

nirv02 , 9/13/11 2:10 AM

Rafa already 3-0 down..horrible

sanju , 9/13/11 2:10 AM

3-0. well done nole, SO PROUD no matter what happens now.

mriiidula , 9/13/11 2:10 AM

rope-a-dope of the decade

RickyDimon , 9/13/11 2:11 AM

Good hold. Now he needs to break here, right now. One break of serve not enough. Even two isnt. Nothing is.

samprallica , 9/13/11 2:11 AM

i think the adrenaline's helping him. its clear he's in quite a bit of pain right now.

mriiidula , 9/13/11 2:12 AM

It's not over yet. It's far from over still. However, I think it was wrong of Djokovic to take that medical timeout right before Rafa's serve. He was supposed to do it on his own serve, not Rafa's.

djb247365 , 9/13/11 2:12 AM

Always fight Nole! Use your power efficiently...

bryanindo , 9/13/11 2:15 AM

I've never seen anyone try so hard and fight so hard as Nadal since the third set, not even Nadal himself.

chlorostoma , 9/13/11 2:15 AM

Nadal is slower now, Djokovic no not yet.

OnTheRise , 9/13/11 2:16 AM

They're both in pain. This is too brutal. They're both crazy.

samprallica , 9/13/11 2:17 AM

My goodness, both guys look tired out there and in addition, Nole is injured. Battle of will maybe.

luckystar , 9/13/11 2:17 AM

wats going on with Rafa? Why is he so gassed out and down?

sanju , 9/13/11 2:17 AM

Djokovic raised his game and Nadal no where near his best in this 4th set.

vmm , 9/13/11 2:18 AM

Surprisingly the New York crowd seems to have gone so quiet!
This fourth set has marred the quality of this match, it is no more intense.. Seems like both players and crowd have already embraced the winner and is waiting for the routine procedure to get over! Very disappointing finish to a match which started with so much promises.......

solitudine , 9/13/11 2:19 AM

Rafa injured too i believe. They've broken each other down here. I have to agree with chlorostoma, rafa is the epitome of fight and courage in tennis, even with this Nole in the midst, he doesnt come anywhere close to Rafa.

samprallica , 9/13/11 2:19 AM

Ok Djoko takes this..Rafa looking completely gassed out and done..Hos body language looks totally defeated

sanju , 9/13/11 2:19 AM

just look at that return. and yes u r right.. Rafa is not moving

OnTheRise , 9/13/11 2:19 AM

From first moment this match was brutal... Nole is extending his back... Rafa is starting to feel his legs...
Although Nole is in front this could go on both sides...

zare , 9/13/11 2:20 AM

Almost there.

samprallica , 9/13/11 2:20 AM

Bad tactics from Puss N Boots,
More of the same,
But.....less so

Sosueme , 9/13/11 2:22 AM

he better serve it out this time.

mriiidula , 9/13/11 2:22 AM

3 more...c'mon kid!

zare , 9/13/11 2:22 AM

gamesmanship from djokovic at the beginning of the 4th set has won him this match. Nadal had all the momentum and then instead of waiting until he served he called a fake medical time out before nadal's serve, which was promptly broken

willmw101 , 9/13/11 2:24 AM

cant believe... I am speechless.

atg , 9/13/11 2:25 AM

Hope to see new faces in the coming years!
Seems like no tennis match can reach the intensity and the height of excitement until and unless Federer is in it. Be it Samprass, Nadal, Roddic, Safin, Murray,Del Potro or Djokovic - All the finals with him were full of excitement and worthy of watching..

Welcome the new US Open Champion Djokivic!! Congratualtions for breaking all records in the history of mens tennis!!

solitudine , 9/13/11 2:25 AM

Gamesmenship? He could barely serve about 100mph!
What a match, both should be proud of themselves.
I have so much admiration for Djokovic, and Nadal. Just wow.

rbennett , 9/13/11 2:27 AM

breaking all records in the history of mens tennis? naive idiot

willmw101 , 9/13/11 2:27 AM

Congratulations to the new US Open champion!
Congratulations for breaking all records and being the most successful man in tennis history until now, in a calendar year! 10 titles, 3 majors!

solitudine , 9/13/11 2:27 AM

Should have been 3 but Nadal got one when novak had back problems.

Lobo , 9/13/11 2:27 AM

What a beautiful final. Respect to rafa, he's an awesome champion.

I'm exhausted, its 6 am, but such is the support Nole gets from me. Group hug everyone!

samprallica , 9/13/11 2:28 AM

3 GS.....
5 MASTERS.....

zare , 9/13/11 2:28 AM

cannot believe nadal didnt return better when djokovic wasnt serving well. Nadal lost it.

willmw101 , 9/13/11 2:28 AM

Shut up willmw101,
Show some class!
Well done to Novie B and his fans!
Clearly now, one of the best players of all time,
Beating one of the other best players of all time,
Commiserations to Puss and his fans, next years coming soon however!
But Novak,

Sosueme , 9/13/11 2:29 AM

Great effort from Rafa , even greater effort from Novak .

nirv02 , 9/13/11 2:29 AM

I'm thankful to both players for presenting best tennis of the year. Congratulations to both of them.

vjakov , 9/13/11 2:31 AM

...and must admit...Rafa did scared me when he got that set....
Rafa... graceful champion in defeat!!!!

zare , 9/13/11 2:32 AM

Very grinding physical match and superb quality tennis in first 3 sets

Novak Congrats!! Deserving champion..What a year !! Bravo!!!

sanju , 9/13/11 2:33 AM

brilliant match from both. high quality all around.

mriiidula , 9/13/11 2:35 AM didnt thank your parents? Why? Thanks to gf, coaches, uncle but no parents?

sanju , 9/13/11 2:35 AM

Congrats to Nole, just WOW! So he has three of the four slams now, what a year he has! He's breaking so many records this year! He's the sixth guy to win three slams in one year, the second guy to beat both Fed and Rafa in one tournament. Well done!

Something is wrong with Rafa's fitness this year. He's not only outplayed here but his fitness is in suspect here, he loooked so gassed out there and it's only a three plus hours match! Time to get fit and healthy Rafa, if you still want to get back to the top.

luckystar , 9/13/11 2:35 AM

what are those white spots on skin in his neck and hands?

atg , 9/13/11 2:36 AM

Massive congratulations to Nole and his fans especially zare and mriiidula. What a fighter, what a champ beating Rog and Rafa on the way.
Massive commiserations to Rafa and his fans.
Very strange 4th set?

deuce , 9/13/11 2:37 AM

lucky..its not 3 hr plus..its 4 hr plus..match time was 4 hr 10 mns..even longer than Fed Novaks match which was 3 hr 55 mns

Reason most games went to 40 all and we had loads and loads of 20 plus shot rallys

sanju , 9/13/11 2:37 AM

where is nadline???????

madhuvt75 , 9/13/11 2:38 AM

Congrats to Djokovic now, the 2011 U.S. champion. He's put together the best season of any player in history, without question. He is the undisputed No.1. Unfortunate for what happened here in the 4th set for Rafa, but I applaud him for continuously fighting and trying to battle back.

Hard to imagine what this latest loss will do to his confidence going forward. Hard to stomach the fact that Rafa has made 9 finals this year, but lost 6 of them, all to the same guy. In terms of dominance, 2011 just wasn't meant to be his year, unfortunately. This was Djokovic's time to shine and he's done so. Nothing Rafa can do about it.

Rafa has nothing to be ashamed about. His career is far from over, and his time to dominate will come again. Maybe this season was meant to turn out this way for Rafa. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise for him, so he can't hold his head down in shame. He's 10 times the champion Nole will ever be, regardless of what happens from this point forward.

Rafa will find his way again. I'm not sure when and I'm not sure how, but he'll find his way again. He might be down now, but trust me, Rafael Nadal will not be down for long. God bless him for having such a wonderful season. He'll always be No. 1 to me, no matter what the rankings say.

As for Djokovic, again, my congratulations go out to him. He's been a brick wall nobody's been able to break through this season. Hard work has truly paid off for Nole. Regardless of the outcome, both men were winners in this one.

djb247365 , 9/13/11 2:38 AM

Novak now has to win AO and FO in a row in order to get Grand Slam...

atg , 9/13/11 2:38 AM

lucky..its not just fitness..even the serve..commentators repeatedly telling hes hitting many first serves at just 100 mph and Noles ROS literally nailing it with those deep returns

sanju , 9/13/11 2:39 AM

Guys, lets celebrate! Did i mention that its 6 am and I'm likely to drop anytime soon? Thanks Nole for the memories, you are an awesome champ. And major respect to Rafa as well as his fans, who've been nothing but graceful about today's loss. The guy's an awesome player, and will win a few more GS's and beat Nole again.

samprallica , 9/13/11 2:41 AM

^^ not doubt about that.

mriiidula , 9/13/11 2:43 AM

It will be very very intriguing to see how both Rafa and Fed bounce back from this?

Rafa from losing 2 GS and losing 6 times to Novak

Fed from not winning a slam first time in a calendar year

And he manages to sustain the momentum going forth

sanju , 9/13/11 2:44 AM

Major congrats to Novak. Of course it is the best or just about the best tennis year in the open men's series he is putting together, no matter how you calculate it. At this point it is only one such year... Roger had several of them that were pretty similar... but what a year.

chlorostoma , 9/13/11 2:46 AM

It will be very intriguing to see how Rafa and Fed bounce back from this

Rafa losing 6 times to Nole and in 2 GS finals at that
Fed not winning any slam first time in a calendar year

For both it has been a relatively bad year..

Nole..also curious to see how hell sustain the momentum as repeating such an incredible year is not easy

sanju , 9/13/11 2:47 AM

Fantastic tennis ... Novak just incredible; Rafa fighting to the end. Great stuff.

smr , 9/13/11 2:48 AM

it's 3 am in Belgrade, you are on the east? Dubai?

atg , 9/13/11 2:50 AM

Nadal lost yet again, Nadal and Federer both are hurting their claims as all time greats by repeatedly losing to the same player over and over again you simply cant be dominated by a fellow player Nadal has now lost 6 matches against Novak on dofferent surfaces and roger has a poor record vs nadal. Cant remember Pete sampras having such a problem against any player and now even if Federer and nadal end up winning more majors tthan sampras they still have the question mark of repeatedly losing to a fellow player. we can say Pete sampras was greater than Nadal and Federer.

tennis2011 , 9/13/11 3:01 AM

Great match from Nole. He was way better player today! Congrats to Nole and his fans!

natashao , 9/13/11 3:02 AM you hear some celebration in BG?
Thanks to all ppl here for congrats to Nole and his fans...
Nothing than pure RESPECT for Rafael Nadal...

zare , 9/13/11 3:03 AM

service breaks were very common in this match I would have loved to see nadal or Djokovic take on Sampras playing at their level you couldnt even wish to beat pete sampras playing that way Service breaks were Gold dust when you played sampras and a service break was as good as a set here you see one guy breaks 3 times in the set but cant hold on to his own serve and still lose the set it in the Tie break

tennis2011 , 9/13/11 3:18 AM

Tennis2011, not the time to talk about 'goat' issue here. Just let Nole's fans enjoy Nole's win here. What a time we have now, to witness what Fed, then Rafa, and now Nole has achieved, breaking records left, right and centre. They each has a place in tennis history now, so proud of them and we fans should all be happy witnessing all these happening during our time!

I missed the Connors, Borg and JMac era, so it's nice to witness this era with three great players plying their trade at the same time.

luckystar , 9/13/11 3:20 AM

I don't see how this is hurting Federer's legacy. Any idiot can see that Fed is not in his best years. He's 30. Funny that if he converted 1 of his match points, he's going to be in the finals and beat Djokovic (probably the best baseliner the world has ever seen) but I think he'll lose to Rafa anyways because Rafa's game is a very very bad matchup for Fed.

Congratz to Nole. I saw what Rafa was made off and understand why he beat Federer so many times. He fights until the very last drop of sweat. But really if he could have just be a lil bit smarter and saw the match from the viewer's point of view, he should have just be aggresive with his inside-out forehand to Djoker's forehand.

Great match, Hail the new King of tennis.

torres9 , 9/13/11 3:22 AM

@zare: "do you hear some celebration in BG?"

On each point! I have injured broken finger during TB. I went to bathroom to re-apply bandage, and I was just hearing crowd going crazy on Novak points. It was unreal atmosphere here... At the times, it look like I am hearing their screaming on court...

Bad thing was that there is delay on satellite broadcast and national TV. So neighbors were ahead of me, celebrating points before I 've seen end of point... Kinda twisted, since there was long rallies, and you never know is it going to be longer and they will cheer, or Novak lost that point...

Unreal experience... so sad I can't join downtown celebration :(

atg , 9/13/11 3:29 AM

...sorry to hear atg....
I would like to join them too... but OK...My darling has gone to bad... tomorrow I have to take my son to school... then I am going to school ;)... french lessons... but I am not going to bad 'till I finish this absurdly expensive bottle of champagne :)
Greota da izlapi...
Ok... we go on... roller coaster is still open....
"Don't cry for me Argentina.... you never know..... la lala la ......

zare , 9/13/11 3:38 AM

@zare, didn't know you are in France... I'll be there in mid October, and if I manage to stay till Paris Masters, we might try to get tickets :)

I am devastated I can't go to Davis Cup next week, in middle of my town... Maybe if I cheat and get one of the wheel chairs, I could to the front row :)

atg , 9/13/11 3:56 AM

Yep torres, Rafa has some brain snap out there, he can't think clearly. He should have started the match playing aggressively, using his forehand DTL shots more often. I think he should go watch the matches Nole had with Fed and Murray, and see how they deal with Nole. It's the varieties that Fed and Murray have, mixing things up that can cause Nole problems. Nole is too good in baseline rallies and not many players can overpower him or outlast him, at least not

I also wonder why Rafa won't mix things up during the match, like play the way he did at IW by coming forward to the net as much as possible, then in the next set, started playing like he did in the third set. Next threw in some S&V, hit some big serves and big forehands, three shots end a point kind of tennis. At least that way, he won't be so predictable. His slices were effective during the match but he can't just rely on that alone to do the job.

All in all, I would say, a bad strategy from Rafa. Time to change strategy, Rafa. You can't outhit or overpower Nole, so has to play smart tennis, add in the varieties, keep him guessing.

luckystar , 9/13/11 4:15 AM

Judging from the last couple of years I'm yet to be convinced that Puss has the necessary variety to trouble Novie in anything like the confident manner you suggest.
Murray and Federer play with more variety because they have it to begin with.
Rafa does not it seems to me.

Sosueme , 9/13/11 4:43 AM

Can you call the players by their names! People should be ale to understand who on earth you are referencing!

isabeau77 , 9/13/11 5:32 AM

sosueme, while Rafa may not have as much varieties as Fed and Murray, he still have some varieties. As I've mentioned above, he can play a set coming forward to the net as much as possible ( just like he did at IW). Now to vary his game and keeps Nole guessing, he can't do the same thing for the whole match, for Nole will soon find a way around it. So come the next set, he can try serving big followed with big forehand, throw in some S&V too and try to keep points short. Also he can play a set or two like he did in the third set this USO final. He has his slices too to keep the ball low and making it difficult for his opponent.

All these can be done only if Rafa is in tip top condition and his serve is functioning well with good pace, good placement and good varieties. Don't underestimate Rafa; Rafa also has very good hands at the net. Also, he has a flat forehand too, it's just that he has to make a conscious effort to use it.

One thing he needs to improve urgently, and that is his backhand. I don't know what happen to his backhand, it's been giving him problem since the beginning of this year. He really needs all these weapons functioning well at the same time in order to have a chance to beat Nole.

luckystar , 9/13/11 5:35 AM

Congrats Nole fans! Though I also have reasons to celebrate coz I admire him too, my true blue Rafanatic blood just comes into the surface and my heart goes out to Rafa. :-(

Rest champ, and come back to fight another day!

phoenix , 9/13/11 5:46 AM

Sosueme , 9/13/11 5:56 AM

I'm also puzzled as to why Rafa needs to take so long to wake up and play the way he played in the third set. Now after losing the first set, why didn't he play the way he played in the third set right away? At least he'll get a better chance of winning the second set playing that way, given that he the score was already close in the second set at 6-4. Had he equal the match at one set a piece, well he still had better chance of winning, rather than chasing when he's two sets down.

It's like when he faced Nole, he was so tensed that he couldn't think properly. I think it all boils down to belief. Rafa simply doesn't believe that he can beat Nole; Nole on the other hand, believes that he can beat anyone, hence his victories over both Fed and Rafa.

luckystar , 9/13/11 6:30 AM

Puss n Boots also believes he can beat anyone too Lucky,
Except Novie B!
Confidence is clearly the best 'shot' or tactic one can have in Tennis...
Your brain just works better when you have it....
And Novak is now more solid in just about every dept than Rafa is because of it...

Sosueme , 9/13/11 6:40 AM

Funny how things can change so quickly. At the beginning of this year we were talking about the Rafa slam. Now after Nole wins his Wimbledon and USO, we're talking about him getting his Nole slam, if he defends his AO next year and goes on to win the FO!

I remember too how Delpo, after winning his USO in 2009, was tipped to be the next no.1, and we all know what happened after that; that no.1 never arrive for Delpo but instead he had to miss a year's competition due to his wrist problem. Even for Fed, after his stellar year in 2007, who would have thought that he would get mono in 2008, and had to wait till 2009 to surpass Sampras's slam record. In between, he had to lose his precious Wimbledon crown to Rafa, and had to cry during the 2009 AO victory ceremony when he was beaten again by Rafa, and his slam record dream seemed so distant then.

Who can foresee what will happen in the future? It's early days to say that Nole will take the FO crown from Rafa next year to complete his Nole slam. For all we know, someone may step up and stop Nole from defending his AO title next year, and all these Nole slam, Rafa slam or calendar slam talks will have to end.

As for Rafa retiring early like Borg, I think it's early days to say that. As long as he can remain competitive, he'll not retire(according to him). Well who knows, Rafa may win the AO next year, stopping the Nole slam, and Nole may take the FO to complete his own career slam! We shall see.

luckystar , 9/13/11 6:47 AM

Well who knows Federer may win the AO next year !

nirv02 , 9/13/11 7:56 AM

nirv02- exactly!
And if anything both Rafa and Fed on the off season will have one mission and that is to take down Djokovic and you know what happens when Rafa sets a target. Rafa admitted that he hasnt had time to make changes to his game and no matter what the result from todays match he knows what his goal is for next year.
Rafa has now been burnt to his core, he will not take this laying down. Yes Djokovic beat Rafa, he was the better player in all matches they played but Djokovic unfortunately I believe has awoken the sleeper within Rafa, you will see.
Just as Rafa needed Roger as a target to become a better player, now he has what he needed to become even greater and that is another target, Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic has played phenomenal tennis and from what I have seen there isnt much improvement that can be made as such, as his level is near perfect, where as Rafa has oodles of areas to improve in and that can only mean one thing, when he does, what greats then can he reach.
I have faith, not because of wishful thinking but for the sole reason that the hungry to improve and conquer is in Rafas blood.

isabeau77 , 9/13/11 8:16 AM

The one thing that will absolutely set me off is talk of Rafa retiring early like Borg. I lived through that with Borg. It broke my heart. He was my first great tennis love and it was devastating to see him walk away so young. I told myself that I never wanted to see that happen again.

I hope it's not wishful thinking on the part of a Murray fan who would rather not see their guy face him anymore. It's an unfortunate comment and too bad that anyone would go there.

Also I must respond in defense of isabeau, who has been a gracious and lovely presence on this site. She did not deserve that response about this "puss n boots" nickname for Rafa. One should not assume that everyone here necessarily knows to whom one is referencing when one chooses these rather bizarre names for players. She had a perfect right to request some kind of clarification and deserved a respectful and reasonable reply.

As far as Rafa is concerned, I have confidence that he will work on his game with Uncle Toni at the end of the year. It's not necessary for him to reinvent himself. He does have to address some issues to resolve his current problems playing against Nole. He needs to deal with his serve, maybe try to strengthen his second serve to have a better chance to win more points with it. If Rafa is to protect his body, he cannot afford to continue playing a baseline game of attrition. He came out with a more aggressive game in the beginning of 2010, but seems to have forgotten it all too often of late. Rafa is not going to outhit Nole consistently from the baseline. I do think he has more than enough variety and weapons in his game to keep Nole off base, provided he has the mind to use them. He has a superb net game and is an accomplished volleyer at net. He needs to be more willing to move into the court and close out points more quickly.

Anyone who would even suggest an early retirement for Rafa as even a possibility, has no understanding of the pain and sadness that Borg's early retirement caused fans like myself.

I have been able to deal with this latest loss for Rafa in a much different way. Coming just one day after 9/11, I have some real perspective. I spent yesterday speaking on the phone with my family, helping them to get through this tenth anniversary of 9/11. There were tears, emotion, remembrance of those they knew and lost and a shared love and appreciation for life in the midst of the reminder of so much death and anguish. It was hard to be so far away in L.A., but my heart was with them and the distance didn't minimize the powerful emotions we shared.

Today Rafa lost a tennis match, the last slam of the year. However, he will live to fight another day and have more victories. It's not life and death. And, for the record, he is not going anywhere!

Nativenewyorker , 9/13/11 8:27 AM

Well Isa, I have to agree that Rafa has many areas he can improve in. It's unfortunate that Rafa's progress has often been stalled by his injuries. Many times, instead of spending time working to improve his game, he has to spend time recovering from injuries. Before anyone jumps in to say that it's his playing style that caused the injuries, I have to add that chronic foot issue plays a part in his susceptibility to injuries, mainly his leg injuries. He rarely has shoulder or wrist injuries, despite the way he hits his top spin forehand.

Nole is more fortunate in that he rarely gets himself injured, despite all the sliding around the courts. I think he's born with such flexibility and good balance in his body that he doesn't get injured easily whichever way he moves his body, such a fortunate guy! All three guys, Fed, Rafa and Nole, have their own talent and natural gifts, and that's why they are what they are. Fed can live with a back problem and still gets to his 16 slams; Rafa with his foot problem still gets to 10 slams. Nole has his breathing problem and now he has his 4 slams and may have

I just hope that Rafa can overcome this disappointment, stay positive and continue to work on his game. To me, I think the most important thing is for Rafa to stay fit and healthy, as it's when he's in tip top condition then he can go out there to play without worrying about any injury issue. With good fitness, he'll be more confident about his own game and hence can think with a clear mind when he's playing out there. Rafa wins his matches based very much on tactics in addition to his shot making (unlike Fed who wins based on instinctive shot making) so the mental aspects of his game is very important to him.

luckystar , 9/13/11 8:46 AM

I AM HEARTBROKEN... After 2 sets 0 and 2 1 in the third set i went to sleep and i swear i dreamed that Rafa came back to win it 3 2. Waking up today, i felt even worse.

eduardvalalex , 9/13/11 9:28 AM

NNY: Thank you for bringing us all down to earth. Griefing over the result of a tennis match is almost obscene when so many people are trying to cope with the horrors of 9/11 and all over the world there are people dealing with human tragedies.

ed251137 , 9/13/11 9:59 AM

Well said Ed, it puts things into perspective. I'm sure Rafa would also see things in the right perspective. I think he's prepared to accept the loss and move forward.

As I've mentioned before, given the problems Rafa has this year, I don't expect much from him this year, so he reaching the final here has already exceeded my expectations. Of course I'm a bit disappointed that having overcome so many problems to arrive at the final here, Rafa just failed at the last hurdle. As his fans, we may have our own expectations of him, however none of us really know what's his own goals. He may be able to take this loss better than many of his fans, so we shouldn't feel so down, let's move on.

luckystar , 9/13/11 10:21 AM

Nny- thank you so much for your support and perspective. Would you be able to tell me what those abbreviation by sosueme stand for and why?

Luckystar and nny-
Thank you so much for talking sense and being realistic where rafa is concerned. It's funny but after her some of rafas interviews I think deep down he new that as it stands he wouldnt have what it take to beat djok but he sure as hell was going to play his game and try his best. He I believe accepted the probably of the loss long before he stepped foot into the final and I believe this is smart because in doing so he has already set goals for 2012, so the talk of retiring is ludicrous, If anything loses like this would influence rafa in improving and extending his career as is the nature of the beast and his hungry to improve. 2012 will be rafas year...2008 was 2010 was and 2012 will be :)

isabeau77 , 9/13/11 2:04 PM

NNY - thanks for your post - it said everything that needed to be said. Congrats to Novak and I am proud of Rafa for his heart and fighting spirit. He will live to fight another day and will not take the easy way out any time soon.

Sosueme - not a nice shot at isbeau - she has just as much right as you to post here and take part in any discussion she wishes.

Rafa fans take heart, our boy will be back. After all this last match was not a walkover and we all know that confidence is a fragile thing at times but a fighting spirit is for life.

schatz , 9/13/11 2:54 PM

Isa: M. Bear stands for Muzza Bear and is a reference to the cuddly teddy bear which is part of the Andy Murray merchandise promoted by his mother.

Puss in Boots is Rafa. Not sure how he earned this name but presumably it's a reference to the French fairy tale of that name.

Novie B is Djokovic. I guess this is a play on the expression 'B Movies'

I sympathise with your confusion. After an extended absence from TT it took me ages to unravel who was who. I think Sosueme may have started using these nomikers to confuse the enemy when there were a lot of fights breaking out on TT, or may be she just likes to demonstrate her erudition.

ed251137 , 9/13/11 3:14 PM

Sosueme , 9/13/11 3:16 PM


And I'm a GUY btw.

Sosueme , 9/13/11 3:18 PM

Also I certainly don't think that Rafa needs to riffled or anything,
He's clearly the second best player in the world right now & both Rafa and Novie are considerably better than everyone else.
But I really do think he needs perspective, however the tour is SO long it's difficult to get the time to really do this,
So I think this rivalry is not going to level up until next year at least.

Sosueme , 9/13/11 3:24 PM

Sorry Mr. Satsuma. Are you going to enlighten us as to how you arrived at the nomenclature?

ed251137 , 9/13/11 3:25 PM


Retire (my spell checker intervened unhelpfully there)!

Sosueme , 9/13/11 3:26 PM

Sosueme , 9/13/11 3:33 PM

Well I was way off the mark with my guesswork. But living in rural France I am rather out of touch with popular culture - or any other kind of culture come to that.

I think it is a pity if you stop (I am amused by your names) but I have to admit, apart from causing confusion, there is a danger that people not in the know will feel excluded and that is not a good thing for a forum.

ed251137 , 9/13/11 4:19 PM

ed, Sosueme did explain b4, obviously you and isabeau missed it. BTW which of our splendid workshops to you intend to book? Make haste they are heavily over-subscribed already ;) What a shame u rushed over to Barcelona thinking Rafa was there.....

deuce , 9/13/11 4:47 PM


Mmm Rural France?
I used to live in the South of France,
Loved it, they have a great lifestyle but it could get a bit dull in the winter.
Deuce I may have lost us some business last night sorry,

Sosueme , 9/13/11 5:32 PM

Sosueme, I must say that I did not use to like you initially but your humorous posts and the names that you give to Rafa, Nole and AndM have really lightened my spirits on what has been a disappointing final for Rafa fans.

fedexal , 9/13/11 5:48 PM

Ha Ha Deuce. I lugged my laptop all the way to Barcelona to be able to watch only to find the hotel system would not let me log on (incompatible with Mackintosh someone told me) and their own computers did not permit live-streaming so I was stuck with Eurosport with German commentary. Guess what, they switched over to the women's semi final (Wozniaki Petkovic) in the middle of the Rafa Andy match. I was fit to be tied.

I think I will go for Alex's Eyes Closed, Fingers in Ears first and then maybe graduate to Handling Disappointment. Both will be useful for either Rafa or Andy matches and absolutely essential when they meet each other. Can you make sure there is carrot cake on the menu or are you planning a gluten free diet for us all?

ed251137 , 9/13/11 5:56 PM

Aww, you're too sweet Fedexal, thank-you.
And don't worry about Rafa, he'll find a way soon, and like the Terminator
he will be BAACHH.

Sosueme , 9/13/11 6:08 PM


May I suggest a dart board with Novaks face on it to start with,
Some of the simplest measures are the most effective after all.

Sosueme , 9/13/11 6:12 PM

You obviously have never seen me playing darts. I am more likely to blind onlookers standing nearby than score a bullseye. But I have been successful in the past with my wax models and pins - that's how Rafa overcame Nole on the way to his Gold Medal ;-)

ed251137 , 9/13/11 6:29 PM

many belated congrats to all nole's fans. what an incredible performance (but are we really surprised any more?) by an incredible player.
First rafa leapfrogs fed and ths year nole overtakes rafa, leaving them both completely in his wake, it makes you stand back and think twice about using phrases like 'GOAT'.
commies to rafa fans, he'll be back, and nole can't keep this up forever ... can he ?

alex , 9/13/11 7:28 PM

Carrot cake ed., for goodness sakes how on earth are Sosueme, alex and me gonna make any money if we serve such luxuries? No my girl it's Scottish gruel for fuel.

deuce , 9/13/11 7:35 PM

barcelona last weekend would've been wonderful, well, better than doing porridge watching muzz try to get a first serve in :(

alex , 9/13/11 7:54 PM

Deuce, what?! I come back and what do I find: some of you demand nothing less than being treated with carrot cakes and I get to starve and hang around with the "not wining anything any more" mourning group in Kabul...this is not fair! I was seriously considering overspending for your workshops but now I am having second thoughts about it...I smell partiality here...I will not let you treat me like 'second hand merchandise'...I think I am in the position to negotiate a good deal here: after all I qualify as emergency case with huge amount of disappointment and high risk depression which tends to turn into a suicidal behavior...however, if you want to win me over, some gratis gluten free cuisine would do just fine...:)

natashao , 9/14/11 1:07 AM


So you see in my absence people have come to your rescue and explained the mystery of the nicknames. Now I have to go back and watch Shrek! I figured them out after following the discussion, but I was as puzzled as you at first. I think that I will stick with Rafa!


Thanks for your kind response. Now that's real class! Also, it's good to know that you are a guy. So we have that straightened out, too. You do have a great sense of humor, which helps to lighten it up here when it gets too crazy. And we really have seen crazy at times! :)

Nativenewyorker , 9/14/11 3:40 AM

@ natashao
You have to wonder what a newcomer arriving on TT, expecting to read about tennis, will make of some of the conversations going on here :-D

But as the old saying goes 'Laughter is the best medicine' so keep up the good work Deuce, Alex, Sosueme et al.

ed251137 , 9/14/11 5:53 AM

My goodness ed., if you are laughing already then our courses must be incredibly successful and we shall have to whack the fees up substantially. That'll wipe any premature smiles off your face.
Hmm, natashao, do I detect a little whining there? Obviously that course hasn't worked at all. Back to Kabul with you!
Now, next assessment.......;)

deuce , 9/14/11 8:50 AM

whaaaat? you are a guy? i sometimes call you 'sue' thinking that you're a lady. :-)

phoenix , 9/14/11 9:38 AM

Deuce: I thought my OAP Bus Pass entitled me to free entry on the courses!!

How about a workshop for Dealing with Vicious Posters? You could highjack Deadly Nightshade and her pals for role playing exercises - but they would need to be issued with bulletproof jackets and kept in solitary confinement between sessions.

NNY might need a bit of help with anger management if she signs up for this one ;-)

ed251137 , 9/14/11 10:31 AM


Yeah I noticed that one, but chose to overlook it!
If you saw me I doubt you would think it however!

Sosueme , 9/14/11 12:40 PM

o.O How on earth did holdserve turn out to be a female and Sosueme a male? I swear I thought you were an older lady because you use the word "dear".

samprallica , 9/14/11 3:42 PM


mriiidula , 9/14/11 4:54 PM

NNY: the above was not a dig at you! But I know how stressed you can become when you are caught up in slanging matches.

ed251137 , 9/14/11 6:03 PM


The dear & darling stuff is a JOKE!
Please, You think I would really be like that even if I were a female?!
In London were I am at the moment they still use these terms of endearment a lot,
It was a pastiche on that.
Anyway, I kind of assume almost everyone is female here until proven otherwise. Often its like posting into a sorority house or something, with a lot of jealous girlfriends etc.
And when the fur flies, it starts to look more like a womens prison yard!
Ed are you not a guy as well?
I'm guessing by the `Ed` but I see you've been called a 'her' quite a bit.

Sosueme , 9/14/11 7:15 PM


thanks for your kind response too,
I'm glad we're cool..

Sosueme , 9/14/11 8:50 PM

Thought anyone who is British would think Sosueme is a "he" but perhaps ed (female bte) you've live in rural France too long. Humour is very male, stand up comic, fast on feet, takes no prisoners kind. BTW complete compliments Sosueme dahhhling....

deuce , 9/14/11 9:44 PM

Sosueme: Sorry to disappoint you but in spite of the screen name (which is a diminutive of an old Saxon name) I am not a guy. Ed is what my male friends and former work colleagues call me.

ed251137 , 9/14/11 9:46 PM

Darling Deucey Dah-ling!
Kissy Kissy!
Ed, our genders are now noted, no disappointment at all.
How could you ever disappoint me? hope you're not too....
As I'm not gonna come on here and blab to you all day about your 'feelings'.
Good grief!

Sosueme , 9/14/11 10:30 PM

I am amazed... I know just one female tennis fan personally... And here... I was here reading TT almost 4 years, and now it's supposed that I am only male here... hope Ricky is a male, zare is for sure ...

Just amazed how well you understand tennis, up to the tiny details...Understand there is difference, but I tennis knowledge is exceptional... I learned a lot visiting TT, never dreamed that girls are "teaching" me.... Someone played tennis more seriously or you are just professional fans :)?

atg , 9/14/11 10:35 PM

atg, lots of males on here....I think. But perhaps Rafa has more female fans than male, I dunno?
Us Murray fans, totally mixed and probably as mixed up as he is...;)

deuce , 9/14/11 10:59 PM

Scoretracker are guys,
I know for a fact as they have been called 'She' and 'Her'
And they have corrected the situation stat!
Mriiidula must be a guy with that name although ednumbers is a she, so maybe not.
Beyond that I don't know who is what.
There's probably a lot of women here because it's dominated by Rafans, as Deuce indicated.
It's certainly not like this everywhere on the net.
Although of course he'll have a lot of male fans as well

Sosueme , 9/14/11 11:20 PM

What do you mean you dont know Deuce. Women of all ages (and I mean all ages) lust after Rafa ;-)

ed251137 , 9/14/11 11:20 PM

It's true Deuce,
Nadline is in her 90's and shed jump on Rafa's bones in an instant!

Sosueme , 9/14/11 11:27 PM

Don't think that I have ever analyzed male players from that perspective... but why Rafa? Don't want to offend anyone, but... isn't Fed "the ballerina" better positioned in beauty contest?

Rafa is great guy, he has that macho style, but never though that he has a such a strong impact on females... I know there are always bunch of girls there... but I thought it is kinda of Latino thing... And I know that here we have worldwide coverage :)

Then forum demographics gives an answer why Novak and Andy have less here... They should start thinking about their manners :)

atg , 9/15/11 1:00 AM


I come on here and don't know what is going on! Do I need help? Most likely yes! You know that I don't deal well with the nasties on this site. How many times have I had to ask for your help? I keep trying to turn the other cheek, but the New Yorker in me doesn't like to give in!

This is one crazy discussion! Does anyone know what we are talking about?


We will always be cool! Not to worry! :)

Nativenewyorker , 9/15/11 4:52 AM

Im a guy..atg you have some company..dont feel isolated :-)

In India where I hail from, Fed & Rafa are most popular and have the maximum fans. Fed has a bit more but thats understandable as he has been around longer. Nole not much yet but thats primarily as he has been making inroads this year only.

Regarding gender of fans, truth is in India girls dont watch much sports..its more a guy thing and cricket is most popular in India(almost a religion) compared to tennis,football. But I am sure there is no dearth of girls in India digging otherwise on both Rafa and Fed, it depends on what 'type' the girl likes - the softer looking type or the raw intense kinds :-).

sanju , 9/15/11 7:46 AM

And yes Sosueme..your sense of humour always keeps me in 2 most favourite ones are : Jude Murray servicing Rafa under the table when he made those expressions when he was cramping and a light hearted banter about nadline being 90 and still ready to dig at Rafas every bone at first opportunity ( nadline - no offense, its all in good humour..btw nadline where are you, no post from past 3 days? )

sanju , 9/15/11 7:51 AM

sanju: Fed has a magnificent physique, he wears clothes better than any top catwalk model; his movement on court is a joy to watch; his tennis is a thing of beauty; BUT he simply doesn't hack it when it comes to sex appeal.

I feel a blog coming on.........maybe Cheryl could be persuaded to enlighten you guys who has it and who hasn't. lol.

ed251137 , 9/15/11 8:38 AM

ed., just seen you've beaten me to it, however.....
atg, as a "neutral" I feel I must enlighten you at once....Rafa has sex appeal in bucket loads, am sure Fed's appeal is quite different ;)
also think Judy "suggestion" could only have come from a bloke.

deuce , 9/15/11 8:46 AM

Yes and Cheryl is a lady shes apt to write a blog on this..The Top 3 and their appeal off court

sanju , 9/15/11 8:52 AM

Oh let's not be elitist, let's do top 20 at least...;)

deuce , 9/15/11 9:10 AM

Sosueme, I am most definitely not male ;) haha my screen name sounds masculine?

Sanju, you're right, every time I go back to India for the summer, I see pages and pages of cricket articles and photos, some of them completely absurd, but they still take priority over tennis/hockey/football etc.

mriiidula , 9/15/11 9:14 AM

I always thought guys are not fond of Rafa because they are jealous of him. :) I see them being annoyed for how great he is in every aspect: he is the best looking tennis player (ok, ok, before you all jump on me, it is just my honest and biased opinion...can't help it! :), he plays animal-like exciting tennis and he is a fighter whereas off the court he is such a humble and nice person...guys that I hang around with mostly dislike Rafa just because girls adore him, but they still admit he is a great far as I am concerned, I love Rafa for all these reasons but mostly because he has won me as a great athlete and I love his tennis...I also like Fed although they are completely different personalities...Nole, who I should like for his background if anything, as we do share the same origin, I think is smart and great tennis player and what he is doing right now is historic but I dislike his imitations and I find it disrespectful...And Andy is such a nice and down to earth person...who in the world could dislike him for heavens sake?

so Cheryl, you can get started with your blog...please make sure to include Rafa's recent press conferences in your analysis...I noticed that Rafa is becoming more rebellion like at those presses, or to say more relaxed, being funny and fun to listen to...he used to be tense at those presses but not anymore IMO...I recall how a reporter asked him about the incident on the USO court when he was upset and simply decided to leave because of the rain. He replied: "did you watch me on the court?" and the guy said "yes", and Rafa said: ?so you want me to repeat everything??...and people in the room were laughing...well, what to say...Rafa is simply adorable...:)

natashao , 9/15/11 10:35 AM

NNY: You know there is nothing more frustrating than trying to pick a fight with someone who refuses to engage. It amuses me to think of certain people (you know who I mean) hunched over the computer thinking up more and more vitriolic things to say then waiting for a response that never comes.

I've noticed you've made progress in recent months but there are still times when you come charging out of your corner all guns blazing! If you sign up for the special courses Deuce, Sosueme and Alex are running I have my doubts you would be able to control yourself face to face with the tormentors without some extra coaching ;-)

Deuce: For the benefit of of people who have joined this thread late in the day, it might be the moment to give a resume, together with a Mission Statement, on the
full range of course available for TT members.

Sanju: Nobody seems to have answered your question about Nadline's absence. She is swanning around off the coast of Florida on a cruise her husband organised for her birthday.

ed251137 , 9/15/11 12:40 PM

THanks ed..I am sure she is having a great time

natashao : All guys jealous of Rafa because girld adore him..not true..atleast not Indian guys :-)..He has loads of fans more so amongst men in India as I said above girls in India dont watch much sports and guys do and so they admire him for his tenacity, grit, determination.. Its quite a war out here too between Fed fans and Rafa fans..actually where isnt there one ? :-)

On a lighter note..I thought you get jealous of people within your circle of influence, knowhow if one gets more attention than the other. Who gets jealous of celebrities getting all the attention? Arent they celebrities and hence supposed to get attention and they anyway not competing with you ? Somehow the concept of getting jealous of a film star or sports icon becausehe/she gets attention from people is alien to me.

sanju , 9/15/11 1:15 PM

Given that there is no real tennis for another month and to keep message boards about we should run some awards for 'title honours' in good fun. It is a multicultural site and people dont know each other in a personal I am sure people can be casual about it and it will be good entertainment too.


Most sarcastic poster

Most irritating poster

Most analytical poster

Most humorous poster

etc etc etc

What say people?

sanju , 9/15/11 1:20 PM

ed, I completely agree one should not get jealous of a celebrity as it sure is out of his reach...but if you take into consideration that some of them have to share hours with a female person who gets depressed for days when Rafa loses, who analyzes his matches in detail and talks for hours about his current form and his advantages and disadvantages, who remembers and celebrates his birthday, experiences his injuries as her own frustration, who knows all the statistics about Rafa's opponents, and who decides to skip social events which happen to overlap with Rafa's matches, don't you think that Rafa in such case becomes their worst nightmare...:) it is good that tennistalk exists so these guys can enjoy watching football while their girlfriends and wives spend time arguing about tennis...:))

natashao , 9/15/11 3:55 PM

sorry, post above is a reply for mistake...:)

natashao , 9/15/11 4:06 PM

Nadal lost yet again, Nadal and Federer both are hurting their claims as all time greats by repeatedly losing to the same player over and over again you simply cant be dominated by a fellow player Nadal has now lost 6 matches against Novak on dofferent surfaces and roger has a poor record vs nadal. Cant remember Pete sampras having such a problem against any player and now even if Federer and nadal end up winning more majors tthan sampras they still have the question mark of repeatedly losing to a fellow player. we can say Pete sampras was greater than Nadal and Federer.
tennis2011, 9/13/11 3:01 AM

Oh really? How many times nadal lost to novak this year?
How many slam finals has he reached where he lost to novak?
How many masters finals has he reached where he lost to novak?
How many slams has Roger got?

obviously no sen?se is born with.

Fleur , 9/15/11 4:24 PM

sanju: And the winner of the Most Irritating Poster is.....................................

ed251137 , 9/15/11 5:09 PM

I think there are Big 4 irritating poster, like in tennis...

atg , 9/15/11 6:11 PM

zare and luckystar joint first.
zare and luckstar joint second.
zare and luckystar joint third.
zare and luckystar joint fourth.

Stupid game ed.

Grow up!

Fleur , 9/15/11 7:51 PM

atg, nice one lol

deuce , 9/15/11 8:16 PM

Deuce: where did you put that weedkiller?

ed251137 , 9/15/11 10:07 PM

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