• Nadal begins Paris title defense against Brands

    5/27/13 3:37 AM | Cheryl Murray
    Nadal begins Paris title defense against Brands Defending French Open champion Rafael Nadal will kick of his 2013 Roland Garros campaign against Germany's Daniel Brands.

    World No. 4 Rafael Nadal had an inauspicious start to the European clay season. The Spaniard kicked off his road to Roland Garros like he always does -- with a run in Monte Carlo. But for the first time in nine years, Nadal didn't win the title. Novak Djokovic snagged the crown from him, making pundits claim that perhaps it was Djokovic who was the favorite for the French Open title.

    But Nadal was undaunted. He won titles in Barcelona, Madrid and Rome to go with the ones he already racked up in Sao Paolo, Acapulco and Indian Wells, marking perhaps the greatest injury return in ATP history.

    Nadal wasn't in great form in Monte Carlo, as he continued to try to find his groove after his seven-month layoff. But as the European clay season progressed, his form improved, culminating in a demolition of Roger Federer in the final of Rome.

    His first opponent is Germany's Daniel Brands, ranked 59th in the world and unlucky to draw Nadal in his first match. Brands actually had a few good tournaments this spring, even reaching the semifinals in Munich...but against Nadal, Brands will be lucky to push a set to a tiebreaker.

    Prediction - Nadal in straight sets.

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Vamos Rafa!

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 6:39 AM

As per usual for the French Open ,the Schedule of play on day 1 ,did NOT include the Defending Champions . Lacking respect in my opinion for both of them .
Vamos Rafa

sals3 , 5/27/13 7:00 AM

Fortunately, @sals3 (after Rafa wins RG2013, promise me you will change your moniker to sals12, at least until after Wimby when you can change it again to sals13 of course) the defending Men's Champion is impervious to slights and chooses to let his racket do the talking!


rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 7:19 AM

Good luck in your first match, Rafa!


Nativenewyorker , 5/27/13 7:25 AM

RT @bgtennisnation: "Weather looking much better this morning going to be low 60's zero rain and a slight breeze to start the day "

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 7:35 AM

Vamos Rafa, I want very badly you to bite the RG trophy. May the luck be with you.

arwen , 5/27/13 9:00 AM

Stay concentrated and enjoy the game, Rafa !


Augustina08 , 5/27/13 9:17 AM

Vamos Rafa!!!!
I'd like to reiterate my post on another thread the other day about a commercial you can see on French tv in between breaks, so it's some bs about a bank which shows images of RG and, guess what? they show Y. Noah and M. Pierce holding the cup!. Even with the editting they can't avoid the 80's look in Noah's images... that goes to show you how they just don't acknowledge any credit to Rafa; unlike Wimbledon where they always show images of Fed, Nadal and also British players obviously)

Shireling , 5/27/13 10:17 AM

#Vamos Rafa

nadline , 5/27/13 10:47 AM

The French are very insular. When driving in France, all the French drive french cars the only foreign cars around are driven by tourists. I don't think it would have been any different had Federer won RG 7 times instead of Rafa. They don't acknowledge the WTA champions either so I don't think it's necessarily anti-Rafa.

When RG started, it was only open to members of French clubs. Maybe they should have kept it that way if they don't like foreigners winning it.

They always give Rafa a treat on his birthday though.

nadline , 5/27/13 11:02 AM

I am past caring whether the Frenchies give Rafa love or not anymore, he gets enough love from his family and fans! If you're dumb enough to not "get" Rafa you're the loser!

Vamos Rafa! Rock it!

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 11:11 AM

perhaps you're right but seen how the treat Fed vs Rafa I have some misgivings.
I agree that sometimes I'm to polarised against the FR, maybe it's in my nature...
Yes, I think that if Spanish players keep winning it (12 winners in the last 20 years) they'll just give the GS status to somebody else.

Shireling , 5/27/13 11:16 AM

Rafa does have his fans in the media in France. Do you remember this? dal-prank-called-french-radio-station-match-132740791.html

nadline , 5/27/13 11:39 AM

^^^Some players would give anything to get a prank call from anyone.

nadline , 5/27/13 11:42 AM

I remember that yet :) Not sure if those were Rafa 'fans' from the FR media though. Rafa seemed very sleepy and still handled it very well.

Shireling , 5/27/13 11:50 AM

Li just won the first set, on (or two) set/s to go and we'll see our Rafa on court.
I'll miss the begining of the match, hope Rafa starts well, good weather today!
Vamos Rafa!!

Shireling , 5/27/13 12:04 PM

Vamos Rafa!!!

phoenix , 5/27/13 12:34 PM

fortunately I am back for rafa's match :)

rafaelo , 5/27/13 12:42 PM

Oh, I remember those media "fans" alright! I remember I was not amused at the time........I think Rafa had a tough match-up ahead (can't remember who he was playing next) that day and I figured he needed a good night's sleep to be ready and these radio people interrupted his beauty sleep!

Anyway, I forgot all about it because Rafa won..............

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 12:52 PM

Hope your exams went well, rafaelo.

nadline , 5/27/13 12:57 PM


willmw101 , 5/27/13 12:57 PM

yeah :) thanks nadline :) this was one was pretty easy compare too my other courses;)

rafaelo , 5/27/13 1:00 PM

The King arrived

goran , 5/27/13 1:11 PM

Rafa time!

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 1:12 PM

backhand is not clicking! but forehand is pretty good and heavy.

rafaelo , 5/27/13 1:29 PM

Thank goodness it's a Slam and we won't get those stupid time violation enforcement interruptions....

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 1:30 PM

This brands guy is kind of lazy :D

rafaelo , 5/27/13 1:32 PM

^^Funny you should say that, @rafaelo, I think he is angling for a tie break....

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 1:34 PM

he is kind of big hitter! i hate these guys! like soderling and gulbis!

rafaelo , 5/27/13 1:36 PM

bothering time!

rafaelo , 5/27/13 1:44 PM

can't see the match (at work). Any indication of how Rafa is moving, body language?

Shireling , 5/27/13 1:45 PM

@ shireling, not good

rafaelo , 5/27/13 1:47 PM

How can rafa play this badly after playing so well in rome??

willmw101 , 5/27/13 1:48 PM

Brands serving for the set!!!!!!!!!!! I told that I hate this guys!

rafaelo , 5/27/13 1:49 PM

oh dear

Shireling , 5/27/13 1:50 PM

This is nothing to do with brands. This is nadal playing awful tennis. Double faulting on break point, what a joke.

willmw101 , 5/27/13 1:50 PM

behind the sofa i go...:-(

phoenix , 5/27/13 1:51 PM

Don't worry, even if he takes a set, no worries.............Rafa needs the work-out anyway.

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 1:51 PM

Waste of a set from nadal.

willmw101 , 5/27/13 1:52 PM

Visions of the Sod!

chr18 , 5/27/13 1:53 PM

No it's definitely Brand who plays flat and aimin rafa's forehand! Rafa still couldn't cover that erea since 2011!

rafaelo , 5/27/13 1:53 PM

not a good start of tournement for Rafa!

Shireling , 5/27/13 1:54 PM

What a joke. Must be nerves. Can't play worse.

willmw101 , 5/27/13 1:54 PM

Rafa was flat in that set, needs to "energy up"!

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 1:55 PM

rafaelo you clearly have no idea of what rafa is capable of if you think Brands won that set rather than Nadal losing it.

willmw101 , 5/27/13 1:56 PM

I think Djokovic is probably watching the match now :)

Shireling , 5/27/13 1:57 PM

It's the 1st match folks...........1st match.

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 1:58 PM

@will,I respect your point of view!

rafaelo , 5/27/13 1:58 PM

So Rafa got Branded in the first set?

samprallica , 5/27/13 2:00 PM

Its just that rafa played so so well in rome, especially against berdych, who is a bigger hitter than Brands, and he has been so calm and confident in the lead up to RG that this drop off seems inexplicable. Rafa has been hitting so many winners in practice that his practice sets have only been lasting 15 mins, in this first set against brands rafa hit 7 winners, against a very slow moving opponent.

willmw101 , 5/27/13 2:02 PM

i blame ricky...

phoenix , 5/27/13 2:02 PM

good one samprallica :), don't be too unkind on our Rafa please

Shireling , 5/27/13 2:03 PM

Might be the weather or just those usual first round nerves.

samprallica , 5/27/13 2:03 PM

Not the weather. Must be nerves.

willmw101 , 5/27/13 2:03 PM

shouldn't Brands be the one with nerves?

Shireling , 5/27/13 2:05 PM

why would brands be nervous???? He has nothing to lose

willmw101 , 5/27/13 2:05 PM

well, he's playing a GS match against a 7 time champion, if that's no cause for initial nerves you tell me? Whereas why would Nadal be nervous? don't get it

Shireling , 5/27/13 2:07 PM

^^ Exactly. Rafa also doesn't seem to make people as nervy as Fed does. Or maybe all these big hitters are fed fans.

samprallica , 5/27/13 2:08 PM

very bad ROS!

rafaelo , 5/27/13 2:11 PM

LOL. Roger's insurance policy? They must communicate well given that RF speaks German.

samprallica , 5/27/13 2:15 PM

as soon as rafa breaks things will get normal! but will he?

rafaelo , 5/27/13 2:16 PM

Vamos Rafa !!!

Raindrops , 5/27/13 2:16 PM

OMG, this is crazy. Mirrors the 2011 first round versus isner

atul1985 , 5/27/13 2:18 PM

The Fedbots smell blood...........

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 2:18 PM


nadline , 5/27/13 2:19 PM

One of the hazards of a Rafafan...always a rollercoaster ride.

Vamos Rafa!

phoenix , 5/27/13 2:19 PM

rafa needs to mix up his serve....serving only to the backhand is making him predictable. Brands lining up his one hander

atul1985 , 5/27/13 2:20 PM

game plan for Brands! serve/return - wait in backhand side - hit to rafa's forehand - point!

rafaelo , 5/27/13 2:24 PM

game plan for Brands! serve/return - wait in backhand side - hit to rafa's forehand - point!

rafaelo , 5/27/13 2:25 PM

One of the hazards of a Rafafan...always a rollercoaster ride.

Vamos Rafa!

phoenix, 5/27/13 2:19 PM

Quite true my friend. Good to see you back.

Rafa is once again playing a catch up game LOL

Vamosss !!!

Raindrops , 5/27/13 2:26 PM

Rafa changing tactics...mixing up his serve now. He needs to break though

atul1985 , 5/27/13 2:27 PM

this isn't even close to good enough from nadal.

willmw101 , 5/27/13 2:30 PM

Rafa, hold and go for a tie break...........

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 2:30 PM

Don't worry, it's best of 5. Rafa will prevail at the end

atul1985 , 5/27/13 2:35 PM

Thanks Rain...but i never left, just got bored to post with all the tards hanging around.

phoenix , 5/27/13 2:36 PM

Nadal is winning this and his next 6 matches and his next 7 at wimby an he is ending the year with 7 at uso.

childishgambino , 5/27/13 2:36 PM

lol phoenix, know what you mean

Shireling , 5/27/13 2:37 PM

I'm feeling very bad!

rafaelo , 5/27/13 2:38 PM

time to break now

Shireling , 5/27/13 2:41 PM

indeed, time to break! VAMOS!!!

phoenix , 5/27/13 2:45 PM

tie-break it is

Shireling , 5/27/13 2:46 PM

now every body just hit an I/O forehand to Rafa's forehand and win!

rafaelo , 5/27/13 2:46 PM

Why isn't Rafa going DTL today?

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 2:46 PM

For a change the hydra creature is doing the anti jinxing.

holdserve , 5/27/13 2:50 PM


rafaelo , 5/27/13 2:53 PM

2 DTL shots win the set for Rafa............where was that shot before?

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 2:54 PM


phoenix , 5/27/13 2:54 PM

Rafa will kill us all one day

Shireling , 5/27/13 2:55 PM

Thank goodness he was able to come from behind and win that tiebreak. Very proud of Rafa. Maybe this will settle him down more and help him to play better in the 3rd set

djb247365 , 5/27/13 2:55 PM

He reserves his best for the tie breaker....the commentators who were gung-ho a few minutes ago predicting a possible upset went so quiet...haha, and so has that monkey seventeen..loz

atul1985 , 5/27/13 2:55 PM

Hopefully that will spur rafa on to play better tennis. There was a mid court ball in that tiebreaker that rafa just played straight down the middle back to brands rather than finishing it. Rafa's level has to improve. Lets hope that set gives him the confidence. All credit to brands for playing well but this is rafa at about 60% so far.

willmw101 , 5/27/13 2:55 PM

He should use forehand DTL more often and do not let his opponent hits I\O forehands!

rafaelo , 5/27/13 2:56 PM

Phew !!! he won the tie break, a bit ease up but way to go Rafa.

Vamos !!!

Raindrops , 5/27/13 2:58 PM

AND the break came

rafaelo , 5/27/13 2:58 PM

What a start to the 3rd set. Rafa gets the break right away

djb247365 , 5/27/13 2:58 PM

Rafa the Problem Solver is in the match now, break 3rd set.....

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 2:59 PM

Rafa will kill us all one day

Shireling, 5/27/13 2:55 PM

who's going to faint first?

Raindrops , 5/27/13 3:00 PM

Rafa's serve not as potent today........really letting him down.....

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 3:03 PM

why is he insisting on playing to brand's backhand!!! this is the wrong thing he do with nole too!

rafaelo , 5/27/13 3:04 PM

Where is twenty?

childishgambino , 5/27/13 3:04 PM

Break to Rafa! Vamos!

Just a typical slow start for Rafa. Also the French like to throw hard hitters at Rafa as predicted in a sad attempt to throw off his timing (Brands, Rosol and Jerzy in his quarter potentially).

Brands is a very respectable 37th in the race to London for a first round opponent, certainly a much higher level than the qualifiers hand-picked for Fed.

willma, how's my other self doing today? You seem to be getting me in trouble!



Conspirator , 5/27/13 3:04 PM

Wow, the crowd seems so quiet when Rafa wins a point. It's really evident how they seem to dislike him and the success he's had in Paris. They have no respect for such an amazing champion.

djb247365 , 5/27/13 3:05 PM

^^^The crowd is quiet. Full stop. Stop running away with your imagination.

nadline , 5/27/13 3:06 PM

the colm is back...

phoenix , 5/27/13 3:06 PM

I don't think it's my imagination, but more so common sense Nadline. Besides that, I'm just happy Rafa's picked up his level of play

djb247365 , 5/27/13 3:07 PM

Nole will get his love from the French this year because they want him to beat the man who beats their man.

The French never cheer for Rafa. The crowd is quiet because Rafa is back in control.

I'm guessing they cheered pretty loudly when Rafa lost the 1st set, no?


Conspirator , 5/27/13 3:11 PM

Twenty is quiet, sobbing inconsolably in his room.

atul1985 , 5/27/13 3:12 PM

Rafa has loosened up a little, still a little tight, but better than the first set.........

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 3:12 PM

I swear the Commies are on a retainer to will Rafa to lose................

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 3:15 PM

now that rafa manages to play his opponent's forehand side more often things are getting better!

rafaelo , 5/27/13 3:16 PM

2 loose points and Rafa misses an opportunity for a double break.............he needs to get out of this mental funk......

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 3:18 PM

I'm far more confident and positive in the outcome of this match now. Hopefully Rafa will keep the pressure on and hold on to his serve w/o getting tight. Sometimes, these early round scares are good for top players like Rafa. It will force them to go out and play at at much better level in the next round.

djb247365 , 5/27/13 3:19 PM

the question to ask is why these pesky players come out almost defeated against the likes of Fed or Djoko but come all out against Nadal, is it Nadal's style of play or something else?

Shireling , 5/27/13 3:19 PM

Good question, @Shireling, I would like to know as well...............

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 3:24 PM

shireling, it probably is Rafa's style of play that enables them to come out and play a lot better against him. on another note, the commentators (espn) really need to stick to tennis related news.

djb247365 , 5/27/13 3:24 PM

djokovic will destroy goffin and then everyone will start lauding djokovic as the big favorite.

willmw101 , 5/27/13 3:24 PM

Shireling the answer to your questions is that Nadal's, in this slightly shaky form, return of serve is terrible against big servers compared to Federer and Djokovic. Federer and Djokovic would never have allowed brands so many free points as 12 punches on his serve as Rafa did today in the first set. Rafa couldn't get the ball past the service line...

willmw101 , 5/27/13 3:27 PM

I'm hoping that's the case @willmw, takes the pressure off Rafa..........

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 3:27 PM

That was meant to read 1, 2 punches, ie big serve and then big forehand off a weak return.

willmw101 , 5/27/13 3:28 PM

To me Rafa's super tight, and that's shown by his not using the DTL shot. I'm hoping it's just 1st round tournament serves.

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 3:32 PM

^^^^tournament nerves, not serves

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 3:33 PM

Shireling I have an answer for that :D

rafaelo , 5/27/13 3:34 PM

Ominous black clouds scudding across the sky.

Have faith you lot! How many times have we watched Rafa start slowly in the Slams and pick up his level match by match.

Keep it up Wills. You're doing a grand job. Brands will get the message in due course.

ed251137 , 5/27/13 3:37 PM

RT @christophclarey: "#Nadal has never lost in 1st round of a Slam tournament. @Rafael_Plaza points out, #Borg was only other men's No. 1 who could say same "

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 3:38 PM

Much better 3rd set from Rafa. Great close from the champ.

djb247365 , 5/27/13 3:38 PM

brands put up a valiant show but good-bye brands

isfand , 5/27/13 3:39 PM

He closed with a DTL forehand............again, DTL doing the damage......use it, Rafa.

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 3:40 PM

thx for your views gusy
- yes rafaelo - I'm sure you have a quick and blunt answer :)
C'mon Rafa, now for the match!

Shireling , 5/27/13 3:40 PM

BTW. Reference to black clouds was a reference to the weather - not Rafa's form.

ed251137 , 5/27/13 3:40 PM

Break, hold to the end...


rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 3:43 PM

Didn't watch the first 2 hours of the match. Did brands play super well or is rafa playing just bad, or is it a combination of the two?

DeadManWalking , 5/27/13 3:57 PM

perhaps Rafa being a pseudo-lefty has an advantage when attacking but is hindered in defense, i.e: ros

Shireling , 5/27/13 3:58 PM

no, when rafa is playing well, like for example in rome against berdych, his ROS is right up there with the best.

willmw101 , 5/27/13 4:04 PM

thx again willmw101, your comments are much appreciated.
Judging from the score-line I'd say Brands is holding his own pretty well, great performance for him

Shireling , 5/27/13 4:06 PM

Rafa is the man!
46 76 64 63


nadline , 5/27/13 4:11 PM

Where is twenty?

nadline , 5/27/13 4:13 PM



Conspirator , 5/27/13 4:13 PM

GSM, Rafa.

Sooo, the Fedbot turds slithered out of their home, the sewer, when they smelled blood. Once they realized it was their stupid senses tricking them, they slithered right back....

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 4:14 PM

a very low vamos :|
@Shireling, I really have an answer :|

rafaelo , 5/27/13 4:14 PM

oh, should have jinxed Brands earlier than this :)

Vamos Rafa!!!

Shireling , 5/27/13 4:14 PM

Ok, let's have it then rafaelo :)

Shireling , 5/27/13 4:15 PM

Vamos Rafa!
Thanks to the many headed Hydra (MHH) creature for venturing out to anti jinx Rafa!
Keep it up MHH! Please be there for every match to antijinx the spell of Tignor and Ricky!

holdserve , 5/27/13 4:18 PM

I will :D I have a poor English and it's hard to post huge texts so I should really put myself together in order to tell you that answer :)))

rafaelo , 5/27/13 4:22 PM

rafaelo, I am curious to hear your answer! Let's have it!

holdserve , 5/27/13 4:22 PM

no worries rafaelo (my EN sucks more often than not too but that doesn't stop me from saying what I want, nobody needs to read it if they don't want)

Shireling , 5/27/13 4:25 PM

ok then ;)

rafaelo , 5/27/13 4:27 PM

Love the style of his gear this season. Simple but sharp and businesslike.
It may be just my imagination but I think the stress of the past 12 months has left its mark. He looks a lot more than a year older than this time last year.

On another note, the crowd gave him huge support today and were on their feet when he won. And loved it when he addressed them in French. Perhaps they have at last started to appreciate what Rafa has contributed to RG all these years.

ed251137 , 5/27/13 4:32 PM

Nadal is teetering on the edge of catastrophe already.Similar to when Bellucci ran him around in the first round of Wimbledon.

stratocast51 , 5/27/13 4:33 PM

stratocast51 , let's talk again in two weeks

Shireling , 5/27/13 4:36 PM

^^^^well, keep fingering those prayer beads then, Rosol is in his quarter you may get lucky.

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 4:36 PM

Oh, Rafa, you naughty almost gave me a stroke!!! But vamos, you did it again!!!

One match at a time, Rafa!!! Luv u, luv u, luv u!!!!

Monalysa , 5/27/13 4:37 PM

My last post was for this stratowhatever fellow. Like all Fedbots, you never see him here cheering on Fed when he is playing, just waits for a sign that Rafa is on the back foot and voila, slithers out with the rest of his brethren.......

Sour people who thrive on negativity..............

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 4:41 PM

ristb, love the way you write, lol

Shireling , 5/27/13 4:42 PM

Where is serpenteen? She disappeared at once when she saw Rafa got warmed up?

Raindrops , 5/27/13 4:42 PM

I love strato and hydra! I want them to slither out and say bad things about Rafa! I am superstitious and I feel so relieved when they do that. It takes away the effect of the evil eye on Rafa and lets him win!

holdserve , 5/27/13 4:45 PM

it's a she? I had just imagined a hand, appearing from the side of a tall dark couch and stroking an evil-eyed cat

Shireling , 5/27/13 4:47 PM

I could not see the match due to my, oh Gosh, so demanding time at work. I only saw parts of the first set during my lunch break?but nothing new seeing Rafa struggle in his early matches. I had no doubts that Rafa would end up wining but I wanted him to finish in 4 rather than dragging the match to a five-setter. I had live score on and just knew the tie-break would be a decider of the match...

Rafa will get better, I kind of do understand why he fears those big hitters and in particular if he never played them before...this is good for him as he will soon have more of those encounters with the big inspired ones...but who cares? Rafa will beat them all!

Vamos Rafa!

natashao , 5/27/13 4:50 PM

Hahaha! I love you Rafans, keep it up, you are on fire.........

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 4:52 PM

The answer is that there is a pattern to win nadal and there are no specific patterns to win other top guys! except a pattern that rafa has to beat Roger!
I am a semi-pro ping pong player!.
I am a right handed! but for some good 3 years I had practiced with a left handed player!
Rafa is a lefty! but he have practiced and played matches with mainly right handed players!
the problem is that when you play with an opposite hand player , you are eager to lean to your backhand side to cover their forehand cross court shots! because this is the shot that is used normally in a racquet sport! so when the opposite handed player plays their normal game you are fine! but because you used to play on your backhand side you have not the normal and right court positioning! and as a consequence of this you can not completely cover your forehand side!
so when you are one of the best players of the world! and your matches being watched, there are analysers out there to figure that you can not cover your forehand! and then hint your opponent to break down your forehand side!
The sad thing about rafa's game is that he constantly plays the backhand side of his right handed opponents and becomes very predictable! so he exactly plays the suicide plan! because the backhand side of a right handed player is the perfectr angle to hit an unreturnable inside out forehand to rafa's forehand! that's the pattern, especially with rafa's high topspins it is easier for big hitters to smash down those winners!

rafaelo , 5/27/13 4:53 PM

LOL Shireling. Yes she's a she...a cyberconceived stinky fedfart who is fond to create monickers as many as she can so she can utilize it whenever a POOL here at TT comes out, to assure Roger will be at the top of the POOL...maybe top of the FOOLS? Imagine she has a long list of username and the corresponding password.

Raindrops , 5/27/13 5:01 PM

Thx rafaelo,
Your grammar is fine but I'm still digesting your words :)

Shireling , 5/27/13 5:03 PM


rafaelo , 5/27/13 5:04 PM

rafaelo, 5/27/13 4:53 PM

I appreciate your explanation, but it would make sense if tennis was only about hitting the ball. However, it is not! Tennis is mind game, game of nerves, it asks for intelligent thinking and finding solutions...and it also depends on stamina...while big hitters may trouble Rafa for a while, since Rafa needs time to figure them out and to start playing his own game, it usually can't soon as Rafa finds his own focus and his own game plan he deals with them in his own smart way...and he also wears them out...Last year Rafa was injured...he was therefore not able to think about his game and plan it correctly because his knees were letting him down...this year Rafa will be his early round matches he is usually tentative but it will change...his backhand will only get sharper and his forehand will soon return to be his major weapon...give him some time...believe me, these kind of matches are useful for Rafa's game plan...

Vamos Rafa!

natashao , 5/27/13 5:05 PM

rafaelo - A+. Believe it or not, many people whose first language is English will struggle to write such good English like you.

nadline , 5/27/13 5:06 PM

One really has to wonder how Nadal recovers from these repeated marathons he plays.

stratocast51 , 5/27/13 5:11 PM

Thank you guys :)
@natashao I just revealed the pattern! I know it's a mind game! and you are right when he plays big hitters like to day! but the trouble begins when nole is at the other sode of net!

rafaelo , 5/27/13 5:11 PM

so rafaelo,
you're saying that Rafa should mix his game more, more ddl fhs and bhs?
... I don't quite understand why Rafa's forehand would be more exposed to a bh return from a right-handed player.. the forehand is arguably Rafa's best shot, no?

Shireling , 5/27/13 5:13 PM

nole I meant!
@ Shireling. yes exactly! and positions him self more to the center!
because he has played so many right handed and used to wait in his backhand side and run around his backhand side and hits a forehand!
yes THE forehand is fine! whenever he is confident! good length and heavy spin, but I am talking about positioning and coverage!

rafaelo , 5/27/13 5:18 PM

I got so nervous watching that game all that was going through my head was that twat soderling, gulbis or a rosol. Worse still I kept imagining either nole or fed marching on to a RG title without battling Rafa. It's a joke really if either of them win this without beating Rafa. Any worthy winner must first beat Rafa, it's as simple as that in my mind


rafakid , 5/27/13 5:19 PM

thx rafaelo!
I think I understand your point now.
I used to think it was awesome that Rafa, due his physical conditions, was able to run around his bh side and change to his fh but now I see how this can lead him to be out of position against top players.
Luckily Rafa finds solutions most of the time, even against Nole if we see last year's results on clay.

Shireling , 5/27/13 5:25 PM

Rafa next plays Klizan.....

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 5:25 PM

by this kind of play I am really worried about a humiliation against Djoko :-ss

rafaelo , 5/27/13 5:33 PM

do not worry. We have often seen Rafa play this nervous way in the first rounds of a grand slam, and it seems to have no bearing on how he goes on to play in the last few rounds.

Your English is indeed very good. As is your analysis.

chlorostoma , 5/27/13 5:37 PM

When Rafa is loose he varies his shots and does damage with the DTL shots, when he is tight he goes for the "safe" shot, the cross court shots. He was tight today and I put that down to 1st match nerves. He will loosen up as the tournament progresses. It's good that he is getting these tricky players sooner rather than later.

@rafaelo, don't worry, Rafa knows how to beat Novak. I am more worried by tall, big hitters like Brands than a Novak match-up tbh......

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 5:44 PM

thanks chlorostoma :)

rafaelo , 5/27/13 5:45 PM

@ rafaelo.......................Rafa always starts slow although we fans never get used to it. We expect Rafa to improve with each match as he normally does. This match is a blessing in disguise as it makes him match tough!

AS Rafa always says, on match at a time!!!


Monalysa , 5/27/13 5:48 PM

let's hope :)

rafaelo , 5/27/13 5:50 PM

One really has to wonder how Nadal recovers from these repeated marathons he plays.
stratocast51, 5/27/13 5:11 PM

You mean like the 61 63 thrashing of Federer in Rome or the 64 62 at IW?

nadline , 5/27/13 5:57 PM

yeah! but If he gets pass of them!

rafaelo , 5/27/13 6:02 PM

Guys do you either have problems to understand this guy? what is he/she saying really? i can't understand!

rafaelo , 5/27/13 6:11 PM

Actually since day one, Rafa has been playing this way, ie that of leaning towards his backhand corner to cover his weaker backhand. All along, he has/had this problem of letting his opponents the chances of attacking his forehand once he tried to cover his backhand; however, in the past, Rafa was quicker and his backhand was very good (Fed said Rafa had two forehands, remember?), so he was still able to cover his positions well. His court position behind the baseline is always the same on clay, ie he stands further away from the baseline on clay, not so on grass. One thing I feel Rafa should do, like what Rafaelo mentioned, and like what Murray has been doing all along, and that is, he should be at a more neutral (or more central) position at or behind the baseline, not leaning towards his left or his right, that way he would only need to cover half the distance (from centre to right or to left) instead of having to run from right to left to cover his forehand, or vice versa to cover his backhand. I feel Murray has the best court position at the baseline, not leaning towards either left or right, rather neutral, and so he has no such problem that Rafa has.

I feel Rafa's game has regressed a little bit after this injury, and I feel he can only play his aggressive games only when he needs to, as he's not playing with intensity for each and every match, so that he can conserve his energy for later rounds when facing tough opponents. Players like Brands, Rosol or Isner would be a handful for any opponent and on any surface if they keep serving the way they do. Rafa just has to be patient, figure out their serve pattern and then adjust his gameplan to deal with them. To me, Gulbis is an even more 'scary' opponent than all these other big servers, still, Rafa is able to weather the storm time and again when facing Gulbis.

I think Rafa needs to adjust his court position when returning serves; I don't remember seeing him ran so far out wide when returning serves at the deuce court. I think its only this year that he starts doing that, I'm quite worried for him for continuing with this pattern of returning.

luckystar , 5/27/13 6:47 PM

rafaelo: I hope you know better than to even engage in conversation with 17 going on 7. Dont even bother to make sense of what she says. She is setting a trap for you.

We all go through the mill during Rafa's matches and each of us handles it in different ways. The only thing that matters is that his knee doesn't give him problems. This is the first time it is being tested in best of five matches so it is only natural for him to be little hestitant at times. He is pacing himself for the long haul.

ed251137 , 5/27/13 6:47 PM

@ luckystar exactly
there is strategies to avoid this problem he is having ;) but he is not that confident to do the right changes to his game plan!

rafaelo , 5/27/13 6:57 PM

there are!!!! :D my bad :D

rafaelo , 5/27/13 7:00 PM

rafaelo when you see any of the screen names of the multiple headed hydra (fedkovic, seventeen, novakisthebest, jamesdjokovicfan) , just skip the post. No one can make sense of nonsense. So you would be wasting your time.

holdserve , 5/27/13 7:00 PM

Well hello there Lucky. We were about to send out a search party!!!!!!!!!

You have just confirmed what I was thinking. i.e. his return of serve is definitely not as potent as before - partly due to his movement not yet being at his former level and partly, as you surmise, he is pacing himself for the second week. It's a difficult balancing act.

Happy to see you back. We were all getting worried when you went off the air for so long.

ed251137 , 5/27/13 7:02 PM

Twenty is acting all relaxed and trying to come off as arrogant with his retarded one liners

childishgambino , 5/27/13 7:20 PM

Looks like Rafa is scared of making the semi-finals and getting another thrashing from the No.1. He tried his best to lose, too bad daniel brands is not rosol and clay doesn't encourage shot-making aggressive players over ball-fetching defensive players.

Out-hit in the winners by a journey-man? Can't think of Sampras/Federer/Djokovic being out-hit in the winners by low-ranked players so routinely and frequently.

Fedkovic23 , 5/27/13 7:25 PM

Hey fedkovic, me, that is Scoretracker, is the only nutbag allowed on tennis talk. Stop encroaching on my turf as the resident delusional asshole that everyone hates.

Scrotracker , 5/27/13 7:31 PM

Nole is the one who Pisses in his pants at the prospect of meeting an in form Rafa...that is why he tanked the match against berds#it in Rome

atul1985 , 5/27/13 7:32 PM

Not to mention dimitrov in Madrid.

atul1985 , 5/27/13 7:34 PM

Federer has lost in the 1st round of Slams, 3 times at RG, 3 times at Wimby. Novak has lost twice in the first round, both at the Australian Open. Guess which number ones have NEVER lost in the first round of a Slam? Rafa and Borg.

Shame there are no stats for overall winners hit by players in the course of their careers, but there are stats about who has been bundled out in the first round, and how many times.

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 7:34 PM

This is fedkovic10-20:

Scrotracker , 5/27/13 7:35 PM

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) does have some interesting records...

Scrotracker , 5/27/13 8:03 PM

Scrotracker, 5/27/13 7:31 PM
Scrotracker, 5/27/13 7:35 PM


I'm still laughing and maybe for the next 10 minutes!!!!

IMF???? Hahahahahahaha


Conspirator , 5/27/13 8:05 PM

Hahahah Atul, good one!
Nole is probably the only one who has absolutely no fear when facing Rafa. On the contrary :)

danica , 5/27/13 8:05 PM

aha ha ha haha haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa scrotraker...I ALMOST HIT THE FLOOR LAUGHING....ahahahhahahah so that's fedkovic ahahahahahahhahaha

Raindrops , 5/27/13 8:17 PM

Just rechecked this thread and started doing the gigglings all over again!


Conspirator , 5/27/13 8:24 PM

fedkovic, this is what happens when Rafa spanks a player

deama , 5/27/13 8:42 PM

I finally got here and read as many comment as I could.

First, welcome back to luckystar! We really were worried about you! We need you here for your tennis brain and so that there will be some great discussions! There are the usual trolls trying to trash this site, but we will have to try to counter it with great talks about the tennis.

I loved reading your analysis of what is going on with Rafa's game! Good stuff! I woke up early and turned on the tv to see that Rafa had lost the first set to this guy and was in a tight third set. I watched the last half of the third set and the fourth set. Then I went back to bed.

In a way I am not that surprised. This is Rafa's first slam of the year, it's RG where he is always the favorite and a target is on his back. I heard that this guy Brands was a big server who might cause some trouble. It appears that he did. But Rafa always finds a way.


As always loved reading your comments! Thanks for saying it!

One match at a time!

Oh my goodness, that picture has my laughing out loud! It's kind of what I had in mind with that guy!

Nativenewyorker , 5/27/13 8:42 PM

Amy Fetherolf ?@AmyFetherolf 9m
Someone is currently viewing The Changeover because they searched for "Andy Murray's buttocks."

That was fedkovic10-20.


Conspirator , 5/27/13 8:45 PM

Wow. Up until now I'd somehow completely overlooked that this was Rafa's 1st major match in 11 months.

We should cut him some slack.


Conspirator , 5/27/13 8:53 PM

Fed lost in the 1st rounds before they started rigging the draws. After they started he had a cakewalk to the quarters where when Roddick was top 8, Roddick was generally there to be thrashed. Was it a coincidence that Roddick was so often in Fed's Quarter? Of course not! It accounted for Fed's incredible semi final runs.
Once Roddick fell off, dear Fed had to face Tsonga or Berdych or Soderling and poor guy now he is on a quarter final run.
If they stop rigging his draw, the poor darling will probably lose in the first or second rounds if he had to face Gulbis or Brands or Falla or Monfils. But he is safe with guys ranked below 100 or 200 or guys aged 30+

holdserve , 5/27/13 9:22 PM

@holdserve, IQ17 has confirmed on another thread that Fed is working very hard to preserve his records, so we expect the draw rigging and unfair scheduling to continue!

rafaisthebest , 5/27/13 9:29 PM

It is becoming even more blatant as Fed is getting old and doesn't want to take any chances.
I have lost all respect for Fed and his Wimby title last year won on the back of a heavily rigged draw is really an embarrassment. Even the Fed fans were ashamed and hence the lack of extraordinary rejoicing at that time.

holdserve , 5/27/13 9:36 PM

Scrotracker, 5/27/13 7:31 PM
Scrotracker, 5/27/13 7:35 PM
I'm still laughing and maybe for the next 10 minutes!!!!
IMF???? Hahahahahahaha
Conspirator, 5/27/13 8:05 PM
You, and only you, "the attention soap opera *whore*", should find those deplorable posts funny, but sadly now you've got a large imbecilic gang following, who happen to think you're funny enough to keep them laughing for 10 minutes, by encouraging you and giving rise to affirmation of said so-called humor which gets them through rough times on this site. Drama queen in full glory, and regretfully, like follows like. Geez get a life you despicable trolls.

YOU, conspirator ARE THE ONE WHO WRITES THE POSTS under the *Scrotracker*, moniker and other monikers using the most flthy language, (the "attention whore" hashtag, in a post where you actually used your correct moniker Conspirator, is a dead give away, and testimony of what filthy language you use. Another give-away, is the fact that you automatically appear immediately (about a minute or so, the time it takes for you to reply) after I or any poster you hate, have responded to one of your addled-brain posts, which are written to antagonize or provoke us to offer a response to you. Then there ensues a back and forth with more of your imbecilic hashtags.

I can't believe that the posters who encourage you are so devoid of basic common decency and intelligence, (reason I say they are uneducated, coz an educated person would link the crazy-ass behavior in a nano-second to you, conspirator, and not the imposter moniker) except for ritb,(?) I think, who linked you to hawkeye, thank God for someone in your group who actually has some working brain cells, and can see through your OTT assinine and juvenile attempts to create such sick garbage, much more to fid them as funny. You are all to be pitied, for the fact that such stupidity will make one of you almost fall to the floor laughing.

Basic commonsense would apply here that even a onecelled any organism that's got even a one-celled brain would be able to conclude that this moron conspirator is the poster that's distorting my screen name to write all of those posts by Scrotracker, Novaksuckmydic, and others. Conspirator is capable of digging up archived nonsense and creating posts using several monikers to enable her to use any and everything she knows will entertain her gang. It would be great if she would dig up those posts wherein her main admirerr used to write those long, utterly boring and nonsensical rants with numerous meltdowns several times per day, aimed at Fed fans and her fellow Rafa fans, where in her butter-like self melted down over and over and over again.

scoretracker , 5/28/13 1:03 AM

Meltdown #78 for the month Scoretracker. Thats impressive. Keep tallying up these breakdowns, its very fun to watch :)

willmw101 , 5/28/13 1:18 AM

As per Gibbon: "To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason is like administering medicine to the dead."

If any Fed fan were to write of the draws being rigged in Nadal's favor, and all the other stuff you guys write, which has happenend so many times, and even as we speak, we'd be blasted off this site. Some of you can't take what you give but there's a surety that any retort from Fed fans will be met by tons of posts in rebuttal rife with abusive language and the usual whining. and, let's not forget the hashtags which evokes laughter that pushes some to split their underwear and almost fall to the floor. What a tragedy will that be for some here..

It appears that you guys lack the ability to address those posters you hate appropriately, i.e., by their correct moniker but take umbrage when the same is done to you?

scoretracker , 5/28/13 1:21 AM

1:18am, the meltdown is on your side which pushes you over the edge so badly that you can't resist creating another fake moniker to use some more expletives such as attention whore, per your other self, connie.

scoretracker , 5/28/13 1:24 AM

SO many conspiracy theories. Hilarious how much thought you are putting in to this.

willmw101 , 5/28/13 1:47 AM

scrotracker, 5/28/13 1:03 AM
scrotracker, 5/28/13 1:21 AM

Hahahahahahahaha OMG scrotracker T-H-A-T was hilarious!!!

I'm serious man that made me laugh harder than willmw's earlier posts that split my sides!!!

I'm not usually laughing when I type lol or haha... but yours and Willmw's posts really did send me over the edge.

I thought twingey had lost it when he said you were funny but you now give me pause for thought.

Keep it up!


Conspirator , 5/28/13 3:12 AM

Danica - no offence meant, you are a sane Nole fan and poster. I was replying to some trolls above. And yes you are right on what u said re Nole.

atul1985 , 5/28/13 5:19 AM

If the engineer with multiple degrees keeps this up she'll soon get her PhD in The Psychology of Trolling.

ed251137 , 5/28/13 5:50 AM

danica - Did you reply to my uestion on ur pred n thoughts?

Nole (Rafa) - Gulbis (Ferrer)

sanju , 5/28/13 6:00 AM

Oh gosh, another scrote meltdown. Initially it was somewhat funny but now it's just pathetic. Wonder why its fellow fedtards haven't come out to comfort it?

jean , 5/28/13 12:06 PM

jean's here! Hi jean! You see me? Hey!! jean!!! I see you!!! Helllooooo!!! jean!!!

ts38 , 5/28/13 12:33 PM

...and, let's not forget the hashtags which evokes laughter that pushes some to split their underwear and almost fall to the floor...

i must admit, this made me LOL :-)

phoenix , 5/28/13 12:54 PM

luckystar , 5/27/13 6:47 PM
Thx for your savy analysis.
I did realise in Rome just how far back he was standing when playing Berdych.
If Rafa has changed his positioning for his ROS it's because he wasn't happy with it. We know how he tends to always return short. We have to wait and see if this strategy has more benefits than drawbacks.

Shireling , 5/28/13 12:55 PM

I'm sorry for having so many meltdowns. Its just that I, Scoretracker, care so much what all you guys, my online pals, think of me. Love me?

Scrotracker , 5/28/13 1:59 PM

@jean, I must be saying and doing something right that so many of you have something to say to me. NNY wants me out of here, together wth my so-called buddies, which she has given me. connie-spator is splitting her undies due to her many hysterical laughter episodes, and being this sites self appointed hyena, ed's very enamoured with my many degrees, wishing and hoping that time had not passed her by. Life's pretty booring, coz the ppor thing and the other grannies have to look forward to are their SSA checks landing in their mailboxes. As one rocket scientist stated we need to have a job to collect SSA. Duh, we know that, but considering we are still employed, so that bit of info is kinda moot. Senility is a sad state of affairs, coz look at connie, she cannot remember what she says when she's being willmw, connie, Scrotracker and/or hawkeye, nor Novaksuckmy..... The worst is when she forgets to change her undies after splitting them from her hyena episodes.

scoretracker , 5/28/13 2:16 PM

willmw, conspirator and her other selves have ased me to let you all know she'll be taking a sabbatical coz she's out of undergarmets. The procurement list at the asylum is too full and their is a long waiting period for new clothes to be issued.

Send all donations to Creedmoor Psychiatric Cente rHospital in Queens Village, Queens, New York, United States that provides inpatient, outpatient and residential services for severely mentally ill patients.

Please be generous with your donations coz burlap i not very kind to sensitive body parts. cortisone cream is also needed.

scoretracker , 5/28/13 2:25 PM


Scrotracker , 5/28/13 2:45 PM

Conspirator was a decent poster on this site giving equal respect to both Fed and Rafa and suddenly changed a Rafa fan and Fed thrasher after getting a nice rebuke from Holdserve who accused Conspirator being a false Rafa fan. Poor Conspirator, she had to prove to Holdserve that she is a die hard Rafa fan!! This happened so months back.
HJoldserve and Conspirator may only remember the duels between them before the change over to Rafa fandom!!

velliat53 , 5/28/13 3:15 PM

scoretracker has gone crazy.

Djokogod , 5/28/13 3:18 PM

It's funny I don't read the high schooler's posts often, but they're always more about bashing Fed than praising Nadal. Reminds me of Farva from Super Troopers.

ts38 , 5/28/13 3:27 PM

Nah velliat53, has nothing to do with holdserve. Only has to do with an increase in fedbots and rafa bashing. Just giving them a taste of their own medicine (which, BTW, they should take more often).

ts38/2+1, how would you know if you don't read them often? And if you don't read them often, why read them at all?


Conspirator , 5/28/13 3:45 PM

velliat53 is resorting to machiavellian tactics!

holdserve , 5/28/13 4:00 PM

ts38/2+1, how would you know if you don't read them often? And if you don't read them often, why read them at all?

Conspirator , 5/28/13 3:45 PM

Too good!!

rafaisthebest , 5/28/13 4:28 PM

ts20 is afraid to respond as it would be admitting that he read my post AGAIN.


Conspirator , 5/28/13 4:48 PM


so, that is the queen of rafatards? I was thinking it was naive-new-boinker, all this while.


constipator has something stuck up her behind like her idol.... fortunately we don't have to see her do the ugly digging like kneedal. unfortunately her retarded tricks can only fool/amuse the rafatards who wouldn't know SOH if it slammed them on their head with a golf club!

Fedkovic23 , 5/28/13 5:02 PM

This is fedkovic10-20:
Scrotracker, 5/27/13 7:35 PM

FedTwenty, everytime you post, I start laughing again lol.

I was literally in tears yesterday thanks to willmw.

Remember, FedTwenty, BOTH hands on the keyboard!!!


Conspirator , 5/28/13 5:20 PM

I think the reason Conspirator decided he is a true blue Rafan is because he found it embarrassing being associated with delusional fedbots and loony hydras!

holdserve , 5/28/13 5:42 PM

Current ATP-rankings

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2. Murray 8 750 pts
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