• Nadal, Ferrer collide in all-Spanish French Open final

    6/8/13 6:27 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Nadal, Ferrer collide in all-Spanish French Open final Rafael Nadal is within one win of extending his Roland Garros titles record to eight. Standing in his way during Sunday's final will be fellow Spaniard David Ferrer.

    Frenchmen had quite a wild ride this year at Roland Garros, but Sunday's French Open final will be a Spanish Invitational.

    Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer are set to square off for the 24th time in their careers, and this one will come on a stage of unprecedented grandeur. They have faced each other seven times in finals (two Masters events, five 500-pointers) and on four previous occasions at Grand Slams (never later than the semis). The winner of their biggest-ever showdown will, of course, lift the Coupe de Mousquetaires.

    Nadal is dominating the head-to-head series 19-3, including 16-1 on clay. Ferrer won their first encounter on the slow stuff in 2004 prior to Nadal's current streak of 16 in a row on this surface. Overall, Nadal has won eight in a row at Ferrer's expense (all on clay) dating back to the 2011 Monte-Carlo title match. They have already met three times this season and Ferrer forced a deciding third set in each of the last two after getting blown out 6-0, 6-2 in the Acapulco final.

    This fortnight, however, Ferrer has been the one handing out beatdowns left and right. In fact, the fifth-ranked Spaniard still has not dropped a single set in the entire tournament. His scalps include Marinko Matosevic, Albert Montanes, Feliciano Lopez, Kevin Anderson, Tommy Robredo, and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Ferrer is now 37-9 for the year, which includes a pair of 250-point titles and a runner-up finish in Miami.

    For better and worse, Nadal has stolen far more headlines in his trek through the draw. The fourth-ranked Spaniard lost sets to both Daniel Brands and Martin Klizan before picking up the pace in routs of Fabio Fognini, Kei Nishikori, and Stanislas Wawrinka. That set the stage for a blockbuster showdown on Friday against Novak Djokovic, which Nadal survived 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7(3), 9-7.

    "It was a really emotional match," the No. 3 seed commented. "Both of us played for a lot of moments at a very high level. These kind of matches make the sport big. You don't have the chance to play these kind of matches every day. So when these kind of matches happen you suffer, but I really enjoy these moments."

    With what transpired on Friday, Nadal and Ferrer have something in common even though Nadal's appearance in yet another major final was mostly expected while Ferrer's was a slight surprise. Both are just happy to be in it.

    "I'm very, very happy," Ferrer assured. "This tournament is very special for me and to be the first final of Grand Slam in Roland Garros is amazing. Now I want to enjoy this moment, to rest (on Saturday), and to try my best in the final. I know he's the favorite, but I am going to be focused every point. I am not thinking about Rafael, if he's better than me or not. I will try to fight a lot and to play a very good match. After that, the match is going to depend on a lot of things."

    Almost none of those things bodes well for Ferrer's chances. What the underdog has going for him is his amazing current form plus potentially cool and rainy conditions that troubled Nadal during the first week of the event. Nadal's four-hour and 37-minute struggle does not help the seven-time Roland Garros champion, but one day of rest and his proven ability to recover well should make that a non-issue.

    Look for Nadal, who is bidding for his 12th slam title in his 17th final, to triumph in straight sets.

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Nadal for eigth RG might take 4 sets but an intersting development on the ranking as after french open ferrer will become the new no 4 in ATP rankings and an interesting thing in wimbledon seedings as explained following (in case nadal wins which is 99%)
wimbledon seeding formula :-
Add the following to a player's entry ATP points (the week before Wimbledon):

- 100% points earned for ALL grass court tournaments in the past 12 months.

- 75% points earned for BEST grass court tournament in the 12 months before that.
then we have
Nadal 6895+45+900= 7840 + 2 times the points nadal earns in halle
Ferrer 7220+680(wimbly,olympic,s-hertogenbosch )+135= 8035
the difference is 195 which means Nadal needs to make the final of Halle atlast to avoid being seeded 5th, a thing nadal is yet to do as he lost in QF last year, his only halle appearance but nonetheless Nadal might take into account this factor before deciding for participation in Halle or not (considering a long clay court season and less time in wimbledon. Halle in starting monday)

isfand , 6/8/13 8:09 AM

and the fact that whether ferrer signs up for queens or halle because in case ferrer does and makes the semifinals he will be guaranteed no 4 seeding in wimbledon (a definite advantage for him)

isfand , 6/8/13 8:12 AM

now its time to talk about ferru
your takes?

rafaelo , 6/8/13 8:51 AM

FERRER is a great player he is 3-3 on hard courts against NADAL but a dismal 1-16 on clay and to ask him for a victory against nadal THE NADAL is too much

isfand , 6/8/13 9:35 AM

We have stressed ourselvs enough before RG about seedings and it was not worth it if you look at it. Murray pulled out.

So I m not bothering at all about Wimby seedings. It will be as its meant to be.

sanju , 6/8/13 9:47 AM

but we shouldn't take it for granted ;)

rafaelo , 6/8/13 9:48 AM

Vamos Rafa!

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 9:52 AM

Ofcourse cannot take it forgranted. Not even for a minute. I bet Rafa wont ether

sanju , 6/8/13 9:58 AM

Best of five grand slam final on clay...sorry ferrer has no chance...he could also be nervous playing his first final.
I say Rafa in 4 at worst

atul1985 , 6/8/13 10:15 AM

but there is another twist to the tale nadal's point in Halle will not be added to his atp points because he has not played 3 ATP 500 (USUALLY 4 REQUIRED but nadal played MC) so nadal has to win Halle inorder to have a chance to be seeded 4 and in case ferrer wins only one match at Halle or Queens he is guarenteed seeding 4

isfand , 6/8/13 10:17 AM

Rafa's ranking at Wimby will not worry Rafa. His only concern will be to navigate the 1st week and emerge unscathed and that is the norm for Rafa in Slams. Once he gets to the 2nd week, and quarters fall in the 2 nd week, he is settled and it's the others who need to worry about him. I a looking forward to the endless gnashing of teeth post Sunday as to which quarter Rafa will fall into! After what Rafa did to Djokovic yesterday I would not be surprised to hear calls for Wimby to forget their seeding formula and just catapult Rafa to 2nd seed!

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 10:34 AM

sanju, 6/8/13 9:47 AM,

I agree! How much discussion was there about what would happen if Rafa was seeded 5th at RG and who would we want him to meet and this and that and on and on. It never came to pass! Rafa got the #4 ranking on his own.

I think right now Rafa could care less about the ranking. He wants to win RG and get his historic 8th title. After RG, Rafa can only gain points. He will have a great chance to move up in the rankings going forward.

Rafa has shown that he can play on the grass. He has been in five finals and won two titles at Wimbledon. He will deal with whatever ranking he has and whatever draw he gets.

Nativenewyorker , 6/8/13 10:37 AM

situation at championships is different, that is not RG, RG was about two players Nadal and Djokovic while championships are about 4 players Murray Djokovic Nadal Federer and 5th seeding could mean having to play all 3 simultaneously

isfand , 6/8/13 10:45 AM

Is there a more awe inspiring sight in sport than Rafa unleashing his forehand? I ask this in all honesty because I watch a lot of sport, different disciplines, and I have a hard time coming up with a vision which comes close.

It's like watching a cheetah's spring. Rafa literally uncoils, then explodes. It's unreal.

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 10:49 AM


I watched the match again on the tennis channel replay tonight. I still have it recorded, so I can watch it whenever I want. I was even more impressed by Rafa's play in the fifth set after seeing it again. He just seemed to go to a whole other level. He came up with shots that had the French crowd gasping in awe!

I think that forehand dtl did the most damage in this match. At crunch time it was Rafa's money shot. I loved how Rafa was getting good court positioning at the baseline or just inside the baseline. But he was also able to blast dtl forehand winners even from behind the baseline.

They kept showing closeups of Rafa's face. The look in his eyes was unreal! He was so intense and focused. It was like he was saying - there is no way I am losing this match! And then he'd hit another forehand winner dtl!

Rafa was like a cheetah or tiger on that court in the fifth set. He was pumping his fist and shouting to himself. He was a force of nature. I could watch it over and over!

Nativenewyorker , 6/8/13 11:01 AM

, 6/8/13 11:01 AM

, 6/8/13 10:49 AM

gree when on song, the DTL forehand and inside out FH are spectacular to watch.

The best thing aout yesterdays match was when Nole repeatedly his crushing CC BH to Rafas forehand and Rafa repeatedly hit a DTL FH winner. It happened nearly 6-7 times I guess

sanju , 6/8/13 11:08 AM

rafaelo..have u already started worrying and stressing? :-)

sanju , 6/8/13 11:24 AM

#Vamos Rafa

nadline , 6/8/13 11:33 AM

no! :D I am fine, you know I don't care if he even loses to ferru! I just don't want him to lose against nole :D
and I think rafa can handle ferru
Although there no such a winning strategy against ferru linke it was against nole ;)

rafaelo , 6/8/13 11:48 AM

I don't care if he even loses to ferru!
, 6/8/13 11:48 AM

No, he cant come so close and lose to Ferru. He simply should not. The opportunity for 8th RG is right here, right now

sanju , 6/8/13 11:55 AM

Here is a fine analysis of the tactics used by both players in the match yesterday. Any true tennis fan will enjoy reading this. The author, Juan Jose, is a self-confessed Novak fan but what I like about him is that he is also a good tennis analyst. xxv/

Choice quote:

"I also found that the idea that Djokovic would somehow win the trophy in her honor was way more problematic than it seemed, for a simple reason: it adds pressure to an already pressurized situation. Djokovic had already stated that the French Open was his main priority this year, well before Gencic passed away. By trying to ?do it for her,? Djokovic might have made himself vulnerable to troublesome thoughts when things weren?t going his way. The fear of disappointing the memory of such a crucial figure in his life, a ?second mother,? indeed, cannot possibly help but add tension and desperation in adversity.

I?ve written this before, and I?ll write it again: Rafael Nadal is the greatest tennis player I?ve ever seen. Nobody competes like him. Nobody problem-solves like him. Nobody finds ways to win big matches quite like him. And that, to me, is what tennis is all about: not an aesthetic festival, but a mental and physical challenge.

I?m pretty sure we?ll see more gifted ball-strikers in the next few years. But I don?t think we?ll see such a pure competitor like him for a long, long time. So, enjoy him while you can."

In other words, just as we speculated here on TT, at the end, Novak put too much pressure on himself by saying RG was his priority, he was going to win it for his childhood coach etc and that pressure may be what led him to start arguing with Pascal Maria at the worst possible time in the match.

But I love his final paragraph about Rafa. This coming from a Nole fan is quite an accolade, and it is spot-on.

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 12:02 PM

Rafa should play with his shield activated throught the match. He should not understimate Ferrer because he (ferrer) has yet to lose a set reaching the final, that means the guy is playing brilliant .

Owned or not owned, Rafa must give his 100% to assure the cup is his.

Raindrops , 6/8/13 12:07 PM

rafa usually chooses to receive! but by the way he was serving for closing the sets or the match! I think if he wins the toss against ferrer he should choose to serve.

rafaelo , 6/8/13 12:19 PM

Rafa will not underestimate Ferrer, he does not do underestimate like you know who said that winning the SF in the top half of the draw was as good as winning the final.

nadline , 6/8/13 12:46 PM

It's part of his repertoire to elect receiving.

Raindrops , 6/8/13 12:47 PM

Ferrer kinda lost steam in 3rd sets of Madrid and Rome.

In Madrid he totally ran out of gas, in Rome he was still fighting

So in best of 5 against Rafa, he will need immense stamina to outlast Rafa

1st set is key..if Rafa wins 1st, he may run with it. If Ferrer wins 1st, we may have a match

BTW its cold and rainy tomm (:-

sanju , 6/8/13 12:50 PM

Rafa has handled that kind of weather already last year and let's hope no heavy down pour tomorrow so the match will be completed as scheduled.

By the way, is there any news from Rafa camp if our guy will enter Halle or Queens?

Raindrops , 6/8/13 12:55 PM

Rafa has pulled out of Halle supposedly, he wont play either

sanju , 6/8/13 1:14 PM

Rafa on court practice today morning..Already Rafa? U should have rested a bit 1

sanju , 6/8/13 1:15 PM

Rafa is signed to Halle and I'm sure he play a couple of rounds there just to get some competitive grass under his feet. I don't think he'll go all out to win it.

nadline , 6/8/13 1:16 PM

Reports say Rafa is out of Halle:

RT @TennisReporters: "No surprise but Nadal OUT of Halle: 'Transition to grass tough, have had hectic few months, need to readjust schedule' "

Disappointing but I think this is a wise move. He has played a lot of tennis already and RG has been gruelling and you can be sure Ferru will not cut him any slack tomorrow. I support Rafa in this, one match at a time and choose your battles.

Of course it makes transitioning to Wimby a little more difficult but Rafa has to take the long view. Is Djokovic playing a lead up grass tournament, does anyone know?

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 1:24 PM

Djoko doesnt play ITB, he used to play Queens but I guess in past 2 years he hasn't

sanju , 6/8/13 1:34 PM

Nadal pulls out of Halle will be seeded 5th for wimbledon

isfand , 6/8/13 1:36 PM

@sanju ; Rafa knows it can rain today as well and he might not get chance to do practive late in the afternoon. So he might have decided to practice early.

@rafaisthebest : I don't think Nole is playing a lead up and Nole is following this practice for last 2-3 years (i.e. no lead ups before Wimby).

fedexal , 6/8/13 1:36 PM

Thanks fedexal..makes sense

sanju , 6/8/13 1:41 PM

rafaisthebest, 6/8/13 12:02 PM
thank you for the link and the choice quote
It is what everyone can see if they let themselves look without prejudice
It is what made me a fan of Rafa within the first 20 minutes of chancing upon him (semi RG 05 against Roger)
It is one of the main things that is so inspiring in the best sense of the word about this young man, to young people and not so young people

but of course, with prejudice for eye-glasses, some say his game is boring :-)

chlorostoma , 6/8/13 1:49 PM

Rafa really does need a break. To play 9 finals in the space of 5 months is gruelling. It would be counter productive to keep pushing himself.

nadline , 6/8/13 2:03 PM

RT @NeilHarmanTimes: "No Rafael Nadal in Halle next week. Time to rest and refresh for Wimbledon. Sensible decision"

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 2:10 PM

thanks for the info.

Raindrops , 6/8/13 2:17 PM

Brad Gilbert ?@bgtennisnation 5m If Rafa wins tomorrow he will have 7000 points on the year all most 2000 lead on Djoker for points in 2013 but yet will drop to #5 on monday

sanju , 6/8/13 2:26 PM

Nadal in press says he's a little tired after yesterday but he'll recover. Practice went well

sanju , 6/8/13 2:27 PM

So Rafa now has 3 classics with Fed in GS - Wimby 07,08 and AO 09 and 2 with Djoko - AO 2012, RG 2013

sanju , 6/8/13 2:39 PM

RT @rolandgarros: "Tsonga: "I was surprised by how fast Ferrer moves around the court. He returned really well too." #RG13"

Is he serious? He didn't know how fast Ferru is on court?

Colour me gobsmacked...........

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 2:41 PM

Nadal: "I was able to accept the difficult moments during the 1st week. that helped me get here. #RG13?

sanju , 6/8/13 2:48 PM

Rafa on Facebook:

"I won't be able to come to Halle this year, after these past months and all the matches I have been able to play my doctors have recommended to rest after Roland Garros and start after a few days my preparation to play on grass courts. We all know the transition is not easy and after these past months I have to approach this in a different way. I am very sorry for my fans in Germany and in particular in Halle since the welcome I always had there was amazing and last year, organisers also made me feel very special. They have made a very special tournament and it will be a success. I hope I can return to play next year for sure."

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 2:52 PM

He has learnt from last years episode ..Good decision

And in a way its good..He never plays the grass warm up would have surely hampered his finals streak :-)

sanju , 6/8/13 2:56 PM

And won't bother watching...
But Nevertheless congrats to P&B and his remarkable comeback!
I'll ignore the gossip and the doubters (although i'll never be given credit for doing so).
To say, well, just amazing and bravo to go along with it!
Can't say yesterday was never in doubt, not by a long shot
But Novak like Rafa before him should realise that it takes more than 2 cracks at the whip to dislodge a King from his throne.....

Twinge , 6/8/13 3:32 PM

Ah, Twingey, thank you for your generous acknowledgment of Rafa's feat to date. However, let's wait until after tomorrow evening to see whether he has indeed accomplished what he set out to do: win RG for the 8th time.

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 3:38 PM

Rafa in 4. The first set going to Ferru.

Btw, 70% of rain tomorrow. Seems we are going to see the match in pieces.

Emiliano55 , 6/8/13 3:50 PM

Indeed, or perhaps even in 3?
Despite a possible 'finest moment' from the terrier.
I'm not personally expecting a 'Red Wedding' tomorrow, of all occasions.
That's for sure!

Twinge , 6/8/13 3:59 PM

Nadal out of Halle

RickyDimon , 6/8/13 4:29 PM

^^yesterday's news....


rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 4:45 PM f-press.html
rafa's presser transcript

rafaelo , 6/8/13 5:12 PM

Lindt-all hacked Ricky's account.


Conspirator , 6/8/13 5:18 PM

We know womens tennis is in shambles when a 31 year old Serena Williams can beat the hell out of everyone


Atleast Maria made somewhat a match of it rather than being blown with the wind :-)

sanju , 6/8/13 5:30 PM

Is Patrick Serenas coach her alleged lover too? Read that on twitter

sanju , 6/8/13 5:32 PM

Serena did what Roger has still been unsuccessful - getting 2 RG crowns

sanju , 6/8/13 5:34 PM

Oh sanju, leave the gossip to TMZ and the trolls.............


rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 5:38 PM

Who is TMZ?

sanju , 6/8/13 5:41 PM

Also interesting point is Serena won her 1st slam in 99, today is 2013..14 years and shes still in contention. She went almost out of contention from 04-07 I guess , won a slam in 07 and then again did not win anything for sumtime and then sprung back in 2009 again and is going strong except that 1 year she was out.

Her career has been fulls of crests and troughs, never a consistently top player. But what a champion she is!!

sanju , 6/8/13 5:45 PM

sanju, I don't think women's tennis is in shambles. From last year, it has been doing well. Federer won Wimbledon at age 31 beating both Djoko and Muzza. Would you say men's tennis was in shambles then?
Before 2011, WTA was in shambles but currently it has 3 great consistent players, Serena, Azarenka and Sharapova and equivalents of Berdych, Tsonga, Delpo headcases/ inconsistent brilliance like Stosur, Kvitova and Na.

holdserve , 6/8/13 5:48 PM

^^the final was not bad Holdserve,
But you of all people should know when a tournament is in a (fairly) weak era

Twinge , 6/8/13 6:03 PM

@sanju, google TMZ........

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 6:13 PM

sanju now I am getting worried :D

rafaelo , 6/8/13 6:15 PM

RT @dougrobson: "Serena's average serve speed (170km) in final was same as Ferrer's in yesterday's SF (170km). #rg13"


rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 6:25 PM

sanju now I am getting worried :D
, 6/8/13 6:15 PM

20 hours left yesterdays match again to get the adrenaline rush ..see a nice movie..listen to music :-)

sanju , 6/8/13 6:36 PM

women tennis is very slow and boring and has no player with the quality of game even close to federer nadal djokovic and murray

isfand , 6/8/13 6:39 PM

, 6/8/13 5:48 PM

Sharapova does not have a chance to beat Serena,she will have her for breakfast, lunch n dinner at the same time.

Azarenka CAN but only on HC, def not on grass n clay .

What I meant to say was Serena is so above the rest , its laughable that a 31 year old can win 3/last 4 slams..Roger will never be able to do that..that is he difference

Yes the Azarenka-Maria and few other matches can be competitive and go either way..but the final winner is usually 1 person and as Serena says her biggest opponent is the lady in the mirror (she herself)

sanju , 6/8/13 6:40 PM

I only watch WTA matches when Serena is involved, have no time for the screeching Barbie dolls.........

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 6:46 PM

The ever humble #Rafa: "I don't feel like a favourite - I feel like a finalist."

David Ferrer: "Defeating Rafa is very difficult on any surface; it's even worse on clay. I'm going to try to play a beautiful match

Federer and Haas are playing doubles together in Halle

sanju , 6/8/13 6:54 PM

Kim seems to love Rafa a lot, always supports him in her tweets

Kim Clijsters ?@Clijsterskim 3m Just got home from brunch.Amazing effort from Serena !Good stuff from Maria and Already looking forward to watching Rafa trying to win nr 8.

sanju , 6/8/13 6:57 PM

they will lose after 2nd or 3rd match

isfand , 6/8/13 6:58 PM

Good interview from Toni talking aout the journey from Feb.

Rafaelo - He used word problems yesterday , he explains here what problms

Toni Nadal believes a Rafael Nadal win in the Roland Garros final on Sunday against David Ferrer could be considered his nephew?s greatest success to date considering everything they had to overcome to return to a Major final.

After returning from a career-threatening knee injury which sidelined Nadal for seven months and forced him to miss the US and Australian Opens, the Spaniard is now back in a Major final following a victory over one of his greatest rivals, Novak Djokovic, who had most recently beaten the clay court master in Monte Carlo, ending his eight-year-reign in the Principality.

When asked whether an eighth Roland Garros triumph would be Nadal?s most prized moment, Toni said: ?Maybe yes. Because this year is special for us.

?I don?t know why we are here. I think that Rafael has a very strong mentality and he decided to try to be here. In Sao Paulo, or in Vina del Mar, we had so many problems and we thought that it would be very difficult to be again here in the final. And now we are here and it?s unbelievable for us.

?I thought it would be very difficult to be at the top again because the movement was not good, he had problems in his knee and altogether we had doubts whether we can go or not. And now we are here and we are very happy.

?I wouldn?t have believed it if someone told me six months ago that we would be here in the final. When all the things run normally good, I know that it is very difficult for us to be in the final. So when we have many problems, in January or February, for us we were happy that we can play tournaments, to be one the circuit and to be one of the players.?

Toni explained how it was the Acapulco final against Ferrer that was the real turning point for Nadal and that is when they really believed the 11-time Grand Slam champion could be back competing against the best in the world.

He said before that Ferrer match, which Nadal won 6-0, 6-2, they weren?t even sure if they would go to Indian Wells, but after such a comprehensive performance the Mallorcan went on to win in California, Barcelona, Madrid and Rome and has a shot at the title in Paris.

Toni revealed how Nadal shed a few tears of joy after his win over Djokovic on Friday, but insists that Sunday?s final against Ferrer is more important for them.

He said: ?Sunday?s match is much more bigger for us. Today I told Rafael ?it?s a shame that today we are very happy but tomorrow we have to forget this and we are worried about the next match?,? said the Mallorcan coach.

?This match was important for us but it?s not the same as the final, the final is so much more important.?

When asked whether Djokovic is the toughest opponent ever for Nadal on clay, the 52-year-old added: ?Yes I think at the moment he is the toughest opponent on clay. But in another time , Coria was very difficult, or Federer in Rome, Hamburg or Madrid, or David Ferrer was difficult too.?

sanju , 6/8/13 7:04 PM

And remember guys Toni said before RG that the 3 favs for French are Djoko, Ferrer, Rafa in no order and come to think of it, he was so right.

sanju , 6/8/13 7:07 PM

I agree with Uncle Toni, this RG is more important for Rafa than last year's..........

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 7:11 PM

That win over Djokovic puts Nadal into his 17th Grand Slam final, putting him level with Rod Laver in fourth place on the all-time list.

Rafa win over Novak in RG 2013 semi though very similar to AO 2012 final to the way it played out , also had similarity to Wimby 2008 historic win over Fed.: Nadal should've won in straights. Then in 4. Ended up having to win it 9-7 in the fifth.

sanju , 6/8/13 7:18 PM

Enough with the mystical analogies, sanju. You're

Enough with the mystical analogies sanju, you're beginning to sound like a jilted Fedfan. Rafa's match has absolutely no resemblance to any match gone by.........this is now, that was then.............

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 7:28 PM

Im not a Fed fan

What is wrong in what I wrote? There are parallels , boh are historic matches and I am just stating the parallels. Cmon, correct me if I am wrong. Shouldn't Rafa have won tha in 3 too, there wa a rain delay which helped Roger settle, Rafa had mach points in 4th and couldn't convert and it was 9-7 in 5th.

You are like after my case today..haha

sanju , 6/8/13 7:31 PM

sanju, Fedfans are using that "similarity" with the Wimby campaign to conclude that Novak will win RG next year, just as Rafa beat Fed the following year. All too pat, don't you think?

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 7:36 PM

sanju thanks for the great interview
but i have my last exam for this semester! so I can't do these things, I have to study ;)

rafaelo , 6/8/13 7:42 PM

BTW wat are the odds tomm? Anyone knows?

sanju , 6/8/13 7:46 PM

, 6/8/13 7:36 PM

Well RITB, even if Novak wins next year, so what? If Rafa wins tomm, he would have made history anyway. He anyways will lose 1 day, he cant keep winning at RG

BTW you got me wrong, I did not compare it with Wimby 2007 where Fed beat Rfa. I compared it with 2008 where Rafa beat Fed. That match and yesterdays match also had parallels.

sanju , 6/8/13 7:51 PM

but i have my last exam for this semester! so I can't do these things, I have to study ;)
, 6/8/13 7:42 PM

So you love to trouble yourself ? You as is have exam stress and on top of that you taking truckloads of Rafa stress..Ouch!! And btw if you have exams, how are you finding so much time to watch Rafa matches? :-) I hope you are doing fine in your exams.

sanju , 6/8/13 7:53 PM

sanju, I don't want Rafa beaten at RG. I want him to retire unbeaten at RG.

rafaisthebest , 6/8/13 7:54 PM

I was off for 4 days between my last exam and this one ;) so I could watch this ;)

rafaelo , 6/8/13 7:55 PM

what are the experts picks?

rafaelo , 6/8/13 8:02 PM

sanju, I don't want Rafa beaten at RG. I want him to retire unbeaten at RG.
, 6/8/13 7:54 PM

Yes understand where you coming from and your emotions , but if he plays for another 2-3 years, a loss will come. And he has already been beaten at RG by Robin, so he anyways wont be unbeaten.

sanju , 6/8/13 8:03 PM

what are the experts picks?
, 6/8/13 8:02 PM

Mostly Rafa in 3 or at max 4 all over.

Not that it matters 1 bit even.

sanju , 6/8/13 8:05 PM

Funny article guys by Pseudo Rafa..have a laugh inking-the-night-before-the-final/

sanju , 6/8/13 8:45 PM

I am not surprised to come here and read that Rafa is out of Halle. I have wanted him to skip either Queens or Halle for a while now. I think it's just to much tennis. I know that in the past Rafa has said that it's important to play in a warm up tournament before Wimbledon so that he can transition to the grass more easily. However it's more important for him to take these strategic breaks for the sake of his knee.

Nole hasn't played in a warm up tournament, yet he managed to win Wimbledon in 2011 and get to the semis last year. I think this makes perfect sense. Rafa has played a lot in a compressed amount of time. It may mean that he will struggle in the early rounds at Wimbledon to find his form, but it's really the most reasonable thing to do.

I was thinking last night and found it kind of absurd that the pseudo Fed/Nole fans were going after Rafa for not thrashing Nole in the semis. First, they were the ones who said that Nole would destroy Rafa or the one expression that stood out to me - slaughter the pig from KMA. Disgusting! So they expected this match to be a very one sided. We know that it was highly competitive.

So they think that Rafa played badly because he couldn't blow Nole off the court. I find that funny considering what happened at the 2012 AO. That was hard court, Nole's best surface. So what happened? It took almost six hours for Nole to beat Rafa. Also, Rafa was up 4-2 in that fifth set, only two games from winning after making a stirring comeback to win the fourth set. So how does one justify Nole having such a tough time beating Rafa in a hard court slam?

I think Rafa and Nole have a history of these tightly contested, grueling matches. Anyone remember the 2009 Madrid semifinal? Rafa won but at a terrible cost to his knees.

I just think it's interesting that when you have blinders on or hate a player with so much vengeance, then you can't see reality.

Nativenewyorker , 6/8/13 9:26 PM

Some people's dislike for Rafa is greater than any other tennis related thought they might have.
One thing is to support your favorite player and another is to make ridiculously delusional statements the likes of which we've had to read here in the last weeks... like Novak tanking Madrid (after a dog-fight with Dimitrov) or that he deliberately gave away the third set in the RG final (in which -btw- he got breadsticked, just for the record) so he would be stronger for the end of the match..... I mean, people... please have these thoughts in your heads... but keep them there, it's just embarassing to read.
The truth of the matter is that Rafa and Ferrer are playing the final on Sunday so, if they are boring to you because of their tennis, or because they are Spanish or because their English isn't up to your standards, well so much the better if you don't see the final - nobody really cares, because the rest of the tennis world is watching.

Shireling , 6/8/13 11:41 PM


So well said! It is disturbing when some come on here and make blatantly false statements that are at odds with reality. Then there are these bizarre theories about Nole saving himself for RG, tanking or not pushing himself to win at Madrid or Rome so that he could be ready at RG! Honestly, I don't get where this comes from at all.

I did read comments online here and elsewhere to the effect that Nole gave away the third set to be stronger for the fourth set. That would be taking quite a risk. Why would a player want to battle back from two sets down in a slam? That makes no sense to me. I think Nole had a dip in form and Rafa regained the initial control he had in the match in that third set.

Having watched the entire match at least two times now, it was clear to me that Rafa came out playing better than Nole for the first set and a half of the match. Then it seemed that Nole lifted his game to break back in that second set and then break again to take the set. But his level seemed to drop off and Rafa stepped up.

When Rafa was serving for the match in the fourth set, I am not sure what happened but it seemed that he just wasn't as aggressive. Rafa said he was serving against the wind, but he was only two points from winning. I did think that Nole again lifted his game and started being much more aggressive coming to net and taking it to Rafa. Nole outplayed Rafa in the tb.

The fifth set was Rafa's finest hour. He just was not going to lose. He went to a whole other place and started making insane shots that had the French crowd gasping. Watching that fifth set was a great experience. Rafa had this look in his eyes that I haven't seen for a long time. He was not going down!

I appreciate your sentiments about the final. If some don't like the players and think they are boring, then just don't watch! Simple!

Nativenewyorker , 6/9/13 12:10 AM

It was John McEnroe himself who said that he gave up on the third set to save himself for the rest of the match. I myself was baffled at his play in the third set. The second game of the set at break point Nadal circled a mark on the Djoker's ball saying it was out. Pascal looked at the mark, shrugged his shoulders, then pointed out. Hawkeye indicated it was in. Djoker looked surprised and the crowd jeered a little and he threw up his shoulders. After that his focus left him. I don't know if he's really that sensitive but it seems every time the crowd goes against him it deeply affects him. That's something he has to work on.

chr18 , 6/9/13 2:23 AM

Men's final preview from (not)Roger Federer... e-mens-final/


Conspirator , 6/9/13 3:48 AM

For once I agree with chr18. Novak has shown disturbing signs of lack of concentration during this clay court season. This was why he lost in Madrid and Rome, not some fancy notions of "saving himself for RG". Some pundits are even speculating he is reverting to pre-2011 mentality levels.

rafaisthebest , 6/9/13 5:43 AM

At the rate Spanish players are dominating tennis, Fed and Nole will probably have to learn Spanish to be considered tennis players. Hey KMA KMA! Roasting your goat or ass or what?

holdserve , 6/9/13 6:05 AM

Today's final is highly unlikely to take place due to the heavy rain forcast.

antony , 6/9/13 6:16 AM

^^^We can all assume it will be raining on Rafa's parade then!

rafaisthebest , 6/9/13 6:23 AM

it will ruin my schedule :( I can not watch it if it will be on Monday!

rafaelo , 6/9/13 7:19 AM

Aww rafaelo :-). Good naa, u will be spared of the nerves..

I hate it when a match cant be played start to finish, I mean thats real test of a players fitness and calibre, not to take breaks, regroup. And ofcoursenot to add agonising wait for us to keep watching.

sanju , 6/9/13 7:25 AM

Aww rafaelo :-). Good naa, u will be spared of the nerves..

I hate it when a match cant be played start to finish, I mean thats real test of a players fitness and calibre, not to take breaks, regroup. And ofcoursenot to add agonising wait for us to keep watching.

sanju , 6/9/13 7:26 AM

holdserve, 6/9/13 6:05 AM,

KMA is the one who said that Nole would slaughter the pig! Yes, how is that going for you now, KMA?

Notice that KMA is nowhere to be found. That's what happens when you run off your mouth and make a complete fool of yourself.

I am hearing discouraging news about the weather for tomorrow online. Not looking good. I don't want to see them come out and start and then stop for repeated rain delays. If it does get rained out, then Rafa has another day of rest. He's not playing Halle, so he doesn't have to worry about being at another tournament.

Nativenewyorker , 6/9/13 7:26 AM

if it's due to be played on monday, what time will it be? same time as today?

rafaelo , 6/9/13 7:29 AM

if it's due to be played on monday, what time will it be? same time as today?
, 6/9/13 7:29 AM

No much earlier. Last year the 4th set was resumed at 1. So I guess it will be the same. I think they will choose a time they have a good non rain window

sanju , 6/9/13 7:32 AM

Rafa handled David very easily in last years RG Semi and this year at Mexico.. He literally struggled to put him away at Madrid and Rome. So there is definately something that David has done in his game plan vs Rafa that has stretched Rafa and caught him unawares. I hope Rafa and Toni take note of it and plan accordingly.

Rafa has to be very aggressive and play inside the baseline and dictate play because David will be aggressive def in the 1st 2 sets.

sanju , 6/9/13 7:36 AM

it's very bad:(

rafaelo , 6/9/13 7:39 AM

Agree, Rafa needs to start off super aggressive. It he can get a 2 sets to love lead then he's got because Ferru tends to fade after that. The last thing Rafa needs is another 5 setter...........

I would not mind if the match was postponed to Monday as this would give Rafa more recovery time.

rafaisthebest , 6/9/13 8:17 AM

^^^^ Moreover Ferrer would like a damp day and stop start kind of match so that Rafa does not get into any kind of rythm . Tomorrow is predicted to be sunny. So, Rafa won't mind playing tomorrow.

fedexal , 6/9/13 8:42 AM

rafaisthebest, 6/9/13 5:43 AM,

I don't think that Nole went away in the third set because of one bad call that cost him one game. Losing the entire set? That could be a mental thing. I don't agree with JMac saying that he was saving himself for the fourth set. There's no reason why Nole would want to go down to Rafa two sets to one, not on clay at RG. We saw just how tough it still is to do that.

I do agree that he lost at Madrid and Rome because of a mental loss of concentration. We had this discussion about a week or so ago on one of the topic threads. At Madrid Nole let the crowd get to him and then shouted obscenities at them in Serbian. Once the crowd really turned on him after he took a MTO, then he really seemed to lose focus.

In Rome Nole was in total control of the match for almost two sets against Berdy. But when he served for the match Berdy broke him and it went to a tb with Berdy winning. From that point on Berdy did step it up and play much better but Nole just seemed to not be there at all mentally.

I think this inconsistency we are seeing with Nole may indicate a loss of mental strength. Even in his loss to Delpo at I/W, he was up 3-0 or 3-1 in that third set. He seemed to be in control but then Delpo broke back and then broke him again to win the match.

In 2012 when Nole wasn't playing at the great level he was in 2011, he was still winning matches with his mental toughness. I remember talking about how impressed I was with this quality. He could win matches even when he wasn't playing his best. Now it's different.

Rafa was the mentally stronger player in that fifth set. Nole lost it because he argued with the chair umpire over the court conditions. He is now sometimes acting the way he did pre-2011. I don't know if it's burnout of the pressure of being #1 or the pressure he put on himself to win RG.

Nativenewyorker , 6/9/13 8:42 AM

Nativenewyorker , 6/9/13 8:42 AM

I have been giving this some thought. While I categorically disagree that Novak tanked in Madrid Rome to conserve energy for RG, I have been wondering about his "mental walk-about" in the 3rd set in the RG semi. It just seemed strange.

Consider this: pre-match, Novak said he was ready for the semi final, that he was for a 5-setter. I took this to mean he is ready mentally and physically. He also said the MC win would give him the mental edge going into the semi.

In the post semi presser, Novak said he was down physically in the 3rd set. We know he lost that set.

It therefore is not unreasonable to assume he must have thought, "Hey, if I can get to the 4th set and snatch that, I have a chance because Rafa said he was tired in the 2nd set in Monte Carlo. So, if we go to the 5th, Rafa will be physically pooped and I can win".

Remember, this is a Rafa who is playing his first Slam post a 7-months break off. He has had a problem with stamina during his matches since he came back and Rafa has been open about his curtailed practice schedule pre-RG.

So, if Novak used Monte Carlo as a reference point, as he openly said he did, then it is not unreasonable to assume he gambled that Rafa was still having stamina issues and would not last through a 5-setter. And the fact that Novak specifically mentioned pre-match that he was ready for a 5-setter leads me to believe this was a part-strategy, to take Rafa to 5 sets and pick him off from there.

I think the fact that Rafa showed resilience instead of tiredness in the 5th set is what started to frustrate Novak. If you watch the 5th set again, Rafa seemed to be fresh and getting stronger, both mentally and physically. It was as if he was saying to Novak, "Let's go, I am ready to be here all night if you are!" This is what broke Novak's resolve I believe. The way he caved in that final game, his body language, getting broken to love to lose the match, that was a man who was beaten.

This issue of the court needing watering was not the issue, that was a red herring. It makes no sense to bring up this issue at such a critical juncture of the match. Rafa had the scoreboard advantage because he served first in the set, so any lapse in concentration from Novak to get broken, he would lose the match. Surely with all his experience he new that? Ah, ah, this was a ploy to distract Rafa, a ploy born of frustration at Rafa not showing signs of fatigue.

I am glad Rafa won on 5 not less. This sends a message to the locker room that Rafa the mental and physical wall is back.

rafaisthebest , 6/9/13 9:08 AM

^^^2nd paragraph should read, "......he was ready for a 5-setter."

rafaisthebest , 6/9/13 9:09 AM

NNY..RITB..I wont beat the length of your posts but few things

If a point can make a player lose focus and the entire set, that player is not worth being world No 1. So I just dont take it that a point caused Novaks level to drop and fade in 3rd.

Hawk eye showed ball to just clip and touch as the knowledgeable chr is telling us, but there is a reason hawkeye is not used on clay because gauging the mark of a ball on clay is better and more fool proof. Hawkeye is all about technology trying to project a balls trajectory, can hawkeye take into account factors like wind etc at a particular moment. So let is cut this crap that the ball clipped the line. If the umpire saw the ball was out, means it was. Even hawk eye showed the ball to be 98% out, so with the wind, it would have been surely 100% OUT.

Yes its inexplicable that Novaks level dropped a lot in 3rd and he faded away but maybe he was just tired after fighting hard to win the 2nd. The mental stress just caused his phyical level to drop. I think his mind was stressed and he just did not have the focus to fight in that set and hence decided to not fight and save hi energy rather than expending energy now and anyways lose the set and running out of gas later.

Did you see how hard Novak fought to win that 1 game in 3rd so that he serves ahead in 4th? It was a bit of a tactic too.

Rafa clearly caught Novak unawares in 5th, no doubt. Once Novak broke Rafa in 5th, I am sure he assumed Rafa will fade because of 3 things - He could not serve out the match, He has not played a 5 setter since ages and his fitness is questionable, Novak has beaten him 8/last 11 times they played and he expected that to weigh on Rafas mind.

The fact that Rafa continued to fight, got his aggressive mode on, started blasting winners, hitting DTL monster forehands, got inside the court, started hitting CC backhands all took Novak by surprise and he knew Rafa will not fade away, he will have to slog it out and beat him. That is where the entire mental pressure started building up, he let it affect him and it manifested itself as an outlet by trying to argue with chair umpire about court conditions etc. He was mentally defalted at 7-7 no doubt about it and the way he lost the last 2 games showed it all.

sanju , 6/9/13 9:34 AM

Oops I maybe did equal length of your posts..haha..but I had those points to make.

sanju , 6/9/13 9:35 AM

And let me tell you..Rafa Novak matches are going to be WAR going forth. Dont expect this rivalry to be Like Fedal where Rafa beat Fed like 70% times and Fed did not try much to get around his mental block, he always gave in. The rivalry was very nice off court too - aall goody goody and brotherly :-)

Rafa got beaten by Novak 6 times in 2011, he fought back hard to almost beat Novak in 2012 final on his strongest surface which kinda eased the demons, he beat him then 3 times on clay (a GS final at that with all the pressure on Rafa to get to No 7) and the demons were out. This 5 setter again after injury in a critical stage is a very key match. This match I see is going to give Rafa the confidence that he can take it to Nole and will free him of all the demons completely, regarding Nole I think he will be further charged when he plays Rafa next . Rafa has denied Nole his precious slam twice in a row, he will have just blood in his eyes whenever he plays Rafa going forth. I expect this rivalry to be very intense, very physical and ruthless on court (off court I dont expect nasty statements to be made though, def not Rafa and I dont think Nole will either)

sanju , 6/9/13 9:45 AM

@sanju, I think you jus beat us on word count, if not on post length!

I agree that arguing about whether that ball was in or out because Hawk-eye showed it was in is moot. Hawk-eye is not 100% accurate, the technology is not like that. It is the best estimation of where the ball landed. So when you are talking about margins less than 2%, then it's either or............therefore I am inclined to go with the Umpire's decision, end of.

The same goes with the argument that Novak was robbed when the Umpire gave Rafa the point after Novak touched the net. It's the rule, no ifs no buts. What to me was appalling was Novak arguing with the Umpire about that! He hit an overheard smash, the ball bounced once inside the court and was on its way out when he keeled half over the net BEFORE the ball's second bounce. That results in an immediate point forfeit, everybody who plays tennis knows that so for him, a tennis professional, to then argue about the application of the rule was unbelievable.

I for one am waiting with baited breath to see how Novak responds. He now knows that Rafa is back, physically and mentally. Wimby can't come soon enough!

rafaisthebest , 6/9/13 10:04 AM

Jim Courier and Christopher Clarey reviewed on tape Rafa's first RG win against Puerta in 2005, compared it with the way he plays now and Jim Courier's verdict: Rafa is a much improved player now.

" What is clearer to Courier is that Nadal is a much better tennis player now than in 2005.

?Without a shadow of a doubt,? Courier said. "

And yet there are people out there who say Rafa's game has deteriorated..........

I agree with Courier, btw............

rafaisthebest , 6/9/13 10:17 AM

I for one am waiting with baited breath to see how Novak responds. He now knows that Rafa is back, physically and mentally. Wimby can't come soon enough!
, 6/9/13 10:04 AM

He will respond well and against Rafa as I said above, WARRRRRRRRRRR

sanju , 6/9/13 10:18 AM

This thread is about the final between Rafa and David it's not about the SF, so please don't spoil it by speculating about how the rivalry is going to move on from Rafa's defeat of Nole.


nadline , 6/9/13 10:31 AM

Its raining in Paris right now. I doubt that we will see the winner by end of today given the forecast is very unpromising.

fedexal , 6/9/13 10:33 AM

@ritb and sanju,

I was going to post my response to your great comments, but then read the comment @ 10:31 AM.

Many topic threads go off in different directions. I was enjoying the discussion, but I am done now.

Nativenewyorker , 6/9/13 10:41 AM

, 6/9/13 10:31 AM

Ahh nadline, you may have a point but you can be more polite. No one has an intention to spoil any thread. Better choice of words would have been more appreciated :-)

NNY - You can still respond so that I can hear what you ahve to say, maybe we can close it with that discussion.


sanju , 6/9/13 10:44 AM

There is a live thread called 'Nadal defeats Djokovic in French Open epic' so there are no excuses for going off topic on the match preview thread.

nadline , 6/9/13 10:46 AM

sanju, all you have to do is go to the other thread and continue your discussion.

nadline , 6/9/13 10:49 AM

you can write about it till the cows come home - fence with all the arguments at your disposal but I'll tell you, Novak did not tank the third set. He was overplayed by a better player.
Any player who deliberately tanks a set in a GS final should have his playing license suspended.

Shireling , 6/9/13 10:49 AM

Djok didn't tank the third set, he merely ran out of gas, due to the energy he spent winning the second.

Now, back on topic, hopefully they postpone the match until Monday. Had a look at the current weather forecast and it is set to get worse by the time they are scheduled to play. Not fun for te spectators or players

isabeau77 , 6/9/13 10:55 AM

Thanks @nny, and @sanju. I too was enjoying our discussion but @nadline's intervention has just clarified it for me.

I am done on TT. There clearly is no moderation and posters feel they have to step in and be the moderators!

Done. Bye, thanks.

rafaisthebest , 6/9/13 10:55 AM

, 6/9/13 10:55 AM

Cmon RITB. Dont be upset. We can and will post about tennis . As long as there is no trolling, there is no issue. The fact that you were enjoying the discssion is BIGGER than anyones intervention.

This site is no posters kingdom and there is no self appointed moderator.

Cheryl/Ricky are only moderators. If anyone has any issue reading, they can choose to close their eyes and not read .

sanju , 6/9/13 11:13 AM

Start STOP tennis is bad..Hope they postpone it to tomorrow then if its gonna be interrupted.

I remember the same discussions during Rafa Soderling final in 2010, that match did get played n finished on same day.

sanju , 6/9/13 11:16 AM

All I'm saying is, it's easier to keep to the subject even though it's not always possible. What's the point of speculating about the upcoming match on the Match Report thread of the SF then discussing Rafa and Nole on the Match Preview thread about the final?

I am not trying to moderate anyone, I just think that it's hard to follow the trend if we go off on a tangent talking about something else especially as there is a live thread to talk about Nadal and Djokovic.

I'm sure no one would want just one thread were we can all say what ever we want.

nadline , 6/9/13 11:20 AM

everybody has gone?

rafaelo , 6/9/13 1:13 PM

Stay focused, be confident and fight bravely, Rafa!


Augustina08 , 6/9/13 1:33 PM

everybody has gone?
, 6/9/13 1:13 PM

Nervous all of a sudden. Chasing history, suddenly grapped wih nerves (:-

sanju , 6/9/13 1:38 PM

Does anyone think Ferrer can take a set?

rbennett , 6/9/13 1:39 PM

yes I think he CAN! he took sets in both madrid and rome!

rafaelo , 6/9/13 1:40 PM

ritb has left the building but she'll be back. Well, I hope she'll be back.


nadline , 6/9/13 1:42 PM

the double match is over, and there is no rain yet!

rafaelo , 6/9/13 1:47 PM

weather network predicts 'close to 1 mm' of rain. Does not sound like so much that the match will need two days. They could do the wise thing and cover the court for a while if and when it starts to get too damp, and wait out the rain delay then if needed.

chlorostoma , 6/9/13 2:02 PM

rbennett, I think predictions are a waste of time. rafaelo, whatever happened in Madrid and Rome happened in Madrid and Rome. The logistics and dynamics in a tennis match are such that predictions are simply guess work, they have a value.

As Rafa says, predictions disappear in the wind.

nadline , 6/9/13 2:17 PM

they have no value.

nadline , 6/9/13 2:21 PM

Drat!!! No match?!!! Im off to church then!!!

Monalysa , 6/9/13 2:24 PM

I judt said that ye he CAN win a set!!! I didn't say he would!!!!

rafaelo , 6/9/13 2:31 PM

rafaelo, quit worrying about Rafa and start believing in him! He has his injury problems but if they are not affecting his game, no one can defeat him! No one!

holdserve , 6/9/13 2:54 PM

bad weather bad feelings :-s

rafaelo , 6/9/13 3:08 PM

bad weather bad feelings :-s
, 6/9/13 3:08 PM

Haha. You know wat rafaelo, you always make me feel better. I am so nervous , but seeing someone more nervous than me makes me feel a bit better..Haha..Please stick around on TT for me :-)

sanju , 6/9/13 3:11 PM

Ferrer has really come out to play..Geez..Hold to nerves

sanju , 6/9/13 3:15 PM

but the backhand is not as good as the other day!

rafaelo , 6/9/13 3:22 PM

I called this as early as before the semis to be:

Rafa over Ferrer in i'm giving Ferru a set.

phoenix , 6/9/13 3:22 PM

Ferrer isn't a pushover except in the minds of perpetually foot in mouth fed fans like fedexal.
Rafa has to fight. But if his knee allows him to be competitive ( I am a bit worried after he withdrew from Halle), no one can stop Rafa!

holdserve , 6/9/13 3:25 PM

Ridiculous..gave the break back..

sanju , 6/9/13 3:29 PM

ferrer breaks back!
the crowd is behind ferrer I think!

rafaelo , 6/9/13 3:29 PM

Horrile horrible Rafa leaking errors

His FH and BH both looking very tentative , he is very tight

sanju , 6/9/13 3:33 PM

what a miss!
I start to get worried!

rafaelo , 6/9/13 3:34 PM

Rafa's playing some terrible tennis in first set but he will win!!! He just has to do it the hard way, as ALWAYS!!! His serves are off, too!! He started better against Novak on Friday!!

VAM8S, Champ!!

Monalysa , 6/9/13 3:35 PM

It is Ferrus 1st final and Rafa is super tight

Who is been in 16 GS finals

sanju , 6/9/13 3:36 PM

No Mona he is not playing bad, he is going for his shots, he is just leaking errors on his FH n BH

Rafa has to get the break now, I dont trust him when Ferru is up 5-4

sanju , 6/9/13 3:38 PM

another break

rafaelo , 6/9/13 3:44 PM

So happy he got the break back. Please hold this time.

krystalclear , 6/9/13 3:45 PM

I thought ferrers consistency would be enough if nadal was off, but not really. It seems nadal can play crap and still win this.

DeadManWalking , 6/9/13 3:53 PM

he just ran away with first set ;)

rafaelo , 6/9/13 3:54 PM

Phew 1st set Nadal..6-3

Good last 3 games from Rafa

sanju , 6/9/13 3:54 PM

he just ran away with first set ;)
, 6/9/13 3:54 PM

No , had to work for it real hard 1st seven games :-)

sanju , 6/9/13 3:56 PM

Hope Ferrer makes this match competitive by winning the second set

damianthorn , 6/9/13 3:56 PM

Is it me, or has ferrer hit the net post like 3 times already.

DeadManWalking , 6/9/13 3:59 PM

what's wrong with him? :|

rafaelo , 6/9/13 4:00 PM

you guys are strange sometimes... CALM DOWN ! rafa is not dropping balls short or going cross court too much etc etc...i know he is missing his shots but he is playing aggressive tennis..backhand striking is pretty deep and hard too.. He can control the errors I am sure

vamosrafa , 6/9/13 4:01 PM

Break points aainst him 1st game of 2nd..geez..though tough 1st hold..thank God

How I wish Rafa had a monster serve to bail him out ..he has to win points the hard way

sanju , 6/9/13 4:03 PM

Nadal is a solar panel. Without the sun his batteries are a bit flat.

DeadManWalking , 6/9/13 4:04 PM

it's like watching a heavy weight v/s a middleweight...

akd2011 , 6/9/13 4:04 PM

There is a threat of rain later. I think Rafa is trying to speeden it up , hence errors

sanju , 6/9/13 4:05 PM

Rafa def isn't playing as well as he was against the joker. I think thats to be expected. But that last game he really ramped it up. Good stuff.

DeadManWalking , 6/9/13 4:09 PM

I think they'll go off after this game.

nadline , 6/9/13 4:09 PM


rafaelo , 6/9/13 4:11 PM

Why is Rafa so unfair to even his friends. This is a demolition exercise

damianthorn , 6/9/13 4:11 PM

now what do you guys have to say now????? the last two games were PERFECT. rafa played those games at 100%, both backhand and forehand firing at max throttle ! VAMOS.... they will play through this drizzle for a couple of games i suppose

vamosrafa , 6/9/13 4:14 PM

Rafas play has dropped and Ferrrs has picked up. Not getting that double break and that volley miss was pathetic

sanju , 6/9/13 4:22 PM

Rafa is trying to close this out fast hence more errors and misses. Whether it is because of the weather or b'cos he doesn't think he can last in a 5 setter, I don't know. But good policy, anyway. Go for it, Rafa! I am restless, can't eat or do anything else. Close out this match soon!

holdserve , 6/9/13 4:30 PM

HUGE hold

rafaelo , 6/9/13 4:32 PM

Excellent forehnd 3 back to back winners and BH winners to save 6 BPs and hold

Ferru is a tough customer..he just doesnt go away

sanju , 6/9/13 4:32 PM

Ferrer has stepped up. I feel if nadal had made the DTL to get up 4-0 in the 2nd, the match woudl've been over. Now at least the french are going to get their moneys worth.

DeadManWalking , 6/9/13 4:33 PM

Players make some strange decisions playing Nadal. Ferrer a few times has run round his backhand so he is basically outside the court and hit and inside out forehand to Nadals forehand whilst Nadal is stood there. Nadal can then just hit a routine forehand down the line for a winner. Silly!

rbennett , 6/9/13 4:33 PM

, 6/9/13 4:30 PM

I think combination of both but more the rain threat I feel. He wants to get it done with

sanju , 6/9/13 4:34 PM

Concrete wall vs brick wall

damianthorn , 6/9/13 4:38 PM

Do the French really hate Spaniards that much. What a show of shame in the stadium

damianthorn , 6/9/13 4:42 PM

God he did not serve it out

That lunatic really made him lose his focus. Thank God there is an insurance break
But such a horrible poor service game from Rafa

sanju , 6/9/13 4:45 PM

rafa's forehand is the most devastating shot in tennis right now. I think his forehand down the line has never been this good..he is hitting it bettar than in 2008 or 2010 or 2012 ... His forehand is VERY complete now

vamosrafa , 6/9/13 4:46 PM

What a drop of serve by to Rafa..2 DFs and wild FHs. Rafa did not even have to move in that game :-)

sanju , 6/9/13 4:48 PM

sanju, I am glad he is playing aggressive for whatever reason. Go for it Rafa!
I couldn't even sleep properly last night and eventually abandoned the effort and got up at 4am.
I wonder how the elite players deal with their nerves. Amazing, really. Lucky I am only a fan.
Curiously, I was less stressed for the Nole match!
No, shouldn't be curiously. Rafa is right. The final is the most important match.

holdserve , 6/9/13 4:48 PM

Wow nice mask ts20 was wearing on the court. Security should have popped him one upside the head.


Conspirator , 6/9/13 4:49 PM

Rafa's forehand is one of the best shot's I've ever seen, wouldn't fancy facing it.

rbennett , 6/9/13 4:52 PM

haha, its curious holdserve, I have been very relaxed about the final.

vamosrafa , 6/9/13 4:53 PM

Happy Rafa is serving first in the 3rd set. A big psychological advantage. So not serving out the 2nd set at 5-1 was in a way a good thing.
Vamos Rafa! The light be with you. Go for it!

holdserve , 6/9/13 4:57 PM

vamosrafa, nice to have you here while the final is going on. Your posts are very comforting to my frazzled nerves!

holdserve , 6/9/13 4:59 PM

lol.. good to have you too !

vamosrafa , 6/9/13 5:03 PM

Rafa continues his trend with not being able to close out sets and matches!!! He really, really, really needs to work on that ASAP!!!

Monalysa , 6/9/13 5:04 PM

Ah Monalysa, you are too demanding!

holdserve , 6/9/13 5:05 PM

Nadal's forehand has always been good. Its just that his backhand has been a bit sporadic as of late. I feel the backhand is the key to aus and us open.

DeadManWalking , 6/9/13 5:06 PM

@ holdserve

You are so right, I am!!!! I just find it a tad irritating!!!!!!

Monalysa , 6/9/13 5:08 PM

Why not wimbledon? :S In fact, the backhand is the key for rafa in all slams ! If he is hitting it as well as he has in the second week of french open, I would say he is the favourite to win wimbledon and has a very strong chance for US open ! Aus open is far away...

vamosrafa , 6/9/13 5:14 PM

Ferrer is starting to play the right game against Nadal now.

rbennett , 6/9/13 5:17 PM

Rafa just is going to give us a scare. His BH has gone on vacation

sanju , 6/9/13 5:17 PM

@Vamos, I meant wimby not AO -:P coz wimby and US are whats left in the season. I think if nadal's BH was as good as it was in semi against Djokovic then he'll be unstoppable this season. The only concern is how sporadic it has been. The thing about nadal is he really needs everything working more than djok and fed. For Djok and Fed, they can often get out of crap form just by serving well - something that even on a good day nadal can't really boast.

DeadManWalking , 6/9/13 5:21 PM we go, serving for hist8ry!!!!!......ehem!!

Monalysa , 6/9/13 5:26 PM

Eight eight eight eight eight eight eight eight eight eight eight eight eight eight eight


nadline , 6/9/13 5:31 PM

congraaaats to all rafans :)

rafaelo , 6/9/13 5:32 PM

Congrats to all the Rafa fans! Truly an amazing player, the best clay court player the world has ever seen, and one of the best players we have ever seen, it must be fun to be a Nadal fan at the moment! :p

rbennett , 6/9/13 5:32 PM

Rafa's recovery in complete, he has defended all his points now he can only gain points and move up the rankings.

#Comeback Kid of all time

nadline , 6/9/13 5:33 PM

VAM8S, Champ!!!!

Congratulations Rafa and ALL Rafa fans!!!! NID!!!

Monalysa , 6/9/13 5:35 PM

Vamos Rafa! I could dance all day ( it is 8: 32 am now). History is made ! As the writer, whose article nadline posted, would say, Rafa is the King of TENNIS! Not just clay!!!!!

holdserve , 6/9/13 5:36 PM

Ecstatic! This is the most significant win of his whole career.

ed251137 , 6/9/13 5:36 PM

Almost a 2000 pt lead in the race!

Congrats Champ!!!


Conspirator , 6/9/13 5:37 PM

That was awesome! I swear the dirt on the back of his shirts when got up looks like angel wings.

krystalclear , 6/9/13 5:39 PM

Shows how lopsided the draw was! Nobody could take one set off Ferrer and Rafa wins three straight!!!!! As one poster here mentioned, it was heavyweight against middleweight.
Not just Rafa against Ferru but top half vs bottom half.

holdserve , 6/9/13 5:39 PM

On to Wimbly Rafa!

I am so excited! Hope the 1st week is kind to Rafa. If he gets to 2nd week and plays like this in the 2nd week, the Wimbly is Rafa's!!!!! Vamos Rafa!
There's never been a champ like you and there never will be!!!!!

holdserve , 6/9/13 5:44 PM

To me this is the most important tournament that Rafa has to win. Everything else he wins after this is just icing on the cake.

krystalclear , 6/9/13 5:46 PM

Federer will be lucky to reach Quarterfinals and if he does, Tsonga will definitely kick his poor ass.
Rafa all the way to Championship.
Raindrops, 5/25/13 9:11 PM

Dear fedfarts and "ovics"


Vamos Rafa Vamos

RITB, please come back, you are already missed. Who's going to post now the stats? I know you are still reading TT. We will wait for Rafa's bayutiful stat to be posted by you.

Raindrops , 6/9/13 5:46 PM

Group virtual Hugs Rafans. This is a great day for us. What an incredible last 12 months we have had, 7 months of low moments and 5 months of incredible highs.

History has been made

Only player to win a slam 8 times
Only player to win a slam 9 years in a row

Very excited now to see how rest of the season pans out

And yes he is at 7000 points in race, 2000 higher than Djoko

Hope he sustains this level rest of the season.

Love u Rafa. Love u Rafans

Rafaelo- Special hug to you. Now study well for your exams and no stress. Have Rafas achievements send u so much positive energy

RITB - You have to be back here to celebrate with us. Cmon, we all Rafans have been in this together

vamosrafa, NNY, Mona, Conspirator, holdserve, ed , nadline and all other Rafans...Vamossssssss..may we see many more slams together

sanju , 6/9/13 5:46 PM

The beautiful thing is that Rafa beat Djokovic on his way to the title so NO ONE can say Ah, but he didn't play Djokovic or one of the top 3.

8888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888 888


nadline , 6/9/13 5:48 PM

Yes ritb, we are missing you like crazy. You are an essential part of the Rafa clan on TT.

nadline , 6/9/13 5:50 PM

Nadline, his recovery may be complete but his comeback is still not complete yet. It can only be said complete after AO2014. So his comeback contineous.

Vamos Rafa.

Raindrops , 6/9/13 5:50 PM

Rafa is now 3rd on slam tally right at 12?
On to Sampras 14 now :-)

sanju , 6/9/13 5:51 PM

Okay, okay, I'm back, no need to holler...................

rafaisthebest , 6/9/13 5:53 PM

I feel sorry for ferrer. You can see the pain in his eyes. After years of coming runner up to nadal and losing so often, he still admires rafa. But there is a sad realization that he will never ever be as good as nadal and as a result never achieve the results that he really desires. Theres a realization that this may be his first and last chance to win a slam.

Its really sad. Ferrer is one of the most humble players on tour and most consistent. As good as it is to say he will have chances later, we all know that this isn't really true :(

DeadManWalking , 6/9/13 5:54 PM

Tomas Berdych is funny..look at his tweet

@tomasberdych: Rafa has new tel. number you should dial 8- 63 62 63

sanju , 6/9/13 5:54 PM

This is truly an amazing moment everybody. First off, a huge congratulations to Rafa on winning his 12th grand slam title, and 8th at Roland Garros. He is truly a remarkable champion of the times. This has been an extremely special season that none of us saw coming. Playing 9 events, reaching all 9 finals, and winning 7 titles, including a grand slam, after spending 7 months off recovering from injury, is truly one of the most remarkable comeback stories in tennis, and all of sports

We should only feel so blessed and privileged to be a fan of the greatest claycourter of all time, and one of the greatest to ever grace a tennis court, Rafael Nadal Parera. Congratulations to the champion, and his ever-loving and loyal fans. Vamos!!!!!!!!

djb247365 , 6/9/13 5:55 PM

Congratulations ALL Rafans............

ALL of you.............

I need to compose myself, I don't think I will be able to write anything sensible for a while. If you don't mind, I am just going to be reading your beautiful posts and........

rafaisthebest , 6/9/13 5:57 PM

Congrats Rafa! Congrats Rafans!

phoenix , 6/9/13 5:58 PM

please feed me on twitter :D

rafaelo , 6/9/13 5:58 PM

I was sure the match wouldn't even be played today after hearing about the weather. But I woke up to great news! Rafa did it! He has gone where no male tennis player has ever gone before! Eight RG titles!!!!!


Don't you dare leave this site! I would miss you too much! So glad to see you here to celebrate this great occasion! This is a moment we should all cherish. We will never see this again in our lifetimes!

He did it easily, too! So the semis really was the true final! I am still trying to realize what has happened. A record that will never be broken.


Don't ever leave! Please! I am not going anywhere either!

Congratulations Rafa for the history you have made!

Nativenewyorker , 6/9/13 5:58 PM

Raindrops, I was a bit worried that he might not defend all his points up to when he went off with the injury. Just imagine how many titles he had to win to do so, he had no leeway. Thankfully, the 400 points he lost in MC didn't matter because he won IW. If someone had got the better of him in the earlier rounds here at RG, he may have gone down the rankings to, maybe, 7 or 8.

Rafa only has 45 points to defend up to YE and Muzz is going to lose 1110 by the 5th of August plus both Muzz (RG + olympics)and Fed have SF and final points to defend at Wimbledon.

nadline , 6/9/13 5:59 PM

I mean final and title points.

nadline , 6/9/13 6:00 PM

@nadline, sorry for my hissy fit, what to say, tension got to me.........

RT @ptbodo: "Nadal didn't just bite another trophy, he 8 it! "

rafaisthebest , 6/9/13 6:02 PM

There you go RITB, start feeding us the stats now that Rafa has won RG for the 8th Time. Pick those stats that starts, "only the first player" know the usual Rafans...GREEDY no exemption. hehe

Raindrops , 6/9/13 6:11 PM

Yes rafaelo, I will feed twitter posts :-)

Just imagine folks, hearing about withdrawal after withdrawal for 7 months and now seeing 7 titles and 3 Masters, 1 GS in that and history being made.


sanju , 6/9/13 6:11 PM

Rafa makes us tense. I came back from church and immediately went to preview thread only to read about what Djokovic can do to Rafa or vice versa so I just said what I said.

nadline , 6/9/13 6:11 PM

Rafa made hist8ry!

Vam8s, Rafa! Vam88888888s !!!!!!!!

Augustina08 , 6/9/13 6:15 PM

I think Rafa was a bit tired today otherwise he would have eaten Ferrer alive.

nadline , 6/9/13 6:16 PM

I must admit I was super tensed before the final. You remember folks when Rafa was going for history to win all 4 slams in a row in AO 2011, it was QF with David Ferrer that halted him and he got injured too.

Here again he was going for history and David again the opponent. I was just so nervous

Thank God he achieved it :-)

sanju , 6/9/13 6:16 PM


nadline , 6/9/13 6:18 PM

sanju , 6/9/13 6:19 PM

Haha read this Rafas response

McEnroe: "Tell me about this idiot that came on the court." Nadal: (Confused) "Usain?"

sanju , 6/9/13 6:20 PM

i am so happy that i can hug anyone...even the ovics. hehehe.

phoenix , 6/9/13 6:20 PM

Steve Tignor ?@SteveTignor 14m In the last month, Nadal has beaten Federer, Djokovic, and now Ferrer for the 20th time each. #rg13

sanju , 6/9/13 6:22 PM

So now sanju you can throw those superstitious fears out of the window! Rafa doesn't believe in superstitions. He believes in being focused and giving of his best!
I do believe Rafa was very tired. Hopefully he will recover by Wimbly and Muzza will be no. 2 seed so the draw cannot be rigged to have Rafa, Djoko and Muzza on the same side.
I have been a Muzza fan too so I am definitely going to cheer for him at Queens because then I am maximizing chances of both Rafa and Muzza at Wimbly!!!!!

holdserve , 6/9/13 6:24 PM

Congrats RAFANs!

sabs , 6/9/13 6:24 PM

vamosssssssssss !!!!!!

vamosrafa , 6/9/13 6:24 PM

Kim Clijsters ?@Clijsterskim 19m Two great single champions at the French! What a fun two weeks it has been. Wimbledon can't come fast enough for me :-)

Ben Rothenberg ?@BenRothenberg 9m Nadal is No1 in race and by huge margin, but only No5 in rankings next week. If he hasn't worn himself out, should finish year top 2 easily. /photo/1

sanju , 6/9/13 6:26 PM

So funny, even Rafa inducted Ferrer as the 3rd member of the elite Club 20, Nadal will be ranked 5th in the world behind Ferrer <headscratch>.

Raindrops , 6/9/13 6:26 PM

, 6/9/13 6:24 PM

Murray will be seeded No 2 under all circumstances as per the formula. Dont worry

sanju , 6/9/13 6:28 PM

Shame on rankings the player who has won last 7 of 9 tournaments he entered which comprises of 1 GS, 3 Masters 1000 and 2 500 series will be ranked #5 for Wimby . If Wimby has any IQ left they would give Rafa the correct seeding so that they don't give top4 scare before the draw. Shame on RG they put both Nole and Rafa in the same half and ultimtaely Nole was they guy who lost out on points and Ferrer gained. Otherwise Ferrer would never have reached finals and Rafa would have been seeded #4 for Wimby.

And the correct seeding for Rafa should be #1 :)

fedexal , 6/9/13 6:28 PM

Rafa has now won 59 out of 60 matches at RG, THE BEST RECORD OF ANY PLAYER AT ANY GRAND SLAM. He turned 27 only a week ago.

rafaisthebest , 6/9/13 6:29 PM

No man before Sunday had ever missed two consecutive Grand Slams and come back to win the next one.

No one until Rafael Nadal.

rafaisthebest , 6/9/13 6:32 PM

Now I am so excited I am trying to read everything on the internet to see what they are saying about this historic victory!
Sorry for Ferru but Rafa deserved this more after coming through a tough draw!!!!!
Crazy, the man who was out for 7 months is the first to qualify for WTF!!!!!

Rafa is the greatest tennis player of all time. But for his injuries he would have had at least 6 more slams by now.
KMA where are you? Busy roasting your goat??? Poor goat!!! Can't win a butting match against the bull? 20-10!!!!!

holdserve , 6/9/13 6:33 PM

Rafa chatting with Gosol and Usain /1

sanju , 6/9/13 6:33 PM

I think Rafa made a sensible move to skip Halle. He needed rest after brutal match against Nole. Also, I think Rafa made a late decision as he might have planned a Halle trip if his Nole match was a short one. This is another smart move by Rafa . His smartest move so far has been decision to skip Miami. That gave him extra 2 weeks rest and also saved him from rigors of hard court.

Now, Rafa can go to Wimby early and practice there.

fedexal , 6/9/13 6:35 PM

VAMOS. Records tumbling in front of Rafa.

willmw101 , 6/9/13 6:37 PM

I think Wimbledon has the right idea using a formula for the seeding but the situation we have now has exposed flaws in the formula. Some points should be awarded to past champions.

However, Rafa has shown that he can win from any position. He won IW seeded 5 and RG seeded 4.

nadline , 6/9/13 6:39 PM

Rafa posing with his trophy. Looking so happy and relieved

Yes fedexal - he has learnt from last years mistake.Glad for him that he has learnt from his mistakes

sanju , 6/9/13 6:40 PM

Hey All hug!!!! Hey!!!!!

RIBT.............good to see you back and that you and Nadline have made peace!!!!.......hehe!!!

Rafa has won a tourney for every month he was about come backs!!!!!!

I agree too that Rafa was tired..........esp in set 3!!! Glad it was over in 3!!!

I did not end up going to church as I realised the match had started.................God will purnish me, I swear!!!!........the things I do for Rafa!!!!!!! Nadline, hoped you prayed for me!!!!

It was so cool that Bold presented Rafa his trophy!!!! Nice!!!

This RG is most special to Rafa in soooooooo many ways!!!

Good to see Rafa continuing to make history!!! I am so glad and proud to be a Rafa fan!!!!!

So Rafa, please rest and take care. Hope you will be fit enough to make waves at Wimby!!! I know you will be more than up for the challenge!!!!!

So guys...............whats next? Guess I wont hear from you until Wimby!!

Congrats Rafa fans. Hope we continue to have more opportunities to rejoice!!!


Oh, Rafa has formally established his XX Club!!! Welcome, Ferrer.......the new club member!!!!

Monalysa , 6/9/13 6:45 PM

So guys...............whats next? Guess I wont hear from you until Wimby!!

, 6/9/13 6:45 PM

Ofcourse you will. We are not going anywhere. You think our excitement will subside in 1 day?Lol

sanju , 6/9/13 6:50 PM

NNY - I am still waiting for your unfinished post :-). Please post it.

RITB - yours too

sanju , 6/9/13 6:51 PM


I just felt that we have been thru so much of a bumpy ride over the course of the two weeks, maybe some need a break!!!

I will be off to St. Kitts for a week so may not post until I get back home. But coming to think of it, not sure if I can stay away from TT for so long!!

And another thing, no one seemed to have congratulated Ricky for a good call in his predictions!!!! Well done, Ricky!!!!

Monalysa , 6/9/13 6:54 PM

Roland Garros ?@rolandgarros 9m Ferrer: Says it is unbelievable that Nadal has come back from injury the way he has. Felt third set was close #RG13

Roland Garros ?@rolandgarros 9m Ferrer relaxed in press, making jokes, smiling. Says he would have preferred to win today instead of moving ahead of Nadal in rankings #RG13

"If you build a clay court player, you build him exactly like Rafael Nadal." - Mats Wilander

sanju , 6/9/13 6:57 PM

Rafa with ball kids /1

sanju , 6/9/13 6:59 PM

Match stats:



And people say Rafa is a defensive player who cannot hit through heavy conditions.........they know nothing.

rafaisthebest , 6/9/13 7:04 PM


Were you ever in doubt?!!!!!

Monalysa , 6/9/13 7:06 PM

sanju , 6/9/13 7:06 PM

sanju, 6/9/13 6:51 PM,

You mean it's okay for me to talk now? I didn't see your post asking me to express my thoughts because I was already gone. But thanks for saying it!

Honestly, there were a lot of things I wanted to say but the most important one is that the thing that stood out to me after watching the semifinal two more times, is how evenly matched Rafa and Nole are now. For so long we have been hearing how Nole has the advantage against Rafa with his forehand and backhand and ROS, how he is such a bad matchup for Rafa, and on and on. Well after watching that semifinal match I don't think any of that applies anymore, if it ever did.

Rafa really showed that he has the strategy to take Nole out of his comfort zone. He used that dtl forehand to win so many points. That shot was the great equalizer. Rafa was also hitting that cc backhand for winners. His game just came together. He has more than enough weapons to handle Nole.

I think that semifinal win was so important for Rafa. You could see what it meant to him. Rafa fans have had to listen endlessly as others told us that Nole would win RG this year especially after MC.

Rafa just stepped up and showed everyone! To do this after being out for seven months, well there are just no words! Now there will be no asterisks or questions attached to this victory because Rafa beat Nole!

It's just sinking in now. This is the kind of history that you don't get to see. One of those great moments that we should just stop and cherish. I wish time would stand still.

Rafa has done what no other tennis player has done!

Nativenewyorker , 6/9/13 7:08 PM

Monalysa , 6/9/13 7:06 PM

I like to think I am pretty fair in that I listen to people's arguments before making up my mind. Well, I have been hearing a lot of people say Rafa is in decline, Rafa is a defensive baseliner, Rafa doesn not play for winners he only waits to make his opponents make errors blah, blah, blah. But you know what, what I have seen from Rafa since Chile is the complete opposite!

Rafa is playing super aggressive tennis. I would even go as far as saying he has incorporated HC tennis into his clay game, unreal!

If you look at all his matches at RG 2013, his winners/UEs ratio has been mega positive.

Yes, he is slower but now he has more variety in his game


rafaisthebest , 6/9/13 7:26 PM

And one thing about Rafa, it that most of his GS wins came through by beating the best!!!

There is so much that future generations can learn from Rafa!!!


Monalysa , 6/9/13 7:29 PM

OMG, Thomas Berdych is making fun of Nole:

RT @tomasberdych: "@raphal_nolefam see some noles on center court"

rafaisthebest , 6/9/13 7:33 PM

Rafa has just 90 points to defend from now till February next year.

rafaisthebest , 6/9/13 7:39 PM


I meant it in jest! But those people who criticise Rafa, most have alterior motives so I hardly ever give them the time of day!!!!

What is so amazing, Rafa has put himself in a very interesting position. He has come off from injury and not only has he defended his points but he has exceeded, and now has put pressure on every one else to defend theirs!!! Currently, Rafa seems healthy, his comeback has been super impressive and he is back to his winning ways. He also seems to be playing better strategically, except for that little thing of not being able to close! So now, every tournement he enters after this, he will be under no pressure and there will be no target on his will be other other way round!!! Now who wants Rafa to have them in his sights?...................ouch!!!!

We have a very interesting tennis season ahead of us. Who will falter and who will triumph?!!!!

Monalysa , 6/9/13 7:39 PM

I am super happy but taking it easy. Last year I thought after beating Nole in RG final, Rafa will have stellar seaon 2 but his knees gave in. Hence this year 1 match at a time.

Rafa has one of the best starts ever to a season. I dont think he has gobled up 7000 plus points in 1st 6 months of season ever. I rem last year he has 6400 points , in 2009 he had simlar around 6500, in 2010 too around 6000. Scary is he has reached 7000 plus without a slam and Masters.

sanju , 6/9/13 7:52 PM

Rafa's Wins:

- 164 wins at Majors ? Surpassed Becker for 8th place in the all-time list. Next up is McEnroe with 167 wins.

- 626 career match wins ? Surpassed Muster for 15th place in the all-time list. Next up is Smith with 636 wins.

- 626 career match wins - One of only 2 active players to have at least 600 career wins. Federer leads the active list.

- 570 Outdoor wins ? Surpassed Orantes for 6th place in the all-time list. Next up in the list is Federer with 670 wins (dynamic target) and Agassi with 702 wins.

- Against Top 10 Players ? 5th in the all-time list with 109 wins. Next up is Lendl with 119 wins.

- Against Top 10 Players ? Leads all active players with a 67.7% winning percentage. He is 2nd behind Borg in the all-time list.

- Against World number 1 players ? Only active player to have beaten 2 world number 1 players 20 times each (Federer and Djokovic).

- Against Top 5 players - Only active player to have beaten 3 Top 5 players 20 times each (Federer, Djokovic and Ferrer).

rafaisthebest , 6/9/13 7:54 PM

Hey sanju Rafa HAS won a SLAM!

holdserve , 6/9/13 7:56 PM

Nadal says that being no. 1 in the world is not his goal. He says he's in a good position in the rankings, but the season is long.

Nadal says that being no. 1 in the world is not his goal. He says he's in a good position in the rankings, but the season is long.

Nadal: "I need to keep winning if I want to have any chance of being no. 1 at the end of the season." #RG13

Nadal: "I don't feel more fit than ever." He considers that his practice leading up to #RG13 was the matches he's played since coming back.

Milos Raonic ?@milosraonic 31m The king of clay lives on! Congratulations to @rafaelnadal #rg13

sanju , 6/9/13 8:11 PM

Christopher Clarey ?@christophclarey 17m #Nadal on his innate competitiveness: "I understand the sport only one way. The sport without a goal is stupid" #RG13

Nadal said his knee has improved in recent weeks but that he wants to return to Spain and "do the right things" before Wimbledon #RG13

Roland Garros ?@rolandgarros 24m Nadal: "I'm a positive person but, of course I had doubts. I tried to do my best to come back." #RG13

sanju , 6/9/13 8:28 PM

@sanju, @nny, forget about Djokovic, he's toast. That thought came to me watching the final. Novak's fame DHBH was lethal because he could take it cross court to Rafa's forehand and invariably Rafa would drive his forehand back cross court into Novak's DHBH. Novak would then pivot and smash that BH DTL for a winner. The problem for Rafa, was that with his tactics, he actually "fed" Novak's BH.

Enter Rafa 3.0

What Rafa did in the semi against Djokovic was to "starve" Djokovic's BH by going DTL instead of cross court. If Rafa was forced to go cross court, he invariably went neutral i.e. the centre of the court forcing Djokovic to use his weaker shot, the forehand.

Rafa used the same tactics against Ferru today.

In think Wimby will be interesting............

rafaisthebest , 6/9/13 8:54 PM

RT @TennisReporters: "Ferrer: 'I would like to find the tactics, the anti Rafa Nadal tactics?.If he continues that way, who is to stop him?"

rafaisthebest , 6/9/13 9:01 PM

Excellent observaion RIB..I too noticed it, he was using the centre a lot to rob Djoko of the angles for his deadly BH

sanju , 6/9/13 9:01 PM

We watched the final, then went for a long walk. So posting now. Major congrats to all fellow rafa fans and all others who wish Rafa well.

10 months ago it was a big question how well rafa's knees would be during the clay seaon and whether between them and being able to get back in good condition defending RG would be impossible, very difficult or just difficult.

What he has done with this time away from competition and since coming back is to surpass EVERYONE's expectations: his own, Tony's, all the professional tennis players', all the professional writers and commies, all his fans and all his detractors. Again.

Years ago, in 2005 2006 they said he would retire within a year or 2 max. Because he was such a tough competitor to Fed, and because his playing style was physical (among other things). They said he would never go far in Wimbledon. And hardcourt masters and majors. And so on, all throught the years.

What they said after Nole defeated Rafa on clay two years ago the first time, the second time, after he defeated him at USO was predictable: Rafa will never have get Nole out of his head. Now it is true that many players would have not been able to rise to this particular challenge and might have given up at some point trying to get the best of the current number one. Here again Rafa has risen to the challenge in front of him. Again the one truly difficult obstacle is the health of his knees. He and his team have obviously made many very wise decisions since last summer, and they have paid off.

I'm sorry to repeat myself but I will say again that I think that Rafa's physical and condition recovery is complete. It is plenty good enough already to do the amazing things he's done, thanks to everything else in his preparation and the strength of his mind. So these last wins are even more amazing: this is still not Rafa at full physical condition.

I too am a little worried about whether his knees will hold up nicely between now and the end of AO... but optimistic that they will. Surely now he and his team will be more cautious than ever.

Knees willing, I do agree with some of you: Nadal 3.0 is going to be very dangerous this summer.

I challenge anyone to name one important challenge that presented itself to Nadal in his career that he has not faced squarely and worked at in whatever way necessary to deal with. It used to be competing against a very strong number one on Nadal's weakest surfaces, competing against players at their peak while he wa 16, 17, 18, 19. It used to be his serve that was very weak for a top player. It used to be his backhand, and the list goes on long.

One reason I like watching rafa's finals is to see the look on his face after he's won (which is the majority of them): it is priceless. It warms my heart.

Also I thought he showed a lot of grace through the all the stages post last moment of the match, as usual.

He really is an exemplar of a humble hero.

chlorostoma , 6/9/13 9:17 PM

^Rafa's physical and condition recovery is _not_ complete.

chlorostoma , 6/9/13 9:20 PM

And major, major congrats to David Ferrer. What an awesome competitor to keep working and playing so hard to finally make to a slam final in an era where the top three are so incredibly hard to defeat (most days). too bad he couldn't have done it on one of the very rare slams where he would meet someone else than Nole or Rafa.

I think that Ferrer should have no regrets re his career: he gave it his all and achieved so much.

chlorostoma , 6/9/13 9:23 PM


You made the points that I was going to make had our discussion continued. Rafa went back to what worked for him in his three straight wins against Nole in 2012. That's why I said that the dtl forehand was the key to this win. It changes the whole dynamic. At MC Rafa went back the old pattern and used his cc forehand to Nole's backhand. But this time he was fit and match ready and had the intensity that he said was lacking at MC.

I was really pleased to see Rafa able to dictate the rallies by changing his tactics and using that dtl forehand to close it out for winner after winner. That shot was lethal in the match. I also thought that Rafa's cc backhand was another key to the victory. I think this is the best I have seen him hit that shot in quite some time. Also, Rafa was able to use the dtl backhand to get winners.

You also make an excellent point as to how Rafa went for the center of the court to force Nole to use his forehand and prevent him from creating those angles that can be so devastating.

I agree that Wimbledon will be very interesting. The transition to grass may be more difficult for Rafa without a warmup tournament, but I think he made the absolute right decision in skipping Halle. I think he has played enough tennis to get through the tricky first week of Wimbledon. The draw will also be very interesting, to say the least!

Rafa will be able to play without any pressure at all. He can only gain points. It's a lovely place to be!

Nativenewyorker , 6/9/13 9:37 PM

sanju , 6/9/13 9:01 PM

When Rafa played Fognini and Nishikori I remember being frustrated because Rafa was playing a lot of neutral shots i.e. deep but centre of court shots and I was wondering why. I even wrote a post asking when Rafa started playing neutral shots. What I did not know was that Rafa was refining his tactic to neutralise those DHBH shots. Now I understand why. A neutral shot takes away the angle from the DHBH, forcing the other player to use their forehand......................

rafaisthebest , 6/9/13 9:42 PM

Rafa "Canseco" Nadal.

stratocast51 , 6/9/13 9:44 PM

I can't seem to do anything today. I am boring all my friends and family by ringing them up and telling them about Rafa and his historic feat! Some of them have shared in my joy, some have given me a patient hearing, and some have suddenly remembered something urgent they have to do with the plea sorry, I have to go!
And I am hanging around tennistalk ignoring all my Sunday chores like laundry, dishwashing, taking out the trash, cooking......!!!!!
I haven't come down to Earth. I am ecstatic!!!!!

holdserve , 6/9/13 9:48 PM

Rafa has the best tennis brain. You can almost hear the whir when he is trying to come up with a counter strategy to the offensive launched against him. Combined with the strategies he and U toni must be working on at home, he is hard to beat.
Djoko too must have worked on coming up with a strategy to beat Rafa and that's why he was so difficult to beat in 2011.
Both will now be working on newer strategies to beat each other.

holdserve , 6/9/13 9:54 PM

Sad not to be able to join you in the celebrations but I had visitors this weekend and it was impossible to escape to post here. Have read all the beautiful tributes and eulogies, both today and after the SF. Everything I would like to have said has already been eloquently expressed by Rafa's faithful band of followers.

holdserve, 6/9/13 6:24 PM
You're pulling my leg, no?

ed251137 , 6/10/13 2:00 AM

ed251137 , 6/10/13 2:00 AM
Nope, I have and am a Rafa-Muzza fan and do not make anti Rafa or anti Muzza posts unlike you-know-who who claims to be a Rafa fan.
However till Muzza proves himself mentally strong I will support Rafa in sf but be neutral in finals because between the two of them I want them to win everything. I will be kind of like the Williams family when Serena and Venus played in finals.

holdserve , 6/10/13 2:42 AM

?Of course some guys like to see a crowd waiting for them at the airport. But in Mallorca, the best present they give me is to leave me alone, to give me peace, to let me get back to my real, normal life. Because when you leave a big event like this one, a big tournament like this one, you have no real life, like all players. I can't be a guy of my age. So being left alone, this is priceless.?

...and this is one of the many reasons why I like this young man. How many of us can achieve so much success in life and still have our feet firmly grounded?

phoenix , 6/10/13 6:22 AM

thanks Holdserve!!!!!!!!

I am not going to try to change your mind about where you think I'm coming from but please can we bury the hatchet. Once and for all.

ed251137 , 6/10/13 9:22 AM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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