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In Broad Daylight 07/04/2010 - 2:59 PM

102617231 

by Pete Bodo

This time, it required no passing shots fired like small cannons into the deepening gloaming. No desperate second serves that traveled the razor's edge separating those two celebrated Wimbletwins, Triumph and Disaster. No brooding confrontations between fear and courage, both marinated in sweet perspiration that kept them slippery, grasped one moment, gone the next. No flashbulbs bursting like newborn planets in the twilight, and no scaling of the dusty green wall above which the stunned interested parties sat, awaiting the moment: The embrace.

If Rafael Nadal's first singles victory at Wimbledon, in 2008, remains an epic engraved forever on the soul of tournament and those who love it, his second one today was a clinical, almost antiseptic act of reaffirmation. Why go through all that again? Today, Nadal demolished Tomas Berdych, a lanky and late-blooming threat, unstable as acetone peroxide, who was unable to rally the kind of commanding, power-based tennis that had carried him to the final over the fortnight.

Nadal won it, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4, as Berdych's nerves, game, or both failed him at inconvenient times. Thus Nadal became the first man since Bjorn Borg to complete the Channel Slam (back-to-back wins at Roland Garros and Wimbledon) more than once in the Open era. It wasn't very long ago that Borg's accomplishment seemed untouchable, not just because of Borg's game but—in theory—because of essential transformations in the game itself. Now, Nadal and Roger Federer have each done it. As Nadal said in his presser, "It didn't happen since Borg (1980), and now it happened for the past three years. How crazy is life?"

But let's get back to those critical moments in the match. With his punishing serve and quick-strike groundstrokes, Berdych is capable of holding serve until the cows, or John Isner and Nicolas Mahut, come home. But Nadal broke Berdych twice in the first set, and in the second set Nadal broke Berdych in what arguably was the most critical game of the match: the 13th. Had Berdych held there, the set would have gone to the tiebreaker and, against a guy like Berdych, that's always a crapshoot. Nadal also broke Berdych in what would be the final game of the match to clinch it 6-4.

You could argue that Berdych's greatest miscalculation was his stubborn refusal to go to a Plan B when Plan A (engaging Nadal in stock baseline-based play) clearly failed. But in each of the last two sets, Berdych matched Nadal, hold for hold, until deep into the set. So in the end, you can just as easily put down his loss to a failure of nerve. He failed to play the big points well. Berdych was 0 for 5 in break points, compared to Nadal's 4 for 6. If someone had told you before the match that there would be no tiebreakers, you would have known it would hardly be worth watching. Going into the match, Berdych had lost just seven service games; today he lost four, nearly 50 per cent of his tournament total.

But Nadal was broken just eight times in this tournament, a statistic that points to his serving efficiency as well as his generally high level of execution. After all, Nadal's 54 aces is barely half the number served up at Wimbledon by his final opponent (111). Berdych finished second on the ace list (behind John Isner, who served all of his in one match); Nadal finished tied for 22nd.

Still, as Toni Nadal, Rafa’s uncle and coach, told us about his nephew's general level of play: "It was as good as 2008. Maybe better, because he improve some things, like his serve."

Nadal's well-placed lefty slice, less effective for its pop than for its shrewd placement, has made his life easier on grass. But he wins on the surface for the same reason as the former player he most resembles, Borg. It's all about the legs. As he said, "I think I have very good thing for player here on grass—movement. I move well on the court, and that's a very important part of the game."

No secrets there. Berdych begged to differ and put it simply: "His biggest weapon is his left hand. It's not many players like that. It's really tough, you know, to find the right rhythm."

102617131And it's that much tougher when the most basic strength of your opponent exposes your most basic weakness. In this case, the quickness of Nadal matched with the relatively poor movement of Berdych. As the match wore on, Berdych's defense looked weaker and weaker; by the late stages, he was pushing feeble sliced backhands which, when they did make it over the net, were easy pickings for the swift Nadal.

How did he get so fast? "I think all my life I practiced with my high hundred percent of intensity in every ball in the practice. That's why today I am faster, no? Probably now I'm not practicing with the same intensity like when I was a kid. When I was a kid, I practiced—believe me—like crazy."

This appetite, even for a cradle-to-grave tennis pro, is slightly unusual, and it points to a more fundamental attribute that may be the wellspring of Nadal's style as well as his degree of success. That's his passion for the game, which is manifested in both subtle and obvious ways.

We all know that tennis players are coy, proud individuals. They claim never to read anything written about them, but you can catch them at the newsstand with an armload of papers. Once they're out of a tournament, they profess no interest in watching the grand finale. But I'll bet they sit there, doing sit-ups, tuned in to the broadcast, growling: That coulda been me.

When Nadal was asked the other day if he had watched last year's final between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick, he said, "I watched at home, on the sofa. Just enjoying the beautiful match. Was a very emotional match. I liked the tennis, so I enjoyed the match."

How often have you heard players, instead of transported fans, call tennis "beautiful?"

Of course, you don't get to be Rafael Nadal by enjoying the moment when you're actually playing out there; you get to be Nadal by living in it and most of all surviving it—even if you get the job done while the sun is still high and the shadows short, while spectators are appreciating every point instead of living—or dying —a little bit with each one.

Today was easy, although Nadal would be the last to tell you so. Don't you think he earned it?


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Posted by tennisforthebest 07/04/2010 at 11:50 PM

Mantra of today's journalism, "Worship the rising Sun". After Australian Open it was Fed, now its time to sing praises for Nadal.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 07/04/2010 at 11:53 PM

Just watching a replay of Rafa's match with Andrew Castle as a commentator Hmm time to turn the mute button on.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 07/05/2010 at 12:28 AM

"every" player was too absolute. I should have said "many" players.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 07/05/2010 at 12:35 AM

chicklet: surprised to hear that about Muzz and Myles but it makes sense I guess. Muzz has had great success with Myles. Does he really think a different coach will make the difference between making a slam final and the ability to win one?

The biggest surprise to me is Nole staying with Marian Vadja all this time. His credentials are very weak so Nole must see something in him that we can't.

wimby2010's earlier question about who is the better player, Del Potro or Murray -- is a tough one. very hard to call.

Posted by Papo (Got Nadal?) 07/05/2010 at 12:36 AM

Wimbledon 2010 was one of the best tournaments in quite a while. Exciting from day one. Glad for everyone who was a part of it. Hope to see more from a lot of players who really stood out. Too many players make a run at one tournament and then have a steep drop-off, ahem...Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez for one. I hope to see more of new players like Groth and Pironkova. On the men's side Hasse, Petzschner (congrats to him and Melzer on winning the men's doubles title), Bozoljac and more.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 07/05/2010 at 12:38 AM

Hmm I just answered that one regarding Murray lol!

Though only my thoughts

Must say Jake Garner was more impressive than his umpiring at the USO lol!

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 07/05/2010 at 12:41 AM

Papo Ahhh you like Aussie Groth too

You have great taste lol!

Groth has had many injuries so far in her career.Also born very underweight and began to lose further weight wasnt sure she would make it at all.

She has the game great results making the 4th rd in RG and Wimby.Hoping no more injuries

Posted by Papo (Got Nadal?) 07/05/2010 at 12:46 AM

Aussiemarg, hi! I trust you had a pleasant day, or evening as the case may be ; )

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 07/05/2010 at 12:49 AM

Papo Well its early afternoon here.I have had 3 hours sleep too excited lol!

I have received soo many emails for Rafa fans today who used to post here

Hopefully they will come back lol!

My brother summed it up for me after he rang me and said

The Raging Bull is back lol!

Posted by Jai 07/05/2010 at 12:50 AM

New rankings up on the ATP site now. Looking at the points difference between 1 and 2, and the points left to defend this season for each player, it would be astonishing if Rafa didn't finish as the year-end number 1. Actually, he probably has the top spot sealed up until at least May next year.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 07/05/2010 at 12:50 AM

Here are the h2h stats on Delpo and Murray: 1 - 5 in Murray's favor. They both turned pro in 2005 yet Murray's has played almost twice the number of matches. Murrays career win/loss record is 243/86, Delpo's is 141/70. Maybe the lopsided number of matches is due to Elf's numerous injuries. But based on those stats alone, I would put Muzz as the superior player. Which doesn't mean that Delpo can't be devastating when firing on all cylinders.

Posted by Peter 07/05/2010 at 12:53 AM

VAMOS SCHVAMOS. NADAL SUCKS, DONT WANNA SEE HIM AGAIN EVER. He's a warrior and should go fight for the army not play tennis and leave it to those who play with creativity and style, like Federer and Djokovic

Sincerely

Posted by Papo (Got Nadal?) 07/05/2010 at 12:56 AM

"I have received soo many emails for Rafa fans today who used to post here

Hopefully they will come back lol!"

Wow! That's great! You know, AM, one of the things I enjoy about Rafa is his ability to inspire new fans with his tennis. Take this post I saw on the ESPN website for instance:

"Lamar8706 (7/4/2010 at 8:41 PM)

I'm usually not interested in Mens Tennis but there is something about Rafael that draws me to his game. I actually enjoy watching him. He draws me in emotionally which has usually only been something Serena Williams is capable of doing as a tennis player. I'm hoping that Rafael can write his own history and challenge the supremacy of GS titles by Federer.

I became a HUGE fan of Rafa after today.

He and Serena are the best in the game and I proudly support them both."

Yep, even if the old Rafa fan posters don't come back, Rafa is always making fans young and old, hehe.

Posted by Northern boy 07/05/2010 at 12:56 AM

@ Wimby
Murray and Djokovic both have an excellent opportunity to win the USO. Fed is struggling and both should (and I say SHOULD) be able to beat him at the USO. It's Rafa's least favorite surface, the groundstrokes penetrate through the court too quickly, and it's hard on his knees.

So I predict either DJokovic or Murray will win the USO - 1 or 3 on your list.

1. Djoker wins 2nd slam 2. Murray wins 1st slam

As for the rest, Rafa will win next year's FO and has a good chance at Wimby and the AO.
3. Rafa wins 10th slam

4. someone else wins his 1st slam - Soderling has the best chance, but whereas last year he lost to Fed 3 times in slams this year he's lost to Soderling twice. He also has a decent shot at the USO. I don't really see Berdych or Cilic making a consistent impact.

5. Delpo wins 2nd slam
He's out for a WHILE. Luckily he's young.

6. Roddick wins 2nd slam
After his near miss last year, this was his best chance. Sadly, no Slam #2 for Roddick.

Posted by Northern boy 07/05/2010 at 12:57 AM

Btw Aussiemarg, very impressed with Jarmila Groth!

Posted by zenggi 07/05/2010 at 12:59 AM

Good morning,
Congratulations to Rafa and his fans. I just watched highlights of the match and he was impressive with his serve and form. Commisserations to Tomas and his fans. Not surprised that he was nervous as it was his first GS final. Lots of good tennis from both players in this Wimbledon 2010.

The Spanish press is giving Rafa a lot of headlines:
http://www.marca.com/index.html?a=d412d23da14d5d169dbe682b98f3f57a&t=1278305052

http://www.as.com/#

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 07/05/2010 at 01:07 AM

Papo Indeed.Rafa is the kind of guy you just cant help yourself with lol!

I remember all this talk about this young Spainish kid soo long ago now

He got to me first and then I fell for his game.

He is soo popular here in Sydney.I remember one day talking to some young Aussie junior boys they said to me they wanted to grow up like Rafa and have his arms LOL!

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 07/05/2010 at 01:10 AM

Okay Neil from Toronto

2 emails from you in 1 day is just blowing me away lol!

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 07/05/2010 at 01:11 AM

Good Morning Zengii

Yes its a great day let me tell you lol!

I havent read all the press as yet will get to it eventually

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 07/05/2010 at 01:12 AM

Morning, everyone. :)

Lovely picture of Rafa at the top. :) Enjoyed the post too. It wasn't the best of championship matches, but he did earn it, and this time last week I was not thinking that Rafa was going to win this - he looked worried, unsettled, the early round matches had been so difficult - it didn't look good to me. Made yesterday even better. :) I am so glad he will get another possible chance to open play at Wimbledon as defending champion!

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 07/05/2010 at 01:16 AM

Good Morning Jewell

A great day here at RAFA INC

I have received 2 emails from Neil already? probably will never hear from him again lol!

Posted by Papo (Got Nadal?) 07/05/2010 at 01:17 AM

Jewell, that's a universal hope for all Nadal fans, Rafa finally getting to play the first match on Center Court as defending champion and number one seed.

Posted by zenggi 07/05/2010 at 01:19 AM

Hi, AM and jewell.

With so many things happening at the same time, I've missed a lot of Wimbledon this year.
I'll watch the recorded matches in the off season. That's what I say every time. :)

Posted by temes 07/05/2010 at 01:27 AM

I was really impressed by Nadal's final performance. His game has improved to match these power hitters. It will be very interesting how he fares at the USO. If he wins it, I will start to believe he can challenge Fed's Slam total. lol As crazy as that sounds...

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 07/05/2010 at 01:27 AM

zengii No worries.Now that the Netherlands are going soo well in the World Cup I understand and keeping up all the food and drink at home

Well I can now concentrate on my fav Tour Du France now lol!

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 07/05/2010 at 01:31 AM

Hmmmmm I did post this before

Sir Cliff Richard needs to go easy on the Botox.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 07/05/2010 at 01:35 AM

yeah, Papo. :) Hope he's not injured next year!

Hi zenggi and AM. :)

In some ways, not having to go through Federer in the last two slams adds to Rafa's achievement - each time he went through other players he's had trouble with in the past, players who can be a bad match-up for him, like Soderling and Berdych, & players with recent wins like Murray.

Posted by rg.nadal 07/05/2010 at 01:36 AM

Hello all!

Why was Cliff Richard cheering for Berdy?

Zenggi: Congrats on the great show by your home team @ the WC.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 07/05/2010 at 01:38 AM

RG Hola

I think Sir Cliff was o/t on the Botox really

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 07/05/2010 at 01:40 AM

Pfft. Bet Ronnie Wood was cheering for Rafa! That beats Cliff any day. ;-)

Xisca looked beautiful. I think one of my favourite moments was her wiping a tear from under her sunglasses. :)

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 07/05/2010 at 01:42 AM

Jewell Hmmm I did see that moment from the g/friend she still wears those 80's Avator sunglasses.

Posted by mick1303 07/05/2010 at 01:43 AM

This is a brushed version of Nadal’s interview, given by P. Bodo:
“It didn't happen since Borg (1980), and now it happened for the past three years. How crazy is life?"

This is an actual quote:
“It didn't happen since Borg, so now last three years it happen twice. So how crazy is the life”

So, Nadal, like his fans, thinks what Federer did does not count? And Bodo protects him. Why?

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 07/05/2010 at 01:43 AM

I loved Rafa's mum expression the most

Mums know best,just saying

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 07/05/2010 at 01:46 AM

Also Uncle Toni

Just watching the end again

Yay the moment of the match

Rafa's Sommersault

Vamos!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 07/05/2010 at 01:48 AM

LOL, AM. I think she looked good in them. :) And I love her hair.

LOL, mick1303. Don't you think that's a bit of a stretch considering the many, many times Rafa and Roger have stuck up for each other's reputations and achievements? As for the "like his fans", well, a) we don't have a hive mind, and b) some of us actually like & admire Roger very much, and don't spend all our time trying to tear him down.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 07/05/2010 at 01:49 AM

Alos loved the speech from Tomas.His smile lights up the place.

Great speech Tomas and again a great tournament for you at Wimby

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 07/05/2010 at 01:50 AM

Jewell Of course you would LOL!

I need to take you on a shopping trip

Bond St ok

Dont faint and you and I can visit another shoe shop together lol!

Posted by AB 07/05/2010 at 01:50 AM

Hi All: Still feeling the glow, huh?

I thought after PP that Rafa would win the whole thing. Yes, he was still finding his grass legs and range and the 2 early round big hitters came out on fire, executing their game plans, but Rafa never panics. The most astounding part of his game is how boldly he goes for it when his back is against a wall. He gets nervous, but he has an amazing ability to re-focus on the point being played.

And right now, I don't think anyone but Roger can hang with him, 5 sets in the 7th match of a major. Sod was worn out after 2 sets in the 7th round of FO, MAndy was tiring after 2 in the 6th round of Wimby, and Berdych did not have the legs through the 1st set of the 7th round. I emphasize the rounds because I think people forget that the number of matches to win, not get to, a final in a major is a huge feat, which is why so many have referenced other less-than-riveting GS finals.

The energy expenditure is huge and cannot be measured by court time, alone. Tomas has never played this much tennis. He had nothing left for the final. Managing your energy expenditure is the key to winning one of these jewels. I don't think MAndy or Sod know how to do this, yet. Berdych, with just one full tourney run has not either.

In fact, the stranglehold of excellence that Fedal has put on these GS the past 6 years means that, unless both are injured at the same time next year, I would be shocked if anyone else has the maturity to take one of these away from them, even past the era of Peak Roger.

As I mentioned several months ago, one of my pet theories is that Delpo did so much damage to himself *because* he didn't understand the limits of his still growing body and played with too much power, redlining without even realizing it and doing major damage to himself in order to put the beat down on Fedal to win the USO. I miss him too, but I think he'll have to make major adjustments in his game to get back to elite level and stay there. Just because he can hit it that hard, doesn't mean he should. And perhaps the injury will prevent him anyway.

So, for all the people complaining about the lack of drama in the final, please remember that very few in this era other than Fedal, know what it takes to win a GS. Nole can't remember, and Delpo probably won't be able to recreate the particular form that won him the USO.

Posted by rg.nadal 07/05/2010 at 01:53 AM

hello jewell.

Think my prior post vanished. Where is Rafa playing next?

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 07/05/2010 at 01:54 AM

mick1303: the journo misstated it in the question and rafa parrotted it back to her in his answer. Rafa never misses an opportunity to praise his colleagues. He was asked in the spanish presser to give his analysis of the fall of federer and he got very irritated and said to the questioner to not speak negatively about Federer who is the best player ever and a bunch of other stuff. You should try to find the spanish presser. It was the second question asked.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 07/05/2010 at 01:55 AM

Shoe shopping! *horrified face* Although if anyone could make it fun, it would be you, AM. :)

Hi AB. I think I will be obnoxiously happy for quite some time. :) I didn't think he could win at all after the early mileage but I am very happy to be wrong!

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 07/05/2010 at 01:56 AM

Hi ya, rg. I think probably Toronto? Hopefully he'll rest a bit beforehand.

Posted by mick1303 07/05/2010 at 02:00 AM

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 07/05/2010 at 01:48 AM
LOL, AM. I think she looked good in them. :) And I love her hair.

LOL, mick1303. Don't you think that's a bit of a stretch considering the many, many times Rafa and Roger have stuck up for each other's reputations and achievements? As for the "like his fans", well, a) we don't have a hive mind, and b) some of us actually like & admire Roger very much, and don't spend all our time trying to tear him down.

==========================
Somehow, it feels like Nadal fans, who don't dance on Federer's proverbial grave, are in the minority.

Posted by Carrie 07/05/2010 at 02:00 AM

mick- if you really think that Rafa dismisses Roger, then I guess he must be the greatest actor ever. And also thanks for lumping Rafa fans as a monolothic mass who way Roger doesn't count when plenty of us have given Roger kudos through the years.


Rafa has repeatedly praised Roger and in 2008 was very vocal against the talk of Roger's decline.

If he did mess up in his English- he also did when he was talking about playing Murray "yesterday." But I guess it is more fun to look for nefarious snubs and lumping fans as a collective?

This continual bitterness from all fan groups is what is making me realize that maybe TW is not the best place for me anymore. I am not saying everyone always has to be positive- and there can be different tastes. But there has been an increasing trend to look for the negative and to bash other fans. I think tennis is lucky in that vis-a-vis other sports it actually has a pretty darned good group of folks in the ranks. But there here is a continual need to look for bad things and bash....

Pete- enjoyed this post.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 07/05/2010 at 02:02 AM

mick1303: at 11:27 on pg 2 of this thread is the post I described.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 07/05/2010 at 02:04 AM

Just watching our young Aussie junior Ben Mitchell in his final

Bad luck Ben but good result for making the final

You need more time on the grass though you have a good all round game

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 07/05/2010 at 02:07 AM

Ben was Rafa's hitting partner at the AO this year

He said Rafa's balls were ridiculas to return even in practice lol!

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 07/05/2010 at 02:10 AM

Jewell: I was happy too to see swwnbn (

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 07/05/2010 at 02:12 AM

mick1303 - it is a shame that some people want to tear down other players, and I'm sorry about that. I remember exactly how I felt this time last year - and really if anyone should understand how Fed fans might be feeling it is Rafa fans. But honestly? - it goes both ways. There's plenty of sniping at Rafa going on, too.

Posted by rg.nadal 07/05/2010 at 02:12 AM

Yeah. Nice to see Rafa talking about fishing, Mallorca, golf, rest, relax..NA HC season can wait...

Posted by AB 07/05/2010 at 02:14 AM

Hey Jewell: You couldn't be obnoxious if you tried and I know, this place can be very trying. Rafa is a great champion. I love watching him play tennis, tics and all. The post match Splanglish just gets better and better.

Hurry up and heal Roger so we can see more good stuff. I am not tired of Fedal. The young guns are going to have to stay on their toes because the bar keeps getting higher. Good for them for staying close and giving themselves chances. That's as much as anyone could do playing in the overlapping eras of 2 great champions.

Posted by zenggi 07/05/2010 at 02:14 AM

Eeh... Time for me to go to work.
Have a nice day, everyone.

rg,
Thanks. One match at the time :)

AM,
I saw yesterday another mighty Swiss: Fabian Cancellara. By the way your man -Adam Hansen- fell at the beginning of the Tour and broke his clavicle. Nevertheless he went on and finish the race. 200 km. with a broken bone. Incredible!

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 07/05/2010 at 02:15 AM

RG I bet he cant wait for the next soccer match with his beloved Spain

He said in his interview he would love to go and watch but has to have knee treatment

No concern there it is just a ongoing thing however.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 07/05/2010 at 02:16 AM

zengii Very sad to see he is out now.Though what a tough guy he is

Bye Zengii

Posted by Carrie 07/05/2010 at 02:17 AM

*and Delpo probably won't be able to recreate the particular form that won him the USO.*

Sobs into hanky. Oh my lord- I hope he can come back and recreate some of his wonderful shots. But I fear his injury may make it different. Ack- but he is a smart boy (got great grades in school) so I think he will figure something out.

With Rafa winning his 8th grand slam I feel like in a way it frees me to root for some other players more. I don't think there will ever be a fave the level of Rafa for me (he has been the tops for me in fandom since I started watching tennis as a toddler during the 1980 W final). But- I have always liked more than one player. Differnt players, different times may cause a different rooting need. Delpo was the first player that I ever rooted for against Rafa (I felt like he needed the Miami win and I just wanted Elf to get to the USO final.) My default rooting interest will always be Rafa (in particular at the USO until he maybe - if- gets a title. But say if Rafa were to meet Murray at Wimbles next year- may root for the Scot.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 07/05/2010 at 02:18 AM

Well noone here is going to spoil my party lol!

Posted by Carrie 07/05/2010 at 02:20 AM

mick- I also think that the negative fans can be the loudest if you will and drown out the rest of the group. A loud negative minority will always be louder than the more positive majority.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 07/05/2010 at 02:20 AM

In his spanish presser, where there was a translation, he said he is going to have the same treatment that worked so well on his other knee before. Now he's going to have it done on both knees I believe.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Rafa Channel Slam Winner 2010! 07/05/2010 at 02:24 AM

Yes that is better lol!

Posted by GB 07/05/2010 at 02:28 AM

Hey everyone!

Still so, so happy!

mick1303:
There's a partial excerpt of the English presser video here: http://tinyurl.com/267jg28
The answer you refer to is at the very end. Rafa actually says it didn't happen since Borg and then the last THREE years (meaning him, Fed & then him again). The journo, concentrating on Rafa, is the one who says 'TWICE'. That's obviously what made it onto the official record, cause RafaEnglish is often 'corrected':)


Posted by AB 07/05/2010 at 02:30 AM

Hi Carrie: Sorry, I didn't mean to sound so definitive. JMDP may return to form. Wrist injuries are tricky and he was still a growing boy, albeit a very large and hairy one who looked and felt much older than his years. I hope he does come back and, like Rafa, make the adjustments necessary to fine tune his game to weather the physical demands of winning a bit better.

Cheers, AM! Your boy has proven that he has a champion's heart. I think he still has many goals and has learned some hard lessons about managing tournaments and the long season. What an amazing comeback. Just so much tennis to enjoy these past few months.
I know you're a Borg (clearly assimilated) but he wasn't willing to keep knocking at the castle walls of the USO. I think Rafa wants this one...bad. It will be interesting to see how he manages his HC season. And even if it's not this year, you know he will be back next year with his battering ram trying to find a way to win. Gotta love his "illusion."

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Rafa Channel Slam Winner 2010! 07/05/2010 at 02:31 AM

GB High Fives

Good to see your not frazzeling lol!

Rafa also said when he has now reached the company of some other greats in tenniw winning his 8th GS title he dosent comapare.He feels very lucky to have 8 GS titles.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 07/05/2010 at 02:31 AM

*swings GB round in a happydance*

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Rafa Channel Slam Winner 2010! 07/05/2010 at 02:33 AM

AB Please dont remind me of the times Borg went knocking at the USO hey? total sniff.

Of course I blame those night lights lol!

Rafa and Uncle Toni have had the wish list of the USO now since 08

We Gonna See No?

Posted by AB 07/05/2010 at 02:34 AM

Annie: I would rather have you on my team then a dross of Djokovics, a flock of Federers, a murder of Murrays, or a tenscore of Tims. You have been a stalwart defender of a reality-based forum. Me 'ats off to you and many thanks.

Posted by GB 07/05/2010 at 02:35 AM

I think RafAndy might be my favourite bromance of them all! Muzz is no longer hiding his love:):

http://tinyurl.com/27b5gmt
-------
"I love the guy," Murray said as he reflected on his defeat by the world No 1 on Friday. "As a player I think he's the best thing that has ever happened to tennis. I play so much tennis, but he's the only guy I love to watch. I have a lot of respect for him as well.
-------

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Rafa Channel Slam Winner 2010! 07/05/2010 at 02:39 AM

Actually Rafa and Borg have similar stats in many ways

I have nearly updated them and I will post soon now after I can now complete them as Wimby is over.

I will post stats on Rafa soo far this season

Posted by rg.nadal 07/05/2010 at 02:40 AM

zenggi: Welcome.

AM: Yeah. Let him enjoy. He played way too much tennis since April.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Rafa Channel Slam Winner 2010! 07/05/2010 at 02:42 AM

RG Spot on.I am glad he is not playing the upcoming DC too.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Rafa Channel Slam Winner 2010! 07/05/2010 at 02:44 AM

I also miss Rosanel not being around here too.She was great to have with Rafa ansd his stats I could always ask her for confirmation.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 07/05/2010 at 02:52 AM

I have to go to work, annoyingly. See you all later. :)

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Rafa Channel Slam Winner 2010! 07/05/2010 at 02:53 AM

Bye Jewell

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Rafa Channel Slam Winner 2010! 07/05/2010 at 02:56 AM

Just listening to Ben Mitchells interview

He is going back to Barcelona to train on the clay.He thinks at this stage that is the best thing for his career at this stage.He will try to play clay challenger tournaments while in Spain

Posted by rg.nadal 07/05/2010 at 02:59 AM

jewell. ciao.

Posted by Henry Leung 07/05/2010 at 03:08 AM

Most people making a comparison between Roger and Rafa seems to presume that Roger will stop his GS trophy at 16 while Rafa will have many time to win more GS trophies. Some also said that by comparison with the head-to-head between Roger and Rafa, Roger cannot be the greatest as Rafa has a better results. I think tennis, nor are other sports, is not judged like this. Roger may be in his later part of his career and Rafa may be just the middle. Roger still has good tennis with him and of couse, injuries and sickness may affect any player that will directly affect their performance. Who knows!? In the later part of Rafa's career, he may also be bound to lose to other players too. This is sport.
But to me, even though Rafa will win more GS than Roger, Roger is the greatness in tennis so far because of a combination of: (i) his past achievement in tennis; (ii) his all-rounded tennis skills; (iii) his beautiful style in playing; (iv) his love and passion for the game; (v) his knowledge about the history of tennis; (vi) his positive attitude; (vii) his various charity participation; and (viii) his charisma.

Posted by spacenoxx 07/05/2010 at 03:13 AM

I just want Rafa to hold on to his #1 ranking for as long as possible. If he can do it for like 2 straight years then it would be great :-)

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Rafa Channel Slam Winner 2010! 07/05/2010 at 03:17 AM

Well I have to have a siesta I cant manage on just 3 hours sleep anymore

Vamos Rafa and High Fives to all Rafa fans!!!

Later!

Posted by RP 07/05/2010 at 03:37 AM

Rafa - earned this victory.
good part about him is that he keeps trying.
4 finals is not easy. 3 out of them with Roger. He in fact almost defeated roger in the 2 final. He lost , he was there again next year. He won. Missed next year with injury. Tries again - this year - he won !

It's the same thing about Roger - he was there every year to get Roland Garros and once Rafa was not there he took it.

Only difference - Roger has not beaten Rafa in Roland Garros yet and he I don't think Roger would be sitting on his sofa at home and saw this final (this shows a lot about a man)

That's another difference which makes Rafa slightly better player than Roger - his humility.

It's not only the number of grand slams that makes a true champion, there are loads of other stuff and I am sure we have all felt that other stuff when Rafa is around (in his remarks, general conduct etc) and somehow you don't feel the same about Roger.


thanks

Posted by mick1303 07/05/2010 at 04:13 AM

If you analyze the behavior of fans, it is Federer fans, who should be as a group much more bitter about Nadal, because a lot of Federer failures are associated with Nadal. Nadal fans should feel much better about Federer, because he symbolizes Nadal’s success to a great degree.
But why Nadal fans (OK, “some Nadal fans”, but there are too many of them to claim that this is a case of “bad sheep”) are so bitter about Federer? What fuels their anger?

Of course, I don't count on honest answer. They will not admit it even to themselves.

Posted by spacenoxx 07/05/2010 at 04:29 AM

mick1303 :

"it is Federer fans, who should be as a group much more bitter about Nadal"

There, that statement itself is a good example. Essentially you say its OK for Roger fans to hate/(be bitter towards) Nadal but not the other way. Sound weird??

In other news, I hear Rafito is going ahead with FULL treatment for both his knees. Sincerely hope it works. In any case, he should take it easy during HC season and play more aggressively, reduce spin, hit flatter and cut down on chasing balls. Its not worth running down every ball. He needs to play smarter and not harder from now on.

Posted by mick1303 07/05/2010 at 04:49 AM

I didn’t say it is “OK to hate”. What I said is there seems to be more reason for Federer fans to hate Nadal. Not the other way around. Especially now, when Nadal is in his zenith. But why instead of concentrating on joy of their man recent wins, they pounce on Federer with such passion?

Why someone describes with such graphic details that Nadal makes Soderling eat dirt, etc? Is that the kind of fans Nadal attracts? What is that in his demeanor that attracts such people? He is so humble... or does he?

Posted by Spacenoxx (El Stupido aka The Moron From Majorca) 07/05/2010 at 05:22 AM

mick1303:

"I didn’t say it is “OK to hate”. What I said is there seems to be more reason for Federer fans to hate Nadal."

As long as you justify any hatred by one set of fans but not the other, there is nothing to discuss as by your logic everyone should be hating Federer far more as he defeated far more players in far more matches

But I guess, like you said, its reasonable to hate Rafa but unreasonable to hate Federer...I get it :-)

Posted by Mike 07/05/2010 at 05:55 AM

Rafa deserves all the kudos ... he rebounded from a bad time in his career, both physically and emotionally, to take his 2nd Major in a row. What you can't deny is that before you can put him in Federer's class as one of the best of all time, he's going to have to win more Masters and Majors on other surfaces besides clay. He's beginning to get there on grass, but he's still 4 short of Fed's total on that surface ... and that's just grass. Fed is up 5 to 0 at the USO, and 3 - 1 at the AO. That's a heck of a lot of ground to cover ... let's enjoy the day, but at the same time ... not get too far ahead of it in speculation. I'm sure there was a lot of speculation regarding Borg's lifetime potential in 1980 ...

Posted by mick1303 07/05/2010 at 06:20 AM

As long as you justify any hatred by one set of fans but not the other, there is nothing to discuss as by your logic everyone should be hating Federer far more as he defeated far more players in far more matches
=================

spacenoxx, you’re probably a lawyer, judging by the way you twist words. There is a long way from telling that there is a reason for something to “justifying” or saying “it’s OK”. The latter implies agreement on the moral ground.

Posted by yogi 07/05/2010 at 06:23 AM

Dear Pete,
We ought to remember that Rafael Nadal is not just only Ajax of a tennis world but also he is Odyssey of a tennis world. It seems that Nadal could perfectly read the Berdych's serve but our Odyssey didn't expose this fact and didn't let Berdych to accommodate. Nadal did fight at full strength against Berdych's serve only when it was needed. Some brilliant sparks were – and the game was over.

Posted by ChannelSlam 07/05/2010 at 06:25 AM

The Champs at dinner:
http://cowbell.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83423e30253ef013485359a40970c-pi

Posted by Samantha Elin, Caro to the haters, don't you wish your pusher was hott like me. 07/05/2010 at 06:36 AM

Good morning all. Time to rate Wimbledon. Most surprising: Marathon of Isner. Least surprising: both world's no 1, Serena and Rafa winning Wimbledon: Biggest upsets, Venus and Roddick because of the quality of the opponents they went out to. Most expected: Jankovic taking a beatdown, calling for a trainer and retiring from her match. Most impressive of the young players: Kivitova. Most improved: Maria. Most impressive player throughout Wimbledon: Serena without dropping a set and the most aces ever by a female player at Wimbledon. Rafa was an A plus, but one of his matches went to a tight five setter while no one really challenge Serena or took her to a third set. Just saw the USO series commerial and loved it, all the big names and great grandslams champions are in it: Roddick, Federer, Kim, Nadal, Vee and Ree, and Oudin, right up there with the greats of the game. Hmmmm!P.S. I don't rate Roger's upset as the biggest because of the quality of the opponent which defeated him. The way people talk about it you would have thought he went out to a player with little game.

Posted by Samantha Elin, Caro to the haters, don't you wish your pusher was hott like me. 07/05/2010 at 06:37 AM

Should have also mentioned best run: Bepa made it to the doubles and singles final, huge achievement.

Posted by Samantha Elin, Caro to the haters, don't you wish your pusher was hott like me. 07/05/2010 at 06:40 AM

Ivanovic is now ranked 64, she is in a Vadisova like free fall, fading at the same pace.

Posted by Spacenoxx (El Stupido aka The Moron From Majorca) 07/05/2010 at 06:42 AM

mick1303:

Twisting your words?? There was nothing to twist ..lol

"there seems to be more reason for Federer fans to hate Nadal" is straight as an arrow.

If you think there is a justification for Roger fans for hating Rafa, for "raining" on his/their parade, then every ATP player('s fans) whoever lost to Roger have a reason to hate him as he was "raining" on theirs :-)

At that rate lot of us would be hating a lot of us. So the only way to stop it is stop hating a player for winning. Instead try and support your fav player during his 'dark times'.

As long you try to 'reason' hatred, there will always be a problem.

Posted by Spacenoxx (El Stupido aka The Moron From Majorca) 07/05/2010 at 06:45 AM

ChannelSlam 07/05/2010 at 06:25 AM

Thanks ChannelSlam. Would really appreciate more pics of Rafito and Serena. Rafito looks like he is enjoying it, but Serena looks as if her mind is elsewhere...lol

Posted by Spacenoxx (El Stupido aka The Moron From Majorca) 07/05/2010 at 06:48 AM

SamE,

I love your posts. They are like a breath of fresh air. I like the way you try and include Oudin/JJ in your posts. Even if we were talking about poverty in some part of Africa, I am sure you would come up with a way to include JJ/Oudin in it :-)

Posted by ChannelSlam 07/05/2010 at 07:02 AM

Spacenoxx:
http://www.tenisweb.com/fotos-cena-de-gala-y-campeones-wimbledon-2010/

Posted by Ruth 07/05/2010 at 07:31 AM

"Ivanovic is now ranked 64, she is in a Vadisova like free fall, fading at the same pace."

And, SamE, I read yesterday that she's going to play Stanford instead of.... Well, I'm not going to repeat once more the plan of action that I've been recommending for her for the past year. People will start getting bored with me. Oh, did someway say they're already bored?!?! heheheh

ChannelSlam: Your pictures are great. That one with Serena and Rafa at dinner has me wondering if Common and Xisca are still around. The little kiss from Rafa in the picture you posted yesterday and that look in Serena's eyes in the one you posted @ 6:25 am hmmmmm.... LOL

Posted by ChannelSlam 07/05/2010 at 07:31 AM

In March 2010, following his loss to Andy Roddick at Indian Wells, much was being made of the 11-month title drought Rafael Nadal was experiencing. Now, three months later, he tops the tour with 5 titles over two surfaces, including 2 Slams and 3 Masters.

Since mid 2009, much was being said of Rafael Nadal’s apparent inability to defeat top 8 players. Fast forwarding to 2010, and starting in May, he has defeated players ranked 1 and 7 (Federer, Soderling) on clay and 4 and 6 (Murray, Soderling) on grass.

All that said, and based on recent events, we should all be very aware that this recent success can be stopped on its tracks by different internal and external forces so it’s important to take pause and enjoy this moment without getting ahead and counting on projected results that may not come to fruition.

Posted by ChannelSlam 07/05/2010 at 07:36 AM

Ruth,
I think Serena looks great in those pictures.
Not sure if you know Spanish but I found it very telling that the only comment on the last link I posted said: How pretty is Serena! (translated from Spanish) especially becuase this is a Rafael Nadal site :)

Posted by Samantha Elin, Caro to the haters, don't you wish your pusher was hott like me. 07/05/2010 at 07:42 AM

My biggest hope for the USO: Roger and Vee to win, just to prove the critics wrong and these two great champions are far from done.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Rafa Channel Slam Winner 2010! 07/05/2010 at 08:22 AM

Rafa stats soo far this year.

Rafa has dominated the ATP tour since April winning 31 of his 32 matches

Rafa has become the first Spainard in history to win 2 Wimbledon titles.Manuel Santana won 1 in 1966.

Rafa regained the no 1 position after his Roland Garos win also added a further 2000 points.

Rafa has already secured a place in the final championships in London.

Also kudos to Patrick McEnroe who predicated the correct score in the final

Rafa 3,5,4 Well done.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Rafa Channel Slam Winner 2010! 07/05/2010 at 08:37 AM

Forgot to add nadal who beat Murray on the s/finals at Wimbledon has now won 14 consecutive matches at Wimbledon.

Posted by ilovetennis 07/05/2010 at 08:39 AM

I felt that Berdych kept hanging on for almost all the match, but whenever he was serving to stay in the set, or the match, he melted down. I haven't seen Berdych as mentally weak as yesterday, even against Federer. I didn't enjoy the match yesterday, it was a bit boring. I was hoping to watch a match like the final of 2009 between Federer and Roddick, but this match was too lame.

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