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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 rudy3 (proud Rafaelite since 2005) 07/05/2010 at 08:40 AM

Good Morning!
Basking in the internet afterglow of the Glorious Number 8. Rafa is really getting his due all around the cyberglobe today.

I am so happy for him and proud to have been on this bandwagon since he 1st stepped through my tv during his 4th rd match vs Sebastian Grosjean in Paris. I thought, who is this kid? what the heck is he wearing? why is everybody booing? This is exciting.

Wimbledon is always the place to be for 2 weeks. So happy that Rafa & Serena won. The world # 1's did their thing, and uprighted the wacky upset applecart of a tournament.

Upsets makes the 2 weeks more intersting...but as shown by both...doesn't tend to hold up for the most exciting finals.

Thank you Pete for all the write ups. I suspect he is enroute back to Gotham, so I hope his travels are safe.

I don't post much (I have a distaste for the bait thrown about all to often). But I read all the time. Congrats to all my fellow RafaKADS. Its special, no?

Moonballers of the world unite!

Posted by Frances 07/05/2010 at 08:40 AM

Morning... I really should be studying but i just wanted to catch up on everyone's convo...

Team Nadal -- thank you for the pics. ..i dont know what connections u have but i cant find these pics even on the wmby site to kodus to you.

GB... Thnk you for the MandyRafa bromance article...I always judge rafa's relationship with his many opponents on that particular "exchange"after the game.. I remember Mandy was just as consoling to Rafa during AO10..so much bromance andi think they admire each other.. esp even Uncle Toni has a lot of admiration of the young Scot.. and even their teams get along well!


Also Rafa and Djoko's relationship has improved very much so ...Djoko has this smile and hug ready for rafa after defeat.

As for the Spanish guys.. no question about that.. seems like spanish armada are a tight bunch

Rafa based on every exchange on the net with TMF has always been a manifestatioin of respect.. i dont think they can be buddy buddy like djoko or murray prolly because of age gap diff ...but rafa really shows how much he respect the guy..

Posted by Mike 07/05/2010 at 08:41 AM

I honestly don't see why both Fed + Rafa KADs think that Rafa is really that much of a thorn in Rafa's side ... any less then Fed has been for Rafa. Rafa held Fed back from winning the FO for 3 straight, and Fed kept Rafa from the #1 spot for 5 years. Aside from keeping Fed from winning the clay Masters and Majors, Rafa has taken 1 Wimby and 1 AO ... taking into consideration Fed is up there in regards to Masters, and still managed to win 16 Majors with Rafa around ... not sure how it's that one sided to bring out hatred.

Face it ... without one or the other, the last 5 years would not have been what it was in Tennis History. No need for sour grapes on either side.

Posted by Mike 07/05/2010 at 08:42 AM

Make that 'thorn in Fed's side'. :p

Posted by Frances 07/05/2010 at 08:50 AM

To add on my previous comment about bormances, not to stir on any hate or arguments here BUT

I wanted to point out the the nadal soderling exhange on the net had enough distance between them...understandable soderling must have been very upset although nadal did had softer consoling look... i know on paper its been reconfirmed again and again that they have patched things up--..but i dont think you will see playing cards or watching futball anytime soon

the Berdych exchange was good...it looks to me that their madrid 2005 exchange has long been forgotten and now they have more of a respectable cordial relationship...


Posted by Gigi Burton 07/05/2010 at 08:54 AM

Peter Dodo,

Who won Roland Garros and Wimbledon? Do you know that Rafa did? Did you not say that he is King of the Minors? Have you bitten your tongue yet? Do I hear a stutter? I hope Rafa's double header sticks in your craw.

I'll visit with you again after the USO, until then, let me remind you that Rafa is only 24 and if he manages his schedule well enough, Federer's accomplishments will pale next to his.

Peace and pie to you, Dodo.

Posted by Purcell 07/05/2010 at 08:55 AM

Mr Peter Bodo;
Congrats to real Nadal fans but not those who choose to decry Fed after Nad's moment of glory. That's just rude.
Mr Peter Bodo:
Where's the asterisk for this victory?! Yes , I'm sure you know what I mean.
One of the reports on this site referred to Federer taking advantage of Nadal's absence at Wimb last year. You journos-it never stops does it?

Posted by FED FRED 07/05/2010 at 08:56 AM

It is clear to anyone that RAFA is the #1 player in the world.

FED is is one of the best of all time but RAFA is and will
always be better.
The Slam count is a new phenomena to tennis started by Sampras
when he said, "All I care about is slams."

FED has won 16 but RAFA has a 14-7 edge over him in match play
and a 6-2 advantage at slams.
It doesn't matter that FED has 16...look at the results...RAFA is the better player.

Posted by Purcell 07/05/2010 at 08:57 AM

Sorry . Ignore Mr P B at the top. Didn't delete.

Posted by TennisFan2 (Serena & Rafa at the Ball?) 07/05/2010 at 09:00 AM

ChannelSlam,

Thanks for posting the table #1 picture! Have been waiting to see that one since the beginning of the tourney. ;-)

Posted by chicklet 07/05/2010 at 09:02 AM

ChannelSlam - I third (fourth?) the thanks for the Champions Ball pictures. Lovely to see both of them happy and relaxed.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Rafa Channel Slam Winner 2010! 07/05/2010 at 09:09 AM

I am watching the Tour going through Belgium now which is just breath taking

I must go and see the photos from the Ball

I hope Rafa found a good fitting suit

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Rafa Channel Slam Winner 2010! 07/05/2010 at 09:12 AM

Thanks Channel Slam

Great photos.Serena looked fantastic in gold

Rafa did find a good fitting suit

Hmmm pity about that watch that looked so out of place

A nice dress watch would be more suitable

Though I know he has to wear it 24/7 now lol!

Posted by TeamNadal 07/05/2010 at 09:14 AM

AM, just for you....

http://i46.tinypic.com/2zpqr5v.jpg

Posted by Pietro 07/05/2010 at 09:17 AM

Well said Mr Bodo, Nadal loves this game and always loves in the moment

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Rafa Channel Slam Winner 2010! 07/05/2010 at 09:18 AM

Team Nadal Many thanks I will add that one to my links

Posted by gauloises (unrepentant FOOP) 07/05/2010 at 09:21 AM

Well, no-one says all the players have to be best buddies. As Delpo has said (re: Murray), as long as everyone behaves with respect and you shake hands at the end, it's all fine.

Although he and Murray have had plenty of warm net exchanges since that infamous Rome day. They were giggling together through the trophy ceremony in Montreal last year. *cherishes memories*

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Rafa Channel Slam Winner 2010! 07/05/2010 at 09:28 AM

As far as I am concerned what happens on court

Should stay on court

Once a match is finished hand shake and move on

I am sure once the players get back to the locker rooms whatever happens on court is all forgotton

Posted by Subhadeep 07/05/2010 at 09:37 AM

My take after this wimbledon :

-- especially to all the Roger haters and telling always he won in weak times. Look at the scorelines Rafa beat Murray and Berdych. Besides Roger, does anyone even comes close to taking sets off Rafa and take him to the 5th? So does that mean if so called top players can't take even one set off Rafa in big matches like semis and finals then isn't this also a weak era that Rafa is taking advantage of winning as Roger is slowly winding down and no one else good is in the field?

-- Rafa's interview on Wimbledon website was interesting. He was gushing about wimbledon being his favorite tourney, how he always dreamt of playing on grass, etc. Really? What happened to his love for clay and winning all the FO?

-- Also surprising was how Rafa was oblivious of Roger winning the double Slam last year with FO and Wimbledon. He said its amazing how last 2 out of 3 years this double has been done after Borg. The two champs, Roger and Rafa, has been very very respectful of each other. I hope Roger see this slighting too and gets himself ready for 2 more years so he can end his career with a few more slams and also the gold in grass on Wimbledon.

Posted by Subhadeep 07/05/2010 at 09:38 AM

by gold in Wimbledon I am refering to Olympics gold in 2012

Posted by TeamNadal 07/05/2010 at 09:40 AM

holy hell girl....self-tanner or body make-up is your friend.....FEET!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://i49.tinypic.com/bk2tw.jpg

Posted by chicklet 07/05/2010 at 09:40 AM

gauloises - I had forgotten about Montreal last year. Relive the bromance
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHrpo7qlH10

Delpo is just adorable. I don't know how a 6'5" man-boy can be adorable, but he pulls it off.

Posted by ChannelSlam 07/05/2010 at 09:41 AM

Subhadeep:

Posted by GB at 2.28am

"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 Samantha Elin, Caro to the haters, don't you wish your pusher was hott like me. 07/05/2010 at 09:45 AM

Just saw the pic of Rafa kissing Serena, I love it. King and Queen of tennis. It feels really weird seeing Roger ranked no 3, something seems a little wrong with that and I'm sure he will right it. Serena and Roger are the same age and she's in her prime, he will find his old form and be no l again. Believe!

Posted by Subhadeep 07/05/2010 at 09:45 AM

thanks for the info ChannelSlam ... I really enjoyed Rafa-Roger dominance and always loved how they are two greats but are amicable to each other and felt a tad bit annoyed when I read that. So your info does makes me feel better now.

Posted by TeamNadal 07/05/2010 at 09:47 AM

Rafa Interview with Brad Gilbert on ESPN...

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=5354355&categoryid=2378529

Posted by ChannelSlam 07/05/2010 at 09:47 AM

I could be assuming wrong but Mr. Bodo included the direct quote from Rafa because he was there.

"As Nadal said in his presser, "It didn't happen since Borg (1980), and now it happened for the past three years."

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Rafa Channel Slam Winner 2010! 07/05/2010 at 09:47 AM

Team Nadal Ugh! just as bad when players have Sock Marks

They really need to pay more attention to their feet or dont wear sandals etc

Major Blunder there Yikes!

Posted by gauloises (unrepentant FOOP) 07/05/2010 at 09:49 AM

Thanks! I’m at work right now but I will be watching that later. If I can bear it.

I think it’s precisely because he’s a 6’5” man-boy that he is adorable. You know, it’s the inherent unlikeliness of this giant bronzed physical specimen who’s a roaring powerhouse when he’s actually playing, but turns into a shy overgrown puppy who mumbles and hunches and trips over his own feet as soon as he’s not.

Not that I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this or anything.

Posted by ChannelSlam 07/05/2010 at 09:49 AM

Subhadeep,
No problem. I am a Rafa fan who has much respect for Roger and I can't say I have ever heard Nadal being anything other than respectful and complimentary towards Roger.
Unfortunately, sometimes all we have to go by is what is reported which may not be 100% accurate. :)

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Rafa Channel Slam Winner 2010! 07/05/2010 at 09:52 AM

Thanks Team Nadal Brad is a huge Rafa fan will go and listen to interview

I have to say this I need to buy a Chateau in Belgium Ahhhhhhh just magnificent country side

Posted by Samantha Elin, Caro to the haters, don't you wish your pusher was hott like me. 07/05/2010 at 09:53 AM

So far both Serena and Rafa has won two slams this year and are solid World's no 1. Who will win more slams this year? Serena. The USO is the only slam Rafa has never won and it's really Rogers domain, and Serena has recently won it. Rafa is definetly the best, but I think Roger is the slight favored given his history there.

Posted by Colette (On Cloud 8) 07/05/2010 at 09:57 AM

Team Nadal, just wanted to thank you for all the great photos (and photoshop work). Put the "yeah" in my scrolling. Also loved that link to the British article on the Nadal/Sod match ... "muddled through" was it?

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Rafa Channel Slam Winner 2010! 07/05/2010 at 10:02 AM

Great interview there with Rafa.Brad Gilbert did ask good questions and didnt "gush"

I remember the 1st time Rafa won Wimby.Brad had a bet with Rafa.Rafa gave Brad one of his racquets he played with during the 08 final.

Posted by TeamNadal 07/05/2010 at 10:08 AM

Collette...yeah, re: the article by Kate Battersby on the Nadal/Sod match, I don't know what match she was watching....

As far as the photoshop pics, I can't take credit, I find some hilarious ones from other sources :)

Posted by gauloises (unrepentant FOOP) 07/05/2010 at 10:08 AM

I’ve had this really strong sense since the beginning of this year that Rafa was going to win the US Open, and at this point it feels like I may as well bow to the inevitable and practice my most dispirited “yay”. Roger has history there, absolutely, but Rafa has form – more than anyone else. And I always tend to give weight to form, especially as Rafa is not exactly a Slam virgin. It just feels like that’s the one thing left to comprehensively dethrone Roger, at least for the time being. Seems time.

Anyway, whoever wins will have to have it asterixed anyway, because of Delpo’s absence of course.

Posted by chicklet 07/05/2010 at 10:18 AM

gauloises - Heh. That's one of the few uses of the asterisk that I accept. Delpo on hardcourt is a nightmare for Rafa.

I'm hopeful but not particularly expectant about Rafa at the USO. He certainly has form, but HC is a different beast.
There quite a few contenders on HC. The Masters series will give plenty of players the chance to gain momentum. Murray is tough on HC as is Nole. Roddick is still a factor. Sod and Berd could continue their runs on the surface best suited for their games. Even an in form Cilic or Isner could make major waves.
And after all of that. Roger will still find a way to win. Again.

Posted by TeamNadal 07/05/2010 at 10:18 AM

I think Nadal has a good shot at the USO this year....he's healthy, constantly improving and has finally realized that managing his schedule better is KEY so he comes in FRESH. He has made the semis there twice already coming in rundown...this year will be different...USO is a huge goal for him....it would be unbelievable if he were to complete his career grand slam at 24.

Posted by Subhadeep 07/05/2010 at 10:19 AM

no asterisk for any win except the wins post Seles' stabbing.

As an athlete thats one of the responsibility to win and stay fit. If your body does not hold up and prone to injuries and someone else wins then there is no asterisk.

Posted by ChannelSlam 07/05/2010 at 10:20 AM

"Anyway, whoever wins will have to have it asterixed anyway, because of Delpo’s absence of course"

:)))

I think given the chance Nadal would happily accept an asterisked USO victory.

Posted by gauloises (unrepentant FOOP) 07/05/2010 at 10:22 AM

I was joking, Subhadeep.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Rafa Channel Slam Winner 2010! 07/05/2010 at 10:23 AM

*rolls eyes" to the famous asterisk again

Yawn! enough said on this insane topic already

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Rafa Channel Slam Winner 2010! 07/05/2010 at 10:25 AM

Anyway off to watch my beloved Tour in peace

Also G I knew you were joking lol!

Posted by Subhadeep 07/05/2010 at 10:25 AM

I know gauloises. BUT this asterisk wins comes up in every sport and used as one fan club downing their rivals' results.

As a Roger fan I was even kinda disappointed when he just could not swallow the pill and say Berdych beat him fair and square and stop there instead of bringing up a whole list of injury excuses!

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 07/05/2010 at 10:34 AM

Morning everyone !

I just want to say I'm still on cloud 9 and as high as a kite still after yesterday.

I don't believe in asterisks for anyone !

Posted by CPM 07/05/2010 at 10:35 AM

Hey folks.

Rafa looks ridiculously goofy in those Champion's Ball pics -- I'm sure I'd be the epitome of suave charm had I just won my 2nd Wimbledon, conversely.

Re: the USO, I think we can all allow ourselves the luxury of seeing how the HC masters play out before pronouncing this or that player the favorite. Sure, Rafa's form & determination seem world-beating at the moment, but what happens if someone else pulls off the Toronto/Cincy double? What happens if he gets some nightmare draw -- I can't imagine people fancying his chances were he to get Berdych in R16, then Sod, then Fed in the semis (what a weird thought ... Fedal in the semis ... ).

OTOH, I think AB made a smart comment last night about Federer & Nadal putting themselves ahead of the field by how they manage themselves for Slams. (I'm not sure this was always true for Rafa, but his Slams this year have shown a champ's sense of economy.) It's really hard to look past those two, even if Rog may be half a step slower & Rafa's on his worst Slam surface.
------
Subhadeep,

I think Nadal's been pretty consistent over the years -- before he ever made a final there, even -- about Wimbledon holding a special place for him. Clay's his best surface, but that doesn't mean RG needs to be his favorite tournament.

It's hard not to think his effusive praise of the Wimbledon crowds didn't contain something of a dig at the crowds at the French. But at the same time, the reception and respect he got from the SW19 crowds -- esp. during the Murray match, where they had every reason to be foursquare against him -- really is something else, and it's clear that that means a great deal to him independent of French ambivalence.

Posted by gliciouss 07/05/2010 at 10:38 AM

i am looking forward to see how fed handles a very possible sf meeting with nadal at the us open...
prediction: he will cry...

Posted by gliciouss 07/05/2010 at 10:40 AM

if people constantly dislike bodo's writings...why read them???
seriously people make it hard on themselves too often...me included though


also i don't like fed's chances of getting back up there..the rest of the pack is getting stronger (although many injuries right now) and he only got back to number one when nadal had injuries)

Posted by Jay 07/05/2010 at 10:57 AM

Congratulations to Rafa, he is not only deserve to win but he is also deserve to be in the position he supposed to be.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/415625-rafael-nadal-the-undisputed-world-number-one-time-to-start-supremacy

Posted by gauloises (unrepentant FOOP) 07/05/2010 at 10:59 AM

People really overestimate Murray's popularity in the UK - definitely at Wimbledon. I know way more people who dislike him than like him.

Nadal meanwhile is greatly beloved. It's just the way it is.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 07/05/2010 at 11:03 AM

gauloises: good to see you! Alot of us have been asking about Elf and his progress. What info do you have? I didn't see any articles or interviews during the Wimby fortnight. I guess he's lying low down Argentine-way.

Posted by ladyjulia 07/05/2010 at 11:13 AM

The USO and post-USO cct should be interesting. I have no doubt Rafa will win at least one of the MS - Toronto or Cincinnati...but I don't think he will win both. It would be best for him to do like Del Po last year (where he skipped Cincinnati and came fresh for USO).

Rafa goes in as favorite for USO at this time (unless somebody does a Tor/Cin double)...given that defending champion is injured (btw Pete are you going to give out another asterisk to the winner of USO given that the defending champion is too injured to play?)...and he is the winner of 2 slams going in.

Roger is a bit of a question mark..its hard to say he won't win it given that he has been in the finals a whopping six times...and winning it five times. Yet, in a match with Soderling, Berdych, Davydenko...there is no certainty that he won't get stomped upon.

Also, Ernie should be back from injury and should be a reasonable threat not only to Roger, but also to Rafa. Soderling and Berdych should also be reasonable threats to Rafa, except that Rafa is riding a huge wave of confidence and has improved his serve a lot.

This sort of confidence is quite dangerous to the rest of the field...after all, its what enabled Roger to go on that ridiculous winning from 04 Wimby to 08 AO. Suffice it to say, Rafa is going to be really,really hard to stop.

Posted by gauloises (unrepentant FOOP) 07/05/2010 at 11:14 AM

Hey Annie :) Congrats on your man. Impressive stuff.

There’s absolutely no Delpo news that I'm aware of, I’m afraid. He’s just doing the rehab in Buenos Aires. I saw an article last week that said it still would be a couple of weeks before he could even start hitting again, but then this one from almost a month ago has a photo of him holding racquets (http://momento24.com/en/2010/06/07/del-potro-takes-up-his-activity-after-surgery/). So who knows what stage he’s at.

He’s a private guy who gets on with his own thing, I respect that, but sometimes I wish someone in his camp, be it Franco or Ugo or his dad, would give out one-tenth of the updates that, say, Tio Toni does.

Anyway, he’s not coming back any time soon as far as I know. Depressing as it is, and you have no idea how depressing it is, I kind of feel there’s no point coming back for the indoor season. He may as well pull the plug and come back in 2011.

If he’s even healthy by then.

Sigh.

Posted by sisu 07/05/2010 at 11:15 AM

ChannelSlam and TeamNadal - thank you for all the lovely pictures. Serena looks beautiful and Rafa handsome.

Did you see any pictures with Rafa and his girlfriend? Wanted to see her all dressed up and at the Wimbledon Ball with him. ;)) Many thanks in advance should you find them.


Posted by evangelyst 07/05/2010 at 11:17 AM

Despite being a Fed fan, who thinks he is the GOAT (add the incredible run of GS semis and finals over the last few years to his 16GS and also the fluid graceful manner he plays)I would defintely consider Nadal as a legitimate candidate at this time for one of the 5 greatest (Fed, Sam, Lav, Borg and Nad) and potentially if he stays healthy may also go on to be arguably the GOAT. There are too many intangibles to definitively select one player over the others.

If 24- 28 are considered peak years for tennis players, Nadal is fortunate that he does not have another potential 20 -21 year old ATG rising at the same time, the way Fed had Nadal.

Posted by ladyjulia 07/05/2010 at 11:17 AM

How many matches has DelPo really played this year?

If he comes back in 2011, i guess his ranking will plummet...but the good news is that he will have zero points to defend at almost all tourneys...he can only gain.

He is still young, so he still has a lot of time on his side. Roger seems to think he is a multi-slam winner material so 2011 should be interesting.

Posted by chicklet 07/05/2010 at 11:21 AM

gauloises - As long as he's not rushing his recovery, I think Delpo could benefit a lot from coming back in the indoor season.

The fall is a relatively low key series of tournaments. Many of the top players withdraw from tournaments due to fatigue, and the media attention dies down a little.
Delpo could ease back in, enter a few 250s with forgiving draws, gain some match fitness, and take the time to re-evaluate his game before the real grind starts in January.

Posted by linex 07/05/2010 at 11:21 AM

Hi everyone, Samantha where did you see that picture of Rafa kissing Serena? They both look very happy and good looking in the picture of both of them with their trophies.

Posted by ladyjulia 07/05/2010 at 11:21 AM

evangelyst

you never really know...DelPo is still young and he also improves his game a lot.

But yeah, from youngsters, there is nobody quite who has made some noise. Nadal arrived with a bang...when Fed was #1.

I don't see anybody that young who is going to take down the current #1 and become his arch rival (other than the aging Fed)...but who really knows.

Posted by gauloises (unrepentant FOOP) 07/05/2010 at 11:21 AM

He's played 4 matches, ladyjulia.

Not counting the Kooyong exo, where he played, I believe, 1.

His ranking will plummet anyway in the next months, what with being unable to defend a 500 title in DC, a Masters final in Montreal and a Grand Slam win. Losing the points for the WTF finals can just be the delightful cherry on a glorious year.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 07/05/2010 at 11:22 AM

sigh. Oh G. thanks for the (non)info. We just have to be very patient. I'd like to see him come back slowly in the fall if possible. Just to get some match play under his belt before the 2011 season.

Posted by gauloises (unrepentant FOOP) 07/05/2010 at 11:24 AM

I'd love to see him back in the fall, as long as he doesn't rush anything.

Bercy would be particularly amazing, as I'm going to be there ...

Posted by chicklet 07/05/2010 at 11:25 AM

"Nadal is fortunate that he does not have another potential 20-21 year old ATG rising at the same time, the way Fed had Nadal."

evangelyst - You don't count Delpo? Granted the injury is a serious complication, but Delpo is 21, and when healthy, is a serious matchup problem for just about everyone on tour.

Posted by TeamNadal 07/05/2010 at 11:26 AM

linex...pic of Rafa greeting Serena....

http://img697.imageshack.us/img697/5305/wimbledon0704winnersbal.jpg

Posted by ladyjulia 07/05/2010 at 11:27 AM

gauloises,

I watched him win that DC title courtside last year.

The ranking drop might create problems in seeding for AO..it will be tough if he faces Rafa or Roger in the first round. Esp. coming straight off an injury and no match play for a year.

I think its better for DelPo if he does come back on the fall cct...just to get an idea of how much more rehab or rust he needs to get rid off in the offseason.

If he can keep his ranking above 32...it might make next year easier.

But as u said...there is very little info from his team...guess we have to wait and see. Sorry...must be a sad time for you given that u are a fan. But I am pretty sure next year will be happier for his fans.

Posted by gauloises (unrepentant FOOP) 07/05/2010 at 11:31 AM

"If he can keep his ranking above 32...it might make next year easier."

Bless you for thinking that's possible :) No, I get the trouble that the ranking drop is going to land him in. But to be honest I have enough faith in him to think that if he's healthy, he can handle whatever, even if he had to qualify for Slams.

It's whether he ever gets over this injury that keeps me up at nights.

Still, what can you do? He'll be back or he won't. Nothing I can really do about it. Especially as my plan to kidnap Roger and cannibalise him for parts was condemned as 'unfeasible'.

Posted by Grant 07/05/2010 at 11:36 AM

"You don't count Delpo? Granted the injury is a serious complication, but Delpo is 21, and when healthy, is a serious matchup problem for just about everyone on tour."

Well, it's kinda hard to know how good Delpo will be when he comes back.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 07/05/2010 at 11:37 AM

Take heart, gauloises,

Surgery for wrist tendonitis has a recovery time of 5 monthes. Your boy will be back and better than ever.

Posted by TeamNadal 07/05/2010 at 11:37 AM

another lovely pic of Rafa:

http://i45.tinypic.com/xp0dhw.jpg

Posted by ladyjulia 07/05/2010 at 11:38 AM

gauloises,

he he...you might want to cannibalise someone younger...the current Roger gets injured. With exquisite timing i might say...considering that it was Wimby and not Rome.

yeah...good point about mental recovery from injury. I won't expect him to win AO straight off the bat...he is going to need one or two matches that will be sort of a turning point and give him confidence.

But yeah...difficult to predict. But hopefully, he will remember he is a GS champ..and the only one who has defeated Roger and Rafa at a GS ever.

Posted by gauloises (unrepentant FOOP) 07/05/2010 at 11:38 AM

I don't need to hear that :(

*absorbs Lynne's comment instead*

Thanks - hope you're right.

Posted by gauloises (unrepentant FOOP) 07/05/2010 at 11:40 AM

"the current Roger gets injured"

Yeah, but his wrists still work, right? That's all I care about :) And maybe a hip or two for Nalby.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 07/05/2010 at 11:41 AM

TeamNadal,

Gosh, thanks for that ... where do you get 'em !

Posted by CL 07/05/2010 at 11:42 AM

Heh - I think Fed fans' 'scroll' fingers are the ones getting a workout over the last few days. But never mind - what goes around, comes around. (And I ain't just talkin' scrolling)

The Ent's comeback...whenever it happens ...will be very intriguing. He may be able to work his way into giant killer, (including both Fed and Rafa), form, or may never recapture that level again. Certainly is will take a while.

I do have to admit, I luv the irony of TByrd talking about his aches and pains in is loss to Rafa...somehow, when anyone else does it, it is just part of the deal. When Fed mentions an injury he is pilloried. Maybe it is just because no one gave TByrd any chance at all so it is easier to shrug off any post match complaining. But my, double standards are as prevalent as pot stirrers.

Speaking of whom, I see we have a nice Rafa-based version of Tim on the boards. lol. Tit for tat I guess.

Posted by chicklet 07/05/2010 at 11:43 AM

gauloises - Save yourself some misery, and let Nalby go.
Those Argies will break your heart.

Posted by Ajit 07/05/2010 at 11:43 AM

@ tennis master

Pete Sampras has a losing record against Mark Philippoussis. Do you consider Mark a better player than Pete?????

Posted by sisu 07/05/2010 at 11:44 AM

Hi Annie. Haven’t been able to post for about 2 weeks; my health (or lack thereof ;( ) combined with the emotional toxicity of the site kept me away. Very happy for you and your guy!!

And Annie, your restraint, good thoughts, kind words and rational, intelligent postings have not gone unnoticed. As others have said, your defense of a player who really needs no defense has been exemplary. I‘m sorry I haven‘t been able to say so publicly before now.


TeamNadal, any pictures of Rafa with his girlfriend at the Wimbledon Ball?

Posted by ladyjulia 07/05/2010 at 11:45 AM

gauloises,

LOL!

Well you have full permission from this Fed fan, the current version does not give my any joy. So go ahead and don't worry about the twins..Mirka is worth two of Roger.

Posted by TeamNadal 07/05/2010 at 11:45 AM

sisu, I haven't seen any, but if they turn up, I will definitely post them

Posted by chicklet 07/05/2010 at 11:47 AM

CL - I guess slams bring equal opportunity crazies.

Speaking of Berdy, with him and the Worm out of DC, who the hell is playing the tie against Chile? The Czech Republic has been a two man team for the past two years.

Posted by antoinette 07/05/2010 at 11:47 AM

@CL

You beat me to the punch as I was just about to comment on the lack of media "outcry" over Berdych interview where he cites carrying an injury in the match to explain his lacklustre performance in the Final. "double standard" much??

Posted by gauloises (unrepentant FOOP) 07/05/2010 at 11:49 AM

Very good question, chicklet. I was really looking forward to the Berdworm-Chile tie, and with those two and Gonzo out, it looks like it'll be up to Nicolas Massu to light up the courts.

Seriously, who else does the Czech Republic even have? Kvitova in shorts? Does Dominik Hrbaty still play?

ladyjulia, if you're that relaxed about it, I can think of a few players who could use Fed's brain :)

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 07/05/2010 at 11:50 AM

I love that pic of rafa and serena! wish there were a few more. and the elusive g/f is very camera shy I think.

Posted by ladyjulia 07/05/2010 at 11:50 AM

Well..the Fed never gets much sympathy from the press...his statement about "QF being a decent result" is also criticized...how dare he say that? He's Roger Federer, LOL!

Posted by ladyjulia 07/05/2010 at 11:51 AM

gauloises,

Who is your pick for Fed's brain???

And do you mean TMF's brain? Or the one who keeps showing up since 2009 on the hard courts?

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 07/05/2010 at 11:52 AM

what, now we're hearing that berdy had an injury? When he was interviewed by McEnroe after the match he was all smiles and said he wasn't even nervous! well, whatever he says I will believe. No double standard from me.

AB: if you're around, I saw your post to me from earlier. *hugs*

Posted by ChannelSlam 07/05/2010 at 11:53 AM

Lynne,
The pix are everywhere in cyberspace. Just google it and you'll find various sites.
Here is another one with a good collection:
http://www.gototennisblog.com/2010/07/04/photos-2010-wimbledon-winners-ball/

Posted by chicklet 07/05/2010 at 11:53 AM

"it looks like it'll be up to Nicolas Massu to light up the courts"
LOL! What a media sensation that will be.

Posted by goku24 07/05/2010 at 11:54 AM

Hard Work Behind the Scenes
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703571704575340960041837420.html

Posted by ladyjulia 07/05/2010 at 11:55 AM

gauloises,

Infact if you are an expert on cutting out pieces of brain...you would be doing this Fed fan a great service if you can remove the part that causes him to shank and leave the rest the way it is.

Thanks in advance!

Posted by ladyjulia 07/05/2010 at 11:56 AM

gauloises,

In return, I think we can live without the left wrist of Fed :-)

Posted by gauloises (unrepentant FOOP) 07/05/2010 at 11:57 AM

Even this Roger’s brain would significantly improve the mentality of a lot of players I can think of, ladyjulia … Ernests Gulbis being chief among them.

Marin could use a little something between the ears, too, as it goes.

Re: Berdy’s abs, I get the impression that the injury was being talked about more in the context of skipping the Davis Cup tie, and less as a reason he lost the final. Could be wrong, though.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 07/05/2010 at 11:58 AM

ChannelSlam,

Thank you so much !

Posted by gauloises (unrepentant FOOP) 07/05/2010 at 12:00 PM

Ah, it's the right wrist we need, though.

Still, it looks like we have an agreement. I'm not that great at surgery though so I might need someone to help me. Is that guy that made the human centipede available?

Posted by Ruth 07/05/2010 at 12:08 PM

CL: The Federer fans should, indeed, use the scrolling finger to ignore the anti-Fed comments that flowed from the pens of NON-TW REGULARS and plain old-fashioned trolls here recently. (How mant of the posters you referred to do you recognize as regulars here?) At least Fed fans don't have to deal with the nasty comments that were posted consistently throughout the final (and also at TW with everyday regularity) by the anti-Nadal TW REGULAR who was definitely trying to poison the air during the matchcalls for the men's final.

I know about this because I always try to read the comments at TW AFTER a big match (I seldom read TW or post while major events are being played). And, although I always scroll by anything posted by that particularly obnoxious anti-Nadal TW regular, I couldn't help seeing the comments reacting to him made by various mwmbers of the TWibe who insist on responding to his garbage -- exactly what he wants them to do.

So, CL, when you find an anti-Fed TW regular who even approaches that commenter I described in posting venomous, baiting anti-Nadal comments, then, perhaps, you will have something really worth worrying about. Until then, continue to scroll by the trolls of any stripe and other mean-spirited souls who appear for a short while during and after big events to throw their garbage around. The fans of ALL of the major players (especially Roger, Rafa, Venus, Serena) unfortunately, have to deal with such commenters all the time.

Posted by ladyjulia 07/05/2010 at 12:08 PM

gauloises,

Hmm...if Roger learns to play with his left wrist, maybe that dynamic with Rafa will change. It will be lefty Vs lefty.

Yup..I think we can live without the right wrist.

Ernie will be fine...we need those quotes anyway to keep us happy...replacing him with Roger's brain will take away our fun.

So...yeah, I think the bartering is complete...you remove the part that controls Fred and we give you the right wrist. Both sides happy.

Posted by TeamNadal 07/05/2010 at 12:08 PM

JMac thinks Nadal can win the USO....

McEnroe: Nadal 'an animal'

http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Tennis/Wimbledon/2010/07/05/14612516.html?cid=rsssportstennis

Posted by gauloises (unrepentant FOOP) 07/05/2010 at 12:10 PM

It's a deal :) Just let me get some ice and a rusty saw. They let you take those things on a plane to Switzerland, right?

On that note, I’m about to be offski. And I hate people that say offski.

Later, all. Fun chatting with you :)

Posted by CL 07/05/2010 at 12:11 PM

Well, there is also the parts that make him hit BH returns into the bottom of the net, (I actually think he IS trying to come over that shot more...hmmmm...maybe THAT is where he went astray! lol), make him fail to convert BPs, and drop his first serve game in the set right after he has won a set.

Oh heck, better to start all over! ;-) 'Cause he needs a new back, anyway.

Posted by ladyjulia 07/05/2010 at 12:13 PM

gauloises,

Deal!

And its Dubai...not Switzerland. Just smuggle it in. You'll be fine.

Bye..

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