Friday, June 19, 2009

Rafa Withdraws

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after defeating Roger Federer of Switzerland in their finals match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London in this July 6, 2008 file photo.

As Karen reported and Helen W linked, world No. 1 Rafael Nadal will not be defending his Wimbledon title.

Champion Rafael Nadal pulled out of Wimbledon on Friday after losing his battle to recover from a knee injury.

"Unfortunately this year I won't be able to play at Wimbledon," he told a news conference.

The Spaniard, who has been struggling with tendinitis in his knees since being knocked out of the French Open last month, tested his fitness in two exhibition matches this week but after losing both decided not to defend his Wimbledon title just three days before the start of the major.

He will be the first man not to defend his All England Club crown since Croatia's Goran Ivanisevic skipped the grasscourt grand slam in 2002.

So much for the trash talk that he was just struggling mentally.

From his press conference:

"I’m here and I'm just not 100%. I'm better than what I was a couple of weeks ago but I don’t feel right," Nadal told a packed press conference on Friday evening at the All England Club.

"To not play Wimbledon is one of the toughest decisions of my career."

After suffering a shock defeat in the French Open to Robin Soderling, Nadal received treatment on his knees in Barcelona and skipped the traditional Wimbledon warm-up at Queen’s in an effort to be fit for The Championships. He was diagnosed with tendinitis in both quadriceps tendons as well as a small amount of fluid on the kneecaps.

"I tried everything. I didn't feel terrible but also not close to my best. When I enter a tournament my goal is winning and my feeling right now is I'm not ready to win.

"It's very painful for me but I can't play at the tournament this year. It's tough but it is what it is."

Nadal's absence will cause a reshuffle in the men’s singles draw. Nadal's place will be taken by fifth seed Juan Martin Del Potro. Del Potro's place will be taken by the 17th seed James Blake. Blake's place will be taken by Jose Arguso of Argentina and a lucky loser will fill Arguso's spot.

Nadal revealed that he had been playing with considerable pain and he didn't know how long he would be out of tennis. But he said he expected to fully recover from his knee problems and that he would have a "long career".

"I played with some problems on the knee for the last few months. I've been making efforts to play week after week. The truth is that sportsmen always play with pain and don't know where the limit is, where you can get to. I think I reached that limit now.

"I will work very hard to comeback as soon as possible. One of the problems is I’m thinking more about the knees than what is happening on court and it’s very difficult to play like that."

What is Wimbledon without a defending champion?

Sad, sad day for the sport.

I'll be updating my draw report after the revised draw is released.


PeytonAllen said...

Well, this sucks.

Like Federer who commented he didn't think the injury was serious because Nadal showed no signs of it in Paris, this one caught me by surprise.

How things change. Two months ago most of us thought Rafa would be coming into next week trying to win 3/4ths of a Grand Slam, now you have to wonder if all the critic's worrying about Rafa's long-term career health has legs.

Roger Federer all but just won Wimbledon. Nobody else has proven they can beat him in Slams. This past month has been gift wrapped for him. Set up perfectly now for him to win 15 on grass, and he'll almost certainly now become the #1 player of the year again.

The only prevailing questions are: Can Djok make headway in a slam this year? And can Murray handle the nerves? I don't think Roger wants to see Andy in the finals, but Murray has to show he can handle it all.

For Rafa you just hope's fresh for the US hardcourt season. I'd sit here and say, "oh it'd be perfect if he wins the Open now!" but the reality is Rafa seems vulnerable now. He's an uncertainty.

oddman said...

Very sad day for the sport. I'm sure any of those yammering away about 'fake knee injuries' and 'struggling mentally' aren't exactly apologetic - just not in them, methinks.

As for Dr. Federer's diagnosis:

"It seems like it's not 100 percent serious, his knee injury. I only wish him the best and I hope it's not true that he will miss Wimbledon. I think it's a lot of speculation at the moment," Federer said. "He wasn't taping his knees here in Paris. He seemed fine, [from] what I saw, anyway. I've played him so many times, I can tell when he's in pain and when he's not."

Revoke your license? Sue for malpractice? May I quote your own words and just say 'Be Quiet, OK?'

Karen said...

Someone said that they should have Venus do the honours of opening day. I think that is an excellent idea. I hope to God they dont give that prestigious honour to Roger (yes, I said it).

oddman said...

Oh, man, the pressure on Murray just trebled. He's got a shot, but home crowd going nutso? He'd need a Rafa-like mentality to block that out.

Beth said...

Heal brave matador....just heal.

Graf_sampras said...

but this also means -- that Roger wins another Major

with a BIG ASTERISK.....

the guy HE couldn't BEAT in MAJORS - on ALL surfaces --

this is not just about a minor tournament or a major ONCE only --but


is absent.


"roger won FO and Wimbledon in the ABSENCE OF NADAL".


maybe that's why Roger went OUT of his way to suggest that "nothing seemed to be wrong with Rafa in teh FO".....

in order to make people FORGET ......

kraa said...

It won't be Roger and it won't be a woman. I am betting on Murray or del Potro.

Beth said...

PeytonAllen....a year or two ago I would have agreed with your assessment of Federer's virtual Wimbledon win. Now, not so much so. I don't think he'll have it in the bag by any means. I don't think anyone can say, with utter confidence, that Roger has this tied up with a neat bow.

Helen W said...

As a Rafa fan I have to say this is heartbreaking, but in my heart of hearts I feel he has made the right decision for his long-term career. I hope his entire team thinks about his schedule as well.

Perhaps the tours should also look at the demands they are making of the players.

I have to say I have been extremely annoyed by all the self-styled pundits who have been braying about his knee problems being a smokescreen for mental problems, yada yada yada. If there has been one player who has always been upfront about his actions, it's Rafa. He does NOT get up there in a press conference and lie. And, of course, the noted Spanish physician who diagnosed his problem was not lying either.

Vamos Rafa. Get the rest and treatment you need, and come back strong. We your fans will be wating for you patiently.

oddman said...

Well, I must be the eternal optimist - that phrase '...he would have a long career'- in the press conference just lifted my sagging spirits quite a bit. Oh, I hope so, Rafito! Hang in there, things will get better for you.

Karen said...

OK guys going to tune out for awhile. Talk to you all soon. Hugs to all Rafa fans. This cannot be good for your guy, but hopefully he will come back rested and healed. I am with HelenW regarding the demands that the Tour makes on players. However, in addition to that I think that Rafa's team needs to also look at his schedule and look at the demands that were being placed upon him. One of the things that I remember another player saying is that you cannot, no matter how much you try, be all things to all people. I think I posted after Rafa's loss at RG that there are certain things that his team can do to make life better for him and a bit more comfortable. A private jet, an assistant, someone to see to his luggage through customs, someone to deal with all the mundane things that crop up in an international athletes' life. For me it was ridiculous to see pictures of Rafa pushing his luggage through customs as if he was so low playing journeyman. What was that supposed to teach him? The man is making millions, let him enjoy it. Also, his team needs to stop making him feel like he has to play every single freaking clay court tourney that is out there. So what if he loses a few points here and there, start playing mandatories only and forget about everything else. Why did he have to play Rotterdam, and why did he not retire after suffering an injury to his knee during his match. No he carried on. I dont care that it speaks to his character. If you are not fit to play, retire. No one will think worst of you if you do. I am sorry but I think his team is really destroying this young man's career before it has even started.

oddman said...

Karen said:
'Also, his team needs to stop making him feel like he has to play every single freaking clay court tourney that is out there.'

Ummm. You KNOW this???

'For me it was ridiculous to see pictures of Rafa pushing his luggage through customs as if he was so low playing journeyman. What was that supposed to teach him? '

Some freaking humility perhaps???????

Give it a rest, Karen. Thankyouverymuch.

Matthew said...

Also of note, here's Roddick's twittered response:

"feel for rafa... could not have been an easy decision especially as the champ, and also considering what a great competitor he is"

When of course, he must really be thinking, "Hell yes! He was in my quarter!"

Graf_sampras said...

his statement is very similar to what Marat Safin said months ago:

he also said:

something :

"when you are on the court -- part of your mind is wondering about whether your knees can do things...should i reach for this ball or that ball...and twist? takes away your concentration".

Beth said...

oddman....I am with you on this. Sorry Karen. I see absolutely no problem with Rafa doing a lot of the mundane, everyday tasks that WE ALL do for himself. Why not? What is is supposed to teach him? That no one in life is at anyone else's beck and call, no matter how many millions you may have. That's life, that's reality, that's being human like the rest of us. I applaud his family for instilling those values in him and not letting him become a pampered puppy. Those aspects of his career are the least of my worries as a fan. I am more concerned with his scheduling and, there, I do agree with you Karen. Both he and his team need to rethink the events he plays and perhaps lighten it a little for him. He is obviously highly driven and likely to play even when not 100% (as he readily admitted in this presser) and that's where his team, physio, parents, etc. need to step in and discuss with him some more appropriate decisions, based on his physical health at the moment. I agree with Helen W that he made the right choice. No doubt it was enormously disappointing to him (and of course to us fans) but he needs to heal and just address his knee issues. God Bless Rafa and take care of yourself

Helen W said...

Matthew I realize that for Adny R personally he may feel it could benefit him that Rafa had to withdraw, but I take him at his word when he says:

"feel for rafa... could not have been an easy decision especially as the champ, and also considering what a great competitor he is".

And Karen I really doubt that Rafa's knee injuries have been affected by his pushing his luggage cart at airports :)

Michael said...

This is sad sad news. But not for everyone. Roger is not too sad about it, as everyone has pointed out.

Roddick is a big winner from this too, as his 1/4 is much more doable.

James Blake benefits from the reshuffling, getting away from Fernando Gonzalez (too much baggage there). Craig says Seppi can be a monster on grass. We'll see, I hope that even if so, Blake can at least win that one.

Del Potro seems to have a harder draw, ironically, in replacing #1. Hewitt, Stepanek/Ferrer, and Roddick is no easy way to go.

Haas, Djokovic, and Andreev are almost all happier with Blake in their 1/4 than del Potro there.

I hope Rafa can heal and return to the top, humble as ever.

Clare said...

graf-sampras...The people who win matches are the people who show up to play them. Federer didn't have to play a whole lot of other champions because they were no longer playing tennis.
My goodness, with your argument Graf shouldn't be considered so great since she didn't have to deal with Seles, etc.
Roger and Rafa have a great respect for each other's skills and both are better players for having each other as competition.
I really don't get why some of their fans think they need to put down one or the other.
Rafa adds something to the game that no other player does and it will great for tennis when he comes back.

anonymous said...

Even as a Federer fan, this is too disappointing, Wimbledon will feel a bit lonely. I hope this doesn't affect the rest of his season (Hint:US Open). He shouldn't have run so much, I was always worried with the court coverage Nadal achieves, that he would suffer from pain in his legs.

Karen said...

@HelenW and Oddman, the point I was trying to make is this. In addition to all the responsibilities that Rafa has in conjunction with his professional duties, asking him to push around his luggage seems like a task that could be best left to an assistant. In addition to the regular MS that Nadal has played this year, he played Rotterdam and Barcelona. I am not trying to rub salt into wounds and I was just trying to sympathise with fellow fans here. I am not being a hypocrite when I say that I am truly sorry that Nadal is not in a position to defend his Wimbledon title, something he has wanted for a long time. I am a fan of tennis and of sportsmanlike conduct and Nadal epitomises both. Sorry if muy previous comments offended anyone.

Helen W said...

Karen I certainly never felt you wwere being hypocritical when you said that you were "truly sorry that Nadal is not in a position to defend his Wimbledon title." And I agree with you that his team needs to take a good look at his schedule (and of course, that includes Rafa himself).

But I personally don't see the lifestyle things (like taking care of his own luggage) as being anything but an expression of his core values. That being said, you are correct that if it is a choice between taking the red-eye and taking a private jet, then the latter may make sense at least in some cases where time to prepare and acclimate is short.

We Rafa fans value his humility and his groundedness. You put me in mind of an anecdote about The Boss playing at an aid concert some time ago. Rock stars were arriving in their private jets and limos. Bruce, OTOH, flew tourist and rented a Hertz at the airport. That's one of the reasons why I love Springsteen, and why I love Rafa.

Graf_sampras said...

Clare said...

graf-sampras...The people who win matches are the people who show up to play them. Federer didn't have to play a whole lot of other champions because they were no longer playing tennis.
My goodness, with your argument Graf shouldn't be considered so great since she didn't have to deal with Seles, etc.
Roger and Rafa have a great respect for each other's skills and both are better players for having each other as competition.
I really don't get why some of their fans think they need to put down one or the other.
Rafa adds something to the game that no other player does and it will great for tennis when he comes back.

Fri Jun 19, 04:23:00 PM


True that the people who win championshipse those who show uyp.

howoever there is a difference between a player who SO OBVIOUSLY is thoroughly dominated by his rival - such as a 13-7 by Rafael over Roger in their meetings. on ALL surfaces.

Graf_sampras said...

your example of Graf and Seles is one of those CANARDS in the history of tennis -- based on the selective "seles dominated graf in majors"

which was REALLY about THIS:

seles won 2 FO's over graf plus an AO - that is 3 majors over graf winning

2 wimbledons over seles

it has been translated - presumably you buy into that --

into:" seles dominated graf" ...


once the WHOLE picture was included :

Graf BEFORE the stabbing of seles was at least 5-3 over -all

and there was NO WAY seles was about to overcome EVEN graf that was in THAT period of seles' dominance over the REST of the tour already dealing with distractions SUCH AS YOU SEE NADAL EXPERIENCING TODAY :

injuries, illnesses and problems in the family.

did you THINK i was NOT aware of such things AND the similarities on how

the "rival" - in this case Roger against Rafael

and in the former Seles against graf

ACTUALLY the ONE that took advantage of the VULNERABILITY of the other one (rafael today, graf then)?

in fact there is ALSO a similarity in antoher way:

in their recent meetings -

INSTEAD of improving

seles suffered a humiliation at the hands of graf in wimbledon by 1992 - while NEARLY being toppled from Paris and BARELY hanging on to her AO -- ALL during the time of some of graf's WORST periods of personal problems that graf even threatened HER PARENTS she was going to retire because of the scandals (her mother simply implored her not to do so)....bcause she could no concentrate and was getting so much intrusive media for THEIR problems.

ENTER SELES to take advantage oF THAT

but to SAY SO - is supposed to EVIL. because - on no -- seles "was stabbed" she is a MARTYR and NO ONE is allowed to say such THINGS!!! oh my!

Craig Hickman said...

oddman, that quote from Federer you posted about whether or not Rafa was in pain is flatout nasty.

All during the claycourt season, Rafa's movement looked suspect. The passing through the living room tennis observer in my house, who also happens to be a physical therapist, noticed as much and commented about the lack of tape: "It causes too much compression. It was only a matter of time he removed it and from the looks of it, his knees are sore."

I hadn't read that comment from Federer until today in this thread. It really is a nasty nasty nasty nasty nasty thing to say.

Unless I missed it, no one in the sport ever kicked Federer when he seemed to be down. The gentleman he's supposed to be just couldn't fucking resist.

What an asshole.

Graf_sampras said...

seles did not deserve to be stabbed - no one does.

BUT SO DID GRAF NOT NEED her crazed fan to "help"
her RESUME her dominance over seles -- which was in fact the CASE EVEN during seles' dominance.

in fact - what was seles' LEAD by 1993? where she BARELY hung on to that slow court AO? DESPITE graf's many other distractions?

a MERE MINUS-40 points!!! and to boot -- seles was already having trouble with her shoulders merely trying to match graf's serves! did people think seles was going to SURVIVE that even without the stabbing? she was in DEEP trouble for PRECISELY the reasons graf won their fast court meetings - in the USO hardcourts and wimbledons;;;;

Graf_sampras said...

\outside of clay or slow AO - she was SIMPLY NO MATCH for graf who had won ALL of them long before seles came along to beat up on OLD WOMEN

3 years AFTER graf toppled those top players navratilova and evert.

With Roger and Nadal - it is CLEAR - NADAL OWNS roger on ALL surfaces.

roger takes advantage of nadal's absence. PERIOD.

it is not the SAME as
"graf took advantage of seles' absence" because - in fact - even in graf's WEAKER periods of 1990-1993 - shown by how graf was vulnerable EVEN to Arantxa and Novotna and Sabatini and others whom graf ROUTINED -

and were the SAME Players Seles ALSO routined....but graf would RECOVER to dominate THEM again.....

it showed that if ANYONE took advantage of SOMEONE's vulnerabilities

it was SELES -- NOT graf!

this "seles dominated graf" nonsense is a MYTH....

and when showed that in their over-all meetings (based on "who is there") including EVERY meeting with NO EXCUSES --

graf OWNED seles more than not...

and then it is turned into "only the majors matter because seles won 3 over graf's 2"...and then

when shown that it was 3 wins ON SLOW SURFACES, with the latter TWO INCREASINGLY DIFFICULT wins.... but THOROUGHLY OUTCLASSED by Graf in wimbledon and US Hardcourts (seles EVEN SKIPPED a wimbledon 1991 when she was number ONE without givign ANY explanations...why? she was afraid her precious LEAD was going to go down the drains after graf undressed her AGAIN? after her Slow FO wins? lol)

this was turned by seles fans into "seles WOULDA dominated if not for the stabbing"

EVEN IF by 1993 -- seles LEAD had DWINDLED rather than INCREASED to a mere

minus-40 points!!! and had certainly SHOWN MORE difficulty in hanging on to her AO and last FO 1992 - AND SHOWN NO IMPROVEMENT whatsoever to EVER match Graf on wimbledon or fast USO courts!

HOW was seles going to defend THAT? slwo as she WAS compared to graf? with a POOR serve compared to graf on fast courts? it makes me laugh at all that MYTHICAL WISHFUL nonsense about "seles WOULDA" dominated

because they can be shown as "NEVER ACTUALLY" dominated



Pamela said...

Let me just go on record and say:

I hope there is a first time winner at Wimbledon this year. I'll miss Rafa's presence on court dearly, but I'm glad he's taking the time to properly recover. I'm bummed, but it's better than long term injury.

I hope the rest of the field steps up and "plays" complete matches instead of 2 sets and then get overwhelmed by names and experience.

And Craig, I thought I posted that comment here. Perhaps not, but I've noted it several times. Federer has said things that his die-hard fans refuse to acknowledge as cold and/or arrogant. Some arrogance is forgiven by me as certain champions have earned it - but .. some comments ... not so much. Although, that's not the complete quote. He does go on to say something like "I hope he's not etc."

Graf_sampras said...

so CLARE -- check your history of events.

if people can talk about the stabbing as the BE ALL and END ALL of explanations about "seles WOULDA" dominated graf -- they ought to check ALL history

and show that graf was INDEED vulnerable in her LIFe that period - with her injuries, and chronic sinus problems that required surgery by AO time in 1992 and flared up again in the heat of 1993 (which is ONE reason Graf EVENTUALLY curtailed her AO trips and her MOM was very relieved about it -- i know this from personal emails years ago)...

check also the REAL story behind SELES" public-sentiment hoarding book about her stabbing...

CLAIMING that Graf NEVER visited her more than once...

but what SELES DECLINES to EVEN entertain are questions about whether graf ATTEMPTED to contact seles MORE OFTEN....


as a person that knows graf told me - and who checked the IMG offices MANAGING SELES - who JUST HAPPENED to be a FAVORITE of the OWNER of IMG --

the IMG offices CONFIRMED inquiries :


the attempts were turned over to the seles camp


after all -it is EASIRE for the public to percieve ONLY SELES as the "aggrieved party" eh?

and continue to ENHANCE and PROMOTe the MYTH of "seles dominating graf"

which was NOT FACT at all --

or in absence of THAT - should THAT be exposed for the EXAGGERATION that it was --

make it into "seles WOULDA" dominated graf....

on FAST US hardcourts? where graf OWNED her?


Karen said...

@HelenW, I understand completely. I also understand about the whole grounded thing. It is just so unfortunate that he has to be dealing with these issues right in his prime. Reminds me so much about Serena and her knee issues as well. Man, this really sucks.

Graf_sampras said...

in fact -- CHRIS EVERT

the AUTHOR of the "seles WOULDA DOMINATED GRAF" --

eventually ADMITTED this: 2 years ago ONLY.

"in those early years -- we really weren't too happy about graf dominating -- so we were just happy to see someone challenge her....but saying that she won titles in the absence of seles due to the stabbing was WRONG was said in times of -- you might say , frustration about STEFFI, because she wasn't being close to us enough...and I REGRET having let it out ...because it was UNJUST towards Steffi"........

i KNOW i read evert say that - and in such a manner, although i am obviously paraphrasing it. - and i KNEW it was correct what I thought LONG AGO -- they

the DOYENS of the TENNIS, martina, evert, pam,

were VERY unhappy that Graf had closed DOWN their CIRCUS at the top of the game LONG before seles came around....

and were just too happy to ANNOINT someone as "graf's superior"...

what a bunch of NONSENSE

and even Navratilova kept up that "graf is lining up injury excuses in case she loses" in wimbledon 1996 -- because graf pulled out of their doubles that Martina WANTEd so badly for ANOTHER doubles major...and THEN was PROVEN to be WRONG about steffi

when steffi's knees TOTALLY collapsed by 1997!

how wrong they were THEN and how WRONG that nonsens of the MYTH of "seles dominated graf" or "Woulda" was!


rabbit said...

Really feel for Rafa. He looked so disappointed and sorry in his press conference. Hope that he can rest and recover fully and come back strong in the hard court season. He has never had a chance to be fit for the second half of the year, and this might be the year he is.

About Roger's comment, I think you've to give him a break. He said that he wished Rafa the best and, in another quote, said that it would be "frightening" if Rafa had to withdraw. I think in that quote, he was trying to be optimistic. Craig, your friend may have seen the knee problems at a casual glance, but at the time of the French Open, I also didn't really see Rafa really hurting. He didn't take an injury break, didn't have the slightest limp. It would have been impossible to forecast that the injury would become so serious that he'd have to withdraw the next week.

Craig Hickman said...

Pamela, thanks. This is one time, though, that context does not matter. Why? Because Raja proclaims knowledge about whether or not another human being is in pain because of how many times he's played matches against him on a tennis court, most of which he lost.

Leave that nonsense to the pundits. I've engaged in it. But from this perch, it's easy to speculate. It's what we do.

But a player in the game? An entirely different matter. And as I said, I never heard anyone in the sport ever doubt an injury or illness Raja professed, but here he is calling Rafa into question after he loses early in a Slam where he's never lost to a player everyone knows he despises.

I may have a lower threshold than most for such things, but that's just evil.

Graf_sampras said...

speaking of "evil".

some people will profess HORROR at a rivals' distress -- but do nothing to encourage them to improve...but secretly are RELIEVED.

-- a story by Toni Nadal when rafa was very young....

Toni showed nadal an OLD match by Lendl and of them was losing....toni didn't tell the boy it was an OLD match -but said it was LIVE....

then told nadal -- 'i want that other guy to i will show you.,...i will HOPE the opponent gets an injury....just watch"....

and of coruse Toni KNEW the result - - i guess let us say, the other guy won and lendl lost....

but ALL through this time -- the boy nadal was protesting to his uncle....

"TIO TONY -- don't, please don't do that.,....don't wish liek that for the other guy -- he can win too...he's fighting so hard....please...."...

and then when the "match" was over -- the result being what Uncle TONI told nadal would happen because of uncle Toni's "magic" to WISH for the other guy to LOSE THROUGH INJURY --

the boy nadal was crying and went to his mother and others in the house -- shouting :

"UNCLE TONI did something SO BAD - so EVIl -- he wished the other guy to be injured so he will lose

HOW CAN ANYONE DO THAT for another person? that is BAD"!!!

of course this was Toni nadal's teasing the boy, and probably as another "lesson".

Craig Hickman said...

rabbit (and all his fans), sorry.

I can't give Raja a break on this one. Or to put it more precisely, I won't give Raja a break on this one.

He simply doesn't deserve it.

Nothing else he said in that double talking interview can mitigate the part of his comment I outlined to Pamela above.


When he's an asshole, he's quite an asshole.

Helen W said...

I duuno rabbit -- when I watched him play at RG, it was obvious to me that he was far from his best. In fact, to me he was far from his best over the entire clay season. He had, at least to my eyes, lost a step or two. And there are lots of other folks who made similar observations.

As far as Roger's comments: IMHO he was way out of line making comments suggesting questioning what Rafa himself was saying. And as it too typical of him, he mixes in a few positive things with the poisoned barbs. Doesn't make them any less poisoned.

Pamela said...

I understand Craig. It's like the injury and look of discontentment I've noted since Miami. I've whined, yes - whined about it since then. Even though he was winning, you could see it. I think people don't give us ardent fans enough credit. We can sense when our players are "off." It's only a testament to his will that he has won when he's suffering.

New Wimbledon Champion in 2009!

oddman said...

Yes, Craig. I've been biting my own tongue till it bleeds on that one. Thank you for saying what I didn't. I agree, fucking nasty. Some gentleman, no?

Karen. If I'm reading correctly, players are required to play all four slams, all Masters or 1000 tournaments and the YEC if qualified (10?), at least four 500 events, one of those AFTER the USO, and 4 250 events in a year. He played in 18 events last year, as well as the Olympics. Rafa has asked the press himself where should he cut back, with no answers.

Savannah said...

Two things.

1. Toni Nadal does not want Rafa to become dependent on others doing things for him. Because he's who he is it would be very easy to have someone around to carry his racquets, push his luggage, and fly him around in private jets. He told his nephew that all of that goes away and that in the end you're right back to being the person you are.

2. Craig I blogged about that comment from Dr. Federer and thought showed a total lack of class on the good Dr.'s part to say the very least. Needless to say the comment did not get much play in the media because it would go against the media hype of the Dr. as the consummate sportsman. It's as if one of Tiger Wood's peers said, after he won on one leg, that he didn't look as if he was in pain.

Rafa made the right decision - the only decision - he could make today. Now if they can keep him off the courts for awhile...:)

Helen W said...

Pamela says:

Even though he was winning, you could see it. I think people don't give us ardent fans enough credit. We can sense when our players are "off".

I agree 100%. In fact on this very board we were discussing how he looked out of sorts and somewhat distracted out there. We as ardent fans could see it; others only realize it when he lost (Madrid, RG) where everyone else expected him to win. It is a testament to how great he really is that, even in his hurting condition, he still had an incredible clay season, until it all finally came crashing in on him at RG.

Rest and heal, our Rafa.

Graf_sampras said...

it's NOT only in the FO that Rafa was already out of sorts.

people seem to have a penchant for FIRST ignoring rafael's statements - as being wisful (liek when he declared he wanted wimbledon so badly - or that he was practicing "my slices,:) BUT DISMISSING THEM....

and THEN they turn out to have been HEARTFELT and HONEST.

same with rafa already saying things about how tough the schedule is - and he is already feeling the pressure on his body ....

AND THEN it turns out toi be true.

ALL THE WHILE that RAFAEL NADAL HEROICALLY STOOD UP to roger federer where others couldn't or wouldn't.

rafa pays a price - yes - partly due to his very intense style - partly due to keeping up the points . etc.

BUT that has little to do with the fact that ROGER - tryig to be SUBTLE -- tries to completely legitimize his win

of FO

as if to say:

"I don't need rafael to have won the FO" after the FACT of rafael's absence and fall......

then goes on to imply (to be picked up by pundits and fans)

that rafa REALLY was in GREAT SHAPE and JUST fell because ROBIN was "just too good" and that

despite THAT - the conqueror of the FIT rafael was NOT good enough for "ME" the "GREAT ROGER"......

roger is VERY good at this circular kind of "praise" with a hidden diss....

he's VERY very good at that.

even if he KNOWS that had rafael REALLy been in FULL command of himself --

and at the finals - roger had NO PRAYER to win that FO whatsoever or "regain" wimbledon

and that their record would be standing by next week

at 15-7 !!!


but WOn't ADMIT IT- because it is better to RIDE the WAVE of "best ever" DUE PURELY on his "talent"

what utter NONSENSE!

Helen W said...

Oh, and to anybody suffering from tendinitis (and, for a laugh, you should see all the spelling flames going on out there about tendinitis vs tendonitis), a word of advice:

Do NOT, repeat DO NOT, call on Dr. Monogram for advice.

Graf_sampras said...

if there is one difference in roger and rafael as winners of majors and number one rank:

it is that RAFAEL WON MAJORS by TAKING THEM from Roger federer - and became NUMBER ONE by "standing up to the best and beating him , again and again and again".......

Roger took the majors and presumably the number one BY DEFAULT of his better rival.

it is like If Joe frazier won "thrilla in manila" if Muhammad Ali got drunk!

no one in his right mind would believe it.

ESPECIALLY if you could barely hang on to your wimbledon 2007 WITH THE HELP of powers that be....

and get CReAMED so complete in the last FO ...

and SUDDENLY WIN at the absence of your own rival that REALly, REALLY owns you body and soul on ALL surfaces!

oddman said...

Yes, Savannah, I remember that post of yours. And I couldn't trust myself to even speak then, I was SO angry.

You know, I just have to shake my head and leave all this for now, otherwise my head will just explode. Sigh.

kraa said...

Just wanted to say that all that talk by a certain "gentleman" about Seles stabbing not affecting Steffi's career in a major way is a pure DELUSION...

Go Roger! #15 is waiting for you :)))

Graf_sampras said...

ANDY MURRAY was asked recently -- ASKED , mind you:

about "roger's comments , seemingly critical of you despite your record over him".

MURRAY said something like this:

"yes - i know he's said a a few things...but it's just that I am not going to change my style against him because I know it bothers him...but u know....he's the best and sometimes - when he loses to someone like me -- maybe he doesn't need to be so critical either..".

Graf_sampras said...

Wimbledon - Venus: Fans will miss Nadal

Eurosport - Fri, 19 Jun 21:45:00 2009

Champion Rafael Nadal's withdrawal from Wimbledon has got everyone in tennis talking.
TENNIS 2009 Hurlingham Club Rafael Nadal - 0

Here's what a few of those involved in the game had to say:

Venus Williams, five-times champion who most recently won the title in 2008:

"All the fans will miss him. He will be back and hopefully he'll have a chance to win another one."

Pat Cash, champion in 1987:

"He's an incredible athlete. He can perform miracles we didn't think were possible for a human to do ... in Australia he played a five-set match in five hours then backed it up with another five-setter, that was incredible. I've never seen anything like that in my life."

Cedric Pioline, Wimbledon runner-up in 1997:

"I think it's a big loss. But I think the tournament is stronger than the players so it will be a nice tournament anyway, even if he's not there."

Mikael Pernfors, French Open runner-up in 1986:

"Of course he's important, he's part of one of the bigger rivalries in tennis. He's got to get healthy. He can't have a career based on a different game that what he's good at."

Henri Leconte, French Open runner-up in 1988:

"It's sad if he's not there, he's the winner. (But his knees) will get better again. He has played so much in the past few years (and) he had an extraordinary year last year."

Graf_sampras said...

“It's a nice story [to reach No3 in the world], but is there a big difference between being No3 and No4? I don't think so,” Federer said. “It's about being No1 or No2 - being the top seed, being the top dog. That's what it's about for Andy.”

All in good time, Roger. Federer has won 14 grand-slam titles, Nadal six, Novak Djokovic one and Murray is poised, like a coiled spring. “Yes, a lot of the times I have beaten him [Federer] he has said negative things about my game, but it doesn't bother me that much,” Murray said. “Every time I have played him, I have thought I have a good chance to win and my tactics have worked well against him in most of the matches. It didn't make me feel I needed to change my game.

“He doesn't lose very often, so he doesn't need to be critical of his opponents. It is sometimes tougher to be nice when you lose matches.”

Graf_sampras said...

i paraphrased -- but murray's own statements are even more pointed, it seems.

rabbit said...

Helen_W, I agree that Nadal looked far from his best during RG and most of the clay season. All that I'm saying is that it wasn't clear that this was because of a serious knee problem. It could have been mental fatigue or simply being out of form because of changes to his game to adapt to faster surfaces, etc.

BTW, I'm not at all saying that Roger was correct in saying what he did. He shouldn't have commented at all on Rafa's injuries. The comments don't look classy, to say the least. But personally, I don't think they were meant in a mean-spirited way. I think he was just voicing his opinion that he expected Rafa to be back soon, not trying to contradict Rafa (at that point, it was only speculation that the injury was serious).

Of course, this is my opinion and I can totally see how others can take things otherwise.

b said...

Reposting my comment from previous thread, which is more appropriate here - Also would like to note that players can skip at least 1 Masters event

wow you guys - got the news here 1st - I am HEARTBROKEN over Nadal - please understand he is one of the few male players who I really like on and off the court and who i feel is talented and genuinely operates at his potential

I am also heartbroken b/c I feel this may have been avoided... He nknew at the end of last year that his knees were bad.... why not only take this season at the bare minimum commitments? Unlike most people I completely understand him playing Barcelona & Davis Cup - shows integrity - you don't dump on the people who supported you when you were a nobody..... at the same time why play that silly hardcourt tournament (netherlands?) after AO? I also think he did some exhibitions.... Why did he play Madrid? He already had a perfect record and (IMO) should have stayed fresh for RG.

I would love someone to sit down Nadal and Serena for a joint lesson about the perils of ranking chasing/maintaining...... People with their talent shouldn't give into that mess...

And Monfils is out too - not that he was on track to win.... I just love his game...

Graf_sampras said...

kraa said...

Just wanted to say that all that talk by a certain "gentleman" about Seles stabbing not affecting Steffi's career in a major way is a pure DELUSION...

Go Roger! #15 is waiting for you :)))

Fri Jun 19, 05:43:00 PM


oh yea?

explain to me:

HOW was seles going to WIN WIMBLEDOn wtih graf around?

serve BIGGER? her shoulders were getting kaput right after THAT AO 1993 -- didn't you know? she used as an EXCUSE a "lingering cold" to pull out of tournaments after THAT!

she was going to RUN FASTER? compared to Graf's SPEED on fast courts -- what was SELES goign to do EXACTLY? with the way she planted her feet FLAT on the floor to get her "rotation?" that was the foundation of her game? lol. she'd break her ankles FIRST.

you might as well count out ALL the USOs and Wimbledons if she EVER met graf WITHOUT the stabbing.

did you think that graf - who had INCREASED her "intrusion" into SELES" SLOW turf of clay and slow AO


instead of falling so EASILY in the CLAY to seles as in 1990 when seles was a "new phenom" WHILE GRAF had began to learn about the pecadilloes of her father in public and was VERY distracted, most certainly (in fact - i KNOW for a fact from private circles that graf in the only time of her career BROKE her racquet against the wall after the match, crying against the wall in the locker rooms because of the scandals that broke JUST before THAT match in Hamburg against seles where seles first defeated graf - on clay) --

Graf instead gave seles all she could handle in the FO of 1992, WON the Berlin CLAY - meaning

Graf took HALF of their clay meetings at the HEIGHT of seles' dominance....

but proceeded to THRASH HER like some nobody in wimbledon 1992.

THIS was the VERY SAME PERIOD that SABATINI enjoyed an aberrational "dominance" over graf - all on clay - four consecutive or so matches

SHOWING CLEARLY that graf was vulnerable NOT just to seles but EVERYONE and THEY took advantage of it.

but ONCE graf got a better measure of her changed life - because of her dad's emerging public scandals....and how to deal with them as part of her growing up -- graf BEGAN to PAY ATTENTION more fully to her rivals and

one by one REGAINED her dominance over them



b said...

@ Craig et al

As someone (former athlete) who suffers from chronic injuries including severe knee problems - leading to what one might call invisable disabilities - nothing is more aggravating, rage-inducing than someone who professes to know that you're "not really in pain" - or has the arrogance to state that they can tell that someone is not in pain..... GRRRR

I didn't realise he'd said that until skimming the discussion.....

dapxin said...

Craig, can we do another permutation, where is that your "stars aligning" post ?

Its probably easy, but this confirms what most people may suspect about Nadal - he is just a different player to the point of being robotic.

Such a shame but hope he returns better

kraa said...

If you are all so smart and saw everything months ago how come I don't remember anyone here predicting Rafa losing at RG? Not to Soderling, but in principle...

Sounds a bit like Monday morning quarterbacking...

Helen W said...

kraa, believe what you like, but many Rafa fans who contribute to this blog were commenting on Rafa's demeanour during the clay season. We were not making predictions, but we could certainly see that he was not his usual self.

Graf_sampras said...

the problem with some seles fans and those that subscribe to the MYTH fo "seles woulda dominated graf" is they resort to SENTIMENTAL CLAPTRAP as the basis of their arguments...rather than examine EVERY SINGLE episode of the period . based on the actual facts.

FACT: graf was MORE than a match for seles on US hardcourts and wimbledon.

that's at least ALL the USO and Wimbledon titles OUT OF SELES" reach SO LONG as graf played the way she did ! DESPITE her increasing OFF COURT responsibilities in comparison!!

seles defeated in the USO rivals of herself and graf

ONLY when graf was defeated DUE to HER injuries -- such as Arantxa sanches defeating a VISIBLY HOBBLED graf in USO 1994. which was a lingering injury SINCE toronto of that same summer!

so - it's NOT as if Seles TOOK the USO's FROM graf's OWN hands or wimbledon.

while graf pushed seles to the brink in FO AS LATE as 1992 while TAKING the berlin crown on clay! and pushing seles to the brink at the AO - the slow court being the only thing that saved seles.

did people REALLY think that the winner of the GRAND SLAM and had won another "consecutive non-calendar year" that had proven herself again and again

was going to be Seles' INFERIOR at the FO or AO as they imagined?


if anything - with or without stabbing - seles was PLENTY LUCKY

she won over graf during a period when graf's personal and health problems were all over her.

it's a miracle Graf HELD ON continuing to play DESPITE those! because i happen to know that graf was barely able to have her privacy - even in her new york apartment in greenwich village - where papparazzi poked camers right through her window while climbing trees while seles was BUSY running around "incognito" for skipping wimbledon 1991 ...............

as world number one .......

without explanation -- and was even suppos to be FINED for it but got off scot-free.

because she was "seles" the martyr to be! according to the doyens Navratilova, Evert, BLKing, Shriver who could BARELY hide their disgust that GRAF had CLOSED THEIR CIRCUS ACT YEARS AGO

long before seles was ANYBODY that just sauntered in at the right time during graf's first period of problems in her life!


that kind of thinking about blaming everything on the stabbing by a "crazed graf fan" has grown a VIRTUAL INDUSTRY in the tennis world.

it has led to even a very young, impressionable boy years ago - online that WE graf fans had to befriend DESPITE his ranting about ":die steffi, die, die, die,"

in order to calm him down ....and eventually even Heidi Graf became his personal friend who brought HIM around to meet Monica Seles herself -- and eventually even have the personal numbers of monica AND steffi and be their practice

some people -- you just don't know what you are talking about!

oddman said...

'I am not being a hypocrite when I say that I am truly sorry that Nadal is not in a position to defend his Wimbledon title, something he has wanted for a long time.' - Karen.

I know, Karen. I believe you wholeheartedly there.

Graf_sampras said...

come to think of it -- the SEles that won many AO's


exactly what I saw was her GREAT DEFICIENCY that would soon ENOUGH be EXPOSED

as exposed iT WAS by steffi graf LONG before others found IT OUT!

MOVEMENT, in other words. seles WAS IN NO CLASS as that of graf's.

on THAT alone -- how was seles going to WIN the USO - Wimbledon? and once graf regained her confidence on clay as she DID after graf "solved" what graf CONSIDERED teh most critical failure of 1990-1992 - her CONSTANT DEFEATS ON CLAY to sabatini ...?

seles was IN for a RUDE AWAKENING dear.

in fact -- i am quite CERTAIN that the reason graf CLOSED her doubles partnership WITH sabatini that had brought them to the world number 2 in rank behind navratilova in doubles and won them the wimbledon Doubles Trophy

WAS because Sabatini had used things she picked UP from graf in their doubles to defeat graf on clay

IN PRECISELY the same time frame as graf was losing her SINGLES clay matches to Sabatini.

once graf removed that "open door" -- it returned to old form. sabatini - after 1993 NEVER again defeated graf ANYWHERE.

SAME was LIKELY to happen to la seles, dear!

Graf_sampras said...

Karen - we believe you

you are merely stating a FACT> there is nothing wrong with that.

it is NOT roger's fault nor anybody's. rafa is OUT, period.

charags said...

Wow, I almost expected to see slogans saying "Death to Federer" !

It's really really bad about Nadal's inability to defend his titles. No normal person would want anyone to be hurt, not even Schumacher who took chances with everyone else's life.

But using that as a weapon to lash out at Federer is rather petty, not to mention speculative too.

How come Serena didn't ask to pause the match when Azarenka was so visibly tired during AO ? Did she tone down her game to give Azarenka a breather; oh no! She simply pushed harder untill Azarenka was completely overcome with fatigue.

That's the way of the game.

Nadal plays how he deems necessary, and he reaps the benefits, and unfortunately, pays the price too.

There has been lot of talk about the strenous ATP season, hopefully this will encourage some changes.

Player's shouldn't need to be so drastic to stay up there.

Helen W said...

charags, I'm not sure if you are referring to posters in this blog "lashing out against Federer"? If so, I beg to differ. Some posters, myself among them, are underwhelmed by Roger's comments to the press expressing his doubts about Rafa telling the truth about his knee problems. This happened some time ago -- long before Rafa pulled out of Wimby. They were also quoted on Savannah's blog and discussed there.

Regardless of whether or not Rafa pulled out of Wimbledon, those comments -- quoted above in this thread by oddman, are completely out of line (IMHO). No amount of prettying them up can mitigate them.

Karen said...

It is just so freaking heartbreaking to see him like this. Every time I have seen pictures of him he is laughing and smiling and just being a kid and everytime I look at the pictures I just want to cry. Maybe I am too emotional right now but I think one of the things that us fans are missing is this: this game means as much, or more, to these players than it does to us as fans. We only sit on our sofas, lay up in bed, sit behind computers etc, but these ladies and gentlemen have been doing since childhood and it is never a good thing when you see someone felled by something like injury. Makes you appreciate even more those who have really come back from career threatening injuries and risen to the top once again. I am sure that Rafa will rise to the top. He is like cream no - always goes to the top. I had a really sucky day today as apart from reading this about Rafa, I also heard about the death of someone else in cyberspace who was a lover of tennis. I also learnt about another friend of mine who died at the age of 35 from renal failure. At this time if only we as fans could pause for a minute and just appreciate what we have. I will be out for the rest of the evening as will be heading out to a leaving do for friends of mine. Come on guys, play nice. Talk to you all tomorrow.

Helen W said...

Bless you Karen. You are soooooo right. Even with players that we do not particularly like (e.g. for me, Gonzo for cheating against James at the Olympics), it hurts to see them brought down by pain and injury.

Craig Hickman said...

How come Serena didn't ask to pause the match when Azarenka was so visibly tired during AO ? Did she tone down her game to give Azarenka a breather; oh no! She simply pushed harder untill Azarenka was completely overcome with fatigue.


I witnessed Serena's demeanor and play in that match. From my perspective, she slowed down play considerably when she became aware Azarenka was suffering. Pure speculation, of course, but I surmised that she realized Azarenka was going to play until she either called a trainer or passed out and so she slowed down rhythm to make sure Azarenka wouldn't pass out since it was clear she was fighting and didn't seem she would retire.

While I'm not going to say anything more about Federer's recent comment, I don't think the Serena/Azarenka situation is anything like what we're discussing here.

Many media analysts also suggested Rafa wasn't really hurt and now they're all eating crow, even if they'll never tell it.

jennifer said...

I'm sorry - did I stumble onto a bash Federer site? Where's the love? It is very sad that Nadal won't be defending his title, very sad. He has most undoubtedly shown the world that he can better Federer on any surface and rightly became the world's number 1. HOWEVER - his injury, his knees, only serve as testament to Rodger's being the greatest player of all time. Roger has accomplished all of his sucess without such injuries - that is part of what makes him so amazing. Give the man his due. If he wins at Wimbledon this year, it shouldn't have an asterick next to it, referencing Nadal's absence, he will have won it because he is the better athlete. Plain and simple.

Alex said...

I'm just amazed at the level of hatred for Raja in here!

Craig Hickman said...

Jennifer, you didn't stumble upon anything. You've been here before, you know how we get down, you know that some of our contributors are huge Raja fans, you know that while some of us may be more openly critical of Raja than people on other forums may be, this isn't a Federer bashing site, so don't even try it.

Enjoy Wimbledon.

Alex said...

It's very easy to get the impression this is a "hate Federer" site. Especially allowing Graf_Sampras to spam your site.

Craig Hickman said...

Alex, in the short time you've posted under the name Alex on this blog, you've done quite a bit of "spamming" yourself. Have I asked you to stop?

I moderate this blog minimally. I rarely delete comments. The community generally moderates itself. I have no intention to change that.

Alex said...

Craig - the diff is that I don't post as much as GS, nor do I post WALLS OF TEXT like he does. Surely you can tell the difference.

sykotique said...

I don't know if you guys are being serious, or applying a context to one of Federer's quotes that didn't even exist.

Federer's quote I will readily admit as a Federer fan lacked a certain requisite amount of class. However, the quote was NOT in reply to any assertion by Nadal that he was injured...the assertion that Nadal might be injured came from the reporter who was asking the question! This is in fact made clear within the context of Federer's own quote: "I think it's a lot of speculation at the moment," that is to say, Nadal himself had said nothing about being injured...only the media.

It may not be dishonesty, it may simply be a lack of research, but I for sure am distinctly aware of the fact that Federer made that quote before Nadal said ANYTHING at all about being injured. Had Nadal even suggested that he was injured, then I would be forced to agree that the quote was nasty, but in the absence of such a context, it is merely slightly classless and nothing more.

If player A is asked about whether or not player B is injured, and player B has said nothing about being injured but this has been inferred by the media and player A is known to have an ego, then his answer will in 9 out of 10 cases be that he does not believe that player B is injured...until player B comes out and SAYS that he is injured.

How is that "doubting an injury"? You can't doubt an injury that you don't even know exists!

Federer may be arrogant and, as a result, easy bait for the media...but he's definitely not THAT arrogant. Whether you like him or not, at least give him the respect of not completely discolouring his already culpable quotes.

Matt said...

Craig Hickman said...

I hadn't read that comment from Federer until today in this thread. It really is a nasty nasty nasty nasty nasty thing to say.

Unless I missed it, no one in the sport ever kicked Federer when he seemed to be down. The gentleman he's supposed to be just couldn't fucking resist.

What an asshole.


Epic, epic, epic comment. I couldn't agree with you more Craig. I hope he burns in his stupid, wankey white jacket.

oddman said...

jennifer - how is it bashing when the words come from the guy's own lips? IMO, he had no business saying "I can tell when he's in pain and when he's not." Contrast this with what Andy Roddick had to say, when asked:

'He's had knee tendinitis for a long time and he's won Grand Slams while he's had it. I'm not going to understimate Rafa, I think he's going to be there and I think he's going to be fine.' Note the *think* part, he doesn't say 'I can tell if he's in pain or not.'


Interesting. I lurk at quite a few sites, and have noticed an increase in posts there by Raja fans, wishing their man would just shut up sometimes. Telling, no?

PeytonAllen said...

Beth, I think you're right times are a changin', but still until someone not named Nadal moves they can beat Roger in a Slam, he's pinching himself.

I think Fed's comments weren't quite as ill meaning as some want to believe. He's an ass at times, but I dunno. I will say this he's made a few comments i've read that suggeste he was exactly hating life that Nadal lost early at the French.

"Did he retire??"

Sucks for all of us that we won't see another final like last year's and with Fed aging and Nadal's health now in question, we may never.

I think Rafa has change some things. The amount of time on a practice court, and the amount of clay courters he plays headed into the French.

He's either going to reinvent himself during this break, or we'll see this theme throughout his career.

I'm a bit bored by the prospect of Wimbledon now. If Fed still has the same draw, it's a joke. Of course he's so good it doesn't matter.

I would wish for Murray/Fed now. But with Roger's luck we'll see Roddick in the Final.

Graf_sampras said...

there is such a thing as being the greatest or best of all time due to the fortunes of your greatest rivals who just happen, inconveniently enough , to actually OWN YOU on every surface at almost TWICE the RATE you win anytthing against him -

DURING the HEIGHT of your supposed dominance that SUPPOSEDLY makes you the best of all time.

there is a difference between being the "better athlete" and HAVING "become" the best ever - because your own rival's efforts pay the price for showing you up on ...

what the others ALLOW you to do.

this is UNIQUE in fact - in the annals of history for someone that has claims to being the "best and greatest ever".

it can not be recalled in memory how a rival during one's OWN dominance was SO THOROUGHLY OWNED .

not in women's tennis:

Court, Graf, Navratilova

not in men's tennis:

Tilden, Kramer, Gonzales, Laver, Borg, Sampras

THOROUGHLY OWNED During one's own dominance. on ALL possible surface meetings.

When NBA STAR CHARLES BARKLEY goes OUT of HIS way to quip about TENNIS

and says:

"these players around Roger FEderer,,,the way they act and talk around'd think they want to bed him...don't they KNOW he's taking food off of their plates? what the HELL IS WRONG WITH THEM?"

outside of NADAL ?

and to KNOW that there was NOTHING wrong about the athleticism of guys such as OLD ANDRE agassi for 2 USO.s

or Mark Philippoussies for the first wimbledon except HE was KNEE SURGERIED months before that in his OLD age

or nothing WRONG with the athleticism of Baghdatis at ALL whatsoever except IN HIS BRAIN FARTS

or Novak's WHEEZING was a MINOR inconvenience compared to his BRAIN FART


then there is something SERIOUSLY WRONG about how you "ascended" to being the

ONLY ONE LEFT OUT THERE that is GOOD ENOUGH to be the 'best ever'.....

it just MEANS:


Graf_sampras said...

you know -- there have been many that said:

OF the THREE - Connors, Borg and McEnroe...connors was the "least talented and athletically gifted"......

but u know -- CONNORS GAVE 'em HELL!!!

so much even -- that it took BORG TONS of Sweat to PRESERVE HIMSELF JUST for the FO/Wimbledon Season and the USO

JUST to overcome the much OLDER connors in the rankings...but STILL couldn't get PAST connors in the USO's!!!

that's COMPETITION dear....

you stand up against the BEST no matter what people say HE IS.

and boy -- did nadal do that:

"we all like to wathc roger , no? because he plays so beautiful NO? but I must FIGHT NO?"

so much that Roger practically pisses in his pants and cries 'em a river.....

the only thing left not said - had Nadal survived his problems - problems mind you, that became NADAL's BECAUSE THE REST OF THE COMPETITION in THEIR

MANHOOD's HEIGHT couldn't or WOULDN"T produce - meaning their GONADS are USELESS on court when they see a PRETTY roger - he probably reminds them of girls -- and they all go gaga -

and had nadal been fit enough (this is nadal's FIRST TIME OFF , mind you, since becoming a big name -- how LONG did it take roger to win EVEN his FIRST major.? lol) --

roger might as well have said


Graf_sampras said...

Alex - if you've noticed -- I BASH ANDY RODDICK about as much as Roger FEderer....

for the reason that Andy has ALLOWED HIMSELF to be sucha FAILURE as I call it - in rivalries. and THAT"s even if Andy Roddick is my other big favorite player ! coz I'm unhappy with the BLOKE for kissing up to roger's ass - or ANYONE's ass for that matter. !

does Craighickman ban me for THAT?

mind you - i haven't posted here for almost 2 days....

so - u know, there are days and there are days.


why do FEDFANS resort to asking for BANNING?

is that how "sensitive" their skins are?.......ewe!

Graf_sampras said...

hell - if anything Craighickman is the BIGGEST basher of his very own Andy Roddick as he sees if Andy needs a swift kick in the Ass....

why should roger federer - who's PUT HIMSELF FORWARD in no uncertain terms abotu what HE thinks about HIS competition in comparison to "my great talent"

despite the fact that said competition has largely PERMITTED HIM to make hsi solo dances....

be FREED from that scrutiny?.

if you want Glorifying things about Roger -- there are PLENTY of Roger sites around. starting with HIS.!

and you can tell HIM what

I Roger Dissing Troll said! coz ONLY HE would UNDERSTAND - more than YOU fedfans -- how RIGHT I AM !!

Graf_sampras said...

If i was a reporter there asking roger in interviews -- i would be asking the SUPPRESSED question:

"roger -what do you feel about the fact that as the acclaimed best of all time-- you aren't even the best of YOUR own time and only win a historic achievement like the Career Slam when someone that OWNS you on ALL surfaces is gone from your path while OTHERS behave like they want to bed you?..i mean ... unless they are simply TOO OLD and rickety?..."

Graf_sampras said...

Craighickman at times pointed out what few notice WHEN federer says things:

and that is:

he often CONTRADICTS himself almost as quickly as he said an initial statement.

in the FO

Roger opened the quest with "I have no problem with the others -- i have a RAFAEL PROBLEM"....

even to the point of :

"hopefully i won't have to meet him until the FO"...

to "gain" his confidence.

well he did meet an exhausted rafael in madrid who was already showing signs of wear and tear (after roger himself had his REST - avoiding who else?)

this shows an opportunistic character ...someone waiting , lurking, until hsi chief rival wears himself OUT.

and THEN will declare upon his victory that he must have done it all while his rival was in complete command of himself!

everyone knows roger suggested such things about madrid to such effect, contrary to what was OBVIOUS.

same happens in FO.


note THAT --
"to BEAT" rafael in the finals....

as IF FO 2008 wasn't ENOUGH to show his only prayer WAS if Rafael was worn out -- or BETTER - if it came down to it - rafa was taken OUT of his path......

SAME as in all the other majors....

WORN OUT or TAKEN OUT of his path.

that is the story of roger's "majors career"......

from Philippoussies to Nadal.

and YET the guy has the balls to criticize or diss in an underhanded way ....

as MURRAY says:

"he should be criticizing other players when he's winning so often's sometimes harder not to do that when you're losing".

but roger has a way of doing it when WINNING AND LOSING.

the guy seems to be FULLY Aware of how LUCKY he has been for so long - yet goes OUT of hsi way to influence public acceptance that he supposedly did it ALL by his

"godgiven talent" alone....roflmao.

the guy is truly a certified narcissist like has never been SEEN BEFORE...

of THAT he is the "best ever"..

joanne said...

I agree sad day for tennis. Could have seen this (or something like this) one can play grueling 4-5 hour matches (one right after the other) without something giving.

I am not a FedFan but I don't find his comments over the top. He might have just been trying to justify his own wins.

Love to see a 'dark horse' win (so much fun) if it is not going to be Rafa. Also really hope that Rafa gets the best medical care (come to New York!!)

vw said...

Roddick PLEASE do it and on the other side Djok Please do it.

Graf_sampras said...

you know I've dug into my memory of what great players said:

Pancho Gonzales who was universally acknowleged by his peers as "the greatest of us ALL, the absolute ruler of us all".....from Sedgman in the 50's to even laver's end in 70's...

STILL had this to say:

"at my BEST - there was probably Lew Hoad who was better than me....pete sampras is right up there with lew".

Steffi Graf -so supreme on all surfaces so repeatedly - it made the winning the ALL majors so SMALL if one could only win ONCE on EACH..STILL had this to say:

"my greatest rival was martina navratilova - she absolutely was the most difficult player for me..."

and later in wimbledon 1999 - "i have never played a match here as good as the one I had to play against Venus Williams..she is one of the very best I have ever played against".

Pete Sampras STILL had this to say:

"of all my rivals - i really feared Michael Stich...and Goran Ivanisevic".

and note -- these were with records agaisnt players that were QUITE RESPECTABLE between them.

ROGER FEDERER who has a BAD RECORD against rafael

has all been about EXCUSES for HIMSELF in his defeats and dismissiveness about when rafael is out and easing the path for Roger himself.

Helen W said...

sykotique says:

... However, the quote was NOT in reply to any assertion by Nadal that he was injured ....

Actually, from this story in Tennis Week, it is pretty clear that Federer already knew that Rafa had pulled out of Queen's, citing knee problems.

sykotique said...

Helen W,

The problem with these articles is that they give absolutely no time line. I remember the time line quite clearly.

1. Rafa pulled out of Queens.

2. No explanation was given initially.

3. Speculation ran through the media as to whether he was injured or devastated by loss (that very speculation was discussed on this same board, actually).

4. Cue Federer's none-too-classy remark about Nadal's reason for withdrawal - in response to speculation about an injury, not actual reported injury.

5. Nadal subsequently informed everyone that he was actually having tests down.

It's very easy for an article to distort a series of events merely by omitting very relevant, very key details which others would consider minor, but since we are crucifying Federer on the basis on context, I figure I might as well as give as close as possible to the actual factual context.

It's okay to find Federer arrogant, that's a matter of opinion and even as his fan I do think he suffers from a bit of self-love; but it's not okay to misrepresent facts. Not saying that is what anyone here is doing and the media may not even be doing it purposefully, but it is what it is.

oddman said...

I don't give one crap about any timeline, sykotique. The operative phrase here, for me, is "I've played him so many times, I can tell when he's in pain and when he's not."

He did not have to say any of that.

Again, YMMV. Enough! Bah.

sykotique said...

Fair enough, oddman. I'm not trying to change your opinion, I'm just trying to give an accurate account of the facts...whatever your conclusion you come to is your own, it really bothers me not, I just dislike misrepresentation of facts.

Graf_sampras said...

Sykotique , i think you are trying to mince words there.

"timeline" "exactspecifics" kind of argument flies in the face of the commonly NOTED events which eventually arrived at nadal FINALLY pulling out of Queens and wimbledon.

ENOUGH WRITING on the wall was clear -

1) for roger to have won madrid - even as rafa tried to keep away from openly saying his knee was bothering him THAT much

2) for EVERYONE that had seen rafa's year so far - despite his AO performance (which MAY have exacerbated the condition due to a string of the TOUGHEST TWO matches seen in so long -- do you REALLY think roger could have survived THOSE?)

3) that we eventually are talking about what is "time-line" INSPITE of the larger "time line" where rafa had hinted at discomfort but naturally was trying to fulfill all obligations to play, defend and of course win more titles.

Helen W said...


As far as I can tell, Rafa made a public statement on June 6, saying that he was pulling out of Queen's, adding:

"It's no secret to anyone that I have been having some problems in the past months with my knees, which did not allow me to compete at 100%."

You can find the statement on his official website.

Dr. Monogram's pronouncement on the state of Rafa's knees was made on June 8th.

Interesting that you characterize anyone questioning Federer's statement as crucifying him. I realize that to The Worshipful questioning any utterance of Federer, no matter how repugnant, is sacrilege.

Graf_sampras said...

roger is intent on trying to "claim" his FO and expected wimbledon - the way it WOULD have been had Rafael NEVER been around:

1) to THOROUGHLY own him at the FO
2) to wrest Wimbledon AFTER challenging him to the BRINK in 2007.

and roger would like OTHERS to PRETEND that

rafael is NOT or WAS NOT in discomfort in being taking AWAY FROM ROGER"S has been the observed pattern between them for YEARS!

it had been said for years :

"rafael only has that record over roger because of the FO"

that has been DISCREDITED.

if anything it is ROGER"S wins in the FO and the wimbledon SINCE 2007 in the finals that are QUESTIONABLE because rafael "was NOT YET" the real rafael OR was UNDERMINED by AELTA - everyone knows that.

roger trying to belittle or pooh-pooh rafael's discomforts (NO BLAME TO ROGER, we must emphasize) -

is like roger trying to say that "I had GREAT rivalries with the Agassis' and Samprases"

while wishing people DON"T NOTICE roger began to defeat Agassi AFTER agassis turned 33 with sciatica , a bad back, a bad hip and "there are just some things i WON'T DO ANYMORE...such as stretching and reaching and bending for a shot"......

and WHY?

because roger - as in the case of rafael - wants people to "remember" only ONE THING;


nevermind what the conditions of the rivals he defeated WERE - which was FAR from Their best


that's the whole gambit of roger federer.

it is called


Graf_sampras said...

there goes the quote by Helen W .

we all know that sometime around there -- rafael had already mentioned them - but feared that he would be accused of using injury as an excuse. he was merelystating what ALREADY was the matter and TRUE.

this is exactly as happened with Steffi graf and I HAVE knowledge and experience of having watched that kind of accusation from people about "lining up excuses just in case of a defeat".....that TURNED OUT TO BE TRUE - and WORSE than people or the player let on .

this is such an example- and ROGER

is basically playing the role of Martina Navratilova in wimbledon 1996 :

"steffi is lining up excuses in case she loses...and then she runs like a gazelle"...

without knowing in full how SEVERE it was and that steffi , DESPITE running like a gazelle was living on borrowed time - only to respond:

"i wish she hadn't said that, martina. she should know better"

(because martina HERSELF had 2 knee surgeries in the 1980s but actually it fixed her and she went to become even better -- a POINT TO BE NOTED for RAFA's comfort).

in THIS case - roger plays the Navratilova part:

quipping about how Rafa's knee problem "didn't seem to bother him"

IN ORDER to FULLY LEGITIMIZE his own FO in the absence of a player that THOROUGHLY OWNED HIM.

if roger NEEDS that kind of "leading on" his public on how to perceive others in order to "clean up" HIS own wins

what does THAT SAY about what he REALLY THINKS about HOW LUCKY he REALLY has been?.

THAT is the BIG ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM that roger would LOVE for people never to notice its existence while he sips his champagne as the "celebrity" in the room.

Graf_sampras said...

AND he talks - recently - about

"I"m BETTER THAN EVER...i am no longer afraid of five-setters"

THAT's IT? he thinks THAT's a BIG thing? makes you wonder what he FELT from the LIKES of ANDRE AGASSI giving him FIVE SETS in USO 2004!!!!


sykotique said...

Helen W,

If you wish to categorise me as The Worshipful, I hope you don't mind me categorising you as The Hateful. What's to stop me saying that you're crucifying him when you allege that I am defending the indefensible?

I like Roger Federer as much as you dislike him. At the end of the day...who really gives a shit? It doesn't define who we are as people. At least, I would hope not...we're just talking about tennis.

And how am I denouncing you questioning Federer's utterance? How you want to interpret what he said is YOUR right and YOUR prerogative. I'm just stating facts which are, to the best of my knowledge and belief, true, and Nadal did not come out with a statement in relation to any alleged or specific knee injury on the date in question. He's a known tendonitis case, but unless we're coming to the conclusion that he was injured for half of the year, I find it difficult to impute any knowledge of any hitherto "unalleged" injury.

That was what the media ran with...and that was what Federer was give him. I could care less if you judge him or me as his fan. It won't take food off table and hopefully my "defending" him won't take food off of yours.

Good day to you, The Hateful.

Graf_sampras said...

oh -- so if people are NOT WORSHIPFUL of Roger

they are HATEFUL. wow.

it does boil down to that for some fedfolks.


as for roger he has his own TIMELINE:

"I had mono since .........2007"

the OTHER is made for him by his own fans:

"Roger was NOT YET the real roger before 2003:"

we can THEN say with equal validity :

"andre agassi was NO LONGER the real andre since turning 33 when roger BEGAN to defeat him:"

"pete sampras was NO LONGER the best version"

"Goran Ivanisevic was NO LONGER the goran of 1998 despite his magical wimbledon 2001"...

"Ancic had MONO ALL HIS CAREER since wimbledon 2002"....defeating Roger...

"CANAS was NO LONGER the canas of 2002 defeating Roger, Safin and Roddick in Toronto Masters"..

"rafael was NOT YET the full rafael in wimbledon 2006,2007"..

"Tim Henman was NO LONGER the TIGER TIM of 1998 or 2001"

"SAFIN was only a shadow of himself since 2003"

"Thomas Johansson was NEVER the same after his eye problems since 2003 AO "

:"NALBANDIAN is no longer the same nalbandian of 2003"\


as for the rest?

hell - Gasquet NEVER became ANYTHING
SODERLING is still the same OGRE playing like a GNOME.WAWRINKA is STILL the BrokeBackALPS loveroby of Roger, ready to defend Roger's HONOR...


Alex said...

GS - your assertion is that Federer became a 14-time slam champ by beating up on :

* rookies, young pups
* broken down veterans
* injured players

sykotique said...

"oh -- so if people are NOT WORSHIPFUL of Roger

they are HATEFUL. wow."

I didn't create the distinction. Apparently, you can't be a fan of Roger Federer without being classified as "worshipful".

So, to me, the opposite must be true; you can't criticise him without be "hateful".

Disparage and disparage alike. But please carry on, there's not enough horses and none of them high enough for all the amount of moral ground that some Fed critics claim to stand on, as if an opinion some how mutated into a fact.

b said...

@Matt, Ccaig

"Epic, epic, epic comment. I couldn't agree with you more Craig. [b]I hope he burns in his stupid, wankey white jacket[/b]"

What a horrid thing to say! Why can't I stop laughing? Thanks Matt & my apologies to the Fed Fans...

On that note did you guys read that apparently Murray is (unashamedly) getting a specially monogrammed retro Fred Perry outfit including a Cardigan...
Apparently there are other players trying to cash on on the "Mr Rogers" look.... hard as it is for me to believe....
The real Mr Rogers is going to have to raise the stakes - anyone know what he'll be wearing - (backwards) trousers again, a warmup overcoat (a la Serena raincoat), real gold on his shoes (ala sharpie 2005)

I guess Murray's Cardigan will be a pullover, after all he can't have buttons to represent the # of wins

Graf_sampras said...

roger will outdo them all -- wearing a paste-on DIAMOND below his eyes -- to show "tears"...oh - those precious tears...roger so LOVABLE.....and so ........


Alex said...

Roger will come on court wearing sequins and pink shirt. He'll proceed to vamos his way to another slam! Fist pumps will fly.

Helen W said...

Sorry your timeline turned out to be wrong, sykotique. Them's the breaks. Now, don't you have a service to go to?

You guys are a hoot!

Craig Hickman said...

Damn. I go away for a minute and the claws come out.

Please keep it civil, y'all. I told Alex I rarely delete comments. But that doesn't mean I won't. If we're to call names, make up nicknames, etc, please reserve that for the players and not each other. We can disagree without being disagreeable.


Craig Hickman said...

Alex said...

Roger will come on court wearing sequins and pink shirt.


Why you wanna make me spit out my coffee?

sykotique said...

Helen W,

I'm pretty sure my timeline is correct. And where is that service? Is it the one with you standing outside holding up a torch and a placard? :)

Just kidding, by the way. I'm just disagreeing with you because I remember things far differently and no amount of news articles subsequent to the fact will change that, because it would not be the first time the media has distorted things.

Helen W said...

OK, Sykotique, peace!

I got the timeline from Nadal's official website where in a news release dated June 6, he stated that he was pulling out of Queen's and mentioned his knee problems. Federer's statement was made the day after he defeated Soderling (according to the press). Of course that doesn't mean that he automatically knew what Rafa had said 2 days earlier.

But regardless, his public statements on the subject were completely out of line.

How would you feel if Rafa, for example, had made some statement questioning Federer's mono in last year's AO? Something like "Well he played pretty well -- could he really have had mono? I mean I've played him lots of times and I would know."

I agree with you that the press does not always get it right. But in this case, the timeline is pretty clear.

Karen said...

We had a 10 second chat. He congratulated me for Paris and I asked him how his knee was. He was like, 'it's okay'. So I kind of knew it wasn't great, because he's very honest to me. So I knew that something could be coming up.

"I heard he was gonna have a press conference on Friday and I guess I was slightly prepared that he wouldn't play, so then it doesn't come as such a big surprise. It's obviously very disappointing for the tournament, and also for myself."

sykotique said...

Well, to be completely honest, I don't think Rafa would speculate about Federer having mono...cause Nadal is just not that kind of guy.

Nevertheless, Federer came out about the mono way after he had contracted it. I myself just thought he'd had a really bad flu or at worse, food poisoning; for me, Nadal would have been forgiven for thinking the same.

And the way Federer phrases comments about "I would know" is just his ego coming out. He feels he knows everything, he probably still thinks he knows how to beat Nadal on clay, lol! But while I think his comment was arrogant and somewhat classless, I just can't characterise it as nasty, especially considering the circumstances.

sykotique said...

And it is very common for websites to backdate releases, it is actually the general rule as opposed to the exception. A blurb might come out stating "Rafa has pulled out of Queens, more news to follows..." and then a subsequent, more detailed report usually follows.

I just recall, quite clearly, that Federer's quote made headlines much faster than Nadal's injury. Which, to me, suggests that it was merely speculation up to that point, in which Federer was, regrettably, participating.

Clare said...

OK. What I want to know is how in the world did someone like Federer manage to somehow win the Sportsman of the Year award for 4 years in a row?
This is voted on by FELLOW PLAYERS, not fans, media, blogs.

Helen W said...

Clare says:

What I want to know is how in the world did someone like Federer manage to somehow win the Sportsman of the Year award for 4 years in a row?

This is voted on by FELLOW PLAYERS, not fans, media, blogs

Ah, the appeal to an authority figure. If he got voted as Sportsman of the Year by some august body, then there could be nothing unsportsmanlike in anything he says.

Helen W said...

Sykotique says:

And it is very common for websites to backdate releases, it is actually the general rule as opposed to the exception.

Could be. I rarely visit Rafa's official site; in fact I rarely visit any of the players' official websites.

But even if they did backdate it on the website, so what? They are claiming the date that they made the statement is June 6. So presumably that is the date that the press had the information, no? Or do you think they deliberately tried to mislead everyone, including the press, with the date on the website?

C'mon, you don't really believe that, do you?

IAC, we both agree that Federer's statement lacked class -- I guess our differences are only on the degree of said lack of class. So, 'nuff said.

Clare said...

Yeah, I suppose it's an appeal to an authority figure. I just thought that fellow players could speak with some authority on the matter of sportsmanship. Hey, what do I know?

Helen W said...

What's your point, Clare? You seem to be claiming that because some authority claims Federer is a great sportsman, anybody who presents evidence to the contrary is automatically wrong. No second opinions allowed; no need to actually think about the evidence: the AUTHORITY has spoken -- Case Closed.

sykotique said...

Well, Helen, Federer is in a lot of respects like you and me; he gets the majority of his news from the mainstream media.

I don't read Nadal's website; I highly doubt Federer does either. What I do know is that, on the date that Federer made that comment, the entire mainstream media was acting like Nadal had said absolutely nothing about an injury.

So it's not a matter of me thinking that the website is trying to mislead anybody. It just doesn't make sense to me that at first, no one knew of Nadal stating that he was injured, then ALL of a sudden EVERYONE knew that Nadal was injured.

I will say this: Roger, as much as I support him, can sometimes be very easy bait for the sensationalist media.

Helen W said...

Ok, sykotique, here is a story from The Times Online dated June 5, 2009, saying (in part):

Nadal today announced that he had forced to withdraw from the Aegon Championships which begin on Monday after doctors, who examined his knees after an intensive schedule on clay, advised him to rest.

So I simply do not buy your claim that "entire mainstream media was acting like Nadal had said absolutely nothing about an injury."

Clare said...

"You seem to be claiming that because some authority
claims Federer is a great sportsman, anybody who presents evidence to the contrary is automatically wrong."

Oh, for goodness sake. I make no such claim.
May I explain what happened?
It was just when I read some comments and the cited examples here with reference to Federer's arrogance, or bad attitude, it made me have second thoughts about him!
I had to wonder if I remembered correctly that he'd been voted Sportsman of the Year. It seemed hard to believe.

I had to go look it up, and had to find out who it was that actually voted.

So, my only point here is a general one - for what it's worth - that Federer's peers, his fellow players, consistently see him as a good sportsman. (The ATP Sportsmanship Award doesn't impress everyone.)

This does NOT mean that every action or comment of his displays sportsmanship.
This does NOT mean that examples may not be cited.
It does NOT mean that anyone who presents evidence to the contrary is automatically wrong.

It's true that I didn't interpret Roger's recent comments as being particularly nasty towards Nadal. That may well be because I have always perceived them to share a mutual respect.
I did wonder if my perception was off, and as I said, comments here led me to wonder.
I have to say that I thought other players might have a better standpoint from which to judge.
( I'm repeating myself here...)

It is a very good thing that people take note of athletes' behavior and appreciate a high standard of sportsmanship.
I don't know what else I can say.

Beverly said...

First of all, thank you, Craig, for this blog. Thanks also to you supporters of Rafa who provide some welcome balm in these tough times for those of us who admire and respect the life and energy he has brought to the game, singlehandedly making the tour interesting again after the boring domination of Federer over a weak field.

I lurk here frequently, more so since Rafa has had this string of misfortunes which has also brought out the knives from those who hate him only because he's proven that Federer is not as great as he's blown up to be.

This blog is one of the only places where the truth is consistently told about Federer's arrogance - without hate as Fed fans claim but with balance, honesty and acceptance of the facts.

It's a bit sad that with all the other forums where Fed's bad behavior is routinely excused or explained away via delusion, twisting of the facts, claims that he's entitled to be arrogant etc. -- that's not sufficient for some posters -- they have to come this place and try to assert the usual status quo and make sure no one ever tells the truth about Federer's self-serving putdowns of those who beat him on the court.

If there's one thing that's undeniable to anyone with eyes and ears it is that Federer has been, is, and probably always will be an over-the-top narcissist and has consistently behaved like a sore loser when he is beaten. He may wait till the interview or a bit later, disguise it with a bit of praise but it's always there - the bitterness and criticism of the one who beat him.

Nothing has changed since he lucked into the FO title so it's crazy to see all the pronouncements that he's now suddenly the greatest of all time when everything is the same as it was before. He did not beat anyone of consequence at the FO and he struggled horribly even with the weak weak draw he was gifted or blessed with. He was lucky that Soderling played like a frozen, scared newbie – the familiar scenario that has brought him most of his slam titles.

It was a concurrence of pure luck, easy draw, absence of Rafa and other freak upsets that allowed Federer to take that title and he now has a good chance of doing it at Wimbledon with yet again another easy draw (from what I've heard on the web)and because of Rafa's withdrawal. Federer did not have to beat any of the real top players to get the FO title. How many times has that happened for Nadal? Isn't a title worth much more when you've beaten many of the best to get it? I submit that the titles of Federer are worth a lot less because he's not had to beat many top players each time. I submit also that that is why it's easier for him to avoid injuries than it is for Nadal. Grand slam after grand slam, if you read the sports news the report is always "Federer has easy draw. Nadal draw very tough." I often wonder, why is that, and why does it get reported but never discussed? When Federer's draws are so easy it's like he gets carte blanche to every semi. Usually the semifinalist has been in the one difficult section of Federer's half of the draw. Then because the other side of the draw is so much tougher, whoever Fed meets in the final is totally beat up - for example the most recent being Wimbledon, AO, Madrid, FO. It explains a lot as to why it's so easy for Fed to stay healthy and get slams over inexperienced surprise finalists.

(followed by part 2)

Beverly said...

Part 2

Anyway, back to my original point, it's refreshing that there is ONE site that will give Rafa his due and not turn a blind eye to Federer's nastiness and lack of sportsmanship. Fed (and many of his fans - regular fans as well as those in the media) clearly implied that Rafael was not injured (as Rafa stated) and therefore that Rafa was lying and exaggerating his injuries. For Christ's sake, even the NY Times linked to some rubbish article on Tennis X that claimed Rafa was lying and not injured even though he had withdrawn from Queens! The New York Times also published a blog that claimed that Rafa did not have the “heart of a champion” if he did not play Wimbledon despite injuries. That was swiftly pulled after they were panned by commenters.

For Fed and his fans it's not enough that Fed gets another title that luck (and maybe some shenanigans) tossed into his lap. No, they need to also deny his snide nasty comments and deny the truth that Rafa has been playing injured for a long time. This was certainly obvious to me as a fan and I think it's disgraceful that the critics doubt the word of the #1 player when he has never been anything but honest.

The interesting thing is that it seems to me that Federer never had mono since he never withdrew from a single tournament because of it, he never showed any signs of illness or fatigue and he won a five set match against Tipsarevic in the Australian heat and went on to the semifinal. What person with mono really could do something like that? Oh, yeah, Federer because he's soooo amazing. Hardly. The mono was an excuse so he could pretend that he has never been really beaten by Djokovic at the AO and for the subsequent beatings he took from others. Federer wants to say he only lost because he was sick. Well, imo he was not sick and even if one accepted his claim, the fact that he was able to play normally and get to the semis showed he was fit enough to play and it showed a terrible lack of sportsmanship to try to pretend later that he hadn't really been fairly and squarely beaten.

Roger is lucky in a lot of things but sadly not in the amount of character he was born with. I was once a devoted fan of his but he lost me with his gigantic ego and his crass self-serving behavior. There is so much hype about him and he has bought it all - so much so that his companion Mirka herself pleaded for the press to tone it down as Roger's already oversize ego made him harder to live with.

His self-worship knows no bounds and that is always a little jarring to experience from any public figure.

Alex said...

Beverly - you seem to have a double standard regarding Fed. So he always beats up on "frozen, scared newbie" types. But in 2003 Wimby final, why didn't he freeze up, being the newbie he was? I guess Fed is THAT much of a mental giant.

Alex said...

Roger is the luckiest 14-time slam champ in the history of the universe! My god he won the ultimate lottery! It couldn't have ANYTHING to do with hard work, good genes and becoming rock solid mentally his first 5 years after coming on tour. Nah, it's just all lucky Rog.

Craig Hickman said...


You're welcome.

Hope you hang around and participate regularly.


sykotique said...

Helen W,

You don't have to buy it; I'm not selling it.

I'm telling it like it is. The mainstream media never indicated or even acknowledged that Nadal was injured until after Federer's comment came out. Ironically enough, this was actually discussed on this very blog...

Also, I don't get how an article in which doctors "advised him to rest" is somehow supposed to be convincing evidence. He has chronic tendonitis, that's not an injury, that's a condition. Of course it hurts him and limits him and he has my sympathies, but it's not a medical injury; he plays with it in every single match. He has had to take rests for the sake of his knees each year for the past 3 years.

No one doubts that Nadal has tendonitis, the question is whether the condition led to actual further injury. Obviously, it did; but imputing knowledge of that to Federer is a bit unfair in my view.

sykotique said...


I don't think anyone here is trying to "preserve" a status quo.

There are always two sides to a story. Craig allows Federer fans to post here as much as he does Nadal or Roddick or any other player's fans.

You may think Federer's words / deeds are unforgivable, but obviously there are people out there who don't share that view, and I think they have every much right to express that view as the ones who don't.

What kind of place would this be if everyone agreed all the time? :)

Alex said...

Some people can't stand it when one guy wins so much as Roger. So they must find ways to tear him down.

sykotique said...

By the way, Beverly, don't take this the wrong way or anything, but by implying that Federer didn't have mono, you're basically doing the same thing that you are now accusing others of...

But you can surely believe what you want to believe.

Alex said...

They hate Federer, pure and simple. It's a visceral hatred of the man.

Craig Hickman said...

Hate is an aspect of love. If one doesn't love someone, there's simply no way one can hate that someone.

Therefore, everyone you claim hates Raja also loves him.

Are you satisfied now?

Tennisfan said...

If you say so Craig.. If you say so.

Alex said...

2003 Wimbledon
2004 Australian Open
2004 Wimbledon
2004 US Open
2005 Wimbledon
2005 US Open
2006 Australian Open
2006 Wimbledon
2006 US Open
2007 Australian Open
2007 Wimbledon
2007 US Open
2008 US Open
2009 French Open

Helen W said...

sykotique says:

You don't have to buy it; I'm not selling it.

I'm telling it like it is. The mainstream media never indicated or even acknowledged that Nadal was injured until after Federer's comment came out

You are correct. You're NOT selling it. But you are trying to sell it.

IAC, I have backed up my arguments with FACTS: Real quotes from real media. Your timeline simply does not accord with the FACTS, and no wriggling about is going to change that. So keep banging away at it to your heart's content, but I can't be bothered with this anymore.

Beverly said...

Alex wrote: "you seem to have a double standard regarding Fed. So he always beats up on "frozen, scared newbie" types. But in 2003 Wimby final, why didn't he freeze up, being the newbie he was? I guess Fed is THAT much of a mental giant."

We all know Fed is far from being a mental giant - Wilander had him tagged correctly.

He didn't freeze up like a typical newbie because he was playing against someone else not used to being in that position, unseeded Mark Philipoussis who was a surprise finalist on the tail end of his career coming back from multiple injuries, playing in his 7th 3 out of 5 set match. Philipoussis only had to beat the likes of Alexander Popp (it took him 5 sets to beat Popp) and Sebastien Grosjean to get to the final.

That's the kind of situation that gives Federer his sorry version of courage.

Beverly said...

Thanks very much for the welcome, Craig. I'll try and post more in the future although I've usually been too busy to do so even though I enjoy coming here frequently for a quick read - the level of discussion is much higher here than on other tennis sites. Best of all, it was, for the most part, a nice escape from the seemingly endless and ugly slurs commonly cast against Rafa, day after day, by so many hateful, vengeful, overwrought Fed fans. Now that's where one really sees hate. Fans of Rafa may refuse to be silent about Fed's faults and arrogance but I've never seen from them the kind of pure hate and name-calling that comes out week after week from Federer fans.

Skyotique - I deduce that Federer never had mono because he didn't miss any tournaments because of it, did not show any effects of it then or since then. He was beaten soundly by Djokovic at the AO who had his number from the previous U.S. Open but was too much of a newbie to seize the occasion at that time.

Rafa on the other hand, despite winning, has clearly been struggling with loss of movement and speed and pretty much missed out on the French, Queens and Wimbledon because of his injuries. Yet, unbelievably, you have some twisted souls out there that refuse to acknowledge that he is injured, even now. They say it's mental. Like they've never seen Rafa lose before and come right back, like they haven't had enough evidence of his incredible courage. Somehow THEY know he isn't injured and is just too scared to play. Some even think he should have lied about the reasons for his withdrawals and said he wanted a break (presumably to enhance Fed's win over the frozen first-timer, Soderling). Funny how all of Soderling's in-your-face toughness just withered away from the first point of the FO final.

Witness Ancic who has had mono and recurrences of the mono - no one questions that he had it because he's missed out so many tournaments because of it. One can't credibly claim mono and never miss a single match or tournament. Federer claimed it but he was not credible in the least. His motive was too obvious and his character too well-known not to understand where he was coming from.

I don't enjoy ragging on Federer but I see no reason to remain silent when he behaves like a deceitful, self-centered opportunist. I would much prefer that he was a more deserving winner and had better sportsmanship - but that's tennis for ya!

Alex said...

Beverly - wow what a low blow saying Roger never had mono. You are calling him a bald-faced liar.

rabbit said...

Beverly, you portray Federer as someone who is quick to claim an injury to escape the shame of losing. If so, how come he has never retired from a match citing injury? Even in Shanghai 2005, when he was sorely suffering from an ankle injury, he kept on in the final against Nalbandian. His sense of fair-play, at least during matches, is impeccable, and there has never been a complaint that he has cheated someone of a win.

So to claim that the mono is a fabrication is total slander, equally offensive as saying that Rafa is withdrawing from mental pressure. It had to have been a pretty elaborate ruse to fool all the doctors (I read that officials at some tournament read the positive medical reports) and people like Courier who said that Roger was bedridden seriously. It's clear that at the Australian Open, Roger was sweating much, much more than his usual norm, and there were days (like the match against Hidalgo in MC 08) where his level of energy was very low. Roger has never claimed he had mono after the AO. As fans, we can say that his poorer results later in the year might be because of his fitness dip during the mono and the lack of confidence acquired during his losses in this period. But Roger himself has never stated this.

Re: Ancic, he sadly has a much stronger case of mono than Roger has had. The severity depends upon the immune system and the strain of the virus. For some unfortunate reason, Ancic is affected particularly strongly. But why does this mean Roger has never had mono?

And just to be clear, I completely agree that the people who doubt Nadal's injury are idiots.

Craig Hickman said...

I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that the men's defending champion will not walk out on Centre Court on Monday and play the first match of the event.

Wimbledon is my favorite tournament and I love (most of) the tradition it brings. It's just not going to be the same without Rafa there.

Helen W said...

rabbit I don't doubt that Roger had mono. But Federer must have had an exceptionally mild case of mono, because he simply would not have been able to play at the AO otherwise. If you doubt me, just ask anyone who has had a case of it.

The problem is so many of his fans use his mono as an excuse for his off play last year. They bring it up again and again and again.

But when his mono is brought up, it reminds one of Mario Ancic, and the misery and very long lay-off that he experienced as a result -- of having a more severe case of the disease. (And shortly after him finally returning to the circuit, he got it again. The guy just can't catch a break.)

So lots of folks are getting sick and tired of all the mono talk in regard to Federer.

sykotique said...

Having a mild case of mono and having no mono at all are two different things.

To say Roger didn't have, imagine the backlash if anyone here dared imply that Nadal wasn't injured.

And Helen W, you aren't backing up your opinion with facts, you are backing it up with "real quotes from the real media", the same "real media" that you so deride as you please when it suits you.

I don't trust the mainstream media, regardless of whether they support my points of view. But it seems you are willing to give them a pass, so long as they support yours. You're the one trying to sell something; I simply don't buy that the mainstream media ever mentioned anything concrete whatsoever about Nadal's injury until much, much later...

We'll agree to disagree. Or, we'll just simply disagree.

Helen W said...


I don't know if you are deliberately misunderstanding me or not.

Like you, I often criticize the media. And I certainly do not take at face value their every utterance.

But that is not what we are discussing. You claim that the "mainstream" (whatever you comprise in that) media did NOT report Rafa's statement about injured knees before Federer made his statement doubting that Rafa had knee problems. I posted links to real websites that put the lie to your claim. I don't really care whether you comprise the Times Online as "mainstream" media or not; nor am I going to hunt for more links to keep proving the point I have already made.

Whether or not we "agree to disagree" or just disagree is up to you. But this is become silly and I will leave it to others (if anybody is bothering to read this stuff) to decide which one of us is more credible.

sykotique said...


The Times says that Rafa was advised to rest. He has chronic tendonitis, which forces him to rest after a series of tournaments in a row.

Please re-read my post immediately following your own on that article. I'm not deliberately misunderstanding you, I just don't think we're seeing eye-to-eye.

Helen W said...

sykotique says:

... I just don't think we're seeing eye-to-eye.

By George, sykotique, I think we've found something about which we can agree to agree :)

Graf_sampras said...

Alex said...

Some people can't stand it when one guy wins so much as Roger. So they must find ways to tear him down.

Sat Jun 20, 10:28:00 PM


WRONG alex --

we just don't like someone winning so many against such WEAK opposition...and then it gets painted as "all about roger's talent"

or -- blah --

even ROGER's "courage"!!!


as a recent article says:

"now that roger's GREAT THREAT and RIVAL is out - there is no real danger to roger in wimbledon"...

fairly SUMMARIZES ROGER"S ENTIRE 14 majors career...

he "raises the game" in the majors

so long as he is surrounded and faced by players who , in different ways, might as well be NONENTITIES.

it's ALRIGHT to have MANY majors like PETE DID - facing the likes of Becker, Safin, Agassi, Rafter, Ivanisevic, McEnroe, Lendl,

or surrounding him and playing in the tour and sharing titles WITH him - in or out of majors -

compared to roger against whom? exactly?

soderling? Baghdatis? Gonzales? - i mean -outside of LONG AGO burned out Hewitt or Safin and Roddick - exactly WHO ARE THESE GUYS ANYWAY?

has it ever ENTERED the minds of roger fans

WHY roger won so many in SUCH A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME RELATIVE to others before him?

let us take SAMPRAS out of the picture -

WHY did it take andre SO LONG to win 8 majors? why did it take Edberg at least as long as 6/7 years to complete 7 Majors haul or EVEN reach number one in 1991/92?

why did it take Sampras ANOTHER 2 years before getting back on the horse to win his SECOND major?

why ONLY 2 majors per year Compared to Roger's many more in such a short period?

AND THEN you look at the CROP of players IN THAT five-six year period of roger's HAUL.

you begin to see:

VERY OLD player RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of roger's Haul

MANY newcomers (such as nadal on grass only in his SECOND appearance in 2006) -

plenty of chokers the entire world witnessed


NO WONDER roger HAULED IN A BIG CATCH in such a concentrated time frame


BETWEEN the demise of the OLD GUARD -- and much more varied competing - that is itself introduced by BURNOUT from among federer's OWN contemporaries liek Safin and Ferrero and Hewitt and even nalbnadian that DID THE REAL HEAVY WORK ...

and the GAP between the emergence or maturity of a SINGLE CHALLENGER from his TEENS - NADAL

who yet - was going to take the SAME YEARS BEFORE murray emerged.

IN THE HOLES inside THAT six-year period

IS THE REASON why Roger Federer hauled in - in A HURRY --

14 majors!

the WEAKNESS and DIMINISHMENT of the competition

as it STILL awaits the maturity of the NEXT generation led by nadal!

Graf_sampras said...

you see --

it is like in FARMING or the seasons?


AFTER THE BIG LONG HARVESTS of RICH growth of teh 1990's directly stemming FROM the 1980's...

a very long period in fact -

and then there was almost nothing LEFT but leftovers like andre, henman, even philippoussies barely STRUNG TOGETHER between 2000-2003 BY safin and hewitt.....while roger was a NOBODY .........


the field is basically FALLOw


these new seeds of QUALITY

was represented by RAFAEL...others were not yet ready --as those before ROGER and they were ALREADY GONE or LONG burned out and harvested and consumed..such as Agassi, Rafter, Sampras, ....



of course SOMEONE had to do it.


THAT"s who ROGER FEDERER really is in the pantheon of
"all-time" greats.

it's just that NO ONE WANTS TO SAY IT OUT LOUD !

Graf_sampras said...

oh b, and others on graf:

by the way:

Navratilova is in an article saying that her GREATEST RIVAL was "steffi Graf".

that from a woman that played Court, Billie Jean King, Evert, Seles, right up to some of the players today.


Beverly said...

Rabbit, why would Roger ever withdraw from a match before it was over, citing injury just because he hates to lose? There's always a very strong chance his opponent will choke when serving for the match. How many times has it happened - guys kicking his ass and then suddenly missing crucial shots and falling apart when it's time to close out the match. That's when the nerves usually kick in. I have never and would never go so far as to say or imply that he would retire to avoid losing.

In the past Fed has satisfied himself with throwing barbs mostly against those who have beaten him AND have the makings of a rival - someone who is a true and lasting threat e.g. Nadal, Djokovic or Murray. Those are the losses that he needs most to tell himself were not true wins by the opponent. Hence it was mono then it was back trouble - never necessitated missing out any tournament or match though. Even IF Roger had had mono it seems to have had as much effect as a cold sore so he should keep it shut about it. It's hot in Australia. Fed was pushed harder than normal early on by Tipsarevic, someone he didn't expect as much game and self-belief from. That's why he may have been sweating bullets (if he was sweating more, as you say) but it's a stretch to presume that you know exactly how much he was sweating, that it was more than normal, or that it was not due to other factors like the temperature or the unusual stress of a tougher than expected opponent. Roger is used to getting opponents who are near-walkovers (frequently a string of his favorite whipping boys that have hardly even won sets against him) straight to the semis. It was natural that he might sweat more profusely from the fear alone of losing early.

So sweat is hard to measure and make assumptions about. On the other hand it's a lot easier to see when a player is having problems moving well.

Graf Sampras, just wanted to give you a big shoutout for balancing the massive amounts of Federer overhype by consistently keeping the evidence out there regarding the weak era and Roger's racking up titles in that weak era as opposed to others like Sampras who had to get their wins facing so many more opponents with true championship mentality and the titles won against tough opponents to prove it.

There are many excellent players out there now but so few that have that extra quality that makes grand slam champions. That's what was totally missing from the years Roger racked up so many titles against players like Philipoussis and Baghdatis who were good players but not grand slam champions. Agassi was one of the few champs left and it took Fed 5 sets to beat him even though he was so old by tennis standards, struggling with the bad back despite cortisone injections. How great is Fed really when Sampras could come back out of retirement and beat him after not lifting a racket for years? When it comes to hyping Federer, logic goes completely out the window. It's possible that the rush to annoint him GOAT before he had proven any such thing has had a huge effect on the the other players so many of whom have Fed in their heads. It's got to be tough for any of the journeymen types to close out a match and score a win against someone they've been told over and over is the greatest of all time so in a way, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Or it would be if there were not someone exceptional like Rafael Nadal who believes in himself more than the hype. Andy Murray still hasn't proven he's capable. Djokovic fell apart on his first try and maybe found it easier to beat Federer in a semifinal rather than a final.

The world is still waiting for even one other person to show some courage, to not choke in a grand slam when they have their boots on Fed's neck.

You'd think there'd be more respect from the media and commentators for the one guy that has had the game and the guts to stand up to Federer. Instead, too many just want to see "history" made even it's faux history, all image and no substance, orchestrated and engineered sometimes in the way the AELTC managed it.

Beverly said...

Fed gets nervous when he is pushed and challenged. It's normal. It's natural, so get real.

Well, Alex, you've shown your true colors -- if you can't back up your argument you resort to name calling. That's what the real retards do, so thanks for identifying yourself.

If that's all you have offer, don't bother to address anything I post here as I really don't have time to waste reading or replying to your garbage.