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View Full Version : Wilander and Corretja on the F.O. Final from ESPN


samster
06-08-2008, 07:57 PM
Outside the television compound on the grounds of Roland Garros, two tennis fans vented about the match. They had more credibility than most. Three-time French Open winner Mats Wilander of Sweden and two-time finalist Alex Corretja of Spain, both commentators now, embraced and started to chat.

Corretja: We knew that could happen.

Wilander: But we hoped that when you've won 12 Grand Slams, you would give him a little bit of body language, so that maybe Rafa thinks that Roger thinks he has a chance.

Corretja: Yes, yes, yes.

Wilander: What's happening to all of them against Rafa? The only battle you can battle with him is in the mind. His tennis is too good. Show me a little fire.

Corretja: He gave up. Just ridiculous.

Wilander: I mean, show me some emotion. I don't want to waste my day watching a guy who's that good a player

Corretja: Me too. I feel like he's probably the greatest, and now I feel like, I can't give you this.

Wilander: Exactly how I feel. I mean, you have to get emotionally involved. Otherwise, you're doing the wrong thing, you have the wrong job. I mean I understand the tactics, the tactics were OK. He was trying to hit the forehand early. He executed horribly.

Corretja: Still, for me -- it's 15-0 in the first game. He misses the first two forehands like this (holds hand close to ground). So flat, no thinking already, on the second point.

Wilander: How many let cords did he have? It's not bad luck.

Corretja: My [broadcast] partner said it was bad luck. I said no, it was bad playing.

samster
06-08-2008, 08:01 PM
Is Rafael Nadal the best clay-court player of all time?

"I think he still has a couple of more titles to go to equal Borg, but this was very impressive. He was impressive before, but Nadal is the player who has improved the most on clay courts since last year. This tournament he has been so dominant, and he just looks better and better. He's just improved everything -- he's stronger, he has a better backhand, he has a better slice and his body, he's still strong but he looks leaner, which will help him on the hard courts. Roger started the match very slow, and that means he wasn't going to have a chance. He looks tired on the court, so maybe he needs to take a little break." -- Andres Gomez, 1990 French Open champion.

"I think today was an amazing match, and yeah, we can say that now [that Nadal is the best clay-court player of all time]. He still has a way to go to do better than the record of Bjorn Borg, but I think he is very strong and he is playing very unbelievable tennis. He is playing with a confidence I haven't seen in a long time. Today was a very tough day for Roger. I wasn't surprised that Rafa won because I was expecting him to win more than ever, because he arrived to this final better than ever both physically and mentally. But the score was a little much." -- Conchita Martinez, 1994 Wimbledon champion.

"Yes, I've said that Nadal is the best clay-court player to ever play the game -- I reckon I've said that for a good year now. I said he was the greatest clay-courter I've ever seen before this tournament, and today only confirms it. It was incredible. I think that the modern rackets and modern strings make him the greatest. It's almost impossible to beat him the way he is physically, how fast he is and how determined he is. It's very tough because you never can really compare generations. But, heck, Borg with the wooden racket and Nadal with today's rackets, how can you beat him? So he's the greatest we've ever seen. That's not to say he's more talented than Borg or has better shots than Borg or better fitness or determination -- I don't think that's the case -- but because of the way he plays, no one can beat him. Roger came in the tournament not playing that well, so he went into the match and had to go for it, which I think he did and I give him credit for that. I think he [Rafa] can win Wimbledon. Ten years ago that game wouldn't win Wimbledon, but now it can because of the conditions, because of the strings and because of the rackets. It would be exciting." -- Pat Cash, 1987 Wimbledon champion.

"Well, I don't know if he's the best, because Borg won here six times, so Rafael has another two to go. But definitely he is right up there. I think the talented and the will and the strength he has is just the same no matter when you play. He's already won the four in a row like Borg, so I don't see any reason why he wouldn't be one of the favorites again next year unless he's injured or something. But I think his game and physical abilities are as sharp as he can get them to be. For him it's just the matter of staying there. Today, we were all a little bit disappointed because we were hoping for a little closer final, but Roger didn't play his best. But that's how it goes sometimes that the finals are not the best matches. But he'll [Federer] probably get his revenge on grass." -- Guy Forget, French Davis Cup captain.

crosscourt
06-09-2008, 01:45 AM
I am a Federer fan and admire what he has done, but there is something about the way he loses to Nadal at RG that makes me think less of him. Yesterday was the worst loss, but the disappointing element was the same last year and the year before. It would almost be better if Sampras-like he never got to the final. Then we could just say that clay is too different/difficult and that you don't have to win at RG to be the best of all time.

Nadal is of course getting better and better. Nadal is superb and any clay court player at any time would struggle against him.

But Federer showed absolutely no indication that he wanted to take up the challenge. I agree entirely with Corretja about the two forehands in the first game. Hitting those two shots was a little like saying that if he couldn't have it all his own way he wasn't going to have it at all. A low ball inside the court -- be it flat or slice -- is meat and drink to Nadal. So why was he trying to play it in the first place? And then to miss it -- presumably because the pressure of trying to execute being so high -- just seems to compound the problem.

Federer's game is instinctive and impulsive. That is part of his genius. But genius is only part of being great. Intelligence, tactical astuteness and sheer will-power are all important. Ordinarily Federer is of course massively determined, but it seems that on clay against Nadal he lacks his normal resolution. In part this is because of the technical problem he has with his backhand -- Nadal always knows where to go against Federer if in trouble, and always knows how to get control of a point. But it goes wider than this. He seems to lack tactical intelligence.

Federer has ben ill of course. Mono is very debilitating for an athlete, even in a mild form. That huge spot on his cheek shows what happens when your immune system is attcked. It would be good to think that this year's dip has been the consequence of illness and that there is still another year or two of greatness ahaead.

cc

pound cat
06-09-2008, 03:08 AM
[QUOTE=crosscourt;2409717]I am a Federer fan and admire what he has done, but there is something about the way he loses to Nadal at RG that makes me think less of him. Yesterday was the worst loss, but the disappointing element was the same last year and the year before. It would almost be better if Sampras-like he never got to the final. Then we could just say that clay is too different/difficult and that you don't have to win at RG to be the best of all time.

Nadal is of course getting better and better. Nadal is superb and any clay court player at any time would struggle against him.

But Federer showed absolutely no indication that he wanted to take up the challenge. I agree entirely with Corretja about the two forehands in the first game. Hitting those two shots was a little like saying that if he couldn't have it all his own way he wasn't going to have it at all. A low ball inside the court -- be it flat or slice -- is meat and drink to Nadal. So why was he trying to play it in the first place? And then to miss it -- presumably because the pressure of trying to execute being so high -- just seems to compound the problem.

Federer's game is instinctive and impulsive. That is part of his genius. But genius is only part of being great. Intelligence, tactical astuteness and sheer will-power are all important. Ordinarily Federer is of course massively determined, but it seems that on clay against Nadal he lacks his normal resolution. In part this is because of the technical problem he has with his backhand -- Nadal always knows where to go against Federer if in trouble, and always knows how to get control of a point. But it goes wider than this. He seems to lack tactical intelligence.

Federer has ben ill of course. Mono is very debilitating for an athlete, even in a mild form. That huge spot on his cheek shows what happens when your immune system is attcked. It would be good to think that this year's dip has been the consequence of illness and that there is still another year or two of greatness ahaead.

cc[/QUOTE

Thanks for all the comments from poeple who have been there and know what there talking about. In fact it makes all the posts on this board on this topic a bit redundant. They've said what we take pages and pages to say in a few paragraphs. LOL

pound cat
06-09-2008, 03:14 AM
[QUOTE=crosscourt;

Federer has ben ill of course. Mono is very debilitating for an athlete, even in a mild form. That huge spot on his cheek shows what happens when your immune system is attcked. It would be good to think that this year's dip has been the consequence of illness and that there is still another year or two of greatness ahaead.

cc[/QUOTE]


I'd hate to see federer just fade away from the tennis scence and retire as a has-been. IMO Henin & Borg? got out at the optimum moment. Quit while you're ahead and be remembered as being the Best that everyone still wished had kept on playing.

daddy
06-09-2008, 03:17 AM
^^ Cmon hit quote properly just once.

Klatu Verata Necktie
06-09-2008, 03:45 AM
I agree with the commentators who said that his body language essentially guaranteed that he wouldn't have a chance to recover from his poor start.

Klatu Verata Necktie
06-09-2008, 03:46 AM
I'd hate to see federer just fade away from the tennis scence and retire as a has-been. IMO Henin & Borg? got out at the optimum moment. Quit while you're ahead and be remembered as being the Best that everyone still wished had kept on playing.

Regardless of how he lost in the finals of Roland Garros, it is important to remember that he reached the finals of Roland Garros. That is not the result of a "has-been".

If Sampras had retired "at the top", like you suggest Federer do, he wouldn't have played his last few years, and he wouldn't have had that touching final US Open run. I, for one, savored every last Sampras match until the day he finally retired. The same goes for Agassi. Even though he wasn't the same great player he had been by the end of his career, he still played at a high level and provided his fans with much to cheer about.

How would anyone not want Sampras' 2002 US Open victory as part of his legacy? Who wouldn't want to have seen Agassi's victory over Baghdatis at the 2006 US Open? Just because a player isn't at their best doesn't mean they can't turn in some memorable performances.

NamRanger
06-09-2008, 03:49 AM
Two good ol' has beens trying to call Federer a has been. Absolutely hilarious. These two in their respective primes would have gotten destroyed by Nadal yesterday. Probably by the same scoreline.


They truly be little how good Nadal is. He probably would have toyed with Wilander to the point of frustration.

CyBorg
06-09-2008, 07:06 AM
Pat Cash has the brain and attention span of a teenage girl.

veroniquem
06-09-2008, 08:49 AM
I am a Federer fan and admire what he has done, but there is something about the way he loses to Nadal at RG that makes me think less of him. Yesterday was the worst loss, but the disappointing element was the same last year and the year before. It would almost be better if Sampras-like he never got to the final. Then we could just say that clay is too different/difficult and that you don't have to win at RG to be the best of all time.

Nadal is of course getting better and better. Nadal is superb and any clay court player at any time would struggle against him.

But Federer showed absolutely no indication that he wanted to take up the challenge. I agree entirely with Corretja about the two forehands in the first game. Hitting those two shots was a little like saying that if he couldn't have it all his own way he wasn't going to have it at all. A low ball inside the court -- be it flat or slice -- is meat and drink to Nadal. So why was he trying to play it in the first place? And then to miss it -- presumably because the pressure of trying to execute being so high -- just seems to compound the problem.

Federer's game is instinctive and impulsive. That is part of his genius. But genius is only part of being great. Intelligence, tactical astuteness and sheer will-power are all important. Ordinarily Federer is of course massively determined, but it seems that on clay against Nadal he lacks his normal resolution. In part this is because of the technical problem he has with his backhand -- Nadal always knows where to go against Federer if in trouble, and always knows how to get control of a point. But it goes wider than this. He seems to lack tactical intelligence.

Federer has ben ill of course. Mono is very debilitating for an athlete, even in a mild form. That huge spot on his cheek shows what happens when your immune system is attcked. It would be good to think that this year's dip has been the consequence of illness and that there is still another year or two of greatness ahaead.

cc
That huge spot is a bee sting!! (Fed's own words). Nothing to do with mono. That mono thing has really been dramatized to death by now...

crosscourt
06-09-2008, 01:27 PM
That huge spot is a bee sting!! (Fed's own words). Nothing to do with mono. That mono thing has really been dramatized to death by now...

It doesn't matter whether it was a sting or some form of infection.

BeHappy
06-09-2008, 01:29 PM
bee on 'roids?

Holy crap, he must have had an allergic reaction or something.

veroniquem
06-09-2008, 01:31 PM
It doesn't matter whether it was a sting or some form of infection.
It doesn't matter but it seems that mono is gonna be used as an excuse for every bad match from Fed for years to come! Time to turn the page now. Fed himself said it was all over months ago.

Sean Dugan
06-09-2008, 02:15 PM
I watched the match. It was very one-sided. Roger did not have his "A" game, more like his "B-" game. Nadal, on the other hand, had his A+++++++ game. I don't think Rafa can play any better than that. He only made about 11 errors the entire match.

For Federer to beat Nadal at RG, the stars would have to line up for him. He would have to play his absolute best, virtually error free ball, and catch Rafa on a bad day. Rafa's total dominance at RG, this year, in particular, is an amazing thing given how many good players there are on the tour. Rafa's defense is incredible and red clay is his bread and butter surface. No one better on red clay, maybe ever. Borg is probably the only one who can hold a candle to Rafa on red clay. Rafa gets to every ball and hits severe angles at will. Combine that with almost no mistakes and the result is predictable. He played insanely great tennis this year at RG. He won about 60% of his return games and crushed Federer and Novak along the way. If he keeps playing this well, I wouldn't be too surprised if he wins at Wimbledon, too.

Federer has been criticized for not being more patient. I don't agree. Trying to outgrind Rafa would be like trading right hands with George Foreman. Not a winning gambit. I think Roger's best chance was to try to hit winners or quickly work his way in and end the point. I think his nerves got to him and he made a lot of errors, netted a lot of balls trying to hit perfect shots. Maybe a different strategy would have made it a bit closer match but Rafa still wins. I was surprised Roger didn't hit more angled serves as Rafa returns from so far back. Heavy slice out wide on deuce for instance but I'm sure he had his reasons (maybe it opens up the angles for Rafa.)

As far as Fed showing more emotion, he is not usually an emotional guy. He is Swiss German. Not a culture that promotes emotional outbursts. His calm manner serves him well more times than not. Fed's stock didn't go down in my opinion because of his poor showing in the final. If he never wins another match, he has had the best four years that anyone ever had on the tour. 16? straight Grand Slam quarters or better is pretty amazing. He has had the misfortune of having to face one of the best clay players ever in the RG finals several years running. Otherwise, he would have a couple of French Open titles to his credit and would officially be the GOAT. The fact he has been a finalist several times at RG doesn't hurt his GOAT chances but he has to get 15 GS titles to surpass Pete or at least 14 including one RG title.

It will be interesting to see if both Federer and Rafa make it to the Wimbledon finals if Fed tries to beat the crud out of Rafa in an effort to return the favor. It must be hard for him to have been made a fool of in front of the whole world. Rafa owned him from the get go. Tennis is truly blessed right now. Fed and Rafa are both class acts and behave like gentlemen on and off the court. You couldn't ask for two better guys to be at the top of the tennis heap.

veroniquem
06-09-2008, 05:04 PM
Even if Fed "tried to beat the hell out of Rafa", I doubt that he could...

NamRanger
06-09-2008, 05:07 PM
Even if Fed "tried to beat the hell out of Rafa", I doubt that he could...


Federer Circa 2004 would have wiped the floor with Nadal on grass. Even on today's grass.

veroniquem
06-09-2008, 05:40 PM
Federer Circa 2004 would have wiped the floor with Nadal on grass. Even on today's grass.
Maybe so but Federer circa 2008 certainly won't :)

NamRanger
06-09-2008, 05:47 PM
Maybe so but Federer circa 2008 certainly won't :)


duh :) 10chars

tlm
06-09-2008, 06:24 PM
I love the way fed fans want to talk about past years.