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View Full Version : French Open: Nadal, Federer? Baghdatis...


jtreed2000
01-30-2006, 05:57 AM
What will it take for Roger to win the French? Will Nadal come back to last years form and spank everyone? This may be the only challenging slam for Federer at the moment and I'd like to see him win it. Maybe not this year or the next but at least eventually, to make him a more complete player. It doesn't need to be easy though (make him suffer, lol) and I give credit to guys like Nadal who are masters of this surface. I like it because it's more physical, but it's not for everyone. The fact that Sampras never won it makes me wonder how much he put into it though. I think Federer's capable of doing it now. Seems like it would be easy with all his shots. Nadal is so pyhsical though. I think he could play seven sets in a final.

It was nice to see Marcos Baghdatis play so well at the AO. Glad to the bubble eventually burst though. There was too much hype with his game; a good story for the Open, but like all others mostly hot air. Granted he played incredibly well, but no one can do that so well for any length of time. These guys are human and I think his biggest advantage was that he had nothing to loose. It was nice to see someone else come up and challenge the top players and I think we'll see him more often.

Grigollif1
01-30-2006, 06:08 AM
What will it take for Roger to win the French? Will Nadal come back to last years form and spank everyone? This may be the only challenging slam for Federer at the moment and I'd like to see him win it. Maybe not this year or the next but at least eventually, to make him a more complete player. It doesn't need to be easy though (make him suffer, lol) and I give credit to guys like Nadal who are masters of this surface. I like it because it's more physical, but it's not for everyone. The fact that Sampras never won it makes me wonder how much he put into it though. I think Federer's capable of doing it now. Seems like it would be easy with all his shots. Nadal is so pyhsical though. I think he could play seven sets in a final.

It was nice to see Marcos Baghdatis play so well at the AO. Glad to the bubble eventually burst though. There was too much hype with his game; a good story for the Open, but like all others mostly hot air. Granted he played incredibly well, but no one can do that so well for any length of time. These guys are human and I think his biggest advantage was that he had nothing to loose. It was nice to see someone else come up and challenge the top players and I think we'll see him more often.


Is it too Soon to think about the French already? Anyway, I believe Federer's Chances are looking good right now since the greatest player on tha surface Nadal is having knee injuries. Not that he needs to rely on that but, I don't think he is playing as well as he was last year I mean a lot more player are starting to get closer to Federer such as : Haas , Nalbandian even Baghdatis... and Specially on clay where is a real Mind fiield with all the dirt ballers. Roger is going to be Inspired at his best to win the French this year...

@wright
01-30-2006, 06:15 AM
He can definitely win it. He beats Coria on clay, and Coria is one of the best clay courters in the world. The only good clay courter I don't think Fed has beaten on clay is Nadal, and he still got a set off him in RG SF last year playing the worst tennis I've ever seen him play deep in a slam. I don't think Nadal will have nearly as good a year this year as last. His body is breaking down on him, so he won't be able to gobble up all the points at smaller tournaments like he did last year. When players like him don't play as much, they lose some rhythm and don't get quite as many balls back in play. This can obviously hurt their chances in tight matches because they just aren't as "on" as they were when they played every event. I look for Federer to even up their head to head record this year.

Shabazza
01-30-2006, 06:21 AM
I'm sure they'll meet before the FO, the outcome would be a good indicator for the FO, wether Roger has figured it out how to play Nadal or not- even if it's none clay. I'm looking forward to it!

jtreed2000
01-30-2006, 06:23 AM
Yeah, maybe it's too soon but at least clay still presents a challenge to the top players; certainly to Federer. I like watching him and have no question that he's the "master" at the moment, but it's beginning to be a little like F1 a few years ago when Schumacher was winning every race ...boring.

Our local USTA leagues are played entirely on clay, which is a little ridiculous IMO, but I'm glad I've gotten some experience with it. I don't think it's "fair" for younger players who are faster and hit the ball harder on a fast surface, but that's just my opinion. I would hate to see clay go away though and wouldn't mind playing more matches on it, but I don't like playing every competitive match on it.

I didn't really consider Nadal out, b/c he is so young and should have time to recover by then. I think that's his peak for the year so he will be sure to be in form then. I'd like to see Gasquet come to form again, but I'm wondering if Baghdatis will fade out in a similar way. His game seems more complete than Gasquet's, but after he lost the second set (to Fed) on a close point it seemed he was mentally crushed. Not a sign of a top 10 player... I think he has the good though. Goudio still has his moments and I like "Controversial" Coria. I was hoping for some spitting between Chela and Hewitt, but was let down, lol. Chela plays well on clay and I can see him as a threat in a SF. Of course Nalbandian has his moments on clay as well.

Rickson
01-30-2006, 06:25 AM
What will it take for Roger to win the French? Will Nadal come back to last years form and spank everyone? This may be the only challenging slam for Federer at the moment and I'd like to see him win it. Maybe not this year or the next but at least eventually, to make him a more complete player.
Your wish will come true as Federer will win all four slams this year. Federer is downplaying all the hype and acts as if he can't beat Nadal on clay even though he can. Look for the Grand Slam this year from Roger Federer.

tom-selleck
01-30-2006, 06:31 AM
didn't realize that nadal's fitness for french open is in question (wasn't even sure from the posts)... that would probably be top factor in roger's chances in paris.

EmGee
01-30-2006, 06:54 AM
I personally think that Fed has a good shot at gaining a Roger-Slam, if not the Calendar Grand Slam. Although he didn't quite show a form reminiscent of 2004 (even as early as the 2004 Australian Open), he has a better shot at it this year. I would like to believe that he's actually sharpening or acquiring some of the skills that he didn't possess (or possess merely) in 2004 -- if that is allowed to say. In other words, I believe that he has or will be having a more complete and potent arsenal than the previous two years. Now, whether this additional training and acquisition will set him back a year, I don't know. As we all know, sometimes to get better means you'd have to fall first.

His record at the FO is showing a generally upward margin, so I really wouldn't put it past him. The AO surface, some said, is reminiscent to FO (and that Nadal could've done very well there). We'll just have to see, I guess.

As of Nadal... I'm not sure where his current fitness form is, but I dare hazard a guess that he will need to do a lot of catching up in terms of court time and match play -- real ones and not just exhibitions. He has had a very busy 2005. But considering that Federer isn't at his best (normally imperious form) either, I think that leveled the field somewhat.

Finally, I wouldn't exactly say that Federer's domination is akin to Schumacher's. I'd say it's more like a cross between Schumacher and Rossi. Not quite as entertaining as Rossi, granted, but not as... lifeless as Schumacher either. I'd say somewhere in between.

Speaking off tangent a bit, thank goodness that Schumacher's dominance was bypassed by Alonso last year, and not Raikonnen. But imagine Raikonnen giving the winner's speech every week through the long-ish F1 season... It's a whole new level of boring, and I guess, in some dictionary... you'd find his picture next to that word. He really does define the word "monotonous".

jtreed2000
01-30-2006, 07:26 AM
The only thing I see about Federer that's questionable is he seems to start slowly and get a little lazy when he gets on top (the 3 drop shots?). It was obvious throughout the first set against MB he was jsut trying to find his range, donating a few points here and there. That gives the other guy confidence though and puts pressure on him (Fed) to turn around the match if he drops the first set.

Nadal is a fierce competitor and I'm sure he can log the court time between now and then if he's healthy, and skipped the AO only as a precaution. Just returning those high, heavy balls all day at the FO will drive most of the field crazy and get him into a SF. This break will probably motivate him too so I wouldn't question his game come FO unless he's still injured or not playing until a month before.

I always like the Finn's. Raikonennen could definitely use some social skills though - the monotonous tone, broken up words... It wasn't his english either. Mika was always a character and unquestionably dominant on certain days. When he pulled out a lead he never slowed down like MS at the end of a race either. He said once in a press conference (joking) he wanted to have a cup of coffee before the other guys finished. He always brought good, dry humor to a somewhat boring race format. Like Federer, I always appreciated the skill Schumacher had, but I got tired of seeing the competition blown away. At least Roger will have fun with an opponent, like cat & mouse, if things get boring sometimes.

Nyl
01-30-2006, 08:30 AM
it's not too early to think of the french open now... federer has already dedicated for the French open title. check out his schedule on rogerfederer.com he's playing all 3 clay tennis masters... that's some unusual schduling by him. i guess he's trying to get more feel on the clay n this time he's going for it. unlike last year, it was more like a testing on french as well as nadal. If nadal is as healthy as last year, there's a good chance nadal is going to win on clay. HOWEVER, i think the big reason federer lost to nadal was his mental status. Similar to the situation in Aus. final he was way too nervous... becoz the pressure was on him last year at french... but this time he's the challenger of the title, hopefully we can see federer going all out against nadal.

monologuist
01-30-2006, 09:03 AM
He can definitely win it. He beats Coria on clay, and Coria is one of the best clay courters in the world. The only good clay courter I don't think Fed has beaten on clay is Nadal, and he still got a set off him in RG SF last year playing the worst tennis I've ever seen him play deep in a slam. I don't think Nadal will have nearly as good a year this year as last. His body is breaking down on him, so he won't be able to gobble up all the points at smaller tournaments like he did last year. When players like him don't play as much, they lose some rhythm and don't get quite as many balls back in play. This can obviously hurt their chances in tight matches because they just aren't as "on" as they were when they played every event. I look for Federer to even up their head to head record this year.

LOL...Fed played the worst tennis you've seen him play in that match b/c he was playing Nadal..on clay...ever notice how whenever anyone loses to Nadal, they all of a sudden look like they are having that "off-day"? Roger will get owned once again if they meet this year at the French....it will be uglier than last year...straight sets this time I predict.

And this comment about "when players like him don't play as much, they lose some rhythm and don't get quite as many balls back in play".....hmm....ok?

Aykhan Mammadov
01-30-2006, 09:17 AM
U all saw how the man was crying after AO final. After 7 GS . Don't u understand that he is extra emotional ? Just this prevents him to play his tennis, his techniques worsen. At such moments I can't watch Fed.

Additionaly to this trembling also some legend around RG that this is some kinf of special tournament was invented. Plus - Sampras. All these psychological factors plus his emotions don't let him play always Fed's game. So sometimes his game is not his actually.

I think if he can handle with his own emotions, if he can play completely relaxed he can crash Nadal, Baghdatis EASILY. BTW I don't find in the game of Nadal nothing special except his physical conditions not directly related with tennis ( remember sometimes u must hit a few wide shots instead of two, and he finds time to hit them back), I find Baghdatis to be more perspective.

@wright
01-30-2006, 09:22 AM
Look at Hewitt - his game isn't so different from Nadal, but when he has to miss tournaments, he just isn't sharp. Last year at RG, Nadal wasn't having physical problems yet, but these nagging injuries seem to be haunting him since the last quarter of last year. If you noticed at RG last year, Roger played RN much smarter than he did in Miami, he didn't give Nadal the angles that he kept giving him in Miami that he was hitting winners off of. Roger still got a set playing as poorly as he was - everyone knows he doesn't miss nearly that many fh's when he gets deep into tournaments. Nadal is a simple player that had his time in the sun, and now he'll be figured out and taken to task - just like Hewitt. The problem is, Nadal didn't get two slams first. If he plays Roger this year, he'll get:




http://altorfire.free.fr/owned/owned-baby.jpg

jtreed2000
02-03-2006, 12:26 PM
I don't see that much to Nadal's game either, other than he is extremely physical - fast, strong, relentless. It doesn't seem like he has a great strategy anyway. He hits a heavy ball but anybody in the top 10 has seen that before. Maybe he was just playing so much last year he stayed in good form. Could be what led to his injury. I see this year as a good opportunity for Federer. Don't see him having a losing record to many players in the future, including Nadal.

go_nadal
02-03-2006, 05:47 PM
I belive that Nadal is virtually un beatable on clay. If he is fully fit and prepared i am hoping that he will make it two in a row...

tennis_nerd22
02-03-2006, 06:19 PM
nadal all the way, ill bet on it too :D underage gambling... hehehe

babbette
02-04-2006, 06:27 AM
nadal all the way, ill bet on it too :D underage gambling... hehehe

Californication
02-04-2006, 07:10 AM
I think Roger finally wins Roland Garros this year. Nadal is a great player, but I can't help thinking the hype and pressure might get to him. Fed wins all 4 Slams this year.

BabolatFan
02-04-2006, 07:44 PM
Federer has a very good shot at it. HOpefully Federer's in tiptop shape by then. The last hardcourt top 10 player to win the FO was Agassi back in 1999. Nadal can definitely win it again if he starts off 2006 fresh and strong. My pick is Federer.

superman1
02-05-2006, 12:21 AM
Federer did show signs of greatness in that semifinal match last year. I was rooting for Nadal and I remember getting worried at times because there were a few shots where Federer made Nadal look completely helpless. I thought he was waking up and was going to start dominating the match, but after winning that set he again fell into a daze. I don't know if he had a bad day because Nadal's game was so hard to play against or because he woke up on the wrong side of the bed. But if he has a good day against Nadal, he'll wipe him out, especially if Nadal is not 100%.

alienhamster
02-05-2006, 01:02 PM
It's not just Nadal he has to worry about. Fed will have to get past any good clay courter with a good backhand that can be struck well down the line. I'm thinking Gasquet, Gaudio, etc. Fed is obviously capable of beating them, but he's going to have to be fit, mentally on, and patient over the two weeks.

If Nadal is 100% healthy and match ready, I'm not sure Fed can beat him on clay.

To prepare, Fed should play both Rome and Monte Carlo. He seems to be better when the clay is slowest (as in Hamburg), but that surface seems to be the most unlike Roland Garros.

My prediction this year: Fed will win the French Open, but the grueling matches will wear him out too much to get ready for the grass season, where he will have a surprising, earlier exit at Wimbledon. But he'll come back to win the US Open.

ACE of Hearts
02-05-2006, 01:08 PM
One thing on Nadal, whose to say he cant be beaten on clay?Yes he won the french open, but before we crown him king, lets see him win it back to back!The thing that gives me hope as a Fed Fan is that he took a set from him and that he maded alot of forehand errors in the match.

devila
02-05-2006, 01:09 PM
men's tennis is dead for a couple of years. We don't need another Federer self-congratulatory, crap fest. Federer breaking Nadal's average serve 6 times doesn't equate to mediocre playing or having a "bad day." Federer's excuses and fans' excuses are pathetic.

ACE of Hearts
02-05-2006, 01:17 PM
I am not making excuses, Fed lost fair and squared but he will tell u that he didnt play his best match at the french open in 2005.If u saw the match, u too would think so.Fed maded a tons of errors with his forehand if u remember the damn match!62 to be exact compared to Nadal's 32.Nadal won fair and square but i think Fed is not scared of Nadal on clay.

omniexist
02-05-2006, 02:53 PM
If u saw the match, u too would think so.Fed maded a tons of errors with his forehand if u remember the damn match!

Sounds like makin excuses to me.

Andres
02-06-2006, 11:07 AM
I have a strong feeling with Nalbandian at the FO this year ;)

croatian sensation
02-06-2006, 11:23 AM
I agree with the people who said it's a bit early to talk about the French. Especially when Nadal hasn't played on any surface yet this year. But I guess that's what makes the predictions (if true) more valuable.
Anyway...I think Nadal can beat Fed if he's healthy. As for last year..."not playing one of your best matches" is how you lose. It's like that.Fed lost. Period. Does everybody play at their best everytime, against everyone? I don't think so. That's why ratings change (ok..starting from #2 :-))
It would be sad if nadal would wipe out one half of the draw, and Fed the other. I hope some other names pop in... I wish Coria learns to serve,Gaudio stops being a loser, Ferrer and Nalby play good... (too bad Puerta is history). Gosh, where is the fun in tennis if we can predict the winner of a Slam months in advance...

jtreed2000
02-06-2006, 11:27 AM
I'm just glad Fed has a challenge. Nadal's first match is next week, right? He should have time to get it together by then. I didn't see the match last year, but I can imagine Fed had to work extremely hard to win points off Nadal. That's prob why he had 62 errors, and also why Nadal reached #2 last year. I like to watch him grind everything out on guts and strength, where Fed is more cat & mouse. If they're both fit it'll be a great match.

There are plenty of others to challenge, just like the AO. Nalbandian will show up for sure, Gaudio is too inconsistent now IMO, but there's still Coria, Massu, Acasuso, more? You could see exactly when the Baghdatis balloon of confidence popped in the second set at the AO. I think he realized who he was up against suddenly, lol. Does anyone know if Gasquet favors clay? Watching him beat Fed the masters series last year was amazing. His backhand is wicked when it's on, but I think he still has a few years to get comfortable on the tour.

croatian sensation
02-06-2006, 11:35 AM
btw. Since I don't have a clue about how's Baghdatis on clay can anyone tell me is his name mentioned in the thread topic just because of the AO (which alone IMO means nothing as a reference for the French) or because he can also play good on clay?

Moose Malloy
02-06-2006, 11:39 AM
I think the French will have an unexpected champion this year(but not an unknown-I'm thinking Gonzalez, Ferrero)

Being a favorite doesn't mean much at the French. See '04,'02,'99,'98,'97.

dmastous
02-06-2006, 11:42 AM
I agree. You can't bring Baghdatis up on clay until you see how he does in some of the run-up events.
I think Nadal has to be the favorite in the French. To me either Federer has taken a small step back or the rest of the field has taken a step forward against him. He didn't appear as dominate at the AO (I know he won it this year, but it took a Safin playing out of his mind to beat Fed last year).
On clay that gap will get smaller and there will me more dirtdogs capable of bringing the Federer Express to a halt at the French.

arosen
02-06-2006, 11:39 PM
I think that Fed is going to have a much easier time winning the French than someone like Sampras because Fed has tons of talent and all the juiced up claycourters are out due to rigorous testing put in place last year. Fed himself is insanely fit anyway, so with the juicers out its all wide open for him. Unless he runs into on-fire Guga.