Agassi, Wilander: Nadal wont be winning Roland Garros

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by OddJack, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. OddJack

    OddJack Legend

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    Talking from their experience, got to agree with them.



    Madrid - Rafael Nadal who is set to fly to Chile on Thursday to return to the ATP tour seven months later is a different man: he has a new racket, a new approach to his business interests and a lot of questions open regarding his tennis.

    Can the former world number one go back to being the player he once was?

    As soon as Nadal confirmed his return to the tour after a long injury break, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) proceeded to test him for doping four times in two weeks, according to sources close to the player. Overall, Nadal was tested “six or seven” times ahead of his return, ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti told dpa.

    However, since he recovered from a double knee injury and started to play again in November, the Spaniard has spent most of his time trying to adapt to the new tool of his trade: Babolat's Aeropro Drive racket.

    Like most players, Nadal is conservative when it comes to his play; he does not like to change what appears to be working. But that is precisely what coaches are there for.

    “Uncle Toni put pressure on Rafa to change. If you want to be better, you have to take risks,” Eric Babolat, the owner of the firm that makes the racket Nadal has been playing with since age 12, told dpa.

    “I don't agree with what you're saying, but I'll give it a try,” Babolat said Nadal usually tells his uncle-coach.

    According to the Frenchman, the new racket and new strings give “more power and more control” to the Spaniard's shots.

    “More top spin, he already has a lot of that but he wants more,” said Babolat.

    The racket manufacturer admits it is “a nightmare for rivals,” usually overwhelmed by the height that Nadal's strokes attain due to this top spin effect.

    By the end of the year, the racket could be even closer to science fiction, because the plan is to put on it a chip that will collect data about every stroke.

    “It could become a habit, something usual after sport: sitting with your friends to compare each one's technical data,” Babolat says enthusiastically.

    And while Nadal adapts to his racket ahead of the Vina del Mar, Sao Paulo and Acapulco tournaments he is set to play in February, his business activities are taking on a new dimension.

    Carlos Costa, a former top 10 tennis player who has been Nadal's manager for years, left the agency IMG, the world's biggest in the field, to create a family company with Sebastian Nadal, Rafael's father.

    The move is just like one that Swiss tennis star Roger Federer and his manager, Tony Godsick, undertook a few months earlier.

    Godsick left IMG and now manages along with Federer all the business generated by the former world number one. There are no longer any commissions to pay or anything to debate: they have control of everything.

    The same thing is to happen with Nadal from now on.

    Once he has chosen his racket and set his business interests on a new track, questions focus on the winner of a record seven titles at the French Open: at 26, will he be able to replicate the form and results of his best years? Several top commentators have doubts.

    “I don't think he necessarily needs time to be Nadal, but I think he needs some time for the other players to think of him as the old Nadal, because I think players lose a lot of respect: not respect for him as a person, but respect for his level,” Mats Wilander told dpa in Australia.

    The Swede, a three-time French Open winner and former world number one, is sure that even if his name is Rafael Nadal, “he's still an outsider” in Paris this year, with Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Federer the men to beat.

    “This is the year of and Novak and Andy's chance to win the French, and Roger's already won it, but it's obviously his chance too,” Wilander said.

    Australian former tennis star Pat Cash agrees.

    And so does tennis legend Andre Agassi, another former world number one, who thinks Nadal cannot be expected to return to top form before 2014.

    “I found whatever time you take away from the game you need that time to double to be fully where you were when you left, that's my experience,” Agassi told Australian daily The Age in a recent interview regarding Nadal.

    He was speaking from experience, after crashing in the ATP rankings and then climbing back up.


    Wilander is convinced that Nadal will take a while to fully recover his form.

    “If he wins Roland Garros this year... I'd be admitting that I was completely wrong, because I can't imagine that he wins Roland Garros this year,” he said.

    Current world number one Djokovic is not so sure and bewares of Nadal.

    “He's always the favourite on that surface and he's the ultimate player to beat on clay,” he said.

    http://www.iol.co.za/sport/tennis/new-racket-bigger-business-for-nadal-1.1461213#.UQxjeh0TJqU


    Sapa-dpa
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
    #1
  2. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    I still think he has a good chance
     
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  3. kishnabe

    kishnabe G.O.A.T.

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    Borg could have just played 4 tournaments after 1981.....and 4 of them being FO...he would win them all.

    Same with Nadal....Nadal can just Serena the French open.
     
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  4. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    I disagree with Mats, at least at the moment. Nadal still has his aura on clay as much as ever, even now. Until he starts showing actual signs of faltering on clay, that isn't going to change.
     
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  5. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    They're entitled to their opinion. But until we see him play - and see if his knees can take the stress, anyone's guess is just that - a guess.
     
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  6. dunlop_fort_knox

    dunlop_fort_knox Semi-Pro

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    rafa has a new paint job? lol
     
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  7. dunlop_fort_knox

    dunlop_fort_knox Semi-Pro

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    I agree with them. djok is the favorite this year.
     
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  8. Agassifan

    Agassifan Hall of Fame

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    I disagree. Nadal didn't have a major injury like say Del Potro. He just took time off to fix a minor injury, to get rest and work on his game to be in peak form for clay season. He didn't miss anything by taking time off - he would've been battered by the rest of the big 3 in the shape he was in post wimbledon.
     
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  9. Tiebreak100

    Tiebreak100 New User

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    I agree, Nadal will not win the French. He will struggle for most of the year against the top players on all surfaces because he has been out for so long. Novak and Andy (real #2) will destroy him.
     
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  10. corners

    corners Legend

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    Deleted post.
     
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  11. The_Order

    The_Order Legend

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    LOL at Pat Cash, didn't he say Nadal couldn't win 4 RG in a row before he slaughtered Fed in that 08 final? :lol:

    We'll have to see how his form is going in to the French Open before we can make a good call on this. It's still months away and during those months he is set for a lot of clay match practice. He is the greatest clay courter of all time so I can't imagine it'll take too long for him to feel at home on his favorite surface.

    I predict he'll probably win these 250 tourney's coming up but with okish form, then he'll probably lose IW and Miami earlier than his results last year, then he'll head into the clay masters seasons, pick up form as Monte Carlo goes by, win Barcelona and from there his confidence will be back.
     
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  12. Fiji

    Fiji Legend

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    Stars are aligned for Djokovic to win RG this year.

    No way Nadal wins it after 8 months away from the tour.
     
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  13. The_Order

    The_Order Legend

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    Or, you just don't want him to win it because you're so insecure about your hero.

    Novak had 2 close calls last year against Seppi and Tsonga. In the final he was getting outplayed until the court was ruined. Highly unlikely that it will be in that condition to suit him again.

    Them saying Murray will do well at RG is laughable. Fed is no chance against Rafa at RG, Federer fans should've leaned that by now.

    If Nadal does win it he'll be on 12 majors, only 5 away from Federer....
     
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  14. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    You never rule out the clay GOAT. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if this is the year Nole win RG though
     
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  15. Fiji

    Fiji Legend

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    Agassi and Federer finally won RG and completed the Career Slam the year they both reached their fifth RG SF. Guess how many RG SF Djokovic has? Four and this year it is very likely Djokovic will reach his fifth RG SF. Maybe Djokovic wins his RG title the year he reaches his fifth RG SF like Agassi in 1999 and Federer in 2009. Both were odd years like 2013... Nadal's only loss at RG was in an odd year, 2009.
     
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  16. mariecon

    mariecon Hall of Fame

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    I wonder why the ITF felt it necessary to test Nadal 4 times in two weeks after he announced his return? Hmmmmm....
     
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  17. Fiji

    Fiji Legend

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    Silent ban?


    [​IMG]
     
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  18. mariecon

    mariecon Hall of Fame

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    Yeah only 5 away from Federer which means he'd have to win every Roland Garros from now till he's 32 just to tie Federer. Unless of course you were thinking he could win a non-clay slam? ROFL
     
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  19. mariecon

    mariecon Hall of Fame

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    BINGO!:twisted:
     
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  20. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Why is Nadal being subjected to multiple **** tests yet Nole hasn't taken one in what is it? Close to a year?
     
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  21. mariecon

    mariecon Hall of Fame

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    They're promoting the new rivalry, don't you know? The Nolandy rivalry. Whatever would they do if they caught one of the new golden boys doping?
     
    #21
  22. Monsieur_DeLarge

    Monsieur_DeLarge Semi-Pro

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    He hasn't had a blood test in six months. I'm pretty sure he's had to give samples for urinalysis in that time.


    Regards,
    MDL
     
    #22
  23. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    Nadal has had 8 blood and urine tests within 2 weeks time last month. That goes along with the 4 blood and urine tests he received within one week in December. Lance has not had a single blood test in 7 months, and who knows the last time he was OOC tested at all. Not even remotely fair or anywhere near even.
     
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  24. kishnabe

    kishnabe G.O.A.T.

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    ATP knows...and is hiding Djoker away from tests to prevent damage of the sport. They caught him in 2011 where he was clearly doping.
     
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  25. RAFA2005RG

    RAFA2005RG Banned

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    Are Wilander and Agassi ever right? They always seem to be proven wrong.
     
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  26. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    How do you know that?
     
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  27. Tony48

    Tony48 Legend

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    Tested four times in 2 weeks? Holy crap that's a lot.

    Anyway, that's surprising to hear that Agassi is doubting Nadal at RG. 8 months off tour or not, Nadal basically IS RG.

    But if he doesn't win it and Djoker does, that'll be fine with me :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
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  28. THE FIGHTER

    THE FIGHTER Hall of Fame

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    how can nadal threaten RG? it's his livelihood.
     
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  29. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    The talk about Murray having a real chance to win RG, or of having a better shot to win RG than Nadal while Nadal still has a pulse, is already enough to laugh off the whole article and anything Wilander especialy says. Ferrer is more a contender to win RG than Murray, and will likely beat Murray again if they play at RG, barring some significant clay improvements from Murray. Heck I would give Del Potro or Berdych more chances to win RG than Murray. The talk about ******* being more a contender to win RG than Nadal until Nadal has officialy withdrawn from RG or lost several first rounds in a row is also quite the joke. Been on the weed again Mats have we.
     
    #29
  30. THE FIGHTER

    THE FIGHTER Hall of Fame

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    ferrer could win RG if he doesnt face any of the real top 4. i dont see him getting over that hump in the big stages. despite being the 4th best clay courter. he doesn't have that level of belief that guys like del potro or soderling had. he also doesn't have a game that matches up well against the top 4.
     
    #30
  31. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Ferrer would have the edge in a match on clay vs Murray, just as he always has had in the past. On any other surface all the top 4 would own him (maybe a small chance vs Nadal on hards), but on clay he has the edge on Murray. He even has a great clay record vs Djokovic, but Djokovic will still beat him if they play at RG.
     
    #31
  32. THE FIGHTER

    THE FIGHTER Hall of Fame

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    last year was the only time ferrer beat murray on the big stage. ferrer under preforms on clay in the big stages, and big stages in general. in the past 4 years, he's only made it past the 4th round at RG once, last year, whereas murray has done it 3 times.

    in his entire career at RG, ferrer amassed 2 QFs and 1 SF, the same figures as murray despite murray participating in just over half as many RGs.

    that's not a great stat to have if you're david ferrer. great on clay in smaller tournaments, but cant bring the heat in the big stages.

    if this was a tune up to RG, edge ferrer all the way. but this is RG itself. it's up in the air. i dont favor ferrer over anyone in the top 4 + rafa. i dont see either ferrer or murray winning RG.
     
    #32
  33. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    You're not disagreeing with the former tennis pros are you? Isn't their opinion infallible?

    Especially if Agassi (his opinion being such a golden standard) says Nadal isn't winning FO this year then I guess we can conclude that as a fact.
     
    #33
  34. kalyan4fedever

    kalyan4fedever Hall of Fame

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    If a one dimensional player like djoker wins RG then we can declare tennis to be dead
     
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  35. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yeah, Wilander is full of it as usual, the guy used to make some sense back in the day but in the last few years he just spews nonsense all the time.

    Agassi atleast makes a solid point but as far as I'm concerned as long as Nadal enters FO he's a favourite or at worst a co-favourite with Novak.
     
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  36. DeShaun

    DeShaun Banned

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    This would not surprise me. Novak does a decent job of trying to imitate Roger's prowess as a pitchman for the sport. Nobody does it as well as Roger the silky smooth polyglot. But Novak can speak a little Spanish, a little French, a little Russian, some decent German, as well as fluent Serbian and English.

    So, if a guy like Roger tests positive, the same interests promoting the sport as condoning these tests have incentive the results. This "getting a free pass" may go similarly for Novak being an amiable, talkative spokesman who can promote the sport off court.

    But now look at Rafa; suppose he tested positive after Wimbledon 2012. What are the promoters thinking at this point? "Well, Novak represents us better abroad; besides, Novak didn't take over the players' council and try to make all kinds of potential trouble for us there; not to mention that Novak so demolished Rafa last year that maybe Rafa's brand isn't even worth our protecting anymore. Why don't we flat out bench Rafa for six months, instead of the usual slap on the wrist?"

    Yeah, I kind of believe that they caught Novak between 2011 and 2012 and told him to be smarter or stay clean which explains his dip in level from 2011 to 2012. I say "dip" because he seems to be ramping back up to his 2011 form again. I believe that when these big guys test positive, they are given passes until they cross a line.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
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  37. Hood_Man

    Hood_Man Legend

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    Bold predictions. If he doesn't, then I can see him losing early though. I can't imagine Nadal losing a final at Roland Garros.
     
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  38. Warmaster

    Warmaster Hall of Fame

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    Trollander at it again? :)
     
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  39. Cesc Fabregas

    Cesc Fabregas Legend

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    Wilander has always underestimated Nadal as a player for some reason.
     
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  40. beast of mallorca

    beast of mallorca Legend

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    It's called jealousy..........:)
     
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  41. cc0509

    cc0509 G.O.A.T.

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    He is not jealous or envious, he has seven slams of his own. He says stupid things about all of the top players.
     
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  42. Hawk-eye

    Hawk-eye New User

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    No way Nadal is losing R.R he is unbeatable on that surface.
    Soderling whose only the proof of anomaly.
     
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  43. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    I'll see how Nadal preforms at the clay masters events. If he gets into trouble there I may bump him down to co-favorite...8 months off shouldn't be underestimated though.
     
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  44. Tennis_Hands

    Tennis_Hands Hall of Fame

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    AHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Are they taking a **** or what?
     
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  45. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    Yet on this forum, I've often seen accusations that he hates on Federer :confused:
     
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  46. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    anomaly?

    Nadal's knees were shot then as well; as Nadal's straights sets defeat of Soderling the very next year underscored...
     
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  47. mariecon

    mariecon Hall of Fame

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    you mean to say testing positive isn't crossing a line? Or winning everything in sight after not winning everything in sight? What exactly would crossing a line be? What could be more blatant than what Djoker did in 2011?:shock:
     
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  48. raging

    raging Professional

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    On this forum - people attack ex-players, players, coaches, linesmen, ballboys,umpires, ITF, ATP, WTA.

    But mostly other posters.:)

    Nobody is safe!:twisted:

    Nadal has been awesome on the red-dirt.
    I hope he returns to RG @ full strength.
    For the sake of the sport.

    I fear not, how long since he last played again?

    RG is a big task...even for Nadal.
    he will not play unless he is 100%
     
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  49. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    The fear will return...

    Once he spanks a few top 20 and top 10 pros on his way to Roland Garros the field will fear him again... he just needs to emphatically beat a couple of guys.
     
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  50. Hawk-eye

    Hawk-eye New User

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    yeah but on the that day everybody would lose against red hot sod,
    that was pure brute force on display
     
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