Rafa No 2

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by littlelleyton, Jul 23, 2005.

  1. littlelleyton

    littlelleyton Semi-Pro

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    just heard on the news that Rafa has moved to number 2 in the world rankings. Think his long clay court year has paid off for him and the injury to Lleyton helped to but cant take anything away from him he deserves to be there just now. well done
     
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  2. Fee

    Fee Legend

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    way to rack up almost all of your points on one surface Nadal, instead of playing through the seasons like most of the other guys in the Top 20. The ATP seriously needs to redo the calendar and get rid of the clay tournaments after Wimbledon.

    Why is such a potentially talented player hiding on one surface all year? Makes me wonder if he will make it past the 2nd round at Montreal, Cincy, or the USO.
     
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  3. littlelleyton

    littlelleyton Semi-Pro

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    Fee give the guy a break. so what if he has played on clay all year he has busted his balls on the surface and has climbed to number 2 in the world. let him have a minute to enjoy it before the hounds come after him........
     
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  4. rhubarb

    rhubarb Hall of Fame

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    He certainly deserves it in my opinion - has been the second best player in the world this year. The other members of the top 5 just didn't measure up - Hewitt and Roddick can't deal with Federer, and Safin just isn't consistent enough.

    Let's see if Nadal can transition to hardcourts and keep his ranking up. He's got hardly anything to defend for the rest of the year.
     
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  5. Becky

    Becky New User

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    The other members of the top 5 definitely measured up on surfaces other than clay. Nadal has posted great results, but only on the slowest hard courts and on clay.

    Sure, he might transition a bit. But the same top five that didn't measure up are going to come down on him.
     
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  6. littlelleyton

    littlelleyton Semi-Pro

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    i wouldnt say they havent macthed up, the Slams are the one the the top guys are judged on, supposedly and in the AO and the French Fed wasnt good enough.
     
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  7. RiosTheGenius

    RiosTheGenius Hall of Fame

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    Fee, Nadal made it to the final of the Nasdaq earlier this year and almost beet Federer in straight sets in the final so obviously he's not all that uncomfortable on hard courts. specially since the surface in Key Biscayne is much like Cincy or the USO. I think Nadal should remain #2 this summer specially considering that Hewitt 's got a whole crap load of points to defend from last year's american h.court season.
     
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  8. rhubarb

    rhubarb Hall of Fame

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    No, I don't agree - they haven't matched up yet. Neither Hewitt or Roddick have even managed to win a required tournament this year. Yes, they have both had a slam final and semi, but Safin and Nadal have both won one, and both beaten Federer on their way to the title. Lleyton and Andy haven't even taken a set from him in their matches this year.
     
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  9. littlelleyton

    littlelleyton Semi-Pro

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    Nadal has clearly been the player of this year. his run on clay has been flawless and when it comes down to it no one has touched him on the surface.when you put a run like he has on any surface then there has to be credit where credit is due. i think the USO will be a cracker just like the other slams and isnt as much a cert. just hope everybody can get fit as they are dropping like flies just now.
     
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  10. Fee

    Fee Legend

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    Miami is as similar to the USO surface as Roland Garros is to Wimbledon. Get a clue, not all hardcourts are the same (just ask the US Davis Cup team that lost to Croatia...).
     
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  11. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Miami is a very slow court and Nadal's topspin gave Federer a lot of trouble. Federer would dust Nadal at Flushing Meadow with its much faster court surface.
     
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  12. DashaandSafin

    DashaandSafin Hall of Fame

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    Thank you Fee. Miami is an extremly slow hard court and mark my words, Nadal will not advance past Rd 2 or 3 of the USO. I doubt he will win much for the rest of the year.
     
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  13. VamosRafa

    VamosRafa Hall of Fame

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    When Rafa started the year he was No. 51 in the world. He needed a wildcard for Madrid last year, and originally was in the qualifying draw for TMS Paris.

    His goal this year was to improve his ranking so he would be seeded for Roland Garros. He and his coach felt the best way to improve his ranking was for him to play some clay tourneys. So for the first time, he committed to the Latin American swing, and for the first time, he played the full European claycourt season. He already had committed to Stuttgart, Bastad and Umag, and he is now fulfilling those commitments.

    I don't think anyone, least of all Rafa, expected that when he made these commitments, he'd virtually win everything, and become No. 2 in the world. He definitely overachieved there. What he has done at age 18/19 is pretty amazing, and as he keeps saying, his career is just beginning. He wants to improve on other surfaces, and IMO, anyone who can become this dominant on any surface at age 18/19 probably has a few more tricks up his sleeve as his career moves forward.
     
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  14. finchy

    finchy Professional

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    hmm. im excited to see how rafa will do at the TMC in shanghai.
     
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  15. The tennis guy

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    Who told you that? US Open court is 10 times faster than Key Biscayne.
     
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  16. The tennis guy

    The tennis guy Hall of Fame

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    If he is really serious about his game on fast surfaces, he should play more on them instead of playing on clay right now.

    As of schedule was made earlier, no ATP tournament requires you to commit more than two months ago. It' just excuse.

    The most difficult transition is from slow to fast court. He deserves his NO. 2, just like Muster deserved his No. 1. But as of right now, Nadal is one surface wonder. By the way, French Open always has most youngest champions.
     
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  17. Fedubai

    Fedubai Semi-Pro

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    Of course Nadal deserves his ranking, he's done the work. It's not like he cheated or took an easy way to the top, now he just needs to prove that he really is number two as the schedule moves away from clay, that he can play on other surfaces.

    So, yeah, he deserves it, he's done the work. But that doesn't make him an all-court player just yet. It is true that he's won all his titles on clay, and I think that if my information is correct, he's never won a title on another surface, at least in his professional career. But I think he deserves the ranking, it's just that now he's got to prove that he is number two.
     
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  18. Fee

    Fee Legend

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    Thanks for your comments VR.

    Tennis guy, ATP tournament entries are due 6 weeks in advance and some players do sign tournament contracts (for appearance fees and such) farther in advance than that, so kudos to Nadal for honoring his commitments.

    The few matches of Nadal's that I have seen, I have been impressed by his play, and that is why I want to see him play more, on a variety of surfaces, and not settle in to being a one-surface wonder. He has the potential to be an all-time great and I don't think he should settle for being this generation's Thomas Muster. Based on VR's post here, and Nadal's comments that he wants to win Wimbledon someday, it seems like he will mix it up more in the future. I would LOVE for him to come to San Jose in February (Andy would hate that), or LA next summer. (Okay, I'm being selfish, I just want to see him play in person :D ).
     
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  19. VamosRafa

    VamosRafa Hall of Fame

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    The only issue, really, is Rafa's failure to skip Bastad, Stuttgart and Umag in favor of coming to the U.S. to play on hardcourts. Rafa's played those three events the past 2 years, and he committed to them early this year. Yes, he could have pulled out, citing his new celebrity status or some such, but these tourneys supported him when he was a no one, and now, they are delighted to have the French Open champion in the draw. On the streets coming into Stuttgart are signs that say, in German, "Nadal is coming!"

    I fully expect Rafa will play less clay events next year -- and the Latin American swing probably will be cut. I don't think anyone is suggesting he shouldn't play on clay between Monte Carlo and Roland Garros. But if he cuts back on clay, it will be in favor of playing on the "slower" hardcourts early next year. He missed Indian Wells this year, and did pretty well in Miami without any preparation at all. But he has loads of points to defend next year, and that's going to be a challenge, too.

    Just saw your comments, Fee. Unfortunately, I expect that instead of coming to the US after the Aus swing, if he skips Latin America, he'll go to Europe and play on hardcourts there, as it's closer to home. That's actually what he did before; he changed that part of his schedule this year to improve his ranking, as I said.

    And he has no singles titles on any surface other than clay (I'm not counting challenger titles, because he did win Segovia a couple years ago). He has reached two hardcourt finals (Auckland 2004 and Miami 2005), and he has two doubles titles on hard (Qatar ExxonMobil Open, Doha, Doubles, 2005 (w/Albert Costa); TATA Open, Chennai, Doubles, 2004 (w/Tommy Robredo).

    But now, unlike last year, he will be seeded at all events, and won't have to worry about wild cards or qualifying and such. That will also impact his scheduling decisions. Big difference when you are No. 2 vs. No. 51, or No. 70 as he was at this time last year. What a difference a year makes!
     
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  20. VamosRafa

    VamosRafa Hall of Fame

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    FYI, Rafa had already intimated in Acapulco that he may not return next year. His objectives were clear even then. Here's an excerpt from the transcript after he won the title in February:

     
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  21. federerhoogenbandfan

    federerhoogenbandfan Banned

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    Completely untrue.
     
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  22. VamosRafa

    VamosRafa Hall of Fame

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    Are you sure???? Moya won Cincy in one year (def Hewitt) and got to the finals in Key Biscayne in another (loss to Agassi). What is the difference? And once you figure that out, why can't, in the long run, Rafa be better than Moya?
     
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  23. counterpunch

    counterpunch Rookie

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    Wow i would definitely disagree with anyone that says nadal wont be as good as moya, but moya is a different player, his game is better suited to faster hard courts than nadals. Moya has weapons, a big serve and massive forehand, this is what nadal lacks on the faster surfaces.
     
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  24. spinbalz

    spinbalz Hall of Fame

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    Vamosrafa, suggesting that the courts of Cincy and Key Biscayne are not different just because Moya won Ciny and reached the final at Key biscayne is just A/ stupid or B/ a mountain of bad faith! Someone could use the same kind of logic as you to say that clay courts and grasscourts are the same because Borg won Wimbledon and Rolland Garros. :roll:

    So what? Stupidity? Or bad faith? :???:
     
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  25. ricardo25tennis

    ricardo25tennis New User

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    Nadal is probaly not that good in hard courts but he is learning , he is getting used to the hard courts and grass, did federer win a slam at 19 years old? no, nadal is going to have a good us open he will get to the quarters or semis
     
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  26. federerhoogenbandfan

    federerhoogenbandfan Banned

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    That is not the point to begin with. The point is to say the surface at Nasdaq is similar to Cincy, and especially the U.S open is bogus.

    Secondly Moya has won Cincy, reached one final at Key Biscayne, and one U.S open semifinal, in a long career with 5 or 6 years in the top 10. When you think about it, in the big picture, that is not all that much; so being as good as Moya in the long run on non-clay surfaces does not neccessarily say all that much anyway, relative to saying he is going to be a serious favorite on hard courts this year at 19.
     
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  27. VamosRafa

    VamosRafa Hall of Fame

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    I had made a response to all this, but in the end, I realized that nothing I think matters re Rafa. He has his own ideas. And in the end, his own expectations for himself exceed my expectations for him.

    I like that about him.

    See below.
     
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  28. spinbalz

    spinbalz Hall of Fame

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    Please don't forget Kuerten even if his domination was less exagerated than Muster's and Rafa's domination. Ferrero also had 1 year when he was head and shoulders the boss on clay.

    This post is just in response of some comments that Vamosrafa has just deleted in her last post above.
     
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  29. VamosRafa

    VamosRafa Hall of Fame

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    Just let me ask this question:

    Why are so many people negating what Rafa has done at age 18/19, when truth be told, this hasn't done by anyone for a long time???

    Yes, it's all on clay, but if you put all your prejudices aside, and realize where he was on January 1 of this year, at No. 51, he's done good.

    At that time you were all saying he hadn't won a Masters event (true), and he hadn't won a Slam (true), but now he's done both, and even more.

    Many of you were saying he would get into the Top 5 perhaps in a couple years. That was in January/February, and now you are complaining that he's done it the hard way, or the easy way, depending upon how you look at it. But he's now at No. 2.

    Seriously, no one wants to admit that Rafa is a serious contender to Federer (which he is), or that he could dominate this way. Far better to sit back and say, "he's only a claycourt player." Wheras before you were saying, don't talk to me until he wins something big.

    He won something big, and he did it with all the pressure on him going in as the fave to Roland Garros at 18 years old. The first time he has played the event, actually.

    But that's a normal thing, from the way you guys talk. Good thing he fulfilled all that hype and pressure the first time around. He would really have been under pressure next year otherwise.
     
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  30. spinbalz

    spinbalz Hall of Fame

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    Sorry, but before to become a serious contender to Federer, Rafa will have to prove that he can win big tournaments outside of Clay (and he will also have to prove that he can do it often). And for the moment, the fact is that Nadal is far from that.

    Currently Federer is a major threat on every surfaces, he won big tournaments on every kind of surfaces, clay, grass, slow hardourts, fast hardcourts, indoor, while Rafa only won tournaments on clay.

    Perhaps that Nadal will develop his game to become dangerous on other surfaces than clay, or pehaps not, but it is not my point, my point is that currently it can't be said that Nadal is a "serious contender to federer". It is not an opinion, it is factual : Federer = great everywhere / Nadal = great on clay only.

    Clay = 1 out of 4 slam events by year + 3 out of 12 or 13 master events by year, so I hope that by taking a look at these stats, you are able to understand why before to call Nadal "a serious contender to Federer" the youngster must prove that he can win big outside of clay and do better than what he did this year on grass for exemple (very poor results).
     
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  31. jukka1970

    jukka1970 Professional

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    Personally, I don't care if a professional is winning on just one surface. If they are winning a bunch of tournaments, and it gives him or her the points to move to higher rank, then that's how it should be. The system already gives the most points in the 4 slams, of which Nadal has won one of them, being the french open.

    Nadal deserves his ranking, and as for the players at number 3 or 4 or 5, whatever. If they have a problem being ranked under him, well they best put up or shut up, because they haven't been winning as many tournaments, they probably haven't even been placing as well.

    As far as why others on the board are so against it, who knows, but from everything I've read, it sounds more like they're upset that their favorite player isn't ranked higher. There's nothing wrong with the point system. After reading this subject, I'm reminded of the commentator Patrick McEnroe during wimbledon, and some of his stupid comments, such as the lady's needed to restructure because Lindsay was ranked number 1. It's called wins at tournament Patrick, something you weren't able to do unlike your brother in tennis. But then again, he can't commentate as well as his brother either.
     
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  32. VamosRafa

    VamosRafa Hall of Fame

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    Well, if you are right, there's a problem with the ranking system, because Rafa is indeed No. 2 behind Federer.

    And Rafa is 5, count 'em five, years younger than Federer.

    Lots of tennis to be played between these guys, certainly, but Rafa's up there with the big ones. And he's just getting started.

    So back your hardcourt ponies, who have yet to impress in 2005, but may do so before the year is out. Because at the moment, except for Safin's win in Aus, no one but Federer and Nadal has done anything that impressive this year. Admittedly, they have set a high standard -- Fed more than Nadal, but again, Rafa is a teenager and Fed is being pegged as the best player ever in the history of the game.

    Between them they have 15 titles this year (including 2 slams and 5 masters events). In fact, unless I'm mistaken no other player but them has won a Masters title this year, and things were quite close in Miami.

    They both have 58 wins this year. Roger has 3 losses, and Rafa has 8.

    IMO, both deserve their berths in Shanghai. Will be interesting to see how the rest of the year develops.
     
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  33. spinbalz

    spinbalz Hall of Fame

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    First, being #2 doesn't make automatically of someone a contender for the #1 position, it depends of how close or far the #2 is from the #1, and for the moment, if we take in account their "all surface potential" nadal is still Far from Federer. Nadal's current position is only the result of his greatness on clay and nothing else, and the more we will advance through the year, the less the players's results on clay will impact on their ranking, it is simple mathematics, a matter of proportions. So Nadal DOES HAVE to win big through the entire year to be a threat to Federer #1 spot.

    My point is not to compare Nadal's achievement to Federer's achievements at the same age, and is not either to diminish Nadal's merits for this year (kudos for him in regards to what he already achieved this year), and I don't contest the legitimity of his #2 current ranking. I just state some facts to balance/contest your comment about Nadal as being "Federer's contendender", and explain why his N°2 positions is his current limit.

    Fact #1/ 2005 Nadal only won tournaments on clay, so he didn't prove yet that he is able to obtain big results through the entire year on every kind of surfaces.

    Fact #2/ 2005 Nadal had very poor results on fast courts (very weak on grass, and avoided to play indoor between the Aus Open and Key Biscayne).

    Fact #3/ 2005 Federer won on every kind of surfaces so he proved that he can obtain great results through the entire year.

    Fact #4/ Nadal is already ranked behind Federer and the clay season has been to short for Nadal to pass Federer in the ranking.

    So the fact #5 is only the consequence of the 4 other facts : Nadal does have to obtain great results for the rest of the year to be considered as "Federer's contender".

    Will or when Nadal improve his level on fast courts enough to become dangerous through the entire year are still questions, and to answer that today would be only pure speculation.

    And about the problem with the ranking system, the system is not so bad but still imperfect, and everybody who follows tennis is aware of that imperfection... Vamosrafa, are you the only one to not realize that imperfection?
     
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  34. VamosRafa

    VamosRafa Hall of Fame

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    **Spoiler **




    **Spoiler**













    Good morning. One addition to what I said above -- Fed and Nadal now have 16 titles between them this year. Rafa won the Mercedes in Stuttgart, defeating Gaston Gaudio 6-3, 6-3. Now he just has to get his driver's license.

    Vamos!!!
     
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  35. rhubarb

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    I don't think he's won (yet). It's best of five. One more set to go.
     
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  36. VamosRafa

    VamosRafa Hall of Fame

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    You are right. Sorry about that. It's 6 a.m. here, and I thought I could go back to bed. Darn!
     
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  37. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    Can you imagine what Federer's record would be if he played 95% of his tournaments on GRASS? That will, of course, never happen. Then again, even if he was undefeated playing all grass tournaments, it would still only be 3 less losses than he has now...on ALL surfaces. There is, I think, a BIG difference between a player who has won tournaments on ALL THREE SURFACES with the year only half done, and one who hasn't proven that he CAN win a tournament off of clay.

    You can't even compare the two players, even if their '05 records to date, on paper are similar. When Nadal wins on a hard court (I won't bring grass into it-he ain't gonna win there, ever), then you can make the case that the two players have similar accomplishments.
     
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  38. rhubarb

    rhubarb Hall of Fame

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    No probs, middle of the afternoon here so I'm just about awake ;) I see Livescore has the match displayed as finished too, so obviously they didn't know about the best of five format either. 1-1 in the third now (a break of serve each).
     
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  39. spinbalz

    spinbalz Hall of Fame

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    Exactly Phil, it is the sumary of all the difference between Federer and Nadal. We are on the same line, and I still wonder how some peoples are so unable (or fake to be unable) to understand so simple notions about tennis accomplishments and greatness!!!
     
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  40. VamosRafa

    VamosRafa Hall of Fame

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    ** spoiler **






    Update: Rafa does get the Mercedes. He won in three sets, 6-3, 6-3, 6-4.
     
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  41. RiosTheGenius

    RiosTheGenius Hall of Fame

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    it could be . I've been to both venues. I had the oportubity to step on centre court in Key Biscayne this past january and also walked on the grandstand court a couple of years ago and they seem very similar but as you said I could be terribly wrong. my inicial point though, is that I think Nadal should do ok and hold his #2 ranking. perhaps he is not Hewitt on hard surfaces. but he is still certainly better on any surface than most players out there and he should have cero trouble getting through the first few rounds against guys like Fish, Callery , etc. and earn enough points to hang in there.
    will he win any of these tourneys??..... woulldn't go that far. but some of you are saying that he won't even get through 2nd rounds as if the kid never played on anything other than clay ever. he's a pro and as such he can adjust and beat most people out there.
    and you guys are also forgetting that Nadal 's got nothing to defend this summer.... Hewitt's got a whole shopping list of points to defend. including the Washington title (which he's not playing this year) and the US open and cincy finals.
    and please , that's a lame excuse. Croatia beat the US in the Davis because they played better and because Ljubicic played just too good. beating Agassi, Roddick and the Brian Bros in one weekend isn't exactly a pic-nic on any surface.
     
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  42. Dilettante

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    Maybe in that case there would be much more grass-specialists than actually are, and maybe there would be way much tougher for Federer to achieve that degree of dominance on grass court that he shows today.

    Anyway, I agree in not making a comparison between Nadal and Federer. At the moment, Nadal is not yet a Federer's contender out of clay courts.

    Nadal's dominance on clay, anyway, is totally eye dropping, seeing the high number of clay-court specialists playing out there.
     
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  43. jrtennisjunkiejr

    jrtennisjunkiejr New User

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    NADAL WENT 5 SETS WITH HEWITT AT THE AUSTRAILIAN OPEN 4th ROUND WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    GIVE NADAL A BREAK HE IS AMAZING AND CAN PLAY ON HARD COURTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    why cant you recognize the talent and appreciate what he brings to the game
     
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  44. VamosRafa

    VamosRafa Hall of Fame

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    FYI, just read this in an article:

    "On Monday Nadal, at 19 years, 1 month and 22 days, will become the third teenager in history (since 1973) to reach No. 2 in the INDESIT ATP Entry Ranking. He joins Boris Becker (18 years, 9 mos., 17 days) and Bjorn Borg (18 years, 10 mos., 2 days) as the only teenagers to rank No. 2."

    It's official that Rafa has joined Roger in qualifying for Shanghai.
     
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  45. DashaandSafin

    DashaandSafin Hall of Fame

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    Congrats. Im sick of hearing "Ohh Nadal is so young! once hes like 23-25 hes going to be at his prime! Then hes going to kick Federer's arse!" Big deal hes young. Makes it all the easier to burn out on. I doubt he'll be able to play his extreme grinding style when he is 28 (if he makes it to 28 ). I am impressed by this new claycourt king and all his wins, but he is no contender for Federer besides on clay. And for all you people who use Miami as an excuse, congrats, he almost beat Federer on a near-clay surface. Lets just wait and see what happens during the summer hardcourt season and the USO, might as well see what happens in Shanghai too.
     
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  46. gonzalocatalino

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    Rafa needs a girlfriend...
     
    #46
  47. spinbalz

    spinbalz Hall of Fame

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    I say he lost.
     
    #47
  48. spinbalz

    spinbalz Hall of Fame

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    Anyway he finaly lost at Miami, a tournament where a guy like Ferrer reached the 1/2 final, and that says much about that tournament... So as you suggest, it wouldn't be fair to take in account only Nadal's result at Miami (where he finaly lost, do I have to repeat!) to proclaim him as a great all surface player.

    For the moment he is only the King of clay courts, which is already a great achievement, but is far less impressive than Federer's all surfaces abilities. It is just insulting for the boss to compare Nadal to him.
     
    #48
  49. Fee

    Fee Legend

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    Yes, you are wrong. Standing on a hard court doesn't tell you how it plays.

    I never offered the court surface as an excuse for the US Davis cup loss to Croatia, I merely offered the surface as an example that hardcourts can be made in a variety of speeds and that court was made slower than the players would have preferred.
     
    #49
  50. The tennis guy

    The tennis guy Hall of Fame

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    He maybe better than Moya eventually, but as of right now, he is not as good on other surfaces as Moya at his peak.

    Cincy is much quicker than Miami - Miami is the slowest hard court. That's part of the schedule that spring hardcourt slower, and summer hardcourt faster for the grand slam events after them. But no hardcourt is as fast as US open. Judging the way Nadal's play at Wimbledon this year, he has no chance at US Open this year. US Open hardcourt right now is faster than Wimbledon.
     
    #50

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