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Old 08-02-2012, 06:22 AM   #8
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 575

Originally Posted by MariaRafael View Post
Nadal says: "We can be friends 5 minutes before the match, and 5 minutes after it. But during the match we are rivals".

Having said that, he never mentioned Federer as his friend. He described their relations as "we are on very good terms, but we are not friends". Rafa's friends in tennis are Carlos Moya, Juan Monaco, Feliciano Lopez, David Nalbandyan, Marc Lopez. He's been close with Andy Murray and Richard Gasquet since they were 13-year old kids.
Perhaps you're right there, but I just got the impression, through body language, that Nadal and Federer act as though they are friends.

I'd point out, though, it's a well known fact that Murray and Nadal often play Playstation games with each other (even at slams). Perhaps this friendship has hindered Murray's performance against Nadal in the last few years (2008 US Open seems like ages ago now...).

Rafa was terribly unhappy when he lost 2007 Wimbledon to Federer. Still says that it was his most painful loss. But I don't think that he had a grudge against Federer. First of all, he's been always sure that Federer is a better grass player, secondly, respect to Federer has been beaten into his head to such and extent, that there's no way it can be taken out considering that Uncle Toni is a Federer fan

Neither did Federer ever claim to be friends with Nadal. I don't know much about Federer, so can only assume that lost 2008 Wimbledon was a heavy blow for him. But it was his own prophecy though: when he saw absolutely shattered Rafa after 2007 final he said during the award ceremony: "this match was nearly equal, and we're two Wimbledon champions". Hence, probably no grudge against Rafa. Generally, I don't think that Federer is malicious. When Rafa replaced him as World No.1, he could've said nothing about it, but he responded with "I'm glad that it's Rafa, he is a deserving World No.1".
Good insight there. I think Federer is the most self-controlled, both in his habits and his words to the media. He also knows how to give credit and make sure the other guy hears it.

Federer never liked Djokovic because of his playing possum strategy and "when I'm down I'll take a medical break/ toilet break/lunch break and destroy your momentum" approach, called him a Joke as far back as 2006. He also commented Djokovic's multiple retirements saying that "if he can't stand environmental conditions, he should retire on permanent basis".

Djokovic knew all these nice little things, but kept his trap shut till 2008, when his excellent mommy volunteered with "le roi est mort".

To cut a long story short, there's no love lost between these two.
I agree. Not sure what else to say here, unless the next big match between the two reveals something else...

Rafa seemed to like Djokovic before his true nature was fully displayed in 2011 celebrations. Now Djokovic pretends to be a friend (especially after 3 beatings received this year), but Rafa is wisely keeping at arm's length.
I agree to some extent. The handshake at 2012 AO showed the true status of their relationship. Nadal went forward to shake the umpire's hand before Djokovic, and he walked over to Djokovic's side for a very brief handshake.

However, I think that Nadal has forgiven him after 2012 AO, solely because he made it to the 5th set against him.

It will be really interesting to see how the attitude of these two players develops from here. At one moment, it seems friendly, but at another moment it seems like pure hate.
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