Nadal Vs Federer: who figured out the other

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by ksbh, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. ksbh

    ksbh Banned

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    When Nadal was regularly beating Federer on clay, some people said that Federer would eventually figure out Nadal's game. But what really happened was that Nadal continued to dominate Federer on clay and in the meantime figured out Federer's game on grass and hard courts. He then went on to beat Federer in the finals of both Wimbledon & the Australian Open.

    Did anybody see things working out this way?

    Has Federer figured out Nadal's game on clay or now it must be asked ... on other surfaces?!

    Discuss!
     
    #1
  2. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Of course he has figured out, Nadal, and Nadal has figured him out as do other pros with each other.

    That said, to win and implement a strategy is easier said than done.
     
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  3. LolzWhat?

    LolzWhat? Banned

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    it's obvious Nadal has figured Federer out. Of course Nadal's molecular superior racket helped but he displayed greater grit than federer. Federer's 2009 was drastically improved with Nadal's kneecaps shattering and abdomen tearing up.
     
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  4. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    There's difference between 'figuring out' someone's game and to actually be able to execute the right strategy to beat him even if you know what to do.
    Nadal poses a naturally bad match-up for Roger.For Nadal,Roger's game was always easier to 'figure out' because he had a simple working strategy.All he had to do from his side on surfaces other than clay was to make a few adjustments overall to his game.Improve his own game and approach.-Nothing too specific with Federer particularly in mind.

    That wasnt the case for Roger.Roger's strategy is a lot more complicated,especially to execute given today's conditions.Its but obvious that having played Nadal so many times he knows the guy's game well.But then even Roddick knows Roger's game well and probably even knows what to do against him.Its just easier said than done for him.
    Roger has to call for lefties during the off-season to practice with them.He has to take specific efforts towards beating Nadal..thats not the case for Nadal.Him being a lefty and with his topspin has a natural leverage over Roger.
    Even then Roger has been no slouch against the guy.
    So 'figuring out' really isnt the issue here.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2009
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  5. Cesc Fabregas

    Cesc Fabregas Legend

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    When Nadal is playing well on clay theres nothing Federer can do.
     
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  6. akv89

    akv89 Hall of Fame

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    It should be expected that as time passes, Nadal would do better against Federer on other surfaces than Federer would against Nadal on clay considering that Nadal is 5 years younger than Federer.
     
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  7. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Federer figured him out in Madrid. He realized he should not be afraid of hitting to the Nadal backhand. Of course Nadal was probably injured by this point (even if he didn't know it), so it doesn't say much.
     
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  8. Agassifan

    Agassifan Hall of Fame

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    two words: bad matchup
     
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  9. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    You’re wrong again. For the first time, Roger often uses the drop shot in Madrid this year. It was affective which he continue to employ it at the FO.
     
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  10. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    In 2005-2007 Federer at his best could not beat Nadal at his best on claly. Since 2008 Federer is not the same calibre of clay courter he was from 2005-2007 and Nadal when healthy is even better. So whereas 2005-2007 Federer and Nadal at their best would play competitive quality matches on clay which 90% likely Nadal would pull out in the end, 2008 onwards if Nadal is healthy and playing even reasonably well it is no longer even that competitive on clay.
     
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  11. ksbh

    ksbh Banned

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    Then why don't you guys apply the same criteria to Sampras who was almost 10 years older to Federer in their only match?

    I can't accept age as the reason. Federer blows away his other opponents, with the exception of Del Potro! :twisted:

     
    #11
  12. akv89

    akv89 Hall of Fame

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    I never made any assumptions based on the one match between Federer and Sampras. Nevertheless, my point is that as time goes by, the younger player will enter into his peak as the older player leaves his. So it should be expected that Nadal will do better against Federer on grass and hard than Federer against Nadal on clay. Federer's match against Sampras came up when neither player was at their peak and the match could have gone either way.

    Federer doesn't really blow away his opponents any more. A couple years ago it was considered an achievement to even take a set off of Federer and it was a surprise if Federer lost to anyone other than Nadal, even on clay. It's not as unexpected anymore.
     
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  13. Chadwixx

    Chadwixx Banned

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    Makes you wonder how fed made it to number one and holds 15gs's when when nadal is so dominate...
     
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  14. ksbh

    ksbh Banned

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    Because with the exception of Nadal, no other player believed that they had a right to beat Federer until Del Potro came into his own.

    Just look at Blake & Roddick for examples of Federer worshippers.

     
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  15. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

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    They have both figured each other out.

    But if Nadal applies his strategy of attacking the Fed BH with high topspin drives, Fed might have figured this out, but there is nothing he can do against it, except: grow taller (lol), hit a 2hander (he won't) or make essential improvements to his BH (which is good BTW, but breaks down after 4-5 balls, and at his age he cannot change his technique anymore with an immediate result).

    What Fed can do is shield his weaknesses more and put more pressure on Nadal.

    But I think that both seemingly being over their best, from now on it might well be the form of the day that determines their match outcomes.

    I think a vintage Fed might not have lost the Australian open last year.

    And a vintage Nadal might not have lost Madrid to Fed either.

    I think last year's Wimbledon would probably still have the same outcome, as they both seemed to be playing well.

    I just think that both Fed and Nadal are making more UE's than they used to, so that will be a deciding factor from now on. They are just not as sharp anymore.
     
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  16. Grampy

    Grampy Rookie

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    Not if the younger player peaks early then burns out. I don't think Fed is past his peak yet. A few other players have increased their level of play for sure, but Fed is not past his peak yet. To make it to all 4 GS finals and win 2 of them is proof he still has it (the 2 he lost were close matches). How much longer will he be able to do this is unknown, but to say he is past his peak is a bit premature.

    Saying Nadal is past his peak is a bit premature too, next year will tell though. I don't know how his game will be able to survive without his legs if they don't get back to 100%. Maybe he'll pull through it. I hope so since I like both players and I'll miss the rivalry if Nadal is out.
     
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  17. akv89

    akv89 Hall of Fame

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    I think it's safe to say that Federer is not consistently playing at his peak level anymore, the kind of level that won him about 95% of his matches, won him most of the tournaments he would enter, etc. But he's still good enough to push himself in majors.

    I agree that Rafa won't be doing any more catching up to Federer if he continues to have health problems. I was referring to his improved results against Federer on non-clay surfaces since 2008, when Nadal did seem to be playing his best while Federer's level went down a bit.
     
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  18. kimbahpnam

    kimbahpnam Hall of Fame

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    nadal's game against fed on every surface is the same.
     
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  19. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Nadal has been absconding for so long now that Fed has forgotten what he did to beat him in Madrid, and so will lose to him again the next time they meet.
     
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  20. P_Agony

    P_Agony Banned

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    A very good post Mandy, I fully agree with it.
     
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  21. P_Agony

    P_Agony Banned

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    No longer competitive? Was the Hamburg 2008 was not competitive? Federer was one point away from winning the 1st set and won the 2nd. This match was a complete choke by Federer, it's a match he should have won, he was the better player in the 1st and 2nd sets. How about Monte Carlo? Federer was leading by breaks in both sets and ended up losing 7-5 7-5? Is that not competitive enough for you?

    Sure, Nadal is the better clayer for sure, but aside of FO 08 all of their matches on clay were always very close and competitive. Plus, Federer beat Nadal on their last match on clay, and it was in 2009. Still not competitive?
     
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  22. P_Agony

    P_Agony Banned

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    Doesn't change the fact that Federer is the undisputed GOAT and is also the proud owner of 18 slams.
     
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  23. P_Agony

    P_Agony Banned

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    I agree with most of your post aside of Fed playing well at Wimbly 2008. Sure, he made some unbelievable shots, served really well, but his FH was not there in this match. It lost him the crucial points and he ended up with tons of unforced errors. It wasn't as bad as in Wimbly 2007, but it was hardly Roger's best. Far from it.
     
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  24. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Mental strength is a part of the game, and it's obvious who is superior in that respect. On a surface like clay that relies heavily on physical and mental strength, Nadal is clearly a favorite no matter the circumstances, especially when you take into account the match-up issues, etc.
     
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  25. P_Agony

    P_Agony Banned

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    That wasn't the point. The point was to call out grafselesfan who said their matches on clay aren't competitive anymore. That is simply false.
     
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  26. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Quite a few of their matches were competitive but some weren't close at all. Monte Carlo 2008 was really not that close at all to be honest. Nadal was playing sloppy tennis and Federer still could not capitalize.
     
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  27. P_Agony

    P_Agony Banned

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    I don't know about you, but to me a 7-5 7-5 score is very competitive, espeically with Federer leading by breaks in both sets.
     
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  28. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

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    He was serving well, as you say, which is a big factor in the equation.

    I do think that Nadal would have clinched a Wimbledon title sooner or later, even with Fed at his best. He was terribly close in 2007 also.

    But I think that had they both played at their best during the whole year, then Nadal might not have won the AO and Federer the FO.

    Form of the day seems to be important in what remains of the Fedal rivalry.
     
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  29. P_Agony

    P_Agony Banned

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    Exacly, though the mental part plays a big role in their matches as well. That's why I'm not excited by their matches anymore, as it's always the same routine and very predictable. Sure, that just might be because I'm a Fed fan, thus a bit biased (naturally), but even when he wins, I don't know, it's like their rivlary already achieved its biggest heights.
     
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  30. topher.juan

    topher.juan Rookie

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    Fed seemed very in control in Madrid, he had an attitude about him that he was going through with a new plan/vision/formula for playing Nadal. The next match should be interesting.. I don't think too much of Madrid one way or the other because of Nadal's health (of course, it still counts); the match gave both players a lot to think about. The plot thickens!
     
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  31. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

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    I think the rivalry has already had many iterations and it loses a little of its magic except if Fed can turn around the H2H.

    There is this thing in Fed matches that he sometimes seem to lack passion. Either he wins with glamour and easy, either things don't go his way and then he sort of gives up.
     
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  32. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    What I mean is I dont think Federer is that competitive with a healthy and rested Nadal on clay anymore. In 2005 and 2007 all their matches on clay were extremely close with almost no exceptions. I think there was one maybe Nadal won 6-4, 6-4 but that was it. In 2008 and 2009 obviously their FO final in 2008 was a rout and their match in Monte Carlo in 2008 was a straight setter. Nadal was really fatigued for that 2008 Hamburg final and was playing on Federer's favorite clay so Roger should have really won.
     
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  33. Steve132

    Steve132 Professional

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    Federer won, in straight sets, his last match on clay against Nadal. Of course if one believes that any Nadal defeats are due to illness, injury or tiredness, your propositions become trivially true.
     
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  34. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    7-5, 7-5 versus a Nadal that was playing uncharacteristically bad that day isn't exactly a good day at the office for Federer.
     
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  35. maddogz32

    maddogz32 Semi-Pro

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    i think they figured out eachother which is why the rivalry is so great
     
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  36. dh003i

    dh003i Legend

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    If Nadal plays his best on clay, he's going to beat Federer on clay. Sure. But if Federer played his best on grass, he wouldn't have lost the '08 Wimbledon. He is, after all, pretty much indisputably top-2 on grass all-time.

    But I think its silly to blame all of Nadal's losses on injury or being tired. Come on. But even so, his injuries are all related to his style of play. Some of his losses -- also inability to defend Wimbledon -- were due to injury. Not the case everywhere, though. Madrid is a 3-set tournament; I don't think his SF against Djokovic played that much of a role in his loss. What happened is that Federer was rejuvinated and playing exceptionally, and employed new and effective strategies against Nadal on clay. Nadal wasn't at the top of his game, and thus lost.

    A similar explanation is valid for Federer's AO and USO losses, although I don't think DP or Nadal employed any new strategies. They just played very well, and Federer had awful serving days on both occasions.

    When Federer plays at the top of his game, no-one is going to be able to beat him except Nadal on clay. Same for Nadal on clay, no-one's going to beat him on clay if he plays his best.

    As for longevity, I still think that Federer will outlast Nadal. From what I can tell, Nadal seemed to peak from mid-2008 to early 2009. That was his best period. Despite that being his peak, I still think he benefited from Federer not playing his best at Wimbledon (although there Federer did play very well), and serving awful at the AO. None-the-less, Fed wouldn't have beaten Nadal playing his best at this year's FO either; it happens.

    None-the-less, Nadal had a peak from mid-2008 to early-2009. Then his body gave out. Unfortunately, I don't think he'll be able to get back there, unless he makes significant changes to his game.
     
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  37. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Federer played as well as he could in that final; Nadal did not allow him to play his best tennis. People on this forum seem to be able to comprehend such a simple concept.



    I mean, this is like "Oh if Mike Tyson would have fought his best, he would have beaten Evander Holyfield".
     
    #37
  38. abmk

    abmk Talk Tennis Guru

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    So federer dumping second serves into the net on BPs, not once, but quite a few times is because of nadal's great 2nd serve and his efforts and not because of federer being sloppy ? What about those shanks in the second set to gift nadal the double break in the 2nd set after leading by a break ....

    Get real, federer played well, but didn't play at his best and a major part of the reason was himself ...Playing level depends on both : the player and the opponent, you are ignoring the player part itself by saying nadal didn't allow him to play his best tennis.
     
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  39. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    Who cares if Federer played his best vs Nadal in the Wimbledon finals or not. Bottom line is Nadal has proven he is every bit a match for even prime Federer on grass. In 2006 baby Nadal is like his 4th tournament ever on grass still took peak Federer to 4 sets, and would have been 5 had he not choked serving out the 2nd. In 2007 Federer still won 3 slams that year and in the minds of some Nadal even outplayed Federer in that Wimbledon final despite falling in 5 sets to a very determined Federer, a match Nadal might have won without busting his knee to start the 5th and still could have won even with that without choking on so many break points that set. In 2008 of course Federer was playing an awesome Wimbledon and still fell to Nadal.
     
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  40. abmk

    abmk Talk Tennis Guru

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    The rivalry was nearly evened out by the end of 2007, when it was 8-6 to nadal, with fed taking 5 of the 7 non-clay matches and nadal 6 of the 7 clay matches. But since then its been mainly nadal. madrid 2009 though, I suspect could turn out to be another turning point in the rivalry ...
     
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  41. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

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    I agree. I actually think Nadal will have a tough year next year. The only slam he might win is the French and Federer, Del Potro, and Djokovic can all beat him there possibly next year IMO. You will never see a repeat of the 2008 French Open dominance again, or Rafa with a year that is right up with 2008 again IMO.
     
    #41
  42. abmk

    abmk Talk Tennis Guru

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    uh, yeah, because fed would've easily allowed nadal to take the 3rd set had nadal taken the 2nd :roll.

    uh, nadal took a time-out in the 4th set , not the 5th and he was fine, running around like before after that time-out . Oh and nadal didn't choke any BPs in the 5th, fed saved all of them, three with his serve and one with a FH winner

    You really need to learn the meaning of the word choke
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2009
    #42
  43. ksbh

    ksbh Banned

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    Spot on, Ranger! By the way, I think you meant to say 'don't seem to be able to comprehend' :)

    It's funny because I ask the Federer lovers ... why did Federer choose not to play his best tennis that day? Because he forgot to take his EPO pills? LOL!

    Federer couldn't play his best tennis because Nadal didn't allow him to! It's simple as that. You think it's a coincidence that time and again Federer fails to play his best tennis against Nadal? According to you Federer lovers, Federer must be an incredibly stupid player!

     
    #43
  44. Cyan

    Cyan Hall of Fame

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    Looks like the younger generation has figured out the so called GOAT. Del Potro beating Fed at a slam final he owned for 5 long yrs. proves it. Fed will be lucky to win Wimbledon next year. No more slams for Rogi anywhere else. Remember how glad he was the HC season was over earlier this yr. He can't win slams on HC anymore against the young guns. His only slam win will be Wimbledon next yr.
     
    #44
  45. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    yeah..Roger rarely plays his best against Nadal due to the whole match-up thing.Just like Nadal so far has been struggling against big hitters who aint afraid of his topspin..Unfortunately the big hitters are not yet consistent enough.
     
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  46. Cyan

    Cyan Hall of Fame

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    Del Potro was consistent enough to beat Rogi at the USO :lol:
     
    #46
  47. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    I know and I love Del Po but one tournament,be it a Grand Slam dosent exactly determine consistency :wink:
     
    #47
  48. Cesc Fabregas

    Cesc Fabregas Legend

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    Based on what? Federer has been schooled by Nadal at the French 05-08, Djokovic has never beaten Nadal on clay and Del Potro isn't that great on clay. Nadal is better than them all on clay.
     
    #48
  49. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    based on this:

    [​IMG]
     
    #49
  50. Cesc Fabregas

    Cesc Fabregas Legend

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    How about this?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #50

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