2014 Australian Open picks: Nadal vs. Djokovic in rematch of 2012

First round
Nadal over Tomic in 3, Kokkinakis over Sijsling in 4
Kamke over Sock in 5, Monfils over Harrison in 4
Hewitt over Seppi in 4, Haase over Young in 5
Lajovic over Pouille in 5, Nishikori over Matosevic in 5
Raonic over Gimeno-Traver in 3, Gojowczyk over Hanescu in 4
Lu over Wang in 4, Dimitrov over Klahn in 4
Dancevic over Paire in 4, Kyrgios over Becker in 4
Smyczek over Bautista Agut in 5, Del Potro over Williams in 3

Murray over Soeda in 3, Odesnik over Millot in 5
Llodra over Berrer in 5, Lopez over Devvarman in 4
Kohlschreiber over Bedene in 3, Przysiezny over Zeballos in 4
Rola over Delbonis in 4, Isner over Klizan in 3
Tsonga over Volandri in 3, Bellucci over Reister in 5
Cilic over Granollers in 4, Brands over Simon in 3
Verdasco over Zhang in 3, Stakhovsky over Gabashvili in 4
Stepanek over Kavcic in 4, Federer over Duckworth in 3

Berdych over Nedovyesov in 3, De Schepper over Wu in 5
Dzumhur over Hajek in 5, Karlovic over Dodig in 4
Anderson over Vesely in 4, Sousa over Thiem in 5
Roger-Vasselin over Berlocq in 3, Haas over Garcia-Lopez in 4
Youzhny over Struff in 4, F. Mayer over Kudla in 5
Ramos over Andujar in 5, Janowicz over Thompson in 4
Chardy over Huta Galung in 3, Dolgopolov over Berankis in 5
Johnson over Mannarino in 5, Ferrer over Gonzalez in 3

Wawrinka over Golubev in 3, Falla over Kukushkin in 5
Mahut over Ebden in 4, Pospisil over Groth in 4
Rosol over Robredo in 4, Benneteau over Carreno Busta in 5
Kubot over Davydenko in 4, Gasquet over Guez in 3
Bogomolov over Fognini in 4, Nieminen over Sela in 4
Querrey over Giraldo in 5, Gulbis over Monaco in 4
Tursunov over Russell in 3, Istomin over Baghdatis in 4
L. Mayer over Montanes in 4, Djokovic over Lacko in 3

Second round
Nadal over Kokkinakis in 3
Monfils over Kamke in 4
Hewitt over Haase in 3
Nishikori over Lajovic in 3
Raonic over Gojowczyk in 3
Dimitrov over Lu in 5
Dancevic over Kyrgios in 5
Del Potro over Smyczek in 3

Murray over Odesnik in 3
Lopez over Llodra in 4
Kohlschreiber over Przysiezny in 4
Isner over Rola in 4
Tsonga over Bellucci in 3
Cilic over Brands in 5
Verdasco over Stakhovsky in 4
Federer over Stepanek in 4

Berdych over De Schepper in 3
Karlovic over Dzumhur in 4
Sousa over Anderson in 4
Haas over Roger-Vasselin in 4
Youzhny over F. Mayer in 4
Ramos over Janowicz in 5
Chardy over Dolgopolov in 5
Ferrer over Johnson in 4

Wawrinka over Falla in 3
Mahut over Pospisil in 4
Benneteau over Rosol in 3
Gasquet over Kubot in 3
Nieminen over Bogomolov in 4
Gulbis over Querrey in 4
Tursunov over Istomin in 4
Djokovic over L. Mayer in 3

Third round
Nadal over Monfils in 3
Hewitt over Nishikori in 5
Raonic over Dimitrov in 5
Del Potro over Dancevic in 3

Murray over Lopez in 3
Kohlschreiber over Isner in 5
Tsonga over Cilic in 4
Federer over Verdasco in 4

Berdych over Karlovic in 3
Haas over Sousa in 4
Youzhny over Ramos in 4
Ferrer over Chardy in 5

Wawrinka over Mahut in 3
Gasquet over Benneteau in 3
Nieminen over Gulbis in 4
Djokovic over Tursunov in 3

Fourth round
Nadal over Hewitt in 4
Del Potro over Raonic in 4
Kohlschreiber over Murray in 5
Tsonga over Federer in 5

Haas over Berdych in 5
Youzhny over Ferrer in 4
Wawrinka over Gasquet in 4
Djokovic over Nieminen in 3

Quarterfinals
Nadal over Del Potro in 4
Tsonga over Kohlschreiber in 4

Haas over Youzhny in 5
Djokovic over Wawrinka in 4

Semifinals
Nadal over Tsonga in 4
Djokovic over Haas in 3

Final
Djokovic over Nadal in 5

Comments and your own predictions are appreciated!


Comments

  1. I didn’t have the guts to make Murray lose that early. I also have Tsonga beating Federer, but I was scared to put him in the semifinals, since I’m not even sure he will get past Cilic. So I have Murray in the semifinals. I like your Dancevic over Paire pick. I hope that happens. I have Berdych as the other semifinalist, and have the same final. I also think Nishikori will be able to handle Hewitt.

    • Ricky Dimon says:

      whom do you have playing Berdych in the QFs?

      • I got Ferrer. I think his loss to Lu was a fluke, and I don’t think Youzhny is capable of beating him over five sets. Also, I got burned by picking Haas to reach the Auckland final last week, so I was hesistant to even put him in the round of 16.

      • Ricky Dimon says:

        I’m banking on Haas simply being disinterested in Auckland. I don’t love him right now in his current form, but he’s in the dream section of the draw.

        Ferrer was not bad. Lu was incredible the entire tournament.

  2. rafaisthebest says:

    Rafael Nadal beats Novak Djokovic in 5, with the deciding point being a botched overhead Djoker smash……….

    • Ricky Dimon says:

      surely you have more confidence than that in your man to win it fair and square!

      • rafaisthebest says:

        @Ricky, sooooo………..Djoker botches an overhead smash, as is his wont, his opponent (who invariably is Saint Rafael Nadal Parera of Mallorca) wins the point as dictated by the rules of tennis, and you are saying this would be unfair and unsquare? C’mon…..

        A win is a win. It is not lack of confidence in my guy, it’s respect for Djokovic’s heart and game that he can take the GOAT to a deciding set but like all before him, he can’t help it when he comes up short in the presence of greatness…………

        Let’s see what sponge bob square pants (hint: he doesn’t fit in broom cupboards anymore!) can do about those smashes………….who knows, a pig just flew past my window!

  3. Rafa has been burying the ghosts of 2011-12 since his comeback. Miami 11 in Toronto 13, USO 11 in USO 13, AO 12 in RG 13. Now its whether Rafa can win on Djoko turf before Djoko can win on Rafa’s. A Rafa victory over the Djok can help Rafa get the Djoker slam by beating him at all 4 slams.

  4. nativenewyorker7 says:

    I am wondering who are the blind ones. They surely aren’t on this site, where there is so much support for Rafa. I made my prediction already that if Rafa gets to the final against Djoker he is not losing. Not after 2012. He wont let it get away from him again.

    But I thought that Ricky would pick Djoker. Most of the tennis analysts are going with him. That’s fine. It’s his opinion and I respect it.

    However, I don’t agree with all the picks. I don’t know that I see Tsonga getting to the semis. It’s certainly possible, but I am concerned about his inconsistency. Tignor mentioned Fed bumping up against Tsonga. He could lose to him. It is also possible that Murray won’t get to the semis. Kohls could take him out if he is on his game. Youzhny over Ferrer Not sure about that one. I honestly don’t know about Ferrer. This could be the time when it all catches up to him and he doesn’t make it to week two. Youzhny is another one who can be all over the place.

    I honestly don’t see Haas getting to the semis. I don’t think he will beat Berdy. I can see Berdy getting to the semis in place of Ferrer.

    Those are just my thoughts for now.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Tsonga will beat Fed in straights in 4th rd.
    My Qf picks:
    Rafa over Delpo in 4 tight sets
    Muzz over Tsonga in 4
    Ferru over Berdych in 5
    Wawa over Nole in 4

    Sf picks
    Wawa over Ferru in 4
    Rafa over Muzz in 5

    Final
    Rafa over Wawa in 4

  6. Tsonga will beat Fed in straights in 4th rd.
    My Qf picks:
    Rafa over Delpo in 4 tight sets
    Muzz over Tsonga in 4
    Ferru over Berdych in 5
    Wawa over Nole in 4

    Sf picks
    Wawa over Ferru in 4
    Rafa over Muzz in 5

    Final
    Rafa over Wawa in 4

    • rafaisthebest says:

      Wow, @abhirf! Those are BOLD picks my man. I am tempted to declare you a Rafan right now on the basis of those preds alone because this would be music to this Rafan’s ears if they came to pass.

      While I would love for Novak to lose early, it ain’t happening, not with his soft draw. While Stan has improved in leaps and bounds, and respect to him and his team for that, he is not going to trouble Djoker this year at AO. I just do not see it.

      Like you, I do not see Fed making it to the second week. Muzza has a good draw and I can see him getting to the semis but not beyond.

    • nativenewyorker7 says:

      abhirf,

      So you as a Fed fan don’t see him getting past Tsonga. Interesting. I actually think that I could get behind your picks more than Ricky’s. It is possible for Murray to beat Tsonga. I am not sure about Ferrer and Berdy.. I just am not sure about Ferrer right now. Of course, with Berdy you also never know. That one could go either way. One or the other should get to the semis.

      Wawa over Djoker is a bold one. If the match comes to pass, I do think it will be another tough one. But I would find it hard to go against Djoker. However, I like the fact that you are willing to take a risk with that pick.

      I think it’s Berdy or Ferrer to meet Djoker in the final. For now. It is possible that we could see Rafa meet Murray in the semis. These two haven’t played in two years. I would like to see that match.

      I still think it’s going to be Rafa vs. Djoker again the final. But I appreciated reading your picks. Nice to see you back posting. I hope that you will continue to join in the conversation now that the matches are about to begin.

    • abhi..its the boldest pick :-)..Are you serious or joking?

      Stan over Djoko in a GS..Djoko really has to have a very bad day..but we never know..he has had 2 very close losses to Djoko..he maybe due to get 1 back..its justice :-)

    • Also Tsonga beating Fed in straights I think wont happen. He surely can beat him but it may take 4 or 5. This court is fast this year, so there wont be too many baseline rallies and that will help Fed

      • @Sanju, the way Fed is playing at the moment, it doesnt matter whether it’s a fast court or slow court. He will shank all over the place to lose it as quickly as possible just like last years FO! Tsonga just needs to put the ball back in the court, Jo will also be favoured by a fast conditions (if the conditions have really become fast). I would definitely like Fed to surprise me,but as of now, this result looks much more realistic.

    • Lol if Wawa gets to the final and meets Rafa it will be all over in 3 not 4!

      • @deucy,
        Nah, I do think Wawa will take a set off Rafa. Also, I believe that Wawa will finally register his 1st win over Rafa this season. He’s due.

  7. nativenewyorker7 says:

    Sorry, I meant to say it’s Berdy or Ferrer to meet Djoker in the semis!

  8. rafaisthebest says:

    I am loving the AO 2014 already, and it hasn’t even started yet! They already have the Day 2 OOP up, hope the other Slams see and copy:

    http://www.ausopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/schedule7.html

    Fed is scheduled to stew in the mid-day heat while Rafa is first up in the night session (19h00). Maybe not such a respite for Rafa because from what I hear, temperatures don’t begin dropping until after 20h00 in Melbourne.

  9. Well, if Djoker carries forward his last years mentality, he wont be able to do anything even if he makes it to the final against Rafa. He just didnt looked like he wanted to work hard for those titles. Only after he lost the no.1 ranking, he showed that hunger and will to win. Even I’m surprised by my pick coz Nole seems unbeatable to me at Oz Open. Also, I think Wawa has made great strides and has the ability to catch him on an off day (maybe the law of averages will catch him)

    There are only 3 players who can challenge Rafa : Delpo, Muzz n Nole. Delpo n Muzz’s health status make me too circumspect to even make up a case for them. This has been Delpo’s worst GS. And Muzz will definitely make it to the SF’s but I dont think he is ready to face Rafa.

    Either way, there’s quite a lot of unpredictability this time due to the draws and form of the players.

    • vamosrafa says:

      well done to abhirf for being ‘objective’ in his picks…this is not easy to do…despite being being an avid fed fan, he has picked fed to lose in straight sets.. I appreciate this objectivity,which is often lacking in so many die hard fed fans, rafa fans, nole fans ..

  10. nativenewyorker7 says:

    @abhirf,

    I appreciate you explaining a bit more of the reasoning for your picks. I give you credit for being willing to take the risk of picking Wawa. I wonder if he can find that extra something that can put him over the top. He certainly is capable of giving Djoker a fight. He may be the only one who can in his part of the draw.

    I am debating whether Murray can make it to the semis. I know that Tignor did predict that he would get there. I do think that his early round matches are doable and that could give him time to get into some decent form. I am not ruling it out at all at this point. I think Rafa would be too tough for him at this stage.

    I am really anxious to see how everyone looks in their early round matches.

    • If Rafa Muzz get to the semis..do we really see a 5 setter? I mean if Muzz is not ready really and match hardened..will it go to 5?

      • I do feel Muzz can do it. This has arguably been his best slam. He can have decent match practice in his battle till Qf’s. I do believe in him to give it a tough fight.

  11. rafaisthebest says:

    Here’s Tignor articulating very well the apparent discrepancies in the players’ take on the speed of the courts:

    http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/01/surface-matter/50217/

    Rafa is right when he says the courts have been quickened because he did not play last year when the incremental change was made. Muzza and Djokovic are right when they say they are playing the same as last year and Fed is …….well, Fed.

    “First, Nadal didn’t play in Melbourne in 2013. Last year Federer said basically the same thing about the courts here, that they were a little bit faster than they had been in 2012, especially Laver. Put two years of incremental increase together and the speed may have been a surprise to Rafa.”

    I also like Tiggy’s opinion, which meshes with Rafa, that Oz Open courts should not be sped up:

    “Speeding up the courts isn’t going to turn any current pro into a serve-and-volleyer overnight, but tennis should still do it at some of its tournaments. There’s no question that the sport, both men’s and women’s versions, could use more stylistic variety; the next Murray-like talent should feel that he needs to use all of his all-court skills to win. But the Aussie Open isn’t the place to do it. It has established itself as a home to medium-slow hard courts, and naysayers to the contrary, those courts have been producing brilliant tennis for years. The time to speed things up is at the end of the year, during the U.S. hard-court and indoor seasons. Faster-paced tennis is the tradition there, one that should be brought back.”

    Totally agree with you, Tiggy.

  12. rafaisthebest says:

    I love how Kevin Mitchell begins by saying Rafa has the toughest draw and concludes by saying he will win:

    ” Rafael Nadal given toughest of draws for Melbourne Park
    After a fortnight’s struggle, I expect Nadal will be the one picking up the winner’s cheque for $2,650,000, and Djokovic settling for half that amount after another memorable final.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/jan/11/australian-open-rafael-nadal-bernard-tomic

    #Contrarian
    #Vamos

  13. rafaisthebest says:

    RT @SI_BTBaseline: “We’ve seen ice towels, but #AusOpen staff are prepping a good number of ice vests for players to wear on changeovers to stay cool.”

    • vamosrafa says:

      this is a cool idea !

    • Creating those vests also leads me to believe the organizers will do everything possible to not have to close the roof. An article I read said that many factors are taken into account before deciding to close it, not just temperature. Humidity, wind, cloud cover, and a host of other factors are considered. It could be 108 degrees, but if there’s cloud cover protecting players from the direct glare of the sun, they would still leave it open. So, my hope is that conditions will be as miserable as possible, but not miserable enough to close the roof. No one “enjoys the suffering” more than Rafa.

  14. rafaisthebest says:

    RT @SI_BTBaseline: “Gilles Simon was on crutches yesterday but he’s still in the draw. @lequipe reports he’ll test the ankle Monday. #ausopen”

    Fool he…………

  15. Fishlips taking a set off Fed (0-16 last 16, last won a set in 2008), Ramos over JJ and Dancevic to the 3rd round???

    Youzhny over Ferru???

    #BirdFluSeason

  16. On vb they were discussing the fact that Rafa did not play at the AO last year and that was why he thought that the courts were do fast, whereas other players who were there last year didn’t really see a difference. I brought it up somewhere here on another topic thread.

    They were also discussing the balls and how they bounce on this surface. We know that high bouncing balls help Rafa’s game. I am not sure if anyone there knew how the balls were bouncing. That should be part of the conversation, since it also has some significance.

    I also hope that they make an effort not to close the roof, as Jpacnw said. The idea of ice vests seems like a good one.

    I can’t wait to see Rafa’s first match. I hope the time difference won’t make it too crazy. I know that ESPN’s coverage today will start at 4:00 pm through to midnight.

  17. NNY7: Rafa’s first match is 7pm local time Tuesday in Rod Laver arena. It’s a 17 hour difference between Melbourne and west coast USA. So that means it’ll be midnight Mon Nite/Tues a.m. for you and me. Novak’s match is at midnight tonite.

    • nativenewyorker7 says:

      Jpacnw,

      Thanks so much for the time conversion. I usually go to vb to get it because they will have it at the top of their forum page. That’s definitely doable for me. I thought it was a 20 hour difference between Melbourne and west coast USA. So it’s a bit less than I thought.

      I would like to check out Djoker’s match, too.

      So we are in the same time zone! We can struggle to get through this together!

      Thanks again for the update! Now I get to see Rafa play Tomic. I hope that they don’t go jumping all over the place to cover other matches.

  18. ESPN2 will be also be live at midnight with those matches. The tennis channel is also showing some matches, but mostly it’ll be ESPN2.

    • nativenewyorker7 says:

      So I should go first to ESPN? I didn’t see anything scheduled on the tennis channel for today. Somehow the two channels seem to manage to cover the matches. I assume that ESPN has priority because they are the main channel provider.

      Again, I appreciate all the info! :)

      • Yes, ESPN2 first. They’re the primary carrier for the tournament, unless of course the Tennis Channel is showing a match you’d rather see instead or they’re showing the same match, but you like TC’s commentators better. TC’s coverage will be more of a hodgepodge of live matches, replays, highlights, interviews, and so on.

      • Ricky Dimon says:

        TC’s commentators are way worse

  19. No one should waste time watching Djokovic’s matches till the Quarters. Unless you want to see some overmatched player being thrashed with bagels and breadsticks.
    Stan is overhyped.. he may challenge Djoker unlike the sacrificial victims of earlier rounds but beat Djoker? No chance. Unless Djoker is ill or injured.

  20. I just happened to have the Tennis Channel on in the background and they’re showing last year’s AO final between Novak and Andy. Martina Navratilova, one of the commentators, was just mentioning in that broadcast that “this year these courts are playing faster than previous years.” So, perhaps they did speed it up last year and Rafa, of course, wasn’t there to notice.

  21. rafaisthebest says:

    I once held Howard Bryant in high esteem, not any more going by this rubbish article he just wrote:

    http://espn.go.com/tennis/aus14/story/_/id/10268064/australian-open-novak-djokovic-needs-grand-slams-secure-legacy

    “He is the world’s second-ranked player but arguably the best pure tennis player in the world, jousting for tennis superiority with Rafael Nadal.

    Djokovic may rightly feel he is the better player.”

    Yep. Is he Ernest Gulbis in disguise? I have 2 stats for you Mr Bryant: 13-6 and H2H (whatever it is). Sir, the better player has a positive H2H and more Slams.

    “He’s played in 10 of the past 13 Grand Slam finals but has only won two of the past eight, the past two Australian Opens. ”

    Hmmmm…….

    “In the two years from the 2011 to 2013 US Opens, Djokovic played 10 five-set Grand Slam matches. By comparison, Nadal has played 15 such matches in his entire 11-year career”

    Hmmmmm…….and you still say Djoker is the better player?

    “Nadal seems to have fallen off after a historic 2013 season, having been pushed on hard courts since winning the US Open and losing to David Ferrer, Juan Martin del Potro and Djokovic twice.”

    Clutching at straws, much?

    “At Roland Garros, Djokovic lost just enough focus while up a break in the fifth to allow Nadal to escape. Djokovic accidentally touched the net following through on a smash, then as the match grew tighter, he complained about the watering of the court. Nadal did not blink and stole the match.”

    Careful Mr. Bryant, you are beginning to sound rather shrill………….yep, Rafa stole the RG match using the net as his weapon…………sigh.

    Can someone explain to me why it is okay for Djokovic to further his Slam count at one Slam (AO) but it’s a “sin” for Rafa to do so (RG)?

    Also, last time a certain GOAT was playing to equal Pete Sampras’s 14 Slams it was all over the sports pages. Rafa is attempting to do the same but narry a mention from any of the sports journals. What’s up, is 14 not a magic number anymore?

    • OMG, definitely not gonna read that article. What is up with the term “pure” ? What is that supposed to mean? Other tennis players are tainted somehow, not pure? Most ridiculous term about an athlete of any sport and it has been used about Federer as well.

  22. That reminds of the article in Canada’s National Post I chanced upon yesterday:

    Australian Open 2014: Five things to know about the first Grand Slam of the tennis season

    http://sports.nationalpost.com/2014/01/10/australian-open-2014-five-things-to-know-about-the-first-grand-slam-of-the-tennis-season/

    Surely one of those five things is that the current number one player. who had as good a season as just about anyone ever had, never mind after a 7 month major injury break, has a very solid chance at number 14, a second career slam, and a Novak slam, and is being touted so by at least some of the knowledgeable commentators.

    Nope.

    Rafa is mentioned just once in that article, as the player Novak won the no 1 position to on Oct. 7. (That is not even the correct date, #Does it?).

    But interestingle the article does mention that:

    Pete Sampras, a 14-time Grand Slam winner, will be at the tournament for ceremonies to mark the first of his two Australian Open titles 20 years ago; Six-time major winner Boris Becker, making his first visit to Australia in 15 years, arrives as Novak Djokovic’s new coach.

    I guess the male single circuit is all about Novak this AO and in 2014. No one else has a chance or is worth mentioning.

  23. ^won to … meant to be: lost to
    *interestingle meant to be: interestingly

  24. snowdevil says:

    Since there are no rafa haters here, people need to find other websites to come back and complain about them I guess?

    The guy states what he thinks Djokovic needs to do to take his place among greats like Sampras, Federer, and Nadal. So what?

    • rafaisthebest says:

      Not our fault there are no Rafa haters here, it’s a free blog. They are more than welcome.

    • rafaisthebest says:

      If you notice, Bryant does not just state what he thinks Novak needs to do to take his place among the greats, he trots out the usual fandom nonsense (of which he is entitled to) such as Rafa stole RG 2014, something I happen to think is not true and point out (as I am entitled to do).

      Rafa did not steal RG 2014, he won it fair and square. Of course haters will say the former, whatever makes them feel good…………

      • Ricky Dimon says:

        let’s not be TOO critical of Bryant. He is a fan of the Grandstand!

      • rafaisthebest says:

        I do I keep referring to RG2014? It hasn’t happened yet. Hmmmm, my subconscious telling me something……

  25. Ricky Dimon says:
  26. rafaisthebest says:

    Hahaha, Ricky! Good if Mr. Bryant is a Tenngrand fan because he will read my “take down” and respond! Seriously though, he is one of the few ESPN writers whose articles I chase so I was especially disappointed with his latest offering.

  27. nadline28 says:

    Even before I read Bryant’s article, I came to the conclusion that writers are desperate for Djokovic to justify being called an elite. His resume is very sparse at the moment and does not entitle him to be mentioned in the same sentence and Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. They are hoping against hope that he will soon.

    The title of the article is:
    Djokovic must get busy at majors
    Already one of the top players ever, he needs Grand Slams to be truly elite

    He is far from being one of the top players ever. He’s only had one good year and trails both Rafa and Roger in their h2h. He barely pips Murray at 11-8. Bryant admits that he is not truly elite.

    The following excerpts confirm my take on the constant effort to big up of Djokovic:

    Bryant:
    “Since a breakout 2011 season in which he won three of four majors, Djokovic has stalled somewhat, partly because he is still surrounded by great players.

    He’s played in 10 of the past 13 Grand Slam finals but has only won two of the past eight, the past two Australian Opens. For immortality, he knows he must reach at least double digits, and he may have to begin winning more than one major per year.
    Another reason is how hard Djokovic works on the court. Part of his legend is built around stirring comebacks from the edge of elimination, ………….

    In Flushing Meadows, in the second set and midway through the third, it appeared that Djokovic had returned to his pattern of pushing Nadal back and controlling space. Nadal rose, though, taking over late in the third, then destroying Djokovic 6-1 in the fourth to win the title.

    As he enters a fourth career title defence in Melbourne, Djokovic will be playing not only the current field but also for a larger slice of history, one his talent demands and that in many ways he has already earned. But that will only be cemented with several more Grand Slam trophies.”

    He hasn’t already earned a greater slice in history, he has to win a lot, lot more!!!!!!!

    • rafaisthebest says:

      What I find amusing is Bryant is exhorting Djokovic to win MORE Australian open trophies to claim his place in the pantheon of greats. I hope he will soon write an article exhorting Rafa to win more RG trophies to cement his claim to GOATness.

  28. nadline28 says:

    Some commentators feel that someone owes Djokovic his place in history………nobody owes anybody anything. He has to beat the best constantly, year after year, not just in one fluke year when he was using the cvac chamber to boost his recovery. He has to win constantly on a level playing field.

    In 2012, he ended the year as #1 because luckily for him he only had Murray and Federer to contend with, Rafa wasn’t there for half of the year.

    Djokovic will never win the Olympic Gold Medal, (and it’s not for the want of trying. He didn’t even get a medal in 2012 and got a bronze in 2008)…………….you can take that to the bank.

    • vamosrafa says:

      Nadline, Although I agree Djokovic is not close to the league Nadal and Federer are in , I would rate djokovic much higher than that…

      • vamosrafa says:

        and come onnn ! “He has to beat the best constantly, year after year, not just in one fluke year when he was using the cvac chamber to boost his recovery”.

        That’s unfair ! can’t discount one of the greatest years ever in tennis like that…

      • Vamosrafa, rate Djoker much higher than what?

  29. nativenewyorker7 says:

    I really don’t know what to say when Djoker’s great year is chalked up to a cvac chamber. Just unbelievable.

    I agree that Djoker is not in Rafa and Fed’s league. But I do think that he has put himself on the map in the last few years. It can’t just be written off as a fluke.

    It’s like when some Fed fans accuse Rafa of doping or faking injuries to try to demean his achievements. That’s beyond offensive. It’s also offensive to think that Djoker’s 2011 can be trashed.

    Suffice to say, I do not agree.

    • vamosrafa says:

      you can have a fluke match…you can have a fluke tournament may be ..but a fluke year? lol..a year in which your first loss occurs in the semi finals of the french…a year in which you utterly dominate the giants of tennis (Federer and Nadal)…

      it is also true that djokovic has had to contend with two of the best of all time ever since he has started playing outstanding tennis…

      I would surely rate him much higher…

  30. vamosrafa says:

    Meanwhile, Lacko is giving Djokovic a match ! it has been tough for djokovic so far…

  31. Rod laver arena is playing insanely fast. Average strokes in rallies for lacko djokovic match is 2…

    This is djokovic’s IDEAL surface, plays like a fast indoor hardcourt.

  32. rafaisthebest says:

    “The spectators want a bit of rallying, a bit of tactics. People don’t go to Barcelona’s stadium to watch Lionel Messi taking penalties,” Toni Nadal was quoted as saying in Spanish sports daily As.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/13/us-tennis-open-court-toni-idUSBREA0C0D220140113

    But how many people understand the intricacies of the beautiful game enough to appreciate it, Uncle T?

    Not to worry, as soon as Rafa’s playing days are over they will slow down the courts……..

  33. I still say it was a fluke year of dominating tennis. He has not been able to repeat it and the only thing that has changed is that someone said the cvac chamber, though not banned, is not in the spirit of the sport, so he stopped using it. Even if that wasn’t the reason for him not repeating his great 2011 season, he has not been able repeated it. To me that makes it a fluke.

    Vamos Rafa

  34. Everyone is basing their assessment of Djoker on 2011, that’s history. It’s just one year in his whole career, he has not been able to repeat it, he’s only won 2 slams since then. Rafa is always judged on his last loss, irrespective of all he’s done in the past. They should all be judged by the same standards.

  35. vamosrafa says:

    nobody is comparing him to rafa, at least I am not doing it. Rafa is one of the greatest ever so a comparison his legacy should not be the only standard to appraise djokovic,

    Nadline, rafa has not been able to win 3 slams in a year other than 2010. So was 2010 a fluke year? Ah this even sounds crappy…

    If a fed fan comes out and days Federer has won three 3 slams in 3 diff years while rafa has done it once so it was a fluke for rafa as he has not been able to replicate it ! that would be ridiculous ! wouldn’t it be? and you seriously believe it was the Cvac Pod that enabled him to dominate 2011???

    And I am certainly not basing my verdict on djokovic just on 2011. He finished 2012 as no.1 and he is displaying incredible consistency in slams. He reached his 14th consecutive G.S semi final last year and looks poised to make it 15. He is the only player who can match federer’s streak of 23 (which many thought would stand the test of time).

    Its okay to support rafa everytime but why is it necessary to demean the achievements of others. I mean , the guy is clearly not in rafa’s league in terms of legacy but he is an all-time great already in my view.

  36. nadline28 says:

    Why do you say I’m demeaning Djokovic. I was responding to the Bryant article on ESPN. Yes, I do believe that the egg gave him an advantage. A lot of people put Djokovic above Rafa purely because he dominated in 2011. That was in 2011, they should move on.

    • vamosrafa says:

      As NNY said, you will very likely get doping accuisations on rafa in response to that Pod thing. I do not think many people rate djokovic above rafa in terms of legacy. However, there are people who might rate him as the one having an edge AT THE MOMENT. While rafa is no.1 and he dominated 2013, he is the king at the moment. But, djokovic is very much with him in the current scheme of things.

      Djokovic was stopped by Fed and rafa at USO and RG respectively between 2007-2009. Novak was playing excellent tennis but he was contending with the greatest on clay and the most successful player ever on hard courts. He finally overcame a potential GOAT fed in USO 2010 before being denied by another potential GOAT in the final. So, he was already making huge strides.

      Why don’y you look it from the perspective that djokovic was losing matches pre-2011 just because of poor physical conditioning. We all know how much more consistent and dangerous he was become on all surfaces since overcoming physical issues.

      I have no doubts djokovic is a much bigger champion .

      Bryant’s article clearly has parts where he is showing bias, but to be honest, so are your posts above ! haha… I’m say it again: Djokovic cannot be compared to Rafa …rafa’s just too damn big a legend..simple…BUT, novak is an all-time great and there is MUCH more about him than 2011 alone.

      Soon he will be surpassing Agassi’s mark of masters 1000s and only two men will be ahead of him in that category: Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. I have plenty of respect for the serb’s accomplishments…

      With djokovic given his due share of respect, here’s to hoping my man lifts his 14th slam in two weeks time. VAMOSSS

      • rafaisthebest says:

        “Bryant’s article clearly has parts where he is showing bias, but to be honest, so are your posts above !”

        @vamosrafa, herein lies the rub. If I may, I agree with you that @nadline’s posts show bias towards Rafa but that is to be expected, no? @nadline is a Rafa fan, does not pretend to be objective in that respect. She has honestly and clearly stated that she is a Rafa fan.

        You correctly (in my view) point out that Bryant shows bias in his article for Novak/against Rafa so what is he, a Novak fan or an objective sports journalist?

        This is my problem with Bryant’s article and tbh a lot of sports journos’ articles out there. These people are just are like us fans and yet we are supposed to put them on this “objective” pedestal so when we “out” fans respond to them we are told, “or no, you are not being objective!” Excuse me? This is dishonest!

        I honestly believe all journalists should be required to state their favourites and this be clearly stated in their articles. This way, we can have honest discussions without these fans.

      • vamosrafa says:

        well, I don’t have any disagreements with you here ! I fully agree with this … This can be quite annoying. It is quite common too ! yup

        However, there are SOME objective writers too… Ricky is one of them ! I know he is a fan of a great player but in his writings, you can never spot any bias. hence, plenty of respect for his writing.

      • Ricky Dimon says:

        what does “he is a fan of a great player” mean???

      • vamosrafa says:

        RITB,but I do think it can be done objectively even when you are an ardent fan. Trust me, when I am writing a piece for The Grandstand, I throw out my rafa-bias out of the window. If you come across any bias in the articles I write here, do point it..I am the most fanatic of rafa fans here but when I am writing I feel it is mandatory not to let that bias affect my writing. I cannot guarantee that my fanaticism for rafa 100% does not affect my writing ,but I am not even close to being a rafa fan when writing.

        I don’y have much writing experience but these journalists have plenty of it and yet they can’t be professional. It’s just not write to pretend you are an objective journalist when its clear you are biased in every article you write.

      • vamosrafa says:

        right ** second last line

  37. nadline28 says:

    Bryant said that even though Rafa is #1 and Djoko is #2, Djoko is the better player; I’m just disagreeing with him. I don’t care whether people think it’s wrong to say what I think or not,

    • vamosrafa says:

      haha…I am not even referring to Bryant’s claim. You were actually talking about djokovic’s status as a tennis player and I responded to that! Don’t have anything to do with bryant’s article.

      by the way, when comparing two players on a current basis, it is usually not relevant to consider whole career stats. Saying that rafa is better than djokovic AT THE MOMENT on the basis that he has 13 slams to djokovic’s six and he leads the head to head 22-17, does not really make sense I think. From that perspective, federer has 17 slams so very very hard to look past him from that perspective.

      The more relevant thing to do is looking at the current rankings and how they have recently fared against each other,esp on big stages . I believe rafa DOES hold the edge even from this criteria so yea, bryant’s claim is weird and biased.

      • nadline28 says:

        Wel, I was responding to Bryant’s article. Why would I, out of the blue, for no reason, start talking about Djokovic as a player?

  38. rafaisthebest says:

    @vamosrafa, the point I was making is not so much that all sports journalists are not objective but rather that fans, by definition, cannot be expected to be objective.

  39. rafaisthebest says:

    “Saying that rafa is better than djokovic AT THE MOMENT on the basis that he has 13 slams to djokovic’s six and he leads the head to head 22-17, does not really make sense I think.”

    Isn’t this the argument put forward by most Fedfans to buttress their Fed-is-GOAT contention? They even air-brush out the inconvenient H2H to make the point stick! The point is, the argument may not make sense to you but it sure makes sense to others………………

  40. rafaisthebest says:

    vamosrafa says:
    January 13, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    We all have our biases, we are human. That is the starting point I think. After that, some of us become writers, bloggers, professional journalists etc. while some of us just become well, fans.

    You clearly have a passion for writing and you do that very well as shown by the magnificent blogs you write for us here at Tenngrand. The same goes for Ricky and others. I can only speak for myself: I enjoy your writing, your analyses and I know you are a Rafan and it is clear in your writings/analyses that you separate your fandom from your blogs. That is what separates you from me and other mere fans. Thank you for this.

    You, and other writers out there, have that gift, whether by training, intuition or design or all of the above. I don’t. I am just a fan, a Rafan. I am quite happy in that little box of mine and have no interest in being or pretending to be objecting!

    All I am saying is: please don’t judge me (a mere fan) by your “writer’s standard”. If you look at it like that you will probably see that @nadline is not disrespecting Djokovic’s accomplishments but rather standing up to those who do not respect Rafa’s accomplishments, who in this instance happened to be Mr Bryant! In her inimitable fan-girl way of course………….

    • rafaisthebest says:

      ^^sentence in above should read, “……have no interest in being or pretending to be objective!”

    • vamosrafa says:

      Thanks you for the compliments RITB, much appreciated :)

      I can’t judge you on something which I myself have done so relentlessly over the yearslol. I don’t think anyone has defended rafa more than I have done on tennistalk when those fed-retards like torres9, maxi, madmax etc etc were present in abundance. I have done plenty of that myself :) and I LIKE rafa fans standing up to defend their man… Nadline has been loyally defending rafa so she has been doing a great job in this regard..

      However, I don’t think we need to call other player’s achievements flukes just to punctuate rafa’s superiority. Don’t you think rafa has earned so much himself which we can use to prove his superiority? I certainly think so ! Anyway, that is what I think…Rafa can easily be defended without calling another great player’s achievements a fluke and completely overlooking that the other player himself is a great champion but yeah not in rafa’s league ..

      • nativenewyorker7 says:

        vamosrafa,

        I see that this discussion has continued. I said to you in a previous post that I appreciated your respect for the differing opinions of others. I said that I value it very much.

        I well remember what we went through on TT with the trolls. They didn’t just attack Rafa, they attacked his fans in vitriolic ways. But now they are not here and yet look at what happens.

        I will stand up for Rafa no matter what. But I will not do it at the expense of his rivals. I don’t get bringing up someone who happens to write something indicating that he thinks Djoker is a better player than Rafa. So what? People are entitled to their opinions. Not everyone is going to think the same. My position is clear – I do not think that Djoker is in Rafa or Fed’s league. But I am not going to freak out because someone else thinks differently. If this guy Bryant wants to think that Djoker is the better player, then he can think it. I don’t see it as my problem. I don’t go along with censorship. Others are free to have their opinions and I am free to disagree.

        This would be a very boring place if everyone agreed.

      • vamosrafa says:

        well said NNY ! agree with you :)

  41. vamosrafa says:

    no, RITB… it is obviously relevant to compare slam count ,head to head etc when comparing the legacies of two players and evaluating them in the light of GOAT-ness. Which fed fan is saying that fed is the most superior player CURRENTLY on the basis that he has 17 slams ?? At the moment, even Murray and Del Potro are superior to Fed ! so the 17-slam thing is hardly relevant when the player has had such a bad year in 2013 and when its clear his rivals have an upper hand on him.

    It when comparing the whole careers or status as tennis players that one should look at the total slam count and career head to head. the current scenario can be far better assessed with other factors that take care of recency.

    • rafaisthebest says:

      Thanks @vamosrafa, I get the difference now……….your distinction makes sense. And I agree current is different from all time. But even with that definition, I have a hard time agreeing with other’s perception that Djokovic is better that Rafa currently, unless one is only looking at the result of their last meeting.

      • vamosrafa says:

        yup…I would rate rafa as the superior player even on a current basis ! This is why I have been saying that it is amazing why everyone is saying Novak is the clear favourite to end the year at no.1 ! Rafa owned him in slams..Rafa was the YEN1 without playing OZ open so actually he is the one who should be favored… Too much unnecessary emphasis on post USO results…

        Anyway,lets wait for rafa’s racket to do all the talking on the court :D

  42. rafaisthebest says:

    This cannot be correct surely? They are now enforcing the ATP time violation rule………..on WTA matches??? In any case, why are ATP rules being applied at ITF tournaments, doesn’t the ITF have it’s own rules?

    RT @vrcsports: “Hold up. Leanne White just explained a “new time violation rule for the slams” to Ana & Kiki, which is the ATP rule. WHAT? #newstome”

    #Disturbing

  43. nadline28 says:

    I say Djokovic’s magnificent 2011 year was a one off, they now make him the favourite for everything based on that one year. Even when he loses, they come up with x-number of excuses and a lot of people claim he was robbed of the FO title because he had a break in the 5th set and ran into the net, refusing to acknowledge that Rafa served for the match in the 4th set.

    You may not think Djokovic’s 2011 bonanza was a fluke, but I do. Until he repeats it with all the top players on board for the whole season, it will continue to be a fluke for me.

    • Ricky Dimon says:

      one off?

      he dominated 2011, finished No. 1 in 2012, and was basically one net touch away from finishing No. 1 in 2013. He has also won 24 matches in a row.

      So there are a lot of reasons why he is the favorite.

    • Yo nadline, I’m really happy for you an Imma let you finish but Nole had the best season OF ALL TIME!!!!

      But seriously, c’mon Ricky, really? Close to 100%? Really?

      If he didn’t touch the net, it would have only given him a break point.

      The difference between the fourth and fifth set was that Rafa’s back wasn’t pushed to the wall.

      You could see in Rafa’s body language that he wasn’t going to lose that match.

      #2020Hindsight

      • Ricky Dimon says:

        break point? Djokovic was SERVING.

        #DoYou

      • Nevermind.

        #BrainFart

      • rafaisthebest says:

        Boys, boys, let’s get the FACTS right, shall we?

        http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2013/06/23/Roland-Garros-Friday2-Djokovic-Nadal.aspx

        “In an extraordinary eighth game, when Djokovic fought back from 0/30, 30/40 and a second break point, he recovered. But, incredibly, at the third deuce, when he struck a smash winner, Djokovic lost his balance and fell into the net. Because the shot – going for a winner – had not yet bounced twice, Nadal earned the break point. Djokovic saved it, but two points later hit a forehand into the net to let Nadal back in the match at 4-4. Nadal, somehow, found a way to stay in contention and won his third straight game with a hold to 15. ”

        Djokovic did not collide with the net, the net collided with him…………….

  44. nadline28 says:

    Rafa’s domination in 2010 wasn’t a fluke because it wasn’t a one off. He dominated in 2008 and 2013.

    • vamosrafa says:

      nadline, rafa did not win three slams in 2008/2013. Novak did finish 2012 as no.1 so 2011 was backed up pretty well I guess. These type of arguments won’t take you anywhere. I am sure you will find plenty of haters/fedtards who will come up and say that rafa’s 2008 dominance was because of Fed’s Mono ! similarly, they will say rafa’s 2013 run on hard courts was a FLUKE ( tennis-x.com is an example ) ! they will say that Murray was absent, djokovic was temporarily off and fed is already declining !! so these are just examples of bullshit arguments put forward by fedtards and some djo fans…

      THe point is that djokovic did have an incredible 2011 (one of the best years ever). He ended 2012 as no.1 as called 2012 as even bigger success for other reasons .. Rafa has,however, much more than what djokovic has . SO, why not use those achievements to dismiss the claims of Bryants and Bodos rather than demeaning other’s achievement. THis is my viewpoint of course, you have your own and that’s fine :)

      • vamosrafa says:

        and lets be real, we all know its near impossible to DOMINATE the whole season repeatedly when you are surrounded by GOATs lol…

        I am not sure what bryant means when he says Djo is better..is he referring to djokovic as CURRENTLY better ? I reckon he does not mean that djokovic is a better/bigger player than rafa overall. As discussed with RITB above, being the best player currently is way diff than being the best player overall.

        If Bryant did mean djo is the best on current basis (which is still odd as djo is no.2 and got owned by rafa in slams last year), he is not alone ! because MOST experts have predicted djo to end 2014 as YEN1 ! you think all those experts think djo is the better player overall? Don;y think so…i guess they are implying they feel djo will have a slight edge in the current scheme of things ! If that does happen , it would not be shocking..because the truth is that both are so closely matched AT THE MOMENT. so 2011 is not even really relevant here..

      • nadline28 says:

        I still think 2011 was a fluke. I’m not saying it wasn’t an outstanding year, I’m just saying that shouldn’t hold him up as favourite for everything under the sun because it was a one off. That’s my opinion.

  45. This guy doesn’t even understand how the rankings work. Says Rafa has a lock on 2014 YE #1.

    “Rafael Nadal will end the season ranked No. 1

    This isn’t to say he will be the best player in 2014. But Rafa simply has very few points to lose (with the exception of Indian Wells) until the clay season begins. And Novak Djokovic is the defending Aussie champ and played a full schedule last year. Plus, Nadal lost his Wimbledon opener, and with even a modicum of success in 2014, he’ll pile on more points. Even if Djokovic outplays Nadal for the entire season, he’s not going to make much of a move in the rankings until the summer hard-court season, and by then, it might be too late.”

    http://espn.go.com/blog/espntennis/post/_/id/1083/ten-2014-predictions-we-know-wont-go-wrong

    • rafaisthebest says:

      Hahaha! Thank you for pointing out the ignorance @hawkeye63. It is clear these journos’s interpretation of “best player” is not the standard interpretation. Maybe they have an illusive formula much like the ITF?

      How else to explain a statement like, “Rafael Nadal will end the season ranked No. 1. This isn’t to say he will be the best player in 2014.”

      Huh?

      Let’s re-visit what Bryant said about Novak, “He is the world’s second-ranked player but arguably the best pure tennis player in the world, jousting for tennis superiority with Rafael Nadal.

      Djokovic may rightly feel he is the better player. According to stats guru Greg Sharko at the ATP, Djokovic is serving better than ever statistically. He is fourth in service games held and is second in service breaks.”

      So, according to these people, being #1 does not mean one is the best player……what?
      Which is confusing because when Djokovic was ranked #1, all commies ceased referring to him by his name instead simply calling him the world’s best player.

      Djokovic may feel he is the better player on what basis? Serving stats? Why doesn’t he show us the exact break-down of those Sharko stats?

      • nadline28 says:

        Careful ritb, vamosrafa and NNY will be on your back soon.

        If service games held and service breaks are how the best player is determined, then why don’t they just use the stats. Djokovic will not even be ranked #2 on that basis. They are just desperate for him to consolidate his 2011 year. That’s all I’m saying. I know vamosrafa doesn’t agree that that year alone doesn’t mean everything.

      • vamosrafa says:

        nadline, haha…i don’t have be on someone’s back. I have tried to explain my point with logic. I am not the one who is basing his verdict on service breaks and services games held.. I talked about bigger things… and yes, djokovic is CERTAINLY not about 2011 only… its simple ! I hope he does not win a single slam from here ,esp at the cost of rafa..but I cannot deny he is a big champion…

        I think the haters would have dealt with this point of yours in a better manner lol. ..their retarded points like : rafa doped before USO 2010, rafa dominated 2008 becoz fed had mono…rafa dominated 2013 because muzz was not there ,fed on a serious decline and djo on a downward trail… sean randell called rafa’s hard court run a ‘fluke’ ! RIDICULOUS! but that’s also how others view things…

  46. Haas in the semis??????

    Ah……Hahahahahahahahahahahaha

    Ricky. You should put up a link to the AO draw pool you started. I can’t find it anywheres.

  47. Ricky Dimon says:

    didn’t see this comment until now (Marky at 9:47 AM on this thread):

    “Rod laver arena is playing insanely fast. Average strokes in rallies for lacko djokovic match is 2…

    This is djokovic’s IDEAL surface, plays like a fast indoor hardcourt.”

    any others see this?

    • rafaisthebest says:

      Sigh………………
      This is a stitch up. This is all a conspiracy to hamstring Rafa. Not only do they rig the draw in Djokovic’s favour, they tailor-make the court surface to suit him and oh, they schedule the play so he has 2 days off before the final.

      Lucky bastard!

      #BlueEyedBoy

      What did Rafa ever do to these types?

  48. rafaisthebest says:

    Hahaha, @nadline! I couldn’t care less. People are free to jump on my back, throat, arms whatever if they violently disagree with me. I honestly do not mind. I will simply argue my case, with “colm”, Inshallah!

    I do not have an axe to grind, nor am I scared of anybody/anything. I am entitled to my point of view, just like everybody else. Happy to have a civil exchange with anybody. Just had one with @vamosrafa above, no?

    Cheers……

    • good to hear that RITB :) I too do not have any problems with arguing on tennis topics. likewise, i will also simply argue for my cae Insha Allah :)

    • and ‘violently’ is too strong a word lol

      • rafaisthebest says:

        @vamosrafa, my dear fellow, you are from Pakistan, right? British colonial history, like me? I would therefore think you would get my Brit humor just like that! Evidently not this time, but I live in hope!

        To “argue violently” is a metaphor, very common in everyday spoken English (of the British variety). Argument is war is a classic example of a conceptual metaphor that structures the way people think and talk about arguments and debates.

        So, when I used the adverb “violently” I was speaking metaphorically, not literally.

        I hope this helps.

        Peace.

      • vamosrafa says:

        haha….don’t think I was serious when mentioning that violent thing. Anyway, all is good

  49. rafaisthebest says:

    http://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2014/jan/13/australian-open-novak-djokovic-rafael-nadal

    “Djokovic is relaxed, fit and fresh, having played no serious tennis for six weeks, and is unbeaten since winning the US Open when, coincidentally or not, he proposed to his long-time girlfriend, Jelena Ristic.”

    Ehmmmm, last time I checked, Rafael Nadal won the US Open, not Djokovic. Unless Djokovic proposed to his girlfriend in 2011…………….

    Jesus, these people…………………

  50. nativenewyorker7 says:

    “Careful ritb, vamosrafa and NNY will be on your back soon.”

    This is really unfortunate. I wasn’t even here participating in this discussion, yet I have to be named. I don’t like anyone speaking for me. What I say and how and when I say it, is up to me. I didn’t start this discussion.

    Then there is the need to respond to a comment from someone that really was made not in the spirit of having a real discussion. People don’t have to start picking sides.

    I also don’t see anyone “violently” disagreeing with anyone. A strange choice of words. I see that being the kind of thing that we had to deal with on TT with the trolls. It’s certainly not the case here.

  51. rafaisthebest says:

    Ronaldo wins the FIFA 2014 Ballon d’or! Well deserved, Rafa will be pleased.

    Make Real proud, Rafa, win AO 2014!

    Vamos!!

  52. vamosrafa I do not agree with you that Rafa dominated only in 2010. Do you mean to say domination means 3 slams and yen. 1? Multiple slams and no. 1 seems more reasonable. Rafa dominated in 2008. Not only did he thrash the GOAT at RG, he beat him on the GOAT’s best surface i.e. grass, snatched the no. 1 ranking and won the Olympics.
    Again in 2013, Rafa dominated the season from almost the moment he came and won 2 slams, 5 Masters and YEN 1.
    If you say he did not dominate because he did not dominate the Fall season then by the same argument Djokovic did not dominate in 2011 ( supposed to be one of the greatest tennis seasons ever) because he fizzled out in the fall. Everyone thought it did not in any way detract from his season.
    In 2012 Djokoic won only 1 slam and was YEN 1 but certainly did not seem invincible in slams or Masters.
    Rafa has 3 multiple slam years with yen 1. Djokoer has just ONE multiple slam year.
    I think in your attempt to be objective you are being unfair to Rafa.

    • no no no holdserve, not at all ! this is NOT what I think…i posted this ridiculous idea to show nadline that how unfair the scenario gets if we try to paint a diff picture than reality… Your concern is EXACTLY what I was trying to demonstrate !

      If you ask me about rafa;s 2008,2010,2013, I will now tell you what I think about them. For 2008, rafa was by far the most dominant player on the planet. He won multiple slams, gold medal and knocked federer off his throne..it also featured that sick 32 match winning streak from hamburg to cincy SF… the streak covered 3 surfaces so my all-time fav streak! reflects utter dominance…

      in 2010, well, he was the ruler of 3 diff surfaces ! YEN1 , enough said !nobody was even close..

      2013: rafa did not play australia. BUT, won 5 masters 100 ..2 slams, YEN1,10 titles, dominataed the top 10 and thrashed his main rival in slams, even on his weakest and his main rival’s weakest surface..

      Let me make myself clear : I believe rafa was very much dominant in 2008,2010,2013….I just mentioned a potential stupid argument to nadline to clarify my other points.. it has nothing to do with how I view rafa’s no.1 years.

      Thanks for addressing your concern :) glad I am clarifying…let me know if there’s any other concern

      • nativenewyorker7 says:

        vamosrafa,

        For what it’s worth, I did get where you were coming from in that comment. I think we had a great discussion not too long ago in which we compared Rafa’s greatest years and tried to rank them. I thought it was really fun. We talked about 2008, 2010 and 2013. Everyone knows what Rafa did in those three years. They were all so good that I had trouble ranking them! I think that I put 2008 as #1 and kind of cheated by putting 2010 and 2013 together. They were each noteworthy in their own way.

        Sometimes people should take things so literally. Everyone knows that you are a true blue Rafa fan. Your heart is in the right place. You are smart and also a really nice guy! :)

      • vamosrafa says:

        glad you understand NNY :) I clearly remember that discussion of ours ! I put 2013 at the top I think and it was too tough to decide between 2010 and 2008 for me… haha

  53. ^^^Not to mention he did 2 slams out of 3.

  54. nativenewyorker7 says:

    Sorry, I meant to say in my last post that people should NOT take things so literally!

  55. Kohlschreiber has withdrawn so Bedene is now playing Stephane Robert of France.

  56. nativenewyorker7 says:

    ^^^^

    Really? I didn’t know that. I just saw that the tennis channel is picking up the coverage until 6:00 pm. It seems that ESPN2 has prior commitments in scheduling. Then ESPN2 will resume coverage at 6:00 pm.

  57. Klizan takes the first set off of Isner 6/2. It’s not even 1 pm and the temp is already 99F (37C).

  58. Roger’s match about to start. Temp 102F.

  59. Isner just retired from his match. Ankle injury.

  60. Ricky Dimon says:

    anyone want to guest pick Day 3 matches w/ me?

  61. Just watched Roger’s immediate post match interview. He described the conditions as “toasty” and also said that the court is playing faster this year. The score: 6/4 6/4 6/2.

    • rafaisthebest says:

      Amazing how Rafa gets pilloried for stating the obvious. So, Roger now says the courts are playing faster THIS YEAR. Meaning, last year they were fast and this year they are faster. So Rafa is right in his assessment that the courts are very fast, notwithstanding the fact that he was not there last year to experience the “upgrade”.

      Go to Roger x- blog and see how he is being called a whiner for saying exactly what Roger is saying. And of course Rafa’s fans are whiners too for reporting what Rafa said…….

      #WeShallOvercome
      #TheTruthIsOutThere

      • vamosrafa says:

        let’s see what Fed is able to do on ‘faster courts’ . So much of talk about slower courts leading to fed’s undoing.

      • Why I remember just last week that I said the Aussie courts would play fast based on the lead in tournies.

        #YoureWelcome
        #Humb1e
        #RafasAlwaysRight

  62. rafaisthebest says:

    hawkeye63 says:
    January 14, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    And I called you a nutter (or words to that effect…………I know, I know.

    • Ricky Dimon says:

      what happened to Tomic?

      • “It was sad,” said Tomic, who was grimacing in pain in the first game of the first set before eventually retiring after a set against Nadal. “I felt it yesterday. I took a day off after the final in Sydney. I started hitting. I went for one ball and felt pain in my left leg. I thought it was going to be OK. I went for one ball on the backhand and just felt it…I just felt like, if I continue playing, who knows, something worse can happen, cannot play maybe for a few months. I don’t want to do that.”

    • I resemble that remark!!!

  63. Andy Murray among stars to criticise playing in ‘inhumane’ heat at Australian Open as temperatures soar

    Temperatures top out at 42.2 degrees Celsius at 5.45pm local time, just after Andy Murray begins his first-round match against Japan’s Go Soeda

    Andy Murray among stars to criticise playing in ‘inhumane’ heat at Australian Open as temperatures soar

    Feeling the heat: Temperatures in Melbourne are topping 40 degrees

    Andy Murray has warned the Australian Open it risks damaging the reputation of tennis after players were forced to play in searing heat in Melbourne.

    By Telegraph Sport, and agencies 1:43 PM GMT 14 Jan 2014

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/andymurray/10571284/Andy-Murray-among-stars-to-criticise-playing-in-inhumane-heat-at-Australian-Open-as-temperatures-soar.html

  64. ^^^
    Dancevic described the conditions as “inhumane”, adding: “Having players with so many problems and complaining to the tournament that it’s too hot to play, until somebody dies.”

    Where does that leave the enforcement of the time between points?……….20 seconds in slams!

  65. rafaisthebest says:

    Looking at the Day 3 OOP I am like, “Yawn!” I won’t bother watching any of this treacle on the men’s side. WTA offerings look a lot more compelling.

    That’s what you get when produce such a lopsided draw. All the action is in the Top half!

  66. Fed’s presser:

    Q. You never seem to be a guy who looks at his coach that much. Is that going to change that much with Stefan?
    ROGER FEDERER: Not really. I realize after a set I didn’t look up once yet. I better check if he’s actually sitting there. I did see them. He was wearing sunglasses. Okay, he is there.

    No, I don’t look up much. I stopped doing that way back when because just I said you just can’t be dependent on these entire looks all the time. Being coached from the sidelines, that’s not how I grew up.

    I feel like it’s like in school, you know, you do your work. At home, you get ready for the test, and then the test, you don’t cheat and you try to do your best score.

    I see it the same way in tennis. Clearly, you know, when I did look up, I, you know, it’s nice seeing him sitting there. Even if he wouldn’t be my coach it would be nice. Plus he’s in my corner, it’s great.

  67. rafaisthebest says:

    So Juan Martin Delpotro has made his statement: he is prepared to cheat to win his second Slam. Where is the umbrage which engulfed Raonic when he did to Delpo what Delpo did to the young man today? Raonic was pilloried all over the blogs but I see nothing about Delpo. Delpo played a double bounce ball, it was clear and he knew it.

    Raonoc’s excuse was he is young and inexperienced. He was hounded into a public apology. Has Delpo apologised yet? Are people that desperate for a challenge to the Big 3 that they will overlook Delpo’s cheating?

    I have lost all respect for Delpo. He is nothing but a bare-faced cheat.

    • Ricky Dimon says:

      calm down

      • rafaisthebest says:

        ^^^Oh please, not you as well. You think it was okay what Delpo did? Soon, I will calm down; Delpo? He will still be a cheat. Can you imagine the brouhaha if it had been Rafa who had done what Delpo did? He went on and on about Raonic for crying out loud after the Montreal incident.

        Delpo needs to man up and apologise.

      • Ricky Dimon says:

        video?

        i just hope you aren’t comparing a double-bounce to touching the net. DO YOU?

      • Ricky’s just upset because Milos is Canadian.

        The difference is that Delpo KNEW it was a double bounce.

        Milos knew he touched the net but he didn’t necessarily know he touched it while the ball was still live.

        I hope you don’t compare knowing you are in the wrong with not knowing you are in the wrong, DO YOU?

        #HypotheticallyYesTechnicallyNo

  68. rafaisthebest says:

    Ricky,

    I watched the match, I did not record it. The incident is all over social media and I am sure will be on you-tube soon so you can view ti as proof if you do not believe that it actually happened.

    I am comparing the intent behind both actions, which was to profit from an illegal action in a match. In both instances the umpires did not see the incident and Raonic (then) and Delpo (now) chose not to own up to the infraction to gain advantage. The unwritten rule is that players should call the infraction themselves, not wait for the Umpire. Neither did. Call it a temporary moral failure, it happens. Raonic, young as he is, saw the error of hos ways and apologised. Delpo, in spite of being much more experienced, has yet to apologise, to a much younger opponent, who will forever be seared by this.

    The actions are different, the intent is the same, so yes, I am comparing the two.

    • Ricky Dimon says:

      i’m just saying in general it is VERY easy to know if you touched the net. It can be almost impossible running and lunging at full speed to know if it was a double-bounce or not.

      Raonic does not get the benefit of the doubt…because there is no doubt. There is video evidence of him reacting negatively to his touching of the net. Delpo is innocent until proven guilty.

      • rafaisthebest says:

        You know, just dawned on me that is exactly how Delpo would plead: I am innocent until proven guilty by incontrovertible video evidence.

        #WinningIsEverything

  69. Oh it’s pretty easy to tell when the ball bounces twice and even Delpo’s own comments suggests he knew.

    #Pot
    #Kettle
    #Black

    • rafaisthebest says:

      @hawkeye63, don’t look now but something spooky’s going on over at Roger-x blog. Ben Pronin’s responding to your posts (he is calling your name) but your posts are not appearing anywhere on the blog! Clearly your posts are being censored, so why is Pronin responding to them publicly? Does it mean he is a moderator on that site because clearly he has access to moderated posts?

      • ritb, I’m aware! :)

        Apologies to Ricky and augusta08 for the un-redacted transcript from Roger-X.com but I can’t resist, no?

        Ben Pronin Says:
        So far, Djokovic’s first round match was tougher than Nadal’s.
        January 14th, 2014 at 8:12 am

        hawkeye Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
        Top notch insight Ben. You must play tennis.
        January 14th, 2014 at 8:48 am

        hawkeye Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
        Has Federer ever had a tough first round draw in a major? Ever?
        January 14th, 2014 at 9:07 am

        Ben Pronin Says:
        Hawkeye, yes Federer has had tough first round matches. Andreev 2010 in Ausralia? Falla at Wimbledon? Feliciano Lopez at the French in 2011? Just a few that come to mind.
        January 14th, 2014 at 9:29 am

        hawkeye Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
        Hey Ben Pronin, I am seriously impressed!
        I didn’t know you could see moderated posts. Do you need special glasses or were you just born this way?
        January 14th, 2014 at 9:07 am

        Ben Pronin Says:
        Hawkeye, yes Federer has had tough first round matches. Andreev 2010 in Ausralia? Falla at Wimbledon? Feliciano Lopez at the French in 2011? Just a few that come to mind.
        January 14th, 2014 at 11:29 am

        hawkeye Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
        Haha, Feli on clay? Really? Feli was 139 in the world at the time.
        C’mon Andreev and Falla? Both players were outside the top 100 a few months after both meetings.
        You didn’t read my question. I was referring to his first round draw.
        Do yourself a favour and stop worrying about Nadal. Focus on players you enjoy watching. It’s better for your mental state.
        (At least I know you can see this post even if it never sees the public light of day, no?)
        Stay cool Ben Pronin.
        January 14th, 2014 at 11:40 am

        hawkeye Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
        So Ben and Sean can preview moderated posts. Skeezer too?
        Sure this is not Roger-X?Lol. Hilarious!
        #RogersFanClub
        January 14th, 2014 at 11:45 am

        Ben Pronin Says:
        Hawkeye, the point is they turned out to be tough matches. Falla almost won. Lopez had almost beaten Federer about a week before in Madrid. And Andreev was a point from being up 2 sets to 1.
        The point is, sometimes the draw doesn’t play out the way we expect it to on paper. People thought Tomic would be a tough out. Unfortunately, he had to retire. So despite the “cake draw” Djokovic got, he had a tougher first round match than Nadal.
        Why are you telling me to not focus on Nadal when you’re so focused on Federer. I didn’t even mention him but you decided to bring him up. Hypocrit.
        January 14th, 2014 at 1:47 pm

        hawkeye Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
        I guess I’m never TRULY moderated because at least my intended audience ALWAYS read my posts !Classic!
        January 14th, 2014 at 2:15 pm

        hawkeye Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
        Ben Pronin is obsessed with Rafa and me.
        #Humb1e
        January 14th, 2014 at 2:25 pm

        James Says:
        Hawkeye’s comments haven’t appeared yet, so it seems like Ben Pronin is talking to himself ;)
        January 14th, 2014 at 2:34 pm

        hawkeye Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
        I am the ghost formerly known as hawkeye.
        #RIP
        January 14th, 2014 at 2:42 pm

      • Ricky Dimon says:

        is Ben Pronin being serious?

        ANDREEV? LOL.

        FALLA on GRASS? Hahahah.

    • Ricky Dimon says:

      no it isn’t

  70. Wow. If you cross your eyes, that almost looks like a scoretracker post. Or maybe you don’t even need to.

    Scaring myself now.

    That’s it, I’M OFF THIS THREAD, GOT IT?????

    #TT

  71. They’ve since published some of my posts (except for the funnier ones).

    • rafaisthebest says:

      I love reading the Fedbot sites out there, thoroughly entertaining. Waiting for the entertain-o-meter to ratchet up a few notches when Rafa bites that trophy in 2 weeks’ time……

  72. Ricky Dimon says:
  73. rafaisthebest says:

    RT @NeilHarmanTimes: “Tomic tore an adductor muscle, which vindicated his decision to quit after a single set. Playing on could have meant 4 months out”

    To think there are people out there who said he tanked…………..

  74. That’s exactly what happened to Rafa against Ferrer at the AO 2011.

    • ^^Indeed it is what happened to Rafa. Here’s a clip where he’s describing his injury and then famously swears at Toni that he’s in the quarterfinals and he’s not going to retire.http://youtu.be/gZB4jcPmFGo

      • ^^ hahaha. Geez, copied the wrong thing. Here’s the actual clip. http://youtu.be/2VrtiMLglls

      • nativenewyorker7 says:

        I well remember that! On vb the Spanish people were able to give us the English translation of what Rafa said! Wow!

        It wasn’t easy to translate the words literally, but they were able to give us a vivid picture of what Rafa was saying! He does have a mind of his own.

  75. Rafa is the 3rd match on tomorrow on RL.

  76. Stan the man in some trouble…hope he gets this done in four sets

  77. gets it done in 4 ! stan HAS to stay alive till the quarters…

  78. rafaisthebest says:

    Oz Open organisers clearly think putting players’ health at risk by subjecting them to un-Godly playing conditions is funny. How else would they justify posting this article on their website? Hopefully the low attendance figures during the heatwave days will wipe the smirks off their faces:

    http://2014.ausopen.com/en_AU/news/articles/2014-01-15/201401151389765839987.html

    #Stupid

  79. Stan will be a non-factor if he meets Nole. At best he could take a set.

  80. nativenewyorker7 says:

    If Djoker can keep up this kind of form, Stan doesn’t have a prayer. However, it’s not like he is playing guys who can challenge him.

    Maybe it’s the Becker effect! :)

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