Federer withdraws from French Open

Roger Federer is out of the French Open.

Federer, who announced earlier this season that he would skip all of the clay-court Masters 1000 events but left open the possibility of playing in Paris, made his decision on Monday.

“Regrettably, I’ve decided not to participate in the French Open,” Federer posted in a statement on his website. “I’ve been working really hard, both on and off the court, during the last month but in order to try and play on the ATP World Tour for many years to come, I feel it’s best to skip the clay court season this year and prepare for the grass and hard court seasons.

“The start to the year has been magical for me but I need to recognize that scheduling will be the key to my longevity moving forward. Thus, my team and I concluded today that playing just one event on clay was not in the best interest of my tennis and physical preparation for the remainder of the season.

“I will miss the French fans, who have always been so supportive and I look forward to seeing them at Roland Garros next year.”

The 35-year-old is 65-16 lifetime at Roland Garros with a title in 2009. He has not played there since 2015, when he fell to fellow Swiss and eventual champion Stan Wawrinka in the quarterfinals.

88 Comments on Federer withdraws from French Open

  1. No Fed….c’est dommage…..but I can’t blame him…..will just have to see him at the AELTC!….and I predict Rafa will NOT win at RG…just too many great players these days!

    • who is playing “great” right now other than Nadal?

      Thiem and Goffin? Who have both been losing to Nadal left and right on clay.

      • Thiem played well yesterday. He could’ve won at least the first set. If he had run into someone else but Rafa in Barcelona and Madrid, he probably would own now one overly large and another truly ugly trophy, would’ve taken a dip into the swimming pool with the ball kids and would be a favorite for the RG crown 😉
        Goffin fascinates me. He doesn’t seem to be Grand Slam material simply because of his slight frame – but he manages to maximize his gifts and trouble the top players quite a bit with his intelligent game. I started to watch out for him a couple of years ago when he managed to take a set off Fed at RG and claimed that his wife was rooting openly for Fed, lol!

  2. Makes sense. Rafa’s basically got one hand on the trophy before it’s even started, Fed needs to manage the schedule carefully, and it would’ve meant risking an injury on the edge of the grass court season. Still, it must’ve been hard to resist, especially with Djoko and Murray down on form. He hadn’t played any lead-ups, so he could’ve gone home early in an upset, but then again, Fed’s not the sort of player who needs a lot of lead-up match play. He was shanking the ball quite a bit in the first and second rounds at the AO, and then all of sudden he was in the zone against Berdych.

    • Clay is different, he may need to grind and that’s something he doesn’t want to do. There are just so many players who can cause an upset on clay, ‘just too many great players these days’!

  3. Roger’s made great scheduling decisions throughout his career so I’m sure not going to argue with him. Will miss him at RG and wish him well at Wimbly. I had assumed he would play RG to pick up some cheapish ranking points but given he’s the GOAT on grass he will likely land a top ranking spot at Wimbledon anyway.

    • Fed will easily be seeded top four at Wimbledon and that’s good enough for him. He can at least avoid Murray until the SF. Murray is the defending champion and he may get his game back on grass. Djoko too.

    • Ramara (AT 8:04 PM),

      Fed won’t be the top seed at Wimbledon because he is unable to pass A. Murray.

      (All the Fed’s withdrawals due to his illness have been called ‘great scheduling’ by his fans. LOL)

      • Thanks, I didn’t mean THE top spot, although I would not rule it out if Andy doesn’t pick up his game for the grass season and Fed does. But I believe Wimbledon follows a formula partly based on grass court results and I have not looked it up or done the math. Don’t care that much! 🙂

  4. Very disappointing, but I had a feeling that he might not play. I suspect it’s not so much an injury worry as a fitness one: if he made a deep run at RG with a few 5 setters thrown in, it would just take a lot out of him and impact on his chances at Wimby.

    • I can imagine how a similar term directed against Nadal for missing one of his many slams would be received on this site.

      I’d check your dictionary on the meaning of that word, Hawk.

      • Joe, it would be BLASPHEMY! Nobody calls Rafa a pussy on the Grandstand and gets laughs… It would be like if someone called Federer a pussy on Tennis-X. 🙂

          • yours you mean, complaining about scheduling Rafa’s match but maintaining total silence when Fed is shown umpteen favors in scheduling. What a hypocrite, talking about fairness. Hypocrisy,thy name is Joe Smith

            • Whatever, Mary. The context here is pretty focused and clear: Hawkeye has criticized me in the past for being “disrespectful” toward Rafa. You can draw your own conclusions.

              Regarding the dead horse that you evidently can’t stop beating, I’ve said many times and I shall repeat it again: to the extent Federer has received preferential treatment, in scheduling or otherwise, I oppose it and think the ATP should not allow it to happen. Is that good enough for you, finally?

            • No, it is not good enough. Admit you are a hypocrite.You say now that you oppose Fed’s preferential treatment. You did not complain whenever it happened. So obviously you are only saying it now to justify the hue and cry you raised about Rafa’s scheduling. Which by the way was NOT a postponement. As you obviously look up dictionaries, I am sure you know postponement can take place only if it was already set for a time. Which in this case it wasn’t. The organizers are free to schedule R2 on Tue or Wed and they scheduled some matches on each of those days.They obviously saw merit in Rafa’s request. What was Fog’s reason for requesting a Tuesday schedule or for not wanting a Wed schedule? How did it inconvenience him?

          • I think Joe Smith should look up the word hypocrite. All I did was laugh at shireling’s one word joke.

            My oh my.

            (P.S., and that’s NOT why I criticized Joe Smith. Not even close.)

            #OneToGrowOn

  5. I wonder if he will skip clay every season from here on out, or if it’s just this season? Maybe if he managed to win Wimbledon one more time, he would then play clay again the following season?

    • Fed’s tweet included a “See you next year” to RG so he’s just planning to not play there this year. He wants to play “many more years”. But, like the rest of us, he’ll have to see what lies in the future. Even for Federer the preparation for clay is not trivial and neither is five sets on clay.

      • I think Fed will play as long as he feels he can win slams. If he starts crashing out in early rounds on a regular basis, he will then hang up his boots after undertaking a farewell tour to rake in money for himself and the organizers.

    • I have lots of confidence in his chances there maybe not no doubt but still very confident he will win it.

  6. Who is anyone here to say who will win or not win any slam…all these predictions are pure bull…It’s finally upto the players to show it on court…

    Someone saying rafa won’t win RG or Fed will surely win Wimby…wonder what will they say if both proven wrong 🙂

  7. BTW I feel Roger had made up his mind way back post Miami that he won’t play RG. ..He just kept the suspense on or maybe was just seeing how Rafa is going to do …

    Not sure why just 1 week or 10 days back he said intent is to play RG…I doubt he even practised on clay right , pics were out of him practising on HC

    BTW all fed fan friends of mine unanimously feel he did smart n right thing by withdrawing from RG.

    Btw rafa says clay softer on knees but Fed says knees act wierd on knees..Such diverse opinion 🙂

    • Fed has said his own knees felt “wonky” on clay last year. But Rafa, if I remember right, has said the main problem as he gets older is switching from one surface to another.

  8. No rafa always said hard courts difficult on knees and clay is softer

    Roger saying knee wierd on clay

    It’s documented that hard cement surfaces bad for knees…It’s advocated right to jog on grass n clay rather than concrete or cement

  9. to Fed fans, I apologise for the word .. couldn’t help myself 🙂 in fact, it makes perfect sense for Fed to pull out from RG… the fact that he includes the word “unfortunately” it’s just being politically correct
    But I’m glad it wasn’t chaperoned and that it made some people laugh 🙂

    • Hey, Shireling, no reason for an apology! Pussies are cute! And Fed made a wise decision.
      I also think that Rafa’s recent clay court r
      heroics have very little to do with Fed ‘s RG withrawal. If Fed had entertained true clay court ambitions he would’ve entered at least some warm up tournaments. I think the late announcement of his withdrawal might’ve more to do with advance ticket sales than with Rafa’s great form – although it might’ve been the last straw.

    • I respect Fed so much that I still saw him as Rafa’s biggest challenge at RG (who else over five sets on clay at the moment). Like no other, he’s shown time and time again his ability to play himself into form like in Australia. It’s obvious why he skipped clay and I can respect that At 35 he’s odds on fav to win Wimby IMO.

      But shireling’s joke was suscinctly hilarious. I respect that too!

        • To be honest, I thought it was pretty funny too. But I very much doubt that word directed at Nadal in similar circumstances would be found funny by most people here.

  10. Rafa may have had nothing to do with Roger pulling out of RG but subconsciously may have. He may not have wanted to get beaten badly at RG to affect his wimby chances should they play again there .

  11. Nadal will be world number two if he wins french and i dont think Federer will be able to beat Nadal in the rankings this year. If Nadal does become world number two and does well in Wimbledon and the US open Nadal will be number one. Even if he doesn’t do well and Murray fails he will be world number one

    • I don’t think anyone can be #1 if they do not do well. While rolling ranking of Rafa will depend on whether Murray fails , the year end ranking will depend on how many points Rafa wins this year. All the points of the previous season expire for everybody and only the points won this season remain. Looking at points of past year end #1s, Rafa needs at least 10000 points this year to have any chance. So he has to do well in the rest of the season.

      • Rafa has done already very well this year in the hardcourt department. If we had been told at the beginning of the season that Rafa would make three finals – including a slam final -we would’ve been thrilled. Fed has simply been a bit better. If this pattern continues – which is of course a big if – Rafa cannot be No 1, even if he continues to play well on hardcourts. But I don’t think Fed and Rafa give akot of thought to the No 1 ranking. They want to do well at the slams. The ranking is only important for seeding purposes. His great form has paid dividends and Rafa managed to secure the 4th seeding for RG, which means that he can’t face Wawa, Novak or Andy already in the quarters. Which is nice, but considering the current form of these players I wonder if it’s really as crucial as in past years. Thiem, Goffin and players like Fognini might be more dangerous for Rafa atm.

    • If Fed picks up at Wimby where he left off at Miami and preserves his great form during the rest of the season (which is a big If of course) then Rafa has no chance to become year-end No 1 – even if he totally sweeps the clay season (which is also not guaranteed). The courts after RG clearly favor Fed although Rafa knows of course quite well how to play on them.
      But this is all very speculative. Although they are the odds-on favorites, Fed may not win Wimby and/or Rafa may not win RG. One or both of them could get hurt or have a really bad day at the office. Novak, Wawa and/or Andy may well rediscover their form, or a youngster may have a big breakthrough.
      It’s actually quite surreal that we are even talking about Fedal as serious contenders certain slams and for the No 1 ranking, when not so long ago most thought of them as bygones and hasbeens who had finally succumbed to the relentless wear’n tear of the tour. Fed and Rafa clearly had other ideas. I wonder what the two of them cooked up when they met last fall on Mallorca at Rafa’s tennis academy 😉

      • I think Rafa is more confident to face Fed on hard courts now than he was earlier this year and believe that will be all the difference he needs.

        Not much an in form Fed can do about it other than grass and indoors.

        But great to see them both at the top again.

      • Littlefoot, I doubt things are that simple. I doubt Fed is going to sweep up titles at Wimbledon and USO, and/or many of the other Masters for the rest of the season. Djoko may have something to say about that come the second half of the HC season. We just can’t assume that Djoko would still be in a slump by then.

        To me Fed no doubt is/was playing well so far this season, but, he winning AO, IW and Miami was more to do with Djoko being in a slump than anything else. I mean look at Fed’s results at these events in the past few years, he’s often making SF or finals only to be stopped by none other than Djoko.

        Fed wasn’t all conquering at Miami, having to slug to win his matches and almost got beaten. Look at his results at this event in the last few years, he rarely slugged to win his matches.

        Both Rafa and Fed benefited from Djoko’s early exit at the AO; had Djoko not being in a slump, I feel he would beat both Rafa and Fed to win his 7th AO, even when the surface was quicker this year. Djoko has Rafa’s number on the HCs (clay too in the last two years) and given that Fed had to go five sets to beat Kei, Stan and then a tired Rafa (after five sets SF), I really doubt that had it been Djoko that he met in the final, Fed would beat a Djoko playing like the AO2016 version.

        Fed no doubt has improved his BH, but is that enough against a top form Djoko? Djoko is not Rafa on the HC, if Kei and Stan could extend Fed to five sets, just imagine what a top form Djoko could do to Fed!

        I won’t doubt that a top form Djoko would still clean up these three events, so Fed would at most be runners up. Rafa may fare slightly better than Fed in that he still may win MC and Barcelona like last year as he really does play much better now on clay. Even if we assume that Rafa still loses to Djoko in the SF at Madrid and Rome, Rafa would still have more points than Fed but would be second to Djoko.

        So, whether Fed or Rafa will get to no.1 this year, I think it also depends on how they and how Djoko play for the rest of the season. Both Fed and Rafa were stopped by Djoko in the last few years – Fed at the slams,Rafa at the Masters. Djoko may not be no. 1 this year but he may act as a hindrance to others who have the potential to become no.1.

        • I doubt we will see a top form Novak that can beat this Fed.

          While improved somewhat, it is still a slow and long climb to his very best which is what he’s traditionally needed to overcome Fed.

        • Lucky, you’re quite right – it’s not a simple equation, and I never said it is. I merely presented a simple scenario: if everybody continues to play at his current level, then it’s unlikely that Rafa manages to secure the year-end No 1 ranking. But it’s a fluid affair with many variables. You named some of them. Hawkeye pointed out that Rafa might face Fed with more confidence on hardcourt after his claycourt heroics and after having beaten his nemesis, the Djoker. Quite possible. But that Rafa manages to secure the year-end No 1 position is highly unlikely IMO, even with a 10th RG title. Fed’s chances are better, especially since Rafa doesn’t seem willing to leave a lot of valuable clay court points in the hands of Djoker/Murray.
          But as many have said already: Rafa and Fed probably don’t lose a lot of sleep pondering the No 1 question. Their ranking is mostly important for a comfortable seeding. But since they are the front runners in the race to London right now and have distanced the rest of the field, discussions amongst fans and experts are inevitable.

          • I don’t think the #1 ranking is important to Fed and Rafa. They have both done well to move back up in the rankings compared to where they were at the beginning of the year.

            It’s all about the slams.

            • Agreed. The ranking improves with good results. But maintaining a top four ranking makes their life a lot easier when it comes to seeding.
              I’ve said that Roger’s decision to skip RG had probably little to do with Rafa’s recent success. But losing the No 4 ranking to Rafa might’ve been the last straw, since it opened up the possibility of meeting Rafa/Novak/Andy already in the quarters.

  12. He could be tired of losing to Rafa at RG. And I think it also makes sense for him, at this point
    In his career to cut back his schedule and aim Wimby.

    But I will sort of miss having him in the FO draw 🙂

  13. Imagine how much fun we would have had with organizers pulling out all stops in their eagerness to favor Fed!

  14. I was honestly really, REALLY looking forward to a Rafa/Fed RG match. Although I think he made the right decision to skip RG as it relates to his goals, I can’t say I’m not a little disappointed… Although Rafa would obviously be favored as usual against Fed at RG, I think that it could have had potential to be more competitive than their last Roland Garros matches. Who knows? It could have been a typical 3 or 4 set win for Rafa. But given Federer’s recent confidence, it could have been competitive, too. Fed also could have gotten taken out in early rounds. I guess it’s now a pointless discussion! Nothing is different in terms of Rafa being the favorite to win RG again!

  15. An interesting take on Roger’s decision, by the man Hawkeye calls the GOAT of tennis writing:
    http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2017/05/roger-federer-rafael-nadal-french-open-roland-garros-atp-tennis/66081/

    Note, Lucky, that Tignor thought as recently as a few days ago that Roger had a good chance to win RG. Just another Fed fan, perhaps? NNY, are you insulted by Tignor’s opinion?

    More seriously, Tignor notes the importance of the age difference between Roger and Rafa -nearly 5 years, almost a generation in tennis terms- and the impact it has on how they approach the game differently today.

    • Joe, Tignor has been predicting match results and almost always he’s losing the ‘bet’! He got scolded, criticized or even laughed or being mocked at by the posters there. I used to post there often and read all those comments! Please dont try to tell me anything about Tignor, he has gone from bad to worse these days.

      • Oy! Quoting Tignor now are we? I don’t know whether to laugh or cry!

        I used to post on that site some time ago, as Lucky knows! But I have not done so in a long time.

        Once again, Lucky has said it so well and there is nothing much I can add!

    • Joe Smith,
      I think Kavita has a patent on the use of the phrase “interesting take”.
      #Beware

    • I agree that betting in accordance with Tignor’s predictions is not a good idea, unless you want to live the lifestyle of a goat.

      The point is that many informed observers (including me) disagree with you about Federer’s chances at the FO, had he played. We are not necessarily ignorant, nor arrogant; we just disagree with you. And none of us has said anything as silly as claiming that Roger’s chances of making the final would have been 0%.

      • Nah, to me thinking that Fed would make the final there is silly and wishful thinking. Why? Just look at how he fared there since 2011, he was better prepared each time than he is now yet couldnt get past the SF. He was losing to the likes of Gulbis, Tsonga, in addition to Djoko and Stan.

        Has Fed played better in 2017than say his 2012 or 2014 for e.g.? Nope in my opinion, the difference now is that there is a certain formidable Djoko missing, and also a Rafa who’s still getting back on track during early 2017 HC season ( I do think a Rafa of 2012 or 2014 was good enough to deal with this Fed at the AO, regardless of Fed’s improved BH). And, coupled that with nil warm up before the FO, I thought the answer was obvious.

  16. Are grand slams not mandatory? I know Masters are but Fed being 31+, 12years + on the circuit and 600+ in matches is free to skip Masters. Is he free to skip Slams too?

    • Seriously? I though his fire was about to die down or at least being reduced during Miami, and could’ve gone out to Berdych or Kygrios?

      People thought that Fed was playing well, better than ever just because he beat Rafa thrice on the HCs this season, but they forgot that Rafa was also losing to other players not only this year (Raonic and Querry) but also in the past two years, esp to Foggy thrice during 2015 and several times to Djoko! Fed was also having a hard time beating Berdych and Kyrgios, Kei and Stan this season. I doubt he’s any better than his 2012 or 2014 tbh.

      • Fed’s improved BH, due mainly to the new racquet; his improved conditioning, mainly due to the rest; and his improved mental confidence, due to both of the former, make him a better player today than in 2012-2016. He had the game to beat Novak in those 2015 slam finals (maybe even in 2014), but he choked. He could have easily done so this year again at the AO against Rafa, but he did the opposite, coming back from a break down in the 5th. That win gave him the confidence that carried over into the sunshine tournaments.

        Still, he is going on 36, and you’re right that he hardly obliterated the opposition in Miami. He was definitely tired by the time he got to the final against Rafa. However, as long as he is fairly fresh and doesn’t get injured, he will be a threat to win at both Wimby and USO, and at whichever of the HC masters he plays. The same was true in 2015; the main difference is his confidence and improved mental attitude this year.

        • Huh, in 2015? The 2015 version of Djoko won’t give Fed much chances! That Djoko was relentless, and Fed didn’t have much chances at the Masters either, only at Cincy.

          Fed the better player in 2017 than 2012-2016? And yet he struggled against Kei, Stan at the slams?? He improved his BH but his footwork wasn’t as great as before, and players now could exploit his FH by moving him from side to side.

          We’ll see what Fed can do for the rest of the season. I doubt he’s sweeping up the slams and the masters titles. Perhaps Cincy again.

      • lucky is right. The only reason Fed seems so good is that the other 3 aren’t as good as they could be. Rafa of 2014 or earlier could wallop this Fed. I have never been too impressed with his so-called improved backhand.

        • Lucky is right about as often as you are, which is not very often.

          With the new racquet, this version of Fed is about as good as he has ever been, except that his confidence is sky-high having beaten Nadal 4 straight times. It follows that a hypothetical match-up would be close, with Rafa having the edge on clay and Fed everywhere else.

          • Well it has already been proved that you are a hypocrite. And you are wrong almost all the time. Rafa is still not at his best.If Rafa does get into his awesome form at RG, let Fed and his fans beware because except on indoor, there won’t be any place where Fed could win. Joe would probably spend all his time complaining about favors shown to Rafa, bad calls, why the earth is round or whatever…

            • Let’s see where we agree and disagree. “Rafa is still not as his best”. Agree, except for “still”. Rafa is never going to be as good as he was, because he is nearly 31 and has lost a step or so. Maybe Nadal can play a bit better than he has, but not much.

              I would say the same for Federer, except that his larger racquet has compensated for his physical decline. That is why his results in the last three years have been better than they were the previous three (if you have a better explanation, I’d like to hear it), but not as good as they were when he was in his prime.

              I have never complained about favours shown to Rafa. I merely pointed out, in response to Lucky’s complaint that the organizers in Madrid weren’t doing anything to help Nadal, that they had already helped him by re-scheduling his match with Fabio. It was a small point; the rest is part of your obsession with favouritism shown toward Federer (which I haven’t denied).

          • As you said, it’s hypothetical, that Fed is going to beat Rafa everywhere else. Again more like wishful thinking by you Joe, who even went as far as saying Fed in his prime with his bigger racket would beat Rafa on clay, even at the FO. Laughable!

            I think I was and I’m right more often than you, who kept predicting that Rafa would be troubled by this or that player on clay, yet each time you’re disappointed with the results Rafa had shown you. I sensed a hint of spite in your comment above, not happy that while you’re bigging up Fed, others don’t always agree with you. Not forgetting you yourself kept belittling and doubting Rafa, each time when Rafa passed the test. When Fed won his matches, it’s always how great he played, but when Rafa won his, it’s always about how poorly his opponents played, that about summed up your mindset, from the comments you have posted here so far.

            • Lucky, my comment about Fed not playing FO was limited to an expression of disappointment. You, on the other hand, have in several places taken pains to argue that Fed never would have done anything at RG in any case. It just strikes me as gratuitous. Obviously, it’s a moot point and a bit silly to argue about. As I have said, I disagree, along with the bookies, Tignor, Laver, and many others. I’m not sure what else to say.

              I stand by the claim (which many others have made in many places) that Federer would have benefited hugely by switching to a larger racquet much earlier in his career. Yes, I think it would have allowed him to beat Nadal on clay. Again, we differ in opinion. So what?

              I have not belittled Rafa, ever, as far as I am aware. I had my doubts about him at the beginning of the clay season, which were shared by Mary, Hawkeye, and others (maybe not by you). Go see their comments after he narrowly beat Edmunds. But, as I said, I have been more and more impressed with every victory, most of all with the last one over Goffin. The last player I picked to beat Rafa on clay was Zverev at MC, though it is certainly true that I thought others would give him more trouble. Why not let the results speak for themselves? They’re impressive enough.

            • See, Joe, you finally admit, that you thought others would trouble Rafa on clay. Even after he won his titles, you’re not convinced, that Rafa was playing well. You also kept saying that Rafa wasn’t playing better than in the past (his heydays) but who’s saying that Rafa was playing better than his heydays? As he has proven, he need not be the Rafa of his heydays to win his titles now.

              In contrast, the Fed fanatics (including the pro Fed commentators) were trying to brain wash others that Fed was playing as good as ever, or even better than his heydays! Ridiculous, imo, when you watched how quick, how precise, how sharp Fed was during his heydays!

              Joe, it’s not about you and your posts here talking about Fed skipping the FO, and what Fed could have achieved at the FO. The attention wasn’t on you, it was about some comments by other Fed fans posting here, one of them even claiming Fed would win the FO and completing his double career slam! Some how, you just joined in the conversation and then assumed that it’s about you and what you have posted here (about Fed and the FO).

            • Sorry, I mis-spoke: I picked Kyrgios to beat Rafa in 3. So yes, I have thought some players would trouble or even beat Nadal this clay-court season. I have never tried to hide that, but so what? That’s not an affront to Nadal, whom I respect a lot. I don’t see his game the same way you do, in particular, I think some attacking players have better chances against him even on clay than you think they do. So we disagree.

              In the case of the recent Kyrgios-Rafa match, lots of people had picked Nick to win, including some Rafa fans. We were wrong and you were right on that one.

            • Joe, can’t blame some of the Rafa fans for thinking that Kyrgios would win; they were still worried about which Rafa would turn up to play.

              However, for me, after watching how Rafa demolished A Zverev at MC, I felt that Rafa would come out all guns blazing to beat Kyrgios, for he could sense the threat a confident and winning Kyrgios would pose going forward, so it’s better that Rafa killed off the spark before it could become a big fire.

              Fair enough for you to believe an attacking player has better chances of beating Rafa on clay (obviously compared to a counterpuncher, Djoko being the only exception, he not a full fletch counterpuncher though imo). However, its more on Rafa’s racket when it comes to clay, if he’s playing very well and in top form, chances are he’s not letting them beat him on clay. Of course now that he’s older, it’s getting harder for him to maintain his top form even on clay, and so there’re off days too.

              Rafa is no ordinary counterpuncher; if not he won’t be beating an attacking player like Fed, more than Fed beat him. Even on non clay surfaces, Rafa had a slight edge over Fed until the beginning of this season. So far, only Djoko could match him as an exceptional counterpuncher. Both their results vs Fed speak for themselves.

  17. Joe Smith MAY 17, 2017 AT 8:18 AM
    “Lucky, my comment about Fed not playing FO was limited to an expression of disappointment. You, on the other hand, have in several places taken pains to argue that Fed never would have done anything at RG in any case. It just strikes me as gratuitous. Obviously, it’s a moot point and a bit silly to argue about. As I have said, I disagree, along with the bookies, Tignor, Laver, and many others. I’m not sure what else to say.”

    __________________________________________________
    You must be naive if you actually take what tennis analysts/experts say. Out of 14 world-wide top tennis analysts on ESPN, 9 of them picked Djokovic to win the AO, 4 picked Murray and 1 picked Stan. Not one of them made the final. Djoker won 1 match, Andy won 2 matches and Stan made the SF.

    • I must be naïve to take what experts say seriously? Perhaps. As opposed to random fans on a tennis site? Hmmm. One highly unpredictable result (Fed winning AO after a six month lay-off; the top two players failing even to make the QF) does not show anything. In any case, I would be very surprised if a sample of readers from this site did any better in their predictions. Anyone who can reliably pick winners in professional sport should be very rich. Its unpredictability is a big part of what makes it interesting.

      My point against Lucky is simply that reasonable people can disagree about a given player’s chances in any event. It is reasonable to think that Federer had chances within a given range had he played RG; it is not reasonable to assign any professional player a 100% (or 0%) chance of winning any tournament.

      • Nah, Joe, you’re talking from the point of view of a bettor, or those who are interested in stats. So what with having a certain % chance of winning? It’s either Fed wins or not, and my take is he’s not winning. What’s the point of saying a player has a one percent chance of winning? These are all arbitrary, to me it’s either you win or you don’t and I repeat, my take is he’s not winning.

        • Nadal was struggling in 2014 clay season where he lost to ALMAGRO, Ferrer in MC and Barcelona and then got comprehensively beaten by Novak in Rome. Everyone thought he was second favourite. Come RG, he hit a different gear and stormed to the title. He peaked in the semis and the final and was untouchable. Djokovic was HELPLESS in that final and said I had no answers to Rafa’s forehand today. But yeah, we are made to believe that Fed’s larger aided single handed backhand would somehow make everything supreme about Nadal not so relevant and overpower him!

          He reached that level in 2014 despite having a poor clay season. he has the PERFECT momentum now and it is a SCARY prospect for everyone! There are no guarantees and Nadal may not win RG. But, we are talking about prospects and chances and as far as those are concerned, there is no safer bet in the world of tennis.Undoubtedly.

  18. Been extremely busy so coudn’t post. I came across there that are relevant to the ‘discussion’:

    1. Todd Woodbridge: ‘Federer knew he’d have no chance of beating Nadal’

    “I think he’s watched Rafa and seen the amazing form Rafa’s in, and realised he’d have no chance of beating him on a surface on which Rafa has always dominated him throughout the years.

    “Even if he was to meet Rafa, let’s say in the Roland Garros final with three wins against him already under his belt this year, it’s a script that’s been written before. It would be a replay of those years that Nadal dominated him on clay.”

    https://au.sports.yahoo.com/tennis/a/35551626/roger-federer-withdrawal-from-french-open-because-of-rafael-nadal/#page1

    2.Marc Rosset (former olympic champ and fed’s campatriot): “The chances of him winning on clay at the French Open were quite low,”

    “Roger is the kind of guy who goes to a tournament to win. If he doesn’t feel he is capable of winning the tournament, I don’t see any sense in him attending.

    “I don’t think it is a matter of age, it is one of priority. He is going to play the two tournaments on grass before Wimbledon.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/39930092

  19. 3. Severin Luthie spoke on Fed’s withdrawal in his interview to L Equippe:

    Did Rafael Nadal’s dominance on clay – he won Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid – influence this decision?

    ‘Yeah, but I think it’s important you more look at it from your own side’, Lüthi said. ‘Roger, if he’s playing a tournament, in my eyes, he’s always able to win it and beat anyone on any surface. And on the other side, for me, even if Rafa is the big favorite in Paris, you never know what is going to happen. He could lose early or be injured or sick, so that was not really part of the decision-making, how Rafa was playing on clay.’

    Being his coach, severin obviously shows faith in his man. However, you could sense that Rafa’s form was a big factor and team fed knew that they need some sort of luck to win the French and they could get lucky where Nadal somehow loses early due to injury or a shock loss.

    You CANNOT challenge Rafael Nadal at the French when you haven’t even played a warm up event! I don’t think Fed has even spent a day of practising on clay! The only way he would have entered the draw would have been where Nadal was injured or struggling. He knows Nadal better than anyone else and it wasn’t worth the risk.

    As far as I am concerned, this is no bias. Federer is a MONSTER of a player and has so much self-belief. But, Nadal on the clay of RG is an exception.

    • It’s about time someone said it! It was beyond insulting for some Fed fans to start talking up hys chances at RG. As though he doesn’t need warmup events before RG!

      It is illogical and makes no sense. Whatever the factors he and his team took into account, it’s been clear that he has been targeting Wimby.

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