Wimbledon R4 previews and predictions: Nadal vs. Muller, Cilic vs. Bautista Agut

Arguably the best annual day of tennis will take place on Monday, when all 32 remaining singles players–men and women–will be in action. Among those on the schedule are Rafael Nadal, Gilles Muller, Marin Cilic, and Roberto Bautista Agut.

(4) Rafael Nadal vs. (16) Gilles Muller

Nadal and Muller will be squaring off for the fifth time in their careers when they battle for a spot in the Wimbledon quarterfinals on Monday. The head-to-head series stands at 4-1 in favor of Nadal, but his lone loss to Muller has come at none other than the All-England Club. That is where the left-handed Luxembourgian upset the Spaniard 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 during second-round action in 2005, not long after Nadal had captured his first of now 10 French Open titles. Since then, however, Nadal has won three in a row against Muller–including a measure of 7-6(6), 7-6(5), 6-0 revenge at Wimbledon in 2011. The two veterans most recently faced each other at the 2016 Indian Wells Masters, with Nadal getting the job done 6-2, 2-6, 6-4.

This, of course, is not the same Nadal whom Muller toppled in 2005. The 15-time Grand Slam champion is now a two-time Wimbledon winner, having triumphed at the AELTC in 2008 and 2010. Although Nadal has struggled on grass in recent seasons, he is armed with a clean bill of health this time around and is coming off a dominant performance at Roland Garros. So far this fortnight he has defeated John Millman, Donald Young, and Karen Khachanov without dropping a set. Muller punched his ticket to the second week by beating Marton Fucsovics, Lukas Rosol (9-7 in the fifth), and Aljaz Bedene. The world No. 26 is a stellar 26-12 this season with the first two titles of his career–including on the grass courts of ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Muller may be a particularly dangerous opponent on this surface, but Nadal’s current form is such that the players who have a legitimate shot to beat him at Wimbledon this year can be counted on one hand. And that list should not include anyone other than Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Marin Cilic.

Pick: Nadal in 4

(18) Roberto Bautista Agut vs. (7) Marin Cilic

Cilic already registers at a respectable 11th in the race to the World Tour Finals and his favorite time of year–Wimbledon through the U.S. Open–is just now beginning. The 2014 U.S. Open champion and current Cincinnati title holder has built on a strong clay-court swing with a semifinal showing in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, a runner-up performance at Queen’s Club, and a trio of straight-set victories at the All-England Club (over Philipp Kohlschreiber, Florian Mayer, and Steve Johnson).

Up next for Cilic on Monday is a fourth career showdown against Bautista Agut, who trails the head-to-head series 2-1 but got the best of their most recent encounter via a 6-4, 7-6(5), 7-5 decision at the 2016 Australian Open. The Spaniard, who comes in 13 spots behind Cilic at No. 19 in the world, earned a place in the last 16 by taking out Andreas Haider-Maurer, Peter Gojowyczk, and Kei Nishikori. Bautista Agut is an outstanding 29-11 in 2017, but as usual he has struggled against upper-echelon opponents. Cilic certainly qualifies as such right now–especially on grass.

Pick: Cilic in 3

144 Comments on Wimbledon R4 previews and predictions: Nadal vs. Muller, Cilic vs. Bautista Agut

  1. Benny, Rafa did play better in the third and fourth sets; he served better, was more aggressive and that put pressure on Muller, hence Muller started missing his first serves etc. Muller won’t for nothing suddenly served poorly when he only needed one more set to win; even if he couldn’t sustain the level for another set, he could take a breather and then came back to win the fourth; its more to do with Rafa’s high level of play in those two sets.

    Come on, you think if Rafa playing the third and fourth set like he did the first and second, he could win the two sets so comfortably??

    Rafa spent all his energy chasing from behind to win the third and fourth sets, no wonder he looked more exhausted than Muller was in the fifth set. Muller was smart enough to conserve energy for the fifth, knowing well Rafa had spent much energy chasing from behind to level the match.

    • Pressure more and more on Nadal to hold serve in the fifth.
      I had to stop watching at 10-10 but Muller looked the winner a that stage.
      The thing that struck me was that Muller was much more than a tricky serve.He was equal to Nadal in most departments.
      So Nadals ‘dismal’ Wimby record since 2012 continues.

      Good pick whoever predicted it.

  2. Benny, Rafa began the third set by serving well and playing more aggressively, putting pressure on Muller; it’s not like Rafa had seen Muller’s level dropped and so up his own. Rafa was the aggressor in the third and fourth sets; Rafa usually would up his level when his back was against the wall. I mean do you expect him to play mediocre tennis like in the first two sets and lost meekly in straight sets??

    • MA,

      Really? How? I am in the bottom in the women’s bracket! If it’s the ATP then it won’t last. I went with heart over head and picked Rafa to win. So there goes that one. My head was thinking he could get to the quarterfinals. I think I did two brackets for the men.

      I know – it’s just a tennis match! I just feel for Rafa because he played his heart out.

      • Nny!…Yeah baby!!..you’re the 1st!…On TDC[ATP]… not Tourneytopia k?…but,yeah..don’t know whether it’s going to last or not but ToMMo just 1 point behind u..and d@#$ ToMMo[hehe,sorry ToMMo!]..he picked Andy and u picked wawa…but,he picked Roger and u picked Novak in semis…i guess that also will give an impact for u both..BUT,i’m sure things will change multiple times more come Sunday…But,congrats for now Nny!!!Woohooo!!Love u!!

      • Also Nny!…don’t think too much about rafa’s loss okay?..it was not meant to be…it’s simple as that…besides,think about the amazing and incredible things that he just gave to us fans only a month ago….Yeah!!…a 10th FO Nny!!…and multiples other winnings on clay too…isn’t that something?When u feel so letdown and frustrated…just think about how amazing he pulled himself from the unknown abyss that he lost himself into last year and the year before…to see him lost at wimby can’t take the joy from seeing him in this form again Nny!!..Nope!…

        Besides,just think about how he’s going to tear the NA HC in this hot form when he’s much more comfortable playing there than on grass Nny!…Oh,he’s going to surprise us again Nny!!..believe me!

  3. I still think Rafa was a better player than Muller in 2nd 3rd and 4th set. Just that unlucky netcord game cost him the match. I think Rafa was playing well, but I dont think he could get thru all players and win Wimbledon. He had the most difficult draw out of top 4 . Muller and Cilic were form players unlike Dimitrov and Raonic.

    • Rafa won’t be able to beat Cilic anyway, if he continues to play with nerve. To me, he really played poorly in the first two sets, quite disappointing, when in his previous rounds, he certainly came out all guns blazing, esp vs Khachanov, another big server, and hard hitter. Had Rafa exert more authority in his game and his serve, he might at least hold serve for a TB or two, and perhaps could have a chance to win a set in the first two. Instead, he played like he had so many things to lose. Muller, otoh, played freely with calm, perhaps he’s really confident about his serve and his grass court game.

  4. Rafa’s problem was his ROS. I mean against a hard hitting baseliner who served big, yes, he could return a bit further behind the baseline, but against a S&V net rushing big server, he should return from close to the baseline, so that he’s not giving the S&V server much space and time to work on his next point when he’s at the net.

    Rafa camping so far behind to return serves, had given Muller so much time to position himself well at the net after his serve! Rafa had to run so much to cover such a big area behind the baseline from left to right or vice versus! Such was the poor return strategy from Rafa, no wonder he had problems returning Muller’s serves whole match long!

    He returning from so far behind the baseline had enabled Muller to serve out wide so successfully; its like when Rafa was returning Fed’s serves at AO this year; he camping so far back had allowed Fed to serve out wide with successes too.

    He playing too much on clay had influenced the way he returned serves, and he couldn’t break away from that mode of play, sad to say. Djoko doesn’t have Rafa’s problems as he basically camped on the baseline to return serves, which is why he’s more successful than Rafa is on grass (and HCs too).

    • What I don’t understand is why Rafa did not change his ROS position. Rafa should have recognized the need to stand closer. He’s usually good at making adjustments.

      I am interested in hearing Rafa’s thoughts on the match. Maybe augusts will post it.

      • For what it’s worth, I did not think Rafa would beat Cilic if he got through to the quarterfinals. Even before the match I felt that way. But after a tough four plus hour battle, Rafa really would not have been able to do it. But I did want him to get to the quarterfinals.

        Oh sorry, into previous post I meant to say – augusta!

      • Brain freeze by Rafa. It’s obvious that he’s rather nervous, he had too much respect for Muller’s serve, and, it’s at this stage of the tournament where he failed to take the next leap, having failed time and again and never able to cross over this barrier.

        He’d rather played it safe, than changed things around when things didn’t go according to plan. It’s sad that after playing more aggressively to win the third and fourth sets, he then reverted back to safer play once Muller started serving well again. He had his chances but he playing from so far back had cost him big time.

        • Lucky!….I said Rafa had a brain freeze last nite and it did not sit well with my beloved Nny and amy!!hahaha…But,i honestly think that is the case actually…when he lost the 1st 2 sets…he already give us the sign…we just too hopeful to accept it…

          Doesn’t matter now….i’m not too disappointed with this loss…his incredible of bagging 10th FO is still lingering sweetly in my mind and soul…this loss CANNOT dampened my wonderful feelings about that…besides i believe Rafa will once again make his march on NA HC pretty soon where he’s much more comfortable playing on it…

          • That’s the right attitude Mira. Being thankful for what he already has achieved. Lots of Rafans said they’d be happy if he gets past first week. When Roger won AO this year I said to myself everything else he wins this year is a bonus. That was so sweet and satisfying already. They both can have a good run at US open. Cheers!

            • Hey Eugene!..Long time no chat!!..Hope you’re healthy and i bet veryyyyy happy now considering Rog it seems on the verge to continue his magnificent run this year at wimby…I wish him and u and other Roger fans in here like Joe Smith,Kevin and Benny and other’s whom i forgot to mention the best of luck for the rest of the tournament Eugene…i will be very happy if Rog win again…no doubt about that…

              Btw..thank u for your wonderful words Eugene…yeah…it’s no use to feel downhearted about this…it’s not meant to be for Rafa to win it…If we Rafans be honest about it…before the tourney began,we’re all very anxious to see how his knees will hold up on grass…been out from Wimby for 5 years straight before the quarter it’s not an accident Eugene..the problem are bigger than we’re expected…and i guess we Rafans ‘forgot’ of this problem when we saw him marching excellently in the first 3 matches…but the problem is still there..lingering quietly under the surface…i just hope Rafa will wisely learned to handle this problem come USO…He’s also got a ‘demon’ there when he lost painfully to Lucas last year…

              Btw,nice ‘talking’ to u Eugene!…Hope we’re going to chat more after this…Good luck for u and Rog and other nice and wonderful Roger fans here like Joe,Kevin,Benny and other’s!…Yeah!…Cheers back Eugene!!Woohoo!!

          • Yeah Mira, we shouldn’t expect too much, after seeing Cilic in his draw! It’s just that Rafa himself seemed so upset, when I think he felt he was playing well and was hoping to have a chance at the title and yet he faltered again in R4.

            What I hate about the loss is that Rafa will once again get nervous in future when he reaches the same stage here at Wimbledon, and when Rafa is nervous, he can’t serve well, loses his serves, has to chase from behind and against big servers he may lose again. It’s a vicious cycle.

            • Yeah Lucky!…Rafa will definitely get more nervous,not only at Wimby but i’m thinking the nearest slam in USO…He’s also got demon there when he lost to Lucas last year and to Fog the year before…incidentally both defeats also came from a bad loss..that’s what i’m worrying about atm Lucky..i just really really hope,the warrior in him will not quick fighting those demon..he needs to believe that he is in better place atm..not like last years…but,let’s see how he build his confidence in Cincy and Montreal first..i really believe with his current form he will make a deep run in both places..insyaallah!…Vamos Rafa!!!

          • hey mira, hope you are feeling better today honey?? for me this loss was primarily mental. i said loads of times last night that rafa was very nervous early on and that was probably to do with his early losses in teh past playing on his mind. it’s hard to play freely when you want to win too much. and then you don’t compute what’s going on on court in the same way you would normally. actually moving back further to return in sets 3 and 4 worked and he had loads of break points against muller. he just had to readjust when that stopped working in the fifth. muller was very lucky to be serving first. if he had to face break points as match points like rafa did i don’t think he would have survived. rafa had to play under incredible pressure.
            but for me we have to be positive! rafa has just won his 10th roland garros and that’s what really matters.
            toni and carlos both talked about the incredible pressure rafa was under at rg with all the talk of the decima. after being under such mental pressure a let down isn’t surprising because it does take its toll. look at nole losing to querrey after winning his first rg!!!
            so we should be positive imo….
            really hope you are feeling better hon….i left a messge for you yesterday on ttopia….xxxx

            • Amy!!…How r u today amy?Okay?Not suffered much from rafa’s loss i hope!…As for me..Alhamdulillah..the fever almost gone..the cough too,judging from how stable my house are after i cough,not like before…

              Yeah amy!..i am very very agree with u on all counts…not to discredit Muller but if rafa play without nervous like in the 1st week..i doubt he has a chances to win..but yeah..what happen is happened…all rafa needs to do right now is rest and prepare himself for the NA HC properly…i’m pretty sure,if he be able to go deep in Montreal and Cincy..he will get back his confidence to win although come USO is a different matter altogether…but,forget about USO atm….i can’t wait to see to his NA HC campaign…and i’m sure his loss at wimby won’t linger in his mind for long…

              Amy!..yeah..i already reply to your msg in Tourneytopia…thank u mucho for your kind and wonderful words amy!!..and i’m also having fun reading your post last nite on TG!!..hahaha…i can’t stop laughing when i read your post amy!!…God!It’s so fun you’re here amy!…Thank u for coming back okay??Love u!!

            • am feeling very drained today mira!! over four hours of shouting at the tv and swearing like a trooper is very tiring!
              very glad you are feeling better today hon…you need to take good care of yourself when you’re not well ….
              i don’t see uso as teh same obstacle as wimby mira. yeah rafa’s had some bad losses but not over so many years and he will have warm up tourneys to play his way into form and won’t have the same pressure on his knees.
              i am a bit gutted for rafa but honestly a while back i didn’t think rafa would win another slam or get close to number one and now he has 15 slams and could be number one. so we can’t be too greedy can we mira?? munch, munch, more please!!!
              take care honxxxxxx

            • Hahahaha!…amy!!…God!..i pity your TV…hope it not sulking at u the next time u want to watch Rafa on it amy!!…

              I wish you’re right about Rafa and USO amy…as for me,can’t wait to hear u swear beautifully once again come USO..it really can lifted my pressure when watching rafa u know…

              Yeah,we can’t too greedy amy…it’s incredible to see rafa at this form once again..after 2 gloomy years…i wish him keep on healthy and will add his tally in the future…U take care yourself too k amy!!…Hugs from afar!!

    • Yes for once we agreed , ROS was the culprit. If you are way behind, its difficult to hit penetrating return, plus if the other guy goes for a drop volley or short valley , you will have trouble getting to it. If you look at 5th set 9-9 all game, Rafa had 4 chances , he was able to get into rally twice. Muller hit a passing shot but Rafa had one long forehand and ther other point where he could not pick the volley from Muller. Muller was beatable in the fifth set as well. Just that Rafa did not change his position whil returning.

  5. There will always be another Wimbledon next year for Rafa. Roger took 7 years to win AO after his last. probably Rafa would do it in 8, 9 or 10 years.

    Roger wins slam at agree of 35. Rafa has 20 more slam chances until age 35. just need to get 20% of it to reach 19 slams. very do-able for Rafa. just need to get 3 more RG where he does not have any opposition when he is healthy and one more from another.

    Who could beat healthy Rafa in RG?

  6. What is of concern to me is that Rafa seems to be losing 5-setters regularly now, something he never used to do in his prime. Hope his team look at that.

    Otherwise, c’mon Rafa! Get up from the floor, dust yourself up and go!


    • I was about to post that too but decided not to. At least he won two this season so far at the AO, but lost the next two!

      • To me this is a big concern because it points to mental fragility. I just replayed the last game of his match against Muller yesterday and Rafa looked fried mentally. Rafa used to be bulletproof in 5-setters. I do not think age has anything to do with it if older guys like Fed and Muller are still bringing it in this regard.

        • He has doubts, and he playing with intensity is always mentally more taxing, than those who play a more relax style.

          Muller doesn’t have Rafa’s burden at Wimbledon, nobody expects him to win Wimbledon anyway, and his style is about his serve and his net rushing, so naturally he relied heavily on his serves and when he’s playing well, he’s serving well and so he’s able to win many points on his serve.

          Rafa relies more on his overall game and serve is one of his weakness; on grass the serve is important. He can only serve well when he’s confident, we saw how well he served on clay and even in the three matches prior to this one. Once he’s tense, he has the tendency not to serve well and only when in crucial moments, back against the wall, that he would produce some outstanding serves to get out of troubles. However, in the fifth set he had to do it so many times that he finally faltered.

          If you ask me, I think he has to regain confidence playing on grass, if not he’ll just suffer loss after loss, and to regain confidence he has to win matches.

          I do feel Rafa should play a warm up event prior to Wimbledon, he doesn’t need to go to Queens, just plays a small event like Eastbourne to test his skills on grass against anyone, to feel the competition on grass, to get used to the grass court.

          Djoko has done the right thing imo playing at Eastbourne, you need real competition to see where you’re at, and to improve on where you’re lacking.

          Rafa was already doing well to reach the fourth round when he’s playing a game not so suited for grass and having played no warm up event. To me Djoko has a better game (than Rafa) on grass, so he playing only exhos on grass is enough for him to play well to win at Wimbledon.

          Rafa is not Djoko so I feel he needs real matches to test his skills and to feel more confident about his game.

          • I agree with you, playing Eastbourne has to be part of Rafa’s plans going forward if he wants to go deep at Wimby. Queens and Halle would be better because the field tends to be deeper, with literally all the grass specialists playing, but the timing is not good coming barely a week after RG. If fit, Rafa will go deep at all the clay tourneys, likely winning RG so he needs some rest after.

            Practicing is not enough, he needs competitive ambiance. He definitely needs to play a lead-up tourney before Wimby.

          • I remember Rafa commenting that he did not expect Fed to play RG since he had skipped the lead-up tournaments. So Rafa knows the importance of lead-up tournaments, he just has to find the most suitable given his post RG circumstances.

            • but rafa was warned by his doctor not to play queens because of his knees. he’s always going to have problems adjusting from rg to grass because of this….the other top players don’t have the same physical issues as rafa….
              and then there’s the emotional and mental strain and pressure to do with winning rg and the decima. let downs happen….

            • I think the decision to skip Queens was for Rafa to get much needed rest after his exertions on clay. I did not get the impression there was a specific concern about the condition of his knees. I got the impression team Rafa was happy with his fitness and the Doctor, being part of the team, would be part of that decision to rest.

              My understanding regarding Rafa’s knees is that because of the therapies/treatments he has gone through on them, he now finds it difficult to bend his knees continuously as is required on grass court tennis. Team Rafa’s concern was that the constant knee bending would trigger old problems.

              Tiggy actually put it well in his post match analysis, he said Rafa wanted so badly to win he lost, meaning he put too much pressure in himself to win and this was his undoing.

            • gosh tiggy said that?!
              i said exactly that last night…and i think many would see the same….he was so on edge in the first 2 sets…that’s where the game was lost really ie he shouldnt have let it go to 5….
              i don’t remember the specific details about queens ritb….but it’s quite likely that after rg next year the same advice about rest will be given and i would always want rafa to err on teh side of safety regarding his knees.
              those people knocking him ought to think about whether their fave would be doing well if he couldnt’ play a warm up because of physical issues.
              and then there is the mental hangover from winning rg and teh exertion involved..ask nole about that!!

            • @amy, I think Team Rafa made the right decision regarding Queens this year, given the circumstances. That clay swing was a lot for Rafa, going deep as he did in each tourney. The turnaround period from clay to grass is too short even with the extra week before Queens. He has to rest otherwise he would not be doing himself any favors.

              None of the contenders goes through what Rafa goes through during the clay season. None of them win Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid, go deep at Rome and win RG. So, we really ought to cut Rafa some slack. As you say, he could have a draw where he does not face any of the big hitters until the quarters say and then, all bets would be off! How many big hitters did Muzza, Nole and Fed face before the quarters?

              As long as Rafa is healthy, I give Rafa a winning chance in each tournament he enters.

          • luckystar says AT 10:00 AM: “Djoko has done the right thing imo playing at Eastbourne…”
            Playing in Eastbourne was the FIRST time Djoko played a grass-court tournament between the FO and Wimbledon since 2010!
            If Djoko had won the FO this year, I doubt he would have requested a wildcard for the Eastbourne tournament.

            Rafa shouldn’t follow any player as a role model, he has good advisors who have known him for a long time and are aware of his problems. 🙂

  7. just saw the end of it
    Rafa was returning like shite and Muller was possessed and on a mission
    We’ll always have Paris…..

  8. Rafa lost the first set without making a single UE. He overall made only 17 UEs to 52 UEs of Mulller’s… Rafa had that unlucky net cord that cost him the second set!!He did not play badly last night! The only lousy thing was Rafa’s ROS and his break point conversion! If one fails to convert 14 break points he must end up losing the match! I give credit to Muller for hanging in there and not giving up! At the end Rafa chasing Muller and each time serving to stay in the match as well as failing to capitalize on some chances he was given had took a tool on Rafa’s mental strength…Muller serving well when mattered did not help either…

    All in all, Rafa gave it his best and could have as well won it if he had more of the luck…but he didn’t and Muller deserved it! I wouldn’t go that far to say with certainty that Rafa would anyway have lost to Cilic…Nope, nobody could claim that if Rafa pulled this one wouldn’t strive on his confidence to go on and beat Cilic…but, that’s so irrelevant now…

    It’s nor fair to Rafa to say that he should skip Wimby from now on…he may as well win it in the future if the stars allgn for him, who knows…

    I for one was not optimistic about Rafa’s chances to win Wimby this year…I always thought USO is the second Rafa’s forte when in form…
    I just hope this loss does not get to Rafa! He should emerge stronger from this and should just enjoy his successes this year! If he stays healthy he will do wonders in the USO swing!

    We are so proud of your fighting spirit! This was your least favorite surface against quality in-form opponent! Yet it could have gone either way…

    We love you, Rafa!

    Vamos Champ!

    • First, after 4+ hours of a match, even if Rafa had won, do you think he would beat Cilic? Cilic was playing well, well rested, and full of confidence. I would say Cilic will beat Muller in the QF.

      Second, if Rafa can’t play well on grass, why risk getting injury playing on it? Unless Rafa just wants to enjoy playing at Wimbledon without hoping for any title there, then by all means plays with no pressure, no nervy feeling. If he can somehow starts playing well on grass then of course he should carry on playing at Wimbledon, it’s all his choice and his decision.

      Third, Rafa looked disappointed about this loss, I feel he had confidence coming to Wimbledon that he could do well, but losing once again in R4, more or less would affect his confidence again. We don’t expect much from him on grass but that may not be what he expects from himself, we just don’t know. Rafa may feel that he lost a good chance of winning, when he’s fit and healthy, riding the confidence of his FO win, and was playing a good enough all round game to win on grass.

      Nobody knows how his game, his body will be come next year, and yeah, the stars have to align for him to win Wimbledon, though I feel the possibility of winning the FO and Wimbledon B2B will diminish with time.

      • @Lucky, do you feel the same way about WTF and Miami, 2 tournaments which spring to mind which he has yet to win? Should he skip those too? It seems to me the argument you are using for Rafa to skip Wimby applies to those 2 tourneys as well.

        • Nope for WTF, that was the YEC for the top eight guys, and Rafa had no injury issues there in the past, I see no reason for him to skip it. Furthermore, after that event he can have his long year end break, so why skip it?

          Yes for Miami. Why? Because it’s just before the clay season and Rafa needs to be fully fit for his assaults on clay, unless Rafa is willing to skip one or even two clay events.

          Imo, he needs to be wise in his scheduling, reducing the work load as he gets older. I always find both Fed and Djoko being really good at their scheduling, not overplaying, perhaps that’s why both of them could remain relatively injury free and could dominate the tour for so long.

          Not that Rafa is going to dominate, but not overplaying may increase his chances of being fit and healthy and be ready for the important events.

          • I agree with your take on both WTF and Miami but am still not convinced on your take on Wimby.

            Wimby is still worth taking a punt on, with or without playing a lead-up tournament. First prize would be of course to play one. I mean, who knows, the draw might break for him, Muller was stretched by Rosol after all.

            I think what really disappointed Rafa about this year was that, unlike the other years when he was knocked out early, this year he felt fully fit. He lost because he did not capitalize on his opportunities, not because his body would not cooperate.

            • It’s OK, we can disagree but it’s Rafa’s decision to make, not ours. I’m sure Rafa will play at Wimbledon, unless he’s injured.

          • luckystar says AT 12:07 PM: “I always find both Fed and Djoko being really good at their scheduling”
            I have always said/written that Fed has withdrawn from the tournaments because of his HEALTH issues. It has been ‘good schedulig’ according to Fedfans’ propaganda. 🙂

      • spot on, RITB! I do not think Rafa should skip any tournament if he is healthy! I also agree with you that Rafa should find the way to improve his court positioning on grass to return better in order to have more chances to beat big hitters. He has already improved his serve and volleys, though should go more to the net on the grass…
        Of course Rafa was disappointed for losing this and sure Rafa expected to do well in Wimby and that’s the right mindset of a true champion.. many people here were saying Kachanov could be a stern test and Rafa destroyed him. This match was close and Rafa just was not lucky enough and failed to take his chances!
        Rafa will overcome this loss and will come back strong for USO swing!

        • Rafa is always disappointed to lose and he always shows his disappointment. I just felt he really wanted to win this Wimby and he knows he missed his chances. During his presser, he was very clear he will be back because he enjoys playing on Centre Court.

          I am very bullish Rafa will do very well in the NA swing. I hope he takes it easy on the indoor swing and focuses more on the outdoor HC tournaments where he has a better chance of winning and also in preparation for USO.

          Because he will just be adding points, it is very likely, he and Fed will end the year as numbers 1 and 2, meaning he may turn up at Wimby 2018 as #1 seed and hopefully they play all his matches on Centre Court as a result.

          Rafa loves Wimby and so does Uncle Toni……

          I didn’t see Carlos Moyà at Wimby, where was he?

      • Luckystar says AT 11:16 AM: “…Rafa looked disappointed about this loss, I feel he had confidence coming to Wimbledon that he could do well, but losing once again in R4, more or less would affect his confidence again.”
        Rafa didn’t know before the grass season, whether his knees would hold up or not. If they did, I think, he’ll feel more confident in his knees on the grass in the future.


        • To add to my post AT 2:37 PM,

          At his post-R3 press conference, Rafa was asked a question about having ‘confidence in his body’.

          Question. “You’ve had problems over many seasons with your body, the physical side. Did you ever lose confidence in your body? How did you get to a place where you had confidence in your body?”

          RAFAEL NADAL: “When you are under problems, is always that you don’t have confidence with your body, then is much more difficult to play well. If you feel that you are healthy, then you feel confident that you can do whatever you want in terms of practice, and you can move without thinking on anything, just thinking about the ball.
          That’s very important because when you are losing little bit of time thinking about how you have to put that leg there because can be painful, then is, I don’t say impossible, but almost.”

    • I am willing to bet right now Muller will be in Rafa’s quarter, again, next year Wimby………..

      Rafa will dispatch him……..

  9. Rafa head hitting the ceilings could be very painful indeed. He jumped up using a lot of power in his legs, that’s what he used to do before the match. He just did not want to show it as that was quite ridiculous situation. that perhaps impacting his game in the first two sets.

    • amy (AT 11:56 AM),

      According to Moya’s contract, he travels 12 – 15 weeks per year. Moya has three little kids at home and he wants to spend time with them.

      Rafa’s coaches are scheduled to travel in 2017:
      ¤ Carlos Moya: Melbourne, Acapulco, Miami, Monte Carlo, Madrid and Roland Garros. (The season-end schedule to be set.)
      ¤ Francis Roig: Acapulco, Indian Wells, Barcelona, ​​Queens, Wimbledon, Montreal, Cincinnati, Beijing and Shanghai.
      ¤ U.Toni: GS tournaments, Rotterdam and Rome. (In addition, Toni can join Moya & Roig in some tournaments.)
      (Source: EL Espnanol, Jan. 12, 2017)

      • thanks augusta. so moya won’t be around for the NA season? that’s not good news.
        what will happen next year when toni stops being around much ? surely moya will have to travel more then or rafa won’t have a full time coach?

        • amy (AT 12:21 PM),

          Rafa has said that one more coach might be hired next year.

          According to the Spanish media, C.Moya will be the ‘head coach’ of the Rafa team (instead on Toni) next year.

          I would say that C.Moya is Rafa’s full-time coach because CM is the Technical Director of Rafa’s academy and is always coaching Rafa in Mallorca. Rafa trained with Moya on the grass courts in Mallorca for 6 days. (Moya lives in Palma, the capital of Mallorca).

  10. i for one think rafa can win wimby he jsut needs some luck with the draw. if you trawled the archivees i’m sure you’d find people getting through to the semis without facing big servers. once rafa gets to teh final stages he ups his game anyway and plays much better. no question he could have taken out murray in the semis….

      • nny, i hope you are not feeling too upset today? i know you often feel very bad after rafa’s losses. i was saying to mira that we have to hold to the positives and remember that a while back some of us thought he wouldn’t win another slam or get close to number one. well we were wrong about both those facts and we should never again underestimate rafa and what he is capable of doing in the future.
        i am a bit upset about some fo the comments here saying he shouldnt play wimby again and so on…for me that shows lack of respect. rafa is a great player…he just needs a bit of luck in the early stages. he can beat anyone once he gets into the quarters and especially semis…then he relaxes and plays much much better…
        i havent read anything online. much of it is rubbish afterall…!
        take care…..

        • Amy,

          I agree with you! We have to be grateful for Rafa winning his 10 th RG! It’s true that not too long ago we were not sure if he could win a slam again. So we have to be thankful that he was able to achieve something like that.

          I do have a tough time when Rafa loses. I felt really bad for him because he gave it his all and wanted to win. So I feel for him.

          But thank goodness Rafa is healthy and playing well. He can look forward to the NA summer hardcourt season now.

          Thanks for your words. It is really nice to see you here posting again!

      • natashao and ritb. i agree with your comments. let’s believe in rafa right now!! he’s given us the decima and teh strain and pressure of achieving htat must have really taken it out of him. a let down is understandable and i don’t think anyone should be criticising him….

    • Amy,

      When we were discussing Rafa’s prospects before the tournament started, I said on Rafa’s fan forum that he would need some help from the draw. Someone else responded that if he’s not playing well then that won’t help him. Well he was playing well!

      I agree with you. Rafa needed some help with the draw. He got two of the hottest big serving guys back-to-back. That was a bridge too far.

      Also I read comments from Rafa on vamosbrigade yesterday to Spanish journalists after his match, to the effect that he was not happy about playing on Court One. He said it’s always the same ones who play on Center Court. He obviously meant Murray and Fed. Rafa rarely complains but he apparently was not happy in his presser. He expected to do well.

      They also said on that site not to read Tignor’s piece about the match. I try st times like this not to read very much online. I don’t want to make it worse for myself.

  11. Ha, how about Raonic taking out Fed, Berdy taking out Djoko and Querrey taking out Murray! And, we have Cilic winning it all! All big servers and hard hitters!

    • Actually, I am now rooting for Muzza and Cilic to win because I do not want Fed and Dioko adding to their Slam tally.

      I am rooting for Fed and Djoko to lose! Does that make me evil? If yes, I accept, with pleasure………

      • Yes very evil in the best way ? I don’t think Nole is going to make it — if he’s not playing up the pain in his elbow and shoulder. He could make it past Berdych because Berdych is Berdych. But I don’t think Federer is going to beat the Raonic machine. Andy and Raonic final is what I’m thinking now.

        If Fed is strong enough to beat Raonic, he’ll probably make the final and
        lose to Murray. That’s what I think. Sorry Benny G and all Federer fans.

        And I respect Benny G’s opinion very much. 🙂

        • Fed will win this . If he plays Andy in finals , it won’t be a four set match . Only Djoker can offer resistance to Fed in this mood who has looked invincible this season. Cilic won’t be able to handle Wimbledon final pressure.

          • Nole appeared half speed on his serve after the first set. He could be playing it up — it was vs Mannarino, so he didn’t need a serve weapon. But I’m not feeling good about Novak right now.

            • Without serve , you can’t win Wimbledon. I doubt Djoker will play this up. But it could not be a serious issue as well.

            • We’ll see. Maybe there’s a way to make it better fast but seems like this is an old issue rearing it’s head. If so, I’d rather see Novak take the time he needs to rehab it.

              You don’t think Raonic will pose a problem for Federer?

          • Lets see . Raonic is not on the same level as last year and Fed is playing better. And still, in my opinion Fed was a better player against Raonic last year. Fed should sail thru unless Raonic’s serve comes to his rescue.

            • Ditto fedexal.

              Neither Raonic nor Djokovic are at their respective levels when they beat Roger at Wimbledon.

              And Roger is arguably better.

        • ?

          If it’s any consolation @ratcliff, between Fed and Nole, I hope Fed loses. If Muzza and Cilic cannot take it, then let it be Nole. The worst possible scenario would be Fed getting his 19th Slam, oh the infamy! The obnoxious Fedfans would never let us hear the end of it, it would be torture……….

          Unfortunately, I have to agree with @Fedexal, Fed is looking ominous…………

      • If I said I wanted Rafa to lose because I wanted Roger to keep the slam count lead, I would get verbally harassed on here for life ?

        • Actually when I picked Stan in the finals someone accused me of picking him for that reason and roasted me lol. But it was someone who rarely uses the site I think I don’t even remember who

          • C’mon Benny G, it doesn’t make the other guys look good if Fed, at his age, keeps winning at Slams, does it? Fed should give the other guys a chance…?

      • I appreciate your honesty. However, I think one of those two is most likely to take home the trophy, probably Fed.

    • MA,

      I don’t believe it! But it won’t last because I went with Rafa. Heart over head!

      Thanks for posting that!

      • Nny!…that’s okay!…maybe we will get lucky next time!…it’s always a torture to pick against our fav right?

        Btw…You’re welcome Nny!!..Always!!

  12. I just think Rafa was nervous in the 5th.Nothing else explains all the 0-15 and 0-30 when he was serving. And all the breakpoints he had. How could he let is slip after forcing a 5th and then losing 13-15? These kind of scenarios are tailor made for Rafa. He is supposed to be a beast deep in the 5th.
    I am so disappointed as I really thought Rafa had a shot at the title.

    • @atul1985, this has been the most disappointing aspect of Rafa’s game of late: an inability to protect his serve and wasting break chances. Remember how he was a break up at the AO and Fed broke him back easy? Okay, Fed has a decent return game but Muller? At the worst I expected Rafa to protect his serve utntil play was suspended due to darkness, re-group overnight and come back stronger to finish off Muller the following day. I just could not understand how Muller was getting a look into Rafa’s service games that easy.

      Our boy has work to do! I think there have been noticeable improvements on the technical aspects of Rafa’s game. What’s left is the mental side. Uncle Toni is on record saying he is not in favour of outside professional help on mental aspects of the game. We have to trust Uncle T on this. But clearly, there is work to be done on this………..

      • RITB 3.0 says AT 3:49 PM. “Uncle Toni is on record saying he is not in favour of outside professional help on mental aspects of the game…”
        Rafa has been asked a question about seeking help from a sport psychologist, he has refused to comment on it.
        Rafa’s post-match press conference, QF of the Shanghai Masters 2015:

        Question: “You talked many times about how you control your emotions better on court now. What changed? Did you seek help from a mental coach, sports psychologist, or did you change your own attitude?”

        RAFAEL NADAL: “Well, first thing is I think that’s a personal thing. So normally I don’t like to talk about personal things. I talk about my public things, and that’s a personal thing…”
        Read more:

  13. if both finalists retire due to injury they have to give the trophy to one of the guys involved in the longest match of the trophy, so Muller and Nadal will have to play another final and this time Nadal will prevail, surely.
    I know this doesn’t make any sense but, so what?

    • After having a night to sleep on it, I think that Rafa dug himself too deep a hole in losing the first two sets. In set three, Rafa was getting a much better read on Muller’s serve. He was also a bit unlucky with the net cord that cost h the second set.

      Rafa did well to fight back and win sets three and four. He deserves credit for that. But in the end the star that sticks out to me is only two of sixteen break points converted. In s close matchike this one, that made the difference. Rafa’s ROS was also a problem. I don’t know why he didn’t move up in the fifth set.

      I felt helpless as Rafa has break chances late in that fifth set and just could not get it done. Then every time he was serving to stay on the match. The pressure in that situation was enormous. Every time Muller fought off break points it gave him confidence. Then finally Rafa just couldn’t keep holding his serve.

      I also think that the lack of match play hurt Rafa in this kind of match. Muller was march ready and battle tested. However, I do understand the reason why Rafa pulled out Of Queens. His team felt that he needed the rest after a tough clay season. But coming in with only two exho matches was not ideal preparation. It’s a dilemma that Rafa and his team will need to deal with next year.

      I don’t get to say if Rafa should play Wimbledon or not. That’s up to him. But this was the first player who could challenge Rafa. Match play gives you confidence. We saw that with Rafa leading up to RG.

      I think Rafa did believe he could do well. I can understand his disappointment. Coming back from two sets down and winning, might well have given him real confidence going up against Cilic. But I still think he would not have beaten Cilic. We will never know now for sure. But four hours and forty minutes is too long. Even with a day off it would hdve been very difficult. I would have wanted Rafa to win and play Cilic. Getting past the fourth round would have helped him a lot.

  14. Just read Rafa’s criticism of court scheduling in the independent.co.uk. I am glad Rafa is speaking out about this. Tennis is a competitive, commercial and international sport, it should not pander to “traditions” which have the appearance of promoting favouritism. Court scheduling, like draws, affect player performances and match outcomes. All players should be treated equally.

    Some, especially those whose favorites benefit from the status quo, say it does not matter which court a player is assigned to, well fine, all the more reason Federer and Muzza should also have played on Court 1, if it does not matter, no? The fact that they were never assigned Court 1 means it does matter where they are assigned. Court 1 plays faster than Centre Court, it has no roof therefore no floodlights etc, etc. To say they are same is not true and disingenuous at best.

    Muzza is always assigned Centre Court because he is British. Well, is the game British? No, it is international. It’s not just Brits who watch Wimby anymore. So, Wimby needs to get with the programme and institute international, fair scheduling standards, scrap this ” tradition”. It is provincial and needs updating.

    Federer is mostly assigned Centre Court for a whole lot of spurious reasons like he is a big commercial draw blah, blah, blah like, is he the only one bringing in the lolly? Get outta here! I am glad Rafa, in his presser, said he also has won a lot and has a lot of history in the game, he deserves respect. Bravo Rafa!

    I have been on record saying Rafa should play Wimby even if his results have not been stellar lately. However, I would happily back Rafa if he boycotted Wimby because they were not giving him due respect. Enough is enough. RG rotates court scheduling equally, I could be wrong but I think so do the other Slams. This issue never arises at USO and AO.

    Another issue Wimby needs to revisit is the special seeding. Ostensibly they have their own seeding system because grass is a “special surface”. Total bollocks! Every surface is special, Wimby should do like the other Slams and seed according to rolling rankings.

    This tradition excuse is just that, an excuse to rig the system. Personally, I am done with it. I am glad SPECIAL players like Rafa are speaking out now, IN FAVOUR OF FAIRNESS.

    Federer sneezes about one thing or another and the Slams/ATP jump. Well, let’s see if they ignore Rafa’s concerns.

    Vamos Rafa!

    • Uncle Toni followed up Rafa’s complaints by sticking the boot in, “Wimbledon wants to be the best tournament but sometimes it does small tournament things, favoring more of the account according to which players. In Roland Garros Rafa is almost always the favorite but he does not always play on the Central Court”.

      Take that AELTC……….

      Even the women are complaining they are not being shown proper respect with the #1 player, Kerber, relegated to some nondescript outside court.

      Shame on you Wimby!

      • Djokovic was scheduled to play on Court 1 yesterday, after the Rafa/Muller match but because it over-ran, Djokovic’s match was curiously post-poned to today. The last Centre Court match ended around 19h00 so there was plenty of time to re-schedule the Djokovic match to Centre Court since Cente has a roof and flood lights, they could have played right up to 23h00 if need be. In its wisdom, the AELTC decided Djokovic’s match would be played today, depriving the winner of a full rest day, advantage Fed in the semi!

        It is so obvious the AELTC wants a Murray/Federer final their un-subtle shenanigans are embarrassing.

      • I posted a comment up thread about reading Rafa’s comments about playing on Court One. It was posted on vamosbrigade. Rafa spoke to the Spanish journalists about it. It’s rare for Rafa to speak out, so we know that this bothered him. I agree with him. It’s Murray and Fed who get special treatment all the time at Wimby. I am glad that Uncle Toni said something.

        It does make a difference, otherwise Murray and Fed would play in Court One!

        I also agree about the special seeding. It’s utter nonsense! None of the other slams do it. Rafa is the #2 ranked player in the world. He should be seeded as such. This idiotic and biased system of special seeding is an insult.

        Wimbledon’a bias is showing and it’s not pretty!

        • Fedfans will say it’s sour grapes on our part and Team Rafa because he lost but that is deflection. Muller played better than Rafa, especially in the 5th set, and won, deservedly. The court scheduling is a separate matter which needs to be addressed even if Rafa had won. Same with post-poning of Djokovic’s match.

          Fed is good enough to win without being given a leg-up. It is actually an insult to him and Murray to give them special treatment. This assumes they would not make it without the special scheduling.

          Agree, it is not pretty, it needs to stop.

          • Add on to that . CC scheduled matches are even more advantageous if it is raining. Those matches will go uninterrupted and rest of the players would be stranded . How good is that ? Thats even worse on a day like Day 7 or Day 9.

            I am just hoping Cilic would dismantle Murray much to the agony of local fans.

            • Murray is normally my second favorite but because of the way Wimby have sought to advantage him at the expense of the other players I am rooting for Cilic to beat him.

            • When was the last time Murray or Fed played a match on Court1 in Wimby ? Rafa as 9 time French Open champion played on SL in this year FO in 4th and 1st round and interestingly, the first round was with a not so bad French player who made it to the fourth round of this year Wimby. So no preferential treatment for a legend as well as a good local player.

          • I have no doubt that Fed fans will say it’s sour grapes. They are the last ones who should ever throw that criticism around, as far as I am concerned! They have whined plentyvom the past when it comes to their guy!

            Rafa said that Court One plays faster than Center Court. That can change the outcome of a match. He had already played on Court One. It was time for Murray and Fed to take a turn there. That’s only fair. Whether it would have made a difference to Rafa winning we will never know. But it’s about basic fairness and rotating the players.

            I can handle Rafa’s losses. If I couldn’t then I would have stopped watching a long time ago. But there are things that don’t sit well with me.

            I didn’t even think about how they postponed Novak’s match until the next day, when it could have been played on Center Court.

            I am rooting for Cilic over Murray because of the blatant favoritism in scheduling. Murray still behaves like a spoiled bear on the court. He played mediocre tennis and only got through because his opponent is one of the bigger head cases in this game. The one issue I have with Murrsy is what a poor sport he is. He was complaining in a mstchbthat his opponent was serving too slow, then that he was serving too fast. His behavior is quite boorish. Along with the grabbing of various body parts feigning injury when he is losing.

            It’s bothered me for some time now. Of course I would never want Fed to win! I do think it’s insulting to be handing out special scheduling and easy draws along with the stupid special seeding system.

            I just know that Rafa rarely speaks out about anything. It has to rankle him that he gets no respect from the organizers at Wimby as a two time champion.

    • And Poor Djoker, he just got one less day of restfor no reasons . I mean that guy is one of the all time greats and you are robbing him of his right. Why would you not reschedule his match on CC when you knew you stupid guys dont have a fifth set tie-break and the match could go on for hours. I mean forgod sake, give players a sake. In the end , honestly I was glad Rafa lost because it was so mentally draining to come out there and hold serve to stay in match with no end in sight.

      Djoker’s wife has slammed Wimbledon and even Agassi had a meeting with Wimby management and he was told because of security concerns they were not given center court. I mean give them any spare court you dumb Britishers. Why dont they hand the trophy to Murray and Fed both if they are so biased.

      If we they would have followed the original rankings Murray And Fed would have been a QF instead of Murray-Wawrinka. Wimbledon thinks highly of itself as a Grandslam whereas it is turning to be the worst grand slam in terms of middle sunday as rest day, all whites and some stupid unbendable rules.

      • What security concerns? That’s as lame an excuse as you will ever hear. What’s the point of having a roof and flood lights then? Wimby are turning out to be so blatant and amateurish in their rigging.

        Remember how Isner and Mahut found themselves on the same side of the draw a year after their epic match? Same with Rafa and Rosol? Honestly, as Uncle Toni says, Wimby has pretensions to greatness but they behave like a small tournament.

        I hope Team Rafa lodged a formal complaint. This disgusting nonsense must stop.

        • So, Djoker is really grumpy out there and rightly so. A day’s rest and can do wonders and I just hope that he has his shoulder niggle sorted out. He is calling for final set breaker which makes 100% sense. http://www.bbc.com/sport/tennis/40575519

          70-68 final set is a disgrace for tennis players. I wonder why they are trying to get mileage out of that horrendous scoreline.

          I feel Murray side of draw is rigged as well.

          • I happen to agree when it comes to having s fifth set tiebreak. It’s almost inhumane to have matches drag on interminably like that. I am glad that the USO has fifth set tiebreaks.

            Wimbledon is looking petty and small minded with its obvious favoritism. Shame on them!

          • I agree with Novak on the need for a final set tie breaker. It’s a modern sport, not a Roman gladiator’s spectacle for goodness’ sake. Of course Muzza’s draw was rigged. If the seedings has held, he was slated to face Wawa in the quarters, Wawa has never been past the quarters at Wimby if my memory serves me right. Who has he faced so far? A bunch of head- cases……

            • All top players have to face big hitters. Do you really think there is a conspiracy to make sure Nadal faces the most dangerous big hitters, as if any tournament wants to see him lose in an early round? That truly makes no sense.

            • There are big hitters in Rafa’s quarter because (surprise!) there are virtually always big hitters in every quarter – it’s a grass court tournament. There really shouldn’t be anything surprising about running into big hitters when you play Wimby, it’s to be expected.

            • Roger, Murray and Djokovic simply all handle the big hitters on grass much better than Nadal who definitely is not confident with them on this surface in particular.

              With any seeded opponent that plays attacking tennis on grass, expect to lose if you are not confident.

    • RITB: First, I agree with you that there should be no preferential treatment. That extends to all players, including Rafa, who received special scheduling treatment against Fognini at Barcelona this year. Second, your (and Rafa’s) substantive complaint doesn’t make much sense. Why is court 1 worse to play on -in general- than Centre court? Court 1 plays faster? That hurts Nadal -but helps Federer. Why then would Federer be happy on playing so much on Centre court (which he has said publicly that is, and grateful for it).

      In short, I can see why Rafa would want to play on centre court (also on PC court at RG, because of its dimensions), but don’t really see how it is an advantage for Roger to play there (Andy a different story because a slower court may also benefit him).

  15. The reason given for not putting Nole vs Mann. on Centre was the fans in Centre for Rafa’s match would first have to leave and then those who had booked for Nole’s match would have to be brought in – taking approx. one hour + the New special security needed these days.
    The question of scheduling on Centre – this is the only year when it seems to be reserved for the No. 1 player + Federer – this may – but only partially – because of the special ranking Wimbledon employs.
    I personally have no issue with special Wimbledon seedings which is in place because the grass season is so short and specialized.

    • My humble opinion is that Wimby’s special seedings rule made sense in the wooden racquet era. It is quaint and antiquated and not in line with the modern game.clay is also a specialized surface. This is one of the reasons Fed skipped the clay season this year for example. RG could also use a special seeding formula to favour dirt-ballers in the same way Wimby’s formula favors grass specialists, but they do not.

      Murray has always been given Centre Court privileges even when he was not #1. As for Fed, let me stop here………..

      The point is, unless Wimby changes, it is in danger of relegating itself to a “cottage” tournament, a less than international tournament. This self imposed exceptionalism must end.

      • I think Djoker has been a wrong side of Wimby scheduling as well. I mean the guy is best player there in last decade or so. Even Sampras did not get such preferential treatment in Wimby even though I still feel he is the all time best on grass courts. Best Sampras can beat anyone at his best on grass with that monster serve and crafty forehand.

      • lol, RITB. you said it, from the wooden racquet era 😀

        What is their rule again for seeding? Is it the best on grass in the past decade? WTF too, Novak just won Eastbourne, that should count for something and 3 grass Wimbledon trophies. Federer has what? the one in 2007, 2012 and a bunch of Halle’s? Rafa has 2 Wimbles titles, Andy has several (?) Queens and 2 Wimbledon titles? Bah they must be counting back to 2003. I can’t keep it straight.

        Really I cannot remember how many GS’s Novak, Andy, Rafa, and Roger have.
        And my memory is pretty dang good. Just can’t seem to keep in mind how many titles who has, whether it’s ATP or WTA.

        • Sorry, everyone. My post was a bit disingenuous. But I am peeved about Novak and Mannarino not getting to play on Center Court when there was plenty of time. Novak was set to play on that day and that schedule could have easily been kept – center court.
          He does get disrespected and it’s sad.

          • rc!..didn’t u naw that organizer’s at Wimby are stupid?Not only that..Novak hater’s are everywhere..2 days ago some of them once again released a cheap story concerning Novak’s supposed affair..the timing of the released is no doubt was borne from a bad intention to disrupt Novak and his Wimby campaign…there’s many bad people in this world rc…

        • Special seedings is code for special treatment for the privileged grass court players. The Wimby special seedings spectacle has its roots in the British class sytem which rewards the haves and penalizes the have-nots.

          The essence of the Wimby seedings is this: those who have done well on grass in a given period deserve protection, they deserve to be bumped up. It’s a system rooted in class privilege and un-meritorious advancement. That’s how the privileged maintain their privilege. Fairness is radical socialism which must be destroyed at all costs.

          Think about what this implies for a second: if you are good on grass you deserve to be given a leg-up, you deserve to be given a head start. This is akin to giving Usain Bolt a 10 meter head-start in a 100 meter race. How does this even make sense? Surely, the fair scenario would be for all runners to start at zero meters, or have Usain Bolt start 10 meters behind the rest of the field? Ah, that would be fair and socialist! Not for Wimby!

          The best grass court players must be given a leg-up, a head-start, all the better for them to ensure they stay ahead of the “lesser” players. A level playing field? That’s for the great un-washed……

          I don’t know about you but if I was a grass specialist I would be insulted by the Wimby special seedings because they imply that I am a snowflake, that I am not strong enough to withstand fair competition.

          Special seedings are just another way of rigging the system to advantage favourite, already privileged players. Then they rig the draw on top of that, and court scheduling…………….uuugh!

          The genius of Wimby and their aristocratic cohorts is how they managed to convince everybody, thus far, their corrupt seedings system was for the good of all concerned……..

          • You have lost sight of the fact that seeding by its very nature is preferential. It’s just that Wimby privileges grass. And as has been said before, that can arguably be justified somewhat by the lack of lead-up tournaments. Still, I wouldn’t have a problem with the FO giving the clay-courters a benefit either. Talk about fairness? What about a Masters on grass, for starters. Swings and roundabouts if you look at the bigger picture.

            • @TWD, How is seeding according to the rolling rankings, which the other 3 Slams use, preferential? A lack of lead-up tournaments is justification for the Wimby seeding system? Sorry, I do not get you there. There are plenty of grass lead-tournaments, maybe the timing is not ideal coming so soon after RG. You are not seriously suggesting that a player’s grass performance in 2016 should have the same weight as another player’s grass performance in a lead -up tournament in 2017? This is nonsense. In any case, last year’s grass performance, as well as that for the lead-up tournaments, is already accounted for in the rolling ranking system, which is used in the formula for the special Wimby seedings, double counting much? This is why I say just use the rolling ranking system, like the other Slams do. Why double count?

              I would love a Masters on grass! I wish the grass season was longer but grass maintenance costs apparently militate against this.

              Swings and round abouts implies the unfairness in the Wimby seeding systems is more than made up by unfairness elsewhere on the Tour, where? Sorry, this is a deflection from the issue at hand: an antiquated seeding system used by Wimby which is past its sell-by date. Let’s be careful of drawing false equivalents.

            • It’s preferential in a very elementary way – if you’re seeded, you don’t have to face other top players early on. That’s all I meant. Now Wimbledon then also privileges your form on that particular surface. But like I said, I absolutely wouldn’t have a problem if the FO did the same. I would agree that the current situation is not fair, because Wimby is the *only* tournament doing it, but they have a partial defence – there are not a lot of big tournaments on grass, therefore players who excel on it can’t really ply their trade to bank many points. I am not suggesting that 2016 and 2017 should be equal, no.

              By mentioning the lack of a Grass Masters I do not mean to deflect from the seeding issue, but I do think it can be relevant in the context of a debate about fairness. Players who are good on grass get that seeding benefit, but they don’t even have a Masters to play for and win. You can talk about the issues separately of course, but you can also look at fairness more broadly, sometimes it does cut both ways.

            • I agree the seeding system using the rolling rankings does have a preferential bias imbedded in it for the reasons you mention. However, this bias is determined by performance on the Tour so there is an element of fairness in that if you go deep in tournaments and win, you earn more ranking points and a higher seed.

              The preference is based on performance rather than a specific surface. Not perfect, but better……….

    • But Djoko is seeded above Fed, at no.2 so respect has to be shown to the no.2 seed, but no, Djoko has to give way to Fed! Djoko and Fed are in the same side of the draw, so there’s no reason to favor Fed over Djoko.

  16. No, Nole has not been the best player at Wimbledon for the last decade. Federer has won 7 Wimbledon’s (plus minor grass ) /Nole 3 / Andy 2 + 9 Queens’. Every Slam nation supports home-grown talent – just unfortunate there is none in Eastern Europe or Switzerland. To be fair – look at the other Slam countries.
    To summarize – Federer has the best “grass” credentials and of the rest of the pack in recent years Murray is next.

    • I am talking about last Wimbledon in last 10 years. Nobody has won more Wimbledon than him. He has winning record against the second best player Fed.

  17. Lucky,Nny,amy!…Hey,i want to ask u guys something…do u guys think that Rafa lost the first 2 sets has anything to do with his head kissing the door jamb?I mean we’re all have smack our head onto something right?And it hurts like hell!…and Rafa’s smacked his head wayyyyyy harder than us..we can even hear it on video[and he didn’t even grab his head in pain!urgh!!..that brat!!]…i know this question is silly but is there a possibility that he suffered a headache and can’t focus on his game that day?At least in the first 2 sets..what do u guys think?

    • Mira, I don’t think so. Rafa made the costly errors in set 1&2 because he didn’t play well, too nervous probably.

      Had he come out to play like the way he played against Khachanov in R3, perhaps that might put some doubts in Muller’s head; but Rafa instead played like he had so much to lose, so not a good thing. His ROS left very much to be desired.

      I would suggest that he looks at how Murray and Djoko hit their returns on grass and pick up some tips. The two are so successful in the past four or five years on grass, even against some big hitters, surely there must be something they’re doing right and doing well.

      • Okay Lucky!…And i happen to agree with u of coz…oh!..how i wish u will write most of your thoughts to him Lucky[via FB for example]…i always agree with everything u write here…u always have a point on everything..let rafa knows how we feel about it…not that he didn’t know most of the things already..i’m sure U.Toni and Moya will fill him in of what was wrong everytime he finished his match…

        And your suggestion to study Andy and Novak’s return is very spot on too!Those 2 are the best returner’s in business..not only on grass but on HC too…It’s amazing that we thought when they’re the best player that they know what to do in every circumstances…but they don’t…or in rafa’s case,i think it’s more to do with lack of confidence…he will drawn further back 5,6 meters from the baseline if he’s not feel very confident and play very passively…He let Muller dictate pretty much of his game that day…toying him around with his shots..that’s why at the end of the match,it’s rafa who looks exhausted but Muller seems as fresh as a daisy!!

        • MA,

          I wondered whether Rafa hitting his head on that door right before the match could have affected him. But I think that Rafa had trouble reading Muller’s serve for the first two sets. He didn’t seem as comfortable as he did in his previous three matches. This was the first opponent who could really challenge Rafa. Maybe that made him nervous and he was thinking about his early round losses in recent years.

          Rafa just did not get going until he was down two sets. Then he seemed to play better and found a way to break Muller’s serve in sets three and four.

          The key stat for me was Rada converting only two of sixteen break points. I don’t see how you can ignore it. That was what decided what ended up being a very close match.

          Rafa had just chances late in that fifth set. It was there fur him. Break chances and then the opportunity to serve it out.

          Rafa has to work on his ROS. If you can’t break your opponent when you need to do it in order to win the match, then you are setting yourself up for defeat.

          This is amatch that Rafa could have won.

      • Muller’s game is way trickier than Khachanov’s. Rafa couldn’t come out playing like he did against Khachanov because Muller wouldn’t let him.

        • Nah Benny, what Rafa could do is hold on to his own serve, it’s not like Muller is such a good returner of serves. They then would go to a TB. You think Muller, when under pressure, won’t falter? The third and fourth sets proved that he could!

          You talked as if Muller was so good that his returns were so great too! It’s more of Rafa’s own undoing in the first two sets that he made mistakes and lost serves; and Rafa even had more BP chances than Muller had in the first two sets!

          It’s obvious that Rafa was more nervous than usual, probably it’s the fourth round at Wimbledon and he couldn’t go beyond that in the last five or six years; moreover Muller was a tricky opponent who happened to play well lately.

          • Once again agree with u Lucky!…IF Rafa of the 1st week who’s play that day…they’re not even going to 5th,let alone lost the match…once again,not try to discredit Muller and please be noted he deserved to win that day…he kept his cool and not melt under pressure compared to rafa but if they’re meet again in the future,i’m not sure Muller will win again…Muller is just another Fognini,Verdasco,Nick,Rosol,Pouille,Darcis who benefited when Rafa not at his best…where were they now?..i mean rafa beat all of them multiple times after that…But yeah…a win is a win…nobody can take that away from Muller…From now on,his name will be remembered as one of the player’s that keep Rafa away from his 3rd title at Wimbledon…It’s a shame he will lose to Cilic today…

            • Yeah Mira, and I bet that come Wimbledon next year, once it comes to Rafa, they’ll mention Muller together with Dustin Brown, Kygrios and Rosol! And that’s why most of us were so upset that Rafa didn’t get past the fourth round here, at least reaching QF and lost to Cilic, who’s a top ten player, wasn’t that bad.

              Also, I’ll bet that Rafa would feel better reaching the QF at least, than lost in R4 again. At least he would then feel more confident when he’s in the earlier rounds, from R1 to R4 come next year.

            • That’s alright Lucky!and Nny and amy too!…don’t be too upset over rafa loss okay?U know why?Coz losing this year that doesn’t mean he will lose again next year and the next..as long as he keep on playing and has desire to win and healthy…the chances is always there Lucky…i really really believe that rafa will keep on trying to win again at Wimby…He’s a warrior by nature…u put him an injury or even a mountain in front of him and he will keep defeat them to reach his goal…

              U know,to see Venus at the age of 37 and still reaching the semi final made me realized and firmly believe that rafa will do the same…he’s already stated that he will come back next year right?So,let’s hoping together that he will have a better luck next year Lucky!!…Woohoo!!…Vamos Rafa!!

          • Oh yeah I see what you’re saying. I didn’t think Rafa played a horrible service game in the first set to get broken. But he may have tightened up on a few though Gilles probably played his best return game of the match with a few return winners and well constructed points to get his first break. In second set, Rafa got tight because he knew he lost golden opportunity to break in prior game. I know you aren’t discrediting Muller at all but I do think it has a lot to do with the fact that Rafa knows he needs to hold with Muller serving like he was early on and that puts extra pressure on Rafa or any guy serving when playing Muller. Agreed that Rafa did serve better as match went on. Can’t believe he hit 20 plus aces for first time in career and still lost!!

            • Yeah Benny!…23 aces,77 winner’s and still lost!…Rafa made a lot of things that he shouldn’t make in that match…that’s why he lost..and i believe when he’s at home,he will digest what happened and will try to fix it next time..besides,we can’t learn anything unless we made a mistake first right?Once again full full credit to Muller for the win..he totally deserve it…and the best of luck for him in the future…

            • I like your attitude, MA. Rafa will obviously rue the missed opportunities to break, but we also know that he will learn from his mistakes and move on. I, personally, don’t think this loss will have very much effect on Rafa in the rest of the season. I still think that he has a great shot at getting big titles in the NA hardcourt swings. He will be very difficult to beat in best of five at the US Open. It’s obviously way too soon to know where everyone will be come US Open, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if we got another Fedal final there. Or maybe Novak and Andy will be fully back, or close to it anyway. I also still believe that Rafa is in a great position to at least get back to #1, if not end the season #1. If Federer manages to win Wimbledon, he will also put himself in a prime position to get to #1 because he is defending zero points after this week. However, if Fed does not win Wimbledon, I think his chances of getting back to #1 will be diminished because he sat out all of clay. Even if he didn’t win any of the clay events, he easily could have racked up a lot of semifinalist or even finalist points, and that could have bolstered his chances for number one. Although I don’t see how he would have had any energy left for Wimbledon had he not sat out clay. Anyway, as of this moment, I think I would still bet on Rafa ending the season #1. If Federer wins Wimbledon, I would then probably bet on him to end #1 simply because the whole second half of the season has been traditionally his most consistently successful part of the season. If Rafa wins a NA masters and US Open, he will definitely end #1, though. Anyway, I’m so psyched for the rest of the season!

            • Hey Kev!!…Hehe..thanks so much for your nice words Kev!!…ermm..after this setback from Rafa,i’m not thinking of his chances at no 1 at all actually…right now i’m just waiting how he’s going to fare on NA HC…if he wins 1 or 2 titles,then i will start thinking about that…

              And what makes things more interesting now is that..all the big 3 have a shot at it..but Andy will probably lost it as he has so many points to defend till the end of the year…but to me,Rog and Novak have a high chances at it considering they’re a beast when the season start going towards the end…and Rafa traditionally not doing well…but we’ll see Kev…i am too are very excited to see the most competitive season in a long long time on a men’s tour…

              But,whoever successfully ending as the world no 1 later..they’re certainly deserve it Kev and i can only give them my biggest applause and credit!…They’re all 30 something and yet they’re still rock the tennis world like they’re still in their prime..What a privilege to see this amazing warriors in this life…right Kev??

  18. Muller is serving very well and so put pressure on his opponents. Cilic now is feeling pressurized and he’s edgy too. Now in second set TB, Muller looks calm and cool, he probably plays without the burden that Rafa and Cilic both have.

    • Muller looks great. Didn’t expect this. TB is a must win for Marin. Marin dodges the bullets and stays alive winning 2nd set.

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