Federer makes it five in a row against Nadal, wins Shanghai title

Roger Federer beat Rafael Nadal for the fifth time in a row–including four this year–with a 6-4, 6-3 triumph in the final of the Shanghai Rolex Masters on Sunday. The second-ranked Swiss cracked 10 aces without double-faulting, dropped only eight points in nine service games, and never faced a break point. He needed just one hour and 12 minutes to prevail.

A break in the opening game of the 38th career showdown between the two all-time greats Federer on his way. The 36-year-old consolidated it the whole way before breaking again for a 3-2 lead in the second set. Federer closed his dominant performance in style, breaking again at 5-3 to clinch victory.

Highlights:

This is Federer’s third Masters 1000 title of the season, having previously lifted trophies in Indian Wells and Miami. Federer and Nadal, of course, also split this year’s four Grand Slam titles.

“A lot has happened since and I was not here last year because of injury, so it is nice to be back in Shanghai, Federer noted. “[Nadal and I] didn’t think, maybe, we would have the year we have had. I definitely didn’t, so it is nice to share a court here with him here.”

It was lot nicer for Federer than it was for Nadal.

“It was a very difficult match for me,” the world No. 1 lamented. “He played very fast and he played well. I don’t know how many unforced errors he made. I could have done some things better, but that’s it. He just played too good. That’s my point of view. So congrats to him.

“I played a fantastic tournament, having very good wins; very pleased the way I played the whole Asian tour for me. Beijing and Shanghai have been a very positive two weeks for me. A lot of points, a lot of victories against great opponents. I come back with very good personal satisfaction the way that I played.”

Additional good news for Nadal is that he still leads Federer in the race for year-end No. 1 by almost 2,000 points. Nobody else is within 6,000 points of the race leader or within 4,000 of Federer.

116 Comments on Federer makes it five in a row against Nadal, wins Shanghai title

  1. This has been the most interesting tennis season I can remember, partly because it’s Rafa-Fed’s careers in microcosm, only closer in overall achievement and with roles reversed. So here’s a genuine question for Rafa (and Fed) fans:

    Who has had the better season so far?

    It’s obviously pretty even on the usual metrics. They’ve split the slams and each have 6 titles. Fed has one more masters (3-2) and has dominated the H2H. But of course Rafa has a sizable lead in the rankings.

    I give the edge to Nadal at this point. Even though his rankings lead is pretty much entirely due to Roger skipping the clay court season, the fact remains that Roger did skip it, and consequently lost out on the chance to compete for 5500 points.

    I imagine that some Rafa fans disagree, and I wonder how much the H2H plays into that. This is one of cases (very rare, imo), where it might factor in as a tie-breaker.

  2. All comes down to the world tour finals. Does anyone else have a strange feeling that Rafa will turn it around against Roger in the WTF and clinch the title for the first time

    • It certainly could happen, although there’s just no hiding from the sizable advantage that Federer has over Rafa on either fast or indoor hardcourt… WTF in London has traditionally not been the fastest court, but it’s the lower bounce and indoor conditions which typically render Rafa’s high-bouncing, heavy topspin ball less effective. Also, Federer handled Rafa this season on hardcourts that are not that fast as well. That being said, anything can happen when these two face each other. Although it was 2013 Federer, Rafa did technically win their last match at WTF! So you’ve got that going for you!

    • No I don’t ..I don’t think Rafa will beat Federer on an indoor court like fed won’t beat rafa on clay.

      Joe..fed strategically opted out of clay and he has said it many times. Had he played he would have tired himself and may not have won Wimbledon.He should not be given benefit of doubt because he missed clay. Overall scheme of things would still remain same had he played because he would have lost points elsewhere.

      Both had great seasons so far, however rankings don’t lie. The one who has higher points is the better player as he has won more matches.

      • #36
        #4-0
        #iwant6-0
        #5winsinaroll
        #4finalsin5meetings
        #wow
        #iamdancingbaby

        Roger Federer is the best and the best tennis player this year, Irrespective of how it ends.

  3. If Fed would have played clay court events, he would have played only Madrid/Rome and Roland Garros. And this would have been physically demanding for the old man had he went deep in these tournaments, but still there was enough gap between these events to recover. I don’t think that would have affected him winning wimby, because then he would have opted out of Stuttgart. I was little surprised he opting out of Roland Garros because he had a good chance of becoming number 1 at this age. Maybe only win/loss mattered him and not the rankings.
    Rankings don’t lie is it? The best example is wta where Wozniacki/Jankovic/Pliscova all were world no.1 only to get embarrassed by lower ranked players.

    • You can twist it whichever way you want to make Fed look better but the fact is both have won same number of titles and rafa has reached 3 more finals to top it. The only blemish is his losses to Fed. Yes rankings don’t lie in the atp circuit and don’t bring wta into picture here as both tours can’t be compared.

      Fed did not play clay for a reason so his fans should stop imagining the situation had he played. I am sure he knows himself better to decide why he opted out. Knowing him if he knew he could have done something in clay he surely would have played .

      • I’m not trying to twist anything to make Fed looks better. In fact being a Fed fan many a times I feel he should see how Rafa handles some players so easily that Fed should learn from Rafa.
        I’m happy for whatever has happened, who knows had he played clay events and would have got injury then wimby would have been only a dream.
        Rafa is no 1 and he deserves it fully but the rankings doesn’t always depicts the real picture even at ATP level see players like delpo/Kyrgios

        • which player do you think that Rafa handles easily that Fed struggles or should learn from? I feel infact Rafa should learn from Fed how he never allows some to play their game and always presses attack. However they are different breed of players.

          • This year Fed is doing well, it was in past like Rafa handling Berdych/Murray/Tsonga and these statement I mean only when Rafa is in his top form. If both are playing just about good tennis which happens most of the time as remaining on top for a longer period is quite difficult in that case fed handles better, at least he holds his own serve better.

          • Not Rafa’s style. Rafa’s is a counterpuncher’s mindset, he won’t change overnight to become an all out attacking player. He’s being trained from young to play his kind of game, that of problem solving, finding solution to counter his opponent’s attack kind of game. His game is tough on the body and on the mind, having to think his way out of a situation each time he takes to the court.

            His is ‘allowing his opponents to play their game and him finding solutions to counter them before making his own attacks’. He rarely comes out all guns blazing or attacking from the get go, or dictating right from the first point, so, the FO tournament this year was a welcomed exception to the norm. He’s also trying to do that at Beijing, not as aggressive as his FO, but a good combination of defense/offense tennis.

            I hope he continues to evolve his game, with inclination towards more offense than defense.

            • His game may be evolving,but he’s still not good at changing tactics DURING matches when its not going his way.

            • Not true, Big Al. I’ve seen Rafa doing that, if not how he snatched victories from the jaws of defeats so often??

              Also if things were going well during his matches, why would he need to change tactics? You can’t expect Rafa to win 100% of the times right? Sometimes it’s not about changing tactics or not, as:

              1) he may not be able to do so because of physical limitations; or
              2) he’s just not playing well enough to enable him to change the way he plays during the match; or
              3) his opponent is playing too well that he can’t change anything to counter that.

            • Wow!
              I love #3, from a rafan that’s new but good.

              See, R. Nadal will be bounce back and next year will be exciting if you love tennis because lot’s of player’s will be coming back, I just hope that they don’t reinjure themselves.

              Next season will be difficult for everyone including R. Federer but b4 some good player’s figure out how they can stop Fed, Roger will win AO & some masters, Wimbledon one of his best or best tourney will be hard 4 him to win back not impossible just difficult.

              N. Djokovic might win French open if he rediscovers his good form if not Nadal is the favourite but if Fed plays FO I doubt he will play, but if he plays watch out people, Roger is on a mission and I won’t bet against him.

              R. Federer shouldn’t have played Montreal, it cost him big.

        • Injuries ofcourse can always cause aberrations like in case of Delpo or Rafa/Fed start of this year when they were 9/16 or Novak/Stan/Andy next year.

          Kyrgios is talented but if he does not want to work hard and be perseverant, no one can help him.

          I get what you saying but I mean in case of top players who are talented and work hard and persevere, rankings don’t lie unless injury plays spoilsport.

  4. It might be a poor consolation but, in a way, it’s not that bad that Rafa is losing now against Fed because this gives him another challenge to face, this is what has spurred, on and on, his career so as long as his head is set on finding a solution, he’ll remain motivated to stay in the circuit 🙂

  5. For all Rafans he has done very well this year winning 2 slams 2 masters and 2 other 500s, reaching 3 more finals. He won 2 hard court titles that he hasn’t since Jan 2014. He has beaten plenty of good players all year. He can’t win them all. We need to put things in perspective. Yes it’s difficult to digest the sudden losses to Fed which weren’t a problem all his career but then that’s a challenge for him to figure. Fed fans have suffered this for years to explain his losses to his 2 closest rivals in big matches hence maybe we can empathise with them now. All I hope is his knee recovers and he is able to compete and ends year as no 1. This year is almost done and hope for him to do some damage next year.

    • Don’t worry Sanju, it’s not like Fed hadn’t beaten Rafa on the HCs before this year. They’re 7-9 in Rafa’s favor prior to this year. They’re now 11-9 on the HCs, adv Fed. The fact that Rafa has made so many HC Finals and winning two (one of which a slam) this year is actually an improvement over the last few years.

      I doubt anyone of us would have expected Rafa reaching the AO final this year, and reaching five finals on the HCs so far this year. I do feel both Fed and Rafa benefitted from the absence of a fit and top form Djoko.

      We have to enjoy Rafa’s HC successes this season, not only the USO but also Beijing. He was exceptionally good at Beijing, very impressive given the draw. I checked both Djoko and Murray’s draw at Beijing in the past, I would safely say Rafa’s draw was still tougher than most of theirs when they were winning the Beijing titles, not forgetting HCs were/are their forte but not Rafa’s.

      We can hope that Rafa recovers quickly and fully and continues playing like the way he played at Beijing this year. I think he was striking the ball so well there – his shots were hit with depth, he moved into the forecourt often, changing direction of his shots at will(unlike at Shanghai where he went CC almost all the time), serving and retuning well. He’s almost perfect there at Beijing, perhaps BP conversion rate could improve.

      • I think that Rafa’s Beijing title was very impressive. He beat pretty much the best the tour has to offer on a court like that outside of Big 4.

  6. I am also hopeful that along with moya the solution for Federer will be figured out just like it was for Novak in 12 and 13.

  7. Nny and Augusta..please do update us on the knee if you hear anything. Nny which is that vamosrafa site you visit ?

        • Sanju,

          I have been checking in on vamosbrigade. If I hear anything about the knee I will post it here, with credit always given to the great fans there who translate the news into English for the rest of us.

          I am concerned right now about the knee. But I do think that Rafa will figure it out with Fed and have his wins.

  8. My take on Fed skipping clay season:

    I think he did it to avoid over-playing ans saving his body for Wimbledon. It makes sense why he did it. I do think, however, that he was holding on to his decision to play the French Open. I don’t think he would have played Monte Carlo , Rome etc to avoid playing too much (not because he feared Nadal would thrash him) but I think he wanted to see how Rafa is faring and in what shape he heads to RG. There is a very good chance he might have decided to enter the French if Nadal got injured in Rome or was playing shit losing to players like Fognini. So, I guess he did not plan on playing but could have changed his mind if Rafa was struggling.

    Fed knows what a monster Rafa is at RG and the physical effort it takes to even play a 4-setter with him. It was reasonable for him to skip the clay masters (which he would have done anyway) and then RG as well seeing how well Rafa was playing.

    This is my personal take but I am confident it is close to reality 🙂

    • Yes vamosrafa he did it to save his energy for wimby and also seeing how strong rafa was to avoid trying to attempt as he knew he has no chance there vs Rafa. He has admitted it openly that he did not want the clay losses to scar him as in the past. When he is openly saying it God knows why his fans are so upset.

      • Yeah. I think he would have played a reduced schedule regardless of how Rafa was playing but yeah, the RG decision was contingent on how well Rafa was playing. So it was just a combination of different things and I think it was a wise decision.

        • I think Fed has lost 2 matches out of what 35-40 in Grand Slams and Masters 1000. Fair to say he dominated everyone on tour this year.

          I would still think Fed could have troubled Rafa had he arrived in USO with grass court form. But onone cares.

          Rafa should still believe that he can beat Roger on slow bouncy London Tour Finals court.

          • Rafa always believes he can beat Roger on every court, I believe. All the top players know that even if they are a serious underdog on a given surface, they are still capable of winning. Like when Fedal met on clay in their primes. Everyone, including Fed, knew that it was a 90% chance that Rafa was going to win, but Fed knew that he always had a puncher’s chance even if it was low probability. Even though Fed lost to Rafa 13 times on clay, he did manage to beat Rafa on clay twice. That would at least give Fed some assurance that it’s not a 100% foregone conclusion he will lose. Same with Rafa when he faces Fed on a fast, post-US Open hardcourt. Rafa knows that the odds are stacked against him, but he also knows that he has beaten Fed once before after the US Open, so he will go into the match knowing that he has a chance because he’s done it before.

            The match-ups where I cannot imagine how a player can go into a match with any confidence at all are the match-ups where the head to head is like, 15-0 or something like that. Like when Feli Lopez goes up against Fed. Or Almagro vs. Rafa before Barcelona 2014. I just cannot fathom how those guys are able to take any confidence into a match when they’ve lost so many time to their opponent and never beaten them. I’d like to know what was going through Almagro’s mind in Barcelona. Or I’d love to know what Andreas Seppi was thinking when he finally beat Fed at AO 2015.

          • No, not correct. He only played in four Masters out of eight, how could you call that dominating everyone? How do you know he would dominate if he played in all eight of them? He didn’t dominate anyone on clay when he didn’t even play on clay!

            He didn’t dominate at the slams either, winning two and losing one; didn’t play in one that he’s unlikely to win. I don’t see anyone dominating at the slams either, as there’re two players winning two slams each.

  9. I read Novak Djokovic stating that Rafa and Fed are the living proof the players can come back and play at the high level after a long time off. I expect Novak to come back with the blast.,.it will get tough for Rafa and Fed next year with Nole, Andy, Wawa around…this year was the greatest opportunity they could get…

  10. I think Novak is probably the better all court player (better than Rafa and Fed) who have weakness in indoors / clay resp. Novak can win on all surfaces, no weak surface as such. Just a thought…

    • Yes, I think you’re right that Novak’s game style is a little more consistently all-court suitable than the other two. Basically, he’s not noticeably worse on any one surface than the others. Between clay, faster hardcourt, slower hardcourt, indoor hardcourt, grass, however else you want to break it down, I don’t think he is overwhelmingly worse in any of those conditions than the other conditions. Similar to Federer, it is almost strictly because of Rafa that Novak hasn’t won many more big clay titles in his career. 🙂

  11. Totally agree w/all Fed fans above…he has carved GOAT in stone….but we should all be grateful to have these guys playing tennis for all of us…great players, class acts…BOTH of them!

    • He needs to win AO to make up for his losing record against two of his greatest rivals reclaim GOAT status. Rafa has beaten fed 5X in a row TWICE in his career.

      Sorry, fedfans always say how it’s all about the slams where the 2nd best ever is just 3-9 vs the GOAT.

      Let him get four up on Rafa with his 5 year advantage, and I’ll give the GOAT edge back to Roger.

      But agreed, both true greats, class acts and we are lucky to witness the rivalry.

  12. Rafa didn’t earn a single break point. Haven’t seen the match but I’m betting that Rafa failed to get the ball deep and left it short teeing it up for Roger’s so-called “improved” BH.

    That said, for those that still say this Roger is not as good or better than 10 years ago, just how bad would their “peak” version of Federer beaten Rafa.

    As I say before, Federer is betterer than everer.

    Roger says:
    I do believe I still lost that Wimbledon finals in ’08 because of the French Open beatdown he gave me. It just affected my first two sets when I played him at Wimbledon. Down 6-4, 6-4, and okay, I got lucky to win the third, but maybe if I don’t lose both first sets it might be a different match.

    But, yeah, I think I have also played him well. Clearly avoiding him — not playing him on clay has helped. So I’m able to stay on the hard courts or on faster courts against him, but I have been playing very well when I have faced off against him

    #HUMB2E

    • Not even humble, just honest haha. He knows better than to try to take people for fools. Everyone knows that if old Roger Federer is going to skip tournaments to give himself a better chance of winning, it’s going to clay. And he knows that everyone knows that he would very likely lose to Rafa if he made it far enough to face him on clay. 15 of their 38 matches have been on clay, and Fed has only won 2… It would have been insulting to everyone’s intelligence to try to claim that he would probably still have a win streak over Rafa even if they faced on clay. It would be like what our President does every night via twitter at 2am. 😉

    • Actually, Hawk, Nadal hit several very deep BHs in the match that came back basically as half-volley winners. Roger just refused to back down from the baseline, whereas Rafa seemed to be 20 ft back returning serve sometimes.

      I had actually picked Rafa in straights based on how he had played in previous two rounds, but Fed didn’t give him any time and (I thought) took good advantage of Rafa’s deep court position.

    • I think he just needs to get the ball deep to the BH again (mixed with the FH). He’s been leaving it short this year against Federer. That would never have worked in the past – regardless of Federer’s racquet.

      So let him do that first once again. Until proven otherwise, why change?

      • I agree with you, Hawks- it’s all about the depth and penetration (not making a sexual joke). If Rafa’s loopy ball isn’t deep enough, it will just pop right up into Fed’s “sweetspot”, and Fed can do whatever he wants with it. He could maybe still get away with that on a clay court, as it would be harder for Fed to put it away and easier for Rafa to defend. But as long as Fed is playing well, depth is required against him on a hardcourt or grass.

        • The strategic error was in 1st game ..Rafa had the whole open court to hit the volley at net and he still went to Feds BH and Fed was waiting there and passed him. Had he not dropped his 1st serve, the match may have been more competitive as he would not have played catch up.

    • Ha, so now they’re teaching Rafa how to beat Fed, when in the past they’re teaching Fed how to beat Rafa? How things have changed, in this year alone!

      To me, it’s simply that Rafa has to play like he did this year at the FO, ie take the initiative to dictate from the get go. He was all guns blazing from the get go in the FO final, never allowed Stan to get into the match, stamped his foot even harder on the pedal as the match progressed and didn’t look back.

      He was also doing that in the USO final, not giving Anderson any chance of a comeback when he could neutralize Anderson’s biggest weapon (ie his serve) and pounded Anderson into submission; he won both FO and USO Finals in straight sets. How often we see a guy winning slam final in straight sets, this year we see one guy doing it twice.

      Of course Fed isn’t Anderson or Stan, but as long as Rafa plays with an aggressive mindset, tries to dictate from the get go, playing like the way he played in Beijing this year, ie hitting with depth, changing directions with both his FH and BH, serving and returning well, he will have his chances.

      He started his Shanghai final being tentative, hitting his shots in predictable pattern, including the dumb shot at BP in his first service game, not going to beat Fed playing like that as Fed’s so used to this pattern of play from Rafa.

      • Well, usually when someone is on a losing streak to another player, people talk about what they should do differently. Yes, people did that when Fed had losing streaks to Rafa. Naturally people will do it with Rafa now.

      • Nothing new here @lucky. Everybody knows tennis except Rafa. He’s always being told to play like Djokovic, serve like Federer, schedule like……………..a Martian landing on planet Earth would be forgiven for thinking Rafa is a journeyman judging by some of the punditry out there!

        Rafa is fine. He does not have to be like anybody. He does not need to radically change anything. He just needs to stay healthy. As he says, in the brutal world of professional sport, when you win, you are a God and all your decisions are parsed like scripture. When you lose, you are an idiot.

      • I don’t respond to gnats anymore Kevin unless I’m in a rare mood. They need to be more creative to get off the gnat list for me to bother. Not worth my time.

        Gnats like Kavita and simpleton stanley are the true mindless grinders. A very poor substitute for something remotely interesting to say.

        #HowsThat
        #FailAgain
        #FailBetter

          • I’ve been wondering, what is the meaning behind #HerbertWillWin?? It must have started before I discovered this site. I’ve seen it used so many times, and whatever the joke is, it goes right over my head every time haha. Although it honestly makes me laugh even though I don’t know the meaning. 🙂 Am I searching for meaning where there is none? Is it just funny because it’s so random? Please, someone enlighten me!

            • I think it’s a random hashtag Hawks brilliantly came up with and started using when Herbert was playing well (which he would start doing so again cuz his game is awesome) and it has just kind of stuck.

    • Kavita, I think you sometimes have interesting analyses, but at least this year Nadal is not playing like a grinder. He has been playing a lot of very aggressive and creative tennis. He tried in the Shanghai final against Federer, but just couldn’t quite manage it. Missed a few early would-be winners by inches, saw some winners go by him, and maybe lost heart a bit.

  13. Hawktard the prince of the MORONIC Kingdom.

    You are complete waste to humanity, an obsessive pervert has something to say this days, wow.
    I don’t blame you, i expect perverted IMBECILES to act like MORONS.

    I want to urge you to seek help but there is no help for you, you are a lost cause, an abject filthy swine, who will always remain a FOOL.

    My condolences to your family, if you still have one, if you do have one, thank them everyday cos you are useless person.

    • Anyone who would post that kind of diatribe in response to what was said by Hawkeye, needs to really, really chill out!

      Way over the top and completely unwarranted, but not surprising.

      Can’t we have these obnoxious, self-indulgent posts deleted?

      • 4 real, i don’t have the time.
        I thought you don’t like me, aren’t we ignoring each other?
        You made that decision not me, please respect it.

        This MORON can say useless things and you are zip but Stanley responds and all of a sudden you know the word “diatribe”

        Please, Plzzz, please, leave me alone, i am tired.

  14. It was pretty clear with the way Rafa played Cilic that he was going to have a big problem against Fed. I highly doubt Rafa will beat Fed at WTF. He didn’t even earn a break point in Shanghai. Indoor courts give Fed a massive advantage just like clay gives Rafa a big advantage.

    • It’s not indoor or outdoor court, it’s the court speed that helps Fed when playing against Rafa. Fed is great on fast courts and indoor courts generally play quicker because they’re not subjected to the elements – no wind, heat etc – affecting the ball.

      However, the WTF O2 arena is not playing as quick as Shanghai, and the bounce not as low, in recent years. I doubt Rafa will be playing as bad as in Shanghai, because there’s a one week break between Paris and WTF, so even if he plays at Paris, he’s not playing B2B week and should have time to rest and recover between tournaments.

      The Beijing/Shanghai tournaments are B2B week; Rafa could hardly win B2B events on the HCs; his level at Shanghai dipped a little compared to Beijing, where he was hitting his strokes with greater depth. He was also having mental lapses during his matches with Dimi and Cilic at Shanghai.

      Rafa also had a tough draw at Beijing, to be able to come through that and won the tournament was already something special for him. I’m even guessing that should Fed play Rafa in the Beijing final, Rafa would have a good chance of beating Fed!

      Rafa was clearly playing better at Beijing than at Shanghai – he was playing better as he progressed through the draw in Beijing whilst he wasn’t when at Shanghai. At Shanghai, he was about to finish off Dimi in the second set TB when leading 4-2, but after the changeover, he had a mental lapse, lost his serve and then ended up losing the TB! He almost needed a third set vs Cilic after having some mental lapses and lost his serve while serving for the match! He wasn’t as sharp in Shanghai, perhaps the court was quicker there than Beijing and having to play B2B events, certainly not as fresh.

      Fed beat him fair and square, as Fed was quick and served so well, rushed Rafa into his errors. Rafa was also not hitting with depth, played predictable tennis by going CC to Fed’s BH most of the time – unlike one week ago at Beijing where he would change direction at will from both FH and BH and hitting with depth.

      • But why do you think his level dropped so much in a week ? Is it more to do with himself or Fed not allowing him to play his game.

        • Both. We know Fed is great on a quick HC, he has played Rafa so often that he knows Rafa’s preferred pattern of play.

          Rafa has played many matches already this season, to be able to play B2B events on the HCs, winning one and reaching final of the other is really very impressive by his standard. So far in Rafa’s career, he had won B2B weeks events on the HCs only once – Montreal/Cincy 2013. In 2011, he reached Finals at IW/Miami only to be beaten by Djoko, and that’s 12 matches over three weeks. I think that’s about all, I don’t think I’ve misssed out any. His 2008 was also great – won Canada, SF at Cincy and then won Olympics.

          To be able to do B2B now and going deep in both at 31 is already great for Rafa, not forgetting the tough draw he had at both. I said earlier, I’d checked Djoko’s and Murray’s draws at Beijing during those years when they won Beijing; Rafa’s was certainly a very tough one by comparison, and that made his victory at Beijing that much sweeter. His draw at Shanghai was even tougher than Fed’s, I mean Dimi and Cilic B2B, when both were playing good tennis lately, reached SF at Beijing and Tokyo respectively. AZverev lost early at two events B2B (lost to Delpo at Shanghai) so he wasn’t good enough to meet Fed. For a no.1 player, Rafa certainly has the short straw at both events.

          The way he played at Beijing was very positive and a joy to behold; he just has to try playing that way more often on the HCs, especially when facing dangerous opponents like Kygrios, Dimi, Isner. His performance vs Cilic wasn’t great, I feel he was more defensive as the match progressed; so Cilic had more chances to dictate.

          Playing against aggressive players like Cilic and Fed, Rafa can’t afford to start slow. He was atrocious in his first service game vs Fed; that shot at BP was atrocious. By losing the first service game, he had given Fed more calm to play his game which was hard to contain or counter on this quick court. I was disappointed with the way Rafa started the match. His knee wasn’t affecting his movement I feel, but perhaps affected his serve when he couldn’t push hard on his right knee.

          As long as Rafa is fit and healthy, plays with an aggressive mindset, and comes with a game plan to deal with Fed (ie no more his old game plan of hitting CC to Fed’s BH), by mixing in both CC and DTL shots from both wings, serves and returns well and tries moving into the court to dictate points more often, he will have his chances of defeating Fed.

      • I agree with you about the O2, Lucky. Every time I watch a WTF match, I feel like I’m watching the slowest damn hard court ever… I would assume that the ball still bounces lower than outdoor courts, as I think that’s trait of all indoor courts. Although the bounce height does seem to fluctuate each year. I remember certain years where he players said that they felt it was bouncing higher than the year before. But speed-wise, that court is slow as death…

  15. I really miss the Tennistalk crowd. On there, even the Fedfans were funny. No-holds barred, ascerbic, adult banter………..and very, very funny.

    The tribal and hard Djokovic fans, the merry Murray crowd and of course the always cultured, urbane, informed Rafans……………

    Now, everything’s Trumpified innit? Sigh………….

  16. Is it me or does anybody else feel here that Fed’s shanks have drastically reduced this season. I dont see those crazy shanks from BH anymore.

      • @luckystar, rafa was playing FANTASTICO, his level throughout the tournament/tournaments were great.

        Roger Federer just makes it look easy, he has Nadal’s number this year.
        Roger’s victories has nothing to do with rafa’s form dropping, fast courts etc, it has everything do with Roger’s skills that are wickedly improving by the second, his strategy, his confidence etc.

        R. Nadal will find it extremely, EXTREMELY difficult to defeat this R. Federer on any surface including clay, if they play in clay, R. Nadal will win some matches but i don’t think he will come out on top.

        If they meet again R. Federer will also find it difficult to beat Nadal not because Roger is not the best player but because it is hard to defeat a good play twice, to do it 4 times in a year, five in a roll in 4 finals is unbelievable and difficult.

        Roger’s victories and titles this year has nothing to do with his opponents but Roger himself, he has been absolutely ROGERLICIOUS!

        #Pureclass

  17. Stanley,
    You have a right to feel happy now about your favourite player 🙂
    As Rafans we can only hope that Rafa finds a way to crack the Fed code again.
    It’s good to read a fan that whilst rubbing it in a bit (we all do) is also respectful for the adversaries.

    • Shireling, you find this guy respectful? I think you’re the odd one here among the Rafa fans!

      I don’t even want to read his posts! Good luck to you, for engaging in a conversation with him!

      • simple stanley is a rac ist, miso gynist, hom ophobe trump loving a hole and his hate speak should not be tolerated and normalized here or anywhere.

        • If I didn’t know any better, I’d say he was Russian but that would be giving him way too much credit.

          Probably has a tramp stamp.

          #TrailerTrash

          • I am sick to death of coming on here and reading Stanley’s hate speech, trolling, sexism and so on.
            The real issue for me is why Ricky does nothing about him. Site rules are simply not administered evenly or fairly. Trolls are actually allowed practically unfettered license here in a way which isn’t true of any other Internet site I have visited. Why?! Normal users of this site have posts amended so why not trolls who get special treatment?

  18. oh dear….
    perhaps it’s because I don’t come here so often as you guys do and somehow, his latest past seemed fairly plausible to me, he rejoices at Fed’s greatness (as he puts it) but still acknowledges that Rafa is a very good player too…. but now that I read your posts I’m perhaps seeing between the lines.. don’t know
    In any case, I’m sure Rafa is going to beat Fed again soon 🙂

  19. I’m usually here to read lucky’s or vamosrafa’s takes on matches, before or after. These two do dot all the Is and cross all the Ts, and from time to time I borrow a bit of Nadlines’s unswayed optimism and of course just plain facts and stats from Augusta .. all spiced with hawkeye’s punchy style 🙂
    Even though I don’t come here so often, it always feels good to read what you guys have to say

  20. I don’t care about Stanley’s fanaticism toward Federer, as that exists everywhere, from fans of each of the Big 4. I get annoyed when Stanley disses on Rafa, or when Augusta takes personal shots at Federer, but I just accept that that is just part of great sporting rivalries.

    However, I cannot tolerate the hate speech that Stanley skews on here. This has nothing to do with politics. Stanley can support Donald Trump and support conservative policy. That is not the issue here. What is obviously not ok is Stanley coming on here and condemning entire groups of people because they have different religious views, sexual preferences, etc. than he does. Stanley has the right to hate on the entire Muslim population, or the entire LGBTQ population, but he also has to accept the consequences of his words. This site is privately run, and just as Stanley has the right to hate speech, Ricky has the right to banning hate speech on his privately owned site. Now, I’m not about to condemn Ricky for not setting and enforcing rules such as an anti-hate speech one, as I don’t know anything about how to make one of these sites run smoothly. I’m pretty sure I am not alone, however, in wishing there there could be a rule banning hate speech.

    More importantly, we shouldn’t need a hate-speech rule- Stanley should be able to understand why it’s wrong to hate on someone just because they have different religious views or sexual preference. But we have all tried to explain this to him with no success. So maybe a rule would be helpful? Non-Christians on this site don’t hate on Stanley for being Christian, so why must he hate on Non-Christians. Same with LGBTQ people. Again, this is STRICTLY an issue of humanity and respect, NOT a political one…

    • Surely it’s a given that people shouldn’t make homophobic, islamophobic, antisemitic comments??! And that if they do they should suffer consequences for it? Because Stanley does all.of these things as well as writing some incredibly dubious sexist stuff which I find very offensive.
      This is not just an issue about Stanley as Mary has relentlessly trolled people on here explicitly breaking Ricky’s written site rules without any sanction.
      I am not the only person on this site who thinks that trolls are not only almost free from sanctions here but given disproportionate licence.

      • Yes, I am of the opinion that there should be a rule that if someone uses hate speech on this site, they should be banned. I also believe that’s Ricky knows it’s wrong and would like for it to not be on this site. I guess I feel I need to give Ricky the benefit of the doubt that maybe it’s not as simple as just banning Stanley. Maybe because Ricky is so busy, if he were to ban Stanley and Stanley just kept making new accounts with different names and emails, Ricky might not have time to keep banning and policing users all the time? He would surely get complaints and requests to ban people all the time, often requests that have nothing to do with hate speech and are just one user being spiteful. Admittedly, I say this without knowing what the current rules are on this site. Are there rules laid out that users can be banned if they don’t follow them? If there are, then surely it wouldn’t hurt to make a strict no-hate policy. I’m just trying to say that even though I believe people should be banned for hate speech, I can’t pretend like I know anything about how this site works and how Ricky is able to run it when it is just a side-hobby he has. Or is it more than a hobby? I just don’t know. I just don’t know how this site works. Maybe we could create a petition to have a strict no-hate policy? What can we do? What can Ricky do?

        • There are written site rules on the site rules and maintenance section Kevin. Go have a look!! Stanley is clearly already in breach of them. Mary also was constantly in breach of them most particularly the one about constant harassment. She used to write vicious stuff, much of which was personal, after every single one of nny’s posts. That also is effectively or de facto hate speech imo and should not be tolerated.
          I go to a site for another sport where the posters themselves regulate it. They would have kicked both Stanley and Mary off the site very early on.

  21. Rafa has pulled out of Basel citing ‘over-stressing of knee’ so I doubt is is anything serious. I think @Fedexal used the same term to describe Rafa’s issue so well done

      • I guess as much. I think his knee issue isn’t serious, so hopefully after two weeks rest, he’s good to go again. I hope to see a ‘Beijing’ Rafa in Paris (if he’s sure to play there) and then in London.

        He said he’s going to play at Basel next year? Unless he plans to skip Paris Masters, if not it’s another crazy/heavy year end schedule again!

        It seems that Rafa wants to play more on the HCs these days; I mean he’s playing five events from Jan to Mar, all on HCs – Brisbane, AO, Acapulco, IW and Miami – and then Canada/ Cincy/ USO, followed by Asian swing and Basel, eleven events on HCs in total, and that’s not counting Paris Masters and WTF (if he qualifies).

        Isn’t he doing more harm to his knees playing so much on the HCs? Unless he decides to go aggressive or super aggressive, something like the way he played at FO2017, how could his body, his knees in particular, take all the poundings?

        Perhaps, Rafa is going to ditch the counterpuncher old self and adopt a new identity, that of an aggressive all court player?

    • Ideally he should have skipped Paris and Basel both. It will be weird if Fed skips Basel and Paris both. Then it would like Rafa is doing all the chasing.

      • Rafa rusts quickly and regains his edge slowly so he needs to play as much as he can if he wants to do well at the WTF. If he’s really got a problem I’d rather see him skip the whole lot and prep for AO next year, but I’m guessing he thinks he’ll be ok after a bit of rest and treatment.

        • He won’t skip WTF if his knee is OK. I mean he said he’s keen to win this one (he knows with the absence of Djoko, his chances of winning it this year has gone up).

        • I though he skipped Wimby warm up and was playing great on grass after almost 2 years . His third wound win was one of the highlights of Wimbledon. I think Rafa’s mentality of long practice session, lot of warm ups prior to WTF should undergo change. He should think of playing for more years and more majors.

      • I doubt Fed is skipping Basel, Paris maybe. If he’s stopped by Delpo or Cilic in Basel before getting to the final, he may play at Paris I guess.

        • If there is one court where Rafa has always struggled, its Bercy. Basel won’t be easy for Fed just like Beijing wasn’nt easy for Rafa.

      • Fed won’t skip both. He will surely play Basel as it’s his home tourney. But given that bercy gives 1000 points he may ditch his home tourney.

  22. He has to play Paris. Else, he will be in trouble at WTF.
    Pulling out of Basel was the right thing to do. His knees will be fine.

      • trouble is he could be rusty at WTF. Not for YE1.
        While the media loves to speculate, Fed cannot win Basel & Paris back to back and then win WTF is a week’s time at his age. He simply cannot.

  23. When i am done with what i am doing, i will respond in kind.

    I expect Hawktard’s and useless morons to say what you just said kevin, how can you accuse me of hate.

    If it was coming 4rm a perverted filthy Hawktard or others who champion every ungodly & evil way i will understand, i am disappointed in you and i will caution you not to liar or accuse me of something false.

    Telling someone the truth is not a bad thing, that’s what i have done and will continue to do.

    • I’m not referring to personal attacks, Stanley. Those have come from more than just you. I’m referring to your hate speech toward Muslims and gay people. That’s what I think has no place here, or anywhere for that matter.

      • Kevin, you are worse than a FOOL.

        Where is this hate speech towards muslims.
        I have taught and helped hundreds of muslims.

        What type of wicked accusation is that, are you brainless?
        If i quote from the quran, word for word, why do you attack me?

        Did i twist any verse?

        You truly are a brainless fool, attacking the one who is simply telling you the truth, you are a hater of truth and what’s right.

        Homosexuality is an unnatural lifestyle, it is ungodly.
        I can’t believe i am even Saying this, it is wrong for a man to have sex with a man likewise a woman with another woman.

        God made them male & female and their sex organs are compatible, it doesn’t work the other way.

        Most animals are more sensible than you are, if you want live and support such lifestyles that’s your prerogative.

        I have friends that are homosexuals and friends that have left such practice, i respect them as human beings, i disagree with them, i love them but more importantly i love them enough to tell them the truth when the opportunity presents itself.

        Telling someone the truth is not hate, the opposite is hate.

        I watched this movie last year, it will explain a lot.

        Audacity
        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tbPu2rtmDbY&itct=CBIQpDAYBSITCPHnjObc-NYCFRGtfgoddEgHElIIQXVkYWNpdHk%3D&hl=en&client=mv-google&gl=US

  24. Saying it’s wrong to murder innocent children who were created in the image of God is hate speech? I didn’t know.

    Saying that it is unnatural, immoral, ungodly, filthy for two men or two women to be sleeping with each other is hate speech? Wow!

    Condemning demonic ideologies that encourage terrorism is hate speech? My goodness.

    You bunch of useless fools, blinded by stupidity, perverted in thought and in speech, it’s not enough that u support things that are demonic, no it’s not enough, you attack those who speak the truth in love, you accuse them & liar against them in other to further your agenda.

    You call good- evil and evil- good, God will reward you.
    I will rather stand up for the truth and have a thousand FOOLS attack me than sit to down and be silent and have a thousand FOOLS as friends.

    When u attack me it’s ok, when you falsely accuse me it’s ok but when i defend myself, expose your demonically inspired views it’s not ok, you want me gone.

    Useless hypocrites, in the name of healthcare you support the murdering of innocent children by the millions, believe me, God hears their cry and he will be faithful to answer them.

    In the name of love, you support lust and you justify it by deceiving yourself and ignoring the obvious.

    In the name of tolerance you willfully defend teachings that encourage the beheading & murdering of innocent people all over the world, the raping of women & children, the enslavement of innocent defenceless people.

    The future is not bright for you if you don’t turn away from your wicked & evil views.

    God loves the sinner but hates the sin.
    He loves the homosexual but hates homosexuality.
    He loves that woman who has murdered her child and that man who has encouraged it but he hates the shedding of innocent blood.

    • Amy you are not a smart person & i don’t want to waste my time with an immoral hypocritical filth.
      It’s ok 4 you to come here, troll stupidity, falsely accuse me and promote demonic world views.

      You are not worth it.

  25. I would like these latest posts deleted as off topic. We are having a tennis discussion here, not some bizarre ranting and raving about good and evil and murdering and trashing the beliefs of others and their character.

    Enough is enough! This is the latest abuse of the rules of this site!

      • Yes.

        While I find skipping over Stanley’s diatribes adequate for myself they are extremely distasteful and, in my opinion, should not be permitted here. However, it’s Ricky’s site, Ricky’s rules and moderation is time consuming. But I’d really hate to see valuable posters such as yourself driven from the site by his drivel.

Comments are closed.

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