Fed down of Rafa

The sun sets in the east?

The sun sets in the east?

Roger Federer was left wondering where will the No 14 come from as he was beaten yet again by his nemesis Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open in 5 thrilling sets. The quality of tennis was outstanding at times but the result crushingly familiar for Federer. Nadal may actually claim to be a better all court player than Federer, having won 3 slams on different surfaces. Even Federer hasn’t managed that and barring injuries to Nadal, the French Open trophy looks like a distant dream.

Andy Roddick had famously commented ‘ I need to win once in a while to call it a rivalry’, when questioned about his tennis rivalry with Federer. Federer may not say it but coming out second best to Rafa 5 times in a row gives the same deja vu feeling. The last time Federer won against Nadal was in November 2007. And Nadal is improving consistently where Federer seems to be caught in a rut. The vintage Federer has gone missing some where and though we see some glimpses of his mojo, it doesn’t seem like the same anymore.

Maybe it’s all in the mind for Federer when playing against Nadal is concerned. The only way to equal and then surpass Sampras’s record is hope. The hope that Nadal is beaten by some one else. The hope that Nadal gets injured. Or maybe to get back that mojo, the motivation to improve. Nadal’s irresistible march to Tennis greatness continues. Time will tell if Federer managed to slow the march down.

Posted by Rahul

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12 thoughts on “Fed down of Rafa

  1. Something in this post is bothersome. If you are Federer, you dont “hope” that Nadal gets injured; and if you are Nadal, you dont “hope” that Federer gets injured. Both are Champions. Or they wouldnt have had such a hard fought game. And you cant have “joint winners” in tennis.

    Please. Its just a game.

  2. Suranga,

    I fully agree that both are Champions and one is not talking of either of them hoping that the other is injured. I was just trying to mention that Federer has developed such a mental block that ‘I’ can see him winning more slams in Nadal’s absence in a final.

    I hope Federer proves me palpably wrong. I was just trying to say that as of now ‘hope’ is the operative word for Federer.

    I am not very sure of the ‘it’s only a game’ theory. To a professional sportsperson who expends his blood, sweat and tears to reach the pinnacle, it may mean a bit more than that.

    Thanks for your astute observations (as usual πŸ™‚ )

    cheers

  3. You see, Federer is the Anil Kumble of tennis. Nadal is the Dhoni. And they both primarily are very very hard workers, and great captains, where their greatness doesn’t depend on running any one down, or someone being unfit .

    Its just that I thought your post gave a wrong impression of Federer. I wouldnt like to attribute things to mental blocks. He’s had his day in the sun. Now its Nadal’s turn…

    We may forget. But the searing Aussie sun remembers both with equal indulgence …..

  4. Suranga,
    Whether Federer has a mental block playing against Rafa is arguable but his performances especially against Rafa suggest so. Yesterday against an opponent who was not at his physical best, Federer would have cruised through, one feels. But he didn’t play upto his usual standard. Was the person at the other side of the net responsible for the many errors? Maybe.

    For Federer the problem is that it’s only afternoon and somebody is already snatching his place in the sun.

    cheers

  5. Nice limerick I must say πŸ™‚ .. But I don’t want to write off Federer.. Being his big fan I would never do it. I want him to win but a record of 6-13 against Nadal is a bit of a big break no?

    As I have mentioned, I sincerely Fed proves me wrong big time by beating Nadal to win a grand slam.

    And I would love it more if he beats him in straight 3 rather than in a 5 setter πŸ™‚

    cheers

  6. Fed is onky 27, something that gets overlooked an awful lot.

    yes, Nadal has got the better of him in head-to-heads, but its not liek he’s battering him – the last 2 major finals couldn’t have been any closer, and Fed could easily have fun.

    This is turning into one of the greatest rivalries in sport. Now we just need someone to come and challenge Tiger Woods.

    • BCM,
      To me it’s not only about age. Federer is not fighting Nadal for the titles, he is fighting his own demons.. whether it’s the motivation, the desire.. everything was too easy for him and he almost looked bored after winning. Saw this nice V Ananad interview on a news channel where he gave Federer’s example (this was before the Oz open). He said if someone like Federer (almost ) shows signs of boredom on winning he will continue facing problems. This was in response in a query as to how long he will play. He, being a world champion knows what it takes to be one.
      Woods will have a similar problem when he stops enjoying and improving.. That nemesis of his can be anyone..
      I am an amateur sportslover, so my take is as good or bad as anyone else’s so forgive me if you think I am trying to be some Pundit here..
      cheers

    • Hi Yogesh,

      Welcome to the blog. Great analysis in your article. As I have mentioned earlier in my comments, I hope Fed wins more πŸ™‚

  7. but lately as we all know
    Federer after winning this year wimbledon, (with 15 grand slam titles) again proclaimed his title of being the Best (of the likes of Pete Sampras and Bjourn Borg) and I am sure Nadal would have admired him on that one.

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