10 Responses

  1. Tennisfan
    Tennisfan March 15, 2013 at 2:08 am |

    Disappointing match. It’s not fun to watch Roger struggle like that but he’s such a classy guy that he comes out and plays for the fans, greatest tennis player no doubt! I think the break he takes now is going to be crucial for later in the year, I have a premonition that he wins the US Open this year, I really think he’s going to be ok for the rest of the season.

    As for Nadal, I think he gets to the final and loses to Novak. Good to see him back though :)

  2. Nadal News » Blog Archive » RafaLint: March 15th-ish

    […] LiveAnalysis: Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal in the Indian Wells Quarterfinals – by Juan José (changeovertennis.com) […]

  3. SA
    SA March 15, 2013 at 3:28 am |

    the apex of this rivalry was the ’08 Wimbledon final. and because of that people hold on to this matchup so dearly (and, well, cause this was the 29th time they met. that’s a lot of matches against one another). i do want to ask you this though…

    It might help the tennis world stop fixating so obsessively on this rivalry, and start looking at the other great things that are happening and that deserve such attention.

    what deserves that attention though? novak is at a point where his domination is pretty much commonplace and almost boring for non-nole fans. nole/rafa was the start of something good (rafa dominated at first, then nole, then it was getting somewhat even) but then rafa got injured so we have no idea where that goes now. nole/andy matchups are as dull as dishwater; they play the same game with nole doing it much better. fed is…well fed, but tell me the last time fed played nole/andy/rafa and you thought fed was going to win (hell, i didn’t even watch the match tonight and i didn’t think fed was going to win). do you even remember the last time there was a rafa/andy match? there are some good players behind them that can get to championship match, but outside of one (and it was a huge one but still just one) they haven’t finished it off and actually WON those matches. there are upcoming players that have tennisheads excited when they play, but how many people are buying tickets to see them? there are the young guys who have the talent but still can’t get out of the first few rounds of pretty much any tournament. so what deserves the attention? what else is there that will spur the fans and media and casual observers into wanting and hyping up a match/player? i’m actually not trying to defend fedal. i’ve never been a huge fan of it from the get-go (mostly cause of my dislike for fed) but what else is there?

    i’m just saying, i get the attention. i may not like it, i may not join in it, i may be bored out of my mind of it, but i get it.

    (i know that’s a very simplistic view of the atp. i guess i’m trying to take the non tennis fanatic view of it. maybe? i dunno. it’s almost 3:30 am. i should go to bed.)

    1. SA
      SA March 15, 2013 at 3:29 am |

      well shit my italics didn’t work. pretend your quote is in italics or blockquoted or whatever jj. sorry about that.

  4. Jewell
    Jewell March 15, 2013 at 4:39 am |

    I still think you’re missing the story elements of Fedal, JJ. At the height, their rivalry had an almost mythic power. It’s not all about the tennis – although again, at the height, the rivalry delivered that, too.

    I do agree though that the hype for yesterday was ridiculous. A cautious Rafa and a Fed who was likely to be hampered was never likely to produce a classic. As such the hype felt misplaced to me from the start – and maybe it was more about nostalgia than anything? They haven’t played a classic in four years.

    That said, I suspect that the atmosphere in the crowd would still have been electric – it was in London a couple of years back, even though Federer crushed Nadal thoroughly.

  5. MattV
    MattV March 15, 2013 at 6:37 am |

    I agree with you JJ – Fedal was interesting when the narrative around it was as well: the young upstart Federer could never properly beat, Federes quest for the French, Nadals quest for Wimbledon.

    However, now that said narrative is gone, we are left with, as you said, a tactically uninteresting set of matches. I agree that Murray-Nole is boring, but Fedal isnt much less boring. From the top 4 matchups I think Rafa-Nole is most entertaining, maybe Fed-Nola (and this is not cause I’m a Nole fan…its just good tenis).

    I love Feds game (though Im not a fan of the guy) and its always a pleasure to watch him play, and its interesting to se Rafa deconstruct Murray (for example) – but hyping Fedal indeed needs to stop….

  6. Andrew Burton
    Andrew Burton March 15, 2013 at 8:09 am |

    It’s a pity.

    Not the match outcome, in which a chap playing at 90% decisively beat a fellow who was sub 80%. These things happen.

    I think it’s a pity that this match provoked such one-dimensional analysis. Considering the source, I’m surprised. The idea that Nadal has beaten Federer lots of times simply because he uses his lefty FH to get high bouncing balls to Federer’s BH is six years old, and is so much the conventional wisdom that even lead commentators on ESPN and TTC trot it out gaily in the first game of any match between these two.

    I’ve watched a few of their matches over the years, and both players adapted their games tactically and strategically to meet the challenges posed by the other. I could bore for England on the topic, and likely will do so again. Just one example: Nadal’s LH FH means that he can arc a running FH from deep in the ad corner to Fed’s feet in the ad corner in response to a well hit I-O CC FH, effectively neutralizing the point. And he can use his own 2H BH effectively against I-I FHs to deuce, with the big hole to Federer’s deuce court exposed.

    The loss last night was baked in the cake when Federer couldn’t reach for a relatively (for him) straightforward FH volley at BP in the first game of set 2. Ma’aleesh. The idea, as many seemed to think, that the pattern of the match told us anything about how these two have played each other in previous ties is a mistake I’ve been surprised to see.

  7. Henk
    Henk March 15, 2013 at 9:17 am |

    All those Murray – Djokovic finals on the horizon are making me lose the will to live. Please let this rivalry last a while longer yet!

  8. toot
    toot March 15, 2013 at 10:12 am |

    Love how the supposed match-up of Rafa’s left hand shots to Roger’s rightie back hand is always used as the excuse for why Federer loses 2/3 of the time to Rafa. Why doesn’t Roger have a similar problem with other left-handers that he plays – Verdasco, Lopez, Meltzer, et al. Does Rafa put more spin on his shots than other lefties? Yes, but surely someone as good as Federer should be able to handle that spin.

    Face it, Rafa is just a marvelous tennis player – extremely high tennis i.q., fabulous movement and footwork, incredible shots, and unbelievable mental strength but he seldom gets credit for being as good as he really is. Excuses are always made for the players he beats. Maybe the bottom line is that Rafa is just better than Roger.

  9. Ophelia
    Ophelia March 15, 2013 at 2:21 pm |

    I agree with you that the Federer-Nadal rivalry is past its prime and that while it was an undeniably great matchup when they still ruled the roost, it’s time to move on. As much as people criticize the Djokovic-Murray matchup for being ‘boring,’ it’s still a relatively new rivalry in which neither player has a clear-cut edge over the other and has time to develop — I think it can be safely said that their ‘anticlimatic’ Australian Open final was still more competitive and interesting than any of the recent Federer-Nadal encounters.

    Plus, let’s not forget that the Federer-Djokovic rivalry used to be criticized as bringing out the worst in each player (from what I’ve read of their pre-2011 matches, at least), something which would never be said today. Matchups and rivalries change. It’s unfair to compare any one of them to prime Fedal, which was a once-in-a-lifetime rivalry.

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