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Federer v Nadal - still a classic rivalry

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Jonathan Overend | 10:36 UK time, Monday, 6 June 2011

Roland Garros, Paris
During a year dominated by one man, the extraordinary Novak Djokovic whose 43-match unbeaten run came to an end in the French Open semi-final, this was a timely reminder that the Rafael Nadal / Roger Federer rivalry still ticks every box.

The Swiss genius with the single handed backhand, aggressive intent, the
flair and flourishes versus the Spanish bull, with the tough two-hander and a
potent brew of devastating defence and relentless retaliation.

They even looked like rivals; Federer in red and white, Nadal in blue and
white. Old school sporting colours like an FA Cup final from the 1980s which
reminded me of my first Subbuteo set.

The Federer / Djokovic semi was a stunning match, arguably the best we've seen since the classic 2008 Wimbledon final, but tactics and styles were similar.

What makes Nadal / Federer so intriguing is the contrast and the variables,
the mid-match alterations, the element of surprise.

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When Federer started his drop-shot blitz in the third set it was instantly
damaging to Nadal. During one half-hour spell he scored with six out of seven drop
shots, many of them clean winners cunningly disguised.

Earlier, the 29-year-old had stepped up the court to take balls on the rise -
essential to counter the effects of increased top spin. Federer has struggled
in the past because when that viciously spun forehand kicks up off the clay,
it bounced head high.

The defensive backhand has given Nadal too many options in the past so this time Federer resembled the cricketer taking a stride down the pitch and hitting "on the up".

This is all well and good but maintaining and executing those tactics for
five sets, on clay, against Nadal, are near impossible.

This match was close, very close. At one stage, with Nadal two sets and a
break ahead, they were almost level on total points.

The Spaniard knew there would be no repeat of his 2008 demolition job, when he won 6-1 6-3 6-0, and so it proved.

Nadal may have even been worried after seven games after Federer starting superbly, then he was disturbed by the rain which followed his failure to convert set-point for a
2-0 lead, and he was also rattled by the drop-shot half-hour in the third set.

But he dealt with it all calmly ("with calm" as he would say, endearingly)
and while Federer undoubtedly made a match of it, victory for the Swiss was
always a distant dream.

Even when the comeback began it was hard to imagine Nadal losing for the
first time at a major from 2-0 up.

So Federer is firmly back in the picture, not that he ever left it, and
probably starts a marginal favourite for Wimbledon.

But Nadal completely deserved his sixth Roland Garros title which not only
ties Bjorn Borg's record, also takes him into double figures for major
championships won.

And my overriding thought during another terrific final?

How lucky we are to be continuing this amazing era in men's tennis. Only seven men in the history of the game have won all four majors and two of them were in front of our
eyes, sharing a court, trading strokes of rare quality. Quite simply, a privilege to watch.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    I think Wimbledon is Djokovic's to lose, personally. I still think he's playing the best tennis of anyone and was a little below par when he lost to Federer last week. Also, while Djokovic didn't make a big deal of it, the fact the match ended in near darkness undoubtedly helped Federer, who was relying on his serve for lots of 'cheap' points. Shame in many ways that the Serb didn't make it to the final, as the outcome of a Federer-Nadal clash on clay always seems to be a foregone conclusion. I think Djokovic may well have beaten Nadal had he made it through.

  • Comment number 2.

    I am sorry Jonathan but as much as I respect Nadal who is a great player I find him boring and tedious with his diliberate service action and his one dimensional game. I watched, only an hour of the final which was a shame because any other combination and I would have stayed the distance.

    I must also ask why the BBC thought it approprite on a Sunday afternoon to cover 4 hours non British sport for the French mens final. Surely a waste of the licence fee especially as it was available on the red button and on 5live. Surely the time has come to focus on British sportsmen when the time comes not Swiss, Spanish etc.



    Any comments.

  • Comment number 3.

    what can i say about federer,apart from being the best ever! watching the final yesterday i was pulling my hair out! i mean it was not as tho Nadel who is a great player,was in the game! Federer should have won,but he let Nadel off like he's done so meny time's before,Federer is not a choker! never has been,and never will be! he just play's tennis the way it should be played..i take my hat off to them both! Roger for being the best ever, and Nadel for being and amazing player who never give's up! both Tennis legends..

    bring on Wimbledon,have to say i put my money on federer..

  • Comment number 4.

    The main impression that I got from this match is that Federer is still scarred by what Nadal has done to him in finals the last few times they have met. I wondered if time and having got the record for most grand slam wins would have eased it. But in amongst all the statistics, the critical point seemed to be when serving at 5-4 in the first set when he hardly got a first serve in (only one I can recall, but two at most). It looked like he tightened up, and from then Nadal was always on top.

  • Comment number 5.

    @2
    Although I agree that Nadal can sometimes be one dimensional and may not be as attractive to watch as Federer, it doesn't mean it isn't entertainment. Watching someone play with raw power as well as control can be entertaining.
    And as for only screening British athletes that would simply never be feasible. If we did that we'd rarely get to see a grand slam final, Euro 2008 would have been a write off, and the football World Cup may as well have been. But if formula 1, athletics and rugby union are your favourite sports (Personally rugby union is mine), then that method would suit you perfectly.

  • Comment number 6.

    1.At 12:55 6th Jun 2011, iwmorris wrote:
    I think Wimbledon is Djokovic's to lose, personally. I still think he's playing the best tennis of anyone and was a little below par when he lost to Federer last week. Also, while Djokovic didn't make a big deal of it, the fact the match ended in near darkness undoubtedly helped Federer, who was relying on his serve for lots of 'cheap' points. Shame in many ways that the Serb didn't make it to the final, as the outcome of a Federer-Nadal clash on clay always seems to be a foregone conclusion. I think Djokovic may well have beaten Nadal had he made it through.

    what are you on about!! clearly a NOLE Fan! hahahah may be Nole had a injury,or it was too windy! and at Federer's End it was not dark,it was sunny and not windy,yet when they changed over! it followed NOLE about..hahahah he got beat by the better player on the day! Federer gave him a lesson in Tennis! am sure your agree..Federer is going to win SW19,as for NOLE! never mind all way's next time

  • Comment number 7.

    Wimbledon (and Tennis on the BBC generally) for me would be loads better if only Andrew Castle and John Lloyd would shut up - they spoil it with their continuous waffle. During one match in the French Open, they were rabbiting on and on about football of all things! For goodness sake you two, please be quiet!

  • Comment number 8.

    We have the privilege of having three great tennis players all with their different styles of play and should appreciate this fantastic era of tennis.

    I favour the elegant Federer style but admire the energy and dash of Djok & Nadal - but if I had to chose a match I would always opt for Federer.

    Federer's game is capable of beating Nadal when he is on top form but he does seem to have a mental hangup when he meets Nadal and at one stage looked like had lost all self belief.

    Congratulations to Nadal for another great victory, he well may pass Federer's record of GS's but Federer's sublime style still makes him my GOAT.

  • Comment number 9.

    The match yesterday fell well short of the 08 Wimbledon final. The quality was great, but the outcome was never really in doubt after Nadal came back to win the first set.

    It's a classic rivalry because we've been able to enjoy it for some 7 years now, but on clay there's still a pretty sizeable gap between the two.

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    The match yesterday fell well short of the 08 Wimbledon final. The quality was great, but the outcome was never really in doubt after Nadal came back to win the first set.

    It's a classic rivalry because we've been able to enjoy it for some 7 years now, but on clay there's still a pretty sizeable gap between the two

    how can you say that!! federer had Nadel!!! read the stats!! Federer lost it him self! NADEL won because Roger made too meny off his own mistakes!! Nadel will be lucky to win another 2 Slams Max! any tennis player that now's the game, can see that! so wake up smell the coffee!

  • Comment number 12.

    @2.

    Rafa Nadal has worked extremely hard to become one of the best players in tennis.

    His shots are brilliantly executed, he hits winners from great angles and is very physically fit.

    What is not to like about his tennis?

    Rafa stands almost alone in Spanish sport as a good role model

  • Comment number 13.

    Federer has no chance of winning Wimbledon, Nadal has his number it's has simple as that, and just for the record I'm a Federer fan, note that a Federer fan not a worshipper.

    Federer now knows how Andy Roddick must have felt during their encounters, when no matter how hard you try the other guy just has all the answers. The general opinion from the media, tennis fans was that Federer was always going to lose yesterday, I must admit I'm surprised how well he played and had he played the big points better then it could of gone to a 5th set.

    Interesting comments in the post match press conference from Federer on how he always plays a certain way and if he plays well he wins if he does not Nadal does. Maybe time to change tactics to some extent and play the percentages in some rallies, just as Nadal does. I think that Federer needs a big win over Nadal in a slam, straight sets to get some belief back.

  • Comment number 14.

    Tough loss for Federer

    Still the best of all time in my eyes, for the time being. But it's getting harder and harder to keep denying the compelling strength of Rafa's claim for the top spot on the all time list.

    Had he won we'd be talking about Federer having won 17 GSs with at least two victories on each surface in comparison to Rafa's "measly" 9. As it is, Federer is stranded on 16, with Rafa into double figures and with youth on side as he tries to rack up a few more. The prospect must unfortunately be dawning on Federer that over the next few years Rafa will slowly but surely bridge the gap, creating a question mark over Federer's previously unquestionable claim to be the G.O.A.T.

    Every Wimbledon from now on becomes hugely significant with regards to the legacy of both men. Given Federer's proven inability to overcome Nadal at Roland Garos, a second Grass Court Finals win for Nadal over Federer, combined with his Aussie Open Hard Court win, would surely start to make a mockery of any continued attempts to proclaim Federer as the best ever.

    I reckon half of Federer's problems when facing Nadal are Mental. For whatever reason Nadal simply has the hoodoo over Federer, and Federer is all to well aware of this, hence the tears at the 2009 Aussie Open final.

    In terms of mental strength these days i reckon you can rank the men:

    1. Djokovic - Nerves of steel & a reservoir of self-belief to tap into

    2. Nadal - Too focused to let his mind wander for any significant length of time

    3. Federer - Never truly overcome his youthful propensity to through a tantrum

    4. Andy Murray - ............best not to even comment on Andy lol.

  • Comment number 15.

    11.
    At 16:08 6th Jun 2011, simon bray wrote:

    The match yesterday fell well short of the 08 Wimbledon final. The quality was great, but the outcome was never really in doubt after Nadal came back to win the first set.

    It's a classic rivalry because we've been able to enjoy it for some 7 years now, but on clay there's still a pretty sizeable gap between the two

    how can you say that!! federer had Nadel!!! read the stats!! Federer lost it him self! NADEL won because Roger made too meny off his own mistakes!! Nadel will be lucky to win another 2 Slams Max! any tennis player that now's the game, can see that! so wake up smell the coffee!

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    I am sorry to have to point this out but you really need to learn how to spell.
    Federer could of won yesterday but the amount of unforced errors made it look like Nadal had him well beaten.

    Nadal v Federer on grass usually ends up being a classic. I think Andy Murray needs to sort out his team and the direction he goes in before it becomes too late for him ( age and younger players coming through). Men's Tennis is in a good place with 3 stand out players followed by a group of players who are close to being good enough to win a Grand Slam.

  • Comment number 16.

    Aus09 being overlooked here? way better than this French open final. I would even say Wimbledon 08 may have been better for sheer drama but Aus 09 was the more technically complete match. It had everything and ALL the angles on the court was found in that match between the pair of them.

  • Comment number 17.

    Been fascinating to watch these two over the years. Somebody commented on Nadal's one-dimensional play but I think that's as unfair as Rafa's forehand on clay.

    The only one-dimensional element to Rafa's tennis is his brutal relentlessness and accuracy on this surface. His stats are frightening. When you put that against Federer, you just feel a bit powerless, like watching a Bull spear the Matador. But you can't ask the Bull not to win, not to play their best game. You can only hope that the old master can overcome Nadal at the French one day, to even the score Nadal made at Wimbledon and to keep the rivalry going strong.

    Neck on the line time - Murray to win Wimbledon. (I know. I know)

  • Comment number 18.

    @15.

    Pot calling the kettle black.

    I think you also need to learn how to spell. "Federer could of won yesterday" should be "Federer could HAVE won yesterday".

  • Comment number 19.

    16.
    At 18:45 6th Jun 2011, Sir_Dion wrote:

    Aus09 being overlooked here? way better than this French open final. I would even say Wimbledon 08 may have been better for sheer drama but Aus 09 was the more technically complete match. It had everything and ALL the angles on the court was found in that match between the pair of them.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Totally agree, was a bit bemused myself at how casually the Australia 09 was ignored. Most people at the time thought Wimbledon 08 was the greatest match ever, but i think those who watched the australian open final half a year later knew they'd seen a match that was least as good if not better. As I recall, it was a bit of a shame when Roger eventually crumbled in the 5th, but the first 4 sets were out of this world. The only reason why he even appeared to crumble was due to the relentless level of intensity that Rafa was able to maintain over 5 sets. And the match definately had its fair share of drama and sense of occasion.

    The all round strength Rafa showed that day was something i'd never seen before on a tennis court. It was Rafa's first Grand Slam win on a Hard Court, and the day Federer realised Rafa truly had his number over 5 sets, (following up on the 5 set victory at wimbledon). Hence the tears from Roger at the end. Was a hugely significant tennis match in the context of both their careers. Definately higher quality than anything in this French Open, and could easily make a claim for it being the best ever.

  • Comment number 20.

    Agree that the Nadal/Federer rivalry is still the top one. Many great classics and Djokovic/Nadal have not yet had a great classic at slam level, or a match go to 5 sets anywhere.

    Agree with the AO 09 fans. This was the best first 4 sets of a match I've ever seen. However because of Federer's poor 5th set I would rank the Wimbledon 08 final marginally higher for a better 5th set and incredible atmosphere and sense of occassion.

    This recent FO final is not in the same class as those 2. In fact arguably Wimbledon 07 and Rome 06 were better Federer-Nadal encounters or at least at a similar level.

    The Federer-Djokovic and Federer-Nadal matches at this year's French Open were in the better matches of this year for sure, but no more than that. The quality was very high but the excitement level only ever reached moderately high.

  • Comment number 21.

    Disagree with Federer as Wimbledon favourite. I think Nadal is favourite because, if they meet, whether in semi or final, Nadal still has the mental edge over Federer. However Federer you fancy to cruise to the semi, and Nadal is marginally more prone to an upset at this tournament. So tricky one.

  • Comment number 22.

    #19

    Agree back with you here! Aus 09 confirmed Nadal's place amongst the greats because it epitomised everything he is about: relentless improvement to get to the top (not just in the current game but amongst the very top in history). We shouldn't forget that he had just come off a 5+hr epic with Verdasco only 1 and a half days before this 5 setter too! Truly incredibly physical feat. In my opinion, Nadal peaked physically in this match - that is not to say he's in decline but I feel Nadal is no longer capable of the kind of bottomless pit physical endurance through the whole of a grandslam like he was able to in 08 and 09.. an example being the year end final against Roger after his epic against Murray.

    Anyway yes, Aus09 had the best shot-making i have ever seen. Some of the retrievals on that day was insane.

  • Comment number 23.

    Fed played well but I don't think he believed he could beat Nadal on clay. When he blew a 5-2 lead in the 1st set (losing the next 7 games in a row) I feared the worst but fortunately he picked it up with some great shotmaking. As always seems to be the case, though , Roger hit too many unforced errors against Rafa (56 vs 53 winners), and his serve deserted him at crucial times. It is difficult for Federer when Nadal is consistently ripping those heavy topspin forehands to his SH backhand, and I think he will always struggle because of this. Nole's DH backhand is a huge advantage in this regard, especially when he rips it hard and flat cross-court. Andy has a similar advantage but he did seem to struggle for timing in his SF, possibly due to the wind.

  • Comment number 24.

    Federer really should have closed out that first set. It might have been a different match then. Once he started trying to go toe to toe with Nadal's top spin on a consistent basis, i knew he wasn't going to win. You'd think he'd know by now, you can't exchange looping top spin shots on clay with Nadal and expect to win over the course of five sets.

    Plus, if i tried to single-hand backhand Nadal's looping top-spinners with as much venom as you need to get ball speed on clay, my arm would end up falling off after about 2 sets. You end up either hitting the net or just pushing the ball back with relatively low power, and Nadal will gobble that up all day.

  • Comment number 25.

    I think you'd have to be very optimistic to count Djokovic as favourite, considering grass is his worst surface.

    If Nadal and Federer (hopefully) meet, be it in the final or semis, I believe it's genuine 50/50. People who say Nadal isn't entertaining to watch, I will never understand. I'd rather by into the spectacle that shows you can make it to the top through sheer hard work, rather than the self-promotion of Federer for years that he was number 1 through just sheer talent, "making it look easy", and never really turning around to see he had a true rival or competitor in Nadal until the man humbled him by taking his number 1 world ranking and all-surface titles off of him.

    Well, Federer had it on easy street for years and now with two genuine competitors, in the French Open semi he played the best tennis of his life and the first time it was genuinely a pleasure for me to watch him play. The first set of the Federer v Djokovic semi I will always consider myself priveleged to have watched.

    Hopefully at Wimbledon the best man wins but, aside from all that, my support fully remains with Nadal and tennis as a whole.

  • Comment number 26.

    I have a real problem when people constantly focus on the head to head stats between Nadal and Federer. They do not take into consideration that there are three ATP Masters 1000 tournaments on clay and absolutely none on grass. The record might look rather different if they all had to play four grass tournaments each year, instead of one. (They are not obliged to play Queen's/Halle/Nottingham)

    I don't think people give Federer enough credit for how brillant he is on clay. If he hadn't reached so many clay tournament finals then the record between him and Nadal would look very different. Out of the 17 wins over Federer, 12 of them have been on clay, mostly finals and semi-finals. This only proves that Nadal is a better clay court player.

    For me, Federer will always be the greatest of all time. It's not just about how many trophies he has in his cabinet. It is the consistency, reaching over 20 semi-finals of Grand Slams in a row, how he has managed to stay fit and healthy and what he gives back - his charity work is outstanding.

    I hope that both Roger and Rafa continue to play for many more years and we can continue to enjoy this wonderful rivalry.

  • Comment number 27.

    Great article!


    The match yesterday fell well short of the 08 Wimbledon final. The quality was great, but the outcome was never really in doubt after Nadal came back to win the first set.

    It's a classic rivalry because we've been able to enjoy it for some 7 years now, but on clay there's still a pretty sizeable gap between the two

    how can you say that!! federer had Nadel!!! read the stats!! Federer lost it him self! NADEL won because Roger made too meny off his own mistakes!! Nadel will be lucky to win another 2 Slams Max! any tennis player that now's the game, can see that! so wake up smell the coffee!

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Nadal almost always has less mistakes, consistency wins matches!
    Fed had Nadal. "HAD" is a big word. I'ts kind of like should have, or could have. Nadal saves more breakpoints than anyone else and is relentless in giving up. He outplays the odds and his opponents over and over and over.

    I watched an interview by Bjorn Borg on why Borg was so successful. The number 1 reason he gave was mental toughness and number 2 was physical strength. He also said the most important thing is how you play the big points. Rafa has proved his superior mental toughness over the last 6 years finding a way when everything is against him and never giving up. He knows how to play the big points better than anyone, that's why he wins when the points are even or even when he has fewer points. Borg said if you don't know how to play the big points you will never be a champion.
    Djokovic is a good player but, he fell apart mentally against Roger midway in the semi-final match. Roger had more unforced errors than Djokovic, but won the big points. Nadal has been consistent for 6+ years and Joker was on a 5th month run. Mental toughness doesn't happen when your winning easily but when it looks like you're losing.

    Nadal is known for making less unforced errors than anyone and still playing high level tennis, that's why he wins so consistently.
    He has beaten Federer 17 out of the 25 times they've played. The first time he played him in Miami in 2004 he beat him. Nadal has a lot of records Federer doesn't have and shares a few as well. Rafa has more ATP 1000 titles than Roger and he's 5 years younger. Roger has 6 more GS finals and Rafa has at least 5 more years to win 7 or more. Roger is a great player and plays beautifully and has a lot of talent. He is one of the greatest players ever and

  • Comment number 28.

    I reckon Murray actually has a better chance than people are giving him at wimbledon, if, and its a big if, his serve works well in the big matches then his volleying is actually excellent and rarely given credit for. Nadal and Federer both got taken to 5 sets last year so i dont think anyone is unbeatable on grass as Nadal clearly was on the clay.

  • Comment number 29.

    Some people don't appreciate how lucky we are - two of the best players ever to pick up a tennis raquet going head-to-head over seven years and yet they still complain. Throw in Murray, Djokovic, Del Potro etc and we have a sport to savour. Get real, and enjoy it while it lasts, players of this calibre, on and off the court, don't come round that often.

  • Comment number 30.

    Head-to-head: 18-7.

    Does not sound like much of a rivalry to me. More like one player totally dominating the other. And before anyone cries bloody clay, they are tied 4-4 on hard-courts and fed is only 2-1 on grass.

  • Comment number 31.

    @26

    I don't think people give Federer enough credit for how brillant he is on clay. If he hadn't reached so many clay tournament finals then the record between him and Nadal would look very different. Out of the 17 wins over Federer, 12 of them have been on clay, mostly finals and semi-finals. This only proves that Nadal is a better clay court player.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    Certainly agree that Federer's outstanding talent on clay is often overlooked due to the presence of Nadal.

    But the way i see it, is that whereas up until 2008 Federer fans (such as myself) could simply point to all the Wimbledon titles and say Federer matches Nadal by being the best on grass, it's no longer so easy to make that argument stick.

    Federer's achievements on grass clearly outshine anyone else in terms of numbers. But if you look beyond the numbers it's clear that since Nadal came good at Wimbledon he's pushed Federer to 4 sets (2006), pushed him to 5 sets (2007), finally won when Federer was arguably at his physical peak at 26 (2008), missed 2009 through injury, then won again in 2010.

    It doesn't take much to suggest that even on grass Nadal has managed to overcome Federer's 4 year headstart and improve year after year to arguably now be the better grass court player.

    He's the defending champion at Wimbledon and beat Federer the last time the two met on grass 3 years ago. The reason i feel this years Wimbledon championships has the potential to be so hugely significant is that if Nadal were to beat Federer again and defend his title, one would have to seriously question whether Federer is even the better player on grass?

    And if and when Federer's grass court superiority starts to come into question, the whole Roger Federer Greatest of All Time brand could begin to crumble very quickly.

  • Comment number 32.

    Can't help but hope Federer and Nadal are drawn in opposing halves of the draw, as with Federer no.3 in the rankings, it is no longer a certainty, and at the end of the day, who really wants a Federer-Nadal semi?

    Also have to agree with @7 in terms of the commentary. The BBC really need to reevaluate, as the 5Live commentary for the Rome 1000 with the Guardian (I think) writer was vastly superior to the trash that John Lloyd spews, never mind the hideously cringey, and unrealisticly Murray-biased Andrew Castle during Roland Garros - they were just about saved by Sam Smith on the red button. I think Tim has been a great addition at Wimbledon, and Becker's one liners provide entertainment, but the overall commentary package for majors televised on the Beeb could do with an overhaul, before viewing figures decrease, and the sport becomes a lower priority than it already is.

  • Comment number 33.

    I surely disagree with Federer's claim that when he plays poorly Nadal wins and If he plays well, Nadal loses. Federer played his game, executed brilliant shots, expressed himself and sometimes left fans in Awe!! He however at the most important moments chocked!! Would that make him the better player, my senses tell me-NO!! People keep arguing that Rafael Nadal doesn't play good tennis but how come over the past 5 years he has accumulated 10 GS? How come players (The ones you claim are very good) have failed to overcome him during slam finals? Nadal has impressively won on all surfaces and deserves credit for that. Imagine....for a second.....If it hadn't been for Nadal (Since he is actually the only one capable of stopping FEDS) Federer would be having 26 GS!! All coaches come up with a game plan for their players to execute. Rafael executes and ensures the Game plan is the best, while Federer fails to execute hence rendering the Game plan against Nadal a flop!! If Tennis fans continue thriving in denial by disregarding some players efforts while praising others who are not delivering, Finals and Victories will become useless!! Congrats Rafael Nadal.

  • Comment number 34.



    Congratulations to champion Rafael Nadal and runner up Roger Federer. Thanks for the brilliant performances throughout the Grand Slam.


    Dr. Cajetan Coelho

  • Comment number 35.

    At The End off the Day! Put Your GS on the Table!! Yep sorry Federer has 16 He wins! FEDERER is the goat! live with it guy's!

  • Comment number 36.

    11.
    At 16:08 6th Jun 2011, simon bray wrote:

    The match yesterday fell well short of the 08 Wimbledon final. The quality was great, but the outcome was never really in doubt after Nadal came back to win the first set.

    It's a classic rivalry because we've been able to enjoy it for some 7 years now, but on clay there's still a pretty sizeable gap between the two

    how can you say that!! federer had Nadel!!! read the stats!! Federer lost it him self! NADEL won because Roger made too meny off his own mistakes!! Nadel will be lucky to win another 2 Slams Max! any tennis player that now's the game, can see that! so wake up smell the coffee!

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    I am sorry to have to point this out but you really need to learn how to spell.
    Federer could of won yesterday but the amount of unforced errors made it look like Nadal had him well beaten.

    Nadal v Federer on grass usually ends up being a classic. I think Andy Murray needs to sort out his team and the direction he goes in before it becomes too late for him ( age and younger players coming through). Men's Tennis is in a good place with 3 stand out players followed by a group of players who are close to being good enough to win a Grand Slam.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Let's not be hypocritical now, its would have not would of! And feds is the greatest ever

  • Comment number 37.

    Nadal is the favourite for Wimbledon. He has not lost there since 2007 and you would have to go to 2005 (I think) since he lost to anyone but Federer and before 2008 he was still learning his craft while Fed was at his physical peak. Now it's completely different.

    Djok, there is doubts about his injuries and he still is not as mentally strong and Roger and Rafa.

    As for comment number 2, my god there are some resentful people out there, I feel sorry for you that you are missing out on a great era of tennis. Your loss. Enjoy those posh sports the rest of the world doesn't care about eg rowing, show jumping, which Britain does well at.

  • Comment number 38.

    This Federer is the GOAT argument is pathetic, all you are basing this on is pure numbers. Borg / Laver could have won a lot more if they were worried about numbers and Federer's greatest rival has 10 slams and he just turned 25. Want to have this debate in 5 years time? I thought not!

  • Comment number 39.

    Agree with the folks above who have mentioned the 09 Australian Open final as the greatest tennis these two have played - the ending was anticlimactic, especially for Fed fans, but the first four sets were sublime. Wimbledon 08 had you guessing till the final point, so I would argue it was better theatre overall; and it was also memorable for being the moment where the notion of Nadal dethroning Federer became probable (and not just possible).

  • Comment number 40.

    And those criticising Nadal's game style. I am sure you all hate watching Murray and Djokovic aswell who have effectively tried to replicate Nadal's game. Sure, you critics are all Swiss and have not just jumped on the glory bandwagon that it is more cridible to support someone with a pretty backhand.

  • Comment number 41.

    Not sure how we can say the match was 'very close' and yet victory for Federer was always 'a distant dream'. Just the first of these is true - Federer could easily have won it. Having said that, Nadal is an awesome player and he deserved the title. I think he wanted the win more, Federer seemed content just to make a game of it. A very engrossing match, in my opinion, one of their better ones. Federer should win in SW19 this year and I still like my '18 plays 13' forecast for their ultimate career slam totals.

  • Comment number 42.

    Nadal v Federer is more of a wonderful spectacle than a fierce rivalry now. They server up some great matches, especially in Grand Slam events, but the final outcome is rarely in doubt anymore. Nadal always wins and I think Federer thinks that in his mind also. I get the impression that Fed was happy just to make the final on Sunday and didn't have the conviction to press home his advantage early on. Nadal is so much stronger mentally, especially over 5 sets and always plays his best on the most important points, whereas Federer tends to wobble at such moments.
    Nadal is also very clever with the mind games. Note how he always refers to Federer as the greatest ever, just before they play, as if to release the pressure on himself and ratchet it up on his opponent.

  • Comment number 43.

    vamos @ 38

    I love Rafa but you should note that Fed had 8 slams at age 25, 12 slams by the age of 26 and one month, and 16 slams at age 28 and five months. He's 29 now and still getting to finals and looking a major contender at all 4 slams. I see 2 more grand slams and a career total of 18. Federer's style of play indicates greater longevity than Nadal and I assess it extremely unlikely that Rafa will be able to overhaul him on slams (although he's already done so on Masters series titles, of course). I don't think he'll get that close, actually - 3 more for Nadal, so 18 vs 13 when it's all done and dusted.

  • Comment number 44.

    its clear to me and to real tennis fans (who are impartial) that nadal will go down as the greater of the two players and it all goes dwn to head to head battles, and nadal bein able to beat fed on his favourite surface, whereas federer not really comin close on clay. also in head to head reality, nadal wins the big points and is mentally stronger, then the excuse makin, ungracious one, rf. federer had it his own way when it was roddick and a very young nadal tryin to catch him up, but now when tennis is at its strongest, nadal stands tall amongst them all

  • Comment number 45.

    Federer and Rafa are the best the Tennis world ever seen. Both have mutual understanding and respect. Rafa might have thrown away the third set in order to lessen Federer's pain. Few years back Federer lost the semi final in Aus open to Safin because on that day Marat was celebrating his birth day. As Federer did not want to spoil Marat's happiness, he lost the match. Federer is the greatest. Ask Juan Martin Del Potro..you will understand:)

  • Comment number 46.

    Roger contributed to a great final. The show was absolutely fantastic. Nadal got to work quickly when he lagged behind and started to use his know how to great effect. Roger still would be favourite for Wimbledon but we have to remember who the defending champion is. He is no mug on grass! Novak is not far away and Andy will be there too.

  • Comment number 47.

    This Federer is the GOAT argument is pathetic, all you are basing this on is pure numbers. Borg / Laver could have won a lot more if they were worried about numbers and Federer's greatest rival has 10 slams and he just turned 25. Want to have this debate in 5 years time? I thought not!

    i think so Fella, see you in 5 years when you can say that Federer is the goat!

  • Comment number 48.

    43 Saga

    With Djok finding his form at last neither Rafa or Federer are shoe ins for the GS titles - this and injury as a result of Rafa's style of play may put the brake on his GS haul.

    Still don't know how Federer lost that first set - he was so on top of things until the break for the trainer. Still Rafa has the belief he can win and was hungrier than Federer.

    Should they tie on GS titles the GOAT argument cannot be settled on head to heads because of the 5 year age difference - they did not peak at the same time.

    Flair and variety would influence my choice of GOAT over energy and power , the one is a flamboyant entertainer the other is an awesome athlete whose instincts are to play the percentages.

    [This format is so much better than the new format elsewhere]






  • Comment number 49.

    What about the attitude of the French crow? Somebody could tell me why that people was against Nadal? Is not Nadal an educated fellow with his competitors, the spectators and/or the organizers of the tournament? Any of you could remember the Australian final with Federer foul of tears and Nadal cheering him sacrifying his protagonism?.
    I can not understand such unsportive attitude clapping the hands on Nadal´s errors.
    I am sure that a gentleman as Federer was not to happy of this.
    The 2008 Wimbledon final was a lesson of an educated crow watching a tennis match¡
    Thanks to the BBC to give me the opportunity to express my disappointment. Pablo Romero Montesino. Badajoz. Spain

  • Comment number 50.

    What about the attitude of the French crow? Somebody could tell me why that people was against Nadal? Is not Nadal an educated fellow with his competitors, the spectators and/or the organizers of the tournament? Any of you could remember the Australian final with Federer foul of tears and Nadal cheering him sacrifying his protagonism?.
    I can not understand such unsportive attitude clapping the hands of Nadal´s errors.
    I am sure that a gentleman as Federer was not to happy of this.
    The 2008 Wimbledon final was a lesson of an educated crow watching a tennis match¡
    Thanks to the BBC to give me the opportunity to express my disappointment. Pablo Romero Montesino. Badajoz. Spain

  • Comment number 51.

    Ref Nadel! he won in a era when Federer was Ill and there was no body else to match him! intil know! we have Federer,Nole and Murrey.. yea had a feeling all you Nadel fan's forgot to say some about that..funny that..at the end off the day RG 16
    RN - 10 there's your Goat RF

  • Comment number 52.

    Federer is never going to win RG, actually no player who plays elegant, masterful, attacking and exquisite tennis like Federer (or Sampras before him) can win RG because RG only rewards players who play non-stop top-spinning tennis like Nadal. The fact that he won it in 2009 is quite a miracle already.

    Nadal has turned the game into a vulgar top-spinning contest, and he's been built to make the defense tennis win. That's a pretty good achievement still, but impossible to watch for more than 10 minutes.

    Djokovic is somewhere between Federer and Nadal in terms of his game, he's still got room for improvement but tends to show a willingness to actually winning the point rather than just running, sending the ball back like Nadal. We have to see how he reacts to losing in the semi against Federer, going unbeaten for 5-something months and then losing probably hurts more...

    Federer just doesn't know what to do against Nadal, the problem is : Nadal has made the game so much more brutal and based on defence that it's impossible to stop him if you can't find a way to win your points inside 3 shots. Actually : the only way left is to develop a 240km/h average serve with both the left and right hand and bombarding Nadal with aces. Then you'd also need to develop a brutal return to hit brutal winners on his serve.

    Seeing Federer vs Djokovic is way more fun, at least these two try to play, Nadal's good at providing a bore-fest of the highest quality and you just know his opponent will get so bored he won't bother chasing again.

  • Comment number 53.

    49 pablo

    Affection grows for the greats in their twilight years - it was nothing against Rafa just an appreciation of a talent that will not be with us for ever.

    We all love Rafa but Federer was playing off the back of that magnificent semi and carried a wave of appreciation over with him.

  • Comment number 54.

    The time-wasting tactics employed by Nadal to disrupt Federer's rhythm should no longer go unchallenged by umpires. Examples in Paris were forcing Federer to wait to serve until Nadal himself is ready to receive - normal tennis etiquette dictates that one plays to the rhythm of the server; the umpire leaving his chair to hear Nadal's request for a trainer at 2-5 down in the first set; the trainer's presence requested so that talcum powder may be used on Nadal's foot. I do hope Wimbledon umpires stamp this practice out this summer.

  • Comment number 55.

    Federer won half of his grand slams with players such as Roddick and Hewitt as his main rivals.

    If Nadal had been born a few years earlier it's highly probable that he would still be trying to reach 10 grandslams.

    He is overwhelmingly dominated by Nadal - Greatest ever seems an extravagant claim.

    If classical strokeplay is your criteria, Edberg, Leconte .... Henman?

  • Comment number 56.

    51.At 12:33 7th Jun 2011, simon bray wrote:
    Ref Nadel! he won in a era when Federer was Ill and there was no body else to match him! intil know! we have Federer,Nole and Murrey.. yea had a feeling all you Nadel fan's forgot to say some about that..funny that..at the end off the day RG 16
    RN - 10 there's your Goat RF

    -------------

    I am sorry to bring it up but do you try and spell every name incorrectly, whilst sounding like a 3yr old proving his toy is best? Or just simply that stupid?

    On topic, i do prefer the style of Federer but i do think Nadal will win more Grand Slams in his career than Roger.

  • Comment number 57.

    Federer is my all time favourite player, but you can no longer call him the GOAT, when a player of his own generation has his number so convincingly. Sorry Roger - Nadal is your kryptonite. There was a total lack of belief in Fed yesterday.

  • Comment number 58.

    hahahha Marcus Nedal is a one horse pony! thats it! Man,why can't you guy's just admit it Federer is the Best and all ways will be,the Stats say it all! what is it 6 wim,5 USA 4 Aus 1 RG,says it all.. Nedal 1 Aus(beat Fed) 2 wim( beat Fed for 1) 1 USA 6 RG (Beat Fed 4times) say's it all about how good the rest are,Fed is all ways there! just like Ivan Lendal was..both Great players in diffrent time's

  • Comment number 59.

    58.At 13:23 7th Jun 2011, simon bray wrote:
    '..one horse pony!..'

    -----

    lol one horse pony

    you do make me laugh

  • Comment number 60.

    People are getting carried away with Djokovic. He may have an astonishing 12,000 ranking points to his name, but Wimbledon is a different kettle of fish. He won all his clay court tournaments then couldn't get to the clay court grand slam final. At Wimbledon last year, admittedly before he hit form, he was blown away by Berdych. Now clearly that's not going to happen again with Berdych's form just disappearing, but he'll have to face Federer again in the semis. And Wimbledon is Federer's element.

    Regarding Nadal, grass may even be his best surface this year. He is coming into form at the right time, is still number 1 in the world and the French will give him immense confidence. He's lost 2 matches at Wimbledon in the last 5 years, and I can't see him losing another one. He had developed his game superbly for grass and there is no one who can hit the ball better.

    I am expecting Murray to put in some stellar performances this year too. He'll need to be in Djokovic's draw for a chance of getting to the final I reckon, but if he did meet Nadal he would give him a better match than last year.

    I reckon the semis will resemble exactly what happened at the French, unless Murray falls apart before the semis, which I doubt given that Wimbledon is set up for him to do really well. He's never really failed there.

  • Comment number 61.

    RE#45

    Federer and Rafa are the best the Tennis world ever seen. Both have mutual understanding and respect. Rafa might have thrown away the third set in order to lessen Federer's pain. Few years back Federer lost the semi final in Aus open to Safin because on that day Marat was celebrating his birth day. As Federer did not want to spoil Marat's happiness, he lost the match. Federer is the greatest. Ask Juan Martin Del Potro..you will understand:)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Are you seriously telling us that Roger lost to Safin on purpose because it was Marat's birthday? Roger's a nice guy, but he's not that nice. I suppose that's also why Murray lost to Rafa in the semis of the French because it was Rafa's 25th birthday. Do me a favour.

  • Comment number 62.

    but you agree! he is a one horse pony! thats all he's got in his locker!! not a lot..
    look at Fed..then your looking at the MASTER

  • Comment number 63.

    coats,

    Yes, I do hope they don't adopt the politics format on these sports blogs.

    Bizarre match in many ways: Fed dominated set 1 and lost it, Nad dominated set 2 and nearly lost it, set 3 was all Nad and then all Fed - only the fourth was clear cut and by that time I got the impression Roger was content to lose, having not been mullered a la 2008. I reckon his thoughts were turning to SW19 before the end.

  • Comment number 64.

    62.
    At 14:27 7th Jun 2011, simon bray wrote:

    but you agree! he is a one horse pony! thats all he's got in his locker!! not a lot..
    look at Fed..then your looking at the MASTER

    ----

    No i dont agree.

    p.s. its a 'One trick pony'

  • Comment number 65.

    43

    Are you kidding? You think Federer will win 2 more slams and Nadal only 3? That's a bold claim to make. There is a very good chance that Fed will win no more, Djok it would now appear was injured, Nadal is in his head, if Del Po is back to full fitness, I can't see where these two will come. You say he is challenging but in fact he has not been for years when the opposition is at full strength , he picked up 2 while Rafa was injured in 2009, he was getting beaten in quarters last year. Nadal will probably pick up a fair few more RG/Wimb at a minimum and will always be there or there about on hard court as miami, wells etc proved

  • Comment number 66.

    Agree that Sundays final was good, just not great. If anything it was closer than the scoreline suggests, as Federer could and perhaps should have won the first set. However, this was Federer playing better on clay than I had ever seen him play before - and he still lost. I think he thought he could still win at the start of the 4th set, and Nadals hold was probably the crucial stage of the match. Federer did not look or play the same after that.

    With regards to where they could meet each other at Wimbledon - am I right in saying that they could still be seeded #1 and #2 as the seeds (unlike the other GS events) do not blindly follow the rankings? The organisers could hardly be blamed for doing this as they have won the last 8 tournaments between them, and the currently ranked #2 player has never made a final?

  • Comment number 67.

    During the weak era when Federer won most of his slams he was playing players like Hewitt, who lost in first round of Wimbledon as reigning champ, says it all, Roddick who is effectively a shorter Isner, only can serve oh and Mr consistent Safin. He would have 6-8 max if he was born a few years later and then there would be none of this GOAT nonsense

  • Comment number 68.

    @48

    Should they tie on GS titles the GOAT argument cannot be settled on head to heads because of the 5 year age difference - they did not peak at the same time

    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    To be honest i think you increasingly CAN look at the head to head record because the fact they peaked at different times simply does more to strengthen the claim of the younger Nadal.

    Nadal beat Federer in 3 times in row in Grand Slam finals within the space of ABOUT 7 months, French 08, Wimbledon 08, Aus 09. At a time when Federer was 26/27 and Nadal was 22. I know tennis players tend to peak earlier than guys in other sports, but even so I would suggest that Federer was the guy in his physical prime when he managed to lose three times in a row on three different surfaces to a guy aged only 22. The fact Federer peaked earlier than Nadal kinda gives the head to head record increased credibility due to the fact he kept on losing at that time.

    Even as a Federer fan I can see it doesn't do an awful lot to strengthen Fed's claim to be GOAT. Sometimes you've simply got to call a spade a spade.

  • Comment number 69.

    i think Vamos you should learn 1) to play tennis 2) know your Stats 3) agree with me that federer is the goat 4) Nadel is a One Trick horse Pony 5) you no nothing about Tennis 6) and stick to sport more your style,Netball..

    the Great Mac said it,the Great Sampras said it,evan Lendal and Aggasi Federer is the Best! you don't need me to tell you,ask the boy's that no the sport,i rest my CASE! so i guess i win this one.. ;-)

  • Comment number 70.

    Federer can't be classed as the goat when he can't even beat his nearest rival regularly. 17 -8 in Nadal's favour, it's getting embarrassing for Federer now and I'm a Federer fan.

    For Federer to be classed the goat he has to figure out to win the French by beating Nadal there, Nadal figured out how to beat Federer at Wimbledon. To be honest I'm getting increasingly frustrated with Federer's awful performances when playing Nadal, he just does not believe anymore.

  • Comment number 71.

    Simon Bay, you are talking out of your ****, I have given my opinion and my reasons, you are just a child who's only comeback is that I don't know the sport. That just makes you look weak. And 1) making lists doesn't make you look clever and 2) your GOAT has been owned by Rafa in slams since 2007 when Rafa was still a kid and Roger was in his prime.

  • Comment number 72.

    vamos @ 65

    Yes it could pan out like that - of course it could, we're crystal ball gazing - but it's unlikely. Main thing you're doing is under-estimating Federer - he looked back to near his best in Paris; if he maintains this sort of level he ought to be good for another couple of slams. You have to go back to 2002, remember, to reach a year when he didn't win at least one. He was weak for a large part of last year but that was the first time and he seems to have rebooted. So 18. Nadal, okay I can envisage more than another 3 (I hope so, I'm a fan) but I'd be surprised. His style of play takes an enormous toll and to me it looks like he's already peaked. If he retains his W and/or US this year, I will reconsider, but otherwise 18 vs 13 is my call. (Borg has a good case to be the GOAT, btw).

  • Comment number 73.

    Simon Bray, VAMOS may have to learn the 6 things you suggest but you definitely need to learn how write.

  • Comment number 74.

    Re#61, juz itz ma analyziz..before last year Juan Martin Del Potro lost to Roger in the French open in a miraculous manner because he wanted Federer to win Roland Garros which Federer did ultimately by defeating Soderling. Federer returned the favour to Del Potro by losing to him in US Open final. Federer is such a fantastic felo:). Andre Agassi too able to achieve the career slam as he is good at heart. Think why Sampras could not achieve it:). The people who feel for others get everything. I hope Federer or Rafa to win wimbledon.

  • Comment number 75.

    When Federer broke Sampras's record, Pete was jealous. Instead of appreciating he was telling that Roger may win two more slams. Go Federer go.. Prove him wrong.. Win five more Grand Slams before u retire:). Roger has the mettle to win many more Slams. He may play atleast five more years:).ROGER is the greatest.

  • Comment number 76.

    RE#74.

    You're suggesting that Roger threw the match v. Del Potro at the US Open? Absolutely ludicrous. I think you're a bit blinkered where Federer is concerned.

  • Comment number 77.

    #74

    I can't see the logic of that argument - especially as Roger uncharacteristically threw his toys out of the pram during the US final. Make no mistake Federer wanted to win that match.

    #68

    I can see your argument - my views are influenced by the style of play I prefer - I actually have the greatest admiration for both players but Federer's style is more to my taste. Who else has monogrammed plastic bags for their rackets? - imperious if not slightly camp.

  • Comment number 78.

    Federer definitely has a mental block at this stage against Nadal which hugely decreases his chances of overcoming him in a 5 setter grand slam again, final most definitely, but surely the biggest hindrance to his chances is the brilliance of Nadal. I am a massive Federer fan, I actually think he's the greatest sportsperson ever and the way he plays tennis is perfection personified. But the way Nadal plays is insanely brilliant. I don't really think Federer lost that first set in the final on Sunday (granted his 1st serve percentage should have been higher in that game at 5-4) but Nadal played astonishingly well to come back and take that set. Federer was having to play 3 outrageously brilliant shots in a row to win a point against him, nobody can do that, not even Nadal. That's the thing about Nadal, the amount of topspin he generates on the ball means that he is hitting the ball just as hard as anyone else but because there's such a ridiculous amount of spin on the ball it means it's a much lower risk shot and he can play them all day long. The way Federer hits the ball is just amazing but it's a much more difficult shot because he's not playing with it with the same degree of topspin therefore the margin for error is much less than on Nadal's shots and if Federer gets it even marginally wrong he loses the point. To hit it that way twice in a row is incredibly difficult, to do it 3 times in a row is almost impossible, and actually is impossible to sustain over a 5 set match. People talk about Federer's unforced errrors as if they're just errant shots caused by his mental weakness, they're forced errors because he's having to hit every ball absolutely plum on the money in order to win a point, it's simply impossible to do that over and over and over again because the margin for error is just so small. If he had a solid average two-handed backhand he'd be able to deal with Nadal much more easily, and might even have a chance of beating him on clay, he'd certainly beat him more regularly than he has elsewhere and perhaps Nadal would never have toppled him. But Federer's one-handed backhand is once again simply beautiful when it works, the second most beautiful shot in tennis after the forehand, if he played it two-handed he wouldn't be the greatest exponent of the the game of tennis we've ever seen. Therein lies the problem

    On a positive note for Federer I think he played as well against Nadal as I've seen him do in a long time and this time I don't think he's deluding himself when he says he can take a

  • Comment number 79.

    71.At 18:07 7th Jun 2011, VAMOS wrote:
    Simon Bay, you are talking out of your ****, I have given my opinion and my reasons, you are just a child who's only comeback is that I don't know the sport. That just makes you look weak. And 1) making lists doesn't make you look clever and 2) your GOAT has been owned by Rafa in slams since 2007 when Rafa was still a kid and Roger was in his prime.

    i think some body know's am speaking the truth! and it hurts them a bit! it's ok..you will learn to accept it in time!i would like to finsh with this
    How lucky we are to be continuing this amazing era in men's tennis. Only seven men in the history of the game have won all four majors and two of them were in front of our
    eyes, sharing a court, trading strokes of rare quality. Quite simply, a privilege to watch.


  • Comment number 80.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 81.

    i think its most embarrassin that any fed fan can say fed is anyway better then nadal, and wil go dwn in history as the better player. just remember we go by eras, they're in the same era, for me sampras was the best in his era, as head to head he was better then the agassi's of this world, Head to head and talent wise. Now this era, nadal has proven that he is the better player against fed who is by no means past his bets, its just the sport has never been so strong. So if nadal doesn't beat him, djokovic or del potro may beat him. fed was the best in the hewitt and safin era. out of all those eras i wonder which one would be hardest to be the best in? i'm sure it wouldn't be the hewitt (good for about 2 years) and mr consistant safin era

  • Comment number 82.

    your right it is Embrrassin talking about it! we all no Fed is the best,THE GOAT. the stats don't lie! Nadel was a ok player and will all ways be a ok player..

  • Comment number 83.

    I am watching the tennis from Queens and cant help but comment on my observation. You have all the club guests, members and whoever the LTA have provided tickets for on one side, either end you have the corporate seats (which no-one will bother to sit and watch tennis until Murray takes to the court), front row other side friends, coaches, wives and girlfriends and finally the die hard tennis fans at the back who have a real interest in tennis and who have probably been queuing six hours before the gates opened. Plus the BBC during change over only ever pans to the members area. British tennis at its elitist worse!

  • Comment number 84.

    your right it is Embrrassin talking about it! we all no Fed is the best,THE GOAT. the stats don't lie! Nadel was a ok player and will all ways be a ok player..

    ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    Ok so fed dominated in the hewitt roddick and safin era, and has found it ten times harder in this era. nadal is the dominant force in the harder era, where federer isn't even havin it his own way on grass no more. federer is an elegant brilliant champion, but i dnt see how anyone can say he's better then nadal as time an time again, nadal puts him to the sword and has even reduced him to tears, this means nadal has broken him, he now loses b4 he even plays nadal imo. this is not the actions of the goat. how can we say fed is better then borg or sampras and nadal

  • Comment number 85.

    your right how can you evan put Nadel name in with borg and Sampras!! just not in that Class! and then you have a class above the Goat Federer

  • Comment number 86.

    my Gran dad all use to say! you don't get any thing for free you have to work at it..
    16 GS says it all 6 Eng 5 USA 4 Aus 1 Fr ..and not 1 Aus 6 Fr 2 Eng 1 USA..Hmmm
    you do the Math's!

  • Comment number 87.

    Nadal is an ok player? As John McEnroe once said, you cannot be serious with that comment. He has won all 4 grand slams and he's only 25. Thats not just ok, that's phenomenal. Its so funny how all the Federer cheerleaders try to dismiss what he's achieved. Before he won wimbledon it was "he's only good on clay, Federer is better on grass". Then he won it and it was "well Federer will beat him on the hardcourts". Face up to it, Rafa is better and I am convinced he will have more grand slams than Federer by the time he retires. As for the person who said he was boring. Do you actually watch his matches? He gets to balls it's almost impossible to get to and, not only does he get them back in play, he manages to hit the most fantastic passing shot. He is, without doubt, the most exciting player of this generation and an absolute joy to watch. He is also humble and not an arrogant pain in the neck like Federer. Cmon Rafa

  • Comment number 88.

    Its credit to Federer's class and longevity that everyone seems to be forgetting that he is about 5 yrs older to Nadal , Djokovic etc and still can more than match them. Its plain and simply obvious that Roger's elegance and flair at shot making can never be matched by any of these ' contemporary ' players. Everyone saw in the few tourney matches that Roger didn't play , it was only a 'slugfest' with players muscling the ball , screaming and putting up contorted expressions on their faces. Slow motion video replays just highlighted the roughness of their play. Once Roger stops playing ATP will again start discussing about measures to be taken to make men's tennis less of a power game. Remember how, before Roger made it a delight , they were talking of something like Single serve, shorter racquets , Serve with feet on the ground, ? softer balls etc ? Roger has been on a separate level as far as class, elegance, style , artistry is concerned.

  • Comment number 89.

    I wish Rada and Roger should have played different times. I am sad as they are contemporaries. Bjorn Borg, Boris Becker, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer r the class acts. Sampras failed to win Roland Garros. So he comes under average category. The way Sampras played irritated many. Had Sampras played now along with Roger n Rafa he would have ended up with two or three slam titles. When Sampras was playing there was only one class player in Agassi who went through many difficult periods. Had Agassi not faced many hindrances in personal life,Sampras would have lost many slam titles. Federer is all times great.

  • Comment number 90.

    #89

    Sampras was undoubtedly a superb technical player but was an automaton not an entertainer. He would dispatch his opponent as efficiently as possible to great effect but chose not to use all the weaponry available to him, with the result that he was not particularly exciting to watch.

    The artistes like Federer and Edberg display their full range of shots, often to their own detriment as they make more unforced errors but to the delight of the audience - this is one of the reasons why Federer is so revered - even if his GS record is overhauled the manner of his play will stay with us.

  • Comment number 91.

    regarding this years Queens, could Andrew Castle tone down his eulogising of Nadal. He does it even when Nadal is not actually! We dont always want this endless reference. There are other players and they deserve their dues as well! Nadal is an excellent player but he's not a god!

  • Comment number 92.

    I can't wait for Wimbledon, Queens has made it even more exciting. I genuinely believe any of the top 4 could take it...

    http://samhopwood.blogspot.com/2011/06/who-will-be-wimble-don.html

  • Comment number 93.

    In tennis, sometimes the better player does not win. Well done to Nadal and good luck to Federer at Wimby.

 

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