Its not that Nadal gets easy draws, its that no one seems to play well against him
Being a fan of Roger Federer, even I have to admit some of his GS draws were not that difficult on paper. It wouldnt have mattered much though as I believe he was playing so out of his mind I doubt there was anyone who could have beaten him.
Its pointless to argue about easy draws anyway, its subjective what an easy draw is relative to the form said player is in. And it could hardly be blamed on the player anyway, he can only play whos infront of him, and if better players cant do the donkey work in early rounds to get through to meet him later on, thats not his fault, just like it wasnt Feds fault (but certainly his fortune!) that Nadal wasnt across from the net in the 09 French Open final.
But whats bugged me over the last year or so is that NO BODY seems to play out of their skin when they meet Nadal in a slam. I remember Federer in 07 for example. Phau played very well against him in the first round. Roddick had an exceptional tournament, played reasonable against Fed in the semi, but Fed was just ON FIRE. Gonzalez in the final was playing out of this world, he was truely the best player in the tournamet along with Fed in the final. People often talk of Rogers matches being won in the locker room, but I dont remember players bowing down for him, infact I remember players used to take it to him, play out of their skin, they really had nothing to lose.
The biggest test Rafa had last year was when Almagro and Garbageville took the first two sets to tiebreaks in the US Open and French Open. They are the only ones I think played "well" against Rafa. Sure Petzchner and Hasse took Rafa to five sets at Wimbledon, but they ruined their chances by playing doubles, the results of the matches were NID.
Everyone else was just a joke against him. The USO Semi was a joke, Rafas opponent might as well have handed the match to him, he didnt even look interested in making it a contest. Fernando Verdasco didnt even bother turning up. I dont believe Rafa played all that well at the French actually, he looked very shakey at times. Soderling was too tired in the final to put up any serious resistance. That seems to always be the way with Rafa, he gets lucky and meets an opponent who "could" blast him off the court but is always coming from a tough 5 set match or 2 and just cant put the fight up. People will say its not Rafas fault and fitness is a part of the game, but those same people will also use the tired excuse when someone beats Rafa also. Berdyctch is capable of giving Rafa a fight, and yet in the Wimbledon final he was PATHETIC by his standards. What a letdown that truely was. These players seem to be happy with their scalp of reaching the final and taking out Federer, they dont seem interested in taking it the one step further.
The only player with a good chance of beating Rafa is Roger. Hes the only one fit enough to come through a tournament and put up a fight in the final, regardless of how many sets he plays. And at 29 years of age, it doesnt say much about the depth of the game does it?
"I did not play my best tennis, no? And..that is what enable him to win..to win this match no? "
- Rafael Nadal, ever so "humble", - press conference after shock 4 set loss to Robeen Soderling @ 2009 French Open 4th round.
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