The biggest "What ifs" of 2011: Rafa's post-Abu Dhabi flu vs Roger's AO Simon match - MensTennisForums.com
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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The biggest "What ifs" of 2011: Rafa's post-Abu Dhabi flu vs Roger's AO Simon match

I was watching yesterday the highlights of their exho final in Abu Dhabi.

Roger was on a high after a nice end at WTF 2010 and Rafa was established as a firm no.1 and hot-hard court player after that USOpen 2010 final he won against the Djoker.

They were both firing on all cilinders in the first days of 2011.

They produced an exho of fine attacking tennis on both sides, with Rafa winning the important points, almost as in "real life". But the important thing was that they both were playing very high level tennis and their confidence levels were also skyrocketing.

Then Doha came. Roger's level was sublime in the final, but Rafa could not be present due to a virus or some other disease he contracted in Doha and also due to a hot Davydenko in the semis.

Roger won and established himself as the favourite for AO. And then, after a sublime first round and 2 sublime sets vs Gilles in Melbourne, something happened. On the mental side, I reckon. Suddenly Shankerer showed up on stage and he never left until RG.

I wonder how would the 2011 season would have unfolded without those 2 apparently insignificant events: Rafa's flu and Roger's Simon match?

Where would have been the Djoker? Would Fed have won in Oz or a "fluless"-Rafa would have plevailed? How many masters 1000 and Slams would Novak had won in 2011?

Pls. join the alternate timeline and discuss...

Q. Do you think you would have been able to play as well as you played today, or you think you would have pulled out from the game if it wasn't the Masters Cup final?

ROGER FEDERER: No, Roger Federer doesn't pull out. Otherwise he doesn't walk on court (smiling).


After losing to Nalbandian in 2005 TMC final...
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 08:04 AM
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Re: The biggest "What ifs" of 2011: Rafa's post-Abu Dhabi flu vs Roger's AO Simon mat

I have absolutely no doubt Fed would have won the AO if not for this Simon match. And afer that, who knows? Confidence would have been on his side...
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 08:28 AM
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Re: The biggest "What ifs" of 2011: Rafa's post-Abu Dhabi flu vs Roger's AO Simon mat

Oh my god, you can't be serious. I love Roger, but I don't think the Simon match was that significant. He didn't play well in his next subsequent two matches, but I thought he was absolutely solid against Wawrinka; I thought he'd steamroll Djokovic for sure. But Nole was too good. There's no argument. Maybe Roger could've won a set, but Nole was just too good. End of story.

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 08:33 AM
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Re: The biggest "What ifs" of 2011: Rafa's post-Abu Dhabi flu vs Roger's AO Simon mat

FO SF being Bo4 instead of Bo5 because of the late start time.

Then there's the hypothetical, does Federer win if they have enough time to play 5 sets and does Federer win if he sacrifices the final set in the USO and goes all out for the fourth?
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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Re: The biggest "What ifs" of 2011: Rafa's post-Abu Dhabi flu vs Roger's AO Simon mat

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Oh my god, you can't be serious. I love Roger, but I don't think the Simon match was that significant. He didn't play well in his next subsequent two matches, but I thought he was absolutely solid against Wawrinka; I thought he'd steamroll Djokovic for sure. But Nole was too good. There's no argument. Maybe Roger could've won a set, but Nole was just too good. End of story.
Pls. bear in mind that this is absolutely not an anti-Novak thread...And this is exactly what I expected from your answers. Answers to questions like: was Nole's level good enough to have the same results even against a, let's say, WTF 2010 Federer or against a USOpen 2010 Nadal? Or Nadal's and Fed's level in the beginning of 2011, if sustained at the AO, would have been enough to beat Nole?

So, it's just an hypothetical discussion..

But, also, do not forget the butterfly effect. Even smaller changes in the conditions of a system can produce extremely different outcomes...And a flu or a strange mental state when playing one of your bad matchups (e.g. Simon) can be considered as quite some changes in those 2 respective systems...

Q. Do you think you would have been able to play as well as you played today, or you think you would have pulled out from the game if it wasn't the Masters Cup final?

ROGER FEDERER: No, Roger Federer doesn't pull out. Otherwise he doesn't walk on court (smiling).


After losing to Nalbandian in 2005 TMC final...
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 09:16 AM
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Re: The biggest "What ifs" of 2011: Rafa's post-Abu Dhabi flu vs Roger's AO Simon mat

I may be more inclined to think that the Simon match had an effect on Roger's game if it'd been the quarter-final. But Roger had 3 matches after that to get his mojo back. And he WON the Simon match (well, obviously) which I thought should have given him confidence instead of taking it away. Sure, he lost a 2-set lead, but Simon has always given him problems. Wasn't it the first match he'd won against Simon? That should have boosted him - this is why I say that Nole was just too good in that SF.

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Fed's groundstrokes never were that good to begin with.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 09:23 AM
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Re: The biggest "What ifs" of 2011: Rafa's post-Abu Dhabi flu vs Roger's AO Simon mat

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I may be more inclined to think that the Simon match had an effect on Roger's game if it'd been the quarter-final. But Roger had 3 matches after that to get his mojo back. And he WON the Simon match (well, obviously) which I thought should have given him confidence instead of taking it away. Sure, he lost a 2-set lead, but Simon has always given him problems. Wasn't it the first match he'd won against Simon? That should have boosted him - this is why I say that Nole was just too good in that SF.
A lot of people feel that Fed was somehow "different" after that Simon match. They think this not based on any results or statistics; just a 'feeling' -- a vibe. That he somehow lost his fire after that match and didn't regain it till around FO.

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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 09:25 AM
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Re: The biggest "What ifs" of 2011: Rafa's post-Abu Dhabi flu vs Roger's AO Simon mat

^Yeah, I thought he didn't play well against Malisse and Robredo. But he did well against Wawrinka, so I don't know if the Simon match really had that much of an effect.

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Fed's groundstrokes never were that good to begin with.
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 09:28 AM
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Re: The biggest "What ifs" of 2011: Rafa's post-Abu Dhabi flu vs Roger's AO Simon mat

The only 'what if' there is, is what if Rafa hadn't got injured in the Ferrer match. He would've won at least 3 slams for sure, maybe even 4.

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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 09:51 AM
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Re: The biggest "What ifs" of 2011: Rafa's post-Abu Dhabi flu vs Roger's AO Simon mat

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Originally Posted by Kat_YYZ View Post
A lot of people feel that Fed was somehow "different" after that Simon match. They think this not based on any results or statistics; just a 'feeling' -- a vibe. That he somehow lost his fire after that match and didn't regain it till around FO.
Federer played pretty well against Djokovic but Novak was just too good .There was a time in that match where he went 1 hour without commiting an error and pounding every ball .The simon match was insignificant .

And why Federer never does will in IW and Miami ,its because of the slow courts(Miami was the slowest this year) .He has not done anything in those events in the last 4 years .Thats why I never had high expectations for him in those events in the last 2 years and I have till now been correct .
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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Re: The biggest "What ifs" of 2011: Rafa's post-Abu Dhabi flu vs Roger's AO Simon mat

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The only 'what if' there is, is what if Rafa hadn't got injured in the Ferrer match. He would've won at least 3 slams for sure, maybe even 4.
So your opinion is that Nole 2011 <<< Rafa 2010, right?

Q. Do you think you would have been able to play as well as you played today, or you think you would have pulled out from the game if it wasn't the Masters Cup final?

ROGER FEDERER: No, Roger Federer doesn't pull out. Otherwise he doesn't walk on court (smiling).


After losing to Nalbandian in 2005 TMC final...
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 10:02 AM
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Re: The biggest "What ifs" of 2011: Rafa's post-Abu Dhabi flu vs Roger's AO Simon mat

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The only 'what if' there is, is what if Rafa hadn't got injured in the Ferrer match. He would've won at least 3 slams for sure, maybe even 4.
Yeah Nadull was so injured that they had to carry him out on a stretcher midway through the match... oh wait.

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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 10:09 AM
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Re: The biggest "What ifs" of 2011: Rafa's post-Abu Dhabi flu vs Roger's AO Simon mat

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So your opinion is that Nole 2011 <<< Rafa 2010, right?
Not necessarily, my opinion is that Nole 2011 reached his level because of the huge confidence boost of winning the AO, followed by beating Rafa in IW/Miami. Rafa had that confidence boost coming into AO 2011 (going for the Rafa slam, man on a mission), and it would've taken an awful lot to stop him there, and then the injury happened.

Even with the disappointment of losing the 'Rafa slam', Nadal outplayed Novak for a long time in IW (recently saw it again), until he got broken out of nowhere and then he crumbled (lack of confidence). Same goes for Miami basically. All what ifs of course, but I highly doubt Novak would've beaten Rafa in those tournaments, and therefore he wouldn't have become Rafa's tormentor...and so on.

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Yeah Nadull was so injured that they had to carry him on stretcher midway through the match... oh wait.
Some players choose to fight on when seriously injured, as long as there is even the slightest chance of winning, instead of retiring with a cough. Hope this helps. EDIT: Thought you were a Djokotard, but see you're just a Nadal hater. So you can ignore the second part

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Last edited by GSMnadal; 11-26-2011 at 10:22 AM.
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 10:30 AM
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Re: The biggest "What ifs" of 2011: Rafa's post-Abu Dhabi flu vs Roger's AO Simon mat

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Some players choose to fight on when seriously injured, as long as there is even the slightest chance of winning, instead of retiring with a cough. Hope this helps. EDIT: Thought you were a Djokotard, but see you're just a Nadal hater. So you can ignore the second part
Yes some players like for example Federer who was played 991 matches without retiring. Not Nadull's case. Remember AO 09 against Murray.

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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 10:44 AM
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Re: The biggest "What ifs" of 2011: Rafa's post-Abu Dhabi flu vs Roger's AO Simon mat

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Yes some players like for example Federer who was played 991 matches without retiring. Not Nadull's case. Remember AO 09 against Murray.
Yes, the Murray incident isn't Rafa's finest moment, but that's about it for questionable retirements for him.

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