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post #1 of 166 (permalink) Old 05-13-2005, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Tennis greats gaga over Nadal

NADAL ATTRACTS ATTENTION
By Mark Staniforth

Rafael Nadal's amazing surge towards the top of the world rankings has captured the imaginations of some of the biggest names in world tennis.

The 18-year-old Spaniard has won five tournaments this season including his last three in succession to reach the world's top five.

And now Nadal is already being talked about above the likes of Roger Federer and Guillermo Coria as a potential favourite to win the French Open later this month.

Federer, for whom the French Open remains the only Grand Slam tournament he is yet to win, has led the tributes to Nadal, saying: "At his age what he is doing is great and we haven't had a guy doing that for many years.

"It's good for the game because he has a lot of energy. I am looking forward to more battles with him in the future."

Clay-court great Thomas Muster got a close-up view of Nadal last week as he practised with the Spaniard during their respective tournaments in Rome.

Former world number one Muster was preparing to play in the Delta Tour of Champions seniors series in the city.

Muster believes Nadal must not be rushed - but that a French Open triumph can be virtually guaranteed at some point in the future.

Muster said: "Maybe he won't win the French Open this year or next year, but there is going to be a time when he will win the French Open.

"The main thing is he is not waiting for it to come to him - he is coming out with the attitude that he is going to go for it and that is already a very big step."

Jim Courier reached three French Open finals including two successive victories, and he believes Nadal possesses an equally indefatigable spirit which will enable him to succeed.

Courier said: "You have to start with his competitive instincts - he just loves the battle and it doesn't matter if he wins or loses the first set - he comes right back in the second ready to go.

"When you look at the history of the game, players that show themselves to be champions at this early stage of their careers tend to go on to have big careers."

But perhaps the loudest praise came from John McEnroe, who believes Nadal represents the kind of young and exciting figure which the game has been crying out for.

McEnroe is a huge fan of the Spaniard and is convinced he has what it takes to lead the next generation of stars.

McEnroe said: "He is going to be one of the great players - he will end this year as one of the top guys already.

"He loves to play, you can see it, he's so fired up and that's what our sport needs - a guy that loves to be out there. He plays to the crowd and I love seeing that."
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post #2 of 166 (permalink) Old 05-13-2005, 07:45 PM
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Re: Tennis greats gaga over Nadal

I'm not a big Nadal fan. I admire his talent, his grit and determination. But there's something about watching him play that just leaves me cold and I find myself nitpicking at things like the fact that he looks like a walking Nike billboard and his shouting and fist-pumping kinda grates on my nerves. Not sure why that is.

He is a cracking talent tho.
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post #3 of 166 (permalink) Old 05-13-2005, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tennis greats gaga over Nadal

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Originally Posted by allanah
But there's something about watching him play that just leaves me cold and I find myself nitpicking at things like the fact that he looks like a walking Nike billboard and his shouting and fist-pumping kinda grates on my nerves. Not sure why that is.
Ha ha. I just read this...

Authorities get shirty over Nadal

Chris Bowers in Rome
Sunday May 8, 2005

Observer

Rafael Nadal might be the man to signal the dawn of a new golden era in tennis. However, it is the youngster's choice of clothing which is attracting the most attention in the Italian capital this week.
The 18-year-old Spaniard yesterday won his 16th consecutive match to take him into today's final of the Rome Masters.

The 4-6 6-4 7-5 victory over David Ferrer means Nadal has now won 21 of his past 22 matches, is second only to world number one Roger Federer on this year's results, and is likely to appear in the top five when tomorrow's ranking list comes out. Yet the Spaniard's potential to attract controversy through his on-court apparel has overshadowed his startling progress.

Nadal's clothing provider, Nike, has used him in the past week to play out one of its own battles in public. In his five matches on the Rome clay, Nadal has sported a large 'swoosh' - Nike's tick-like logo - on the front and back of his shirt, and for the first three another on the leg of the plus fours he has helped make fashionable this year.

The size of the logos is clearly illegal - the rules say a player can only wear one logo of a maximum four square inches (three at Grand Slams) or two of two square inches. Nadal's are about six inches in width, so are clearly a violation of the rules.

But not for the first time Nike has thrown down the gauntlet to tennis's authorities. The company claims the three-stripes logo patented and marketed effectively by Adidas also breaches the rules. And Nike has a point. The ATP's rulebook states: 'Clothing designs will not be interpreted as manufacturer's logos and such can be incorporated into the clothing design.'

But Adidas's stripes are a registered trademark, and if any other manufacturer designed a tennis shirt with three stripes down the shoulders and sides, they would probably find the phone ringing from Adidas's lawyers. That effectively makes it a logo, claims Nike, and it therefore wants either permission to use its large logos, or for the existing rule to be enforced for Adidas kit.

Nike's brinkmanship has thrown tennis's governing bodies into a spin. The ATP has let Nadal wear the large logos as 'a short-term interim solution'.

Bill Babcock of the International Tennis Federation said: 'The situation clearly needs addressing, and it is being addressed by us, the ATP, the WTA and the Grand Slams.' The parties normally meet during the second week of the French Open, but a decision seems likely before the championship begins a fortnight tomorrow.

All the talk of his clothing has overshadowed what a phenomenal player Nadal is. Not only does he have immense flair, but with Federer he could well provide the rivalry at the top of the game which tennis has been crying out for since Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe provided such a contrast a quarter of a century ago.

While Federer plays classic, stylish tennis, Nadal epitomises the modern baseline style of heavy topspin and a two-handed backhand. While Federer seems unrufflable on court, Nadal is wildly expressive. And while Federer is the clean-cut boy any parent would be happy for their daughter to bring home, Nadal has the shoulder-length hair and tenacious warrior look of a native American.

In fact, the only thing that is missing from a repeat of the Borg-McEnroe comparison is the edginess that forever led people to expect McEnroe to boil over.

However, the controversy being generated by Nadal's choice of clothing is causing the tennis authorities as much as a headache as McEnroe ever gave any umpire.

Meanwhile, in the semi- finals of the German Open, Justine Henin-Hardenne is one match away from a third straight title after defeating Patty Schnyder 6-0 6-1. The Belgian, who beat Maria Sharapova on Friday, stretched her winning streak on clay to 16 matches.

The 22-year-old has lost just one match since her return from a long lay-off through illness and injury. She is chasing her third title in four events after back-to-back wins at Charleston and Warsaw.

'I played a very solid match and I am very pleased,' she said after progressing in 51 minutes. 'I was going for the corners and making winners and it was very good.'

Henin-Hardenne awaits the winner of the second semi-final between Jelena Jankovic and Nadia Petrova.

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005
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post #4 of 166 (permalink) Old 05-13-2005, 08:40 PM
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Re: Tennis greats gaga over Nadal

They're right! Rafa is going to win the French sometime in his career. I think he as a chance to win the AO as well, if he keep improving his serve. I've never seen any player fight as hard as he does. Except, perhaps Duck when he was younger. Nadal still has the youthful energy going for him; I just hope that he doesn't loose it as he gets older the way Andy did.

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post #5 of 166 (permalink) Old 05-13-2005, 08:53 PM
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Re: Tennis greats gaga over Nadal

wow, I havent seen so much hype about a player since the hype over Roger
But Roger had won a Slam, in beautiful style, to get that hype
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post #6 of 166 (permalink) Old 05-13-2005, 09:02 PM
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Re: Tennis greats gaga over Nadal

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Originally Posted by tennis4eva
They're right! Rafa is going to win the French sometime in his career. I think he as a chance to win the AO as well, if he keep improving his serve. I've never seen any player fight as hard as he does. Except, perhaps Duck when he was younger. Nadal still has the youthful energy going for him; I just hope that he doesn't loose it as he gets older the way Andy did.
I don't quite agree tennis4eva, that Andy has lost his youthfult enrgy. I think he has made some bad decisions in terms of his coaching staff and Dean Goldfine's mediocrity is being reflected in roddick's play. The talent, and the energy, are both stillthere - I reckon he just needs the right poerson to help him unleash it.
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post #7 of 166 (permalink) Old 05-13-2005, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tennis greats gaga over Nadal

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Originally Posted by mitalidas
wow, I havent seen so much hype about a player since the hype over Roger
But Roger had won a Slam, in beautiful style, to get that hype
What, Roger was hyped after his win of Sampras in 1991 Wimby...Then thought of as a disappointment after several first round losses...
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post #8 of 166 (permalink) Old 05-13-2005, 09:08 PM
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Re: Tennis greats gaga over Nadal

No doubt he's gonna win a slam soon, as tennis4eva said he has to improve his service to get a chance on hard courts against great servers like RF or ARod, his agressive tennis will get him to te top.

"Elengance in an attitude"
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post #9 of 166 (permalink) Old 05-13-2005, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tennis greats gaga over Nadal

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Originally Posted by allanah
I don't quite agree tennis4eva, that Andy has lost his youthfult enrgy. I think he has made some bad decisions in terms of his coaching staff and Dean Goldfine's mediocrity is being reflected in roddick's play. The talent, and the energy, are both stillthere - I reckon he just needs the right poerson to help him unleash it.
I don't know. I always thought Roddick was an overachiever, and has been brought back down to earth. In a way, if Fed weren't around and Roddick was winning everything (more possible in 1993 & 1994), then I would probably continue to rant about the lack of depth in men's tennis as there was in 1992...

But those are just my thoughts. Nice to have a new voice on MTF
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post #10 of 166 (permalink) Old 05-13-2005, 09:11 PM
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Re: Tennis greats gaga over Nadal

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Originally Posted by Tennis Fool
What, Roger was hyped after his win of Sampras in 1991 Wimby...Then thought of as a disappointment after several first round losses...
you mean 2001

regardless, the printed matter on Roger after defeating pete was nowhere near the amount on Rafa now. Which is understandable, because roger lost the very next match. and did not have a bunch of TMS titles or many other titles

my point remains -- for a player who has gone on a streak and won two TMS titles, and finalled at one, the hype on nadal is enormous. It took Roger's winning a slam to get that much hype
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post #11 of 166 (permalink) Old 05-13-2005, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tennis greats gaga over Nadal

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Originally Posted by mitalidas
you mean 2001
No, I mean in 1991. Don't you know how long it's take Fed to live up to his potential
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post #12 of 166 (permalink) Old 05-13-2005, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tennis greats gaga over Nadal

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Originally Posted by mitalidas
you mean 2001

regardless, the printed matter on Roger after defeating pete was nowhere near the amount on Rafa now. Which is understandable, because roger lost the very next match. and did not have a bunch of TMS titles or many other titles

my point remains -- for a player who has gone on a streak and won two TMS titles, and finalled at one, the hype on nadal is enormous. It took Roger's winning a slam to get that much hype
See, I still disagree. The watershed of Nadal hype has only been in the last two months. In fact, maybe I'll bump a Classic MTF thread on the hype of Roger...
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post #13 of 166 (permalink) Old 05-13-2005, 09:16 PM
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Re: Tennis greats gaga over Nadal

it's interesting that Rogi is also sponsored by Nike but he was not make to wear the oversized logos. they must clearly see Nadal as the flavor of the month.

Q. When you've played as few matches as you have over the last two, three months, did you ever lack motivation to go out and practice?

ANDY RODDICK: Motivation? No. I enjoy what I do. I enjoy what I do. You know, I've never been one to, you know, blow off practice or, you know, do anything like that.

You know, I'd be lying if I said I'm looking forward to practicing the next two days as opposed to playing here. That part is gonna suck...(2010 Aegon Championships)
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post #14 of 166 (permalink) Old 05-13-2005, 09:20 PM
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Re: Tennis greats gaga over Nadal

thanks TF. T'would be even better if the "new voice" could spell

I'd actually call Andy an underachiever because a lot of the criticisms people leveled at him (his only shot is his serve, he has no backhand, he's slow around the court, he can't return etc) are infinitely 'fixable'. In fact his shot-making has greatly improved in the sense that he doesn't have to kill every rally with a huge forehand. He can now come in and volley (well, -ish) and his backhand is consistent, if unspectacular. He's even shed a couple of pounds (tho i didn't think he needed it) and looked more comfortable on clay (or less uncomfortable) than I have ever seen him.

What's missing is the mental hardness. He lacks that killer instinct. That thing that Sampras had. That Federer, Nadal and Hewitt have. when they can be 2 sets down, 2 breaks down and triple matchpoint down and you still think they are going to get out of it.

The talent is there in abundance IMHO.
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post #15 of 166 (permalink) Old 05-13-2005, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tennis greats gaga over Nadal

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Originally Posted by allanah
thanks TF. T'would be even better if the "new voice" could spell

I'd actually call Andy an underachiever because a lot of the criticisms people leveled at him (his only shot is his serve, he has no backhand, he's slow around the court, he can't return etc) are infinitely 'fixable'. In fact his shot-making has greatly improved in the sense that he doesn't have to kill every rally with a huge forehand. He can now come in and volley (well, -ish) and his backhand is consistent, if unspectacular. He's even shed a couple of pounds (tho i didn't think he needed it) and looked more comfortable on clay (or less uncomfortable) than I have ever seen him.

What's missing is the mental hardness. He lacks that killer instinct. That thing that Sampras had. That Federer, Nadal and Hewitt have. when they can be 2 sets down, 2 breaks down and triple matchpoint down and you still think they are going to get out of it.

The talent is there in abundance IMHO.
You see, that's the one thing I think Roddick *does* have -- mental stength. I always refer back to the Nably semi at the uSO in 2003...
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