When in Rome, do as you've done the past 2 years [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

When in Rome, do as you've done the past 2 years

Johnny Groove
04-28-2007, 04:12 AM
:rocker2:

rafagirlno1
04-29-2007, 07:33 AM
:hearts: nice avatar, Blaze :hearts: :hearts:
and Yes he will retain all his points in this clay court season like he did in 05,06 :)
the unstoppable legacy ,of the clay genious named Rafael Nadal continues to amaze everyone :worship:

MariaV
04-29-2007, 04:15 PM
With Jonathan strating the thread noting can go wrong, no? :D VAMOS!!! :banana: :yippee: :bounce:

Johnny Groove
04-30-2007, 01:24 AM
With Jonathan strating the thread noting can go wrong, no? :D VAMOS!!! :banana: :yippee: :bounce:

Of course not, love :kiss:

Vamoos!

*Meesh*
04-30-2007, 03:57 AM
Rafa continues to amaze me at how brilliant he is on clay - a thrill to watch (in more ways than one hehe ;) )

He will triumph again in Rome of course and I will be cheering him all the way!!! :) :) :) :)

Vamooooooooooooos!!!

the_natural
04-30-2007, 09:49 AM
I disagree with the title, DONT DO WAT UVE DONE, DO WAT UR DOIN NOW!!! NO MORE TOUGH FINALS ANYMORE OK!? lol

kandygram
04-30-2007, 02:45 PM
Fight hard :boxing: and add another trophy to the collection! :banana:

linus
04-30-2007, 03:02 PM
Vamos Vamos :yippee:

Tess Gray
05-03-2007, 05:05 PM
I disagree with the title, DONT DO WAT UVE DONE, DO WAT UR DOIN NOW!!! NO MORE TOUGH FINALS ANYMORE OK!? lol

agreed! Whatever, as long as he wins :D

Vamos Rafa!:cool:

Derek1206
05-06-2007, 05:29 AM
Good luck Rafa! :)

Tnn74
05-06-2007, 05:44 AM
The Finals is now best of 3 sets, :yeah: so no more grueling 5 hour marathon, he's done this twice in 2 Rome Finals, it's good now he doesn't have to be so tired going into Hamburg :rocker2:

NaDALiTa
05-06-2007, 12:40 PM
Vamos Rafa, give your best as usual and everything should be OK :yeah:

Xristos
05-06-2007, 03:29 PM
Vamooooooooooos! Imagine if he wins Hamburg too and the French. Amazing!

sonia
05-06-2007, 05:29 PM
Good luck Rafa!! :bounce:

MaryWalsh
05-07-2007, 02:36 AM
Go Rafa!

cc2monac
05-07-2007, 03:35 PM
rafa started well! he won his double with carlos vs federer/wawrinka 6/4 7/6!
now that you well started in double do the same in single rafa!!! best I of luck!

Xristos
05-07-2007, 03:38 PM
Vamoooooos!

mallorn
05-07-2007, 04:20 PM
Nice warmup for Rafa in the doubles today. :yeah: I wonder if all the doubles play is early preparation for Wimbledon.

This is from before the match with some interesting quotes from the players. From FOXSports:
Nadal beat Federer in last doubles match

Associated Press
Posted: 19 hours ago

ROME (AP) - Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will face each other in the first round of the Rome Masters — in doubles.

Federer and Davis Cup teammate Stanislas Wawrinka were drawn against Nadal and Carlos Moya.

"It's nice to play against Rafael, and Moya, too, but in the end I'm playing doubles this week because Wawrinka is coming back from injury," Federer said. "We've never played together and he's a very good friend of mine. I feel sorry for what happened to him with his knee during Davis Cup. I'll try to help him back."

Wawrinka was a late withdrawal from Switzerland's Davis Cup loss to Spain in February. Federer also did not play.

There is only one previous meeting between Federer and Nadal in doubles. In 2004, Nadal and Tommy Robredo beat Federer and Yves Allegro in Indian Wells, California.

"If you see the records of Moya and Nadal, we're not the favorites. We've won just one match," Nadal said.

Nadal is 1-2 with Moya, with their only win coming over two Swedes — Magnus Norman and Johan Landsberg — in 2003 in Bastad, Sweden.

The match in Rome will likely be held Monday or Tuesday.

"For me the doubles is important to have contact with the court before the first singles match," Nadal said. "It's going to be an interesting match."

A year ago, Nadal beat Federer in a fifth-set tiebreaker to win the singles title. Both players called the match the best of the year.

Nadal also beat Federer in the Monte Carlo Masters final last month and holds a 7-3 career edge overall. Nadal has won all five matches on clay.

Except for a brief trip to Mallorca for Wednesday's exhibition loss to Nadal on a half-grass, half-clay court, Federer has been training in Rome since last weekend.

"I'm practicing very hard. A lot of points from the baseline, a lot of hard work, getting into the best shape possible," Federer said.

Federer stopped practice short Saturday with an apparent injury.

"I just hurt my leg a little bit. Today it's better again. I just didn't want to take a chance," Federer said Sunday. "My hip blocked. It's very strange. I don't know what happened. It's the first time it's happened in my life.

"I had already practiced 1 hour, 20 minutes and in the morning for two hours so I decided it was enough, take treatment and today I feel much better."

Nadal arrived Saturday is feeling perfectly fit. He's coming off two straight clay-court titles in Monte Carlo and Barcelona — both without dropping a set.

"I am fresher for sure. I've been on court less," said Nadal, who holds a 72-match winning streak on clay that stretches back to April 2005.

If he reaches the final this week, Nadal will eclipse John McEnroe's streak of 75 wins on indoor-carpet and establish the longest run on any surface.

"I'm going to try. Every week they find another record," Nadal said. :rolleyes: :lol:

In 2005, Nadal beat Guillermo Coria in the longest final in the Open Era — 5 hours, 14 minutes. If he wins again, he'll join Thomas Muster and Jaroslav Drobny — a Czech player in the 1950s — as the only three-time Rome champions, although he would become the first to take three titles in succession.

Third-seeded Andy Roddick is back on tour for the first time since injuring his hamstring in a Davis Cup win over Spain's Fernando Verdasco last month.

"It's nice to be back on tour and healthy again. I haven't felt it since, so that's a really good thing," said Roddick, who won't be joined by coach Jimmy Connors until the French Open.

The Rome tournament is an important clay-court warmup for Roland Garros, which begins May 27.

http://msn.foxsports.com/tennis/story/6776380?CMP=OTC-K9B140813162&ATT=199

MariaV
05-07-2007, 06:12 PM
Ania is back, Ania is back!!! :woohoo: :bigclap: :yippee: :bounce:
And just in time for some Rome action! :D Hope you had a nice vacation. :kiss:
About the mega doubles match:

Moya-Nadal Defeat Federer-Wawrinka in Entertaining Match

The first round doubles match between Carlos Moya-Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer-Stanislas Wawrinka drew a capacity crowd of 4,000 on Stadio Pietrangeli on Monday as the Spaniards prevailed 6-4, 7-6(5) over the Swiss in a highly-entertaining contest. :D :D

The only break in the opening set came in the 10th game as Federer was broken at 30-40. In the second set, both teams were broken twice each. Nadal lost his serve in the fifth game at 30-40 and Wawrinka held for a 4-2 lead. But Federer lost his serve for the second time in the eighth game to tie the match at 4-4. Nadal lost his serve in the next game but Wawrinka was broken serving for the set at 15-40.

In the tie-break, the Spaniards went up 5-1 before the Swiss duo, playing for the first time together, tied it at 5-5. The Spaniards, who last played together at the '04 Athens Olympics, closed it out by winning the last two points.

"I think you just have to see how was the court," said Moya, of the atmosphere. "It was full of people, so I think players like them play doubles I think it's good have the things. In tennis these days the first rounds are very hard, and this is a big tournament and that's not easy to be playing singles and doubles. But for sure it's good that top guys are playing doubles." :D :D

Nadal added, "Normally for the tournament when Roger is playing doubles or when the top guys is playing doubles it's better, no? And the court is very nice and much better today, so that's very good for us too. It's better motivation for play the doubles and for the tournament, too."

Federer, who was facing Nadal for the second time in doubles (lost at '04 Indian Wells), said, "Bit of opportunities missed in the second set, you know. I think we didn't play too bad for first up, you know, Stan coming back from injury. It wasn't easy, you know, and doubles is played a different way against guys like Moya and Nadal. They stay back, you know, such good baseline players. We played pretty good. Missed some opportunities. Definitely could have played three sets I think."

Wawrinka, who was appearing in his first tournament since the Australian Open due to a knee injury, said, "A lot of pressure, you know. When Roger told me we going to play it's pressure for me. And then when we see we play against Nadal and Moya it's pressure. But it's a chance to play with Roger for sure and that was nice."

Moya-Nadal will take on No. 7 seeds and last year's finalists Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram in the second round.

http://www.atptennis.com/1/en/doubles/news/

mallorn
05-07-2007, 06:41 PM
Hi Masha! :smooch: I had a lovely time, Croatia is amazing in springtime. :hearts:

I found this interview with Charly and Rafa on vb.com:
L’intervista di Nadal e Moya R. NADAL C. MOYA/R. Federer S. Wawrinka

6 4, 7 6

Q. Who suggested you to play doubles?
CARLOS MOYA: He wanted to win a tournament so he asked me if I can play with him. :lol:

Q. That’s a good answer, but which one is the serious answer?
CARLOS MOYA: Well, we didn’t play for a long time and I think it was in Barcelona I think when we spoke about this, no?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yes. We enjoy the doubles and playing doubles the last week in Barcelona. So we speak in Barcelona and well, his coach, so finally we can play doubles.

Q. So you would say it’s just yourself, it was not the association, because they say you should play more doubles?
CARLOS MOYA: No, no.
RAFAEL NADAL: Not at all.

Q. You enjoyed the game? I see sometimes that when the other double make some big point you smile.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, it was unbelievable point, no? So it’s better smile than cry. So, yeah, it was doubles is not the same tension like the singles, so we enjoy playing doubles. That’s good practice too for the singles.
It’s important, good start in the tournament. And now try the best in the next round in doubles, but going to try the best in the singles, too.

Q. Did it surprise you to see so many people for the doubles?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. It was not the surprise, no. Normally for the tournament when Roger is playing doubles or when the top guys is playing doubles it’s better, no? And the court is very nice and much better today, so that’s very good for us too. It’s better motivation for play the doubles and for the tournament, too.

Q. So do you think that I mean, if you take part in the doubles that the big singles players, this can revive the doubles? Because, I mean, doubles at this moment is not is a little bit below, and the tension and everything.
CARLOS MOYA: Well, I think you just have to see how was the court. How it look. It was full of people, so I think players like them play doubles I think it’s good have the things. In tennis these days very hard the first rounds, and this is a big tournament and that’s not easy to be playing singles and doubles.
But for sure it’s good that top guys are playing doubles.

Q. What happens if one of you is in final in single and gets to play the doubles Saturday?
CARLOS MOYA: Well, he has much better chance than me.

Q. To be fair I can give you a chance.
CARLOS MOYA: If we get to that point we see how the matches have been going. We’ll see.

Q. Carlos, do you know that for the Italian it was Rafa has a new girlfriend?
CARLOS MOYA: I heard. We had a chat last night. Serious chat. I ask him if he has something to tell me that I don’t know.

Q. He’s not a real friend?
CARLOS MOYA: Well, I need to spy to see what’s going on, detective.

Also, Rafa is only playing doubles tomorrow.

OOP
Court 6
start at 1 pm: Stepanek (CZE) vs (11) Haas (GER)
followed by Gaudio (ARG) vs Fish (USA)
followed by Andreev (RUS) vs (14) Ferrer (ESP)
followed by Moya (ESP)/Nadal (ESP) vs (7) Erlich (ISR)/ Ram (ISR)

mallorn
05-07-2007, 06:54 PM
A funny recap by Steve Tignor. :lol:
Rome: Doubling Down
Posted 05/07/2007 @ 2 :15 PM

http://tennisworld.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/05/07/2007_05_07_nadalmoya_blog_2.jpg

Men’s-only Masters tournaments are modest events. The best guys in the world gather in relaxed environments, free of the tension that pervades the grounds at every Grand Slam. As exotic as the Italian Open sounds to us in the U.S., comparing it to the French Open is a little like comparing, say, Chapel Hill, N.C., to New York City. (Believe it or not, the Foro Italico consists of exactly eight courts.) Any spectator can feel the difference when they walk through the gates. And while the dual-gender tournaments in Indian Wells and Key Biscayne are no more prestigious than Rome, they’re significantly more frenetic and bustling. I guess that’s what you get when you put boys and girls together.

This week is like going back to boarding school. A very fancy boarding school. The men practiced this morning on perfect courts under pine trees and blue skies (which, alas, went gray quickly). Only a few stray fans, giggling teenage girls mostly, were there to bother them (can that really be so annoying?). Andy Roddick slapped five with Gael Monfils and did some impromptu ball-boying for Monfils and Arnaud Clement. Roddick started his own practice session with Max Mirnyi hitting smoothly. I left thinking that he may be ready for this one. I came back an hour later to find him smashing his racquet, dropping f-bombs, and scaring the girls in the stands. Guess he’s not ready just yet.

On the next court, Rafael Nadal and Carlos Moya were practicing specifically for their doubles match against Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka. All the points went crosscourt, and Nadal was smoking both his serves and returns. They planted a third guy at the net on Moya’s side to simulate a doubles point, and Nadal, laughing, proceeded to try to drill the poor guy with every volley. (Rafa would have fit in well on a U.S. college-tennis team.) At one point Nadal tried a flick backhand crosscourt from the baseline that landed in the bottom of the net. Uncle Toni gave him a quick technique lesson—“extend, don’t cut the follow-through short” seemed to be the gist. Nadal smacked his next backhand past Moya. :yeah:

When he was done, Nadal disappeared into a closed-off area up a flight of stairs. A few minutes later, a group of about a dozen girls took seats in the stands. Nadal’s bouncing head appeared for a second in a window upstairs; he was walking down a hall. One of the girls pointed at him. They all got up and screamed for a second; but they went silent when they couldn’t find him. Down the hall, Nadal’s head appeared in another window. This time they all caught a glimpse and began screaming, then went quiet again after he passed by. Another window, another brief Rafa sighting, another group scream, more silence. Finally, at the end of the hall, Nadal walked onto a deck outside. I think you know what our girls did. :cuckoo: :lol:

There was a similar rock-show vibe to the Nadal-Federer doubles showdown later in the day. It was played in the second, smaller stadium, so all the kids—there were tons of them—ran down next to the court. Nadal and Moya came out in matching piratas; it was odd to think that Moya, who was virtually ignored all afternoon, is the guy on that team who has the higher career-best ranking (No. 1 vs. No. 2).

Nadal showed early that he has the fast hands and daredevil quality of a doubles player. Most baseliners never get comfortable making the surprise strikes and quick decisions around the net that doubles requires, but Nadal commits to every volley and attacks pretty fearlessly for a singles guy. While he may play a largely defensive game from the baseline, it’s clear that he has an offensive mindset.

Federer was laconic as always, specializing in the deft half-volley up the alley and the smooth ground stroke pass. He shanked a few returns on Nadal’s serve out wide and blew his share of balls, though Moya and Nadal were going almost exclusively at Wawrinka, who was nervous. When I was watching, Nadal poached on Wawrinka’s return virtually every time, but not once on Federer’s. Nadal and Federer both seemed to go out of their way to avoid drilling the ball in each other’s direction. No need to give the other guy any extra motivation. :p

It was big-brother Moya, though, who stole the presser afterward. Asked who had suggested that they play doubles, he said of Nadal, “He wanted to win a tournament so he asked if I can play with him.”

Then rain. I’ve been holed up in the press room for an hour or so. It’s a barracks-like area below the center court, with white walls and bright lights. There’s a festive atmosphere among the Italian journalists—lots of kissing and hands flying, but it’s not precisely where you want to spend an afternoon in Rome.

I’m looking at Tuesday’s schedule and see at least three worthy contests: Safin-Delic, Federer-Almagro, and Blake-Monfils.

What's next for Nadal and Moya? They get what they wanted all along: a shot at Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram. Does that sound like, um, kind of a letdown? See you tomorrow.

http://tennisworld.typepad.com/thewrap/2007/05/rome_doubling_d.html

MariaV
05-07-2007, 07:33 PM
Safin - Delic a worthy contest MY ASS! :haha: :haha: :haha: :tape: :ignore:
OK I wouldn't rate Blake-Monfils too high either.
Where did you go in Croatia, Ania? Did you go to Umag? ;)

mallorn
05-08-2007, 01:17 PM
Worthy or not, at least Marat won that contest. :yeah: Not without some trouble though. :tape:

I went to Split and Šibenik, in all my visits to Croatia I've never been to Umag, strangely enough. :lol:

Tess Gray
05-08-2007, 05:22 PM
Q. Carlos, do you know that for the Italian it was Rafa has a new girlfriend?
CARLOS MOYA: I heard. We had a chat last night. Serious chat. I ask him if he has something to tell me that I don’t know.

Q. He’s not a real friend?
CARLOS MOYA: Well, I need to spy to see what’s going on, detective.



This is probably me, but I didn't quite get that:rolleyes:

mallorn
05-08-2007, 05:28 PM
Welcome back, mallorn :wavey: I hope you had a great vacation. :D
Hi Tangy! :hug: Yes I did, just a bit too short. ;)
Q. Carlos, do you know that for the Italian it was Rafa has a new girlfriend?
CARLOS MOYA: I heard. We had a chat last night. Serious chat. I ask him if he has something to tell me that I don’t know.

Q. He’s not a real friend?
CARLOS MOYA: Well, I need to spy to see what’s going on, detective.



This is probably me, but I didn't quite get that:rolleyes:
Apparently Rafa was on an Italian TV show and the clueless host asked him about his girlfriend Flavia Pennetta. :rolleyes: :haha: This is probably what Charly was referring to.

MariaV
05-08-2007, 06:03 PM
Absolutely great! Rafa y Carlos beat Erlich/Ram 7-5 6-4! :D :banana:

Castafiore
05-08-2007, 06:08 PM
The match only lasted 1 hour, 18 minutes so short and sweet. :)

yana
05-08-2007, 06:25 PM
Anybody know at what hour is he scheduled for tomorrow?

mallorn
05-08-2007, 07:03 PM
OOP is out now.

Centre Court
start at 1 pm: (3) Roddick (USA) vs Gaudio (ARG)
followed by (WC) Volandri (ITA) vs (13) Gasquet (FRA)
followed by (WC) Bracciali (ITA) vs (2) Nadal (ESP)

Tess Gray
05-08-2007, 07:31 PM
Hi Tangy! :hug: Yes I did, just a bit too short. ;)

Apparently Rafa was on an Italian TV show and the clueless host asked him about his girlfriend Flavia Pennetta. :rolleyes: :haha: This is probably what Charly was referring to.

oooh okay! :D thanks;)

And thanks for the OOP :)

mallorn
05-09-2007, 05:36 PM
^^ No problem. :)


Rafa defeated Bracciali 6-4, 6-2. His next opponent is Youzhny, and Rafa will have to step it up because he didn't play great today.

linus
05-09-2007, 05:39 PM
just finished watching Rafa' match, not easy but worth for Rafa to gain something fresh back here and ready for Misha :smoke:

cc2monac
05-09-2007, 05:44 PM
he didn't play great but still had not loss a set! congrats rafa...please play better vs misha...best of luck rafa!!!

Tess Gray
05-09-2007, 05:47 PM
I hope Rafa can finally beat Youzhny. Last time Rafa won was in 2005, also in Rome. So hopefully, history will repeat itself:p

MariaV
05-09-2007, 07:09 PM
I didn't see it all, maybe I can catch it later but the score seems nice. :D :D :D
Against Misha it will be sure harder. VAMOS, beat the crap out of Misha! :banana: :yippee: :bigclap: :bounce:

OOP for tomorrow:
Centre Court
start at 1 pm: (3) Roddick (USA) vs Chela (ARG)
followed by (1) Federer (SUI) vs (WC) Volandri (ITA)
followed by (16) Ferrero (ESP) or (WC) Starace (ITA) vs Safin (RUS) or (4) Davydenko (RUS)

Not before 8.30: (15) Youzhny (RUS) vs (2) Nadal (ESP)

MariaV
05-09-2007, 07:14 PM
Nadal Earns Youzhny Rematch; Djokovic, Baghdatis to Clash

Rafael Nadal began his bid for a third consecutive title in Rome by dismissing Italian Daniele Bracciali 6-4, 6-2 on Wednesday in second round action at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia. The Spaniard extended his Open Era record clay court winning streak to 73 matches and his record at the year's fourth ATP Masters Series event to a perfect 13-0.

Nadal raced out to a 3-0 lead by breaking Bracciali twice to open the match. He dropped serve in the next game, but that would prove Nadal's only lapse in the 1. hr., 31. min. match. The Spaniard completed the 6-4, 6-2 win to set up a third round battle with Russian Mikhail Youzhny, who advanced with a 7-6(2), 6-4 win over Olivier Rochus.

Nadal (on playing Youzhny next): "I have a chance for a win. Very good chances... He's a very good player. That's true. But every match is difficult against Youzhny. I lost the last two times, but I have win against him before so it's not just one guy. It's not like Blake. I never beat him."


http://www.atptennis.com/1/en/news/news2.asp

Naide
05-09-2007, 07:14 PM
The clay master won again :worship:

mallorn
05-09-2007, 07:57 PM
It's been too stress-free recently, something was bound to happen to make me :scared: again. :bigcry:
Nadal, Roddick advance at Rome Masters

Associated Press
Posted: 16 minutes ago

ROME (AP) - Despite feeling dizzy, Rafael Nadal extended his clay-court winning streak to 73 matches with a 6-4, 6-2 victory Wednesday over Italian wild card Daniele Bracciali at the Rome Masters.

Andy Roddick, playing for the first time since injuring his hamstring in a Davis Cup win last month, defeated Gaston Gaudio 6-1, 7-6 (8). James Blake lost to Nicolas Massu 7-6 (3), 7-5.

Nadal is attempting to become the first player to win the tournament three consecutive times.

"It was very difficult for me in the first eight games," Nadal said. "Before the match I went to see the doctor and he said it was nothing. Now I'm going back."

While Bracciali appeared to run out of energy late in the match, the 125th-ranked Italian displayed a strong game plan against the No. 2 player.

Bracciali served to Nadal's backhand and consistently won points when he followed his serve into the net. He also varied the pace of his shots well during a stretch in the first set when he won three of four games to trail 4-3.

"He never makes any errors so it's tough to win points," Bracciali said. "The only chance is to try and attack. When the rallies last longer he's too tough to handle."

Nadal will next face 15th-seeded Mikhail Youzhny, who the Spaniard lost to on hard courts in Dubai earlier this year. Youzhny eliminated Olivier Rochus 7-6 (7), 6-3.

"He's one of the more difficult players for me," Nadal said of Youzhny. "If I don't play my best tennis, it's going to be a very difficult match."



http://msn.foxsports.com/tennis/story/6791730

From Reuters:
Off-colour Nadal begins bid for third Rome title

Thu May 10, 2007 12:57 AM IST29

Nadal, who is aiming to equal Thomas Muster's professional era record of three wins at the claycourt tournament, struggled to find his rhythm in the early stages of the match with Bracciali -- though he put his slow start into context at the post-match news conference.

"I felt a bit dizzy, and it was difficult for the first eight games, but after that it was fine," said Nadal.

Asked whether he was sick, Nadal replied: "I don't know. I felt a bit dizzy also before the match, but the doctor said it wasn't anything. I think it's OK."

Nadal will have to be closer to his best against his next opponent, 15th seed Mikhail Youzhny, who has won their last two meetings at last season's U.S. Open and the hardcourt tournament in Dubai in February.

"He's one of the more difficult players for me," admitted Nadal.

"I must focus on me, play my best tennis. If I do that I can win. If I don't he will have a good opportunity to beat me."

http://in.today.reuters.com/News/newsArticle.aspx?type=sportsNews&storyID=2007-05-10T004838Z_01_NOOTR_RTRJONC_0_India-297457-1.xml

MariaV
05-10-2007, 06:55 AM
Ania baby, don't stress yourself over that. The doc said to Rafa it was nothing. :hug: :hug: :hug:
Baah, I'll try to watch the match tonight! VAMOS!!!! :banana: :yippee: :bigclap: :bounce:

mallorn
05-10-2007, 12:21 PM
It does not look like nothing, Masha. :sad:
Nadal's streak in jeopardy due to dizzy spell

ROME: Rafael Nadal went to a hospital for a checkup following a dizzy spell Thursday and may miss a chance to extend his 73-match clay-court winning streak.

Nadal was scheduled to play 15th-seeded Mikhail Youzhny in the third round of the Rome Masters later Thursday.

"This morning he went to hospital for more exams," Nadal's spokesman, Benito Barbadillo, told The Associated Press. "His intention is still to play. We'll see what happens. There were two things bothering him. Yesterday they didn't know what one of them was."

Barbadillo said he had no further information as to what exactly was bothering Nadal.

Nadal said he felt dizzy after his second-round win over Daniele Bracciali on Wednesday.

"Before the match I went to see the doctor and he said it was nothing," Nadal said. "Now I'm going back."

Nadal is aiming to become the first player to win this French Open warmup three consecutive times. Youzhny beat Nadal in their last two meetings — both on hard courts.

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/05/10/sports/EU-SPT-TEN-Nadal-Dizziness.php

:bigcry:

NaDALiTa
05-10-2007, 12:35 PM
I hope it was nothing,but if Rafa feels dizzy again then he has to stop playing and have some rest!!!Since the clay season start he played way too much simples and doubles.I know he loves playing but he must be cautious with himself to not jeopardize his season on clay!

MariaV
05-10-2007, 12:46 PM
Uhh.... doesn't look good but I still hope he can beat the crap out of Misha!!!! :( :sad:

mallorn
05-10-2007, 02:16 PM
^^ It would be great but I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't. :scared:

From CBS:
Dizzy Nadal checks out 'OK' at Rome hospital

May 10, 2007
CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

ROME -- Rafael Nadal went to a hospital for a checkup following a dizzy spell Thursday, although he was not planning to pull out of the Rome Masters.

"Everything is OK. It was just a routine checkup. He's playing tonight," Nadal's spokesman Benito Barbadillo said. "It was the same as yesterday. He was just feeling a little dizzy, that's it."

Nadal has a chance to extend his 73-match clay-court winning streak against 15th-seeded Mikhail Youzhny in the third round later Thursday.

Even if he does withdraw, Nadal's streak will remain in intact.

"A withdrawal is not considered a loss or a win," ATP spokesman Nicola Arzani said.

Nadal is aiming to become the first player to win this French Open warmup three consecutive times. Youzhny beat Nadal in their last two meetings -- both on hard courts.

http://cbs.sportsline.com/tennis/story/10174864

MariaV
05-10-2007, 03:47 PM
Haahaa, everyone so worried about the winning streak. :rolls:
I really hope that he's feeling OK. :)

cc2monac
05-10-2007, 03:53 PM
I hope it realy was just a routine checkup...poor lil rafa! I'm sure he ate too much chocolate one more time!

NaDALiTa
05-10-2007, 04:13 PM
I hope it realy was just a routine checkup...poor lil rafa! I'm sure he ate too much chocolate one more time!

i would say he has been eating too much pizzas or pastas :lol: :lol: or maybe was he given a poisoned pizza :eek: as Roger was!!!!

cc2monac
05-10-2007, 08:19 PM
6/2 6/2 for rafa...vamooooooooooooooooooooooooooos!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!
so happy for him! what a wonderful match! congrats rafa do as well in your next match!

mallorn
05-10-2007, 08:19 PM
:woohoo: :yippee: Rafa won 6-2, 6-2 and is in the QF! :D Fantastic play! :D :worship:

OOP for tomorrow:

MEN'S TOURNAMENT
Centre Court
start at 1 pm:: (7) Robredo (ESP) vs (4) Davydenko (RUS)
followed by (WC) Volandri (ITA) vs (12) Berdych (CZE)
followed by (5) Djokovic (SRB) vs (2) Nadal (ESP)

Not before 8.30 pm: Chela (ARG) vs (6) Gonzalez (CHI)

MariaV
05-10-2007, 08:26 PM
EXCELLENT, SIMPLY EXCELLENT! Very solid play from Rafael, no sign of any illness. Didn't face a single break point. :yeah: :hatoff: :worship: :bowdown: :banana: :yippee: :bounce: :bigclap:
Djoker also needs a good beating tomorrow! VAMOS! :banana: :yippee: :bounce: :bigclap:

I have to go to theater tomorrow so as I'll most probably miss the match, Ania & Co, cheer for me too! :wavey:

mallorn
05-10-2007, 08:48 PM
^^ Will do. :D Have a great time in the theatre. :)

I completely forgot that Rafa was still in the doubles, here's the schedule:

Pietrangeli Stadium
start at 2.30 pm: (8) Pavel (ROU)/Waske (GER) vs (3) Damm (CZE)/Paes (IND)
followed by (6) Santoro (FRA)/Zimonjic (SRB) vs Ljubicic (CRO)/Thomas (USA) or (2) Bjorkman (SWE)/Mirnyi (BLR)
followed by (1) B Bryan (USA)/ M Bryan (USA) vs Moya (ESP)/Nadal (ESP) - TBA

MariaV
05-11-2007, 09:10 AM
Nadal vs. Djokovic in Blockbuster Rome QF

ATP World No. 2 Rafael Nadal dispelled any health concerns Thursday with a crushing 6-2, 6-2 win over Russian Mikhail Youzhny to power into the quarterfinals of the Internazionali BNL D’Italia in Rome. Nadal, the two-time defending champion, went to a local hospital earlier in the day for a check-up after a dizzy spell.

Nadal, whose winning streak on clay now stands at 74 matches, first complained of feeling dizzy after a second-round win Wednesday over Italian Daniele Bracciali.

"It was the same as yesterday. He was just feeling a little dizzy, that's it,” said Nadal’s media manager, Benito Perez-Barbadillo.

Nadal next meets 19-year-old World No. 5 Novak Djokovic, who staged a remarkable second-set comeback to defeat Marcos Baghdatis, 6-2, 7-5. Nadal and Djokovic are building an emerging rivalry and will meet for the third time in the past four ATP Masters Series tournaments.

Nadal vs. Djokovic Head-to-Head Details

Nadal defeated Djokovic in the Indian Wells final in March but the Serb had his revenge later that month in the Miami quarterfinals en route to winning the title. Nadal leads the overall series 2-1, having won their first meeting in the Roland Garros quarterfinals last year.

In his third-round meeting, Djokovic rallied from 1-5 in the second set to defeat Marcos Baghdatis in the first meeting between the pair. Djokovic is chasing his fourth ATP title of the year following victories in Adelaide, Miami and last week in Estoril.

WHAT THE PLAYERS SAID

Nadal: On his dizzy spell: I arrive here and I feel so much better today... I was in the hospital this morning, but nothing important. Just I was a little bit dizzy yesterday. Little bit of pain here (side) but just a little bit check out vision. That's it.
It was not bad, so I arrive here. I have some relax in the room and I come back here with good feelings and I practice good and I arrive to the court very good." :) :yeah:

On his match with Djokovic: "Winning Miami, winning Estoril, winning Adelaide, playing in the final in Indian Wells. Very, very difficult match. He's coming with confidence. He's a very good player and is going to be one of the best players in the world for a long time."


http://www.atptennis.com/1/en/news/news3.asp
I hope all the health problems are behind him now. :D

linus
05-11-2007, 11:16 AM
when they showed Rafa and Misha on court, I did try to find some clue via his face by TV :lol: wanted to know he is all right :hug:

seems everything is not bad, a good sign for today, Vamos :banana:

linus
05-11-2007, 11:19 AM
thanks girls for the news and have a good time tonight for all :D

mallorn
05-11-2007, 02:09 PM
Rafa's presser:
May 10, 2007

Rafael Nadal

ROME, ITALY

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You weren't very dizzy tonight. :lol:
RAFAEL NADAL: No, not today. It was good for me. I arrive here and I feel so much better today. Very happy with my game on court. I play very, very good all time.
I have a lot of opportunities, a lot of breakpoints, but Youzhny play very good in the breakpoints. And then I was very, very great game for me. I'm very happy for that.

Q. Did you see the doctor again this morning, Rafa?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah. I was in the hospital this morning, but nothing important. Just I was a little bit dizzy yesterday. Little bit of pain here (indicating side) but just a little bit check out vision. That's it.
It was not bad, so I arrive here. I have some relax in the room and I come back here with good feelings and I practice good and I arrive to the court very good.

Q. What did the doctor actually say was wrong with you that caused you to feel the dizziness and the pain in your stomach?
RAFAEL NADAL: I really -- well, I really don't know, no? I have very normal check out and nothing important.
Please, stop the phone.
No, it was nothing important. Just a little bit inflammation here, but nothing important. Very, very small, so it was very good news for me.

Q. How surprised you were about the defeat of Roger Federer, and how does it change for you the perspective of this tournament?
RAFAEL NADAL: The perspective is -- this is always the same question, but the same answer always, too: Nothing change for me because I am on the other side of the draw, you know.
So any player now for arrive to the final, now I am quarterfinals? Two very hard matches arriving to the finals, so right now I just think about next match against Djokovic, because he's a very good player and going to be a tough match.
If I arrive to the final I can't think about Federer, but before, no. I know every match is very difficult.
But for sure it was a surprise for me the loss of Federer. I wasn't see the match. I was in the room watching a film, and after I put Internet and I saw.
So, well, Volandri, I always say is a very good player on clay. Obviously it's a surprise he beat Federer. But, well, some days it's difficult for everyone. Everyone have bad days, no?
And Volandri, I expect he plays very, very good, no? If he plays very good on clay it's very dangerous place.

Q. Normally when Federer is around you say that he's the favorite. Now you accept that something has changed, that you are the favorite?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, one of the favorites, for sure.

Q. Thanks.

Q. Match con Djokovic?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, No. 3 in the race. Winning Miami, winning Estoril, winning Adelaide, playing in the final in Indian Wells. Very, very difficult match. He's coming with confidence.
Young player, always easier the first year when you -- (in Spanish.) When it's the first year that you arrive on the tour, that you have success. Always easier than the next year. I know for experience the first year was a little bit easier than the other ones because you play with no pression.
Everything is new and good. If you play quarterfinals it's good; if you play semifinals it's good tournament, too. So that's important because you can play with more calm every match.
But he's a very good player and going to be one of the best players in the world for a long time, because he's very young and have a very, very good potential.

Q. Did you think that Djokovic can play as well on clay as he does on hard court?
RAFAEL NADAL: He lost to David Ferrer in Monte-Carlo. David Ferrer is one of best players on clay in the world, and he won in Estoril and he's in quarterfinals here, so...
I'm sorry, and last year he play qualifies in Roland Garros, too.

Q. You said inflammation is nothing, but did you need a treatment for it, or not even a treatment?
RAFAEL NADAL: Treatment?

Q. Drugs. Not drugs, but treatment?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. I just have some antiinflammatories.

Q. Tomorrow are you planning to see the doctor again? You have to see him, or not?
RAFAEL NADAL: I have practice at 12:15. I have practice at 12:15, and I think -- I hope -- it'll be perfect for tomorrow. But for sure before the practice I go to the doctor and check, but I think it's better.

Q. Will this affect your doubles at all? Are you still playing?
RAFAEL NADAL: I hope not. I'm very happy to be in qualifies of doubles. I'm enjoying playing the doubles tournament, and I have a very, very nice match tomorrow with the Bryans.
I never play against him, so it'll be an interesting match. Good motivation for me. I'm going to try my best.

End of FastScripts

http://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=42781

mallorn
05-11-2007, 04:57 PM
Another fantastic match by Rafa and his 75th win, 6-2, 6-3 over Novak Djokovic. :yippee: :worship:

linus
05-11-2007, 05:04 PM
Gosh, I love this match, of course, the 2nd set more :aplot: :worship:

Rafa is really strong on clay but it is not the most important I like him there, he is indeed improving and has a clever head on court :woohoo:

two hot guys tonight :drool:

cc2monac
05-11-2007, 05:06 PM
wooow rafa!!!! thank you for this wonderful match! what a rey! keep on playing like this rafa!!!

mallorn
05-11-2007, 05:09 PM
mallorn, is Rafa playing Hamburg, do you know?
Well, apparently he sent an e-mail to the organisers saying “Whatever happens, I really want to play this year. I’m really looking forward to it after having had to withdraw the last two times.” So I guess unless something unexpected comes up, yes. Not sure if it's such a great idea. :unsure:

cc2monac
05-11-2007, 05:54 PM
mee too I'm not sure it's a good idea I know he doesn't seems too tired and still hasn't lost a set but I do prefer him to rest a lil bit...anyway if he feels he can do it he knows better than us...

Foxy
05-11-2007, 08:00 PM
Well, he will have time to rest the whole week before Roland Garros.
It doesn't make any sense to be tired yet. He is playing only two-setters.
Without any tiebreaks. This year all the finals are best of 3 compared to 2006 when they were best of 5 all of them.
In addition to that this year in the clay masters series the eight top ranked players have byes and do not play in the first round.

MariaV
05-11-2007, 08:24 PM
Oh great, you managed everything without me, everything seemed under (Novak's) control again! :lol: ;) :angel:
Thank you guys, and thank you Rafael! :hatoff: :banana:

Nadal Knocks Out Djokovic, Will Meet Davydenko in SFs

Two-time defending champion Rafael Nadal of Nadal dispatched fellow youngster Novak Djokovic of Serbia 6-2, 6-3 in the quarterfinals of the Internazionali BNL D’Italia in Rome.

Second seed Nadal, 20, broke the fifth seed Djokovic, 19, four times and held his own serve every time. Nadal won 67 points to 46 for his victim. :D :hatoff:

Nadal improves to 3-1 vs. the Serb, avenging Djokovic's quarterfinal win at Masters Series Key Biscayne in March. Nadal's 2007 record rose to 30-5, while Djokovic slid to 33-7.The duo top the ATP win list this year. :yeah:


http://www.atptennis.com/1/en/news/news2.asp

From the tournament site:

Rafael Nadal put on a devastating performance to reach the Rome masters semi-final on Friday, ripping apart Novak Djokovic and conceding just five games.
The 62 63 victory by the reigning Rome champion sets up a semi-final at the bottom end of the draw with Nikolay Davydenko, the number four seed.
Nadal, on a record breaking clay court winning streak, was in a class of his own on the Foro Italico centre court. He makes winners out of balls that other players struggle to reach and gets to shots which many players cannot. His movement and anticipation is perhaps what singles him out on clay.
Djokovic, an all-court player and himself on a roll off wins in Miami and Estoril, was immediately under pressure on his serve. He was broken in the first game and struggled to serve out the fifth.
In the sixth game the Serb had what would be his only break point.
In the second set Djokovic came out fighting and managed to hold serve to 33. He had some success by playing to Nadal's backhand and then switching to the forehand side for the winner, but for some reason abandoned this tactic in the second half of the set, playing instead to Nadal's forehand, his strongest shot. The last three games went quickly..

MariaV
05-11-2007, 08:32 PM
Here the presser part:
Rome's reigning champion says he has never felt better about his tennis. He also admits that he relies on his forehand to dominate his opponent.

Question: You must be very, very happy about your performance today.

RAFAEL NADAL: I am very happy, yes. I played my best level for sure. Very, very nice match. Playing all time 100% every point. So Djokovic is very, very good player. I think he wasn't play bad match today, no? He serve very good on the breakpoints. Unbelievable. Every time he beat me with the serve. But finally I play all the time very regular, and that's decisive in the game.
Your levels are so high all the time.

Question: Was there anything today specifically you were very happy with in your game?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I ran very good. I serve good sometimes. And important is with my forehand. When I have my forehand I can have the control of the point, so that's very important for me. Because for my confidence important when I touch my forehand feel I am doing something, no? So now I have a very good feelings on my game, on the backhand, too. Important too though when I was running. The slice working very good today. So everything I play with all shots, so for me it's a perfect match.


And the OOP for tomorrow, Rafa is playing second:
Centre Court
start at 2 pm: Volandri (ITA) vs or (6) Gonzalez (CHI)
followed by (4) Davydenko (RUS) vs (2) Nadal (ESP)

mallorn
05-11-2007, 08:50 PM
^^ Hope you had a great time. :wavey:

Steve Tignor has been writing great reports from Rome, here's one on tonight's match.
Rome: The Rafa-Filippo Show Posted 05/11/2007 @ 3 :54 PM

Are you enjoying this mini-run by homeboy Filippo Volandri? I realized somewhere along the line today that I am. While I don’t love the oversize headband or the useless service motion, there’s an air about the guy right now.

The atmosphere didn’t hurt. It was another bright, warm day, with a full and festive crowd. Still, like yesterday, the support was positive but not full-throated, the way you might expect from the Italians. I think they’re in shock at Volandri’s sudden excellence. Looking at Volandri himself, though, you get the feeling he’s been straight-setting top guys for years. He didn’t play as well as he did yesterday against Federer, but he was still in total control today.

You could say that he’s had a lot of help from his opppnents, and you'd be right. Berdych had one of his days today, spraying dumb flat shots all over the arena; he was even worse than Federer was yesterday.

But as Rafael Nadal said here, with an unintentionally ominous edge, “Volandri is very, very tough on clay, and this is a dangerous place.”

I'd say Volandri has done a fine job of engineering his opponents’ self-destruction. In classic Italian style, he massages the ball from side to side rather than cracking it. No wonder he’s a clay dog (perhaps the genre lives on). Volandri has “no serve,” as they say, but it doesn’t matter; no one has been able to make him pay for it on the clay here.

Volandri has won with old-fashioned tactics. He’s moved the ball around, stayed consistent, and not gone for broke even after he's earned an opportunity to finish a point. His forehand must be hard to read, because twice Berdych was caught heading far, far in the wrong direction. The word that came to mind today as I watched Volandri sort of half-strut, half-hobble around the court was: Lunchbucket. It’s been fun to see him carry it out there and beat the game’s best with it.

I shouldn’t say the Italian tennis fans have entirely forgotten their dramatic ways. As Berdych’s last ball sailed toward the middle of the net, a drum sounded from the loudspeaker and a rousing Italian folk song began—I swear it started before the ball hit the net. Volandri did his part by turning toward the gallery, throwing his hands in the air, and opening his mouth wide. Only here could 6-2, 6-3 be made to seem operatic.

Berdych: A new coach, perhaps? He’s still ridiculously erratic.

The sun had sunk by the time Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic took the court. We used to call this "tennis weather": it was light out but the sun was down, and a warm day had cooled just enough to make running seem fun. As one of my colleagues said when the match got rolling and the tension (briefly) built: “This is one of those days when you realize how lucky you are to able to come to events like this.” That’s not exactly a common sentiment among hard-traveling sportswriters.

He was right. This was a high-quality 2 and 3 match, and it maintained its tension for long periods. That’s due equally to the shotmaking ability of both, and their impeccable mental toughness. Plus, Johnny Mac was in the house—taking up a photographer’s spot on court, naturally.

Who did what well? Let’s start with Djokovic. He opened poorly; it looked like he was being stood up straight by Nadal’s topspin. But the kid knows when to dig in and hang on, and that moment came at 0-2, 15-40. Djokovic chose that time to lean in on a forehand, and he went on to fight off four break points for a big hold. He did the same at 1-3. On one deuce point, Nadal made a crazy backhand get, followed it with a running crosscourt pass, and let loose with his first full-on fist-pump of the day. Undeterred, Djokovic answered with a big first serve to get back to deuce. He held off two more break points with first serves and eventually held.

It takes many mental reserves to hang with Nadal on clay these days For the last month, he’s been on another plane, safely armored with high-tech weapons and shields against all comers. But Djokovic, who had looked weary all week after winning in Estoril, did about as much as you could ask just by making it a match. He attacked with his forehand by moving Nadal to his left and then drilling the next one down the line. It was an effective tactic until late in each set, when the pressure of hitting perfect balls led him to start jumping and snatching at the ball—and firing it into the net.

Nadal? His intensity from up close continues to amaze. After Djokovic held for 2-3 in the first, he came out and hit two winners to go up 0-30 on Nadal’s serve. The Spaniard looked just slightly shaken for the first time this week. The match was a couple points away from becoming a real mental war, with Nadal’s confidence potentially dipping and Djokovic’s rising. Nadal bent, but he wouldn’t break. He won four tense points to regain the momentum.

As for highlights, Nadal seemed to unveil a new touch shot today. Twice he came forward on short balls around the net, slid in, held his racquet as if he were going down the line, and caressed the ball crosscourt for a winning angle. Maybe it was the McEnroe inspiration, or the ghosts of stylish Italians past.

The shot that kept Djokovic at bay all day was Nadal's heavy-topspin crosscourt forehand, which he somehow brings down right where the service line and sideline meet. The ball starts high but dips wildly at the last second (I know this kind of “late movement” is impossible, but I swear that’s what happens). Not only did the ball get to Djokovic’s backhand, it backed him into an awkward position and left him without any profitable place to return it.
Watching from low in the stadium and behind the court, I found Nadal's forehand hard to read. When he moved in to attack inside-out, I couldn’t tell whether he was coming down the line or opening up and going crosscourt until after he hit the ball. Maybe it's just me, but I doubt many of his opponents can easily read it either.

Like Youzhny yesterday, there was a smiling sense of resignation from Djokovic at times. After Nadal hammered a backhand past him at net, Djokovic stopped as if paralyzed and let out a short whistle. On the final point of the match, he just surrended, intentionally dropping the ball at the bottom of the net. I would criticize this move on just about any other day, but Djokovic had stood up to Nadal long enough. All that was left to do was to wave the white flag.

I'll finish by saying that this match had me thinking that the men’s game is looking good for the immediate future. Djokovic and Nadal are a major rivalry waiting to happen, as are Djokovic and Federer, now that the Man has lost some of his Aura. Watching today, I felt like these guys measure up well to those daunting champions from the sport's past. John McEnroe, happily nodding away on the sideline after every great point, seemed to agree.

http://tennisworld.typepad.com/thewrap/2007/05/rome_the_rafafi.html#comments

And from The Herald:
Old head keeps Nadal well above new generation

HAILEY MILNE May 12 2007

Tennis players grow up so quickly these days: Rafael Nadal is still only 20 years old and yet he has long been a part of the old guard, a cut above the new generation of hopefuls such as Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Richard Gasquet. Yesterday, at the Italian Open, he showed precisely why.

Although he is only 11 months older than Djokovic, Nadal took just 100 minutes of power and know-how to put the young Serb firmly in his place 6-2, 6-3. They may watch the same movies and listen to the same music, but Nadal is still the experienced old hand and is not ready to let any young whippersnapper displace him just yet. The win took Nadal's winning run on clay to 75 matches and put him into the semi-finals of the Rome event.

It was almost possible to smell the testosterone in the air as the two squared up to each other: Nadal with his muscles rippling in the late afternoon breeze, bouncing up and down on his toes like a boxer waiting to land the first punch, and Djokovic desperate to prove himself as the young man of the moment.

In the past couple of months, Djokovic has barged his way into the world's top 10 and on to the No.5 spot and picked up the trophies in Miami and Estoril. Never lacking in self confidence, he believes he belongs with the best in the world and, on paper at least, his spectacular recent run would suggest that he is on his way. But to beat the very best clay court player in the world on his favourite surface takes more than chutzpah.

As Djokovic tried to show that he was as big and strong as his Spanish foe from the baseline, Nadal flexed his muscles and belted his forehand. If Djokovic tried to vary the pace with the odd drop shot or volley, Nadal ran everything down and sent it back into spaces that the Serb had not seen. As Djokovic played every shot, eyeballs out, in search of an outright winner, Nadal wrong-footed him with slice, with delicate touches and with imagination.

"I ran very well," Nadal said, "I served well sometimes. And important for me is my forehand. When I have my forehand I can have control of the point, so that's very important for my confidence. When I touch my forehand I feel I am doing something. I have a very good feelings on my game, on the backhand, too. The slice was working very good today. So for me it was a perfect match."

The only indication that Nadal was not quite the fearless and all-conquering champion came over the business of the injury or ailment that had affected him two days ago. This, it turned out, was not a muscle problem in his abdomen but rather an "intestinal complaint". It was just that he was too embarrassed to describe the symptoms to the press. No matter, he seems fully recovered and more than ready to take on Nikolay Davydenko today.

http://www.theherald.co.uk/sport/headlines/display.var.1394153.0.0.php

MariaV
05-11-2007, 09:21 PM
Thanks a lot Ania, yes I had fun, the play was good and everything was fine. :D :kiss:

Btw, lost my post at first so forgot the part about the doubles - nice workout and experience for Lord Carlos y su amigo Rafael vs the Bryan brothers, decent scoreline with 3-6 3-6. :D

OK, I'm going now, nighty night! :kiss: :wavey:

Castafiore
05-11-2007, 09:35 PM
Not sure if it's such a great idea. :unsure:

Well, Rafa has given his full support to Monte Carlo and Hamburg as Masters Series events. He hasn't played in Hamburg the last two years so his support there would look half-hearted if he didn't play there this year as well.

mallorn
05-11-2007, 10:20 PM
Well, Rafa has given his full support to Monte Carlo and Hamburg as Masters Series events. He hasn't played in Hamburg the last two years so his support there would look half-hearted if he didn't play there this year as well.
Yes, I do get the point. Once Rafa and Roger stepped forward to defend the tournaments, they really can't skip them unless they're seriously injured. My concern is that the decision to play there is a 'political' one and I'm not sure it's in Rafa's best personal interest. He's potentially risking injury right before RG. On the bright side, if he manages to win there, it will give him some extra confidence for RG and could maybe take some pressure off defending his Wimbledon points. Anyway, there's nothing to be done about it so all we can do is hope for the best.

linus
05-12-2007, 04:03 AM
:shrug: if no injury coming, I wont stop Rafa from playing Hamburg :p

Castafiore
05-12-2007, 07:43 AM
My concern is that the decision to play there is a 'political' one and I'm not sure it's in Rafa's best personal interest. Yep, I fully agree. That's my feeling about it as well.

Tnn74
05-12-2007, 09:53 AM
Oh great, you managed everything without me, everything seemed under (Novak's) control again! :lol: ;) :angel:
Thank you guys, and thank you Rafael! :hatoff: :banana:



:haha: :haha:

Agassi Fan
05-12-2007, 01:30 PM
Hamburg will be too much i think.

Go Rafa win Rome again!!!

mallorn
05-12-2007, 05:34 PM
A nailbiter today, Rafa over Davydenko 7-6, 6-7, 6-4. :woohoo: :yippee:

In 3 hours 38 minutes. :o :scared:

yana
05-12-2007, 05:52 PM
Mallorn, I didn't see the match. Rafa didn't play well or what happened? :confused:

l_mac
05-12-2007, 05:52 PM
I haven't been this nervous watching Rafa on clay since ... don't remember when! Even in last year's Rome final against Federer I never really thought he would lose, but today after he lost the 2nd set, I thought he was gone.

So happy to be wrong!

l_mac
05-12-2007, 05:53 PM
Mallorn, I didn't see the match. Rafa didn't play well or what happened? :confused:


Davydenko played GREAT and Rafa wasn't playing his best. I thought he looked knackered the whole match, until the last 3 games :lol:

mallorn
05-12-2007, 06:01 PM
Mallorn, I didn't see the match. Rafa didn't play well or what happened? :confused:
Well, he didn't play well for the most part. His forehand was off, and when he started missing he retreated far behind the baseline. That combined with very aggressive play by Davydenko put him in a lot of trouble. He served for the match at 5-3 in the second and got broken to love. :o :o :o And he couldn't hold serve to save his life. :o It really could've gone either way if Kolya had kept it up for a bit more. It's Rafa's guts that got him through this one.

Alexandy
05-12-2007, 06:28 PM
This match was horrible for me, watching my two favorites battle it out. I am happy and sad at the same time. I think Davydenko's game matches up well against Rafa. Their match in Shanghai was a super close three-setter as well. Gonzo doesn't play like Davydenko so I hope it will be easier for Raf tomorrow.

Way to fight it out Rafa :worship: (Andy Murray, take note). That's one of the reasons I love Rafa so much. He wasn't playing his best but he found a way to win.

Castafiore
05-12-2007, 06:28 PM
It was a combination of both: Davydenko really played a great match, he was hitting the ball well, finding the right side of the lines so often, very consistent,...
Nadal looked a bit off - not by that much really - but a bit off nevertheless. He made some errors he simply wasn't making in his previous matches. Shots he should have been able to pull off because he had enough time to set up the point. I seriously think that his mental strength won this match for him.
At a certain point, you could see Toni Nadal signal to Rafa to "think"...which is exactly what he needed to do. Rafa looked more tired than Davydenko so sheer strength wasn't going to do it...

Gosh, what a match. I'm glad that one is over. My nerves. :speakles: :scared:
I couldn't believe it when he lost that game in the second set (when he was serving for the match).
Funnily enough, I was utterly nervous during the second set but rather calm in the third set. No idea why exactly.

Tnn74
05-12-2007, 07:32 PM
seriously, Rafa nearly killed me today... :scared: he kept hitting short balls instead of unleashing his forehand the way he always play. I must say, Davydenko really earned my respect today, he truly played like the number 4 player in the world. I have to say he probably outplayed Rafa because he even had more winners, just happens, a lot more unforced errors.

Anyway, a win is a win, but I hope he will be in better shape tomorrow because Gonzalez is playing very good right now... :scared:
VAMOOOOOOS RAFA :rocker2:

tangerine_dream
05-12-2007, 08:03 PM
Wow, Rafa's reaction afterwards says it all. :eek: I've never seen such....relief, pride, and excitement all at once, not even after beating Federer in five last year. Such brilliant fighting from him today :worship:

Some in GM think that Rafa will be out of gas for tomorrow's final but I disagree; I think this hard-fought win will actually inspire him and he won't take the final, or Gonzo, for granted. Playing three, four hours is nothing to Rafa, that's a practice session. :lol: Davydenko, however, won't be able to walk for a week. :devil:

There's a danger in continually rolling over your opponents, you get complacent and mentally lazy, but the match with Davydenko today served as a reminder to Rafa not to do that. Rafa needed that small wake-up call.

Alexandy
05-12-2007, 08:08 PM
Yeah, Rafa's reaction was great. He even did the lay down on his back move he seems to save for the slam finals. That match felt like a final. I wish it could have been. Was such an amazing match.!!!

ETA: how long is it going to take before that fifth picture shows up in the "Funny Photos" thread? lol With accompanying comments of course.

mallorn
05-12-2007, 08:27 PM
Wow, Rafa's reaction afterwards says it all. :eek: I've never seen such....relief, pride, and excitement all at once, not even after beating Federer in five last year. Such brilliant fighting from him today :worship:
Actually, it reminded me of the Wimbledon semi. He was so happy to get to the final, he reacted as if he'd won the whole thing. This is clay though so hopefully the outcome will be different than then. :unsure:
Some in GM think that Rafa will be out of gas for tomorrow's final but I disagree; I think this hard-fought win will actually inspire him and he won't take the final, or Gonzo, for granted. Playing three, four hours is nothing to Rafa, that's a practice session. :lol: Davydenko, however, won't be able to walk for a week. :devil:
I think this will give him more confidence but I'm not sure about gas... And I'm quite certain that Gonzo's hopes went up by a mile after watching this. :lol:
There's a danger in continually rolling over your opponents, you get complacent and mentally lazy, but the match with Davydenko today served as a reminder to Rafa not to do that. Rafa needed that small wake-up call.
Yep, although I don't think he really underestimated Davydenko. He was very impressed with his play against Robredo.

mallorn
05-12-2007, 08:30 PM
A couple of articles
Nadal sees off Davydenko in epic

Rafael Nadal came through the toughest test of his clay-court season to defeat Nikolay Davydenko 7-6 (7-3) 6-7 (8-10) 6-4 in the Rome Masters semi-finals.

It was a 76th consecutive victory on clay for the Spaniard, breaking John McEnroe's one-surface record.

But Nadal was tested to the limit as he saved a set point in the first set, failed to serve out the second and let an early lead slip in the decider.

Fernando Gonzalez beat Filippo Volandri 6-1 6-2 in Saturday's first semi-final.

Nadal arrived in Rome having won clay titles in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, and such was his dominance that he had yet to lose a set on the surface in 2007.

World number four Davydenko was able to match Nadal's hitting from the baseline though, and three times he fought back from a break down before earning a set point in the opener.

When the Russian failed to convert and Nadal dominated the ensuing tie-break, it suggested another straight-sets win was on the cards.

But the super-fit Davydenko was relentless and there were the first suggestions that 20-year-old Nadal might be struggling to keep pace after such a long run of victories.

Nadal failed to serve out the match at 5-3 and in a dramatic second tie-break it was Davydenko who dictated, finally levelling after six set points.

It had taken two and a half hours to play just two sets and there was every reason to believe that Nadal would be the more tired in the decider.

But the world number two showed all his fighting qualities in the final set.

He broke to love in game nine before serving out the match after three hours, 38 minutes and collapsing to the floor as though he had won the title.

"It was one of the most difficult matches I've ever played on clay," said Nadal. "I really risked losing it."

Davydenko said: "He tried for every ball - it's amazing. It was my body. My shoulder was tired. I'm not like Nadal physically. I need to improve physically. My tennis is not so bad."

Although Nadal will be the favourite to win a third consecutive Rome Masters title on Sunday it may prove a tough task after Gonzalez breezed into the final for the loss of just three games.

"I'm confident," said the Chilean sixth seed. "I have nothing to lose and he's the man with the record. He's a great player and a good athlete, but I will try my best.

"He's played in many finals and he's going to be a tough guy to beat, but I have been playing really well in my last two matches and I like the conditions here." :scared:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/6649985.stm

Nadal through to final

By Clive White in Rome
Last Updated: 8:20pm BST 12/05/2007


Nikolay Davydenko is almost famous for being not famous despite being the fourth best tennis player in the world. All that may change, however, after his performance here yesterday when in the semi-finals of the Italia Masters the Russian pushed Rafael Nadal harder than anyone - with the exception of Roger Federer - has pushed him on clay in 76 matches. It still wasn’t enough to beat him, a desperately close win taking the redoubtable Spaniard past John McEnroe’s record run of success on any one surface and into today’s final.

How much the American legend saw of it wasn’t clear since he would have been preparing for his evening match against Henri Leconte in the Blackrock Tour of Champions, but he would have been pleased how hard the Russian fought, if only for selfish reasons rather than to protect one of McEnroe’s last remaining records, before eventually going down 7-6 (3), 6-7 (8), 6-4 in three hours and 38 minutes. Perhaps the real winner was Fernando Gonzalez who disposed of Italy’s Filippo Volandri in less than a third of that time in the other semi and will have been watching this minor epic back at his hotel with his feet up.

Davydenko expressed surprise the other day at being recognized in the Californian desert of Indian Wells earlier this year. He may find that the next time he visits the Eternal City he is treated like a latter day all-conquering Roman hero. The Italian crowd’s disappointment at the failure of Volandri to become the first Italian to reach the final of their own tournament since their old favourite Adriano Panatta managed it 29 years ago was soon forgotten. Sensing that Davydenko was not here just to make up the numbers in a record run, they got firmly behind the underdog, chanting his name until it reverberated around a packed Campo Centrale.

Davydenko was fully in contention in the opening set, in which he broke Nadal three times and had set point, until the tiebreak, when Nadal ran away with things temporarily. Nevertheless, the world’s No2 hadn’t been worked this hard throughout the tournament, even if in the previous day’s quarter-final against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic Nadal’s tennis had reached awesome heights. And if he thought the pasty-looking Russian would now expire in the fierce heat of a Roman afternoon he had another think coming.

It’s been a patchy last six months for Davydenko since winning the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris but here he rediscovered his form with a vengeance. It’s a long time since Nadal has found himself dominated in rallies to such a degree and more than once was spotted casting a despairing glance at his uncle and coach Toni Nadal on the sidelines. Davydenko had particular success forcing Nadal out wide on his backhand, while his own forehand was a lethal weapon.

Even if breaks of serve were commonplace – there were 15 in all – Nadal did seem on the verging of wrapping it up when 5-3 ahead in the second set and serving. But Davydenko, showing terrific resilience, won the next three games to take the lead in the set for the first time since the opening game only for another much more gripping tiebreak to follow, in which Davydenko just had his nose in front throughout and clinched with his sixth set point.

Even in the third Davydenko didn’t obviously wilt but Nadal’s strength is like no other and he lasted just that little bit better than his rival. “He tries to run after every ball, even after three hours or three hours and thirty minutes,” said Davydenko. “In the first set I do drop-shot volley and he try to run to come back and I was surprised. For me I don't want to run already for his ball and he try to come back. Every ball he wants to catch. It's amazing. I don't know, I think he's physically great.”

Since reaching his first Grand Slam final in Australia in January, Gonzalez has struggled to follow up that success and after making the quarter-finals in Indian Wells had not won back-to-back matches in three tournaments. But he has found his form here. His booming forehand tends to come back less often on clay than those of Federer and Nadal and Davydenko believes he could have some success against Nadal if he doesn’t try to force the pace.

Gonzalez beat Nadal in straight sets in the quarter-finals in Australia after Nadal claimed that Britain’s Andy Murray had exhausted him in the previous round and holds a 3-1 advantage in head-to-heads. But the world’s greatest-ever clay court player has made a habit this past week of avenging recent defeats, as Mikahil Youzhny and Djokovic will testify, so the Chilean has been warned.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=A1YourView&xml=/sport/2007/05/12/utwhit12.xml

mallorn
05-12-2007, 08:58 PM
And Steve Tignor:
Rome: "A Very Nice Match, For Sure"

Posted 05/12/2007 @ 4 :26 PM

I wasn’t expecting that, were you?

The first points of the first game offered no hints. In fact, Rafael Nadal came out and hit his first backhand as a flat drive, something he does only when he’s feeling particularly confident. He broke Nikolay Davydenko right away. It felt like we were off to the races again.

That feeling lasted until exactly 30-15 in the second game. At that point, I wrote in my notebook: “Does D [Davydenko] have the juice for this?” It was sort of an inner rhetorical question, the answer being a probable “no.”

Then something funny happened. Nadal fluttered a second serve well long. On one level, it was just a double fault that made the score 30-30; but what struck me at the time was that it was the first all-out flub I could remember seeing from Nadal during this entire clay-court season. It made me realize what an intensely high level he has maintained for the last month. He had almost banished bad shots from his game.

The double-fault was a bellweather: Nadal had come to down to earth for the day. He was broken in that game, and he lost the next by pulling up nervously on two routine backhands and dumping them in the net. The short, tentative backhand had been Nadal’s weak spot in the past, but it hadn't appeared much lately. Here it was again, a second indicator that today was not going to be a routine day for the Streak.

By the fourth game, it was clear that Nadal was just plain flat and perhaps a little weary, both mentally and physically. After his win over Novak Djokovic yesterday, he had gone right back on court to play doubles with Carlos Moya against the Bryan brothers—he came into his press conference after the singles with his racquet in his hand. Also, in his last two matches, against Mikhail Youzhny and Novak Djokovic, he had been blessed with the added motivation of wanting to prove himself against those particular guys. Each beaten Nadal in their last meeting, which wasn’t true with Davydenko. (Nadal won their only previous meeting, in Shanghai last November.) While this was the semifinals of the Italian Open, the 75-match streak was on the line, and the Russian is a dangerous player, in some ways it was just a match among many.

But that’s the tour, right? Every player deals with these situations, deals with not being fresh; the good ones win despite it. Every player also has to deal with another, more basic and universal problem: not having your best stuff. Compared to the last two days, Nadal wasn’t hitting the ball as cleanly, off the forehand or backhand, and his serve didn’t do much damage. His shots landed near the service line, he didn’t defend with his backhand nearly as well as he did yesterday, and shanks came with surprising regularity. It may be hard to believe after all of his recent success, but for long stretches today it looked like Nadal's confidence had deserted him. In his presser afterward, an obviously tired Nadal—he began by sticking the microphone in one nostril and then butted his forehead against it a bunch of times :awww: :hug: —said, “I play a little bit worse today because Davydenko play good. And I play a little bit worse because I play worse.” Knowing he didn’t have his best, Nadal retreated and played basic, no-frills tennis, throwing in moonballs on his backhand side to try to break Davydenko’s rhythm. It's just that Davydenko, who takes everything early, is not bothered by moonballs.

Beyond that, Davydenko has a game that can bother Nadal, particularly because of his backhand. The Russian, the cleanest of clean hitters, can turn on it like no one else, absorbing an offensive shot on the rise and sending it back in a new direction with pace. That at least partially negates Nadal’s forehand. For much of the match, Davydenko was dictating the action, running his opponent ragged and forcing him to play the scrambling, labor-intensive style that Nadal has tried to get away from this year. What Davydenko couldn’t do was maintain his level when he nosed ahead. It was a back-and-forth match of the kind Nadal often played a couple years ago. There were breaks of serve all over the place (15 in all), and neither could put any distance between himsefl and the other guy.

For three and a half hours, the points took both guys up, back, and all over the court. While there were many unforced errors and a few mental breakdowns, there were also spectacular gets, cat-and-mouse rallies at net, and forehands drilled for winners from way out of position. As Nadal said afterward, "It was a nice match, for sure." It was also enhanced by the playfully vocal Italian crowd, who chanted "Da-va-den-ko!" after one point, and "Ra-fa!" two points later. They only got angry when the chair umpire told them to shut up.

The highlights were many. Nadal hitting a flick forehand pass to hold for 6-all in the first. Davydenko using and re-using his wide hook forehand to pull Nadal off the court and following it in to knock off the easy volley. Nadal making a series of insane gets on putaway Davydenko overheads at 6-all in the second set tiebreaker. Davydenko holding set points in the second-set breaker and refusing to play safe (he missed a couple times by inches, but he made the right play and won the set eventually). Nadal hitting a nervous mishit on a second serve at 5-6 in the second set breaker, then stepping forward and hammering a forehand winner to save his second set point. (In case you can’t tell, that chaotic 10-8 breaker was the peak of the match.)

After all those ups and downs, the most impressive moment came at 4-4 in the third. That’s when Nadal upped his level and took the match. It was a shock to watch him suddenly, three hours in, fill himself with energy, step forward, and begin knocking balls right at the baseline. He broke by winning four points in a row, including one with a superbly disguised backhand drop that he followed to net, something he hadn’t done all afternoon. It takes a special ingenuity and daring to come up with that kind of play at that moment. Nadal continued his surge through the final game, winning it at love as well. Put those two games in a time capsule if you want to show future tennis fans what Nadal was all about.

And yet: The rest of tour can take heart from something today—Nadal is not going to play every match at the level he has recently. There will be opportunities, even on clay, to take the action to him. He can be beaten.

The question for Sunday is: Will he be beaten? Nadal will be tired, and his opponent in the final, Fernando Gonzalez, barely broke a sweat in putting a quick end to our friend Filippo Volandri. (It was nice to meet you, Flipo. See you…sometime.) Gonzo is also 3-1 against Nadal and beat him in straight sets at the Australian Open in January (Nadal did have an injury). The two played here last year, and while Nadal won in straights, I remember thinking that Gonzalez had the right game for him. Gonzo, like Nadal-killers Blake and Berdych, can drive his forehand for a winner from anywhere (he had it cooking today) and make Nadal pay for short balls.

It’s a toss-up. Nadal needs to play better than he did today to win and keep the streak alive. (Though it may actually benefit him to have it broken before the French Open, so at least one source of pressure is off.)

But I’ve just watched the kid bring his best when he needed it most. And I’ve also learned not to underestimate him.

So: Nadal, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4

PS: Did you hear? Federer and Roche are splitsville. Check RF's site.

http://tennisworld.typepad.com/thewrap/2007/05/rome_a_very_nic.html#comments

NicoFan
05-12-2007, 10:18 PM
Rafa almost gave me a heart attack today. But for some reason, I still thought he'd pull it out even though he wasn't playing well. He's just so mentally strong on clay.....he pulls it out no matter what is happening.

I think he'll win tomorrow too. I like Fernando, but except the match against Nico, he wasn't tested, and in that match, Nico handed him the match at the end by getting tight. And today, Fernando would have won anyway, but Pippo helped him a lot by handing him point after point. And couldn't do anything with Fernando's serve. Rafa won't do that, and he will pressure Fernando's serve. It actually might hurt Fernando that he didn't have any matches where he had to gut it out.

Tnn74
05-12-2007, 10:21 PM
Some in GM think that Rafa will be out of gas for tomorrow's final but I disagree; I think this hard-fought win will actually inspire him and he won't take the final, or Gonzo, for granted. Playing three, four hours is nothing to Rafa, that's a practice session. :lol: Davydenko, however, won't be able to walk for a week. :devil:

This proves, once again, the validity and "intelligence" of most of the people in GM :o If it wasn't Robredo today, it was Rafa tomorrow :rolleyes: the match today was just another reason for them to bash him, he's played many matches, he was bound to get tired at one point. But we know he will beat Gonzo tomorrow, he NEEDs to :yeah:

the_natural
05-13-2007, 04:04 AM
Rafa almost gave me a heart attack today. But for some reason, I still thought he'd pull it out even though he wasn't playing well. He's just so mentally strong on clay.....he pulls it out no matter what is happening.

I think he'll win tomorrow too. I like Fernando, but except the match against Nico, he wasn't tested, and in that match, Nico handed him the match at the end by getting tight. And today, Fernando would have won anyway, but Pippo helped him a lot by handing him point after point. And couldn't do anything with Fernando's serve. Rafa won't do that, and he will pressure Fernando's serve. It actually might hurt Fernando that he didn't have any matches where he had to gut it out.

Well Rafa will do better than Volandri, he will be able to run down more volleys and drop shots and stuff, if u look at that match point Gonzo won volandri sortta gave up on the drop shot but its one i feel rafa woulda gotten, so maybe, if he recovers properley, he will be able to do that for the entire match.

I dont think that in rafas current form Gonzo could hurt him as much as nikolay did, consistently the biggest forehand on the mens tour yes, and he hits it with more topspin than Nikolay, but possibly the biggest difference would be that Fernando cant take every ball on his backhand as early as kolay, he cant change direction on it like that either. Even on the forehand I sincerley doubt his ability to take the ball early on the rise inside the baseline and change the direction consistently (Which Kolay did even when Rafa was hitting pretty deep). Rafa will be able to breath when he hits to the Gonzo back hand deep, (even if its not too deep) because gonzo will be chip and slicing like he did at the Aussie. He will definatley be a HUGE challenge, but hes not As fast as kolay is he?? and he wont be able to be as aggressive on the run off BOTH wings. But rafa has to play like he did against everyone else he dominated on clay, high and deep to the backhand and fast deep shots to the forehand, gonzo will come to the net ALOT, or at least he will try, those deep shots will help rafa to pin Gonzo back.

This is gonna be another cracker of a match, moreso because rafa has been drained by kolay, but at the very least his not gonna be blasted around the court as much. Come on only one more match!!!!! And its a final!!!! Too bad he wont be playing Hamburg (or at least it doesnt look like he will).

BTW I blame the person who started this thread for that Kolay match "When in rome, do as youve done the past 2 years" The past 2 years he has had to play through extremley tough LONG matches to win the title (Coria, federer)!!! :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: Its all your fault :p :p :p :p ;)

16681
05-13-2007, 06:55 AM
What interested me in all the posts about this match is that no one has mentioned that Rafa hasn't been feeling well. No wonder Rafa didn't play so well. I just hope he is feeling well for the Final. Vamos Rafa :)

cc2monac
05-13-2007, 09:13 AM
this match trilled me a lil bit too much...now I fear fo the final...I thought kolya will play a big match vs raf but not as big!btw as someone mentioned I' impressed by rafa abilty to win even if he's not playing his best tennis...he realy have a strong mental and I hope it wil help him today if his game is not as great as vs nole for exemple
I hope he'll pull out of hamburg (he realy needs to rest) as much as I hope that he'll win today
vamos rafa!

Foxy
05-13-2007, 11:06 AM
Trust me he better not pull out even if he lose there.

delaitre
05-13-2007, 11:57 AM
I agree that it would be better for Rafa to pull out of Hamburg.
If he doesn't, he will be exhausted for RG.
And he will be exhausted for Hamburg.

Rafa please pull out of Hamburg !!!!!

mallorn
05-13-2007, 01:14 PM
BTW I blame the person who started this thread for that Kolay match "When in rome, do as youve done the past 2 years" The past 2 years he has had to play through extremley tough LONG matches to win the title (Coria, federer)!!! :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: Its all your fault :p :p :p :p ;)
Indeed, what were you thinking, Jonathan? :mad: ;)

Oh god, I don't remember when I was so nervous before a Rafa match, I could barely swallow my lunch. :o I love Gonzo, but I really don't want him to win today. :lol: It would be bad for Rafa's points, confidence and head-to-head. I so hope he wins this.

http://www.cosgan.de/images/smilie/musik/k015.gif

VAMOS RAFA!

http://www.cosgan.de/images/smilie/musik/k015.gif

cc2monac
05-13-2007, 02:33 PM
rafa is playing well...he won the first set 6/2...please rafa win this match I'm just too sad for my dear kimi raikkonen today I will not bear it rafa loose too
vamos!!!!!!!!

l_mac
05-13-2007, 03:03 PM
Gonzo is playing right into Rafa's hands. Rafa looks a bit flat to me, not much energy, but it might be because he hasn't needed to get too fired up so far.

Please let him pull out of Hamburg.

cc2monac
05-13-2007, 03:07 PM
6/2 6/2!!!! thank you rafa and CONGRATS!!!!!!!!

mallorn
05-13-2007, 03:09 PM
:woohoo: :woohoo: :yippee:

I'm so happy for him! He did look flat, but he made sure he made short work of Gonzo, who didn't play great. :hug:

RogiFan88
05-13-2007, 03:09 PM
Congratulations, Rafa, on your 3rd Roma title. No doubt you'll pull out of Hamburg, recuperate and win RG.

Naide
05-13-2007, 03:12 PM
Can't wait for RG, http://yelims2.free.fr/Fete/Danseuse01.gif congrats Rafa.

RogiFan88
05-13-2007, 03:16 PM
... mind you, Rafa w like to complete his clay TMS collection and he's winning easily now so no fatigue, no injuries to stop him...

linus
05-13-2007, 03:36 PM
RAFA.... :woohoo:

I cant tell out whats the feeling now *I am silly happy* :D

Johnny Groove
05-13-2007, 04:09 PM
Indeed, what were you thinking, Jonathan? :mad: ;)

But he still won :kiss:

NaDALiTa
05-13-2007, 05:00 PM
http://smileys.sur-la-toile.com/repository/F%EAtes/irlandais-238492.gifhttp://smileys.sur-la-toile.com/repository/F%EAtes/irlandais-238492.gifhttp://smileys.sur-la-toile.com/repository/F%EAtes/irlandais-238492.gifhttp://smileys.sur-la-toile.com/repository/F%EAtes/irlandais-238492.gif


Vamoooos Rafa!! He didn't have to play to much today because of Gonzo's Ues.........but still he won!!

mallorn
05-13-2007, 05:09 PM
But he still won :kiss:
Yay! :kiss:

http://espn-i.starwave.com/media/apphoto/03b62264-615c-43d9-8254-6e14fa04017f.jpg

:awww:

yana
05-13-2007, 05:35 PM
He won and he took revenge on 3 of his roasters!!!
Blake, it's your turn! You're the last one...:armed: :p

Alexandy
05-13-2007, 07:09 PM
I am so so so so happy!!!! The way he could come out the next day and win. Rafa is simply amazing. I didn't even watch the match because I was too nervous that Rafa would lose. And it looks like I'll be nervous again next week. I'm mentally exhausted too, Rafa. :p :)

mallorn
05-13-2007, 07:26 PM
Alexandy :hug: I was a nervous wreck before the final today. :lol:

The Wrap :yeah:
Rome: Nice to Old Ladies, Too

Posted 05/13/2007 @ 3 :06 PM

Everything is heightened on the day of a final. You can feel it and even see it around the grounds. Today at the Foro Italico the sky was clearer, the temperature was higher, the sun was brighter, the women were better looking. The ballgirls had shorter shorts and the line judges had cooler shirts. I’d even say the court was oranger. And it goes without saying that Rafael Nadal player better. At 20 years old, he’s now reached 24 finals in his career and won 21.

So who forgot to tell Fernando Gonzalez to be ready for all this? He played like a man possessed yesterday; today he looked slow on the uptake in all aspects of the game. Nadal was, from both a tactical and physical standpoint, one step (or two, or three) ahead of him. Gonzo was left a broken man in little over an hour.

That’s what Nadal has been doing to his opponents this clay-court season. He’s not just beating them, but taking their hope. Some, like Mikhail Youzhny and Novak Djokovic, endure it with a smile; some, like Nikolay Davydenko, refuse to cave; some, like Fernando Gonzalez, don’t know what the hell to do.

Yesterday I said the early indicator of Nadal’s form was a fluttering missed second serve. It was another early second serve that pointed the way today. (I guess it’s true that you’re only as good as your second serve.) After breaking Gonzalez in the first game and going up 15-0 in the following game, Nadal fooled Gonzalez with a second serve down the middle for an ace. It began a trend: He had Gonzalez bamboozled all afternoon.

Nadal served another surprise ace out wide in the deuce court to hold for 3-1. He orced Gonzalez into numerous errors by making him short-hop his heavy topspin. He mixed his serve into Gonzalez’s right hip in the deuce court, pushing him into the middle of the court, then went back hard to Gonzo’s forehand side for a winners. He came out on the winning end of all the touch contests at net. He finished off the first set by serving and volleying. Gonzo was so thrown off by then that he tripped and fell trying to get to Nadal’s volley.

Bud Collins asked Nadal about the serve and volley in the presser, and Nadal answered, smiling, “I’m thinking about Wimbledon.” The kid’s got jokes, too!

Gonzalez took a short break after the set, but it didn’t change anything. Nadal came out and hit a drop shot winner on the first point of the second and followed it in the next game with a confident swing volley. By now, though, Nadal didn’t need to do a whole lot. Up 3-2, he hit a simple, soft first serve to Gonzo’s backhand to start the game. The return sailed along. At 40-15, Nadal did the same thing and got the same result. Sometimes the best strategy is to stick with what just worked a couple minutes ago—“give ’em enough rope” is a time-honored tennis tactic at all levels.

Feeling the effects of yesterday’s epic with Davydenko, Nadal played as efficiently as possible and found ways to win quickly. It helped focus his mind and tactics. He said afterward, “My special goal today was playing a little but more aggressive than yesterday. If Gonzalez take control of a lot of points it’s very difficult, his forehand, so I try to return the ball and be more aggressive.”

The last few games were uneventful, as Gonzalez exited with a slew of tame errors. But there was one more shot from Nadal worth mentioning, one that helped seal Gonzo’s fate. At 4-2, 30-30, Gonzalez pulled Nadal way off court on his backhand side. Nadal slid out there, got under a backhand, and floated it over Gonzalez’s backhand side an inch or two inside the baseline. The way Nadal hit the shot—cupping under it, McEnroe-style—reminded me of the way he had hit a couple short-angle drops this week. It’s not a technique I’d seen from him before. Maybe touch can be improved after all.

What can we say for Gonzalez? In the most immediate sense, his time in Rome was positive. “This was a good week for me,” he said in his presser, “especially if you go back one or two weeks and I was playing really bad on this surface. I feel I’m back and I’m ready to do more important things.”

OK, this is true, and having watched Gonzalez slog away in the qualifying of the U.S. Open a few years ago (a buddy from TENNIS Magazine and I were the only spectators; Gonzo kept looking over, like he was asking himself, “who are those guys?”), I respect how far he has come, and how he has continued to improve even this year. But today he looked like a guy who doesn’t know how to handle the big moment, that heightened feeling of a final I mentioned. He did come with a strategy; but when Nadal blew it out of the water, Gonzo wasn’t flexible or resourceful or tough enough to adjust.

“I tried to attack him all the time,” Gonzalez said, “tried to play very, very close to the baseline to make my opportunity to go into the net, and I couldn’t do. That was my plan for today.” Hence, the short-hop mishits.

Nadal tried to play “long,” as he said (that’s “deep” to you and me), and Gonzalez tried to crowd the baseline. That was trouble for Gonzo from the start. He had to alter his game more than Nadal, who naturally tries to play long in every match. A couple times in the first set, Gonzo tried to settle back, rally with his slice backhand, and wait for a forehand. This is a typical ploy for him, but it was never going to work against Nadal on clay, because the longer a rally goes, the better it is for Rafa in general. He has the patience to never give Gonzalez an attackable forehand.

Men’s tennis is lucky right now. When one big star falters, the other picks him up. Nadal and Roger Federer haven’t pushed their rivalry any further over the last 10 months, but they’ve traveled on parallel tracks of excellence and given fans two dominant figures to marvel at.

It reminds me, as I’m sure it does you, of the World Wrestling Federation in its 1980s glory days. They crowned a champion of the entire WWF (in my days as a wrestling fan, it was Bob Backlund; in today’s ATP, that would be Federer). But they also had a sort of side champion, who held the “Intercontinental” belt. Why there needed to be two, I can’t quite recall, but I’m sure there was a very, very good reason. The last Intercontinental Champion I remember was a gentleman named Ricky Steamboat (the fellow pictured here), later nicknamed “The Dragon.” In today’s tennis terms, the Intercontinental champ is Nadal. Let’s face it, the guy is deserving of a belt of his own.

I saw a lot of Nadal this week, but just a little of Federer. The practice of his that I caught makes me less than shocked that he and Roche parted ways. The two barely spoke during an hour on court. Anyone for Darren Cahill as coach? There’s the Peter Carter connection, and Fed loves his Aussies. I personally would like him to try Mats Wilander, who’s a wily character and certainly knows all about Roland Garros, but it’s unlikely.

Anyway, I did get a chance to see Federer from a closer vantage point that I have before. I isolated on him for a game or two, just watching him move. There has probably never been a player whose whole body flowed the way Federer’s does as he plays. This is what Federer brings to the game—a reminder of how tennis at it best remains a blend of aesthetics and force, and that eye-pleasing style is not just an adornment, but can still be useful.

What does Nadal bring? Watching him will his way to victory over Davydenko yesterday, he seemed the diametric opposite of Federer. Nadal proves tennis is physical, gritty, earthbound, not always pretty, and that brains and raw desire are often enough. Grinding, gritty types have been known to be ornery at times in the past—Connors and Hewitt come to mind. Toughness on court doesn’t just appear without a little edge as well. Or does it? Nadal's toughness comes not with an edge, but with an innocence. He's proof that warriors can be civilized. That's about as close to a classic definition of a tennis player as you can get.

Today Nadal reached for a wide ball and sent it off his frame and straight into the head of an older lady sitting courtside. He seemed genuinely concerned and took a few seconds to walk over and apologize and make sure she was OK. Now, it's true that most other players would have done the same thing. It’s just that it made so much sense seeing Nadal do it.

We need Nadal and Federer to play again soon. Let’s unify the belts.

http://tennisworld.typepad.com/thewrap/2007/05/rome_nice_to_ol.html#comments

Alexandy
05-13-2007, 09:26 PM
Thanks for the articles. I've really enjoyed reading them this week. It's nice to read articles that appreciate Rafa for the amazing player he is. The way Rafa plays on clay is beautiful, maybe it's not elegant in the way that Fed's play is, but it still is wonderful to watch. You really get a chance to see how well Rafa can play, definitely not one-dimensional.

As for nerves, mallorn , maybe we fans need to indulge in an alcoholic beverage before Rafa's matches. I'm too young to drink, maybe chocolate will have the same effect. :)

16681
05-14-2007, 04:04 AM
Congrats to Rafa on his victory :) He must love those 3-peats and why not :yippee: