Article: Nadal has Federer under his spell [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Article: Nadal has Federer under his spell

Daniel
04-26-2006, 12:04 AM
Published April 25, 2006


How severely has Rafael Nadal psychologically damaged Roger Federer with his victory in the final Sunday at Monte Carlo?

"I can't say nothing about that," Nadal told reporters after taking down the No. 1 player in the world for the fourth time in five meetings. Federer, however, could say something about it, though he sounded suspiciously like Mr. Spin as he tried to philosophize about all these losses.

"They don't break down my will or hope or anything because what I care about is looking at the ... well, trying not to lose against him in Grand Slams, and then be ahead of him 2,000 points in the rankings. That's what I care about, and not really losing tonight."

If you buy into Federer's stuttering explanation, Monte Carlo means very little. I'm not buying, and I doubt many others are. Tennis being an individual sport, you can't diffuse these losses onto an entire team. It's all on Federer's head, and he'll have two weeks off now before he and Nadal converge on Rome on the clay court road to the French Open -- again as the top two seeds and able to meet only in a final.

This is not just a clay-court complex Nadal is visiting upon Federer's psyche. He has twice beaten him on hardcourts, and once this year, at Dubai. And he was close to making this a 5-0 edge, leading Federer two sets to love in the 2005 Nasdaq final before losing.

Nadal's most important advantage is that he's left-handed, which gives him a decided edge with his extremely heavy topspin forehand crosscourts to Federer's backhand.

In the Monte Carlo final, Federer had 78 unforced errors -- 40 off backhand ground strokes. "He leaves me no choice. He obviously plays a lot of shots that tease you to come in. It's obvious I'm going to make the unforced errors, because I'm the guy who's pressing and not him," Federer said.

Overall, Federer has an excellent record against lefties, and Nadal and No. 20 Jarkko Nieminen are the only left-handers in the top 20. But Nadal is the one player who is not only blocking his path to complete domination of the game but to the French Open title as well -- the only major Federer hasn't won.

There was nothing wrong with Federer's play up to the final at Monte Carlo. He had his usual early-tournament burp, losing a set in his opening match to Novak Djokovic before grooving well enough to easily defeat David Ferrer, the Spaniard who is among the top-five clay courters out there right now.

But Nadal is a different animal. He isn't intimidated, and he doesn't lose his composure when things aren't going well. He was down a set to Federer at Dubai and won. He was down 3-0 in the final-set tiebreak Sunday and came back to win.

He has quickness, speed, power and emotional strength -- all that and he still hasn't come close to maximizing his serving potential. This Masters Series title gave Nadal 42 clay court wins in a row -- four behind Bjorn Borg's personal best and 11 behind the record held by Guillermo Vilas.

He could be well on his way to 60 by the time he arrives in Paris, where he may have extended his mastery of Federer to 5-1 by the time the tournament begins.

"I think matches against Rafael are going to help me in beating other players," Federer concluded. "The more I play him, the more also I'll figure out his game, and the easier it's going to get for me. Maybe I'm too optimistic, but I really believe it."

How many matches does he need? This was the fifth, and two of them have gone four sets and one of them five. There is that and tapes of every match at his disposal. If he hasn't figured out how to play Nadal by now, this is also just spin -- one of the first signs of a player who feels the psychological heat.

Charles Bricker's tennis column appears Tuesdays. He can be reached at cbricker@sun-sentinel.com.

Flibbertigibbet
04-26-2006, 12:26 AM
<Insert comment on how article title clearly has palpable homoerotic tension flowing between Roger and Rafael. Insert query on whether or not this will affect their tennis.>

Flibbertigibbet
04-26-2006, 12:56 AM
<Insert :devil: and such appropriate emoticons into conversation.>

morningglory
04-26-2006, 12:56 AM
and the capricious media strikes again...
sure, at the AO, and Last year's USO and Wimby, or when ARod was a "threat" to Fed and kept losing to him, they adored Fed. He is a genius! He is better than Pete Sampras! but as soon as their bandwagon hits a small pothole... blah.. they turn against him and flame him over and over... in a way, I pity Fed...

It's just the media. The Williams sisters, Maria Sharapova, top names have all gone through this. Roger won't be treated any differently... the only exception I've seen is ARod... somehow he gets exempt from it, dunno why...

Deboogle!.
04-26-2006, 01:00 AM
Andy's gotten plenty of negative press in the last few months.... you haven't seen it?

rofe
04-26-2006, 01:01 AM
and the capricious media strikes again...
sure, at the AO, and Last year's USO and Wimby, or when ARod was a "threat" to Fed and kept losing to him, they adored Fed. He is a genius! He is better than Pete Sampras! but as soon as their bandwagon hits a small pothole... blah.. they turn against him and flame him over and over... in a way, I pity Fed...

It's just the media. The Williams sisters, Maria Sharapova, top names have all gone through this. Roger won't be treated any differently... the only exception I've seen is ARod... somehow he gets exempt from it, dunno why...

Not saying I disagree with parts of the article but you hit the nail right on the head. Fed gives so much time to these guys and a hiccup in his game makes them pounce on him like a pack of hungry wolves. Disgusting! :rolleyes:

He should make it a point to single out such journalists and refuse interviews.

Deboogle!.
04-26-2006, 01:04 AM
Not saying I disagree with parts of the article but you hit the nail right on the head. Fed gives so much time to these guys and a hiccup in his game makes them pounce on him like a pack of hungry wolves. Disgusting! :rolleyes:

He should make it a point to single out such journalists and refuse interviews.They take most of this rubbish from the press conferences, don't they?

And I mean, that's how society seems to be these days. we live in a "What have you done for me lately" kind of world.

morningglory
04-26-2006, 01:22 AM
Andy's gotten plenty of negative press in the last few months.... you haven't seen it?
Duh he deserved it these last few months just look at him... but after USO 03 no one seemed to get upset why he wasn't winning all the time like they wanted him too? No one ever blames his blind devotion to davis cup, or the time spent eating cheetos and playing poker, or going on TV shows and all that stuff... The Williams Sisters did the same and OUCH! the media shows no mercy... even one who puts in immense practice effort like Maria still gets bad press for her YEARLY photoshoots... let's just face it, Andy is USA's pet...

Chloe le Bopper
04-26-2006, 01:26 AM
Duh he deserved it these last few months just look at him... but after USO 03 no one seemed to get upset why he wasn't winning all the time like they wanted him too? No one ever blames his blind devotion to davis cup, or the time spent eating cheetos and playing poker, or going on TV shows and all that stuff... The Williams Sisters did the same and OUCH! the media shows no mercy... even one who puts in immense practice effort like Maria still gets bad press for her YEARLY photoshoots... let's just face it, Andy is USA's pet...
:retard:

Actually, that would be James Blake

atheneglaukopis
04-26-2006, 01:27 AM
Rafa: :music: :singer: "I got you under my spell..." :kiss:
Rogi: :hearts: :inlove: :hearts:

<Insertion of part 1 complete.>
Now Rogelio's :music: :singer: turn: "You're In My Head (You're In My Heart)" (http://www.cowboylyrics.com/lyrics/mccomas-brian/youre-in-my-head-2667.html)

Deboogle!.
04-26-2006, 01:34 AM
:retard:

Actually, that would be James BlakeLOL That was my exact thought.... great minds ;)

morningglory, Andy's gotten plenty of bad press before this year. And the reason why he's never been treated like the Williams Sisters is because he's never shown up at a tournament horrifically overweight, out of shape, and unprepared to play. He may have outside commitments and outside interests, but I see no evidence that they're what's affected his on court results.

People may not agree with his rabid devotion to DC but I don't think anyone in the press is going to question that because it's not like it's a "bad thing" - it's still a way of being dedicated to the sport. And the reason why no one questioned why he did't win all the time is because he never pretended to win all the time. He never went a year with 4 losses, he never won a bazillion finals in a row, save for one period of a couple months, he never had an air of unbeatability about him, his imperfections have been well-documented in the media and have come up many-a-time, and frequently throughout his professional career, not just this season.

Roger has put himself in the position where he wins so often that every loss he has is going to be questioned. And considering that since 2004 only one person has beaten him multiple times and that one person has beaten him FOUR times and accounts for a full 1/3 of his losses in the past 2+ years, it's going to be expected that people will discuss Rafa being in his head, Roger's mental problems with overcoming Rafa and his game, etc.

rofe
04-26-2006, 01:43 AM
LOL That was my exact thought.... great minds ;)

morningglory, Andy's gotten plenty of bad press before this year. And the reason why he's never been treated like the Williams Sisters is because he's never shown up at a tournament horrifically overweight, out of shape, and unprepared to play. He may have outside commitments and outside interests, but I see no evidence that they're what's affected his on court results.

People may not agree with his rabid devotion to DC but I don't think anyone in the press is going to question that because it's not like it's a "bad thing" - it's still a way of being dedicated to the sport. And the reason why no one questioned why he did't win all the time is because he never pretended to win all the time. He never went a year with 4 losses, he never won a bazillion finals in a row, save for one period of a couple months, he never had an air of unbeatability about him, his imperfections have been well-documented in the media and have come up many-a-time, and frequently throughout his professional career, not just this season.

Roger has put himself in the position where he wins so often that every loss he has is going to be questioned. And considering that since 2004 only one person has beaten him multiple times and that one person has beaten him FOUR times and accounts for a full 1/3 of his losses in the past 2+ years, it's going to be expected that people will discuss Rafa being in his head, Roger's mental problems with overcoming Rafa and his game, etc.

:worship:

Skyward
04-26-2006, 01:58 AM
Andy's gotten plenty of negative press in the last few months.... you haven't seen it?

I haven't seen anything. I don't visit his forum and Mirkaland doesn't provide the GM with Andy's articles. ;)

atheneglaukopis
04-26-2006, 02:05 AM
:eek: So... Beautiful... :sobbing:
Everyone keeps talking about how Nadal is in Federer's head, so I've been humming this song a lot lately. :devil: Your masterpiece of emoticon art was right on target.

Deboogle!.
04-26-2006, 02:07 AM
I haven't seen anything. I don't visit his forum and Mirkaland doesn't provide the GM with Andy's articles. ;):rolls: Well they're in his forum, trust me :p We just choose to pretty much keep the discussion there. :)

nobama
04-26-2006, 05:59 AM
:yawn:

The Pro
04-26-2006, 10:53 AM
Yeah I find the silly subtext in this thread much more interesting than the discussion. :lol:

Fed and Raf are gonna have a looong rivalry if we're lucky. So while Fed has used 5 matches and as of yet failed to get the a feel of Nadal enough to beat him (I think in their first meeting Nadal was not yet fully developed into who he is today), I still think that Fed has many years to get the measure of Nadal, I'm sure that's how he sees it.

Plus he'll never truly be Nadal's bitch til Rafa can make Fed's ass grass..... on grass!

jenanun
04-26-2006, 11:32 AM
i still found it really funny when federer said he didnt care about the lost to nadal, but care about 2000 points ahead of him...

so in order to have 2000 points ahead of a particular player, you need to play well against other players of course, and to beat you target player, but when you couldnt, you have to rely on other players to beat him...

so is federer praying everynight that other players on tour can beat nadal so nadal can stay 2000 points behind him????? and to avoid him at all in all the upcoming finals???

mallorn
04-26-2006, 02:49 PM
Rafa: :music: :singer: "I got you under my spell..." :kiss:
Rogi: :hearts: :inlove: :hearts:

http://img269.imageshack.us/img269/5051/fed49ms.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

:angel:

Deboogle!.
04-26-2006, 08:34 PM
:aplot: where is Rafa's right hand?!