Our Rafa gambles in Monte Carlo ! Vamoooooooos [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Our Rafa gambles in Monte Carlo ! Vamoooooooos

Naide
03-30-2007, 01:10 PM
Can't wait to see Rafa on clay again, vamos :rocker2:
http://sports.linternaute.com/fr/images/200616/nadal_coupemontecarlo_reu.jpg

yana
03-31-2007, 08:28 AM
The clay season is like a holiday for our Rafa. :)
Have a great fun, champ!

Xristos
04-01-2007, 10:00 AM
VAMOOS! Please make the title a little bit more exiting!

yana
04-02-2007, 06:07 PM
What about Monte Carlo?
Please, we already had a thread simply called "Dubai" and we all know how well Rafa did there :rolleyes: ... Don't jinx him and give to this thread title some personality!

yana
04-02-2007, 07:12 PM
Wow asked so nicely:rolleyes:
Im not sure the fact that giving the thread a certain title will make him win, he is talented without us you know...
Anyway what do you propose?


Honestly, nobody really believe that giving the thread a certain title will make him win, it was a joke. :wavey: But it will be nice to be more creative.

yana
04-02-2007, 07:51 PM
So why talking about jinx...:wavey:
Give a title :D

well, you're french right? Make something french related. I don't have any ideea...:shrug:

cmurray
04-02-2007, 11:09 PM
Does anyone know if Rafa is IN Monte Carlo already?

Johnny Groove
04-03-2007, 01:21 AM
Does anyone know if Rafa is IN Monte Carlo already?

If i had to gamble, I'd say he's in Mallorca :shrug:

LaTenista
04-03-2007, 01:25 AM
If i had to gamble, I'd say he's in Mallorca :shrug:

My guess too but he could be in North Carolina I suppose. :rolleyes:

MaryWalsh
04-03-2007, 01:30 AM
We are with you wherever you are, Rafa. Hope your foot is healing well and you will be all ready for the clay season!

yana
04-03-2007, 04:41 PM
Nice title. ;)

rafagirlno1
04-06-2007, 05:51 AM
to be honest if rafa remians 100% fit , i am sure nobody and i mean nobody can stop him on the entire clay season like last year .
i happened to watch last year's RG final again on tape yesterday where you could clerly see tht even roger struggles so much to handle the top spin forehand of rafa on his backhand side .
i just hope he remains fully fit always and plays his best tennis and gest into the winning habbit like he did last year this time :cool:
best of luck for our king of clay to retain all his points like he did last year and also remian 100 % througout the year :) .

VAMOS RAFA !!!!! :worship:

Sean.J.S.
04-06-2007, 06:01 AM
Good luck Rafa. Here is match point and Rafa's victory celebrations from the Monte Carlo final last year: http://youtube.com/watch?v=XFZVwb8_3Vs

I am on holidays ATM so hopefully I will get to see all of Rafa's matches. :)

nevermind
04-10-2007, 07:16 AM
Does anyone know if Rafa is IN Monte Carlo already?

Hello ,
Rafa 's playing an exhibition match this week :
Torneo Illes Balears will be played April 11 & 12.
The tournament will include Rafa, Carlos Moya, David Nalbandian, and Nicolay Davydenko.
Here's the link :

http://www.illesport.org/front/illDetalleEvento.aspx?id=64
:wavey:

cmurray
04-10-2007, 01:27 PM
Hello ,
Rafa 's playing an exhibition match this week :
Torneo Illes Balears will be played April 11 & 12.
The tournament will include Rafa, Carlos Moya, David Nalbandian, and Nicolay Davydenko.
Here's the link :

http://www.illesport.org/front/illDetalleEvento.aspx?id=64
:wavey:

thanks :hug:

nevermind
04-11-2007, 07:20 PM
My pleasure , I have not much time lately
Busy at work & the weather is getting really nice here
:wavey:

rafagirlno1
04-12-2007, 12:54 AM
you know wht i cannot stand is those idiots in MTF who think they know exactly wht rafa is going through on his foot at the moment and always and i mean always accusing him for one thing or the other :rolleyes: .
there is another thread overthere and the person justifies his thread saying the mojority of votes indicate rafa faked out his injury to get out of davis cup so it is the truth!!!!!so he believes majority 'haters' voted against rafa and so tht BS statement of his becomes the truth!!
dont u think as a fan we need to defend him at times when people hve this feeling about him , or is it necessary to remian quite and act as if nothing is going around since we cannot change a person's opinion on him ???is it right on our part to remain quite and let them abuse rafa for every small reason every week and act like there is no problem with tht one bit !!!
i hve been thinking the last few days tht whether rafa gets the appalauds and recognition he deserves for whtever he is achieveing at such a tender young age of 20 ..
i know this is not the thread to talk about the things like this , but i felt like sharing my thoughts about MTF with u people..

anyways let rafa's work on clay and the many more titles do all all the talking and lets remian quite since thts the best we all can do and should do , right !!!!

Lori42
04-12-2007, 02:05 AM
I totally agree with everything you said. I think he did the right thing by resting and people should stop the bashing. They don't know all the facts and he and his doctor did what they felt was best for him at the time. People should not judge what he did.

MaryWalsh
04-12-2007, 02:47 AM
you know wht i cannot stand is those idiots in MTF who think they know exactly wht rafa is going through on his foot at the moment and always and i mean always accusing him for one thing or the other :rolleyes: .
there is another thread overthere and the person justifies his thread saying the mojority of votes indicate rafa faked out his injury to get out of davis cup so it is the truth!!!!!so he believes majority 'haters' voted against rafa and so tht BS statement of his becomes the truth!!
dont u think as a fan we need to defend him at times when people hve this feeling about him , or is it necessary to remian quite and act as if nothing is going around since we cannot change a person's opinion on him ???is it right on our part to remain quite and let them abuse rafa for every small reason every week and act like there is no problem with tht one bit !!!
i hve been thinking the last few days tht whether rafa gets the appalauds and recognition he deserves for whtever he is achieveing at such a tender young age of 20 ..
i know this is not the thread to talk about the things like this , but i felt like sharing my thoughts about MTF with u people..

anyways let rafa's work on clay and the many more titles do all all the talking and lets remian quite since thts the best we all can do and should do , right !!!!

I know who the Rafa haters are and I just don't bother to read their posts. They are uninformed and I don't think anything will ever change their minds. I see no need to stoop to their level. However, anyone who wants to defend Rafa is fine by me. I'm grateful for this corner of MTF, and I am a member at vamosbrigade where there are some very intelligent and knowledgeable posters. I knew when I came to MTF that bashing Rafa was a chronic phenomenon. Fortunately there are other good things that go on here, such as the latest information about tennis in general.

rafagirlno1
04-13-2007, 02:13 PM
I know who the Rafa haters are and I just don't bother to read their posts. They are uninformed and I don't think anything will ever change their minds. I see no need to stoop to their level. However, anyone who wants to defend Rafa is fine by me. I'm grateful for this corner of MTF, and I am a member at vamosbrigade where there are some very intelligent and knowledgeable posters. I knew when I came to MTF that bashing Rafa was a chronic phenomenon. Fortunately there are other good things that go on here, such as the latest information about tennis in general.

hey cool Marywalsh,

i joined vamosbrigade just earlier last month , it is such a beutiful site with all rafa fans out there celebrating his success !!i dont post so often yet but definitely read all rafa's fans thoughts about him etc.
i do visit there more often and check the latest undate on rafa :angel: .
and yaah over here i realized nothing is going to change people's perception about rafa even though i tried but no luck :rolleyes:

mallorn
04-14-2007, 01:02 PM
The main draw is out.

[1] FEDERER, Roger SUI vs BYE
QUALIFIER vs QUALIFIER
LEE, Hyung-Taik KOR vs BJORKMAN, Jonas SWE
MOYA, Carlos ESP vs [13] YOUZHNY, Mikhail RUS

[12] FERRER, David ESP vs SIMON, Gilles FRA
[WC] BALLERET, Benjamin MON vs BENNETEAU, Julien FRA
TURSUNOV, Dmitry RUS vs GAUDIO, Gaston ARG
BYE vs [6] DJOKOVIC, Novak SRB

[4] GONZALEZ, Fernando CHI vs BYE
ANDREEV, Igor RUS vs ACASUSO, Jose ARG
MASSU, Nicolas CHI vs VOLANDRI, Filippo ITA
HENMAN, Tim GBR vs [16]FERRERO, Juan Carlos ESP

[11] GASQUET, Richard FRA vs VERDASCO, Fernando ESP
QUALIFIER vs HRBATY, Dominik SVK
MONFILS, Gael FRA vs STEPANEK, Radek CZE
BYE vs [7] LJUBICIC, Ivan CRO

[5] ROBREDO, Tommy ESP vs BYE
CLEMENT, Arnaud FRA vs [WC] SERRA, Florent FRA
BECKER, Benjamin GER vs [WC] JOHANSSON, Thomas SWE
ALMAGRO, Nicolas ESP vs [10] BERDYCH, Tomas CZE

[14] BAGHDATIS, Marcos CYP vs MIRNYI, Max BLR
QUALIFIER vs MELZER, Jurgen AUT
ROCHUS, Olivier BEL vs SODERLING, Robin SWE
BYE vs [3] DAVYDENKO, Nikolay RUS

[8] MURRAY, Andy GBR vs BYE
GICQUEL, Marc FRA vs MAYER, Florian GER
QUALIFIER vs QUALIFIER
QUALIFIER vs [9] NALBANDIAN, David ARG

[15] NIEMINEN, Jarkko FIN vs SAFIN, Marat RUS
VLIEGEN, Kristof BEL vs [WC] MATHIEU, Paul-Henri FRA
CHELA, Juan Ignacio ARG vs VERKERK, Martin NED
BYE vs [2] NADAL, Rafael ESP


Oh boy. The clay season has really begun. It's going to be exciting and absolutely nerve-racking. :scared: :lol:

Buena suerte, Rafa! http://www.cosgan.de/images/smilie/musik/k015.gif

Vamos Rafa#1
04-14-2007, 02:55 PM
Go Rafa!!!http://i18.tinypic.com/29giz4x.gif

MaryWalsh
04-14-2007, 03:57 PM
Rafa! We love ya!

NicoFan
04-14-2007, 06:13 PM
VAMOS RAFA! :fiery:

Nice draw. :yeah:

MariaV
04-14-2007, 09:32 PM
Oh boy. The clay season has really begun. It's going to be exciting and absolutely nerve-racking. :scared: :lol:

Buena suerte, Rafa! http://www.cosgan.de/images/smilie/musik/k015.gif

Yeah, I'm already so excited!
VAMOS, RAFA! :bounce: :bigclap: :yippee:

rafagirlno1
04-14-2007, 10:22 PM
:rocker: :rocker:awesome draw for rafa and he is on his way to the third Monte Carlo title :rocker2: :rocker2: :yippee: ..

linus
04-15-2007, 06:24 AM
I am full of confidence on Rafa, cant wait for season to go :rocker2:

Vamos Vamos :banana:

explicit
04-15-2007, 07:04 AM
Finally a good draw!!! :bounce:

Can't wait to see him on clay again!!!

VAMOS!

NaDALiTa
04-15-2007, 11:28 AM
Rafa trained yesterday with Tomeu (they'll play double together :) ) and he trained this morning with Andy Murray :) (thanx amiga for the informations :hug:)

He seems to be pretty fit, he'll need it with this hard draw!!!

Xristos
04-15-2007, 03:36 PM
Pics?

Naide
04-15-2007, 05:11 PM
I hope it will be Nadal - Safin :drool:

Xristos
04-15-2007, 06:08 PM
me too.

mallorn
04-15-2007, 06:18 PM
There's just one pic of Rafa in MC so far. :scratch:

http://img186.imageshack.us/img186/6296/mcblogvd5.th.jpg (http://img186.imageshack.us/my.php?image=mcblogvd5.jpg)

Also, Rafa is playing doubles with Tomeu, they're scheduled last on the centre court tomorrow (against A Fisher/J Thomas).

http://montecarlo.masters-series.com/1/en/oop/

MariaV
04-16-2007, 06:59 PM
Rafa and Tomeu lost in a tough match 6-7 (7) 6-7 (5), I hope Rafa got some good practice for the singles. :D

Johnny Groove
04-16-2007, 07:25 PM
awww, Tomeu. :hug: At least he got some prize money :D

rafagirlno1
04-16-2007, 10:50 PM
guys why is rafa's name strkied out in the maindraw's list:confused: :confused: .
any news wht happened and i noticed this info in VB just now :rolleyes:
hope he is fine and is 100% healthy

Sean.J.S.
04-17-2007, 12:26 AM
guys why is rafa's name strkied out in the maindraw's list:confused: :confused: .
any news wht happened and i noticed this info in VB just now :rolleyes:
hope he is fine and is 100% healthy

:unsure:

What is VB?

Xristos
04-17-2007, 03:14 AM
Please dont scare me.

nevermind
04-17-2007, 05:09 AM
Let's hope it's just a mistace ..
His name is still on the right draw .. against Chela tmorrow ..:wavey:

MariaV
04-17-2007, 09:19 AM
:unsure:

What is VB?

VB is vamosbrigade.com, Rafa's excellent fansite.

And please don't scare me now. I hope nothing's happened. :scared:

rafagirlno1
04-17-2007, 10:57 AM
yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss it is confirned it was just an error from atp and nothing else , now everyone can check the official website and no need to panic , rafa is every much there and was a just a mistake !!!!
atp needs to give us compensation for putting us through this nervousness for sooooo many hrs ;)

mallorn
04-17-2007, 11:58 AM
VB is vamosbrigade.com, Rafa's excellent fansite.

And please don't scare me now. I hope nothing's happened. :scared:
People on vb.com emailed the tournament and were told it was a :shout: "printing problem." :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: How can they make such :shout: mistakes is beyond me. :(

MariaV
04-17-2007, 12:02 PM
People on vb.com emailed the tournament and were told it was a :shout: "printing problem." :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: How can they make such :shout: mistakes is beyond me. :(

Naah, I am not surprised at anything any more. :lol:
Together with Muzza they just decided to strike Rafa from the list too. :shrug: :lol:

rafagirlno1
04-17-2007, 01:19 PM
People on vb.com emailed the tournament and were told it was a :shout: "printing problem." :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: How can they make such :shout: mistakes is beyond me. :(

its ridiculous if u think wht we all went through :rolleyes:
but then again we finally heard wht we all wanted to hear so i am happy for tht ;)

Sean.J.S.
04-18-2007, 01:53 AM
Go Rafa. :D

MaryWalsh
04-18-2007, 06:11 AM
go Rafa!

nevermind
04-18-2007, 06:14 AM
Vamos Rafa !!!

order of play for wednesday

COURT CENTRAL start 10:00 am
G Gaudio (ARG) vs [6]N Djokovic (SRB)
[5]T Robredo (ESP) vs A Clement (FRA)
J Chela (ARG) vs [2]R Nadal (ESP)
[11]R Gasquet (FRA) vs D Hrbaty (SVK)
J Nieminen (FIN) / A Pavel (ROU) or B Becker (GER) / E Butorac (USA) vs [4] F Santoro (FRA) / N Zimonjic (SRB)
:wavey:

Vamos Rafa#1
04-18-2007, 01:38 PM
Rafa won 6-3 6-1 :bounce:

cc2monac
04-18-2007, 01:47 PM
he played so great in the second set! first set was a lil bit more tense...lil bit! so happy for him! congrats rafa! keep playing like this!

mallorn
04-18-2007, 01:51 PM
:woohoo: Great performance! I was a bit nervous about the transition from hard courts but Rafa was incredibly solid. :yeah:

Good luck in the next round. :bounce:

mallorn
04-18-2007, 06:03 PM
From the official site:
Nadal Makes Ominous Start

Two-time defending champion Rafael Nadal made an exceptionally strong start to his 2007 clay court campaign Wednesday, conceding just four games to in-form Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela en route to the third round of the Masters Series Monte-Carlo.

Nadal broke Chela in the first game of the match and again at the start of the second set en route to a 6-3, 6-1 victory, which extended his Open Era record winning streak on clay to 63 matches. The match began and ended in brilliant sunshine yet a sea mist rolled in for a large portion of the match, but Nadal's intensity was consistent throughout.

Nadal looked right at home in his first clay court tournament since defending his Roland Garros crown in 2006, sliding with surity deep behind the baseline, crunching forehand winners and firing his trademark backhand passing shot winners from defensive positions.

Chela came into the match with a career-best 21-6 start to the year (11-2 on clay), which included his fourth career ATP title in Acapulco and back-to-back ATP Masters Series finals in Indian Wells and Miami.

But he was no match for Nadal, who improved his career record on clay to 103-12. The ATP World No. 2 (for a record 91 consecutive weeks) is seeking to become the first player to win three consecutive Monte-Carlo titles since Ilie Nastase in 1971-73.

Nadal next faces Belgian Kristof Vliegen, who on Tuesday recovered from being 'bageled' in the first set to upset Marat Safin.

WHAT THE PLAYERS SAID

Nadal: "It was very nice for me to come back here and play the first match like this. I was feeling very well, so I play a good match. Very comfortable on court. Trying to have less mistakes as possible. I feel very good with the backhand, with the forehand, too, dropshots, good defending. Just a little bit... could serve a little bit better, but for the rest I'm very happy." :yeah:

http://montecarlo.masters-series.com/1/en/news/2007/day4.1.asp
OOP for Thursday:

COURT CENTRAL start 10:00 am
[5] T Robredo (ESP) vs [10] T Berdych (CZE)
[1] R Federer (SUI) vs H Lee (KOR)
[11] R Gasquet (FRA) vs R Stepanek (CZE) or [7] I Ljubicic (CRO)
K Vliegen (BEL) vs [2] R Nadal (ESP)
[6] J Erlich (ISR) / A Ram (ISR) vs J Benneteau (FRA) / R Gasquet (FRA)

MariaV
04-18-2007, 06:06 PM
Nadal Makes Ominous Start

Two-time defending champion Rafael Nadal made an exceptionally strong start to his 2007 clay court campaign Wednesday, conceding just four games to in-form Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela en route to the third round of the Masters Series Monte-Carlo.

Nadal broke Chela in the first game of the match and again at the start of the second set en route to a 6-3, 6-1 victory, which extended his Open Era record winning streak on clay to 63 matches. The match began and ended in brilliant sunshine yet a sea mist rolled in for a large portion of the match, but Nadal's intensity was consistent throughout.

Nadal looked right at home in his first clay court tournament since defending his Roland Garros crown in 2006, sliding with surity deep behind the baseline, crunching forehand winners and firing his trademark backhand passing shot winners from defensive positions.

Chela came into the match with a career-best 21-6 start to the year (11-2 on clay), which included his fourth career ATP title in Acapulco and back-to-back ATP Masters Series finals in Indian Wells and Miami.

But he was no match for Nadal, who improved his career record on clay to 103-12. The ATP World No. 2 (for a record 91 consecutive weeks) is seeking to become the first player to win three consecutive Monte-Carlo titles since Ilie Nastase in 1971-73.

Nadal next faces Belgian Kristof Vliegen, who on Tuesday recovered from being 'bageled' in the first set to upset Marat Safin. :lol: :o

In a match that finished in fading light with both players fatigued after a grueling 2 hrs., 24 mins. of play, Ivan Ljubicic held out Radek Stepanek 7-6(6), 7-6(5). The match featured 19 break point chances but neither player was able to convert. Ljubicic saved all eight break points he faced and Stepanek saved 11.

WHAT THE PLAYERS SAID

Nadal: "It was very nice for me to come back here and play the first match like this. I was feeling very well, so I play a good match. Very comfortable on court. Trying to have less mistakes as possible. I feel very good with the backhand, with the forehand, too, dropshots, good defending. Just a little bit... could serve a little bit better, but for the rest I'm very happy." :D Yeah, the only thing to improve was serving.


OOP for tomorrow:
COURT CENTRAL start 10:00 am
[5] T Robredo (ESP) vs [10] T Berdych (CZE)
[1] R Federer (SUI) vs H Lee (KOR)
[11] R Gasquet (FRA) vs [7] I Ljubicic (CRO)
K Vliegen (BEL) vs [2] R Nadal (ESP

MariaV
04-18-2007, 06:07 PM
:lol: Aniaaa! Should I delete? Too bad I must be at work tomorrow. :sad:

mallorn
04-18-2007, 06:10 PM
:lol: Aniaaa! Should I delete? Too bad I must be at work tomorrow. :sad:
:haha: :hug: No, don't delete, it's funny. :lol:

Awww, too bad you can't watch! I'll be at home, thank goodness. :D

MariaV
04-18-2007, 06:12 PM
:haha: :hug: No, don't delete, it's funny. :lol:

Awww, too bad you can't watch! I'll be at home, thank goodness. :D

OK, enjoy then! Maybe I can see the match later in the evening. :hug: :wavey:

mallorn
04-18-2007, 06:22 PM
OK, enjoy then! Maybe I can see the match later in the evening. :hug: :wavey:
Hopefully it'll be as enjoyable as today. :D :wavey:

AFP via Brisbane Times:
Tennis ace Nadal misses meeting but stretches clay streak

April 19, 2007 - 2:58AM

Fatigue may have forced Rafael Nadal to miss a session on player grievances with ATP supremo Etienne de Villiers but the Spaniard powered his way to an opening victory of his clay-court season at the Monte Carlo Masters here on Wednesday.

The world number two never lost control as he dismissed Argentine Juan Chela 6-3, 6-1 in less than 90 minutes to notch up a 63rd straight victory on the surface.

Nadal's victory means he joins top rival Roger Federer in the third round, though the Swiss needed two tie-break sets Tuesday to stake his claim.

Nadal beat number one Federer in the final here a year ago to lift a second consecutive title in the principality.

The Spaniard admitted that an early bedtime on Tuesday night left him out of the loop as Federer, Ivan Ljubicic and respected Spaniard Carlos Moya huddled with De Villiers for a man-to-man chat.

Competitors are upset at calendar changes set for 2009 as well as proposed downgrading of Monte Carlo and Hamburg events from elite Masters status.

"I had to go back to my room and go to sleep after 11 p.m.," Nadal said. "I don't really know how this meeting ended.

"But all of the players are united. We all agree on what we don't like in the calendar of 2009."

The two-time Roland Garros winner pronounced himself "comfortable" as he played on red dirt for the first time since last June.

"I was feeling very well, I played a good match. I could have served a little bit better, but for the rest I'm very happy."

Nadal's record-setting run on clay began in Monte Carlo two years ago with a first round win over France's Gael Monfils.

While Nadal plowed ahead against the 22nd-ranked Chela in occasionally drifting light fog at the cliffside club, Nikolay Davydenko became the first major seed to exit.

...

http://news.brisbanetimes.com.au/tennis-ace-nadal-misses-meeting-but-stretches-clay-streak/20070419-8ao.html

Sean.J.S.
04-19-2007, 01:21 AM
Well done, Rafa. :)

MaryWalsh
04-19-2007, 04:46 AM
Good job Rafa!
Rest up! Beat Vliegen!

Vamos Rafa#1
04-19-2007, 04:19 PM
Rafa won 6-1 6-1:bounce:

mallorn
04-19-2007, 04:36 PM
Yay! :bounce: Keep it up, Rafa! :yeah:

mallorn
04-19-2007, 07:53 PM
Rafa's presser after the Chela match. It was very short. :(
MASTERS SERIES MONTE-CARLO

April 18, 2007

Rafael Nadal

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It was a good test because Chela was playing well and you were playing also very well?
RAFAEL NADAL: It was very nice for me to come back here and play the first match like this. I was feeling very well, so I play a good match. Very comfortable on court. Well, trying to have less mistakes as possible.
So, well, I feel very good with the backhand, with the forehand, too, dropshots, good defending. Just a little bit -- could serve a little bit better, but for the rest I'm very happy.

Q. We saw everything today. We didn't see anything last night. How was it?
RAFAEL NADAL: What? (Translated from Spanish.) (Answer in Spanish) The meeting wasn't until 11:00. I had to go back to my room and go to sleep after 11:00. It was Ljubicic Moya also, and the meeting carried on, and Federer.
So I don't really know how this meeting ended, because I had to leave. But I'm going to speak with the president once again. I didn't have any time to speak with Roger or Carlos or nobody.
Within an hour I'm going to meet with Etienne now. But anyway, all of the players are united. We all agree on what we don't like in the calendar of 2009.

Q. First match on the clay. How do you feel?
RAFAEL NADAL: I said before, no? I feel very good. I very comfortable on court. I was a lot of time without playing ATP tournament on clay, so it was a very good coming back for me, no?

Q. You had problem with your feet. Is it okay now?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, always it's a little bit easier playing on clay. Not the same aggressive. Well, I feel good, no?
I was stop for one week before coming here, but, well, right now I am feeling well; I am feeling good.

Q. Is there anything different compared to last year or to the last two years when you start here?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. I played today better than last year starting match. But, well, it was -- I don't remember nothing different. Everything is the same. Very nice. The court was full. Very, very good. So that's it.

Q. The next game is against Vliegen.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, Vliegen is coming very well. Winning Mathieu and Safin. Going to be a tough match. I was playing against him last year here too, so, well, it's going to be a tough match for sure, no?
He's very talented player. He serve well, have a good forehand, good backhand. So going to be a tough match. I need to be at hundred percent and I need to feel like today. If I feel like today I have my chances.

End of FastScripts

http://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=42508

mallorn
04-19-2007, 07:55 PM
From AFP via Independent Online:
Federer, Nadal move closer to repeat showdown

April 19 2007 at 07:38PM

Monte Carlo - Defending champion Rafael Nadal and beaten finalist Roger Federer moved closer on Thursday to a repeat of their 2006 title showdown as both posted easy wins at the Monte Carlo Open.

Federer put negotiations with the ATP over player grievances on the back burner as he blasted Lee Hyung-taik 6-4, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals.

The Swiss ace spent 64 minutes securing victory over the South Korean.

Nadal, the second-seeded two-time Roland Garros champion, raced past Belgian Kristof Vliegen 6-1, 6-1, extending a two-year clay winning streak to 64 matches. :D

Federer will square off on Friday against Spain's David Ferrer, who put out Serb hope Novak Djokovic 7-5, 6-4.

Federer also revealed some of the details from a two-hour closed-door meeting Tuesday evening into Wednesday with under-fire ATP supremo Etienne de Villiers.

The meeting was also attended by Nadal, who left early because of fatigue, Player Council president Ivan Ljubicic and Spain's Carlos Moya.

London-based de Villiers rushed to the Riveria after Federer and Nadal complained in unison this week of players being left out of the information loop.

The ATP is set to unveil a revamp of the circuit from 2009, with Monte Carlo and Hamburg looking like being dropped from top Masters Series status.

With his diplomatic Swiss roots clearly in evidence, the world number one however affirmed the players will not simply be dictated to.

"What we want is that we also have some say, I think we made that point very clear," he said prior to also meeting with International Tennis Federation head Francesco Ricci Bitti, whose organisation controls the Davis Cup.

"We (the players) are speaking a lot in the locker room to each other now to see what the further plan is.

"For now we need to get together and see, are we happy with what Etienne said and what Francesco is going to tell me? It is more to listen and to analyse from there."

He said of the two-hour private session: "We brought our points across from the players' side and he did his.

"From that standpoint it was a good meeting. No screaming, it was a normal meeting. We've had different ones before, I can tell you that."

Federer, the winner of ten Grand Slam titles, is gearing his season towards a possible conquest of the elusive Roland Garros crown. He lost the French Open final a year ago to Nadal.

A potential high-profile, quarter-final clash with Djokovic was ended by David Ferrer, the Spanish 12th seed upsetting the number six 7-5, 6-4.

Djokovic had arrived as the teenager to watch after winning the Miami title on hardcourt three weeks ago and reaching the top ten for the first time to stand a current seventh in the ATP rankings.

Czech tenth seed Tomas Berdych beat Spain's number five Tommy Robredo 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 to set up a last-eight match with Swede Robin Soderling, who eliminated big-hitting Max Mirnyi from Belarus 7-6 (7/5), 6-2.

French crowd favourite Richard Gasquet put in another laborious effort before finally defeating Ljubicic 6-3, 6-7 (5/7) 7-5. - AFP

http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=6&click_id=4&art_id=nw20070419193528620C165358

mallorn
04-19-2007, 07:57 PM
OOP for Friday:
COURT CENTRAL start 11:00 am

[10] T Berdych (CZE) vs R Soderling (SWE)
[1] R Federer (SUI) vs [12] D Ferrer (ESP)
[16] J Ferrero (ESP) vs [11] R Gasquet (FRA)
[Q] P Kohlschreiber (GER) vs [2] R Nadal (ESP)

Lots of interesting matches tomorrow. :D Good luck Rafa! :bounce:

nevermind
04-20-2007, 06:31 AM
Thank you all for the articles :-)
Vamos Rafa & beat Philippe's ass !!
:wavey:

Vamos Rafa#1
04-20-2007, 05:06 PM
Rafa won 6-2 6-3 :bounce:

mallorn
04-20-2007, 05:14 PM
Yes, he did very well. :yeah: However, for some reason his demeanour made me very anxious throughout the second set. :scratch: He was never in trouble but he looked kind of frustrated, I don't know why.

Best of luck for tomorrow, he can certainly use it. :bounce:

cc2monac
04-20-2007, 06:29 PM
I thought it would be easier for him..anyway a win is a win good luck for tomorrow rafa!

mallorn
04-20-2007, 08:56 PM
Rafa's presser after the Vliegen match:
Thursday, April 19, 2007

R. NADAL /K. Vliegen

6-1, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You won 21 points in a row. You were pretty unstoppable there. How confident is that level you’re playing at?
RAFAEL NADAL: I'm happy with my level, no? I play very, very comfortable match. I play very good forehands and backhands. I serve better than yesterday. So very happy with the game, the full game.
Very happy. I'm defending good, I am running very good, feeling better on clay in the movements, so, very, very, very good match.

Q. Sorry to move to a different subject, but you're going play an exhibition with Roger in early May. Half clay, half grass; is that right?
RAFAEL NADAL: We're going to play exhibition maybe the Wednesday after Barcelona.

Q. On what surface?
RAFAEL NADAL: On medium clay, medium grass.

Q. Because Roger said one week ago that it was going to be only clay. Then it changed again?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. He was maybe joking.

Q. What do you think about this exhibition?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, going to be very nice for us. We was speaking for a long time about this exhibition. So for both it's going to be good experience, and Roger and me have ilusion (Spanish) for play. It's going to be in Mallorca the Wednesday after Barcelona.
So everything is complete, so that's very good. Good expectation for Mallorca for this match.

Q. How many people are there going to be?
RAFAEL NADAL: I'm not sure, 7,000 or 9,000. I'm not sure.

http://montecarlo.masters-series.com/2/en/players/interviews/stories/07_nadal5.asp

mallorn
04-20-2007, 08:59 PM
Nadal Cruises into SFs; Berdych Fights Back

Second-seeded Rafael Nadal continued his quest to become the first player to win three consecutive Monte Carlo titles since Ilie Nastase 1971-93 on Friday.

The two-time defending champion from Mallorca defeated German qualifier Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-2, 6-3 for a place in the semifinals. Nadal has previously beaten Kohlschreiber in the 2007 Australian Open first round.

Nadal has dropped just 11 games in three matches en route to the semifinals, which extends his Monte-Carlo record to 17-1.

The 20-year-old improves to 20-5 for the year and extended his Open Era record-winning clay streak to 65 matches.

The ATP World No. 2 broke a 12-tournament title drought by capturing the Indian Wells Masters Series title last month. It was his first title since Roland Garros in May 2006.

Kohlschreiber was appearing in an ATP Masters Series quarterfinal for the first time in his career. The 23-year-old has also reached quarterfinals at Auckland (l. to Robredo) and Rotterdam (l. to Davydenko) this year.

Nadal will next meet Tomas Berdych (pictured), who won 12 games in a row against Robin Soderling of Sweden to complete a remarkable comeback in the first match of the day.

...

http://montecarlo.masters-series.com/1/en/news/2007/day6.asp

From AP via FoxSports:
Federer wins 500th match, reaches semifinals

MONTE CARLO, Monaco (AP) - Roger Federer earned his 500th career win and Rafael Nadal extended his clay-court winning streak to 65 in the Monte Carlo Masters quarterfinals on Friday.

Nadal, who beat Federer in the Monte Carlo final last year, beat Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 6-2, 6-3. Federer beat David Ferrer of Spain 6-4, 6-0.


Second-ranked Nadal will face Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic in their first meeting since last October's Madrid Masters, when Berdych beat Nadal a third straight time and relations between them were strained by Berdych's reaction to the spectators.

As Berdych left the court to jeers, he angered the pro-Nadal crowd by putting his fingers to his lips in a silencing motion.

Nadal told Berdych he was "a bad person" for doing the gesture.

Asked if he and Nadal get on well together, Berdych said: "If we meet in the locker room or somewhere, we just say 'Hi.' That's all."

Nadal called the relationship "neither good or bad."

"When I see him, I say hello. Even though he doesn't always do that," Nadal said.

Nadal needed five match points to defeat German qualifier Kohlschreiber for the second time this year.

"On one hand, winning easily might not challenge you because you have no pressure," Nadal said. "But on the other hand it's good for the confidence. Tomorrow I have a very tough match.

"(Berdych's) game troubles me, because he won three times. He's a very strong player, he attacks a lot."

Berdych remarkably won the last 12 games to beat Robin Soderling of Sweden 5-7, 6-3, 6-0.

"The start wasn't so good today, but then things changed," the 10th-seeded Czech said. "I'm really happy that I can sit here and try to prepare for tomorrow's semifinals."

Berdych attacked Soderling's serve and outmaneuvered his taller opponent with accurate ground strokes.


http://msn.foxsports.com/tennis/story/6702044?CMP=OTC-K9B140813162&ATT=199


OOP for Saturday:
COURT CENTRAL start 11:30 am
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs [5] P Hanley (AUS) / K Ullyett (ZIM)
Not Before 1:30 PM
[1] R Federer (SUI) vs [16] J Ferrero (ESP)
Not Before 3:30 PM
[10] T Berdych (CZE) vs [2] R Nadal (ESP)
[7] S Aspelin (SWE) / J Knowle (AUT) vs J Benneteau (FRA) / R Gasquet (FRA)

mallorn
04-21-2007, 01:27 PM
Rafa's presser from yesterday. Translated from Spanish, for sure.
MASTERS SERIES MONTE-CARLO

April 20, 2007

Rafael Nadal

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you talk about this match?
RAFAEL NADAL: I played well. I played a complete match. I kept focused all the time. He was attacking a lot but it was not important because I came up winning.

Q. Aren't you afraid that you were not challenged enough winning in straight sense until now? Is it going to be a problem for the next matches?
RAFAEL NADAL: I know tomorrow I have a very tough match. Winning easily is good because it gives you confidence in your game. Even though you cannot get used to the pressure.

Q. You lost three times against Berdych, but this time it's going to be on clay. This time will it be different?
RAFAEL NADAL: I hope so. We'll see tomorrow, but it's going to be very difficult. He won the last three times. He's a very strong player. He attacks a lot. I will try to be aggressive also in order to bother him.

Q. Is there something in his game that bothers you?
RAFAEL NADAL: It's obvious. Although the first match I had a matchpoint, the second match I had a set point, and the third match I lost in three sets.
It's good for his confidence, but my confidence comes from the facts that I am another time in the semifinals in Monte Carlo for my third year here, and I won the last two times.
This is on clay, my best surface, but I'm aware it's going to be difficult tomorrow.

Q. How is your relationship with him now?
RAFAEL NADAL: It's neither good nor bad. There's no relationship at all. There's no problem for me to say hello when I see him, and he doesn't always do that himself.
These kind of things happen on the court sometimes. But it was in Madrid. I'm someone who admits his errors, but he has to admit also that his gesture at the end of match is not the kind of thing you do.
Still, anyone does what he wants, and personally I regret what I said after the match. I won't think about all that tomorrow. It'll just be a semifinal in Monte Carlo, a difficult opponent, a great player.

Q. Are you already starting to think about a possible final against Federer?
RAFAEL NADAL: It would be stupid of me to think about that at this stage given my very tough opponent tomorrow against whom I lost three times. It's going to be a difficult match. I'm thinking about that match first and trying to do my best.
And also Federer has a tough match against Ferrer* who's playing well at this moment.

Q. We know all the players are supporting Monte Carlo as a Masters Series. Does that mean you don't want Shanghai to become a Masters Series?
RAFAEL NADAL: There's a complete error of concept in that. We just don't want Monte Carlo to be downgrade, but this has nothing to do with Shanghai. If Shanghai becomes a Masters Series we'll all be very pleased. It's just that we want to protect Monte Carlo because of its long history and because the players enjoy that tournament a lot.
* Ferrero, of course.

The SF is about to start. Good luck, Rafa! http://www.cosgan.de/images/smilie/musik/k015.gif

mallorn
04-21-2007, 03:12 PM
:woohoo: :woohoo: Rafa won 6-0 :eek: 7-5 :bounce:

Edit: oops, I misbounced. :p

Tess Gray
04-21-2007, 03:17 PM
:woohoo: :woohoo: Rafa won 6-0 :eek: 7-5 :bounce;

:worship: finally another Roger-Rafa final..!! can't wait!:D

:wavey:

linus
04-21-2007, 03:33 PM
Rafa :D

guga2120
04-21-2007, 03:38 PM
I hope he wins, but he is going to have to serve better and play better than he did in that 2nd set, Federer is playing very good right now.

Sunset of Age
04-21-2007, 10:55 PM
I hope he wins, but he is going to have to serve better and play better than he did in that 2nd set, Federer is playing very good right now.

Yes, you're right - but Rogi isn't exactly playing flawless either. His own serve games are very sloppy - noticed how many times he got broken the past few matches? If Rog lets that happen against Raf, Raf will have an easy match I think.

Whatever happens - I hope it will be a BRILLIANT match, with lots of passion and beautiful shots. I trust them to make it be like that. As such I don't really care who wins it in the end.

Bring on my fav players! I can't wait!!! :worship: :worship: :worship:

rafagirlno1
04-22-2007, 04:45 AM
hope Rafa wins and retains monte carlo masters :)
he is playing falwless tennis at the moment and i dont think roger has any chance against him ,and now tht he defeated berdych so easily ,my hopes are even more on him to win :worship:

Vamos Rafa ,the clay court sensation is back at his usual best :worship:

the_natural
04-22-2007, 06:07 AM
Vamos Rafa, Please remained focussed and believe in ur game as mch as u have. He was playing some of his best Clay court tennis this past week because hes added his hardcourt aggression onto the clay during most of his matches, but it was disheartenning a little to watch the second set, Federer is going to be playing like that except more aggressive and with fewer errors (for the entire match) than berdych, which willl be trouble for rafa, especially since hes better at the net and more confident.

Itd be easier if it were 5 sets but cos its 3 federer can afford to go all out like the french and wimbledon finals and not worry about conserving energy.I hope Rafa goes out prepared, cos Federers lookin for revenge for IW, and if he gets up in the match hes gonna start swinging freely, VAMOS rafa, FIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(and please dont become defensive if he starts blasting, get as many big shots back as possible and turn defensive into offensive at every opportunity).

P.S. KEEP THE BALL DEEP ESPECIALLY ON UR FOREHAND AND U WILL WIN!!!!

linus
04-22-2007, 07:31 AM
Vamos Rafa :rocker2:

maybe I will miss the beginning of the match :o while surely rewatch it tomorrow ;) at least I wont miss the most beautiful time :devil:

mallorn
04-22-2007, 08:11 AM
Rafa's press conference after the SF.
Saturday, April 21, 2007

R. NADAL /T. Berdych

6-0, 7-5
Interview de: RAFAEL NADAL

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What are I looking at, the paper?
RAFAEL NADAL: My stats. 48% inside serve.

Q. What do you think of the match?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think I'm playing very good game, no? I feel great on court all the time, especially in the first set.
Well, he start with some mistake, but I play very aggressive inside the court and play very long so he can't play his game exactly. Because he play very aggressive inside the court and I play very, very well after.
In the second set I have my chance in the first game of the second with the passing shot of the forehand at 30 All. I made that shot, and, well, after that the match was very, very close.

Q. I against Federer it will the first match of the year, 2007. What do you think is the biggest change compared to last year, apart from the fact that this time you will play best of three?
RAFAEL NADAL: Tomorrow we will see what's the change, no? But, well, I arrive here playing better than the last year. This tournament I feel so much better. I was play without too much pressure.
Last year I play very nervous all the time because I was defending a lot of points. This year I am defending the same points but I have the experience. And coming back from the American tour, I was playing very well there.
I'm happy with my game here. I know tomorrow is going to be a very, very tough match for me, and I hope him too. If not, going to be bad news.
I will try my best. I don't know what's the difference. It's the same condition: He's No. 1; I'm No. 2; it's a clay tournament. Nice match.

Q. So you don't see any change in his game at all?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't see too much changes, no. He's the best right now and he always improving, but right now he's playing very good and he's the same like always. He always play good.

Q. You're saying that you are playing better this year than last year the same time. Do you think he's also playing better this year than last time?
RAFAEL NADAL: He?

Q. Federer.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, if you remember last year before the final you have the videos. He was playing unbelievable tennis. He's playing very well right now too. He's in the final without losing a set. The numbers say that.

Q. For you, Rafa, what's the importance of your recent win in Indian Wells in terms of your confidence?
RAFAEL NADAL: Hundred percent important, no? Start of winning a Masters Series before defending a lot of points is a very good start. Because after that, well, you can play with a little bit more calm, without the nervous of a lot of time without play in the finals.
So right now it's easy because I play semifinal today and I play with a big confidence believing I can win. So if I was not winning Indian Wells, well, I am coming here with a lot of doubts. So right now I was arriving here with good confidence.

Q. Why did you decide to have a little training right now after the match?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah. I was focusing the tactics, practicing the tactic of tomorrow.

Q. Was it spontaneous?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. 48 percent inside serves. I just trying to have some serves inside. That's it. I just having twenty minutes of serves, no practice.

Q. Do you consider yourself as the favorite tomorrow? You have one like 66 matches in a row.
RAFAEL NADAL: He's the No. 1. Always he's the favorite. Clay I have a lot of wins, 66 wins consecutive. But he's arriving playing very well, and I will beat him sometimes on clay, but the last two times he beat me in: Wimbledon and Masters Cup in Shanghai.
And, well, I am not the favorite I think, no. I think he's No. 1 and he start very good the season, too. He won in Australia, Dubai, and now he's in the final. Going to be tough match.

Q. You have a same opinion of Federer about ATP problems and the calendar of 2009. Do you think that Federer has the same opinion of yours about which is the No. 1 on clay?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know. You can ask him. You can ask him. But for sure I don't know. It's very difficult thing about this tournament in 2009. 2009 not got going to be a Masters Series, no? Because it's one of my favorite tournaments, and in my opinion, one of the favorite of everybody, no?
It's very, very nice place. Very nice atmosphere every day. The court was full almost every day. Unbelievable. Very, very nice tournament, and I hope that's going to change. But I think it's going to be difficult, no?

Q. You are Spanish, but we have never asked you I have never asked you about Madrid as a Masters Series. What do you think about that? Because that's the tournament that makes all the problems because Madrid comes in the spring, Hamburg, Barcelona, Monte Carlo. What do you think?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I don't have too much opinion about that because I love the tournament of Madrid, but right now my opinion is perfect. Indoor is very, very nice tournament for my opinion. It's the nicest indoor of the Tour for sure.
So I don't know if that much going to be the same outside than in indoor. It's very nice tournament. I love this tournament.
But the thing is, well, I don't want this tournament go out of Masters Series, no? But I don't know Madrid, I want to finish the Tour. But, no, I think we don't want this tournament and Hamburg go out.

Q. Roger said that he would maybe like for the fans tomorrow to play best of five. What about you? For the fans in the stadium would you prefer to play best of five?
RAFAEL NADAL: He would prefer what?

Q. For the fans he thinks it would be best to play best of five.
RAFAEL NADAL: Me too. I prefer play best of five. It's very nice matches, best of five always, and I feel more comfortable. The match is longer.
But, well, in this tournament I think we can play best of five 5, no? But in Rome it's too difficult. If you play the final the best of five the same way last three years five hour match.
Hamburg it's impossible, no? But there's a good chance for the players, I think.

http://montecarlo.masters-series.com/2/en/players/interviews/stories/07_nadal7.asp

I have a family thing this afternoon and won't be able to follow the match live. :bigcry: Anyway, best of luck, Rafa! http://www.cosgan.de/images/smilie/musik/k015.gif

Vamos Rafa#1
04-22-2007, 02:12 PM
Rafa won the title!!!!!

Tess Gray
04-22-2007, 02:18 PM
Rafa won the title!!!!!

wow, that's great!! :D

Weebl
04-22-2007, 02:21 PM
Yeeeaah :woohoo:
Vamooooos ooh I'm soo happy for him too bad I couldn't see it on tv but that's alright this made my day :bounce:

Naide
04-22-2007, 02:28 PM
Our boy is just too good.

Johnny Groove
04-22-2007, 02:32 PM
que bueno :hearts:

Ti-Anne
04-22-2007, 02:33 PM
:D :D :D I saw the match on french tv, Rafa was very focused and he never let Roger question his supremacy. Yeah, he's just too good, too talented and...too sexy :drool:
Now let's get the title in Rome once again too :bounce:

maqk
04-22-2007, 02:50 PM
first of all, congrats to Rafa on defeating the world no 1 again,

a privillege in it self to defeat the best, meaning Rafa is surely the best no one should doubt this anymore i think

i don't mean insult to Roger, he is the best still but for Rafa its already toooo much to beat the no 1 so many many times

VAMOS RAFA, YOU REALLY DO DESERVE TO BE THE NO1 [EVEN IN PRESENCE OF ROGER] HOPE YOU GET THRERE, YOU DESERVE, YOU DESERVE

linus
04-22-2007, 02:51 PM
I am still very happy tho I missed all the match :bounce:

dont tell me any details about the match :lol: I need to relive it tomorrow in a fresh feeling :cool:

suddenly I thought of the old video by EURO "the Clay king" :banana:

NaDALiTa
04-22-2007, 03:12 PM
:dance: :dance: :woohoo: Congrats Chico you deserved it!! Next target : BARCELONA!!!!!!! Vamooos!!

NicoFan
04-22-2007, 03:17 PM
:woohoo:

:bounce:

RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :fiery:

What a way to win! Awesome display.

And I"m with Tangy - he is playing better on clay than last year. And I thought he was pretty damn near perfect last year. Totally amazing.

If he keeps this up, no one has a chance against him this clay season. No matter what Fed does to improve.

Yeay RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :woohoo:

MixY
04-22-2007, 03:48 PM
WOOOHO! GOOD WORK,RAFA!!! We're so proud! :)

cc2monac
04-22-2007, 05:37 PM
thank you rafa! we are all so proud of you! what a wonderful match! he is a real rey!

atheneglaukopis
04-22-2007, 06:13 PM
It was a well-deserved win without dropping a set. :worship: :hug:

Read his previous press conference--he does say "pressure" now, doesn't he? :eek: :awww: :lol:

Alexandy
04-22-2007, 07:23 PM
I think we should all take a moment and give thanks for Indian Wells. Whom without, this Monte Carlo victory wouldn't be possible. :worship:

But seriously, I think the IW title was key for his confidence. Rafa just looked like he believed in himself out there today (so different from the latter half of the year). I am sooo happy that he won. I think this was really important for Rafa. Fed had beaten him the last two times, so I'm glad Rafa was able to win again.

I just love watching Rafa play on clay. It's amazing. Usually I'm 50/50 in their matches, but I just had to cheer for Rafa that little bit harder today. I realized that I don't want Fed to beat him on clay. Or anywhere for that matter. Though, I would give up a RG victory for a Wimbledon victory because I know Rafa would like to win it so badly.

mallorn
04-22-2007, 08:10 PM
Rafa himself said that IW was crucial to getting his confidence back. Thank goodness he found his form there just in time and thank goodness for Willy Canas. :p

I also think he's playing better this year, at least atm. He seems more aggressive and confident. He said he was very nervous about defending all the points last year but this year he doesn't feel the pressure :eek: and it showed in this tournament. :worship:

67 :bounce: :bowdown:

Alexandy
04-22-2007, 08:12 PM
I forgot all about Wiily Canas. We should send him a fruit basket.

mallorn
04-22-2007, 08:28 PM
^ :lol: He deserves two. ;)

Rafa's interview is up.
Sunday, April 22, 2007

R. NADAL /R. Federer

6-4, 6-4
Interview de: RAFAEL NADAL

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Next time you're going to play Federer on clay you cannot say you're not the favorite.
RAFAEL NADAL: I know now you're going to have this question for you. I'm going to have to say same, because, well, the truth is on clay I have I had a lot of titles. I am playing well. But in my opinion, the match of today was very open.
I don't know the chances for him or for me, but very, very open all the time. And, you know, if he was coming without losing a set, I was coming to the final too without losing any set, too. We have maybe the same options. Not the same chances for everyone, but he's the No. 1 of the of the world and he's the favorite.

Q. When you win a set and you won the first set today he gets demoralized. It almost seems like he doesn't think he can come back against you on clay. Perhaps on something else, but not on this surface.
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know. But it was very important moment in the 4 3. Remember 4 3 in the first set? He has two breakpoints, I think. But I finally won this game. It was very important, because it was a tough moment for him. In 4 All he has some mistakes with the forehand. I can have the break and, okay, I'm finish the set with my serve.
After that, the match change a lot, no? I have a lot of chances for break in the first game. I have one chance with very difficult passing shot, but finally it fall a little bit in the net.
The second game I have break, but after I have in the 4 2 not very easy, but, well, forehand for I have the point can and to go up for a little bit.
So, well, I have the chance with 5 2 and the match was finished with 5 2 and two breaks. But finally he come back and win this game and the match was close in the end.
It was important game for me 4 3 in the second set. He has three mistakes. That give me a lot of confidence.

Q. But overall it was easier than expected for you, is it? It was two sets, one hour and a half. Did you expect such a game?
RAFAEL NADAL: I always expect very tough match, because I play with every time when I go on court I think it's going to be it's possible I'm going to have a very difficult match. Especially if you come to the court against the world No. 1 it's going to be tough.
So, well, I was with confidence because I was playing my best tennis this week. But I know he was very, very good, too. Finally I won in two sets, but sometimes the score is not the same like the match. The match was tough. I think the beginning he was playing better than me.

Q. Were you surprised he made so many mistakes with his forehand, because normally it's his best weapon?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I am trying I was trying put my forehand against his backhand and change to his forehand not a lot not much times, no?
But in the beginning he covered a lot his backhand. He touch a lot of forehands and it was very difficult for me. But I change a little bit and I tried to open the court with his forehand for after play to his backhand.
So, no, that was important tactic change, and well, the match change a little bit there. Well, it's true, he has some mistakes in the forehand that normally he doesn't have.
But I play good. I play always steady, consistent every point, I know that. So I was playing like this.

Q. What is your reaction to the idea that you played the five times you won five times against him on clay. You played 19 sets and you won 14. So he wins one set every three of yours.
RAFAEL NADAL: I never was thinking about that. I just know that I don't know. :scratch: :lol: I know the truth is I won in the final tiebreak in the final of Roland Garros. I won with two matchpoints against him.
Rome, here I won difficult four sets. Well, every match is difficult. In Roland Garros two years ago I won in four sets, too. So every match is difficult. It's the first time when I beat him, no, sorry, second when I beat him with two sets when I won him in Miami, but long time ago. It's not the same, no?

Q. But the way you won today, you won very easily.
RAFAEL NADAL: Never easy.

Q. But it's a surprise or not, just the way you won?
RAFAEL NADAL: For sure it is surprise when winning in two sets against the No. 1, no? I expect a very tough match and it was tough. Because in the beginning I saw the match and, well, Roger was moving very good, attack me the ball. Going inside for plays his backhand.
It was tough for me in the beginning especially, no? But after he have some mistakes and I feel very comfortable on court but it was very, very difficult first set.

Q. You served very well today: 85% in the second set. Was it one of the keys in the game?
RAFAEL NADAL: The first serve.

Q. Yes, 85%.

Q. 74% in the first.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I was serving slowly.

Q. Yes. But it was a tactic to do that?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I know, sometimes Roger play better if you serve fast. I know that, no? Because it's better for him the point is going fast than if it's going slow.
And if I serve slow I have more time for the next shot. So, well, my tactics is always have a lot of first serve percentage inside against him, because if I miss the first serve with the second serve it's difficult because he attack the point very well and very difficult come back for me in the point.

Q. Did your bandana fall off on accident? Was it an accident?
RAFAEL NADAL: For sure an accident. I was touching it like this, but

Q. So you knocked it?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah. I pull out and I go to the net after because

Q. (Indiscernible).
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, nice word. Because the point continuing with the hair in my face. :lol: Finally I decide to go in the net.

Q. So in Wimbledon you going to play with no bandana?
RAFAEL NADAL: Without?

Q. Yeah, so you can go more in the net. :lol:
RAFAEL NADAL: I'm going to try. :lol:

Q. So when is your next tournament?
RAFAEL NADAL: Barcelona.

Q. Obviously you have a lot of respect for Roger, but the game he plays on clay, is there an aspect that you think he may need to improve on the surface to get closer to you?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I don't know, no? He's very good. So I don't know. I really don't know, because I can't say nothing about him because going to be stupid, no? To be speaking against the (in Spanish.)
What can I say about ten Grand Slam against two? So, well, he's very good in also places. Last year he play three finals two Masters Series one Grand Slam on clay.
So this year he start well, no? He's not play bad play the first clay court tournament final, no? He start well without losing a set. Playing very good two matches against Ferrer and Ferrero. Tough opponents always on clay.
So I saw him on TV and I like a lot his game, especially against David Ferrer and Ferrero. Very, very good matches.

Q. Are you going to bring the Italian sparring partner to your next tournaments also?
RAFAEL NADAL: He's Italian, from Italy?

Q. Yeah, Florence.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah. I don't think I always warm up and practice with him here, especially when the week is over on the Friday or Saturday. So yeah he's very good sparring.

http://montecarlo.masters-series.com/2/en/players/interviews/stories/07_nadal8.asp

dorkino
04-22-2007, 10:43 PM
Liked the first set so much, it was very close and it could 've really gone both ways. believe "Mental stability" determined it to a great extent just like all other big matches and points. Just thinking about the pressure these two must 've been suffering in those moments is terrifying. One could 've seen it in both's body language. Rapid change in the first set, followed by the rapid second set; Rafael well played steadily :clap2:
while Fed's negative thoughts increased.

I am really happy for Rafael. He played so well all week along and deserved and guess "needed" to win. The press conference was also lovely. Apart from keeping away the pressure and so, -which i don't think is harming- , yet i think the guy has so very much sincere repsect for Fed. :) Congrats and Keep that level up. :)

On the other side , i frankly don't believe Fed's level is that much at danger after all.
And i don't drop the point that their matches (on clay) 'll always be tough and close even when Rafael is in best forms.
So supporting Rafa's thinking in this today taking nothing for granted even for the "RG title" is a positive thinking from all sides. :)

Finally, The Chattings in the ceremony were :hearts:

Thanks for swallowing the Belated comments on the match.:o Hope it's not too late to celebrate.:)

rafagirlno1
04-23-2007, 02:41 AM
congrats champion !!:worship: :worship:
people hve critised nadal for so many stupid reasons in the past one year ,i would like Rafa to prove each and every hater out there wrong ,tht he still is the very damn best on this clay surface !!
congrats champ ,and a lot lot lot more titles for you this year and the years come !!

Vamos Rafa !!:)

MaryWalsh
04-23-2007, 03:44 AM
Well done Rafa, a great tournament! Great that you are fighting to keep MC a masters and even spoke of it in your winning speech. We are proud of your tennis and your integrity.

MariaV
04-23-2007, 11:07 AM
:wavey:
Sorry I'm late in here. Congrats to Rafa and all his fans, Fed's FH errors were just unusual, as he himself said at the presser. Fed still sounds confident. :shrug: Rafa is really playing more aggressive on clay now, finishing the points in a great manner! Plus he served really well! :worship: :bowdown: And good that both guys seem to like each other and we can expect many more finals. :worship: :bowdown:

Here the :aplot: part about the Mallorca exho from Fed's presser after bt Lee if someone missed.

Q. You going to play Rafa in Mallorca in May. What do you feel about it?
ROGER FEDERER: I think it's exciting. The idea was there already six or nine months ago, and I said I was that would be fun to do something like this. It never happened before. It's a bit crazy and people might say, Why then? It's a bad timing.
We also enjoy playing tennis for fun for a change. It doesn't always need to be crazy serious out on the match courts. And I think we enjoyed the match against each other in South Korea, we enjoy playing each other in exhibitions. :aplot:
The result is not the most important thing, it's about having fun out there. And Mallorca, it's a place I've never been to. It's his home city. He's been to Basel. It's going to be exciting and a good atmosphere. They're visiting each other's home cities. :hearts: :inlove: Will Rafa show him Manacor? :)
http://montecarlo.masters-series.com/2/en/players/interviews/stories/07_federer5.asp

OK, enough of joking. :wavey:

Agassi Fan
04-23-2007, 11:39 AM
Well done Rafa!
You are great!!!

RogiFan88
04-23-2007, 01:53 PM
Felicito a Rafa por haber ganado su torneo favorito. Es imposible que pierda en tierra batida este ano. Es demasiado facil! :lol:

mallorn
04-23-2007, 05:12 PM
^^ Rafa would disagree, he says every match is difficult. ;)

There are lots of very interesting articles after the match, I strongly recommend reading them.
Nadal takes a bite out of Federer's reputation

By Paul Newman in Monte Carlo
Published: 23 April 2007

When you are world No 1, winner of 10 of the last 15 Grand Slam tournaments and hailed as one of the greatest players in history, you do not expect the sympathy vote. By the end of yesterday's final of the Monte Carlo Masters, however, the capacity crowd were cheering almost every point that Roger Federer won, willing him to save some honour in the face of the grilling he had endured on an afternoon of glorious Mediterranean sunshine.

Federer has grown used to losing to Rafael Nadal on the Spaniard's favourite surface, but this 6-4, 6-4 reverse was of a different order to his four previous defeats by the king of clay. By the end Federer looked like someone who had spent an hour and a half trying to build a sandcastle on one of the local Côte d'Azur beaches, only to see it repeatedly flattened by the local bully.

If the bare facts showed that the outcome had been decided by just two breaks of serve, other statistics told a more revealing story. Not since their first encounter three years ago in Miami, when Federer was suffering from sunstroke, has the Swiss failed even to take a set off Nadal, who has now won seven of their 10 meetings.

Nadal won 79 per cent of his first-serve points to Federer's 55 and made only 19 unforced errors compared to Federer's 38. Half of Federer's mistakes came from his acclaimed forehand as he was repeatedly forced into hurried strokes by the sheer weight of Nadal's shots.

"I'm not happy about the performance of my forehand," Federer said. "It happens rarely to me because it's my best shot. I guess it's a bit different against Rafael. You have to keep on pushing. I just missed a few too many to go a break down in the first set."

Federer hit three loose forehands in dropping his serve at 4-4, having failed to convert three break points of his own.

Nadal said that the match had been close for long periods, but he never looked in trouble after breaking serve again in the third game of the second set. The Spaniard's defence was formidable and his tactic of opening up the court wide to Federer's forehand paid a regular dividend.

Tony Roche, Federer's coach, is accompanying him throughout his clay court campaign - the Australian limits his time on the road and will subsequently miss the entire grass court season - in the hope of improving his man's chances of winning the French Open for the first time.

Federer said this defeat had taught him more about how to play Nadal on clay, but he repeatedly said as much last year and the world No 2 is looking more invincible than ever. This was Nadal's 67th victory in succession on terre battue and he is the first player since Ilie Nastase 34 years ago to win three successive titles here. At just 20, Nadal already has 14 clay crowns to his name and has never lost a final on the surface.

Having lost to Guillermo Canas in his previous two events, Federer has now gone three tournaments without a title for only the second time since becoming world No 1 more than three years ago. The previous sequence came with his defeats to Nadal in last year's finals here, in Rome and in Paris.

At least Federer ran Nadal closer than anyone else here this year. The Spaniard did not lose a set and none of his four previous opponents took more than five games off him. On this form Nadal's third successive French Open title looks a formality.

http://sport.independent.co.uk/tennis/article2474463.ece

mallorn
04-23-2007, 05:13 PM
From The Guardian
Nadal still unstoppable on clay as Federer bites dust again


Steve Bierley in Monte Carlo
Monday April 23, 2007
The Guardian

The weather was so calm here yesterday afternoon that any motorboat passing the tennis club, which is perched on the rim of the Mediterranean, left a huge wake. So it was for Roger Federer, the world No1, when Rafael Nadal arrived on the other side of the net for this Masters series clay-court final. One minute all was as smooth as glass, the next the 20-year-old Spaniard has slewed past him leaving turmoil and frustration.

Nadal beat Federer 6-4, 6-4, his fifth successive win against him on this surface including last year's finals here, Rome and Paris. In doing so, he extended his unbeaten clay-court run to a remarkable 67 matches, and also became the first player since Romania's Ilie Nastase from 1971-73 to win the title on three consecutive occasions.

Someday, perhaps when the wind is in the east and a blue moon climbs above the horizon, he will be beaten, although for the moment nothing short of an injury seems likely to stop him. Federer always knows that he will need to be at his absolute best to down the French Open champion on the terre battue.

The nearest he has come so far was the tumultuous five-set final in the Rome Masters last year. This time he was never particularly close although for 38 minutes, and with the score at 4-3 in the opening set, he had some reason to believe he might stop the unstoppable.

Twice, while trying to nail Nadal's serve, it was his forehand that let him down. It was to become a theme. Federer knows he has to press and take risks, however such is the pace and mule-kicking spin that Nadal puts on the ball that Federer's footwork must be Fred Astaire perfect in order that his every shot is delivered with optimum speed and angle. And there lies the difficulty.

Nadal does not play soft points. His level of intensity is simply remarkable, so much so that any young player who might doubt the correlation between effort and success needs only watch him once.

Before losing to Nadal in Monte Carlo last year, Federer was of the opinion that the more he played against him, the better his chances were of ultimate success, even suggesting that the Spaniard's game was a little "one-dimensional".

If so, it is a dimension that he has yet to fathom on clay where Federer's most potent weapons, the serve and forehand, are robbed of the razor edge they have on grass or hardcourts.

Before this 10th meeting, Federer had reduced Nadal's head-to-head advantage to 6-3 by beating him in last year's Wimbledon final, and then again in the semi-finals of the Tennis Masters Cup on the Shanghai hardcourts. Yet whatever confidence or optimism those two victories instilled were quickly dissipated by the young man's near infallibility on the clay, leaving Federer to strain as much for answers afterwards as he did for solutions on court. The pair have now played 19 sets on clay, with Federer winning only five.

Despite this obvious disparity, Federer continues to cling to the belief that the margin between success and failure is a matter of a few shots: "It's his No1 surface, not mine, but I still always come so close," he said. "I should have used the chances when I had them early on. Unfortunately it turned around with a few mistakes. I think I'm absolutely in the mix with him on clay, which is how I wanted to feel. I enjoy playing against him and I think [it is] the same for him."

Had Federer not won 10 grand slam titles and dominated almost everybody else in the world, this might be deemed to be bordering on delusional.

Nadal was asked what he thought Federer might need to improve in order to beat him on clay. The Spaniard's expressive eyebrows almost shot off his head. "What can I say when he has won 10 slams against my two," he said. Nadal still refuses to consider himself as a favourite against Federer on the slow surface. "I knew now you were going to have this question for me. I'm going to have to say the same thing: he's the world number one and he's the favourite," he said.

He also felt that Federer had been playing the better tennis initially, and that holding his serve for 4-4 had been a significant moment. Federer knows that however many slams he may ultimately win, he needs the French Open title if he is ever to be acclaimed the greatest of all time. And as long as Nadal remains fit, that task continues to look an increasingly tall order. Not impossible - simply requiring perfection.

http://sport.guardian.co.uk/tennis/story/0,,2063498,00.html

mallorn
04-23-2007, 05:15 PM
Neil Harman :yeah:
April 23, 2007
Nadal outperforms world No 1 with his Monaco masterclass

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00160/Nadal-_385_160030a.jpg

Neil Harman, Tennis Correspondent, in Monte Carlo

For Rafael Nadal, nirvana is a tennis court with pieces of clay clinging to his shoes. Unmistakably, inexorably, assuredly, Nadal claimed this Masters Series title for the third year in succession yesterday under azure skies enhancing his brilliance. Roger Federer would probably have preferred to spend the afternoon lying on a bed of nails.

There is a plethora of statistical evidence underscoring Nadal’s supremacy on the surface that uniquely asks more than any other of the tennis player. His 6-4, 6-4 victory on Court Central was his 67th in a row on terre battue, he is 14-0 in orange-dirt finals and he did not drop a set in becoming the first player since Ilie Nastase — who was in fascinated attendance here — to lift for the third time a trophy aptly named for a youthful prince.

It was thought that the circumstances of this final — there had not been any rain the entire week, conditions were faster than usual and the final had been reduced from the best-of-five sets to the best of three to television’s mule-headed insistence — might offer the Swiss a few subtle advantages. But put Nadal in the opposite court and watch the world No 1 freeze.

Rarely does that happen, but in the three Masters Series events in which he has played this year, Federer has stumbled, twice to Guillermo Cañas, of Argentina, on American hard courts and now to Nadal for the seventh time in their ten matches.

Federer had three break points before the champion was into his stride, miscuing a forehand on the first, unable to reach a searing serve by Nadal on the second and making a forehand error on the third. There was a sense of inevitability that Nadal would go for the jugular and he broke Federer in the ninth game, when the famed Swiss forehand wing again crumbled. Far be it for a critic to suggest that Federer should try to be a bit more adventurous against someone so assured and assertive in defence, but the longer matches go on against Nadal, the more his game breaks down from the back of the court.

If he is serving well — and that was not the case yesterday — he can come forward, mix up the ingredients, keep Nadal guessing. Staying back and rallying against him is tantamount to waving a white flag.

In only one of his five service games in the second set was Federer not under the most suffocating pressure. Behind to a break in the third game, he ought to have been broken in the seventh, in which he twice double-faulted, only to fashion a backhand drop-shot winner, see Nadal miss the forehand equivalent of an open goal and watch a defensive forehand drift wide. The next break point was a match point, rescued with an aggressive forehand winner.

The crowd tried desperately to rouse Federer, whose popularity is second to none here. There was, though, to be no denying the Spanish buckaroo, whose levels of intensity and desire rise the more seminal the occasion.

When asked to play three-set matches on clay, Nadal has won 35 of the 42 without having to be extended to a third; when asked to play five, he has won both of them, against Federer in last year’s Rome final, and Guillermo Coria there in 2005. But he will not have a word said against his foremost rival — “he has won ten grand slams, me two,” Nadal said, responding to the suggestion that he is getting right under Federer’s skin.

Nadal used the closing ceremony to remind the rulers at the ATP that he will be a very unhappy champion if the tournament is demoted from its Masters status. This week, decision-makers gather in Las Vegas to reconsider their options. As Federer keeps on discovering, a roused Nadal is not someone they ought to cross.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/tennis/article1690528.ece

mallorn
04-23-2007, 05:18 PM
From Telegraph:
Nadal maintains grip over Federer

By Mark Hodgkinson in Monte Carlo
Last Updated: 3:19am BST 23/04/2007

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/graphics/2007/04/23/sthodg23.jpg

Forecasting the result in a Spanish bull-ring is fairly straightforward; the bull tends not to win that often. And the predictions-game is almost as easy when it comes to Rafael Nadal on clay, the Spaniard with a picture of a raging bull on his trainers, and who yesterday beat Roger Federer to retain his title at the Monte Carlo Masters.

By fending off the disappointing challenge from Federer, beating Switzerland's world No 1 in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, Nadal became the first man since Ilie Nastase in the early Seventies to win three straight titles in Monaco, and also extended his unbeaten run on the terre battue to 67 victories.

But, as impressive as those two statistics were, perhaps the true significance of the contest was that Nadal, also the French Open champion for the last two years, may have done some psychological damage to Federer ahead of next month's clay-court grand slam in Paris.

This was the fifth time in five clay-court meetings that Nadal had beaten Federer, and so the Spaniard has now achieved seven victories from their 10 meetings on all surfaces. But what was so different about this match was Federer's body-language. When was the last time that Federer looked so quietly demoralised on court? And when did a crowd last cheer Federer's winners more than his opponent's shots seemingly just because they wanted to see more of a contest? It did not appear then as though Federer was "absolutely in the mix", as he suggested later.

Only once before on all surfaces had Nadal seen off Federer in straight sets, and that was in their first match, in Miami three years ago, when the Swiss had been suffering from sunstroke. Although Federer, whose shirt was the same blood-red as a matador's cape, began well yesterday, thereafter he committed far too many mistakes, especially on the forehand, which is his main weapon, and so after the first few games it never really looked as though he was going to wobble the King of Clay's crown.

Nadal had been saying all week that he had been feeling more comfortable than ever on clay, and it was impossible to argue with that as he did not drop a set at his first dirt-court tournament this season. Last year, Nadal defeated Federer in three finals on clay - here, in Rome, where he staved off two match points, and then in Paris. Unfortunately for everyone else on Europe's clay-courts, but particularly Federer, Nadal appears to be playing with ever increasing confidence.

Beating Nadal on clay could be key to how history views Federer. There is an argument which suggests that Federer needs to win a first French Open if he is to be considered the greatest of all time, and if he is to triumph in Paris then he will most probably have to overcome the Nadal in the final. While Nadal will compete in this week's Barcelona event, Federer will discuss the "information" he feels he gleaned from the final with his Australian coach, Tony Roche, who was in Monte Carlo, having travelled much earlier to Europe than in previous years.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/2007/04/23/stnada23.xml

mallorn
04-23-2007, 05:20 PM
Steve Tignor's The Wrap:
Rafa Wins Round One Posted 04/22/2007 @ 11 :08 PM

http://tennisworld.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/04/23/fednadal.jpg

Spring finally showed its face yesterday. The sun was out, the women in my neighborhood were sporting those giant, retro-futuristic goggle shades again—really, how can we tell what you look like when you wear those things?—my Phillies won their second in a row (can you say turnaround?), and tennis was suddenly in the air, in the form of the year’s first meeting between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

When I discovered on Friday that the Fed-Rafa final in Monte Carlo would be best-of-three, I was initially disappointed—I’m a proponent of best-of-five, at least at the Slams, and Federer and Nadal have shown a propensity for the memorable epic in the past (see Rome, Key Biscayne, and, to a slightly lesser extent, Monte Carlo last year, which was decided in a fourth-set tiebreaker). But when I sat down to watch the match yesterday, I was glad it had been shortened. Not only was it too nice out to sit indoors for five hours, but I felt involved in every point right from the start. The opening games weren’t preludes; there was no feeling-out process. The main event started with the first game, and you could see that both Federer and Nadal felt extra pressure not to go down an early break. This was the first time they’d played two-of-three on clay.

To that end, Federer began by barreling to the net, the way so many pundits—myself included—have urged. He held serve, but in that first game Nadal did something just as important. After Federer hammered an inside-out forehand for a sure winner into the corner, Nadal somehow slid, stretched with his forehand, and found the strength to poke an absurd passing-shot winner down the line. After that, Federer didn’t abandon the net, exactly, but he was less bent on getting there.

Instead, he and Nadal took turns getting tight through the first set. Each time one would get a sniff at a break, he'd miss a shot when he had the advantage in the point. These probably went down as unforced errors, but both guys were adjusting to the need to make their shots better than they have to be against anyone else. (I've always thought this was a partial, and overlooked, explanation for why the Williams sisters' matches have been so error-filled.) Whatever the reason, Federer missed a forehand on break point in the first game; Nadal made two forehand errors when he was up 15-30 on Federer’s serve at 2-2; at 3-3, Nadal hit two winners to get back to 40-30, had an attackable forehand, and stoned it 10 feet out; up 4-3, Federer missed two break chances, one with a bad forehand miss.

No one knew it then, but that was it for Federer. Nadal played an intelligent game to hold for 4-4; on one break point, he caught Federer leaning to his forehand side and surprised him with a serve up the middle that Federer shanked badly. Overall, Nadal’s serve was sneakily effective. He hit just one ace, but he routinely slid the ball on the line or fit it deep in the corner of the box. His wide serve in the ad court either drew a backhand error from Federer or put him at a severe disadvantage to start the point. It also didn’t hurt that Nadal made 79 percent of his first-serves (compared to 55 for Federer).

Federer seemed to feel the disappointment of letting his break chance get away. Serving at 4-4, he immediately made two forehand errors, and another to lose the game. He was on the defensive for long stretches trying to fend off Nadal’s forehand with his backhand; but when he finally got a chance to be aggressive, Federer missed. Contrast that with Nadal, who on set point scrambled far to his forehand corner, caught Federer by surprise at the net and forced him to pop the ball up, and then made no mistake with the next forehand, drilling it for a winner and the set.

The momentum of the last three games of the first set—positive for Nadal; distinctly negative for Federer—carried through the entire second. Nadal cut out the errors (he would finish with 19 to Federer’s 38; they each hit 19 winners) while Federer began to play both more passively and erratically. He says he has trouble adjusting his return for clay—the ball kicks a little higher on the serve—and he continued to give Nadal free points with it. The rallies began to take on a familiar pattern, one Federer knows well from past clay matches against the Spaniard: Nadal pounds heavy forehands; Federer, pushed back, hits progressively shorter backhands. This is not a winning scenario, no matter what your ranking is. I know Nadal has outstanding passing shots, but if your alternative to slicing a backhand and coming to net is to get pounded behind the baseline, I think you have to take your chances at the net, even if it means getting the ball belted by you a dozen times. At the very least, Federer might have tried slicing to Nadal’s backhand more often, to see if he could provoke a short ball.

A final thought on Federer: A Tennis Channel announcer wondered why he wasn't showing more intensity. It's something I've wondered myself while watching his clay matches against Nadal. Is it that the Spaniard sucks up all the intensity available in the arena? In other words, does Federer just cede the passion thing to Nadal? Or is Federer a little intimidated by it, as if he feels he could never out-intense Nadal, so why bother trying? Or is he just not used to relying on getting fired up to help him win a tennis match? Whatever the reason, some visible sign of emotion or fight would at least serve as a reminder to himself—as well as his opponent and anyone watching—of just who really is the best player in the world. That couldn't hurt, could it?

In the end, this was Nadal’s win, not Federer’s loss. Rafa was just doing what he’d been doing all week. He didn’t lose a set in the tournament; incredibly, coming into the final he had won more games on his opponents’ serves than they had. Against Federer, Nadal got down in games and fought his way out; he simplified his strategy for crucial points by going relentlessly at Federer’s backhand; he was offensive at times with his backhand; and he gained in confidence as the match went on. Serving at 4-3, 40-0 in the second, he kicked a serve in and Federer went for an all-or-nothing inside-out forehand that landed at the baseline. Nadal leaned in, picked the ball up on a short hop, and sent back a low, humming forehand that Federer barely scraped off the clay. It was official: The kid had his confidence back.

Last year at this time we were beginning to speak of Nadal as a challenger for Federer’s No. 1 spot. That’s not on anyone’s mind now, but watching Nadal celebrate by rolling in the dirt in obvious relief, I could admire him just for holding his ground—for still being there. There have been clay-court champions and No. 2-ranked players in the recent past who have come and gone quickly and quietly—Corretja, Rios, Ferrero, Coria come to mind. Nadal, who has hung on to the No. 2 position longer than anyone in history (a sign of his fundamental cussedness), showed again why he isn’t one of them. He’s had his share of disappointments over the last nine months, while Federer has reached new heights. But Nadal was still there yesterday to win his second Masters title of 2007 and record his seventh win in 10 matches against the world’s best. Whether or not he goes on to win the French Open again, Nadal’s Monte Carlo title was an impressive show of resilience in its own right. It was worth a roll in the dirt.

http://tennisworld.typepad.com/thewrap/2007/04/rafa_wins_round.html

mallorn
04-23-2007, 05:22 PM
And last, but not least, a very interesting analysis from The New York Sun:
On Clay, Federer Is Second to One

By TOM PERROTTA
April 23, 2007


Michael Steele / Getty

After an initial viewing of yesterday's final at the Monte Carlo Masters, where Rafael Nadal ran his clay-court record against Roger Federer to 5–0 with a 6–4, 6–4 victory, I was tempted to attribute this unsurprising outcome to unsurprising causes: Nadal's steadiness, Federer's unwillingness to slice his backhand and approach the net and an erratic Federer forehand.

Tennis, perhaps more so than other sports, benefits from a second look. The ball can mesmerize as it travels back and forth across the net, and obscure subtleties, especially how players position themselves and how often they opt for depth rather than sharp angles. So it was that yesterday's final seemed a display of bad tactics, mistimed strokes, and declining confidence by Federer.

If this were so, Federer could consider it good news. These days he is without doubt the secondbest clay-court player in the world, and he does not adjust to the surface as quickly as Nadal. He also hasn't played much lately, either, owing to two surprise losses on hard courts to Guillermo Canas. Yet he did not lose a set in reaching the Monte Carlo final for the second consecutive year. In the month leading up to the French Open, there would be plenty of time to catch Nadal, perfect his timing, steady his service returns, and play more volleys, as he did in Rome last year when he held two match points against Nadal before losing.

Unfortunately for Federer, optimism is not in order. One would not expect a man who has won 62 consecutive matches on clay, as Nadal had before this tournament began, to fiddle with his game. But the 20-year-old Nadal has. The difference is the improved depth of his shots — a slight adjustment, yes, but if he can sustain it, he'll arrive at the French Open a better clay-court player than he was last year.

First consider the conditions at this event. Players and commentators agreed all week that the Monte Carlo courts, baked by the sun, played quickly — undoubtedly an advantage for Federer. In the early going yesterday, Federer took the offensive, approaching the net five times in the first game and nearly capitalizing on a few uncharacteristic Nadal errors to break serve in the second game. Federer had two more break points in the eighth game, but his forehand went awry. From the end of this game to the end of the next, when he lost his serve, Federer made seven errors in eight points.

Many of these errors looked bad, but Nadal had more to do with them than it seems. While the Spaniard hardly played his best overall match yesterday, he hit the ball deep into the court more consistently than he ever has against Federer on clay. The depth of his shots allowed him to challenge Federer's forehand more than usual, a change in tactics Nadal highlighted in his post-match press conference.

In all their previous meetings on clay, Nadal won because of brilliant defense. Although he often gave Federer a lot of chances in the forecourt, especially in Rome, his feet saved him from defeat. Yesterday, Federer's chances were few. It might have seemed that he should have charged the net more often, but a replay of the match showed only three or four chances in which he could have made a lessthan-foolish approach and did not. He spent most of the match just as far behind the baseline as Nadal.

What about his slice backhand? Early on, Federer did try a few, and he hit two brilliant slice lobs, too (one for a winner, and one that he should have followed to the net and did not; that cost him a point). But he abandoned the slice late in the first set, and for good reason: Nadal wasn't the least bit concerned by it. Although Federer's slice at times lacks bite, it often arrives at such an extreme angle that it forces his opponents out of position. Federer hit one of those yesterday; the ball bounced on the clay and sat up as Nadal charged it and smashed a forehand winner. Federer's topspin backhand, usually the cause of many shanks and shouts, was his best shot yesterday (perhaps the one promising sign for Federer fans). He was right to stick with it.

In the last year, Nadal has tried to adapt his game to hard courts and grass. That work seems as if it will pay dividends on clay, too. Nadal missed more forehands than usual in the first set yesterday, but he went for more than usual: It was only two years ago, in the Rome Masters final, that Nadal was pushed around for five sets by Guillermo Coria, who is generously listed at 5-foot-9 and 152 pounds. Nadal won, but Coria played the role of bully, Nadal's bulging biceps not withstanding. In the second set yesterday, Nadal controlled a healthy majority of rallies and didn't face a break point.

What's Federer to do? Moving forward remains the best plan of attack, but the most important improvement Federer can make is on his return of serve. Federer's chief talent on returns is putting balls in play — no matter how fast or how well spun the serve, it rarely gets past the world no.1 (compare this with Andre Agassi, who gave up a lot of aces, but unloaded on the ball when given the chance). Federer's returns work well against someone like Andy Roddick, but not Nadal. The Spaniard served 79% on first serves yesterday, and admitted he was "serving slowly" (Nadal served terribly in his semifinal match against Tomas Berdych, so he practiced for a halfhour afterward).

When they meet again this clay court season — and it wouldn't be a wise bet to say they won't — Federer can't let Nadal get away with this. If he does, the all-time best clay-court winning streak, now at 67 matches, might live to see Monte Carlo next year.

http://www.nysun.com/article/53004?page_no=1

RogiFan88
04-24-2007, 02:59 AM
:wavey:

mallorn, and you believe him? :lol:

Rafa is far more dominant on clay than Rogi is on the other surfaces -- you can't dispute a 14-0 record in clay finals! ;)

mallorn
04-24-2007, 11:07 AM
mallorn, and you believe him? :lol:
Yeah, I believe at this level of competition things are not easy at all. If it's so easy, why can't more people do it? Maybe you meant that Rafa made it look easy, which he did this past week.
Rafa is far more dominant on clay than Rogi is on the other surfaces -- you can't dispute a 14-0 record in clay finals! ;)
So far it's four straight Wimbledon titles to two RG titles. Roger is on a 48 match winning streak on grass and he won every grass tournament he entered in the last four years. The reason he isn't on a 67 match winning streak is because there is no grass season to speak of. So I would never say Roger is less dominant on grass than Rafa is on clay.

tangerine_dream
04-24-2007, 06:23 PM
:wavey: From TR.net (http://www.tennisreporters.net/famed_federer_042307.html)
Nadal unrivaled as Federer falls
By Matthew Cronin

FAMED
RAFAEL NADAL: Rafa didn't put up just a defensive wall against Roger Federer in taking his fifth consecutive clay-court decision over the Swiss (this time in the Monte Carlo final), he was offensive, too. For the first time since the last set of their '06 Roland Garros final, Federer clearly looked frustrated and downright depressed. Nadal is playing with tremendous confidence once again, thumping his forehand, slapping his backhand, passing brilliantly and locating his serve with precision. The 20-year-old has now extended his record winning streak to 67 matches on dirt, certainly one of the headiest achievements of the Open Era. In Monte Carlo he bullied two men who give him the most problems: Federer and Tomas Berdych. Even though he's downplaying his chances of going undefeated for the rest of the clay-court season, it's hard to think of any man with enough game to stop him when he always seems to be sliding with the confidence of a Ricky Henderson charging toward home plate.

FLAMED
ROGER FEDERER: Three successive Masters Series tournaments has meant three bouts of massive aggravation for the great Swiss, who seems to be going through an unwanted period of transition. He's lost control of his vaunted forehand, isn't making a great enough impression with his serve and has developed a case of wanderlust from the backcourt. In his seventh loss to Nadal, Federer wasn't sure what strategy to employ and, because his combinations aren't clicking for him, he grew erratic.

It's almost impossible for him to attack Nadal at the net early on in points on clay because he moves so well laterally and Federer has nearly thrown the strategy out the window. His best approach might be just to play steady with him and draw the Spaniard out of his comfort zone. Developing a drop shot would also help. But, at this point, it is very clear that Rafa is a better clay-court performer and that Federer has a lot of catching up to do.

From tennis.com (http://www.tennis.com/features/general/features.aspx?id=76058)
Just Asking: 10 Questions on April 26, 2007
By Kamakshi Tandon

1. Roger, were you watching the same match we were watching?

Roger Federer’s defeat to Rafael Nadal in the Monte Carlo final was his worst loss to the Spaniard since illness contributed to a straight-sets loss at their first meeting five years ago.

Federer still talked up the result afterwards, saying it gave him some more “information” on how to play Nadal. “I think I'm absolutely in the mix with him on clay, which is how I wanted to feel,” said Federer. “It’s always disappointing to lose, but I feel like I didn't play well and still it was close. That's a good thing.”

But the consensus view was much harsher, and even Federer betrayed discontent when pressed to explain further. “It was only two sets, so there's not too much – you know, it was over in a hurry, so there's not too much we can say about it.”

2. Rafael, were you watching the same match we were watching?

“In my opinion, the match of today was very open,” was how Nadal described his routine straight-setter over Federer in Monte Carlo. That was shortly after the match.

By the time he arrived in Barcelona this week, diplomacy held less sway. “After the first set, it changed. I think in the second set I could probably have won it earlier,” he said.

yana
04-24-2007, 07:43 PM
I think that Fed has learned by now the spanish hymn. He heard it sooooo many times. :p

And he looked so pissed at the trophy presentation. He could hardly hide it.

the_natural
04-30-2007, 09:40 AM
I didnt like the first set, I think Rafa played a bit sloppy, I was laughing though because both guys looked scared of each other, really, go watch the first set and even in the second when rafa coulda broken to win 6-2, the guys look nervous as hell against one another at different times in the match, thats why federer was close in the first, rafa always starts badly against Federer, I just hope hes over it now and just rides a wave of confidence, all that matters is RG, there are no other players out there except Canas who arent afraid against federer and who will play their normal games against him, especially on clay (guys try to hit winners on clay rather than constructing points, even Ferrer and ferrero wtf!?) So federer has a 99% chance on winning it this year if Nadal doesnt keep this level and build on it cos most guys play better against him even on clay and u might get an upset in the form of a PHM (but the way hes playing, he shoulda lost one set against Willy at Barcelona this time last year he woulda, not being broken is huge for him on clay, so it looks like hes finally starting to dictate a bit I just hope he doesnt get sick of it!!!)