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Old 02-10-2010, 06:36 PM   #1
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Default Peter Bodo.. Finally some resemblance of Sanity and objectiveness

by Pete Bodo

http://tennisworld.typepad.com/tenni...0/02/tk-4.html

Homeless Rafa:


Quote:
I see that the news out of the Rafael Nadal camp, via uncle Toni, is good: Rafa is getting insoles to wear, which is a good thing. I learned the hard way (three foot surgeries) that very few people really walk properly, and almost everyone can avoid some measure of discomfort or injury by using custom orthopedic insoles. Sure, they're a pain to move around from shoe to shoe, and impossible to wear with certain kinds of footwear, but you figure it out. And you can skip wearing them altogether at reasonable intervals. There's my PSA for today.

But back to Rafa. One of my big takeaways from the Australian Open and the performance Roger Federer put on was that no matter what he or anyone else said, Rafa was in his head - as deeply embedded as a piece of shrapnel - until the unexpected events of last spring, starting at Madrid. For as Rafa has appeared to become vulnerable and suddenly less than picador perfect, Federer seems to have flourished. It's almost like the guy can breath deeply and freely again, or like a judge has just thrown out a legal action that had been brought against him. Since Federer won the French Open last June, he's looked like a man with a new lease on life. Is it coincidence that this occurred at the same time that Rafa hit the first serious roadblocks in his career?

Don't get me wrong. I don't think Federer spent last winter and spring sitting around, picking his cuticles, fretting over the threat represented by Nadal. And Roger always bridled at the idea that Rafa was in his head. That wasn't surprising; Federer is the greatest player of all time, do you imagine a guy in that position has no pride?

But the way Federer has looked - not just as a ball-striker, but as a presence and personality - suggests that Rafa definitely had a pied a terre somewhere between Roger's ears, even if it wasn't his official permanent residence. Federer has looked nothing less than liberated. Until Rafa comes back and hurts Federer again, he's going to be just another rival (and even if he does hurt Federer again, Roger probably will continue to describe him that way), and one who's run into serious obstacles in pursuit of his goals for the first real time. It's a pity. Helluva player, that Rafa. Nice guy, too. Phew!!!

All of this makes a certain amount of sense, for the Federer vs. Nadal rivalry has many more layers and complications than did, say, the Laver-Rosewall, McEnroe-Borg, or the even Sampras-Agassi competition. It's all pretty nicely summed up by that oh-so-deceptive head-to-head advantage enjoyed by Nadal.

That 13-7 edge may be the most un-representative H2H figure ever generated by by two great players, although that doesn't at all diminish the truth of it. Nine of those 13 wins by Nadal have been on clay, the surface on which he's not only overshadowed Federer, but towered over him in a way that Federer cannot match on any surface of his choice. Remove those nine "gimmes" and Federer is 7-4, a statistic that may give him a no less a significant edge than the actual H2H, but one that also underscores the true danger that Nadal represented even without his clay-court advantage - a menace that was only coming to full bloom when Nadal was laid low by injury.

That nine-match advantage had enormous repercussions - among them, Federers's failure to secure a clay-court Grand Slam title until 2009. If tennis history stopped right now, this much could be said: the only man who was able to win a title at Roland Garros during the Nadal era was Federer, but he was only able to do it with Nadal absent from the draw. That was a good effort by Federer. The guy can play on clay, but let's face it, he's no Adriano Panatta. You may recall that Panatta was the only man ever to beat Bjorn Borg at Roland Garros, and he did it twice - including a quarterfinal in 1976, after which Panatta went on to take the title. There's no real or imagined asterisk alongside that one, as there is beside Federer's Roland Garros triumph.

I'm not trying to yank the chain of Federer fans here; I just want to add another argument to the case that the Federer vs. Nadal rivalry is curiously and in some ways irritatingly asymmetrical. Until 2008, it could hardly even be called a rivalry in any meaningful sense, beyond the fact that it featured the top two players in the world. Nadal owned clay, Federer owned everything else. It was less a rivalry than the division of the empire - three parts to Federer, one to Nadal. It's too bad that Nadal had to come up lame just when things were getting interesting.

Nadal's recent difficulties have thrown this emerging narrative into utter confusion, and there's a real chance that the glory days of Federer vs. Nadal are a thing of the past - a half-finished masterpiece that's as intriguing and suitable for launching furious debate as the half-finished movie of some famous director, or an incomplete painting. Let's face it, we didn't even come close to having a good Federer or Nadal? brawl during the Australian Open. Everyone watched, holding his or her breath, not quite believing that we could be so lucky once again.

And we weren't.

The big question going into the spring clay-court events in Europe (personally, I wouldn't be surprised if Nadal takes a pass on at least one of the big upcoming hard-court events) will be whether Nadal can recapture anything close to the form he showed at those events through most of his career. You know that if Nadal plays anywhere close to the level of which he's shown himself capable, the Federer vs. Nadal theme will be re-ignited, and whatever happens at the French Open will really just be a table-setter for an ultimate showdown at Wimbledon.

Given the quality of the rest of the field, you'd have to be crazy to take it for granted that we can get back to where we once were in this rivalry. But the herky-jerky performance Andy Murray offered in Melbourne suggests that maybe this handful of promising contenders - Murray, del Potro, Djokovic, Cilic - are not as ready as some of us may think to challenge the two leading men.

I have a funny feeling none of those guys is looking forward to meeting a healthy Nadal on clay, and that nicely sets up a Rafa resurgence. Before you know it, we could find ourselves back where we left off in the early spring of 2009, although Nadal must be wondering if that space he so liked living in is still for rent.
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Peter Bodo.. Finally some resemblance of Sanity and objectiveness

Sampras would have beaten those two handily.
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: Peter Bodo.. Finally some resemblance of Sanity and objectiveness

Bodo ghost wrote Sampras' autobiography. That information should tell you how objective he is. Hint: Not much.

Keep on trolling SetSampras.
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: Peter Bodo.. Finally some resemblance of Sanity and objectiveness

There was a direct correlation and coincidence between the two events. Obviously credit to Federer for taking advantage of it. But its not as though Fed scaped and clawed and overtook Nadal to grab the top spot and the slams back. It was Nadal going out injured. Anyone who says otherwise is wrong
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Old 02-10-2010, 07:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: Peter Bodo.. Finally some resemblance of Sanity and objectiveness

Quote:
Finally some resemblance of Sanity and objectiveness
yes,
Quote:
Federer is the greatest player of all time
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Originally Posted by FormerRafaFan View Post
That will be the last victory of Rafa for quite some time.. With his joke mentality and pathetic game, I hope the disgusting player loses every single match next season. He's disgraceful. He should just retire. He's a joke.
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(10) Corey Feldman vs. (12) scarecrows
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Old 02-10-2010, 07:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: Peter Bodo.. Finally some resemblance of Sanity and objectiveness

Ojectivity
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Old 02-10-2010, 08:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: Peter Bodo.. Finally some resemblance of Sanity and objectiveness

Overall a good piece by Bozo, but his insight into the Fed-Nadal injury dynamic isn't a revelation or anything new. Anyone with half a brain can see what Nadal does to the GOAT, and this is what makes their rivalry so fascinating and unique.

Let's hope a healthy Rafa can re-ignite The Rivalry
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Old 02-10-2010, 08:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: Peter Bodo.. Finally some resemblance of Sanity and objectiveness

Quote:
Originally Posted by SetSampras View Post
There was a direct correlation and coincidence between the two events. Obviously credit to Federer for taking advantage of it. But its not as though Fed scaped and clawed and overtook Nadal to grab the top spot and the slams back. It was Nadal going out injured. Anyone who says otherwise is wrong
He had to win two Grand Slams to do it, and with a much tougher road to the titles than Nadal had when he did the RG-Wimbledon double the year before. He earnt them, and if Nadal at five years younger is more physically fragile than Federer, that's nothing the latter should feel guilty about.
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Old 02-10-2010, 08:59 PM   #9
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Default Re: Peter Bodo.. Finally some resemblance of Sanity and objectiveness



16>14

16>6
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:50 PM   #10
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Talking Re: Peter Bodo.. Finally some resemblance of Sanity and objectiveness

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Originally Posted by rofe View Post
Bodo ghost wrote Sampras' autobiography. That information should tell you how objective he is. Hint: Not much.
AHA!!!!

SetSampras says it is sane and objective because it fits his agenda, if it wasn't then he would say that "anyway is not like he has much credibility" or something of the sort
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:31 PM   #11
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Default Re: Peter Bodo.. Finally some resemblance of Sanity and objectiveness

Quote:
this much could be said: the only man who was able to win a title at Roland Garros during the Nadal era was Federer, but he was only able to do it with Nadal absent from the draw
what a f'in idiot this plonker is, absent from the draw?

its amazing how Nadal fanboys all have the same selective memory
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:35 PM   #12
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Default Re: Peter Bodo.. Finally some resemblance of Sanity and objectiveness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corey Feldman View Post
what a f'in idiot this plonker is, absent from the draw?

its amazing how Nadal fanboys all have the same selective memory
Nadal losing in the QF/SF= absent from the draw

Federer losing = decline
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:36 PM   #13
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Default Re: Peter Bodo.. Finally some resemblance of Sanity and objectiveness

I have nothing against Peter Bodo, most of MTF seem to have a deep disliking for his writting but I can enjoy his articles from time to time. I cant see him beeing wrong about anything in this article, the Nadal-Federer rivalry has been strange from the very start, 1st of all beautiful tennis is not the outcome of their meetings most of the time and 2nd the outcome used to be overly dependend on the surface they were playing. From 2008-2009 the rivalry started to take a different route where Nadal really belived he could take what belonged to Federer (Wimbledon, nr1 ranking, hardcourt slams) and Federer stopped believing he could take what belongs to Nadal (Roland Garros) and then like every good movie there was a new turn in Roland Garros 2009 where it turned out Nadal had been working too hard to challenge Federer for the nr1 spot and the big non-clay tournaments. As I previously said, strange thing this rivalry, where the 5 years younger upcoming contender gets burned out before the old veteran.
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:39 PM   #14
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Default Re: Peter Bodo.. Finally some resemblance of Sanity and objectiveness

" If tennis history stopped right now, this much could be said: the only man who was able to win a title at Roland Garros during the Nadal era was Federer, but he was only able to do it with Nadal absent from the draw. That was a good effort by Federer. The guy can play on clay, but let's face it, he's no Adriano Panatta. "

I did not realize that Nadal was ABSENT from the draw, but okay.
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:42 PM   #15
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Default Re: Peter Bodo.. Finally some resemblance of Sanity and objectiveness

Nadull absent from the draw.There goes bozo's credibility.
BTW he is a samprass fanboy go figure.
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