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Mats Wilander comments in Tennis Week on Roger and Rafa:

Nadal is a very talented player, but I am not sure I think Nadal will have a good chance (to challenge Federer for No. 1) because the more he plays Roger, the more Federer's gonna learn how to play him and I guess that is Federer's strength: he adjusts so well to opponents and figures out how he has to play each opponent. I think where Federer differs is he is so talented physically, he can always work on his game and always improve stuff within his game. Federer can definitely improve his volley and he can definitely improve his serve. When you watch him, his serve and backhand are not always on all the time and I personally think he can improve his serve and backhand. Imagine if he even starts hitting his serve 10 mph harder how he will be even tougher to break than he already is now. Federer is one of those phenomenons and the question is how long can keep his mind into it to continue at this level? Will he get distracted or bored? I do hope guys will focus on beating him because it will be good for him and good for tennis. I personally don't like that he plays these smaller tournaments. Yes, it's great for those smaller cities that the world No. 1 comes to play, but I hope he doesn't burn out playing these smaller places.
Hmm....well I don't see Roger getting bored any time soon. And I think the other players ARE focused on trying to beat him it's just most of them aren't able to do it. Maybe they're getting bored of trying so hard to beat him only to come up short most of the time. :lol: I don't want Roger to burn out either, but I like the fact he plays smaller tournaments. Of course money is a big part of it, but it also shows that he's not some snob who will only play certain tournaments or not try as hard in smaller events because they're not important enough. EVery tournament he participates in he plays to win.
 

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Indeed, our Roger goes to those smaller tournaments to make his ffans happy :)

hope he rememeber to visit his fans in South America one day :D
 

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I loved Mats when he played and obviously he knows the game.

I think that he may be right about Roger and Rafa over the next couple years. But then Rafa might move up a level...maybe even before that...and learn how to play the hardcourts better...he's already improved a lot this year.

Plus its hard to maintain #1 year after year.

But Roger is the best...and may go down as "the" best...so who knows???

It will be interesting to see how their rivalry plays out. I think its great for tennis.

The only thing I really disagree with is like you... I think Roger should play the smaller tournaments. That would be fine when he's like 28-29, but he's too young for that. I really believe that he'd lose his competitive edge if he only played the bigger tournaments.

Plus its bad for the game. Roger is a great draw...he needs to be out there. And he takes a fair amount of time off...he's getting his rest.
 

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How is the longevity for the clay court baseline grinders? It's not my favorite type of game so I really haven't paid attention to how long the grinders last. Is it any wonder that the one male player who dominated the sport finishing 6 straight years at #1 was an all court player - Pete Sampras? This is something Wilander isn't discussing. The wear and tear on the bodies of the grinders. The game doesn't seem to be as forgiving to those players.
 

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NicoFan said:
I loved Mats when he played and obviously he knows the game.

I think that he may be right about Roger and Rafa over the next couple years. But then Rafa might move up a level...maybe even before that...and learn how to play the hardcourts better...he's already improved a lot this year.

Plus its hard to maintain #1 year after year.

But Roger is the best...and may go down as "the" best...so who knows???

It will be interesting to see how their rivalry plays out. I think its great for tennis.

The only thing I really disagree with is like you... I think Roger should play the smaller tournaments. That would be fine when he's like 28-29, but he's too young for that. I really believe that he'd lose his competitive edge if he only played the bigger tournaments.

Plus its bad for the game. Roger is a great draw...he needs to be out there. And he takes a fair amount of time off...he's getting his rest.
As long as the current situation remains (Roger #1, Rafa #2 - or vice versa) the only way for a rivalry is for Rafa to improve on hc and grass. Otherwise how often will they meet each other outside of events on the dirt?

I think Roger's smart with his scheduling and rests when he needs to - like this year when he took 5/6 weeks off after Wimbledon.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
wcr said:
How is the longevity for the clay court baseline grinders? It's not my favorite type of game so I really haven't paid attention to how long the grinders last. Is it any wonder that the one male player who dominated the sport finishing 6 straight years at #1 was an all court player - Pete Sampras? This is something Wilander isn't discussing. The wear and tear on the bodies of the grinders. The game doesn't seem to be as forgiving to those players.
Well some here have suggested that hard courts do more damage to the body than clay. :shrug: Nadal is only 19 so I don't see burn out from him for a long time. But he should listen to Uncle Tony who I believe has said he would prefer Rafa not to play so much. I can't imagine Rafa keeping the same schedule next year and playing as many tournaments as he has this year.
 

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Interesting comments. Federer needs to work on his upper body strength. A few pounds of muscle and he will be able to serve the ball 4-5 mph faster. He can't add 10 mph no matter what but even 4-5 will make that 1st serve that much bigger.
 

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I'm actually eager to see how Nadal performs next year because I'm eager to see Nadal and Roger really develop a rivalry. I think tennis is about Roger and Rafael these days. I just hope Rafael doesn't disappear next year.
 

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mirkaland said:
Mats Wilander comments in Tennis Week on Roger and Rafa:
This is what I've been trying to say for months and yet I get labeled a "troll" for it. Give me a break with this Nadal #1 stuff, it's wishful thinking ...
 

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Wilander on Federer.

I think Roger Federer is most probably a better tennis player than Pete Sampras was, and I think he will go into all four majors every year for the next five, six, seven years, if he"s healthy, thinking he can win and I think the other players know that he can win.

I think that even spills over into the French Open. Sampras was never a threat at the French Open but he was very dominant in the other three. I think Federer can win all four of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
NYCtennisfan said:
Interesting comments. Federer needs to work on his upper body strength. A few pounds of muscle and he will be able to serve the ball 4-5 mph faster. He can't add 10 mph no matter what but even 4-5 will make that 1st serve that much bigger.
But is his first serve really a liability? I thought it was the second serve that needed improvement.
 

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Roger hits a big 2nd serve with lots of kick and topspin on it. Roger's volleys will improve and his BH upon usage.
 

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mirkaland said:
Well some here have suggested that hard courts do more damage to the body than clay. :shrug: Nadal is only 19 so I don't see burn out from him for a long time. But he should listen to Uncle Tony who I believe has said he would prefer Rafa not to play so much. I can't imagine Rafa keeping the same schedule next year and playing as many tournaments as he has this year.
it's true that hard court does more damage to your body compared to clay since clay provides some sort of "cushion" and you don't push your body much when you have to break from sprinting.

but what is being discussed is the longevity on style of play. grinders such as chang, hewitt, and nadal push their bodies more compared to others. hence more wear and tear compared to serve and volleyers (henman, sampras) or baseline dictators (agassi, fed)
 

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Federer proved he was still king with the Rise of Nadal, this year belongs to Federer once again, I think next year will be much of the same thing!
 

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Daniel said:
Indeed, our Roger goes to those smaller tournaments to make his ffans happy :)

hope he rememeber to visit his fans in South America one day :D
Well his foundation is based in South Africa, so I would assume he visits the place a few times a year I would imagine. Besides Lynette his mother was born in South Africa, so there are ties between South Africa and Federer for sure.
 

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Federer on Rafa:

From an interview this week:

Federer says Rafa will be the next number 1

The suiss Roger Federer confessed his wishes to play against Rafael Nadal in Madrid, and defended the theory that the mallorquin will be the next number 1.

Federer smiled when Nadal's 2005 season "bad luck" was mentioned, because even though Rafa has won 10 titles, including a Grand Slam, he can't overpass Federer, clear number 1 and winner of 11 titles this year. " Something similar happened to me in 2003, when I did a great season and I was number 2 behind Andy Roddick. I couldn't play better, but I ended number 2. But I have no doubts that Nadal will get to the number 1 and he will stay on the top for a long time" Federer said
Source: Diario de Mallorca (translation by Yoly, Vamosrafa.com)

Also, I read a Spanish article (translated through google.com) that they asked the "some say that you are better than Sampras, how do you feel about that?" question and Federer answered that it's very difficult to compare players of different generations because people now see him play so his level is fresh in their memory but they tend to forget just how good Sampras or Agassi were in their prime.
(don't know how good that google translation was but that seemed to be what he was saying)


Mats does have a point: Federer does have the knack to 'figure out' his opponents but who knows how this rivalry will turn out?
In a couple of years, we might be sitting here wondering why there was so much fuss over this rivalry looking at the way Federer dominates each and every player OR the other scenario could be true as well, Nadal could find a way to figure out more and more how to play Federer.
Besides, tennis is about more than these two.
We'll just have to wait and see, won't we?
 

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If Nadal doesn't improve then he won't be #1.

However, he is only 19 and will continue to improve so one day he will be number 1.
 

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mirkaland said:
But is his first serve really a liability? I thought it was the second serve that needed improvement.
Niether the 1st or 2nd serve are liabilities for Roger. His 2nd serve is one of the best in the game.
 

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Fedex said:
Niether the 1st or 2nd serve are liabilities for Roger. His 2nd serve is one of the best in the game.
Indeed, hes very fond of hitting second serve aces, they are so well timed. ;) Like swiss clockwork! :worship:
 
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