Australian Open - Day Fourteen

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Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Henman Bill on Fri 27 Jan 2017, 3:39 pm

First topic message reminder :

Federer vs Nadal and other matches on day 14.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Guest on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 1:29 pm

kemet wrote:
Henman Bill wrote:Unbelievable tension in the last two games. Was really the only time in the match when I really believed Roger could win it.

I woke up at least one person in the house with a shout of come on on the down the line forehand at 40-40 at 3-4.

Come on people, it's 9am. I've been up since 6.

I had to apologize to the neighbour upstairs for my outbursts, lol

That DTL FH winner was sick, similar to Rafa's in the 2009 final at the end of one of the most incredible rallies you'll ever see.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Guest on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 1:31 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQ7kyUknYjM

This one

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by mthierry on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 1:37 pm

If the court was a tad slower, you'd have favored Rafa, but the lower bouncing balls was also a factor. That's why Federer has dominated their WTF matches on those slow, sticky indoor surfaces. Single biggest one for me though is Nadal's forehand is not the weapon it was. Couldn't hurt Federer much with it today and his backhand was the more effective, reliable shot.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by theslosty on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 1:44 pm

All I'll say is I've never been happier to lose £100! I took Henman Bill's advice and put my money on Rafa - at least it would be a small consolation after another agonising defeat for Roger.

I feel as if after supporting Federer for so many years it has all led up to this moment - I know he's had so much success but at the same time he really needed this victory. Not just for the overdue #18 but to finally conquer his greatest nemesis - and in the most incredible circumstances too. If Fed retires tomorrow I'd have no complaints.

I need a lie down...
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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by lydian on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 1:46 pm

Congrats on Fed win today, Roger really showed great grit and determination. Ok, it obviously wasn't their best match by a long chalk but was a worthy "battle" of what is likely their last great match together.

For me, when the two stood up there at the end on the podium giving their speeches it felt like tennis royalty right there with Laver combined. For all the arguments back and forth about Nadal and Federer the game will be poorer for their eventual exit and I even got a sense from Federer that this might be his last year when he said he might not be back next year and told Rafa to keep playing on...ie. in his absence...that sounded like a clear signal from a man who knows his time is coming up. And what a way to now go...2017 can be his lap of honour. I really wouldn't be surprised if he calls it a day this month, after Wimb or USO. I don't see him back in tour next year.

The other thing you can palpably sense from the presentation is the warmth and respect between the 2 guys. I know some people on here/elsewhere may not recognise that but these guys are actually very good friends and respect each other like no others on tour. After all it was Roger who visited Rafas Manacor academy during his injury period. The tour will miss them both when they're gone. These are the 2 best players to have graced the game in my opinion, for many reasons, they give more back to the game than just about anyone else too and now with today's battle included one player will never be discussed in future without innate reference to the other. They've almost defined the career and success in the other and that sits fine with me if not others.

Yes I'm disappointed Rafa lost but I'm not surprised, it felt like he was hanging on for most of the match and I knew Roger would come back in the 5th. I was on court myself at the time when Rafa was 3-1 up in the 5th and I said to a guy who thought it was over that no, Federer will come back. Rafa simply isn't the player of a few years back and it's tough to see these guys playing post Prime, which is what they are - and yet they still reach slams finals. To be fair Roger employed good tactics, dug deep and refused to roll over. Rafa battled enormously too when he must have frankly been knackered but I knew it wasn't going to be today, that semi took too much out of him, dulled the edges and I still know why they schedule slams so players don't play key matches on the same day. It is frustrating to introduce a timing element which can become a factor. However I respect Feds win hugely, the player he is and what he means to the game. For me no Djokovic or Murray match can hold a candle to the legend of these 2 playing each other, no matter the H2H or whatever the situation, there is no bigger occasion in tennis right now because again they have battled each other for so long now...beating each other since 2004 which is a seriously long time at the peak of tennis. Not many top pairings have done that for 13/14 years in the Open Era. This pair epitomise the yin and yang of tennis and sport itself - artistry, grit, coming back from low periods, never giving up, grace in defeat. I'm not interested in any general negatives about Nadal..."whatever" I say...any true tennis fan recognises what these 2 players have brought to the sport, the legions of players they have encouraged to pick up a racquet, and they will be a tough act to follow, even for Andy and Djokovic who may play on for a while once these 2 hang up their racquets - which I predict won't be far short of each other when the time comes.

Anyway...enjoy your day Fed fans, your man did good and cements his place in history, as it does the Federer-Nadal duality as mentioned. I know Nadal is hated in many quarters but that's fine, opinions are opinions. I'm come to appreciate that the 2 players longevity in facing each other across so many key moments has defined each others career and I believe both guys are very happy with that label too. As Roger said himself today, a draw would have suited him fine, he knows they have got to a place where they're cemented together in tennis history. I'm sure we'll see these 2 guys together a lot down the years because they are close and recognise what the other means to the game.

So that's it for me posting for a good long while, I haven't posted much recently anyway...my interest has diverted back to playing and coaching the game, its what I enjoy the most so I'll leave you guys to discuss the ins and outs. Enjoy today's W, your guys legend and the lap of honour year ahead, and who knows maybe even #19 is possible...why not.

Cheers Smile


Last edited by lydian on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 2:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Guest on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 1:54 pm

Well said and very gracious Lydian.

There's lots of life left in Rafa yet. We'll see how the clay court season goes but as things currently stand, ge's got to be the favourite for RG.

As for Roger, he's not done either.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by JuliusHMarx on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 2:18 pm

I was :-
1. Impressed by Rafa's use of the body serve.
2. Surprised that overall Fed did slightly better on break point conversions.
3. Alarmed that it took me 4 sets to remember Ivan Ljubicic's name.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by timex please on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 2:43 pm

Great post lydian.  

I thought one of the most moving things from two great speeches from two great champions was when (as you pointed out above),  Fed said that if it was possible to have had a draw he would gladly have shared that with Rafa.

Agree with you that it felt like he is beginning his goodbyes.  If this is the last hurrah/slam (and surely it is!) how wonderful that it was against his greatest opponent.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by sirfredperry on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 2:54 pm

Just watched highlights. Some thoughts. Fed was prepared to hit through his backhands rather than just float them back. He had almost as much joy attacking the Rafa backhand as Nadal did attacking Rog's. Fed got far more free points on his serve than Rafa and won far more points when he got his first serve in.
Key moments included Fed holding on to his serve at the start of the 3rd and the Rafa cross-court forehand that looped out in the 5th when he had a point for 4-2. The 26-stroke rally towards the end of the match was simply sensational
Hope this is not the final season for Fed but he's probably thinking there's going to be nothing to top this and he should go out while he's on a high.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by lydian on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 3:16 pm

Thanks E.
Yes still life in the pair yet for 2017 but I really done have ANY expectations of either playing, or winning anything of note, in 2018. I don't know about RG this year...there are a lot of young big hitters around now and the game is changing on how's it's played. Let's hope this surface speeding up continues.

But hey who knows...these guys are ripping up the rule book of tennis for what guys can achieve in their autumns/winters and after such a long period of playing the sport...both around/beyond 1000 matches. To be honest though even if they both retired tomorrow I'm happy with things as they now sit. In terms of GOAT labels, I'll leave that to others.
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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by summerblues on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 3:20 pm

I was so wrong about how this match would go, and I am so glad I was.

Sensational feeling - Fed at 18 slams (and counting Smile).

I woke up very early in the 4th set.  As I was watching, I thought it would be yet another one of those matches that Fed always had against Rafa (and recently against Nole too) where he is playing quite well at times, wins his share of nice points, but just not the ones that matter.

When Rafa came back from 0:40 to deuce at 3:4 I felt certain it was over and that Fed would crumble from there.

It was also I thought a very good match, not just a tight one - surprisingly good I would say.  Federer especially I thought played better than I expected.  I was also surprised that in the 5th his body language still looked ok, he did not look like he was barely hanging in at that point.  Rafa was playing quite well, but he did make some errors that in the past he would not, and that proved costly.  The DF at 0:30 would have been unusual in the past, as well as the miss that gave Roger the break.

I had to leave before the trophy presentation was over - was Roger really hinting he might not be back?  That would surprise me, I always thought that he loved playing and would continue for at least as long as he thought he had a chance to win more slams.  Surely after today he must feel he still has a chance to win more.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by summerblues on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 3:26 pm

A few items that felt different from their previous matches:

Roger was coming over his returns instead of just chipping them back far more than in the past.

Also, in general, his BH held up incredibly well.  Surely the bounce must be lower than in the past?  This time Roger did not seem to struggle with the BH at all - in fact he hit tons of fantastic ones.

The rallies were in general a little shorter than in the past.  Whether it is more due to faster courts, or slower Rafa, or a combo of the two I am not sure, but the match was far less physical because of it.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by summerblues on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 3:27 pm

temporary21 wrote:A bit of both I suggest. Forum talk says he's spent most the 2 days trying to rest it
Maybe.  My bet would be that he was just cheating though.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by summerblues on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 3:30 pm

Henman Bill wrote:PLEASE TENNIS GODS A BREAK IN THE NEXT GAME

I WILL NEVER ASK FOR ANYTHING AGAIN
How long have I seen you posting?  Five years?  Six?  Seven?  Always so level headed, emotions in check.  I do not think I once saw you indicate there was any emotion underneath it all.  And then it all comes out - ALL CAPS TOO. Smile

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by LuvSports! on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 3:34 pm

I THINK I FEEL A SONG COMING ON!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GwjfUFyY6M

BEL19VE!!! Very Happy Very Happy

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by lydian on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 4:07 pm

Thanks Timex. Have to say I was actually very impressed by both players graciousness in victory and defeat. I just read that Nadal said this in a later presser which is good to hear. It's almost the way Federer has viewed the sport these past few years too...playing for the sheer enjoyment.

"I cannot say that I am sad. I wanted to win, yes, but I am not very sad. I did all the things that I could. I worked a lot during all these months. I enjoyed the competition. I won against the best players of the world, and I competed well against everybody."

"The real thing is what makes me more happy, more than the titles, is go on the court and feel that I can enjoy the sport. Today I am enjoying the sport."


(which hints he hasn't been doing in recent years)

"I believe that playing like this, good things can happen. Can happen here in this surface, but especially can happen on clay," he said. "On clay can be special."
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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Henman Bill on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 4:17 pm

Great comments Lydian, I hope you chip in from time to time. I've stopped playing tennis myself after the local tennis club was closed down here, and I haven't made the effort to seek out a new club or playing partner.

I was not at all surprised to see Federer break back in the 5th set either, it didn't looked like a serve-dominated match, and I felt either Rafa would get the double break, or Federer would break back. However even after he broke back I didn't really believe he could actually win it, not at 3-3. Too much history there.

However the curious thing is that if you look at matches that went the distance, to five sets, I now make that 3-3 over the whole course of the rivalry (2-2 at slams) that is perhaps not what you would expect, although of course Rafa won all 3 when at his peak and Federer just got the wins against pre and post peak Rafa, so there is that.

However people including myself often think that the longer the match goes on the more it turns to Rafa, the stats have never really borne this out as a very clear and consistent effect.

Even though Rafa wasn't at his best, he wasn't far off. I think it was a very satisfying win for Federer after all these years of tight-ish losses against both Rafa (and Novak).

What separates out Federer from Novak and Rafa is arguably longevity.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by kingraf on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 4:20 pm

The big thing is Nadal, in the fifth set especially, could not for love or money buy a cheap point on his serve, I think six out of the first seven break points he faced he hit a winner, which shows that he kept having to find something on his own serve. If Federer plays like he did that fifth set in big games this year, I genuinely wouldn't be surprised if he wins a second slam.
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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Henman Bill on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 4:25 pm

One thing that is slightly different in the rivalry now, is that, compared to the earlier years Federer's backhand steadily got stronger, I think from 2008 to 2011, somewhere around then, it got better. However, conversely, around the same period, and also more recently, his forehand has declined. I think he seems to have lost a little physical strength, and I think the movement was always a key part of the forehand, so that could be a factor too.

So, I was wondering if Rafa would mix it up today instead of battering the backhand constantly and I think he did and I think that makes for a more varied and interesting match.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Henman Bill on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 4:26 pm

Kingraf, I think Rafa did actually serve well, and did get some great first serves, including at critical times on several occassions. However, when the match was going into mid length rallies, Federer was perhaps doing slightly better than in the past.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by sirfredperry on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 4:40 pm

Stats bear out the thoughts of some that Fed had by far a better-serving day than Rafa. Rafa's first-serve percentage was quite high, even in the fifth set. But the points won when he got his first serve in were lowish, while Fed had a much higher figure.
So the GS victory bar gets pushed higher. An interesting fact. When Sampras got his 14th and final GS victory at the 2002 USO, there were plenty to say that total would not be beaten, or that it would certainly last for a long time.
Yet less than SEVEN YEARS later, the record had gone - and to a man who had not won even one GS by the time of Sampras's last. So you never quite know what's going to happen in sport.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Henman Bill on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 4:47 pm

summerblues wrote:
Henman Bill wrote:PLEASE TENNIS GODS A BREAK IN THE NEXT GAME

I WILL NEVER ASK FOR ANYTHING AGAIN
How long have I seen you posting?  Five years?  Six?  Seven?  Always so level headed, emotions in check.  I do not think I once saw you indicate there was any emotion underneath it all.  And then it all comes out - ALL CAPS TOO. Smile

The tennis gods apparently appreciated my sparing request as Federer surged up to 0-40 when I posted that.

This is full circle for me. I started posting after the Australian Open 2009 match when I read a BBC report on the match, this one it would have been http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/7862452.stm and there was a link through to the 606 forum - you can see the quote in the article in the days when they actually want to draw more people to the forum - and I read the comments on a tennis forum for the first time in the live thread of the match (seen after the match). I can't remember if I signed up that day (I think not) or whether I lurked and signed up some months or weeks later, but that was when it started.

For me, the Wimbledon 2008 and Australian Open 2009 were the two classic matches of the rivalry, and it was those that defined and decided the rivalry, and they were both so close. (AO 09 was a 1-sided 5th set, but Federer had chances to win that match in 4.)

I actually started out watching the Federer-Nadal matches as a neutral but during the W 08 match I realised I wanted Federer to win. I wasn't even sure why at first. I only figured that out later. Initially, I only supported Federer against Rafa but eventually came to support him against everyone. By the AO 2009 I was firmly in the Federer corner.

That AO 2009 match I went to bed at 10pm, got up at 1am, went back to bed at 5am, and got up at 9am. I never did that for a tennis match before the Federer-Nadal rivalry. So that's dedication. (I was in California on a business trip, and had flown out either the Friday or Saturday as it was always much cheaper to do that rather than fly out Sunday.)

These days, I'm not as interested in sport. I mean, if you look at what's in the news today about deportations and Trump, these are important issues, this is what we should care about, or global warming, or your family, or something else. Somehow, it doesn't make sense to me any more to invest so much in sport.

And yet.... I did still get up today at 6am on a Sunday - I joined the match in the third game. There is still something about a Federer-Nadal encounter it was the only complete match I saw in the tournament.

I have to say pre-match I felt that I wasn't going to be too excited by a Fed win, being a less important, end of career match. But, because the quality was good, and it was done in a 5th set with a comeback, in reality it didn't feel that way at all.

It feels quite satisfying to be honest. I am still feeling quite happy even hours later.

However I followed tennis more closely in around 2009-2012, that was a golden period, it has been on the decline recently. I also used to post and contribute more often as well as watch a lot more matches.

I think I watched about 10 complete matches last year. At one stage it was probably more like 30 or 50.

Nowadays when I go to forums I only post about 5-10% tennis, I have other interests now mostly.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by laverfan on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 5:21 pm

For some strange number equations, Sampras was seeded 17 when he won his last slam, as is Federer at AO 2017. He now has 18 slams, which added to 17, is 35, Federer's current age. Both seeds 1 and 2 were knocked out from 2002 USO Mens Singles, similar to AO 2017.

The Agassi-Sampras rivalry is similar to Nadal-Federer. Quite a few parallels, between similar career/rivalries.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by LuvSports! on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 5:22 pm

Other interests like long posts? Wink

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by temporary21 on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 6:15 pm

Time for me to hit the dusty trail till rg

I'm delighted how friendly and open this place has become. It's been real nice

One last though to you all

Basel this year. Surely that's the time to go?

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by barrystar on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 6:20 pm

temporary21 wrote:Time for me to hit the dusty trail till rg

I'm delighted how friendly and open this place has become. It's been real nice

One last though to you all

Basel this year. Surely that's the time to go?

If Fed were to qualify for London do you really think he'd go before that? I think that if he is playing to top 4 standard and reckons he can take a few scalps at the WTF that's where he'd like to bow out before a huge delirious adoring London crowd whilst supporting the Tour at its flagship event to the end - that's his style IMHO. Obviously, with hopefully a successful farewell to Basle a couple of weeks before on the basis that it's his last time there. I hope we don't see a silly farewell tour like Agassi with him making speeches when he's knocked out in R3 or some such. For me that was an error and struck a dodgy precedent.
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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by sirfredperry on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 6:30 pm

Sport, eh! It means nothing of course, it's a trivial thing, a pastime, meaningless, transient, forgotten in a moment. Yet, how good it can make us feel and, also, how dejected, down and miserable we can get over it.
Fed fans are walking on air right now. Even Rafa fans won't be too upset, knowing their man is back with a shot at the majors. Drudgery things like the slog to work on a Monday morning will seem bearable. Aches and pains disappear. The world is suddenly a wonderful place. Long may Rafa and Rog continue.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by lydian on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 7:18 pm

Thanks HB, always good to read your comments. Long posts/short posts, who cares...

Given WTF tends to need 3200+ Points and Fed has 2000 already this year I think he's fairly nailed on to get there barring a minor disaster during the year...then he may choose to bow out as can't see him wanting to defend AO next year, plus he'll be getting on for 37 with a growing family that's of an age where they'll want their dad around more. No I reckon 2017 will be his swan song, he loves tennis but he's no journeyman like Ivo playing on at 38. Nothing left for Fed to prove now. Let's hope he stays injury free in 2017 too as another spell out would surely bring forward to end now?

Looking at "mileage", using the tennisabstracts site I can see Nadal has played 1039 career matches now since turning pro...that's a lot. But Federer is far more on 1354. This is some seriously longevity starting to emerge from these two...and it can't last forever. Murray is currently on 870 and Djokovic on 971. So you can see that Djokovic is probably in post-Prime territory which in my opinion tends to kick in around 850-900 matches. Murray isn't far away either...in fact he's probably next to start having a relative slump. I can't imagine Murray playing another 500 matches to get anywhere near Federer, that's like 6 more seasons of 80 matches. Don't see it...again shows how amazing it is that Feds level is what it is after 1350+ pro matches, a testimony to his style and smart scheduling.

So all in all I reckon we won't see many of the Big 4 playing after 2020 season at all...then who starts to win most of the slams? Someone has to?

PS. Got to smile at Dan Evans (11th) > Murray (12th) in ATP Race so far...won't last long for sure.
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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by naxroy on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 7:33 pm

as a rafa fan today I am a little sad.
but its nice to see a champion like federer perform in such style

nice match, history made

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Calder106 on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 7:41 pm

Couldn't watch the match but congratulations and well deserved to Federer. Also well played to Nadal a good tournament which augurs well for the next few months at least.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by barrystar on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 10:07 pm

I can't help but think of Dr. Sincere - it must be a bit of a mess in his household wherever that is, especially since his man was a break up in the fifth.

On normal planet earth - I agree wholeheartedly with those who recognise that the careers and reputations of Nadal and Federer are umbilically linked.  The achievements of each player depend upon, and are measured against, those of the other.  As a Federer fan I have to recognise that Nadal has had his number so much that they arguably did not have a proper personal rivalry - but they have only played 35 matches - Federer has played another 1297 and Nadal another 955 so their tennis "rivalry" also extends quite legitimately to comparisons of how they fared vs. the rest of the field (gloriously in both cases).

Tennis is going to miss them, and 2017 is surely the swansong for them both as really top players: for all the undoubted merits of Djoko and Andy, they don't quite quicken the pulse in the same way as the sight of either of these two greats in a draw.
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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Henman Bill on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 10:27 pm

Bogbrush has not dropped in for a visit, has he permanently left the forum perhaps? Pretty much everyone else has at least said hi.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by slashermcguirk on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 10:49 pm

Congrats to all the federer fans, this has to go down as one of the great sporting achievements. I though the first 4 sets were decent but not great but the final set was excellent.

This was a huge win for federer as losing to nadal in another final would have been brutal for him. Nadal can hold his head up high, he played his part and as expected what a great speech he made.

Once again Huge congrats to all the federer fans, what an achievement. We have been truly blessed by a remarkable era in men's tennis. When you think about it, federer, nadal and Djokovic have 44 slams between them, simply astonishing. Throw in Murray and wawrinka with three each too. Super stuff

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by lydian on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 10:51 pm

I'm afraid so HB, BB only posts in Tenez's forum now - he likened this place to a very unlibertarian society and so chose his path to post amongst what he considers an open forum, albeit it one staunchly anti-Nadal. The other forum is so full of Nadal vitriol that I for one could never frequent there long term even though I wrote a few posts recently as my name came up again, usually in negative connotation. Anyway, I'm sure BB is suitability delighted with today's result as is everyone else over there of course because in essence, despite the discussion of other players and events etc, it was set up as a Federer fan forum by default of Tenez's leanings and oft-repeated theories. It's a shame he left because I actually enjoyed BBs posts and thoughts when he was over here and on BBC606 even though we used to disagree a fair bit. LK is over there too.

Yes Barry, it's an odd day because despite the great final between 2 legends of the sport you sense it possibly being a last hurrah before both disappear into retirement during 2018/19. I truly hope I'm wrong because tennis is poorer without their presence and I quite agree they electrify the circuit. They will be a tough act to follow but I'm glad that they have come to define each other as they almost transcend the sport now - the values you'd want the next generation to have are held between them...grace, artistry, grit, purpose and integrity. I feel lucky to have seen them play for so long and look forward to a few more outings before they go...but today up on that podium I weirdly felt sad for the sport of tennis because you know these guys are not far from moving on, their careers essentially complete. Anyway, as you were...see you guys around RG perhaps maybe now and then in between. Enjoy the spring tennis and North American swing. Congrats to Fed fans again. Cheers.
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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by laverfan on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 11:13 pm

naxroy wrote:as a rafa fan today I am a little sad.

Nadal made history. If you are sad 10%, the remaining 90% should be happiness to see him fight his injuries, repeatedly, and play in the highest echelons of Tennis. Despite all the talk of retirements, FedAl, will always share history. Federer would have been happy with a 'draw', in his own words. Hug

Nadal's academy will always carry his name with all the players who come out of it.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Born Slippy on Mon 30 Jan 2017, 10:06 am

Have to say, I thought that was a fabulous final. I always thought Fed would win until he was a break down in the fifth. I thought he was done then.

Leaving aside the ability required to come straight back and play that well, Feds fitness is insane. He outlasted three players known for their stamina over 5 sets. He's some sort of genetic freak!

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by sirfredperry on Mon 30 Jan 2017, 10:16 am

Nice piece here on the AO final

http://www.espn.com/tennis/story/_/id/18578764/sambit-bal-roger-federer-winning-18th-grand-slam

Fed has said he's planning to play Dubai, IW and Miami. No points to defend, either, and he's already back in the top 10.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Guest82 on Mon 30 Jan 2017, 10:19 am

Major drama. Any Federer fan could only dream of him winning from a break down in the fifth against Nadal.

If it is to be his last major, then couldn't have happened in a better way.

That said, I think he's a contender for Wimbledon and USO.

Very nice words between the pair of them at the end. I always thought their friendship was over played, but it appears to be very genuine.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by barrystar on Mon 30 Jan 2017, 12:58 pm

Guest82 wrote: That said, I think he's a contender for Wimbledon and USO.

Very nice words between the pair of them at the end.  I always thought their friendship was over played, but it appears to be very genuine.  

Wimbledon - maybe, especially if it's sunny and dry for the fortnight.

USO - I think that's much more difficult for Fed than Wimbledon.

Re him and Nadal, I agree that at the very least they have huge mutual respect - but it looks to be a friendship too, or at least as friendly as you can be when you are opponents in a sport as gladiatorial as tennis. Fed going out to help promote Nadal's academy last year said an awful lot - actions always speak louder than words.
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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by dummy_half on Mon 30 Jan 2017, 2:20 pm

Of the bits I saw, I thought the quality of play was pretty good. Rafa was close to his old combination of very fast court coverage and consistency of striking (i.e. his low error rate and keeping his opponent under pressure), while Roger was playing perhaps even more aggressively than in the past. A few pretty appalling mis-hits on the forehand (the slow-mo showed this was usually Fed catching the ball on the inside of the frame at the bottom of the racket face), but also the moments of genius and hitting some very flat shots off both wings.

One big thing seemed to be how well Roger was returning, especially hitting through the ball on the backhand side, and getting the ball back towards Rafa's feet as he was recovering from the service action.

Yes, both are at least slightly beyond their prime, but both still have plenty to offer over the next year or so.

One thing that sets the Federer v Nadal rivalry apart from the Djoko v Murray one (for example) is that their game styles contrast so well, so it is a real battle of style and tactics. OK, Rafa's style has come out on top more often than not, as has frequently been discussed (i.e. that if you wanted to develop a style to neutralise Federer's strengths, you would pretty much come up with Rafa), but they've had plenty of fine matches over the years and yeterday's certainly stands comparison with many of them.

Anyway, it was good to see that both are back to a very high level after their problems over the last year or so, even if this was rather their swan-song.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by lags72 on Mon 30 Jan 2017, 2:33 pm

barrystar wrote:

................................................

........................................

Fed going out to help promote Nadal's academy last year said an awful lot - actions always speak louder than words.

I believe his visit was arranged specifically for the official launch/opening ceremony.

It was undoubtedly a very smart move by Rafa to invite him. By all accounts, Rafa spends a good bit of time on his native island (not least during off season and injury periods) and as such will be a (fairly) common sight there. That's not to say local people are not thrilled to occasionally see him (or better still, speak to him) whenever he is out & about ; but nor are they likely to be star-struck, given that he is not a 'stranger' or rarity there.

OTOH, for Federer to suddenly pitch up in such a 'low-key' place would have been quite something. And quite apart from the interest it generated for people within the village (something Rafa himself referred to more than once during the AO fortnight), he would also have attracted no little media coverage and with it a very welcome boost for the Academy of course in its early days.

And yes, I think it's safe to say the friendship is 100% genuine and has in fact steadily grown stronger.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Guest82 on Mon 30 Jan 2017, 2:55 pm

barrystar wrote:
Guest82 wrote: That said, I think he's a contender for Wimbledon and USO.

Very nice words between the pair of them at the end.  I always thought their friendship was over played, but it appears to be very genuine.  

Wimbledon - maybe, especially if it's sunny and dry for the fortnight.

USO - I think that's much more difficult for Fed than Wimbledon.

Re him and Nadal, I agree that at the very least they have huge mutual respect - but it looks to be a friendship too, or at least as friendly as you can be when you are opponents in a sport as gladiatorial as tennis.  Fed going out to help promote Nadal's academy last year said an awful lot - actions always speak louder than words.

I think the USO is harder as more players are capable of a run there. But, it is (supposed to be) the fastest hard court slam. His last appearance there he lost a final to Djokovic, who was having one of the all-time great seasons.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by sirfredperry on Mon 30 Jan 2017, 4:21 pm

Just watched the highlights of the final again. A thing that stood out was the number of cheap points Fed got on his serve compared with Rafa. In the final game, for example, Fed served three aces. There were also three aces in the crucial opening game of the third set.
Yes, Rafa's first-serve percentage was high in the final and also in the semi against Dimi. But in these two matches he did not win anything like as many points when he got his first serve in as he should have. Noticeably, in the Raonic match, when he won in straight sets, he won 84% of his first serve points.
Fed's win has led to a burst of warm, heart-felt praise by sports writers worldwide. The US and Aussie scribes have been particularly eulogistic.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Guest82 on Mon 30 Jan 2017, 4:25 pm

sirfredperry wrote:Just watched the highlights of the final again. A thing that stood out was the number of cheap points Fed got on his serve compared with Rafa. In the final game, for example, Fed served three aces. There were also three aces in the crucial opening game of the third set.
  Yes, Rafa's first-serve percentage was high in the final and also in the semi against Dimi. But in these two matches he did not win anything like as many points when he got his first serve in as he should have. Noticeably, in the Raonic match, when he won in straight sets, he won 84% of his first serve points.
  Fed's win has led to a burst of warm, heart-felt praise by sports writers worldwide. The US and Aussie scribes have been particularly eulogistic.

I noticed Rafa was having some joy with the body serve in set four. Fed cottoned onto it in set five, but it felt like Rafa kept using it.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by lags72 on Mon 30 Jan 2017, 4:29 pm

Guest82 wrote:

..........................................

.............................

I think the USO is harder as more players are capable of a run there.  But, it is (supposed to be) the fastest hard court slam.  His last appearance there he lost a final to Djokovic, who was having one of the all-time great seasons.  

Federer actually played very well in that Final and earned himself a lot of BP's. In fact I'd say his standard would have been good enough to overcome almost any other finalist (although we shall never know that for sure, of course chin ).

But due to a combination of impressive resilience from a peak-form Djokovic, and (to a lesser extent) some wastefulness on the part of Fed himself, only a small percentage of those BP's were actually converted.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by lags72 on Mon 30 Jan 2017, 4:50 pm

The aspect which impressed me most about Federer's approach to Sunday's Final - and what an absorbing Final it turned out to be - was the way he stuck to his strategy throughout the match. He never wavered, even when all the signs were there of the familiar Rafa tightening of the screw with that early break in the decider.

We know that Federer can always make life difficult for any opponent if his serve is working well. And mostly it was. But that's only part of the reason behind his impressive triumph. His very high winner count (not least in comparison to Rafa's much lower numbers) came about because he denied Rafa the one thing he depends on : TIME

I think Rafa was genuinely surprised at just how early Fed was taking the ball at times, and the fact that several returns landed back at his feet in the blink of an eye. And of course there is also the significant matter of the overall pace at which Federer likes to play. By contrast, the style of Djokovic (or Murray to some extent) is very similar to his own - although we know that Djoko has the ability to slug it out with Rafa, very often with good result.

Rafa does not enjoy being rushed or hustled. And that's what Federer was self-evidently aiming to do, from the very opening game. The plan was highly effective.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Josiah Maiestas on Mon 30 Jan 2017, 5:08 pm

All those years of Federer accused of being a 1hbh shanker and his backhand is the one that caused Nadal hell in the final Smile Rafa has to win RG or he will probably never win another slam imho
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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by sirfredperry on Mon 30 Jan 2017, 5:31 pm

Josiah Maiestas wrote:All those years of Federer accused of being a 1hbh shanker and his backhand is the one that caused Nadal hell in the final Smile Rafa has to win RG or he will probably never win another slam imho

I had Rafa as favourite for the French in 2015 and 2016. I've failed to learn my lesson and am tipping him to win RG this year. Fed opening up a four-Slam lead makes it harder for Rafa to catch him by just winning the French each year, though.
Reading loads of post-match interviews that Fed gave, it strikes me that he won because he just didn't mind if he lost. He thought he'd done wonderfully well to get as far in the tournament as he had. He was going to go down with all guns blazing.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Guest on Mon 30 Jan 2017, 5:45 pm

lags72 wrote:The aspect which impressed me most about Federer's approach to Sunday's Final - and what an absorbing Final it turned out to be - was the way he stuck to his strategy throughout the match. He never wavered, even when all the signs were there of the familiar Rafa tightening of the screw with that early break in the decider.

We know that Federer can always make life difficult for any opponent if his serve is working well. And mostly it was. But that's only part of the reason behind his impressive triumph. His very high winner count (not least in comparison to Rafa's much lower numbers) came about because he denied Rafa the one thing he depends on : TIME

I think Rafa was genuinely surprised at just how early Fed was taking the ball at times, and the fact that several returns landed back at his feet in the blink of an eye. And of course there is also the significant matter of the overall pace at which Federer likes to play. By contrast, the style of Djokovic (or Murray to some extent) is very similar to his own -  although we know that Djoko has the ability to slug it out with Rafa, very often with good result.

Rafa does not enjoy being rushed or hustled. And that's what Federer was self-evidently aiming to do, from the very opening game. The plan was highly effective.

Very true. Too often in the past he has chipped the BH return and then Rafa would run around dictate with his FH. Don't think he chipped a single BH return. He hit through everything within range and that really took away Rafa's time.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Guest on Mon 30 Jan 2017, 5:52 pm

If Federer can stay fit he's gonna be so dangerous at the rest of the big tournaments this year.
He can play with NO pressure and supreme confidence knowing that he still has what it takes to beat the best players in the world to win a slam.

And we know how good he is when he's relaxed and confident.

This has gotta go down as the most epic slam victory in the open era.

6 months out, first tourney back, draw from hell, beats 3 of the top 10 and 2 of the top five (well 3 actually, Rafa's far better than Raonic), battles through 2 five setters and finally beats the ultimate warrior Rafa Nadal after being a break down in the fifth. He's 35 too you know.

Hollywood couldn't have scripted it better.

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