Rafa wins French Open - Congrats And Follow Up Discussion

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Rafa wins French Open - Congrats And Follow Up Discussion

Post by Henman Bill on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 7:41 pm

Didn't think I'd be the one to start this thread, but first of all RedWine for his fans and why not have a Very Happy. Congrats to Rafa and team and fans. Seems to be playing with a lot of confidence, good depth, minimal errors, strong serving, forehand back to where it was, backhand solid.

Ten French Opens (as well as I think it was 10 Monte Carlos and Barcelonas) is a staggering achievement. Beating the record of Martina Navratilova with 9 Wimbledons. Margaret Court has 11 Australian Opens - but some were not open era. Was the Australian Open a lesser tournament in those days in the women's circuit? Had some women gone professional leaving the slams as second tier in the 1960s? I honestly don't know, but I'd probably rank Rafa's achievement higher.

On the men's side, I think 7 is the highest (Federer at Wimbledon and Sampras at Wimbledon and Bill Tilden at the US Open) so that really is quite an achievement to be clear by three.

Even considering any tournament (not just slams) it's still two ahead of anyone, according to ESPN, Federer (8, Halle, Germany) and Argentine clay-court legend Guillermo Vilas (8, Buenos Aires) are the players with the next highest number of titles at a tournament below Grand Slam level.
Source: ESPN http://www.espn.in/tennis/story/_/id/19605999/by-numbers-rafael-nadal-record-breaking-10th-french-open-title

In total slams, Federer 18, Nadal 15, Sampras 14, Djokovic 12. You have to feel today's win was probably necessary to keep him in the battle with Roger. Federer still looks favourite to end ahead in that one, but with less confidence than before.

Now the interesting question is to whether Rafa's form will translate into challenges for the big titles on other surfaces. He is currently fourth in the favourites list for Wimbledon (according to bookies betting odds). Given the extra rest week nowadays and so few sets played (or even games) in Paris, I'd now back him to be physically OK at Wimbledon. Previously, I'd pondered whether he should skip the grass court season at this stage of his career (although I doubt he himself ever seriously considered it anyway).

I think Djokovic and Murray will not be too bothered that they couldn't bring their very best to the French Open this year, they would have just used up energy and got themselves a final defeat. Likewise Federer's decision to skip the tournament now looks wise since it's unlikely he could have beaten Rafa anyway.

I'm going to have a look at how this clay season compares to his best ever, whether this can rank as his best ever French Open, and have a look at least games lost and slams won without losing a set. Stay tuned.


Last edited by Henman Bill on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 8:29 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Rafa wins French Open - Congrats And Follow Up Discussion

Post by Henman Bill on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 8:01 pm

His best clay season ever might have been 2010, since that is the only one he won all three masters. He did not play Barcelona in 2010, and he did not lose any clay matches in 2010. Only Gulbis and Almagro took sets off him. He did not lose a set at the 2010 French Open.

You could make a case for 2005, when he did play Barcelona, Monte Carlo, Rome and the French Open. The only real difference is that he played Barcelona instead of Hamburg. So it is about the same. Actually he also played a couple of smaller clay tournaments and won them in 2005, in July. I don't think he lost in 2005 unless he played any of the Latin American tournaments earlier on. So I think 2005 has it, actually. Especially being such a big breakthrough year. I think statistically speaking anyway. He was playing at a higher level in 2010.

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Re: Rafa wins French Open - Congrats And Follow Up Discussion

Post by Henman Bill on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 8:15 pm

Winning a slam without losing a set in the open era:

Rafa and Borg won it three times, while no-one else has managed it more than once in the open era. However that may say more about clay as a surface than the intrinsic greatness of Rafa and Borg. Pretty hard to keep breaking on faster surfaces, you are bound to lose the odd set at Wimbledon on a tiebreak or something or just one mistake, especially when it used to be faster.

Rafael Nadal (2008 French Open, 2010 French Open, 2017 French Open)
Roger Federer (2007 Australian Open)
Bjorn Borg (1976 Wimbledon, 1978 French Open, 1980 French Open)
Ilie Nastase (1973 French Open)
Ken Rosewall (1971 Australian Open) *Played five matches only.

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Re: Rafa wins French Open - Congrats And Follow Up Discussion

Post by Henman Bill on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 8:27 pm

Least games lost, I found this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1976_US_Open_%E2%80%93_Women%27s_Singles
Chris Evert won a slam for the loss of 12 games!! Allowing for the fact that she only played 6 matches instead of 7, and best of three sets, that would be equivalent to about 21 games lost if she played 7 matches of best of 5.

Men's only:
32 — Bjorn Borg, 1978 French Open
35 — Rafael Nadal, 2017 French Open
38 — Bjorn Borg, 1980 French Open
41 — Rafael Nadal, 2008 French Open
http://wtop.com/tennis/2017/06/mens-grand-slam-champions-fewest-games-lost-2/

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Re: Rafa wins French Open - Congrats And Follow Up Discussion

Post by Guest82 on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 9:38 am

Who is more likely to win Wimbledon?

Nadal - in great form, but with a terrible Wimbledon record in recent years or
Djokovic - in poor form, but won Wimbledon 3 of the last 6 years?

I think Federer and Murray must be considered big favourites, with Nadal and Djokovic next.

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Re: Rafa wins French Open - Congrats And Follow Up Discussion

Post by naxroy on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 11:06 am

Federer has been preparing this wimbledon a lot, and he believes he can... for me, considering who he is and his hardcourt Cv in 2017, Federer is the main favourite

Murray, defending champion, actual number 1 and giving better signs now than before RG, candidate no doubt

Nadal, despite his bad record since 2011, he is 5 times finalist in london and he seems in his best form (not only clay, look at his hardcourt performance in 2017) so he could have a better chance than in last 5 years

Djokovic, is he playing? if he is, you can expect anything from him. Difficult to predict right now.

Raonic (defends final) will be a tremendous rival in QF for any of the above, and he will get ther. From then on, who knows

then we would have dimitrov, goffin, zverev, kyrgios...


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Re: Rafa wins French Open - Congrats And Follow Up Discussion

Post by Henman Bill on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 4:40 pm

I think it's very open. You could also see an outsider getting to semi or final. Probably not all the way to the title because, while any of the big four could suffer a surprise defeat these days even in the early rounds, probably not all of them will.

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Re: Rafa wins French Open - Congrats And Follow Up Discussion

Post by naxroy on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 5:53 pm

just one more thing about rafa´s roland garros

since his first win in montecarlo in 2005, 39 masters and 13 slams were disputed on clay

Nadal has won 32 of those 52

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Re: Rafa wins French Open - Congrats And Follow Up Discussion

Post by sirfredperry on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 9:15 pm

No one has every really come close to beating Rafa in an RG final but for some the big disappointment was in 2011 when the possibility of a Djoko-Rafa final was eagerly awaited.
   That was the year when an inspired run by the Serb - has there ever been anything better in the Open Era* - had included some crushing victories over Rafa, even on clay.
   I've always thought that had Djoko got that 2011 final and not lost to Fed that he would, or certainly could, have beaten Rafa.
   Of course, he did go on to beat Rafa at the French but the Spaniard was probably not at his best then. And apart from an all-guns-blazing afternoon from Soderling in 2009, Rafa has been far too good for everyone at the RG.

* The 43-match run by Djoko was remarkable in that it came at a time when the big four were all firing on all cyclinders, which has not necessarily been the case in every year since.

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Re: Rafa wins French Open - Congrats And Follow Up Discussion

Post by Henman Bill on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 9:42 pm

Although to be fair Federer did play very well in the 2011 final, missing a set point in the first set, losing the second on a tiebreak, and winning the third. Although perhaps a Djokovic final would have been even closer.

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Re: Rafa wins French Open - Congrats And Follow Up Discussion

Post by sirfredperry on Tue 13 Jun 2017, 7:50 am

Henman Bill wrote:Although to be fair Federer did play very well in the 2011 final, missing a set point in the first set, losing the second on a tiebreak, and winning the third. Although perhaps a Djokovic final would have been even closer.
Yes, you're right. I think Fed was 5-2 up in that first set. This was certainly Fed's best performance against Rafa at the RG. For once, though, I wished he'd not got to the final as I was so looking forward to seeing if Djoko could overcome Rafa.

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Re: Rafa wins French Open - Congrats And Follow Up Discussion

Post by Guest82 on Tue 13 Jun 2017, 9:36 am

sirfredperry wrote:No one has every really come close to beating Rafa in an RG final but for some the big disappointment was in 2011 when the possibility of a Djoko-Rafa final was eagerly awaited.
   That was the year when an inspired run by the Serb - has there ever been anything better in the Open Era* - had included some crushing victories over Rafa, even on clay.
   I've always thought that had Djoko got that 2011 final and not lost to Fed that he would, or certainly could, have beaten Rafa.
   Of course, he did go on to beat Rafa at the French but the Spaniard was probably not at his best then. And apart from an all-guns-blazing afternoon from Soderling in 2009, Rafa has been far too good for everyone at the RG.

* The 43-match run by Djoko was remarkable in that it came at a time when the big four were all firing on all cyclinders, which has not necessarily been the case in every year since.

Yes I think Djokovic would have beaten Nadal in the 2011 final. Nadal actually played very well in 2011, but Djokovic was something else. I think the 2011 Djokovic is the highest level of tennis there has ever been consistently. I think Djokovic beat Nadal is 7 finals that year. 3 slam finals in a row too - W & USO 2011 + AO2012. Rafa won FO2012 final between the two, so they actually contested four in a row.

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Re: Rafa wins French Open - Congrats And Follow Up Discussion

Post by naxroy on Tue 13 Jun 2017, 10:40 am

but djokovic didnt get to the final, so he was not that good in that tournament I guess.
he got to the final though in 2012 and he lost, and he met rafa in semis in 2013 too and also lost
he even got to the final in 2014 when rafa was already far from his best (review that clay season) and he lost again...

but still some think he would have beaten rafa in 2011.

Of course he would have had his chance, but to take it as almost a given fact seems a little too much

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Re: Rafa wins French Open - Congrats And Follow Up Discussion

Post by Guest82 on Tue 13 Jun 2017, 11:24 am

naxroy wrote:but djokovic didnt get to the final, so he was not that good in that tournament I guess.
he got to the final though in 2012 and he lost, and he met rafa in semis in 2013 too and also lost
he even got to the final in 2014 when rafa was already far from his best (review that clay season) and he lost again...

but still some think he would have beaten rafa in 2011.

Of course he would have had his chance, but to take it as almost a given fact seems a little too much

Yeah can't see why anyone would possibly think Djokovic had Nadal's number in 2011...

2012 Australian Open
Australia Outdoor Hard F Novak Djokovic
57 64 62 675 75

2011 US Open
NY, U.S.A. Outdoor Hard F Novak Djokovic
62 64 673 61

2011 Wimbledon
Great Britain Outdoor Grass F Novak Djokovic
64 61 16 63

2011 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome
Italy Outdoor Clay F Novak Djokovic
64 64

2011 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid
Spain Outdoor Clay F Novak Djokovic
75 64

2011 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami
FL, U.S.A. Outdoor Hard F Novak Djokovic
46 63 764

2011 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells
CA, U.S.A. Outdoor Hard F Novak Djokovic
46 63 62

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Re: Rafa wins French Open - Congrats And Follow Up Discussion

Post by naxroy on Tue 13 Jun 2017, 12:11 pm


your point: he had been beating nadal all over 2011 and AO2012, he even beat nadal on clay repeatedly in 2011.

my point: he did not reach that final, so even if he had rafas number, he did not perform as good as to meet him in the final, and he did meet rafa in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and couldnt beat him.

your conclusion: he would have beaten rafa for sure
my conclusion: he could have, but he could have also lost, in the same way he beat nadal in 2015 but still didnt win the final (in his best year ever)

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Re: Rafa wins French Open - Congrats And Follow Up Discussion

Post by Guest82 on Tue 13 Jun 2017, 12:15 pm

naxroy wrote:
your point: he had been beating nadal all over 2011 and AO2012, he even beat nadal on clay repeatedly in 2011.

my point: he did not reach that final, so even if he had rafas number, he did not perform as good as to meet him in the final, and he did meet rafa in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and couldnt beat him.

your conclusion: he would have beaten rafa for sure
my conclusion: he could have, but he could have also lost, in the same way he beat nadal in 2015 but still didnt win the final (in his best year ever)


My conculsion = "Yes I think Djokovic would have beaten Nadal in the 2011 final" It was my opinion. Obviously it didn't happen so doesn't really matter, but this is a forum for peoples opinions.

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Re: Rafa wins French Open - Congrats And Follow Up Discussion

Post by naxroy on Tue 13 Jun 2017, 12:31 pm

of course, we expose opinions

funny, in his more dominant year, 2015, he reached the final, but still lost to Wawrinka... of course match ups are important, but considering H2H between nole and rafa and nole and stan...

nole was 5-1 vs warinka on clay prior to that final

nole was 2-9 against nadal on clay in that RG of 2011 (those 2 victories had come that same season prior to RG hence the optimism I guess)

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Re: Rafa wins French Open - Congrats And Follow Up Discussion

Post by Guest82 on Tue 13 Jun 2017, 12:49 pm

Stan was on fire in the 2015 final, it became attack v defence. Rafa was very good this year at not letting Stan get on the attack against him.

In 2011 it seemed like all of the momentum was with Djokovic, especially against Nadal. As great as Federer was in the semi-final against Djokovic I think we were robbed of a potentially great final.

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Re: Rafa wins French Open - Congrats And Follow Up Discussion

Post by naxroy on Tue 13 Jun 2017, 12:59 pm

To be honest I was relieved when fed defeated nole in that semi.

but I still think it would have been too soon for nole, as it was proven in 2012

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Re: Rafa wins French Open - Congrats And Follow Up Discussion

Post by Guest82 on Tue 13 Jun 2017, 1:57 pm

naxroy wrote:To be honest I was relieved when fed defeated nole in that semi.

but I still think it would have been too soon for nole, as it was proven in 2012

I think the AO2012 final gave Nadal belief against Djokovic, he probably should have won that match and it was Djokovic's court. By the time they played the RG final on Rafa's court it seemed likely that Rafa would win. I think Rafa also beat him in Rome weeks before.

2011 Djokovic had much more confidence in the rivalry and Nadal much less.

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Re: Rafa wins French Open - Congrats And Follow Up Discussion

Post by Henman Bill on Tue 13 Jun 2017, 6:04 pm

More follow up on Rafa's win here:

http://www.bbc.com/sport/tennis/40242054

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Re: Rafa wins French Open - Congrats And Follow Up Discussion

Post by Haddie-nuff on Wed 14 Jun 2017, 7:24 am

RAFA PULLS OUT OF QUEENS.. this is from his facebook



Rafa Nadal
9 hrs ·
I am very sorry to say that I am not going to be able play Queen’s next week. I am sad to make this decision because I love Queen’s, I won the tournament in 2008 and every time I reached the Wimbledon final it was after playing Queen’s. I was hoping to take some days off and then be ready, but at 31, and after a long clay court season with all of the emotions of Roland Garros, and after speaking to my team and doctors, I have decided my body needs to rest if I am going to be ready to play Wimbledon. Sorry to all the great fans in Britain and to the tournament organisers. I hope to see you at Queen’s next year.

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