Rafa Roundup: Fedal final most watched tennis match in Eurosport history

Photo by Juan Aldabaldetrecu
Photo by Juan Aldabaldetrecu

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“My simple answer to that question is: No, they can’t,” said Alan Seymour, a sports marketing consultant and former professor at the UK’s University of Northampton. “There will be a void in the short term.”

Sports stars such as Federer and Nadal, plus Australian Open winner and now 23-time major singles winner Serena Williams and her sister Venus, “have taken on iconic status,” Seymour said, adding it will be difficult to replace them once they retire.

“Federer and Nadal have both stood against that in everything that they do,” Seymour said. “They’ve been great ambassadors for the sport and they’ve given a lot back.”

Two weeks later, the expectations that we’re so used to having are back. Not only can Nadal win another Grand Slam, but he should win another Grand Slam. It’s easy to forget because of his injury history and early success, but The King of Clay is still just 30 years old. He has plenty of tennis left in him, and if the Australian Open was any indicator of what lies ahead, plenty of titles left in him.

He’s still hungry, still focused and still as dangerous as anyone in the world.

Rafa wasn’t a popular pick to win the Australian Open, but would you dare bet against him at Roland Garros? Didn’t think so.

What would a Federer-Nadal one-two in majors say for men’s tennis in 2017? That the standard is the best it has ever been, and rising? That winning even a single Open is a serious triumph? That this captivating game, played by some of the best athletes of any discipline, should be enjoyed with the knowledge that we are living through the best of times? Yes, all of the above, and more.

Roger Federer has the trophy but the glory belongs to both of them.

Roger and Rafa, geniuses and gentlemen: thank you. Thank you.

Eurosport is celebrating a record-breaking Australian Open with yesterday’s men’s final between Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal smashing the channels audience records and cementing its status the Home of Grand Slam tennis.

As the game’s greatest rivals faced each other in a Grand Slam final for the first time since 2011, more than 15.2m simultaneous viewers tuned in to Europe’s number one sports destination during yesterday’s final set drama… The dream final between two legends of the game has become Eurosport’s most-watched tennis match of all-time…

ESPN said the men’s final — the first Federer-Nadal matchup in a Grand Slam final since 2011 and their eighth overall — drew a record audience since it moved to an overnight ET time slot in 2005. Starting at 3:30 AM ET Sunday, the five-set match posted a 0.9 overnight rating, up 80% from the 2016 final between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. The network said it likely will be the most-watched program at that hour in ESPN history.

Time will tell if their reunion here was a fleeting epilogue or the resumption of another chapter. There is sadness in the fact that the Roger and Rafa show cannot last forever, but profound pleasure in that happened again at all. Tennis, indeed sport, is incalculably richer for its return.

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61 comments

  1. Maria – it’s crazy times that’s for sure. Note my correct usage of the apostrophe though! I can’t understand why you are the number 1 target. You must have been very bad in a previous life – mind you I reckon that I’m a close second if not joint first with you! We’re in good company at any rate. What she doesn’t realise is (note correct usage of apostrophe again) is that rafa would never belittle anyone for their poor speech or writing and she claims he is an inspiration to her. She’s not learnt much from him has she? (Note correct use of apostrophe again). I agree with you about jaybeer – he was nutty a lot of the time but straight with it and I have to admit some of what he said was quite interesting. But then again I’m a fair minded and reasonable person who does not appreciate injustice. She is only difficult to ignore because she’s right in our faces and like a dog with a bone ( note correct usage of apostrophe). Lol

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  2. Hi Susie ,great you can still get Eurosport just make sure it hasn’t gone by the next tournament lol . Virgin media is a good alternative, don’t know what I would do without it. It’s a shame we have to think twice about what we say on here in case we get slated or our comments taking out of context. JBeer was rude but at least he told the person straight ,rather than reading something and realising that the snide remark is at you(wolf in sheep’s clothing). I think I’m number one target , hate responding, but her treatment of Susanna was belittling.This site is for fans of Rafa’s, somewhere you can come and enjoy others comments but sometimes it’s gets a bit depressing and serious and now on top of that you have to check your grammar and spelling . What’s a girl to do LOL

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  3. Margo – no-one knows or cares about what you’re saying. I have detested you for a long time but when you began picking on people’s sentence structure and grammar and poor punctuation, you made this site an unsafe environment. You should be very ashamed.

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    • Wow…Detest is a pretty hash word! None of my business but I do read all these posts and feel that Margo isn’t guilty of all the negative response thrown at her…So sorry to see such true blue Rafa fans argue like this…What happened to all the positive posts? We should all be so happy that Rafa made it to the final…yes a shame he didn’t win his fifteen slam but he did get second place!

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      • Happy and floating on air that he made it to the final, was I. I hope he realizes what a wonderful job he did even though he didn’t win the final.
        I have been looking for an answer to your query as to why Rafa stays so far behind the baseline. I am far from being a tennis analyst. My claim to fame is “RAFA ROCKS.” LOL
        I did, however, look to the experts and even their answers were varied. Following is a sampler: he’s more comfortable; he thinks he’s playing on clay; he feels it gives him a better chance to take control of the ball; he feels it gives him more time to set up a rally; and on, and on. My head is spinning. LOL
        SEVEN (7) MORE DAYS TO ROTTERDAM!

        RAFA ROCKS

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  4. Why do you insist on making such a fool of yourself? You neglected to mention a primary reason for me telling susana to stop spreading lies. She responded directly to my request for information with, “You made something so big. As you, Rafa, Roger, Andy…”

    RAFA AND MARGO ROCK

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  5. Hi maria – bizarrely I still have eurosport through sky, despite them saying it was going on 1st Feb. How long gone for though, i do not know. Also worry not about getting thrown off this site. Margo hasn’t and she’s so rude and abrupt at times and 100 times worse than you and I.

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  6. Margo – give it a rest please. You know maria (England) is right and has caught you out. The sad thing is you always believe you are right and you certainly are not – a lot of the time. Holding up your hands when wrong is a gracious thing to do and is how most if us continue to develop but clearly you have no grace as you get offensive and defensive whenever anyone challenges you.

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  7. I think Margo you are what is known as a mean girl, or a vulture circling waiting to pick holes in people’s comments, you must be a joy to know LoL

    MARGO ROCKS

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  8. And there you go again with Nole… LOL
    As a cousin of one of my friends often says, “Am I right, am I right.” Too funny.

    RAFA ROCKS

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  9. Margo, you were not explaining ,you told her to stop spreading lies . And as you said I commented on an article wrote about Novak ( well known he was having marriage problems) and didn’t see him denying or suing anybody for false allegations ( in your words I attacked Novak, maybe look up attack in a dictionary) while you’re there also look up mean , you might recognise yourself. As I do not want to be chucked of this site as I love and appreciate what they do please do not comment on my post then I will not have to respond . Thank you

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  10. I’m not surprised the match between Rafa and Roger pulled in such an audience, fans have been waiting for this for awhile. I didn’t think we would ever see them both in a final together ,especially a grandslam. We certainly do need these to players in the game , there are many great players out there but they haven’t got the whole package like Rafa and Roger( game , personality ,respect and work ethic).Margo why do you constantly feel the need to jump on people, how come your sources are correct but anybody elses are media spin. I’m guessing I’m the one talking about NOVAK’S PRIVATE LIFE , if I remember correctly you have talked about Rafa’s family life when he was a child and said his mum should have got him help for his tics / routine , that’s his family’s private business , maybe you could back up evidence that he needed help ,and if he did, that his mum never sought any . I know your a great fan of evidence.

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    • What are you talking about? I truly believed we would have a Fedal final, and we did.

      Media spin? What are you yapping about now? I was explaining to Susana that the media may have spun a tale about Rafa making negative comments about Roger.

      I did not repeat rumors supplied by the media as you did in your tantrum about Nole!

      As I have stated previously, I like to hear it from Rafa. It was Rafa himself who PUBLICLY stated he went only once [to see a therapist] when he was young. Toni [a family member] has also talked about Rafa’s idiocyncracies in PUBLIC. Rafa’s book also mentions some of this, albeit very little.

      RAFA ROCKS

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  11. I was one fan that was not happy with Roger’s medical time out…not that I felt he cheated but only that when Rafa’s back went out during the 2014 AO against Stan,Rafa was booed when he took a medical time out.Roger takes a time out and fans are cheering him …Roger gets Carte Blanche (sp) is what I’m trying to say. With that being said I am not taking anything away from that fairy tale match between these two Icons! I wanted so badly for Rafa to win but it wasn’t ment to be and as usual Rafa was humble in defeat! Like I have said before Rafa has never even broken a racquet ( think he is the only one!) Did you see Stan smashed his racquet while losing to Roger at this AO & when it wasn’t smashed enough he took it over his knee and snapped it in half… I do not think that is good sportsmanship,,, Really shows lack of control and you just wonder what kind of temperament they have at home! I wasn’t able to post during the match but I was reading Margo’s Beverley’s and Maria (England) posts. Hope y’all enjoyed it as much as I did( Have to admit I had to flip the channel a few times)! I was sure impressed with Rafa… Really think that Moya has helped him plus it was good seeing his beautiful girlfriend there cheering him on! His father cracks me up…Other than going gray he seems so calm, he has a proud look and smile on his face like That”s My Boy! What a start for Rafa and Roger… Let’s hope that they both stay healthy so we can enjoy another match made in Heaven!

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    • Lovely words there Sioux. This was a lovely match that could have gone either way. I was in tears at the end because Rafa lost, but he gave it his all. Federer truly deserved it as he played unbelievably when it counted down the stretch.

      After Federer won match point I turned my TV off and avoided anything to do with AO news- I suffered a mini depression:) Only today have I been able to watch the highlights, and I am truly amazed at what these titans pulled off on Sunday. I hope they both stay healthy and replicate such feats over the course of the season, hopefully with Rafa prevailing this time!!

      In Rafa’s corner always.

      Love and peace.

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      • Thank you Mac… I too could not watch the replay for a couple of days! I know I should have been thrilled that he made the final but I just wanted him to get a step closer to being the GOAT. It sure could have gone either way but Roger just played a tad better that’s all! Hopefully we will be able to watch him win the trophy for the 10th time at the FO! He played extremely well on the Hardcourts of Australia so let’s see what he can do on his beloved dirt! He is playing in Rotterdam in a few weeks so I hope you will be able to watch it and enjoy it! I’m such a coward when I’m watching him if he starts losing I switch the channels and try to go to sleep but when he is playing I just cannot sleep! I sure do hope they stay healthy so like you said we can have a repeat only with Rafa biting the trophy this time!

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  12. I watched everything about Rafa before the beginning and after the match…
    I did not hear him say one negative thing about Roger! In fact he had only praise for him, he thanked him for coming to his Academy and had no regrets about losing… He just hope that everybody enjoyed the match. In fact I have never never heard Rafa say anything negative about Roger. Strange that only one person heard it and no one else did! Another historical match to add to his resume… I am very sad that Rafa lost but happy that he is coming up in the rankings where he belongs!

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  13. THANK YOU RAFA AND ROGER FOR A FANTASTIC GAME OF TENNIS
    CONGRATULATIONS TO ROGER
    GLORY BELONGS TO YOU BOTH : TWO LEGENDS & CHAMPIONS
    TWO GENTLEMEN ON AND OFF COURT
    AUSTRALIA LOVES YOU BOTH 💛❤💙💜💚
    SEE YOU NEXT YEAR
    GOOD LUCK FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR

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  14. A great much ,I love it, this Year is Rafas 2017 vamossssssssssssssssssss.your fans for ever Rafa🎾🎾🎾👍👍👍🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸❤️

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  15. Oh! Susanna (American song, 1848)
    You know the media will spin anything they can. They had Rafa retiring years ago.
    What I don’t understand is your claim “…so many negative comments from Nadal.” Date? Publication? Interview?
    Could you please substantiate your statement for Rafa’s fans. Thanks.
    Yo quiere saber lo que dijo Rafa.

    RAFA ROCKS

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    • You made something so big. As you, Rafa, Roger, Andy, etc. I dont have the time to give you any information. If yo want to know what he said, find it, read and leave me alone. i guess we are reading different news.I am busy and this is a free country I can say whay I see. Find out for yourself and leave me alone

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  16. Oh I’m completely confused Susana. What did rafa say that was negative about roger? Ive not seen anything at all about this. We all saw the match. Some clarification would be good. Thanks

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    • You made something so big. As you, Rafa, Roger, Andy, etc. I dont have the time to give you any information. If yo want to know what he said, find it, read and leave me alone. i guess we are reading different news.I am busy and this is a free country I can say whay I see. Find out for yourself and leave me alone

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  17. Excuse me. Did you see the match. Also, this is a free country and this is a page where you post what you want to say. Of course I saw the match and I have played tennis since I was ver small. You people love to trash other people por posting what we want to say. Grow up

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    • Susana … I got bumped off this site for a while because I was sarcastic to a certain person! I was happy to find this site because I found people who love Rafa the same as I do.I started to get into it with all the negativity and I just couldn’t take it so I started to post negative things and they bumped me off … I’m back now but I just want to warn you that it can happen! There is something about Rafa that brings out the protective mama bear in all of us! I myself am not a Roger fan … I understand that he is the darling of the whole tennis world but Rafa will be forever connected with him You can’t think about Roger Federer without thinking about Rafael Nadal! Not Criticizing you just offering you some insight to what can happen and hope it doesn’t .

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      • Sioux, she was asked for specifics for her claim about Rafa making negative comments about Roger. Thus far none has been provided. Oh, and I did do searches even though Rafa is not known for badmouthing anyone.

        Rafa has been attacked for not being considered the GOAT. Roger has been attacked for being considered the GOAT. Even Nole, of whom I am no fan, was attacked by a fan who repeated a rumor about his private life. HIS PRIVATE LIFE.

        I could be misinterpreting comments here, but the way I see it is that some fans denounce other players so as to put Rafa on a pedestal. They fail to realize that Rafa has ALWAYS been on a pedestal because of his very own accomplishments. His great abilities. His charm. His prowess. His ability to mesmerize anyone who watched him play when he first started with the ATP.

        As you said, Rafa and Roger will be forever inextricably linked.

        RAFA ROCKS

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    • Susana, You said you do not have time to print what negative remarks Rafa made about Roger yet you have found the time to reply to many people’s posts ( in a defensive manner) without giving any information regarding our queries. You can’t blame people for thinking you really have nothing substantial to say but have just lashed out at Rafa and his fans because some of the media have criticised Roger’s 10 minute time out. All of our heroes have been the subject of negative publicity at some time or other ( whether justified or not) You have made unjustified remarks about Rafa, unjustified because you have carefully avoided giving us any information to back up your claims. You said people love to trash other people for posting ” what we want to say.” You are entitled to say what you wish but it is advisable to be sure of what you are saying before you print it especially if it is an accusation against someone like Rafa as others will want to know the source of those accusations.

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  18. At last, recognition which we all knew. It is not about retirement-stop asking.
    Roger and Rafael are able to play at a level that hushes and mesmerizes the
    Stadium. Ticket sales tell the story. Look at what they achieved before
    30-who among the challengers is even close?

    Sharapova said it was rather sad that despite eight wins at the FO, Rafael still
    had to prove himself. It is bittersweet that in sports, we always want one more
    bite of the trophy. Roger and Rafael will tell us when it is over-they have earned that right! For the present- enjoy and be amazed. This is the golden era🏆

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  19. Oh i haven’t read that rafa has said anything negative about Roger. Can you enlighten us please? It’s not usually rafa’s style.

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  20. I loved both men and you the media are trying to make the win of Roger like he stole the match from Nadal because he had 10 minute time off. If you see the scores in the 5 games, Roger had a better percentage of games won in one single game. Why are you trying to destroy the well deserved match for Rogers. He played very well and I am kind of disappointed to hear so many negative comments from Nadal. From now on I will not care about all the bad comments against Roger. He won and Rafael and his followers should respect that. Rafa estoy desilusionada de ti por hacer de este torneo una revolución. Accept with grace that you lost.

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    • Susana
      I have read and re-read all remarks made by Rafa after his final against Roger and nowhere have I fond anything but praise and respect from Rafa for Roger.
      In one of your posts you said the media criticised Roger’s timeout and some did.
      eg. Pat Cash during the replay of the Australian Final on a BBB Sports programme. He called it a legal trap and he called it cheating. Whether you agree with him or not is your choice but please do not try to turn this around to try and make it seem that these remarks are attributed to Rafa
      , The headline on this Sports programme reads ” They Accuse Federer Of Cheating Nadal in the Final of the Australian Open” However the ‘ they” does not refer to Rafa or his fans
      You also stated that Nadal and his followers should respect that Roger won. I have not read anything to the contrary. You are evidently a big Roger fan, as many are, and he deserves his popularity and you are understandably upset to read any negative comments about him. But please do not strike out at Rafa and blame him for remarks made by others.
      Rafa is always gracious in defeat and one of the most positive people in praising his opponents.
      You are entitled to your opinions but be careful that you can back them up

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      • Very well put Beverley…You made your point without lashing out! Like I told Susana I did get bumped off for I guess for being sarcastic.I went to post and it wouldn’t go through… Finally when I tried after a few days I got back on but it said I was being monitored… So I was just warning Susana that it actually isn’t freedom of speech… Like on Instagram they want you to keep it friendly and Lighthearted ( for lack of a better word) I don’t think Margo is a mean spirited person… She’s really researches her information and I think that people may take her the wrong way. Rafa has never said anything negative about Roger… It just isn’t part of his genetic make up! On the other side of the spectrum I have heard Roger make negative comments about Rafa I do not remember the source but I remember him saying that he takes too long between points( and he does) and he makes too loud of grunting noises. I was not happy about that because it came after he lost to Rafa. I thought geez you’ve been playing him for 10 years now you should be use to it. I have also heard many commentators make fun of Rafa for all his idiosyncrasies that he goes through before he serves.( get over it already) Yes He has some bad habits the one that he pulls on his shorts is the worst one… I honestly think it’s just a habit more than a psychoses! He says that it keeps him focused.It doesn’t bother me but it does bother a lot of people. If you ever read a Roger site… They really get mean and say they wouldn’t want to shake his hand after him picking his butt…it makes me sad because I just love him so much that I do become overprotective! I would shake his hand anytime anywhere! I really thought the Rafa was going to win and I was sure hoping that he would, however I’m very thrilled that he did reach the final and he did take home a trophy at the end of the year… Just feel very confident that he will lift his 10th trophy at Roland Garros!

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      • That was so very kind and open of you to offer an explanation to Susana. I must have missed whatever you are referring to.

        I have to agree with you. Beverley does not disappoint. She writes well thought-out comments and I always look to see what her opinion is on any given topic of discussion. She is an asset to this blog. I envy her her diplomacy.

        Can’t wait for Rafa in Rotterdam. Last I checked, the confirmed players had yet to be listed.

        RAFA ROCKS

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      • Beverley, I have been meaning to ask you how your shoulder injury is? Has it finished healing? Are you ready for Rotterdam?

        RAFA ROCKS

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    • Susana, you are wrong about Rafa making negative comments about Roger. They both have the upmost respect for each other and I have never, ever heard Rafa say a negative word about Roger. You are simply wrong with your Accusations!

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