Miami Open Final: What time does Rafael Nadal play against Roger Federer?

On Sunday, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will meet for the third time this season and the 37th overall in a storied rivalry that began in Miami – Rafa won a third-round match in 2004 and Federer defeated Rafa in the final in 2005.

Date: April 2, 2017

Match time: 1 PM local time / 1 PM EDT –  New York, Montreal /  6 PM BST – United Kingdom / 7 PM  CET – Spain, France, Germany, Italy / Monday 3 AM AEDT – Melbourne. To convert to your local time, use this website.

Rafael Nadal celebrates defeating Fabio Fognini in the semi finals at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 31, 2017 in Key Biscayne, Florida. (Julian Finney/Getty Images)


I think we played a great match in Australian Open final, but then last week he beat me easier than I want. He’s an unbelievable player. It’s a big challenge for me. For me, the most important thing is to be in the final. I’m gonna try my best. (via Tennis Now)

Roger on playing Rafa:

It feels like old times, playing each other every weekend.

He should have Miami titles and he doesn’t. It’s going to be super-special to be playing him in the finals.

Rafa leads the head-to-head meetings 23-13 (tied 9-9 on hard courts) but Federer has won the past three meetings for the first time in the rivalry. Rafa is 14-8 in final meetings and owns a 12-5 advantage in ATP Masters 1000 tournaments (7-3 in finals). 

Rafa has only lost one set en route to his fifth Miami final (2005, 2008, 2011, 2014). This is his 13th appearance in Miami, the most attempts without winning a title. He is trying to become the first Spanish man to win the title. Spaniards are 0-7 in finals. He enters with a 19-4 match record in 2017, the most wins on the ATP World Tour.


Source: ATP World Tour


  1. Gross.
    Fed really is better at this point, no denying it. At least on HC.
    Rafa shanked an easy FH putaway at 30/15, and his FH was just not firing all match. No way he’s going to beat Fed without the FH.

    • Ironically (as you said earlier) Novak and/or Andy may have made a difference. Luck of the draw is always a big factor in tennis. I didn’t watch the match and I’m glad I didn’t. I saw the post match interview and Rafa was so gracious he breaks my heart. There is a lot of optimism for the clay court season and I think this will tell us everything. Rafa has won more matches this year than anyone else but his draws haven’t been the worst. I need to give tennis a rest for now – just too gloomy:(

      • Hi Teresa,
        I agree. Did not see the match and yes Rafa’s forehand is not as strong as it normally is. I know I have said this before but hope it would one day filter through to Rafa. Yes at present Roger is winning and normally just by a service break. The two key places I believe would make a difference are. 1. Rafa needs to start landing his FH and BH on the baseline not the service line. If you saw the Oz Open final Fed at times was standing in the doubles line to return Rafas serve and if he gets a free swing he can like Warwinka win the point with a first serve return winner. If you look at Nick Kyrios he lands a lot of his serves down the middle. FOOD FOR THOUGHT. As a left hander I believe the best place for a left hander to serve to second court or fisrt is a body serve. If to second couurt aim for a right handers right hip. He has nowhere to go to get the ball as if he follows the swing he cannot hit the ball and if he steps inside it makes it difficult to have a good strike at the ball.

      • Hi Paul, I think your reply was meant for Rafalite who mentioned the forehand. Thanks for your analysis – that’s not something I can do. Although I believe Rafa’s problems are not simply down to strategy or technique but there are some physical limitations which he has accepted. He limped badly after Abu Dhabi and after the Dimitrov match was limping and holding his back. I doubt he can keep up his usual standard of play and intensity if there are physical problems. His level seems to have dropped since the AO for no apparent reason.

      • Hi Teresa,
        Saw the final today. Did not notice signs of injury but do not doubt what you are saying. I did notice that Fed’s backhand is incredible. It is as though he has had a left hander hit 1000’s of high loopy balls on his backhand and he is hitting them cleanly if the ball doe not land on the baseline. When you next see Rafa play just notice where his returns are landing and where the opponent is in the court.
        I hope you do not think I am being derogatory to you or Rafa. I just think that when he gets more depth he does better. Likewise his service be it first or second serve is being attacked with venom when it does not get into Feds body.
        Heres hoping for a GOOD Clay court season for RAFA the most humble or tennis players I have known over the last 40 years.
        VAMOS Rafa

  2. Ech 1rst set to Fed.
    Rafa was playing him very even till the last service game, then he really imploded on Fed’s service game.
    Somehow he needs to hit more FHs. And more depth. Fed is clobbering every short ball.
    That has always been rafa’s undoing. Hard to get depth off some of Fed’s offensive shots, that’s the problem.
    Better than IW, but still not good enough to take over. He was close at one point.

    • Glad to here someone who agrees about the depth. Fed is being allowed to dictate the points as the returns are not pushing him behind the baseline

      • Hi Rafalite
        Saw the final today and saw way too many short balls as you state but Rafa does not seem to believe some of the shots Federer is playing as though he is going through the motions of a game plan that used to be successful. Hope he egts more depth and a better selection of where to serve.

  3. Pretty good so far
    Rafa is going to Fed’s Fh with his BH that’s the change
    doesn’t always work
    Rafa needs the confidence for the FHDTL, it’s the only way to beat him
    Rafa’s serving is actually as good if not better than Fed’s thus far
    Better than I was expecting, rafa has had more chances

  4. C’mon sweet Rafa 😘 I want this to be yours so much – let’s see that brilliant tennis of your 🌟🤗

    VAMOOOS CHAMP!! 🎾💪🏼❤️🍀

  5. READY SET GO…. My heart is already racing… May need to take a Valium . Chanting is not helping right now! Great commentators today… Let’s go over Rafa!

  6. I can only add to your comment Margo (no reply button) that Roger was once Chairman of the ATP. This year he declared he wrote the rulebook on MTO’s. All over youtube is Mirka booing and whistling at Nick for changing his racquet.

    • He was the MTO specialist at the AO, dubious end of 4th set MTOs against both Waw and Rafa.
      Mirka is murky.

    • Apologies for the delayed response. Am still smarting from Rafa’s loss.

      I don’t believe that Roger was ever chairman of the ATP. He was president of the Player Counsil. The “crybaby” incident did not occur during his tenure, if that was your point.

      He did voice general opposition to players taking advantage of the MTO rule. According to him, he has never abused MTO.

      Tellingly, Roger’s successor, Eric Butorac, was instrumental in securing major increases in prize money for players who lose in the early rounds of Grand Slams. He quoted Roger as having said, “I can’t believe that guys are concerned about first-round prize money if they withdraw and don’t collect their check.” But, Butorac added, “a $40,000 first-round check to a guy ranked 90th in the world is massive.” To quote @Rafalite, “elitist.” That’s Roger. He lacks humility.

      As far as his wife is concerned, she is an adult and like many adults, if she chooses to make an ass of herself that’s her business. However, it is my opinion that no one should interrupt any match. Just eject them, no matter who they may be.


      • Him being Chairman of the ATP was from a Fed fan – so could be incorrect. Your version sounds more feasible. Not sure what you mean by cry baby incident. He came under criticism after the AO for his MTO which is when he stated ‘I wrote the rule book’.

      • I am noting dates and times because there are so many fan comments.

        I am confused by your comment of Apr 3, 10:47am.

        I have tried to explain to you in the following.
        You stated “I can only add to your comment Margo…” Was that to my Apr 2, @4:43pm comment? If yes, I then responded to yours Apr 2, @4:51.

        Now that the Fed ATP chairman bit is incorrect, you blame it on a fed fan. You did say, “I can only add..” Why would you waste my time on a Fed fan comment? I thought it was you adding to my comment. I would have had absolutely no problem with that. Just asking a simple question, not offended and I hope you are not offended by my question.

        Please see my Apr 2, 4:43pm re crybaby and MTO for clarification.

      • Seriously Margo, the lengths you go to, to condescend someone. You make a very simple comment into a bitter dispute. This is fan site not a court of law where everything has to be backed up by dates, times and hard evidence. A simple ‘I don’t think Rog was President…’ would suffice. I added and agreed to one of your comments in order to acknowledge it which I thought was I nice gesture. Now I am reminded why I came off this site. You are tiresome.

      • To be in the real world , facts matter. They do to me anyway. I was in no way, shape or form being condescending.

        AT THE VERY BEGINNING of my comment I stated why I was noting dates and times. Did you skip over that?

        For your information, there were so many comments on this post (83) I didn’t want you wasting time going through pages of comments.

        I don’t understand why you quote misinformation and then blame me for stating “facts.”

        Why should I say, “I don’t think Roger was president?” Lie for what? If anything, if I were you, I would be happy I found out the facts from a Rafa fan as opposed to misinformation from a Fed fan. i guess you disagree.

        Embrace knowledge with a smile, not with recriminations. If I offended you, my apologies because my statement was not meant offensively.


      • Margo, please,.. it was probably just a choice of bad wording from the source: Chair of ATP or Players President/Chair of ATP. It does not matter. Everyone on here has been a valuable source of information (and misinformation) including yourself but I don’t keep a dossier on everyone. Please do have the last word as always. I will not read or respond to your comments in future – end of.

  7. Hello fellow Rafa fans,

    I’m feeling that usual high anticipatory alertness (and dread) before a Rafa final. I am especially worried about this one–based on Roger’s recent successes against Nadal and his general hot streak. At the same time I remind myself how close he came to losing against both Berd and Nick. Berd choked MP and Nick went for a reckless 2nd serve after being pissed off by the crowd yelling out while he was about a hit a ball. Fed got let off the hook both times, with a little help from the crowd.
    Fed has led a charmed life on the courts lately. It seems to be his fate. I see lots of comments below about Fed’s arrogance and entitlement and this has bothered me about him from the getgo.
    So my feelings about this one are absolutely loaded to the max. Way worse than Rafa losing to Djokovic (which I got used to).
    Fog was no test at all but Sock was and so was Kohl. Rafa found what he needed. Fed is another thing entirely and it will so interesting to see what new approach–if any–Rafa has to the improved Fed BH. I couldn’t help feeling that when Rafa got it deep enough to BH with enough spin, Fed still couldn’t attack it. So much depends on shot penetration with Rafa.
    One thing I thought watching the Fog/Rafa match was how much I wished Rafa had gone to Moya (or someone!) earlier. Fed/Djok and Murray were all relentless in their search for ever better coaching. Rafa stayed put with Tony. Since Moya all kinds of things have changed for the better with Rafa (mainly the serving). Anyway, that’s water under the bridge, but i can’t help lamenting that late choice to find additional coaching …
    For what it’s worth Fed has a slight edge with the oddsmakers, but I read several tennis journalists predicting a Rafa win. If it’s windy, that could help Rafa. So please be windy.

    • Surprised journalists predicting a Rafa win but good to hear! (I don’t read them anymore – too many of them are cheap and nasty).

      • So true. There’s not a single one I like, used to like Tignor, Jon Wertheim isn’t too bad.
        Just saw one predict Rafa–that was Tignor–but he’s almost always wrong. He predicted Rafa Ao and Indian Wells against Fed too.

    • Rafalite,
      I agree with you totally about the lack of depth with Rafs returns. I love the guy to daeth and would love to see him beat Fed again. Don’t think it will happen unless as you say:
      1 KEEP THE RETURNS deeper as it does not give Roger the time to attack with his backhand which he is now able to do as are many of the other players who have been beating him.
      2. He seems to rely too often on his serve swinging wide in the second court. At times Fed and others are standing in the doubles lines anticipating that serve.
      He would be better served in serving more down the middle with the swing on the ball aiming for a right handers right hip. Picture how difficult is is if the ball is approaching your forehand and swinging in to you body. The use of a body seerve I find is winning Nich Kyrios many free points.
      Vamos Rafa All te best fore the clay court season

  8. i am sorry but for me this match is very important. Although nadal has a much better start ten last two years. This match will determine a lot. This is nadal perhaps last opportunity to win the miami open. With the upcoming stars zverev and krygios and off course still djokovic and murray it will be much difficult to win this tournament in the future. Nadal can break the momentum of federer by beating him in the final. That will carry him as a favorite for the clay court season a much better position then he had the last two years. In order to do that he needs to have a great start. If nadal wins the first set its going to be difficult for federer to win since he survived tight three setters against krygios and berdych.

    Nadal needs to do a couple of things:

    – serve well he cant afford a nervous or shaky start (federer return is nowadays just like the djokovic return
    – play very agressive
    – stay closer to the baseline and put depth in your returns and groundstrokes
    – attack roger forehand and try to avoid his backhand( roger backhand is unbelievable at the moment)
    – hit the backhand and forehand down the line often
    – come to the net

  9. Good morning fellow Rafa fans, I know that we are all pulling for a win today. Rafa is going to try his best, but I worry that he will be very nervous. Roger is playing at such a high level and his serve is still a weapon. Win or lose, Rafa is off to a great 2017. Let’s just remember where we were the last two years.

  10. Morning Dear Rafa Fans
    I watched both matches last night (only first 2 sets of Nick/Rog) -great match! Just a few observations:
    According to Tennis Channel Fognini was injured (he had a MTO for his right arm). Taking nothing away from Rafa, but it is difficult to gage his level from that match.
    Roger actually hit more aces than Nick. He dealt well with Nick’s huge serve. Both are a worry for Rafa. Kudos to Nick he handled the situation very well. He took his time on every ball (so maybe his words that he wanted to play every point like Rafa were true😊
    Roger looks hungry – even angry. Like he has something to avenge – I think that something is Rafa. No mellowing at all from this 35-year-old. He swaggers, struts, is arrogant and has an air of ‘entitlement’ about him. I will never understand his wide appeal – sorry! I’m not sure he does have more fans than Rafa (as some have said) but he seems to attract more ‘fanatics’.
    I take some comfort that Nick has lost to much lesser players than Roger, so we cannot assume he was really playing his best. He looked extremely nervous at the beginning of the match. I take comfort that Rafa beat Nick last year and matched him in the Fast4 this year. So there is no doubt Rafa can play at this level.
    Positive energy, love and prayers for our beautiful man.

    • Totally with you on Roger.
      I could write a 20, 000 word essay on this subject (I already wrote it, on so a potential 3rd loss to him by Rafa will be especially hard.
      You can only understand Roger’s wide appeal if you accept that people don’t always prefer the better man (or woman) and have a herd mentality. They are all told, a thousand times over, how magnificent Roger is, and they beleive. He’s also good for business, fills a lot of seats.
      It’s true he is a tremendous tennis player, but he has been elevated to the Jesus Christ of tennis, and that suits him just fine. I sometimes wonder if this has affected Rafa too.

      Anyway, vamos!!! I am counting down the hours. But with a bit of dread.

      • So very true – it’s like mass brain washing. McEnroe’s sketch creased me up (chanting) ‘Roger is good, Roger is Great, Roger is Good…. He really gets it! I don’t see the same fawning for Serena. Seems she’s had to earn every tiny little bit of praise – just like Rafa. PS: I would live to read your essay!!

    • Hi Teresa,

      Replying here because there’s no reply button on your last reply to me.
      Didn’t hear Mc’s spoof (is that on BBC? he’s not on espn anymore it seems) but yes–he was maybe the only commie who was not drunk on Fed and gave Rafa equal credit. Cahill gives Djok equal credit.
      You are so right about Serena (who dominated more than Fed, who won more slams, and who continues to at the same age as Fed) not getting the same worship from the tennis establishment–so many reason, race, gender, etc.
      The thing about Fed is that is has been “chosen” not just for his tennis, but this idea that he is the “perfect ambassador” for the sport–being a so-called “gentleman.” I am pretty certain this also about being a Northern European protestant who doesn’t show too much emotion, and having good hair. LOL But the truth about Fed is that he is not really a very good sportsman–he is way slower to concede a bad call than any of the Big 4, and has a huge but well concealed temper. And rarely will acknowledge the merit of another player–it’s always all about him.
      I better stop now, or I’ll rewrite the essay yet again.
      BTW, I never really wrote a 20,000 word essay, but on my previous tennis posting site,, I wrote endlessly, debunking the Fed myth. There were many Djok and Rafa fans who felt the same way. Even some Fed fans–who I am happy to chat with and appreciate Fed’s tennis with–but not the myth or the man.

      Watching Rafa lose to him is like watching a lion go down to a herd of jackals.

      • You are SPOT ON about Roger and his temper, I’ve detected it in his eyes. Spot on about him not being a good sportsman, all too often not crediting an opponent his due, or giving credit but saying what he did was even better. E.g., many times his “compliments” actually are veiled insults if one stops to think about what was said. But that’s Roger.

        Whether or not he is fawned over, or whatever else others claim about him, he has no control over. I actually saw and heard the Mirka “crybaby” insult to Stan. Get this, the video was reportedly blocked by the ATP. One can ask if the ATP did that of its own volition.


      • We are totally on the same page. I once asked a middle aged, middle class couple what they liked about Fed. They answered, ‘he is a gentleman’. I asked ‘why is he more of a gentleman than any other tennis player’. Blank expressions. The McEnroe sketch was on Eurosports during the 2017 Australian Open. If I can find it on youtube I will post. There’s no doubt that there is racism (some unconscious, some conscious) and elitism in tennis. From what I’ve seen on Kyrgios’ twitter, I don’t doubt racism has formed part of his attitude. I always assumed Roger was the best, because I was told so but my eyes were opened by some articles and by Agassi’s weak era theory. The evidence that he was outperformed or matched by at least 3 other players is brushed under the carpet. He has 4 more slams and more weeks at number 1 – that’s all that matters. I’m not a big Djok fan but I believe he deserves more recognition. Rafa is acknowledged as King of Clay but even this was denied until it became ridiculous, even for hard core Fed fans and biased commies to deny. Roger (before hawkeye) was calling balls out that he knew were in, followed by a wry smile when he got away with it. I remember Rafa actually looking at him in disgust at one incident – a Rome final if memory serves. Roger is a man that will do anything to win but that is what has made him a great competitor. Rafa subdued his celebrations out of respect for Roger (and because of criticism) now he is celebrating on Swiss mountains. Roger even complained about Rafa’s grunting once and, this year, about slow servers saying they should think of the fans. The most I could do was add a comment to the article saying that both Rafa and Novak were the biggest showmen in tennis and had always played to the fans far more than Roger has ever done. I knew some Fed fans that went off him because he would look through them as though they didn’t exist. Roger now, of course, has the longevity factor (not that he didn’t have this already) but he was in a 5 year drought. If Rafa (or Novak) had won 20 slams – they would still not be considered the goat. Thankfully some commies are choosing to say ‘one of the greatest’ or ‘amongst the greatest’ which gets a big thumbs up from me. I must shut up now☹

      • MY personal name for GOAT expositors are Fedishists.
        Djok to Nadal H2H is 26-23 for Djok. He’s the only one with a positive H2H against the other 3.
        Djok to Fed is 23-22.
        Well all that’s cold comfort after Rafa’s 4th straight loss to Fed. Never thought I’d be eager for Djok’s return, but we need someone to squelch Fed. Who knows if even Djok can at this point, though he probably has better chances than Rafa at the moment.
        Can’t imagine Andy beating Fed, if Fed plays like this. Nick may be the best hope. Because of the attack.

        The weird thing is, Rafa almost beat Fed on the fastest HC AO, but kind of crumbled from his lead in the 5th set. I think his confidence collapsed after that, re. Fed.

    • Hi again Theresa!

      Obviously we have a lot to talk about re so called farm animal. Weak era is the answer to the 18 slams–I have a list I could paste in at another time about who he won all the early ones against–very weak opponenents.
      Fed arrived in the gap between two generations of tennis greats: Agassi/Sampras and Nadal/Djokovic. He dominated totally until Nadal appeared, and beat him as a teenager!, then Djok hit his prime later and also dominated Federer 2011-present.
      A year ago the same pundits who were calling Fed GOAT changed their tune and admitted Djok would probably be GOAT (Rafa was a breif candidate, in 2013) because they all thought Djok would reign for years to come.
      Well guess what …. LOL!
      Djok lost his mojo after finally winning the FO, got burned out, maybe there’s even more reasons personal or injury.

      I think it’s very hard to choose between Fed Rafa and Djok, at present, for who is the greatest. It’s not over. Djok has the best H2H against the Big 4, Rafa 2nd best, Fed 3rd. Murray is so distant on this metric it’s ridiculous.

      The ones picking Fed want to focus on selective stats–like slams, time at #1 and titles, which Fed leads. But he’s been playing the longest, and he began with no real competition. Many of his titles are 250s, which are insignificant tournaments.

      They use stats selectively to justify a choice that is more to do with who they think Fed is, as an amabassador for the game. And they are picking the wrong for that. But that’s how the world works, unfortunately.

      Your anecdote about “gentleman” is very telling. I often ask people who like Fed why they like him and get a similar response. Or that he is so graceful and balletic. But Nadal is equally physically impressive in another way (explosiveness, athletic intensity, speedy footwork around the ball) and Djokovic too for his incredible flexibility, balance, clean striking etc.

      Anyway the scary thing is if Fed goes back to #1 and wins more slams it will be increasingly to argue. But we can still dislike who is with perfect impunity!

      My pet names for Fed and Djok: the fake gentleman and the friendly barbarian.

      • LOL😊 Whoever coined the terms Frauderer and Fedtard is a genius – although I try to avoid using such derogatory terms (halo). Statistically Rafa has the best head to head over the big 4 generally (because of his wins over Fed). This may soon change though. I didn’t keep the stat but it was very close between Rafa and Novak. Novak’s dominance is concentrated in the last few years (Rafa’s worse period). The HtoH was only overtaken last year which is very telling. This quote (unfortunately before the AO) ‘Like Roddick and Shriver, Tennis Channel analyst Mary Carillo also believes the Greatest of All-Time debate remains open. And both Carillo and Shriver dismiss the idea that the major total should be the determinative factor if Federer finishes with a couple more than Nadal.’

  11. I am thrilled to the core to see your name Rafa, on the board as a finalist. You’ve come a long way from 2015-2016. Your love for competition and tennis has no bounds. May your Olympic spirit endure.

    Best of luck today in your quest for a Miami Masters’ title.


  12. I don’t see an aura around Roger…But I have to admit he is playing some extraordinary tennis and he isn’t the boring ballerina of past. He sure is arrogant though… He is really going to try to surpass Rafa in every which way…Rafa had the most historical come back in 2013 and now Roger will surpass that I’m sure:( I’m very sick of seeing Mirka at every match… Can’t she stay home with her children? What tacky behavior from her , booing and whistling… I would expect more ladylike behavior from Mrs Federer! Can you imagine Rafa’s beautiful
    girlfriend Xisca acting like that… she gets very excited…pumps her fist & stands up to vamos….But I have never seen her boo or whistle against other players… she is far too classy for that! Anyway let’s get back to the nitty-gritty here … tomorrow another Fedal final… I have said my prayers, I have sent my love and all my positive energy to Rafa! I’m sure that it will be more of a equal audience… There is a huge Spanish influence in Miami and they are very pro Rafa… Roger is always a tad more popular , however Rafa should have plenty of support! I’m wondering who the commentators will be…hopefully not The penguin ( Brett Haber) VAMOS Rafa ! LOVE you win or lose !

    • Fed looks ultra impressive now, but don’t assume it will last indefinitely. If Djok comes back full force, he will put out the Fed fire if Rafa can’t. Fed will not be the same on clay either. Look how close Nick and berd were to beating him. And it wasn’t like subdued them. They both beat themselves with DFs.

    • Sioux, agree with you and others re. Fed, and also re. Mirka.
      I congratulate him wholeheartedly for his tennis this year, especially at this age but have always thought he was arrogant. Why the media and commentators fawn all over him, I don’t know
      Certainly he has had a most successful career but there have been others who have had great careers and lots of admirers (Rafa for example) but never all this elevating him to a god-like status. The trouble is it turns one off him unless one is a fanatical Federer supporter.
      I dread the possibility of Rafa losing to him in the final as he ( Fed ) will be more full of himself than ever, and I certainly hope Mirka will not boo at Rafa during the match.
      I hope and pray that Rafa will not get anxious and nervous in the final because of his recent losses to Fed. He needs to be super-aggressive and not sit back waiting for Fed to make mistakes.
      I’m already a bundle of nerves about this match. I always have these grandmotherly protective feelings towards him – don’t want him to be upset by anyone. Silly me.!! My family, although Rafa admirers, think I am a bit “way out ” in my following of the fortunes of Rafa but I tell them there are plenty of others out there who do the same.
      I know he will have all the love and support for to-morrow from all his fans on this site.

  13. Time for Brantford Ontario in Canada is wrong. Says 7 pm. Local time in Miami is the same as here. Match is listed at 1 pm local time.

  14. Rafa better give me a two days early birthday present!

    Do’s for Rafa:
    1) Come out swinging and try to break Fed in his first game! Every game!
    2) Go for lines and don’t fear Fed’s BH
    3) Dial up the intensity and keep it high, play with conviction
    4) Hit that forehand with ultimate confidence, and the BH too for that matter
    5) Serve well!
    6) Have some fun.
    7) Win

    1) Shank balls
    2) Hit perfectly setup shots into the net
    3) Hit perfectly setup shots out of bounds
    4) Double fault
    5) Cower in fear when Federer’s intensity rises
    6) Wait to draw errors from Fed
    7) Play timidly
    8) Get broken; Protect your serve!
    9) Lose:)

    I’m sure there’s more. If Rafa wins this, his outlook for the clay season will be spectacular! Come on champ, get it done and give Roger things to ponder!

    • I’m with you, Mac 👍. Rafa needs to run Fed around as much as he could, trying to find the chance, any chance, to make sure his attacking Fed’s BH can only result in success. He *really* needs to dampen Fed’s skyhigh confidence in that new BH, no matter how little, not to avoid it and certainly not to dig himself a hole in which he’s helplessly exploited by it.

      Send Fed a clear message that he fears NOTHING and is ready for everything.

      Fed comming into the AO17 final with a CRYSTAL CLEAR message that he would give everything he had to the match, even if that meant he wouldn’t be able to walk in the next six months!

      He really meant it. Kept his words and is still walking now with no end in sight. On the cloud.

      • Yes, somehow Rafa has to take the offensive with Fed. Don’t ask me how, but that’s the only way.

    • On the contrary, Rafa coming into that particular match feeling so happy he had survived the lights out Dimitrov test and could play Fed again. Like a dream. Because we all know how Rafa feels about Fed and the finals, especially slam finals, with him. Just look at how happy he was at the net before the match! 🙂

      His approach was way too casual. He almost managed to win only because one, it’s a slam final; two, he had played Fed so many times before; three, Fed 2.1 still needed sometime to adjust.

      Of course if he had been given the same amount of time to rest before the final as Fed was, that might have been well enough, at least for that very match.

      Between the semi and the final, he focused mostly on recovering as well as he could. Who could blame him? Blame the stupid AO organiser!

      Also he has repeatedly stated that his main goals now are to stay healthy and play his “best tennis”, to enjoy tennis and the competition. Of course he’d love to win but NOT at all costs.

      Now once being the heavy favourite coming into most of his matches against Fed, he’s become the true underdog. Game wise people give him no chance; how sad is that?

      But somehow, I still feel his chance this time is not as minimal as people opiniate. He still has a decent chance game wise, depending on, like they say, “which version” of Rafa shows up, because he IS Rafa.

      And even if he is outplayed, which is more likely to happen, he could still will himself to win, at the smallest margin.

      Don’t ever underestimate Rafa when he is dead serious. Bet your own horse :p he IS this time. Unless his body is unwell in the match (we certainly hope not!), we can still keep our hope up.

      Be brave, Rafa fans. Win or lose Rafa will surely give it his all.

      So since there’s nothing that we can do, might as well just try to enjoy the game and appreciate BOTH players.

      No, I’m serious. If Rafa wins we should want to really know how he wins; if not, to understand how Fed wins (again) and how Rafa can still overcome that in the future, not to feel hopeless no matter how sad you might feel.

      At least that’s my mindset comming into (watching) the match.

      Again, good luck and VAMOS Rafa. With you all the way.


      • Great comment VY about wanting to know why one wins or loses. I have always been into that–that’s the prime reason i go on forums and read tennis commentary–to understand what took place on the court.
        It’s a really fascinating story between Fed/Rafa and Djok–how they each inturn shut down the other’s game, and it’s not over.
        It’s very clear the old formula doesn’t work now against Fed (maybe on clay though …) Let’s watch for what Rafa tries to do instead.
        I hope i get Cahill calling the match, he’s the only commie I learn anything from. The rest are verbal annoyances at this point (well the Macs and the whole atp commie crew).

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