Rafa Roundup: Are you ready for the biggest match of the year? Fedal, Chapter XL

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No matter what happens on Friday, their latest meeting is a testament to the longevity and staying power of both men. Their first match took place more than 15 years ago at the Miami Open presented by Itau. Many of their peers in the draw that year have long since retired, but Federer and Nadal have not only continued to remain elite players on the ATP Tour, but keep putting themselves in position to win Grand Slam titles.

“Before the tournament, I tipped Federer to win the whole thing, but the way Rafa has been playing, I just think Rafa might do it. It’s going to be very close, but I would give a marginal edge to Rafa.

“People talk about Federer as the great grass court specialist, but Rafa has got a very good record on grass as well. Playing on grass suits him physically – he could well have won the title last year, he was desperately close against Djokovic.”

Newman believes Nadal’s win last month over Federer on the clay of Roland-Garros “might just give Nadal a little bit of a boost. Rafa has won quite a few more matches against Federer than he has lost.”

Rafa’s doing everything right. His serve, his return, his rhythm, his defence … I’m watching from home, breaking down plays as I see them and thinking in my head how I’d be handling every situation, playing every point… I can honestly say he’s doing exactly what I’d be doing or wanting him to be doing. That doesn’t mean I’m right, but the results prove he’s performing at a spectacular level.

“Often we see matches being overhyped but you can’t overhype this one – and rightly so,” three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker told BBC Sport.

“It is the biggest match of the year because you’re talking about two greats of the game. I thought it was the best Wimbledon final of all time. So we’re very lucky to have this opportunity again on Friday. It’s the one match that every tennis player alive will tune in for.”

“Probably is better to have that [Roland Garros] victory than to have defeat, of course. But on the other hand, it’s a completely different situation. [To] play on grass or play on clay is probably the biggest change in the world of tennis,” Nadal said. “I think the player who will have the chance to play better… will be the player who has more chances to be through. That’s all. These kinds of matches are like this.”

Sue Barker, BBC Wimbledon presenter: “When I think of that match, what I remember the most is going out on the court to do the interview after the match, and feeling the most unbelievably powerful energy going round the Centre Court crowd, because everyone knew they’d seen something incredibly special – an historic match. I’ve been at finals for years and years doing that interview on the court, but that buzz and electricity that was sparking round the Centre Court is something I’ve never witnessed before, or since.”

56-19 The combined record of Nadal (26-5) and Federer (30-14) in Grand Slam semi-finals.

47 – aces struck by Nadal so far this Fortnight – the most among the four semi-finalists – compared with 42 from Federer.

92 – hours and 53 minutes, the time Federer and Nadal have spent in matches against one another throughout their careers.

Immediately after Federer and Nadal won their quarterfinals matches to set up yet another titanic showdown, ticket prices on Stubhub started — started — at about £7000, the equivalent of nearly $9,000 in U.S. dollars.

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98 comments

  1. Marileena, maybe ur right, but how come in both matches this year especially having played so well before, he plays below par and almost makes it too easy for his opponent. In this tournament in certain matches he was vintage Nadal and then all of a sudden …. how come? I’m baffled and puzzled. Yes he can lose but after playing his best or at least really well without making it easy for his opponent. Maybe something was wrong with his strategy. He unnecessarily makes Federer and Djokovic look better than they are.

    I just don’t know what to think. This time I dared to think he could win.
    Thank God he’s healthy so far but how many chances is he going to get and how often is he going to be in form???
    No, I’m feeling so down and it is a tremendous let down for him and many others!

    Sooo sad! Can’t seem to digest this. Will take a long time to get over.

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    • I so understand your pain…… Here’s the thing… You must remember Rafa just beat Novak and Roger recently at RG… I KNOW it’s Rafa’s surface… He owns RG… But a win is a win… and those 2 champions Novak and Roger could not beat him there…
      So he comes to Wimbledon and he plays fantastic…but today Roger played better… Watch the press conference … He tells us what Roger did to make it difficult for Rafa to play his game…

      I think you might be right… something was wrong with the strategy.. I truly believe that…

      My concern is the hardcourt season… So tough on the body… how’s he going to handle it?

      Yes…..it’s going to take a while get over this one….

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  2. Today was a rough day all around…for Rafa and for us…

    For me…it’s a tremendous letdown… The missed opportunities, the lack of conversion… he just didn’t have it…
    I definitely do not think this was a “mental” issue…

    Bottom line..he got outplayed … pure and simple…

    His press conference is up… He makes no excuses…. and he sights last years results in the semi’s and this years results in the semi’s … and wonders how many more chances will he have?

    The whole thing is sad……..

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  3. I am very very very sad…. I realy thought before he can beat federer. Only 1 set he played at his best… Maybe Roger is in his mind… It was psihological. Hope this year to skip asian tournamenrs… The only oositiv is that he is healty. Please rafa stay healty and bring us the us open slam. Always with you Rafa.

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