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. Rafa showed great temperament against Kyrgios because Kyrgios and his talk and behaviour probably got his goat. He’s much too full of respect and humble versus others especially the top two. I really don’t know how much he wants to win right up to the end. It’s good to accept wins and defeats evenly and philosophically. But a little more of the killer instinct and single-mindedness to win is needed against the best guys – at
    Least to play ones best.

    Any Rafa still love and always will but at the moment feel very down almost like you weren’t true to your present form and yourself.

  2. Rafa wanted to win so bad but Roger just played better today. He always gives his all, no exception today but unfortunately it was not good enough.😥 I understand we are all disappointed and heartbroken but we should be proud Rafa fought to the last point like he always does. Always with you win or lose Rafa! Take rest and looking forward to watch you on hard court.❤️

  3. The way these things are going, by the time RG 2020 rolls around, Djoker may be equal on grand slams won with Rafa, or Roger would have moved ahead by more.

    Something happens to Rafa when he plays these guys. Fantastic all tournament, then suddenly error prone when it counts most.

    Oh well. Well done to Federer who stayed clutch when it counted.

    I feel for Rafa, but today’s loss I think, was partially self inflicted. Such high hopes coming into this match, and what a letdown.

    Still love you Rafa my champ! Thanks for the Wimbledon 2019 memories.

  4. Rafa let the first set tie break slip through his fingers. If he’d have won it, who knows……Anyway ifs don’t cut it. I’m feeling so sad and deflated, so goodness knows what state Rafa is in.
    I guess the seeding formula stays!

  5. Rafa did amazingly well in this tournament. It’s a shame he had to face Fed, who played very well, but I’m happy that it was a fairly close score and as with any match that Rafa plays in, great to watch. His fight in that last game was something to behold – but yes, he should have played more like that earlier on. I wonder if having to play NK in round 2 resulted in Rafa peaking too early, he did look a little flat in the first set especially, but another slam semi is a fantastic achievement. I just hope Rafa’s foot is OK.

  6. N WILL NOT PLAY TO WIN IMHO…A FAVORITE WALKER ASSISTANCE WILL BE THERE AND WHAT IS SAD IS THAT RAFA PLAYED STRONGER….BETTER……CLEANER SERVE…CLEANER SHOTS…..
    KEEP GOING SWEETHEART!!!!!!!:)
    ENJOY EVERYTHING AND KNOW YOU ARE THE WINNER AND YOUR TENNIS IS SHARPER…..STRONGER…….AND r HAD EASIER EASIER EASIER DRAW….HE DOES NOT EARN VICTORIES WITH OUT THE FAVORS AND BREAKS IN DRAWS…..BUT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE SWEETHEART IT IS EVIDENT YOU LED IN THE AO AND WHEN r LOST AND COULD NOT STAND HE GOT MEDICAL ASS. ZERO CLASS WAYS…..

  7. What a complete disappointment. Sorry to say I’m angry 😠 and frustrated. I don’t want to imagine what Rafa is feeling and I feel bad for him but ……. why he can’t bring on his best or at least keep up the way he has been playing throughout the tournament even when he needs it most and I’m sorry to repeat myself – against roger and Novak. Beats me! Is it mental or …… .

    This year my hopes were a bit higher for his victory but …. .

    Can we still hope for better times? Hope so.

    Sorry Rafa fans – feeling so gutted and so disillusioned and unfortunately negative. Sorry!!!

  8. Sigh. No idea what to make of this match today. I’m extremely disappointed. Rafa seemed to not want it more, and that was the difference. Wimbledon 2019 is over for me.

    • I think Rafa wanted it badly, but his problem was that Roger stayed calm and Rafa was never able to break down his backhand.

  9. Consistency is key in such matches, and today, Federer has been the more consistent player. Another match point on Rafa’s serve. How many such gifts will Rafa offer him?

    • VAMOS SWEETHEART!!!!!!!:) YOU WERE THE BETTER PLAYER THE ENTIRE MATCH…….FEW LOW POINTS THAT’ S THAT…..HOLD YOUR PRECIOUS HEAD HIGH……..WE LOVE YOU AND THERE WILL BR OTHER OPENINGS …..GOD BLESS YOU SWEETHEART AND GO RAFA GO!!!!:) XOXOXOXOXOXO

    • No, the legacy as you call it, of that 2008 match will live on. Legacy is not the right word. It remains a great match, what difference does today make?

      Pundits have said it was an all time classic – why should today’s result change that? I don’t follow your reasoning.

    • HAHA… I can stomach a loss to Federer now, but not Djoker in a final:):):)

      Rafa showed up for one set today.

  10. Rafa is getting desperate now and you can see it in his face. All Roger has to do is to keep the ball in play and wait for an error on the other side of the net.

  11. There’s no zip in Rafa’s shots. Add all the errors, and it could be home time for our boy.

    You gonna give us some hope or what, champ???

  12. SWEETHEART MAKE SURE YOU GET GOOD WATER BOTTLES …….ONLY GIVEN TO YOU BY SOMEONE ON YOUR OWN TEAM…….SEEMS YOUR LEGS HEAVIER THAN USUAL AND I AM WONDERING CONCERN…….INCASE YOU ARE DRINKING NOT ONLY WATER…..

    BEAUTIFUL LONG POINT WIN 30:15 on r serve…GO RAFA GO!!!!!!:)

    YOUR ENERGY IS LEGGING AND I PRAY MY CONCERN IS WRONG…..

  13. Has Rafa given up already in his mind? There’s no sense of urgency about him right now. It’s simply a battle of wills at this point, and Roger is dominating.

    Love you champ! Maybe it’s some love Rafa needs:)

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