Nadal takes No.1 spot

There are 20 comments on the North Adams Transcript story from Jun 7, 2010, titled Nadal takes No.1 spot. In it, North Adams Transcript reports that:

Scurrying along the baseline as only he can, sliding through the red clay he rules, Rafael Nadal stretched to somehow dig the ball out of a corner and fling it back over the net -- once, twice, three times -- during a 14-stroke exchange that ended when Robin Soderling sailed a shot long.

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kc guerrero

Caloocan, Philippines

#1 Jun 7, 2010
i am teary-eyed to read the RETURN OF RAFAEL NADA to the number one ranking. He's just human after all, like all of us. VAMOS RAFAL! pLEASE WIN ALL THE GRAND SLAM flrom now on!

“"Never say never"”

Since: Sep 08

Location hidden

#2 Jun 8, 2010
Vamos RAFA! So elated for you.

TMD

“Look! Up in the sky!”

Since: Dec 06

Columbus, Ohio

#3 Jun 9, 2010
Looks like Nadal is healthy and has returned to championship form. He's tucked away another French Open championship without dropping a single set.

Federer's slam days may be over...
Paul

Andover, UK

#4 Jun 10, 2010
'Federer's slam days may be over'.

Hi TMD it's been a while. How are you? That statement, to me, is like a red rag to a bull. There is no denying Nadal is looking impressive and that Fed lost in the QF at the French and is nearly 29, but to say he may never win another slam - no, I find that
a little too premature. Let's not forget, only 4 months ago, he destroyed the field in Australia. No-one would deny he is not the dominant force he was in 2004-7, but I think he is good for another 2-3 slams.

I also think that we have all become accustomed to overfocusing on Federer and Nadal as the only potential slam winners: that is normal given their virtual duopoly since 2005. But new names are coming through: Del Potro for one and it is only a matter of time before Murray, Cilic and others make their breakthrough. Added to this are the likes of Soderling, Isner, tsonga - guys who may or may not win a slam-, but are capable of causing big upsets.

Basically what I'm saying is this: a slowly fading Fed does not just have Nadal to worry about but the generation behind him; but by the same token, so too, does Nadal: he can clean up RG for another 2 or 3 years, but the real litmus test for him will be the US Open. There is a handful of really good hard-court players who may block his path to that elusive title. I think we need to wait and see not only whether Nadal wins Wimbledon, but whether he can clean up all the majors a la Federer at his peak i.e. average 2 or 3 a year.

TMD

“Look! Up in the sky!”

Since: Dec 06

Columbus, Ohio

#5 Jun 10, 2010
Paul wrote:
'Federer's slam days may be over'.
Hi TMD it's been a while. How are you? That statement, to me, is like a red rag to a bull. There is no denying Nadal is looking impressive and that Fed lost in the QF at the French and is nearly 29, but to say he may never win another slam - no, I find that
a little too premature. Let's not forget, only 4 months ago, he destroyed the field in Australia. No-one would deny he is not the dominant force he was in 2004-7, but I think he is good for another 2-3 slams.
I also think that we have all become accustomed to overfocusing on Federer and Nadal as the only potential slam winners: that is normal given their virtual duopoly since 2005. But new names are coming through: Del Potro for one and it is only a matter of time before Murray, Cilic and others make their breakthrough. Added to this are the likes of Soderling, Isner, tsonga - guys who may or may not win a slam-, but are capable of causing big upsets.
Basically what I'm saying is this: a slowly fading Fed does not just have Nadal to worry about but the generation behind him; but by the same token, so too, does Nadal: he can clean up RG for another 2 or 3 years, but the real litmus test for him will be the US Open. There is a handful of really good hard-court players who may block his path to that elusive title. I think we need to wait and see not only whether Nadal wins Wimbledon, but whether he can clean up all the majors a la Federer at his peak i.e. average 2 or 3 a year.
Hey Paul! Nice to hear from you.

I think you may have read a little too much into my statement. I'm not saying Nadal is going to win every slam from here on out. All I'm saying is that with Nadal back in form, the hurdles Federer will have to negotiate to win a slam may be too much, even for him.

As you mentioned, there are the new up-and-comers who have already given him fits (Del Potro, Söderling, Berdych, etc.), and for the first time in recent memory, he's losing early in tournaments. He's not injured or tired, he's just getting beat. Federer has already lost twice in the third round, and once in the second, and the year is young. This exceeds the number of early exits he suffered all of last year. Contrast that with the fact that Nadal has not lost earlier than the quarters this year, and it's starting to look like one is on his way up, and the other, down.

BTW, this is not a comparison to determine who is the best all-time player, just who is better, NOW. After beating Federer again this year, Nadal now leads their all-time series 14-7. Nadal just turned 24, and unless he re-injures himself, this gap is just going to grow.

Nadal may not be the obstacle that keeps Federer from winning another slam, but the combination of a healthy Nadal, and all these others we've mentioned, will certainly make winning another slam much, much tougher for him. Of all of the other pretenders we've talked about, I believe Söderling is the best all-around player, and the most likely to challenge them both on all the different surfaces. Only time will tell.
meknot

United States

#6 Jun 13, 2010
Nadal spent 500 K on his watch and yet cannot seem to find the right undershorts to wear. He is constantly picking.
Paul

Andover, UK

#7 Jun 13, 2010
'BTW, this is not a comparison to determine who is the best all-time player, just who is better, NOW. After beating Federer again this year, Nadal now leads their all-time series 14-7. Nadal just turned 24, and unless he re-injures himself, this gap is just going to grow.'

Hi TMD. I didn't read your comments as such. I know what you mean. Though of course, as we all know, the 14-7 gap includes 12 matches on clay: I think it would be a lot closer if more of their encounters had been on grass/hard (this is not an excuse, but a fact that many Nadal fans choose to overlook - imagine if Laver or Sampras at their peak had played 21 matches against Nadal at his, 12 of which were on clay? I'm not sure their head to head against him would be much different from Federer's). But of course, you are right; Federer's form is a little worrying: I didn't expect him to lose to Hewitt at Halle, even though Hewitt is an underrated grass-court player. This does make me wonder whether Federer will even make the Wimbledon final, though I would expect him to play better at a slam where he has lost only once since 2002 in an epic 5-setter.

'Nadal may not be the obstacle that keeps Federer from winning another slam, but the combination of a healthy Nadal, and all these others we've mentioned, will certainly make winning another slam much, much tougher for him. Of all of the other pretenders we've talked about, I believe Söderling is the best all-around player, and the most likely to challenge them both on all the different surfaces. Only time will tell.'

Agreed. But I would add to that that it's not going to get any easier for Nadal either, with the obvious exception of clay where -injury permitting- I can see him remaining untouchable for another 2 or 3 years. I don't quite know what to make of Soderling. When his game is 'on' he is practically unplayable and capable of beating anyone: his victory over Fed this year is a case in point (ironically I actually though Fed played quite well at the French; he was imply overpowered by Soderling). But I am yet to be convinced that Soderling quite has the consistency to win a slam, or certainly multiple slams. I actually think Del Potro is the slightly better player, but it is clearly going to take a long time for him to come back from injury. As you say: only time will tell.

TMD

“Look! Up in the sky!”

Since: Dec 06

Columbus, Ohio

#8 Jun 13, 2010
Paul wrote:
Hi TMD. I didn't read your comments as such. I know what you mean. Though, of course, as we all know, the 14-7 gap includes 12 matches on clay: I think it would be a lot closer if more of their encounters had been on grass/hard (this is not an excuse, but a fact that many Nadal fans choose to overlook - imagine if Laver or Sampras at their peak had played 21 matches against Nadal at his, 12 of which were on clay? I'm not sure their head to head against him would be much different from Federer's).
You, of course, are correct with regard to the composition of the disparity in the head-to-head results. However, I would like to point out that the head-to-head between the two on hard courts is dead even, and on grass is 2-1 Federer, very close to even. In addition to that, we both know the predominant, and favorite, surface in Europe is clay, not hard courts. Most european countries play their home Davis Cup ties on clay or grass. European players grow up on the surface, and are among the best in the world. The same can be said for south american players. Of all of the great tennis playing populations in the world, the north americans, the Russians, and the slavic nations are the only ones who are truly raised on hard courts. I say all this to make the point that clay may be considered an "exotic" surface in the U.S., but not in Europe.

To qualify or diminish Nadal's advantage over Federer simply because the two have met in about half of their mutual contests on clay is unfair. Nadal has played and beaten Federer on his favorite surface, but, except in rare instances, Federer has failed at doing the same to Nadal on his.

.
I don't quite know what to make of Soderling. When his game is 'on' he is practically unplayable and capable of beating anyone: his victory over Fed this year is a case in point (ironically I actually though Fed played quite well at the French; he was simply overpowered by Soderling). But I am yet to be convinced that Soderling quite has the consistency to win a slam, or certainly multiple slams. I actually think Del Potro is the slightly better player, but it is clearly going to take a long time for him to come back from injury. As you say: only time will tell.
I like Del Potro, as well. I just don't think he has a patient enough game for clay, and the shorter, faster players run him ragged on grass. Besides that, he is so thin. He needs to bulk up a little bit. He may not have injured his wrist had he just had a little more muscle behind those strokes.

“"Never say never"”

Since: Sep 08

Location hidden

#9 Jun 14, 2010
This week Rafa is taking a well-deserved break. Post Halle Roger is too. W is going to be really exciting this time. Good to see Hewitt and Querrey do well during the weekend.
fan4rafa

Belmont, CA

#10 Jun 14, 2010
meknot wrote:
Nadal spent 500 K on his watch and yet cannot seem to find the right undershorts to wear. He is constantly picking.
Rafa's watch was GIVEN to him by the makers of the watch to wear for advertising. He did not buy this watch.
Paul

Andover, UK

#11 Jun 15, 2010
'European players grow up on the surface, and are among the best in the world. The same can be said for south american players. Of all of the great tennis playing populations in the world, the north americans, the Russians, and the slavic nations are the only ones who are truly raised on hard courts. I say all this to make the point that clay may be considered an "exotic" surface in the U.S., but not in Europe.'

I agree. But in a way you are making the same point as me i.e. that we DO need to differentiate between surfaces when assessing head to heads. This is what I am doing with the Nadal-Fed head to head; not to diminish Nadal's considerable achievements but simply to make the point that what these stats overwhelmingly demonstrate is Nadal's superiority over Fed on clay, but not elsewhere. What some Nadal supporters do is use this stat as a stick to beat Federer with to draw a very different and erroneous conclusion: namely, that Nadal is a much better player than Fed overall, and Fed can't be that good if he has a significantly inferior h. to. h record to Nadal. So I suppose you could say I am making the argument from the opposite perspective: not to diminish Nadal's accomplishments, but to put them in some kind of context that prevents FEDERER'S accomplishments from being diminished. I am not saying that Fed has not had his difficulties against Nadal or that Nadal is not an accomplished player outside clay. But the fact remains that most of his titles and his dominance over Fed is as a result of excelling on that surface.

“"Never say never"”

Since: Sep 08

Location hidden

#12 Jun 15, 2010
Paul wrote:
......... I am not saying that Fed has not had his difficulties against Nadal or that Nadal is not an accomplished player outside clay. But the fact remains that most of his titles and his dominance over Fed is as a result of excelling on that surface.
Agreed. Even Rafa acknowledged that he has a better h2h record against Roger because most of their encounters were on clay. As a Rafa ran, I am glad that he has gradually matured into an all-court player, having had success on different surfaces. Wish he wins the US Open one day.
Paul

Andover, UK

#13 Jun 15, 2010
Fapp wrote: "Agreed. Even Rafa acknowledged that he has a better h2h record against Roger because most of their encounters were on clay. As a Rafa ran, I am glad that he has gradually matured into an all-court player, having had success on different surfaces. Wish he wins the US Open one day."

Indeed. Rafa seems to be adapting his game so as to do better at the US Open: flattening out his forehand, hitting it deeper and trying to win points more quickly. I would have thought this year he would have a reasonable chance given that the hard-court specialists (Fed, Murray, Djokovic, Roddick) are not on top form, and Delpo, a problematic player for Rafa on that surface, is injured. There is of course the Soderling factor, but that depends on whether he can maintain his form.

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#15 May 26, 2012
federer will be back at No1 in 2012

TMD

“Look! Up in the sky!”

Since: Dec 06

Columbus, Ohio

#16 May 29, 2012
Pangaea wrote:
federer will be back at No1 in 2012
Not unless Nadal and Djokovic both abruptly retire...

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#17 May 29, 2012
TMD wrote:
<quoted text>
Not unless Nadal and Djokovic both abruptly retire...
dont rule it out !

Agassi done it, remember?

TMD

“Look! Up in the sky!”

Since: Dec 06

Columbus, Ohio

#18 Jun 14, 2012
Pangaea wrote:
<quoted text>
dont rule it out !
Agassi done it, remember?
When Agassi recaptured the world #1 ranking for the last time in '03 at the age of 33, he had not gone 2 years without winning a slam. He won the '01 AO, the '03 AO, and played in the '02 USO final.

The last slam Federer won was the '10 AO. He has played in only 1 GS final since then, the 2011 FO (which he lost to Nadal in 4 sets). His days as world #1 are over.

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#19 Jun 30, 2012
Federer to win Wimbledon 2012

Nadal has already gone home

Murray not there yet

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#20 Jul 8, 2012
TMD wrote:
<quoted text>
When Agassi recaptured the world #1 ranking for the last time in '03 at the age of 33, he had not gone 2 years without winning a slam. He won the '01 AO, the '03 AO, and played in the '02 USO final.
The last slam Federer won was the '10 AO. He has played in only 1 GS final since then, the 2011 FO (which he lost to Nadal in 4 sets). His days as world #1 are over.
Just 2 questions:

Who just won Wimbledon ?

Who will be No.1 on Monday ?

Clue:Same answer for both

TMD

“Look! Up in the sky!”

Since: Dec 06

Columbus, Ohio

#21 Jul 8, 2012
Pangaea wrote:
<quoted text>
Just 2 questions:
Who just won Wimbledon ?
Who will be No.1 on Monday ?
Clue:Same answer for both
Congratulations to Roger Federer on winning his 7th Wimbledon and 17th GS.

Q; Who did Federer beat for his last 2 Slams?
A: Andy Murray -'10 AO,'12 WI. He also beat Murray in the final of the '08 USO

Q: Who did Federer not have to face at his last 4 GS wins?
A: Rafael Nadal

Winning 7 Wimbledons is a great feat, but beating Murray to do so is not so impressive.

And, please, don't get me started on the ranking system, which is based on defending points, rather than accumulating them. There is no way Federer should have been able to leapfrog both Nadal and Djokovic from #3 to #1 solely by winning Wimby. Djokovic won AO and was runnerup at the FO, and reached the semis of Wimbledon, not to mention winning several other Masters Series tournaments. That, alone, should have been enough for him to retain his #1 ranking.

Nadal was the runnerup at the AO, the winner at the FO, and won 3 out of the 4 Masters Series clay court tournaments this year. That should have been more than enough to retain #2.

Thw WTA and ATP have been playing with this ranking system for the past decade and still can't get it quite right.

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