Taking a close look at doping control in professional tennis. How stringent is it? We also look at other issues related to the integrity of the sport.
The article is dated "Wed Jan 22 2014, 4:28 am GMT". And, at this time, the message underneath says: "This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication." Well, folks, you've got a full several minutes to post your welcome comment on the daring article the daring publisher dared to publish! God-speed, everyone!
P.S. I forgot to mention that the "discussion" consists of full 0 (zero, that is) comments.
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More double speak from "Dr." Miller. In August of 2013 he is quoted as saying the program is "up and running." See http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/tennis/2013/08/01/tennis-biological-passport-itf-atp-wta/2610173/ In fact, the article reports "Tennis' biological passport program is now operational."Turns out, what that meant was that they were gathering samples but couldn't ban anyone for anything. Funny that "Dr." Miller didn't demand a correction for USA Today and tell them that it was not indeed operational. Miller continues this double speak in the article quoted above by saying "While it's already in full operation, its effectiveness is still increasing by virtue of the number of samples...blah blah blah." But, apparently, it is not "fully effective" until September, thought it is "operational" and "partially effective" -- though they can't ban anyone. Anyway, Miller should go write propaganda for North Korea talking about how the "5 year plan" is "fully operational" and will result is new and wonderful things which you just need to trust the "Dear Leader" about because he can't share any of the details of this miraculous program. He could also report and "party members" that have "suspicions" or "speculations" about high ranking Comrades to the Party Integrity Unit so they could be re-programmed. Come to think of it, the ITF does sound a lot like North Korea. Is Dennis Rodman going to visit Miller?
Stuart Miller is FAR more concerned with public relations bs than he is with actually catching dopers. In fact I would say he is ONLY concerned with PR talk and not at all with catching dopers. The bio passport is only in place because the media kept mentioning tennis as "the next cycling".I have pondered too, if Djokovic's return to earth in the last 12 months has anything to do with the blood passport.
Miller is a joke and I take anything he says with a huge grain of salt. Yeah, the bio passport is being introduced, but I am very doubtful any substantial suspensions will come out of it. As Mystery said above, the passport came about because some members of the media actually did real reporting and found out how little the ITF actually spent on testing and how few drug tests (especially OOC blood tests) they actually carried out.To me, unless there are major "catches", this will be worthless. The ITF will do the same crap they've done before - cover up big-name positive tests and players will continue to serve silent suspensions (ie. take several months off for "injuries") and we will wash, rinse, repeat what we had before.
Exactly, the passport gives them an easy way to cover-up anyone they want because the standards are (1) secret and (2) subjective. A person is only banned if a panel of Miller's friends, err, I mean, "experts" determine some vague standard that the passport values can only be explained by doping. No one can review these "experts," and the players can provide explanations to the "expert" panel -- like "kissing a girl" or "I just have high natural testosterone" for which they will buy this BS if your ranking was ever higher than #10.
They buy it even if you have a crap ranking - look at Robert Kendrick who got off with a lighter sentence, Odesnik who got a lighter sentence (for some "cooperation" that no one is sure what he exactly said), etc. They seem to care more about match-fixing in tennis than doping. Not saying match-fixing isn't bad, but I doubt there is as much match-fixing in big league tennis as there is doping.Is there any way we will know who the experts are or is that being kept secret?
It's too early to judge whether Federer's form improvement has anything to do with doping. I suspect no (additional) doping from the way he has been playing so far. He did well against Tsonga and beat a well-under-done Murray but that's it so far and he doesn't play any differently to what he did last year, just not as atrociously (by his standards). It he starts beating Nadal easily I may reconsider. But really, unlike Djokovic post-2010 and Ferrer in the last couple of years, he does not look any different to the previous version of him.
What's your take on Nadal's miraculous comeback in 2013?
Meanwhile, the Spanish Tennis Federation has helped Nadal heal his blisters (I think we get the idea even though Google translate is not the best)http://www.tennisworlditalia.com/Rafael-Nadal-accelera-la-cicatrizzazione-con-la-radiofrequenza-articolo18076.htmlThis morning, Rafael Nadal had tranquillizato all claiming not to have a "crater" in the left hand so that he trained without the traditional but with a plaster bandage on the wound site. The problem seems to have been resolved through a machine arrived from Spain.Nadal's doctor, Angel Ruiz Cotorro, and 'was sent to Melbourne by the Spanish Federation to treat bladder bleeding Nadal: "We applied the creams to help skin regeneration. The machinery we use is called Indiba and serves to accelerate the healing process. The device uses radio frequencies that do nothing but accelerate the metabolism of cells, reoxygenating the blood, improving blood flow velocity and encouraging lymphatic drainage in the peripheral zone. This way new cells are born more easily and quickly. "
Original source: http://www.marca.com/2014/01/23/tenis/open_australia/1390469257.htmlThe Spanish Tennis Federation sent a doctor to Melbourne for Rafael Nadal; Angel Ruiz Cotorro, and also Julián Casanova, a physiotherapist.With them traveled to the capital of Victoria a revolutionary machine, called Indiba, which will help the rapid recovery of the left hand of the number 1 ATP player. Nadal suffers a nagging sore that forced him to play Grigor Dimitrov bandaged."We applied creams that help regenerate skin, but also Indiba, which serves to accelerate the healing process" explains Cotorro. "The device that applies radiofrequency thereby accelerating metabolism of cells, reorganizing oxygenated blood, improving the velocity of blood flow and by promoting lymphatic drainage of the peripheral area. So the cell state thrives."--?
They don't even care to hide it anymore.Also, why is it that there's always something freakish or odd that comes up with him all the time? To me, it seems as though they (Nadal and his team) are always preparing a) excuses in case he loses and b) the next "injury" break to recharge. Though this time, it seems he won't need to "reorganize oxygenated blood" during another one of his patented hiatuses: the device is right there with him in Australia! (No I don't think it is solely to heal his blisters, lol.)
Wouldn't surprise me if the doctor also flew in blood bags.
Radiofrequency that heals cells? So, I should just tape my cellphone over my knees and I'll start running like Nadal?
Just like Djokovic's "egg chamber." Unbelievable. Yeah I'm sure he's only getting treatment for blisters. Yeah right.
This overly campaigned injury is part of Nadal strategy, specifically against Federer. Nadal team know Fed can only be beaten mentally, which is to prepare brutality condition on Nadal side by playing insanely physical while having injuries. This brutality is totally against Federer character, and affecting his mind. it is always like that. It surprises me how Nadal team are willingto prepare Nadal performance all out by going into thing such this. Another example his team prepared is the militant fans cheering Nadal and the shoes skidding noise to disrupt opponent serves. They are very details and I must say they succeed to pack all these. On court coaching also to add more. Then drug management of course will come up as a consequence of all these overly gamemanship strategy.
Give me a break, Watson. They are not even trying to hide it any more. "Reorganises oxygenated blood"?? Are they sure there aren't any helpful side effects with this? Might as well say he has anemia and they need to give him medicated EPO. Are they this worried about Federer that they need to fly in some machine that spins blood oxygen from Spain to Melbourne?
The writing is on the wall. This match will take more than 3 hours. Roger will get tired like any normal human being and RoboRafa will take all. For once, I really hope I'm wrong.
Federer is playing quite brilliantly by his standards, but it comes as no surprise that Nadal is faster, stronger and hitting winners out of nowhere. This is an even more complete performance from him than in the USO final last year. Slowly but surely, Federer will break down and lose, maybe in straights.
Nadal will definitely win 3-0. Quite unstoppable despite his debilitating hand blister injury.
And to illustrate my point, Federer hits an amazing wrongfooting volley, and Nadal stops, turns, gets there just in time, and flicks and outrageous pass crosscourt with power AND angle. Physicality over skill, every single time.And Roger is looking more and more like a normal player, getting tired as you would expect.
Sampras must be shaking his head in the crowd.
Nadal returns everything with interest. He's like a human ball machine out there. All of his shots are hard and angled like Beacon said. And what about his horrendous blister problem?
@Beacon Tripper: Sampras was shaking his head in the crowd. During the second set they cut away to him and he was clearly shaking his head. I can only imagine what is going through his head knowing Nadal will most likely tie his record.@Picassowhat: That "machine" of Nadal's that his Spanish doctor brought in did wonders for him, eh? Funny how much better Nadal was in terms of serving, forehands, return of serve, etc. after that medical miracle yesterday.
The Humble Bull is taking all the time off he needs to give his fingers a rest. Didn't this new magical machine doing the job well enough? 5 min break after first set. Medical time out for an existing injury.
Roger has no chance...even from 10 feet behind the baseling Rafa is hitting the ball hard, deep into the court with massive spin. And he is so far back that he can easily defend whatever fed throws at him...and fed is striking the ball well and moving great, but Rafa is just too fast and too strong.
Getting blisters must be an important part of his pre-match preparation, as he is clearly playing at a higher level than previously in the tournament. Just as an extended break for knee injury was critical to playing at his highest ever level throughout the latter part of last year. I wonder if the coaching manuals for up and coming players will advise frequent injury as a NECESSARY part of their preparation. After all, Nadal shows it works every time.
Well if nothing else I think Stan stands a better chance than Federer against Nadal. However Stan could be juiced to the gills and he still wouldn't stand a chance. Nadal keeps getting better and better in this tournament with some superhuman shots, and literally tireless.
Stan has more power and less to lose, so we can hope!
If Nadal is a natural tennis player, what would a doped Nadal be like? Oh, yeah - like Cilic and Troiki.
Stan has never even won a set off Nadal in 12 matches. I put his chances at winning the match at somewhere between winning a Powerball lottery and getting struck by lightning. Worst case scenario for Nadal currently is that he will be at 15 Slams by the end of the year. There is no way that he loses at RG, and he is probably the favorite at the US Open now, too. I suspect he will hold that Majors record by the end of 2015. I am pretty much done with tennis now until they do something about modern strings and racquets. The game is just unwatchable for the most part, and only seems to be getting worse.
Only strings and racquets?
I have given up on getting rid of doping from sports. It seems no matter what new tests people come up with, the dopers find new ways around them. At least strings and racquets are easy to check. A judge just has to measure the size of the racquet head and the composition of the strings. It is hard to pass of a 100+ sq. in. racquet as a 85 sq. in. racquet or poly strings as natural gut.
It's not modern strings and racquets that enable Nadal to play the way we have just seen. Cast your mind back to the latter part of 2009, and how he couldn't win a match against another top ten player. He was - temporarily - "little Rafa" again.
I feel like it's Groundhog day again. How do the authorities sleep at night knowing this guy is making a farce of the game of tennis? How do they let this continue? I hope Stan gets a good does of whatever Nadal is getting plus some. But it still won't be enough. Sickening.
"Cast your mind back to the latter part of 2009, and how he couldn't win a match against another top ten player. He was - temporarily - "little Rafa" again."+++Such a good quote, Richard. I remember vividly those last months of the 2009 season. I watched some of his match at the 2009 WTF and he didn't seem hurt at all, like his clan retroactively suggested; no, he was just not explosive at all. He looked like a normal Spanish player. I honestly (and gleefully, might I add) thought he was done. But we all know how he reinvented himself, the 2010 US Open being a high watermark of the doping era.
and we all know why he was like that in 2009. we know why he lost at RG and pulled out of Wimbledon. it wasn't because of the knees or his parents' separation. rumour has it he tested positive at or before RG and the results came in Paris. maybe he decided to go clean for the rest of the season and rest is history. he didn't win another tournament that year. that's how his career would look if he was clean.
Well, I give Stan a fighting chance as it seems he too got a new 'regimen' in the offseason.Stan has never been known for his fitness, in fact it was his fitness that cost him last year against Djoker. Now all of a sudden he has outlasted djoker, become more explosive and was able to blast fellow big hitter Berdych off the court.Whatever is in stan's water I give him a fighting chance against Nadal. Stan's bh is more reliable than fed's and he hits it harder. That said, said its less versatile than Fed's but that doesnt matter. Finesse doesnt work against Nadal, you have to bludgeon him and blast him off the court. Stan has the power to do it, one wonders if he will have the heart and the legs to do it.
It's not just finesse, with nadal you don't even need a net, as all the topspin makes the ball go into orbit before coming back down to hit the lines. He should try volleyball after his tenniscareer, if you are allowed to play that with a tennisracket and if he stays "injury free" of course...
I honestly don't know if Wawrinka is on anything. Wouldn't be shocked if he is.If he is, it's probably one of those "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" deals. When you see a lot of other players around you doping and they keep beating the pants off of you and you know how poor the testing is and how the dopers are being rewarded, it is very tempting to say "to hell with it" and turn to doping to get those rewards for yourself.Unless Wawrinka drinks some Superman-type juice tonight the chances of him winning are pretty damn small. I'd love to be wrong, I really, really would.
And how do they expect to catch anyone when they're doing a huge two blood tests a year? No doubt some guy from Azerbaijan ranked 400 will be banned for having suspicious levels in his passport and then Miller and co can pat themselves on the back for 'cleaning' tennis and proving the system works.
Well I PVR'd the match but accidentally heard the results before I could watch it. Didn't bother to view it all - would be too painful I admit. Having read the comments here, it seems like the usual resurgent Rafa, recovering miraculously from severe blisters, pounded Fed to submission.Which brings me to the blister issue - although RFA (Radio Frequency Ablation) is a proven form of treatment for certain medical issues, it will do squat in 24-48 hours. Not to mention that any healing of the skin will surely be aggravated again the next time he grabs a racquet and start playing again.I would like to ask which medical doctor would prescribe this type of treatment knowing the outcome?As I've stated before, either Rafa is a hypochondriac and susceptible to the 'placebo' effect of the many questionable cures his doctors prescribes, or something nefarious is involved.BTW - why is the "Spanish Tennis Federation" sending out a doctor & medical equipment to assist? This is not Davis Cup, Nadal is not representing Spain in this Grand Slam as far as I know.
Stay tuned! as the tennis press is sure to follow through with that story.
Excellent questions Kenny. Sadly, no tennis reporter has the courage to ask Nadal that question. If they ever did, it would be shocking (and Rafa and Uncle Toni would probably complain and that reporter would be banned from any Rafa press conferences).
Seeya, do you know of any reporters being banned from the Mighty Rafa PCs? It wouldn't surprise me, but I've never heard of it. I guess I've always assumed they were either too scared of the possible outcome, or not interested enough to ask the right questions...I'm pretty sure RF is by now as fed up with Nadal as we are all, I only wish he would talk (and I'm also pretty sure he could say a great deal about what's happening in the lockers and massage rooms)
It's outrageous the type of claims his camp constantly spout. Apparently, he switched to a smaller bandage that allowed him to thump Federer - what a crock! Almost as bad as the infamous grip change that powered him to his US Open title.And his fans call us "tinhat-wearing-conspiracy" theorists - the irony is too much.I'm completely fed up with Nadal, his fans and his fans with typewriters.
@Once_in-a-Lifetime: No I don't know of any reporters banned by Nadal or his team, but he is a constant complainer and it wouldn't surprise me if he complained to the ATP or ITF in the past. Sorry, I probably shouldn't have used the word "ban" - that is too strong. I know in other sports players and managers have asked for reporters to be banned from press conferences. What I should have said is Nadal probably thinks they should be banned.Apparently in his post-match presser Federer said the umpires needed to be more firm with warnings in regards to time violations and grunting on court. He claims Rafa's grunting was distracting to him because he didn't do it every point.http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/tennis/australian-open-2014/top-stories/Roger-Federer-hits-out-at-Rafael-Nadals-grunting-slow-play/articleshow/29311723.cms
With the last link I posted (I didn't want to have to delete my entire post), it goes to Federer's frustration. He seems to get more exasperated (and with good reason) with each loss to Nadal. Also, none of the reporters at Nadal's press conference asked about the mystery machine (unless the Australian Open edits their transcripts).
I was born in Mallorca, the same island as Nadal. I know him and his family and I can say that is not humble, , he is arrogant he is willing to do anything to win. You know what I mean. The media tell us it's simple, humble, etc.. but it is more false than Judas. Why when "Injured" not told when he would come back and were saying every week that the Olympic Games, Canada and Cincinnati Masters, U.S. Open, etc. would be lost.? .
Did you ever see him limp around or in crutches? Because for all the injuries he has allegedly suffered from in his career, he seems like a spry young man. I mean, the guy seems to peak around the semi finals stage of every event he plays.
I've never seen on crutches, never . When I asked about his injuries always tries to dodge the question and gets nervous . When in the summer of 2009 I asked him about his " injury," he told me he did not know when it would , ( again in Toronto or Monreal, I do not remember ), but when in the summer of 2012 , after losing at Wimbledon against Rosol him again ask what such , he said he would in a few weeks in the Olympics, he lied obviously. That confirmed that Nadal was hiding something behind his " injury " because then told me that last summer would compete and did not compete until early 2013 . He was training while most people thought he was seriously injured. Especially trained his serve and backhand .I think his uncle Toni is the " organizer " why somehow protecting it with the press.For me it 's the worst I've seen people because they are very hypocritical and false . In the press, tv, and say the surroundings are very humble. But it is false , he hates to lose, and I've seen breaking rackets, insulting, is a " spoiled child and somewhat self-centered " , but thanks to his uncle he would have us believe that it is a great person. is false
A Spanish judge ordered on Tuesday the destruction of more than 200 blood bags seized in a raid of a major European doping ring that catered to elite athletes, thwarting an effort to uncover possibly one of the biggest doping scandals in history.
Was this reported in the news?(What are your sources, if I may kindly ask.)
I thought this happened last year at the Fuentes trial- the Spanish judge ordering the blood bags being destroyed and organizations like WADA, UCI were appealing. I remember there was huge outrage (well here at least and sadly, not many more places) about it. Is this what you are talking about?:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/cycling/10027763/Operation-Puerto-judge-sparks-outrage-by-ordering-destruction-of-blood-bags.html
Yes, but when I see at this page https://www.facebook.com/nadal.doping.in.tennis, I think he was some days ago, but it was in 2013
Random thought: Didn't Nadal play against Wawrinka (and Hewitt) and lose (to both) in a 2009 exo tune-up prior to Wimbledon that year? I'm asking because I wondered back then why would he even risk aggravating the mysterious knee injury sustained at RG. In hindsight, he was probably gauging his PED-free form and decided against risking losing early, thus propelling the myth of "invincible Rafa*". *When "healthy"
Makes perfect sense! I wondered at that time why he would play 2 matches and then decide to not compete at Wimbledon. Looking at what has unfolded over the years, it is clear that without "preparation" Nadal is a very ordinary player.
As others have surely alluded to before me, this is probably why he flopped the last two years at Wimbledon: his drug regimen probably kicks in towards the end of grand slam tournaments, or else how would you explain his losing to the likes of Darcis and Rosol, two guys who haven't beaten anyone of note since their fateful match with the Raging Bull? It's kind of weird too that he seems to always have some problems in the early going, whereas he his nearly invincible at the back end of tournaments, i.e. the semis and finals.Lance Armstrong, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Alex Rodriguez - major superstars - all had their day of reckoning. Please someone tell me it will happen someday to Nadal as well. I can't believe we are the only ones who despise his guts. There must be some powerful people somewhere who know or have heard things and would want him unmasked. There has to be, no?
The grass is still mostly intact during the first week of Wimbledon and the court plays quicker with a low bounce. After the first week, the baseline area is basically dirt and this helps Nadal because the ball starts to bounce higher and the court slows down. Nadal's game is completely dependent on the ability to generate incredible topspin and bludgeon opponents off the court with heavy forehands. This is also why he struggles on the quicker indoor courts.
Hi picassowhat.My sources are: https://www.facebook.com/nadal.doping.in.tennis and http://www.isteroids.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Blood_Bags_To_Be_Destroyed_In_Doping_Case.pdfReplyDelete
Question: How about the current anti-doping regulations ?Mark Spitz: The IOC says it is doing the best job possible , but what you can do is look for old substances to improve performance , things that athletes may have taken previous years. But some may have moved to a new type of drug . I think his work would find these substances , but it is difficult for the IOC know unless any of those involved informed . The problem is that according to the rules , six months before the Olympics the list of banned substances is given . Is done for two reasons. First, if you are taking one of these products, you have time to take off and get clean. Second, if you're taking something that helps you and is not listed , you can stick with it, because they will never discover. This question is should raise the IOC. Is the jury and the executioner , who makes the rules. Your responsibility is to polish those standards. One step back and think it's on purpose.
Tennis has been suffering for years and unfortunately many people have been in denial or naive about it. The strings and racquets are running haywire without any true regulations or control, and most of all, the doping. These factors are ruining the sport, not just the ethics but the actual quality and performances, and it is robbing tennis of seeing real action, of seeing true talents and legends happen, and it is preventing real history from being made. These factors are also tainting and ruining past records that really should not be getting topped. Too bad for fans, the sport of tennis and the sports world in general.
Rafael Nadal, a great person, but he is endangering this if he is cheating. Like others have said, there is almost no fear now and it's as if Nadal's camp are not even hiding it now. The other problem is and has been Serena Williams, that fans around the world have been saying that starting after 2005, she has been allowed by the American-run WTA Tour to do her cheating. The game and female players became better, more fit and complete, but her doped power interrupted any real talent in the game. However, unlike Nadal, she is a nasty character so it wouldn't be a great loss if she were to get caught. Remember her Panic Room 2011 incident. Poor thing, she's even harming her own health.
I know better than you and Nadal is not a great person., But I respect your opinion. I have already explained. I'm not saying it's worse than other players but are greatly exaggerated about his humility when he is not humble in private.
I know what you mean, and that's the other thing, how we can't even say that we know how Rafael Nadal is, because it depends on if they just put on an act in front of the media or the public. We must always keep this in mind.
Rafael Nadal, a great person, but he is endangering this if he is cheating. Like others have said, there is almost no fear now and it's as if Nadal's camp are not even hiding it now. The other problem is and has been Serena Williams, that fans around the world have been saying how starting after 2005, she has been allowed by the American-run WTA Tour to do her cheating. Female players on tour became better, more fit and complete, but Serena's possibly-steroid power interrupted any real talent in the game. This caused the rest of the women's tour to resort to plain ball-bashing, which is why the women's game has been with less fanfare than today's men's tour. However, unlike Nadal, she is a nasty character so it wouldn't be a great loss if she were to get caught. Remember her Panic Room 2011 incident. Very ignorant she is, as she's even harming her own health.
Definitely. Steroids have really stripped the WTA of any grace and artistry, now all upcoming players are coached to do is bash the ball as hard as they can, rather than try and work out how to defeat an opponent. The early 90s was when the rumours started, then of course you had the late 90s/early 00s 'steroid era' where the WTA finally brought in ooc testing, with many top names whinging about it. However, we've been constantly told by the media how the Williams "changed the game for the better and made it more fitter and athletic" with their "hunger and desire", rather making their opponents juice up too Capriati, Henin, Mauresmo etc to try and compete. Face it, the WTA didn't do anything to prevent the new generation following on, why will they care in the future? As long as Serena is making them millions, it won't matter a jot.
Year and a half old, but just came across it. Former doping kingpin Victor Conte saying he used to work with Chang, Lendl, Rusedski and Sharapova @ 34:30http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=HrUX1WDzAUw
Doping aside, here is my thought about Fed Nadal game in the semi.It was a mind game, Fed cant figure out. Being part of the game myself there were some details missing in Fed preparation, which is inside his head:1. Nadal brutal mindset, always in injury condition but somehow he is willing to sacrifice. This is personal thing that in conflicting in Fed, where he is a real sensitive and soft guy.2. Still people inside stadium cheering for world no. 1 Nadal on EVERY point even he plays older Fed who is no.63. Serve out of rhythm caused by shoes skidding noise by Nadal. My observation this skid noise is irregular and judging from Nadal movement it is very likely well prepared4. High topspin to backhand. No further details on this.All are things that very difficult to deal, especially no.1 to 3. What do you think?
How can you blame Federer's mind? He played a nigh perfect match tactically. This guy just answered everything well and has his kryptonite as his go to shot. It's a shame that these two guys played in the same era. Can you imagine the "GOAT" discussions if Nadal didn't have to face his absolute DREAM matchup in his career?
I think to allow drug control to be tranparent and able to announce big name such as Nadal, we should ease ourselves from criticising Nadal. Of course we know he is using drugs to enhance his performance, but our continuous critics also draw his supporters becoming more militant which will make things very difficult for drug control board and tennis overall when his drug case opened. Just accept his win and lets wait for the good time for truth to come
Federer just played plain awful, and no, I don’t think the person playing in front of him, doped up or not made a huge difference. It was all psychological. Unless all you guys are being super sarcastic and piling on just to pile on. But let’s please try to look at the match a bit objectively.Set 1Overall match stats, Rafa had a much better serving set. 70% 1st serves in, 75% 1st serve points won, 67% 2nd serve points won, compared to Fed’s 63%, 67% and 69% respectively. Fed’s strategy to serve and volley was clear in this set. He played super aggressive coming in 15 times (mostly him dictating) winning 9 out of 15 of net points, a 60% success rate. Not surprisingly Rafa’s success rate here is much lower, winning only 29% of net points, or 2 out of 7.Roger had 24 unforced errors to Nadal’s 15, on groundstrokes he had 12 BH unforced errors, 7 FH unforced, 4 FH forced errors, passing shots 1 FH forced error, on volleys 1 FH forced error, and 1 FH unforced error. If I remember correctly, these last missed were very critical and became more common in the last 2 sets. Nadal by comparison misfired more on the BH as well, but by significantly less. 6 BH unforced errors, and 2 BH forced errors. I won’t bore with more details, but it was obvious what happened, Federer served awful by his standards and Nadal served uncharacteristically well, definitely hitting his spots. 1 double fault by Fed. Fed was getting frustrated very early on, especially with Nadal attacking the backhand but also started to realize serve and volley might not work out so well. Nadal’s BH was very good (also uncharacteristically) 7-6 (7-4) Nadal in 59 min.Set 2Roger has a slightly better serving set but absolutely lost it in 2nd serve points won 56% compared to Nadal’s 92%, Nadal also beat him in 1st serve points won, 69% to 65%. Nadal’s 1st serves in are 52% to Fed’s 69%. Converted 1 out of 5 break points to Rogers 0 out of 0.Biggest takeaway from this set was the serve and volley visibly failing (and of course Rafa making him pay with excellent passes). Rafa had 4 passing shot winners. Roger’s BH was much better, only 1 BH unforced error but 6 FH unforced errors.The errors definitely started to show up. 11 unforced errors for Fed, 6 for Rafa. A couple shanks but Fed missing some sitters for sure. Very important sitters while coming in to volley, came in 12 times, won 8 out of 12 for a 67% success rate. Also started getting more visibly frustrated and deflated, complained about the grunting. 6-3 Nadal in 47 min.Set 3Nadal’s good serving continued 71% 1st serves in, 73% 1st serve points won, 50% 2nd serve points won, compared to Fed’s 67%, 64%, and ONLY 18% of 2nd serve points won. Rafa won 3 of 5 break points, Roger only 1 of 2. 15 unforced errors for Roger, 4 for Rafa. Roger only won 6 of of 15 net points (40%). Rafa punished him with 4 passing shot winners. Roger missed 3 Volleys, 6 FH unforced errors, and 5 BH unforced errors. Errors really cost him dearly. 6-3 Nadal in 38 min.
So overall, 50 unforced errors for Roger, 25 for Rafa. Rafa won more 1st serve points and 2nd serve points, 73%, 73% to Rogers 65%, 50%. 4 out of 14 break points for Rafa, 1 out of 2 for Roger. 7-6 (7-4),6-3, 6-3 Nadal in 144 min, 2 hours and 24 minutes.Rafa served well, hit his spots really well, won more 1st serve and 2nd serve points, made less errors, and made Roger pay with his passing shots. Overall intensity was pretty good, was faltering a bit in the 3rd but broke back soon after and finished the match in full confidence. Roger? Well he just did everything I mentioned bad. Not a very physical or long match, Fed definitely hung on, never saw him visibly tired or breathing heavy. Rallies were kept short, except for a few spectacular shots that defied athleticism, I wouldn't exactly call this match “physical,” not by a long shot. The Dimitrov match on the other hand could be classified as getting “physical, with Dimitrov coming short in the fitness department. But this one, come on Fed fans, was more psychological than physical. And guys, come on, lets stop with the blister. Even Rafa has brought it up at least 3 times in his post match interview, its not a big deal. What is a big deal however, is his injuries always have some funny, odd, and magical medical solution to them. Let’s not get suckered in by ESPN and all the journalists bringing it up time and time again. Journalists ask the dumbest questions sometimes. “Serena, did you lose because the weather wasn’t as hot as the first few days?” Like really?
I cant read this, too long, but to sum up yes it was psychology. And Nadal and his team was very good to exploit any possibilities in this dept. Technically, Fed can play against Rafa physical power and quality. But in the psychological dept, it is difficult considering Rafa whole package. Fed will never have chance with his style and character, also with his ideal view of tennis he play. It is too easy for Rafa to play Fed actually, he has alot of margin and arsenals to beat Fed psychologically which is Fed hasnt: time rule, grunt, skid noise, mto, big margin tennis, injury blowup, etc. It was never tough for Rafa, to play Roger, it never has and never will. Only he who said that as part of strategy, and the strategy is always the same over and over.
No mystery in the error thing. For Rafa, he only need to be 100% physically. His whole package already put him ahead in the psychological dept. His big margin tennis and racquet work for itself as long as his physical is 100%.For Roger, he need to be 100% creative, 100% mentally, 100% accurate and 100% physically (by his standard, not Nadal hyperstandard of course)
Psychology, of course...It would be funny to see any of those abundant know-it-all tough guys --journalists, street people, mostly non sportspeople-- in the place of "soft" Federer. Especially if they knew what he must surely know about the despicable specimen he has had to confront time after time. No wonder he tends to give up early since some time ago.. As for he "being sensitive", thank God he must be. Otherwise, so many goodwill people around the globe wouldn´t have been delighted, for so long, with the beauty he always creates.
Ayah, did you see the same match as I did?Fed played very well, considering his age. He looked better this tourny then all of last year.But, bad matchup aside, its difficult to beat a guy who is just physically overpowering. Rafa was just faster and stronger.If Fed tried finesee, Rafa would crush the ball. If fed hit it hard, the ball came back quickly and even harder.When fed tried to come to net, before he could even get his feet set, the ball was already whistling past him, or coming back hard with devastating spin dipping down to his feet.It was like watching a junior vs a pro. Fed did well just to hang with him in the first set, but after he lost the first set we all knew it was over. If Fed is doping, he needs to fire his doctor because the stuff isnt working. He needs to call Lance's people, because Lance Amrstrong, after a a 4 year layoff and in his mid 40's , came back to the tour de france and finished 3rd?And if Fed isnt doping then well...he needs to realize that he has no chance against Rafa at all, and has to play out his mind to beat guys like Djoker, Murray ..and hell, maybe even add Wawa to the mix, lol.
TBC, in that circumstances usually Fed hangon with his serve, aces etc. Nadal wasnt a good returner so no pressure really when Fed having serve. But he is psychologically exhausted with all that happening, including the way Nadal totally neutralize him. Watching the match is a pain, for example when seeing the Fed serve falling and disturbed by shoes skid noise everytime
Li Na continues her improbable late career run, having won her first slam at age 29 and her second slam at age 31 to become the oldest champion ever of the Australian.She did have an incredibly easy draw, but still it's hard to believe such a result.
better than having Serena win it IMO.
As I suspected, this suddenly 'fit' Wawrinka is taking it to Nadal. He can hang in the rallies, the bh( as i said) is more stable, if less variety, than Fed's and not only that, he can unload it at will, blasting balls and actually challenging nadal's fh with power.I guess it proves, how good Nadal really would be if everybody doped as much as he did.
Yup, Stan is the updated, better Djokovic. The two of them are easily streets ahead of Nadal in terms of talent, but the groundhog obviously has doped the most.
And Nadal fakes a back injury?
Indeed, and I believe the 2010 USO final is what finally convinced djoker that in order to beat Nadal, he had to get on the stuff.I wonder if he has scaled it back a bit or not, or maybe whatever nadal had last year just eclipsed what djoker was taking.
Wawrinka is supposed to have better fitness. He played way fewer sets than Nadal did, so he should be a lot sharper at the final match of the tournament.
Stan beating Nadal...and fairly easily. Whatever his new 'regimen' is...he needs to thank his doctor.
One amazing thing I noticed: he only had 38% first serves in the first set, but won 100% of the points when it was in.
Nadal is not good returner. How can everybody serve % down against him? Maybe its time to take a look more seriously on his skidding noise when opponents take a serve
Uh oh...here come the injury shennanigans. Now Nadal's back is hurt.
One big soap opera, no?
Stan is pissed and rightly so, And LOL at Brad Gilbert telling anybody what they need to do. How many slams and slam finals did he win/make it to?
Nadal probably hurting from a big blister on his back
0-3 in 3rdanybody buying this injury nonsense ?
He could obviously be faking it, but its oh so risky. He's down two sets, takes some big balls to get back into the match. Stan played an excellent set and a half. Not doing to well on the first serves though, could haunt him. This is all on Stan.
Did anyone see him go back to the bag to retrieve something during the medical timeout? A little bit like Djokovic with the nasal spray.
Wow 3-0 up in the 3rd set. I pray to god he does not win this match for the sake of maintaining a shred of credibility. It's all on Stan now, he can not blow it.
This Nadal guy is such a despicable human being. He is the very oppositive of everything I love about tennis. I just can't watch the match right now, it is unbearable.
The link between Nadal and doping is all there for us to see: if Nadal resorts to such vile tactics to break his oponent and claw his way back into this game, you can imagine what he would be willing to do behind closed doors. Shameful.
He isn't faking you philistine. Do you honestly think he is merely getting outplayed? Don't be an idiot.
he certainly was getting crushed before he got 'hurt'
He also got crushed by Darcis, Del Potro and Tsonga. He didn't pretend to be injured in ANY of those matches. Stan is a guy who has never won a set against him before. This is a 5 setter. Even if Stan was too much for him in the first 2 sets, there is no reason to give up as it was highly unlikely that Stan would keep that level up for the whole match. He is hardly a mental giant and Nadal is an absolute nightmare matchup. So, to fake an injury instead of trying hard until Stan's level drops would be the smartest thing to do if you believe Nadal to be a sub 70 IQ type of guy. I highly doubt that though.
I agree, I shouldn't be following this. Some naive part of me somehow believes this doping issue will be settled on-court, while we all know that is no longer possible. What happens on court at the moment has very little to do with what I love about tennis.
I can't believe the commentators. The bullshit is there for everyone to see, in plain sight. What the hell would it take for anyone to call him out?
eurosport ones are reaching new lows ,one would think that nadal is in wheelchair & blind with one hand tied
Even if it was real, why not just keep it for himself and not dramatize it? At least give "his friend" Stan a memorable night he deserved.
It has all the trappings of lance armstrong's too big to fail attitude
Too many injuries. Too many ped's.
What goes around, comes around, Rafa.
Precisely, like 2011, Nadal getting some of his own medicine..playing a superior talent who could finally match him physically due to improved "fitness"And notice how even the commentators remarked that even with all nadal's various and sundry injuries...a back problem was never one of them. And if he was actually hurt, fine, couldnt happen to a finer, honest clean competitor.
Yeah, he took a fake MTO against a rampant Federer in the 2011 French Open final after going 2-5 down in the first set and he then goes on to win the set 7-5.Congratulations Stan. Savour it. This might be your "Del Potro moment". However it would have been even sweeter had Nadal injured his back against Federer in the previous round.
And cue all the rafa fans who will say this loss doesnt count cuz injured...cuz we all know nadal never loses when fit. God, I cant stand this guy.
At least the playing field has been leveled. Let's see what happens this year with 'Dr' Miller's "blood passport" is coming in to play.
It will be interesting to see if "Iron Stan" goes on a Eggovic type run
It takes a doper to beat a doper I guess.What a sad state of affairs...because you cannot tell me , that at the age of 28, Stan finally finds the fountain of youth and fitness.
You should be put into gas chambers.What part of his performance screams "doper" to you you tinfoil wearing nutjob? He is a shotmaker who actually started to put his game together. His fitness is barely any different to last year.
Umm, how about the fact that the reason Stan always did so poorly against Nadal was because he could nevver hang with him physically,. Last year he played out of his mind against djoker, and late in the match he started cramping and ran out of gas.This year, he outlasts djoker, blasts berdych off the court, and aside from a mental slip in the third set, beats Nadal easily, easily hanging with him in rallies and overpowering him with groundies. And this against a guy he never won a set against and never beat!If you cant see the obvious I dont know what to tell you. And all of a sudden Wawa is "new and improved" at age 28???
Did he really "outlast" Djokovic? Did he move around as much as Djokovic did in that match? Don't be silly. I watched the final set. He out hit him. He is a superior shotmaker with a better serve. Nothing suprising.Beating Berdych doesn't and has never required any kind of PEDs. He is an inconsistent big hitter who cannot survive in long rallies against the best because he lacks defense. Nadal apparently injured himself in this match. Being able to "hang" with a physically ailing grinder isn't a huge deal. It is very well possible that he is on something, but realistically, this is one of those hivemind claims that THASP commenters engage in to feel superior to the unwashed masses. Wawrinka is a shotmaker. As such, him peaking at 28 is not so unbelieavable. This isn't David Ferrer having his best season at 30 or something. What I have seen of his fitness is not particularly impressive. good by his standards but EASILY within believable limits. And unless there is a drug that gives players unreal shotmaking capabilities, I'm going to say he is likely to be clean.
His improved "fitness" and extraordinary major career surge has come since he joined with Magnus Norman in May. Magnus of course was coach of Soderling, who mysteriously disappeared from the tour after coming from nowhere to be a contender. Wawrinka's slam record was absolutely dreadful, now he is blowing everyone away like never before, after making his first SF in the US. At the age of almost 29, he has finally realised his mental belief. Of course, the fools will believe it all.
His fitness is nothing special when will you imbeciles understand that?
Surprise, surprise a Federer fan will back his mate. Can you care to explain his extraordinary jump from no-hope journeyman to dominant big hitter and GS champion in just 13 months then? First man in 20 years to beat 1 and 2 in a GS. Don't give me any bs about him being one of the best to not win a slam, because prior to the US Open, he'd made it to the QFs just twice in his entire career. Outlasting Eggovic in 5 sets, yet you don't question his fitness. Blowing Nadal off the court, but you don't question his sudden improvement. This career surge has come in the twilight of his career and completely out of nowhere.
Nadal was hurt you brainless moron. He probably would've finished off Djokovic last year if it hadn't been for Molina. His shotmaking has always been there. He is just getting more consistent/mentally tough. This is wh I cannot take the average poster seriously here: this guy is not fucking David Ferrer. He does not grind down opponents physically while he is about 30. He plays an economic style of tennis that doesn't really require much fitness. But hey, you are the one in the know. You are badass. I wish I had your insight that average men totally lack. You truly are special. Lol.
I see you still haven't answered my question, so I shall ask again. How does a journeyman with only two QFs in his entire career, suddenly become an all-conquering dominant champion in the twilight of his career? Including beating the two biggest suspected (ignoring Serena, just men) dopers in the game currently.
Going from a 12-10 loss in the fifth set to a 9-7 win in the fifth set isn't that huge a leap. The margin was already extremely small. It wasn't as if he was getting thumped 6-1, 6-0, 6-1 and then suddenly turning it around in five sets the next time. He played another close five-setter with Djokovic at USO and led 2 sets to 1 before succumbing.Djokovic presumably felt some pressure going for four AOs in a row. He was serving to stay alive in the fifth set, that puts additional pressure. Mentally he's burning out.As for Nadal, who knows? Every time he's seemed on the cusp of eternal domination, he experiences a shock loss and then slumps. In spring 2009, he had won 3 of the last 4 majors but Soderling blew him away at RG. After 2010 everyone thought he would win the Career Slam in 2011, but instead Djokovic pantsed him in 7 straight finals. In 2012 he had turned the tables and beaten Djokovic in three finals, dominating RG, but then Rosol knocked him out just as he seemed on the verge of going on another run a la 2010.Nadal has never played this much continuously on hard courts. Last year, from Montreal onwards he was making at least semis and usually finals of every HC tournament, and he played a full fall HC season--Beijing/Shanghai/Paris/YEC--in addition to sweeping the US summer hard-court run. Then on top of that, winning Doha this year and playing an exho in the off-season.There must have been a reason Tío Toni never let his nephew play for such extended stretches on hard courts before. Presumably it was to avoid debacles like this one. Doping increases the body's limits, it doesn't eliminate them. Doesn't matter how much he dopes, if he doesn't rest fatigue and wear and tear will eventually build up and he'll be running on fumes. But these days Nadal has to play a lot more on HC, otherwise he'd not have returned to #1. With Darcis taking him out at Wimbledon, he had to dominate all HC tournaments just to have a shot at #1 (indeed, he only surpassed Djokovic at the very end of the year).Nadal's camp is expert at creating this aura of inevitability around him, but it's just an image. Even Uncle Toni fucks up sometimes, and now that Nadal's older, he'll lose if he goes in less than fully doped. Nadal is as close to a robot as a human can get, but he's still human.It's certainly possible that Wawrinka was juiced for this title. But it is possible that even in this era of super doped champions and slow surfaces and rackets the size of oars, surprises and upsets can still happen. Even the champion of dopers can make mistakes.
"suddenly become an all-conquering dominant champion in the twilight of his career?"He is neither an "all conquering champion" nor is he in the twilight of his career. He beat Djokovic (a guy whom he pushed extremely close in his last two slam encounters) and an injured Nadal. This is hardly something that is beyond his abilities. Furthermore, you fail to address the fact that PEDs enhance PHYSICAL performance. What part of his physical fitness improved so tremendously that it could only be explained by drugs? He isn't Henin, a tiny athlete who somehow started outhitting the big guns but flamed out somewhere down the stretch. He has always been a big hitter. His stamina is hardly anything out of the ordinary. Neither did he suddenly gain unbelievable speed.
Congrats to Stan the Man! Nadal's getting older. Even with all the juice in Florida in his body, he's no longer a lock to win. Especially when other, more talented players suddenly develop power and fitness comparable to his.Nadal, the man who single-handedly ushered in the era of super-doping in men's tennis, is now reaping what he sowed. What goes around comes around.Guess Sampras (who presented the trophy) must be relieved that only one man has managed to equal his Grand Slam record so far.Be real interesting to see what kind of experimental shit Uncle Toni's doctors cook up now to maintain his physical edge. Like Bane in Batman, Nadal may end up a drooling idiot thanks to all the poison they pumped into him to make him strong--not that he's that far from that now.
"Especially when other, more talented players suddenly develop power and fitness comparable to his."Please don't tell me that you actually believe that Wawrinka is even within the same universe as Nadal or Djokovic in fitness.
I beg to disagree about Nadal being "older"forget the age, nothing about nadal's career is consistent with age. Most grinders begin to break down in their mid 20's.... Dude went pro at 14, won his first major at 18, has been playing the same grinding style nigh on 10 years almost. Meanwhile nadal had his best year ever on his worst surface at age 27! And after knee "injury" to boot! And at 27, the same age where federer showed the first signs of his decline.And other players arent "developing" fitness to match him..unless you were being sarcastic and actually meant they are doping too because they know its the only way to beat him, djoker murray etc. Stan is 28 years old..and yet now he is the fittest and strongest he has ever been.Given the state of affairs, I cant say I blame him, but its a sad state of affairs in tennis.
Sampras's book would suggest that he doesn't really care, and he has genuinely acknowledged Federer for the player he is. Pete did mention being blown away by Nadal's game on Friday, saying he had "never seen anything like it." Either Pete is naive or diplomatic, but I'm glad he presented the trophy to someone who had game, just like he did. It would have been a crying shame to see Sampras presenting a winner's trophy to Nadal.
Mike, Stan is now, and no doubt due to the same sort of 'regimen'.
Funny watching the post match ceremony when Nadal said Stan deserved it, then the screen went to Stan where his face looked like "sh1t, you a55hole injury showoff already took my greatest moment this night, how can you say we are friend, yeah, whatever".
"Mike, Stan is now, and no doubt due to the same sort of 'regimen'."You guys are out of our minds. He isn't even on the level of Federer of 2007, let alone those two PED monsters that contested the final of 2012 in Melbourne. I know it will suprise you, but stroke production also plays a role in tennis.
I agree with Mike. Stan won by consistently accurate and powerful stroke. He is not physically superior to Nadal or himself before. However, how he can be such consistent he must have higher capability allowing him to play the way he need. He prepares himself better to increase that top capability. But his development is slowly, not like having powerful serve within amonth
Ayah..clearly you dont play. Players dont magically improve in the twilight of their career.At least, it used to be that way, but its the norm now, players breaking thru at damn near 30 or older ( ferrer, schiavone, Li na, eranni). nothing suspicious about any of those players I guess????
And what do you play, Brokke Chief? Chess? By saying a player cannot improve at Wawrinka´s age, you don´t show much knowledge or experience in sports practice. I have not seen Stan win this championship by means of non-stop running side to side. His fitness may have improved, though not all of a sudden. And, no one remembers he used to look slightly overweight? Wasn´t that improvable?.
Sadly, one gets the impression that too many here tend to judge players as doped or not by taking into account their results, only. Some seem really oblivious of their actual performances.
the sad this, with the nadal injury drama, people will forget that even if he was fully fit, the way stan was playing, he would have won anyway. ....given his new fitness.
@That Broke Chef: regarding my suspicions on Wawrinka's newfound "fitness", read this part carefully:Nadal, the man who single-handedly ushered in the era of super-doping in men's tennis, is now reaping what he sowed. What goes around comes around.I certainly don't believe he can magically get super-fit at age 28 without some chemical help.And it's true, Nadal is getting older and it's harder for him to stay at the top. In 2010, he was #1 by a mile after winning RG and only increased his lead the rest of the year despite winning only 7 titles overall. Last year he had to play a full summer/fall HC season and win 10 titles, just to barely eke out #1 at the end of the season. That's how competitive it's become. I have serious doubts that he can repeat his heroics this season. Especially now, he will have to defend all those points he won in the spring.I think having to play so much last fall and win Doha was too much for him, even with the juice, and physically he couldn't keep it up. The Nadal of the 2012 AO final would have beaten this Wawrinka in five.
Just wondering, is it possible Nadal underestimated Wawrinka and didn't boost himself as much/as he did for his match with Federer? Watching his match, I felt that he played like he did in his previous matches against Nishikori and Dimitrov. Whereas there was a stark difference between those matches and the match against Federer.
Could be. Could be his doctors fucked up his regimen, could be surprise testing (highly unlikely, but still possible) that forced them to forgo their usual boost. Could be something as simple as the courier screwing up and sending Nadal's stuff to the wrong address. Anything's possible.Unless his teammates come forward and give detailed testimony to the authorities (as happened in Armstrong's case), we're not likely to ever know the truth.I certainly agree that that was not the Nadal of the 2012 AO final, who would have crushed the Nadal of AO 2009 as well as the Nadal of today.
I'm not sure. Wawrinka did lose to Nadal at the World Tour Finals 7-6 7-6 so Nadal knew exactly how dangerous Wawrinka was. And even before he got injured, Wawrinka was crushing the ball and flattening out the moonballs Nadal sent to his backhand and he generated so much pace and power from his forehand.The difference between Nishikori/Dimitrov/Wawrinka and Federer is age and mentality. Nadal has Federer's number and he knows it, Federer knows it and so does everyone else.Whereas Wawrinka is starting to peak (not sure if it's due to doping as he is more of a shotmaker than a retriever), Nishikori is similar to Hewitt (won't be surprised if he burns out in 2 years time, providing he's not on the juice) and Dimitrov (a copycat version of Federer) is still young enough to not be mentally crushed by defeats to Nadal.
@Anon10 I'm not sure either. It felt like Nadal's not going after every point as much as he did in his semis. I remember, very vaguely, some impressive scrambling from Nadal when Federer came up to the net but it didn't happen in this match. I definitely agree that age and mentality was working against Federer but the Nadal on Friday felt a lot more powerful than the Nadal today. I'm not quite sure if I'm imagining it though.
Could it be perhaps that the opponent was crushing the ball more than Fed?What your opponent does has an effect on your play,Simply put, Nadal couldnt physically impose his power on wawrinka like he could fed. Stan was up to the challenge and then some. He was challenging Nadal;s fh with the power coming from his bh, and crushing his fh as well. meanwhile, when fed would try to unload, nadal got the ball back, with interest. Its a physical mismatch.Nadal was the game against stan as he was against fed, but Stan is a physical beast now.
"and Dimitrov (a copycat version of Federer) is still young enough to not be mentally crushed by defeats to Nadal."Mentality has nothing to do with it you tumbling, tumbling dickweed. How can you watch that match between Nadal and Federer and somehow come to the conclusion that Federer's "weak mind" was to blame? He played some UNBELIEVABLE points. Nadal managed to find an answer. How do you watch these guys and still claim that the problem is mental.Please do us a favor and get sterilized.
The commentators today on the BBC were embarrassing. "This could be the greatest comeback ever", "this is the greatness of sport" smh. Was it really to hard for them to believe the miraculous recover from when Nadal could barely hit the ball over the net to blowing forehand winners down the line? Unfortunately no one has the balls to speak out and it's hard to watch the sport anymore.
A truly sad day for sport when world no.1 and GOAT contender cant change his game to cover "injury" but pushed to the limit as if he wanted all people know he was injured, at the same time his opponent was playing great game. Truly sadBut we already know this guy real character, dont we?
Somehow, Nadal only gets injured when he is trailing or when the opponent has the momentum. He never has "freak injuries" when, say, up a set and a break, always the other way around. I remember him using these same tactics when in trouble against Petschzner at Wimbledon 2010 (I think he also used gamesmanship against Haase during the same tournament). Of course, he went on to blow mental midget Berdych off the court (and obviously no sign of injury in that final). Nadal was probably very surprised to find himself so deep in a hole at the beginning of a match. What does a sore loser like him do then? He fakes being injured, for Nadal thrives on the assumption that he is nigh unbeatable when "healthy": that way, most of his opponents are beaten even before the first serve of the match.One other note: for such a "warrior", Nadal has only come back from 0-2 3 times in his career, the last time being in 2007!!! It shows a couple things: first, of course, he is rarely in a 0-2 hole, BUT when he is, he is incapable of coming back and resorts to faking injuries. He did it at the AO against Ferrer in 2011 and Murray in 2010. Bottom, he is a cheat and a faker through and through and someone who needs any sort of edge to beat the top guns for he his the greatest overachiever in the history of tennis (Ferrer is probably second - see a pattern?).
Couldn´t agree more. Shitting Bull´s theatrical bs reached an unimaginable peak today. This "role model", "great ambassador" makes watching tennis unbearable. Outrageous.
wawa's victory will be forever tainted. all the news headlines read "Wawrinka defeated an injured nadal". Even if wawa was doping, I consider it fair and poetic justice because his opponent was doping too.
I've been lurking this site for over two years, more so after Lance and even more so after Nadal's miraculous "comeback", but now I feel the need to post. Yes, this site has lots of good information, especially those you won't see in mainstream media, for people to draw their own conclusions. But at the same time, there are just so many comments, from people whom accuse each and every player without much reason, that largely diminishes the credibility of this site.I'm not naïve enough to believe that no one is doping. In fact, every single player could very well be on something. But there are players that are less suspicious and if people are going to accuse every player who wins a match, at least make some logical arguments.Case #1: someone above mentions Li Na's "hard to believe" "improbable late career run", with the only reason being that she's old yet admitting her easy draw. Did you know she was literally an inch from losing in the 3rd round? Would you have said the same thing if she lost? She has been in the AO final 3 times in 4 years, it's obvious this is her favourite surface. She had a really easy draw. She's not the fittest player and prefers to end points quickly. She relies on deep groundstrokes ala Nalbandian. Her style of play is more technique and not too physical, and with her playing pro later than many players, I'm not surprised she can still play at her age. I give her the benefit of the doubt as she's not a roided monster like Stosur Williams.Case #2: all the discussion about Wawrinka's surge. Well, he did play 1.5 less matches than everyone else. His first rounder retired. He had a walkover in the 3rd round. He had an extra day off for the final. Is it that hard to believe? He has always been a good shotmaker, but inconsistent, but able to beat anyone when he's "on". He was also a mental weakling in big moments. He generally doesn't outlast opponents, and isn't the fittest guy on tour, so I give him some benefit of the doubt. Nadal on the other hand, I along with many just knew he would take a medical timeout.
Ah, the old "they may be doping BUT your evidence is flawed" B.S. You say yourself that there is doping going on, yet you make a (very poor) case that Li Na is not doping. You clearly HAVE NOT been lurking. If you think that we are fooled by a new id called "lurker" it is you that is the fool.Before tennis's steroids era, women players were at their best in their late teens, and early twenties. Na has had all of her best years AFTER the age of 25. This is EXTREMELY suspicious. If Na isn't doping, then how did she beat all of the other players that are (as you said they may all be doping) ?Female Chinese athletes had a DRAMATIC improvement in their results in the run up to the Bejing Olympics. Since there are far fewer participants in women's sport than mens, it is MUCH easier to boost a woman's performance to elite level than is a mans (women's tennis players just need to add strength to their game, while men need to add strength and stamina). China is one of the worst countries for doping (as well as Spain, Jamaica, and Serbia).Na is doping. PERIOD.Your denial is obvious. We have heard it all before here. The others may be doping, but not my favorite.
Sigh. It is posts like these that make this site unbearable at times.Contrary to your belief, I have never ever posted on this site before, but believe what you want. I am simply expressing my opinion, just as you are, except I'm not typing in an attacking tone.FWIW, my gf asked me how old Li Na is and I answered "almost 32". She then asks "how come she's still good" and I said "probably drugs". That doesn't mean I go out in the public domain and declare 100% that she's a doper period.She started WTA at 23. She doesn't overly torque her body, which minimizes strain and has excellent technique. She is neither a fitness machine nor a physical/manly specimen. She's had a ridiculously lucky draw, even crazier luck to save that match point, is on her best surface, without anyone in the top 20 to challenge her. I'm not surprised she finally won the AO that she should've won years ago. I personally find her less suspicious than Serena, Stosur, and the Italians. At the same time, my heart says pretty much every athlete in every sport is doping.To your point about those countries, almost every country is susceptible to doping. No one country wants to see their athlete get caught. Some countries are easier to dope in than others like Spain. But it doesn't mean every single Spanish Chinese or American athlete is doped to the gills.And FYI, I don't have a favourite female tennis player. Unless you count Ivanovic and Kournikova but that's for other reasons.Anyways, I don't know why you are getting so angry. I don't like spending time posting on forums largely because of unreasonable posts like this, so do/say/accuse whatever you want and keep thinking I'm some poster you know because in this world, no one can be a first time poster. No one. You have to have posted to post something again. Next time I get annoyed enough at some of the posts on this site I might post again. Maybe during the FO when Nadal wins again. Goodbye.
This knuckledragging ape doesn't even know that Li started her career well in her 20s.
@Mike-No-IdeaYour only contribution is abuse. Easily made. Worthless. And probably self-descriptive.
When somebody is stupid enough to claim that Li Na MUST be doping because she peaked so late (completely ignorant of her late career start) I will insult him for that's what he deserves.
@Mike-No-IdeaIt's possible to disagree with someone without insulting them. You have yet to learn that. And if you are always right - as I suspect you think you are - then you might be more tolerant of those without that gift.
I just watched a replay of the match.My thoughts:1) This match was played at a MUCH lower intensity than the Nadal/Djokovic matches of the last 3 years or so. Nadal was playing at about 85% in my opinion. There was something wrong with Nadal. However, a serious injury to his back WAS NOT the reason he underperformed. Anyone who has had serious back problems knows that it hinders you MUCH more than a 15% loss of power/speed. 2) What was hampering Nadal ?I could only speculate.Maybe, the blister was bothering him.Maybe his doping doctor tried some new concoction that didn't work as well as expected. Remember, his doping doctor (Cotorro) flew all the way from Spain at the last minute. Cotorro's specialty is "doping control", not skin regeneration (they stated that he came to help Rafa with his blisters). I suspect Cotorro was bringing some new dope that they haven't tried before (a lot of this doping is experimental, since the dopers have to keep reacting to the doping controls, and other players doping).3) Wawrinka played well enough to beat an 85% Nadal, but Wawrinka still showed his nerves (being broken twice in the third set and once in the fourth). I suspect that he is rarely going to get through a fully juiced Murray/Nadal/Djokovic to win more slams. Stan probably just won his one and only slam.4) Nadal's pattern of suddenly being "injured" when he is down is obvious that he is using these "injuries" to upset his opponent. It almost worked today. He will continue with this tactic (I am certain uncle Tony is telling him when to do this).5) Nadal now has his excuse (back injury) to miss all of the winter/spring hard court tournaments. He will cycle down, then back up for May/June in anticipation of winning the French. He may show up for Miami, but will intentionally lose early, claiming that he is rusty, or his back still isn't 100%.6) Djokovic is clearly not the same player he was in 2011. I don't know what is holding him back from improving his doping regime, but he needs a new doping doctor/trainer.7) Murray will be better in the last three slams of the year, but he is still a half step below a 100% Nadal/Djokovic. He needs the top two players to be a bit off of their game to win.8) Federer will likely play better this year than last (he probably did have a tweaked back in 2013), but he is still way below a 100% Nadal/Djokovic. His only chance of winning another slam is luck (like the 2009 French). His gradual decline is circumstantial evidence that he ISN'T doping.9) At least two of the final three slams of 2014 will be won by Nadal or Djokovic. Murray/Federer/Wawrinka/Ferrer/Del Potro have an outside chance of winning one between them.10) The French will probably still be won by Nadal, unless Djokovic improves his doping regime. The Djokovic that played the 2014 Australian open WILL NOT defeat Nadal at Rolland Garros.
2) I think it was some legitimate back injury of sorts. Maybe not as bad as he sold it out to be though.3) First set and start of second set, brilliant from Stan, no arguing there. He came out playing with "nothing to lose." Same as those players who have beaten Rafa at Wimbledon, lights out tennis. 4) I don't buy this one as much. The injury time out was beneficial, it took away from Stan’s momentum and maybe helped Rafa regroup a bit. But Rafa came back and lost the set with apparent discomfort, real or not. Now, in what world is this a good strategy? It puts you 2 sets down and you still have to “act with discomfort” throughout the match. Very bad strategy considering how the last match went 7-6, 7-6. Very small margin of errors. It meant Rafa could not run down balls that he other wise might have gotten too, too risky. What it did allow him though is mix it up with slower serves, first and second, slower ground strokes and this messed with Stan’s head. That 3rd set was given to Rafa from Stan. Now if he played “possum” for a few games and returned back to normal, then I would believe the “injury” was a complete fake. But he didn’t. Djokovic has done this on occasion. It took Rafa a whole set to get back to somewhat better shape, but even then he was not running balls down.5) Absolutely. This was probably going to happen if he won too. Now it gives him a legitimate excuse to miss more time if he needs.6) Stan played well, he knocked Djokovic out. Djokovic hired a new coach to help him “deal with mental issues” Really? He was dominating Rafa in that run of his. I suspect he might me telling the truth actually. He was mentally weaker before.GoldenAgeOfDrugs, it could be possible he was asked to lose, it looks more plausible with what we have been seeing from the ATP and ITF. I however think he really wanted a 2nd Australian Open, I mean, look at all those injuries he’s suffered in the Australian Open. His unluckiest tournament by a mile. He would have gladly traded a French Open for an Australian Open. But no, I think he simply got injured and he was in agony from being so close to winning and completing his 2nd grand slam. Everyone was expecting it, but sometimes life happens, he can’t win them all, doping or not. Credit to Stan for getting there.
Interesting analysis, both of you guys.I am fascinated by the Nadal injury strategies. The guy has been bending truth and telling lies for so long (I assume), he must be mixed up himself as to what his real and what is not. I'd love to know how he was drilled by his uncle (and continues to be). I've always thought that not allowing anyone else in their circle (to my recollection, he has never been coached by an "outsider") meant having control over the information leaked out and not risking having someone turn their vest on them. Pure speculation obviously, but it makes for entertaining intrigue, lol. A fall out like the one Lance Armstrong experienced would be fascinating entertainment. Unfortunately, unless the Spanish sports/tennis federation and the ITF cooperate, we probably won't have any confirmation about anything.Another fascinating point is what happened to the Djokovic of 2011. The amazing, undefatigable elastic man with the iron will of '11 is but a distant memory. He is still much more dangerous than he was pre 2011, but Djokovic is more erratic these days. The Boris Becker hiring is an odd move, too IMO. Would it be possible that Djokovic eased up on the drugs? Did he get a warning? What do the top players know about each other that they keep amongst themselves (are they aware some/many are doping? In a world where Roger Federer is not a doper, is he that naive that he believes Nadal is really clean after all?). There are so many fascinating questions that I'd love to have answers to. One can only dream.P.S. I am pretty sure as well that Nadal will take some sort of extended break in the spring to recharge for RG and the dirt courts.
I was just wondering (pure speculation here), did the ITF tell Nadal to lose ?Every time Nadal goes on a tear (like he did in 2013), the "chatter" in the blogs, starts increasing about Nadal and doping. If Nadal had the dominant 2013, then started 2014 winning the first two tournaments, the pressure on the ITF would be HUGE.Is tennis becoming like pro wrestling, where the outcomes are determined in advance ?Federer's 2009 French, and 2012 Wimbledon sure seemed out of the blue.If Nadal wins the French this year, and Federer wins Wimbledon, then something is probably going on behind the scenes that we don't know about.
He got injured you tinfoil hat wearing retard.
@Mike-No-IdeaShowing us the full extent of your vocabulary again? And your depth of intellect.
Nice style over substance fallacy there my dear degenerate.
@Mike-No-IdeaPlaying with words like a child playing with its turds. You are just a mouth.
Please Mike, no ad hominem attacks.
You will notice a pattern from these "new" commenters.They call you stupid, insane, rude names,..."Mike Idea" is clearly one of a very few people using many names.Of course with the pattern of Nadal coming up with injuries when losing, it is perfectly sane to SPECULATE that at least some of the inuries are faked. It has happened to Nadal FAR too often to be a coincidence. I question the sanity/intellect of those that still believe Nadal after so much suspicious behaviour. Eh ARF ?
His performance was clearly, CLEARLY hampered. You'd have to be on drugs to deny that he was hurt. He hasn't given up against Djokovic when he was getting his shit oushed in the USO final 2011. BUt he quit and resorted to saving face by faking an injury again WAWRINKA?
More face to save in losing to Wawrinka than Djokovic.
Ah, now I am on drugs. Interesting.You said he was "clearly hampered". I said he was playing at 85%. We are not disagreeing on this. I gave three possible explanations (clearly stating that they are speculations). Hand blisters, bad doping regime, the ITF warned him against winning. NONE of these are Nadal deciding to tank to take anything away from Wawrinka (hence your argument that I suggested this is a "straw man" argument).Then you assume that the reason he was playing subpar was because of injury to his back, even though he continued playing for 2 1/2 more sets after the "injury". With Nadal's suspicious pattern of "becoming injured" when he starts to lose, happening as often as it does, it's not the people who suspect Nadal MAY be faking that are taking drugs, but the fools who believe everything they are told by Nadal who may be on the waky tabaky.
In terms of being "asked to lose," I think if that were the case, he would have been "asked" to lose against Federer. Clearly, the fans would have liked a resurgent Federer and a rekindling of the "rivalry." Good for the sport, more money, etc. Assuming the tournament was fixed, it is difficult to find a reason to promote Stan Wawrinka. Sure, he is a nice guy, but he is not going to be a top Nike model or go on to start his own Sugarrinka line of candy. As such, I discount the "asked to lose" theory just because the end result is not that interesting and doesn't seem to have any point. Even if the point were to "punish" Nadal for some undisclosed doping test, then having him lose to the likes of Rosol in an early round makes more sense. It doesn't seem like cashing a $1.3million runners-up check is much "punishment" for doping.
"even though he continued playing for 2 1/2 more sets after the "injury". "Clearly below his usual level.
"More face to save in losing to Wawrinka than Djokovic."It's a best of 5 match with Wawrinka across the net. He didn't fake an injury against Del Potro in the Davis Cup final 2011 when he got bulldozed 6-1. Wawrinka is an even easier match up with less experience in the biggest stages. This is ludicrous.
Rafael Nadal, clearly not a man who can accept losing easily. Losing from Soderling, Federer, Rosol etc. You can see his face when losing, face of a 5 year old boy who is losing toys. When he said "tough match", "not favourite", he was also playing mind games and put less pressure for him. Maybe he was injured, and he badly wanted people to know he was injured which is very bad since he is world no.1. This guy is psycho, as crazy as his face when looked like ready to die battling every ball.
Ah, like old times... Nadal has another dubious "injury" and his supporters go on about why this injury was real. The spectators knew he was faking and shamed him, so he had to make it look good after the fact. At least he tried to look uncomfortable this time. I should have kept updating my "Curious Case of Rafael Nadal" over the past few years, but it was hard to keep up with all of his shenanigans and, much like Lance Armstrong, his supporters will never be convinced anyway. Everyone knows how this will play out: He will disappear for awhile with Tony and his doctor on a remote Spanish Island and will come back for the French looking unstoppable. Rewind the tape, or fast forward it, it always ends up in the same place... LiveStrong, Rafa.
"The spectators knew he was faking and shamed him"Patrick McEnroe (along with useless Chris Fowler) said something to the tune of "how dare they boo the great humble champion for taking a medical timeout". The press is caught between a rock and a hard place as they don't have the benefit of anonymity we do. That being said, PMac sounded like a pussy scolding the fans like that. I'm sure tio Tony and Rafa will smile back at him next time they cross each other.P.S. I, for one, would love reading an updated "Curious Case of RN" as it genuinely made me laugh back then (this is how I discovered the blog by the way - I think I was searching for "Nadal doping" or something on Google and it was one of the first hits).
I don't think he was faking it because right before the injury, he flattened out his forehand and then started to clutch his back. His next serve was absolute dogshit and then his groundstrokes were similar to that of a recreational tennis player.However, this was a huge dose of karma for Nadal. After all those fake MTOs he took in the past, it has come back and bit him in the arse and given the size of it, that's one fucking huge bite. And who can blame the Aussies for booing Nadal, especially when considering the timing of his previous on-court "injuries".But fear not, everyone. A little bit of HGH and Rafa's back will be fine again. Or maybe it will flare up again in the French Open final...
I wonder how many people posting on this board actually play tennis. For those that don't, the number one reason why many"club" player loses a match is always an "injury." Basically, any junior, senior, whatever match or tournament, someone is always complaining about an injury. And guess what? It is 99.99% of the time the person who is losing. Ok, so if you don't play tennis, maybe you watch it on TV. How many matches do you see "medical timeouts?" Quiet a few. And they "fix" this "medical emergency" in 3 minutes? Seriously? This is miracle of modern science. Blisters, "locked ribs", "injured knees" can all be fixed now in 3 minutes by a "trainer" with a bag of tape. In addition, apparently some type of muscle massage and athletic tape seems to fix just about every "injury" known to man.Finally, until he specifies what the "injury" is, it is impossible to tell whether it is legitimate. In any best of 5 match, at some point, something in your body is going to hurt. You may crap, just just fatigued, whatever. It is impossible to play for 2+ hours without suffering some discomfort. However, most people do not refer to these as "injuries." Just like when your opponent is up and you have a panic attack, most people don't call it "locked rib." It is just some type of muscle spasm cased by stress, not an "injury." Funny thing is, when Wawraink started shanking every other shot, no one said, "Oh, he must be injured." No...He was just having trouble dealing with the stress, but I guess in the modern game, this is called an "injury" or "locked rib" or "back spasm."
Nadal may be a notorious faker. It doesn't matter. It would be absolutely idiotic to lower his level of play against a guy whom he matches up perfectly against and who only outplayed him due to being on fire. In a best of 5 match. Really, this is where I stop taking this site seriously.
Seriously? Aw, shucks!
Yep, and the debate is raging on many of the sports sites (ESPN, TSN, etc.) At least now we're seeing a lot of comments calling out his "injuries" on the mainstream sites.It would be great if someone could take a shot at listing all of Nadal's in-match supposed injuries, and the score at the time of the injury. The ones at GSs stick out the most (e.g. AO 2010 vs. Murray, AO 2011 vs. Ferrer), but there are several more seemingly forgotten because they happened at smaller tournaments and/or against lesser ranked players. Having that list would really put it into perspective; I'm sure it's long!
He did it also against Del Potro, Haase and Petszchner at Wimbledon a few years back (and probably countless others I am forgetting).Del Potro even called him out on it, saying he was faking an injury (before the first set tie break, IIRC).
...and it is also at critical moments: never is he injured when up two sets and a break or at 1-1 in the first set or whatever. No: he tries to break the opponent's momentum or have him think maybe a bit too much. Must be a PAIN playing against a guy like that. All his little OCD tics must be part of this grand scheme to annoy the opponent and give him yet another edge (or trying to get one, at least). I mean, look, he always makes sure his opponent and the umpire are waiting for him at the net before starting any given match. And when things REALLY don't go his way, roid rage sets in and he bumps players (Rosol) or cusses at umpires like a madman (against Berdych, four or five years ago).
MTO at 2-5 down against Fed at RG 2011 was pretty disgusting timing. Not to mention Hamburg '08 (similar score I believe).
Oh yes!I remember the headlines for Hamburg: "Federer beats a tired Nadal on clay" - as if such a thing is possible!(I think it was '06 or '07 though)
Federer did indeed win Hamburg 07, but it was Hamburg 08 where Nadal took an injury timeout when down in a set, just like RG 2011 and went on to win the match 7-5 6-7 6-3. Say what you will about Fed's mentality, but this sort of gamesmanship is pathetic, and takes away his credibility as a sportsman.
Ok, now I remember! Once again, he played Nadal a bunch of times on clay that year. If only Nadal had made more hardcourt finals back then('05/'09), the H2H record wouldn't be skewed as much towards the Raging Bull.
Camp Nadal is now claiming that he injured his back in the warm-up before the match.To me, he didn't show any signs of injury in the first set. He was simply overpowered by Wawrinka. Also, when you look at the average serve speed in yesterday's first set, there is no indication of an injury. The average speed of his first and second serve in that set were actually higher than in any set of the semi-final.