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Nadal's the NEW #1
Well, Nadal will be once he wins the Western&Southern Open. Fed-ex suffered another early exit.
I agree, it does now look a certain bet unless he falls at the last fence !
Hi People ~
Rafa is without doubt deserving of the ranking regardless of how Roger is feeling health wise. I've gotten emails from many friends & players discussing their disapproval of this event. Personally, I would not consider this a 'Changing of the Guard' so to speak. Should Roger Federer not win the USO, he will have gone the whole year without a Slam Title. Therefore should by an act of God someone other than Federer, Nadal or Djokovic win the Men's Singles Title at the USO, we would have to consider Nadal as the best player of the year given he has amounted 2 Slam Titles and the Gold Medal (Olympics).
Aside from Roger Federer simply being a Fan Favorite, Nadal has always been his biggest threat since the onset of his incredible run these past years. From my vantage point, Nadal is the quicker study of the two. Joko is just plain talented but you must place Djokovic in the same category as a Jim Courier. His success can be attributed in two areas :
1. Joko is a work horse fully reliant upon putting in the hours required for the physical stamina his game needs to grind you down, ala Jim Courier
2. Joko's ground game, although not the very best we've ever seen,is none-the-less (NTL) more than merely adequate when coupled with his physical endurance, again much like Jim Courier.
Summary: Even though I'm a huge Djokovic fan, unless he greatly improves his return game, he will never truly threaten the number one spot. That isn't to say by some course of events, he will never become #1 but should he accomplish this feat, I fear without improving his points won on 1st & 2nd serve returning, he will not hold that position very long.
Regardless of what happens from here to years' end, do not count Roger Federer out. Sadly he didn't break Borg's consecutive wins at Wimbledon record and thus never will given it is unlikely that Roger Federer could return and take the Wimbledon Title the next 6 yrs in a row. But he is still on track of tying or beating Pete Sampras' All-Time record at Wimbledon, which I would be grateful in entertaining arguments against this happening since to tie Pete's record, Federer would have to grab another 4 Wimbledon Titles and 5 to break the record.
And then there's Rafa Nadal, who with the assistance of his uncle made a wise decision to work solely on Rafa's service game. When you put a much improved serve together with his already great ground game and through in his incredible stamina, sheer will to win and the overall attitude that he believes he should win every single point in a match regardless of who he's playing, these combinations will make for a long day at the office for Roger Federer.
In conclusion, I firmly believe one of two things will happen going forth. Roger will wake up and tell himself that not only Wimbledon is His House and he's going to do whatever is necessary to make that point starting next year but also Roger needs to win the French and he needs to do it against Nadal. Noone else will make the same statement as beating Nadal in His House would do. And should this occur, Roger must beat a healthy Nadal, who is playing his best tennis. Not only will that finally quiet the Nay Sayers but it will also give him the needed boost he needs going into Wimbledon.
Roger seemed to have become to reliant upon his Name & Title and less on his game. Well that didn't work out too well for him. So now it's time to think of himself as the #2 Player in the World and what must he do to regain #1 again. Sorry for the long wind ... this is just one of my favorite topics right now along with Bret being a Jet . OMG
I say Rafa wins the US Open and then relaxes the remainder of the year after that. He is mentally tougher than anyone on the court right now and has improved his game to compete and win against anyone. I look for another great year from him in 2009 however; I do believe he's bound to lose his legs over the next 12-15 months. This will hurt him considerably.
Federer & Nadal meet once again at the French & Wimbledon Finals 2009
Both are in excellent health ,,, who wins them?
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