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ALL Hail Rafa Gnatal!
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Kieran Offline
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ALL Hail Rafa Gnatal!
Oops, did I say "Gnat-al?" Oh well.

Of course, there are those who didn't think he'd beat Nole, we all saw the thread. Someone even mentioned Monte Carlo, as if that match was an indicator and not a mere statistic. I thought the match against Nole was magnificent, a formidable addition to modern day GS classics, although Nadal should have dispatched him in four. But Nole was the man he is and took the chance to force a fifth and almost run away with it.

Hands up anyone who thought the gaff was blown at 3-1? I must admit to a sodden gloom, but holding that game - against the wind, as Rafa had it - meant our hearts could lighten. Still, he had to break. I knew he'd get a chance, but could he take it? He got more than one, and he took one. From 4-4, he was immense. MIGHTY is too PUNY a word for Nadal in that fifth set. He drove Nole to new heights on clay, also, but in the end, Nadal is the most formidable, mentally the toughest, and also the most ruthless.

This isn't 2011, when the best of Nole faced the most hollowed-out, browbeaten Rafa. Nole was under his skin and making hard-earned hay. Let's not keep hearing the nonsense that Nole-2011 is some sort of Better-than-Ralph default setting on clay. A streak is not a standard. Those wrinkles were ironed out last year.

Nadal since his return has been brilliant. His effort has been huge and his determination to succeed has shown a man who could once again scale the peaks. A caveat is his health: he'll go back to the top again by years-end if his knees hold out. If they don't, others of course will keep him down.

Back on topic: this is an incredible moment for Rafa. 8 FO's but also, nine seasons in a row winning slams, something beyond other great players, but also a major stat given how much Rafa has been affected by injury over the years.

Let's hail the Man! All together now: VAMOS!
09-Jun-2013 03:21 PM
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Riotbeard Offline
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RE: ALL Hail Rafa Gnatal!
I am glad you are enjoying this Kieran. Your boy did well.
09-Jun-2013 03:33 PM
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Kieran (06-09-2013)
Kieran Offline
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RE: ALL Hail Rafa Gnatal!
I'm delighted. I was nervous during the first week because he looked terrible, burnt out etc, to be honest. He was never going to win like that, but I felt he'd improve. Would he improve enough, was the question. After the Wawrinka match, I sent a few pm's here and my only doubt was if Nole might be under his skin: the match was to be decided by confidence, not match up or any of that nonsense. Match ups don't win big matches. They only work if you can apply them. It's like one guy has a gun and the other has a knife. If you don't have the nuts to fire the gun, you're getting stabbed. Big matches come down to nerve. And Rafa's nerve was stronger than Nole's in that match. In fact, Nole's complaints about the surface were just a symptom of his own distress.

Today wasn't a great match, but Nadal's forehand is still the greatest shot in tennis. Especially the Clipper - that down the line point-breaker.

By the way, I never noticed but I must have been anxious: Jim Courier was commentating on ITV. YOU TALK TOO MUCH, JIM! I switched over to Setanta, Fred Stolle and Wally Masur. Slightly better, though Wally TALKS TOO MUCH!
09-Jun-2013 03:45 PM
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tented Offline
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RE: ALL Hail Rafa Gnatal!
(09-Jun-2013 03:45 PM)Kieran Wrote:  By the way, I never noticed but I must have been anxious: Jim Courier was commentating on ITV. YOU TALK TOO MUCH, JIM! I switched over to Setanta, Fred Stolle and Wally Masur. Slightly better, though Wally TALKS TOO MUCH!

You would go insane if you had to listen to US broadcasts. Mary Carillo, John McEnroe, Justin Gimelstob, et al. perceive it as their duty never to stop talking. And I do mean never.
10-Jun-2013 02:03 AM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: ALL Hail Rafa Gnatal!
(10-Jun-2013 02:03 AM)tented Wrote:  
(09-Jun-2013 03:45 PM)Kieran Wrote:  By the way, I never noticed but I must have been anxious: Jim Courier was commentating on ITV. YOU TALK TOO MUCH, JIM! I switched over to Setanta, Fred Stolle and Wally Masur. Slightly better, though Wally TALKS TOO MUCH!

You would go insane if you had to listen to US broadcasts. Mary Carillo, John McEnroe, Justin Gimelstob, et al. perceive it as their duty never to stop talking. And I do mean never.

It really annoys me. I switched off Jim because he'd talk right up until they serve, and when he's not finished his thought, you know he can't wait for the point to end before continuing what he was saying. Duh! We're watching the tennis! The missus said, why don't you watch without sound? But how can you watch tennis without sound? You need to hear the grunts and whap of every shot. I banished her from the room during the semi [for being a Jonah] and a baleful glance when she said that told her that she was meddling with things she oughtn't meddle with. No No

And with Courier, it's usually meaningless, repetitive stuff. I like Jim, but I hope he's not on BBC during Wimbo. I don't mind Mac, but there's a limit...
10-Jun-2013 04:20 AM
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tented Offline
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RE: ALL Hail Rafa Gnatal!
(10-Jun-2013 04:20 AM)Kieran Wrote:  The missus said, why don't you watch without sound? But how can you watch tennis without sound? You need to hear the grunts and whap of every shot.

Gimelstob has enraged me to the point where I did turn off the sound once, but then that drove me crazy, so I reluctantly turned the sound back on.

(10-Jun-2013 04:20 AM)Kieran Wrote:  I don't mind Mac, but there's a limit...

You would reach that limit within five minutes over here.
10-Jun-2013 04:37 AM
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