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French Open 2011: Rafael Nadal beats Federer to win 6th title (Is he now the greatest ever?)
BBC Sports ^ | 06/05/2011 | Piers Newberry

Posted on 06/05/2011 10:35:25 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

World number one Rafael Nadal proved he is a class apart on clay as he won a record-equalling sixth French Open title with a dramatic win over Roger Federer.

The 25-year-old Spaniard matched Bjorn Borg's tally of victories at Roland Garros with a 7-5 7-6 (7-3) 5-7 6-1 victory in three hours and 39 minutes.

Nadal, who has now won 10 Grand Slam titles in total, also ensured he will remain at the top of the rankings ahead of Novak Djokovic.

In a thrilling encounter, the Majorcan withstood a Federer fightback after failing to capitalise when two sets and break in front.

Federer, 29, had begun in the same flowing form that ended Djokovic's 43-match unbeaten run in the semi-finals, pressuring the five-time champion with his forehand and breaking at the first opportunity.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Sports
KEYWORDS: frenchopen; rafaelnadal; rogerfederer; tennis

Federer has been considered by many to be the greatest tennis player of all time.

Some, however, argue that despite Federer's record 16 Grand Slam titles, he should not be considered the greatest ever with an 8-18 record against Nadal (including today's loss).

Federer's lone match against Nadal on hard court, the Australian Open, was lost in 5 sets. While Nadal has won an olympic gold medal, Federer has failed in each of his three attempts to win a medal. Additionally, Federer has yet to hoist a Davis Cup Trophy for Switzerland. Nonetheless, others analyze the head-to-head matches by surface and conclude that Nadal's edge comes from his 12-2 record against Federer on clay. Federer has achieved the majority of his success on grass (6 Wimbledon titles) and hardcourts (5 US Open titles and 4 Australian Open titles), whereas Nadal has achieved his greatest success on clay (6 French Open titles). Nadal is regarded by many as the greatest clay court player of all time.

1 posted on 06/05/2011 10:35:29 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

There was a period when professional tennis was pretty exciting. Nowadays, the top male competitors seem to be bland. The top female competitors come across as lowlifes- the Williams sisters. Never thought I’d say this, but I miss McEnroe, Connors, Navratilova and Billie Jean.

2 posted on 06/05/2011 10:48:44 AM PDT by Krankor (Her voice was soft and cool, her eyes were clear and bright . But she's not there)
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To: SeekAndFind

I thought maybe Roger might win this one after seeing him play Novak Djokovic, however, Nadal was incredible turning the first set around. He’s on TV right now saying that was key. I love both guys; terrific champions. And I’ve got a soft spot already for Novak as he carries a saint bracelet in his bag and he crosses himself after a tough set win. Nice to see three top guys playing.

3 posted on 06/05/2011 10:51:01 AM PDT by mlizzy (Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee ...)
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To: SeekAndFind
As a lover of tennis (together with Formula 1 ...I will explain the pertinence of that), I would have to concur. Nasal may very well be the greatest ever, and unlike other sports (like F1 for instance) it is easy to 'prove' that. In other sports coming up with a GOAT is always an issue ...a big issue. For instance take F1 GOAT is Senna, but in most rankings he is put at number 3. However, had he not died in 94 he may have gotten the wins (may) to push him up. Then add the emotional aspect - the fact he was a staunch Christian, that he gave millions towards the homeless and children, that even with a fortune estimated at 200-300m he never lost his moral centre. Then add the fact he was an uber aggressive driver who really knew his way. Problem is, Schummacher (sp) still ends up being the greatest.

It is even worse in athletics. Look at Carl Lewis ....really dominated 100m in the 80s, establishing him as the greatest of his era. However, if you were to bring Lewis at his peak and set him against Usain Bolt today, it would be like a Ferrari (Bolt) vs a Honda. Even the guys in the 80s who took performance enhancing drugs couldn't come close to a non-record beating time by Bolt today. Reason being people seem to be getting better, faster, stronger ....and add advanced nutrition, bettertraining methods and kinematics, and even psychological exercise, and suddenly the heroes of yesteryear seem like pikers today.

Going back to tennis, this is why the Nadal/Federer thing is beautiful. Both are in the current era, using the same types of advanced rackets, same type of training, the best nutrition, similar conditioning, etc. Where the only difference is the man (eg it would be very unfair to compare Sampras with either of the two ....Sampras would be annihilated). Thus, both Nadal and his nemesis are perfectly comparable. That Is not the case in any other sport I can think of ....not in boxing, F1, athletics, basketball (just this past week amconparison was made between Jordan and Lebron, and ironically both sides are correct - Jordan was better than Lebron considering how Jordan thoroughly dominated his era. Lebron is better than Jordan, considering how Lebron now could decimate Jordan in his prime. You can substitute Jordan with Larry Byrd for an even better example ....Larry in today's NBA wouldn't cut the draft based on skill levels alone, but he will forever be one of the greats because of how he was back then).

Nadal is the best. He has proved it, and is currently untouchable. He is, clearly, the GOAT of tennis. And considering he is 25, he has more years to prove it ....before some other hurricane that is better (and maybe far better) comes along and makes every fromM Enroe through Agassi through Sampras through Federer through Nadal seem to be moving in slow motion. My prediction is we will be having this same conversation 8 years from now, between Nadal and some other chap who made the tennis gods look like chumps.

4 posted on 06/05/2011 10:57:01 AM PDT by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
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To: Krankor

I loved Tennis in that era. Steffi Graf was my favorite. She was a class by herself.

I remember I actually used to watch Tennis back then. My, how times have changed.

To be fair, I was younger and a student and had spare time. Now, TV seems to fall at the lowest of my priority list.

But, also, Chris, Billie Jean, Martina, Steffi etc made the game fun to watch unlike the gangsta Williams sisters.

Also, Jimmy Connors was the gentleman compared to bad boy McEnroe and I loved the drama. I liked Andre Agassi with his rock and roll image. Bjorn Borg was like Abba, Swedish and mysteriously retiring while at the top.

Fun times!

5 posted on 06/05/2011 11:19:41 AM PDT by SoftwareEngineer
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To: SoftwareEngineer

Hey! Don’t forget Bobby Riggs.

6 posted on 06/05/2011 11:25:21 AM PDT by Krankor (Her voice was soft and cool, her eyes were clear and bright . But she's not there)
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To: SeekAndFind

Roger Federer’s overall record combined with his 285-week at #1 world ranking, IMHO makes him the GOAT over Nadal, Sampras, Connors, and all the others! Way to go Roger!

7 posted on 06/05/2011 5:52:04 PM PDT by nfldgirl
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To: SeekAndFind

Rafa is a tennis stud. Roger is the maestro. It’s such an awesome rivalry, even though the younger Nadal has a definite edge head-to-head.

Onward to the road to Wimbledon. Another Rafa-Roger final would be great.

8 posted on 06/05/2011 9:00:33 PM PDT by CounterCounterCulture (I have already previewed or do not wish to preview this composition.)
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