Tennis  > General Tennis  > Rafa Nadal - Unfair advantage and why no one has guts to speak up
September 10, 2010, 10:07 AM
When the TV Commentators and Analyst see Tony Nadal openly coaching his nphew from the stands, why can't they say anything about it. Also, if Nadal was such a world class player, why is he the only player who wears tape on his fingers for every match. Getting blisters once in a while is understandable, but for every match, don;t you think that is unfair. Though I like the intensity with which Rafa plays, I like millions of other True tennis fans can never compare him with Roger Federer, who is a class apart. Even if Rafa wins the US Open, I would still think him not better than Federer. If anyone has the guts, why don;t they start showing a stop clock for between the points time taken by Rafa. He is one of the players who stretches the rules to the limit just to change the momentum of the game, including calling for a trainer when he is perfectly well physically.
September 10, 2010  07:12 PM ET

Rafa has beaten Federer head to head most times they have played which to me makes them in the same class. If Rafa had been able to win the US Open even once more people would consider him in a class with Federer.

September 10, 2010  11:49 PM ET

I agree with you about the coaching, but taping is not giving him any extra advantage. He may have to tape because of the excessive topspin he uses. That said, I think Roger is the best, and it would be nice if he beats Rafa in New York.

September 11, 2010  08:54 AM ET

Bjorn Borg taped his fingers all the time too. Not sure what kind of advantage it gives a player.

September 11, 2010  09:00 AM ET

Nadal taking extra time during changeovers and between points is definitely a psychological tactic. He is absolutely stretching the rules doing that just like when he's being coached by uncle Tony while he plays. Petzchner was on his way to upsetting him at Wimbledon this year when Rafa decided to slow things down and call a trainer. Everyone knows that he was just trying to kill his opponent's momentum and it worked. The guy is absolutely desperate to win and he will exploit the rules to make that happen.

I'm with Mr D, I hope Fed gets his ultimate revenge for Wimbledon 08 & Australia 09 by absolutely demolishing Rafa in the US Open Final! Roger is a class act and he is the only one who can stop Nadal in his tracks.

September 12, 2010  02:30 AM ET

Roger a class act? Um, no. That gold lame #15 jacket at last year's Wimbledon and the crying jag at the '09 Aussie Open after losing to Nadal did away with whatever ounce of class he may have had. And he won't be able to demolish Nadal in today's final since he managed to lose to Chokovic in the semis. Roger is a great player, no doubt. But he's a Class A ****/excuse maker. I only hope Rafa stays healthy so he can smash Fed's all-time Slam record.

September 12, 2010  11:58 AM ET

Mac, I don't agree that it is a matter of sportsmanship or class ....... it is the conduct and organization of the game which we have written about. CHAOTIC!

* Coaches - The lines are blurred since coaches were allowed on the court. As usual, a poor decision.
* Time - You take what's given, nothing wrong with that. If you go over, you get penalized.
* Tape - A non-issue. You can use it on any part of the body you wish. Some should consider using it over their mouths!
* Trainer - If you have an umpire with authority, that will not be abused. A wimp will allow anything. From what I??ve seen this season, they should do psychological testing before allowing some of these people to sit in the chair.

Simple Solution: If there are rules, let's start enforcing them. And while they're at it, let's put together a tennis organization with top-down authority.

September 13, 2010  01:46 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Nadal taking extra time during changeovers and between points is definitely a psychological tactic. He is absolutely stretching the rules doing that just like when he's being coached by uncle Tony while he plays. Petzchner was on his way to upsetting him at Wimbledon this year when Rafa decided to slow things down and call a trainer. Everyone knows that he was just trying to kill his opponent's momentum and it worked. The guy is absolutely desperate to win and he will exploit the rules to make that happen. I'm with Mr D, I hope Fed gets his ultimate revenge for Wimbledon 08 & Australia 09 by absolutely demolishing Rafa in the US Open Final! Roger is a class act and he is the only one who can stop Nadal in his tracks.

we'll have to wait for another major JordanJabbar. thanks for your good words

September 13, 2010  01:47 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

Roger a class act? Um, no. That gold lame #15 jacket at last year's Wimbledon and the crying jag at the '09 Aussie Open after losing to Nadal did away with whatever ounce of class he may have had. And he won't be able to demolish Nadal in today's final since he managed to lose to Chokovic in the semis. Roger is a great player, no doubt. But he's a Class A ****/excuse maker. I only hope Rafa stays healthy so he can smash Fed's all-time Slam record.

Viking Fan: Roger hasn't made many if any excuses. There is a reason he is universally popular on the ATP tour.

September 13, 2010  09:50 AM ET

Thanks for all your perspective. Vikingfan - have you ever seen Roger call a trainer in any of his matches so far in his career. There is a example of "Class Apart" for you. Rafa for that matter would call a trainer of extra time to change the momentum of the Game and opponent, and that is "unfair tactics" for you. Tennis is a Gentleman's game, if you remember.

September 13, 2010  10:50 AM ET

with regards to time taken between plays, its up to the umpire to judge when a player is taking too much time, I doubt the taping gives him any advantage!

September 13, 2010  12:31 PM ET

I chimed in originally since it appeared that the integrity of the game was being addressed, not personalities/behavior. For the most part it seems to have swung to the latter.

If the sport has rules, or a lack of them, and enforcement, or a lack of it, that is what matters. Today, sport tennis is in serious trouble. When it is "under control", it is of no concern that one player is an S.O.B. and the other Prince Charming. As to talent, they both are where they are because of skill at the game.

There is nothing here that can't be remedied with experienced and competent officials and management.

September 14, 2010  09:59 AM ET

I think Nadal's play is fine (other than the coaching), but when is someone going to tell him to stop biting the bling! So passe!

September 17, 2010  11:39 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

I think Nadal's play is fine (other than the coaching), but when is someone going to tell him to stop biting the bling! So passe!

and tugging on his shorts

September 17, 2010  12:17 PM ET

testicles

September 18, 2010  04:35 PM ET

What is wrong with agreeing that Roger and Rafa are both fabulous champions and excellent role models? Sure they are not absolutely perfect -- who is?! Where do I start addressing the comments above? Rafa has said that he first took a bite of a trophy after an early tournament win and ever since, photographers ASK HIM to do it. If you are a faithful tennis fan, you've seen many, many matches of Rafa where he has been behind and has NOT gone to a trainer. Generally, he is playing much faster now. Generally, his opponents don't complain if he does take a little extra time as they are usually tired and enjoy the time to regroup. If Toni is coaching during a match, he should be called on it; any coach should. On the other hand, no-one can win a match except the player, no matter how much coaching is going on. Both Roger and Rafa are much admired by other players. Roger does need to learn how to be a more gracious loser -- I would agree on that. But then again, he hasn't had much practice in that department. No-one is a bigger Rafa fan than I but that doesn't mean that I can't respect and admire Roger as well.

September 25, 2010  03:44 PM ET

If coaching is illegal, I completely agree w/ you that is is a form of cheating. As for wearing tape on his fingers doesn't give him an advantage. One comment I have not heard from anyone including tennis analysts, except John Mc, when comparing Nadal to Federer is the racquet he's using. He uses a racquet that is lighter and bigger than some of the women's player. Wonder what he can accomplish if he is using a 90 sq in and 12.5 oz racquet - would be interesting to find out!!!

September 25, 2010  03:47 PM ET

i completely agree w/ you. coaching from the sideline, at this time, is a form of cheating. however, tapping your fingers has no advantage when playing. one thing i would like to address is nadal's advantage using a lighter, 10 oz and 100 sq in. racquet. some of the women on tour uses a smaller and heavier rqcquet than nadal. wouldn't it be interesting know if nadal can accomplish what he has accomplished using the same racquet head size and weight that sampras and federer used to accomplished their records? a while back, john mc mentioned this advantage but no one else...

October 17, 2010  12:08 AM ET

Roger, Roger, Roger - all the way Roger in Tennis !!!!!!!!!!!! he has been the best tennis player in the planet for most of the decade, and he is GOAT !!!!!!!!!! whatever Rafa does, he is NEVER a MATCH TO THE CLASS n ELEGANCE of Roger.
Ever seen Roger gliding in the court and whipping the forehand winner, backhand slice, passes, volleys, and the LATEST in HIS ARSENAL, TWEENERS - I MEAN TWEENERS !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Fellow-tennis fans, we are lucky and privileged and honoured to watch this magician playing the game and entertaining the tennis world with his game, CHARACTER, ON/OFF COURT MANNERS, and thousand other goodies.

RAFA IS an ON-COURT TIME-WASTER, AZHUKUNNI (calls the trainer when the momentum is on the opponent side) gets ON-COURT TUTORING and REMINDERS and 1000s of other BADDIES !!

January 9, 2011  11:53 AM ET

It's amusing to observe so many tennis fans who play the Federer/Nadal divide. I feel confident in saying that if you interrogated both Roger and Rafa, they both would eventually admitt that their rivalry has improved their games respectively. Without Rafa, Roger in all probability, would have surpassed Steffi Graff's grand slam singles mark by the age of 27, yet there would still be fans that would raise arguments to his "all-time greatest player" mantle by conjuring scenarios of Federer competing against Laver or Sampras in their prime. Without Federer, Rafa may also have a slew of slams possibly eclipsing the Sampras record by 27 as well, and been a strong contender for "greatest of all time." But we really don't know for certain what would have become of either player had it not been for the other.

My point being - Thank God we have 2 players active in the game today that have proven themselves to be real, honest to God, candidates for the" best ever" title. This is uncharted territory for men's tennis in the open era. I'll take a Federer/Nadal slam final over any matchup in history. No offense to Borg and Jonny Mac, but their magic never extended passed Wimbedon.

 
January 17, 2011  11:09 PM ET

Nadal is the Greatest of All Time. Nadal dominated frumpy Roger. Everyone knows that. The effeminate Roger has given tennis a bad name. Rafa, a man's man, will make the game respectable once again.

meow!!!

Comment

Remember to keep your posts clean. Profanity will get filtered, and offensive comments will be removed.


Truth & Rumors

MOST POPULAR

  1. 1
    Bryant headed back to Germany
    Views
    3760
    Comments
    928
  2. 2
    Shakeup looms for White Sox
    Views
    5525
    Comments
    336
  3. 3
    Lightning may be swept aside
    Views
    1174
    Comments
    95
  4. 4
    Leonsis leaves coach, GM twisting
    Views
    1723
    Comments
    80
  5. 5
    Manning eager to get started all over again
    Views
    7064
    Comments
    75

SI.com

SI Photos