One match remains to be played at the ATP Finals between Andy Roddick and Novak Djokovic where the winner goes through to the Semis. So far the tennis has been of a very high level, especially Federer and Nadals levels. The fact is that both of them have turned all the other players in the field into “beaten beforehand”players. Why is it that in the last 5-7 years the mens game have been dominated by two players the same way Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova did in the late 70’s and early 80’s.
Federer and Nadal are not only winning everything, the “other” guys have been beaten so many times that it really looks like they don’t believe they have what it takes to put their chances at 50-50 BEFORE the match starts! Once the match has started forget it,all I’m sitting waiting for is “how long can they hang in there mentally”?
So how good are they really, Federer/Nadal, maybe the two best players of all time. Clearly Federer is the best, on paper, of all time, and Nadal with 9 majors, Olympic Gold and winning Davis Cup and still improving is most probably the 2nd best of all time. Has the playing conditions,strings, slower courts, heavier tennisballs made it so that if you are just a lttle bit better, you are allways better and I mean 90% of the time. Is it impossible for the “other”players to keep a positive “front” because they feel helpless? Or is it that they don’t have that passion for the game like a McEnroe or a Jimmy Connors or Ivan Lendl or Boris Becker? Try telling one of those guys before the match that they are most probably going to lose today because their opponent is slightly better and it’s ok to lose to Federer and Nadal…….why ?.because they are “nice guys” and I can’t get myself to be really pissed of and angry about the fact that I don’t “think”I can win? Looking at the coach doesn’t help, it has to come from inside and no one except the player himself can make the difference. All I can say is:learn how to fake it then! Just don’t let Roger and Rafa know how you feel. Watch old videotapes of Bjorn Borg,show no emotions at all. Or go the McEnroe way, don’t lay down without a fight!! All the best,Mats.