Enough about Nadal and Federer: Comments That Are Redundant or Just Plain Boring

antiMatterSenior Analyst IMay 17, 2010

BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 25:  Robin Soderling of Sweden plays a backhand to Fernando Verdasco of Spain on day seven of the ATP 500 World Tour Barcelona Open Banco Sabadell 2010 tennis tournament at the Real Club de Tenis on April 25, 2010 in Barcelona, Spain. Verdasco won the match in three sets, 6-3, 4-6 and 6-3.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

Comment boards are at best amusing, boringly repetitive irritating and even abusive nowadays. That is due to two of modern sports' best icons. Here are a few cases.

Whatever discussion there is in tennis, whoever it is about, it always boils down to something about Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal.

For example:

Take an article about Ivan Lendl's achievements where it is mentioned somewhere that he had a great running forehand.

The discussion starts with the running forehand. A commenter then mentions that Sampras had a better running forehand than Lendl. Then a commenter talks about all the Slams that Pete won with that running forehand.

From there the convorsation turns from slam records, to Federer, to GOAT, to Nadal and Federer slamming.

Poor Lendl is left to chew the grass all by himself.

Or you could start with Bill Tilden and Pancho Gonzales and end up getting bruised and abused about two players you did not even want to talk about in the first place. 

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Federer's missed chances against Nadal.

Their head-to-head is 14-7 in favour of Nadal. The numbers are pulled apart first—10-2 on clay, 3-3 on hard courts, 1-2 on grass courts.

This "discussion" proceeds by stating that if they had played more on grass courts their head-to-head would be tending more towards equality. Someone then points out that Federer is good enough to meet Nadal on clay but Nadal is not good enough to meet Federer on the other courts as frequently.

Some philanthropic soul then offers as a solution an extension of the grass season trying to focus the whole thing on an "issue" rather than the "personalities."

Then peace and serenity reigns for something like five minutes. Up comes some commenter saying that Nadal is a lefty. What if he were a righty? Would he have won as many? Someone points out Igor Andreev. But the original commenter "doesn't think so."

Actors from soaps then congregate, mourning all the opportunities Roger has missed against Rafa, as if these are just "flukes" for one player. They throw in Federer's charity for good measure to highlight the unfairness of the state of affairs.

Techniques on beating Nadal

This is among the most oft-repeated comments ever.

The favourite among the fans is that tall players get top-spin forehand into their strike zone. More sentences are added which carry no further technical information but just facts. But they are added anyway in an attempt to bolster the veracity of the arguments of the "commentator."

Robin Soderling was 6 feet 4 inches tall and that he beat Nadal in French Open. Not to mention that Soderling reached the final after beating a lot of guys who were ranked higher with meagre top-spin on their strokes (compared to Nadal). Or that Del Potro is 6' 6" tall and absolutely dominated Nadal.

The second favourite and the one that is catching up is that Nadal needs a big back-swing because of his extreme grip. Well no one really knows what is meant by this "extreme grip," they just know that "extreme grip" means more swing.

It is stated over and over and over again that a player should attack Nadal's forehand or that he won that game or this set because he did that.

Talk about cliches!

Of course such discussions are fun, if even just to watch, Tennis would be a dead sport if not for these, because in many discussions, it is all there is.

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