Talk of Nadal cheating to victory petty

Ben Murphy Roar Rookie

By Ben Murphy, Ben Murphy is a Roar Rookie

 , , , , , ,

13 Have your say

    Spain's Rafael Nadal

    After watching Roger Federer’s impressive start to the French Open final, I thought that it might finally be his moment. Could the greatest player of all time be on his way to defeating Rafael Nadal for the first time at Roland Garros?

    With a 5-2 lead in the first set and appearing to be in complete control, Federer suddenly started to lose his rhythm. The unforced errors began to mount. Nadal won five straight games to take the first set.

    I put this momentum swing down to a change in tactics from the Spaniard – instead of constantly flighting balls to the Federer backhand, he started to attack his forehand, forcing the Swiss great to hit his shots at full stretch.

    Rather than allow Federer to continue dictating proceedings, the current world number one increased his intensity and fought back.

    In the midst of his comeback, the issue of time wasting was, somewhat predictably, raised once again. Fox Sports commentator Wally Masur noted that Nadal had managed to slow the pace of the match down by taking plenty of time between points.

    Federer, he said, likes to play a fast game, which was part of the reason for his success against Novak Djokovic in the semi-final. Whilst this has long been a criticism aimed at Nadal, the assertion that such a factor influenced his resurgence does not make complete sense.

    Djokovic, like Nadal, is also criticised for the amount of time he takes to serve. With the first set of the semi-final delicately poised at 5-5, the Serb was given a warning for time wasting, before complaining to the chair umpire.

    Federer appeared relatively unaffected by the controversy, winning the set and eventually the match. He did so in fine style, playing carefree, attacking tennis throughout. So, claims that Nadal’s tardiness directly impacted upon Federer’s game are irresponsible. It detracts focus from the achievement of the Spaniard and his refusal to accept defeat.

    Having said that, whether or not you believe that time wasting had an impact on the final, it is clear that the issue needs to be dealt with more severely. Apart from the controversy that it causes, it is a constant frustration for tennis fans that want to see a fast and action-packed match.

    A more strict enforcement of the twenty-second time limit, an actual rule within the game, would allow for a greater spectacle by discouraging players to add unnecessary delays.

    It would also allow people to concentrate solely on the effort and skill of the players, rather than questioning the legality of their victories.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (13)

    • June 7th 2011 @ 7:38am
      bino said | June 7th 2011 @ 7:38am | ! Report

      Correct me if I am wrong, I did not hear any single warning from the umpire against Nadal in the final. Some players like Federer prefer to serve quickly say within 10 sec. Others like Nadal prefer to execute it in slower and calm fashion but do not necessarily violate the 20 sec between points as they may seem. I think there are other better excuses for losing the match than this.

    • Roar Rookie

      June 7th 2011 @ 8:20am
      Ben Murphy said | June 7th 2011 @ 8:20am | ! Report

      Bino, i completely agree. There are far better excuses for losing than this. Nadal has a set routine which he carries out before serving each time, as do all players. The only reason that he is in the spotlight for time wasting more often than others is because of his success. A lot of players also exceed the time limit, but are not mentioned. The ITF needs to do something to enforce this 20 second rule properly, so that it cannot be used as an excuse for losing anymore.

    • June 7th 2011 @ 8:30am
      Brett McKay said | June 7th 2011 @ 8:30am | ! Report

      It could be worse Ben, he could be screaching like Maria Sharapova…

      • June 7th 2011 @ 1:47pm
        jameswm said | June 7th 2011 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

        Or that Italian woman – Schiavone. I can’t watch her – she’s too offensive.

        How can they not make this illegal? It’s so obviously designed to put the other player off.

        • June 28th 2011 @ 10:26pm
          IHateNadal said | June 28th 2011 @ 10:26pm | ! Report

          At least with Schiavone it’s a grunt rather than a shriek.

          Maria Sharapova puts off the opponent and there is no need for it. Quite frankly, it’s cheating.

          Not saying Schiavone is 100% innocent, of course, but Maria Sharapova is by far the worst.

    • June 7th 2011 @ 10:27am
      Searly said | June 7th 2011 @ 10:27am | ! Report

      My issue with it is not necessarily one of gamesmanship, but purely from a spectator’s perspective I think it makes tennis a very difficult sport to watch. The very first point of the match on Sunday night is a case in point. The players are completely fresh and unfatigued, Federer serves an unplayable serve (if memory serves correctly), but then rather than the two players just walking straight to the other side of the court to play the second point, we had towels being called for and clay dust being swept off lines etc. It must have been at least 20 or 30 seconds before Federer was able to serve the second point of the match! When you’re in for a possible five sets of this sort of thing, it rapidly makes other pastimes (like sleeping)more appealing than sitting down to watch the tennis.

      I accept that Nadal has his little superstitious idiosyncracies, which I’m generally OK with, but the game just goes on too long these days and it’s all because of the delays between points. I’d be happy to see them enforce the time limit but then give them a slightly longer break at the change of ends to allow for rest if necessary considering how physical the sport has become these days.

      • Roar Rookie

        June 7th 2011 @ 1:50pm
        Ben Murphy said | June 7th 2011 @ 1:50pm | ! Report

        Searly, spot on!! While players like Nadal and Djokovic shouldn’t have their victories clouded by poor excuses, they should be held accountable for making tennis difficult to watch at times. Don’t get me wrong, both are exciting when the ball is in the court, it’s just the constant delays which are the problem. A longer break at the change of ends, as you suggested, could be a feasible solution.

    • Roar Guru

      June 8th 2011 @ 9:06am
      Hoy said | June 8th 2011 @ 9:06am | ! Report

      I still find it odd that in tennis and golf, you have to be quite as a spectator, yet in football etc, the crowd is going beserk as a player kicks the winning penalty.

    • June 28th 2011 @ 10:25pm
      IHateNadal said | June 28th 2011 @ 10:25pm | ! Report

      Please, correct me if I am wrong, but when the umpire calls ‘time’ then the players return to the court and serve IMMEDIATELY. Not half an hour later, as is often the case with Nadal.

      May I remind you all that the server is NOT obliged to wait until the other player gets to the court if the time has already been called. Federer’s good manners of waiting were simply that: good manners. They were not necessary.

      I say this because Nadal always – nine times out of ten, you watch him and count – wastes time. For the life of me, I don’t understand why the umpire doesn’t pull him up for it every time he does it. He wastes time by fiddling around with his water bottles and pulling at his socks – and don’t forget, pulling his underwear out of his arse, which quite frankly, is disgusting.

      If you watch Nadal – actually watch him, instead of saying ‘oh look, it’s Nadal, isn’t he a wonderful player’ like some sort of fanclub – you’ll see that he wastes time every match. This is classified in the rules as cheating. I do not understand why the umpire does not pull this cheater up every time he does it.

      Nadal’s victories are, frankly, not victories. I have seen a match in which the umpire pulled him up for time wasting. What happened in this match? Nadal went to pieces, because he didn’t get to catch his breath by wasting time.

      For the love of God people, wake up and watch him clearly. He cheats every game, and it’s disgusting. He does not deserve to be the world number one, since he is a dirty cheater. I have no time for the man, and feel disappointed any time he makes it to a final, since his matches are always incredibly dull – his game-play is, obviously, to bore his opponent to death.

      To all of you people who watch him and say ‘oh he’s a great player, you have to admire him, what a fantastic tennis champion’ – WAKE UP! Either that, or read the rules of tennis.

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    , , , , , ,