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Taking the rivalry to a new level

31.01.2009 | Off Court

Sunday's match between Roger and Rafael Nadal will be their 19th encouter as professional tennis players. But the final of the Australian Open will take their rivalry to another level. The two have never met Down Under before. And it is the first time that Nadal will enter the court as world number one.

 

Roger has been defeated 12 times in 18 career meetings. The question now is whether Rafa can beat Roger on hard courts. This will be the Spaniard's first major final on the surface he has found hardest to master and on which Roger has ruled for five years. Roger won both matches they played on hard courts so far: 2006 and 2007 at the Tennis Masters in Shanghai. Our champ has won eight of his 13 Grand Slam titles on hard courts and has certainly proved that he is in great shape with impressive displays in Melbourne.

 

Roger is moving forward in many aspects of tennis history. With this weekend's final he is just one shiy of Ivan Lendl’s unprecedented 19 major final appearances. And a win would lift him into a tie with Pete Sampras for 14 Grand Slam titles. “It’s an unbelievable opportunity for me, not being No. 1 anymore, trying to beat No. 1 in the world and getting the 14th Grand Slam,” Roger said.

 

 
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02/01/2009 | 02:43 PM
I'm totally broken not because you lost my Champion. My heart breaks because you cried. It's must be so so painful. You almost cried at Wimbledon but you held on. I can understand that this is just too much for you that you cried. Please don't cry...
02/01/2009 | 02:42 PM
Roger, really really disappointed...
remember no fear/ no shaking before Nadal as mentioned by many of us before the match.... but the outcome is the same as last year.....
u really have the chances to WIN, especially in the 3rd set... come on BABY...
02/01/2009 | 02:42 PM
Roger ,you are the best and you always will be the best.We believe in you and i am sure you will take your 14th historical title on the next Grand slam.
02/01/2009 | 02:41 PM
Terrific match, both played amazin!!! Two true champions, Nadal is now stronger mentally. Roger has to work on that!!
Roger, you played well the whole tournament and I'm sure you're gonna have a great season!! Just take time and put yourself together!!
02/01/2009 | 02:38 PM
Your serve let you down today Roger. When you got 1st serves in you won most points. Shame.

It's going to be a hard road, just to win those last couple of slams, but you can do it. So -- better luck next time! :)
02/01/2009 | 02:37 PM
Roger ,you are the best and you always will be the best.We believe in you and i am sure you will take your 14th historical title on the next Grand slam.
02/01/2009 | 02:33 PM
you're and you'll always be the biggest and the greatest player ever. it's fact. nothing changes it Roger. no matter other ones how many titles win. the greatness, the bestness, the value of them isn't just the numbers. it's more oh man sír.
02/01/2009 | 02:25 PM
I CAN believe it!!! What a PITY!!!!!!!!

Roger you are GREAT!!!
Thank you for this match! Today you didn't win, but another GS will become.....

Thank you for your fight!!!

,
02/01/2009 | 02:08 PM
I al sufrering for Roger...too many UEs. He has now onlt two chances yo break back!!! Let's pray...
02/01/2009 | 02:04 PM
Roger,

No, please don't make too many unforced errors. Please improve your first service level. I am still believe in you man. Take the break back and win this match. You can do that.

With respect,
Cesar