WTF Draw

Photo by Beth Wilson

Photo by Beth Wilson

The WFT draw ceremony took place while I was snoozing away this morning. (I forgot to set the alarm clock – sue me.) To quote Rafa’s official site, it’s a “complicated” draw, but then again, should there be an easy one in the WTF? Here are the groups:

Group A
Roger Federer (SUI)
Andy Murray (GBR)
Juan Martin del Potro (ARG)
Fernando Verdasco (ESP)

Group B
Rafael Nadal (ESP)
Novak Djokovic (SRB)
Nikolay Davydenko (RUS)
Robin Soderling (SWE)

115 Responses

  1. Stf says:

    Hi everyone, first post here!

    I do think that he needs to step it up in order to win against these guys. Let’s just hope that this is what he needs because as soon as he played Tsonga, we saw a completely different Rafa. Another point though…all the times Rafa lost to Djokovic, Davydenko or Soderling was when pretty much everything went the right way for them. All three played amazing matches against Rafa with almost everything they did on court turning into a winner. He lost to an eventual runner up in a Grand Slam and two eventual winners of two Masters tournaments. That’s got to be saying something about them, not Rafa. Not to mention the entire surface issue.

  2. aRafaelite says:

    The schedule of play is up on the ATP site… and Rafa’s first game is going to be a real SOD :( I don’t think I can watch… damn you Roddick! I was just beginning to like you and then you go and let this happen! The irony is… if Rafa had lost to Tsonga in Paris, it might have been Jo-Willie that qualified instead. Sod it :(

    Still, revenge is a dish best served cold, and it will be all the sweeter when he gets it :)

  3. Emma says:

    I have just now done something rather mad and made a hypocrite of myself given my comments above – need to confess!

    Having seen on Rafa’s website that he plays Robin Soderling on Monday afternoon not before 2.30, then realised it is about the only session I am not going to, I have just splurged 60 quid on yet another ticket. Having alarmed my team with my wild shriek…who rolled collective eyeballs and said, “Urrrgggh tennis again”… I then went to the loo and jumped about for 60 seconds violently.

    Does the Fundacion do counselling because I am going to bloody need it at this rate.

    Please vamos like hell and wallop his non succulent ass.

    • Rafangel says:

      Respect, Emma. You’re brave.

      • Emma says:

        I am going quite dippy with excitement, it’s really inappropriate as I run a legal department. Need to calm down:)

        Anyone in London – I got a ticket at this late time for the lower tier for the Monday day session, so there are obviously tonnes left. I would have hung from the ceiling by one ankle to honest!

        • dutchgirl says:

          I totally get your reaction. I would have done exactly the same thing, including the jumping in the loo :)

    • Rafafan says:

      Heah I am about 2 do that. Dunno what gonna say 2 the boss. Shall I cam clean? and also have tue and wdd off?

      • Emma says:

        Chuck a sicky and hide from the TV cameras. That’s why I did for the Wimbledon final in 2001, Rafter v Ivanisevic, when it got moved to the Monday and it was a free for all. Seriously, I had a hoody, a baseball cap and massive sunglasses. Nearly got hypothermia sleeping on Wimbledon Park in the queue as well. I was young and daft.

        Anyway…got all next week off in London to watch tennis. To be honest I wanted to throw everything I had at it to just watch Rafa once – just to see him hit a ball like he can just once. On the law of averages I should see him twice, or maybe three times. If that does happen I will be the person being carried out by paramedics, gibbering:)

  4. Rafangel says:

    Welcome, StF :-) Rafafan, good luck with the job decision. Maybe if you told Rafa you need him extra-special good right now, it might be extra motivation? Sam, I need your contacts and An, your massaging skills.

    Honestly, I think the tennis gods are being vicious. All three guys in Rafa’s draw have inflicted painful and/or decisive victories over him recently (in tournament terms). They’re going to be really confident, and Rafa’s confidence – already fragile – is going to be further compromised by this. And Sod first up as well! So Rafa gets no chance to warm up to the tourney before meeting the toad, AND on the wart-slime’s favourite surface. UGH, he shouldn’t even be there.

    Must admit I haven’t seen any evidence that’d convince me Rafa can win any of these matches just now (in other circumstances, he’d own all of them). In fact, I think it’s going to be a long wait for Rafa to get back his mojo (look at how it was for Federer when his confidence was knocked; though Rafa is tougher mentally, he has more rebuilding to do cos his colm was founded on his home and family, and his confidence on his strength and endurance).

    When I read the first few comments I was gutted to see no-one rates his chances, but then I cheered up with this thought: Rafa pulls things off just as everyone else has declared it impossible. Let’s hope he goes with that principle next week.

    Three lovely quotes which I think sum up Rafa’s state at the mo (First and third from Timesonline, which is always worth a read because despite being very Anglo-centric, Harman likes and respects Rafa and captures his Rafa-ness beautifully. The second from, Again, Tignor is a fan):
    “Nadal’s eagerness requires a cork to contain it”
    “Even after all of his successes, it still takes Rafa time to show himself that he can win by taking control of points. It still takes him time to believe that he really is pretty good.”
    “If Rafael Nadal produces something akin to a miracle and wins both in Paris and London — and one is loath to use the word “impossible” in the Spaniard’s case…”

    You’re really pretty good Rafa. Nothing is impossible. Put us doubters to shame.

    • Sam says:

      I shouldn’t have said “blag me tickets to the Wimbledon final” cos I did get them legitimately and all…got very very lucky in my tennis club ballot.

  5. Karen says:

    Does anyone know which hotel they are in. Got my sleeping bag out with nowhere to go!
    Got tickets for Monday though I don’t know if the old ticket can cope much longer.
    We must be crazy or something

    • Sam says:

      I am predicting the Marriott Hotel in Westminster, but I have little evidence other than some mention of something WTF related going on there this week, and also knowing that it MUST be a hotel close to the water for the ‘speed boat’ transport, which I also read was due to take about half an hour to get them there….it adds up, but I am totally speculating. But hey, its better than nothing, so go there and see!

      • Sam says:

        Yep…just read all the media shit going on there tomorrow afternoon (2pm)! Of course doesn’t mean that is where Rafa is staying, but you could pop over and see if he shows up tomorrow!

    • CC says:

      Isn’t there a reason for it not being widely known where the players are staying during a tourney?

  6. Rafafan says:

    I hope this is a blessing in disguise – what I mean is I don’t get to c Rafa on Tues night coz he playing the SOD on Monday and therfore my punishment is not not seeing him, but Rafa beats the SOD!!

    Wga Rafa fans – what would you prefer (I know hypothetical) but if it was a question of not seeing him with the tix you have got live but he wins or seeing him live and he loses????

    What a dilemma. Being really selfish I would have to see him live and lose – and being in London on home soil I may never get the chance again or be able to aford going across the globe b4. What would most Rafa natics honestly do. I do belive in fate. (SOD being beaten, Djok being beaten, Davy being beaten, Fed losing the no1 – after what our Rafa has had to endure this year. Now wouldn’t that be something and shut all the press up and some of us!!)

    • Rafangel says:

      Would hate to see him lose live. Would ruin the day completely. Even worse than seeing him lose on TV. So def would rather not see him at all! Queen’s tickets are your best option for seeing him live in London, cos he’ll def play on the Weds (and prob Thurs, Fri…)…so long as he doesn’t pull out. Grrr. Ouch.

    • Delta says:

      Rafafan, I agree with you last statement;) Rafa taking the “V” over all of them and regaining his rightful spot being #1!!! We cannot doobt, but seems all are thinking back to his loss to SOD, which was devastating, to say the least…. However, in the past we never thought twice whether he would win or lose to SOD, no? Have to get that mentality back and be “with colm”, he’s as healthy as can be and mentally will go out fighting!!! Only “positive acktitude, “whot you think, is whot you are”! He knows he can beat SOD, has over & over, as well as the others. He’s Rafa and #2 and possibly can become #1 again!! Hope this lifts your spirits!

      • Sam says:

        Yes, but what about his whitewash of the Sod in Rome!?
        Rafa knows he can beat him. We know he can beat him. Hell, even the Sod knows Rafa can beat him.
        The beauty of tennis has always been its unpredictability. One man versus one man….it is the toughest mental game in the world, and Rafa has the toughest mental strength.
        Never give up on our boy!!!!!

        I get sad when I read people’s negative comments on here (not talking about you though Delta, just generally)…I thought we were supposed to be his die-hard fans, love him and have total faith in him no matter what?

        Ok, here’s a question, and I know full well what my answer would be..if you had to pick one of those 8 men to play for your life next week, who would you pick? Your answer speaks volumes about how you really feel about Rafa, whatever it is.

    • Ch F says:

      What about both: you get to see him live and he wins??? ;-)

      • Emma says:

        Yeah. Here’s hoping. My eventual view (reached by a long and detailed thought process of running round my office shrieking shhhhiiiiiiiiiit!!) was that what will be will be, and I would rather be breathing the same air as Rafa even if he does lose to Soderling. I just think if I watch it on telly, win or lose, I will be kicking myself that I wasn’t there when I had the chance to be.

        I do like Rafafan’s karma theory though. My understanding is that if she doesn’t see Rafa on Tue, it will somehow be balanced by him winning on Mon?? It would really be sod’s law for any of us not to see him (no pun intended).

        What happens at WTF anyway – is it like a Masters where they play every day, or a slam where they play every other? I also can’t remember for the life of me if they play to five – have a feeling it’s three??

        • Ch F says:

          Should be three, and I guess they play every other day cause it’s three matches in a week each, until the semis. So I’m guessing Rafa will play on Monday, Wednesday and Friday but then if he reaches the semis and the final he will then play on Saturday and Sunday.

  7. Susanna says:

    Rafa has the ability to beat any of those guys on any surface. You just don’t know what’s going to happen on any given day. (Seriously, did any of us feel confident that Rafa was going to beat Fed in the Aussie Open after the 5 hr match with Verdasco? But look what happened.) We just have to hope he’s in the zone and has it all going on mentally and physically. I do have to say that I CANNOT STAND Soderling and unfortunately I think he’s in Rafa’s head. The 2007 Wimbledon behavior to me was immature, unprofessional and insulting – ie he’s a jerk and, as I’ve heard commentators say, a “head case”. I know there are lots of sports fans who think that the personalities of the athletes are irrelevant — but sorry I”m not one of them. I want to see Rafa beat the heck out of Sod as he did in Rome.

    BTW does anyone besides me think he could use some supplemental outside coaching in addition to Toni – eg on new strategies for handling the early, flat ball hitters like Davydenko and Sod?

    • Sam says:

      What about Francisco?

    • sia says:

      Susanna, I don’t think Rafa needs a new coach …he knows, as does his team, what he must do on hard courts to win. His game is obviously more suited to a clay court (although he has been doing very well on grass) … he just needs more confidence when he plays on hard courts. Indoor hard courts are perhaps his worst surface (kind of like caging a tiger), and he will never be better there then he is on clay.Rafa has had to make up points at what would normally be his most difficult time of year … I think he is doing remarkably well. Vamos Rafa and Toni !!

      • Sam says:

        It always makes me laugh when you read people on various tennis forums saying what Rafa needs to do in order to win on HC….as if Rafa doesn’t have a clue!!!
        Not that that happens here…thankfully…this is just one big Rafa love-in xxx

  8. Susanna says:

    I wasn’t suggesting that Rafa doesn’t know what to do on hard court, or that I should give him advice. Of course he knows. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be where he is today. I was court side at Indian Wells this year when he came back from a set down and 2-5 to beat Nalbandian on a hard court. I was just musing about possibilities.. .Other top players have brought in outside coaches temporarily for a different perspective on specific things.. just wondering..

    • Sam says:

      No I wasn’t suggesting you, or anyone really on this forum. :-)

      • mary says:

        With “colm” girls, with “colm”. As miri has reminded me, everyone is entitled to their opinion. That is what we are all about.
        I’m sure Rafa is surrounded by people who are wise & sensible about his strategies & methods he uses for each tourney. I believe Rafa knew that the surface at Bercy wasn’t his prefered choice(it is unique to other hard surfaces). However, he has come earlier to London & is making the best of his time practicing on this surface.
        Believe me Susanna, Rafa has a plethora of experts that can advise him. I guarantee you not many if any other players have as many trainers, players current & ex that can & probably do give advice to Rafa.
        Not that I like the man personally, but you have to give Fed head credit for going it alone & still winning GS’s. I hate to admit it but that is awesome!!

  9. miri says:

    *sigh* Rafa will be probably be finishing up his first WTF match while I’m in a meeting at work where they are telling me I’m screwed there. *sigh* So, I might not get the results up right away. I’ll do my best.

    • sunset says:

      Miri–I’ve not been here for a long time but have always been amazed by and grateful for all the work you put into this site.
      Go on and kick ass at work on that Monday. Surely things will turn out just fine for you (as well as for Rafa, I hope).

    • Atch2 says:

      How r u going to concentrate in the meeting?

  10. Stf says:

    So I got my ticket today…for Friday evening. I sure hope that’s when Rafa will be playing or I’ll be utterly disappointed. I’m a student people, no money to waste. :p