Tennis: Is Roger Federer up to the task of putting the Rafa genie back into the bottle?

Roger Federer is in Shanghai, and the world expects him to put Rafael Nadal, the genie, back in the bottle. However, the genie is out and cannot be contained by Roger, or anyone else, until the genie’s next extended injury timeout.

 

Is Roger motivated enough to beat Rafa?

Roger isn’t even trying to contain the Rafa genie or usurp his number one ranking because his only concern is to enter the next slam in good health. Moreover, Roger is so far away from the form and competitive edge needed to beat Rafa in his current unbeatable avatar that it is nothing short of a silly psychedelic pipe dream to even contemplate Rafa losing to Roger in Shanghai.

Is Federer injury free and fully fit to take on the Nadal challenge?

Assuming Roger’s back is fully repaired he still is not match prepared for a competitive outing with Rafa, and if he is silly enough to push himself for a real battle, he runs the risk of injuring himself. Realistically, the only thing working for Roger, at this juncture, is his god given talent and that may not suffice in containing Rafa who is in his best grinding mode ever.

The age and inclination are both on Rafael Nadal’s corner

At 36, a lot has to go well for Roger to beat a running machine like Rafa. If Roger meets Rafa in Shanghai, not only will he need to take more risk but also be prepared to do some exceptional retrieving, which Roger, may do to a point. However, Rogers’s priority is the slams, and he may lack the motivation to push himself to the very limit required to beat someone like Rafa in here.

It’d be quite surprising to even see Roger in the finals. However, Rafa wouldn’t be here if he was not serious about winning the whole thing and, if given the opportunity, exact revenge for the beatings that he has received from the old man this year.

  • shinjitsu

    Disagree. If Federer remains healthy, history has proven that Nadal is not in his element on indoor hard courts vs. Federer. Recent history indicates that Federer is more up to the task than in the past to take down Nadal, boasting a 3-0 record this year vs. Nadal. This gives the psychological edge to Federer, especially with the backhand equalizer he now has vs. the Nadal heavy topspin forehand.

    To be honest, I’m not sure that Nadal will make it through his draw.

    • bettyscott

      Have not seen the ‘backhand equalizer’ since Miami. Roger is definitely not playing as well as he did earlier in the year. He didn’t really have one good US Open match, and hasn’t played since. The Shanghai court is fast though, so that gives him an edge. Rafa has a 2,360 point lead right now. Roger would have to win the rest of the tournaments and Rafa would have to lose early. It could possibly come down to the year-end finals, that would be cool! I actually think Rafa has a chance there this year!