Site: O2 London
Dates: Sunday, November 21 – Sunday, November 28
Surface: Hard
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Singles:

Group A: Rafael Nadal (1), Novak Djokovic (3), Tomas Berdych (6), David Ferrer (7)
Group B: Roger Federer (2), Robin Soderling (4), Andy Murray (5), Andy Roddick (8)

Doubles:

Group A: Bob and Mike Bryan, Lukas Dlouhy and Leander Paes, Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski, and Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner.
Group B: Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic, Lukasz Kubot and Oliver Marach, Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi, and Wesley Moodie and Dick Norman.

You can watch the tournament online on tennistv.com.

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In this Tennis Buzz #3, a look at Soderling and Rafter‘s wins in Bercy and Sydney.

It’s a well deserved victory for Soderling, who defeated Simon, Wawrinka, Roddick, Llodra and Monfils to capture his first Masters 1000 title.

“I don’t have a very good record in finals, and especially here in Paris, but I think a final is that one match you really want to win. I’m really happy that I played well today, and now I’m here winning the title. When I won that last point, I just felt so happy and I felt so relieved. I really wanted to win this match so much.”

Following his win, he reached a career high number 4 ranking.

Robin Soderling

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Site: Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy
Dates: Saturday, November 6 – Sunday, November 14
Surface: Hard
Prize Money: € 2,227,500
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The BNP Paribas Masters is the ninth and final ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event. It’s one of the only Masters neither Roger Federer nor Rafael Nadal ever won. Rafa’s best result is a defeat in final in 2007 (beaten by Nalbandian), and Federer surprisingly never did better than the quarterfinals (in 2002, 2003 and 2008).
Although all the big names of tennis won the Paris Bercy Masters (Becker, Edberg, Sampras, Agassi…), Bercy’s tournament has been pretty disappointing in recent years with late withdrawals and top players early exits, like last year’s Federer stunning first round defeat to Julien Benneteau.
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Rafa’s Custom Hoodie

Nike Japan designed a special gift to honor Rafa‘s recent successes and his inaugural trip to Japan. The one-of-a-kind hoodie was inspired by a traditional Japanese jacket called “Suka-Jan,” famous for beautiful embroideries that cover the back.

Rafa's custom hoodie

The four Japanese characters on the back spell out “Raging Bull Attack” – the two on the left for “Raging Bull,” from his nickname, and the two on the right making up a common word historically used when outsiders would attack Japan. It symbolizes Rafa’s historical first visit to the country and the world-class level of physical and mental “attack” he brings to the game of tennis.
Below the Japanese characters is an unmistakable icon of Japan: the sun rising through the clouds above Mount Fuji. It is included as a beautiful reminder of the country.
The “Raging Bull” sits just below Mt. Fuji, adorned in red and purple peonies, with red representing the national color of Japan and purple nobility.

Here’s an up close look at the face of “Raging Bull” and White Snake. The face design was inspired by a Japanese traditional celebration icon called “Shishi-mai” or “Lion Dance” which is used only during happy celebrations in Japan.
The White Snake is a symbol of good luck, so by intertwining the Snake (luck) with the Bull (Rafa), they are bringing good luck to him.

bull

The peony, hand-embroidered in gold thread, that adorns the hood of the jacket represents Rafa’s current status as “King” or Number 1 in tennis.

peony
Source: Nike

Novak Djokovic:

“Nadal … is just proving each day, each year, that he’s getting better. That’s what’s so frustrating, a little bit. He’s getting better each time you play him. He’s so mentally strong and dedicated to this sport. He has all the capabilities, everything he needs, in order to be the biggest ever.”

Ken Skupski:

“Rafael Nadal has the career Grand Slam and an Olympic Gold. Let’s hope he doesn’t try and get all the doubles Grand Slam titles now!”

Brad Gilbert:

“Got to love Djoker playing his heart out. Rafa has worn him down making him work on every pt. It’s like watching discovery channel safari.”

Mahesh Bhupathi:

They asked who was greater Pete or Andre.Today onwards the question will be The Fed or Rafa..possibly the most excting time in Mens tennis!!

Hmm, well, was about the 80’s… Borg, McEnroe, Connors, Lendl, Wilander, Edberg, Becker????

Mats Wilander:

“I think this victory says that we should stop talking about Federer being the greatest player of all time, I truly believe that. We can say that Roger is, but there’s no point in doing that until Nadal is done. It’s already unfair to me to say Roger is because Rafa is beating him all the time on every surface and in the Slam finals.”

Honestly, I think it’s completely stupid and unfair to compare players playing in different eras with different racquets and on different surfaces.
I appreciate Nadal but seriously if he would have played at Wimbledon in the Sampras era on fast grass courts with fast balls, he would have had absolutely no chance to capture the title. But these days, grass courts are as slow as the clay courts of Roland Garros.

You can compare Sampras to Agassi, but really how can you compare let’s say Lendl who played in the Borg-McEnroe-Connors-Wilander-Edberg-Becker era to Federer who plays against well… Nadal.
How can you compare eras when the majors are the most important tournaments of the season to eras when the Australian Open was just a little tournament Down Under and when players would take part to dozens of match exhibitions a year.

Please share you thoughts, what do you think about this all GOAT debate?