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Rafael Nadal won his seventh French Open after defeating Novak Djokovic. Is he the best active men's player?

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Last year marked the first time since 2003 that Roger Federer wasn't a part of the final match at the U.S. Open. Was that the beginning of a trend, or a one-year break from normalcy? With Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal both nursing ailments, could the last chance be the best chance for Federer to continue his streak of years with at least one Grand Slam win? SN: Rank men's contenders


Will Novak Djokovic shrug off shoulder?

Novak Djokovic has lost just twice this season, but one came when he retired in the final in Cincinnati in his last Open tuneup, citing a right shoulder injury.

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Roger Federer or Andy Murray?

Roger Federer recently turned 30, and tennis players rarely win Slams past that point. Then again, at least in recent times, neither do Brits like Andy Murray, who is still looking for a first Slam.

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What about Andy Roddick?

Djokovic is ailing, Rafael Nadal has blisters on his feet and burned fingers, and Federer is old. Do we hear a door opening for No. 21 Andy Roddick?

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What's the perfect match?

Djokovic is ranked No. 1, won the Australian Open and Wimbledon and has generally owned 2011. But is he the player you want to see in a marquee match?

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Most of us can only dream of hitting a forehand like Roger Federer or backhanding a hard grounder like Carlos Guillen. So when they start adding degrees of difficulty that would make a Russian judge blush, consider us more than a little interested -- and jealous.

Federer eased past somebody named Brian Dabul in the first round of the U.S. Open on Monday, but it was a between-the-legs winner down the line that had the crowd in New York on its feet for a sustained standing ovation.

But is the shot Federer pulled off cooler than the behind-the-back flip to start a double play, as demonstrated here by Guillen in a recent Tigers game?

Meanwhile, there's just no pleasing some people. Circus shot or no circus shot, one SportsNation commenter had little good to say about Federer's performance.

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Roger Federer may be the greatest tennis player of all time, but is time running out on his greatness in the present tense? The No. 1 seed was eliminated in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon on Wednesday, marking the first time since 2002 that the Swiss master won't be in the final. Federer still has a Grand Slam win this year at the Australian Open, and it's not as if falling in the quarterfinals is an embarrassment that would get you suspended for two years by Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan. But this is Federer we're talking about, and his postmatch injury hints notwithstanding, he's held to a certain standard.

Then again, at least one resident of SportsNation thinks the answer may have less to do with Federer slowing down than something else slowing down.

Mark Zabierek (Heinz Field Parking Lot C)

At least Venus didn't claim injury in her press conference like Roger did. Was there a reason to mention the back and leg?

Greg Garber
Greg Garber

Great point, Catrice (do people call you Cat?): There was a lot of eye-rolling when Fed dropped the injury card in his press conference. Felt like a rationalization/excuse to me. As Berdych and other have said, everyone's hurting at this point in the tournament. Full transcript

travis-deal

Roger needs to get his head in the game. Honestly I think Nadal has effected Rogers play. Roger was thinking about being in the Finals not getting to the finals. Rogers coach needs to chew him out and get him serious again. All sports are 90% mental.

-- Travis-Deal
happyincinci

I have great admiration for what Fed has accomplished, but Laver will always be the GOAT. Can you imagine what he would have done if he had not "lost" those 5 years as a pro?

-- happyincinci

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It's tough to find a place to dive in after a weekend like we just watched. We'll get to the good (Mark Sanchez), the bad (Jay Cutler) and the ugly (still Jay Cutler) of the gridiron eventually, but when arguably the greatest tennis player of all time says he hit the greatest single shot of his career, well, you've got our attention, Mr. Federer.

Federer not only went between the legs for his winner against Novak Djokovic, he did it to earn match point in a contest that was closer -- and way more entertaining, thanks to Djokovic's antics -- than straight sets indicate.

The catch is the shot of Federer's career and a strong candidate for play of the year in sports might not have even been the best play of Sunday afternoon. Not with Brandon Stokley pulling in the miracle tip against the Bengals and pulling out an old video-game move by running across the field at the one-yard line to kill time.

lakersyankeesgirl

Dear Lord! Wow. I loved this match and the way Roger Federer ended the match to win the match point was perfect. It was spectacular and awesome; and I also agree that it was unbelievable. What a way to end a match.

-- lakersyankeesgirl
devilfishin

guess that is how Orton throws the deep ball. Like hitting it off the cart path on your drive.

-- devilfishin

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