Federer, Henin, Rain Wimbledon Winners
by Sean Randall | July 1st, 2007, 7:40 pm

One rainy week down at Wimbledon, one more rainy week to go. Thus far things have gone pretty much according to plan at the Big W. Top guys are beating up on everyone; top gals are doing much of the same. Only real surprise first week is that we had few days of NO RAIN! But onto the players…

Roger Federer is well on course to the semifinals. After Tommy Haas bailed today with an ab problem, Fed now faces the winner of Janko Tipsarevich and Juan Carlos Ferrero. Regardless of who wins that one – I’ll tab Tipsy – Federer wins in straights putting him in the semifinals where he should face Andy Roddick in that semi.

Actually, there is another surprise. Just how lousy Roddick looks. Ok, lousy may be strong, but he’s not looking like a world beater. And I think if his match against Paul Henri Mathieu was played on any surface other than grass P-Mat takes him down. On grass the Frenchman still might, but I think Roddick will pull thru setting up a showdown with Gasquet for a semifinal berth. Should that match happen it would be the best contest of the quarters, but while Gasquet is the superior player overall I am not convinced of his ability to return Roddick’s serve and his handle the situation of being in his first Major quarterfinal. That said I’ll stick with Andy.

Onto the rain-drenched bottom half, which is far more of a mixed bag. At the top you got Nikolay Davydenko against Gael Monfils to play David Nalbandian or Marcos Baghdatis. I think Monfils should get thru, and in the second match…I’ll lean ever slow slightly with Nalbandian, who then takes out Monfils. Gotta hand it to Nalbandian, the guy’s fat, only shows at Slams but is incredibly talented. And I mean incredibly. Wish he would just put in the time.

I like Hewitt to emerge and then take out Nalbandian. Canas should present little trouble to Lleyton while Djokovic is indeed a tougher task, but the Aussie should get by. A 100% Kiefer would beat Djoko, but I don’t think the German can win after having been off the circuit for a year.

In the bottom quarter, I still think Rafael Nadal looks vulnerable to guys Robin Soderling and Jarkko Nieminen, who should edge Mikhail Youzhny. Either way, I still like Berdych to get through that last quarter beating Hyung-Taik Lee and then Wayne Arthurs, who continues his Cinderella run with a victory over fellow 35+ Jonas Bjorkman. (For Pete Sampras fans, or Pete himself, again, if guys like Jonas and Wayne can go this far, how far would he go. Certainly have to wonder, and I really beat Pete is wondering himself. But that’s for another blog post!).

So that leaves my original final four of Fed beating Roddick, Hewitt beating Berdych and then in the Fed destroying Hewitt for the title.

As for the much-discussed Fed outfit. I was fine with the jacket last year, but this year the whole ensemble of the sweater, pants, luggage, etc., is getting to be too much. You want to bring a few racquets, jam a few shorts and shirts into a bag, etc, and walk onto the court, that’s fine. But two bags and a suit? I thought Fed was boarding a yacht or something. In light of the weather Fed, how about a yellow rain slicker and an umbrella. Maybe thrown on some galoshes with that swoosh. Maybe next year.

Like the men, the women’s draw is also going according to form. I still think the Justine Henin-Serena Williams winner will take the title. I still like Henin to pull that out, and \complete her career Slam maybe over Maria Sharapova in the final. Maria is not at her best, but let’s face it, she still reached the French semis on her worst surface so if she pull that result on the clay she should do better on the grass.

Also keep an eye on that 16-year-old Tamira Paszek. I saw her at the French and she’s got a wicked backhand. A future Top 10 for certain in the next 18 months, probably sooner.

Despite all the rain, and some inconsistent, jerky, ESPN converage, we did get to see a great week of tennis. Henman-Lopez, Henman-Moya. Davydenko-Guiccione and the run of Wayne Arthurs, which we really didn’t see but it is a great story!

Now let’s focusing on getting this rain out of the way.

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21 Comments for Federer, Henin, Rain Wimbledon Winners

samps Says:

Crazy! As though Fed needed the luck of the draw anyway. A round ahead of some and two rounds ahead of most going into the second week. Any potential contenders (hell, were they such before the tournament with Fed around?) other than roddick- Hewitt, Rafa, Berdych, Djoko play 5 matches in 7 days if they make the final. And to think there could be more rain. Sigh….

normiris Says:

Federer’s “ensemble” is getting to be a bit much. Spending time talking in a presser about how nice it is when the headband matches the shirt that matches the shorts, etc., etc. really makes you wonder if his new found metrosexuality will eventually become his undoing. This seems to be part of a trend in tennis. The women are wearing outfits that are odder and odder (is Sharapova going to take flight in that get up?). Also, as Gene Scott spins in his grave, Tennis Week has become a fashion and gossip magazine. All of this is supposed to bring in a new group of fans but I don’t think that it’s working.

Of course the biggest disappointment of Wimbledon has been Andy Murray. Not so much that he isn’t playing, but more that we now have to put up with that imbecile Brad Gilbert on ESPN. Just when we were starting to enjoy Darren Cahill, Gilbert comes back to ruin the coverage. Then again, in a few days NBC will return and we can listen to John McEnroe talk about every match he played in for the last 30 years while the points are being played.

grendel Says:

Well, I don’t know about NBC. What’s that, American or something? But John McEnroe comments on BBC as well, and he is quite excellent. Extremely observant, obviously knowledgeable, and frequently witty – it’s a pleasure to listen to him. He brings a match alive rather than drowning it in pointless comments which tell the viewer what he can see for himself anyway. There’s a certain kind of British commentator who does this whilst seeming to imagine that raising his voice from time to time imparts a sense of drama. Where do they get them from. Meanwhile, considering McEnroe is easily one of the most gifted men ever to hold a tennis racket, I reckon he’s surprisingly modest. btw: the assumption that Fed gains from his freebie is questionable. Pat Cash has pointed out that Federer, short of match practice, would probably have benefited from the Haas match (although he might have lost, of course!). Meanwhile, has his draw been so easy? He certainly didn’t think Marat Safin was an easy option, and Safin matched him shot for shot in the third set. A very dangerous player indeed who can beat absolutely anyone when he’s on – and he damn near was on. And you never know when he’s going to be on. Much the same can be said for Gasquet. Tsonga could be a surprise, and Ferrero’s looking excellent, better than Nadal – at the moment. You just never know. And what about Serena Williams – caught redhanded in gamesmanship. Did she, or did she not, want a piss? Well, that rather depended, didn’t it, on the state of play. Strange how shy the commentators were to point this out. They kind of hedged. Got to be careful of what you say, evidently…..

samps Says:

OK i meant luck of the weather. My mistake. Also Safin was great in the third set but the rest of the match? Admittedly Fed was playing excellent but has Safin ever been good on Grass? The old argument of “Safin on his day can beat anyone…” simply doesent hold fort. If he’s been losing to all the riffraff in the world over the past few years, why would he be playing in his lost brilliance against Fed?

And Fed is obviously going to judge Safin by his best as any good player must, to guard against complacency. But we must judge him by how he’s been playing in the past year or so and thats rubbish. Yeah sure great third set but that hardly makes the game does it? And in recent evidence of Safin’s game it doesnt. The assumption is that the moment he plays Fed, he gets inspired and raises his game. I feel differently. Safin remains himself and thats poor mostly. He’s incredibly talented but so what if he doesent perform.

Haas has always been a pain for Fed and it would have been nice if he’d played. You think Fed having an easy workout on grass is worse off than the others who havent even finished their third round matches yet?

penise Says:

b-rad is not an imbecile; annoying, but not an imbecile

Seth Says:

It’s highly doubtful that Haas would’ve taken a set off of Fed. It probably would’ve been one close tie-break set and maybe a couple of key games in the other sets getting a bit tense. But overall, I feel Fed probably would’ve blown past him. This is Fed’s best surface, after all.

Haas is sort of annoying with all his I’m-one-of-the-only-guys-on-tour-who-doesn’t-just-give-the -match-away-to-Roger schtick. Get over yourself, Tommy, they’re all gunning for his scalp.

normiris Says:

Granted, Brad Gilbert is not an imbecile. Maybe that was too strong. He is one of the most worst commentators in tennis even rivaling the annoyance factor of Mary Carillo. I still maintain, however, that McEnroe is terrible as well.

Recently, John’s brother Pat filled in as a host of an ESPN radio show. It was the Friday that the Wimbledon draw came out and he said he would be having John on to discuss the draw. When John did appear, Pat started by mentioning that Federer could meet Roddick in the semi’s and asked what John thought. John started talking about when he played Vitas Gerulaitis at the US Open, then he talked about how he received an award in France even though Philippe Chartrier didn’t like him, how he is the host of the Wimbledon museum, how he is on the BBC, how he didn’t initially get his membership at Wimbledon, etc., etc. Nothing about the draw, everything about John. He does the same thing during the matches he comments on. He talks during the points (usually about his career) and oftentimes doesn’t even acknowledge what is happening on the court. I’ll take Cliff Drysdale over John any day.

This has nothing to do with John McEnroe’s career as a tennis player. I respect what he accomplished. This has to do with his on-air persona.

Pan Says:

Nalbadian beating Baghdatis? No chance. I was there and no way he could. As for Monfils beating Daydenko another wrong judgement.

grendel Says:

Safin has been losing to “riffraff” (not my expression), how then could he have been expected to beat Fed. Impeccable logic. The thing about genius (Martina Hingis’ description of Safin) is that it somehow disregards the rules of logic. You just never know with Safin. You really don’t. Sorry, but there it is.
Now, it is at last getting ridiculous. Yes, of course a player would opt for Fed’s position over Nadal’s. Even so, there may be surprises in store. I doubt if Federer would choose to have so many tennis free days. He may pay a price, and Nadal may emerge strengthened – neither possibilities are particularly likely, but nor are they out of the question.
Sean Randall says Roddick’s looking lousy. Didn’t catch his early matches, but he was looking anything but lousy today against Mathieu. Assuming he and fed make it to semis, Fed’ll have a fight on his hands alright. And if Roddick wins, he’ll go on to win the tournament regardless who’s on the other side.
McEnroe must be a twoheaded beast. Is there something about American television, American expectations even, a certain attraction to narcissism, which encourages McEnroe to act in such a self-obsessed manner? Americans do seem to expect this, want it, of their heroes. All I can report is: he’s nothing like that on British tv. He’s the best commentator there is, not quite up there with Richie Benaud, the great Australian cricketer/ commentator, but worthy of mention in the same breath.

Seth Says:

How many times must it be repeated? We’ve seen it countless times in the past (Wimbledon ’03, Wimbledon ’05, U.S. Open ’06, Australian Open ’07): Roddick appears to be coming on like gangbusters. Talk ensues, spurred on by the Rah-Rah-America, Pro-Roddick crowd at ESPN, that *this* may finally be the time that Roddick overcomes the Federer hurdle in a Grand Slam. Then, about midway through the second set, reality kicks in and Federer drills Roddick off the court, making him look like a clown in the process. This year will be no different, scheduling debacle or no.

samps Says:

Grendel, logic? Your (impeccable) logic is that he’s a “genius” so thats that? Lets see, referencing recent (hell, not That recent) performances, performance on the surface (one QF and no other time crossed 3rd round at wimby in 7 appearances), (again, not that recent) performances against top 20 players and what not is poor logic? Its an expectation based on referencing a few aspects (mentioned above), which include his talent. And after all that I expect he isn’t enough of a threat on grass. What are you referencing other than “genius”?

Also, the geniuses at wimbledon could have used the the middle sunday but didnt. Not that it was sunny and dry then but they could have gotten by one match at least. Was the Rafa-Soderling match the longest ever – you know after all the rain delays and what not? He has Youhzny and Berdych next. For the crazies (Richard Vach hello?) who thought he had it easy, well…

grendel Says:

I don’t like Roddick, I dislike his style of play, and I personally find his triumphalism hard to take – some people like it,it’s a matter of taste. But one thing you can’t help noticing; no matter how many setbacks he has, he always bounces back with absolute belief in himself. I don’t understand it, and obviously Seth doesn’t understand it either, but it is not sensible to discount it. You can be damn sure Federer doesn’t. He knows, if Seth doesn’t, that if he is not on top form, Roddick will overpower him (as he did fairly recently in Shanghai, losing only because of a foolish, showboating attempt at an easy smash). It is true that Roddick cannot beat a Federer in top form. Like Seth, I hope Fed is on top form. But he is a human being, not a machine, and top form is never guaranteed – particularly not when you are as chronically short of match practice as Federer is.

samps Says:

Oh and I have to agree with you Seth. Worse, Fed will drill anyone in the Final not just Roddick. I dont see anyone taking a set off him either. There is unfortunately no chance of Rafa making the finals , barring a miracle of course.

samps Says:

And grendel (sorry i didnt see your last post) you can hardly discount Fed’s drive. He lost French and he’s going to want this more than anything. From evidence of the first three matches, he’s playing exactly as he was in the past and seems in peak touch. Match practice is a huge issue no doubt but I wonder if it ll matter to Fed. Further his game is not hugely different on different surfaces (other than the increased use of the slice) and he doesn’t have to transition to grass or anything. Roddick was superb against Mathieu but I still think he ll get smashed by Fed.

grendel Says:

I missed Samps’ posting. And Samps, you misunderstood.The impeccable logic was yours. Logic is on your side, who could deny it? The point about genius (and this was my point), is that it, annoyingly and bafflingly to some, can sometimes overide the dictates of logic. Safin is exactly the sort of player who could beat Federer or anybody else when nobody could possibly expect him to. And by the way, it’s a myth Safin is weak on grass, a myth largely inside Safin’s own head. He should have beaten Ivanesevic the year Goran won the title, and so could easily have made it to the final. If he had won the third set the other day against Fed, which he might easily have done, who knows what would have happened. There are surprises, still, in tennis – thankfully. It is not entirely a matter of who won what where, thank God, although it is more than that than it isn’t, of course. Safin is a one off – let’s hope we see some more such one offs in this age of gymn drill and robotics – and, alas, age may be catching up with him.

samps Says:

Ok fair enough, I don’t discount what you say. I agree that he is capable enough to beat Fed. Its just that I didnt expect him to this time. It is a matter of opinion at this juncture really so there is little to argue. Agree to disagree or a similar cliche I suppose.

Mary Denise Says:

Can we start a blog to STOP all the YELLING by
the players. They don’t have to yell its just
gamesmanship. And how about stop predicting
who is going to win! REALLY

Sean Randall Says:

Yelling? What do you mean yelling?? Stop the screeching, yes, but yelling? We need more of that.

As what’s transpired, I’m pretty wrong I must admit. Hewitt let me down today. I would have tabbed Maria to take out Venus, which didn’t happen. And I though P-Mat would have given Roddick more of a problem.

Nice gag by Vaidisova today. Looks like she’s going to need a lot of time getting over that one, blowing two match points then failing to serve out the match, then double faulting down match point. That’s going to stay awhile.

I like the way Berdych is playing, and with Hewitt out I fully expect him to reach the finals. I see Bagdhatis taking out a tired Djokovic and Berdych doing the same to Nadal, who escaped today thanks to a Youhzny back injury.

Henin is still my choice, beating Venus in the finals. Though she is going to be really tight in that match…

Pat Myne Says:

ADD or AIRHEAD TENNIS is being actively coached during a match. These are not Champions – they lack the complete portion of the game. It is CHEATING. What nerve it takes to hold a trophy knowing they didn’t win it fair and square.

Most true champions take a lot of pride in winning on their own it is what makes a champion not an imposter.

Can anyone imagine Rod Laver being coached?

It is a slap in the face to all the champions who went before them.

John (1) Says:


Change of subject:

Sunday 7/15/2007 11:30am, Versus channel will show WTT with Pete Sampras. This is not live. It was played on 7/10.

You’ll get to see Pete lose singles and doubles. He didn’t play mixed doubles.

His singles loss was to Sam Warburg. Sam’s highest singles ranking was 173 (currently 194) and has career earnings of $126,161.

You may want to watch this.

John (1) Says:

re: Pete’s WTT singles match

I watched this. Here’s what I got out of this match:

1) The WTT’s “no-ad” rule stinks.
2) The “no-let” rule stinks.
3) Playing less than a set, does not indicate anything.
4) The 9 point tie break is misnamed. It should be called a 5 point tie break. It’s the first one to 5 points and win by 1 point. (9 points is the maximum, 5 points is the minimum.)
5) The reasoning behind the above rules seems to be to speed up the game. For example, changing from win by 2 to win by 1 probably cuts out 50% of a normal set. Changing from 6 wins ot 5 wins again shortens the set. Playing the let on serve also shortens a little. So the result is that singles is roughly half a set (with a lot of luck thrown in because no-ad favors the server. No-let can go either way, but it’s total luck.

In conclusion, Pete’s loss means nothing.

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