Blake a Jolt for U.S.; Says Will Stay Aggressive, But Will the ATP?
by Richard Vach | August 18th, 2007, 10:43 pm
  • 59 Comments


The US Open Series has been step-up time for the American men — as in ‘Is anyone going to step up and become even a threat to win a big tournament this summer?’

Andy Roddick won Washington a few weeks ago, where another U.S. hope John Isner, served his way to the final almost straight out of college. But that was Washington — no offense D.C., but unless you’re a Masters Series event, you’re going to see watered-down fields that don’t include the best in tennis — Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, etc.

But on Saturday night at the Masters Series-Cincinnati, one player finally stepped up this summer big-time in James Blake, who topped fellow Top 10er Nikolay Davydenko in heavy-handed fashion 6-4, 6-2. Cincy, as most Masters Series events, includes virtually every Top 40 player on tour.

Now Blake plays hot-and-cold tennis, and if you’re a Blake fan, you’ve got to live with it, unlike ESPN commentators who lambast the American for being “too aggressive” when his forehand is off, but scream in orgiastic delight “What a shotmaker!” and “Hello!” when the forehand and backhand are on. “Controlled aggression” is the term commentators like to use to describe Blake when he is playing well. Blake and long-time coach Brian Barker would probably term it simply “playing well,” because Blake is going to continue pulling the trigger even at seemingly inopportune times — and when he’s on, the commentators will gush, and when he’s not, they will gnash their teeth and say ‘What is he thinking?’

Blake has had a pretty poor year thus far as top players go, winning once in three finals in minor events, and until this week, failing to reach a quarterfinal at a Masters Series event or Slam. Now that things have clicked this week, Blake says you’re going to get more of the same in the Cincinnati final against Roger Federer.

“Even if my errors are going up, I’m the one controlling it,” said Blake after beating Davydenko Saturday night. “That’s something that’s going to happen when your playing a little more aggressive.”

Translation: ‘Grin and bear it people. The strategy is that I’m going to hit forehand winners, or I’m going to miss. Let’s all hope for the former more than the latter.’

“I think I have the crowd support, so that’s going to help,” said Blake, who had fans behind ESPN’s commentary booth chanting “James! James! James!” in a moment that kind of resembled…a top-tier American sport that fans are really into. “When I get into a final I know I’m playing great tennis.”

Blake joked about ESPN commentators’ overuse of the term “controlled aggression.”

“I wish all the time I had control over it,” Blake said. “I’m still going for my shots, I made some errors tonight.”

ESPN commentator and U.S. Davis Cup coach Patrick McEnroe — surprise surprise — picks Blake to beat Federer in the Cincinnati final. Speaking of wrong picks, I picked Sam “Can’t Close” Querrey to beat Blake in the quarterfinal, when the 6-foot-6 “Queer Eye” (that’s how the closed captioning on the bar TV I was watching the match on transcribed it) won the first set, and as is his wont against top players, lost in three. When both Querrey and American compatriot Amer Delic (who this week beat Ivan Ljubicic 6-1 in the first before losing the match) learn to maintain their mental composure during an entire match, the U.S. will have two new Top 20 residents.

To Blake’s credit he knows he can’t beat Federer from the baseline, and said his strategy Sunday will be to get to the net first and attack second serves.

“I need to take the net away from him,” Blake said.

Blake is no Pat Rafter or Stefan Edberg when it comes to transition game, but he holds his own and then some on the doubles court (even though he is 3-4 in matches this year). Federer for his part has been off his game almost all week, yet he’s still in the final, a testament to his mental fortitude, which took a hit last week with the loss in the Masters Series-Canada championship match against Novak Djokovic.

Federer is vulnerable. Blake has momentum, lots of it. Cincinnati has a Federer-Blake final rather than a tournament-suicide-watch Federer-Davydenko Sunday. The Cincinnati crowds are going apeshit. And the ATP has a Sunday final featuring an American on a major network (CBS) rather than cable. Would it kill the ATP, which has a big opportunity here, to scramble and throw some 15-minute Blake-Federer promos on other U.S. networks to publicize the occasion? Like other sports do? Run with the opportunity in the U.S. rather than maintaining the let-fans-come-to-us status quo?

Whether Blake can prolong Federer’s agitated mental state of not on Sunday, the hot-and-cold Blake is hot at the right time with little more than a week before the start of the US Open. Time for U.S. tennis’ powers-that-be to proactively jump on the opportunity — since with the way the winds are blowing out of tennis-hungry, U.S. players in major televised finals could be rare and beautiful things in the coming years.


Also Check Out:
Blake Bageled in Topsy-Turvy Estoril Final
James Blake To Retire After US Open
Zvonareva Solid, Ivanovic Collapses in Gusty Indian Wells Final
Blake Bids for Nadal Upset in Shanghai
Americans Blake, Fish Swim to Forefront at ATP Estoril

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59 Comments for Blake a Jolt for U.S.; Says Will Stay Aggressive, But Will the ATP?

Shital Green Says:

This is a follow-up to the conversation Jane, Skarocel, and Grendel were having.
I think Hewitt came very close to defeating Fed, which is a stepping stone for the next meeting if the court happens to be as fast as Cincy. No doubt Fed had been enjoying and still enjoys a little bit the hype or aura that he has created around him in the last 3+ years. If I remember correctly, it was Hewitt who started the Fed’s hype thing (I call it Fed-phobia) a couple of years ago when he publicly admitted that Fed opened a large, unsurmountable gap from other players. He insinuated that as long as Fed is around, others will have little chances of making to the top. Well, even Fed has made it to the Cincy Final and probably win this one, the myth of Fed-phobia started evaporating with Canas defeating him twice back to back at IW and Miami, then Volandri, now Djoko. So I don’t completely eliminate Blake’s break through victory over Fed if he can get into his nerve and hit forehand winners relentlessly.


Mohawk Says:

Fed’s definitely been off his game as of late…but i think the biggest thing is that with some of his losses as of late, the mental state of the other players is finally getting away from ‘this guy can’t be beat’.

that being said, fed in two sets tomorrow.


Wade Says:

Look i hope Blake can do it i’m sick of freakin FEDERER thats why my favourite tennis player is the young spaniard NADAL for sure because his the only one that can consistently beat this guy. I’m from Australia but i love the american tennis players they got gritt and spark like Mr Lleyton Hewitt. So come on Blake and please stop the FED express!!!


zeg Says:

Blake is too erratic to beat Fed.


Joe Says:

I think Federer is going to win today. I know he has been off his game this week but has done enought when he needed to. He was indeed beat by Novak last week but that was because he was playing fairly fantastic tennis and really deserved to win it. But I find it hard to see that Federer woudl lose two Hard court masters finals in a row. But it if previous encounters are anything to go by this promises to be one of the better finals of the year. Fed in two tough sets


Dancevic FAN! Says:

Wow Wade, very passionate! How do you get “sick” of a tennis player? Must be some harbouring anger issues you’ve got there!

Whether Federer’s off his game or not he’ll win vs. Blake. Blake is in a different class altogether right now in their careers.

Call it the other guys “choking” this past week, call it the other guys “not taking advantage of their opportunities” or whatever you wish to call it, but Federer proved this week that he choked less, and took advantage of more opportunities than his opponents did – even off his game, he’s still able to battle it out.

Federer will beat Blake in a pretty straightforward match today.


Shital Green Says:

I’ve always liked Fed’s graceful style and great shotmakings that are off-the-textbook. This year alone, I sent 3 messages to Fed, 1st time after Miami, 2nd time after French Open, and 3rd time after Montreal. In the French Open 2007, it was his backhand errors, that could be attributed a little bit to his mental uneasiness against Nadal. If you remember the Final, Fed had more overall winners than Nadal, who was playing worse than last year but produced better result this year. When Djoko backed up his game with unflinching determination, Fed lost. Every time, I talked about his mental fortitude. His game has been probably the best we have seen so far, but his wins were considerably backed up by his mental calmness that helps enable him to strategize against an opponent on the spot.
Blake has the ability, and occasionally he has shown that. If he can play like Hewitt did yesterday and win the 2nd set in tiebreak or push the match to 3rd set tiebreak, he will be able to get into Fed’s nerve. In that situation, I believe Blake can do better than Hewitt.
I have also noticed in the past how easily and early Blake surrenders if his game plans are not working in the first few games. I hope this will not be one of those bad times.
No matter how much I like Fed, if I were going to be at the Cincy Grand Stand today, I would not be able to do what Tiger Woods did last year, cheer for Fed against Blake or Roddick or any American players. Best of luck for Blake !


jane Says:

Dance-Fan:

Believe it or not, I know lots of tennis fans who are “sick” of Federer and are not “harboring anger issues” – and anyhow, what’s with the psychobabble? This is tennis talk not psych 101 or the “self-help” section of Chapters. LOL

I am sick of Fed “winning” everything – period. I want to see the field open up, and see more players break through the Fed overkill and predictability. And I am sure that’s what Wade and perhaps others fans want too.

To quote Joey Ramone: “we need change and we need it fast”. Okay, tit for tat – rock talk instead of psychobabble: just couldn’t resist the quote!

Go Blake!


grendel Says:

Jane – as a matter of interest – is it just Federer that gets under your skin; or would you feel the same way about ANY player who dominated the field?

If the former, then (like most of us, I suspect) you are being inconsistent.

If the latter, there must have been other players who irritated you just as much. And will be again, of course, because when Fed departs the scene, or is displaced, the field may be open for a bit. But some new monster will emerge….

That’s what the history of tennis suggests.


grendel Says:

According to Tennis Planet, most of the commentators are predicting a Blake win. Interesting….

Blake awesome against Davy. Hope he can reproduce against Fed.


jane Says:

grendel,

yours is a good question, and one with which i am happy to grapple. here goes:

as much as liked sampas’ serve & volley technique, i gotta admit that i was happy when, say, an agassi or a courier pulled out the win. same goes for mac and lendl; i liked it when the hothead beat the coolhead.

it’s the DEGREE to which fed has dominated that i don’t like in terms of watching the sport. even the great(est) borg has rivals the entire time he was at the time – consistent rivals who could push, like laver and mac and connors.

I’d like there to be closer and consistent rivalries like that. and with rafa – thank the lord god for rafa!! vamos! – at least fed has had someone who can take him regularly, as i believe you said once grendel, to the cleaners.

so i don’t think i am inconsistent. i’m just a tennis punk, anarchist, anti-establishment, whatever, who likes to cheer for the underdog.

blake was awesome against davy. i hope so too.


FoT Says:

Roger does not have the most victories this year; he doesn’t have the most titles this year; he’s lost already more matches this year than he has all of last year; he’s not leading the ATP Race this year… so why would some people say they are tired of him ‘winning everything’? Have you looked at the stats this year?

Someone said “we need a change and fast”! Where have you been all year? The winners on the ATP tour this year (2007) have been:

Djokovic
Ljubicic
Malisse
Blake
Ferrer
Federer
Horna
Badhdatis
Canas
Simon
Murray
Youzhny
Haas
Monaco
Chela
Hewitt
Nadal
Karlovic
Almagro
Mathieu
Kohlschrieber
Berdych
Roddick
Santoro
Stepanek
Moya
Tursunov
Robredo

So your argument that you’re tied of Roger winning everything is not valid. We have had more variety of winners this year than ever before. So put that tired argument to rest.

Now about the match today… I hope Roger pulls it off. And yes, I’m an American. Just because I’m from America does not mean I have to automatically pull for an American player. If that was the case, no one in American would have that many baseball stars to root for! lol!

So… Go Roger. I hope you win your 50th title today!


jane Says:

FoT

List away…

So Roger hasn’t had a “banner” year – so what, 6 losses? But he’s also played less tournies and he’s still second in the race.

It’s not a tired argument; the sport needs more players who can beat Roger regularly. You can’t possibly argue that’s true – we all know there is only one who’s been able to do that.

It may be happening, opening up slowly, I’ll give you that, but not as fast as I (and perhaps others) would like…

So I’ll stick to my Joey Ramone quote; you can stick with the establishment.


jane Says:

yawn – fed won, what a surprise, how exciting, his 50th.

blake a jolt? I’d say jolted.

“We need change…” more players who can beat fed regularly. Oops. did i say that already?

i’d take last weekend’s final over this one any day.


Dancevic FAN! Says:

My prediction came true – straightforward win for Federer. I guess as a regular tennis playing fan (I play winter tennis too here in Toronto so I guess I’m a pretty hardcore fan!) I appreciate watching excellent tennis players. I really don’t care who they happen to be, but there’s a lot for average club tennis players to learn from the best players in the world.

I appreciate and enjoy watching an excellent tennis player in the best form destroy everyone day after day – I’m more a fan of watching the best tennis players in the world with the best technique continually demonstrate their excellent technique, smarts and mental strength on court.

If I weren’t a tennis-playing fan, like perhaps you are, then maybe I would have the same type of attitude that you do. People that don’t play tennis but are a fan of it bring another interesting perspective and opinions! Then maybe I would cheer the underdog like Blake who just isn’t quite as good and hasn’t mastered as many aspects of the sport as someone like Federer.


jane Says:

I enjoy tennis technique too (but I only play a little; I wouldn’t call myself hardcore, although my six-year-old son is beginning to play regularly!), but I’ve seen enough of Fed’s technique.

I am a hardcore tennis fan, though, and I’d like to see other players beat Fed with their technique. Sport is also all about the competition, right? Just think we need more of that – in terms of Fed specifically.

But you’re right about Blake; I didn’t really think he could do it. (zeg nailed it — “too eratic”) Hewitt or Baggy on the other hand might’ve been able to win if they didn’t choke, go away, whatever.

The great thing? There’s always another match. I’m looking forward to the Open.


Dancevic FAN! Says:

Extreme example – I think I’d rather watch the NBA than the farm teams – just because I know they’re better. Some fans might like watching a farm team play an NBA team, hoping to see an upset. But the majority would rather watch the NBA teams.

Problem with singles tennis is it’s not a team sport, and in some cases in the top 50 the difference between tennis players is as vast as that of an NBA team versus a farm team. So some matches will always be boring and obvious. It’s like other single player sports too. The only random variables are basically is the player going to get injured, suffer heat stroke, etc.

Perhaps if tennis had a team concept year round other than Davis Cup, and there wasn’t a “singles” concept, then the Jordans of the tennis world wouldn’t influence the outcome of team play as much…more random stuff and upsets and things like that would happen, which would make things more exciting for the average fan.


FoT Says:

Well, I am glad Roger won. Jane, did you enjoy seeing Roger win at Hamburg? By your reasons – you should have been. Nadal had been winning everything on clay so when Roger won – you should have been jumping up and down that someone actually beat Nadal after what, 81 matches on clay? lol!

I think if Roger was your favorite player you wouldn’t be saying we need change. I, for one, don’t care if Roger wins every match for the next 2 years – he’s my favorite and I always pull for him. I think Roger is good for tennis just like Tiger is good for golf, just like the dominant teams are good for the NFL, the NBA, etc. Paridy isn’t cool to me. Just my opinion.

But I’m happy today that Roger won! Now on to the US Open to try for #4 in a row!


grendel Says:

People – and this includes sportsmen -watch sport for the human drama as well as for the skills (insofar as you can separate them). Obviously the sportsman has a specialised knowledge of his sport not available to the average fan (such as myself), but otherwise he/she is no different.

We all – or most of us, Dancevic Fan! – get caught up in the emotions which tennis, football whatever, generate. We have loves and hates which are not entirely rational.

Sport, including tennis, is theatre, and when it’s good theatre, it speaks to us in ways it’s hard to describe, because it catches something pretty basic in all of us. Skills, the wonderful skills we are privileged to watch (even if some of us can’t understand all the nuances) are a means to an end. It is the skills and techniques and training and so on which are the building blocks, the bricks and mortar, of the game which we all, in our different ways, and according to our different capacities and temperaments, love.

Don’t confuse the bricks for the game! I completely disagree with Jane about Federer. But I think I understand where she’s coming from, and I’m sure there are plenty of excellent tennis players who share her sentiments. And of course who share mine. They are hugely more informed than me, but that’s beside the point.

Sorry for the sermon. But I speak as an average fan – without whom sport cannot survive, not as a spectacle, anyway.


Shital Green Says:

I could not understand what that list was about. There are 29 players who won title(s) this year, out of the 42 available titles as of today.
Nadal —6 titles
Federer—5 titles
Djoko—-4 titles
Monaco—3 titles
Roddick and Mathieu—each 2 titles.
Other 24 players have just 1 title. Besides the number, you gotta look at how big each title is.

As far as the Race Point goes, the top 5, as of today, are the following:
Nadal—982
Federer—971
Djoko—–662
Roddick—416
Davydenko—395
In Ranking Points, Fed improves to 7605, which is still a historical lead by 2120 against the closest rival, Nadal, who has 5485 after Cincy. The third closest rival Djoko does not even have half of what Fed has. These gaps make Tennis totally one sided : One man show, almost always predictable. It becomes less interesting when the domination is total like the today’s match between Fed vs. Blake. More close rivals and more competitive matches create tension and suspense in the Tennis narrative, thus making the sports more interesting to watch. Unpredictability till the end enhances the beauty of the sports like Fed vs. Nadal in Wimbledon, Fed vs. Djoko in Montreal, or Fed vs. Hewitt in Cincy.
I think this is what Jane is talking about.
Any way, congratulations to Fed for his emphatic 50th win !


Dancevic FAN! Says:

grendel and Shital – I understand Jane’s perspective and I also understand that any sport with massive fan popularity will consist of a majority of neophytes – so every opinion is valid!

I think it’s more exciting to watch the upset of a massive superstar versus a sport where the outcome would be more or less random! That would be boring to me. Even if there were say 10 guys that were on equal footing and it was always impossible to predict the outcome – I think that that would be boring to me too…now 4 – 5 guys max to me would just be perfect! Just my opinion!

And Federer rocks! Amazing how he was pushed and overcame the whole week!


Dancevic FAN! Says:

Shital Green – I don’t know why but I just truly enjoy the artistry regardless of whether it’s a complete and utter thrashing or not :P – Just my opinion I guess.

Re the randomness factor – it does seem to enhance the experience for me too when I’m watching matches!


jane Says:

Grendel, You are BANG ON about the theatre aspect of sport, the drama, and the emotion – and yes, the loves and the hates.

Shital Green, Thanks for putting into numbers so precisely what I was trying to say (albeit with rock-n-roll metaphors).

Good conversation – whichever side of it you come out.


grendel Says:

Yes, I agree Dancevic Fan!, with two qualifications. 1) It is natural to feel embarrassment or even concern in some cases on behalf of person being thrashed.
2) Depends who’s doing the thrashing – that is, I am completely biased, and noone can reason me out of it.


Dancevic FAN! Says:

Absolutely Grendel, I usually feel empathic for the loser of a total thrashing – it’s hard to look at bright side of a completely lop sided match when you’re the loser of it!

But in other cases I feel disappointment if the underdog completely dominates – because I am expecting the better player to win.


jane Says:

FoT,

Yep, I saw Roger win in Hamburg, and nope, the logical extension of my argument is not that I’d be happy for him or jumping for joy. I was rather indifferent actually; I could appreciate Roger’s game that day but I also know Hamburg is one of the fastest clay courts and that Rafa had played -and won- for several weeks in a row with no break between tournies.

But anyhow, perhaps you misunderstand my point – I am talking about the domination of tennis in general, not any one particular surface. And that domination has been by Fed, as Shital Green so accurately shows.

I don’t “hate” Federer; I just want to see more “close rivalries” “competitive matches” and experience more “tension” and “suspense”, as S.G. eloquently puts it.

It’s not about favorites; it’s about enjoyment of the sport!!! The drama of it all. If more players could beat Fed, there would be more drama. That’s what I am talking about. Typically I’ve rooted for Rafa mainly because he’s the ONE GUY who CAN beat Fed, and do it consistently, whether on clay or not.

So I’ll be hoping for some topsy-turvy matches, some tight-ropes and tiebreaks, and all that stuff, at the Open. And yes, I’ll be rooting for a NEW champion, whoever that may be.


Shital Green Says:

There are even Rod Laver fans from his days who want to see Laver to be No.1 to this day. Then, you have Bjorn Borg and others’ fans who want their players to occupy the crown of No. 1 forever. In my own time, I have some older friends from late 90s who still wish Sampras continued to this day as No.1. There is nothing wrong with that. Yes, Jane, there was more “drama” even in Sampras’ time, though he has 14 GS.
My point is, to put in a narrative terminology, there has to be rising action and falling action (climax and anti-climax), suspense and unpredictability before the resolution or denoument in a drama. I like tennis to be more like a round character than a flat charcater whose every move you could tell before even seeing the whole match. To repeat, I don’t have anything to say to those who enjoyed today’s match between Federr vs. Blake than yesterday’s Federer vs. Hewitt. I don’t have anything to say to those who enjoy double bagel matches than double tiebreak matches. You are entitled to your opinion.


Tejuz Says:

Well.. when a person is dominating as much as Federer has, it certainlt becomes interesting when he gets pushed by other players even if Federer ends up winning it. So rather than rooting for Federer loss, root for closer contests between players.

How does it change if two players play 2 great tie-breakers with equal winners-against UFE?? doesnt matter who wins it at the end, cuz you’ve already got what you wanted.. a pretty exciting match.. like the Fed vs Hewitt match or Fed-Nadal at wimby … or the Fed vs Nadal .. or Fed-Nadal at Rome ..or a Fed-Roddick at last years masters cup.. or even Fed vs Djokovic last week.

There has to be a dominant player in the sport or on a surface, otherwise you wont have too many underdogs left to cheer.

Federer’s domination is very similar to Nadal’s domination on Clay. Federer is an underdog to Nadal on clay even if hez No 2 on that surface by a fair margin .. hence people support him during the clay tournaments. Also it gets exciting when somone like him gets pushed once in a while… even if he finally ends up winning it.

But, me personally wud enjoy a Fed victory.. regardless of whether it was a rout or a struggle.


Wade Says:

I agree with Jane all the way will someone freakin give Federer a challenge. I’m sick of seeing him breeze through opponents. Just like Jane i go for the underdog every time Federer takes foot on court. Enough is enough can it be someone else in the final for once!!


daz Says:

ive been watching tennis for a long time now and have read alot of comments sites which for the most part are really poor. Poor in the sense that the insights of the people seem to very limited. However having read the comments here on this site i feel that this is the one place that people seem to know what they are talking about. A quick note on Federers win against Blake- In my opinion federers win rates in his top five most important wins in his career. This has nothing to do with the fact that it was his 50th win, it has to do with his Psychological wellbeing to achieve the mantle of believing he will be the greatest player. I dont know if anyone noticed his expression after he finished the match, but believe me there were many tells that conveyed this significance.


Daniel Says:

Jane, if you were a Fed fan, you’ll feel like the rest of us.

I think is incredible to be able to see what Federer is doing nowadays! I feel joy of watching supremacy of a sportsman like this one. Even with his dominancy I cheer for him every match and I find very exciting to see if he will actually win again? Who is going to beat him, like Djokovic did in a fantastic match? Will next years Roland Garros be the 14 GS, matching Sampras records and breaking it with the accomplish of all slams in different surfaces?
I appreciate seen success of a man who is simply the best in what he do over 6 billion persons.

The players and we never know when they are going to win the last Grand Slam of theirs careers. And there will be a point when it will happen. But enjoying the cross of it is just spectacular!


lisa Says:

I was at cincy last week (as I am every year) and what was interesting was 2 things. There were very few younger folks in the stands. Those that showed up to the tournament went “true” tennis fans (meaning they only knew the american players that get all the press like Roddick and Blake and NO ONE ELSE). The ATP and ITF need to get together and market the players that are fun to watch (regardless of nationality in the US). Because, the stands were only full when an american was playing.

Case in point, Gonzalez’s first year at cincy, I was the only american cheering for him. But, as you know, Gonzalez is a shot maker and with his style of play he won the crowd over (even had the crowd for him over Roddick). To win folks over to the sport focus on all the personalities and the stand will be full no matter who’s playing….

Also, there was some funny things going on with the new rules this year. Nadal was playing doubles with Gasquet and they withdrew before their first round match (but in day 2 of the first round). Their opponents, Tursunov/Wassen didn’t get an automatic walkover. They found another team, Hrbaty/mathiew to play instead, which didn’t seem fair. Am I crazy of ordinarily Tursunov & Co. would’ve gotten a walkover?


naresh Says:

i dont think federer totally dominated blake, it was more like, blake made a lot of unforced errors. what helped fed stay ahead in the match was his serve..the rest blake did ! the 1st game of the 2nd set started out the same way.. i think there were like 3 or 4 double faults by blake. fed at his best would’nt miss out on oppurtunities like that, but he didnt push blake and hence, couldnt break in that game!it was more of blakes inconsistency that saw him lose his serve at 2-all. blake again could’nt convert whe he had 2 break points to get back into the 2nd set. so it was a ‘bad blake’ performance rather than fed ‘brilliance’ !these last 2 weeks sure make for a very interesting US slam ! i predict a federer vs djokovic final at the US Open..and its gonna be closer than the final that took place at wimbledon, this year !!


Dancevic FAN! Says:

I don’t think Djoker is quite yet ready for a U.S. Open men’s final, but I don’t know who are the potential final guys. So I’d have to include him in the list of potentials although I’d rate him lower. I would guess:

- Federer
- Roddick
- Nadal
- Hewitt
- Blake
- Djoker
- Gasquet

Djoker has another year to go before he’s there in the final, he proved that he’s not conditioned for back to back master’s series tournaments BUT the surface will be the same for the entire 2 weeks this week, as well as most of the conditions.

I give Roddick the home court advantage, but I seriously doubt the “footwork training” he referred to is going to give him an edge, I think he already knew what he needs to do but he just needs to drill the same thing more into his brain every day during practice.


nadalfan Says:

roddick has a lot of points to defend at the open this year


Dancevic FAN! Says:

Roddick schmoddick, he’s an ego-maniacal wannabe. If he plays Dancevic he’s going down in 4 sets.


Shital Green Says:

I don’t know how to make a list for the potential final guys at the US Open. Before I think about any rational prediction, I will wait until the draw comes out tomorrow, which will give us some basis. In the mean time, if I have to throw my emotional support behind any player after Americans, I will be rooting for Djoko from among the top ten. As an iconoclast, I will be supporting all other underdogs who are showing some sparks of great skills (e.g. Del Potro, Ivo Karlovic, Monaco, Dancevic, etc.). Extreme biasedness of the Fed zealots and fanatics have pushed me to be uncertain whether I want Fed to win another slam any more. Maybe, for time being, I’d just want him to be one semi finalist or finalist.


andrea Says:

i feel for the people who are tired of roger. i couldn’t stomach pete sampras when he was on top and avoided men’s tennis because of him. it’s tough when you don’t gel with the currrent dominant player. what are you going to do?

luckily for me, i’m a roger fan, so i’m taking this period of his domination with a huge smile.

don’t worry, in a few years, someone will take his place.


Dancevic FAN! Says:

Some tennis fans choose their tennis players like their choose their wardrobe – no rhyme or reason! The anti-Federer anti-establishment zealots are like the equivalent of today’s zit faced goth teenager or that guy that never outgrew his Hawaiian shirt!

I on the other hand wear my Prada and Gucci sensibly and say FED TO TAKE THE U.S. OPEN TITLE IN 2007!!!!


Tejuz Says:

Well said .. Dancevic Fan :-)

and Andrea.. ditto with me.. couldnt really get to watch too much of tennis when Pete was at the top and always supporting Players like Becker, Rafter or Agassi..


Dancevic FAN! Says:

Some of them that is


Shital Green Says:

Dancevic FAN,
First off, I am not any one’s FAN. Look at the word’s etymology: Middle English, from Old English fann, from Latin vannus. It may even sound like somebody’s device for winnowing or device for moving air. The term “fan” is also considered as an abbreviated form of “fanatic” and “fantasy.” If you connect the all dots, a fan is whimisical being or object without an independent identity, almost a slave to an imagined idea or personality. An unflinching fan is a blind person who cannot accept anything outside his own biasedness, thus remains a child who cannot grow in judgment. A fan is a puppet of his master: dances and lives with his master and dies with his master. A fan is a suicidal. I am not calling you any name here, and I am not attributing any of the fan’s traits described above to your personality. I am just talking about why I am not and cannot be anyone’s a fan.
As an independent being who can think and asserts his existence through reasoning, I cannot be anyone’s uncritical fan. I like to play and watch tennis, among other sports. I have never been uncritical and naive supporter of any one.
You proudly call yourself “Dancevic FAN,” and act like as if you are the only FAN of Fed, are you not changing your “wardrobe” here? How is it not hypocritical to wear Dancevic name and show your fidelity to somebody else?


Dancevic FAN! Says:

Shital, thank you for the research – style without substance however – it simply does not serve purpose in this tennis debate but shall be humoured.

The character whose picture you paint is a very sad one indeed – I can only empathize with such a sad being.

I suppose the majority of the world is a suicidal mess however since you’ve clearly and unequivocally proven that fans (of the unflinching variety) are suicidal. Most of the world is a fan of something – be it sport, family, a hobby, oh, perhaps stamp collecting even.

If I were a fan of you and of the nature of the type of fan you’ve described, then at this time I would surely be jumping off the CN Tower here in Toronto Canada, or popping a bottle of pain killers, never to contribute to tennis-x again! However, I am NOT a Shital Green fan, and thankfully I am NOT the type of fan you’ve presented.

My name was selected here simply due to timing. To the simpleton they may consider that I’m an unflinching fan of Dancevic although I’m not. My name helps to differentiate me from others, since a fashionable wardrobe should also be unique.

My wardrobe at this time is comprised of supple fabrics such as excellence, technique, determination, heartiness, humbleness, rationality, and other great qualities. Roger Federer happens to be an accessory to my wardrobe that compliments my fabrics quite nicely.

I also have a Djoker lapel pin since he demonstrated many of those characteristics recently in Canada, as did Frank Dancevic, of which I have red thongs with Dancevic embroidered on them – I haven’t fully come out of the closet with those yet since it’s too early to know how far Dancevic will get.

I suppose I’m a fan of seeing a great tennis match with an appreciative and intelligent victor.


Tejuz Says:

FANATIC is not just the one who is rooting FOR a specific person .. but also the one who is rooting AGAINST that person.

If you really appreciate GOOD tennis only and dont regard urself as a FAN, then you shouldnt be too concerned about who is winning the tournament in the End.. Fed or non-Fed. If you are rooting against Fed just because of the biasedness of his Fans .. then you are no different than his Fans.. except that you are biased against him… without any apprent REASON.

If you think you are an independent being who can think and assert your existence though reasoning… then dont get carried away by the biasedness of others… else that doesnt make you a independent thinker that you claim you are.

Fans are what that make sports great to watch…thats the reason why we have this discussions and forums here. One attacks and other defends with facts and figures making for a long discussion.


Shital Green Says:

Tejuz,
You make some noteworthy points. I agree with the 3rd para most of alland the last sentence.
If you read all my posts, I am not rooting against any player, but when you are rooting for one player, it happens that you are rooting against another, like every selection entails rejection. When you are seeking change, you happen to offend the establishment. One is caught up in a web of deconstruction, thus anti-establishment looks like a kind of establishment.
Like I said, I like your last sentence, too: “One attacks and other defends with facts and figures.” That has been my persistent argument: how do you validate a claim like “I like a match more when one player/team beats the other at zero than the one that goes into tiebreak or overtime”?


Dancevic FAN! Says:

Shital Green, why do you have to validate that claim in the first place? Did someone make that claim? Would it be unacceptable to you if someone made that claim?


Shital Green Says:

Dancevic,
I don’t have to validate anything for you. You are entitled to your opinion. And so am I. You can accept any thing you want. I enjoy a match more when it is more competitive between the two sides and when the rivalary is strong. I am talking about myself with reference to when I can have greater entertainment, even if it is to be measured by a couple of degrees (emphasis on “degree”). I am not trying to write a theory for anybody and impose my value on you or anybody. You are free to enjoy whatever you think is acceptable to you. By the way, if I can ask you, what do enjoy better (emphasis on “better”), close match or lop sided match? That’s where the argument began from, esp. in my case.


Dancevic FAN! Says:

Shital, yep, absolutely, we should have different opinions! I enjoy a close match more than a lop sided match. I enjoy watching Federer vs. Nadal more than a Federer vs. Roddick match because it’s typically more interesting because it’s more challenging for both players.

I probably enjoy a match such as Federer vs. Canas more than Federer vs. Roddick also because of the lack of confidence in Federer going into the match .

I also enjoy a match with a rising up and comer versus someone like Federer because it’s a classic challenge between new and old.

I get more enjoyment from any match if there is athletic excellence demonstrated. I often get added enjoyment if a giant is slayed by excellence – the Safin Federer match at the Australian Open 2005 was an unforgettable match for me, and not as emotionally exciting to me as the recent Federer Djokovic match because the level of excellence between both players recently wasn’t as high, even though there was a giant slayer.

I also enjoy an excellent match between lower ranked players and when I get the opportunity to watch those matches as well I do.

I think as fans we all probably feel similar levels of enjoyment, even if the player we’re hoping to be the victor doesn’t wind up being that person. I emphasize fans because other people that gamble money on players feel different types of emotions than those that just watch to see who will be victorious!


Tejuz Says:

well.. i certainly would go for close matches like Fed-Nadal finals at wimby or rome … or the Fed-safin match…. over matches like Fed vs Hewitt final at 2004 US Open It certainly keeps us Fans at the edge of our seat displaying different emotions as the game progresses. But i guess, one would enjoy these matches more if he/she is rooting for one of them. In my case, i would be rooting for Fed to come up trumps.

Also.. i like Fed more because of the game he plays. Somehow, i like players with one-handed backhand like Haas, blake, gonzo, gasquet .. and earlier Becker, Edberg etc probabaly because it looks more graceful to me (Exceptions are Safin, Baggy, Agassi). Apart for that, hez got a massive forhand, great movement and lots of variation. I might not want to root for Nadal because i dont really like his style of game that much even though i am very impressed by him. I would like it more if someone like Safin or Haas defeats Federer rather than Nadal or Djokovic. But thats just my opinion.


Dancevic FAN! Says:

Tejuz, I feel the same way too because I enjoy certain types of tennis techniques more than others.

To be honest, I felt nothing emotionally for Marion Bartoli at Wimbledon because to me she has a completely bizarre and limiting style. Sort of like Fabrice Santoro – their styles are so unconventional, with a two handed backhand and forehand the court coverage is completely crippled, yet they’re playing at the pro level that way.

So many variables – because I can tolerate a worse player if they’re charismatic – Fabrice Santoro has a nice charismatic on-court personality so he’s more enjoyable and fun to watch versus Marion Bartoli. Nadal I can enjoy more than Marion as well because he has more charisma.


Tejuz Says:

yup.. Danc Fan.. I myself have a single-handed backhand.. because of which i learn more when i watch players like Fed.

Never liked Seles before nor Bartoli now cuz of their game.. both play 2-fisted on both sides.. no variations and not very pretty to watch.

Certainly.. even if Nadal’s is a power game, he certainly has a special unique style.. not as pretty as Fed’s but very effective and dominating. Djoko also has some style.. but there are lots of players on the tour that play his kind of game. Fed’s style is something very different.


Dancevic FAN! Says:

I wish I had a one handed backhand! I only have a one handed backhand slice, I use a two handed topspin backhand and two handed backhand lob because that’s what I first learned a long time ago since I didn’t show much promise one-handed :P It definitely limits my court coverage! A good one handed backhand looks graceful and classy.


nadalfan Says:

but a two hander alwoys for more power and support and gives u a commanding position against high balls whereas the one hander perhaps allows more reach but i find difficulties in coping with sholder hight balls from the baseline from the service line its great but against a high topsin player its difficulti am still a kid well 14 and can hit both fairly well which one wud u guys advise on for competition?


Dancevic FAN! Says:

It doesn’t hurt to use whatever whatever your strengths lie in, one or two handed backhand. Either obviously can take you to the top. Each has its strengths & weaknesses.


grendel Says:

Tejuz, harking back to an earlier post of yours, it seems to me that one can get enjoyment of very different flavours, but of similar intensity, from quite different types of matches where Federer is concerned.

The close fights with Safin (not just A.O., but the masters cup just before that, if you remember – Fed won that one, just, after an immensley long tiebreak), Nadal, Hewitt. The ones where he’s not playing well and has to guts it out – these have their own fascination, too.

And then there’s where he wins very easily against a top player. This has a special type of drama, because you are seeing a unique player – a complete one off so far as I can see, without bringing in all that boring goat stuff – pulling out all the stops, and you just sit back and purr with pleasure (or reach for the sick bucket, I suppose, if your loyalties are otherwise directed). There is drama here, even though there is no competition, which consists in seeing human activity performed at a very high level which instinctively you know will never be matched.

To people who insist on competition, such matches are dreary, and this is a valid perspective, just not mine. Although I like competition too.

Some people think all this is a sickening sort of hero worship, sycophantic grovelling, and so on. I don’t mind. Because I know what the score is. Life is short, and it’s good to be able to savour what is very special, because in any given field of activity, it doesn’t come very often, and nor does it last. I remember Connors remarking, when on the brink of retirement, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. A somewhat vainglorious comment, I couldn’t help thinking, and yet justified too, for Connors was special. And I suspect we’ll only realise the full impact of Federer when he’s gone. I predict that even those who hate him now will, in 20 years time, think back in amazement that such a tennis player could have existed. Time has a way of soothing sore feelings.

One point about Sampras. I know there are certainly Sampras fans who are Fed fans. But I get the feeling it is much more usual for them to have transferred their affections to Nadal. Many (most?) Sampras fans seem to be Nadal fans (the converse is not true, since a lot of Nadal fans are youngsters who are barely aware of Sampras). Why is this?


Tejuz Says:

Grendel..That seems to be a nice observation. I guess most of Sampras fans dont want Fed to overtake their hero in thier achievments and they see Nadal as the main person to prevent Fed from doin that.

Well.. true.. i used to be a Sampras hater before because he used to beat my fav during that time, Becker. It carried over .. and i started supporting Agassi and Rafter, partly because i liked their games and partly cuz they put up a fight against Sampras.
But then, i also did like Sampras’s style.. his service motion, running forehand and great volleyin skills. as you said.. i did miss him once he retired. I still feel he cud have played a few more years and we could have had a classic rivalry with players like Samps, Agassi, Safin, Fed etc.

I guess.. its quite similar now with Fed.. except that i am on the other side.. as Fed supporter.

Yes, when we see Fed win easily against a top player (which is more often than not) its a different kind of emotion altogether, sitting back on our seats fascinated by his shot-making.

But Fed vs Safin matches at Masters Cup and AU Open is something i wont forget, cuz it was both players at their best. They match-up very well…a feast for tennis fans.


Tejuz Says:

Nadalfan, Dance-fan.. well.. both single-handed and double-fisted backhands have their pros and cons.

I guess single-hand gives more variety with slices, back-spin drops, heavy top spin, flat shots and more than all that extra reach to the back hand side. I luv it more because my back-hand is much better and consistent than my forehand I have tried to play with two-hands but dint feel comfortable. I used to have problems with shoulder-high backhands.. but it overcame it.

2-handed backhands gives that extra power like that of Nadal or Safin or Baggy. Dunno if you can play heavy top-spin with 2-handed backahnd.


http://blacktennispros.blogspot.com Says:

I just watch Blake win his 10th ATP Tour title at the Pilot Pen. While it wasn’t the best match I’ve ever seen, I saw an ever evolving consistent Blake. Blake has had and is taking the opportunity to grow just as any other player. The difference is that Blake has more weapons to work with and heavy expectations are placed upon him to use them. When he doesn’t come through for whatever reason, sports analysts toss in on the bottom of the pile with no look at him and his entire game. I’m looking forward to seeing Blake bring his fire and passion to the U. S. Open and place tape on the mouths of his naysayers.

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