Breaking Down Federer vs. Roddick
by Sean Randall | September 5th, 2007, 2:23 pm
  • 81 Comments

About nine months ago in the Australian Open semifinals we had the same Roger Federer-Andy Roddick matchup that we have tonight at the US Open.

Back then I really believed and predicted that Roddick was actually going to beat Federer that night. Back then Roddick looked really good en route to the semifinals beating Mario Ancic, Marat Safin and then destroying Mardy Fish. The Jimmy Effect was producing good results.

Federer looked good, too, but not “Federer great” in his wins over Tommy Robredo and Novak Djokovic. Then you throw in that Roddick did beat Federer in the Kooyang exo tuneup and add the Patrick McEnroe/ESPN hype with PMac even pounding the table and forecasting the Roddick win thanks to his new attacking game under Jimmy Connors, and, well they sold me and I bought in and jumped on the Roddick bandwagon.

Well, not tonight.

Going into that match in Australia you could certainly make the case that Roddick was playing better Federer at that time. And that Roddick may have some extra (but not much) confidence in knowing that he beat Fed in that exo. Tonight he has none of that and more likely since that match was there last meeting Roddick probably still has the bad taste in his mouth from Federer ripping him in Melbourne.

This time Roddick comes in rested but really untested. While he looked great in his win over Thomas Johansson, he didn’t look great against Jose Acasuso who stood a good chance to knock out the American if not for a knee injury, and of course against Thomas Berdych, who despite being ill, still should have taken that first set over Andy.

And it doesn’t help Andy when his last win against a Top 15 player came nearly six months ago against David Ferrer in Miami.

Not good signs if you are a Roddick fan.

Federer, on the other hand, has looked real sharp, especially in his “Darth Federer” outfit I might add. While the Swiss enjoyed two easy early rounders, he should be now grooved to handling big servers after four set victories over John Isner and Feliciano Lopez. You could even argue Lopez as a mentally weaker, lefty version of Roddick, So Federer should be comfortable in playing another attacking big server tonight.

Federer will also be motivated in knowing with Rafael Nadal out that by winning his 12th slam he can put some distance between himself and the Spaniard in the No. 1 ranks.

That all said, there’s a great axiom in big sporting contests that goes when everyone goes one way you go the other. Tonight, Andy will have nothing to lose as no one really expects him to win while Roger, with Rafa now out, will have the pressure to come through and pull the win over the home crowd favorite under the NYC lights. And we all know how Roger handles pressure – pretty freaking well. I’ll bet on black tonight.


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81 Comments for Breaking Down Federer vs. Roddick

FoT Says:

Well, like you said, anything can happen – but I hope Roger wins in 3 sets. I remember when, about 2 years ago, Roger played Agassi at the Aussie Open in the QF and it was hyped up so much. ESPN carried it live, etc. It was a blow-out for Roger. Then this year after Roddick took a set off Roger at the US Open in 2006 – when they met in the 2007 Aussi Open – the hype came back. More so then since because Roddick had beaten Roger in the exho match. We all know what happened there. I think Roddick’s game matches up well with Roger and I think Roger respects Andy so much and that hurts Roddick, I think. Roger will be on his guard tonight and I hope Roger takes it in 3 quick sets. That would be a great gift for me.


joe Says:

I think Federer will win. He has looked great all tournament. Roddick is over-reated IMO. No doubting hes a great player, you dont reach number 1 in the world for nothing.But Federer really is far superior and never seems to have a huge amount of trouble playing against Roddick. I also question how beneficial Connors is as Roddicks coach at this stage of his career. We have seen good progress when he started coaching him first but nothing huge since.
Federer in 3 sets.


Seth Says:

Fed’s going to beat Roddick like a drum tonight. In straights. And silence the partisan crowd.


jane Says:

Sounds all rather predictable, doesn’t it?

Shame, that.


cesar warren rubin Says:

well seems like we know what to expect at tonights game! Just hoping a miracle and change that!


Shital Green Says:

FoT,
Why do you hope “Roger takes it in 3 quick sets”? Why would it be “a great gift” for you? You wouldn’t get into the semi or win the Slam if Fed wins.
Perhaps, if you had your way, you would let Fed have 100 Slams without requiring him to play at all. What’s this hero-worshiping or consumerist Fed-fetishism about?
If you are a tennis sports fan more than a Fed fan, why would you want the game to end “in 3 quick sets”?
It does not matter to me at the end who wins as long as I get to watch a good tennis like last night between Nadal vs. Ferrer, though I was rooting for Nadal. I would want to see a very competitive match between Fed and A-Rod, even though the history is against A-Rod. But remember it is no longer the same Fed of 2006. He no longer has that same aura, though there is still a little bit of that (Baggy said at the Cinci he lost cuz of that Fed-phobia, but it is fading away by everyday). Even if it is very thin, I would hang on to my weak hope to see a great match tonight.


jane Says:

Shital Green -

Well said!


grendel Says:

Tejuz, this is a comment from another blog (the poster is called Jwingo) relating to Djokovic:

“Isn’t there something wrong with the way Djokovic calls for the trainer just to get a massage and a rubdown during every single match!!! Every single match he needs the trainer??? Every single match he has to lie down on the towel and get rubbed??? Just because he gets tired????? The players ought to pick up on these unethical tactics even if the commentators don’t and call him out on it. Agassi or Sampras or Federer or Nadal would never do something like that. Remember when Sampras was in the back of the court throwing up during a match!!!! He never once called for a trainer and got a rub down. Witness Nadal’s championship composure in the face of impending defeat and injury last night. He kept playing in the pain and discomfort — like professional athletes do. Novak makes a joke out of professional tennis. It’s ridiculous and yet he is being touted as the next best thing. I don’t think so.

Also, observe the way Novak “acts” so tired and cramped out during matches but then all of a sudden he’s smacking winners and leaping around the court. He likes to prolong matches just to stay in the spotlight and feed his ego on the attention he gets in the big courts. There have been times when a point could have been over, but nooooo – Novak wants to stay in the spotlight a little longer. He preens and profiles around the match saying, “Look at me, everyone, am I not great.” I’ve never seen this type of behavior before and it is baffling to me why the commentators have not commented on it and why it is being allowed. It’s obvious to me he has a problem. Anyone else?”

This addresses the query you have raised about why his matches are so protracted. How accurate it is, I don’t know, but I’ve certainly noticed startlingly abrupt transitions from apparent exhaustion to keen eyed alertness.

Maybe there is some other explanation than that presented by Jwingo. What do people think?


Darko Says:

grendel —

Thats sounds exxagerated, Djokovic pretending tireness, maybe hes a little complacient, but i dont think hes looking just for the spotlight, even if he has such a confidence of letting down some points in order to mounting a show, i dont think he would risk it. The trainer thing is minor if you get a player making the kind of show and spectacular shots and fight that he give us, even if he is trying to lies us.


jane Says:

I agree that Djok could work on cutting down on trainer calls (this system has been abused by many a player at this tournament in particular); it almost seemed, in that last match, like he called the trainer just when Monaco called a trainer for his ankle/elbow perhaps instead of sitting in his chair. Maybe he thought to himself, “why not get worked on?” No doubt he’s sore, tired, whatever.

But I hardly think Djok would prolong points to be in “the spotlight” – the guy wants to win. Isn’t that obvious? He’s got a lot of heart.

As for the swtich from exhaustion to alterness, it seems pretty common in all sports to have ups and downs in a game, and that many athletes will fade and then come back, fight through the weariness or the cramps or the sore legs or back or etc. Djok – at least – isn’t retiring. He hasn’t yet anyhow. When he sees a chance, he goes for it, and gives it his all. I don’t think he’s acting. All players fight through injuries and exhaustion – maybe some a little more discretely than others, but they all do it nonetheless.

Jwingo is just over-excited. Witness the number of question and exclamation marks in his posting as evidence.


FoT Says:

I am a tennis fan, but I am a Federer fan first! So I love it when he plays matches like he did against Andy in the 2007 Assie Open, or how he beat Hewitt in 2004 at the US Open Final…I love watching those kinds of matches that Roger plays. I want Roger to win as many slams as he can. I see nothing wrong with that as Roger is my favorite tennis player.


Giner Says:

My prediction: Federer will serve more aces than Roddick. You can chalk that down to having a better return of serve, not a better serve.


Christopher Says:

My prediction is Federer in 5 sets over Roddick tonight. I think Andy will play well and keep it close. In the end, Federer always comes up with the goods. Daveydenko might surprise Federer. Davey is playing fantastic right now. If Federer survives both of those encounters than he may end up being more fatigued than Djokovic who looks to meet Federer in Sunday’s final. Djokovic could become the U.S. Open champion.


JohnHecter Says:

Darth Fed is going to rape Roddick again…


Kamy Says:

Jwingo is out of his mind.
he thinks Djokovic is faking tiredness and injury? and he is giving away points to prolong matches just to stay in the spotlight?
This guy must be mentally ill


anonymous Says:

andy will make it this time. Let us out our fingers crossed.


klj Says:

i think andy can keep it close tonight, and i think roddick will be ready tonight and will be ready for anything. and i think federer may think that he will beat andy easily, because he’s done it before, but i know andy will fight tonight, so no matter what fed says, i’m sure he thinks he has an easy win, and i think roddick will surprise him. but he’ll still play his best, so lets hope for the best! go roddick! i’d rather see someone else for a change….


tennismonger Says:

To paraphrase the late, great Vitas Gerulaitis: Nobody takes 6 straight slam wins against Andy Roddick!
————-
Andy in five glorious sets. Bring it on Andy – It’s now or never…


sdfi Says:

FoT says:

I am a tennis fan, but I am a Federer fan first! So I love it when he plays matches like he did against Andy in the 2007 Assie Open, or how he beat Hewitt in 2004 at the US Open Final…I love watching those kinds of matches that Roger plays. I want Roger to win as many slams as he can. I see nothing wrong with that as Roger is my favorite tennis player.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

My sentiments exactly. Well said.


张奔斗 Says:

Actually so far Roddick has been able to keep it much closer than I had thought. The first set and a half have been remarkably even. Let’s see how he does for the rest of the night. But I agree with everyone that it’s a foregone conclusion that Roger will win. I think the best Andy can do may be to take one set off Roger–in a tiebreaker. That’s about it. As good as Djokovic has been lately and yes I’m aware that he beat Roger in Montreal, I don’t think there is any way he could repeat that at the U.S. Open. A Grand Slam final is a completely different stage that I just don’t think he’s ready for yet.


jane Says:

Federer vs Roddick 7-6 7-6

Epiphany – I’ve realized why I don’t root for Fed, besides his utter dominance. While I appreciate his precision & skill, as a person, on the court specifically, he seems cold, calculating, like a machine. Inhuman, Fed’s often called. Davydenko’s like this too, like ball machine or something.

Andy, by contrast, seems to be playing with his heart. Just like Rafa and Djok, who also are so engaging on the court – such fighters, weary or not. Such passion, humour, humanity.

Maybe it’s the difference between, oh, fighter jets – killing from afar and with precision, and trench warfare, fighting for life, face-to-face with opponent – I don’t know. Obviously the first is more efficient, but still, something’s missing.

Much as I realize he’s a kiling machine, Darth Vader, etc, something’s missing for me when I watch Federer.


jane Says:

Sorry for blathering folks – good for Fed.

Just would’ve like to see another Djok vs. Step, or Blake vs. Santoro or something.


ChipnCharge Says:

That was brutal for Andy. He played amazing tennis for 2 set and won neither. His stats were absolutely stellar. Only Roger could have weathered that attack without giving up a set.


Tennis Fan Says:

Jane – Fed game works for me. He can win by serving, or by playing the back court, or by volleying. His game is sheer beauty! … and beautiful to watch. He’s an emotional guy too … but he doesn’t have to blurt it all over the court like others. He has his own style … and I kind of find it refreshing! I still predict a very close final between Federer and Djokovic (he is the real deal too).


FloridaMan Says:

Very admirable match for Fed…as was previously stated, many other players would have lost at least one set against Andy tonight. But not Fed. I don’t always agree that Sampras was the better player because he had more competition than Fed. Sometimes I think Fed was just too good to have any competition, whether it was the 90′s or this decade. Remember that when Fed beat Sampras in 2001 at Wimbledon, Fed was nowhere close to what he is now. And while Sampras was past his prime, he was still definitely closer to his prime than Fed was. I firmly believe that if Sampras played against Fed at Wimbledon today, Fed’s awesome precision (even “cold”, as some describe it), as well has his much more complete game, would simply beat Pete easier than the 2001 match.


andrea Says:

well said about novak grendel…

trainer in every match – huffs and puffs and acts all beat up and then still pounds it all – it’s part of the psychological side of the game and he knows it.

well, i was at the fed/roddick match tonight and it wasn’t the most exciting match. andy is nothing but serve and even though it was closer than the blowout in australia, he still can’t get past roger no matter what.

venus and jelena match was awesome!


RIFF RAFF Says:

I’M RESPONDING TO THIS OLD POST ABOUT PETE SAMPRAS VS ROGER FEDERER. IT’S AN OLD TOPIC, BUT I COULDN’T RESIST. IT’S BULLSHIT! ROGER FEDERER IS THE BETTER PLAYER, BECAUSE HE CAN ACTUALLY PLAY! GET OVER IT, DEAL WITH IT! HE DOESN’T NEED TO SERVE HIS WAY THROUGH A MATCH, THE WAY PETE SAMPRAS USED TO DO. SOMETIMES FEDERER WON’T EVEN SERVE AN ACE, WHEN HE’S DOWN IN A GAME 15-40! PETE SAMPRAS DID NOTHING BUT SERVE. HE WAS BORING AND PREDICTABLE. HE HAD NO GAME. THE MOST INSTERESTING MATCHES HE HAS EVER PLAYED ARE WHEN PLAYERS GOT BACK HIS SERVES, AND MADE HIM LOOK LIKE AN IDIOT, AND THAT MATCH AT THE U.S. OPEN WHEN HE WAS SICK AND THROWING UP ON THE TENNIS COURT, IN THAT MATCH AGAINST ALEX CORRETJA! THE PLAYERS COULD NEVER GET HIS SERVES BACK! THE ONLY TIME PLAYERS GOT A POINT ON HIS SERVE IS IF HE DOUBLE-FAULTED, OR THEY SIMPLY GOT A LUCKY SHOT. AND ANDRE AGASSI WAS BETTER THAN PETE SAMPRAS, TOO, BECAUSE HE HAD GAME! PETE SAMPRAS HAD NOTHING BUT HIS SERVE! THAT’S ALL THEY TALK ABOUT IS HIS SERVE, BECAUSE HE HAD NOTHING ELSE! HE COULDN’T EVEN DO SIMPLE THINGS THAT THE OTHER ALL-AROUND PLAYERS COULD DO! WITHOUT HIS SERVE, HE HAD NOTHING! WATCH THE U.S. OPEN FINAL VS PETE SAMPRAS AND MARAT SAFIN. MARAT SAFIN KICKED HIS ASS IN STRAIGHT SETS! AND IT WAS EASY! WHY? BECAUSE OF ONE THING: HE RETURNED MOST OF PETE SAMPRAS’ SERVES! PETE SAMPRAS WAS FORCED TO ACTUALLY PLAY THE GAME, AND HIS TRUE COLORS CAME OUT: HE HAD NO GAME! WHENEVER HE TRIED TO SERVE AND VOLLEY (PETE SAMPRAS DIDN’T EVEN HAVE THE BEST VOLLEY, OR SERVE AND VOLLEY GAME, EITHER—HE COULD BE QUITE SLOPPY SOMETIMES), MARAT SAFIN WOULD JUST HIT THE BALL PAST HIM! BECAUSE HE KNEW WHAT SAMPRAS WAS GOING TO DO. SAMPRAS HAD NO OTHER GAME PLAN, BUT TO SERVE, AND SERVE AND VOLLEY, AND NEITHER PLAN WAS WORKING THAT DAY! SO HE WAS SCREWED! AND WATCH THAT OTHER U.S. OPEN FINAL PETE SAMPRAS VS THAT ASSHOLE LLEYTON HEWITT. THE SAME THING! LLEYTON HEWITT GOT HIS SERVES BACK, AND KICKED HIS ASS IN STRAIGHT SETS! AND AGAIN, IT WAS EASY! I HAVE EVEN SEEN MICHAEL CHANG BEAT PETE SAMPRAS AT A TOURNAMENT IN STRAIGHT SETS, EASILY. THIS WAS SOME TIME AFTER PETE SAMPRAS HAD BEATEN MICHAEL CHANG EASILY, (ONLY BECAUSE OF HIS SERVE) IN A U.S. OPEN FINAL. WHAT WAS THE DIFFERENCE THIS TIME? WHAT WAS MICHAEL CHANG ABLE TO DO DIFFERENTLY THIS TIME? HMMM…I KNOW! MICHAEL CHANG WAS ABLE TO GET BACK PETE SAMPRAS’ SERVES, AND KICKED HIS ASS! IT’S ALL ABOUT THE SERVE. IF SOME OF YOU DICK-HEAD SAMPRAS LOVERS WOULD TAKE OFF YOUR ‘BLINDERS’, YOU WOULD ALSO NOTICE THAT DURING MATCHES WHEN PETE SAMPRAS’ SERVES WERE UNRETURNABLE, HE HARDLY HAD ANY UNFORCED ERRORS. BUT DURING MATCHES WHERE HE WOULD HAVE AN OFF-DAY, AND HIS SERVES WERE RETURNABLE, AND HE WAS FORCED TO ACTUALLY PLAY, HE HAD ALOT OF UNFORCED ERRORS. AND IF I AM CORRECT, THE FIRST TIME ROGER FEDERER WON WIMBELDON, HE HAD BEATEN PETE SAMPRAS TO GET TO THE FINAL! ROGER FEDERER DETHRONED PETE SAMPRAS AT WIMBELDON! PETE SAMPRAS IS STILL BITTER, AND BECOMES MORE AND MORE BITTER AS ROGER FEDERER NEARS THE POSSIBLITY OF BREAKING HIS RECORD! IT LOOKS LIKE HIS SERVE JUST WASN’T ENOUGH! FEDERER BEAT HIM! PETE SAMPRAS IS JUST JEALOUS BECAUSE ROGER FEDERER MIGHT BREAK HIS RECORD, (WHICH IS ONLY A MEN’S RECORD, BY THE WAY)AND I HOPE HE DOES! AT LEAST ROGER FEDERER IS A NICE GUY, AND DESERVES IT, UNLIKE PETE SAMPRAS WHO IS AN ASSHOLE, MISTAKEN FOR A ‘GENTELMEN’. PETE SAMPRAS IS COCKY, ARROGANT, AND AN ALL-AROUND BITCH! HE WAS ALSO PRONE TO ALOT OF SMART-ASSED REMARKS ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE, BUT ALWAYS GOT AWAY WITH IT. AND HE WAS NOT A TEAM PLAYER, IT WAS ALL ABOUT PETE. HE WOULDN’T EVEN GO TO THE OLYMPICS. HE WOULDN’T EVEN SIGN AUTOGRAPHS, AFTER THE MATCH. EVEN IF HE WON THE MATCH. AND PETE SAMPRAS HAS SOME ISSUES. FOR A TIME, PETE SAMPRAS TRIED TO HIDE HIS GREEK/JEWISH BACKGROUND. IT TOOK PETE SAMPRAS A LONG TIME TO BREAK ROD LAVER’S RECORD. ROGER FEDERER WOULD HAVE DONE THIS IN SUCH A SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME. PETE SAMPRAS HAS NEVER EVEN WON THE FRENCH OPEN. HOPEFULLY, FEDERER WILL. THE TRUTH IS, IF PETE SAMPRAS, DIDN’T HAVE HIS STUPID SERVE, EVERYBODY COULD HAVE BEAT HIM! EVEN THE WOMEN! KEEP DREAMING, SAMPRAS! GO ON! TRY TO MAKE A COME-BACK! OR HOW ABOUT AN EXIBITION MATCH AGAINST ROGER FEDERER, ANDRE AGASSI, OR EVEN SOME OF THE WOMEN PLAYERS. AND NO BULLSHIT, SAMPRAS! TRY ACTUALLY PLAYING THE GAME, INSTEAD OF JUST SERVING YOUR WAY THROUGH THE ENTIRE MATCH! HECK, LETS MAKE IT INTERESTING, NEW CHANGE OF RULES: NO ACES ALLOWED, PERIOD! PLAY SOME REAL GOOD OLD-FASHIONED TENNIS! A REAL MATCH! WHERE BOTH PLAYERS ACTUALLY PLAY THE GAME, AND HIT THE BALL BACK AND FORTH, AND DO ALOT OF NICE TRICKS! LET ANDRE AGASSI, OR FEDERER, OR ANY PLAYER FOR THAT MATTER, ACTUALLY RETURN YOUR SERVE, AND YOU WILL LOSE! THEY WILL DESTROY YOU, BECAUSE YOU ARE A PERPTRATOR WITH NO GAME! HOW CAN YOU BE THE BEST PLAYER, IF YOU HAVE NO GAME? HE JUST HAD THE BEST STATEGY: JUST HOLD SERVE, AND GET ALOT OF FREE, EASY POINTS. OF COURSE, YOU ARE GOING TO WIN ALOT OF MATCHES WHEN PLAYERS CAN’T EVEN GET A POINT OFF YOUR SERVE! OH YEAH, AND ANDRE AGASSI LOOKS GREAT! PETE SAMPRAS AS ALWAYS GETS UGLIER EVERY DAY, WEEK, MONTH, YEAR. AT LEAST WHEN ANDRE AGASSI STARTED LOSING HIS HAIR, HE HAD ENOUGH SENSE TO HAVE IT ALL SHAVED OFF. UNLIKE PETE SAMPRAS WHO HAS GOT BALD SPOTS ALL OVER HIS HEAD, AND STILL HAS THAT DISGUSTING UNI-BROW! HE ALWAYS LOOKS DIRTY, HE DOESN’T EVEN LOOK GOOD IN A SUIT! FUCK PETE SAMPRAS, AND HIS DELUSIONAL, RETARDED FANS!


Morales Says:

Roger Federer demonstrated tonight after defeating Andy Roddick that even if Andy is playing his best tennis and has a great coaching team, he (federer) is always going to be mentally stronger. I have no doubts that Federer will take the Open rather easily.

On Novak, I have to say that he is nowhere near the level of Federer or Nadal. Even if he did beat both recently, he lost to Moya in the first round of the following match. Moya is a great tennis player don’t get me wrong, but it demonstrated that Novak is not able to keep up the pace.
He will never be like Nadal or Federer. These to guys are an example of complete athletes. Very serious about their tennis, very respectful when refering to other players, and also very appreciated by fans. Novak will maybe be like Davydenko, who admits that he is a top 10 player but not a no. 1 or no. 2 (see interview of QF at usopen.org). I think Novak is highly over rated right now.

Another issue no one has mentioned is Nadal´s loss to Ferrer. Or more properly said, Ferrer´s win over Nadal. He (Ferrer) is such a nice guy, I had the chance to meet him a couple of years ago at Acapulco (i am Mexican). He did an extraordinary job. All the credit to him, like Nadal Said.

Oh and of course I hope Serena Williams goes to hell after being so disrespectful to the press and to Henin. Thats an example of a low class athlete… low class person. No wonder she was boo-ed out at roland garros. American supporter should be ashamed of such lame attitude and should consider doing what the french did.

Finally, this is addressed to RIFF RAFF.
I am a Federer fan even before he was no. 1. But until Federer breaks Sampras` grand salm record, there will be much debate on who is the best. For me, it is obviously Federer, but there are a lot of people who are not convinced yet. It`s just a matter of time my friend.


Ryan Says:

This is to RIF RAF….i feel that you got a point there about the serve but you are exaggerating on his lack of game
This is what i feel he has besides a good serve

# great disguise on both his first and second serves;
# his athleticism, footspeed, and court coverage;
# classic, almost throwback form on most of his strokes, including a classic eastern grip forehand and similar grip on the backhand;
# his forehand, and in particular his “running forehand” (a forehand hit on the run), was considered the best in the world;
# a reliable one-handed backhand[7], which he could hit with topspin or slice deep;
# his net game – Sampras’ volleys were excellent, and he arguably possessed the best overhead smash in the history of the men’s game;
# his mental focus, allowing him to play his best at decisive moments, such as hitting second serve aces at break point down.
# his heart, most notably demonstrated in his 1996 U.S. Open quarterfinal match against Alex Corretja. After vomiting on the court, Sampras came back to hit a second serve ace and eventually won the match.


pow Says:

“Andy, by contrast, seems to be playing with his heart. Just like Rafa and Djok, who also are so engaging on the court – such fighters, weary or not. Such passion, humour, humanity.”

I really don’t see that qualoty on Roddick… He bitches and whines and goes all manly-agressive while playing, but he never really plays from the heart the way Nadal or Novak does.


nozzzzzzs Says:

The media is very biased for Sampras because he is an American. They rate him so highly because of that. There is no question that Federer is a much better player and should be considered as greater than Sampras. If Federer were American, and Sampras were of some other nationality, you could just imagine much glowing praises Fed would get over Sampras from the media, especially those American tennis commentators who are obviously pro-American. Just think, Borg is way better than McEnroe and Connors and almost everybody else in tennis (until Fed) but the American media always conveniently overlooks that. The American press don’t even mention the Laureus Sports Awards which gives yearly awards to the best in the sports in the whole world. Federer has won that three straight years. Tiger Woods has won that twice. Sports Illustrated would not even put Federer on its cover. Can you imagine if Federer were American?


Kash Says:

Jane:

Maybe you will realise that Federer plays with his heart as well, if you take off those “I-hate-federer” glasses. Winning a straight set match against andy roddick on his best surface when he was playing some of his best tennis requires no heart. Yeah right! That makes so much sense. Considering the drama fan you are, I am not really surprised you cant see federer play his heart out unless he makes a clown of himself out there jumping up and down or huffing and puffing and pretending tiredness, shortness of breath and whatever else floats your boat. The way andy played those 1st two sets, if his opponent did not have a heart a-rod would have rolled him like he rolled t-jo or like he did to nadal in the 04 open. (In that match, nadal was hit on his face by a roddick serve and started bleeding. I am sure that counts as playing with heart even though nadal barely managed to win games in that match). You consistently manage some way to disparage federer’s game. Healthy criticism is one thing but you keep crossing the line into being picky for the sake of it. For whatever reasons you donot enjoy federer’s winning matches easily and find all sorts of reasons to belittle his wins.

You dont get to be no.1 or no.4 in the world without playing your heart out. If you have something called talent and ability, and have some healthy perspective, you dont have to jump up and down to show heart. That doesnt make you a machine, just a more mature person who is in better control of their emotions.

Apologies for the long post, but given that you cant realise that fed/davydenko play with their hearts, I am guessing subtlety is not your strong suit.


Kash Says:

nozzzzs:

I dont think america media is any more biased than media around the world. Tennis is just not so huge in the US of A. Was sampras ever on the cover of SI? I definitely think Fed and borg get enough credit from most commentators in the US of A like mcenroe brothers, courier and cliffie and most other guys too. Tennis just doesnt sell in the US of A unless you are a chic with hot looks like sharapova or kournikova. Sad but true.

The only global sports event people in the USA might care for is the olympics. Rest of the time they are busy hallucinating their national leagues as some sort of world series or championships.


jane Says:

Kash -

Didn’t say Fed doesn’t have a heart – he shows it in interviews.

On the court, though, he’s like a machine. Doesn’t show much emotion.

Didn’t say I hate him either. Don’t know why Fed-fans feel defensive. Just saying, I don’t connect with the guy as much as I appreciate his tennis. Watching other on the court, I feel it’s their humanity -puffng, falling, cursing, joking, whatever- that is engaging.

But to each his own. No need to attack.


nozzzzzzs Says:

To Kash,

No argument from me about your comment which sounds very legitimate. I guess everybody has their own biases. I also agree that tennis is not that big in the USA.


jane Says:

Anyone -

Predictions on Moya vs. Djok?

Should be a good match. Moya riding high and lots of experience; Djok looking a bit weary last match, less experienced, but lots of shots and desire. “Battle of Generations”, as they say.


Seth Says:

Djoko in four, I’m tempted to say, but I dunno. Nole’s looked a bit weary at times, and his back has been bothering him the last two rounds. Moya commented that he feels 20 years old on the court lately, so I wouldn’t put it past Chuck to give Djoko all he can handle.


grendel Says:

Well, I was definitely off beam in suggesting Roddick couldn’t serve as tellingly as Lopez did the other night. So far as I could tell, Fed didn’t get to read it till middle of third set. Why? (given, I mean, his past successes in this area). Logically, either Roddick has improved his serve or Fed has slowed down ever so slightly. I wonder which.

It is interesting to speculate on what would have happened had Roddick won the tie breaks. I don’t know if this is legitimate speculation; certainly Roddick could have won the first, it was barely more than toss of the dice. But then, would fed have raised his game? Could he have done? We can’t say.

But let’s say Andy won those 2 tiebreaks. Would Federer then have got that reading of the Roddick serve? Probably Roddick, buoyed up by success, would have carried on serving with same power and accuracy. Would, in those circumstances, Fed have been able to break? Again, we can’t tell. But it is a measure of Roddick’s success that it seems reasonable to say that he wasn’t far from winning. And given his personality – Mr.Resilient – he will continue to be a threat to Federer.

Leif Shiras talked about Roddick’s serve being Sampras like at one stage of the match. Thinking about this, it occured to me you might argue it was better. It is impossible to divorce the success Sampras had with his serve from his follow up volley. But Roddick has no follow up volley. Everything depends on his serve.

Imagine if, when Roddick was learning his tennis, the principle of serve and volley had been inculcated in him. What an extraordinarily dangerous player he would have been.


Shital Green Says:

I don’t think it will be as easy for Fed against Davydenko as it has been so far. I think Davydenko will produce better result than what he had at the last year’s Semi, i.e. 6-1 7-5 6-4. I even think that Davydenko has a chance, even against the huge odds of 0-7 record with Fed.


Shital Green Says:

grendel,
As usual, you make thoughtful observation. What I noticed in those two sets was Roddick returned as well as he served. But he was just a little less focussed in 1-2 serves during the tie breaks, and that was enough for Fed to win both sets. Yes, Roddick underperformed in those tie breaks, especially those 1-2 serves were not as infallible as the earlier ones.
Had he won both sets, which was possible with little bit more focus, that could have changed the whole dynamics of the match as that would have encouraged Roddick to play like Federer did after the 2nd game of the 3rd set. Thereafter, Federer would be playing more tentatively. Or, it could be the opposite: Federer would have pulled out some other weapons from the reservoirs of his arsenal and still stop Roddick from winning the 3rd set. And in the 4th and 5th, Fed could have been able to tire Roddick and win at the end.
Honestly, I don’t know for sure what would have happened.
In any case, Roddick played best ever against Federer in those first two sets. He still has to perfect the serve and volley as we saw him missing more than 6 times on the net. And he still has to learn not to move early in those 2nd serves to prevent the opponent from knowing his moves. He knows that (remember at one point he was yelling at himself: “You don’t move early”), but he still does it. It looked like he kinda gave up hope after Fed broke him in the 3rd set. Or, you could say Fed was able to break him because, with 2 sets in hand, Fed did not have to worry about mishitting one or two balls at that point so he played more freely, thus angling the ball more bitingly with effortless power.


Sean Randall Says:

Andy served really well last night, but the concern was, and came true, was how was he going to break Roger? In the end he couldn’t do it and Roger did just enough to withstand the serving barrage before Andy gave in late.

I got to give credit to Andy for really going after Roger, but Roger just seems too comfortable and too composed against Andy, and I think that bothers Roddick.

And Roger’s stat of 10-1 vs. Roddick in tiebreaks is incredible. Will Andy ever beat Roger again? Maybe in a couple years when they are both on their downswing.

While playing Isner and Lopez helped Roger prepare for Roddick that will now hurt him I think in playing Davydenko who is a completely different player than that trio of big servers. Roger will have to be sharp from the baseline, which I fully expect him to be.

Regarding the comments on Djokovic, it would seem he, like his compatriot Jelena Jankovic, enjoys creating on-court drama. Jelena clearly likes to ham it up for the crowd/TV with her makeup, her outfits and her overused splits.

Novak seems to have his own shtick with his cramping and health issues. And of course his matches run long adding to the tension because it takes him at least 15 seconds between serves so he can bounce that damn ball!

Tonight I think Moya has a great chance. He’s between Novak twice this year and he seems fresh. Moya has been to a Slam semi this decade, perhaps this will be his return tonight.


Ernie Says:

Last night, Agassi made many interesting observations and comments. Can someone recap some of them?


Christopher Says:

Ernie,

One interesting thing that Agassi said last night was that Roddick’s back hand looks stiff because he grips the racket predominately with his left hand. Agassi stated that the best two handed backhands are griped and guided by the right hand (this is for a right handed player). Another thing Agassi stated is that Federer controls the center of the court better than any other player. Federer also has an uncany knack at effortlessly returning serve. Most great players have two weapons. Federer has 5.

Agassi is a natural in the booth. I hope to hear more from him in the future. Maybe Patrick McEnroe or Jim Courier could make an exit. I don’t particularly care for either of them as color commentators. Just my opinion.


jane Says:

Christopher -

It was fantastic to hear Agassi last night, and I agree that he is a natural, laid-back commentator, who has loads of good insights into the game (betcha if he was younger now, he’d beat Fed). I found him to be a perfect counter-balance to John McEnroe’s style of commentating – together they’d be great.


Christopher Says:

Jane,

Agassi’s comment about Boris Becker’s tongue giving away his serve direction was priceless. He was so interesting and funny to listen to. You are right. Together, (JOHN) Mcenroe and Agassi make an awesome duet to listen to in the booth!


Tennis Fan Says:

Roddick played the best service game of his life last night …and Federer actually out aced him.


max619 Says:

Shital Green, Jane,

the two of you just don’t admit you hate the Swiss with passion for what ever reason (Fed is a machine, plays cold, most likely Jane would have not like Borg either) and don’t have the guts to express your own personal preferences in terms of rooting for a particular player (which I am sure you both have) like FoT did.

FoT for president!!


Giner Says:

“Roddick played the best service game of his life last night …and Federer actually out aced him.”

As far as I know, this has always been the case. Roddick has the better serve, but Fed has a way of getting his racquet on those booming serves, better than Roddick does on Fed’s (inferior) serve.

If you count aces, Fed should be a little bit ahead. But service winners, I’m sure Roddick can and does lead in that department.


jane Says:

max619 -

Loved Borg – nutball character off the court, dogged style like Rafa in some ways (perserverance and hair mainly).

Player preferences – have already admitted they who they are in previous posts: love Djok & Rafa – like Roddick, Moya, and moxie of Monaco this tourney was impressive.

Don’t “hate” Fed – just not someone I enjoy so much for whatever reasons, even though am rabid avid tennis fan.

So you’re wrong on all counts.


Yasmine Says:

Unless Andy pulls a Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan , he will have to wait until Roger becomes bored with being champ and decides to tackle some other sport like maybe – golf?
Roger makes the game look effortless, frack!! His mental game is so tough. I loved hearing Andre break down the game the other night.


jane Says:

Think Fed’s black shorts are ridiculous though! Not “Darth” anything!

Commentator on TSN today agrees: he said it looks like Fed “fell off a cheap wedding cake”.

LOL


Shital Green Says:

max619,
The difference between me/jane and others like yourself is that we appreciate Fed critically and you guys idolize/ valorize him uncritically and unconditionally. We enjoy competitive tennis between skillful rivals. You guys enjoy only his “easy” wins without rivalry. You guys worry too much about whether one player is making history even at the cost of the future of tennis going downhill; we worry about whether other players are also catching up with the “greatest” player’ skills so that the overall level of tennis will go up and it acquires more popular appeal. When we appreciate and encourage other players with the hope that they emulate Fed’s skills, you don’t agree with us and misread us as Fed haters. But we always appreciate his graceful skills, and we just want others to achieve the same, but you guys don’t want that to happen. To put in ghetto language, excuse me for this, you guys say Fed’s shit smells like cologne, but we say his shit smells like shit (and he does dump once or twice in a match or a tournament).


jane Says:

Shital Green – again, well said (well except for the s*&t part…lol)

Right – I don’t “hate” Roger Federer, and I can certainly appreciate his phenomenal tennis abilities. As a sports personality he’s neither here nor there for me: I don’t like his “cool” demeanor on the court, and while I find he’s a little uncouth in some interviews, he is very gracious and self-deprecating in others.

What I hate is his utter dominance in the sport of tennis; I want more players “in the mix” as Djokovic so aptly put it in one of his press conferences this week.

Some Fed fans seems to think the man is beyond criticism: he’s not.


Tennis Fan Says:

Green … it would appear that you are just more appreciative and attentive of tennis than most of the rest of us … but you may actually be full of shital yourself.


jane Says:

Speaking of Djok – nice quick match against Moya, eh Shital Green?


Shital Green Says:

I don’t wanna go personal against you, Tennis Fan. I am not calling anyone names by skewing anyone’s name here like you are doing. You are great ! I am not that low.
That was an easy win for Djoko in straight sets. That gives him a little bit more time to rest. But I just wish the match were more competitive.


Shital Green Says:

That’s so funny Djoko is impersonating Sharapova by pulling his shorts and all! Now he is mimicking Nadal by jumping around behind the baseline. Crazy entertainment ! Good job, Djoko for the “priceless” drama !


Shital Green Says:

Scatology: Shit Matters

“There where it smells of shit
it smells of being.
Man could just as well not have shat,
not have opened the anal pouch,
but he chose to shit
as he would have chosen to live
instead of consenting to live dead.”
– Antonin Artaud

“We are no longer in a state of growth; we are in a state of excess. We are living in a society of excrescence. . . . The boil is growing out of control, recklessly at cross purposes with itself, its impacts multiplying as the causes disintegrate.” – Jean Baudrillard

“Idealists’ delusion. All idealists imagine that the causes they serve are significantly better than the other causes in the world; they do not want to believe that if their cause is to flourish at all, it needs exactly the same foul-smelling manure that all other human undertakings require.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche

“What makes shit such a universal joke is that it’s an unmistakeable reminder of our duality, of our soiled nature and of our will to glory. It is the ultimate lèse-majesté.” – John Berger

“…for old Nobodaddy alort
Farted and belched and coughed,
Then swore a great oath that made Heaven quake,
And called aloud to English Blake.”
– William Blake

“‘Good dog, good dog, nice puppy, come here, come smell this excellent perfume, from the best perfumer in town.’
And the dog, wagging his tail, which, I believe, is that creature’s way of laughing and smiling, came over and stuck his curious, wet nose to the uncorked bottle. Then he backed off abruptly in alarm and barked at me reproachfully.
‘Ah! You miserable dog, if I’d offered you a sack of excrement, you’d have smelled it with delight and perhaps devoured it. In this regard, my friend, you’re like the public, to who one should never offer a delicate perfume. It exasperates them. Give them only carefully selected garbage.’” – Charles Baudelaire

“I give myself to you, the patient says again, but this gift of my person- as they say- Oh, mystery! is changed inexplicably into a gift of shit- a term that is also essential to our experience.”
– Jacques Lacan

“Since man’s highest mission on earth is to spiritualize everything, it is his excrement in particular that needs it most.” – Salvador Dali

“The world exists; it is not something that becomes, not something that passes away. Or rather: it becomes, it passes away, but it has never begun to become and never ceases from passing away- it maintains itself in both. It lives on itself: its excrements are its food.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche

“The terrestrial globe is covered with volcanoes, which serve as its anus.
Although this globe eats nothing, it often violently ejects the contents of its entrails.
These contents shoot out with a racket, and fall back, streaming down.” – Georges Bataille

“And I say: shit to the spirit
I know too well by the effect of what grubby orgies, the spirit has ended up by grabbing the place before the body that actually preceded it.
I know too well that what one calls spirit is only a grinding shortage of existence, which was disgusted at the idea of becoming a body itself, and counted on what the body would lose in life in order to insure its seizure and its own subsistence via the body that it vampirized.”
– Antonin Artaud
(These are philosophical / artistic/ literary figures of late 19th and 20th century. And Shit-al does matter, whether in tennis or in real life: how else would you measure greatness without shit? This is again full of intellectual shit, and it matters, here as elsewhere).


andrea Says:

here’s hoping for a ferrer/federer final.

not only a tongue twister, but i’d much rather see him than djokovic…he’s too preenie for my liking.

federer is a tennis machine…but sublime no matter how you look it at.


张奔斗 Says:

I don’t think there’s any suspense at this point as to who will hold up the men’s trophy on Sunday. On the women’s side, however, it is much less clear. Henin is in formidable shape I think. She played better against Serena than Venus did against Jankovic. I would love to see Venus beat Henin on Friday though. It’s a disgrace to tennis that the No. 1 spot in women’s tennis should be occupied for such a long time by someone who completely lacks sportsmanship. Henin is wily, calculating, cold and I’m sure wouldn’t bat an eye if she had to sell her husband and baby just to win another title. To have someone like this sit atop the women’s rankings may inculcate the wrong ideas in youngsters as to what tennis should be about.


max619 Says:

“Federer, the ultimate tennis machine”, this is an ad slogan I just came up with and it is dedicated to Jane & Shital Green.

It was such a pleasure to see the Nadal-Ferrer match and see Ferrer come out as the winner.
It would also be a pleasure to see Ferrer beat cocky Djoko.
And it will be a supreme pleasure see the ultimate tennis machine win his 4th US slam…in a row.


Shital Green Says:

Moya [after losing the match]: “If there’s one player who can be compared to Rafa and Roger it’s him [Djoko]. He’s been playing very solid almost every week. Playing three semifinals in the same year in Grand Slams is not easy. Still, he has a chance to get even further here. He has won two Masters Series titles on hard. I think he’s already there. He can still improve, but he has a lot of potential to be No. 1 in the world.”
(Source: http://www.atptennis.com/1/en/news/news3.asp)


jane Says:

What about a Davydenko vs. Djokovic final? Also a tongue twister like Federer vs. Ferrer.

No one is talking about Davydenko, except Sean Randall way above (well, and all those people investigating the betting scandal).

Wonder why not?

– About Moya vs. Djok –

Had followed along with scores online so didn’t get to watch match until TSN aired “taped” version tonight – and only from mid-second set on, so they could squeeze in a million commercials. Anyhow, it was less exciting “live” for some reason, other than late in the 2nd set and that tiebreaker.

Still, either one of them would have wanted to finish quickly to save up for their next battle or two – and Djok showed he can do that.

The impressions weren’t bad either, although I wonder what the other players think of them? The Sharapova one was remarkably accurate. The Nadal one – not bad, but the short pulling overdone to me. Still, Djok is clearly an entertainer as well as a sportsman. The Djoker is a well-earned tag.


Christopher Says:

Jane,

Very few people are talking about a Davydenko defeating Federer scenerio because Davydenko is 0-9 Vs Federer. I do believe Davydenko can play Federer tough because he takes the ball early and he is fast around the court. The difference is that Federer has too many weapons and plays the big points better than Davydenko. I also wonder in Davydenko’s mind if he can beat Federer on such a big stage.

By the way Jane. Davydenko seems to be the most cold and calculating player of the top seeds to me. He shows little emotion and is somewhat robitic in his approach to tennis. If Davydenko makes the U.S. Open final it will be bad for the sport. Tennis needs colorful characters with class and style who will inspire new generations of great players. I don’t think Davydenko is that. Both Federer and Djokovic have the X factor to make tennis better in the long run. One of these two players will win the whole thing. Crossing fingers.


Shital Green Says:

If there is a chance Ferrer taking out Djoko, there is equally a chance Davydenko taking out Federer. But, like Christopher said above, I am more pumped up to watch Fed vs Djoko final than any other combinations. There would be more than tennis for fans on both sides of aisles. It would be more electrifying. We will be more involved, visually and emotionally participating in every shot they make or misfire.


jane Says:

Christopher -

I agree with your comments about Davydenko. I think the fact that he doesn’t show much personality on or off the court is one of the reasons why he’s not part of the conversation here. Seems like the most attention he’s ever received is over the possibility of scandal.

A Fed vs. Djok final is what I’d love to see too – a competitive and close one would be even better. But Djok will have his work cut out for him against Ferrer, who is apparently on a roll, and in ATP matchfacts, is the highest ranked returner in 3 of the 4 categories. Djok’s serve will have to be “on” against him. And if he gets through, he’ll have to bring his all-court game not to mention physical and mental tenacity if he faces Fed, who’s looked more on form here than he did in Montreal.


jane Says:

Spaeking of personality – like him or not – Djokovic has made a splash-out, er, impression. He’s all over the press today and the articles announce him as a comic and tennis star.

Here’s a couple for those of you who care to read them:

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/2007/09/07/SPLHS0NT7.DTL

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/sports/view_article.php?article_id=87255


Shital Green Says:

Thanks for the links to the articles. After I read one from usopen.org, I went to see his videos on YouTube. Until then, I did not know that Aussie had videotaped his caricatures of different players last January. And there are other ones on YouTube, equally funny. I like the one that he does in the locker room. He cares about audience. After all, it is a show biz, and he knows how to please the crowd.


Christopher Says:

Jane and Shital,

You can also bet that the CBS executives are routing for a Federer to be in the final. It would be a ratings night mare without Fed in the final. With NFL football starting most viewers might just turn the channel. Tennis is already suffering a fall in television ratings. A Davy/ferr final would probably make the producers drink. I know – I will!


Seraphim Says:

LMMFAO at Jane’s “September 6th, 2007 at 12:03 am” post.

You gotta love the children. LOL


jane Says:

Seraphim -

Thanks – been a long time since I’ve been “complimented” on my youth. LOL.

Condescending posters or not, I still think Fed’s not the most engaging player, even if he is the best executer at present in the game. I like to empathize with a player on some level – him, what’s to empathize with?

From an article following the andy vs. fed match -

“Then came the scariest thought of all: Federer figures he can get better — and will work to do so.

“It would be nice,” he said, “if I improve.”

Nice for whom, exactly?”


Tennis Fan Says:

张奔斗 … not that anyone here seems to care about women’s tennis. But, I guess you’d like to send a message to the kid’s that you can be a world no.1 in women’s tennis by playing part-time.

Nice to see the William’s sister prove ..that someone that plays year round is better …even if she is a foot shorter and 100 pounds lighter!

Congratulations Henin!


dewces Says:

I dont understand why people think federer is robotic. Fine, he does not show emotion on the court but his game has the most ‘personality’. He comes up with amazing shots, plays effortlessly (dances more like it), and clutch when he needs to be. Novak definitely does not have a pretty game (but takes risks which is fun to watch).


jane Says:

Yep – congratulations to Henin. I think, honestly, (no disrespect to Kus) they could pretty much give her the trophy now. Of course, upsets do happen – and they’re FUN.


ross Says:

Its just American bias. These people find federer robotic, what nonsense! and Sampras was a lot of art ha? just first serve, second serve, end of point. That’s robotic. Not the artistic angles that fed creates.

Suck it up. Fed is too good. Accept it. Stop crying. Sampras was never that good.


nozzzzzzs Says:

If you truly love tennis, there is no reason not to appreciate Federer. He is the most complete tennis player I have ever seen. Great movement around the court, excellent anticipation and positioning at all times, excellent serves that rely not on speed but on placement, excellent returner of serves, very intuitive and easily adjusts to whoever he plays against, very calm, does not resort to antics in order to psychologize his opponent. There is no aspect in his game that is second to anyone. (Well, Roddick may have the fastest serve but what good is that if Federer could always return it anyway?). Any fan of tennis should realize that he/she is looking at a truly gifted athlete that does not come around too often. Sit back, relax, appreciate this person. You may not see one again in your lifetime.


Kara L. Says:

So Sean Randall, having gone over your posts this past year I pose a question to you: are you aware of the fine line between going against the grain of conventional wisdom and DENIAL?


jane Says:

zeg -

Adidas must’ve sent a wardrobe to the Djokovic folks; they’re not in Nike anymore.

Djok looking sluggish first set; Ferrer not so much.


Tejuz Says:

Seems like Jane and Shital Green .. doesnt like the coolness of Fed.. rather they like ‘Jokers’


Doug Watterson Says:

Usually when a player makes a comment on beating Federer, Federer’s racquet makes the real comment. Roddick would have a heap better chance if he kept things quiet.

Federer in straight sets

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