2008: Federer Eyes Olympics, Svelte Serena Focused on No. 1
by Sean Randall | January 6th, 2008, 2:29 pm
  • 217 Comments

First, Happy New Year to all, including the players, who really don’t get the break they need and deserve between the seasons!

Onto Roger Federer and the pro tennis season ahead. 2008 is going to different year for the Swiss star than it was in 2007, 2006 and 2005 for the simple reason that it’s an Olympic year. And the Olympics is on the mind of the Fed. Since losing in ’04 games in Atlanta, Federer’s been focused on Beijing and his quest for the gold medal.

At the same time this season, Federer remains in chase of Pete Sampras’s 14 majors and the French Open. So where will his priorities lie? The Olympics? The French? No. 1?
With Beijing in August, Fed’s first half of the season schedule figures to be familiar and his results, well, I say also familiar. Obviously he’ll be the heavy favorite in Australia and Wimbledon, and the No. 2 pick at the French Open.

But after Wimbledon things get real interesting.

Winning both the Beijing Olympics and US Open is not out of the realm of possibility, especially for Fed, but it’s going to take a serious effort to do so. If he had to choose, I’m guessing Fed would take an Olympic title over another US Open this year, but what if going into Beijing he’s captured the first three Slams of the season, would he then shift his focus more on winning the calendar Grand Slam than the Olympics, which he can make another run at in 2012 London?

“I met Mirka here in 2000 at the Olympics in Sydney, so it always remains a special memory for me, and carrying the flag in Athens in 2004,” Federer told the AP. “So back in 2008, I’m really excited. I don’t know. French Open, Olympics, Wimbledon, I’ve got a lot of things coming my way this year.”

Tough call, but I really don’t think Fed’s going have that kind of year and be faced with such a situation.

After the way he finished ‘07 – winning his last four matches at the Masters Cup in destructive style – it’s hard to bet against Federer at the Australian Open. And Wimbledon has long been his. So I think tying Pete’s mark is a 2008 liklihood. But I’m still not sold on Roger beating Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros. As long as Rafa’s around and healthy so too will there be a roadblock on Fed’s career Slam.

And unfortunately for Fed I think Nadal’s going to be around for a while longer. Sure his body is seemingly already on a downward slide, but to his credit the Spaniard usually gets everything wired, up-and-running and online in time for the clay season.

But things are not getting any easier for Fed in general. The competition is only getting better and there are more real challengers now than ever to the Federer throne.

Novak Djokovic is a legitimate Slam threat, though his 5-match losing skid to finish ’07 and his US Open final gag do worry me slightly. Andy Murray and Richard Gasquet are on the brink of breaking into the Top 5 and Marcos Baghdatis is capable of playing some pretty magical tennis but consistency and fitness still hinder the Cypriot.

Then there’s the curious case of David Nalbandian, who was arguably the hottest player at the end of 2007. Nalbandian gained quick acclaim and praise for his multiple beat-downs over Federer and Nadal during the final leg of the last season. The question I had then and still have now is can he sustain that high level after taking the last two months off? I think (and I hope) that we will see flashes of his talent and he’ll even get another win over Fed this season, but I’m not yet convinced that he’ll be back contending at every Slam like was a few years back.

Andy Roddick closed 2007 on a high note leading the U.S. to its first Davis Cup title since 1995. I have a (bad) history of picking guys to do well the year after they win the Davis Cup (Youzhny, Ljubicic) but it usually doesn’t work out. But screw it I’ll do it again. I think Roddick will have a much better year than the last when he won just two titles in three finals. And if Federer gets overly Beijing-obsessed Andy might be able to sneak out another Slam title at either Wimbledon or the US Open, or at the very least collect some TMS hardware over the summer.

Nikolay Davydenko will play enough to remain in the mix, and I think 2007 was no fluke for David Ferrer, and I see the Spaniard contending for the Australian, French and US Opens.

All said I’m not going out on much of a limb in predicting Federer to finish No. 1 and Nadal again just behind him at No. 2. It’s status quo at the top. But for No. 3 I’ll go with Roddick and then another Andy, this one Murray at No. 4. Novak Djokovic slips to the 5-hole. Sorry Novak, but you might need a reality check to deflate your head/ego.

And the rest…I’ll lean to David Ferrer at No. 6, No. 7 Nikolay Davydenko, No. 8 David Nalbandian, No. 9 Richard Gasquet and No. 10 Marcos Baghdatis.

As for ladies, Justine Henin is the still the women to beat. But if Serena Williams can keep the fat off (she actually looks, slim!), stay fit and play a full season, she will be a threat for No. 1.

“Of course I want to be No. 1 and to win grand slams,” Serena said last week. “I wouldn’t be out here if I didn’t have those goals.”

I’d also put Lindsay Davenport in the Top 5 along with Maria Sharapova and of the Serbs, I think Jelena Jankovic will again outrank Ana Ivanovic.

Among the youngsters, the WTA has a ton of emerging teens, but of bunch I gotta like 17-year-old Tamira Paszek, who I think will become a big factor this year.

Now for some holiday housekeeping…
* Martina Hingis was officially slapped with a two-year ban from tennis on Friday. Of course it doesn’t matter much to Martina since she immediately retired from the sport in November once word leaked that she tested positive for cocaine at Wimbledon. Martina maintains her innocence, but as I said before, if you really are innocent you don’t quickly retire. You fight and try to clear your name.

* Hingis-ex Radek Stepanek has to be one of the sport’s greatest overachievers. Maybe the greatest. Just months after ending an engagement to Martina Hingis, Stepanek wasted no time moving on to his next WTA hottie, this time landing and getting engaged to 18-year-old Nicola Vaidisova. It’s still hard to believe, but good for him.

* The ATP got busy on the gambling crackdown by suspending Italians Danielle Bracciali and Potito Starace for betting on tennis. Bracciali was fined $20k and suspended for three months. His countryman Starace got a 30k fine and a 6-week suspension. Both players and the Italian Tennis Federation argued the penalties were too harsh in light of their insignificant wagers, but frankly, I think the punishments were too light. If you’re a player and you bet on tennis you should be banned for at least a year minimum. Yes, those were likely scapegoats, but they should be thankful they got off easy.

* Could Lindsay Davenport’s impressive return after the arrival of her baby – the American has won 18 of 19 matches in her comeback – light a spark under another retired former No. 1 to get back on the courts? I think so. Kim Clijsters is expecting her first child at the end of February, which would give her a good nine months to nurse the newborn before she has to begin training for the 2009 Australian Open. Gotta lose that baby fat somehow, right? We’ll see in a year.

* The Australian Open has ended an era, ripping out the rubberized rebound ace courts in favor of a blue, plexicushion surface, which has been dubbed by some players as like playing on “sandpaper.” The allegedly slower courts probably won’t help Aussie hopefuls Lleyton Hewitt or Chris Guccione, then again what will? What’s in worse shape the future of Aussie tennis of the future of women’s tennis in the U.S.?

* And who says we stop growing when we reach our late 20s. The diminutive Olivier Rochus needs every inch he can get, and according to the ATP website the Belgian actually grew another inch during the 2007 season, spurting from 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-6. He might not be in the John Isner or Dr. Ivo category yet, but if he can maintain the momentum 6-feet and beyond may not be that far off.


Also Check Out:
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Watch Michaella Krajicek Get A Surprise Marriage Proposal On Court! [Video]
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217 Comments for 2008: Federer Eyes Olympics, Svelte Serena Focused on No. 1

dis Says:

“Onto Roger Federer and the pro tennis season ahead.”

LOL. Federer fanboy Sean at it again.


Von Says:

Sean is shrewd. He’s a tactician. He knows that he can get a lot of hits on his pro-Federer articles. He also knows that the ratio of pro-Fed fans and anti-Fed fans who blog on this site,is about 10 to 1. Thus, he will acquire many pro-Fed hits and possaibly if he raises the ire of the anti-Fed fans enough, he can also get some hits from them. Way to go, Sean!


angel Says:

It’s not about being nice to Federer I really think the same way Sean does, Federer is the clear favorite to take everything in his way except on a clay surface where he has good chances there too. I think Nadal could lose at Roland Garros before getting to the final; Ferrer,Nalbandian and even Davydenko could make Federer a big favor and believe me if Nadal isn’t at the final Federer is not losing besides everyday it looks clearer to everybody that the injuries are taking away the best of Nadal.


Skateboard zee Says:

This is the year that federer surrenders one of his slams..he’ll walk away with 2 in my opinion nd i dont think he’ll win in paris..i lyk da guy but i’m not sure if he’ll win da us open or aussie..only time will tell..And we can expect some fierce and vicious tennis from serena venus and justine..wow the sisters are primed for number 1 again but the belgian will fight..AMAZING TENNIS AHEAD OF US!


dis Says:

Federer is out with a stomach virus poor little Sean will be crying his eyes out for days at the news of his wetdream hero’s illness lol


Robert Says:

Federer is only out of the exihibition event at Kooyong. He has a virus that will set him back a little but if he has been working on his game prior to his arrival in Australia it should not make much difference to his Australian Open title defence.

Tommy Haas also withdrew from the tournament to allow more time for his shoulder to recover.


Robert Says:

Nicole Vaidisova!!!! May you have no shame… He’s 11 years older than her, and she’s only 18. :-\


Shane Gregg Says:

Roger Federer will be well in time for the Australian Open….and this stomache virus is only going to make him even more mentally strong and maybe even slightly pissed off over this fortnight…….I also believe that Roger is going to win the Golden Slam this year which would include…… 1. Australian Open….. 2. French Open….. 3. Wimbeldon…… 4. Olympic Gold Medal….. 5. US Open……

I believe this is really what he wants and I believe he believes he is going to do it….


Von Says:

For those of you who are Federer fans, the following might be of interest to you. I read this article on another site.

“Federer’s No. 1 beef with the current men’s tennis calendar is that it the Australian Open comes too early after the end-of-year-break. One suspects that, in his current condition, that could be playing on his mind a little bit.

I would like to comment but I might incur someone’s wrath. It’s better to be safe than sorry.


Skorocel Says:

Dear Von, feel free to comment! I’m a Fed fan:-)


Von Says:

As many of you who frequently post on this site most probably know by now that I am not a Federer fan and I hesitate to comment because I don’t want to provoke anybody’s anger. The following was a little tid-bit I read on another site:

Federer reached Melbourne on Friday, telling Fox Sports television, “I feel fresh, I feel fit, motivated, and that’s the key.”

After Federer got sick he stated the following:

“Federer’s No. 1 beef with the current men’s tennis calendar is that it the Australian Open comes too early after the end-of-year-break. One suspects that, in his current condition, that could be playing on his mind a little bit.”

One of my reasons for not liking Federer is based on the fact that he is incongruent. He changes like the wind. I have a problem on the whole with people who are incongruent. He complains incessantly about the calendar. When he lost in Cincy in ’06,he said the same thing. When he lost in Paris one year, the same thing. Now he got sick before the AO, the same thing. He has a choice, he can skip any tournament he chooses, but why go and complain. It would be better if he didn’t go.

He claims he likes being No.1 because people listen to you. So he complains. That is why the Masters Series is now 3 sets, because he complained about that also. Below is a comment from Roddick.

His fellow players aren’t fretting. “I can safely say that none of us up here are worried about Roger’s preparation for the Australian Open. I don’t think we’re worried for him. I think I’ll sleep okay tonight,” joked Roddick.

If anyone has anything to say, please tell Skorcel, because he made me do this. Thanks.


sensationalsafin Says:

Federer loves playing and loves winning, I don’t see his “beef” with the calendar affecting his mind enough to make him lose track of his goal, winning the Australian Open. I am dissappointed he’s not playing in Kooyong. I always like to see how some of the best players play each other in this exo. But it’s ok, my main focus is Nalbandian. Let’s see how fit he really is. I would love to see Nalbandian vs Safin and Nalbandian vs Murray. I’m always rooting for Safin but my second focus is Murray. To me, they’re the best players in the group if they play as well as they should. Can’t wait for the AO!!!


sensationalsafin Says:

Federer is not the one who said he has a problem with the calendar. He said it in the past but not recently. That’s what Steve said. You’re just putting words in his mouth. I know what you’re talking about, he does seem to change his mind when it fits, but this is not one of those times.


jane Says:

I am also looking forward to Murray this year; I don’t know what effect sacking Gilbert is going to have in the longrun, but the Scot certainly is psyched presently. He’s a mix-master and a brainiac on the court; I like his temperament too, unlike many who find him sucky or whatever. He reminds me of a certain McEnroe. Murray just has to be sure to use his emotions in the right way, and not the wrong way, like Safin often does (sorry sensational safin, but it’s true). He has to channel outward or into his game, and not inward so he self-implodes. Don’t get me wrong, I love Safin’s game when it’s on (who wouldn’t?!); I will never forget that fated match against Roger at the 05 AO semifinal – wow! But Safin too often isn’t focused – or something.

His comments about the new AO surface are hilarious; he’s mainly concerned about the color-switch, or so he told the press. That guy is a real character.


sensationalsafin Says:

Safin’s great. But who can argue he’s stupid for the way he gets to himself? As a hardcore fan I have to be able to admit something like that. Whatever, I’ll never lose hope. Murray is brilliant. I love watching him play. And he does have a McEnroe-esque aura about him, which makes me love him even more. I hope he has a good draw at the AO so that he can go really deep.


jane Says:

Here’s hoping – either way you look at, I guess. Safin just smoked Murray at Kooyong: 6-1, 6-4. Of course scores don’t tell the whole story, and I’ve not seen the match, but that’s something!


jane Says:

Unbelievable! This just in on Nalbandian:

“MELBOURNE, Australia – David Nalbandian injured his back practising with Marat Safin at Melbourne Park on Wednesday and withdrew from the upcoming Kooyong tournament.

Nalbandian, a 26-year-old Argentine whose past two title wins came over No. 1 Roger Federer and No. 2 Rafael Nadal at the Masters Series events in Madrid and Paris in October, said he is doubtful to compete in next week’s Australian Open.

Nalbandian said he would have medical scans later in the day to assess the injury.

“For sure I can’t play. I can’t even hit slowly with the ball,” he said. “This best thing is to rest and get treatment. In two or three days, start hitting slowly again and see how it goes.”

He said the pain came gradually in the middle of his back over an hour, but became so intense he could not do anything.
“I felt fit, great and ready to go. It was just bad luck today, warming up,” he said. “It’s bad luck.”

Nalbandian said he would try hitting again on Saturday or Sunday before making a decision on whether to play in the Australian Open, the season’s first Grand Slam which starts on Monday.”

Good Lord. IF – and that’s a BIG, humongous, ginormous if, I realize – there is no Federer and no Nalbandian, who, I mean who, will win the AO? Rafa? Murray? Safin? Roddick? Djokovic?


johnnhoj Says:

Murphy’s Law has reared its ugly head once again.

Nalbandian, according to an AP article, injured himself (his back) during a practice session (with Marat Safin) in Melbourne Park and will miss the Kooyong exo and possibly the Australian Open, depending on the severity. Nalby himself said he is doubtful about being ready for the tournament (which is in just under a freakin’ week!!!)
Aside from that, I wonder who else will be pulling out, besides the usual cluster from the women’s field.


johnnhoj Says:

Ya beat me to it, jane.


Von Says:

Jane: I was going to post regarding Murray, Safin and Nalbandian in response to your post earlier on this evening. I held back. I was kicking myself for saying anything about Federer, and decided against it.

I am not surprised though. Nalby is injury prone, and bad luck follows him. At the ’06 TMC his nephew died during the tournament. What a situation. But, you have a partial answer about Murray. I have a hunch that Safin will do well at the AO. He has a good record there.

I don’t think Nadal and Djokovic will go very far, both are casualty cases and exhausted. But, look out for David Ferrer. He is a pitbull. He is another one that’s going to burn out soon. His game is too physical. Davydenko is not a real threat. He has problems with his serve. Maybe, Gonzalez might bring something new. And, Gasquet did not play very well at the TMC and lost to Tursunov today at the Medibank tournament. I think he now has a new coach. We shouldn’t overlook Berdych, even though he crumbles to a small extent at the big ones.

Well, the title is now up for grabs and as the exho moves on we’ll probably get a clearer picture of what’s going to happen at the AO. Somehow, it seems that the AO this year is jinxed.

Murray does not remind me of John MeEnroe. McEnroe used to behave like a terrible twos kid. He had very bad arguments with the Umpires. Murray, on the other hand, carries on a monologue and then shouts out to the coach, but he does not have the tantrums and heated arguments with the Umpire.

I remember Murray when he initially hooked up with Gilbert. He kept muttering to himself at a match and then he shouted out aloud to Gilbert. He said,”I keep hitting the balls, but they keep coming back to me.” Gilbert sat there and shook his head, which made Murray angrier by the minute.


jane Says:

Federer had this to say “I hung around and I definitely think it’s going to turn for the good and I’ll be 100 per cent, really, before the open starts” late Tuesday, so it looks like he’ll be well enough to defend his title. I guess the question is simply if he’ll be well enough prepared, with no warm up, and the answer is likely yes.

Murray may have lost to Safin but he also just won an event, so who knows? Maybe he was a bit tired or maybe he didn’t give it his all, given that this is only an exo tourney? We’ll see next week, I guess.

I wouldn’t write off either Rafa or Djokovic just yet; both played in finals last week (Chennai and Hopman respectively). Although I do think the heat will get to Djok more than Rafa. Djok is still hampered by breathing problems, even since he had his septum operated on. I know he can be a whiner, with his trainer calls and all, but I really believe his respiratory issues are legit. On the other hand, both the heat and the new surface (if it is indeed slower like Gonzalez says) will work to Rafa’s adavantage.

I am really looking forward to next week, even if it does seem a little jinxed!


oingo-boingo Says:

Federer has always been a whigny, two faced phony, saying one thing while doing another; always makes excuses when he loses.never gives credit to opponents because he’s too busy patting himself on the back. and the media thinks him humble! LOL

on top of that Federer is one of the luckiest players in the world. Nalbandian is now injured he was our best hope of taking down the Ego king but that is now all in doubt.


jane Says:

I agree oingo-boingo (miss that band…).

Federer does seem to have luck on his side; he often has easier draws than, say, Rafa or Djok, who met in a few of the semis last year. Of course. I don’t know if this is luck or what…. It seems to me it should be 1 and 3 on one side of the draw and 2 and 4 on the other. However it’s usually been 1 and 4 (so Fed and Davy) and 2 and 3 (so Rafa and Djok), which seems unfair or…lucky. And look at what happened at Wimbledon! Roger had a week (well, 5 days) off mid tournament due to the way his schedule fell and Haas pulling out. Meanwhile all the other players were ground to a pulp, playing every day. Gasquet, Djok, and Rafa were spent by the time they reached the semis while Roger was quite fresh. Rafa dug deep to compete in that final, but also hurt his knee in the process.

I know people will disagree with this view, and I don’t mean to offend any Fed fans, but I truly agree that Federer seems lucky, in addition to his obvious talent.


angel Says:

yes now it seems that Federer is lucky yes of course I didn’t know that someone could achive what Federer has done being lucky yeah right how couldn’t I see that?


rogers twin sister Says:

Winning 12 slams is not luck. Fed is just that good. If he doesn’t play AO, my bet is on Marat winning the tournie, assuming he doesn’t head off with the party boys at night (Nalby and Hewitt).


Von Says:

oingo-boingo & jane:

I am so glad that finally, I am seeing that other people are saying what I have been saying all along. I don’t know how or why it’s happening, but this guy is just l-u-c-k-y with an emphasis. No one can be that lucky. Something’s not kosher here.I probably will raise the ire of his fans, but, what the hell. I see so much garbage written concerning the players I support, so if I step on a few toes, too bad. He has the easiest draws. Walks in the park.

I think Wimbledon was just hell for Rafa, Andy, Gasquet and Soderling. Those guys were at the site every day waiting for the rain to abate and hardly had any rest. To quote Roddick, when asked how he felt about Federer having so much time-off, Andy said, that he could just picture Fed sitting in one of those double-decker buses taking a tour of London, going around and around. Fed, when asked about the time-off he had stated to the reporters that he got a haircut.

Andy and Rafa had a terrible time with the rainouts, that is why Rafa did not win Wimby. And this holds true for so many other tournaments. Fed gets an easy draw and the other guys have to grind and grind,from the beginning,so when they meet him in the quarters, semis or final, the wind has come out of their sails.

He has an excuse for every one of his losses.

I read in a little article which mentioned James Blake’s book and the article claimed that Blake mentioned Fed’s draw at the US Open, he complained and things got moved around, or something to that effect. I don’t know how credible this article is, and I have not read James’ book, so I can’t say it’s true.

I was watching the ’05 AO with Fed and Safin, and the commentators said that the Safin match was the only match Fed had to do some work. Also, Safin had spent close to 12 hours on court, compared to Fed’s 7+ hours. According to the Aussie Commentators, he had the easiest draw. They were very fair, not like those ESPN drool idiots.

Maybe Gonzalez will do some damage. He beat him at the TMC. The last article I read on this site about the TMC stated Fed finished the year in a “destructive” manner. Lord have mercy, these people have short memories. What destructive manner? Gonzalez beat him; Davydenko was badly injured, and Fed played a very sloppy match, but got the win. Everything I read about the Fed/Davydenko match stated that Fed played a very sloppy game, even his fans. The match with Andy, even though no one mentioned it, Andy had a frozen back, so he could not play well. But the writers and commentators had a field day writing their garbage about Andy. There was a tid-bit about Ferrer asking Andy about his back. When Ferrer got to the final, after grinding so much, he couldn’t play well, he was exhausted. And, that’s the destructive manner in which Fed finished the year.

I am waiting to see the AO draw.

oingo-boingo, you are sure going to get slaughtered by his fans. I stated the same things when I started blogging on this site and I was getting hell from left and right. I am a sensitive person, and I get upset, but I think this site has toughened me up a bit.


jane Says:

rogers twin sister,

…or the ball girls: marat does live up to his rep, apparently.


jane Says:

There’s no doubt Roger’s a great player; it’d be pretty hard to argue otherwise given his results. But he does seem to have easier draws, on occasion, at least.

For instance, IMO, Fed’s draw in Montreal was *extremely* lop-sided (I mean easy) compared to the other half of the draw, which featured Nadal, Safin, Roddick, Djokovic, Nalbandian, Gasquet, Moya, Berdych AND Baghdatis among others, for crying out loud!!! This, to me, made Djokovic’s feat in Canada all the more impressive, really! Meanwhile, Roger had to face, um, Fongini, Karlovic, and a Hewitt struggling to get back his old form, which he found in Cincy, nearly toppling Roger there.

Anyhow…just an opinion.


johnnhoj Says:

With all the expectation, one must assume Nalbandian will play the Australian Open. He’s playing dead right now. I just want him and Safin to exhibit more consistency. Can’t say much about Murray yet when it comes to Slams.
The reality of the “luck” issue is that you can make the same argument for many players at certain tournaments. Plus, the 1-4 or 2-3 ranking matchups at Slams don’t really matter, since it’s always hit-or-miss with Djokovic in particular: he’s great and then he’s not. As far as the Federer juggernaut is concerned, I think it’s less divine intervention and more about his opponent doing something wrong (pushing too hard, or even choking) and sabotaging himself. That usual, consistent resistance is part of Federer’s strategy, to try to get his opponent to do too much to find a way to win. One can see this being applied during some matches. As with the Wimbledon final, for example, Federer played enough to get by, then broke Rafa twice in the fifth (extra gear or not). That’s why Nadal lost the Wimbledon final. I don’t think Nadal was injured, I think he wore himself out. I attribute the five-set duration to Rafa’s improvement as a grass-court player who threw everything he had into that match. I won’t tout Federer’s demise/decline because he struggled some at Wimbledon. So did Borg (w/ McEnroe) and Sampras (w/ Ivanisevic).
As a person, whether Fed’s a “two-faced phony” is up to you, I guess. I’ve never met the guy. However, I do notice, especially in post-match interviews, that he does give credit to his opponents, win or lose. Some are just tired of Federer, and that’s fine. I’m not tired. I always appreciate great tennis from every player who effectively applies their game.


jane Says:

johnnhoj,

“I think it’s less divine intervention and more about his opponent doing something wrong (pushing too hard, or even choking) and sabotaging himself.”

You got a point here, whether it’s Federer waiting for his opponents to make a mistake, or whether it’s them choking due to possible Fed phobia, or nerves, or whatever. This is an issue an terms of Federer’s consistent success, no doubt. Djokovic had no phobia or nerves in Montreal, and he won. He played smart and great tennis in those breakers. But I still think the draw issue is a factor at times. Personally, I sometimes wonder if tournament organizers arrange it in such a way because they want to see Federer in the final as he’s a bankable draw – and even better if he faces number 2 or 3 in the world in the final. Problem is, they’re worn out by then, so maybe Fed does get a break. I don’t think you can make the same case for any player. I also think Rafa was truly injured in the Wimbie final, as he had to have his knee wrapped and then was clearly hobbled at the US Open (in part because he played Stuggart rather than resting his knee – bad call, whether by him or Uncle Tony). Rafa doesn’t exploit trainer calls at all, so for him to do that suggests to me that something was up with that knee.


angel Says:

jane and von
you just don’t like Federer and you are tired of him winning almost everything so stop saying that he is lucky because that’s the bigest bull**** I’ve ever heard in my entire life.


Von Says:

“Personally, I sometimes wonder if tournament organizers arrange it in such a way because they want to see Federer in the final as he’s a bankable draw – and even better if he faces number 2 or 3 in the world in the final. Problem is, they’re worn out by then, so maybe Fed does get a break.”

That’s a fact,and they insult the players’ and fans’intelligence by the ridiculous draws. They manipulate the top seeds in ridiculous parts of the draw to sell more tickets to gain equal fan participation, or else fans would wait until the semis and finals to show up. Consequently, there are now players whose spirits are broken because they have to play him so soon in the draw. What chance does a qualifier have of ever getting into the top 50, 30, 20, or 10, after being dispatched by him. Zilch. And then the commentators expound on how quickly he put the poor qualifier (who has played several challengers to get into the tournament)away. What a farce!

This is destructive for Tennis. They are gung-ho to crack down on betting, I think they should start with themselves. Maybe they should just have a tournament and put him alone as an exhibition to demonstarate his “mastery” of the game. They don’t need the other players since he is the best.

When I want to see beautiful movement, I watch figure skating and the ballet. I know many will say I am “foolish” and stupid and blinded, I don’t care, that’s my preference. I don’t need to see a Tennis jaguar with his deliberate movement making his way through the tulips.

It has been the consensus of opinion by many neutral commentators, writers and both players and fans of players that Federer complains a lot, to have his way, that’s why he said he likes being No.1, because people listen.

His complaints have been so effective that the Masters Series is now a joke, no more 5 setters. He complained in 2006, when the Rome Master Series tournament between himself and Rafa lasted for close to 5 hours and both had to withdraw from Hamburg. He was making a statement. But he wanted to only play 2-3 sets and he had to make a point. However, had he won that tournament,he would have showed up at Hamburg. For Hamburg he did not have to play until Tuesday, he would have had a full day’s rest on Monday. He made a comment that he is not going to waste his time playing stupid 5 setters. Thus, in 2007, the Masters Series was changed. Ardent tennis fans blamed the ATP, but who was the person instrumental in achieving the change, Federer.

When the Tennis experts want to define who was the greatest, they need to look at the number of sets the other champions had to play and how much more difficult the game was in terms of calls, etc. Hawkeye makes it a lot bearable for the players to shake off bad calls nowadays. They also say he made $10 miilion in one year, something no other player had ever done. Sure, no other chamion was paid the big bucks he gets. What a stupid comparison to make. The players are paid a lot more money than in Laver’s, Lendl, Becker’s,Sampras’, Agassi’s, McEnroe’s and Connors’,era. In order for that comparison to be fair, they need to take the wins of the past players and calculate them at present day earnings and only then would they be able to have a fair comparison. I earn a lot more money than my father did in his career, and my father earned a lot more than his father. And, my children will earn a lot more than I earn.

I think all of these so-called experts are just ostriches with their heads in the sand. They just promote sensationalism, because that’s what garners a huge fan participation = sales = big bucks for and all the powers to be in Tennis. Why is it that Qatar wants Federer to play in their tournament, because ticket sales will go up. He gets a nice fat check besides his winnings and everyone is happy. However, they could not afford his asking price this year = he didn’t play. End result, he would not be playing any indoor tournaments. The end-user, (fans) is at the receiving end of all this manipulation. If, as some say, he just likes to play and win, then it’s a no-brainer, bonus check size, or for that matter no bonus chack, would not be mandatory.


sensationalsafin Says:

Wow. Wow. You said so much I don’t even feel like refuting it all. I’m just going to talk about Safin. I can’t believe he beat Murray like that. Last year Murray beat Safin in pretty dominant fashion and Safin was praising Murray for playing fearless and whatnot. But wow. Murray said he wasn’t feeling too good, something about jetlag and having to play so soon after working out and not eating. But still, I hope this helps Safin. As much as I hate and fear Nalbandian, I’m very dissappointed. This is one of the reasons I hate him, it’d be one thing if he was consistently challenging the top players but to come in during the last few weeks of the season to destroy everyone is so out of place. It is unlucky though, but I bet you it’s because Safin hits the ball so damn hard.

I agree 100% Federer is one of the luckiest people in the whole world. Besides all the obvious reasons the fact that his last “major” injury was at the end of 2005 is just incredible. He’s credited for knowing how to plan out his schedule so well but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s extremely lucky. As for easy draws, I don’t agree. The main arguement seems to be Wimbledon. Ok so he got pretty damn lucky with Wimbledon last year, it happens. But I feel like he’s gotten plenty of tough draws where Nadal got easy ones. That doesn’t mean that’s how it always is, I agree that he has gotten some ridiculously easy draws, but that’s not how it always is. We will see what happens in the next few weeks.


jane Says:

Yeah – I am interested to see how the AO draw shakes out; I am assuming Roger will play. Nalbandian is another story; the shame of it is this – how will we ever know about his end-of-last-year play and its legitimacy (which you seem to call into question sensationalsafin – i.e., given that the other players were more road weary)? Even if he plays the AO, and, say, he doesn’t do so well, back problems will be the obvious reason. It would have been really intriguing to see how a healthy, fit Nalbandian, with a new coach no less, would have made out at the AO. Guess we’ll have to wait for the French to find that out, another place he could be a threat. I also think Djokovic could be a contender at the French this year; he got to the semis last year, losing only to the man who has owned RG for the last 3 years. So.


Von Says:

SS: I thought you would be wringing me out by now and hanging me out to dry. I guess lady luck is in my favor. What can I say. My background is legal. We write a lot, that’s how we are taught, how else would we confuse everyone and make the truth sound like a lie?

It looks like our guy, Marat, is getting himself into form. What I read today, from a statement made by Murray. Because his match with Marat was pushed forward, Murray had to eat something quickly, so he had two chicken sandwiches (he paid for being too greedy) in a hurry and while he was playing he felt as though the stuff would come up. That sounds plausible.

I hope that Safin did not hear that comment and uses his win in a positive way. I know Safin can win matches, even though of late, he has not been able to string two matches together. However, look at last year’s Davis Cup, he was really clicking.

This guy I can take. He tells it like it is. There’s nothing phoney about him. I nearly wet myself from laughing when he decided to unfrock himself at Roland Garros. How could anyone not like this guy. He is cute, he has pizzaz and most of all, he has that litle boy, mischievous side. Now that’s what I call an athlete. I just like it when he mocks the umpire, when he is warned: He says, “I knnow, Mr. Safin this is a warning…..” I’ll take him in place of four (4) Federers.

That draw at the AO inm ’05, Safin Match, the commentators said that Fed had the easiest draw and the least on-court hours 7+. Marat stacked up 12+ hours, and beat the living daylights out of Federer. Did you see the perspiration down his cheeks. He looked so bloody confused as if he had lost his way. I enjoyed it!


Von Says:

I did not address Nalbandian Someone wanted to know if I lived on this site. I guess today, I did.

Nalbandian always does this whenever he can. In the past he would stay at 5 to 8 ranking, and then shine at the TMC. It really messes up things for the players and also surprises them. They probably look at the draw and think, oh, easy, and then he just starts hitting from all areas.

In ’06, Roddick beat him twice, and then at the TMC, Nalbandian, just started this incredible shot-making. Andy, pointed to Connors and then Nalbandian, in disbelief. I am sorry he is hurt, but it woild make the difference in someone’s ranking if he were to start shining. I think a few can breathe a little easier.

Another one who seems to be doing the same thing is Ferrer. However, he is going to burn himself out quickly. He certainly messed up Roddick at Cincy and the TMC.


jane Says:

Speaking of Roddick and Safin…Roddick just beat him at Kooyong 6-3, 6-3. I thought it’d go 3 for sure.


Von Says:

Jane:
A-w-w-r-i-g-h-t! That’s my little (big) guy. I did not want them to play against each other, but it was inevitable. Roddick won in ’06 and ’07. That’s why he said he would sleep fine last night, because Fed was not playing.

Thanks. Please keep me informed. I don’t get any news of the Kooyong exhos on the Tennis Channel. By the way, did you inquire about the TC on cable in Canada? Next week there will be 24 hour coverage of the AO. Maybe they’ll be on ESPN. Their coverage is sucky. I played hookey today, I did not do any work.


Von Says:

SS: FYI: Day 2: Thursday 10th January

Andy Murray def. Ivan Ljubicic (6-7(9) 6-4 6-2)

Murray is feeling better. I think his loss was a combination of fatigue, greed (2 chicken sandwiches) and an in-form Marat.


Skorocel Says:

Jane, what did mean by saying “Rafa doesn’t exploit trainer calls at all”?


Skorocel Says:

Ehm, that should read “what did YOU mean”:-)


Skorocel Says:

To Von:
Excuse me, but how can you say it was only Fed who was responsible for cutting the MS finals from best of 5 to best of 3? Do you think Nadal was happy when he needed to play 5 hours to win that Rome final? Look, I too want to see a best of 5 set final in EVERY MS tournament (since if it has a best of 3 final + the seeds receive a 1st round bye, you CAN’T name it a MS tournament), but hey, what did Federer have to say? “I want to play another 1000 matches like that”? It was only logical he would complain (the same about Nadal)… And btw, how can you be so sure that Fed would’ve played Hamburg in case of win in Rome? He would’ve skipped it regardless of the outcome!

Anyway, in my opinion, the only reasonable solution is to have at least 1 week between each MS tournament (or a grandslam, of course), or stage these tourneys in 2 weeks (as is the case with IW and Miami). I think that if they can reduce the Series to, say, 8 tourneys instead of 9, it’s possible to achieve such scheduling.

Fed has easy draws? Come on! Look at SW19 2006 – he had an absolutely BRUTAL draw compared to that of Nadal, whose only threats en route to the final were Baggy (a guy who prior to the tournament hasn’t won a match on grass + who to this day has NEVER beaten Nadal) and a semi-retired Agassi. Not to say Nadal didn’t deserve to be in the final – indeed, he absolutely deserved to be there (as last year’s results proved)! But even if you really think Fed’s handed rather easy draws, then what? He’s the No. 1 player – and he deserves it! He plays only qualifiers in the first rounds? Then what? Who do you think a No. 1 player in the world should play in those first few rounds? The guy’s worked VERY HARD to achieve this status, and it’s ONLY UP TO HIS OPPONENTS to climb up the ladder… When Sampras was the No.1 player, who do you think he played in these first rounds?

Fed had an easy draw at the AO 2005? Come on! Already in the 1st round he had to play Santoro (who’s ALWAYS a threat – just ask Marat!), but didn’t give him a chance… Then in the 2nd round, he met that Japanese guy named Takao Suzuki, who played a match of his life against the Swiss – yet Fed gave him a nice tennis lesson (btw, I’m sure that had Suzuki played, say, Roddick, an upset wouldn’t be impossible!). Then Fed played Baggy (next year’s finalist, who btw stole a set from the Swiss 4 months before at the USO), but didn’t give him a chance… And finally, in the quarterfinals, he literally slayed Agassi (perhaps the biggest favourite to win the title after Fed, a guy who ALWAYS did well there)… So does it look like an easy draw? I don’t think so…

Safin beating the living daylights out of Fed? Ha ha, that’s funny! I love the Russian, but the guy should’ve been happy he even won that match, since that lob at Roger’s MP could’ve landed everywhere!


jane Says:

Skorocel, I meant, unlike some players, like Djokovic, who has been accused of calling out trainers too much, or complaining too much, or even calling out trainers at opportune times (like when he’s down), Rafa doesn’t typically seem do this IMO. Sure, he may call trainers at times (like most players) but it seems to me anyhow that when he calls a trainer he really needs one, whether it be to tape something up or whatever.

At the USO this year it seemed that every tennis player and his/her dog was calling a trainer every two minutes. But that tournament was plagued with all sort of mysterious ailments. Hopefully the AO isn’t similar, but the lead up isn’t too promising…


jane Says:

BTW, I love the Djoker, but even a fan has to admit the guy has to cut down on trainer calls, and ball-bouncing? Well that’s another story. Main thing is he plays some wicked ball.


Skorocel Says:

To Von: Please, write my name correctly… Of course, I’m not gonna slay you for this:-), but you know, it just shows how the given reader respect the other person…


Skorocel Says:

To jane:
Agree with everything what you’ve said about Djoker, but as for Nadal, well… Did you see that memorable Monte Carlo 2006 final? That was an absolutely TEXTBOOK EXAMPLE of how medical timeouts can be used to disrupt the opponent’s rhythm – and it wasn’t Fed who called for them!


jane Says:

Must have missed that one – but typically Rafa is a very focused player and doesn’t like to disrupt the rhythm of a match, so I am talking generally. Perhaps there are exceptions here and there, but Rafa seems sincere in his calls to me. Djoker seems more focused on himself than the match generally; if he needs to take a minute to have his back rubbed or to splash water on his face, he does it. I don’t think he’s as concerned about stymieing his opponent as he is with getting his own act together. But either way, he does need to be more careful about stops and starts in a match.


Skorocel Says:

To Von:
Btw, that statement which Fed made after beating Andy at the last year’s USO – did he mean it seriously or not? I mean, I can’t see anything bad on it – provided he said it with a smirk on his face, of course… But hey, even if he was serious, who can blame him? At least he was sincere at what he was saying (which you think he isn’t)… He maybe doesn’t have a crystal ball, but that loos in Montreal 2003 semis cost him the year end No. 1 spot – which I personally rank among the biggest setbacks in the whole Fed’s career…


Skorocel Says:

There you go, jane! I’ve mentioned it literally thousand times on this site, but anyway, here’s a quick recap:
The sun was shining, centre court packed, and both players were warming up without any problems… But as the warm-up ended and it was time to play, the Spaniard “suddenly” called for a trainer to treat (allegedly) blisters on his hands. Of course, Fed wasn’t happy at all about that – and indeed, as the play began, it was quickly 4-0 for Nadal – and the 1st set was over for the Swiss… To be honest, I’ve never seen any tennis player receiving medical timeout prior or after the warm-up, NEVER! The question is: Why the hell didn’t he have those blisters treated BEFORE the both players even came onto the court?!
Anyway, the 1st set was quickly over for Fed, but he regrouped winning the 2nd, and in the very first game of the 3rd set quickly broke Nadal to lead 1:0. That was obviously enough for the Spaniard, as he once again called for the trainer to treat those “blisters”… And once again, the damage was done, as he got an immediate re-break and then later won the set 6/3… Trust me, I will NEVER forget that wicked Nadal’s look at his uncle Toni just after that very first game of the 3rd set ended – they both knew it’s time for some nasty tactics…


Skorocel Says:

Btw, jane, does Nalby have a new coach in Australia?


jane Says:

Maybe Rafa had the blisters from practice or from the prior week’s tournament? He does tend to play hard during clay season. I agree that it is a strange occurrence calling a trainer pre-match like that, but I still can’t see it as nasty. Neither Rafa nor Uncle Tony seem vindictive types imho. But thanks for the recap.

And sorry, no. I meant the coach Nalbandian hired last year (Jaite), who seemed to work him back into form for those amazing runs in Madrid & Paris.


sensationalsafin Says:

Haha Von, seems like you weren’t as lucky as you thought. Skorocel said pretty much everything I was too lazy to say. I do not care too much for the 2005 AO draw, it’s pretty irrelevant. And Safin did NOT by any means thrash Federer. I don’t think Safin was that lucky in saving the match point but Federer saved like 7 in the fifth set, so he had his chances to still win. It’s easily my favorite match ever and definetly one of the greatest matches in recent memory.

I think I’m just going to ignore the Kooyong results. Yeah they’re interesting but I don’t think they’re telling anyone anything. Last year Roddick beat Federer, we all know what happened after that. Ljubicic gave Murray a lot more trouble than he did Roddick, but does that mean Roddick is better than Murray? Hell no! In-form Safin? Perhaps that was one of those flashes like he had last year against Mathieu in Davis Cup. I would hope not but that could very easily be the case. And in the real tournaments right now, there have been many upsets, hardcore upsets. I don’t know what it really means though, it’s still early in the season. The Australian Open might be able to tell us a few things about who’s hot and who’s not, but the way I see it, the season doesn’t really kick off until Indian Wells. Then there’s Miami. That’s where we see who’s capable of having a really good year.


Skorocel Says:

To sensationalsafin:
You’re patrially right about the fact that Fed’s a bit “lucky” to not have any serious injuries, but to be honest, it also has to do something with the fact of how the guy takes care of himself… I mean, he skipped Doha, Halle, Tokyo last year + also didn’t play Rotterdam (which is btw one of the best non-GS/MS tourneys out there) or his home tournament in Gstaad, etc. etc. On the other hand, Nadal not only does have a “self-destructive” game which will most probably leave him semi-cripple within 5 years (sorry for such rude words!), but his schedulling also needs a bit of a change (see last year’s tourney in Stuttgart, which in my opinion Nadal played mainly in hope to gain some points on Fed)…

The other thing is (as Von and SG pointed out) that Nadal isn’t as natural of an athlete as is Fed or Sampras. In my opinion, that’s why those two were able to keep themselves injury-free. With Nadal, it’s all about determination…


jane Says:

sensationalsafin: I think you’re pretty much right about Kooyong and how much of a predictor it’ll be, but it’s none the less worth a looksee who’s doing what and so forth – especially since it’s a trial run of the new surface.

Skorocel: Nadal not a natural athlete? Hmmm….he did win some serious accolades in junior soccer and could’ve easily had a career there but he chose tennis. Some of Nadal’s issues in tennis, imo, come from the fact that he’s more of a right hander but switched to left for the advantage, only he’s had to work a lot harder as a result. But I think, even with his more physical game, he’s got a few good years ahead of him (injures may be a factor though, as is already evident.)


sensationalsafin Says:

Federer is smart, that’s pretty clear. Nadal is a natural athlete, it’s just that his game is so much more based on athleticism than it is tennis. I just hope the AO produces some stellar results because so far, with all the pull outs and injuries, things aren’t looking good.


Von Says:

Skorocel:

So, you actually read these posts. I don’t see you posting a lot, so I assumed you only glanced through them.

A. With respect to your name, I am so very, very sorry. A thousand apologies. I do respect you. You’re such an open-minded guy, and you don’t blast me if I write something you don’t agree with, you question it in a respectful manner, thus, it would be difficult to not respect you. I get so absorbed in what I am about to write, that I sometimes leave a letter out, or I don’t proofread and an incorrect letter is left hanging. But, I should be more careful about people’s names. Lord have mercy! I hope I am forgiven.

Q. “Excuse me, but how can you say it was only Fed who was responsible for cutting the MS finals from best of 5 to best of 3? Do you think Nadal was happy when he needed to play 5 hours to win that Rome final?”

A. Now that you mention Rafa, it could possibly have been a joint effort However, Fed was more vociferous about it, and the comment he made about “playing stupid 5 setters,” made him stand out.

Q. And btw, how can you be so sure that Fed would’ve played Hamburg in case of win in Rome? He would’ve skipped it regardless of the outcome!

A. I think he would have played Hamburg had he won Rome, because, psychologically speaking, our brain responds to positive things. And, in that case his win would have buoyed him up so much (he had never beaten Rafa in Rome or on clay) that the tiredness would have dissipated and he would be walking with his head in the clouds, not down. He would have wanted to be at Hamburg then, the momentum would be sizzling. Our minds can lift us up or bring us down.

Q. “Btw, that statement which Fed made after beating Andy at the last year’s USO – did he mean it seriously or not? I mean, I can’t see anything bad on it – provided he said it with a smirk on his face, of course”

A. I don’t know if he meant it, but he seemed sincere about it, because he said it cost him the No.1 year-end ranking. And, to bring it up at a press conference after 4 years, well, you’ve got to admit that it was uppermost in his mind. Even Drysdale, who drools over Fed, brought it up the next day. I am a bit leery about people who remember stuff years after the incident has ocurred, and mention things with a wry smile. I don’t trust that smirk one bit.

Q. “Fed had an easy draw at the AO 2005? Come on! Already in the 1st round he had to play Santoro (who’s ALWAYS a threat – just ask Marat!),…”

A. If you noticed, I stated the commentators mentioned it. I was voicing their opinion.

“Safin beating the living daylights out of Fed? Ha ha, that’s funny! I love the Russian, but the guy should’ve been happy he even won that match, since that lob at Roger’s MP could’ve landed everywhere.”

From what I saw, Federer was feeling the pressure. He was flustered and sweating. Maybe “beating the living daylights out of him,” is too strong a statement, but Fed was definitely flustered.

Deviating a little, Santoro drives Marat crazy. Marat said if there’s one player he hates playing, it’s Santoro. Ljubicic, at either Miami or Indian Wells, can’t remember which, drew Santoro, needless to say, if Luby had any hair it would have been left on the court. When he thought he had put Santoro away, the balls just kept coming back. Luby won by a break. I saw him exhale when the match ended.

Regarding the draws, I can only say that’s my opinion. Maybe, he is entitled to easier draws, because he worked hard to achieve the No. 1 ranking. But, I am sorry, I honestly don’t agree. I’d say that on occasion, he gets a difficult draw, and believe me, he is vociferous about it when it happens, but for the most part, I feel that he gets lucky.

I hope we can agree to disagree on some points.

“There you go, jane! I’ve mentioned it literally thousand times on this site, but anyway, here’s a quick recap:
The sun was shining, centre court packed, and both players were warming up without any problems… But as the warm-up ended and it was time to play, the Spaniard “suddenly” called for a trainer to treat (allegedly) blisters on his hands.”

I saw that match and even though Fed is not among my favorites,I have to agree that what Rafa did was very unsportsman like, and, it did throw Fed off for the match. Fed was very tolerant. The umpire should have intervened. Rafa’s play ethics should be taken seriously by the Umpires. The long in-between serve delays can be very frustrating. Roddick would be jumping out of his skin on that one.

As a matter of fact, I feel the Umpires are too lenient with the dalays engineered by some of these players. The nonsense Djokovic engages in needs to be addressed by the Umpires and the on-site match supervisor.

Djokovic broke Mardy Fish’s rhythm and it cost him the match at the Hopman cup. They had just finished a tiebreak, which Mardy won, and out comes the trainer at the beginning of the third set. Djokovic had an injury timeout for his shoulder. Of course, Mardy’s momentum was broken. Needless to say, Djokovic’s shoulder was fine for his serves and managed to take the set to another tie-break, which he won, and the match also. I would have strangled him if I was nearby.

Do you know why Djok bounces his balls so much because he sings as he is bouncing. He bounces about 23 times, and here is his song:

“I feel pretty, oh so pretty, I’m pretty and witty and wise, and I pity any girl/boy who isn’t feeling pretty tonight. 22 bounces.


Von Says:

sensationalsafin Says:
“Haha Von, seems like you weren’t as lucky as you thought. Skorocel said pretty much everything I was too lazy to say.”

And, you’re just gloating. I’ll get you. Just remember, I am just a little person, and I bruise easily.

“Nadal is a natural athlete, it’s just that his game is so much more based on athleticism than it is tennis.”

Correct, is right on. As I said before, and I’ll say it again, he is gonna wear himself out. Some of these athletes think that running around like a bull in a China shop, is going to do it for them. However, they do not look at the long term effects. By 25, if Nadal keeps up with this sort of physicality, he’s going to be on crutches. I am so sorry for him, but he needs a psychologist.

Ferrer is another one like Rafa, except Ferrer is a pitbull, and Rafa is a raging bull. We now have a pitbull and a raging bull in the top 5. Who’s the matador? I guess Federer. He’s always fending off Nadal.


Von Says:

Gee whiz, has anyone noticed, Sean’s article produced 55 hits.


sensationalsafin Says:

As ridiculous as some of the things Sean says are, his articles always produce great discussions. Despite our little quarrels, I enjoy debating tennis. And I didn’t mean anything by it, Von, I don’t think Skorocel should’ve attack YOU like that, but he did counter your Federer arguements, which I was too lazy to do.


Skorocel Says:

Dear sensationalsafin, maybe I misunderstood you, but when did I ATTACK someone on this site? I understand “attack” as saying rude, abusive words towards the readers, but as far as I know, I’ve never did anything like that…


Skorocel Says:

Ehm, that should read “never done”:-)


Von Says:

Dear Skorocel:

I don’t think that he meant “attack” in the rude sense. I am not a mind reader, but I think he meant it in a “counterpoint” sort of way, that you put me to the test and made me answer my allegations about Federer. By now he knows I am sensitive person, and I admit, I do get a little ruffled when someone reacts to my posts in a harsh way, so I think he was trying to make me feel good in case I had gotten ruffled or misread something insensitive about your post. But, you did it with utmost respect.

SS: Wow, I would never have thought that you had a soft spot. I prefer that. It makes you a bigger person. I won’t tell anyone.

Re: Sean: I posted the following when his article was hot off the press:

Sean is shrewd. He’s a tactician. He knows that he can get a lot of hits on his pro-Federer articles. He also knows that the ratio of pro-Fed fans and anti-Fed fans who blog on this site,is about 10 to 1. Thus, he will acquire many pro-Fed hits and possibly, if he raises the ire of the anti-Fed fans enough, he can also get some hits from them. Way to go, Sean!

Did you see my Djokovic song?


Von Says:

SG: Are you still mad at me? Sorry.PAX!

Janey Girl, where are you?


jane Says:

Just waiting for the draw, which is in now! As I said, “on occasion” Fed’s has easier draws, but this time, not so much.

Fed has a tougher task, with Nalby, Djok, Ferrer, and Baggy on his side, though he wouldn’t meet any of them until the semis. The upper quarter of his draw is easier, though he does have Berdych, Blake, Isner and Gonzalez up there.

Rafa’s nemisis Youzny is on his half, as is Murray and Gasquet, though they’re on the upper half so he wouldn’t meet them until the semis. On the bottom, we could have a Rafa/Roddick quarter final. Robredo is there too, with Moya, but Rafa should be able to get to the quarters.

Roddick and Baggy will play for the Kooyong title, but bring on the A. Open (and please show up Nalby…). Now I am off to see the Women’s draw.

Later.


jane Says:

Safin’s on the lower half of Fed’s side of the draw – maybe another semi like in O5 with Safin winning again?


jane Says:

Fed also has Santoro, which would be fun to see.

The Djoker, however, I think has one of the toughest quarters; here’s a summation from an online source discussing Fed’s half of the draw:

“Djokovic looms in the semis if he can get past a tough quarter that includes former Australian Open champions Marat Safin and Thomas Johansson, both unseeded, and former finalists Marcos Baghdatis (2006) and Lleyton Hewitt (2005).
David Nalbandian, who beat both Federer and Nadal in the same tournament twice in October en route to titles in Madrid and Paris, is in Djokovic’s quarter along with David Ferrer of Spain and former French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero.”

That’s a TALL order for Djoker. But I believe he lost in the round of 16 last year (against Fed) so doesn’t have too many points to defend here.


Skorocel Says:

To Von:
I hope you’re not too much concerned about that “faux paus” re: my name’s correct spelling:-) Don’t worry – you’re not the first one who forgot that “o”:-) Maybe I should change my nick, but you know, I’ve been using it for about 10 years, so I’ll probably stay with it as it is:-) But seriously, I just asked you since I didn’t want to look like an idiot – that’s all…

I’ve been posting comments on tennis-x for about 2 years, so as you can see, I’m not a newbie here:-) I must say I like the site for 2 main reasons: 1. its staff, who seems to have a big sense for humour and irony (see that “tennis-x notes, quotes & barbs” or “trunk & funk” section – I love it!), 2. the blogs which we can comment on (and which almost always raise a lot of responses). I’m not quite sure, but I think I’ve seen some of your posts on peter bodo’s website – is that true? I like bodo’s site as well, though I haven’t posted any comments there yet – last but not least because lots of the articles posted by bodo and his friends are quite demanding for a non-English speaker:-) The guy’s like a poet:-) Lots of fantastical, dreamy words, you know…

I agree that a possible win in that Rome 2006 final could have sparkled a desire in Fed’s mind, but I still think he would most probably have done the same (i.e. skipped that Hamburg tourney)… Anyway, from a Fed fan’s point of view, I can only say: too bad he lost that final! Had he won, not only it would’ve been his first win over Nadal on clay (in a best of 5 set match, btw), but there wouldn’t have been any winning streak for Nadal as well:-) He just blew those 2 MPs, but what can I do?

I have to admit that, sometimes, even I am a bit surprised about the things which Fed says in the interviews (though I don’t read them as often today as I used to in the past). For instance, once he said that when he was a young player, he wanted to beat his opponents with their own game – i.e. if he faced a baseliner, he would beat him from the baseline, if he faced a serve & volleyer, he would beat him at the net, etc… Quite weird, isn’t it? I agree with you that sometimes the guy tends to be rather disingenunous… For example, once he said he would not change even one SW19 title for even 10 French Opens, which is a total bullsh.t in my opinion…

As for my comment re: the Fed’s AO 2005 draw – sorry, I didn’t notice you were only voicing the commentators’ views… My mistake!

You’re right that it’s a matter of subjective opinion whether Fed is or isn’t handed easy draws – no problem! Even I must admit that sometimes he got a rather easy one (last year’s French Open, for example)… I think that, as long as we’re respecting each other, we’re free to disagree, isn’t it?

As for that Monte Carlo 2006 final, well, at least there’s someone on this site who share the same views about it as me! Nadal fans may say what they want, but boy, that was SOOO APPALING! Even a tennis laicus would concur that the only reason why Nadal did this was to disrupt Fed’s rhythm… Btw, do you remember that Nadal’s RR match vs Davydenko at the Shanghai 2006 TMC? When the guy was asked to give that traditional signature on camera, instead of writing his name, he wrote “FEDERER” and then scratched it… No comment! You’re absolutely right about those time violations he constantly makes between the points – but funny enough, if there ever was an umpire who had the courage to give him a warning, he even felt offended by this(!)…


Von Says:

Skorocel:

“I hope you’re not too much concerned about that “faux paus” re: my name’s correct spelling:- Don’t worry -”

I am glad you pointed it out to me. No need to change your posting name. We’re creatures of habit, and it would make you have to stop and think before using the new name. That’s not necessary. I, too, use a post name. What I did was fill in the submit box with my name and it comes up automatically.

Yes, I did post on Bodo at one time, probably a few posts, maybe 3, but I drew a very irate post. It was someone who did not understand what I wrote. That was a sign that I should move on. I find this site to be the better of the two. Hence, I am here. Bodo does have a great command of the English language. I read his articles, but I sit on my hands to keep me from posting. I read the posts and articles on Tennis Planet. That site is way out of my league.

Re: Fed’s comments. I have to stop listening so intently. My problem concerns his attitude, which bugs me, and that shadows his talents. However, I have come to realize that a lot of what he says stems from his insecurity. He has an insecurity problem. Let’s face it, most athletes would each probably be a “nobody,” if it weren’t for the sports. So many of them are highschool dropouts. The nouveau riche, goes to their heads. That’s what I see in Fed. He covers it up with that sheepish grin/smirk, and a lot of people are fooled by it. I like Roddick because he’s a nuts and bolts person. There isn’t any guile in him. Fed likes to sugarcoat his words, and he also, at times, can be very snippy. He’s just an athlete.

As a Chritian, I do not worship mankind, only the Almighty. And, in each athlete I see our Creator’s hand, and I marvel at His creation. To think He can create such gifts of talent in humans, just blows my mind. If you are not a believer, please ignore the foregoing.

I noticed on another post that the draws are out.

“Fed has a tougher task, with Nalby, Djok, Ferrer, and Baggy on his side, though he wouldn’t meet any of them until the semis. The upper quarter of his draw is easier, though he does have Berdych, Blake, Isner and Gonzalez up there.”

I think Fed has his work cut out for him. He has to watch out for Gonzalez in the quarters, or Berdych, if his head is in the right place.

Anyway, Skorocel, I think I have covered everything.I enjoyed your post. We’ll just “agree to disagree.” PAX.


Von Says:

SS: Where are you.

You’ll probably see another ’05 semifinal with Fed and Safin, if they both get past Santoro. This should be Marat’s dream draw.

Stop figuring out the draws and surface.


andrea Says:

Re: Draws

They are generated randomly save for the #1 and #2 spots, who are always on opposite ends of the draw. In the US OPen this year i believe Roger had 4 qualifiers drawn after him; purely random.

This time he has santoro or isner in round two. i’m not sure why everyone thinks draws for him are easy. anyone can lose at any stage in a tournament. roger has the ability to get deep into most tournaments because he is a talented player and knows how to train and prepare.

he is not infallible – as we’ve all seen. get over the draws people. they are what they are.

and perhaps the formula should actually be;

talent+proper schedule+good health= luck?


Von Says:

Dear Skorocel:

I probably missed this post:

“Nadal not only does have a “self-destructive” game which will most probably leave him semi-cripple within 5 years (sorry for such rude words!), but his schedulling also needs a bit of a change (see last year’s tourney in Stuttgart, which in my opinion Nadal played mainly in hope to gain some points on Fed)…

I read an artice on Nadal’s win in Stuttgart. It showed him standing by the driver’s door of a white Mercedes and the caption read, “Uncle Tony this one is for you.” Apparently,he played Stuttgart to acquire another Mercedes because Uncle Tony was driving the Mercedes from a previous Stuttgart win. He further stated that he would take the older car and give the new car to Uncle Tony.

I would like to think that he did this out of a big heart, but then there’s that greed factor. He could have easily bought a Mercedes for himself instead of abusing his body in that manner. The moral behind such action is that greed has a price.


jane Says:

andrea,

Re: draws -
“They are generated randomly save for the #1 and #2 spots, who are always on opposite ends of the draw”

No, draws are not generated as “randomly” as you imply here; if this were the case, then feasibly Roger could play Djokovic in the first round! You make it sound like a 649 draw or something.

If you study, for instance, the AO GS draw, you will see that the top 32 seeded players are strategically placed throughout each quarter of the draw. It is necessary, obviously, for organizers to do this or one half of the draw could be purely qualifiers, while the other half purely seeded players. But this is also where the speculations on fairness and/or luck come in (i.e., the ability factor: for example seed 1 playing seed 4 while seed 2 plays seed 3).

There’s little doubt that sometimes the seeded players get easier draws than other players, depending, say, on if they get an unseeded player like Tsonga in the first round (as Murray has) versus an unseeded qualifier in the first round (as Rafa has). That’s purely luck. I assume the unseeded players are where the “purely random” factor comes into it.

Of course you’re correct that any player can lose at any point; that’s why we watch. Sometimes the early rounds are the most exciting due to the upset factor. But it’s also true that some draws are easier than others, and that this isn’t based entirely on chance, for the seeded players anyhow. For instance, in this year’s AO, Federer #1 can face no player seeded higher than # 7 (Gonzalez) until the quarter finals, whereas Djokovic could face # 5 in the quarters (Ferrer).


jane Says:

“for the seeded players anyhow” – this should read “for the top 32 seeded players anyhow”.


jane Says:

Here’s one reporter’s opinion that Federer and Henin were “handed kind draws”:

http://uk.reuters.com/article/tennisNews/idUKSP20816520080111


andrea Says:

re: draws.

anyone else have some input on them? below is a blurb on the US Open draw from last year:

“World No. 1 Roger Federer, attempting an Open Era-record fourth consecutive US Open title, has brought out the freakiness this year on the men’s side in Flushing Meadows as the draw was unveiled Wednesday.

Of the 16 qualifying positions randomly placed in the 128 position draw, how do FIVE CONSECUTIVE qualifiers land behind Federer? This means the Swiss is guaranteed qualifiers in his first two matches, and possibly his third — unless big-serving American rookie John Isner can top No. 26 seed Jarkko Nieminen in the first round, then beat a qualifier in the second round to give American fans a third-round highlight. Federer vs. Isner? ”

i know that there are a certain amount of qualifiers and wild cards that are guaranteed spots in a grand slam. i guess they are placed randomly.


Skorocel Says:

To andrea:
“talent+proper schedule+good health= luck?”
That’s exactly what I wanted to say!

To Von:
I guess this time, Fed’s got definitely a tougher draw than Nadal. To be honest, I don’t mind that James Hetfield (well, Hartfield:-)) in the 1st round… The guy maybe troubled Fed 2 years ago at the French, but the Swiss should sweep through him in three… What worries me is the next match (which will most be either against Santoro or Isner)… That’s pretty tough for Fed, especially considering the fact that it will be (let’s hope so!) only his 2nd match of the season… I’m not at all worried by Gonzo or Berdych, even though both of them already have a W over the Swiss… Then it’s most probably either the Djoker or Nalby… I would love to see Fed playing vs the Argentine – purely because I’m just curious how well will Nalby fare against the Swiss on the biggest possible stage of this sport (i.e. a slam). You know, Madrid and Paris maybe are elite tournaments, but a slam is a slam…

P.S. Call me a believer or not, but no matter whatever (or whoever) is responsible for giving us the chance to see such talented creatures, I marvel at them as well!


Von Says:

Skorocel: You seem to be enjoying this. I can tell your adrenalin is flowing, that’s good. I enjoy all of the excitement and anticipation, however, it makes the waiting for the actual event seem a little unbearable. We are like children waiting for Santa Claus at Christmas. There’s a little child in all of us. Thank God we have an outlet via this site. Do you think that if say the AO was moved to the end of February and we had to wait from November to February that we would be able to hanle it? Maybe, but we would all be like lost souls.

With respect to your comments about Fed. He’s got one tough cookie in Santoro. For a 35 year-old, he’s still got it. His doubles experience is what makes it difficult for the singles players. I watched the semi-finals of the Medibank Tournament last night. Santoro made it to the semis in that tournament. He played against Tursunov and lost but he did not go down with a whimper, he made Tursunov earn that win.

Re Isner v. Fed, Isner gave Fed somee anxious moments at Cincy last year. If I am not mistaken, I think Isner won the first set, and then, as always, Fed began to read the serve, and I’ll let you figure out the end.

If Fed faces either the Djoker or Nalby, it will most probably be a test. But, as you know, Fed has a payback sort of memory, the ’03 yearend/ Roddick problem, so he is going to go at either one with all he’s got. I don’t think Nalby will crumble. I believe now that he has experienced the euphoria from his last two wins over Fed, he’s going to want more. In ’03 he got to the semis at the US Open, and Roddick won but it was a tough match. The Djoker will give it his all if he does not go down sooner, heat exhaustion, et al. I would like to see how many injury time-outs he’ll have. I predicted about 2 per match.

I am concerned about Roddick and how well he will do against Rafa, but that’s subject to Rafa’s movement. Roddick can neutralize Rafa with his serve, but if Rafa starts running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off, then my little guy (or big guy, I refer to him as my little guy because I watched grou up) Roddick will have a difficult time. But, by the Quarters, who knows Rafa could be tired, especially if he engages in 5 setters against his previous opponents, and the knees/feet factor comes into focus. And, if you want to know the end, you’l just have to wait with bated breath.


Von Says:

Andrea:

Jane stated: “No, draws are not generated as “randomly” as you imply here; if this were the case, then feasibly Roger could play Djokovic in the first round! You make it sound like a 649 draw or something.. ”

I agree with Jane. There’s a method to the madness of these draws and it’s all about the big bucks. In order for the tournaments to bring in the big bucks, the powers to be strategically place the seeds where those matches can sell more tickets. If they don’t do that, then the semis and finals will be the only sell-out matches and other matches’ sales will perish = big bucks lost. Maybe, years ago there was a format used to place the seeds, but now there’s a lot of conspiracy going on. The 1, 2, 3, and 4 seeds are placed according to format, but the balance of the field, are placed through skilfull manipulation.

I would like to believe that there isn’t strategy employed and the draws just pan out by random selection, but too many pointers lead me to believe that is not the case. I feel that it is wrong and it is unfair, but what do I know I am just a Tennis couch potato.


Von Says:

Skorocel: I am sorry for the typos, but you’ll be able to understand the words, e.g.,last para, grou, should be “him grow”; you’l s/b “you’ll.”


Von Says:

Jane, Andrea, Skorocel, SS, et al.

I found this little tid-bit on another site. The writer is a somewhat funny and straight to the point person. I hope you’ll find some truth in this article:

Check this out:

“Federer just has Berdych as the only one remotely capable of troubling him. Who does Djokovic have? Baghdatis, Nalbandian and Ferrer – some of the hottest players on the tour. And Davydenko has to deal with Gasquet, Murray, Wawrinka and Karlovic.

Another Grand Slam, same draw: Anyone who has ever defeated Federer is conveniently removed from his side of the draw until it is absolutely necessary like the semis.

I am surprised he didn’t have the audacity to place both Nadal and Djokovic in the same half this time -something he did regularly last year. Is that an improvement? Maybe, but a very poor one.

Hey, nimrod, you are not fooling anyone here. Nice try, though.

But if I look at it from his perspective, I can see how much pressure, he must be in to keep the registers ringing. The only way to ensure that, these days, is to keep Federer alive all the way to the finals.

That aside, Roddick and Nadal have a great shot this time. Look for some five-setters at the semis and the finals this time.”

The foregoing places an emphasis on the “money” aspect =Federer = huge profits. I don’t know how many of you are Star “Trekies”, but these tournament economists must be Ferengis = big profit. Well, as the saying goes, all is fair in love and war. Judge for yourselves.


Von Says:

Jane & SS:

Talk to me.

Jane: Please remember to post the finals of the Kooyong exho. I have a vested interest. I’ll let you figure that one out. Thanks.


Von Says:

Jane & Skorocel:

A followup to our posts about Andy’s game, etc., Below is an excerpt of an interview with Roddick and Aussie Press:

“It was frustrating. You know, it was miserable. It sucked. It was terrible,” he told his post-match press conference.

Not much has changed since then.

Roddick tested Federer in the quarter-finals of the US Open, but the result was the same, a 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 loss.

But he refuses to throw in the towel as he comes to Australia, looking to improve on his best of three semi-final appearances in Melbourne.

“You see some of the guys who beat him are quick, (David) Nalbandian types who can run a little bit more. Unfortunately, that’s not my strength.

“You kind of have to go with what you’re good at, try to make adjustments.

“I promise you this isn’t for lack of thought or lack of conversation or lack of work.

“My answer probably gets redundant to this question. You get up, you work, you try to think your way through it, hope for that day. There’s not much more you can do.

“I’m certainly not going to quit or feel sorry for myself. That is not going to happen.”

Roddick will just rely on what he does well, serve big and be aggressive and hope that Federer has a rare off-day if they meet again here.”

Roddick dismisses talk that he has not improved his net game, having realised he cannot match Federer from the baseline.

“I’ve become a better net player. There’s not a doubt about that,” Roddick said.

“Credit to Roger for putting me in tough situations. It is tough against him. But I can honestly go home and say I haven’t left anything on the table as far as work.”

Skorocel: You had mentioned about his running in ’03, and how he has slowed down. What has come to mind, and he never mentions it, is the fact that he had surgery in ’03 for his knee. When he was enlisted for the Davis Cup apparently, they used him for practice for the other players and he injured his leg rather badly. He did touch on his leg after he had to pull out of Bercy this year, but I forgot about the surgery.

I am glad that he has come to terms with his limitations. The way to solve a problem is to acknowledge that it exists, and you have to then find a way to solve it.


Von Says:

SS & Jane: FYI

Day 4: Saturday 12th January

Marat Safin def. Fernando Gonzalez (6-3 6-3)

Final:

Andy Roddick def. Marcos Baghdatis (7-5 6-3)

SS: Marat’s doing OK.


sensationalsafin Says:

I know, I’m pretty happy with the result, and very surprised. Gonzalez has had Safin’s number for the last few years and I know you can’t tell how close a match was based on score but 6-3 6-3 is a comfortable score. It means no matter how close it was, Safin came out on top in fairly dominant fashion. Roddick’s win doesn’t surprise me, I seriously think he’s the only one who tries at this tournament. Roddick could beat Federer on a rare off day where Federer can’t hit a passing shot from every possible corner. That was how he won their USO quarter, he just hit ridiculous passes that Roddick couldn’t do anything about.

Ok, Nadal has a very easy quarter. His semifinal opponent can be very dangerous though, and I think it’ll be Murray. Federer’s quarter seems challenging, and that’s all it is; challenging, not dangerous. The 2nd quarter is clearly the most stacked quarter I could have possibly imagined. I want to see Djokovic or Safin make it through. I don’t think it’ll be Ferrer. Baghdatis can surprise us all and I wouldn’t mind in the least bit, I love Baghdatis. If Nalbandian’s injury isn’t bothering him then he should make it deep. I just hope that the match-ups live up to expectation. I don’t care what everyone will say afterward if Federer is taken to a few 5-setters but I would love to see him win by taking out Nalbandian 7-5 in the fifth in the semi and then Nadal 6-4 in the fifth in the final. Atleast that way people won’t say it’s boring because he’s winning by fighting, too, not just blowing his opponents off the court.


Von Says:

SS: Youi finally surfaced. It took this much time to feast on the draws. I thought I made you mad. I don’t want to do that or else I will lose my sparring partner. Who else is going to wring me out and keep me honest.

I know for sure that Fed knows about Andy’s inability to run like a gazelle. Anyway, I can hope can’t I? As for the big guy (Marat) he did beat Gonzalez in convincing fashion. If that is an indicator of how he is going to play then we’re in for a treat. I had higher hopes for Gonzalez. Not that he’s one of my favorites, but I can take him. He has a sweet side.

Nadal getting to the Finals, defies logic. He has that knee/feet issue, and now it’s recovery time. He is worn out. For someone as young as he is recovery should not be a huge factor. Youzhny said that he did not win, Rafa gave him a present. He said he noticed that Rafa could not move. If that is the case, how is Rafa going to handle 5 setters. What a pity.

As for Nalby, I can take him or leave him. It’s a no-brainer that you don’t like him. We’ll see which Nalby shows up and how his back is holding up.

The Djoker has a very tough draw. I wonder how many bounces and injury time-outs he’ll take. Last year at the AO, he had serious breathing problems. The heat is not good for someone with breathing problems.

As for Fed, I want to see him play 5 setters. Give the fans their money’s worth. I want to see him sweat and get flustered. (I know you are going to wring me out on this, I’m waiting.) He has to do some serious work to earn that fat check. He has Santoro or Isner. If it’s Santoro, then he’ll have to be prepared for a mind-boggling experience. I know Marat will be joyful that Santoro is far removed from him.

I think Murray and Baggy should do well. But with Baggy, sometimes it seems he is out to lunch. He switches from day to day. I am going to be watching Murray. I want to see how much coach bashing he is going to engage in. I think he gets rid of his frustration that way. But he certainly hated Gilbert. Roddick would not go near Gilbert. Gilbert could have been a good coach, but his personality leaves much to be desired. He has a reputation, and it isn’t a good one.


Von Says:

Well, I did say he was going to use his exho matches with Sampras as a learning tool. Here’s what he said:

“Federer said he trained hard in the offseason at his base in Dubai.

“In tennis you can never work hard enough because there’s movement, there’s forehands, backhands, slice, topspin, coming to the net. I’d definitely like to improve my skills,” he said.

He stressed his play at the net.

“That’s something I’m definitely going to try to keep up,” Federer said. “It gives you great opportunities as well against all the baseline players in the world today. You have an extra option.”

“I know I have those possibilities and if I could use those on clay even more often, it will give me a great opportunity (to win the French Open).”

I suppose he watched and listened to Pete. Are we going to see serve and volley?


Skorocel Says:

To Von:
You’re pretty much right… I’m really enjoying our discussion:-) No doubt about that!

Tennis players as “nobodys”? Ha ha, that’s a pretty interesting quote! But anyway, I clearly imagine that in case of Nadal. I still remember one tennis discussion where a certain fan stated, that “if there wasn’t clay, Nadal would be selling ice-creams on Mallorca these days”:-) I know it’s not fair towards the raging bull, but I can clearly imagine him doing that:-) As for Roger, I would go for a doctor or a teacher, whereas Andy will fit into some Hollywood-like movies or maybe (if it was indeed an another sport) he would do some crazy stuff like base-jumping, wind-surfing, etc.

Anyway, as for their personalities (better said, their “insecurity”), Andy maybe is more genuine and more relaxed of the two (just see that hilarious post-match interview after that thrashing which Fed gave him in the AO semi last year), but I think it’s pretty much even… Some people in my country tend to view Andy as a “typical” (i.e. cocky, arrogant, over-confident) American sportsman, and though most of them most probably know nothing about him, I’m not wondering… You know, dating (allegedly) Sharapova, Paris Hilton etc., sometimes indeed acting as over-confident (for example, once I read that the guy allegedly stated something like: “Giving autographs is a waste of time!”), etc. Compare that to Fed who’s with one and the same girl (Mirka) for what, 7 years?, always friendly towards the fans, etc. etc. You know, here in Europe we’re not used to such things… I’m not trying to say Fed’s a saint or something (not at all!), but it’s these things which people remember most (especially here in Europe)…

Anyway, to be honest, I don’t mind… I like Andy a lot! His sense for humour is evident, and also, the guy seems to have one unique attribute: he forgets about his losses rather quickly (especially about those against Fed). One may think he’s got nightmares about Fed every single night:-), but he just absorbs it and then goes on as if nothing had happened… Though I’ve seen him many times get angry (especially against Fed), his angriness simply doesn’t seem to last long… I kind of like people who can’t get angry for too long… people, who keep smiling.

Anyway, as for Fed, I’ve always thought that, given how much pressure is on this guy, he handles it rather admirably… I know – certain things which he said maybe stem from that “insecurity” (for example, that quote about “watching the greatness”, or about “needing only 1-2 wins to figure the given opponent out”), but you know, if he would just say “I’m an ordinary player”, then some people would easily view him as disingenunous, so you can’t blame him for that either… Compare that to Nadal, who (regardless if it’s clay, grass, or hard court) always considers himself as an underdog vs Fed… Well, grass and hard court surely, but CLAY?!


sensationalsafin Says:

No I completely agree with you, I want 5-setters, too. I obviously want to see Federer win (if Safin doesn’t) but I want to see him win tight matches. It makes things exciting and interesting, especially with someone like Federer who can play some of his best tennis during crunch time. That’s an interesting point, maybe Sampras did teach Federer a few things.

What’s wrong with Gilbert? Is there anyone on this planet who looks funnier than him? Me and my friend still laugh about how ridiculous he looks when he’s commentating but not saying anything… just looking around with a weird smile on his face… priceless.

Like I said, for Roddick to beat Federer he has to hope Federer is off enough to miss all those passing shots. That was what made the difference in their USO match. Look at Safin, he doesn’t have the best movement but his aggression off the baseline troubles Federer. Gasquet beat Federer off the ground, too, not with movement. And who can forget Gonzalez, he used his disgusting flat bombs to blast through Federer (even though he barely won), it was not so much his speed or footwork that was the key. So Roddick can beat Federer, it’s not like he hasn’t in the past.

Nadal has an easy draw. He’s a shoe-in for the quarters. If Roddick flails then Rafa’s in the semis. And if Murray, Davydenko, or Baghdatis once again choke on the big occasion, Nadal is through to his first AO final. But he will lose to whoever he faces, Nalbandian, Safin, Djokovic, or Federer, or whoever else.


angel Says:

Scorocel
Nadal considers himself as an underdog vs Federer even on clay because Nadal knows that Federer has the potential to beat him everytime.


Skorocel Says:

To Von:
Rafa playing Stuttgart only to receive a new car? Ha ha, that was pretty good! But seriously, I think the guy played the tourney either because he just wanted to gain some points on Fed, or because he just felt the pause between Wimby and American hardcourt season was too long for him, so he just wanted to stay in shape… Who knows?

As for the upcoming AO, well, I’m certainly looking forward to it! Though each slam has a special atmosphere, I perhaps like this one most, firstly because there’s winter in my homecountry (Slovakia, if you want to know), so I can just sit in front of TV and watch Eurosport whilst there are sub zero temperatures outside:-), and also because the Aussies seem to be very genuine tennis fans! Compare that to those French idiots (sorry for such rude words!) who literally crucifixed Hingis in that fateful final vs Graf in 1999, or to the Americans, who seemed to cheer on almost every single error Fed produced in that USO 2005 final against Agassi… That’s why I like the SW19 as well – those people simply love the game! Also, even though the Australian weather tends to be rather cruel on the players with all these heats, I think it’s still better than to have those endless rain-breaks as in SW19 or, say, FO… Last but not least, I also like the local centre court (Rod Laver Arena), which in my opinion is still the nicest tennis stadium on the world… You know, it’s not as megalomanical as is Arthur Ashe in NY, and it also DOES have a retractable roof as well! But then again, it’s only my opinion…

To be honest, it’s tough to say whether moving AO to February would be a good move or not… You know, it wouldn’t be a problem for me to wait another month, though on the other hand, there wouldn’t be that much snow in February here as well:-) Just kidding… But seriously, I think some players would welcome such a change (I think Mauresmo had already spoken for it)… You know, those poor people have what, 1 and 1/2 months to prepare for another season?, so I guess they would be happy (last but not least because of the fact, that the Australian summer tends to be milder in February)… It would maybe have had a serious impact on the following tourneys (especially the IW & Miami), but I wouldn’t mind…

Personally, I would welcome if the calendar had been reduced to, say, 13 main tourneys (4 slams, 8 MS events + Masters Cup), which would ALWAYS guarantee you a top notch tennis (with best of 5 set finals, nonetheless). After that, there would be, say, 15 another tourneys like Barcelona, Basel, or Queens, which would serve mainly as a preparation for the bigger ones… Some of these tourneys simply would have to be staged in the same week (not to mention the smallest ones), but as long as they would serve its main purpose – i.e. as a preparation for the slams, it would be OK I guess. As I’ve already said, if you wanna see MS events with a best of 5 set final, there needs to be at least one week between each of these tourneys, so I guess such changes in schedule would be inevitable… I guess we both prefer quality over quantity, isn’t it? And if we prefer quality over quantity, the main protagonists (i.e. the players) must logically have some time to rest, isn’t it? I’m a great fan of winter sports (especially the alpine skiing and ski-jumping), and there you have the World Cup consisting of, say, 35-40 races per each season in, say, 20 venues (from which 5-10 have a decent tradition) – and that’s it! There are maybe another 10-20 venues bidding to stage a WC race, but all they could do is to just hope and wait for another season…

Ha ha, 2 medical timeouts per set for Djoker? I guess you’re underestimating him:-) But seriously, I hope he can work on reducing these things in the future… To be honest, even Nadal (who really is SOMEONE in this category!) doesn’t stand a chance vs him:-)

As for Nadal, I’m not all that much worried about him threatening Roger at the upcoming AO… What I’m much more worried about is his draw, which gives him a very decent chance (provided he stays fit) to advance AT LEAST to the semis, which would thus better his last year’s result and, most importantly, REDUCE the gap between him and Fed in the rankings… You know, I would just love to see Fed breaking those 286 weeks of Pete WITHOUT interruption! I know you’ll disagree with me on this one:-)

As for that tourney in Chennai… I had the chance to see Nadal in both the semis & final, and though Moya gave him one helluva fight, a 6/0 6/1 blowout in the final was a bit too much for me – even against his (former?) nemesis Youzhny! 4 hours in the semis is a lot, but 6/0 6/1?! The guy spilled like a rice in that final! He wasn’t even trying something, which is pretty unusual when we consider how a helluva fighter he can be… I wonder if he was indeed so tired (well, he must’ve been!), or if he just tanked it altogether (?)…

Anyway, I must admit that that semi vs Moya was one helluva match, with Moya blowing some 4 or so MPs in that 2nd set breaker… If you’ve seen that match, you’ll certainly agree that Nadal got a bit lucky as well, since Moya had it all in his hands on that 3rd MP, where he hit (normally a very easy) volley wide… Later on in that breaker (when they were even), there also was one rally where Moya hit a rather easy FH smash exactly at Nadal, who in the end won the point and then later the set as well… Btw, if there weren’t those 30 + seconds breaks between each of Nadal’s points, the match would’ve surely lasted some 20-30 minutes less:-) Anyway, Rafa won deservedly – there’s no doubt about that!

As for Nalby, well, I would really wanted to see him play Fed in the semis (provided Nadal won’t reach the semis or finals – in which case Fed can allow himself a loss)! I just hope the guy won’t be limited by those back problems – he would make me angry! I just want to know how well he’ll fare when he’s fully fit + when the expectations are high on him (as is the case now)…

P.S. I understand what you wanted to say with those 5-setters, but you know, it’s still UP TO ROGER’S OPPONENTS TO MAKE HIM WORK FOR THESE FAT CHECKS, NOT UP TO ROGER!


Von Says:

Skorocel: You Surfaced. I was wondering if I am the only one left on this site. I began to feel self-conscious about posting so much, but it seemed dead and I felt I had better do something to eek out a response and get the debate going.

I suspected that you were European because you stated that the Tennis.com writer was a challenge to a non-English person. Also, like most Europeans, you’re very circumspect – good breeding. Deviating a little, when Sharapova played at Wimbledon, the reporters and fans were aghast at her shrieking. One reporter asked her about it and she said she would not want to change a thing about her shrieking. Needless to say that the next day when she strated to shriek, the crowd began to laugh. She was visibly embarrassed. The English are very genteel in their behavior.

I was born British and lived in Europe so I am familiar with European customs. However, now I live in the USA and I bask in the sunshine. I used to live in New York, approximately 4 miles from the US Open and the Mets baseball stadium. I did not like the crowds and I hated the snow.

It was a difficult adjustment for me when I originally came to the United States. I had to learn to spell and write (to some extent) their way. It soon became second nature. Now I am alright.

“Compare that to Fed who’s with one and the same girl (Mirka) for what, 7 years?..”

I don’t approve. By now, if he is not thinking of marriage, I think it’s time to find greener pastures. He’s got all of the privileges of being married, without the commitment. (Please don’t throw darts at me.) Fed, when questioned about this arrangement said he was scared of marriage. But he is not scared of shacking up? That’s food for thought. If I were her I would be thinking a lot about that comment, and I can assure you it would not be 7+ years. But, she has it made, money-wise.

“I kind of like people who can’t get angry for too long… people, who keep smiling.”

I am like that. I even start brow-beating myself for sounding off. If, I am wrong, I apologise, and extend an olive branch, which is very difficult for a lot of people to do. Getting back to Andy. One reporter stated that after Andy lost to Fed at the US Open,(and he played very well) “Roddick lit up the locker room with his expletives.” I can just imagine. He is hot tempered. But, that’s what I like about him. He is alive, and he tells it like it is. I prefer that to a smirk. How would you know where you stand with a smirk?

Unfortunately, Americans do not have a good reputation with Europeans. I think it’s because they’re so open and frank about things. I like that openness.

“Compare that to Nadal, who (regardless if it’s clay, grass, or hard court) always considers himself as an underdog vs Fed… Well, grass and hard court surely, but CLAY?!” I would like to think that he means it, but for some reason it doesn’t wash. I am sure in his mind he feels he is as good or better.

“I perhaps like this one most, firstly because there’s winter in my homecountry (Slovakia, if you want to know), Thanks for telling me. Now I can visualize a person sitting, and watching TV and in hibernation, with the ground white with snow and pine trees in the distant. Maybe a fireplace. It makes a nice picture, but I prefer the sunshine. I had enough of those days.

Then if you’re from Slovakia, are Dominik Hrbaty, and Daniella Hantuchova worshipped tennis players? He is not a top 10 player and has not been a dynamo, but Europeans are very loyal to their own kind. Daniella is a very intelligent and well educated younglady.

“P.S. I understand what you wanted to say with those 5-setters, but you know, it’s still UP TO ROGER’S OPPONENTS TO MAKE HIM WORK FOR THESE FAT CHECKS, NOT UP TO ROGER!” There’s a double meaning in what I wrote. I was partly being facetious and partly angry that he does not have to play 5 setters. I want to see him grind a bit, to earn it, you know, the stint and hard work scenario. I am just a demon.

“As for Nalby, well, I would really wanted to see him play Fed in the semis (provided Nadal won’t reach the semis or finals – in which case Fed can allow himself a loss.” I want to see my guy in the semis and finals. I can dream can’t I.

It’s been fun posting but all good things come to an end. Tomorrow, the AO begins and we’ll be caught up in the frenzy. I’ll look for your posts. We’ll exchange our views on the matches.


Von Says:

SS: “What’s wrong with Gilbert? Is there anyone on this planet who looks funnier than him?”

Funny, yes. I just don’t like the faces. When his player makes a mistake, he starts making faces and gesticulations. I don’t think that helps the player. It antagonizes them. Roddick used to look away. Murray, on the other hand, would start firing the expletives. In the past, Murray would make the wrong shot again. I guess he has realised that he is only hurting himself.

When Murray hurt his wrist, the cameramen had the camera on Gilbert and all he did was just shake his head and make faces. The kid was genuinely hurt, and in order to please Gilbert, he tried to play, but injured his wrist more. Come on, there must be some shred of concern to know your player is hurt. He’s not a race horse. Gilbert did not even stand up or move from his seat. By the time the trainer came out Nurray was crying, and oh boy, he was cursing at Gilbert like crazy. That’s my beef.

“So Roddick can beat Federer, it’s not like he hasn’t in the past.” From the article I posted, it seems that Roddick has convinced himself that he can’t do it, or maybe he is tired of trying. I feel his spirit is broken. He is a sensitive person, under that funny exterior, and it really gets to him when he loses to Fed. The reporters have a field day.

Well, tomorrow’s the big day. Roddick and Nadal play tomorrow. Fed plays on Tuesday. I’ll be looking for the serve and volley. I’ll see how much further he has incorporated Pete’s game into his own. Fed made comments about playing at the baseline, so it’s probably going to be serve and volley.

There’s nothing like a slam to get everyone hyped up. I’ll be looking forward to some grat posts.


Von Says:

SS: Re your Brad Gilbert question, this is what Agassi had to say about Gilbert.

“A great coach can lead you to a place where you don’t need him any more.”
– Andre Agassi on Brad Gilbert. But maybe you repay him by keeping him on?


Skorocel Says:

To Von:
“in hibernation” – that was pretty good!

As for Dominik Hrbatý (or, as we call him, “Domino”)… Well, the guy’s certainly a popular figure in Slovakia, especially because of his notoriously known passion for representing our country in Davis Cup matches. Though his best years are surely behind him (he’s 31 today), the guy’s always used to be a tremendous worker outside the court, even though he was not that much talented… On the other hand, Karol Kučera (you may remember him) was a very talented guy, but he lacked the desire which Hrbatý had… The two were good friends, but it all changed a bit when Hrbatý said something bad (better said, joked) about one donation which Kučera gave to a certain Slovak organization fighting cancer. You know, his mother herself died of a cancer, so he was feeling rather offended by this (even though Hrbaty didn’t mean it intentionally, of course). The two weren’t speaking to each other for about 1 year, but then buried the hatchet and once again became friends…

If everything goes OK, Dominik will most probably play another 1-2 seasons, but then it will be tough times for Slovak men’s tennis, since there aren’t any promising juniors these days in Slovakia… We maybe still have Karol Beck (who only recently returned from a 2-year doping ban), but since he’s 25, it’s questionable whether he will regain his old form… Btw, speaking about that Beck’s doping ban, there was a big fuss about it in Slovakia – as you may expect. The guy himself stated that it was indeed someone from the Slovak DC team who (allegedly) gave the banned substance to one of his drinks, but you know, only he knows the truth…

As for Hantuchová… Well, I still think the girl is viewed rather negatively in her homecountry. You know, there are lots of people who are jealous of her successes (nothing new in Slovakia, btw!)… Others are constantly making mock of her thin figure, but altogether, she definitely has a lot of fans here as well… I too used to be a very ardent fan of her, though as the years went by, I’ve come to a conclusion that the farthest she can go is Top 10 – nothing more… She maybe once was 5th (in 2003 I guess), but you know, she’s too fragile when it comes to big matches, and (which is a typical Slovak feature in almost every sports) lacks the appropriate self-confidence when it REALLY matters…

I remember there was a bit of a fuss around her in 2002 (her best season) when she refused to play a Fed Cup match vs the Russians in Bratislava. She felt her earnings for that match were not appropriate… You know, there were some rumors that the Slovak FC captain (i.e. the man who was responsible for the prize money’s allocation) did some injustice to her, but anyway, the Slovak public considered it as a betrayal, viewing Hantuchová as conceited, greedy woman… 4 months later, though, she was suddenly viewed as a national hero, as she greatly helped us to win the event by defeating the Spaniards in the final (which was btw held on the Canary Islands, with Sanchez & Martinez duo still playing)…

P.S. Interesting, that quote of Agassi… I wonder if this is his definition of an ideal coach?

P.P.S. Speaking about Agassi, I want to ask you one question re: that epic semifinal which he played against Patrick Rafter at SW19 in 2001 (if you remember it, that is)… I’ve heard the guy fired a ball towards a linesperson as he was about to shake hands with the Aussie:-) Is that true?


Von Says:

To: Skorocel

Re: Hrbaty, I would never have thought that he would be a crusader. He looks so gawky added to that his outrageous shirts. I am not sure if it was the ’05 or ’06 U.S. Open, Hrbaty showed up in this bright pink shirt with two large cutouts in the back that depicted lips. Needless to say the ESPN commentators had a field day concerning Hrbaty’s shirt. (I find the ESPN commentators extremely critical and very prone to gossip.) But, it was hillarious.

“…the Slovak public considered it as a betrayal, viewing Hantuchová as conceited, greedy woman… 4 months later,…”

I am surpriesed about the reaction to Daniela in Slovakia. I would have thought that her country would be proud of her. (My daughter’s middle name is Danielle, the British version of Daniela.) Envy sparks a lot of unjustified criticism. “Her too thin figure” is the result of her parents’ divorce, she lost her appetite. She went though a difficult period. I saw her on court at times crying. However, it seems as though she has come to terms with that problem and has actually gained a few pounds. She has won mixed doubles in all of the 4 grandslams with different partners. I think that’s a huge accomplishment considering her depression, etc.

What’s very strange with fans, on one hand we have Daniela too thin, and the fans are critical, and on the other hand the US has Serena Williams and the fans are enormously critical about her being overweight. Somewhat of a catch-22 situation. It’s amazing.

I always wondered whether the Fed Cup and Davis Cup athletes got paid for their time. From what you state, I guess they do. So, the US Davis Team probably got a bonus for their win in ’07. Added to that all of their expenses are paid. Interesting.

I read that Borg was offered $125,000 by the Swiss Tennis Association to play Davis Cup, he never wanted to participate. That was a lot of money in those days. But, can you imagine that a country has to beg and pay their athlete to play for his country? I think that was absolutely outrageous.

“Speaking about Agassi, I want to ask you one question re: that epic semifinal which he played against Patrick Rafter at SW19 in 2001 (if you remember it, that is)… I’ve heard the guy fired a ball towards a linesperson as he was about to shake hands with the Aussie:-) Is that true?”

I’m Sorry, I can’t help you there. I was never an Agassi fan. He had that “enfant terrible” attitude and did not mature until he married Graf. She brought some stability into his life. I was always a Sampras fan.

Btw, what is the time difference between Slovakia and the US? I could look it up, but I am too lazy to do so.

Well, just a few more hours to the AO. Santa Claus is coming. Enjoy.


Kash Says:

Some ignorant and/or dumb people seem to claim that the organizers always do a 1 Vs 4 draw. It is hilarious how people will jump to conclusions without ever bothering to understand how a very common thing in tennis, the draws are made. This topic has been discussed many a time on this very site and ofcourse most tennis sites, but ofcourse we are busy hating federer and doing some voodoo on him.

Do yourselves a favor and learn how tennis favors are made. And another thing nadal could have done himself a favor and beaten soderling in 3 sets. but no, he was not good enough to do that. bite the bullet and accept that nadal is not as good as fed to make his own luck. fed the day before steam-rolled safin in time to get off the courts before rain came down.


Skorocel Says:

Agree with you, Kash. Nadal should’ve definitely finished the Swede in 3 sets… And speaking about luck, had Youzhny been fit, he would most probably sent the Spaniard packing… So as we can see, it wasn’t only Fed who was “lucky” at last year’s SW19…


Kash Says:

Skorocel:

You make a nice point. All these disgruntled nadal, djokovic, roddick and sampras fans are just too busy thinking of ways/reasons to slam fed rather than watching the actual matches. you would think djokovic and roddick are the guys with a 5-1 and 15-1 h2h against fed having been given some very convincing arguments in this blog how federer is the luckiest person ever to be born on this planet.

The truth of the matter is, there is no such thing as an unlucky draw for fed coz of his amazing records against most players on tour. Players like ferrer, blake, roddick, gonzalez who can make anyone’s draw unlucky have won 2 matches in 40 odd matches against fed. there are barely a handful of players who have beaten federer more than once since he became no.1 – nalbandian, canas and nadal. It is not luck that people lose hope when he steps on court, he worked for it. he has built up these unbelievable loss less records against every player that it is a nightmare for any aspiring player to step into a grandslam match with federer. For any player other than nadal, federer in the draw means winning 2 GS in 7days. It is just that tough. Look at the people who have beaten him at GS since 03 wimbledon. nalbandian in 03 us open, guga at 04 french, safin in 05 aus and nadal in the french last 3 years. Imagine the quality of tennis these guys had to bring to beat federer at a GS. They had to play some all-time-best stuff to knock fed-ex off a GS. All the more so on a non-clay surface and yet, we are told in this blog by some amazingly incisive tennis minds that luck was the main reason why his stellar 4yrs materialized. What next? tiger woods is lucky? schumacher? maybe lets throw in sampras, jordan and everyone else who would love to hear they dominated their sport like fed has done these 4yrs. The only thing more laughable than calling fed lucky is these whiners complaining fed complains/whines.


Von Says:

Skorocel:
On KasH:
I am one of the dumb and ignorant people he’s referring to. He is so smart that he spells people’s names with a common letter and also people’s nationality.”

Kash Says:

Von dude, how do you expect american media to play up the american tennis players? Do you want to take a wild guess as to the no. of sets roddick, blake, isner, ginepri and querry, all put together, won agaist king-fed this year. I am not talking matches. JUST FREAKING SETS.

The answer would be one more than the no. of matches they won against him in the last 4yrs (which incase you are not aware = 0). So please stop about tennis media not being nice to american tennis players. the american tennis media like the rest of american media is jingoistic enough. if they had enough talented players, they would call the US open the world series, like they do with most of their games. Face up to the facts, USA is in a bubble of its own. To most in USA, the world is their own country. You have absolutely zilch idea of what is happening in more dynamic places like europe or china or india. Most americans are not even intelligent enough to acknowledge tennis as the main sport that connects them to the world. They live in a stupid world of american football, baseball, ice hockey and basket ball. Look at the real world which enjoys the real football, rugby, hockey and cricket. I am sure most americans cant even comprehend the dumbness of the games they watch. It is too sad americans cant appreciate more intelligent and skill based games. Basket-ball is an exception but the other three games are examples of how games get popular with americans if you make them more stupid. Thank god more intelligent nations like china and india are evening the power in this world so that intelligent sports like tennis can thrive. Imagine a world where there is only stupid games like football, hockey, wrestling and baseball on TV and media.

“Some ignorant and/or dumb people seem to claim that the organizers always do a 1 Vs 4 draw. It is hilarious how people will jump to conclusions without ever bothering to understand how a very common thing in tennis, the draws are made.”

Kash to Grendel:

“Grendel:Do not quit. I, for one, enjoy reading your posts. You are quite balanced and sane in your comments. So, FWIW, continue your posts. I may not post a lot but you can be sure I will be reading. Von is, mentally, hardly a 6yr old. You dont want to take his posts seriously. Here is a gem from his totally innane reply to my post:

“But I think you should check your stats, Roddick took a set from federer at the U.S. Open in 2006, when Tiger Woods was prominently visible sitting in Federer’s box, Ginepri got a set at the U.S. Open, and Isner a few months ago won a set and don’t forget our LEGEND Pete Sampras won a whole match,”

“Do you want to take a wild guess as to the no. of sets roddick, blake, isner, ginepri and querry, all put together, won agaist king-fed this year.”

“Now, what are we sane people to make of Von’s reading comprehension expertise? I ask him the no. of sets US players won from Fed in a competitive match THIS year. And dude comes at me with roddick winning a set last year and sampras winning a match in an EXHIBITION match. And tops it off with a “go check your statistics” comment. Er…. I would…. if you can make a decent attempt to understand what the other person has said before you mouth off your stupid advices!”

I was wondering when you would surface.

And by the way Kash, you were not right, Isner took a set from Federer in ’07. I still maintain, check your stats before referring to me as “hardly a six-year old.” I think by now anyone who has read my posts would know I have more intelligence than you’ll ever possess.


Von Says:

Kash:

A present from me to you.

Enter Kash, exit Von. Be my guest. You talk about Americans I don’t think they can be one-quarter as rude idiotic as you are. Have fun. Bye all.


Skorocel Says:

Dear Von and Kash, come on! There’s no need to hate:-)

Anyway, here are my views:

About that “world series” in the US leagues… I agree with Kash. If I remember, they once called the NBA champion as “NBA world champion”, which, in my opinion, was an act of total arrogance.

I agree that the baseball and american football are mostly played in the US (or better said, there aren’t many people outside the US who follow these sports), but as for the basketball and ice-hockey, they’re both very popular in Europe as well… For example, ice-hockey is perhaps the most popular sport in my homecountry (Slovakia), and there are lots of our players playing in the NHL (for instance, Gáborík or Hossa, if someone of you remember) as well… The same for basketball (my hometown women’s basketball club won the Euroleague twice, for instance)… So all in all, these two sports are very popular in Europe as well…

As for the cricket, (if I remember it correctly) it is mostly played in the UK, India, Pakistan and (maybe?) Australia, so it doesn’t look as if it had a worldwide popularity… If you had asked about this sport in other countries of Europe, Asia, or in the US, they would have no idea what you’re talking about…

About those Americans living in their “own” world… I do agree with Kash on this one, but at the same time, I’m not wondering… Even my father (who’s a BIG American hater, believe me!) often jokes that the history teached on the US schools begins with the Battle of Saratoga and ends with Battle of Gettysburg:-) I know he can’t even have a clue about what is actually being teached in those US schools, but I guess there’s something truth into it… But as I’ve said, I’m not wondering… If you’re teached to not know there are other countries in the world (I mean it symbolically, of course), then what you can expect from an ordinary US citizen? Idiots are everywhere (including Slovakia), but there are also other, more sane people on this world (Von, Kash, are you there?)…

As for that Sampras’ exho win… Well, I really don’t care, simply because it was an EXHO, not a serious match! If (for some strange reason) Pete decided to make a comeback, and these two have met at, say, Wimbledon (or at any other tournament for that matter), now that would be something! Had Sampras won THIS match, not only would’ve been the GOAT debate closed for good, but this one single match would’ve virtually erased all of Fed’s accomplishments as well… But as of now, the only SERIOUS match these two played was (as you may know) at SW19 2001 – and there it was Fed who emerged as victorious…

As for saying Fed’s only lucky… Well, I can understand when there’s someone who had won only 1 GS in the entire career (for instance Roddick) and you’ll call him “lucky”, but Fed? Come on, the guy has won TWELVE slams, 14 MS events, and 4 Masters cups! You CAN’T be lucky to win so many of these tournaments… As Kash said, Fed’s proved time and time again that, NO MATTER HOW THE DRAW LOOKS, he would most probably beat all the dangerous guys out there (with the exception of Nadal, of course)…

So Von, Kash – my friends! There’s no need to hate ourselves… As I’ve already said, as long as we respect ourselves, we’re free to disagree, isn’t it?


Von Says:

Skorocel:

I don’t hate.

So you actually agree with Kash that I have the brain of a six-yearold and all Americans are dumb and stupid? Oh well, then there’s not much else to say is there.


Kash Says:

Skorocel:

Thanks for your balanced views. I do agree with the views on americans in general. I guess I got a little too carried away with the anti-non-american posts of Von. I do realise there are a good number of nice american people, infact very fortunate to have met with a lot of such good people. I guess I need to apologise to such nice people for letting some stupid posts get to me.

Von:
Please continue with your anti-non-american views. I donot think I will be responding to them anymore. For your own benefit. I will again explain why you are wrong regarding “me having to check my stats”

Here is what I posted :

“Do you want to take a wild guess as to the no. of sets roddick, blake, isner, ginepri and querry, all put together, won agaist king-fed this year. I am not talking matches. JUST FREAKING SETS.

The answer would be one more than the no. of matches they won against him in the last 4yrs (which incase you are not aware = 0).”

I asked you for the no. of sets Americans won in professional play against federer. I added the answer is ONE more than the no. of matches americans have won against federer in the last 4yrs. I also added that the no. of such matches is 0 because it has been more than 4yrs since roddick beat federer in a 3rd set tie break in montreal (wouldn’t you think that is lucky? the only win roddick had in 16 attempts against federer is in a 3rd set tie-break!)

Now 1 more than 0 = 1 which is the one set that isner won against federer at the US open. Hope this has got into your head. And also ginepri never won a set against fed at US open. That was in cincinnati 05. The only set ginepri won in 4 matches against federer.

If it is still not clear, I hope people who think you are intelligent will explain it better to you.


sensationalsafin Says:

2006 was less than 4 years ago and Roddick got a set off him at the US Open and at Shanghai… so it’s more than 1 set. Blake also got a set. I don’t like Federer anymore. Somehow, again, he got better and his matches aren’t even interesting. Let’s go Safin!!!


jane Says:

Exactly: as sensationalsafin correctly points out, Roddick took a set off Fed at the USO final and so it IS more than one set.

So Kash, you should be checking the stats more carefully. You should also realize that Von and others are entitled to their own opinions and that they don’t need to be called names for having them; we’re above that aren’t we?

We’re all here because we love tennis. Let’s just remember that.


jane Says:

Forgive me Kash: I see your initial question was how many sets Americans had won against Fed in 07 but it was worded as though you meant the last four years, which is probably why Von, sensationalsafin and I all may have misinterpreted it.

I guess, technically, you could count Pete’s sets, no? Even if they were Exo and he’s American. ;-)


Von Says:

SS:

Thanks. This idiot Kash, if you remember the time with Grendel,he got on Grendel’s bandwagon and was absolutely disgusting about his dislike for Americans.

I don’t know if you saw the match today with Santoro? Boring, boring, boring, b-o–r–i–n–g, I felt bad for the crowd and Santoro. There was nothing much to cheer about. He is emulating Sampras now 100%. This idiot all he wants to do is humiliate his opponents. Everytime I see him play I can only watch for 10 minutes and then walk away. His game is on TV right now and I walked away. I did not want to see his ugly face smiling at Santoro when he shakes his hand at the net. Bloody crybaby!!!

Martina Navratilova stated that Federer likes to be the “king of the heap” and enjoys the attention and accolades. How disgusting it is for anyone to earn such a reputation and for it to be so apparent. He makes so much money and he does not have the respect of his colleagues and other people.

Money can’t buy class. Class is innate. There’s winning a close match and then there’s humiliating your opponent. You don’t need to break your bloody ass running for every point when you are playing a 35 year-old man, up 2 sets and leading 5-0 in the third. Leave the bloody man with some dignity. This is his last AO tournament. He is retiring. Good God, have some respect for another human being.

Federer has earned a degree with a specialty in sadism. That’s the only kind he would be able to obtain. Perhaps he could find a high school and take some courses in human relations. He does not want to play tennis. He wants to be on stage.

Today, at Federer’s match, Bill Macatee said that we are watching an exhibition. If I were Federer, I won’t be proud if someone said that about my match. He replays those tapes, I hope he heard what Bill and Martina said. But, he is so insecure, he would think that it’s a good thing. I hope the press slaughters him when he loses.

How can anyone respect this insecure moron. Everytime he opens his mouth, he sounds more idiotic than the previous. His incongruence is now known by all who are ardent tennis fans and the media.

He used the exhibition matches that he played with Pete Sampras to enhance his skills so can now beat the American/other players. Now he (Federer) is criticizing the baseliners. Who is the baseline jackass, the moronic fool Federer.

KASH, you and your mutual admiration society friend SKORCEL, can go to hell. The two of you can talk tennis.

SKOROCEL: I am a pretty good judge of people, you certainly played me for a fool, with your, oh so prim and proper posts.

You had the bloody gumption to mention in a post to me that I left out the “o” in your post name no less, and to embelish it with “just respect” for the person. I apologized profusely and you felt that maybe I was genuinely sorry, well, I wasn’t. In my mind I thought what a small, idiotic person. In your next post to me, you stated “I hope you’re not too much concerned about that “faux paus” re: my name’s correct spelling:- Don’t worry -”

You’re so bloody proper in correcting me about “respect” for a person’s name and you take sides with a man who has absolutely no respect for the correct spelling of anyone’s nationality or name by using a lower case letter. And, in your post today, you spelt the word “American” as “american.”

A mico-mini lesson in English the past tense of teach is “taught” not “teached”. Now there you go, you learnt something from the 6-yearold today.

I would have you know that I have a Law Degree and a degree in Psychology. Let’s hear what you both have. Can’t be much for both of you. You both don’t know the basics, a capital letter is always used for a proper noun, e.g., name and naionality.

SKOROCEL: The following is what you two-faced, double-tongued conniver stated about your wonderful god, Federer:

“I have to admit that, sometimes, even I am a bit surprised about the things which Fed says in the interviews (though I don’t read them as often today as I used to in the past). For instance, once he said that when he was a young player, he wanted to beat his opponents with their own game – i.e. if he faced a baseliner, he would beat him from the baseline, if he faced a serve & volleyer, he would beat him at the net, etc… Quite weird, isn’t it? I agree with you that sometimes the guy tends to be rather disingenunous… For example, once he said he would not change even one SW19 title for even 10 French Opens, which is a total bullsh.t in my opinion.”

After I read that, I thought to myself, he is so gung-ho on Federer, thinks Federer is everything womderful, and then says this. I made a mental note to be careful about what I say to you. Do you know what they call people such as yourself, rattlesnakes. Their bite is deadly.

And, to hell with you and your bigoted father. Americans are better off without the likes of the two of you and your newly-found friend KASH, in our country.

Now, my agenda for the three of you is to collect as much information that you each can glean about the lousy Americans, and send it to press. That and $2.50 each, which is the amount of a subway fare, will get you on the New York Subway, and you can ride, and ride, and ride.

Bye skorcel and kash. Send me another post on how to correctly spell your “faux” name, because I spelt it incorrectly. You know, ehm, that “respect” thing that you are so prim and proper about.

“I agree that the baseball and american football are mostly played in the US (or better said, there aren’t many people outside the US who follow these sports.” Well, jolly good for us.

“There’s no need to hate ourselves… As I’ve already said, as long as we respect ourselves, we’re free to disagree, isn’t it? ”

You can take that sentence,(those are my words, use your brain to come up with something novel) AND PUT IT WHERE THE MONKEY PUT THE NUTS.

AND I HOPE THAT MARAT, ANDY, OR ANYONE ELSE BEAT THE HELL OUT OF THE INVINCIBLE FEDERER.

Anyone else want to tke a swing at me, I am ready.


jane Says:

Maybe we should dub him “Marquis de Fed”, perennial sadist!? Ha Ha!

You know, he does make a million at those EXOs too. So it’s not only for practicing his skills.


angel Says:

hahaha Von you defenitely are full of bull**** you know the envy is really bad for your health just an advice.


Daniel Says:

To Von

Dude, you need to relax and stop attacking everybody. This blog sounds like a bordel!
I always and still respect Jane because of her class, even when she was alone against Fed. Take notes with her so we can keep the discussions interesting.

One of your comments really bothers me. You said that Federer didn’t have respect because he baggled Santoro. Seriously, do you even play tennis?! Seems like you are a “judge” who wants to balance things up. It is like in soccer (I am Brazilian) letting the other team make a goal because you are winning 5 x 0. Common….
If you can handle the score you probably shouldn’t be playing sports.

That main thing about Fed is that the ones who don’t like him can’t see his game. As a tennis fan I find unbelievable when you said those words above. How can any person that likes tennis don’t want to see him play. In the match against Santoro you lost several points that only two magicians could do.

To me, and a lot of other Fed fans (as you say), his dominance doesn’t bother me at all, in fact I (we) love it. I feel bless because we truly are watching greatness and I want to see if he will pass the 20 Slams. I, as a sports fan in general, love the achievements of these great athletes.

I don’t figure out how you can hate him but I try to understand. For example if Federer, god forbid, get a injury that keep him away from tennis and Nadal starts winning everything I will be in your position. I don’t like him because he is in Federer’s way. But I think the Nadals are necessary, in fact he too is a legend on the making, the guy never loss in French!

So, basically, we have to accept people’s differences and focus on tennis. Although, we are humans and we tend to fight naturally…


Skorocel Says:

Jane said: “You know, he does make a million at those EXOs too.”

Do you think Sampras played those for free?


Von Says:

Daneil:

“Seems like you are a “judge” who wants to balance things up.”

Maybe, I am. I am a human being with a heart. You didn’t get my point, did you. Doesn’t surprise me. Santoro is retiring. This is his last AO. Federer would have won hands down. There was no need for him to run down evcery ball, to get every point. Let the guy win a point. Federer did not have any threat. Leave Santoto with some dignity. with some dignity.

“It is like in soccer (I am Brazilian) letting the other team make a goal because you are winning 5 x 0. Common…. If you can handle the score you probably shouldn’t be playing sports.”

Santoro was a great player. He could have handled what Federer threw at him in his prime. He is 35 years old. Your comparison is now valid.

Whatever are your views you’re entitled to them. Life is a give and take road. If someone had beaten Federer the way he beat Santoro. He would be crying. No one should be subjected to that type of humiliaition at their last tournament. Sin the match, but don’t play him without some mercy. We are judged by the quality of our mercy.

I am not a dude. I am a woman.


Von Says:

Excuse the typos.

evcery s/b every. comparison is now , now s/b not; Sin the match s/b win the match

I believe that there is a greater power who eventually evens the score.


Von Says:

angel Says:

“hahaha Von you defenitely are full of bull**** you know the envy is really bad for your health just an advice.”

Touche’.

“you are defenitely are full of bull****”

I like yours too. Seems to me that you did not comprehend anything. Figures.

My beef was not just about Federer. This whole nonsense began because I originally spoke up about the degrading remarks about Americans to a Federer fan. Most of you on this site are not Americans, so naturally you’ll discard that most important point. Federer is a by-product of my argument. Got it?

I ss you posts, you interject these one-sentence jabs as an argument. Meanwhile, you fail to comprehend what is the real basis of the disagreement. I hope you got it this time.


Von Says:

Angel:

This is a footnote to my answer to your one-liner. If I ever get to the point where I would need advice, it won’t be from you. Keep your advice.

“Envy,” what am I envious about, the morons who think Americans are dumb and we live in a bubble. Those morons are the envious ones. They hate Americans for what they have so they criticize them. Get on the line, it’s a long one.

You ar the one that’s full of the “bull****”. The logistics of this argument just was too much above your head. It just passed over it.


Daniel Says:

Von, sorry for the Dude.

Regarding Fed’s being Santoro executor.
You said:

“You didn’t get my point, did you. Doesn’t surprise me.”

The same is valid for you.

It was the first time I saw Federer passing the net to congratulate anyone. To me it showed tremendous respect!

For you understand my point let us think as Federer.

He didn’t prepare for the AO and as usual he has a lot of pressure.
He needs to win these matches the way he did because in the position he is right now, the “Fed Phobia” is one off his lethal weapons.

Last year the man didn’t drop a set. This year he will (seems like it) bagled everybody in his way. He is sending a message!

One off the things I always hated in Fed’s game is that sometimes he gets out of focus. He knows he can get back in a match and he gives himself this privilege. But this year I really think he is improving. He is really going for every point and trying to reduce the unforced errors.

He has a game plan, trying to prepare for the big matches next week, so if Santoro was unlucky to get in his way, sorry for him.
Fed, as I thought, wouldn’t sacrifice his preparation to let him make same games to look pretty. And the way I saw it, Santoro was having a good time, even in the last point. If you have watched the whole match you would have notice that, besides the score being the way it was.

Now, more than ever, I am excited with this season because Federer looks like he wants to win the Golden Slam! This year he can be really immortalized.


Skorocel Says:

To Von:
Are you fine? I guess I shall give you some time to recuperate before I can post any reasonable reply on that outpour which you just produced… Meanwhile, have a nice day!


Daniel Says:

By the way, tennis is a competitive sport like any other and we all know how fast things can change in a tennis match. In a grand slam you have to enter the court and liquidate the match as soon as possible. Period!

No mercy during the match! But showing the proper respect as the match end, is one off the qualities that makes tennis an “elite” sport.


Skorocel Says:

Daniel said:
“I feel bless because we truly are watching greatness and I want to see if he will pass the 20 Slams.”

“Now, more than ever, I am excited with this season because Federer looks like he wants to win the Golden Slam! This year he can be really immortalized.”

Be careful what you’re saying here, Daniel! I can clearly imagine someone having goose-skin after reading your comments:-) Golden Slam, greatness, etc. – please, show them some mercy!


Von Says:

Daniel Says:
Von, sorry for the Dude.

“Regarding Fed’s being Santoro executor.
You said: You didn’t get my point, did you. Doesn’t surprise me.”

The same is valid for you.”

Daniel: I read your post and I don’t know what I am feeling. I am very angry. I can’t stop sobbing. You don’t have any idea what it’s like to see such garbage spoken about Americans. I have two American born (2) children and an American husand. All natural born Americans. I was born in a British country. I became an American citizen, and I love this country maybe more than my mother country because I lived most of my adult life here. Irregardless of what America has done, we’ve helped so many, many people and it really gets to me when people behave in such a vulgar manner about America. God will always bless America because we’ve done so much good for all. We are a land of immigrants and we make mistakes but so doea everyone else.

Thank you for explaining about Federer. He made his point in Round one (1). I felt so bad for Hartfield. Santoro was different. I saw him smiling and lifting his arms when he won a point. Isn’t that sad that a man who had such a great career had to be thankful for the crumbs he was able to win. Hartfield did the same thing when he won a point. I just feel that the crucifixion was uncalled for. My belief would not meld with that of most people, but I felt if Federer showed some sort of kindness to Santoro. I believe that God would reward him in another way. I just don’t get this executioner thinking.

“Now, more than ever, I am excited with this season because Federer looks like he wants to win the Golden Slam! This year he can be really immortalized.”

Do you have any idea how many good players’ spirits are broken, because of Federer’s desire to be the best. Tennis has lost the magnificence of shot making and entertainment. All we see is a machine-like person going for the kill. If he wins its fine, it just means no one else will attain a slam. I would think that’s a great argument for being disillusioned.

Anyway, Daniel, I hope you enjoy your ’08 tennis season. Thanks for the explanation.


jane Says:

“Do you think Sampras played those for free?” asks Skorocel.

Nope – course not. But I don’t think he’s trying to be the GOAT or practice his skills either. He likely just wants to get back on the court for some fun and, perhaps, some accolades. I see he’s meeting up with Martin for a round.

It’d make me feel better if these gazillionare tennis players did these EXOs for charity!


sensationalsafin Says:

I read an article last year that said Federer really loves tennis and nowadays he doesn’t just wanna win, he wants to own as much as possible. He’s not like Sampras who was ok with winning matches 6-4 6-4, Federer wants to win 6-2 6-2, or 6-2 6-0, or 6-0 6-0 if it comes to that. He’s ruthless, and I think now he’s even worse because he’s pissed at all the “Federer’s slipping” talk from last year. Yeah it sucks that no one else has a chance but at the same time, I wish I had a quarter of as much hunger as Federer has. To be able to stay so focused for such a long time is his biggest talent. I have trouble focusing on a homework assignment, but Federer is truly out of this world. Nalbandian probably wishes he had half of Federer’s hunger so that he could win atleast a slam every now and then. Federer’s devoted and if nothing else, he deserves respect for that.


jane Says:

There are others who are just as devoted, but Fed has exceptional talent and perhaps a little luck in addition. I wonder how much Mirka helps keep him focused? She’s been a constant for him, even through different coaches, whereas many of the others don’t have that kind of constant. Rafa has Uncle Tony, I suppose. But it must help to have someone you can hit with, cry to, sleep with, go to fashion shows with etc. One does wonder what makes Fed so “hungry” or ruthless. The commentators were talking about the Serbs, who’ve been through war, and Henin, who’s lost her mother and survived a horrid husband & divorce and how these trials make them tougher athletes. So I wonder – what has Fed experienced? Anyone know? I know nothing of his childhood or background. Maybe this is over-psychologizing, but what the hell!


sensationalsafin Says:

2002 his longtime coach and mentor Peter Carter died in a car accident while I think vacationing in South Africa. That was the climax in Federer’s life. He won his first major the next year, and then followed it up with utter dominance over the the whole tour.


Skorocel Says:

To anyone saying those “Fed-phobia” kind of things:
Please, stop doing that! Fed has worked VERY HARD to achieve this status, and IT’S ONLY UP TO HIS OPPONENTS to make his life a bit tougher on the court! Do you think players weren’t afraid of Sampras? Do you think Fed wasn’t feeling any doubts before (or during) their match at Wimby 2001?

You often hear about Fed’s chatting with his opponents in the locker rooms prior to their matches – now imagine that with Sampras (!)…


jane Says:

Ah…very interesting. So it’s fear of death then? The classic motivator for immortality. That explains it. Seriously, though, tragic untimely losses do leave gapping holes and fears.


jane Says:

Skorocel,

Sure, but you’ve got to admit that it’d be pretty intimidating going onto the court knowing you have to face the guy often touted as the goat! If you read the new Deuce article on Nalbandian at the ATP website, he states that he doesn’t “pay Federer the same respect as everyone else does” and look at the results?! Same goes for the Djoker, who also says he doesn’t fear Fed but wants to win some matches too. So maybe there’s a grain of truth to the idea that playing Fed can be mentally intimidating.

And there’s a big difference, I’d imagine, between on the court and off (i.e. locker room chats)!


Von Says:

sensationalsafin:

“I read an article last year that said Federer really loves tennis and nowadays he doesn’t just wanna win, he wants to own as much as possible.”

A case of too much too soon? When someone becomes so ruthless, a part of them gets lost. A hardened heart does not a happy person make. As the famous good book says, “Man can make plans in his heart, but the Creator has the final say.” Federer can want to rewrite every page of Tennis history, it does not mean he’ll be given the opportunity to do it. But, only time will tell.

“2002 his longtime coach and mentor Peter Carter died in a car accident while I think vacationing in South Africa. That was the climax in Federer’s life.”

Sampras’ coach had cancer. At the ’95 AO, he suffered a stroke. Sampras cried all during the 5th set. He could not control his grief. My point is, he did not begin a ruthless campaign. He became a better person and realized that there’s more to life than just Tennis.

Jane:

“….perhaps a little luck in addition. I wonder how much Mirka helps keep him focused? She’s been a constant for him, even through different coaches, whereas many of the others don’t have that kind of constant.”

My sentiments as well. She’s taken the load, of wife, mother, companion, manager, et al. His only concern is Tennis. However, he stated he’s scared of marriage. After 7-8 years, he’s saying that, not even an engagement ring. I wuld be taking the next flight out after that comment. I hope she has a loaded bank account. As has often happened at the end of the career of people who have had that sort of arrangement,(e.g.,Tennis, Football,etc.) he’ll probably dump her and find a newer, younger model. Hingis/Stepanek is not a good comparison, just a wee bit.

“Rafa’s struggling against Simon, so I am not so sure now.” I noticed you forgot my little guy. I hope he makes it through to the semis. He has all of those points to defend.


Von Says:

Skorocel:

“To anyone saying those “Fed-phobia” kind of things: Please, stop doing that! Fed has worked…”

For you, My lips are sealed.


Von Says:

A footnote to the above post:

“Skorocel: “To anyone saying those “Fed-phobia” kind of things: Please, stop doing that!”

And, to anyone making those anti-American remarks relating to the dumbness of Americans, pretty please, stop. What’s food for the goose, is food for the gander.


jane Says:

Von,

” I noticed you forgot my little guy. I hope he makes it through to the semis. He has all of those points to defend.”

True: Roddick does have those points to defend and I like to see Andy do well. I guess I was just thinking in terms of who could possibly stop Federer; Rafa and Nalby came to mind because of their records against him, Djokovic because of his fearless attitude and record on hardcourts. Roddick would need to exorcise a lot of ghosts to win it all, but I’d love to see it. I wouldn’t want to see another rout in the final against Federer though. Maybe Baggy? He looked sharp against Safin (who’ll be back) and he’s got heart.


jane Says:

From Novak’s most recent interview, pertaining to Fed-phobia:

“Q. Janko had a good match today and the next opponent is Federer. What do you think he can do?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, one thing is for sure, he shouldn’t go out to the court with a white flag. Even though we all know how good is Roger playing, especially on the such a big events. But even though I think everything is possible. You know, it’s unpredictable. Certainly Roger is a favorite.

But I wish Janko all the best. And obviously Janko doesn’t have anything to lose. He’s been playing some pretty good tennis in the first two rounds, especially today, and we’ll see what happens.”

See? Novak doesn’t worship or fear Federer; he believes anything is possible even if Federer is the favorite. He also states players must not go on the court with a “white flag”, i.e., surrendering to the imperious one. They must believe; they must fight. If Federer still wins, at least they fought the good fight.

Nadal should stop saying “I’m happy with number 2″ because that’s like saying I don’t want to surpass Roger and be number 1 for awhile. He needs his hunger back more, like he burst onto the tour with, drawing a legion of fans.


jane Says:

” I hope she has a loaded bank account. As has often happened at the end of the career of people who have had that sort of arrangement,(e.g.,Tennis, Football,etc.) he’ll probably dump her and find a newer, younger model.”

No kidding – maybe she doesn’t care about marriage, or likes the lifestyle of living well. Or maybe she’s hoping the marriage will come. I think something like the potential scenerio you describe happened with Boris Becker and his wife? Can’t remember and haven’t read his tell-all.


Von Says:

Jane:

“I think something like the potential scenerio you describe happened with Boris Becker and his wife?”

Look at Greg Norman, he dumped his wife of over 20 years for Chris Evert. And, she dumped her husband of about 20 years. She has 2 boys and he has 2 children, I think. What is the switcheroo saying to the kids. The worst part is that the two couples were friends.

I hope the marriage does come. The guy claims his parents’ divorce scarred him for life. “Hello, Swiss-Air, one seat for …” I guess different strokes for different folks.

“From Novak’s most recent interview, pertaining to Fed-phobia:”

We were told to stop that. My lips are sealed, er, I mean my fingers are taped.


Von Says:

Jane:

“I think something like the potential scenerio you describe happened with Boris Becker and his wife?”

I forgot the other part, he said there were too many tennis divorces. If she falls for that then I am Methuselah’s aunt and pigs fly. Wow!


Von Says:

Jane:

“Roddick would need to exorcise a lot of ghosts to win it all, but I’d love to see it.”

I am going to airfreight an exorcist, or maybe First Class would be better. Or better still, why not charter an aircraft.


Daniel Says:

Von, I have nothing against Americans, I live in Houston.

Federer is a professional tennis player who doesn’t want to get married while he is traveling 8 months or more a year. He chooses to not compromise while tennis is his major priority. Imagine having a soon that you could not see all the time.
And yes he is so “lucky” that he could find a girl who understand that and give him total support.

Now Federer is no good because he doesn’t has tragedy in his life. Common…!!!!!

You missed sensationalsafin point! Since his coach died he also get mature becoming what he is today and he couldn’t commit with any other coach. This is one of the reasons he still is without a coach.

You and Jane are sounding obsessed analyzing every aspect of his life trying to find flaws. Only knowing him personal we could possibly say what motivates him!


Daniel Says:

To put a end in my point of view I will use a line from Gladiator:

“What men does in life ecos in eternity”


Daniel Says:

Sorry, it should be:

“WHAT MAN DOES IN LIFE ECHOES IN ETERNITY”


Daniel Says:

Djoko, Nalby and Nadal are the only ones that can stop Federer, because they had victories over him in finals.
Nalby and Nadal we know that can handle a 5 setter but I’m not sure if Djoko is already ready.

Roddick will have to fight against Kohlschreiber otherwise his rank will fall even more.


jane Says:

I just woke up, rubbing my eyes at the scores on my computer, and it looks like Andy is out – and yep – his ranking will indeed drop. Shame about this. But I admit I had a bad feeling about the German for some reason – knowing he had just won a tournament seemed ominous. Of course, that doesn’t mean much, because so had Tursunov, and Sam still ousted him.

But I thought Andy was a wee bit blithe talking about Kohlschreiber in his last interview. Kohlschreiber had a good lead up to this tournament and hadn’t really been tested so far (his last match his opponent retired, so…).

I see Fish fizzled out too. That’s too bad as he played well against Robredo. So the only Americans left are Sam and Blake? Maybe Blake will do well here? Be nice to see – he’s such a smart and great guy.


jane Says:

Daniel,

“You missed sensationalsafin point! Since his coach died he also get mature becoming what he is today and he couldn’t commit with any other coach. This is one of the reasons he still is without a coach.”

I agree – what I was drawing on were the commentators remarks about the Serbs and Henin and how adversity has made them hungrier to win and stronger. So I was just wondering if Fed had experienced something similar. Of course we’ll never know what truly drives him, but I was just making conversation – and a little bit of a joke too. Another saying that might apply here is: “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”


jane Says:

Von,

Sorry about Roddick – so now who will you root for? Any favorites?


Von Says:

Daniel:

“Federer is a professional tennis player who doesn’t want to get married while he is traveling 8 months or more a year. He chooses to not compromise while tennis is his major priority.”

Shacking up with a woman for 8 years has not compromised his Tennis, so why would marrying her do that? Who says he has to have children right away. You?

“You and Jane are sounding obsessed analyzing every aspect of his life trying to find flaws. Only knowing him personal we could possibly say what motivates him!”

Frankly, it does not matter to me what drives him. From a psychological point of view, I think he has a lot of insecurities, from what he says and does. I have always thought of him as a Borg parallel. And, I think he will self-destruct one of these days, especially if he begins to lose. I suppose you know what happened to Borg. Overdosing on sleeping pills and suicide attempts.

People who impose on themselves such high standards have something to prove. They are never satisfied. They feel that they cannot obtain respect unless they are the “big cheese,.” and the center of attention. They have to get a daily does of attention and accolades. As a result they run themselves ragged trying to be the best. They suffer their own hell. A tortured soul/mind.

I hear all sorts of talk about how much pressure he is under. Who is putting pressure on him. He is. Did anyone say to him that he has “X” number of years to break Sampras’ record. No. So who is putting the pressure on whom. He wants to show the world that he can attain 14 plus slams in 4 years as opposed to Sampras who achieved it in 8 years. That’s his self-inflicted pressure.

After what transpired over the last 2 days with me and the two anti-American posters, I sat back and thought to myself that this is so stupid. Except for my love of Tennis, I really am out of my league with this blogging.

Don’t you think it is ludicrous for me to get into an argument with two foreign men about their dislike of Americans. I can’t fight the world on this. There are many millions more who feel the same way about the USA. I realized that I am wasting far too much time on this. I should be doing something more constructive with my time. Like reading a good book that would add something to my grey matter.

However, I have met some very nice people blogging. So it is not all for naught. Jane, SG, Naresh, sensationalsafin, and a few others whose names do not come to mind. I enjoyed my posts and theirs. It’s something for me to do to pass the time until I return to work.

I had a very bad accident a few months ago and am on sick leave. I had to find something to do with my time. So I thought I’ll try blogging. However, I realized that my belief of what is good or bad and right or wrong clashes with the beliefs of others. My beliefs would not entertain the thought of shacking up with someone. I have nore self-respect than that. And that is what I was expressing. I’ve seen too many situations similar to theirs where it just concluded with one person using the other, and the relationship ends when someone better comes long.

“Now Federer is no good because he doesn’t has tragedy in his life. Common…!!!!!”

When did I say he was no good. Please tell me. I mentioned that Sampras after the trajedy with his coach realized that there was something more important in life than tennis.

You stated: “WHAT MAN DOES IN LIFE ECHOES IN ETERNITY.” That is so very true. That is if they believe in eternity and that is why I would not want to shack up with someone outside of marriage, because I want to be in eternity. I believe that at the end of my life I will be judged on what I did while on earth.


Von Says:

Jane: Thanks for the kind words. I was not at all comfortable about the German. He played Davis cup last year and came back from 2 sets down to get the win, so he can play 5 setters. Andy’s record against him was 2-0, but that was 2 years ago. A lot has happened since then.

It’s been 2 disappointments. First Safin and now Andy. I like Jo Will Tsonga and of course Blake and Sam Querry. So I’ll be rooting for them. I’d like to see Djoker and Rafa advance, and Youzhny too. He is a very sweet youngman. And, I cant forget Baggy. What a sweetheart. It’s still early yet, so we’ll just have to wait.

I feel empty inside. But life is more than tennis. It filled up my day. I can’t believe how the hours drag by when you’re not working. I had an accident and has been home for 3 months. In a way I needed a break but not that way.


Von Says:

Jane: Another player I like is Mauresmo. She lost today also.

We have 3 American men and 2 American women left. The Aussies have 1 man and 1 woman left.

It’s amazing how the USA and Austrailia have such a slump in Tennis. There are a lot of French and Russian players. The tide has changed. A pity.


jane Says:

Von,

“I hear all sorts of talk about how much pressure he is under. Who is putting pressure on him. He is. Did anyone say to him that he has “X” number of years to break Sampras’ record. No. So who is putting the pressure on whom. He wants to show the world that he can attain 14 plus slams in 4 years as opposed to Sampras who achieved it in 8 years. That’s his self-inflicted pressure.”

It can be argued that the media-hype pressures Fed too, but I do think you have a real good point here – Fed seems kind of urgent about things, like he has to win everything, whereas Pete seemed more laid-back about his career.

I also think you have a point about marriage vs. living commonlaw: what’s the difference, really? A piece of paper? A sacred union? A public commitment? If Fed can live with Mirka and, ostensibly, commit to her, then why not marry her? She’s certainly been there for him through his rise and domination.

“…3 American men and 2 American women left.” Oh, I forgot about Spadea; the guy is a persistent vet, but admittedly I don’t like him much.

Regarding spending too much time blogging, I have some time off from work now, too, though I do have prep to do, but I agree – it is an obsessive habit that can be draining. I often try to take breaks, but it’s tough during majors! Just remember to pick your battles.


jane Says:

Daniel,

“Djoko, Nalby and Nadal are the only ones that can stop Federer, because they had victories over him in finals.
Nalby and Nadal we know that can handle a 5 setter but I’m not sure if Djoko is already ready.”

Do you think Gasquet or Baggy have a shot? And what about Berdych, who lurks around the corner for Fed: could he for once topple Fed? He came closest in their most recent match at Davis Cup and he’s been quietly rolling.

Anyhow, I am trying to learn a lesson from the Djoker: “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE”.


jane Says:

Relooking at the draw, it looks like Fed’s through to the semis in all likelihood, and then it will depend on how exhausted his opponent at that stage is, since they have the toughest quarter of the draw, with Djok, Baggy, Hewitt, Nalby, Ferrer and others. But, it’s possible that there’ll be more upsets – anything can happen in tennis. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

Anyhow – taking one of those breaks I mentioned now.


sensationalsafin Says:

Carter’s death matured Federer, but that doesn’t mean it made him ruthless. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to win. Sucks Roddick lost. I’m too tired to say anything else.


Daniel Says:

As someone mentioned above. Djoko and Nalby aren’t afraid of Fed´s. And Nadal knows what he can do.
The other guys somehow seem scared. I just don’t see in their eyes the hunger that Nalby or Djoko show when they play Fed. I really do think that anything is possible in a tennis court and to get a win over Fed they must first fell no respect for him. They have to see him as an equal. And that is a very hard task, which so feel of them could do.

The semi in the top of the draw will be the key match of this tournament. Who ever win there will be the champion!


Daniel Says:

Von

Yeas! I really do think that you waste your time bragging with people about country differences.
But I don’t think that writing in this blog is a waste of time.

“Sampras’ coach had cancer. At the ‘95 AO, he suffered a stroke. Sampras cried all during the 5th set. He could not control his grief. My point is, he did not begin a ruthless campaign. He became a better person and realized that there’s more to life than just Tennis.”

The way you put this metaphor, to me, sounded like Federer became a bad person with a “ruthless” campaign. I see it like homage to a person that was with him since he was a junior. A turning point in a person life!
And I don’t think wanting to win in a competitive sport or trying to improve your skills and abilities are a campaign.

We will get in an eternal discussion between people who do appreciate greatness and people who don’t, preferring a more humble existence avoiding accept that some people are just gifted because it makes they feel ordinary.


Von Says:

Daniel:

You have become an amoeba/albatross.

I am going to reply to your post just this time. After that you can stand on your head and do cartwheels, or write an acceptance speech for Federer, or better still be his PR director. Maybe you can help him in the speech department to keep him truthful.

“Yeas! I really do think that you waste your time bragging with people about country differences.
But I don’t think that writing in this blog is a waste of time.”

Bragging about country differences. I don’t brag about country differences, I state a fact. This site, except for the Tennis Channel is mostly used by Foreign people, who enjoy bashing the Americans. It seems that their bashing the US is a part of their job description.

And, by the way, what are you doing in the USA if you are so strongly against my defence of the USA?
I suppose you feel the same way about the US as those two anti-American people. And, that’s another beef of mine, about people who want to live in this country but keep on bashing it. You have a choice, but don’t live here and criticize the country. Did the US Immigration write a letter to you requesting that you come and reside here. I don’t think so.

Just concentrate on writing your pro-Federer posts and forget about me. Just in case you don’t know it, in the US, we have “freedom of speech”, and “freedom of the press.” I can say or write what I feel. But, on this blogging site, it is becoming clearer that people such as yourself want to take that away. You expound on the greatness of Federer but a non-Federer fan canot say very much about the players they like, because we are insulted and scoffed at.

Daniel, as I mentioned before, my thinking would not meld with a lot of other people’s train of thought.

First of all, I believe there is a God, a Creator to whom I am answerable. I believe we are judged on the quality of our mercy. I am a sensitive person. Being sensitive is a very good emotion. It teaches me to be compassionate. I believe in being compassionate and to use that compassion to help others. I also have empathy towards people who have followed a path similar to my own.

However, as I stated in the foregoing, please leave me alone. I like to be ignored. OK? Thanks for your advice/criticisms whatever.


Von Says:

Jane:

Thanks for your advice. I’ll do my best about picking my battles — it is difficult.


Kash Says:

Daniel:

Dont waste your time talking to a moron who assumes anyone who criticizes usa for things that are wrong about it is an immigrant. Only a nincompoop can make such an assumption.

Regarding the Fed bashing, and terming him lucky for winning 12 GS, the person will see the truth if they can get their head out of one-dimensional american players’ butts and see the world. This world is fair and it is sad that comeuppance has been dealt with rather swiftly by the Lord by shunting safin and roddick the very next day such people professed their love for them. Too bad for a-rod and safin that because of such foolish fans they will have to cool their heals and see the real champions federer, djokovic and nadal show them how to play real tennis.

Apologies for unsolicited advice but I think you will have a much better time if you ignore such trolls :)


Von Says:

Kash:

Can’t pass up a chance to get even. You must be one sick piece of garbage. Drone.

Where ignorance is bliss ’tis foly to be wise.

Heals, do you men the part of the foot. Should be spelt heels. That’s what you are. Drone.


Von Says:

I can understand your bashing of Roddick because you hate Americans. But, it’s not just Americans you hate, it’s the Russians too. What did Safin do to you. He stole your pacifier?

Daniel, you’re in good company. kash and skorocel.

However, kash, I think Skorocel is probably a notch above you. Consequently, I don’t understand his affinity for you. Must be something in the European drinking water.

“Regarding the Fed bashing, and terming him lucky for winning 12 GS, the person will see the truth if they can get their head out of one-dimensional american players’ butts and see the world…”

I think if you got yours out of Fed’s you’ll probably be able to smell the roses and realize that there better smelling scents, such as aroma therapy. Anyway, drone boy, enjoy your jabs. Probably, it’s the only excitement you get in any given day. I am delighted that I made your day. You’ve got to unleash the stuff you store up in your little mind,so why not vent it on the Americans.

“Regarding the Fed bashing, and terming him lucky for winning 12 GS, the person will see the truth if they can get their head out of one-dimensional american players’ butts and see the world..”


jane Says:

“because of such foolish fans ” – Er, how could it be their fans’ faults that Roddick or Safin lost?

“they will have to cool their heals (sic) and see the real champions…djokovic and nadal show them how to play real tennis”

Well I for one will be cheering on both Djoker and Nadal, so I agree with you 100% there. But what is “real” tennis? Do you mean versus virtual tennis? Safin and Roddick both have at least one slam, have been number 1, not to mention winning several other titles; how can you say they can’t play “real” tennis? It’s not logical. Maybe they’re on the decline but they both still play some great ball.

If you re-read my posts here you’ll see that I have always acknowledged Fed’s exceptional talent, merely mentioning that he seems a bit lucky – perhaps – sometimes with draws and/or weather. Of course he’s a great player. I am just not a big fan of his for two reasons: 1. I think his utter dominance of slams, and frankly, most tournaments he plays, is too predictable and robs the sport of a certain amount of surprise. 2. I find him arrogant or not very charismatic. This is arguably a subjective thing, but I’m just being honest.

And I don’t call Fed-fans names, so if I am one of the “trolls” you’re referring to, I’d appreciate it if we could converse in a more level-headed way.

Tipsy, BTW, is looking competitive this first set.


Von Says:

Tipsy just won the first set. Good job.

If you want to know about name calling Kash has earned a degree on this subject.

What I find disconcerting is the fact that most of the Fed fans gang up on the non-Fed fans, and have effectively eliminated these people from blogging. If you don’t apply accolades to Federer, then you’re on the black list. This is not posting on tennis, it’s about Americans, Europeans and Federer. Blogging is a onglomeration of different people’s views on a given subject matter. Is it any wonder why only 2 non-Federer fans post. Who needs this madness. I cannot address a post to Jane, witjhout a Federer fan using it as an opportunity to attack us. Why???????????

I contemplated discontinuing blogging because it’s the same nonsense over and over again. There’s absolutely no respite. However, I am going to be the proverbial “thorn in your side” or “achilles heel”, whichever one you want me to be and I am going to make you so sick of me, and I have the skills to it, that you will be glad to back down. So you 4 geniuses, kash, skorocel, daniel, and angel, the ball is in your court.

Skorocel started the scenario by encouraging me to post my comments and then put me into the position of answering my comments. It was like a question and answer test. I thought I left that in school. And, then comes kash and, “together the two shall be one.” Kash stated he was not going to reply to any of my posts. I thought, fine, I appreciate that, I am making some headway. Then Skorocel picked up the relay torch and made his comments. I replied to his post with a lot of anger and thought that was the end of it. He had his say I had mine, it’s over. But, it didn’t stop there, enters Daniel and Angel straight from the lion’s den (even though it is humorous my use of the words “lion’s den” is appropos in this situation) and they picked up the torch.

I replied to both of them, however, Daniel has now decided to pick up on every one of my posts to Jane, and begin the inquisition all over again. I answered him and informed him that I won’t be indulging in this exchange. However, Kash,who is not to be outdone and has carte blanche on name calling and anti-American aspersions on this site, decided to attack me through Daniel. Oh, what a tangled web we weave.


Von Says:

TO; kash

“…comeuppance has been dealt with rather swiftly by the Lord by shunting safin and roddick…”

You believe in The Lord and you’re so hateful. I presume that by the words “The Lord” means that you are a Christian. Well, you have certainly given Christianity something to think about.

“If I speak in the tongues’ of men and angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” 1Cor. 13, vs.1.

I thik you need to spend some more time reading, instead of abusing.


Kash Says:

Jenn:

I dont think you are a troll. I dont agree with you but you have some good points which I think we agree on. Hope your quest for drama was quenched by fed’s thrilling victory.

Let us have a balanced argument. Could you please tell me an ex-player or a tennis official who says federer’s dominance is harmful for tennis? If not what is this mysterious code you alone unlocked and not the rest of tennis-intelligentsia. Fed has raised the bar for domination THIS high. It is no more possible to win wimbledon and reach a semi at us/aus open and lock up the no.1. If you really want no.1 you have to win all 4 grandslams and the masters. If you donot fed will. Do you contest that statement given the past 4 years fed has put together? How can pushing fellow players to work harder than ever and raising the quality of game be bad for the game? Please do explain.

One more question : How come, you, a ordinary fan like rest of us have a better idea of federer’s arrogance or manners than the persons who actually meet and deal with him in person like the tennis media or ex-players and current players. Can you quote them saying federer is a jerk whose arrogance needs to be campaigned against as you have been doing on this blog since the day you started posting?

Now to the troll that needs to feed of antagonism and hatred to keep up its quest for enlightening what a heaven the usa is :

Europeans Vs americans in tennis. We all know who is winning that battle. One last american dude remaining. After that bye bye to boring one-dimensional us tennis and the fun, creative, intelligent and flair-filled non-us version of the game. Happy watching to everyone who enjoys “real” tennis. Come-on non-us players let us show a-rod and other americans how they should play tennis.


Kash Says:

Troll talking about not hating? A federer hater driven off this site by federer worshippers. Now worshipper and hater…… who is right and who is wrong?

I loved the way federer’s match would have teased you till the last minute only to break that hatred that has piled up high in your heart for a person like federer who works hard to earn the respect of his peers, ex-players and the entire sensible world. You keep up your fed-hatred posts and I will match you with a corresponding anti-one-dimensional-american-tennis post.

I dont think you need to know but I am an american citizen and am proud of the good things that make america but absolutely abhor scumbags like you who only earn us more hatred from the rest of the world with your “i-will-kiss-the-ass-of-everything-american” attitude.


Kash Says:

Jane:

Sorry, I got your name wrong. I meant to type Jane and not Jenn.

Troll :

I intended to call you troll. That still holds! ;)


sensationalsafin Says:

Ok, Von, I must say, I’m very satisfied. This whole time I’ve been saying I want a five setter from Federer, and boy did we get a great one. I never wanted Tipsarevic to win the match. If someone’s gonna snap Federer’s streaks, I want it to be someone up there, like Djokovic or Nalbandian. But cmon, I stay up till 5 in the morning, the latest I’ve ever stay up alone, because it was just so suspenseful. I mean isn’t that what we all want from tennis, to be unsure of the result? I was pretty sure Janko would pull out the win, too. That’s as exciting as it gets.

I wanna make a few comments about the match itself. Federer never played well. It was a lot like the Wimbledon final, he served great but was always losing the rallies. You know it was an off day because he was missing many many forehands. But don’t get me wrong, Tipsarevic did great. I mean the guy missed like 5 forehands the whole match. I agree with Cahill on how great Tipsarevic’s attitude was. Something else we all wanna see for sure, he never gave Federer anything (except the 4th set but I think he was a little tired). He played at a very high level the whole match. For me this was one of those matches where Federer won by playing well below his best, which in a way is good because he showed he has the mental toughness for this kind of test.

A few final comments before I finish this post. Von, I know you don’t like Federer’s character and I think you’ll find many things wrong with what he said after the match. I don’t feel like paraphrasing so here’s what Federer said:

Q: Roger, what are your thoughts on the incredible match we saw out there on center court?
“But, look, I thought it was a great match, you know. He played fantastic tennis throughout the match. It came down to the wire, so, yeah, I’m happy. I’m the one who came through.”

I feel like you’re gonna say that if he would have lose he would have been saying the opposite, like he was playing bad and Tips got lucky or something. I just wanna defend him real quick on this one because seriously after coming through like that anyone would be extremely happy and have positive thoughts after what could have been the biggest upset in tennis history (or one of the biggest).


Skorocel Says:

So Von, jane… Got what you wanted? Not a bad match – except the very end, isn’t it?


jane Says:

Skorocel,

Yep – I got what I wanted, and the end doesn’t bother me one bit. Federer had the better serve and played well on the big points. But Yanko made him look touchable and made him dig deep. That was fun – beginning, middle and end!

sensationalsafin,

Federer also admitted he was the weaker one from the baseline, so it was nice to see he was humble and gave Tipsy the credit he deserved.

Kash,

I see we can’t talk calmly or without name-calling, so I’ll just refrain from comment where you’re concerned in the future, But I’ll say to you, again and for the last time, I don’t “hate” Federer but I am not a big fan of his. I have consistently given him credit for raising the bar in this sport I love, but I want to see others win some slams and MS evens – bottom line.


jane Says:

Kash,

One final reply to your questions:

1. I didn’t say Fed’s dominance was “bad” for tennis; I said it takes away some of its “surprise” or unpredictability because everyone *expects* him to win and he often does; so the tournament has a foregone conclusion in many minds. I’d like to begin watching a slam feeling like 5 or 6 guys could win it all, but that hasn’t been the case.

2. I admit the “arrogant” thing is subjective, but that’s just how he comes across in some of his interviews. Last night’s interview was different; he showed humility and respect for Tipsy which was great to see.

So I’ve answered your questions in honesty and without trying to provoke anger from you or any other Federer fan.

Back to watching Hewitt v Baggy which I’ve not yet seen and don’t yet know the results of.

Let’s hope for more great matches like last nights – what a treat for tennis fans!


Von Says:

sensationalsafin:

Yes, it was an excellent 5 setter match. I think that’s a keeper, for the AO Classics in future. I was surprised at Tipsy’s form, I did not think Tipsy had it in him for a 5 setter. But I am delighted that he took it all to the very last shot. I couldn’t walk away, I was on the edge of my seat for the whole match.

That’s what was different in the Sampras/Agassi era, they really had some humdinger battles. He’s going to make some players unhappy when they see his name in any future draws. He’ll also have their respect.

So they kept you up late, eh? Well, I have been up late all week, just savouring the good matches. I did not see the end of Baggy/Hewitt match. Before I went to sleep Hewitt was leading in the second set, but Baggy looked fresh.

I saw Federer’s press conference and he was complimentary about Tipsy and humble. He did not make any excuses and he showed respect for Tipsy. That’s what I like to see.

Skorocel:

Yes, I got what I wanted, a real 5 setter with all the trimmings of bated breath, and unpredictability. The end could have gone either way but I think in fairness to Federer he had the better serve and Tipsy showed signs of getting tired. Of the two, in the 8/10, he began to wilt a wee bit. I am happy that it was not a predictable 6-1, 6-0, 6-2 match.

sensationalsafin: Let’s talk about Youzhny. How did you like that match with Karlovic, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2. The kid was just firing from all cylinders. He has such a sweet personality and he has stamina. He’s the proverbial marathon man.

Janey Girl:

Who won the Baggy/Hewitt match? They’re showing the Federer/Tipsy match again on ESPN. One difference according to Cahill, he stated that Tipsy took the match to Fed and he did not show any signs of fear. Way to go, Tipsy.


jane Says:

Hi Von,

Baggy came back from 1:5 in the fourth set, down 1 set to 2, to level them match – in a gripping tie breaker no less – at 2 sets all.

Unfortunately, when I went to the AO site to check today’s schedule, I saw the result. “Doh~!” To quote Homer Simpson.

Anyhow, Hewitt came through for the Aussies 6-4 in the final set, and the two walked off the court at 4:30 a.m.! Wow. Some real humdingers, as you say.

I hope Blake versus Cilic is a cracker of a match; and Djoker will have a battle against Hewitt.

Youzhny will be a threat for Rafa if he gets through; he always troubles the Spaniard – and he crushed him last match. I do hope Youzhny beats Davy.


sensationalsafin Says:

Yeah I read Federer’s whole interview and he did recognize Tipsarevic was better from the ground. I was just saying that, you know, if he had lost he would not have been saying he was happy about playing a 5-setter. But still, this match seems to have given us all a new respect from Federer because he really did prove himself out there and I guess in the end that’s all we really wanted isn’t it? Atleast one match where he’s really pushed and by winning it he proved that he is capable of winning tight matches which has been questionable many times.

I’m not happy Hewitt won, but he deserved it. I caught the last set and a half and at times it seemed like Baghdatis could take it but Hewitt really stepped it up. Seriously credit to all these players so far for really slugging it out there and giving it their all. No one’s giving anything away and all the winners are really, really earning their wins. This has been a most interesting start to the year and I love it. Who would’ve expected so many epics in week ONE?! ONE!! We’re not even in the quarters yet! How crazy and AWESOME is that?

Berdych should be a real test for Federer, too, but I still don’t want him to lose. Like I said before, since Safin’s out I don’t really feel like rooting for someone else but I want to see Federer have to win like 3 5-setters to win the title. If it happens to be early then so be it. But one thing, though, I have a feeling that no matter who’s in the final it’ll go to 5 unless it’s Nalbandian vs Nadal. Anyone else will go the distance and it should be great.

Almost forgot about Youzhny. I am extremely surprised and impressed with his demolition of Karlovic. Never saw it coming. Last year at the US Open Youzhny crushed his first round opponent and then lost in the second round, for me, out of no where so ever since then I haven’t really trusted Youzhny’s form. But he is capable of going far and there’s no reason to think he wouldn’t trouble Nadal should they meet. First Grand Slam final for Youzhny? That’s asking for a lot but if he keeps up his good form then I wouldn’t be surprised. He is a very good player but winning the whole thing IS asking for too much. I think I’ve said enough for now, let’s go back to enjoying the awesome tennis we’re so lucky to witness.


Von Says:

sensationalsafin:

“But still, this match seems to have given us all a new respect from Federer because he really did prove himself out there and I guess in the end that’s all we really wanted isn’t it?”

Totally agree. I like to see them sweating and fighting, losing their cool and getting their frustrations out. Who said there’s grace under pressure? One thing I saw in the Federer/Tipsy match, is had this match only been a 3 setter, Fed would have probably lost because Tipsy won the first and third sets. I suppose he’ll be thankful that it was a 5 setter. I firmly believe in a 5 setter the players show the mettle they are made of and also, their chances increase in winnning the match, unless fitness comes into play. Some players take a while to get accustomed to their opponent in the first set. As I said in the end, we really see who’s got the mettle and can keep their foot on the gas. Let’s hope we will see a few more. Djok will probably play a few 5 setters as the tournament gets down to the quarters and beyond.

Jane:
I saw the end of the Baggy/Hewitt match. Baggy was laughing in the last game, more like a cover for the sadness he was feeling. He gave it his all. They showed a shot of him crying as he was leaving the court. I felt a little choked up myself.

I think Youzhny will beat Davydenko. It’ll be good for Roddick if he does — the ranking points that Roddick could not defend. He’ll still be in the top 10 now that Gonzo and Murray are gone. We’ll just have to watch how things shake down.

I’m off to see the other matches. They were replaying the Fed/Tipsy match, so I took a break. Will write more as the matches are played. I feel guilty that I am not doing anything more constructive with my time, but I am trying to justify it by thinking I deserve it.


Von Says:

sensationalsafin and Jane:

SS: Well, you got your wish, Juan Carlos Ferrero took out Nalbandian 6-1, 6-2, 6-3. Seems like he was playing the lottery. Gimelsotb stated that Federer must be very happy.

Jane:
Nieminen is giving Kohls some headaches. Kohls is making quite a lot of unforced errors. Seems drained, he put all his energy into the Roddick match. Gimelstob said that Andy must be thinking why didn’t he play this way in their game. Kohls nerves were on edge. He complained to the umpire about Nieminem making a fist pump. The umpire mentioned this to Nieminem and Niem made a gesture with his hand to his eye, cry baby. These guys are in a pressure cooker and the valve is slowly blowing off.


jane Says:

sensationalsafin:”…unless it’s Nalbandian vs Nadal.” – That it won’t be; as you probably know, Nalby has crashed out, with which I think (?) you’ll be pleased.

Von, Yeah, that was a sad exit from Baggy, but if you read his post-match interview, he was very positive about the start of his year; he just had awfully tough luck with the draw.

“I am trying to justify it by thinking I deserve it.”

You do – just **believe** in it: a lesson these valiant players are showing us.


jane Says:

But yeah – like us bloggers – sometimes it seems like they’re going to blow!


Von Says:

Jane: Been there, done that. Won’t touch it with a 10 foot pole!


sensationalsafin Says:

During the Baghdatis-Hewitt match I actually came to realize Baghdatis definetly had the toughest draw in the tournament. 2 consecutive former champs and a former finalist? I mean cmon, really how much tougher can it get? And the fact that Baghdatis was crying at the end means he really wanted it and those smiles were, like someone else said, just a cover up of his sadness because he was playing well at the end but Hewitt was playing even better (never thought I’d say that).

Nalbandian losing to Ferrero pisses me off. I like Ferrero, though. He kinda grinds my gears, too, because he’s got a great game and shows flashes of greatness (kinda like Safin) but wilters in the end. But he crushed Nalbandian. I didn’t see the match so I can’t say whether Nalbandian did his usual “I don’t care and I’m not even gonna try” or Ferrero was really just too tough for an unconcentrated Nalbandian.

But you know what really grinds my gears… I think the Mathieu-Nadal match will be very good, maybe even a thriller. But Nadal will win after getting his ass handed to him for about a set and a half. Like what the hell Mathieu, you’re better than him, STOP CHOKING and PUT HIM AWAY ALREADY!!! 0-6 and how many times did you win the first set? 3 times I think. And what was the score of the first 3 matches? 6-4 7-5 or 7-5 6-4. Wtf is that Mathieu?? What is wrong with you?

Is Federer happy Nalbandian lost? After his match against Tipsarevic he should be but at the same time if Federer can avoid missing 2 out of 3 forehands for the rest of the tournament, he should still have been able to beat Nalbandian. It’s so weird seeing a 10-8 next to Federer’s name. It really doesn’t happen often… err ever. Also, if this was a 3 set match Federer might have won it, too, because remember he was up 5-3 in the first set and he had 2 set points in the third. Haha he’s choked Djokovic and Berdych did against him. Speaking of Berdych, I expect a another test for Federer. He might be tired and still playing bad, which makes me smell an upset in the air. But he could also come back and start playing amazing again which means Berdych might go out in straight… but who knows? Really, there’s no telling at this point which is just wonderful. You want 6 players who can win the title, let’s see: Hewitt, Djokovic, Berdych, Federer, Nadal, and I’m gonna say Youzhny or Gasquet. There’s 7. Not bad, eh?


Von Says:

SS: Do you remember, I picked Hewitt as the “dark horse.” He’s all fired up and firing on all cylinders. What do you think Tony Roche is saying to him, after seeing the Tipsy match? I wish I were a fly on the wall.

“..those smiles were, like someone else said …” I said that. I choked a lump down my throat when I say him cry. I wish he had an easier draw. He was tired. Marat killed him. Ferrer has an easy draw. He played Spadea. Good grief, how much luckier can you get.

I think Ferrero has a broken spirit. He stated in an interview that when Nadal came on the scene, Spain forgot about him. It was all Rafa. I don’t know what racquet he uses presently, but, sometime in ’06/’07 he just had a plain black racquet and the commentators remarked that because of the Nadal hype he cannot get a sponsor. They all want Nadal.

I really like Mathieu, and he is a marathon man like Marat and Youzhny. His concentration is a problem though.

I don’t know about Berdych. He blows hot and cold. He has so much talent but cannot remain in the top 10.

I was watching the Tsonga match and they are showing Sharapova. That girl has a pair of lungs. I think they should have another dedicated channel for the women’s games. It’s irritating when you’re enjoying a match and they change it to the women’s games. I guess we should be thankful for the coverage we get.

The bottom half of the top 10 seeds is now history.


sensationalsafin Says:

Tsonga was mighty impressive. I wanted Gasquet to win but he atleast tried. He didn’t give too much away but he should’ve played more aggressively with his forehand. And he made some poor attempts at net but I think that’s more due to Tsonga’s ripping shots.

I agree about the separate coverage. Tsonga and Gasquet are playing high quality tennis and I’m loving it and all of the sudden they show Sharapova bagel Dementieva… YAY… NOT!! Seriously, I hate women’s tennis.

I don’t think Hewitt can beat Federer, though, that’s asking for too much. Maybe you’re right about Ferrero, that’s just rough for him. But I do like his game, if only he could string a few good tournaments together and get into the top 10 maybe. He’s not one of my favorites but since my favorites seem to like avoiding the top 10, might as well bring in Ferrero. Btw, I really like Mathieu, too, he’s another player who’s game I really enjoy watching.

Before I forget again, I wanna make some comments about Roddick. Federer labeled the new generation of players as the String Generation because the strings seem to help players hit ridiculous angles. And it’s true for pretty much all players, they’re all hitting ridiculous angles, except for Andy Roddick. Where a normal player would hit an inside out forehand right inside the line, Roddick hits it 3 feet from the line. It always looks to me as if though he’s playing safe, and that gives players a chance to hit out of this world shots like Kohls did. In 2003 and 2004 his forehand was regarded as one of the biggest shots in the game. Nowadays, I could probably hit a bigger forehand. Not consistently but I hit a pretty sick forehand when I flatten it out, unlike Roddick, who just rolls every shot in. Maybe Connors doesn’t see that since he played in a different era where they couldn’t consistently hit ridiculous angles off of every shot, but it’s clearly possible in today’s game. Every else does it, why doesn’t Roddick? He’s not gonna win anything playing like that. And he doesn’t even play bad, he just plays well, decent, mediocre. Nothing special, and that’s the problem.

Back to Hewitt. I wanted Baghdatis to win but at this point I’m not that upset. They were showing highlights of the match and Hewitt has won me over all over again with his unquestionable intensity. You can see it all in his eyes and I just love that about him. He wants it so bad and he really did prove himself against Baghdatis. Call his “Cmons” unsportsmanlike if you must but I love it. It’s just great to watch.


Von Says:

sensationalsafin:

“Call his “Cmons” unsportsmanlike if you must but I love it. It’s just great to watch.”

He’s applying for a patent or has some litigation about it saying it’s his slogan and he made it popular. I have to read up about it.

Youznhy’s making Davydenko look like an amateur. That’s the marathon man for you. Davy is 2 sets down and 5 love. Match is over, 7-6, 6-3, 6-1, Youzhny. He’ll face Tsonga and then onto Nadal or Mathieu. Nadal is not going to sleep well tonight, he’ll have nightmares about that last match with Youzhny. Poor Rafa. I would like to see Mathieu have a break open season. He’s overdue. Mathieu has a strong backhand, and the way he uses it he can stretch out Nadal’s forehand, which Nadal hates, and then, watch out. Youzhny and Mathieu in the semis, or Tsonga/ Mathieu semis.

Re: Roddick, I think he needs a modern day coach. Jimmy’s era does not exist in tennis anymore. Bring on Cahill. If he could have tolerated Gilbert, who is in sync with today’s play, he would have possibly won more slams. Another point about Andy’s game that makes me mad, he is so whimpy when he is returning the other server’s serve, jump out at the shot and just hit it, not those whimpy shots. take some chances. It’s almost like he forgets it ‘s the other person’s serve and he doesn’t have to be careful. It’s easier to do this on the opponent’s serve than on your own. Good grief even I could see that. I scream at him when he is playing, my family thinks I am crazy. I tell him,”get to the net, what are you doing 6-8 feet behind the baseline.” Ay Caramba! He has rocks in his head. If he would replay his match, especially when Cahill is commentating, he would learn a lot. Federer remarked that he does that in an interview with Murphy Jensen.

They’re showing a repeat of Hewitt/Baggy match. I can’t watch, I’ll probably be a cry baby. At least my tear ducts will be clean.


jane Says:

Re Tsonga – ” If he gets through this match with the W (which he should) who knows how deep he’ll go.” I said this right after he upset Murray. You could just tell he was fitter, his groundstrokes stronger, and he wanted to win badly. However, in Youznhy he may have met his match. I would think Rafa will face the winner of that match and then, who knows? Nadal will have to fight EXTREMELY HARD to get into the final. I like Youznhy, but would rather see Tsonga or Rafa in the final. I’m not sure why but I can’t yet see Youz as a GS Champ. Rafa, however, I can and have. And Tsonga, to me, if he got to the final, he’s give it the fight of his life. As for the top draw, I’m going to wait and see what today holds.

Re women’s tennis – I like all tennis, women’s included. In fact I count Steffi Graf to be one of the greatest players of all time. I don’t like when they flip back and forth between matches though. It’s tough to follow.


Skorocel Says:

Dear Von, can you please give me your e-mail address?


Daniel Says:

Von

I only read your first post on January 18th, 2008 at 10:20 pm

When did I criticize USA? Or which comment of mine made you suppose that I have anything against this country?

I just answer your question in a post that you replay to me, saying that I thought you wasted your time arguing country differences.
I only write here in the middle of the discussion that was happening because I disagree about something you have said about Federer.

You are the one who seems to have a problem with anyone that disagrees with you.


Daniel Says:

“Daniel has now decided to pick up on every one of my posts to Jane, and begin the inquisition all over again”

I was just answering to her when she asked me what I thought about the other guys.

Please, stop being self centered. This blog is not against you. I appreciate that you and Jane has different points of view so we can have interesting discussions and share our thoughts we other tennis fans, that is it!

The post from Jane to ME follows:

“Daniel,

“Djoko, Nalby and Nadal are the only ones that can stop Federer, because they had victories over him in finals.
Nalby and Nadal we know that can handle a 5 setter but I’m not sure if Djoko is already ready.”

Do you think Gasquet or Baggy have a shot? And what about Berdych, who lurks around the corner for Fed: could he for once topple Fed? He came closest in their most recent match at Davis Cup and he’s been quietly rolling.

Anyhow, I am trying to learn a lesson from the Djoker: “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE”.

Posted January 18th, 2008 at 12:37 pm”


Von Says:

Daniel:
This is one of them:

I was posting to Jane about Fed’s girlfriend.

Daniel Says:
Von, I have nothing against Americans, I live in Houston.

Federer is a professional tennis player who doesn’t want to get married while he is traveling 8 months or more a year. He chooses to not compromise while tennis is his major priority. Imagine having a soon that you could not see all the time.
And yes he is so “lucky” that he could find a girl who understand that and give him total support.

Now Federer is no good because he doesn’t has tragedy in his life. Common…!!!!!

You missed sensationalsafin point! Since his coach died he also get mature becoming what he is today and he couldn’t commit with any other coach. This is one of the reasons he still is without a coach.

You and Jane are sounding obsessed analyzing every aspect of his life trying to find flaws. Only knowing him personal we could possibly say what motivates him!

This is another:

jane Says:
” I hope she has a loaded bank account. As has often happened at the end of the career of people who have had that sort of arrangement,(e.g.,Tennis, Football,etc.) he’ll probably dump her and find a newer, younger model.”

No kidding – maybe she doesn’t care about marriage, or likes the lifestyle of living well. Or maybe she’s hoping the marriage will come. I think something like the potential scenerio you describe happened with Boris Becker and his wife? Can’t remember and haven’t read his tell-all.

There were two more. I don’t remember which thread they’re on.

And then there was one wherein you mentioned I must stop bragging about country differences.

I am disgusted with this. I am doing my very best to avoid any discussion about Federer’s behavior or things he says. I don’t want any arguments with anyone about Federer.

I’ll try to find the others, they should be some place on this thread.

Posted January 18th, 2008 at 8:27 am


Von Says:

Skorocel:

“Skorocel Says:
Dear Von, can you please give me your e-mail address.”

I am sorry but I can’t do that.

If I were to give you my emal address it would mean giving it to everyone on this site. In view of the fact that I have stepped on a few people’s toes, who knows what type of emails I would receive. I am sure you are aware of my problem with one poster who is really out to cause me a problem. I am so sorry but I don’t think that’s a good idea.

You could post to me whatever you want to say on this site.


Daniel Says:

You still didn’t answer my question!

What makes you think that I have something against USA? When did I post something similar to that?

What you posted above “to Jane” IN THIS BLOG, I disagree and so I left a post.
I just said that you wasted your time with the kind of language that you guys where using to defend your points of view.

You started associating my name with anti-American behavior. And I didn’t like that, because nothing that I wrote here indicates it, and I didn’t tell you to stop bragging.

In a replay to one of my post you said:

“After what transpired over the last 2 days with me and the two anti-American posters, I sat back and thought to myself that this is so stupid. Except for my love of Tennis, I really am out of my league with this blogging.

Don’t you think it is ludicrous for me to get into an argument with two foreign men about their dislike of Americans. I can’t fight the world on this. There are many millions more who feel the same way about the USA. I realized that I am wasting far too much time on this. I should be doing something more constructive with my time. Like reading a good book that would add something to my grey matter.”

I answered your question in the beginning of the paragraph above. Just it!

If you have a problem with some people in this blog, fine! But don’t start adding my name as if I am against you. I just posted my opinion replaying things that you wrote, which I disagree.


Von Says:

Daneil:
“… because nothing that I wrote here indicates it, and I didn’t tell you to stop bragging.”

Please explain to me what the following means. I am rather dumb, so please help me to figure this out.

“Yeas! I really do think that you waste your time bragging with people about country differences.”

Telling me that I waste my time bragging is not saying that I should stop this, because my sentence stated “I think I should stop blogging.”


Von Says:

Jane:

“Nadal will have to fight EXTREMELY HARD to get into the final. I like Youznhy, but would rather see Tsonga or Rafa in the final. I’m not sure why but I can’t yet see Youz as a GS Champ.”

I think if there’s a Youzhny/Tsonga match Tsonaga might win. He has a huge serve, which Youzhny does not, and his ground strokes are as good or a wee bit better, especially his net play. I think he would give Rafa a lot of trouble because of his serve and net play. We’ll just have to wait and see.

I also like some of the women’s matches. I just feel if they had a dedicated channel for them then they wouldn’t have to be deprived of equal coverage, and then we can keep track of the men’s matches and the womwn’s. It’s difficult to get into a match and enjoy it because of the switches, e.g., I was watching Roddick/Kohls match and they interruped it to show a part of Sharapova’s press conference on her match with Davenport. I felt that was unnecessary footage. If it was absolutely necessary to show that it would make more sense to show it during one of the women’s matches. In that way, the viewers would be able to keep track of who’s her next opponent.


Von Says:

Daniel:

“After what transpired over the last 2 days with me and the two anti-American posters, I sat back and thought to myself that this is so stupid. Except for my love of Tennis, I really am out of my league with this blogging.”

This is not about you. It was about Kash and Skorocel. Below is what I was offended about:

“About those Americans living in their “own” world… I do agree with Kash on this one, but at the same time, I’m not wondering… Even my father (who’s a BIG American hater, believe me!) often jokes that the history teached on the US schools begins with the Battle of Saratoga and ends with Battle of Gettysburg:-) I know he can’t even have a clue about what is actually being teached in those US schools, but I guess there’s something truth into it..”

I can’t explain it any better. Here’s another.

“Kash Says:
Daniel:

“Dont waste your time talking to a moron who assumes anyone who criticizes usa for things that are wrong about it is an immigrant. Only a nincompoop can make such an assumption.

Regarding the Fed bashing, and terming him lucky for winning 12 GS, the person will see the truth if they can get their head out of one-dimensional american players’ butts and see the world.”

I hope it’s now clear to you that my statement about two ant-American bashers does not relate to you.This is hard work.

Please, I have put this behind me, I don’t want to get into it further.


Skorocel Says:

To Von:
OK, I understand what you mean. I guess we’ll have to do this other way… Just move with the mouse over my nick, OK? The first is my username, the second my domain.

Just send me a quick e-mail, so I can know your address, OK?


Von Says:

Skorocel:

I tried, it doesn’t connect. I got this message

Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage. Sorry.


Von Says:

Jane:

What really bugs me with the lower seeds or unseeded players, they knock out the top seeds and then lights out in the next round. The Kohls I saw yesterday was not the same who knocked out Andy in the 3rd round. He was dead, getting angrier by the minute, muttering and complaining to his box. I feel if the knock out a top seed, then make use of it.


jane Says:

Von:
Sometimes I think it (that they’re playing the match of their lives or whatever) takes them by surprise and they’re not ready to go further, but sometimes they do go further – look at Tsonga for example, or Radwanska. Both are in the quarters and both knocked out a couple of seeds on the way.

I know what you mean, though, and I was obviously disappointed to see Murray (and the other Andy) knocked out. Nevertheless, I really like the drama that upsets add to a big tournament, as well as the introduction of new personalities and players that sometimes go further and make a name for themselves.


Von Says:

Jane:

Well Berdych is 2 sets down, made some bad choices in the tiebreak. Blake won 6-3, 6-4, 6-3. This is what I am mad about. Gosh, couldn’t Cilic do more. But, to be fair, it was very windy. I don’t think he is comfortable with windy conditions. Also, what happens to the younger players they put everything they have in the big matches and then they are just running on fumes later.

Tsonga is now comfortable with winning, so he can handle the big stage. Blake is set to meet Federer in the quarters. We’ll see what happens in crunch time.


Kash Says:

Von:

When you pass the cursor on skorocel’s nick (Dont Click it, merely get the cursor in it.) Look at the left-hand bottom of the window. you will see something – if you exclude the trivial part of the text you see, there are two parts :

the 1st one is the username of skorocel’s email and the 2nd part is domain. join them together using a “@” and email her.

P.S: if abc@yahoo.com is someone’s email, abc is the user name and yahoo.com is the domain.

Hope that helps and skorocel : apologies if you did not intend to make it as clear as i tried to above. no offense meant.


Kash Says:

What a gag from berdych in the 2nd set tie-breaker. That one goes to the hall of fame of choking along with joker’s usopen final 1st set tie-break effort and nadal at wimbledon 07 final 5th set and fed’s rome 06 final. ofcourse big-bird is a regular visitor at that hall but this has to be his finest. Thank you big-bird. Please do play with some kind of a hand-repellant around your neck when you play.

It is increasingly looking like the joker-hewitt match will be a final. with federer’s divine play deserting him quite unusually after having started in commanding form and nadal’s un-reliability on hard-courts. i just hope joker doesnt play like a jack-ass and get into lenthy rallies with hewitt like he did in the wimbledon 4th round and tries to play a more aggressive game. hewitt might have to play his best match in quite a long while to make this a fun match. this is joker’s open to lose unless fed does another clarke kent to superman transformation like he did starting with a-rod’s match at the masters. The signs are ominous for him – having to play another american whose game falls right into the god-made-match-ups category for fed on a tennis court.


jane Says:

I can’t see Blake stopping Federer; I don’t think he can mentally overcome him. Blake can zone though, so you never know. I agree that Djoker is going to have to be the one to oust Roger, unless Rafa gets to the final and plays a smashing hardcourt match against Fed like he did in Dubai in 06. But in that set and a half against Mathieu, even though Rafa looked good, he still seemed to be standing too far back. He needs to step on or inside the baseline and take the ball sooner. I hope the 2nd week lives up to the end of the 1st. Tonight’s matches weren’t super exciting, except for some great shots here and there, things were pretty much decided in the first sets.


Kash Says:

Jane:

“I agree that Djoker is going to have to be the one to oust Roger, unless Rafa gets to the final and plays a smashing hardcourt match against Fed like he did in Dubai in 06.”

>>>>> I think the guy who comes out of that quartet of joker/hewitt, ferrero/ferrer will have the best shot at taking out federer because

a) all four of them are capable of walking that extremely razor thin line of compact no-hole tennis that is the kryptonite to prevent federer from the phone-booth transformation I mentioned in my earlier post.

b) all four of them are capable of high-level big-point play which is required to take federer out in case he does manage to make those superman transformations in small patches like he did in the matches against tipsarevic and big bird. what tells us that these four are capable of playing big points well is that ferrero and hewitt have beaten federer on the big stage and joker boy and ferrer, i am sure we all agree have demonstrated they can do so on their day. ofcourse ferrer has the least likelihood of this quartet and feds camp would most likely be rooting for him to take these other three grandslam champs and grandslam champ in the making.

Blake has almost close to zero % chance, relatively speaking, among all of federer’s possible opponents which includes all the above mentioned plus nadal. i wouldn’t include blake in that list either but for the fact that federer is guaranteed to play him barring blake’s withdrawal. The reason blake has almost no chance is his lacking the above two qualities. The reason why jarkko, mikhail and tsonga miss out is that if fed meets them, it will be in a non-clay grandslam final and to-date no man has beaten him there. It is perhaps, at this point of time atleast, as tough as the borg tripeat of french-wimbledon double and federer’s own records of winning 24 finals in a row or no loss in 20 odd consecutive matches against top-10ers.

Nadal’s best shot is if fed squeaks by to the final beating ferrer in the semis. If he gets to the final having been battle tested by ferrero/joker/hewitt as I am sure they will, even nadal’s best non-clay court GS form will not be enough to stop fed ( exhibit a: wimbledon final 06 and exhibit b: wimbledon final 07).

If hewitt/ferrero/joker/ferrer get to the final what they have going for them is

a) ferrer has beaten nadal in their last 2 hard-court meetings.

b) joker beat him in 2 of their last 3 hard-court meetings

c) nadal has never beaten hewitt on a surface other than clay.

d) ferrero who would be absolutely battle tested if he gets to the final will be in absolutely supreme form.

add to it the fact nadal is not yet a guarantee to get by tsonga/mikhail and you have got to be putting your money on the winner of the match that is to start in a few more minutes and federer. why federer? coz he has won you an insane amount of money when you placed a bet almost 1500 days ago that he will do 3rd round or better at every freaking GS since his 1st round loss at 03 french.

So bottomline, give yourself a pat on your back for diligently reading such a long post that I myself would never read if I knew I had written that post and hey! go and watch the match on tv/net to see what actually unfolds. Just dont come back and ask me to eat crow if blake/jarkko/youzhny or tsonga end up winning the whole danged affair!


Kash Says:

“i am sure we all agree have demonstrated they can do so on their day. ofcourse ferrer has the least likelihood of this quartet and feds camp would most likely be rooting for him to take these other *THREE* grandslam champs and grandslam champ in the making.”

>>>>> Obviously I meant two grandslam champs. Contrary to popular opinion:

a) I can count (atleast all that can be counted using 5 times (zillion +1) fingers on my zillion +1 hands. [Note to self: apply for a job-position that 1 of those hollywood creative-whizzes who come up with the forms of all gruesome aliens and other such creatures, have. Note to you: DO NOT TALK TO ME WHEN I AM TALKING TO MYSELF]

b) I have not gone ahead in time and watched joker boy beat nadal in the 5th set of the australian open final which ended in the year 325832045320532032503253209 with joker winning the match 4852087502354802357023573023345730287530327538205327832037032327023873203273203232032 and [4852087502354802357023573023345730287530327538205327832037032327023873203273203232032 - 2] in the 5th set. All you skeptics and cynics who think I am a visitor from the other end of the universe (not entirely wrong, I must confess), go back in time and check where all the wide-awake souls in melbourne were at 4:00 a.m on sunday morning. You get bonus points if you guessed that I am at the same place on the intoxicated scale at this moment as some of the extremely “spirited” fans that day were in the rod laver arena.

I will spare you the torture people! Enjoy the two fight-to-death 4th rounders that are on now. If you are in the US and your cable provider and your net-speed are kind to you, you could watch both matches, multi-tasking at espn360.com. I am almost ready to forgive espn for the nasty way in which they treated tennis fans for the last 5-6yrs for this awesome feature. Maybe this nice nature is why we tennis fans are treated by espn with all the respect that the Christians of yore were afforded by the roman rulers.


Von Says:

Kash:

Thanks for your help. I forgot about the bottom of the page. Sadly, I am not a great whiz about the email stuff and not very computer savvy. I can pretty much nagivate around the control panel, etc..

“I just hope joker doesnt play like a jack-ass and get into lenthy rallies with hewitt like he did in the wimbledon 4th round and tries to play a more aggressive game.”

This match is a yo-yo match. I left after Hewitt lost his break in the second set and Djok broke back. There were some pretty lengthy rallies and Djok seems to be tiring. However, Hewitt’s serve, which has always been a weak part of his game is not helping him. But, his net/volley play was very crisp. That’s the Tony Roche touch. It’s the first time I’ve seen Tony Roche awake and pro-active, and smiling. At the other matches, he always seemed to doze off.

I was not at all surprised about Berdych. He always seems to crumble and make silly mistakes. If I were a betting person I would have won some money today.

Of course, Ferrero went down to Ferrer. He is another one that’s going to burn out soon. His game is too physical and when he gets tired and has off-days, he’l begin to decline.

I can safely say Blake is not going to win against Federer. He freezes. He is just out to lunch on the big stage.

“I am almost ready to forgive espn for the nasty way in which they treated tennis fans for the last 5-6yrs for this awesome feature.”

I think ESPN has very little respect for the viewers’ intelligence. They do not really commentate on the tennis match but on the tennis players’ personal lives. Who needs to hear the details of someone’s divorce or who is dating whom. I think Tennis Magazine gives us that information. Anyway, that’s just my beef. I most probably am 1 in a hundred who feels that way, or else something would have been done a long time ago to change this. The air time dedicated to the matches is ridiculous; not to mention the switcheroo/balancing act.


Daniel Says:

“And, by the way, what are you doing in the USA if you are so strongly against my defence of the USA?
I suppose you feel the same way about the US as those two anti-American people. And, that’s another beef of mine, about people who want to live in this country but keep on bashing it. You have a choice, but don’t live here and criticize the country. Did the US Immigration write a letter to you requesting that you come and reside here. I don’t think so.”

I am not against your defence of the USA, I just said that the kind of terms you were using I disagree with, and thougth was a waste of time.

Then you associate me with anti-american behavior.

That sentence “… because nothing that I wrote here indicates it, and I didn’t tell you to stop bragging.”

Please explain to me what the following means. I am rather dumb, so please help me to figure this out.

The sentence is to explain to you tha I didn’t said anything against american and I didn’t tell you to stop bragging, I told you that I thougth was a waste of time. Period!

I’m glad that you at least explained that I was not included in anti-american behavior! Thanks!


Daniel Says:

I am felling that Nadal will be in the final. Even knowing that he has difficulties with Youzny game, he has to get even for that last encounter. He has the best campaign untill now.

So, a Federer Nadal final in the first Slam of the year. Very exciting!


jane Says:

Or maybe a Djokovic / Nadal final? It’s possible.


Von Says:

“Even knowing that he has difficulties with Youzny game, he has to get even for that last encounter.”

I think Nadal is hungry for a grand slam win on hardcourt. He is determined and that’s what is going to get him to the semis or the finals. Also, he has had an easy draw. He got a gift from Mathieu. Even though Youzhny is his nemesis, Youzhny has had some difficult matches so he might not be as fresh to be able to beat Nadal. However, only time wlll tell.


Kash Says:

Von:

You are welcome. I myself am not too good with these computer related stuff. I do agree with most of your comments in that post. More so with the espn commentary than anything else. My threshold for tolerance of tennis commentary is quite less compared to the same thing on blogs and hence i survive their telecast. Did you try espn360.com? You will get your wish of uninterrupted telecast of the match you like granted. There have been times at which they have 6 different matches going on out there. Ofcourse, with just the quarters remaining that prob must be solved for you.

Things are headed for an anti-climax after that 40 odd hr of madness. It almost feels like AO is over. I hope tonight’s women’s match and tomorrow’s joker-ferrer match will re-ignite it.


Von Says:

Kash:

I tried to get a connection to ESPN360 but a message stated that it’s not connected in my area. I called my cable company and I knew more about it than they did. So my answer is no and no from my cable company. This is where I lose my patience. How can someone work at a cable company for tech support and not know what I am talking about. He had to find the cable guide to give me an answer.

The last few matches haven been very predictable except for the Jankovic/Williams match wherein Jankovic won. The Djok/Ferrer match should be interesting. Ferrer seems like a very nice person when interviewed but his type of play just grates on my nerves. He is like a bull in the ring. I can hardly make it through the day after work, I am just stunned about these guys’ energy level. As the saying goes: “Youth is wasted on the young”

Anyway, Kash thenks again, and enjoy the upcoming matches of the AO.


Von Says:

Daniel:

“I’m glad that you at least explained that I was not included in anti-american behavior! Thanks!”

You’re welcome. I know you stated you’re from Brazil How popular is Guga Kuerten? I bet a huge celebrity. He is retiring this year after the FO. I particularly like Guga because of his devotion to his brother who recently died last year. He was so heartbroken. But, he was the epitome’ of kindness and love towards his brother.


Kash Says:

Von:

Yea, that is really irritating indeed, though I have to say I might well have been that tech-support guy as I suck big-time when I have to talk about the field I make my money in. To simply put it “I have more tennis knowledge than knowledge in my own field”

Anyways happy viewing to you too….. I hope blake will learn something from jankovic/sharapova today. ofcourse jankovic more than sharapova, as she pulled off the biggest upset so far of the tournament by beating serena in straights. The critical thing though is if fed will one-up serena by continuing the opponent friendly game he started with tipsarevic match. blake could either choose to be tipsarevic or big bird. cahill, who i think is a great commentator thinks blake has a good shot because blake’s game is a better version of tipsarevic. I think tipsarevic has a less risky game and that was his ticket to stardom on saturday. That is a winning game against fed. High-risk players have zero chances of knocking fed off his game, especially at grandslams. This is exactly why you just got to be rock-solid from the backycourt to trouble fed. Fed hates playing guys who just wont let go like hewitt, joker and nadal. ofcourse joker has much more shot-making than the other two but he also allows fed more chances to get out of jail than the other two.

Anyways I am sure between me and cahill, you would be happy cahill believes that blake might trouble fed and i think fed will get the job done in ut-most 4 sets. dare I even say 3?


Von Says:

Kash:
“Anyways I am sure between me and cahill, you would be happy cahill believes that blake might trouble fed and i think fed will get the job done in ut-most 4 sets. dare I even say 3?”

I listened to the commentators last evening after blake was interviewed at ESPN, and Patrick McEnroe stated that James always says the same things over and over about playing anyone. He always says he is going to play his game, stay focused and he is confident and just do his thing.

Blake is a very up and down player. Blake made Grosjean look good. That man is way past his tennis days and Blake had so much trouble with him. Grosjean tires after 2 sets, that’s how blake was able to get back into the match. Then he played Cilic who had a tremendous win beating Gonzalez, but nevertheless, he is a young kid who is just beginning to understand his first big win in a major. The breeze was giving him trouble and he had a let down from his high. So it’s difficult for me to think Blake will beat Federer. He just freezes.

In the Davis Cup matches, he only won the dead rubber matches, except for two live rubbers. It was Roddick and the Bryan twins who had to win all the matches vs. different countries. I could have fallen off my seat when he beat Youzhny at the finals. He played the last dead rubber against Tursunov and he took it to 3 sets. I am going to have to see this to believe it.

By the way, Sharapova beat Henin 6-0 in the final match. I dozed off after the first set and when I awoke, the match was over. Anyway, my favorite station, ESPN said they’ll be right back after the commercial to show the men’s match, did not return and I now have Mike & Mike. I stayed awake for nothing. Nothing was said about ESPN going off the air. Am I looking at the wrong channel, is this the wrong day, unless during the time I dozed off were on fast forwarded and today is Wednesday instead of Tuesday. Not even a blip to mention anything, e.g., technical difficulties, nada. ESPN grates on my nerves. I am going to write them a letter. I’ll probably change my mind when I get over this anger, but I am just can’t believe it. Absolutely outrageous.


Kash Says:

Von:

Generally they shift to espnclassic or another espn channel sometimes. maybe you could try your luck.

I do agree with you and pat-mac on blake. Tsonga-youzhny has been good with tsonga’s extremely fun attitude and game. You could say the same for youzhny. They are not playing the smartest and most compact tennis but it is good to see them both try to pull the trigger before the other does. Youzhny definitely has played better than this. Not strangely is a couple of points away from defeat in a 3rd set tie-break.

You must be very tired to doze off during a sharapova match or had your tv on mute ;) Seriously though the 1st set was quite high quality tennis and sharapova just ripped out henin. too bad serena didnt make it to see if she can dole out the same medicine to sharapova. on the other hand the defense of elena might work well too if she can somehow keep the ova away from her service games. gotta see how the other sister handles the other serbian tomorrow.

My predictions with no-amount of reason diluting the mirth-value of my prophetic abilities, are :

dh over ar in 2 and ai over venus in 3, joker over ferrer in 4 and fed in 3 over blake.

good luck to dh, ai, joker and fed. You are up against the most powerful of jinxes. May the devil save you.


Kash Says:

just wanted to add that I can totally understand your outrage at espn. I have come oh so close to smashing my friend’s newly bout 50inch plasma tv during one of such espn’s extremely fan-friendly move to show poker/drag racing ahead of a grandslam match. rumours that I was using espn just as an excuse to get even with my friend for getting the bumper of my car smashed are vehemently denied but absolutely true! j/k but yea espn can totally get on your nerves in an infinite no. of ways.


Skorocel Says:

To Von:
Did you receive my email reply? Sorry for being so late…


Von Says:

Skorocel:
To Von:

Did you receive my email reply? Sorry for being so late. Yes, and that’s OK.


Daniel Says:

Von

Guga is trully loved in Brazil. He is one of the nicest sportsmen in this country! Very humbled and carefully with the fans.
But we are a people with very high expectations, who need sports heroes, because as many of you know, we are a third world country with several issues. As soon as he got injured people star saying that he wasn’t giving his heart and nowadays some are angry with him. Most wanted him to be n° 1 for several years, and did not recognize what he made for Brazilian tennis. In his golden days, we couldn’t find a court to play, even in clubs.
One of the reasons that I “hate” Nadal is that he is suppressing ever clay court record from Guga, the only one missing is Hamburgo, and people have very short memory. Nadal came too soon and he is THE clay court player and will be it for very years to come.


Daniel Says:

Jane,

After what happened with Youznhy, I think will be a Federer x Tsonga final.
AO seems to always have an underdog in a final. 2006 Bag, 2007 Gonzales (who would have predicted that?). And this year we have Tsonga!
Now let us see how he behaves in a semifinal Grand Slam. These are the moments when we see if someone really is a champion or not. If he is satisfied or wants more!

In the girls I think we will have a dream final.
Sharapova x Ivanovic. Beauty contest!
Playing the way Sharapova did against Henin, she will get it.


Von Says:

Daniel:

“But we are a people with very high expectations, who need sports heroes, because as many of you know, we are a third world country with several issues.”

What you describe is the same scenario throughout the world. It’s not only indicative of a third world country, unfortunately, it’s the mind/heart/soul of mankind as a whole. People have insatiable appetites when it concerns success. One day an athlete is a hero, next day, if he makes a mistake, he is nothing.

As you know, Pete Sampras, is now considered to be one of the greatest in tennis. During 1999-2001, Pete was not playing/winning Tennis matches as he had done previously,and the media criticized unceasingly. There were articles stating that he is all washed up, done; he’s no good as a Tennis player. What happened? Pete hurt his back in 1999 and had to stop playing for a while. But, do you think the Tennis world took that into consideration, of course not. When Federer beat Pete at Wimbledon, Pete had just gotten back to playing from his back injury. I can’t put into words the cruel things spoken and written about him. This made him very disillusioned. There was talk about him retiring but he had a plan in mind and he worked hard at his fitness and he won the US Open in 2002. I guess you can imagine how the tide shifted. He was the best, blah, blah, blah. A few months after winning the US Open he retired. He later stated that he wanted to retire on his terms, and that it should be remembered that his last tournament was a grand slam win. Now the Tennis world touts him as “the great Pete Sampras.”

A similar thing happened to Juan Carlos Ferrero. He had an illness, which kept him from playing, and then Nadal, who had just turned pro was making all the headlines. Ferrero stated that from the time Nadal came on the scene Spain did not even remember he existed. It’s all Nadal. Ferrero could not acquire even a racquet sponsor.

In the US Roddick was the World’s Junior Champ in 2000. He was great for a wile but has now fallen to a lower ranking and is not winning as he used to. The media is killing him. How quickly they forget.

What about Pele’? I am sure that Brazil still remembers him. He was the greatest of all time Soccer player.

As I stated previously I absolutely like Guga for his kindness and humility and his devotion to his brother. I believe those are the qualities that people should look at, not how many grand slams he won.


Von Says:

SS:

You are rather quiet about all of the predictions regarding the semis and final on the men’s side. So what’s your pick?

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