How Healthy is Federer? How Good is Roddick? TBD at Indian Wells
by Sean Randall | March 13th, 2008, 9:44 am
  • 85 Comments

People love talking about how some players always seem to get the easy draw. And based on my experience and what I’ve heard, Andy Roddick is usually in that conversation. Right or wrong, that’s not true at all this month. Roddick navigated an exceptionally tough draw to victory in Dubai and again he’s faced with a treacherous road at best in Indian Wells, a tournament he’s never won.


Roddick joins the rest of his Top 45 brethren, including Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, for the first Masters event of the season.

For the first time in many a moon, the top seeded Federer probably isn’t the consensus tournament favorite at a hard court event. Even though Fed says he’s over his mono illness, I’m not buying it just yet. My guess is is that he’ll still have good days and bad days for sometime longer, and his lack of match practice and fitness will be a factor (no, playing Pete Sampras on a hockey rink is not how you prepare for a Masters event).

Federer did get the good fortune of a pretty comfortable draw early on. In his top quarter section he should get through to the 4th round to face someone like Ivan Ljubicic. Awaiting the Swiss in the quarter, however, I think will be Mr. Roddick, in what will likely be the match of the tournament, or even of the year to this point at least for some of us Americans.

Roddick could face three guys consecutively that have beaten him before en route to the meeting with Fed, so the 25-year-old who didn’t drop serve once in Dubai will have some work to do. But I’ll ride the mojo, ride the serve and lean his way to beat Juliean Benneteau, Fernando Verdasco and even Andy Murray in the fourth round, setting up that clash with Fed.

The second quarter is a grab bag, but I’ll go with Nikolay Davydenko and Radek Stepanek to meet in the quarters. Mikhail Youhzny could get in there as well, but I don’t like Lleyton Hewitt right now, nor Fernando Gonzalez or David Nalbandian. I think Mario Ancic, who player my man Gael Monfils, could make some noise, as could California kid Sam Querrey.

In the bottom-half third quarter, I like David Ferrer and I like his draw out to the quarterfinals where he’ll likely run to Djokovic, who is sitting pretty himself in what I think is the weakest second section of the bracket.

And the final quarter boasts a few potentially intriguing match ups. We could get James Blake vs. Richard Gasquet in round four along with Nadal and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Dubai finalist Feliciano Lopez could meet The Donald, Donald Young in the second round in a rematch of their entertaining US Open clash. But I think we’ll get Nadal and Paul-Henri Mathieu and I’ll take Robby Ginepri and Gasquet, with Gasquet playing Nadal in the quarters.

When the smoke clears i’m left with Federer v. Roddick, Davydenko v. Stepanek, Ferrer v. Djokovic and Gasquet v. Nadal for my Elite Eight. And taking it further I’ll take Roddick to stun Fed, Stepanek over Davydenko, Djokovic to beat Ferrer and Nadal gassing Gasquet. At the end, I somehow have Roddick again beating Djokovic, and that’s about when someone pinches me or dumps ice water on me to wake me up.

Yeah, it will likely not happen – make that very unlikely – but if 2008 has taught us anything thus far it’s to expect the unexpected. With rare occurrence have the tournament favorites – Roddick in San Jose, Gonzo in Vina Del Mar and maybe someone somewhere else – gone on to win. Let’s hope the madness continues.

Men’s first round play begins later today. Top seeds, second round start playing tomorrow and TV and online coverage begin Saturday. You can click here to check the U.S. TV schedule and click here to weigh your online options.


Also Check Out:
Andy Roddick Says “Ask The Boss Lady” Serena About Playing Olympic Mixed Doubles
Backhands Hammered in Losses for Roddick, Federer at Indian Wells
Roddick Thrashes Djokovic, Nadal Next at Indian Wells
To Rest His Knees, Rafael Nadal Might Not Play Indian Wells
The Nightmare Is Over: ATP Finally Approves The Indian Wells Prize Money Increase

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85 Comments for How Healthy is Federer? How Good is Roddick? TBD at Indian Wells

Voicemale Says:

The one thing to remember about the Stadium Court at Indian Wells is how slow it is compared to Dubai. In fact, according to the ATP, the Dubai surface is listed as Carpet, not a Hard Court – which can easily explain why guys that serve big on slick surfaces like Roddick and Lopez (twice a Dubai Finalist) can and do excel there. Not so at Indian Wells. The slower nature of this court gives grinders more time to set themselves up for their shots. This surface will help both Djokovic and Nadal, and it if anything, it negates Roddick slightly.

The lower quarter of the top half is the puzzle because it’s loaded with guys that can Steamroll others or get Steamrolled by others on any given day: Hewitt, Gonzalez, Ferrero and Nalbandian. Davydenko is the Steady Eddy in this section, if unspectacular. But of these, Nalbandian is the best at his best, and he wouldn’t surprise at all making the Semis.

Should Nadal square off against Djokovic in the other Semi, I’m predicting that’s the one that will be a bloodbath. One of them will be guaranteed to lose points. It’s been said that the Serb has the easiest draw – but I still say talented guys like Seppi & Kohlschreiber can make him sweat.


I like tennis bullies not tennis sissies Says:

federer always get cakewalk easy draws more so than Nadal or roddick..
thats why he has so many titles:
biased draws and usta helping him all the time
completely rigged to favor him always


Go Maria Says:

Indian Wells’ surface is very slow, even though it is labeled as a Hard Court. I think Roddick might not even get pass Andy Murray, who has a winning record against Roddick. I want to see Murray Vs. Federer. At least there is a possibilty of upset. If it were Roddick vs. Fed, then Fed can get to the semi without having to work too much.

Nadal probably is not going to protect his 465 points this year. It is a shame that he is only 22, and yet I felt that his best years are behind him already….


johnnhoj Says:

I just don’t see Roddick getting another win over Federer anytime soon, not even after or during Fed’s illness recovery or whatever the hell his situation seems to be this week.
I’m very interested to see the level/quality of Federer’s tennis this time around. Curse of Pistol Pete be damned! You are forthwith banished to the twilight-hour limbo of No.2 Court at Wimbledon forever!
Tsonga, Gasquet and Nalbandian will be of interest, though my gut tells me Nalbandian will lose early, as much as I’d like to see him play Federer in the semis. Roddick is a question mark for me – I’d like to see an upgraded version.


johnnhoj Says:

One of the perks of ANY player who is at number 1 is an arguably favorable draw, particularly in the early rounds for the high-seeded players. If one wants to become the number 1 player, one must earn it by eliminating the competition on a consistent basis. There is no easy draw when anyone could lose at any time, with respect to the level of play of one’s opposition, whether it’s a wildcard or a top-3 player.


clandestino Says:

Roddick to beat Federer…too comical. Every time I read that line I laugh. You can not be serious. Clearly a bias, or perhaps wishful thinking, going on here.


Dr. Death Says:

Time to close the doctor’s office for the week and watch tennis. This tournament ought to set the tone for tennis through the summer. Who is hot, healthy and has the mojo.

We WILL see Roddick beat Federer – enjoy the laugh – but the question is when? (Or is this opinion caused by combining MDMA and roids?) Roddick has come so close in the past.

A Roddick – Murray encounter is also due. The press certainly in the UK has held him up as the next big thing. This tournament will be important in establishing his real position in tennis.


Skorocel Says:

johnnhoj said: “If one wants to become the number 1 player, one must earn it by eliminating the competition on a consistent basis.”

Very true. That’s what Fed, Sampras, Agassi, Connors, Lendl and all the other No. 1s had to do as well. I don’t mind if Fed gets an “easier” draw (like FO 2007) or plays qualifiers in his first 2 matches (as in UO 2007) just “because he’s the highest seeded guy out there”… He too had to EARN the No. 1 ranking by beating the guys who were ranked HIGHER than him, so if he indeed gets some “easier” draws, he deserves them just as the former No. 1s did… If you want to be the No. 1 player, the rules are clear. It’s only UP TO FED’S OPPONENTS to get there…


angel Says:

Very well said Skorocel and for all those loosers that don’t have anything more to do than criticize Federer I want to heard them talk when he is back on form. Roddick beating Federer tha’s a JOKE…


max619 Says:

To “I like tennis bullies not tennis sissies”,

There are only two kinds of people who are really
fascinating: people who know absolutely everything,
and people who know absolutely nothing, like you.


I like tennis bullies not tennis sissies Says:

There are only two kinds of people who are really
fascinating: people who know absolutely everything,
and people who know absolutely nothing, like you.
———-

So I would still know more than you :D


Shital Green Says:

Sean,
As far as Fed goes, without seeing him play against a real player in a real tournament, we cannot say anything how healthy he is or how well he can still play. The way he has been playing since the beginning of this year without a win, it is hard to make a guess.
I would not outrightly discount Ljubicic. Remember Fed vs. Ljubicic at 2006 Miami. It was not easy for even a healthy Fed to win that match: 7-6(5) 7-6(4) 7-6(6), though Ljubicic underperformed against Fed at the IW that year, losing at 6-2, 6-3. At another scenario, Robredo could prove lethal to Fed, if we recall how he fared against Fed at 2007 AO quarter final, 6-3 7-6(2) 7-5. Even before all this, Nicolas Almagro could give Fed a good run; he took a set off Fed in Cincinnati not long ago, in Sept 2007.
Your list of Elite 8 does not look improbable except Stepanek, though. I don’t know how you put him up that hight. Is it because he made it to the San Jose final this year? He did not even have to play against any worthy player there, except, maybe, Ginepri, with whom he almost lost (6-7, 6-4, 6-1), before losing to Roddick in straight sets in the Final there.


Von Says:

“Very well said Skorocel and for all those loosers (sic) that don’t have anything more to do than criticize Federer I want to heard (sic) them talk when he is back on form. Roddick beating Federer tha’s (sic) a JOKE…”

At least, we the Roddick losers, don’t go around moping when he loses, like some of the Federer fans who go into deep depression and moping around as though their world has just collapsed along with their hero. We’re realistic and understand that in sports winning and losing go hand-in-hand. We’re happy when Roddick wins, and somewhat disappointed when he loses. But, we don’t become disjointed and seek to rationalize and find excuses for his losses. We’re matured enough to know that he’s human and it would be easier for some of the Fed fans to adopt this approach and attitude about Fed’s wins and/or losses. Keep things in perspective; accept the good with the bad and be loyal to him, but remember, that the scales do tip sometimes in other players’ favor, and when they do, be happy for them. Don’t gloat when Fed beats another player, because who knows the next match or tournament he could go out in the twinkling of an eye. Don’t worry, be happy!


Leo Says:

Von – Roddick fans have a lot more practice dealing with losses, so you guys are much better than Fed fans at that :-D

I am pulling your leg, of course!

Anyway, I think Andy is due for a win against Fed, and it may be this event…. well, if Fed gets that far.


TD Says:

Hi Von, it’s nice to see another brave Roddick fan hanging out with the dangerous Federer fans. ;)

The way this year has been going I feel like IW is wide open and is anybody’s to win. We don’t know if Roger has truly recovered from mono, we don’t know if Roddick will “bring it” to IW the way he did in Dubai, we don’t know if Nadal will ever be a factor on anything but clay, we don’t know if Murray will lose first round or win the whole thing…..it’s all so crazy but I think I like it! :D


Von Says:

Leo:

“Von – Roddick fans have a lot more practice dealing with losses, so you guys are much better than Fed fans at that.”

You can say that again. We are pros at it. That’s why when he wins we are so gracious and we don’t gloat. Humble in winning and gracious in defeat! Nevertheless, you Fed guys are going to get some very good practice in the future, and will learn to be gracious in defeat. I’ll be standing by with some very consoling words, and i promise not to gloat. :)

Re: Pulling my leg, please do so gently, I am one of the more delicate species, and I could fall apart. :)

TD:

“Hi Von, it’s nice to see another brave Roddick fan hanging out with the dangerous Federer fans.”

I’m glad you’re on my side too. The Fed fans’ bark is worse than their bite, they’re not as tough as they want us to think. After all, we’re bullies just like our beloved Andy and we don’t have insatiable appetites for wins.

“…..it’s all so crazy but I think I like it!”

I love the unpredictability — this way nothing is boring. The field, as you stated, is wide open and the heightened expectation just adds to it all. This year will herald the changing of the guards. I just wish that tennis will have greater recognition with TV coverage. Stay tuned. :)


alex Says:

————–
Dr. Death Says:

This tournament ought to set the tone for tennis through the summer. Who is hot, healthy and has the mojo.
————–
Shouldn’t it be, “the mono”? :-)


Dr. Death Says:

Alex – remember an old trading expression “the trend is your friend”. If Fed is on a loosing streak (mono or lack of mojo)and Roddick or anyone else has the heat, then we have what most of us really love…a real tennis season.

We have a number of tennis players with a lot to prove from # 1 through # 10 +. We fans are the winners. Fingers crossed this is so. It is always nice to see “one’s favorite” win a tournament, but the heat is far more important for the sport.

We seldom talk about women’s tennis – no heat – at least for me. Imagine if men’s tennis were as boring, and we would be chatting about golf.


Skorocel Says:

alex said “Shouldn’t it be, “the mono”? :-)”

I’m a Fed fan, but that was really good! :-)


john Says:

It seems Roddick vs. Murray is already given to Roddick here. Roddick played great in Dubai, but IW is a whole different surface and much slower. I’ll take Nadal here.


sensationalsafin Says:

I can’t predict the Murray-Roddick match. To me, it’s really up for grabs. It could be a close match with either one winning, or it can be a lopsided and dissappointing match with either one winning. I feel like Federer will do well here, but for some reason I can’t see him taking home the winner’s trophy. It’s possible, but for some reason I think we will have an unexpected winner here. No Nadal, Djokovic, or Roddick. Someone unexpected and maybe not that exciting. As long as we get great matches, I don’t care who wins.


jane Says:

Safin, Ancic, Monfils, Tipsy, Cilic, to name a few, are all on court today so there should be some drama / good matches.

We’ll see a rematch between Donald Young and Feli Lopez, since Young won fairly easily last night, which should be interesting. Ginepri v. Moya might be good, and Gasquet v. Soderling too.

I like the early rounds as we get to see some wacky match ups as well as upcoming players.


MMT Says:

Federer will lose his first match to Nico Almagro. Roddick will beat Murray, but lose in the semi-final to Nalbandian. The Djoker is a sure thing on the other side of the draw. He’ll beat Lopez in the semi-final who will have taken out Nadal. Blake will lose to Moya who will lose to Soderling – easily the most annoying player on tour.

And for those who continue to insist Federer’s results are due to easy draws, remember this: how easy would they have been had he lost a few times? They only looked easy because he got through them every time and repeatedly beat the same players. In hindsight we always have 20/20 vision.


Sean Randall Says:

As many of you point out, the court will be much slower in IW than it was in Dubai, but to follow what Dr. Death says in regards to Roddick, “the trend is your friend”! To add, don’t fight the tape, path of least resistance, etc.

Fast court players like James Blake and Tim Henman have done well at IW so while the surface may be slower it doesn’t rule out the fast court guys like Andy.

But if Andy’s not serving well he could go out to Haas or Benneteau in second round.

Jane, I’m also interested in seeing guys like Isner and Nishikori, who both have winable matches today. Nishi actually players Cilic.

Shital, I gave up on Ljubicic long ago, but I think he’s capable of still winning a few early round matches, he’s just no longer a threat in my mind on outdoor, slow surfaces.

As for Stepanek, yeah, not a great pick, but an “unknown” will do some damage this week and looking at the draw he’s my guy.


Sean Randall Says:

MMT, Soderling’s great value!

I hope Nalbandian can make it to semifinals, but I’m not convinced that he’s “on”. If he isn’t, which is more often than not, he could lose to Gulbis in round two!

Fed, by the way, would play Almagro in round three. Assuming Almagro gets there!

Speaking of Nico, Sports Illustrated had a great full two page picture of him just after he won the Brazil Open. The fans threw their seat cushions onto the court in celebration (?) after the win. If I find a link I’ll post it.


MMT Says:

You’re right – Fed and Almagro have to get through to the third round. Fed beat the hell out of Garcia-Lopez in Basel 2 years ago, but man that feels like a long time ago.

Mahut beat Almagro four years ago in a Challenger event when Almagro was just starting out (in France, I might add), thought it was on clay. I think the telling factor with Almagro right now is his serve – for a medium sized guy, it’s huge.

I know they threw their seat cushions on the court and chanted, “Nico” in Mexico. I saw it on ESPN Deportes, but haven’t seen any photos of it. Looked for on CNN.SI but couldn’t find it. I have a post on him on my blog you might enjoy.


Daniel Says:

Regarding the “revenge”, I would like to see Fed x Murray in the quarter, them Fed x Nalbandian in the semis and Fed x Djokovic in the final. In one tournament, Fed could erase the doubts on his fitness and motivation. That would add an extra fuel in this season!


SG Says:

There does seem to be a lot of interest in Roddick-Fed matchup at Indian Wells. I’m surpised by people’s feeling that Roddick may have a chance here. His game just doesn’t mathcup well against Federer. He’d almost have to serve in the high 80% range to have a chance to get to tie breakers. There have been quite a few instances in the last couple years where a lot of people thought that Andy was ready to beat Roger but it didn’t happen. Until Andy does final beat Roger in a tournament of importance,(…which he actually may not do for a very long time), I’m inclined to say that Andy pretty much has no chance. I’m not a Fed fan. I’m not a Roddick fan either. Perhaps just a little pragmatic thought.


Dr. Death Says:

To sleep, perchance to dream – ay, there’s the rub.

Too much pragmatism is bad for the soul.


jane Says:

SG,

Roddick came very very close to ousting Fed in the TMC 2006 3 -setter (a classic shoulda, woulda, coulda).

In a 3 set situation, on home soil, when Roddick is on a roll and Roger not at his imperious best, it’s entirely possible that the desert sun could shine on the underdog.

I’m with the Dr. on this one — dare to dream.


jane Says:

For fun, I’m furthering the “revenge” theme of this thread.

If anyone needs some “revenge” it’s gotta be Roddick against Federer.

How many slams would’ve Andy won if it weren’t for the Swiss?

Some have said Fed should get revenge against Murray, or even Nalbandian and Djokovic for their mere two Ws each (And lest we forget that Roger is someone who has enough trophies and titles for, oh, say about 3-4 excellent tennis careers).

Then surely Roddick deserves some MEDIEVAL-style revenge for his 15 L’s at the hands of Fed?!! ;-)

Hope he gets it, even if it is a 1-15 longshot. :-O


grendel Says:

It was round robin when Roddick failed to win as he should have. That matters, as attitudes are a little different in knock out. Even so, Roddick is certainly looking awesome at the moment. Asked after the Dubai final by Eurosport’s Chris Bradnam if he thought he was back to his 2003 form, he said he thought “better”. That’s what it looked like to this armchair enthusiast. He wasn’t saying it braggingly, either – it was a ruminative, pleased sort of voice. On the other hand, on the evidence of the last 12 months, age seems to be catching up with Fed just a bit. So the eternally hopeful Roddick may be justified in at least fancying his chances.

Meanwhile, I heard Fed on the radio this early morning. To a query as to how many more grand slams he could win, the deadpan response was: “Lots”. Laughter in the background. Yes, it was a joke, and you could hear it in his voice – although you could also catch a certain edge. He clearly believes he can.

In the same clip, I heard Djokovic meditating on his (long term) ambitions to be #1, on how close Rafa is, and how many people now think they can beat Fed. There was nothing conceited,no stirring the pot, none of that. Just a quiet consideration of how things stand at the moment.

Roddick, Federer and Djokovic – players often accused of arrogance, and no doubt on the basis of the above quotes, will be again by some who see only the printed word. No one who actually heard them, however, could honestly believe this. Ah, the subtleties of the human ear. The human eye also, for that matter, if it’s given something to go on – I saw Roddick give his interview, and far from being arrogant, he looked rather shy, actually, as if he couldn’t quite believe what he’d achieved in the last week. But if the eye is given only print, the busy brain jumps in, jumping to all sorts of unwarranted conclusions.

Now I read (but didn’t hear or see) Nadal say this: “If I play like that {as against Roddick in Dubai, first set} with a little more confidence, I can beat everybody”. No visual or auditory clues here, so you can make what you will of it, and no doubt plenty will. To throw in my twopennyworth, I think he was just stating, without frills, the situation as he saw it. Incidentally, not much has been said of Nadal’s chances. Can’t think why – he might not be quite the favourite to win (but then, who is?), but he’s right up there.

Oops, I’m not supposed to be here, am I?

I’ll creep away…


Shital Green Says:

grendel,
Mostly I am stingy about lavishing my praise for a post, and I did hold back back long enough, but this time I could not resist praising how you say as well as what you say.
As on most occasions, your self-deprecating (or self-praising?) humble, “twopennyworth” rumination simply raises the bar of this blog and inspires me to be more probing and more attentive to messages emanating from various text layers transcending what is audible, visible, and tactile.
Don’t disappear for a long.
Keep popping up more often unless you think this place has gone far beneath your level of thinking!!!


grendel Says:

Kind of you, Shital Green, and unexpected. The reason I say “twopennyworth” about my own opinions is simply that I am always conscious on this, and other tennis websites (such as tennis.com) that a lot of the posters are good solid tennis players, and therefore have an expertise which I don’t remotely have. I go to the local tennis club a fair bit, to take my son for his lessons – and I am somewhat in awe of a lot of the people there. Devilishly difficult game, tennis!


jane Says:

I’ll second Shital’s thoughts; I’ve no idea why you think you’re “not supposed to be here” grendel, but you should be. I enjoy reading your posts (even when we disagree) as do many others.

In this case, I very much agree with your points about “tone” – so much is lost in a strictly Gutenberg Galaxy.

When I watched Djokovic on Leno (a late night American talk show) I thought he seemed almost shy at times, definitely self-conscious. His joker-convivial self shone through (he was a great follow up to Bill Cosby) but he was by no means arrogant-seeming imo. And yet that’s how he’s oft-perceived, as are the others you mentioned – Roddick & Fed.


jane Says:

Sean,

“Jane, I’m also interested in seeing guys like Isner and Nishikori, who both have winable matches today. Nishi actually players Cilic.”

So Cilic is through fairly easily against Nishi; did you know that Peter Bodo picks Cilic as a potential surprise winner here? His article discusses IW as a “career-making” tournament, a kind of jump-starter, as cites Sampra’s, Rios’ & Djokovic’s wins as examples (he talks about Federer’s wins on American soil as well). It’s an interesting “historical” piece.


sensationalsafin Says:

Yeah, Grendel, what is this “you’re not supposed to be here” nonsense. You’re one of the best people to converse with on these blogs.

So even though nothing really exciting has happened yet at IW, it has officially begun. Anyone else wanna punch Safin in the face? I just don’t wanna root for him anymore. But it’s hard not to because he was pretty great at one point. Djokovic and Nadal play today, don’t see them having too much trouble coming through easily.

Speaking of Roddick, has anyone seen that interview where he was asked about his love life? Definetly one of the funniest Roddick interviews. I hope he does well, he’s playing Haas in his first match. That’s not easy by any stretch of the imagination.


Tam (TD) Says:

To Von, Dr Death, and another other interested party, here is another classic Roddick moment in the interview room courtesy of tennis.com. I can’t believe how anybody could dislike this guy, he is too funny and smart and he handled this awkward situation perfectly. I am still laughing at his expression.

http://www.tennis.com/media/video/player_interviews.aspx?bctid=1457734382


Von Says:

TD:

Thanks. As usual Andy outdid himself with his humor. Like you, I am amazed that some people have such an intense dislike for him. He’s gifted when it comes to speaking with the media. As I have stated before, reporters write articles on their interpretation and perception of what they see and/or hear and can be very subjective in their opinions, especially if they dislike the person.

Did you read Justin Gimelstob’s article regarding his rebuttal to Bodo’s and Wertheim’s article dubbing Andy as “the Ugly American.” Justin was very objective and also defended Andy in an admirable way. I do believe that this year will be a much more positive one for Andy and the criticism will take a back seat.

His upcoming match with Haas will be a difficult one. If he gets by Haas I think he should get rolling. He has a very tough draw, but I have faith in him. Let’s hope that he can go very far in this tournament.


jane Says:

TD,

What I’d like to see is a shot of that reporter! Is she for real? Kind of like Bridget-Jones-style journalism or something. What a doozy. Well at least it shakes things up a little.


jane Says:

Shital Green,

Are you watching Novak’s match? I can’t see it, as it’s not televised here (I am following along on the scoreboard). It sure seems like something is up with his serve today. He just got pushed to a second set t.b. against Seppi. He also hasn’t converted on break point chances too well (3 of 9 only).

Okay. He just won, but not easily.

Besides the wind of which Maria spoke, does anyone know what the weather conditions are like at IW this year? Extremely hot or what? Just curious.


Shital Green Says:

grendal,
As you suggested, I went to check out tennis.com, hoping some enlightenment from tennis pros and experts, but it was not much different from what we say here sometimes. One poster says, “I just ordered that adidas shirt like 10 minutes ago, haha” (CTAce). Most of them were like this one in the latest Message Board, or did I miss something?

Changing the subject, for a couple of minutes, Djoko’s serves scared me. They were completely ineffective to Seppi, who broke him in the 9th and 11th game of the 2nd set. It was scary. Eventually, he served better in the tie break, though Seppi was showing some signs to push the match into 3rd set right before that.


Shital Green Says:

Hi Jane,
Yes, right now, I am watching Ferrer vs. Rochus match.
You were right about Djoko’s serves without even watching the match. It is cloudy there today (lower 70s), and they are calling for rain tomorrow.
Talk to you later,


Von Says:

jane:

I watched Djoko’s match. He seemed pretty flat to me and the match was somewhat sloppy; his serve was also off. Luckily for Djoko, Seppi is not that formidable an opponent. Djoko will have to up his game if he wants to get far in this tournament.


jane Says:

Von:

Thanks – that was my impression even though I was only following stats & scoreline; he complained about the wind, apparently, in his post-match interview, but he’ll have to be more solid nevertheless, if he wants to do well here.

Besides which, Fed said in his interview that he loves winning in the wind, so look out those players who don’t…


sensationalsafin Says:

Is FSN a real channel? Where the hell is it? I wanna watch some tennis. This is bull shit!


Von Says:

sensationalsafin:

It depends on where you live. The MS is being broadcasted on FSN and Sun Sport; about 2 channels after ESPN2, which in my area is 64, FSN 66, and Sun Sport 71. Hope this helps. Nadal is playing now and so is Tsonga.


SG Says:

Dr. Death Says:
To sleep, perchance to dream – ay, there’s the rub.

Too much pragmatism is bad for the soul.

———————-

Someone named Dr. Death talking about things that are bad for the soul…LOL!!!!


jane Says:

So Donald Young gets to play Rafa! Should be fun to watch.

Something tells me that Gulbis could upset Nalbandian and that Kohl, if he gets through, could knock out the Djoker. But it depends on conditions, when they play, and if Djok’s serve is working &/or Kohl’s backhand.

Anyhow, lots more good stuff to come. But good for the young American – he got back his L from the USO with a W today. Last time FeLo held him back from a chance at Federer, but this time Donald’ll get a shot a number 2. That’s gotta be thrilling.


Shital Green Says:

Jane,
I don’t recall disagreeing with you ever, but could you reflect further on how Kohl “could knock out the Djoker”? The only thing I remember is they have never played with each other. Besides that, style wise, I am clueless.


jane Says:

Shital Green,

Of course I want Novak to win. As you know.

But I guess Kohl just showed real talent to oust Roddick at the AO this year, so he’s definitely got that “dark horse potential”. If Djok isn’t serving well, or the wind is bothering him, like today, and Kohl’s game is clicking like that night against Roddick, well, then you never know.


Zola Says:

Tom(TD)
you beat me to that classic Roddick moment. That was really funny!

Von,
that was really funny. you should also read this article about the question:
http://tennisworld.typepad.com/travelblogue/2008/03/iw-crazy-moment.html
the whole interview is on IW site.

Jane
I want to see Gulbis-Nalby. I have never watched Gulbis and I hope tomorrow will be an exception.
Young was very strong against Lopez. Rafa has to step up his game a bit. Today it was windy and all, but he did not play his best. Djoko started huffing and puffing against Seppi in the second set. I was wondering if he still has breathing problems.

my ATP master TV was awful today. I don’t know if it is my video card or the streaming. I watched Rafa’s match frame by frame!


Shital Green Says:

jane,
That 2:00 am match between Roddick and Kohl was one to remember. Since Michael Geserer started coaching Kohl in October 2007, he has produced some good results. Right before AO ’08, he had made it to Doha quarter final and had won a title in Auckland, where he had defeated David Ferrer. So, he was probably a hottest player coming to AO at the time to hand Roddick a difficult defeat. Roddick’s loss also had something to do with timing; his focus toward the end was affected by overstretched late night 5 setter. Since then, Kohl has not shown anything that remarkable. However, after rethinking, I agree with you that he can be a threat to anybody with his big serve, relatively steady good forehand, and occasional vicious single-handed backhand. Again, it depends on how Djoko matches up with them. And of course the desert wind may add up to the unpredictability of the outcome: we don’t know which of the two is built to withstand better the adverse weather condition if that happens against the forecast. It definitely did not look like Djoko was sailing against the wind in the last match. If we should rely on tomorrow’s weather forecast, wind is not going to be much of a factor like yesterday: as opposed to yesterday’s 25 mph NW at 318 degree angle, it will be around 9 mph NNW at 330 degree angle, decreasing to 5 mph NNW at 342 degree angle. In any case, I wish him a good luck for tomorrow.


jane Says:

Shital Green,

I wish Novak the best of luck too.

Zola,

I watched Gulbis’ matches at the USO last year, when he took out Robredo and then again when he played 4 tight sets against Moya, but finally lost that match (which was the R16). He’s definitely talented.


rc Says:

pacific life open is a great tournament

rc

trading tennis blog


jane Says:

Hass has a 6-3 winning H2H against Roddick.

But when we factor in that 4 of Haas’ 6 wins came on dirt, then Roddick actually has a 3-2 lead on hardcourts. The most recent win, however, went to Haas in Memphis last year, but Haas was on a hot streak then.

Haas got to the quarters here last year, losing to Murray. So he’s definitely a formidable opponent, even if he’s not been on a consistent winning streak of late.


Sean Randall Says:

Looks like Roddick’s gone back to his old ways. Haas leading 4-3 with a break, but it won’t be easy for Haas to close this out!


Shital Green Says:

It is sad to see Roddick losing in straight sets to Haas in the opening round. Nothing is working for him. Haas is simply outperforming A_Rod in all areas.


Sean Randall Says:

Haas serving for it. Never a sure thing with Tommy, but if Andy gives him some more cheapies he’ll be okay.


Sean Randall Says:

Can I change my pick?

If Roddick had somehow managed to break there for 5-5 after Haas blew that first matchpoint…(what might have been)

So where has Tommy Haas been hiding? Haas too good!

The madness continues…


Anom Says:

So much for all that roddick hype.


Dr. Death Says:

painful; Glad I could get the website to take my money – which I will now spend on golf.


Dr. Death Says:

“not get” sorry about that. We have the worst luck with streaming in this part of the world


Von Says:

Disappointing loss for Andy, but he has never done well at IW. The court is not his cup of tea. Now, for whom do I start rooting? Both of my two faves are gone, Safin and now Roddick – boo hoo. Would Nero send me a phial to collect my tears.


jane Says:

Nero would be playing the violin, Von, while Rome burns…

Sad about Andy’s loss; I’d've liked to see him back up that Dubai win. But I knew Haas would be tough. He does well here. I’d like to see both Haas and Murray come through the next round so we can have a rematch of last year’s quarter final. I’d rather see Murray play Federer than Haas, should Roger come through to the quarter (which he will).

A Nalbandian v. Fed semi is still in the stars, but I see the Latvian teen gave Nalby some competition.

Anyhow, more matches to watch, fish to fry, etc…


grendel Says:

The court seemed very slow, and Roddick looked ordinary again. Strange how he oscillates between the extremes. Haas was a tough draw for him, though. He doesn’t seem to like talented backhanders, and they don’t come much more talented than Haas in that department.

Haas seems to be at that age where he can be a threat to anyone – but only sometimes, and not very often, unfortunately. I recall Haas giving Roddick a tennis lesson early last year in the US. He looked a world beater. And then he just disappeared. There are few better players to watch imo. I expect he’ll go on walkabout again soon.


zola Says:

Von,
I am sorry for Roddick’s loss. I did not see the match and don’t know what happened. Roddick said: little things!
I was waiting for an Andy-Federer match. At least the other Andy is still alive , although his opponent gave him great workout. I watched that match. great tennis from both sides.
I did not see Gulbis-Nalby. The ATP shows only two courts.


Von Says:

jane:

Do you mean Nero was like the cat and the fiddle? But he also collected his tears for the ‘fruits of his sorrows’, in a phial.

Nalby looked very shaky in his match with Gulbis. Gulbis had a very poor showing at Vegas and I was not at all impressed with him. If this is an indication of how Nalby’s playing at the moment, he won’t get very far. A hit or a miss! I do hope the Americans left in the draw can obtain some good results. Haas has given Federer some trouble in the past, so who knows whether Fed would be able to advance past the quarters. It’s all up in the air.

I never thought I would say this, but FSN is WORSE than ESPN. What are we tennis folk to do? Mutiny….


Von Says:

Zola:

Thanks for the consoling words. I didn’t see the match, I looked at the live scores. Andy had 2 chances to break Haas but could not convert. I had a bad feeling about that match, because Haas has always been a problem for Roddick in the past. Well, as the saying goes .. it’s not everyday that it’s Christmas. Roddick will have more tournaments to play — I just hope that he doesn’t get sidetracked here and bounces back. Perhaps Roddick should have switched with Murray -he has a 6-0 record againsst Melzer.


Von Says:

jane:
Typo: “for the ‘fruits of his sorrows’,” s/b “as the fruits of his sorrows.”


jane Says:

Von,

I was just making a joke about Nero’s notorious reputation, how some saw him as a kind of oblivious, self-indulgent emperor.

The direct reference was to the fire in Rome in 64 A.D. and this…

“Rumors soon arose accusing the Emperor Nero of ordering the torching of the city and standing on the summit of the Palatine playing his lyre as flames devoured the world around him. ”

You wouldn’t've torched Andy though, I realize.


Von Says:

jane:
“You wouldn’t’ve torched Andy though, I realize.”

No, I just wanted to keep my tears as a momento for this ‘sad’ moment. But, in Nero’s case, it was his ‘mad’, self-indulgent moment.


jane Says:

I was reading the P.L. Website and guess I was wrong about Haas. He doesn’t do well here necessarily; in fact, in 10 appearances, last year’s quarter final berth was his best. Andy has been a two-time semi-finalist but never better.

Andy said this won’t affect his confidence; he feels he was still “hitting the ball well” but that he didn’t step it up when he needed to. I missed most of the match as I took my son out, but when I left Haas had just broken in the 1st, so I had a bad feeling.

So have you decided who you’ll root for now Von? I still have Murray, Djoker, Baggy and Rafa in my favorites – plus I like Cilic and Tsonga’s still in it too.

I think Federer will be wanting this trophy badly though, so if anyone thinks they can beat him here, I suspect they’ll have to work extra hard for it. He didn’t walk all over Garcia-Lopez today though.


Dr. Death Says:

Nero did not fiddle whilst Rome burned – a myth.

Roddick fans may munch on this: “What we call despair is often only the painful eagerness of unfed hope”.

Back to the driving range for me.


jane Says:

“Nero did not fiddle whilst Rome burned – a myth.”

I know Dr. D.; you’ll notice my words were “reputation” and “some say” and that the quote I used said “rumours”. Anyhow, it’s a good story, no?


jane Says:

From an online article, here’s the “unfed hope” perhaps, or at least two missed chances:

“Statistically the two were fairly even. Haas had 30 winners to Roddick’s 26 and made 26 unforced errors to Roddick’s 26. But Haas converted both his service break opportunities and Roddick failed on his two chances.”


Von Says:

Jane:
“But Haas converted both his service break opportunities and Roddick failed on his two chances.”

If only, he had done it. boo-hoo x2.


Dr. Death Says:

Jane – excellent, not just good.


Von Says:

Dr. Death:
..excellent, not just good. Touche. All’s well, that ends well.

Jane: “So have you decided who you’ll root for now Von? I still have Murray, Djoker, Baggy and Rafa in my favorites – plus I like Cilic and Tsonga’s still in it too.”

I’m going to root for the champion — whoever that is. You’re the smart one — you don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. I’m an all or nothing rooter. I’m looking forward to Miami. How’s that for optimism?


I like tennis bullies not tennis sissies Says:

it looks like Federer has recovered from his bout with “mono”
at least until he loses again
then he has a ready made excuse to use


jane Says:

Federer looked healthy, no excessive sweating, good movement around the court, etc.

His backhand was particularly effective against Garcia-Lopez.

The press are so ridiculous; they hype 2 losses by Fed as if it’s the beginning of the end. And they say things like “Federer dismisses Lopez” when actually Lopez played a good match, hitting some great forehands, coming to net, etc. (He needs a more consistent & better serve though.) Or “Djokovic sweeps aside Seppi” – well, not quite. We know that Novak was lucky to get out of that one in 2 sets.


Zola Says:

I just read Andy’s presser. Can the press get more cruel?
I think I can rate this as one of the stupidest questions with a very smart answer:

Q. You mentioned that everyone’s going to have an awful match every once in a while. Seems to be kind of a top tier right now in tennis with Nadal and Federer and Djokovic. Is it eating at you a little bit about you’re on the outside looking in a little bit?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I should try beating those guys sometime in the last 10 days.

***
I didn’t know little Ali was saying that the Americans should fear them…lots of courage!


Von Says:

Zola: “I just read Andy’s presser. Can the press get more cruel?”

They need to write about something so why not good old Andy Roddick — it’s fun bashing him. He can always make a great headline.


Zola Says:

Von,
Andy is a very smart guy. I don’t like his attitude from time to time, but he is smart and he can handle the press very well.


No Joke, a Fish Swallows Federer Whole in Indian Wells Desert Says:

[...] In my original tournament preview I didn’t think Roger Federer would win Indian Wells (I picked Andy Roddick to beat him, then to win the tournament over Djokovic) and I don’t see him winning in Miami either. I said that thinking that mono virus Fed’s been struggling with doesn’t just go away. I hope for his sake that’s somewhat the case here. [...]

Top story: Coric Ends Nadal's Season In Basel, Federer Overwhelms Dimitrov; Ferrer v Murray In Valencia
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