No Joke, a Fish Swallows Federer Whole in Indian Wells Desert
by Sean Randall | March 22nd, 2008, 6:58 pm
  • 129 Comments

Yes, the tennis Madness in March continues. In this year of unpredictability, the unpredictable has happened again, this time courtesy of Mardy Fish, who destroyed Roger Federer 6-3, 6-2 this afternoon in the semifinals of the Indian Wells Tennis Masters Series.


That’s right Federer fans, the sky is falling. Cats are getting it on with dogs. The 98th–ranked Mardy Fish just beat Roger, and beat him real bad. Hard to believe it, but very true.

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.

If you told me that Fed played an American ranked No. 98 who served 34% first serves, I’d say there’s zero chance for that guy to beat Fed or any World No. 1. But to not only win but do it 6-3, 6-2? Wow.

That all said, credit to Fish, who took what was given. Fish has been playing incredible tennis this week, and I’m sure having Deal or No Deal’s model No. 2, Stacy Gardner, as his fiancée doesn’t hurt his cause. Fish escaped Lleyton Hewitt and David Nalbandian in third set tiebreaks before steamrolling Federer today. And Mardy did raise his game, elevating his first serve pct. from 33% to 35% in the second set (joking).

But is there something fishy going on? Is Fed again suffering from mono? Did Fed’s lack of match play/practice catch up to him? Is it that post Pete Sampras hangover hex again? Is Mirka really pregnant? Is Mardy Fish just that good? Or does Federer just suck now?

Mirka rumor aside, it’s probably a combination of everything.

I questioned why Fed even announced his bout with mono at a time when he said it had passed, but it did have the subtle affect of lowering expectations for Fed. At least for me it did. Even though he said he had recovered, mono can linger, and even though he may or may not say he felt fine today, it’s out there. It’s a hidden excuse. And no Roger, getting to the semifinals with the draw you had is no major feat. Sorry.

In the earlier semifinal today Novak Djokovic returned to the IW final rolling Rafael Nadal pretty comfortably. I didn’t see any of the match, but on paper it looks to be an impressive win. Obviously Novak’s the big fav Sunday against Fish, but after what we’ve seen these last few months nothing seems certain anymore in tennis. And that’s a good thing. Go Fish.


Also Check Out:
Poll: Who Will Win Indian Wells: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer?
Djokovic Nets Fish for ATP Indian Wells Title; American Back in Mix
Andy Murray: The Courts At Indian Wells Are Very Slow, They’re Also Very Slow Here In Miami
Quick Poll: Roger Federer Or Rafael Nadal, Who Wins Tonight At Indian Wells?
Poll: Should Rafael Nadal Skip Indian Wells And/Or Miami?

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129 Comments for No Joke, a Fish Swallows Federer Whole in Indian Wells Desert

sensationalsafin Says:

I garuntee Fish will be getting a call from Roddick tonight with many, many, many questions.


Inno Says:

I’m a Federer fan but I have to admit Fish played out of his mind today and was brilliant from the first point. I bought 2 courtside tickets to watch Roger and I’m now reselling them on eBay to see if I can get rid of them quick as I have no intention to drive 2 hours to see Fish or Djokovic.


jane Says:

Great title Sean. Funny article too.

Getting to the semis when you don’t even have to PLAY a quarter final match is certainly “no major feat” as you put it.

Does Fed get the points for a walk-over? Or how does that work? Seems kind of unfair for any player to get points for a match he doesn’t play.

Anyhow, yes, another surprise in tennis, and the internet is lighting up.


jane Says:

I think Fed should have his mono re-assessed, or he shouldn’t be goaded by the press into giving answers about it; when he says he’s more sure he’s recovered, as he did before this tournament, then he needs to either put it behind him or reword his response to something less definitive. For example he could say he needs to play and see how he feels or whatever. Of course that could backfire in a couple of ways: a) it suggests he’s using it as a lingering excuse for any potential losses or b) it kind of puts a target on his back (not that he doesn’t have one now anyhow, but.)

Federer’s kind of in a rough place with this illness lingering as a potential “whatever.” It’s like a MacGuffin or something. LOL. But seriously, it’s a tough position in which to be; he’ll be happy when he can really put it behind him.


tonny Says:

I was expecting Djoke humiliating Fed in the finals but humiliation happened unexpectedly sooner. It seems that Fed’s sickness will be the excuse for his disappointing 2008.


james Says:

great stuff

tennis is out of control :)


Shital Green Says:

Right after Wimby 2000, Sampras had lost his 100%, resulting in 33 tournament drought. But he wanted a respectful exit plus 13 was not the lucky number in his GS count, so he decided to have one last try at 2002 US Open, which turned out to be pretty good.
The title drought for Fed for 3 months is the longest since 2000. Look at the year “2000.”
Sean, you joked around, if I am not mistaken, that Fed contracted something from Sampras. Could it be the beginning of Fed’s “33 tournament drought” since we already have one matching number “3″?


barbara Says:

I’m sure James will be calling his pal Mardy today too to get the inside of how Mardy did it all week. Welcome back, Mardy.
Barbara


Joanne Says:

Lack of respect for Roger Federer on this board is sick.Its obvious there’s a lot of hatred,for whatever reason.My last read of your articles.Signing off permenantly.


Von Says:

I couldn’t be happier for Mardy and American tennis. It seems that our players are coming out of stasis, one by one, and it couldn’t happen at a better time. Thank God. Maybe Roddick can finally get that monkey off his back. :)

Re: Fed’s drought “When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions”. Some food for thought.


johnnhoj Says:

Where was he?


andrea Says:

wow. i could only see live scoring and thought they had reversed the scores. anyone see it? was fed steamrolled by fish or was fed having a day from hell? anyway, credit goes to mardy.

again, wow. interesting news for tennis.


Basil Says:

Everybody has a bad time. And fed has had an incredibl run so far. Maybe his confidence is a bit low. But let us not forget that he is an out of the world player. He will get back i’m sure:)


Paul Says:

It’s looking like we Fed fans are in for a painful year of downward spiral for Roger.

Bjorn Borg knew the party was over when he was 26, and bowed out.

Despite what he’s saying at his press conferences, Roger may be thinking of Bjorn’s example.


jane Says:

Here’s what Mardy himself had to say about those who speculate Fed’s days are numbered:

“In the locker room, we just kind of laugh at it,” he said. “We just kind of think it’s kind of a joke.

“You know: ‘Oh my gosh, Roger hasn’t won a tournament yet this year.’ Yet he’s only played two tournaments and reaching the semi-finals while he had mono (glandular fever) is pretty good.”

I suspect Roger’s still a little sick, maybe not, but mono doesn’t go away easily or quickly from what I’ve read or heard. Anyhow, even if he’s slowly becoming less dominant, he’ll win again, probably sooner than later.


TD Says:

Wow! Another shocking upset. Tennis has certainly been very exciting this year. The men’s side has been desperate for new faces to come along and knock Federer off of his throne. I am really enjoying the tennis these days.

As the esteemed Mrs Novak would say ‘The king is dead long live the king’! Congratulations to Mr Fish and good luck in the final.


Von Says:

TD:

“I am really enjoying the tennis these days.”

Same here. Hopefully, our Andy will get that “W” that has eluded him thus far. He must be licking his chops and feeling very happy for his bro. :)


thetennisguy Says:

Kudos to Mardy FISH … as Justin would say … serving up the tender Victuals!!

Way to go Mardy … you rock! Now take out that Serb who bounces that ball about a million times per match! Mata el Serb!

Do you know why Federer lost? Because Mardy Fish beat him. Period! You know what was sick? Mardy Fish beating RF! Long live the Fish!

Cheers.


Shital Green Says:

jane,
Had you said that a bit earlier, probably Joanne would have stayed around.
I don’t think we have ever been that irrationally offensive to any one. If I accidentally did and if it hurt anyone, my apologies. I believe I have been pretty tolerant to Djoko’s or Rafa’s critics. I never go after them for their disliking of certain aspects of my favorite players.
I recall the days last year whenever I said a word about Fed (even constructive criticism), I would be called names of worst sorts (sexist/racist and what not) and be harassed for days. And I am always grateful to you for being a sole backer in my worst days here. I did not leave the site because somebody said bad about Djoko or Rafa. I waited, and now it looks like we have a level playing field, and the place has grown into much more amicable for healthy conversation, and I will be around for years to come. I feel bad for Joanne, even though I don’ know the person. Hopefully, we will not have another Joanne leaving us in anger.


Shital Green Says:

Federer appreciates Mardy in his interview after the match:

“He [Mardy] played great today. I can only congratulate him. Fantastic.

“The danger of best-of-three matches is it can be over in no time. We all know that. He was just trying to go for everything and it sort of worked.

“He didn’t even play particularly bad on the break points, every time he read the right side on the serve and he kept the ball in play. When he wanted to attack, everything worked. He would never miss when I needed maybe a miss once in a while.

“So that was just impressive by his side and I couldn’t do much to control it.

“It’s not like he’s been 98 for the first time in his life and he just made a career breakthrough breaking into the top 100.

“The guy has been top 20 before and he’s had big matches before. He should have won Cincinnati a few years back beating Andy before he became No. 1. We know how good Mardy can be. Let’s not talk about 98. We know he’s way better than that.

“I’m happy with this week. Today it’s hard to judge because Mardy took everything on the rise. There weren’t many rallies out there so it’s hard to judge.

“But all in all, I’m happy the way this week has been gone for me. Obviously the walkover is sort of an awkward situation, but you have to take them when they come around.

“So semi-finals to start off with at the first Masters Series is a good thing and I hope I can go from here and win in Miami and on to clay.”


jane Says:

Shital Green,

I remember those days when you and I were beat up pretty bad around here. That’s why I’m trying to be fair at the same time that I am super happy to see my favorite players – as well as some surprise ones – winning.

I think it’s great for tennis in general that’s it’s so unsettled at the moment, yet I can appreciate that it must be tough for Roger’s fans.


Larry Says:

The mono is a Tony Godsick fantasy, after he (Fed’s agent) realized he couldn’t have another food poisoning episode (version 1 of the sickness story, given out in Australia) to explain the Murray loss so we got the new improved version 2. Last year it was Roche that was the scapegoat. He is done unless he hires Cahill, quits d**king around with a retired player who couldn’t beat Justine Henin, and quits kissing the asses of the Vogue crowd IMG has hooked him up with.


Von Says:

jane:

“I remember those days when you and I were beat up pretty bad around here.”

I can second that for myself from day one that I put my finger on the computer keys to the present. I can’t believe how many times I vowed I would NEVER post again, but my love for tennis has made me continue. But, it was pretty cruel at times, and some of it still lingers, at least for me. I guess, it’s that learning curve that we all have to face and choose our battles carefully, instead of jumping in feet first. :)


sensationalsafin Says:

I kinda agree with Larry, though not as harshly. It did sorta start last year when Federer started doing the Gillet commercial and hitting with Sampras and everything. It seems like his status got to his head and he was doing too many extra things off the court instead of focusing. And look at what happened, he lost to Canas after 41 straight wins.

BUT!! After all the criticism he got for having “sour grapes” after his Murray loss, he definetly deserves some praise for this. This is his worst loss in like 5 years and he did nothing but praise Fish. I didn’t see the match but according to a lot of you he played like crap. And I read he had 1 BH winner to 13 errors, obviously not his best day. But he made no excuses and said that Fish was just too good. So he can be gracious, he’s not that much of a douche.


angel Says:

I just have one thing to say in this board everybody here knows what Federer has done for tennis and the down to earth person that he is so a little more respect for this guy would be nice thanks.


michael Says:

Seriously. Its fine when people say things like, “oh , roger could have been more tactful” in this or that situation, but when people start making these blanket comments like he’s a douche, he’s full of himself, he’s making excuses for losing, his illness is fake, its just painfully retarded…especially considering how gracefully Roger has presented himself these past 5 years or so. At that, I watched his match today. He played like complete crap. The most striking thing to me was how bad it was compared to his other matches in this tournament. He absolutely KILLED it in those other matches, serving around 70% first serves, never losing a beat, except in that weird set with Ljubicic. In his match with Fish, what was it, one ace?? 55% first serves in. Errors all over the damn place. And people are saying how amazing Fish played…well…he wasn’t playing all that fantastic. For him, yeah it was a higher level than usual. But it was not mind-blowing by any stretch of the imagination. I wonder if Fed really thought his loss was due to Fish’s amazing play, or because of his own garbage play. If there’s one thing that astonishes me, its when a player doesn’t recognize that he played like trash. That’s what worries me about Fed, especially today. I’m glad he was gracious with his comments about Fish, but my god, for your own sake, watch the tape of the match and witness that horrible display.


johnnhoj Says:

Fed’s gonna bounce back at some point. Mario Ancic was out of contention for about five months or so with Mono last year, which may have been necessary in his case, but Federer looks pretty intent on playing through his sluggish state, which at least indicates an interest in returning to form. He’ll get back to winning titles, but semi-final runs are not bad in the meantime. This one also boosted his ranking points.
It’s Mardy Fish’s time to shine for now and hopefully beat the next top-ten opponent in the final.


tonny Says:

Fish turned out to be a golden one, but he ran out of his third wish: to beat Fed. So, tomorrow Djoke will do some easy light net fishing.


bob22 Says:

To Paul: It ill be very hard for Roger to pull out, since it that case he will lose $100M contract with Nike…


Kash Says:

Good to see voices of reason in the euphoria of King being dead and what not. Johnnhoj says it best. I have two questions :

Did Federer ever lose to a guy serving at 35% without ever breaking the guy in 9 service games.

What is the list of players who have lost when their opponent was serving at 35%

For what it is worth, this match like the australian open semi-final reminded me of the Volandri match last year. The murray match was more like the canas/nalbandian/djokovic matches last year. Those matches tell us that roger’s game is slipping. What this match tells us, like volandri’s match last year is that fed did not turn up for his job today. It is more like going to work with other issues on your head. The other kind of matches are where you have no clue about how to finish up that assignment your boss wants done that day.

We will know more about how much to read into this match from what is going to happen today in the final and what is going to happen to fed at miami. Not at all a bad thing for fed to keep the expectations low till the french. he can play the french with no-fear whatsoever. he wont be the humongous favorite in every match and that is not a bad thing. agassi won the french when no one expected him to, after losing in two finals some 8 odd years earlier. federer, himself took-out the whole spannish armada – ferrero, ferrer, moya and nadal at hamburg after not having won a title since dubai…..

Too sad that Fed’s reign of terror had to be brought down by mono. This is a guy who had not been beaten on hard courts by the same guy more than once till canas did that last year. Nalbandian’s magic repeated that trick and the mono definitely hampered him in djokovic and murray matches. ofcourse those guys would have eventually achieved that priviliged record anyway. People talk about nadal’s clay record and federer’s grass record but this guy was outright scary on hard-courts till canas struck this time, last year. I guess it is djokovic’s turn to don that mantle. Till how long? only time will tell….. Petty fans can disgrace the great-man till he finds his way out of this phase of his career. It is the game of tennis that is disgraced by such petty comments. Federer has created enough magic on a tennis court to last for as long as the game exists. Nothing will change that.

Oh yea! Djokovic in two sets tomorrow. If Fish wins tomorrow, Ralph Nader will be the next US president! If he wins so in 2 sets, Mr. Bush will get a honorary membership in MENSA


Jeremy Says:

Nice finish Kash! Here’s my take on Fed. A lot of fans are going on about not panicing and that he has more wins in him. I agree. But someday that will come to an end; maybe now, maybe when he’s 60. I don’t want to be the kind of fan, fickle and insecure, who will always align myself with the contemporary victor. (Coppola’s) Patton said America loves a winner and hates a loser. Well I think it has little to do with me being Canadian that my heroes may stop winning, or never ‘win’ in the first place. Heroes are also defined by grace, determination, and at times, yes even losing. I have learned as much by the great losses of my life as the great victories. What tennis fans will get out of Federer in the tournaments which follow, may indeed be wins – but even if they are not, I have a feeling that I haven’t learned all there is to know about what it really takes to be a true champion.


Von Says:

Kash:

“Oh yea! Djokovic in two sets tomorrow. If Fish wins tomorrow, Ralph Nader will be the next US president! If he wins so in 2 sets, Mr. Bush will get a honorary membership in MENSA.”

I’d like to clarify a point and it isn’t that I feel jubilant about Fish beating Fed en Route to the IW finals. I’m just happy that Fish has been able to make a run to get to the finals, something that he has not done since Cincy’03. Federer being one of the players he beat en route was just incidental and in no way takes away from Fed’s status as a champion. Surprises happens and yesterday was one of them. Fed will bounce back because he is resilient and has what it takes to do just that and maintain his status as a champion.

From your post, it’s clear that you don’t feel that Fish can win the trophy and Djokovic will. However, who ever wins I’m happy for them and it’s no small feat, but at the same time it does not diminish the loser’s efforts and be it Fish or Djokovic who accomplishes the task, then hats off to the best man on a much deserved win. :)


Skorocel Says:

I guess Sean Randall said it all:

“If you told me that Fed played an American ranked No. 98 who served 34% first serves, I’d say there’s zero chance for that guy to beat Fed or any World No. 1.”

Really, when I saw the final stats, I simply couldn’t believe my eyes… 34 % first serves in, and the guy could manage “as much” as ONE SINGLE BREAKPOINT in the entire match?! Unbelievable! Just imagine if some of his opponent’s served like this cca 2-3 years ago. They would be eaten alive! Mardy’s exellent performance apart, but it’s simply beyond me how on earth can Fed lose SO BADLY to a guy who has only took off one set of him in their 5 career meetings, and who in one of these matches even received a BAGEL from him? Apart from the Volandri match, this was without question the worst performance from Fed since he’s became the No. 1 player (actually, it was even worse than the Volandri match)…

But apart from Fed’s desastrous play, what really astonished me was the fact how TIRED he appeared in this match… I’ve maybe seen a couple of matches where he was showing signs of tiredness (like that Rome 2006 semi with Nalby), but nothing even remotely close to this! He seemed totally out of shape, both physically and mentally! I’m sure that those of you who watched the match must certainly remember that one shot (I guess it was in the penultimate game) where one of Mardy’s shots clipped the net and landed close to baseline (or something like this), but Fed simply didn’t bother at all to move and just barely returned it back with a FOREHAND SLICE (!)… Yes, a FOREHAND SLICE! Something unimaginable for Fed (who normally plays these shots only when going for dropshots)… The guy didn’t even bother to ask for a Hawk Eye when there was a close call – just walked on the other side of the court as if he wanted to be in the locker-rooms as quickly as possible. Just didn’t care at all about what was happening on the court…

That said, Mardy Fish was the deserved winner yesterday – no question about that! Even if he didn’t play that well as against Nalby (just my personal opinion), he still was able to outhit Fed from the baseline with some absolutely stunning shots! Through the whole match, he played exactly how to play against Fed on hardcourts – i.e. aggressively, attacking whenever possible. Didn’t bother at all who was standing on the other side of the court – he just wen’t for it, and it worked excellent! Really, all the credit goes to this guy! He was phenomenal against Nalby, and simply didn’t give Fed a chance… Anyone says American tennis is dying?


Von Says:

Hi Skorocel:

sorry about Fed’s loss. I know that you’re disappointed but there will be other times. Did you receive my email?


Von Says:

Hi Skorocel:

sorry about Fed’s loss. I know that you’re disappointed but there will be other times.


Von Says:

Please excuse the double post. i’m having computer problems.


Shital Green Says:

Let me beg to differ from some of us.
(1) Did Fish’s win have anything to do with Fed’s “mono”? Big “NO”. We should rather listen to Fed, the guy who had it. He confirms that he is fully recovered based on the diagnosis from one of the best medical team in the world. I believe him and his doctors, not our creative narratives, guys. Plus, the stat shows that he did far better this year than his 1st round exit with straight set loss last year.
(2) Did Fish beat Fed? Absolutely. (According to Fed, Mardy did not give him any chance to play rallies. Mardy sort of immobilized Fed. In Fed’s words, “He played great today”). Or else, we will have to believe that Fed did not want to face another round of humiliation from Djokovic, so Fed decided to let Mardy win, instead. Or, Fed forgot his tennis all of a sudden. Both are ludicrous arguments.
(3) Did Fish get to semi without playing “great”? Big fat No. His run to the semi had already established that he “could beat everybody” (Mardy’s words). And on the way there he did beat guys who he never did before: Davydenko, Hewitt, the former number one who has 7 wins against Fed, and Nalbandian, who has 7-6 against Fed if we leave out clay, including last two wins in Oct 2007, not long ago.
(4) Are we impartial in our judgment when we discredit an underdog’s win? Yes, we are heinously prejudicial. We made all kinds of far fetched excuses for Fed’s loss, from his “mono” through his girlfriend’s questionable “pregnancy,” and we called Mardy’s win “fluke” and called him a “journeyman” and what not. Can we grow a little bit and learn to give the credit to the guy who truly deserves?
(4) Did I believe 3-4 days ago Fish has chance against Djoko? No, but at this moment I do think that he has some serious chances. It is well-known in this site that I have been a committed and one of the biggest supporters of Djoko, but if he loses to Fish, would I run around with excuses like Djoko had “mono,” food poisoning, virus, blisters, sprained ankle, swell in the arms, heat or the wind of the desert, dehydration, hangover, argument with his family, or bad sex the night before and pain in the groin? Absolutely, NO. I will not be whining and making excuses, real or imaginary, to cover his malperformance; and, most of all, I will not be undermining Mardy’s victory with Djoko’s excuses, if that happens. I believe each move a player makes, including what he eats, before the match counts as a part of his athleticism and part of his game plan.


Maja Says:

I believe (and I hope) Joker will win. I love him :D Anyway, even if he doesn’t win now, it’s pretty sure that he’s the most dominant tennis player at the moment and there is a big chance that he will be the first in the world very soon.


Shital Green Says:

Von,
I have been reading your posts. With reference to–”it was pretty cruel at times, and some of it still lingers”–I feel for yo. Over the course of a year or so, I learned to avoid disagreeable comments that come sporadically, but I would try to address those that come from the same group of people frequently with the intent to hurt or with the suggestion that they have some scores to settle with me for no real reason.
And I too can gracefully say if Mardy wins, “[H]ats off to the best man on a much deserved win.”


Von Says:

Shital:

Everything you say makes sense and is true. I am somewhat upset by the fact that there are those who feel that Mardy’s win was some kind of a fluke and not deserving of such a good run to the finals, beating en route top 10 players. Similarly, had been stated about Roddick’s win in Dubai and I cannot help but feel that in some way these players are deprived of the joy that they should experience for what is somewhat of a miraculous run, and defining moments in their careers. We should all be happy for them. But, in order to be happy for people who we don’t particularly care for, we have to be filled with an abundance of self-love for ourselves, and only then can those feelings be translated to others.

I’m always happy when an underdog wins. And, Mardy is a very underrated underdog. He has a superb serve and his backhand and forehand are not bad either. I know that he didn’t serve well in his last 3 matches, but his serves did impact at the correct times. He normally serves around 60% and I can only attribute his low serving percentage to being nervous. And, who wouldn’t be nervous facing so many Top 10 and the No. 1 player. It seemed that both Fed and Nalby were nervous also, since not too many aces came from their direction either.

“His run to the semi had already established that he “could beat everybody” (Mardy’s words).”

I heard Mardy say after beating Nalbandian that he felt he could beat anyone. That’s confidence, which he should have after his repeated wins.

I wish both Novak and Mardy the very best in today’s match.

The present day Amwerican tennis players have taken the worst type of slagging — a great amount of it coming from their predecessors, who I believe could lend a helping hand in molding some of the younger players instead of criticizng them and wasting time playing numerous exhibition matches. They would be more blessed by giving something back to their country which has bestowed much in terms of money and fame.

Goodluck to Mardy and Novak and may the best man win!!


Debra Gardner Says:

I started to follow tennis again in January 2007. Before that, I’d never heard of Roger Federer, Andy Roddick or any of the other four guys I keep tabs on. I’m totally blind, so my take on tennis is probably somewhat different-I have to plo through the “thousand words” instead of looking at the pictures-and I determined after a while that I was going to have to settle down to the fact that my six guys-including Roger-are human! they win games, they lose games. the singleminded Roger fans gather around protectively and make excuses and bare their teeth at all the other players. the singleminded Roger-haters gather around jubilantly and make other kinds of excuses and waggle their fingers at the Roger-lovers “we knew it all the time! Roger is …” I struggled for half a year trying to understand why people-including commentators-would say the almost idolatrous things they said about him. I’ll never appreciate that part because I think it’s something one has to seeon the court. I like Roger though. He’s number one now because that’s where he deserves to be. He won’t always be number one just as he won’t always be 26 years old. that’s okay with me; I even feel rather protective sometimes myself. Of my other five guys, one of them will probably spend some time at number one and one of them already was for a while a few years ago. As for the loss to Marty, I don’t really care why Roger lost. I’m sorry he lost because I hate to see my guys lose, but I’m very happy for Marty. All these speculative reasons are what make these forums and sports radio go around. It’s like Rafa Nadal said once in a press conference when they were trying to figure out why he had lost a particular match: “No excuse; I lose.” Odds are, Roger will win again and, at some point, he will lose again. that’s just life. Maybe it’s because i’m old enough to be his an my other “boys” mom. I’m watching everybody grow up in front of me. This week has stirred up the pot a bit though, which is actually a good thing!


Von Says:

Shital Green Says:
“Von,
I have been reading your posts. With reference to–
”it was pretty cruel at times, and some of it still lingers”–I feel for yo. Over the course of a year or so, I learned to avoid disagreeable comments that come sporadically, but I would try to address those that come from the same group of people frequently with the intent to hurt or with the suggestion that they have some scores to settle with me for no real reason.”

Thank you for your kind expression of empathy. Unfortunately, trying to address these people have only prolonged the cruelty. There are some people who thrive on this sort of behavior and have insatiable appetites for extracting unhappiness from others. It’s a part of their lives and they enjoy it. I can only deduce that they are so miserable inside and can only find some sort of relief by unleashing their misery onto others.

For example, there’s one woman, who has systematically targeted me with her hate comments. She had made herself my warden and, timekeeper. Her behavior towards me is tantamount to harassment. Her comments are to the effect that I’m ‘ignorant’, ‘an idiot’, etc., and then she makes statements to the effect that I post here all the time, every day, and the most ludicrous of all, I live here, this is my home. Of what business is it to this woman what I do or don’t do? None, except she has nothing else to do. On one thread she mentioned: “Von, when you leave tonight, turn off the lights.” You know my Dad always told me that the answer is what causes the problem. That being the case, I do my very best to ignore her.

And, then there are the men, who do the same, in a different way. They are insulting and gang up together. It’s just a vicious circle. I have even been criticized for my style of writing, how pathetic can that be, i.e., I use flowery phrases, and I use flattery, if I compliment another poster. And above all, “I’m shameless and without scruples.” My judge and jury.

I have come to the conclusion that because I love tennis and there are some very nice, decent people who blog here, I will just have to ignore those unsavoury characters, because the joy I derive from discussing tennis far outweigh the annoyance that’s forced upon me. :)


jane Says:

In Federer’s press conference, an interviewer asked if he is “well” and Federer replied “Yes, I am well. How are you?” to much laughter afterwards. So, perhaps I was wrong in speculating that he is still a little sick. He keeps confirming / insisting he’s not so I guess we should take him at his word.

In fact, I found his press conference to be downright cheerful; much laughter and no crushing sense of disappointment. He sounds pleased with the results this week – and why not?

Maybe his fans can take heart from what seems to be a very positive & jovial attitude from the champ.

————————————————-

Von and Shital Green,

I am with you guys on this; may the best player win today. They both deserve to be in the final – one took out #1 and the other took out #2 and last year’s champion here.

Mardy pushed Novak to 7-6 (in the 3rd set I believe) at the Hopman cup this year, and as Novak acknowledged in his press conference, Fish is a dangerous and difficult opponent. Indeed, he’s certainly showed that this week.


Von Says:

Jane:

“Mardy pushed Novak to 7-6 (in the 3rd set I believe) at the Hopman cup this year, and as Novak acknowledged in his press conference, Fish is a dangerous and difficult opponent. Indeed, he’s certainly showed that this week.”

I saw that match, and you know my pet peeve about Novak — he had a medical timeout, after Mardy had won a set, but Mardy was very nice about it, as Hoffman Cup is a very jovial type atmosphere. Mardy was realy pounding aces on that day.

The match today could go either way and I know that Novak knows this – he mighrt be a bit nervous. He’s a kid in so many ways. P:)


jane Says:

Yeah, Novak, who is, after all, only 20 (!), reveals his youth perhaps most in his press conferences; but he’s trying! What can I say? I like the follies of the young – it’s gone so soon. It’s nice to see young players make mistakes, learn, grow, get better, mature – all that. They’re also so exciting to watch because they’re clearly just loving it, being there. On the other hand, an experienced player like Mardy having the run of his career is pretty fun to watch too. It’s all good.


sensationalsafin Says:

If Federer seemed unusually tired, maybe it was mono after effects. Federer took nothing away from Fish’s win. Only his fans are trying to discredit him. There are a few things to note though:
Unlike the Volandri match, this was on hard courts.
Also, Federer’s had bad days before so no matter what way you spin it, Fish crushed Federer on the right day and Federer has lost the magic to claw his way out of any match.
But, Federer says he wants to go and WIN Miami now. So it looks like he’s established his own expectations.
At the end of the day, no matter what it looks like, Federer knows he played like shit. At the pro level, they KNOW when they’re playing subpar, no one has to tell them. He was being gracious in defeat, like so many of you have been wanting of him. He gave full credit to Fish and said he’s gonna move on. But I garuntee he’s gonna go back to the practice courts and to the gym and train his ass off until Miami starts because he was NOT satisfied by his play by any stretch of the imagination. The problem isn’t just that he was dominated, it’s that he wasn’t even ABLE to make an EFFORT to come back. After his Volandri loss he went on to beat Nadal on clay for the first time and made the French final again. It’s impossible to predict what will happen at this point, but, I think Federer’s gonna start grinding again. He wants to feel like he can keep up again before he can surpass. Right now, his confidence is not as high as he might like everyone to think. This is tennis, after all.


Gimel!! Get a Life Says:

Somebody just wipe the smug of this guy’s face. I dunno how he (Justim Gimelstob) is getting the gig to be a tennis commentator. He is not qualified (did he went deep in any real tournament?) and neither his mannersims look real. He is just awkward in front of that camera. Stop smiling will you Justin? And what is the rant about Federer anyway? Get a sense of perspective!!!


Kash Says:

Here is a treat for Federer fans. Something for you guys to cheer up with, while Shital green blue or otherwise keep shooting their barbs with justification that they are being as fair as they can be for the “torment” they received. No less!

http://www.insidetennis.com/YB08_first_serve.html

Will post in detail later, but Shital, Djokovic fans have no right to speak about other posters like federer or nadal fans till Djokovic plays atleast one whole year without injury time-outs or retirements. Djokovic offers enough excuses without you saying a thing. His breathing gets heavier the closer the opponent gets to winning sometimes even if it is just a set. We already saw that at the Aus open this year. I will listen to your philosophy on “No-excuses” when you acknowledge such stupid djokvovic antics on the court.

Anyone who has seen the match yesterday without biased eyes knows federer’s movement was off and that absolutely has nothing with how Fish played. Federer played ljubicic just the other day who hits a much more pacy ball than fish. It was not Fish’s pace on the ball that beat him. All the more so on 2nd serves which Federer had many on offer. This is a player who can put back A-rod’s 140mph bombs without blinking. And yet experts here would have us believe that Fish’s 2nd delivery beat fed for pace?

What are you guys smoking? Pass it along to those fed fans you are busy getting even with :D


jane Says:

Kash,

Personally, I’ve always acknowledged, even joked about, Djoko’s retirements (see previous thread); I think the breathing issues (for which he’s been operated on), however, are valid, and maybe linked to anxiety, asthma, or both. But he can still whack that tennis ball and is fun to watch imho.

But do you really think Fed’s loss “absolutely has nothing [to do] with how Fish played”? Sure, he wasn’t flying around the court like he does at times – but he did run down some shots when he could. Fed said in his press conference that because Fish was taking everything “on the rise” and going for winners, that there wasn’t much opportunity for “rallies”. Do you disagree? Just wondering.

(By the way, I’m not smoking anything…;-))


sensationalsafin Says:

The way Fish played didn’t give Federer a chance to get himself into the match. That’s something that can’t be denied. But Fish isn’t the first player Federer’s ever played who took everything on the rise. You can’t say Fish played better than Federer’s ever played. Federer’s best will surely beat Fish’s best. But in tennis, no matter what, BOTH players have something to do with the result. No matter how you spin this, you can’t take anything away from Fish because he DID give Federer his biggest loss in years, something Djokovic, Nadal, Murray, Nalbandian, etc. were never able to do. But Federer obviously wasn’t at his best. Pretty far from it, too.


jane Says:

“You can’t say Fish played better than Federer’s ever played.” —

Obviously true. Federer has played at some weird superhuman level at times (like 07 AO); I can’t say I’ve ever seen Fish play like that! Not even yesterday.

“But in tennis, no matter what, BOTH players have something to do with the result.”

100% agreed.


Von Says:

Kash:

I was under the impression that you were rooting for Djokovic. Have you had a change of heart and are you going to feed the non-Fed fans such as myself to the wolves? What did I do to you.?


Sean Randall Says:

Interesting comments guys.

I read a lot of talk of just how gracious Federer was to Fish, but so what? Roger’s not playing to be gracious, at least I hope not, he’s playing to win titles. Break records, etc. The “he lost but at least he was gracious so it’s okay” argument is pointless.

Fish played very well, Roger didn’t. Yes, Fish had something to do with that, but despite what Roger says – and he’s mislead us before – he wasn’t at his best, even Fish acknowledged as much.

As Michael writes, “I wonder if Fed really thought his loss was due to Fish’s amazing play, or because of his own garbage play. If there’s one thing that astonishes me, its when a player doesn’t recognize that he played like trash. That’s what worries me about Fed, especially today. I’m glad he was gracious with his comments about Fish, but my god, for your own sake, watch the tape of the match and witness that horrible display.”

And I agree. Roger’s got to know he was flat. And I’m sure deep down – he won’t say it -he’s somewhat embarrassed by the result. Tiger’s not going to be impressed!

Based on what I saw from Roger a fair number of guys would have taken him out yesterday. Fed just didn’t look like he wanted to move. Roger should be thankful Nalbandian didn’t beat Fish, otherwise Dave would have likely posted another win over the Swiss.

After some more reflection, I think if Roger gets bounced early in Miami you will see him withdraw from a few of the clay event to allow himself more recovery and rest from the mono. Just a hunch.

I’ve read that with mono you can have good days and bad days. In Australia Fed started strong and then had a bad day with Janko and Novak, and I thought he didn’t play well against Blake. The pattern continued in Indian Wells, where he again played well at the start but then suffered another bad day against Fish. Seems to be he now gets two/three good days then a bad one. We’ll see.

Now if Fish goes out and does Novak like he did Fed, then…


Maja Says:

I can not wait for the final match to start…I’m so nervous…


sensationalsafin Says:

Federer has a rep of being a nice guy and he should keep that going by being gracious in defeat. But I’m telling you, no matter what he says, he knows what happened better than anyone else. And he feels like shit about it. He doesn’t wanna talk about how bad he played, he’d rather everyone just think Fish was amazing and no one will question Roger’s play. He knows he played bad and feels bad about it no matter what he says. He’s a tennis player after all.


Maja Says:

I don’t think Federer was hiding his dissapointment – he always has some nervous behaviour and face expretion when he lose…


Kash Says:

Jane:

I know you have been quite fair about a lot of issues regarding Djokovic! That post was more for Shital than anybody else. I would have posted that in a more orderly manner, but I was kind of in-between things.

Regarding Fish, I definitely like how Mardy played. I like his game the most among blake, a-rod and mardy himself. I like Dent’s game more than fish, but fish’s game is quite awesome too. He played good but not great. No one who is playing great serves at 34%. Can you tell me a great performance where the player had 34% serve percentage. People dont win matche at that %. I will be surprised even Pete, with the best 2nd serve ever won a match against anyone with a 34% serve %. much less against a hall of famer of federers caliber. There is no stretching of the truth to say federer was not physically 100% there. It is not like he was beaten by another hall of famer 8-6 in the 5th. He was demolished 6-3 6-2. You seriously think fish could do what novak, nadal, a-rod, hewitt, safin, agassi couldn’t manage in the last 5yrs. Why were’nt the other players not able to restrict fed to under 5 games in any of the 25 + matches they played in 5yrs?


Shital Green Says:

Reference: “His breathing gets heavier the closer the opponent gets to winning sometimes even if it is just a set. We already saw that at the Aus open this year. I will listen to your philosophy on ‘No-excuses’ when you acknowledge such stupid djokvovic antics on the court.”

I am not sure whether you deserve a response for your angry, illiterate ranting (evidence, you used the phrase “stupid”), but just this one time. First off, you seem to be chronically nostalgic about the past. I live in the present and future (2008-2010, not 2006 or 2007). By the way, Djoko IS, not was (past tense), the ATP Race leader in 2008, if you did not know already, and Fed could be out of top 8 for Masters Cup 2008 (he is on today’s date 9th in the ranking, and that is a fact, not something like Djoko-haters’ fabricated “antics”). I don’t believe in hero-worshiping and don’t worship personalities. I care MORE about the sports and how one plays on a particular day than his achievement in the entire history (past). If I were so obsessed about the history, I would have to disregard the present and future players as well as those lesser known great players with no or a few GS, which I cannot do at any moment of aberration.
(1) To come to the point, I don’t care about how someone breaths. Neither I am a doctor nor a social conservative police. I have seen your kind of intellect many times here who would even write a rule for ATP/ITF about how a player should breath. This is high school talk.
(2) I talk about facts, not like your hyper-biased “unbiased” “antics.” And at the AO, if you have lost your memory, Djoko defeated Fed, by strictly following ITF rules of a GS. That is a fact. At IW, Mardy made Fed look like he did not know how to hold a racket (6-3, 6-2, if you forgot the score, and that is thrashing, which I called “immobilzed” in my earlier post). And the fact is Fed acknowledged how well Mardy played. And for my factual information, should I listen to you nobody in tennis (and your narcissism and sadism) or Fed the GOAT who actually played the match?
(3)When you argue against me, collect facts, not opinions from any online magazines, blogs, or journals except that have binding authority like ATP or ITF or ATA, or the like or what the stats say or what the players say in their press releases. Go point by point to refute me with factual evidence, not something like “Djoko breathed heavily” unless that is in consideration to become part of ITF or ATP laws or bylaws. Can you talk like an adult?
(4) When Djoko lost in US Open, I did not make any excuses like you are saying Djoko won because of his heavy breathing. Djoko was supposed to win that match in all accounts. If I were to follow your example, I would be saying, “It is Fed’s angry eyes, unsmiling face, and black outfit on the court that frighten Djoko, so he lost. Wearing a face and outfit like Fed’s should be forbidden from any major tournaments.” That’s how you sound in your post, and that is so high school.
Finally, you have no right to distort my name, which ticked me off. Be a civilized person and stop calling names. Like I did not mention your name above, I prefer that you not mention my name in your posts, either. And thank you for that.


Skorocel Says:

Very well said, Sean!

I mean, even the crowd (which would logically support Mardy) was a bit surprised at what they saw yesterday… Did you notice that?

The point is, Roger was not only playing a total cr.p, but most importantly, he was slow. HORRIBLY SLOW. And not only slow, but (as Sean pointed out) he looked like he didn’t want to move. I’ve seen literally hundreds of his matches, and in some of them he indeed appeared slow, but not this… I saw both the Djok and Murray losses, where he maybe was a bit slower than usual (especially against Djok), but not even close to what I saw yesterday… To be honest, I’m a bit surprised he didn’t even mention it in his post-match presser, but now the match is over, who cares? Excuse or not, I saw the match in its entirety, and from what I saw was Fed in super-slow-motion…

To all the Fed haters: to what extent do you think (but HONESTLY) was Mardy’s game responsible for such a beating? A guy who so far could win only one single set in 5 career meetings against the Swiss suddenly beats him 6-3, 6-2 (!)… Huh? That’s not one or two matches – that’s 5 MATCHES where Mardy was beaten DECISIVELY by someone who’s lost like 20 matches in the last 5 years. Those weren’t any close matches – Fed won them all convincingly! Mardy just ain’t no Nadal or Nalby (of whom you would expect to beat Fed)…

Surely, the guy played some unbelievable shots yesterday (after all, how can you win against Hewitt, Davy, Nalby and now Fed without playing great tennis?), but from what I saw was a slow Fed like NEVER before! I have no problem to admit that even in his losses to Gonzo at TMC, Djok at AO, and Nalby at both Madrid and Paris, he just got beaten PURELY because his opponents played better, whilst he himself DIDN’T play a bad match, but yesterday, he was not only playing a total sh.t, but also moving like a cow on the ice… The guy must be smoking something if he thinks he’s feeling “fine”!

Sean said: “Based on what I saw from Roger a fair number of guys would have taken him out yesterday.” Well, that sounds like an understatement :) The truth is the guy just didn’t move at all! And if you don’t move, then how on earth can you win a tennis match?

That said, I hope Mardy wins the title. The guy was playing some unbelievable tennis this week (that’s a weak word!), posting wins over Hewitt, Davy, Nalby and now Fed – what a run! Really, it would be such a shame if he didn’t get that icing on the cake… 2 weeks ago A-Rod, and now Mardy – well, I guess it’s not that bad with American tennis, is it?


Kash Says:

Von:

Very quickly, I am not rooting for Djokovic. I would love for Fish to win, just like I wanted nadal to win yesterday (You can check Zola accusing me of having personal issues with nadal in the previous thread).

I posted who I feel will win which is very very different from who I actually want to win. Believe me, I am ready to be embarassed thoroughly by Fish thrashing djokovic today but I just cannot see that happening. Same thing with nadal yesterday! I predicted rafa will lose in straights to nadal, but believe me I was wishing for the opposite. I also predicted federer losing to novak in the aussie sf (not in straights however!) but I wish the result were opposite. Same goes for Tsonga and djokovic in the final later! so…..

I definitely want mardy to win today but I still think he will lose in two sets (with atmost 1 being competitive, likely the 1st…. maybe a tie-break!). I will hope for mardy to prove me wrong …. more so for you :)


Maja Says:

Everyone has it’s up and down phase in sport – that’s something what waits for every tennis player – Federer is just sleepy, he doesn’t have the urge to win anymore and maybe he doesn’t won’t to confess that to himself but it looks like his golden times were those when he really wanted something new to feel – but now when he won it all, his inner self is not hungry anymore… but he’s still fighting against that inner need to rest.


Maja Says:

I love Djokovic and I hope Kash is right :p Djokovic does have a quality to win anyone if he really do his best.


jane Says:

Kash,

I agree that Fed wasn’t at his best; I also think Fish played well but there can be little doubt that it’s amazing he did as well as he did against Federer with a 34% first serve percentage – it is a shocking loss but it shouldn’t undermine Fish’s good moment, that’s all.

It shouldn’t undermine Fed’s amazing accomplishments either.

I mean COME ON ladies and gentleman!

Fed lost.
Fed will win again.
Fed will lose again.
Fed’s human, even if he doesn’t look it on the court sometimes!
All players have great matches and not so great matches – even Fed, who’s has more great matches consecutively than most players ever. But the monster of expectation can clearly backfire; Fed should be cheered on through thick and thin, especially by his fans. He can’t be expected to win everything, all the time, forever.


bob22 Says:

To Sean:
>”I’ve read that with mono you can have good days and bad days. In Australia Fed started strong and then had a bad day with Janko and Novak, and I thought he didn’t play well against Blake. The pattern continued in Indian Wells, where he again played well at the start but then suffered another bad day against Fish. Seems to be he now gets two/three good days then a bad one.” – yours comments.

If I understand what you are saying, each time Federer loses, it is not due to the opponent strength, instead it is always a result of some of his sickness?
The bottom line is: It does not matter how Federer plays well or bad, end score is important. Only if he losses than you will pool out the sickness card out…
My advice to you – go back to the math Tipisarevic – Federer, check stats. Is it possible to have that high ratio of winners if he was sick? That match was high quality match, perfer example from tennis book. Do you believe we all have short memory loss, so you can play us with this disinformation?


sensationalsafin Says:

Think about it. Federer seemed to have “sour grapes” after his loss against Murray where he lost a tight 3-setter. Against Fish he got demolished and only praised him. Why do you think that is? Against Murray, he didn’t play THAT bad. He didn’t play his best but he feels he could have just as simply been the winner of that match based on his play. Against Fish, he couldn’t do shit, so he can’t be upset at Fish for outplaying him, he only has himself to be mad at.

All these reasons and excuses are pointless to why Federer lost. The fact of the matter is, Federer played like shit and he failed to get his head into the match the whole time. It’s all on him now. He’s gotta pick himself up and prove everyone who says he’s still got plenty of greatness in him right. I think in this case he needs a coach. Not because he lost, necessarily, but the way he lost. Maybe a Connors type of coach who’s more like a therapist. Someone who can help him mentally because Federer has been just out of it lately. He realizes he can’t always play his best and that’s been playing on his mind lately. Everyone said 9 losses in one year isn’t bad no matter what, but for Federer it is. Especially since he shouldn’t have lost some of those matches.

As a Federer fan, I’m dissappointed by this loss. But I feel bad for Federer right now because it’s tough to play so good for so long and have such a terrible off day like that. He’s losing focus and it’s tough to regain but he’s gotta do it.


sensationalsafin Says:

Sorry for the double post, but the Tips-Fed match was high quality?? Yeah right!! The only thing good in that match was Federer’s serving. The tennis was pretty mediocre from Federer. Tips played pretty well, but nothing out of this world.


Shital Green Says:

I hear a lot of talk about Fed not being at his 100% was the only cause of his loss, and I can buy that, but what about Nalbandian, Hewitt, and Davydenko? Are they not players? Why didn’t we attribute those losses to their not being 100%? If these players were 100%, and we did say that Mardy beat them, then why cannot we say Mardy beat Fed? This is not the 1st time: whenever he got beaten, he was not 100%. We call that tautology in philosophy. According to some of you, Fed never gets beaten. He only loses. Other players get only beaten by him. Why is the double standard: one for Fed, and another for the rest? Can I believe in equality, one standard for all? That is my basic premise of the argument.


sensationalsafin Says:

I hope you’re not referring to me because I’ve stated several times that Fish’s play had plenty to do with his win. I don’t know about Davydenko, but imo Hewitt sucks now anyway. And I don’t believe Nalbandian was at his best. Nalbandian’s best is almost as good as Federer’s and he becomes pretty much unbeatable. And cmon! Even Fish admitted Federer was playing bad.

I agree with you on this double standard thing. No one ever says someone lost to Federer. But that’s also complete bull. Look at Hamburg last year. Federer won that tourament by grinding out every match. And one of the biggest reasons he beat Nadal was because Nadal was pretty fuggin exhausted after winning every clay event he entered for like 5 straight weeks. But again, both players have to be given credit for the result. Yeah Nadal was tired but he still rocked Federer in the first set so you gotta give credit to Federer for grinding out the win. And according to just every tennis fan except for the hardcore Federer ones, the only reason Federer won the US Open last year was because Djokovic choked. And he did, but credit to Federer for hanging in there and taking his chances when the opportunities presented themselves.

Unless the score is 6-0 6-0 and the loser didn’t win a single point, then every tennis match is decided by both players. You can always lean towards one, but it’s never 100% because of one player. Wasn’t it Federer’s own fault he tried being flashy on match point against Safin at the AO so many years ago when he squandered match point and then lost? When talking about Roger Federer, you can’t say whoever beat him is a better player overall, because no one is better than Federer. So the loss had to have something to do with Federer NOT playing his BEST. But Federer’s won plenty of matches when he wasn’t his best, so it was up to Fish to keep his focus and play his game and play it well. He did just that. So he won the match by doing his thing, and Federer lost it by not doing his thing.


Shital Green Says:

sensationalsafin,
I just wish that there were more like you to understand the double standard.


jane Says:

I get it Shital Green; you’re right that there does seem to be that double standard, or tautology, wherein Fed can never be beaten by someone else – he either loses or he wins, but it’s all on his racquet and how he played or didn’t play. This is perhaps because of Fed’s own astonishing record (there’s that monster again) but it’s not fair to his opponents. I don’t care what anyone says, but Djokovic won that AO semifinal – he played out of his head. I’ve watched it lots; his serves, returns, movement, winners, anticipation….anyhow. But that double standard doesn’t apply to all Fed fans of course. Many of them, as we can see at this blog, are willing to be objective.


jane Says:

sensationalsafin,

“Federer seemed to have “sour grapes” after his loss against Murray where he lost a tight 3-setter. Against Fish he got demolished and only praised him. Why do you think that is? ”

I don’t know; why do you think that is?

Also, can you or anyone else tell me how points and walkovers work. Does a player awarded a w/o get the points that go with the “W”. I mean I know they’re bound to happen, but they bug me. I realize the walk over may have hurt Fed, but surely, too, and by contrast, the grueling matches Rafa had to play wore him down for his semi. Maybe that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.

In a way i contradicted myself when I agreed with Sean that Fed getting to the semis was (as he put it) “no major feat” and then later said why shouldn’t Fed be happy with the results of this tournament? I guess I was coming from two different angles: in the first, I was referring to his not having to even play a quarter final (and yes, begrudging that a little, admittedly), but in the latter I was referring to his recent illness and yet his ability to win his matches and get this deep (even the quarters wouldn’t be bad if he’s still sick!!). So while it’s somewhat contradictory, I came at each point from a different perspective.


TD Says:

Quote Sean-”Now if Fish goes out and does Novak like he did Fed, then…”

Then what? What does Fish have to do to get any credit at all? Of everybody he had the hardest draw to navigate- Hewitt, Davydenko, Nalbandian, Federer, these are all top ten quality opponents that Fish beat fair and square. He has given Djokovic problems in the past. Fish could beat Djoko 3 and 1 in the final and everybody would still ask “what happened to Novak?” instead of properly saying “how great was Fish” ?


sensationalsafin Says:

Against Murray, he didn’t play THAT bad. He didn’t play his best but he feels he could have just as simply been the winner of that match based on his play. Against Fish, he couldn’t do shit, so he can’t be upset at Fish for outplaying him, he only has himself to be mad at…

That’s why.


Sean Randall Says:

Regarding Federer, no he doesn’t only lose when he is ailing. That’s not what I am saying. Last year he was in perfect health when fell to Canas, Volandri, Gonzalez and I’m leaving a few others out.

What I am saying is we are in a grey period where Fed’s coming off a serious sickness that doesn’t always just go away.

But do we take Federer’s word when he says he’s fine? We took it in Australia when he said he was over his illness, then he came out later and said in fact he was sick.

Might that sluggish, low-energy feeling have returned Saturday morning when Fed woke up in Indian Wells? Maybe. Maybe not. He’s not going to say reveal it in the press just like he did at the Australian Open when it seemed clear he wasn’t 100%.

Even Fish says, “You know, this wasn’t obviously Roger’s best day, but hopefully I had a little something to do with that.”

Again, the similarities between Australia and Indian Wells are worth a look where he played six sets in both events before struggling.

And I ask, if Fed had mono the whole tournament how the hell did he play so perfectly in the first two matches? Was the mono dormant the first few rounds? Did the cumulative fatigue of the matches play a roll?

Based on what I saw my guess is he’s is still fighting it. As for Fish, he gets full credit as he should just like Novak did when he beat Roger in Melbourne. Lots of lower ranked guys have gotten hot and have been unable to close out the Fed. Fish did it.

TD, if Djoko only gets five games and Mardy serves under 40% again I’ll eat my words.


Von Says:

Kash:

“I will hope for mardy to prove me wrong …. more so for you.”

Well, thank you Kash. This way, I guess I’ll be safe from the wolves. I won’t make a good dinner though, I’m too little. :)


Kash Says:

“Other players get only beaten by him. Why is the double standard: one for Fed, and another for the rest? Can I believe in equality, one standard for all? That is my basic premise of the argument.”

>>>>> Like someone said in the other blog, I dont think every one has lost only 4HC matches in 2004, 2 in 2005 (8-6 in the 5th at aus open 2005, 5th set tie-breaker at master’s cup! both to 2 of the most talented individuals of his generation) 2 more in 06 – 1 to Rafa in the 3rd set. and a 2 set loss to murray” In 07 he lost twice to canas, and to djokovic in a 3rd set tie-break in canada.

You cannot be serious when you say there is nothing surprising in a guy with such a record losing to mardy fish without so much as a display of effort.

Here are 2 questions for you :

What is the best you have ever seen federer play in the last 5yrs?

How much of that was he able to bring it out there yesterday.

You will have an idea how much of the match, Federer actually lost.

Last but not the least, who do you think was vindicated last year when fact-pouting machines like you proclaimed federer was dusted after the Volandri loss and people who actually followed the game who thought something was amiss with the fed-camp! The answer 2GS, 2M.S 2Masters series final and a Masters cup.

Greatness doesn’t go away with the flip of a switch. How come a know-all like you had nothing to offer even 1hour before the fish match? According to you : Professional Tennis players always play with 100% fitness. Anyone who has played any kind of sport even at college level will laugh at you for that kind of a delusional statement. If it was all numbers and the final score we are interested in, why even have humans commentate or analyse matches? we could have robots like you to come and tell us the results and reel out numbers every one can google.

You got one thing right: Novak djokovic is the epitome of sportsmanship. That one statement explains every post you make. As I said before talk to you after you can see tennis without the Djokovic tinted glasses.


sensationalsafin Says:

This whole “100%” thing is really bugging me. The fact of the matter is, no athlete ever plays 100% fit. That’s impossible. That would make them some sort of superhuman. There’s always gonna be something bugging a player. Look at Djokovic. He’s always calling for the trainer because of some ailment. But not every player is so open about what they’re not comfortable with. Federer had some groin problems in last year’s French Open final but he didn’t say anything about it until he withdrew from Halle because it was bugging him THAT much.


Shital Green Says:

You do not refer to the quote at all: The double standard, which is a matter of principle and has noting to do with any particular player, but players in general. That’s ok because it is bit incomprehensible.
“You get one thing right”: If Fed wins, he is 100%. If he loses, he is not. I give up. The last time I saw Fed live from very close was in 2004 Houston Masters Cup. He must have been a 100% Fed because he beat Safin in semi and Hewitt in the final. But that might not fit into your fuzzy 100%, so can you tell me someday a week before the match when Fed is 100% so that I can go watch that whole tournament and feel what it is like seeing 100% Fed?


Shital Green Says:

Fish takes 2nd set. Whoever said he would not win any is already wrong.


jane Says:

Fish takes the second set off Djok; that should settle some questions.


Seth Says:

Well, here’s hoping Fish wins. I used to like Djoko until I realized that his seeming arrogance isn’t so seeming. He really is quite obnoxious. Yeah, sure, maybe his overabundance of self-belief serves him well because he doesn’t hold Federer in awe and actually believes he can beat him. But he ends up making a bit of an ass of himself in the process. I prefer Rafa’s approach, who clearly has never been scared of Fed, but who also carries himself before the public with humility and who quite obviously manages to respect Federer without giving him an undue advantage.

Go Fish! Take it to that conceited twerp in the final set and walk away with the trophy.


Shital Green Says:

That is what a great champion looks like. Congratulations to the NEW king of the hard court. Great play by Mardy.


Shital Green Says:

Djoko-haters,
Fish says, “Go FISH.”


jane Says:

A well played tournament by Mardy; he can take a lot from this, and hopefully continue to do good this year.

He and Djokovic seem to share some camaraderie judging by the goofing around at the net, and it was good of Djoko to give him back his 1st serve chance when the Serb fans were noisy. It seemed a friendly match, and a well-contested one as well.

Congratulations to Novak for another good hardcourt win.

Onto Miami…


jane Says:

(You know, Mardy may’ve still been full from yesterday; to swallow a joker too is a lot – but he came close!)


Von Says:

CONGRATS TO DJOKO, JANE, SHITAL, AND ALL DJOKO fans, on a great championship win. Also, congrats are in order for Mardy, his fans, and his great performance throughout the IW tournament!!

Now onto Miami for more thrills.


tonny Says:

Today’s lunch special: Fish on the grill on Djoko. Everybody is welcome.


zola Says:

congratulations to Djoko and his fans for his second title of the year. Also to the Serbs for conquering the IW. Ana played a great game.

I was disappointed at Rafa’s loss to Djoko, but I can imagine how fatigued he would have been after two very difficult matches. I am very happy for his two very important wins on the hard courts. He has improved a lot and with a better serve, he can finish the games in less of a time.

About Fed, I was surprised to see him so deflated. Not moving at all and I thought:”This is not Fed!” I hope it is not mono. I bet three days of not playing did not help as well. So , all the time when I thought Haas was doing him a favor, it was the other way round.

Fish played with all his heart today but Djoko was better. Congrats to both. I think the least for Fish is that he will move up about forty something in the rankings….well done to both.


grendel Says:

Fish has been a revelation. What’s he been up to all these years? One thing struck me forcibly during the final, and indeed in earlier matches – how enjoyable Fish was to watch .He has that indefinable quality, flair. Djokovic looked relieved when the match was over, he knew perfectly well he could have lost, and probably would have done if Fish had served anywhere near half decent.

There’s something about Djoko – people talk about his arrogance (which never comes across in interviews, b.t.w.), and I suppose they refer to a certain strut in his demeanour on court. I don’t see what’s wrong with that. In a different sort of way, Fed used to have it, a certain air of cool self-possession which must have been completely maddening to those who don’t like him. Hope he gets it back! And Nadal has it too, especially on clay; he may be humble off court – he damn well ain’t on it.

No, my objection to Djokovic is the same as my objection to Ivan Lendl: there seems something curiously manufactured about him. Like Lendl, he does everything extremely well, and at the moment is probably the best player in the world. You watch some of his extraordinary play, just as you watched Lendl’s (if you’re old enough), with cold admiration. You nod your head, and admit: yes, this is extremely good – but you’re not excited about it. He serves three aces at love – 40 down, and you’re not surprised, and admit dolefully that’s probably the end for Fish. Of course, this is sheer bias – I was only too delighted when Fed (d’you remember those days?) used to do exactly the same thing. But with Djoko, it all seems part and parcel with his clinical excellence.

It was typical of Lendl to try and remould himself to win Wimbledon – he so nearly did it, too. He beat Becker, absolutely thrashed him, in the final at Queens with a flawless grass court performance, serving and volleying away as if he’d never done anything else. You thought, my God, this man’s a monster, how can anyone get near him? And this was someone who hated grass. But he came up short on the day that mattered – twice. That element of the robotic in him let him down in the end.

Am I being hopelessly unfair in sensing something slightly robotic in Djokovic?

Anyway, I hope Fish doesn’t just disappear. Strange thing is, he’s obviously got a pretty good serve when it’s behaving itself. How can someone play generally so well, and at the same time fall so disastrously short on the most important shot?


zola Says:

There are several things about Djoko that I don’t like and I have stated many times before. But in IW, he was more in control of his manners ( except the shirt throwing). I don’t see him as aoorgant on court. I think he is trying hard not to be one and tries to be likable. And like it or not he has a grand slam and a master series title when Rafa and fed are still trying to get one. So for today, just congratulations to Djoko, Ana and all their fans.


jane Says:

Djoko like Lendl? Now there’s a surprising comparison. I don’t see the robotic in Djok, and for sure not the coldness of Lendl. Djok is all nerves and emotion to me, contained, but it’s there, seething under – and sometimes on top of – the surface. Very un-Lendl-like, who didn’t show chinks. Djok’s emotion comes out in other ways I suspect (breathing issues, well, joking and acting, singing and dancing…).

But he is very good in all departments, which can seem clinical; and the manufactured qualitiy has validity in that Djok has modeled some of his shots on some of his heroes. But there’s no doubting the underlying talent. I don’t see him as being like Lendl at all, and find him quite a bit more exciting to watch. I didn’t find that same excitement in watching Lendl (was a Mac fan for one thing).

Anyhow, that’s my take on your comparison.


jane Says:

“He serves three aces at love – 40 down, and you’re not surprised”

Maybe you’re not Grendel; I am.

I am also still amazed by some of the winners he hits down the line, while running, and his cross court backhand, which reminds me a little of Nalbandian’s. And Djoko’s drop shots seem to have worked better this tournament, going over the net and all.

By calling him robotic, aren’t you essentially saying he’s mechanical, unemotional, stiff?

It’s a bit of a backhanded compliment to call someone “clinically excellent”. But you’re entitled to your take on Djokovic, of course. Just as I am entitled to disagree.

Cheerio.


Shital Green Says:

grendel,
I can chew your description of Djokovic being robotic (to you), and what neutralizes my objection to that is you compare him with Lendl, which lifts the man to a new level where he is not yet.

Personally, not because I like him anyway, I agree more with jane: Djoko can be a bit too much human at times, though not today because he under pressure from the crowd and Mardy’s style was discomforting him. He looked puzzled a couple of times today. There were more than a few occasions when he appeared as human today like when he was throwing his racket in frustration and when he was faking to bite the trophy in joy (Dolphins ! I used to love charcoal grill blackened mahi mahi before I became a vegan). On a routine day, there is simply good amount of humanly expressions in his face and gestures.

I agree with you about one thing: He needed to and did look robotic during those consecutive aces. That Matrix look helps him to concentrate and achieve what he wants, and that look protrudes at the switch of a button when he needs something extra at crucial moments. I am not sure what would have happened had he lost that 1st game in the 3rd set. The extremely-boisterous crowd would have gone crazier. A lot of things could have happened. That Matrix focus saved him.


michael Says:

regarding djokovic’s demeanor. I am not bothered by it generally between points, but one thing I’ve seen him do, as well as a few other players, which I think tennis is so far above (or should be) is the chest pump. you know, when a player pounds his own chest with his fist. this is the ultimate gesture of ego. the whole reason i hate most sports is because its all ego. tennis is a nice break from all that garbage…most of the time. i mean whats with these horrific grimaces and stares that players give when they win a big point? whatever happened to actually smiling because you are happy. i understand that intensity can be an important ally in competition, but good god, keep it within reason. a “come-on” or something is fine, but when I saw the menacing grimace coupled with chest-pump that djokovic gave during the Australian Open (which the American broadcasters included in every damn highlight reel) I wanted to choke Novak by his long-ass neck.

Its the same with these obnoxious nationalistic fans. calm the hell down. by far the most obnoxious fans are Gonzalez’ crowd who yell that god-awful chant between every point, followed in second place by the Serbian fans. this is tennis, not soccer.


bob22 Says:

Hi michael, what’s wrong with the soccer? :)


Von Says:

Shital:

“When you argue against me, collect facts, not opinions from any online magazines,”

I felt that you were into philosophy when you mentioned empiricism and tautology in one of your previous posts. But now you talk about ‘facts’, is that some legal background that’s surfacing too? That’s my platform. I only argue on the facts as presented and the burden of proof hinges on the facts as presented.


Von Says:

Jane & Shital:

On the topic of coming back from 0-40, how about adding my little ‘cub’ A-R to that equation. If anyone can do that, it’s A-R. Perhaps Mardy could have borrowed Andy’s serve yesterday. :)


Von Says:

jane:

Did you obtain the info regarding Haas’ walkover and Fed gaining points to that effect. The answer is yes, he will get the additional points plus the money; the diffeence in points, i.e, approx. 125 points, and money, QF, v. SF. A nice healthy $100K+ extra. To those who have much, more will be added on, and to those who have less, more will be taken away. Who said life was fair?


grendel Says:

Not talking about how he looks, expressions and so on, whether he’s cold or whether he’s warm and all the rest of it – that’s red herring, in my view. I was thinking about how he plays. But of course, one’s impressions of this kind are subjective. I was just curious to know whether anyone on this site shared my impression – doesn’t look like it.


sensationalsafin Says:

I know we’re getting past this but I just watched highlights of the Federer-Fish match and all I can say is WTF. I’ve seen so many of Federer’s matches and I’ve never seen him stop… ever. He’s always praised for the way he “glides” on the court and there was 0 gliding in that match. He ran around a bit then stopped. If that’s not the illness, then something must’ve been on his mind for him to be so unfocused. So to say he played bad is an understatement. But that’s where Fish has to get credit because he didn’t miss a shot so there was no chance Federer could have won that match with the way he was playing. Fish did dominate him but that was not the Roger Federer we’ve all grown accustomed to watching.

Onto the results. Wow. Djokovic is having a Federer year. He’s got 330 points in the race, already more than 100 points above number 2 (which is Nadal I think). I’m sticking to my prediction. It’s inevitable that Djokovic will end as number 1 in the world this year. Not just that but look at what he’s done in his 2 finals this year. At the Australian he took out a super hot Tsonga and at IW he took out a super hot Fish (both of whom were the only players to get a set off him in the tournaments). Sounds a lot like what Federer used to do. Djokovic is the hardcourt king. There’s no denying that. Even if Federer manages to step up his game in Miami and beat Djokovic in the final or something, it won’t take anything away from Djokovic (except for a few points). I felt this way last year, too, even though Federer beat him at the US Open. Overall Djokovic had the best hardcourt year… sorta. This year he’s even better. The only question that remains is WHEN will Djokovic become number 1. It’s hard to say because I don’t know how well he will do on clay. Probably great.

There is one more thing though. Federer is still the grass court king. And I’m sure he’s not gonna relinquish that without a fight. But will he be able to atleast keep that going? It’s not like Djokovic isn’t capable. He could’ve been in last year’s final if he hadn’t retired. And it’s not like Nadal isn’t a threat, either. Djokovic has caught up and surpassed Federer on hardcourts, which a few years ago would have been said is impossible to do. So who’s to say it won’t happen on grass. That would be a shame though. I think it’d be cool if each one had their own super surface. Which right now they do… but Wimbledon is kinda far away.

I agree with you grendel. Djokovic’s game is like perfect. All of his shots are great and effective. They’re all perfect technique-wise. And at times it doesn’t look like he’s extraordinary but he really is. He makes the game look simple even when he’s doing something complicated.


Mike Says:

The other thing about walkovers is that they’ll count in the one-on-one stats on the ATP website, just like retirements. One of Federer’s wins over Nalbandian is the Rome ’06 SF which ended in David’s retirement. Likewise I think Hewitt’s final victory over Agassi was a W/O (’05 IW, QFs).

It may sound unfair for a player to get the points/money/stat with a walkover, but what if it were Donald Young making it to the QFs and then getting double-bageled… surely we’d also say that Federline had it easy. Not too different from RFed’s Wimby ’06 SF with Bjorkman…

With that extra “free” day of rest and practice, it’s a wonder why he wasn’t feeling fresher, more-rested, more ready to go. Then of course we’d have the argument that Mardy was on a continued roll from his defeat of Nalbandian, the man who had just given RFed two recent defeats and of course who is the only player to defeat him at the Masters Cup Final.

Likewise, if a player has to withdraw from a match, they shouldn’t receive more money than if they had lost. It makes sense that Haas receives the same payment for losing/retiring/withdrawing.

I do wonder how players feel when they’ve lost to someone and the victor goes on to withdraw from the tournament. Pity there isn’t the equivalent of the LL (lucky loser) element used during the tournament, where yes the player just barely lost but thanks to another player’s withdrawal, they get to take their place for the remainder of the tournament. If Murray had won he could have had a fun rubber match with RFed.

Mike


grendel Says:

After seeing how Djoko dealt with Nadal’s high bouncers, look forward to seeing their meetings on clay. Might be a surprise or two. Can’t see any others. Sometimes it’s nice to be shown to be wrong.


jane Says:

Von,

“Did you obtain the info regarding Haas’ walkover and Fed gaining points to that effect. ”

No – I hadn’t received that info yet; thanks. Well, it’s a break, but it may backfire too. Fed may have been too rested against Fish. Then again – Mardy played really well (but yes, he could’ve used Andy’s serve against Djoko).


jane Says:

Mike,

“I do wonder how players feel when they’ve lost to someone and the victor goes on to withdraw from the tournament. Pity there isn’t the equivalent of the LL (lucky loser) element used during the tournament, where yes the player just barely lost but thanks to another player’s withdrawal, they get to take their place for the remainder of the tournament. If Murray had won he could have had a fun rubber match with RFed.”

I was thinking that too – how must’ve a Roddick or especially a Murray (since it was further along in the tournament) felt when Haas pulled out. My 7-year-old said “Why doesn’t he [Federer] play someone else?”

Bet both Andys would’ve liked that shot.


jane Says:

grendel,

Both my responses take into account how he plays (shots, style); I just don’t see Djoko as Lendl-like, and I do find his play exciting and surprising.

I think his return of serve is getting stronger which is amazing. His serves are great, but not out of this world (not like Roger’s when he’s playing well). Djoko just has that champion’s ability to serve well when he needs to (like Pete, Roger, A-rod, etc).


SG Says:

Well, one thing’s for sure. Fed is slumping a bit. I suspect that like Sampras, the grass will revive him and set things back in order (…for a little while at least).

Fed plays best at Wimbledon and the US Open. So, his two best tournaments are still to come. If he wins both, it’ll be hard to argue against him being No.1. Those two tournaments are usually won by the most well rounded players.

As for this loss to Fish, it is curious. I didn’t see the match. One of Fed’s supposed strengths is to be able to adapt to his opponents strengths and nullify them. With Fish only serving 34%, it’s hard to understand how he was thoroughly manhandled. It is quite possible that Fed has “checked out” mentally for a bit. How could you blame the guy? He has dominated the sport for a 4 year period like no one before him. I don’t see hin winning in Paris, though if he did, it would make for a most logical victory in this year of completely unpredictable results. If Fed doesn’t get it done in Paris this year, he will never win this major. His age will become a huge factor.


Shital Green Says:

Von,
Ref: “I felt that you were into philosophy…But now you talk about ‘facts’ ”
You busted me ! I hope it was not one of those “gotcha you” moments ! I can learn something from this, though.
When I was responding to Grendel about relationship between facts and opinions, i.e. between objectivity and subjectivity, I was just recalling Einstein’s Theory of Relativity that an object’s measure is always from a subject’s position. Or, in Heisenburg’s Theory of Uncertainty, observation affects the object being observed. And the subject’s position is, in Thomas Kuhnn’s phrase, “paradigmatic,” or in Louise Althusser’s phrase, “ideological.” At the end of the day, it comes down to Antonio Gramsci’s hegemony, the select group of people in each field who have sway over the matter. In brief, facts are discursive formation.
Then, in the second instance, I was arguing that how a player smiles or breathes should not be the final arbiter in our assessment of the player’s performance unless those extra-athletic activities are juridically determined to be incommensurable with the subsystem of tennis. To put it differently, following Niklas Luhmann’s theory of autopoiesis, I was positing that it is detrimental to the life and functioning of systems (be they sports or legal or medical or social systems, etc.) if we contend that it is permissible to let standards of one system dictate another system, and for this reason it untenable to conclude that social etiquettes are the mark of sportsmanship. To sum up, facts of one field cannot be the conclusive determinant for the functioning of another field, though they can play peripheral role.
For all these reasons, Djokovic’s extra-athletic activities should be secondary [underscore], not primary, in our observation/appraisal of his skills as a tennis player (serves/ receives/ hits/ moves/ court coverage/ creation of new shots beyond textbook shots, etc.), not as a theatrical actor, though the latter could be cathartic to some.
I apologize if I went on and on.


Daniel Says:

grendel

I agree with you on Lendl/Djoko styles following tennis shot making manual.

But agree with shital too, 19 Grand Slam finals to Djoko are too much. I think he won’t get there.

And finally, agree with Jane, his matches are exciting and even with him not showing emotions (or trying not to), you know they are there.

I also believe that this year Djoko will get a clay win over Nadal too (in one MS semis), and I am dying to see a clay Nadal x Nalbandian. For those who say that Fed has easy draws in Wimbledon, imagine if Nalbandian was in Nadal’s draw before?


Bob22 Says:

TO Daniel:
>But agree with shital too, 19 Grand Slam finals to Djoko are too much. I think he won’t get there

It is actualy your wish, will you be willing to bet on BWIN?


Maja Says:

This video is from last year, but I guess it’s interesting for all people who like joker in his joking phases (these are not imitations) – this is what I call Joker’s lightening spirit…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJQJahGpcOc

The best part for me is when he says that they (the players) are having a great party and even Paris Hilton is coming directly from prison to their party LOL!!!! :D


Maja Says:

And when he says that he can not move his skinny tiny ass :D hahahahahahahha


Mike Says:

Actually Federer can win the French this year or any other year if Nadal gets eliminated before they meet, or if he can beat Nadal in the SFs (ie if they aren’t #1/#2 at that point). It took Agassi a dozen years to win the French at almost 30, and it was only due to the luck of that rain delay. I do think that Nadal has RFed’s number on clay, but with Djokovic’s recent victories over Nadal, perhaps he has Nadal’s number. If Nadal isn’t playing with full confidence against Djokovic, he could easily lose in the SFs this year (no matter how well they do and RFed doesn’t, they will still be #2/#3, just an issue if Nadal slips in the rankings), and then RFed can beat Djokovic in the final…

I do think it’s great that both the AO and IW SFs had the Top 3 and then a “nobody,” only for #3 and the “nobody” to make it to the final. Who would have predicted Federer and Nadal losing big-tournament SFs anytime in 2006/2007? I loved their months of pure dominance but it’s so exciting that they are finally losing to more people, it just makes tennis *that* much more interesting. Having both of them lose to Nalbandian in two Masters tournaments was priceless.

One other thing about the walkovers… I think it sucks for the tennis fans who paid money hoping to see a QF or SF, only to see it cancelled due to the walkover. Why not have the tournament see if there are any “remaining” players that would participate in an exhibition, at least for the crowd. I remember in that ’05 IW QF when Agassi couldn’t play Hewitt, he at least asked if he and Henman could play an exhibition match for the crowd. If I had been at IW hoping to see the RFed/Haas QF, it would have been great to see RFed exhibition-play with someone (even a junior, or him playing solo against a junior doubles team), or at least hold an obligatory practice session on the big court. The idea of paying for the ticket and seeing one less match than “expected” would be so frustrating.

Mike


Von Says:

Shital:

“You busted me ! I hope it was not one of those “gotcha you” moments ! I can learn something from this, though.”

No, it wasn’t a ‘gotcha’ moment.

“When I was responding to Grendel about relationship between facts and opinions, i.e. between objectivity and subjectivity, I was just recalling Einstein’s Theory of Relativity that an object’s measure is always from a subject’s position.”

I agree with you, and I have always argued on facts. One cannot dispute facts. Facts and opinions are not the same. Opinions are based on one’s ‘perception and interpretation’. And, as you know each person has his/her own depth of perception which becomes their interpretation of what is seen and/or heard, which is subjective. Facs, throws that whole subjective theory through the window and then we have a different view point. Facts, are solid and cannot be disputed, irregardless or perception and interpretation. This is where Einstein’s Theory of Relativity that an object’s measure is always from a subject’s position, is proved. What tricks our mind’s eye can play.


jane Says:

Mike,

That’s a good point about having an exhibition in the instance of a w/o, not only for the sake of the fans, but also for the player who has the w/o to get in a “match” before the next round.


SG Says:

Mike,

Agassi had some Sampras induced lulls in the middle of his career that kept him mentally fresh for the end of his career. Fed has had his foot pedal-to-the-metal for 4 years running. He won’t have Agassi’s resolve at 30. At least I don’t think so.


Von Says:

SG:

“Fed has had his foot pedal-to-the-metal for 4 years running.”

Fed is now experiencing a classic case of mental and physical saturation = burnout. Over practising, going at full speed, and self-imposed stress, is a dangeous and highly explosive combination. Over practising can cause a very compromised immune system. The one very salient point that’s stressed by trainers, i.e., do not over train, as we place untold stresses on our immune system. We are first and foremost, human beings and are limited. Our pride and hunger/greed for accolades can drive us beyond our endurance. It’s a bottomless pit. The more we put into it, the faster it becomes gobbled up. It’s insatiable.

It’s wonderful to be caught up into the sublime, however, there’s a price to be paid. Fed is now experiencing that price. There is now the unanswered question of: will he, or won’t he, be able to rise out of this unfortunate situation. I would say not, unless he comes to grips with the FACT that he needs to stop placing these unreasonable demands on his body and submit himself to a period of rest and recuperation. Showing up at tournaments is not the answer – a sabatical would be the solution, but will his avarice for accolades allow him to indulge in the LUXURY of self-imposed bed rest? However, this all depends on how large a part his insecurities play in his quest to be the best ever. Can he succumb to being, for a period of time, just one of the flock, or does he always have to be in the limelight, come what may.

“That it should come to this”, and, “Can one desire too much of a good thing?”. Only time will tell.


Daniel Says:

Bob22

A bet where we’ll have to wait at least 8..10 years, to long!!! But we can put 100 Dollars a month in a safe deposit account and when he retires the winner take it all! :)


Fruitcake Says:

As someone who has and is suffering from the after effects of mono, Fed’s blasting opponents off the court in the first 2 or 3 rounds and then his energy levels dropping thereafter seems very symptomatic of the illness. I am NOT taking anything away from Mardy Fish who played very well and took every opportunity presented to him by a (very) below par Fed. But I know only too well how I can feel really well for a few days, start living and doing “normal” things and end up barely being able to get out of bed for the next couple of days. I’ve been battling this illness for 4 months now and though I know Fed is a zillion times fitter than I am, neither do I play competitive sport at the level he does. Frankly, I’m amazed that he played thru the AO when it was clear something waa very amiss (excessive sweating is another sign of mono – and he was sweating buckets at times which is unlike him). He may say he’s 100% and I’m sure he feels like it on any given day but on another day, he’ll may feel like crap. If he felt that way against Fish (and I have to say that I thought there was no real fire in his eyes judging by camera close ups), then he did the right thing by not over-exerting himself, having already secured his No 1 ranking. Some may say that’s cheating the fans … I just say he took the right decision for him. But well done to Mardy Fish … just sorry he couldn’t overcome Djoker in the final.


Skorocel Says:

Daniel said: “For those who say that Fed has easy draws in Wimbledon, imagine if Nalbandian was in Nadal’s draw before?”

Good point!


Daniel Says:

Maja

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vu7OKS9fU14&NR=1

Look at this one and see the “Nalbandian”. :)


Zola Says:

Sean,
do we get a new thread for Miami?


Zola Says:

Regarding Federer and mono, I have heard that mono can do that. That you have energy one day and are drained the other day. It must be very frustrating. So, is this the lingering effects of mono or does he still have it ( hope not!).

also isn’t it dangerous to play while having mono? I read that physical activity can damage the spleen.

Well, we will see what happens in Miami. fed needs more matches to get fit as he goes threough the tournament. I think both Fed and Rafa have a very tough draw. Somehow Djoko got exactly the same draw of IW. What re the odds? very strange indeed!


Zola Says:

von,

**There is now the unanswered question of: will he, or won’t he, be able to rise out of this unfortunate situation**

very good question. I think he will. Actually he has been very good at taking care of his body and reducing the number of tournaments he has been playing.

I think right now for him, the focus is on Grand Slams. Otherwise he just he just needs to get his racquet and play 4 more tournaments and he will have enough points to protect his No 1 ranking.

Mental stress is true. It is something uncle Tomi talked about too. On the other hand, these guys are used to it. I think this is an exciting time and a big test for the big two. Bravo to Djoko for challenging them.


Daniel Says:

Agree with you Zola!

Now they won’t play tournaments just to win a 4th consecutive French, or a 6th consecutive Wimbledon. They are in a situation unusual to them in the last 3 years. Now there is a 3rd one who is climbing the mountain, and so far won the 2 most important titles of the year.

It’s time to show what they are made of!


jane Says:

Zola says, “I think right now for him, the focus is on Grand Slams.”

This makes sense; Federer’s focus will move more towards the GS tourneys in the future, at least I’d think so. He may try to pick up points on clay this year, by way of preparation for the French, but I’d imagine that he’ll ease off schedule-wise over the next while. He’s proved he can win it all; now his goals will likely shift to breaking a few more ket records before he hangs it all up, whenever that may be. It may explain his so-called disinterest – or not. Only he knows.


jane Says:

“key” not ket…


Zola Says:

Jane,
I think at least I, as a normal person, don’t know the toll of a tournament on the body. So, perhas energy conservation is as important as winning a tournament. They play 2-3 hours every day in a master series, mostly on a most dangerous hard courts ( doews ATP has a brain?) . They have to be able to recover mentally and physically. It is very anti-Fed to give up suddenly. To me it makes sens ethat instead of spreading his energy ( which is less than last year and was affected by illness) over 12 events, to spread them over 4, 5, 6, I don’t know. But perhaps he is prioratizing right now. Trying to get better by a target date. To me it is French Open and wimbledon.

He has been No 1 more than anyone in ATP, so that is done. What he needs now are two more GSs. I bet that is his goal, not even being No 1 anymore.


SG Says:

I don’t think a sabbatical is the answer for Fed. Historically, this hasn’t worked. Once you lose that competetive edge, you’re toast. I do think we’ll begin to see Fed mail it in more at smaller tourney’s and focus his energy more on the slams. He will break Sampras’ records. I have no doubts about that. But, will he shatter the record or slighly surpass it (ie. will he win 19 or 20 majors or will he win 16 or 17 majors?). I think it’s the latter. They guy is human. Winning another 5 majors is still an amazing accomplishment. None of his competition even has 5 majors at this point in time. I do believe that if he doesn’t take it easy now, it will affect his major count. He needs to prioritize a little better. His game hasn’t really changed. I really think he’s just mentally drained.


Maja Says:

Thank you Daniel – it’s great…I adore Djokovic’s imitations :D

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