Federer Looks to Regain Control at Miami Tennis Masters
by Sean Randall | March 26th, 2008, 9:31 am
  • 110 Comments

So, just how much better is Roger Federer than everyone else? A few years ago that argument was moot, not so anymore. In fact, one could easily make the case that right now, right this very minute, Federer is barely a Top 5 performer season to date. That’s right. Barely Top 5.

Federer’s response is that his two semifinals – at Australian Open and Indian Wells – are results many guys in the pack only wish for.

True, but Federer’s not supposed to be part of the pack. Bottom line is, Federer is not, and may never be, the player that he was in 2005 when he lost just four matches the entire year.

This year, Fed’s already lost three times and he seems to be struggling at a time when the competition is nudging ever closer. And it appears to be only a matter of months, not years, before Federer will relinquish his grasp on the No. 1 ranking, and I do think it will happen sooner rather than later, maybe even by Wimbledon.

Yes, Federer’s set the bar ridiculously high, and yes, he’s created a monster that requires him not just to win titles, but win them easily.

And this season nothing has come easy. There have been no new pieces in the Federer trophy case. In three events Roger’s yet to reach a final but the Swiss has been fighting mono, and my personal opinion is despite what Federer says, he’s still not completely over it.

Nothing against Mardy Fish, but I still cannot believe a guy can serve 34% first serves and beat Federer 3 and 2 on a hardcourt without there being more to the story. So what’s the story? Could it be the mono or maybe some off-court distraction? Who knows, but we’re likely not going to find out for a while, or maybe until the Federer book is finally written. But whatever it is that might be troubling Roger, it might still be there. And my theory is the mono hasn’t quite left the guy.

Onto Miami, or is it Indian Wells all over again because the draw looks just about the same as it did in the desert. Next time the Miami tournament organizers should gave that bag or hat or whatever it is they use to draw the names out an extra shake. There are a few twists at least.

Federer’s quarter is much tougher than it was in the desert. I love the Gael Monfils-John Isner first rounder (I hope I can watch it!), in what is a rematch of their memorable Washington meeting in which the Gael gloriously gagged. Fed should get through either guy – I’ll take my man Monfils to not gag this time – earning himself a formidable third rounder against either Robin Soderling or Stanislas Wawrinka. Luckily for Fed, Stan is also Swiss, the “other Swiss” that is, so he’ll roll over, but Soderling when he’s playing well is very dangerous, and I think it will be the Swede who shows up in that spot. I’ll take Federer to prevail nevertheless, but that’ll be the last match he wins this year in Florida. Lleyton Hewitt gets him in the round four. That’s right, the forecast for Federer in Miami is hot, humid and Hewitt. C’mon? I didn’t think Fed would win Indian Wells, and I don’t think he wins in Miami either.

Also in the bottom section of the Federer draw, after facing difficult paths in Dubai and Indian Wells, the karma comes around this time in South Florida for Andy Roddick who gets a real easy road. The former Florida native’s toughest test could be Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Sweet 16, but I don’t give the Frenchman much of a shot in that one if he makes it, at least not right now with a looming France-USA tie. Roddick should get through to meet Hewitt.

The second quarter is really wide open. I like Nikolay Davydenko to meet Andy Murray, with the winner to face either David Ferrer or Mardy Fish. I’ll lean slightly to a Murray-Ferrer quarterfinal showdown. Murray-Ancic and Safin-Youzhny could provide some early round fireworks in that section.

The third quarter, just like it was at Indian Wells, is all about Novak Djokovic, who really shouldn’t drop a set until the quarterfinals where I think he’ll run into Richard Gasquet. Or maybe not Gasquet. I could see a lot of players other than the Frenchman getting through. I’m interested to see how Sam Querrey and Kei Nishikori go. I think either one could make some noise.

And in the last quarter of the draw, I want to pick Carlos Moya, but I’ll stay with the safe bet and select Rafael Nadal to get through and face James Blake for the second straight week in a Tennis Masters quarterfinal. David Nalbandian or Marin Cilic could get out of there as well, but I’ll go with the American for now.

So here’s how I envision the quarterfinals: Hewitt v. Roddick, Murray v. Ferrer, Djokovic v. Gasquet and Blake v. Nadal (no South Americans? How can that be!). For the semifinals, I like Hewitt beating Ferrer and Djokovic beating Blake, with Djokovic defending his crown with his second straight Masters title and really turning up the heat on the Fed.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Yeah, I know it will never actually work out that way, it rarely does. Maybe we’ll get that Dudi Sela and Marc Gicquel final we’ve all been dreaming of. The way things have been going this season anything is possible. More March Madness, please.


Also Check Out:
Roger Federer Returning To No. 1? Tim Henman Thinks So
Novak Djokovic: This Was The Best Match I’ve Played Since Arriving In The U.S.
Nadal Steamrolls into Monte Carlo SFs, Ferrer Next
Murray, Djokovic Tangle Today for Miami Title
Roddick Rises; Djokovic, Davydenko Fall

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110 Comments for Federer Looks to Regain Control at Miami Tennis Masters

jane Says:

Sean,

“For the semifinals, I like Hewitt beating Roddick” — that’d be the quarter so you must like Hewitt beating either Murray or Ferrer.

I’d be surprised if Hewitt makes it to the final, but stranger things have happened.


Sean Randall Says:

Thanks Jane. Should have read “Ferrer”! Now fixed. I’ll say I don’t fancy Lleyton’s chances at all, but I’ll stick with it.


Shital Dahal Says:

Sean,
I am just reworking here what I said in the earlier thread but with more outlandish prediction, just to mess with Sean’s.

I am uncertain if Fed makes through the winner between Monfils/Isner. If he does, he could be stopped by the winner of Wawrinka vs Soderling/Koubek in the 3rd; and Fed could be facing Hewitt or Robredo in the 4th. In the quarter final, he could meet Tsonga or Karlovic or Roddick. But in this quarter, you may not have Fed at all. Unlike Sean’s pick, it could be Soderling vs. Tsonga. Sean’s is a great deal stronger than mine here: Roddick vs. Hewitt. My true wish is to see Roddick beating Fed in this quarter, though.

In the 2nd quarter, Davydenko or Ancic (no Murray here)vs. Ferrer or Youzhny. To be more concrete, Murray vs. Youzhny. In the semi of the 1st half, Tsonga vs. Murray, if not Roddick vs. Ferrer. Or, it could be Roddick or Tsonga vs. Murray or Ferrer. To be more concrete, Tsonga vs. Ferrer.

In the 3rd quarter, let’s say Gonzalez beats Djoko. But in this quarter, Gasquet will come out as winner.

Nadal should not have difficulty passing through Roitman, Kiefer, Nieminen, Haas, or Mathieu unless Cilic or Mahut causes an upset in the 4th. Nalbandian will get through Blake. Nalby will eliminate Nadal.

Then, the semi of the 2nd half will have Nalby vs. Gasquet.

Sean has Hewitt vs. Djoko in the final. I will take Roddick vs. Nalby, with the winner unknown. Sean’s looks 50% right, and mine 0%.


jane Says:

I sense an Andy coming through in the top – don’t know which one, but that’s what I’m thinking… That is, unless Fed gets his act together.

The bottom is tougher to call – could be Rafa, Nalby, Djoko, Gasquet – or Cilic? Up for grabs I think. Djoko will be a bit depleted won’t he?


rogers twin sister Says:

Let me call the bookie and bet against everything Sean picked since he’s usually 90% wrong. It’s a sure bet.


Andy Says:

I was in the stands at IW for the Federer/Fish match, which was a lot of fun. Fish covered the court well and didn’t appear to have any weaknesses. Although he did miss a lot of first serves (often by several meters!), neither Nalbandian nor Federer had much luck attacking his second serves, which were consistently deep and surprisingly powerful.

About Federer–what struck me most was that Fish was mostly able to keep the ball away from Federer’s forehand when he chose to. In years past it seemed like Federer could easily glide wayyy out to the ad-court doubles alley to crank forehand winners off well-hit shots his opponents meant for his backhand. Could Federer’s current “slump” be due solely to weak legs and not some mental distraction? I would think a distracted mind might cause serving trouble, which doesn’t seem to be the biggest problem for Federer now.

But again, all credit to Fish who played a great match.


MMT Says:

I think the two main problems for Fed are technical.

First he is relying too much on his serve, and as a result, when he doesn’t get easy points, it puts him under a lot of pressure on the second serve. He’s being hammered on the second serve by everyone. He should take a little off the serve and get it in and win points the old fashioned way – by earning them.

Second, his (topspin) backhand is landing shorter and in the middle of the court, which puts more pressure on him to hit winners earlier than he should on the forehand – thus his forehand his all over the place. I would suggest only coming over the backhand if he has to or can finish off the point, otherwise let some of these guys try to hit winners off a slice that comes up 12 inches off the ground. They’ll be hitting up, and he can run around to his forehand to his heart’s delight.

All these are things a good coach could help him with, but the bottom line is that more and more players can prevent him taking control of the points with their own power and direction because his serve doesn’t lead to control of points as it used to, and his backhand is tame.

If he wants to move forward with his game figuratively, he should move forward literally and get to the net to finish off points. Towards the end of his career Sampras seemed to serve and volley almost exclusively, and while Feder has never really been a serve and volleyer, he would do well to take pressure off his serve and backhand by cutting off his points and getting to net more aggressively.

As evidence, I offer videos of his performances in Shanghai last year.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=YghA1_vBLno
http://youtube.com/watch?v=FKnURhE6wwk
http://youtube.com/watch?v=AR7do5BFgzA
http://youtube.com/watch?v=Feo4e1jQCis


Maja Says:

I said somewhere before but I’ll say it here too… I will not go with the safe choice so it will be more fun, I’ll try to predict one surprise and I think that would be Kohleschreiber… maybe he will come to the quarter or semi’s aswell there is the possibility that Nadal or Federer will not bi in the semifinals – maybe Nalbandian vs Joker, Kohleschreiber vs Tsonga in the semi’s…it would be partly unusual but it would be something fresh


jane Says:

MMT,

Interesting point about Fed’s serve; I hadn’t thought of his relying on it as a liability but you make a good point. Think of his match with Tipsy for example – while his serve, on the one hand, saved him, he may’ve been relying on it too much, thus pushing the match further. Players definitely are able to handle his 2nd serve.

The other point about the backhand being the indirect cause of his forehand errors is also intriguing. But Djokovic was all over Fed’s backhand slice at the AO, to the degree that he was anticipating it and handling it easily. It didn’t work to Fed’s advantage in that match.

Fed has said in interviews that he knows he could tweak his game by coming more to the net but although he’s said it in theory, we don’t see it a lot in practice.

Many people have also mentioned movement as recent issue for Federer – including Andy above and Skorocel on another thread.


andrea Says:

if fed and andy make it through the draw to actually play together and andy wins then i might just give up on roger for the year. i don’t see andy winning.

hewitt can be a threat – it was close last year in Cincinnati against fed – but i don’t think he will be the one to take out federer.

and as far as sean’s abilities to call the accurate winers, i’ll have to side with rogers twin sister. andy murray was touted to go far in the AO and lost in the first round….oops.


NK Says:

Don’t be deluded into believing that Mardy Fish’s shot-making and high-kicking second serves beat Federer last week. Mardy played well, not to take anything away from him. But Federer played a listless match…absolutely no energy and no desire to go for his shots.

Federer’s A game is still superior to anyone else’s, including the Djoker’s. Unfortunately, because of his mono situation, he may not have any control over his energy level on any given day. He can go from being truly sublime one day (as in the match against Mahut where he felt no shot could get past him) to being listless the next day.

The question is not whether Federer still can beat the top guys. Absolutely no question that he can and will. Federer in the zone will most certainly beat anyone else including the Djoker in the zone.

The question these days is: which Federer will show up on the tennis court on any given day. I personally think once Federer conquers the disease he is suffering from, he will conquer just about anyone on the other side of the court.


Graham Says:

Federer was ducking Djokovic. It was just plainly obvious watching the match that Fed was not even trying. He wasnt interested.

Im guessing he didnt want to face Novak again so soon after the Oz Open defeat. Next time he plays him he wants to be properly in form not scratching around coming back from an illness. Having a loss against Fish might seem laughable on the surface but wouldnt the headlines be even worse if he’d got to the final and been comprehensively beaten by Djoko again?

I saw all his previous matches at Indian Wells and they were a world away from his performance against Fish. Against Garcia, Ljubicic and Mahut he was quick on his feet, chased every ball, made few errors off the ground and looked totally back to his usual self. There is no way he would then have a huge drop in performance against Fish other than for the fact he didnt want to play Djokovic again.


Zola Says:

MMT,
love your post. I have to read it again and watch the videos to understand it better. I never thought Fed was relying on his serve. although he has a powerful one. Very interesting point.

I don’t know about Fish-Federer. It was just painful to watch. Battle of low serve percentages. Nevertheless, it was a great victory for Fish, to addto those over Nalby, Hewitt, Davydenko….

Sean,
I am a bit mad at the Miami draw. I think it is almost identical to the IW. Very tough for Rafa, tough for fed and very easy for Djoko. Similarly in women, all the big names are in one half while Jelena and Ana are on the other one. The final wil be between one of them and whoever can come out of those battles at the first half ( probably very tired)…. well, Le Chance!


jane Says:

Graham,

if this is the case “Against Garcia, Ljubicic and Mahut he was quick on his feet, chased every ball, made few errors off the ground and looked totally back to his usual self…” then why would this also be the case “Federer was ducking Djokovic.”

Seems rather contradictory to say Fed looked to be back to his usual self, and then to claim that he threw his match against Mardy. Why wouldn’t he want to beat Mardy and then go out and avenge his loss to Novak if he played so well the first few rounds.

Can you explain what you mean a little more?


graham Says:

In the early rounds he didnt know Djokovic would be in the final though did he jane? By the time he played Fish he knew Djokovic was waiting in the final and i dont think he fancied it one little bit. He’d rather lose to a guy like Fish and call it one of those days than get beaten fair and square by Djokovic in the final. Just my opinion though :)


Von Says:

Graham:

This is a classic case of where your bias clouds your judgment and this whole situation with Fed’s mono is becoming inreasingly mindboggling daily. Why is it that it is so difficult for some of Fed’s fans to accept that he is now faltering and his match play has now reached a sub-par level? It is so unfair to take away from his opponent’s victory. If, for the sake of argument, Fed wanted to avoid meeting Djokovic, and he indeed tanked the match, wouldn’t it have been wiser for him to win his match with Fish and then take a walk-over at the final, or played a set and retired? Points wise, he would have gotten finalist points instead of semi-finalist points, which in the grand scheme of things, and in the long term, would be more beneficial to him, considering he so desperately wants to keep his No. 1 ranking.

How long is the Tennis world supposed to just dance around Fed’s mono and cast shadows on each of his opponent’s victory? If this situation is not cleared up soon, then it would be best if Fed just sits out all future tournamnets until he is 100 percent fit. He keeps saying he is fit, so why is it some of his fans just can’t accept this and desist from making excuses for his losses. Pure and simply put, he lost, and there shouldn’t be any whys and wherefores as to how this happened. His decline began a year ago, isn’t it time that his non-stellar performance from then to the present time be accepted. Never in Tennis history has such a situation been so debatable as Fed’s mono. Let’s get things into perspective here, for the good of the sport, and accept that the chances of Fed regaining his old form are quite slim.


jane Says:

Von says “wouldn’t it have been wiser for him [Federer] to win his match with Fish and then take a walk-over at the final, or played a set and retired?”

Or even, if it were true that Fed really threw his match against Mardy, why wouldn’t he make it a tighter match? Even win a set? (You know, like in those exos with Pete.) Wouldn’t it have looked better for Fed – and cause less excitement in the press (which is overexcited anyhow) – if Fed had lost, oh, let’s say, 7-5, 4-6, 4-6? I mean, I realize a loss is a loss, but because the loss to Fish was so definitive, fans and press are making a *huge* deal about it.

Is Fed really that scared of Djokovic – or that blinded by pride? – that he’d rather throw a match against Mardy than lose to Djoko? It’s possible, I suppose, since he had nothing to lose points-wise at this tournament, but we’ll never know anyhow because it can’t be proven and he’d never ever admit to it. (Maybe they could fine him for ‘not trying’ like they did to Davydenko!! Good Lord.)

Besides which, all of this speculation about ‘why Fed lost’ really takes away from *Mardy’s win* (not to mention Djoko’s AO win, and Murray’s Dubai win, and pretty much any other time anyone has won against Fed in the last year or so).

I agree that there needs to be a little more clarity – from Roger – on the state of his health. He should be more specific about how he feels in order to put an end to all of this questioning. And if he says he is well, let’s take him at his word.


jane Says:

Graham,

“In the early rounds he didnt know Djokovic would be in the final though did he jane?”

No, he didn’t; however, he did know he was playing well and said as much in his pressers, so it seems surprising to think he’d cut out of the tournament to avoid the Djoker.

But you’re entitled to your opinion, of course. :-)


Von Says:

jane:

“.. and pretty much any other time anyone has won against Fed in the last year or so).”

From the tone of all of the comments written by those who are making excuses for Fed’s losses, this is not going to be over — it will be carried from match to match, until, if finally, he wins a tournament. If he does not outright win a tournament, this mono excuse will be perpetuated ad infinitum and ad nauseam. Any player who beats him will have that stigma hanging over their heads that thy did not beat an in-form Federer but a sick Federer. A very unfair situation indeed.

I’ll still stick to my comments previously, that he needs to rest, get rid of whatever it is that ails him, and then return to playing. Anything else, is just placing a band-aid on the wound and prevents it from fully healing. I can’t believe the ATP is allowing this masquerade to continue.


Paula Says:

“Let’s get things into perspective here, for the good of the sport, and accept that the chances of Fed regaining his old form are quite slim.”

Von: have you been smoking crack? What would cause you to make such an absurd statement. I was at all of Federer’s matches – 2nd row. In his previous 3 matches to Fish, he was by a large margin the best player in the tournament. To put together such a comparative, non-effort in the semis, leads me to believe he was having a mono relapse. He’s only 26 and he’s been in 15 straight semis! The press needs to cut him some slack until he gets 100%


angel Says:

I know what you mean VON but it’s so clear to see that Federer is still sick…you just don’t like the guy and you want to trash him with everything you can think of. YOU SHOULD ACCEPT THAT FACT AND IF IT ISN’T TOO HARD FOR YOU TRY TO GET A LIFE.


Von Says:

Paula:

“Von: have you been smoking crack?”

We are all entitled to our opinions. But, that does not give you the right to become a mud slinger by stating that I “am smoking crack.” Maybe, I can deduce the same about you, since you are beyond a rational argument and can only do so by resorting to your gutter trash talking. Am I to assume that you are smoking crack? Do us both a favor and rise from the mire of such despicable behavior.


Von Says:

Angel:

“YOU SHOULD ACCEPT THAT FACT AND IF IT ISN’T TOO HARD FOR YOU TRY TO GET A LIFE.”

Only teenagers talk about ‘getting a life’ not mature adults. As long as we are alive, we have a life. Grow up and learn to accept consstructive criticism, and when and if, you can do that, then you can look at yourself as an adult instead of a juvenile whatever.


alex Says:

From the tone of all of the comments written by those who are making excuses for Fed’s losses, this is not going to be over — it will be carried from match to match, until, if finally, he wins a tournament. If he does not outright win a tournament, this mono excuse will be perpetuated ad infinitum and ad nauseam…. A very unfair situation indeed.
—————————————-
Well said Von. But even after he won a tournament, if he after that loss again, some ppl will start talking “Maybe he still had not yet fully recovered”… Maybe not Fed’s fault but that’s a very sickening situation indeed.


Susan Says:

I’m with you Roger T!!!

Sean, hope you have another day job.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s wonderful you put yourself out on a limb. But that tree has fallen, hasn’t it.

Hang on to your money!!!!


jane Says:

Unless Roger can be a little clearer in his press conferences about his health, his illness is going to turn into (and I’ve said this before in jest but it’s looking a little more probable now) a MacGuffin. The story of his wins and/or losses will be driven by the lingering spectre of his mono, either by the press, or by his fans, or both.

The point then becomes why he lost or won and that will revolve around whether he’s over the mono or not over the mono. The mono, in itself, becomes rather meaningless.

What matters is the tennis ladies and gentlemen; let’s focus on that and forget about the mono **unless Roger makes a firm statement about it publically, in which case, I’d say we believe him and put it to bed.**

——————-

Santoro, the magician, kicked Bjorkman’s butt off the court – bet Blake is not liking that, as I believe they’re in the same quarter. Moving from oldies to rookies, Cilic sails on through and Nishikori is outta there.


Branimir Says:

What you tennis experts think of clay season? If Roger has problem with fitness he is going to struggle during clay season. Will Nadal defend his points? He has like a lot of points to defend during clay season. Can Djokovic be significant factor during clay season, or will he be non-factor like last year. He did made semis at RG, but not so easily. Like let’s say Nadal.


Zola Says:

Von
**I’ll still stick to my comments previously, that he needs to rest, get rid of whatever it is that ails him, and then return to playing. **

I agre with you and Jane. If Federer is sick, he needs to have the proper rest. The other theory might be lack of fitness and mental cocentration, because of lack od match play. Maybe his health is good, but all this down time resulted in a weaker mind and body. Something he said himself in the interview. Whatever it is, I hope it is not a mono relapse.

Brainmir,
Clay season is in a month. We never know. Maybe Roger will be fine by then.

Rafa is doing fine right now and I hope he can defend all his clay points. He is more confident on clay and that is always a great help. The other guys have played him more on hard courts, so playing him on clay can be very tricky.

Djoko has improved a lot since last year. I hope he gets eliminated in the first round of every hard and clay tournament! but I knoe it is wishful thinking. He has improved physically and is more fit.He has also learned to conserve his energy at the early rounds and also mentally he is full of confidence. So, might be a whole different story.

This year there are other threats as well. Nalbandian, Murray, Gasquet, Tsonga,….

A very intereting year for ATP.


Maja Says:

Zola, you hope that Djoko gets eliminated in the first round of every tournament, isn’t that evil and against sport spirit? Why do you watch tennis when you don’t have sport spirit?


Von Says:

Zola:

Even though Rafa has a lot of points to defend on clay, Fed also has qauite a bit, except for Rome, where he lost early. Rafa has championship points for the MS clay tourneys, and Fed has finalist points except for Hamburg where it’s the reverse for Rafa. It should be a very close race. I can’t believe the clay season is so close.


Skorocel Says:

jane said: “But Djokovic was all over Fed’s backhand slice at the AO, to the degree that he was anticipating it and handling it easily. It didn’t work to Fed’s advantage in that match.”

You’re right on this one. This is one of Fed’s problems in his matches vs the Djoker – whereas other players (except maybe Nadal) are still somewhat afraid to attack these balls, the Serb isn’t.


Sean Randall Says:

Rogers twin, might you be on to something? True, my picks have been crap and if you did the opposite you could have made a lot of cash. But then again whose picks haven’t been in the dumper this year? Did anyone forecast Tsonga reaching the Australian Open final before the tournament? Or Fish at Indian Wells? What about Lopez or Roddick in Dubai? Very few tournaments have gone according to plan this year, a trend I hope continues.

Shital, if Federer were to lose to either Monfils or Isner he should just pull out of the clay season now. Unless he’s really sick, I don’t see how he’ll lose to either of them. Then again if Fed has a day like he did against Fish, I guess there is a chance. I’ll just stick to the pattern of Fed playing good early on, then fading.

MMT, good point you brought up. I do think Federer’s shots are landing shorter. If you don’t have good depth, you’re done.

Graham, I’m not buying the Federer ducking Djokovic argument. Why would he? Maybe he might do it a week before the French, but why duck him at an event like Indian Wells? I don’t really see the motivation for him to do it right now.

And again regarding his mono and the shadow it casts over his opponent’s victory, it’s true. It’s going to cast that shadow. That question is going to come up. For how long, who knows? A year from now we might still be talking about Fed’s mono. That’s just the nature of this illness – good days, then bad days. Hell if Ancic loses badly in Miami I think some of us would say that if not for his bout with mono last year he would have won that match, or that he’s still not 100%. So yeah, unfortunately I think it’s going to linger for a while longer.

On the flip side it does have the affect of lowering the expectations for Roger, which does take the pressure and focus off of him a little and subtly deflates that “monster” he says he created.


Von Says:

Alex:

“Maybe not Fed’s fault but that’s a very sickening situation indeed.”

I agree with you. It’s not Fed’s fault for the comments and excuses made by some of his fans. At some point these fans will have to come to grips with the situation and be more accepting of his losses, and begin to give credit to his opponents. I also feel that they have placed unrealistic expectations on his shoulders and as he even said, he ‘created a monster’. Maybe, in time, they’ll come to the realization that he can’t or won’t win every match.


jane Says:

Sean, at some point you did pick Fish to be in the IW finals, if I recall correctly – even if you were joking, you got it right.

Maybe that’s the method in this madness – pick in jest and win big bucks (if ya like to bet).


Shital Green Says:

Zola,
I thought we were becoming good friends since at least you first offered me that virtual tea. But statements like the one below would not help in that direction; instead it would create chasm and bitterness:
“I hope he [Djoko] gets eliminated in the first round of every hard and clay tournament!”

I would not go that low to wish a player bad luck so that my favorite one gets pass without having to compete.

My support for Djoko is as strong as yours for Rafa, not an ounce less. And imagine how you would react if somebody said the same thing about your Rafa.

A lot of experts and analysts are arguing that as long as Djoko is around, Rafa may not ever make it to No. 1. Your statement seems to be a result of your prescription to that idea. What pundits are saying may have some element of truth, but it is premature to conclusively buy that argument right away. Let us wait until the end of the year and see how everything develops.

Even if I started to not like Fed’s possession of No. 1 for over 4 years, I never wished him OUT OUT. Only since the middle of 2007, I wished that other players worked harder and played better to match or outplay him so that No. 1 spot would be shared by others in rotation. I never wished that he stepped aside so that other players would get free ride to No. 1. Be it Djoko or Rafa or somebody else, each must EARN as did Fed fairly and squarely, not accept No. 1 spot either as heritage or gift or pass.

Maybe, you could like the sports of tennis as well as the individuals who play it !


Shital Green Says:

Sean,
So the “mono” is a PR campaign to lower expectations? Is Fed running for an office? I thought we weren’t in the arena of ugly politics.

About Isner/ Monfils (your man) vs. Fed, if I win you will owe me a especial post on that one.


Zola Says:

Shital…..

Aw…, of course I offer you tea and chocolate again.

I should have put an emoticon after that sentence. It is not to bash Djoko, it is because I am scared he can catch up with Rafa!!!!! It was more of a joke..I thought my later sentences would have clarified it, but apparently not!

So, don’t take it too seriously and if you invite me to a tea party to celebrate Djoko’s wins, I will be there!


Zola Says:

oops!
Maja,
please read my response to Shital!

that said, you shouldn’t worry about Djoko. I think he is improving very steadily and he is not going nowhere just because someone made a wish on a website! But I understand that as a fan you might get offended by such statements and it wasn’t my intention.


Sean Randall Says:

Jane, yes, that Fish pick was a joke. Turned out to be true, though, didn’t it. Ha.

Shital, if Fed loses Saturday night I’ll post whatever you want. As for the PR campaign, wasn’t it Pete Sampras who told Fed that he simply set the bar too high? Then the mono magically appears.

Fed’s always running for office, the No. 1 office.


Zola Says:

Sean,

***As for the PR campaign, wasn’t it Pete Sampras who told Fed that he simply set the bar too high? Then the mono magically appears.***

so you think there is no mono?

All this is very confusing.

Can it be lack of match play? Will he be back in shape after a few good tournaments? Afterall IW was better than Dubai and Miami can be better than IW. Who knows!


Maja Says:

Ok Zola, I understand now that you didn’t mean it serious. Apology accepted :D


Sean Randall Says:

Zola, no I think there is mono, but the PR campaign is just another theory.

Lack of match play is always a factor (maybe in the Murray loss it really was), but that doesn’t really explain why Fed played so well at the start of Australia and IW only to flounder (pun) at the end.


jane Says:

This Anderson guy who got to the finals in Vegas, now has an upset here, and who plays Djokovic next – anyone know anything about him besides the fact that he is 21 and from South Africa?

Might he be the one to cause a major upset here?

Djok’s got to be a bit tired, and follow-up wins are difficult, even for the best of players.

—————

About clay – Djokovic doesn’t have loads of points to defend; however, he did get to the quarters of Hamburg (lost to Moya) and Rome (lost to Rafa) as well as winning Estoril (beat Gasquet), so he does have some points to defend before his SF points at RG.

He seems to play pretty well on clay though; he lost in the R16 in Monte Carlo, but only to Ferrer, and when he won Estoril, he plowed through 3 Spaniards along the way (Santiago, Garcia-Lopez & Robredo), so he should be a factor on clay this year if those results suggest anything. It might depend too on how tired he is now.

Rafa, Roger, Nalbandian, as well as some other Spaniards and Argentines will be factors, too, of course – Rafa being the King of course.


Branimir Says:

I think there is something with all those exhibitions with Sampras that hurt Federer’s career. I never could understand why did he accept to play those matches. I know they were interesting to public, but again, it’s very meaningless. It would make much more sense if they played the matches when both of them are retired. Sampras being retired, and Federer being active doesn’t make sense to me. Why not exhi matches between Agassi and Sampras?


MMT Says:

The purpose of the exhibition is to make money. To do that you need to generate interest. To generate interest you need a story. And as much as we enjoyed Sampras v. Agassi in their heyday, today it’d just be to guys on the wrong side of 30 going at it at a much lower level than in the past. And the question of whose the better player has already been answered by their in career head to head.

For the players it’s all about he GOAT argument. For Pete I’m guessing he’s bored and a little annoyed with all the attention going to Roger – he knows that if he loses, it’s expected, but if he wins he gets a lot of credit in the GOAT argument.

For Roger, it’s a chance to put a beat down on the king and and make a million dollars. No matter how many homes you own, $1M is a $1M. And it doesn’t hurt the argument if he wins big: he can say, “Okay in my prime I’m killing him and totally dominant against my peers, whereas in his prime he was not as dominant, so I’m the GOAT.”

Simplistically stated, but I think that’s about right.


Zola Says:

yep, no argument here. Exos are all about money. The paycheck is so fat that they can’t refuse. It will be interesting to see if Agassi was offered an exo with Sampras or not. That’s an interesting one and I bet will attract lots of people. But perhaps andrea said, Nah…..that kinda money doesn’t worth my while!

I have ATP master TV and they don’t show the first rounds. UNBELEIVABLE!


Zola Says:

**I have ATP master TV and they don’t show the first rounds. UNBELEIVABLE! ***

of course I was talking about Miami in that sentence.


jane Says:

I thought Fish might have a tough time; Clement is a tricky player (as Murray attests to in that little clip at the ATP site).

But I thought Safin would beat Reynolds.


Shital Dahal Says:

Zola,
It’s my bad that I missed the “intent.” I am not worried any more. Thank your much for your friendly response.

Sean,
I know you will win. In reality, I want to see a match between Fed vs. Roddick or Tsonga. The most beautiful match would be between Fed vs. Fish for second time, and Fish once again winning. Then, maybe, everybody will say Fish really beat Fed.

Everybody,

In the ATP Circuit Bracket, the top 10 predictors have the folloing picks (first 5 of them have 20 points and last 5 have 19 points each so far):
(1) Roddick vs. Fish in the 1st semi, and Blake vs. Djoko in the 2nd.
(2) Fed vs. Ancic in he 1st; Nalby vs. Djoko in the 2nd.
(3) Fed vs. Murray in the 1st; Nalby vs. Djoko in the 2nd.
(4) Fed vs. Murray; Nadal vs. Djoko
(5) Fed vs. Murray; Nalby vs. Djoko
(6) Fed vs. Tipsy; Nadal s. Djoko
(7) Fed vs. Ferrer; Blake vs. Djoko
(8) Roddick vs. Ancic; Gonzu vs. Nadal
(9) Fed vs. Murray; Nalby vs. Djoko
(10) Fed vs. Fish; Nadal vs. Djoko

So far I have only 14, primarily because I discounted most of the qualifiers. My entry in the semis has Tsonga vs. Murray and Nalby vs. Djoko. We will see what happens.


grendle Says:

Shital Dahal,

I’ve been trawling back into the dim distant past (of this site), looking for what I remember to be an insightful comment by Tejuz (whose steady and knowledgeable presence I miss b.t.w.). It was quite a strange experience. Last July does not, in itself, seem so long ago. But looking again at the posts of that era, why, it seems almost like poking into one’s childhood. Nowt so queer as time, whichever way you look at it. However that may be, I came across some posts of yours, and I was struck, and a little amused, to see what a strong fan of Federer’s you were – not at all over the top, but definitely a fan. You have explained partly why you went off him – there was that Althea Gibson business, and you said you just got tired of his dominance. But I sense there is something more than that. After all, when Djokovic has won ten grand slams or so, you’ll probably still be with him, won’t you.

Someone just disliking a player is quite normal and is of no particular interest. But there is always a certain piquancy in the abandoning of an old favourite. There is a certain sadness, a feeling of expectations having been betrayed.

Forgive me for being nosy, but would you care to elaborate?


Von Says:

jane:

“This Anderson guy who got to the finals in Vegas, now has an upset here, and who plays Djokovic next – anyone know anything about him besides the fact that he is 21 and from South Africa?”

Ah, Anderson, — I had the privilege of watching him throughout the Vegas tournament. A rather tall, rangy looking South African, with a shock of sandy-blonde hair. He somewhat reminds me of Guccione from Australia, and he has a powerful serve, an all-court game and can run/move very fast. He had Sam Querry on the ropes several times throughout that final, and Sam, not being the best in the attitude department, was moving around in disgust, with slumped shoulders, etc. I can see Anderson moving up the ranking at a rapid pace, if he continues his high level of play and is not just a flash in the pan.

What did I miss? Who did he beat? I read on the ATP website that Safin lost to Bobby Reynolds, an American, ranked No. 106. I don’t know what’s wrong with the dear boy, but something’s really amiss. His slump started when he changed racquets and then the wrist surgery made his descent even more pronounced. It’s a shame that one so talented is now being considered by some media folk as a ‘has been’. I find myself more and more disliking the media, which can be so cruel and twisted.

Back to racquets, Blake suffered a similar problem changing racquets after he had his old racquets auctioned off when he changed to Prince. Blake subsequently, bought back those racquets from the person who had purchased them and now will not part with them. Ljubicic has suffered a similar fate, racquet-wise, but I don’t know what he has done about his decline, which began simultaneously with his acquisition of his bride. :) So much for changes.

Fish, has suffered that ‘let down’ of which I spoke after Andy’s Dubai run. It’s quite the norm for these athletes and/or any human being, and can be quite disheartening, but that’s only if we place unrealistic demands on ourselves. The body has to catch up with the brain and/or vice versa, after those huge wins, which has been proven to last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. The human brain, so dense, so deep, so much of the unknown in that grey matter, so much yet to be explored, and even with what’s been explored, the scientists are none the wiser.


Von Says:

Shital:

“About Isner/ Monfils (your man) vs. Fed, if I win you will owe me a especial post on that one.”

Maybe, it might be Isner who pulls off the “W” against Monfils, who I rather much like, btw. The guy’s got charisma with a capital ‘C’. But, it was a serving duel and Isner won the tiebreak. This was at the Legg-Mason tournament in Washington. Roddick beat Karlovic in the semis and then Isner in the final. Huge serving duels from mountain tops. Andy looked like a pigmy next to them even though he’s 6’2″. Anyway, I hope you win your pick. :)


maccaogl Says:

7 Jan 2008 – Federer – Mummy I have a tummy ache and I can’t play Kooyong.

15 Jan 2008 – Federer sweeps past Diego Hartfield in the 1st rnd of the Australian Open and states:

“Yeah, I’m fine now, like nothing ever happened, which is a good thing. I was never in doubt of not playing here. I’m past being sick. I’m looking forward to a healthy two weeks.”

17 Jan 2008 – Federer outlasts healthy Tipsarevic

“No, I mean, I’m happy that the sickness didn’t bother me today in the match, and that’s what I told you guys. I wasn’t bluffing or anything. I thought I was ready for those matches, and I proved it tonight, which is nice.”

21 Jan 2008 – Federer blows away Buffoon Berdych

Q. Any effects from the five-set match the other night?
A. “I felt good. Looking forward to see how I feel in the next match again.”

23 Jan 2008 – Federer blasts Bungling Blake

“I’m very happy the way it’s been going.”

25 Jan 2008 – Floundering Federer schooled by Super Serb in Straight Sets

The dormant “virus” reappears:

“It (the “virus”) might have had an effect on my movement, I don’t know. But I definitely didn’t feel as quick, you know, as some other times.”

2 Mar 2008 – Federer looks forward to Dubai

“I am feeling mentally and physically refreshed and I think (taking the break) was a good decision. What is more important is that I am feeling much better now than I was ever feeling at the Australian Open. So, after struggling a bit there, I am just happy and excited to be back on the court healthy.”

3 Mar 2008 – Mauled by Murray, Federer fumes about opponent’s tactics.

No mention of illness.

8 Mar 2008 – Mysterious Mono Mauls Frail Federer

Out of nowhere, what started as food poisoning has become hypochondriac Henin’s favourite excuse for a thrashing, mononucleosis.

Make what you will of this pathetic pathology but the only thing that can be deduced for certain from this chain of events is that Federer’s word means absolutely nothing and this latest disgraceful announcement will be treated with the utmost scepticism by the knowledgeable observers of all things tennis until further notice.

Refute.


jane Says:

Von,

Thanks for the feedback on Anderson; he beat Agustin Calleri (ranked 53) yesterday, which is not a huge upset, but an upset nonetheless.

It’s a shame about Safin – I don’t know much about racquet technology or the effects of changing them, but there was some talk by the commentators during the Djokovic / Fed semi at the AO that Djoko has messed with some strings on his racquet, adjusting the tension, and that’s why he had a tough start in that match. Obviously it was nothing too drastic, and he adjusted to it, in comparison to some of the equipment sagas/mishaps you mention!


jane Says:

Here’s the latest news on Federer –

———————-

“While Federer is hoping to pick up his third career Sony Ericsson Open a week on Sunday, he is already looking ahead to Roland Garros, where he hopes to win the French Open for the first time, Wimbledon, the Olympics and the U.S. Open.

“I picked this schedule to be in my best possible shape for what’s coming up, and that’s in the next few weeks and months ahead of me,” Federer said. “Especially through the French Open until the U.S. Open where I’ll have four massive tournaments in a short span.

“This is really when I want to be at my peak.”"

——————–


Von Says:

Dr. Death:

Per quote from Federer:*** “I picked this schedule to be in my best possible shape for what’s coming up, and that’s in the next few weeks and months ahead of me,” Federer said. “Especially through the French Open until the U.S. Open where I’ll have four massive tournaments in a short span.

“This is really when I want to be at my peak.”

What’s your take on this:

“Can one desire too much of a good thing?”. OR

“To sleep, perchance to dream, ay there’s the rub.” :)


Shital Dahal Says:

grendel,
I also miss Tejuz. Thanks for rending me of those old days.
Remember we had discussions over “Fed fanatics” and then about “unpredictability.” I have been a member of Fed’s website since very early days when there were a few and still am today. When I used to write there, I would be appreciated; but if I posted the same thing later here, it would outrage people. On his website, it felt like you were talking to Fed himself there, and I got responses to my questions from him twice in that period. It was all good. The turning point was his unresonable fans here at that time, who would constantly attack me and call me names and stuff for my constructive critiques. Basically, they turned me off. Then, everything Fed did started to go under my close scrutiny. A couple of instances like his recklessness in addressing Althea Gibson question added up. Finally, it came down to his unwillingness to watch AO final even on TV when he lost to Djoko took away a lot of my admiration for him. Despite all that, I still like his beautiful game. The only change that you will notice in me is I am hesitant about pouring in public my blind, effusive admiration for everything he does. Today, I am more selective about him, though I will not refrain from appreciating his occasional (which he has been limited to now) display of old greatness. There was a time, till the beginning of 2007, I wanted him to win everything, but that is no more. Yet, I want him to be around as long as he continues to show his “magic” here and there: the seemingly effortless shot-making and graceful movement on the court. I still wish him the 15th Grand Slam. He deserves it. In brief, I am still a fan of his skills, but it is just that I don’t fetishize him in person anymore.

About Djoko, it is a long story. Let me limit to one here. The thing that initially sparked my interest in Djoko was he came out as a challenger on hard court to break one player’s invariable monopoly of over 3 years. He is showing some potential that he can perfect his craft. His slices are still long way to go, and his drop shots are far from impeccable. He has the touch of Fed’s passing shots. His footwork is good, though they may not look as graceful yet. He can play better than Nadal from behind the baseline and, at the same time, like Fed, he has the ability to quickly position in the mid court. What amazes me most is his down the line shots are mostly acurate. I’m with him now but not sure how long I will remain with him. I want to see him as No. 1 once if he continues to play everyday better, at least on hard court (my favorite surface) and gives me something to compare him with other great players of the past 20 years or so.

Once again, thanks for hanging out with us here.


Skorocel Says:

To Shital Dahal:

Can you please write the EXACT reading of that question re: Althea Gibson, and Fed’s subsequent answer?


Shital Green Says:

Skorocel,
It was in the US Open 2007 schedule that Althea Gibson was being commemorated on its opening night. The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin was performing that Monday night at the Gibson tribute. Rachel Cohen of AP writes: “A stadium full of tennis fans swayed and sang along as Aretha Franklin belted out the familiar refrain of her anthem: ‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T.’ Respect was what black tennis players were denied before the late Althea Gibson broke the color barrier. Respect is what Gibson demanded with her historic championships a half century ago. Franklin and nearly two dozen other pioneering black women were a formidable presence Monday at opening night of the U.S. Open. They came together to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Gibson’s 1957 title at the U.S. National Championships, the forerunner to the Open, when she became the first black player, male or female, to win the tournament…New York Mayor Bloomberg called the Harlem native ‘one of the city’s legendary athletes.’ A video recapping Gibson’s life included commentary from Dinkins, Billie Jean King, tennis analyst Bud Collins, Rashad’s former co-star Bill Cosby, Serena Williams and fellow player James Blake…”

Earlier in the day during his news conference, Roger Federer says the following (Transcript):

Q. What do you know about Althea Gibson?

ROGER FEDERER: I don’t know. You’re putting me on the spot. I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Q. She’s being honored tonight.

ROGER FEDERER: It’s before my time.

No doubt Fed was being truthful, and the answer was pretty straight. My beef at the time was there was a better of way handling an off-guard question before the press, to avoid from sounding disrespectful.


jane Says:

Shital Green,

May I opine, you’re so gracious when put on the spot.

Well, it looks like Monfils gets the pleasure of facing Federer! It will be interesting to follow; unfortunately I can’t seem to find coverage of the early rounds unless I shell out some bucks.

Who was it that said “show me the money”? – Ah yes, Dr. Death.


Dr. Death Says:

Von – tough stuff:

When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions

Or (a paraphrase)

Federer, my poor Federer, what will become of him?

Jane – another generation hooked on “show me the money”.


Shital Green Says:

jane,
I take that as compliment !
At least “when put on the spot, I can emit some hue of “gracious [ness]” or is it just an instance of mirage I am affecting? People should do that to me more often so that one day I can eventuate into thoroughly gracious all the time.
I believe when some one wants to have a healthy conversation with good heart, the appropriate thing to do is reciprocate, right?


Von Says:

Dr. Death:

“When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions.”

I see that you have finally found my mention of the above quote in a previous thread. But, how’s this one:

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts.” AND, finally,

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt”

Jane:

This one’s for you on the money:

“The world is grown so bad, that wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch”.

Dr. Death: “I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it.” BUT, that I should not bore anyone to tears, I’ll end with:

“Brevity is the soul of wit.” *** Now this should keep you busy for a while. Even though parting is such sweet sorrow, I must leave …. :) :)

“Brevity is the soul of wit.”


Von Says:

Shital Green:

“I believe when some one wants to have a healthy conversation with good heart, the appropriate thing to do is reciprocate, right?”

Shall i take it my conversations with you are unhealthy? I’m hurt. :)


Von Says:

Shital Green:

“No doubt Fed was being truthful, and the answer was pretty straight. My beef at the time was there was a better of way handling an off-guard question before the press, to avoid from sounding disrespectful.”

I did not only find Federer’s answer to be disrespectful to Althea Gibson, but he also demonstrated how minute his knowledge was with respect to Tennis’ history and Althea’s contribution to the women’s game.


jane Says:

Shital Green,

“I believe when some one wants to have a healthy conversation with good heart, the appropriate thing to do is reciprocate, right?”

Most definitely. Blogging is democratic and healthy. Best to approach it from that mindset. And by the way, I meant it as a compliment.


Shital Green Says:

Von,
Ref: “Shall i take it my conversations with you are unhealthy? I’m hurt.”

What’s up wid you, girl? When did I make an allusion like that? I was the one to appreciate your posts silently, and I was the one to break the ice with all good intent. Show me some niceties there, girl. When did I sound like I was not being nice to you? If I did, you deserve to be demanding some extra graciousness. Ok, you win. I will try a bit harder next time.

Jane,
Ref: “And by the way, I meant it as a compliment.”

I KNOW..OW. Even if it were not, we have been friends so long now that you deserve to humble me occasionally. As a grown up, I can take some heat for my follies.

By the way, I am sad Mardy lost in the opening round !


Von Says:

Shital Green:

“When did I sound like I was not being nice to you? If I did, you deserve to be demanding some extra graciousness. Ok, you win. I will try a bit harder next time.”

I just wanted to burst your bubble ever so slightly, since you seemed to be on a roll, and I had to find something to get your attention, to let you know that you’re still here on earth, among us humans. :) Perhaps you noticed the smiley next to my question, by so doing I wanted you to know I was just being facetious. :)

Seriously though, you have been, and are a very gracious poster, and I enjoy reading your posts, along with jane, Skorocel, Zola, Dr. Death and some others whose names do not come to mind. And, you referred to me as “girl”, which is what I am, but quite a few think I am a guy, and used to refer to me as “dude”. Shall I say, I’m a ‘dudette”?. But, it does make me wonder why I come across as a guy.

I feel that the following is somewhat appropos to you, jane and myself, concerning the opposition we endured as newbies:

** “You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.”

Yes, it was sad that Mardy lost, but it’s very tough to play well after expending so much energy in a prior tournament. I hope the Americans keep coming out of stasis. This week, Bobby Reynolds did so. I have been observing Ginepri and it’s very obvious that Jose Higueras has been working wnders with Robby. He’s now inside the Top 100.


grendle Says:

Cheers, Shital. No one was putting you under the spot. I happen to think it is very interesting, and sometimes baffling, the way one’s attitude to a particular player can change. Sometimes, one might not even know, it just sort of happens – and the analysis as to why it happens is usually a bit flimsy. One’s digging away in the dark, pretending to be on top of things. However, this is just my peculiarity, I daresay.


grendle Says:

Just to clarify, I was referring to myself, and not to you w.r.t. “flimsy analysis” – that is, an analysis which tries to take a logical account of what is probably instinctive and not understood. But I thought your account of moving away from Federer convincing.


jane Says:

Shital,

Yep – it’s a shame Mardy lost first round; did you see that little video of Murray on the ATP website? One of the 3 players he dreads seeing on his side of the draw is Clement so I had a feeling it might be a tough first match for Mardy.

Who did you pick to win the tournament again?

I see Cilic took the 1st set from Mathieu but is down 1 in the 2nd. Andreev seems to be playing well, like Soderling who bageled Koubek – Djoko and Fed better get ready.


Dr. Death Says:

Von – I don’t want to turn this into a personal chat room, but since we are probably at the end of the string it wont bother people too much.

“Von” is a guy’s name.

Strikes most eyes and ears as German – usually associated with a noble’s name post middle ages.

On a tennis note, check out the pix of Roddick on the ATP web site. Does this lad like to party?


jane Says:

Judging from Roger’s interview yesterday, he sounds really positive about everything, has a very good outlook, and has arranged his schedule strategically, looking forward to clay. He did mention that he’ll have another check-up after this tournament, but for the most part he reports that he is well healthwise. I look forward to seeing how he does here, if he has a few good days, and then falters (some people’s theory), if he makes it deep, or if he wins it all. Either way, he seems to be forward-looking, & wanting to make a big impact on the red stuff.


Zola Says:

Jane,
One thing that I like about sport in general and tennis in particular, because it is an individual sport, is that” don’t give up”, “be positive” spirit. Years ago Hewitt had a very bad defeat and he was asked what he would do from there. He said something to the effect of: I will think what was wrong and I will come back and will be positive” .That has ben stuck in my mind.

Now when you talk about Federer, although I am not his fan, but I like it that he is not beating himself up for the loss to Fish. He starts positive and will move on. I love Rafa for that. Never say die! He can be beaten by Youzhny very bad, but he comes to AO as a new person, ready to fight and ready to start over.If I want my kids to learn just one thing from sport, that’s it.


Zola Says:

sorry for multiple posts, but I want to say that I thought “Von” was a man too!!!!!

I guess it was the name! until someone referred to you as She and you did not object….

Anyway, he or she, I enjoy your posts.


jane Says:

Well said Zola – I like that tennis is an individual sport too, and to touch on what was said on the other thread, no matter whether players are signaled or “coached” to eat bananas or to serve a certain way at a certain point, or whatever, it’s still just one opponent against the other on the court, and that is, in part, what makes tennis so dramatic and fun to watch, imho.


angel Says:

Everytime I enter to this board there she is the bitc* VON writing bullshi* about Federer I might be young but I least I have things to do and I don’t spend all my life sitting in front of a computer writting non-sense horseshi* about a person.


MMT Says:

And yet here you are Angel…


jane Says:

Von,

You were right about Anderson; he seems to have quite the serve. I can’t see his movement as I am following online, but so far he’s giving Djoko a run for his money. He’s serving at 83% first serves deep into the first set! Good stuff from him.


zola Says:

angel

you had to censor yourself three times in three sentences. tells a lot about who is writing what!


jane Says:

Well this is sounding almost cliche by now, but will the March madness continue another couple of days? Anderson took the first set off Djokovic, and frankly I think, judging by stats, he’s gonna win it unless there’s a momentum shift soon. A set is a set, but we’ll see!


zola Says:

Jane,

I haven’t been watchin the match. Is Anderson playing great or is Djoko tired from IW?


Shital Green Says:

Guys,
You can watch Pacific Life SopCast’s CCTV, too, but you will need to download its software (it is safe).


Shital Green Says:

I missed “on” before SopCast.


jane Says:

Zola,

It is tough to tell as I am following only on the live score board, and observing the stats while I “work” (I’ve got to crack down at work – may have to disappear from blogging for a while after Miami!!).

Anyhow, it seems that Anderson (who I mistakenly called a kid before – thought he was 18 for some reason, but he’s 21) is serving very well (his first serve % is at 69 and we’re well into the 2nd set) and Djokovic not so much (his first serve % is down at 55). Judging by the return stats, Djoko hasn’t been able to do much on Anderson’s 1st serve, and there’s the differential there I suppose. Djok’s up a break in the 2nd but Anderson is getting a few points in most of Djok’s service games.

Anyhow, we’ll see. But this guy is, from what Von had said above, and judging by his results in this match, someone on whom to keep our eyes.

I think Djoko’s got to be depleted though; I can’t see him winning here which may inspire Roger. It’s so tough to predict anything these days – what fun!


Shital Green Says:

Which site are you watching on, jane?


Shital Green Says:

It is sad to see Djoko falling apart this early to a qualifier. His serve is completely ineffective. Anderson returns with ease and wins 4 games in a row in the 3rd set. It is 4-3, Anderson serving. Looks like Djoko lost the match. I don’t have much hope except some miracle happens


Zola Says:

Jane,
I see Anderson and Djoko are playing the third set. Djoko plaed the final in IW last year and then came and won Miami. Might be the pressure and also the fact that Anderson serves so well. Anyway, I am going to wait and see the results.


Zola Says:

Tursonove just broke Gasquet! I know he has a great backhand, but why can’t he go deep in the tournaments?


Shital Green Says:

Djoko lost. I am sad. This is the biggest upset so far.


Shital Green Says:

Zola,
Your wish got fulfilled. Djoko’s loss should open an opportunity for Rafa. I hope Rafa takes it.


Tam (TD) Says:

Oh my goodness Novack just lost in the first round to Anderson. Did anybody see the match? What happened to the Serb sensation? 500 ranking points out the window……


Von Says:

Oh angel, complicated, juvenile angel:

You have provided me several hours of comedic amusement, and it’s funny, I’m not one bit angry with you. Each time today, that I wanted to write a post, I only had to look at yours, and I would burst into laughter. You are so ‘young’, and it shows. Instead of my anger you have my deep and sincere sympathy that one so young is filled with so much displaced anger, and not even hate.

Why bother to post on a tennis forum if you can’t take the heat? Do you think by cursing and swearing at me, you are going to silence me? Au contraire, it will only make my resolve stronger to feel free to write as I see fit.

When the topic of several threads were devoted to Roddick’s behavior, you had a field day, along with several others, most were Fed fans, who joined you and it was a grand ole party at Roddick’s and his fans humiliation. However, in all of that time, I never called you any names, and that’s becuse I’m not a juvenile. But now that the shoe is now on the other foot, you can’t even stand a fragment of any comments pertaining to Federer, even though, those comments are just a reiteration or confirmation of what Fed has said or done. You’ll have to learn to differentiate what is constructive criticism and what is ‘hatred’, and only then will you be able to find peace. I would suggest a little more healthy reading and/or comprehension.

Cursing at me will not deter me, since I feel justified in what I say. If you don’t like it, then that’s too bad, you’ll just have to learn to roll with the punches. It’s all part of the learning curve and being an adult. The following quote is very appropos to you and others like you, who feel that they can shut up another, in lieu of accepting what’s being said.

“** “You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.” ***

Do yourself a favor, try to understand the above and hopefuly, you’ll find growth. It’s unfair for me to want to put you down using words you won’t understand, you’ll be at a deficit. You are merely a lad, and being a mother of two young adults, who feel they know everything, and I mean everything, I have a mother’s empathy toward you. I’m a trekkie fan, so I’ll just say, in the words of the Vulcan: “Live long and prosper.” :)


Zola Says:

Shital,
I don’t know what to say. I need to go hide somewhere! It is not good for the tournament either, to lose the defending champion so early….I guess I should have wished for Rafa to win Wimbledon, or to find a million dollars or something like that!

But to me it was not a shock. I think Anderson played very well and Djoko was playing until this Sunday. He must have been exhauseted, mentally and physically. Last year they had a week off. This year the schedule is just crazy.I don’t know why they started so early this year. Are players enttled to some rest or not?

Clay season is even worse. I think MonteCarlo, Barcelona, Rome and Hamburg are back to back….just crazy. I really want rafa to skip one of those tournaments. Maybe Barcelona and Hamburg.

Rafa is playing Becker right now and they are going head to head. He needs to win this match, but Becker is a very good player too. So, I am just crossing my fingers !

As to where to watch the matches, very good question! The stupid ATP TV doesn’t show the matches until Saturday. Nothing on the internet! just frustrating!


Von Says:

MMT: “And yet here you are Angel…” Great line, I’ll just cut this lad some slack. Thanks.

Zola:

angel:
” ..you had to censor yourself three times in three sentences. tells a lot about who is writing what!” You’re right on the money. Thanks.

Dr. Death; Correct about my name, but it’s just a part of my given name. I wanted to come up with something simple for posting, and did some disceting of my name. Now I understand the confusion.

Jane and Shital: Sorry about Novak. But as I’ve said before, it’s not very normal for these athlete’s to keep duplicating the same positive results, week after week. It’s a tall order for them.

Jane: So Anderson did the destruction, eh? You had to have watched him in Vegas, to undertand his game. If he continues in this trend, he’ll be dangerous. This is a revolving door year, and now I don’t know if I’m really liking everything thus far. Can be pretty painful.


Von Says:

Dr. Death:

I checked out those pictures on the ATP site, Roddick looks like he could use some good shut eye. He had better not party too much. I’m sure Murray is not doing too badly either. I suppose the Andys are just ladies’ men.

I’m sure all of the tennis stars are having a great time in South Florida, which is my home state, btw, and I can’t begin to put into words the wild scenes and party life of South Florida, not to mention the money. Imagine the old folk driving Corvettes at 70, Lamborghinis and Porches. Not to mention the palatial mansions and well-appointed laws with several tennis courts, etc. This is the stuff dreams are made of. Money, money and more money. :)


jane Says:

Novak’s loss is okay; he’ll bounce back. But thanks for the kind words, Von.

For some reason I saw this one coming and so I wasn’t surprised. Philosophically speaking (not pointswise of course) this will be good for Novak; it’ll bring him back down to earth, help him to refocus before the clay season is in full swing. It’s not a bad thing. And Anderson played really, really well. So it’s not as big of a deal as will be made of it (by the press and Djoko-haters).

And anyway, I like a bunch of players still in the mix – Roddick, Murray and Rafa come to mind, and I like Blake and Nalby, so I’ll be happy to continue enjoying the tennis.

I’m sad for the Djoker too Shital, but he shouldn’t feel too badly, all things considered. Even the best of the best has off days.

Those party pictures at the ATP site are funny; Novak looks very cute, like he stuck his finger in a light socket or something – hey! Maybe that’s what happened! LOL.


NK Says:

I think Federer is held to a much higher standard than any other champion in all of sport.

So,he did not know who Athea Gibson was, and sheepishly admitted to being put on the spot.
So, he did not want to watch the AO final on TV in the immediate aftermath of his loss to Djokovic.

Are these major transgressions that are worth “losing respect” for someone who gives so much pleasure with his tennis and generally conducts himself with class?

Be honest with yourself and think of the zillion transgressions in your own life. The problem is that people who expect perfection from Federer are quite likely far removed from perfection themselves.

Now with his mono situation, he is accused of cooking up excuses…of being dishonest and less than charitable when he loses. On his website, Federer states that he is open, honest and friendly, and for the most part I would say he is. Stop nitpicking. As I said elsewhere, if your goal is to find fault with someone, you always will.

Enjoy Federer’s tennis while it lasts, just as you enjoy Nadal’s or Djokovic’s.


jane Says:

NK,

“The problem is that people who expect perfection from Federer are quite likely far removed from perfection themselves.”

Funny thing this – you’re exactly right. But that’s human nature to a degree I guess; we want people we can look up to, and because Roger has had such a “spotless” career – esp. once he reached the top – perhaps it’s more likely that people will be tough on him.

In a way, while your post makes sense, it’s the price of fame and fortune – celebrities, athletes, they are scrutinized way more than we are, and the ones at the pinnacle, just that much more. Nature of the beast, to a degree anyhow. And I suspect Roger’s not losing too much sleep over what anyone says here. :-)


Tam (TD) Says:

jane, thanks for the explanation about Novack’s loss. You are right, we expect players to win every match day in and day out. Federer has set the bar much too high lol.

Von, that was a great response to your “shadow” lol. Maybe it was a little too good for her. ;)

Roddick looks like he’s been partying too hard I hope this won’t mean another first round exit for him.

Good to see Nadal get through his first match. What’s up with Gasquet?


Von Says:

NK:
“I think Federer is held to a much higher standard than any other champion in all of sport.”

Please tell me that you’ve not been sipping the sacramental wine? :) “Any other champion in all of sport”? I’ll say not, and beg to differ.

I know that I’ll be slaughtered by you and SOME of Fed’s fans for commenting on your post, especially, by my nemesis, turned albatross, angel, and a few others. But, be that as it may, and since I have already traveled this path once today, and will maybe, do so a few more times, before the day/evening is through, I’m going to take the initiative and do so again. If you were to call me an insurgent, or insurrectionist, etc., I’ll be the first to agree with you, that you’re 100 percent correct; when it comes to speaking out, on what I feel, to be outlandish statements and/or actions, by many who like to place themselves and those who are in any way special to them, on a pedestal, or several notches higher up on the ladder.

I have read several of your posts, on different threads, and we’ve each had a few rebuttals, hence, I can only deduce, for some reason, only known to you, that you feel Federer, and his fans are way above all of mankind, who has ever been engaged in sports. And, that superlative behavior is what irks, provokes, and unceasingly gnaws at anything and everything in which I believe. My belief, is that no one man or woman is in any way A CUT ABOVE others. In gist, NO ONE IS PERFECT, ONLY THE ALMIGHTY! We each have frailties and foibles and this is why we are human beings and not God.

You have made the excuse that Federer’s lack of knowledge concerning Althea Gibson, as not being a major transgression. (Btw, please bear in mind, that my post is in no way connected to race, Althea Gibson being a Black woman, as I am not Black, so please don’t look upon this as racially motivated.) NK, it may not be a major transgression to you, but you stated as a FACT, that “Federer is held to a much higher standard than any other champion in all of sport.” Then, if this is true of Federer, shouldn’t Federer, who, in your mind, is a sports figure on a much higher realm, and has now transcended into the elite status of “infallible” above ALL of those in sports, be cognizant of such an important sports figure as Althea Gibson, who broke the barrier of the Black/White ban in tennis, for women, no less?

As a tennis champion, and one whose pedigree is filled with superlatives in every area of the game, in some people’s minds, it is pathetic that Federer is so ignorant of these important FACTS of tennis’ history. I’m sure, Federer has knowledge of Ken Rosewall, Rod Laver, Santana, Gonzalez, Susan Langlen, and all and sundry, who are/were in Althea Gibson’s age bracket, but for some unknown reason, his knowledge does not extend to this woman, who has done more for Tennis’ black women in the sport. If this is not a valid reason to lose respect for him, then pray tell me, what is? He basks in the friendship of two of America’s great sports icons, Pete Sampras and Tiger Woods, (who I am sure are quite informed on Althea’s accomplishments) and loves to drop their names, at every opportunity, don’t you think those two legends would probably find Fed sadly lacking in respect for this wonderful pioneer of the sport, in the form of Althea Gibson? And, they probably, secretly would think of him as pretty daft, and ignorant of history of a sport owf which he is a champion?

You stated: “Are these major transgressions that are worth “losing respect” for someone who gives so much pleasure with his tennis and generally conducts himself with class?”

Absolutely, and emphatically, YES. Speak for yourself on the giving of pleasure and conducting himself with class. Sorry to disappoint you, this tennis fan disagrees on both counts. If he wants to be a respected champion, he should learn about his tennis roots. The basic requirement of any job or lifelong undertaking one needs to do, is to be informed — do your research before embarking on a profession, and that includes the history. In some ways, it’s kind of a ‘caveat emptor’, caveat canem, play on words, — know your facts.

Federer had absolutely no excuse for his lack of knowledge about Althea Gibson at the time of his questioning by the press, since for weeks prior to that celebration honoring her it was heavily advertised. Wouldn’t he just out of curiosity even want to know, or venture to find out, who was this woman? I’m sure most of the players knew about Althea, except the champion. That his lack of knowledge about important facts in tennis’ history, should be overlooked, speaks volumes about him and those who can’t or won’t accept that there’s more to being a champion.

“Be honest with yourself and think of the zillion transgressions in your own life. The problem is that people who expect perfection from Federer are quite likely far removed from perfection themselves.”

No one has to look at his or her life’s transgressions, as we are not the tennis champion – Federer is, and his knowledge or lack thereof, of his sport’s history, is in no way connected to his perfection as a human being but as a tennis player. Your comparison is bereft of rationalization.

“On his website, Federer states that he is open, honest and friendly, and for the most part I would say he is.”

What do you think he is going to say about himself, considering he is one who loves to toot his own horn. Maybe, some are gullible to believe him. It’s human nature, to put on blinders when we like someone, but we’re only fooling ourselves and compromising our values. Keep believing whatever it is you want to believe, just remember, that we are each entitled to our opinions and have the right to express them.


Von Says:

TD:

“Von, that was a great response to your “shadow” lol. Maybe it was a little too good for her.”

I think it’s a ‘he’. He and a few others, have been part of my welcome committee from day one of my posting in Novemnber ’07 on Tennis.X, and I can always count on one thing, he never misses an opportunity to let me know how much he ‘loves’ me. :) LOL. I get that fuzzy feeling, which warms the cockles o’ me heart. :)

Yes, Roddick had better do well in Miami. I had the crazy idea of driving down to see him, but then I thought of the crowd, etc., and changed my mind. He looks tired. I guess his ‘main squeeze’ is visiting, so he should be on cloud nine. Let’s hope.

For those who have FSN, they will be broadcasting tomorrow from 1:00 pm. to 5:00 p.m. Enjoy!


NK Says:

“I’m sure, Federer has knowledge of Ken Rosewall, Rod Laver, Santana, Gonzalez, Susan Langlen, and all and sundry, who are/were in Althea Gibson’s age bracket, but for some unknown reason, his knowledge does not extend to this woman, who has done more for Tennis’ black women in the sport. If this is not a valid reason to lose respect for him, then pray tell me, what is?”

There you go again, Von, with your anti-Federer rhetoric implying that because Athea Gibson was black and was revered in all of America, Federer’s lack of knowledge about her is a transgression of monumental proportions.

I am here not to defend Federer’s lack of knowledge, I am merely saying that Federer’s response to a reporter’s question was as spontaneous and honest as could be, bereft of any pretension or spin.

“If he wants to be a respected champion, he should learn about his tennis roots.”

What a bunch of crap. Federer is under no obligation to know everything about tennis history. He grew up watching and leaning about players whose tennis he admired and perhaps wanted to emulate. Nothing more, nothing less. His only obligation to himself is to play tennis better than anyone else, to win as often as he can, and to be conduct himself with dignity and poise. His lack of knowledge of tennis history does not make him any less of a champion than he is. Yes, he did not know at the time who Athea Gibson was? Now he does, and perhaps feels remorseful of his ignorance. But to suggest that he was showing disrespect, as if it was a wanton and deliberate act, is absurd.

“What do you think he is going to say about himself, considering he is one who loves to toot his own horn. Maybe, some are gullible to believe him.”

It’s not about being gullible, it’s about transparency and openness. Which is what most people find so refreshing about Federer, whether he is tooting his own horn, or admitting ignorance with regard to Athea Gibson. He makes no attempt to hide behind a smokescreen of false modesty. When he revealed what his doctors told him, that he had mono, he was only making a statement of fact, and sure-enough the anti-Federer brigade promptly went into spin overdrive, accusing him of ulterior motives that he simply never had.

That you went to such great lengths to assert why some of Federer’s “transgressions” are worthy of losing respect for him speaks more about your bias than your claim of rational judgement.


Von Says:

NK:

OK, you’re so very, very correct. My bias clouds my judgment and my anti-Fed rhetoric is a bunch of crap. You’re also correct that he is not under any obligation to know anything whatsoever about tennis’ roots. Further, my claim about some of Federer’s transgressions are not worthy of lost respect, and those claims speak more about my bias than my claim for rational jufdgment.

Right on, NK. I wholehearted agree with everything you’ve stated. End of discussion.


angel Says:

VON
I wouldn’t want to meet any of your two sons they are definitely a pair of sons of a bitc*. Nothing personal against them.


Von Says:

angel:

“VON
I wouldn’t want to meet any of your two sons they are definitely a pair of sons of a bitc*. Nothing personal against them.”

I’m behaving like a juvenile answering this drivel, you have written, but there’s only so much restraint one can harness. I can assure you thatr i have been blessed, far beyond my thinking or asking, with offspring who have surpassed you in education, class, and intelligence, and the chances of their being acquainted with your kind, would be NIL.

Considering I have to interact with your type on a daily basis, I can only say, if you had me for a mother, you wouldn’t be on a tennis forum venting such venom and stating the obvious, that you are devoid of class, bearing, upbringing, and education. If my children were to attack anyone because of their dislike for that person’s comments pertaining to a player of their choice, I would be taking them to the nearest psychiatrist and requesting that they be heavily sedated, and maybe, depending on the severity of their symptoms, I would probably request a LOBOTOMY, and if that didn’t work, angel, well, I could always ssek some advice from “I Henry the VIII, I am.”

Feel free to display and engage in more of your petty, insipient, and infelicitous behaviour, fortunately, or unfortunately for you, it will be one-sided. If you’re going to reply, I would suggest you tap into a dictionary, because who knows, depending on whether tomorrow, I have to deal with some more of your kind, and depending on the outcome of the proceedings, I might be very ungracious, and would not be held responsible for what rolls off of my fingers. You’ll probably bear the brunt of my anger. For you and all others like you, remember …
“The miserable have no other medicine but only hope”, but in your case, I seriously think a depth charge or a few volts of electricity could do the trick. :) :) x 10


NK Says:

Von,
I applaud you for your apt and spirited response to Angel. If there’s one thing that can and should make one to lose respect for another human being, it’s the kind of drivel that Angel has unfortunately engaged in. There’s absolutely no excuse for that kind of pettiness and crass stupidity. Angel, you have belittled no one but yourself.

I have always had problems with people who make personal attacks. I have read unkind comments about Mirka’s looks or Djokovic’s mother. But the worst is Angel’s. Why do they do it? Such filth should not be allowed or tolerated.

Von, thank you for the spirited response. I heartily applaud you for that.


Von Says:

NK:

“Von, thank you for the spirited response. I heartily applaud you for that.”

NK, thank you. Well, you and I hawe butt heads, on Fed, but believe me, it’s just a healthy exchange, and is not based on a shred of evil or hatred in my heart for him. However, it seems that people such as angel, are inept at differentiating the obvious, which is, that it’s just one’s opinion on a sport figure.

I’m not happy that I had to get down to his level of exchange and I did try before to stop it but he persisted, and being human, I had no choice, –well, I could have walked away, but you know, enough is enough. Again, thanks, and I’m surprised that people read my posts. :)

We’ll butt heads again on Fed, I’m sure, but it’s just tennis. Here’s to some more verbal battles. :)

PS. One of my most formidable Fed opponents on Tennis.X taught me to make those smileys, and now, I’m pleased to say that we interact just fine with each other, and I even like the guy. Gawd, something’s not right in my head. He’ll know who his is, if he’s reading, by the following: “In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight.” :) Who knows, NK, maybe we’ll also like each other, then something would be seriously wrong with both our heads. :) Keep on truckin’.


NK Says:

Von,
Differences of opinion on tennis is one thing, malicious personal attacks is quite another. The former belongs here, the latter belongs in the gutter.

We’ll continue to butt heads on Fed, as you stated, but at the end of the day I am sure we will always be able to look back and smile.

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