Roddick Finally Turns Away Federer in Miami
by Sean Randall | April 3rd, 2008, 8:37 pm
  • 131 Comments

If you are James Blake, John Isner, Robby Ginepri you need to be taking notes fast. The cat is out of the bag on how Americans can beat Roger Federer. It’s simple. Get engaged to a model. Federer of course had won 42 straight against American players before losing to the engaged-to-a-model Mardy Fish at Indian Wells. In Miami, same outcome after Federer loses this evening to newly-engaged-to-a-model Andy Roddick. Coincidence?

On the serious side, congrats to Roddick who served his way to a 7-6, 4-6, 6-3. I thought Andy would get to Roger at Indian Wells, that match never happened, but tonight’s result surprised me because Andy wasn’t very sharp in his first three matches, until this evening that is. Credit to him getting just his second win in 17 tries against the Swiss, also snapping a 12-match losing skid to Federer since 2003 Montreal. He served really well.

Federer played well also, much much better than he did against Fish, but his groundstrokes were also somewhat suspect. I also felt tactically Roger should have brought Roddick into the net more with the short chip-and-dip slice backhand, but for whatever reason he didn’t make use of it much at all when Andy was winning very few points at the net.

With the loss it’s now very conceivable Fed might not win a title until the grass season and might lose the No. 1 spot by then as well. The guy is simply not hitting his groundstrokes with confidence. And I still wonder about the mono situation – for the third tournament he ran into problems after playing the first six sets in clean fashion. Though I didn’t notice any mono-like symptoms, so let’s bring it up Fed camp!

And this is the fourth loss on the year for Roger who has yet to reach even a final. Fed of course will no doubt brush it aside and remind people to look at the rankings. But for Roger it is finally time to hit the panic button or just retire and let Pete have the GOAT title. If you can’t keep the ball in play on hard court, how the hell are you going to do it on clay? And no, Tiger Woods does not have the answer, stop texting him. He’s busy winning titles while you are losing to Americans. And stop worrying about your outfit and Wimbledon ensemble and spend some more time on the practice court, assuming you are healthy. This should be a wake up call. Get a coach. Perhaps give Darren Cahill a ring. Get him in your “Fav Five”.

Roddick meanwhile has to be jacked up. Brooklyn Decker aside, he’s now beaten the Top 3 players in the last month, not bad for a guy who hadn’t beaten anyone that high in 1.5 years I think it was. He now gets Nikolay Davydeko, who beat Janko Tipsarevic earlier today, and then perhaps Rafael Nadal who I give a slight edge against Tomas Berdych. And Davis cup next week? France should head home now.

Good result for Roddick of course and even better result for tennis, which for the first time in many years the season remains up for grabs after the first three months. And gentle reminder for you American players heading to Europe for the clay campaign, there’s no better time than the present to find that model!


Also Check Out:
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Andy Roddick Says “Ask The Boss Lady” Serena About Playing Olympic Mixed Doubles
Roddick Turns to Movies
Andy Roddick Engaged to Sports Illustrated Model
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131 Comments for Roddick Finally Turns Away Federer in Miami

Eryn Says:

Big Congrats to Andy!!!
He played a really phenomenal match and has deserved this win for so long!! Things are really falling into place for him personally and professionally and it’s about time!
Let’s hope this win will give him more confidence for the rest of the year and more wins over Darth Federer — Wimbledon anyone?!?!
WAY TO GO A-ROD!!!


ged Says:

this counts as journalism? whatever happened to balanced coverage? would any self-respecting commentator ever be caught dead writing a sentence like “And no, Tiger Woods does not have the answer, stop texting him. He’s busy winning titles while you are losing to Americans. And stop worrying about your outfit and Wimbledon ensemble and spend some more time on the practice court, assuming you are healthy.”

does anyone know of a real site that covers tennis (without getting all this personal rubbish attacks)?


jane Says:

What the heck, I’ve written this on two threads already – YAY ANDY! You did it and you deserved EVERY BIT OF IT! Congrats to his fans – Von, a virtual glass of wine for you!


Larry Says:

Well, there is clearly a problem with Fed’s health situation, but the story keeps changing. First it was food poisoning, then it was mono that was not diagnosed right away, now it’s mono that was first diagnosed in 2006? Roger should have announced he had it and taken a break or kept quiet about it if he was going to keep playing. Let’s hope he’s getting the proper medical advice – he looked slower than he ever has against the Roddick serve, rare for him to be out aced by Andy.


Denise Says:

Jeez, ged–take a breath……..commentary doesn’t have to be straight up–it can be tongue-in-cheek. That seems to be a recurring problem for Fed AND his fans—-get a sense of humor (and for that matter, perspective!)

Congrats to Andy and his team…I think Brooklyn is doing wonders for him. I vote for a quick engagement (honeymoon at Wimbledon)!


sensationalsafin Says:

Health? No. It’s confidence. And Federer is lacking in it. He needs a coach. Badly. It’s gotten to the point where he’s making tactical errors. This guy is called a genius but he hasn’t been showing it lately. Cmon, Rog, step it up, show us what makes you the GOAT.


Dr. Death Says:

Getting tired of all of this. Accept that Federer lost; Elvis has left the building; the other lads are catching up. Every champion in the past has had this happen. Now there are two choices for Roger – roll over and play dead or get up and run toward the sound of gunfire.


Shital Green Says:

This amounts to double celebration: first, Roddick won; second, Fed got beaten miserably despite bringing out out all the magic he possessed. I am replaying the 3rd set right now to prolong my joy!


Von Says:

I made a promise to myself that I won’t get angry at any negativity thrown Roddick’s way, because I anticipated that there will be plenty. But I didn’t really think you anti-Roddick people would go so far. You’re quite a bunch.

In Othello, it was aptly stated: “The robbed that smiles steals something from the thief”. Ponder this for a while.


Zola Says:

Congratulations to all Andy fans. Von, where are you? did you see my message on the other thread? :)

It was not health or confidence. Federer played great. Some of those shots were just out of this world. I thought if this is the recovering Fed, then the “recovered” version will be just unimaginable.

What made the difference was Andy. He stayed composed and played and served great. The look on his face after winning the match was just priceless. Equally, it was hard for me ( even as a non-Fed fan) to see federer’s head down like that.

Alltogether, it was a great match and no losers. Just one winner, Andy Roddick. Congratulations.!


jane Says:

I am watching it on TSN at 10:00 tomorrow morning and can hardly wait to share / see Roddick’s joy!

Fed is well, Fed lost. “That’s it,” as Rafa would say.


sensationalsafin Says:

Really? Federer’s best got beaten by Roddick’s best? Doubt it. But still it’s not like Federer played like… he did against Fish. He did get outplayed, no excuses can be made. But that’s an absolute joke if you are seriously saying Roddick can ever beat Federer at his absolute best.

The problem is that it seems like Federer is just rolling over. Like “Oh it’s just a loss no big deal.” Yeah one loss every 4 tournaments isn’t a big deal but 4 losses in 4 tournaments is very very bad. God Federer’s pissing me off.


Zola Says:

Shital
***Fed got beaten miserably despite bringing out out all the magic he possessed***

I don’t think he was beaten miserably. It wasn’t like he was bagled . He lost just one game during the whole match. I am actually now worried that he will come up with more magic in the clay season!


Von Says:

footnote to my previous post:

Be good sports and swallow the egg. The ship has left the port. It’s sailin’ and sailin’ and driftin’ farrrrrrr, farrrrrrr out to sea.


jane Says:

I hope Andy beats Davy and moves up in the rankings; he should be at least number 4 shouldn’t he? He’s beaten Djokovic, Nadal and now Federer all in the last few weeks.

KUDOS!


Shital Green Says:

Zola,
Looking at the score board, you could say that. But if you replay the 3rd set, it was pretty miserable to watch Fed after 2-2.


sensationalsafin Says:

I’m so confused. By magic are you talking about his greatness?


Shital Green Says:

sensationalsafin,
I owe you an explanation. I will do it tomorrow. Will that be ok with you?


Zola Says:

sensationalsafin,
by magic I meant some of his shots. If he is playing like this when he is recovering, I don’t want to imagine how he will play when is fully recovered. The second set reminded me of his match with Nadal in Shanghai. some great stuff.

Shital
I didn’t watch the third set in whole. Just some and Fed was doing fine. That game at 3-4, he lost concentration.Just like the first set tiebreak when he shanked forehands.


jane Says:

I know people say Federer’s forehand is one of the best ever, but it does seem to let him down sometimes. It was erratic against Djokovic both in Montreal and Australia and now again here. Maybe it’s the other players forcing the errors or maybe Fed’s lack of confidence in some matches or feelings of pressure.


Zola Says:

Jane,
It’s like Rafa’s forehand. He needs time to set it up and when people attack it, sometimes it is hardly a weapon.
The other factor is that Fed was not used to people coming in trying to beat him ( except for Rafa). Now he has to be more careful. So nerves can be a factor too.

Still, I think he played a great match, even not being 100%


jane Says:

Thank Zola – seems about right.


Shital Green Says:

Zola,
Watch again the 8th of the 3rd set in particular. And judge yourself how miserable that is!

Jane,
The expression on A-Rod’s face: He did not go crazy or frivolous. He did not jump or lie flat or kneel on the court, or any of the usual rituals of victory. It was a deep, meaningful, and light smile of relief until he shook hands with Fed. Then, he gifted a ball to the audience, dropped his racket with all humility on the side of the court, walked a few yards, returned to sit on the bench, and covered his face with white towel. It was classic and meditative, looked like envisioning a journey ahead, successes long denied by a ghostly presence of Fed in his psyche, and finally overcoming it with a can-do-it-from-now-on feelings. It was beautiful to watch !


sensationalsafin Says:

Right, right. Well. That’s a shame. Seems like Federer is becoming like Blake: moments of brilliance but overall unconcentrated play. I think it’s good that Roddick won, not just good, but great. The only downside is that Roddick is now gonna get overhyped and that might hurt him and Federer is gonna get so much negative media that he could literally drown in it.

I just don’t see this as a bad thing from Federer. Sean’s theory has been that Federer plays great for six sets then starts spiralling down. Federer still played a great match with occassional sloppy play that cost him. For this reason he needs a coach. He needs someone to keep him focused because right now it doesn’t look like anything’s helping. So it is fair to say this is a recovering Federer. But how good can the clay season possibly go for him at this point? He’s got plenty of points to defend and he needs to step up his game in order to do that because if he’s this vulnerable, err, beatable on hardcourts, imagine how bad he will be on clay.


fedex Says:

I want to see them that happy in wimby ;) . .


Cork Says:

this is the stupidest commentary I’ve ever read on a tennis site. Get Real! Retire? Oh, right. sure.


Shital Green Says:

Zola,
I meant “8th game of the 3rd set.” Fed’s balls were flying high and off the court. And in the 9th game, he should have been able to get back. He just could not pull one point to deuce it and win that game when there were plenty of opportunities(it was 30-40 on Roddick’s serve). Well, the crowd was just going crazy with maddening roars, and he could not concentrate under pressure. He just threw the last ball in the net.


jane Says:

Shital Green,

” It was classic and meditative, looked like envisioning a journey ahead, successes long denied by a ghostly presence of Fed in his psyche, and finally overcoming it with a can-do-it-from-now-on feelings. It was beautiful to watch !”

This is beautifully described Shital; thanks for sharing and I can’t wait to watch the entire match tomorrow; I’ve read everything I possibly can but I know it can’t compare to seeing it.


Ryan Says:

Roddick should have the funk, three times if he wins this tournament.

1 – For beating Fed
2 – For Winning Miami
3 – For Brooklyn Decker


Andy Says:

“Just like the first set tiebreak when he shanked forehands.”

It would be fascinating to see Federer’s numbers for forehand errors comparing a year or two ago to the last few tournaments. One would want to adjust it for how many “unforced” forehands he hit in a match, so it would be “errors per unforced forehand.” One could also look at his history of “winners per forehand.” Has there been a big change?

Yes, I am a nerdy scientist type. No, I’m not ambitious enough to do this analysis myself! :-)


Russel Says:

Your comments are very harsh and show your ignorance. Remember that even Jordan had slumps. The guy is still only 26 and its not like he has all of a sudden forgotten how to hit a forehand. His confidence might be lower right now and also mono can still be with you for several months and have lingering effects on your stamina. I just hate it when Rog loses a few matches and all of a sudden everyone wants to burn him at the stake. His movement has not been the same this year and I think he is either ill or possibly having some emotion strain right now. Anyway, GET OFF HIS BACK!


Zola Says:

Shital,
I watched the match online. So I don’t exactly remember, but I see what you mean. Still, to me some of Fed’s shots were amazing. I thought this was not a random loss. It was a decent match and Roddick just played better and stayed more concentrated in the last set.

Sean,
see, you found the gold mine! Get engahed to a model. maybe that’s what Fish said to Roddick after his win in IW and made Roddick propose just before Miami.!

But I think you are hard on Fed. he is stil No 1 and he played great tonight. Yes, he lost a few matches, but he has been dominant for 4 years. You can’t expect that go forever. I think Fed is now concentrating on more slams and records.


Saurabh Says:

Federer’s seriously fooling himself if he can shrug off these losses & act like everything’s fine. The more matches he loses (seems he will continue to do so in the clay court season), the more his confidence will take a beating. He needs to swallow his foolish pride & get a coach.

But Sean saying he should retire (and not fight back, is completely crazy!! Sean seems to be simply be an anti-Federer guy who was frustatingly waiting for an oppurtunity in the last 4 years, & is now spewing venom now that he has one!!

C’mon Sean, have a little respect for Federer & all he has achieved so far!


jane Says:

Roddick credits his serve in the postmatch interview, but he also says this:

Q. Do you feel that tonight you were stronger mentally than of the both players?
ANDY RODDICK: I don’t know. I don’t know if I was stronger. I know it was it was a good match mentally for me. It was probably the best part of it for me.
You know, even when I got beaten at 4 All and felt like the tides were turned and all, I felt like I was able to hang on, maybe 1 All I had a tough game in the third set and stuck to it after I missed a pretty easy ball. That was probably a big difference for me tonight.

———————-

I’ve said this before but I do think it stands true and was a factor in Andy’s win tonight. Too many players in past matches against Fed, and perhaps even at this tournament (Soderling Acuaso), have lost their focus once Federer had won one or even two sets against them. By contrast, the players who have stayed with him, and who’ve stayed mentally focused on *each point*, have put pressure on Federer. Sometimes this meant they came out with the “W” – think of Canas for instance, and Rafa from the very beginning of their rivalry; he’s almost never let up.

Players need to not “overplay” against Roger; they need to stay mentally “in it” until the end; and it won’t hurt if they serve like Andy did tonight! ;-)

Roger’s far from being “done” (he’s still number 1!!!!) but I think that his complete and utter dominance is now over.


jane Says:

People – Sean (the author) is very often ironic. Can’t you see the humor here? Or do you think he truly believes that the way to beat Roger is to be “engaged-to-a-model”? LOL.


Tam (TD) Says:

omg am I dreaming?? I still can’t believe it Andy really did beat Federer!!! This could not be any better dream!

Congratulations to all of Andy’s long suffering fans!!

I wont be able to get any work done tomorrow that’s for sure!


Von Says:

I’m not one for predictions, speculations and post mortems. My belief is that all of this is a waste of time, and time will tell, because nothing more or less pans out the way we predict it to happen. No crystal ball here. However, I’m going against my beliefs and will do a post mortem on the Fed/Andy match, due to some of the rather twisted comments I have read thus far.

Andy won for the following reasons:
♦ He was calm, composed and focused;
♦ He played a smarter and somewhat flawless match match tha Fed did;
♦ He changed up his serve pattern, e.g.,
ball toss and positioning, hence, Fed was
unable to read Andy’s serve as he did in the
past, and Andy’s serve became more penetrating
and effective; which put Fed at a 50 percent
deficit from the very first game;
♦ Andy hit the ball deep into the court, thus
taking away the advantage Fed previously had of
being able to hit those “moon balls”; and
♦ Andy came up to the net on his terms rather
than being baited by Fed.

As a result of the foregoing, Andy outplayed and outsmarted Fed. He also demonstrated he believed in himself and his confidence kept him in the match. He never gave up.

In the first set Fed’s serve was under pressure, similarly to that in the AO against Djokovic. And throughout the match his balls were flying high in the air. His errant forehand became a huge liability. It was uncontrollable.

There was nothing great, magical or awesome about Fed’s match play. But, then again, I have never been one who ever saw the brilliance in him of which others were in awe. I have been accused of being blind in this respect, but it’s a matter of perception.

As usual Federer was his ever gracious, ebullient self, in his post match comments; nearly always deficient in praise for his opponent’s win, as per the following excerpt from his post match presser:

“I think I did well to hang in there. Maybe this is one of the matches I should have won against him because he’s had some other ones where I think he was supposed to win, but this time around it went his way.”

Absolutely, and emphatically, gracious. Fed, get with the program, you lost, no need to be so sore. On 15 occasions you came out the victor, for once be gracious in defeat, but I suppose that’s just not you.


Andy Says:

“Your comments are very harsh and show your ignorance.”

Wow. Not sure if this was meant for me in particular. I too find it disappointing that a few of the earlier posts seem to express happiness at Federer’s losses, as if he deserves them somehow. He seems like a decent guy, so there’s no need for negativity, in my opinion. Nothing wrong with being happy for Roddick of course.

To clarify, my post was just posing an impartial question: “Is Roger Federer’s forehand–a shot we tennis fans have talked about a lot over the last few years–less effective right now?” We would all have some idea of the answer already if the tennis media gave statistics for groundstrokes with the same level of sophistication they do for serves, i.e., percentage put into play, percentage unreturnable, etc., instead of the simple one-match counts of winners and unforced errors, which can depend as much on the duration of a match as on level of play.

By the way, my name actually is Andy–I like Roddick and Federer about equally.


Von Says:

I’m not one for predictions, speculations and post mortems. My belief is that all of this is a waste of time, and time will tell, because nothing more or less, pans out the way we predict it to happen. No crystal ball here. However, I’m going against my beliefs and will do a post mortem on the Fed/Andy match, due to some of the rather twisted comments I have read thus far.

Andy won for the following reasons:

♦ He was calm, composed and focused;
♦ He played a smarter and a somewhat flawless
match in comparison to Fed;
♦ He changed up his serve pattern, e.g.,
ball toss and positioning, hence, Fed was
unable to read and block Andy’s serve as he
did in the past, and Andy’s serve became more
penetrating and effective; which put Fed at a
50 percent deficit from the inception of the
match;
♦ Andy hit the ball deep and flat into the
court, thus taking away the advantage Fed
previously had of being able to hit
those “moon balls” that stayed up high;
♦ On the few occasions Andy came up to the net,
he did so on his terms rather than being
baited by Fed, and,
♦ He kept the ball in play and patiently stayed
in the long rallies.

As a result of the foregoing, Andy outplayed and outsmarted Fed. He also demonstrated he believed in himself, which showed in his body language, and his heightened confidence kept him buoyed throughout the match. He never gave up.

In the first set Fed’s serve was under pressure, similarly to that in the AO against Djokovic. And throughout the match his balls were flying high in the air. His errant forehand became a huge liability as the match wore on — and midway of the 3rd set it became uncontrollable.

There was nothing great, magical or awesome about Fed’s match play. But, then again, I have never been one who ever saw the brilliance in him of which others spoke or are in awe. I have been accused of being blind in this respect, but it’s a matter of perception.

As usual Federer was his ever gracious, ebullient self, in his post match comments; nearly always deficient in praise for his opponent’s win, as per the following excerpt from his post match presser:

“I think I did well to hang in there. Maybe this is one of the matches I should have won against him because he’s had some other ones where I think he was supposed to win, but this time around it went his way.”

Fed, I would have liked to hear, just once, that Andy played a very good match and deserved to win instead of “but this time around it went his way.”

Absolutely, and emphatically, gracious. Fed, get with the program, you lost, no need to be so sore. On 15 occasions you came out the victor, for once be gracious in defeat, but I suppose that’s just not you and is asking too much, from one who has a perpetual halo surrounding his head as a mark of unequivocal brilliance.


Von Says:

Please disregard post at 12:25 a.m, don’t know what happened, a computer/site problem. SORRY.


jane Says:

Von,

Don’t know if you saw my earlier congrats & virtual wine (or tea if you prefer) – a wonderful win for Andy. I followed the scores/stats but can’t watch it until tomorrow, but I’ll keep in mind your summation as I watch – esp. interested to see how Andy modifies that serve of his.

Tam,

Sweet Dreams…


Andy Says:

“I think I did well to hang in there. Maybe this is one of the matches I should have won against him because he’s had some other ones where I think he was supposed to win, but this time around it went his way.”

Bearing in mind that English is not Federer’s first language and that Federer has paid Roddick many compliments in the past, I read this quote as Federer saying that Roddick had chances to win some of their previous encounters (“other ones where I think he was supposed to win”), and that the bad luck or whatever that prevented Roddick from winning those matches didn’t happen this time (“this time around it went his way”) so Roddick got the win he deserved. The “…I should have won…” part sounds like a confusing attempt at ironic humor–not a real “I should have won” claim.


Von Says:

jane:

I read some posts earlier on this evening and didn’t like what I read. So, I took a break from posting. Also, I got so messed up by FSN. They were supposed to show the match at 7:00 p.m., live, but did not do so until 10:00 p.m., delayed. I looked at the live scores which seemed like an eternity — the suspense was too much. Finally, at 10:00 p.m., I was able to look at the match on TV and it was well worth the wait.

I am somewhat dismayed, from the comments I have read thus far, that most of the Fed fans could not be gracious enough to be happy for Andy, considering he lost to Fed 15 times. On those occasions that Andy lost, the unkind comments were painful to read, and now that he has won, it’s the same. What gives?

Thanks for the virtual wine, but he needs to get past Davydenko and the final, and then I’ll take you up on the wine. I hope he can stay buoyed in confidence and focused for the balance of the tournament.

jane; Enjoy the match on TV – it was great to see a focused, lmost worry-free Andy. :)

TD: Get a grip, you have two (2) more days to go. :)


Danica Says:

Wow. With another loss of mighty Fed, finally some excitement on tour. Am really, REALLY happy Andy won.
Congrats!


Spirit Says:

Man, do I feel bad now…

Just as if you believe in God, and a few years later you see he’s only human. Maybe I’m wrong, but seems to me the reason why Fed is so vulnerable today is that he dropped his brand-game, much more than the others raised their levels.
He just lost his “extra strike” he used throughout the years to break his opponents in crucial moments (Roddick was a paradigm to this, beaten and frustrated how many… 14? times in a row).

I hope Fed will be back. I don’t agree tennis will gain in popularity with “anyone can beat anyone”. There’s only one King.


johnnhoj Says:

Finally watched (most of) the match on tape. FSN has done a really crappy job of covering these two Masters Series tourneys. At 4-3 in the third set they went to commercial break and returned with a FISHING SHOW!!!!!! F@#$!!!!!

Von,
As a Federer fan I can say Roddick deserved his win (the object of the game is to best your opponent), hanging with Fed throughout the sets (not getting reeled into ”no man’s land”) and maintaining an over-all better level of play tonight, producing a breakthrough. Seeing Fed’s disarray again was certainly dissappointing (I will continue rooting for him), but it’s really a wonderful moment for Roddick. This win alone was what he’s been working toward for a loooong time (in tennis years). Like you, I’m not one for predictions, but this does seem like a transitional period in the careers of both players. Fed might be gearing up to focus on specific areas of the tennis season (who knows but him?), while Roddick might become a serious title contender once again.

I said I’d buy you dinner, but I decided to cook you dinner (whatever goes well with red) because Jane brought over a bottle of wine. I believe it’s Chilean.
A sincere congrats to you …and don’t hate me if I keep supporting Federer, for I have my reasons.


Von Says:

johnnhoj:

Absolutely gracious post, and thank you for your good wishes.

Roddick played within himself, and that’s what is important for all of the players to understand. In the past Roddick’s coaches, after AR lost to Fed for a few times began tinkering with his game, wanting him to play more like Fed, and that is what completely messed up Andy. I think he has finally figured out what he needs to do. Thank God for that — better late than never. You could see that playing his game his way (AR) there wasn’t any tension, and he took it to Fed. Let’s hope he sticks to this formula, and can win some more titles.

Fed will bounce back, but I doubt think that he’ll be as dominant as he was previously, which is good for tennis. A different winner at each tournament is a lot more fun than the same player winning all of the time. We’ll let him win a few. :)

I won’t dislike you for your undying support to Fed. On the contrary, I admire people who are loyal, roll with the punches, stay true through the good and the bad. It’s called character, and you seem to have that necessary ingredient. I dislike the ones who vacillate — today, you’re my guy, tomorrow, I think you’re the pits, and back and forth. Generally, in my life I stay away from that type of person. Can’t trust them. That said, you’re on the right track.

So what are you going to cook for me? But, first I should ask how good a cook are you? What goes with Red Chilean wine? Steak, maybe, filet mignon, chauteau briand, or hamburgers and sausages. Whatever, piques your appetite. I’m not too picky, so whatever you choose will do just fine. I suppose you need to have the invitations printed and/or place cards made up. It should be a lot of fun. :)

Well, 3 more days of tennis and that will be it for a couple of weeks. Except for Andy and the US Davis Cup team who will be playing in 10 days. I hope they win their tie against France. The Bryans have been titleless this year, and Blake has been struggling with his knees since the AO. He’s had to pull out of 2 tournaments. If he’s not Ok and the Bryans are iffy, it means Andy will have to win 2 live rubbers, which is not an easy task. Anyway, we’ll just have to hope for the best and leave it in God’s hands. :)


monstermom Says:

Maybe Roger needs to do something about engaging a ‘model’?????


Joe Says:

I’m truely believe you’re missing the point.
Yes. Federer lost.
Usually when he loses I want to bury myself in send! But not yesterday.

About the match. It seems to me most people here are clouded by the “Oooo Federer this” and “Yeaa Roddick that”.
Roddick played amazingly. simple as that. He is a good player on a great season (for him) and on a serving day like that he could’ve beaten everyone.
Federer lacked coaching. He couldn’t break Roddick’s phenomenal serve and didn’t change the returning strategy.
That being said, he played (Federer) just great.
If Federer hadn’t lost focus on the last two games he could’ve won the match.

On a different note.
Federer’s game was solid and motivated. Beautiful shots, intuitive returns, and great approach both mentally and physically. For me – this is more important than winning the title.

I believe that Roger is on the right track. And he’s going to take some titles in the near future (Yes. clay titles)


Ryan Says:

To Von:You quoted “There was nothing great, magical or awesome about Fed’s match play. But, then again, I have never been one who ever saw the brilliance in him of which others spoke or are in awe. I have been accused of being blind in this respect, but it’s a matter of perception”
So do you mean to say that fed won 12 slams with a mediocre game….thats crazy!!!His game is brilliant.He is a much better player than roddick will ever be, win or lose.I could say that my game is the best in the world and argue that its a matter of perception but that doesnt make any sense.Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder but nobody will say that albert einstein was not brilliant.


sensationalsafin Says:

The match was very close and if not for Federer’s lapse in the third set, he could’ve won. He gave Roddick plenty of credit but he HAS to be bummed out by his losses because accepting them all the time is just stupid.

I still believe Federer will get through this and start winning consistently again. Maybe not as dominant but several titles no doubt. He’s like a pheonix. His flame has died for a bit but he will rise once again. I still say Djokovic will end number 1. But if I’m wrong, and Federer stays number 1, it wouldn’t surprise me even a little.

After losing to Roddick, I’m sure he’s super motivated now and will be looking to reclaim his throne.


Zola Says:

Von,
perhaps you didn’t see my earlier comments too. Congratulations! Great job by Andy!


Fruitcake Says:

Haven’t got the time to read all the posts here.. but congrats to Andy – he stayed with Fed all the way – his serve never wavered and unlike some past matches between them, he didn’t lose hope in the 3rd set. That said, how can anyone say that Fed didn’t have a mental meltdown in the 8th game of the 3rd set? Maybe he was waiting for A-Rod to “go away”, and on realising he wasn’t, had a crisis of confidence, causing him to shank his shots all over the place. That told me more about Fed’s lack of confidence at the moment than anything I’ve seen so far. His trainer telling him he was only at 95% fitness couldn’t have helped either. He needs to win a title to get it back .. but the more the losses rack up, the harder it will be – even at 100% fitness. You have to wonder where Fed would be if he hadn’t been struck with mono … that is the great unknowable as far as I’m concerned. But all credit to A-Rod – never seen him play better against Fed – he knew this was his best chance to gain a win … and he took it.


Skorocel Says:

Von said: “He changed up his serve pattern, e.g.,
ball toss and positioning, hence, Fed was
unable to read and block Andy’s serve as he
did in the past, and Andy’s serve became more
penetrating and effective; which put Fed at a
50 percent deficit from the inception of the
match”

Could be true. When you look at the ace department, you’ll see that A-Rod OUTACED (yes, OUTACED!) Fed 17 to 7 – something close to imaginable in their last 10 or so meetings. Also, if you’ve noticed, most of A-Rod’s serves were directed to Fed’s forehand, which, even though normally Fed’s signature shot, seems to be a rather weaker side when it comes to returning A-Rod’s serves. If you have the match recorded, try to review that all-important point in the 3rd set at 3 games all (where Fed was leading 30-0 on A-Rod’s serve). Andy maybe put a solid but certainly not unreturnable serve into play (directed wide to Fed’s forehand), but the Swiss just wasn’t able to react in time…


ferix Says:

I don’t understand it!!! A player is supposed to get worse results after getting together publicly with beautiful women. Look what happened to Safin, Hewitt, Haas and Srichaphan. Is Federer cheating on Mirka with some supermodel? :P


Ben Says:

Two quick points:
1) What’s up with Andy’s shirt? It’s like 2 sizes too big and he’s constantly tugging on it. Federer’s shirt appears tailored and is always perfectly in place, not covered in sweat, and you never see Roger adjusting any of his clothes.
2) Is Andy’s model fiancee attractive? sure. Are there 500,000 girls just a pretty or more so in every major metropolitan area? YES.


MMT Says:

In the tie-break Fed made 3 unforced forehand errors that cost him the set. Throughout the match, he flubbed many returns trying to come over the ball – he had far more success just chipping it back. Also, he was forcing his topspin backhand in the 3rd set, especially when he was broken.

Andy also gave Fed enough rope to hang himself – he floated a few shots to his backhand which Fed tried to run around and made unforced errors.

Finally, even Gimelstob (not exactly a bastion of tactical know-how) said that tactically Fed can no longer dominate from the back, and he needs to approach the net more consistently. It’s very hard to hit good passing shots all day, but even the best volleyers get passed sometimes.

Fed just can’t win from the back any more and he won’t win much of anything until he really makes this adjustment, even if he’s passed from time to time.


Seth Says:

I suppose I’m the opposite of a great deal of folks in my take on Federer’s recent slump, but I must say it . . .

Tennis is officially boring now that Federer is no longer dominating. He’s the entire reason I became interested in the sport again after 8 years of being tuned out to pro tennis. No one else’s game is half as compelling to watch (when he’s in good form, that is). Now that he’s struggling mightily and losing to the likes of Andy “One-Dimensional” Roddick, men’s tennis has lost its allure for me.


Skorocel Says:

Andy said: “To clarify, my post was just posing an impartial question: “Is Roger Federer’s forehand–a shot we tennis fans have talked about a lot over the last few years–less effective right now?” We would all have some idea of the answer already if the tennis media gave statistics for groundstrokes with the same level of sophistication they do for serves, i.e., percentage put into play, percentage unreturnable, etc., instead of the simple one-match counts of winners and unforced errors, which can depend as much on the duration of a match as on level of play.”

———————————————————

If you’ve followed Fed closely, you should have noticed that his forehand ISN’T THE SAME already since Dubai 2007. Prior to this tournament, it was his signature shot – a shot, that would alone beat at least 80 % players on the Tour… Frankly, (apart from Sampras’ serve, maybe) I’ve never seen such a formidable stroke as was (well, unfortunately WAS) Fed’s forehand… If you look back to 2005 or 2006, if any of Fed’s opponents (except maybe Nadal) back then had played even one short or mid-short ball to Fed’s forehand, in 99 % of the cases it would be GAME OVER for him. Those were simply merciless shots calculated to land literally within milimeters from the lines! But now, instead of hitting a winner from his once mighty forehand, he’s producing some mighty sh.tty errors, with most of those forehands flying even 2-3 m wide… If you had that yesterday’s match taped, just notice that very first point of the 1st set breaker, and you’ll see for yourself… Those were points which Fed would normally win even blindly, but now he’s firing “homeruns” in such situations… Well, and there you go! Another 2 missed forehands – and that was it for Roger as far as that 1st set breaker is concerned…


Zola Says:

****ferix Says:
I don’t understand it!!! A player is supposed to get worse results after getting together publicly with beautiful women. Look what happened to Safin, Hewitt, Haas and Srichaphan. Is Federer cheating on Mirka with some supermodel? ****

ferix,
the recipe works only in North America. It was found first by Mardy Fish !


Daniel Says:

People,

Before saying Fed will have a bad Clay season we have to remind that in the last two years, (leaving that Volandri match aside), only Nadal beat Fed on Clay, in finals! Hardcourts can be trick sometimes, especially when facing a sensational server like Roddick, with high confidence. It’s easier to loose there with just a bad game, as it happens. On clay, the match is long and the mental game is different. That’s when Nadal and Fed, rises.

But, we have to wait and see. Not getting in one hardcourt final till now is surreal for Fed, but again, last year he reaches 8 consecutive finals after Rome.

So, as much as some of you are excited, just be careful with some statements. This is tennis, and changes happen all the time.
Who would guess Pete will win another Grand Slam after almost 2 years without winning a single “small” tournament?!


MMT Says:

Skorocel, you may be onto something: his strokes are no longer as technically superior to those of his opponents, so he either needs to improve them (hard to do at this stage in his career) or employ different tactics. Even Gimelstob said he thought he has to attack more and take some pressure of his groundies…for once I agree with this boob.

I also think he may need to consider playing a fuller schedule. He’s added Estoril to his claycourt season, which is good, but he again eschews Indianapolis before heading off to Toronto for a Masters Series event – not so good.

There’s no substitute for match play to get over a case of the nerves, and he definitely shrank at the occassion in the tie-break and his last service game. He’s got to get tougher in the clutch.


tennisontherocks Says:

good post, Daniel. Roger has won hamburg 4 times. so to claim that he will enter wimbledon without a title and without a #1 ranking is bit of a stretch.

The kind of year-around dominance Roger showed in 2004/5/6 was over last year itself. Yet he managed to rise up on occassions to win 3 slams. I think he will follow same pattern over next few years (not win 3 slams a year..but 1 a year is realistic). He did loose to Gonzo in shanghai and then rolled over others. Even during his ‘peak’ years, he had bad to avarage days, but he managed to battle out these wins. Its going to be harder now, as his opponents are getting better and are no longer intimidated at the prospect of beating Roger.

and getting a coach is not going to do any magic. any short term panick button moves can produce smaller titles to shut up some critics, but may seriously hurt his long term career goals.


Skorocel Says:

Von said: “As usual Federer was his ever gracious, ebullient self, in his post match comments; nearly always deficient in praise for his opponent’s win, as per the following excerpt from his post match presser:

“I think I did well to hang in there. Maybe this is one of the matches I should have won against him because he’s had some other ones where I think he was supposed to win, but this time around it went his way.”

What’s wrong with this one, Von? He said MAYBE. Surely, it’s not like he has blown a 6-0, 5-0 lead, but leading 30-0 at 3 all in the 3rd (with A-Rod serving) isn’t that far from winning a match either, or is it? Every single tennis fan (including you or me) has to admit that some of their matches (especially that TMC 2006 RR one or that Wimby 2004 final) could’ve gone either way… The same about yesterday’s match – it was a toss-up, but this time, it was A-Rod who played the important points better!

Anyway, hats off to A-Rod! The guy’s already beaten all the Top 3 ranked players on the tour this year – and that’s NOT a fluke! Yesterday, he not only showed one helluva good serving performance, but also added some shots which you normally wouldn’t see him playing vs Fed… Just think of that superb forehand return which he hit in that 1st set breaker, or that one dropshot (yes, a DROPSHOT!), which Fed could only watch landing just behind the net – really top-class in my opinion!

The other thing is, when I compare yesterday’s match with that IW semi vs Fish (where Fed was not only awful as far as his shots are concerned, but moreover slow and disinterested like NEVER before), yesterday, his movement was much better and he didn’t play a bad match at all… I don’t know what was his W/UE ratio (since those cr.ppy ATP stats only show numbers related to serve & return), but I bet it must’ve been at least a positive one… Some of those stop-volleys or passing shots which he produced were absolutely stunning in my opinion… Huh, even those first 2 MPs which he saved were a treat to watch, isn’t it?

But the fact is, A-Rod just didn’t give him a look on his serve, and one sloppy game at 3-4 in the 3rd (plus 3 easy forehand misses in the 1st set breaker) simply cost him the match… Now does that mean A-Rod doesn’t deserve the win? Of course he DOES! When you look at that USO 2007 match, where Fed won those tiebreaks – that too could’ve gone either way, but Fed simply played BETTER IN THE IMPORTANT POINTS… The point is, many of these rallies ended with an UE from A-Rod – just like yesterday Fed messed up that 8th game in the 3rd… What I want to say is that in many of those important points, A-Rod’s helped Fed with an occasional UE here and there, but still, it was a W for the Swiss.

If you remember, at the post-match presser, Fed said something like he’s actually surprised he’s won so many matches against A-Rod, considering the American’s huge serve (which could be very hard to break)… Therefore, it was not surprising to see that yesterday’s 1st set being decided in a tie-break, but this time, A-Rod simply played those points BETTER. The same can be said about that critical situation in the 3rd (where at 3 all, Andy was trailing 0-30 on his serve) – he simply played those points BETTER. And finally, the same goes for that subsequent game where he broke Fed – unforced errors or not, he played these points BETTER, period!


jane Says:

Sorry for the long post but it’s mainly to do with commentators and the press (not TV coverage; that’s another issue!):
It’s not that I don’t like Federer even though he’s not one of my favorites, nor that I can’t acknowledge his talent.
BUT. The hyperbole that has been lavished on him by the press and tennis commentators since 2005 is, in part, what has created “the bubble” surrounding him that he is invincible. Maybe they created the monster, not Fed. The fact of the matter is this: he’s not and never has been “invincible”. Yes, he won and won and won. BUT. Especially after his dominant years in 05-06, when all that us followers of the sport heard was “Fed this”, “Fed that”, which is presumably all his opponents heard as well (imagine being Roddick and hearing McEnroe and Aggassi gushing about Fed all the time), Fed’s opponents often went on the court having already conceded the match, thinking “I’ll play my best,” “give it my best shot,” or whatever.
They gave up before they began.
Not so Nadal, who came along as early as 2004 and began to establish a winning record against Fed (mostly on clay but on hardcourts, twice). Why? Because Rafa never gives up until the last ball has been struck, he kept pressure on Roger, and guess what? He won. Then in 2006 Novak comes along and begins spouting off – and to match the talk he walked the walk a year later. He won too.
The fact of the matter is that Federer was, is, and ever shall be beatable. His forehand can & does fail him when players put pressure on it, as can his backhand, particularly on clay. He’s generally one of the most focused players in tennis today, and his mental toughness has done him well, but if his opponents do not relent, his concentration can be thrown off, just like any other player’s.
Last night is a classic example of this: Andy kept the pressure on Roger (Andy didn’t fade as he did after losing 2 tight sets to him in the USO last year) and Roger fumbled. This is what Roger often had done/does to his opponents. Clearly, they can do it to him too.
That players finally realize this is thanks, in part, to a couple of young upstarts who are number 2 & 3 now.
So: will the commentators realize it? Or do we still have to listen to the silly GOAT argument, which is illogical anyhow because you can’t reasonably compare players from different eras, with different technologies, and so on. The game is always evolving. Roger is ONE of a number of the best players in the sport, for sure, but he not THE “best player to ever pick up a racquet” which has become a cliché saying anyhow. He may, however, be the most hyped player in the history of tennis.
That hype has had both good and bad repercussions for tennis: Good, in that it’s brought new fans to tennis, but bad, in that it had a psychological and wearing effect on Roger’s opponents.
And what does the fickle press do when Roger starts losing a few matches? For the most part, they dump on him.

Less hype, less woe & more balanced commentary on the tennis; that’d be nice.


johnnhoj Says:

I’m thinking Fed will be shifting his focus to specific tournaments from this point on, which is a very good idea when considering longevity. He may continue a successful run in places, but after a season like ’06 there was nowhere else to go but down, and elsewhere, until he feels perhaps that he can make a somewhat similar run again. That means focusing on certain tournaments while including new ones for the sake of a steady ranking. There’s no wisdom in winning every Masters Series tournament during the season when one considers the need to defend points year after year – everybody’s gonna lose. One must look at this realistically and consider all the logistics involved in maintaining a highly fruitful tennis career lasting several years. Seems pretty daunting. Of course Fed will lose more matches, but it won’t be really horrible. I’m picturing breakthrough victories for him down the road, once he’s back to playing Fed-level tennis, which he will as long as he’s willing to work his way through slumps. All he needs to do is work on his game and stay in the mix until he’s re-charged.

What can I say about Roddick? I really need to see how he fares against the rest of the field over the course of several months.


tennisontherocks Says:

Jane you raised great point about press. They are too quick to call you the greatest and even quicker to dismiss. But its not entirely their fault also. some fans do want to hear about it, too. If Pmac talks endlessly about technique/stroke production etc, some people will find that boring too. The true greats don’t get too caught up in what others are saying and their best response is on the court.


I like tennis bullies like Roddick who beat up sissies like Federer Says:

“men’s tennis has lost its allure for me.”

I am sorry to say that you’re not a tennis fan then just another fair weather fanboy.

buh-BYE!!


Seth Says:

Was that supposed to be an insult?


Dr. Death Says:

Hard to say, Seth. Another post-er who needs a prescription from the doctor.

Sports is always like this with superstars rising and falling. There have been few athletes in any sport who can maintain intensity year in and out. Think of where Roger has come from and where he is now. Kid to icon and probably richer than any Swiss neighbor.

Never mind mono, women, etc. After riding the high he has been on, perhaps it is not so surprising that he has fallen from the pinnacle fans have raised him to. Also, let us give credit to the other top players. No matter how great one’s shot making is, other super athletes will adjust. Some have.

If Federer takes all of this as a wake up call and runs toward the sound of the gunfire, we will continue to have on fabulous tennis year.


johnnhoj Says:

Fed boosted his ranking points in Miami this year.
2007: R16
2008: QF

A small nudge forward, but right now it counts for alot.


jane Says:

johnnhoj,

Sorry to spoil small victories, but i believe Rafa’s now increased his as well, and he’s still rolling, and with clay around the bend, well, you get my drift….

Rog better start hitting some over-the-shoulder-backhands real soon.
;-)


johnnhoj Says:

That’s true, Jane, but the pressure will be on Rafa to defend points, no? It’s a must-hold-the-fort scenario for him. Fed can improve upon his previous results for the most part. I ain’t holdin’ my breath, but I’ll be interested in seeing if either of these two decides to up the ante on the clay. This is gonna be awesome, or it’s gonna be excruciating. I’ll be ready to accept things either way. My favorite time of the season: European clay and grass.
Time flies!


jane Says:

Yep – you’re right johnnhoj. Fun stuff ahead!


johnnhoj Says:

…unless someone else decides to come in and shake up the proceedings.


MMT Says:

Jane I have to disagree with one element of your long post. All the hyperbole in the world would not have made a difference if Federer wasn’t (1) getting to the shots and (2) hitting the shots that he needed to hit to win. To ascribe his aura of invincibility to the media is not on, in my view. If there was an aura it came from his performance and results, and not the other way around.

For example – before Federer everyone and their brother was saying how Roddick had the game to dominate and win everything on surfaces other than clay. 5 years later, it’s been nothing of the sort.

Results create hyperbole. Federer hasn’t been hyped – he’s been lauded for his performances and results, there’s a big difference. It’s true players were afraid of him in the past (maybe no longer) but that’s because if you look at his head-to-heads they have every reason to wonder if they can beat him.

Finally, on the GOAT argument – you can argue across generations because while you can’t predict head to head results, you can look at results against their contemporaries and nobody has had 4 years in a row like Federer – nobody.

Maybe if you put a 20-year old Pancho Gonzales in a time machine and let him train with modern equipment for 2 years and unleashed him on this current crop of players he’s be totally dominant. We’ll never know. What we do know is that Gonzales was the #1 ranked pro for 8 years, more than Sampras, Laver and Federer. We also know that he won his first and last tournaments 23 years apart – that’s 23 years.

In any case, let’s not go nuts on Fed because he’s no longer winning 99% of the time. And let’s keep the credit where it is due – with the players…all of them.


jane Says:

MMT,

Thanks for your reply.

“To ascribe his aura of invincibility to the media is not on, in my view. If there was an aura it came from his performance and results, and not the other way around.”

Perhaps initially yes; but the hyperbole that lasted throughout 06 & 07, in my view, my have extended those results, because, as I mentioned, it would’ve been wearing on his opponents. Therefore, they may not have fought as they would’ve. Except, as I say, for a few of them.

My point is that the press and commentators need to “take it down a 1000″.

I’m not budging on GOAT. :-)

Cheers.


Jeff Says:

Most people would agree that Federer is the most talented player of all time. Whether or not he is the GOAT depends on how much determination and mental fortitude he has. The question should be settled soon.

If he loses the #1 ranking and then fades away, he will show he doesn’t match up to Rod Laver.

If he keeps the ranking for another year, or if he loses it and gets it back, he will show he is the GOAT.

My opinion? He’ll get back to his best form again later this year. I wouldn’t even be surprised to see him beat Rafa in Paris.


jane Says:

“you can look at results against their contemporaries”

Different surfaces; different number of slam events, or importance placed on them (Mac, Borg, Connors et al sometimes didn’t even play the AO); different technologies etc

= different results

= not comparable

I know this topic has been done-to-death and people are fixed in their views (myself included) so i won’t go further on it.


Von Says:

Zola:

“Von, ..perhaps you didn’t see my earlier comments too. Congratulations! Great job by Andy!”

Sorry Zola, I did’nt. Thanks for your good wishes re Andy. My very best to RAfa in the SFs and the balance of the tournament. :)


Zola Says:

Thanks Von,
Rafa won his match against Berdych and I am so happy.

Now what are we gonna do? You want Andy in the dinal and even with the trophy and I want Rafa with the trophy!

I better not post until after the final! :)


Zola Says:

oops, it dinal should read “final”!

( but I am doing well with the emoticons!:))


andrea Says:

wow.

what an atrocious piece of journalism. (and it’s even a stretch calling it that).

not surprising coming from someone who a scant few days ago spoke with mock-puritanical incest that the media were (GASP) reporting on the fact that andy’s fiancee was a swimsuit model. Yeah, that never happens in today’s world.

so, roger federer should retire huh? i suppose that all your dreams and aspirations have long ago been thwarted and your life now consists of running down the road to middle class blandness. ergo, everyone else should just follow your lead in the face of adversity?

it’s exactly your kind of bureaucratic mindset: “i’m down, i might as well stay down” attitude that separates the drones from the great ones.

yeah, i’d retire too when i am 2 grand slams away from tying the all time record and 3 away from beating it. especially since i love the sport of tennis, am healthy and can play possibly until i’m 35, health permitting.

sure, i think i’ll just quit now.

get a life!


Von Says:

Zola:

“( but I am doing well with the emoticons! :)

I put in the smiley for you. Do what I do, sleep through everything. I’m so tired from posting and watching tennis, and my law research, that I sometimes don’t know if it’s night or day, when I nod off. :) I’m so tired that I don’t have the energy to even defen D-Rod if anyone takes a crack at him.

johnnhoj: Where’s my dinner, I’m famished. I bought a new Dior dress, had them woring all night on it, and all the invitaions and place cards are finished. What are we eating? I’m llike a kid when I’m hungry. I whine, and whine and whine, until I get wined and dined. Get it. :)

Lesson 1 – smiley. Type the sentence, hit the period. space with thee space bar, then you have to type the colon :) and then space again. Type the . then spacebar, then the colon :and the ) and then hit the space bar again. = siley. Now try it.


Von Says:

Zla:

Sorry, I didn’t even se you said RAfa won. CONGRATS to RAfa. :) I’m happy for you both. When’s the wdding? He should earn enough for the 50 carat stone from the money he’s pocketing from Miami. Will it be a Tiffany diamond aor Catier?


Von Says:

jane:

Was my post mortem on the money or way off, whereby my partiality clouded my judgment? I like feedback What did you see? — Was I way off mark, only going with my own interpretaion instead of the facts as presented beyond a shadow of a doubt, and was the intent clear and premeditated? That should get your widmills turning for a while. I just htrew in Youz inmy questions his intent vs. reckless endangerment to whom? That is the question.:) To sleep, perchance to dream, is what I need, sweet, refreshing sleep.


jane Says:

Von,

I thought it was an excellent summation; I had to watch closely on the serve, and Skorocel earlier added the part about Roddick serving to the forehand, which I had read ahead of the match (or during). I’d've likely missed both good observations, so caught up in it, if it weren’t for you too. Andy was so mentally strong too; that was SO nice to see. And his contained exaltation at the end was lovely. All I could think was “Hail, Heaven, Holy Light!” (reading “Paradise Lost”, so…) Or as you put it elsewhere, “Great Balls of Fire!” Hurrah!

Did you read my rant above about hyperbole, hype and GOAT? I tried to be fair, but I really do hope that the gushing will cease. It was too much.


jane Says:

you two, not you too (or U2) :-)


jane Says:

BTW, have you heard about the “Foals”? Maybe you or one of your offspring might like to look them up and have a listen? ;-)

http://www.chartattack.com/damn/2008/04/0309.cfm


Zola Says:

Von,
***
I put in the smiley for you. Do what I do, sleep through everything. I’m so tired from posting and watching tennis, and my law research, that I sometimes don’t know if it’s night or day, when I nod off. I’m so tired that I don’t have the energy to even defen D-Rod if anyone takes a crack at him.*******

hey, don’t be tired. These are good times. Andy won and Rafa won. The hard time will be if they clash in the final ( oops I was supposed not to post until after the final!)

about defending Andy, I would say, why bother. A rational person can read the facts and make his/her own conclusions. To those ppl, yes, give the reasons. But you can’t do anything for ppl who are irrational or enjoy insulting players etc. so, let them be!****concentrate on positives!

when is the wedding? good question, but I am not marrying him.Too much travel!:)


Zola Says:

Oh! No! after all those lessons!.:-O
OK! one more time. :D


Zola Says:

. :-O


jane Says:

Von,

While you’re lucky enough to be watching Davy and Andy duke it out, I have to follow the meagre scoreboard; Davy just won the 1st set tiebreak. For Andy there’s got to be a huge letdown after last night’s win: physically he’d be tired because he played a later and more difficult match than Davy and emotionally he must be feeling it too.

Anyhow, I thought I’d offer you a bit more feedback on last night’s match:

- At 3:3 in 1st set, Andy pushed Fed to a couple of deuces. Had Andy done more with one of Roger’s 2nd serves at that moment, I believe he could’ve broken Roger and circumvented the tiebreak in all likelihood. He needed to rip a return there. Either way, he was definitely able to get into Roger’s service games & put some pressure on him.

- He hit some whipping passing shots and clean, hard forehands in the 1st set.

- In the 2nd set it seemed like Andy was retreating behind the baseline a little, which allowed Fed to step in, find angles and attack. That’s why, I think, he was able to push, and finally break, Andy in that set. I don’t think we can underestimate the importance of good court positioning; Djokovic is great at that.

- In the 3rd set, the level kept going up – fantastic stuff! A couple of KEY things to note, however.

- At 3:3 when Fed got Andy to love-30 Andy did not panic. In fact, at 15-30, he bravely came into the net – as you’ve said, on his own terms – and he leveled the game and then served it out.

- Then, still maintaining AMAZING composure, all things considered, Andy played a beautiful point on Fed’s serve. Very smartly, he dragged Fed into the net and passed him to go up love -15. Fed seemed rattled, and unraveled, thus making errors that cost him the game. Meanwhile, Andy was solid as a rock.

- Andy wavered a little serving it out, but finished as we’d expect him too.

What a great win…

I hope he can come back against Davy, but either way, I am very happy for him.


ferix Says:

sigh … andy must stop coming into the net like that! he was rocking davydenko in the second set, then inexplicably started charging the net when serving, got passed twice, and the rest is history :(


jane Says:

Guess Andy’s hungover? Oh well. Take heart fellow A-rod fans! Slaying a dragon is tough work.

Rafa should have the title now, especially with how he looked against Berdych today, but you never know this year.

Could this be Davy’s first title since….???


Von Says:

Congrats to Kola, he was solid and ubiquitous, omnipresent, et al. His court positioning was just great, coupled with his return game. This is the best I’ve ever seen him play against Roddick.

On the other hand, Davy had a very, very, easy draw. That match with Tipsy was just batting practice. Tipsy had nothing, and Davy was able to pull it off hands down.

Andy seemed very flat footed, tired and probably could have been a little too over confident. Let’s face it, playing against an opponent that you’re 5-0, well who wouldn’t be. But his serve let him down and the first set was just a point or two at the key times for Davy. Well, the second set, after Davy broke back and then broke Andy, it was visible that Andy had given up. Tiredness and elation can do that. Also, probably too much celebration last night. But, if I were Andy, just beating Fed would have been enough for me. Just the thought that it actually happened has me somewhat puzzled, how much more for Andy to be in 7th heaven. He’ll go forward with a lot more confidence. This win by Davy was a one-off. But kudos to Davy for pressing on.

Tomorrow, the trophy’s Rafa’s for the taking. I think Davy, will also suffer a let down, beating Roddick — now he’s 5-1.


Von Says:

jane:

“Did you read my rant above about hyperbole, hype and GOAT? I tried to be fair, but I really do hope that the gushing will cease. It was too much.”

I did, and sorry I did not get around to commenting sooner, but I guess I have been overdoing the too many late nights and it has now caught up to me. I’m as flat-footed as Andy was today. It was a great post/analysis on hyperbole..

I agree, that the exuberance was too much from every corner of the globe, press, fans, etc. Players got beaten while in the locker room, and the press, ah, the press, which can be a player’s greatest asset at one moment and the worst abatross, thereafter. They over-hyped Federer so much and made him sound like the 8th wonder of the world. It’s unimaginable, for a lay person to understand, how that kind of adulation can hurt an opponent listening to that verbiage, day after day. The psychological repercussions can be devastating. And, Federer, being human himself, got carried away on a wave of the subliminal. The mind can lift one up to untold heights — it makes us seem invincible and that in itself is a huge weapon. True Fed produced and should have been praised, but there’s no doubt that the propulsion from the praises he heard and read, contributed greatly to his dominance, while at the same time, deflating his opponents and dropping them down to new lows. As Tom Sawyer so aptly stated, “a compliment can go a long way.”

As regards the “GOAT” entitlement. How can there be one for Federer or for that matter, any other pre or post Federer eras. There are so many variables that would or should have to be taken into consideration before a true and precise picture can emerge, and the numbers alone are not the deciding factor.

For example, how can we compare the sport as it is presently played to just Connors/McEnroe era., e.g.,

♦ Different racquets – strings used;
♦ The amount of sets they had to play in the tournaments;
♦ challenge system; and
♦ Different surfaces
♦ Prize money;
♦ Ranking points, etc.

Connore, McEnroe, Agassi, and Sampras, each had to play more sets in the Masters Series tournaments than our present day players. That kind of grinding would make it more difficult for our present day players to win a considerable amount of shields per season. Five setters can change the complexion of a match.

I honestly believe that there could be a “one of the greatest players” designation applied to a player but not “GOAT.” In each era there will be great players, but it is unfair to designate any one player as the “GOAT.” Who knows that after Federer hangs up his racquet some other youngster will emerge and win 25 slams, then I suppose he’ll be the alleged “GOAT.” Technology, rules, court surfaces and environmental effects will all change constantly and it’s these variables that will make the “GOAT” designation a difficulty for the analysts.


Von Says:

Seth:

“Now that he’s struggling mightily and losing to the likes of Andy “One-Dimensional” Roddick, men’s tennis has lost its allure for me.”

I won’t even attempt to change your views on Roddick and his “one-dimensional” game as you mentioned. That’s a matter of personal preference. I’m a Roddick fan, and his ‘one-dimensional’ tennis is what I love to watch. You most probably would find this mind boggling, as many have, but even though Federer’s tennis is multi-dimensional, I just get bored looking at him. Which goes to the heart of the old addage that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Federer’s tennis leaves me with a feeling of ‘did I miss something’. He won, but where was the punch line. To each his own, is all I can say.

Your not wanting to watch tennis or lose interest in it, becausze of one player, is above my comprehension and blows my mind. I love tennis, and sure I like to see the players for whom I root playing, but if they were in a slump, which they have been at times, it wouldn’t mean I’d lose interest in the sport altogether. You sound as one-dimensional, which is how you have analyzed Roddick’s tennis skills. That being said, I suppose in many ways, we’re all one-dimensional.

Btw, Roddick has upped his game, just in case you’ve not been watching, he’s now as multi-dimensional ss they come. And, he has also added a new dimension, Brooklyn Decker.


Von Says:

Ryan:

“To Von: You quoted “There was nothing great, magical or awesome about Fed’s match play … but it’s a matter of perception”

“So do you mean to say that fed won 12 slams with a mediocre game….thats crazy!!!His game is brilliant…Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder but nobody will say that albert einstein was.”

I don’t want to butt heads with you, because we’ve fought in the trenches together and I look upon you as an ally. You’re correct about Federer, and yes, he is a better player than Roddick, his winning of 12 GS titles, et al. But, please understand, that I truthfully give him credit for his achievements, but at the same time, and I can’t explain why this is so, I don’t enjoy his style of play. And as you so aptly stated ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’, well, I suppose that could be the reason I feel the way I do. I love ball bashing excitement — Fed’s not that type of player. Sorry Bro, but we’re still friends. We’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one. :)


Zola Says:

Von,
first of all I am sorry about Andy’s loss to Kolya today. I didn’t see the match but read about it and apparently Kolya just played perfect.

I think less than 24 hours was not enough time for Roddick to recover emotionally from his win over Federer.

About GoOAT, that’s a great discussion and I agree that comparison is not valid. different times, etc. One more thing is that the players before 1990 did not play as many master series as they play today. Maybe today’s players play best of 3( since last year) but they have to compete in 12 mandatory competetions, mostly on hard courts. It is just brutal to their body.

It would be good to have a break down of the number of tournaments ans sets players in each era had to play and on which surface.


naresh Says:

Andy lost in straight sets to Davydenko..maybe he could’nt get over the emotions after finally beating Federer. this is the 1st time that Andy has lost to Davydenko..2008 madness continues !!


naresh Says:

Saw the Andy-Fed match. i must say that Andy really served great, he went more to Fed’s forehand on the serve. thats something he has’nt done in the past..i guess Fed’s forehand is also not what it has been earlier !

The match was high quality though, with Fed having the edge, cause until he lost his serve in the 3rd set, he did’nt even have 1 break point against him. whereas with Andy, there were a few more chances.

But hats off to Andy for keeping his cool and staying with Fed till Fed messedup in the 3rd set. That was simply horrible to watch..he was playing very well, till he started yanking those backhands and even the forehand out of court..he lost his game at love..Andy did’nt even have to hit winners to win that game !!

i think Fed’s problems are mental, rather than physical..his game’s still there..but then, it’s been the same case with Andy, so Andy’s win over Fed will give Fed some hope too !!


tennisballpenetrator Says:

Someone write a new story, the roddick one has been up for ages


Paul Says:

Andy thought his victory over Federer showed his progress, just as Mardy Fish did a week earlier.

But both of them were crushed in their next match, revealing, sadly, that their victories were all about poor Roger’s decline.


drebben Says:

I agree with seth’s comment about losing interest in tennis with Federer’s decline in dominance in the past few months.

I have been an avid tennis fan for some time but only began enthusiastically following it since Federer became dominant. I enjoyed watching a player of such unparalleled grace and talent that you knew not only that he was born to play tennis but that this was the way tennis wanted and was meant to be played.

It was similiar to Jordan in basketball but not at all similar to Woods in golf (who possesses much of the talent but none of the grace).

Watching Federer’s performance in Indian Wells and Miami, I am fearful that he has become like Mike Tyson (somewhat before he became a complete joke): capable of wonderfully beating up losers but unable to excel against the more capable.


Ryan Says:

To Von: I didnt want to start an argument.You’re right…..we’re down like old times but I just wanted to know what you meant.You do recognize and give credit for federer’s achievements and his game even when its doesnt appeal to you which itself is a great thing, unlike many other narrow minded assholes……Anyway it was good to see roddick’s face after he won.It was more like a scene after he won that us open back in 2003.


Ryan Says:

I can’t believe that some people are saying that fed is hyped up and he won half of his 12 slams because of that.To see federer play so remarkably well with all those crazy shots, all these years and then to say that he is hyped up and he wins because his opponents dont play well is fuckin insane.If you talk bout hype then most of the british players are hyped(Andy murray,tim henman) etc and even new ones like djokovic……with everyone saying that he is going to take down the current king and be the next king and all that.The US creates a big hype about its players like blake , roddick, fish etc.So the hype comes for everyone but that doesn’t mean that their opponents will give up matches to them.They have to earn their victories.This is why these players are nothing compared to fed.Does anyone say that laver or borg won so many slams because their opponents didn’t fight enough…….thats part of tennis.I could also say that tsonga gave it up in the final because of all the hype surrounding djokovic.That doesnt make any fuckin sense….the underdog should have the nuts to battle it out and win.If he doesnt you cant take away from the victory of the champion.Fed is not only praised by the press but also by the previous champions themselves.So all of that cannot be hype and plus haters cant take away anything from fed victories.


Zola Says:

Ryan

***I can’t believe that some people are saying that fed is hyped up and he won half of his 12 slams because of that***

who can say that?

federer is an amazing player. Yes, I did not like his comments about Rafa in the past ( now they are friends). But that doesn’t stop me from admiring the way he plays. I think I first realized his crazy shots in Shanghai 06 match with Rafa. They both played a fantastic match. I have seen some of his ground strokes in slow motion and I can just say they are “beautiful”. The way he prepares, his footwork, the execution….that is no hype! Even against Roddick he has some impossible shots. The most amazing thing to me was how he was able to come up with this new killer serve at the Wimbledon and after that. And he is fast, very fast.
I am not a big fan of his personality, but his tennis is a different story.


jane Says:

Ryan,

“They have to earn their victories” You’re right; fair enough. Maybe it’s more symbiotic than “this happened” then “that happened”. But the aura was there, through both Fed’s incredible dominance and consistency, as well as the gushing, which, if Fed is your opponent, and you already have a losing record against him, would certainly have an effect – even if you tried to block it out. You’d have to watch matches with the mute button on and never read the sports press to avoid it.

Anyhow, the comments also mentioned that the same press who lauded Fed profusely now dump all over him when he loses a couple of matches. Which is just dumb. My beef was with commentators and the press: just looking for a little balance is all.


Skorocel Says:

To Ryan:

Very nicely said. If someone’s indeed hyped, then it’s that guy named Andy Murray… They’re literally declaring him as a new SW19 champ only because he’s beaten Fed twice – it’s almost insane… To be honest, I even feel sorry for the guy :) But anyway, can we blame him for this? If you look at the current British crop, it would be only understandable that the UK (as a cradle of tennis) would do anything to have at least one world-class player, so the answer is no… Anyway, just wondering what will happen to Australia when Hewitt and Molik call it a day (?)…

About Fed being “hyped”, well, to a certain extent, I agree… They’ve lauded him as a possible GOAT already since 2004 (his 1st really dominant year on the Tour), but to be honest, if it had to do any harm to someone, it would be indeed Fed – not his opponents… Imagine how tough it must’ve been for him in these last 2-3 years… Everytime and everywhere you play, they would ALWAYS expect a win from you – that’s just insane pressure! The fact is (and even the biggest Fed haters have to admit this): ever since that breakthrough year of 2004, 99 % of his opponents (except maybe Nadal on clay) had absolutely NOTHING to lose when they stepped on the court against the Swiss, whereas Fed himself had (and still has) A LOT at stake – yet some people will still have the courage to consider the vast majority of his matches as being decided before they even began…

Surely, there’s some “intimidation factor”, but that was the case with all the previous champs… When you look at Pete Sampras, some players (at least from what I heard) were even afraid to talk with him when in the locker-rooms… Now can you imagine this with Fed? I still remember when my fellow Slovak Karol Kučera beat Pete at the AO 1998… When they shook hands, Pete looked as if he was about to kill him – such was the look on his eyes serious :) Anyway, don’t get me wrong – I will always have an utmost respect before Pete’s game and his achievements, but I just can’t help myself, he looked as if he wanted to say: “Next time, I’m gonna get you!”

So is Federer that intimidating? Surely, there’s something into it, but it’s not like he’s wanting to express it at any cost… Now compare that to Rafa (Fed’s biggest rival), and you’ll realize that the guy’s FAR MORE intimidating than Fed himself – at least prior to the match. Those waiting games, jumps, deadly looks – it’s no wonder Djoker’s making fun of him…


Zola Says:

Skorocel,

**** Now compare that to Rafa (Fed’s biggest rival), and you’ll realize that the guy’s FAR MORE intimidating than Fed himself – at least prior to the match. Those waiting games, jumps, deadly looks – it’s no wonder Djoker’s making fun of him… ****

these are some miserable comments. Djoko can stay the clown. I throw the towel!


jane Says:

Skorocel,

Thanks for *your* balanced commentary; I know you’re an avid Fed fan. And you’re right that the “hype” would hurt Fed to a degree too. As I said when I started this discussion, maybe “they [the press] created the monster” in part, of course. Fed had to produce the results.

Poor Murray too – you’re right that he is so “hyped” and pressured by the British Press and I worry, that having not yet broken through to top ten, they’ll bury him under the pressure, like they did to Henman. Speaking of Murray, he’s hired Alex Corretja to help him through the clay season. interesting.

Rafa is intimidating at the net, to be sure; I always laugh at his intensity. He’s such a study in contrasts: a bull on the court but a humble lad off. I think Djoker’s imitation is all in fun and that’s he’s more careful about those now.


Zola Says:

Jane,
what do you mean by intimidating? Do you seriously think Federer lost RG 06 and 07 because RAfa jumped up and down at the net?


Zola Says:

Jane,
if you mean intensity and seiousness, I understand that. I can understand that a player can see how motivated the other one is and won’t give up but to me intimidating is not the word. No one has been scared and lost a match because of Rafa’s match routine. They lose because they come short during the match. With their strokes. And those who win , do that by their own racqet.

I see no resemblance between Rafa’s match routines and Djoko’s impersonations or roars at the audiance.


jane Says:

Zola,

Relax, no offense meant towards Rafa; I love him! :-)

Regarding the word “intimidating” – I didn’t mean it in the sense of Rafa trying to deliberately “frighten” his opponents; I meant it more in the sense of the “awe” players must have looking at this big guy jumping at the other side of the net and so eager to go – he’s like a boxer that way, such a fighter, and no other player does this that I can think of. But I like it!

Of course he could not win matches by doing this, nor did I mean to imply that. I find it interesting how different his personality seems on the court to how he comes across is in interviews. It’s like the tennis court really brings out his confidence and he shines there.

Djokovic is another story, and I love him too.

I see no reason to, nor would I want to, insult either of these two top players / personalities. They are made of two different molds and this, to me at least, is really good for tennis.

Cheers Zola; I hope Rafa wins the title!


Von Says:

Skorocel:

“Anyway, just wondering what will happen to Australia when Hewitt and Molik call it a day (?)…”

You need to be more diligent in reading/watching tennis. Do you know that Australia now has Chris Guccione, a rather rangy looking, 6 foot plus guy, who’s got a good serve and can move fast and cover the court, and he has some great groundies shots. They also have Casey Dellacqua, who made it to the QF at the AO and was taking out some top ranked players at a previous tourney, the name of which slips my mind presently. This happens when you become as old as I am. :) I think Casey is getting some coaching help from Darren Cahill. So, as a result of the foregoing, the Aussies will still be able to continue, in a small way, their tenis history.

Are you still writing that email? How many pages have you written so far, 10? I probably need to reserve a day to read it all when you are finished. :) Don’t dilly dally too long, am anxious to see how much of a blasting I’m going to receive. :)


Von Says:

naresh: ****”Andy lost in straight sets to Davydenko..maybe he could’nt get over the emotions after finally beating Federer. this is the 1st time that Andy has lost to Davydenko..2008 madness continues !!”****

How are you? I missed you for a while – 3 months? Am glad to see you’re back. Don’t stay away for that long again. Did that uproar in India cause any problems for you and your family?

You’re so correct about that let down from Andy. He needed an extra day. It’s amazing how the mind can just close us down after we achieve the prize for which we have striven for what seems to be an eternity. For 4 years Andy had those emotuions bottled up inside of him. I bet he is still thinking it’s a dream. In some small way, Davy will be feeling those same emotions — never winning a match against Roddick. I am very happy for both of them. They just have to get accustomed now to being winners again and handling the good times. :)


Skorocel Says:

To Von:

No, I’m not gonna blast you at all :) I’ve already learned that it’s not a wise thing to step into any verbal wars with an Amazon who really knows a thing or two about wielding an axe :) Mutual admiration society, isn’t it? :) But seriously, I hope you don’t mind this silly remark :) I just have to finish that letter, but ya know, there are SOOO MANY different topics which I somehow want to mention – I guess there’ll be not one but several carrier pigeons flying to Florida :)

Am I getting old? Wow! Such a “compliment” can go a long way :) But seriously, I forgot about those 2 Aussies, but ya know – Chris Guccione ain’t no Hewitt or Rafter (at least for now). Maybe another Wayne Arthurs? We’ll see…

Did you watch the entire A-Rod vs Fed match? I did (even though it was only a delayed broadcast)… Anyway, as you already know from my previous posts, I have a rather good memory for all those important points which occur in Fed’s matches, so it may sometimes seem as if I’m only mentioning his mistakes (and thus not praising his opponents). But don’t get me wrong – Andy played one helluva match, and to be honest, if I had to wish someone a win over Fed, it would be no one else but A-Rod. After all those sufferings which my man has caused him and his fans, it’s about time to show some mercy, isn’t it? :) As I’ve already said, Andy has already beaten all the Top 3 players in this season – and that’s NOT a fluke! Huh, what would Fed give for beating Djoker, Rafa, and Davy now!

Btw, did you watch the semis as well? I guess it must’ve been pretty humid outhere, isn’t it? When I watched the Nadal vs Berdych semi, the Czech looked like he was about to collapse in that 2nd set (the same for Blake in his match vs the Spaniard). Anyway, even though I would like to see a Berdych vs A-Rod final, I have to admit that the Spaniard impressed me a lot – be his fan or not… If the guy plays like this, well, I’m sure there won’t be any new name written on the Coupe des Mousquetaires in 2008…

As for A-Rod, well, too bad he can no longer win the whole thing (especially when you consider the fact that from now on, there’s only clay, clay, and clay till the mid-June), but still, a win over Fed’s not that bad of a result, is it? Anyway, I’ve just checked the official ATP website for his career results on the dirt – and to be honest, I’m more than surprised! 2 wins in Houston and Atlanta in 2001 (which maybe aren’t any top clay tourneys, but still, clay is a clay), then another win in Houston in 2002 (besides Pete Sampras, beating also a certain Argentine named Guillermo Coria, among others) and a semifinal in Rome (perhaps the most important clay tourney apart from RG), then a final in Houston in 2003 (losing to Agassi), win in St. Poelten (beating a certain Nikolay Davydenko in the finals), then once again a final in Houston in 2004 (only losing to his nemesis Tommy Haas), and then another win in Houston in 2005 + some scalps of former FO champions like Costa or Gaudio – well, not bad for a guy who according to many shouldn’t be a factor on clay, isn’t it? Anyway, tough to say whether he can produce something on the dirt this year, but as far as I know, the 2008 madness still continues, isn’t it? :)


Von Says:

Ben:

“Two quick points:
1) What’s up with Andy’s shirt? It’s like 2 sizes too big and he’s constantly tugging on it. Federer’s shirt appears tailored and is always perfectly in place, not covered in sweat, and you never see Roger adjusting any of his clothes.
2) Is Andy’s model fiancee attractive? sure. Are there 500,000 girls just a pretty or more so in every major metropolitan area? YES.

Is this the very best you can come up with regarding a “TENNIS” comment? Your perception that Roddick’s shirt is ‘ill-fitted”, and his fiancee is not the ‘fairest of the fair’ in the land? She’s just one of about 500,000 who are just as pretty, or maybe some are prettier? Good Lord, this is not just pitiful, it’s borderline infantile. It’s the sort of remarks I would expect to see or hear from a juvenile delinquent, not an adult on a tennis forum.

Before I go into my dissertation (and I call some of my posts dissertations, because I do write lengthy posts, sorry) on the Roddick/Fed comparison, please, pretty please, Fed fans, don’t take this personally, and my comments are not meant to insult Federer, I’m just being objective, which can cause some of you to take umbrage to my remarks. I actually like and respect some of you, and even enjoy exchanging posts with you, even though we do butt heads at times. Truthfully, he (Fed) is just an innocent aside in this exchange, but he was thrown into this topic by Ben, who has chosen to pick on Roddick making this a Roddick/Fed comparison. And, being a die-hard Roddick fan I can’t resist defending him and at the same time, feeling justified in responding. Nothing derogatory against Fed. :)

Back to the Roddick/Fed comparison. Fed used to wear more full and less fitted clothing prior to his Vogue hookup. They (Vogue) changed the material of the shirts to spandex, which holds shape and does make one look slimmer. The same goes for the shorts. His shorts are tailored and more form fitted. Let’s have some truthful objectivity here: Fed does not possess an athletic type body, neither is his posture/deportment, to make one do a take double take looksee. He needs help from his clothes to accentute the posiitive and detract from the negative. His arms and legs are very skinny, and sadly, his flat derriere is not enough to hold up the generic type tennis shorts that have some fullness. If he were to wear the regular tennis clothing, a medium size, it would just drape on him and would make him look absolutely shapeless, a straight up and down. Just in case some of you have not noticed, Fed has lost a lot of muscle mass within the last 2 years. Just compare a picture of him in ’04/05 to present, and you’ll see what I mean. Roddick does not need help with clothing, since he has all of the necessary physical attributes. He’s got some cute legs, so does Lleyton Hewitt.

Fed does not sweat much, but that’s just his metabolism. He’s one of a few athletes who’s like that. Borg was the same. In fact Borg’s pulse was so low, it was likened to someone in a coma. Does that make them superior to the other players, NO. Sweating in sports is a natural systemic response to exercise. It’s not a negative, it’s a positive, to get rid of the toxins that’s in our bodies. Athletes are supposed to sweat and look dishevelled, not prissy and proper.

You stated Roddick is always tugging at his shirt, well he needs some give in the shoulder area to serve. A fitted, in place shirt, like Fed’s would not work for Andy. What about Fed’s incessant, obsessive, compulsive fixing of his hair. He throws back his head, sticks his chin out, and just delicately fixes the hair that hangs over the edge of the bandana, and two seconds later the hair is just as it was before, status quo. He wears a bandana and yet he is forever fixing his locks. I find it amusing and similar to Sharapova’s routine fixing of the imaginary hair behind her ears, even though it’s held hack by hair clips. Fed’s hair fixing makes his androgynous traits very pronounced. But, we’ve all got them, even though it’s strange to see them so pronounced in an athlete — sort of effeminate.

Last, but not least, you speak about Roddick’s fiance being one of 500,000, females who are just as pretty. What has this got to do with Roddick’s tennis? Absolutely nothing. It’s his personal life, and that’s who he wants. By comparion, what about Fed’s girlfriend of 8 years, Mirka. She’s somewhat attractive, but not as pretty as Brooklyn Decker, and Mirka sits so very complacently in Fed’s box, sometimes seeming very disinterested, toying with her cell phone and chewing gum (a very juvenile habit) in front of 15,000 people in the stadium and millions on TV.

My point in all of this Ben, is that they each have their little quirks and idiosyncracies (Roddick and Fed), some are more pronounced and indulged in, than others. And, if we want to find fault, then let’s criticize the tennis they play, not their clothes or their fiance and girlfriend.

I know that I’ve probably angered many of you, but all’s fair in love and war. Don’t burst an artery or have a seizure when replying. :)


JCF Says:

Why did Roddick fire Connors?


Zola Says:

Jane,

It’s OK. I think I get defensive regarding Rafa.

You probably play tennis. Those movements are just warm ups, and Rafa has alwas said that he wants to be in his best shape during the match.

All the guys are big. Rafa with 6’3″ is like an average. he has big muscles, but so does Ginepri or Blake. The intimidation factor is in the “way ” Rafa plays. Never gives up. Doesn’t get tired, gets many balls back….

Anyway, this is done. Let’s see what happens tomorrow. I hope he can win.

**hugs to you and Skorocel***


Von Says:

Zola:

I want my hug too. I said, “I think I can, I think I can.” That’s what the litte engine said. :) Hug to you and a bear hug to RAfa. :)


Zola Says:

Von
**Big hugs to you** for all your nice words. :)
Let’s hope Rafa can win that trophy tomorrow! Come on RAfa! You can do it!


naresh Says:

hey Von, alls well here ! yeah, i’ve been travelling like crazy these past few months cause of my work, but hey.. can’t stay away from all the tennis madness this year, can i !!

Seems like all the ATP players have decided to make a change this year..including Roger lol !!

Nadals really burning right now..i don’t think i’ve seen him play this good for a while now, but Davy seems hungry too. He’s not had a podium finish since rome last year, where he lost to none other than street fighter Nadal !

But this is not clay, it’s hard court. Nadals gonna try and spin and bounce the ball high. Davy’s gonna try and take the ball early and whip it with that racquet head speed he has.

I predict this match to go all the way..thats all i can predict !!!


jane Says:

Zola,

“Let’s see what happens tomorrow. I hope he can win.

**hugs to you and Skorocel***”

Thanks – you’re such a kind poster, and always fair – just like RAfa!

Vamos!


Von Says:

naresh:

“hey Von, alls well here ! yeah, i’ve been travelling like crazy these past few months cause of my work, but hey.. can’t stay away from all the tennis madness this year, can i !!”

No, you absolutly can’t stay away, it’s like a drug to us the fanatical tennis fans. I’m so happy to hear that all’s well with you and your family. When I read the news that day about the upheaval in India, I said a silent prayer for you and your family, and after you stopped posting, well I became really concerned. But, now here you are and we’re just seeing the best tennis year unfolding in front of our eyes. This is just great, and I’m so ecstactic that I can be a part of it. I look forward to reading more posts from you. :)


Von Says:

Skorocel:

“No, I’m not gonna blast you at all I’ve already learned that it’s not a wise thing to step into any verbal wars with an Amazon who really knows a thing or two about wielding an axe.”

Well, I’m relieved you’re not going to blast me in those emails that you’re sending me. An “Amazon” Skorocel, oh my God, you’re really something else. I’m just smiling reading this post again. It conjures up in my mind a Geronimo type with a huge axe about to strike. You’re so funny. :) I won’t grow old with you around to make me laugh — laughter being the best medicine,

I watched the A-Rod v. Fed match in its entirety and was proud of Andy and the way he conducted himself. Someone else, who had just earned a win over an opponent who beat him 12 straight times would have probably done cartwheels, but not my guy, he was ever so gracious and I could see a hard lump in his throat and it seemed that all the pent-up pain and humuliation over the last 4 years just drained away. It was a tall order to come back and win the next day, considering Davy just had a 2 setter, where he played about 20 games amnd A-Rod had to log 3 setters from his first round to the Fed match. Apparently, he got to sleep late that night, and Davy was well rested. It would have been good if he had an extra day off. But that’s all history now and I dislike post mortems. So that’s it for me.

Thanks for the indepth information on A-Rod’s successes on clay. He can play on clay, it’s just a matter of him not wanting to travel. But he’ll have to play on clay if he wantss to move up in the rankings. This is the best time to get moving, since the top 3 have so many points to defend. Davy helped Fed keep his No. 1 ranking a few more weeks longer by beating Nadal. 125 points is 125 points and can make a big difference in the race. That should get your brain churning and figuring out how to keep Fed at the top. You’re a true Fed fanatic. I love A-Rod, but I’m not that fanatical about where he’s positioned in the top 10, but no, I lied, at least if he stays in the top 8, so that he can play at the MC. Now that’s not asking too much is it?

You stated you had so much to write about, and I know just how much you can write,– but look who’s talking. Did you take a good look at the Florida scenery like I told you to do in my last email? It’s beautiful isn’t it. But it can be brutally hot also. I love it. Everything is just lush and green and the water so blue and clear – I’m in heaven. What a pity you’re in the cold. Put some extra blankets on.

Davis Cup is right here. The guys will have to go from Florida to NC and practice. The court is the one they used last year to beat Spain. The Bryans just won their first doubles title for this year. I was getting so worried about them not being able to step things up. But they have done it. I hope Blake’s knees are doing better. James has been having serious knee problems. I’m surprised he got to the QFs at Miami. If you looked closely at this movement, he was definitely slower and could not get to the balls. it wasn’t a mental collapse. it was a knee collapse. I just hope he can pull through this time.

OK that’s it for me. I’ll keep an eye out for yout emails. Be good, if not be careful. :)


Skorocel Says:

To Von:

I maybe didn’t understand your post correctly, but did you mean me as a Geronimo? An Indian leader? I’m honored :), because in reality I would have some serious problems to just chop a tree, not to even mention an Amazon like you :)

But seriously, I hope you’re not offended by that “Amazon wielding an axe” thing… As far as I remember, it was (well, you know who) who first said this about you (ehm, except he didn’t call you an Amazon :) ), but unfortunately, I just can’t remember the exact reading of that post… Therefore, if you felt rather uneasy with his original comment, I’m deeply apologizing… As far as I understood it, he was just pointing out at some of your posts which were rather emotional, and you know, since I too had the chance to be on the receiving end of one such post, I found his comment rather succint…

Fed maniac? Well, after reading my posts for some 4 months, it may sound to you as a weak word, isn’t it? :) But anyway, I hope the guy can keep that No. 1 ranking at least till the US hardcourts (seems like a nightmare for you, isn’t it? :) ), since I just can’t see him finishing the year as the No. 1 ranked player if he plays like this…

I’ve watched today’s final live (only the 2nd set, though), and was very impressed by Davy. The guy maybe seems so skinny and thin, but boy, can he bang that ball hard! Not that I wouldn’t wish Rafa a title, but ya know, 150 points less is 150 points less :)

Interesting, that “dissertation” about Fed’s clothes :) What did you mean by that “Vogue hookup”? I mean, as far as I know, Fed’s clothes are Nike, not Vogue :) Or does Vogue at times collaborate with Nike? You know, I’m not quite into this “fashion” things, so please, bring some light into this :)

I’ve just watched some highlights from that TMC 2004 final between Fed and Hewitt, and I have to say the guy indeed looked somewhat “more muscular” (or better said, stronger) than now… Could this be a result of that mono (or better said, “duo”) which he had since 2006? :)

Believe or not, but I too find that hair adjusting rather comical and unnecessary… But let’s be serious, comparing Fed to Shriekapova doesn’t make any sense – he’s much faster in between the points. I bet even you (as a “renowned” anti-Fed :) ) will have to give him credit for this :), won’t you?

P.S. Speaking about those delays between the points which Shriekapova usually does, I’ve read one article where a certain fan mentioned that the ATP and WTA should try an experiment with placing 25 s time counters on the tennis courts (just as they do with those 24 s counters in basketball) :) What do you think about it? No offense to anyone, but had the ATP and WTA agreed on this, I can clearly imagine someone fuming at their decision :)


Von Says:

Skorocel:

“I maybe didn’t understand your post correctly, but did you mean me as a Geronimo? An Indian leader?”

No, not you as an Indian leader. My reference to Geronimo had nothing whatsoever to do with you or me. It’s just a picture of that formidable Indian flashed through my mind and I found it hunorous that you would even think of me as an Amazon. But I suppose that I do give people the impression, from my writing, that I’m somewhat of an axe wielder. But you should know by now from my emails that I’m not actually an Amazon. Also, I’m not offended by it at all, and you should also know that I have a great sense of humor.

“The guy maybe seems so skinny and thin, but boy, can he bang that ball hard!”

Don’t know if you saw that one return when he returned Andy’s serve that he (Davy) was shaking out his hand afterwards. I suppose he didn’t actually realize the power behind it Andy”s serve.

“What did you mean by that “Vogue hookup”? I mean, as far as I know, Fed’s clothes are Nike, not Vogue.”

Yes, Nike makes Fed’s clothes, but he is advised by the Vogue fashion consultants as to style, cut, etc. Nike will custom make the players’ clothing to their specifications as long as the Nike logo is embossed on the finished product.

“and I have to say the guy indeed looked somewhat “more muscular” (or better said, stronger) than now. Could this be a result of that mono (or better said, “duo”) which he had since 2006?”

I don’t think it’s the mono that has made him lose muscle mass. It was a gradual thing and it could probably be a change of diet or less ingestion of muscle supplements, etc. Whatever it is, he does appear to have lost about 1/3 of the muscle mass he once had. But that’s just my feeling. I could be way off mark, but that’s how it looks to me.

“Believe or not, but I too find that hair adjusting rather comical and unnecessary…But let’s be serious, comparing Fed to Shriekapova doesn’t make any sense -”

I don’t mean the time he takes between serves to fix his hair like the Shrieka does, I just mean that he seems obsessed with fixing his hair, period. When he’s waiting for the other player to serve, he does it and it’s more pronounced then because one can’t help looking at him. That hair thing started with the Vogue affilliation also. It seems that he has finally realized that he can play tennis and look glamorous. But seriously, I just detest men fixing their hair like that, especially in public.

“I’ve read one article where a certain fan mentioned that the ATP and WTA should try an experiment with placing 25 s time counters on the tennis courts (just as they do with those 24 s counters in basketball)”

I wholeheartedly agree that some type of stop watch with a loud sound should go off after the 25 seconds are up — that should give the offenders a good jolt. I think it will awaken them or give them a jump start, as they seem to just fall into a trance. :)

Next week will be a boring week – absolutely devoid of tournaments, but we in the US have our Davis Cup tiew with France and i’m looking forward to it. This is the best time weather wise – Spring in the US, except that this year it was unusaually hot in Miami. It’s usualyy somewhere in the 70s, but last week it was more like summer. Bye, Bye, I’ve answered all of your questions. Be good …. . :)


FoT Says:

Wow, now Roger is getting dinged for his hair! lol!

Well, as a ‘female’, I just love his hair and his clothes (not to also mention his tennis). But Roger looks so stylist out there on court. Over at the ATP site, there is a video from other players answering the question as to what player they think looks good out to the court (meaning clothing wise)… just about all the players said Federer. They like his classic style on the court and they also like the way he dresses off court.

I do too. He never looks like he’s messy or his clothing is too big (like Roddick continuously pulls his sleeves up), or Safin’s shirt seems to always be on a little cross… But Roger just looks – well, pot together.

Now on his health. I read that when Roger got sick he lost 12 pounds. This is from someone who could not stand to lose 12 pounds as he was already thin to start with. I watched tapes of Roger from previous years and compared them to this year and he definitely is thinner this year. But I think it’s getting better. He looked like he’s put on a little more weight when I watched him in Miami. He said he’s just about 95% back to where he wants to be, so I think he’ll be ok the rest of the year.


nathan b Says:

well it is about time that some actualy takes fed to the shed bc the guys is just an amazing tennis player and we all no that he is the best tennis player in the world when he broke rafas 81 clay court streak i had thought that he would of taken that grandslam right there but what the us needs to do is let the usa tennis pros like andy and james and mardy and more we need to give them all a break and let them see that we believe and they need to start believing that they can ein also but hands up for our num. 1 usaa player for final showing roger how it is done but i dont think it will take very long till roger is back on top thank you for your time

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