Davydenko Keeps Winning Despite Persecution, Struggles
by Richard Vach | April 6th, 2008, 2:18 pm
  • 96 Comments

It wasn’t the dream final for tournament organizers or American fans, but Russian Nikolay Davydenko made a statement on Sunday by capturing the biggest title of his career at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami.


Andy Roddick, who American fans continue to vilify each time he falls short of challenging the top triumvirate of world No. 1 Roger Federer, No. 2 Rafael Nadal, and No. 3 Novak Djokovic, fell in the semifinals to Davydenko after upsetting Federer in the quarters. Davydenko’s 6-4, 6-2 dismantling of Nadal in the final took some of the sting out of Roddick’s loss in retrospect as the Russian flexed his superior court muscle against the muscle-bound Nadal.

“I could not have played better because he was just too good,” Nadal said following the final.

Davydenko fought off a match point in an earlier-round match, and was 0-5 versus Roddick entering their semifinal meeting. Entering Miami, Davydenko switched to a different version of his racquet with a denser string bed, which allowed him to take huge cuts at the ball while maintaining control. The Russian ate Nadal’s whippy groundstrokes for lunch in the final, pounding winners from all corners of the court.

It is ironic as, behind the scenes, Davydenko is the last player ATP officials wanted to see on the podium in the international spotlight lifting the Miami trophy. The ATP has been doing its best to find evidence that Davydenko has been involved in match fixing after the Russian was involved in a match where he retired in the third set, but Russian betters had placed millions in wages on his opponent AFTER Davydenko had won the first set.

The ATP’s investigation has gone on for over a year, and according to the Davydenko camp, has crossed the line from investigation to harassment, with no evidence produced from the ATP. He has also spoke publicly about the ATP being perhaps out to get him, and that maybe they’d like to make room in the Top 10 for another [more marketable] star. To his credit, Davydenko has used the controversy to fuel his competitive fire, as opposed to Martina Hingis, who claimed she was innocent after a positive drug test for cocaine but promptly retired.

Davydenko is the antithesis of the suave Federer or the handsome frat-boy appeal of Roddick. The balding Russian, while a fixture in the Top 10, is shunned by the major clothing manufacturers, and his choppy (but much-improved) English frequently makes him a stoic, personality-challenged interview (also improving).

In the end the day in both result and spirit goes to Davydenko, who many due to the weight of evidence have already judged guilty of the match-fixing charge, which would certainly be an end to his career. But through pressure from various entities, the ATP could stop dragging its feet and come out with a decision in the next few months.

Davydenko made some new fans via the Miami final coverage with his determined play, his gracious demeanor and his “I only have one racquet” underdog story. If his name is cleared of the match-fixing accusations, with a second Masters Series title under his belt and his sponsor appeal on the increase, it could be a new era for the under-the-radar Russian.


Also Check Out:
Nikolay Davydenko: The Fans May Miss Nadal But Not The Players
Davydenko Plays Down Chances Against Nadal at Barcelona
Now Removed From The Top 10, Nikolay Davydenko Doesn’t Feel The Same Pressure, So He Just Feeds The Media B.S.
Roger Federer: I Once Won 24 Straight Finals, Now I’m Losing More Than Winning Them, But It’s OK
Marin Cilic: The Next Indian Wells Champion?

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96 Comments for Davydenko Keeps Winning Despite Persecution, Struggles

sensationalsafin Says:

I’ll admit that it’s hard to like Davydenko because he doesn’t seem to have much of a personality, positive or negative. But I love his game. It’s compact and swift and his court positioning is perfect. He makes tennis look fun and easy with his perfet on the rise shots. Only problem is he sucks at net but he did well today. He doesn’t have the same appeal as Agassi but his game is very very similar and it’s a great game.


roki Says:

I like it too. Pure and simple tennis. Just like that. Bravo :D


MariaP Says:

He’s got that magic racket. Can’t be beat. Until a string breaks.


jane Says:

Davy got some revenge on the ATP today – almost expected them to come onto the court after the trophy presentation and take him away in handcuffs – LOL.

In all seriousness though, he did deserve the win. He played better than Rafa today and he dominated by attacking every ball.

However, I don’t agree with Rafa’s comment that he “could not have played better” because I’ve seen Rafa play better on hardcourts than he did today. Davy did a good job of pushing Rafa back, but Rafa made more unforced errors than he should have.

Davy will be a factor on clay – he’s pushed Nadal on that surface before. I am sure the other players will be waking up to that fact soon.


FoT Says:

Good win for Davydenko but who knows what’s going to happen with him on clay. I’ve seen him play great one week – lose first round the next (sounds like Djokovic!) lol! But with the way tennis has gone this year, you don’t know who is going to win from one week to the next and I don’t like it. I loved it when the #1 player dominated (yes I’m a Federer fan). I want those times to come back. lol! I’m selfish. lol!


sensationalsafin Says:

Idk what Nadal meant exactly, but TODAY there wasn’t anything Nadal could’ve done. He started the match decent but someone said before the match that Nadal would have to be 120% against Davydenko and he wasn’t. And Davydenko played a smart match by attacking Rafa’s backhand so much because it was very subpar today. Nadal without a doubt is capable of much better tennis, but he didn’t play really bad, he just didn’t play good enough to throw off Davydenko.

Today, it didn’t look like Nadal could do anything. Like it’s not fair to say Davydenko beat Nadal even though Nadal was playing great or something. He beat him in a fair match in which Nadal could’ve won if a few break points had gone his way. But for some reason Nadal just left the match after he failed to go up a break in the first set. It’s funny to me every time Carillo says “How often do you see Nadal with so little energy and emotion?” Every time he’s losing. Same thing happened against Tsonga and Djokovic and Youzhny and Federer and even Ferrer. He has days like today in which he plays good but not great, so average. And those players can really hurt him on average days and he seems to give up.


Tam (TD) Says:

quote-”Andy Roddick, who American fans continue to vilify each time he falls short of challenging the top triumvirate of world.”

tennis-X has been drinking the Roddick haterade for years ever since he first came on the scene. That’s a crime and shame.


Von Says:

Zola:

Sorry about RAfa. I had a bad feeling about Davy v. Rafa, after Davy pushed Andy back behinfd the baseline consistently. His court positioning was excellent v. Roddick and he took time away from Roddick by pushing him behind the baseline. Davy did to Rafa what he did to Andy, he dictated play and took their time away. Not much one can do about that sort of strategy, unless they are prepared to play within themselves, and be the one dictating play. Andy was very sure of Davy’s game, I guess so sure that he probably never bothered to view the tapes of Davy’s previous matches to see if Davy changed any strategy. (The Tipsy match was a batting practice for Davy.) That’s being too over confident. I suppose Rafa may have made a similar error. In law, when one is aganst an adversary, we review all of his recent wins to see what new technicalities he’s been using to win and believe me there’s always one or two points to ponder and find an answer. My point is: Do your homework, take nothing for granted, and be the attacker, not the attacked, or else there will be one helluva surprise and/or let down.


Von Says:

TD:

Roddick makes headlines. In a very sick way, it’s a backsided compliment. But I have a question for the media and for those who dislike him or love to just poke fun at him for the hell of it: Is there anything that Roddick does good, or is there any good in him, even a smidgen? The guy got engaged, he didn’t take a poll as to who’s the most attractive young woman in the land, and there was a post stating that there are at least 500,000 young women just as pretty or even prettier than her. This is some wierd world, and it has some very disjointed people. More power to them.


johnnhoj Says:

I don’t think it’s American fans who are vilifying Roddick. Roddick has been kinda like Rocky Balboa to American fans of late (did ya see the Roderer match?). It’s media’s game of continuing to try to influence public opinion by postulating certain views and falsely righteous presumptions, expecting people to jump onboard. They skim over the surface as if that’s all she wrote and never seem to take into account the workmanlike efforts put forth by players at various times throughout the course of a season, making significant progressions. The thing is, media is looking for the latest big-time sensation. Fans are fans and nobody’s gonna change their feelings for certain players but themselves.

This is obvious. I don’t think I really needed to post this, but here it is.


roki Says:

It is not like that. More then a half of Nadal errors were just the opposite of unforced error they were FORCED errors, and Nadal is not capable to get back in the match on hard when he has opponent in the zone like Nikolaj today.
Interesting is one thing i got to see is that Nadal waited for second serves on the same place where he waits for the first well behind the baseline. Either he was well stunned and confused by remarkable percentage and aggressiveness of Nikolajs both backhand and forehand. But i have not seen Nadal so disoriented like that.
Maybe against Tsonga but i did not seen it.
Well done.
Blake should won in qf, i dont know why he did not :)
I did not see him loose tonight but Hey, i dont like he s game so i am satisfied with the turn of the things :D


Richard Says:

From now on, I’m going to turn the sound way down when Mary Carillo and scorekeeper Bill “Goodness!” McAfee are on. As Davydenko was about to win a great upset, she declares he won’t be known for his record, but for the gambling investigation. First, there’s no evidence he took a dive; second, he lost early several times back then, because of (I think)a foot injury; third, why would a top five millionaire risk his career at a minor tournament; fourth, if the Russian mafia threatened his fiance, brother, or him,wouldn’t that rattle him enough to lose? It would me. And the tournament was over there. Sports gambling is big business in Europe, Eastern Europe and Russia. I think maybe that’s what was behind Floyd Landis’ being discredited — too many stood to lose a lot when he came in first.

Carillo gabs too much, frequently through points, and her wit is getting tiresome. On Sunday, she even compared tennis to the Academy Awards. She did come up with one good one, though — “Ah, this is crazy good!” And it was. But she still had to brand Davydenko. Doesn’t know when to shut up.


johnnhoj Says:

Davydenko is justifying his ranking position with a big win here. It’s easy to sometimes forget his steady record in important tournaments over the last 3 to 4 years (had to look some of them up again), making numerous quarterfinal and semifinal appearances, not including smaller tournament titles or his heavily-loaded schedule over the season:

Austraian Open: QF (2005, 2006, 2007)
French Open: SF (2005, 2007) QF (2006)
Wimbledon: no significant progress
U.S. Open: SF (2006, 2007)
Masters Cup: SF (2005)
MS Indian Wells: no significant progress
MS Miami: WIN (2008)
MS Monte Carlo: QF (2004)
MS Rome: SF (2007)
MS Hamburg: SF (2005) QF (2006)
MS Canada: QF (2007)
MS Cincinatti: SF (2007) QF (2005)
MS Madrid: no significant progress
MS Paris: WIN (2006) QF (2005)

This MS title made up for his wife’s shopping spree in Palm Springs (IW), too!


Von Says:

Don’t know where to post this, but this is just as good as any other thread – so here goes.

CONGRATS to Serena who put a good beat down on Jankovic. And, CONGRATS to the Bryan brothers, who won their first doubles title for this year. Pity A-Rod could not have made it an all-American Miami sweep. But two (2) outa three (3) ain’t bad at all, by any stretch of the imagination. The stars ‘n stripes is still flying. I’m proud of you guys. :)


SG Says:

Davydenko played a little better than he actually is today. This has happened to more than one player through the years. He had his rut in round one and played better and better from that point forward. Kudos to the guy for a great couple of weeks. After a pretty rough year, this was exactly what the doctor ordered for him.

Watching ‘Denko play both Roddick & Nadal, I was struck by just how flat, early and deep he was hitting the ball. It doesn’t seem that Roddick or Nadal are capable of hitting through a hard court with the kind of crispness that Davydenko does. Nadal & Roddick generate a lot of spin, not much penetration. For Davydenko, it’s second nature. He also seems capable of hitting crisp angle shots from the baseline.

The truth is, Roddick has to serve out his mind to go deep into tournaments. And if those 1st serves start to get returned, and he gets into a rally with a superior baseliner like Davydenko, he will lose. The reason he lost so many to Fed was because of Fed’s ability to neutralize his serve.

As for Nadal, his game is not much different than it has been the last couple of years. He also needs to take a look in the mirror. If you stand still, you eventually fall behind. His game needs to grow he needs the ability to flatten out the ball if he is going to get better and threaten in the US Open and on hardcourts.

Even Davydenko has to improve his net game. His inability to handle Federer is symptomatic of not being able to keep the points shorter. he has the ground game to challenge peak Federer. He does not have the all court game required to beat him.


Graham Says:

Everyone involved in tennis betting (i bet the sport for a living) knows Davydenko is corrupt as the day is long so i find this result a very dark day for Tennis. This guy has been taking the mickey out of the sport in the lower level tournaments for the past 2-3 years – Sopot was just the tip of the iceberg. There have been numerous other losses in strange circumstances and with accompanying suspicious betting patterns. Hes a great player on his day granted. But why is that day reserved for the odd match in big tournaments? The sooner this guy is out of tennis the better. He does nothing for the sport at all apart from travel the world like a nomad playing every week taking as much money as he can.


Susan Says:

I do agree that Davydenko is certainly suspect for all the allegations against him. Hopefully all truths will come out. As for today, it’s hard to say he didn’t play remarkably. His old style or comfort zone of the game was adjusted with great results so Bravo. I have one thing on my mind though. Remember all the tournaments that Kafelnokof (spelling) played in??? He was a work horse. I beleive that Davydenko is also trying to play in as many for the purses. Would there be any chance that playing so much made the differnce in his level during those “suspect” matches??? I’m intersted in views. Thanks.


Naydal Says:

Roddick is more often than not a disrespectful prick on the tennis court – THAT is why many people don’t like him. Connors seemed to bring this side out of him even more. People forget that American fans disliked Connors for most of his career. In fact, Connors basically got booed of the tennis court in the final at Forest Hill one year. All people remember, however, is that last run at Flushing Meadows…


Skorocel Says:

To Graham:

Even if the guy’s guilty, then he certainly WOULDN’T be the first (and the last) one… Or shall I give you away some other names? The fact is: match fixing in tennis (and other sports) has been here EVER SINCE the first betting agency opened – but of course, the mighty ATP and WTA are acting as if they “didn’t” know about anything till the Sopot 2007 tournament…


lines Says:

Nadal’s serves prolly looked slow to Davy after playing against a super-sharp Roddick. He was early on every shot.

Does anyone else think Nadal should play american hardcourt tourneys in shorts and a collar shirt. I think it would help him, as he is a very psychological/emotional player. It MUST feel uncomfortable to play here wearing that crazy outfit because so many people look at him like he is from outer space. But, maybe he likes that. He is still very young, and it sure is entertaining to watch him. Soooo much raw talent! Too bad he didnt approach the net once today… ahem…

Anyway, here’s hoping he has another perfect clay court season! :)


Tam (TD) Says:

quote SG-”the truth is, Roddick has to serve out his mind to go deep into tournaments.”

Interestingly enough it was Davydenko who had to serve out of his mind in order to win Miami. Coincidence?

quote Naydal-”Roddick is more often than not a disrespectful prick on the tennis court – THAT is why many people don’t like him.”

Roddick has shown nothing but respect for his opponents OFF the court and that’s what matters most in life.

quote Von-”CONGRATS to Serena who put a good beat down on Jankovic. And, CONGRATS to the Bryan brothers, who won their first doubles title for this year. Pity A-Rod could not have made it an all-American Miami sweep. But two (2) outa three (3) ain’t bad at all, by any stretch of the imagination. The stars ‘n stripes is still flying. I’m proud of you guys.”

Have I told you lately that I love your posts? It’s such a pleasure to see other fans of the Americans instead of people berating them all of the time. I’ve always felt like the odd (wo)man out on other boards but there seem to plenty of like minded individuals posting here. :)


Zola Says:

Von,
thanks for your nice words. I had a bad feeling too. I had the same feeling before Ferrer match in US Open.

I know Davydenko is under investigation. But that has nothing to do with this match. Neither should be used as sympathy for Davydenko or as something to attack him. Today he won because he played better. he pushed Rafa to the back of the court and played his game. Rafa did not. I am very sad and it is still in my mind. But Davydenko deserved to win.

nevertheless, Rafa had a fantastic two weeks. Rolled over his old nemeses, beating three of them in a row. I would have been happy with just one of those wins. He reached the semi in one and the final in the other. I hope he can play great against Germany with his team and then on clay and wimbledon. The clay season is very brutal this year and I hope Rafa can get past this period with minimum injury.

Win or lose, I like Rafa. He is a great sportsman and a precious human being. Vamos RAfa! all the time!


Zola Says:

btw,
Von, only my first sentecne ( the thanking) is directed at you. The rest of my post is general comments after reading some of the comments here. I forgot to separate the two!


Tejuz Says:

Davy played a great match.. infact his last couple of matches were great. No wonder he has been Top 5 for last 3 years. He is also under-rated cuz of his inablity to beat Nadal or Fed. But not many have that distinction either. He had come close to beating Federer on a few occasions and his nerves let him down then. He could be a threat on clay as well. I like his game better than that of Djoker, but personality-wise he falls short.

Anyway.. am glad he won… after reachin endless QF and SFs these last few years.. especially a tournament where all the top-3 played(The Paris victory in 2006 dint have top players in the draw)


Zola Says:

Sean,
I just realized you had picked Rafa to win the tournament!

So, it was YOU!. :)

I am going to register in a betting site and use your predictions ( just opposite of them) to make millions of dollasrs !

Please , please , please, don’t predict any wins or rankings for RAfa anymore! :)


Zola Says:

Tejuz,
I agree that Davydenko has always played very well. His matches with Rafa in Rome and shanghai were close. I have read that he had a couple of close matches with Federer too. He has been 3 or 4 for ages. He is not as handsome or charismatic as Safin, but he is consistent. He needs a good clothing advisor. That’s it.
I like it that he is laid back and reserved and doesn’t take things for granted. I am very disappointed at Rafa’s loss, although I know it is a game and Rafa has a tough season ahead of him, etc. etc….but after 12 hours, a crappy movie, tons of discussions with other fans , it is still on my mind. Although I discovered that the real reason was not Davydenko’s fantastic play or Rafa’s absence on the court, but predictions by a certain writer that always come tru, but on the opposite side! . :)

Hopefully Rafa can put this defeat behind and concentrate on the clay season. There are losts of positives for Rafa to take away from IW and Miami.


Dr. Death Says:

We have had a great run of postings this past month. I do find it amazing that different people see the same player so differently, i.e., Roddick’s behaviour on the the court.

Lines – Actually those pants are quite comfortable and sleveless shirts pull less on the lats when one is built like Rafa.

As to gambling etc., show me the smoking gun. Everything else is b.s.

Here’s to the Clay season!


LordMacGregor Says:

Excellent match by Davydenko.
After 3-3, in the first set, Nadal never got any chance.

Nadal hasn’t won any tournament since Stuttgart in July, and he hasn’t won on hardcourt since IW 2007. So there was some true in the article Nadal will never n°1. Except that I might be. Nadal need an excellent clay season and Federer an average clay season.

We will see what Heaven got in store.


Branimir Says:

Top 3 watch out. Davydenko is coming. Davy played such amazing tennis in the final. It is not fair to say that Nadal played his best, because he didn’t, but Davy played magnificent.
If he gives this kind of performances in the future, he will be very tough for top3 on all surfaces. Don’t forget that Davy can play brilliant on clay.


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

boring final
sean randall jinxes everybody with his picks


MMT Says:

I think they way the ATP and the tennis media have treated Davydenko is disgraceful. If they have evidence against him, then they should come forward, if they don’t, they should exonerate him.

From phony “lack of effort” penalties to a long drawn out fruitless investigation, he is well within his rights to flip the tennis world the bird today.

For those who are so certain that there’s anything to this match-fixing investigation/witchhunt/scapegoating (Graham) feel free to divulge your evidence if you have any.


SG Says:

Tam (TD) Says:

“Roddick has shown nothing but respect for his opponents OFF the court and that’s what matters most in life.”

I don’t want to play the role of Darth Vader here. I really do respect players who bring a genuine sense of sportsmanship to the table. Let’s face it though. Roddick isn’t exactly Mats Wilander or Stefan Edberg. He doesn’t win like they did and he doesn’t really behave as well as them either.

Pro sports is largely about winning. I think that Andy’s early success has stunted his growth from the point of how his game developed. Lleyton Hewitt was the best player in the world when Andy made his splash. The ante has been upped quite a bit since then ( aka Rafa and Fed). On days when he serves huge, he can play anyone tough. Once that weapon is neutralized, the rest of his game is not complete enough. Beating a less than perfect Fed doesn’t mean Andy is about to turn it on and dominate. Davydenko overpowered him and took away his time from the baseline, on what is suppose to be Andy’s best surface. I ‘ll have to see more from Roddick before I jump on the bandwagon.


ferix Says:

What is it about americans that they feel they must have the number 1 player in the world for every sport in the world?

The fact is, Andy Roddick is a great, great player. He is a grand slam winner. He is a three time grand slam finalist. He is a dual wimbledon finalist. He was year end world no. 1. He won the davis cup for his country. If it wasn’t some Swiss freak, he would no doubt have multiple grand slam titles. He began a charity foundation before he finished his teen years. He is a personality and brings entertainment and attracts fans for this sport.

I can’t believe those people who claim Andy Roddick is anything but a winner!

Pftt.. American arrogance.


tenski Says:

I thought the final was great, but I have a question for the real addicts on the board.

It seemed that Davy had a lot of xcourt winners that were set up by more or less down the center rallies. Both Fed and Nadal set up their down the line winners with xcourt rallies. Is this a strategy that Davy came up with to beat the Fed and Nadal down the line winners?


Dr. Death Says:

Tenski – very good observation. Cross court rallies are the norm for modern singles. Then Fed and Rafa take the short balls and pound them down the line. Both are capable of taking short balls and hitting wide angles x court as well. The latter is most difficult for “normal” players like us. So the former strategy is the way to go. One has about five feet of extra court going x court on rallies. Taking the short ball down the line just requires a lot of practice.

Davy is probably playing a variation of that theme. Hitting to the center, hard and flatter than some, cuts off the angles. I would reckon these are very deep shots to the center eliciting a short ball (or a ball he can volley?) which must come back near the center of Davy’s side. From there, he can pound it where he wants x court and still have more of a margin for error. He is probably more comfortable with this sort approach.

All good strategies for us to learn.


Von Says:

TD: Your post : ***”Von, Have I told you lately that I love your posts? It’s such a pleasure to see other fans of the Americans instead of people berating them all of the time. I’ve always felt like the odd (wo)man out on other boards but there seem to plenty of like minded individuals posting here.”

Thanks TD. I love your spunky posts too. We sound like a mutul admiration society. Skorocel: Are you reading, this is a perfect example of what I tried to explain in my emails to you about MAS.

TD: First, are you male ore female? — A little confusing where you put the (wo) in parens. You have my empathy about the berating of Americans on this and other tennis sites. I used to become very upset and am not ashamed to say, became very emotional and sobbed my heart/eyes out because of the anti-American posts and some were extremely cruel. But, experience is the best teacher. I’m glad to say, they don’t make me cry or back down anymore. I’ve leart how to fight back, and some can’t handle that. (Skorocel has been on the receiving end of one of my rather heated, emotional posts. Hence, my advice to you, keep on fighting. Be proud of who you are — many would love to have that privilege. Here’s to you and all of the Americans who fight with us.

God Bless the USA, by Lee Greenwood

If tomorrow all the things were gone
I’d worked for all my life,
And I had to start again
with just my children and my wife,
I’d thank my lucky stars
to be living here today,
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom
and they can’t take that away.
I’m proud to be an American
where at least I know I’m free,
And I won’t forget the men who died
who gave that right to me,
And I gladly stand up next to you
and defend her still today,
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land
God Bless the U.S.A.

Hooray, for the stars ‘n stripes, may God bless it to keep on flying!!!


Von Says:

ferix:

Youstated: “The fact is, Andy Roddick is a great, great player. He is a grand slam winner. He is a three time grand slam finalist. He is a dual wimbledon finalist. He was year end world no. 1. He won the davis cup for his country. If it wasn’t some Swiss freak, he would no doubt have multiple grand slam titles. He began a charity foundation before he finished his teen years. He is a personality and brings entertainment and attracts fans for this sport.”

I can’t believe those people who claim Andy Roddick is anything but a winner! Pftt.. American arrogance.”

Thank you ferix, this is how I feel about Andy’s tennis accomplishmnets, and his achievements as a young man. There are those, not just Americans, as is evidenced by some of the posts on this site, who want perfection. It ain’t gonna happen people. He’s only human and is not on the ballot for sainthood cannonization, but he’lll be on the first ballot for the Internation Tennis Hall of Fame. You don’t like him, that’s fine, leave it at that, minus the semantics and oratorios. We get your drift.

SG: “Beating a less than perfect Fed doesn’t mean Andy is about to turn it on and dominate.”

Believe or it, I do respect you and some of your posts, but I suppose according to you, Andy beat a less than perfect Fed. Know what SG, it’s people like you sho make me angry. So now Andy has to live under this Fed mono shadow that he didn’t beat Fed fair and square, Fed was under the weather. You’re entitlled to your opinion, of course, but it sounds more to me like sour grapes, even though you always state you’re not a Fed fan, so what’s your point? Then I guess, Djoko, Murray, Mardy, Gonzo, and Now Andy, all beat a less than perfect Fed. Tell me SG, when will Fedx ever be perfect? Only when he wins?

MMT: Same goes for you, re your Amen to SG’s post.

From what I have read from both of your psat posts, you don’t like Roddick, and he’ll NEVER do anything commendable in your eyes. But that’s Ok with me and Andy’s fans, we love mediocre one-dimensional tennis. Can’t wait to see another Roddick one-dimensional tennis match.


SG Says:

Von,

Andy came up short against peak Davydenko, not a peak Federer. I think it’s pretty obvious that Fed is not the Fed of 12 or 18 months ago. If you doubt that, you’re in a bit of denial. I am not a Fed fan. Never have been, never will be. But, IMO, the only guy on the planet that can challenge a top notch Fed on a hardcourt is Djokovic. As I have said many times, the field is a little weak at the top on hardcourts and grass.


sensationalsafin Says:

“Tell me SG, when will Fedx ever be perfect? Only when he wins?”

Yeah. Any player who plays “perfect” will not be beat. Idk why Federer lost to Gonzo, but he did not play his best against Canas and Volandri. Nalbandian, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, even Roddick played too tough for Federer to come back from. But, again, if he plays perfect, how can he lose. I don’t wanna take away from Roddick’s win because I’m very happy he won, but it doesn’t change that Federer usually plays great tennis against Roddick which is why he wins. He did for a set and some games but not throughout the whole match. Roddick was more consistent. Against Davydenko, Roddick was definetly physically tired. But I don’t want to take away from Davydenko’s win either because he clearly played amazing tennis. Who knows, if Roddick had won that first set tiebreaker he could’ve been the champion right now.


Von Says:

SG:

“But, IMO, the only guy on the planet that can challenge a top notch Fed on a hardcourt is Djokovic.”

And yet, Andy put a good beatdown on Djoko in Dubai. So, let’s be logical, if Djoko is the only guy on the planet who can beat a top notch Fed on hard court, and Andy beat an in-form Djoko on hard court in Dubai, Djoko’s most powerful surface, then what do you call Andy’s win against Fed? Or was Djoko not in form in Dubai. Logic dictates that if Andy can beat Djoko who is the only one that can beat Fed on HC, then Andy can beat an in-form Fed.

Your argument and logic is flawed, SG.

Re: Andy losing to Davy. I don’t want to demean Davy’s win, but Davy had the easiest cup cake draw, and has gotten those very often. Have you ever majored in human psychology? There’s a major, and I mean, mucho, major letdown, when one accomplishes a win over an opponent who has been his nemesis for a considerable period of time. POWs go through that let down when released. That’s why they have debriefing and emotional incarceration classes. Long term prisonees experience the same. The mind/brain goes into shock. One does not understand if he’s coming or going. Being on cloud nine, a mixture of both, euphoric heights and then crashing. Relief and disbelief sweeps over your whole body. Some become so listless (wet noodle) and can hardly move, and some can move mountains. It all depends on the individual’s psyche. Did you notice how Roddick responded. He was in shock and that shock could last for a long time. Davy won, fair and square but it was obvious from Roddick’s serve that Andy was not esven concentrating.


Von Says:

sensationalsafin:

“Who knows, if Roddick had won that first set tiebreaker he could’ve been the champion right now.”

Spot on SS, Andy is a front runner. That tiebreaker was the nail in the coffin, added to that the break that Andy got from Davy, but then Davy broke back, that did it for Andy. He seemed too tired to care. If I were Roddick, the win against Fed would be enough for me — who knows that’s how Andy felt. His camp stated that he, (Andy) stayed up very late that night just trying to put things into perspective and I suppose coming to terms with the win. We’ll see what happens when next he meets Fed. That will be the rule of thumb. Until then, we’re spinning our wheels. Spinning wheel… Dr. D. (Methuselash’s bro) Do you know this one?


sensationalsafin Says:

Djokovic was in-form but not quite “on” in Dubai the way he was at the Australian. And to be honest Roddick seems to be having some very good days and tournaments himself. He’s played some of his best tennis this year and it’s because he’s been “on” quite a few times.

Something to note, though. After Djokovic beat Federer at the AO some article mentioned that although Federer is still plenty capable of beating Djokovic, Djokovic is no longer one of those players who Federer can beat when he’s NOT playing very well or even his best. But apparently Djokovic isn’t the only one.


andrea Says:

someone mentioned the drivel that mary carillo was spouting during the men’s final and i have to agree. such blatant one side-ness to commentating does a disservice to the sport.

on an ESPN feed there are a couple of great commentators – one with a south african accent. they don’t yammer when it’s not necessary and they offer good analysis that isn’t skewed by personal bias.

hopefully dick enberg will retire soon as well. i don’t know if i can handle watching his shiny face much longer.


Von Says:

“…hopefully dick enberg will retire soon as well. i don’t know if i can handle watching his shiny face much longer.”

Funny, funny, incredibly funny. :) Poor Dick, I don’t think he can remember of what he spoke 5 minutes prior to his next comment. He needs a compass and a helping hand to find and lead him through the exit door. He’s got to make a living, but I think courtside commentary would be best suited to him, where he can nod off and when he does speak, the noise will drown him out. It’s frightening how cruel aging can be. But it’s a comin’ for all of us. Absolutely scary!


Dr. Death Says:

Von – have you been taking those medicines I sent to you? You are on a roll these days!


Von Says:

Dr. Death:
“Von – have you been taking those medicines I sent to you? You are on a roll these days!”

Yes, thank you very much. Am I on a roll down hill? :) A funny side effect of those meds, I’m positive I’ve heard you calling out to me on three (3) occasions. Is it supposed to work that fast? :)


Dr. Death Says:

You have been on a bit of a high the last couple of days. Perhaps just a good dose of the law books would be best since there is no tennis for a while to wind you up.

The callings you heard were shouts of pain – trying to improve my serve and volley.


johnnhoj Says:

Von, did you REALLY need to crank up the cheese factor on here by including lyrics to that god-awful song??? hahaha. I was cringing! I love this country too (though I’m not nationalistic), but c’mon, there are better songs! Your vivacity and sentimentality are amusing.


MMT Says:

Von – if I’m honest, you’re right – I don’t like Roddick, but it’s not entirely his fault. Much like my distaste for Djokovic’s parents, part of what I don’t like about Roddick is the pass he gets from the tennis establishment, the American media and his fans for his abhorrent behavior. (I’m American, by the way). I also think his game is over-rated by casual sports fans, but then again he is a big draw for them, so one must take the good (more fans, more tv coverage) with the bad (Roddick’s on-court behavior).

That said, I think he’s a very good player (not great, but good) and Americans (and his non-American fans) have every reason to be proud of his accomplishments, although I don’t consider him to be a “first ballot” HOF’er (of course I don’t vote, so who cares).

I must also differ with your assessment of the assessments of his victory over Fed in Miami. I think Fed played quite well that match, and his only dips in form game at the most inopportune moments. In fact, I pointed out in one post that I don’t even think Andy played that well and he STILL beat Fed who (in my opinion) played quite well. It means that Andy can beat Fed even if he isn’t at his best and Fed is close to his. I don’t consider mono an issue at all – if he’s fit enough to play, he’s fit enough to lose fair and square. That’s all positives regarding Roddick.

I’m sure he’s a great guy, although I’ve never met him. But I appreciate that his on-court persona is much worse than his off-court actions and principles. The character he showed in that hotel fire in Rome for example, comes to mind, as well as his foundation and committment to Davis Cup.

But that doesn’t mean I love everything he does – when he does wrong I call him on it. I suppose that rankles his fans, but this is (still) a free country! :-)


Von Says:

Dr. Death:

“Perhaps just a good dose of the law books would be best since there is no tennis for a while to wind you up.”
“The callings you heard were shouts of pain – trying to improve my serve and volley.”

So, tell me, good Dr. D., do you want me to tone it down? I get enough law from my research, and the characters I interact withon a daily basis. How about my felling some trees instead, to get rid of the excess energy.?

You’re wrong, about tennis scarcity, I get to see Davis Cup beginning on Friday and ending on Sunday, featuring none other than the enfant terrible`, A-Rod. But you won’t be able to see that, serves you right for seeking greener pastures. Boo-hoo. :)

Btw, the groans/voices of pain and anguish pertained more to the over 40(?) knees than from the serve and volley enhancement. But don’t get discouraged, they shoot horses don’t they? That should help when all else fails. DDG. Did you figure that out? :)

johnnhoj: ” Von, did you REALLY need to crank up the cheese factor on here by including lyrics to that god-awful song??? hahaha. I was cringing!”

You can always count on me for some amusement, albeit cheesy, in the true sense. Maybe some Limburgher cheese might help you to appreciate my choice of words. :) Did you know that my sister dropped me on my head when I was 9 months old. Oh yesz, — it stunted my growth (I couldn’t pass the height requirements for American Airline) and my mom has been trying to get revenge on my sis since that day. The poor girl has had to move every month and can’t attend family gatherings, etc. My mom feels that she didn’t deserve such an awful offspring, moi. :)


Von Says:

MMT:

“In fact, I pointed out in one post that I don’t even think Andy played that well and he STILL beat Fed who (in my opinion) played quite well. It means that Andy can beat Fed even if he isn’t at his best and Fed is close to his.”

There you go! I knew if I kept hammering and chipping away at your comments, that you’d eventually see things my way. So, let’s get this straight, from the horse’s mouth, Andy CAN and DID beat Fed, fair and square. I knew it, it’s all a matter of perception. My feeling is that Roddick has finally gotten rid of the cobweb in his head, and has come to terms with the FACT, that if he wants to win a tournament and has to go through Fed, he’s going to have to beat Fed, no more cop-outs. As Nike says: “Just do it.”

“But that doesn’t mean I love everything he does – when he does wrong I call him on it. I suppose that rankles his fans, but this is (still) a free country!”

I’m just looking for a balanced summation, which is what you have just given. That kind of fairness would not rankle me, because we are all imperfect creatures, but just a few kudos thrown Roddick’s way, now and then, will hit the spot everytime with me, and that wasn’t hard for you to do. Thanks. :)


Skorocel Says:

To MMT:

I’ve just checked your tennis blog, and was more than impressed! Too bad there wasn’t anyone who would bother to respond to your articles, since they certainly look very interesting in my opinion… I mean, why are you wasting your time? Go over here! :) I bet the tennis-x.com staff would welcome such a talented blogger!


Zola Says:

Skorocel,
you got me curious. and yes! it is a very impressive blog MMT! Great job!


Dr. Death Says:

MMT Thanks for that site also.

Von – you have to be you.

But, after the Battle of the Green Berets, that is about the worst patriotic song – in English at least. Other than that, no complaints. Keep it up and let’s see what heat your comments generate.


Von Says:

Dr. Death:

“Other than that, no complaints. Keep it up and let’s see what heat your comments generate.”

I hope none. Now I feel rather badly, and it wasn’t meant to offend anyone. But sometimes I suppose, I should stop and think before I act. Anyway, thanks for the feedback. I’ll take your advice and stay with what I am safest, and that’s reviewing statutes, codes, rules, and regulations.


Tejuz Says:

Well .. for Fed… usally a long streak ends.. and he immediately starts off on a new streak.. as has often been seen. So this win by Andy over Fed doesnt been he’ll start turning the tide. He will always have to have a near perfect serving day and he can only hope to to clip Fed again in 3 sets. He certainly is a great player.. but dont agree he is going to win as consistently as say Nadal or Nalbadian .. against Fed.


SG Says:

Von,

It’s pretty clear you think a lot of Andy Roddick. And why not? The guy has had a lot of success. He’s quite personable. But, peak Andy cannot beat peak Fed.

You stated that my logic concerning Djokovic being the only able to beat peak Fed on a hardcourt is flawed. Actually, it’s not. When Federer was recording 3 and 4 loss seasons, Andy never (…and I really mean never) beat him. What was it? 11 or 12 times in a row he lost to Federer. My logic stands because the results bear out my statement.

The reasoning that if player A can beat player B and player B can beat player C, then player A can beat player C doesn’t work. You are applying a sort of mathematical logic to this. This isn’t an equation of logic. It’s based on how players games match up against each other. Andy may match up well against Djokovic who in turn matches up well against Federer, but Andy does not typically play well enough against Fed to beat him. It’s just how it is.


MMT Says:

Wow! Thank you Skorocel, Zola and Dr. Death! And Von, I love my country more than I resent Roddick, so I hope he blows Gasquet and Tsgona out of the water this weekend in North Carolina!


Von Says:

MMT:

“Wow! Thank you Skorocel, Zola and Dr. Death! And Von, I love my country more than I resent Roddick, so I hope he blows Gasquet and Tsgona out of the water this weekend in North Carolina!”

Thanks MMT. I also wish that the USA comes out on top in this tie. France is pretty tricky, especially their doubles team, but considering the Bryans just won their first title for 2008, they should be on a roll. Gasquet and Tsonga are, in my opinion, head cases, sometmes they’re on and most times, not, but A-Rod is usually on in DC, which always makes me wonder, why is it he can’t be that way at other times. But, I’m very thankful for small mercies, and I just hope Blake can eek out a live rubber win.

I came across your blog site a while back, but I remained silent because I thought I was probably prying, but I have been secretly reading your articles. I must say, that even though it’s a blog site, you are par excellence in your wrtiting conerning grammar/syntax/parallel construction, et al. The first poster to compliment you, Skorocel, who remarked on your site, is the one who has taught me how to get to web sites, etc. Now, I have learnt that when the poster’s name appears in blue, it shows that theirs is an accessible website, and if I let my cursor hover on it, I can obtin access. Skorocel, you should be proud that a computer clutz such as myself, has been learning from you. :)


Von Says:

SG Says:
“Von, It’s pretty clear you think a lot of Andy Roddick. And why not? The guy has had a lot of success. He’s quite personable. But, peak Andy cannot beat peak Fed.”

You’re correct, I think a lot of Andy. You can say, I watched him grow up, since I’m older than he is, and I liked that sweet kid. I also admire his ‘big’ heart, whereby he gives so much back. that makes me overlook the bad. Additionally, he’s a son of the soil. Need I say More. :)

I’ll concede that some of your points, or maybe most of them are logical, and yes, Andy has not beaten Fed in the past, 12(?) times. Yes, Fed was able to read his serve, and block it back, and the culprit was the ball toss. However, A-Rod has subsequently changed up his ball toss, which has made it a lot more difficult to read now. But,yes, in the past, Andy’s game did match up very well with Fed’s, much to my horror, and Fed’s groundies (which I am grudgingly praising) are superior to A-Rod’s, however, I still feel that in those instances, e.g., ’06, TMC, and ’07 USO, where Roddick played so brilliantly, and had match points, and set points, respectively, against Fed, and Fed came out the victor, hinged mostly on A-Rod’s disbelief than on Fed’s greatness, in those instances, and Fed was playing his A game. That being the case, I do believe that A-Rod can beat Fed, even when Fed is playing his A game. But, to coin a phrase from my famous last words, ‘only time will tell’.

I retract my statement, grudgingly, and I’ll concede,that it’s not about a logical equation, but how their games match up. Thus, your logic is is NOT flawed. But, and there’s a BUT, now that A-Rod has beaten Fed, I feel that we’ll see a less nervous Andy, with self-belief, against Fed, and Fed will NOT get those prior easy wins. Pax! :)


Von Says:

MMT:

Correct me if I’m wrong, but when I have been secretly reading your blogs, I do believe that you previously write a blog on Davis Cup, in which you stated that givng ranking points for DC matches would attract the top players and entice them to play? If so, you need to apply for a patent. :) I suppose my comment will engender some anger from the present writer. What can I say, par for the course; I always seem to raise the ire of many. I need to read more and say less, per the good Doctor D. :)


Von Says:

MMT: correction: line 2, “previously write” s/b, “previously wrote”.


jane Says:

Von says: “I still feel that in those instances, e.g., ‘06, TMC, and ‘07 USO, where Roddick played so brilliantly, and had match points, and set points, respectively, against Fed, and Fed came out the victor, hinged mostly on A-Rod’s disbelief than on Fed’s greatness, in those instances, and Fed was playing his A game.”

I would agree with Von on this because by then Andy (06-07) had succumbed to Fed phobia. He was only just getting his bearings with Connors as a coach & only just getting his confidence back, for the 06 USO final, where again, he had a chance, but it slipped away.

I would even add that the 04 Wimbie final, had there not been a rain delay, could’ve went either way as Andy was still a confident player then, coming off his stellar 03 season etc….

In the past, his concentration, or emotional peaks and valleys, have got the better of him against Fed, but he’s more mature now, and, I think, able to focus better. We’ll see if the results bear this speculation out.

on another note, I recently rewatched the Roger’s Cup final between Djokovic and Federer last summer in Montreal [call it withdrawal :-)] and I was struck by how similar Fed played in that match to the AO semifinal, and even against Roddick in Miami. In each case, he made a number of UEs, had moments when he looked sluggish, and was, yes, even sweating (!) although he wasn’t sick then. He also produced moments of brilliance in all of said matches, too. But his era of utter dominance was 05-06.


Skorocel Says:

To Von:

Guess you should thank Kash, not me :) Anyway, no need to worry, Von! Each beginning is rather tough :)


Von Says:

Jane:

“I would even add that the 04 Wimbie final, had there not been a rain delay, could’ve went either way as Andy was still a confident player then, coming off his stellar 03 season etc….”

I forgot about the ’04 Wimbie, where Fed was saved by the rain. It’s good to have more than one fan thinking.

“I recently rewatched the Roger’s Cup final between Djokovic and Federer last summer in Montreal [call it withdrawal]… and even against Roddick in Miami.”**** “In each case, he made a number of UEs, had moments when he looked sluggish, and was, yes, even sweating (!) although he wasn’t sick then.”

That’s very true. Fed’s brilliance was diminishing slowly toward the end of ’06 and it was even more pronounced in ’07. He’s only human, and had been firing on all cylinders nonstop — there had to come a dying of the embers. I’d say that he is now running on fumes. But, only time will tell. :)

Andy will have to once again find his self-confidence and play within himself and not become dissuaded by external factors. Now that his personal life is somewhat settled, he needs to re-focus on his tennis, and make it his priority to win the tournaments that he selects to play. Perhaps that second GS is somewhere lurking in the horizon. He can turn things around and further improve on his game. I know I can, instead of I think I can. :)


Von Says:

Skorocel:

“Guess you should thank Kash, not me Anyway, no need to worry, Von! Each beginning is rather tough.”

Yes, I should also thank Kash, who led me by the hand and walked me through the process.

Thanks Kash for the computer help and the smileys. :) But, I am curious, as to why you faded away after the Andy/Fed match? Was it because your prediction that that match would go 20-18 in the tiebreak with Fed as the winner not transpire? I’ll say that comeuppance was rather swift in that instance. Don’t you think? :) Anyway, all’s forgiven and you can now surface, unless you’re still feeling the pain, in that case, I understand. :)


Tejuz Says:

Only time will tell… its too premature to predict a Federer downfall. He might lose his No 1 ranking this year.. but only briefly. This is not the first time he had a slump(by his standards).


jane Says:

Von,

“Perhaps that second GS is somewhere lurking in the horizon… I know I can, instead of I think I can.”

Would love to see Andy win another GS; maybe he should rework it to “I’ve proved I can”?


jane Says:

Tejuz,

“Only time will tell… its too premature to predict a Federer downfall.”

Indeed. As for my post, I was merely saying that there seems to have been a micro decline beginning in 2007. I can’t imagine Federer going away any time soon, unless he freaks us all out and pulls a Borg. Otherwise, he should be happy to carry on even if he’s not number 1. I’d imagine that if he reaches that 14th or 15th GS then we may see him fade more?? It’s so tough to know, though, what a player’s going to do. Look at Agassi’s late career, for instance.

No one knows when, what or if.


MMT Says:

Von “Correct me if I’m wrong, but when I have been secretly reading your blogs, I do believe that you previously write a blog on Davis Cup, in which you stated that givng ranking points for DC matches would attract the top players and entice them to play? If so, you need to apply for a patent.”

I didn’t want to say it, because people tend to make unsubstantiated claims, but yes, I did have a post on my blog about that in December. In fact, I was laughed out the ALLCOURTGAME blog (http://www.allcourtgame.com/comments.php?DiscussionID=1463&page=1#Item_0) when I first posted the suggestion there too (still bitter about that).

Funny thing is, they’ve ignored some of the concerns that have been voiced about fairness to those players whose countries lose, or don’t get picked to play for their countries, but it’s a step in the right direction. The fact is they want the top players anyway, and could give less then a damn about the lower ranked players who will obviously lose out.


Von Says:

MMT:

“In fact, I was laughed out the ALLCOURTGAME blog (http://www.allcourtgame.com/comments.php?DiscussionID=1463&page=1#Item_0) when I first posted the suggestion there too (still bitter about that).”

Don’t be bitter MMT, get even. It’s sweeter that way. :)

“Funny thing is, they’ve ignored some of the concerns that have been voiced about fairness to those players whose countries lose, or don’t get picked to play for their countries, but it’s a step in the right direction. The fact is they want the top players anyway, and could give less then a damn about the lower ranked players who will obviously lose out.”

It’s an unfair system and will cause more dissension than can be imagined at the present time, but, as you stated, it is a step in the right direction. The powers that be could care less about feelings. Perish the thought! I was even thinking about the US Team, which won last year, and I also posted that nothing was done for those guys, via celebration, ticker tape parade, nada. Can you imagine the celebration that would ensue in other countries if their team won DC? Our country, unfortunately, is so accustomed to winning at everything that tennis is pushed so very far back to the status of anonymity — a very sad state of affairs indeed, and one which should be corrected. We need a Senator or VP to fall madly in love with tennis, e.g., like Boris Yeltsin, was in Russia, for it to receive some national acclaim and attention. Maybe it will happen when Forida freezes over. :)

Re: Those rankings points that will be given out in 2009, I just can help thinking how the US Team that has been so dedicated would feel, that in all of those years they dedicated to playing, why wasn’t this thought of before, perhaps for the 2008 DC, considering they won last year, why wait until 2009. It would have been very uplifting for those guys if this was done sooner. But these are just my sentiments.

Re: The lower ranked players losing out, it’s always been that way in everything in life, as the good book says, “To those who have much, more will be added on, and to those who have little, much will be taken away.” Sort of a catch-22 situation isn’t it? The road that tennis has traveled shows that the lower ranked players will remain that way, unless they have a break-through year and then rise to the top and stay there, e.g., Fed, Roddick, etc. No quarters given, but prisoners taken. A prisoner on the wrong side.

On another topic, I also read that beautiful piece you did on Roddick when he won Dubai and the rigors of having Connors as a coach. Theirs was an opportunistic, one-sided relaionship on Connors’ part, e.g., money, some more fame, etc. So sad that Andy was not more cognizant of this streak in Connors until too much time had elapsed. Precious time wasted, however, experience is the best teacher — he’ll (Andy) just have to take the lumps and the bruises, like we’ve all done to arrive at that glorious point in our lives — mature(?) adulthood. Who says life was fair.

Question: From that article, are you sure you DON’T like Roddick? I have a sneaking suspicion that you like him more than you let on. :)


Skorocel Says:

Von said: “Theirs was an opportunistic, one-sided relaionship on Connors’ part, e.g., money, some more fame, etc.”

Can you please elaborate on this one? Did you mean Jimmy decided to coach A-Rod mainly because he once again wanted to be in the limelight?


Von Says:

Skorocel:

“Can you please elaborate on this one? Did you mean Jimmy decided to coach A-Rod mainly because he once again wanted to be in the limelight?”

Sad to say, I’m not a mind-reader, but that’s how it appeared to me. All of the former tennis stars, and I mean ALL of them, have an hankering to be in the limelight, to relive and reclaim some of those great moments in time. (Hence, Pete Sampras, who I love, playing those exho matches. He certainly doesn’t need the money, and it’s not that he was such a great humanitarian or demonstrated ambassadorial qualities, but he loves the glory and misses it, big-time.)

I feel this was a great opportunity for Connors, when it presented itself, since he loved the attention. Not to mention the fat paychecks that came with the coaching position. It was a win/win situation for Connors, whose function was more of a consultant rather than an hands-on coach. I could be wrong, but it looked that way to me. Roddick once jokingly (?) commented that his coach (Connors) got more press when they were together. Connors basked in that attention. I once remarked, that these former champions could more better serve, and promote the sport, and humanity, e.g., the young players, by donating some of their time and/or money to furthering the sport. Instead, they sit back and ridicule, yes ridicule, the younger players for their inadequacies. Connors seemed very disinterested in coaching, and I’ve heard it said by John McEnroe, that Connors mentioned to JMc, that he was disappointed and frustrated with Roddick, because Andy was not achieving the results Connors thought he should. A rather crafty way to shift the problem from Connors’ shoulders. But, it stands to reason, how could Roddick achieve those results overnight, when theirs was a long-distance phone player/coach relationship. However, Connors, despite it all, still kept milking the checks and had it not been for Brooklyn Decker, that relationship probably would have continued.

And, now I have piqued your inquisitorial mind about my mention of brooklyn Decker, and I won’t keep you in suspense, because I know you would have asked about this in another post, so I’m going to address now, and keep you from being in a state of suspense. I’m one step ahead of you. :)

Before Dubai, to be precise in San Jose, Roddick asked Connors to meet him in New York City, after Dubai, to get in some coaching/practice time before iW and Miami.(Roddick was returing to the US from Dubai via New York City, to see Brooklyn.) However, Connors refused to travel to New York. He wanted Roddick to meet him at Connors’ home in California, and Andy, who could only see Brooklyn’s face, which was uppermost in his mind’s eye, refused to do so. Neither man budged, each stood his stubborn ground (and I would have loved to be a fly on the wall to witness that heated verbal battle, :) ), so Roddick called it quits. Andy was gracious enough to let Connors off the hook by saying Connors loved to be at home to walk his dog. :) The kid’s got a knack for humor, also, he is not one for bad mouthing others, and I find this a very admirable trait. That’s why I admire and like him. Another player would not have let Connors off the hook so graciously and would have been bitter, but not my guy, and what a guy. :)

On another topic, I again emailed those pics on the world’s largest mining holes, did your domain recognize them? And, what about the other pics, any luck there? Feedback. :)


Von Says:

A footnote regarding the following:

“Re: Those rankings points that will be given out in 2009, I just can’t help thinking how the US Team that has been so dedicated would feel, that in all of those years they dedicated to playing, why wasn’t this thought of before, perhaps for the 2008 DC, considering they won last year, why wait until 2009. It would have been very uplifting for those guys if this was done sooner.”

I should also mention the Russian Team who won the Cup in ’06 and runners-up in ’07. Marat Safin comes to mind. Safin has been a stalwart for the Russian team, logging many, many hours, omparable to the preent US team. Even though he appears mercurial in nature, when in singles competition, he always seems to be ‘on’ in DC. I love this guy for his genuineness and honesty, and one poster mentioned his shirt being in a ‘crossed’ position, that too. The magic and excitement he brings to the sport, is matched only by my other fave, Roddick. Albeit, he’s now labeled a ‘has been’, he’s put that aside and is still continuing in his efforts to represent his country. One big guy, with a helluva big heart. GO SAFIN!! I hope that he can be fit enough to hang around for ’09 to collect some of those ranking points that should have been a staple a long time ago.


Von Says:

jane:

“Would love to see Andy win another GS; maybe he should rework it to “I’ve proved I can”?”

Absolutely, and how about “I’ll do it again, and again, and ……..”. in’t no mountain high enough..” GO RODDICK!

“I recently rewatched the Roger’s Cup final between Djokovic and Federer last summer in Montreal [call it withdrawal]…

Just withdrawal from Djoko. :)


Von Says:

Tejuz:

“Only time will tell… its too premature to predict a Federer downfall. He might lose his No 1 ranking this year.. but only briefly. This is not the first time he had a slump(by his standards).”

I know how much you love your Fed. Don’t worry, as you stated, this is just a slump. He’ll be moving up again. Who knows, the way things are going, he might still keep his No. 1 ranking. Nadal and Djoko have a lot of points to defend. Someone that’s lurking in the shadows is Davydenko, who can move into the 3rd position – he’s only 1600 points away from Djoko, who has about approx. 2500+ points to defend. As I said, who knows what will happen and only time will tell. Ya gotta believe in your Fed, and keep on believin’. :)


Ryan Says:

From what i saw in that match vs andy fed did play well and a lack of focus in the last set cost him the match.Usually this happens more to andy than fed but this time around it was fed who lost it.Anyway fed cant keep playing in a “y’all cant touch me” way forever….eventually he has to come down just like anyone else.Another point that i want raise here is that the younger generation will always have the advantage and will always have champions who set new standards to look upto…..look at fed for instance…we all thought that sampras was the ultimate player until fed arrived….fed modelled his game on sampras……like the phrase standin on the shoulders of giants….people like djokovic and these youngsters learn from fed and try to be as good or better…..soon some other youngsters will come up and try to be even better…..so its not fair to compare between generations because the newer generations will always have the advantage.


Von Says:

Safin has run true to form in DC. He won the first rubber against Berdych in 5 sets. I’m so happy that Tarpischev has shown faith in Safin, which has definitely given him the confidence to get this win. I hope from now on he’ll be rolling in the wins. GO SAFIN!!!


jane Says:

Von,

I agree! This is great for Marat (what a name…Marat Safin); I want to see him do well again on the tour. Our chances of seeing this man play won’t last forever, so let’s hope he rallies and pulls out some great wins in the next while. He’s a treat to watch! (and listen too – love the guy’s interviews too, such a personality).


SG Says:

It would be icredible for tennis if Safin coould put together 2 or 3 year run of excellet tennis. His backhand belongs in the Smithsonian (…or the Russian equivalent). And is he ever a personality. Not to mention his affect on female tennis viewership. It’s all win-win.

Safin is prone to brilliance followed by something a whole lot less than brilliance. Like Andy, he’s full blown sine wave. The only question is, how long will the wave last. If Safin plays like he can, he is a force on any surface. When he’s not, he’s a clay pigeon.

I’d love to see a kick butt Safin play peak Fed a few more times. Just a great match up.


sensationalsafin Says:

I have a reason to keep going!! Safin has just made my day. First time coming back from 2 sets down, against Berdych, in Davis Cup, what a great win!! I guess you can never count him out. Hopefully, this will give him enough confidence to go deep in the next few months or years even. If Safin can get himself into the mix with Roddick, Davydenko, and the top 5, then we have a tennis year for the ages. And people complain about lack of depth and competition. Please, Safin, keep up the greatness.


Von Says:

Hey SS;

You don’t want to punch Safin anymore? You’ll have to punCh me out firsT. Isn’t our guy just mahvellous. Just mahvellous, dahling. :)
GO SAFFIN. YA GOTTA BELIEVE.


Von Says:

SS;

You’re the reason I posted my comments so early today, to let you see how well your boy’s doing, and to make your day. You can’t say I’ve never done anything for you. :) He’s just mahvellous. Aren’t you proud of him? My other guy is doing fab also. GO RODDICK!!


Von Says:

jane:

“He’s a treat to watch! (and listen too – love the guy’s interviews too, such a personality).”

A face that could charm a nun. Those wicked eyes and smirky smiles, but only a woman can appreciate those little things. He’s fun to watch, great groundies, serve and mercury, et al. :) I’m very sure things are going to turn around for him. Tarpischev gave him the best confidence boost — it was medicine for what ails Marat. It’s all uphill from now on.


jane Says:

Von,

“A face that could charm a nun.” Ha – well put. Or launch a thousand ships, etc. etc.

But honestly, I was referring to his tennis (the treat bit); he’s so exciting to watch when his game is on; he has it all.


Von Says:

jane: “But honestly, I was referring to his tennis (the treat bit); he’s so exciting to watch when his game is on; he has it all.”

I know what uou meant, but I just love that face. He’s so wicked, I can’t help laughing when he ries to look serious. What a character.

SG: It will indeed be good for tennis if Safin and Roddick can get things rolling. The stands will indeed be filled with female bodies. I might even buy a ticket. :)


sensationalsafin Says:

I don’t get you Von, why do you keep talking about Roddick as if though he’s down. He’s having a great year so far. I’d say he’s about where he shuold be, give or take some wins and losses. Safin, on the other hand, is way way way… way below what he should be.


Von Says:

sensationalsafin:

“don’t get you Von, why do you keep talking about Roddick as if though he’s down. He’s having a great year so far. I’d say he’s about where he shuold be, give or take some wins and losses. Safin, on the other hand, is way way way… way below what he should be.”

Where did I say Rodick’s down? Do you mean in my post, viz:

“The magic and excitement he brings to the sport, is matched only by my other fave, Roddick. Albeit, he’s now labeled a ‘has been’, he’s put that aside and is still continuing in his efforts to represent his country. One big guy, with a helluva big heart. GO SAFIN!! I hope that he can be fit enough to hang around for ‘09 to collect some of those ranking points that should have been a staple a long time ago.”

If this is what you’re talking about, I was referring to those who have labeled Safin a “has been”, not Roddick. Roddick is fine now. Probably I didn’t make myself clear. But, if it was something else I said, please show me where, because it wasn’t my intention to diss A-Rod.

Well, tell me,SS, didn’t the big guy come through similar to a few years ago. He had some shades of brilliance. I think he’s going to do just fine. Pity Tarpischev played Andreev against Stepanek. Tursunov or Davydenko would have been better. Stepanek does not do well against big servers, e.g., Safin, A-Rod, Tursunov, but his groundies are superb.


sensationalsafin Says:

“It will indeed be good for tennis if Safin and Roddick can get things rolling”

That’s what I’m talking about but thanks for clearing things up. Imo, Roddick is doing much better than I would expected but I rally have no complaints because I like Roddick and I think it’s f*cking great we have an American who’s actually STIRRING trouble amongst the top players. The last few years he was just kind of hanging around.


Von Says:

sensationalsafin:

“I like Roddick and I think it’s f*cking great we have an American who’s actually STIRRING trouble amongst the top players. The last few years he was just kind of hanging around.”

I am glad we got that sorted out, and yes it’s wonderful for tennis in the US that we now have A-Rod causing some upsets. And, if the big guy can get it moving, then there will be one more terrific great all-courter, big-server, doing some more stirring. Safin has gotten over the worst mental handicap any human being can, and that is, he knows what’s going on with his game, he’s accepted it, and he’s fighting to stay afloat. It’s not about money, it’s just his desire to still continue to do what he loves best – tennis. A big hearted guy. What he’s is doing, takes guts and determination. GO SAFIN, and GO RODDICK!!!


panther223 Says:

Just wanted to say this series of comments is a great read.

Safin had a great win against Berdych by producing
30 aces. Together with Davydenko’s victory in Miami, the Russians are making quite a mark.


Von Says:

johnnhoj:

Do you remember posting about the B12 shot Fed needs — well he should win his first title for the year at Estoril. His draw is a very good one and only Davydenko in the Top 10. The way it looks, the title is Fed’s for the taking.

Djokovic will lose 200 points because he is not defending his title. Gasquet will also lose 175 points as the was the runner-up in ’07 also. If Davydenko goes far he’ll have more points to add on, since he lost in the first round last year. This means that Davy is inching closer to Djoko in the race. What a revolving door this year is presenting thus far.


Skorocel Says:

I’m not quite sure Jimmy decided to work with A-Rod purely because of those things you mentioned. It may be something on it, but seriously, do you think those 500 000 USD per year (I’m only guessing here) would mean so much to Jimbo? I doubt it…

It was indeed somewhat unprofessional from Jimmy to be so stubborn, but on the other hand, what can you expect from a guy who’s only your halftime coach? The other thing is, if you ask a 56-year old man to travel across the US only because you want to see your fiance/sweetheart/whatever, then you may not wonder why Connors acted as he did. I may be wrong on this one, but that’s how I see it… As for the girlie, well, she is indeed pretty cute (figure-wise to say the least), but I’ve certainly seen nicer women among the tennis players (not as many as 500 000, though :) )

As for Pete, I guess his main reasons for playing these exhos with Federer weren’t exactly money but simply his desire to prove himself that he could still compete with the Swiss. Fed must be one helluva big thorn in Pete’s eyes, and I bet that had someone told him before that SW19 2001 match what’s about to follow in the next 10 years, he would’ve done everything possible to win that one (not to say he didn’t, of course)… But frankly, who can blame him? The guy’s worked so hard only to see his 14 Slams to be surpassed (or equalled) so quickly… To be honest, it wouldn’t surprise me that much if Pete had decided to make a short-term comeback to play (say) the SW19 this year. He would have absolutely nothing to lose, but if he could just win 2-3 matches, it would only reassure his thoughts about Fed’s supposedly „weaker“ opposition. That’s how I see it…

Re: the Estoril draw, you’re absolutely correct. The only real threats which I can see are Olivier Rochus (who coincidentally is Fed’s 1st round opponent; and who in their last meeting in Halle 2006 had matchpoints against the Swiss) and then the recent Miami winner Davy – that’s about all… Clay is maybe Fed’s supposedly “weakest” surface, but well, if he doesn’t win this one, then I really don’t know…

P.S. On the SF (Schweizer Fernsehen = Swiss TV) website, they say Fed’s actually hired a famous Spanish trainer named Jose Higueras (former coach of Sampras, Courier or Chang), supposedly only for the clay season…


Skorocel Says:

To Von:

That last post was directed to you, of course :)


Von Says:

Skorocel:

“It was indeed somewhat unprofessional from Jimmy to be so stubborn, but on the other hand, what can you expect from a guy who’s only your halftime coach?”

Part of their agreement was that Connors would travel at times, and considering that there was not much time between Dubai and IW, he could have been more resilient. All in all, Connors was a bad coach choice for A-Rod. He probably has forgotten what it’s like to be young and in love.

“As for the girlie, well, she is indeed pretty cute (figure-wise to say the least), but I’ve certainly seen nicer women among the tennis players (not as many as 500 000, though).”

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. She’s cute — youth. But is not a long term great beauty. I am somewwhat surprised that Andy moved so quickly with the engagement, however, I hope it’s a long one. A 20-yearold girl — seems too young for a long lasting relationship, especially a flash in the pan swimsuit model. He needs someone more intelligent and grounded, a Steffi Graf type. As you stated before what can you possibly say or discuss wih a 20 year old. I just get that deep gut feeling that it’s just not right. Call it motherly instinct — it’s not what I would want for my son if, and when, he decides to settle down. But what do I know, considering how young I was when I got married, but then my focus was on education and not swimsuits.

“The only real threats which I can see are Olivier Rochus (who coincidentally is Fed’s 1st round opponent; and who in their last meeting in Halle 2006 had matchpoints against the Swiss) and then the recent Miami winner Davy – that’s about all…”

Believe me, he’ll win this one, and then you can stop behaving like an expectant father. how are your nails holding up? You can always buy press on nails, you know. :) He’ll gain 200 very valuable points and that should extend his No. 1 to possibly after Wimby. Your brain must be working in overtime gear on this one. :) Thank God I’m not fanatical about the rankings. I am satisfied if A-Rod is in the Top 8, but would prefer him to be in the top 4. That’s not asking for too much, is it? I’d like to see Safin move up in the rankings and give Fed a good workout. Oh, the stuff dreams are made of.

“On the SF (Schweizer Fernsehen = Swiss TV) website, they say Fed’s actually hired a famous Spanish trainer named Jose Higueras (former coach of Sampras, Courier or Chang), supposedly only for the clay season.”

You’re kidding? Well, he couldn’t have made a wiser choice. Jose Higueras also coaches Robby Ginepri, and he has helped Robby tremendously. This could be the shot in the arm Fed needs to win the FO. Jose got Courier to 2 FO crowns, and if A-Rod had asked me for my opinion in improving his clay court game, :) Jose Higueras would have been my first choice. This is what A-Rod needs to get his clay court game going and his ranking up. There are a lot of points in those clay court tourneys. But Fed jumped the gun. I suspect Courier had a lot of input on that one.

“Fed must be one helluva big thorn in Pete’s eyes, and I bet that had someone told him before that SW19 2001 match what’s about to follow in the next 10 years, he would’ve done everything possible to win that one (not to say he didn’t, of course)…”

Pete said he thought 14 slams was enough and he didn’t think anyone would surpass his record. But, he also says he doesn’t mind Fed breaking his record, which doesn’t quite make any sense to me. They all go back and forth in what they say. Denial …

“To Von: **That last post was directed to you, of course.” ** Thanks for the alert — I never would have guessed. :) Anyway, be that as it may, be good, if not be careful …. .:)

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