Roddick, Blake Face Depleted French Squad in Davis Cup
by Sean Randall | April 11th, 2008
  • 75 Comments

Did anyone really think that the talented French duo of Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga could make it through the indoor and U.S. outdoor hard court season without getting injured? Of course not. They are French, and they do what French players seemingly love to do, and that is get injured. Too bad for tennis, as their injuries come on the eve of what was a real intriguing Davis Cup tie between the U.S. and France.

Tsonga came up lame with a bad knee, and Gasquet followed with blisters. So much for France’s chances. Actually I shouldn’t say that with such confidence, especially given my track record of late. Tsonga was replaced in singles by Paul-Henri Mathieu, while Michael Llodra fills in for Richard Gasquet, who remains on the team and a Sunday possibility. Mathieu is a great player, I think, and Llodra in a fast, indoor environment should be able to serve his way to a few tiebreakers, especially against Roddick. But the loss of Gasquet and Tsonga really do take much of the shine off this tie.

And before you jump on me for being too hard on the French, you are probably right, I am being too hard on them. Fabrice Santoro has been nothing short of an iron man in tennis. Clement and Grosjean have enjoyed lengthy careers and even Llodra and Mathieu have found success.

But it does seem like the French players with the most talent, the most upside, get bitten by the injury bug. Amelie Mauresmo is founder and Injury Bug Club president, and now the younger bunch of Gasquet, Tsonga and my man Gael Monfils are already lifetime members. And that’s too bad.

Onto the Davis Cup quarterfinals which have already started. We have Spain visiting Germany, Sweden at Argentina and Czech Republic at Russia, in addition to U.S. v. France. I’ll stick with my original picks and go with Spain, Argentina, Russia and U.S. in what looks to be a rather uneventful quarterfinal tie weekend, though Russia v. Czech Republic has some promise early on.

Already today, with recent Miami winner and current “flavor of the month” Nikolay Davydenko watching from the sidelines, Marat Safin beat Baby Marat, Tomas Berdych, coming back from two-sets down, but Igor Andreev couldn’t follow suit getting blown out on the clay at home to Radek Stepanek. If the Czechs can get the doubles tomorrow, watch out.


Also Check Out:
Croatia Will Put Roddick, Blake(?) on Clay in Davis Cup Encounter
Roddick and Fish Rolling in Indian Wells — in Doubles?
Roddick Ruminates on Davis Cup Smack Talk Ahead of Meeting with France
Live Blog Here During U.S. Davis Cup at Tennis-X
U.S. Davis Cup Hopes Rest with Roddick Against Russia

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75 Comments for Roddick, Blake Face Depleted French Squad in Davis Cup

zola Says:

Sean,
I think more than anything , this is a very important moment for you.

If US wins, your predictiosn were right! so, that should be celebrated with HUGE virtual parties!

If US loses, I am going to report you to PMAC and you should officially be banned from predictions specially when Rafa or US team are concerend.

Actually, on a second thought, why don’t you predict Roger for French Open and Wimbledon this year? .:)

btw., Tsonga injury seems serious. He flew back to France for treatments and Jane wrote he might need surgery. That’s too bad. I am also wondering where he did incur that injury? Over prcatice? He was out in Miami ages ago. Hope he gets better very soon.

For GAsquet, I remember last year he pulled out from one with cold! now blisters! Tomorrow might be “bad hair”!


zola Says:

Sean,
Von is going to kill me after all that emoticon tutorial. I’ve got to make this one work:. :)


jane Says:

Andy wins the second set tiebreak, of course; he is SO reliable in Davis Cup ties. He deserves special notice. And a 76% first service percentage, 27 winners to 7 unforced errors is nothing to shake a stick at!

Keep up the great work A-Rod!


zola Says:

I love that angeled backhand of llodra!


Sean Randall Says:

Zola, if the U.S. really does lose, and so to do my other picks, then you should report me to the CIA for further testing!

The way things are looking the U.S. should advance. Paul-Henri is very capable of beating both Blake and Roddick, and Clement/Llodra are a tough team for the Bryans, but I don’t see much worry for the U.S. Not right now at least. If they are down 2-1 after doubles, then worry!


jane Says:

Nice to see David Ferrer get in a solid win, as he’s been floundering so far this season.


zola Says:

jane,
someone on tennis.com watching on TV said Ferrus’s shoulder was heavily taped earlier this week. I am glad he won too. Espana 2, Germany 0.

Sean, so far so good. US 1, France 0.

I liked Lodra’s game a lot. Very nice serve, great angles .


Von Says:

Sean Randall:

“..if the U.S. really does lose, and so to do my other picks, then you should report me to the CIA for further testing!”

I’ll gift you to the French Foreign Legion. :) But puhleez, pretty please, leave out the US from the predictions.


Von Says:

Much has been said, negatively, about Roddick’s backhand, or lack of one, but has anyone been watching? His backhand is doing dome damage, and he’s finally getting the knack of hitting those down the line shots. I think he’s got it!


jane Says:

Llorda’s having a good season; he’s one of the five 2-time title winners this season so far, along with Roddick, Murray, Djokovic and Almagro. But he’s also turning 28 soon so I don’t know what the future holds for him in singles.

Almagro is another story: I wouldn’t be surprised if he picks up some points on clay this year.


Dr. Death Says:

Von – I doubt if the Legion would want Sean and v.v.

But here we go with another season of tennis injuries. The ATP ought to really get on top of this as it seriously damages the sport and the ATP’s aggressive scheduling schemes. Just look at the last four or five years. We would run out of alloted space just to name all of the players.

Mono, virus, etc. are one thing although an aggressive vitamin program helps the immune system. Beyond that, I often wonder what the players do beyond “practice”. Yoga, Pilates, etc., can go a long way toward making the body more supple for sport. The number of American footballers who do Pilates and related stretching would surprise most people.

All sports have injuries, but many sports have aggressive conditioning programs (either with the team or with the sport as golf has)that protects the assets. Gil Reyes has never written the book, but he should. What he did for Agassi was quite amazing.


jane Says:

Dr. Death,

On this theme of injuries, the schedule has to be considered, in addition to conditioning, doesn’t it?

Yes, pilates and yoga would be good additions to any athlete’s fitness regime (think of the mental benefits here too – the ability to focus inward!); however, compared to most other sports, tennis has to have about THE shortest off-season of them all, at a mere 4 weeks, if even?

These guys compete for 11 months of the year, week in, week out, all over the globe. It’s insane!

Regarding the immune system: I wonder sometimes if global warming doesn’t have something to do with the increase in viruses, flus, et al, that we seem to be seeing in players the past couple of years. These players are exposed to everything the world has to offer in this regard, and we know the viruses are on the rise with the warming in temperatures.

And don’t get me started on the pollution they’ll have to deal with at the Olympics in China…!


jane Says:

Okay – call me an old cynic, but I worry about the players’ health and longevity in the sport.


Dr. Death Says:

Old cynic! But very good points.

The schedule is beyond demanding and I suppose there will always be injuries just because one played one too many tournaments. Some of the surfaces do not help obviously. I have played on some that are just knee eaters.

The mutation of various virus is a medical challenge. The “flu” has been especially severe this season because of unexpected mutations, for example. I would expect more than average respiratory problems at year’s Olympics. Nothing like the smell of lead to irritate the system and it tastes so good also. px – private jets are the way to go.

Most of us discover “stretching” after the injury. Young athletes need to be aware that a proper program will enhance their careers.


Von Says:

Dr. Death:

“Von – I doubt if the Legion would want Sean and v.v.” You’re kidding — they would refuse such talent? :) I can’t say too much, because I get the feeling that I’m in the dog house with the writers.

Where have you been? On a sabatical? Is there any DC coverage in your part of the world? If not, too bad. You missed a good match by Roddick. His focus was superb. I was also amazed at some of his net play and groundies. Albeit, not very noticeble unless one is paying attention. I think overall, his backhand and groundies/net play has improved about 50 percent. He’s also keeping the ball in play, and that helps his return game. I think he’s finally got it, Pickering. :)

Blake is playing at the moment. He’s 2 sets up. I have to take little breaks when he plays, he makes me so nervous. I never know when he’s going to melt down or his forehand is going to go balstic. Well, he’s having a meltdown in the 4th set.

“Just look at the last four or five years. We would run out of alloted space just to name all of the players.”

Perhaps the ATP need to maintain a geriartric ward at a few locations throughout the tournament world. It would be fun for them (tennis players) to sit and compare their ailments. :)

I often wonder myself what type of diet and nutritional supplementation these athletes incorporate into their health regime, on a daily basis. So many of them seem to burn out during the second sets and cannot recover quickly. I am not an athlete, but I use Ribose after a strenuous, physical day. It picks me up in about an hour, takes the edge off my tiredness, and keeps my limbs supple. Some of them can also use some GABA and/or L-theanine (especially A-Rod, who is so hyper) and some phosphatidylserine, P-choline to sharpen the mind and brighten the mood, which would keep them focused. Now you know my secret to being on a roll.

Gil Reyes did wonders for Agassi in the fitness department. I feel A-Rod could do better if he had someone like Reyes instead of Doug Spreen, who in himself, is not a good advertisement for his type of work. He’s just bones. Doug, I feel, is too easy with Andy. But what do I know, that’s why they’re trainers and athletes, and I sit behind a desk and/or computer.


jane Says:

Von,

“I have to take little breaks when he plays, he makes me so nervous. ”

I feel the exact same way about James. And now Mathieu has just broken him in the first game of the 5th set. Is James over the 5th set hex? Who knows.

But it’d be nice for the Brians if they didn’t have to be the ones to pull ahead. Guess we’ll soon find out if that task falls on them. And if that should go awry, we’ll really have to take up Sean’s suggestion:

“If they are down 2-1 after doubles, then worry!”


Von Says:

jane:

“But it’d be nice for the Brians if they didn’t have to be the ones to pull ahead. Guess we’ll soon find out if that task falls on them.”

As has been the case many times, Andy had to win 2 live rubbers. James won the dead rubbers. The Bryans, more often than not, would have to play a “must win” match, and if they win, then Andy too, would have to play a “must win” reverse singles match. I don’t think people realize how much pressure A-Rod has to endure always having to deliver the first win. A very tall order.


Von Says:

jane:

Thank God, Blake just broke back, and his shoulders are raised and the body language is more positive. A-Rod and the Bryans probably have zero fingernails left. “See, saw, merry go round.”


jane Says:

Arrrrrgggghhhh – James! Don’t forget to hold at the bottom of the 5th!!


jane Says:

or…you could break BACK at the bottom of the fifth.

Now I have no fingernails left Von, forget about the players in the box. They must be gnawing on bones by now. LOL.


jane Says:

How’s that for a cracker? Unbelievable! Alright James – you’ve proven that you’ve beaten the hex, but ya cost me my nails in the process. Good job US team!!!


The Tennis Channel Sucks5-6 in the 5th set and you lose / drop coverage. Says:

5-6 in the 5th set and the tennis channel lose / drop coverage.

What is going? The absolute worst network!!

Never watch ttc again.


Von Says:

jane:

“How’s that for a cracker? Unbelievable! Alright James – you’ve proven that you’ve beaten the hex, but ya cost me my nails in the process. Good job US team!!!”

Absolute nail biter. Blake enjoys playing by the light of his burning bridges. Roddick’s, Fish’s and McEnroe’s face were pictures of despair. At one point, Blake looked as though he was having some sort of epileptic attack — he zoned out.

You can always buy some acrylic nails, the press-on type.

The Tennis Channel did the same dance as FSN did at Miami. They showed bag check instead of the last game of the match. But before that happened with the TC, Versus cut of the match at exactly 7:00 p.m. to show hockey. Five more minutes would have killed whom? Unbelievable. Tennis fans are the worst treated in sports.


Dr. Death Says:

Von – back home in HK and back on the road tomorrow – racquets and puters packed.

No tennis on tv here. I guess from the above thread Roddick and Blake have done their duties in the Davis Cup.

Interesting cocktails of supplements you have there. Like most in that category there is not enough clinical studies to prove that these really work. However, if these work for YOU, then they work.


jane Says:

Von,

“You can always buy some acrylic nails, the press-on type.”

True – but sheesh!


zola Says:

congrats to everyone. Apparently Sean’s curse has been nullified somehow. Still, I beg you not to predict anything involving RAfa! ( go with Roger and Djoko all you want!)

I felt bad for Blake in the 5th set. All that effort in front of a home crowd, Roddick had a win and he was losing!
then he came back from match point and won! Now I feel bad for PHM and Forget !

Anyway, both Spain and USA started strong. congratz to USA team! VAmos Espana!


kamret Says:

Nice article! Funny! Good sense of humor!:-)


johnnhoj Says:

Von,
You mentioned Roddick’s backhand and his down-the-line shots. Those shots are what he’s been needing for AGES. I said before that his groundstrokes never did enough damage, they only helped his opponents set up their own shots. If he can execute like Nalbandian and Djokovic have effectively demonstrated with their narrowly-angled crosscourt shots and pivoting-torso down-the-line winners, then I think maybe he’s gonna put up better results in tournaments. That will cause the biggest damage to fast baseliners who will have to cover much more ground against him.
I’m not yet convinced about Roddick, however. He’ll have to demonstrate improvement against the rest of the field as the season progresses.

The Blake-Mathieu DC battle was an impressive display of determination on the part of Blake, facing match point in a five-setter. I started thinking he was gonna lose on an unforced error.


jane Says:

The tie falls on Roddick’s shoulder’s against Mathieu tomorrow now that the Bryans have lost.

On the one hand, the USA team won’t want to have to go the stretch to a 5th match; on the other hand, France will be semi-rejuvenated after their doubles win and Mathieu will be wanting revenge for Blake’s late rally yesterday.

Still, Roddick just beat Mathieu in Dubai, so I think the ball is still in the US’s court. If they put in Gasquet as a last minute switch that may change things, but we’ll see.


Von Says:

johnnhoj:

“Von, You mentioned Roddick’s backhand and his down-the-line shots. Those shots are what he’s been needing for AGES. I said before that his groundstrokes never did enough damage, they only helped his opponents set up their own shots.”

I agree that those shots were missing from his arsenal for quite a long time, but, he has finally wised up (he’s very stubborn you know) and I think we’ll see him incorporating those down the line and backhand shots more frequently. He’s been doing it for a while now and it looks as though the results have piqued his desire to be more consistent with those shots.Success always creates hunger. It’s been a big piece of what’s been missing from his game and his opponents have all figured it out. But guess what, there now surprised that they can’t make those easy passes as they once could. Additionally, he’s concentrating on his forehand, making it do some damage, hence, his success in Dubai. My only question is, WHY did he wait so long. The only answer I can come up with, is that some people are late bloomers, and it takes time for the light bulb to come on — his is not flickering anymore, it’s shining. :)

Jane:

“Still, Roddick just beat Mathieu in Dubai, so I think the ball is still in the US’s court. If they put in Gasquet as a last minute switch that may change things, but we’ll see.”

Roddick has a good H2H against both Mathieu and Gasquet. Gasquet got lucky Roddick let him back into the match at Wimbledon. And, Winston-Salem is not the surface on which to challennge Andy. Roddick. But, only time will tell. :)


Von Says:

Dr. Death:

“Von – back home in HK and back on the road tomorrow – racquets and puters packed.”

Enjoy the racquets and the putters scenery. Hope you win this time, 7-5 in the 3rd set in favor of Dr. Death. Putt, putt, putt ….. :)


Von Says:

The Bryans wanted Roddick to keep Llodra in a 5 setter, but he didn’t comply. Lllodra’s legs were still fresh. I’m disappointed, but I have a good feeling that Andy will win tomorrow. GO USA!!!!


zola Says:

Sean,
I have prepared a drasft letter to be sent to PMAC and CIA simultaneously. If team USA lose tomorrow, they have a right to know the manbehind it. :)

win or lose, I beg you not to predict anything for Rafa and urge you to predict all you can for Fed and Djoko !

I have another motivation in seeing U.S. win. If they win, the semis will be in Spain, if they lose, the semis will Spain-France be in France ! Oh No!

I felt bad for PHM, but felt good for Blake. One of them had to lose and it’s not too bad that Blake wasn’t that guy. Still I think it was hard for the Frenchman.

I liked it that the Frecnh won today. MAn that Llodra can play and he is soooo handsome! I read later somewhere that Bryans didn’t like him at all for the shows he put after AO final 2004 and Wimbledon 07, after beating the bryans. Actually Bob said, he is willing to give Llodra his underwear if they win! ( which didn’t happen!)

I think Roddick-PHM winner will definitely be Roddick. That loss is hard to forget. Maybe if Gasquet’s blisters get better ( where the heck did he get blosters? doing what? he hasn’t been playing for ages!)

Anyway, that makes Sunday a bit more special. I am also very very happy for the Spanish team and the fact that my boy RAfa doesn’t need to play a best of 5 on hard tomorrow!

btw: Apparently Federer showed up in Estoril with his new coach: José Higueras !


Von Says:

johnnhoj:

“The Blake-Mathieu DC battle was an impressive display of determination on the part of Blake, facing match point in a five-setter. I started thinking he was gonna lose on an unforced error.”

I forgot to address the above. I can’t tell you how many times I walked away from the TV. I am not a nail-biter. Thank God, or else i wouldn’t have any nails left. But my stomach was in knots. I always go through this with Blake in Davis Cup. My thought is always, Is he, or isn’t he, going to come out the winner? I have that gut feeling about him, which is bad.

I’m so upset that the Bryans lost. I felt this way about their game since they lost at the AO. I suppose winning in ’07 December DC still had its let down effects. I just hope A-Rod can make it 3-1 USDA, tomorrow. I used to criticize my spouse for his fanaticism concerning soccer, but am I any better with tennis. It’s sick isn’t it. :)


Dr. Death Says:

Thanks to the Bryans our Hero (no need even to use his hame)can win this round for the U.S. Another movie script in the making.

Von – thank you for the good wishes above. There is indeed another tournament coming up in a couple of weeks and this time I have an ex-Davis Cup player as a partner.

The global interests in all major sports would make a wonderful study. Why is there this transferral of passion to a team or to a particular person?

As to soccer, there is one I never could tolerate. Any sport that penalizes someone for hitting the opponent has never held interest for me. I preferred more full contact sports back in the day.


Von Says:

Dr. Death:

“Thanks to the Bryans our Hero (no need even to use his hame)can win this round for the U.S. Another movie script in the making.”

I’m so anxious about this upcoming match with A-Rod that I awakened 2 hours earlier than I normally do on a Sunday morning. I know he’ll do it. I have to think positively.

Well, did you win? You and your ex-Davis Cup partner should take care of your opponents in the upcoming tournament in a jiffy. :) Lucky you!

“Why is there this transferral of passion to a team or to a particular person?”

Some of it happens to be nationalistic pride. Then there’s the personality of one player that stands out. We are instinctual beings and our instincts enable us to latch on to a specific person.

Soccer was never my cup of tea and I grew to dislike it because it became the main focus with so many in our family. My son and I stuck with tennis.


Sean Randall Says:

Come on now, Zola, have you no faith?

Unless Gael Monfils shows up, Andy Roddick will again clinch it for the Americans. Not to worry.

As for Rafa, I think I’ll do better on clay than I did on hardcourt – I can’t do worse, can I – So Rafa should have another productive clay season, and one that might very well be capped with his ascension to No. 1!


Von Says:

Roddick just got the first break of serve, he’s now up 3-1. Gimelstob at courtside has been relaying comments from Roddick, who has been jawing to Gimel consistently. To paraphrase, Roddick is saying, “This guy can’t handle my serve, I’m breaking down his forehand and killing him with my backhand slices (which, in my eyes, is working), but talk about A-Rod being full of confidence. WOW.

The only problem I see with this DC match – no hawkeye. Why wouldn’t such an important match have hawkeye? Ridiculous.


Von Says:

Mathieu has been broken in this first game of the second set. Poor guy, he looks so dejected.

Per Gimelstob, Gasquet has had a heated Argument with Forget. Gasguet refuses to play against Roddick, NO MAS. Gimel said Andy told Gasguet in the locker room, yesterday, viz: “Hey Richrad, I want to see you in the 4th match – I want a piece of you.” If I were Gasquet I wouldn’t go out there either. GO RODDICk/USA


jane Says:

Hi Von,

“Mathieu has been broken in this first game of the second set. Poor guy, he looks so dejected.”

Yes, this is sad for Paul-Henri, who is a player I enjoy watching; his spirit must still be broken from that tough loss to Blake, where he had the match on his racquet and let it slip away.

But, on the other hand, I am truly happy to see that Andy means business today; the guy is cooking!!

Interesting what you (per Gimel) say about Roddick / Gasquet match up: I am certain, if that was said in the locker room, it was in jest. But Gasquet is not a warrior. Roddick is a jouster extraordinaire; challenge him to a duel and he’ll be there.


jane Says:

I am happy to see Nalbandian take out Soderling in their 5 set epic 9-7 match ender; he redeemed Acasuso’s mashing somewhat.


Dr. Death Says:

Our Hero does it again! Just follow the script.


Von Says:

jane:

“Interesting what you (per Gimel) say about Roddick / Gasquet match up: I am certain, if that was said in the locker room, it was in jest. But Gasquet is not a warrior.”

What I have learnt about Andy during the years is that a lot of what he says he means. He wanted to have the opportunity to get some satisfaction for that heartbreaking loss at Wimby, and that Salem court was the best place to do it. He has a score to settle.

Gasquet’s going to play against Blake. Why the sudden change of heart? I don’t blame the guy. Roddick’s fast balls on that court. GREAT BALLS ‘O FIRE! :)

Dr. Death: Oh yeah, follow that script. Just remember to do that at your next tourney. I would like some feedback about that one. :)

johnnhoj: Roddick played a sw-eee-t backhand down the line winner, which made him take s second look and Patrick Mc just smiled. Also, his court positioning was excellent. He shrunk his side of the court, and mixed up his shots. The kid’s learning.


Dr. Death Says:

Von – that tournament for me is the first weekend of May.

Love hearing that Roddick made a sweet backhand. If he starts winning points off that wing, I can work harder on my movie script. Do you really see an improvement on that side or is it just the occasional good shot with everything else defensive?


Von Says:

Dr. Death:

“Von – that tournament for me is the first weekend of May”

OK, then I hope to hear positive and glowing reports. :)

“Do you really see an improvement on that side or is it just the occasional good shot with everything else defensive? ”

Yes, I do see improvement on his backhand and especially down the line. He has been doing so for quite a few months now, and it’s paying off. He also incorporated that angled backhand of Mardy Fish’s into his arsenal. He made one of those shots Friday evening. What I have observed is that he is making a concerted effort to incorporate his backhand shots conszistently, than a one-off, and it’s paying dividends. Another aspect of his game is his ability to return the ball. No longer those in the net returns. He has been keeping the ball in play and has been successful in ending the point down the line and/or forcing a UE from his opponent. He’s not as defensive as he used to be. But, in cunch situations, he could revert to his old form, as you know we’re creaturesz of habit. But all in all, a very good turnaround for A-Rod.


jane Says:

I think Roddick is a learner / improver, much like Djokovic and Rafa. When he plays others, he learns from them. Roddick played Djoko in Dubai and took note of what he does well; perhaps he’s incorporating some of that into his game?

These 3 top-teners are also not stubborn players in the sense that they keep tweaking and working on their games while they simultaneously play to their strengths (the latter being something A-Rod has returned to as of late).


jane Says:

Hi Zola,

I read that the Federer/ coach thing has NOT been confirmed as of yet; here’s a link to the article:

http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5itIm6iPKGLoR1vLwLswM9m–LxlA

Maybe you read something different?


jane Says:

Von,

“He wanted to have the opportunity to get some satisfaction for that heartbreaking loss at Wimby, and that Salem court was the best place to do it. He has a score to settle.”

Maybe “jest” was the wrong word as I didn’t mean to imply that Roddick wasn’t serious about wanting a shot at Gasquet; what I was wondering about is the “tone” in which is was stated. In other words, was it a bully-ing kind of thing, or something said seriously but in good-humour.

Do you get my drift? I guess I was wondering if this was “smack talk” or whatever, or if it was more a friendly kind of challenge.


Dr. Death Says:

swissinfo.ch

he Swiss tennis star, Roger Federer, has taken on the services of a former top-ten player, José Higueras.

The world number one practiced for the first time under the guidance of Higueras on Saturday at Portugal’s Estoril Open.

Higueras is expected to stay by Federer’s side at least until the French Open in Paris which begins in the last week of May.


Skorocel Says:

jane said:

“I read that the Federer/ coach thing has NOT been confirmed as of yet”

It is confirmed. I’ve already seen some pics which showed Fed practicing on the Estoril centre court while Higueras was watching.


jane Says:

Dr. Death / Skorocel,

Thanks for setting the record straight.

I assume this coaching stint is limited to clay, though, and not like Roger is hiring a long-term coach.

This is another effort to aid to the title that’s been eluding him I would assume; and who knows? With the kind of year it’s been so far, it’s not much of a stretch to see this as Fed’s year to win on clay.

The only real challenge to Roger in Portugal is perhaps Davydenko, depending on how he is playing.

A for Roger winning the French, a lot likely still depends on how well Rafa’s clay season proceeds. Guess we’ll find out soon!


Von Says:

jane:

I feel like a gossip columnist.

“Do you get my drift? I guess I was wondering if this was “smack talk” or whatever, or if it was more a friendly kind of challenge.”

Per Gimel, it was sort of friendly, not bullying, but he too seemed to think Andy was serious, and his answer to Leif/Ted, was “of course he wants redemption.”

From that exchange, I would think Andy was serious, but in a jesting/smack talk sort of way.

Btw, what has happened to your pin-up boy, Djoko? He’s not playing in anything. Is he sick or just taking a sabatical? I’m curious that he didn’t want to defend Esztoril, and has left the door very wide open for Fed to win. Maybe, Djoko is just resting up for Monte Carlo which begins on 4/21. Spill the beans. :)


Von Says:

CONGRATS to the USA DC team. You guys were absolutely fabuluz — we’re proud of you. :)


jane Says:

Hey Von,

Thanks for the scoop Hedda Hopper! :-)

“Btw, what has happened to your pin-up boy, Djoko? He’s not playing in anything.”

I guess he’s waiting until Monte Carlo; I was surprised, too, that he isn’t defending his Estoril title. But from what I’ve read, I know that he felt he played too much last year, hence the end-of-year exhaustion, and that one of his main goals this year is to try to be consistent with results. He’s got a lot coming up over the summer in that regard. Yes, he wants to get to number 1 eventually, but he has stated many times in interviews that he’s not in a hurry to do so. He’s probably thinking more about the big picture rather than the loss of points at Estoril.

This is all speculation, of course. I have no idea what Djoko is really doing!


Von Says:

jane:

“Thanks for the scoop Hedda Hopper!”

Are you making fun of me, girl, Hedda Hopper? :)

Well, he had better rest up and make the points when he plays, that is go far in the tourneys in which he plays. It would assist him with his health. He’s such a delicate guy.

I read that his parents had bought two (2) pieces of property in Serbia on which to build tennis academies. Maybe, he’s busy with that. As you may have noticed momma and pappa Djoko have not been present at the 2 MS tourneys, so I am thinking that they’re too busy with the prep and work for the academies to get going. Long term — big, mucho dollars, and the cash registers in their heads are just ringingggg! Going to his matches now pales in comparison. That’s good for him and his personal life. He can breathe, and I don’t mean the deviated septum. :)

Btw, I forgot to post it, but I recorded it, the WTA has been broadcasting Amelia Island tourney on ESPN — today was the final. I heard just in passing, C iff Drysdale was saying that next week, beginning on Thursday they will broadcasting another tourney. You can check out their listing and website. Today Sharapova won beating Dominika Cibulkova SLK in the final.


Von Says:

Skorocel:

Did you know that there is another star in Slovakia? Hello, a star is born, and the winner is …. Dominika Cibulkova. Ring a bell, or are you nauseated by the press coverage? Must be big news. Today Dominika played in the Amelia Island tourney final against the Shrieka who had a walkover from Davenport after she came down with the flu. Was a 3 setter and a close match. You’ll probably see it all over the news.

Anyway, Hedda Hopper out. Jane, this is meant for you. :) The Hedda Hopper part — I forgot to add it to my post above.


Dr. Death Says:

I had to research Hedda Hopper. She died in 1966.

What is this saying? Is this a site for Grand Vets only? (If I am lucky, Von, Jane, and Skorcel will move on to a new thread and wont see this.)


TD Says:

Andy is a Davis Cup monster, clinching for the U.S. again, he’s now 10-0! Von, I noticed too that Andy’s bh is much improved, sometimes it is better than his forehand :o His net play is improving too. everything is falling into place for our man isn’t it? I wonder if his impending nuptials have anything to do with this? Or maybe it was his “divorce” from Jimmy Connors that was the magic potion? I hope his good fortune goes on all year long. Nobody deserves it more.


jane Says:

Von,

Please disregard the Hedda Hopper reference.

Dr. Death reports negative connotation, but I wasn’t implying anything, honest! Hedda Hopper is simply the first Hollywood gossip columnist who popped into my head. (from all that film history I have floating around in my head. Who’s a more recent gossip columnist? Someone from Inside Edition maybe?)

Anyway, I know, Von, that you’re just a spring chicken who wasn’t even born in 1966! So there… :-)

(Post scriptum – guess you aren’t lucky tonight Dr D.)


Dr. Death Says:

I buy ALL of what you said! Such kindness on this web site. (While I am old enough to remember the name, she was not in my experience. An actress apparently.)


Von Says:

jane: ****”Von,
Please disregard the Hedda Hopper reference.
Dr. Death reports negative connotation, but I wasn’t implying anything, honest! Hedda Hopper is simply the first Hollywood gossip columnist who popped into my head.”****

No need to apologize. I was not offended, quite the opposite. I was amused and could not stop laughing. Also, I work in a man’s world, and have had to toughen up to survive and be thought of as an equal.

I’ve heard about Hedda Hopper from my sister, who has a Masters degree in Journalism and all the film stuff and is a Lit queen. she’s done some talk shows and some stuff with the celebs. I wish I had her gift of writing. Anyway, she’s always in the know on the Hollywood scene, and the glitz that goes with their world. She would always refer to herself as “a regular Hedda Hopper”, whenever I remark that she sounds like a “Rona Barrett”, and she’d say, no, “Hedda Hopper”. My sis is older than I, but dear Hedda was before my time, and hers too. Don’t worry, be happy. :)

Dr.Death, do you know or remember who wrote that slogan, “Dont worry, be happy.” A hint, he’s black, around 50 ish, and one helluva dancer — great moves. Put your thinking cap on. :)


Von Says:

TD:

“Von, I noticed too that Andy’s bh is much improved, sometimes it is better than his forehand.”

I was wondering what happened to you. Did you see my post to you about a week ago, on April 7, @ 4:34 pm, on the “Davydenko Keeps Winning Despite Persecution” thread?

I’m thrilled at Andy’s progress and I thought that I was hallucinating because it seemed that no one else saw those great backhands. But, I should know that you won’t miss his overall game improvement. All things are coming together for him and I absolutely agree with you that Connors was not the right coach for him. It was a waste of time and money, and Connors benefitted more than Andy.

I was bold enough to send an email to Andy, a few weeks before Andy broke it off with Connors, and I remarked that he needed a modern day, more accedssible coach, such as Cahill, because Jimmy is from a different era. I wasn’t at all sad to see them part. It was a good move. I hope Andy keeps on learning and improving and I’m certain, just like I was certain that he’d beat Federer, that Andy WILL win ONE OR MORE grand slams in the future. Perhaps the US Open? That would be terrific to win on his home soil again. I’m with you on the fact, that nobody deserves it more. :) :)


Dr. Death Says:

Von – easy stuff! Best recording by the Legend, Bob Marley. Written by Bobby McFerin (sp?) and was originally arranged a cappella.


Von Says:

Dr. Death:

“Von – easy stuff! Best recording by the Legend, Bob Marley. Written by Bobby McFerin (sp?) and was originally arranged a cappella.”

You’re GOOD!! Also, don’t forget it was Ben Vereen who had the moves and danced to the tune. He’s on that show “Dancing with the Stars”. I wish I could move, even a smidgen, as he does. But, I do dance with my teddy bear, when no one is around. My kids gave me this large bear, because I’m always grabbing them to dance when I hear a nice tune. Last week, as I walked through the door, Jay Back was on with “This Magic Moment.” That song could really make the legs move. My teddy bear got a good workout. Except he’s too heavy. I’m going to rename you “Name that Tune.” But, what else can I expect from Methuselah’s uncle? :) I bet Skorocel is going to ask who is Methuselah’s uncle. Very soon. :)


Dr. Death Says:

She is not old enough to remember Methuselah – played Davis Cup for the Israelis as I recall.

Dont know the show, naturally, but some version is due on the BBC Entertainment channel.

Dont make excuses about the bear. I had one built – 5 feet tall so I could practice various martial arts hits and throws on it. It was very cooperative.


Von Says:

“She is not old enough to remember Methuselah.”

She is a ‘HE’, NOT a SHE. He has me LoJacked. :) I love my bear also, very cooperative, no complaints from him. :)


Dr. Death Says:

Skorocel – articulate for a male.


jane Says:

For Von and ALL Roddick fans – A TOAST To Andy!! Here’s the link:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=3346409&name=bodo_peter

Enjoy ;-)


I hate tennis sissies like Richard GasGAY Says:

still waiting for Sean Randall to post about the heartless gutless Gasquet..


Dr. Death Says:

Ridiculous – just because he did not have the guts, the fortitude, the manliness to go mano e mano with Roddick, you call the wimpy wanker heartless?

But then again, on most teams, the Davis Cup coach picks the players for the matches. I have not seen anything on this. Anyone surf the French papers?


Skorocel Says:

Dr. Death said:

“She is not old enough to remember Methuselah – played Davis Cup for the Israelis as I recall.”

Indeed, but I guess there currently isn’t any living soul who would remember seeing him – unless he played that Davis Cup for the Israelis, of course :)

To Von:

Be careful! Dancing with the bears can be dangerous :) LoJacked? What’s that for a “vonnism”? :)


Von Says:

Dr. Death:

“Ridiculous – just because he did not have the guts, the fortitude, the manliness to go mano e mano with Roddick, you call the wimpy wanker heartless?”

Absolutely wimpy for Gasquet. Roddick told him he wanted a piece of him on Saturday before their Sunday matchup and the guy just wimped out. LOL. I saw the poor guy sitting on the bench and he looked so forlorn. That’s the first time I’ve ever seen a player run away from an opponent. But, who could blame the guy? Dealing with those great balls ‘o fire from Roddick is not fun. “Ya gotta have heart, lots and lots of heart”. Name both tunes.


Von Says:

Skorocel:

“To Von: Be careful! Dancing with the bears can be dangerous LoJacked? What’s that for a “vonnism”?”

The bear is a very cuddly and compliant dance partner. :) LoJacked – not a Vonnism, an Americanism, which I will explain to you in my email which I owe you for 3 days now. Sorry pal, I guess I am a very truant email pal. :) It’s a comin’. Whadda ya expect expect from a busy gal? :)


Von Says:

jane:

Thank you very much for that link. Beautiful journalism. It brought a lump to my throat. Andy’s all that and more, but people just see the negatives, and the only negative is the Federer H2H, more from mental than anything else. :)


Skorocel Says:

To Von:

Hm… If you’re a “truant” email pal, then I must be the commander of these “truant” email pals :), don’t you think? Seems like that carrier pigeon has somewhat disappeared flying over the Atlantic :), hasn’t he? But seriously, I’ve made a mental note about those emails which I still owe ya, but ya know… Whadda ya expect from a lazy boy like me? :)

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