Federer Eyes Return to Winning Ways on the Grass
by Sean Randall | June 12th, 2008, 3:07 pm
  • 208 Comments

With the clay season behind us – don’t tell Nikolay Davydenko that, though – time to shift focus to grass. And this week there’s no shortage of the game’s best in action at Halle with Roger Federer and at Queen’s with just about everyone else including Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and the return of Andy Roddick who skipped on the French to rest a bum shoulder.

Federer has the most at stake, and with a weak Halle field anything short of a comfortable title would signal trouble at Wimbledon. The loss to Nadal to Sunday has to leave some sort of mark and it’s likely not going to be a good one for the Swiss who hasn’t won a championship match point on anyone since Shanghai last year! So a prompt rebound at Halle would be just what the doctor ordered and after his second round win today I believe that’s 56 straight on grass for Rog.

In Queen’s, with the top guys fighting it out, all I’m really looking for is to see how Roddick holds up. I really don’t expect big things from Rafa given the quick turnaround from clay to grass – credit to him, though, for sticking to his schedule – and even the same for Novak. But it does look like we’ll get some great quarterfinal matchups Friday with Nadal v. Ivo Karlovic, Roddick v. Andy Murray, Gasquet v. Nalbandian and possibly Hewitt v. Djokovic. Talk about a great day to have a ticket in Queen’s, Friday’s it. But again, I’d be really surprised to see either Rafa or Novak reach the final. It is good to see Richard Gasquet and Lleyton Hewitt faring well on the grass, so I presume they’ll be in good shape at Wimbledon.

And I’ll go so far as to pick Roddick over Hewitt for the title, while Federer beats Blake in Halle.

Looking ahead to Wimbledon, Federer will again come in as the favorite but this time by the slimmest of margins he’s been at Wimbledon for a long time. And there’s good reason for that. Rafa came close last year – the Spaniard twice had 15-40 on Roger’s serve in the fifth set – and after Sunday’s annihilation there’s worthy reason to think that maybe this year won’t be Roger’s. Maybe it’s Rafa’s. Or Roddick’s. Or Mardy Fish’s. (okay, strike the last guy!)

Here in the U.S. I was watching a replay of ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” show yesterday in which co-host Michael Wilbon – who covers absolutely zero tennis as best I can tell – pronounced that Federer’s “done” and that he wouldn’t event make it to the Wimbledon finals. Well, that’s getting a bit carried away, Michael, but I bring it up only because the ground swell seems to be growing that Fed’s days are numbered. And while there is some truth to that (who’s days aren’t numbered by the way?), the guy still has some major titles left. Just how many remains the big question.


Also Check Out:
Is Roger Federer’s Worst Surface Now Grass?
Rafael Nadal, 72 and Counting…
Tommy Haas: You Can’t Buy ATP Points, Otherwise Gulbis Would Be No. 1!
Rafael Nadal Hopes To Be 100% By The Clay Season, Doesn’t Expect To Win Australian Open
Watch Michaella Krajicek Get A Surprise Marriage Proposal On Court! [Video]

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208 Comments for Federer Eyes Return to Winning Ways on the Grass

fed is afraid Says:

too bad roger isn’t playing with the big boys in england. i guess he was afraid he couldn’t compete with them. so stay in your sand box, rog, but you can’t hide forever, the big W is coming up and the truth will be revealed.


Sean Randall Says:

fed is afraid, I get that you are a big anti-Fed guy or pro-Rafa, that’s fine. And I probably shouldn’t ask this but screw it, I have to know. This from the other thread you write “federer is the most mentally weak number 1 that has ever been.”

So the how the heck do you arrive at such a moronic statement? What’s your thought process. Do you even have one? Sorry, just gotta ask.


Spirit Says:

Oh, but quite opposite – all the big boys are playing Queens because there they at least have a chance to win.

For all the Halle tournament mockers, just a few random notes:
1. Prize money (€713.000) is identical to the Queens’ prize money, with a notable difference, main draw is 32, as opposed to 48 (Queens). Ergo, Halle winner gets €115.500, Queens’ winner gets €84.500.

2. “Gerry Weber” stadium is reaaaaly monumental, its capacity is 12.000, it can hardly compare with the backyard where Queens is played.

3. Queens does have notably stronger roster but each one of the eight seeds in Halle are quite good fast-court players.

To make long story short, Halle is ideal choice for a gooood grass preparation and Wimbledon warm up, with approximately 3-4 easy and 1-2 harder matches. Also, it is possible to make a perfect timing for training sessions and matches, because the stadium is covered, so there are no rain delays.


Shital Green Says:

Sean,
You sounded there as funny as the other guy, “fed is afraid,” especially when you said, “moronic statement” and “Sorry, just gotta ask.”
I am still laughing !


Shital Green Says:

The answer to your question, “And I probably shouldn’t ask this but screw it,” which cracked me more, is: “FIA” is the same guy at Mad Dog Minute, MSNBC? Thanks, Bullies Sissies (BS from now on).
[FIA = Fed Is Afraid].


Agassifan Says:

Fed has always played Halle, even before he ever won wimbledon. I don’t think he ever played Queens. So his going to Halle this year is nothing new.

As for Fed being scared of players on grass – that is the most ridiculuous thing I have ever heard in my life! Even Nadal is scared of Fed on grass, as he showed last year by choking in the 5th set. 5 straight wimbledons, with only 7 sets lost (far fewer sets and games lost than even Borg and Sampras) – Fed has put up the best performance on grass courts ever in the history of the game, and by being undefeated in 6 years!!

Nadal had a tough time today against a player I can’t even remember his name (ranked 113 or something, 18 year old from japan). So nadal’s season is pretty much done.

djokovic will overtake nadal soon. nadal has nearly 250 points to defend from stuttgart from last year, which he won’t since the season is compressed.

Nadal is what he is – the best clay courter, perhaps ever. But that’s where it stops as well.


Joker Says:

This grass-court trash talking from nadal fans has been common for the past few years. It is going to be fun to see them vanish one after the other as things start rolling down for mr. weak knees.

Wimbledon-olympics and USopen will be the critical tournaments for Federer. He hasn’t lost at Wimbledon in 6 yrs. At NY in 5yrs and in shanghai he has lost only 3 matches. 1 of them in a 5th set tie-break and two of them 7-5 in the 3rd. It is going to take an insane effort to beat him at these 3 places. Djokovic is the best bet to stop Federer. Rest all dont even have a prayer if Fed brings his A+ game. Djokovic and Federer have so much game and options on the faster courts. Nadal is lucky the wimbledon courts and conditions are not even a pale shadow of the pacy courts of the 90s.


Agassifan Says:

Shital,

Borg also predicted that it will be a close final at the FO this year. So much for predictions.

Sampras used to lose in the first couple of rounds at the French on most occasions. Nobody ever questioned his ability to win wimbledon (and rightly so). Fed is so much on the radar purely because he is SO GOOD on clay, that he is no 2, so he is in virtually every clay final, where he unfortunately faces possibly the best clay courter in history.

If Sampras was playing today instead of Federer, he probably would have had an even record against nadal on clay (0-0). Why? Because he would have almost never reached a clay final, to be able to play nadal. Fed is 1-9 against nadal on clay just because Fed reaches almost every clay final. If nadal reached almost every grass and hard final, then Fed would have had an overall winning record against him. So Fed being 1-9 against nadal on clay, instead of 0-0, is just because he is so good on clay, something many people do not understand, or care to.


Agassifan Says:

Point is – its ridiculous to question Fed’s ability to win on grass, given his record on grass, just because he is SO MUCH better than sampras on clay, which leads to his finals losses on clay against nadal!!! just doesn’t make sense.


Agassifan Says:

And on the GOAT debate – those who favor laver, should recognize that he won his first 6 slams (out of 11) against amateurs, who were much inferior to the professional players in the early 60s. Prime example is Pancho Gonzalez, who couldn’t play then, who consistently beat LAver even though he was 12 years older! Also, 3 of the 4 slams were on grass.

Again, nobody has a perfect record.

So the question is not whether anyone’s record is perfect or not. The question is – how CLOSE to perfect is it?

WIth 5 Wimbys, 4 US, 3 AUS, and 3 french finals, along with the numerous other records, Fed can be considered to be closer to perfection than anyone else.


Statman Says:

Shital Green: Point taken (Borg’s props for nadal at W) but I wouldn’t be too taken with Borg’s skills in crystal-ball gazing. He was the lone expert who gave Fed a good chance against Nadal in the French finals.


fed is afraid Says:

it’s very simple. his competition has been suspect until nadal came around. the other guys just weren’t as good as federer or they were too lazy to put the work into it like safin and nalbiandian. safin was just as good as roger but was too busy partying to take full advantage of his potential. most guys were beat before they got on the court with him, nadal comes along and has no fear of him, has pushed him in almost every match, doesn’t back down, and roger is scared to death of him. you could see it in his face sunday, he did not want to play rafa, so he didn’t. he didn’t even try. and djoker isn’t backing down either, roger’s days at number 1 are coming to an end.


hiding behind our keyboards Says:

Don’t believe any of Borg’s “predictions”. He has an astounding ability to jinx certain players by championing them to win certain tournaments. Whatever he says, go for the opposite. He’s probably a poor gambler as well. It’s likely the reason each of his post-tennis business ventures foundered during the 80s.

fed is afraid:
I’ve heard the “Federer has no competition” stuff before, and I don’t buy it. He’s had many tough matches during the past several years, but it’s only because he won most of them that some don’t think he had to earn much. He was just an over-all better tennis player. Does Nadal win on clay so often because he has no real competition? A rare few might say yes just by looking at the scores, but the reality as most know is that his ability to bring out his best on that surface is what makes him a better claycourter than the rest. As with Roger on the faster surfaces, it’s a matter of time before someone gets the better of Nadal on clay. Thing is: who and when?


Sean Randall Says:

I like bullies…That link took two years off my life. Thanks for reminding me just how awful the “mad dog” is.

Fed is afraid, no it’s not that “simple.” Your reasoning is complete garbage. Had Fed dropped from No. 1 when Rafa first burst onto the scene, maybe then you can make such a case, but now, four years later Fed is still No. 1 and Rafa still hasn’t sniffed the top spot.

And if Fed is the weakest No. 1 ever as you argue what does that make the No. 2 guy who has been stuck behind him all this time? Mentally stronger?

You want to argue that Roger is afraid of Rafa, fine, I’ll listen, but I still gotta ask, how the hell can you come to the conclusion that Fed is a mentally weaker No. 1 than say…Marcelo Rios. Or Carlos Moya. Or Juan Carlos Ferrero. Or even Marat Safin. You do know those guys were also once No. 1, don’t you?

Sorry for being curious, fed is afraid. Again, sometimes I just gotta understand how people can arrive at the statements they make here. So help me to understand your point.


Shital Green Says:

Agassifan and Statman,

I did not take side when I asked you to check out that interview. I don’t totally disagree with you guys. I agree with you guys that Fed will be the most favorite going into Wimby, no doubt about that. I agree with Borg regarding comparing players from 2 different eras that it does not make much sense. To me GOAT debate is irresolvable because of too many variables to sort out (e.g. you cannot discredit Laver for winning US Open only on grass against Connors’ win on all 3 surfaces of the US Open). If I were to get into this, I would have 4-5 players up there, instead of just one.

Back to the present, regardless of Fed being favorite, there will be stronger challengers this year, not just for Fed, but for all top three. Honestly, I would not be very surprised if none make it to the final, though I hope Djoko to do better this year and would prefer him on Nadal’s side of the draw. And that should tell a lot about Fed’s standing on grass.


jane Says:

That Mad dog guy is an utter dork; however, he has a point. That final was a huge let down primarily because Roger did fight. No matter what you say about how great Rafa is on clay, if Roger is the number 2 on clay, as his results over the past few year suggest, then how come he didn’t even come close in one of the three sets which were over in the blink of an eye. Novak came way closer and really should’ve taken it to a 4th but folded in the tiebreak. But at least he fought.


jane Says:

Sorry in that first sentence of my last post it should say roger did NOT fight.


jane Says:

By contrast, Rafa fought hard in the Wimbledon final last year, making it a classic in probably all our minds/memories.


jane Says:

All that said, I agree Roger is still the favorite to win Wimbledon, but this year there are more who could potentially dethrone him there – esp. if he meets some young hot player in the early rounds. You just never know. Halle will help him to warm up, as Queens will help the others.


fed is afraid Says:

rios, moya and ferrero aren’t candidates for GOAT. roger is put in the same catogory as sampras, borg mcenroe, lendl, and he just doesn’t belong there. look at the guys they had to play and look at who roger plays. it’s night and day. look at fed’s finals opponents and compare to lendl, becker, mcenroe etc… fed has had cupcakes compared to them. until nadal came around and we see the h2h-6-11.


Jason Says:

No matter what happens at Wimbledon, I have to say that this is just an incredible moment for men’s tennis. We have the top 3 players in the world locking horns week after week on every surface, at every Masters Series event and Slam. I started following tennis religiously in the 90s so I can speak about before that, but it’s pretty incredible. Maybe it has something to do with there not being much difference between the surfaces, but still. A real shame that men’s tennis is so off the radar in the U.S. because I think the sport has never been better.


Jason Says:

Fed is afraid, sorry but you’re not very convincing. Nadal’s every bit as good as McEnroe’s two main rivals at Wimbledon – Borg and Connors. And think back to that 2004 Wimbledon final. Roddick woulda served Mac off the court, sorta like what Curren did to him 1985. In fact, as soon as that big power game came to the fore with Becker and the graphite rackets, Mac’s days were numbered.


andrea Says:

i’ve read a lot in the press and on this blog and others about how fed didn’t try in the french final. and i think most have bolstered this line of thinking from fed’s own press conference when he said (and i’m not saying this verbatim) ‘once it was 4-0 (in the third) his chances of winning were slim.’

well, call me crazy, but at the level nadal was playing surely roger couldn’t have thought..”ok…if i just break nadal three more times this set and then win the last two, the titles mine.”

i’d say he gave the match a fair assessment at that point. and sure his body language was down at times but he never gave up…. he played every point trying to win it. just so happened he didn’t win hardly any.

this final reminds me of the wimbledon final 05 when fed beat roddick in three sets – he had no double faults, 13 unforced errors and played roddick into the ground – despite roddick trying on every point to win one.

sometimes there is just greatness at a massive level and we have to appreciate it. particularly when it happens to be two such amazing players (nadal and fed).


andrea Says:

oops ‘his’ should be ‘my’.

:)


jane Says:

andrea, it’s funny to hear you apologize for Fed’s lackluster performance when you said after Djokovic’s much-more spirited match with Rafa something to this effect –> “now let’s see the only player [play Rafa] who can give him a run for his money” meaning Roger, of course.

And speaking of money, don’t you think the fans deserved a little more effort than Roger just resigning himself to the loss and deciding to have a bagel for breakfast?

I mean Roger is a great player -one of the greatest- and also the number 2 player on clay based on his results, and yet that’s what the fans get? A complete rout? He just didn’t seem into it, and that’s a shame. Whether you’re a fan of Roger or not.

If you go to ESPN you can read Bonnie Ford’s article in which she cites ex-French Open champs marveling at the apparent lack of effort on Roger’s part.

Of course Rafa was the overwhelming favorite (although many, including you, thought Roger had a chance) but that final was a blow out, and partly that was due to Roger’s sub-standard performance. We know he’s capable of more than that against Rafa on clay, as we saw just at Hamburg and MC this year.

Of course also if it was Novak who lost in the final like that, you’d have much to say about it, but no apologies.


Ryan Says:

To fed is afraid:
If one man wins everything then there is no competition.I fed had lost to guys like roddick and hewitt then you wouldnt be saying that.Who did sampras face other than agassi(who was missing for 2 years)He beat cedric pioline and those type of guys.The others becker , courier were declining during those years so its as good as fed ‘s competition like facing agassi.It doesnt make sense.As hiding behind our keyboards put it……Does anyone say nadal doesnt have any competition.Or that you cant compare nadal with borg or vilas on clay because they had better competition.Even greats like rod laver and sampras have said that federer would definitely fall into the top 5 GOAT players of all time.Now who is supposed to be right—them or you?If they dont have a problem adding fed to their list then why do you have a problem? I’m a fed fan go sue me…….


jane Says:

BTW, that Roddick / Fed 2005 Wimbledon final you mention?

2-6; 6-7; 4-6

The Djokovic / Nadal 2008 French semi?

4-6; 2-6; 6-7

They each won the exact same number of games – 12 – and they both fought hard.

We all know Fed won a whopping total of 4 – I repeat 4!! – games in the French Open final.

If you’re Roger’s numero uno fan, you know he can do better than that!! I was hoping he’d at least make it interesting. In a GRAND SLAM final a player must not resign himself to losing.

If Roger’s taking some heat about this in the press, it’s really not that surprising – two of my neighbors, not even tennis fans, have commented on how quick the final was over…


Joker Says:

Jane,

While we are at it, let us mention Roddick getting thumped 4 2 and 0 at last year’s australian open or the many times nadal gets swatted off the hard-court as if he is an unwanted bug. Nalbandian did that twice last year, Fed beat Nadal at shanghai under an hour. Tsonga lost 7 games in the Aussie semi-final. Davydenko in miami final? Youzhny in chennai final? Nadal won 1 game in that match.

The fact is even great players have off-days especially on their least favorite surfaces. (Sampras was beaten 6-1 6-0 by Fabrice santoro in Monte Carlo). If the whole world is shocked it is only because for 4 long years Fed did not miss a beat. From 2004 Wimbledon to the beginning of this year, fed was beaten in straight sets in only 5, i repeat, 5 matches. That is an insane benchmark he has set.

At RG, fed was off his game and nadal was totally on his game and unfortunately for fed, there were no chokes from nadal like in the semi-final. Nadal had already learnt his lesson to not take his eye off the ball. You think Djokovic comes back from a double break down against rafa on clay without any help from rafa? 4games 12games let us not nit-pick here. None of them had any chance to beat nadal out there.


sensationalsafin Says:

Ok. So I just started reading The Quest for Perfection. I’m almost halfway through it and I gotta say, from what I’ve read, I can’t believe Federer let himself lose like that. I’ve been saying since the beginning of the year Federer seems to have slipped back to his old habits. And now I’m more sure of it than ever. He’s losing to everyone and most of these players he shouldn’t be losing to. He has everything in his game he needs to beat anyone but he’s been playing stupid again. Like he’s figured out what to do with his game and now he’s kinda figured it out so well that he’s confused again. I know that doesn’t make sense but I don’t really know how to explain it.

I think now, more than ever, that this really is just a slump. And he will bounce back maybe not this year but next year sometime for sure. He’s so determined it’s incredible. I thought this was his last chance to ever win the French but now I’m not sure. Now I have faith in him because he does want it and he’s accomplished just about everything he’s wanted up to this point. Hopefully Wimbledon will get him back on track, the way it got him on track way back when. Cmon Rog, you can do it, you’re the best!


jane Says:

Joker,

I agree Fed set an insane benchmark and that others have gotten whipped; it happens. I also agree that Rafa was by-far-THE-favorite. However, I still maintain that Fed didn’t fight the good fight. Call it an off-day or whatever, if you want, but his heart wasn’t in it like in the past two finals, which he also lost. He didn’t put up a fight. I don’t think that’s nit-picking.

Sensationalsafin,

Agassi won the French when no one expected it, when he was 29. I said on the other thread, quoting Novak, “everything is possible”. Fed could bounce back and maybe that bashing or as you aptly put it “let[ting] himself lose like that” will make him fight more next time?


andrea Says:

jane,

let’s just say that it’s pretty obvious who will be the first in line when the novak djokovic sheet sale will go on sale at your nearest department store….


andrea Says:

hit submit before i was finished….

i don’t see a single apology in my prior email so you are reading things into my post that you want to see.

as mentioned, my comments were that many people seemed to think he didn’t try, bonnie ford included. when i watch the match i see effort. but effort stymied by clay court greatness.

and i, like most, people thought roger would give him a run for his money. turns out we were wrong.


Shital Green Says:

Joker,
Apparently you are trying to defend Andrea’s position against Jane’s. Andrea’s is indefensible. Roddick-Fed at Wimby 2005 Final is not comparable at all with Nadal-Fed French Open 2008 Final. Both lost, but Roddick’s played far better than Fed did against Nadal. Your citation of non-slam tournament results to compare with Slam Finals to justify or make Fed’s miserable loss look good is not a strong argument unless we want to call all the tournaments are equal, including Futures.
The fact is there. Let me cite myself from another thread, if you did not read it:
Nadal-Fed French Open final breaks the 2nd lowest games allowed record, as far as Roland Garros goes. The 1st lowest was when Vilas allowed Gottfried only 3 games in 1977. At US Open Final in 1974, Connors def. Rosewall, allowing only 2 games. This is the lowest record of all times, though there are two more in pre-Open era to tie this, but you will have to go back to Wimbledon 1936 and 1881.
So, in the entire Open Era in all Slams’ Finals, Roger’s is the 3rd worst ever. In our time, meaning since the beginning of 80s, Roger’s is the worst. Roger’s past record cannot cover this up. This is just the fact. If you have better data related to Slam Finals to falsify me, bring ‘em on.

I thought we were done talking about French Open. We were already on grass. This Andrea shows up and rekindles the fire. Time to move on.


All_Roger Says:

Grass season’s two games old. Wait for today’s results (with 8 tier2 favorites in Queens and a tough cyprian opponent for Fed) before argueing any further.


Von Says:

“I thought we were done talking about French Open. We were already on grass. This Andrea shows up and rekindles the fire. Time to move on.”

I agree with Shital that it’s time to move on from the saturated GOAT debate and the FO to what’s happening NOW, and that is, we’re into the grass season. Today, the QFs matches for both Halle and Queens will be played. Queens has some great mouth-watering matches. What a shame there’s such a huge difference in the prize money. The competition should warrant a greater return in the purse department.

Meanwhile, Davydenko and a few others are blissfully ignoring the grass tournaments. I suppose Davy’s thinking that his chances of winning the trophy at the clay tournament will be greater, considering the field is bereft of higher ranked players, hence it would be logical to assume, he’ll walk away with the trophy. A very shrewd guy this Davydenko fellow, and money, money and more money, seems to be his motto.


deb Says:

As usual Roddick cuts to chase on the question of Roger’s chances at Wimbledon…

Q. Do you find this idea that because Roger took such a beating on clay, somehow when he walks onto a grass court he’s any less formidable?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I think that would be irresponsible journalism just from the fact that they’re completely different. That would be like — I don’t even know a proper analogy.
The guy’s won Wimbledon five times in a row. What else does he need to do? If that doesn’t answer any questions, you know, hell, I must really suck if he’s getting questioned about how he’s feeling about grass. If I was him, I’d be feeling really well. I’d be feeling really good.


Shital Green Says:

Good morning everybody,
Rafa and Ivo just walked in. Ivo’s big serve should help keep this match competitive. Like Von said, all the four matches are “mouth-watering.” You don’t want to miss any action.
If you want to watch Artois and have Sopcast, try Star Sports. Or, try one of the links from: http://myp2p.eu/broadcast.php?matchid=13411&part=sports

Talk to you later.


Agassifan Says:

Nadal lost the first set to Karlovic. Yesterday also he lost one set to that unknown guy. This is not clay, and nadal, and everyone else, knows!!

He can’t stand back 15 feet and defend serves on grass, like he does on clay.

We is not reaching the wimbledon finals this year – no way can someone be so lucky with the draw 3 times.


Von Says:

The Nadal v. Karlovixc match is anything but exciting. Karlovic is frustrating Nadal — he can’t get any rhythm, and Karlovic has even been able to run down some of Nadal’s shots, which aren’t many. Nadal lost the first set and they are now 3-3 in the second set. If they both hold serve it will be another tie-break, which Karlovic most probably will win hammering aces.


Joker Says:

Shital,

I am not suprised you, jane and Von are ganging up against andrea. We know what is common to the 3 of you. A dislike of Federer in your words or hatred in other people’s words.

Donot jump into conversations without understanding what the discussion is about. The question was not about how miserable Fed’s loss was. It was about whether there was a lack of effort or not. Slam final or not, a miserable loss is a miserable loss. And federer did not lose to some yo-yo guy (relatively speaking) like youzhny or davydenko. He lost to probably the greatest clay courter of all time. He need not be any more ashamed than the players I listed in the above post.

And very conveniently you chose Roddick’s wimbledon 05 effort. What about Fed massacring him 4 2 and 0 in the aussie open last year. Do you want to debate 6 games are a lot bigger than 4 games? How about the Masters cup last year. Roddick and nadal were beaten under an hour. How about that for an effort from the two top 8 players? Anyway 12 games at wimbledon, where the surface helps roddick’s serve as much as any doesnt sound like a great achievement to me.

And Federer’s past achievements do matter. For someone who has achieved so much to get blown away like that by the greatest player on clay ever, when he was in the zone doesnt reflect a lack of effort on Federer’s part. Again the question was about Federer’s effort and not how bad the loss was.

And andrea’s the one who rekindled? You did not see Jane’s post above that? on june 12th at 7:58p.m ? Oh wait! we are exchanging emails with Jane, aren’t we? Let us blame the rekindling on andrea! I would like to know how you justify your statement that andrea rekindled things?


Von Says:

OH WOW. They’ve just announced that Andy Murray has withdrawn due to a sprained thumb which he sustained in yesterday’s match. Roddick has a walkover — is now through to the SFs. Sorry for Murray — he’s had injury following injury.

Shital, jane, how do you like them apples? Our Andy is now through to the SFs — he needs all the help he can get with his back.


Shital Green Says:

Von,
If you did not know, Andy Murray withdrew prior to his match against Roddick. So your huckleberry gets to semi without playing much. His semi could be a repetition of 2005 Final at the Queen’s Club.


Von Says:

Joker:

Watch your mouth — you are a known Federer bully. Point out to me what I said to Andrea, and if you can’t find anything, then I would suggest you shut the hell up. I’ve taken enough abuse from you and have not said anything, but this time you’ve gone too far accusing me of something I’ve not done. Andrea is NOT a saint by any means and can defend herself. She does not need YOU as her spokesperson. Why can’t some of you co-exist peacefully?


Shital Green Says:

Von,
I just saw you are up to date. I think Roddick will win here.


Joker Says:

“If they both hold serve it will be another tie-break, which Karlovic most probably will win hammering aces. ”

This coming from a Roddick fan? Hilarious! Roddick wins 90% of his matches this way. Yet Karlovic’s game is frustrating and roddick’s exciting?

Anyway, this match along with yesterday’s match just shows nadal’s limitations on grass. Yesterday he was totally unsure about his movement. He fell down like a zillion times. Agreed the courts were slippery, but clay courters accustomed to the sliding on the clay will realise that is not at all a safe method on the grass.

Today, he is getting served off the court by 1 of the greatest servers in the game in the past few years. 26 aces in 2 sets? The most number of aces Ivo managed against Federer in a match ever were 16 aces (including 3 three-setters!) Maybe jane will understand it better if I say that is a miserable effort on the return. I mean we are not even asking the serve be returned. Just get the dang racquet on it dude!


Von Says:

Shital:

“Von,
If you did not know, Andy Murray withdrew prior to his match against Roddick.”

I didn’t know this. So why didn’t they announce it at the beginning of the Nadal/Karlovic match? Why keep me in suspense. I would have liked to see the match though. Yes, my huckleberry is in the SFs and I’m happy. c’est la vie.


Von Says:

joker:

Serving aces is a talent and a gift — Roddick is talented and he has been bestowed a gift by a power greater than YOU. this is where i’ll leave you to chatter all by yourself. Bye.


Von Says:

BTW, say all you want about Nadal — I’m not a fan. Surprise, surprise!! But I can understand your dislike for him — he WON the FO.


Joker Says:

Von:

You are no saint either. Tell me you dont exchange emails with Jane and Shital and then we will know whether you gang up or not. You might not have said against Andrea in this blog, but any group of people who have another channel of communication apart from this blog are always suspicious to me.


Joker Says:

That Nadal comment was not for you! Surprise! Surprise! Stop thinking the world revolves around you.

Only the roddick comment was for you. Anyway, a roddick fan calling karlovic frustrating is quite ironic. You must understand how the other fans feel when their player plays roddick. I have no problem. Federer and Djokovic will cut his serve to pieces on any surface. Roddick is NOT winning this tournament. It is between Nadal and Djokovic. See? I dont hate nadal….. Surprise! Surprise. I call it as I see. Nadal has limitations on grass. Even if you dont accept it to to please you friend s Jane and Shital – who were nadal die-hard fans before they realised their boy couldn’t beat federer outside of clay.

Happy hunting together guys!


Von Says:

Joker:

“Tell me you dont exchange emails with Jane and Shital and then we will know whether you gang up or not.”

You have truly earned that post name “Joker.” Now your imagination is running amock. Shital, jane, and I, exchange emails? That’s news to me. You are making me laugh so much — thank you for providing some laughter for this day. I love to laugh, and I sure am laughing.


jane Says:

Joker, andrea – et al,

I am guilty of rekindling the FO discussion -I admit- but I stated my comments about Roger’s lack of effort at the FO, if you read my posts (4 short ones in a row because I was dealing with my son & his friend simultaneously), with reference to the grass slam. I said I still think Roger is the favorite to win Wimbledon.

I didn’t mean to insult Roger or his fans. I took andrea to task a on her comments because she tends to make disparaging quips about Novak, and because she being one of Roger’s most dedicated fans maybe sees things through colored lenses. [ andrea, you must have the Roger duvet eh? LOL ;-)]. I was merely stating my opinion; I have watched that final twice. I still think after Roger got broken in the second set, he visibly gave up.

Joker you should know, too, that it was andrea who brought up the comparison to 05 Wimbledon, not Shital.

Anyhow, my apologies to all for stirring up the dirt discussion again. I don’t think anything like the FO final will happen on grass as Roger knows he’s always in with a shot, even when pushed to the limit like in last year’s excellent Wimbie final.

Meanwhile, speaking of being pushed, I’m going back to following Ivo & Rafa.


jane Says:

Joker,

a) I have a number of players I cheer for – Djokovic being my favorite, then Rafa, Roddick, Safin, Murray.

b) I have never exchange an email with either Von or Shital, though we are friendly with one another on this blog.

c) I can’t believe Karlovic has served 32 aces; he’s a serving monster.


jane Says:

Von & Shital,

I am sorry you’ve been dragged into something. Please accept my apologies. I was merely trying to put into perspective the difference we’ll see in Roger once he hits grass (vs. clay – his confidence will obviously be stronger on grass) and then to discuss some points andrea made with andrea. andrea & I have posted for a long time here, and she is cool; I have nothing against her.

Anyhow, sorry again guys – never meant to whip anyone into a frenzy!

Von it’s great that Andy’s through but I hope the other Andy’s thumb is better for Wimbledon.


Shital Green Says:

Joker,
So all tournaments are equal? A Grand Slam Final and all other ATP level tournaments? I thought they carry different points, and players prepare for Grand Slam all year. Am I wrong?

Fed plays one of the worst Grand Slam Finals ever, and I should call it a great match (he made efforts?) to please the like of you? Show me a single article written by a tennis expert or analyst that defends Fed’s effort and calls it a great Final.

A guy who supposedly the No. 2 on clay brags about how prepared he is and how ready he is just the day before for FO final gets bageled, and that is effort because he played against Nadal? And his miserable loss should be sympathetically viewed as his giving everything despite outburst of disappointment and out cry from most tennis fans who were watching live because he has stellar record before 2008?

And in 2008 Fed lost only to “the greatest player on clay ever [which is questionable]“? And what about Stepanek, Roddick, Fish, Murray, and Djoko since January this year? I agree with Sean and repeat here: “the Swiss [...] hasn’t won a championship match point on anyone since Shanghai last year!” Meaning his meager win at Estoril was without “championship match point.” Fed WAS the greatest player between 2004-2007, not before and not after. He is still a great player. You can stick to his past and reminisce his best match whenever he plays worst. I cannot do that. I don’t live in the past. I just happened to be different. If he plays great, bringing out some of his best shots, at Wimby this year, I will be enjoying his game and complementing him for it. But if he plays the same way as he has been since Jan, I will be critiquing him. The same applie to Djoko, my favorite. And that is neither dislike nor hatred.

BTW, congratulations to Rafa for surviving 35 aces and making to semi !


Sean Randall Says:

Joker, Karlovic’s biggest problem is breaking top players on a grass court. He may hit a lot of aces, win his serve easily but against top guys like Federer, Roddick, Djokovic and Nadal, he has virtually zero chance of their breaking serve. So it often comes down to tiebreaks where I’d give the edge to a Federer or Nadal. Tiebreaks usually come down to what’s between the ears and Ivo’s going to struggle in those situations against the mentally tougher players.

That said, I thought this was a good place for Nadal to bow out here in a couple tiebreaks. Take some added rest before Wimbledon. But credit to him for getting through and setting up a very intriguing clash with Roddick tomorrow.

Nadal has really been relentless all year. For all the injury speculation, the guy had his best Australian Open, his best French Open and now his best Queen’s event. He’s not taking anything lightly.


jane Says:

Yes, congrats to Rafa for eeking that one out. Karlovic reminds me of Goran a little but he needs to round out his game; then he’d be really dangerous. That serve is a scorcher!


jane Says:

Sean,
Rafa knows he’s right in the middle of the triopoly, with Djoko on his heels and Fed in front, but not insurmoutably so. Even so, Rafa fights hard no matter what. Sometimes to the point of stupidity, like playing with huge blisters. But he’s a fighter like few others.


Von Says:

jane:

There’s no need to apologize to me. The apology should come from Joker who has accused me of ganging up on Andrea. I agreed with Shital that the comments should move onto grass — leave the FO/GOAT topic behind; the FO’s over — at least I think so. Beating it to death is not going to change the results. My comment did not include Andrea. Joker’s only interest in Andrea is because she’s a Fed fan, who says whatever she likes about Roddick.

Joker has seen fit to pick on Roddick, who is the only player that has spoken up on Federer’s behalf to the press, twice. whether Roddick wins his matches through tie-breks or other means, the end result is he wins. That’s all that matters. Had Federer won the FO by 3 tie-breaks, I’m sure Joker would be praising tie-breaks, and jumping up and down and all around. There’s too much animosity emanting from Joker, and I’ve been on the receiving end of his abuse and bullying me into silence. He comments as much as he wants, I usually ignore him, thus, I do not understand his problem.

Joker, a piece of advice for you, try placing a civil tongue in your head. No one can attack Federer in the manner you’ve attacked other players, or else they would have a riot on their hands. It’s a ratio of about 8:1 on this site in favor of Federer. This is the reason I don’t get into many discussions becuse it’s one-sided. Sometimes, I wonder, why post at all — there isn’t freedom of speech here.


Sean Randall Says:

Agassifan, Nadal is not standing 15ft behind the baseline.

Regarding easy draw, did Rafa really have an easy draw last year? Fish, Youhzny, Soderling, Berdych?

In 2006, yes he had a pretty comfy path but last year was much tougher.


jane Says:

Thanks Von. Roddick & Rafa will be a good match; I am looking forward to it. I am cheering for Andy so he can defend his title here.

BTW you’re right about the ratio of fans here; if you check out the poll “will Roger Federer win the FO” 88% said “yes!” – that’s hardly objective. I’d say at best Roger had a 50/50 chance of winning. The other thing I don’t understand is that even though we occasionally point something out about Roger, like say he coulda tried harder, but also acknowledge his good side, we get called “haters”. I don’t think you, Shital, nor I are haters. We admit Fed’s not our favorite but we don’t insult him like others insult Novak or Roddick. Sheesh.


jane Says:

Speaking of my huckleberry, he’s got his hands full with Hewitt, a gritty fighter to the end and 4 time champion at Queens. huckleberry will need to serve well and eat some wheaties.


Sean Randall Says:

Fed is afraid, so what you really meant to say was not that Fed is the mentally weakest No. 1 ever, but rather that his is the mentally weakest No. 1 among the top Slam winners? If that’s your argument your reasoning is still garbage.

Fed’s well ahead of Nadal 5-2 off of clay. How can that be from a guy so mentally weak? Sure he gets dominated by Nadal on the dirt, but then again who doesn’t?


Sean Randall Says:

Jane, I guess you can’t fault him for fighting. I just hope he can maintain the intensity after Wimbledon when his play usually begins to slide…


Von Says:

jne:

I’ve learnt in life that there are SOME people who only have extremes. Viz, love and hate. In this case, there should be like and dislike, but unfortunately, it’s like and/or hate. I hope this makes sense. My ratio was not based on a poll but just my observation of what I see on these threads 8:1, I’m surprised that I’m so close.

There are many times I’d love to get involved in the discussions, but refrain from so doing because of the bullying and crude comments.

Hewitt is great on grass. When he was younger and faster, he could out run everyone. Amazing how time alters power.

____________

Joker:

(Jane and shital please don’t be offended by this, but I have to answer on behalf of Roddick)

You mentioned Djokovic will shred Roddick’s serve to pieces, their H2H is 2-2. What did Roddick do in Dubai? I didn’t see his aces being shred to pieces, and to Fed in Miami? Take a chill pill, please. Enough for today.


Von Says:

jane:
My apologies, I misspelt your name. Sorry.


Sean Randall Says:

Agassifan, true if Sampras played right now he’d never ever play Nadal on clay – assuming both were ranked among the Top 4. Yet in some ways that fact almost helps Pete’s cause because we would then never get the visual of him losing to Rafa the way we got to see Roger undergo such beating last week Sunday.


jane Says:

No worries about either the misspelling or the Djoko comment. Djokovic and Roddick, if they meet, would have a tough one. There’s no obvious favorite on fast surfaces, perhaps grass in particular. We all know Andy is formidable on the stuff. I’d be happy to see either of them take home Wimbledon glory!


jane Says:

Shital,

“Fed plays one of the worst Grand Slam Finals ever, and I should call it a great match (he made efforts?) to please the like of you? Show me a single article written by a tennis expert or analyst that defends Fed’s effort and calls it a great Final.”

The interesting thing is that if it was anyone else in that final, there would be less defending of the scoreline. If it was Novak, for instance, and he lost like that, you can bet that many people on this blog would be calling him a wimp or a “joke” or whatever. But not so with Roger. In fact, if you look at the previous thread, most of the discussion is about GOATs and not routs! And that’s what bugs me. Seems like denial.

Call a spade a spade: even if a person is Roger’s number 1 fan, that final was shocking in its lop-sided-ness.

And that’s all I am saying on it. As Von says, the FO is over, so we’ll see what happens on grass, hardcourts & carpet.


jane Says:

Sean,

Yes- time will tell if Rafa can maintain the intensity he’s shown early this year, and if he can hold up physically. He could stand to gain some points in the latter half of the year, particularly on hardcourts outdoors, in Cinncy and at the USO.


Shital Green Says:

Von,
When Roddick plays Djoko, I stay in the middle, at least publicly. So, no need to worry about me either. I have always been supportive of my homey, my home state boy.

Good news. Djoko just took the 1st set easily !


Amy Says:

Roger looked good today against Baggy. Halle loves Fed. He supports that tournament every year. I bet Queens Club would love to steal him away for one year. Federer is very loyal.


jane Says:

Djoko’s doing well so far – good stuff.


Shital Green Says:

Amy,
You are a Fed fan, and you are sweet there in your comment. Not every Fed’s fan is obnoxious.
I did not get to watch Fed-Baggy match, but looking at the score, Fed played pretty good. Of course, the Queen’s Club would like to have Fed, and it is good for both Hall and Fed that they stick together. The “loyalty” part seems to fit in more for Fed’s preparation for Wimby, though.


Shital Green Says:

Congratulations to Djoko !
Smile, Jane, it was an impressive win, 6-2, 6-2.


Von Says:

Yes, jane and Shital, your guy is through to the semis. Good for him. Next up is Gasquet and Nalbandian. I’ll reserve comment for later on those two. One never knows what to expect from them.

____________

Shital:

I’m happy to know you like A-Rod; didn’t know he was your homey. Nebraska Cornhuskers, is it? :)


Von Says:

jane:

“If it was Novak, for instance, and he lost like that, you can bet that many people on this blog would be calling him a wimp or a “joke” or whatever.”

Agree. Just look at the comments when Roddick gets routed by Federer. it’s nauseating — and it continues forever, as per the previous comments today.


jane Says:

I’m smiling! Thanks Von & Shital.

I see James Blake won the first set in his match.

I am looking forward to seeing how the Nalby vs. Gasquet match goes. Which one will go on walkabout first? ;-)


SONJA, GO ROGER! Says:

Oh common!
Please Roger is afraid? Of course not. He plays in Halle since 2002 and he won it 4 times and he never played in Queens, so please, SHUT UP! He’s playing unbelieveble on grass and I’m sure he won’t lose his Wim title. As for Rafa, yes he’s the king of clay, there’s no doupt, but when it comes to hard courts and grass courts he doesn’t play well. He is not running for every ball, he’s commiting more errors, so I don’t think he deserves to be #1. If anyone should replace Roger that would be Nole, because he knows how to play on every court just like Roger. But now is Rog fully recovered from mono, he played really great on clay. It really wasn’t his day at final for sure, because he wasn’t serving well. But on grass he’s playing really great, so, lets relax and watch. See how Roger is comming back, stronger than ever. I think he can and will be #1 for many years.
Good luck Roger!
I love you sooo much…
Sonja


Agassifan Says:

Sean,

1. so how many feet behind the baseline did nadal stand to receive Fed’s serve on clay? is it wasn’t 15 ft, maybe you know exactly how much it was.

2. regarding last year’s wimbledon draw – youzhny was beating him but got injured. djokovic retired. And Soderling? gimme a break for a tough draw. THe only tough match he had was berdych.

3. Sampras not being good enough to reach clay finals – how is that better than reaching the finals and THEN losing? So in your opinion, losing to galo blanco in the second round is better than losing again and again to nadal in the final. Doesn’t make sense at all. everyone needs to credit Fed for trying in so many tournaments on clay, even though he has just a bad record against nadal on clay. it takes guts. you are suggesting that it would “look” better if he just bows down in earlier rounds – WOW, what logic!!

Santoro beat sampras 6-0,6-1 on clay once. Everyone has off days.


Agassifan Says:

Again, no player in the history of tennis has a perfect resume (no, laver doesn’t, by a long shot, if you look a bit deeply into his achievements). Every player has holes in their resume. Perhaps Federer has the least holes. Borg lendl and agassi also have some holes. sampras has more holes than these players.


Amy Says:

Shital Green,

I think it’s a good thing that we don’t have all 4 top competitors playing against each other in the same warm up event. Federer winning in Germany and the survivor of Nadal, Djokovic, and Roddick in Queens Club makes for interesting conversation as the draw comes out for Wimbledon.

This year, it could be anyone’s tournament. Federer does look good and confident. I wouldn’t have bet on him a week ago but his play is impressive now that he’s back on grass alla Sampras. The other boys had better be sharp because Fed is.


Shital Green Says:

Djoko had 13 aces in 8 service games. He served really good, percentage wise not very far behind Ivo’s 35 in 18 service games + 3 tie breakers.

Considering both had worthy opponents, it is relevant to compare Fed and Djoko. Fed did not have a single ace today in 10 service games, but he won 73% 1st serve, 1% better than Djoko. Fed won 77% 2nd serve to Djoko’s 50%. Both Djoko and Fed saved 100% break points, 3/3 and 4/4 respectively. Djoko won 4/6 (67%)break points to Fed’s 2/4 (50%). Both spent about the same amount of time on court, aprox. 1hr. 12 min. However, Djoko’s win looks more impressive on the scoreboard.


Shital Green Says:

I am a bit ashamed of you, Von, now because you did not know that Roddick lives in Austin. For your kind info, born in Omaha, NE, lived until the age of 11 in Austin, went to school in Boca Raton, FL until graduation from high school in 2000. Since then, he has been living in Austin. That is how he is my homey.


jane Says:

Shital,

The serve is the key for Djoko and he knows it. He’s a consistently excellent returner, so when his serve is clicking too, he can trouble anyone. If he could make his serve just that much more consistent, like he served today, and maybe add a bit more volleying practice, he’d be killer on the grass.


Amy Says:

jane,

I’m not convinced Djokovic is ready to win Wimbledon yet. As you stated, his volleying needs to improve and his serve, while good, is inconsistent. This could hurt him on crucial points in the later rounds of Wimbledon. I think Roddick is a much bigger threat to take Wimbledon this year. He is hungry and rested. I still think Nadal stands too far back to return serve but he has Borg like capabilities and lightning fast reflexes. It all should be very interesting. I bought a brand new 52 inch LCD high def tv to watch it on. Can’t wait.

The seeding should be:

1) Federer
2) Nadal
3) Roddick
4) Djokovic

The other 124 players have no chance. lol – my opinion.


Sean Randall Says:

Agassifan,

1. I was referring to his grass play. He’s not 15ft back.

2. I would rate Rafa’s draw last year as tougher than his 2006 road. Who would you like to see him beat? Name me five worthy opponents outside of Fed, Novak and Roddick.

3. It’s something like that. Let me ask you this, do you think Roger helped his legacy or hurt his legacy by reaching the French Open final and losing the way he did to Rafa. I would say most fans looked upon that outcome very negatively for Roger. Sure Roger reached the final again – a great effort and one that should be applauded – but I would argue the way he unraveled in the final did more damage in public perception than any good he gained by reaching it.


jane Says:

Amy,

Probably Djoko’s chances aren’t higher than you point out, but once it gets to the final four, it’s tough to say what will happen. I think they all get pretty hungry at that point, with the trophy in sniffing distance! LOL.

But I am not sure I agree no other players have a chance; for some reason I think there are more contenders this year than there have been in a few years – lots of dark horses too.

Anyhow, we’ll see – sounds like you got yourself some great viewing gear! ;-)


fed is afraid Says:

roger would have been better off losing in the semi’s than getting to the finals and not even giving an effort, but being defeated before he ever took the court. it is a big black mark against his legacy and i don’t think his career will ever recover from it.


jane Says:

One more thing about Novak’s serving: yes, it isn’t as consistent as it should be, and yes, he needs to raise up his first serve % like he did today on a consistent basis.

That said, however, if you check the ATP stats page, you will see that Novak is third behind Roddick and Karlovic for most service games won and he’s third behind Roddick and Llorda for most break points saved (he’s also played about 10 more matches than all of those guys, so really he’s even higher, in a sense).

Novak can serve very well precisely in those moments you point out Amy – the big ones. He’s a good clutch server when he needs to be; he plays important points very, very well overall.

And he’s in the top 4 of every single returning category.


Von Says:

Shital:

You won’t believe this, about 30 minutes after responding to your homey comment, I realized you were talking about Texas and not Nebraska. We had this conversation last evening when I talked about moving to Dallas and you mentioned you lived about 2-1/2 hours away from Roddick — Houston to be precise. I suppose my brain became befuddled after the ruckus today.

If I move to Texas, Roddick will be my homey too. However, you’ll be moving; I’l gain one homey and lose one homey. My brother lives in the Dallas Ft.Worth area., but Andy is in Austin — a 4 hour or more trip to see him. I’ll talk to you again about my anticipated move to Texas another day; maybe you can give me some pointers. I love big cities — I’m a big city gal, New York City. Florida, even though very beautiful lacks that big city atmosphere and I miss the intellectual stimulation that only can be gotten living in a big city.


Agassifan Says:

Sean,

well, I was talking about clay – if nadal stands just a couple of feet behind the baseline, he will get aced far more often on grass than on clay, and will return less serves as well. so his one big advantage from clay is gone on grass.

as for 5 other players – karlovic and sam querry are two of them. he did beat karlovic today, credit to him. even hewitt would be tough for him at wimbledon. youznhy, nadal, nalbandian, gasquet. if he beats a few of these at wimbledon, then he has a fair draw, or even a tough one. if he avoids all of them, then he is again lucky. berdych as well would be tough for him – again, credit to him for that one match where he beat him last year.

As for losing in the final versus before – so your yardstick is public perception. Well, I give even less importance to public perception that I give to Borg’s predictions. We are informed people on this forum, most of us at least, including you. we shouldn’t care about public perception. public perception doesn’t change what is correct and what is incorrect. and public perception is mostly incorrect. Look at politics – mostly the wrong guy gets elected. but that doesn’t make him the right guy.

Ya, losing so badly does dent ones reputation a tiny bit, but again, where did he lose? on clay. who did he lose to? possibly the best clay courter ever. its not as bad as sampras losing 0-6, 1-6 to santoro on clay. public may not have the brains to perceive this, but that’s irrelevant, we are not talking about a popularity contest here.

Fed is already probably the greatest clay courter never to win the french. I would rather have that record than sampras’s (on clay).


Agassifan Says:

So the list of players is – djokovic, roddick, youzhny, blake, berdych, gasquet, karlovic, querrey, nalbandian, hewitt. I am sure I have missed a few other strong grass players.

In a normal draw (not an abnormally lucky one), both fed and nadal should have to face at least a couple of these players, and beat them the normal way (i.e., no injuries or retirements).

Lets see how the draw turns out this year at wimby.


jane Says:

So Nalbandian vs. Djokovic and Roddick vs. Nadal? These are some excellent semi finals in the works at Queen’s! Can’t wait to see how they evolve – I hope they’re all competitive.


jane Says:

Agassifan – I think you have to count Tsonga (if he’s well) and Gulbis as potential upsetters on the grass.


jane Says:

And Murray.


Sean Randall Says:

Agassifan, fortunately or unfortunately, when talking the greatest in any sport across generations, public perception has a lot to do with it, especially when the numbers are as close as they are with Pete and Roger. Right now at least.

Regarding Nadal and aces, so what? All players get aced more on grass. That’s a fact. However, on grass it’s vital to have a strong return to do well, and Nadal has that. So while Rafa might get aced more he’ll likely get more balls back into play than many other players so I don’t think that’s much of a concern.

While Nadal may not have the big serve and great volley that translates so well on the grass, Rafa still excels in many areas needed to have success on grass including having a great return of serve, being quick enough to chase those low-bouncing balls, being mentally tough and patient for those tiebreaks and having a great passing shot.


bearbee_malaysia Says:

me also think that roger have other way to maintain world no 1…like what he did now..i watched karlovic against rafa just now,he damn damn tall and his service,WOW!!!!!!but Rafa won!hehe…Love RAFA!!!hope RAfa will win at WImbledon!!!!i love RAFA!!!AGH!!!haha….lol!


I like tennis bullies not tennis sissies Says:

Fed-Rafa is Joker your new screen name now?


jane Says:

Von,

There is a great Andy Roddick interview with Sue Barker on youtube.com. Just search “Roddick Funny Interview at Queens Tennis Club”.


TD (Tam) Says:

Good evening everybody!

jane, thanks for that link that is a great video that shows just how warm and funny Roddick can be. Von, our boy made it into the semis, hurrah! but I am worried about Nadal, he has had more grass practice than Andy. Sorry about Murray’s injury that boy is always falling apart at the seams!

Federer fans, congrats on your man’s continued success on the grass. I think everything will be in order with him when Wimbledon rolls around.


Del Torri Says:

***
jane says,
“The interesting thing is that if it was anyone else in that final, there would be less defending of the scoreline. If it was Novak, for instance, and he lost like that, you can bet that many people on this blog would be calling him a wimp or a “joke” or whatever. But not so with Roger. In fact, if you look at the previous thread, most of the discussion is about GOATs and not routs! And that’s what bugs me. Seems like denial.”

I find this quite amusing too – the way in which these fans of Federer are able to justify any loss on Federer’s behalf, while maintaining a terrible attitude towards other players (from observation, most notably Djokovic and Roddick).

I fully agree that if Djokovic had done what Federer did in the final, the aforementioned aggressors would be all over him – name-calling, declarations of bad sportsmanship by not trying (LOL), snide remarks about not retiring after losing the second set. It’s crude and despicable.

I’m in a similar position to you and Shital – Djokovic is my favourite player (although my other favourites deviate slightly from there: they include Wawrinka and Gasquet). And it’s galling to see other people treat Djokovic, and his fans, as they do now – and they are so hypocritical that they cannot admit to ‘faults’ in their favourites.

Furthermore, it seems to me that if Federer is not your favourite player, you are deemed a ‘hater’. LOL – this is ironic; maybe they should look at their own perceptions of Novak!

He’s not one of my faves, but I don’t dislike him at all – in fact, I wanted him to win the French, particularly, more than anyone else. This should satisfy these Federer fans, who in general I believe are prejudiced and biased!


Del Torri Says:

Oh – my last paragraph relates to Federer.


Voicemale1 Says:

Agassifan Says:
So the list of players is – djokovic, roddick, youzhny, blake, berdych, gasquet, karlovic, querrey, nalbandian, hewitt. I am sure I have missed a few other strong grass players.

This is one of the most ridiculous posts ever. Karlovic a “strong grass player”? Then you wanna explain why such a “strong grass player” has lost in the 1st Round of Wimbledon for the last 3 years?? By my count – Blake, Youzhny, Berdych, or Querry have NEVER been past the Quarters at Wimbledon (and some of them not even that far). Hewitt & Nablnadian?? You gotta be kidding. They got to a in 2001, but all the experienced grass court players crapped out that, so SOMEBODY had to get there. And neither of them has ever been anywhere near that close since. Talk about a one-off! And Until I see another Semi from Reeshard Out-of-Gasquet, I’ll consider his run to the Semis last year a one-off too. Roddick, and probably Djokovic belong on your list, but they’re the only ones. The rest of these hacks you list have Little-to-ZERO chance of getting past the Quarters.

Your intent’s clear: you underrate Nadal, and grossly overrate the chances of all on your list except Roddick and Djokovic. Memo to Agassifan: you’re nuts. And this too: Sean’s right. Federer’s losing the French Final to Nadal everytime is WAY better than ANYTHING that schmuck Sampras ever did on a clay court. Ever. The 7 Wimbledon’s he won is one of the most overrated achievements in tennis. All you had to have there back in his day was a huge serve to do well – and if you had a decent volley, that boring-to-watch tactic got you far. His accomplishments there were strictly a function of the grassless dirt patch and tiny tennis balls that were very kind to a heavy serve, so they never came off the court. But you can’t just serve & volley your way to a Wimbledon title today.

Look at that insane Ivanisevic: huge server that was once ranked #2 in the world but the ONLY Grand Slam Final he ever reach was Wimbledon, where he did so 4 times. The court then was a dirt patch by week 2 and they used a much smaller tennis ball, all of which made the ball literally die in the dirt and never bounce up much. If either of them had to play there today, with longer grass, larger tennis ball and more importantly have to face the Luxilon Power from the back court, then Ivanisevic would have a record there like Karlovic today, and Sampras would be life-and-death just to make it to the 2nd week. He’d be watching his volleys become impotent, either landing closer to the baseline than service line, or drop so slow & deep as to from having to volley-up the vicious dipping and pace from synthetic strings that his volleys would become sitting ducks to easily smash, or they’d sail off into the stands from the sheer heat coming from the opponent’s back court.

Wimbledon today rewards power from the backcourt combined with an extraordinary, athletic, fluid movement. There’s no chance for big hitter that don’t have fluid movement there. The ONLY ones that combine all those qualities are Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic. If Roddick was a half-step quicker than he is I’d list him too. But the Wimbledon winner this year will be one of the Top 3 ranked guys, and no one else. Period.


Roggie Says:

Hello Shital,
Can you provide me some link so that I can watch matches tomorrow. Seems like you have plenty of them. Both for Queens and Halle.


Von Says:

TD:

“Von, our boy made it into the semis, hurrah! but I am worried about Nadal, he has had more grass practice than Andy.”

I’m concerned too — Andy has not had much time on the grass court at all, that coupled with his bad back, is not a good situation. further, he’s not played for over a month and Nadal has been playing for the past 2-3 months non-stop. I would like for Andy to defend his title, but if he can’t, it’s OK; he’s won it four (4) times. I’m going to think positive and hope he advances to the finals.

As you can see, that regrdless of what he says or does, or does not do, there are those who will criticize him unmercifully. I’m amazed at the hate that’s manifested on these threads.


Amy Says:

voicemale1,

I agree with much of what you said except the Sampras parts. You make it sound like Sampras had nothing else to his game except a serve and volley. Sampras had an extraordinary forehand especially his running cross court forehand. It was the best I’ve ever seen. Sampras’s return game was also very under rated. He was mentally tough and played the big points the way champions are supposed to. He rose to the occasion and summoned up his best serves when he needed them. He was a very clutch player.

Sampras may not have been so accomplished on clay but on hard courts he was king. He won 5 U.S. Opens and made it to 7 finals. He also won 2 Austrailian Opens on a rubberized surface. He also was a fantastic indoor champion. The season ending masters champ was Sampras many times over.

I’ll be the first to admit that Federer is better than Sampras (IMO) but I would never call Sampras a hack or a one trick pony. He was a remarkable champion and he deserves far more respect and credit than you are giving him.

I can’t believe how some people on these blogs are “dissing” Sampras. My God – The man is a legend.


Von Says:

Amy:

“I’ll be the first to admit that Federer is better than Sampras (IMO) but I would never call Sampras a hack or a one trick pony. He was a remarkable champion and he deserves far more respect and credit than you are giving him.

I can’t believe how some people on these blogs are “dissing” Sampras. My God – The man is a legend.”

Thanks for speaking up about Sampras. I’ve been a Sampras fan for years and I consider him to be one of the greatest. It’s an excercise in futility defending him on these threads. When I initially began postng here, I defended him and got into many battles — these statements are reincarnated every so often; it’s now become old news to me. However, the critics never get tired — it’s a running commentary. It seems that when they run out of subject matters to discuss they revert back to Sampras, and they also beat up on a few others. Stick around and you’ll see what unfolds — you’ll get accustomed to it and won’t even bother to comment as time goes by. I’ve lost the desire to refute their statements. :)


Shital Green Says:

Roggie,
Try the address below. Once you get the page, refresh it; then follow the links, Gerry Weber or Artois; see if you are lucky.
http://myp2p.eu/competition.php?competitionid=&part=sports&discipline=tennis


Tejuz Says:

Fed through to the Halle finals in straight sets.. Hez having a pretty easy tournament .. unlike 2006.


matt Says:

Oh, Nadal is leading 7-5, 4-2.

It is amazing. And Queen’s grass is faster (in my opinion) than Wimbledon’s grass.

It is just amazing that this guy is beating people like Karlovic or Roddick in the fast grass of Queens.

If Nadal had a great serve (or simply a good serve) I don’t know who could stop him.


matt Says:

He’s got it.

Nadal wins 7-5, 6-4.

He totally dominated from the baseline, and Roddick could only win points from his serve.

He can win on grass with his woman’s serve.

Imagine Nadal with a serve like Roddick’s or Karlovic’s.


Shital Green Says:

Constantly hitting on Roddick’s backhand side, which is his weaker side, Nadal takes the 1st set. Roddick should not have lost 11th game and should have been able to convert one of the 4 break chances in the 12th game of the 1st set. Roddick still has to work on his backhand.

And then in the 2nd set, he gives Nadal a break by hitting an easy ball long. Nadal served very well today, and his whipping forehand was just impeccable. He was in his perfect form to win this match.

It looks like Roddick’s back is still troubling him as we saw he was working on his back early in the 3rd game. And he had not had played enough matches to prepare against Nadal. It was ok match. Roddick got some more practice. There is nothing to regret about that. Hope he will feel stronger by the next week and whoop some *ss.

Congratulation to Nadal. Congratulation to Fed for another easy win over Kiefer.

Next match and the final should be interesting.


Von Says:

Congratulations to Nadal going through to his first final at queens.

Roddick’s lack of match play, one month lack of match play with back problems, and only 4 sets coming into the final was not enough against Nadal who has been playing for over 2-1/2 months non-stop. He gave it his all considering his back was acting up.

As a fan I’m satisfied that Roddick showed ‘heart’ despite his back problem and match play. It was only one break of serve in each set,; not 6-1, 6-0.


Joker Says:

How much heart does one need to win 9 games off the same guy who lost a set and 18 games to karlovic? Is roddick a contender or a pretender?

Djokovic is going to whip nadal like he whipped hewitt yesterday and like he is whipping nalbandian right now.


jane Says:

Von – sad smiles today I guess? :-(

At least Andy kept it close; a little more match play and he would’ve cleaned up those errors. I thought he was going to break back that and take the first set to a tie break.


jane Says:

Shital -

First, thanks so much for the link; I actually get to watch this!

Second, how about our huckleberry? I didn’t think Novak would clean up like this against Nalbandian; did you? Wow! :-)


jane Says:

And now Novak has fed Nalby a breakfast bagel? I am surprised at the one-sidedness of this one, although Nalbandian is prone to “disappearing”.

Oh Well – I am looking forward to the final: number 2 & 3 in the world meet again! What do you think Shital? Any predicitions?

Re: Halle – I see Kohls & Blake are just taking the court, and that Roger’s through easily. I always thought Kiefer would win, but he served abysmally at 43% for the overall match.


jane Says:

sorry I meant I always thought Roger would win but thought Kiefer could maybe do a little more than that.


Shital Green Says:

Jane,
I am glad that you got to watch the match.
Our huckleberry buried Nalby cold, 6-1, 6-0. No, I did not expect this match to be this lopsided. It was a horrendous performance from Nalby, one of the supposedly very skillful player. I agree with one commentator: “This is not even practice session for Djokovic. He will probably go outside an practice more after the match.”
I just wished the match was more competitive, but I will take the win, regardless how it went.
It won’t be this easy for either player tomorrow. I am excited that we have another Djoko-Rafa final.


Daniel Craig Says:

holy crap is everyone on this site a federer fanboy? everytime i check the polls it has federer this federer that. i understand the guy is great but whenever rafa comes on those polls and a question is asked like will he win a grand slam other than french, everybody votes no. in contrast, there was one the other day who will be the best on clay this year and almost everybody picked federer. WTF? sounds like wishful thinking and straightforward garbage


Von Says:

joker:

“How much heart does one need to win 9 games off the same guy who lost a set and 18 games to karlovic? Is roddick a contender or a pretender?”

Here we go again, different day, same garbage. Tell me Joker, do you ever look at these matches realistically, or do you just talk off the top of your head? You need to concentrate a little more, look at things from an objective point of view, then speak. You’re giving off sounds similarly to that of an empty vessel, or a buzzing fly, and you know what people do to buzzing flies, don’t you? They swat them. Anyone got a fly swatter?. Your rants and criticisms lack objectivity. Be a little more objective than subjective, OK?

In my defense of your attack on Roddick questioning whether he’s a ‘pretender’ or a ‘contender’, I’m sorry to have to mention Fed’s FO performance, albeit offending some of the decent Fed fans, but because you’re the bad apple in the barrel who’s provoking this comparison — Roddick has shown that he’s more of a ‘contender’ with a bad back and only 4 sets match play in over 6 weeks, than Federer had shown at the FO.playing consistently. Tell me Joker,What physical problem was Fed dealing with to get creamed 6-1-, 6-3, 6-0? NADA. Now Joker, take a chill pill and shut the hell up. I believe you obtain some sort of sadistic pleasure behaving like a nuisance without any love or knowledge whatsoever for the sport of Tennis. Get a reality check — maybe there’s a problem that you have of which you’re not aware. After you check-up, put a sock on it and shut the hell up, and snooze!!!!

“To sleep, perchance to dream, there’s the catch.”

“?The miserable have no other medicine but HOPE.”


Shital Green Says:

Jane,
Honestly, I would be able to predict if Djoko had been tested today. Yesterday, I was able to see him much more than today, but that is still not quite enough tell how he will fare tomorrow. All I can say is it will be a close match. If he beats Nadal, he will gain a lot of confidence going into Wimby next week. Even if Rafa wins here, I will not be sad.
My wishes for Djoko !


Von Says:

jane & shital:

Congratulations on Djoko’s win and going through to his first Queens final!! :)

Nalby was on one of his walkabouts today. He looked like a ‘potted plant’. He really needed a shot of ??? It would have been nice if the semi matches were switched around. :) Wishful thinking. Roddick would have made it to the final hands down.

Tomorrow should be a good final. May the best man win!


Amy Says:

The big 3 all look impressive. Nadal looks more confident on grass than I’ve ever seen him. Andy look a little slow compared to Nadal. Nadal’s serve is also improved. Djokovic is going to be a tough opponent for anyone to handle. I’m stil weary of his volleying skills. (IMO) Nadal volleys better than Djokovic. You wouldn’t think so but he does. Federer is very focused. He’s on a mission and his game is showing it. I’m prediction another Fed-Nadal final at Wimbledon. I’ve seen nothing in these warm up events to change that perception. The collision in inevitable.


Von Says:

jane:

“Von – sad smiles today I guess?

At least Andy kept it close; a little more match play and he would’ve cleaned up those errors. I thought he was going to break back that and take the first set to a tie break.”

I think he was in pain which was obvious from the way he was massaging his back. I’m thankful he didn’t retire. Only the Lord knows how the criticisms, taunts and gloats would have been flowing, had he done so. Hopefully, with the 9 additional days rest for his back, he’ll do better at Wimby, however, I’m not expecting any miracles at Wimby. such is the nature of the beast.

“Can one desire too much of a good thing.” I doubt it, and so be it!!


Shital Green Says:

Von,
Thanks.
Realistically even if that would not have happened because of the ranking, I would have liked the switch.


Von Says:

shital:

Thanks! Those were very ‘sweet’ and uplifting words. My heart is not as heavy because I did not hold out much hope for Andy considering what’s happening with his back and lack of match play. One has to be realistic in these circumstances.

The switch around would have been unrealistic, but mine was just wishful thinking. i can dream, can’t I? :)


JCF Says:

Now that Nadal beat Roddick on grass, can anyone still say that his last two Wimbledons were flukes?


JCF Says:

“I’d be really surprised to see either Rafa or Novak reach the final.”

Well you had better be surprised then. Both reached the final.

Nadal made his way past big servers like Karlovic and Roddick. So that fool who said Nadal will fall early to players like Isner, Querry, Karlovic, Gulbis should put down whatever it was they are smoking.


JCF Says:

“Nadal is lucky the wimbledon courts and conditions are not even a pale shadow of the pacy courts of the 90s.”

Funny how if Nadal wins on grass it’s because the grass courts are slow as sand, but if he loses, it’s because the grass (the same grass) is too fast for him. Which will it be? Take your pick now before he plays Wimbledon.


JCF Says:

This much I think we can all agree on:

Against other opponents, Federer is better on clay than Nadal is on grass.

Against each other, Nadal is better on grass than Federer is on clay. Meaning, Nadal is closer to beating Federer on grass than Federer is beating Nadal on clay. Nadal is far more dominant on clay than Federer is on grass, if they play each other a lot. The Hamburg win for Federer was courtesy of the fact that Nadal won Monte Carlo, Rome, and Barcelona, and played 3 full weeks of tennis in 4 weeks. Fed played poorly in the first set, while the next two which he won were an abberation. Why do I say that? Because, how else is Nadal going to lose 6-2 6-0 on clay? That is unthinkable. Someone can take one or two sets off him, but not rout him like that. He was tired.

Fed did not play any tournament between MC and Rome, and did not get far in Rome. He was fresher. The only reason Nadal won the first set 6-2 was because Fed blew it. He shouldn’t have.


Amy Says:

JCF,

You made very valid points. I think Nadal has a real shot this year at Wimbledon. The last 2 years I felt he was happy to make it to the final but not this year. He knows he can win even over Federer. However, Federer knows this too and he’ll be ready and sharp. This is the modern day version of Mac N Borg. Two very contrasting styles. After watching Nadal beat Roddick today I’m not so sure he won’t win Wimbledon. He’s improved that much and that’s scary. Fed is going to need to bring out his A game. Anything short of that and Nadal will be the new champ of Wimbledon. He’s that good.


Von Says:

“After watching Nadal beat Roddick today I’m not so sure he won’t win Wimbledon.”

I don’t think you can use Roddick’s match play today as a benchmark for Nadal’s future grass court performance. Realistically speaking, Roddick went into the SFs playing only four (4) sets coupled with not having played for approx. 6 weeks and a very bad spastic back problem. That back problem is detriemental to any big server’s game. Roddick was not hitting his serves very well, and even with his handicap there was only one (1) break of serve in each set. He had two (2) opportunities to break Nadal’s serve.

Nadal on the other hand has played seven (7) sets on grass, added to that he has been pounding the clay circuit and now grass for close to three (3) months continuously — there’s a huge difference in how well his game is honed, e.g., movement, coordination, etc., as opposed to Roddick’s four (4) sets. A player loses coordination, movement and dexterity when laid up for a prolonged period of time.

That said, to have a fair evaluation of what Nadal will or will not be able to accomplish on grass would have to wait until Wimby, or tomorrow in the final, therein lies the true indicator of how awesome his grass match play will be. It’s true, his backhand has gotten better, but we need to wait and see before saying he’ll win Wimby.


jane Says:

Von,

” Hopefully, with the 9 additional days rest for his back, he’ll do better at Wimby, however, I’m not expecting any miracles at Wimby. such is the nature of the beast.”

Yes – you’re right that back/shoulder injuries hit Andy right where it hurts – i.e., they affect Andy’s strongest weapon, his serve. But likely his movement was hindered from lack of match preparedness, as you say too. I hope he’s not in pain and is better for Wimbledon. He’s got a while to rest, practice and prepare, so keep hope alive!

I don’t know how much of a chance my Huckleberry has against the force of Nadal; but it’s tough to judge since he played a “potted plant” today LOL :-). He did play well against Hewitt so that’s something. Have to wait and see, but the best man will win tomorrow either way.


Von Says:

jane:

“I don’t know how much of a chance my Huckleberry has against the force of Nadal; but it’s tough to judge since he played a “potted plant” today LOL :-).”

I see you like my “potted plant” expression? What else can I say about someone who refusd to move? Nalby was somewhere out there, but not at Queens today.

Djoko should be rested to play tomorrow and that’s a big plus for him. You know his problem when he plays 3 or 4 days in a row is tiredness, but he didn’t have too much to put out today, in fact he needs some more practice. Nadal, however, will be riding on a cloud or should be on Mount Olympus at this point, having beaten Karlovic and Roddick, that being the case, he probably will be the proverbial matador fighting off your hucklebery. I’m assuming that Nadal has to slow down at some point, and i’d think if he makes it through to the 2nd week of Wimby, we’ll see that happen. That doen’t help Djoko tomorrow, but one never knows, does one. One big mistake Roddick made was going to Nadal’s forehand today. So therein lies the answer — stay away from his forehand. However, Nadal loves to go to his opponents backhand, regardles of who he is playing at the other side of the net, if he does that with Djoko, he will not be as successful because Djoko’s backhand is pretty awesome which could place him in a very comfortable position. You’ll have to suffer through until tomorrow for your answer.

“Let every eye negotiate for itself; and trust no agent…”


Amy Says:

JCF,

Come on now. Nadal has made the finals the last two years at Wimbledon. Only a heroic effort by Federer in the 5th set last year kept him from winning it all. He’s better this year. He grinded out the same clay court schedule last season too and still reached the finals. So I don’t see how that makes a difference. If anything Nadal looks stronger this year.

And please! Give credit to Nadal’s return game. Nadal suddenly returns Roddick’s serve and something wrong with Roddick. Nothing’s wrong with Roddick. Nadal has just gotten that much better. I’ve never been a huge Nadal fan but I have to give the man credit. To me, beating Roddick on Grass is far more of an achievement than beating Djokovic. After all, What’s Djokovic ever done except reach the semis last year. Roddick’s a two time finalist at the big W and the defending champion at Queen’s club. Roddick’s resume is so much better. Mark my words, as much of a Federer fan as I am, Nadal is going to win Wimbledon.


JCF Says:

Joker,

“How much heart does one need to win 9 games off the same guy who lost a set and 18 games to karlovic? Is roddick a contender or a pretender?”

Whenever Karlovic plays, it’s going to be all tiebreaks. This is how many games anyone will lose that beats him. You’re going to lose 6 games for every set you win, and 7 games for every set you lose. No one is going to break him. Out of those 18 games he lost, how many of them did he have his serve broken?

Anyone who beat Karlovic would have lost 18 games to him, so your argument is nonsense.

It’s funny how things change. Not long ago you said Nadal couldn’t beat someone decent like Roddick and Karlovic. And now that it’s done, you brush it aside as though they were crap. Make up your mind.


fed is afraid Says:

nadal is on fire, roger has been put on notice for wimbledon, be very afraid, rog.


Giner Says:

“Only the Lord knows how the criticisms, taunts and gloats would have been flowing, had he done so. Hopefully, with the 9 additional days rest for his back, he’ll do better at Wimby, however, I’m not expecting any miracles at Wimby.”

Criticisms for retiring only happen in a GS final, especially to someone who’s frequently been close to winning slams but never winning one. Yes, you know who I’m talking about. Retirements happen a lot, but that is the only one that ever gets talked about. Anything else is no big deal.

Even Federer’s opponent at Estoril final did it, and no one gave a Shital. Hell, Djokovic has done it plenty of times himself.


Von Says:

“Nadal suddenly returns Roddick’s serve and something wrong with Roddick. Nothing’s wrong with Roddick.”

Then I suppose Roddick has faked his back problem for the past 5-6 weeks. Which doctor’s diagnosis and/or prognosis have you been following? Or what crystal ball are you gazing into to say there’s nothing wrong with Roddick? If you want to give Nadal credit, I have no probelem with that, but to discredit Roddick stating that there’s nothing wrong with him, is going a bit too far with the prognosis. then I suppose he withdrew from Rome,in the SFs, where he had an opportunity to get to the finals by faking his back probelem? Gosh what’s next?

I’m not saying Nadal didn’t play well; he had one break of serve in each set. It was not a runaway match. Roddick had 2 opportnities in the set to break Nadal’s serve but could not convert. Didn’t you see him massaging his back, or was that a fake thing too?


jane Says:

Von,

Yes, loved the “potted plant” expression; it’s an apt description of Nalby today, putting down roots in the grass.

Rafa’s forehand is THE weapon; Roddick might’ve done well to stay away from it as you point out, although many have commented throughout RG how much Rafa’s backhand has improved, so what’re you going to do? It’s too bad Roddick couldn’t convert any of the break points, but Rafa is good a staving those off. His serve may be somewhat predictable in placement, but it’s effective nonetheless. He’s very consistent on first serves and tends to win a good portion of his second serve points.

It’s tough to say about tomorrow: I think both Rafa and Novak are already pleased with their results here – win or lose – since they think of Queens as a warm up anyhow. I’d give the edge to Rafa but I’d be surprised if it’s a blow out. Like you say, Novak is solid from the back of the court -both forehand and backhand sides- and he’s a great returner just like Rafa. If Novak can serve well tomorrow too, it could go either way. But Rafa is the favorite I think based on who he’s beaten at Queen’s already.


Giner Says:

fed is afraid:

Your anti-Fed ranting is getting old. We get the point already, enough now, ok?

I’m not a fan of him, but if Fed wins it again you’re just going to end up looking stupid, so don’t make the rest of us non-Fed-fans look dumb with you, please?


Von Says:

Giner:

“Criticisms for retiring only happen in a GS final, especially to someone who’s frequently been close to winning slams but never winning one.”

I beg to differ. If I can jog your memory back to Rome — wasn’t Stepanek criticized for retiring? At Estoril, wasn’t Davydenko criticized for retiring? It’s a known fact that Roddick is hated on these threads and a retirement against Nadal would have really gotten his anti-fans’juices flowing. I’m still, waiting for those who will eventually post as to his loss. Their glee in re-incanated and very predictable. Anyway, i could be proved wrong.

_____________
JCF:

I agree with you that Joker’s addition was sheer nonsense re the Nadal V. Karlovic match; but Joker never misses an opportunity to display is nonsensical jargon.


fed is afraid Says:

if rafa doesn’t win it, i would like to see andy roddick win, he is deserving of it, he has had a hell of a year beating nadal and djoker, how wonderful it would be to see him holding the wimbledon trophy.


Amy Says:

Von,

Jimmy Connors once said, If you play – you’re fit. Don’t whine and make excuses later if you lose. What makes you think Nadal isn’t hurting from some physical problem too? They all do. Roddick is just getting a little long in the tooth. His top 10 future window is closing fast. As a long time fan of Roddick’s – I’m sorry to say that. I’m not so sure Roddick will make it into the 2nd week of Wimbledon. His confindence must be shaken. But we will see. I like your posts Von. Keep them coming.


jane Says:

Just to clarify, Roddick actually had 4 break point chances on Rafa’s serve, according to the stats. Rafa was lucky and/or good at staving those off.

I wouldn’t judge this as an indicator of how well (or not) Andy will do at Wimbledon. He got to the semis and he lost to the hottest player on tour right now. He also kept his match with Rafa very close. 1 break in each set was what Rafa managed, and I am sure at least one of those was due to a Roddick forehand long. Andy staved off 5 or 7 break chances. He’ll be fine for Wimbledon.

I think it’s too early to make sound predictions about Wimbledon; there are lots of darkhorses and anything can happen. It’s even difficult to judge Roger’s form since he hasn’t played any top contenders (i.e., for winning Wimbledon) at Halle. We just have to wait and see.


Von Says:

Amy:

“Jimmy Connors once said, If you play – you’re fit. Don’t whine and make excuses later if you lose. What makes you think Nadal isn’t hurting from some physical problem too? They all do. Roddick is just getting a little long in the tooth.”

I agree with the old addage used by Jimmy Connors — if you play you’re fit, but logical thinking sometimes will have to override that very broad statement of Jimmy’s. If a player can put one foot in front of the other and get on the court, then we’ll assume he’s fit, but the quesition would be to what degree of fitness. As you know there are several degress of fitness levels. I do think we have to view his results today, factoring into it the many variables, i.e., the amount of weeks he hasn’t played; only playing 4 sets prior to his match with Nadal; he was visibly slower with his footwork; and his serious back problem; then I’d have to say that he wasn’t very fit and in pain. For a big server, the back problem places him into a position of insurmountablle odds, since back fitness is of the utmost importance to his game.

Yes, Nadal could be hurting, but i wouldn’t equate his physical problem to be of the same magnitude as Roddick’s.

I’m happy to hear that you’re one of his fans, and maybe you’re looking at his performance more objectively than i am, but I just gotta say, Amy, I’m concerned and I believe all of the foregoing that i’ve written led to his loss today. If for one moment I had a thought to the contrary,viz. that he’s fit,I would have just handled his defeat as the better man won, but the facts are a bit too much to ignore. Anyway, we’ll just have to see whether he makes it to Wimby and how far. “To be or not to be, that is the question.”

Thanks for saying you like my posts. From what i’ve seen/read thus far, yours are very enlightening — keep them coming. :)


Von Says:

jane:

“Rafa’s forehand is THE weapon; Roddick might’ve done well to stay away from it as you point out, although many have commented throughout RG how much Rafa’s backhand has improved, so what’re you going to do?”

Just be persistent and pepper the backhand like he does with everyone else. It’ll have to break down some time. However, better said than done.


Von Says:

fedd is afraid:

“if rafa doesn’t win it, i would like to see andy roddick win, he is deserving of it, he has had a hell of a year beating nadal and djoker, how wonderful it would be to see him holding the wimbledon trophy.”

Yes, yes, and yes!! WOW, would I love to see Andy holding that trophy. So many times coming so close but no cigar. Just once, is all I ask. :)


Sean Randall Says:

“I think he was in pain which was obvious from the way he was massaging his back. I’m thankful he didn’t retire.”

Whoa, Von. Obvious? Andy served 65% first serves and hammered 14 aces against a very good returner in Nadal, and you actually think he was hindered by his shoulder? Wow. Whatever pain you think Roddick was in (or rust) I can only hope I have some of that the next time I play. I’ll take 14 aces, win 74% of my first serves for two sets any day.


Von Says:

Sean Randall:

“Whatever pain you think Roddick was in (or rust) I can only hope I have some of that the next time I play. I’ll take 14 aces, win 74% of my first serves for two sets any day.”

So you don’t think that he was hindered in the least bit by his back/shoulder problem? He was massaging his back and showed some difficulty moving side to side. But maybe I was watching through dark glasses. I didn’t think you read my posts, now I have to be more careful with you watching over my shoulder. :) What he didn’t do at the very begining was come in more to the net; he began doing that toward the end of the second set and won a few points — a little too late.

“What’s gone and what’s past help; Should be past grief.”


jane Says:

I just read this in the Times online:

“Admittedly defending champion Andy Roddick was not match-honed after being required to play only one set against his injured friend Mardy Fish and then being ushered through without having to tread on court for Friday’s quarter-final because of Andy Murray’s thumb injury.”

Perhaps it was even more so Andy’s lack of match play / preparedness that hurt him than his back? Certainly, even Andy’s post-match comment about Raga being on “cruise-control” speaks to Andy’s own knowledge that he wasn’t as “ready” as Rafa. And let’s not underestimate waves of momentum, which Rafa is surfing on at the moment. Can he coast to a grass title here? Yep, good chance of it. Can he coast all the way to the Wimbledon title? He’s a top contender, no doubt about it!


Von Says:

jane:

“Admittedly defending champion Andy Roddick was not match-honed after being required to play only one set against his injured friend Mardy Fish and then being ushered through without having to tread on court for Friday’s quarter-final because of Andy Murray’s thumb injury.”

Andy’s lack of match play/preparedness was one of the main reasons I cited for his defeat. It’s not possible to win against Nadal in his present euphoric state unless a player is match ready. The question now to be asked, will Djoko be match ready enough to meet Nadal tomorrow after his stint with the ‘potted plant’? Only time will tell.

Can Rafa win Wimby being carried on his cloud; absolutely. He has to slow down sometime, but the question is when.


Giner Says:

“I beg to differ. If I can jog your memory back to Rome — wasn’t Stepanek criticized for retiring? At Estoril, wasn’t Davydenko criticized for retiring? It’s a known fact that Roddick is hated on these threads and a retirement against Nadal would have really gotten his anti-fans’juices flowing. I’m still, waiting for those who will eventually post as to his loss. Their glee in re-incanated and very predictable. Anyway, i could be proved wrong.”

Were any of these people criticized like “that little backhand that quit” from AO 06?


jane Says:

Von,

“will Djoko be match ready enough to meet Nadal tomorrow after his stint with the ‘potted plant’? Only time will tell.”

The “potted plant” will have hurt Djoko in some ways (he won’t be as match ready as Rafa) and helped him in others, as you already pointed out (he’ll be rested and ready).

But the confidence thing is on Rafa’s side; even though Djoko beat him rather easily at IW, he’s lost the last 2 matches on clay. So Rafa has to have more confidence.

“Can Rafa win Wimby being carried on his cloud; absolutely. He has to slow down sometime, but the question is when”

When, for Rafa, has usually been in the latter part of the year, on hardcourts and indoor. Not that’s he’s done badly. Actually Rafa could potentially pick up points on this year’s hardcourt swing if he’s well.

We just have to wait and see… how the huckleberry does tomorrow, how ready Roddick is for a real go at the Wimby title, and how long and far Rafa rides the wave.


JCF Says:

Von:

“Andy’s lack of match play/preparedness was one of the main reasons I cited for his defeat. It’s not possible to win against Nadal in his present euphoric state unless a player is match ready. The question now to be asked, will Djoko be match ready enough to meet Nadal tomorrow after his stint with the ‘potted plant’? Only time will tell.”

I think Andy’s lack of match practice can be countered somewhat by the fact on the other end of the spectrum, Rafa has been playing TOO much. He won MC, then won Barca, took a week off, lost in Rome, won Hamburg, took a week off, then spent two weeks at RG, and straight away went to the grass. It’s a big adjustment he had to make, and he’s barely gotten any rest.

Federer is a guy you can count on with any surface. It’s second nature for him. And one does have to wonder if his unbeaten grass record may have still been so had he played Queens each year instead of the competition-starved Halle. I think he would have won all the Queens, but it would have produced much more exciting matchups than the foregone conclusion that is Halle every year.

Credit to both guys for making the finals of both RG and Wimbledon in the same year, twice in a row. No one since Borg has been able to do that. Though I’m not sure how far apart the two slams were in his day.

I’m very excited to see what happens in the Queen’s final tomorrow. Even though I have no way of watching it. Something tells me Djokovic is the favorite, but who knows.. maybe he’ll get tired. I’m amazed how Djokovic is so good on every surface. Most guys have a weakness either on fast or slow courts, and acquire some experience later. This guy has peaked early.


Shital Green Says:

Von,
Ref: “Nadal loves to go to his opponents backhand, regardles of who he is playing at the other side of the net, if he does that with Djoko, he will not be as successful because Djoko’s backhand is pretty awesome which could place him in a very comfortable position.”
If, and I say “if,” Rafa customarily hits to Djoko’s backhand side like he did against Roddick, Djoko will have an easy straight set win. But, no, Nadal is a lot smarter than that. With Djoko, Nadal will try to hit as many ball as he can to his right hand corner. And the number of times Rafa can and is allowed to do that will be a factor in determining the match.

Jane,
Ref: “If Novak can serve well tomorrow too, it could go either way.”
Rafa’s serve has improved quite noticeably. If Djoko can serve as well as he did against Hewitt and Nalby, he could have a slight edge tomorrow. If he cannot match Nadal’s percentage of serve, he will lose the match right there. Nadal is a distinctly better returner (Djoko considers him the best he’s seen), but I think, this could be my bias, Djoko is a bit better shot maker, not distinctly though. Like Nadal will try to hit most returns to Djoko’s right and lure him to hit more forehand, Djoko will try to return as quickly as he can to Nadal’s feet in the baseline and to Nadal’s backhand (comparatively, Nadal’s forehand is more lethal). Both will look for every opportunity to make most of the opponent’s weak areas. At the end, a couple of drop shots could determine the match.

Amy, Giner, JCF,
Let me briefly jump in your Rafa-Fed discussion.In his interview today, Roddick called Rafa the hottest rod on cruise. That description is more or less true. Absolutely, Rafa has a chance to win up Wimby this year. It will be a battle between Rafa’s will to break outside clay and Fed’s will to life. Rafa will be standing against a guy who will have 65+ winning streak by the Wimby final and has not lost a single match on grass for 6 six years since 2002 Wimby opening round loss to Ancic. Most importantly, Fed has everything on stake, reputation/survival to stay No. 1. Although I will be rooting for Rafa if they meet in the final, I still cannot see Fed giving up the grass mantle to anyone else this year. If any of these top players get eliminated, thus a new scenario, it will be in the early rounds before R16. I don’t rule this out completely. I think the later rounds will stay conservatively intact. Past R16, if anyone can oust Fed, it will be either Nadal or Djoko or healthy Roddick in A-form, though a new guy’s win will be equally sweet to me, which I may not happen in normal circumstances. But keep in mind Jane’s “darkhorses” can always pop up in abnormal circumstances of the rounds before R16.


Shital Green Says:

Sean,
Von sounded to me a little less imaginary than your Mono articles a couple of months ago, which somehow suggested or allowed to make wild inferences that Fed lost AO because of some mono. That was not very credible idea than Roddick’s game being affected even by 4-5% due to his back ailment, about which we have known for over a month, not 4 months after losing a match.


Von Says:

JCF:

“And one does have to wonder if his unbeaten grass record may have still been so had he played Queens each year instead of the competition-starved Halle. I think he would have won all the Queens, but it would have produced much more exciting matchups than the foregone conclusion that is Halle every year.”

Absolutely agree. Queens has more talent in the tournamentlineup than Halle. Maybe Fed would have won all of the Queens titles, and then maybe not, but he is assured of always winnng Halle — the field is sadly lacking in competition. James Blake lost to Kohlschreiber. I can predict Fed to be the winner tomorrow. Kohls has some epileptic moments.

I’m looking forward to the Queens match tomorrow myself. With Djokovic it’s always iffy regarding his fitness. He tires after consecutive days of playing. However, considering today he didn’t have a very strenuous match he may be able to handle the fitness issue. Djokovic peaked very early in his career; it’s scary and one wonders if he’ll be able to keep up his performance over the long haul.

If I’m correct, I remembered before the AO you mentioned you’re from Australia and I’m surprised that they’re not broadcasting the Queens tournament considering their son, Leyton, is/was a competitor. I suppose you’ll have to watch the live scores or maybe live streaming. Try the Tennis Channel streaming– http://www.Tennischannel.com. I’m spoilt with the Tennis Channel. They’ll be broadcasting Wimby live. Usually they show the matches live, and then repeat them during the night. It’s good and bad; I eventually become very sleep deprived.


Von Says:

Shital:

“Nadal is a lot smarter than that. With Djoko, Nadal will try to hit as many ball as he can to his right hand corner. And the number of times Rafa can and is allowed to do that will be a factor in determining the match.”

You’re right on Nadal going to Djoko’s right hand corner — this strategy will make Djoko have to play more balls, returning and keeping him on the run. Nadal, i’m sure is aware that Djoko can tire easily, hence, if he can from the very beginning set a precedent to keep Djoko on the run and hit to Djoko’s right hand corner stretching him out, then we can easily predict Nadal could emerge as the winner,if this strategy pays off.


sensationalsafin Says:

Djokovic just crushed, not beat, but crushed Nalbandian. How can you not consider him the favorite?

Roddick seemed a little slow in changing direction, hence the countless return of serve winners from Nadal. But Nadal played a helluva match so I gotta give him credit. I was rooting for Roddick and I was more than impressed with how well he hit his backhand. If only he could hit it down the line, he may have won today. But I think the main reason he lost was that his forehand wasn’t clicking. He beat Nadal in Dubai by crushing all his forehands, he couldn’t do that today and that was the key for him.

Why is everyone undermining Halle? Does anyone remember his 2006 triumph there? Saving match points in one match and playing 3 setters in just about every other one. Those were some exciting match-ups. After all these years of owning the tournament now he’s getting criticized for it? Seriously? Damn shame Blake lost, I would’ve liked that match-up. But Kohls will be very interesting.


Von Says:

sensationalsafin:

“Djokovic just crushed, not beat, but crushed Nalbandian. How can you not consider him the favorite?”

Right now, Nadal is the ultimate favorite to win anything. He’s on a hot streak. Djokovic played a good match, but Nalbandian looked like he was riveted to the ground.

Don’t you think Roddick was slower changing direction due to his back being hurt? That’s how he hurt his back at Rome — changing direction. Like you said, if he could have done more damage with his forehand and going down the line, he would have won. Nadal did play a good match.

No one is undermining Halle, we’re just stating that this year the higher ranked players, with the exception of Fed and Blake are playing at Queens. However, as JCF pointed out, if Fed had played Queens in the prior years, he probably would have won all of the trophies. He was/is the dominant player.


jane Says:

sensationalsafin,

Yes, Roddick’s forehand wasn’t as strong or as accurate as it can be so that is one reason this match wasn’t tighter. And yes, Novak crushed Nalbandian, but David played sub-par, so it’s not a good measuring stick for the final.

BTW, I don’t think people are “undermining” Halle, but you can’t feasibly argue that the field is as deep as Queens there?! Definitely not this year!

Some of the top seeds at Queens? Nadal (2 time Wimby finalist); Djokovic (Wimby semi-finalist); Roddick (4 time Queens champ, 2 or 3? time Wimby finalist); Nalbandian (Wimby finalist); Gasquet (Wimby semi-finalist); Murray (touted as future Wimby winner ;-)) Hewitt (Wimby champion).

Some of the top seeds at Halle, besides Roger? Blake (has he ever gotten beyond the Qs?); Berdych (Qs Wimby); Youz (R16?); Baggy (Qs?); Step ??

The point is, NONE of the top guys @ Halle are nearly as good on grass, or at least they don’t have the same record, as the main contenders at Queens; this is simply fact not bias or “undermining”.


jane Says:

Von, I hadn’t read your post to ss; we must have been expounding simultaneously, but it looks like great minds think alike. ;-)


matt Says:

In my opinion, Djokovic will win tomorrow.

Nadal’s victory over Roddick and Karlovic were impressive, so Nadal is in great form.

But Djokovic’s triunph over Hewitt and Nalbandian were no less impressive.

And the reason why I think Djoko is winning tomorrow is that Djokovic’s game from the back of the court is far better than Roddick’s.

Today Nadal dominated Roddick from the baseline, but I think he won’t be able to do that tomorrow against Djokovic.

Djokovic’s groundstrokes are solid and lethal at the same time, and his serve is better than Nadal’s.

Djokovic usually pretends his tired, but I think he does it to mislead the opponent.

Nadal has to be aggressive from the very first shot. If he plays short balls, he will be crushed.

All in all, I see Djokovic winning tomorrow.

Moreover, I think that Djokovic will be nº1 before the USOPEN and he will finish the year in the top position.


Andrew Miller Says:

Nadal’s triumph on Roddick surprised me b/c I thought the grass was playing “fast” in the match b/t Djoko and Nalby. Normally I would think that would favor Roddick, but Roddick felt that Nadal was “grooved” in match play.

Wimbledon is tricky to call. I am still dumbfounded by the magnitude of Federer’s loss to Nadal at Roland Garros, not necessarily by the fact of Nadal’s win, but by the margin of victory. Nonetheless – the French final was definitely a good result for Federer – he was head and shoulder above his competition for the most part, and Federer simply takes care of business at the majors until he faces Nadal and Djokovic. Seeing Djokovic on the grass however, I dont feel he’s a threat for Wimbledon against Federer. He might get a set in my opinion, but even that result seems a stretch to me.

I would think that Roddick with a little more practice (a week’s time or so!) should be in good shape for at least the quarters. Nadal I feel a bit less certain because the number of threats, on grass, is much higher for him. But, the three out of five format certainly does favor Nadal in any war of attrition – he can outlast the competition. That’s probably the most frightening thing for any of his opponents: they have to be able to play well against him for an extended period of time – at least 9 service games.


Andrew Miller Says:

Kind of feel that at this point Fed should stay in Halle. It’s a better result that he get some more hardware before going to Wimbledon – he really needs no new threat until Wimbledon, and needs a confidence boost.


TD (Tam) Says:

Sigh, my fears have come true. Andy simply was not ready for a match tough Nadal. He didn’t do too badly but Nadal was just “on” today. Does Nadal even possess an “off” button? :)

I have not been able to view any of the Halle matches but it appears that Federer is mowing down the competition, as expected. He should have no problems collecting the trophy.

The Queens will be more interesting. Once again No. 2 and 3 meet. Good luck to both I’d like to see a good match.

Speaking of Novak there is this terrific interview with him from the Times I thought jane might like (she is a fan, correct?)
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/tennis/article4138541.ece

Daniel Craig- “holy crap is everyone on this site a federer fanboy? everytime i check the polls it has federer this federer that. i understand the guy is great but whenever rafa comes on those polls and a question is asked like will he win a grand slam other than french, everybody votes no. in contrast, there was one the other day who will be the best on clay this year and almost everybody picked federer. WTF? sounds like wishful thinking and straightforward garbage”

Your post made me LOL because you are so right. The Tennis-X polls are mostly garbage. Tennis-X does not hide the fact that they are huge Federer fanboys. 98% of the updates on this site are Federer related. When I first started posting I thought I would get drowned out by the Federer fans but was pleasantly surprised to see so many people who are fans of other players and not just Mr Big.


jane Says:

Thanks for the link TD – you’re correct & very thoughtful.

And don’t worry; Andy will be back to his best for Wimby!


Von Says:

TD:

You were correct. I had all of those feelings of trepidation but did not want to speak them aloud — to discourage any others who were positive. However, you can’t replace match play with practice, not that Roddick was able to practice either. Considering all the many strikesz against him, I’m pleased that he kept it close and could have probably won had it not been for a few of his shots which were out of sync — again related to lack of match play.

Cheer up, he’ll do just fine at Wimby and might hoist that trophy after all. I know he’ll give it his all. :)


Joker Says:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/low/tennis/1396021.stm

That was an article from 2001. Halle was in the dumps before Fed started the now legendary Halle-Wimbledon double. He is the only Halle Champ ever to win Wimbledon. Something tells me he did a good job of that over the past 4-5 yrs. That is what Great Champions do. They start trends that mortals will follow.

A-rod fans must stop making excuses. I dont see karlovic supporters saying he lost to nadal because his back or shoulders were hurt. And he played Nadal closer than roddick did. Truth is nadal was the better player both days. That said it is a lame effort from a 4time grandslam finalist that he cannot push nadal closer than a guy who lost in the 1st round of Wimbledon the last 3 yrs.

Today Djokovic will pummel nadal into the ground. Nadal may at best win a tight set. Djokovic is in prime form and has his killer cap on. He will be relishing the chance to take Nadal on a very fast surface. Will be fun to see Djokovic run nadal ragged like he did at Indian Wells. Watch out for nadal fans to come up with “fatigue” excuses after the loss.

Looking onward, Wimbledon is between Federer-Djokovic as is the rest of the season. Nadal cannot get through Djokovic and Federer in consecutive matches outside of clay. His best bet is a tired Djokovic getting through Federer in a semi-final.


jane Says:

Joker:

Much as I’d like to see Novak win, I don’t know how you can be so sure; Rafa has proven his grass court capabilities the past two years, and this year is doing even better by getting to the finals here. To me this is a 50/50 match.


Sean Randall Says:

Joke, “Today Djokovic will pummel nadal into the ground.” Confident are you? I like Nadal here, straight sets.


jane Says:

It’s not that Novak doesn’t have the game to win, but you could see him getting tentative after Rafa held to make it 3-1. Rafa leaves no room for errors in his opponent’s games since he makes so few.


Shital Green Says:

Sean, “[That] Confident are you? …straight sets [?]”
That is not very respectful for one and too much for another. I go with Jane’s 50/50.


jane Says:

Players have to hit aggressive returns against Rafa or he’s all over it and dictates. If a player can get Rafa backfooted with a deep return, there’s a much better chance to win the point. But that’s where the errors come in…


jane Says:

amazing that rafa pulled out that set in some ways, since, until that last point, he was not ahead once. but he played great. he’s so tenacious, he wears his opponents down and out.

we’ll see if huckleberry can make any kind of charge in this second set…


jane Says:

Seriously, though, what’s a player’s strategy against Rafa? Just hold onto his own serve and save all his energy for tiebreaks? LOL. Who knows?


Shital Green Says:

Now, it looks like Sean’s prediction is going to be right, (first time ever?). But still disrespectfully, though.


Shital Green Says:

Jane,
Even if the huckleberry loses today, he has already proven that he has “the game” to trouble any one. I am happy with that. Already in the 1st set, he has pleased the crowd, met the finals’ expectation.


jane Says:

Shital,

It’s true; our huckleberry has done well regardless. :-)

What a great quality first set, and Novak had that set point too, so he was right there with Rafa. I think he let Rafa back into the first set after Rafa held for 3-1. Errors crept in there. And Rafa is doggedly determined if ever there was a doggedly determined player!

I hope these two don’t meet again in the semis at Wimby.


Amy Says:

What a close and hard fought match so far between Novak and Rafa. Not much separates these two. Both are showing the stuff of champions.

BTW – congrats to Federer for winning his 5th Gary Webber open. 59 grass court match victories and counting!


Shital Green Says:

Congratulation to Nadal ! He played great.
Great effort from Djoko. It was worth watching.


Voicemale1 Says:

Joker Says:
Today Djokovic will pummel nadal into the ground.

Uh-huh. Yeah. Right. Nadal “pummels” Djokovic into the ground 76 75.

Djokovic won’t beat either Federer OR Nadal at Wimbledon. Make book on that.


jane Says:

Yes- congrats to Rafa for a well-played match / tournament! What a feat to go so smoothly from clay to grass – Nadal is something else.

And better luck next time to huckleberry, who came awfully close in both sets but was a few points shy both times.

Wimby next…


Shital Green Says:

I think Djoko was a little less focussed and looked like still had the hangover from the clay court losses to Nadal. I think there certainly was psychological factor. Nadal proved just a little bit stronger than Djoko. I hope Djoko will further work on his forehand to cut on his unforced errors in the future. Aside from the unforced errors, he matches Rafa on this surface. Well, Rafa had momentum going on, which could have been questioned if Djoko had converted one of the 3 break points and had not missed to lead 4-0. Like you said, Jane, above, that was the turning point of the match, which gave Sean to to make a bold prediction to be right on one of his rare occasions. Rafa showed he was just mentally stronger at a couple of crucial moments, and his will was simply unwavering. Djoko does not have any reason to feel sad. He certainly gained more experience, much needed to prepare for the bigger stage next week.
Spectacular play by both !


fed is afraid Says:

rafa-08 wimbledon champ!!!


Von Says:

Congrats to Rafa on his first Queens title.

______________

jane & Shital:

Your huckleberry gave it his all; the better man won today. Sad smiles. :)

___________
Joker:

I won’t dignfy your statement re A-Rod/Karlovic with an answer, it’s infra dignitatem for me. I think you’re suffering enough having to eat that whole crow. i can’t believe he ate the whole thing!! Enjoy the ‘crow’. Weird taste isn’t it? Sheesh!!


Daniel Craig Says:

@Shital:
how is making predictions disrespectful? if i say russia will get killed by sweden at euro 2008, is that disrespectful? everyone just has confidence in their respective players. CoMe On MaN


Joker Says:

http://www.bertc.com/three_crows.htm

Crow tastes yummm!!!!!

Atleast I am not a sissy who will say djokovic had cut his hair yesterday and was feeling the after-effects. He got tight in the big moments and couldn’t close the deal in both the sets. No excuses – Nadal played better has he did the last two days. He won because he played better not because the other players had shoulder or butt injuries. Dont even dream of comparing the single trick pony that is Roddick to 1 of the most talented players of all time – Djokovic.

Anyways, tough day for Djokovic. He let the foot off Nadal’s throat in the 4th game of the match and in the tie-breaker. He fell into the trap of going too much to the nadal back-hand instead of hitting flat to nadal’s fh corner like he did for most part of the 1st set. All said, Djokovic is looking good for a 6th consecutive Grandslam semi-final. He has as good a shot as Nadal at Wimbledon.

Good call Sean. You are having a terrific run since hitting the clay, uh? Here’s hoping Nadal will take you down with him at big W or vice-versa :)


Amy Says:

Novak showed he can play with Rafa on grass. He can also play with Federer. He’s the wild card going into Wimbledon as the possible winner. Jane’s Dark horse to look at is Karlovic. He could take out a top seed or two with that serve.
Roddick is no dark horse but he won’t be favored. Maybe this is a good thing for him. Someone is going to step up from the crowd like Tsonga at the AO or Gasquet from last year’s Wimbledon. Anyways it will fun. Congrats to Rafa for his big win.


Von Says:

Joker:

You’re just going to provoke a response because that’s your way. Watch it, you’re fast becoming or have already become monomaniacal regarding Roddick. oOh, I so hurt for you to be that fixated on another person — you have to watch your dreams go up in smoke. Too bad Joker, things could have been a lot easier for you had you done what Fed told Djoko’s parents to do: “shhhh, be quiet OK?”


Von Says:

Amy:

I don’t know at this point how dedicated a Roddick fan you are, but it’s good that he’s not considered a “favorite” or a “dark horse”. That relieves him of a lot of pressure and the press will leave him alone — I wonder though, if they ever will. He’s the face of America and does make news.

___________

jane & shital:

Please excuse my posts to Joker — they’re not meant to undermine Djoko’s performance but just to answer Joker’s ridiculous comparisons and rants against Roddick. I hope you understand. Djoko pushed Nadal today and that will give Nadal something to think about when next they meet. Hopefully, it wlll be in the semis or finals at Wimby. They both should go far.


Shital Green Says:

Daniel Craig,
This is no longer a worthy topic for discussion since the match is already over. However, I commend you for drawing attention to it. The story began when Joker made an outrageously unthinking prediction, which I would have liked to have happened. Sean was right question Joker. And in the whim of slapping Joker duly, Sean went out of his usual comport to say “straight sets,” which fails to recognize a very worthy opponent at the very outset. Most importantly, it was coming out of the guy whose role is ideally suited to play the umpire in this blog: He runs the show here, for which we are very grateful to him. Maybe, I misunderstood him because he could be doing just that, disciplining the brat. My point was it could be done with more civility and calmness, though impetuosity is not my disliking. Just a suggestion.


Shital Green Says:

Correction: Sean was right to question Joker.


Joker Says:

“you have to watch your dreams go up in smoke.”

Yea! My dreams went up in smoke! Roddick got whipped like a mule by nadal. I dreamt of him beating nadal! Bwaaaaahhhh! I am sooooo crying.

Shital :

You are one to talk about unthinking posts, eh? You still did not tell me how you missed Jane’s post right above andrea’s before you accused her of rekindling things? Does that count as me slapping you?


Amy Says:

fed is afraid,

I thought you were routing for Roddick to win Wimbledon. Suddenly your a Rafa fan now? Or is it anybody but Fed?

Me thinks the later!


fed is afraid Says:

if you can understand english, i said if rafa doesn’t win it, i would like to see roddick win it, but i don’t see anyone beating nadal, he is confident and wants wimbledon now.


Joker Says:

Nadal has been wanting wimbledon and the No.1 ranking for 3 years now. We all know how that turned out.

Keep wanting guys. There is a new no.1 in town and he does NOT go weak in the knees.


Von Says:

Joker:

“Yea! My dreams went up in smoke! Roddick got whipped like a mule by nadal. I dreamt of him beating nadal! Bwaaaaahhhh! I am sooooo crying.”
Joker:

What is your problem? Do you enjoy inciting trouble or venting at others because you’ve just been proved wrong in your predictions which make you look and sound stupid? You have a huge amount of displaced anger and are using your posts to vent at innocent people. Your statements are fraught with outlandish remarks– so outlandish that it’s hilarious. It’s normal for you to be disappointed that Djoko lost, but venting at others is not the answer.

Your remark that “Roddick got whipped like a mule by [n]adal (sic)” is absolutely off the wall. There was just one break of serve in each set and Roddick had 4 chances to break Nadal. The match was close despite the fact that Roddick was at a deficit; playing with very little match play in 5-6 weeks, against an opponent who is match grooved and has been playing for over 3 months non-stop. I’d say the next time they meet again, if both are injury free, their match will be a lot closer; but how much closer would satisfy you?

Joker, as I previously stated, you seem to derive some sort of sadistic pleasure stirring up trouble. You vacillate between topics, never quite finishing one, but in the midst thereof, you jump to another. Are you aware that you’re You’re multi-tasking, not in a positive but negative manner. Your indulgence in cockalorum is hysterical and speaks volumes — you’re hurting in the worst way and can’t shake the pain. Why don’t you just enjoy Federer’s win — that should counteract your disappointment concerning Djokovic’s loss. Unfortunately, you’re making it bad for the decent Djokvic fans, who, I’m sure are feeling disappointed the same way I felt about Roddick’s loss. How about lying low and put the insurrectonist profilin’ to sleep. ZZZZZ. What a sweet feeling; “To sleep, perchance to dream; there’s the rub.” Sweet dreams Joker; tomorrow will be a better day. :)


alex Says:

Why can’t we just support our player(s) and watch some good tennis? Why is there a need to make mean remarks on other players(and their supporters)? Come on, it’s just a game.


Skorocel Says:

Voicemale1 said:

“Look at that insane Ivanisevic: huge server that was once ranked #2 in the world but the ONLY Grand Slam Final he ever reach was Wimbledon, where he did so 4 times. The court then was a dirt patch by week 2 and they used a much smaller tennis ball, all of which made the ball literally die in the dirt and never bounce up much. If either of them had to play there today, with longer grass, larger tennis ball and more importantly have to face the Luxilon Power from the back court, then Ivanisevic would have a record there like Karlovic today, and Sampras would be life-and-death just to make it to the 2nd week. He’d be watching his volleys become impotent, either landing closer to the baseline than service line, or drop so slow & deep as to from having to volley-up the vicious dipping and pace from synthetic strings that his volleys would become sitting ducks to easily smash, or they’d sail off into the stands from the sheer heat coming from the opponent’s back court.”

Well, Ivanisevic maybe, but Sampras? I guess you must’ve forgot who you’re speaking about… Sampras not only had the BEST serve in the history of the game, but moreover, the same can be said about his volleys as well. Unlike Ivanisevic or Karlovic, he could hit a winning volley from seemingly impossible positions – something which these 2 could do only rarely. Just out of curiosity, have you seen that match between Karlovic and Nadal? If I remember it correctly, there were a couple of rallies in that final set breaker where Karlovic missed an easy/semi easy volley – and it cost him the match. You can bet that Sampras WOULDN’T have missed any of those… Yes, it’s true that both Karlovic and Ivanisevic have/had a serve comparable (or at times even equal) to Sampras – that’s fine. But when you were playing Pete, even if your return game was at its very best, he would still hit a winning volley against you more often that usual – and THAT’s the difference… You could argue that he would’ve had a much difficult time with his S & V game these days, but you can’t deny the fact that Pete had perhaps the BEST S & V game in the history of the sport – whether it was his serve or his volleys. And you know, if a guy like Karlovic can serve 35 aces per a best of 3 set match, then why not Pete?


noel Says:

pete and goran can’t-and shouldn’t-be compared just as the comparison between goran and karlovic is a bit unfair to goran.pete was one of the toughest players mentally and was an unbelievable big-match player.he had a decent return game and he overcame his game’s limitations wonderfully well.while pete definitely had/has one hell of a serve especially the second serve,he was far from being the best volleyer of his generation.edberg,becker,rafter,henman etc were much better all-round volleyers.pete’s serve was so potent that he normally had to only make very simple volleys.pete was,at best, a decent volleyer when it came to making really tough volleys.the likes of edberg,rafter and henman didn’t have a ballistic serve and hence were forced to make tougher volleys much more frequently.edberg is the best volleyer i have ever seen and mcenroe in his prime was very good as well.
having said that,i think voicemale1 has made some very valid points about the slower/bouncier grass courts, modern strings and larger tennis balls.there is a reason why s&v is so rare these days.the percentages are just not there-unless one can serve bombs-and the biggest reason is the modern string/racket technology.while pete would serve better with the modern rackets,any less than perfectly-placed volleys would be “sitting ducks” for the likes of nadal for instance.


Skorocel Says:

To noel:

I haven’t seen that much from Edberg & McEnroe, so I can’t say whether their volleys were better than those from Pete or not, but Rafter and (especially) Henman? I’m not quite sure here… Both of them were very good at the net (especially Rafter), but still not as good as Pete in my opinion… It’s true that they haven’t had such a booming serve as Pete had (I mean especially Henman), which in itself surely placed more demands on the quality of their volleys, but still, Pete was a better player at the net I guess… Anyway, it’s just my personal opinion…


TD (Tam) Says:

good evening all,

Nadal is getting so good it’s scary! Congrats to him on his first grass title, his fans must be over the moon. Sorry to the Novak fans , his time will come.

Good on Roger for winning Halle again. I did not know that Federer saved Halle from extinction but I wonder why he didn’t play Queens?

And – why do people compare Roddick with Karlovic? Is it because they both have big serves? I think that’s where any comparison stops because as tennis players Roddick is several classes higher than Karlovic will ever be. Any true tennis fan can see this.

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