Djokovic Lands in Federer Half; Nadal Could Get Roddick at Wimbledon
by Sean Randall | June 20th, 2008, 8:10 am
  • 133 Comments

I won’t go into all the details of the Wimbledon draw now, but I like what I see. First, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal wound up on separate sides, which might be bad news for Roger Federer who gets the third-seeded Djokovic while Rafa contends with Nikolay Dayvdenko as his highest seed in his half.

Of course Davydenko’s positioning is of little concern, but Andy Roddick’s was, and the No. 6 seed was also drawn in the Rafa’s half, and would meet the Spaniard in the semifinals.

Some quick thoughts, Federer’s probably got the toughest draw of the top guys. He could meet Monfils in the third round then either Lleyton Hewitt or Fernando Gonzales in the fourth round and even Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals.

Djokovic’s path looks pretty easy with Marat Safin in the second round, maybe Sam Querrey of Wawrinka in the fourth and possibly David Nalbandian in the quarters.

Roddick’s isn’t terribly friendly with Dmitry Tursunov in the third round and Blake in the fourth.

And Rafa will a big server in either Ernests Gulbis or John Isner in round two with a potential showdown with Richard Gasquet in the quarterfinal.

Some good first rounders include Haas v. Canas; Fish v. Gasquet, Murray v. Santoro, Gulbis v. Isner, Guccione v. Monfils, Hewitt v. Haase, Ginepri v. Gonzalez, Lldora v. Ancic.

All in all, I think the Big Three have to be happy with how things unfolded and overall the draw looks good.

Going by seeds we would get the following fourth round match ups in draw order:
Federer v. Gonzalez
Berdych v. Ferrer
Djokovic c. Wawrinka
Bagdhatis v. Nalbandian
Roddick. V. Blake
Mathieu v. Davydenko
Gasquet v. Murray
Stepanek v. Nadal

I will have my full synopsis and picks later this weekend.


Also Check Out:
Nadal, Roddick Murray in Same Half at Wimbledon
Murray Lands in Nadal’s Half, Djokovic With Federer at US Open
Federer Lands in Nadal’s Half at Cincinnati; Roddick Returns
Indian Wells Draw: Federer Lands With Nadal, Murray Gets Djokovic Again
New No. 1 Nadal Looking Good at US Open

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133 Comments for Djokovic Lands in Federer Half; Nadal Could Get Roddick at Wimbledon

Shital Green Says:

Thank you, Sean, for once again being on top.
Actually, I like this draw, though I’d have preferred Djoko once again meeting Rafa in the semi. The assertion that Fed got a tougher draw is valid because Djoko is on his side, like in AO. Rafa does not have an easy draw either. A qualifier can be an upsetter. Plus, if I were Fed or Rafa, I would choose Monfils over Gulbis. Youzhny can always topple him. I like Roddick’ draw: At least, he’s not on Fed/Djoko’s side.

Let me copy and paste my post from the other thread.

The biggest news of the morning is that Djokovic is on the same side of the draw as Fed.

1st Quarters:
Fed Federer will play Dominik Hrbaty in the first round. He could be meeting with Monfils in the third round; then Lleyton Hewitt in the fourth round. Ancic, Gonzu, Berdych, Ferrer, Bolelli, and Nishikori are also in this quarters.

2nd Quarters:
In the 1st Rd, Djoko will play Michael Berrer, a difficult opponent to get by. Djoko could face Wawrinka in the 3rd Rd. with Nalby or Baghy in the 4th. Ivo, Safin and Del Potro are also in this quarters.

3rd Quarters:
Roddick will play Eduardo Schwank in the first round and with Blake and Davydenko in the later rounds. Tipsy, Mathieu, Cilic are in this quarters.

4th Quarters:
Rafa has drawn qualifier Andreas Beck in the 1st Rd. In the later rounds, Rafa could face Kiefer, Youzhny and Stepanek. Gulbis or Isner or Minar, Jane’s dark horses, could be trickier for Nadal’s chances against either of them in the 2nd Rd. In the Quarters, Rafa could be playing the winner of Murray and Gasquet, who are likely to meet in the 4th Rd.


Von Says:

I posted the following from the Wimbledon Website on another thread:

Another Borg Prediction:

10:24am While we wait for the ladies’ singles to commence, here’s a recent comment from Bjorn Borg: “I pick Rafael Nadal as winner and my second choice is Novak Djokovic, my third is Roger. For [Roger] to beat those guys at Wimbledon he needs to play much better than he did last summer. He knows he will have to play some unbelievable tennis to win again. This is the most open Wimbledon for years.” So Bjorg thinks Djokovic will beat Federer in the semis.

Posted June 20th, 2008 at 5:59 am

____________________

Von Says:
jane & Shital:

Djokovic is on Federer’s side of the draw. any thoughts?

Posted June 20th, 2008 at 6:01 am

____________________

Von Says:
TO ALL:

FYI: From the Wimbledon Website:

11:25am Abbey from Ireland writes: “I wonder what Djokovic feels about his luck in slams. He always gets to be in the draw of the defending champion. What do you think about the draw? Whose half is more difficult? And what do you think of Nadal’s chances against his possible 2nd round opponents, Gulbis or Isner? Can’t wait for Wimbledon to start! VAMOS RAFA!”

You would have to say that Federer will be having more restless nights than Nadal with this draw. He has Monfils, the Australian Open finalist, and former Wimbledon winner Hewitt. David Nalbandian has a couple of players in section that could cause some headaches, the likes of Ivo Karlovic and Marco Baghdatis.

11:20am The draws have been completed. We will post the full draw for each event on the website as soon as possible.”

Posted June 20th, 2008 at 6:34 am


zero Says:

If Nadal can make the final, he will more likely to grab the Wimbledon crown. Rafa needs tough opponents to improve himself. Good news is he may face Isner or Gulbis in 2nd round. The game is now better than AO 08


PJ Says:

Nadal is going to have a tough second round match. He gets either Isner or Gulbis.

Fed has a couple of potential early round hard matches with Soderling and Monfils.


Dan Martin Says:

Gulbis is my pick to beat Isner although in the early rounds grass plays more like grass right? Gulbis-Nadal in round 2 is a good match right out of the gate. As for Federer-Djokovic well that is just the way things go. At U.S. O 07 and FO 08 Djoko was on Nadal’s side of the draw and at W. 08 and AO 08 he was on Federer’s side of the draw. Tennis does not seed like the NCAA basketball tournament so this can happen and players just have to play the draw in front of them.


Branimir Says:

Gulbis can easily to do to Nadal what Tsonga did to him in AO 2008.
Gulbis has great game for grass.


Dan Martin Says:

Looking at this thing more closely I would say the Roddick-Davydenko quarter is the easiest, but potentially good matches can be found throughout the early portion of the draw.


jane Says:

Thanks to everyone for the update; I woke up to all of this exciting “draw” news.

Von,

Regarding what you posted from another site, I think Djoko will be facing a tough opponent in every slam semi if he gets through to that far – just because he’s third. He’ll always face either Rafa or Fed until the rankings shift.

What do you think of Roddick’s draw? Nice that he lands on Rafa’s side for a change. Maybe we could have a Roddick vs. Djoko final? ;-)

Shital,

Rafa’s draw looks pretty tough; I agree with you that he has a few more dark horses. Djoko’s lucky in that Nalby and Baggy, if both get that far, will tire each other out before either one faces Novak. I wonder if Novak will beat Roger on grass? It’s a tough order for him, given Roger’s records on grass, but for some reason I think Novak’s game matches up a little better with Roger’s than Rafa’s. We’ll see!

Branimir,

I agree – Gulbis might be dangerous for Rafa.


jane Says:

Shital – Ivo will be dangerous for Djoko, don’t you think?. Novak had trouble with his serve on clay this year, so on grass it’ll be even more lethal. It will depend on who can come through the tiebreaks. It could be a barn-burner. It depends if Novak – a great returner – can get a read on Ivo’s evil serve.


jinyongfan Says:

Sean, thank for the prompt info of the W. draw. I cannot wait for Federer to dismental Djokovic. We will see if he will be man enough to stand up for the challenge this time. No more sore throat excuses, please.


matt Says:

I believe Nadal has a tough time in the second round.

The grass is faster in the first week, and Isner or Gulbis can be extremly dangerous to him in that situation.

Actually I think Gulbis is going to beat him in that second round.

But, If Nadal win that second round and become confident, he could get to SF.

If he get there, he will probably face Roddick and everything can happen.

Federer will reach SF easily, and I believe Djokovic will be there as well. And then Federer will beat Djoko in the SF.

I would love to watch Federer-Djokovic and Nadal-Roddick semifinals, but anything can happen and I somehow feel that some of those four players are not getting to SF.


matt Says:

David Ferrer and Fernando Verdasco (both from Spain) reach the final in Hertogenbosch and Nottingham respectively.

They are probably thinking: “If Nadal can win on grass, ¿why can’t we?”

It seems that spaniards players are taking grass-court tennis more seriously than years back.


Shital Green Says:

Dan,
Thank you for your encouragement (ref: the other thread). I will do so after a couple of months.

And, yes, Roddick cannot expect to get better than this draw. He beat Cilic at Queen’s last year. Davy is no match for him on grass. Who else is left?

Jane,
Ivo just beat Monfils today. And like you mentioned, Djoko beat him in Hamburg recently, but that was on clay and that was the only time they met. I think Ivo’s serve is more effective on grass as evidenced by his performance not just against Monfils today but also against Rafa last week. Ivo is really a weak returner, though he can play at the net fairly well. He does not have any formidable shot. This guy can play entire match with his backhand. Djoko not only have to serve perfect, but also be able to return at least 50% and return every ball to Ivo’s forehand side so that he can avoid tie breakers. One of the best things about Djoko is he can read most of opponents’ serve accurately. With that said, Ivo is still an opponent every one wants to avoid because he can take out any player on the tour just on the basis of his serve plus if he can get 15% return points.
About Djoko meting Fed in the semi, we differed earlier. You chose Fed, and I chose Rafa. I think, though unsure, Djoko would choose Rafa on any surface but clay. I would not play a guy who has not lost on grass for 6 years and has won 10 titles on this surface, a record tie with Sampras. But, maybe, you are right Djoko feels more comfortable with Fed, gets more motivated and has more confidence against him. We will find out.

Of all early round matches, Gulbis upsetting Rafa is more imaginable than others. Gulbis and Rafa have not met before. Gulbis is fearless. He has big serve. He will just have to up his 1st serve percentage. His backhand and forehand are really good. He moves on the court as nearly well as Rafa does. Rafa is best on positioning, which is a huge advantage. Rafa is definitely the best overall returner on the tour, but who can return 1st serve better? I don’t know. The metaphor “dark horse” fits in here. There lies the secret until they play each other.


andrea Says:

wow. do you think novak might actually finish his semi final against roger? assuming they both get that far of course….


Branimir Says:

Andrea is cynical as usual.


Jack Says:

You got to say it is a fairly tricky draw for both Nadal and Federer. Believe it or not Fed is 0-2 against Hrbaty. Only active player other than nadal that fed has a losing record against? soderling has been in good form and then you have hewitt, and gonzo. I do think fed will make it to the semis without dropping a set though. Djokovic-Federer is a totally exciting prospect. I do believe however, that outside of clay, djokovic would rather face nadal than federer. Especially on grass where djokovic’s movement is not as good as it is on the hardcourts. That said, the pressure will be all on Roger. It is going to be a great match nonetheless.

Nadal’s draw is quite tricky too with gulbis, kiefer, youzhny/stepanek and murray. You gotta like nadal to make it through based on what we saw at queens but i would not be shocked if he did not make it through. I think he will make it, though I would love to see murray/gasquet make a run. roddick has the easiest quarter and his fitness is more of a question mark than anything else. It will be great if he can make it to the semis.

Fed-djoko – i will take fed and rod-nadal, will go with nadal.

Fed will beat nadal in atmost 4 sets


Noel Says:

I think Roddick has the easiest passage to the semi-final and he won’t ever get an easier route than this.He should reach the sf easily if his shoulder is ok.Tipsarevic is a bit of an enigma and could prove a bit tricky but there is no other player in that part of the draw who could be a threat to rod on grass.
Had i not seen rafa at queens,i’d have apprehended a potential upset against gulbis.keifer and yuzhny can also trouble him but i really don’t see who-apart from rod at his best-can prevent rafa from reaching the final given the form rafa is in at the moment.murray,haas and gasquet can play well on grass but have not done much recently to inspire too much confidence.
fed has a tricky match against soderling who has a very dangerous game for grass if he can put a high first serve percentage in.all his potential third round opponents serve well but they or hewitt in the next round don’t seem capable of an upset.it’d be interesting to see who amongst berdych,kohlschreiber,llodra,ancic and ferrer goes on to meet fed in the qf.i’d have picked ancic but his recent defeat to ferrer shows that ferrer can’t be totally dismissed.ancic’s match with llodra could be the biggest match of the first round if llodra has recovered fully from his recent injury.
Novak should have very little trouble reaching the quarter final.i expect baghdatis to beat karlovic and then beat either lopez or nalby to go on and meet novak.that qf could be a very good one if marcos were to bring his ‘a’ game.Novak should prevail though.
the expected semi-finals(and this line-up appears almost a certainty)i.e. fed-novak and rod-rafa could really turn memorable if rod and fed are on form.otherwise,i expect novak to prevail in a tough encounter against fed and rafa should subdue rod.my pick-purely because of the way he played at queens- is rafa.he should beat a tired novak in the final.So much for speculation:)I just get the feeling that this might not be fed’s year and rafa gets my vote over novak only on current form.however,as a lot of people have said rather curiously,fed remains the favorite till he is actually beaten on the wimb lawns.


jane Says:

noel,

That’s a good bracket analysis; I agree that Fed’s the favorite, if not on current form certainly on past for at Wimbledon. I also agree that if Rafa makes it to the final, he wins it all. I just think he’s gunning for it this year because he knows he came within a hair’s breath last year. I am not sure if Djoko can beat Fed on grass, but we know he can beat him on hardcourt, which are also fast. Jack mentioned that Novak’s movement on grass isn’t as strong as on hard, and I’d agree. A lot depends on Roger’s form and it looked good at Halle.


Noel Says:

Jack,
Andy murray also has a winning record against fed.


jane Says:

Plus, let’s not forget Roger will want revenge on both Novak and Rafa, and he’ll be out to prove himself since the press / pundits have been speculating about him all year. So that could be an x-factor. But is his confidence still good? We don’t really know; he says it is, but surely against Rafa it’s always been a little questionable.


I like tennis bullies not tennis sissies Says:

I hope federer doesn’t plan to show up wearing that pompous and elitist dinner jacket again this year he would only end up looking like a bigger joke after his embarrassing bagel beating in the french open final. :D

fed gets the djoker in his half this time, yesssss!


Shital Green Says:

Noel,
A lot of what you say sounds convincing except maybe, Djoko taking out Fed, which verges on optimism and I would happily take that. We all know Fed-Djoko match will be the tougher semi of the two, and it will stay as everyone’s curiosity even after Djoko leads 2-0 until it is over. Also, I am not so sure about Rafa, despite his impressive run at the Queen’s.

The most likely part of your assessment is Baghy eliminating Ivo as well as Nalby to face Djoko in the quarter. Baghy defeated Ivo this year in their only meeting at Marseille. Against Nalby, he has 3-1 H2H record. The 3 wins are on grass, carpet, and hard. The loss was on clay.


Noel Says:

Jane,
I agree that novak’s movement on grass is not as good as rafa’s or fed’s is. rafa exposed that-only a few players can make you move as much as rafa does- in the queens final.however,it becomes less and less of a factor as the tournament progresses.not only do the players start adapting,the courts also become less slippery especially if there is not too much rain.the wimb centre court grass on the second saturday/sunday is not the same as the one on the opening monday.players can be caught a bit cold in the earlier rounds particularly by big servers.hence the genuine threats posed by the likes of gulbis and soderling.
There is no question that federer at his best is well nigh invincible on any surface except clay but he has not come anywhere close to his best form this year and with all due respect to you, halle is a bit irrelevant to me-and i presume to fed also- as far as fed’s form is concerned although it must have reassured a lot of his fans.there is at least nothing that would alarm them. we are not doubting if he can make the semis or not.the point is whether he can beat novak or rafa on current form.both of them were at queens and i was extremely impressed by what i saw.rafa’s game has improved in every area and he looks unstoppable unless he has peaked a bit early.his level(while very scary but somehow expected at rg)on grass scared me and it doesn’t happen that often to me.nole wasn’t too far behind and the final was a joy to watch.i think it is the first time in several years that i have taken the queens result seriously as a pointer to possible wimb form.this was entirely due to the level at which rafa played and the way nole fought him.their levels on grass were quite astonishing.nole would prefer to meet fed in the sf under the circumstances.he is much more confident about his chances against fed.i get the feeling that he rattles fed mentally as much as with his game.i also think nole will progress much more easily compared to last year and would be much fresher for the latter rounds.the outcome that i expect is far from being a forgone conclusion though.a fed-rafa final or even a fed win is hardly beyond the realms of my imagination.the crucial question is whether fed can recapture his best form in time for the sf and final.


Noel Says:

Jane,
i totally agree that fed would like to prove a point and he’d be really motivated and if he can’t get confident on grass,he probably won’t get confident anywhere else.

Shital,
nole’s win by no means is a certainty.i have talked about a tough encounter and that too is dependent on fed playing a bit below his best.if fed plays at his best,he goes through relatively easily.period.
i know that rafa somehow still fails to convince many people about his grass credentials despite having reached the last two wimb finals.i myself didn’t expect him to do so well the last two years but i am more convinced this year because of the way he has improved this year.he is now a better all-round player and his movement on grass is hardly any different from his movement on clay.he will win some matches on sheer will-power.his mental toughness and motivation appear unmatched.he also has a big advantage in best-of-five matches which he somehow manages to grind out even if he is not playing at his best and that is why i think he will get through in potentially tricky matches unless he has a horrible day.of course,nothing is cast in stone and much stranger things have happened.as i said,so much for speculation:)


jane Says:

Noel,

As usual your post is both intelligent and illuminating. I don’t put a lot of stock in Roger’s win at Halle, given the competition; however, he did get the title without dropping his serve or a set, which tells me his form on grass at least is better than what we’ve seen up to now this year. As I mentioned above, I also think he’ll be out to prove himself – whether that adds pressure or helps him to focus and buckle down remains to be seen.

As for the Djoko vs/ Rafa Queens final, I totally agree that it’s an indicator of who may prevail at Wimbledon this year: what a fantastic final. I find their rivalry very exciting, and I would even go so far as to argue that it’s in part Djokovic who has pushed Rafa to improve, being right on his heels since last year. Rafa’s wins over Djoko at Hamburg and especially RG were celebrated more visibly than his wins against Rog, which suggests to me that Rafa is well aware what Novak is capable of. That said, Rafa clearly has the upper hand in their rivalry.

Roger and Novak are another story. Although Roger was beating him when he retired at MC, which I’ll take as sincere on Novak’s part, it wasn’t anything near a rout, and Novak wasn’t at his best. And although some devalue Novak’s win over Roger at the AO due to the mono, they can’t do the same about his win in Montreal, nor his close fight (and yes, choke) at the USO. So for some reason I agree with you that Novak will be happier to face Roger in the semi than Rafa; I may be wrong, but it’s just a hunch.

With these three, and even with Roddick, so long as his shoulder doesn’t trouble him, “everything is possible” at SW19 this year. But I wouldn’t be surprised, either, if some upstart or surprise makes it to the semis instead – it’s happened at both slams this year, with Tsonga and then Monfils. It’s not unlikely it’ll happen again. The question is, who are the real dark horses?


Andrew Boyers Says:

Ivo Karlovic is going to be a tough draw for anyone at Wimbledon. He’s shown some great form in the last couple of weeks, first at Queens where he took Nadal to three sets and wasn’t broken, and now this week at Nottingham, where he’s into the final. I wouldn’t be surprised if he went a long way into this tournament – at least to the second week, given his form and grass being his most favoured surface.

The fact is, the depth of the field means that there are potential banana skins throughout the draw. Lleyton Hewitt, Robin Soderling, Janko Tipsaravic and Verdasco on course to meet top seeds in the first few rounds, but essentially, Djokovic, Federer and Nadal should comfortably get to the SF without too much trouble. Federer’s path already looks like it’s been made a bit easier with Monfils injuring himself in his match against Karlovic today, and now looking doubtful for next week.

In terms of British interest, Murray looks like he’s got a pretty tough draw – potentially Malisse in the 2nd round, then Robredo in R3 and Gasquet in the last 16. He has the potential to beat all of those, but I question his consistency and ability to last in a grand slam.

Whatever happens, the draw looks as though it’s going to offer up some fantastic opportunities to watch some great matches – weather permitting, of course!


Von Says:

Noel:

“i also think nole will progress much more easily compared to last year and would be much fresher for the latter rounds.the outcome that i expect is far from being a forgone conclusion though”

There is the possibility that Djoko will progress more easily as he goes through the early rounds as compared to his ’07 Wimby performance, but that is contingent upon how much of his strength/energy conservation he has has learnt to manage. Additionally, his time management on court is another area of his game that needs to be addressed.

Question: Has Djoko demonstrated in his post AO ’08 tournaments that he is conserving more energy, thus leaving some, or a decent amount of it in the tank for the big matches? Or, will he continue, as has been exhibited in the past, to drag and/or grind out his matches in order to secure a win after fighting to the bitter end in 5 setters?

If Djoko cannot make quick work of dismissing his opponents in a timely and efficient manner in 3 sets, then when, and if he reaches the QFs, he’ll be struggling. Regardless of what is said that his listless look is more attributed to play acting than reality, it is visibly noted that he does become “wobbly” as his body is subjected to the rigors of grinding through lengthy 5 setters and/or fighting off tough opponents. Therein lies Djoko’s success and/or failure in reaching the QFs and progressing beyond onto the SFs. The burning question: Is he capable of energy conservation and/or can he do it???? It’s easy to say that he knows he must do this, but, will his opponents allow him this luxury?


jane Says:

Von,

What do you think about Tipsy as possible trouble for Andy? I know it was a long time ago, and not Roddick’s high point to say the least, but Tipsy pushed Andy to 4 sets that year at Wimbledon and he got to the R16 last year beating Gonza along the way and fighting Ferrero, who took a set off Roger last year, well. Any other potential threats for Andy in your opinion? I think his draw looks pretty good all the way to Blake, but there are a couple of toughies on the bottom half of his quarter – Mathieu and Cilic. Still, I think Andy should get through.


jane Says:

Von,

I know your question is addressed to Noel, and I am sure she’ll have a good reply.

But to add my 2 cents re: Huckleberry post AO 08; here are some of his results:

At Dubai, he lost no sets, until Roddick, who won.
At IW, he lost no sets, until 1 to Fish in final, and won.
At Rome, he lost 1 to Andreev & 1 in the final to Wawrinka, and won.
At Hamburg, he lost none until Rafa, who won.
At RG, he lost only 1 set until he lost to Rafa.

You’re right that sometimes his fitness/ energy seems challenged, but I think so far this year he’s done a pretty good job of avoiding long grind, like last year. Hopefully he can keep that up!


PJ Says:

I think Tipsarevic is just one of those players that can challenge a top player on any given day, but also go out to a relative unknown as well. And, I believe he’s really the only one that could threaten Andy early (unless Andy’s injuries return).

Fed couldn’t have had a better warm-up (much better than the last time he played Halle when he went 3 sets nearly every match). He didn’t lose his serve once, which is impressive.

Djokovic did well at the French to win most of early matches quickly. With his health questionable towards the end of events (at times), it was important for him, especially with all the delays, which could happen again at Wimbledon.

I still think Nadal is a question mark. And, I don’t mean any disrespect with that. Even with his great performance in the final last year, he struggled through some of his matches. I think he has the toughest draw of “the 3.” If he gets pushed numerous times, I wonder if he can continue to pull them all out. If he can, major kudos. But, there are a lot of players that could take him out. I don’t think I’ll be surprised if he makes the final (or wins) or if he goes out early, simply because his draw is difficult.


Andrew Boyers Says:

PJ –

I think Nadal has stepped up his game considerably since last year’s Wimbledon. And let’s remember – despite, as you put it, struggling through last year, he still managed to take Federer to five sets in the final.

I don’t think ‘staying the course’ will be a problem for Rafa, and really, although he might have a tough draw, should get through to the SF at least without too much of a problem.

If he gets Gasquet or Murray in QF, that could prove to be a fantastic match – it’ll be interesting to see how Murray’s moved on compared to Nadal since he took him to five sets at the Australian Open in 2007 – provided he gets through, of course!


PJ Says:

I definitely agree that Nadal is better than he was last year, and he may not struggle against some of the players I think he might. He just has a lot of players in his draw that could challenge him on a fast surface (Gublis, Stepanek – if not injured, Youzhny, etc). Again, these are players that COULD challenge. We thought a lot of players may challenge him at the French, and we saw how that turned out.


Von Says:

jane:

“What do you think about Tipsy as possible trouble for Andy?”

Tipsy could be a handful for Andy if he’s still struggling with his back. However, before thinking about Tipsy let’s not forget that guy,Eduardo Schwank, who pushed Moya to 5 sets in the FO, could be problematic for Roddick from the first round. I don’t understand the statements that the Roddick/Davydenko quarter has an easy draw. Davydenko yes, but not Roddick. Davydenko is in the unenviable position where the focus is on the top 3; he and Ferrer seem to always luck out with the easy draws after the top 3 draws are done.

This year’s Wimby is questionable for Roddick — bad back, not enough match play, and two tough first and second round opponents. The nature of the best — but, only time will tel.


Shital Green Says:

Von,

I did not see you this morning until after I posted my comment. And then you were gone. My comment had a response to your query, though it did not address you specifically. This is a makeup for that.
About a week ago, I responded to your comment about “old friends.” It appears you did not bother to read it. That is alright.

In your post above, you are raising a question about homeostatic imbalance resulting from inability to sustain protracted physical stress. The precautionary remedy, as you and Jane, pointed out, is conserve energy by shortening the length of stress. If economy, i.e. literally efficient use of resources, fails, then the option available to the player in question is to either recreate energy by allowing irritation from the opponent or gather and apply new tactical information quickly enough to bedazzle the opponent though at the risk of reverse overthrow. Looking at the landscape, Djoko could face, once again, Baghy in the quarter and, with him, a possible prolonged match. Let us hope Jane’s historical data are symptomatic of his new found immunity against lengthy matches, in double sense.

And, what’d up, you are not saying anything about your huckleberry? Where do you see him?
I am just secretly hoping the two huckleberries meet in the final.


jane Says:

Von,

Oh I had forgotten about / overlooked Schwank, who was a tough “out” on the clay, pushing Mathieu to 4 sets also.

Well, all we can do is hope for the best for our guys! I’d like to see Andy through to the semis at least; in fact I’d very much like to see him hoist the trophy given his battles with Fed in the past. But we’ll have to see. I’m with Shital – be nice to see our guys in the final.


Von Says:

jane:

“But to add my 2 cents re: Huckleberry post AO 08; here are some of his results:”

The results you quoted for Djoko are 2 of 3 sets. –

- IW he lost one set to Fish in the final — I believe he was tired; Fish was only serving at 35%; if Fish had upped his serving percentage he could have won that match.

- Rome, he had a retirement from Stepananek,was rested and still lost 1 set to Wawrinka in the final.

- Hamburg, he wasn’t really pushed by Montanes, until he met Rafa.

In the 3 of 5 format when he loses one set the match becomes more critical for him because he’s automatically pushed to a 4th or maybe a 5th set, and that’s where the grinding and the energy problems will begin to arise. If he can keep his Wimby performance to 3 straight sets per match, then he should be rested with the one day in between, and then if and when he gets to the QFs and SFs, he’ll be just fine.

I wish the best for him for your sake. How about sending him some wheaties to the rescue or a munch of grass for a salad. That should do the trick! :)


Shital Green Says:

Von,
In my post, I did not count Davy, Ferrer, and other top ten below Roddick as serious title contenders. I had Roddick among the top 4 title contenders. In comparison to Fed and Rafa, it appears that he has an easier draw from early rounds through the quarters. That does not mean he will not have to play or will win his way through semi more easily than others. As the tournament starts, our speculations can go wrong, and he may end up facing tougher challengers than the top three’s.
However, your huckleberry will eat Schwank alive in straight sets, regardless of his bad back. Mark my words. Roddick will have to play, maybe, 4 sets in the quarter final. Rest assured he will be in the semi. Stay hopeful.


Jack Says:

Good to see tennis get some much deserved recognition for a change. Good on Mr.Federer for raising the Gold standard in tennis to insane heights!

Long live the King!

http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/info-GREATEST08.html


Spirit Says:

From the “Who’s in the trunk” section

“Bjorn Borg
We get a little testy when Roger is about to break our records, don’t we? Picking him as the THIRD horse this year? Can you retire from talking to the media?”

Absolutely :) Did you see his sour face expression when Roger finally broke Nadal in fifth set last year and grabbed the trophy.

About more and more Spaniards reaching the finals of grass tournaments… yes, grass is definitely slower than hardcourts now, it probably matches the American “green clay”.

I don’t like that, every surface should have its charm – I enjoyed watching Wimbledon as a kid, because matches were dynamic and didn’t last for hours like on RG. On RG, you can always raise your level and get back in the set, but Wimby was like a chess game – one or two bad moves (serves), and you go a break down and most probably a set down as well.

Look at the Karlovic’s matches as an example how it used to be to play against big servers on Wimbledon… you can play perfectly a whole set, but make a single mistake in the tiebreak, and it’s over, just like that.


Von Says:

Shital:

“About a week ago, I responded to your comment about “old friends.” It appears you did not bother to read it. That is alright.”

I never saw your answer to my facetious swing at you about “old friends”. I was kind of ‘miffed’ that you didn’t bother to reply (now I realize that was wasted emotion as you did indeed reply) considering I went to such lengths to inflict some kind of guilt trip on you. Anyway, where was your reply posted? I’d like to still read it — I’m sure a laugh or two would be in the ‘offing’(emphasis added for Skorocel).

“In your post above, you are raising a question about homeostatic imbalance resulting from inability to sustain protracted physical stress.”

Well, let’s hope that there’s the proper homeostasis synchronization evolving in the huckleberry’s body at the required intervals to sustain the protracted physical stress, to enable him to perform as a finely tuned machine; and, I mean ‘homeostasis’ and not ‘stasis’ or else that will be lights out for the poor huckleberry. :) You are correct that he can garner energy by giving it his all when push comes to shove, by firing some aces or some dreamy backhand shots down the line to finish the points. The last thing he would want is to get involved in long baseline rallies, which would extinguish his fire and send him into stasis for sure. :) This poor guy has provided much materiel in the laughter department. However, all will be good if he can channel his nervous energy in a positive manner to fend off the opposition. A creative way would be to break out in one of Stepanek’s worm dance — how’s that for improvisation and bedazzling the opposition?

“Let us hope Jane’s historical data are symptomatic of his new found immunity against lengthy matches, in double sense.”

I’m sure you know what they say about stats — “It’s all elementary, my dear Watson.”

“And, what’d up, you are not saying anything about your huckleberry? Where do you see him?
I am just secretly hoping the two huckleberries meet in the final.”

I’m trying to follow TD’s directive — she does not want any talk about Roddick! :)

___________________
Skorocel my friend:

English 101 – I’ve added two new British words for your vocabulary at the beginning of this post — ‘miffed” and ‘offing’. Hope you like them. :)


Shital Green Says:

Von,
The response is there around 15-16th post from the bottom in the thread titled “No Denying Nadal, Not Even on a Grass Court.”
That should sauté your miff fine.


Von Says:

Shital:

“That should sauté your miff fine.”

It sure does. :) I missed all of those posts on that thread beginning with yours down the line. It was good reading them.


sensationalsafin Says:

So after I finished Federer’s book, I started Sampras’s. I’m a little bit more than halfway through it. I definitely recommend both books. Anyways.

It’s absolutely ridiculous to think Federer will not win Wimbledon. As good as Nadal has gotten, as much improvement Djokovic has made, it doesn’t matter. There’s more to it than disproving the critics for Federer. It’s even beyond setting the record with 6 straight Wimbledons. On ESPN, one of the writers predicted Nadal beating Federer in 4 sets. No way. If Federer loses, it won’t be the way he’s lost the French, not just this year but in years prior. He seemed to go away at times in the French finals. But at Wimbledon, he will stay in it till the very end. If Nadal wins it, it’ll be 7-5 in the fifth at LEAST.

Djokovic won’t stop Federer on grass, not yet anyway. He may be happier to face Federer than Nadal, but this is grass. This is Wimbledon. It’s Centre Court baby. Federer won’t give it up easily, and he definitely won’t give it up to anyone but Nadal.

First round will be very interesting. Federer has never beaten Hrbaty. Why is that so overlooked?


jane Says:

sensationalsafin,

I looked that up; Fed hasn’t played Hrbaty since 2004!! And he’s only played him once prior to that, in 2000. So I hardly think that stat matters anymore (both were on hard/carpet). Were talking #272 versus #1. If Fed doesn’t win that match then the press can talk “end of an era” all it wants. LOL.

Thanks for the recommendation on the books; I read John McEnroe’s book a while back and enjoyed it. I may read Pete’s.


PJ Says:

After Zvereva beat Graf at Wimbledon after being something like 0-18 against her, I believe anything is possible. But yeah, no Federer fan can say anything redeeming if Federer goes out to Hrbaty in the first round of Wimbledon.


sensationalsafin Says:

I still thing it’s interesting to note. But I think it’s pretty clear I have a lot of faith and confidence in Federer.

I read McEnroe’s book back when it came out, too. I thought it was great, but then again I think anything tennis related is great. Something interesting to note, if you read Sampras’s book, is their reaction to Vitas Gerulaitis’s death. I never knew until I read Sampras’s book that they had become good friends during Pete’s years on tour. But both McEnroe and Sampras talked about how distraught they were and anyone else connected to Gerulaitis, who must’ve been one helluva guy. McEnroe said he hadn’t talked to Gerulaitis for quite some time before the sudden death while Sampras had been with him only a few weeks prior. I don’t know, I think it’s really interesting.

Since the French Open is still fairly fresh on everyone’s mind I wanna make a few remarks about Sampras and his results at the French. He’s very often criticized for never even coming close to winning it, but that’s not completely true. Sure he was upset in the first round at one time or another, but he was consistently making the quarters. Yeah he only made one semi but that really could’ve been the one time he won it, too. He was coming off an injury and Tim Gullikson had just died. He played like 2 matches on clay prior and lost both. But at the French he beat Bruguera and Courier. Then he was facing Kafelnikov in the semis, which is like Federer facing Davydenko. He said after losing the first set, which didn’t phase him, he ran out of gas and kinda saw his and Gullikson’s dream of him winning the French shatter. It’s a real shame but now, more than ever, I say Sampras is the GOAT until Federer breaks the slam record. Because Sampras was a very capable player in many ways. Federer just happens to be the most talented player ever, which explains his UTTER dominance. But Pete was very dominant, too. Sometimes, a lot of the people on this blog undermine what both of these players have achieved and how much they had to go through (in Federer’s case is still going through) to claim their place at the top of tennis history.

But I don’t wanna be completely biased. I’ll admit Sampras and Federer are easily two of my favorite players and I have tons of respect for both. And I often criticize other players for whatever reason, Nalbandian for example. But reading these books I realize that great champion or consistent top 10 performer or journeyman, every player has a story behind his accomplishments that deserve a lot of respect. I don’t promise I’ll never criticize another player, but I hope in the future you guys notice that I’m not gonna say I flat out hate someone like I used to. It’s tough to be a pro, especially a top pro.

Notice I didn’t mention the women at all because I have yet to find a reason to respect them.


Voicemale1 Says:

Why is anyone worried about Karlovic? Doesn’t anyone here realize Karlovic has lost in the 1st Round at Wimbledon for the last 3 years???

There’s all the proof you need about two things that big servers like him aren’t a gimme at Wimbledon: 1) the longer grass and heavier ball blunts their huge serving; 2) the Best of 5 Format hurts them as much or more. Most of them, like Karlovic, can keep up the huge hitting for a Best of 3 sets match, but when it gets to a 4th or 5th they far more often than not run out of gas. Like Robert Kendrick when he played Nadal in 2006. Dominated Nadal for two sets, then lost the last 3 sets, and by the 5th he was exhausted.

It’s not like the days when Sampras and Ivanisevic dominated there with Big Serving- it’s a completely different court now. It’s slower, and you need an athletic, powerful and varied ground game to win it today.


Von Says:

The reason nobody’s talking about Hrbaty being a threat to Federer is mainly due to Hrbaty’s absence on the men’s tour for quite sometime now being sidelined by injury. His ranking has dropped severely, and he’s now gotten a few years older — probably close to 30 or so. That being the case how much of a threat will he be to Federer. That H2H is now moot — a thing of the past. I’d say Federer will win that match hands down in 3 straights; 6-1, 6-3-; 6-0, or some ridiculous stat like that. unless Skorocel wants to help his countryman in the serving department or running around Fed’s backhand. :)


sardino Says:

Roger’s reign on the wane: Woodforde

Linda Pearce in London
June 21, 2008
[...]
Curious and perhaps telling, Woodforde believes, was the decision to announce that Federer had been suffering from glandular fever after he had lost to Djokovic in the semis of the Australian Open to end a run of 10 consecutive grand slam finals.

“Why mention it after his loss in Melbourne? Who has heard of it affecting a player for only eight to 10 weeks? Ask Mario Ancic – he took more than 10 months to overcome glandular fever,” Woodforde said.

“Why not simply let the Djokovic loss slide by and keep it in-house? Was he and is he feeling the pressure more?”
[...]
http://www.smh.com.au/news/tennis/rogers-reign-on-the-wane-woodforde/2008/06/20/1213770923479.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1


TD (Tam) Says:

I am glad that somebody of Woodforde’s calibre has said out loud what many of us have been saying for months- that Federer’s announcing his glandular fever right after losing to Djokovic was tasteless, crass, and in some ways desperate. It’s almost as if were making excuses via the media for his loss and deliberately trying to take Djokovic’s win away from him.

I am still not completely convinced that it was glandular fever to begin with but whatever it is old news now and he is healthy again (Roger that is).

Von- “I’m trying to follow TD’s directive — she does not want any talk about Roddick!”

Yes! thank you, We dont want to blow Roddick’s cover now do we? ;) Let him slide in unnoticed and unremarked upon. Instead let’s talk about more dangerous floaters like Ancic and Nalbandian.


Del Torri Says:

Woodforde’s comments are fallacious – Federer mentioned his contracting of mononucleosis after his loss to Murray in the first round of Dubai. Apparently, Federer didn’t even know of the diagnosis in Melbourne.

In any case, he certainly wasn’t “trying to take Djokovic’s win away from him.” His agent stated in March (excerpt):
***
“He doesn’t want to make any excuses and take anything away from anybody,” Roger Federer’s agent, Tony Godsick, said Friday.
***


Von Says:

TD:

“”Instead let’s talk about more dangerous floaters like Ancic and Nalbandian.”"

Do you really feel that Ancic and Nalbandian are dangerous floaters? After Ancic was so quickly dispatched at the FO in 3 sets; it’s questionable to me that he’s a dangerous floater — I’d say he’s a threat sometimes, but not all of the time. However, Ancic does have a physical problem which is very visible at times — it seems to weave in and out, Ancic’s mono will always be a life-long problem — one that doesn’t go away. Federer was fortunate that his mono’s duration only lasted for 8 weeks. In the majority of cases I’ve seen, it’s a long term struggle which befalls its victims whenever they are over-fatigued by too much strenuous exercise. But what’s Nalbandian’s affliction? Perhaps a case of too much lunch, coupled with being out to lunch. He was a case of the proverbial potted plant in his SF match with Djoko. To be truthful, I had expected him to take out Djoko and Nadal. He certainly has the game to do it. So much for wishful thinking.

I will do my very best to leave Andy’s cover intact, as per your wishes. :)


Ryan Says:

I think this is what federer really needs.Atleast this draw is better than fed crusing through the finals and then getting beaten up by nadal.If fed comes through this draw he’ll be confident enough to take on nadal since he has beaten djokovic, and all the other dangerous guys.If he is not in form its better that he loses to someone else than losing to nadal in the final.


Skorocel Says:

Von said:

“I’d say Federer will win that match hands down in 3 straights; 6-1, 6-3-; 6-0, or some ridiculous stat like that. unless Skorocel wants to help his countryman in the serving department or running around Fed’s backhand. :)”

Oh no! We don’t want to see Dominik lose 0, 0, and 0, do we? :)

—————————-

“Skorocel my friend:

English 101 – I’ve added two new British words for your vocabulary at the beginning of this post — ‘miffed” and ‘offing’. Hope you like them. :)”

Absolutely! As far as the first one goes, I only found “miff” and “miffy”, but I guess it’s pretty much the same as being “fed up”, isn’t it? Re: “offing”, well, this one surprised me a bit, since in my English vocab it says: “sea” :) But I guess “in the offing” (i.e. “near”, or “not far away”) should be more appropriate, isn’t it? :)

Anyway, I’m still waiting for you to explain me why there’s that number of 101 in the English course name :)


Skorocel Says:

To sensationalsafin:

I completely agree with you re: Sampras! Even now, lots of people still tend to overlook him and his achievements, but why? Was he/his game boring or what? Huh? On the contrary, it was one of the most exciting games I’ve ever seen! He could play from the baseline (even though maybe not as versatile as does Fed), but at the net, he was the best!

P.S. Agree that Fed still has some work to do if he wants to be considered better than Pete – at least in terms of achievements…


Noel Says:

Jane,
It has become difficult to pick the real dark horses at wimb primarily because the conditions(courts,balls etc) there have changed so much as voicemale1 has pointed out on more than one thread.it is no longer a serving shoot-out although big servers still have an advantage.it also depends on how you define a dark horse these days because I don’t see anyone outside of the top three –except rod at the us open- having a serious shot at the slams.similarly,very few thought till very recently that fed could be beaten at wimb.going by that everyone else becomes a bit of a dark horse but generally it’d be an insult to call the likes of rod,murray etc. dark horses.i’d have picked soderling and gulbis had they not been drawn to meet fed and rafa.while gulbis has a tougher route in case-unlikely as it is- he were to beat rafa,soderling can potentially reach the sf in case of an equally unlikely fed upset. If one were to go by the trend this year i.e. the top three plus a talented Frenchman-I am being more specific for no apparent reason:)- in the sf,then only mahut is ‘available’ because the others are in the top three’s quarters.ancic’s game has actually gone down from what it was a few years ago..all the other big servers like karlovic,querrey,cilic,Anderson etc will need a lot of luck to do well. A fit haas has the game for grass but he just isn’t match-fit.ditto for berdych, Hewitt and to a lesser extent,keifer.feliciano lopez has the game for grass but somehow seems to lack the confidence.youzhny,who, like gulbis ,is an unbelievable player on the practice courts,has just not been able to do justice to his immense talent.i hope murray does better.

I also find the rafa-nole rivalry very exciting and you are right when you say that rafa is very aware of the nole threat.i do think that nole’s game is better-suited(as compared to fed’s) to challenge rafa on clay and on current form,probably even on grass.however,nole will beat rafa very easily on a fast hard court.i guess nole’s powerful backhand(esp the up the line one)and flatter groundstrokes neutralize rafa’s lefty fh edge a lot.i also will be very curious about the way fed copes with nole’s power on the hard courts.i watched all the fed-nole matches that you talked about in your post.it was in montreal last year that it first hit me that the next-gen power hitters had arrived.that was an insanely fast court and fed was simply overpowered by nole’s groundies.the stats would show that fed made a lot of unforced errors but most of them were actually forced errors.fed wasn’t allowed to play well.i got the feeling immediately that fed’s days of hard-court domination were numbered.nole basically lost the us open final despite having many chances to win both the first and the second sets.however his ao campaign was very impressive.it’d be unfair to say that he won because of fed’s mono although fed did look strangely out of sorts just as in the fo final.i also agree that novak actually played very well at mc despite being less than 100% in that sf and he definitely had some breathing problem.
I find fed’s mono situation very fascinating.normally mono doesn’t go away so early.either he doesn’t/didn’t have mono-I’d think fed has enough credibility here for us to discount the possibility of a major lie-or he is continuing to play despite still having the problem.it could be something other than mono.some of his performances have been very strange and his movement is certainly not what it was.that loss to fish at iw was inexplicable and to think that fish had less than 40% first serves!!

It is true that the the top three are pushing each other to imrove their game.fed raised the bar first and rafa responded.these two have forced the rest of the field to improve as well.there was a time when rod’s serve and fh sufficed most of the time but even he had to work hard to add variety to his game.even then,he is not quite in the league of the top three except on fast surfaces.fed’s bh couldn’t have been what it is if rafa hadn’t pounded his bh relentlessly in their encounters.fed’s and nole’s hard court superiority has forced rafa to add more variety to his game and become more attacking. Such had been the fed-rafa duopoly that nole had to reach a very high level very quickly to compete with them and he has worked extremely hard to be where he is.nole is still a work in progress and going by what rafa has shown recently,rafa is not a finished article either.nole has the potential to dominate tennis when his game improves and matures as he approaches his peak physical conditioning.only murray seems to have the talent to challenge nole on the faster courts in the future when fed’s era inevitably ends.murray seems to be going the fed way so far as the results are concerned.fed was a relatively late bloomer and i hope murray does not join the ranks of those who promise so much and deliver very little.safin,who many consider to be even more talented than fed,at least won two slams.i can never forget the way he gave pete the pasting of his life in the 2000 us open final.pete said later that marat could win as many slams as he wanted.a combination of factors-esp injuries, marat’s lack of ambition and hard work-ensured that he didn’t realize even a fraction of his potential.i hope murray does better than that.


Noel Says:

Von,
Jane has been kind enough to answer your question and has provided a lot of proof from the stats point of view and this should settle a lot of arguments about nole’s ability to win his earlier rounds without finding himself stretched. i’d like to address your question in terms of the overall improvement in his game and smart scheduling.
there is no doubt that nole has emerged as a major force in the men’s game and really established himself this year as a player capable of competing on equal terms with roger and rafa and beaten both at big tournaments.the fourth player is way behind him.these three are a cut above the rest.for novak,it wasn’t the same last year even though he had some great results.admittedly he wasn’t the fittest player and that showed at the end of the season especially at the tmc.he realized very quickly that he had to concentrate on the big ones and worked hard on his fitness in the off-season.the experience of playing at a high level teaches you a lot.for instance,he finishes the point earlier by coming to the net more often.his volleys are much better now. he played a lot of tournaments/matches last year.i think he played more than a hundred singles and doubles matches in 2007.he has already skipped adelaide and estoril this year and i am sure he will become more federer-like in his scheduling as he becomes more confident and enters his prime.as it is,he is playing at such a high level that he can dismiss most of the lesser opponents pretty comfortably in the earlier rounds on virtually all the surfaces although that ability is most obvious on a fast hard court.this is obviously as much a function of his improved tactics,skills,focus,mental toughness,motivation and confidence as it is of his better physical/athletic conditioning.losing just one set in winning the ao is no mean achievement and i haven’t seen him struggle too much in the earlier rounds this year. he is far from being in his best shape but different players peak at different times w.r.t their physical conditioning.remember,roger’s fitness was not very good in long matches as late as 2003/2004 and some still think that he’d struggle in a really long match.he worked hard on his fitness the last few years and that is why he has been so successful for so long.on the other hand,it appears as if rafa was a ‘beast’ even at the age of sixteen.tennis is such a demanding sport physically these days that one’s talent can only take one so far and not further unless it is accompanied by very good physical/athletic ability. novak couldn’t have had these great results without a decent fitness level.he has had a lot of success at the masters series events which are-despite being best of three- arguably more demanding physically than the slams because of back to back matches against top players without any rest days.


Shital Green Says:

Noel, you write a book: You already have the 1st chapter above. Sensationalsafin, you read for us, get wiser and help us do the same. Skorocel, you keep learning Eng 101. Von, you keep providing us comic relief (without truthfully expecting anyone taking out Nole, maybe except A-Rod). If you did not know, Jane once said, long long ago, I say “whacky” things. Let me quote her for old time’s sake: “While you post some whacky things, and some that I disagree with, you have resolve and mettle to admire. Keep posting and shaking things up” (Sep 20, 2007). I am afraid I cannot be “w[h]acky” any more. I am matured now, under Jane’s tutelage.

Andy Murray in the most recent interview, if you have not read already:
“I think I’m going to get further than the fourth round sooner rather than later,” he said. “And that doesn’t really bother me that much because I don’t just want to get to the quarter-final, I’m interested in going further than that.

“I think when I play my best, I can play at that level,” he said. “It’s just a matter of being able to do it consistently over five sets. Even Federer struggles – as you saw at the French – to play at the level Nadal is playing at. He basically plays like that the whole time, he never drops down from that level. He’s so intense and he’s so fit that he’s able to do it.

“Djokovic and Federer can sometimes definitely play better than Nadal but I don’t think they maintain it for as long a period of time as Nadal does. I think I can get to that level, it’s just a matter of being able to hold it there for long enough.”


Andy Murray Says:

I said no such thing. All this is rubbish, I can’t progress further until I have confidence. Cheerio


Von Says:

Skorocel:

“Anyway, I’m still waiting for you to explain me why there’s that number of 101 in the English course name”

When I was in College the preparatory courses began with the number 100. Hence the first English remedial/preparatory course will be in 100 group and the first course will be No. “1″ = English 101. When you pass that course you move on to English 102. Get it :) Eventually you’ll graduate, but that will only happen when you cease coming up with these inquisitorial questions.:) How old are you now 3, 4, 5, 6? Do you remember, “but Mommy what if ….?, but Mommy, why is this so….?” :)

Perhaps things have changed in the numbering system of the courses — I went to college with the Dinosaurs. :) Maybe jane could probably throw some light on my numbers since she’s the current school marm.

jane: Please help and clarify. Thanks Ms. Browning! :)

_______________
Shital Green:

“Von, you keep providing us comic relief (without truthfully expecting anyone taking out Nole, maybe except A-Rod).”

I take the Fifth. That’s my secret. Speculations are not in my line of work only FACTS. I’m following TD’s advice/instructions. She’s the boss when it concerns A-Rod! :)


jane Says:

Shital Green,

I’d forgotten all about that “whacky” comment (which means amusing in a peculiar way – which I loved, and still do, about your writing; your dry sense of humour). I do remember, however, how much I admired your resolve in the face of adversity, something which we still see from you. You hold your own well and I admire you for that. Thanks for the reminder of our past meeting of “like minds” :-)

Some interesting thoughts from Murray; I hope he at least makes a run to the quarters here. It’d be nice to see him and Rafa fight it out on center court on the grass (at least I think that’s who he’d meet).

noel,

Another great couple of posts from you – thanks for responding and touching on the “dark horse” question I’d tossed out there. I agree that the top 3 have helped each other, and the rest of the players too, to raise their games and constantly try to improve. It makes the sport exciting to follow, past and present rivalries.

I suspect were in for a good Wimbledon, though am disappointed to say that I read today that the weather forecast looks bad. Pray for sun people! Dance to the sun gods…worship at the sun temples…stick pins in clouds! Whatever black magic you can conjure to stop the soppy London summer – go for it!


jane Says:

Von,

“jane: Please help and clarify. Thanks Ms. Browning! ”

Ack – putting me on the spot eh? Um, it’s a bit difficult to say since our 1st year English course are 1127 & 1130! Historically, however, introductory courses in pretty much anything were numbered beginning with 101. So we can say colloquially “cooking 101″ “tennis 101″ or “English 101″ and each simply signifies that we’re a novice, a “freshie” if you will.

So is Skorocel our “freshie”? ;-)


Gordo Says:

Ah, Wimbledon!!!

This is shaping up as one of the most exciting men’s tournaments ever.

It is especially pleasing to see Roddick not having to play Rog, Rafa or the Joker until there will only be 4. Nice bit of luck on the draw, and not just for A Rod. Seriously – barring a goofy injury does anyone really expect any of the other 124 men to be in any of these 4 slots? But I know – upsets do happen, and the game is not played on paper.

The mystery that is David (Can’t realize his incredible potential) Nalbandian -

I saw Nalbandian destroyed by Djokovic in Queens and there is something wrong with this boy’s fitness. Here is a guy who beat Federer, Djokovic and Nadal last year in the same tournament, and yet he always struggles. When you see him change his shirt he really has a bit of a gut.

In his first round he is up against Frank Dancevic from Canada, who he beat in 4 tough sets last year at Wimbledon in the second round. If he plays the way he did at Queens I think Dancevic could take him.


Von Says:

Noel:

First: Do you realize that if you were to transpose the “e” and the “l” in your name, you’d come up with “Nole”? :)

“tennis is such a demanding sport physically these days that one’s talent can only take one so far and not further unless it is accompanied by very good physical/athletic ability. Novak couldn’t have had these great results without a decent fitness level.

You’re absolutely correct that talent can only take these players to a certain level and that’s where they will remain – stagnated. Hence, they have to meld talent with physical/mental and athletic strengths too which will propel them to arrive and remain at a very highly competitive level, consistently. Failing that, they will be at an impasse.

Yes, I agree that Novak has gotten to a decent fitness level and would not have been able to achieve the results he has gotten thus far, had he not done so; but the question that is now being asked, can he get to the next rung on the ladder and sustain/maintain the physical athleticism and/or mental fortitude required to beat Nadal, Federer and other mentally/physically fitter players consistently? There’s a saying: “The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” In some ways this applies to Novak. He is desirous of and willing to get up to the higher rungs on the ladder and is cognizant that he needs to work on this situaton. He is, putting in the necessary work to get to the Nadal/Federer, et al. fitness level, but can his body/psyche handle these additional stressors? He wilts in the latter stages of quite a few and/or too many tournaments. It’s all well and good to want to make fitness changes, etc., but this can be a catch-22 situation, since there’s conclusive medical evidence that too much exercise and fitness can lead to a very compromised immune system, making a player very susceptible to various viruses and disease syndromes. Additionally, factors such as genetics play a huge role in achieving results when trying to raise the fitness bar, e.g., Nadal; for him, it’s in his genes. A classic example of this fitness scenario is manifested in Jelena Jancovic; she’s working on her fitness and trying to raise the bar while playing a compact/heavy schedule — end result, every part of her body is breaking down. I dislike using this now, overworked phraseology, but in Djoko’s case “only time will tell.”

Thank you for the discussion. :)


Von Says:

jane:

“Um, it’s a bit difficult to say since our 1st year English course are 1127 & 1130!”

Well, you’re Canadian — so that accounts for the difference in numbers in the English courses. In my day, all intro /prep classes were “101″. Hence, English 101,but it was Lit I and Lit II.

“Historically, however, introductory courses in pretty much anything were numbered beginning with 101. So we can say colloquially “cooking 101″ “tennis 101″ or “English 101″ and each simply signifies that we’re a novice, a “freshie” if you will.”

The “101″, I see has not changed much since my dinosaur days of college. At least some things remain the same for the freshmen.

“So is Skorocel our “freshie”?”

He’s my little freshie, and a very inquisitive one at that. I need to start a “billable hours” invoice. Skorocel, can you afford my tuition? :)


sardino Says:

Del Torri:
Apparently, Federer didn’t even know of the diagnosis in Melbourne.

How can you say this? Just this past April, Fed said he has had mono since 2006!!!

Q. When you had mono, did you ever think of Mario Ancic and the fact he missed like six months?
ROGER FEDERER: For some reason I didn’t think of him, no, because it was over before it started for me. I heard I had it, and two weeks later they said it was gone.

Q. Did it surprise you it was so short?
ROGER FEDERER: No, because it can be over very quickly. Apparently I already had it back in 2006, hints of it, but… Yeah, so it’s in the past.

http://www.tennis-x.com/story/2008-04-02/h.php


Euro 2008 Says:

Russia beat Holland 3-1. What do you make of this?
I don’t know, seems to be a bit of a blunder.
Why do you always say such things?
I feel it is an important matter the world should know.
You’re crazy, man.
These things are never crystal clear to me anyway. Gorbachev out.


Naydal Says:

Borg also said Federer was playing some of his best tennis before the French. Borg suddenly discovered the press and is enjoying making random comments that grab headlines. He should perhaps try keeping quiet for a little while…

I’d love to see Isner v. Nadal in the second round if Isner makes it that far. Both Isner and Karlovic could knock anyone out if their serve happens to be on fire on a given day.


Borg Lies Says:

Yeah, Borg never lies. When he told McEnroe live on air on NBC in that postmatch interview how it was the first time that he’d walked on Court Centrale in forever. He lied right then. Borg conveniently forgot that he was a presenter on center court for Kuerten’s first French Open title. Liar. I wouldn’t believe anything he says.


Noel Says:

Von,
As for the transposition bit,I realized this today when I was typing my response.I typed nole as noel by mistake and corrected it just before hitting the submit button.If your insinuation is that i am a nole fan,then you are a bit off the mark.I won’t blame you because most of my recent posts have defended/praised nole.I have been a big fed fan but not a blind one.let us say that I am a bigger tennis fan.I really admire what rafa and nole are capable of and I can see the sheer talent and potential in nole’s game.

I agree that a combination of a wide variety of factors including ‘luck’ need to come together for a talented player to realize his potential fully.Fed is a very good example of brilliant career management once he made that major break-through.till that crucial turning point,his overall fitness,temperament,focus,motivation etc were suspect and he really didn’t have the big results that his talent justified.i thought he’d(and he should have) go on to win wimb in 2001 itself once he beat pete.Safin presents the opposite picture.He won a slam early but he messed his career up and was unlucky also due to a number of different injuries.
nole-or any gifted player for that matter-will have to perform for a number of years to justify my confidence in him.”time will tell” adage applies to everyone no matter how talented they are.you don’t really count unless you actually put up the numbers. think the early signs are very encouraging and as far as i know,he has a first-rate support team to manage every aspect of his career.I am pretty sure they know if they are over-stressing his body.They realize that nole is here for the long haul.hence the smarter schedule this year.I think he has improved a notch from last year and he should be an even fitter player next year.
I would beg to differ slightly on the genetics point if you are not restricting yourself to family history/predisposition to ailments/diseases.I have seen far too many “average” players improve their fitness beyond recognition due to hard work under proper guidance.I agree that some people are gifted with natural athletic ability but others can reach a very high level with a proper training regimen under expert guidance.Of course,nothing stops one from arguing that these “average” players
also had the genes to reach that level and it is just that they were unaware about it.:)


Noel Says:

Jane,
wimb won’t be wimb without some rain delays but i do hope and pray that this year is nowhere as wet as last year.
i guess we will have to wait one more year to have at least the centre court action without any rain delays.i hope the roof project is going on schedule.


Noel Says:

Shital,
I am very sorry for getting carried away even if my posts were meant primarily for Jane and Von.I admit that my posts are not very reader-friendly.I take far too many liberties with the rules of the English language and my verbosity can get irritating.That is why I do not post as regularly as some of the more prolific forum members.I guess i need to resist the temptation to express myself even more and restrain myself while responding to questions addressed to me by fellow members.Let me try and see how long this resistance/restraint lasts:)

Before i get accused of writing book chapters again,I must express my gratitude to you for having pulled me up in the form of that instruction/advice.Any further corrective measures suggested by you will be much appreciated.My sincere apologies once again to you-and any other member who has been offended- for being so irritating and inconsiderate.


Von Says:

Noel:

Thanks for enlightening me that you’re a Fed fan. I thought from your discussions, which were very objective and fair, that you were a Djoko fan. I’m not a fan of the top 3. I’m a Roddick fan but I always find fair,impartial discussions worthy of some of my input, which I did in my previous posts to you. However, in so doing, one has to walk a very thin line or a tight rope for fear of raising the ire of many of the subject player’s fans.

I have to confess that I also am very guilty of writing some rather lengthy posts. When I originally began posting, I was very self-conscious about my long posts, but as time went by, I have been able to cut down a bit. However, on some subject matters it is quite difficult to do so. I suppose we are from the ‘wordy’ group and can only try to improve on brevity. However, only time will tell…. :) To both of us and any other ‘wordy’ people, I dedicate the following. Can we adhere to this profound statement, I’ll say not. :)

“Brevity is the soul of wit”.


Shital Green Says:

Noel,
I was not complaining for the length. Actually, I was complementing you. I actually like you. Welcome to our frat-soro-nity. You are already initiated, so no hazing to worry about. I was trying to sound funny, if not quite “amusing in a peculiar way,” but it did not work. I had doubt.

Jane,
I seldom say “whacky” with “h” sound. I say “wacky” (from “wacko”) to mean weird, crazy, stupid, funny, sometimes in a sweet way. On a few occasions, I say “whacky” with “h” to mean appalling or meaningless. That is just me. This could be useful for the “freshie.”

Von,
They still have Eng 101 at some universities, but not at my university. We have Eng 1301 as freshmen English Composition. Old Schoolers call everything 101. Is it about time your “little freshie” should begin Necking 101. That’s not wacky?


Von Says:

Shital:

“Von,
They still have Eng 101 at some universities, but not at my university. We have Eng 1301 as freshmen English Composition. Old Schoolers call everything 101. Is it about time your “little freshie” should begin Necking 101. That’s not wacky?”

OK, I get your point. I’m a dinosaur, but isn’t that what I said I was? We did call everything 101 in my day. I’ll say you belong to the class of “Wacky 101″. Leave my little freshie alone — he’s improving upon his knowledge of our fascinating language — English — with me as his tutor. I’ll say he’s in for a huge disappointment learning from someone whose escape hatch is taking the “Fifth”, don’t you think? :)

In my own round about way, I gave Noel the green light to ignore any mention about lengthy posts, considering I’m one of the chief offenders. She’ll also learn to adjust to your dry humor which is reserved for those whom you absolutely like. The operative word being “absolutely”. :) Now carry on smart(ly). Can you manage that? :)


jane Says:

Shital Green,

I thought whacky and wacky were just variants in spelling – leave it to a Canadian to think that! ;-)

Noel,

I agree with Shital – blog more; what you write is great & balanced.


Von Says:

jane:

“Whacky” is the correct usage, meaning crazy, silly or meaningless. The “whacy” one knows what he’s saying. While “wacky” is just slang. This will indeed confuse the freshie.


Von Says:

Ooops, “whacy” should be “whacky”. Talk about a comedy of errors from a whacky person, moi.


Euro 2008 Says:

We need Kylie Minogue on this site.


oh nos! Says:

Andy Roddick throws a tantrum, says he hates himself. :o

http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/25304176/


Ra Says:

I don’t know how else to say this:

Novak Djokovic is a phenomenal tennis player (and may very well prove himself to be beyond that over time). Rafael Nadal is a ridiculously phenomenal tennis player and an admirable sportsman (even regardless of possibly questionable injury timeouts).

To criticize Roger Federer for publicly announcing that he was suffering from mononucleosis or to discount that fact in assessing his performance this year is just brainless. Anyone who has followed tennis closely can see that there was obviously an intervening factor to cause Federer to have so abruptly dropped a level between the fourth quarter of last year and the first quarter or half of 2008. For the record, if you see fit to question or oppose the notion that Federer struggled due to an illness from at least prior to the Australian Open until at least Monte Carlo if not Hamburg and even possibly Paris, I think you are an idiot. It is tough to tell if recent inconsistencies have been due to lingering illness or the resultant preparation and confidence issues combined with an improving field of challengers (probably a combination in all cases), but to sit here in June of 2008 and criticize such an accomplished and respected (let us not forget that his peers have been so outspoken about his sportsmanship) champion of champions and to nitpick (inaccurately, at that) about his timing in announcing that adversity is simply ludicrous. If you are among the people motivated to do so, I feel both appalled by you and sorry for you because your life must be so very pathetically off-kilter to steer you in that direction. I can only surmise that you have lived a life of defeated dreams and that those dreams have been bested primarily by your own lack of faith and your inability to recognize reality in the face of your own delusion.

It saddens me that I’m growing less and less inclined to read the comments on this (and many other) site(s) because so many are so full of negativity towards certain players (although so many feign innocence in that matter). What makes it all the more painful for me is that so many of the same people are clearly beyond intelligent and sensitive enough to make positive contributions without acting like immature little bitches vying for their own contingents without regard to logic, soul, common decency or reality.

It is my sincere hope that some who have not yet grown to be able to do so will soon be able to appreciate the brilliance of one without degrading the virtues of another. If you love tennis, may you find and adore genius wherever it may arise in this realm. If not, I hope you will move on to find it elsewhere and allow the rest of us to indulge in it here without the tarnish of your bullsh*t.


jane Says:

Ra,

You’re rather harsh in your post (surprising coming from you) – using words like “brainless” “idiot” “bitches” and bullshit” – but you raise an interesting issue.

Most people agree here that Fed had mono and that it’s affected his performance. Some people take issue with when and how he announced it, or that he continued to play through it, and, well, that’s their prerogative I suppose.

Personally it bothers me that people are now slagging Borg, a great champion, just because he’s speaking out, and perhaps having opinions that differ from their own. But they’re entitled to their point of view. That’s what blogging is about.

But you mention the 4th quarter of last year, so I’d like to address that. I would argue that even last year, there were some signs of a slight Federer decline. He played stellar tennis at the Masters Cup, no doubt, but there were signs throughout the summer, and perhaps even in the final at Wimbledon, that he was minutely, in tiny degrees, losing his edge, that he was perhaps not going to be quite as dominant as in the past – don’t take this wrongly; we all know that he’s still number 1. But I do think even prior to the mono diagnosis Roger was showing signs of slowing or of hitting more errors – this was evident against Nalbandian and Djoko in matches on carpet and hard. The drop was more noticeable at the beginning of this year, of course. But I don’t think it was non-existent prior to that.


fed is afraid Says:

roger has gotten fat and complacent, his game has stagnated while roddick, nadal and joker have gotten better. he was very lucky to win wimbledon and the us open and his luck this year has gone. he either tweaks his game and tries to add something to it, or he will start to fall in the rankings.


Euro 2008 Says:

we STILL need Kylie Minogue on this site


Ra Says:

jane,

I agree that I’m rather harsh in my post, and I’m fine with that because there is a bevy of readers who seem unable to communicate in anything other than harshness. Am I any more likely to inspire those people to respond with some positive change through that language? Probably not, but I figured I’d give this approach a try since I’d yet to do so until now…

I’m not referring to “most people”, but it doesn’t require “most people” to piss in a flower pot in order to kill the flower. I do believe that people are entitled to their opinions. However, there is a fine line between stating an opinion and libel/slander/defamation. The latter (at least in the U.S.) fall into a category of punishable offenses. While I’m not interested in the corresponding legal minutia, I do appreciate the spirit of that particular law. Also, to exploit freedom of speech and use it as a blanket defense for unnecessary negativity (I’m not at all saying that you, jane, are doing that, but exactly that strikes me as implicit in the nonsense of some others on this and alternate boards) is to miss the point of this freedom.

Additionally, someone designing their screen name to be specifically derogatory to a particular player and repeatedly posting instigating comments is more akin to public masturbation than it is to positive contribution. I’ll speak in the plural here because I’m confident there are others that share my opinion: We are not interested in your little tool or your indefatigable desire for attention. You have our sympathy if mommy didn’t breastfeed you or if you are impotent, but please, unless you care to pursue a more constructive method of dealing with it, take your shame elsewhere (such as to a qualified mental health practitioner or perhaps a shaman).

As far as the timing of Federer’s announcement, I feel that basically boils down to being between a rock and a hard place. I don’t see that there would’ve been a particularly good time to release that news, yet it needed to be done.

jane, I hear you regarding Borg, and although I cited Federer in my initial rant, my feelings are in not specifically limited to him. Also, I do not even remotely feel that Federer’s supporters are less guilty of indecency than anyone else’s fans are. Again, I’m not accusing “most people”. For example, some of the remarks I read concerning Nadal look a lot like thinly (if at all) veiled racism. Obviously, that is a whole ‘nother issue (and I’ll leave it alone at that).

Yes, Federer showed signs of not being as dominant last year (and actually intermittently throughout his most dominant years though he rarely gave up much ground and it didn’t ever amount to his being any less dominant), but that is not what I am talking about. As an analogy, take a 400m sprinter, for example. If said sprinter goes from repeated 1st place finishes to a varied mix of 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishes, that kind of decline and aberration falls along a natural curve and can be attributed to any number of things including general energy, lapses in focus, change in motivation level, aging or what have you. On the other hand, when a sprinter goes (in a relatively short period of time) from consistently leading the pack to not being able to finish the race, it is indicative of a major issue which does not follow the natural curve of human athleticism. It is this latter phenomenon to which I am referring. The explanations for this case are more likely acute injury, onset or progression of disease, or psychological trauma.


Skorocel Says:

Von said:

“He’s my little freshie, and a very inquisitive one at that. I need to start a “billable hours” invoice. Skorocel, can you afford my tuition? :) ”

So you’re doing a Steffi, right? :) “HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU HAVE?”, isn’t it? :) Well, there you go :) I’m not gonna stop with my inquisitive questions at all… Why exactly that number of 101? Why not “1″, or “A”? :) Just kidding :)


jane Says:

Ra,

Thanks for your reply. I see what you mean about natural curves of decline versus rapid ones. M y point was simply that Fed was perhaps beginning the natural course of slight decline, the first noticeable signs, and so when he got hit with mono that may’ve exacerbated an already-instigated, albeit small, decline in his level of play.

As for the quips and barbs, I usually ignore them. I know what you mean about abusing free speech, but on the other hand, I truly think Roger’s character is not much affected by what any old, small, young, etc, blogger writes here. If I were Roger’s fan, I’d take issue with the press, who, having built him up to Olympian proportions are now ready to send him down the river Styx, calling for Charon to pick him up. Dang press – so yellow always. But again – not much you can do except ignore it or rage against it.

In any case, Wimbledon should be good and is but a day away so we’ve that to which to look forward – that’s where my sights are going. And that pile of work on my desk I’m avoiding. Sigh.


Shital Green Says:

Sad News Alert:

“Eight matches at Wimbledon have been reported to the tennis authorities on suspicion results have been fixed by professional gambling syndicates.

“If you look at a tournament, you might see one match for £23,000 [in betting turnover], one for £27,000, one for £36,000 and one for £4.5m.

“It doesn’t take a genius to work out that something is going on in the last one.”


Ra Says:

jane,

You are welcome for the reply. And I understand your point regarding the time at which Federer was hit with mono. From my perspective, it’s pretty up in the air as to whether he was actually on the decline or simply not having his sharpest year (with what was it, 7 losses?), but you me very well be right on the money with that.

I am sure you’ve got the right approach as far as ignoring the crap along the way. That has generally been my mode of operation, too, but sheer saturation in the past few weeks (all over the internet) got under my skin enough that I evidently needed to get that out of me. And yeah, the press is worst of all. I wrote them off entirely quite awhile back, and that’s part of the reason it can irk me so to see similar behavior in the populus.

Yes, I’m so freaking excited to finally be within 24 hours of witnessing matchplay. Good luck with that pile.

Is anyone here boldly predicting any first round upsets?


Ra Says:

Whoa, Shital,

Is there more specific info or background you can share on that?


NK Says:

Ra,
You bring much-needed eloquence, albeit somewhat less than civil at times,to the discussions here. No other champion in any sport has been vilified more in a shorter span of time (four years)than Federer.

Claims of “objective” debate that are made here in reference to Federer are as hollow as they are downright dishonest. Instead of appreciating Federer’s calm demeanour in the heat of unexpected adversity (mono), instead of marveling over how he has never called trainers on the court during matches or ever retired during a match, instead of applauding his refusal to acknowledge anything but his opponent’s game for any of the losses he has suffered this year, some people here have accused him of selfish ulterior motives and PR-mongering. And now, some actually are shameless enough to claim that his mono affliction is a lie.

I have been watching tennis for thirty years, and I cannot quite understand how anyone with an iota of sense can call Federer classless or disingenuous. The man makes no pretenses of any kind whatsoever. He is truly the most complete, graceful and classy player I have ever seen, and I suspect the Agassis and and McEnroes of this world agree.

“Additionally, someone designing their screen name to be specifically derogatory to a particular player and repeatedly posting instigating comments is more akin to public masturbation than it is to positive contribution.”

Kudos to you for the above observation. I have aways wondered what drives some people to display their hatred for one player (Federer) as openly as putting it on their screen name. With such displays of immaturity, they are only belittling themselves, not Federer.


Ra Says:

NK,

Thank you for chiming in and sharing your support in this matter. On a personal level, I have arguably had a general tendency to be too politic in life, so I will take your comment about my lack of civility as a sign of progress.

Although my history of following tennis does not go quite 30 years back (but I am closing in on that), I suspect that those of us whose views stretch farther into the past are more inclined to notice and value such an inspiring level of character in this champion. And you are absolutely right regarding Agassi and McEnroe as they (among others) have said as much in their own words. Add all that to the fact that his own contemporaries have repeatedly awarded him the title for best sportsmanship, and it is truly baffling to see some of the stances taken against him and attempt to understand them as born of anything other than ulterior motive. I actually see this sort of undermining press (especially in the media) as a kind of grave disservice to humanity in the sense that I am almost jealous of the youth that has really been blessed to have such a role model, and I would hate to see his reputation ever tarnished through underhanded sensationalism. We’re at a time now when we are seeing up and comers reaping the rewards of having emulated parts of his game, and I can only hope that we will see future champions emulate his integrity as well.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t see him as the great liberator of all peoples or anything, but I most certainly view it as an exceptionally valuable extreme rarity for anyone to maintain such class and composure in the face of so much success while under the microscope of the public eye. However, this story isn’t over, and I hope that he can keep it up throughout the course of these latest tribulations. Until I see otherwise, though, he’s earned my faith in his doing so.


osazone4real Says:

Ra

Rafael Nadal is a ridiculously phenomenal tennis player and an admirable sportsman (even regardless of possibly questionable injury timeouts).

Anyone who has followed tennis closely can see that there was obviously an intervening factor to cause Federer to have so abruptly dropped a level between the fourth quarter of last year and the first quarter or half of 2008.

I find your above statement very strange Nadal plays tennis even with enormous blisters, he plays tennis until he is so tired that the next day he cant move(take chennai youzny match after playing moya)

Also are you trying to imply that federer had Mono during Wimbledon 2007 or his losses to canas is attributed to Mono.

Just like jane said he had started loosing his touch b4 the mono.

Finally insulting people because others insult people does not make sense as they say where i come from if somebody fights a mad man he ends up looking like one


matt Says:

Federer’s season so far is quite good.

SF in the Australian Open, SF in Indian Wells, QF in Miami, Champion in Estoril, runner-up in MonteCarlo, QF in Rome, runner-up in Hamburg, runner-up in RolandGarros, Champion in Halle.

In the Australian Open’06 he didn’t play great. He defeated Haas in five sets and he was down 5-7, 0-2 in the final against Baghdatis. Somehow he managed to win.

In the USOPEN’05 he didn’t play great, his backhand was off during the tournament, and he was 6-3,2-6,2-4 down against a 35-years-old Agassi (who has played three consecutive five set matches in R16, QF and SF), but finally he managed to win.

And there have been many other occasions in each of the last four years in which he didn’t play great.

He has now 6900 points in the Entry System. There have been many times in the last years that he had less points than now. For example:

12-Nov-07: he had 6530 points.
16-Jan-06: he had 6725 points.
7-Feb-05: he had 5975 points.
1-Mar-04: he had 4930 points.

So in each of the last four years there have been moments that he had less points than now,(in fact 1000 points less than now in one moment during 2005 and 2000 points less than now in another moment during 2004).

So I can’t say that there is any decline.

The difference is that now there are two players (Nadal and Djokovic) that are probably much better and consistent than the Roddick, Hewitt or Safin of past years.


Ra Says:

osazone4real,

“I find your above statement very strange Nadal plays tennis even with enormous blisters, he plays tennis until he is so tired that the next day he cant move(take chennai youzny match after playing moya)”

This is part of precisely why I have so much respect and admiration for Nadal’s sportsmanship. Perhaps you are taking issue with my having written “regardless regardless of possibly questionable injury timeouts”. I’m referring to a slough of accusations I’ve come across that allege as much. Although the timeout in this year’s Hamburg Final was a little suspect to me, but even if it was taken out of gamesmanship, it certainly doesn’t deserve all the credit for that turnaround.

I really don’t know if Federer had Mono for Wimbledon 2007 because there are conflicting reports as far as when he contracted it. At any rate, I wasn’t trying to imply that. Nor am I attributing his losses to Canas to mono.

As I said in response to Jane, I’m really not sure if what you call “loosing his touch b4 the mono” was the beginning of an overall decline or just normal variation.

“Finally insulting people because others insult people does not make sense as they say where i come from if somebody fights a mad man he ends up looking like one”

Well, I was sure someone would say something to this effect in response to my rant. I’m ok with that. As a matter of principle, there are times when I am quite comfortable with looking like a madman.


osazone4real Says:

matt

How dou you acount for the strange losses in 2007

-Twice in a row agaist canas
-Lost to volandri
-Beaten twice by in a row by nalbadian
-lost to djoko in canada(lost a set he served for)

all these before the mono.

Iam not saying that his game is dead but there certainly was a slight decline b4 the mono


osazone4real Says:

Ra

I am in no way saying u r a madman,just that I felt it is not worth doing it(trash talking) u r far better than that.

Also I am not saying this a complete decline for Fed. but rather he dropped his level for sure he can alaway rebound

Federer is the best tennis player I have seen(I have watched him live) and he is still the favourite to win Wimbledon(this much coming from a Rafa fan).


Shital Green Says:

Ra,
That’s where I got my quote from. That link of yours has another link that further elaborates the issue of match fixing.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1028418/Eight-Wimbledon-matches-fixed-betting-scandal-bookmakers-dossier-claims.html

NK,
Could you clarify, “I suspect the Agassis and and McEnroes of this world agree” ?


Ra Says:

osazone4real,

No worries. I said what I felt I needed to say. I understand your position, and if you feel I’m worse than my best self for doing so, then so be it. Though some of my talk was undoubtedly trashy, all in all I don’t see it as trash talking. But I can see why you might. Anyhow, thank you for the vote of confidence as far as me being better than that.

Well, whatever this is for Fed, it’s clearly been tough timing for any sort of a lapse/decline because the competition is on the up and up. It’s an interesting time to be a tennis fan; That much is for sure.

Lucky you. As I understand it, the odds have him favored by a slim margin. I saw only highlights form Halle and absolutely nothing of Queens. I’m aware that Federer did not drop serve even once last week, but I’m haven’t seen enough with my own eyes to make any judgment on his consistency at this point. If he’s on his game and has his confidence, I don’t think anyone in the draw is going to beat him at SW19. But those are two very big ifs and the pretenders to that throne are not likely to leave him much margin for error this time around.

Oh, and it’s nice to meet another person who can appreciate the world numbers 1 and 2 in the same sentence.


matt Says:

osazone4real, that is what I am saying. That Federer has had losses and bad matches sometimes in each of the last four years (since he is nº1), not only this year.

And I say that that is normal. They are humans, not robots.

With or without mono, losing some matches is not new for Federer.

Rod Laver won all four GS in 1969. After that he never got to SF again. (He lost in R16 and QF in Wimbledon, USOPEN and AusOpen most times the next years).

John McEnroe had the best single season in 1984 (he was 25 years old), but he never won a GS after that.

Mats Wilander won AusOpen, RolandGarros and the USOPEN in 1988 and finish nº1 that year (he was 24 years old) and after that he never won another GS and never got back to the top-ten.

These things happen.

And People keep talking about “Federer’s decline” even though he is still the nº1 with 6900 points, much more points than he had other times when he was nº1 as well.

For me there isn’t any decline. SF in Australia and runner-up in RolandGarros are two great results.

The only “problem” Federer has now is that there are two players (Nadal and Djokovic) that are better than any opponent Federer had in the last years.

You can see this in the ranking. These two players (Nadal and Djokovic) are constantly over 5000 points, and sometimes Nadal is nearing 6000 points.

This is new to Federer, and obviously he is feeling the pressure.

There’s more to it. These two guys don’t fear Federer and he knows it.

But now they are in Wimbledon, and I expect Federer to win, because grass is the best surface for Roger and he is a genious and wants to overcome this new challenge. And he knows that Wimbledon is the best place for him to do it.


Ra Says:

Shital,

Thanks for the more in depth link. Well, it’ll be interesting to see which names turn up on that list if it ever sees the light of day.


Ra Says:

And I wonder if it’s all conclusive enough at this point for them to actually do anything about the implicated players who are about to hit the courts tomorrow. Now that would be a soap opera (so I’d imagine Roddick would get a kick out of it).


matt Says:

This is my prediction:

Federer will win Wimbledon quite easily.

Easily? Yes.

I don’t see Djokovic defeating Federer on grass right now.

Nadal could defeat him (if he played great, like last year) but somehow I believe Nadal is not getting to the final round.

Nadal wants to win Wimbledon desperately, and now he knows that many people actually believe he is goint to win.

I think he is going to feel the pressure.

On the other hand Roddick will be much more relaxed, because all the attention is in “the big three”. Maybe Roddick gets to the final, but Federer will crush him again.

Anyway, we will see from tomorrow on (I can’t wait)


Ra Says:

matt,

I can’t see Djokovic beating Roger on grass at this point, either.

I’m more concerned for Roger prior to the semis than after, though. Ideally, I’d love to see Roger make short work of Novak and Rafa on route to the title. If anyone but Roger should win, I’d love it to be Roddick or maybe Baghdatis. Either of those two would be as much consolation as I could possibly hope for. Oh, but if Roddick were to win, I wouldn’t want it to be in a final against Roger.


osazone4real Says:

matt and Ra

I agree with u guys that i dont djoko beating fed best he can get is 0ne set but most likely I see fed thumping him if djoko gets to the SF(much as he has been talking too much so fed is just waiting).

But as far as Rafa is concerned that is where I stop to agree with you guys.
First and foremost yes I am scared that either of Isner and Gulbis will give him his run for his money but if he scales them which I think is possible after all he could go thru karlovic at queens(actually i thought he would loose).
Then I think his chances will increase to win the title,as he is serving better,flatened his backhand and an improved slice(note I said increased chances).Fed has a streak of 59 win on grass and 10-0 Grass Final.

That said the reason nadal does well on grass and clay against federer although they seem to be contrasting surfaces is because both surfaces have an irregular bounce much espeially as rafa plays topspin so his balls to federers weaker backhand(compared to his forehand) bounce higher and change direction which affect feds timing thats while he has high no of unforced errors aginst nadal.This explains borgs dominance on both surfaces because he played top spin.So i dont see fed beating him easily if they meet in the final and they are both healthy it will be another classic(fed wants to prove he is still up and running and nadal wants to show he is getting better.

ctually if rafa gets to the final the odds are he will win


osazone4real Says:

lest I forget dont eram if Roddick gets to the final and fed is there he wont get one set.

I say this even though I really like roddick,but roddicks game is too one dimensional but ilove his personality because irrepective of all his losses to fed(and even when he beat fed this year he has not joined the chorus against fed.) he has high regard for fed and he also shows great respect to Rafa.Based on these I would like him bag another GS. But with fed on the other side the net I dont see that happening


Ra Says:

osazone4real,

I almost agree with you regarding Rafa. I was saying what I would love to see, not what I would expect to see. I would not be surprised to see Federer dismiss Djokovic in straight sets on grass, but if Federer and Nadal meet in the final… ugh, having not seen either play on grass yet this year, I’ll have to call it 50-50 for now. But that is such a long and hypothetical way off.


Von Says:

Ra:

If anyone would have writen on these blogs that you would speak out using such vicious, crass, bullying and coarse utterances, i would have been the first one to dispute those remarks. Why? During the time you have posted, and we have exchanged posts, you bave been, in my opinion, the epitome` of politeness, fairness and decency. To assume that I’m somewhat shocked, would be a correct assumption. However, I’ve come to realize, from a recent personal experience, that one can be fooled and/or taken in by smooth talkers. That experience has left me shaken but somewhat wiser to expect anything from anyone. People when tested, or become provoked, by what they feel to be unwarranted statements can react with very uncivilized behavior. Grace under fire takes a backseat and the true character emerges.

“However, there is a fine line between stating an opinion and libel/slander/defamation. The latter (at least in the U.S.) fall into a category of punishable offenses.”

The foreging statement is very true, and I mentioned, just yesterday to another poster, that there is a rather fine line when speaking out about a player’s behavior, et al., Umbrage is usually taken to any perceived untoward remarks, and a proverbial hornet’s nest is disturbed, with wasps biting in swarms from different directions.

To mention “defamation/slander” as a punishable offense here in the US, is absolutely reaching in your attempt to portray your interpretation or feelings on the severity of statements made by other posters. What defamation of character is involved in speaking up and/or giving one’s opinion of what that person feels or sees differently from another? Absolutely none. And, what court of law would be so demented in ruling that there is slander and/or defamation involved? None. No one has the prerogative to take away another’s freedom of speech purely on the basis that they interpret that person’s remarks to be controversial, distasteful or disparaging. There is an Amendment that protects ‘freedom of speech’ here in the United States, and that Amendment protects users of controversial remarks from punishable offenses. Defamation would come under the umbrella of someone stating that they have evidence that a certain player or players are using drugs, etc., and even then, depending on the nature of the evidence and remarks, it can at times be thrown out without a penalty.

The subject of Federer’s mono has been a very controversial one. It was hotly debated for several months and if one is honest or objective, then one has to acknowledge that many of the facts when presented, failed to remove suspicion in some of the minds of those in the tennis world. There is a huge discrepancy in the chronology of events leading up to Federer’s statement that he has mono. Given the facts, there is doubt even in Federer’s doctors’ minds and Federer himself, as to when this malady began and when it ended. If we were to go back to the Dubai tournament when Federer first announced his mono, and the chronology of events leading up to same, there alone one would find several discrepancies in Federer’s statements and that of his agent’s. I will not go into an histolysis of what was stated and/or transpired, you can read the threads and dissect the information yourself. Hopefully, you’ll do this with some neutrality and objectivity.


matt Says:

By the way, Pete Sampras and Marcelo Ríos reach the final of the BlackRock Tour of Champions tournament in Brazil.

Ríos is only 32 and is in great shape and is clearly fitter than Sampras, who is near 37.

But last year Sampras won all his matches in the three tournaments of the Outback Champions Series that he played (even on clay one of them), while Ríos dominated the BlackRock Tour of Champions the last two years.

I would love to watch this match.

Rios will probably win, but it is on a hardcourt (I thought it was on clay at first, but it is on hardcourt), so maybe Pete will make it close.


Shital Green Says:

Ra,

Somewhere you said A “is a phenomenal tennis player,” but his straight set dismissal would not surprise you. Let me change the name and ask you how you feel, “Fed is a phenomenal tennis player…I would not be surprised to see Djoko dismiss Fed in straight sets.”
And then you say, “It is my sincere hope that some who have not yet grown to be able to do so will soon be able to appreciate the brilliance of one without degrading the virtues of another.”
How are you keeping your word here? You just irked me, pal, when you dismissed Djoko and all other players in straight sets. If you want to keep your word, stay with your guy and don’t undervalue mine. If you want to help minimize ir/rational criticism of your guy, be moderate in praise of your guy and don’t dismiss others’ favorite players (“straight sets”?). Then, we can be friends.


Von Says:

NK:

“some people here have accused him of selfish ulterior motives and PR-mongering. And now, some actually are shameless enough to claim that his mono affliction is a lie.”

You have applaued Ra’s post with delight and praised him using eloquence, because it goeS to the heart of your thinking. I suppose you applaud name calling. You boast that you do not say anything unkind about anyone, but praising Ra’s uneloquent remarks calling some, vis-a-vis, bithes, etc., isn’t that unkind? I’d say there’s a lack of congruence.

We have had the foregoing discussion just recently and I know you are pointing your finger at me. You have an appetite for rehashing this stuff. It seems at some point you take these remarks personally; it’s almost as if you become Federer. Be my guest and paint a halo for saintly behavior around Fed’s head. He is human and is capable of many character flaws, including stretching the truth. Just because others do not see him in the same light as you see him, does not make them “shameless”. To speak my thoughts as I see the facts, is in no way shameless. I’d say I have chutzpah and/or guts to speak out, but shamelss, NO.

You are entitled to carry the torch of your self-proclamation that Federer is classy, and whatever adjectives you want to attach to his demeanor — freedom of speech. it doesn’t mean others have to buy it or swallow it, and because they don’t that has become a huge problem for you. Stop banging your head against a brick wall and forcing your thoughts upon others; it ain’t gonna happen — people will stand by their opinions if there’s a smidgen of character in them. You can convince people if they want to to be convinced or if they follow blindly or mindlessly. People with some vestige or smithereen of intelligence will weigh. seive, and analyze the facts, to come up with an opinion. However, when they do express their opinions, if it’s not in line with your thinking, do not deduce that they dislike Federer because their opinion differs from yours. Maybe you should give them the benefit of the doubt that they are not inclined to be a mindless follower but an independent thinker.

“instead of marveling over how he has never called trainers on the court during matches or ever retired during a match, instead of applauding his refusal…”

Tell me NK, why should anyone marvel over or applaud Federer not calling the trainers, or retiring? Federer keeps saying that he is FINE, and that the mono was over before he even knew it had ocurred. He mentioned it happened and was over in 8 weeks. Well, God bless him, because poor Ancic and now Vaidisova were not that fortunate, and are still struggling with their bout of mono, plus many other non-tennis people.Your remarks are ridiculous and your arguments are baseless. Players call the trainer if, and when, they have a physical problem.

Just a week ago a poster claimed there was nothing wrong with Roddick’s back after his loss to Nadal. The guy suffered a back injury on the court in front of several thousands of people. Did anyone marvel at his playing not calling a trainer, especially when he was losing to Nadal? What about nadal playing with those horrible, sickening to look at, blisters. I would think both Roddick’s and nadal’s problems are cases to marvel at more so than Federer’s, who is consistently stating that he is fine and over the mono. Federer has been winning matches hasn’t he, and has reached the Hamburg and FO finals; he just won Halle. What is there to marvel at now? Nothing! These are the results of a healthy player. I think that it is about time you lose that ‘marvel” argument or that ‘poor’ Federer mentality and move on, thinking and believing Federer, that he is FINE.


Ra Says:

Von:

Lest you find yourself short on criteria by which to judge what is my emerging true character at some point in the future, I will offer you this tidbit:

I chose my words quite specifically and for an intended purpose.

Thus far I am pleased with my decisions as I’m receiving charged and honest feedback and am learning a lot on multiple levels. As for your recent personal experience, you have my sympathy and my hopes that your shakiness will fade while your wisdom continues to grow.

In response to your explanation of the law, I feel that my point has been missed. As I said, I’m not interested in the legal minutia but am citing the spirit behind the ideal. I realize that the right to voice ones opinion is protected (although I’m not sure that claims stating that Nadal and Henin are or were users of performance enhancing drugs aren’t actually punishable – although just about anything CAN be dismissed in the court of law). Even so, article and code are only so capable of irrefutably defining what is harmful and injurious, and if rumors such as the ones I just stated parenthetically do not fall soundly under the umbrella of defamation because they are devoid of alleged substantiation, I find it no less unsavory and indecent that they are started.

If you’ve read the threads following my original rant, you’ll see that I, too, referred to ambiguity in reports in relation to Federer’s onset of mononucleosis. And, actually, in my original rant I made it clear that I feel it is uncertain when (and I’ll say now even if) he fully recovered his health. I assure you that I’ve read every last bit of information I’ve been able to find on that topic, but if you can enlighten me as to sources beyond what I’ve turned up through countless internet searches, then I’m more than happy to hear about them. But let me ask you this (because the specifics of time were not my point): Did you not see with your own eyes an abrupt decline in Federer’s fitness, energy, responsiveness, complexion, coordination and weight that would indicate illness beyond any other factor?


Ra Says:

Shital,

“Somewhere you said A “is a phenomenal tennis player,” but his straight set dismissal would not surprise you. Let me change the name and ask you how you feel, “Fed is a phenomenal tennis player…I would not be surprised to see Djoko dismiss Fed in straight sets.”

Let me start by clarifying that i didn’t dismiss all other players in straight sets and even admitted that I’m concerned for Federer’s path to the semis. Secondly, I wouldn’t be one bit surprised to see Federer beat Djokovic in 3 on grass. I’m not saying I necessarily expect to see that (and as I said earlier today, I really don’t know what to expect because I’ve yet to see anyone play on grass this year and am also unconvinced of Federer’s form at the moment).

If you were to reverse the names as you did, I’d be perfectly fine with that although I’d suspect you’d be wrong. But I happen to really like what I’ve seen of Djokovic’s tennis playing. It’s just that if I had to bet on which one would dismiss the other in straight sets, I’d bet on the 12 time GS champion that hasn’t lost a match on grass in 6 years including the last 5 Wimbledons and who just came through an entire tournament on grass without losing serve even once.

I’m sorry Shital, I don’t see how that is not in keeping with my word, and I don’t see how my feeling that the one will likely beat the other is degrading any virtues. Please let me know if this has addressed the issue you’ve raised.


Ra Says:

Shital,

I had meant to mention that if you were to say “Fed is a phenomenal tennis player…I would not be surprised to see Djoko dismiss Fed in straight sets” in reference to an upcoming hard court match, I would find your assertion much more likely to come true than I’d find it in reference to a grass court match.

But still, even as I view the quote I just cut-and-pasted, it doesn’t strike me as incongruent (precisely because the players both have such a capacity for an extremely high level of play).


Ra Says:

matt,

I wonder if there is any streaming coverage of that match. I haven’t seen a single bit of tennis in that tour.


Von Says:

Ra:

“I chose my words quite specifically and for an intended purpose.

Thus far I am pleased with my decisions as I’m receiving charged and honest feedback and am learning a lot on multiple levels.”

Well, this is very enlightening, Ra to know that there was a specific intent in your choice of words, etc. You’ll receive nothing but ‘honest’ feedback from me. I’m too honest to my own detriment, or so I have been told. I hope you’ll garner enough information to arrive at whatever opinion or decision you are desirous of achieving.

In response to the following:

“But let me ask you this (because the specifics of time were not my point): Did you not see with your own eyes an abrupt decline in Federer’s fitness, energy, responsiveness, complexion, coordination and weight that would indicate illness beyond any other factor?”

Yes, for a few months, there was a specific decline in Federer’s overall performance and fitness that would suggest some sort of illness physically or mentally. I, for one did not dispute that he had some sort of physical and/or mental problem, but I felt that whatever it was, by the time he disclosed it, it was at the tail-end. The sweating and complexion changes could have been a mental problem manifesting itself physically. Be that as it may, there was some kind of an illness.

My contention presently revolves around the manner in which some of his fans are using his previous illness to undermine other players’success in defeating him, and building him up as a saint. There isn’t any need to continue in this vein or argument — it’s now history. Let’s move on and base whatever speculations and results on the “reality” that Federer is now healthy, thus elininating the need for excuses if he loses and undermining other players’ defeat of him.

Plato wrote the following on reality:

When the mind’s eye rests on objects illuminated by truth and reality, it understands and comprehends them, and functions intelligently; but when it turns to the twilight world of change and decay, it can only form opinions, its vision is confused and its beliefs shifting, and it seems to lack intelligence. …”

Let us go forth in truth and reality and leave the mono behind. It’s a thing of the past.


NK Says:

Von,
“You have an appetite for rehashing this stuff. It seems at some point you take these remarks personally; it’s almost as if you become Federer. Be my guest and paint a halo for saintly behavior around Fed’s head.”

What about nadal playing with those horrible, sickening to look at, blisters. I would think both Roddick’s and nadal’s problems are cases to marvel at more so than Federer’s, who is consistently stating that he is fine and over the mono.”

Von, Nadal or Roddick’s recent displays of heroism are indeed worthy of praise, but I had no reason to bring them up because I never accused either of these two players of PR mongering in the first place.

I get on these boards only occasionally to respond to what I view are unfair characterizations of Federer. You specifically accused Federer of ulterior motives in playing through his mono. That’s your opinion, and you are entitled to it. But please don’t try to explain it away as fact, or that his agent said something that might suggest an ulteriority.

My point was and is only this. You never implied that Nadal or Roddick might have an ulterior motive (which they don’t), but that you even suggested in your post that Federer played through his mono for PR purposes is blatantly biased.

I don’t need to bang my head against a brick wall and force people to admire or like Federer. He does not need a cheeerleader. By the same token, I am not on these boards everyday just to bash players that I don’t like.

You have openly expressed your dislike of Federer. Which is perfectly fine, except when you accuse him of, as in this recent instance, of PR mongering, which is clearly your opinion (and a biased one at that), and not a fact.

I can get on these boards every day to express or reinforce my dislike of certain players, but I don’t. That’s because I sincerely believe that if I cannot say something good, I’d rather not say anything at all.

Finally, my agreeing with Ra or anyone else on a core point of argument does not mean I endorse everything they write, including their language. You are assuming that I do, which ironically is the reason we seem to have our arguments in the first place, especially when it comes to Federer.

Stop assuming, and you will find that most players,including Federer, are not that bad after all.


Ra Says:

Von,

I’m glad that first part is cleared up (as can be), and thanks for the vote of confidence in my eliciting desired or rather garnishing information…

Well, it’s good to know that you at least recognized that something was going on that amounts to illness of some sort.

I understand your position as far as people belittling others’ successes. I have feelings and opinions about some of what’s been made of all of that in both directions, actually, but I think what’s more to the point is that it’s not relevant. To become a champion, you have to outplay the field. We don’t live in a world where everyone is 100% all the time, and that’s the nature of the game. The mitigating factor is that with so much opportunity for matchplay throughout the season, eventually it all comes out in the wash.

Nietzsche wrote the following:

“Plato is a bore.”

No, I’m only playing with you. That one was just too funny to me to pass up. I hope that Federer’s mono really is a thing of the past. He certainly seems to have recovered the lion’s share of his fitness level (although his physical stature has changed a bit), but the world may never know what’s going on in his body or if he is or will be dealing with Epstein Barr issues. More to the immediate point, though, is the fact that what happened during the worst of it has definitely thrown off his rhythm and left him with a different confidence level. Meanwhile the field around him continues to grow stronger. But this is again the nature of the game. Everyone out there deals with challenges to their rhythm and confidence, and it seems to me that these have been his most recent issues above all else.


Daniel Says:

matt,

You are so right! Fed is having a great year. The only ones who had better results, are the ones who won Slams, and that can be even in two weeks from now. The problem is the high standard Fed, involuntary, made for himself.

I must confess that at the beggining of the year I was afraid regarding mono. I thought, sh.. this guy stay almost injury free for what, 7 years and now will be dethrone by a disease, not fair to me. But them, the season move on and he is doing just great. Off course he is not going to show the level of old days for 9-11 months, but if he shows it when matters the most it will be fine by me. Last year he reacts in Master Cup, this year the French was off, maybe now at Wimbledon will be his big moment of the year again.

He won’t have those 12 titles seasons anymore, but the way he overcome the problems in the beggining of the year, now Halle after FO, and how he shows he still is hungry to win, it makes me reliefed!

And now the tension will always be around, Nadal and Djoko are much better players from last year, and I have all my attention to Nadal, I just want to know: Is this his peak year? So far it looks like, or could he go any further?!


NK Says:

Von,
One last point that I forgot to mention. With this, I will comment no more on the subject.

“…I would think both Roddick’s and nadal’s problems are cases to marvel at more so than Federer’s, who is consistently stating that he is fine and over the mono.”

That you have to bring up Nadal and Roddick comparison and state that that their problems are worth marveling at more than Federer’s is again reflective of your anti-Fed bias. My comment was specifically about a federer trait that I find admirable. It had absolutely no reference to Nadal or Roddick’s injuries, but of course you have to bring up the comparison, if only to show that in your opinion the other players deserve more praise.

Perhaps they do, but it is interesting that you feel compelled to bring a “but” into any positive Federer trait when it is not called for. If I praise Nadal for playing through the blisters, I do not necessarily look for a comparitive example that will somehow diffuse the praise.

Remember what I said in a previous post about back-handed or grudging compliments? Is it really that difficult for you to say something nice about Federer without having to “qualify” it one way or the other?


Shital Green Says:

NK,
What about your bias when you say, “I suspect the Agassis and and McEnroes of this world agree” and don’t clarify when I asked?
Why do they have to agree with what you believe in?
Is not this the kind of jab that Ra in general cautioned us from getting into? Agassi was my most favorite player ever, and I don’t think I respect anyone more than this guy, on and off the court, not because I look a little bit like him (did you know that, Von and Jane?)but because of his tireless contribution to this sport.


NK Says:

Shital,
“He is truly the most complete, graceful and classy player I have ever seen, and I suspect the Agassis and and McEnroes of this world agree.”

What jab? What in the world are you talking about? What I said above is so obvious — that players like Agassi and McEnroe have been extremely vocal themselves about describing Federer as a classy and complete player, and a great champion.

Where’s the jab here? Are you reading something between the lines that I don’t?


NK Says:

Shital,
“He is truly the most complete, graceful and classy player I have ever seen, and I suspect the Agassis and and McEnroes of this world agree.”

What jab? What in the world are you talking about? What I said above is so obvious — that players like Agassi and McEnroe have been extremely vocal themselves about describing Federer as a classy and complete player, and a great champion.

Where’s the jab here? Are you reading something between the lines that I don’t?


NK Says:

Shital,
“He is truly the most complete, graceful and classy player I have ever seen, and I suspect the Agassis and and McEnroes of this world agree.”

What jab? What in the world are you talking about? What I said above is so obvious — that players like Agassi and McEnroe have been extremely vocal themselves about describing Federer as a classy and complete player, and a great champion.

Where’s the jab here? Are you reading something between the lines that I don’t?


sensationalsafin Says:

No one deserves more praise than Federer. No one. Not Roddick. Not Nadal. They deserve praise, no doubt, but not more than Federer. You can’t argue with the magnificent results he’s had over the years. It’s really a shame that Federer’s ridiculous stats over the years are doing him in now, at the age of 26.

I think we all remember how much criticism Sampras got at the end of his career when he was barely winning matches. In his book he made a comment which I think applies to Federer’s situation, “You’re only as good as the last match you won”. I think we all know how that applied to Sampras because he wasn’t winning much at the end of his career.

But Federer is still winning. He lost in the 1st round of Dubai but other than that he’s reached the QFs of better everywhere else. If you ignore that it’s Federer and that he only used to make finals then that’s a ridiculous stat by itself. Is anyone here a tennis player of any sort because I feel like no one here really appreciates the work and time all the players have to put in to get to wehre they are and wanna be. That’s why you really gotta appreciate what Nadal’s been doing not just the last couple of months but the whole year because he’s also had incredible results. Lucky for Nadal he just had an incredible French Open so know one’s gonna criticize him. Usually no one remembers who lost, you only remember who won the match and the tourny, yet Federer’s gonna be remembered for a long time for that French Open final.


Von Says:

NK:

Thank you for your reply in your post of 6/22 @ 11.09 pm. I’m not going to get into the semantics of what you wrote or refute anything, except for one very salient point which I have quoted below. It probably reinforces my opinion and observations with respect to your comments during the past 6-7 months I have been posting.

You stated: “I get on these boards only occasionally to respond to what I view are unfair characterizations of Federer….”

This about sums up my impression of what you do when you comment on these threads, vis`-a-vis`, your comments are totally unrelated to the matches played, and your only interest is being that of counsel for the defense/plaintiff, defending Federer’s character. Nearly every one of your posts is along the same lines, defending any and everything you deem worthy of a defense according to your perception, as an attack on Federer’s personality/character and/or image. I am yet to see a comment of yours directed to actual tennis match play by any tennis player. How so? You claim that you have been a tennis enthusiast for approx. 30 years, then, if this is the case, you should know that the higher ranked a player is, the more the criticisms will flow. It is baffling to me as a tennis fan that your main objective is so limited. What joy is there commenting on these threads, save for fighting a character battle for one of the players?

I am very relieved that you disclosed the foregoing facts, which will free me of the burden to reply to any posts directed at me from you in the future, if, and when, I do make comments pertaining to Federer. You claim my compliments are backhanded; I’m very sorry, it’s the best I can do; I have a huge problem, and it’s called honesty. I’m lousy at lying and hypocrisy. I don’t know how to say I dislike someone, then turn around a few minutes later, to state that he’s great, blah, blah, etc., etc. However, I can say as a Roddick fan, that I’m a lot more fair-minded and generous in a positive manner with my remarks towards Federer, as opposed to the sick comments that flow from so many of the Federer fans aimed toward Roddick. I’m sure you’re aware of those comments, so I’ll spare you the burden of reading them again. You can rest assured that whatever negativism I state concerning Federer is multiplied exponentially by most of the Fed fans when commenting about Roddick. It’s to the point of ad nauseam.

Feel free to oppose and/or defend any of your perceived anti-Federer comments by me, however, I’m sorry to say, I won’t respond.


Von Says:

Shital:

“..not because I look a little bit like him (did you know that, Von and Jane?)but because of his tireless contribution to this sport.”

No, I didn’t know you looked a bit like Agassi — I’m glad you mentioned this. Now I can place a face with the name. I like to do that — sometimes I try to envision what a poster looks like from their comments, but it’s a tough call. Keep on trucking Andre! :)


Shital Green Says:

Von,
Check me out at http://sdahal.pageout.net or google me up Shital Green. Let me hear your assessment.

NK,
I always thought Agassi was more “graceful and classy” player. Sampras was classier than most players today. The next player that come to my mind is Ljubicic and then Blake.


Skorocel Says:

To Shital Green:

Agassi as a graceful and classy player? Huh? That’s one of the biggest overstatements I’ve ever heard :)


Von Says:

Shital:

Yes, you do look a bit like Agassi. Whenever I post to you in the future I’ll remember Andre too. :)


NK Says:

“I always thought Agassi was more “graceful and classy” player. Sampras was classier than most players today. The next player that come to my mind is Ljubicic and then Blake.”

Shital, that is a matter of individual opinion. There are no right or wrong answers. I was only commenting on what Aggassi and McEnroe have stated openly and often about Federer.


Shital Green Says:

Von,
I used to get that a lot from friends and still do from some, especially when I smile. Thank you very much.
Did you check the one in the instructor’s page? If you scroll down the home page and click the link there, it will take you inside, where you will see Instructor link. A microscopic close look will enhance the resemblance.
I will remind you Andre, anyway, whenever you post !
That’s sweet.

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