All-Williams Final Calling at Wimbledon; Heavy Rain Coming?
by Staff | July 1st, 2008, 11:40 pm
  • 67 Comments

Venus, Serena One Win From All-Williams Wimbledon Final

Venus and Serena Williams are one match away from an all-American all-Williams final at Wimbledon. On Tuesday the elder Venus topped unseeded Thai Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-4, 6-3, while Serena rolled past No. 14 seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 6-0.


It is the seventh Wimbledon semifinal appearance in the last nine years for Venus.

“That would be amazing if we both were in the final,” Venus said. “I have to take it one more step and keep playing power tennis.”

Venus next will face No. 5 seed Elena Dementieva, who won 6-1, 6-7(6), over No. 21 Nadia Petrova. Serena will square off against China’s unseeded Jie Zheng, who posted a 6-2, 5-7, 6-1 upset over No. 18 Nicole Vaidisova. Serena beat Zheng easily in their only previous meeting, at Wimbledon in 2004.

Zheng is the first Chinese player to reach a Grand Slam semifinal.

“I never think I can (reach) the semifinal,” the 24-year-old Zheng said. “Nicole had the big serve. The second set I felt I had some small chance but she…played more aggressive.”

Dementieva prevailed over Petrova in a difficult-to-watch match strewn with errors and nervous play.

“I was tight,” Dementieva said. “I was so close to finishing in two sets. I don’t know what happened. Maybe I was thinking about the French Open quarterfinals [where she was up a set and 5-2 before losing to Dinara Safina]. I was trying to stay positive and aggressive but it was so hard.”

Venus leads Dementieva 5-2 in their career head-to-head, and this will be their first meeting on grass.

Serena seemed offended when asked by the media if her defending champion sister would be the favorite in an all-Williams final.

“I would never sit here and say she’s the favorite when I’m still in the draw,” Serena said. “That’s not me. I always believe I’m the favorite. Even if I’m not the favorite, I’m always going to believe that I am.”

TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
Jie Zheng is the first Chinese player to ever reach a Grand Slam semifinal…

Venus and Serena Williams are in a Slam semifinal together for the first time since 2003 Wimbledon…

Venus, Serena and Roger have yet to drop a yet…

Venus Williams has won 12 straight Wimbledon matches, including 21 of her last 22…

For the first time in the Open Era, all eight men’s quarterfinals at a Slam are from Europe…

Only Mirjana Lucic at No. 134 is a lower-ranked Slam semifinalist than No. 133 Jie Zheng…

When will Justin Gimelstob be fired from the Tennis Channel? Any other respectable major network would have fired him weeks ago. Apparently, though, Tennis Channel execs and sponsors don’t really care. But if you want to be a major network, at least act like it…

Venus Williams has never lost in the semifinals at Wimbledon (6-0)…

There are no Top 4 seeds in the Wimbledon women’s semifinals for the first time ever…

Either Rainer Schuettler or Arnuad Clement will reach the Wimbledon semifinals. Smoke that…

Four players with losing records are in the Wimbledon men’s quarterfinals: Safin, Lopez, Clement and Schuettler. That means two of the semifinalist will have had losing records on the year entering Wimbledon…

Roger Federer has won 10 straight sets over Mario Ancic…

Rafael Nadal has won 6 straight sets over Andy Murray…

Feliciano Lopez has won 9 of 12 sets vs. Marat Safin…

And Rainer Schuettler has won seven of his last eight sets against Arnuad Clement. Any other betting information you need?…

There has been a Russian player in 17 of the last 18 Grand Slam women’s semifinals…

Weather: Heavy rains expected on Wednesday, continuing into Thursday. Build an ark…

Rafael Nadal blogging about the ATP relegating popular former tour manager Vittorio Selmi to a lesser role: “A person that has been working for 30 years for this sport doesn’t deserve this treatment. (It’s) something really bad from a human point of view that shows the type of people at the top of this organization.”…

Pete Sampras is reportedly getting $400K to play European senior tour events…

10.5 million BBC viewers watched the Andy Murray vs. Richard Gasquet match, in addition to approximately half the total television audience in Scotland…

From tennis writer Barry Flatman: “Bitchiness is big business in the racket world and Justin Gimelstob should know after his ungentlemanly outburst in the direction of the women’s tour and Anna Kournikova in particular. Outside the inner sanctum of the game, barely an eyebrow was raised when he was elected on to the ATP’s board of directors a week ago. Today he rivals chauvinistic tennis legends Bobby Riggs and Richard Krajicek for notoriety after his ill-chosen comments…No mitigation was offered in Gimelstob’s defence to Etienne de Villiers, executive chairman of the ATP, who was rightly appalled at the crass foolhardiness demonstrated by his latest board recruit, so much so that he immediately carpeted Gimelstob and, while allowing him to keep a seat on the board, ordered him to make an immediate apology to Kournikova and others such as Nicole Vaidisova, who was described as having a “well-developed body,” and the French duo of Tatiana Golovin and Alize Cornet, bracketed as “sexpots.”…


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Rain Moves Djokovic, Wozniacki Beijing Finals to Monday;Tsonga, Verdasco on Court in Shanghai
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67 Comments for All-Williams Final Calling at Wimbledon; Heavy Rain Coming?

Tahoe Editor Says:

Venus, who holds at least one doubles title with Gimelstob, said he is a good guy, he didn’t mean to offend anyone, and anyone inflaming the situation should stop.

You forgot to include the third-set score for the Dementieva/Petrova match: 6-3.


Pardesi Says:

Thank god someone had the courage to say Gimelstob should be fired. I don’t care how NICE a guy he is, the sexist and violent vitriol that came out of his mouth is unacceptable. I mean seriously–this goes way beyond the usual boys will be boys stuff. It’s so annoying to have to watch him each day on TC, and sitting besides Martina N. as well–bet she wants to kick his sorry ass. I wish the media had more guts and someone would write a scathing analysis of this. Barry Flatman’s piece just gestured to Gimelstob as yet another sexist git. Clearly, this is much much worse.


Ra Says:

Wow. Not only did Federer take the first set 6-1 in 20 minutes, but he only conceded 1 point on his serve along the way. Unbelievable. Hopefully the fact that Ancic held to open the second set bodes well for the potential for an actual tennis match after the rain delay.


Bob Lewis Says:

I am not sure what all the PC policing is all about. I believe all of Gimelstob’s statements are well founded. The question is why he needed to be self indulgent in voicing them and how foolish it was to think no one would object. But let’s not pretend he shouldn’t or wouldn’t have those thoughts and opinions or that no one else would. Obviously he is preoccupied with the young women. At least Golovin is an embarrassment, and he called her on it.

Fans like that stuff though. There would be no money in women’s tennis if they were all homely or masculine or if they had to dress more modestly or without style. If it was strictly sport, ignoring the entertainment aspects, there would be no fan base or money in it. Part of that is the melodrama that Gimelstob’s remarks provide, although I am not suggesting it was scripted. He shouldn’t be fired, because then tennis fans wouldn’t have someone to despise. It all works.


PJ Says:

I don’t doubt that, overall, Justin is a good guy. Also, I don’t disagree that he’s the only one with those thoughts. But, if he was just a retired player making comments, that would be one thing. By being employed as a commentator, he is not only representing himself with those comments.


Colin Says:

Bob Lewis, you start by saying you don’t know what the “PC policing is all about”, then you yourself go on to explain exactly what it’s about!
Sure, we all have sulphurous thoughts lurking when we watch the more nubile female tennis players, but if we are in the public eye we should keep them to ourselves.


Bob Lewis Says:

“By being employed as a commentator, he is not only representing himself with those comments.”

That’s a red herring, because we don’t have any reason to care what an employer thinks or how popular he might be. It’s just an excuse to personally object, to explain our discomfort.

Some of the women are exploiting the “chick” aspect, and we know it. Gimelstob’s stunningly poor judgment is another matter, but he is correct.

Tennis women as sex objects might all become more clear to us after Harkleroad’s appearance in Playboy hits the streets. What an unfortunate development that is.


andrea Says:

sweet! go fed.

can hardly wait for nadal and murray.

i haven’t weighed in on the gimelstob rant but i will say that trash talking anyone – regardless if it’s your peers, subordinates, bosses, fellow retirees etc – is pretty classless. doing so behind closed doors is one thing, broadcasting live for anyone to hear is unacceptable.

and i’m not taking this from a woman’s stance either – it goes either way. show some respect for your sport which is now paying for your post-playing career as well.


Von Says:

Ra:

I’ve been meaning to ask a question regarding your post name of “Ra”. Is there a meaning to your post name, and maybe you are aware of its Egyptian meaning in Ancient History? I don’t know if your usage of it is on a grander scheme of things, but “Ra” or “Amun Re” was the Egyptian Sun god, whose head was that of a falcoln with the body of a man. He was also frequently referred to a s “Ra-Amun” which name depicts a triumph of good over evil. I’ve been very fascinated with my studies of Ancient History and Civilizations and have spent many hours delving into the the lifestyle of those ancient peoples.


MD Says:

Safin the Lion thrashes FeLo the Rat to molest Roger the Baby-face.


Ra Says:

However preposterous it may be, I went to bed last night feeling that Murray would prevail in 4. It’s totally against my better judgment, but the feeling remains.

Von,

I am aware, and my name is of the same derivation only via sanskrit. Thanks for the refresher course, though. Now back to spectating…


Von Says:

Safin, YES!! cOME ON MARAT, DEFY THE ODDS AND TAKE THIS TROPHY! I’m amazed at Safin’s non-chalant demeanor It just goes to show how effective one can be when they harness that unbridled propensity toward anger. Throughout this tournament Safin has been the epitome of low-keyed behavior, disallowing himself the luxury of irascibility — I would have never believed it, if someone had written a script portraying him as such.


jane Says:

Von,

I agree!


jane Says:

Come on Marat!

I see Rafa is pummeling Murray; that’s okay. Rafa is great on grass. Murray has made a breakthrough nonetheless.


andrea Says:

ouch. so much for a competitive match against nadal. andy can’t even get a look at nadal’s serve and is struggling with his own….i an only imagine what the score between nadal and either schuttler or clement will be….yikes.


Ra Says:

andrea,

Yeah, no joke. Murray looked like he had either just woken up or was about to get in bed right before stepping onto the court (which is not that far removed from how he normally looks, I suppose). Meanwhile, Nadal just keeps looking better and better.


matt Says:

Well, I said many times during the tournament that Nadal’s draw was very tough and that he wouldn’t be able to reach SF.

But time and time again he proved me wrong.

He beat Gulbis in four sets (5-7, 6-2, 7-6, 6-3).

Then he defeated Kiefer easily (7-6, 6-2, 6-3).

After that he crushed Youzhny (6-3, 6-3, 6-1).

And now, he is beating Murray 6-3,6-2

Well, I have to eat my words and to admit he is probably the second best player of the world on grass.


fed is afraid Says:

nadal looks great, i can’t wait for sunday and the new Wimbledon champion!!


matt Says:

Amazing!!! The way Nadal played today is amazing.

Federer has been fabulous today as well.

And Safin has reached the SF and he wants more, but Federer is too much for him.

It looks like another Federer-Nadal final and I can’t wait for sunday to watch it.


Von Says:

Murray is to be commended for his effort in this tournament. He put out that super human effort against Gasquet which left him flat-footed and devoid of zing and sparkle today. I didn’t think he had a prayer against Nadal coming into this match even in a diferent scenario – one where he was rested; but the Gasquet match plus Nadal was a bit too much to ask. Pity the QFs couldn’t have been changed around — Murray playing against Schuettler or Clement. Wishful thinking.

Moving on to the SFs — Clement or Schuettler will probably have to go on court waving a white flag against Nadal. I think Safin will put in a good effort against Fed – he has nothing to lose, but would most certainly up his ranking. That’s a great positive.


Kroll Says:

That was incredible from Rafa! Superb tennis. Not a single break point in the whole match. Murray was average but its hard to judge him when Rafa was playing so well. Would probably give Federer much food for thought.


PJ Says:

Supposing it is Fed/Nadal on Sunday, I hope that both can play like they did today.


Von Says:

The Williams’ sisters will be collecting a huge pay day this tournament. Doubles and singles. All in the family. I’m happy that there’s someone holding up the stars ‘n stripes. Hopefully, the Bryans can pull out a victory also. then it’ll be the Williams sisters holding on to one end and the Bryan brothers the other.


Vulcan Says:

Well Nadal had the tougher draw for sure…but that has changed dramatically at this point. Safin is the worst kind of wildcard…a former champion wildcard…and he won’t be intimidated by the situation. If he comes out on fire like hes capable of there is a slim chance he could beat Federer but not if Federer plays at the same level he has been playing at up to this point.


andrea Says:

nadal is turning into a mini fed on grass. if they both it to the final i think the tennis will be outrageous.


Singh-is-King Says:

Safin has been playing well but not good enough to beat Federer, especially given his current form. I’ll be happy if Safin can take one set off of him and make the match somewhat competitive.


SG Says:

Fed will have to serve well in his next two matches. If he doesn’t, both Nadal and Safin can take him out. Of course, both Nadal and Safin also have to serve well or Fed will blow them away.


jane Says:

Last year, when Safin was playing much crappier tennis, it took Marat two sets to get cooking. But by the third set, he took Roger to a tiebreak. If he can keep his head, stay focused, and just play his game, he should be able to take at least one set off Roger. Maybe it’ll even go five – who knows? I’d like it if the Marat of AO 2005 showed up and then we’d really have a cracker of a match.

It’s true – as Vulcan points out – that Rafa *should* have an easier go of it in the semis. But what’s with the Clement / Scheuttler match; is it not today? Did I miss something?


jane Says:

Von,

“Murray is to be commended for his effort in this tournament. He put out that super human effort against Gasquet which left him flat-footed and devoid of zing and sparkle today. I didn’t think he had a prayer against Nadal coming into this match”

Yep – that pretty much says it all. I thought he’d be lucky if he got a set today. Rafa seems inexorable.


federer is afraid Says:

teddy dont believe his lies


Von Says:

jane:

“Yep – that pretty much says it all. I thought he’d be lucky if he got a set today. Rafa seems inexorable.”

Rafa’s inexorably attaining new heights with each new day!

Now, if the real Safin shows up, not his twin — the mercurial one — we’ll have a great match. Wouldn’t that be super!


jane Says:

Von,

Did you read Safin’s interview? Weird. It’s almost kind of sad! The guy reaches his first Wimbledon semi and he’s down – lol! But I feel for him…. He talks about the pressure players feel who’ve won one GS and then the next doesn’t follow immediately thereafter, how hard it is. Also how different it is to be 20 versus 28. It’s a very introspective interview. How hard he’s worked and how he’s struggled with injuries etc. Needless to say, he doesn’t like his chances against “the Federer.”

Here are his final words:

“To beat Federer you need to be Nadal and run around like a rabbit and hit winners from all over the place. But, yes, why not? It’s another chance for me. But I think it’s just a little bit too difficult it would be for me to beat him.”


Daniel Says:

Jane,

The match will end tomorrow, today was no light anymore.

Fed and Nadal played their best matches today, no break points and I think something less than 8 unforced errors by both.

This final will be something, but the one who serve better will prevail.


Noel Says:

I just get the feeling-been getting it since the queens final-that this year’s wimb is Rafa’s to lose.


Kroll Says:

Jane
“But I think it’s just a little bit too difficult it would be for me to beat him.”

Probably how its going to happen. As well as Safin is playing and as wonderful as it is to just have him around at this stage, Fed will probably beat him in straight sets. Not that a Safin-Nadal final wont be amazing but it seems like a fools hope really.


JCF Says:

matt Says:

“Well, I said many times during the tournament that Nadal’s draw was very tough and that he wouldn’t be able to reach SF.

But time and time again he proved me wrong. ”

I’ve been saying the same thing about Safin. I thought he would have imploded by now, and called it ‘wasteful’ that he took out Djokovic without any potential to make the most of the big upset. I definately thought he wouldn’t be making the semi-final against Federer. Looks like he’s proven me wrong and forced me to eat my words, which I will gladly do. He every bit deserved his win against Djokovic. I even think he has the potential to beat Federer, though Fed is still going to be favorite. I just hope Marat stays at this level and doesn’t go away next tournament.


sensationalsafin Says:

I’m glad you see the light JCF. The thing about Safin that has really impressed me is that he’s still playing his high-risk tennis and he’s not playing that amazing and he’s still pulled through all his matches. His last 3 matches went to 4 sets and he’s been able to cruise in the 4th set each time. The one thing about Safin that’s easy to overlook is that he is a champion and he does have a champion’s hunger. Federer will be tough but I hope it’s a great match. In 2005 I wanted Federer to win the AO but I wanted Safin to beat Federer. What happened? Safin beat Federer in 5 thrilling sets and beat Hewitt in the final pretty easily. This year my feelings are the same. I’d love to see Federer win a record 6th straight Wimbledon but if someone’s gonna snap the streak then let it be Safin. If Safin manages to beat Federer, Nadal is gonna get thrashed. Safin is great at hiding his true emotions but he wants this title and beating Federer would put his confidence through the roof.

Does anyone know the last time someone beat the top 3 players to win a slam?


Von Says:

jane:

thanks for sharing Safin’s interview. The reality that Safin is being introspective at this time is a very good sign that his champion’s heart still burns with the desire to win. This introspection will force him to revisit the many occasions when he’d probably wished he’d been in the final week of a slam and the excitement that goes with it, but had to sit and watch someone else lay claim to that glory. This should make him want it even more. Now, he’s no longer on the sidelines looking in, but has been given the opportunity to be right there in the middle of the buzz; able to survey all of the angles, work out a strategic attack and hopefully stick with to exorcise his past demons. Regardless of what he says as to his task being a difficult one, he’ll give it his all. It’s better going into a situation fully apprised of the consequences than pretending about the full reality of it, and talking as though it’s a piece of cake or a walk in the park. He’s not building up his hopes or anyone else’s.

Safin is aware of his position in his match with Federer. He’s also aware of the history that’s in the making in the tennis world. He’s in the unenviable position of expoiting this scenario while viewing the underlying currents emanating from Federer and Nadal, with a lot less stress. The question Safin has to ask himself is that of can he do it, to pull off an upset again at a major?

Safin has a better chance of defeating Federer than coming close against Nadal; he’s been there before and did so. He’ll need to take a page out of Nadal’s book concerning mental toughness, and digging deep into the far recesses of his mind to come up with and employ a similar strategy that he used at the AO ’05 semifinal when he defeated Federer in five sets.

Safin is now suddenly back in the limelight that he has meandered out of for approximately 4 years — seems like a long time ago, but not that long for a champion whose heart burns with the desire for just one more chance of claim to fame. This is perhaps the reason he’s been undoubtedly plugging away at working so hard to find a solution and a strategy that works and will work, if and when he meets Federer. I believe that he’s found it, or if not the whole piece to the puzzle, a smidgen thereof. He wants this and will avail himself of every opportunity that’s available to take that coveted piece of history. Safin knows what to expect, now he only has to set the wheels in motion. Can he do it? of course he can. Go for it Marat!!


Ryan Says:

2 simple reasons why nadal is getting good results on grass :

1) It has slowed down a lot.
2) He has become stronger and that means more power in his groundstrokes.

Borg is still the best because at that time grass was fast and he still managed to do a lot.


sensationalsafin Says:

Safin will crush Nadal like it’s no body’s business.


rafa4ever Says:

I think the most logical thing to predict is a repeat of Fed/Nadal final. With improvements, Nadal has taken much less time to reach SF than last year. I see he has a really good chance of biting the trophy this time around. I like Fed’s play too, don’t get me wrong. They always say that your opponent makes you a better player, I wish Nadal can further elevate his game to beat the all time great in grass this Sunday.
I believe you can do in under water or in the sky.lol. I will be cheering for you, Vamooos Rafa!!


Ra Says:

Ryan,

I feel that you are grossly oversimplifying the elements which make Nadal such a formidable opponent and generally phenomenal tennis player. I’m not gonna take the time to type out every last one of his many, many strengths unless you really care to hear my take on it all, but I will say that I’m not convinced there are any weaknesses left in his game. I expect we will see as much in the coming hardcourt portion of the season. If that doesn’t hold true in the early tournaments, I imagine it will towards the end (unless his knees become an issue again).


Kroll Says:

Funny that Dinara’s rise should coincide with Safin’s own reemergence. I remember Safin saying through the past couple of years, when he was rubbish, that he played because he had nothing to lose one way or the another and he was rich enough to what he wants and so on. But thats not really enough attitude to be a champion is it? I wonder if his sister’s ascent gave him the perspective he needed. This might be a tenuous link but oh well…


Kroll Says:

Ra,
I agree with what you say. I think Rafa has the ability to take apart every aspect of his game and improve it, something that needs huge ambition, attitude and talent. For example he plays doubles in some tournaments to improve his volleying and net play(something he frequently talks about), which is impressive now; his serve and slice, necessary weapons on grass, are now superb. He is still a baseliner really, but if you take his game apart, he’s got all the skills of a great grasscourt player. And he’s perfected hitting winners from defensive or disadvantaged positions, especially on the backhand which is something federer is great at, so honestly i dont see why people would say that his ascent is dominantly due to the courts getting slower (which Federer incidentally disagrees with). And this whole nonsense of so many spanish players being in wimby being an indication of slower courts is nonsense. Most of them are great harcourt players too (Ferrer for example at the US open which is hardly slow is it?) so I dont see how that holds up.


Ezorra Says:

Ryan,

One word… CLICHE’!!!

Say someting else, please….

(oh my god!!!)…


jane Says:

Kroll,

It is a happy coincidence – maybe a little “sibling rivalry” to spark the flame in Marat? In any case, I like them both and am happy to see a focused Safin. Ever since he won the A0 in 2005 I’ve wanted to see his brilliant power game at its best, or near best, again, and while he may not have scaled those heights, or may never quite get there again (?), I am thrilled to see his resurrection. He’s a crusty and lovable champion at the same time.

Rafa’s run here, though, seems destined, if there’s such a thing. Maybe Rafa and Roger are destined to meet in this final? But in sports, destiny has a funny way of being upset by chance. Ya just never know, hence we keep watching…


JCF Says:

Ryan:

“2 simple reasons why nadal is getting good results on grass :

1) It has slowed down a lot.”

If this were true, then you would expect most clay experts from europe or south america to cruise at Wimbledon. When you look at players like Davydenko, clearly this is not the case. Davy has only won 4 matches at Wimbledon in 7 attempts. He’s only twice gotten past the first round.

Davydenko is a capable player on every other surface, but something about the grass is very different, and he sucks on it. He has a negative career record on the surface, and hasn’t won a grass match anywhere else either.

He isn’t the only one.


JCF Says:

Ra says:

“I feel that you are grossly oversimplifying the elements which make Nadal such a formidable opponent and generally phenomenal tennis player. I’m not gonna take the time to type out every last one of his many, many strengths unless you really care to hear my take on it all, but I will say that I’m not convinced there are any weaknesses left in his game. I expect we will see as much in the coming hardcourt portion of the season. If that doesn’t hold true in the early tournaments, I imagine it will towards the end (unless his knees become an issue again).”

If he plays Federer again, the odds will still be against him. While his serve has improved, he is not capable of hitting ace after ace like Federer. Fed will get at least a dozen or two free points with clean aces, and plenty more unreturnable serves. Nadal doesn’t have that luxury and will have to fight for all his points, which he does a better job of than Federer. But this is a clear advantage Federer will have going in. When Federer is down break points, he has this weapon to get out of trouble. Nadal will have to hope he gets a first serve in that Federer doesn’t punish, and then try and take control of the point.

A few dozen cheap points vs hardly any. It will take greater effort for Nadal to win than it will Federer.


Ryan Says:

Wait a minute now is everybody in here tellin me that the grass has not slowed down.Please dont tell me that bullshit.Even Marat the other day thanked the wimbledon authorities for making it a slower surface.This is what he said
“The courts have been getting slower and slower throughout the years,” Safin said. “It’s not any more like they used to be like eight years ago. It was really fast, and now you can play from the baseline and nobody even getting close to the net.”

Reference: http://channels.isp.netscape.com/sports/story.jsp?floc=FF-APX-3001&idq=/ff/story/0049%2F20080625%2F181427251.htm&sc=3001


JCF is dreaming Says:

Federer will be serving all these double faults and making all these errors, if he is in the final. LOL


JCF Says:

Ryan Says:

“Wait a minute now is everybody in here tellin me that the grass has not slowed down.Please dont tell me that bullshit.Even Marat the other day thanked the wimbledon authorities for making it a slower surface.This is what he said
“The courts have been getting slower and slower throughout the years,” Safin said. “It’s not any more like they used to be like eight years ago. It was really fast, and now you can play from the baseline and nobody even getting close to the net.” ”

It depends who you ask Ryan.

http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/news/interviews/2008-06-30/200806301214844257816.html

Q. How have the courts changed here from when you won first in 2003 until today?

ROGER FEDERER: Nothing. I really don’t think so. It’s been the same pretty much through. People are talking this year is slower. I completely disagree with that.

Sampras himself says watching it on TV, it hasn’t changed since he last played on it. And that was a while ago.

Another thing I wanted to add, the Queen’s grass is regarded as being faster than Wimbledon’s but Nadal still managed to win it. Ferrer won some other title, and Verdasco made a final somewhere. Are you saying the ATP somehow forced all grass tournaments to slow down the grass? Or perhaps these tournaments all colluded together to slow it down against the wishes of the serve-volleyers and traditionists who want grass to be unique, to favor the spaniards so they can dominate on more surfaces?

Or perhaps there’s another possibility. Maybe these guys are just getting better and learning to play on the stuff?

Back in 03 on Davis Cup, the aussies hosted spain and they picked the fastest grass they could possibly get, and the spaniards played quite well on it actually.


Ra Says:

Kroll,

I’m with you on all of that except that I do believe that the slowing down of Wimbledon courts has had an effect on the Spanish contingent’s improved performance (in addition to the increase in overall strength and athleticism that has occurred pretty much across the board in sports over the past couple of decades) . But I don’t think it’s about any recent change; I think that the change to all Rye in 2001. I believe that even though the grass at SW19 is slower than it was back in 2000, grass still plays differently than other surfaces and it has taken awhile for that source of players to adapt because so many of them were entirely unaccustomed to grass play until later in life when compared to having grown up on clay.

JCF,

While I am rooting for Federer and agree that if he plays his high level game, he has the edge over Rafa (who will almost undoubtedly play at a high level). While Federer’s serve has been ridiculously good, Nadal can potentially match that on half of his serves is he is able to pull off his lefty, topspin, outside serve to Federer’s backhand. The huge consideration here for me is how much height the ball gets off of the bounce. In fact, I find that to be the biggest consideration (along with the same in regard to Nadal’s forehand) for me when trying to make a prediction for that hypothetical match-up.


Ra Says:

In the first paragraph, I’d meant to type “I think that the change to all Rye in 2001 has been a huge catalyst (whether it was conscious or not) for engaging the ambitions of potential players who had prior written it off because it was so much about serve and volley style tennis.


jane Says:

JCF says

“Queen’s grass is regarded as being faster than Wimbledon’s but Nadal still managed to win it. Ferrer won some other title, and Verdasco made a final somewhere. Are you saying the ATP somehow forced all grass tournaments to slow down the grass?”

I would add to this that all of the aforementioned players – Ferrer, Nadal and Verdasco – have had decent results on hardcourts, another fast surface. Ferrer & Rafa were both in the latter stages of the AO, and Ferrer made it deep at the USO, where Verdasco has occasionally done well also.

It’s probably a combination of these players improving on faster surfaces and the lawn changing.


SG Says:

For those who think that a Safin-Nadal final would result in Safin routing Nadal, think again. Nadal wants this tournament very badly. It could be his coronation. His statement that it is he and not Federer that is now the best player on the planet. Whether it’s Safin or Fed, they will have a tiger by the tail for sure on Sunday. Safin has enormous potential and talent. On par with Fed in my opinion. But, he does have this annoying habit of suddenly disappearing like he did in his AO final against Johansson. Let’s hope he can keep the neurons popping for next couple of matches. If he does he at least has a fighters chance.


Von Says:

Safin has more than a fighter’s chance — he’s got an edge on Federer at a GS – mentally. I’m sure Federer is harboring some “what ifs” in his mind and is not treatig his upcoming encounter with Safin in a non-chalant manner. Safin has everyone guessing right now. He’s composed; not displaying any emotions, good or bad, and is saying very little; he almost seems disinterested in what’s transpiring in a detached sort of way — somewhat like one viewing everything at a distance, from the outside looking in. Additionally, he has also taken the role of one who thinks/feels that’s he’s not got a prayer against the top 2. What better way to drive them into a frenzy. All of the foregoing combined with his game has got to start a shift in Federer’s and Nadal’s mind-set and confidence. We’ll know tomorrow.


Vulcan Says:

Safin has something that Federer doesn’t. Which is he hits the ball flatter. Flat ball hitters have consistently given Nadal more trouble. Also players with two handed backhands seem to be able to handle Nadal’s spin off the backhand side much better.


Vulcan Says:

Regarding Federer-Safin, back in the days when Safin was in the top 20 it used to be said by commentators that he was the one player who had the game to beat Federer. Given his recent confidence problems a good start would seem critical.


Von Says:

When playing against Nadal the two-handed backhanded players have had much better success, as compared to the one-ehanded backhands. That coupled with hitting the ball flatter, and in Safin’s case, a lot harder, places Nadal at a huge deficit. This acounts for the success Blake, Youzhny and some of the other players have had against Nadal. I like that scissor kick jump Safin uses when hitting his backhand. Stepanek and Nalbandian use the scissor kick jump as well.


Ra Says:

Von,

I do agree that, at his best, Safin has the game to challenge Roger. In all likelihood, however, Federer will prevail in 3 or 4. Is there possibility for an upset? Yes. Is it likely? Not so much. Even if it goes more than three, some of those sets will be extremely mismatched unless Federer’s game suddenly drops by 20%.


Vulcan Says:

Dont forget about Djokovic. Nadal may have something to say about who is the #1 player in the world by virtue of their grass court play but Djokovic has dominated Nadal at the Master Series hard court events. It would be interesting to see if a Wimby title boosts Nadals hard court confidence.


Fedex Says:

“When playing against Nadal the two-handed backhanded players have had much better success, as compared to the one-ehanded backhands”

That’s bull crap. Youzhny, blake and Fed have had consistent success against him on hardcourts and in fed’s case even grass. I think they play one-handed.

Even on clay, of the 4 players to beat nadal on clay in the past 4 years, 2 are single-handed – federer and gaudio. Given the smaller number of single-handers, your argument is not proven by statistical evidence.

About the Fed-Safin match tomorrow, one can only pray Marat will bring his 2005 AO game. So far in the tournament safin has not really played anywhere close to that form. He was good but lets not forget Djokovic played his worst match of the year and seppi, wawrinka and lopez all won a set off marat. Fed has made good players like soderling, hewitt and ancic look borderline-pathetic. He is at his best form this year. In this form, as safin said, only a nadal like player can stop the federer.

Get ready for fedal wimby III.


Von Says:

Ra:

“I do agree that, at his best, Safin has the game to challenge Roger. In all likelihood, however, Federer will prevail in 3 or 4. Is there possibility for an upset?”

I agree with you that it will most probably be Federer who emerges as the winner in their match, and it’s more or less a done deal considering the odds that are stacked against Safin. But I have this positive feeling that Safin, who has nothing to lose, can take it to Fed and possibly prevail. It’s just a hunch, but a very strong one. We’ll know very shortly.

A happy Fourth of July to you.


Von Says:

Fedex (aka Joker(?)):

“That’s bull crap. Youzhny, blake and Fed have had consistent success against him on hardcourts and in fed’s case even grass. I think they play one-handed.”

I’m talking about grass, NOT hardcourts. This thread is all about GRASS. What success did youzhny have against Nadal on grass this year. NADA.


Tejuz.. Says:

well.. if Fed serves as well as he has against Ancic or Hewitt..he can hold his service games pretty easily. But i would like to see a 5-setter like the one at AO Open … wouldnt mind who-ever is the winner of this match … wud like that player to beat Nadal in the finals.

If Safin wins wimbledon.. he will be one GS(FO) short of a career Grand slam, just like Fed. And i fancy his chances of beating Nadal on clay at RG if he somehow resurrects his career .. similar to Agassi. I would love to see him back in top 10 .. and be a contender at all the tournaments.


D Roy Says:

“sensationalsafin Says:

…If Safin manages to beat Federer, Nadal is gonna get thrashed.

……………Safin will crush Nadal like it’s no body’s business.”

On reading the above post, one can have only response:

What the hell is he talking about ??????????????

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1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
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