Agitated Federer Unravels in Toronto First Round Loss to Simon
by Sean Randall | July 23rd, 2008, 10:03 pm
  • 163 Comments

I guess in retrospect calling Roger Federer’s Toronto draw “dicey” was being kind to the Swiss after he got bounced just a short while ago in three sets by Frenchman Gilles Simon.

Federer, in a very rare display, looked about as agitated and irritated as I’ve ever seen him. Up a break in the third set, seemingly back in control and serving at 4-3, 15-15 Federer got an out call along the baseline on a perceived forehand winner. With only one challenge left and following a brief chat with ump Norm Chryst, Federer opted to forgo using the challenge thereby losing the point, and eventually the game and his break advantage. But more importantly, at that point mentally Federer simply lost the plot. A rarity.

Per shotspot replay, the ball was on the line so had Federer challenged he would have won the point and kept his challenge, and maybe things would have worked out differently. Would have, could have…

But it looked like the call and his lack of challenge just ate away at Roger as he sprayed forehands all about the court, giving Simon a very well-earned 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 win.

Credit to Simon who I thought going in figured to be very rough customer for Roger. It didn’t look like that early but Simon steadied up and ultimately let Roger self-destruct.

Overall, I’m not really stunned that Federer would lose in this situation to Simon, but I am stunned by the way Roger lost – a mental meltdown late in the match. I just have never really seen that from him in such a crucial time in a match. And I have to think it’s in part due to the sub-par year he’s had and the fact that Rafael Nadal’s is ever so close to his precious No. 1 spot. It seems to be all closing in on Roger, and as I said before we are going to find out a lot about the Swiss the next 45 days. And right now it doesn’t look good.

Nadal meanwhile didn’t look great this afternoon in a 6-4, 6-2 win over Jesse Levine, but he dug out of a 4-1 hole in the first set and unlike Roger, he got through in the end. And with Federer now out Nadal has got to recognize and take advantage of the situation. No. 1 is now there for the taking. And I have to think he’ll be the top seed at the Open now.

In other matches today, James Blake needed a surprising three sets to beat Jonas Bjorkman. Igor Andreev, Nadal’s foe Thursday, sent home Tomas Berdych. Robin Soderling, Jose Acasuso, Dmitry Tursunov, Marin Cilic, Nikolay Davydenko and Richard Gasquet were some of the other winners.


Also Check Out:
Andy Roddick Withdraws From Toronto
Un-Fit Rafael Nadal Withdraws From Toronto
Federer, Nadal Get First Taste of Summer HardCourt Season Today in Toronto
Nadal Weathers Gasquet, Murray Finally Gets Over on Djokovic
Nadal, Djokovic Make Doubles Debut; Querrey, Gulbis in Action Monday in Toronto

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163 Comments for Agitated Federer Unravels in Toronto First Round Loss to Simon

Andrea Jones Says:

Roger Federer is a truly beautiful and heroic player. He defeated himself this time;Gilles Simon did not defeat him! He just lost his spirit and nerve for the short duration of the game. I feel for him and wish him a huge comeback. Meditation would probably help him, because he is a great great player and he seemed to just be giving himself negative messages. He will always be the finest!


maria Says:

FEDERER YOU ARE IN MILLION EYES THE MOST DESIRED PLAYER. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY THE COMMENTATORS HAVE TO MAKE SUCH NEGATIVE REMARKS ABOUT FED LOSING HIS NO.


Pardesi Says:

fire Jose Higueras please!!! He hasn’t done anything for Fed. In fact, Fed’s worst loss at RG came after Jose came on the scene. he’s become increasingly inconsistent–when is the last time Fed shanked so many shots? I think the no. 1 ranking is gone for sure, but here’s hoping Fed finds a way to win some despite such a poor year. go fed. sigh.


jane Says:

Sean,

Yeah, Fed’s loss was surprising; I still can’t figure out what caused it. He won that first set so decisively. But in the second set he was already irritated by the crowd, and then Simon was picking up his game by then, so that added to the agitation. But after he got the second break (back) in the final set, I thought he’d close it out. But he just couldn’t. Maybe he didn’t challenge because his earlier challenges were sometimes so far off; that system just doesn’t seem to work for him. Anyhow, it’s a shocker too me. I knew he’d never played Simon but I assumed he’d win after that first set.


sapereaude Says:

the king is dead, long live the king. fed enchanted us (at least me) since 03 to 07. in 08, the mono plus much worse “nadalisis”, got to him. today i realized watching him that he outright completely lost his “mojo”; if he would have any guts, he’ll pull a “henin” and retire as # 1 and have a happy life. i hope he won’t hang around and make a fool of himself with his today tennis which won’t keep him in top twenty. he was a delight to watch…….no more!


johhny Says:

it would be nice if Fed’s fans would once in a while give a credit where the credit is due. i would call that sportsmanship or a fair play, but experience teaches us the opposite. there was/is always an excuse for his loss and that is quite annoying.


FED ADMIRER Says:

THIS IS FOR THE COMMENTATORS – PLEASE REFRAIN FROM MAKING NEGATIVE COMMENTS ABOUT PLAYERS YOU DO NOT LIKE AND POSITIVE ONES ABOUT WHOM YOU LIKE. THE FACT THAT WE WATCH TENNIS IS BECAUSE WE WANT TO ENJOY EVERY PLAYER AND EVERY GAME WITHOUT BEING CONTINUOUSLY INTERRUPTED BY YOUR NEGATIVE COMMENTS.


zola Says:

Sean,
I am so impressed by your very timely comments. Almost no other tennis blog does that. congratz!

Of course I am happy that Rafa is closer to No 1. But seeing Fed exit like that was really sad, even for a Rafa fan.

Thinking about it, this is the mental state that Rafa was in for the past 3 years. Coming out of a big disappointment from Wimbledon. He had to shake that off and sometimes it could linger. In contrast, Fed was more Fresh and confident because of his recent win. Now the places are reversed. Rafa is full of confidence and Fed is trying to shake off disappointment. It might take a bit of time, but I am sure he can do it.

RAfa top seed at the open? Can it happen? I hope so!


jane Says:

johnny,

Oh I agree with you, and I, for one, am not a big Fed fan, never have been. However, I still found that loss quite strange. Fed’s healthy again, that was clear from the Wimbledon run, and he was playing good tonight in the first set, but then it was just error after error after error. And he got so grouchy too.

Simon played well and he really held his nerve at the end and fought hard all the way through. So you’re right – all credit to Gilles! That’s a nice win for him and we should give him his due! Thanks for pointing that out.


NachoF Says:

What can I say? today is a sad day for the king has died.


FloridaMan Says:

Federer will still be number one for at least a few more weeks, because all the summer tournaments from this year occur 2 weeks before they occured last year. This is due to the Beijing Olympics. As a result, Federer’s points from Toronto and Cincinnati last year will not drop off yet for another few weeks. But they definitely will drop off soon, and his loss today is a big blow to his hopes of staying number 1.


JCF Says:

Von’s quote from yesterday requires no commentary now.

Von Says:

“Gosh, people wants to diminish Nadal’s triumph so much that they shoot themselves in the foot in the most ridiculous way.”

It’s understandable about the excuses concerning the wimby grass — the excuses are emanating from some of the Federer fans who are still in shock over his loss, on what was undisputably his best surface. The rationalizations and/or excuses somewhat help to put a damper on the disappointment and most probably the pain, which obviously stil exists after 2-1/2 weeks.

Federer recently stated that hardcourt is his best surface and is looking forward to playing in the hardcourt season. Now this is a hypothetical question, if Federer should lose in Toronto, on what he has now proclaimed, his best surface, what rationalizations and/or excuses will the members of his fan-dom find to soften the pain? Will it be, the surface’s bounce was too low, high, slick, sandy, et al., and the hardcourt which we all see, is absolutely non-existent — a mirage, and in reality it is, without a doubt, a clay court, as was suggested of Wimby playing like a dirt surface? This is how ludicrous the excuses are now beginning to sound.


jane Says:

Murray’s through – whoo hoo. As is Stan, so one Swiss survived. But Safin really got the bum-end of the rain and scheduling today. The Davydenko and Kiefer match seems to be taking forever.

JCF – it’s true regarding Von’s comment; there are no excuses or rationalizations for that loss. I tried to figure it out myself above but I couldn’t. Fed is just not as accurate as he once was. His timing is off. And mentally he’s in a slump. He has tried to pump himself up after the losses he’s taken this year, but it’s clear that the decline is very real. That’s not to say he can’t have a revival and win many more tournaments, of course. He may even win the Olympics or the USO this year, but right now he is clearly struggling.

And his opponents are outplaying him when and where it matters.


karma Says:

I can only hope that the Federer fans posting here who used to gloat over Andy Roddick’s humiliating losses, laugh at his bad luck, and snicker with glee over his lopsided head to head with Federer, are enjoying eating the biggest piece of humble cumuppance pie they can stuff in their faces.

Now they know what it’s like to watch their main man lose heart, lose his confidence, and have the stuffing kicked out of him every other week, all due to one player who seemed to enjoy ripping his dreams right out of his hands.

It’s not so funny any more is it dear Federer fans? Are you still gloating now? You know what they say about that darn karma. She’s a mean one.

Enjoy your pie. Have another slice when you’re finished. :)


anel Says:

To:FED ADMIRER:
Yes, You are right,but You should say that when Novak lost in Wimbledon,or YOU think that is only Federer’s fans should be protected from negative comments.


JCF Says:

“Federer, in a very rare display, looked about as agitated and irritated as I’ve ever seen him. Up a break in the third set, seemingly back in control and serving at 4-3, 15-15 Federer got an out call along the baseline on a perceived forehand winner. With only one challenge left and following a brief chat with ump Norm Chryst, Federer opted to forgo using the challenge thereby losing the point, and eventually the game and his break advantage. But more importantly, at that point mentally Federer simply lost the plot. A rarity.

Per shotspot replay, the ball was on the line so had Federer challenged he would have won the point and kept his challenge, and maybe things would have worked out differently. Would have, could have…”

If he was that confident, he should have challenged. There is no reason not to. Why hold onto a challenge, even if you might lose it? Is he anticipating that he will need it later, anticipating more bad line calls? Or just confident he would win the game regardless?


jane Says:

JCF,

I was wondering if Fed was humiliated or gave up on the challenging because did you see how far off he was on a couple of those challenges? They were out by a foot. He got one right though after those so maybe I am over-analyzing. However, I know even the challenge system gets in Fed’s head when he’s rattled, and by that point in the match, he was overtly rattled.


Von Says:

karma:

“I can only hope that the Federer fans posting here who used to gloat over Andy Roddick’s humiliating losses, laugh at his bad luck, and snicker with glee over his lopsided head to head with Federer, are enjoying eating the biggest piece of humble cumuppance pie they can stuff in their faces.

“Now they know what it’s like to watch their main man lose heart, lose his confidence, and have the stuffing kicked out of him every other week, all due to one player who seemed to enjoy ripping his dreams right out of his hands.”

Touche. You’ve put into words what’s in my heart. I could kiss/hug you. I hate to agree with you though, because there are some nice Fed fans on this site, but the ugly ones made it awful for us the Roddick fans when Andy lost. The gloating, jeering and cheering was enough to turn my stomach into knots. I would refrain from posting for days after any of his losses to Fed, just so I didn’t have to read the nastiness that ensued after each of Andy’s losses. I still feel his draws were manipulated due to him being American, but that’s questionable.
____________

TO Andrea:

I noticed you’re the first one to post and I once mentioned to you that you might one day choke on your gloat, using your catchy, dumb phrases such as “tasty, tasty”, and “bye, bye Roddick”, “I can’t stand the guy”, “glad to see him out of the tournaments” “Now all the Americans are gone, bye, bye.” Fortunately, for you, I won’t stoop to your level, by writing such, I just for once, hope you understand how other fans feel when their favorite player loses. And, for your information, Roddick has more class than you’ve got in your little toe NAIL. I’ve waited a long time to say this — comeuppance is a b***h, ain’t it?
_______________

And to those who don’t like what the commentators say, just listen to them talk about Roddick or the Americans, and then you won’t think of them as unkind. I like Doug Adler and Robbie Koernig, except when they are commentating on Fed’s matches — they ooze molasses. Robbie Koernig stated tonight that Fed was playing “scintillating.” I wonder, where his eyes were. Not to mention Sean’s article about “Blake and Roddick Stinking up Wimbledon.” Nothing stinks tonight Sean?


Smith Says:

I have rarely seen Federer look this shaken, this irritated on court. We can speculate about the carryover from losing his Wimbledon title, Nadal ready to take his beloved #1 ranking and the first time he’s been under pressure both on and off the court for the first time in 4-5 years.

There’s no question Fed has lost a lot of his confidence. He was way off on a lot of his shots – particularly the forehand. At Wimbledon it was his backhand that deserted him, today it was the forehand.

As for not challenging, Federer doesn’t care for the challenge system all that much and he uses it only grudgingly. Besides, he stinks at it, he is usually wrong on his challenges.


JCF Says:

Ouch. I think someone owes Von an apology. :D


Von Says:

“Federer, in a very rare display, looked about as agitated and irritated as I’ve ever seen him.”

Aren’t we forgetting the ’07 Wimbledon v. Nadal, and the MC Tournament, Fed v. Hidalgo Ramirez in the 3rd set when Fed behaved as if he was experiencing one of his terrible-twos tantrums. How quickly we forget. Nothing was written on those outbursts, but Roddick’s AO outburst at the made headlines, same with San Jose. Selective memory. For the record, Fed more often than not, becomes agitated when he sees defeat staring him in the face. Anyway, all’s fair in love and war, along with might is right and the weakest goes to the wall.


jane Says:

Sean –

Von made an excellent call on you above – are you prepared to answer it? When Novak lost in the first round in Miami, he “laid an egg” in your title; when Roddick & Blake lost at Wimbledon they “stunk up” the tournament in your title; their play was labeled “garbage.”

But when Fed loses, for the second time this year, in the first round, he simply “unravels”; he’s “agitated”.

I think I smell something stinky…no, is it fishy… no, maybe it’s a rotten egg? Hmmm… maybe I am just agitated?

:-)


jane Says:

Von,

“For the record, Fed more often than not, becomes agitated when he sees defeat staring him in the face.”

Right again, only we haven’t seen him facing defeat much so he was mainly calm. But my aunt calls him “cranky” all them time whenever he’s losing. Today throughout the match something was clearly bugging him.

If Novak told the crowd “quiet” and got up in the ump’s face about a call, we’d see reems of posts about his arrogance and classlessness. Just as you mentioned about Roddick, Von. But not so for Roger. I do think this is a bit of a double standard that hopefully will begin to dissipate now that Roger’s losing more frequently.

I read tonight that this is the first time since 2003 that Roger’s match loss count has reached double digits for the season, so it puts into perspective his 4 year dominance, and how unused to losing he really is. We’re seeing a different side of him now.


Shital Green Says:

Can anyone tell me if Fed has had enough of tennis? Or, at least beginning to feel like what Borg felt at the end of 1981 and beginning of 1982?
Maybe Fed has “wish” to pile up more slams but not enough “will” to do it. Maybe, he is hurrying up or worrying too much in haste to surpass all previously held record? Is the “agitation” simply an expression of time-is-running-out-I-gotta-do-it-now-or-never?
Is it really that painful to lose the No. 1 position after holding it over 4 1/2 years?
Does he need to achieve anything more after becoming one of the best ever?


LeBon Says:

I agree with Von about the commentary tonight. The way Koenig was heaping praise on Federer so constantly was unbearable especially given the number of errors Federer was spraying. I love having the tennis channel but I can’t stand listening to Koenig during Federer’s matches as he obviously can’t be objective about him.


Ryan Says:

People keep changing every minute.Many of these so called rafa fans were fed fans before when he was winning.Now the top guy is rafa so they are all rafa fans……Tomorrow if djokovic beats rafa on clay or something and becomes the top performing player then everyone who used to say that nole is cocky will be like “Oh i was always a nole fan.He’s a great guy”……..one word summary pathetic


JB Says:

Well at least Fed won a small token victory in the match. He ended up the last person to shake the ref’s hand. I always found that part of the match kind of an interesting “alpha dog” fight. I can’t recall how it’s gone down in all of Fed’s losses the last few years, but I can’t recall when he hasn’t insisted on being the last to shake the ref’s hand, and Simon tonight let him have that.

I’ve also noticed that anytime Nadal wins against Fed, Fed will again wait to be last, but Nadal will actually hesitate and motion for Fed to go first so that he can be last and then immediately wave to the crowd.


Von Says:

LeBon:

“The way Koenig was heaping praise on Federer so constantly was unbearable especially given the number of errors Federer was spraying. I love having the tennis channel but I can’t stand listening to Koenig during Federer’s matches as he obviously can’t be objective about him.”

Thanks for reaffirming Koenig’s commentary. Imagine saying Federer is playing scintillating tennis because he won a point where Simon overhit the ball. The worst of them all is Jason Goodall. I have to mute him when he’s commentatating on any of Fed’s matches. his designation for Federer is “The World’s No. 1, as if we’re not aware that Fed is the No. 1 player. He states that No. 1 handle in every other sentence.

Goodall, when Roddick was No. 3, only spoke of the Nos. 1 and 2 players in his comparisons. One day he stated, “We never seem to include the No. 3 player, the American Andy Roddick,in our comparison, only Nos. 1 and 2, I wonder why not?” I was so infuriated, I walked away. Goodall was acutely aware of what he was doing, and then asks of himself, such a stupid question. To me that’s an insult to the viewers and an even greater insult to Roddick. Most of the commentators have NEVER given Roddick credit for his accomplishments, but if he only sounds off due to a bad call, or whatever, they are quick to expound on the negative. Lavish on criticism and stingy on praise. This is one of the reasons I speak up when people state that the press is biased in favor of the Americans — it’s the opposite, and our American commentators and writers are the chief offenders. But who said life was fair. Koenig and Goodall are not Americans so I suppose they are justified. I suppose Adler (american) who is guilty of the same, is not any better.

_______________
Shital:

“Is the “agitation” simply an expression of time-is-running-out-I-gotta-do-it-now-or-never?
Is it really that painful to lose the No. 1 position after holding it over 4 1/2 years?
Does he need to achieve anything more after becoming one of the best ever?”

I posted on this several months ago. It’s a combination of his feeling that time is running out and is placing unnecessary pressure on himself to do it like yesterday — self-induced pressure.

Another is his ego; he has to break all the records, not just break them, but to add another record, ” In the shortest period of time.”

And the last, he’s mentioned he likes being No. 1, because when you’re No. 1, people show you respect and they listen to what you have to say. This, in a way tells me that his identity is wrapped up in his No. 1 status. If, and when, he loses the No. 1 ranking, I believe he will unravel even further. If you noticed when he initially began losing, he would consistently remind the press, “but I’m still the No. 1 player.” That sentence speaks volumes.


Giner Says:

You can also add the AO 05 5th set against Safin. There we saw the unflappable, Mr Cool as Ice get flapped. He was cursing a lot, even using the F word.

He does get rattled when the possibility of defeat is imminent, but he’s no Safin or Hewitt. And he handles the pressure situations quite well. He’s one of the best clutch servers I’ve seen. Pete is the only one that’s better.


Giner Says:

Shital Green Says:

“Can anyone tell me if Fed has had enough of tennis? Or, at least beginning to feel like what Borg felt at the end of 1981 and beginning of 1982?
Maybe Fed has “wish” to pile up more slams but not enough “will” to do it. Maybe, he is hurrying up or worrying too much in haste to surpass all previously held record? Is the “agitation” simply an expression of time-is-running-out-I-gotta-do-it-now-or-never?
Is it really that painful to lose the No. 1 position after holding it over 4 1/2 years?
Does he need to achieve anything more after becoming one of the best ever?”

He’s not going away until he wins 3 more. Of that we can be sure. This is a slump, but it is by no means the end. He knows he can still win slams, and he’s this close to tying Pete. Pete won his last slam at 31, so Fed still has 4 years. He won’t hang it up just yet.

It would be a sad loss if he did retire. The rivalry right now between the top 3 is as exciting as ever. We’ll lose it all if Fed leaves. I hope he doesn’t.


Giner Says:

Ryan Says:

“People keep changing every minute.Many of these so called rafa fans were fed fans before when he was winning.Now the top guy is rafa so they are all rafa fans……Tomorrow if djokovic beats rafa on clay or something and becomes the top performing player then everyone who used to say that nole is cocky will be like “Oh i was always a nole fan.He’s a great guy”……..one word summary pathetic”

Explaining on behalf of both JCF and I, we were very impressed with what Fed did in 2004, and he won us over. At that time, we didn’t know anything about Nadal. Nadal won us over when he impressed us in 2005 onwards. We were fans of Fed first because he proved himself first. We remain fans of both, and now Djokovic too, which we didn’t start liking until this year during his AO run.

It’s a matter of chronology. We aren’t liking a guy because he’s winning. We’re liking a guy because we’ve learnt things we didn’t know about them, and they are doing impressive things.

I want the best for Federer, even though I like Rafa more.

JB Says:

“Well at least Fed won a small token victory in the match. He ended up the last person to shake the ref’s hand. I always found that part of the match kind of an interesting “alpha dog” fight. I can’t recall how it’s gone down in all of Fed’s losses the last few years, but I can’t recall when he hasn’t insisted on being the last to shake the ref’s hand, and Simon tonight let him have that.

I’ve also noticed that anytime Nadal wins against Fed, Fed will again wait to be last, but Nadal will actually hesitate and motion for Fed to go first so that he can be last and then immediately wave to the crowd.”

I noticed that at Wimbledon. Maybe Rafa was getting him back because he wanted to walk out last onto the court, but Fed said no? :P

“The way Koenig was heaping praise on Federer so constantly was unbearable especially given the number of errors Federer was spraying. I love having the tennis channel but I can’t stand listening to Koenig during Federer’s matches as he obviously can’t be objective about him.”

That happens a lot from commentators about Fed. It’s strange that Koenig continued heaping praise on him despite this 2008 season however. He’s clearly not had the same season as he’s had last year.

Von:

“And the last, he’s mentioned he likes being No. 1, because when you’re No. 1, people show you respect and they listen to what you have to say. This, in a way tells me that his identity is wrapped up in his No. 1 status. If, and when, he loses the No. 1 ranking, I believe he will unravel even further. If you noticed when he initially began losing, he would consistently remind the press, “but I’m still the No. 1 player.” That sentence speaks volumes”

I agree that he values it too much. He abandoned Davis Cup to protect his ranking (which was safe anyway because he had double the amount of points the #2 player had). To me, it’s just a number. The titles are what count. Rankings come and go. They are temporary. Titles remain in your cabinet forever.


jane Says:

“That happens a lot from commentators about Fed.” Cliff Drysdale has been another chief offender in this regard, to the point where he was once waxing poetic about Fed’s back muscles. It was a little weird frankly.


Von Says:

jane:

“Cliff Drysdale has been another chief offender in this regard, to the point where he was once waxing poetic about Fed’s back muscles. It was a little weird frankly.”

Drysdale loves his “Rog”. I suppose because he’s South African and Fed’s mother is South African, but as commentators they should be neutral, and keep their prejudices/bias in check or under wraps. Anyway, we know from what they say and as often as they say it, that they’re all very biased unashamedly, in Fed’s direction.

______________
Giner:

“The titles are what count. Rankings come and go. They are temporary. Titles remain in your cabinet forever.”

I agree that the titles are what count, but unfortunately for Fed, and this is a huge psychological problem, his self-worth is tied into the No. 1 ranking more than the titles. It’s similar to an Admiral who is paid more homage because of his rank than for the Purple Heart, and other medals.


smith Says:

Federer has actually been vulnerable ever since the USO last year where both Davydenko and Djokovic (if they hadn’t had the case of the nerves) should have beaten Federer. Fed knew he dodged a bullet by winning the USO last year by playing (by his usual standards) sub-par tennis.

Now most, if not every player, now goes out to face Fed thinking he has a chance to win. The fear factor is gone for a lot of guys and we are going to see Pissy Rog many more times before the year is over. And I say this as someone who is a fan of Fed’s – but he was crabby tonight, telling people in the stands to “Shut Up” bitching at Norm Chryst….

I didn’t see a video but from the comments, Fed didn’t hide his disappointment and anger.


smith Says:

The last sentence is in reference to his post-match press conference. Fed at one point put his head in his hands after a question from a reporter and snapped at him.


Von Says:

Smith:

“The fear factor is gone for a lot of guys and we are going to see Pissy Rog many more times before the year is over.”

What you’ve stated underlines my point on previous occasions where I’ve mentioned in reply to some of Fed’s fans who’ve stated he’s a classy guy, vis-a-vis, it’s easy to be clasy when everything is going your way. Whenever there’s a pressure situation then the true personality of the person comes to the surface. I’ve seen many instances where he’s snapped and talked down to the umpire and reporters and have gotten away with such, as opposed to another player, who will be crucified for even less. It’s unfair and my blood boils when I see it happening.

I remember the ’07 Wimby where he was cursing, etc, using the “F” word at the Hawkeye and berating the umpire on several changeovers. Many of his fans selectively tuned it out. Some denied that he would “never do that.”

Also, I was crucified for mentioning that incident wherein he told Djokovic’s parents: “be quiet will you” or something to that effect. I was called all sorts of names.

“but he was crabby tonight, telling people in the stands to “Shut Up” bitching at Norm Chryst….”

I don’t know if you remember this year’s AO when Roddick yelled at the kids in the stands to be quiet and was angry with the Umpire regarding a bad call? Well, that incident caused such a stir in the media and among the Tennis.X posters to the point of ad nauseam. I can assure you that last evening’s incident will be swept under the rug and many will say that it’s a lie or exaggerated. Keep reading, you’ll be surprised at the comments and the denials.

I’m glad to know that even though you’re a fan, you’re not a blind but honest one. Being a fan does not mean one has to stifle their conscience.


bobby Says:

I am a Rafa fan.But i like Federer to remain and play his best atleast for next 3 or 4 years.I like to see more Rafa vs Roger thrilling finals.As for being classy,if anyone has seen 2007 wimbledon will know that Federer can be irrational and can abuse.During that match Federer was shouting at the umpire because hawk eye proved Federer was wrong!.But many tennis commentaters were selectively silent about it.Double standards exist.


zinaldo Says:

roger federer has never been strong in the head, and what is happening this year just proves it, of cousre mono didn’t help but for the first time he has a real challenge and he is going down big time, now the new players don’t give the respect that roddick,ferrer,davydenko,hewitt used to,they come out to beat him judging by nadal beating roger the first time they met on hard court,i found it quite amazing for a champion that he is, he is intimidated by nadal so much, it’ s like nadal is so good at 22 that federer seems to think that he doesn’t have a chance anymore,before it was the backhand but even the forehand is deserting him what is he going to do, i don’t know, the funny thing is that his game is detetoriating or has stayed the same wich tells you something about nadal’s game,and roger has weaknesses,backhand,very bad approach,and it seems lose quite quickly now days ok,i ha te to say it but i hope he doesn’t kill himself, you know when the only thing that you really hold dear like tennis goes away what do you when you know you can’t get it back


Jane Says:

Watching tennis has become exciting again. the end used to be almost predictable as Roger progressed through a tournment. Now there is hope. I dont dislike Roger, but I got tired of watching him win. I love to watch tennis with personality, that includes Roddick, Murray and expecially Safin. Tennis is better with Marat Safin in it. I love the implosions the rachet smashing etc… it shows he cares. Let us not not moon over Federer loosing but be excited that again there is challenge and games with unexpected outcomes. Woohoo!

Watching the Rogers Cup on Canadian TV is less of a Roger love fest and more about giving cudos to all players when it is due. I too get tired of the lovefest for Fed and it is a nice change to hear commentators with some class.


Spin Says:

Yeah, Peter Burwash is in a class by himself all right.


Thuya Says:

Here is commentator Koening’s article. You can leave comments there.

http://www.tennisgrandstand.com/archives/1441


Srini Murty Says:

All tennis players show their emotions when they lose. I remember that first US Open final between Sampras and Agassi, particularly when Sampras was whipping Agassi badly. Agassi was close to tears and simply couldn’t believe he was being beaten by a guy who he thought, “wouldn’t have a great career as a tennis player”!. Likewise, Federer whines when he starts losing. Its either the crowd, or the ShotSpot or some thing. Plus, now we know for sure what Wilander saw was a crucial flaw in Federer. It’s not “mojo” or the lack thereof, he just is not a gutsy player. One “almost” comeback at Wimbledon doesn’t prove anything. Guts was the way guys like Borg or Connors fought off players and come back from near defeat to absolutely rout the competition. When Federer gets rattled, it’s pretty obvious. He just starts shanking shots. In fact, for some reason, his shotmaking has become so insecure, as a fan all you’re expecting is another shank coming up shortly. It’s obviously timing, especially when he comes over the ball on either wing. That shot takes tremendous skill and timing and Federer continues to be off on that. Also, regarding Higueras, Federer’s in a bind. He got him to get help to win the French. He obviously can’t dump him now or else people are going to say he’s just an opportunistic guy. Higueras’ mental make-up as a player was very defensive. All he’s ended up doing is confusing the heck out of Federer.


Sean Randall Says:

Jane/Von,

I’m happy to answer.

I don’t remember what I exactly wrote in describing Novak’s first round (or was it second round?) loss to Kevin Anderson in Miami, but if it was that he “laid an egg” then so be it. Because in my mind (and I like to think I call it as I see it) that’s what he did. When you win Indian Wells and then follow it up by losing first round in Miami to a guy who I don’t think was in the Top 100 at the time, I’d call it laying an egg. So, yes, I stand by it.

As for the Americans. Yes, they totally stunk it up at Wimbledon. Blake’s up two sets to one on with a break I think in the fourth to grass God Rainer Schuettler and he still loses. That’s a stinker. Roddick loses to Janko who played well, but I still think Roddick played like complete garbage. Even Andy agreed as much. He stunk it up. So again, I stand by those remarks.

Onto yesterday. Federer actually played pretty well in the first set (much of that thanks to Gilles) before the errors began to creep in the second which was followed by a flurry of forehand errors at the end.

Could I have used the term “garbage” to describe Fed’s play? Perhaps, but I really didn’t think Roger played like garbage really until the very end of the match. I thought Roger was doing a lot of right things early on like playing aggressively (unlike Roddick at Wimbledon who was perched to far back to really do much damage off either wing) but at the end of the day he was undone by his errors and what I think was him really mentally unraveling like we’ve never really seen it before.

After no using that challenge at 4-3, 15-15, how many points did Roger win after that? He unraveled. Mentally, he fell apart.

But maybe Roger “laid an egg”, just like Novak did in Miami. Well, Roger was playing a guy in Simon that I felt was going to really trouble him. Simon had just come off an Indy title and I thought his style could really bother Roger. Plus it was Roger’s first hardcourt match and after Wimbledon there was some question as to his mental state. So this was a tricky match. Whereas for Novak, just what problems should a 100th-ranked guy like Kevin Anderson present to the World No. 3 who is on a tear after just winning Indian Wells? None. Novak should have won that in straight sets, sorry. I know it. He knows it. We all know it. So he laid an egg.

As for the terms, playing like garbage or laying an egg in a loss are in my mind more of a temporary setback. It’s like a bad day at the office. Everyone has one now again. But mentally unraveling, however, is far worse in my opinion. That means things aren’t right upstairs between the ears. A simple practice isn’t going to fix that. And fortunately or unfortunately, depending on what side you are on, I think Roger’s there right now.

Again, I try to call it like I see it. And of course sometimes I do get it wrong.


Sean Randall Says:

And why all the hate on Robbie Koenig? Listen just about all the commentators fawn over Federer. You should all be more than used to it by now.


Sean Randall Says:

JCF, regarding the challenge he didn’t use. I just think the moment caught up to him and everything caved in. Almost like a panic attack situation. What’s incredible was that it didn’t occur on a big point per se. Fed was up a break, in good shape, 4-3, 15-15. Even down 15-30 with that break he should get through but evidently, at least from my chair, he really fell apart after that call.

It looked to me like the pressure, the moment, the expectations all hit him at once and he vented on that line call.

Yes Zola, I think Rafa will be the top seed come the US Open.


Shital Green Says:

Giner,
I am not saying Fed will or should. In all honesty, I’d like to see him playing his best tennis for a couple of years more, even after handing the No. 1 mantle to worthy and deserving Rafa.
All I am saying is he could be already feeling the Borg-moment when J-Mac ended Borg’s domination of 4 years (1978-1980). Coincidentally J-Mac was 22 at the time in 1981, just like Nadal, with one less slam. After losing to J-Mac at the classic Wimbledon final of 1980, Borg felt “this was the first time that he was afraid that he would lose, as well as feeling that it was the beginning of the end of his dominance.” My guess is Fed must have felt the same way after losing at the 2008 Wimby. In some sense, he must have relieved the Borg-moment. In 1981, Borg lost to J-Mac again at Wimbledon. The same year, after losing to J-Mac at the US Open, “Borg walked off the court and out of the stadium before the ceremonies and press conference had begun. Borg said that his consecutive losses to McEnroe at Wimbledon and the US Open had confirmed that he was no longer the World No. 1 tennis player and that he did not want to be World No. 2.” As we are seeing some early symptoms, I am just wondering if Fed would go that far to react in a similar way if he loses to Nadal at the USO this year, repeating the history. Even if that were the case, the repetition of the history would be with a slight difference (as I am writing this line, I am reminded of a philosopher’s work: Gilles Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition). That difference, I expect, would be Fed’s continuation, not retirement, though, like Borg said, Fed could be feeling the pressure to contemplate and anticipate its coming, even if it were to happen after 4 years at Pete’s age, the benchmark you suggested.


Spin Says:

I’m glad the author took time to defend himself from some of the idiocy around here — speaking of, ^^^ put the Deleuze back on the library shelf.


matt Says:

Borg defeated McEnroe in Wimbledon’80, Shital Green, but I get your point.


Daniel Says:

I think when Fed knows he is not playing great he get cranky, he was struggling with himself yesterday.

Regarding the audiance making noise, it is happening a lot this tournament. In the Verdasco x Bellucci match Verdasco stop and ask for the umpire to remove somebody from the audiance. He only resume play when the guy was scorted out.

Fed is not going to retire anytime soon, first round matches are always complicated, remember that Ramirez-Hidalgo, the same thing could had happen there, it just happened here. Even Djoko after his easy win celebrate it a lot, because they know they have to pass this first rounds, specially changing surfaces.


Shital Green Says:

Spin,
Ref (1): “Write it yourself…if it’s the right thread or not.”
Ref (2): “Oh that sounds awesome.” [sarcastic]
Ref (3): “put the Deleuze back on the library shelf.”

I don’t get it why I am getting these one-line meta-comments from you. In all those three instances, I was talking to a specific person: Dan, Gordo, and Giner, respectively. How does my conversation with others bother you? Why do you have to butt in as a bully and write do-this-do-that authoritative comments as if you were my abusive employer or slave driver?
What did I do to you?
Maybe, I misunderstood you. If so, do you care to explain to me what I missed?


Shital Green Says:

Matt,
Sorry, my bad. I don’t know how I missed the obvious: maybe too much focus on message than on history.
Thanks for correcting me.


Ryan Says:

To Srini Murty : Who said fed has not come from near defeat.Earlier in clay tourny monte carlo he was 5-1 down in the 3rd set 1st round , came back and reached the final of monte carlo even beating players like djokovic and nalbandian.He also came very close to defeat in wimbledon 2007 but still won it.
As for clay nadal is too good for everyone.Bottomline.Its not like other people can beat nadal on clay and federer cannot.Nobody can beat nadal on clay.


Rob Says:

We all think we know what is going on with Roger, but only Roger knows for sure. I am reading Pete Sampras’s autobiography now. I felt I already knew the guy, having read every interview and article ever published about him. But I now realize how little I knew and how HUMAN these athlete icons are. Pete lost his confidence at times and paid dearly for it in key matches. It hurt watching him lose as his career winded down, but you’ve got to stay behind your guy as a fan (You don’t have to debase others to do that, btw). Also, note that Pete did not dedicate his book to tennis. He dedicated it to his family, “worth more than any tennis trophies or titles.”

Rog will bounce back, but even if he doesn’t regain his former glory, he’s done great things and his supporters will enjoy more victories from this champion. Just continue loving him.

And the same goes for those who like the other players.

In the end, it’s just a game.


jane Says:

Sean,

Thanks for your reply. Okay Blake blew his lead. This is the one I “agree” with you on.

Andy made a few crucial errors against Tipsy, but as you said Tipsy played well. Andy didn’t play like “garbage”; it was a tight match. Andy got tight. Plus, Tipsy loves center court and always plays well in those situations; don’t forget, he almost ousted Fed at the AO. So to say Andy “stunk” seems harsh to me.

Novak also fought Anderson tight; it wasn’t like he was bageled or 6-2 -6-2 or anything. A tiebreak and one break made the difference; the thing went 3 sets – the distance. And don’t forget Anderson was on a decent streak; he’d just been in the final in Las Vegas, where he took out Llodra, Isner, Ginepri. We all know that on the day ranking doesn’t mean a lot.

Still – I am NOT saying Novak shouldn’t of won; he should’ve. I agree. He didn’t know anything about his opponent and wasn’t prepared. But in all honesty I thought he played better in that match than against Safin at SW19, where he “unraveled” – or at least his serve did.

I wasn’t taking issue with your “calls” – I usually agree with you, as you know – but just with your wording. It seemed gentle last night – though you were amazingly hot off the press as always.

Frankly – at 51 errors – and cranky from the get-go, that was a pretty garbage-y match from Fed. Sure, the first set looked pretty good; he was handling Simon but Simon was nervous.

As soon as Gilles started to play well in the 2nd, Fed started laying an egg.


jane Says:

Jane,

you said – “Watching the Rogers Cup on Canadian TV is less of a Roger love fest and more about giving cudos to all players when it is due. I too get tired of the lovefest for Fed and it is a nice change to hear commentators with some class.”

I agree – I like Peter Burwash so much; I wish I could hear him call more matches than just every year during the Roger’s cup. He knows when to speak up and when to be quiet, and he always has smart things to say. Also, as you say, he is not biased. Before the Fed vs. Simon match he said Fed’s “forehand” was the shot to keep our eyes on, because as good as it can be, when it goes off, he often loses. Witness the AO semi; his forehand failed him there, as well as in the 5th against Rafa at SW19. It is a timing issue, as I mentioned above.


jane Says:

Looking ahead to today, Soderling, with his big serve, could trouble Novak, Murray vs Wawrinka will probably go to the latter, but it’s hard to say. I think Gasquet & Nadal should get through their matches. Simon? That win could either overwhelm him or give him more momentum. Cilic and Roddick will be interesting – two big servers – but I think Roddick will win. Blake vs Tursunov could go the latter’s way unless Blake wants revenge from last week. Davy should beat Kiefer. So for the most part, with two to or three upsets, I think the higher seeds are through today – if it doesn’t rain again.


I like tennis bullies not tennis sissies Says:

federer is never a class act when he loses, we are seeing his true colors come out and it isnt pretty!

to those who have tennis channel is justin gimelstob still commentating?


Jon Says:

I’ve watched nearly every televised Federer match this year. He’s not the same player that was ranked number one for the past several years. I don’t know why. Tennis is a delicate mix of physical and mental skills and Roger is shy an important ingredient – confidence. Don’t take anything away from Simon who has been “on” these past few weeks. He played an intelligent match. But don’t be too quick to write off the Fed. A return to form in the coming year will have a lot of experts back-pedaling.


Shital Green Says:

Jane,
Nole just cruised past Soderling in straight sets. Another stinking, egg-laying play for Sean?
I’m looking forward to Nole-Rafa semi. I am already getting restless.


jane Says:

Shital Green,

Yeah – watched that. Good for Nole. He’s got that instinctual sense of when to attack for the break (Fed’s always been good at that).

I won’t count my eggs before they’re hatched, but a Rafa-Novak semi would be sweet. I’d be happy if either won.

It’ll be interesting to see who comes through on the other side now too.


SG Says:

I’m going to err on the side of caution with all this “The King is Dead” stuff. Roger lost to Canas twice last year. One of those losses was a real debacle. But, he bounced back and had a great year. Just about every time I hear a great champion being written off, they come back and surprise you. Pete Sampras’ ’02 US Open Win, John Elway’s 2 Superbowls, Brett Favre being done 2 years ago, Tiger’s big major slump when he was changing his swing, Nicklaus at 46 winning the Masters, Andre Agassi resurrecting his career on several occasions, Becker in 1996, Connors in 1991. The list can go on indefinitely. I’m not a big Fed fan and I never will be. It seems to me though, that he’s just lost his way a bit mentally. I think he’s become caught up in the whole ranking & points chase and he’s forgotten why he plays tennis. He just needs to rediscover the joy of playing again. Brett Favre looked like he was just having a hoot last season. And the results followed. I kow that some will say that winning makes you feel good and when you feel good, you play well. But, tennis is still a game. It’s about matching your skills against the guy (…or gal) across the net from you. I still think that Federer possesses the best skill set out there. Can he pull himself together? Of course he can. Will he? Well, that up to Roger.


Daniel Says:

It’s amazing how Djoko is returning better and better, his balls always lay a feet from the baseline or at the baseline. With Fed out this one seems to be his again, unless a certain spaniard continous his winning straight.


andrea Says:

Sorry Von,

you addressed the wrong andrea. i do like fed but i do not write sentimental stuff (as you deftly noted) like the first poster did. we can all post what we like here. if you don’t like what i have to say, that’s your prerogative.

there is no comeuppance for me. roger lost in the first round on a match he could have won, but he didn’t. maybe once he loses his #1 ranking he’ll start realizing things have to change.

maybe this will make you feel better; bye bye federer!

bwah ha ha…..

(and speaking of catchy dumb phrases – where did huckleberry come from? gag…..)


Shital Green Says:

SG,
I agree with you: “I think he’s [Fed] caught up in the whole ranking & points chase and he’s forgotten why he plays tennis. He just needs to rediscover the joy of playing again.”


Kroll Says:

I am actually glad that Fed is in this position, and no I am not hitting him while he’s low or whatever. Thats because the one thing that Fed has not been tested on enough in his career is his character. And in all fairness he has been so damn good and dominant that prevented any such test. But great character has been a measure of champions in the past, like Sampras and Agassi for example, who’ve had it aplenty. If Fed fades away here, we must all affirm here that he is Not the GOAT and leave that title to Sampras and not just because he’s two short, though its unlikely. But its still surprising how crass and irritable he can be when he’s down.

But the reaction of the Fed fanboys is extremely entertaining to say the least. Surely, the days when everyone and their dog would wax eloquent ad nauseam about Fed were the aberration, not now with a few dissing him. Besides the world is not divided into people who hate Fed and love him, there are people who actually enjoy the tennis for its own sake.


Shital Green Says:

Roddick just got broken with double fault in the 3rd game, 1st set. If he does not start getting his serve in, he could be…


Shital Green Says:

Thank you, Roddick, for breaking back right away (2-2),


Shital Green Says:

Roddick just got broken 2nd time. He is in trouble again. He is serving not as well as Cilic.


Shital Green Says:

Gilles Simon is on the way to consolidate yesterday’s victory, serving for match.

Roddick will be self-defeating unless he improves on serve and reduces UEs (mostly long). Cilic is playing phenomenal. He just took the 1st set.


Shital Green Says:

Sorry, Von, looks like Fed’s exit is not going to be any help for A-Rod. He got broken in the opening game of the 2nd set. He just disfigured his racket in frustration. It is hard to watch him losing. Cilic is simply outplaying him, not just getting Roddick’s serve back. It is almost over.

Cilic is proving he’s ONE hell of a new star in the making.


jane Says:

Roddick broke back again I see; I also see Murray is proving me wrong against Wawrinka. Nice to see Andy Murray doing well; I think he wants another shot at Novak, even though they’re friends from the juniors.


Shital Green Says:

Yeah, it is not over until it is over. Roddick reduces his UEs, and Cilic double faults to hand the 2nd set to Roddick. He’s back in the game.

Jane,
Out of my hope, I was/am certain that Murray would beat Wawrinka because Murray should be easier for Djoko in the quarters.


Sardino Says:

I’m looking forward to Nole-Rafa semi. I am already getting restless.

Me too Shital. I cannot wait!!!!!!!!!!!!


Roddick is a donkey Says:

Karma, Von and other ASSinine roddick fans :

You guys have turned out to be bigger donkeys than the Donkey himself!

Karma indeed!

It is not like anyone other than jingoist americans or fed-haters expected roddick to be a factor here.


NachoF Says:

Does anyone have a link to a video of the post match interview??? I read it and it feels like the atmosphere was very heavy


Shital Green Says:

Hi Sardino !

I cannot believe Murray got bageled in the 2nd set.
His serve all of sudden collapsed after the 1st set.
I am not sure now despite he has 2-0 against Wawrinka on hard in 2008.
But Djoko should be fine with either of them. He has not lost to the Swiss for the last 2 years, and against the Scott, he’s the immaculate record (4-0).
So, for the Nole-Rafa semi, it all depends on Rafa how he fares with Andreev tonight and winner of Ferrer/Gasquet tomorrow. I hope he comes out of there.


Sean Randall Says:

Well Jane, from what I saw Andy stunk it up at Wimbledon. He played no where near the level he was at in Dubai and he played a game that fed right into Janko’s hand. Very passive. Why? I don’t think he even knows. And on break point chances, he was beyond stink…

As for Novak in Miami, he might have played well, but he’s got to win that match. No excuse. The other guy won Vegas? So what. You just won Indian Wells, you are the defending champion, go out there and take care of business. He didn’t. He laid a big fat egg against a guy he should never, ever lose to.

Again with Roger, to his credit last I thought he had the right strategy to win. Against Simon who is a far, far better player than Anderson, you can’t afford to sit back and get into long rallies, and knowing that Federer pulled and erred on a few too many forehands in going for winners. But at least he tried. What did Roddick do on those breakpoints against Janko’s 85mph serve? Dump many right into the net I recall.

My choice of words depends heavily on my expectations (I thought Novak and Andy would win those matches, while I did thought Roger would struggle), the flow of the match and obviously reflection of the match. In addition I also look take into account the match-up, the opponent and the situation.


zola Says:

Well, Roddick is out and Andy Murray is strugling against Wawrinka. Blake is also one break down in his match with Tursonov…So, it wasn’t just Roger and to his credit, he played till the last day of Wimbledon, while all these players did have time to rest.

Sorry Von, for Roddick’s los. I though with Roger out, it will be his quarter. But Cilic played very well. He is so charming too!

Roddick again was not shy to argue with the umpire. It just takes the taste out of watching tennis and wastes his energy, not to mention the mental distraction. I hope he realizes that.

what a start to the hard court seaon!

btw, Fed’s loss ruined all my ATP beacketology!


nadalian Says:

Wow!!Another Roger Federer defeat at the hands of an energetic tennis player and we are once again ready to dispose of the phenomenon that is Roger Federer..suddenly,many of the tennis “experts” writing on this blog feel he is not mentally strong while so many feel that he is a whiner and the list goes on…Most of you analysts who fall in these categories ought to really do an indepth research on the matches Roger’s been involved in and the sort of positions he’s put himself time and again to win 3 grand slams a year two years in a row,among many other achievements…If Roger didn’t have nerves of steel then the wimbledon final on display was a mass hallucination and we did not see federer take the match to an incredible 5th set while saving a number of championship points along the way…It’s true that such performances are really attention-grabbing and we might read into it as being the end of Federer as a champion tennis player,but strange things happen to every athlete every once in a while and that is quite usual..so he’s had a number of difficult losses this year but he too is ageing as a player and it’s impossible for anyone to maintain that same level of intensity over a whole career…I mean this is a player who had a 92-5 season a couple of seasons back and it’s ridiculuous to even try and compare such results to even a player of Pete Sampras’s career, who if I am not mistaken had a 85-15 season as his best ever…The real problem that critics need to address is which Roger Federer should we always be looking to compare the Roger Federer of today?? Should we be using his performances in his best couple of years or should we be constantly be judging him so critically if he fails to win match after match after match under any given circumstance and against any given player…Just to highlight Federer’s unique qualities even in defeat, the Wimbledon final helped him showcase his brand of tennis which in defeat was technically and strategically way more superior in comparison to the best victory at any Grand Slam Final even by a player of Pete Sampras’s player..just think on it for a few minutes with the minimal level of bias and it’ll make sense to you…


Mary Says:

This season Fed has no excuse for the matches he lost or was beaten soundly. Not trying to insult anyone’s fave player, but he lost them; and, while other players are catching up, it’s more like he is losing ground. Nadal owes him a thank you card.(I’m not discounting the hard work nadal puts into his game and his improvement, but a nice chunk of his points are due to Fed losing points.)I am looking forward to seeing how he handles being number one, going into his normally worst part of the season.

This is my issue with him: knowing this year’s schedule was going to be jammed up due to the Games and the extra pressure of closing in on Sampras–oh and the constant complaints about the long season– he scheduled an Asian cashgrab at the end of last season and during this season instead of resting.

It comes out this week that, during his season of suckitutde, he scheduled another Asian cashgrab. I’ve already mentioned during SW19 that he needs to quit the international man of tennis crap.
Where the hell are his priorities?
I’m not discounting his age and the pressures he is under, but I am questioning his priorities.

Finally, damn you Roddick!


Shital Green Says:

Sean,
It is perfectly ok for you to favor one player against another. I have no problem with that, even though demonizing my favorite player irks me a little bit. What you “call” (ref. is quoted below) in effect looks partial to me. When you see something, you see from a vantage point. One cannot see the place where one sees from. Be it yours or mine, seeing happens because of this blind spot. Even my second order observation of you and your seeing has this blind spot, so I am not saying I am immune to it. I admit it I am partial.

We just wanted to hear you say “I admit” because that is what you/we “do,” though you like to describe it as “I like to think I call it as I see it.”


Mary Says:

Just for the record, I am a fan of Fed, Roddick, Nadal, etc. I’m not bashing any other player in my above message. I’m irritated that I missed the rist run of last night’s Project Runway in order to watch a pathetic match.


Von Says:

Sean Randall:

Your comments are well noted. Actually, I didn’t expect a response from you at all — past experience, and, I also did not expect a change of heart or an admission of wrong-doing. I actually don’t have a problem with your calling the match as you see it, but my problem lies with the choice of words and subtleties that emanate from you. For example, the terminology used to describe Federer is a whole lot different from that used in your description of Roddick, Djokovic, and a few other players.

In parallel situations, you will justify Federer’s crass behavior and ugly match play as if you have on blinders, or it’s not a big deal, while on the other hand, your eyes are wide open towards those players who are not your faves. You’re very lenient toward Federer, and this has always been the norm. Nearly all of his inadequacies are overlooked, swept under a rug, or if in the event, you do mention those distasteful aberrations, you do it rather delicately. e.g., the vehemence is missing.

It is obvious to me that in your book, Federer is a persona grata, and the other players, who you habitually pulled out on the carpet, are persona non grata. It’s as simple as that.

I’ve mentioned before when defending you, that you write it as you see it, and if in the case of Federer, Roddick and Djokovic, you feel the same analogy is applied without prejudice, then I rest my case. You know your own heart.

Be assured that there will not be any future grumblings/rumblings emanting from my end, on anything you write. I respect your freedom of speech prerogative, and will abide by that.

With regard to Robby Koenig, I don’t see anything hateful in my comments pertaining to his remarks re Federer. I actually like Robby’s commentary, except when he’s commentating on one of Federer’s matches — his rationality becomes jaded, and he oozes molasses – thick and sweet. However, you’ve mentioned that all of the commentators ‘fawn” over Federer, and this is where my confusion is highlighted; how can the commentator laud praises on one player, even going overboard, and become overly critical toward another? Sshouldn’t there be the application of a code of ethics; and isn’t there a bounden duty to report the situation truthfully?

Thanks for your time, Sean.


Mary Says:

If Sean Randall is the one that chooses the scary Fed pic that accompanies these articles, we cannot accuse him of favoring Federer.


Colin Says:

It’s probably not Mr Randall’s fault, but the heading to his article is actually wrong, isn’t it? Feds lost in the second round, not the first.


Von Says:

R/Donkey, (aka, joker, Fed-Rafa, Fedex,”buffoon”, et al.)

The only hater I see is you, and your other side-kick, Spin, Chris, and his many other aliases. Spin/Chris, FYI, the sarcasm in one-liners is gutless. You persist in using one-liners to express your disdain for anything written by shtal, jane and myself. This will be the last time I will respond to the drivel from you and R/Donkey, because to be truthful, it’s infra dig for me to dabble in the mud pit and/or compost. That’s for your sort — buffoon.

You’re angry Federer lost, why don’t you find a healthier way to channel your energy instead of lashing out at other people. Have fun writing your nonsense — the CD is now broken. Adios.


Bojan Says:

It’s not a tragedy. He lost, so what? The biggest champions had these kind of displays.
To be honest, how not to lose nerve when everyone is jumping on him saying that he’s not the real no.1 but Nadal etc..


Von Says:

Mary:

Yes, “damn you roddick” is correct. What is his problem? Is he still having problems with his back, or is he too wrapped up with the fiancee that his mind is somewhere else? Here he had a golden opportunity and just let it slip by. I’m not rooting for him anymore. By the end of the USO, he’ll be out of the top 10, maybe that’s what he needs to shake up his head.

Zola:

Those ump calls were wrong. Roddick was good enough to let an ace go, and played the point over, and the ump made another mistake right after. Roddick seems to have a magnet for drawing bad calls.


Sean Randall Says:

Shital, true. As I’ve said before I don’t like Novak (I assume that’s your guy). I admit, I’m not a fan. So I probably lay into him with a little more glee than perhaps someone who would be pro-Novak. No doubt. But I try to do it sensibly if you can believe it. And as I said earlier it really does depend a lot on the situation.

And true again, I will a watch a match differently than the next person, no question. And it’s not just me or you but many of us might view the same match yet see it from different vantage points. Through different lenses if you will. Who’s right or who’s wrong is blurry, and that’s why we have places like this blog to yap about it.

So yes, I call it as I see it. At least I try to. And if I’m pro-Roddick then maybe I will take it easy on him when he loses like today or with Federer yesterday. I admit, that likely happens. It has to. But again it’s also circumstantial not just bias affecting my views.

Von, if a question is asked directly to me, I always try to respond. If I don’t just re-ask it as sometimes in these longer threads I will miss them.

As for Roger, I’ve ripped his game, his style, his girlfriend, his hairdo, his friends, etc many times before. With Roger, though, he doesn’t have a lot of “scratch you head” type losses. Earlier this year he sure did but I am of the opinion that he was in mono mode through Miami. Other than that there really isn’t much in the way of bad losses for Fed unlike Novak and Andy who have both a few head-scratching results this season. Yes he’s lost badly to Nadal and even Nalbandian last year but he has trouble with those guys. It’s not like he’s losing to guys outside the Top 100 like Novak did at Miami, is he?

Good catch, Colin. Damn byes. Hate ‘em.


Von Says:

andrea:

“andrea Says:
Sorry Von, you addressed the wrong andrea. i do like fed but i do not write sentimental stuff (as you deftly noted) like the first poster did. we can all post what we like here. if you don’t like what i have to say, that’s your prerogative.”

Please accept my apology for addressing the wrong person, and you’re right,it’s your prerogative to wrie whatever you want. However, sometimes, it becomes a bit irritating especially when a fan’s player loses, and before the fan can digest the loss, they’re faced with a cruel comment from another poster. I hope you can understand what it is thAt I’m trying to say about one’s feelings in those tiMes of disappointment.

As for the use of THE huckleberry designation. A poster used it to describe Djokovic when he withfrew in his match v. Fed in MC, and jane has been using that word to describe Djoko in some of her posts. But, as you can see, it’s not used anymore — a thing of the past. Anyway, pax! :P


jane Says:

Sean,

No need to repeat your previous post – I said I didn’t take issue with your calls as much as your wording.

you say:

“Again with Roger, to his credit last I thought he had the right strategy to win. … Federer pulled and erred on a few too many forehands in going for winners. But at least he tried. What did Roddick do on those breakpoints against Janko’s 85mph serve? Dump many right into the net I recall.”

I already agreed Novak should’ve won; I don’t know if I agree Andy should’ve won given that he was out of play for a while with his shoulder and hardly played at Queens. Plus Tipsy’s a good player.

You’re apologizing for Roger here though; he dumped a lot into the net too. And as for “going for winners”, he was simply mis-hitting and mis-timing a lot; it wasn’t like he was just missing the lines. Some of those shots were out by a foot. All the players “try” but sometimes they miss.

you say:

“My choice of words depends heavily on my expectations (I thought Novak and Andy would win those matches, while I did thought Roger would struggle), the flow of the match and obviously reflection of the match. In addition I also look take into account the match-up, the opponent and the situation.”

Are you suggesting you did not expect Roger to win against Simon? He’s the number 1 player in the world. He was raving about being back on hardcourts. We all may’ve expected Simon to be a challenge, but to win the thing? I don’t think many people expected that.

Roger should’ve won; he levelled the second set but then lost it his serve at crunch time, he was up a break in the third set, at least once, but he blew every lead he had.

Your headline was correct; he was agitated and unraveled.

But I think if Roddick or Novak had lost that exact same match against Simon, in the same way, your headline wouldn’t have been so kind in its word choice. Maybe I am wrong. But that’s all I was really taking issue with. Overall the article was a good summation of the match.


jane Says:

Sean – are you a Fed fan? I always thought you were a Rafa fan. Anyhow, it’s true, as you admitted to Shital, these things obviously influence how we watch, and thus how we write about, tennis.
————————————–

RODDICK!! What were you thinking? He really should’ve won this one. What a missed chance there.

That said, I like Cilic and his game, so if Roddick had to be knocked out, I am not disappointed it was by him.

As for Murray, I can’t figure out those strange sets in which he just gets bageled like that. Happens all the time with him and reminds me very much of Nalbandian. Is Murray the same kind of “walk about” dude? He definitely has ups and downs in his matches.

I see the rain is back, sigh.


zola Says:

Von,
I agree the umpire had some mistakes. Still it is vey irritating to hear Roddick yell at him constantly. There is always the tournament manager that he can call.
If this was a one-off incident, I wouls have ignored it, but it seems to be getting a routine for him. I hope Andy figures out something about it.


jane Says:

Von,

Maybe it is Andy’s shift in focus coupled with the injury. A surprising loss today, and maybe you’re right that a drop in the rankings will fire him up. When Hewitt got married and had a child, he certainly shifted his focus for a while though he’s trying to come back now.


Von Says:

zola:

“Still it is vey irritating to hear Roddick yell at him constantly.”

I think you’re exaggerating here. Roddick did not yell at the ump constantly. You’ll probably be offended by what I’m about to say, but how is it that you didn’t say anything about Fed’s outburst yesterday. This umpire thing with Roddick seems to be an obsession with you. In the past, I’ve tried to be patient and overlook many of your comments concerning Roddick, but today is not the day. He just lost a match he shouldn’t have. And, while I’m on the subject of obsessing, you do the same with Djoko with reference to disrespect, etc., I’m not a Djoko but I’m ure his fans most probably find it upsetting also. I’m not a Nadal fan, but out of respect for you and some of his fans, I refrain from stating many of his obvious flaws, but I can list several of them if I want to, because no one is perfect. You’re very careful in your comments concerning Federer, because you’re cognizant that if you were to step out of line a fraction in the wrong direction nd comment unfavorably, his fans will come down on you like a ton of bricks. I see a lot more than I say and am aware of the politicking that goes on. Today, I feel that some things need to be said, and the record needs to be set straight.

If the foregoing will place us poles apart and be the cause of the camaraderie we once enjoyed to be hindered, then so be it, and I apologize for so doing, but sometimes it becomes a bit too much. Picture the reverse of my belaboring the issue of Nadal’s time violation each time he gets one, or obsess on some of his other irksome idiosyncracies, and then maybe, you’ll understand how I feel each time you get carried away concerning Roddick’s umpire tussles.


Dan_M Says:

I want to reiterate two points: Roger is struggling and there is no need to write eulogies. Federer is not where he’d like to be this year accomplishment wise or in terms of titles. No denying that. He can also get healthy in a hurry. Even if 2008 is a total wash he heads into 2009 as no worse than the 3rd most likely player to win any of the 4 2009 slams. Cincy, the Olympics, and the U.S. Open will be good diagnostic tools. I do think Roger may actually need to play more events as he gets older in order to stay sharper. Halle and Estoril seemed to help snap his funk. Maybe playing a few smaller events and aiming at peaking at the right time is the best path forward.


Dan_M Says:

I meant to say “in terms of accomplishments or form.”


jane Says:

Dan_M -

Plus playing the smaller events, especially if he wins them like the ones you point out from this year, will give him a confidence boost, an area in which he certainly seems to be shaky of late.

What surprises me is this – in his post match interview he said he had spent only 3 or maybe 4 days of practice since Wimbledon. If he wants to get back his pre-mono form, should he not be a little more diligent about preparing for the hardcourts? Both Novak and Rafa were in Toronto early, hitting the courts and practicing. Where was Roger?

The Wimbledon final was July 6th, so he takes a week off and hits the practice courts on the 12th – thus he has two full weeks to prepare, including a week of down time. Not just “three, four days of practice since Wimbledon.”

That just surprised me. Maybe he needs a win to feel more motivated, I don’t know.


jane Says:

Von, don’t give up on Andy. Who will you root for? Maybe he’ll this loss will haunt him, knowing it was a missed chance since Roger was already out. Maybe he’ll get a new coach! I agree that it would be a good plan. And get the wedding over with too perhaps? You better send him another message!


Roddick is a donkey Says:

Von -

Stop making your stupid comparisons between Nadal and the donkey.

If donkey had nadal’s composure on the court he wont be behaving like a dick on the court everytime he is getting beaten on the court by a more able player.

Donkey lost – Deal with it. Else find another player to root like the “Djoko fans” who understand your feelings.


matt Says:

Is it still raining?

Did they say when the play starts again?


Smith Says:

Well we’ll soon find out if this was just another bizarre random loss or if Fed gets it together for the rest of the summer hard-court swing. If he doesn’t win Cincy or the Olympics, he’s going to be going into the U.S. Open with little confidence.

Federer admits he likes going into tournaments as the favorite, the guy everyone is afraid of: if he goes in on a losing note…..how will he react. Maybe he should take the Nadal approach and keep saying that Rafa is the favorite lol.

As for Roddick, he actually had moments of life in that second set, but it seems he keeps losing to players he has no business losing to. These losses are getting more and more inexplicable. At the beginning of the year Roddick had wins over Nadal, Djokovic and Federer. Now he’s getting taken down by the Tipsy’s and Cilic’s of the world.

Maybe slipping further down in the ranks will wake him up, like a cold slap to the face. I was happy when I heard Roddick was skipping the Olympics to focus on the USO while everyone else was getting jet-lagged in Beijing. But if he continues to play like this it might not matter what Andy does.

I’m still laughing how it’s rained more in Toronto than it did in London during the entire Wimbledon fortnight.

Hopefully we will get a Rafa-Djoker semifinal in Toronto. If Nadal does end up being the #1 seed at the USO, this could be our final at the USO if Federer is still in la-la land and Rafa can finally make it past the QF’s.


jane Says:

matt – good question. The scoreboard shows Blake’s match back up so I was thinking they were about to start again, but nothing’s happening and it’s not on TV here yet.

Smith – yep TO is getting a bad rep for this rain. The should have court covers in place, tarps or whatever, so the courts wouldn’t take so long to dry afterwards.


LeBon Says:

I don’t think they can put covers over these kind of hardcourts can they? Something about the top layer getting bubbles due to how much heat they hold and condensation I think.

Anyway they are back playing now on Tennis Channel. Blake has the upper hand over Tursonov in the third set.


jane Says:

I didn’t know that LeBon – thanks for the information because I was wondering why they didn’t cover the courts to save time.

Blake just lost the upper hand – back on serve


Smith Says:

LeBon:

I never knew that about the courts – thanks for the information. I was wondering the same thing jane was.

Nice win for Blake – total reverse of the Indy match these two played last week.


Dan_M Says:

I too was more than surprised to hear Federer had only had 3-4 days of real practice since Wimbledon. I like his comment that he will play the doubles in Toronto. Doubles is a different animal, but he is not slinking off to the airport and then spending 3 days riding roller coasters at Kings Island. Getting Roger match tough and hardened by practice would be my first two goals if I was his coach.


Ryan Says:

Fed is the best out there technically…..but playing nadal is like playing someone from outer space.We gotta give a Men in black a call to see if nadal is human.Frankly I wouldnt blame fed for losing wimbledon or any other match to nadal this year.Because fed is getting older(26 to 27) and nadal is physically at his peak.But if fed plays like he did at 2008 wimbledon he still can beat anybody else out there……thats a guarantee…….


JCF Says:

Ouch… an entertaining article, but…

http://www.globesports.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080724.wspttebbutt24/GSStory/GlobeSportsOther/home

He appeared to be over the mono by April, but by then he had lost to Andy Murray (Dubai), Mardy Fish (Indian Wells, Calif.) and Andy Roddick (Miami). He was badgered with subtle and not-so-subtle variations of “What’s wrong?” at news media conferences week in and week out.

His honeymoon years of success had made repetitive questions bearable, but losing precipitated a noticeable weariness in his relations with the media.

Tiger Woods once told Federer that he never did more than 30 minutes of media conferences at a tournament. The affable Federer, after one Australian Open triumph, could be seen answering questions — in English, French or Swiss German — more than three hours after his win.

Wednesday, he was red-eyed and distraught after losing, when questioning reached a nadir.

Reporter: “To some extent, do you agree with Justine Henin’s decision to retire at the peak of her career?”

Federer: “Do I agree with that? Not today. Ask me another day. Please don’t kill me with questions like this.”


Debra Gardner Says:

No matter how disapointing it is for Fed fans, or any other fans of players who lose, the bottom line as Rafa says is: “you lose? You lose.” It’s something his Uncle Tony drummed into him for years and I think it helped him to survive the down times. I care about Roger a lot and feel sad when he loses, but everyone loses sometime, even number ones. It’s how he picks himself up off the mat that will count in the long-run. I think he should go have a talk with Andre Agassi, who knows all about that! (smile). We feel so sorry and make excuses for our favorites when they are dealt losses, but we don’t feel at all sympathetic when our guy is dishing it out to other players on a regular basis. I remember crying my eyes out when Roger beat Andy Roddick at the 2007 Australian open and I wasn’t a fan of either of them at the time. Losing is no fun! I cheered for Rafa at Wimbledon and then felt like crying for Roger. Same thing last year in the other direction. But it’s only a game. It’s not a terminal disease, a lost loved-one, a career-ending injury. Roger can get up off the mat without moaning over his aching back or wincing over his bad knees. If he has things to work out inside his head and heart and he does that, the outside will take care of itself.


Friend Says:

Nadal seems to have turned his service on, again! He has lost 4 points in 4 serve games in the 1st set and 5 points in the 5 serve games so far in the 2nd set. He will be winning the USopen in a hurry if he keeps up with numbers like that.

Next 2 matches will show us if Nadal can translate the grass court and clay court dominance this year to hardcourts.


JCF Says:

I tried to post this earlier but it wasn’t coming through. It’s an article from The Guardian, just before Fed’s match with Simon. The Tennis Gods have the cruelest sense of humor…

I’m still world No.1, not Nadal, says Federer
By Richard Jago

TORONTO (The Guardian) — Roger Federer has denied that Rafael Nadal is the unofficial world No1 after becoming the first man in 28 years to win the French Open and Wimbledon back-to-back, contradicting the view of two former greats.

Still battling to adapt to the loss of his Wimbledon title after five years, Federer is now trying to deal with further fallout from the final 17 days ago. Boris Becker and John McEnroe have suggested that Nadal is now top man — as he is by a hefty margin in the 2008 ATP Race.

But Federer will not hear of that: the world rankings are a moving 12-month window that includes his 2007 U.S. Open triumph. “There is never an unofficial world No1,” Federer said. “Of course he has still won two unbelievably difficult tournaments and whoever wins those is supposed to be No1. But I have had a very good end to the past two years. It’s hard to snatch the No1 position, he knows that.”

Coming into this Masters Series event here, though, Federer conceded an emotional shift in the wake of his heroic failure at Wimbledon. “It changes (things) a little bit,” he said, adding: “It’s important to win a couple of tournaments, so I can say my last tournament is not Wimbledon. That will help me get over the loss.”

Nadal was playing a psychological game too, disclaiming the accolade. “Right now I don’t want to be No1,” he insisted. “I only want to play a good tournament here.”

Federer, who will play Gilles Simon in the second round, even suggested Nadal might be third best on hardcourts as Novak Djokovic beat them both to win last year’s Masters event in Canada


Shital Green Says:

I have to say Rafa played against Andreev like he is ready for the hard court season. The 2nd set was particularly thrilling: Both were at the top of their game. Andreev showed some skill and got really close to push the match into a third set. His serve failed him in the tie break. As usual, Rafa was too good in the critical moments.
Looks like we will be blessed with Rafa-Djoko semi. One more match to go, and we are there.


blah Says:

I love watching Gasquet when he’s on.


Fedex Says:

One can only hope Djokovic will atleast win a set this time. He is on a 6set losing streak against nadal.

Looks like some “fair and balanced” posters are trying to kindle the “Federer” wars.

Here’s an article to hopefully extinguish any such fires.

http://tennisworld.typepad.com/thewrap/2008/07/herr-forehand.html

Herr- Forehand : Cannot put it any better.


Sardino Says:

Federer even suggested Nadal might be third best on hardcourts as Novak Djokovic beat them both to win last year’s Masters event in Canada
——————————–

LOL love all the intrigue and shifting alliances.


Sardino Says:

What is the order of play for Friday?


Shital Green Says:

Sardino,

11:00 am (ET)—Simon vs. Cilic
After 1:00 pm—Kiefer vs. Blake

Not before 7:00 pm—-Murray vs. Djoko
followed by—-Nadal vs. Gasquet


Smith Says:

sardino:

According to the Rogers cup website:

Day matches:
-Simon-Cilic
-Kiefer-Blake

Night matches:
-Murray-Djokovic
-Nadal-Gasquet


Daniel Says:

To be honest I am more interest in watching a Murray x Gasquet semi. Gasquet will be drilling for revange! And will be nice to see one of them finally win a Master Series.

If it is another Djoko x Nadal match, it will be great too, but I still give Djoko the upper hand, 70-30.


Smith Says:

Ooh, Shital Green beat me to it lol.

Great match-ups for tomorrow. Obviously the night matches seem more dramatic, but i will be interested to see if Simon can continue his run.

And I can’t wait to see the night matches.


JCF Says:

“I do think Roger may actually need to play more events as he gets older in order to stay sharper. Halle and Estoril seemed to help snap his funk. Maybe playing a few smaller events and aiming at peaking at the right time is the best path forward.”

I can’t imagine what would happen if Rafa and Nole decided to play those tournaments this year… or if he skipped them. He might be at 0 titles, which is unprecedented since 2002.

Still, I echo your sentiment. He is not done yet. The Henin retirement question from the press was in bad taste. That’s just kicking a guy when he’s down. Tactless.


Fedex Says:

Gentleman Forehand is out of the tournament, but Gentleman Backhand is up against the Mallorcan Bull! I hope the real gasquet turns up! It could be a real classic if he does, because you can bet your last dollar that Nadal will be.

Murray-Djokovic maybe a rout, seeing that the brit has been routed the last 3 matches. Andy needs to use all his tricks if he is to have any chances. It wont really matter who wins in this match, if nadal continues to play the way he did today!

Is anyone even going to bother to go for those day matches tomorrow? It seems like the top-half is like a juniors tournament – absolutely no stars at all and a bunch of underachievers – blake and keifer. (cilic has good game but cant see him as a multiple GS winner). Gilles should make it to the final if he keeps continuing his great form. He has got the typical French flair with a capital F.


zola Says:

Von,
I did not see Fed’s argument with the umpire. Which game was that? I saw the last set and he was pretty upset, but no yelling at umpire as Roddick does.

It is not an obsession and it is not politics.

Why shouldn’t Roddick have lost? Cilic played better than him. Similarly Simon played better than Fed and won the match deservedly.

Anyway, it is a futile discussion.


zola Says:

I am interested to see how Cilic and Simon will do after two great wins.

GAsquet is always a tough opponent, if his game is on, but I hope RAfa can win and get to semis , so that he doesn’t lose any points here.

As far as Fed is concerned, it is a rough time for him.no doubt. and some of the questions asked in the press conferences seem very insensitive.


zola Says:

Fedex
***Is anyone even going to bother to go for those day matches tomorrow?***

you think so? If I was in Toronto , I would be there all day. I could skip Blake-Kiefer. But Simon-Cilic should be interesting. Why not?


andrea Says:

one thing i have noticed with federer in the last little while is that shots that he used to hit as winners against virtually anyone a couple of years ago, are not winners anymore and he isn’t prepared for the ball to come back – most notably with nadal in wimby. lots of back hand screamers that he didn’t even try to volley back.

against simon he had lots of half assed net approaches where simon blew past him. not to mention the UE’s – his game has lots of UE’s lately so when his serve starts to go (like last night), it’s a weak scenario. he’s got to improve those if he wants to do well this fall.

i like cilic – he’s got a good game and he moves well for a tall guy. and even though i like roddick off court, he kind of bothers me on court – i don’t know why – but i think he’s feeling the crunch of being close to his tennis twilight years and not having much time left to win a slam.

Von – no worries. i don’t take things on this site that seriously. like i said before, we’re all a bunch of tennis nerds with lots of opinions and predictions.


They should change the tournament name to Novaks Cup or something like that Says:

He is already been beaten twice since the tournament changed its name to Rogers Cup! LOL Forget about the grand slams. He still hasn’t got a Tennis Masters Series title this year. And he is now been beaten ten times this year. Really his humilation at the Aussie Open by Novak. And his defeats by Nadal have really did him some serious damaged. Or maybe it is Sampras who put so much pressures on him for the stuffs he said about him.


Federer needs a Tennis Masters Series Title Says:

With him being number 1, it shows how rubbish the ATP Ranking is.


Daniel Says:

He is n. 1 because he had the best first half of the year after Nadal (points) and the best second half of last year. The rankings consider 52 weeks, not just 3 months where Nadal was great.

Even a 60% Fed will propably be enough for him to at least finishes n. 2. The point is that Fed increase the leval so much that Nadal had to cross the 6000 pts for the first time and him to decrease from the usual 7500 for a possibility in Rankings to change.

This things happens. Both Nadal and Djoko lost matches they shouldn’t this year too, and normal n. 1 in the past eventually lose second and first round matches. We will just need to adjust to the new Fed. Btw, Grand Slam is an entire different scenarium, Fed is still the one to beat in every major he enters, second only in RG to Nadal.


Ryan Says:

To Fedex

Thats a great article that you posted.They really highlights the age issue.Everybody forgets that federer is not the same age as nadal or djokovic.He is 5 years older and if he was their age he woulda destroyed them.If we see how he used to play back in those days and the way he plays now we’ll know the difference.Age robs players off their explosiveness,quickness and consistency of their groundstrokes.We’ll see how nadal and djokovic does when they becomes 27.


ferix Says:

what a great line-up of matches tonight. i’m tipping djokovic and gasquet tonight. i think gasquet has been on a crescendo the last few months and he will put it all together tonight. if he does, i don’t think nadal’s best is good enough to beat him on a hard court.


Mary E Says:

Years ago there was a term in use that might well describe what seems to be ailing RF — it was “over-tennised.” An honorable condition, but debilitating. Roger has played more matches than most other players, because of showing up for so many tournaments and reaching so many finals; especially the latter. I don’t know how much R&R it might take him to recover himself and his game, but I am sure he can do it and that all the hints about reaching his “twilight” years and retiring are ridiculous. Mary L


matt Says:

This year the Canadian Open and Cincinatti are played two weeks earlier than last year.

Do Toronto’07 points still count next week?.

If that’s correct, next week they will be counting 10 MS ( Canadian Open twice, 07 and 08 ).

And the following week they will be counting 11 MS (Canadian Open and Cincinatti twice, 07 and 08).

That is absurd.

But, is this correct?


Shital Green Says:

Daniel,

“Even a 60% Fed will probably be enough for him to at least finish no. 2.”

There are a couple of ways to test whether this is true.

One (most lenient): If we should understand 60% of the Ranking points (say 7500 points) he earned in 2006, then he would have 4500 points at the end of 2008. Would 4500 points be enough to finish as No. 2? Probably not.

Two: this 60% could be mathematically calculated by an equation of 60% of the points he has to defend (2825) in the rest of the year 2008 to yield No. 2. He has 6250 points after Toronto loss. In your math, if it is a math, he will only have to win 60% of 2825 points after Toronto. If he were to defend only 60%, then he would be defending only 1695 points. As a result, his year end points would be 5120. Would this be enough to finish as No. 2? It might be if Djoko were to fail to add less than 175 points in the rest of the year.

Third: At the micro scale, Fed would be performing 60% of every shot, serve, return, and court movement. For instance, his serve speed and angle would reduce from 100 mph to 60 mph and 90 degree to 54 degree. His unforced errors would increase accordingly by the same ratio. He would be missing every ball that he hits on the line, baseline T-line, or sidelines. Every one of his returns would be shorter and centered. In such scenario, he would be losing every match and defending 0 points, thus resulting in 3425 year end points. He could be dropping to 3rd, 4 or 5th position depending on how Davy and Ferrer perform.

If there are other ways to do the math, feel free to add.


Federer Gets Decker From Roddick in Exchange for Mirka, Higueras Says:

[...] Agitated Federer Unravels in Toronto First Round Loss to Simon July 25th, 2008 Federer Gets Decker From Roddick in Exchange for Mirka, Higueras by Sean [...]


Noel Says:

Matt,
That is indeed very absurd but is probably not correct if I were to go by what happened earlier this year after the lesser events i.e. the international series events at estoril,stuttgart etc.The atp adheres to a strict 52 week rolling system and therefore the points for the 2007 events that you have mentioned will drop from the system only when the 52 weeks have passed.The 2008 events’ points will probably enter the system only then.It really hasn’t been a talking point so far because the big players like Djokovic and Nadal didn’t play at estoril and stuttgart respectively where they were defending champs.I am sure we’d have talked about it if Nadal had played and won stuttgart and his ranking points breakdown after 14th july would have shown two stuttgart(2007 and 2008)events as part of his best of five other events.The stuttgart 2007 points dropped off only on 21st july.I can’t confirm if stuttgart 2008 ponts entered the system on 14th july or on 21st july because the atp rankings database is in a mess as always.I get the feeling-I am almost certain- that all performances and the points of the current year events will enter the system only when 52 weeks have passed from last year’s events and we won’t have double-counting in that case.I hope some forum member can verify this.
The atp also says that the rankings constitue the 4 slams plus the 9 ams events plus 5 other events besides the tmc.It really will be interesting to see if the atp handles this any differently than what it has done so far if we consider the double-counting scenario.Will it allow only the best nine of the ten or eleven ams performances or allow the additonal 2007 events as part of the best of five other countable events as also the tmc.Obviously,this second scenario is a bit complicated and I think we are not going to see this.Another option,equally unlikely,is to stop releasing the official rankings or freeze/suspend it for a while before we get back on track on the monday after the olympics i.e.18th august.
How I wish the atp’s past rankings data on its website were not in a mess!


I like tennis bullies not tennis sissies Says:

put a fork in A-rod he’s done. The shoulder injury is the beginning of the end for him. too bad because now that federer is on the decline roddick could have finally made his mark, but thems the breaks.

Reporter: “To some extent, do you agree with Justine Henin’s decision to retire at the peak of her career?”

Federer: “Do I agree with that? Not today. Ask me another day. Please don’t kill me with questions like this.”
——-

roger needs to stop crying and take it like a man. he’s had the media fully on his side for five years and only now they ask him tough questions. boohoo!


Daniel Says:

Shital

Assuming the way his being playing this year I will put him into a 60-70% of the 2006 Fed. Last year he was something like 80-90% and managed to win 3 GS and one RG final.

What I am saying is that everybody knows he is not playing his best, he is not near 80 % of his best and is still above 6000 points. A mark that Nadal only achieved for 2 weeks after a remarkable season, and Djoko wasn’t capable of doing that yet (I think soon he will be the one after Fed is gone, Nadal knows that too and made his move now while he still can be n. 1)

We can’t use math proportions to comapare results with other players, it will be like sayong that Davy, Ferrer and Roddick are 50-60% the players in top 3. We can compare a player with his own standards.

And we can’t aplay that to results in tournaments because is not a math proportion, the difference between semi-final points and winner is gigantic, more than twice. How can we quantify if a player go deep 60 % in a tournamnet: 60% of 500 in a MS will be 300 points, the closest that we have would be a final (350 points). Making a final in a MS is not playing 60 % in that particular event, that would make all the other players look like crap.

I know you are a Djoko fan and so am I, and the way I put it, looking now made all Djoko efforts look small. But I intend to compare Fed to Fed, and even with the season he is having he is still above the rest. The Nadal case is different because the US Open will be his biggest chance tom be n. 1.

Looking now the Canadian last year was the turning point to Fed, where he for the first time, lost in a hard court Masters Series final to Djoko, a match that the old Fed wouldn’t lose. The same in Madrid with Nalbandian.


Daniel Says:

Oh, and if we look close to Fed’s game stroke by stroke: his serve is 70 % of his best, his forehand is sometimes perfect sometimes crap, his backhand is 70 %, his moving is 60 %, his aproaches are terrible 40 % (always choosing the wrong side), his volley are 60 % (specially the forehand). To me he is now 60 % of the olf Fed, which beat everyone except Nadal on clay. If he can get back to 80% he and Nadal would figth for n. 1, at least to the end of this season.


I love the Game Says:

I dont honestly think is fair to say Feds poor peformance is due to him playing 60% or whatever ratio u call.This is clearly belittling the efforts of Nadal and Djoko.All this talk of of 60%, Mono etc is crap as far as I am concerned Fed is loosing bcos he has pressure coming on him on 2 guys Nadal and Djoko.
I tell u even with all these so called 60% and mono crisis he will still beat the likes of Davydenko robredo,blake,roddick(irrespective of roddicks win) etc.
Fed had a sweet 3-4 year reign bcos he didnt have enough competition.If nadal had not burst into the scene Fed would have 3 true Grand Slams by now and he would have “looked” divine.The advent of Djoko now even reduced his GS per year from 3 to 2.Now with an improved nadal on grass he is looking at 1 GS per year.
All this mono,60% Fed,slow grass,slow Hardcourt,aging Fed is all denial from Fed fans and they should stop whining and accept that the win of NADAL and DJOKO are because they can play better than 100%,mono free Fed and on the respective surfaces they are good on they can play better than Fed.


Daniel Says:

I love the game

Yes, Nadal and Djoko are big influences in Fed’s “decline”, but they both are peaking when Fed is moving to the third part of his career, where he can’t sustain the level of play like 2004-07. Strangelly nobody could have peaked in those 3-4 years of Fed dominance, with the esception Nadal on clay (if this is not his best year in terms of how he won it, I am getting scared just to think that he could be even better on clay next season)!

This is not an excuse, is reality and Fed will no longer be as dominant as he was, but even so he will be a force and a contender to GS. In last 4 years only the eventual champion beat him, in semis or finals, he is extremelly hard to beat in Slams, that Wimby final shows it!


I love the Game Says:

Daniel

There was nobody to peak during those 2004 -2007.There are lots of matches Fed had no business of winning during those peroids. Wimbledon final when roddick was up in sets but because of his one dimension game could never seal it.Nalbadian flip flopping like logic gate circuit out of control and so many other players.
Even take 2007 Fed had no business winning AO against gonzo or getting to RG 2007 final against Davydenko.
I am not saying Fed is not a great player, but clearly the players durin this 2004-2007 who were his peers were definitely not mental tough enough.Why do I say that anytime a new comer comes he beats fed b4 catching the phobia and even some maintain the ability of not been scared of fed,take Murray .
I will clearly maintain it if Djoko had gotten to his peak quickly like nadal then from 2005-2007 then fed in those peak peroid you say will struggle.

And by the way why should people keep manufacturing excuses 12 GS slam is something to be proud of.Record consecutive No 1 unheard of is unbelieveable ,not to mention all other records he holds and Fed and his fan keep crying.His loosing means he is human and some guys are cathcing up with him.He is not declining.Praise should be given to whom its is due.


Ryan Says:

We are not saying that nadal and djok do not deserve their wins.We’re saying that fed is not the same player that he once was and that is true.Fed has defeated sampras, agassi,safin etc.Are they players with 1 dimensional games? As long as fed haters do come up with the logic that fed’s dominance was because of no competition then fed fans do not have to give too much credit to nadal and djok because fed has been declining anyway.


JCF Says:

ferix Says:

“what a great line-up of matches tonight. i’m tipping djokovic and gasquet tonight. i think gasquet has been on a crescendo the last few months and he will put it all together tonight. if he does, i don’t think nadal’s best is good enough to beat him on a hard court.”

You’re 0 for 2. Hindsight’s always 20/20 isn’t it?

With Gasquet, it’s always a mental thing. He starts off great then goes away. This can’t help his psyche.


Roddick, Federer, Djokovic Out to Find Form in Cincy; Nadal Out for No. 1 Says:

[...] Novak Djokovic floundering. Federer of course suffered one of his worst hard court losses when he mentally unraveled at the end of his opening round match with Gilles Simon in [...]


Mehol Says:

hey, toy poor federer fans why don’t you accept that federer lost fair and square and he is an will be descending even more. you guys always hate RAFA but i don’t know why. You guys have to accept that he is the tpo man right now. you guys are kind of jealous of RAFA.


Rob Says:

VON and SEAN RANDALL : Sean, enjoy reading your stuff!
Von, i enjoy your passionate comments, i will continue to improve my commentating, to make it the best i possibly can. Thanks for your feedback, its the only way i’ll get better

Von, its been a while since Roddick did anything meaningful, and with all due respect he doesn’t deserve as much mentioning as some of the other players out there. He gets a lot of points playing smaller events (San Jose, Memphis etc..)in the States. I’m a big fan of all these guys ( Fed, Rodd, Murray, Djok, Nadal etc…) despite what you may think. I saw in your reply to one girl you said somethig like…Nadal’s got plenty wrong with him…no one’s perfect. I can tell, i know all the guys( pretty well) well enough to give accurate comments about them and Rafa oozes class from every pore. He has respect for all his fellow player, his elders, linesman, ballkids etc…NO MATTER how bad things are going on the court. I thought your comment was grossly unfair and unsubstantiated. The kid NEVER steps outta line, its his upbringing. Great humility to!. That evening with Roger getting “shitty” with Norm Cryst was a rare occassion… Here it from me, Norm is one of the most disliked Umps in the locker room, cos he’s so arrogant and he thinks he’s the Show!
Roddick has character and Is a great guy, but you can’t treat Umps like that…especially when the Ump agreed he made a mistake. Jeez let it go..instead he just carried on and tried as best he could to belittle Mohommad Lyani( the ump). Thats not right?
If i do heap too much praise on Fed, i hold my hands up….But i’ve never seen anyone do what he does with a ball and make it look so easy… for 4 YEARS! 258 consecutive weeks at #1. Thats unbelievable, whether you like him or not. 2008 has not been a good year for him, and you are quite right….but for a guy whose taken the sport to vertigo inducing heights, won like 90% of his matches from 2004 and set another 10 ridiculous records,i think he deserves( and has earned) respect from me and every other commentator out there. Thats why i am slow to criticise. ( perhaps i heap to much praise according to you, but i’m not convinced its that over-the-top)
Take care , i enjoy your enthusiasm! Rob Koenig


Von Says:

Rob:

Thanks for your post, but I hate to say this, i don’t believe you ARE Robbie Koenig, in reality. You’re a Nadal fan who is taking umbrage to my remarks. The situations in question concerned Nadal’s many time violations, and I stated he’s not perfect due to other posters’ bashing of Roddick. I was speaking the TRUTH and not being unfair at all. I wanted to point out that they all have flaws, from Federer down to 1000. Anyway, if you are indeed Robbie Koenig, I also stated I liked your commentaries, except when you talk about Federer– you gush too much, and I believe I’m being truthful again. Anyway, cheers and thanks. :)


Sean Randall Says:

Robbie, thanks for dropping by. I’ve enjoyed your commentary. You guys on the Masters TV feed really do a great job considering all the hours and courts. It’s “Spot on” as you say.

Von, be nice.


Von Says:

Sean:

I would be nicer if I knew that it was really Robbie. I just felt it was an impostor — they’re so many on this site. I like Robbies commentaries a lot and would have been honored if I knew he had posted to me. Maybe I goofed up on a genuine opportunity to let him know how much I loved his commentaries and to add a few useful tips.

Robbie, if you are indeed Robbie, answer and I’ll be nicer, and I’m sorry. Thenks. :)


Sean Randall Says:

Von, I’m of the firm belief that that was indeed Robbie. I have no proof of course but I’ll take his word and he clearly knew his stuff (like the Robbie we listen to). So I’m not going to doubt it, and neither should you.


Von Says:

Sean Randall:

You enjoy chiding me don’t you? There are times when I read your posts to me I feel as though I’ve just left the Mother Superior’s office. I believe I’m a lot more polite and civil then many, but I always seem to end up on the wrong side with you. I don’t get it!!


Sean Randall Says:

Von, something like that.


Von Says:

Sean Randall:

Elaborate. I don’t understand “something like that”.


Rob Says:

VON: Its me (Rob Koenig), remember i am South African, you not got gonna get to much ‘ego’ from us, we are pretty well grounded guys.If i cannot chat with genuine tennis fans, then who can you talk with??? Remember i’m a fan too, and have been since i was 5…i was just lucky enough to have it as my career as well and obviously the commentating is an extension of that. I love talking/discussing/debating tennis with everyone!
You’re killing with me your Fed comment, though….do you not think he’s been that good? Have you seen either him or Nadal play live? And as i said before, even if he’s been below par this season(he’s still 2nd on the race…not bad) surely you have to show a bit of respect for his past performance and give him a bit of “critical breathing room”??? Thats how i see it …
Getting back to Nadal…when he gets a time violation, do you see him go nuts at the Umpire, or does he take his medicine and get on with it? Think Wimbledon final, 2nd set 5-4 30-30, and he gets a time violation, most players would have assasinated the Ump, he just bounced the ball and played on. The kid has got class in abundance. Not sure if you got kids, but i got 3, and i always ask myself if i would approve of my kid watching X,Y,Z play/behave. I think all the top 10 guys are great players, but there are definately some who have more class on and off the court than others.
SEAN: Thanks for appreciation on the commentating and your feedback, will continue to work on it! Regards. Rob Koenig


jane Says:

Actually, Rob, just to correct you – Djokovic is second in the race, not Federer.


Spin Says:

Robbie, well done with the commentating, you are supreme. Don’t worry about being criticized by one of the posters here. Most of them are Djokovic-stalking crazies.


Von Says:

Rob:

I’m happy you replied and glad you’re one who likes to interact with the regular folk. As I stated in my previous post, I love to hear you commentate. You are always ‘spot on”. I know you’re South African, my neighbor is also, and he adores you as well as I. I’m British born and came to the US at 19, so I’m somewhat partial to hearing the British/South African accent on a broadcast. How’s that for kudos for you and Jason Goodall? Tell Jason I said his name, “Goodall”, is indicative of him being good at all things. That’s a joke. :) I like Doug too, he’s soft spoken and pleasant to the ear. My south African neighbor likes to hear you. He thinks you’re super. As I stated before I love your commentating and I join Sean in stating that you guys do a phenomenal job on the Masters feed. Had it not been for you, well I hate to say it, we would be lost with some of the ESPN crew. I like that you show most of the featured matches in their entirety. Show some more of A-Rod, pretty please.

Truthfully, I don’t hate Federer at all, and I admire what he’s done, but Fed has a few quirks I dislike, but so does everyone, and when he displays them I point it out, just to let others know that no one is perfect, especially when they are throwing darts at A-Rod. I know Fed is great, but I’m one who likes to share the spoils, and I’d like to hear some praise about the other guys too. You do give praise also to the others, but more to Fed and I suppose he’s entitled for all that he’s achieved.

You asked if I’ve ever seen him and Nadal play live, unfortunately, no. I dislike crowds and dislike sitting in the sun.

Anyway, I have been thinking, and I say this even though I love A-Rod, (hey, I’m a Brit turned American and I support the Americans. I have two American born children, hence the patriotism.) I also don’t care for the Ump arguments, but sometimes, you have to agree, he gets some very bad calls. I know he absolutely dislikes Lars Graf, they’re like water and oil. I also find some of his comments to be hilarious– he’s so funny. He’s a real hot head alright, but that’s what i like about him — he’s got appeal. You stated you know him, how about giving him a bit of advice to tone it down with the umps and not get so carried away. Maybe you can tell him that I said so. Put the blame on me, not that he knows me, but I’m one of his all-weather fans — through thick and thin. I think he’ll listen to you because he’s open minded.

Rob, thanks for the discussion. By the way, I came across your blog a week ago, and you do interact a lot with the posters there. Somewhat like Sean does, but to a much more in-depth extent. Some of them are very outspoken and cruel, but you handle them very well. Thanks again and pop in to keep me in line, will ya. I look forward to hearing you commentate in the future. Thanks and Cheers. :)


Von Says:

Rob:

A footnote to my post above. I stated I came across your blog a week ago, quite by accident, when I was looking for some information pertaining to tennis. I liked what I saw — your great discussions and interaction with the other posters. How can I post on your site? Do I have to register? Usually, I post as forced down-time; lunch and dinner breaks. It’s a break from the research and documents I write on the computer — posting takes me into a different world. I like posting on Tennis.X due to my interaction with some of the posters, but I need a change. That said, could you give me your website address; if it’s not too much trouble, as I didn’t save it to my tennis links. Thanks again, and cheers. :)


Rob Says:

Only a pleasure,VON, enjoy your views. I post blogs during the Masters Series Events at: http://www.tennisgrandstand.com. I usually do 3 during the tourney, The Sunday before the event, one for Thur morning( like a preview of the week and something about the quarter’s line-up) and one after the finals.
Also if you got any points of contention with other bloggers, or anything you might be interested in discussing, post it and i’ll try to respond…..I don’t check it everyday though, so please be patient.
If i get more people(bloggers) interested in my writing, i’ll do something more regularly, say once a week. Right now its just during those MS events.

SPIN: Thanks for the vote of confidence!

JANE:Quite right,Cinci finals put him ahead of Fed, thanks.


Von Says:

Rob:

Thanks so much for the link and responding. I will add your website to my “faourites” on my computer. I’ll try to remember the times you write and look forward to reading your articles, and most importantly, your commentating on the next Masters tournament. With the addition of your site, I’ll have somewhere else to visit concerning tennis.

You stated: “Also if you got any points of contention with other bloggers, or anything you might be interested in discussing, post it and i’ll try to respond…..”

This caused me to smile. i suppose my reputation precedes me. I’m a controversia poster, but it’s that side of me which likes to see justice. Give me what I feel is an unjust case or cause to defend, an invisible picket goes up, and I’ll be fighting all the way.

BTW, my guy, Roddick, is doing pretty well in LA. He made it to the finals. I hope he wins and hopefully he’ll be able to end the season on an up note.

Rob, thanks again for the many discussions and I’m tickled pink that you posted to me. WOW, you really are a down to earth person!! I’ll make sure I tell my South African neighbor, who’s very biased toward his fellow South African commentator, (he’s crazy about your commentating style) that it was you, Rob Koenig, the genuine deal, who posted to me. Now I’ve got one over him. :) Cheers and continue to be “spot on”.


Murray My Pick to Beat Federer Today in US Open Final Says:

[...] Earlier this summer we saw Gilles Simon and Robby Ginepri get the better of Fed while trading groundstrokes. Murray, one could argue, is a better version of Simon, with even more variety and cunning plus a much bigger serve. [...]

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