Roddick, Federer, Djokovic Out to Find Form in Cincy; Nadal Out for No. 1
by Sean Randall | July 29th, 2008

Disbelievers, Rafael Nadal won Toronto, and he won it emphatically losing just one single set. The guy has now won 29 straight matches spanning three different surfaces. He’s won his last clay tournament, his last grass tournament and now his last hard court tournament. Not bad for a guy who’s supposed to be a defensive one-surface wonder. And if you still don’t believe, he’s out for No. 1 this week.

So if you are not buying what Rafa’s been selling, you can cling to the hope that his knees give out or that he’ll burn out, that “flat” hitters like James Blake, Tomas Berdych, etc., will get him, that Wimbledon was really a clay court, that he’s hardly beaten anyone during this run, that he’ll go away just like he always does in the second half of the year or that he’s never done squat and he’ll never do squat at the US Open, ignoring the fact the guy just turned 22!

Point is, Rafael Nadal has really stepped it up this year and he could very well ride this wave right through the end of 2008. As I mentioned earlier, he had his best Australian season, his best clay season, his best grass season and he’s well on his way to his best hard court season. Sure, he might get injured (he will), or get in a funk (everyone does) or simply get passed by some junior we know nothing about who’s sitting at home watching Cincinnati on TV this week (an almost certainty), but right now he’s the best and he’s likely to get even better.

And while Nadal ascends we find his chief rivals Roger Federer and 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 Toronto.

Djokovic at least won a few matches before Andy Murray finally got in the win column for the first time against the Serb. Are these losses in tune to Nadal’s rise? I think so.

But that all said, I don’t think Nadal walks away from Cincinnati this week with a title and with it the No. 1 ranking.

As I mentioned last week, because of the brutal scheduling this summer thanks to the Olympics, guys will have to take breathers at some point, and for Nadal I think this is that week. He might win a few rounds but I don’t think he’s playing come Sunday. Maybe golf, but not tennis.

And unlike Toronto, where I thought we’d likely get some strange results and we did with Nicolas Kiefer among many others, this week in Cincinnati I think we’ll briefly find form again giving us two seeded finalists, most likely both Top 10ers.

Onto the draw to figure out just who they might be.

Roger Federer has not reached a single hard court final this year. He’s at zero. Just a reminder. That said he’s really got a great draw this week. If Robby Ginepri can cut down on the errors he can give Roger trouble, but I don’t see it going that way. Roger simply cannot lose back-to-back hard court matches at this stage. Following Gimepri, the dangerous Ivo Karlovic and then probably Roddick, who I think we’ll rebound slightly this week from his disappointing play in Toronto. A faster court, warmer temperatures and being on American soil should help Roddick avenge his Australian loss to Phil Kolhscreiber tonight and I think he’ll bully Robredo or Soderling just enough to set up that Federer clash Friday, but the Swiss gets him there.

The second quarter I think I’ll go with Andy Murray. I’m not sure on this knee MRI situation, but assuming he’s fully healthy I think he gets through. Muray’s playing with some renewed confidence after that Wimbledon win over Richard Gasquet and then notching his first victory over Novak. And hard courts are his best surface. Gasquet, though, could definitely get him in the third round, but Frenchman will have to beat Michael Llodra and then Dmitry Tursunov in tough test that might leave the winner too drained for the Murray encounter. I also like Radek Stepanek to bring the worm back and emerge to face Murray in the quarterfinal.

The third quarter is clearly the toughest with Djokovic, James Blake, Kiefer, Simon, Ernests Gulbis and Berdych. It’s loaded, but Novak’s got to get his game on track and I think he does it here. Remember for most top guys Cincinnati is their last U.S. event before the US Open. So it’s critical to end on a high note. I also like a rested Simon to get revenge on Kiefer and maybe go out to play Novak in the quarterfinals.

And the last half, it’s hard to pick against Nadal right now but I think someone gets him here. But the guys to do it are slim and none. Tommy Haas? Florent Serra or Ben Becker? My man Gael Monfils? That would be a treat but… Monfils and Haas have the game to do it but mentally they are not there. I almost get the feeling that even if Rafa tried to give them the match they’d still manage to screw it up. So maybe Rafa does make it to the semifinals, but no further. Stopped by Novak the day after a grueling three setter with a David Ferrer.

That leaves my semifinals as Federer v. Murray, Novak v. Rafa. And I think Federer beats Novak for his first hard court title on the season and he gets to hold onto that No. 1 ranking a little longer. Or will it be his last week at No. 1?

Also Check Out:
Tennis-X Funk/Trunk: Murray, Rafa, Kim-tastic
Breaking Down the No. 1 Ranking Between Federer, Nadal
The Fed Ex-it
Federer King, Li Queen of Cincinnati
U.S. Out of Top 10; Roddick Rocks Cincy

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

zola Says:

again, right on time. I am amazed!
Great analysis. yes , Rafa is on a roll. Quite imopressive. It is interesting that his records on hard court are much better than Federer right now. He reached the semis in IW, the final in Miami and won Toronto. Fed reached semis in IW, exited early in Miami and Toronto. So even if Fed wins Cincy, he is still very much trying to catch up with Rafa even on his best surface.

Cincy is humid and I have read that the courts are faster. Usually Rafa doesn’t do well there. besides, as you said, Rafa has been playing for such a long time. So, I am not sure about a title either. But that said, Rafa had never won a title in Toronto either ( he won in Montreal).we never know.

Fed-Roddick will be interesting. Roddick was in great shape at the beginning of the year, being the only one defeating all top 3. Right now he seems to be a bit rusty, but he has won Cincy before and he is at home. Those might work out for him.

jane Says:

That knee issue for Murray, as you probably know, is an ongoing anomaly – he has a split patella which will flare up here and there. He actually travels with an ultra-sound machine for his knee which will help make the kneecap more stable.

I agree with you that Novak has a loaded quarter, that’s why I am not so sure he’ll get through to the final, much as I’d like to see him back on form and winning another title. I am also not sure that Fed gets through. Someone like Dr. Ivo could be dangerous now. Look how close he played Rafa on grass, and Cincy courts are fast. Maybe he’s no threat; Roger’s never been beaten by him, but in best of 3 that’s his best chance. Roddick is in a slump right now too – so confidence-wise he’ll be at a disadvantage. His best run was directly after he dumped Connors earlier in the year; maybe he needs to dump someone else?

I can’t imagine who doesn’t believe in Rafa right now; one doesn’t have to be a convert, but the wins speak for themselves.

zola Says:

*** His best run was directly after he dumped Connors earlier in the year; maybe he needs to dump someone else? ***

O…O…? who do you think he should dump?! lol!

Toronto was the first week after Wimbledon. So everyone was a bit rusty. Rafa had the momentum and used it. He still is on a roll, but physically it may not be possible. Besides, I bet you that both Fed and Novak have improved their game after their exit. They have a couple matches and this is a better surface for them. Still, I think the winner is among Fed/Djoko/Roddick ( long shot?) and a very remote chance for Rafa.

zola Says:

btw, I posted this in the other thread, might be interesting:
Federer, Borg to team up against McEnroe and – Nadal?

Wizard101 Says:

I agree with your semi-final prediction but I wouldn’t count Nadal out. Djokovic, hasn’t been playing really well recently and Nadal could surprise him.

I like tennis bullies not tennis sissies Says:

tennisx in the trunk-
2. Roger Federer
Get a coach and some confidence.

add roddick to that too.. am tired of him losing to goonies.

Shital Green Says:

Somebody said this before, and I agree to some degree that Nadal has the ability to do it and may sweep everything this year, including USO and TMC, marking a beginning of Rafa era. Absolute domination of Rafa may sound scary but likely to happen if he continues his streak in the manner he is doing currently. Can he repeat Federer’s 2005-2006? I don’t know if I want to see anyone, including my favorite player, dominating tennis the way Fed did again. Once was good enough. I would prefer more ups and downs with more strong challengers and close competitions among at least 4-5 top players.

Your prediction is traditional: Federer v. Murray, Novak v. Rafa. The final could equally be Rafa vs. Murray as Rafa vs. Fed or Djoko vs. Murray/Fed. Any one of these is a conservative prediction. My preference would be a 3rd set tie break, no matter which two players make there.

Catherine Says:

Of course, Rafa is the #1 player this year. The stats don’t lie.

But I do find it rather strange to put so much emphasis on Roger ‘not having reached a single HC final this year’.

ALL the HC tournaments – bar one, Toronto, of course – where in the first three months of this year, so it might well have been appropriate to at least mention Roger’s illness during that period – or was that ‘comfortably’ left out of this article, Sean?
I wonders…

jane Says:


In defense of Sean here, I don’t think there’s any need to mention Fed’s illness; at this blog, at least, it’s been mentioned, debated, and referred to enough.

Dan_M Says:

Great column. Nadal is #1 right now regardless of the computer. This is not uncommon. Roger won Masters Cup 2003 in November and was not #1 until Feb 2004, but everyone knew he was playing the best ball on tour. I am glad someone pointed out Djokovic is also struggling. Wertheim is calling for Federer to go on sabbatical and Peter Bodo is throwing dirt on his empty coffin. Federer has posted a 21-4 record from Hamburg to present and has won 78% of his matches in 2008. I am not drinking Kool-Aid he is struggling and not where he would like to be. Nevertheless, from Hamburg to present Djokovic has a 15-5 record. If Roger needs all of the help Wertheim suggests or the obituary Bodo seems to want to write then Djokovic is in even worse form, but … neither man is really as bad off as they appear. Each just needs a signature win to jump start their game. Djokovic has won 2 MS events and a title Down Under in 2008. The media tends to go nuts over these things a little too much. Had Hewitt or Guga in 2001 lost to a player in Simon’s spot (6 match winning streak and top 25 ranking) in the manner Roger lost (dropping 2 different break leads in the 3rd set), everyone would have said it was a bad loss, but no one would be checking for a pulse. The norm is that top players do not win 90% of their matches etc. Federer broke the norm 2004-06 in that regard and now when he wins 78% of his matches people say he is toast. Djokovic and Federer are struggling by their standards no doubt, but the hysteria is really unbecoming of people like Bodo and Wertheim. If Federer wins in Flushing Meadows or somehow medals in singles and doubles in Bejing, Wertheim and Bodo will be talking about what a great comeback it was. A comeback to elite status from the lowly state of a 17-3 Grand Slam record in 2008. Great work by the top tennis reporters. By the way, Nadal’s era is off to a great start and it ought to be fun to see how he handles being at the top of the pecking order for awhile.

Daniel Says:

I can’t watch Fed’s match. Anyone knows what is happening. How can he be break back two times, serving for the set? Is the forehand that is still off?

It seems like he can’t save breakpoints anymore!

Dan_M Says:

Ginepri up a set? Well it is super hot today in Southern OH, if Roger wants to win he has to go into the well now. No one wants to go 3 sets in this heat and humidity. Very strange so far…

Daniel Says:

Well my hopes are staritng to go away. It looks like Fed are in a “court panic attack”, after that Wimby final. I think it will take longer for him to heel and all the excitment that we tought lies ahead of next weeks will fade. If he loses this match will be the first time he lost back to back first rounds (second) in the worst time ever. I am almost hopeless!

Shital Green Says:

Fed played the 1st set miserably, making all kinds of errors. Now Ginepri takes the 1st set, in the easy break. Probably Fed’s worst ever tie break! He seems to have lost confidence in his game. You can only hope he gets back into the match sooner than later.

Dan_M Says:

Daniel – have hope. Pete once said something like this “my game can get well in a hurry.”

Daniel Says:

Well, looking trough scores his service games are faster an eaiser but he is not playing well the important points. Missed 2 breack points just now to lead and seal the set and allow me to breath! :)

I know he is not loosing sets 6-1 or 6-2, but deep down he must know he is not playing well and that must probably be killing him. I am afraid of him missing opportunities and them collapse in the end.

Daniel Says:

He had break points in 1-2, 2-3 and 3-4 and didn’t convert them! I hope now at 4-5 he mamages to break to win the set and start serving the thrid.

charles Says:

Problems… Federer 5-6 down and Ginepri serves for the match

Daniel Says:

Me and my mouth, I hate beig right! He plays perfect service games and in the one that matters the most he lost.

C!P! Says:

if that is possible i think Fed is playing worse than in the French Final, at least there he knew he couldn’t win ,but here?

Shital Green Says:

Ginepri is serving for the match. It will be devastating for Fed to exit in the 1st round. He is missing his both forehand and backhand at critical moments. Let’s see if he can break here.

charles Says:

Tie break

Shital Green Says:

With that unbelievable forehand, Fed break back. Now tie break.

charles Says:

Federer is still alive. 7-6, 6-7 and third set

Shital Green Says:

One set a piece.

Daniel Says:

Uhhff…. :)

He needs this win to boost his confidance again.
And as he mention, he or wins in Cincy or lose early, so..

jane Says:

Dan_M – I take your point about Djoko and Fed; I agree they are both struggle, as is Roddick, as Sean’s title implicates. However, in a way you’re comparing apples to oranges. Novak only broke through last year; this is his first season of trying to maintain his number 3 ranking. Fed has thrown down way more intense numbers / wins than anyone, has been number 1 for eons, so of course his standards are different and thus the press will be more quick to judge / bury / committ in that regard. It’s not great, but it’s rather predictable.

Novak is able to fly under the radar more because right now Nadal is points away from taking Fed’s number 1 status for the first time; all the focus is on them and that – makes sense, really.

jane Says:

Dan_M – “struggle” should be “struggling”…don’t bother to proofread, sorry.

Daniel Says:


Daniel – have hope. Pete once said something like this “my game can get well in a hurry.”

You are wise man!

Shital Green Says:

Daniel and Dan,
Must be a relief for now, at least for today. Fed has to be a much improved player in the upcoming rounds, though.

Daniel Says:

Well this 6-0 was more like: that’s for embarassing and making me nervous!

Anyway, Fed really needs to work on his second serve if he wants a Golden medal or a Slam this year. He fineshed with less than 50 % points won in that department and lost his serve 5-5 when he was leading 30-0 due to second serves. But it was a great comeback!

Dan_M Says:

No need to be sorry. Fed could have been out and obviously did not play his best for long patches but that is a good win in hot conditions. It might help turn the corner.

Daniel Says:


I was never that nervous in a match, which I wasn’t even watching, before. :)

Sean Randall Says:

Can I change my pick? Robby served for the second, gagged and then never won another game. Not a good start for Federer at all. I’m not sure how that win is going to help his confidence.

zola Says:

congratz to Fed fans. That was a hard win for Federer.

It wasn’t a landslide win, but at least Fed won.
I think his next one will be better.

Robby choked big time. what a shame!

The winner! Jose!

zola Says:

to see if Fed/Djoko/Roddick are struggling, we need to see how they do in Cincy/Olympics and US Open.

The openning tournament in toronto is not a measure. They just had to switch surfaces from clay to grass to hard. Let’s see what happens in Cincy!

andrea Says:

talk about getting thru by the seat of his pants! thank you for the bagel third set roger. some light at the end of the tunnel. let’s hope this win gets him back on track.

nadal is on fire – i don’t think anyone can refute that at this stage, but did have taped knees and fingers in toronto. how many more body parts can you tape up before something gives?

zola Says:

those tapes are for precaution. Just like the way they tape their ankles to prevent injury. Rafa is taping the knees after the injury he had in US Open.

NachoF Says:

Another terrible performance by Roger Federer… how does the quality decrease that much that fast?? it really is astonishing to me to watch the once unbeatable Federer play like this… tournament after tournament… hes definitely not my pick to win this tournament….. my final is Andy Murray vs either Djoko or Nadal…. if Djoko wins the semi Murray wins the final but hes got no chance if hes up against Nadal.

Fedex Says:

Federer seems totally disinterested in being on the court right now. He has the look of a guy who has lost the most important thing in his life.

He is playing way too casually to beat the ever hungry pros on the tour. He needs a couple of adrenaline shots to REALLY get him going.

Even last year, being a break down to Federer, was the end of the deal. I think Agassi said, during his commentary last year, something to the effect “being a break down to Roger is like a death sentence” Well, not anymore.

Good news is that he will play karlovic and roddick/soderling and they all are big servers, and have the type of game, Fed loves to play. If they can make Roger hit more than 3 shots in a rally, they will have better chances than challenging him in

Von Says:

Gosh, Robbi Ginepri, what happened? I can’t believe the choke — these guys need some mental fortitude. Anyway, a win is a win, however we look at it, and Fed showed that patience pays off, by making the most of that window of opportunity presented in the second set. This win should be a boon for his confidence.

matt Says:

If Rafael Nadal did not exist this website would not exist. This site should be called or something. I enjoy your analysis of things tennis, but your emotion over Nadal really hurts all of your articles. I think if you wrote from the perspective of someone who didn’t root for one player to succeed more than others your articles would reflect a more critical mind. For the most part this site works as a countdown to Rafael Nadal’s next “big thing.”

Wizard101 Says:

Federer, was lucky to win the match. Ginepri, choked that one away. Nadal would have been the new Number 1 had Fed lost.

Ra Says:

My condolences to Von and all the other Roddick fans. This is very disappointing news. Perhaps it will allow him to recover by the time the US Open is underway.

zola Says:

It’s funny, because I am a Rafa fan and I always thought Sean is rooting too much for Federer!

Von Says:


Spot on. I’m elated that there are some objective posters around. It appears that tennis has forgotten there are other players who contribute to the sport and those players should be given some credit for their hard work.

Ra Says:

And it was very cool of Andy to retire prior to the first serve and allow someone else a chance to compete in his place.

Von Says:


“My condolences to Von and all the other Roddick fans. This is very disappointing news. Perhaps it will allow him to recover by the time the US Open is underway.”

What have i missed? Did Roddick pull out of Cincy? Please enlighten me. Thanks.

zola Says:

Wow! poor Andy. Hope he gets better before US Open. I thought he could win this tournament.

There goes another part of my ATP bracket challenge!

Ra Says:

Yeah, Von. He started to warm up, but he announced that he woke up with neck and back issues and felt that even if he started and played today, he wouldn’t be able to make it very far and would rather give someone healthy the opportunity to have a run. He ensured that possibility by retiring prior to the official start of matchplay.

Daniel Says:

What happened to Roddick, suddenly he vanishes from my live scores and someone with a cartoon name come up?!

It’s sad cause he always liked to play in Cincy which favor his serve.

jane Says:

Thanks for the update Ra; I have no TV coverage so was a little baffled when somehow the name “Andy Roddick” transformed into “Woong-Sun Jun”.

Hope Andy gets over the back stuff soon.

matt Says:

hey guys, the “matt” that posted in here at 7:03 p.m. is not me, he is another “matt”.

I’m matt, you know, the old guy.

To “the new matt”:

Please, would you post with another name so that people don’t get confused?

Von Says:


Thanks for the information and your kind thoughts regarding Andy. His back problems have really escalated, and now there’s cause for concern as to his longevity in the sport. Sampras began having severe back problems which led to his decline, but he was older. Andy’s too young for that type of scenario.

Daniel Says:

“old matt”

I found that was strange! You always have somthing constructive to say and your posts are always a great trip into the past full with enlighting stats. Keep on that!

jane Says:

matt – I wasn’t confused; you always leave a space between almost every sentence plus it didn’t sound like you! :-) But thanks for clarifying anyhow.

I know how you feel though; last week or the week before another jane, only one who spells her name with a capital “J”, showed up here and I felt the need to clarify too.

matt Says:

Thanks Daniel, I’m glad you like my posts.

Ra Says:

Jane and Von,

You are welcome. And, so you know, he literally took the mic and apologetically announced it to the crowd, explained his situation and reasoning, thanked everyone for their support, and earnestly stated his disappointment about having to withdraw from one of his favorites of all tournaments.

matt Says:

Btw, I was watching Federer-Ginepri match and with 7-6, 6-5 and Ginepri serving…I turn off the TV.

I just didn’t want to see it again two consecutive weeks.

Now I know Federer finally won, so I’m glad.

But, anyway, I guess he hasn’t fully recover from that Wimbledon loss and I am a bit worried about his mental state.

I’m sorry for Roddick, I think he had a good oportunity here to do well.

matt Says:

jane, I’m glad you noticed.

What happened to “that Jane”?

Did you reach an agreement?

jane Says:

matt –

“That Jane” came, she saw, she went. I don’t know if she conquered.

But I haven’t seen her since. I actually didn’t ask her to change her handle or anything direct like that, but I did respond to her comment, partly because I wanted to respond, and partly because it clarified that she was one Jane, and I another jane.

About Roddick – at least he wasn’t defending a ton of points here; I believe he lost fairly early last year, although the year before he won the thing.

About Fed – maybe that was a hurdle he needed to jump. Maybe it’ll help him jump more?

Ra Says:

Hey, how cool is this?

From the Cincy website:

“American wild card John Isner set an ATP record by winning all 39 first serve points in his 7-6(2), 6-3 victory over Italian qualifier Andrea Stoppini.

Isner fired 17 aces and only lost nine points, all on second serve, in 11 games. Since the ATP began keeping match statistics in 1991, no player had won more than 35 points without losing one in a match.”

that matt Says:

matt: not a problem about me changing my name, i had no idea this site was being used as a chat site too! lol

question: tv coverage on espn is very lacking this year no? compared to previous years it seems like tennis is not getting much coverage. is cincinnati going to get espn coverage? thanks.

matt Says:

To “that matt”:

Thanks. :)

Gordo Says:

I find it amazing that SO many of you live by a 24 hour clock – what are you… butterflys?

If Federer were to lose the #1 spot (and it looks like this will happen) he should retire??

Are you kidding me???

On April 12, 1993 Pete Sampras became number one and held it for most of 1994, 1/2 of 1995, all but 7 weeks of 1996, all of 1997, all but 6 weeks of 1998, until 1999, when he started to dip, actually falling to the number 7 spot in November.

Guess what? In 2000 he regained the number one spot again.

Other Number ones who were number one and lost the top spot and regained it include Borg, McEnroe, Connors, Lendl. Do you really think that once Roger Federer loses it he is gone baby gone???

During the Sampras era the world’s best were close to each other.

Does any of you really think that Djokovic is that close to Federer and Nadal? Not Nadal now, certainly, and not Federer when he returns to his groove.

When Nadal becomes number one Federer will be a strong number two – all it means is that you have to look at the bottom of the drawsheet to find his name – one of them will still play the number 3 in one semi while the other will play the number 4 in the other semi. The only way Rafa and Rog meet is in the final.

My guess is that one year from today these two brilliant players are still Number One and Number Two in the world – I am just not going to bet which one will have the better ranking, and I defy any of you to do it without having that Nya-nya homer sound to your voice.

Shital Green Says:

that matt,
Ref: “i had no idea this site was being used as a chat site too.”

This is the charm of this site that a lot of us have glued onto it and have made it home for a long time now.

Shital Green Says:

Welcome back after a short leave.
Ref: “Does any of you really think that Djokovic is that close to Federer and Nadal? Not Nadal now, certainly, and not Federer when he returns to his groove.”

And we can decide this when/if Fed meets Djoko.

matt Says:

Totally agree with Gordo.

All the long time nº1 (Connors, McEnroe, Lendl, Sampras….) lost and regained the nº1 several times during their careers.

Federer will lose the nº1 soon, but he will regain it again next season, and possibly it will change hands several times during the year (next year).

zola Says:


we don’t know yet if Fed will lose his No1 spot. So far he is in good position. If he wins Cincy, he will still be No 1 at least going to the Olympics and if he does well there too, he’ll be No 1 in US Open as well.

JCF Says:

If Djokovic plays Federer in the final, I’m going to have to go with Djokovic.

Ginepri almost knocked Fed out already in R32. He’s not regained his confidence yet.

zola Says:

Besides there is no reason for Fed not to gain No 1 again if he loses it.

jane Says:


Murray and Gasquet are both on Roger’s side of the draw, I believe; if either of them meet Roger, and play like they played last week, they have a good shot at the upset – unless Roger is back to his best form. And even so, it was here that Roger lost to Murray in 2006. Gasquet, however, has never really done well here.

NachoF Says:

I think that IF Federer is able to recover his groove it will actually not be THAT difficult to recover his n1 spot…. considering this year he hasnt won squad and still is n1…. he wont have to defend almost any title next year, which he will enter being either n1 or n2

Ra Says:

Wow, I just realized that we’re going to be dealing with the other side of this ranking points fiasco a year from now. Of course, we don’t what kind of differential there’ll be at the top by then.

Gordo Says:

Jane -

Remember when Roger lost to Murray in Cincinnati 2 years ago there were actually whispers that he threw the match to ensure he was well rested for the US Open. He had just won Canada and no one has ever won Canada – Cincy – US OPEN in the same year.

Now I do not think Roger would ever throw a match, and his play of late has not been that awe inspiring, and I could say here is what we see he is made of, having survived the scare of Ginepri. The truth is even if he loses in the next round and loses his number one ranking, should he repeat at the US Open and/or survive the Chinese smog and get a gold medal he is right back in the hunt.

jane Says:

Gordo -

Welcome back from your hiatus. I hadn’t heard those “whispers” that Fed threw that match with Murray in 06; last year Roger came close to winning all three, losing only in the finals in Canada. He won Cincy and the USO, so I cannot see why he’d need to throw a match to be rested. I assume he lost in 06 fair and square.

But his seasons were stronger in 2007 & 2006.

I didn’t mean to imply Roger is out of “the hunt” either; how could he be? He’s still number 1 on paper, and #2 off it, so he’s hardly sidelined!! I just meant to point out that there are some tough customers on his side of the draw here, so the title’s not his yet, that’s all.

Fedex Says:


Roddick won cincy, canada and US open in 03. I think Agassi did the same in 94 as well.

I do think Fed was not super-motivated that week in cincy 2006. He was on a 17 final streak and he had won toronto where nadal was the defending champion and lost early (to berdych?). He really looked like he didnt care much about the match. Infact he should have lost to srichapan in the round before that, but paradorn did a ginepri and handed the match to Fed!

As good a player as murray is, Fed would have beaten him that year if it was at any other tournament.

Also Fed took it a little easy in 2004 cincinnati with his concentration being on the olympics that year. Hrabty beat him in the 1st round then. Again, a match fed would have won if it mattered any more to him.

Anyway, Fed hates back to back masters. He likes IW/miami because they are effectively played over 3 weeks. look at his performances in rome/hamburg.

Dan_M Says:


I don’t think Federer threw the match in 06, but I don’t think he dug that deep in 2006 vs. Murray either. In 06, the top 8 did not get a bye in the 1st round so Federer won 6 matches in 6 days in Toronto – traveled on Sunday or Monday, played Paradorn on Tuesday night and Murray in the 2nd round on Wednesday afternoon. In 2007, Federer plays 5 matches in 7 days in Montreal, travels on Sun or Mon and plays the 2nd round on Wednesday. 10 matches in 14 days is a lot different than 12 in 14 days.

I live in Southern Ohio, and Cincinnati can and often is very humid and nasty. I think in 06 Roger went on court with the mindset of I am playing one even keeled level and trying to get into an air conditioned room as quickly as possible.

In 1998, Pete Sampras and Patrick Rafter played an electric final in Cincinnati with Rafter winning 1-6, 7-6, 6-4. The next week both men showed up at the Pilot Pen in CT with a 1st round bye. Sampras lost to Leander Paes in a mediocre effort. Rafter lost 7-6, 6-3 to Guillaume Raoux. Did either man tank – I don’t think so, but both new NY was where they wanted to play their best tennis and did not seek to dig super deep when trouble arose at the Pilot Pen. IN all fairness Raoux did play pretty well in 1997-1998.


Dan_M Says:

new = knew typo and no proofreading on my part – sorry DM

jane Says:


Thanks for the backfill; I would imagine Roger would’ve been rather zonked, although Murray does have the style of game to mess with his rhythm I think.

I’ve lived in Toronto and am still in Canada. Did you say you saw some of the matches at the Roger’s last week?

I think if anyone doesn’t dig deep this week it may be Rafa, but given that guy’s work ethic, it’s difficult to imagine. Then again, they all have the Olympics and USO in their sights so that will affect their mindset whether consciously or subconsciously.

Kroll Says:

Wow, that was a close one for Fed. His recent approach has been a strange one, he doesn’t really have a coach (surely Higueras does not qualify as the ideal coach for hardcourts) and he has not indicated thats about to change. And nobody seems to be asking him that in interviews. Pretty weird that. I remember when he fired Tony Roche, it seemed that Fed didnt consider him ideal for making an assault on RG, which made sense then considering that his clay game got better after the split with Roche. Since thats out of the window anyway, I would figure someone in Roche’s league would qualify again when he’s struggling to win on surfaces, other than clay.

Kroll Says:

Irrespective of whether Fed loses Cincy and/or the Olympic gold, I think he’s going to be the favorite at USO, not Rafa. Fed has by all accounts been as formidable at the USO as he has been in Wimby. And he was utterly dominant there except in the final. And unlike grass where Rafa already had two assaults at Fed, there is little reason to suggest that Rafa will get to the final and far lesser to consider him beating Fed in the final. So I think the USO this time might be Fed’s and talk of him losing the # 1 rank for anything more than a week might be well premature.

JCF Says:

“Wow, that was a close one for Fed. His recent approach has been a strange one, he doesn’t really have a coach (surely Higueras does not qualify as the ideal coach for hardcourts) and he has not indicated thats about to change.”

I wonder who Higueras was rooting for in that match with Ginepri, and who he helped out more.

Von Says:

“I wonder who Higueras was rooting for in that match with Ginepri, and who he helped out more.”

Diego is Ginepri’s coach whenever Higueras is in Federer’s box. Higueras is the head coach and Diego is his assistant.

I can’t remember exactly who it was (I would hazard a guess that it was Wilander) that stated Higueras is coaching Federer the opposite of how he should be playing. Per the comments, Higueras was not a crackerjack of a player on any other surface apart from clay.

zola Says:

The Cincy website has Fed’s interview. He said it was quite hot and it took him a while to get used to it. He also said in the third set Ginepri was not there physically ( perhaps because of the heat). Also last year Rafa withdrew with an arm cramp and dizziness. One of the members who was in Cincy wrote that he never saw Rafa swaet that much. Perhaps Cincy conditions are harder for some players.

I wondered too that how Higueras would manage the situation. How would he advise tactics, etc! funny!

I agree. Fed (or perhaps Djoko) will be the favorite for US Open, especially if one of them wins Cincy.

Fedex, Sean,
some more scenarios for No 1:

zola Says:

oops, sorry, wrong link:
this is the correct one:

Ezorra Says:

I have strong believed that Djokovic will win USO. BUT, if nadal manages to keep his momentum in Cincy and Olympic (by winning them, not only progressing in quarter-final or semi-final or final but WIN them!), I bet all my money on him! At the moment, I stay with Djokovic, and then Nadal and then Federer.

Nadal, Djokovic and Roddick gave Federer battle scars Says:

Really, he is mentally damaged for beating by those players. And I really consider that, it was a miracle for Roddick to had beaten Federer this year! Someone is who could hardly take a set off him. And that serious hurts Federer’s confidence. And seriously, if you are having doubts for Chang being in the hall of fame. The same doubts go for Roddick as well. Because he only won the US Open, he is a one hit wonder! I doubt that he would ever get back to the top 3 again. He has the serve, but what you need to win in tennis is a mind. And sorry to say that, Roddick doesn’t really think when he is on the court. He needs someone like Brad Gilbert to give him some strategies on the courts. I doubt that he would does any good in the Slams these days. His win in Dubai this year, it’s really a once off. And as for Federer, his career would gets more difficult if Nadal ever takes the number 1 ranking off him. It means that, Federer would be the number 2 seed in many tournaments that he plays, and it is more likely that he has to deal with Djokovic in the semi. Nowadays, not many players are afraid of playing Federer, everyone are learning from Nadal when they have to play against Federer.

Every players on the tour have learnt how to play with Federer Says:

His first match at Cincy is horrible! Other players are not afraid of him these days. Just keep the ball in play, and wait for him to go bonkers on his forehand and backhand. And keeping serving to his backhand like Nadal did at Wimbledon! There you go, this is how you could beat Federer! The so-called best tennis player ever!

Federer is afraid! Says:

Whenever he is on the court now, he would thinks of getting beaten by other players. Something that was never on his mind during his old days!

James Says:

Fed’s trouble may be more physical than mental. It’s hard 2 focus when you are tired.

Not sure if Federer could gets into the final with his sluggish game at Cincy! Says:

He is lucky to get out of this one! But definitely not showing that he is the number 1 player in the world!

Dan_M Says:

Wow some posts want to bury Fed. The guy is struggling but not dead. I agree with Jane that Murray has a style that bothers Roger. My diagnosis of Roger’s problems is that he is feeling indecision on the court. I think 04-07 Roger reigned in some aggression in order to be more consistent and this was enough to win in small and big situations. Now, with Nadal playing so well, with Djokovic out there and a loss in confidence, Roger has to become more aggressive but to what degree? I think he will more or less figure out where his aggression needs to be and not become Euro-Blake and simply be a guy who can be awesome when zoned but prone to error filled losses when not zoned. Will the new mix of aggression and consistency he choses lead him back to the 04-07 dominance? unlikely but it will likely help him win big matches and events in the future.

Really, if it was someone like Roddick or Black play those 2 sets with Federer today! Says:

The other guy choked in those two tie-breaks. If it was someone with experiences like Blake or Roddick. They would had another rare win from Federer. Or maybe Gonzale would had done it. Like Federer said in his Gilette commercial. Yesterday is history! lol

What Pat Cash said at the Ronland Garros Says:

He was talking about noone were really there to challenge Federer when he was number 1 for having to win all those slams. And saying stuffs about when Lendl was being number 1. There were Becker and Edberg to challenge him.
Really, Nadal reminds me of Becker(not his game) for being the nemesis of Lendl at Wimbledon. He was the youngest winnner at Wimbledon, then a few years later. When he got better with his game. He overtook Lendl in the ranking.
Also another Aussie John Newcomb was also questioning about Federer being number 1 for having the number 2 player in the world to beat him all the time.

Ginepri choked!!! Says:

What’s with the third set???? He definitely choked after the first two sets. I doubt that he had ever been in a situation like this. He was going to beat the world number 1, then he choked. And he couldn’t put his mind back onto his game again. Then he collapsed and fell apart.

tania Says:

Stop putting the Fed down! All he needs is a coach and some confidence. Then he will kill everyone on the tennis court. I am surprised with all his money that there isn’t anyone out there who has put themselves forward to get his game back into the way he was playing 2007.

Mandy Says:

It seems to me Roger is still the best player but his hold onto No.1 depends on how Rafa will fare in coming events. If Nadal makes it to at least Semi in Cinci and Olympics, Nadal will be No.1 going into USO even if Roger wins both. It is great to see Rafa being World No.1. He totally deserves it. Roger will try to get his No.1 back. I can’t wait to see their intense rivaly in coming weeks.

zola Says:

Djokovic has a very good chance of winning the US Open. He played the final last year and then won the AO. this is his surface. Nadal needs to make a very good effort.

Ginepri chocked!
I didn’t see the match, but Fed said in his interview that it was very hot and that Ginepri was not there physically in the third set.Just was nice enough to finish the match and not retire. Ginepri is a very strong and fit guy. The only thing I can think of, is extreme heat.

Shital Green Says:

Possibly Nadal will bagel Serra this evening and keep his streak all the way to the championship trophy unless Fed reincarnates from the ashes into a new self.
Djoko is playing Bolleli in the afternoon heat today. If everything goes right, he should sail past him in straight sets. Unpredictability looms in the upcoming rounds for Djoko as he has not played on HARD court previously against some of his likely opponents : Blake, Gulbis, and Berdych.
Congratulation to Blake for an easy win over Simon! I hope he will reach quarter (and beyond?).

jane Says:

Hi Shital,

Yeah – Blake is defending final points here this year, and I think he was in the final the year before too (?). So it’d be nice to see him do well, although I’d like to see Djokovic win here or get to the final. He’s kind of due, and it would make up for his Quarters loss in Canada. However, the heat might get to him?

We’ll see.

It seems Gulbis isn’t harnessing much consistency, which is too bad. And Querrey has broken Murray in the first game and is up 3- 0. Murray has to start quicker in his matches, not only when playing top 10 guys.

Vulcan Says:

Murray seems to have alot of roller coaster ride matches. He played an uncharacteristically steady match against Nadal in the first set. He came up with some beauties in that one as well. He hit some exquisite baseline shots in that match but he seems to struggle with maintaining concentration over the long haul.

Vulcan Says:

Lapentti up a set against Ferrer??? I thought Nico was playing challengers with Coria or something…there’s a name I haven’t seen around in a while.

Shital Green Says:

Hey Jane,
Yeah, Gulbis kid is definitely not showing consistency. It is sad to see him lose.

I am happy Murray is back into the match. I am just looking forward to a 3rd set. Querrey started strong by breaking and consolidating the break. It is unusual that he is almost matching Murray from the baseline. Querrey is playing aggressively and with positive attitude. Murray is serving great. He is gradually finding his game and rhythm (he broke back to level the match). He’s gotta start flattening his shots.

Shital Green Says:

Strangely Gulbis is still alive. Now they are in the tie break.

Von Says:


What TV station is broadcasting the Cincy matches today? The Tennis Channel has been broadcasting for the last 2 days and today they’re showing the women’s matches. Thanks.

BTW anyone knows what has happened to Nalbandian? He seems to have disappeared from the radar.

Shital Green Says:

Gulbis the kid pulls it through. That’s nice.
Murray totally demolishes Querrey in the 2nd set. Congratulations to both.

Looks like it is not Ferrer’s day today. I am a little surprised Lapentti is about to win. This will be a good news for Rafa because Ferrer was the only other top ten player in this quarter.

jane Says:

Nice to see Ernests pull through in that one; Clement is no slouch, especially considering his Wimbledon results this year. Also good to see Murray bounce back, although I like Querrey. He just needs to round out his game. He’s got time to develop too.

Vulcan – yes, Murray does tend to be roller-coaster-ish. I’ve wondered before if he’ll be another Nalbandian, but he seems to have changed of late (I noticed it in particular throughout Wimbledon, from his first match there with Santoro), and is definitely, clearly trying to be more focused and positive on the court.

ferix Says:

are the american players (ginepri and querrey) melting in the heat? not a good sign if these talented players are losing out on fitness. conversely, it shows what great athletes and talent federer and murray are.

i thought federer showed great mental strength yesterday. he could have crumbled, given it all away. but when faced with the moment, he refused to give up his reign to nadal without a fight. apart from the FO massacre, i think federer’s losses to nadal this year has been as stylish as anyone can do. there’ll always be a winner and a loser. nadal’s 22, he will take over the number 1 eventually. the way federer is holding him off has been very inspiring stuff.

Shital Green Says:

As far as I know Tennis Channel only up until semi 1, but WMs on TC sounds strange to me !

jane Says:

Hi Von,

Nalbandian’s right arm was injured in his loss to Dancevic at Wimbledon; I read that he might have to miss the Olympics, which is too bad.

In Canada TSN is showing more of the women’s too, since the tournament is here, but we are getting some of Cincy, which is nice.

Shital Green Says:

If they are “inspiring,” don’t worry more of Fed’s “stylish” losses are in the pipeline. lol.

But they are not.

Von Says:

jane & Shital:

Thnks for the info. I just noticed on the Tennis Channel listing they will again being broadcasting at 3:00 pm. My DVR will be going bonkers because it’s set to record the Masters Series not WTA. Oh well, I hope that the MS will be shown delayed and the I can see those matches that were not shown.

Thanks for the info on Nalby — he’s had a tough year with injuries. And, my sweetheart (Roddick) is not doing well either with his back problems. I’m probably going to have to borrow Djoko from you, since Safin is out and Djoko is the only player presently whose game I find exciting to watch, aside from the top 2. I see from your comments Blake beat Simon. Simon, I suppose by now is exhausted.

Oleg Says:

“the way federer is holding him off has been very inspiring stuff”

ummm by losing to Simon in the second round in Toronto? by barely scraping by Ginepri?
Not super inspiring to me.

zola Says:

Ferru out!
Monfils retired against Haas!
Djoko just saved a break point against Bolelli!
Simon lost!

Murray is playing well. Started slow, but did win the match. great job!

Shital Green Says:

You are always welcome to “borrow” him whenever you want.
But now Bolelli is scaring the hell out of me. He is playing surprisingly great tennis. I think Djoko’s level is not as good as at it was at the beginning of the year. His serve is horribly weaker than what it used to be. He is missing first serve a lot, and his second serve is more predictable and prone to suffer quick returns. His signature backhand along the line is not as frequent today. He almost got broken in the 7th game (4 deuces), and Bolelli holds his serve in love. Not a good sign here !

Von Says:


Thanks for allowing me to ‘borrow’ Djoko. I’ll be rooting for him, but I don’t like what’s happening at the moment. Bolelli is a tough customer. He gave Roddick a lot of trouble in the Rome MS. However, Roddick survived. Sean and a few others stated Roddick did not play well in that match, but it wasn’t that Andy did not play well, it was Bolelli’s toughness.

Djoko, as I’ve mentioned before, is an extremely good player, unfotunately for him, he’s not as physically strong as he should be for tennis — it’s such a physically tough sport. Djoko does well in slams due to the every other day playing schedule, but when it’s a match every day, e.g., MS, he begins to feel the strain physically which transfers to mental tirednes. There’s not much he can do about his body’s response to such physical stress but learn to pace himself and work around his physical inadequacies. I also think he is suffering from some loss of confidence due to his early exits at Wimby and Toronto. We’ll see how it all pans out for him. Keep the faith. :)

Von Says:

I know I’m being a bit conniving in my thinking, but with Ferrer out, Nalby and Wawrinka injured, and Blake defending final points, Roddick still has a chance of staying in the Top 10, a slim one, but nonetheless, a hopeful one.

Maverick Says:

July 30th 2008

Maverick 2078

It is good to see Federer returning to his tennis game of last year.

Important for Federer

Back Hand: Federer needs to be more consistent on his back hand down the line, as he was in the past. Back hand down the line is very important to use when playing against Nadal. Nadal has often missed Federer’s backhand down the line. I can see Federer’s backhand down the line is returning to being consistent, as seen in recent match against Genepri

Forehand: Federer’s forehand is returning to being consistent, as we saw in the recent match with Robby Genepri. Federer has won many points in the past with his forehand against many players. Nadal has a weaker forehand. Federer when playing Nadal must play to Nadal’s weakness i.e., use his consistent forehand against Nadal’s weaker forehand. In crunch situations Nadal plays to Federer’s weak side i.e., a rising serve to Federer’s backhand, Federer’s return is weak on a rising ball and 9 of 10 times the return is cross court, Nadal predicting the return, pounces his forehand down the line, which exploits Federer’s weakness, which is running forehand.

In my opinion, Nadal is the best defender tennis history has seen. It is very hard to beat such a magnificent defender. Federer must find a way to cash on break points. Nadal has given Federer plenty of opportunities in the past and will do so in future. If Federer can find a way to cash on break points, I do not see any reason why Federer cannot beat Nadal even in clay court matches

Very importantly I saw in Federer’s eye, the same glitter, as there was in the past. Federer is back with his confidence and will be in form til after US OPEN.

Pointers Federer must consider when playing against Nadal

1. Consistent backhand down the line
2. Consistent forehand to Nadal’s weak forehand
3. Cash on break points
4. Frequent visits to net, serve and volley and drop shots

Oleg Says:

Maverick whatever drugs you’re on must be expensive to be so delusional about Federer after he barely beats Ginepri! you gotta be kidding it’s not like he just blew a top 10 player off the court!

funches Says:

Nadal’s best Australian Open campaign? Yes, he made the semis for the first time, but he lost 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 after getting beaten 6-0, 6-1 by Youzhny in the warm-up.

Shital Green Says:

I saw something today that I don’t remember seeing ever before. Djoko double faulted 4 times in 1 game and let Bolelli break back. Has any player double faulted 4 times in 1 game in the history of tennis?

Shital Green Says:

Djoko wins in straight sets, but I am not very impressed. Bolelli put up a great fight except the tie breaks.
Anyway, Djoko survived the scare. I can live with that.

Von Says:

Federer’s forehand and backhand are back? I don’t think so. He made tons of UEs from both the forehand and backhand in his match yesterday against Ginepri. His down the line shots were way out most of the time and he fumbled at the net. Nothing was on song yesterday. Federer’s forehand has been touted as the best in the sport, but within the last 18 months it has consistently been his undoing. He was very fortunate Ginepri lost his nerve serving for the match and then the heat left Ginepri spent — energyless, or else it would have been lights out for Federer.

As for Nadal being the best returner, I’d say Hewitt and Agassi were way up on the scale for best returners.


Good for Djoko getting through in straight sets. He savedx some much needed energy. Re the 4 double faults, hasn’t he double faulted a lot recently? I seem to remember he had 3 in one set t the Fo, but I’m not 100 percent positive. Anyway, when he’s nervous, and that’s one of the signs, the double faults begin to pile up. He’ll get better now that he’s won a match and some of his confidence will be restored.

Something I find pretty strange, Djoko used to have a lot of fans on this site, but just like the Roddick fans they have disappeared. Very strange.

Von Says:


“Has any player double faulted 4 times in 1 game in the history of tennis?”

Yes, Coria and Dementieva. coria could not serve at one time, he could only win games on his opponents serve. Demetieva after her shoulder problems began, has had the same problem. For Djoko, I believe it’s just his nervousness being manifested; a barometer by which to guage his nervousness, would be his double faults. He has to overcome that because his opponents will be able to pick up on that and exploit him even further with added pressure.

jane Says:

Glad I was teaching through Djoko’s match – sounds like it was a tense one – but happy to see he’s progressed in straights and that he played well in the tiebreaks (that’s important – to play well when it matters).

Shital – I’ve wondered if Djoko cutting back on the bouncing is affecting his serve in some way? But to me, he’s always been a strong returner and his serve is less consistent. When I left to go to class, it was 2-2 and he was serving 1st serves at 40%!!! That’s not going to cut it against an even stronger player.

Still, I am sure Djoko knows this and that’s what he’ll be working on.

Glad to see Blake, Murray and Gulbis through as well.

JCF Says:

To the Federer hater:

Please stop being a wimp. Try attaching a name to your post so that it’s easier for us to respond. Even a fake one will do. What is there to be afraid of? No one knows you anyway.

We can’t tell how many of you there are if you’re changing your name with each post. The name field is there for a reason. It’s where you put something in that we can identify you with.

JCF Says:

“As for Nadal being the best returner, I’d say Hewitt and Agassi were way up on the scale for best returners.”

Funny that.. the highest number of aces recorded in a match, and the second highest number of aces recorded in a match go to Philippoussis and J.Johansson, and what do they have in common? It was Agassi on the receiving end of both matches.

He’s good at winning a point on return of serve. He’s not the best at getting the serve back into play. Federer does that really well.

JoshDragon Says:

Djokovic, may have survived today but he’s not playing as well right now as he was at the beginning of the season. Nadal, has been more consistent recently so I’d have to say that Djokovic isn’t any more of a favorite to win the US Open than Nadal despite owning the Australian Open Title and Nadal having never made it farther than the quarter finals.

Shital Green Says:


Did you forget to mention this time, “this is a public forum. Anything you or anyone posts is fair game for anyone else,” or does that apply to only selected few? What’s the fuss about names anyway since “[n]o one knows you anyway”?

My question does not mean I endorse irrational remarks, whichever player they are directed against. Some of us tried to fight them off. It does not work. They keep popping at every opportune time. So I just ignore them now.

Thanks for the historical info. about 4 double faults in a single game. Somehow I did not get to watch them.

Oleg Says:

Federer should definitely be on the short list for best returners of all time.
One of the reasons he has been a foil to Roddick for so long is precisely because he can return his serve so well.
He doesn’t hit winners off returns very often (which Andre did a lot more), but he gets the ball back and with good depth, especially with his chop/slice backhand.

JoshDragon Says:

Actually, I would put Roger as a better server than a returner. Roger won a lot of his matches with one break of serve per set however Federer’s service games were very solid and his opponents were never really able to get a foothold in most of his service games. He used the Samprass method of holding serve until your opponent plays a loose service game and then he broke them.

I think Federer is ranked sixth right now on the ATP for return games won. Behind Nadal, Djokovic, and Davydenko.

Shital Green Says:

Nadal’s completely immobilized Serra in the 1st set. He barely takes a record 21 minutes to win a set. Looks like it’s gonna be over in less than an hour (?) with 1 bagel secured now. He is merciless at the court. You look at his eyes; you can tell there is this unflinching determination written all over in them.
I forget to mention last week. I had never seen Nadal happier in the post-match photo session than at Toronto (except maybe his 1st RG).

JCF Says:


“Did you forget to mention this time, “this is a public forum. Anything you or anyone posts is fair game for anyone else,” or does that apply to only selected few? What’s the fuss about names anyway since “[n]o one knows you anyway”?”

I stand by it. He’s allowed to post, and anyone’s allowed to chime in. No one says you shouldn’t be able to. But at least give a name for people to refer to you as, or it gets confusing. If you’re going to leave out a name and post negative things about people, that casts you in even badder light.

Not putting your name in, and not being able to reply to someone else’s private conversations are two completely unrelated things.

Btw, this current match is a rout. Not interesting at all.

JCF Says:

Serra is playing terribly, but at least he’s on the board now.

That pattern on Rafa’s shirt, with the two white hands running up to his chest… that would be an interesting design for a woman’s shirt I say…

Oleg Says:

que sera Serra…

JCF Says:

Not much to say about this match. Was over in 46 mins. Serra looked like a 16 year old junior, losing most of his games to Love. He hit lots of UE’s, and it was more him losing the match than Rafa winning it.

I actually thought he might take Nadal out, because Nadal has never done well in this tournament, losing in the first match 3 out of 4 times. It wouldn’t have surprised me.

In the end, Serra managed to hold a serve to 30.

No time violations today. The umpire probably thought extending the match a little bit might have been a good thing. If you blinked, you would have missed this one.

6-0 6-1 to Rafa.

Daniel Says:

Looking at the draw Fed and Nadal are already in the semis. Karlovic, Soderling and Kohlschreiber are Fed’s regular costumers, Verdasco and Lappenti have no chance, only Haas can make tie breaks against Nadal if he keeps his service games.

The other two spots will be more contested, both quarters will be great matches what ever unfolds with the players in it. This semis will be way more exciting than last week!

Shital Green Says:

Rafa sent a clear signal that anyone could meet the fate Serra’s.
It was almost double bagels. Look at the points won: 50-20. Except that one game he won, Serra was behind in all of his service games. How miserable that is !

anel Says:

to Von:
I am Novak DJokovic’s fan and I did not abandon him I just was answering on the most unjust comments about Novak.Now when he is not playing well there are fewer of unjust comments.

To Sean Randall: I found out that every time when You said that Novak is going to loose he won and when You said that he is going to win he lost.I should not complain before I should do that now.

Von Says:


“My question does not mean I endorse irrational remarks, whichever player they are directed against. Some of us tried to fight them off. It does not work. They keep popping at every opportune time. So I just ignore them now.”

Quite true with the anonymous and undentifiable names popping up every time. Someone or a few posters are doing this which allows them to write vicious comments for their enjoyment without anyone rebutting, hence they get off scott free. Today, I saw 7 comments written by posters I have never seen before, and they were written very close in time to each other. This is a game for them.

You’re welcome on the double-faults. It was painful to watch Coria. Dementieva has gotten somewhat better, but still lapses back into her old bad habits.

zola Says:

Great job by Rafa. I am glad he won his 30th match. But Rafa took Serra out in AO 60 62 62. so, for some reason, Rafa is not a good match up for him. It may not be the same with Haas.

I was watching Moya -Davydenko before the rain delay and realized I even did not think of Davydenko in any of my predictions! Both Moya and Davydenko have great game to hurt RAfa. I have not checkd which side of the draw they are. Hopefully not Rafa’s.

Djoko did not play the best match today, but he won. This is a new surface and they all get better each round.

Von Says:

Karlovic, Kohls and Soderling lost to Federer in the past regularly, but if Federer plays against Karlovic the way he did against Ginepri, I believe Karlovic will take him out. Soderling chokes against Federer; Kohls, it could go either way. In Federer’s present mind-set each match will be a test, however, due to his win/loss history with these guys, he’ll have more confidence with that knowledge at the back of his mind, and could win all of those matches.

Ryan Says:

“Djoko double faulted 4 times in 1 game and let Bolelli break back. Has any player double faulted 4 times in 1 game in the history of tennis?”

To Shital Green : That was really funny.I think its the first time anybody has double faulted and handed a whole game to their opponent.

Daniel Says:


Davydenko and Moya are in Murray’s side.

I think it will be Fed-Murray and Djoko-Nadal, Fed will need to win the title if he wants to secure number one after Olympics, where he must make at least 100 points more than Nadal assuming Djoko wins the possible semis here.

The next 2-4 days will be the crucial moment for “the changing”, or not. If Fed wins he will be going to Olympics with the certainty that he could regain n. 1 by August 18th. If he doesn’t only Nadal feeling the pressure of closing to n. 1 will save him, yeah right!! :)

NachoF Says:

Wait, so If Federer beats Nadal in the final here and also in the Olympics (does the olympics have a final?) Nadal still clinches the n1 spot before the US open?

NachoF Says:

I guess I meant do the Olympics have a final?

Von Says:


“to Von:
I am Novak DJokovic’s fan and I did not abandon him I just was answering on the most unjust comments about Novak.Now when he is not playing well there are fewer of unjust comments.”

Well, you know how that works. I have to deal with a lot of that for Roddick. My reason for making that comment is based on my observation that there are fewer Roddick and Djoko fans commenting. To me, it seems that they are no longer around — they left the forum. Another scenario could be that they don’t want to comment for fear of getting into an argument. I’m sure you see how many arguments I get into defending Roddick. It’s not that I like to argue but I dislike injustice. Don’t worry, Novak will be back to his winning ways, but be prepared to argue when that happens. Don’t worry, be happy. :)

Shital Green Says:

Yes, it does.
Olympic winner of the finals gets Gold medal) runner-up Silver, and 3rd position Bronze, the winner between the semi final losers.

I am just curious about your name. Is it a combination of Jack Black’s “Nacho Libre” and Federer?

A couple lines from “Nacho Libre” for laugh:
Sister Encarnación: Where are your robes, Ignacio?
Nacho: They were… stinky. These are my recreational clothes.
Sister Encarnación: They look expensive.
Nacho: Thank you. I mean… they might have the appearance of riches, but beneath the clothes, we find a man… and beneath the man we find…his nucleus.
Sister Encarnación: Nucleus?
Another one.
Nacho: How did you find me in the wilderness?
Esqueleto: I saw you from the village.
Sister Encarnación: Well, my favorite color is light tan. My favourite animal is puppies. I like serving the lord. Hiking, play volleyball…

Nacho: You gotta be kidding me. Everything you just said, is MY favourite thing to do, every day!

Von Says:

Shital & jane:

Take a look at Ernie’s comment on the other thread at 10:43 p.m. “Breaking down the No. 1 Ranking. Very informative.”

NachoF Says:

To Shital Green:

Well, there you go, my real name happens to be on that movie (Ignacio)…. “Nacho” is just a very popular nickname for the name “Ignacio” (just like Bob would be to Robert)….. F is just the first letter of my last name…..
thank you for the info about the Olympics but Im still not clear, if Federer beats Nadal in the final of Cincy and in the final of the Olympics, will Nadal still clinch the n1 rank before the US open?

Shital Green Says:


If Fed wins both Cincy and Olympic, he will remain No. 1.

Thanks for the name thing. So, you saw the movie because of the name?

zola Says:

thanks. I just checked my ATP bracket! I picked Murray-Fed and Djoko-RAfa for semis too. I had Moya losing to Tipsy, which did not happen and I have Davydenko losing to Murray!

Anyway, good news is that they are not on Rafa’s side. Moya is a very tough opponent for Rafa. Same as Davydenko.


It’s a field of 64 players and I think it is played much like a master series, with QF, SF and final.

these are the ranking points for the Olympic tennis players:
Gold… 400
Silver… 280
Bronze ….205
4th place…. 155
QF … 100
R16 …. 50
R32 …. 25
R64…. 5

NachoF Says:

Shital Green:
Ok, thanks…. no, I didn’t watch that movie, not really my cup of tea…. but yeah, I do get called “Nacho Libre” from time to time so I probably will eventually watch it.
Thanks!… we’ll see if Federer is able to maintain his rank, at least on the interview he said he was motivated because of the pressure…

Dan_M Says:

Nadal is the toughest match up for most people on tour at present even on fast hard courts because some players just have zero chance against him. Serra can’t hang around and hope to make something happen. Kiefer could not do so either. Roger needs to get his second serve working a bit better in order to have fewer players hanging around against him. For all of Ginepri blowing the 2nd set Roger blew the 1st set twice by failing to tale care of his normally reliable serve. I think Roger (and Djokovic) can work his way into form, but right now Nadal is the toughest piece of work on tour today.

Also, Roddick is in a very tough spot. He had to be hurt as his future wife’s family lives about 20 miles north of the greater Cincinnati area. I am sure he would want to make a good showing for the future in-laws.

Daniel Says:

Nacho F

If Nadal reach both finals in Cincy and Olympics losinfg to Fed, he will be n. 1 into the US Open.

Fed: 6255 (w Cincy) + 400 (gold Olympics) = 6655 pts on August 18th

Nadal: 6450 (finalis Cincy) + 280 (silver medal) = 6730 pts on August 18th

This math already takes off the Cincy and Canada 2007 points. The Cincy pts will be removed only at August 18th, when the Olympics points will be added after Sundays (August 17th) final.

Shital Green Says:


You are right.
Thanks for correcting me.
I overlooked some points along the way. I attribute my error to my trying to be empathetic with NachoF and other Fed fans.

addie Says:

nadal just needs to progress a round or so more than federer in cincinnati and he won’t even have to show up for the olympics to be ranked no. 1 going into the us open. That’s how good a position he’s in now.

jane Says:


“Take a look at Ernie’s comment…Very informative.”

He’s got good eyes eh? So strange. But such is the world wide web.

Nadal Gets No. 1, Then Gets Clobbered by Djokovic Says:

[...] could change should Novak duplicate his win over Nadal at the Olympics next week, but as I wrote week ago I really thought Rafa would take a breather this week. He got his No. 1., then he got out of there. [...]

Maverick Says:


Responding to Oleg’s response to my blog of July 30th,2008

I quote Oleg, ‘Maverick whatever drugs you’re on must be expensive to be so delusional about Federer’, unquote, posted July 30th, 2008 at 3:33 pm

In writing for this site, we express what in our opinion is fair. One or more of us may or may not agree to the opinions expressed in one’s blog, hence a discussion unfolds, this is healthy.

Commenting on blog’s of others is right and when done in a mature manner goes a long way to being appreciated.

Oleg’s response to my blog made assumptions that I was on expensive drug. Oleg’s assumption is inappropriate. If Oleg does not agree to my point of view, Oleg simply could write his/her point of view in a mature manner, as others did.

Saying, I was delusional on expensive drug only shows that Oleg was unable to accept my view point in a emotionally mature manner.

Let’s all of us write blogs and comment on blogs in a appropriate manner, a manner which does not assume that the other blogger friend is non compos mentis. I am sure most of you will agree.

Thank you. Enjoy Olympic Tennis.

zola Says:


“Let’s all of us write blogs and comment on blogs in a appropriate manner, a manner which does not assume that the other blogger friend is non compos mentis. I am sure most of you will agree. ”

AMEN to that!

It is disappointing to see some less-than-mature reactions here. On some forums personal attacks are forbidden and those types of responses get moderated. Unfortunately not here.

I hope you post more and do not hesitate to state your opinion.

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