Nadal, Djokovic Renew Rivalry; Federer Enters Acapulco Cliff Diving Event
by Sean Randall | August 15th, 2008, 12:43 am
  • 256 Comments

What a crazy day at the Beijing Olympic Tennis event Thursday. Have Roger Federer, Serena and Venus Williams ever all lost on the same day before? That has to be some sort of a first. Federer, of course, suffered one of the worst defeats of his career, getting turned away from probably his last realistic shot at Olympic Gold by James Blake 6-4, 7-6.

Serena was stunned by Russian Elena Dementieva 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 and sister Venus was shown the exits by Li Na of China 7-5, 7-5.

Avoiding the upset bug once the rains cleared were soon-to-be No. 1 Rafael Nadal, a 6-0, 6-4 victor over Jurgen Melzer, Novak Djokovic, who worked hard to beat Gael Monfils 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, and Fernando Gonzalez, who outgunned Frenchman Paul Mathieu 6-4, 6-4.

So the semifinals on the men’s side are set for Friday with Nadal v. Djokovic and Blake v. Gonzalez. Without getting too much into the nuts and the bolts of each match, I like Nadal to beat the Serb and maybe I’ll lean to James against Gonzo.

Nadal of course lost to Novak just a few weeks ago in the Cincinnati semifinals. But maybe Rafa was tired and maybe, having just completed a three-year journey by clinching No. 1 ranking the night before, he took his foot off the pedal ever so slightly. Today or tonight, I think he comes out guns-blazing and I think he gets through Novak, who might be feeling some fatigue after a three-setter Thursday vs. Monfils. Rafa leads the head-to-head 9-4, but Novak’s won four of six on hardcourts so this won’t be easy for either guy.

The earlier, 4pm local time semi is a real toss-up between two guys who can run hot and cold. Gonzalez has owned Blake, just like Federer did, and usually when I put my chips on James that’s when he does me wrong. But in this case I’ll ride the American medal wave – I believe the U.S. is still in front in the medal count, especially after Michael Phelps won again today – and go with him to get to the final.

As for Federer, things really have gone from bad to worse for the Swiss as his game and his confidence have basically done an swan dive off a cliff this year on the hardcourts, a surface he use to absolutely dominate. Yet now Roger’s struggling just to get wins, against anyone on the pavement!

One thing losing to up-and-comers like Gilles Simon, Andy Murray and of course Rafa and Novak, but that’s just not the case. Fed’s losing to guys older than him (Blake, Karlovic) and to guys he use to flat-out destroy like Americans Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish and Blake.

I can only imaging he’ll be like fresh meat to opponents come US Open time in 10 days or so. That aura is long gone, at least on hardcourts it is. Maybe Roger should stick to claycourt events, start playing Kitzbuhel, get back to Gstaad. Who knows.

Full credit to Blake, though, for hanging in there and not caving in against a guy he was 0-8 against lifetime. James surrendered an early second set break and the dam could have easily broken at that point, but it didn’t. He held it together, played just enough defense and got what was arguably the biggest win of his career. Good for him.

While Fed might never, ever land an Olympic singles medal now – he’ll be 31-ish come the 2012 London Games assuming he’s still playing – he does still have a crack at doubles Gold this week with countryman Stan Wawrinka. The Swiss team will complete their match with the Indian dynamic duo Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi in the doubles quarterfinal. The match was suspended at 1-1.

And if you can’t watch on TV or you can’t decipher the TV listings, but you have access to a computer you can get some good quality live streaming at the NBC Olympics website. Click here.


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We Think This Is Rafael Nadal Scuba Diving [Video]
David Ferrer’s Status For March Is Uncertain After Suffering A Groin Injury In Acapulco
Grigor Dimitrov: Federer Doesn’t Give Me Any Advice, We’re Just “Cool With Each Other” For Now

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256 Comments for Nadal, Djokovic Renew Rivalry; Federer Enters Acapulco Cliff Diving Event

jane Says:

Sean, I think even Novak has doubts after that tough win over Monfils; this was the extent of his post-match presser, from what I can tell anyhow (I’ll post it in full since Blake’s, Nadal’s and Fed’s pressers are already posted at this site – can’t find Gonza’s anywhere):

Q. Give a comment about your semifinal. You’ll fight against Rafael. Do you have enough confidence to defeat him again after defeating him a week and a half ago?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: The fact is I have enough confidence. Now the question is if I will have enough physical strength to hold on.

So it’s been exhausting tournament so far for all of us. I came to the semifinal and I’m not gonna think about me being tired or things like that. I pulled out a great match today. Incredible tiring exhausting physically and mentally. But the most important thing is that I won. So I did win last couple of times against Nadal that we played on this surface, so this can be a little advantage for me.

But, as I said, you know, it’s going to be very close, and hopefully I can get the positive outcome.


JCF Says:

“The earlier, 4pm local time semi is a real toss-up between two guys who can run hot and cold. Gonzalez has owned Blake, just like Federer did, and usually when I put my chips on James that’s when he does me wrong. I believe the U.S. is still in front in the medal count, especially after Michael Phelps won again today – and go with him to get to the final.”

In front of whom? Chile? Certainly not China. 22 to 13 last I checked.

Great swims this morning I must admit. That was one massive upset by Rebbecca Soni over Liesel Jones, snatching her world record and winning by a huge margin in the process. Upset of the Water Cube so far I’d say. Good on her. And Michael Phelps is too cool for school. That guy is the best I’ve ever seen.

I’m not an American, but I’ve been rooting for the Americans a lot in swimming.

“I can only imaging he’ll be like fresh meat to opponents come US Open time in 10 days or so. That aura is long gone, at least on hardcourts it is. Maybe Roger should stick to claycourt events, start playing Kitzbuhel, get back to Gstaad. Who knows.”

I still believe that Federer is a better clay court player than Nadal is a grass court player. However, Nadal is also better on clay than Federer is on grass, so he is going to be harder to beat at RG than Federer is at Wimby. This is why I think that as long as Nadal stands in his way at RG, Federer will not be winning it. Loading up a clay schedule now is just going to send a message that he’s desperate. He shouldn’t worry about it. Being #2 isn’t so bad. Just take some time off and focus on the bigger events. A coach might help also.

After Wimbledon, Nadal was my pick for the US Open. I don’t think he will win it anymore, but he has a good chance at the Australian next year. It’s hard to rule him out now since he’s guaranteed to make a medal match (either for Bronze or Gold), but the gruelling conditions in Beijing plus a doubles run and then a quick recovery required before heading back to the US, is going to take its toll on him.

If he maintains his form, I do see him completing a career grand slam at some point in the next 4 years. There are people who can upset him, but given enough tries he should either be able to get past them or avoid them completely.


JCF Says:

“I believe the U.S. is still in front in the medal count”

Oh wait… you were referring to total medal count, not just golds weren’t you? In that case I think you’re right. But the Chinese aren’t going to want to trade all their golds for those bronzes.


TA (Tom) Says:

“The Swiss team will complete their match with the Indian dynamic duo Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi in the doubles quarterfinal. The match was suspended at 1-1.”

Incorrect. The match was suspended when the Swiss team were leading 4-1.

And you should update the records section. You might say that you update them at the end of each year, but how can that be?
In the “ALL LEFTY GRAND SLAM FINALS”, Nadal’s 2005 win over Puerta at the French Open isn’t even listed. Shameful.


I TOLD YA, MAN! PLAYERS AREN't Afraid Of Feddie Boy these days Says:

Remember what I told you guys? And you thought that I was bashing Fed???? Really, all these players once he used to beat are beating Fed these days! You guys only like what you want to hear! But I wasn’t bashing Fed! So get really! Gonzale would probably wants another rare win from Federer, too!


Everyone learnt from Nadal, that they have to play a defence game against Federer! Says:

And wait for Federer his forehand and backhand to go bonkers! So Nadal’s win at Wimbledon, also opened the door for others!


Colin Says:

Well, Blake’s not going to get any gold medal. He’s just lost to Gonzo.
As a Brit, I was quite pleased Andy Murray didn’t stay long at the Olympics; it gives him a better chance to be fit for the USO. Also, I hope Rafa wins in Beijing rather than Novak. The Serb should be the top player Murray can aim at in the immediate future. Can’t see him overcoming Rafa yet unless he (Rafa)runs out of steam.
As for Federer, what can you say? Earlier, we were (rightly) urged not to write him off too quickly, but here we are with just one Slam left, and does anyone seriously see him winning that? If things don’t turn around soon, maybe he’ll do a Justine in 2009.


JCF always lives in his own world! Says:

Really, nothing against him! But he is a typical fanboy!


Shital Green Says:

I am getting bored by Safina-Jankovic match. How miserable is it to watch each taking turn to be broken by her own double fault? Now they are playing the same way in the 3rd set. Nothing exciting.
I hope this match gets over soon so that DJ-Rafa semi can begin.


Willie Says:

I don’t think Federer will win the USO. If he continue to play like he’s playing right now, he’s pretty lucky if he get past the 4th round.

And why is he complaining about his lack of practice? While Rafa, Djoko and Murray still sweating it out, he’d already been ousted too early in last couple of tournaments so he should have more time practicing.


Nadal would also beats Blake, if he has to plays him! Says:

I pretty much agree with what Colin. I don’t think that, Blake would creates problems for Nadal these days. And where’s that dude who made the Aussie Open final this year??? He’s a goner like Bagdatis! But I somehow feel that, Nalbandian could means problem for Nadal. If they ever play again!


jane Says:

“And why is he complaining about his lack of practice?”

I wonder about this too, especially since after losing in Toronto Roger claimed he practiced “3 maybe 4 days” between Wimbledon and Toronto, and yet there was, I believe, nearly 3 weeks between the 2 tournaments. Wimbledon ended July 7; Toronto began July 21. Surely he could’ve fit in a little more than 3 days practice! Even if he took a full week off.

Probably, what he should’ve done, is taken some time off after he was diagnosed with mono. Maybe he could’ve skipped Dubai, and the spring MS events on hardcourt, as he wasn’t defending a ton of points there anyhow.


jane Says:

Well, Gonza will get a third (!) Olympic medal to add to his bronze in singles and gold in doubles. Will it be silver to complete the set?


John Says:

The Rafa-Djoko semifinal match is about to begin!!!
There is a live streaming feed @ http://tinyurl.com/5lb854 btw.


jane Says:

It’s really hot there today (90 degrees) and very humid; Safina looked like she just got out of the shower after pulling out that 3 set win.

Hopefully, given that it’s later, it’ll be cooler for Rafa and Djoko. Either way, I still give the edge to Rafa, mainly because Djoko will be tired from yesterday’s late and long match.


Pat Says:

Everyone is suddenly down on Federer, even though he is still ill obviously from the Mono I think. He gave us beautiful tennis over the years, Nadal is a good player but his game has no style and is very physical then again the pulling out of his shorts all through his game is rather ugly – imagine your #1 player displaying that action.


Shital Green Says:

Djokovic faces triple break point in the opening game. Then, he comes back to take Ad and makes an easy forehand error. But he luckily serves well twice in a row and holds. Hope he can hang in there to make the match interesting !


jane Says:

Rafa’s holding easily and looking the fresher of the two; Djoko is making more errors. I agree Shital; I hope Novak can hang in and make a match of it, even if we’re both thinking Rafa will win the match.


Shital Green Says:

Rafa is serving extremely well, better than Djoko. Djoko has already made a couple of UEs. He faces break point on his serve second time. And he is broken in the 5th game as of his returns lands short in the middle of the court to allow Rafa hit a forehand winner in the corner.
So Rafa leads 4-2.

On the side note, Paul Gasol, a member of racist squad of Spanish basketball, is in the audience (anyone read about the controversial ad. about the Chinese eyes?).


jane Says:

This first set will be over in a jiffy; Djoko needs a shot in the arm!

I thought all along Rafa would win, but this is a blowout and Novak is a shadow of the fighter he was yesterday. I dislike watching him when he gets all negative and mopey. He needs to snap out of it.


Shital Green Says:

This is turning into a miserable match to watch. Now Djoko gets broken 2nd time, this time by a double fault.
Looks like this will be a straight set win for Rafa.


Shital Green Says:

It is good that he loosened up to take at least one break back. To keep the match close and not go out humiliated, Djoko has to serve like he did in the 9th game of the 1st set.


Fedex Says:

Looks like Paes-Bhupathi felt the brunt of Roger’s wrath.

“They both came up guns-a-blazing,” Paes said. “We got stuck with Roger just playing unbelievable tennis.”

When the match resumed Friday afternoon under the first blue sky of the Beijing Games, the crowd gave Federer a standing ovation.

Atleast we know the Chinese know their Champions. :)

The Bryans are the Roger Federer of doubles and unlike him they are doing fine this year, so Fedwrinka might not put that across them, but it is just awesome that Fed can comeback and put one across one of the doubles team I have resepected over the years. I am a huge fan of Paes, but yesterday I was rooting for Fedex!


Fedex Says:

woohoo! Rafa gets one set across jokebich. Just cannot root against a player who gives it his all like Rafa!

Vamos Rafa!


sar Says:

when will the bryans match with fed/willy wonka begin?


Shital Green Says:

Jane,
I know you are watching the match. In th 10th game, Djoko should have been able to take another break back, but he made 3 easy UEs. It is not that Rafa won the 1st set because he was hitting a lot of winners (actually, none in the 10th game). I had a hunch that Djoko’s forehand would not be consistent, esp when he is fatigued.
He will lose precisely because of the this.
All we can hope is a good match, though not enough sign for that.


sar Says:

msnbc TV has the game on live now.


Shital Green Says:

Good to see Djoko making some effort and taking an early break in the 2nd set. Hope he can make it a 3 setter, even if he is to lose at the end.


jane Says:

Shital,

You’re right; I thought that Djoko might even things up at the end of the first set. He got so close, to 30-40 in the last game, but the insurance break Rafa had saved him. Djoko just started to slowly imo; he looked like he wasn’t awake (but that’s probably just me…). And then he got negative as he can sometimes do.

I actually like players that show their emotions on the court; makes me identify with them more. But I don’t like when their emotions hurt their games, as can be the case with some of my faves – Murray, Safin, Djoko. It’s best when they can use the anger to fire them up – like when Djoko tossed his racquet yesterday and got back on track. Otherwise they need to focus!

Which Novak seems to have done in this second. He’s definitely seeing the ball better.

———–

Fedex,

I respect that you’re a loyal Fed fan, and a Rafa fan too, and of course you’re entitled to say whatever you want about Novak on these boards. However, it’d be nice if you used his real name once and a while! He is a pretty decent player after all.


jane Says:

I do admire Rafa tremendously for his undying focus on the court; he’s got to be one of the best tennis players at staying mentally engaged in every point that at least I’ve ever seen. It really works to his advantage, not only for his own sake, but because it puts mental pressure on his opponents, who know that Rafa will be focused on every single point.


Shital Green Says:

My best game was the 6th game of the 2nd set. Djoko played at his best in those last two points of that game to take 2nd break.


Shital Green Says:

Jane,
Looks like Djoko is awake now.


jane Says:

I am happy that Novak has taken this match to a third; early in the first set I thought it’d be a rout. Good on him for making a match of it.


jane Says:

Fed/Wawrinka have won the first set tiebreak against the Byran Bros. – that’s something. Roger must be feeling really determined now.

Djoko struggled in his first 3rd set service game; he’ll want to avoid all those long rallies with Rafa.


Kevin Says:

Guys, what u think, the result of 3rd set?


jane Says:

Rafa’s serve is vastly better; he’s winning some easy points off it in this match. This is going to help him do even better than he already has on hard courts.


Kevin Says:

Both tough and great player.
I guess 9 game to 7. Nadal win.


Shital Green Says:

Looking at the 1st three games of the 3rd set, I continue to give Rafa some edge. Relatively speaking, the beginning of the 3rd set is resembling more the beginning of the 1st set than the 2nd set.

What I take back is my initial reading of the slow start of the match. Actually, it is turning out to be an intense match. Both are investing in everything they have. Rafa should be able to break any time soon. If it goes into the tie, Rafa will still continue to have advantage.


Kevin Says:

Wow wow 3 game all. Great Match


YY Says:

Could go either way but I give Djoko a slight edge.


Kevin Says:

Shital, No tie, it is not ATP games. need win over 2 games


jane Says:

Shital,

I agree – nice to see Novak giving his all here. But focus and fitness-wise, in this match, I give the edge to Rafa still as well.

Djoko hasn’t been able to get a break, even though, he’s been pushing. If he doesn’t get it soon, he’ll be tuckered out, play a tired service game, and Rafa will get the break and match.


Shital Green Says:

Kevin,
Thanks. I am aware of it.


jane Says:

Rafa also has the advantage of serving first in this 3rd set, so Djoko is always trailing. He has to get a break and then hold to win it, whereas Rafa just has to get a break, which he might do here, at 15:30.


YY Says:

This should have been the gold medal match!


Kevin Says:

yeah, Djoko come to the net!


jane Says:

YY – I totally, 100% agree.


YY Says:

Yes!!! Nadal won!!!!


Kevin Says:

How could u miss the easy smash, Djoko?


Kevin Says:

How could Fed beat these 2 guys in U.S

Fed/Wiw beat Bryan in double


Shital Green Says:

Congratulation to Rafa !
What a great match !
Djoko deserves credit for making it a great match. Thanks to Djoko. Nothing to be sad about, but that was not the way to lose (the last point).


jane Says:

Sad for Djoko – very actually; he played well, much better than I thought he would after the first set.

But I am happy for Rafa; I hope he can get the gold medal now!


YY Says:

That last point was totally crazy! Djoko really had it in his hands to take that point. Nadal made those amazing returns and Djoko… what a miss!

Talk about defence!

The way both played they should win their matches against gonzales and blake easily. Though I feel Blake should have made the final instead! Will that controversial point affect gonzales mind on sunday knowing he does not quite deserve to be there?


jane Says:

It’s weird how the silver medal is won by default (i.e., being guaranteed a medal just getting to that match) whereas the bronze medal match is, in a way, more intense, as it means going home with nothing as the loser. I think it would be good to give 2 bronzes to the guys eliminated from the gold medal match. Maybe I am being to soft, as tennis is straight up elimination – you lose, you’re gone. But the Olympics is something different…


Willie Says:

Poor Djoko! He played a great match but in the end, he just missed the one point that really matters. He actually won more games than Rafa did, 14-13. What a sour note to end the match.


Shital Green Says:

I said this from the very beginning that if anybody breaks the 20 year trend, it would be Rafa (and Djoko was there, too, but the better player deserves more). I have no doubt whatsoever that the Gold will be his to take.
Good luck for Rafa for the final and advance congratulation to him for the Olympic Gold!


Vulcan Says:

Great match…Nadal really cranked up the intensity at the very end there. He was on cruise control from the second set all the way up to the last game of the match at which point he simply refused to let anything get by him. Still though its a tough way to have to beat Djokovic. Im still not quite sure how Nadal did it.


YY Says:

Mentally Nadal was up there! Djoko actually played better tennis from the end of the first set onwards but you really have to admire Nadal’s never say die attitude and fighting spirit.

Hope he wins the Gold on Sunday which gives him the possibility of being the second person to achieve a Golden Slam since Steffi Graf (if he also manages to win the USO and AO to hold all 5 titles at the same time).


JohnHecter Says:

“Will that controversial point affect gonzales mind on sunday knowing he does not quite deserve to be there?”

what an idiot, that point was at love-love of aservice game,.. rrright, that meaningless point was the reason for blake to choke 3 match points HAHA


jane Says:

Yes Shital, you were right; and I really really really want Rafa to win the gold now.

Don;t know if I even will watch the bronze medal match as I don’t want to see either guy lose.

Does everyone know that Fed/Wawrinka beat the Bryans!? They will play for the gold/silver medal, so Roger will get a medal after all – just not in singles.


Vulcan Says:

I think the quality of tennis was quite high from both players..but I did notice that Nadal dumped quite a few more backhands low into the net than he normally does. About his backhand…its as flat, powerful and accurate when its on as anybody elses. So I think its a critical part of his game on hardcourts because it allows him to turn defense into offense quickly so he can then finish the point with a forehand winner.


Vulcan Says:

Wow just saw that about Fed/Wawrinka…thats great news for Roger…once again..anything can happen at the Olympics..you just have to be in the right place at the right time when lightning strikes.


Kevin Says:

Rafa is the one has the chance to get the Olympic Gold and the 4 GS as Agassi

Rafa goes for the Gold Medal and then the U.S

Though I m big fan of Roger, I don’t think he could get close to Rafa soon.


Dan Martin Says:

This is going to sound stupid but Nadal is 15 matches from more or less matching Steffi Graf’s 1988 Golden Slam. If he wins vs. Gonzo, wins in NY and then wins in Melbourne in 09 … a long way off in one sense, but in another he’s the only one for 4 years that can even think of more or less matching the calendar year golden slam with a Rafa “Siglo de Oro” Slam.


Colin Says:

Well, I said I wanted Rafa to win the Gold. Stage 1 is achieved. Obviously I have amazing Yuri Geller powers, so I’ll make sure Rafa wins, but only AFTER I’ve teleported half a dozen Hong Kong film starlets to my flat!


jane Says:

Vulcan,

” I did notice that Nadal dumped quite a few more backhands low into the net than he normally does.”

I think this is actually a “forced” error; Rafa did this a lot against Djoko in Cincinatti too, as Djoko hits so deep in the court to Rafa’s backhand, often when he has him on the run – just watch next time.

BTW, Vulcan, I don’t know if you watched the whole match, but I have to say, I am impressed with the way Djoko has been turning around bad starts, and correcting his negative body language in the last two matches. He did against Monfils, and he did when down two breaks against Rafa in the first set. If he could’ve got the second break back, he would’ve won it.

I still think Novak is just a touch better on hardcourts than Rafa, but they’re very, very close.

Fitness & focus – as I said earlier, those two things, I tihink, are going to make the difference, especially at slams.

Djoko, like Fed, will always be a better front runner; he will need to get quick leads in slams to beat Rafa. But theirs is an interesting rivalry that I enjoy watching.

Shital,

Blake and Novak have never met – what do you think? In a way they have similar styles, but I think (?) Novak moves better.


YY Says:

Another stupid question. If the Olympic Gold medalist wins the Grand Slam in another year before the next Olympics, does it make a Golden Slam cause he or she holds all 5 titles? Or if the Silver/Bronze medalist does it… does it count as a Silver or Bronze Slam? haha


Kevin Says:

Fed/WaW will against Aspelin/Johansson of Sweden and both players over 33.

Most likely fed/waw could have better chance to have a gold in double tomorrow


Shital Green Says:

Vulcan,
I told you so. Fatigued Djoko is always prone to make more forehand errors. And he rushed a couple of critical times to throw long or wide or in the net. Rafa served well, stayed put, determined to return every shot thrown at him, and waited for chances to hit winners. That earned him the spot for the Gold now. I got what I wanted: A thrilling 3 setter match. It could have been better had it gone into the Pro-Set. I was hoping for it, but not a big deal.

A quick note: this is the first time Rafa and Djoko have ever played 3 setter on hard court in their now 7th meeting.


Kevin Says:

I think no one could like STEFFI GRAF to win all 4 GS and Olymipic in same year (1988)


Vulcan Says:

Jane regarding Nadals backhand…could be that its forced..but the forced/unforced criteria that applies to other players may not be valid for Nadal because he is so ridiculously good at hitting that shot. Im talking about when hes stretched out wide and is hitting it in the backhand corner and is able to not only redirect it but hit with tons of pace crosscourt. Its gotta be due to his upper body strength but I dont think there is anybody on the planet that can hit that shot the way he does…its often his bread and butter – but if its not firing – danger Will Robinson.


Shital Green Says:

Jane,
I like Blake, too, but Bronze will be Djoko’s in straight sets.

Ref: Djoko “will need to get quick leads in slams to beat Rafa.”
True, that’s what I think, too. This fits into my “quick note” above.
I can only hope they meet again at the US Open final. No other final will be as exciting as theirs from now on, imo.


Vulcan Says:

Shital, I havent checked the stats but my qualitative impression was that it was pretty high quality stuff from Djokovic…he didnt seem fatigued. I dont think it would be realistic of him to think he could spool out winners the way he did in the first set in Cincy…there only one man who is EXPECTED to do that and his initials are RF. Anyway I got half the equation right with Gonzo still in a position to win the Gold. Mind you, Gonzo is no pushover…he is fearless and seems totally immune to the pressure of playing in the Olympics.


Fedex Says:

Awesome Fed/wawrinka in gold medal match and Nadal beats the cocky son of a gun. This was a fun day.

Too bad some one had to lose in the other semifinals. I like both gonzo/blake and the swedish and french teams. What classics they served up though.

So freaking awesome that Fed fashioned the tennis version of the redeem team! Allez Fedwrinka. You are on the podium boys!

Jane:

I am sorry but I dont see you making similar pleas to people who called Rafa a dope or consistently instigate fed-hatred. Let us leave it to the moderators to take care of things, shall we?


jane Says:

Shital – I hope you’re right on both counts – bronze & USO final. But both are up in the air, with the tennis gods.

Vulcan – thanks for your response; I think Rafa’s wicked b.hand has to be in part because he’s a natural righty.


jane Says:

Fedex,

I guess most of those who I don’t bother to plead to aren’t regulars, like you, but are sock puppets.

But I have defended Rafa many a time, and I even piped up against “Fed is afraid” when he first showed up here too, by asking him if he could actually comment on matches instead of castigating Fed repeatedly.

But okay – we can leave it to the moderators; I just thought I’d ask…


zola Says:

Wow! congratulations to Rafa for a spectecular win.

Djoko played his heart out. He was unstopable in the second set and part of third.Nothing Rafa could do.

Sorry Jane and all Djoko fans here. I am very happy for Rafa , but Djoko equally deserved to win. They are very close.

I am glad RAfa did not go away when Djoko was playing out-of-this-world tennis and managed to hold serve and give himself a chance to win.

This should have been the final.
******

Fed/Wawrinka will play for the gold medal tomorrow. Great to see Fed happy and hope he gets that gold. Bravo Federer for not going away ater losing his singles match.


la bomba Says:

Wow, the Swiss miss won something…in doubles. He can always become a doubles specialist and get some wins that way.


Shital Green Says:

I am glad that Fed has switched to focus on doubles, his soon-to-be the only remaining territory. He may have a prospect of becoming No. 1 in doubles. As most top players (leaving aside a few) are older than him anyway, he will have age advantage. Perhaps, that’s a viable way of regaining No. 1 position. No. 1 is No. 1, after all, be it in singles or doubles.

Sean,
Ref: “Maybe Roger should stick to claycourt events, start playing Kitzbuhel, get back to Gstaad.”
And I agree with you that, if he sticks to it, Fed has a real shot of winning a couple of tournaments on clay, but he will have to be selective about them and make sure Rafa is not participating in those. Maybe, that will be enough to hang in there among the Top 3, 4, 5..10, 20. Who knows?

Good luck for Fed on clay and in doubles. Good luck especially for Olympic Gold in doubles. After all, a Gold is Gold, be it in doubles or singles. A Gold here should give him some confidence for making career in doubles.


zola Says:

A gold medal is a gold medal. Singles or doubles!

Go for it Fererinka!


zola Says:

Jane,
where do you get the post-match interviews?

Sean,
do you think they will show the medal matches on NBC or do we have to watch those tiny images on the computer on Sunday too?


sar Says:

Did anyone see Fed’s reaction after winning the match against bryan’s. It was Wavrinka lying on the ground and Fed looked to be praying over him.


zola Says:

Fedex,
I saw Jane’s plea. I guess I would ask the same. I am no Djoko fan, you know, but he played great and he lost. why the name calling?
There are a few on this board who like to take tennis to personal levels. Somehow I don’t see you in that mix.


jane Says:

zola, you can get post-match sports interviews at ASAP Sports, but they are usually only posted a day later – or certainly hours later. It’s a great source though.


Fedex Says:

Ok, Jane – Djokovic played a good match. There you go I said it.


Fedex Says:

Zola – done! you guys are going to reduce the hits on this blog if you dissuade people from name-calling. Most sites actually hire people to post provocative comments.

Peace guys.


Fedex Says:

Chinese and russian women playing their quaterfinal at 2a.m. It is like that crazy saturday at australian open where hewitt and bag-man finished their match at 4a.m!


zola Says:

Fedex!
you are great just like your man!
Hope he wins that gold. The same for Rafa!
******

btw,

USA channel will show the medal events for tennis on Saturday and Sunday

both days from 10 pm ( the day before) till 6:30 am next day ( it will be among other events of course!)

this is the link for TV coverage by nbc. you have to choose “tennis” in the sports field and the date.

http://www.nbcolympics.com/tv_and_online_listings


zola Says:

Jane,
thanks a lot.
I usually check ASAP, but I did not see the olympics one. Now I checked again and they are there. great!


jane Says:

Fedex – hallelujah. And peace.

Leave the name-calling to sock-puppets.


Noel Says:

Jane,
I couldn’t agree more with your excellent 12:50 pm post.I have always maintained that Nole will be the better player on faster surfaces but it appears that the difference between him and Rafa is not as much as I’d like to imagine.I don’t know how the conditions(humidity,fatigue from yesterday’s efforts etc) affected him today but you are probably right that at the moment they are extremely close although that closeness is entirely due to Rafa’s superior physical and mental strength imho.In terms of hard court game,I still think Nole is the best player going around and under normal conditions,he brings much more to the court.Murray should join him sooner than later.
The first set is extremely crucial for both Fed and Nole when they are playing each other or against Rafa.All the nerves settle down if they win the first set and both-esp Fed- play their best tennis when they are relaxed and confident.I still think that the first set made all the difference in the Oz open sf as it did in the 2007 Montreal or US open finals.Obviously,Rafa can come back any time on clay but the first set against Fed and Nole could make all the difference in his matches against Fed or Nole on the faster surfaces primarily because of what it does to the other player’s confidence and nerves.
I am glad that Nole didn’t get too down after losing the first set because the straight sets ‘trend’ in his hard court matches with Rafa has been broken even though the final outcome(victor being the first set winner) remains the same.In fact this applies to all surfaces albeit with one or two exceptions.
I just checked the stats which point to a ridiculously high number of unforced errors(46v52) and few winners(13v18).I didn’t watch the match but the posts here don’t point to a bad match.I am convinced now that a lot of forced errors are being classified as UEs there in Beijing.It has been a trend every time I check the stats and the Fed-Blake match just took the cake.BTW,I am shocked that Nole hit a 250 kmph first serve and a 248 kmph second serve during this match!!!If he can do that on big points regularly,he’d be incredibly tough to beat.


Shital Green Says:

Noel,
Ref: “Nole hit a 250 kmph [155.342 mph] first serve and a 248 kmph second serve during this match.”

Yes, that’s what Beijing Olympic tennis statistics of the match shows. Does that mean Djoko broke Roddick’s record of 249.4 kmph (155 miles)? Is not that the fastest serve ever?


Noel Says:

Vulcan,

“Wow just saw that about Fed/Wawrinka…thats great news for Roger…once again..anything can happen at the Olympics..you just have to be in the right place at the right time when lightning strikes.”

I must admit I didn’t expect the top seeds and multiple slam champs to be beaten by a makeshift pair and that too so convincingly.In fact,I was doubtful if Fed-Stan would win their qf match against specialist doubles players who have done very well in the past.It is good to see Fed overcome his singles disappointment and not letting his doubles partner down.The singles defeat probably has spurred him on.I am glad that he is assured of at least a silver.An Olympic medal had looked jinxed until yesterday.


Noel Says:

Shital,
Frankly, I don’t know what to make of it until I see something ‘official’ from the atp.However,you are right that this could be the new record because that Rod serve ‘is’/'was’ the fastest afaik. Even more difficult to believe is the second serve speed.That has got to be the fastest ever by some distance.At this rate,Pete’s status as the best ever second server is going to come under serious pressure……More likely to be some error esp with the second serve speed.I hope the atp/itf confirms it soon.


mat4 Says:

I watched that match and I didn’t see such serve. I think there was something wrong about the speed stats, because a Nadals ace was at 148 km/h officialy, but he served much better than that.


zola Says:

this is the link to Beijing stats: seems Rafa was the one with 250kph serve, not Djoko.

http://www.nbcolympics.com/tennis/resultsandschedules/rsc=TEM001202/index.html

Are these right? Then it is great news for Rafa!

Also the match is now on nbc.com website. Noel you can watch it on your computer:
http://www.nbcolympics.com/tennis/index.html


Noel Says:

Jane/Shital,
Please don’t take offence because my question could be misconstrued in a way which i don’t mean at all.Is it true that you read the interviews only on ASAP sports?I could be totally mistaken but I have always had the feeling that you have access to some other site due to the way in which you post the players’ quotes here.ASAP is not that quick but you always seem to have read them before I ever have going by how early you are able to quote them in your posts.If it indeed is the case,I’d be very grateful if you could provide the link.Mind you,I am talking about transcripts and not the audio/video clips.


Noel Says:

Zola,
My figures are from the Beijing Olympics official site as Shital has verified above.If these are for Rafa,it’d be even more unbelievable!In any case,it seems more likely to be some error either by the statistician or by the speed gun.


Shital Green Says:

Noel,
I don’t read ASAP. I have never been there. You could have googled it up: ASAP Sports. Ok, slacker, I’ve just searched it for you: http://www.asapsports.com

I read partial interviews from AP, Reuters, and AFP sports.


Shital Green Says:

Noel,
NBC is wrong on the stat. It has the stat upside down. Rafa’s for Djoko, and Djoko’s for Rafa. I am sure about this because of the number of Aces.

The match stat from Beijing Olympic tennis site is correct.
I am not questioning the stat. When I was watching the match, some of the first serves felt incredibly fast. Unlike at any other Djoko serve in previous matches, I did wow at the speed of his serve on a couple of occasions in this match, that included 2-3 second serves.

I was only trying to re-confirm from you. Soon this will be in the news. I am going to record this in the Wiki and provide the Beijing link and see what happens.


mat4 Says:

Djoko made 9 aces. The stats are completely wrong.


mat4 Says:

I just read Shital comments and he is right, the stats are upside down. Sorry.


zola Says:

mat,
yes, it doe snot sem right. I also watched the match and they constantly gave the kph or the first serves and I did not see those numbers.

Of cours it is a fact that Djoko jas a great serve. No doubt. but I am not sure how valid the Beijing stats are.

nbc just blew it with reversing them!


zola Says:

I am sorry for all the typos!and there are lots of them!


Vulcan Says:

No way on earth anybody was popping serves at 155 mph – those numbers have got to be erroneous or else the speed gun they are using is way out of calibration – im gonna have a look at some of the numbers from the other matches


Vulcan Says:

Djokovics fastest serve against Monfils was 207…this brings up a really interesting problem…the official Olympic stats state the impossible…so unless they are amended they are going to be part of the official record.


jack Says:

why is it so important to say “i am no Djoko fan”, “I’m no Rafa fan”, “I’m no Fed fan” but …, who gives a shit whos fan you are, say what you have to say, don’t bullshit too much.


Shital Green Says:

Ok, I put it in the Wiki. If it stays there for 2 days, I’d say a new record for the fastest serve has been accomplished. In the mean time, I will do some further research to verify the fact, check all sports news outlets.


Vulcan Says:

Shital I reiterate…absolutely now way the numbers are valid…but hey great catch to whoever discovered this anomaly first


Vulcan Says:

So lemme see if Ive got this straight…Rafael Nadal is going to wake up Monday morning with the number # 1 ranking, a Gold Medal, AND the biggest serve on the planet?


matt Says:

Great match!!!

Djokovic played great and physically he looked strong throughout the whole match.

But Nadal has improved his serve tremendously in the last months, and now he is just that good even on fast hard courts.

This is going to be (already is) a great rivalry and Djokovic will fight the nº1 spot to Nadal soon.

The stats lie. Most of UE were actually forced errors, because this two guys hit the ball so strong and with lightning speed.

They are the best players of the world right now from the baseline, and Djokovic hit some good volleys as well.

I agree with someone about Nadal’s backhand. It is a huge weapon on hard courts and grass, because he hits it almost flat, with lightning speed and can do it even in very difficult positions.

I would love to watch a Nadal-Djokovic USOPEN final.


zola Says:

***I would love to watch a Nadal-Djokovic USOPEN final.***

Wow!
that would be just great.

win or lose, will be a great result for RAfa.


matt Says:

Nadal’s mind is so great, but he is human after all:

At 5-4 up in the third set (the last game of the match), serving Djokovic, it was 15-30, and a slow second serve to Nadal’s forehand and…..he just couldn’t hit it properly, sending it to the net.

That was nerves, he knew that that was an extremly important point and he got so nervous he couldn’t put the ball on the other side of the net.

But….the greatest thing about Nadal is that THAT didn’t affect him at all, he continued fighting as if he wanted to show Djoko that it was not going to affect him, that he wasn’t going down mentally after that important mistake.

The last point of the match tells the story: “I’m not going to give you an important point anymore, you will have to win it by yourself” it seems Nadal was thinking, and that was exactly what happened.

He doesn’t go down mentally, even after a huge mistake in an important point.


Shital Green Says:

Vulcan,
I agree some of the UEs are FEs, and some times, UEs are subjective.

About the fastest serve, who should I believe?
The official Olympic stat in its website and what I saw in the match seem to coincide. I am not talking about the NBC’s upside down stat.
Have a look at the official stat: http://results.beijing2008.cn/WRM/ENG/INF/TE/C73A/TEM001202.shtml#TEM001202


Vulcan Says:

Yeah he seemed awwwfully tight on that shot I thought also. The Olympics is a whole different kind of pressure and all of the players respond differently to it…I would venture a guess that Rafa was as tight on that shot as he was when he got tight serving up a mini break at Wimbledon. He better be ready for Gonzo though because Gonzo understands the pressure will likely be hitting asteroids at Nadal from the get go.


Vulcan Says:

Shital, I dont know what to say about the stats.
I guess Djokovic needs to get on the phone to the Guiness Book or World Records. I dont remember seeing anything hit remotely that hard .


jane Says:

Noel,

Like Shital, I often go to online, post-match news articles, from AFP Reuters and the like; the reason begin that ASAP takes to long to post the entire transcript and post-match articles are up quickly (usually within an hour or two or three) and they almost always have quotes from the pressers. So in the occasions that I post quickly after the fact, I am likely cutting and pasting from one of those sources. I suppose I should cite my sources. I often don’t provide links because for some reason they don’t upload at all sometimes and other times they take forever. So I give quotes or the article title for googling purposes.

———————-

Along with a few others, I’d love to see a Rafa vs/ Novak USO final as well; their matches are thrilling to watch, from Hamburg, through Queens, to Cincy and today – very exciting close encounters, in which Rafa has the edge but in which Djoko is working to find ways. Murray, however, might have something to say about us hoping for that final – or who knows? Maybe someone totally surprising. Del Potro?? The guy has won 3 tournaments in a row, and is into the semis of the 4th – not too shabby.

————–

Vulcan,

Rafa and Gonza have a 3-3 H2H, with Gonza winning both hardcourt matches plus 1 on clay; all of Rafa’s wins against him are on clay. Hmmmm….the gold medal match might be tighter than I assumed?


Vulcan Says:

Zola, about Nadal and the US Open. What has happened since Wimbledon is what I suspected might happen is that the confidence it generated has lifted his game on hard courts. Todays win over the best hard court player in the world to me puts Nadal in very good shape for the US Open.
The more physical 5 set matches there would be to his advantage against the likes of Djokovic and Fed…although there are other young guns out there who could still give him trouble.


Vulcan Says:

Jane I didnt realize the H2H was that close. We all remember what Gonzo produced down in Australia last year….what was it… 3 unforced errors and something like 75 winners? I may be exaggerating but if he gets hot you better run for cover because he is capable of hitting winners from the parking lot. I fully expect it to be a close match but I give the edge to Nadal and particularly so if he remember to hit 99% of his balls to the Gonzo backhand the way he does against Federer.


Shital Green Says:

Vulcan,
I have posted a piece in Djokovic Forum and asked Djoko’s people who run the site to verify the statistics posted on the official Olympic site. I posted another piece in the Tennis Planet. So I am spreading the alleged record everywhere to find out the fact. So, this is a fact unless some authority challenges it, or this is not a fact unless further evidence is provided in support by an authority like ITF or ATP. At the end, I hope something useful comes out of it.


Vulcan Says:

Oh yes, and I have to say it…there is one old gun who will be waiting for Rafa too in Flushing…Roddick.


zola Says:

Vulcan,
I agree. Rafa might be tired but he will be very confident going to US OPen. He couldn’t have asked for a better preparation.

Jane,
It is true. The Gold is not a given for Rafa at all. Gonzo has an explosive forehand and if his game is on, like what he did in Australia, he will be the winner. I think he is even better than Djoko when he plays his best.

However, in Australia, Gonzo was in his peak. Rafa went to that match after a 5 hour epic match with Murray that ended in the early hours of the day and he said he was injured in the hip.
Here Rafa seems to be OK and this match was not that long, although emotionally draining. But if Rafa is healthy, he might ind a way ( I hope). Still, I give the edge to Gonzo too.


Vulcan Says:

Shital its a fascinating find…I would like to see a recording of the serve in question…im sure somebody will up it to Youtube soon enough…actually there were at least a couple of big ones one at 248 and one at 250…I would also like to see the controversial point between Blake and Gonzo which Blake is furious over.


zola Says:

Sar,
that was a great article. Thanks for the link.


jane Says:

sar,

Thank you for posting that link; I had no idea Gonza’s win was controversial. I read a brief post earlier in the day but it didn’t go into any detail. That article does. If it’s true, it is a real shame. Gonza should’ve passed on the Olympic goodwill. He still could’ve won.

It also points out something that maybe gets overlooked about the Djoker. For all of his confidence and bravado (the latter of which has lessened anyhow), Novak is always gracious and warm in defeat. He hugged Rafa warmly at the net today and Murray last week in Cincy. Today he also burst into tears leaving the court, and I have never seen that from him before, so it just shows how hard that loss must’ve felt, missing that overhead in the crucial moment of the match. The two were really but a hairs breath apart. But nevertheless, he hugged Rafa and wished him well. Many players, when they lose, quickly shake hands and rush off the court, but Novak is an exception. And as the article says, that’s what the Olympics should bring out – a special spirit, a goodwill in competition.

I also found it interesting the way that article talked about Novak’s sort of ‘mental glitches’ when push-comes-to-shove against some players, Rafa in particular. Novak could work on that, and if he does, he’ll be an even tougher competitor.

But in my books, he’s pretty great already, as is Rafa.


zola Says:

vulcan
you can see all today’s matches on the nbc.com/tennis site. just find the match you want and press on Rewind. They have all the matches in one stream. So you have to take the button forward and find the point you want to see.

I have posted the link to nbc on my 3:03 pm comment. If I post again it will take a bit to be moderated!


Vulcan Says:

Ahh OK thanks Zola


jane Says:

zola,

Don’t get me wrong; I totally expect Rafa to win and give him the edge; however, I was surprised when I read their H2H so I decided to post it up.

You’re right about the context of the AO win though; Gonza was on fire, but Rafa was spent from the Murray epic.


Shital Green Says:

Jane,
Yeah, that was a good piece, and your summation and response, too.

Hey, btw, Djoko’s Forum Administrator just sent me a message that his people in Beijing have been contacted about the serve record piece I wrote on his site. We are waiting for the reply.


zola Says:

Jane,
why would I get you wrong? Gonzo is a very good player. Just a bit unpredictable. And this is a final. If his game is on, then it will be very hard for Rafa and the H2H says everything. So I sort of agree with your post. just wanted to mention the context of that AO match. maybe Sunday will be a better one . If Rafa is healthy, it should be a good match.

It was hard to see Djoko cry. It allsays how much they all care about the olympics. Federer is still there, trying to win a medal. Djoko, Rafa…Gozno, the same…it is not about the measly 400 or 200 points they can get compared to the 1000 points from US Open. It is about representing their country. They all deserve all the praise. I hope Djoko win the bronze tomorrow.


zola Says:

Jane,
I have to mention that when the reporter of TVE interviewed Rafa after the match in the tunnel, Rafa was almost in tears too. He said he was so tired when coming to the Olympics that he did not think he could last. but he got better and this win was unbelievable. The interviewer said: if you cry then I have to cry too!”….It was a very emotional match!


Noel Says:

Shital,
I have been visiting that link for some time now and I won’t give you this much trouble on such a trivial thing as googling it up for me.I am not THAT dumb. :) What I wanted to know was if you had access to anything besides asap sports which provided the FULL transcripts.I am familiar with the sources you use.I am extremely sorry if my query was not clear and for having forced you-albeit inadvertently- to search it up for me.

BTW, I hadn’t imagined that my casual observation about those serves would lead to such hectic activity on your part.You appear very excited by this development and I hope your efforts bear fruit.I am intrigued myself.


Vulcan Says:

Well ive watched the “controversy” from the Gonzalez Blake match and it seems like these things are always hyped more at the Olympics.
As far as the Olympic Spirit goes…I dont think that includes bending the rules against yourself.
It was the chair umpires job to make that call and if he didnt make it its not Gonzos job to make it for him. Unfortunately the feed on the NBC website does not have the replay referenced in the AP article…its very hard to discern if he tipped the ball from the replay on the website.
Blake in my opinion is overreacting.


Noel Says:

Jane,
I do the same thing you do.I was just wondering if you had access to something else-apart from asap- that I was missing out on.I don’t know why I got the impression that you had access to the FULL interview transcripts from some other ‘quicker’ source.It is an assumption that I made incorrectly.My bad again.
I don’t think you really need to quote your sources for such routine matter and my post didn’t imply that either.Anyway,thanks a lot for responding.


Shital Green Says:

Noel,
Can you believe Djoko’s team in Beijing has been contacted about your finding?
If you get a chance, visit Djokovic’s forum, but you will need to register to access it. The Administrator’s comment at the bottom mentions the contact. After you get inside Forum, scroll down, and it is under “Novak on Court,” subtitled “Nole’s Achievement.”
Link: http://www.novakdjokovic.rs/
I should have mentioned your name, too. I will do that if it turns out to be a fact.


Vulcan Says:

Does anybody happen to know at what point in the match Djoker hit these serves? I want to watch the replay to see what they look like.


Shital Green Says:

Vulcan,
All I know is the Stat records that his first serve at 250 kmph to have occurred in the 2nd set and 2nd serve at 248 kmph in the 3rd set.


Vulcan Says:

Well Noel…you may go down in history as the guy who discovered the biggest Stat error in the history of tennis. Unless the serve speed board is in view this one could live on in infamy. If we knew which serve it was it would be easy enough to analyze the video and backcalculate the approx speed.


Noel Says:

Shital,
I just marvel at the speed and ease with which things can be done on the net.This won’t have been possible earlier.It is quite incredible that Nole’s team in Beijing has been contacted due to the brilliant activism of a forum member from the USA who got a ‘tip-off’ from one in India and all this sitting at home and with minuscule cost.I just love the internet!There is no need to mention my name.Really,you are the hero as it were and a true tennis enthusiast.A very nice instance of cyber activism.Even if I had wanted to,I really won’t have known how to go about it and kept on waiting for the ‘official’ confirmation.Seriously,way to go!!


NachoF Says:

Noel Says:

I just marvel at the speed and ease with which things can be done on the “net”

lol, I had a hard time understanding what you were trying to say by that… considering we are on tennis site.


Noel Says:

Vulcan,
I am thinking more about what implications it has for the men’s game if they indeed were the correct stats.I’d shudder at the thought of Nole having such first and second serves.He has an incredibly potent game already.Add a bit more of physical and mental toughness and this guy will be extremely TOUGH to beat.An excellent ‘development’ for all the Nole fans and seriously bad omen for the others.


JCF Says:

Djokovic and Nadal have a pretty good rivalry. They’ve been playing each other more often than either of them plays Fed. And it’s a pretty balanced matchup too. Neither player is going to dominate the other, except maybe on clay but Djoko has pulled together some tight matches there also.


zola Says:

nachoF
I guess by “net” noel means the “internet”.
you have to read some of the discussions about the first serve speeds in the Rafa-Djoko match.


Noel Says:

NachoF,
I wasn’t trying to say anything profound.Not that I am capable of it either.We take the net so much for granted that we sometimes tend to forget how things used to be just a few years ago.May be,I am not exposed to this type of activism and I could have sounded unduly ‘exultant’ on something which is very basic and routine to you.I am sorry if I sounded stupid or if you were offended by my ‘silly’/'childish’ post.I didn’t mean to give you a hard time.


Vulcan Says:

Well I was test analyzing some tennis video in Mpeg format and have come to the conclusion that the serve speed can only be determined to plus or minus 15 MPH accuracy via this method.


Vulcan Says:

Hmmm…does anyone happen to know WHEN the velocity of the ball is measured by the radar?…is it when the ball comes off of the racket or some point after that?


zola Says:

Vulcan,
I guess it is reasonablr to assume that it would be the second the ball comes of the racquet.


Vulcan Says:

Zola, yeah that would give the highest velocity.
If that is the case then I think its possible to analyze to get a result that is plus or minus 5 MPH. Its intersting to note that a serve struck at 125 MPH lands a final velocity of only 90 MPH.
This website has a neat calculator which factors in the drag on the ball:


Noel Says:

Shital,

I just became a member out of curiosity and I must say Nole’s forum is pretty colourful just like Nole.Fed’s is rather dull in comparison.Your headline is quite sensational as well and in very suitable colour.I saw the administrator’s comment.I hope the answer comes soon enough.
I have visited Nole’s website quite often but never became a member.Ditto for Rafa.In fact,I can’t even recall when I visited Fed’s forum/site the last time.


zola Says:

Vulcan
interesting site. did you have all the other info? air density, elevation? etc? I guess this just estimates the speed of a ball.

to me the simple calculation for a ball struck on a tennis court would be the distance it covered divided by the ball divided by the time. I don’t know how to do it quite well using a video clip. maybe the ones that land on the T are the easiest to calculate since the distance is known. but still you need to know where the ball was struck.


Mary Says:

Noel- Great find! How would Novak go about making it official?

I guess I should rethink my opinion on Novak( despite my having a long complicated Polish surname, I can never remeber how he spells his surname), being a quitter, due to his play this week. His website is cool; I have no idea what is written on it.


Vulcan Says:

Zola yes distance/time will give you the average speed of the ball…the dimensions of the court are known and the distance from the baseline to the service line on the opposite side is 60 feet. Now most serves land near the service line…but you have to factor in the angle (both horizontal and vertical) which accounts for 1 or 2 feet depending on how wide the serve is hit (this really doesnt contribute that much to the final answer). Anyway the typical distance travelled by the ball is 61 feet or so. NTSC video gives 30 frames per second and a typical serve will take about 11 or 12 frames from ball strike to landing. From the average velocity one can kind of guess as to the initial velocity based on the degree of deceleration given by the calculator on the website. Unfortunately that calculator wont backcalculate from an average to an initial velocity…i guess that could be done manually but if you take the average velocity and just add about 20 MPH to it to get the initial velocity that might do the trick.


Vulcan Says:

Zola, I didnt enter air density and elevation but Im guessing these arent too critical…havent checked emm yet though. For analyzing the Nole serve i think it would be enough to be able to say it was a typical Nole serve which is down around 125 or 130 plus or minus even 10 MPH.
The only trick is would need some NTSC video of the match in order to check it…and would have to know precisely which serves were the ones in question.


Noel Says:

Mary,
“I have no idea what is written on it.”

I guess you are talking about the serbian version of Nole’s site.There is a ‘button’ on the top right hand corner which takes you to the English version.You could also suffix ‘/index.php?Lang=EN’ to the link given by Shital.


zola Says:

Vulcan,
I guess those info ( air density etc) is for when you want to estimate the speed of a ball. but for real ones, I think it should be enough to just divide the distance by time.

My only argument here is that the actual distance is not the one on the ground. it will be from where the ball has been hit in the air to where it landed. and that needs to be calculated.

I wonder how they measure the ball speed in the games. you say that it has different speed at different times. so it is interesting to know if they report the average speed or speed at some point.

Noel,
you have created quite a discussion!


JCF Says:

“The way both played they should win their matches against gonzales and blake easily. Though I feel Blake should have made the final instead! Will that controversial point affect gonzales mind on sunday knowing he does not quite deserve to be there?”

What’s this about? Can someone tell me what happened? Did Blake get a bad call on match/break point and have no hawk-eye?


Vulcan Says:

zola Says:

My only argument here is that the actual distance is not the one on the ground. it will be from where the ball has been hit in the air to where it landed. and that needs to be calculated.

Yes but again this is not that much. A typical player will strike the ball at an elevation of 9 or 10 feet…this only contributes less than a foot to the overall distance the ball travels.
The distance travelled ranges anywhere to around 60.5 feet for a serve struck down the T by Mini-Me to maybe 62 feet for a serve struck by Ivo Karlovic out to the corner.


zola Says:

OK Vulcan,
so the typical speeds that you get, are they close tho those on the itf page?


Vulcan Says:

Also, regarding distance/time…it really doesnt even give you the average velocity but only the median velocity. The velocity is changing in a non-linear way…that is..the deceleration is changing as the velocity changes. So the average velocity is not simply the initial velocity plus the final velocity divided by 2…from the calcs ive done on the website the average velocity is closer to the final velocity than it is to the initial velocity


Vulcan Says:

zola Says:
OK Vulcan,
so the typical speeds that you get, are they close tho those on the itf page?

Zola ive calculated the velocities using the method for a few different serves based on some NTSC video that I have and yes its reasonably accurate…its basically limited to the framerate of NTSC which is the 30 frame/second resolution…needless to say a higher frame rate (perhaps and HDTV clip of the match) would make for a better calculation


Noel Says:

JCF,
Please follow the 4:41 pm link provided by sar on this very thread.


Vulcan Says:

Noel, I think the key word in describing Djokovic that you used is “potent”. He has quite a blend of power and consistency…I mean the guy just does not miss and everything he hits is flat, deep, hard, and accurate. Only one guy did that better maybe and that was Agassi (or maybe Connors if you want to go back further but he was using a T-2000 so its maybe not a fair comparison)


Von Says:

jane:

Someone mentioned a 12:50 pm post about sock puppets. At first I thought Kroll was back because that’s his name for anonymous posters, on reading the post a second time, they were referring to a 12:50 pm post authored by you regarding name calling. Anyway, was the post removed? I can’t find it. What’s the situation? Thanks.


Noel Says:

Zola,Vulcan,
I find your passionate discussion on such a technical matter quite fascinating.Vulcan,I never expected you to get so ‘desperate’ to confirm the speeds by calculating them yourself.I’d be very curious about the outcome.As zola said,quite a discussion has indeed been started way beyond the original intent or imagination.


Vulcan Says:

Noel, LOL, not desperate, just curious…I do find it interesting that those numbers were published…I mean…I know…with virtual 100% certainty that Djokovic did not hit those serves. He is just not physically capable of hitting them with his existing service motion…now with that said…Im curious to see where the numbers came from…and if there is any possible explanation.


Von Says:

Vulcan:

“Unfortunately the feed on the NBC website does not have the replay referenced in the AP article…its very hard to discern if he tipped the ball from the replay on the website.
Blake in my opinion is overreacting.”

I saw that match and it was clear that the ball touched the tip of Gonzalez’ racquet. The commentators also mentioned it. Gonzalez should have spoken up, but he didn’t. He walked away even though he saw Blake looking in his direction. I saw a similar situation with Gonzalez v.Dancevic at the AO ’07, where Dancevic was just out and out robbed by a bad call, and Gonzalez remained mute, even though it was obvious that the point should have been given to Dancevic. Dancevic lost that match and Gonzalez became the finalist at the AO. In my opinion Carlos Bernardes is very biased against the American players. In fact most of the umpires are. A few weeks ago, Bernardes made two (2) bad calls in the same game, against Roddick also. I don’t think Blake overreacted.


Vulcan Says:

Von, another tough loss for Roddick today. I wonder if the Enigma of how to return his serve has spread like a meme throughout the locker room. I remember when he first came on the scene…he would just steamroll guys…but now they seem to be able to break him with impunity.


Noel Says:

Vulcan,
I agree that Nole’s groundies are unbelievable esp on a good day and he does have a lot more consistency/accuracy than other power hitters although I have seen Berdych in the past and believe you me,he can hit even flatter and deeper groundies and probably with more power.Of course,he does it rarely and the accuracy is missing.Agassi was way more accurate and consistent with his groundies although he didn’t have Nole’s power.He had crazy hand-eye coordination and his relentlessly aggressive baseline play was quite something.I am still amazed how accurate he was with his high-risk approach of taking the ball early and hitting it deep and flat with so much power.


Noel Says:

Vulcan,
That is why I wrote the ‘offending’ term within quotes. :)


Vulcan Says:

Hmmm I wonder what the american media would be saying right now if it was Mardy Fish or Andy Roddick who failed to incriminate themselves even when they werent sure if they touched the ball…answer…total silence.


Von Says:

Vulcan:

“Von, another tough loss for Roddick today. I wonder if the Enigma of how to return his serve has spread like a meme throughout the locker room. I remember when he first came on the scene…he would just steamroll guys…but now they seem to be able to break him with impunity.”

Ady won the first set 6-0 in 22 minutes. In the second set he was struggling with his serve. He couldn’t buy a first serve; Troicki won 6-2. Third set rain came. Roddick came out struggling with his serve again, but in the 8th game he was again hitting first serves. I think his back was probabaly acting up, and I’m presuming he took a pain killer, which takes a while to work. However from the 8th game in the third set he began serving better and had a love game. Troicki couldn’t return Roddick’s serve; the same as the first set where he steamrolled Troicki. I think he should stop playing and rehab his back some more. If a player does not play for 3 months, he’s bound to have some rust. I don’t think it’s a matter of the guys figuring out his serve; it’s more appropos to say, it’s Roddick who can’t find his first serve, which all points to his back/shoulder. He’s not done yet, I hope.


zola Says:

Vulcan,
what is a typical time for the ball from service point to land?


Noel Says:

A bit off topic but I guess I need to break the news to those who don’t know it already.Phelps has won the seventh gold and equaled one of the longest standing Olympic records held by Spitz.The only ‘shock’ from his most ‘dangerous’ event was the fact that he couldn’t break the world record.What an achievement!!I just can’t recall if I have ever seen such an incredibly assured air of inevitability about someone’s ability to achieve what he has in these games.Hats off to this phenomenal athlete!


Von Says:

Vulcan:

“Hmmm I wonder what the american media would be saying right now if it was Mardy Fish or Andy Roddick who failed to incriminate themselves even when they werent sure if they touched the ball…answer…total silence.”

I totally disagree. The American media is the American players’ worst enemy. Take a look at the awful articles on Tennis.X for Wimby this year. Roddick, Fish, and Blake are very honest about awarding points to their opponents. They would rather lose than lie. That said, there wouldn’t be silence from the media if those guys did something unsportsmanlike, instead there would be huge headlines built on sensationalism.


Vulcan Says:

zola Says:
Vulcan,
what is a typical time for the ball from service point to land?

Zola, its around 11 or 12 NTSC frames which is 11/30 seconds for a typical 125 MPH serve.


sar Says:

What station in the US is showing the nole match?


Shital Green Says:

Vulcan,
You already seem to know a lot about the speed measurement. I have no clue about manual calculation like observing frames, etc.

Here is my two penny, though.
One thing I know is serve speed is measured by a device with radar system. I don’t know which company is approved by ITF to carry out the task at the Olympic, but I am sure the Olympic has a reliable measuring system.

For every day speed measurement, we use Jugs or Decatur radar gun (and we always face mounting problem at public tennis courts). Some of them are pretty expensive ones. At my school, we have Sports Radar NFSC Tour 4 Speed Detectors NFSCtour-IV. There are cheaper ones, too, like Sports Radar DT100 Speed Detector Radar Gun, some with features like instant replay, costing only a couple of hundred dollars, and they do serve some purpose but they lack range, considered not very reliable and not by ITF.

USTA has been using IBM radar gun. IBM provides a courtside radar gun system which displays the speed of serve data on the courtside display and sends the serve speed and direction, as well as other serve statistics to the IBM scoring database. For instance, during Wimbledon, two specially designed radar sensors are positioned behind the baseline at either end of the center court (they have pretty good range and give infallible reading). Once a player strikes the ball, the radar guns detect its speed. The information is flashed up on the court-side screens. Details are also automatically recorded on IBM’s central tournament database.

ITF has to approve the equipment used. It has its own lab to do the testing, which is pretty rigorous.

For ITF Serve speed systems, go to the following site, and there is a link to Serve Speed Validation Report, which could shed some light on the rigor of the testing, etc.
http://www.itftennis.com/shared/medialibrary/pdf/original/IO_6587_original.pdf


Dan Martin Says:

Federer looked happy on a tennis court again. Bodo said he has career fatigue, but for Roger to realize he can still have fun and win meaningful prizes in a sport where he is preternaturally talented makes me think Roger may have a lot more tennis in him.


Vulcan Says:

Shital thanks for the info on the speed guns…just need to figure where in the match Djokovic hit these supposed big serves now to get to the bottom of this…I guess Ill probably watch the match again at some point and will pay attention to the serve speed board.


zola Says:

Noel,
I just watched the race. Mom’s reaction was priceless. She was in disbelief! He won by 0.01 second. I think he will win the 8th too. He is just great!


Vulcan Says:

Federer is going to be around for a long time.
His game is fluid and effortless. Its not by chance that he has suffered so few injuries.


Dan Martin Says:

Vulcan that is what both Sampras and Courier have said about him. I think if he can get some of the tension off of his back and not worry about defending this or that and just play – Federer will be fine. Maybe losing to Blake was hitting rock bottom, but that can be liberating as well.


zola Says:

Vulcan,
thanks for the info. I guess if they measure with a Radar gun, it also depends which point they choose. Yours is more accurate, measuring the average speed.
I will try some time to see if I can measure the speed too!

Dan,
Fed was so relaxed in his doubles match! did you see him putting holy water on Stan’s body after they won? I think he is having fun and he will win the Gold tomorrow.

Vulcan,
Blake is a nice guy, but he is no saint himself. There was a big controversy last year about him replaing Korolev in Las Vegas round Robin. He accepted the ATP’s decision to kick out Korolev and replace him. MAny players among them Safin and Hewitt protested the decision and Korolev remained in the tournament.

If Gonzo knew the ball hit his racquet, he should have given the point. I agree completely. But Blake lecturing in length about sportsmanship is a bit too much.


zola Says:

sorry for multiple posts.

Sar
the USA channel will show the matches. They will show multiple events rom 10 pm tonight nd tomorrow till 6:30 am the next day. I guess you have to tune in at the appropriate time.


sar Says:

Here is the weird ceremony Federer performed over Wawrinka.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sd_JgjFl6Fs


Shital Green Says:

Vulcan,
I am not saying Djoko’s recorded speed has been proven. Like you said earlier, it could turn out to be a joke. Or, it could be true (this is just my hope). The final verdict is in suspension. If I hear from my sources, I will update you right away.


Vulcan Says:

Dan, I think the true litmus test for Federer will be next years Wimbledon. Im sure hes already thinking about it and how pissed he must be at letting Nadal snatch it away from him. I dont think he really ever expected that to happen and Im sure it totally shattered his confidence for a short while. But hell recalibrate and when he comes back to Wimbledon next year that will be the point at which this year starts to fade from memory assuming he can turn it around there. In the near term a deep run at the US Open will keep the hounds at bay.


Von Says:

JCF:

“Great swims this morning I must admit. That was one massive upset by Rebbecca Soni over Liesel Jones, snatching her world record and winning by a huge margin in the process. Upset of the Water Cube so far I’d say. Good on her. And Michael Phelps is too cool for school. That guy is the best I’ve ever seen.”

I watched that race, Soni was just super. She appeared to be in shock when she realized she had won.

Agree with you on Michael Phelps. I hope he wins every swimming event. He’s won most of the US gold medals all by himself. He seems to be a very sweet person. He gives his flowers to his sister.

The US gymnasts are also competing incredily well. I’m happy for them.

“I’m not an American, but I’ve been rooting for the Americans a lot in swimming.”

Good for you. There are some who live in this country and are very biased against the Americans, but that’s their bad. I try to watch all the swimming events, and by now you probably know for whom I root. :)


Hola Says:

I think Phelps is juiced like Marion Jones was.


Von Says:

Sar:

It does look weird. I’m, so sad the Bryans lost. I doubt whether they’ll be around in 2012, as they are now 30 years old. Can’t see them competing at the Olympics at 34.


zola Says:

Hola,
people are innocent until proven otherwise. Phelps’s juice is his work ethic and his great body.


jane Says:

Von,

You asked me something way up above about “sock puppets” – yes this is Kroll’s term for impostors or trolls. I used it but with no intention to take it away; I just like it, same way I like your “keep the faith” and “all shall be well”. Hope you don’t mind if I use them hither and yon.

Anyhow, the sock puppet reference was addressed in a discussion I had with Fedex earlier; I just asked him if once and a while he could use Djoko’s proper name, and he did. I think I said something like we should leave the name-calling to said puppets. So I hope that clarifies things – not much of a situation really.

Not like this hoopla about serve speeds – wow!

I am awaiting your verdict Shital!


Von Says:

jane:

I don’t mind at all if you or anyone use my words. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery; use as you see fit. The following was my post to you:

“jane: Someone mentioned a 12:50 pm post about “sock puppets”. At first I thought Kroll was back because that’s his name for anonymous posters, on reading the post a second time, they were referring to a 12:50 pm post authored by you regarding name calling. Anyway, was the post removed? I can’t find it. What’s the situation? Thanks.”

I thought Kroll was back and there was a discussion between the two of you on “sock puppets”, but as I stated above, the post seemed to have disppeared. I was curious as to what was happening because I saw another post mentioning moderators. You can say I was being nosey. I miss Kroll’s sarcastic humor. I hope the above explains my question.

“Not like this hoopla about serve speeds – wow!”

If you notice I do not get involved in the technical or mathmatical stuff – I’m a dummy and I lose interest.


Dan Martin Says:

Djokovic looked great vs. Blake. I can easily see him setting the standard on the ATP tour (at least off of the dirt) but he is still maybe 1/2 a level away from doing that. The tools and talent are all there. I like watching Djokovic a lot. He is a talented guy.


Von Says:

Shital & jane:

One quick post before my hectic day begins, CONGRATS, CONGRATS, CONGRATS!!!!! :D
YOUR BOY WON THE BRONZE. ENJOY!!!

Catch ya later this evening. :)

Shital: How about your going to ‘Happy Hour this evening for a celebration with champagne and caviar. :) :P


Fedex Says:

It is great watching Federer play doubles. He seems a natural even in doubles. He is really having fun on the court and is as animated as I have ever seen him on a tennis court (excluding exhibitions), all the while playing some scintillating tennis. When Fed puts it together like this, you just have to wonder what an insane amount of talent one person can possess!

Stan’s volleying is a little weak and he made some uncharacteristic errors on that beautiful backhandside.

Fed and stan yet to drop a set.


jor Says:

anybody knows when will Nadal play final at Olympics?


Fedex Says:

tomorrow


zola Says:

Jane and all Djoko fans,
congratulations for He was the better player against Blake. I agree with Dan. He is very consistent and he is just going tobe better. It was good to see him happy (maybe not shirtless!) on the court. well-deserved.

It is also great to see a happy Federer. Doubles is really fun to watch. I wish they show the master series doubles too. The player are more relaxed. It seems they are going to get the Gold. Tomorrow Rafa will win a medal too.

Great achievement for the top 3. They all committed to the olympics and made it much more fun to follow. They are all very special.


Vulcan Says:

Jor, its scheduled for 3:30 local time tommorrow.
Also, its a best of 5 set match.


zola Says:

oops:
Correction:
Congratulations for Djoko’s medal.

and addition
Although Blake lost, but he showed a great effort as well and put himself in a position to win a medal. well done !


Vulcan Says:

Federer winning a gold medal in doubles is going to really ease the dissappointment he must be feeling over his singles losses. Given how unpredictable the Olympics can be for tennis players coming away with any kind of Medal requires a combination of good fortune and determination….so I really dont think it makes all that much of a difference if its gold, silver, or bronze and whether its single or doubles.


jor Says:

thanks very much Vulcan


jane Says:

Hooray for Djokovic – congrats Novak you did it.

Also congrats to the Bryan bros for cinching the bronze; the Williams sisters will likely get gold.

I agree zola – the big three will all leave with medals – Rafa and Nole in singles, and Fed in doubles – so that’s quite an achievement and goes to show their consistency and fight.

Finally, yeah, sad to see Blake not get a medal too, but he played well throughout the Olympics and got so close; I hope he can take some consolation from that.

———————

As for the women’s, I stayed up WAY too late last night because the Safina Li Na match was captivating; I felt much better about women’s tennis after watching it – Safina, put simply, rocks. Just like her big brother in his prime.


jane Says:

Von,

Thanks for the congrats – your boys won bronze too, so we both can indulge in some happy hour. Besides which, you have Phelps… one one-hundredth of a second? That’s crazy. And next, he’ll probably break the record for most golds ever. wow. :-)


jane Says:

From Reuters, nice quote from Djoko:

“Not many athletes get a chance to win a medal. But for me, this bronze, which I won here, shines like a gold because I think I’ve played all tournament pretty good tennis.”


Fedex Says:

TJ is one heck of a player. He has got a lot of game. I always felt Safin gave him the aussie open, but over the years I realised he is quite a shot-maker. He has played really well today. Ironically, aspelin the doubles specialist is the weak link today.

Which bring us to the point, athens olympics had zero doubles specialists in the doubles gold medal match and this time 1. I guess if the top 10 singles guys really badly want it, they could make quite a career in doubles.


Shital Green Says:

Von,
Thanks.
I am not a Champagne guy, so it could be Cognac and Russian beluga,or Caspian sevruga, malassol processed, over Patrick Cleandenim’s “Cognac and Cavier”?
Talk to you in the evening.

Jane,
You know my prediction (every detail matched). I feel stupid to sound self-asertive and self-congratulatory. Excuse me for that. Third ranking Djoko got the 3rd prize. Justice is served. And I think our wish for the US Open final will be fulfilled. Again, whoever wins the 1st set wins the whole thing in the USO if they meet. Rafa against Gonzu tomorrow is very likely to be straight set, (4 setter cannot be ruled out).


Fedex Says:

Wow! fed to serve it out! Will his singles form rear its ugly head?

If he does win the gold today, and Nadal wins gold in singles tomorrow – it might just be God’s way of rewarding them both for that terrific Wimbledon Final!


jane Says:

Shital – why not be self-congratulatory; it’s good to be right! I am looking forward to the USO, for sure.


Gordo Says:

Well – in what has been (for him) a pretty dismal year, how nice that Federer does get to hear the Swiss anthem played and he does get an Olympic Gold.

I know the Fed-bashers in here will cry “So what – it’s not in singles,” but I think any gold for your country is a major achievement. I’m sure it even shines brighter than a singles Bronze.

And Federinka (if we can have Brangelina, why not?) had the toughest draw, having to knock off the US team of the Bryan brothers and India’s former world #1 Leander/Paes, both of which they did in straight sets.

Today’s score against Sweden (Aspelin/Johansson just in – 6-3, 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-3.

Congrats, Roger and Stan!


jane Says:

Congrats to Federer/Wawrinka for capturing gold in doubles. I figured they’d go all the way once they knocked out the Bryans, and they both looked happy and relaxed.


Fedex Says:

Goooooooooooooooooooooooooooold!


jane Says:

Gordo,

” I’m sure it even shines brighter than a singles Bronze.” – Rise above this. It’s a time to congratulate not be so negative.


Ryan Says:

Congrats to Fed for the gold medal


Vulcan Says:

Shital, I cant imagine that Gonzo wont at least take a set off of El Toro…he has to be one of the best South Americans on hard courts and again…hes very familiar with the pressure of playing at the Olympics. Im looking for a close 5 setter.


Shital Green Says:

Congratulations to Federer and Wawrinka !
It must feel good to win a Gold for Switzerland.


Shital Green Says:

Vulcan,
I hope it will be a 5 setter final. But I am afraid my wish may not come true.


Vulcan Says:

Nadal has already shown that hes human and doesnt have quite the ice water running through his veins that Federer has…the Wimby tiebreaker serving for the set with a minibreak and the super tight forehand at 15-30 @ 5-4 against Djokovic.


Vulcan Says:

Jane, speaking of South Americans…you mentioned Del Potro earlier…this guy was heavily touted as being an exceptional talent but up until just recently he hasnt produced the results. Im beginning to wonder if he might be a factor at the US Open.


andrea Says:

congratulations to roger and stan. amazing effort. and now roger has his bloody gold medal! go kick some ass at the US Open!

i’m surprised to hear about del potro killing it recently – he seemed to be right behind djokovic pulling out of matches. i guess a few wins and away you go.

i hope gonzalez wins against nadal…i like nadal alot..but he’ll win more down the road. gonzo is always the bridesmaid.


Gordo Says:

Jane – I wasn’t being negative – it’s a great acomplishment for all the guys and gals who win medals. I was just thinking in hindsight, when Federer is reflecting on 2008 somewhere down the road, he will feel more than compensated for bowing out in the singles. That’s all.

In non-Olympic news, (and heading into the US OPEN) 2 things – watch out for the young Argentine, Juan Martin del Potro – he is on a hot streak these past 3 weeks. And – sadly – what has happened to Andy Roddick?


jane Says:

I know Vulcan; he’s suddenly come into his own. It’ll be interesting to see if he wins in Washington for 4 (!) titles in a row – he’s got Haas in the semis, but if he gets by him he should win the title.

I actually thought, of the younger big three – Gulbis, Cilic, and Del Potro – that Del Potro would be the last to break through, mainly because he hasn’t done much at slams, whereas Gulbis has, and at the AO & Wimbledon people were talking about Cilic too.

But now that DP has this winning streak going, it’s going to be a factor at the USO since his confidence will be high.

I am interested to see what happens at the USO – if the usual suspects advance, or if we have some surprises, especially given that Novak, Rafa and Roger have all medaled in Bejiing.


jane Says:

Okay Gordo, thanks for clarifying; I thought you were making a dig at what I thought was a great quote from Novak, but I guess not. Peace.

Roddick is suffering from continuing back/shoulder issues, following from that Rome injury; hence he’s struggling with his serve. He’s managing to edge out some wins (finals last week and quarters this week) but he’s double faulting much more than usual. He’s got enough game to stay in the mix at the smaller tournaments, but he needs to get that shoulder better, I think, to go deep at the USO – may not be his year, which is too bad for him as he began strongly.


zola Says:

Congratulations to Fed and Stan !
Great effort to win the Gold!

Congrats also to Bryans and to Willimanses.

And also Safina. Oh, yes, she rocks!

I hope Rafa can win the gold tomorrow, although it will be very hard.

Thanks to all these athletes, who made this 2008 olympics very special with their participation!

Gordo,
Del Potro is cruising. maybe this is his year too! Roddick is perhaps still not over his injury. Hope he gets 100% for the US Open.

Thanks to all these athletes to ma


Shital Green Says:

Vulcan,
Del Potro has been one of my favorites for some time. I have always believed this kid’s gonna make a big splash soon. This is one of the guys who can surprise the top players at the USO or any event.


Vulcan Says:

Shital, could be but I see that he is scheduled to play in New Haven also…I just hope he doesnt get carried away with this winning streak and remembers to pull out of New Haven and come into Flushing fresh.


sar Says:

Bravo Nole, Bravo Bryans.

Shital and Jane, one more for our guy to get…coming soon.


jane Says:

Vulcan – I agree; if DP titles in Washington, especially, he should cancel New Haven and get some rest and practice, honing whatever needs honing.


Fedex Says:

It was great watching Roger giggle like a kid when he was awarded the medal. He got a little emotional when the Swiss anthem was played – a very poignant moment. Just tells you how much the medal meant to him.

A olympic doubles medal, mixed doubles – hopmancup with hingis. Just makes you wonder how much he could have achieved if singles tennis was not as physically demanding as it is now. I wish he plays mixed double at Wimbledon with Venus, once he calls time on his career.


Shital Green Says:

Noel and Vulcan,
The message I received from the Djoko team in Beijing is negative: “We don’t think so.”

I removed my post on this topic from Djoko forum.

Case closed.


Vulcan Says:

Del Potro is up a break in the first set and already Haas is showing his temper…its a bit early for a meltdown but with Haas its always eminent.

Shital, oh well…its still a great curiosity for the scrap book…there was a similar incident years ago when Roddick hit a serve real big in Davis Cup but it was though to be erroneous…I think it was like 158 or something…wheres Roscoe Tanner when you need him to answer these qeustions?…emmm…on second thought better not go there


FoT Says:

Zola…thanks for the congrats! Roger and Stan played fantastic doubles all week losing only 1 set in the entire tournament. After the year I’ve had following Roger – this is a moment I will never forget!


Fedex Says:

Here’s what Paes had to say about Federer:

“They both came up guns-a-blazing. Federer was hitting half volleys past us at the net, one forehand shot cross-court, one backhand up the line. He is the best player in the world. Looking at that performance in doubles, there’s no reason to believe that he’s not one of probably the best players of all time with the way he played in this match. We just got stuck with him playing unbelievably well. ”

Ah! to win the respect of your peers!

Allez Roger!


Vulcan Says:

Well Del Potro just gave one of the more prolific hard court players on the tour a serious shellacking. That puts yet another dent in the anachronistic view that South Americans are all clay court specialists. This guy thumps inside out forehands and moves pretty well for a big guy.


jane Says:

Vulcan,

At that shellacking comes when he’s serving at only 55% first serves. Phew.


JCF Says:

‘The message I received from the Djoko team in Beijing is negative: “We don’t think so.”’

This shouldn’t have surprised anyone. He’s never hit serves near that fast. If it was legit, there would be a continuum of big serves between his fastest and the new record. You don’t just out of the blue make such a huge improvement. If anyone is capable of hitting a serve that big, it can only be Roddick.


Dan Martin Says:

I still long for the days of watching Slobodan Zivojinovic pound aces and do little else on the court.


Fedex Says:

“That puts yet another dent in the anachronistic view that South Americans are all clay court specialists.”

huh? did i miss a south american winning a non-clay GS in the last 15-20 years? Nothing anachronistic about it.

Spannish/south american players prefer the dirt. Aussies/Americans prefer the grass/faster hardcourts. Tell me such a view is anachronistic when spannish/south americans host aus/us on a faster surface or americans/aus host spannish/south americans on clay.

Till such a thing happens, it is the rule rather than the exception. A nadal or an agassi or a nalbandian (though not as successful as the other two, he is an exception) is too little to change the rule.

Nevertheless del potro is playing some good tennis right now. It is too bad he cant serve better considering his height. With his height and his ground strokes, he should have had some big results already. last year he played rafa at RG, roger at wimbledon and novak (happy jane?) at US open and failed to win a set in all 3 matches. He should really be able to crank that serve up. He could get even more impressive results then.


JCF Says:

Von,

Even God was on Phelps’ side in the 100m Butterfly. And I don’t even believe in God. That was the one I feared the most, but very narrowly he managed to pull it off.

I wasn’t serious when I said he was too cool for school. He is one of the best athletes ever, mentally tough and physically gifted, and his attitude is beyond reproach.

He should get the 8th gold. The US team doesn’t have the world’s best breaststroker or butterflier or even freestylist in 100m, but the teams that do have one of them don’t have them all together. Let’s just hope Piersol can give them a big enough lead and the other boys can hold onto it. Phelps will extend the lead but Hansen and Lezak are going to have it tough against the Aussie team. Phelps says it’s going to be a race. I want him to get his 8th gold, so I hope he’s wrong.


Vulcan Says:

Go back and read my statement over again.
I said “a dent” in the anachronistic view.
Which means things are changing.
South American and Spanish Players are demonstrating more and more profiency on faster court surfaces. They have certainly made more inroads on the faster surfaces then Aussies/Americans have made on clay. Norther European players are probably somewhere in the middle with French as an example typically being equally proficient on both hard and clay courts.


Friend Says:

JCF:

If you think it is not too personal, did you immigrate to australia from India/Pakistan/Bangladesh?


Miss Nomer Says:

Read the crap over at tennisplanet about the serve speed. 24 hours of bullshit world records because a player lost a match. Babies have to find something to suck on to make them feel better.


JCF Says:

Friend,

“If you think it is not too personal, did you immigrate to australia from India/Pakistan/Bangladesh?”

No I did not, and it isn’t personal at all. I am curious to know why you picked those countries? What clues did you go by? Is it because I’m hoping for the american team to beat ours? Phelps (and no one else) has a chance at history, and I just happen to like the guy.

When it comes to sports, I’m not a patriot. I don’t root for countries, I root for individuals. My loyalty is never to any nation itself, only its representatives. If my favorite tennis player is not an aussie and is playing against an aussie, I am not going to root against my favorite player just because he or she plays an aussie. That would be stupid. And I’m not going to root for a player or athlete just because they are from my country, unless I actually liked that player. Nor will an athlete representing another nation stop me from liking them. I am not anti-australian. In most sports I just haven’t found aussies that I’ve particularly liked.

The highlights at the pool for me were Pellegrini’s win (200 free), Rebecca Soni (200 breast), and Phelps x2 (200 free and 4×200 free relay). I was really ecstatic for those three swimmers (especially the two women) when they won and I showed their elation (ok, Phelps was a bit reserved and cool, but his performance was flooring). I’m really happy for them even though none were from my country. I’ve rewatched those races so many times and the magic never fades.


Friend Says:

JCF:

Well, I am not really into linguistics, but there is something Indian-ish about your posts. I have happened to interact with a few aussies online and your posts donot seem to match up with the “aussie” posts.

Moreover they seemed fiercely patriotic, more so when it came to sports. Sure they are fair in judging all players to the same standards and are great to talk about sports, but they did not ever let me doubt their loyalties were always towards the aussie sportsmen.

That was the basic hunch and your phelps support was the signal for me to go right ahead and venture a guess. I am from India and presently residing in the US of A and I know a lot of people from the sub-continent who are not so particular about mixing sports and patriotism, especially when it comes to the country they reside in. I chose those 3 because I wanted to make sure I totally nailed the guess!

Was I even close with my guess?

Anyways, I want Phelps to hit the 8 as well. I have not followed the pool carefully, but I did watch quite a few of them. My picks are the usual suspects, 4×100 men’s, the 100m fly men’s yesterday, and the 800 women’s free and I forget which one but the race where coughlin won the gold. looking forward to torres and the 50m today!) I watched a lot of gymnastics and nastia lukin was awesome.


Von Says:

JCF:

Von,
“Even God was on Phelps’ side in the 100m Butterfly. And I don’t even believe in God. That was the one I feared the most, but very narrowly he managed to pull it off.

You said it, God was indeed on Phelps’ side. 1/100th of a second, just unbelievable.

“I wasn’t serious when I said he was too cool for school. He is one of the best athletes ever, mentally tough and physically gifted, and his attitude is beyond reproach.”

I’d hope he didn’t skip school or else he’d be in big trouble, especially if he can’t spell “definitely”. :) It’s our little joke. Got it?

Phelps got his 8th gold medal last evening. I was in tears and I’m not even related to the guy. I loved the loyalty and camaraderie of his team mates. They swam with their hearts so that he could obtain that 8th gold medal. The Aussies were biting at their heels but Phelps gave Lezak a good cushion to work with. The arena was packed with 17,400 people, some standing in the aisles. Phelps has become a millionaire overnight. GO USA!

The Aussie women got gold in the 100 Relay Medley, and the US the silver. What do you think of Torres still competing at 41? I felt a little sad for Grant Hackett, your countryman — he got the silver this time. I’m looking forward to seeing the US gymnasts perform tomorrow.


NachoF Says:

Noel Says:

NachoF,

I wasn’t trying to say anything profound.Not that I am capable of it either.We take the net so much for granted that we sometimes tend to forget how things used to be just a few years ago.May be,I am not exposed to this type of activism and I could have sounded unduly ‘exultant’ on something which is very basic and routine to you.I am sorry if I sounded stupid or if you were offended by my ’silly’/’childish’ post.I didn’t mean to give you a hard time.”

wow, you missed my point… I was just laughing at the fact that you starting saying something about the “net” and I was confused cause I thought you meant like the net in a tennis match…. you know like, Federer is the best at the “net” or whatever….


JCF Says:

Friend Says:

“Well, I am not really into linguistics, but there is something Indian-ish about your posts. I have happened to interact with a few aussies online and your posts donot seem to match up with the “aussie” posts.”

Bloody ‘ell mate! Reading Indian articles in english I can’t tell the flaming difference!

(We aren’t all rednecks you know). Whenever American media portrays us in their movies, they always use stereotyped true blue aussies who don’t really represent any of us. We aren’t that moronic.

“Moreover they seemed fiercely patriotic, more so when it came to sports. Sure they are fair in judging all players to the same standards and are great to talk about sports, but they did not ever let me doubt their loyalties were always towards the aussie sportsmen.”

It’s true that they are very passionate about their sports and are always 100% behind their team. Blind patriotism is not something I’ve ever understood personally. In that sense I am different. But I can tell you this, I don’t know a single tennis fan in my circle of friends or colleagues from various places I’ve at that actually likes Hewitt. We go to the Open and sit in the middle of those green and yellow clad fans and cheer whenever his opponent wins points.

The nation is divided on Hewitt. You can find aussie internet community forums where people bag him to no end.

“That was the basic hunch and your phelps support was the signal for me to go right ahead and venture a guess. I am from India and presently residing in the US of A and I know a lot of people from the sub-continent who are not so particular about mixing sports and patriotism, especially when it comes to the country they reside in. I chose those 3 because I wanted to make sure I totally nailed the guess!”

Phelps, like Federer, is just preternaturally gifted, and I like seeing everything they can possibly do. That requires they keep winning, even if it’s at the expense of others I should be supporting. He’s just broken Mark Spitz by the way. And his reaction was again subdued. The only time he’s let it rip was after the 4×100 free relay where Lezak pulled a rabbit out of the hat.

I didn’t know about Indians being ‘liberal’ in their support of sporting teams. For me, I just find those drunken, loud, over the top aussies unbearable. Hewitt actually pays for their tickets to see him, and most of them are unemployed.

Reading my posts, I might sound pro-American. This is only incidental. Their tennis players haven’t won me over for instance (I liked Roddick a lot until 2004, and I’ve always liked Davenport but she’s likely to retire soon). Roddick turning 26 soon, I don’t like his chances at the Slams.

“Was I even close with my guess?”

No. Sorry. I was born here. My heritage is uncertain because I’m adopted and never met my parents, but I don’t look out of place. I’m rather glad to not have come from an Islamic upbringing however. No offense to those who did.

“Anyways, I want Phelps to hit the 8 as well. I have not followed the pool carefully, but I did watch quite a few of them. My picks are the usual suspects, 4×100 men’s, the 100m fly men’s yesterday, and the 800 women’s free and I forget which one but the race where coughlin won the gold. looking forward to torres and the 50m today!) I watched a lot of gymnastics and nastia lukin was awesome.”

The US had two good relays. In the men’s team as I expected, Brendan Hansen was the weakest link and were he 0.7 sec slower, he would have cost Phelps his legend. He let Peirsol’s lead evaporate quite fast and passed over third position to Phelps, who luckily regained a big enough lead for Lezak to hold on and edge out the Sullivan by 0.7 sec (a sizeable but heart racing lead). The aussies were also within the old world record I think.

The women were not as fortunate. Natalie Coughlin did not give the Americans a big enough lead to run home with. She had trouble keeping straight and was swimming against the lane boundry, slowing her down greatly. She was the gold medallist in 100 back, so her getting the team to a big lead was key to upsetting the aussies. The final leg was very close. Torres did great considering she immediately just came from a medal presentation and had no chance for a warm down. If only Coughlin gave them a bigger lead, they just might have pulled through. The aussies had a superior team in the end, so it wasn’t unexpected, and I guess it was deserved after so many upsets in the pool (they had multiple world record holders lose at least one swim). Still a great effort, both the aussies and the US team beat the previous world record.

As for Dara’s individual swim. She was impressive. I’m surprised she could do this at 41. She was edged out by 0.01 sec right at the very end. What Phelps did to Cavic rebounded back to her. Karma I guess. Such a shame. A gold medallist at 41 would have been big news.

To show I’m not completely un-australian, I wanted to weep for Grant Hackett when he lost in the 1500m. Sometimes you don’t learn everything about a character until you get to see how they handle a defeat, and I could only sympathize for him. Some people turn out to be people that you’re glad lost, others you feel bad for. I wasn’t a big supporter before that result due to my overconfidence in him. Sampras was another guy I wasn’t a fan of, but he got my sympathy after losing to Hewitt in 2000 USO.

“You said it, God was indeed on Phelps’ side. 1/100th of a second, just unbelievable.”

He never seems to root for his opponents does he…

“I’d hope he didn’t skip school or else he’d be in big trouble, especially if he can’t spell “definitely”. :) It’s our little joke. Got it?”

/faceslap

It’s a habitual misspelling, along with “seperate”.

The guy’s work ethic is incredible. It’s too bad the US women aren’t up to the same standards. Katie Hoff tried to pull off the same schedule and got burnt. Katie actually qualified first for five individual events in the trials. She was the best person for the job in all of them and still couldn’t win any golds. This is an ominous sign for the rest of the team. They have to find people fast.

“Phelps has become a millionaire overnight. GO USA!”

It’s hard to believe what a swimmer has to do to earn a million dollars, compared to other sports. What he did was in my opinion harder than a Federer hat-trick year, yet Federer makes at least 5-6 million a year in prize money alone. All this hard work training (he swims 16 km a day and burns 4000 calories per workout) and he had to tie Mark Spitz’s record in order to get a million.

“The Aussie women got gold in the 100 Relay Medley, and the US the silver. What do you think of Torres still competing at 41? I felt a little sad for Grant Hackett, your countryman — he got the silver this time. I’m looking forward to seeing the US gymnasts perform tomorrow.”

The US women weren’t favorite but they had a good chance with their team. Ditto the aussie men.

Amazing what Torres did. Almost got a gold. I couldn’t believe she was a serious contender. In the semi final where she came first, I thought the other girls were just taking it easy. There should have been more time between the two events to give Torres a chance to warm down. It’s a big ask to empty your tank and then have to do it again 10 minutes later. The US will have to find a replacement for 50m and 100m. I doubt she will go to London at 45.

I feel bad for Hackett too. After the race when he was interviewed, he said “I’m not a spring chicken anymore, I’m getting old” and I felt guilty. The way he destroyed the field in Athens, and scored an olympic record in the semi, I thought it was going to be a forgone conclusion, so I was hoping the canadian would make a move. It was a real surprise to me, and Hackett’s loss was harder to bear than I expected.

Our women are good (better than the US), but none of our men won any gold medals. There were upsets on both sides. Rice, Schipper, Trickett, Jones, Hackett, Sullivan all held multiple world records but all of them lost at least one race (except Rice).

Upset of the pool is still by Soni. I’ve become a fan. Never heard of her before this. She came from nowhere, and only got selected because the other girl got busted for doping. Yet she killed Jones, the record holder in 200m, improving on her personal best by over 2 sec! No one saw that coming. Jones had clocked the ten fastest times ever recorded in the event, and even if she swam her best she would have come up short against Soni. Incredible. And we have a new name in breast stroke. My hat’s off to her.

Now that the swimming is over, so is my interest in the Olympics (except for the gold medal results in Tennis, which I’ll only be able to read about anyway). Swimming was the only sport that my local coverage could actually cover a full event on (it’s probably not a coincidence that they cover swimming the most because it’s our best sport). In most other sports, the games are too long to televise the whole thing, so they always flip back and forth between sports not showing you much of anything. Pathetic. As someone else said, great for those who have short attention spans.

Good luck to the Americans for the rest of the Games. They are the only nation with even a remote chance of overtaking the Chinese, though the odds are not good. You trail by 10 gold medals. The Chinese go about their business quietly, because they seem to have come from nowhere. Well not quite, but they have been pulling off one surprise after another.

Decades of US dominance could be over. It is scary to imagine what the Chinese will be able to produce from here on out.


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Shital Green Says:

JCF,
Ref: “I’m rather glad to not have come from an Islamic upbringing however.”

The apologetic tag “no offense” does not exonerate this remark from being labeled as racist, regardless of whether you practice in general and/or profess to be one or not. “Islamic upbringing” is a sorry state to be? The academic world deplores essentialism (stereotypying) as harmful.

I wish I were born in the family of either Orhan Pamuk, Nobel Prize winner in literature in 2006, Bangladeshi authoress Taslima Nasreen, Palestinian thinker Edward Said, British author Salman Rushdie, Swiss Philosopher Tariq Ramadan, Lebanese poet-philosopher Kahlil Gibran, Nobel Peace Prize Winner of 2006 Muhammad Yunus, and other Islamic intellectuals like Abu al-Hasan, Ibn Khaldūn, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Amr Khaled, Mahmood Mamdani, or Sari Nusseibeh.
See the list of 100 Public Intellectuals, nominated and voted by the intellectuals of the world. In the top 25, they are in the majority. Here is the link: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4379


WTF Says:

Somebody shut this guy up.


JCF Says:

Islam is not a race. It’s a religion. So to call me ‘racist’ for being glad I’m not Islamic is without merit. It is like calling a person racist because they don’t like pizza or some other Italian food.

I stand by my comment. There are many things that I can say I’m glad that I’m not. For instance, I’m glad I’m not a conjoined twin, I’m glad that I’m not born in a place wracked with famine and poverty. I’m glad that I’m not autistic or born with down syndrome. That does not mean that I am intolerant to autistics, impoverished people, people suffering from down syndrome, or coinjoined twins. But when religion is brought into the equation, people seem to automatically get offended because their religion isn’t treated with sacrosanct respect. Why should religion be granted special respect? You have looked for intolerance where there wasn’t any.

I was raised a Christian. I’m godless now, but either way, I’m glad I’m not Muslim. This is not intolerance, or racism. I’m merely stating a fact, and one that I think I’m entitled to have. If you are a muslim, you have no merit to be insulted by this any more than an autistic person should be insulted that I’m thankful to not be autistic (my nephew is, and I know what it’s like first hand). When you see the violence and misogyny that their religion has inspired, you will understand why I and likely a lot of people (pretty much any Christian) are thankful to not be raised muslim. This I am sure of. They just don’t say it. Think about it. If you’re a Christian, you believe your religion is the correct one and that other religions are not. Would you not be glad you are a Christian and not a Hindu or Muslim? If you’re a Muslim, then you will believe Islam is the correct religion and the others are not. Would you not be glad you are Muslim and not Christian? This is painfully obvious.

If you think that I am ‘stereotyping’ Islam with this comment, I’m afraid you’re wrong. You only have to read the Qu’ran to see the intolerance this religion has of non-believers and believers of other faiths, as well as the blantant misogyny. Women are second class people, aren’t allowed to drive, have to walk behind a man and not in front, can’t be with other men, are guilty for adultery if raped by another man (and either executed or imprisoned), and are bound by a number of rules that the men are not (men can have multiple spouses, women cannot, men can marry any woman they want, women can only marry another Muslim, and so much more). While the Bible is guilty of instructing violence against infidels as well, the Qu’ran is far worse. And in those Islamic countries, to convert to another religion or into atheism is punishable by death (even if you converted to Islam from Christianity and back to Christianity).

What were the last words recorded in the black box as Flight 93 crashed? “Allahu ackbar.”

Am I so ‘racist’ or ‘intolerant’ for being glad I was not raised in such a religion?

Lastly, the names you mentioned from famous muslims is cherry picking. You can do the same, picking out names of people from any religion or no religion at all. I am in no way saying that Muslims are incapable of attaining distinctions. I’m only glad that I am not one of them.

And I find it incredibly ironic that you mentioned Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Do you even know her story? She was raised a Muslim and had her genitals mutilated as a child, was abused and oppressed, escaped to the US, and is now in hiding. People are out for her life. She was in a documentary talking about how Islam oppresses women. Some muslim did not like the movie and killed the director, with a knife in the back. She lives her entire life in constant fear and is under 24/7 protection with bodyguards.

Salman Rushdie is another guy that the Islamic world has marked for death (a reward is offered for his murder), because muslims didn’t like a book he wrote. I am very grateful that I live in a country where I have freedom.


JCF Says:

Another reason to be thankful is that if I said any of this in Pakistan or Iran, I’d be killed. That someone would kill over mere words is enough reason to be grateful I don’t live there. I really do value freedom, and freedom of expression, which many people take for granted.

In Iran, being an atheist isn’t even legal.

You are also aware that Muslims kill other Muslims over their faith as well, right? Sunni and Shia muslims kill each other every day. Of course not every Muslim is like that, but this is enough for me to be glad I live in a place where I can feel safe and not see murder each day over beliefs.

I think I’ve justified my reasons for my gratefulness.


JCF Says:

I know nobody is reading this anymore, but I had some further thoughts to clarify about my apparent racism.

I haven’t always liked my country but now I realize that I’m very thankful to be here. If the dice landed somewhere else, I could have easily been born in some country less preferable.

For instance, I am glad that I was not born in Canada because it’s very cold there, or Ecuador because it’s very hot all year round. I’m glad that I wasn’t born in Rwanda, Etheopia or other African nations with famine and poverty. I am glad I am not from Cambodia, Vietnam which were involved in war during my life time. Am I racist because I appreciate being spared from all this?

The reason I’m glad I wasn’t raised in Islamic nations is not because I have anything against the nation themselves, but the theocracy they live under. I love my freedoms — freedom of religion, and freedom of speech. I am very much in favor of a secular nation, and democracy.

The reason I said that I was glad to not have been ‘raised’ in an Islamic nation, rather than ‘that I’m not a Muslim’ is because almost all Muslims from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, etc were raised by Muslim parents. Isn’t it odd that what you believe in is determined by where you were born and raised? If these people were born in America, they would have been Christians and never questioned their fath, if they were born in Denmark during the time of the Vikings, they’d be believing in Thor, Odin, and Wotan. If they were born in Ancient Greece, they’d be believing in Zeus, Hera, and a myriad of Olympian gods. If they were born in India they might believe in a pantheon of Hindu gods. It is only by the sheerest accident that they are born where they happen to be.

I am fortunate enough to have been born and raised in a liberal nation with freedom of religion. I was still indoctrinated into religion, but only by moderate parents, not fundamentalists. Citizens of Australia have the freedom to believe in whatever faith they choose, or none at all. Had I been born in Iran however, I would have been raised a Muslim and would never have questioned my beliefs. THAT is why I made that comment. It’s true that even in Sharia nations, practicing other religions is not illegal per se, however, if a child is raised a Muslim against their will, before they are old enough to decide for themself what they believe, then they must be Muslim for life and effectively have no freedom on the matter. The punishment for apostasy is death.

My objections to the Islamic way of life are endless. My previous post didn’t even scratch the surface. Sure, not all Muslims are extremists or killers. But these people exist, and as long as you live over there, you are at risk from people who will kill you over your beliefs. At least with fundamentalists Christians, I can still feel safe in knowing they will not kill me for not sharing their beliefs. Once upon a time they did, but they have progressed since then due to secular law. Islam has not. Nations governed by Sharia law are anything but secular.

Lastly, your list of distinguished Muslims is not much of an argument. For one, you can create even bigger lists of distinguished people who aren’t Muslim, and second, can you name a single thing these people said or did that could not have been done by a secular person, or a person of a different faith? On the other hand, it’s not hard to name a lot of people of that faith that have done dubious and deplorable things.

If you find my opinion racist, anti-religious, or intolerant, then that is your opinion, and one that I don’t share. It’s simple. I have come to appreciate what I have and realize that it could have been much worse.

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