Monfils, Nadal, Del Potro Part of Youthful Monday at US Open
by Sean Randall | September 1st, 2008, 12:25 pm
  • 82 Comments

We have a pretty nice line-up in store at the US Open on this Labor Day Monday in the U.S. Week two opens with Gael Monfils v. Mardy Fish followed by Rafael Nadal and Sam Querrey. Later today it Kei Nishikori v. Juan Martin Del Potro and then tonight Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka will slug it out under the lights.

As I write Fish is up a set and a break on Monfils, but I still have to like Gael in this match. Somehow I think he still gets it done provided he doesn’t get injured first with all that diving/sliding he does. Going in I thought that Frenchman’s just too fast, will get too many balls back and has too much firepower for Mardy, and the win will set up a great match with Nadal.

While Monfils and Fish have never played, Querrey did manage a set off Nadal in their only meeting at Cincinnati in 2006, and I think the American can get another set this afternoon. Querrey has the game to match Rafa, but in a best-of-five format and in the heat, it’s a tall task. Nadal should get through for his 42nd win in 43 matches.

Both Del Potro and Nishikori are probably still feeling the effects of their epic five-set triumphs on Saturday. Nishikori is lightning fast and can get a lot of balls back, but Del Potro should be able to overpower the 18-year-old in the end. It won’t be easy as I’m sure the long summer grind has taken a toll on the Argentine.

Wawrinka and Murray have split their six prior meetings but the Scot has won three of four this year. I like Murray tonight in a tough one.

Going back to yesterday, Roger Federer finally showed some life on the hardcourts, and it bodes well for the Swiss looking ahead. But will it be enough to get to the final, we shall see, but I think he’s got some confidence again.

Andy Roddick didn’t play his best, but he still won rather comfortably over Andreas Seppi. His next opponent is Fernando Gonzalez, who despite an ankle injury, is playing some really good ball after a four-set victory over Jarkko Nieminen.

And Novak Djokovic didn’t look especially great last night in a topsy-turvy, breakfest win over Marin Cilic. Luckily he now gets Tommy Robredo, an easy winner over the drained JW Tsonga.

The final four women’s quarterfinalists will be set today and it looks like we’re headed for a Dinara Safina v. Williams sister semi. The other half is shaping up to be between Elena Dementieva and Jelena Jankovic. Happy Labor Day!


Also Check Out:
Gael Monfils Explains To The Umpire Why He Sometimes Doesn’t Try [Video]
Federer, del Potro Advance to Semi Meeting at French Open
Abu Dhabi Tennis Exo Schedule: Djokovic, Federer And Nadal Ready For Battle
Gael Monfils And Laurent Lokoli Show Off Some Sick Dance Moves [Video]
Ernests Gulbis Goes to Sweden and Apparently Get’s Busted for Prostitution

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82 Comments for Monfils, Nadal, Del Potro Part of Youthful Monday at US Open

Carol Austin Says:

I am so unhappy I will not be able to get tennis today!
Our CBS station is carring the Telethon. CBS sucks.


Charlzz Says:

Andy Roddick has a surprisingly good head-to-head against Gonzalez having a 7-3 lead. However, they haven’t played since 2007. Gonzalez should be feeling good after the Olympics. The question is how well Roddick can handle Gonzalez with his forehand, but presumably, he knows how to deal with it (perhaps attack his backhand and open up a forehand?)


S Green Says:

Fish upsets Monfils in straight set. This is a good news for American tennis. I am absolutely thrilled, even though I got this one wrong. Congratulation to Fish and good luck for the next round.


jane Says:

Yes. Congrats to Mardy for another nice win. I speculated last night as to whether this would be an upset. When Fish gets on a roll on hardcourt he’s definitely dangerous.


jane Says:

I love the “S-A-M” fans at the match today, with their painted chests. Too funny!

I am glad that Sam is fighting Rafa in this second set and not simply “going away.” He just broke back. I am not expecting him to pull off the upset, but I really like Sam a lot! He’s got some style, some great shots, and is putting in the effort today. I hope he can continue to rise up for 2009.


YY Says:

Another nail biter! Nadal up 2 sets but match could still go either way. Nadal really shaky today.


Von Says:

Sam needs to settle down; he’s allowing Nadal to dictate play and rush him. Sam should have won more points in the tie-break if he were more patient. Nadal’s forehand is misfiring spraying a lot of balls. Sam should target Nadal’s forehand more consistently and let him make the errors. A very interesting match thus far.


jane Says:

Yes, Sean’s “youth movement” is in full force here, with Roddick, then Djokovic, and now Nadal all being challenged and losing a set to a young whipper snapper.

Monfils actually would be old – or at least medium – guard, I think, given all these 18-20 year olds.


jane Says:

Von,

“Nadal’s forehand is misfiring spraying a lot of balls.” Yes, I noticed this – surprising since it’s Rafa’s weapon. Sam’s doing well, but I suppose he’s bound to get a bit nervous in a tie-breaker. He seems fresh though.


Von Says:

It would be great to see the Americans make a push at the USO and one of them get to the finals or at least the semis. After all, it’s their slam, and it would be very befitting for one of them to hoist the trophy. GO USA!!!!


jane Says:

I have a feeling, judging by today’s match, and the way Sam is hanging with the #1, that he will make the USA very proud in the future! I remember how well he did on clay in Monte Carlo this year, too, so he’s got the potential to be an all-courter. Patrick McEnroe should add him to the Davis Cup roster.


Von Says:

jane:

Nadal’s weapon forehand could break down the same way Fed’s does. During the past 6 months players have been avoiding it due to the fact that it was the consensus of opinion that the forehand was stronger, which I feel is stupid. The players need to put Nadal to the test and see what happens. I hope many of the players are watching this match and realize they should target the forehand more often whenever they play against Nadal; today could be a one-off but they’ll never know unless they try. They should start off testing the forehand and have a plan B just in case the forehand reverts to its prior strong form.


Von Says:

“Patrick McEnroe should add him to the Davis Cup roster.”

When Fish beat Blake 2 nights ago I mentioned P Mc should think about taking either Fish or Querrey to Madrid instead of Blake who’s an iffy prospect at the present time. Both Sam and Fish could easily take out Ferrer and/or Robredo. I assume Nadal will play in the semis even though he hasn’t played from the inception.


jane Says:

And it’s true that whatever’s not testing might get weak. Some people have commented (was it here?) that Fed’s backhand has gotten stronger because everyone has been picking on it, and meanwhile his forehand has weakened, and people, like Djoko at the AO, have figured that out.

Sam is sure fighting for the break back here! Deuce # 5.


YY Says:

Nadal finally takes the game! Many wasted chances for Sam.


jane Says:

Yes, I remember you mentioning that Von; it does make sense given their performances here; I was reiterating it, as I was thinking now about Sam’s earlier clay-court results in the context of this match against the clay court king. But how would P-Mac do that without slighting James? It’s gotta be tough I guess, but on the other hand it is a team, so the coach should do what he thinks is best for the team.


YY Says:

Yes! Nadal finally made it through. He will need to play better than this if he wants to beat Fish next.


jane Says:

Yep, Rafa hung tough, but there’s no doubt Sam gave a heartful effort today, much like the other young guns so far. Be interesting to see the JMDP / Nishikori match.


Charlzz Says:

It’s a risky strategy to play Nadal’s forehand. Most players that do it, are basically trying to hit hard forehands to his forehands, not trying to exchange rallies with him. The risk is that Nadal will go for a winner, and then you’re trading off him going for a winner (more likely) to him making an error (less often). The key is either to create a big angle so Nadal is rushed or to create little angle so he doesn’t find an easy way to create angles himself.


Von Says:

It’s a risk strategy for sure to go to Nada’s forehand, but if the players don’t do it and keep away from testing it, then they have very few options left to play against him. Going to his backhand is not much of an option anymore. The players have to take chances and force Nadal to make errors which is his MO playing against anymore. A war of attrition. The players are playing against him just like they did with Federer and Nadal now has the Fed aura around him. The players need to nullify that before Nadal begins to dominate in the same manner Fed has in the past — they’ll be trading one aura for the next. Personally, I don’t think Nadal’s aura will be as long-lasting as Fed’s was due to the physicality of his game. Nadal began peaking at 20 and has reached his zenith at 22. He’s been on tour for 8 years which is the same amount of time Roddick, Fish and Blake have been on tour, due to those guys remaining in school, and those guys are now 26 and 27 resoectively. Querrey stayed in high school and was contemplating attending college, but elected to play tennis instead, even though he was given scholarships for college. Isner completed college. Sam most probably will not peak for another 2-3 years; same for Isner and Young. I believe the young American talent will be forthcoming in another 2 years — at least I’m hoping.


matt Says:

Nadal looked mentally and physically tired today, in my opinion.

Sam played great, and could have even win (who knows) this match had he won that third set tie-breaker.

Maybe it has been just a bad day for Nadal, but I think he is spent. Montecarlo, Barcelona, Hamburgo, RolandGarros, Queens, Wimbledon, Toronto, SF in Cincinatti, Olympics,…is just too much.

I don’t see him winning the tournament.

This is the last GS of the season, and the physical and mental tiredness of the long season is going to play a role these final rounds.

Maybe we’ll see some huge casualties still.


Von Says:

Fed has had the easiest road to the qfs and has not had any competition. Stepanek has been on a decline since Rome — maybe that win over Fed was enough for him for the entire year. :P Fed is very fresh and from the draw he shoould make it to the finals hands down.


matt Says:

Yes, Federer will get to SF easily.

There he will face Djokovic or Roddick and who ever wins that match, will win the tournament imo.

Actually, I pick Federer to win the tournament.


Von Says:

jane: “But how would P-Mac do that without slighting James? It’s gotta be tough I guess, but on the other hand it is a team, so the coach should do what he thinks is best for the team.”

I heard one of the commentators ask PMc during the Fish/Blake match whether he will do an exchange of Fish for Blake, and PMc very smarly replied “Don’t put me on the spot here.” To me, that’s intimating the thought has crossed his mind. He didn’t emphatically say NO. Blake, if he’s being honest and cares about the team, should step down before putting PMc in an awkward position. It’s very obvious to me a viewer, that there’s a lot wrong with Blake and his game at the present time; he’s a sporadic player with more bad than good times. My only wish is for them to do what’s right for the team and leave feelings out of DC. Roddick has a lot of stress placed on him having always to win the first live rubber. It’s a huge ask and I’m sure he’d like some reliable teammates.


Von Says:

“Actually, I pick Federer to win the tournament>”

My gut feeling before the draw was that Fed would win the USO. After I saw the draw my feelings have been reinforced. I mentioned at that time, Fed could sling a hammock under two coconut trees, with a few saronged girls fanning him, sip a few pina coladas, take a siesta, and wake up for the QFs. :) I was being facetious of course, but that’s how easy his draw looks. The USO is his for the taking, but I’d like to see my guy, Roddick, win it. I can hope can’t I?


jane Says:

Von,

Yes, I thought of Blake stepping down, but I wonder if he’d do that. Hmmm. He could certainly go along but maybe let one of the others, like Fish, play a rubber. I wonder if Fish’ll want to go, or be available? I know his wedding is soon.

—————–

matt,

I think if it’s a Fed vs. Rafa final, Fed does have the upper hand perhaps because he’s less tired and hardcourt-wise he’s generally done batter than Rafa, though not this year. Rafa and then Novak have won the most hardcourt matches.

————–
I wouldn’t be disappointed to see another Rafa / Fed final, but I’d be happier to see Roddick or Djokovic vs. Murray or Del Potro in the final, just for something different. Djoko wouldn’t be something entirely different, but he’d even the slam score with Rafa, which could make for an interesting start to next year. Having said that I’ll probably jinx them all. Shhh!


jane Says:

batter should obviously be better!


Von Says:

jane:

“Djoko wouldn’t be something entirely different, but he’d even the slam score with Rafa, which could make for an interesting start to next year.”

I’m totally lost here. What slam score would Djoko even with Nadal? My brain isn’t clicking too much today; I’m mentally tired, so please excuse my slowness. Anyway, do tell.


jane Says:

Von – They’d both have 2 this year, that’s all. Wouldn’t be quite the domination of “all Rafa all the time.” I’m tired too – almost worn out on all this tennis. :-)

BTW, I agree Rafa’s got a bit of that aura around him – most definitely on clay – but it’s more about how players wear down against him I think than how they’d be over-awed to begin with against super-Roger of yore.


jane Says:

I wonder if Fish can out-hit Rafa? He’s got even more power than Sam in some ways and he hits deep and flat.


Maura Says:

Hi all you US fans, Maura here from Dublin, Ireland.Our TV coverage is brilliant 11 hours a day.I’ve been able to take the time off, as I work in a University. Sam and Rafa, great match, Sam should go far. For me Rafa is No 1, I have been following him for 5 years, and in spite of his not so brilliant form today, I still think he will win. I’m a great fan of your players also, particularly Blake, who is a lovely player to watch and Roddick, I think these 2 are the greatest on court gentlemen of the whole bunch. I would like to see Jelena win the ladies, she was unlucky at Wimbledon.Looking forward to the rest of the week


jane Says:

Hi Maura – Love Ireland. So beautiful there. Are you a fan of Murray? Scotland isn’t far after all.


jane Says:

First time I’ve seen Nishikori play. He looks so young, even compared to Del Potro.


matt Says:

jane,

it could be a Federer-Nadal final (which would be great).

I think only Djokovic, Roddick or Nadal could defeat Federer (if Roger plays good as he did yesterday), but if Nadal gets to the final he’ll be too spent (today, at the end of the match, Nadal was very tired, you could see it in his face, and yes, it has been a three hours match, but he doesn’t look so tired after a three hours match usually).

Roddick is fresh and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he ends up winning the tournament.

Federer, Djokovic, Roddick. One of these three will be the one.

I’m not saying that Nadal can’t win it, but that I believe he has no more petrol left in the tank.


jane Says:

You may be right about Rafa matt; he certainly has seemed kind of tired, even since the beginning of the Open. And no wonder! Considering, as you pointed out previously, the roll he’s been on. Actually, he won’t lose out too badly if he doesn’t win the whole tournament. Given that he lost in the R16 last year, he’s already surpassed those results and will be gaining bonus points from here on out. The only downside for Rafa is that those people who still doubt Rafa’s hard court credentials will have a field day.


JCF Says:

“It would be great to see the Americans make a push at the USO and one of them get to the finals or at least the semis. After all, it’s their slam, and it would be very befitting for one of them to hoist the trophy. GO USA!!!!”

Now you know how we feel at the AO… or how the French feel at RG and the Brits at Wimby.

Except unlike us, you guys actually get winners (or finalists) regularly at your slam.


JCF Says:

“Nadal’s weapon forehand could break down the same way Fed’s does. During the past 6 months players have been avoiding it due to the fact that it was the consensus of opinion that the forehand was stronger, which I feel is stupid. The players need to put Nadal to the test and see what happens. I hope many of the players are watching this match and realize they should target the forehand more often whenever they play against Nadal; today could be a one-off but they’ll never know unless they try. They should start off testing the forehand and have a plan B just in case the forehand reverts to its prior strong form.”

I am not watching the match, but logically, unless right handed players are hitting down the line against him, most of their balls will already be going to his forehand. If they are able to hit cross court to his backhand, then they already have an advantage on him, because they are hitting forehand to backhand.

Is Sam hitting forehands down the line?


jane Says:

In Canada, all we’ve got is a Masters Series event – one. That’s it. One tournament for pro-women and men. And even that’s more than some countries have. At least we have a great doubles player in Nestor and a potentially good women’s player in Wonzinak – first female player from here to win a title in 20 years when she beat Bartoli this summer in the Stanford Classic.


matt Says:

In the Open Era (since RolandGarros’68) there have been only three players that have won three straight GS tournaments:

Rod Laver (once), Pete Sampras (once) and Roger Federer (twice).

But nobody has won three straight GS tournaments in three different surfaces (since 1978. Before that it was only clay and grass in GS tournaments).

Nadal is three matches away from that. But if he really is as mentally and physically tired as he looked today to me, then it’s going to be three very tough matches to him. Maybe too much…


JCF Says:

“When Fish beat Blake 2 nights ago I mentioned P Mc should think about taking either Fish or Querrey to Madrid instead of Blake who’s an iffy prospect at the present time. Both Sam and Fish could easily take out Ferrer and/or Robredo. I assume Nadal will play in the semis even though he hasn’t played from the inception.”

I’m going to have to disagree with your use of the word ‘easily’. These are top 10 players (well Robredo was top 10 not long ago, and he’s still in the vicinity) on their favorite surface. Ferrer especially is a tough player on the red stuff. Robredo is a bit less consistent, though no slouch himself. My guess is that he won’t even get to play unless Nadal pulls out.

It will be Nadal and Ferrer, and I honestly have a tough time seeing the US win any singles rubbers. It’s conceivable the US can win the tie if Robredo plays both his singles matches. Blake (or was it Fish?) beat him in Seville a few years back, although it was a dead rubber. The US will win the doubles (Spain doesn’t even have a doubles combination, so they will just field their two weakest singles players and throw the match). I can’t see anyone beating Nadal in singles unless he wins the US Open and is mentally and physically exhausted.

I’m sorry to say this, but the Americans are about as close to beating Spain (in singles) as a one legged man is to winning a who’s-got-the-best-pair-of-legs? contest.

3-1 to Spain with the dead rubber going to the US is my prediction. On the bright side, you’ll get them back next year, though it won’t be a gimme.


matt Says:

JMDP is up 6-3, 5-3. This guy has had a long, long summer as well, and it seems he still has strenght to carry on.


matt Says:

strength (sorry for the typos)


S Green Says:

J,
I visit both TPM news and Cafe. It’s been a couple of weeks since I was there last time.

Ref: “First time I’ve seen Nishikori play. He looks so young, even compared to Del Potro.”

Nishikori is the youngest among the young guns (Yes, he looks younger than his age). To put in order, starting with the youngest:
1. Nishikori (DOB 29 Dec ’89)
2. Donald Young (5 mos. older than Nishi)
3. del Potro and Cilic (1 yr. 3 mos. older than Nishi)
4. Gulbis (1 yr. 4 mos. older than Nishi)


S Green Says:

matt,
del Potro is 2 sets up now.


matt Says:

In the Murray-Wawrinka…I pick Murray, but it could be close…


matt Says:

Yes, DP is two sets up and looks fine to get to his first GS QF ever.

Will it be Murray-Del Potro?. An interesting match.


jane Says:

matt,

“Will it be Murray-Del Potro?. An interesting match.”

Don’t know if you were around a couple of weeks ago, but Vulcan, I think it was, providing a link of some angry words exchanged between Murray and Del Potro this spring during a clay match. If it is those two in the quarters, I think we can expect fireworks, and some smack talk, if it is a long match, into the evening, perhaps especially.

People tend to be less civil at night – even tennis players.


jane Says:

S, thanks for the updates.


JCF Says:

“The players are playing against him just like they did with Federer and Nadal now has the Fed aura around him.”

Not quite. While Nadal has had a fantastic season, the aura of invincibility that Federer had is not there. It’s quite clear that despite his good results, he is not near as good on hard courts or grass as Federer was in 2004. Fed mauls his opponents much more effortlessly. I can’t help but feel that if Nadal were to win this Open, he’d have to work hard for it, harder than Fed has had to work in the past. There are more dangerous players capable of upsetting him than there were for Federer.

People doubted Nadal at every Wimbledon in the past 3 years despite consistently finishing good. No one ever doubted Federer there, and Nadal is by no means a lock in for Wimby 09.

The same is true on the hard courts. Until he learns to play aggressively rather than wearing down his opponents, the aura will never be there.

“Nadal began peaking at 20 and has reached his zenith at 22. He’s been on tour for 8 years which is the same amount of time Roddick, Fish and Blake have been on tour, due to those guys remaining in school, and those guys are now 26 and 27 resoectively.”

Nadal turned pro at 15ish, but his results were crap* until 18.

*More accurately, his results weren’t noteworthy, because he (like Hewitt who also turned pro at a young age) played Challengers and Satellites at that age, rather than pro tournaments. If Nadal was to be given wildcards for every tournament, he would have ended up like Don Young a few years back.

“Fed has had the easiest road to the qfs and has not had any competition. Stepanek has been on a decline since Rome — maybe that win over Fed was enough for him for the entire year. :P Fed is very fresh and from the draw he shoould make it to the finals hands down.”

You think he’ll beat Djokovic?

“I heard one of the commentators ask PMc during the Fish/Blake match whether he will do an exchange of Fish for Blake, and PMc very smarly replied “Don’t put me on the spot here.” To me, that’s intimating the thought has crossed his mind. He didn’t emphatically say NO. Blake, if he’s being honest and cares about the team, should step down before putting PMc in an awkward position. It’s very obvious to me a viewer, that there’s a lot wrong with Blake and his game at the present time; he’s a sporadic player with more bad than good times. My only wish is for them to do what’s right for the team and leave feelings out of DC.”

I don’t think it will be too difficult for PMac to do the substitution. After all, back in 04 winning the silver medal was what made Fish the favorite second player (behind Roddick). It wasn’t until his results tapered off that PMac slighted Fish in favor of Blake (the QF run at USO clinched it I believe). He would only be doing the reverse of that. As I’ve said, momentum is a fickle thing.

“Roddick has a lot of stress placed on him having always to win the first live rubber. It’s a huge ask and I’m sure he’d like some reliable teammates.”

And now you know why Federer bailed on his team… (He did say it was to focus on defending his #1 ranking, and that is true to an extent, but he was either lacking in candor or in confidence if he didn’t feel the massive lead he had on the #2 player was safe). We all know the biggest reason he left the team was because it sucked.


matt Says:

jane,

yes, I remember something about that. They talked during the change of sides, and DP said “you’re like your mother” (or something like that).

DP is now up 6-3,6-4,4-1.


Von Says:

JCF:

“It will be Nadal and Ferrer, and I honestly have a tough time seeing the US win any singles rubbers. It’s conceivable the US can win the tie if Robredo plays both his singles matches. Blake (or was it Fish?) beat him in Seville a few years back, although it was a dead rubber. The US will win the doubles (Spain doesn’t even have a doubles combination, so they will just field their two weakest singles players and throw the match). I can’t see anyone beating Nadal in singles unless he wins the US Open and is mentally and physically exhausted.”

Roddick beat Robredo in Rome this year. I feel sorry for both Robredo and Verdasco. They both play in the first tie, win it, and then get bounced out by nadal and Ferrer. I personally think it’s very unfair to those guys, but what do I know. Ferrer most probably will win a live rubber, but considering his form during the clay season, I’d say he’s an ‘IF”. Nadal will most probably win the 2 live rubbers. If that happens and Ferrer doesn’t wsin anything, plus Spain loses the doubles, guess what, the US WINS. I’m hoping for this scenario to occur.

“Now you know how we feel at the AO… or how the French feel at RG and the Brits at Wimby.”

I always feel very badly for the Aussies at the AO. Only Lleyton gives them something to cheer about. But, they also have Guccione now and Casey Dellacqua. Casey received a lot of free stuff for her run at the AO this year. I shouldn’t tell you this, but apart from my love of the Americans and the Brits, whom I love equally, my next favourite is the Aussies. I suppose that’s why I’ve warmed up to you so much, apart from your charming persona. I feel comfortable posting to you — sort of we seem to speak the same language. OK hold on to your head now and don’t let it inflate too much, or else it will be up, up and awaaaaay — gone, lost forever in the blue yonder. :P :D Need a broomstick?


Von Says:

JCF;;
“Nadal turned pro at 15ish, but his results were crap* until 18.”

*More accurately, his results weren’t noteworthy, because he (like Hewitt who also turned pro at a young age) played Challengers and Satellites at that age, rather than pro tournaments. If Nadal was to be given wildcards for every tournament, he would have ended up like Don Young a few years back.”

This is why I don’t think that it’s fair to make comparisons between the young players, due to their age entrance into the pros. Some start younger and burn bright for a while and then fade. While others, e.g., most of the Americans Querrey, Isner begin older. These guys definitely won’t peak by 22 and rack up Nadal’s results at his age.

“And now you know why Federer bailed on his team… (He did say it was to focus on defending his #1 ranking, and that is true to an extent, but he was either lacking in candor or in confidence if he didn’t feel the massive lead he had on the #2 player was safe). We all know the biggest reason he left the team was because it sucked.”

OK they sucked, but since he’s got the tools it would have been nice for him to help his country. On the premise that his team sucked, he most probably would just have to play the first tie, but it would have shown some country loyalty. Anyway, to each his own.


JCF Says:

Hah! :P

As bad as you say Robredo and Ferrer have been on the clay this year, you need only to look at the American players’ records at Roland Garros the last 5 years to nullify that point. They don’t even bother with Monte Carlo either. Their season is pretty much Houston, Rome, Hamburg, and RG.

“Roddick beat Robredo in Rome this year. I feel sorry for both Robredo and Verdasco. They both play in the first tie, win it, and then get bounced out by nadal and Ferrer. I personally think it’s very unfair to those guys, but what do I know.”

It isn’t fair, but it’s like how Swimming teams have an A team and a B team. The B team’s job is to qualify for the finals, where they then step aside and let big boys play. They still get their medal (or Davis Cup), they just don’t get to stand on the podium. Phelps, Lochte, and Vanderkaay didn’t swim the heats, but I’m sure the US captain wouldn’t have fielded anyone but them in the finals. Good thing too, because they broke the world record by more than 5 seconds (even with one B team member doing a comparatively lackluster job).

Spain, France, and Argentina (and maybe Germany) are teams that have options. They’ve got plenty of top 100 players ready and willing to step in when the A team isn’t available. Teams that have fewer players (like Australia and GBR) don’t have those options, because the team is heavily dependent on those few players.

We’re going to be out of the World Group in 09 because Hewitt has taken the rest of the year off, and he normally carries the team. We face Chile on clay in a WG play off. We’re pretty much done. Guccione seems to be talented, has a good backhand, one of the best lefty serves, decent volleys, appears to be mentally tough, but I’m not sure why he isn’t doing well. In any case, the players we do have are not even in the same league as the Gonzalez (and Massu if anyone can find him). They also happen to be clay deficient.

Choice of ground has always been a pet peeve of mine when it comes to Davis Cup. You really do need luck, and for the right draw to win the DC. If you manage to play 3 ties at home and a 4th tie against a clay nation and it happens to be their turn to host this year, too bad. Next time you see them you might get your revenge, but one of the 3 nations you beat will be hosting this time around… That’s why it took so long for the US to finally win the DC again. Everything went right last year. Russia and Spain had their turn hosting already, and you happened to draw them both in the same season on your own turf.

The format should change.


Von Says:

Hello Marua:

Greetings to you from the USA. I have some friends in Cork. I’m thrilled you like our guys, Roddick and Blake. Roddick is my favourite player, so if you see me getting miffed whenever unsavoury comments are made about him, it’s not that I’m crazy, even though this is debatable, it’s just that I love the guy so much. Hope to see you posting more often and enjoy the tennis. :P


Von Says:

JCF:

Why don’t you try :

http://www.justin.tv/whiscacho

It’s in Spanish but it’s better than nothing. Right now they’re showing the Wawa/Murray match. Try it, you might like it. :P


jane Says:

It’s in English at channelsurfing.net. Just scroll down and click on the 7:00 pm US Open link.

It’s Wilander commentating with Tim Ryan. I don’t mind hearing Wilander, as he is always discussing strategy – what works and doesn’t. He says outright when players make a dumb shot selection or a great one.


S Green Says:

J,
Murray wins in straight set now, so you are 100% in your picks today (I am 75%). Not bad.


jane Says:

S,
Nope, I picked Monfils. I said that Fish might pull the upset, but on my sheet I had pick Monfils, so I was 75% too.

I am happy to see Murray playing at his best; I think he’ll need it against JMDP.


jane Says:

Murray was sublime against Wawrinka tonight (a few too many “come ons” for my liking though) – in Wilander’s words, Murray is “by far the smartest player on tour right now.” Probably exaggerated (something Wilander does, um, occasionally), but Murray does play an amazing asenal of shots and use the court wisely. If he gets to the final,. I think he could challenge, seriously, any of Roddick, Djokovic or Federer. But he’d have to play his best.


S Green Says:

J,
I can’t predict the winner between JMDP and Murray. Both are extremely good returners. Murray’s serve is better and his shots are faster than JMDP’s, but placement favors JMDP. Both are good inside the court and at the net. Murray’s drop shots won’t work against JMDP. If you do the math, Murray has slight edge, just a little bit.


jane Says:

S,

On clay, in the future, I definitely give JMDP the edge against Murray, but on hard court I think I give it to Murray. JMDP seems to maintain his cool a little better than Murray; if it’s tight and Murray gets frustrated, then JMDP could capitalize on that. It should be a good match however you slice it.

Have you made your picks for tomorrow?


S Green Says:

Yes, I have. I’m gonna post it on Vach’s thread above.


Von Says:

“Choice of ground has always been a pet peeve of mine when it comes to Davis Cup. You really do need luck, and for the right draw to win the DC.”

I agree with you on the choice of surface. I feel the host country should not be able to dictate and the surface should be universal throughout the world. I don’t know about the luck part because clay is not roddick’s surface and he won in the Czech Republic beating Berdych on clay, and in Austria this, year beating Melzer, who is a drop shot expert on that surface.

I still feel the US will do better in Spain even though clay’s not their favourite surface. I don’t give up easily.


JCF Says:

When I say luck, I mean luck as in, avoiding a situation where you play one clay tie this year, another clay tie next year, another clay tie again the year after, each one derailing your bid. Argentina has that situation where they’re beating people at home, and then facing an away tie on an unfavorable surface and losing. All you need is one away tie against a tough nation. However, if you can avoid the away ties, and all the ‘trouble’ nations are not hosting, then you have a good draw.

It is very difficult to win back to back davis cups. You need players with all court games. Serbia might do it. Russia is a chance.

“Ferrer most probably will win a live rubber, but considering his form during the clay season, I’d say he’s an ‘IF”. Nadal will most probably win the 2 live rubbers. If that happens and Ferrer doesn’t wsin anything, plus Spain loses the doubles, guess what, the US WINS. I’m hoping for this scenario to occur.”

I don’t mean at all to take away hope, but I’ll just end by saying that I don’t share your optimism. Ferrer is the 4th ranked player in the world, playing on a surface that blunts big serves and rewards fitness and patient baseline rallying. I just don’t think the US can beat him twice on a surface that’s not favorable to them but is favorable to him. He will not be the underdog.

Fish has just mentioned in his latest interview that he likes to keep points short and go for it early. He can’t play like this on clay.

I’m just being realistic here. Spain is the favorite for the semi-final. If they play Argentina in the final, they will be favorable there too. Against Russia, it all depends on what surface the Russians choose. They might pick a fast surface like they normally do against clay nations, but Davydenko isn’t really a fast court player, and Safin is a perpetual question mark.


zola Says:

What a match today. I think I lost a few pounds!
Hats off to Sam Querrey to make it a match. Rafa did not play his best . But I am glad his B game was enough to win Sam’s A or A+ game. Sam is tall and has a great serve and great forehand. He was relaxed and cool about the match and i think that helped a lot too. As Rafa said” great future”.

I guess after playing so many matches, it is normal to have a bad day in the office, on your worst surface. I hope Rafa can work on his serve and concentration.

Rafa’s match with Fish is going to be tricky. Rafa’s B game may not be enough to get the job don. He has a great chance to get to the semis in US Open, whcih will be his best result in US Open ever. So, he better try to dinf his A game!

Muarry-Del Potro and Roddick-Djoko are the ones I am looking forward to see.

btw, Djoko-Cilic was another great match that could go either way. I am very excited about all these young guns.

Maura
welcome here. I am glad to see another Rafa fan.Enjoy his great run. Hopefully he can win Fish and go to semis. That will be just great.

Von
Suddenly Rafa is not Tarzan anymore? I am glad you have changed your mind for whatever reason.


Von Says:

Zola:

“Von
Suddenly Rafa is not Tarzan anymore? I am glad you have changed your mind for whatever reason.”

I don’t know what you are talking about. please explain.


zola Says:

Jane
Wilander said the same thing about Rafa (cleverest player on tour) in his Q&A with eurosport!

I watched a bit of Murray-Wawrinka. Whatever Murray did was enough to win the match. Stan was not playing well at all and that’s a pitty.

It was a comfortable match for Murray. The match with Del Potro will be interesting. They are both hungry and have that history. I hope its a looooong match! ( assuming Rafa can win Fish and hoping he can do it in less than 3 hours!)


zola Says:

Von,
your comment on Rafa a few weeks ago in Toronto, saying he was like Tarzan shaking his head!
You perfectly know what I am talking about!


zola Says:

this is your comment:

**Did you also see that display by Nadal behaving like tarzan when he won a point against Murray? He had his eyes closed, moving his head vigorously from side to side and shaking his whole bady in elation, fist pumping etc. As “irritating” as Roddick is thought of by his critics, I’ve NEVER seen him display such behavior when winning a point against a lesser ranked opponent, or any opponent for that matter.
***

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2008-07-27/553.php#comment-42596


Latent Talent Says:

“Ferrer most probably will win a live rubber, but considering his form during the clay season, I’d say he’s an ‘IF”. ”

The same Ferrer who won Valencia and took a set off Rafa at Barcelona this year and made the quarters this year at Roland Garros? He is a bigger if than Andy Roddick who has been the greatest thing on clay since….. Pete Sampras?

come out of la la land…… also known as Grizzly’s butt…..

To make a twist on another poster’s comment, US on clay against Spain, in Spain is like a one legged man in a bum kicking competition. Cant wait to see the ass-kicking Spain will deal out to US!


Latent Talent Says:

Has Alamagro said he WILL not play the Davis-cup semi-final? He has got to be one of the 2nd tier players in the Spanish Armada.

Ofcourse Spain’s 2nd tier would make the 1st tier of most other nation’s happy on clay, because Spain’s 1st tier players on clay is a one-man-club. Rafa should actually let alamagro and ferrer play the 1st day singles. He and robredo should play the doubles against Bryan brothers. Nadal/Robredo have won Monte-Carlo Masters doubles, so they are not a cake-walk on clay. If the Bryan’s win the doubles, Nadal can step in the next day and swat any american player – past/present to give Spain the tie. This is the least Nadal can do to make this mis-match of a decade atleast a tad interesting.

Really, this tie is an even worse match-up than The-Mighty-Federer playing a dirt-baller on a very fast surface. (I think he beat Gaudio 0 and 0 in 1 of the Masters Cup)

All said, Querrey is their best bet to win a singles rubber. Roddick, fish and blake are just kamikaze on red-clay! Heck! P-mac should take Odesnik or some other dude who did well at RG! I would even say spadea/young!


Von Says:

Zola:

“Von,
your comment on Rafa a few weeks ago in Toronto, saying he was like Tarzan shaking his head!

No, I don’t remember.
______________
“You perfectly know what I am talking about!”

I think you should read the above sentence again and really look at it from my view point. Your accusatory tone is why I find it most difficult to interact with You. How do you know that I “perfectly know what you’re talking about”? You are questioning my integrity when I say I don’t know what you’re talking about. I honestly forgot. I don’t dwell and digest things like you do. Your sentnce could really place me on the defensive and say to you, “how dare you question my integrity”, but I’m going to let it go because I’m bigger than that. Just a piece of adivce to you Zola, and you can take this however and whichever way you want to interpret it, if you don’t want to incur someone’s wrath and anger, DO NOT and I repeat, DO NOT ever their integrity; when you do so, you’re calling them a liar, which I’M NOT. I am one of the most truthful people around. I don’t need to lie to you, because guess what, lies are for people who are AFRAID of another person or consequences. I’m not in that category, AND I’M CERTAINLY NOT afraid of you. Please do us both a favor and DON’T EVER question my integrity again, or else we’ll be e at each other’s throat forever. You don’t know when to stop. Another piece of advice, don’t pick on another poster’s fave, if you don’t want the same in return. The times I’ve commented negatively on Nadal could be counted on one hand. You, on the other hand, have bisected and dissected Roddick in the worse way, many times over. I think it’s about time you stop criticizing the players, especially Roddick. If not, I’ll find something to criticize Nadal. I hope we now understand each other.

Zola, I don’t want to argue with you, and that is why I’ve ignored some of your statements which I know are aimed at me. I would like this nonsense to stop. i enjoy a harmonious atmosphere and that’s why I find humor in most situations. Try it, you might like it. I hope we can put all of the past behind us and move on. I’ve done my very best to avoid mentioning Nadal, except when it’s unavoidable, e.g., the draw, who’ll win on his side or who’ll be beaten by him.

BTW, what prompted your Tarzan statement? I can’t think of anything I’ve said to bring this about. I’ll now read the link you provided. You know calling him Tarzan, if you really want to look at it objectively, is good. Tarzan was a very powerful character who excelled at everything he did.


Von Says:

Latent:

You’re looking for a rise out of me, nipping on my heels on my posts? GROW UP. You seem starved for attention and are throwing terrible-twos tantrums. How much fun do you derive from kissing the grizzly butt — is it fun? Anyway, I can see through your ploy to try to annoy me, but you’re not going to succeed, I’m waaay ahead of you. You can stand on your head from now until doomsday, I won’t answer you again. This is too childish for me. Ta, ta.


Latent Talent Says:

Zola -

That “Tarzan” reaction is 1 of the most-memorable on-court/on-field celebrations I have ever seen in any sport in the past 40years. Anyone who criticizes Nadal for that, knows nothing about tennis/ any sport for that matter. If you follow what happens on tennis-x on a regular basis, you would realise that you are arguing with someone who cannot see beyond “looks” / authoritarian virtues like fanatic patriotism. Both of which deserve no place in sport at its highest level.

On another note, dont worry about Nadal. He is best-placed to be the King of the Queens.


Latent Talent Says:

Ofcourse you wont. Caught red-handed, are you? All your posts have only one-theme and that is Andy-Roddick/american butt kissing. Do yourself a favor and stop preaching others about integrity when you are so obviously devoid of it, yourself.

David Ferrer is an IF on clay, yeah right! and Roddick is a living-legend on the dirt? Keep Dreaming. Just dont force those irrational and spiteful thoughts as innocuous wishings. You will NOT hesitate to tear down any player, if you think that will elevate Roddick. And you talk about integrity! Mother of all ironies!


Latent Talent Says:

Last but not the least, Roddick would be ashamed to have a stupid fan like you whose only job is to defame other professional players. The day you stop insulting other players, you can demand others to respect Roddick and proclaim your integrity.

Even he will laugh at you if you tell him he is a better player than Ferrer on Clay.


Von Says:

Well, Zola, you’ve achieved your desired result — digging up touble. There wasn’t one single post of mine on this thread that should have prompted your statement to me. Your link shows my mention of the tarzan behaviour was over 7 weeks ago, and that was in response to your many, many comments berating Roddick, which you have craftily omitted. What pleasure do you derive from this nonsense? You seem to thrive on this stuff.
______________
Latent read the comment from Fedobich troll yesterday referring to your name-calling of Djokovic. What’s wrong with you? I think all that you have applied and accused me of me is what you do and what others feel about you. Do you think Fed and Nadal would even give you a side glance? I know for sure they won’t speak about the Americans and Djokovic in the manner you do. If you want to be one of their slavisly fanatical followers, you should try to emulate them. Don’t forget to take your mood altering medications.


Latent Talent Says:

I would not be surprised if that other post is yours under a different.

You are as shameless hypocritical and uncouth as they come. You can stoop lower than the nethermost pits. And you have the cheek to call yourself courageous. Stupidity and hypocrisy is more like it.


Von Says:

I think if the moderators were to check they’ll see I have always posted under the same name. You on the other hand, have used a huge amount of aliases, and that’s the reason you’d think another person would do the same. I’m sure by now anyone with commonsense, and is a regular poster on this site is aware of the many people you attack unceasingly. This is your MO — you target one poster, rant, for about 2 weeks, then move onto another and on and on; then you change your post name, and target another set of posters, other than Fed and Nadal fans. Have fun and enjoy the name calling. Your opinion of me is immaterial.


Latent Talent Says:

Another post that reveals your stupidity! I post under many aliases? Says who? The voices in your dumb head? Anyone with commonsense? Like yours? Thanks! I dont need opinions from creatures who are as stupid as you.

As I said, there are a lot of people who wouldnt care for your uncouth and self-righteous preachings as well. Again, get your head out of andy roddick’s butt and then I will care for what you say.

I am not the one who declared ” I wont answer you again” and promptly replied to my other posts. That shows how shameless and double-tongued you are. Shame on you! I will show you how to keep your word. I will be right here to get you every time you insult another player to make roddick appear as a saint. I am not a shameless creature like you, so you can be sure of this.


Jojo Says:

Wow…. CAT FIGHT!!! I likey…. I likey…


JCF Says:

“To make a twist on another poster’s comment, US on clay against Spain, in Spain is like a one legged man in a bum kicking competition. Cant wait to see the ass-kicking Spain will deal out to US!”

I don’t mean to disrespect the US team, but any non-clay-specializing team that can beat Spain in their own backyard has got to be the best DC team in the world.

The only teams I can see pull it off (all are capable on clay) are: Argentina, Russia, Chile, France, possibly Germany. The last 3 are longshots.

Even without Nadal, Spain is going to be tough. They’ve got a bunch of people able to take his place if he can’t make it.

Top story: Wozniacki Ousts Sharapova At US Open; Federer, Dimitrov Start Slow, Tsonga-Murray Monday
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