Murray, Del Potro Offer Glimpse into Future; Williams Sisters, Rafa Tonight
by Sean Randall | September 3rd, 2008
  • 72 Comments

Wow a great afternoon of tennis yesterday with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic each being stretched to the limit in five set wins. Today could very well be more of the same as Andy Murray and Juan Martin Del Potro battle for a semifinal berth and then later Rafael Nadal will try to reach his first US Open final four against the American Mardy Fish.

Back to yesterday first.

I thought going in Igor Andreev was going to give Federer a heap of trouble, and he did all that and a whole lot more. For my money, that was Fed’s best hardcourt win this year because Andreev is just so strong from the baseline and Fed’s been having trouble from the backcourt. Had that match been played at Cincinnati, Miami, Dubai or even in a non-Slam best-of-five, I think Andreev would have gotten him. But I think the stage and the moment was too much for Igor who really hasn’t been a deep Slam player and a guy who beats the top players. Credit to Fed for getting through and now I think he’ll get a breather against the surprising Cinderella Gilles Luxembourg who stunned Nikolay Davydenko in four sets.

But the match of the day turned out to be Djokovic’s win over Tommy Robredo. Novak of course had a myriad of injuries at different times during the match. Throw in some bathroom breaks, some wristband changes and Robredo wasn’t pleased with the Serb’s antics after the match. “So did I trust him?” Tommy said afterward when questioned about Novak’s ailments. “No. No. I think he took his time because he did it because he was a little bit more tired and that’s a part of the game. It help him a lot.”

And Roddick wasn’t having much of it either. Said Roddick about Novak’s injuries: “No, if it’s (injuries) there, it’s there. There’s just a lot. You know, he’s either quick to call a trainer or he’s the most courageous guy of all time. I think it’s up for you guys to decide.”

Again, I have to ask, how is Novak ever going to be No. 1 if he can’t consistently recover from four/five set wins? And why does Novak go out of his way to make it known how exhausted he is after long matches? Is he trying to take the pressure off by basically saying he has no chance of winning because of his fitness?

Novak’s a great player but he’s going to have to get into better shape, get his body right because he’s not going to keep winning Slams like he did in Australia where he won’t have a tough, long match or even a few along the way. And right now it seems his body/mind is not built for handling the workload of having to win consecutive four or five set matches en route to a title.

As for today, I really like this Murray-Del Potro match-up. We know where Murray is, but this will be a great gauge as to what we can expect from Del Potro. I like to compare JMDP’s game with Gustavo Kuerten’s. Both have lanky bodies, decent serves and they are very tough off the ground. Guga’s the better the mover, but in time in think JMDP will add some quickness. But we still have to see how JMDP handles the spotlight, a place where Guga excelled. How well JMDP handles the pressure next year will also be revealing, because right now against Murray he should be playing pressure free.

Murray has no such luxury. With the high expectations and the fact that his contemporaries like Nadal, Djokovic, Gasquet, Monfils, Baghdatis have already broken through at the Majors, the pressure is really on Andy, I think he’ll will mix it up just enough against the Argy to get through to his first Slam semifinal. But I don’t think it will be easy and it won’t be last time we see these two future greats on the big stage.

Tonight I think Rafa gets through against Fish. But it’s going to be a serious fight. On the faster court I expect Mardy to serve big and really attack Rafa by coming to the next whenever possible. Rafa though will have some break chances, but I’m not sure how many Mardy is going to get, so I think Rafa advances. But I could see the upset.

As for the Venus-Serena Williams matchup, I think Serena wins this one in three sets. I’m nitpicking but I think she’s looked the better player and I just think she’s due for a big win, and this is it.


Also Check Out:
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Serena, Venus Williams Battle Today at Miami, No. 1 Rank in Balance
Wozniacki Can Take No. 1 This Week in Beijing: Preview
Nadal Tries To Get On Track, Federer Looks To Remain Hot In Rome; Williams Sisters In Action
Here’s The Trailer For The New Williams Sisters Documentary: Venus And Serena [Video]

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72 Comments for Murray, Del Potro Offer Glimpse into Future; Williams Sisters, Rafa Tonight

JCF Says:

Didn’t see the Robredo/Djokovic match, but I was going to say that this 5 set win answered the questions I had about his fitness. I didn’t know he had this many niggles throughout. It’s going to be hard for him to get past Roddick and Federer now.

He pretty much needs to get to a final without dropping a set if he’s going to win a slam (that’s what he did in Melb).

I hope that javelin thrower hasn’t been keeping him up all night.


grendel Says:

Strange match, that. Bit of a damp squib, with Murray apparently inching to a routine win. Fatigue seemed finally to have caught up with del Potro. Leaving aside those 4 tourney wins, there were really tough matches with the wall, Canas; with a young (if elegant) wall in the making in Belluci (never seen him before – impressive player), and with Canas’s natural successor in the wall department, the Frenchman Simon. There was a brief respite with the exhausted youngster Nishikori – and then: Murray, another geezer who can do the wall thing with the best of them.

But Murray showed some weakness in the third set, and basically let del Potro off the hook. The Argentine took full advantage, seemed to gain a new lease of life from somewhere or other, hit some consistently stunning and deeply risky second serves – and the match came to life.

In fact, it became a thriller, with some strange ingredients. For it was always clear that del Potro’s second wind was of finite duration. You kept wondering, when’s he going to flag? One moment, he would seem full of vigour; another, stiff legged, almost limping. On the other hand, Murray was now displaying his obstinate, resilient spirit. Two tremendously talented players faced each other across the net, utterly different in style, temperament, just about everything really, who began to draw the very best out of each other. Despite the bad feeling which was supposed to animate the two, the match was played in a stern and fair spirit, and by the end, the mutual respect overode everything.

Murray had better make the most of his climb to #4. I have been enormously impressed by del Potro, and I see him as challenging not just Murray, but Federer and Djokovic in the coming 12 months. Nadal will no doubt be a hurdle too far – 24 months, perhaps. He’s 19 and looks on the court, to my eyes anyway, 22. He’s an absolute bull of a man who powers the ball to the corners again and again. It’s extraordinarily exciting, I don’t know why – subtle, del Potro’s game is not, and nor is there much variety although he has the makings of being a good volleyer. I think it’s the risks he takes, again and again. You keep thinking, well, it’s going to miss this time – and it doesn’t. And not only is he immensely strong physically – he wears his opponents down not by grinding but by softening them up – to my surprise he is mentally very strong as well, very strong. Surprise, because I vaguely remember him from last year as one of these gifted youngsters who seemed to lose rather easily, and not mind too much about it, either. How wrong I was. And then there is the stereotype one tends to have of the Argentinian tennis player – full of promise, but signifying, in the end, disappointingly little.

Well, this is an Argentine with a difference. Watch out, everyone!


JCF Says:

“He’s 19 and looks on the court, to my eyes anyway, 22.”

Most players look older than they really are.

My prediction: If Nadal loses tonight, Murray will be the US Open champion of 08. If Nadal wins, I give him 60/40 against Murray. If he beats Murray, he adds the US Open to his rapidly growing resume.

I think the players in the other half of the draw are going to wear each other out, leaving them empty for the finalist in the top half to finish off. Djokovic is not going to last. Roddick has back and neck problems. Fed hasn’t looked all that hot. I totally expect these guys to go the distance against each other.

Back to Nadal and Murray. If Nadal were to get past Fish, I think he will be slight favorite against Murray. Right now Nadal is having fatigue problems, but Murray has had a history of that himself. He’s already played a 5 setter in this Open, and today’s match was 4 hours long (he won 6, 6, 6, and 5).

However, if Murray does turn out to be fresh on Saturday, and Nadal looks as fatigued as he did against Querry, Murray will win in 4.


Bandit Says:

Andy Murray locked a spot in the semis and now awaits the “King of Clay” in a duel of the youngsters. Rafa’s experience should prevail although I think maybe Murray plays better on hardcourt we will find out Saturday.


Bandit Says:

GO MARDY! GO USA! BEAT NADAL’S BRAINS TO A GD PULP!!!!! SHOW HIM WHAT IT MEANS TO BE AN AMERICAN TENNIS PLAYER AND PLAY IN FRONT OF THE GREATEST FANS ON EARTH… NEW YORKERS, BABY!!!!!!!! GET THE WILLIAMS OFF THE DAMN TV NOW AND MOVE OVER FOR THE MEN’S MATCH PLEASE HURRY!!!!!!!!!!!!


Mandy Says:

Get the William sisters off the court. Never ever put the women tennis matches on certer court. They are so sloppy.


YY Says:

If the Williams match goes to a 3rd set, will the nadal/fish match be postponed? Have they ever started a match at MIDNIGHT?????


Danica Says:

Knew it. 7:6, 7:6. Just like in Indian Wells.


JCF Says:

I’m going to put on this detective hat I borrowed from Von, and say that Bandit is one of those guys who uses multiple aliases and forgot to change it. That, or he’s sharing his computer.

YY Says:

“If the Williams match goes to a 3rd set, will the nadal/fish match be postponed? Have they ever started a match at MIDNIGHT?????”

I hope they post pone it, but chances are, they won’t. What time is it in NY right now? I didn’t realise it was this late already. This isn’t good…

If they do start at midnight, then whoever wins (even if it’s Fish) I hope they do it in straight sets, for their sake.


Mandy Says:

I was pretty sure they won’t go into 3 sets because it will be a disadvantage for the winner (one Williams). Venus obviously made it as 2 sets.


YY Says:

It is 11.30pm now in NY! If it is a long match it will end earliest 2-3am!!! This is terrible programming if they allow it to go on.


JCF Says:

This sucks.

But if they do play, whoever wins should be fine for Saturday. They can just sleep in since they won’t have a morning start.

Hewitt wasn’t able to go to bed after beating Baghdatis until almost 8AM. He had press commitments, massage, cold shower, and other post-match duties before he could go. He did lose to Djokovic next up, but that was more because of Djokovic’s play than his condition.

I also don’t think Nadal and Fish will go 5 sets. I think it will be over in 4 sets, 3 hours.

I don’t like the idea of Super Saturday. It’s a big ask for the men to play back to back matches. Not so much for the women. This happens to be at the part of the tournament where the competition is toughest.

Both men’s semis should be played on Friday, or one on Thursday and one on Friday.

I hope that for this year, both men’s semis go 5 sets and the women don’t get to begin until midnight… That should give the Open something to think about.


JCF Says:

I know what modesty is Von. I’m saying she’s being modest on Nadal’s behalf (and asking whether she was modest on her own behalf), as though she was his coach or PR agent. I think she expects more out of him than her comments would show. Whether her person is modest or not, I don’t know. What I feel is that her EXPECTATIONS for Nadal are modest. Realistically, I don’t see how it should bother any fan of Nadal’s that Murray gets extended.

Yes, you’re a reactor, not an initiator. But I also think you’re an over-reactor. And no I didn’t read what happened two days ago. I tend not to read exchanges between you and her. I don’t want to speak on behalf of her without actually reading what was said, so I’m not going to say anything further on it.

Peace.


JCF Says:

^ Ick, I posted that to the wrong thread.

I will C&P it to the correct thread. Please disregard the above message.


Sean Randall Says:

Grendel, and JMDP was in tears during his presser. The kid doesn’t like losing! I’m with you, and I hope he fulfills his potential. That said, I don’t think see him among the Top 5 next year. Maybe the year after.

JCF, if Nadal loses tonight I think Roddick might win the US Open! However I don’t think Nadal will lose tonight even though he’s a set down right now.

Fish, who had never broken Nadal in four matches until tonight, will have to break him at least once more this morning and then win two tiebreaks to win this match.

As Johnny Mac wondered, i did too that had the Williams match gone three would the Nadal-Fish been postponed? I think they would have. With the extra day off there’s no urgency to getting this match played tonight.


jane Says:

Muller has the most aces at the USO (112). Almost double Roddick and Fish (63 each). Mind you, his matches have been marathons, but his serve is unreal. I haven’t seen enough of those marathons to know, but is he any sort of threat to Roger?

Otherwise, we should expect a Roddick / Fed semi – yes, another meeting of these two in a slam. Wow. How many is that, I wonder. I can’t imagine Djoko winning giving his plethora of ailments, but I was just wondering, could Muller continue?

It would be kind of interesting, because wasn’t it Muller who took Roddick out of this very tournament a few years back? When, 05 maybe?


Bandit Says:

I also am the type of guy to knee your nutz through the roof of your mouth there hotshot! Anywho… I will be here awhile for I believe in “Tennis is the good life and I’m living it everyday”. The third set is about to start and Nadal looks mad at Mardy. Just read a story about Nadal and the Jamaican track team, very interesting!


Sean Randall Says:

Jane, I don’t see the Muller threat to Fed. Muller’s played a bunch of guys who have trouble backing up their serves (you could say Haas the exception but German was up two sets). Fed should be able to hold comfortably and then get some good cracks at Muller’s serve as he’s still a top notch returner. I’d be surprised if Gilles managed a set.


Bandit Says:

GO MARDY, GO MARDY BURY NADAL WITH 134 MPH’S AND PROVE ALL YOUR DOUBTERS WRONG. ESPECIALLY THE WHINNY LITTLE FAIRIES ON THIS SITE. WHAT A BUNCH OF PATHETIC LOSERS ARE THE FANS YELLING DURING THE PLAYERS SERVE!


Sean Randall Says:

As for Novak, he should expect himself to win that match.


YY Says:

Don’t think anyone doubts Mardy’s capabiliity of beating Nadal but this name calling is even more pathetic. Just reflects how boorish SOME of you Americans are and how this behaviour has led to the increasing dislike of the USA by the rest of the world. I apologise for assuming Bandit is American if I am wrong :P


YY Says:

If Fish manages to steal the US Open title, I think it would be the best wedding present he could ever have :)


jane Says:

Sean – you like that word “should” where Novak is concerned.


Von Says:

Bandit:

I’d like for Mardy to win, but he’s making some silly mistakes at the net, and now he’s a break down in the 3rd set.

____________
YY: Why the country slur? No need to. Who’s more “boorish” than whom at this moment?


jane Says:

Rafa used his backhand slice very effectively in the 3rd set, baiting (or should I say reeling?) Mardy into net. Rafa’s good at adjusting when he needs to, and how he needs to. He’s smart at thinking his way through matches. Just like Murray. It’d be interesting to see these two play for that reason. But I’d like to see a competitive match between them, should it happen. Rafa almost vindicated the many bad droppers I’ve seen at this slam so far when he hit that one serving for the 3rd – nice disguise.

The scoreline in this match is deceptive, however, because Rafa knows Mardy’s serves and, sometimes, his volleys are great. And he has a lot of power from the baseline as well. The error stat is Mardy’s downfall so far, perhaps – something like 40 errors to Rafa’s 10 at the end of set 3. Course he’s also hit almost twice the winners also.

Funny to see some of the fans sleeping in the stands; I think I’d be awake.


Von Says:

Bandit:

Do you have a link to that story of Nadal with the Jamaican Track Team? I’d like to read it. Thanks and hello to another American fan! I’m tired of being odd man/woman on this site.


Sean Randall Says:

Jane, Mardy’s only chance is to really go for it, and with that comes a lot of errors. And I think he’s playing good, but it’s just a tall ask.


jane Says:

Sean – I totally agree. He’s got the right approach for his game. But some of the errors haven’t been on going-for-it shots, if you know what I mean – some ugly misses right now. He’s also not serving and volleying quite as effectively as that gang-busters first set. Rafa is seeing it and passing him.


YY Says:

Von,

There’d be more American fans if there were really good players to root for. Unfortunately in the past 2-3 years, no American player really stood out. Used to root a lot for Roddick but somehow ever since Federer emerged, he has been disappointing.

That said, I think he has a decent chance of reaching the finals this year :)


Sean Randall Says:

Mardy’s not a guy who’s not going to miss. He is. It boils down to playing Rafa is just a tough match-up for him, unless he serves really, really well and hold easily, then he can take more chances on Rafa’s serve.


jane Says:

And now Fish just broke himself at the beginning of the 4th set – and he broke himself at love. That’s gotta hurt because he’s got some good tactics and he’s pushed Rafa. But he also seems a little tired; it’s late and he’s probably not as fit as Rafa, which doesn’t favor Mardy’s chances now. If he were to come back in this 4th set, though, the crowd and adrenaline could probably carry him through the 5th. Whether he’d win or not, I don’t think so. It is a tall ask.


YY Says:

Jane,

The problem with playing against the top players like Federer and Nadal, you have to play consistently at a very high level. Which is difficult to do over five sets.

No doubt most of the top 10 or even 20 have the weapons to damage their games but their chances at upsetting are better in a best of 3 format.

Nadal is now up a break in the 4th set, and it will be tough for Fish now although anything can happen still :) great thing about tennis is that it ain’t over till the last point is won. (That is why I don’t like soccer or time based games much)


jane Says:

YY:

Yes, I am aware of that. Consistency is the name of the game.


Latent Talent Says:

That was pathetic. Someone in the crowd yelling just before Nadal served! Luckily fish was half asleep and didnt gobble up the point like Roddick did in the 2003 semi-finals against Nalbandian.

Anyways, nice yummy fish for a late late dinner. Good job Rafa. Get some rest and see you in the final!

Looks like the american tennis fans have to kiss the williams’ ass again for another GS title. So much fun, considering how they trashed them not so long ago.


jane Says:

That’ll do it – again that backhand slice of Rafa’s, this time to set up the forehand winner, which lead to the break. It’s a great shot.

Well anyhow, it was a good run for Fish to get this far, to the quarters, so congrats to him.

But great for Rafa to reach the semis at the second hardcourt slam this year! Not numero uno for nothin.


YY Says:

Yes! Glad my prediction was wrong!

Dream semi final 1 will happen – Nadal vs Murrary.

Now we wait to see who makes the semis in the bottom half of the draw.


Ezorra Says:

Nadal won!!!


osazone4real Says:

Yeah thats great nadal won in straight sets(2nd,3rd,4th straight sets haha just kidding)

But nice to see him win more easily than anticipated.

Zola, with the break he has b4 SF looks like our man can get to the finals.too bad I wont watch live or see the matches until next week.

Jane
How was nadal was he agressive, what brought around the turn around?


zola Says:

Wow! great win for Rafa!

I expected him to win just based on the ranking and Rafa’s experience, but I thought the home crowd and the surface can be a liability. Fish played excellent in the first set but could not keep it up and Rafa just went up a gear or two. That slice exchange was a classic.

Somehow that Querrey match did Rafa same good. 40 something errors! in this match i think he had about ten or so ( why don’t they show the stats?). Glad to see the crowd stayed around till past two.

Against Murray, again, on paper, Rafa should win. He has a winning record and won him decisively in Toronto. But he needs to stay focused. Right now I think the mental fatigue is more of a factor.

well, he is in the semis of US Open. Great result!

osazone4real
yes, I think the break will help him and Murray. I hope you can watch the match somehow!

JCF
**I’m saying she’s being modest on Nadal’s behalf (and asking whether she was modest on her own behalf), as though she was his coach or PR agent.***

that was quite nice! maybe I should become his coach or PR! But seriously I like his personality as much as I like his tennis. I also think if you see a match as a learning experience, then win or lose, you have gained something. I think those losses to Tsonga/Blake/Nalby…..on hard courts, perhaps made Rafa a better player. That said, I am very glad he is in the semis of the US Open!


zola Says:

something else

Del Potro is a very big guy and he is perhaps not as his best yet. When that day comes, he will be very scary!

Him crying at the presser is sad. he lost his winning streak. But he was walking very heavily on court as if he was hurt or tired. Murray was the better player.


NachoF Says:

Nadal is now officially gaining points compared to last year….. I wonder at what point we can be 100% that he will finish the year as #1


YY Says:

NachoF, if Federer loses before the finals he stands to lose another 550 points and widen the gap even further. Nadal will have at least 7150 points as he has only 150 points to defend and will get 450 for reaching the semis. Federer has 1000 points to defend. Even if Nadal loses the semis and Federer wins the US Open, the point difference is about 1200. I think it is near certain that Nadal will now end the year #1.

The points they both have to defend for the remaining to MS tournaments are about the same (500+) and Federer has 650 compared to Nadal’s 200 to defend for the Masters Cup.

I don’t think there will be enough points for Federer to earn to end the year #1 at this point as he is mostly defending points.


Gordo Says:

Roddick is peaking at the right time, both with his tennis and with his attitude. If he can behave himself but work the New York crowd he will have the already tepidly-received Djokovic on edge.

I think from listening to Roddick at his last press conference that he questions Djokovic’s fitness, and Roddick plays at a very fast pace that is going to truly test the Serb.

The drama heading into the lower half of the draw is magnificent, isn’t it? You know Djokovic and Federer are aching to play each other: Fed to show that he has his confidence and form back, and that the semi-final loss in Australia was indeed due to his illness, while Djokovic wants to show that not only was the Aussie Open no fluke, but he wants redemption for last year’s US Open final.

And then there is the rankings – should Djokovic beat Fed and then the Rafa-Murray winner and win the 2008 US Open then the points for Federer and Djokovic will be: Federer – 5380, Djokovic – 5405, meaning Djokovic will replace Fed as #2.

I know – first both men have to get past Roddick and the surprising Muller. But you can sense Federer is on more of a mission than ever, and now that he is showing more emotion the New York fans have truly embraced him. Except for a match against Roddice you know the crowd is going to be backing the Swiss.

We may indeed see Federer against Djokovic on super Saturday, but I expect Roddick – who one senses is also on a mission – is going to make life very difficult for Djokovic. If Andy were to win the US Open he would vault up to #5, just behind Murray, with a year ahead where he can gain a ton of points.

Fun matches indeed ahead this weekend.


grendel Says:

Sean says, w.r.t. del Potro:” I don’t think see him among the Top 5 next year. Maybe the year after”. Of course, one’s sticking one’s neck out in making predictions – futile speculation, really, but enjoyable. Peter Fleming – a commentator I generally like – was asked if he saw del Potro as being in the top 20 next year. He hummed and hawed a bit, well, I don’t know about that.. sort of thing, until he suddenly turned red, yes you couldn’t see him of course but you still knew he’d turned red, confessing, wait a minute he’s #17 now, isn’t he. What about top 10, then? Great caution now, of course. Commentators generally seem to hover on tip-toes in this area – I suppose a disastrously wrong prediction can come back to haunt them, and after all, it’s their living they have to think of.

No such worries for a mere poster. So I’m going for broke: Nishikori, top 5 in 3 years: del Potro, top 3 in 18 months.


Andy Says:

Question about US open tickets

I am looking at tickets in the Loge area for the men’s final. They are selling at the US open websitefor around $1000. It says “prices may be higher than face value”.

Any one have any idea what the face value is? I am just trying to get an idea of how much premium I would be paying for these tickets.

Thanks


Gordo Says:

It is almost impossible for Federer to reclaim the #1 spot before year end – even if Rafa fails to win another match (Ha!) and Federer were to win everything from now until the end of the year (a smaller Ha!) the points would be -

RAFA – 6700 + US Open semi (+300) less Paris (-350), Madrid (-125), Chennai (-120) = 6405.

FED – 5930 + winning US Open (0) plus Paris (+425), Madrid (+150), Stockholm (+250) = 6755.

So it could happen, but really – there are 2 chances of the above happening – slim and none, and Slim left town!


grendel Says:

As a Fed fan, I’ve been of the opinion for a while now that he has not really accepted the meaning of the changes going on at the top. It’s as if he regards them as provisional or even an aberration – one which will, in due course, be put right.

But of course nothing will be “put right” without a monumental effort on his part, not least in the mental and planning department. In a way, if Fed were to sneak a win at this Open – due, say, to the alleged depletion in energy in Nadal and Djokovic, iffy physical fitness of Roddick – this might be the worst thing for him, since he will be even less inclined to take reality on board.

Of course, if you are of the school of thought that Fed is finished anyway, then naturally you’d like him to grab any wins that are available, in particular if one of them happens to be a slam, and sod the circumstances.

But although, for reasons I outlined in another thread, I am sceptical of Fed’s ability to make a comeback, I’d dearly love to see him try. But for this to get off the blocks, Federer surely needs to be utterly honest with himself. And in this regard, what could be more of a propelling factor than finding himself 2000 odd points behind Nadal and overtaken by Djokovic by the end of the season? Kind of shoves reality into your face, doesn’t it?

Agassi renewed himself from far more unpropitious circumstances – some might think. I believe Agassi’s game lent itself to the possibility of renewal much more than does Fed’s. How nice it would be to be proved wrong.


Skorocel Says:

Von said: “I’d like for Mardy to win, but he’s making some silly mistakes at the net, and now he’s a break down in the 3rd set.”

Boy, was I furious when Mardy missed those, Yvonne! 3rd set, 3 all and 15 all, he first hits a lackluster volley which gave Nadal a more than a decent opportunity to pass him, and then he misses another easy volley (or was it a smash?) – and that was it for Mardy… The same in the 4th set – at 1 all, he makes 2 or 3 supereasy mistakes at the net, and bye bye… Too bad, because up until that moment, he was MORE than a decent opponent for Nadal!


YY Says:

Gordo, you forgot to factor in the Masters’ Cup points

Nadal 6405 – 200 = 6205
Federer 6755 – 650 = 6105


Von Says:

Skorocel Hi:

“The same in the 4th set – at 1 all, he makes 2 or 3 supereasy mistakes at the net, and bye bye… Too bad, because up until that moment, he was MORE than a decent opponent for Nadal!”

Glad to see you back again. Mardy really blew it for himself. He was hitting and missing too many shots out carelessly. I know he was frustrated by the way he was banging his racquet, but I can’t understand what made him change his style after being so successful in the first set. He had a great opportunity to get to the semis and blew it. So Sad.

BTW, I walked away after the first set and when I returned to watch the second set they had already played 2 games, but I heard the commentators mention a bathroom break caused Mardy to lose his momesntum. Who had the bathroom break so early in the match? I should have asked if you saw the match before asking that question. Anyway, you must have been watch due to your description of the breaks in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th sets. Will you be posting at the SFs and final. I hope so and look forward to reading your posts. Nice to have you back again!


zola Says:

Gordo,
thanks for the numbers.

Does Chennai count for this year?
Also Fed has 250 points from Basel in October.

Btw, RAfa has now reached the 7000 points mark with his last night victory over Fish. I am not sure how many ( apart from Fed who reached 8000+) have passed that mark.

grendel,
Fed showed more emotions in his last match with Andreeev than perhaps all the matches combined! perhaps he is accepting that he might be no 2 for a while and now feels less pressure. He played a 5-setter with Andreev and he was happy to win, not frustrated for it had to go to 5 sets.

I don’t think he can come back this season ( hope not!), but he is playing better and his body is holding up.( compare him and Djoko after both playing 5 setters). So physically he is in good shape and if I was a ed fan, I would be happy for that. Maybe after the season break he can make a come back in Australia.

MAybe he would concentrate on winning the slams rather than the master series and smaller tournaments . he has broken every other record.


Bandit Says:

If I offended anyone I was liquored up pretty good last night and I will be even worse tonight when Roddick breaks Novak down and digests a semifinal birth. But mark my words…. Novak is going to pay a dear price when Andy serves. It must feel like getting into the ring with Tyson or Kimbo Slice. The barrage of monster mash serves that will be unleashed by this man’s body will like something else. I’m tellin ya, Novak can’t just make it through this match without a fight. How’s this for a US OPEN headline, Monday morning…. “Roddick’s Revenge: The New #1 Player in the World.”


zola Says:

This is a sad clip, but shows how much Del Potro cares about winning. we sometimes forget how young these players are and hom much these tournaments mean to them. I think JMDP did a great job and he will be top 10 very soon. **hugs to JMDP**

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_nXH0F7h30


jane Says:

That clip of JMDP made me cry; I know I am a suck (I’ve cried in Bell telephone commercials) but that really does show how much pressure these guys feel. Just like Rog after losing Wimbledon, Novak after losing to Rafa at the Olympics, Rafa after the 07 SW19 contest.

Make me love tennis all the more; geez they’re people too, with passions, victories and losses. Sappy, but true.

JMDP will be a HUGE success in the future. And I can’t wait to see him emerge.


Gordo Says:

Zola & YY -

I didn’t forget Basel – Fed won it last year, so there is no gain or loss of points.

Chennai is in the calendar year – yes.

YY – my projection was on Fed winning all and Nadal not winning anything from here on. So again – Fed would get no additional points, but you are right – Nadal would drop 200 points which would make the year end tally

Federer 6755

Nadal – 6205

If you missed my previous post, this is a silly projection of “what if” Federer were to go on a tear and win everything from now until December 31 and Nadal were not to win another match. Of course it is ridiculous, but I was putting it down to show why Nadal can not YET be declared Numero Uno for year end. But really – it’s not going to take much now, is it? If Nadal beats Murray on Super Saturday add 200 points to the above, and if he beats Federer in the final add an additional 300 and subtract 300 from Fed. Of course if Fed loses in the semis to Djoke/A-Rod he loses 500 points and not only does he have no shot at being number one, he will be terribly close to dropping below Mr. Personality into 3rd place.


Skorocel Says:

To Von:

Nice to see you back as well :)

Mardy really could’ve won that match (or at least stretch Nadal to five), but you know, when you miss such easy shots, then that’s all what Nadal (who is well known for having escaped from even more dangerous situations) needs to turn the match around…

Really, what a pity for Fish! He played EXACTLY how one should play Nadal on hardcourt – attacking from the very first point on, firing some unreturnable serves, and generally, taking the initiative BEFORE Nadal could have any chance of producing those onanistic 5000 rpm forehands… It’s just that he made those silly mistakes, which de facto cost him the whole thing… Now, I don’t mean some of those easy errors which he made from the baseline, as they’re pretty much understandable – simply because the only way how to beat this Spanish guy is to make the points as short as possible (which, of course, takes its toll in some UEs here and there)… It’s just those silly volles & smashes which he made in the 3rd and 4th set (and to some extent also his usually very low 1st serve pct.) that REALLY hurt him… What a pity!

Re: that bathroom break, well, I honestly didn’t notice anything – but this only because I usually follow Nadal’s matches from tape (hm, guess why? :) )… Anyway, I still have that one recorded, so I can check it if you want ;-) Though Eurosport usually has their ads prolonged when in between sets, if there was indeed some bathroom break, I should notice it…

Anyway, I’ll certainly watch all the remaining men’s matches in the tournament, so feel free to write me if you want :)


Bandit Says:

Saturday looks to be a complete all day rain out which moves the men’s final to Monday or Monday night? I hope not but Brian Early will make the best decision in contrast to what many people think of him for last night’s debockle.


Von Says:

skorocel:

“Anyway, I’ll certainly watch all the remaining men’s matches in the tournament, so feel free to write me if you want.”

I’ll write to you soon, I promise. I’ve been so busy that I’m now close to brain dead. I’ve so much to tell you and some new good jokes to email to you from Earl. Even if I don’t get around to writing I’ll email the jokes for sure. How did you like the Olympic blunders joke list? I can’t believe they actually mseesed up like that. :D Enjoy the balance of the tournment. We’ll interact on tennis if you keep on posting. I’ll catch ya later. :P


Bandit Says:

I hope Muller takes Federer to five sets to make him physically exhausted for the semis on Saturday. Sounds like nobody is sold on a Rafa-Federer final and that’s what Vegas is calling for so we better listen to them. Let’s all be friendly to one another and discuss the topics that we love without the American slurs which if anybody knows I am American by default. I am disgusted with the last 8 years of misery in this country and tennis is my lifeline to happiness. Without tennis debates I have nothing to offer.


grendel Says:

Zola – obviously, there is a tendency to be greedy on behalf of one’s “favourite”, you will understand that well enough! It’s very childish, like wanting to stop time, but it seems to be the way we’re constructed. That said, there is a rational side: I got a lot of pleasure in watching Federer at his best, and one is reluctant to forego this pleasure.

It’s a bit like wanting more sweets when the tin is empty…..


zola Says:

grendel
***obviously, there is a tendency to be greedy on behalf of one’s “favourite”, you will understand that well enough!***

sure I do!

well, this is perhaps Fed’s worst year. still he has been in all the SFs and won gold in the olympics and is no 2! not too bad!

I don’t think the tin is empty. From his comments, I sense he wants to fight for No 1. this year is over but I am waiting for a strong Fed come back at 2009. He will be more setelled in the new position, more relaxed, etc. so it will be interesting to see how he does. My guess is he will be chasing slams and will win a few more.
For Rafa’s sake I don’t want for Fed to go away too soon. they have had some good matches. Apart from wimbly 08, I love to watch Shanghai 06, Rome 06 and a few others.


Mary, Mary, Why you buggin'? Says:

Bandit: Although Spain and Jamaica are having wonderful summers, I don’t know about that.

More info from the 2007 drug testing world from the ITF: Djokovic was only tested in 30% of his tournaments and was tested out-of-comp by WADA; Nadal was tested in 20% of his tournaments, more important: he was not tested during the USO and not tested from Feb. to June; and Federer was tested in 41% of his tournaments and was not tested from February to April.


zola Says:

Mary
these are nice stats. Can you give the link?

I guess they also get tested off-tournaments. They need to be tested 19 times a year!


JCF Says:

“I don’t think there will be enough points for Federer to earn to end the year #1 at this point as he is mostly defending points.”

For year end #1 doesn’t matter whether you’re defending points or gaining new ones. It’s only with rolling 52-week ranking that it matters. Year end is decided by the champions race. Rafa’s about 400 points clear of Fed and Novak.

One of them can pick up 200 for winning Madrid and Paris, 110 for US Open (because Nadal will gain 90 for the SF finish), and I don’t know how much Shanghai is worth for an undefeated champion. It’s still possible, but not very likely. I think Rafa will clinch the race before Shanghai begins.


Mary Says:

Zola:
http://www.itftennis.com/shared/medialibrary/pdf/original/IO_34807_original.PDF

Go onto the ITF site for more anti-doping. WRONG about the 19 times a year. Do you think tennis is different from other sports? They- mgmt and players- don’t want that! The numbers posted are when they were tested. Out of the top three only Novak was tested off-season. Read through the site, it’s eye opening.
A national federation- those are a joke- may test when a player is representing their country in Davis/Fed Cup or the Olympics. They protect their own.
I broke down the numbers and it comes to roughly 10%-15% players tested in tournaments overall. They do not test every tournament. Hardly.


Mary Says:

Only 19% of the tournaments have testing.


Mary Says:

The numbers are for the ATP; I did not break down WTA numbers.


zola Says:

thanks Mary for the link. it is interesting. Are they any stats on off-court tests?


Mary Says:

The out-of-comp tests are at the bottom of page 13: ITF OOOCT and WADA OOOCT. Only about 135 ish were tested out-of-comp.
Here’s the link for the full explanation of the program:http://www.itftennis.com/antidoping/rules/


Mary Says:

The out-of-comp tests are at the bottom of page 13: ITF OOOCT and WADA OOOCT. Only about 120ish maybe out of all professional players were tested out-of-comp.
Here’s the link for the full explanation of the program:http://www.itftennis.com/antidoping/rules/


Mary Says:

Sorry about the double post, laptop is being a pain today.


Bandit Says:

great dialogue and posts everyone! everyone should be able to express their feelings freely with class and dignity. andy murray has a great chance to win the open if ofcourse the djoker beats fedexpress.

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