2009 Davis Cup Draw Released; Federer v. U.S., Spain v. Serbia
by Sean Randall | September 23rd, 2008, 12:16 pm
  • 149 Comments

The 2009 Davis Cup draw is now out, and if the stars show up round one will offer plenty of attractive, intriguing matchups come early March.

In draw order from the top it will be Netherlands at Argentina, France at Czech Republic, Switzerland at USA and Chile at Croatia.

In the bottom half we have Israel at Sweden, Russia at Romania, Austria at Germany and Serbia at Spain.

Some quick observations, the top half is absolutely loaded with six of the eight teams all contenders – sorry Czech Republic and Netherlands.

Bottom half looks like Spain is in good position to get back to the final. Russia will be strong as well.

Of course the No. 1 question is will Roger Federer be on the Swiss squad that visits the U.S. My guess is he has to be. After all the tie will be played in America just before Indian Wells (and after Dubai), so Roger should be on his way to the U.S. anyway.

And Rog, no exos with Pete at the Garden this time, got it?

I’ll also be looking forward to another Rafael Nadal-Novak Djokovic clash.

Long way away of course.


Also Check Out:
Davis Cup Playoffs: Serbia Goes To India, Spain Travels To Brazil
2012 Davis Cup Draw: US Travels to Switzerland, Spain the Favorites Again?
2013 Davis Cup Draw: Raonic, Canada Host Spain In Opener; Czechs Visit Switzerland
Federer v Nadal in 1st Rd of 2010 Davis Cup
2014 Davis Cup Draw: USA Hosts Britain, Spain Travels To Germany; Early Predictions

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149 Comments for 2009 Davis Cup Draw Released; Federer v. U.S., Spain v. Serbia

gulu Says:

Sean, I too m waiting 4 Nadal vs. Novak


I like tennis bullies not tennis sissies Says:

Federer v. U.S
====

federer is his own country now? lol


JoshDragon Says:

Yeah that could be an intense match. As long as it’s not played on clay.


bob22 Says:

Why not on a clay? Far as I remember each of their matches were excellent and unpredictable even on clay.


Kiwi Says:

They had one unpredicable match on clay, and that was a best of two match. That one was alo played with the roof on and on the lowest bouncing claycourts in history of the game – Hamburg. And still it was 6:2 Nadal in the third set, with Djokovic dead after the second set.

Best of 5 sets on clay vs Nadal..Djokovic would be better advised to sit that one out and rest for doubles and the match vs Ferrer or Robredo.

And Spain should really be up for that one after they get destoryed by Argentina in the final this year.


Vulcan Says:

Kiwi, in order for Argentina to destroy Spain I think they would need 2 Nalbandians playing in the form that he was in last Fall. If the average Nalbandian shows up they still might win but no destruction. Even though he has already proved it time and time again…Im sure Nadal is itching to show everybody that he can play on anything including an ice rink if thats what you throw at him. Del Potro takes a huge windup with his forehand much like Fernando Gonzalez’s so I am going to be curious to see how he plays on a really fast surface.


Lausanne Says:

No doubt Roger will be there against USA, I was at Switzerland vs Belgium this week-end and oveheard him clearly confirm his participation in the next match…


Vulcan Says:

It seems like that Olympic Gold has really motivated Federer to play Davis Cup. Im sure he realizes that they will never have a better chance what with Wawrinka playing some great tennis also.


Andrew Miller Says:

Mr. Randall – question for you: do you feel that Patrick McEnroe has done more for U.S. men’s tennis prospects since the twilight of Agassi and Sampras than any other U.S. player, coach, or system?

Patrick McEnroe just seems to be THE one consistent force that has kept U.S. tennis afloat, mostly by using Davis Cup as a forum to expose U.S. players to a larger mission. In other words, it is as if a tough parent (with the exception of Nadal and Tony, his uncle) is not enough anymore in professional tennis: there has to be some sort of driving force that motivates players to either reach their potential or overachieve.

Take the example of Great Britain: sure they have players, but the vast majority have no heart (so much so that the U.K. has to grant citizenship to folks like the Canuck Greg Rusedski). Or Australia: they have some talent, but one man’s mission (Lleyton Hewitt) has not been enough to motivate Australians to develop whatever talent they have in men’s tennis.

So, do you think that Patrick McEnroe has essentially been THE ARCHITECT of U.S. tennis’ present and future? To me it seems an awful lot as if he has been. I am just wondering whether this theory holds any water. I can only think of one other coach who has done so much for his country’s tennis prospects: Yuri Tarpishev of Russia.


Von Says:

Considering the close proximity DC will be played in relation to Dubai and the MS tournaments, I’d say those players who have a lot of points to defend, in all probablility would not show up for DC, because there would be quite a bit of travelling involved, and tournaments to be played, in that tight time bracket. It would certainly be interesting to see how it all pans out.


Sean Randall Says:

Andrew, Pmac’s on that list, but players like Andy, James and others are really the guys carrying the American tennis torch right now. They bring the interest as do the top foreign guys like Fed and Rafa.

Regarding his captaincy, Pmac had this to say last Thursday: “I would just say that I’m the luckiest Davis Cup captain there is because we have a tremendous group of guys that will play no matter what the circumstances.”

And that’s really the bottom line for any DC coach: getting the top players to play. Pmac’s indeed lucky, to use his words, in having a bunch of guys (unlike Sampras and Agassi who didn’t like playing much, therefore the teams suffered and coaches were canned) who are virtually on DC call 24/7. So Pmac’s been fortunate on one hand and he’s also kept the peace and kept the players happy, credit to him.

Regarding the future, from what my friends tell me, PMac now has been handed the tall task of being the chief architect of the next group of American tennis stars. Let’s see how he does considering there doesn’t seem to be too many “greats” on the horizon.


zola Says:

woo hoo….another Davis Cup tennis fist. This is getting more exciting than the master series!

So Fed is coming to town! I read that he plans to play more ties next year because the schedule will be more flexible.
http://uk.reuters.com/article/tennisNews/idUKLN40471920080923

Then Serbia goes to Spain and that will probably be on clay and will be interesting. On that note, Seems Emilio Sanchez might be leaving the Spanish team at the end of this year.
http://ukpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5iLN5KYbtvT8duo4OnyEBVcGBqIHA


Dan Martin Says:

I actually would not mind seeing Pete and Roger play doubles together at Indian Wells. Beyond that I agree, enough novelty matches.


FoT Says:

I hope the Davis Cup tie is somewhere affordable for me to attend! I have to see Roger in person before he retires! lol! Or before I get too old to care!


HBK Says:

Concerning Federer’s DC’09 early-round participation, it would probably serve him well to forego next year’s Dubai prize money (since he practically has zero points to defend there) in favor of a pre-DC practice period with ol’ Higs (what of Ginepri???) in the States, followed by a quick trip to Palm Springs for MS Indian Wells prep. Have not read any press relating to this.

Have not checked, but on what surface will the DC final be held? An indoor hard/carpet venue? Some have doubted Nalbandian’s form, but he’s been looking very determined to do well. His play at the net has been very good with respect to what I was able to catch from his doubles match with Canas last weekend. His body language is that of genuine commitment. He’s got enough power and skill to hurt Rafa when he faces Spain, and Rafa has not yet beaten him, so Nalbandian probably relishes the prospect right now. BUT, Ferrer is probably a better fast-court player than Nadal is against fast-court players toward the end of the year, based on his Tokyo win, US Open semi, Masters Cup final results of last season (not exactly a guarantee of present-day effectiveness). F-Lo and Hot Sauce can be tough opposition.


HBK Says:

Forgot to mention Del Potro and Canas. Del Potro is in very good form at the moment. What can be said about these two. This final will tell us more about their tennis level, Nalbandian included.
Also, Nalbandian may qualify for MC Shanghai prior to DC Final meeting. That will definitely tell us about his level come DC time.


Roy Says:

“JoshDragon Says:
Yeah that could be an intense match. As long as it’s not played on clay.”

Beg to disagree…HC is not the favourite surface of Argentina either.


gulu Says:

The heading ‘Fed v. U.S. And Nadal v. Serbia’ really needs correction.


JoshDragon Says:

Roy,

I was referring to gulu’s comment about Djokovic playing Nadal in the 2009 Davis Cup.


Daniel Says:

I heard the commentors here in Brazil saying that Nalbandian is sufferinng from hip problems, similar of what Gustavo Kuerten had and finished his career. They say he is even considering surgery, but with the finals of DC they don’t think he’ll do it this year.

This could be one reason why he is not doing anything the whole year.


jane Says:

Sean – I agree with Gulu: your title should read “Switzerland vs. USA” and “Spain vs. Serbia”; DC IS a team sport after all.

As is, the title shows disrespect not only to Fed & Nadal’s team-mates, but also to the “teams” these two singles players are apparently playing against.


jane Says:

Amendment, after reading gulu’s post I re-checked your title and realized it does say “Spain vs. Serbia” so the correction should be changing Fed to Switzerland.


grendel Says:

“HC is not the favourite surface of Argentina either.” Well, not all Argentinians are the same. One certainly wouldn’t think of Nalbandian as primarily a clay court player. And if memory serves me correctly, Del Potro said fairly recently that hard court was his favourite surface. Coria – how I miss him, b.t.w. – and Gaudio, of course were claycourters though and through.


Vulcan Says:

Looks like the Orfeo stadium in Cordoba may not be the venue for the final after all:

http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/news;_ylt=AgySgsowSuO_sm7FglQkqzQgv7YF?slug=ap-daviscup-argentina&prov=ap&type=lgns

If they decide to put down a new court surface in Buenos Aires it will give them more flexibility in terms of how fast they can make it.


Naresh Says:

Anytime i see Federer’s name on the article header, i know for sure it’s been written by Sean Randall..u love him, admit it, Sean !!


Derek Says:

And don’t forget that there are ATP ranking points at stake! Yoohoo!


zola Says:

yes, how did it bcome Fed vs US? quite a topic!

FoT,
I have been reading your comments here and on the “other board” for about 3 years. I don’t think you will lose one ounce of passion ab.out Roger at any point of your life. I really truely hope you can go and see him!

The surface choice will be interesting! The guy is good on anything. Still Roger’s worst results came on hard courts in 2008 and he lost to Fish, Roddick and Blake on hard. I would choose a hard court.

Too bad about Nalby’s hip. I don’t know what to say. I enjoy watching Nalby’s game ( especially on hard courts) and they are not usually the same after surgery. Hope he gets better without needing a surgery.


FoT Says:

Yes, Zola… I will never lose my passion for Roger – even when he gets 50 years old! lol!

Oh, and I wanted to say you are probably my FAVORITE Nadal fan on either board! *thumbs up*!


zola Says:

Thanks FoT,
I can say the same for you. You love Roger but you are considerate and fair towards others.
Now I triple wish you see Roger here. :)


gulu Says:

Hi FoT! Very happy 2 know ur passion about Roger.U are a real fan of his and I m also his biggg:-) fan.I’ll sincerely pray so that u will see him directly in person n get his autograph.If someday I would b able 2 see him,it’ll b lik a dream com true!


Ezorra Says:

i’ve kind of weird feeling now! i feel like there is someone here who is regularly posts his/her comments on this board also has another name with different kind of attitude and tone!!!…

weird huh?


Von Says:

Ezorra:

“i’ve kind of weird feeling now! i feel like there is someone here who is regularly posts his/her comments on this board also has another name with different kind of attitude and tone!!!…”

weird huh?”

Only one person? Quite a few of them actually. Talk about multiple personalities they’re here. We’ve got one person in particular who has about 10 different aliases, however, he’s consistent in his dislike for some players and their fans, but he vacillates at times. He tries to cover it up, but the basic writing style is there and anyone who is discerning enough can spot it. Weird, is putting it mildly. Schizophrenic is more like it– This site is being used as a medium to vent and get rid of the craziness that’s within. A rather free psychiatric session. I suppose this is fun for them. Who knows what goes on in any person’s mind. There’s a pattern in some instances, but the only way we’d know for sure is is for the moderators to check the IP addresses. However, that doesn’t seem likely because it’s been going on for several months now and the onslaughts become more intense. It’s pathetic but the bottomline is, if you want to post about tennis, then I suppose you’ll have to endure the misery emanting from the mentally disturbed, which is absolutely unnecessary, but very factual. some of the crudity is tantamount to harassment.


gulu Says:

Hi Dear Von! So happy 2 see your post again! Great! Really great! Right now I m not getting too much news about tennis.So please inform me whatever important tennis news you get to know as quickly as possibl on ur part.I’ll b very grateful 2 you!


gulu Says:

Hi Jane! You perhaps love tennis very much,as much as I do! Tennis probably has becom my life now. You wrote that u like so many players! But I didn’t find Roger’s name on ur favourite list. Aren’t u fond of him?


Von Says:

gulu:

You must have radar or something. You seem to have me lojacked. :P Please don’t be offended by my statement it’s my playful side coming through. I like to kid around. No tennis news eh, well the following should provide you with some. I hope my link goes through, because the last time I tried posting a link, it took 2 days to show up. Anyway, here goes:

http://www.atptennis.com/5/en/deuce/feelit/default.asp

You owe me one big time.! :)

My Andy won his 2nd round match. BTW did you see my post on the other thread. I typed it up about 15 minutes ago.


Von Says:

gulu:

I’m hopeless at copying links, I posted the wrong one. Here’s the one I wanted you to see. I’m not a computer savvy person. Dan’t laugh, I get teased a lot about it. :P

CHINA OPEN
Beijing, China September 25, 2008
Ferrer Falls As Fellow Masters Cup Hopefuls Reach QFs
© Getty Images
Top-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer (pictured) experienced a China Open debut to forget on Thursday. The Tennis Masters Cup hopeful, who started the week at No. 6 in the ATP 2008 Race to Shanghai, lost his opening round match against World No. 95 Dudi Sela of Israel 6-3, 6-3 in 70 minutes. It was the pair’s first meeting.

Sela first beat a Top 10 player on Davis Cup duty for Israel against Fernando Gonzalez of Chile in the World Group play-offs last year and improves to 2-3 lifetime (1-2 in 2008). The 23-year-old Tel Aviv resident improved to 13-20 on the season, after recording back-to-back wins on the ATP circuit for the first time since ATP Masters Series Miami in late March.

Ferrer could only convert one of seven break point opportunities, while the World No. 5 lost his serve four times. The 26-year-old dropped to 42-19 on the season, which has been highlighted by two ATP titles at ‘s-Hertogenbosch (d. Gicquel) and Valencia (d. Almagro) with one runner-up finish at Barcelona (l. to Nadal).

Sela goes on to contest his first ATP quarterfinal since October 2007 at Tokyo (l. to Gasquet). He will attempt to reach his maiden ATP semifinal with victory over another Spaniard, sixth seed Tommy Robredo, on Friday. Sela has a 1-0 record, having beaten Robredo at ATP Masters Series Miami in March.

Robredo improved to 3-0 lifetime against Ivo Minar of the Czech Republic with a 6-2, 6-3 win in 65 minutes. The 26-year-old has captured his seventh ATP title at Bastad (d. Berdych) and finished runner-up in Warsaw (d. Davydenko) this season (32-18 record). The 2006 Tennis Masters Cup qualifier is currently No. 17 in the ATP 2008 Race.

Second-seeded American Andy Roddick (pictured right), who lost to Ferrer in the Davis Cup semifinals in Madrid last weekend, hit 17 aces past countryman Brendan Evans in a 6-4, 6-3 win. The Nebraskan, who trailed Ferrer by eight points in the ATP 2008 Race to Shanghai at the start of the week, is attempting to clinch his place at the circuit finale for a fifth time.

Roddick, who has hit 618 aces in 46 matches this year (No. 2 in Ace leaders behind Ivo Karlovic), won 27 of 35 points on first serve, and saved two of three break points. A two-time titlist on the ATP circuit this year at San Jose (d. Stepanek) and Dubai (d. Lopez), the 26-year-old improved to 38-13 on the season while World No. 187 Evans dropped to a 1-3 mark.

Roddick will now meet former World No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero for the fifth time. Roddick, who beat the Spaniard in the 2003 US Open final, has a 4-0 record. The pair last met in February this year at Dubai.

Ferrero overcame fellow Spaniard and No. 5 seed Fernando Verdasco 7-5, 6-4 in 80 minutes. It was the pair’s third meeting and first since 2004 Valencia. World No. 48 Ferrero, who reached the Auckland final (l. to Kohlschreiber) in January, won 72 per cent of service points and broke the Verdasco serve three times. He improved to 18-12 on the season, while 24-year-old Verdasco dropped to a 40-23 mark. This year Verdasco captured his second ATP title at Umag (d. Andreev) in July.

Third seed and defending champion Fernando Gonzalez survived a scare, by overcoming a slow start, to beat Go Soeda of Japan 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 in one hour and 58 minutes for a place in his fifth quarterfinal (or better) this year. The 28-year-old Gonzalez, a two-time ATP titlist and Olympic Games silver medalist in 2008, struck seven aces and converted five of eight break point opportunities. Last week Gonzalez helped Chile clinch its place in the 2009 Davis Cup World Group with a 3-2 victory over Australia. Currently No. 11 in the ATP 2008 Race, the Santiago resident is attempting to compete at Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai for a third time (2005, 2007). He improved to 35-11 on the season.

Gonzalez has a 1-0 record against his next opponent, Bjorn Phau of Germany. Phau knocked out eighth seed Sam Querrey of the United States 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and two minutes. The win represented his first victory over a Top 40-ranked player since February 2006 at Dubai (d. No. 9 Andre Agassi in 2nd rd.). Querrey saved 12 of 16 break points, but he could not penetrate the Phau serve. The 28-year-old Phau won 80 per cent of points on first serve and hit six aces. World No. 137 Phau reached his last ATP quarterfinal in September 2006 at Mumbai (l. to Berdych).

Meanwhile seventh seed Rainer Schuettler of Germany, who has enjoyed a career resurgence since reaching the Wimbledon semifinals (l. to Nadal), advanced to his third ATP quarterfinal (or better) this season with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Swiss qualifier Jean-Claude Scherrer in 76 minutes. The 32-year-old Schuettler has a 14-17 season record and awaits the winner of either fourth seed Richard Gasquet of France or Chinese Taipei’s Yen-Hsun

________________
It’s strange, Rainer Schuellter seems to have gotten a second win in his career — he’s winnning matches again.


zola Says:

Ezorra,
All sean has to do is an IP check and we will see how many “multiple personalities” exist on this board. My guess is quite a few and they show up just at the right time. Don’t they?

Vulcan
I think its the olympic gold and also the change in DC scheduling. Now they are more willing to listen to the players.Fed often cited scheduling as a reason not to play in the early rounds. Now that reason is removed and as Dererk says, there are now also ATP ranking points at stake too. some extra motivation!

hey gulu,
how are you? Will you go to see Fed play here? have you ever been to his matches?

******
woops, Ferrer lost to Sela in China Open. Doesn’t bode well for the year-end master cup/DC (If he can make it to Shanghai).

Roddick boosts his Shanghai chances. So far so good. Where is Blake?


jane Says:

gulu,

Roger is a great player; the results speak for themselves. I have enjoyed watch Roger fight through some tough matches this year and really show some personality. I admit I didn’t like it when he was winning everything, because I found the results predictable (he’d win nearly every tournament after all!) and that took some of the excitement out of watching for me. Not necessarily in the tight matches, but even in those, one always sensed Roger would come through. It’s not quite as easy to predict anymore, so I find watching his matches more enjoyable. I can’t say he’s one of my faves, or ever will be, but it’s pretty hard not to appreciate what he’s done for tennis. His consistency is utterly amazing, and he moves incredibly well around the court. Some shots he hits are ridiculously good too! Just nuts.


zola Says:

Jane,
You know I am not a Roger fan, but I find it interesting that people say it was boring or predictable because he was winning everything. Isn’t it or wasn’t it a bit up to the other guys to raise their levels? It was and it is good for tennis to have players who raise the level of tennis. If Fed was not that extraordinary, Djoko’s wins over him in Montreal and AO or Rafa’s or Murray’s wins over him would not have been so exciting and meaningful. :)
I think it is good for tennis to have players who are not easy to challenge. That makes the other players improve further. Look at the quality of ATP compared to WTA.


gulu Says:

Jane,now I can only say that you already have mentioned the reasons which I would have stated as the very ones for my loving Roger the most among the current players.The shots of Roger are the most beautiful to me and can be extremely dangerous for his opponents.I m just gonna support Fed irrespective of how well he plays.


gulu Says:

Goodie goodie Von!In fact I wrote in one of my previous posts that Roddick would be playing in the Thailand Open,but he’s actually playing in the China Open.Sorry for that.I was wrong.I hope you won’t mind that mistake of mine too much.


gulu Says:

My good friend Zola! This is 4 you.I am fine my friend!Unfortunately I have never been to Fed’s matches and it’s one of my dreams to see Rogi with my naked eyes.Take care.


Von Says:

gulu:

Perhaps you were thiinking of last year when Andy wanted to play in Bangkok. Unfortunately, it was surprising to me that this year he decided to play in Beijing instead. I hope he goes far in Beijing.

I was under the impression that Stockholm was being played snd kept referring to Fed’s matches. It was such a mistake on my part.


Whiteneck Says:

If you cannot play tennis on hard court, join Beach Tennis.

Here are the basic rules of Beach Tennis:

* Court – similar in size to a beach volleyball court, 16m long x 8m wide; a sand surface.

* Net – like beach volleyball the net is high, between 1.7m and 1.85m.

* Equipment – paddle bats (no strings) are used with a depressurized tennis ball.

* Scoring – exactly the same scoring system is used as for regular tennis, except with the permanent use of no-Advantage (after Deuce), no second service and no service let.

* Playing the game – the game is predominantly played between doubles teams, although singles can be played on a smaller court; under and overarm serves are permitted and either member of the receiving team my receive the service; a point is won if the ball hits the ground in the opponents’ court or if the opponents hit (or serve) the ball out or into the net.


jane Says:

zola,

Well, to each his/her own; I am just telling the truth. I truly do not enjoy when one player wins everything, especially not for as long as Roger did, nor do I like it when event outcomes seem predictable, regardless of the circumstances. Therefore, I wouldn’t mind it (am kind of hoping for it), much as I like Rafa, if someone would come along and really challenge Rafa on clay, say, if the others upped their levels or if someone like JMDP turns out to be a very strong clay-courter. To me, the more unpredictable and hotly contested the matches – all the matches, even those of my faves – the better for us viewers.

Both routs and predictable outcomes take out the excitement imo. And I know there is sometimes fantastic shot-making in routs, etc, but I’d still rather see a tightly, well-fought match any day.


Von Says:

jane:

“Both routs and predictable outcomes take out the excitement imo. And I know there is sometimes fantastic shot-making in routs, etc, but I’d still rather see a tightly, well-fought match any day.”

I’m also not in favor of routs. I absolutely dislike watching an opponent humiliated so badly in front of thousands of people. However, there are some players, who are not contented to win a well-fought match, but one in which the opponent is demolished. I’m all for liveing while letting others live and sharing the soik=oo


Von Says:

“soik=oo” typo which should be “spoils.


zola Says:

Jane,
I think if a player improves his game so much that they can challenge a better player ( say Fed on hard court or Rafa on clay) then the match becomes more interesting.e.g JMDR or Murray, or the past two years’ Wimbledon, Djoko vs Rafa in Hamburg…but two low-level players making no effort on the court can be equally boring too, IMO!


zola Says:

I have to add that I was in that camp too. After Sampras’s retirement, I found Fed’s domination very boring until Rafa came on board and I did not enjoy or appreciate Fed’s tennis until Shanghai 2006. Then I guess I changed my mind after watching him a bit more.

What I don’t like is when players feel defeated before they start the match. I like the matches where both sides fight. That’s something I didn’t like about Blake ( his body language against Fed) and liked about Roddick. So stubborn against Fed. And of course Rafa or Murray who never feel intimidated by Fed, or Canas, or Haas or Djoko against both Rafa and Fed, or Monfils… So I guess it depends on what each person liks to see in a match.


Vulcan Says:

Zola, about watching two lesser players.
It makes a huge difference whether you are watching on TV or watching live down on court level. For myself, in order to really appreciate the power and precision these guys play with you have to experience it up close and personal.
Watching tennis on TV can be exciting if your’e rooting for a particular player, but I could watch matches down at the Challenger level live all day just to appreciate how good they are even at that level.


jane Says:

Zola,

“What I don’t like is when players feel defeated before they start the match. I like the matches where both sides fight.”

I agree with the above comment 100%, but it’s also the reason I disagree somewhat with this opinion of yours below:

“I did not enjoy or appreciate Fed’s tennis until Shanghai 2006.”

To me, it was 05, but especially 06, when the other players who took the court against Fed, even really good and capable players, felt defeated before they even got on the court. Some seemed to concede before they began.

I didn’t mind watching Roger so much in 2004, his break out year, because his dominance that year was fresh.

But by 06 I was so utterly tired of his domination I was losing my interest in tennis. Thankfully, we had the arrival (and fight) of Rafa the year before in 05, and also the continual fight of Roddick who kept trying hard against Roger; in 06, when Andy had that mini-resurgence with Connors, he almost beat Roger in Shanghai. And of course there was Safin’s sparkling AO win in 2005 to break things up. But overall 05-06 were Roger, Roger, and even more Roger. FINALLY, in 07 Roger started losing the odd match (!), and people like Djoko and Murray started making themselves known.

But, for me, this year takes the cake, because we had 3 different slam winners, a number of Masters winners, the breakthrough of younger players and star-runs like Tsonga’s (AO) and Monfils’ (RG), JMDP’s (USO). Plus we saw the end of some of Roger’s demoralizing streaks against players like Roddick, Stepanek, Blake and even Karlovic.

That’s why, for me anyhow, 2008 has been the best tennis season in a while and I hope it continues into 2009 and beyond! This opinion is meant as no slight to Fed-fans; it’s just honestly the way that I felt as a fan of tennis, and a liker of change, unpredictability, variety, underdogs, etc.


zola Says:

Jane,
I didn’t watch much tennis during 2004/2005. My interest in tennis was re-ignited with Rafa-Fed final of the FO 2006. I wish I was watching tennis during 05. I feel I miss many good matches. I didn’t see much of Fed’s game during FO final 06 because I was concentrated on this new kid who I barely knew and I couldn’t take my eyes off him! he was so energetic. I think I became a fan since. I watched Fed a few times in other tournaments but it was Shanghai 06 that I really appreciated the quality of his shots and paid more attention.Since you mentioned Roddick, I have to say he should be given credit for all his hard work. He took some hard defeats from Fed but did not give up.

I agree. This year is golden. with Djoko and Murray and DP, I think 2009 will be even better. I hope so. I certainly am glad I am following tennis now.


zola Says:

Vulcan
I will try to go to IW one year. I agree that tennis should be watched live. Unfortunately the tickets are very expensive ( I want to be close!). But I am going to get a package one of these years.

I guess when they fight and do their best, it is exciting. when they give up, then it becomes boring.I have enjoyed even watching juniors.


Von Says:

gulu”

“Unfortunately I have never been to Fed’s matches and it’s one of my dreams to see Rogi with my naked eyes.”

This a joke so please try to see the humor — do you put clothes on your eyes? :P I’m being facetious here, because you stated “it’s one of my dreams to see Rogi with my naked eyes. I guess you want to see him up close and personal. Well, if you were to visit the US, you’d be able to see him when he plays Davis Cup v. US, the match will most probably be held at either Salem, or Portland, because those courts are super fast. Or instead, you’ll want to see your Rogi playing at Miami. I live a few hours drive from Miami, so if you were to go there, I could most probably be your personal guide around my beautiful state — Florida. Picture this, beautiful palm trees, lush vegetation, blue skies, crystal, clear water and gorgeous, sandy beaches adorned with beautiful American beauties. You could ttie a hammock between two coconut trees, and have some lovely American beauties serve you Pina Coladas and some of those umbrella drinks, which the visitors love to imbibe non-stop. Then, when you’ve awakened from your late afternoon slumber, you can watch the sunset, between slit eyes, which would need match sticks to keep them open after downing too many Pina Coladas. Our sunsets are nature in all of it’s splendiferous glory — a huge, perfectly rounded orange ball which seems to say, ‘come hither and touch me’. absolutely breathtaking. Of course, you know, it goes without saying, my generous heart would not entertain the thought of remuneration — everything is just gratis, but if you’re as filthy rich as say Bill Gates, a few million US dollars, not rupees, wouldn’t be turned down. LOL. :P That said, buy your ticket and I’ll be honored to be your escort. However, you should be the one considering it an honor to be seen with me, because, now hold your breath, I’m absolutely drop dead gorgeous — now you can exhale. LOL :D gulu, how do you like that scenario? beau geste, n’est ce pas?


gulu Says:

Thanks dear Von! B sure of d fact that whenever I visit U.S. 2 see Fedex, I’ll definitely inform u.After all how can I miss d chance of meeting my first friend from U.S.?Now I m tryin 2 just hold my breath after knowing dat u r so gorgeous !


gulu Says:

Dear Von! You are humourous as wel as honest,I like it.I m gonna hav 2 go for work now.So’ll post to you later.


Von Says:

gulu:

“I m gonna hav 2 go for work now.So’ll post to you later.”

OK, off to work you go, but, make you that you’ll be working hard instead of hardly working. Got. ! :P


NachoF Says:

Hey guys, long time since I last posted here… I went on a trip with some friends to a Venezuelan island where internet access wasnt exactly easy to find… Im back and Im just finding out of the draws for 2009 Davis Cup…I have a question… when are we gonna be absolutely sure of the date and place where Federer will be playing against the US team??… I would be willing to plan a trip to go if I could be 100% about those things and if tickets were available online….please help.


Von Says:

NachoF:

Welcome back, and where are my empanadas? :P Go on line and check out the Davis Cup Schedule for 2009 and/or the USTA. The USTA will definitely have the information you crave. I know for sure the time slot will be sometime around the first 2 weeks of Marh before Miami which is March 25 through April 9, 2009. I’m not good at copying links, but maybe I did it right this time, so herer goes, and hopefully you can do some cross-referencing while being creative in your internet search. Good luck.

http://www.sonyericssonopen.com/tour_info/t_facts.html


Von Says:

NachoF:

Lookie what I found for you. I’m working very hard for those empanadas, BTW. Don’t say I never did anything for you! :P

U.S. draws Switzerland in 2009 Davis Cup first round
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 9:16 AM ET
The draw for the 2009 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas was held Tuesday in Madrid, with the U.S. drawing a home match against Switzerland in the opening round, to be held March 6-8.

It is not an easy assignment for the U.S., the 2007 Davis Cup champion, as the team could face 13-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer. The tie could feature four top-10 players in Americans Andy Roddick and James Blake, as well as Federer, the 2008 US Open champion, and Stanislas Wawrinka.

Switzerland recently won its World Group playoff against Belgium to earn a spot in the World Group again next year.

Another intriguing first-round match-up has Spain, which defeated the U.S. in the semifinals and now plays Argentina for the 2008 Davis Cup title, hosting Serbia. Potentially the tie could feature world No. 1 Rafael Nadal of Spain against world No. 3 Novak Djokovic of Serbia.

The following are the first-round match-ups for the World Group nations. The first country listed will choose the site in which the tie will be played:

USA vs. Switzerland
Argentina vs. Netherlands
Czech Republic vs. France
Croatia vs. Chile
Sweden vs. Israel
Romania vs. Russia
Germany vs. Austria
Spain vs. Serbia

Argentina and Spain are the No. 1- and No. 2-seeded nations, respectively, for 2009, as they are the World Group finalists in 2008.

If the United States advances past Switzerland, the team would travel to either Croatia or Chile for the quarterfinal round.

Copyright 2008 by United States Tennis Association. All Rights Reserved.
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gulu Says:

Dear Von,after seeing d name of d players whom Roddic has 2 beat 4 winning China Open, I hav to concede dat he must no way lose 2 these guys.It’s high time 4 Roddic 2 show others dat ther r reasons 4 which he’s a grand slam winner!


zola Says:

hey Nacho,
good to see you again. Which island in Venezuela did you visit? Sometimes not having internet access can be a bliss!

yes, the first Davis cup tie will be March 6-8 this year and there is a huge possibility that Fed might participat. I think the fact that it is just before IW is a great help.

btw,
Monfils will play Tsonga in Bangkok semis.


Beatrice Says:

Hello everybody!
I was reading the comments above and I “kind” of disagree with Jane, although I’m a super fan of roger, just like her.
I mean.. I have to agree that his results were predictable a few years ago, but he played like a magician, so it was worth it!
Roger was the man that made me fall in love with tennis and what he did/does, nobody will ever do.
So.. I liked when he dominated the circuit because the level he played was absurd!


grendel Says:

Jane:

In our little exchange over the state of British tennis, you mentioned Laura Robson, the 14 year old Briton who won junior Wimbledon. I didn’t respond to this, because I was really talking about men. Also, although British women’s tennis has been pretty dismal for the last 20 to 30 years, since the war it’s not been so bad. 4 grand slam champions (Angela Mortimer, Anne Haydon (who had previously been world table tennis champion – that must be a unique double), Virginia Wade and Sue Barker, plus Wimbledon finalist Christine Truman).

There are sort of stirrings in the women’s game. Anne Keothavong, having promised for years and done nothing, has suddenly, at the age of 24, grown up, is ranked 84, and may well make it to the top 50 – pretty good, these days, for a Brit.

But Laura Robson is special. The BBC showed the Junior Wimbledon final in its entirety, and she is a very, very exciting player – and a tricky lefty to boot, with tremendous power for one so young. Well, she has just beaten Ursula Radwanska (herself the junior Wimbie champion of the previous year) in the third round of a tournament in (if my ears caught it correctly) Shrewsbury, Engand.

Too often these junior champions shine at their level, but have trouble in making the grade on the senior tour. I don’t get the impression that will be a problem for young Robson.

For one so young, she is remarkably composed. She has a nice sense of fun, which suggests she is not the kind of ball pounding female robot who, apart from sending the rest of us to sleep, just burns out, presumably from sheer boredom. No, you get the feeling Robson has other things in her life besides tennis.

The prospects look good. She’s my tip to reach #1 before Andy Murray. (If you’re going to bet, take a leap: otherwise, why bother?)

Mind you, she was born in Australia. I’m surprised they didn’t snap her up. As it is, in some way or another, the Aussies will probably claim her….


grendel Says:

Jane again:

The above post from Beatrice puts the opposing point of view (opposing to yours, I mean) very well – kind of ingenuous and very honest. I agree with her absolutely.

At the same time, I see your point of view as absolutely valid, and to a degree share it.

Does that make sense?

No, it doesn’t – except that we can contain contradictory views within ourselves, or I can, anyway, and do so quite a lot, actually, and not just on tennis matters.

But you have to take the world as it comes, and Fed’s days of dominance are over. I very much look forward to the new closely contested era – but am also glad to have witnessed Fed’s era of domination. It’s been special for some of us, aweful for others, and that’s how it goes.

But Del Potro and Nishikori versus a good Federer, now who cannot fail to lick their lips at the prospect of those encounters…..


gulu Says:

Hi Beatrice! Well said.I’d lik 2 be ur new friend. U hav rightly pointed out dat d years of Roger’s domination wer not boring at all. I also fell in lov wid tennis at dat time!After all dat was d tim 4 which Fed’s goin 2 be remembered 4 long.


Roy Says:

“jane Says:
zola,

Well, to each his/her own; I am just telling the truth. I truly do not enjoy when one player wins everything … but I’d still rather see a tightly, well-fought match any day.”

Jane, I must say, you have articulated your line of thought very well…I have exactly similar sentiments, especially what you have written in the concluding sentence.


grendel Says:

3 in a row! I must stop doing this, I must stop doing this, I must…Well, just one more….Forgive an inveterate chatterbox…

Much has been said about the role of mental fortitude, or will power, and also of pressure, in sport generally and tennis in particular. I’ve just come across two references which might be of interest. The first from Keith Miller. Miller was certainly one of the greatest Cricket “allrounders” (i.e. first rate batsman AND first rate bowler) of all time. A dashing Australian who played in the 40′s and 50′s, the word “debonair” might have been invented for him. In the war, he was a Spitfire fighter pilot – they took on the German Messersmichts. He heard of one cricketer complaining of the “pressure” of modern day test cricket. “Pressure!” he snorted.”What pressure? I’ll tell you what pressure is. Pressure is having to fight off a Messersmicht coming up your arse!” To be fair to Miller, he wasn’t a player – from accounts I have read – who seemed to feel pressure. He went onto the field of play, fought the good fight, if it went well, that was ok, if it didn’t, can’t win ‘em all, and what about a beer, mate? And by the way, who won the 3.30? Anyone like that in tennis today? How about Rafter – almost today.

The following quote is from an article on the Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami’s latest book:”What I Talk About When I Talk About Running”:

“But Murakami is refreshingly free from pushiness and, on the whole, reluctant to generalise. He doubts, for instance, the role of willpower in people’s achievements. In his experience, people just continue doing what they like doing. He likes running. And he likes writing: the stamina he needs for both comes from the liking, not from an imported act of will. But if you like what you are doing, you can tell yourself to go about it in a certain way, and much of this book details the writer’s own habits and preparations.”

Murakami – in his 50′s – is apparently addicted to running marathons. During a race, “a tiny old lady, 70 or so, passed me & shouted out:”Hang in there!” Man alive.”

Murakami’s point is very controversial – and deeply interesting. We have become very accustomed to sportsmen and women talking about the role the mind plays in their sport. At the Olympics, I heard one British boxer commenting:”It’s all mental this, you know”. Boxing! Smashing someone to the other end of hell is primarily mental! A curious thought – and quite plausible, I think, if you unravel it.

In tennis, we always think of Nadal as a prime example of mental fortitude. And we cast him in heroic mould. I don’t suppose Murakami would disagree but, judging from the above, he might throw an unaccustomed light on the matter. Nadal’s mental strength seems to be primarily located in his ability to focus for long periods, regardless of the state of the match. I imagine someone like Murakami would then like to break this down. First of all, does Nadal like playing tennis? Evidently. When you are very good, but you are up against other players who are equally good or even better, does the mind then become significant? Clearly. So the task then becomes to break down what is required to achieve long term focus into a), b), c) etc. All a matter of cool, concerted analysis.

Does this sound right, though? Up to a point. But there is something missing. Because to be able to apply a), b), c) etc, you surely have to have a certain sort of personality in the first place. Perhaps, then, you can break THAT down into f), g), h) etc. Very well – but are you the sort of person who can….There is no end to this line of reasoning.

Perhaps we just have to accept that someone like Nada is bordering unique.


Von Says:

gulu:

I absolutely agree with you that A-Rod needs to be victorious over his next 3 opponents which will make him the winner of the tournament. I’m hoping this happens and needless to say, will be very happy too.
___________
Beatrice: I hate to butt into other people’s post, but I think jane mentioned that she’s NOT a Fed fan, so maybe this might throw off your point a wee bit.
____________
Roy: In the past I’ve stated that I’m one for sharing the spoils, and dislike total domination by any one player — it makes tennis boring, or for that matter any sport. In the past, I used to look at the draw and just think to myself OK this is another tourney that “X’ will win, again, and after that I would automatically lose interest in the tournament, except for the matches in which my fave played. Now that we have so many players who are competing at a high level, I’m finding it more and more difficult to even hazard a guess as to who will be in the QFs much more the final and win the whole thing. The uncertainty lends an air of suspense and intrigue, somewhat akin to reading a thriller or watching a mystery move unfold. thankfully, i’m not a nail-biter, or else I’ll be devoid of nails.


Von Says:

A footnote to my previous post, it’s human nature for us to always want our faves to win everything, however, that can also cause those matches played by our faves somewhat disinteresting and rob us of that feeling of expectation.


gulu Says:

I just wanted to say that if Roger stops playing, I wouldn’t mind d competition in tennis gettin ridiculously tough! Then I’d also b praying hoping dat no single player’ll enjoy complete dominance.Can anybody guess why? Coz Roger’s records may
fall !


Von Says:

gulu:

“Then I’d also b praying hoping dat no single player’ll enjoy complete dominance.Can anybody guess why? Coz Roger’s records may
fall !”

OOOOHHHH, you’re so conniving!!! :P One thing you can rest assured of happening, is that no one will break Fed’s records if there isn’t total domination by any of the other players, because there will be several winners instead of just one or two. Now you can sit back and watch with unvated breath.


Von Says:

typo again: “unvated” shoulld be “unbated”.


gulu Says:

Sweet Von ! Thanks 4 sending me so many sweet smiles. You r always able to bring a smile in my face.So pleas never stop cheering me up. Life’s short n so we all should smile.
Keep smiling and laughing ha ha ha!!!


jane Says:

Hi Beatrice,

Thanks for your response; I totally understand where you’re coming from. To clarify, as Von pointed out, I am not a “super fan” of Roger. I used to dislike the guy, in fact, especially at that point in his career I mentioned above, but I’ve mellowed, and I see a lot of good in him. I’ve always recognized his talent on the court, even when I was lamenting his winning ways! One thing I really appreciate is the way in which he has brought recognition to the sport of tennis, and buzz, etc. That’s important – it’s not quite like viral marketing, but it’s good nonetheless!

————-

Roy,

Thanks for the vote of confidence! I do think we have good stuff to which to look forward.

————-

Grendel,

I saw only highlights of Laura Robinson’s SW19 win but I thought she looked good, and there was, of course, lots of hype surrounding her win. I look forward to seeing more of her. The WTA needs some new blood – or something.

Re: contradictory opinions. I agree with you that it’s possible to be of two minds on something. I know, too, it’s quite possible to change one’s mind on a certain matter/person, or for an opinion to evolve. Nothing wrong with either of those, I figure. In fact it’s sometimes good to re-evaluate the things we feel most strongly about. Of course this means I am almost always in a state of angst, about most things, but what can you do?

You, in particular, know (more than most on this board) how vehemently I used to feel about Roger’s aura and domination, but I truly have mellowed. Once I saw him lose a few matches, or fight back from the brink, I saw him in a new light. Not the god-like one, with the aura beaming around him. I have a seemingly innate inclination for underdogs, such that even though I have always liked Rafa, I’d now like to see him challenged, heck, even defeated occasionally, on clay, so that the clay season results aren’t foregone. But I was happy to see him have an amazing year this year, because he works so hard on improving & adjusting his game – or it sure seems so because the improvements in his game are noticeable.

As for focus, there is an almost inhuman single-mindedness to Nadal that sets him apart. We so rarely see him notice anything beyond the next ball coming his way, if you know what I mean. And he hardly ever gets rattled either; I’ve seen it but it’s not common. He’s like the terminator.

Some say he’s peaked this year; I am not sure.


gulu Says:

Hey Von, Andy has beaten Ferrero 2-6 6-3 6-4! Cheers !! Go Rod Go !!!


jane Says:

Grendel,

Further to the above, “we just have to accept that someone like Nada[l] is bordering unique.” This is true, I think. Other players, like Djoko, Murray, Safin, Roddick, etc, can lose their focus and accordingly their matches. I can’t say for sure if I’ve ever seen Rafa lose a match due to loss of focus. I’ve occasionally seen it from Roger, I think, this year mainly? And certainly, hawkeye rattles Fed. But as I said above, there’s something so zoned about Rafa on the court, and I think it’s part of his personality. He’s able to stay present, in the present moment, and to not let the past point/game bother him, nor worry too much about the next point, game, etc (though we did see him choke in the 4th set at SW19 this year).


Von Says:

gulu:

Thanks. That match was not shown on TV or even live streaming. I watched the live scores. I’m happy that Andy won, but I have to be honest with you, something’s not right with him. His timing is off — too many double-faults. From the live scores, it seemed Juan Carlos was somewhat on fire and he at times pressured Andy’s serve, which is somewhat unusual, because whenever the two meet, Roddick always beat JCF quite easily. Again I feel something is amiss, regardless of the fact that Andy had a sizeable amount of aces in that match.

I read, prior to the Davis Cup tie v. Spain, on the Tennis Planet, where one poster mentioned on the US Davis Cup problems, after Bob Bryan pulled out, that A-Rod had injured his ankle. I didn’t mention it because some would have thrown rocks at me and also would be of the opinion that I was looking for excuses for Andy. That said, I hope if he indeed injured his ankle that he’s on the mend. So funny, but he injured his foot in Bangkok around the same time ayear ago. Strange how history keeps repeating itself.

BTW gulu, do you like cricket? I know most Indians love cricket. Anyway, if you do, there’s a live streaming link on JustinTV for some of the matches. My Dad was a great cricket enthusiast, and a very good player. Have you ever heard of the Nawab of Pataudi? There’s a story about him, which I might share with you someday. FYI, there are quite a few Indians who post on this site. OK bye for now, and here’s a smile for you. :) :o


gulu Says:

You are right Jane! Rafa’s a guy who is bang on target, almost always! And that’s d reason why guys hav 2 work hard to tame him. How can he remain so focussed during a match,most of us may not understand.All credit 2 the dangerous Rafa Nadal!


jane Says:

Von,
“I didn’t mention it because some would have thrown rocks at me” well at least they’d be virtual rocks! But I get what you mean. I hope Andy is well, because he’s got a real shot at the title now. Although Scheuttler can be tough; we saw him push Rafa pretty hard at Wimbledon this year, so…


Von Says:

jane;

“well at least they’d be virtual rocks! But I get what you mean.”

I’m trying to refrain from making statements about anything I see in a match or read about a player unless I have tangible proof. For example, depending on where a viewer lives their TV network could show a different feed and something I see might not be be shown on another person’s feed. That being the case if I mention something they didn’t see, they’re quick to say I’m exaggerating or even lying, and that angers me.

Andy’s match with Schuettler will be a difficult one and in view of Andy’s present form, it could be a difficult match. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.


jane Says:

That’s true Von; who’d've thunk camera angles could affect a tennis-x discussion, but perception is not only varied in individuals, it’s variable due to individual TV feeds as well. I often wait until I find a write up on an issue before speaking up too soon. (i.e., an injury or whatever).

Well I hope Roddick wins the Bejing title; it’d be a nice boost after Davis Cup and for his presence at Shanghai.


gulu Says:

My dear Von, I m really suprised reading your last post ! But I can only say dat it was d best thing at d end of my day from u.Tomoro we’ll talk a lot about everything.It’s already 11.10 at night here in India.I m tired n am goin 2 bed. Lots of lov 4 u !


NachoF Says:

Von,

Haha, you are really pushing for those empanadas arent you?? haha… if we had a working mail system down here I would definitely send them to you.. although I doubt you would like them. Empanadas are meant to be eaten right after they have been fried (at least thats how we like them, but I know every country has its own style of empanadas)…. by the way, if you live close to Miami you can get them… I remember eating arepas and empanadas at a place called “Don Pan” last time I was there so maybe you should can get them there!…. anyway.. thanks for the info!…. watching Federer at the Sony Ericsson Open could also be a good option although I fear he might not play his best like he probably would at the Davis Cup….. I still cant find a websitethat tells me the place where the matched will be held at and and where I can buy tickets for that :< …. probably closer to march I will

Zola,
Hey!
its called Margarita Island… a pretty popular island for people that live in the big cities of Venezuela, especially for students… Anyway, thanks for the help, at least I now know the date…I now just need to find out WHERE are those matches gonna take place and if I can get tickets online.


grendel Says:

Jane: it is true, there was hype around Robson, to which I have added my mite. Part of me, actually, found her an intolerably brash and precocious kid – in her interviews, I mean. But I am a dinosaur, and people like her seem to come from another planet. There’s no doubting her tennis ability, though. I like, very occasionally, to project into the future. She may just disappear, but she could very well go right to the top. Every now and then, you see something special in someone you’ve never seen before. I had that experience with Becker, also with Berdych – I first saw him playing Agassi in the AO, I had no idea who he was, but it was obvious he was someone of the highest potential. Alas, he hasn’t quite realised it, and I don’t think he will now. And Nishikori, I don’t think he will let me down, there’s steel in that boy, as well as wonderful array of strokes.

If you want someone new-ish for WTA, you could do worse than Zheng Jie. I don’t know why she’s taken so long to emerge, I wonder if it’s anything to do with the peculiar politics of her country. But she is great fun to watch.

“it’s sometimes good to re-evaluate the things we feel most strongly about”. I find that can happen without any conscious direction. Suddenly, I can find myself violently disliking a player I have always thought a lot of – this is more like a flash; a guilty component of one’s mind immediately leaps to the defence of the betrayed idol. And the converse, too – one can suddenly feel a sneaking sympathy for a player one has consistently berated. I can’t really explain any of this, but it does occur to me that if one goes overboard for a person (whether pro or anti) one really knows nothing about, some part of one’s mind is going to eventually resist. “What is this nonsense?” it says.

And with this happy thought, I shall retire.


zola Says:

NachoF
how fun!I love the beach and the water…so calming!
I don’t think the venue has been decided yet. But it has been at Winston-Salem the past few times and it might be the choice this year too.

Jane
Seems Djoko’s brother Marko has joined the tour and going to play doubles with Djoko!


FoT Says:

Well guys, I guess I’m different. I think it depends on who your favorite it. Since Roger is my favorite, I loved the years 2004-2007 particularly. Roger’s fans were in 7th heaven during that time. We were watching greatness. I can understand that if one didn’t like Roger, that time probably would be ‘boring’. But I looked so forward to all his matches because I knew he COULD win them all. And I think that brought tennis at a higher level with the regular public because they had a name (like Tiger Woods) that they could relate too.

And I never got it why people were bored or upset with ROGER for winning. Like Zola said – wasn’t it up to the other players to stop him? What was he suppose to do? Turn over and lay down because he was so dominant? I don’t think people should have held the “boring” title to Roger because he was winning. Maybe the “boring” time should have been with all the other players who didn’t step up to the plate. lol!

And someone said this year was great because we had so many different winners of the slams? Well, I would have been happy if Roger had won them all! lol! That’s just the way I am. Some of the best matches that I re-watch over and over are the ones that Roger steamrolled his opponents, yet, I will never re-watch that Wimbledon final match again. So you see – everyone is different! lol!

I followed Roger when he was that 19 year old kid who beat Pete (who happened to be my favorite at the time) – all the way through now. And since Roger was relatively a ‘late bloomer’, I have been on more roller-coaster rides than even some of the Safin fans…. so when he started consistently winning…. man, that felt so good to me!

OK… I can talk all day abut Roger and bore you all to death, so I’ll just stop here.

By the way… Nadal has dominated on clay more than Roger dominated on any other surface, yet I don’t see where many people are saying the clay season is “boring”? Personally, again, I’m not a Nadal fan, but if no one steps up to the plate to consistently beat him (Roger included), then more power to him. I don’t want his game to go down. I want the other player’s games to go up and beat him! lol!


zola Says:

FoT,
***Nadal has dominated on clay more than Roger dominated on any other surface, yet I don’t see where many people are saying the clay season is “boring”? **

oh! there have been many! ( including Tim and many others on the other board) and some here, who find Rafa’s dominance on clay very boring!

***yet, I will never re-watch that Wimbledon final match again.***

So funny! I never watched the 07 final or that 07 Hamburg final again! but watched the FO final and the wimbledon final a few times. I also watched some parts of Shanghai 06 a few times. That’s one of my favorites and I was not that much upset that Rafa lost, but Wimbledon 07 was very hard to take!

Jane
I forgot to write earlier. When you discussed Rafa’s mental strength and focus. I think he lost to Seppi in Rotterdam because of lack of focus. He should have won that match. Also to Davydenko in Miami. I also agree that he choked in the third set of Wimbledon 08. But his concentrations at the majority of his matches has been excellent. I think Steve Tignor wrote once that Rafa plays in a state of Trans.


Von Says:

NachoF:

You’ve got to call the USTA for the venue of the DC match Switz-v.US. You already know the dates, but it will probably not be for another month before they decide on the venue. Why don’t you plan your trip to arrive at say Portland or Winston-Salem stopover, as those could be possible venues, then with a Miami stopover and back to Venezuela. Of course, we’re talking about 3 weeks time spent in the US and the question would be, can you afford to be away from the weekly dose of empanadas for that lengthy a period of time. :P Seriously thoygh, if you’re strapped for time, then you’d have to make 2 trips, one for the DC weekend and another trip for Miami. Of course, if you go to Miamai, you’ll be setting foot in my State, and your entry will be debatabe because I’ll be keeping tabs on your behavior, and will only give the nod/OK for you to come here if your behavior is exemplary. That said, between now and March 25-April 9, I’ll be watching you very closely. :D I live 5 hours drive from Miami and I’m not craving empanadas that much to drive there for some. Doesn’t Florida somewhat remind you of So America? It reminded me so much of So. America that I moved here. South America left an indellible impression on my mind as a 5 years old — beautiful people and they’re as warm as the sunshine.


Roy Says:

“zola Says:
… But his concentrations at the majority of his matches has been excellent. I think Steve Tignor wrote once that Rafa plays in a state of Trans.”

True enough.

What is admirable about Rafa is his nature to be “in the zone” till the last point is played in the match and not give up, even in losing propositions. I recall an aricle in Times, London (or was it Daily Telegraph ?) after Wimby 2007 final where the correspondent said something like ” …Rafa refused to bid a cheery adios mentally, even when deep in the fifth set, the writing became clear on the wall that he was not destined to lift the trophy…”


Von Says:

My statement: “Andy’s match with Schuettler will be a difficult one and in view of Andy’s present form, it could be a difficult match. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

My above statement is erroneous — Roddick’s not competing against Schuettler, but against Bjorn Phau, which should be a very good match. Phau was excellent in his match v. Nadal when they played earlier this year. This match definitely will be one worth viewing, but unfortunately, there isn’t any TV coverage. The women’s matches according to the TV networks, seem to be the preferred matches to be broadcasted.
_______________
jane:

“Re: contradictory opinions. I agree with you that it’s possible to be of two minds on something.”

The above is a classic example of ‘a tug of war within the mind’, with respect to people’s emotions. A love/hate situation going on in one’s mind, and depending on the strength of either one at the time we are commenting, then that’s how fierce our opinion will be manifested.

“I know, too, it’s quite possible to change one’s mind on a certain matter/person, or for an opinion to evolve. Nothing wrong with either of those, I figure.”

I’m totally lost here. I understand: “it’s quite possible to change one’s mind on a certain matter/person”, which is very normal and an on-going thought process in our minds, but “or for an opinion to evolve. Nothing wrong with either of those, I figure”, has me befuddled. Please explain — I don’t get it.

“As for focus, there is an almost inhuman single-mindedness to Nadal that sets him apart. We so rarely see him notice anything beyond the next ball coming his way, if you know what I mean.”

There’s nothing in-human at all to what you term his ‘single-mindenedness’. simply put, he’s just playing within himself and not allowing extraneous factors to envelop his thoughts. This is clearly manifested in the amount of time he takes in-between points — in those extra seconds he’s gathering his thoughts and planning his strategy as to where he’ll serve and his opponent’s counter-attack. It’s like a chess/domino game, where you look at what’s on the board in front of you. If more players would do this instaed of rushing to play the next point, then we’d see quite a few more “mentally tough and/or single-minded” players.

There’s a shift that’s becoming very blatant with respect to Nadal, where with a few, his name is somewhat synonymous with “mental toughness” and “focus”. His fans and some who comment on tennis should not indulge in this too freely, because we’re seeing statements referring to his losses, vis-a-vis “he wasn’t focused in that match”, and the other “he is, was tired”. Ergo, are we to assume that whenever he loses those losses will be attributed to: (1) he wasn’t focued and (2) he is/was tired”? If that’s going to be the norm whenever he loses, then I suppose his opponents didn’t do a darn thing to win the match, he just lost for reasons (1) and/or (2) above.

“This is true, I think. Other players, like Djoko, Murray, Safin, Roddick, etc, can lose their focus and accordingly their matches. I can’t say for sure if I’ve ever seen Rafa lose a match due to loss of focus. I’ve occasionally seen it from Roger, I think, this year mainly?”

I don’t think that any of us can unequivocally state, that a player doesn’t lose his focus, while others lose theirs; we are just assumming this happens from the score-line.


gulu Says:

Dear Von,it’s not nice 2 know Andy suffered an injury last year.It must b tough 4 him.Injuries or physical problems mak it impossibl 4 a player 2 go to a match wid100% confidenc n may end up wid d player losing.Still let’s b positive! Go Rod !!!


gulu Says:

Von, you r so correct 2 point out dat whenever Rafa loses,we r reminded by d media,commentators etc. dat he lost d match coz he was tired or things lik dat.Tiredness may b the factor at times,but 2 often cite it as d reason 4 a loss is wrong.


Daniel Says:

Djoko and Tsonga in a rematch of this year AO at Bangkok. I don’t know who I am rooting for! Djoko needs a title (since May he doesn´t won one) but, Tsonga needs to win (first title) to get mentally back from injury and boost his chances for Masters Cup. I am hoping for a good match anyway!!


Daniel Says:

Roddick is certain for the title. No way he is going to loss to a lesser ranked guy in a final where he is the favourite! Specially because he wants to qualify for Shangai too.


Daniel Says:

“lose”, sorry!


gulu Says:

Congrats dear Von! Roddick has beaten Phau who I think should never b underestimated coz he’s capabl of throwing challenges 2 everyone which he proved dis year in d U.S.Open by not allowin Rafa 2 bully him.That said,I want Rod n only Rod 2 win China open!


gulu Says:

Yes Daniel, u r right.Even I can’t decide whom 2 support in d Bangkok final.That said,whenever Tsonga plays d way he played against Rafa in 2008 Aus Open, I m sure that none can beat him.He was invincibl in dat match.


grendel Says:

Zola: none of the players doubt that your man is a bit special when it comes to focus. As in other matters, you probably have to go back to Borg to find his equivalent. But he is not superhuman; I have seen him give up, not just against Tsonga – and that was clear for everyone to see, but even against his pigeon, Federer on clay. People often forget Nadal nearly won that Hamburg match. To begin with, Federer was his usual dithering self against Nadal. And it’s not as if Fed had been playing well in that tournament, none of his matches were convincing – until Nadal! Nadal fought in the second set, but by the third, once he saw which way the wind was blowing, he gave up. He was not at his best (just like Fed), he was tired – Fed alluded to this himself – but he could have tried harder to make a match of it. For once, he didn’t.

So I think you have to be careful in saying he lost his focus against Davydenko. Davydenko, despite a terrible year, was playing superbly at Miami, and he certainly has the game to beat Nadal on hard court. Indeed, I would say at his very best, he should beat Nadal. That’s easy to overlook, because it is beginning to look as if we might not see Davydenko at his best again, and memories are short.

Daniel: Djokovic-Tsonga looks exciting. Djokovic was really funny following his defeat of Berdych:”I felt as if I woke up from a dream in the second set. I felt sleepy in the first set. I also felt sleepy yesterday. But in the second set I broke him twice.” That’s quite poetic…

Looks like Tsonga is at last coming back to his best, although he says he is still not moving well. So please, Tsonga, don’t mess up before the AO. DON’T go and get another injury! A Tsonga/Nadal rematch would be wonderful. I’d back a fit and confident Tsonga to beat Nadal on hardcourt.


zola Says:

grendel,
RAfa played Davydenko in Shanghai and beat him in 06, when his game was not as good on hard as 08. That’s why I think he lost focus. I am sure he was trying some new things and maybe that was another reason. I know Davydenko is trouble for any player on hard or clay. Rafa had very difficult matches against him on both surfaces. That’s why I expected him to win that match. It will be interesting to see a re-match again.

btw, do you remember Davydenko played the whole tournament with one racquet without re-stringing it? I wonder what happened to that racqeut!

I think Rafa needs time to prepare for his shots and move well and he isn’t able to do so when he is very tired. That’s what he means by being 100%. Against someone like Federer, he needs to be 200% and he wasn’t in HAmburg.

btw, I watched the first set of Wimbledon 08 yesterday. great shots from both players.

Djoko vs Tsonga should be an interesting match. I hope I can find a link.
THis is a good tim for Tsonga to come back. Right on fast indoor hard courts. Seems Madrid and PAris will be more exciting with him, Nalby and DP.

Roddick vs Sela….that should go to Roddick.


jane Says:

Yeah, I don’t think Rafa’s loss to Davydenko in Miami was due to Rafa’s loss of focus; that loss was, on Rafa’s part, due to his playing too defensively. He was way back behind the baseline, as is his usual fallback position on hardcourts. Meanwhile, Davy stepped it up that tournament, and he really took it to Nadal, ripping shots from inside the baseline.

It’s true Rafa’s focus does falter, but just not that often.

—————–

Djoko also said he doesn’t consider himself the favorite in the final against Tsonga because of how well Jo has been playing this week, certainly in the last two matches. I hope, whoever wins, it’s a good match.

Nice to see Roddick in a final; hope he gets the title. Does he play Scheuttler or whom in the final?


jane Says:

Von,

““or for an opinion to evolve. Nothing wrong with either of those, I figure””

The second part of the above quote referred to the two previous things I’d said. So to translate: There is nothing wrong with being either (a) of two minds about something, or (b) for an opinion on something to change.

————–

I wasn’t trying to offer excuses for Rafa’s losses, just to clarify. I was merely commenting, in response to grendel’s earlier post, that Rafa does seem to have a special kind of focus on the court. Maybe “inhuman” was the wrong word.

—————

“I don’t think that any of us can unequivocally state, that a player doesn’t lose his focus, while others lose theirs; we are just assumming this happens from the score-line.”

You’re right, in that it is difficult to know, for sure, if or when a player has lost focus, since it is a mental thing. But with those other players I’ve mentioned, like Djoko, Safin, etc, I’ve seen them get visibly distracted by a bad call, or a bad shot, or the crowd, or whatever. In those cases, the scoreline had nothing to do with my interpretation of them being off track or not focusing on the match; perhaps *their loss of focus* had something to do with the score, though. Maybe a player is more likely to lose focus if the match is tight and something goes awry, such as I mentioned?

In any case, it’s true that all players lose focus occasionally, even Rafa.


jane Says:

zola,

Yep, I saw that Marko got to play in Thailand, and got routed; hence Tennis-x has put him in the trunk. LOL.

Oh well, if I recall, they all get routed when they’re that young and just coming on tour. I hope he can play well in the future.

Have we had any tennis brothers on the tour lately – in mean besides the Bryan’s of course! In singles, have there been any bros? None come to mind but I haven’t had coffee yet, PMac & JMac, from way back….


jane Says:

I see Andy is playing Sela; I think Andy is a shoe-in for the title. That’s great!


zola Says:

Jane,
I didn’t notice the funk/tunk. I checked it yesterday and it was not updated. I found that MArko news from tennis.com’s ticker and it said he lost to Niemenin. But that was his very first match on tour. So I don’t think that’s too bad. He is only 17 and nerves and inexperience can be very important.

about RAfa, playing way back against Davydenko. That’s agood sign that he was not focusig. He knew he had to play aggressively but wasn’t concentrating on what he had to do, like the way he did against Blake or Tsonga.


zola Says:

just saw the funk/trunk. I don’t think Marko should be there. That was his first match. The rest I agree. WTA is a mess and I don’t know what is going on with Ana.The DC coverga in US could have been better. Versus’s coverage was average and it was not real time.


zola Says:

btw,
in non tennis news, Paul Newman died last night at 83. I know everyone has to go one day and I know he had a great life. still, it was very sad to read that.


NachoF Says:

Von,
The only thing about Florida (and probably just Miami) that reminds me of my country is the people… you can go there and not speak english at all and still get by… but other than that its much different cause it still follows and feels like they are living a North American way of living… it just seems like everything is more organized and things work….
About the possibility of me visiting your beatiful state again, I gotta say Im really considering it, my semester ends on march so I’ll definitely have the time… and I have a friend that lives in Boca Raton that has offered me to stay with him if I wish….

I have been looking at the tickets/packages and I found a Grandstand Package for the whole week for 225$!!… does the make any sense?? please helo me with this cause I have never been to an atp event before

http://www.sonyericssonopen.com/tickets/pack.html#grandstand


NachoF Says:

Im not sure if that means that with that ticket you can go to every GrandStand Match!… that would mean the final included, right!?.. and at some point either Federer or Nadal pretty much guaranteed, right?


grendel Says:

Zola: you’ve only got one side of the equation; namely that Nadal beat Davydenko 2 years ago on hard, he has since improved, but then went and lost to Davy on hard. Ergo: his focus must have been poor. But you have said nothing about Davydenko. As it happens, I watched the Shanghai encounter, and there is no doubt, Davydenko was playing much better in Miami. Of course, this MIGHT have been because Nadal had lost focus. But equally, Nadal might have been playing defensively because an improved Davydenko gave him no option – Nadal was just being outplayed, and forced backwards. This is perfectly plausible, knowing how Davydenko CAN play. How can we tell? Probably we can’t, in which case it is only fair to give Davydenko the benefit of the doubt and – unless further evidence comes to light – concede that the Russian won fair and square because he played better than Nadal on the day, and for no other reason.

The situation in the Federer match is not so clear. The assumption always is – and it is a very understandable assumption – that there is no way whatever Federer can beat Nadal on clay unless there is some extraneous factor involved (usually it’s tiredness).But this is to forget Rome, for example, when Fed was 4-1 up in the 5th, and choked the match away. Clearly, he had the beating of Nadal on clay on that day. TWICE this year Federer has been in the process of overwhelming Nadal – but then, inexplicably, suddenly recalled who he was playing against and went back to passive dither. And again, the thrashing Federer received in Paris was so comprehensive that it kind of blots out whatever happened before – dazed by the nature of the defeat, one tends to discount any previous occasion when Fed seemed to do well. And so when Fed beats Nadal in Hamburg, we feel – looking back on it retrospectively – that it must have been some sort of fluke. Nadal wasn’t himself, and that’s that. Nothing more to say. But there IS something more to say. As I mentioned earlier, Federer had played unconvincingly in round after round, and came within an inch of defeat against Moya. So – paradoxically – perhaps he was relaxed. Having struggled so much against lesser players, perhaps he thought he had no chance against Nadal, and a player, especially one as good as Federer, can be very dangerous in those circumstances. So, no, Nadal wasn’t 100% – but, he had the match on his hands, he was winning, but Fed did not throw in the towel,and Nadal was outplayed. It will be very interesting to see Nadal v. Fed on clay this coming year. After the thrashing in Paris, noone will expect Fed to do anything on clay. That just might be a mistake.

Jane, there is a poster on Tennis Planet who claims Marko Djokovic is just ordinary, and that he only got to play thru Djoko’s influence. But, he goes on, there is a third brother, the youngster, and this one is seriously good. No idea how accurate this all is. b.t.w., the quote you give from Djokovic is positively Rafa-like in its downplaying of his prospects. I NEVER believe Rafa when he does this, and I see no reason to believe Djokovic. Surely, in his heart, he believes he is going to win?


Von Says:

gulu:

Thank you dear gulu, for your effusive support toward my Andy. I wish I could feel as positive as both Daniel and yourself that Andy will win the title tomorrow. Sela seems to have found his rhythm. He pushed Safin at the ’08 AO. At Beijing he has taken down Ferrer and Robredo, en route to the final. As a result of what has transpired thus far, I’m hoping that Andy will look upon Sela as a formidable opponent and not one to be taken too casually, as he often does against some of his lower ranked oppoemnts — those out of the top 100. Andy needs to be victorious in that match for several reasons!

I’d like to comment on the word “focus” which seems to be a word that’s over used both by players and tennis fans/supporters. Focus means to concentrate: to focus one’s thoughts fully on the task on hand. I believe every player focuses on the job at hand and tries their very best, however, there are times, when their very best is not good enough against some opponents, and thus end up losing.

In the Davydenko matches v. Roddick and Nadal, to which grendel referred, we saw a very different player in Davydenko. I think the way he played he would have beaten amyone on that day. I was dumb-founded when I saw him playing in the zone against Roddick, whom he had never beaten previously. From the beginning to the end of the match. Davy really took it to Roddick which surprised me, much more Roddick, and Davydenko deserved to win hands down. In Davy’s match against Nadal he employed the same MO, and I think he stunned Nadal — that lass by Nadal was not in anyway due to lack of Nadal’s focus, Nadal was simply outplayed. Davy deserved to win that Miami MS shield, and even though a small part of me would have liked to see Andy hoist the trophy, but in all fairness to Davy I felt happy for him — he deserved to win, and he did so playing very good tennis.

Recently, many posters have been attributing Federer’s losses this year to his bout with mono, and several non-Fed posters were angry to hear this, but by the same token we are seeing the Nadal fans doing the same thing, and that is searching and/or finding reasons and/or making excuses for his losses. It’s not necessary to do so. These athletes are flesh and blood humans who have foibles and frailties and will falter at times. It ridiculous to expect them to perform at 100 percent everytime they step on court and lose to an opponent. Just because they are ranked higher than the rest of the field does not automatically place them in the category of invincibility, and as such when rheir losses do occur we should just accept it and move on. They can’t win every match, but they can certainly lose some matches, which shows they are human beings and not people endowed with super human powers. Credit should be given to the top ranked players for raising the bar in tennis, and as a result, we the fans are the beneficiaries of their hard work whih is awesome. in some ways we have become spoilt and expect perfection 100 percent of the time. Well, accept it, it ain’t gonna happen everytime and the times when it does let’s just sit back and enjoy the unfolding of their mastery of the game whether they win or lose.

Tomorrow’s match Tsonga v. Djokovic should be interesting. Tsonga has made a fast recovery from his knee surgery, at least on the surface it would seem so, however, with any type of surgery we have to do all things in moderation, which is not what Jo Wil is presently doing. By now, his knee is probably begging him to stop, but he’ll milk it to see how much more use he can get out of it, before the knee says enough.Hhis match tomorrow should be an exciting one, and no doubt he’ll he looking for revenge to avenge his ’08 AO loss to Djokovic. I’m positive they will both give their best, and we’ll be treated (at least those of us who are blessed with TV coverage) to see some wonderful tennis from both players.


Von Says:

NachoF:

$225 is cheap for a package for the whole week — in fact dirt cheap. A seat at the US Open for a night match is $200 and if you bought the ticket from a scalper you could pay as much as $1,000, but that depends on how desperately you want to see the match. My son moved to West Palm Beach about 6 months ago and I have relatives there. My son works in Boca Raton, and my sister-in-law works in West Palm Beach, within close distance to South Beach. So if you need more info about South Beach, that’s where the Miami tournament is held, I can ask my sister-in-law, who’s a social butterfly, BTW. I call around for you to see what I can find out, but $225 for a week is a good deal. BTW Serena williams lives in Palm Beach Gardens — same area, so maybe she could be your tour guide and get you the tickets. Only kidding. :P


zola Says:

grendel,
you seem to get a bit defensive when I talk about NAdal and it is OK. I am sure I don’t see everything objectively when I talk about Rafa. But I am trying to do the best I can.

I was one of the fans urging RAfa not to go to Hamburg. We have a difference of opinion here. To me he was very tired from the first match. Surely fed played great, but he was helped by Rafa’s physical conditions. He said he has found the formula to beat Rafa on clay and evidently that formula did not work after HAmburg. So I would like to stay with my argument that Rafa’s defeat was at least partially due to his physical condition.

About Davydenko, I agree that I might see just one side of the equation, but Davydenko became invisible after that match. I don’t even remember what he did in US Open. If he has improved that much, he should have been able to use those newly acquired skills in other tournaments as well and I don’t think he did.I want to hold the rest of my thoughts until I see him play on hard courts in Madrid and Paris.


Von Says:

Marko Djokovic played about a year ago at a tournament against Cilic and got beaten badly. Then big brother, Novak, got revenge by beating Cilic in the next 2 rounds. I’m surprised that Marko’s not going the challenger route before playing in the tourneys. I suppose rank has it’s privileges, and big bro Novak has some pull. The commentators were remarking that the youngest brother Djordi has the talent. Novak once said it’s his dream for the 3 of them to represent Serbia in Davis Cup.


Von Says:

NachoF:

On Monday I will make some phone calls to the USTA and the Miami MS tourney office in an attempt to get some of the info you need. One way or the other you’ll get to see your Fed. Don’t worry, be happy. :P


NachoF Says:

Von,
Have you been to the Sony Ericsson Open??…. is the “Grandstand” the most important court?? is the final played at the “Grandstand”?? I wanna be sure that if I get that package I’ll at least get a chance to watch Federer and Nadal at least once… and then the final… they dont give specifics like that in the description….also, how far is South Beach from Boca Raton??


zola Says:

NachoF
$225 for a whole week is great.Does that include access to the practice courts? I would call and ask for more info on that and on where the seat is located. check this site too:
http://gomiami.about.com/od/eventsfestivals/p/sonyericcson.htm


Von Says:

NachoF:

No, I’ve not been to the SE Open. Terrible, isn’t it since I live so close, my problem is I don’t like crowds and sitting in the sun. I don’t know anything about the seating. Do you think you can wait until Monday? I’ll be able to get some info for you. I’ll also email James Blake and the Bryans. Those guys live very close to me — about 30 minutes drive. Boca is about 45 minutes drive to South Beach. You’ll love South Beach, wild parties and nude girls. Ohlallalala. BTW Mardy Fish is getting married today in Los angeles, California. His buddy A-Rod, who was supposed to be in the bridal party is playing in Beijing instead.


NachoF Says:

Zola,
According to the description… Im not sure
“Grandstand (Wednesday 3/25 – Wednesday 4/1) – Buy Now!

This special ticket package gets you a reserve, chair-back seat in Rows 1-3 of the West Sideline of the Grandstand court plus access to all of the outer courts except Stadium. No more worries about sellouts. No more rushing to your seat. Now you have the opportunity to purchase a reserved seat for yourself that allows you to come and go in the Grandstand Court at your leisure all week long.”

What do you think??…. this is so complicated.. they should just sell player specific tickets…. like the Roger Federer package and thats it…. so I dont have to worry about which court or anything like that.


Von Says:

NachoF:

Acording to what you’ve written you’re not going to be able to get to the stadoum which is where you want to be to see Fed/Nadal play. As far as I know grandstand seats are for walking around the grounds and the off courts. That’s why the prpice is so cheap. From what I know you have to purchase tickets specifically for the stadiums to see the important matches. As I said, if you can wait until Moday, i’ll be able to get some info for you. I need to speak to someone in the ofice to get you the specific info. Sean and some of the writers live here in Florida maybe they can help with some information. Write a post to him.


jane Says:

grendel,

Yeah, I heard somewhere else, maybe it was the commentators during the AO, that the littlest Djokovic is perhaps the biggest natural tennis player and that Marko wasn’t perhaps as good.

As for false humility, downplaying chances, etc. Actually I think Novak said he’s not the “big” favorite in the match; thus there is a difference. He’s not saying he isn’t the slight fave, but with the way Tsonga is playing, and with his talent and power, certainly it wouldn’t be surprising to Djoko, to me, or perhaps to anyone else, if Jo Will wins in the final. It’s a tough one to predict imo.


grendel Says:

Zola, it is true that I do get defensive some times, not to mention unecessarily aggressive. I expect you have been on the receiving end of this – not very nice. But I don’t think I was this time. I honestly think you missed a step on the Davydenko issue, and that you still are in a weak position. You say: “If he has improved that much, he should have been able to use those newly acquired skills in other tournaments as well .”. Now that is just a non sequitor, Zola. As a matter of fact, I was very curious to see if Davydenko could carry over his excellent form into the clay season. Apart from the final in Estoril, where he might very well have beaten Federer, he didn’t. I’m not a fan of Davydenko – he’s always seemd to me a bit dull, probably a connoisseur’s player I’d guess, there is no doubting his quality – but I was disappointed because – guess what – I was hoping he might provide some decent opposition to Nadal.

It was not to be. It does happen, you know, that a player can have an absolute blinder of a tournament, and then just go off. We now know a little bit more about Davydenko’s state of mind – did you read his desolate comments at the Olympics, and they were uttered just after he’d soundly beaten Gulbis too, one might have thought he’d be happy – and perhaps this accounts for his erratic and unpredictable performances.

“He [Federer]said he has found the formula to beat Rafa on clay and evidently that formula did not work after HAmburg” Yes, I remember that quote, and I winced at the time. Talk about a hostage to fortune! Rafa would NEVER say anything like that – he is far too canny. By the way, that’s a nice little piece of understated irony on your part. In your quiet way, you are quite a considerable polemicist! Federer deserves to be mocked for that amazingly injudicious remark. But I agree with this:”So I would like to stay with my argument that Rafa’s defeat was at least partially due to his physical condition”.

“Partially”,Zola. Indeed. This is movement on your part! The old saying, there are two sides to a story, is a good one, imo.


Daniel Says:

The “focus” question is really subjective, we can’t know for sure. You can’t be focus if you are losing 2-6, 3-6, 1-3! Once you realized that you are not winning the points and things are not going your way, you lose foccus.
It’s a parameter that we can’t measure quantitative nor qualitative, both are connected, the quality of your focus depends on the quantity of success (points won, sets won) you are having.
That’s why we always have the feeling that Nadal loses his focus when he is being beaten, of course he is! He, as several athletes criticyse themselves and knows what is happening across the net when things are not going their way.

So, all players that lose matches that aren’t tigh, loses focus! Unless they didn’t even start the match focused which will leave them out of our “focus” discussion. :)


NachoF Says:

Von Says:

“Acording to what you’ve written you’re not going to be able to get to the stadoum which is where you want to be to see Fed/Nadal play. As far as I know grandstand seats are for walking around the grounds and the off courts. ”

thats weird… then why are they called Grandstand “seats” if the only thing you can do is walk around?.. and what do they mean by “chair-back seat in Rows 1-3 of the West Sideline of the Grandstand court”…. I cant believe how confusing it is to get a ticket to watch a tennis match… Sean, some help please??


Shermon Says:

Totalitarian dictator Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías mustn’t get a visa for the USA, even to attend UN General Assembly. A true American won’t meet with a citizen from a rogue state like yours, so it will be wiser for you to drop the dream of Florida and plan for something like Russia to suit your petro dollar bourgeois craving.
Good for you that at least one redheaded immigrant American and possibly another Italian immigrant American are sympathetic and enthusiastic about a fascist weiner’s landing in Boca Raton and the Gay capital South Beach.


NachoF Says:

Shermon,
… what??… “the dream of Florida”?.. I have been to Florida several times, my aunt used to live in Doral… I have been to several Florida Marlins games and visited Disney World and Universal Studios..so it definitely is no longer a dream…. also, other than that, I was an exchange student at Kentucky for about 10 months and my tourist Visa doesnt expire for about ten years so….. you definitely dont seem to be very informed about our political situation and about what kind of people the Chavez’s supporters are… in any case, this boards are defnitely not the place to discuss politics… good day


gulu Says:

Fed lost quite a few matches dis year not becaus everyone startin from Rafa to Murray to Karlovic all suddenly found d formula 2 beat him,but rather becaus pride has crept into his personality.He sounded too boastful at times.


Von Says:

Shermon:

FYI, the Uunited States is a country of immigrants and the only true native Americans are the American Indians. Apart from them, everyone else came to this country seeking to start a new life. I’m sure somewhare in your family tree (genealogy) an ambitious soul decided to take the step and guess what, wallah, you’re here. Ccnsidering the foregoing, I don’t think you should look down on anyone who is looking to improve the quality of their life or desire freedom to live as a normal human being. Nor should you stand in judgment as to who is best suited to visit this country for the purpose of a vacation. Were it not for the tourists, many states, especially Florida, would be sufferng from serious financial problems. Tourism keeps this state and many others financially afloat.


gulu Says:

I hav still not forgotten wat Fed said at d US Open last year. He said that it’s immaterial whether you r no. 2 or no. 3,it’s only no.1 that matters.It was totaly unwarranted on his part to state such things.


Von Says:

gulu: Hi, I answered your post yesterday afternoon. I’m hoping that Andy will win Beijing. From your posts it appears to me that you text message a lot. Would you believe it, if I tell you, I never do. I’m not one for embracing technology. Here’s a smile from me to you for a nice weekend. :P


Von Says:

“If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?”.

The United States is a tiny fragment of God’s earth and who are we to tell any of his creation where they could walk, choose to visit or live.


jane Says:

Congrats to Roddick and Tsonga!

Jo Will’s 1st ATP title: I wonder what this means for his prospects? He could be the next Safin, mercurial, dangerous, win a slam or two. He’s only 23. It’s tough to know until we see a full year of him healthy.


gulu Says:

Congrats dear Von! Yes,m glad dat Roddick won d China Open.Be proud of ur Rod.U must also know dat a sizeabl no. of Indians admir n respect A-Rod n I m one of them.Andy’s a nice guy n I wish him good luck 4 his future.3 cheers 4 Roddick !!! Come on Rod !


gulu Says:

Dear Jane,today Djokovic lost.U hav told me dat he’s ur favourite player,so his loss may hav been a bit tough.But plz don’t b sad as wins n losses r a part of a player’s life.I really lik Novak,thou Fed’s my favourite.Nole’s young n has a great future!


gulu Says:

Congrats Tsonga! Are u hearing me? Can I expect u to beat guys lik Fed n Rafa more often in the future? Are u more determined 2 play well in d future after winning in Thailand? If,ur answer is yes,then we ready for the action ! Come on !


gulu Says:

Congrats Tsonga! Are u hearing me? Can I expect u to beat guys lik Fed n Rafa more often in the future? Are u more determined 2 play well in d future after winning in Thailand? If,ur answer is yes,then we are ready for the action ! Come on !


jane Says:

gulu,

That’s thoughtful of you; thanks. I had kind of a hunch Tsonga would win judging by his last two matches, so I am not too terribly disappointed or surprised. Tsonga is a guy who is something else when he gets on a roll; he really uses that confidence and momentum. I’ll be interested to see how he does next year, consistently. After thrashing Rafa at the AO, he lost to him at IW, and then was injured by Miami, so we didn’t really get a good look at how dangerous he could / can be! And I’d like to see him play Roger on a fast court, just to see how they’d match up.

Yeah, Nole is a great player; he needs to make his first serve just a bit more of a weapon and take advantage of second serves, though. But I think there will be more chances at titles in his future. Hope so anyhow!


jane Says:

Von – big smiles today? It’s great that Andy put Davis Cup behind him to capture another title this year!


jane Says:

Wow- I see Baggy is playing in France next week; I was thinking about him the other day, wondering if he’d ever return.

I see the Tokyo draw features some potentially good match ups: Nishikori is on JMDP’s side, though they could meet only if they both make the semis; JMDP needs to keep earning points if he wants to get to the M. Cup. Roddick has Tsonga in his section; they could meet in the quarters. I don’t think I’ve seen Andy play Jo Will since their tussle at the AO 4 or 5 years ago.


grendel Says:

Sela, in his post match presser:

“I’m not used to staying concentrated like that for a long time. Tennis is a mental game and at 2-3 (third set) I missed two easy shots. I went for too much and hit into the net and he hit a good return down the line and suddenly I’m 0-40.”

The task of maintaining focus in a nutshell, from the horses’s mouth.


Von Says:

Gulu:

Thank you for your congratulatory posts pertaining to A-Rod’s recent win in Beijing. I’m so very happy for him, especially since he’s been under attack for a few months non-stop. I hope this win will in some small way put a damper on the predictions from his critics that his career is over the hill and too, that he’ll be out of the top 10 by next year and gone. You’ve been a positive influence for me on those occasions. Thank you. :P

Now, it’s my turn to congratulate you for Leander Paes and his partner, Dlouhy, on their Bangkok Doubles win. You must be very happy. Enjoy. :D

Your Rogi’s tournaments, Stockholm and Basel are next and I know he’ll win them without any problems. I’ll talk to you later and enjoy your weekend. :)


Von Says:

jane:

“Von – big smiles today? It’s great that Andy put Davis Cup behind him to capture another title this year!”

Yes jane, big smiles indeed on my end, and thank you for your kind wishes toward Andy. I think this win was therapeutically very good for Andy after his recent DC loss. I hope the momentum will remain with him throughout his next tournament. I read that Andy donated $25,000 of his winnings to the Chinese Tennis Association to help those who suffered from the recent earthquake.

So sorry about Djoko, but his turn will be next and you’ll both be all smiles again. Here’s one in advance. :D


Von Says:

Every player loses concentration a/k/a focus at different times throughout a match — it’s human nature. If they didn’t have a problem with concentration they’d be mechanical toys. It seems that focus is the new buzz word and the panacea for all that ails a player. If he/she loses, it’s not about his opponent outplaying him/her, it’s due to the losing player becoming unfocused. Veteran players are usually cognizant of when their focus begins dipping and usually are able to re-group before too much damage is done. I’ve heard Roddick state of Verdasco, that he’s a player whose concentratuion goes up and down, and when playing against him, his opponent just has to wait for the opportune moment to get the break in serve.


zola Says:

NachoF,
I asked a friend who has been to Miami before and this is his answer. I hope it helps:

******
Hi Zola, My first suggestion is have your friend call the ticket office @ 305-442-3367 to make sure he knows what he is buying. What I can remember from my visit in 2007 is there are two big courts. The stadium is the major court. The grandstand is a smaller court. If you buy stadium tickets you will get non reserved seats to the grandstand. Top players like Rafa and Feddy would only be seen in the Stadium. Hope that helps.
*******


Roy Says:

“zola Says:

About Davydenko, I agree that I might see just one side of the equation, but Davydenko became invisible after that match…”.

True enough, his post-Miami performances in all the three GS were eminently forgettable.


zola Says:

grendel,
I guess we still do not agree on Davydenko. you say:
**As a matter of fact, I was very curious to see if Davydenko could carry over his excellent form into the clay season. Apart from the final in Estoril, where he might very well have beaten Federer, he didn’t.***

so we agree that he did not carry that form to the rest of the season. I do not remember him having a great form before Miami either. So, I still want to stay with that argument. I understsad that you want to believe otherwise. I guess I would have done the same. Btw, I don’t remember his quotes after the olympics. I guess I should be able to find them on ASAP. Davydenko is a very consistent player, byt to me he is on a plateu. I don’t see him winning a GS. But he has been consistent enough to be in top 5 for God knows how many years. In a way, I like him, because like Roddick, he tries very hard to stay in the top.

Shermon,
That was a sad comment. That’s all I can say!


Von Says:

Davydenko is a proverbial Rodney Dangerfield “I get no respect”.


NachoF Says:

Zola,
thanks!! That actually realle helps a lot!… Im no longer interested in the Grandstand package now… although it seems weird they dont offer a Stadium package for the whole tournament….they also have a Final 4 package that gives you access to semi and final matches… Im considering getting that one along with the After Hours package, which gives you access to 4 night matches of your choice, for just 84$….. if that doesnt give me a chance to watch Federer at least once I dont know what will… my luck cant be that bad.


zola Says:

NachoF
I am glad it did help. I still suggest you call the ticket office and ask them about any package you want to buy. The $84 and the final 4 seems to be a good combination and hopefully you will see Fed!

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