Safin Title Drought Continues; Nalbandian Feeling Rosy Entering Madrid
by Sean Randall | October 12th, 2008, 11:40 pm
  • 84 Comments

So what’s going to happen first, Marat Safin wins a title or Guns N’ Roses finally releases their long-awaited, almost mythical Chinese Democracy CD? Unfortunately for Safin – and I never thought I’d say this – the way things are going I might have to lean to Axl Rose and the boys if I had to make a pick.

Safin today somehow lost to his journeyman compatriot Igor Kunitsyn 7-6, 6-7, 6-4 in the Moscow final, keeping Big Marat titleless since his 2005 Australian Open win. That’s nearly four long years. Amazing. And Marat’s not in Madrid this week because iI think his ranking wasn’t strong enough at the time of entry. So he’ll have to waita few more weeks for another crack at Sweet 16.

Nalbandian, meanwhile, is revving up at the end of the year once again. Dave edged Robin Soderling to win in Stockholm earlier today, and now he’ll have the tall task of defending his Madrid and Paris titles starting Tuesday. And by the looks of the draw, at least the Madrid draw, “Fat” Dave’s got his work cut out for him.

Nalbandian landed in the Roger Federer quarter of a draw that overall is downright frightening for its level of difficultly and depth.

Rafael Nadal is perched at the top, and if things break right the Spaniard can salt away the year-end No. 1 ranking in front of his fans in Madrid. But it’s not going to be easy. Rafa will be tested right out of the gate by the streaky slugger Ernests Gulbis, a first round winner today over Nicolas Kiefer. Then Richard Gasquet, then maybe his countryman Feliciano Lopez in the quarterfinals. But I think Rafa will get through.

In the second quarter, the third-ranked Novak Djokovic will likely have to deal with Dmitry Tursunov, then Robin Soderling and in the quarterfinals I’ll go him to meet James Blake, who’s had Nikolay Davydenko’s number. It will be tricky, but I like Novak to emerge into the semifinals.

The bottom half is no easier. Andy Roddick is faced with Tommy Robredo in round two, then my man Gael Monfils, who I think beats Fernando Gonzalez in the second round. I like Monfils to come out ahead against Roddick and then face in the quarterfinals Andy Murray, who I think beats Marin Cilic to get there. The indoor surface is good for Monfils, but I think Murray beats my guy.

The final quarter is absolutely loaded. Federer, Nalbandian, Juan Martin Del Potro, Jo Tsonga, Tomas Berdych, Mikhail Youhzny, Radek Stepanek, Paul-Henri Mathieu, Andre Agassi, Boris Becker, Pete Sampras and Ivan Lendl. If Nalbandian’s got some energy left in his tank after his Stockholm triumph, I like his chances here. I think he beats Berdych, then his countryman Del Potro, who’s coming off a toe injury. Federer should get past Stepanek but I think Tsonga takes him out in round three. Indoors, fast court, no pressure should suit Tsonga well, and I think he can do it. But in the end it’s Nalbandian through to the semifinal.

So, that makes my semifinals Nadal v. Djokovic and Murray v. Nalbandian. And since we are in Spain, I think Rafa takes out Dave in the finale.

But like the GnR album release, don’t hold your breath on it happening just like that. We are in the end of the year silly season, where strange things can and do often happen, and where the form rarely holds in these year-end Masters events. So expected the unexpected. Vamos.


Also Check Out:
Nalbandian Foils Federer to Cap Incredible Week in Madrid
Federer Ready for Madrid; Nadal, Djokovic Await
Nalbandian Stuffs Nadal Like a Turkey, Wins Paris Tennis Masters
Safin Ends Season, Will Skip Davis Cup Final Against U.S.
Spain Surprises Argentina in Davis Cup Final Day One

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84 Comments for Safin Title Drought Continues; Nalbandian Feeling Rosy Entering Madrid

gulu Says:

Sean,don’t b so sure of Tsonga beatin Fedex ! I m afraid that Roger’s not gonna spare anyone if he’s in the right frame of mind ! No matter wat happens in Madrid, I’d continue to giv all my support to Roger as his loyal fan. Vamos Roger Federer !


;o Says:

Not even a slight mention of Jelena Jankovic winning three straight tournaments? I know y’all hate Womens tennis, but its still news!

And personally, I think Nadal will lose early. He’s always seemed like a player that needs match play, and he hasnt gotten much. And if he does get to the SF, I think Djokovic can beat him.

I think it’ll be a Djokovic – Nalbandian final. If Nalbandian is in his good form, he wins. If he isn,t he doesnt win.


Ezorra Says:

;o Says:
“And personally, I think Nadal will lose early.”

As always… what a cliché’ prophecy! Its ok though; anyone is entitled to his/her own opinion, right? So, enjoy it!


Alex Says:

> ;o Said:
> I think it’ll be a Djokovic – Nalbandian final.
> If Nalbandian is in his good form, he wins. If
> he isn,t he doesnt win.

irregardless of Djokovic’s form? :-)


Mike gaobest Says:

I think that Federer will be carried by the inspiration from his Olympic Gold Doubles / US Open Singles titles, and avenge his loss to Nalbandian in the QFs, then go on to remind Murray who’s boss in the SFs, and then beat Nadal or Djokovic in the final. I’d love to see Nadal or Nalbandian win, but I think that Federer is feeling the power that he’s lacked for a big portion of this year. He loves to get revenge against players who have dared to beat him, and this time it’s everyone in Madrid. I bet he still won’t forgive Berdych for beating him at the ’04 Olympics.
Mike


TomA Says:

By the way, Safin did get a wildcard into Madrid. He was supposed to play Llodra in the first round, but then pulled out due to a shoulder injury!! I can’t believe he lost to Kunitsyn too.


Jeff Says:

I think people are giving Nalbandian a little to much credit here. He did do well last year at these events and he did win Stockholm, but lets face it, he won Stockholm by gutting out a win against Soderling, not exactly a Federer if you know what I mean.

I agree that the top half is fairly clear cut, but I think del Potro takes out Nalbandian if he’s healed up, otherwise Federer (or Tsonga! who ever knows what’s going on with that guy) will do the job the next round.

I think if Federer gets through the early ones, it’ll make him that much stronger and he’ll be able to gut out the title in the later rounds.

I also agree that it’s likely to be a crazy tournament and who knows what’ll happen. I think it may be likely that some of the top players tank the tournament (Federer might considering his brutal draw…) to reserve energy for the next couple events and the off season.


mel Says:

sean, can’t wait til the fed-tsonga match. wonder what will be ur excuse this time…


Ryan Says:

Tsonga is gonna get fukked…….who can bring down the mighty fed?…..NO ONE….. not even that steroid junkie Nadal


Ryan Says:

These motherfukin comments keep comin up twice…..wat da fuk?


Ryan Says:

I was just bullshittin….tsonga is pretty good and fed will have a tough time.Infact he will have a tough time with any of these young guns out there rite now…….all of a sudden everyone is moving well , volleying well, serving well its like fed has helped the new generation to set this standard and now he is in trouble.All these big guys like berdych ,cilic , del potro etc have become good movers for their size and everyone is playing high class tennis…..


gulu Says:

O Mike gaobest,just wishin ur prediction to become true ! Even I agree that I need revenge ! I repeat once again,if Fed survives the early rounds,he may win the title ! I’d also lov 2 see Roddic doing very well in Madrid. I m tense at d moment thou !


gulu Says:

Murray n
Safin also should play upto their potential ! It particularly hurts to see the downward spiral of a class player lik Safin.
He’s an amazing player to watch,yet he’s gettin beaten these days by almost every Tom,Dick and Harry. Wat a misfortune !


bob22 Says:

Tennis news of the week is JJ’s win in three straight tournaments, not a Safin! But Sean’s articles were were never about tennis as a game. He will like to transform tennis into WWE universe. That is why we witnes so much hate and unsport comments from that redneck.


Tennis-X Weekend Wrap: Safina Threatens WTA Boycott; Davenport Done? Says:

[...]  Safin Title Drought Continues; Nalbandian Feeling Rosy Entering Madrid [...]


;o Says:

Ezorra Says:

As always… what a cliché’ prophecy! Its ok though; anyone is entitled to his/her own opinion, right? So, enjoy it!

Heh. Im not a Nadal hater. I thought he would win FO and Wimbledon, and I was excited when he did. And then I predicted he would not win the Gold medal, win the USO and the AO next year, so I guess im not the most talented prophet.

But the surface isn’t kind to him, and he doesn’t have the easiest draw. It’s definetly no where as hard as Federers though, and I think Djokovic’s quarter is the easiest.

And yes irregardless of Djokovic’s form. If Thailand was any indication, he’s not playing the way he did last year at the same time, and that should get him deep into draws.

I think now more than ever theres no dominant player. There are plenty of young guys and resurgent old guys that can come out of no where to beat the top players, and I kinda like that. It’s almost like the WTA! :p


Von Says:

“I think now more than ever there’s no dominant player. There are plenty of young guys and resurgent old guys that can come out of no where to beat the top players, and I kinda like that. It’s almost like the WTA!”

Isn’t it wonderful, especially for the older guys? What I’ve observed with the older players, who seemed very resigned to their ranking and game, is that ever since Federer began losing, that situation brought a new wave of thought processes into the equation. Prior to Fed’s losses, the older guys’ mind-sets were along the lines of “why bother, regardless of how well they did, they’ll eventually meet Fed, and that was the end of their good winning streak”. Well, now that it’s different, and they have seen Schuettler, Kiefer, Melzer and a few others turning things around, there’s been a renaissance/rebirth, as it were, in the older players and a more positive frame of mind. I firmly believe that the unpredictability in tennis is taking a stronghold and because of that, the players are more eager to play in more tournaments and aren’t avoiding those where the top names appear. Happy days are here again for those who had previously given up, and now, to coin a phrase from Star Trek, their mission is “To boldly go where no man has gone before”.


Von Says:

gulu, mon ami, you have been super busy posting. It appears that you are excited with respect to Madrid and are ecstatic that your Rogi is playing there. I don’t blame you, and I’m happy for you. I understand your excitement when he plays — I feel the same when A-Rod plays too. Methinks we’re tennis junkies! We need to ask ourselves “Can one desire too much of a good thing?”. What do you say? :P :D


gulu Says:

Dear Von, I’m really excited ! As u said one shouldn’t ask too much of good things,but this year hasn’t been very good 4 my Fed dearest,so I surely want a bit more ! Let’s wish good luck 2 ‘Our Andy’ n also to Murray n Safin ! Coz these guys r my fav !


Von Says:

gulu:

I’m afraid Safin is not playing in Madrid; he withdrew due to a shoulder injury. I’m still somewhat disappointed he lost in Moscow. I had him pegged to win that title. I wish the very best for the remaining guys. Tt’s a bit difficult for me to be happy because I know one of the Andys will lose, and this puts a damper on my excitement.


fernando Says:

“I think people are giving Nalbandian a little to much credit here. He did do well last year at these events and he did win Stockholm, but lets face it, he won Stockholm by gutting out a win against Soderling, not exactly a Federer if you know what I mean.”

Jeff:

The “credit” to Nalbandian comes of knowing that when he’s playing well and focused (and indoors, which by the way is his favorite surface)he certainly can beat ANYBODY out there. He has the game for it and he’s already proven that.

I saw the final at Stockholm; did you? Because it’s nothing like you’ve said. Nalbandian played almost a perfect match (minus a lapse of concentration at the middle of the second set when serving, moving the ball from corner to corner with great speed, angles and accuracy, just the way he did last year at Madrid and Paris. Besides, his serve was in full bloom, connecting 13 aces and allowing Soderling just three points up to the 6-2 4-2. By the way, Soderling connected 18 aces overall and played as good as I have ever seen him, making winners off his forehand and backhand, even whe he was losing badly. He’s a dangerous player with a rocket serve who can do damage on this surface, and played in front of his countrymen, smacking Nishikori out in the semis in just 44 m and not having lost a serve or even having a break point all week, so I fully disagree with you the Swede was a week rival to Nalbandian.

What’s more, I was switching all the three male finals (TV here showed them ALL live)and for my money Nalbandian-Soderling was the most competitive and entertaining match of Sunday. The speed of the ball and shot accuracy in both Vienna and Moscow was anywhere near at the level I saw yesterday at Stockholm.

And for the most part of that match, Soderling was not even close of bothering David; he was THAT good. Of course, he’s as inconsistent as it gets, and nobody who saves money would pick him as a winner for Madrid. I guess he earned it both ways: people doubting and people expecting.

But if he play’s the way he did in the first 1 1/2 sets I expect at least a quartefinal showdown with Federer. Let’s see what happens.

Scott:
(LOL)
” The final quarter is absolutely loaded. Federer, Nalbandian, Juan Martin Del Potro, Jo Tsonga, Tomas Berdych, Mikhail Youhzny, Radek Stepanek, Paul-Henri Mathieu, Andre Agassi, Boris Becker, Pete Sampras and Ivan Lendl”

Add Steffi Graf and Monica Seles as ballgirls.


gulu Says:

At this point of time Nalby really plays out-of-the-world kind of tennis as some includin me might suggest,he did exactly that during 2007 ! That’s the reason why I want Fed and Rafa to blast him out of the tennis world when he faces them this year !


gulu Says:

I am a Rogerholic first. But still I’d say ‘Go Rafa and beat Nalbandian in the Davis Cup 2008 final’ ! I’d lov 2 see Nalby losin to Rafa! But unfortunately, if Nalby’s able 2 find his rythm,it’s almost impossibl 4 anyone to beat him on indoor carpet !


jane Says:

“I guess he earned it both ways: people doubting and people expecting.” Once again, well put fernando; that comment about sums up the tennis fan/audience situation where Nalbandian is concerned. Very few people are indifferent towards him, i suspect, because he is such a potent, or sometimes non-existent, force. Maybe that could lead to indifference, but with Nalby we tend to expect the best or worst.


gulu Says:

I don’t understand why on this world has Sean mentioned about Agassi,Lendl,Pete etc. hav been mentioned
as if being in Fed’s draw?


MMT Says:

Gulu: At the risk of stating the obvious, I think Sean was joking about how heavy that quarter of the draw is.


gulu Says:

I don’t understand why on this world has Sean mentioned about Agassi,Lendl,Pete etc.
as if they are all in Fed’s draw?
Thanks to fernando for suggestin two more names which Sean might hav forgotten! BTW, I too liked his idea about Graff and Seles !


gulu Says:

MMT, thanks a lot ! Ya, perhaps to point to the fact that Fed’s draw’s a difficult one,Sean has used the names of those former players in a light sense.It’s ok with me now. It should hav struck earlier to me! Anyway , who are ur fav players MMT?


MMT Says:

#1 favorite player of all time is Pancho Gonzales – yes Pancho Gonzales! I just love the fact that the guy taught himself how to play by watching people play at the park near his house, and became the best player in the world. Fantastic. A real natural. I also like Laver’s game – very complete, creative, and gutsy.

My idols were Borg and McEnroe – their 1980 Wimbledon final was the first tennis match I ever saw, and I instantly fell in love with the game. My temperment was all McEnroe, but I was small at the time, so I modeled my game after Borg – 2 handed backhand, chasing everything down, and lots of topsin.

Today I enjoy watching Roger, Rafa, Djokovic, Tsonga, Safin, Nalbandian, Almagro, Gasquet, Blake and anyone with a decent 1-handed backhand.

Sampras and Agassi were always fun to watch too, but Becker and Edberg were my favorites post Borg McEnroe.

There is one player that player that reserves a place in my heart forever – Henri Leconte. That poor guy was about a dumb as a bag of hammers, but boy could he ever hit the ball. I liked Noah too, so entertaining, but I couldn’t possibly mimick his game – too athletic and graceful.

Okay, that’s enough players – how about you?


matt Says:

Safin had a wild card.

In fact, there has been a great controversy in Spain about not giving a wild card to Juan Carlos Ferrero (who is Spanish, former nº1 of the world and former champion of Madrid Masters-Series).

There were three WC that (at first) were given to Carlos Moyá (Spanish), Marat Safin (Russian)and Fabio Fognini (Italian).

JC Ferrero complained about not being awarded a WC.

Moyá and Safin may deserve a WC because they are both former nº1 of the world and GS champions, just like JC Ferrero. But, Fognini?

Now, it is known that Tiriac (who is the owner of the Madrid Masters-Series) had an agreement with Roma Masters-Series about giving a WC (in Madrid) to a Italian player in exchange for a WC to Safin (who is a personal friend of Tiriac) in Roma.

So in Madrid Tiriac gives a WC to Safin (because he is his friend) and another WC to a Italian player in exchange for the WC Safin received in Rome.

The third WC goes to Moyá and JC Ferrero can’t play the tournament.

After Ferrero complains, Tiriac tells him that if a player withdraws before the beginning of the tournament, then Moyá would have direct entry and so the WC of Moyá would go to him (to Ferrero).

But Ferrero says he is not playing anyway because his dignity has been hurt.

At the end, there was a player who withdrew, and so Moyá had direct entry and his WC was given to Albert Montanés. And there’s more, Safin says in the last minute that he feels pain in his arm and he’s not going to Madrid, so Bolelli takes his place.

Ferrero must be feeling very sad about the whole thing.


Andrew Miller Says:

Will see how Federer’s form is. Usually he does best when he is grooved, and I dont believe he’s grooved with 6 weeks off since the USO win. But cant write him off. He’s Federer after all.

Nalbandian must just love indoors. He must hate every surface but indoor courts.


fernando Says:

MMT:

Wow, that was a talented bunch of names! I don’t understand why Almagro is there, but tastes are tastes, so be it.

I love all those players. If you liked dumbass Leconte ( so did I)for sheer entertainment and striking abilities I propose you three more you might have missed: Vitas Gerulaitis, Miloslav “big cat” Mecir and Patrick Rafter. Boy, do I missed them!

Gerulaitis was like a striking bolt when attacking the net. A genius speedster and intuitive striker.

Milo, my all time love. Simply a genius. I will argue with anyone who thinks the great Mac was the more talented player ever. Well, with his hands maybe, but with ALL of his body there is no one like Mecir. Never was. Touch, genius footwork, deceptive movement, a master at disguising the shots. Crosscourt or down the line? You couldn’t possibly know! He changed directions at will at the last millisecond. His diposal of McEnroe in the final at Dallas 87 is the most virtuoso performance of ANY player I witnessed (and this include the mighty Fed)

And Rafter came when I was starting to die of boredom. A genius volleyer. After Edberg call it quits, I thought the pure volleyer had died forever. I was at Flushing Meadows in 97. I inmediatly became I fan. How could him not entertain you?


fernando Says:

I would have love to see Nastase more. I guess he belongs in that list, too


Von Says:

MMT:

I hope now you’ll believe me that you’re an encyclopedia of tennis knowledge — an ever flowing fountain of information. Fernando has affirmed the same. Reading your knowledgeable discussions, I feel like an utter dummy. Boo-hoo. :P


gulu Says:

Dear Von,I was watchin som tennis clips.I was really enjoyin myself.But when I realised Fed n Rod’ll meet each other in an earlier stage in Mad,my joy ended.It’s tough 2 see my fav duo facin each other b4 final,for me it’s a sad prospect indeed !


Von Says:

gulu:

That’s what I was talking about when the draw initially came out. I suppose I sounded somewhat lugubrious in my assessment, but to me approximately 90 percent of the time A-Rod ends up in your Rogi’s half of the draw and by now, it’s without a doubt, Roddick has an ingrained psychological problem with Fed. It’s more or less a foregone conclusion he’ll lose to Fed. I wish I could get into A-Rod’s head with a screwdriver and unscrew some of his negative thought processes that’s built up throughout the years from his battles with Fed.

Furthermore, I don’t hold much hope for Andy advancing past the 3rd or 4th rounds. I read he played World Team Tennis on the weekend and hopped on a plane to Spain, which translates to jet lag and lack of preparation for Madrid. That coupled with him returning, as it were, to the scene of the crime, wherein he had that tough loss to Ferrer in DC in Madrid (different arena) just a month ago, has got to be weighing heavily on his mind. And, to compound his problems, if he does squeak through to the QFs, he’ll be meeting a hot Murray there. The outlook is pretty grim. forget about A-Rod meeting Fed — it’s a very unlikely scenario.

I am presently watching the Nadal v. Gulbis match and am utterly frustrated by what I’m seeing. I had to take a diversion, and now back to some more frustration.


jane Says:

A nice second set of tennis from Gulbis, especially considering that he fell apart at the end of the first set. He didn’t let it get to him mentally but stayed pretty focused all things considered. Now, I see Nadal is getting worked on by the trainers, in the break, but I am not sure what the injury or issue is; looks like hip or lower back?


sensationalsafin Says:

Nadal and his BS injuries. Jeez. Cmon Gulbis!!!!!!!!!


gulu Says:

Gulbis deserved to lose because of the errors he was commitin non stop. But one thing about Nadal’s sure.He’s not lookin in great form.


MMT Says:

Hey Von:

Did you have a chance to see any of those clips of Laver and Newcombe? I loved the way they played in those days. Really beautiful stuff. As I told you, I didn’t start watching until 1980, so everything before that I get from clips and old videos.

I learned to play with a wooden racquet, so that always warms my heart. Funny thing – the racquet was too heavy for me, so I started with 2 hands on both sides, and my father had to saw off the grip because it was too top heavy and I couldn’t stand and hold it at the same time!

Ah…the golden years…


Von Says:

MMT:

Hi there. My answer to your question re the Laver/Newcombe clips, is a NO. I’m not very computer savvy and become very frustrated in my attempts to view videos etc. Another huge factor is time. If you were to see how I post, you’d laugh. I’m between screens, while working. I post when I hit a point of saturation checking cites, etc. Call it a cop-out, whatever, but posting takes me into a different world per se.

Your description of playing has me in stitches. I’m trying to envision the scenery, with your two hands on both sides. Must have been very complicated for you. :) I played for a few years for fun and some exercise, but had to stop after an injury I sustained at work lifting too many heavy law books. Now, I’m relegated to just watching others play and of course the pros. I love tennis and wish I didn’t get hooked on cricket/baseball/ice hockey in my youth. I suppose you can say we enjoy the finer things of life with age/wisdom.

Have you watched any of the Madrid matches? I must say there has been quite a few good first round matches. Presently, tennis has evolved so much from the boring first rounds to some exciting first rounds, which translates to the players becoming better and better, and more excitement for us, the viewers. The odds of upsets are greater now, which makes it difficult to pick a winner. Enjoy when you watch. :P


Giner Says:

If you don’t mind me asking Sean, what is it you like so much about Gael Monfils?


Giner Says:

It looks like Safin is hit with the Kremlin jinx. He’s made it to the final at least a few times and was favourite to win, only to be upset by a lower profile player. At least Dementieva, another Russian many-times runner-up finally managed to break the curse last year and win the title.

Better luck next year. Safin’s a guy who should have owned 2 AO titles, and possibly a third. It’s unfortunate that he couldn’t live up to potential that Pete Sampras said he would become. He even joked about it saying, ‘See? Even the legend can be wrong.” Pete said Safin was a better player than he was and would one day go on to do great things. He turned out to be one of those temperamental players as likely to frustrate his fans as he is to deliver (watching him is like watching Mark Philly). I’ve enjoyed watching him over the years; I just wish he’d learn to control his negative emotion or use it in a positive way like McEnroe did.


Von Says:

MMT:

I believe I deleted a part of my post in error, in the second paragraph, vis-a-vis:

“Your description of playing has me in stitches. I’m trying to envision the scenery, with your two hands on both sides. Must have been very complicated for you.”

I’d like to amend the above to read as follows:

Your description of learning to play tennis has me in stitches remembering my own learning experience, bearing in mind, I learnt as an adult. I used to hold my breath and couldn’t understand why I was having difficulty breathing when playing. Also, I would duck when I saw the ball coming towards me, instead of hitting it. It was so funny and embarassing at the same time. I’m trying to envision the scenery of your early days of learning, and I’m imagining a little kid using both hands on both sides striving for racquet control — a very cute and beautiful picture comes to mind. Your learning experience sounds so very precious. It must have been a very enjoyable time of your life because of the fondness you have for your wooden racquet. This love and passion for the sport is reflected in your writing, and in the knowledge that you have amassed, which you so willingly share with this dummy. It’s as if you come to life in your descriptions. You have my admiration and I thank you for sharing. :P

The above is what I should have written. sorry for the mess up, but I rarely proofread.


gulu Says:

This excitin week of Madrid masters is killin me ! So much challenge by so many guys to my suddenly vulnerabl Fed !
Like Von once asked me, ‘who says life’s fair?’:-o


gulu Says:

I desperately want Rafa 2 be defeated so dat Fed’ll cont 2 hav d chance of being d year end no.1 for d 5th consecutiv yr.However each Rafa win r makin Fed’s n my hopes bleaker. So seriously, go Gasquet go n beat Nadal ! Similarly Go Roger n bt Stepanek !


MMT Says:

Von – thanks a bunch. I do love tennis, and talking about it. Don’t we all!

Gulu – I wouldn’t hold my breath on the #1 thing. First, I don’t see Rafa losing it to anyone, and secondly, I don’t see Fed holding onto #2 for much longer either.

To be honest, we’d have a pretty ridiculous scenario in which the French Open, Wimbledon and Olympic champion with the best record on tour isn’t #1.

Even Fed fans couldn’t possibly want to see that!

P.S. On this fast surface, look for an upset by Stepanek. His attacking game is well suited to take advantage.


Von Says:

MMT:

You’re welcome. Yes we’re all tennis junkies, how else would we explain the amount of time we spend here despite the confrontations. My boss one day saw me posting at lunch time, and asked to read my posts. He thought I had lost it. To begin with, he couldn’t understand my warrior mentality, which is a far cry from my true disposition. he was amazed to see the other side of me. :) Anyway, we all have some vices don’t we, and I suppose this is mine.

BTW, did you see my amended post to you? I’m sorry. I typed that in such a hurry, and instead of deleting a few words, I deleted a couple of sentences. Last evening I happened to read the post and wondered what in the world happened, then I remembered the deletion of the words. I’m a hopeless computer user. Anyway, you’re truly sumpin’ else, and then some. Your vast amount of tennis knowledgeis absolutely remarkable. do you realize how much your personality takes on a different quality when you discuss the old days — it’s as though you come alive. I’d bet if you were speaking it would be very audible by the inflection and intonation. Keep it coming, I’m a sponge now, and all ears. :)

I’m watching the Djoko/Hanescu match. I don’t know how Hanescu, a roumanian, who looks a like like pPete Sampras, BTW, and has a beautiful single-handed backhand, is ranked No. 73. This guy is as cool as a cucumber and is just dishing it out to Djokovic. Maybe djokovic will win due to experience, but I think the guy’s got a huge chance. they’re now tied at 1 set all, and I can tell Djoko is nervous — the ball bounces are increasing.

With regard to Fed on the Madrid court, I think Fed’s errant forehand might be a problem for him due to the altitude which tends to take the balls a few feet further than the players intend for it to land. From the commentators’ comments though, they feel that there’s a considerable mount of grit on the court’s surface to slow down the balls. We’ll see what happens with Fed and the worm.


Von Says:

gulu:

Calm down and try to hold on or else you’ll indeed die from the excitement. Here’s a smile to keep you calm and breathing. :P Remember to check your pulse when Fed takes the court. I’ll probably need something when A-rod starts playing later on. :D Oh my, do you rrealize by how many years we are reducing our lives when we stress out over these players’ matches? I’ve already lost about 10 years of my life. One day I’ll wake up and look 60 even though I’m not close to that yet.


Von Says:

Hanescu retired. He didn’t look alive but I thought that was his usual demeanor. Djoko got lucky in the second set tie-break, when Hanescu hit that long forehand shot out, giving the point/set to Djoko. Anyway, good to see him through to the 3rd round, but he’s going to have to inject some more life into his match play to go deeper in the tournament.


MMT Says:

Von:

Yes, I just did see the revised post! Thank you! Yeah, memories of me learning and playing tennis are dear to me. Of course, being the third child, and with my parents well past the, “Oh, we’ve got to get a photo of this,” stage, there no pictures of me playing when I was a kid. Hah!

I didn’t realize Hanescu had a one-handed backhand. Love that stroke. I may have to get a hold of some clips later today.

I don’t have masters series tv, because by the time I have a moment to watch the match, I know the results, and they don’t show it on tv here in the US. What a bummer.

I don’t even know if they’re going to show Shanghai on TV, never mind Madrid or Bercy. Can you believe Comcast doesn’t carry the tennis channel. Pfffft….

Down with all monopolies!


Von Says:

MMT:

“I didn’t realize Hanescu had a one-handed backhand. Love that stroke. I may have to get a hold of some clips later today.”

It’s a thing of beauty, a joy to behold. Hanescu’s BH is way cool, he just caresses the ball when he hits it. I’m still in awe, but am amazed as to why he’s ranked so low. Today is an answer to my question. He played two great sets and retired in the third. He was sweating a lot and looked a bit on the down side, but i thought it was his demeanor. Now I’m thinking it could have been that he’s not feeling well.

“I don’t have masters series tv, because by the time I have a moment to watch the match, I know the results, and they don’t show it on tv here in the US. What a bummer.”

I live in the US and have the Tennis Channel which have the rights for the MS matches. The commentators are Brits and one South African. They show all of the top 10 matches. It’s wonderful. whatever you miss during the day, it’s repeated at night. I waste waaay too much time watching tennis, so much so that I don’t even keep up with the politics. Terrible!! I believe ESPN will carry Shanghai, approx. 2 hours per day, if they run true to form.

“Down with all monopolies!”

And oligopolies. Give me a picket and I’ll fight the war. Perhaps I’ll win the war but lose the battle. :P


Von Says:

gulu:

It’s time to watch your Rogi. Stay calm/cool and collected.


sensationalsafin Says:

Von can you post the link to live matches please?


Von Says:

Sensationalsafin:

For you, anything!! here we go. i take it you want Federer’s match.

http://www.justin.tv/entretiempotv


Von Says:

Here’s another link for the other matches.

http://www.justin.tv/qmasti1

I have to post them one at a time, or else my comments will be held up “awaiting moderation”. This link will work tomorrow which will be day 4.


Von Says:

Sansationalsafin:

There’s a square button under the “ON2″ sign, if you click on that it makes the screen as large as your computer monitor’s screen.


gulu Says:

Von,thanks 4
suggestin me 2 control myself over Roger’s matches.I just hate dearest Roger! Why’s he not tryin 2 cut down on his U.E.s?It’s d most pathetic scenario 4 me 2 see Federer struggl whil playin out ther.His brk point conversion too is low !


sensationalsafin Says:

Thanks Von. I watched the first set. Federer seemed pretty in control. I didn’t see the second, though. Clearly a much closer set. I’m guessing Stepanek stepped it up because he wasn’t playing his best in the beginning.


hatless Roddick Says:

I should have done this years ago!


Von Says:

Sensationalsafin:

Yes, Step found his groove along with some of his moves, and he was doing the chainsaw in the tiebreak. He got unlucky in the tiebreaker and before I could fully enjoy the match, it was over. I still feel these MS series should be 5 sets. :)

_________
gulu:

Your Rogi did fine. None of the top 3 played to their full potential in Round 1. The main thing, they won. Now we move on to Round 2 and there are some good matches in store for us tomorrow.


sensationalsafin Says:

5 sets are always fun to watch but way too demanding of the players. It’s just too much.

Nadal is one win away from clinching the year-end ranking. Why did he already get a trophy for it?

I’m hoping Federer takes this title. The field is so stacked so it’d be nice to see Federer prevail with the odds so against him. Plus he seriously needs a MS title this year.


jane Says:

Von,

You’re probably pleased Roddick still “owns” Robredo? Next up Monfils right?

Thanks for your updates. Even though they weren’t directed to me at least I get to read what was happening. I didn’t get to see any matches today – was just following the scores before work, and have caught up now on all the day’s events.

Judging by what you say above, Djoko will have to do a heck of a lot better to beat Karlovic, who is a wicked opponent on any surface, but that serve has to be even better on hard & fast courts. It’ll likely come down to tiebreaks.

I am really looking forward to Murray vs. Cilic – I think Murray should win no prob! – and Rafa vs. Gasquet, which could be tight, but you never know with Gasquet.

There are so many good, potential match-ups at this event. I am loving this deep field!!


Von Says:

jane:

You’re welcome. Yes, Roddick still owns Robredo, it’s kind of a Federer/Roddick parallel. Monfils is up next. That should be fun to watch. I’m going to be my usual lugubrious self with respect to Roddick and the scheduling. His was the last match this evening, even though he made quick work of it — 1 hour, they finished at 11:30 pm. Tomorrow he’s scheduled to play on the smaller court at 3:00 pm. That’s only 16 hours recovery time. Are those people CRAZY? Why?

Djokovic will need to up his game for Karlovic. He played just OK today, considering the points weren’t long and Hanescu was under the weather. Hanescu has a great single BH, and some superb strokes. He had Djoko beaten in the tie-break and then made a couple of long shots, or else he would have won the match. Djoko got lucky in the tiebreak and luckier when Hanescu retired. Djoko needs to bring more energy to his matches. Federer played like he normally plays in the first round of his tournaments. Just enough to win, but Step pushed him in the second set. Step hit some long shots in the tiebreak which was his undoing. He had some moves/jumps and the chainsaw in the second set when he won a few points in the tiebreak that were very funny. I can understand why Vaidisova is attracted to him — he’s funny and I suppose an energetic person to be around. Yesterday I wanted Gulbis to win. He played a good match except for a few hiccups in the first set, and he was a lot better than when he plays outdoors. So I’ll assume he’s one for the indoors too. Tomorrow should be fun; each match is going to be great from the matchups. I’d like to see Ginepri advance to the QFs, needless to say Roddick too. Murray hasn’t really been tested, so I can’t say anything about his form. he should still be hot from the USO. so we’ll see.


Von Says:

Sensationalsafin:

“5 sets are always fun to watch but way too demanding of the players. It’s just too much.”

how about the finals like it used to be. It was so much more exciting.

“Nadal is one win away from clinching the year-end ranking. Why did he already get a trophy for it?”

Your guess is as good as mine. I suppose they wanted to have the ceremony in front of his home crowd.

“I’m hoping Federer takes this title. The field is so stacked so it’d be nice to see Federer prevail with the odds so against him. Plus he seriously needs a MS title this year.”

Roddick needs it more. His MS shields are all on North American soil. But Fed has a better chance of winning than Roddick, so he can have the title with my best wishes. I’m being generous to him because of you. :P Fed’s match today will be on the Tennis channel later on tonight so you can watch the entire match if you so choose.


sensationalsafin Says:

Unfortunately I can’t. No Tennis Channel in the dorm.

Roddick’s got a tough match against Monfils. I think he should pull through though. Then he might have Murray or Cilic, both would be very tough. Then he might face Del Potro, Nalbandian, Federer, or Tsonga. He’s got his work cut out for him, too. I’d be extremely impressed if he came through.

I agree that they should play best of 5 in the final.

If Nadal clinches it tomorrow then they could just celebrate after the match. It doesn’t make any sense? And they call Federer arrogant.


Von Says:

Sensationalsafin;

I was wondering how come you’re up so late at nights. Now you have freedom eh? Living in the dorm. Happy days are here again and let freedom ring! Lucky you!!

Yes, Roddick got one tough draw and he won’t even get 24 hours recovery time. All of the other players got 24 hours, but he’s only got 18 hours. The schedulers are crazy!! I’m so angry I could smack them — better still you do it. :P

I’ll post the links for tomorrow’s matches in the morning, but you can try the others I posted today, one should work.


Von Says:

Sensationalsafin:

Here’s the link for the tennis matches. Just put in “tennis” in the search box and it will bring up the tennis sites. You can then click on the matches you want to see. Have phun.

http://www.justin.tv/


Noel Says:

“Nadal is one win away from clinching the year-end ranking. Why did he already get a trophy for it?”

I could well be wrong here but I had the impression that the trophy/ceremony was to honour Rafa for becoming the ‘new’/'latest’ number one player.I guess the atp or Rafa wanted it done in Madrid in front of his own people and that is why it wasn’t done earlier at the USO for instance.I know that the year-end top rank has just about been sealed by Rafa but I’d doubt if those folks in Madrid-or indeed in the atp- would be so impatient as to celebrate something before it has officially/technically been confirmed.Imagine the embarrassment if Rafa were not to finish the year-end number one for some miraculous reason even though that is extremely improbable.However,it still is not impossible theoretically.


gulu Says:

Thanks Von for wishin a good tournament 4 Roger! Now if Rafa secures a year end no.1 in this tournament itself,I’d lik Fed 2 nothin less than win here! So best of luck 2 Fed and at d same time best of luck 2 Rod too! Either Fed or Rod must win it 4 me!


MMT Says:

Noel: “Nadal is one win away from clinching the year-end ranking. Why did he already get a trophy for it?”

That is not the ATP year-end #1 trophy. That is handed out at Shanghai (http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/02sTbFpdAj04C/610x.jpg), and will be again this year to Nadal once he clinches it.

This trophy in Madrid is the ATP Race #1 (http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/slideshow/photo//081012/ids_photos_sp/r925161421.jpg/), which includes the 4 grand slams, the 9 masters series events and your best 5 other results. It DOES NOT include Shanghai, because this race determines who gets to Shanghai.

Nadal’s lead is so big neither Federer nor Djokovic (nor anyone else, for that matter) can catch him before Shanghai, even if (one of them) wins the next two Masters events (Madrid and Paris) and Nadal punks out in each.

Year-end #1 is based on “Entry Points”, which is the 52-week rolling system, and includes Shanghai. Mathematically he could be overturned if he doesn’t reach the next round here, but that’s very unlikely, and even if he didn’t, he’d still have a chance to put it away in Paris.

It’s a very stupid system, and doesn’t make any sense, but it is what it is.


MMT Says:

sensationalsafin said: “Nadal is one win away from clinching the year-end ranking. Why did he already get a trophy for it?”

The year end #1 trophy is given in Shanghai and looks like this:

http://english.people.com.cn/200611/14/images/xinsrc_45211031321160382758420.jpg

That’s given for the #1 ranked player including the 52-week rolling ranking. There is still a very remote possibility that Nadal could be overtaken for that, although in my opinion it’s a foregone conclusion.

The trophy they gave Nadal was for the ATP Race #1, and looks like this:

http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/slideshow/photo//081012/ids_photos_sp/r925161421.jpg/

The ATP Race includes the slams, 9 MS events, and the players best 5 results. It DOES NOT include Shanghai, because this is used to determine who goes to Shanghai.

Nadal’s lead is so big in the ATP Race that even if he tanked the rest of the way, nobody has enough available points to overtake him for the #1 seed in Shanghai. Ergo, they gave him the trophy here in Madrid.

Anyway, who can blame them for gushing over their new #1?

It’s a crazy double system, that makes no sense to anyone other than the ATP execs. It’s the dumbest thing in the world and they should stop with that nonsense and just have one ranking.

Theoretically, it is possible for a player to come into Shanghai #1 in the race, and come out #2 on the year. That is currently the case in 2008, but I don’t think there’s even a snowball’s chance in hell of that happening.

In Shanghai, Nadal will be holding both trophies.


Von Says:

MMT:

“It’s a crazy double system, that makes no sense to anyone other than the ATP execs. It’s the dumbest thing in the world and they should stop with that nonsense and just have one ranking.”

I absolutely agree. It allows the air-heads at ATP something to give themselves a pat on the back for engaging in the theatrics while attempting/reinforcing to the public how very gullible we are to such frivolity. Do you blame them? I don’t. As long as there are people who fall for the theatrical flair, the ATP and similar organizations will naturally continue to indulge them, while simultaneously smiling all the way to the bank. In gist, more money is placed in their pockets for every little public display where the No. 1 player is the main attraction.


Noel Says:

MMT,

“That is not the ATP year-end #1 trophy. That is handed out at Shanghai (http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/02sTbFpdAj04C/610x.jpg), and will be again this year to Nadal once he clinches it.”

With due respect,I don’t think I ever said that it was the year-end #1 trophy.I was in fact trying to dismiss any such possibility.I got a bit confused whether it was for clinching the “regular” season atp race #1 or for becoming the new number one after Fed based on the following report which definitely confused me.That is why I said “I could well be wrong here”.

http://www.zimbio.com/Rafael+Nadal/articles/1275/Rafael+Nadal+Receives+ATP+No+1+Ranking+Trophy

“This trophy in Madrid is the ATP Race #1 (http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/slideshow/photo//081012/ids_photos_sp/r925161421.jpg/), which includes the 4 grand slams, the 9 masters series events and your best 5 other results. It DOES NOT include Shanghai, because this race determines who gets to Shanghai.”

Surely,the ‘regular’ season race doesn’t include Shanghai and determines only the qualifying group for the TMC but the Race does continue for those eight qualifiers since the TMC is an additional 19th event for those who qualify for it.This is an important distinction in that the race is not over for these eight players even after the Paris AMS event.Many people just assume that the race stops after Paris.The race points allocation applies to The TMC also with a max of 150 points(corresponding to 750 entry points) to the player winning all five of his matches.

“Nadal’s lead is so big neither Federer nor Djokovic (nor anyone else, for that matter) can catch him before Shanghai, even if (one of them) wins the next two Masters events (Madrid and Paris) and Nadal punks out in each.”

That is true but only for the ‘regular’ season race and from what you said,it is clear that the trophy was for clinching this race.Thanks for clarifying what the trophy was for.I should have been more careful instead of posting without searching more on the web first.As it turns out,the only bit of web resource I looked at confused me totally.

“Mathematically he could be overturned if he doesn’t reach the next round here, but that’s very unlikely, and even if he didn’t, he’d still have a chance to put it away in Paris.”

That is exactly what I have said when pointing to the theoretical-if miraculous- possibility.

“It’s a very stupid system, and doesn’t make any sense, but it is what it is.”

I’d beg to differ on this point although this dual system definitely confuses a lot of people and to think that atp wanted to clear some confusion when they started the race!!However,the entry system definitely has some merit if only to determine entry/seedings in tournaments.It avoids some ridiculous situations esp early in the year.In its absence,Fed,Rafa,Nole etc wouldn’t have been the top seeds at the oz open this year for instance.A Llodra would have been among the top seeds instead because he was doing well in the race at that time.The race tells who have been the best players in the calender season/year so far and increasingly reflects current form as the season progresses.Therefore,it has some merits too.It is just that lay persons get more confused than enlightened by the dual system.Most of the players themselves agree that the entry system is a fair one and has worked well over the years.The more recently-introduced race probably has lesser takers and the enthusiasm of atp itself has petered out so far as ‘hype’ for the race is concerned.
The system has its problems which surface from time to time under certain circumstances but in the absence of a better alternative,it does its task pretty well.People have argued for elo type ratings or surface based rankings but there are many complexities there also.


Fedfan Says:

Fed crushed Tsonga – so much for Sean Randall’s yet another incorrect pessimistic dismissive remark about federer.

Nalbandian lost early.

Sean, you should stop writing.


MMT Says:

Hi Noel:

I think I attributed the quote to you, when in fact it was sensationalsafin’s quote – but he did ask why they’re giving Rafa “the” trophy when he’s (close to, but) not yet clinched the year-end #1. I was just pointing out that the trophy was not for the year end #1, which you already indicated.

Sorry about that.

But I’m not sure if the race continues through Shanghai – if it did, they couldn’t have given Rafa the trophy already, because there’s a chance he could still lose out. I really think the race begins on January 1 and ends the day before Shanghai – whenever that is.

Maybe we’re saying the same thing, if so, my apologies.

sensationalsafin started it…

:-)


Noel Says:

MMT,
Thanks for the response.I thought you were trying to ‘correct’ my response to sensationalsafin’s query and that is why I wanted to clarify my position.All is good. :)

“But I’m not sure if the race continues through Shanghai – if it did, they couldn’t have given Rafa the trophy already, because there’s a chance he could still lose out. I really think the race begins on January 1 and ends the day before Shanghai – whenever that is.

Maybe we’re saying the same thing”

Not quite.While Rafa has been given the trophy for clinching the race,I have deliberately made the point/distinction about it being for the ‘regular’ season race which ends after Paris-or before Shanghai if you like it put that way- for all players except the eight who qualify for the TMC which is an additional 19th event allowed only to these eight players.I am pretty certain about it.Just check the atp site.They do allocate race points for the TMC.It’d be absurd for them to allocate race points if there was no race-admittedly limited to eight players after Paris- going on.However,for all practical purposes,the normal season-and the normal race- ends after Paris for the wider field.Hence the trophy being clinched on the basis of that criterion and you are absolutely right when you say that Rafa had clinched it before the start of ams Madrid no matter what he or anyone else did in the rest of what I call the ‘regular’ season.The atp probably doesn’t want to play this up because it wants the hype reserved primarily for the year-end #1 trophy/ceremony in Shanghai.

BTW,I really admired what you had to say about the two Republican nominees’ capabilities or the lack of them.I don’t know anything about the Chicago politics/mafia but some of the other republican attacks on Obama have degenerated down to the gutter level and reflect an incredibly gross mentality.The USA-and the rest of the world-can ill-afford four more years of republican rule.


Giner Says:

“Nadal is one win away from clinching the year-end ranking. Why did he already get a trophy for it?”

He got it here because this is his first ATP event as the world no.1. The US Open was not an ATP event but an ITF event so they couldn’t hand it to him there. That it happens to be in Madrid in front of his home crowd is pure coincidence. If he didn’t play Madrid he would have received it in Paris instead. I was a bit confused by this myself, but I got that info from the ATP website.

“Year-end #1 is based on “Entry Points”, which is the 52-week rolling system, and includes Shanghai.”

Technically, at year’s end, it doesn’t matter which points are used. The Race points will have caught up to the Entry points. You can’t be #1 in one and not the other.

“It’s a crazy double system, that makes no sense to anyone other than the ATP execs. It’s the dumbest thing in the world and they should stop with that nonsense and just have one ranking.”

I suppose its purpose is to make it clear at a quick glance how much of a player’s points came from the current season. Someone might have had a poor 2008 and still be world #1 because the bulk of his points came from the latter end of 2007. Likewise, someone might be the hottest player of the year but only be ranked #3 or #4 because they didn’t have many 2007 points. It’s an important distinction, because just Entry points alone may not tell the full story.

“Theoretically, it is possible for a player to come into Shanghai #1 in the race, and come out #2 on the year.”

Looking back on this decade, this is precisely what happened in each year until Federer finished #1. In 2000-2003, going into the Year End Championships, the battle for Year End #1 was still alive, in either a two-way or three-way contest. In 2000 it was between Guga and Safin, and possibly Norman, but I’m not too clear. In 2001, Guga went in as #1 but Hewitt and Agassi had a chance to snatch it from him. Hewitt ended up taking it without dropping a match, while Guga did not win a match. In 2002, it was Hewitt and Agassi. 2003 it was Roddick, Ferrero, and Federer with a chance.

Only from 2004 onwards was the race locked up before the event even started. That just shows how Federer raised the bar. Nadal has had to keep up that standard set just to even be #1 at all.

In 2004, Federer qualified for YEC after Wimbledon, which I think was the earliest qualification ever. And he locked up the race after the US Open. That has a way of making the YEC anticlimactic since there is nothing at stake, but it’s great if you like seeing records get broken (which I do).

“That is true but only for the ‘regular’ season race and from what you said,it is clear that the trophy was for clinching this race.Thanks for clarifying what the trophy was for.I should have been more careful instead of posting without searching more on the web first.As it turns out,the only bit of web resource I looked at confused me totally.”

I don’t know what you mean by ‘regular’ season race. That trophy was for #1 in Entry points (rolling 52 week period). He has not won the champions race yet, because there is still the remote chance he fails to reach the final and Federer wins every single match for the rest of the year. The trophy was not for the 2008 race.

“I’d beg to differ on this point although this dual system definitely confuses a lot of people and to think that atp wanted to clear some confusion when they started the race!!”

I think you and I are the only ones that agree that both ranks are necessary. Well, you could drop the Race points and keep just the Ranking points, but then you’d need to dig deeper to separate this year’s points from last year’s. The race points are also what’s used for determining who qualifies for Shanghai, not the Entry points. It just makes things a lot clearer and easier to sort from the outset. It does confuse those not familiar with the system, but the ATP tries to remedy that by only listing one list on their website and not both.

Fedfan Says:

“Fed crushed Tsonga – so much for Sean Randall’s yet another incorrect pessimistic dismissive remark about federer.

Nalbandian lost early.

Sean, you should stop writing.”

So the guy got one wrong. It happens to all of us. If you have to stop writing because you got one pick wrong, then nobody would be in the business of writing. Everyone, including the biggest name ‘experts’ gets them wrong. The ATP pulled a publicity stunt contest some time back where if you correctly picked all 63 match winners in a 64 player field for Masters tournament, you are rewarded $1 million. That’s 63 matches played and you can’t get a single one wrong. If it were that easy, we’d all be millionaires, but not a single person made it past the first round without making errors.

“While Rafa has been given the trophy for clinching the race”

He hasn’t won the race!

“I have deliberately made the point/distinction about it being for the ‘regular’ season race which ends after Paris-or before Shanghai if you like it put that way- for all players except the eight who qualify for the TMC which is an additional 19th event allowed only to these eight players.”

That is the same thing. They use the same points. Nadal wins the race if he accrues enough points that even if he never wins another match and his nearest rival wins every match for the rest of the year it still won’t be enough to surpass him. Thus his lead needs to be unassailable, and right now it is not.

His trophy was for Entry ranking, not race. You may wonder why they waited until now before giving it to him. The answer is because this is the first ATP sanctioned event he has entered since he achieved #1 in Entry points. ATP events are the 9 Masters Series and the Masters Cup.

“BTW,I really admired what you had to say about the two Republican nominees’ capabilities or the lack of them.I don’t know anything about the Chicago politics/mafia but some of the other republican attacks on Obama have degenerated down to the gutter level and reflect an incredibly gross mentality.The USA-and the rest of the world-can ill-afford four more years of republican rule.”

I have to give McCain credit for looking and sounding great for a 72 year old. He looked like early-mid fifties to me. But it’s Sarah Palin that I fear. She is not fit or experienced enough for the role. And she opposes abortion even in cases of rape or incest. She chose to deliver a baby with down syndrome rather than abort it. I would have aborted it for the sake of the child, not me. And her 17 year old daughter is pregnant by the way.. no doubt as a result of her abstinence-only sex education, which doesn’t actually work. Of course mummy told Willow (or was it Twig?) not to abort it..

Hilarious facebook page here:

http://www.politico.com/blogs/anneschroeder/0908/As_a_bit_of_a_reprieve_a_fake_Sarah_Palin_Facebook_page.html


Noel Says:

Giner,

“He got it here because this is his first ATP event as the world no.1. The US Open was not an ATP event but an ITF event so they couldn’t hand it to him there. That it happens to be in Madrid in front of his home crowd is pure coincidence. If he didn’t play Madrid he would have received it in Paris instead. I was a bit confused by this myself, but I got that info from the ATP website.”

That makes a lot of sense and you are right that it really has been confusing with even the most ‘authentic’ sources giving out conflicting versions.I myself should have checked the atp site instead of the third party sources as it were. This link, http://www.atptennis.com/1/en/2008news/nadal_madridno1.asp, makes it pretty clear and my original post(9:21 pm,16th October,2008) was totally correct after all.The link MMT provided confused me totally and for some reason,I chose to go by this apparently ‘reliable’ yahoo link.Now the only way for this to be ‘justified’ was to arrive at the conclusion that this was for clinching the ‘regular’ season race even though I wasn’t totally convinced myself.Otherwise,the pieces didn’t fit in.MMT’s argument about it being beyond any other player’s reach sounded so attractive-and mathematically correct-that I jumped to that conclusion assuming that the yahoo link was providing accurate information.Hence,the distinction.You’d appreciate that I have pretty emphatically made the point-twice over- that the Race didn’t end after Paris.However,to avoid any apparent paradox or contradictory stand,I used the term ‘regular’/'normal’ season.Only such a distinction would ‘justify’ the admittedly flawed assumption about that trophy.

“Technically, at year’s end, it doesn’t matter which points are used. The Race points will have caught up to the Entry points. You can’t be #1 in one and not the other.”

While it is the case in practice,it is theoretically not impossible under certain unlikely/improbable circumstances to have some divergence and you can be number one in one and not in the other.Incredibly improbable though.However,it happens all the time for the lower-ranked players.The challenger events don’t carry any race points but they do have entry points.Many players play these events to improve their entry rank and even some of the better players play them esp if they had been injured.That is why you will find that the entry points are not always exactly five times the race points at the end of the season for some players and their race and entry ranks differ and sometimes pretty dramatically.

“ATP events are the 9 Masters Series and the Masters Cup”

TMC is a joint ITF-ATP event and ATP events are not restricted to only the nine AMS events.There are the IS and IS gold events apart from the challengers.


MMT Says:

Noel and Giner:

I stand corrected. The caption on Nadal’s photo says “ATP Race trophy”, but if you look carefully, the trophy says ATP Rankings.

And Noel, you’re also dead on about the race continuing through TMC – clearly points are awarded for it, and the year end #1 is determined based on the race, not the rankings.


Giner Says:

“TMC is a joint ITF-ATP event and ATP events are not restricted to only the nine AMS events.There are the IS and IS gold events apart from the challengers.”

If I’m not mistaken, Grand Slam is its own brand (managed by ITF probably). Masters is an ATP brand, and International Series are ITF. All of these are ATP supported obviously.

“While it is the case in practice,it is theoretically not impossible under certain unlikely/improbable circumstances to have some divergence and you can be number one in one and not in the other.Incredibly improbable though.However,it happens all the time for the lower-ranked players.The challenger events don’t carry any race points but they do have entry points.Many players play these events to improve their entry rank and even some of the better players play them esp if they had been injured.That is why you will find that the entry points are not always exactly five times the race points at the end of the season for some players and their race and entry ranks differ and sometimes pretty dramatically.”

I see. Technically you are correct then. Officially, the year end #1 is based on Race points. Realistically however, someone playing challengers or satellites is not going to be in Shanghai, much less finish #1.

On another note, I don’t like the ATP rule that the 8th place for TMC is first given to whoever is ranked 8-20 and owns a Slam in the year. The WTA don’t have that rule. If there is someone 9-20 in the race who has a Slam, but the 8th person also has a slam, then the first person is out. But if the second person was 7th going in, then the first person magically makes it in.. Also, if someone ranked 9-20 with a slam gets in, it robs the person who was 8th without a slam. They had a better year overall and deserved their place more than someone who played well in one 2 week patch.

It won’t matter this year, but the rule was invoked a few years back and Tommy Haas who finished 8th missed out to Ivanisevic. Sampras also failed to qualify because Ivanisevic took the 8th spot.


Noel Says:

Giner,

“If I’m not mistaken, Grand Slam is its own brand (managed by ITF probably). Masters is an ATP brand, and International Series are ITF. All of these are ATP supported obviously.”

ITF governs the slams,Davis cup,Olympics’ tennis event,TMC(jointly with ATP),futures etc. among other events which obviously include ladies’ events also.e.g. the fed cup.However,Futures do carry atp ranking points albeit much less than challengers.

As I said,TMC -and the world doubles championship- is a joint event and the Atp exclusively governs the AMS series,the IS(normal and gold),the challengers and the world team championships.The itf may only conduct anti-doping tests at these events.

“I see. Technically you are correct then. Officially, the year end #1 is based on Race points. Realistically however, someone playing challengers or satellites is not going to be in Shanghai, much less finish #1.”

As I said,hugely improbable but can be imagined.BTW,I remember reading somewhere that the the satellites aren’t being held anymore.

As for that TMC rule,I get the feeling the itf must have had some say in framing it since they want some importance attached to ‘their’ slams.The same applies to the doubles event also.

BTW,I liked that link you mentioned.It was very funny indeed.:)

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