Federer Flying High in Madrid; Roddick Getting Naked on Court
by Sean Randall | October 18th, 2008, 12:42 am
  • 155 Comments

Just like I told you, Roger Federer would go down to Jo Tsonga… Well, credit to Federer, who is really playing some top flight tennis this week in Madrid, where he’s basically destroyed all comers. The world No. 2 hasn’t dropped a set in three matches, beating up on Radek Stepanek, Tsonga and today in very impressive fashion handing Juan Martin Del Potro his worst loss in six months hammering the Argy 6-3, 6-3.

The win by Fed makes it three out four of players who reached the US Open semifinals to reach the Tennis Masters Madrid last four, with only Gilles Simon crashing the party.

Federer now faces Andy Murray, who destroyed my guy, Gael Monfils, this morning 6-2, 6-2 (Monfils will get him back soon enough!). From what I’ve seen of Roger this week far, I think he’s playing better now than he was when he beat Andy in the US Open final last month. And that’s not good news for Murray.

Despite what looks to be a lightning fast court, top seed Rafael Nadal survived Ernests Gulbis and then he had his way with Richard Gasquet and good buddy Feliciano Lopez. Nadal is now just one match win from officially securing the year-end No. 1 ranking, and I think he gets past Simon Saturday in front of his fans. Of course the win should set up that Fed-Rafa final, a first since their Wimbledon epic.

As for the rest of the week, I get the feeling Novak Djokovic still hasn’t recovered from his US Open PR disaster. Novak looked real shaky against Victor Hanescu and then got shown the exit by Dr. Ivo. For all his game and fury, Gulbis can’t seem to get that big win. Just like he had Andy Roddick in his clutches at the US Open, the Latvian had Nadal on the ropes before falling apart yet again.

Del Potro, despite his loss today, impresses me more and more each week. JDMP crushed countryman David Nalbandian 6-4, 6-2 in the third round.

And then there’s Andy Roddick who’s decided to go with the less is more motif in more ways than one. The American who lost to my guy Monfils Wednesday, said goodbye to his hair and he’ll soon be saying goodbye to his clothes. Roddick apparently auctioned off a tennis lesson which he will give in the nude for charity during Elton John’s Advanta World Team Tennis fundraiser last weekend. Thankfully the high bidder was a female who plunked down $15k to have Roddick drop his shorts and then teach her how not to put volleys away. At least she’ll be able to hit some balls. Unreal. Frankly, I think he’d be better off having model fiancée Brooklyn Decker take his place, but that’s just me.


Also Check Out:
Novak Djokovic: “I’m Not Getting Naked For Anybody, Except My Girlfriend”
Vera Zvonareva Gets Naked For ESPN’s Body Issue [Video]
Roddick, Fish Out Of Madrid, And Possibly Remainder Of Clay Season
Roger Federer Madrid Feature, Interview [Video]
Andy Murray Withdraws From Madrid Due To A Back Injury

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155 Comments for Federer Flying High in Madrid; Roddick Getting Naked on Court

jane Says:

Good for Andy. Why bother with clothes if you can ditch em and raise $15,000 for AIDS? I admire Roddick’s gusto and heart.

And here’s hoping the other Andy can win tomorrow. His chances are slim, of course, with Roger at close-to-top form, but someone has to cheer for the underdogs!!


mem Says:

congratulations to the final four: nadal, federer, murray, and simon. a huge round of applause for gilles simon for making the final four list. the apparent improvement in his game is great to see. he has become quite the fighter. after playing a three-setter in every match this week,he rightly deserves to be still standing among this week’s best. very impressive! anyway, I’m looking forward to two exciting semifinals. may the best men win!


Wade Says:

Man I wish I had $15k to see that mans ass while playing tennis wit him ummmmmmm. Lucky girl I have a feeling she wont be to concerned about how good her volleying will be!


Ezorra Says:

Sean…

Honestly, I don’t really like your article regarding Roddick since it doesn’t help in enhancing tennis world what so ever. To me, it just a provocative opinion to make certain people feel irritated. But hey, opinion is opinion right?

However, the rest are excellent to me…


Ezorra Says:

Besides that, I can’t see anything wrong to do charity work, no?


gulu Says:

Everyone out there beware of Nole’s return.I think he ‘ll return n do so with a bang beatin d other guys.He has everything up is slleves to rip d top ones apart.And Del Potro just nedd 2 get 2 d big stage few more times.In d beginning he may lose,but in d end he’ll start a winning streak.He was playin almost effortless tennis or at least it seemed 2 me he did so ,against Roger.Roger won it,he’s a champion of champions.Fed’ll certainly win a few big tournaments before callin it quits.But one thing is sure n dat’s Del Potro’ll beat everyone in the future.I’d lov 2 see him reaching d peak of tennis. He’s a super youngster!And same goes true 4 Murray as well.Andy Murray lost 2 Rafa n beat him,he was losin badly 2 Nole too but he beat him.He lost U.S. Open 2008 to Roger,but he’ll beat Roger in the future too.Afer all Murray has no major weakness!He might b d succesor to the legendary ‘FRED PERRY’! I m not goin out of way to claim dat Murray’s goin 2 b a multiple grand slam winner,but he’s definitely capabl of winning more than one slam.I wish him all the best 4 his future.I also wish Del Potro the very best!Go Del Potro,u will be my guy in d near future apart from Murray!Go young guns,climb d everest of tennis! :-)


Lenny Says:

oooh, THAT’s a tennis lesson i’d love to have ;)


Tag Says:

i think Roddick is a crazy, whacked out guy, looking only for free publicity. I am quite sure, he might be carrying $15000 kind of money in his wallet. Where’s the need to go nude to raise that kind of money, ridiculous and pathetic — attention mongering – that waht he is doing..


gulu Says:

Sean ,again I request u 2 b kind n good enough towards me n other Roger fans by refrainin from predictin Fed’s victory her in Madrid masters! I know it very well dat often if not always ,d guy u pick 2 win loses d match! For exampl Wimbledon 2008. ;-)


gulu Says:

Sean ,hope u won’t disappoint me n keep my request! ;-)


gulu Says:

By the way I don’t wanna offend Sean,ok? :-) So don’t take my request in a wrong sense.


mel Says:

sean i dont like to gloat…but well…haha you got it wrong again against fed….he beat tsonga and destroyed del potro…u still think he’s done already?


Daniel Says:

Wow!! Fed is playing his best tennis all year! Just cut some few errors and his is close to his old self.

Murray as always is trying to beat Fed in his own game (a lot of variaty), but he lacks some go for winner shots.


Daniel Says:

Btw, Fed is using the short forehand with angle perfectly, just as he did yesterday!


Daniel Says:

Murray serve is very effective. He won so far 100 % points with first serve in second set. Impressive!


Kimmi Says:

Oooooooh Nooooooo ! Federer lost. But credit to Murray. Never seen him Serve like this, Fed could not read the serve. Congrants to Murray. He will now win whole thing. Nadal no chance.


Colin Says:

Well, holy breakpoints, Batman! Murray beat the Fed.
The next thing to consider is – assuming Nadal now beats Simon, just how fit will Rafa be for the final?


zola Says:

Just saw the rnd of Murray-Fed match. Sorry all Fed fans, my dear gulu, Nacho F, Kimmi and Sean of course…..
Fed was playing better than US Open. So this is scary performance from Murray. Maybe next year can be Murray’s year.I imagine he served very wee. He had 14 aces to Fed’s 7!
congratulations to all Murray fans here, especially Jane.


Kimmi Says:

I really respect Murray’s game. He is been trying to be consistent for a long time. Things seem to be coming together now. Everybody will be weary of murray now. Fed serve was not effective today and i think its because of murray returns. Well… federer try again Paris and hope for the Djoker on your half of the draw.


gulu Says:

Dear Zola,it’s so nice of u to console me. Well I m not all upset about Fed’s loss. :-o But can u tel how many unforcederrors Fed did? Was it more than 30 U.E.? If ur ans is yes,then I m afraid Fed gotta work on it or else he can’t beat big players ! :-l


HBK Says:

Murray has proven himself a formidable opponent and will win the final, if he can control his nerves. He made Federer pay for some mistakes at crucial junctures. Fed was not aggressive enough in the last couple of games. He will surely keep this in mind next time, not to overlook Murray’s endurance and youthful tenacity, not downshift those gears, and change his transmission fluid if possible. Andy’s groundstrokes are penetrating well and his ball-striking is generally aggressive. The surface is working well for him. Murray can beat either Rafa or Gilles. Control your nerves, Andy. Take good care of that knee, please.


Kimmi Says:

Hi Gulu. I am new posting here. And I am fed fan..I am sad federer lost but I give credit to Murray, I think he did well. He was very aggresive and forced federer to make wrong decisions sometimes. And the Andy serve was sublime. I thought fed did not have easy aces on important points, like he usually have. But murray played well. he had more chances on the third set and i thought if he carries on to create the chances he will eventually break. And he did in the end.


Dave B Says:

I watched the “IC” match Karlo v. Djok and though I was happy Karlo won Djok seemed to be in a daze. Is somthing wrong with ? other than being a jerk?


grendel Says:

Several thoughts come to mind following Murray’s win. Federer seemed to be coasting up to when he was serving at 1-2, second set and at 40-15 he indulged himself with an unnecessary drop shot – and Murray was in. Just that little drop in concentration – a result, I presume, of complacency, for Murray had not hitherto done himself justice. Amazing error of judgement from such a generally excellent strategist.

After that, you have to say, it was all Murray. Federer showed his usual courage, saving plenty of break points, in particular coming back from 0-40 to win his service game. But even here, the long term significance undoubtedly lies with Murray’s reaction; he might have thought, oh shit, here we go, you can’t really beat this man once he digs in. Instead, he drew on that inner fortitude which plenty of people have wished to deny he possessed.

I have to admit, Jane showed some insight when she questioned Federer’s forehand. Time and again, it let him down today. This hurt him in all sorts of ways. For instance, Murray serving in the final set at 3-4, 15-30 down, Federer manoeuvring well, sets himself up to finish the rally and gain himself a break point – and he hoists the ball over the baseline, a kind of meaningless, novice error almost. Fed shook his head sadly – he knew the meaning of that miss. But the important thing is, he couldn’t really trust himself on it – thus he hands the iniative to Murray, who of course is a master tactician and understands exactly what is going on. Peering through the gloom, one can discern a possible source of optimism: Fed’s forehand will surely come back at some point, at least from time to time.

Everyone who delights in Federer’s game enjoys his fluidity. I saw today that this can be confused with his exceptional gifts with the racket. For the fact is, we have seen this week in particular – but the evidence was always there – that Murray’s tennis gifts are on a par with Federer’s. But he is not at all fluid, looks almost awkward at times. Yet he has tennis genius, imo, up there with Federer at his best.

Finally, I have always immensely admired Federer’s serve, feeling it was comparable with Sampras’ – and what was so special about this excellence, in my eyes anyway, was that it was achieved without the benefit of being really fast. But today, we saw Murray not exactly dismantle Fed’s serve, but certainly take away its sting. Now it is true that Murray is a fabulous returner – alright, after today, you have to say up there with Nalbandian or even beyond – but could he have treated Sampras’s serve like that? I highly doubt it – that extra speed just prohibits it, one would have thought. And then, look at Muuray’s serve – hugely more effective than Federer’s today. The placement every bit as good, but just so much faster. Admittedly, Federer wasn’t getting the aces he normally gets – but how much was that due to to Murray’s anticipation? I leave that for those with better eyes than mine to answer.

I had a feeling of the changing of the guard, today, much more than with Nadal. I secretly hoped Fed could get back his #1 status – it is surely foolish to think that now. What Fed fans have to hope is that every now and then, Federer can take us on a trip through memory land – and hopefully, that that will coincide with winning a grand slam. That seems to me not an impossible dream.


HBK Says:

Dave B.,
Did you see the way Novak rested his head on Ivo’s chest when hugging him at the net?
It was a sweet moment.
“Ivo, will you be my friend?”


gulu Says:

Congrats Von dear, Murray won or in other words Murray tamed Fed . You can also say dat the British lion feasted on some delicious Swiss GOAT! :-( :-l :-o :-) ;-) . Many congrats to u too Jane.
Your Murray won! N hey, u r smilin too?! :-)


Kimmi Says:

Grendel, I like your assesment. Your spot on. I also think fed did not hit thru the ball. especially his forehand side, he was very tentative. the forehand cross court at 5 5, duece, he missed by millimeters. gave murray breakpoint. that must have hurt. But all in all murray on this form is very dangerous.


gulu Says:

Hello Kimmi ! Welcome to this site! :-) I m so happy 2 know dat u r a Fed fan! We r gonna get along very well.I m not exactly sad,but worried about d unforced errors by Fed.I went 2 RF.com n found that they wer all lamenting d 44 U.E.s by Fed!


Kimmi Says:

Nadal with his cake walk draw is cruising. Takes first set with 2 breaks. Looks like it will go the same in second set. I bet his cake walk will end tomorrow. Its a pity that it had to wait until the final.


sensationalsafin Says:

As much as I wanted Federer to win, I’m not too upset. This was clearly a clash between 2 of the top players playing some great tennis and Murray happened to edge Federer out. Federer’s still playing well and, perhaps on another day, Federer would’ve been the one with the win. I hope Murray takes Nadal out tomorrow.


gulu Says:

The most dangerous trait of Murray is his mental strength. In the matches,e.g. in this year’s Wimbledon or in today’s match,
he can come from behind 2 win an important match.He’s a terror-strikin player. He may go on to do great things 4 British ppl !


Kimmi Says:

Little Simon started to play well on the socond set, he is giving nadal a run here. hope he takes the match to the decider.


mem Says:

good job, andy! I’m waiting for someone to say that federer’s lost was due to the effects of mono. you guys, are just too serious with this federer fanaticism. lighten up! I don’t understand why there are those who has categorized federer as the, “greatest of all time”, but yet, they seem to get angry and make excuses when he is challenged by other players, i.e. nadal. how can greatness be measured if a player is not challenged? you win some, you lose some. that’s the nature of the sport.


Kimmi Says:

mem: The loss today has nothing to do with mono. Murray played well. But i still think A LOT of federers loses this year was due to mono.


gulu Says:

Most of us feel that it’s time 2 relish Roger v. Rafa and also Rafa v. Nole. I also hope that these rivalries continue 4 some more time. But d real feelin at d moment 4 me is dat d future’s set for Murray v. Del Potro .


Daniel Says:

Murray played the best two sets (last two) I have ever seen him pay. Just fantastic, his serve was better than Fed’s. If he can sustain this leve of serve he wil be n. 1 before Djoko!

Zola, I was proven wrong. What I test Simon is giving Rafa right now?! :)
These two along with Murray has the best defense in tennis.
I wish Simon could win the whole thing so he can qualify for Shangai. But the match I want to see is Nadal x Murray! This semis are awesome!! High quality tennis.


gulu Says:

mem,try to be more sensitive to other’s feelings.I dare say to u that I clearly remember another word which is linked with another player and his fans.Wanna know what dat word is?Then listen, it is Rafanaticism n some Rafa fans who are unfortunately Fed haters lov to be addressed by this name.No offence intended towards Rafa fans here.So we hav Rogerholism,Rafanaticism,Nolism n Andymonium to deal with.So better deal with it!And lastly,u could not hav chosen a better time to hurt Roger fans’ sentiments.What if some ppl r too passionat about Roger?If Fed’s not ur favourite player it’s ok.Yet u r nobody to test our lov n passion 4 Roger.Yes we lov Roger,we danc in his joy,celebrat in our heart his victories,we also shed tears to see him losing,we get upset when he struggles to play well,it’s emotions ,it’s humane nature.So pleas don’t again try 2 say inappropriate things in n inappropriate time.


Kiwi Says:

I believe i hear someone call Simon boring here? Ridiculous.

Another think, people like to make prognosis based on one match. Murray serve was helped by the Madrid thin air…one reason why Karlo normaly does well here. Once it’s back to normal conditions, you won’t be seeing this movie again anytime soon.


Kimmi Says:

Oooooh Nooo. Simon miss backhand winner when serving 4 match. Damn…nadal is lucky


Kimmi Says:

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW ! SIMON..another remacable comeback. hats off for this guy. Is nadal # 1 or it has to wait ?


mem Says:

gulu, I respect your opinion! nevertheless, I stand by what I said. anyway, great match! hats off to simon. he deserves all the credit. he outplayed nadal today. as always, great effort from rafa! good luck to simon in the final.


jane Says:

Three cheers for the underdogs!!


mem Says:

Kimmi, nadal is still #1. in fact, when the new rankings come out on monday, his ranking points will increase by 100 pts, and federer’s will decrease by 125, because federer made it to the final last year, but nadal made it to the quarterfinals. since they both made it to the semis this year, they each will receive 45 atp race points. The new ranking will probably look something like this:nadal-7100 and federer-5805. the atp race status will be: nadal-1310 and federer-966.


jane Says:

Thanks to those of you (gulu, zola) who are happy for us few Murray fans. I know most people here wanted Fed to win, but just be happy because he dealt his way through a very difficult draw this week and showed flashes of his brilliance. He will still be a top contender next year.

After Djoko’s loss, he commented that he is working on physical strength and he had this to say about himself as compared to Roger:

“”My game is based on the baseline, so I’m running all over the court, stretching, with quick moves, putting a lot of pressure on the body,” he said.
With Federer, in contrast, “it’s just beautiful to watch the way he plays, the way everything goes with ease.”"

This does seem true, and as grendel points out above, in contrast to Fed’s movement, Murray almost looks a bit geeky. But by god is he quick nonetheless! I don;t think he’s going to get to the ball but he does. And then those wonderful hands of his! They remind me a bit of Johnny Mac’s, a kind of effortless flick of the wrist and the ball just listens.

Simon, well, he has a lot of heart to out-heart Rafa. And I am, admittedly, happy that he won too. Rafa’s secured number 1, so let there be a couple more fellas in the conversation. I just love it, this depth, variety and potential in the game right now. All smiles today :-)

Grendel, thanks for giving me a little credit for the forehand comment; I have watched so many players lose to Roger, and believe-me-you, I have paid close attention to why, while wondering how they might strategize to beat him the next time. There is no discernible pattern, as I pointed out yesterday, but contrary to what many think, the forehand does seem to be occasionally vulnerable, if a player puts some pressure on it.

One last comment for Dave B – I know you don’t care for Novak but I’ll respond nonetheless; I have read elsewhere that there are some issues going on in his family, so that might be bugging him since they seemed so tight-knit; then there is the past hang up from the USO that still might be playing on his mind. So probably he’s in a bit of a slump, though losing to Dr. Ivo the way he did is nothing to really be ashamed of. Anyhow…

Go Murray – WIN the TITLE!


Kimmi Says:

Thanks mem for clarifying, but my question was actually meant for year end # 1. The atp site says he had one more match or something like this. So I was wondering if he actually clinch the year end # 1 or does it wait until paris ? i know no one can catch him now, fed loosing today and not playing stockholm gave him no chance.


gulu Says:

Kimmi,seems u r a die-hard Fed-fan lik me! :-) But I guess Nadal losin is important for Fed-fans so that Fed’s hope of regaining the year end no.1 from Rafa alive.But it’s too late now! And most importantly we r left with no other option but 2 accept dat Nadal n not Federer is the player of the year 2008. The ranking points r not gonna matter at all.Rafa won French Open on clay,Wimbledon d next month on grass(may hav beaten Fed in Wimby in 3 sets if the rain had not interferred,we and we can’t say nay to this) and finally won d Olympics singles title on hard court,where surface is d same as d U.S.Open.This makes it amply clear that there was only one player in 2008 who could hav been called as the best and that’s Rafael Nadal. But d silver lining in d dark clouds 4 Fed fans this year is that Fed in spite of not being at his best has won a slam.This is a firm slap on the Fed critics who had started claiming that Fed’s all but finished.So don’t worry ,be happy! Smiles 4 u. :-0 :-) ;-) …..


Von Says:

gulu:

I left this post on the other thread, but I’m posting here just in the event you didn’t see it there.

Hi gulu:

Thank you for your smiles and congratulatory good wishes. I’m so sorry your Rogi lost, but I’m smiling because one of my Andys is playing in the final, and the Brits have another hero. At least this way your Rogi’s H2H against Nadal is status quo. It could have been worse if he had lost to nadal tomorrow. It’s taken a long time for the Brits to end their tennis drought, but it’s slowly happening, and I’m so happy for them. they’re my people too! :P Maybe Murray will win the ’09 OZ, and then they can truly clelbrate their Champion. He’ll keep the good ol Union Jack a flyin’. !! :P

I wanted for either Murray or your Rogi to win the final, but I also wanted for Murray to have a USO rematch against Nadal. Anyway, this is just as good. I doubt whether Simon will have a lot left in reserves to really challenge Murray, we’ll see. My picks are a little off. I picked Karlovic to win yesterday and to lose to Nadal today, and then Nadal , who would have lost to your Rogi or my Andy tomorrow, but that didn’t happen. I also want for the race at the top to remain close, so both Nadal and Fed losing in the SF is still keeping it close. Their losses have even helped Djoko to remain closer made the difference between Murray and Djoko even closer. everybody is a winner now, because they’ve remained somewhat status quo. WOW, what a scenario next year is going to be at the OZ. I can’t wait. So dear gulu, mon ami, here’s to your Rogi coming back stronger in Bercy and the TMC, which will be a firecraclker TMC, due to the new faces that will be playing there, and hopefully, he’ll remain at No. 2 and not go lower. Tennis is becoming very exciting again, and it’s absolutely wonderful for the fans. Here’s my usual complement of smiles for you dear gulu to brighten your day and lift up your spirits because I know you must be a little upset over your Rogi’s loss. Don’t worry, be happy, and keep the faith. :P :D :) :( :o

_____________
jane:

Our guy did it! Now the race at the top is closer and more exciting. It’s absolutely, scrumptiously mahvellouz dahling, absolutely mahhh-velll-ooo-uuu-zzzz. :P


jane Says:

Von – :-) Whoo-hoo!


Kimmi Says:

Like the way federer struggles with nadals game, I think nadal will always struggle with people with steady two handed backhand ie Murray, Simon. Murray and Simon seem to have the same kind of game, they only attack after really working the point. play from baseline very deep, good returners and very consistent from the baseline. Djoko also has beutiful 2 handed backhand but he plays a little different. I think he has a tendency of hitting the ball too hard all time, which makes him use a lot of energy, eventually will catch up with him after sometime. Djoko seem to be working more than murray and simon for example. So to improve his fitness will maybe mean play with great tactics. i don’t think he can be as fit as nadal…nadal is exceptional… not so may people can have his fitness. Simon is good but is lacking the fire power. Murray..well.. Murray movement is the best out there, and he knows how to anticipate what shot will come to him, he is always there with plenty of time to spare. I have always enjoyed watching murray strategies. I remember watching him play with wawrinka at US open 08 in 4th round i think. he played that match so clever, wawrinka throw everything. Ofcourse everyone saw the match with nadal at us open. Great tactician murray, he definetly got great future. If he can play this well at wimbledon, this will be big for him and will definetly changed his life in a big way.


Noel Says:

Grendel,

“Federer seemed to be coasting up to when he was serving at 1-2, second set and at 40-15 he indulged himself with an unnecessary drop shot – and Murray was in. Just that little drop in concentration – a result, I presume, of complacency, for Murray had not hitherto done himself justice. Amazing error of judgement from such a generally excellent strategist.”

I’d not use the word ‘coast’ because Fed had to play at a high level to take that first set.While Murray hadn’t done himself justice, it was only because he was denied to do so.Murray can reach very high levels but he didn’t play badly at all in the first set imo.Fed was just a touch better.I agree that the drop shot was uncalled for and matches can turn on such seemingly-at the time of viewing- harmless error of judgement or lapse in concentration.However,I beg to differ on Fed being an excellent strategist or tactician but it probably is a bit off-topic and we can talk about it some other time.

“After that, you have to say, it was all Murray. Federer showed his usual courage, saving plenty of break points, in particular coming back from 0-40 to win his service game. But even here, the long term significance undoubtedly lies with Murray’s reaction; he might have thought, oh shit, here we go, you can’t really beat this man once he digs in. Instead, he drew on that inner fortitude which plenty of people have wished to deny he possessed.”

The second set definitely was all Murray’s thereafter.I think he didn’t lose any point on his first serve in that set.No doubt,he played very well to win the match after that and esp after losing some golden opportunities to break Fed’s serve.However,the third set –as much as the first-showed some signs that he is not yet totally comfortable with forcing the issue.That is why I still prefer to call him a work in progress. As scary as it might sound for his rivals.Of course,it could well be interpreted as playing safe or waiting for Fed to make errors since Fed has been making them for quite some time now.It has worked for Andy in the past but it is a dangerous ploy esp in best of three matches which can get over in a jiffy.He won’t be serving-and returning-at such a high level in every match against the top players.Make no mistake,I am a big fan of his ‘complicated’ style of play but it can get a bit too complicated for his own good at times.
As for his mental fortitude,I always used to get the feeling that he had a temperament issue but he was -still is- so young that I always expected that it’d be resolved sooner than later.Motivation is not an issue.At least, no longer now.I know for sure that he knows he is a special talent and he is hugely ambitious going by his statements.His physical fitness has improved considerably and once he improves that second serve and fh,he will be pretty much ready to dominate the quicker surfaces.

“I have to admit, Jane showed some insight when she questioned Federer’s forehand. Time and again, it let him down today. This hurt him in all sorts of ways. For instance, Murray serving in the final set at 3-4, 15-30 down, Federer manoeuvring well, sets himself up to finish the rally and gain himself a break point – and he hoists the ball over the baseline, a kind of meaningless, novice error almost. Fed shook his head sadly – he knew the meaning of that miss. But the important thing is, he couldn’t really trust himself on it – thus he hands the iniative to Murray, who of course is a master tactician and understands exactly what is going on. Peering through the gloom, one can discern a possible source of optimism: Fed’s forehand will surely come back at some point, at least from time to time.”

Fed’s fh has been misfiring for some time now.I think midway through the third set, they showed 23 UEs from him on the fh side alone.Admittedly,some of them were forced ones but classified as unforced.Even then,that is a big number but you have put it very nicely w.r.t. the important implication.He couldn’t really trust himself on it.That was such a horrible miss at 15-30 on Andy’s serve that I ‘d probably call it the turning point of the match in a way esp because Andy was serving his first serves so well.Which brings me to the point of whether he was tactically astute going for that fh when he was off-balance on the run.It was a HUGE moment of the match imo.He pretty much lost the plot after being up 0-30 and I think he was in a position to win points at least thrice thereafter in that game.A Rafa would have nailed it in a similar situation.

I do agree that Andy is a master tactician and generally tweaks his tactics-if he needs to- very well during a match.Rafa is very good too at thinking on the feet.

As for Fed’s floundering fh,It is a chronic ailment requiring some serious treatment.I’d still like to believe that it is a movement and/or court-positioning-for-the-shot issue but these shanks are getting so ugly that a bigger racquet head seems to be the only way out imho although who knows what other issues the shift could lead to?

“Yet he has tennis genius, imo, up there with Federer at his best.”

I don’t know if I can still say that his tennis genius is comparable to Fed’s at his best but he is surely one hell of a player and who knows,one day he might even surpass Fed.After all,Andy’s best is yet to come and I actually think we are still a year or so away from his absolute prime.2010 could be the year when he comes totally in to his own.
If simply finding a way to win a match is concerned,we can’t deny Rafa’s genius either.

“Finally, I have always immensely admired Federer’s serve, feeling it was comparable with Sampras’ – and what was so special about this excellence, in my eyes anyway, was that it was achieved without the benefit of being really fast.”

I’d differ big time w.r.t. comparison with Pete’s serve.That was WAY better esp his second serve.One couldn’t read or pick it easily.Pete’s game revolved around that serve.Take that brilliant serve out and he becomes a relatively average player.His serve was the main factor behind his confidence and what it did to his psychology vis a vis his opponents’.Fed’s serve has been broken in the past too and far too often for a top player like him but he was good enough to get numerous breaks himself because of a WAY superior all-round game as compared to Pete’s.Now he doesn’t seem to be able to break as often although he is still creating opportunities. I agree though that it is a very good serve considering the slow speed.

“But today, we saw Murray not exactly dismantle Fed’s serve, but certainly take away its sting. Now it is true that Murray is a fabulous returner – alright, after today, you have to say up there with Nalbandian or even beyond – but could he have treated Sampras’s serve like that? I highly doubt it – that extra speed just prohibits it, one would have thought. And then, look at Muuray’s serve – hugely more effective than Federer’s today. The placement every bit as good, but just so much faster. Admittedly, Federer wasn’t getting the aces he normally gets – but how much was that due to to Murray’s anticipation? “

Andy definitely returned well but Fed didn’t serve as well in the last two sets as in the first.He just couldn’t get access to his t full repertoire esp the slice/slider wide on both wings but esp in the deuce court.Now, it could well be that Andy’s return capabilities forced Fed to go for a bit more on his first serves and certainly to go more for the lines resulting in a lower percentage.Normally one assumes that the serve is something one can control totally but one’s approach towards it does get affected by the reputation of the returner who, in this case,happens to be the best in the business.(I am glad that you concede Andy’s superiority over Nalby in this department :) )This is where Fed must rue the lack of extra speed even on an occasional basis.Andy-and Nalby-would have found it difficult to return so well vs Pete.We will never know for sure but even Agassi had trouble dealing with Pete’s serves on many occasions although Safin and esp Hewitt did destroy his serve in two straight USO finals in 2000 and 2001.
Andy shocked me with his first serves esp in the last two sets.His down-the –T serves were quite unbelievable esp in the deuce court.I have said before that his returns are better than his serve but on today’s evidence,I probably will think twice before saying that again.

“.I had a feeling of the changing of the guard, today, much more than with Nadal. I secretly hoped Fed could get back his #1 status – it is surely foolish to think that now. What Fed fans have to hope is that every now and then, Federer can take us on a trip through memory land – and hopefully, that that will coincide with winning a grand slam. That seems to me not an impossible dream.”

I agree that I haven’t really felt strongly in the past that Fed was threatened by Rafa because Rafa had been around for a while and he wasn’t as good as Fed on the harder surfaces.After all,the season has many more hc events than clay or grass events.However,I did get the feeling that Fed’s hard court monopoly days were numbered when Nole simply out muscled him to win Montreal last year.That feeling has been reinforced this year with so many of the ‘newer’ generation players doing well.This shrinking-a veritable invasion if you will- of Fed’s hc space/territory-alongwith Rafa’s admittedly brilliant play- has helped Rafa overtake Fed.In the case of hc,you probably are right that it appears to be a changing of the guard although it has been in the making for a while.All of this actually helps Rafa because I think he will continue to dominate clay and grass and do well enough on hc to retain the top rank for a while.Most players of the new bunch are not as good on clay -and to a lesser extent on grass- although Murray will be a big Wimby threat next year.Unless Rafa’s clay-grass space is seriously threatened,he will have it relatively easy.It’d be a miracle if Fed were to go on and beat Pete’s 286 weeks now.Getting back the number one rank really appears highly unlikely.That occasional trip through the memory lane is all-at least on the basis of this year’s evidence- that we can hope for now.A slam is still not an unrealistic proposition though primarily because it is a best of five format and he is normally very motivated at the majors.


Von Says:

Good gutsy job by that brashy Nebraskan/Texan/New Yorker, Andy Roddick!!!! It takes a special kind of individual with panache, savoire faire and guts, to have one’s locks shorn and appear bottomless, in public to give a tennis lesson for charity. Ohh-la-la, what a rear view sight. Go A-Rod, there won’t be another like you. And to those who don’t like him, well, to each his own.


mem Says:

kimmi, I read an article after nadal’s lost today that stated that rafa has clinched the year-end #1 position. I guess one of the scenarios was that if federer loses before the final, and nadal gets to the semis, he would clinched the year-end #1. So, the answer is yes, he will remain #1 into next year.


Von Says:

“Djoko seem to be working more than murray and simon for example. So to improve his fitness will maybe mean play with great tactics. i don’t think he can be as fit as nadal…nadal is exceptional… not so may people can have his fitness.”

Djoko’s game is not as smooth as Fed’s that’s true, and he’s not as good a tactician as Murray is, but he has a great all-court game. Unfortunately for this young man to be consistent, his physical and mental health will have to improve about 40 percent above his current state, and if he can do that, we’ll see a more consistent athlete.

Presently tennis is veering away from a one-man domination to several players playing at a high level, and we will see upsets along the way, because none of them are going to be what Federer was in his 4 dominant years — Fed was the exception to the rule. Fed has supplied the benchmark to which the present players should adhere, if they want to be fierce and consistent competitors. However, it will be a tall order for any one player to fill his shoes and/or meet those requirements. He’s was a one of a kind tennis player for 4 years. We won’t see that happening again, but, it’s a good thing, because the predictabilty mind-set of fans is slowly dwindling, and no longer can we look at a draw when Fed’s name appears and pick him out as the winner. The same will apply to Nadal, except for the time being on clay, where he’s the dominant force, but that will change slowly, and I daresay in ’09 we may witness some of Nadal’s clay dominance fading. He’s been dominating clay for 4 years, as long as Fed has dominated all other surfaces, save for clay. That said, I believe Nadal will slowly be moving toward being less dominant on his favorite surface. But only time will tell. As the younger players begin maturing we’ll see more variety and also too, less domination by just one or two players at the top, but a stronger top 10-20 field emerging. This is so good for the fans.


NachoF Says:

Von Says:
“Djoko’s game is not as smooth as Fed’s”
“none of them are going to be what Federer was” “Fed was the exception to the rule.”
“Fed has supplied the benchmark to which the present players should adhere”
“He’s was a one of a kind tennis player for 4 years. We won’t see that happening again”

Agreed completely! :)


Kimmi Says:

Von says:
“The same will apply to Nadal, except for the time being on clay, where he’s the dominant force, but that will change slowly, and I daresay in ‘09 we may witness some of Nadal’s clay dominance fading”

Yes, I very much hope for this to happen. Nadal 08 domination of clay has been the best compared to all other 3 years. It is actually scary thinking about this. The way he demolish the field does not look like he will struggle soon. Here is me hoping that this happen so that us funs can enjoy the tennis.


Von Says:

Noel:

“Fed’s fh has been misfiring for some time now.I think midway through the third set, they showed 23 UEs from him on the fh side alone.Admittedly,some of them were forced ones but classified as unforced.Even then,that is a big number but you have put it very nicely w.r.t. the important implication.He couldn’t really trust himself on it.”

Fed’s forehand has been misfiring since ’07 and became more visible from the ’08 OZ to the present time. Some claim it’s timing; I say it’s a nervous reaction. If we look closely at the matches he plays where he’s not facing a fierce competitor, his FH is pretty tame; but when he’s being pushed, his FH becomes errant, which to me translates to nerves, as was very evident in the clay season — he’s definitely nervous when he faces Nadal, without a doubt. The fallibility of Fed’s FH will only change if he can control his nerves, but that’s hardly likely now that there’s a Pavlov’s Bell ringing in his subconscious when he’s pushed by those players, who are are known only to him, save Nadal, who is definitely known to create that nervous problem on clay. However, there’s now an additional surface that’s problematic for Fed against Nadal and that’s grass. In addition to the foregoing, one other factor that will become more acute for Fed’s nerves/FH is the emergence of Murray and the younger players. Granted, some of the younger players might fade, but the stronger/consistent ones will definitely cause Fed some anxiety = aberrant FH.


Von Says:

NachoF:

“Agreed completely!”

Don’t tell me I’ve said something that has made you happy? Oh, I’m thrilled! How many empanadas are you sending me (virtual ones).? I know how you feel today. Been there, done that. I’ve had a rocky road following my guy, but all good things slowly fade away. Keep the faith. :P As Yogi Berra always said, “It ain’t over, till it’s over”, and Fed’s not over yet. :D


Von Says:

Kimmi:

“Yes, I very much hope for this to happen. Nadal 08 domination of clay has been the best compared to all other 3 years. It is actually scary thinking about this.”

As I see it, the top players in each era usually have one rip-roaring year in their best years. It’s their best ever year, and I firmly believe that this (’08) was Nadal’s rip-roaring year. However, (and I’m looking at this objectively) I don’t see Nadal duplicating this year again. He could prove me wrong, but I strongly doubt it. He was not crisp at the USO, and presently he’s lost some more of that crispness, hence, in view of what I’m seeing, I’d say we’ll see it more amplified at Bercy and the TMC. Nadal’s momentum is definitely shifting, but only time will tell.


Kimmi Says:

Von I have always enjoyed reading your posts. Your views have been top notch. Lets hope you are correct. cant wait for ’09 season.

I thought today was a strange match for Rafa. Rafa seem to not been able to attack Simon. Sometimes he looked like he did not know what to do. Stats says he had 22 break chances, and he convented 5 only ..22 !! thats a lot. Apart from an error here and there, i thought Nadal actually played well and was consistent. Nadal lost today because Simon outplayed him. I thought he was attacking more in Toronto, cincy, olympics. but could not do that today. maybe because Simon balls where too deep….I am a federer fan and I feel very happy when nadal loses..Like Murray, Simon won himself a lot of fans today and I am one of them.


zola Says:

mem,

that’s true. Rafa will be the no 1 for 2008 even if he doesn’t play one single match till end of the year.

Great match for Simon. I hope he has enough in the tank for tomorrow. Murray is great too. A win by either will be good. RAfa and Fed can go and rest a bit and get ready for 2009.


gulu Says:

Let the whole world challenge Fed,but he’ll cement his name alongside players of the caliber of Laver,Borg n Sampras! He’ll definitely b remembered as the player who had mastery on all surfaces and was an ideal champion.But most of all Roger’d b remembered 4 his legendary dominance of men’s tennis ! Even if in future the Almighty sends a more dominant player to play tennis,he’d fail to erase Roger’s saga from people’s mind.Roger Federer, I think by the time he retires,would hav become immortal in tennis history!


gulu Says:

May I join the list of Simon fans too? ;-) Oh my british friend Andy Murray,u too hav place in my own heart,in fact maximum area occupied by u after Federer n Rod!


grendel Says:

Noel:

I feel honoured that you use my post as a means of putting forward your own very interesting and knowledgeable comments.

I’ll just come back on a few of your points. About the strategy thing: yet again I’ve been caught out in sloppy thinking. Yes, Federer is an instinctive player rather than a reflective one. What I really meant, but was too lazy to think it through, is that he is very experienced, and is perfectly well aware of the importance of not counting your chickens etc – and furthermore, is one of the few players who has the ability to stay concentrated for long periods.

“However,the third set –as much as the first-showed some signs that he [Murray] is not yet totally comfortable with forcing the issue”. Absolutely – he very nearly allowed Federer back in against – imo – the run of play. The important thing is, he didn’t (with a bit of help from Federer); maybe this is a maturing process, and this match will have helped Murray no end.

“..when he was off balance on the run..” Again, I am justly corrected. We are agreed that the point was huge, but I had said the error was a novice one – and yet I was aware that the shot, simple if taken more or less standing, was made tricky by the act of running forward; I recall holding my breath as he hit the bloody thing, wondering just where it was going to go. I can’t account, then, for my comment – except, perhaps, I had unconsciously in mind much more difficult winners hit on the run; we are betrayed by our memories, which cast people in stone – forgetting that they move on, and sometimes not for the better.

About the Sampras serve – yes, I was asking for a rap on the fingers, although I might deliver a gentle one to you, too, Sampras’ game in general was more effective than you seem to allow. However, what I had in mind, is that when Fed was serving at his best, it was just about as remarkable as Sampras’, particularly given that he didn’t have the bonus of speed. But: a) his second serve of course was nowhere near Sampras and b) his period of truly great serving (he is still one of the best, of course) didn’t last that long. Sampras, on the contrary, can still serve at his near best; he claimed this himself last year, and the exhos bear him out so people say (I didn’t see them).

“As for Fed’s floundering fh,It is a chronic ailment requiring some serious treatment”. I like the way you put this. It is barely intelligible, because there is no consistency. It’s not as if it’s gone completely. The forehand which earned him the break point which, if taken, would have had him serving for the Wimbledon Crown, was as majestic as any from the great years – and at what a critical moment, that’s the point. Against del Potro, there were some encouraging signs. It’s as if when he is relaxed, instinct takes over and the old fh kicks into play. And who is to say what induces relaxation – it might, contrary to anything one would normally think, ensue as a by product of great danger and great opportunity- eg, that Wimbledon shot. None of us really knows, there are so many variables to complex behaviour that we’re all struggling in the dark to understand.

Just a thought: because Federer is such an instinctive player, who knows, maybe on some important occasions, when everyone has given up on him, Federer will suddenly carry the day, brandishing a glorious forehand that everyone thought was confined to the video tapes.


gulu Says:

I must say this site is full of artists!Roger’s just one artist,but here we’v got numerous artists whose works are always interesting.


Von Says:

Kimmi:

Thank you for your kind words. Oh my, then you know that I’m always battling with someone because I’m very controversial. I need to be more careful in the future. Nah, that will change my personality, and I won’t let that happen. Tell me something, are you the same Kimmi from Tennis Planet? If you are, then welcome, and I hope you’ll remain here, well, go there, but come here too, because we’d love to have you join us. :P I love to read the articles at TP, for laughs, and I love humour. Some of the articles there are downright hilarious and some of the posters too. I don’t usually read the posts, but I’ve seen your name (Kimmi’s), posting there, and yes, that Kimmi is a big-time Fed fan. I don’t post there, because it’s mainly a Fed forum per se, and being a Roddick/Murray/Safin/Querrey fan they’ll probably stone me. :D

Yes, I absolutely feel ’09 is going to be one crazy and fantastic tennis year and we the fans, will be the lucky recipients of all that good stuff going on with the players. Many present day sports fans feel tennis is boring, but tennis is about to have its break-out year too. Unfortunately, Fed and the other guys, Roddick, Davydenko, Blake, Gonzalez and Nalbandian are approaching their dusk/pre-twilight years, and we their fans, will have to change/lower our expectations for them. They’ll still win, but not as often, (and Fed won’t dominate as in the past) and when they do, we’ll have to enjoy them even more, simultaneously embracing the realism that all good things come to an end some time, which translates to their subsequently becoming more precious. Thankfully, it won’t be a sudden drop, but one that will be weaning. Please God.

I haven’t been able to watch the matches in depth. Over the last few days, I’ve been embroiled in a romantic interlude with Morpheus. He’s a demanding guy, with arms like an octopus, who has embraced me rather tightly and won’t let me go. :D That being the case, today, I slept until 2:00 pm, missing both SFs, but they’re on my DVR. Upon awakening I turned on the recorder and watched the end of the Nadal match and the end of Fed’s match to see the results. I will now go and watch them in earnest and then I’ll be able to intelligently add my two bits/bips worth of what transpired. One observation I made regarding Nadal in his match with Gulbis, and that was his nervousness throughout the first set. He appeared to be disgruntled and it wasn’t until after he won the first set, that he somewhat became a little calmer/relaxed. Gulbis defintely had Nadal on the ropes and he was lucky to win that match, because after the medical time-out, Gulbis definitely lost his momentum. After what i saw in that that match, I secretly picked Fed or Murray to win the tournament.
I’ll catch ya later with the balance of my views. :) I like to use smileys, because as I’ve said before, I like to laugh, but if you don’t like it, please let me know and I’ll desist from so doing. Thanks.


Von Says:

gulu:

Did you see my post wherein I sent you many smiles to cheer you up today on this thread, and the other one too? If not, read them will ya.


Von Says:

grendel:

“Just a thought: because Federer is such an instinctive player, who knows, maybe on some important occasions, when everyone has given up on him, Federer will suddenly carry the day, brandishing a glorious forehand that everyone thought was confined to the video tapes.”

Instinctual strengths will always surface and become visible, some times, more than not. Again, as I’ve stated previously, it’s dependent on a person’s mind-set, and what thoughts cause the ignition of the instinct. It’s in those times that we’ll see the shades of what we feel to be “once was” brilliance. However, with instinct we can’t label it as ‘once was’ per se, it’s just a matter of it waiting for the right momemnt to appear. Perhaps if Fed were to look at his tapes when his forehand is firing and/or misfiring, and try to think what his mind-set was at that point in time, he’ll figure out the underlying/root cause of his aberrant forehand.


Kimmi Says:

Von: Smileys are good as i am also smiling at the moment. so please use them.

I have been reading posts in tennis-x for a long while now. But i never post on it….And as I said i have enjoyed reading your posts. they have been very interesting.

To answer your question, yes ! i am the same Kimmi that posts in tennis planet. And yes i like to go there because of laughs and also i am a fed fan. It will be sad to see federer fading away, he is been there, seem like forever but reality is we are becaming older and tennis is the game that requires a lot of energy and the younger one is the better.

You seem to be somebody who has seen different generations of tennis, I started watching tennis mainly during federer era. I watched Samprass a little but only wimbledon and maybe US open. But federer made me really appreciate tennis. I thougt he was beautiful to watch. his movement and his art has been magnificent. he made everything seem easy. Then I stared to follow the tour. Now I follow them everywhere and i like it coz it makes me enjoy life. My family sometimes thinks I am obsessed..but hey i don’t mind that either.

This season have been very stressfull for me, I have not been used to see federer loose like this. the AO, dubai, indian wells, miami…….Roland garros and Wimbledon even more painful. but slowly I started to understand that this sport is not that easy, these guys work so hard, the sport is physically demanding and with all the difficult that he has in the beginning of the year….its is probably OK to loose. But I have hope and I thnk he will come back strong. Bring on ’09.

Another player that fascinates me is andy murray. I even love him more after I saw him in cincy and US open. the only problem is when he plays federer I am biased. But thats is OK.

I hope you enjoy the recorded matches but its always great to watch live…there is a certain excitment behind it.


Von Says:

Kimmi:

“You seem to be somebody who has seen different generations of tennis, I started watching tennis mainly during federer era. I watched Samprass a little but only wimbledon and maybe US open. But federer made me really appreciate tennis.”

I began watching tennis in earnest during the Sampras era. I knew of some of the older players, but my time was devoted to college and other schooling simulatenouly taking care of my two babies, who are now young adults, and thankfully, schooling is over too. I also liked to watch cricket, baseball and ice hockey, which left very little time for anything else.

I always loved Sampras, not so much Agassi. I also loved Henman “Gentleman Jim”, because I’m patriotic, which means I hardly ever embrace players from other countries. Close-mindedness is bad, because when we lose our favourites, we’re lost. When Sampras began his drought, I was so upset, and that’s when I began watching basketball and soccer. My husband and kids are soccer freaks, and I’m the only tennis freak in the family. Sports can be very addictive and obsession is a huge side-effect. I began posting here on Tennis-X during Sampras’ exho matches with Fed, mainly because I was very angry concerning some of the ugly things mentioned about Sampras in the posts I read. I was so angry that my initial post was a doozy, and I lashed out at Fed, which earned me some enemies. Now I’m over that and I actually like to watch Fed play, which is movement on my part, as I’m very resistant to change. I couldn’t bring myself to like a player from another country apart from the Brits and Americans. Andy Roddick is now my main tennis squeeze/heart throb, but I love Safin too, along with Murray and Queerey. nothing gets me going like a roddick bashing. I like his personality because he’s so witty and outspoken.

“This season have been very stressfull for me, I have not been used to see federer loose like this. the AO, dubai, indian wells, miami…….Roland garros and Wimbledon even more painful. but slowly I started to understand that this sport is not that easy, these guys work so hard, the sport is physically demanding and with all the difficult that he has in the beginning of the year….its is probably OK to loose.”

If you really love Fed, you’ll be heart-broken many times onward. You’ve been spoilt, because his dominance is not the norm. He won nearly everything for 4 years, while most of the other champions would have peaks and valleys. Believe me, Fed broke my heart many times because of his dominance over Andy Roddick, and I’m not ashamed to say, I cried real heart-wrenching sobs for Andy. I’ve come to accept that situation and now i don’t dislike Fed. Everytime I see Andy in Fed’s side of the draw, I complain about the draws with so much sick lugubriosity, that’s comical to some, but I really can’t stop Pavlov’s Bell from reverberating in my brain. It’s awful and sick. Yes, sick and laugh if you must, I’m Ok with that. :P

Kimmi, I made a liar out of myself about 45 minutes ago, so now I must stick to what I stated previously, and that is, to watch those tapes, which as you rightfully stated, does not give the same feelings as watching it live. Catch ya later. :D


grendel Says:

“But by god is he [Murray] quick nonetheless!” (Jane).Part of it is anticipation; against Monfils, he got back a smash for a winner, and the audience fell over itself applauding, whilst Murray modestly raised a racket and looked as if he didn’t quite know what to do with his face – should he try a beam, perhaps? The usual scowl would surely not be appropriate? The resolution of this tricky dilemma was a kind of shy stretching of the mouth which might possibly have been taken as an eccentric attempt at a smile. Pure humbug, of course. The fact is, Murray was charging like a demented rhino barely before Monfils had completed his smash – he knew exactly where the ball was going, and got there in good time for a surprisingly simple put away. Looked terrific, though. In fact, Murray’s astonishing skills were more in evidence in other, less dramatic scenarios.

But you’re right, he is hellish fast. I saw him running forward to the net to pick up a drop shot – it hardly seemed possible that he could control such speed with the net looming up. He looked briefly like an Olympic sprinter – the only other player I’ve seen look quite like that is Steffi Graf.

I wanted Federer to win, of course. But I want Murray to win tomorrow against Simon (a man, in his own way, as stubborn as Murray, though nowhere near as gifted). Simply in the interests of Fed keeping his #1 status (though there could be other considerations as well) I’ve always wanted Nadal to lose any match he played. With Djokovic, more complicated – so long as he wasn’t a threat to Federer, I wanted him to win in the sense of catching Nadal up. I presume most of us play similar somewhat infantile mind games (though not you, of course, Jane). But I’ve always liked Murray, and now that I’m resigned to Fed slowly going down the rankings (and it will be slow – but it will be down and not up imo), I look forward to Murray challenging for #1.

It’s partly the British thing, though I’m not a great one for patriotism – still, these primitive impulses can’t be altogether denied. But mainly, I truly like his game. When he first became prominent, I likened him in my thoughts to Mecir – and was gratified to find others were of like mind. (Did you know, b.t.w. that Zeg, who used to post here, hit with Mecir?). Mecir had that languid, lovely strike of the ball which went with the most deceptive change of pace I’ve ever seen. He was glorious to watch, but incredibly frustrating – he didn’t win much, considering his great talent. Well, I think Murray is up there with Mecir, although he has a much better serve, and definitely he is going to have a successful career. Get ready, though, to bring out the sick bags for when the British press starts the flag waving. And the same people will turn on him, too, when he fails to deliver. No wonder he prefers America (he is very aware of the sick treatment accorded to Henman).


grendel Says:

Von – well, you never know….


Von Says:

grendel:

“Von – well, you never know….”

What do you mean? Embellish/elaborate for me please. Are you mocking me with that dry Brit sense of humour or are you agreeing with me with reference to my Fed FH analysis?

“Part of it is anticipation; against Monfils, he got back a smash for a winner, and the audience fell over itself applauding, whilst Murray modestly raised a racket and looked as if he didn’t quite know what to do with his face – should he try a beam, perhaps? The usual scowl would surely not be appropriate?”

I had mentioned something similar to the foregoing on the other thread. Only a Brit would understand that stoic countenance and can picture the underlying appreciation under that tiny whisper of the wry smile, while trying to cover up the obvious.


zola Says:

Daniel,
just saw your post.
Seems Simon gave a good test to Rafa.One that he failed at! He is amazing. I watched the match till the 5-5 in the second. I saw Rafa was having lots of UE and wasn’t serving well. He missed three BP at 0-40 and I knew he was in trouble, but I thought he would come back and he did not!

I didn’t see the third set, but I read that it was a thriller with lots of breaks.

I am very happy that Rafa tried his best and I am glad he is no 1 for the year.

this new bunch is impressive. I was waiting for Monfils, berdych, Gasquet to show up, instead Murray and Simon and DP are on the rise. Quite interesting.

grendel,
**Get ready, though, to bring out the sick bags for when the British press starts the flag waving. And the same people will turn on him, too, when he fails to deliver.***

so true. he is the main news on eurosport everyday. before he was the “spoiled Brat”, now he is “masterful Murray”. I think he is now more calm about it. Murray has improved mentally as well and seems not to care about the media that much.


Giner Says:

Did Von put in a bid for the lesson with Roddick?

Is he going to wear some undies at least?


Giner Says:

Now if only someone would pass this nude lesson charity idea to Ana Ivanovic.. I’ll bet $15,000 that she’ll draw in 10 times more money than Roddick did.


mem Says:

grendel, you stated that you always hope that nadal will lose, because you feel he is a threat to federer. wow! that just goes to show that nadal is the most feared player on the atp circuit! I guess desperate times, calls for desperate measures. I bet rafa would be pleased to know how feared he is. that is such a great compliment to rafa’s ability!


NachoF Says:

I started watching tennis avidly thanks to Federer…. I knew about Sampras, Agassi, Rafter, Kafelnikov, Safin, Chang, etc… but I wouldnt really care if I missed a match or a tournament to be honest…. since 05 I have been following almost every tournament Federer plays….. and I have felt terrible when he loses at Grand Slams or against Nadal….


Von Says:

Giner:

“Did Von put in a bid for the lesson with Roddick?

What are you trying to do to me, give me a heart attack? I’m the type who likes to leave something to the imagination not have it all out on full display. That’s why I don’t like the ball girls; everything’s too revealing, but then again, I’m female and somewhat of a prude.

“Is he going to wear some undies at least?”

I would hope so. If not, then I can understand why he’s shaved his head, to be incognito, or somewhare along those lines. Anyway, more power to him and the woman who paid for the lesson.

I don’t know about Ivaovic bringing in more than $15K at a WTT auction because there aren’t too many wealthy people watching those matches, but then again, I could be totally wrong. Would you be willing to pay $15k to obtain a lesson from her?

What’s with your buddy JCF, he’s in hibernation or what? Gosh, does he not know he’s breaking my heart keeping such a horrible distance between us? Or is he playing hard to get? That doesn’t work with me. Out of sight, out of mind. Anyway, tell him I have a new heart-throb, and his name is Morpheus. I’ve been spending a lot of time with him, because it’s easier to deal with my loss (JCF) when I’m sleeping. Show him what I’ve written, maybe he’ll smile. Poor baby :P :D


Von Says:

NachoF:

“I have felt terrible when he loses at Grand Slams or against Nadal….”

That’s how I felt whenever Fed beat Roddick, except I’m female and the tears come easily by the buckets, and it would go on for days. I’d have a sick feeling deep inside and wouldn’t look at any of the other matches. Boo-hoo!! :P I’ve changed and so will you — our minds are more resilient than we think.


Von Says:

Hey Giner, news flash! Roddick will be wearing a pair of starched, white knickers, with some lace on the bottom and I’m sending him a wig with two pig-tails and bows. Isn’t she/he cute. :D


NachoF Says:

Von,
Im sorry to say it but I was always particularly happy when Fed would play Roddick cause his most impressive game would show up… when Federer beat Nadal I was happy but in a relieved way… having to watch him struggle and look uncomfortable was not nearly as fun as watching him completely dominate a match from beginning to end


Kimmi Says:

NochoF:
I hear you, like what Von says we will have a lot of heartbreak in the years to come. federer domination will slowly diminish away.

But in a positive note, there is a lot of good tennis out there. lets enjoy and go with the flow.


Von Says:

NachoF:

“Im sorry to say it but I was always particularly happy when Fed would play Roddick cause his most impressive game would show up…”

In your own way you have just paid a huge compliment to Roddick. Yes, Fed had to play his best against Andy, even though others seem to think Roddick is some kind of push-over, but Fed knows otherwise and he’s said so. Roddick can still pack a punch and can still put fear in some players minds. He’s always a threat. With Roddick, it depends on his mind-set. There are times he takes some of his competitors for granted and that gets him into trouble, like Wimby and the USO. and when he realizes what’s happening it’s too late to change course. Ryan had mentioned some of the same a few threads ago.


Ryan Says:

Fed just kind of lost the intensity that he had at the US open.He’s always plays to win in the slams and these days he’s playing for fun.The first set fed was serious and played well.But the second and third murray tightened up the screws and fed lost his intensity.But there is no pressure on fed these days.This year he has lost a lot and he doesnt give a damn for these masters series tournaments anymore.Murray plays like a right handed nadal.The court coverage is just as good.The tactics that murray used was to stretch fed out wide on the forehand for the error or short ball.Another one was the sliced backhand from fed which can be put away at the net.Players have really found fed’s weaknesses and plus he fact that his forehand is misfiring makes it easier for them to beat him.


zola Says:

mem, Rafa fans

this is for you:

2008: Year of Rafael Nadal, congratulations all. Hope he can keep it up in 2009 too.

*****
Nadal number one despite defeat
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/7678313.stm
*****

I can’t believe some of the vicious comments I read here. But hatred is a boomerang. It will hit right back at where it came from!


Kimmi Says:

Von:
Roddick this year has been very poor. I know he speaks about injuries and what not but his grand slam showing has gone from bad to worse.

Now he is beaten by young guns like Monfils, berdchy, del potro..the list goes on.

He keeps changing coaches and never seem to find the really one that he likes. unfortunately its always big news in US when Roddick gets a new coach or he damps one. Espn or CBS will talk about how much he has improved this summer endlessly, but always the end results have been dissapointment.

I really hope for good things for roddick next season. He really needs to find the right way coz this way isn’t working. American tennis have nobody else to turn to. All promising young ones (Donald young, Queery, Isner) are just not up there yet and to be honest I don’t see them make top ten soon. US have been spoilt by Samprass and Agassi for more than a decade, I hope something good happens soon.


zola Says:

Ryan,
I watched a few of Fed’s matches in Madrid. I thought he played even better than the US Open. Maybe he is not 100% of his old self but very close. I would say he is on a mission to right the ship in 2009, starting from Australian Open.
It is a scary thought as a Rafa fan. But the competeion is now tighter, with Murray, Del Potro, Djoko, Simon, ….all improving with lightning speed.


Kimmi Says:

Zola:
Congratulations to Rafa clinching # 1. This season has been great for Rafa and Spain. Winning Wimbledon and Olympics has been an highlight.

I think I read he is the 1st spanish player to get yr end # 1. Rafa is a good sportsman and I am looking forward to more great rivaries with fed and Djoker and now Murray is knocking. lets hope for a good exciting and full of drama ’09 season.


zola Says:

Kimmi,
Thanks a lot for your nice words. It really helps after such a day.

All the best to your man too. I thought he played some of his best tennis (this year)in Madrid. he was scary good. I am sure he will be back with full force next year to get the No 1 back from Rafa. Their rivalry just adds to the excitement of tennis.

I see the no 1 issue like passing the torch. no one will be no 1 forever. Yet Fed set such high standards that it took 3 years for RAfa to do that. These two will be named as two greats of all times and I feel lucky to be able to follow them. Hopefully I will see them play live one day.


zola Says:

Giner
***Now if only someone would pass this nude lesson charity idea to Ana Ivanovic.. I’ll bet $15,000 that she’ll draw in 10 times more money than Roddick did.
****

hahahaha….
now THAT would be something!

but reading the article, seems poor Roddick was put on the spot. It wasn’t supposed to be nude at first. it goes to 13,000 if he takes of his shirt and then someone makes it 15,000 for the nude lesson!
Robredo, Feliciano Lopez and Verdaco posed nude for some magazines for charity. but Andy is more couragous!


NachoF Says:

I have to say that naked tennis lessons sounds pretty gross.


jane Says:

grendel,

“(though not you, of course, Jane).” Little dig there eh buddy? Shite I play the same games of course. But I don’t care a heck of a lot about rankings. I care more about tournament wins; I figure 3rd, 1st, 4th, 8th, top ten is good, doesn’t matter where.

But seeing the guys I like winning the big events: MS events and Slams? I’m calculating; you can bet on it.


Von Says:

NachoF:

“I have to say that naked tennis lessons sounds pretty gross>”

It would be disgusting, except if you’re on a nudist colony. I seriously doubt whether Roddick will do that. He’ll probably work out a deal with the girl.


Von Says:

jane:

“Shite I play the same games of course.”

I wondered how you would respond to this. Everyone plays those games, and some are more truthful to themselves than others, and are guilty of that which they accuse others of doing. Deep down inside we all have a devious streak, even though some pretend it’s not so. My personal preference would be to hear it spoken than to have to deal with the pretensions and goody two shoes attitude. Anyway, to each his own, and some can’t take what they dish out, that’s for sure.

“I care more about tournament wins; I figure 3rd, 1st, 4th, 8th, top ten is good, doesn’t matter where.”

I really don’t care about the rankings also, but because ATP places so much emphasis on them, it becomes important. It would be nice for the players to have that burden taken off of them, so they can play more freely without the grind of constantly having to defend points. I would prefer if they adhered to the race instead of the carry-over points. The new year should begin with the order of the race and not the ranking points. I suppose the ranking makes some fans feel that their fave is the best. Results are what counts for each year.

“But seeing the guys I like winning the big events: MS events and Slams? I’m calculating; you can bet on it.”

Same here.


Von Says:

Kimmi:

“I really hope for good things for roddick next season. He really needs to find the right way coz this way isn’t working. American tennis have nobody else to turn to. All promising young ones (Donald young, Queery, Isner) are just not up there yet and to be honest I don’t see them make top ten soon.”

I hope for good things for Andy too for 2009. This year was a topsy-turvy year for him. He’s never been off the tour for over 2 months and coachless too. He needs to find a new coach and get his game moving, or else he’ll be in for bad times. he hasn’t had a good coach since his exit with Gilbert and his game has suffered for it. If he continues in this trend, I’d prefer to see him retire than to slide in the wrong direction. I like him too much to have to watch him become another 20-30 ranked player. Come on Andy, just do it!


jane Says:

Von,

Of course I look at the draw and think, ‘oh, I hope so-and-so loses and then so-and-so won’t have to face him!” It’s just human nature! :-)

But I have learned two things in the last year or two:

1. Not to put all my eggs in one basket. I used to cheer solely for Roddick, visit his website all the time, etc. But then, like you said above, I’d be devastated when he lost. Before Roddick, it was Safin for a while. That sucked, because both won a lot for a while and then started losing (mainly because you-know-who-Swiss-master showed up!). So I resolved to cheer for a bunch of players that I like. And it IS SO MUCH BETTER. Even now, although Djoko is a slight favorite above some of the other players I like, when he loses I don’t feel so bummed. Take this week, for example: when Roddick lost, I thought, oh well, we still have Murray; and when Djoko lost, too, we still had Murray. And guess what? We STILL have Murray! So there is always someone to cheer for this way, and I don’t lose interest in the tournaments.

2. The other thing I decided is that it’s not really healthy for me to cheer against a player. When Fed was beating Roddick and Safin all the time in the past I began deliberately cheering against him. But in the last year-to-year-and-half I just decided it’s stupid. And it didn’t allow me to enjoy his matches. Now, I’d rather see the guys I like beat him fair and square. And when he’s playing against someone I like but don’t care one way or the other – like with Tsonga or JMDP this week – I just get to enjoy the match. I really enjoyed Roger and Del Potro.

So yes, I am devious in my own way when it comes to cheering on my faves, but I’ve definitely lightened up and am just trying to appreciate what all these guys bring to the game. I like to be able to analyze the matches and not have a heart attack while doing it.

Maybe it wouldn’t be so easy if I was a Rafa or Roger fan, because they have such an intense rivalry.


Von Says:

jane;

It’s definitely human nature to be cunning and/or calculating in our thoughts especially when we look at what’s at stake for someone we like. Those who claim they don’t do it are only fooling themselves, and as I said previously, I’d rather hear it spoken than for people to pretend with me. Even though speaking out has its own problems, at least you know where you stand. I’m amazed that the truth can cause so much friction though.

As I’ve mentioned a while back I used to be angry with Fed when he beat Roddick and Safin, but now it doesn’t bother me, mainly because I’ve realized that it’s their job to beat him and if they can’t then the better man won. The other reason is similar to yours, I’m just depriving myself of watching some good tennis. One thing I know for sure, I don’t deliberately wish for any player to lose, but if they do, I can’t say I’m going to be unhappy about it, except if my faves lost and the faves of some of the fans I like. For instance, I wouldn’t want for Fed to lose, because I know gulu and some others would be unhappy, and you would be unhappy for Djoko, etc, etc.

You’re right it would be a lot easier for us if we always rooted for the top 2, then I wouldn’t have shed so many tears, or have my heart ripped out so many times. Oh wow, was I stupid, or what? :P

Who do you pick to win tomorrow? I pick Murray but Simon just hangs around and doesn’t let up. That match with Karlovic in the 3rd set I thought Karlovic had the match in the bag and then Simon broke back our of nowhere, unbelievable. In his match with Nadal he didn’t give up. He drives me crazy with his challenges and 75 percent of the time he’s right, like the shot at the end of the tie-break where he challenged and he was right. WOW. Anyway, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens, and may the better man win. :P


jane Says:

Von,

Well I pick Murray because I like his style better and he’s a fave. But you’re right about Simon – down 2-4 in the third set to Rafa in Madrid, I thought the kid was toast. But he’s got gumption to spare, so it won’t be an easy win for Murray tomorrow unless Simon is a little tired. But as you say, the better man on the day will win, such is the game! Enjoy. :-)


jane Says:

“I wouldn’t want for Fed to lose, because I know gulu and some others would be unhappy, and you would be unhappy for Djoko, etc, etc.”

I know what you mean; I like so many of the posters here, that I immediately feel badly for them when their favorite player loses. So maybe even posting has helped me to mellow out and just take pleasure in the game, while yapping on about it a lot, which is fun too.

Tennis Geeks R Us!


gulu Says:

Hi Kimmi, busy posting here eh? Keep it up. Your posts r very different n interestin.I lov 2 hav u as my friend on this site. Smile 4 u. :-)


hahaha! Told you that it was a fluke that Federer beat Murray at the US Open! Says:

Murray was tired! So glad that, Murray wiped Federer’s arse! MONO! HIS ARSE! hahaha


Federer has mono again! lol Says:

He is a full of shits!


Indeed! Federer's arse been kick! And he is flying high! lol Says:

What a kick by Murray! hahaha


gulu Says:

Ha Ha Ha !!! The fool is back with his brain even more damaged after Fed’s defeat in Madrid masters! The fool doesn’t hav even a definite name!Starting from Mono His Arse to Roger’s full of shits to Federer has mono again!lol,d fool just keeps on changing names! Come on fool,tell ur real name if u r not a bastard child !If ur mother is a slut who doesn’t even know who real ur father’s,then I m not gonna force u 2 tell me ur name.Roger fans r dying to put a bamboo in ur ass.So oil ur ass for that purpose.


gulu Says:

Ha Ha Ha !!! The fool is back with his/her brain even more damaged after Fed’s defeat in Madrid masters! The fool doesn’t hav even a definite name!Starting from Mono His Arse to Roger’s full of shits to Federer has mono again!lol,d fool just keeps on changing names! Come on fool,tell ur real name if u r not a bastard child !If ur mother is a slut who doesn’t even know who real ur father’s,then I m not gonna force u 2 tell me ur name.Roger fans r dying to put a bamboo in ur ass.So oil ur ass for that purpose.


gulu Says:

Don’t worry Rogerholics! This year,in spite of not being one of Fed’s most dominating ones, he’s d only guy besides Rafa win has won titles on all 3 surfaces- clay(Estoril),grass(Halle) & hard(Flushing Meadows)? :-) Only a carpet title is missing now ;-)


gulu Says:

MONO HIS ARSE,I know u r not a bastard ! So respond 2 me and tel ur name ! But if u don’t wanna tel ur name,then keep lickin your ass juice!


GKY Says:

Wouldn’t be suprise if Simon beats Murray tomorrow!


gulu Says:

Dear Zola,it’s very relaxin 2 hear such positiv words from u about Roger’s prospects in 2009. I’ll forever remain grateful to u 4 this.You r givin fresh air of hope 2 my gasping heart ! :-) May ur good wishes make 2009 a better year for Fed !


gulu Says:

Simon may not beat Murray.He looked so tired during yesterday’s match,braveheart ! :-( However Murray beatin Simon may salvage Fed’s prestige,thus I m rootin 4 Murray’s win! But d way Simon took on Rafa,my heart goes out 2 him!


gulu Says:

Thou my mind says Andy,my heart says Simon’d win d title. Simon winning in d final wil mean dat Fed lost not 2 d eventual winner,but 2 d eventual runner-up.Fed fan inside me wants Fed beater Andy 2 win Madrid,but d human being inside me’s rootin 4 Simon !


grendel Says:

“(though not you, of course, Jane).” Little dig there eh buddy”.
Not at all, Jane. You underestimate yourself. b.t.w., I’ve just heard Peter Fleming call Simon a poor man’s Murray. Illuminating at all, d’you think? You see what he means – but it somehow misses out all the unique bits of Murray, seems to me.


gulu Says:

Simon worked so hard to beat Rafa and displayed so much mental fortitud dat I suddenly hav a soft corner 4 him today.Simon grinded d biggest grinder of men’s tennis (Rafa) for 3 hrs 22 min and took d match away from him comin from behind.So go Simon!


grendel Says:

Simon lulls you. He seems to be doing nothing very much, and the temptation must be for the opponent to respond in kind. And suddenly, like an understated nightmare, he has floated up to the net to calmly put the ball away. It’s unspectacular, but he’s won the point. He’s dangerous. I’m glad Murray can get some cheap points through his serve – he might need them.


grendel Says:

5-6 in the 2nd. Simon seems to slightly up the tempo if he’s down in his service game – deeper, harder, more angled, whatever, and this seems to take Murray by surprise. So Simon regains the iniative. He is also proving slightly more durable in the long rallies. I’m beginning to appreciate more, now, Fleming’s point about Simon being a poor man’s Murray. Let’s hope it won’t turn around and – well, you know.

Hey, isn’t anyone else watching this bloody match?


jane Says:

grendel, this is very well put; you put into words what I was trying to figure out about him when I watched him beating Rafa: “Simon lulls you. He seems to be doing nothing very much, and the temptation must be for the opponent to respond in kind. And suddenly, like an understated nightmare, he has floated up to the net to calmly put the ball away. It’s unspectacular, but he’s won the point. He’s dangerous.”

I kept thinking, he doesn’t hit a lot of winners, but he can surprise a player with a ripping forehand really deep or right on the line. And when he comes to net, he’s good. It’s also interesting that he often loses the first set – which goes to that lulling point in a way. He did the same thing to Roger in Canada, and then somehow he “up[s] the tempo” as you say and the opponent has to rethink things.

A very interesting and psychological game, although he could just be warming up, feeling out his opponent in the first set. But there’s definitely something more to Simon than meets the eye!

————–

But all that aside, I don’t agree that he’s a “poor man’s Murray”; I do think Murray has so much more variety and options. Murray will one day be number 1. I strongly feel that. Not so much with Simon.

Kudos to Murray to not only stopping the master, but winding his way past the luller!


jane Says:

I should clarify – I agree with you that the commentator’s comment about Simon being a “poor man’s murray” misses the mark. Though both players have a kind of guile, it’s different somehow.


zola Says:

Jane,
Conratulations for Murray’s win. I didn’t see the match but seems Simon had enough in the tank to take the second set to a tie-break. What a player!

Murray now gets 495 ranking points from Madrid, because he exited early last year. Thet brings him to 3490 points and separates him from the rest of the top 10, which are in the 2000 points range.

The scary thing is that he doesn’t have many points to defend in Paris (125), Shanghai(0) and Australian open (5). So he can add to his points very quickly if he is in this form.

grendal
I am amazed the Simon could play and produce this result after playing 3-setters all week and playing 3 and half hours last night. He is a machine!


zola Says:

btw,
Del Potro is now in top 8 in the ATP race and unless Blake plays great in PAris, he has his seat for Shanghai almost booked. Simon is no 9 with one point behind Del Potro. Again if both play well in the coming weeks, they can go t Shanghai and Ferrer can be out.


Colin Says:

I heard a commentator say that Simon had spent about five hours more on court this week than Murray. Thinking about it makes me feel tired!


gulu Says:

Congraaaaaaattttttttttttttsssssssssssssssss dear Jane, ur Murray won ! :-o ;-) :-)


gulu Says:

Felicitaciones Murray !


grendel Says:

I hope Simon does make it to Shanghai, because he obviously offers real competition. That tie break was quite something, wasn’t it? Typical Murray -he does a drop shot, gets burnt, and then goes and does it again – and this time is rewarded! He actually did 4 drop shots in that tie break -score: 2 all. Gilbert would have given him his marching orders.

I thought Simon was going to take the set – but a fantsastic fh slash to the corner by Murray, right out of the blue, to break back. Then at match point, it really looked as if Simon had managed a drop volley – but it just missed, evidently. Tension to the end – I’ll never call Simon boring again. I do agree with you, Jane, that Murray is a for sure future #1 – whilst Simon? Surely he can’t go higher than top 10? But then, we all keep saying things like that about him.


gulu Says:

Dear Von, kudos 2 ur Murray(British Lion) :-) ! The British Lion’s yesterday’s feast of Swiss GOAT meat had given him enough energy to take on the French Big Cat, who was tired from his yesterday’s Spanish BULL hunting ! ;-) .So finally VAMOS MURRAY !


gulu Says:

Yes Jane, Murray one day will b world no.1. But Roger, Rafa n most of all ur very own Novak r not gonna let him reach there anytime soon, mind it! But one thing’s for 100% sure,Murray’s gonna becom d 1st British since Fred Perry 2
lift a Grand Slam !


jane Says:

gulu,

You’re funny; you should be writing headlines. This one is a classic:

“The British Lion’s yesterday’s feast of Swiss GOAT meat had given him enough energy to take on the French Big Cat, who was tired from his yesterday’s Spanish BULL hunting !”

Keep up the good work, and thanks for the kind words too. I am sure the goat, bull and cat are not gone for long. So what animal is Novak anyhow? ;-) This is fun.


gulu Says:

Here is a photo of Murray with the ball girls.Now this is no less an achievement for Murray-he sits closely cuddled in midst of the beautiful ball girls of Rafa’s country! :-) Rafa, ur country is great indeed to have such ravishing beauties :-)


gulu Says:

Folks ,u can find that photo going to murray’s world.com


gulu Says:

Novak is the Serbian Tiger! ;-)


Von Says:

gulu:

Thank you for your good wishes. I’m so very happy to see the “British Lion” hoist the trophy. A very well deserved victory for him indeed. You’ve given him a very appropos name. I suppose we need to get him his own “Coat of Arms”, with the “British Lion” of the ‘House of Murray’. I have already conjured up a beautiful picture of him riding on a magnificent horse in full armour, carrying his Coat of Arms, stopped at the top of a lush, green, grassy knoll looking at his castle with a drawbridge. I suppose my imagination is running wild from reading too many Tudor History books. :P :D


Von Says:

jane:

He did it!! We need to congratulate our guy for a great victory. His second MS shield — way to go Andy!


Von Says:

jane:

Roddick is playing in Lyon this week and who do you think is in his half of the draw? Simon. Does he ever run out of energy? Unbelievable.


jane Says:

Hi Von,

Yes, yahoo for Andy!

As for Andy Roddick’s draw, it’s pretty tough; Muller’s there in the top quarter, and he may be feeling confident from his excellent run at the USO, and then Simon and Karlovic are on the bottom of Andy’s quarter / top half. On the bottom half of the draw, Gasquet and Tsonga stand out. So Andy he has his work cut out for him if he wants to win the title!

I noticed too that Roger’s still on the Basel draw, so he must be feeling okay. He’s got Baggy, Berdych, Fish and Blake in the top half of the draw; and were he to make it through to the final, he could meet JMDP, Wawrinka or Nalbandian. But I am not sure anyone that other than Berdych or maybe an on-form Blake or Fish could keep him out of the final, and really only Nalby could beat him there. Perhaps JMDP but I really don’t think he’s ready to beat Roger just yet. He has a little work to do still.

——————

gulu – tiger – I like it! ;-)


jane Says:

Von,

In that vision you’ve conjured up, surely Murray would have to be wearing a kilt, while riding that steed, right? He does hail from Scotland after all. :-)

Of course, now we have a lion, wearing a kilt, riding a horse – wielding a tennis racquet?

Now we may be getting a little carried away!


Von Says:

Nah, no kilt, or tennis racquet — we’re just being introspective in that scenery. I’d say maybe a bagpipe sack in one of the side pockets on the saddle. Didn’t I mention the bagpipers on the drawbridge playing “Amazing Grace”, in thanksgiving for the MS shield? Yes, the drawbridge is down BTW; gone are the invaders, these are peaceful times. What we have is a castle in Dunblane, Scotland, with a red-haired Scotman perched on top of a horse, surveying his kingdom while indulging in reflective instrospection, listening to the tune of “Amazing Grace”, and then shouting out aloud “I can’t believe I won the WHOLE thing.” :) To which there’s a reply from some unknown person saying: “That was you?” :P


Von Says:

jane:

That Lyon tournament is a tough one. Look at the names on the draw? One of Andy’s problems this year in addition to the shoulder injury, is the problem of trying to incorporate time for fitness training; he’s playing while trying to catch-up on his fitness and that’s got to be an uneasy and frustrating feeling for an athlete. It’s a kind of parallel to Fed’s problem trying to catch up on his fitness due to the amount of time lost with his illness.


Kimmi Says:

Andy Murray is the real deal. He has grown from a boy to a man now. Conglatulation for British tennis, this year Murray has broken a lot of british tennis records, a lot is still to come and its just great.

Happy for venus win too. Eventually she won something else apart from wimbledon this year. I think she is now confirmed for Doha. Looks to be a competative field in Doha. Pity Sharapova is not there. Ivanovic seem to have found her groove again looking forward to good tennis in Doha.


zola Says:

gulu dear
sorry, just saw your post.
You shouldn’t be worried for Fed. Sure it is normal. I feel the same for RAfa. But I think they are at different stages of their career ( or careera as Rafa says!). Fed has set so many records that for many years to come, people have to be compared to him. He has been super-dominant for about four years. I am sure he will play many more years, but he may not be as dominant as he was before. he might shift his goals to winning more slams and master series, or to win French Open. The main point is that he is healthy and he looks healthier right now and he was almost unbeatable. All these in his worst year. I bet many can dream of it for their “best” year.

To me, the most important thing is to see Rafa all healthy and injury-free. Because I know the rest he can take care of. he is hard working and poised. The same with Fed. He is still motivates. Still takes his time to go to Dubai and practice and still want to play and win. At 27 and after winning almost everything. That’s quite amazing. He said he wants to play another 10 years and I believe that.

I also want him to be around. I really enjoy his matches with Rafa.

Kimmi,
so true that Murray has grown from a boy to a man. He is more positive and he has found a system that works for him. He is a real threat for the top 3.

I am also going to follow Simon. When he won Fed, I thought it was a one-time win. But he seems to belong to the top 10 and he wants to be there. Him and Del Potro are my new stars.


gulu Says:

These are my fabulous eight :-) -Nadal & Federer d top 2; next Djokovic,Murray,
Del Potro in no order of preference; then Roddick n finally Simon & Tsonga ! Sadly for me,Tsonga remains the biggest underachiever in tennis history ! :-(


sensationalsafin Says:

Sorry Gulu, but the award of “Biggest Underachiever in Tennis History” goes to Marat Safin. Tsonga’s definitely in the running but Safin could have dominated the game to a greater degree than Federer did but he came no where close.


Von Says:

Sensationalsafin:

I absolutely agree with you. Safin has been the greatest underachiever and should have dominated the sport. I think now that he’s gotten older and is seeing the not so pretty picture, he desperately wants to change that, but sadly, time has run out. What a shame.


Von Says:

Hi gulu:

How are you today? Are you watching Basel this week? Your Rogi’s playing there and our Andy is in Lyon. Enjoy the matches when you watch. Nothing is being broadcasted on my network; maybe I can find some live streaming. :P


zola Says:

SS
I think Safin suffered lots of injuries. It is not always easy to come back from injuries, both physically and emotionally. The same goes for Tsonga and maybe Haas. Safin is absolutely great. I want to put Nalby in the underachiever category too. I wish he made up his mind to play just for for one year in all the events and be as fit as he could. I want to see how high he could go.


Kimmi Says:

Zola:
I agree about nalbandian. He also had some injury issues during queens and wimbledon this year, i don’t know how much he is recovered now but I heard there was a surgery option/possiblity. Federer has been saying so many times on how much dangerous nalbandian is when he is on. This guy is really an underachiever, at least safin got 2 grand slams.


grendel Says:

It is natural to use the term “underachiever”, or something like it, about a player you enthuse over who has not done anything like as well as his talents might have allowed him to. I did just this only the other day with Miloslav Mecir.

But it’s not necessarily so simple. As Zola points out, in the case of Safin and Tsonga in particular, there is the vexed question of injuries. Philippousis is another (Pat Cash once called him the most gifted player he had ever seen with a tennis racket – a bit of pardonable Aussie jingoism here, but one sees what he means). Unfortunately, with these big, bulky men, there doesn’t seem a lot that can be done in this regard.

That’s not the whole story, though. Does Safin have regrets? Sure he does. Don’t we all. Is he consumed with them? Absolutely not, he’s far too levelheaded. The admiring way he talked about Federer and Nadal (shortly after Federer had beaten him at Wimbledon) signified a man essentially at peace with himself, there wasn’t a hint of envy or bitterness. This was no put on even if there was, as always with Safin, just a hint of humour in his comments. I did find his openhearted admiration in itself absolutely admirable, not least since he is the true equal of Federer and Nadal. Some people say he is even superior to Federer in terms of sheer native talent, and perhaps this is true.

But it was never going to be his path to devote himself 100% to a career of tennis. He chose another way. If partying on the eve of his AO final with Johansson will strike most of us as eccentric, to say the least, that’s Safin. He’s a huge character, and life for him has been about other things than just tennis. Naturally for us, his fans, this has a big downside. Not just because of records, but we just haven’t got to see him playing as only he can against the very best anywhere near enough. That is frustrating – but, as they say, you can’t always get what you want. Ultimately (injuries aside) Safin made his choice about how to live – and who is anyone to say he was wrong.

Nalbandian is a very different case, of course, but he too has quite deliberately chosen not to give his all to the game of tennis. Of course, here we stray into the whole mysterious world of free will, does it really exist and so on, could Nalbandian have been any different etc. Better not to get into that thorny question, but it is arguable that at the very least one can say that the options open to a person – and here we are talking about particular tennis players – are quite narrowly confined. Hard to imagine, really, Nalbandian being any other way. He certainly has made no bones over the fact that he doesn’t have it in him to devote himself full time to the pursuit of going right to the top.

Of course, it would be fascinating to know how far a fully committed Nalbandian would progress – I sympathise absolutely with you there, Zola. But – that’s our wishes, not his.


gulu Says:

Grendel, I admire Safin hugely,he is much close to Federer, but is less talented than him on hard court and Fed’s much better than him on grass and clay.The other thing about Safin is that he’s limited on his choice of surface,but Fed dislikes no surfac


gulu Says:

However I still believ that on his day Safin is the most unbeatable,more than may be even Fed but those days are very rare indeed.


gulu Says:

Safin really doesn’t bother about Federer n Nadal ,coz he knows that he’s extremely close 2 them. One who’s sure of his ability will never care about d world n Safin’s one of those blessed ones.However if I m wrong in comparin Fed n Safin,then I m sorry!


gulu Says:

Unfortunately to me, Roger’s the best clay-courter
who hasn’t won the French Open! :-(


Giner Says:

Von says:

“I don’t know about Ivaovic bringing in more than $15K at a WTT auction because there aren’t too many wealthy people watching those matches, but then again, I could be totally wrong. Would you be willing to pay $15k to obtain a lesson from her?”

That’s a good question. I don’t have that much money, but if I did, I don’t think I would pay it. She’s a hot tennis player, but she’s not the only hot woman in the world. With $15k you’ll probably find someone else just as pretty (or even prettier) and willing to do it. It’s not a good way to spend $15k in any case, unless money was no object (I wish!).

She’s fallen off the radar somewhat since attaining world no.1. She sounds like the kind of player who is talent but not genius. Some of her losses have been brutal. I don’t know if she will win a second slam to consolidate her FO (which I know she would not have won if Henin was still playing). When I think about the history of women who were hugely successful, there aren’t any that come to mind who were lust-inducingly gorgeous. It’s almost as though beauty is inversely proportional to talent.. Oh and I don’t find Maria Sharapova attractive.

“What’s with your buddy JCF, he’s in hibernation or what? Gosh, does he not know he’s breaking my heart keeping such a horrible distance between us? Or is he playing hard to get? That doesn’t work with me. Out of sight, out of mind. Anyway, tell him I have a new heart-throb, and his name is Morpheus. I’ve been spending a lot of time with him, because it’s easier to deal with my loss (JCF) when I’m sleeping. Show him what I’ve written, maybe he’ll smile. Poor baby :P :D”

I do pass on the things you say of him, and I wish he’d make a post instead of leaving you wondering (no he’s not upset or anything). He wants to but says he won’t because he can’t control himself. Whenever he makes a post in reply to someone in some blog post, he becomes personally invested into that blog post and ends up having to come back, reading more comments making more replies and then getting stuck in an endless cycle that drains too many hours and leads to too many revisits. He says he’s reduced visits to other forums as well.

Good to know you’ve moved on. Is this Morpheus a frequent poster? I haven’t noticed him (although I do only skim and read what pertains to me, when I remember to check back).

He didn’t mean to snub you. He still likes you. He loves when you’re being ‘facetious’ (your word that keeps escaping him – he remembered it!).

I hope this topic hasn’t been buried too deep that you don’t read this.


Von Says:

Giner:

You are so humorous, my kind of person! :P WOW, I’m cracking up laughing reading your post. Funnnny!!

“It’s not a good way to spend $15k in any case, unless money was no object (I wish!”

Well, I’m happy to know you’d spend your $15K much more wisely than on a tennis lesson with a pro player. Good for you and shows your values placement are on the right track.

“It’s almost as though beauty is inversely proportional to talent.. Oh and I don’t find Maria Sharapova attractive.”

Well, we can’t have it all. There’s always a trade-off in one area, but sometimes, there’s a deviation from the norm where you’ll see both. It seems to me that the guys are more fortunate to have both looks and talent going for them more than the women. I don’t find Sharapova attractive either, but then I’m a gal, so I’m not looking at her the same way a guy looks at women. I think as she’s gotten older her looks have faded. I’ve seen her matches when she was 17-19 and she was a lot prettier then, which is somewhat unusual, because most teens become prettier as they emerge from the gawky/ugly duckling stage into womanhood, but with her to me, it’s the reverse.

“I do pass on the things you say of him, and I wish he’d make a post instead of leaving you wondering (no he’s not upset or anything). He wants to but says he won’t because he can’t control himself.”

Well, tell him I miss his insightful input and humour, and I’m also glad to know he’s not upset with me (not that I’ve done anything wrong to upset him) about something or the other, also, it’s OK to be out of control sometimes.

“Good to know you’ve moved on. Is this Morpheus a frequent poster? I haven’t noticed him (although I do only skim and read what pertains to me, when I remember to check back).”

Morpheus a poster, not that I know of — he’s the a son of Hypnos and the god of dreams in Greek mythology. Did you actually believe Morpheus was an individual? Well, only a mythical one who I’ve been spending a lot of time with lately in my dreams. I believe my ridiculous work schedule has finally caught up with me, but it should soon be over in a week or two and hopefully I’ll be back to a half-way decent routine. I’ve gotta get my beauty sleep you know or else you’ll have to send me an iron to iron out the wrinkles that will appear from lack of sleep. :P

“He didn’t mean to snub you. He still likes you. He loves when you’re being ‘facetious’ (your word that keeps escaping him – he remembered it!).”

Oh man, now I’ll be singing for the rest of the week — my heart will be happier and my step will be lighter and I’ll be tripping to the light fantasia or something like that. He likes when I’m being jocose, eh? How about when I’m being verbose which I’m always doing — brevity is not a word with which I’m familiar. :)

Thanks for your witty post. I hope my friend will post during Paris and/or the TMC. Are there any broadcasts in the Land of OZ for Paris? I hope so, if not try the live streaming for Justin.TV or The Tennis Channel. Keep posting and I hope this post does not get buried. Here’s a smile for you and your buddy. :o :D


Giner Says:

“Well, I’m happy to know you’d spend your $15K much more wisely than on a tennis lesson with a pro player. Good for you and shows your values placement are on the right track.”

Heh. I would hope so. I’m an accountant. I wouldn’t be any use if I couldn’t tell a good investment from a bad one. I’m sure there’d be plenty of other men in line for her however.

“I don’t find Sharapova attractive either, but then I’m a gal, so I’m not looking at her the same way a guy looks at women. I think as she’s gotten older her looks have faded. I’ve seen her matches when she was 17-19 and she was a lot prettier then, which is somewhat unusual, because most teens become prettier as they emerge from the gawky/ugly duckling stage into womanhood, but with her to me, it’s the reverse.”

You know what, now that you mention it, I noticed the same thing with Justine Henin. I don’t find her attractive, but I did look up some of her old pictures, and she seemed a lot better looking in her teens. The first time I saw her, she lost in straight sets to Hingis at the AO 2nd round, but right away I knew this plucky little teen would some day go on to do great things. I even remembered her being well above average in looks at the time, but after 20ish she started looking older than her age.

Ivanovic is the opposite for me. When I first saw her around 15-17 I didn’t find her attractive at all. But as she ‘grew up’ I noticed her more somehow. Her outfits also suit her very well. She’s beyond my league anyway..

“Well, tell him I miss his insightful input and humour, and I’m also glad to know he’s not upset with me (not that I’ve done anything wrong to upset him) about something or the other, also, it’s OK to be out of control sometimes. ”

Now that you mention it, he has seemed gloomier lately and less talkative, but didn’t say what was on his mind, so I leave him to his musings. He’s normally quick to blather when he wants to, and can’t stop, so if there’s something going on, then it doesn’t look like he wants to talk about it.

“and I’m also glad to know he’s not upset with me (not that I’ve done anything wrong to upset him)”

I thought you might have thought he was mad at you for being mad at him from of his slings and arrows hurled at the US Davis Cup team in Spain. If that sentence made any sense. I admit that was a lot of presumptions on my part. I thought this because that episode was when he was last active here. You like supporting your team, and he is very cynical about their performances on clay. These things just don’t go hand in hand. I will say that the results did surprise him and I think he’s found a lot more respect for your team on clay now.

“Morpheus a poster, not that I know of — he’s the a son of Hypnos and the god of dreams in Greek mythology. Did you actually believe Morpheus was an individual? Well, only a mythical one who I’ve been spending a lot of time with lately in my dreams. I believe my ridiculous work schedule has finally caught up with me, but it should soon be over in a week or two and hopefully I’ll be back to a half-way decent routine. I’ve gotta get my beauty sleep you know or else you’ll have to send me an iron to iron out the wrinkles that will appear from lack of sleep. :P”

Oh I getcha! I like Greek mythology too. Whoever weaves these tales of gods and men were brilliant storytellers. What intrigues me though is how he repeatedly enters your dreams. You have a visualisation of what he looks like? (My favourite Greek god is Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt.)

I’m not one to put any stock into dream interpretations but it’s unusual to have frequent recurring dreams, unless you are controlling your dreams? That too sounds unusual. I do have one particular recurring dream myself (which I coincidentally had yesterday) but it’s intermittent. This one is nagging me to settle some unfinished business from over a decade ago (something I want to do but fear confronting). Again, I don’t put much stock in dream messages, but it sure looks as though someone is nagging me to do something.

I just looked up Morpheus on wikipedia. He is the god of dreams. I realise you may have been metaphoric when you said he’s been keeping you company. Oops. I like dreams too. The awesome thing is, no matter how aware and rational I think I am being, I can never tell I’m in a dream, not even when I ask myself ‘am I dreaming?’. I always conclude that I am not, and yet wake up later with a flush! This just happened yesterday in my recurring dream where every time I have it (because I’ve had it so many times now) I have conditioned myself to ask if it is for real this time.. and I still fell for it! I was so relieved that it was real and I’d finally done what was in my heart to do. Waking up yet again just felt like a painful slap in the face.

“Oh man, now I’ll be singing for the rest of the week — my heart will be happier and my step will be lighter and I’ll be tripping to the light fantasia or something like that. He likes when I’m being jocose, eh? How about when I’m being verbose which I’m always doing — brevity is not a word with which I’m familiar. :)”

He says you’re ‘alluring’ when you jest. You’re good at that. He has a short attention span, so he probably just skips your verbose posts..

Another thing he found entertaining was looking up some of your words. ‘Jocose’ is new to me, so I’ll see if it’s new to him too. He likes to learn new words but sadly never remembers them, so he doesn’t actually use them. (He might even forget ‘facetious’ again).

“Thanks for your witty post. I hope my friend will post during Paris and/or the TMC. Are there any broadcasts in the Land of OZ for Paris? I hope so, if not try the live streaming for Justin.TV or The Tennis Channel. Keep posting and I hope this post does not get buried. Here’s a smile for you and your buddy. :o :D”

I’ve got to be careful not to enjoy conversations with you TOO much, or I might end up like him. ;)

I’m glad you find me witty. I don’t.

The rules of OZ tv coverage are pretty much: They might consider showing it if Hewitt is in a final, otherwise, tough. We haven’t had coverage of a Masters event in years (even TMC). We get the last few rounds of Wimbledon and US Open televised (they don’t bother with the French anymore for some reason). Internet connections in OZ aren’t as good as they are over where you are, so we have restrictive download limits which makes streaming live matches impractical.

At this stage though, tennis is more or less an anticlimax. Nadal has finished #1 no matter what. I guess what remains to be seen is how long Murray’s run will last, and whether Federer can win a title of substance (such as a Masters Series or Masters Cup) to supplement his US Open. It’s quite a surprise that he has no Masters titles this year in 8 attempts.

We can get tennis coverage here if we pay for Cable, but due to monopoly from the cable company (who also happens to own the majority share in all telecommunications and internet in spite of offering the poorest value – dirty business practice at its finest), it is very overpriced and I don’t intend to give them another cent.

In effect, we pretty much talk tennis but don’t watch it, save for every January.

Speaking of verbose, I think I really am falling into the Von trap! I had better go.

Cheers


Giner Says:

What happened to this SG or S Green person? Is he still around? I haven’t noticed his posts lately. He was as busy with this site as you and JCF were. Same story?


Von Says:

Giner:

I maintain, you are very funny!!!! :P I like that. I thought this post would be lost for sure, but now that you’ve disclosed your profession, I’m not amazed you’ve remembered the thread. Good job. You must be a math genius and you have my admiration. I was very good with math, but when I found out I could get away with writing instead of solving problems, I only worked on whatever was necessary to get through my math courses — in essence I became lazy.

“Another thing he found entertaining was looking up some of your words. ‘Jocose’ is new to me, so I’ll see if it’s new to him too. He likes to learn new words but sadly never remembers them, so he doesn’t actually use them. (He might even forget ‘facetious’ again). ”

Yes, he’s mentioned he likes new words and I’ve made a concerted effort in the past to add some new ones whenever I exchanged posts with him. Yeterday, I wanted to give him a new word instead of the ususal ‘facetious’ which is over-worked imo, and at the same time something that rhymed with ‘verbose’ so I thought of ‘jocose’, which is very rarely used. He’ll remember words if he were to use word associations, e.g., jocose with jokes; verbose with verbal. Got it!

“I’ve got to be careful not to enjoy conversations with you TOO much, or I might end up like him.

“I’m glad you find me witty. I don’t.”

That’s not so bad is it? Don’t make such fun of my friend, he’s a very sweet-natured youngman. You can’t see your own wit, but I do, and believe me you are witty.

I forgot that Davis Cup discussion and I wasn’t mad at all. Hey, he’s entitled to his opinion. I absolutely believed the US had a chance in DC, but see I’m a die-hard believer. I suppose when I state my views, I come across as being angry but it’s just a measurement of how strongly I believe, that’s all. Does that make sense to you?

“We can get tennis coverage here if we pay for Cable, but due to monopoly from the cable company (who also happens to own the majority share in all telecommunications and internet in spite of offering the poorest value – dirty business practice at its finest), it is very overpriced and I don’t intend to give them another cent.”

Gosh, you are very thrifty. No wonder you’re an Accountant. I’m quite the opposite with money; I waste a lot on the comforts of life, and I like the top of the line for everything, cars, electonics, you name it; I’m a sucker for the nice things, that’s why I’m a proletarian. I keep adding on all sorts of packages to my cable contract, you’d think I own shares in the company.

“Speaking of verbose, I think I really am falling into the Von trap! I had better go.”

Awwh shucks, do you absolutely have to, I’m disappointed. You know the ‘Von trap’ reminds me of the “Family Von Trapp’ from the movie “The Sound of Music”. Thanks for the delightful discusion. Cheers. :P

BTW: S Green hasn’t posted since the USO — he was angry. I miss his input. I wish he would post again, because he is a very intelligent poster.

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