Monfils Masters Nadal in Doha, Roddick Next; Murray v. Federer Also Friday
by Sean Randall | January 8th, 2009
  • 130 Comments

I know it’s early, like first-week-of-the-year early, but I’m already encouraged by the play of my man Gael Monfils, who earlier today knocked World No. 1 Rafael Nadal out of Doha 6-4, 6-4.

It probably wasn’t Gael’s biggest career win, but the victory tells me the kid has really come to play this year and the Top 10 is well within reach for Frenchman in 2009. And who knows, maybe even the Top 5.

I didn’t see the match, but I’ve always felt Monfils has the game to bother Nadal even though he was 0-6 in sets vs. Rafa before today. He’s just as fast as the Spaniard allowing him to run down a lot of balls, and because he stands so far back (at times) he won’t be troubled as much by Nadal’s heavy topspin. And he’s decent off the ground and can do the job at the net. Plus, he’ll get a few free points thanks to his monster serve.

With Gael, though, he really needs to keep it together physically and mentally. If he can do both – very big ifs – there’s no reason he can’t be No. 1 someday.

But in the immediate future for Monfils is a semifinal encounter Friday with Andy Roddick who’s again found his form in the Middle East – is that eight straight wins now for Roddick in the Arab Gulf after his 2008 Dubai win? I think so.

Monfils and Roddick are pretty similar. Tall guys. Athletic. Big serves, big forehands, both stand far back and occasionally make really bad, scratch-your-head type decisions. But for me Monfils is the better player overall right now – though Roddick tougher mentally. So this will be a big test for Gael because it will be very easy for him to have a letdown after that huge Nadal win. It’s hard to call, but I’ll lean ever so slightly to Gael in two tiebreaks. We’ll see.

Oh, and there’s a second semifinal in Doha tomorrow, that between two guys named Roger Federer and Andy Murray. Not a bad lineup for Friday!

A week ago we remember Murray beat Federer in Abu Dhabi, but alas, that was practice exhibition play, this time it’s for real. And this is great opportunity for Federer to really make a statement and set the tone for the Australian Open and the year by beating Murray and snapping his two-match losing skid to the Scot. And I think Roger will get the job done.

Also this week – quite a week already! – we saw Novak Djokovic get dumped by Ernests Gulbis in the first round at Brisbane. Fernando Verdasco must still be with Ana Ivanovic because he’s still winning matches while she isn’t (Ivanovic lost today to Mauresmo, remember her?). Verdasco is in the Brisbane SF to play Mathieu. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet meet there tomorrow in a quarterfinal. Wow.

Nikolay Davydenko has withdrawn from the month of January with a bad heel and Taylor Dent, who had been off the tour for a few years, made a successful return in Brisbane with a straight-set first round win over Steve Darcis. Good for him.

I’ll write up a full 2009 look ahead in the coming days, complete with my pick for year-end No. 1. Who is it? I’ll give you a hint, he wears a Nike headband and he’s not named Juan Martin.


Also Check Out:
Red-Hot Murray Railroads Roddick for Second Doha Crown
Near Perfect Davydenko Foils Federer-Nadal Final in Doha
Wozniacki Beats Schiavone, Secures WTA No. 1; Isner v. Monfils in France Friday
Victoria Azarenka Has Withdrawn From Doha
Nadal Saves Matchpoints, Survives Troicki in Tokyo; Djokovic Reaches Beijing Final

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get Tennis-X news FREE in your inbox every day

130 Comments for Monfils Masters Nadal in Doha, Roddick Next; Murray v. Federer Also Friday

Colin Says:

Sean, you missed some very fine tennis. I hadn’t seen a lot of Monfils, but I was most impressed today. If he can become consistent, he will zoom up the rankings. One thing is sure – when he plays Roddick, the ball is going to take some punishment!
Meanwhile, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Murray can get another win over Fed. He’s got a good chance to do so, over 3 sets.


hiding behind our keyboards (aka: redux) Says:

Happy new year, everybody!
Saw some match highlights, including Nadal/Monfils and Federer/Kohlschreiber. Average performances, dipping into occasional sub-par maneuvering and shot execution from the no.1 and no.2… Rafa is still fond of heavily curling that ball back over the net, and that won’t work against everybody on a hardcourt, too many short balls. On a positive note, the Federer forehand and backhand produced several excellent winners, at least a couple from tricky defensive positions.

Von, Von, Von, thanks for the shout-out on Nov.27, 7:57pm. Happy new year! Glad to see you’re back for ’09 and still posting with vigor. My participation may be more limited, however. Maybe I’m a bit weary of forums, or I’m burned out by “computer strain”. Feel more like hiding behind some good books or something.


redux Says:

The events of January will likely result in Davydenko’s slide out of the top six for the first time since Nov.2005, with the exception of one week in ’06 (Aug.21).


Kimmi Says:

“And I think Roger will get the job done” Sean says.
Hey Sean, I hope you did not jinx Roger. Comon, Roger you need to win this. Fed looks a little shapper than the other 2 time they play..so we hope he comes even shapper tomorrow !

Let hope he does just that.


Von Says:

redux:

Happy New year to you, again!! You were on my Christmas list of those I remembered. Look on the Mauresomo thread, there was a post to TwoCents and yourself around the Christmas week.

I suppose we’re both burnt out from posting. I’ve been feeling that way off and on for a couple of months now, but mine is not from visiting too many sites, since I only post on Tennis.X. Aren’t they lucky! I can’t add a smiley, I’ve noticed recently they don’t show up. Anyway, here’s an invisible smile for you. I hope as the season heats up you’ll find that zest for posting again. In the meantime, enjoy the sabbatical, and I’ll say au revoir for now, but hurry back please, you’re one of my few American buddies.


Von Says:

Sean Randall:

Has Tennis.X eliminated the smiley emoticon? Please advise. Thanks.


Andrew Miller Says:

Mr. Randall – I too am impressed by F. Verdasco. I am amazed he is in the semifinals, of any tournament anywhere, as I had written him off, prior to his Davis Cup triumph with a similar kind of ex-underachiever, lefty Spaniard in crime Feliciano Lopez. But the scoreboard says that Verdasco is for real for the moment, and I say to that…nice work, Fernando. You are earning it out there, with more moves than Stepanek in the dating department and more good tennis than I ever thought he had in him to play in a non-practice setting.

I like it when the players prove me absolutely wrong. There is nothing like a good surprise in tennis.

As for Monfils, I need to see his French Open again. The guy has mad skills – he might be able to take Roddick out, but I would not put it past Roddick to consider the match a “statement match” much like Federer in his new matchup versus Murray. If we get a Roddick-Murray final, I am definitely pulling for Roddick. If it’s Roddick-Federer, I also need to pull for Roddick. If Monfils-Murray, I would like Monfils to pull that out. And if Monfils-Federer, I think it would be fun to see, and if Federer is not shanking, it goes to Federer. I have no favorites in that match-up, just a hope for some good tennis.


TD (Tam) Says:

Happy New Year everyone!!! Good evening Von, my friends. Well here we are starting off a new tennis year – if 2009 is anywhere as exciting and unpredictable as 2008 was then we are in for another great year of tennis!

and good luck to Andy Roddick (of course!) Roddick all the way to the title I hope. :-D


jhc Says:

question unrelated to the thread at hand: does anyone know if the 2008 wimbledon men’s final is available online on itunes (or somewhere)?

someone here was kind enough to have posted the link to the 2007 finals (soon after the match was played), and i’ve been looking regularly for the 2009 match but haven’t found it…

thanks,
jhc


George Broham Says:

Talk about a poorly written article. Decent stats and player bios, but next time get a writer that actually passed his 3rd grade english class.. wow.


redux Says:

Von,

I found your Christmas post. Thank you. Forgive me for having slipped away during the holidays without a word or a sharing of good wishes for all here. I do enjoy being a part of those things. Plus, here we’re international, baby!!! I’ll be around, dropping a post here and there if I’ve got something worth adding to the discussion.
I enjoy tennis, so talk of tennis is kind of like the appetizer or dessert to the main course, though my comments have generally done nothing more than present simple, reduced companions to segments within a long thread and minimized, personalized references to the more articulate, thought-provoking, multi-perspective analyses of matches and players often entertainingly provided by numerous posters including grendel, jane, Mr. Miller, MMT, and (Y)Von(ne), among others.
I’d say my aim thus far has been to economically express points of immediate personal interest, while avoiding repetition. I’d very much enjoy adding more to a rich discussion soon.

Will you be going to Birmingham for the Davis Cup round?
It amuses me still that the Swiss will be deep in the heart of ‘Bama!
A fine town.


gulu Says:

Kimmi dear, I think the result of Fed’s match today’s not gonna be affected by Sean’s guess or jinxing Roger, Sean’s every right to predict win/loss for Fed ! We have only Roger to blame if he loses today ! Fed can win only if he’s totally focussed !


Mark Says:

I knew a big Monfils win would result in a new article here!


gulu Says:

Daniel, thanks for caring about my heart, I have something good to tell you too! Rest assured that even if Fed suffers some serious setbacks at Murray’s hand, you needn’t worry much, coz Fed’s too good to be dominated by anyone for too long,he’d hit back!


gulu Says:

By the way, Fed should have won the last two matches against Murray, but, may be he choked at the last moment & lost, he should have won those ! I totally hate to even think of Fed losing to Murray 4 matches consecutively , I’d boil !
FED MUST WIN !!!


Daniel Says:

Roddik played and excelent match and deserved the win, just 13 unforced errors. His net game was awesome (take note Roger Federer and stop missing those low backhand volleys!) and his serve was good, but not great.

Good match-ups for the final, Federer didn’t face Roddick since the Miami match and Murray always had a good rivalry with A-Rod. But I am with gulu, Fed needs this win. Nothing would be better for him than start the year with a title, beating one of his late nemesis!


jane Says:

Congrats to Roddick for an excellent start to the year! Von, TD and gulu I hope you’re all smiling.


jane Says:

I am also very happy for Richard Gasquet’s win over Tsonga. I think this is a meaningful win for him; their H2H was tied so this gives Gasquet a wee edge and perhaps a bit of confidence heading into the OZ Open.


jane Says:

At 5-5 in the first set, Murray has won 100% of his first serves against Fed. Murray’s holding quite easily. Mind you, Federer is serving pretty good too, and his second serve is the better of the two. Fed’s not making many errors. These two are very, very well matched!


Daniel Says:

Unbeliaveble!! Muraay saved 0-40 with 5 excelent first serves! Fed even cursed in the last point when Murray painted the line with his serve forcing Fed to return a short ball. You could see that this was the game he wanted to break and go up 2-1 and serve. Murray is really strong mentally against Fed, not anyone around the tour could revert this scenarium against a top form and hunger Fed.


Daniel Says:

grendel, seems like Fed learnt his lesson, he is not missing those low backhand volleys anymore!


jane Says:

I had thought, after Fed won that close tiebreak, that Murray might wilt in the second set, but instead he’s cruising.

Daniel, you’re right. Murray is proving to be very mentally robust. Add that to his new physical strength and talent, and wow! He really is something.

But Federer came to play today. He’s very serious, even seems a bit grouchy at times, ole Roger.


will diesel Says:

Good stuff Sean I agree with you to a point. I like watching Gael play and he is good and kind of plays a similar game to Nadal so you’re on point with that one.

But saying, “he really needs to keep it together physically and mentally. If he can do both – very big ifs – there’s no reason he can’t be No. 1 someday” doesn’t really say much because it applies to everyone in the top 10. imho

For top players the talent is there, movement is there, fitness is mostly there. The big if is mentally and holding up physically over the entire year. Crowning or saying someone one day may be world #1, we need to remember how hard that is and what it takes.

Here’s a list of the #1s for the last 15 years
• Nadal
• Federer
• Roddick
• Hewitt
• Kuerten
• Agassi
• Sampras

Even Djokovic and Murray need to prove they have a shot at #1 by being consistently good for an entire season. Least of all to mention there are a bunch of other guys vying for the same spot.

So, Gael is good, but he’s not so good right now that he can consitently beat top 10 players. Too early to tell.


Daniel Says:

will diesel, you forgot Ferrero, Moya and Rios.

Well Fed simply collapse in the backhand side, he lost patiance and Murray is only putting bals there. Murray is having back probems and is no longer serving with power, Fed shold use that and try to finally broke Murray’s serve.


Daniel Says:

oh, and Safin, how can I forget Safin?!


jane Says:

Bad, and sad, miss for Federer to lose the match. I felt sorry for him to have it end that way.

Murray has got to be considered very near to the best player in the world -on hard courts- at the moment. Maybe that’s an overstatement, I don’t know. But he looked VERY good today. So solid. Even when his serve was faltering, he managed to stay ahead of the game. if he improves that second serve, look out! He beat Rafa the last two time they played too.

I think he’s the favorite for the AO title. Weird, considering he’s never won a slam and that he’s number 4 in the world. But in the last few months he’s really made his mark.

All this said, I missed pretty much all of Roddick vs. Monfils; just caught the tail end. So I can’t say how well the OTHER Andy is playing, but he surely seems renewed, and he took out Monfils, who beat Rafa! So who knows?

It’s difficult to judge by Andy and Andy’s H2H since there have been walk-overs and retirements in the mix lately. The nearest gauge we have is probably the result in China, which was 6-4, 1-6, 6-1, for Murray. But, if Roddick can take a set from him at 1-6, then it’s tough to say what will happen in the final!!

No matter who is the victor, I am going to enjoy this all-Andy-affair!!!


funches Says:

And Kafelnkov.


mem Says:

it’s clear that federer was upset by andy’s injury timeout. he didn’t seem to care about winning the last game. the way he shook andy’s hand at the net and immediately left the court was oh so telling! who can blame him?


gulu Says:

Congrats dearest Von, Rod won match,you are happy and satisfied, aren’t you ! A big smile for you.
Hey Jane, really happy about Roddick ! I wish him all the best for tomoro’s final !


gulu Says:

MURRAY – THE NEMESIS


jane Says:

mem,

Not sure what you mean: it was clear, to me anyhow, that Murray’s back was troubling him. He couldn’t serve that well in the third set, and so rightfully called the trainer.

Federer had absolutely no reason to be “upset”, if in fact he was (I never noticed; I thought Roger was upset with his own game, more so).

Did you watch the Federer vs. Murray match in China? Federer had a long treatment on his lower back in that match, and I don’t think Murray was upset.

There was no abusing of the rules here – none whatsoever.


Colin Says:

mem, why can’t we “blame” Fed for being upset by Murray’s timeout? Are you saying Murray was faking? In the previous game he obviously missed some shots because his back was bothering him. Would he DELIBERATELY lose those points in order to fake injury? Anyway, surely someone with Fed’s vast experience at the top, ought to be able to deal with any distractions.


mem Says:

rafa has this habit of not allowing one particular player to continue to beat him before he figures out how to turn the tables! i.e. blake, youzhny, berdych. i like that kind of mindset!


jane Says:

gulu,

You’re funny! But I suspect you’re correct. It’s Murray’s game that seems to be a interesting match for Federer’s. Sorry your Roger lost, but he played very well, near top form, in the first set! His serve just began to fail him after that. And in the third he made some bad errors. Still, he got to the semis. Had he not run into Murray he might’ve got to the finals.

I’ll bet every player at the AO will look, with bated breath, to see where Murray is on the draw!! Especially the top tenners!


Colin Says:

Von, that superb link to Doha has its problems for me. I’m technically very ignorant, but would it be true that the better the picture, the more Kb per second it needs? My computer can’t seem to deal with it, and I lost reception for most of the crucial part of the third set. It’s a wonder people couldn’t hear my swearing in the next street!


jane Says:

Colin,

I lost reception in the second set, so I switched to channelsurfing.net for the rest of the match, and it turned out to be the same feed, with the same commentators, so that was a nice turn of events, or non-turn. The consistency was good. Next time, if the other link fails, try channelsurfing.net. The almost always have coverage.

Cheers – and congrats on Murray’s win. I know you’re a fan, and a British one too, if I am not mistaken.


mem Says:

i am not reducing andy’s win. the best player won today. too bad, we will never know if he was faking or not. just an observation! we’ll wait to hear what federer has to say in his interview.


Sean Randall Says:

Disappointing result for Federer. I didn’t catch the entire match, but after a playing a good first set Fed again let the errors creep back in and at the end it wasn’t really close. I missed the injury episode, so I can’t comment on that. Credit to Murray who in my mind becomes the favorite to win in Melbourne.

As for Roddick/Monfils. No real surprise. Roddick’s really surging right now behind Stefanki while Monfils still needs some seasoning.

Should be an entertaining final tomorrow. Hard to bet against Murray right now.


dogboy68 Says:

mem, the reason Federer left the court so quickly is because he is a bad loser. I don’t see how you can use Murray’s timeout to justify Federer’s behaviour: Are you suggesting it was gamesmanship? Murray doesn’t need that to beat him.


gulu Says:

Didn’t I tell you I’d boil ? No, I’m not boiling, just erupting with anger,disappointment and frustration !!! This is just too much ! FED MUST BE VERY HAPPY TODAY AS THE MONSTER FOR WHOM HE ALWAYS SO LONGED’S FINALLY AFTER HIM !!! ENJOY DEAR FED !!!


jane Says:

Murray’s injury was obvious and did not seem the least bit “fake”. He served well all match, except for during those few games at the beginning of the third set. He probably pulled up badly on a serve and tweaked things, so he called the trainer immediately, and rightly so as the commentators I was listening to noted.

I don’t think it’s right to sully player’s wins just because they call out a trainer. They are athletes; their bodies are going to need work from time-to-time. Sure some players abuse the rules at times, or seem to call the trainer in crucial moments. But this was not one of those times. There truly was no gamesmanship to my eyes.

I would agree with dogboy68 insofar as Federer *often* leaves the court quickly after a loss, and he often does not look his opponent in the eye during the handshake after a loss. Roger, as we should all know, does not like to lose!! He’s been the best for so long, it’s got to be difficult for him to go out like that, with a bad miss and two sets of being fairly dominated. Especially after playing such good tennis in the first set. I don’t think the departure had anything to do with Murray’s treatment. I guess it’s all in how we interpret things though. It’s tough to tell sometimes.

But maybe we will know more after the press conference, as mem noted.


margot Says:

Go Murray go. seems to me Fed’s supporters are bad losers, is it cos your man is on the wain and ours is flying? roddick is a one trick pony, if he wins it’ll be cos Andy’s shoe laces are tied together….


jane Says:

I’m hoping for a Gasquet vs. Verdasco final at Brisbane (all about potential) & Cilic vs. Scheuttler at Chennai (youth vs. experience).


gulu Says:

margot, I agree with you that Fed’s f**king handshake after the match may lower his reputation & diminish his grace, it just showed how badly he lost, there was no problem in giving Murray a warm handshake for his well-deserved & resounding victory !


gulu Says:

margot, Fed-fans aren’t bad losers ! Of course we get hurt when we see our dear Fed losing !
But beware of being too confident about your hero, coz future’s never a surety, just compare the past & present of Fed if you wanna understand what I’m saying !


gulu Says:

MESSAGE TO ANTI-FEDS : YOUR HAPPINESS MAY PROVE TO BE SHORTLIVED ! SO DON’T REJOICE TOO MUCH DREAMING ABOUT FEDERER FADING AWAY, DON’T TRY TO CATCH THE DARK MOON OF YOUR CURSED DREAMLAND OR ELSE YOU MAY END UP HAVING A HUGE FALL TO BITE THE DUST !!!


Oleg Says:

gulu give Fed a break… he just lost a tough match and you expect him to be all smiles, warm handshake, big hug? He is a great competitor and part of that is having some pride. These guys would not be the best on the planet without it.

Do you guys really expect perfect behavior from every player in all circumstances?


gulu Says:

Oleg, but I think Fed’s behaviour today was rude ! He’s a senior player after all, 6 years older than the young Murray. Ought not he behave better ?


jane Says:

Oleg,

I like bad behaviour. LOL. Seriously, though, I agree with you that Federer’s quick departure has more to do with his own competitiveness than with any sort of sour grapes. He does NOT like to lose; he is a perfectionist, so of course he’s going to leave quickly.

Maybe, however, he could offer Murray a little more kudos. Murray is very respectful towards him, and he played a great match. Roger could perhaps look him in the eye and acknowledge the match well played.

By contrast, sometimes Djokovic seems a little too kind when he loses! He could take those losses a little more seriously and a little less affably.

Rafa’s about right in this regard imho. He usually offers a good shake at the net. Even when he lost to Monfils, he gave him a good pat, seemingly ackknowledging that he was the better man on the day, and then he got on with things, packing up & etc.

I watched Soderling and Stepanek last night and their handshake was rather curt; Soderling clearly wasn’t happy with defeat.

So be it. Different strokes for different folks. We all likely react differently to our triumphs and tribulations.


Leftykick Says:

Greetings!

I agree Fed should behave better but it seems now that Murray has got his number and maybe this is dawning on him…

Still, in a way I prefer his show of disgust at losing compared to Nole who seems to smile too much when it happens to him. He needs to get mean!

Maybe Fed should take a look at the other Andy and get himself a top coach for the long season ahead.


mem Says:

rafa and marc lopez won the doubles final. i think their opponents are the #1 doubles team. how great is that! vamos rafa!


Leftykick Says:

Jane,

Perfectly said.
Great minds think alike ;-)


gulu Says:

Oh Jane, you are so correct ! Rafa’s just a near perfect blend of pride and generosity ! That’s a great quality mind you & it’s one of the reason why his top rivals could become like his buddies ! These qualities can really increase success & popularity !


grendel Says:

“a week ago we remember Murray beat Federer in Abu Dhabi, but alas, that was practice exhibition play, this time it’s for real…..and I think Federer will get the job done” – Sean, still banging on about exhibitions being in some sense unreal – whereas the truth, as is now absolutely clear is that some are, some are not. No joy here for the dogmatist. As it happens, the Murray/Nadal match was certainly totally for real, whilst in the Fed/Murray match, Murray was focused and determined to win, Federer not so much so. Ironically, however, Federer got a much bigger hiding in today’s match than in the exho.

I am surprised nobody has mentioned Murray being love forty down on his serve in the second set. Federer had every chance to break on that point, but tamely surrendered it – thereafter, Murray just served too well. But that was the crunch point. If Federer had broken then, as he should have done, the match might have gone his way. As it was, he just faded away. A few spectacular shots, as if to remind us of what he once was, and that was it.

There is not the slightest doubt that Federer was a bad loser today – forget about all that back nonsense, anyone could see Murray wasn’t faking anything – and I for one do not blame Federer. He has made at least two long statements of intent this month, signalling that – unlike last year – he is now fit and rareing to go, strongly implying that he expects success and stating it as a goal that he was after retrieving the #1 spot. I quoted these statements here realising their significance; personally, I felt pretty sceptical but harboured, as it were, secret hopes.

I think we can now see that these hopes were illusory – and, briefly, so will Federer have done, with shocking and hurtful clarity, too. That is the meaning of his stalking off the court. He will have understood without any ambiguity, that the great days are gone for ever, that he will never again be the best player in the world, and that even to win one more slam will take a considerable degree of luck (i.e.something happens to his more feared opponents).

Of course it is in the nature of things that the cloud of self-deception very soon returns to cast a veil over horrid truth, and expect more fantasy statements from Federer. Again, I don’t blame him at all for this kind of thing; these people live in an incredibly rarefied world; in particular Federer has had a huge ambition which now seems likely to be rudely pricked. So he doesn’t take it very well. Join the human race, that’s how most of us are under far less provocation.

Imo, two small mercies emerge for Federer. As Daniel pointed out, his volleying was much better. And he still has not found his serve. Today, for instance, he was compehensively outserved by Murray. But a great serve is something that a fading champion can retain or recover. And – at Wimbledon anyway, Federer has as good a chance as any of lifting the title, assuming the serve is there. Not – imo, anywhere else. Looking forward to being wrong again.


Oleg Says:

Ahh the art of the post-match handshake… who knew there was so much etiquette involved in that seemingly simple gesture.
To recapitulate:

1. you must be courteous to your opponent and acknowledge that he was the better player on that day:
- look player in the eye
- give a few words of congrats “good game mate” type of stuff
- pat on the back
- leave court in a timely manner but not too quickly

2. And yet you must also show that you are disappointed… or else it might seem that you are taking things too lightly and not seriously enough. After all, you just suffered that great disgrace that is to lose a tennis match against one of the world’s elite. How dare you smile Novak Djokovic!!
Guidelines:
- smiling kept to a bare minimum
- head down, shoulders hunched, resigned gaze
- pat on the back but absolutely no hugging!


mem Says:

oleg, your comments are amusing! i love it!


jane Says:

grendel, I am pretty sure if you scroll up a ways, you’ll find that Daniel did in fact comment on this: “I am surprised nobody has mentioned Murray being love forty down on his serve in the second set. Federer had every chance to break on that point, but tamely surrendered it”


gulu Says:

Hi Grendel, very well have you pointed out about the repercussions that the statements of Fed may have on him this year and it must have sounded to guys like Murray, in your thrilling words- Hopeful bombast ! Whenever a man crosses limit, God punishes !


jane Says:

“And he still has not found his serve.” I disagree, or at least I would add that Federer served very well the first set, and rather abysmally the second set, but his second serve was top notch – he has a very consistent second serve. I think he needs to return better.


gulu Says:

However I’d like to say that Fed’s not been a bad loser generally, but today it seemed to me, he certainly was ! I’m so sad about this catastrophe that has befallen Fed ! Words can’t express my agony.


gulu Says:

You Oleg, how could you make me smile so heartily (through elaboration of your tennis etiquettes) on such a disappointing day !!! Your guidelines are the funniest and the most relieving words for me today ! It almost made me to up the tempo of my mood !


jane Says:

Yes, Oleg – that’s a good one. Nice summation of the ridiculous expectations we have for our guys! LOL. They are all different, so naturally they’ll act differently – as I said before: so be it! :-)


dogboy68 Says:

Federer doesn’t just leave the court quickly when he loses, he bad mouths (as the Americans would say) his opponents too. He doesn’t have the grace to credit the players who beat him. He always finds excuses on his own part, or tries to denigrate the achievements of others. For instance, he attacked Murray in March 2008 for being one dimensional & having no variety to his game after Murray beat him. Federer said he gave the match to Murray, rather than Murray winning it: “I gave him the mistakes but overall, in a 15-year career, you want to look to win a point more often, rather than wait for the other guy to miss. Who knows, he might surprise us all.” Evidence of Federer’s increasingly fragile psyche, and amazingly condescending attitude.


gulu Says:

dogboy68, how can you level such a false allegation against Fed that he’s bad mouthed and he doesn’t acknowledge his opponent’s victory graciously ! In 2008, what he said about Murray wasn’t totally wrong, he was the first who once said Murray’s best kid!


gulu Says:

I still can’t forget Fed’s assessment of Murray’s talent way back and this has so ominously proved to be true !


gulu Says:

By the way, I’m unable to understand why Mirka wasn’t smiling at all during the Qatar Open? And she was looking nervous throughout the tournament as well ! I’m wondering what’s wrong really ! His team members also looked tense all the time. Anybody knows?


jane Says:

I read elsewhere that Federer didn’t shake the umpire’s hand; I didn’t notice that, but if it’s true, it really shows the level of his disappointment.


gulu Says:

While Roger’s fall is the worst news, it’s type of relieving to see that Andy Rod’s getting, may be i little more consistent since some time, I mean he’s not going out losing to stupid guys, don’t know whether he’s just a little hungry now? Tell me Von !


Von Says:

And, the post mortems begin. A lovely mixture of of noble and ignoble thoughts. Mockery and agreement of the mockery. Oy vey! Oh what a tangled web we weave. Come on guys get over it, the match is over and who did what to whom now is immaterial. I’m sure Murray doesn’t care what Federer did or didn’t do. He won.

Roddick, a winner of 27 titles, is a one-trick pony, according to one who’s probably won “zero” titles, but is so peeved that he dared to win. Alas, that’s the way the cookie crumbles, roll with the punches and leave the winners to bathe in the balm of their success.


Von Says:

gulu:

Yes, I’m happy for both Andys. I’m very happy Roddick is in the finals, one-trick pony, et al. May the best man win tommorrow.


Von Says:

Colin:

Sorry about the problems you’ve encountered. I have a very fast connection, but I did at times experience some freezing. Use the Justin sites instead. I looked at the Euro-Sport site for another match and it was a great picture too. Maybe, you’d do better with that one.

Good win for Andy Murray. I’m sure you’re on cloud nine. I’m concerned about his back though and hope he’s fine tomorrow. Enjoy the match.


Von Says:

gulu:

Last year in LA I watched an after-match interview with Roddick and Drysdale, P McEnroe and Pam Shriver, wherein Andy stated that he wants to re-invent his tennis. He also cited Agassi’s reinvention at 29, and felt if Andre could do it, then Andy could certainly do the same. I’ve seen some improvement and there is an apparent hunger, which if pursued, should manifest and/or translate to more wins. I’d like to see him win Wimby, which is his heart’s desire, and I hope he does just that.


gulu Says:

I’d be the happiest person in the planet tomorrow if Rod’s able to
beat Murray ! May Rod get all the power to beat Murray, coz then Murray’d again have a win v. Fed, but’ll again go titleless like at Shanghai Masters, come on Hot Rodd !!!


grendel Says:

jane – yes,sorry to Daniel,I see that he did mention that love-40 point, although I would enter a quibble here. At love -40 itself, Federer was passive, complacent also perhaps, and rather donated the point. From then on, Murray didn’t let him in. Not just great play from Murray, then, but – for one crucial point, a disappointing lack of positive play from Federer.

About the serving. Yes, he didn’t serve bad in the first set. But this is not germane to the point I am making. Even in the first set, Federer’s serve was certainly not devestating,and in general, it has been poor both for this tourney and the exho. (The second serve was good – at the cost of an uncharacteristic number of doubles – but that too is another matter. As is the business of the poor returning. True, but I just wasn’t talking about that).

My point, such as it was, is that Federer serving at his best – and he was nowhere near his best today at any stage – is quite devestating, and in the past has frequently bailed him out of trouble. If he can recover it – and again, my point was that this is not unrealistic, whereas recovering the full glory of his forehand IS in my view – it may inch him through to more grand slam success. Absolutely no guarantees, of course, but at the very least it is a sine qua non that the serve must be back to the great days, since it has to compensate for what are probably iremmediable shortcomings. And I reckon, given this, Wimbledon remains his best bet. Just an opinion, of course.


I like tennis bullies Says:

stick a fork in him this Federer is done, over and out.


jane Says:

That’s true grendel. Thanks for your clarification. A case in point might be Federer’s marathon match against Tipsarevic in 08 at Oz. Federer’s service display in that match was fantastic and really won it for him in the end. The serve will be a go-to weapon for him at hard court events as well as on the grass. I think Federer has just as good of a shot at winning another hard court slam as Wimbledon, particularly the US Open. He seems to last well throughout the season, and doesn’t fade like some of the others. We’ve not yet seen Murray play like this for a full season as he really hit his stride after Wimbledon last year. So we don’t know yet if he CAN play this way for a full season without slumping. And we know Nadal and Djokovic both slump, Nadal usually around the USO or after, and Djokovic at some point too.

Roger, however, has played more consistently, though both his spring 07 and spring 08 were touch and go.

Draws will begin to figure importantly perhaps too, with regards to who has a better shot at winning the slams, since there are really so many spoilers and contenders right now.

I apologise for digressing. But I don’t think it should be such a stretch for Roger to win another slam and tie Pete. After this year, it may get more difficult, but still not impossible.


jane Says:

Von, I agree with you. If Roddick is to win another slam, it would be wonderful if it is Wimbledon since he’s come so close there, closer than at all of the other slams, having been in two consecutive finals there in 04 and 05 (as well as the USO 06). I’d be really happy for him, were he to win in England this year.


MMT Says:

Does anyone know what the crowd disturbance was referred to in this article:

http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/news?slug=afp-tennisatpqat&prov=afp&type=lgns

“…There was also some suspicion that he had been annoyed by some of the spectators though when asked he said: “It’s nothing I want to talk about now.”


MMT Says:

dogboy68 – do you know that the Murray’s credit (in part) Federer’s comments about Murray’s game for the strides he’s made in his game ever since?


dogboy68 Says:

Another example of Federer blaming someone else apart from himself for losing :-)


MMT Says:

Von and Jane – the final with Murray is going to be a big test for Roddick. If he can beat an in-form Andy Murray in a final, that will say something about his own form. A win of Monfils doesn’t say much to me at all, even though I’ll grant you that I haven’t seen the match.

For my money Murray’s the man to beat at the AO – I just hope, for his sake, that he doesn’t have any events planned for between now and then (like Sydney), because that would be a big waste of time and energy.

I really think this is the moment for him, unlike last year where it was all a bit premature and he went out in the first round to Tsonga.


dogboy68 Says:

MMT – yes I did know that. I guess the fact that Federer slagged him off in front of the world’s press spurred him to make him eat his words. But surely you’re not saying that Federer should be given credit for his pelulance?


jane Says:

MMT – yeah, I said above that I think Murray is the favorite to win the AO at this point. He seems both physically and mentally strong, playing within himself and harnessing his talent to great effect. It’s hard to bet against him. But I didn’t see much of Roddick’s match so can’t comment too much on his form.


MMT Says:

Don’t get me wrong, I was very critical of Federer’s comments when he first made them as well, but it turns out it wasn’t pure petulance, but an honest assessment of Murray’s game. Just because it came out of the disappointment of a loss doesn’t mean the intent was to denigrate Murray. And it turns out that Murray didn’t take it so cynically as you (and I) did, and took it to heart.

No, I give credit to Murray for all of his success, but what’s Federer supposed to say if this is what he really believed on that occasion (i.e. that Murray gave hime enough rope to hang himself?) Shouldn’t he say this and not some bland non-sense about Murray hitting all the shots and playing better than him on that day?

I think there’s a huge difference between comments like Serena made about Henin coming up with lucky shots when Henin beat her in straight sets at the US Open in 2007, and Federer giving an honest (and as it turns out – despite both your and my displeasure at the comments) assessment of Murray’s game ON THAT DAY!

Personally I wish more players would do this, more often, instead of pretending that they lost because the other guy played out of his socks. That, in it’s own way could also be perceived as the height of arrogance – that the only way a guy can beat me is to play the match of his life.

Thoughts?


dogboy68 Says:

MMT – I take what you’re saying. Bu Federer has a long history of belittling his opponents whenever he loses to them. If it were just the occasion in March last year when he lost to Murray you could say he was being honest. If it were not for all the other occasions when the mask slips. Compare him to Nadal – who never makes excuses & never bad mouths his opponents. When Federer lost to Canas he said that Canas’s drugs ban should not have been lifted. When he lost to Djokovic he said the loss was ‘insignificant’. He swears, slams balls into the crowds, smashes his rackets. He is reverting to the player he was when he was starting out. We haven’t seen this side of him before because he hasn’t had to deal with losing so much before. Btw, after Federer lost this match, why did he have to put down Jankovic too. Has he lost to her too? :-P


Giner Says:

“I’ll write up a full 2009 look ahead in the coming days, complete with my pick for year-end No. 1. Who is it? I’ll give you a hint, he wears a Nike headband and he’s not named Juan Martin.”

That narrows it down to Federer and Nadal. Gosh, you reckon?

I don’t think Federer will regain his throne. He has lost to Murray yet again (twice in two weeks). He’s my pick to win AO. Even in best of five sets where Federer has a chance to fight back and win, I can see it going 50/50 if the two meet. Murray is a very improved player and I think he may reach number 2 this year.


Giner Says:

jane:

“I read elsewhere that Federer didn’t shake the umpire’s hand; I didn’t notice that, but if it’s true, it really shows the level of his disappointment.”

I doubt he is disappointed about losing in Qatar. Quizzed about his post-Wimbledon losses in 08, his answer was (paraphrasing) ‘I don’t care about Toronto or Cincy. Events like these don’t matter. What’s important to me is the Olympics and US Open. Those are the tournaments that count.’

Qatar is of even less significance that the M1000′s after Wimbledon.


jane Says:

Giner,

Maybe the non-shake was just an oversight then. Who knows? I didn’t see any crowd disturbance either. I was quite mesmerized by the tennis.

But yes, the article grendel posted a couple days ago seemed to indicate that Federer is most concerned about slams. However, he does want to regain the number 1 ranking, and if Murray keeps beating him on hard courts, that goal might be a hard one to reach. So maybe he really was disappointed, but not so much over losing the event itself as much as *to whom* he lost.


Von Says:

MMT:

I saw Roddick’s match and while a win over Monfils is not a huge achievement for a-Rod, I do believe he’s made some progress over their previous two(2) matches. Roddick has also figured out Monfils’ game, as he did with Murray a couple of years ago, whereby both players lure their opponents into the net to make the passing shot. However, albeit he’s figured out that strategy, he’s still getting caught into the net web/encounters.

Today, Roddick made some overhead smashes, which Monfils returned back to him, with interest. This shouldn’t have happened, but the reason it did, was due to those overhead smashes not being powerful enough. If he does that tomorrow with Murray, it’ll be the same scenario — it’ll come right back to him. He needs to inject some more umpf into his overhead smashes and hit them as if he really wants to put them away.

Another similarity between Monfils and Murray is their speed, and the fact that Roddick is not as fluid a mover as those two, places him at a huge deficit from the beginning. I also hope he serves better tomorrow, because his serve was not the best today.

In Murray’s present form, I’d say he unquestionably has the overall edge, but who knows tomorrow could be A-Rod’s day. May the best man win. I’m happy that they made it to the finals, because I like them both.


Von Says:

Skorocel:

Congrats on Slovakia’s (your country) Hopman Cup win, and to Russia for their runner-up finish. Albeit Safin was beaten up, he put in a great effort for his coun try. I enjoyed his matches.

It seems to me as though Hrbaty is regaining some of his old form. He should do well at the AO if he keeps up his present form.

Your country has a good WTA palyer in Cibulkova. I suppose the newspapers will be full of their Hopman Cup win.

Enjoy your country’s success!!


Von Says:

“Btw, after Federer lost this match, why did he have to put down Jankovic too. Has he lost to her too? :-P ”

I thought that the comparison was a bit way off.


Daniel Says:

Jane, I am almost certain that he didn’t shake the umpire hands, but to me it didn’t look intentional – as if he was mad with the umpire, he just wanted to get out! Today was one of those frustrating matchs, he couldn’t break Murray’s serve after 3 sets and that particuar game 1-1 second set when he had 0-40 and returned (block) 4 short balls (the lack of effort grendel mentioned, athough it was excelent first serves by Murray) really made the difference.

As long as he wins against Murray in AO, where it matters the most, this lost won’t hurt him that bad. Right now he is just secretly hoping for Djoko to land in his draw and Murray in Nadal’s, at least I am!


Kimmi Says:

“Btw, after Federer lost this match, why did he have to put down Jankovic too. Has he lost to her too? :-P

Its true, jankovic is No 1 and has never won a slam, thats why everyone make a mokery out of WTA tour. What federer is saying is right and murray need to win a slam now. there is no use to beat federer if you cannot deliver in slams and I am sure murray know that.

by the way, i don’t recall federer saying “Canas’s drugs ban should not have been lifted” after lossing to canas..please show us a link. i know federer can be percieved arrogant sometimes but there are things that he has said which have helped players like eg murray. murray is now able to beat nadal and djokovic due to changes in his game to be more aggresive. Before fed told him he was only waiting for opponents errors, which was true …he used to loose to nadal and djoko left right and center. So please give the guy a break.


Daniel Says:

And grendel I totally agree with you regarding the serve. It’s being a while since it is not killer serve anymore, his number of aces decrease, no longer getting those free points so often. I know Murray is an excelent returner but he was returning almost all the serves, first or second. I think there was just one game that Fed served perfectly 40-0 needing one forehand to finish a point.

Last year US open the final two matches he served great and won them. He will need to “find his serve” in order to win AO 2009, and I think his sense of perfect timing will show up when the time comes!


Von Says:

TD(Tam)

I just saw your post. A Happy new year to you too.

Yes, it would be nice if A-Rod were to win the title, but I’m just happy he’s gotten to the finals. You’d never know it though — only a few seem to realize there was another SF played today. And, if he does win, according to one very insightful poster, it would be due to Murray’s “shoe laces being tied”, because he’s a one-trick pony with only 27 titles, including a Grand Slam and 4 MS shields. WOW. Lord help the poor guy; he can’t seem to do anything right.

Well, here’s hoping for a great 2009 tennis year with a lot of great matches.


Von Says:

redux:

I just saw your post. No, I don’t think I’ll be going to Alabama for Davis Cup. Will You? My son, who lives in West Palm Beach, would like for us to go to the Miami tourney, so I’ll probably be going there to watch some of the matches. Watch out for me, because I’ll have a US Flag with Roddick’s picture waving it with gusto. That’s a joke — I’m not one for drawing attention to myself.

You’re not being fair to yourself about your posts. I enjoy your posts, so feel free to write as much as you deem fit. All it takes is one post and then you get bitten by the “posting bug” and it becomes a habit. I’ve stopped posting for a few days here and there with the thought of withdrawing permanently, and then I read something, and boom I’m caught in the wheel of no return. I suppose you can call it an addiction. Anyway, drop in from time to time will you and share your thoughts with us.


grendel Says:

Reflecting more on Federer’s performance, I still maintain age comes into it. He fought with Murray in the first set, though imo Murray was slightly unfortunate in not winning it. But then after that love – forty business, he just started going away. According to the Telegraph, “Federer was just as tetchy off the court as he was on it, reacting angrily to suggestions that he gave up in the closing moments of the 2 hour 5 minute struggle”. I think deep down, he gave up long before then. His “angry” reaction suggests at some level he understands this but does not really want to face it.

Look, I think the comments of dogboy68 are ridiculous and demeaning – and his assessment of Saint Nadal at best naive. But there is no doubt Federer is a poor loser and, without wanting to indulge in armchair psychiatry – I actually know very little about Federer’s personal life, it’s his tennis I’m interested in – I think from a strictly tennis perspective it is interesting to inquire as to why Federer reacts poorly to loss.

Leaving aside a possible character defect – and the kind of sermonising that goes on in this respect is both laughable and nauseatingly sanctimonious – bear in mind that Federer has for a long time had this burden of GOAT thrust upon him. Of course, when the times were good, he no doubt revelled in it, so you could say: chickens come to roost and so on. But I am trying to make an explanatory point (which may be wrong of course) not a moral point. Given that everyone lauded Federer in such extravagant terms he must, to some extent, have come to believe it – he’d hardly be human if he didn’t. And part of this extravagance has, for a long time, been the calm assumption that he would certainly equal and overtake Sampras’ grand slam total – fostered not least by Sampras himself(a defensive measure I always thought). I suspect Federer was taken in by this, and believed it was sort of his due, almost. He perhaps still does, but there must be nagging doubts now, and that makes for anxiety and discomfort.

And then you have had this curious phenomenon of an alleged GOAT who nevertheless struggled to beat the #2. As a matter of fact, I think Federer has handled the rivalry with Nadal pretty well, especially given the fact that his poor h2h record reflects the paradoxical fact that Nadal only has such a commanding h2h because Federer has been so good on clay. If Federer had been as moderate on clay as Sampras, say, he might well have the lead on his h2h with Nadal. As far as I know, he has never alluded to this – someone so keen to trash his opponents as dogsboy68 alleges has certainly missed a trick here.

But Murray is a different matter. I really do think Federer, deep down, now doubts whether he can beat him. You might say, look at the US Open, but Federer knows quite well a)Murray could hardly have recovered from the monumental Nadal match b)it was his first gs final and he was nervous. This is not an excuse for Murray, it is just that Federer will never again have such a favourable opportunity to beat Murray, and he is bound to know that. The important thing is, Murray is both tremendously talented and very tough – he’s just too much for Federer now. You could see Federer mentally scratching his head: what on earth can I do? That must be humiliating for a player who is used to evoking that response himself from his opponents. Alright, you can imagine some players who wouldn’t mind so much, Rod Laver comes to mind. But people are as they are and have to deal with what nature provided them with.

It is telling that the pattern now is that Federer wins – often only just – the first set against Murray, Murray gathers himself, and Federer is just not able to respond. Partly this is a confidence thing, I suppose, in which case it is self-reinforcing, you have a sort of positive feedback loop. But I do suspect age comes into it. I know Daniel says he is only 27, and players vary of course, but plenty of great ones have lost that critical edge by this age. I am at sea here, but I guess perhaps it is a subtle phenomenon, very difficult to pin down, not least for the player himself, who perhaps is inclined to offer all kinds of explanations for his decline (including the bizarre one that there is in fact no decline) other than the right one.
“when things were going my way,” Federer said. “I just couldn’t give the knockout punch. But it is not a big thing. Andy is a tough player against me. I hope when big matches come, I beat him.”

The last two sentences are ok, almost wistful. But the first two are revealing. Things weren’t really going his way, for the first set was tight with Murray marginally the better player. There was that love-40 point, but it is premature, to say the least, that if he had won it, he’d have delivered a knockout punch. And “it is not a big thing”? Literally, perhaps not, in that it is a small tournament, but it was a big thing, seeing him looking so lost out there, with Murray moving him about almost at will.

That’s my take, on Federer’s bad loser act. I think it is rationally explicable. It perhaps diminishes him somewhat in the eyes of those who always had unrealistic expectations of him. And it will delight those who can’t abide him, and proceed to shed risible crocodile tears over his behaviour. One curious point: so long as Federer feels he has a chance of winning the big ones, you are likely to see more “bad behaviour”. Once he starts “behaving well”, you’ll know he has come to terms with his being an elder statesman of the tour, who is expected to entertain but hardly to win. It’s the transition period that’s so damned awkward, where you’re not quite one thing or the other……….


grendel Says:

b.t.w. Murray said he hopes he can play tomorrow, but won’t if the back is too painful. Aussie Open odds: Murray, 5-2; Federer, 11-2; Nadal,10-3; Djokovic, 5-1.


Giner Says:

“But yes, the article grendel posted a couple days ago seemed to indicate that Federer is most concerned about slams. However, he does want to regain the number 1 ranking, and if Murray keeps beating him on hard courts, that goal might be a hard one to reach. So maybe he really was disappointed, but not so much over losing the event itself as much as *to whom* he lost.”

That could be. Though he has lost to Nadal a lot too but enjoys and revels in that rivalry. If Federer is to focus on slams only, then it’s going to be difficult to reclaim the top rank, because it won’t be enough anymore. I’m not sure how stable Nadal is at the top, but not much separates 2nd and 3rd place, and Murray could conceivably supplant them both with a good showing in Melb. Dropping to 3rd or 4th in the world would incense Federer even more.

He is no longer a lock in favourite for every tournament he enters, and he’s going to have to start accepting that. At 27+, it’s unlikely that he will recreate the golden years of 04-07.

One at a time I guess.


mem Says:

winning a slam(s) should be used to legitimize a #1 ranking, whether it be wta or atp, no disrespect intended. it is a way of separating ordinary from exceptional. to be the one holding the championship trophy on that final day from amongst all the stiff competition, over a two-week period is a testament to just how mentally and physically strong a player really is, especially when a player is able to do more than once. face it! when it’s all said and done, great players are measured in terms of grand slams won and other extraordinary/historic achievements.


Kimmi Says:

I just finished watching the Brisbane semi Verdasco vs Mathieu. Wow ! Verdasco was playing magnificent. He looks like he could see the tennis ball like a football..winners were coming both sides Forehand and backhand…good luck to him. On the on-court interview he said, since the davis cup he now has a lot of confidence.

Maybe this is another guy that the talent will be realised in 2009. I have always thought he has potential but never really deliver. Good stuff.


jane Says:

Good job for Verdasco! I hope Gasquet can win now, as a final between the two could be good.

Kimmi, I wonder if his new gal has a little to do with his new hot streak?!


jane Says:

grendel,

Liminality is your final point, and yes those transitional moments in any life can be exceedingly painful, let alone being an athlete who is going from winning everything (a stable and gratifying ontological state) with maybe one main nemesis (Nadal), to having a couple or even a few players(Murray, Simon, Djokovic etc) who can beat him either consistently or occasionally (an uncertain existence). That’s got to be a tough transition for someone like Federer and would seem to rationally explain some cantankerousness.

Giner,

Why do you think Federer has reveled in his rivalry with Nadal? And why would a rivalry with Murray bother him so much more? It does seem curious. Is it because it’s mainly on hard courts, one of Federer’s safe areas? (Versus on clay, where Nadal has mainly had the upper hand, so Federer could hunt him.) Or maybe it goes back to grendel’s point about age and Federer knows he’s declining so Murray’s upperhand in the rivalry is more worrisome? I really have no idea.


TD (Tam) Says:

Von, jane, gulu!

As a died in the wool Roddick fan I have a smile going from ear to ear—-and he hasn’t even won the title! Make no mistake that win over red hot Monfils was big for Andy. Monfils had his number three times in a row, Andy needed to win this one almost as badly as Federer needed to beat the other Andy today.

Am I a bad Roddick fan for wishing the final contained him and Federer and not Murray? Just for old times sake and yes, Mr ARod has some issues to take up with the former King as well. There is a history there that is still being written but I’d like it to read something other than 15-2.

Good luck to Andy the Roddick in the final! Please please win..


gulu Says:

Dear Grendel, thank you so much for defending Fed ! Hope I could have helped you in this regard,but work doesn’t allow me to do so right now ! Unfortunately FED-BASHING COWARDS ARE HATING A GREAT TIME THESE DAYS, e.g. ‘I like tennis bullies’ & others !


gulu Says:

Dear Fed fans, my great friends, don’t lose hope on Fed please ! It’s already a tough situation for him, but he’s given us immense joy & pride, in this tough time he needs us more than ever, have faith in him !
I think he’s still very good & competitive !


gulu Says:

I like tennis bullies, so you think that Fed’s done,over & out, don’t you ? I mean you are one of those people who love to dwell in the fool’s paradise ! Got it or not ? Ha ha ha……!!! ;-)


gulu Says:

Dear ‘I like tennis bullies’, oh please don’t be so jealous of Fed ! It’s coz whenever you express your hatred towards Fed, you sound like a beggar who was formerly very rich, ha ha ha !!!


Blah Says:

poor Marat. One could see he was really trying in the final of Hopman cup, probably because he was representing Russia and was partners with his sister, who had lost her match (which probably made him try harder) He could’ve gone away in the later parts but he gave his best effort. Would have been a nice story to win one with his sister in his last year on tour but I guess that’s not to be.

I wouldn’t worry much about Federer until he starts doing poorly in slams, he’s won enough of these other tournaments, but right now Murray certainly looks like he’s the favorite going into AO.

And Gasquet- hopefully he makes some noise in the AO, and does not exit in the first few rounds. He’s got to have some consistency first, would love for the guy to win a slam.


gulu Says:

The problem with Fed’s that he has shown decline in form; but bigger problem of Fed in my view is, he’s still better than Murray & yet losing to him ! Why ? Ok ok, Murray’s in hot streak, but I feel Fed’s still better! Is the problem mental? Don’t know.


gulu Says:

I never thought Fed could have problems mentally, but yesterday, don’t know why, but I for the first time was forced to think about mental aspect of Fed’s game. Someone please tell ! Do you guys think Fed needs a coach &/or sports psychologist? for him?


margot Says:

Federer has been a mighty champion,probably the greatest player on hard and grass ever, but the clue’s in “has been.” I think only Agassi got back the No 1 spot after losing it. Rafa’s game looks vulnerable at the mo.- those poor bandaged knees! Chasing them are at least 6 fantastic guys: my man Murray, Desonga,Gulbis,Simon, Jokavic,del Potro, gosh I could go on and on! And this is just brilliant for the game. Come on 2009!


gulu Says:

My guys are Fed, Rafa, Murray, Rod, Nole, Tsonga and Simon. Del Potro too !


Colin Says:

I’m really keeping my fingers crossed that Murray has recovered. As some people are saying on the BBC website, if the back is still giving problems, ideally Murray should come out, play a few games and retire, out of respect to Roddick (not to mention the tournament, which would otherwise be left without a final).
Murray has said it might not be the weather that’s caused the problem (Qatar evenings are chilly, it seems) but perhaps the courts. On the whole, I hope it is the weather, because then he’ll be better off in the heat of Melbourne.
As for Federer, remember the length of the decline of Sampras – a slow process over several years, an early sign being a loss at Wimbledon to none other than Fed. Remember also Pete’s amazing last hurrah, winning the US Open, which I think he’d value more than a return to No 1. So, hang around, Roger, you probably have triumphs still to come! It’s not as though you’ll risk brain damage like boxers who go on when they’re past their best.


gulu Says:

I like Del Potro more than Simon of course, I feel Del Potro has a good future ! BUT HOW THE HELL CAN I FORGET NALBY SAFIN? I just love Safin and Nalby !!


Andrew Miller Says:

Let’s go Andy Roddick! Not to be outstandingly partisan, but nonetheless…

GO RODDICK! He lost the first set in Doha.


Colin Says:

Fairly straightforward win for Murray, with no sign of back problems. Now lets see what he can do in Australia. I rather wish he were not the favourite – it’s tempting fate!


Leftykick Says:

Colin,

Dont worry, he is very mentally tough these days, he can handle the pressure. The only worry is his health and fitness for the heat down under.

I will be happy if he takes any one of the slams this year. Wimbledon would be great but I am not sure that this is his best chance.

The Australian usually throws up some surprises though so I am not making any predictions just yet…


grendel Says:

Gutsy performance from Roddick. Despite being outplayed – as he admitted in his post match speech – he never gave up, even earning himself a break point in the the last game of the match. That’s why this match was more fun to watch than Murray/Federer, because Roddick was always in it, always pressing – and if Murray had suffered a let down, Roddick would have been in. Federer just drifted away, I am afraid. I do think age is likely to treat Roddick more kindly than Federer, probably because the margins are nowhere near so fine.

So now Murray is big favourite for AO. Nadal, I would guess will be his main threat – and therein lies the importance of that monumental exho match. Neither will forget who won that.

Just guessing, but I can’t see anyone beating Murray till the final. On the other hand, there’s plenty could beat Nadal – Tsonga, Monfils, Roddick, Djokovic, Verdasco if he really has got his head screwed on now, Federer, amazing really, perhaps others. And yet one feels a Nadal/Murray final could easily go either way. Strange.


jane Says:

“And yet one feels a Nadal/Murray final could easily go either way.” Maybe because once Nadal gets himself to a final, he can taste that trophy already. LOL. But were they to get to the final this year, my money would go on Murray.


margot Says:

Hey!My man Murray did it! I’m not worried about him being favourite 4 A.O. Unlike previous Brits he actually seems to want to win! The AO produces many surprises though, last year Tsonga was amazing. How could you leave out Gulbis, Gulu(same name or what as well) he has brilliant potential, just needs to control that power, perhaps he can borrow Rafa’s coach. No, I’m not writing off Fed either but he needs to get his act together quick, that cloak of invincibility is slipping….


Skorocel Says:

To Von:

Sorry for replying so late, but anyway, thank you very much for your heartfelt congrats!!!


gulu Says:

I don’t think Fed’s cloak of invincibility’s slipping away, in fact it already has slipped away ! Still I’m hoping for some miracle (i.e. win) for Fed at Aus Open 2008. At this point Fed definitely needs some luck ! Fed badly needs a sports psychologist !


gulu Says:

Grendel, Nadal’s gonna be stopped by anyone else except Fed, Murray, Nole and Tsonga (if he at all faces him) ! Come on Grendel, no chance of Monfils upsetting Rafa at Aus Open !
How could you even think of Verdasco beating Rafa, It’s Impossible !!!


Andrew Miller Says:

I think that, 3 of 5 sets, it’s going to be different. Murray has shown he can make finals of grand slams, and he can probably win grand slam finals, but so can other players. Until Murray deposes of them, which Andre Agassi finally did in his monumental, 5-set, 6-4 fifth set 1992 Wimbledon Triumph (“winning the biggest title for his first grand slam” – going the distances to finally put away all the demons from the French Open finals of 1990 and 1991, and of the smack-down he took from Pete Sampras in the 1990 US Open final – and win his first and only Wimbledon title), then we cannot say for sure. The proof, of course, will be in the pudding: when “can he do it?” turns into “he did it”.

Let’s check out Andre Agassi’s statements for a little context:

Helped out by Ivanisevic’s excessive downswing on an uncomplicated backhand volley at match point, Agassi seized his first Grand Slam title with a 6-7 (10-8), 6-4, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 victory that, he said, was “always in doubt.”

“You know, I came here to win Wimbledon, but it’s really expecting a lot to beat this field on grass,” said Agassi, who downed grass-court aficionados like Boris Becker and John McEnroe in order to reach the showdown match.

but the most surprising part:

“”You would think that being in the fourth Grand Slam final, I’d go into it with almost the same snowball mentality of ‘I hope I don’t lose the fourth one.’ But I was overflowing with this desire to hit; by the time you get to the final, you no longer think you’re on grass. You’re just all-consumed with confidence.”"


grendel Says:

“How could you even think of Verdasco beating Rafa, It’s Impossible !!!” Gulu, I did say if Verdasco’s finally got his head screwed on. imo, Verdasco is certainly as good as Nadal on a hard court. But he has always been mentally deficient. There seem to be signs of a possible change….


Kimmi Says:

Yes grendel, yesterday i watched verdasco and definetly something has clicked. i hope it is not a one off and i wish him good luck in brisbane tonight.


kim Says:

federer is done. no way is he anywhere near the greatest of all time. he isn’t even the greatest of his time. and he is a poor sport to boot.


graham Says:

some interesting comments here.

I agree that now Federer is losing a bit more often the nice guy veil is slipping a bit. It must have been so easy to be gracious for all those years when he won everything and had the odd defeat but now hes losing so much i think hes getting very frustrated and worried that his crown is slipping.

I think if it gets to the stage where he cant stay in the top 5 he will retire pretty much immediately because he just wont be able to accept being an also ran when he spent so long at the top.


Twocents Says:

grendel,

You are right on with Fed’s aging and transitioning. Like they say: the wife’s always the last one to know about her husband’s new love. Fed is way too stubborn to buy into aging yet. But that’s what will make his transition from topgun to senior force long, intriguing, and amusing to unfold. Don’t we turn to bigger-than-life figure in sports to alleviate our mortal mischieves? and find consolation even from their falls.

A friend was at Doha watching Fed. I asked him about Fed’s irrgularities with Seppi at 2nd round. He said at some early presser Fed answered questions on his back, saying his back’s getting better but a new strain’s there which is irritated by certain repetitive motion. It didn’t surprised me at all. I’m always amused that Fed, along with SOME his fans, kept saying like 12/31/2008 was a magic switch — it’d turn off all his troubles in a flip. At age of 27+, and with 10 years of ATP tour grinding, you just can not recover easily from any ailment, be it mono, back, kneel, etc. 2008 was a normal, not a misnormal, for Fed. 2009 will be tougher, coz Fed is not getting any younger and stronger.

On the other hand, I think people read into too much Murray’s injury timeout against Fed(like British meia). Murray sure had some issue with his back. But he is really really mad at losing US Open to Fed, losing YEC coz of Fed, and sick of Fed claimings illness from the 1st time he beat him back in 2006 Cincy. Murray’s also very mad at Fed’s fan backed Davy to beat him two months ago in Shanghai. Just for once, Murray showed that he beat an healthy Fed even though he’s injured himself. It’s not gamesmanship from Murray. He’d have won it with or without that injury time out. It’s pride issue. Murray shall be fine for AO.

Top story: Novak Djokovic: My Wrist Injury Isn't That Bad, I Will Play Madrid!
Most Recent story: Maria Sharapova Has A New Nike Ad And It Includes Boyfriend Grigor Dimitrov [Video]
  • Recent Comments
Rankings
ATP - Apr 21 WTA - Apr 21
1 Rafael Nadal1 Serena Williams
2 Novak Djokovic2 Na Li
3 Stanislas Wawrinka3 Agnieszka Radwanska
4 Roger Federer4 Victoria Azarenka
5 David Ferrer5 Simona Halep
6 Tomas Berdych6 Petra Kvitova
7 Juan Martin Del Potro7 Angelique Kerber
8 Andy Murray8 Jelena Jankovic
9 Milos Raonic9 Maria Sharapova
10 John Isner10 Dominika Cibulkova
More: Tennis T-Shirts | Tennis Twitter | Live Tennis Scores | Headlines

Copyright © 2003-2013 Tennis-X.com. All rights reserved.
This website is an independently operated source of news and information and is not affiliated with any professional organizations.