Federer, Murray on Opposite Sides of Australian Open Draw
by Sean Randall | January 15th, 2009, 10:00 pm
  • 133 Comments

The 2009 Australian Open draw has been released for the both the men and the women. If you haven’t seen it, you can by clicking here.

I won’t get into all the details and predictions just yet (save that for Sunday), but the big question going in was where Andy Murray and defending champion Novak Djokovic would fall, and the Scot is in Rafael Nadal’s half while Djokovic is in Roger Federer’s section.

Overall, a fair draw. I think top-seed Nadal has the toughest of the Fab Four with a bunch of guys who could give him trouble – Dmitry Tursunov, Richard Gasquet, Fernando Gonzalez, Lleyton Hewitt, Gael Monfils and Gilles Simon. The fun should really start when Rafa gets to the third round.

In the second quarter it should be a breeze for Murray, who’ll maybe have to deal with Fernando Verdasco and then either James Blake and JW Tsonga in the quarters.

Andy Roddick and Djokovic are set to meet in the final eight of the third quarter, and what a match that would be. While Novak should get their Roddick could run into some resistence in Phil Kohlscrheiber in round third (déjà vu?) and then David Nalbandian in round 4.

Federer should be feeling good at the way things turned out. There may be a Marat Safin hurdle in the third round and he could run into Juan Martin del Potro in the quarters.

Some of the first round matches I’m looking forward to include Gonzo v. Hewitt, Santoro v. Querrey, JMDP v. Zverev and Gasquet v. Junqueira (new Argentine).

As for the women, the Williams sisters ended up on the same side as did the Serbs. Jelena Jankovic is seeded to meet No. 7 Vera Zvonareva in the top quarter while Ana Ivanovic gets No. 3 Dinara Safina.

In the bottom it’s Venus against Elena Dementieva and Serena is scheduled to face Sveta Kuzetsova.

Play of course begins on Monday (Sunday night in the U.S. on ESPN).


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133 Comments for Federer, Murray on Opposite Sides of Australian Open Draw

Beatrice Says:

Hi Sean, good night :D
Well, I personally think Federer and Murray have the easiest draws, but as murray is in the Nadal’s part of the draw, I pick Federer for the luckiest guy.

I believe Roger will win this time and I cheer for that.
Watching the swiss playing is always guarantee of entertainment and fun.


Giner Says:

Federer’s got the easiest draw. Nadal’s is pretty brutal if he runs into a few of those in a row.

Monfils beat him a week ago, and Gonzo beat him here 2 years ago.

I like the first round matchup between Hewitt and Gonzo. I’ll be sure to watch that one. I couldn’t have asked for a better first rounder.

One of the Williams should win the women’s. My pick is Venus. I wish Justine was here.


jane Says:

Of the top four seeds, I think Federer and Murray’s draws seem slightly easier than Djokovic and Nadal’s. Nadal’s seems toughest.

Murray’s could be even easier if Tsonga pulls out.


jane Says:

I hope Safina, Dementieva, Jankovic, or Ivanovic win the women’s (in that order), but if it is to be a Williams sister victorious, then I’ll cheer on Venus to win it.


Giner Says:

Tsonga already pulled out I think. Either way, he won’t be a threat with the back injury.

I wish Dementieva would win, though I know she won’t. She has such a solid game, except for that serve. Everything else she does is very good. It’s a real shame she never worked on the serve after all these years. She had such promise since 2000 which was her breakout year. In all these years she never developed a serve and is still being coached by her mum. That’s just not good enough at this level. Justin Henin completely relearnt her serve multiple times in her career. If Dementieva had a serve as good as her strokes, she’d likely be a multi-slam champ by now. 2008 was a weak year in the women’s game when no one seemed to want to hold on to the top rank for long. It should have been hers.


Von Says:

The following are links to the AO draw, the US TV schedule, and the world Clock.

For Us viewers, remember there’s live streaming on ESPN360.com and http://WWW.TennisChannel.com.

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/aus09/news/story?page=TVaussieopen2009

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/aus09/news/story?
page=TVaussieopen2009http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/full.html

Enjoy all.


Von Says:

The David Ferrer v. Sam Querrey SF Auckland match is about to begin live on ESPN360.com. Enjoy.


TD (Tam) Says:

About the AO draw I feel one certainty: Roddick will not lose to Kohlschreiber again.

Wishing my favourite American player all the best this year!


mem Says:

the draw was unkind to rafa this time. his work is cut out for him. how lucky is murray; his draw is a breeze. federer’s too! it will be exciting to see who will prevail. let the games begin!


andrea Says:

hmmm…tipsy in fed’s half – who will forget their match last year???? we were up to 2 am biting our nails.


Von Says:

TD(Tam):

I join with you in wishing our favourite American player all the very best for 2009. Go Roddick!! And, hopefully some good results for Sam and James too.

I hope Bob Bryan’s shoulder is better and they can win the doubles.


Giner Says:

According to number crunchers, Novak Djokovic is one match away from unseating Federer at #2. He is currently playing Jarkko Nieminen. If he beats Niemenen he will be world no.2 going into Melb (though he won’t be seeded 2).

He is currently down a set however.

I really hope he doesn’t blow this opportunity for the 4th time in a row, because he may not get the chance again. If he can’t do it before Melbourne begins, he’ll be further away because he’ll need to defend all his points in Melbourne and fend off Federer in the semis to stay within touching distance.

Three times he’s played the match that could have made him the second ranked player and three times he came short. Nieminen is playing well so his work is cut out for him. I do like Djokovic so I hope he gets it, but then seeing Nadal and Fed play a French Open semi just doesn’t feel right.


jane Says:

Yeah, I was following scores online because I can’t find Sydney matches anywhere. Don’t know what is up, but Djokovic can’t seem to do anything with Nieminen’s serve. Maybe it’s because he’s a lefty?

They’ve played twice before – once on hard and once on clay – and both times it was really tight.

I am not sure that Djokovic should be focusing on rankings right now anyway. He should be focusing on his game, getting used to that new racquet, defending his title, and the rest (points etc) will, hopefully, come at some time in the future. Number 2 wouldn’t last if he’s beat in the AO, and it won’t mean anything, since the seeding for that event is a done deal. So it’s not a big deal if he doesn’t get it tonight, imo.

As for those other 3 times he could’ve been number 2, I’d love to know when/where they were and who he was playing against if anyone remembers. I remember one match was on clay at Hamburg last year – against Rafa! So it’s not like he had much of a chance. But he sure played well that day nevertheless.

Tonight, by the looks of it, there’s a good chance he’ll go out; he’s not doing much on the return, and he’s faced a number of break points. But we’ll see! It’d be good to see a Nalbandian vs. Djokovic final at Sydney.


Ezorra Says:

Poor djokovic… he lost again and this time to Nieminen which unfortunately will meet him once more in the first week of competition (if he successfully passes Paul Henry-Mathieu).

Based on the draw, Federer should have to get to the final of OZ open no matter what! Any other results will only become a disaster for him.

Kei Nishikori will be a very tricky opponent for Murray in the first few days of the competition.

I believe Gasquet, Gonzales, Monfils and Simon will become the main threats for Nadal to reach semifinal.


Daniel Says:

Jane,

The other times were against Rafa at RG 2008 and against Roger in US Open 2008!


Colin Says:

Jane – is Djokovic focusing on the rankings? Or is it just people like us who are doing so?


gulu Says:

Jane,don’t worry too much about Nole’s recent loss! I don’t think this will weaken his resolve to compete well at the Aus Open. To be honest, whether Fed wins it or not, I’d like to see Fed fighting hard, I expect just about the same thing from Nole !


Giner Says:

Well what do you know.. Maybe Djokovic just doesn’t want to be #2? Just don’t forget that you can’t get to #1 without going past #2.


Giner Says:

Jane, he had a chance to surpass Roger last week in Brisbane as long as he went one step further than Fed did in Qatar. Qatar had a tougher draw with Nadal, Murray and Roddick in it also, so it should have been easy.

He had his chances last year at RG and Hamburg, and if he had made the SF at Wimbledon against Nadal, that would have been another opportunity.


gulu Says:

EZORRA, glad to see you back! Smiles for you…. Well, it’s 1 of the best things to be an Indian,I have been able to enjoy either live or full highlights of almost all the important events-Doha,Brisbane, Sydney, Hopman Cup & AAMI here ! I’M SO HAPPY !!!


gulu Says:

This third world piece of shit (as a moron called me!) is much happier than the most of the people of other worlds ! At least I’m assured of getting the live coverage of the most important tennis events relaxin at home watchin our quality sports channels!


gulu Says:

Ezorra, won’t Zola ever come back? I miss her so much and may be you too! BTW, are you a member of Rafa’s official site? I’m its member even though I hardly visit it, however got some cool Rafa photos and saved in my PC.


jane Says:

Thanks Daniel and Giner for reminding me of Djokovic’s other “blown” chances to be number 2.

Mind you, the chances against Nadal on clay were hardly opportunities: after all, not many people beat Rafa on the red stuff!

Perhaps he had a bit better chance at the USO against Federer, although it felt like Roger was destined to win that event from the get go,

His best chances were definitely these last two events in Australia.


jane Says:

Colin,

I guess last year, when Djokovic had his chances on #2, he would’ve been thinking about it, maybe a lot even. However, since then, I have heard him say in interviews that he is deliberately NOT thinking about rankings but is trying to focus on improving his game in all areas. I think that’s the right attitude for him to have. He can really play, and when he just buckles down, I think/hope things will click for him. At that point, the results should come. That said, he should be able to beat a Nieminen. Mind you, Nieminen is a lefty, and a good opponent, who pushed Nadal last year for a set at the AO. He can play very well.

Sorry for the lengthy reply!


jane Says:

Thanks to all of you kind folks for the commiseration. BUT why would Djokovic change his racquet anyhow!???? He finished last year by winning the Masters Cup; he has a slam title to defend at the beginning of this year. Federer was right. Changing his racquet now is a very questionable decision. If he did it out of greed, switching from Wilson to Head, then I gotta say, he deserves the losses right now. I hope he doesn’t lose early at the AO, of course, but if he does, he’ll have some time to THINK! Come on Novak – get it together!


jane Says:

I have to say, much as I support Novak, it’s looking like he’s gotten himself into a real pickle and his chances of defending this slam? Very small, in my sad opinion.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/sport/tennis/is-djokovic-losing-his-grip/2009/01/16/1231608986457.html


Von Says:

I don’t understand why some are saying that Nadal has the toughest draw. True, some of the players in his half of the draw could give him some headaches, but that’s looking at the whole picture and that scenario won’t happen until around the 4th round or QFs, and it would be dependent on who’s left in that part of the draw.

Looking at the immediate 16 players in Nadal’s part of the draw, he has only four players who could be considered somewhat troublesome,, e.g., Haas, who hasn’t played for a few months, Hewitt (who’s just returning from surgery and is rusty) Gasquet (who’s been pretty OK but not spectacular, Gonzalez (who’s not been in good form of late) and Tursunov (same as Gonzalez). That said, I don’t see any difficulty for Nadal in his section.

The balance of the draw has a lot of dangerous opponents, but they will be fighting it out with the players in their immediate sections, and depending on who takes out whom, the draw could open up to be Nadal and Simon or Monfils in the QFs, and then Murray/Nadal fighting it out in the SFs.


sar Says:

I said on another thread that Nole would do a strategic tank so he could get some matches in and still take a few days off for AO.

Now Henman, the slamless wonder, has chimed in. Maybe Tim should have changed rackets to get himself a win. lol

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/ten…manTennis.html
“I was surprised to see that Djokovic is now playing with a different racket,” Tim Henman, the former British No 1, said.
“That’s a big risk to take when you are about to defend a grand slam title for the first time, and he hasn’t had very long to practise with it.
“That’s clearly a financial decision that he’s taken. But it’s going to take a while for him to get used to playing with a different manufacturer’s frame.
“A professional’s racket is such a personal thing, and it’s the tool of your trade. And so it takes a while for you to become accustomed to your new frame, that will put some doubt in your mind, and that adds even more pressure.”
Andy Murray is still playing with his Head racket, Rafael Nadal continues to endorse Babolat, and Roger Federer has a lifetime deal with Wilson.
“Djokovic had a fantastic year last season, winning the Australian Open and the Masters Cup in Shanghai, so I was surprised that he would change rackets after a year like that,” said Henman.
“A professional notices any small change to their racket, whether it’s something a bit different to the grip, the strings or the frame. You get used to the racket, and you know what you like.
“But to switch from one manufacturer to another just before a grand slam is a big move.”


jane Says:

Von, it’s true that draws have a way of opening up and surprising us. Maybe in the end Nadal’s draw will loosen up. To me, Gasquet’s not a real threat, but Monfils, Karlovic (depending on how he’s playing) and Simon could be threats. And Murray as opposed to Djokovic right now is maybe bad luck for Nadal, though it’s always tough to say. We never know what’ll happen in the end, which is why we watch!


jane Says:

The draw does seem awfully similar to the U.S. Open draw last season, though, as I think Ryan pointed out on another thread.


gulu Says:

I don’t think Nole tanked the match, I mean why should he have done that? I don’t think he was happy to lose today’s match, moreso because it was a chance for him to, may be overtake Roger, why would he willingly squander this opportunity?


jane Says:

I agree with you gulu. Nole would’ve been better off winning and getting a shot at Nalbandian, too, as Nalby is in his quarter of the draw.


check it! Says:

from tennis.com news:

Filippo Volandri banned for three months by ITF

ROME (AP)—Filippo Volandri of Italy will miss the Australian Open after being banned for three months by the International Tennis Federation for abusing an asthma drug.

The Italian tennis federation announced the ITF’s decision Friday, saying Volandri’s use of salbutamol was deemed beyond therapeutic needs. The ban began Thursday and will end April 14.

Volandri failed a drug test last March at a tournament in Indian Wells, Calif.

The 109th-ranked Volandri had been drawn to face Mario Ancic of Croatia in the Australian Open, which starts Monday.

The ITF also announced that all of Volandri’s results from March 13 will be voided, including money won and ATP points gained in the last nine months.

________________________________

Salbutamol, also commercially known as albuterol or Ventolin, is usually administered as an inhaler.

The abstract in the link below states that Salbutamol is “approved for human use as a brochodilator in the United States.” Volandri was tested in Indian Wells, Calif.

Likely reason for ban:
The article also stated that, at certain doses, it can increase muscle weight/growth and protein content. These results were found in lab-rat testing, but could yield similar results in human trials as an agent in preventing muscle degeneration.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6WN4-4C2SCF5-1SH&_user=422126&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000019978&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=422126&md5=a03197fc0468ccf96bc85d744b546671


Colin Says:

For what it’s worth, John Wertheim has (in his own words) climbed on the Murray bandwagon, and he’s taken the Scot to win the title.
I just hope someone can take out Nadal so Andy doesn’t have to play him in the semis, and thus be tired out for the final… assuming, of course that Andy himself gets to the semis!


sar Says:

Murray responds to Fed….

“if you were a bookmaker who would you make favourite for the
australian open?”

murray: “Well Federer wants to be favourite so much, so i’d give it to
him.”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/7832696.stm


MMT Says:

Oh boy Sar…any way you cut that, it’s a dig; and I think unduly influenced by journalistic sensationalism…this ought to be interesting.


MMT Says:

BTW – did anyone else notice Donald Young isn’t in the draw? And I don’t recall seeing him in the list of Americans trying to qualify either – what’s up with this kid?


gulu Says:

sar, do you feel Murray did the right thing by starting war of words with Fed (if at all he did this ! )? My answer to this is no ! Confidence’s good on Murray’s part, but if it slowly translates into cockiness,then who knows? He too may eat humble pie !


jane Says:

Even so, Murray sounds mature, focused, relaxed, confident, and smart in that short interview. One has to like his chances! He’s seems well beyond his 21 years in maturity. He’s hungry too, but not over-anxious to get it done here and now.

In a way, the dig is warranted. Murray’s probably heard a million journalists tell him Federer is surprised he’s a favorite, meanwhile Murray has beaten Roger 5 out of the 7 times they have played. That’s over 70% of the time! You’d think that Federer wouldn’t therefore be *that* “surprised” Murray’s favored here, taking into account his own record with him, the fact that he’s beaten Nadal, a player Federer praises, the last two times they’ve met, and that Murray made the last slam final, and perhaps lost that due to nerves and exhaustion – in part anyhow.

I can certainly see why he’s a favorite anyhow. I like Murray. He’s not one to get too riled up anymore – seems to be taking it all in stride. Good on him.


MMT Says:

Murray’s my pick to take it, whether or not Federer gets through to the semifinal. Too strong at this point to look past him. He seems to have a leg up on everyone.


redux Says:

Andy Murray is the best player around coming into this tournament. He’s the in-form guy, winning all the warm-ups, beating the top-ranked players. Federer shouldn’t get upset by Murray’s response, unless he feels he was misunderstood by referring instead to tournament history, whereby one could see Federer as slight favorite, having won three of the past five years. I’d still say Murray has the best form coming in as favorite, followed of course by Marat Safin.


gulu Says:

redux, how can you call Safin as a man-in-form? It’s impossible to conclude so !


gulu Says:

Murray’s really in form and as he said, I believe also, he’s still two-three years away from his best, which means for me he’s the most amazing player after Fed ! However I’m unable to consider Rafa as less favourite than Murray at Aus Open this year !


Colin Says:

Sar, you slightly misquoted Murray. He didn’t say Fed wants to be favourite “so much”, merely that he wants it. Only a couple of short words inserted, but it does increase the emphasis, and Murray didn’t say them. Naughty!


Giner Says:

“Mind you, the chances against Nadal on clay were hardly opportunities: after all, not many people beat Rafa on the red stuff!”

He almost beat Rafa at Hamburg…

He would have held onto #2 until Wimbledon.

Novak began the year with a 10 point deficit on Fed. 10 measily points, which is only 0.1% of the 10,000 or so that he has.

I don’t want to say for sure that this was why he lost. But he shouldn’t have lost to the opponents he did in the past 2 weeks. He’s a better player than that. He went to Sydney, which has a star depleted field, and still couldn’t do it. I see it as a missed opportunity.


Giner Says:

“Thanks to all of you kind folks for the commiseration. BUT why would Djokovic change his racquet anyhow!???? He finished last year by winning the Masters Cup; he has a slam title to defend at the beginning of this year. Federer was right. Changing his racquet now is a very questionable decision. If he did it out of greed, switching from Wilson to Head, then I gotta say, he deserves the losses right now. I hope he doesn’t lose early at the AO, of course, but if he does, he’ll have some time to THINK! Come on Novak – get it together!”

It came with a paycheck. He said the racquet feels like his old one once he gets used to it. He didn’t say it would be better or more powerful than the old one. I can only assume that money was a big factor behind it. It’s risky business to change racquets.


Giner Says:

“The balance of the draw has a lot of dangerous opponents, but they will be fighting it out with the players in their immediate sections, and depending on who takes out whom, the draw could open up to be Nadal and Simon or Monfils in the QFs, and then Murray/Nadal fighting it out in the SFs.”

You are absolutely correct Von. What I meant to say was that his quarter has a lot of dangerous players, not that he would meet them all, since they will be eliminating one another. It’s difficult to even say what his ‘draw’ will be, because we don’t have crystal balls and won’t know exactly who plays whom.

I don’t think Murray will have a difficult time reaching the semis barring a complete meltdown. He’s too good for that now. He used to have fitness issues and vomit out on court, but he’s a lot fitter and muscular now. I was skeptical of him at first, but he’s the real deal now.

Federer’s draw is okay, potentially dangerous. Djokovic’s has more difficult players in my opinion, but I still see him making it to the semis.


jane Says:

“but I still see him making it to the semis.” How? He may have to get through Neminen, Nalbandian and Roddick in order to only make the semis! Giner how can you believe with the racquet troubles that Novak is apparently (?) having that he’ll do it? I hope you’re right.


Giner Says:

sar,

Your link to Henman’s quotes is dead. It is too long and got chopped up by the blog. May I suggest making a tinyurl to it?

jane,

We don’t know the true extent of the racquet’s unfamiliarity. He could have lost because of the racquet, or maybe he was experimenting. Only he knows. He still played some spectacular tennis in losing, so if the racquet is going to be a factor, it would likely be purely in his mind.

Nalbandian has a chance at derailing him, but I think he’s better enough than the other guys that he’ll overcome them. I base this on the assumption that he was mucking around earlier just to test himself and the racquet. If the racquet is different, it wouldn’t be too much different that he couldn’t use it. He’s a pro, and he’s smart enough to know what not to do. I’ll give him that much credit.

He will take his matches a lot more seriously at the slam than at a tune up. Although there is still the pressure of defending his title.

Nieminen is good for some upsets but he’s not a real threat over 5 sets.

I’m not sure where Roddick is at health wise. He pulled out of Shanghai after one match, and isn’t playing Kooyong this year like he normally does (he would have been the 4 time defending champion). He’s beaten Novak before, but based on their US Open match, my money would feel safer on Djokovic. I do hope the top 4 all make the semis.

Also, I’m loathe to admit it, but as a straight man I have to say that Novak is quite a handsome guy. I didn’t really notice until this year. It might be his new hair, which looks quite good on him. And I do think he looks like a young De Niro. Is he still with that javelin throwing gal?


Giner Says:

Something I found amusing from the letters to the editor in a paper:

There is a god… Sharapova is to miss the Australian Open. Heartfelt commiserations to the earplug industry.
David Barr, Ringwood North

Understandably, tennis umpires request that spectators remain silent during play. Could they please insist that certain female players extend a similar courtesy to the spectators?
Florence, Camberwell

Sure, it’s bad luck for Maria Sharapova having to pull out of the Australian Open with a shoulder injury, but at the same time we won’t have to put up with her throat complaint.
Allan Murray, Horsham


Von Says:

Giner:

I wasn’t specifically referring to you about the draw. There were some comments which I feel were a wee bit exaggerated.

It’s seems that it’s always the plaintive cry nowadays that the draws are unkind to Nadal, which is far from the truth and reality.

People tend to look at his entire half of the draw and if they see a few names that he’s had difficulty with, they automatically deem it as an unkind draw. A more realistic way of looking at the draw is to look at which players are in the particular player’s draw, e.g., in the slams up to the 4th round or QFs and focus on those players. Looking at Nadal’s section, as I’ve mentioned before, there aren’t any real threats, are there? Hence, unless Kiefer of Schwank, Hewitt and/or Serra are injected with a potent dose of nuclear energy, there really isn’t any reason why Nadal shouldn’t easily make it to the Round of 16. None of the players in his immediate 16 should be a problem for him, even on hardcourt. Also, it’s not as if the other players are folding their arms and not playing and fighting to win their own rounds, but leaving the tough players for Nadal to beat. The drones are working and assisting the Queen bee. And, even if for the sake of argument, he had 16 tough players, to fight off one after the other, that shouldn’t be a problem, that’s why he’s the No. 1 player in the world, isn’t it. The No. 1 player is supposed to be able to accomplish that which the lower ranked players cannot, and that is beat everyone, left, right and center.
______________
jane:

I’m sorry but I don’t buy your argument about Djokovic not being able to make it to the semis because of “Nemininen, Nalbandian and Roddick”. He’s the No. 3 player and should be able to beat those guys. Just because he’s lost to Nieminen yesterday, doesn’t make it a difficult task. Nalbandian is in Roddick’s part of the draw, so he’ll meet either Roddick or Nalbandian, but not both, or probably neither. I don’t see his draw as difficult at all. What has Fish, PH Mathieu, Kendrick et al. done lately? NADA. The only threat Djoko has are Nieminen and Soderling. Soderling could lose to Bolelli, Kendrick or Benneteau, none of whom are fire-crackers.

The racquet problem is the media sensationalism bit, much more pronounced than it really should be. It’s one of the reasons I don’t read those articles — sensationalsim to the highest. I’m sure Djoko knew or knows what he’s doing with respect to the new racquet, and I don’t think it’s fair to the other players who have beaten him to say he lost because of his new racquet. If his losses are due to his racquet then he couldn’t have won 3 matches could he? He would have lost all of his matches. Life is all about choices, n’est ce pas?.


Giner Says:

“It’s seems that it’s always the plaintive cry nowadays that the draws are unkind to Nadal, which is far from the truth and reality.”

Not really. This is the first time I recall really. The US Open draw I don’t remember people calling unkind to him. Even Murray was not considered a threat to him at the time, because he had a perfect record against him. Wimbledon people always said he had easy draws for. And Djokovic was on Fed’s side last time (it’s ironic also that Djoko was the guy Fed and Nadal always preferred to avoid, but now he’s preferable over Murray).

“And, even if for the sake of argument, he had 16 tough players, to fight off one after the other, that shouldn’t be a problem, that’s why he’s the No. 1 player in the world, isn’t it. The No. 1 player is supposed to be able to accomplish that which the lower ranked players cannot, and that is beat everyone, left, right and center.”

I’m going to have to disagree with you here. Being No.1 in the world does not mean you’re the best player in the world. It only means you’ve accrued the most ranking points in the past 52 weeks of any player. You could have done it by being lucky (as if God guided your draws for a year or made your tougher opponents lose at the right time), or by taking advantage of a period of time where all the good players are injured. It could also mean that you played a lot more tournaments than anyone else in the top 10. Perhaps you won a lot of Masters 1000 / Tier I titles but tanked at the slams? You can even be a one surface wonder and still taste #1 if the pieces fall into the right places.

Being #1 does not mean you’re unbeatable or invincible or you have no weaknesses or achilles enemy (like Murray to Fed, or Blake to Nadal). No one is immune to having bad days either.

Do you believe Jelena Jankovic should be able to beat everyone left, right, and center? As much as I dislike the things Serena says, it’s true that Jelena is only #1 in name. She won’t cement her status as world’s best without a slam title.

The rank says nothing about how long it will last either. If you have the ability to beat everyone left, right, and center now, then in theory even if you dropped down to 6 in the world or 10 or even 50 in the world, you should still have the ability to do that?

Sometimes you have situations where three or more players have some kind of rock, paper, scissors relationship with one another. A can beat B but not C, B can beat C but not A, and C can beat A but not B. The draws play a big part in who comes out on top.

I don’t know of any player, #1 or not, who finished a season undefeated (with at least 10 tournaments played).

I don’t think Nadal’s draw is THAT bad (it is reasonably balanced), but I can’t pick another quarter in which the ‘owner’ will want to trade with him for. Murray has in my opinion a clearly more open draw with only Blake as a real threat.

“I’m sure Djoko knew or knows what he’s doing with respect to the new racquet, and I don’t think it’s fair to the other players who have beaten him to say he lost because of his new racquet. If his losses are due to his racquet then he couldn’t have won 3 matches could he? He would have lost all of his matches. Life is all about choices, n’est ce pas?.”

Djoko’s new racquet could have inhibited him a little but not enough to lose to those 3 guys.. But enough to lose to Nieminen. I’m not buying it either though. If there is any effect on him, it’s mental. Maybe he’s feeling the pressure also.


jane Says:

Giner,

Whether or not Djokovic makes it to the semis, we’ll see. I guess he’s got a decent shot, depending on how Roddick or Nalby are playing. But I have some niggling doubts. I notice at ESPN that at least one pundit has predicted he could be making an early exit.

I agree that he’s handsome and once posted photos of him and young De Niro at this site as i noticed the resemblance when I was teaching /Taxi Driver/ last summer. As far as I know, he isn’t with the javelin girl, no. He was with another pretty gal (maybe he’s longtime girlfriend?) at the Masters Cup.

Von,

It wasn’t an argument; it was an simply an opinion. Given the fits and starts I’ve seen from Novak in the 2 events he’s been in down under, I have my doubts, that’s all. I do think the racquet change at this point in time (right before defending a slam) is a risky one, as the players who’ve come out and said as much – e.g., Federer, Henman.

However, I don’t think it’s the sole reason for Djokovic’s losses. I’ve commented on his crappy returns on this thread (last night while following scores), and have read that his forehand was wild in last night’s match. If you look at my post addressed to Giner, you can see my uncertainty about the racquet issue: “the racquet troubles that Novak is apparently (?) having.”

Admittedly, I was able to only visibly watch the Gulbis match, and none of Sydney, since there is no apparent feed, so I am going by scores and stats, and then match reports, which isn’t as revealing as seeing it unfold.

If Giner says he played some great tennis while losing, I just have to hope he’s right. But Djokovic has faced a lot of break points in the last couple of matches, so mine is a cautious hope. I tend to be a pessimist anyhow. It’s my mum’s fault!! ;-(


jane Says:

I agree with you Giner that ranking doesn’t necessarily equate to form.

It’s why people are calling Murray the favorite right now over Djokovic, even though he is ranked higher and defending champion, and over Nadal, even though he is the number 1 player. Just because someone is ranked higher does not mean he is better / or in better form / or what-have-you, at an event or on the day. That’s why players from 50 – 1 can all beat one another.


Oleg Says:

Who are your darkhorses to win the Aussie Open?
I’ll pick JMDP as my darkhorse and Gasquet as my very very darkhorse.


Ryan Says:

To Gulu: Who said only india gets proper sports coverage. Besides thats why its still a third world.People spend all their time watching cricket on tv without going for work.


Ezorra Says:

Come on Mr. ELITE’s a.k.a Ryan…
What is wrong with you?
You act too much now… Do you really
think other posters will have smile on
our face after reading your racist comment?
Believe me, we don’t. Therefore, my
suggestions would be; either you keep
posting your brilliant opinion regarding tennis
or keep your mouth shut!


Ezorra Says:

My dear friend Gulu;

:) :) :) to you too! I’ve no idea about Zola but
believe me, i miss her a lot!


Ryan Says:

Is there anyone who is not an indian in this blog other than me?


Von Says:

Giner:

“I’m going to have to disagree with you here. Being No.1 in the world does not mean you’re the best player in the world.”

And, I’m going to have to disagree with you too. Isn’t it the consensus of opinion that he’s the best player in the world, because he’s beating all of the other players? Given that criteria, then it goes without saying, that if a player is beating everyone else, and winning several titles in the process, then logic dictates that they’d have to be the best player in the world, and the best player is usually the No. 1 player. Wasn’t it that way with Federer?

“The rank says nothing about how long it will last either. If you have the ability to beat everyone left, right, and center now, then in theory even if you dropped down to 6 in the world or 10 or even 50 in the world, you should still have the ability to do that?”

Not at all. If a player drops to 6 or 10 in the ranking, it clearly shows that he’s unable to beat everyone, and because he hasn’t been able to do so, is the reason he’s dropped from No. 1 to No. 6.


Sean Randall Says:

Being No. 1 means that you are the best player over the last 52 weeks. However, it’s not a true reflection of who is the best player at any given moment.


Polo Says:

No Ryan, I can assure you that you are not the only non-Indian in this group. But you, definitely, are the only racist in this group.


Polo Says:

Now let us go back to tennis.


Polo Says:

We’ve only talked about the AO winner coming from the top 4. Would it be possible for somebody outside that group to win it? And who could that be and why him?


Sean Randall Says:

Polo, Juan Martin and Richard Gasquet would be two guys. JMDP has lost how many outdoor matches in the last six months? One??

Gasquet is more a personal pick.


Ezorra Says:

“Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley says last year’s beaten finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will be fit to play in next week’s event.” – Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Polo; To me Tsonga should be considered as one of the contenders to win the OZ open other than the top 4, due to his status as a runner up as well as his ability and possibility to beat all the top 4.


Sean Randall Says:

Ezorra, if JW is 100% then yes. But until I actually see him run around and play talk is cheap.


sar Says:

Wilander picks Novak —
Those baking courts won’t suit Federer or Nadal. In Paris and Wimbledon, explains Wilander, their superior spin wins titles. “Melbourne is not their favourite surface. It’s a surface for the likes of Djokovic, [Jo-Wilfried] Tsonga, who take the ball earlier and hit with no spin. This surface in Australia is dead, and it’s fast because it’s so hothttp://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/60590b2c-e40a-11dd-8274-0000779fd2ac.html


Ryan Says:

To Polo: To be honest I’m not a racist….I dont have a problem with blacks, hispanics, natives or asians…… but east indians just piss me off.
As for the aussie open the winner will be one of the 4. I just dont see all 4 getting kicked out before that.


Ryan Says:

Even if JW is 100% he cant beat fed…….


gulu Says:

Ryan, you aren’t the only psychopath who has problems with India, there’s a whole pack of you in this world ! But anyway, who cares for you? Keep hating the Indians and be hated in return ! Enjoy yourself dirty worm and keep exercising your narrow mind !


King Roger Says:

Roger Federer will be knocked out by Safin in the third round. Nadal will win the championship.


Roy Says:

“Jane Says:

…I have heard him say in interviews that he is deliberately NOT thinking about rankings but is trying to focus on improving his game in all areas. I think that’s the right attitude for him to have…”

Jane, a very good point. Novak has remarkably matured as a player, which bodes very well for a glittering playing career.


RAFAEL NADAL Says:

I mean even I may be knocked out before the semifinal. I can’t say for sure that I gonna reach the semi,
no? So I don’t think it’s intelligent on anybody’s part to say Roger’ll be knocked out for sure, no? It’s better avoiding such silly predictions, no?


gulu Says:

For me, Nole & Rod have the toughes draw -just look at whom Rod may face one by one
- Philip,Nalby,Nole & Fed before final itself-all capable of beating him! Nole unlucky to be in same & such a tough draw! Nole & Rod clearly have the deadliest rivals !


gulu Says:

Polo, thanks for defending me on the other thread when Giner mistook me of being a mind-reader ! You have been very nice to me
and I’m very very happy for that ! It feels great and safe to have a friend like you and it always makes life easier !


gulu Says:

MMT, I just wanna say that your posts always have something good and insightful ! What excites me
even more’s that you, I feel, are impartial ! You are a pretty honest person ! I’d love to have as much as possible of you here. Regards


gulu Says:

Giner, during last year’s Wimbledon, Federer said that the court hasn’t changed much faster since his match v. Pete in 2001. Recently Fed says- Wim court’s not as fast as BEFORE!
May be Fed’s before is pre-2001 period and your before’s 2001-2007 !


gulu Says:

The winner of Kooyong Classic never wins the Oz Open in the same year of his win, a jinx type of thing, you know! Recall Fed winning Koyong in 2005 & losing at the Aus open . He’s won it again today, that’s why I’m failing to believ in his chances now!


Von Says:

gulu:

“For me, Nole & Rod have the toughes draw -just look at whom Rod may face one by one
- Philip,Nalby,Nole & Fed before final itself-all capable of beating him! Nole unlucky to be in same & such a tough draw! Nole & Rod clearly have the deadliest rivals!”

Absolutely, Roddick has the toughst draw. Djokovic has a couple of guys who could bother him, but Roddick has them one after the other. Anyhway, I didn’t want to say anything, because I’d be accused of being biased, which happens whenever I mention his draws. I’m glad that you’re an honest and alive Roddick fan who speaks up on his behalf, because it makes my life easier not having to defend A-Rod all of the time. And, nolt ot mention that two heads are better than one.

It’s amazing Andy’s bad luck at the GS.He always seems to draw the tough guys, it’s as though some-one doesn’t want him to win. You’ve left out Santoro; who’d want to play against Santoro. And, when is that bloke retiring anyway? He made his farewell last year at The Aussie Open with fanfare, and said it was his last and FINAL year, and he’s back again, like a recurring decimal.


Polo Says:

From what I gather from everybody’s comment is that this AO would be one quite exiting to watch because there are so many possible eventual champions. Not just the first four but many others including Roddick, del Potro, Tsonga, maybe Gasquet and even Nalbandian. If somebody outside the Big 4 does it, I would be happy for him. Roddick, though I may not be a big fan, is very hardworking and persevering in his attempt to win another major event. I would not begrudge it if he wins at all. Nalbandian sometimes looks uninterested and lazy but he is so naturally good, he should win at least one major and is running out of time. Gasquet has a lot of promise but may be mentally weak. A win or a very good showing, at least, should wake him up and put him back with the pack of excellent tennis in his age group (Nadal, Murray, Novak, etc…) where he belongs and should keep tennis very interesting for many more years to come.


Von Says:

Polo:

Thanks for the kind words for A-Rod. I wouldn’t mind seeing David with the winner’s trophy either. He’s a lot better than most of them in the Top 10, but his only problem is his lack of intensity and zeal. I wish he and Roddick didn’t have to meet so soon, because one of them will be out of the running – bad draw.


gulu Says:

Von, I was also glad to see you objecting to Rafa’s Tough Draw theory, this time the theory won’t apply ! May be people’ll be satisfied only if Rafa’s given a draw having neither anyone from the top-10 nor any former GS champ nor even a talented guy !


gulu Says:

Von, I actually didn’t want to take part in this tough draw debate, but when I felt that a very one-sided view is being taken of the whole matter, I thought it necessary to throw light on why there’s no reason for all of us to accept it !


gulu Says:

sar, to be honest, Federer gracefully admitted after his 2008 Aus Open semi match that Nole played incredible tennis to win & so he(Fed) was happy despite defeat ! I really appreciate Nole’s talent & belief, I have always admired his tennis & honesty .


Blah Says:

Some interesting early matches that could come up:

JMDP-Lopez in third round- Davis cup rematch. Lopez played fantastic in last year’s match but I think Del Potro will win this time.

Tipsarevic-Cilic- I am wondering how good Cilic is, winner would probably get Ferrer, who knows how he’ll perform after a horrible late season, and either of these three can challenge Del Potro

Ancic-Simon- or maybe Karlovic-Simon- time to see if Gilles can perform in a slam. Ancic is also an interesting case, if we are picking very very very dark horse then I would go with Ancic, but I don’t think he has recovered his form yet. He should make some noise at Wimby though.

Monfils-Youzhny- I think people are jumping on the monfils bandwagon a bit early- imo it’ll be a year before he makes noise on a surface other than clay

Stephanek Verdasco- winner would most likely go up against Murray, and these two just played a week ago in the brisbane final, I think Verdasco will win this time and I think he could give Murray a match

Other thoughts- Tsonga actually has a pretty easy draw, doesn’t have to face anyone until Murray (I think Blake would be out before he gets to Tsonga and I don’t think Andreev can challenge him here)
Should be great match when they face each other. They played in AO last year and Tsonga won (on paper, I didn’t see the match) a tight? 4th setter. I wouldn’t be that surprised if a motivated Tsonga takes him out, but I wouldn’t be surprised either if an injury prone/inconsistent Tsonga gets blown out

I see Nalbandian going really deep, I mean finals deep, in the tournament, just a feeling.

Lots of people are saying Gasquet here, but I just don’t see it. If he actually finds a way to beat Nadal in a 5 setter here then I would be very very very impressed, but you can still see he’s not mentally right from his match with Nalby a couple days ago. I have him making noise in Wimby but not here

About Roddick having a tough draw, honestly I don’t see him challenged until he runs right into Nalby, but the repeated suggestion that he always has the toughest draw and someone is out to get him is ridiculous.

I don’t have Nadal making the semis, but before that he should have an easy road


jane Says:

Von,

Excellent point about Santoro; I don’t get it when a player says he/she is retiring and then comes back. There was big hype for Santoro at Wimbledon last year too. When he played Murray, the commentators noted that Santoro had requested to play on Center Court because he wanted to play there just once before he retired. Guess what? He’s baaaaack!

Polo,

This is another great point (quoted below) with which I agree 100%. I would be thrilled to see someone almost completely unexpected rise up and win a slam this year, whether it’s this one or another one! It’s been the same two players – Nadal and Federer – winning the slams for a number of years. Djokovic got one last year, and for me anyhow, it was great to see someone new win. I’d personally like to see the trend continue into 2009!

In Polo’s words: “there are so many possible eventual champions. Not just the first four but many others including Roddick, del Potro, Tsonga, maybe Gasquet and even Nalbandian. If somebody outside the Big 4 does it, I would be happy for him.”

Well put!


jane Says:

Blah,

Yes, the Tsonga vs. Murray match at AO in 08 was a good one, but kind of topsy-turvy. Murray won one set 6-love! But Tsonga was the more aggressive player, and Murray’s serve wasn’t near as good or consistent as it is now, so Tsonga was able to take it and then roll with the momentum. But it definitely could’ve been different.

This year against Tsonga, I’d pick Murray either in straight sets or maybe 4 sets. Nowadays I think Murray is the more mature and fit player of the two, and he won’t sit back this year. He’s learned to be aggressive.


jane Says:

If Nalbandian does make it to the finals, I hope it’s against Murray, in which case I’d be happy for either winner – a sentimental win for David or a breakthrough win for British tennis and Murray himself.


Ryan Says:

Nalbandian will get kicked out by someone. If not anyone else it will be by djokovic.
Djok can outpower nalbandian and beat him.
Cilic is more talented than del potro…..atleast i feel that way.In UO 08 he really tested djokovic in tight 4 sets before going out.
So he could test the big 4 again in AO 09.
Simon could go deep and test the big 4.Lets see wat happens.


Ryan Says:

BTW roddick doesnt have a chance.Thats guaranteed.


Blah Says:

Jane- I actually do have Nalby and Murray facing each other, with Murray taking it. ( Everyone go sign up for the racquet bracket thing, it’s fun!)

I have no idea on how Djokovic is going to perform in this slam. I mean really no idea.
The guy does well when you expect him to struggle and struggles and goes out just like that when he’s the favorite. He could go out as early third round or get into the semis. Can’t read him at all.

Simon is the other guy- never done well in slams but then he didn’t start performing until the summer hardcourt season, He might have to face Ancic or Karlovic, both guys are big servers, and then Monfils or maybe Youzhny, before running into Nadal. Big tournament for him to prove that he belongs in the top ten.


Von Says:

“About Roddick having a tough draw, honestly I don’t see him challenged until he runs right into Nalby, but the repeated suggestion that he always has the toughest draw and someone is out to get him is ridiculous.”

We can apply the same analogy to those who claim Djokovic and Nadal has the toughest draws. So what’s wrong if it’s stated that Roddick has the toughest draw? Is it a lie? Why not give Nalby to nadal and Santoro. Don’t put words into my mouth. I stated “it seems as though some-one doesn’t want him to win.” Not, “someone is out to get him”. “Seems” is being unsure, a sort of question mark, as opposed to “someone is out to get him” which adds up to something being a certainty. There’s a big difference in both statements and you’re being absolutely ridiculous twisting things around.


Von Says:

jane:

I doubt whether Santoro will ever retire of his own volition. What a character!


Von Says:

“Why not give Nalby to Nadal and Santoro.”

Should read: Why not give Nalby and Santoro to Nadal.


Von Says:

Ryan: I like your crystal ball. Do you have the numbers for this week’s lottery? Remember, nothing’s guaranteed except for death and taxes.


Blah Says:

If you are a top eight player, you should beat Santoro. really. I don’t think Santoro would even get to him. Roddick shouldn’t have to worry about santoro when he has that serve.

Ok, that wasn’t exactly what you said, but when’s the last time Roddick got a draw in a slam that you were satisfied with? Your words are suggesting that it looks suspicious, only difference is the word “seems.” From how many times you have used a similar sentence, it certainly looks to me that you are more suggesting than posing a question.

Who else could Roddick have ran into in the fourth round? Gasquet? Verdasco? Cilic?

Nalbandian has a problem with consistency. everyone knows that, I happen to think that he would do great in this tournament, but who knows which Nalby will show up? Can the aforementioned three be equally or if less, only slightly less challenging?

How big is the difference between getting Nalby and those guys really? When has Nalby played great in the last few years outside of the late late season? Verdasco and Gasquet are both constant underachievers who can beat most on a good day, one can say the same thing about Nalby. Can you say that Nalbandian is more likely to be at his best at this time of the year than those two? Also, Cilic might be the surprising young guy in this tournament, who knows what he’ll do?

As for difficulty of draw. It’s been a long time since I saw #1 and #2 actually get a tough draw, compared to others, that’s what being at the top gets you, but after that everything is really a tossup. Despite what people say, Nadal doesn’t have that tough of a draw as the articles makes it seem. He could get Gasquet or Gonzo in fourth, then Monfils or Simon in quarters, but by the time quarterfinals come around, everyone has to play a tough opponents (if things go the way they do)


Blah Says:

By Santoro not getting to him I mean I don’t even think Santoro can advance far enough to play Roddick.


jane Says:

Nalbandian and Djokovic have a 2-1 H2H in Djokovic’s favour.

Nalbandian and Roddick have a 3-2 H2H in Roddick’s favour (these two have not met since 2006!! Wow!).

Roddick and Djokovic have a 2-1 H2H in Djokovic’s favor.

Therefore, out of these three, the H2Hs are all very close, with Nalbandian being the least successful. That doesn’t mean he couldn’t be of course but it does tell us how tight this section of the draw is!

——————————————-

Blah,

I have a lot of favorites with Novak as a top fave at the moment, followed closely by Murray and a ton of other sentimental faves, including Roddick and Nalbandian. But I agree with you; I have no idea how Novak will do at this slam. He is a tough one to root for; it’s a roller coaster. But I would like to see him get some decent results as he has the most points to defend over anyone here.


Polo Says:

I used to have a feeling that if it is a major event, other than the French, Federer is going to win. And if it the French, Nadal will be the victor. But for this coming AO, I simply cannot be sure. But my gut feeling (please take note before anybody gets mad, it is a gut feeling), I don’t think Federer will win based on how he has been performing recently. I have doubts on Djokovic because I feel that something has gone awry with him (not sure what it is, his racket, but maybe more his psyche). I could not pick Nadal outright either because of history on hardcourts but more so about his knees. Murray, maybe. But he is still unproven in a major although his loss at the US Open final might serve him well. I really believe somebody would just surprise all of us. Can’t wait for the AO to start. I will be losing sleep in the next two weeks for watching the tournament. But whatever happens and whoever wins, it will be fully deserved and I would be quite pleased.


Blah Says:

Anyway, yikes, just watched the replay of sydney final and I am question whether Nalby can make it now… It looks like he WANTS to win, which is good, but his first serve has been coming and going in this tournament, same thing with his forehand. Him and Roddick might wear each other out and Djoko will have an advantage the next round.


gulu Says:

Polo, I also don’t think Fed’ll win it ! Fed better lose earlier rather than going to final to be runners-up !


Von Says:

“Ok, that wasn’t exactly what you said, but when’s the last time Roddick got a draw in a slam that you were satisfied with? Your words are suggesting that it looks suspicious, only difference is the word “seems.” From how many times you have used a similar sentence, it certainly looks to me that you are more suggesting than posing a question.”

I’m not posing a question, I was speaking generally.

In my post to gulu, which you read, and it’s the one you’ve picked up on, I stated I didn’t want to comment on the draw because people will say I’m biased. I’ve heard this before. I commented mainly because some were stating that Nadal’s and Djokovic’s draws are the toughest, and I didn’t see that as the case. jane mentioned Djokovic’s draw being the toughest, and earlier Nadal’s draw as being tough, however, I didn’t see it that way. She felt djokovic’s draw was tolugh because he could meet Nieminen, Roddick and Nalbandian, to which I stated that he’d get one or the other, but not both, as Nalby is in Roddick’s section, hence nothing really tough about Djokovic’s draw.

If you’re keeping tabs on what I say about the draws, and what I’ve stated in the past, you would remember that I’ve always mentioned the Top 4 get the easiest draws, however, many have disagreed about that being the case. At least you’ve so much as admitted that to be the case for the Nos. 1 and 2. Because of the present statements on the toughness of the draws for both Nadal and Djokovic, is the reason I mentioned Roddick’s draw. I don’t see why you feel the need to take umbrage to my remarks, after all, I’m entitled to my opinion, just the same as you and everyone else is entitled to yours and theirs. Several others have commented on the Nadal and Djokovic draws, but you just seem to be only offended by my statement.

Just because I don’t dissect your comments does not mean I find them to be above reproach, hence I don’t see why my opinion on the draws you should cause you to be so offended as to refer to my statements as “ridiculous”. I honestly feel that way about some of Roddick’s draws that they are tougher than the rest, but I don’t feel someone doesn’t want him to win, that was just a bit of humour on my part. It’s similar to people saying someone up there doesn’t like me.

On the topic of Nalby’s present form, I agree he’s not playing well. I watched the Sydney final this evening too, and it was clear Nalby was struggling. His timing is off, and his serve is questionable. He also seems to have developed a blatant choke when serving for the set and his other matches in this tournament. Nieminen made Nalby look ordinary, which is a shocker. Nieminen is an alright player, but not one to cause Nalby to be nervous. So maybe you’re right Roddick and Nalby will fight it out and Djokovic will be the fortunate beneficiary of their rough encounter.


jane Says:

Just to reiterate, these are my comments on the draw:

“I think Federer and Murray’s draws seem slightly easier than Djokovic and Nadal’s. Nadal’s seems toughest.”

I used the words “slightly easier” because I don’t think the draws are drastically different.

Then I said “Von, it’s true that draws have a way of opening up and surprising us. Maybe in the end Nadal’s draw will loosen up. ”

To clarify, though, I did not say that Djokovic’s draw is “the toughest”. I only responded to Giner’s post that Djoko’ll make the semis because I think that he’s got a tough road there given his current form – vis-a-vis either racquet problems, or head problems or forehand, or serve or what?! Not sure what’s up with Novak at the moment, but hopefully he’ll do well enough.


Von Says:

Jane:

“This is another great point (quoted below) with which I agree 100%. I would be thrilled to see someone almost completely unexpected rise up and win a slam this year, whether it’s this one or another one! It’s been the same two players – Nadal and Federer – winning the slams for a number of years. Djokovic got one last year, and for me anyhow, it was great to see someone new win. I’d personally like to see the trend continue into 2009!”

“I have a lot of favorites with Novak as a top fave at the moment, followed closely by Murray and a ton of other sentimental faves, including Roddick and Nalbandian. But I agree with you; I have no idea how Novak will do at this slam. He is a tough one to root for; it’s a roller coaster. But I would like to see him get some decent results as he has the most points to defend over anyone here.”

I’m laughing. From the foregoing, which one is it to be?, Do you want someone else to win the AO, or Djoko to win because he has a ton of points to defend. It seems to me that you’re having a battle as to who you’d like to win. However, despite what you say, I’m thinking you’re secretly hoping Djoko would win it again. I don’t blame you, because he’s your fave. LOL


Ryan Says:

Hey Von

My bad……I had to say that about roddick but you gotta be realistic about his chances.


Von Says:

Ryan;

No bad. I’m realistic about A-Rod’s chances, however, sometimes things fall into place for people and it’s the reason why we shouldn’t count them out. It’s one of the main reasons I dislike predictions because nothing’s a sure thing.

Now tell me why have you been misbehaving yourself? You promised a while back that you’d be on your very best behavior, so why aren’t you sticking to uour promise. I’m disappointed. Be good, OK?

Remember to drop by and talk some more on tennis. Are you going to Melbourne to see Fed play? If you do, I hope it’s a day that the weather is bearable and you’ll enjoy the tennis. Catch ya later.


gulu Says:

Jane, don’t you think if Fed faces Del Potro, it may be a great match too ? I’d say, if JMDP plays great, he has a chance to beat Fed ! He’s just 19 & still beats everyone except may be the top few! He’s very talented, so
he too can cause Fed headache !


Blah Says:

Meh, I’ll admit that I was a bit aggressive I guess, no keeping tabs on posts, but I usually only post around slams and read the other times and you are among one of the poster that post consistently. I guess your comments just stood out in my mind. As for Roddick, I think his best chance to win a slam passed last U.S. Open. Was really rooting for him last year to beat Djokovic and if that happened to go on and beat Federer, very disappointed that he lost when serving to extend the match. Maybe he has one more run in him but who knows. I think it’ll be at Wimby or U.S. though if he makes another run.


gulu Says:

Fed can’t afford to take anybody lightly ! The only way he can do well down under’s
by trying his best, otherwise his Australian dream will be over much sooner than he could imagine ! May be the Fed-Rafa duopoly’ll be finished very soon !


Ryan Says:

I was just messin around Von…..I’ll be goin to see the matches.The Rod Laver arena is just 10 minutes from my place.


gulu Says:

How can a fool claim to be so sure of his predictions? Is it just coz of his foolishness or he’s already affected by some sort of epileptic fit occuring once in a while ?
I hope isn’t the effect of elite blogger’s disease !
Poor guy !


gulu Says:

A sensible man knows that nothing can be guaranteed after all, but a fool believes just the opposite ! Lol !


mike Says:

Q9ott1 hi! how you doin?


jane Says:

Von,

I don’t think Djoko will win. If he does that’s great, but I would be equally please if someone new were to win. You will notice in my comment to Blah I didn’t even say I hope that Djoko wins, only that he has “decent results” as I’d hate to see him lose a ton of points. However, he could make them up elsewhere in the season if he does. This is only the beginning.

Both comments are completely sincere. And they do not contradict one bit. But you can laugh all you want!


jane Says:

gulu,

I don’t think that JMDP can beat Fed in a slam but I suppose it is possible.

Federer has a 3-0 H2H against him, and he beat JMDP fairly easily at the Masters Cup, where as we know Roger’s back was hurting. So I think that the odds in that match would be strongly in Roger’s favour.


Von Says:

jane:

It seems I’ve offended you — my apologies, and my question wasn’t meant to evoke such an emotion. I’ll be honest with you. There are times, I become totally confused about your stand on certain issues, e.g., the draws. You’ll say one thing, then later, agree with someone else on their views, which then cancels out imo your original views, or maybe you don’t cancel out your original views — you maintain both. It’s at that juncture, that I become confused as to where you stand — I like to keep such things straight in my head so that I don’t step on people’s toes, that’s all. I suppose I shouldn’t place too much emphasis on anyone’s views and their stand on issue, only my own. Again, sorry for offending you.


Von Says:

gulu:

With respect to your conflict with Ryan, I suppose I’m treading where I shouldn’t, but sweetie, someone has to stop and let peace reign, so how about calling a truce and leaving the matter alone. I believe Ryan stopped a few days ago, so why don’t you do so now — no more name calling will do the trick. Thank you. I would have liked to send you a smile, but I believe the smiley emoticon has been disabled.

____________
Blah;

Thanks for clearing up matters about Roddick and the draw, etc. Even though things look bleak for him at times, I never give up on him, and I’m hoping he’ll win a second slam this year. He’s come so close on 4 occasions, and the semis on others, but no cigar. That guy Federer always got in the way. I honestly think he got mislead and focused too much on Djoko’s tiredness at the USO, and when reality hit home, it was too late to salvage the match. Needless to say, I was very disappointed. I sincerely hope Stefanki can light a fire under Andy’s feet and get him moving again. here’s hoping ….


jane Says:

Von,

No worries – not really offended. It’s just that in the last couple of posts (one to Blah and one to me) you seem to want to point out contradictions in what I write, but if you read what I’ve said both about the draws and about the potential winners of this event, you’ll see that it doesn’t contradict.

I still maintain that Nadal’s draw seems slightly tougher than say Murray’s but I also agree with your point that draws open up and surprise us.

I also still maintain that I’d be happy to see Djoko do well here, and even win (though I really have no hope for that, and will be pleasantly shocked if it happens) and that I’d be thrilled if someone completely unexpected (i.e., outside the top 4) were to win this slam, or any other slam this year, because I do like unpredictability.

Maybe it comes down to this: unlike many who blog on this site, I am not fiercely loyal to one player, though I obviously have favorites. But even my favorites evolve. I still like older players but then new guys show up and I like them! I have watched tennis for so many years and honestly just love the sport. So I am always happy to see a favorite of mine win, but just as happy to see someone new breakthrough and shake things up. If Cilic were to plough through the draw, win, and throw us all for a loop – that’d be great!

All I don’t want to see this year is utter dominance of one or even two players, that’s all.

So peace! I am not offended I just don’t want you or anyone else to think I don’t know what the heck I am talking about. (of course that’s true most of the time, but let’s keep that secret…lol).

Have a good day Von ;-)


gulu Says:

Von, you did the right thing by lovingly explaining to me, as an elder sister, that I could have restrained my negative emotions ! I’d gladly obey your advice & won’t behave badly with him ! I request you to stop me whenever I cross any red line !


gulu Says:

Von, you’re my great great friend ! So you have every right to give me the right advice, teach me some of the great lessons experience may have taught you, heal my wounds, shower your affection on me & expect my love & support when needed ! SMILES !!!


gulu Says:

Australian Open’s about to start in 5 or 6 hours ! NOW YOU FOLKS BE PREPARED TO START YOUR FREAKING 14 DAYS NAIL-BITING SESSION ! Confusion Confusion !!! What the hell are you all doing now ?


redux Says:

gulu,
I was joking about Safin, though I’m not going to dismiss his chances.
With all the talk of Federer’s diminished abilities against the other players, particularly Murray of late, Federer still has a very good chance of beating his rivals and winning this tournament if he can execute. One amusing reason I feel he can win is because I see some posters like Giner already building a case against him in the event that he makes it.
It will be an interesting tournament.


Von Says:

gulu:

Thanks for being so gracious about my intervention. I’ve learnt, as a spiritual person, that it’s best to forgive and forget. Also, to be humble, even when a wrong is done. I don’t always live by that creed, and at times fail miserably, but it’s on those occasions when I feel convicted in my heart, I apologize and try to move on. According to the good book, “A soft word turns away wrath”, hence it’s best to just walk away, even if we are the wronged individual. I also believe that vengence is not mine, but God’s and He’ll right the wrongs in His time, not ours.
Be well, enjoy, live and think of each day as a new beginning, and leave the past behind you. And, a humble attitude works wonders. That’s my pearl of wisdom for you. smile!!


Von Says:

redux:

Hey, don’t forget to root for my guy also. Yes, this tournament should be very exciting.


gulu Says:

COME ON ROGERRR !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


gulu Says:

I clearly know that Tipsarevic won’t win the Oz open, but I can never forget his great performance against Roger in 2008 where he pushed him to 5 scintillating sets ! I’d be happy to see that guy going a little deep, say 4th round.


Ryan Says:

gulu is a pussy….everyone knows that.


gulu Says:

Ryan’s a cock !


Polo Says:

I won’t be posting for a while to leave more room for Gulu and Ryan to continue their war of words in this tennis blog.


Sean Randall Says:

Gulu, I can’t tolerate that language here. With your overuse of the “!” and your multiple personalities we have decided to revoke your posting privileges here. Mentennisforums.com might be a better home for you.

If you or anyone else objects you can email Luke (his email is on the contact page).

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