Roddick Good, Federer Better in Australian Open Semis; Serena, Safina in Womens Final
by Staff | January 29th, 2009, 9:21 am
  • 114 Comments

Federer Douses Hot Roddick in Straight Sets at Australian Open

Andy Roddick wasn’t able to put a dent in Roger Federer’s quest for a record-tying 14th Grand Slam title on Thursday at the Australian Open, falling to the Swiss in straight sets 6-2, 7-5, 7-5 in the semifinals at Melbourne.


The American was in solid form but Federer is peaking after some shaky early-round performances, with Federer even out-acing Roddick 16-8.

“I served well in the first set and that gave me a lot of confidence,” Federer told reporters of his quick start. “I was moving well and getting a lot of balls back and making it difficult for Andy to get the upper hand from the baseline. That was kind of what I was hoping for.”

Now the Swiss prepares for the winner of the other semifinal between world No. 1 Rafael Nadal and Fernando Verdasco — but he already knows his opponent in the final will be Spanish, and left-handed.

“I don’t have to wait to see who wins, I can start preparing for a leftie tonight,” Federer said, adding that the early rounds are over. “Towards the end of the tournament, I think this is where you should judge a great player.”

Federer read the vaunted Roddick serve well in the first set, breaking twice, then in the second set broke the American at love at 5-5 before serving it out. The third set was the same, with the Swiss breaking at 5-5, then serving out the match.

“I hit the ball pretty well.” Roddick said. “He just came up with shots when he needed to. That’s what he does.”

The quality in the match showed in Roddick committing only 18 unforced errors, bested again by Federer’s 15.

In today’s other semifinal, Nadal will attempt to set up a 19th career meeting with Federer. Nadal has never lost to Verdasco, and leads Federer 12-6 in their career encounters, but trails 2-3 in hardcourt encounters.

Serena Williams, Safina to Battle for No. 1, Aussie Open Title

Serena Williams and Dinara Safina will play for the Australian Open championship, and the post-tournament No. 1 ranking, after each advanced in straight sets Thursday in Melbourne.

Williams ended a three-match losing streak against Elena Dementieva, preventing an all-Russian final with a 6-3, 6-4 win, aided by the closed roof at Rod Laver Arena as Melbourne experienced record temperatures.

A win in the final would give Williams her 10th Grand Slam singles title, and she says her focus is on Slam titles rather than the No. 1 ranking.

“Right now that would be just a bonus,” Williams told reporters. “My goal isn’t to be No. 1. My goal is to obviously win one more match here at the Australian Open.”

The result also ended a 15-match win streak for Dementieva, who won titles in her first two events of the year entering Melbourne. The Russian’s nerves were on display as she let out shrieks of frustration and talked to herself after missing opportunities.

“I think I made some double faults at bad time,” said Dementieva, who kicked in eight total, including two in a row in the second set (blowing a 3-0 lead) to hand Williams a break. “I think my first serve was not good enough for her today. I think Serena played really well today. I was maybe not aggressive enough and maybe I wasn’t playing deep enough, which allowed her to be very aggressive and dictate the game.”

Safina likewise ended a three-match losing streak against Zvonareva, breaking serve in the first game en route to a 6-3, 7-6(4) victory.

Zvonareva hit the choke button early in the match, double faulting on the second point of the contest, but got her nerves under control to break back later in the set. She served for the second set unsuccessfully, then was outplayed in the tiebreak.

“Dinara was more consistent today than I was. She served better than I did and that made the difference,” Zvonareva told reporters. “If you look at it overall, it’s my first Grand Slam semifinal. I should be satisfied.”

Safina will be satisfied with one more win and her first time atop the WTA rankings.

“Since I was growing up it has been my dream one day to be No. 1,” Safina said courtside after the match. “To play against Serena and to fight for the No. 1 is just going to be unbelievable.”

TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS

While attendance is up at the Australian Open, tourism and fans attending from other countries are reportedly way down due to the economy…

Serena Williams passed Annika Sorenstam as the top women’s prize money-earner of all time after gaining the Aussie Open final…

Former Yugoslavia Davis Cup coach Radmilo Armenulic slamming the Serbs, speaking to Reuters: “Djokovic and Jankovic should have gone to Australia much earlier in order to acclimatize, at least one month in advance. One needs as many matches as possible prior to the Open to get used to the heat and players who have done that are doing well in the tournament…[Djokovic] needs to take a look at what he is not doing right and work harder to improve his game. He must raise his fitness and his physical strength to a new level and that means he has to spend more time in the gym. The girls, Ivanovic and Jankovic, should also analyze their below-par performances while the latter really needs to improve her second serve, which is easy prey for her rivals. Especially Ivanovic, who can’t deal with the frenzy triggered by fashion magazines declaring her the beauty queen of the WTA circuit. She is only 21 and it is just too much for someone of her age, she is too exposed to all those unwelcome distractions, including questions about her private life. But what she has to do is hire a full-time coach to improve her serve-and-volley game and rediscover her devastating forehand, which let her down in Melbourne.”…


Also Check Out:
Serena v Lefty, Crying Game v Slicy in Wimbledon Women’s Semis
On-Court Coaching Saves Safina in Stuttgart Semis
Andy Roddick on Williams Sisters Return: “Women’s Tennis Needs That Dominating Figure”
Sveta Big Underdog Again? vs Safina in French Final
Stosur, Cibulkova Set Up Thrilling(?) French Open Semis

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114 Comments for Roddick Good, Federer Better in Australian Open Semis; Serena, Safina in Womens Final

jane Says:

“bested again by Federer’s 15.” This is an important stat for Federer; he has cut down considerably on errors compared to earlier in the tournament. (Is it true he’s played only one day match here? I read that on the other thread) The fact that he doubled Andy’s ace-count is also striking. Federer’s serve has turned out to be, imo, his best weapon. If he faces Nadal in the final, the serve may make the difference, like it did at Wimbledon in 07. He will also have to play a clean match like this one because Nadal has played consistently excellent tennis this tournament with some startling differentials – low errors, loads of winners. I still think, given Rafa wins tonight, Fed has the edge. He’s played first, so will come in more rested. He’s won here before. And so on.


andrea Says:

awesome.

can hardly wait to see the match.


ojo Says:

Nadal will get this one.


RG Says:

Usually – when I have looked forward to certain match-ups in this tournament, they have ended up being tame affairs -

Cilic vs Del Potro
Roddick vs Djokovic
Federer vs Del Potro
Federer vs Roddick
Tsonga vs Murray (which never even materialized)

Whereas matches with low expectations like “Federer vs Berdych” and “Murray vs Verdasco” turned out to be just the opposite.


Ameliè Says:

I’m sure roger will win this one. No one can beat him when he’s playing on GOD MODE.

Hm.. I think Nadal will be in the final, but let’s see how verdasco plays.. Who knows?


jane Says:

RG That’s true – ironic isn’t it? Although I did think that Murray Verdasco could be tight, I didn’t expect Murray to lose in 5 sets. Same with Federer vs. Berdych – I thought maybe there’d be a few tight sets, but I certainly did not expect Berdych to come out dominating Federer in the heat.

—————————————-

I have to say: I wonder how/why they decide who gets to play night. I saw someone had posted that Fed only played 1 day match so I checked. Here’s how it breaks down with the top 4 seeds:

FED:
1: night
2: day
3: night
4: day – almost lost to Berdych
5: night
6: night
7: will be night

5/7 matches by Fed will have been played at night

DJOKO:
1: day
2: day
3: day
4: night
5: day

4/5 matches by Djoko will have been played in the day.

RAFA

1. night
2. day
3. night
4. day
5, night
6. will be night
7 if he makes it, will be night

4/6 night so far (counting tonight) – so same as Fed.

MURRAY

1.Day
2. Night
3. Night
4. Day

————————-

That means that of the 4 top seeds, only Djoko had to play nearly all of his matches in the day, with only 1 night match. I wonder why. I am not suggesting scheduling is easy but you’d think they’d alternate this as much as possible, at least try for 50/50 split amongst the “marquee” players/matches.


jane Says:

Roddick is the same as Djoko. He played all day matches, that is, until he met Federer last night.


I like tennis bullies Says:

roger federer has now beaten two journeymen, two choking headcases, a deer who gave up after the first set, and his pet bunny to reach to the finals …


mem Says:

I like tennis bullies, your description is spot on! federer getting to the final is not a surprise, considering who he has played to get there. who was in his side of the draw to prevent it? had djokovic lasted, he would have probably been roger’s greatest test.


Samprazzz Says:

It’s hard to tell how good Roger is playing right now. Del Potro played like a punching bag, and Roddick is always a good match-up for Roger.


bob22 Says:

Good work Jane! Defending champion was treated as third class player. They did everything to take the title from him and not to have 2008 repeated, when one Russian and one Serbian took both titles. If I am Djoko, I will hire a lawyer and sue the AUS organizers, with a goal to expose decisions made behind a closed door. Skipping a SLAM will not be a smart idea but this can be a moral satisfaction and also to prevent future discrimination.


Oleg Says:

Don’t assume that Nadal will get past Verdasco.

Yes, Rafa is the favorite and yes he is 6-0 vs Verdasco. But Verdasco has clearly stepped it up against quality opposition and he has a good shot at upsetting Rafa.


shaky Says:

Jane–”That means that of the 4 top seeds, only Djoko had to play nearly all of his matches in the day, with only 1 night match. I wonder why. I am not suggesting scheduling is easy but you’d think they’d alternate this as much as possible”

I think that’s probably what they try to do, and the only people I think who got screwed badly this year were Novak and Andy.

I’m more surprised they didn’t give him an evening slot for the Delic match since it was a culturally charged matchup. It wound up being a close contest (even though the first set was just a half hour runaway). Bad from a ratings standpoint to not feature that, in my opinion.

I think there’s some obvious problems with just comparing day and night totals, however:

1, day 6 and 7 aren’t worth including because they’re always in the evening. So Djokovic may have played 4 of 5 matches in the daytime, but that number drops to just over half if he makes the final.

2, I don’t think any of these players care about the scheduling early in the tourneys, as long as they don’t get thrown out on fringe courts. The matches are set up to be just so easy. (I don’t think any of the top 4 spent more than about a combined 3 hours between both rounds 1 and 2 of playtime — am I wrong? I might be wrong on this, I know Roger and Djokovic both had gimmes.)

Also it was much cooler the first week through sunday, for what it’s worth.

Hearing about these players waiting and waiting in locker rooms makes it seem like they budget like 45 minutes of expected time for some of these womens’ matches. Really odd.


shaky Says:

“If I am Djoko, I will hire a lawyer and sue the AUS organizers, with a goal to expose decisions made behind a closed door.”

Good thing you’re not Djoko, since that’d be an incredible waste of money and time. If he wants to push for a policy change and for them to release the numbers when they make roof-closing decisions, he should get the ATP player council to push that, not pay for it himself.

This is exactly the kind of issue the ATP exists to confront, and (I think) Novak is on the council himself so it wouldn’t be difficult to push that as an agenda. It affects everyone potentially, it would be an easy item to lobby for.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I admit that I think the decisions were reasonable this time around — but transparency is good, and it’s puzzling that they haven’t already done this.)


mem Says:

anybody who knows anything about tennis knows that “being the favorite” means zero when a player steps out onto the court! a player has to be prepared for the ultimate test.


RG Says:

jane: thanks for compiling those figures about day/night matches. The sad thing is that the match may have been more compelling (and good for the tournament too), had he gotten sufficient time to recover.

Some thought should also be given to the start of the men’s night matches. As Djokovic himself pointed out after his match with Baghdatis – not a lot of people may be watching that late in the night.


I like tennis bullies Says:

federer lucked out when verdasco took out his nemesis murray he will luck out again when he faces another choker (verdasco) in the final.

federer and his never ending luck.


Mr.Bully Says:

The same murray who played like a sissy in the US open final? First let him grow a couple.

If you can, I would advise you too try it, you sissy jackass.

You done licking roddik’s butt? I see you are back to Nadal’s…. be careful – he might poke the fcuk of your eyes when he is ritually picking his butt, every freaking minute he is on the court.


tennisontherocks Says:

Ideally there should be a rule about max number of night matches a player gets. But TV networks may revolt, esp when you have a compelling story like Dokic.

But are we assuming that night matches are always a better deal than day matches??? Agassi used to request day matches as he knew that he was in better shape than anyone else in the field and loved to make the other guy suffer in the heat. Roddick was in great shape and would have been disappointed to play at night. Had Roger played Berdych at night, Berdych would not have faded physically and could have beaten Roger.


jane Says:

Shaky,

“day 6 and 7 aren’t worth including because they’re always in the evening. So Djokovic may have played 4 of 5 matches in the daytime, but that number drops to just over half if he makes the final.”

Okay. But still, of the first 4 matches, of the top 4 seeds, only Djokovic didn’t get a 50/50 split with day/night matches, and his one night match was the latest finish of the tournament.


Kimmi Says:

–”That means that of the 4 top seeds, only Djoko had to play nearly all of his matches in the day, with only 1 night match. I wonder why. I am not suggesting scheduling is easy but you’d think they’d alternate this as much as possible”

The night matches favors the players that are crowed favorites. Jelena Dokic got all night matches because the was the aussie darling.

federer and Nadal have earned the night matches, while Djokovic, Murray and Roddick are still working on proving themselves with their tennis. Djokovic has earned it a little by winning last year but if there was federer and Djokovic playing different opponents on a day, the organisers would select federer in the night match. Same applies to nadal…


Kroll Says:

mem’s… whatever

“wishful of Nadal (the steroid using sportsman)”

Have you heard of this notion of drug testing dear?


jane Says:

tennisontherocks:

“Ideally there should be a rule about max number of night matches a player gets. But TV networks may revolt”

I agree about the rule suggestion; tennis shouldn’t be played based only on ratings, although there is no doubt that it is a factor. But there needs to be a balance between ratings and consideration for the players’ schedules, fairness, etc.


Kimmi Says:

Jane,

Thats why you don’r get Ivan Lubicic Vs Radek Stepanek in Rod laver arena just after the womens game.

It looks like only the big show courts schedule night matches, so there is not enough spots to accomodate everybody. Thats why they are based on TV ratings, I think.


jane Says:

tennisontherocks,

“But are we assuming that night matches are always a better deal than day matches”

No. At least I wasn’t assuming that, nor was I meaning to imply that. Apologies if that’s how it came across.

I think we all know that some players play better in the day or can handle more extreme conditions than others, while other players really play their best tennis at night or indoors or in milder conditions.

Players should, therefore, have to deal with both.

That is *precisely* why the day/night matches should be distributed evenly. So that none of the players get unfair advantages, whether it be benefiting by night or day circumstances. “All things being equal” is my point.

The other reason why it should be as balanced as possible is so that each player has a chance to get used to the court conditions in the day AND at night. Because they are different. In the day the ball will move quicker through the court, at night it will likely be more humid so the balls will be fluffier and have more stick. Etc, etc.

Roddick hadn’t even had a chance to play at night until he met Federer in the semis. I am not saying he would’ve won had he had a night match, but it may’ve at least given him a better feel for the court.

That’s all.


jane Says:

Kimmi, I am talking about the top guys; you’ll notice I said “marquee matches” in my first post.


Kimmi Says:

Jane, sorry i missed that, but still my point is Federer and Nadal would get preference due to rating compared to Roddick, murray and Djokovic. Thats why fed and nadal (from your list above) have almost equal matches played at night.

Its sad that they use TV ratings to schedule matches but thats the way its been done if you look at all other Grand Slams. Therefore people like Roddick/djokovic will always stuggle to get enough night matches


tennisontherocks Says:

Jane, no need for apologies. I agree with your ‘all things should be equal’ point. But unfortunately, I have given up hopes for that to happen. Just too many powers pushing their own agenda without any real coordination or genuine concern for one another or the game.


jane Says:

Thanks for your thoughts and replies guys. It is kind of sad if the game suffers, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.


andrea Says:

as far as scheduling goes, i can speak as a TV producer – prime time slots get the prime time players. plus, the country that the event is being played in is taken into consideration; in the USO the americans almost always get the later afternoon or night matches.

while novak is ranked as #3 in the world, the aussies love federer and he is no doubt considered more marquee than novak. and if novak continues to retire in matches, he will likley be relegated to more non prime time matches because who wants to get psyched to watch a night match and have that happen?


MMT Says:

Jane, I think you make a good point that Djokovic had some hard luck playing all but one of his matches during the day, but so did Roddick. Also, I believe all of Federer’s matches at the US Open last year were during the day, so these things happen. A true champion doesn’t belly ache about when they have to play, and gets the job done.

And again, the conspiracy theorists have come out with their, “Roger has an easy draw” line which has to be about the dumbest in the history of sports. If Federer has his way with the likes of Berdych, Safin and Roddick, it’s because he’s earned it, nobody’s handed it to him.

In his half of the draw Federer had the following players:

Roddick – who beat him the last time they played, and a grand slam champion and former #1
David Nalbandian – a player who (until last year) had split their life time matches
Mardy Fish – who beat him the last time they played
Novak Djokovic – the defending champion
Janko Tipsarevic – who took him to 10-8 in the fifth the year before
Marat Safin – a 2 time GS champion, and one of only 2 other players in the draw not in the top 4

Of course, because Federer has handled his business over the last 5 years, this list doesn’t look as good but let’s be honest, they don’t look so good because Federer has BEATEN them. What exactly is he supposed to do – lose more often to make his draw more difficult?

This is such a ridiculous argument – and I should point out that if you believe the draw is rigged, you’re in good company – Damir Dokic, father of Jelena Dokic, also believes the AO draw is rigged.

And how about Nadal – in his draw were:

Murray – who’s 1-5 against him
Verdaco – who’s 0-6 against him
Tsonga – who’s 1-2 against him and lost the last time they played
Gonzalez – who’s 3-4 against him, and lost the last 3 times they’ve played
Monfils – who’s 1-3 against him
Almagro – who’s 0-3 against him

and James Blake, who is 3-2 against Nadal, but who’s never advanced past the QF of any slam, lost the last 2 times they’ve played, and isn’t exactly the hardest competitor in the world.

This argument can be made for anyone who’s in the top 4 because the top 4 tend to beat most of the other players. It’s circular, doesn’t make sense, and utterly paranoid.

There’s nothing lucky about having guys in your half of the draw who you’ve beaten in the past because you have to have beaten them in the past in order for the draw to look easy. In other words, it would be extraordinarily BAD luck for Federer to draw all players who have the upper hand over him because there are only 3 players in the draw for whom that is the case and one is the #1 player in the world, the other is the #4 seed, and really should be on the #1 players side of the draw, and the last one is the #6 player in the world, so there’s a 50-50 chance he’ll be in Federer’s half.

But at the end of the day, the most salient point is that Fed’s draw only looks easy because he’s made it easy, and that only happens when you consistently beat your opponents – all of them.


jane Says:

MMT: Yes, I noted as much about Roddick’s schedule too (see 3:47 post today). And yes, that’s the way it goes, and a champion should just play the hand s/he is dealt. But since I noticed the discrepacy I thought it worthy of note. Ideally, the top 4 at the very least, and maybe the top 10, should be dealt close-to-the-same-hands so we can see them do their stuff. The scheduling is not a crap-shoot after all, while mother nature is.


NachoF Says:

Wow, you guys are acting like Verdasco is gonna beat Nadal… I sincerely doubt that will happen.. the final will imminently be Fed-Nadal… and Im not sure whats gonna happen.


I like tennis bullies Says:

lucky federer has managed to avoid playing both simon and murray who have a winning record against him, to reach the finals…

lucky federer has played mostly night matches while the other players played mostly in the soaring heat in the afternoon …

when does federers luck end?


Kroll Says:

Jane

“That is *precisely* why the day/night matches should be distributed evenly.”

Sorry Jane, but this cannot be done and it doesnt make sense to even try. The fact that there is no way of telling when a player is going to lose (i.e. predict the future) means that one cannot be Even in distributing day and night matches to a every player.
The local players must be given preference becauses at the end of it all, it (organizing a Grand Slam) is a commercial enterprise. So the other than the local players, I think it should be random allocation with the onus on the players on the players to prepare for all conditions. So if they get lucky so be it. Just like the luck of the draw, its irrlevant how the scheduling turns up, just that the intention was to be fair (by making it a nearly random process)


Kroll Says:

Some major lexical and grammatical errors in the previous post. Sorry…


jane Says:

Kroll,

Well I’ve never been one to go in for “sense” but a girl can dream can’t she?

Aye, there’s the rub: “it (organizing a Grand Slam) is a commercial enterprise.” This is so true.

“Just like the luck of the draw…the intention was to be fair (by making it a nearly random process)”

Of course the operative word here being “nearly”; with 32 guaranteed spots in particular areas, it’s not entirely “random” nor is it always “fair.” That’s where the “luck” comes in I guess.
Such is life.

And btw, I agree, the players –all of em– should be ready for the best of times and the worst of times.


Kroll Says:

MMT

Agree about the way you squashed the Fed-has-it-easy argument. Its complete rubbish of course. Its simpler though – Start with the number of players who have a winning or good H-2-H against Fed – Rafa, Djoker, Nalby, Murray and see how many end up on his side. Djoker and Nalby did, Rafa and Murray didnt. Almost everyone else has been dominated by Fed so its really a waste of time to even plod along these lines.


Giner Says:

“The American was in solid form but Federer is peaking after some shaky early-round performances, with Federer even out-acing Roddick 16-8. ”

Federer has always outaced Roddick. It comes down to return of serve. Roddick has a better serve, but Fed is able to put his racquet on it better than Roddick can get his on Fed’s serve.

There wasn’t a lot you could fault Roddick for in this match. Fed just came up with the goods when he needed it (5-5 in the 2nd and 3rd sets).

“Former Yugoslavia Davis Cup coach Radmilo Armenulic slamming the Serbs, speaking to Reuters: “Djokovic and Jankovic should have gone to Australia much earlier in order to acclimatize, at least one month in advance. One needs as many matches as possible prior to the Open to get used to the heat and players who have done that are doing well in the tournament…”

Djokovic actually landed in Australia early. He played Brisbane in the first week of Jan, then Sydney after he lost in the 1st round of Brisbane. He probably only wanted to play one tournament, but didn’t get enough matches in Brisbane so had to ask for a late wildcard for Sydney.

His preparation wasn’t the best though.


MMT Says:

Giner: I have to say, although Federer won in straight sets, and had a very good winners to errors differential, I don’t believe he played that well.

First, of his 51 winners, 16 were aces, so his differential was really + 20. Roddick had 8 aces, so his differential was really 30-18 or +22, so aside from the serve, Roddick’s was the better.

Also, Roddick won 10 of the 27 points Federer came to net – that’s a good number for Fed, but you’d have to think that either Verdasco or Nadal would win more of his net approaches.

The big difference for Fed was his serve and his return of serve, but against either Verdasco or Nadal, you’d have to expect them to win more of their service points and put a bigger dent on Federer’s serve.

I expect either Nadal or Verdasco to be a much tougher opponent for Federer than Roddick was today. And I’m watching the match now as I write for the 3rd time on the tennis channel, and to me, Federer was really quite passive in this match – and wasn’t hitting the ball cleanly enough to beat the players on the other side of the draw – not like against Safin or del Potro.

Well, the final will be interesting either way. But one things for sure – the commentary on ESPN is much better than the tennis channel – Leif Shiras is a nice guy who does his play by play well, but Gimelstob is unbearable, and it’s not surprise to me that they’ve signed up Jimmy Connors. I’ll be very interested to hear him in the booth with Navratilova because they’ve got a lot more gravitas, in my opinion, than the collection of commentators on ESPN put together.


MMT Says:

Oops…okay, for get what I just said about Roddick’s differential – it’s actually +12, but the rest of it stands :-)


Von Says:

MMT:

Hey, you were in my thoughts this morning. I mean is that good or bad? Did I pique your curiosity as to why I was thinking of you? OK, enough suspense. Jimmy Connors was being interviewed by Bill Macatee and Martina as to his upcoming stint in the commentators booth for this year’s USO, and I wondered how you’d react to such news. I must say I’m surprised by your reaction considering how much you dislike him. Well, this much I can say, he definitely will be a welcome change from Justin Gimelstob for sure. See, there is a God and all good things come to those who wait, even in the form of (“the BRAT”) James Scott Connors.

I’m glad that Mary Carillo cannot hear me, but I’ve lost count of how many times per day I tell that woman to “shut up”. She’s worse than the dentist’s drill — she’s eaten away at the last good nerve I have left in my auditory canal.

We agree on one thing, Martina Navratilova’s commentating. I like to listen to her. Her voice is very well modulated and she’s got the tennis savvy. I like Leif Shiras (I think of him as the proverbial “Ivey Leaguer” with his “All American Boy” good looks, et al. Can’t say I miss Jimmy Arias, his nasal tone get to that one good nerve also. Corinna Morariu is pretty OK but she’s fast becoming a “Chatty Kathy” like Tracy Austin.

Anyway, here’s looking forward to some intelligent commentary at the USO!!!!


Tejuz Says:

Jane: “I am not suggesting scheduling is easy but you’d think they’d alternate this as much as possible, at least try for 50/50 split amongst the “marquee” players/matches”

well.. thats what the organisers would usually do.. but when you have a Hewitt, Tomic or any other Aussies in your half of the draw its hard to get prime-time slot. This has happened to Federer himself before when Hewitt was on his side of the draw (or Roddick at US Open 07). The slot which Djoker missed out was second round when organisers decided to play Tomic. 3rd round prime match was surely gonna be Fed vs Safin (both former champions).

Murray played an extra night match… but then he did not play at the centre court every time like how Novak has(2 of his matches were in Hisense Arena). So obviously organizers were trying to accomodate the Top 3 on the Rod Laver arena always. Had Tomic progressed further, am pretty sure Fed would have had to play an extra day match as well. Ask the ladies top seeds.. they never got a night match until Dokic got ousted. And Dokic missed the 1st round under th lights because of another Aussies Casey Del’cua.


jane Says:

MMT: I’d say, in particular, that while Roddick does look to have improved his return of serve, Nadal is very strong in this department, so that, yes, he will be able to return more serves, or put more on his returns perhaps. Verdasco seemed to return very well against both Murray and Tsonga as well. He was able, by the 3rd set, to predict where Tsonga’s serves were going. Plus they are both lefties. And traditionally Roger has had a tougher time with the odd lefty serve, including J-lo’s (F. Lopez), and Nadal’s. Not that Nadal, anyhow, will be aceing Fed a lot, but he can definitely hold his own and is mentally one of the toughest – certainly up there with Federer in this regard.


Von Says:

MMT:

One of the aspects of Roddick’s game that’s greatly overlooked is that of his errors count. I think he plays a very clean game.


jane Says:

Tejuz – all of your points re:scheduling are well taken and make sense. If Djokovic, or other players for that matter, asked to play off Rod Laver and on Hisense Arena providing they could have a night match, I wonder if the organizers would go for it? Hmmm… food for thought anyhow.


Giner Says:

If I’m not mistaken, Fed beat Roddick with the same scoreline as Nadal beat Simon the day before.

“I agree about the rule suggestion; tennis shouldn’t be played based only on ratings, although there is no doubt that it is a factor. But there needs to be a balance between ratings and consideration for the players’ schedules, fairness, etc.”

It’s just hard to do when there’s so many players to juggle around.

In a normal year, Dokic would not have held Novak up because there wouldn’t be an Australian woman in week 2. I wonder if these two have met and get along well with each other.

“RAFA

1. night
2. day
3. night
4. day
5, night
6. will be night
7 if he makes it, will be night

4/6 night so far (counting tonight) – so same as Fed.”

Yeah but look at how he had to alternate. Novak had no real business complaining about what they did to him.

“bob22 Says:

Good work Jane! Defending champion was treated as third class player. They did everything to take the title from him and not to have 2008 repeated, when one Russian and one Serbian took both titles. If I am Djoko, I will hire a lawyer and sue the AUS organizers, with a goal to expose decisions made behind a closed door. Skipping a SLAM will not be a smart idea but this can be a moral satisfaction and also to prevent future discrimination.”

What grounds does Novak have to sue them really? Not giving him enough night matches? Won’t he then complain about having MORE late finishes past midnight? AUS Open officials have sole discretion on who they slot when, and it’s not just the players they consider, but spectators and ratings as well. And because they reserve the right to sole discretion, Novak has no case. Who knows, perhaps they anticipated that Fed-JMDP would be over a lot quicker than Djoko-Roddick and didn’t want anyone playing till 2AM, so they let Fed play at night.

Yesterday people suggested that the AO helped Serena win by closing the roof because they didn’t want an all russian Semi because an American is a bigger ratings drawcard. I’d like to dismiss this by pointing out that Roddick never got night matches until he played Federer, so the AUS open is clearly not pro-American. They really aren’t going to care about ESPN’s ratings at 3AM in the morning. They only care about local ratings, and put the drawcard matches on at prime time (e.g. Dokic who probably played all her matches at night, though I didn’t check).

The AO tried to be balanced with day/night for top 4 players. No single player played entirely night matches.

Playing at night is a double edged sword. The conditions would suit Novak better, but then he might have late finishes which he doesn’t like, and then he’ll complain about that, and the only way to resolve that is to give him a night match the next day. Pretty much if you give him one night match, you have to give him night matches all the way.

Oleg Says:

“Don’t assume that Nadal will get past Verdasco.

Yes, Rafa is the favorite and yes he is 6-0 vs Verdasco. But Verdasco has clearly stepped it up against quality opposition and he has a good shot at upsetting Rafa.”

If Nadal ends up biting the silverware, he had better make sure to thank his personal assassin, Verdasco, for taking out dangerous players like Tsonga and Murray on his side of the draw for him.

“I think we all know that some players play better in the day or can handle more extreme conditions than others, while other players really play their best tennis at night or indoors or in milder conditions.

Players should, therefore, have to deal with both.

That is *precisely* why the day/night matches should be distributed evenly. So that none of the players get unfair advantages, whether it be benefiting by night or day circumstances. “All things being equal” is my point.”

It’s impossible to do that for everyone, because when you consider the balance of the opponents faced, there can be conflicts.

It’s also not very well known, but planning is decided vaguely some time in advance, before knowing who a particular player will even be playing against, in order to give the players time to plan and prepare for their next match.

“Its sad that they use TV ratings to schedule matches but thats the way its been done if you look at all other Grand Slams. Therefore people like Roddick/djokovic will always stuggle to get enough night matches”

Sometimes it works out better if you are slotted non-prime time. For example, Nadal requested day matches at the US Open because then his matches would be featured prime time back home in Spain. Even though he’s playing during the day, it was still prime time to the audience he draws in the most. This may have been the case for some players in Melbourne as well, though I didn’t bother checking the time difference.

“The other reason why it should be as balanced as possible is so that each player has a chance to get used to the court conditions in the day AND at night. Because they are different. In the day the ball will move quicker through the court, at night it will likely be more humid so the balls will be fluffier and have more stick. Etc, etc.”

Nadal said he preferred day with the roof open, because with it closed and air conditioned the ball moves faster and doesn’t bounce as high, which is a disadvantage to him. I don’t know enough about the game technically to understand why and how this works, I’m just taking it from Nadal when he was asked about it. The punishing heat favours his game more than the comfortable conditions Novak wants.

“I agree about the rule suggestion; tennis shouldn’t be played based only on ratings, although there is no doubt that it is a factor. But there needs to be a balance between ratings and consideration for the players’ schedules, fairness, etc.”

It really is too much to juggle. It’s impossible to satisfy them all, unless there’s only 2 players. And player’s schedules and fairness are a pretty low priority for GS organisers. I mean look at Wimbledon 07.. many days lost to rain delay, and they refused to play on the middle Sunday to help players make up for lost time. So Nadal ended up having to play back to back the last 5 days, while Fed managed to get all his matches in and even had a walkover, resting the last 4 or 5 days. The same goes for US Open 03 when Roddick won it. Too much rain delay in the first week turned the event into survival of the fittest. If they really cared a great deal about the players, they would have extended the event by a week or so, but that would have killed ratings and ticket sales.

“Jane, I think you make a good point that Djokovic had some hard luck playing all but one of his matches during the day, but so did Roddick. Also, I believe all of Federer’s matches at the US Open last year were during the day, so these things happen. A true champion doesn’t belly ache about when they have to play, and gets the job done.”

I think day and night is balanced and fair. Day is hotter but at least your match is done and you can go to bed early. At night, you risk playing till 2AM or even 5AM. That affects your sleep that night and your ability to recover or prepare for the next match. Roddick said so in his latest interview.

“In his half of the draw Federer had the following players:

Roddick – who beat him the last time they played, and a grand slam champion and former #1
David Nalbandian – a player who (until last year) had split their life time matches
Mardy Fish – who beat him the last time they played
Novak Djokovic – the defending champion
Janko Tipsarevic – who took him to 10-8 in the fifth the year before
Marat Safin – a 2 time GS champion, and one of only 2 other players in the draw not in the top 4″

This isn’t a very objective list.

Roddick is 2-15 against him and realistically has no chance at beating Fed.

The bulk of Nalbo’s wins came before Fed reached #1 and figured him out. Since then it’s been mostly all Federer.

The Fish win was a one off aberration that is not expected to happen again, along with many other losses he took to players he doesn’t normally lose to (Blake, Roddick, Stepanek).

Safin is another guy you can be almost certain will never beat Fed. He won at AO 05, but never again since then and always lost badly since.

Tipsy played well but watching the match, you knew he’d be the first to crack in the 5th. He lacked the fitness and belief to beat Fed, and I don’t imagine him beating Fed ever.

Now onto your Nadal list.

“Murray – who’s 1-5 against him
Verdaco – who’s 0-6 against him
Tsonga – who’s 1-2 against him and lost the last time they played
Gonzalez – who’s 3-4 against him, and lost the last 3 times they’ve played
Monfils – who’s 1-3 against him
Almagro – who’s 0-3 against him”

Murray is 1-5 except he’s figured Nadal out now, the same way Fed figured Nalbandian, Henman, Hewitt, and Agassi who all had lopsided records against him before he became #1. Murray won the last 2 against Nadal (including Abu Dhabi) and would have been favourite against Nadal had they met. Murray and Fed were actually favourites for the title. Of the top 4, Nadal made his way through quietly for a #1. It’s not often that a world #1 is 4th favourite.

Tsonga thrashed Nadal at the same event a year ago.

Gonzalez thrashed Nadal at the same event two years ago. These matches matter are more pertinent than a best of three win by Nadal at some smaller event.

Monfils just beat him two weeks earlier. Nice how you only mention that the player won the last meeting if it was on Fed’s draw, but omit this info on Nadal’s opponents.

“and James Blake, who is 3-2 against Nadal, but who’s never advanced past the QF of any slam, lost the last 2 times they’ve played, and isn’t exactly the hardest competitor in the world.”

James Blake won the only best of five (slam) match they’ve played which was at USO hard court. This counts for more than an Indian Wells or Miami. Oh and it was a thrashing. It doesn’t matter if he’s never been past the QF. What round would they have met at?

I think the draw is more or less balanced. Nadal would have had a harder time getting to the final if the matches went according to seeding. He would have had to play Murray, who in my opinion destroyed Nadal at the US Open. I think Fed would prefer to have Djokovic on his side than Murray. It worked out relatively well for Nadal too, as he wouldn’t have wanted to face Roddick or Nalbandian.

I don’t seriously think any of the names you mentioned in Fed’s draw posed any real threat to him. They would have to a Nadal, but not to a Federer. Fish? Safin? Come on. Just look at the H2H.

“The local players must be given preference becauses at the end of it all, it (organizing a Grand Slam) is a commercial enterprise. So the other than the local players, I think it should be random allocation with the onus on the players on the players to prepare for all conditions. So if they get lucky so be it. Just like the luck of the draw, its irrlevant how the scheduling turns up, just that the intention was to be fair (by making it a nearly random process)”

Normally, local players are sent out early so it isn’t an issue, but this year Dokic surprised everyone. Certainly surprised me.


Giner Says:

“First, of his 51 winners, 16 were aces, so his differential was really + 20. Roddick had 8 aces, so his differential was really 30-18 or +22, so aside from the serve, Roddick’s was the better.”

The stats alone are never going to tell a complete picture. I don’t think they account for forced errors, which are defacto winners. What about service winners, which are defacto aces? It doesn’t count as an ace if the player’s racquet touches the ball even if it’s just off the frame.

“I expect either Nadal or Verdasco to be a much tougher opponent for Federer than Roddick was today. And I’m watching the match now as I write for the 3rd time on the tennis channel, and to me, Federer was really quite passive in this match – and wasn’t hitting the ball cleanly enough to beat the players on the other side of the draw – not like against Safin or del Potro.”

Fed saves his best for the final. I expect inexperience to kill Verdasco if he makes the final. Just as it helped Fed kill Baghdatis, Gonzalez, Murray, Djokovic, Nadal (wimby), Ferrer (TMC) and some others maybe.

“Tejuz – all of your points re:scheduling are well taken and make sense. If Djokovic, or other players for that matter, asked to play off Rod Laver and on Hisense Arena providing they could have a night match, I wonder if the organizers would go for it? Hmmm… food for thought anyhow.”

Local programming (Channel 7) only shows matches on Rod Laver Arena. Channel 7 paid for exclusive matches which other networks can only show on tape delay. The AO sells Margaret Court and Hisense matches to other networks to show while Channel 7 shows RLA matches. In other words, since Ch7 gets first dibs on marquee matches, Margaret Court won’t do for a guy of Djokovic’s caliber.


jane Says:

Giner,

“Margaret Court won’t do for a guy of Djokovic’s caliber.” What about Hisense? I watched a lot of matches that were played there, featuring, for instance, the likes of Murray or Roddick. Anyway, I guess you already answered me when you said CH7 only shows RLA matches.


Kroll Says:

Giner

Your critisicm of MMT is rife with flaws that you point out in the first place – i.e. selective bias

“Murray is 1-5 except he’s figured Nadal out now”

Based on a statistic of one 4-set game? Fed whacked Murray in the USO so Fed’s figured out Murray? How does that explain his losses to him after that?

“Gonzalez thrashed Nadal at the same event two years ago.”
So I guess Gonzo has Rafa’s game figured out then.

This “figured out” argument is without basis and does not work against an evolving player who is also the number one and was the most dominant player last year. Murray has figured out absolutely nothing IMO.

“Nadal said he preferred day with the roof open..”

He did earlier, but I saw his blog in Times(UK), yesterday I think, where he made an emphatic request to shut the roof.


Von Says:

To Mary:

the following might be of some interest to you because I know it’s a subject very dear to your heart.

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/sport/tennis/article_1456337.php/Nadal_rebels_against_new_anti-doping_code_%26quotIts_a_disgrace%26quot__Feature__


Von Says:

“He did earlier, but I saw his blog in Times(UK), yesterday I think, where he made an emphatic request to shut the roof.”

Oh my, I thought only the “Americans” are entitled to this kind of favoritism. Anyway, as the saying goes, he’s got it “made in the shade”.


osazone4real Says:

This is very disappointing people have accused nadal of not bein talented,his game is crap,his knees will wear out,he wil only win the french, he cant play hard court,he cant be no1,now that he has done these things now they resort to accusing him of uing steroids,this is rdiculous


Ryan Says:

Its funny whenever fed wins and reaches the final its luck…..when nadal wins and reaches the final its because he earned his way there. Who did Nadal face in this AO…..other than some old ass players like Haas and Gonzalez who should probably consider retiring from the sport. Simon to nadal is like andy roddick is to federer. That is not even a competition like the scoreboard showed. In fact nadal is lucky that murray got out of the tournament because he was the only guy who was capable of kicking nadal out in his draw.

Whenever fed wins a match its not because he played well.His opponent played bad.Somehow this is not said about nadal who keeps depending on his opposition to make errors to win matches.

Fed won 13 slams because the other guys are very bad tennis players who should have quit and considered doing dishes in a hotel.
But if Nadal has a great record on clay its because he is the best. Well to me its because everyone else sucks on clay and that includes federer.


Kroll Says:

Ryan

“Whenever fed wins a match its not because he played well.His opponent played bad.”

I find this pretty funny actually. There was a time when any word against Fed would be anathema and would draw a string of abuse from all and sundry. And you percieve that the situation is completely reversed now? Actually this is a fair point and I would be understanding, before the second part of your rant ensues :

“Somehow this is not said about nadal who keeps depending on his opposition to make errors to win matches.”

So all you are is a fanboy with no real sense of the game. Hence, Whatever…


Ezorra Says:

“Its funny whenever fed wins and reaches the final its luck…..when nadal wins and reaches the final its because he earned his way there.”

-Really? Have you read all the comments here? I mean ALL of them?

“Simon to nadal is like andy roddick is to federer.”

- Funniest statement ever!

“Who did Nadal face in this AO…..other than some old ass players like Haas and Gonzalez who should probably consider retiring from the sport.”

- Just to remind you that Gonzalez is the runner-up in last year Olympic event (which was held in August, to be exact), tq.

“Somehow this is not said about nadal who keeps depending on his opposition to make errors to win matches.”

Kudos to Nadal for his ability to avoid / reduce the number of unforced errors he made, unlike his opponents!

“Well to me its because everyone else sucks on clay and that INCLUDES FEDERER.”

- Are you kidding? He is the second best player on clay for god sake!


jane Says:

Ryan – I just don’t think this is a very true perception of things, at least not certainly in the media: “Whenever fed wins a match its not because he played well.His opponent played bad”

I think you’re talking about at this blog, and maybe that’s the case for some posters.

But generally speaking, the public, and tennis-watching fans, still regard Federer as a tennis-god who can do little wrong. In fact the headlines and articles generally suggest the exact opposite as you pose above. That Federer won because he’s the greatest and that his opponent is simply average, or no match, or similar. Most of the latest headlines reflect that; here’s a sampling:

“Sublime Federer eases into final”
“Ominous warning to rivals from Swiss great”
“Red-hot Federer smashes Roddick to reach Open final”
“Federer in full command of artillery”
“Superb Federer crushes Roddick in semis”


Ryan Says:

To Jane:

I was actually referring to all the fed haters
in this blog.

To Kroll:

No real sense of the game……thats funny….go ask any great tennis player about how nadal plays…does he play tennis like most players do or does he muscle the ball with brute strength without any proper technique and just relies on his athleticism?
I liked djok’s imitations of nadal , the way he hits a shot…..its more like a bicep curl.
Tursunov is no great player but he said it as it is……nadal might be the better athlete but federer is a better tennis player.

Source:-
http://www.nationalpost.com/sports/beijing-games/story.html?id=715419

I do like federer , safin , djokovic , berdych , murray u name it……..but not nadal.
I’m not a fed fanboy…… just dont like nadal.
Besides if I’m such as fed fanboy why should I say federer sux on clay…..ur retarded.
In fact ur a dumb ass nadal fanboy. Its still the same..u say something about nadal and then dumb ass bloggers like urself just attack whoever that said that….


ojo Says:

This is such a ridiculous argument – and I should point out that if you believe the draw is rigged, you’re in good company – Damir Dokic, father of Jelena Dokic, also believes the AO draw is rigged.

MMT if that’s intended to be a snide remark then you should be reminded that your friend who writes Savannah’s blog had the same thoughts about rigging. So I guess Savannah agrees with Damir.


jane Says:

Thought so Ryan…thx for clarifying.


David Says:

Wow, a lot of people have a really strange dislike for Federer and Nadal. We’re talking about two of the greatest of all time, and far and away the greatest rivalry in tennis history. Why can’t people enjoy it? For goodness sakes, Federer hasnt won 13 Grand Slams (and a ridiculous number of Masters shields) by luck fellas!

There are some great up and comers right now, and I was REALLY impressed by the job Simon did, but what we’ve seen is that Fed and Nadal are still a world apart. Yes, they will lose here and there. As Lendl and Sampras and Becker and Edberg all did when they were in their primes. but there has NEVER been players as consistently good as these two- this is Fed’s 4th straight GS final!

Fed is playing much better than he did in 08, even in his US Open run, and Nadal is much improved.

I haven’t seen Verdasco lately, and I understand he’s playing phenomenal, but if we get a Nadal Fed final, this has the potential to eclipse Wimbledon as greatest match ever.

So get the bile out of your bellies and enjoy some tennis boys!


Kroll Says:

Ryan
“Somehow this is not said about nadal who keeps depending on his opposition to make errors to win matches.”

Apparantely if I disagree with your riduclously lame reductionist assessment of Rafa’s game, I am a fanboy. And

“brute strength without any proper technique”

I am sorry, you are not a fanboy, just new to tennis. In a few years when (or if) you get a better understanding of the game maybe we Can talk…


Mary Says:

Von: who do you think posted it at the site where I’m pretty sure you found the link. Thanks for pointing that site out!


Ryan Says:

To Kroll:-

“In a few years when (or if) you get a better understanding of the game maybe we Can talk…”

Thats the same thing I have to say to you as well.


Von Says:

Mary:

You’re welcome!

I don’t know who posted it on the site I found the article, but it piqued my interest since I’ve mentioned to you previously, it was once part of my job to schedule and oversee such screenings. Also, we had a few discussions on that topic in the past concerning the cyclists, hence I figured it would be of some interest to you. I didn’t post it because of Nadal, but to show you that WADA is making an attempt to do something about the growing drug problem in sports.

I don’t want to anger his fans, because it’s strictly for informational purposes. I remember once a so-called friend told me that people shouldn’t let issues and/or one’s views concerning a player ruin a friendship, but it’s amazing how touchy a subject player preference can become and tempers do flare.


Dan Martin Says:

To complain about Federer’s competition when he faced an admittedly past his prime Safin who has had a lot of success in Melbourne, a talented but underachieving Berdych, an up and coming del Potro and Andy Roddick who is not terrible by any means seems odd. Yes Roger is favored against any of those guys head to head as he is against a lot of people, but just based on the serving power of those 4 players it would be hard for many people to navigate 4 matches such as that and win.

I just don’t get the animosity. I can see teams from rival states or regions having nasty partisanship. This is an individual sport. If you have played tennis and can’t marvel at Nadal’s tenacity or Federer’s genius if you can’t get a chill seeing how hard Simon plays or be excited to see a player such as del Potro move up the ranks then I don’t get the point of being a fan. Sure we have out preferences, but the ATP especially has the luxery of having very few bad seeds and it is easy to be excited for the sport. Instead we get implications of this player is unmanly this player is a lap dog this player is …. Come on enjoy the sport because I will guarantee one thing Nadal, Federer, Roddick, Tsonga, Safin, … are not losing any sleep over any of this. They lose sleep over trying to play great tennis and beat great competition in key moments. As fans that seems to be what we should look forward to enjoying.


Milo Says:

Of course Rafa doesn’t like the new World Anti-Doping Agency code. Where there is a syringe, there is Rafa and Verdasco’s butt cheeks. But hey, the Oz crowd is loving it. Even I like watching pro wrestling roid monsters go at it. They both look clearly fueled by an EPO/steroid milkshake. I’m sure Rafa’s “Beast of Barcelona” soccer star uncle had him up on the latest “cheater” science in his early teens. Funny to see Verdasco become a recent convert. Ah yeah, how many guys get clearly faster and stronger in their late 20′s??? Ben Johnson comes to mind.


Milo Says:

Funny to hear ESPN2 commentators (Gilbert, McEnroe)lead off every sentence with:

“I can’t believe…”
“I’ve never seen…”

If guys who’ve spent their whole life around the sport are seeing things for the first time, how can they not even mention the obvious reason?

It is so important that the cheats get exposed. Its like playing a league match and having your opponent call every one of your shots out. Tennis is so lax to clamp down, because a positive test and defaulted final would be such a black eye for the sport, not to mention the revenue lost.

Still pretty funny to see Rafa face to face with someone who eats the same “magic oats” as he does.


Mary Says:

Von: I like the part where they’re trying to make a claim that what WADA wants is a human rights violation.
Someone needs to tell that Bryant it’s not a good idea to become tennis’ poster child for missing tests.
Did you do suprise testing?


Mary Says:

Sorry, WADA does not want to cause a human rights violation. The sports involved in the new scheme feel that WADA is commiting a human rights violation. Living in fear of a testing showing up to collect your pee at any given moment is the the same as living in fear a junta is going to break into your home and murder your family.

While he lost, Verdasco really stepped up his game. Good for him! It’s nice to see a player get over a mindblock.


Von Says:

Mary:

I don’t see how they can get a Human Rights Violation to stick when drug testing is part of their signed contract. Also, it’s not like it’s invasive testing, which can be refused because of a foreign device piercing the skin.

Yes, I did random surprise testing all of the time, with open door observation by Law Enforcement personnel, and unbroken chain of custody. That way they couldn’t say that there was tampering with the samples. Numbers, not names were used and the samples were sent to an out-of-state lab. I had a caseload of 60 and had them rotated every 4 months = 3 tests per year. The abusers were tested more frequently. They were very creative with their excuses for missing scheduled appointments.


Von Says:

Mary: “Living in fear of a testing showing up to collect your pee at any given moment is the the same as living in fear a junta is going to break into your home and murder your family.”

Tell me you’re joking. Living in fear — fear of what? You know the old addage: “do nothing, fear nothing”. The collection process is about 2 minutes, how inconvenient could that be?

I felt very sad for Verdasco because he played his heart out and it was obvious he really wanted to win. He gaved it his all.


Milo Says:

The gains you get in anaerobic fast-twitch burst sports is so thoroughly documented, fans have the blinders on if they think tennis is clean. Tennis is basically a sprinter’s sport. How much of a difference can drugs make? Remember in the 80′s…white people were winning sprint events in the Olympics. Now that is some serious chemistry.

It is especially helpful to grinder style bashers who lack tactical brilliance.

Rafa says all the right things, and makes mucho dollars for those who control the sport. Only WADA would expose him. Before they had an outside authority doing the test, any “Rafa positive” would just be chucked in the trash. They’ll throw us a bone by exposing a journeyman like Canas.

Rafa did win the Olympic gold against the best testing in the world, so whatever he’s on, it’s “preemO stuff” and being regulated with East German perfection.


Ryan Says:

Milo is right.Think about it..if nadal is clean why should he get so upset when he hears the new testing standards. He is a skilled roid user who pulls every trick in the bag to win matches. People think he is such as nice guy when he just says ” Roger is the best in the history no?….”. As it is he is breaking so many time violation rules so he might be doing this as well. Rules are meant to be broken as long as your not caught….right Rafa?


Ryan Says:

I just think it was crazy even in 2007 wimbledon when he gets out of 5 set matches every day , with rain delays and still takes the final with federer to a fifth set.I started suspecting him from that point onwards.


lo Says:

as the saying goes… “innocent until proven guilty”. i’d like to give rafa the benefit of the doubt (partly because the thought of him using drugs makes me angry as hell).


Ryan Says:

I really hope WADA catches his punk ass and takes away all his grand slam titles. And if he is found to be clean…..he is even cleverer than I thought.
Bottomline:- NADAL IS A STEROID JUNKIE

And to all the noob bloggers who dont even know half of what i know about tennis trying to tell me how great nadal is…..dont waste ur time.


jane Says:

Longest match in Australian Open history! Wow. That bodes well for Federer. Nadal played the second semi (like at the USO) and thus should be rather depleted for the final.

But Fed has the advantage on hardcourts anyhow – he’s been historically better on this surface. Can anyone say 14?

I am happy for Verdasco, though. Yeah, he lost, but he’s jumped a mental hurdle, and the season is wide open in front of him. Realistically, he can do well at all the slams; he can play on clay and he played well on grass last year too. He might be a nemesis for a lot of players this year. AND he will now have broken into the top 10 for the first time, won’t he have? Good for him.


bob22 Says:

Good observation Giner.


mem Says:

Milo and Ryan, you may want to test your reading skills by reading the facts. from what i’ve read, nadal probably gets tested more than any other player on the tour. in fact, he was tested the night of the 2008 French Open after winning. Not long ago, the agents went to his home in Mallorca, all testing-related, not to mention all of those times we don’t know about. I’m sure if something goes wrong and he’s found cheating, they will call you guys and let you know. Don’t spend so much time worrying about him getting caught, i assure you if it were to happen the whole world would know. interestingly enough, i’ve never read or heard about federer being tested. odd, isn’t it? or is it because nadal is so mentally tough and not intimidated by federer or anyone else, so therefore, he is hiding something. time will tell! in the meantime, get some sleep!


margot Says:

Hey Dan Martin, completely agree with your comments. Personally think Rafa is a grafter, a very good one it’s true and I know nothing about his steroid input or not, and Federer is a genius.
In view of all these allegations perhaps we should all be supporting Simon, who clearly is on nothing……


Kroll Says:

mem Says:

“Milo and Ryan..”

You mean Milo/Ryan – you surely don’t believe they are different people? This kook(and his various sockpuppets) has been peddling this line ad nauseum since eternity and will continue doing so. His latest attempt to “bolster support” by using another name is well in character. So, I wouldn’t bother with the admonishment and reason.


Kroll Says:

Jane
Its pretty amazing, Verdasco’s progress. I am pretty sure he’s here to stay, unless, oh wait, he gets caught for steriod abuse :)
Anyway I think he’s soon going to be in the top 5 at the very least. Unlike Tsonga, he’s very fit and seems extremely driven.


Mary Says:

Von: Do you remember the Bloomberg article I posted way back in the summer comparing tennis pros and golf pros? Damn, they were right on target.

In reference to WADA protocol.
For me it’s not so much about targeting a single player, the argument goes nowhere fast and gets any discussion about steroid etc. abuse shut down fast and posts erased– generally on most sites; although I have not noticed it here.

My issue is I have yet to hear the “tennis” press and tennis announcers mention or raise any serious questions about drug abuse in the sport. They are generally happy to let us think that everyone is tested after every match.

Disclaimer: What I am about to type is not to point a finger at Nadal. It’s just to make a larger point.
While I have not seen all of his matches this year, I have not heard one word about the fact that in Nov/Dec Uncle Toni did his usual “My nephew will never play tennis again; his knees are shot.” Yet, now he finds himself in what his second final what a month later.
Either we are being bs’d about him needing to pull out of matches just to rest him or something else is going on. My issue is the question is never asked. I hear every bit of nonsense about a player, minus anything constructive.
Again, not pointing a finger. It is what is missing, not only with him, but the whole issue in general that raises the concern. There is a growing internet and non-tennis press interest in the matter. Nadal, I doubt knowingly, is kinda setting himself up.
It’s like with any sport, once this matter is raised and pushed, a big name falls.
If I was Uncle Toni, I would never in a million years let my nephew be commenting on the matter or holding himself out as the spokesperson on the issue. Clean, not clean, you don’t want to be the face of it.
Tennis players, well not the brightest bulbs, would be smart to allow the testing for two reasons:
The economy is going to mean a loss to them personally and the tour. How many of the sponsors are no longer in business? People are not going to be so hyped to drop money on it.
Federer becoming the offical GOAT will mean a loss of interest in the sport– until someone else becomes goat. The sport is revolving itself around Federer becoming GOAT. Well, once he becomes the man, what’s left? It’s not good enough to win one or more slams anymore.


jane Says:

Kroll,

I agree with you on the Tsonga comparison; in their match Verdasco proved that he’s not flashy but focused and thinking through each point. He’s also more “fit and driven,” as you put it. Tsonga is exciting to watch, but sometimes I think he could slow down and focus, think more. Good crack on the steroid usage; I agree with whomever said above “innocent until proven guilty.” ^^


Mary Says:

Mem: the ift stats on their website show Nadal is not tested as much as we are lead to think– none of them are. It was only 20% in 2007. There was a large chunk of time leading into the clay season where neither Federer or Nadal were tested. They should be tested after the finals. If I recall correctly, Nadal has only been tested once or twice in the off-season, Federer none. Neither one in 2007.

The agents were at his home b/c of a legit claim made about him being clean. We should know every time there is testing as the itf has to answer for the testing– about money etc.

If you read my post above, you will see my issue is the misinformation that is allowed to get out concerning the testing that is never corrected.
Federer was tested in 2007, the most recent releases, around 30 to 40%.

Fans need to stop calling people who raise the issue trolls– a lot of people feel the sport is dirty b/c of the misinformation that is promoted. I’m not into pointing fingers, it’s not my job. We should be pushing for more open and faster info. Do you honestly think tennis had one dirty player in 2007??


jane Says:

Mary,

“Federer becoming the offical GOAT will mean a loss of interest in the sport– until someone else becomes goat. The sport is revolving itself around Federer becoming GOAT. Well, once he becomes the man, what’s left?”

I agree!!! Back in 07, when Federer was in “monster-mode” and winning everything in sight, when people here were attacking me because I wanted to see some variety, I read this paragraph / quotation and it really rung true at the time:

————————————————
“I begin to care less and less each time he wins, because there exists no more intrigue. It’s the same destination with a slightly different path. And as hard as it is to not like a champion as magnificent and grateful as Roger Federer, he has absolutely nothing left to prove. All that’s left to do is to continue to crush upstarts, wake up from the occasional dropped set, and figure out a way to conquer Rafa on clay.

He may figure it out someday. Hopefully I’ll still be interested to watch.”
————————————————-

Of course last year things got a LOT more interesting, with more people in the mix, Federer being challenged and dethroned, etc, etc. The slams going to 3 different champions. A bunch of fans came out of the woodwork, etc. But since the USO win last year, there’s a renewed focus on Federer becoming GOAT, and even if he accomplishes that here at the AO, him winning the French Open will continue to be an obsession.

I don’t care if Federer wins tournaments, reaches finals, wins a slam or two each year, but I like when there are SEVERAL players winning. I’d like to see Murray, Roddick, Djokovic, Verdasco, Cilic, JMDP, Tsonga, Simon, ALL in contention with Rafa and Fed for the slams and the Master Cups.

THAT SAID – it’s up to them to get there and steal some of the limelight from the Rafa-Fed show. Rafa and Fed have proven themselves the best and most consistent players for years, so they deserve the attention and accolades. I just hope the hungry gang below can steal some thunder.

Maybe some people like to see the same dynamics over and over again, but wasn’t it exciting, as Andrea pointed out on another thread, to see Nadal and Verdaso go at it – two lefties? Or Tsonga and Verdasco, or for the first set, anyhow, Roddick and Djokovic? I am hoping things don’t revert back to only Fed and Rafa dominating, and playing in all the slam finals.

And I don’t “hate” Federer or Nadal; they’ve given us so much exciting tennis! I just want to see a mix, and I’d like to see features and interest promoted in the media in several of the top ATP players so all the eggs are not put in one basket.


Ryan Says:

To Kroll:

“Milo and Ryan..”

You mean Milo/Ryan…..I feel sorry for you man…..ur dumber than I thought. Do you honestly believe that all the names in this board who have a different opinion than urs is the same person. With that sort of logic its supposed to be Kroll/mem. I think you both are the same.


Giner Says:

Giner

Your critisicm of MMT is rife with flaws that you point out in the first place – i.e. selective bias

“Murray is 1-5 except he’s figured Nadal out now”

Based on a statistic of one 4-set game? Fed whacked Murray in the USO so Fed’s figured out Murray? How does that explain his losses to him after that?
—————-

You misunderstand me. I’m not saying whoever won the last one figured out the other player. Federer has not figured out Murray, but Murray HAS figured out Nadal. The difference is in the way he played his match, not the result.

Did you know Roger Federer was 0-7 against Henman at one time? 2-7 against Hewitt? 0-3 against Agassi? 0-5 against Nalbandian? After #1, he lost one match to Henman and never again. Never lost again to Agassi (won 7 I think). Never lost again to Hewitt (Won his next 11 or so). Won the next few against Nalbandian before losing again. When you have a poorly lopsided H2H and then never lose to them again, that is ‘figuring’ out a nemesis.

Murray was 0-5 to Nadal, and based on the way he has improved I can’t see myself favouring Nadal over Murray on a hard court match any time soon.

Murray has figured him out, because he now knows what he has to do to beat him consistently. He has learnt from past matches where he went wrong and what to avoid, how to play against Rafa’s strengths and to his own strengths. Gonzo and Tsonga won by having an incredible day, not necessarily by finding Nadal’s kryptonite.

———————–
“Gonzalez thrashed Nadal at the same event two years ago.”
So I guess Gonzo has Rafa’s game figured out then.

This “figured out” argument is without basis and does not work against an evolving player who is also the number one and was the most dominant player last year. Murray has figured out absolutely nothing IMO.
————————

I never said Gonzo or Tsonga ‘figured out’ Nadal. The ‘figuring out’ was unique to Murray and Federer. Gonzo never had a lopsided H2H against Nadal for starters. My point is, if he played again like he did in 07, Nadal would be in big trouble.

——————
“Nadal said he preferred day with the roof open..”

He did earlier, but I saw his blog in Times(UK), yesterday I think, where he made an emphatic request to shut the roof.
——————

He says playing outdoors with sun and wind was his preferred conditions, but when the weather is that hot, it’s better to shut off the roof. It probably depends who he’s playing also. Dementieva would have wanted the roof open against Serena.

“Oh my, I thought only the “Americans” are entitled to this kind of favoritism. Anyway, as the saying goes, he’s got it “made in the shade”.”

Everyone’s allowed to make requests. Djokovic requested a night match against Roddick (denied), Hewitt requested a day match against Gonzalez (granted). What matters is whether your requests are granted or not.

If this was the US Open, American players would be helped whenever possible. 7 of 8 wildcards would go to Americans, and so on.

“No real sense of the game……thats funny….go ask any great tennis player about how nadal plays…does he play tennis like most players do or does he muscle the ball with brute strength without any proper technique and just relies on his athleticism?”

He is not the biggest hitter of the ball on the tour. But he does put the greatest amount of spin on the ball ever seen. That’s his schtick. Athleticism helps too. If you’re the smoothest stroker of the ball in the game but you’re unathletic, I doubt you could ever become world no.1.

“Milo is right.Think about it..if nadal is clean why should he get so upset when he hears the new testing standards. He is a skilled roid user who pulls every trick in the bag to win matches.”

I don’t know how the new testing works, but I can think of many reasons a clean person would object to new testing standards. How about invasion of privacy, impingement upon freedoms, wasting of time, and general inconvenience? Such as reporting where you have to go before hand, anywhere you travel. I wouldn’t want such a nuisance.

“I really hope WADA catches his punk ass and takes away all his grand slam titles. And if he is found to be clean…..he is even cleverer than I thought.
Bottomline:- NADAL IS A STEROID JUNKIE”

Why don’t you report that to the ATP? I’m sure they could use your tips.

“While I have not seen all of his matches this year, I have not heard one word about the fact that in Nov/Dec Uncle Toni did his usual “My nephew will never play tennis again; his knees are shot.””

Did he actually say that? Could you give me a link to such a report? Or is this an exaggeration? I never heard any such thing.


Von Says:

Mary:

“Von: Do you remember the Bloomberg article I posted way back in the summer comparing tennis pros and golf pros? Damn, they were right on target.”

I remember it well, that’s why when I read that article, I posted it for you to see that WADA is trying to do something about the laxness of drug testing, but are receiving serious opposition.

“In reference to WADA protocol.
For me it’s not so much about targeting a single player, the argument goes nowhere fast and gets any discussion about steroid etc. abuse shut down fast and posts erased– generally on most sites; although I have not noticed it here.”

I’m not at all interested and/or in favor of a witch-hunt aimed toward a certain player or players, my concern is more generalized. I’d like if there is substance abuse for it to be stopped or nipped in the bud, as it were, rather than for it to become widespread. I’ve seen first hand what substance abuse can do to the human psyche and how lives are destroyed from its use, and it’s not something that should be shelved, covered up or placed in denial. Those who use the stuff are riddled with pain for the rest of their lives, and anyone who condones it is not helping them.

I don’t see why any athlete and/or ‘clean person’ would object to being tested. It’s part of their contract and the rules of sport for all athletes. It comes with the territory and the money. I’m sure when they were rookies, if their contracts stated they had two choices: (1) in order to play they would have to consent to surprise drug testing, or (2) would not be tested but were disallowed to play, I’m positive they’d take the former. Hence, now that they’ve ascended the ladder of fame and fortune, this basic function is frowned upon or deemed infradig? I think that in cases where “Rank has its privileges” it’s thrown out of the window when substance abuse is involved, and they should abide by the clauses governing their contracts.

An athlete or any famous person forfeits his/her rights to privacy when they chose to live in the public’s eye, and as such should be compliant with the demands of such a lifestyle. Invasion of privacy, and/or reporting one’s whereabouts are all part of the deal.

Life is about choices, and for those athletes who refuse to comply with the rules, they could exercise their right of refusal, however, that right of refusal has its consequences. The question they need to ask themselves, “is it worth it to be non-compliant”?

I don’t understand from where “innocent until proven guilty” comes into the picture here. No one is accusing Nadal of using drugs, all that’s being done is a request for him to comply with random drug testing whenever it is deemed appropriate. That’s a small price to pay for all the millions he collects, isn’t it? And, the same goes for all of the players. I don’t understand the stand that some of the posters are taking — it’s not directed at Nadal personally, however, he seems to be the most offended by it. Why is he being so uncooperative?


Mary Says:

Giner:
Here’s a recent Time article:
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1870373-2,00.html

http://www.wtop.com/?nid=237&sid=1510639
I have to dig up the 2007 articles, there’s a great one in French where the family was met on a plane from a vacation- the sponsors were not too happy with Toni’s comments and they wanted answers. I’ll look for it this week.
I can find the most recent articles from the foriegn press. They are the best source for info so google if you have time. If you are not hearing it, it’s because you are not looking for it. I happened to stumble upon it.

the players need to realize that being a professional athlete is not a right. There needs to be the WADA controls b/c the sport is dirty. With the loose testing now, one cannot point to any player and say they are clean or dirty.

If you have time google the info, google Nadal and knee injury.
I have not pointed fingers at anyone. You do need to realize that we all have the right to point fingers and make accusations until the testing is more stringent. Better testing means a better chance at a cleaner sport. It’s not hard for them to report where they will be at any particular time. go to the itf site- I have it linked somewhere.
This is a great blog on the subject:
grg51.typepad.com/steroid_nation/

I know your comment to the other poster about contacting the ATP was sarcastic. Realize that WADA is taking a staunch stance b/c the ATP and ITF have a poor record on following up on tips. It’s a business making a lot of people money.

Actually in general, the European press does a much better job reporting on the sport in general. Use google translator. It’s fun to follow since the Euros are slightly insane when it comes to sports.

Don’t take the posts personally. The players give so many different quotes on roof open/ closed etc.
You’re getting worked up. It’s fun to exchange opinions. Yeah, “he’s on roids” is a bit boring to read time and time again. Better testing puts an end to it.
How come we can figure out the players games and they cannot?? :> Have a good night.
Relax!


Ezorra Says:

To me, WADA’s intention is great but the implementation is the worst. Asking the athletes to report to the organization of their daily whereabouts every three months (for an hour each day, 365 days a year) is absolutely too much and clearly against the humans’ right to have the right to privacy. Yes, they are public figures, celebrities, blablabla…. but you know what, at the end of the day, they are human like us who deserve to be treated like a human and not like a criminals.

Von says:
“No one is accusing Nadal of using drugs, all that’s being done is a request for him to comply with random drug testing whenever it is deemed appropriate.”

-No one? Really? Have you read Ryan’s or Milo’s or Ryan/Milo’s posts? Do you really think an hour each day, 365 days a year is deemed appropriate?

Mary, since you were saying that it’s not so much about targeting a single player or pointing finger to anybody, don’t you have anything to say to Ryan and Milo or Ryan/Milo who constantly accusing Nadal of using drugs (but don’t/doesn’t even have/has a single evidence to prove their rubbish allegation)?

Like Io said: “as the saying goes… “innocent until proven guilty”. i’d like to give rafa the benefit of the doubt (partly because the thought of him using drugs makes me angry as hell).”
-100% agree

BTW, Giner, you’re absolutely my new favorite poster. You’re very analytical person (which is good!) and very fair and square in giving your opinion. Keep it up!


Kroll Says:

Giner
“Federer has not figured out Murray, but Murray HAS figured out Nadal.”

I think I am going to wait One more match at the very least before I can come to this conclusion that you deem obvious. Esp. when we are talking about a guy who’s never won a slam against a Guy who’s won 5 and is the No. 1 player.


Von Says:

Ezorra:

I think you need to be more apprised concerning WADA’s policies regarding drug testing for athletes before jumping to conclusions.

ALL of the athletes are subject to the same rules; some find it to be insulting and others take it in stride as part of their job requirements. They all sign contracts which contain stipulations with respect to drug testing at different times during the year, and as such the athletes are required to adhere to those rules. Private corporations have the same policies.

I don’t think that the athletes are being treated as criminals, if they are asked to notify the drug testing organization of their whereabouts. That’s a pre-requisite to scheduling them for testing. Don’t you think it would be a waste of time and money if the organization were to schedule the athlete for a drug test and they can’t find him to notify him of the test?

With respect to random/surprise drug testing the testing personnel just show up without any previous notification to the athlete’s residence/hotel, and if the athlete is not where he’s suposed to be at tht time, it could cause serious ramifications for the athlete.

I don’t see where any of the foregoing could be interpreted as treating the athletes as criminals. I agree it causes tension for the athlete and some inconvenince, but there’s certainly nothing criminal about the situation. For someone to be treated as a criminal, a crime has to be committed and there exists a preponderance of evidence. I doubt whether surprise drug testing falls within this category.

With respect to the phase, “innocent until proven guilty”. I don’t see where this factors into the whole scenario. No one is being accused of a crime, hence there isn’t any need to prove one’s innocence. Do you feel if you’re scheduled for a drug test it automatically means you’ve committed a crime? Hardly likely. The same applies to the athletes when they are scheduled for a drug test.

I can’t be held responsible for what Ryan or Milo has written; they’re entitled to their opinions just like the rest of us. I’ve gotten blasted many times for my opinions, just a few months ago due to my defense of our US athletes because of aspersions cast by a Nadal fan, and my answer caused me to be further blown to smithereens by another Nadal fan, who made it his business to intervene without knowing all of the facts. But, who said life was fair.

I’m glad you find Giner to be fair and just, you’re all Nadal fans and as such should have some kind of soladarity.


Giner Says:

“I don’t see why any athlete and/or ‘clean person’ would object to being tested. It’s part of their contract and the rules of sport for all athletes. It comes with the territory and the money. I’m sure when they were rookies, if their contracts stated they had two choices: (1) in order to play they would have to consent to surprise drug testing, or (2) would not be tested but were disallowed to play, I’m positive they’d take the former. Hence, now that they’ve ascended the ladder of fame and fortune, this basic function is frowned upon or deemed infradig? I think that in cases where “Rank has its privileges” it’s thrown out of the window when substance abuse is involved, and they should abide by the clauses governing their contracts.

An athlete or any famous person forfeits his/her rights to privacy when they chose to live in the public’s eye, and as such should be compliant with the demands of such a lifestyle. Invasion of privacy, and/or reporting one’s whereabouts are all part of the deal. ”

I hate slippery slopes, but your reasoning would still apply if taken further. Let’s say the ITF gets even stricter and appoints a person to follow you 24 hours a day and look at everything you eat, drink and ingest. Everything you said still applies. “Invasion of privacy, and/or reporting one’s whereabouts are all part of the deal.” “I don’t see why any athlete and/or ‘clean person’ would object to being tested. It’s part of their contract and the rules of sport for all athletes.”

Yet I think even you would object to having a person follow everything you do 24 hours a day. You have to draw the line somewhere, and I think they have already crossed it.

Athletes absolutely must accept being tested as it’s part of the deal, but these new rigours were never in it, and why should they now?

And yes, they have necessarily sacrificed some of their privacy by choosing this way of life, but not this much, and certainly not ALL of their privacy should be forfeited.

An analogy to why this line of reasoning doesn’t work is a personal one. Australia is filtering the internet for all Australians. Their intention is to block out illegal content such as child pornography and bestiality to make the internet more child friendly. But the result is, the internet is going to be slowed down for everyone and some legal content (such as adult pornography) is going to be blocked as well as a result of this stupid filter. I have no interest in child pornography (I abhor bestiality) so I have nothing to fear about them catching me or making sure I don’t access those things, but I still strongly oppose this filter because it impinges on my other freedoms and it’s going to slow the internet for the entire nation. If Australians want the internet to be safer for their children, then parents should be closely monitoring them. The policing and supervision should be the parents’ and teachers’ responsibility, not the government’s.

You don’t have to go to such extremes. I’m sure Nadal doesn’t oppose to drug testing. He just doesn’t like how far they’ve taken it. At some point you have to step in and say they’ve gone too far. If they haven’t reached that point yet, then picture them getting even more strict and at some point you will agree that there is a line not to be crossed.

Why should a person need to report their whereabouts constantly? How does that affect what drugs are in their system? Will knowing that Marat Safin is a party animal help them find banned substances in him? Do the blood and urine tests, and do them more often. Enough with the silliness.

“I don’t understand from where “innocent until proven guilty” comes into the picture here. No one is accusing Nadal of using drugs, all that’s being done is a request for him to comply with random drug testing whenever it is deemed appropriate. That’s a small price to pay for all the millions he collects, isn’t it? And, the same goes for all of the players. I don’t understand the stand that some of the posters are taking — it’s not directed at Nadal personally, however, he seems to be the most offended by it. Why is he being so uncooperative?”

If he’s tested every week, before and after a tournament, that should be enough. The drugs don’t leave your system that quickly. Random testing when you go shopping or to the theatre is extreme.

“the players need to realize that being a professional athlete is not a right. There needs to be the WADA controls b/c the sport is dirty. With the loose testing now, one cannot point to any player and say they are clean or dirty.”

They can and have: Hingis, Sesil K, Puerta, Canas, Coria have all been busted and suspended. If you’re saying there are more dirty players out there who are cheating but haven’t been caught, then you may or may not be right, but you don’t have evidence and have no right to presume guilt.

“I know your comment to the other poster about contacting the ATP was sarcastic. Realize that WADA is taking a staunch stance b/c the ATP and ITF have a poor record on following up on tips. It’s a business making a lot of people money.”

The ITF tread very carefully because they understand the ramifications of incorrectly implicating a player — it would destroy their career and in consequence bring upon a big lawsuit. That’s why it takes a long time. They need to be very certain before they publish anything. I don’t think they’ve done it wrong. And if they have, I think they could solve the problem less stringently than WADA.

“Don’t take the posts personally. The players give so many different quotes on roof open/ closed etc. You’re getting worked up.”

I’m not getting worked up, and I don’t take Ryan seriously. I am saying that a line has to be drawn somewhere, and we are disagreeing on where that line should be drawn.

“BTW, Giner, you’re absolutely my new favorite poster. You’re very analytical person (which is good!) and very fair and square in giving your opinion. Keep it up!”

Thanks. I won’t be as active once this AO is over though.

“I think I am going to wait One more match at the very least before I can come to this conclusion that you deem obvious. Esp. when we are talking about a guy who’s never won a slam against a Guy who’s won 5 and is the No. 1 player.”

Fair enough. But I think Murray has improved leaps and bounds since the 5 times he lost to Nadal. He’s approached his matches with Nadal differently to the other 5, and that’s why I believe he’s figured him out.

The US open was quite a good match overall, but the first set was a drubbing and Murray has never done that to him before. I think he’s learnt how to play Nadal and he’s probably figured out Djokovic as well. I’d love to be wrong because I like Nadal more than I like Murray, but that’s what my head tells me. There’s a reason Murray was favourite to win the AO and not Nadal even though Nadal is #1. Most (well all that I have read) analysts picked Murray to beat Nadal at the AO semi finals a few weeks earlier.

I don’t want to give the impression that Nadal has no chance against Murray either. I think Murray is maybe 60-40 or 65-35 favourite against Nadal on grass or hard. Eventually he will be mentally ready to beat Federer in a GS too and not just in smaller tournaments. The key is making it to the SF/final.


Giner Says:

“With respect to random/surprise drug testing the testing personnel just show up without any previous notification to the athlete’s residence/hotel, and if the athlete is not where he’s suposed to be at tht time, it could cause serious ramifications for the athlete.

I don’t see where any of the foregoing could be interpreted as treating the athletes as criminals. I agree it causes tension for the athlete and some inconvenince, but there’s certainly nothing criminal about the situation. For someone to be treated as a criminal, a crime has to be committed and there exists a preponderance of evidence. I doubt whether surprise drug testing falls within this category.”

If I’m a pro athlete, I have no objections to people testing me. But if I’m going to brothels or some gay parade those are things I wouldn’t want to report. I don’t think WADA has any business knowing about what I do in my private life unless it pertains to drugs. Could I be injecting myself with steroids when I go to these private places which magically aren’t detectable when I’m next tested?

No I’m not gay, and I don’t go to brothels, but if a player had a private life that they didn’t feel others needed to know about, their privacy should be respected. Atheletes are public people, and some privacy is lost when you walk that path, but not even actors, singers, politicians, or the president needs to report their whereabouts constantly.

“I’ve gotten blasted many times for my opinions, just a few months ago due to my defense of our US athletes because of aspersions cast by a Nadal fan, and my answer caused me to be further blown to smithereens by another Nadal fan, who made it his business to intervene without knowing all of the facts. But, who said life was fair.

I’m glad you find Giner to be fair and just, you’re all Nadal fans and as such should have some kind of soladarity.”

I’m not sure if that episode had anything to do with Nadal. If it did, it was coincidental. It had something to do with Americans, that I remember. I would have defended the person’s right to barrack for the opposition if the opposition was Volandri or Dudi Sela. Nadal would have been a coincidence.

I’m surprised you took it personally though.

You are entitled to express any opinion you want, even if it is hateful. The US constitution entitles you to free speech, and other people can say what they want too. No one is protected from being offended however.

There is no solidarity for me. I respond based on what a person says, not what they like. I will respond critically to someone who likes Nadal if I don’t agree with them. Kroll is someone I’ve agreed with on many things and like very much, but we still have our disagreements as you can see above.

I won’t say I’m completely without bias, but I will still attack a player I like if I feel it’s deserved.

I’m not a blind fan as you by now know I don’t like blindness of any sort, most particularly nationalism.

Don’t take what I say personally, it’s not intended to hurt you. I think you anger easily. And do not be afraid to stick up for your man even if others won’t. No disrespect intended, but thicker skin helps.

“He who angers you conquers you.” ~Elizabeth Kenny


jane Says:

Following someone around makes me think of 1984 and “big brother”. It just seems like a bit much. I think there is a fine line between privacy and publicity when it comes to being a public figure. But there still needs to be a line; I guess it’s just a matter of deciding where it is. Like paparazzi who follow people to their homes, or take pictures of them with long lenses: it’s invasive. This sort of testing involves taking bodily fluids! I think before and after tournaments is probably good enough. Or scheduled tests. But for the “fluid police” to simply show up at a player’s home to take a sample seems a little too extreme imo.

Giner – that’s wild about the internet in Australia; I had no idea!


Kroll Says:

” I think Murray is maybe 60-40 or 65-35 favourite against Nadal on grass or hard.”

Are you Kidding me!?! The wimbledon champion who beat Federer is less favoured on grass because of insights you gleaned from One match on US open hardcourts, Rafa’s worst surface? Giner, I am going to stop taking you seriously very very soon. More importantly, for some bizarre reason, Rafa is a way better player on grass than he is on hardcourts and I mean attitude – is way more agrressive and his serve gets even better. Besides grass responds much better to slices – Rafa’s new love by all accounts, than hardcourts. I would give Rafa a 90-10 edge over Murray on grass.

“I hate slippery slopes, but your reasoning would still apply if taken further.”

The rules are imposed on a very small elite group, so I wouldn’t jump the gun such. But the violation of privacy argument is a fairly good one and important to consider. From the perspective of the WADA, there is I think the following argument –

a)Among the banned substances on the list that they have, they look at the drug which escapes the body the fastest and the time it takes. If you sample (drug test) at time intervals less than this time than all other considerations (like faulty test procedure et al) assumed irrelevant, the testing is 100% accurate, i.e. a probability of 1 that they will catch every offender. Of course they dont actually test every day so the actual testing is based on a random distribution. Then you have another number – the expectation that you will catch a particular offender based on the random procedure you used. Its actually easy to calculate. But if you have a drug interval which is greater than the minimum then your expectation gets much worse. So the question is one of priorities based on the expectation of catching offenders they get for a particular drug testing procedure. And that number helps you get a measure of how foolproof (ok a misnomer here) you want the system is vis-vis the value you place on invasion of privacy(quantified by testing every day as opposed to every two days and so on). There is a no slope here, a mere comparison of priorities based on some elementary math. I think it requires agreement aomng the ATP management, the players association and WADA. If the players get annoyed enough im sure they will do something about it. Though I read Fed’s interview yesterday and he seemed ok with it. So…


Kroll Says:

Von

“I’ve gotten blasted many times for my opinions”

Not me Von, I like your arguments here.

“I can’t be held responsible for what Ryan or Milo has written”

Ryan Or Milo Is correct! I understand how it feels when you suddenly find yourself on the side of a few muppets who have extreme views and no arguments (unlike you I mean)

“they’re entitled to their opinions just like the rest of us.”

True enough but also one of the times that when you start questioning Freedom of Speech. (Actually no, I am only kidding here)

Giner
—-
I was kidding about not taking you seriously, just emphasizing my disagreement.

Also

“I’m not a blind fan as you by now know I don’t like blindness of any sort, most particularly nationalism.”

One place I am wholly in agreement. Ideas of belonging which are fostered on us and built merely by repeat conditioning like Patriotism and Religion are usually the easiest to exploit for particular ends.

Jane
—–
“Like paparazzi who follow people to their homes, or take pictures of them with long lenses: it’s invasive.”

Thats a super example. Strangely enough, the parallel with WADA is functionally the same, though entirely different in principle. Paparazzi and celebrities have a symbiotic relationship and not a parasitic one, as is oft potrayed, though it gets extreme sometimes. WADA is no less essential though its value-based and can Also get pretty crazy, perhaps like now. A necessary evil, inevitably.


Mary Says:

This is what the athlete is being asked to do:
“The Information Required
Every quarter (i.e. by 31 December, 31 March, 30 June and 30 September) the
ITF must be notified where the player is residing for that quarter (e.g. home,
temporary lodgings, hotel, etc.) as well as the name and address of each location.
The Whereabouts Filing must also include one specific 60-minute time slot and
specific location between 6 am and 11 pm every day where the player is available
and accessible for Testing. This also includes times when a player is competing.
Given the unpredictability of the competition schedule, players may choose to
specify their temporary residence (e.g. hotel) to designate the 60-minute slot.
When making a Whereabouts Filing, it is the player’s responsibility to ensure that
all of the information provided is accurate and in sufficient detail to enable the
Doping Control Officer to locate him/her for Testing on any given day in the quarter,
including but not limited to during the 60-minute time-slot specified for that day.”

ONE HOUR a day between the hours of 6 am and 11 pm they have to know where to find you. So, if you are going to your gay parade at noon, list an hour earlier say 7ish. You need to time to get ready for your parade.

HOW REPRESSIVE!
It’s no different than other sports, WHICH ARE UNDER WADA CONTROL.

How can one comment on the whereabouts if they have not read the actual program??
Go to the site and read it.


Ryan Says:

To Kroll:

Impressive logic! You didn’t pull all that stuff out of your a** at all!

Yeah I did…everyone knows that michael jackson is child molester even wen he walked out free from the courts with no charges.For some things u dont need evidence….u just know it.


Ryan Says:

To Giner:

“I don’t take Ryan seriously” ….thats ok…u dont have to…. but if u ever get the feeling that ur the only one intelligent who is posting here and that people like me are stupid…..ur mistaken.
Somewhere else I had stated that Simon wont be able to hang with nadal over 5 sets….which turned out to be true in fact he couldnt even hang with him for 3 sets.
However u came in with ur snobbish attitude as usual, quoted wat I had written and stated that u dont see any weaknesses for Simon and that ur very impressed with his game which indirectly stated that I was wrong in my assessment.

We all know wat happened after that. So for once quit tryina think that u know more than others do.


Von Says:

jane:

I believe you’re a little off track with respect to WADA’s function.

“Following someone around makes me think of 1984 and “big brother”. It just seems like a bit much. I think there is a fine line between privacy and publicity when it comes to being a public figure.”

WADA does not follow any of the players around. They only need to be informed as to the whereabouts of the player for one hour out of a period from 6:00 am 11:00 pm, each day. quarter I don’t think that’s a huge inconvenience for the playher at all. We all have schedules, and I’m sure that there is a routine that’s followed by the players. I have found that the most accessible time is the breakfast period. Hence, if a player knows he has breakfast between 6:00 am to 8:00 am, then it would be quite easy to designate that time slot as his “availability/accessibility” period.

“But there still needs to be a line; I guess it’s just a matter of deciding where it is.”

There is a an established privacy line, and the time-frame is picked by the player. After that period he is free to do as he chooses.

“Like paparazzi who follow people to their homes, or take pictures of them with long lenses: it’s invasive.”

WADA is not a drug police nor the paparazzi. They do not have the resources nor personnel to follow players around. Their mission is to discourage illegal substance abuse in sports, so that every athlete competes on his own natural abilities without the use of performance enhancing substances.

“This sort of testing involves taking bodily fluids! I think before and after tournaments is probably good enough. Or scheduled tests. But for the “fluid police” to simply show up at a player’s home to take a sample seems a little too extreme imo.”

Before and after tournament tests are done, but these are the times that the atheletes are aware they’ll be tested. And, if an athlete is using an illegal substance, he’ll ensure he avoids it before, during and after the tournament. They’re smarter than that. WADA is interested in conducting “surprise’” testing. Catching them off-guard, when they least expect it, hence the isolated early morning visit. These visits occur probably once in every 3 months, but sometimes if there’s a tip-off, a few visits would not be out of the ordinary.
___________________

I think quite a few are blowing this whole testing thing out of proportion, and making it seem way more laborious for the athlete than it really is.

To begin with there’s a uniform drug testing system that’s in place, as was pointed out by Mary previously. Testing is done on a quarterly basis. Each athlete only has ONE quarter out of the entire year to report his whereabouts to WADA for surprise testing. I don’t know if WADA uses a color-coded system, I did, which means that the quarter a player has to report his whereabouts changes annually, because the colors are done on a draw basis.

Considering how computerized a everything is these days, all a player has to do is program his computer to send a daily email to WADA, or have his manager or someone do it for him. Gosh it’s not a complicated or laborious task, but a simple one indeed.

Federer claimed he doesn’t have a problem with the system. He probably has Mirka send the emails, and/or make the phone calls. I’ve not heard any other player complain about the WADA stipulations, except for Nadal. Nadal’s complaints is drawing more attention to him than is necessary and that kind of publicity automaticaly sends up a red flag which will place him under severe scrutiny. His lawyers should counsel him to just go with the flow.

I didn’t realize that posting that article for Mary’s information would cause such a stir and so much resentment from Nadal’s fans, and I’m now sorry I did, however, I do hope that some are a bit more informed about WADA’s function in sports.


Von Says:

Kroll:

“Not me Von, I like your arguments here.”

You’re always fair-minded in your comments. Haven’t you noticed that I periodically enquire about you whenever you disappear? Yesterday, you used one of your “expressionisms” that’s my favourite “sock puppetts”. I love your originlity!!


Kroll Says:

Von

You clarify a lot. My belief that the WADA is functionally the same as the Paparazzi is actually false. So thanks for that. I am still curious as to the kind of mathematical procedure they use to maximise the probability of catching a potential tester pertaining to the random testing and everything. I d outlined the procedure they need to use but im still a little curious about the specifics and if its really on sound footing.


Kroll Says:

Von
“You’re always fair-minded in your comments.”

You make me sound sweet Von (which offends me :) )

“Haven’t you noticed that I periodically enquire about you whenever you disappear?”

As did I a couple of days ago. I think I expressed the notion that you’d decided to not post on the forum in order to jinx Roddick (and in all fairness he lost after you started!)

Regarding, “sock puppetts” I deserve no credit, its actually standard internet parlance (geek jargon?) and refers to someone who uses multiple ids online for usually the same reasons- Claiming support when you have little or none.


Mary Says:

Phelps caught toking: http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/news/150832/14-times-Olympic-gold-medal-winner-Michael-Phelps-caught-with-bong-cannabis-pipe.html

Kroll: WADA has a website: http://www.wada-ama.org/en/
it sounds like you are a math person, if you find anything intersting share it– but um write it out in English, not mathspeak;>

Von: Posting the article was a good thing to do. People have found out more info on the subject that they would not gain from the mainstream tennis media.


jane Says:

Von,

Yes, after reading Mary’s post following mine this morning, it didn’t sound as bad as I had thought. And in a way it’s not really too much of a “surprise” if the player picks the time/spot, 60 minutes. It does seem invasive still, to a degree, but when their living involves their body I suppose it’s fair enough.

Thanks to all the people who posted information; I knew nothing about this stuff. Only the scandals that ensued after someone was caught…


Von Says:

Kroll:

“You make me sound sweet Von (which offends me :) )”

Sorry, but you are, despite that thick egg/pizza crust you’ve battered yourself with. It’s a joke, smileys are verboten. Underneath, even the toughest are softies and the most sincerest too, we’ve just got to know where to look.
_____________

The mathematics for random testing is not very complicated.

Random testing is the easiest way to catch an offender. For example, drugs such as cocaine and the the needle type injected substances exit the body in about 3 days, and benzodiazepines remain for a week to 10 days, whereas cannibis (marijuana) remains in the blood cells for 30 days. Hence a random test is necessary to identify a cocaine/bnenzodiaepine user because he doesn’t have any time to abstain from the drug. But, there are times that a user could beat the system, even if he’s randomly picked because he might just happen to have run out of his supply a few days before he’s randomly picked, then his test will show him as clean. Normally, two random positives and a red flag goes up.
_________________

I’m not into the internet jargon, hence the ‘sock puppets” phraseology amuses me.


Von Says:

Mary:

Thanks (or no thanks) for that link — it has just deflated one of our sports heros. Say it ain’t so, Michael! I can’t believe he’d be that stupid! I just wrote about cannabis in my post above, and after I submitted my comments I saw your link. I’m sad, really sad. He’s got severe psych issues and the success has now gone to his head. Whyyyyyyyyyyyyh


Ryan Says:

I dont think people should blame Michael Phelps for smoking cannabis. First of all its not a performance enhancing drug or a class A drug like coke. He was always clean during competitions and even took extra tests to prove his innocence.He just wanted to relax after his enormous success. He did it all. Won all the 8 gold medals and there is really no where to go. Once you’re the greatest swimmer of all time wat else is there to do? There is a double standard here. Rockstars and movie stars or anyone else have no problem admitting that they smoke pot and people never look down on them. In fact their image only turns out to be cooler. When it comes to athletes its a different story. Like Phelps stated somewhere his life has been nothing but….eat sleep and swim over and over again.He is starting to have a life and people should just leave him alone. Personally , I havent lost any respect for Phelps with this incident.


Ryan Says:

Besides, athletes are wat they are…..athletes.I mean all this nonsense about how they are supposed to be perfect people who kids should look upto is plain bull. Even Federer who is trying to be perfect is criticized for his arrogance and his luck in winning these slams and poor competition , his swiss flag logo on his shoes and wat not. So that means there is no point in trying to make other people give u a thumbs up. Its more like ur living ur life to satisfy everyone else. That sux

They are human beings just like us and make mistakes. They should be judged by wat they can do in their sport and not in their personal lives.Its not like Phelps made a video of himself smoking pot and encouraged other kids to do it. Some sneaky mf took his pic in a party and made it front page news. There are people who say that this stuff should be legalized…..so big deal


Von Says:

Ryan:

You’re absolutely correct, cannabis is not a performance enhancing drug — it’s more of a downer, and were he to use that when competing, he’d be left at the starting gate.

I think some vicious, jealous peson leaked that story to the press and has now tarnished Michael’s name. That will cast doubts on his reputation, and sponsors will surely run in the opposite direction.


Mary Says:

Von: Yeah, in this economy it doesn’t take much for a sponsor to drop you. I guess it explains why he eats so much Mcd’s.

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